1 Wednesday, 5 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and
9 Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is cross-examining.
11 WITNESS: MILUTIN GRUJICIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness testifies via videolink]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Grujicic. Can you hear us quite clearly this
17 A. Good morning. I can hear you clearly.
18 Q. Today I'm just going to ask you if you could possibly listen very
19 carefully to the questions that I ask you and just answer that question,
20 and don't give a large explanation unless I ask you for an explanation.
21 Do you understand that?
22 A. Yes, yes, I do understand. I tried to keep that in mind yesterday
23 and to consider my answers carefully.
24 Q. Thank you. Please be aware, I want as concise an answer as
25 possible. If you can answer it yes or no, please do so, because Mr. Lukic
1 will ask you anything afterwards that needs to be clarified, and he's very
2 aware of what I'm asking. So please bear that in mind.
3 Now, yesterday, Mr. Grujicic, in giving your evidence, you gave
4 evidence or you told us that you were a humanist or a humanitarian. Do
5 you remember that evidence?
6 A. Yes, I remember that very well.
7 Q. As a humanist, you would have been appalled by the war that was
8 going on in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, wouldn't you?
9 A. Yes, I was appalled.
10 Q. You were also appalled as a humanist by the practice of ethnic
11 cleansing, weren't you?
12 A. No. No. I wasn't working on any kind of ethnic cleansing, nor
13 did I see any of the civilian commissions do any such thing.
14 Q. Can I just ask you to concentrate, please, on the question I asked
15 you. I asked you: As a humanist, a person concerned for humanitarian
16 things, you would have been appalled by any ethnic cleansing that
17 occurred, wouldn't you?
18 A. I focused well on your question, and I told you that I had no
19 occasion to see any ethnic cleansing. But rather, the passage of civilian
20 population through corridors in order to bring families back together,
21 that's what I was appalled by.
22 Q. I was asking you whether you would have been appalled by ethnic
23 cleansing. Please concentrate and confine yourself to the question,
24 please. Now, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations went to
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina several times in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The Special
1 Rapporteur reported back to the United Nations on ethnic cleansing in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Do you understand that? Just
3 yes or no.
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. RE: Will you just excuse me for one moment.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only thing I don't understand is
7 why you're referring to 1991 and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was no war
8 there at that time.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. This is what the Special Rapporteur found in his report -- third
11 report of the 17th of November, 1992, Mr. Grujicic. Please just listen to
12 this, and I'll read it to you. I'm reading paragraph 8: "Ethnic
13 cleansing is the direct cause of the vast majority of human rights
14 violations which have occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the present
15 human rights emergency began in March and April 1992."
16 Paragraph 9: "The term 'ethnic cleansing' refers to the
17 elimination by the ethnic group exercising control over a given territory
18 of members of other ethnic groups, a wide variety of methods are used to
19 accomplish this end, including threats, harassment, and intimidation."
20 I won't read the rest of that paragraph. Paragraph 10: "Ethnic
21 cleansing is often accompanied by confiscation of the property of those
22 forced to leave, including homes, farms, and agricultural equipment. In
23 some areas, homes and farm buildings have been razed in order to preclude
24 any possibility of return. Departure often involves long and arduous
25 journeys, during which the displaced population is systematically robbed
1 of savings, jewellery, and other personal effects, exposed to beatings and
2 rape, deprived of food and shelter, in many instances, the fleeing
3 population has been obliged to cross through areas of armed conflict."
4 That, Mr. Grujicic, is what the Special Rapporteur reported back
5 to the United Nations in 1992 on what was happening in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you telling the Trial Chamber that as a member of
7 the 1st Krajina Corps's commission for exchanges, that you were unaware of
8 what was going on?
9 A. I had no time to ponder those issues, if they were indeed as you
10 say they were. I fought for human lives. I or any other members of any
11 of the commissions were not involved in any kind of ethnic cleansing.
12 There was civil war. Certainly there was a lot of fear, a lot of
13 misfortune. But as for your question, I think it needs to be answered by
14 someone else, if that's the way you choose to phrase it. I only worked on
15 the exchanges of prisoners of war.
16 Q. Are you saying even 10 years after the event you won't agree that
17 ethnic cleansing occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Serb forces?
18 A. By no means. The civil war was caused by fear, on all sides. You
19 can't emphasise one aspect or one side. If there was indeed any such
20 thing. But on my side, or rather, where I worked, there was no ethnic
21 cleansing. We didn't do that part of the job. I think the International
22 Red Cross was best placed to monitor that. They were always with us
23 attending the exchanges of prisoners of war and all the negotiations.
24 Q. The Special Rapporteur disagreed with you, Mr. Grujicic. In
25 paragraph 9 of the same report, that is, made on the ground in November
1 1992, they reported this: "In Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnic cleansing is
2 practiced systematically by Serbs in order to expel Muslims, Croats, and
3 smaller ethnic groups from areas under their control. In some areas,
4 including the area west of Banja Luka, the objective of ethnic cleansing
5 has been largely accomplished. A large percentage of the Muslim and Croat
6 population has already left or is confined to a camp or another -- of one
7 kind or another. The vast majority of the remaining Muslim and Croat
8 population is anxious to leave as soon as it is materially possible to do
10 That's what the Special Rapporteur went on to say in his report.
11 Are you still disagreeing that ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by Serb
12 forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992?
13 A. I disagree. The reason I disagree is that the gentleman probably
14 only visited one of the sides, and it just seemed to him like that. I
15 must repeat this: This was civil war caused by fear, caused by anxiety
16 felt by all the people and by all the different ethnic groups. I'm not
17 introducing any separation between Croats, Serbs, and Muslims there. And
18 certainly there was a certain amount of fear because the war had started.
19 Ethnic cleansing, what does that mean? That means that we should
20 gather all non-Serb or non-Croat or non-Muslim population of a given town
21 and move it to a different area. There was no such thing happening. At
22 least not in the areas of the Banja Luka sector. There were only
23 agreements between civilian commissions. The gentlemen from Zenica, from
24 Travnik, from Tuzla, and from the whole area, from Orasje, from Croatia,
25 and so on and so forth, and what they would agree which was in principle
1 to bring families back together, what I talked about yesterday, I
2 certainly don't consider that to be an example of ethnic cleansing.
3 Q. So your evidence is, is it, there was no ethnic cleansing in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina by Serb forces during the civil war? Is that your
5 evidence? Yes or no.
6 A. As I say, all the points of transit where I worked, or where we
7 worked, I did not notice any such thing happening.
8 Q. You're not answering my question. My question was: Is your
9 evidence that there was no ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992?
11 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think the answer by the witness was
14 clear. He's a witness of fact. And in answer to your question, he
15 clearly said that in view of his activity, he saw no such thing
16 happening. Now they're asking the witness to speculate whether any such
17 thing was happening in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The witness,
18 however, on page 6 of the transcript, clearly said that he saw no such
19 thing happening and that he was not involved in any such thing. This is
20 not an expert witness; this is a factual witness.
21 MR. RE: I'll move to another area, Your Honour. I won't press
22 that question at the moment in that form.
23 Q. Mr. Grujicic, can you please just tell us, to refresh us from
24 yesterday, just the areas in which you worked. Just list them, please,
25 going from one side of Bosnia to the other. No explanation; just the
1 areas, please.
2 A. You mean the areas of the opposite side?
3 Q. The areas -- okay. I'll refine that question. The areas under
4 Serb control in Bosnia-Herzegovina where you worked in 1992 and 1993.
5 Please just list the municipalities.
6 A. Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanska Dubica, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Donji
7 Vakuf, Donje Knezevo, Kotor Vares, Teslic, Doboj, then the whole of Ozren,
8 Modrica, Samac, Derventa, Bosanski Brod, and Srbac.
9 Q. And you're telling the Trial Chamber, are you, that in all of
10 those areas, Bosanska Gradiska, Dubica, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Donji Vakuf,
11 Novo -- whatever it is, I'm sorry -- Kotor Vares, Teslic, Doboj, Ozren,
12 Modrica, Samac, Derventa, Bosanski Brod, and Srbac in 1992 and 1993 --
13 A. Not Vares.
14 Q. Kotor Vares.
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. In all the time you worked there in 1992 and 1993 on the
17 commission for exchanges, you saw absolutely no evidence that Muslims and
18 Croats were being forced to move from their homes by Serb forces? Is that
19 your evidence?
20 A. When I said that I was a humanist by conviction, a humanitarian
21 person, I meant I wasn't carrying any weapons. I was not on the front
23 Q. Can you please answer my question. My question is whether you --
24 A. No. No. I saw no such thing happening.
25 Q. And you're telling the Trial Chamber, are you, that you heard
1 nothing in that time of the forcible removal of Muslims and Croats from
2 their homes or areas in 1992 and 1993 while you were working across those
3 ranges of municipalities? Is that your evidence?
4 A. No. I saw no such thing. I didn't even know which villages were
5 Serb dominated and which villages were Croat or Muslim dominated, or
6 towns, for that matter. There were burnt villages on all sides, but there
7 was no way for me to distinguish, and I simply had no time to consider
8 these issues.
9 Q. Please concentrate on the question. The question wasn't what you
10 saw; the question was what you heard. You're telling the Trial Chamber
11 you heard of no incidents of Muslims and Croats being forced to leave
12 their homes and territories by Serb forces in 1992 and 1993 while you were
13 working across those broad ranges of municipalities; is that your
14 evidence? You heard nothing about that?
15 A. My dear gentleman, I heard nothing. I was only meeting people who
16 were seeking our assistance, and I didn't go about those villages
17 investigating. We would go directly to the approved points of transit for
18 the exchanges. So the answer is: I heard nothing.
19 Q. In all the time you were working on General Talic's staff as the
20 chairman of his Exchange Commission, you heard nothing about ethnic
21 cleansing by Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that still your
23 A. Yes. Yes. I stand by that. That is my testimony. When you said
24 that I worked on the staff, that's not true. I didn't work on the staff.
25 We merely had our headquarters in the same building, but I was myself not
1 a high official of the staff.
2 Q. As a humanist, of course, you would have been appalled by ethnic
3 cleansing if you had known it was going on, wouldn't you?
4 A. I would have been appalled, and if I had been in a position to
5 help anyone, I would have helped, and that's precisely what I was doing
6 for the whole duration of the war.
7 Q. As a humanist, you would have been appalled if Serb forces had
8 been expelling people from their homes and forcing them into detention
9 centres, wouldn't you?
10 A. Certainly.
11 Q. You would have been appalled if the Serb leadership was pursuing a
12 policy of ethnic separation by force, wouldn't you?
13 A. Certainly. Certainly. Because that didn't happen. I told you:
14 There was a civil war. I didn't tell you that one people caused ill to
15 another people. It was civil war. This goes for both sides. But I don't
16 want to get mixed up in that, because I was not into politics.
17 Q. As a humanist, you would have been appalled -- you told us
18 yesterday you're a humanist. You would have been appalled if non-Serbs
19 were locked up in detention centres by Serb forces and forced to endure
20 inhumane conditions. You would have been appalled by that, wouldn't you?
21 A. I already answered that yesterday by objecting, both to
22 Mr. Todorovic and to Mr. General, because Croats had been beaten who were
23 on their way to an exchange. As proof of that, can you please look at
24 this title. This is my book, a book I wrote, and the title translates
25 as: "The graves of war cause me pain." And I wasn't referring to Serb
1 graves only; I was referring to Croat graves and Muslim graves too. I can
2 send you a copy of this book so you can survey all the work that we
3 humanists did.
4 Q. Did you humanists -- I withdraw that. In this book you've just
5 shown us, is there any reference there to Serb ethnic cleansing between
6 1992 and 1993 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or is that missing from your book?
7 A. There is no such thing, because no such thing is part of this
8 book. The people included in this book are the people who needed our
9 help, the detained, those who had gone missing, and those who had been
10 killed. When you speak about ethnic cleansing, that's simply not part of
11 this book. If any such thing happened indeed, there will be someone else,
12 I'm sure, to write a book about that.
13 Q. You would agree that if someone had been locked up by the Serb
14 forces only because they were non-Serb, put into a detention centre and
15 left there until they were exchanged, that would fall within the
16 definition of ethnic cleansing, wouldn't it, Mr. Grujicic?
17 A. No. I don't think so. There were judicial organs. Those
18 judicial organs did their job, their tasks. They processed the detainees
19 who were in our area. After processing, we could begin to carry out the
21 Q. So your evidence to the Trial Chamber is, is it, that everyone who
22 was in Serb detention was there according to some sort of judicial order
23 or judicial process, during 1992 and 1993? Is that your evidence?
24 A. No, that's not my evidence. I do not know whether all the people
25 were processed or not. I only know about those who were requested to be
1 exchanged. We could only exchange them once they had been processed. But
2 I never went to prisons. I never visited prisons so that I could know any
3 of those people. That was a different team working on that.
4 Q. As a humanist, you, of course, would agree with the rights of all
5 people under a democratic constitution to vote to elect their leaders,
6 wouldn't you?
7 A. By all means.
8 Q. And as a humanist --
9 A. Agree.
10 Q. As a humanist, of course, you would be appalled if one ethnic
11 group had taken over the government of various municipalities in Bosnia to
12 the exclusion of others in government, wouldn't you?
13 A. I can't answer that question. I don't know about the structure of
14 government in the municipalities.
15 Q. I'm asking you --
16 A. I am not from the Banja Luka area. I can't answer that question.
17 Q. I'm asking you as a humanist, the humanist principles you told us
18 about yesterday, Mr. Grujicic, as a humanist and, you've just said,
19 someone who believes in democracy, you would be appalled if one ethnic
20 group took over the reign -- forcibly took over power from the elected
21 government, wouldn't you?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection.
23 Just a minute, Mr. Grujicic.
24 This whole line of questioning by the Prosecutor's questions, I
25 chose not to object, but I think I could have rightly done so right from
1 the beginning. Personally, I think the emphasis that the Prosecution
2 seems to be putting on the term "humanist" cannot provide ground for
3 asking the witness these background questions, and this whole line of
4 questioning refers to the witness's views and attitudes. When he spoke as
5 a humanist yesterday, he spoke about the facts I had asked him about.
6 This line of questioning, I understand if you ask this line of
7 questioning to Professor Nikolic, an expert witness, but I think if you
8 pose these questions to a witness who already told us that he had no
9 information on certain facts, calls, I think, for mere speculation. This
10 is a game of hide and seek which the witness is expected to take part in.
11 I think if we want him to tell us about facts, then this term "humanist"
12 can certainly give no extra room for the Prosecution to ask such
13 questions, except as related to what the witness told us about in the
14 first part of his examination-in-chief, namely, the exchanges. But I
15 think this whole line of questioning is driving at something altogether
16 different, not the exchanges themselves.
17 MR. RE: Your Honours, could I briefly respond to that?
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is of the view that the
20 Prosecution can pursue that line of questioning, because the questions go
21 to the credibility of the witness. The only caution [Realtime transcript
22 read in error "question"] is that avoid repetition.
23 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Look, I was asking you, as a humanist, about your attitude to the
25 forcible takeover of democratically elected institutions by Serb forces,
1 that is, the forces of one ethnicity forcibly taking over the democratic
2 institutions of the entire municipality or country. I'm asking you
3 whether, as a humanist, that would have appalled you.
4 A. I have to answer you in a different way. In Banja Luka, the
5 vice-president of the municipality was a representative of the HDZ. I got
6 to know him because I cooperated with him, in connection with exchanges of
7 war prisoners. Therefore, there was no cleansing that I can see, when the
8 representative of the HDZ was the vice-president of the municipality. I
9 can't speak about other areas. Would I have been horrified? Don't ask me
10 that. Ask me about the entire territory, the territory of Croatia, Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina, and Republika Srpska. Of course I'm horrified. Why did
12 this happen? But leave me alone, because I, as a humanist, only fought to
13 save human lives. I did not want to be involved in politics.
14 Q. So as a --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, yes. Before you continue, I just wanted to
16 correct the transcript. Line 21, page 12. I didn't say the only
17 question. I said, "The only caution is avoid repetition."
18 And I'd like to inform Mr. Grujicic that he should only answer
19 questions as they are put to him and not explain. If he disagrees, he
20 should say so. So please, Mr. Grujicic, listen to the question and just
21 answer the question as it is put to you.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. On my last question, are you saying that as a humanist you don't
24 have a position or a moral position on forcible ethnic takeover by Serbs
25 of democratically elected institutions?
1 A. No, I have no position on this. I did not deal with that. I have
2 proved that in Banja Luka there was a Croat who was the vice-president of
3 the municipality, and he was the president of the HDZ.
4 Q. Thank you. I didn't ask you about Banja Luka. But listen: As a
5 humanist, surely you would have been appalled by the massacre of thousands
6 of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica by the Drina Corps, which was part of
7 your own army in 1995. You would have been appalled by that, wouldn't
9 A. Any death horrifies me. Until it is proved who the perpetrator
10 is, I cannot say that it was done by one particular side. I know what
11 happened in our area. Srebrenica is far away from our area. And what
12 happened later, and what the media are reporting today, I'm not interested
13 in that. I write books about what I did.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you are going outside the indictment.
15 MR. RE: May it please the Court.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: So the question about Srebrenica 1995 and the answer
17 will be struck off the record.
18 MR. RE: I was only putting it as to his credibility and his
19 understanding as to ethnic cleansing, which is part of the indictment,
20 Your Honour, and his belief and understanding, only as to credibility.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but you stick to the issues that happened
22 during the period covered by the indictment; otherwise we'll be getting
23 outside the indictment, and that is not what we're supposed to be doing.
24 MR. RE: May it please the Court.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: There's enough material, end of 1991, 1992, 1993,
1 covered by the indictment, which you can use to test his credibility.
2 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Grujicic, you, of course, as a humanist, would have been
4 appalled if the prisoners -- or appalled by the use of prisoners detained
5 in Serb detention facilities for forced labour and trench-digging on the
6 front line. That would have appalled you as a humanist, wouldn't it?
7 A. Yes, it would have appalled me. But I don't agree with you when
8 you accuse one side exclusively. I am horrified when any prisoner is used
9 in an illegal way to do things he should not have to do.
10 Q. A little bit earlier when I questioned you about -- or put to you
11 what the Special Rapporteur had reported on, you responded that that was
12 only concentrating on one side, the ethnic cleansing there, and you didn't
13 agree with it. If I told you that the Special Rapporteur also reported on
14 the ethnic cleansing of Serbs by the Croats and breaches of international
15 humanitarian law by the Bosnian Federation government, would that change
16 your view as to the objectivity of the United Nations Special Rapporteur's
17 report, where he found there was ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by
18 Serbs in 1992?
19 A. I will again answer as I answered before. Within the framework of
20 my job, I was not able to observe ethnic cleansing on this basis.
21 Q. You are aware, are you not, that Mrs. Biljana Plavsic was
22 sentenced last week by the Trial Chamber -- by a Trial Chamber in The
23 Hague for persecuting non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina? You're aware
24 of that, aren't you?
25 A. There are many things I don't know. But what have I got to do
1 with a high-ranking official whom I have never seen or had the opportunity
2 to contact?
3 Q. That wasn't my question. My question was: Were you aware -- are
4 you aware that she was sentenced last week for persecution, after pleading
5 guilty to it? That's all. Are you aware of it?
6 A. To tell you the truth, I have not seen the indictment, nor do I
7 know about the sentence, but I have heard about the conviction.
8 Q. You said earlier that ethnic cleansing, as far as you were
9 concerned, didn't occur. If I tell you that Mrs. Plavsic has pleaded
10 guilty to it and signed a document in which she agreed that she and the
11 Serb -- Bosnian Serb leadership pursued the objective of ethnic separation
12 by force, would that change your view as to whether ethnic cleansing
13 occurred in Bosnia in 1992 and 1993?
14 A. No, no. No, that would not change my opinion. Mrs. Biljana
15 Plavsic, if she stated something, is to be held responsible for it. But I
16 am stating what I have said here. I was not able to observe any ethnic
17 cleansing in the area and during the time that I was working on these
19 Q. No. Mrs. Plavsic said - and I'll read to you what she said,
20 paragraph 11 of her plea agreement, or the factual basis underlying her
21 plea of guilty. Listen carefully, please: "In October 1991 and the
22 months following, the SDS intensified efforts to ensure that the objective
23 of ethnic separation by force would be achieved, in the event that a
24 negotiated solution did not occur. These steps included arming large
25 segments of the Bosnian Serb population, in collaboration with others, the
1 JNA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, the Serbian
2 paramilitaries, establishing Serbian military and police formations, and
3 coordinating with the JNA and paramilitary units from inside and outside
5 Paragraph 13: "Numerous individuals participated in devising and
6 executing the objective of ethnic separation by force, including
7 Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik, and Ratko
9 In paragraph 19: "The Bosnian Serb military, police and civilian
10 forces and authorities, under the direction and control of the SDS, and
11 authorities of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including
12 the collective presidency and the expanded collective presidency,
13 collaborated with the JNA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Serbia, and
14 paramilitary units from within and outside Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement
15 this objective of ethnic separation by force. The Bosnian Serb military
16 police and civilian forces, collaborating with the JNA, the MUP of Serbia
17 and paramilitary units committed persecutions upon the non-Serb population
18 through a persecutory campaign that included the events and locations
19 contained in the indictment."
20 Now, that, Mr. Grujicic, is what Mrs. Plavsic, the president of
21 Bosnia, has admitted to doing -- I'm sorry, president of the Republika
22 Srpska - has admitted to doing and has been sentenced to 11 years
23 imprisonment for doing, taking part in.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, in fairness to the witness, my learned
1 friend should specify when Mrs. Plavsic was president of Republika
2 Srpska. Is that in the period of 1992, 1993, which is covered by our
3 indictment, or he's speaking about the -- her indictment? So it might be
4 confused for this witness. And also if he can specify whether the
5 municipality of Samac is included in her indictment, and then to establish
6 certain foundation why this witness should be relevant for this line of
8 So it's just a suggestion. I mean, it's not objection in strict
9 form. I mean, it would be fair for this witness and it would be fair for
10 the defendants and for this process to establish all these elements.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. Perhaps there is need to clarify, so
13 that the witness understands. Maybe he does not know. I know that the
14 proceedings were over and it's an official record of the Tribunal, but
15 maybe the witness may not have known the period that she was president of
16 the Republic of Srpska.
17 MR. RE: Just one moment, please, Your Honour.
18 Q. If it assists you, Mr. Grujicic, Mrs. Plavsic was the acting
19 president of the Republika Srpska between the 28th of February, 1992, and
20 the 12th of May, 1992, and from the 12th of May that year, she was a
21 member of the three-member presidency. And from June 1992 until 17th of
22 December, 1992, she was a member of the expanded presidency of the Bosnian
23 Serb Republic. Just to put it all in context.
24 What I just read to you was a document Mrs. Plavsic signed in
25 admitting her complicity in a campaign to persecute non-Serbs throughout
1 large areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina. She has pleaded guilty to ethnic
2 cleansing. She said it happened, and she was one of the people
3 orchestrating it.
4 Does that change your view as to whether or not -- or sorry, will
5 you now change your evidence as to whether or not ethnic cleansing
6 occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina - I'll finish the question - in 1992
7 and 1993?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. Grujicic. Please
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor responded to only the
12 first half of my colleague Mr. Pantelic's objection, but not the other
13 part. I'm not asking that the Prosecutor now read out the entire
14 territory covered by the indictment against Mrs. Plavsic, but simply to
15 confirm that among the 35 municipalities, whether the municipality of
16 Samac is mentioned at all in the indictment or not, because the witness
17 should know this.
18 MR. RE: That, with respect to my learned friend, has nothing to
19 do with the proposition I'm putting to the witness, which relates to
20 ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina and goes to his credit.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, yes, Mr. Lukic. There is no need for the
22 Prosecutor to point out whether or not Bosanski Samac was covered.
23 Mr. Re, you can continue.
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. Do you remember the question, Mr. Grujicic? Yes or no?
1 A. I cannot answer you in this way. You read to me probably a party
2 platform. Yesterday I told Mr. Lukic that I did not belong to any party,
3 nor was I interested in the political aspect. What Mrs. Plavsic, or
4 somebody else, did, they will be held accountable and punished for. But I
5 abide by my statement that my job was not to conduct ethnic cleansing, and
6 we did not do so. You have to ask other people about everything else.
7 Q. Sir, so you're saying that Mrs. Plavsic's admission to
8 orchestrating ethnic cleansing by the Serbs throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 in the period we're concerned with here, and her being sentenced to 11
10 years' gaol for doing so, and her setting out how she did it with the Serb
11 leaders and the JNA and the army of which you were a member, does not in
12 any way change your view as to whether or not ethnic cleansing occurred?
13 The fact that she has admitted to orchestrating it doesn't alter in any
14 way your view that it did occur; is that what you're saying?
15 A. No, no, no. I disagree with your thesis, and I have nothing to
16 say about it.
17 Q. Yesterday you gave some evidence, Mr. Grujicic -- or I asked you
18 some questions about the exchanges, the specific -- exchanges you were
19 involved in and the principle of a one-for-one exchange. Do you remember
20 that evidence? Just a yes or no. I don't want an explanation, please.
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. And I just want to show you a document.
23 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown or put on the ELMO D162/3
24 ter, D162/3 ter. While that's being sought, I'll show the witness another
25 document. I'm going to show the witness PDB 91/3, which doesn't have an
1 exhibit number yet.
2 Q. Mr. Grujicic, we're putting a document on the screen. Can you see
3 the document?
4 A. No, I can't read it.
5 Q. Can you see it now?
6 A. Not well. Not well.
7 Q. I'm sorry. It appears that we've given you the wrong document.
8 MR. RE: Mr. Usher, could I have that document back, please?
9 There seems to be nine names on that.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It mentions Bijeljina. I don't
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, can you sort out the document you need to
14 MR. RE: Yes. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Yes. I had them all
15 here. One moment, please.
16 I'll move on to something else. We've just got to sort out some
17 documents here, Mr. Grujicic.
18 Q. Mr. Grujicic, I just want to ask you some things about detention
19 and the exchanges. Now, the Serbs took over the town of Prijedor on the
20 30th of April, 1992. It was the SDS and the JNA took control of that town
21 on the 30th of April, 1992. You understand that?
22 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour.
23 A. I understand.
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues]... The events in
25 Prijedor with Samac. I mean let's first maybe hear the foundation of this
1 line of questioning from our learned friends and then we could see what's
2 going on. Because otherwise, if now we are opening Prijedor -- I don't
3 simply understand.
4 MR. RE: Well --
5 MR. PANTELIC: Probably the witness neither understands too.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. RE: If I could be allowed to continue my questioning, I'll
8 get to the point very, very quickly. Several questions relate somewhere.
9 That's all. It's cross-examination. It's what one does.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution may continue.
12 MR. RE: May it please the Court.
13 Q. You understand what I'm saying: The Serbs, took over, the SDS and
14 the JNA took over Prijedor on the 30th of April, 1992. You understand
16 A. I don't know. I was working in Banja Luka, and at that time the
17 staff of the Krajina Corps was still in Stara Gradiska. During the war, I
18 never visited Prijedor, but I did exchange their soldiers, who, for
19 instance, were at positions near Gradacac, Pakrac, Lipik, and Novska,
20 facing those towns. That was the extent of my connection with Prijedor.
21 I know nothing about anything else, nor do I have any knowledge of it.
22 Q. I'm just telling you what happened: The Serbs took over. I just
23 want you to accept the Serbs took over - for the purposes of the question
24 I'm asking you - on the 30th of April, 1992. You will accept that?
25 A. If you say that's what happened, it probably did, but I don't
2 Q. I'm just basing this on a judgement of the Tribunal in the Kvocka
3 case. So I'm just telling you what happened, okay? The next thing that
4 happened was the Serbs took control of a Muslim village of Hambarine on
5 the 23rd of May, 1992, also found by the Trial Chamber. Do you accept
7 A. I can accept it, but no, I won't accept it, because I don't know
8 where Hambarine is, nor have I ever been there.
9 Q. As a result, and the Muslims counter-attacked in Prijedor on the
10 30th of May, 1992, and as a result of that, thousands of non-Serbs were
11 rounded up and taken to three detention centres: Omarska, Keraterm, and
12 Trnopolje. Will you accept that?
13 A. I think it would probably do well to ask someone else. What I
14 know is that I arranged for the exchange of a brother -- I provided
15 humanitarian assistance to the brother of the commander of the Bihac
16 detachment. He had high blood sugar. He contracted hepatitis. I helped
17 him to go to Zagreb to get proper treatment. That's the sort of thing I
18 was involved in. It was down to others to think about what was happening
19 to the different ethnic groups, the three ethnic groups. If it had been
20 down to me, the whole thing would never have happened. So please don't
21 ask me about areas that I personally have never visited.
22 Q. And the people who were taken to Keraterm, Omarska, and Trnopolje
23 were separated into three categories, and the majority of people were sent
24 to a camp called Manjaca. You're aware of Manjaca, aren't you?
25 A. Yes. Yes. I was aware of Manjaca. At Manjaca, however, there
1 was the commander who was in charge of that and who was taking care of
2 that, and there were the judicial organs too, and that's all I know.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. Now, the -- this is what the Trial Chamber -- you said you're
6 aware of Manjaca. This is what the Trial Chamber in Kvocka found about
7 people who were sent from Omarska and Keraterm to Manjaca. This is
8 paragraph 19, talking about Omarska:
9 "Everyone in the camp was interrogated at least once. The
10 interrogations were typically accompanied by brutal physical and mental
11 suffering. As a result of these interrogations, detainees were divided
12 into three categories. The first contained those determined to pose the
13 greatest threat to the Serb regime, defined as 'people who had directly
14 organised and taken part in the armed rebellion.' The second consisted of
15 'people suspected of organising, abetting, financially and legally
16 supplying arms' to the resistance group. And the third category was
17 limited to those who were, in the words of Simo Drljaca of 'no security
18 interest.' Those in the last category --"
19 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Slow down. Slow down.
20 MR. RE: I will, Your Honour. I apologise.
21 Q. "Those in the last category were originally slated to be
22 transferred to Trnopolje or released. The others were to be sent to the
23 'prisoner of war' camp in Manjaca. Those in category 1 received the very
24 worst treatment in Omarska, that is, those people -- the Trial Chamber in
25 Kvocka found those people imprisoned in Omarska and subsequently went to
1 Manjaca received the worst treatment, and the judgement details beatings,
2 murders, sexual assault, and inhumane treatment." You understand, they
3 went from Omarska to Manjaca? You understand what the Trial Chamber
4 found: The prisoners in the worst condition from Omarska went to
5 Manjaca. You understand what I'm saying to you?
6 A. I understand that prisoners were transferred to Manjaca, but the
7 categories you spoke about, I have no idea about those. And all those we
8 arranged for to be exchanged, the ones from Manjaca, I noticed nothing
9 that you were talking about, namely, the beatings. I was dead against
10 beatings. Therefore, I didn't notice any marks or traces of beatings when
11 the exchanges were being carried out, but I never went to Manjaca myself,
12 and I don't know what its rules were. There was a man there in charge of
14 Q. This is what the Special Rapporteur said about Manjaca, the
15 prisoners you were exchanging, Mr. Grujicic. In his report of the 17th of
16 November, 1992, the third report, at paragraph 33 he says: "Despite being
17 denied access to the Manjaca prison camp, the Special Rapporteur has
18 received ample information about conditions there. Most sources give the
19 number of detainees --" may I finish the question?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: You're in the middle of a quotation, so can you just
21 complete the quotation.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. " -- As being approximately 4.000 men who were housed in large
24 open buildings formerly used as stables. Physical conditions were
25 especially bad during the first several months after the detention
1 facility was opened. Evidence of serious malnutrition, harsh discipline,
2 strictly rationed water, poor sanitation, overcrowding, lack of proper
3 medical care, and beating of prisoners has been received from a variety of
4 credible sources. Physical conditions have improved somewhat since the
5 camp began to be visited by international bodies in August.
6 "The administrators of this facility, who are officials of the
7 army of the Bosnian Serbs, maintain that the prisoners are prisoners of
8 war. However, other observers consider that most of them probably never
9 bore arms and were detained simply because of their age and Muslim ethnic
10 origin made them potential combatants in the eyes of the Serbian
11 authorities. The administrators of the Manjaca camp informed the Special
12 Rapporteur that they looked forward to exchanging the prisoners at the
13 earliest possible opportunity. This illustrates the role the detention of
14 the Muslim and Croat civilian population plays in the ethnic cleansing --
15 plays in ethnic cleansing -" I'm sorry.
16 "Those deprived of liberty for no reason accept their ethnic
17 origin will be released only on the condition that they leave Serbian
18 controlled territory. Few detainees are ever released and allowed to
19 return to their homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
20 Now, my question is, having read that quotation to you, is that
21 you, Mr. Grujicic, on the 13th of January, 1993, you wrote to your
22 humanist friend, Mr. Veljo Maslic, asking him to fax you a list of Croats
23 and Muslims from Batkovic who had come from Manjaca. You said: "I'm
24 interested in those who came from Manjaca to allow me to plan the next
1 You asked Mr. Maslic to give you a list of the prisoners who had
2 come from Manjaca in the conditions described by the Special Rapporteur,
3 and according to the Special Rapporteur imprisoned only for the purposes
4 of being taken for exchanges and ethnic cleansing, didn't you,
5 Mr. Grujicic.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the witness answers, Mr. Lukic?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Grujicic, can you just hold on for
8 a second. I have two objections to make, the first being, Your Honours,
9 to this general line of questioning and its length. I complied with the
10 Court order yesterday and I kept my line of questioning to the bare
11 minimum. I tried to keep it as short as possible. We all know how
12 strenuous videolink can be. The Prosecution focused on the women and the
13 elderly people yesterday for 30 minutes. The witness told us very clearly
14 that he knew nothing about the kind of treatment people were given at
15 Manjaca, and yet the Prosecution is back to that line of questioning, with
16 an extensive reading from the sentence.
17 The second thing that my colleagues from the Prosecution did, they
18 read from a document which they wanted to tender into evidence, where the
19 list of prisoners to be sent from Manjaca to Batkovic is read out, but the
20 document was shown yesterday, and this was wrongly attributed to
21 Mr. Grujicic as asking for the list of prisoners from Batkovic. But the
22 document clearly states: I am interested in people from Manjaca. I hope
23 this can be explained.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues]... Mr. Lukic can
1 MR. RE: No. I object to him saying this. He has the document.
2 I object to him explaining to the witness what I'm doing. I don't mind
3 him objecting. He has the document. He knows what the document is. I
4 was going to put it to the witness, but I sat down to allow him to
5 object. I object to him telling the witness what I'm intending to do with
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see. Yes.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. That's not what I
9 wanted to say. I wanted to tell the Trial Chamber that the Prosecution
10 misinterpreted the document. The Prosecution has given words which are
11 not in the original documents, and that can easily mislead the witness.
12 I, on the other hand, quoted the document as it was displayed on the
13 ELMO. So it's the Prosecution that is trying to misinterpret the document
14 here. May the document be again placed on the ELMO so that we can all see
15 what I've just said.
16 MR. RE: I don't understand that lengthy objection. I was about
17 to put the document on the ELMO, but out the courtesy, I sat down to allow
18 my friend to object, and he hasn't objected. So can I now put the
19 document on the ELMO and show it to the witness?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The document should be put on the ELMO so that
21 the witness can see it. Perhaps Mr. Lukic was objecting to the
22 interpretation, which maybe he understood through your question. Let's
23 have the document on the ELMO.
24 MR. RE: Document PDB 84/3. Could the witness please be shown
25 D177/3 ter.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: It has an exhibit number, doesn't it.
2 MR. RE: Apparently it does. My information was incorrect, but
3 apparently it does.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: So what is the exhibit number?
5 MR. RE: D177/3.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let's have it on the ELMO.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. Mr. Grujicic, can you see that document which is D177/3?
9 A. Yes, I see the document.
10 Q. Can you see it clearly --
11 A. And I have another one in front of me that I can see more clearly.
12 Q. The one I want to show you has -- no. Please, please. Can you
13 see clearly the document dated 13th of January, 1993, to Velimir Maslic of
14 Samac? Can you read it clearly? Just yes or no.
15 A. I am reading it, because I have it in front of me. The one I have
16 in front of me is clearer for me to read than the one I can see on the
17 screen, but it's the same document.
18 Q. Thank you. Please just read aloud the first paragraph, starting
19 with "Veljo."
20 A. "Yesterday I forgot to tell you to fax me, immediately, the list
21 of Croats and Muslims from Batkovic who have not been exchanged. I'm
22 interested in those who came from Manjaca. I need that in order to plan
23 further exchanges."
24 Q. Okay. Stop there.
25 A. Can I please be allowed to clarify this section?
1 Q. Stop, please. What you've read out is exactly what it says; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Correct. What I've read is exactly what it says.
4 Q. And what you were saying there was that you were -- you were
5 telling Mr. Maslic you were particularly interested in some prisoners who
6 had come from Manjaca to Batkovic. That's what it says, doesn't it?
7 A. That's what it says.
8 Q. And I read you the extract from the Special Rapporteur's report
9 about what he said about the reasons why people were detained in Manjaca,
10 didn't I, in which he said --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no problem with this, but this is already
14 tendered into evidence, so if our learned colleague could give us a number
15 for this exhibit. It's already on the exhibit list. Because there were
16 quite a number of these documents.
17 MR. RE: D177/3.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: He has already given the exhibit number.
19 Yes, you can proceed, Mr. Re.
20 MR. RE: Thank you.
21 Q. You're there expressing an interest in obtaining prisoners from
22 Manjaca for exchange, the Special Rapporteur, at paragraph 35, said:
23 "The administrators of Manjaca informed the Special Rapporteur
24 that they look forward to exchanging the prisoners at the earliest
25 possible opportunity. This illustrates the role that the detention of the
1 Muslim and Croat population plays in ethnic cleansing. Those deprived of
2 liberty for no reason except their ethnic origin will be released only on
3 the condition that they leave Serbian-controlled territory."
4 What I'm suggesting to you, Mr. Grujicic, is that's exactly what
5 was happening in Batkovic. These prisoners from Manjaca who had been
6 detained for no reason other than the fact that they were non-Serbs were
7 being taken to Batkovic for their final exchange and plus their ethnic
8 cleansing from Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's why they were in Manjaca,
9 that's why they were in Batkovic, and that's why you're exchanging them,
10 wasn't it?
11 A. That's not correct. If you'd please allow me to explain this.
12 This is a very peculiar case and it has nothing to do with ethnic
13 cleansing. As you said in your question. What is this all about? The
14 commission of the East Bosnian Corps agreed for an exchange with the Tuzla
15 area, and the Tuzla commission comprised Serbs, Croats, and Muslims
16 alike. At that moment, the president of the commission was a Croat.
17 Therefore, Croats and Muslims too went to be exchanged in the Tuzla area.
18 Now, they had agreed upon an exchange, and Tuzla requested
19 specific people who were at Manjaca. The Bijeljina commission asked us if
20 we could send them those prisoners for an exchange, because those
21 prisoners had been requested. We said that this could be done because we
22 too sent requests to the Banja Luka area, requests for specific
23 prisoners. However, when the exchange was about to take place, we sent
24 those people, but the exchange never took place, and only they knew the
1 In the meantime, we agreed with the same Tuzla Corps for virtually
2 the same group of people to be exchanged, and that's why I spoke to
3 Mr. Velimir Maslic and asked him to speak to Major, representative, for
4 the same people to be returned so that we could exchange them as part of
5 our exchange. If one exchange failed, another would work. That was the
6 line of reasoning behind this. So this was about exchanging prisoners on
7 both sides, and there was no ethnic cleansing involved in the whole
8 thing. So that's what this first passage of what I read is actually
10 Q. But having never visited Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, or Manjaca,
11 or seen the records of these judicial proceedings which you say occurred,
12 you've got no idea why these people were detained in Manjaca, do you?
13 A. No, never. I've said that already, I believe.
14 Q. So you can't disagree with the Special Rapporteur's view that
15 people were detained in Manjaca for the purposes of ethnic cleansing
16 through exchanges, can you?
17 MR. LUKIC: Objection. [Interpretation] Hold on, hold on.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think -- Your Honours, this is a
20 classic example of leading the witness to speculate, because the witness
21 had just told us that he knew nothing about this, and now he's asked to
22 speculate what caused the special envoy or the rapporteur to arrive at the
23 conclusion that he did.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. The Prosecution have -- the witness had said he
25 had never visited these places, and so the Prosecution is putting to him
1 what the Special Rapporteur, who apparently visited these prisoners, had
2 reported. So the question is well placed.
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. You agree that the Special Rapporteur's information on what was
5 occurring in Manjaca is more accurate than yours, don't you?
6 A. I don't agree. I could only speculate about the truth of what
7 this gentleman had written. What I remember is when the all-for-all
8 exchanges were agreed in Geneva between Croats, Serbs, and Muslims,
9 Mr. Schiffer [phoen] was present, or at least that's what I heard, at
10 Manjaca, until the last prisoner left the camp. He was there until the
11 other side fully complied. So I'm unable to speculate who wrote what.
12 Q. Mr. Grujicic, the Special Rapporteur visited Manjaca; you didn't.
13 All I'm asking you is: Will you accept that the information of someone
14 who actually visited there and inspected facilities would be better than
15 yours, because you didn't? That's all.
16 A. It's possible, but I could have heard this from the other side,
17 had I had the time, but maybe in a different form. So who should I choose
18 to believe? I do not at all accept this, because that has nothing to do
19 with our job or with ethnic cleansing, because we were certainly involved
20 in no such thing.
21 Q. You told me you don't agree with the Special Rapporteur's report.
22 Do you -- what is your -- do you have better information on what occurred
23 and the conditions at Manjaca? If so, can you please tell the Trial
25 A. No, no, I don't have any better information, because, as I said, I
1 was never there. As far as the prisoners I exchanged are concerned, what
2 the rapporteur claims is something I couldn't notice. I may choose to
3 believe, but I may as well refuse to believe.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Grujicic, as a humanist, you wouldn't have supported
5 paramilitary groups supporting or working with the JNA and Serb
6 authorities in taking over towns by force, detaining prisoners on the
7 basis of their ethnicity, and inhumanely treating them, would you?
8 A. Since 1991, I was a member of the Territorial Defence, and I saw
9 no paramilitary units there. Secondly, the area in which we did our part
10 of the work, in that area there was only the regular army. So as for
11 that, I really don't know.
12 Q. You were aware, weren't you, that "volunteers," in inverted
13 commas, were coming from Serbia and other places to assist the Bosnian
14 Serb military forces in their fight, weren't you?
15 A. I don't think I quite understood your question. The line was bad.
16 Q. I'll ask it again. You were aware, weren't you, of "volunteers" -
17 I'm putting that in inverted commas - coming from Serbia and other places
18 to assist the Bosnian Serb military forces in their fight? You were aware
19 of that, weren't you?
20 A. Well, you could hear these things. But if you say "volunteers," I
21 don't know why you say "volunteers" in inverted commas.
22 Q. You were aware of groups that were called Wolves, weren't you?
23 A. Yes, I was aware.
24 Q. These were paramilitary groups, weren't they?
25 A. The Wolves from Vucjak, in 1991, had the five-pointed star on
1 their caps. It used to be called the Tito cap. They wore JNA uniforms as
2 well. So I have no idea why they should have been considered a
3 paramilitary unit. Later, when they joined the army of the Republika
4 Srpska [as interpreted], they wore the same insignia as the army of the
5 Republika Srpska.
6 Q. There was a group called the Wolves of Vucjak, led by Lieutenant
7 Veljko Milankovic, wasn't there?
8 A. If you are referring to Veljko Milankovic, he was not a colonel.
9 He was a lieutenant, and the same that I said before goes for him. They
10 had the insignia of the regular army.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... Transcript,
12 because I was listening very carefully to what the witness said.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: On page 34, line 21, here it says: "Later, when
15 they joined the army of the Republika Srpska." The answer that witness
16 gave was: "When the army of Republika Srpska was established." So this
17 doesn't mean they joined, actually, the army.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you've seen the line.
19 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Grujicic --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: That's an important point to correct.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. When the VRS, the army of Republika Srpska was formed, are you
24 saying that Lieutenant Veljko Milankovic and his Wolves of Vucjak joined
25 the VRS?
1 A. What I said was that in 1991 they had the five-pointed star
2 insignia. The moment the JNA left and the army of Republika Srpska was
3 established, they did not join, simply because they were -- they had been
4 born in the area. And the same as all the others who had been born in the
5 area; they automatically became members of the army of Republika Srpska.
6 Q. Lieutenant Milankovic, the leader of the Wolves of Vucjak, was a
7 friend of yours, wasn't he?
8 A. No. No. Mr. Veljko Milankovic was a person I knew. Before that
9 time, we had never met, nor did I ever go to Prnjavor, which is where he
10 hails from.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we take our break? We shall take our break and
12 continue at 1100 hours.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
16 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Grujicic, can you hear me again clearly?
18 A. [Inaudible]
19 Q. I didn't hear the response. Was that my microphone?
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the response.
21 MR. RE:
22 Q. Mr. Grujicic --
23 A. Yes, yes, I can hear you.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think now we can go ahead.
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. Before the break, I was asking you about Lieutenant Veljko
2 Milankovic, the commander of the Wolves of Vucjak, operating in Prnjavor.
3 Are you aware that the Wolves of Vucjak, led by Lieutenant Milankovic, ran
4 a Detention Centre in the Sloga shoe factory in Prnjavor?
5 A. No, I don't know that.
6 Q. Did you regard Lieutenant Milankovic, the commander of the Wolves
7 of Vucjak, as a humanist?
8 A. Well, he was a fighter.
9 Q. Were you aware that the Wolves of Vucjak, commanded by Lieutenant
10 Milankovic, seized the Kozara transmitter in Prijedor in August 1991,
11 preventing the transmission of television from anywhere other than Banja
12 Luka and Belgrade? Are you aware of that?
13 A. No. No. I didn't know anything about that part.
14 Q. Did you know that in April 1992, the Wolves of Vucjak arrested the
15 leader of the SDA, Lisnja, as part of the Serb takeover of that area? Were
16 you aware of that?
17 A. I didn't understand you. The leader of the SDS [as interpreted]
18 of Lisnja? Where is Lisnja? Is that a village? Where is it?
19 Q. It's SDA, I said, not SDS. Are you aware of that? Just yes or
21 A. No, I wasn't aware of it.
22 Q. Are you aware that in May 1992 these Wolves of Vucjak, commanded
23 by Lieutenant Milankovic, surrounded -- and other Serbian forces -
24 surrounded the villages of Lisnja and Puraci and demanded that the
25 villagers surrendered their weapons. When they did, they summarily
1 executed four Muslim men? The wolves then set fire to the villages and
2 blew up the mosques. Are you aware of that?
3 A. No, sir, I wasn't aware of that, nor did I have any opportunity to
4 learn it. I'm not familiar with that area, if you're referring to the
5 municipality of Prnjavor.
6 Q. Were you aware that the men from the villages I just -- those two
7 villages were detained at the Sloga shoe factory in inhumane conditions,
8 with overcrowding and inadequate medical care, physical and psychological
9 assault, torture assault and sexual assault? Were you aware of that?
10 A. No, sir, I was not aware of it.
11 Q. You were aware that Lieutenant Milankovic was killed, weren't you,
12 during the war?
13 A. No, he wasn't killed. He was wounded.
14 Q. And he died in Belgrade? And he died in Belgrade?
15 A. Yes, he died in hospital. I knew that, yes.
16 Q. And you're Captain First Class Milutin Grujicic from Okucani,
17 aren't you?
18 A. Yes, that's me.
19 Q. And when he died in --
20 A. I'm the one.
21 Q. And after he died in hospital, you sent a telegram to Radio Banja
22 Luka in relation to his death --
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
24 Just a moment, Mr. Grujicic.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not object to this
2 line of questioning, but we are now dealing with the area that I touched
3 on yesterday. And as I said yesterday, if a question is to be put to the
4 witness based on a paper - I won't call it a document - this is what I
5 referred to yesterday. I have not had an opportunity to discuss this
6 document with the witness.
7 Your Honours, I don't know if this is a document. I would like
8 you and the Chamber to look at this piece of paper, which is not clear to
9 me, and I do not know how I can put questions on this in re-direct, since
10 I'm not familiar with it. Let me remind you that when Mr. Lukac was
11 testifying before this Tribunal, when I wanted to put questions to him in
12 connection with a radio broadcast, going to his credibility, you made it
13 possible for the Prosecution to get in touch with Mr. Lukac and discuss
14 the document with him.
15 We are now in the same situation, and although the OTP said
16 yesterday they were not going to ask anything about this document, they're
17 evidently going to ask about something that is in this piece of paper, and
18 I have no idea what it's about. That's why I asked yesterday --
19 yesterday, through my co-counsel, I could have talked about this had the
20 Chamber approved it. I could have discussed this with Mr. Grujicic
21 through my co-counsel. But the OTP said they would not be using it, and
22 now this entire line of questioning concerns this piece of paper. I think
23 this is highly improper. And I would like the Chamber to see this piece
24 of paper and see what it's about, because the OTP has provided me with no
25 information whatsoever about this piece of paper.
1 MR. RE: The objection is nonsense. I'm asking him whether he
2 sent a telegram.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, can you wait?
4 MR. RE: I will, Your Honour.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: I'm simply asking the witness whether he sent a telegram
8 to Radio Banja Luka; that's the extent of this.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Lukic, the Prosecution hasn't said
10 anything about a document. If they're going to -- if they want to
11 introduce that document, they will say so. The last question -- the last
12 question was about whether or not the witness did something which ought to
13 be in his own personal knowledge, and he can answer that.
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. Mr. Grujicic, when Lieutenant Milankovic, the commander of the
16 Wolves from Vucjak, died, you sent a telegram to Radio Banja Luka, didn't
17 you, in relation to his death?
18 A. I probably did, but I don't see what's bad about this. I think
19 this is normal. I sent similar telegrams to Croatia when Berislav Gagulic
20 was killed, the son of a friend of mine. I also sent a telegram when a
21 colleague of mine, a Muslim, was killed. I sent a telegram to
22 Dzevad Bosnjak. So I don't see what's bad about this.
23 Q. You regarded him as a defender of the Serbian people, didn't you?
24 A. In 1991, I said that Veljko Milankovic, from Prnjavor, took part
25 in Western Slavonia, where I come from, in the defence of that part of
1 Western Slavonia, and he proved himself, together with the members of all
2 the units, as a fighter who at that moment was separating the warring
3 sides. And when I heard about this misfortune, I certainly sent, through
4 Radio Banja Luka, you say, a telegram of condolence. This is what
5 probably -- what you are probably referring to, a condolence to his
7 Q. Do you remember describing him as a legendary, fearless [Realtime
8 transcript read in error "fatherless"] commander?
9 A. I'm only referring to his participation in Western Slavonia,
10 because that's what I know about.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Re. I think for the sake of the
12 transcript, if you look at page 40, line 23. I don't believe I heard you
13 say he was "a legendary, fatherless commander." I thought you said
15 MR. RE: Indeed I did, and I'll ask it again in case there has
16 been any confusion.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I think it will be corrected. It's clear when
18 they compare with the audio system, it will be corrected.
19 MR. RE: If it please the Court.
20 Q. A moment ago you said I'm only referring to his participation in
21 Western Slavonia because that's what I know about. It's unclear what you
22 said then. All I'm asking you is: In your telegram, do you remember
23 describing him as a legendary, fearless commander of the Wolves of Vucjak?
24 A. I can't remember everything, but I can assume, and I do say that's
25 what he was in the area of Western Slavonia. But, as I said, as part of
1 the units of the JNA.
2 Q. And do you remember whether you said that Western Slavonia was
3 grieving for you, Lieutenant -- Veljko and the saviour of the Western
4 Slavonia village of Vrbovljani? Do you remember saying that?
5 A. This is something else now. At the request of the people, a
6 telegram of condolence was sent. I received this telegram on behalf of
7 the people and was asked to pass it on to Radio Banja Luka, because that
8 village is in Posavina, in the area of Okucani, and it was not taken by
9 the Croatian forces, thanks to the units commanded by Veljko, and the
10 people of that area demanded this.
11 Q. All right. But in this telegram you passed on, did you write on
12 it that you, Captain Milutin Grujicic, Captain First Class of Okucani,
13 held Veljko in the highest regard, swear to him, and that these people of
14 Western Slavonia will never be conquered by strangers? Do you remember
15 putting that on the telegram which went to Radio Banja Luka?
16 A. Some of the words you have just spoken are something that I never
17 said, and that is not in the telegram. When you say "strangers," I don't
18 know who you are referring to. Strangers or foreigners. Because we are
19 western -- in Western Slavonia. We were residents of the Republic of
20 Croatia. So there were no foreigners warring against us. It was our
21 former friends, relatives, and acquaintances.
22 Q. All right. Did you write --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, haven't you made your point?
24 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Do you have to -- you're taking too long on one
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Mr. Grujicic, yesterday you gave some evidence about an exchange
4 in -- at Christmas 1993. Do you remember that evidence?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And I think you said it was so the Croat people could be home for
8 A. No, that's not what I said. I repeated the words of Mr. Marko
9 Milos, who said: "Is there any possibility for the Croats to go to
10 midnight mass on their own land?" Because their house was on the other
11 side, where they came from. And that was the agreement between the
12 civilian commissions on both sides.
13 Q. Mr. Grujicic, did you ever go to the village of Zasavica in Samac?
14 A. No. No.
15 Q. Were you aware that Croats were detained there against their will
16 and isolated from the population of Samac?
17 A. No, I was not aware of this, because it was only when the corridor
18 was opened up in the direction of Bijeljina that I went to those areas.
19 But I know that at that time there were no camps or prisons on the
20 territory of the municipalities of Samac, Modrica, and the other
21 municipalities in Bosanska Posavina.
22 Q. Is your answer to the last question I asked you no, you weren't
23 aware of it? That's all I'm asking you.
24 A. No. No, no. I wasn't aware of it.
25 Q. Did you regard the homeland -- or the home of people of Croat
1 ethnicity to be Croatia?
2 A. No, it wasn't me who said that. You didn't understand me just
3 now. I repeated the words of Marko Milos, who was a member of the
4 commission, and that was what he said. I said that those people left
5 their own area, Bosanska Posavina, but the gentleman said this to me on
6 the occasion of the exchange or, rather, the negotiations that took place
7 some ten days before the exchange.
8 Q. Mr. Grujicic, please listen to the question. I was asking you
9 about your views, not someone else's. My next question is in relation to
10 that exchange, in December 1993, the Christmas exchange. Were you aware
11 that some of the people being exchanged that Christmas were in fact coming
12 from Zasavica, in the municipality of Samac, and were being exchanged for
13 people in Croatia? Were you aware of that?
14 A. I was not aware. I knew they were from the municipality of
15 Samac. Whether some of them were from the village of Zasavica or
16 somewhere else, I didn't need to know that, because this was a request put
17 in by the Croatian commission for these people to go there.
18 Q. Mr. Grujicic, if the people were coming from Samac, their home was
19 in Samac, wasn't it?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Their home wasn't in Croatia, was it?
22 A. Correct. But their sons were there.
23 Q. They were being transferred from one country to another, weren't
25 A. Of their own free will, they applied in the municipal Red Cross in
1 Samac, and on the basis of an agreement between the HVO and the Samac
2 commission, they were taken across, in Dragalic, in the direction of
3 Croatia, and later on towards Orasje.
4 Q. They were certainly taken across, but they left their homes, their
5 properties, and all their possessions behind, didn't they, when they went
6 to Croatia?
7 A. Well, of course. They couldn't take their homes with them. I
8 assume that today, or recently, they have come back. But that's a
9 different issue.
10 Q. And they left Bosnia-Herzegovina to be swapped for people from
11 Croatia, didn't they, who were going to come and live, Serb people from --
12 sorry, Serb people from the Croatia control who were going to live in
13 Samac? That's what happened, wasn't it?
14 A. No. That's not what happened.
15 Q. But you said --
16 A. That's not correct.
17 Q. It's incorrect that they were swapped for Serbian people who were
18 going to come and live in Samac? Is that what you're saying? That's not
20 A. Don't use the word "swapped."
21 Q. All right. Exchanged.
22 A. -- Because these were civilians. Don't say "swapped" or
23 "exchanged." They were civilians. I didn't understand you now. They
24 were not exchanged. If I said that in the municipal Red Cross they
25 applied, they put in applications, and their sons requested this, who were
1 in Orasje, in the HVO formations, so these were requests for the reuniting
2 of families, and the ICRC was present there and they raised no objection
3 to it.
4 Q. Are you saying it was a one-way transfer, this December 1993 --
5 not exchange, but just a group of Croats going to Croatia to celebrate
6 Christmas? Is that it?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Re. In fairness to the witness, he has
8 explained the way he understood things. People had applied through the
9 Red Cross, their sons on the other side had asked for them. I think he
10 has explained that. That is his understanding of the situation then.
11 MR. RE: I'm just trying to find out if Serbs came from the other
12 side. I'll ask it that way.
13 Q. Mr. Grujicic, are you saying that that particular -- we can't call
14 it an exchange, according to you, but particular incident, no Serbs came
15 to Bosnia-Herzegovina when the Croats went home for Christmas?
16 A. At that point in time, I'm sure they didn't, because the Croatian
17 side did not respect the agreement that we had reached, which was that
18 they should bring along people we were asking for. But at 1800 hours in
19 the evening. The exchange was carried on only between 1.00 a.m. and
20 3.00 a.m. They did not respect their part of the agreement, which was why
21 there was no one coming over from the other side. And to make matters
22 worse, when Mr. Marko Milos, on the Croatian side, arrived, he boarded
23 each bus in turn - I don't remember how many buses there were - and --
24 Q. I just want to stop you there. I just want to clarify. Are you
25 saying there was an agreement between the two sides for an exchange. The
1 Croats didn't respect their side, so the Serbs transferred some people to
2 Croatia, but no one came in return? Is that what you're saying? I just
3 want to get it completely clear.
4 A. No, no. No, no. Please, I have to ask you again: Don't mention
5 exchange. I'm speaking about the passage of civilians from Croatia to
6 Republika Srpska, and they were supposed to take part of the people who,
7 in the Red Cross, in Slavonia -- Slavonska Pozega or Gradiska, had applied
8 to cross over, they were supposed to bring them along. But they postponed
9 this and they did it later on. But this was only a flow of civilians
10 through certain areas. If you will allow me to tell you --
11 Q. No. All I want to know is: Was it a one-way thing. Did Croat
12 civilians go to Croatia but no Serb civilians came to Bosnia? That's all
13 I want to know, in that particular incident you referred to. That's all.
14 A. At that point in time, yes. But a few days later, the Serbs did
15 come from Croatia. That's what they failed to do then, at that point.
16 Q. Mr. Grujicic, if people had been arrested without charge because
17 of their ethnicity, put into detention centres, tortured, some sexually
18 assaulted, kept in inhumane conditions, beaten daily, and then one day
19 told that they could go for an exchange, and the choice was to go to the
20 exchange or remain behind in the detention centre, subject to daily
21 beatings, inhumane treatment, you'd accept or agree that someone in that
22 situation wouldn't have any choice about going to an exchange, would they?
23 A. In such a situation, yes, as you're describing it. But again, you
24 are forgetting that I have just said that I'm not aware of any prisons or
25 detention centres in the area of the municipality of Samac, and I said
1 that this was the free will of citizens who applied to the municipal Red
2 Cross. Don't mention beatings or rapes to me. This has nothing to do
3 with it. Many of these people are still expressing their gratitude to me
4 because we helped them do what they wanted.
5 Q. You've just said it wouldn't have been voluntary in those
6 situations. The Trial Chamber has heard uncontested evidence from people
7 who were in that situation, uncontested because the lawyers from the
8 accused here haven't challenged that's what happened to them in the
9 detention centres, and these people were taken for exchanges. You would
10 agree, as someone involved in exchanges, that in those circumstances that
11 wouldn't be a voluntary exchange but would be a forcible transfer or
12 deportation, wouldn't you?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness is led to
15 agree with a statement. We only wish to object the link between the
16 beating and the exchanges. Our line of argument was different all along.
17 So all I'm asking for is for the question to be rephrased.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. I think you can split.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. You agreed a moment ago, Mr. Grujicic, that if people had been in
21 a situation which I described, in inhumane conditions in detention
22 centres, only because of their ethnicity, and given a choice of being
23 exchanged or staying there, possibly being murdered, that that wouldn't be
24 a choice; that would be involuntary? Wouldn't you? You agreed with
1 My next question was: If they then went for exchange with someone
2 from the other side, that would be tantamount to a forcible transfer or
3 deportation, wouldn't it, being involuntary?
4 A. I disagree with you. As I've already explained, the exchanges
5 were carried out exclusively as you said yourself yesterday, for people
6 who had taken part, who had been members in armed units, and it's those
7 people that the exchanges were for, not for the civilian population. What
8 we're talking about now, the so-called Christmas transit, I did say a
9 moment ago that those people had opted to go of their own free will. So I
10 can't answer your question about people being forced, compelled, to go, by
11 hook or by crook. An exchange can only be -- can only take place if both
12 sides agree and it concerns prisoners of war, those who were arrested when
13 carrying weapons and insignia of a certain unit or a certain army.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you are winding up?
15 MR. RE: I've got two areas I wish to cover, Your Honour. One of
16 them is the exchanges. Another one is Batkovic.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can you do it quickly, please.
18 MR. RE: Yes. Yes. I will.
19 Q. Mr. Grujicic, you just mentioned prisoners of war. The Special
20 Rapporteur, in his report of the 10th of February, 1993, at paragraph 49,
22 "The Special Rapporteur believes that only a very small percentage
23 of detainees are genuine prisoners of war. The remainder should never
24 have been imprisoned. Most prisoners are ethnic -- sorry, innocent people
25 who have been seized for exchange, which furthers ethnic cleansing."
1 That's what the Special Rapporteur said about prisoners of war,
2 the people you just mentioned. Do you agree or disagree with his view?
3 A. I cannot agree, because I know nothing about those issues. If
4 that's what has been stated, then it must have been ascertained during
5 talks with the judicial organs. I explained to him the way a prisoner
6 could be exchanged.
7 Q. No. It was actually ascertained after visiting various detention
8 centres, including Batkovic. Now, you, of course, had the opportunity to
9 see the conditions at Batkovic, didn't you? Just yes or no.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is the second time that the
13 Prosecution has asked the same question. There was a distinction
14 introduced, the Special Rapporteur visiting the camps, and then he asked
15 Mr. Grujicic to tell us what he knows about it, but he said that he wasn't
16 there, wasn't present. And now for the second time we have the same
17 hypothesis being introduced.
18 Mazowiecki's report dated the 28th of August, 1992, paragraph 35,
19 clearly states that the Special Rapporteur did not visit a single
20 investigation centre. Despite that, the Prosecution is trying to tell us
21 now, for the second time in a row, that the Special Rapporteur did have
22 special knowledge of those. But that's not what it says in the report.
23 MR. RE: That's complete nonsense.
24 Q. Mr. Grujicic, at paragraph 59 of the Special Rapporteur's report
25 of the 10th of February, 1993, he said of Batkovic: "At Batkovic camp, in
1 the north-eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1.163 prisoners were kept in
2 what the Special Rapporteur described, after the visit there by his second
3 mission, as two cavernous, unheated storage buildings. Temperatures there
4 dropped between minus 10 and minus 12 degrees Celsius at the beginning of
5 January 1993, and prisoners there face the fight for survival against such
6 temperatures in the winter months still to come."
7 Now, that's what the Special Rapporteur said about conditions at
8 Batkovic before February 1993. I've just read from his report.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, the Prosecution has indicated what the
10 Special Rapporteur did.
11 Yes, Mr. Re.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. You were exchanging prisoners from Batkovic. You've already told
14 the Trial Chamber that. You agree with the Special Rapporteur's
15 impression of Batkovic camp following his visit there?
16 A. I cannot agree. I've never been to Batkovic. I cannot speak
17 about the conditions there. The only thing I do know is that even in our
18 office, where we worked, we had no heating. I can't confirm something I
19 simply don't know.
20 Q. Well, his information, having been there, was better than yours.
21 Are you prepared to concede that he's maybe more accurate than yours and
22 he might be right?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, I think the point is made. The witness has
24 explained what his position is. Can you move on?
25 MR. RE: I will move on, Your Honour.
1 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Grujicic, you told -- I asked you some questions
2 about exchanges and I asked about the one-for-one principle. Could the
3 witness please be shown D162/3 ter, followed by D161/3 ter, which I
4 understand the registry has already.
5 Can you see clearly that document? I know we've had some
6 difficulties. It's a list of 30 people.
7 A. Can we please -- the quality of the image is poor.
8 Q. Can you see that it's a document signed by the commission for the
9 exchange of prisoners, addressed to the Republic of Srpska, Serbian
10 municipality of Samac commission for exchange of the prisoners of war, and
11 arrested civilian in Samac dated the 7th of January, 1993? Can you see
12 that, in this list of 30 people for exchange -- who came to the exchange
13 on the 7th of January, 1993, in Dragalic?
14 A. All I can see is a list of names of persons who allegedly came for
15 an exchange on the 7th of January, 1993, in Dragalic. I can only see the
16 list and nothing else. Now I can see the word "Samac" too. Prisoners and
17 civilians who have been arrested. What's that in the upper corner?
18 Serbian municipality of Samac, commission for the exchange of prisoners
19 and arrested civilians, Samac. So we're talking about Samac.
20 Q. It's a document in relation to the people who came to be exchanged
21 in Dragalic, prisoners of war, on the 7th of January, 1993. Do you
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. And you participated in the Dragalic exchanges, didn't you?
25 A. I had to be there. It was my duty. Because Dragalic straddles
1 the main road in west Slavonia, in the so-called UNPA zone. So only I or
2 another member of the commission were authorised to carry out these
4 Q. The answer is yes. I don't want an explanation. You
5 participated. The answer yes. Next document, please. D161/3 ter.
6 Can you see this document clearly? It's a list of prisoners on
7 the same day, but there's a mixture of soldiers and civilians on it.
8 A. Well, yes. Again, I see a list, and then above it states, I
9 think -- this is also about Samac municipality. It's not perfectly
10 legible, but I can see that there's a list there bearing the same date --
11 no, actually, this is the 7th of January.
12 Q. Can you read the words "list"? It's in the top and the middle of
13 persons who were exchanged on 7th of January, 1993, in Dragalic --
14 prisoners? Can you read that? Just yes or no.
15 A. Sir, this list here, it says: Not persons who have arrived but,
16 rather, persons who have left to be exchanged. You said who have
17 arrived. That's not how it reads.
18 Q. I'm sorry. There's something in the interpretation. Does it say
19 list of persons who were exchanged on 7th of January, 1993, in
20 Dragalic -- prisoners? I'm reading from the English. Can you read that?
21 That's all I'm asking you. List of persons who were exchanged on the 7th
22 of January, 1993, in Dragalic -- prisoners.
23 A. Probably, yes, but in order to be a hundred per cent certain, I
24 should check this on the computer. But that's in Banja Luka. I no longer
25 have the data.
1 Q. Perhaps the Defence counsel could read loud aloud to the witness
2 what it says in the Bosnian, just so we're entirely clear. Could
3 Mr. Lukic assist?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I thought that the document is on the monitor.
5 MR. RE: I think he's having some difficulty reading it. I'm not
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Ask the witness, then, if he can read it.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Mr. Grujicic, can you read what it says under, I think, "spisak,"
10 meaning list?
11 A. Yes. Persons who left in order to be exchanged on the 7th of
12 January, 1993, in Dragalic -- prisoners.
13 Q. Thank you. And you'll see the list contains 30 prisoners -- sorry
14 30 soldiers and 4 civilians? You can see that, can't you? Yes or no? No
15 explanation, please.
16 A. The only thing I can see is the list, but I can't tell you who is
17 a civilian and who is a soldier. All I can see is the list itself.
18 Q. Can you see -- can you read the numbers 1 to 30? The last name is
19 Senad Mehmedovic, born 1957.
20 A. Mehmedovic, Senad, 1950, I believe.
21 Q. Can you see -- can you see directly below that, there's a heading,
22 civilians, and their full names, Safet Izetbegovic, Andrija Jovic, Marijan
23 Pepic, and Mustafa Pistoljevic, son of Ibrahim, who were said to be
25 A. Yes, I can see that.
1 Q. This was a mixed exchange of civilians and prisoners on the 7th of
2 January, 1993, wasn't it?
3 A. This exchange, prisoners were being exchanged for prisoners. But
4 in order to make it easier for the Nepalese battalion to understand and
5 everything concerning the transit, we put everyone there, but we separated
6 civilians from prisoners. And civilians would cross on the basis of a
7 request by the other side. So it was for purely technical reasons that
8 they were put there, but they were separated from the soldiers. So for
9 them, it was not an exchange.
10 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown document internal number
11 PDB 83/3 ter.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it an exhibit or not?
13 MR. RE: It will be in a moment. It's a document the Defence have
14 provided to us in disclosure, but the Defence haven't tendered.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: It's number what?
16 MR. RE: PDB -- I've got two numbers. One is 83/3, the other one
17 is 93. I think the more reliable is 83/3. I have copies here.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it was provided yesterday.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Re, could you repeat the number, please.
20 MR. RE: For the record, the number is PDB 83/3.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. Mr. Grujicic, can you see the document on the screen? It's a
24 letter from commission president, Major Jovika Savic, to the Yugoslav
25 government, in relation to an exchange which you went to on the 29th of
1 January, 1993. Can you see the document?
2 A. Yes, yes, I can see the document.
3 Q. Can you see that the body of the letter refers to or says:
4 "Pursuant to an agreement between the commission for the exchange of
5 prisoners of the IBK, East Bosnian Corps, 1st Krajina Corps, and the HVO,
6 an exchange of 64 soldiers, 80 civilians, and 50 children, will be carried
7 out on Friday, 29 January 1993, at 1300 hours, in the village of Lipovac,
8 near Sid. We seek your approval and assistance in the conduct of this
10 You can see that's what it says, can't you?
11 A. I can, I can, but not too clearly.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Hold on a second, Mr. Grujicic,
14 The witness must be shown the entire document. He might be misled
15 if he doesn't see the other half of the document, because all he can see
16 right now is the first half, the first passage.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the document can be moved such that he can
18 see the whole contents.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. Mr. Grujicic, I don't want to mislead you in any way. I was just
21 reading to you the body of the first part of the letter. You agree that's
22 what it says, what I just read out to you, don't you?
23 A. No, I never agreed. I don't know what children this document is
24 talking about. The exchange in Lipovac, there were no children involved.
25 Q. Please stop. I'm only asking you about the document. Whether I
1 read it out correctly, not your interpretation of it. If I have read it
2 out incorrectly, I'd like you to read out what it says. That's all.
3 A. Yes, this section, the one that you've read out, that seemed
5 Q. And on its face, that part of the document indicates that there
6 were negotiations leading to an agreement between your corps, the East
7 Bosnia Corps, the Croatians, for a mixed exchange of soldiers, civilians,
8 and children. That's what it says on its face, doesn't it?
9 A. That's how it seems, yes. However --
10 Q. No, no.
11 A. -- I must repeat this.
12 Q. Your counsel will clear this up.
13 A. The children --
14 Q. No, not at the moment. Mr. Lukic will ask you anything that is
15 necessary. To reach an agreement, you first have to have negotiations in
16 these exchanges, don't you? It's a simple question.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And there's nothing on the face of this document that indicates
19 there were no negotiations leading to an agreement, is there?
20 A. Well, no, there isn't, for the simple reason that we had completed
21 negotiations and there was supposed to be an exchange taking place in
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. However --
25 Q. I don't want any more information. Thank you. I'm only asking
1 you about the document. Mr. Lukic wanted you to see the entirety of the
3 MR. RE: Can Mr. Usher please move it down so that you can see the
4 remainder of it. I'll give you a chance to read it and then I'll tender
6 Q. Can you see the balance of the document, if you couldn't see it
8 A. Yes, I've seen it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. RE: May the document be tendered into evidence, please.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, as a Prosecution Exhibit. Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked P165 and ter.
13 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown PDB 84/3. My case
14 manager will -- our case manager will hand to Mr. Usher.
15 Q. Mr. Grujicic, again, my question - I just want you to answer yes -
16 is: Can you clearly see that document and read what it says?
17 A. Most of what I see is that my signature is there. The first name
18 there is Golubovic, then Danijel Pavic, I believe, and I think the third
19 name is Mehmedovic, but I can't be sure. And then Darinka.
20 Q. Can you look in the top left hand corner. You'll see it's on the
21 letterhead of your Exchange Commission. The top left-hand corner. Can
22 you see that it says -- and it's referring to the exchange at Lipovac on
23 the 29th of January, 1993, and it says: "List of civilians accepted by us
24 along with soldiers during the exchange that took place in Lipovac
25 village, Sid." Can you see it's saying that there?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I can see that.
2 Q. Thank you. And you've said it's your signature. It was a
3 document which -- it's your document, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. RE: May that be tendered into evidence too, please.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This next exhibit is P166 and ter.
8 MR. RE: While that's being done, can the witness please be shown
9 internal number document PDB 86/3.
10 Q. Can you again -- my question is: Can you clearly see the document
11 on the letterhead of your commission, 29th of January, 1993?
12 A. I see now that this is about the dead being exchanged, the dead
13 from Orasje. I see the list too.
14 Q. There are 17 names on it. Do you see the 17 names there?
15 A. I see it now, yes.
16 Q. And you can see the list distinguishes between which are civilians
17 and which are soldiers, doesn't it?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. In fact, there are 12 soldiers, 3 civilians, and 2 who are
20 unclassified on that list of 17 people, aren't there?
21 A. Yes, probably that's true.
22 Q. And in fact the last one --
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Djajic was alive at the time of his exchange.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was he a civilian or a soldier? Do you know?
2 A. I do. He was a soldier belonging to the Celinac Brigade.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. RE: May that be tendered into evidence too, please.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one thing, Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: Your Honour.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: In terms of the numbers, I think, if you look at
9 the B/C/S version, you will see that number 3 on the list, Mr. Danilovic,
10 who does not have a designation after his name, on the B/C/S version there
11 is a ditto mark, indicating that he actually was a soldier as well.
12 MR. RE: I'm sorry. Thank you, Your Honour, for pointing that
14 Q. I'm sorry if I've misled you, Mr. Grujicic. There was actually
15 another soldier on that list.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit is numbered P167 and ter.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. Finally, Mr. Grujicic, you've indicated that you regard yourself
19 as a humanist, Mr. Maslic as a humanist, Mr. Tadic as a humanist.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In fact, you had nominated them for awards as humanists, didn't
23 A. I don't remember now. I may have nominated them, but at this
24 point in time I don't recall that.
25 Q. You nominated them for a cross of mercy, humanitarian award, and
1 sent a letter to Dr. Simic recommending that they get that award for their
2 valuable humanitarian work, didn't you?
3 A. Yes. Now I remember. That's correct.
4 Q. Do you regard General Talic as a humanist?
5 A. General Talic was the Corps Commander and the leader of the entire
6 corps. I consider that we, who only did this part of the job, to be
7 humanists. That means the representatives of the Red Cross, the ICRC.
8 Those are the people I consider to be humanists in wartime.
9 Q. So that excludes Krajisnik, Mladic, Karadzic, and Plavsic as being
10 humanists, does not?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, that's not fair to the witness.
12 MR. RE: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Grujicic.
16 A. Good day.
17 Q. I will now talk to you about a few topics on which the Prosecutor
18 examined you. We will clarify some points. I will start from this last
19 document. It doesn't have to be shown to you. It's a document for the
20 exchange of the dead of the 29th of January, 1992, in Lipovac. Do you
21 consider that the exchange of corpses, whether civilian or soldiers, was a
22 humane job?
23 A. I said that we had reached an agreement at the level of all the
24 commissions to hand over corpses on both sides. We couldn't put too many
25 questions in wartime as to whether someone who was dead had been exchanged
1 or not. So all we could do was exchange dead bodies. Whether these were
2 soldiers, civilians, children or elderly. The families on the other side
3 asked for this.
4 Q. Were these handovers of corpses ever done on condition that -- or
5 rather, were any conditions ever imposed on this?
6 A. Even on that occasion when this was done, I'm not sure, but I
7 think that we did not bring any corpses. It was just an agreement on the
8 part of the commissions that when exchanges of the living take place, we
9 should also exchange corpses.
10 Q. This last name read out to you under number 17, Grujo Djajic, you
11 said that he was exchanged alive and died on the next day in Bijeljina.
12 What happened? Can you tell us? Don't go into detail, but just tell us:
13 What did he die of?
14 A. Everyone was on the bus. Grujo Djajic was carried in in a plastic
15 chair. He was put on the bus. And he was put somewhere in the front part
16 of the bus. In the village of Apcovci [phoen], in the Republic of Serbia,
17 the municipal committee of the Red Cross from Sid organised a dinner for
18 these people. It was a very cold and rainy day. Everyone went out to
19 eat. But we always counted the people, and I noticed one was missing. I
20 sent the driver --
21 Q. No details, please. I only want to know, in your knowledge, what
22 was the reason for his death? What was the cause of death the next day?
23 A. We took him to hospital, and on the next day we learnt that
24 Grujo Djajic had died, that he had been castrated.
25 Q. Thank you. The previous document shown to you by the Prosecutor,
1 P165 - it has now been given a number - I won't ask for it to be put in
2 front of you, but I will read out the second part of that document to
3 you. It is signed by Major General Radovan Radinovic, the president of
4 the commission. In the second part of the document that you have just
5 read, where Major Jovika Savic addresses the Ministry of Defence of the
6 army of Yugoslavia, it says:
7 "We are forwarding to you the information received from the
8 commission for exchanges IBK and the first KK, asking you to make it
9 possible and to assist in this exchange that has already been agreed upon
10 to take place in Lipovac, near Sid, on the territory under UNPROFOR
12 Let me remind you: The first part that you looked at begins with
13 the words: "Pursuant to an agreement, the commission for the exchange of
14 prisoners of IBK and one KK and the HVO," and then the text continues. My
15 question to you is: --
16 MR. RE: Maybe there's a difference in the translation. The
17 translation I have says: "Pursuant to an agreement between." Between is
18 quite important. The commission, et cetera. If that could be clarified.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I will now read again the entire --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues]... Second part.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I read the second part of the
23 document, and in view of the fact that the Prosecutor asked the witness
24 whether there had been any negotiations, I'm now putting the first part of
25 the document to the witness. I will read this and then let the witness
1 answer. The first part of the document, Your Honours, if the English
2 translation is not different, I will read only the first two lines:
3 "Pursuant to an agreement between the commission for the exchange
4 of prisoners of the IBK, the first KK, and the HVO, an exchange of 64
5 soldiers," and so on. This is what it says in the B/C/S version.
6 Q. Mr. Grujicic, does it follow from this document that there were
7 negotiations and that an agreement had been reached?
8 A. Yes. Yes. It couldn't be done without negotiations, because, as
9 I explained, there is a procedure for the approval of this. This
10 agreement was reached a long time before between the HVO and these two
11 corps on our side.
12 Q. When the civilian commissions wanted to take civilians to be
13 exchanged or, rather, to be allowed to pass through, did they apply to the
14 military commissions to apply for permission on their behalf?
15 A. As far as UNPROFOR is concerned, yes. But as far as I can
16 remember, I never submitted any requests to Yugoslavia, because there was
17 no need for me to do that. It was Major Jovika Savic who did that. He
18 knew the procedure. He knew who he had to ask approval from.
19 Q. Do you know that approval was also needed for the passage through
20 Serbia of convoys or buses leaving the territory of Republika Srpska?
21 A. Since it occurred unexpectedly that we had to have the exchange in
22 Dragalic, or rather, the exchange had been agreed upon to take place in
23 Dragalic, but as I told the Prosecutor, because of the shooting and the
24 war, we had to do it somewhere else. I called Major Savic, and he said we
25 had to get permission from the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia and the
1 Ministry of the Interior of Yugoslavia, and that this could not be done
2 quickly, and that the exchange might have to be postponed. That's why he
3 asked General Radinovic to help us so that the exchange would go through,
4 and we did get approval from all the relevant organs.
5 Q. Thank you. With respect to the telegram of condolence, you
6 mentioned Berislav Gagulic, that you had sent a telegram of condolence for
7 him. I would like to know the ethnicity of this man.
8 A. Berislav Gagulic was a fighter of the Croatian National Guard
9 Corps. He was a Croat from the village of Donji Varos, near Stara
10 Gradiska. His father and I were great friends. And he asked, through
11 mediators, the mayor of Nova Gradiska --
12 Q. No details, please. I was just interested in his ethnicity.
13 A. Very well. Thank you.
14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Grujicic: When you send a telegram of condolence on
15 your own behalf, do you use the first person singular or the first person
17 A. Well, it depends on the person in question. In the case of
18 Veljko, the inhabitants of Okucani knew about him, and they knew that I
19 was constantly on the move and that I was in Banja Luka very often. So
20 that on behalf of the entire village, I could be the one to send a
21 telegram of condolence. In the case of the Bosnjak, Dzevad, or Gagulic, I
22 personally felt the need to express my condolences to my friends.
23 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor today put to you reports by the Special
24 Rapporteur of the UN for the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
25 Mr. Mazowiecki. I will now ask you whether, in the work of your
1 commission, your work on exchanges throughout the period when you worked
2 on these exchanges, did you ever meet Mr. Mazowiecki personally, or any
3 member of his team, in relation to their analysis of human rights
4 violations on the territory of the former Yugoslavia?
5 A. No, never. Nobody visited us. Or rather, nobody from this
6 international body ever attended the exchanges.
7 Q. Part of Mr. Mazowiecki's report was read out to us, saying that
8 people had been robbed before their exchange, that there had been rapes or
9 beatings. Did the opposite side that you negotiated with ever - and we
10 know that you often saw them after an exchange had been completed - did
11 they ever tell you that they had information that women had been raped,
12 that people had been robbed before their exchange? I'm referring to the
13 particular commissions that you worked with, and especially were there any
14 complaints about the Samac commission in this respect?
15 A. No, I never received any complaints, either from the
16 representatives of the HVO or the Croatian army. Most often they were
17 together, just as we were, from Republika Srpska Krajina and Republika
18 Srpska. We never got any complaints of this kind.
19 Q. Did you ever receive complaints from the opposite side - I'm
20 referring to the military commissions you cooperated with - concerning the
21 treatment of people in the Batkovic collection centre after their
23 A. With the exception of the one case that we mentioned here, we had
24 no other complaints. Had there been any, they would certainly have also
25 complained to the international community, which was always present.
1 This, however, did not happen.
2 Q. Can you tell Their Honours who Mr. Milan Duspara is?
3 A. Marko Duspara.
4 Q. Yes, yes. I apologise.
5 A. He was first the vice-president of the Tuzla commission, and later
6 on the president of the Tuzla commission for the exchange of prisoners of
7 war, for the entire Tuzla region. His deputy president was Mujcinovic.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Grujicic, we have tendered two video recordings of
9 the exchanges which we did not show you, but Their Honours will analyse
10 them. Tell us: Do you remember that during negotiations in Gradacac,
11 Mr. Duspara, in May 1993, had no complaints against the treatment in
12 Batkovic --
13 MR. RE: Several bases. One, is doesn't arise. And secondly,
14 it's cross-examination. In fact, he's given the answer. My learned
15 friend, Mr. Lukic, has given the witness the answer in the question.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: I will allow it, Mr. Lukic. You can go ahead.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I didn't mean for the videotape to be
18 shown. I know this question may be slightly leading, and I don't mean to
19 lead the witness. If you remember, please say so; if not, you don't have
20 to say anything.
21 Q. Mr. Duspara, did he have any complaints or objections at any point
22 concerning the treatment of people who had been exchanged and who had come
23 from Batkovic specifically?
24 A. Mr. Marko Duspara, the Tuzla commission and our commission worked
25 in a responsible and honest way. Had there been any objections or
1 complaints, Duspara would have told me first. I would have blushed. But
2 this never happened. Had this been the case, I would certainly have
3 apologised to the opposite side. But the treatment was correct and our
4 behaviour was mutually correct.
5 Q. Thank you. My colleague from the Prosecution asked you several
6 general questions concerning your views as a humanist. I have two very
7 brief questions, two or three. Please just answer yes or no. Do you know
8 who was in power in Bosanski Samac before the outbreak of war? Do you
9 know about the structure of government in that particular municipality
10 prior to the war?
11 A. As I said, sir, I've never been to Samac, so it follows that I
12 didn't know the ethnic make-up or who was there at different points in
13 time. Only later, when we came, I knew what we had to do and I got in
14 touch with their commission.
15 Q. Do you know why people were being arrested or detained in Samac?
16 Do you know anything about that?
17 A. No, I have no knowledge whatsoever of that.
18 Q. Do you know what happened in Samac in the night between the 16th
19 and 17th of April, 1992?
20 A. No, I don't. At that time, I was still in Stara Gradiska, because
21 that's where the corps was. So I have no knowledge of that.
22 Q. Only two questions left. The Prosecution showed you sections of a
23 sentencing judgement against Mrs. Biljana Plavsic. My question,
24 specifically, is the following: Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, did she ever attend
25 any of the exchanges?
1 MR. RE: Can I just correct that? It wasn't the sentencing
2 judgement. It was the factual basis for plea of guilty. Just so it's
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That's correct. I agree,
6 and I apologise. That was a statement regarding the agreement on the
7 guilty plea of Mrs. Biljana Plavsic.
8 Q. Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, did she ever attend any of the exchanges
9 that you attended or any of the negotiations related to these exchanges?
10 A. Not only was she never there; I never even saw her in Banja Luka.
11 A couple of times on TV perhaps.
12 Q. Mr. Grujicic, did you ever write to Biljana Plavsic or send her
13 any reports on the working method of your commission, describing what the
14 procedure was?
15 A. At one point we received orders specifying that she would cover
16 that particular area. But this only lasted for a very brief while. So
17 it's quite possible that I did indeed send a report or two on the
18 exchanges, because we had received word that she would be in charge of
19 that area. But that soon stopped. Pursuant to what exactly it was, I
20 didn't know.
21 Q. Can you tell us, please, if you remember, when and what exactly
22 you wrote.
23 A. No, I don't think I can remember that. It may have been in 1993,
24 but I can't really remember.
25 Q. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished my cross-examination.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Grujicic, for giving
3 evidence to the Tribunal. We are now finished with your evidence. You
4 may leave the courtroom.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we call the next witness after the break?
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. That was exactly my idea,
8 because we have only several --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: So we shall start at 12.50 hours.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. Please make the solemn declaration.
14 WITNESS: SAVO POPOVIC
15 [Witness testifies via videolink]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
20 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
21 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Can you hear me?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 Q. Will you please state your name.
25 A. Savo Popovic.
1 Q. Mr. Popovic, when were you born, and where?
2 A. I was born in 1943, in the village of Obudovac, Samac
4 Q. What's your marital status?
5 A. I am married. I have two sons.
6 Q. Where do you reside currently?
7 A. I reside in Crkvina, Samac municipality.
8 Q. Can you tell me: You and your ancestors, how long have you lived
9 in that particular area?
10 A. My ancestors have been here for about 80 or 90 years. My
11 grandfather, my grandfather had arrived in Obudovac as a priest. That's
12 where I was born. I completed elementary school in Obudovac, secondary
13 school in Samac, and then high schooling in Banja Luka.
14 Q. Your grandfather and his father originally hail from the territory
15 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, from Sekovic.
17 Q. To all intents and purposes, your family roots are in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina and for several hundred years?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. You completed your elementary school in Obudovac?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Secondary school in Samac?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. High school for economics in Banja Luka?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You are -- you have a degree in economy, in economics; isn't that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You did your compulsory military service in the JNA as a
5 communication officer in Osijek in 1969 and 1970?
6 A. Yes, 1969, 1970, 1971, thereabouts.
7 Q. Your rank in the army, upon completion of military service, was --
8 you were sergeant first class or senior sergeant?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How long were you a member of the League of Communists?
11 A. I became a member on the 8th of July, 1963, when I was still in
12 secondary school, and I left the League of Communists in 1998 and 1999.
13 Q. You probably mean 1988 or 1989.
14 A. Yes, precisely. 1988, 1989. I had been a member of the League of
15 Communists for 25 or 26 years. I was a leftist by orientation. Even now,
16 in a democratic way. I didn't agree with certain people, but that doesn't
17 mean that I left the whole thing behind.
18 Q. You did not disagree with some of the leaders within the League of
19 Communists, but you are still a leftist by conviction?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Are you currently a member of any party?
22 A. Yes. I am a member of the SDS. In 1993 and 1994 I became a
23 member. So I'm not an active member of the SDS, not as active as I used
24 to be while I was a member of the League of Communists. I am simply a
1 Q. However, within that party, you represent the leftist convictions?
2 A. Yes. I am still left-leaning, and I think there is a huge number
3 of people who are leftists. I belong to that group. There are people who
4 became members of that party, because they believed that they could follow
5 their convictions within that party.
6 Q. You are referring to your colleagues from the SDS; isn't that
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. As concerns your career, professionally, you were a director of
10 several different companies; isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes, before the war and during the war, I was serving as a
12 director of a company, so that I have a certain amount of experience, an
13 enormous amount of experience, I should say, and I was in a position to
14 help in many things, in organising the local economy in Samac municipality
15 and also in a more general area.
16 Q. When armed fighting broke out in Samac in 1992, you were a
17 director of the Utva factory, the iron construction factory in Samac?
18 A. Yes, I was the director of that company, but when I became the
19 director, I put together a mixed company, Jugokovaks together with a
20 German company. It was a joint venture. We started doing serious
21 business, import, export. And towards the end of the 1980s, you could
22 feel that there was tension in the air.
23 I had -- I was facing certain problems related to export. There
24 were a number of scandals because of botched deals. So in 1990 or 1991, I
25 simply left the company, because it was no longer possible, due to its
1 very make-up, to do business. You could feel tension. The atmosphere was
2 charged. I travelled widely. I spoke to my partners from Germany and
3 Holland. I visited the Djuro Djakovic company in Brod.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We do have a summary of the subjects for this
5 witness. Can we go to that, please.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour. I will ...
7 Q. [Interpretation] Currently you own a private company?
8 A. My son is the owner, actually. I'm there as an advisor.
9 Q. In addition to your present job, you're also a well-regarded
10 official of the Bosnia and Herzegovina football association?
11 A. Yes, that's correct, for Bosnia and Herzegovina and for Republika
12 Srpska. I hold a number of positions. I'm a member of the Executive
13 Board, chairman of a number of committees. So I am a member of different
14 committees which are part of the football association of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that's where I spent most of my time, with other
16 people who are involved in sports.
17 Q. Mr. Popovic, during 1991 and 1992, more specifically, between
18 October 1991 and April 1992, did you witness some political tensions at
19 the republic level, the Bosnia-Herzegovina level, the parliament of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina? Tell us what you know about it, and tell us how those
21 tensions, if any, were reflected on the local level in Samac. Please tell
22 us briefly what you know about the period.
23 A. In that period I was involved in politics, in the period before
24 that I was a member of the municipal committee, I was a member of the
25 League of Communists. I was in the presidency of the Socialists League of
1 Samac municipality, so I was actively involved in politics. But there
2 were disagreements with certain people, as tensions could already be
3 felt. They were mounting in the local politics. Everyone wanted to get
4 it their way. I didn't like that.
5 So I said openly: These are my convictions. Gentlemen, from
6 today, I am no longer a member of the municipal committee. Because what
7 you advocate as Bosniaks, Croats, or Serbs, distinctively, what you're
8 probably driving at is that we should all just best kill each other, and I
9 want no part in that. So goodbye.
10 I was well placed to follow what was going on, those who had gone
11 before me. And when I was there, what the tensions were about. I was
12 following the media, and other sources of information. I knew what people
13 were preparing, what they wanted for Yugoslavia to fall apart, for
14 Slovenia and Croatia to split off. We simply feared that this might
15 spread to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Popovic. My specific question is: Do you have any
17 knowledge of problems faced by the republican parliament of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if any, were they in any way reflected on the
19 local assembly in Bosanski Samac? Do you have any such information? If
20 not, please say so.
21 A. That's what I've been telling you. The sessions were public and
22 they were broadcast, the sessions of the republican parliament. And you
23 could see what people were saying in parliament. It was only to be
24 expected that this would be reflected on the local level. I was surprised
25 that people who had never up to that point discriminated on the national
1 basis suddenly started doing so. This was particularly prominent with
2 Croats, and also my former friends with whom I was spending a lot of time
3 in secondary school, Bosniaks, they started doing the same thing too. And
4 then the gap started widening. Everyone went their own way. Everyone
5 wanted to have things their way. And then the parties emerged, the HDZ,
6 the SDA, and the SDS.
7 Q. How did that look in Samac, specifically? Were they outvoting
8 each other? Were there any tensions between the parties?
9 A. Yes, yes, certainly. What followed because of all the outvoting
10 and because of the coalitions that were formed, the policies pursued at
11 that moment, in the former system we had certain decisions that were
12 respected, who the president was going to be or the vice-president of the
13 committee or the party. At one point, Croats and Bosniaks, Muslims, took
14 up all the important positions, and then obviously the third side involved
15 the Serbian side was the underdog in that situation. And we saw what was
16 in store for us. And it is only natural that certain tensions started
17 mounting between people who had been friends up to that point. Now people
18 were becoming mistrustful, or even enemies.
19 Q. You refer to a concept. You said the concept of the key. Was
20 that the national key in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the sense of respecting
21 the respective positions of all the three constituent ethnic groups?
22 A. Yes, that's precisely what I had in mind. Our own socio-political
23 community respected that. We complied with that. But now it was suddenly
24 no longer what it used to be. Now it was a matter of agreement between
25 certain parties who were now in power. It was a quid pro quo thing. I'll
1 give you a certain position and appoint your people in positions, and
2 you'll give me the same. So it was no longer done the same way as in the
3 former system.
4 Q. Was there any armed conflict or incidents between January 1992 and
5 April 1992 in Samac? Were there any armed units? Did you notice anything
6 along these lines?
7 A. Well, let me tell you: There were provocations in our area
8 constantly since 1991. Just to name one specific example: Croats tried
9 to provoke Serbs. They would have a wedding, celebrate a wedding. And
10 instead of two flags, they would have just one, the Croatian flag, with
11 the chess board. They would drive through the predominantly Serb villages
12 and cause people to revolt.
13 Once in Samac, this was also under the patronage of the SDS [as
14 interpreted], I was coming from my house in Crkvina. There were
15 barricades set up at the entrance to Samac. My workers were there, and
16 they simply wouldn't allow them to enter the city. I smiled and said:
17 Who made you do that? And they simply said: Those who should be manning
18 the barricades, who knows where they were now. And you are here making
19 yourself look laughable. However, what could you do about that? That's
20 what the situation was like. But that was merely an introduction to later
21 events in Samac municipality.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: For the transcript. On page 76, line 21, the
23 witness said "SDA," and here it states "SDS."
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] SDA.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Popovic, we must be of assistance to both the interpreters and
3 the court reporters. We must be accurate with the concepts that we're
4 using. Can you just pause briefly after I ask my question, because the
5 whole of our communication is being interpreted into our official
6 language, into English, so that we can have an accurate transcript.
7 Did you have any information or did you personally witness the
8 presence of any armed units in Samac, units that were not originally from
9 that area, prior to April 1992?
10 A. Let me tell you: I was in a position to see that, because there
11 was talk that the Zengas and the HVO started appearing in our
12 municipality. In order to check this out for myself, I went and looked,
13 not in Samac, but I crossed the bridge to Prud, and I saw that there were
14 a number of people present there who I didn't know. Some said that they
15 were also moving about Samac. So that in certain areas that were
16 predominantly -- certain people came who were predominantly Croat [as
17 interpreted] and were holding rallies there. This was the case in the
18 municipality of Samac.
19 You could reach it very quickly by bridge or by boat over the
20 river. They could cross easily into our territory of the municipality of
22 Q. Mr. Popovic --
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Again I have to make a correction of
24 transcript. The witness was referring that he was -- he was talking about
25 predominantly Croat villages and that people who came were predominantly
1 Croats. So it's on page 77, line 23. Maybe if he could speak a bit
2 slower, it would be easier.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness can repeat his answer.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, you spoke about personally crossing
6 to Prud, which is part of the municipality of Samac.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please be asked to repeat the
9 A. They said that they were members of the Zenga and the HVO, and it
10 was in that location that I saw a number of people, but I can't say who
11 they were, because I didn't know them. The talk of the town was is that
12 they were all around Samac, in the cafes, in the evening, but I didn't go
13 out in the evenings, so I couldn't see. Their presence was felt in the
14 territory of the Samac municipality, and that in villages and places that
15 were predominantly Croat.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Very well. Can you please tell me about the attitude towards
18 mobilisation and towards the JNA in all of the three different ethnic
19 groups respectively. What do you know about that? Did the JNA send out
20 calls, call-ups, for mobilisation to all citizens, and how did then
21 members of the different ethnic groups relate to mobilisation call-ups?
22 A. I think that in our minds we still considered the JNA to be a
23 Yugoslav army, Yugoslavia, that is, Bosnia and Herzegovina still existed,
24 and we had to consider whether to remain or not in the rump Yugoslavia, as
25 it was called. But we all knew that in spite of the mobilisation, the
1 Croats and the Muslims would certainly not respond in the same numbers as
2 before, before it was a hundred per cent, but that they had already
3 prepared where they were to go.
4 We had loyal citizens who remained with us throughout, and they
5 responded to these call-ups, but the others ignored them, and they simply
6 did not wish to respond to these call-ups. I can't give you many details,
7 because I wasn't in the secretariat, so I don't know what the situation
8 was exactly, but this was no longer the army that it used to be.
9 Q. Very well. You mentioned the plebiscite of the Serbian people,
10 about remaining in Yugoslavia. I assume that's what you meant. But
11 before we go into that, I would like to ask you whether you know that an
12 assembly of the Serbian people was established in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 and whether, pursuant to certain decisions, a certain subject was
14 established in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 1992? What do you know
15 about this?
16 A. As I said at the beginning, I could see from the media what was
17 going on at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and simply --
18 [Technical difficulty]
19 A. -- Some sort of state, and that's what happened, which is why
20 certain municipalities were created at the level of the entity --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
22 A. -- The municipalities were given names beginning with Serbian --
23 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we're having trouble with the audio over
24 here. We couldn't hear most of the statement. I don't know if the Court
25 could. Could he repeat everything that he said so far?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because there are quite a number of gaps.
2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Yes, yes. Mr. Popovic, we had some technical difficulties. Would
4 you be so kind as to repeat your answer in connection to your personal
5 knowledge as to whether, within the -- let's call it the national corps of
6 the Bosnian Serbs, an assembly or some other entity was established in
7 early 1992. Could you just repeat what you have said, but briefly,
9 A. I was following through the media what was going on, and what
10 charges there were in the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I saw
11 that the parties could not agree that a split was widening among them and
12 that they were setting up their own areas, the Republika Srpska, the
13 Croatian part, the Bosniak part. And this was reflected at the local
14 level, so that certain municipalities began to be created along ethnic
15 lines, the Serbian municipality of Brod, the Serbian municipality of
16 Samac, Bosniak municipality, so-and-so, Croatian municipality, so-and-so,
17 and in this way the Serbian municipality of Samac was established. This
18 happened in the memorial home, and all those who were pro-Serb, including
19 members of all ethnic groups, attended this rally. And what was talked
20 about was how to behave in the situation that had arisen.
21 Yugoslavia was falling apart, and the only thing we could do
22 was -- well, nobody advocated war, but that through this form of
23 organisation, differences could be transcended and we could all remain
24 within Yugoslavia, where the Serbian people wanted to remain, as was seen
25 in the plebiscite. So this was done. The municipality was created,
1 comprising the municipality of Samac and the former municipalities -- or
2 rather, Pelagicevo and Gradacac, whatever they want to call it, the
3 villages from Odzak, so that this municipality consisted of farmers,
4 intellectuals, people of all professions who wanted to attend the rally.
5 Whoever wanted to attend the rally could do so, and this was the beginning
6 of something that would follow later.
7 Therefore, before the outbreak in 1992, a, so to speak, group of
8 people was organised, assemblymen from the broader area in Obudovac, where
9 people were elected, so that in the forthcoming period they could stand up
10 to the wave coming from the SDA and the HDZ, and this was the beginning of
11 the Serbian municipality of Samac, an excellent government was established
12 which could stand up to both sides, and not with a view to war, but simply
13 so that certain solutions could be found in order for us to continue
14 living peacefully, regardless of where someone was, on what territory.
15 Q. Mr. Popovic, I have to ask you again to speak a little more
16 slowly. Can you hear me now?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Please speak more slowly. We have been having some small
19 technical problems. But please tell me now: This first meeting in the
20 cultural -- or in the memorial home, do you remember when it was held?
21 A. I think it was in late February or early March 1992.
22 Q. At that meeting, was Ilija Ristic elected president of the Serbian
23 Assembly of the municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo, which was being
25 A. It was then that this was declared to be the Serbian municipality
1 of Samac --
2 Q. Stop. Stop, sir. Will you please answer my question. On that
3 occasion, was Mr. Ilija Ristic elected president of that municipality?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Ilija Ristic was elected president of that assembly.
5 Q. Was Mr. Dusan Tanasic elected vice-president of that assembly?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. At the next session, please tell me when the next session was
8 held, the session of the Municipal Assembly. Can you tell us the time?
9 A. It was towards the end of March.
10 Q. Very well. Very well. At that session of the Assembly, did
11 Ilija Ristic remain the president of the Assembly or was somebody else
12 elected? Did he resign? What happened? Do you remember?
13 A. Well, let me tell you: At that session, there was a lot of
14 tension because Mr. Stevan Todorovic wanted, in a way, to be the
15 coordinator of everything that was going on at the Assembly, and pressure
16 was exerted on the way the Assembly was being run. And as far as I know,
17 Mr. Ristic remained the president of the Assembly. As far as I know, at
18 least, there were no changes, but I know that he was -- or rather, that
19 Mr. Mirko Jovanovic became president of the Executive Board. And in the
20 previous government, he had been the president of the Executive Board. I
21 know that other people were nominated to take care of the economy --
22 Q. Mr. Popovic, I have to ask you again to slow down. My next
23 question is the following: Did Dr. Blagoje Simic hold any office in that
24 Serbian municipality in the period we are now talking about, that is, from
25 late February, when it was established, until the last -- the second half
1 of April 1992? Have you any knowledge of this? Did he hold any posts?
2 A. As far as I know, he could only have been a delegate, as far as I
3 know. And I did follow what was going on at the time, but I'm not aware
4 of him holding any office in the Assembly of Samac.
5 Q. Very well. At this second session of the Assembly in Obudovac,
6 how would you describe the atmosphere? What problems were there? What
7 were the issues being discussed? What was in the air, so to speak, in
8 that period?
9 A. I think the main issue was how the Serbian people could organise
10 themselves if the worst happened. That's what they said. If there was a
11 conflict. Because there were intimations that this was possible, since
12 both sides were arming themselves. The problem was how to make sure that
13 the government functioned, the economy functioned, health care and the
14 infrastructure in general continued to function. At that session of the
15 Assembly, there were a number of delegates from the area of the
16 municipality of Odzak who were deeply concerned because of events in Odzak
18 Q. Mr. Popovic, again there's a technical problem. Mr. Popovic, when
19 you mentioned the problems of all three sides, you said that both sides
20 were arming. What both sides did you mean? Could you be more precise and
21 tell us what ethnic group those sides belonged to?
22 A. I'll be specific. The Croatian side, through the HDZ; and the
23 Bosniak people, through the SDA. I assert with full responsibility that
24 the Serbs did not do this, because they felt that the army of Yugoslavia
25 was present in Bosnia and Herzegovina and they felt no need to obtain
1 weapons. You asked me about the mobilisation and who responded and who
2 didn't. Well, for the most part, it was the Serbs who responded, and they
3 were already in those units, so there was no reason for them to arm the
4 general population, at least until that moment, that never entered the
5 minds of the Serbs.
6 Q. Can you tell us, according to your personal knowledge, whether the
7 SDS had armed formations in Samac.
8 A. As far as I know, there was not a single armed formation belonging
9 to the party. What there was, was due to the regular mobilisation.
10 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Popovic. My colleague is asking me to check
11 the transcript.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Yes, yes, Mr. Popovic. There's something we have to clarify.
15 It's not very precise on the record. My question is: According to your
16 personal knowledge, can you tell us whether the SDS in Samac had armed
17 formations? Just say yes or no so that the answer is very precise.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness repeat the answer? The interpreters
20 didn't hear it.
21 A. No.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. At the same time, did you have personal knowledge as to whether
24 members of other parties besides -- or rather, parties except for the SDS
25 had armed formations? If you know, tell us.
1 A. Well, I said that the SDA and the HDZ were arming themselves, and
2 this could be seen because there were checkpoints and so on and they were
3 transporting weapons. In the case of Samac, it was from Gradacac and
4 other places. They were making use of all sorts of things. Let me give
5 you an illustration.
6 They would take hunting dogs and put weapons in their cars and
7 drive to Samac in this way, and then distribute weapons to certain
8 people. They knew exactly to whom they should give weapons and to whom
9 not. They knew who was loyal and who was not. Those who were not loyal,
10 they could get weapons. So that is the response to the mobilisation.
11 Those who were Bosniaks or Croats and who responded to the mobilisation,
12 they were not given weapons because they did not trust them.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
14 MR. WEINER: Yes. I just want the witness to indicate whether
15 this is personal knowledge or is this some rumours that he heard. Did he
16 actually see this?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The question started with: Did you have
18 personal knowledge ...
19 MR. WEINER: If that's his indication he had personal knowledge,
20 that's fine. It just wasn't clear from the answer.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Popovic, before the break, just one further question --
23 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. I thought we have a break, but we
24 are working 15 minutes more. I do apologise.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Popovic, in the period before the
1 outbreak of armed conflict in Samac, in Crkvina, did you hold any
2 political office or socio-political office? If so, tell us what it was.
3 A. Being a long-time resident of Crkvina, I discharged a number of
4 duties. I was the president of the local commune, the secretary of the
5 local party branch, the president of the local organisation of the
6 socialist league. I was the president of the local football club. So it
7 was all about a number of people who were there who were active and held
8 positions. We were part of the infrastructure of the local commune. So
9 yes, I did hold a number of offices, and I was active in the political
10 life and cultural life and sports life of the local commune and in a
11 broader area at that time. So yes, I was actively involved.
12 Q. Did you hold any specific office at the local commune in Crkvina?
13 A. I was not the president. I was a member of the board of the local
14 commune at that moment. I was a member of the board.
15 Q. In the period prior to mid-April 1992 and then all the way to the
16 end of 1993, did you ever attend any political rallies organised by the
17 SDS, where ethnic intolerance or even hatred was advocated?
18 A. To the best of my knowledge, there wasn't a single rally like
19 that, even in our local commune, people did get together, but there was
20 never any discrimination, and no hatred was being whipped up. It was a
21 simple matter of how to organise ourselves and how to preserve our
22 property and our families. That was the main motive behind the whole
24 Q. In view of the rising tensions in Samac and in the surrounding
25 area, did you have any personal knowledge, direct knowledge, rather, or
1 you may have heard from someone else, that an attack was being prepared on
2 Samac in April 1992?
3 A. Well, let me tell you: What I said to you, this was organised
4 ahead of time. Weapons were collected and given to certain people --
5 MR. WEINER: Objection.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
7 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this witness so far has testified to no
8 involvement in the 4th Detachment or any detachments within the
9 municipality of Samac. He hasn't testified to any involvement with the
10 JNA, any involvement with military intelligence, any involvement in any
11 sort of military or armed force. If he is going to indicate that he has
12 knowledge, he should state what the facts are and exactly what the basis
13 of that knowledge is. Other than that, it's speculation.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I was of the impression that the
15 witness will explain what is the sources of potential knowledge or basis
16 for this possible knowledge.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because your question did include: Did you
18 have any personal knowledge, direct knowledge, and things like that. So
19 it's really the way the witness is answering the question.
20 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour. And then, in addition to that, in
21 his summary, he indicates personal knowledge of possible
22 Muslim/Croatian -- or is it possible Muslim/Croat attack. So are we just
23 talking about speculation here and his personal views and maybe because
24 people are arming they were going to attack, or does he have concrete
25 knowledge? And if he doesn't have concrete knowledge, then this is all
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps Mr. Pantelic can ask the witness to
3 explain whether he actually witnessed anything.
4 MR. PANTELIC: That was exactly my line of questioning.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, can you tell us the following: Did
6 you have any personal knowledge or information about a possible attack by
7 the Croat or Muslim forces on Samac in April 1992? If so, please explain
8 what your sources were, how you obtained that information. If not, simply
9 tell us that you didn't. Just slowly, please. It's difficult for the
10 interpreters to keep up with you.
11 A. I'll tell you the following: I learned this from the secretary of
12 the secretariat for National Defence, Mr. Milos Bogdanovic. He told me.
13 He was practically in charge of the mobilisation. And in the information,
14 there was also word of what was happening, what was being done in Samac
15 municipality and a broader area. We were on visiting terms, and he didn't
16 tell me on which specific day it would happen, but on the basis of all the
17 information that he had, all the available information, he said that the
18 SDA and the HDZ were preparing to take the town of Samac. That's my
19 answer to your question. That's how I obtained my information. He told
21 MR. WEINER: Then this witness --
22 A. -- And that's an answer.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER: This is multi-level hearsay. This witness has no
25 personal knowledge. He should be at least -- counsel should explain to
1 him when he asks him what personal knowledge is, what exactly he's asking
2 for. This isn't personal knowledge.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: But we can move on. The witness has explained.
4 Mr. Pantelic, you can move on.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. The record and this
6 evidence is speaking for itself, so I think maybe it's a matter for
8 JUDGE MUMBA: The armed conflict is agreed among the parties, so
9 there is no need to go into all those details. Can you move on, please.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. I'll do
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, what's your personal knowledge or
13 information? Where were you at the beginning of the outbreak of armed
14 conflict, and where were you in the night between the 16th and 17th of
15 April, 1992? Please try to explain this to the Trial Chamber.
16 A. This is being insisted upon, the point whether this is my personal
17 observation or not. However, I did have occasion. I refer to Mr. Milos
19 Q. No, no. Please, please, Mr. Popovic. This has been sufficiently
20 clarified. The Trial Chamber passed a decision on this. Our time is
21 limited. Please answer my question. My question was fairly simple:
22 Where were you during the night between the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
23 And please describe what you heard then, what you saw. Please, tell us
24 about that particular period of time, on the basis of your direct personal
1 A. I was in Crkvina at that time. There was a group of people in
2 Crkvina, different people, people with different backgrounds, who had
3 come, and I said then that Samac was to be taken on that night. And
4 people went to a gathering in the centre of the village, and I came too.
5 Q. Slow down, please, Mr. Popovic. When you say "a group of people,"
6 what people were those?
7 A. At first, most of the people who were there were the locals from
8 Crkvina. They came to the centre of the village. And then people from
9 other local communes began to arrive, and the roads leading to the town
10 were in a way closed. And then the shooting began in the town. I
11 couldn't know immediately who attacked whom. It was only in the
12 early-morning hours that we found out there had been fighting between
13 members of certain forces in the town itself, the forces that were
14 stationed in the town, the SDA and the HDZ, as well as members of the
15 Serbian side.
16 After that, during the next day, I went to the town, to the
17 outskirts, to the Pik factory in Samac, where I found a great number of
18 people who were angry [as interpreted], and they were saying: What's
19 going on? And, Who attacked whom? There was constant firing, constant
20 fire, and there was fighting in the area.
21 Q. We'll get to that, Mr. Popovic.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I heard the witness saying that "people were
23 curious," not "angry." Here on page 90, line 23.
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Yes. Correction. Mr. Popovic, can you hear me now? Can you hear
2 A. Yes, yes, I can.
3 Q. We did have some technical problems. Mr. Popovic, who did you
4 mean when you said that in Crkvina you gathered with the locals, after the
5 outbreak of conflict in the night between the 16th and 17th of April? Who
6 exactly did you have in mind when you said that Samac was to be taken, or
7 taken over? Which side were you referring to when you said that? What
8 exactly did you talk about with the locals?
9 A. In view of the information that I had and that other people had,
10 the other side was supposed to take over Samac.
11 Q. What is the name of the other side? Please, Mr. Popovic: I just
12 warn you again. Try to speak slowly.
13 MR. WEINER: I object.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, once again, number one, some of this --
16 I don't know if it's a translation problem or just incoherent: "And it's
17 in view of the information I had and other people had." Once again, what
18 information are we talking about?
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, I will clarify.
20 MR. WEINER: And he's saying he heard some things. What has he
21 seen? Once again, he's a fact witness. Let's hear some facts, not
22 just -- he's talking rumours and it's not clear who is saying what, what
23 people are here. I don't know if we're talking about the Serbian
24 paramilitaries of this group from -- that's arrived. I don't know who
25 he's talking about. It's not clear from the transcript, or at least the
1 last page or so.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Pantelic can clarify that so that we
3 can follow.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. That is just my intention
5 to clarify that with the witness, exactly the same thing.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, you said that in Crkvina, because
7 you had heard that there was fighting and shooting, you had gathered
8 together with the locals in Crkvina. There were many people there, and
9 you spoke about the taking of Samac, or the taking over of Samac. I'm
10 asking you now: Based on your information, based on your personal
11 knowledge, which was the side that was to take Samac? Please avoid such
12 categories and concepts as "this side," "that side," "we" or "they."
13 Please use the following categories: Serbs, Croats, Muslims, or specific
15 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that. That's strict speculation, how
16 much this witness can show that he's a member of some military
17 organisation, had plans, intercepted plans.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Well, perhaps he could have heard from some people.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please tell us: The night between the 16th and the 17th, Crkvina,
21 it's locals gathered. What did you talk about specifically? What did you
22 hear there?
23 A. I think that was no rumour. If someone who is in charge of the
24 mobilisation and someone who is the head of an organisation --
25 Q. No, no, no, no. Stop, please, Mr. Popovic. You've already
1 explained that.
2 A. Very well.
3 Q. We're talking about the night between the 16th and the 17th in
4 Crkvina. You mentioned that the locals were talking about Samac and that
5 Samac was to be taken, and so on and so forth. My specific question is:
6 Samac was supposed to be taken by whom exactly? What was the whole thing
8 A. Samac was supposed to be taken by the SDA and the HDZ. The
9 Serbian side came into conflict with the HDZ and the SDA, who had armed
10 units of their own, and fighting broke out between the Serbian side and
11 the other side, which included Croats and Muslims.
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Popovic. Thank you for all your explanations.
13 We'll speak again tomorrow at 9.00.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall adjourn now and continue our proceedings
15 tomorrow at 0900 hours.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
17 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
18 the 6th day of February 2003, at 9.00 a.m.