Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 19268

1 Thursday, 8 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.41 p.m.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-95-9-T, the

7 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic, you are continuing.

9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

10 Before I continue my examination-in-chief, I would like to inform the

11 Trial Chamber that immediately before the beginning of the session, in a

12 conversation with Mr. Zaric, I was informed that Mr. Zaric has checked and

13 that the therapy that he was supposed to receive has not been

14 discontinued. I'm saying that because the Trial Chamber was misinformed

15 yesterday about the therapy having been discontinued. Mr. Zaric did not

16 get his therapy for reasons unknown to us, and that's why he suffered

17 increased pain during his walk earlier this morning. Today he took his

18 medicine again, and he is now ready to continue with his testimony.

19 We were of the opinion that the Trial Chamber should be aware of

20 this because Mr. Zaric is indeed ill but determined to finish his

21 testimony before this Trial Chamber in order to provide for the efficiency

22 of these proceedings. So much about that and so much about my

23 conversation with Mr. Zaric upon the approval of the Trial Chamber. Thank

24 you very much.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: We are grateful that you have given us the correct

Page 19269

1 information. We would like to emphasise that the Trial Chamber, if at any

2 time he feels like discontinuing, then he should let us know and we can

3 discontinue.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.


6 [Witness answered through interpreter]

7 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]

8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zaric, yesterday we talked about the 4th

9 Detachment, and now I would like to move on to another topic. My question

10 to you is whether you ever heard of a proclamation of the Crisis Staff of

11 the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac. This is Exhibit P79. I don't

12 insist on showing it to Mr. Zaric because Mr. Zaric, I'm sure you will

13 remember that.

14 A. Yes, I do remember it, indeed.

15 Q. Can you remember when this was published and how?

16 A. I can't remember the exact date, but it was aired on the radio on

17 several occasions. I think that I heard it in the radio when I was

18 driving with Mr. Toso Tutnjevic. I believe that this was on the 19th of

19 April, 1992. But whether it was published even before that, I don't

20 know. I heard it on a Sunday. But this is something that was repeated on

21 Radio Samac.

22 Q. You said you heard it in the car.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I know -- we all know

24 the exhibit numbers and so on, but to make sense of this question and

25 answer maybe it would be good to give what the title of that proclamation

Page 19270

1 was, rather than talk about whether Mr. Zaric heard it and so on and so

2 forth, just to make sense for the record.

3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Microphone not activated] Number P79.

4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Your microphone.

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I would kindly ask

6 the usher to put Exhibit P79 before Mr. Zaric.

7 Q. Mr. Zaric, look at the document and tell us whether the contents

8 of this document, of this proclamation, is the same that you heard while

9 driving in the car.

10 A. Yes, this is the same proclamation.

11 Q. Tell me, how did you hear this in the car?

12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. This still isn't

13 answering my question, which is for the sake of clarity, could we

14 please -- I wasn't asking for Mr. Zaric to see the document. You said

15 that wasn't necessary. I simply asked what was the proclamation about,

16 for the sake of the clarity of the record and for the sake of clarity

17 between your questions and Mr. Zaric's answers. So could we just have the

18 title of the proclamation, please.

19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Mr. Zaric, please, could you tell us what you see in the upper

21 left corner of this document.

22 A. I must say that I can't see too well, despite the fact that I am

23 wearing my glasses. I can't read the first part, where it says

24 "Municipality," and the next few words are illegible. But later on I can

25 see that it says "and Pelagicevo municipality under foundation." Beneath

Page 19271

1 that it says, "Crisis Staff, number 01-10-92. Date, 17 April 1992."

2 Q. Can you please read the title as well?

3 A. In the middle of this document there is a big title,

4 "Proclamation."

5 Q. And at the end of the document, what can you see?

6 A. At the end of the document, there is a -- there are the following

7 words: "The Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac,"

8 and there are also two seals, two stamps. Rather illegible. I can't

9 identify these two stamps.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps if Your Honours please, P79 might be

12 perhaps more succinctly identified in the transcript if we refer to it as

13 announcement of the establishment of the Serbian Crisis Staff and the

14 seizure of power.

15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. That -- that clarifies it, Mr. Di Fazio.

16 Thank you. That's enough.

17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. I believe that the document speaks for itself. We are not going

19 to go into its contents. All I wish to know is whether this is the same

20 thing you heard in your car.

21 A. Yes, this is the announcement that I heard in the car, and I heard

22 it in the following way: In the car that was driven by Mr. Toso Tutnjevic

23 there was a radio cassette player and this could receive amongst other

24 things Radio Samac because that was the frequency that it could receive,

25 the frequency of Radio Samac.

Page 19272

1 Q. Was that announcement aired on Radio Samac?

2 A. Yes, it was aired on Radio Samac, and a female speaker read this

3 announcement at the moment when I heard it in the car.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I will no longer need this

6 document.

7 Q. Mr. Zaric, were you ever in a situation to hear on the Radio

8 Bosanski Samac Mr. Sulejman Tihic addressing the general public?

9 A. Yes, I did hear Mr. Sulejman Tihic on one occasion.

10 Q. Can you remember when that was?

11 A. Sulejman Tihic appeared on the radio about the same time when I

12 heard this announcement, on the 19th of April, 1992. I was not in the car

13 all the time but I heard from my driver that this announcement had been

14 repeated several times, so Sulejman Tihic's story that he heard and that I

15 originally heard on the 19th was also repeated before that and I had the

16 occasion to hear it on the 19th of April.

17 Q. Can you remember who Mr. Tihic addressed when he appeared on the

18 radio?

19 A. Mr. Tihic had a brief conversation. It was more of an

20 announcement. He addressed the citizens of Bosanski Samac, but I believe

21 that he -- his target audience were Muslims.

22 Q. Can you tell us what Mr. Tihic said in that address?

23 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Tihic appealed to people, asking them to

24 hand over all the armaments to the legal organs of the municipality and

25 he said that the Serbian government had been introduced in the territory

Page 19273

1 of Samac and that he had been promised that while after the arms were

2 handed over new democratic order would be established, that the situation

3 would become normal, and he asked people to accept that as a fact. This

4 is how I would paraphrase his speech. In any case, this was the way I

5 understood that address of his.

6 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.

7 The 4th Detachment, did it also draft some sort of an

8 announcement?

9 A. Yes, we did do that.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to

11 put Exhibit D28/4 before Mr. Zaric.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, before you is D28/4. This is the announcement by the

13 4th Detachment. Is that the document that you were referring to as the

14 document drafted by the 4th Detachment?

15 A. Yes, this is precisely that document.

16 Q. Who drafted the announcement?

17 A. I and Mr. Rajko Iliskovic.

18 Q. This document, this announcement, was it adopted by the command of

19 the 4th Detachment?

20 A. Yes, it was. And as far as I can remember, this announcement as

21 early as on the 17th in the evening hours, it was drafted on the 18th. It

22 was typed out. It was checked against the instructions of our command as

23 to the way we should address our citizens at that moment.

24 Q. Where did you take this announcement and who took it there?

25 A. Mr. Rajko Iliskovic, who is -- who was a member of the 4th

Page 19274

1 Detachment and also a person who is a gifted writer, and the two of us

2 were the authors of this text, so he went on the 18th in the afternoon and

3 took this announcement to the Radio Samac and gave it to Mr. Antic.

4 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know whether this radio was ever aired on Radio

5 Samac?

6 A. Yes, it was.

7 Q. Did you hear it being read?

8 A. Yes, I heard it being read on the radio on the 19th of April, not

9 at the same time as the announcements that I mentioned a little while

10 ago. Mr. Rajko Iliskovic told me that on the 18th of April in the evening

11 he had read this text to Mr. Antic, and I was told that Rajko himself read

12 this text once on Radio Samac. On the 19th, when this text was read, it

13 was read by a lady speaker who was an employee of Radio Samac.

14 Q. [No interpretation]

15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: We don't seem to have any interpretation.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We don't need this document any

17 more.

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: It seems that we are receiving the English

19 translation on the B/C/S channel.

20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just heard English.

21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have adjusted the channels.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it all right now? I hear that they have adjusted

23 the channels.

24 Yes, we can continue.

25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.

Page 19275

1 Q. Mr. Zaric, what happened after the announcement of the 4th

2 Detachment was broadcast over the radio, over Radio Samac? What happened

3 to you personally?

4 A. I had a very unpleasant incident on the premises of the public

5 security station because of this announcement.

6 Q. Who summoned you to the police station, Mr. Zaric?

7 A. I was summoned there by Mr. Milos Culapovic, who was wearing a

8 police uniform. He came to the command of the 4th Detachment, which was

9 then in the area we call Sljivik or more precisely in Jovo Dusanovic's

10 house, and this part of town is in the west part of Samac.

11 Q. What did Mr. Culapovic tell you?

12 A. Mr. Culapovic said that I was being urgently summoned to report to

13 the public security station, that Mr. Todorovic was asking for me, and so

14 were the specials from Serbia. Mr. Culapovic's summons took place at

15 around 11.00 a.m., as far as I can remember. This was the time when I was

16 summoned to the police station.

17 Q. Thank you. And did you go there?

18 A. Yes, I did.

19 Q. When you arrived, who did you report to?

20 A. I was brought to the public security station by my driver, Toso

21 Tutnjevic. And when I reported to the duty officer, Dimitrije Djordjic,

22 telling him that the chief and some other people wanted me, he told me I

23 should go upstairs straight to the office which said "Commander of police

24 station" on the door. That's what it said on the entrance to that

25 office.

Page 19276

1 Q. Did you go to that office, and who did you find there?

2 A. Yes. There's one detail I'd like to mention. As I was going down

3 the corridor, in the courtyard of the SUP, which was on the northern side,

4 in the direction of the River Sava, about 50 or 60 young men were lined up

5 in the courtyard. They all had painted faces. They were all wearing

6 camouflage uniforms. Some of them had hats on; some had red berets, and

7 some Balaclava helmets. You could see only the eyes. And I saw these

8 lads there as I was going upstairs to the office where I had been told to

9 go.

10 Q. Very well. And who did you find there?

11 A. When I entered the office, I found three men I didn't know there.

12 One of them was sitting at his ease. His coat was flung over his

13 shoulders because he had a big bandage on this side. He had been

14 wounded. I can't be sure as to whether it was his left or his right side,

15 but he was leaning back at his ease in the armchair and his coat was just

16 thrown over his shoulders and his hand was in a sling. He was holding his

17 hand like this. That's how I saw him sitting in the armchair.

18 The other two - whose names I would learn later - one of them was

19 called Crni, that's Dragan Djordjevic, also known as Crni. And the

20 third man who had a red beret on his head was called Aleksandar Vukovic,

21 also known as Vuk. But except per his nickname Vuk, I didn't know

22 anything else about him at the time. All I knew was his nickname, Vuk.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Microphone not activated]

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone please for

25 counsel.

Page 19277

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Your microphone, Mr. Pisarevic.

2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you entered the office and saw these men there,

4 did you know who they were or what their names were?

5 A. No, I didn't. I didn't know who they were, nor did I know their

6 names. And when I came in, I was wearing an old olive-grey uniform of the

7 JNA, and on my head, as it so happened at that moment, was the so-called

8 Tito cap, but without a five-pointed star, as the real insignia, so it

9 wasn't the badge-type five-pointed star made of metal, but instead at the

10 front of the cap there was a five-pointed star that had been sort of

11 painted on, and this was the symbol of the army during the time of Tito.

12 That was the uniform I was wearing.

13 Q. Very well. You have described it for us now. Tell us what

14 happened when you entered the office. Did you address them? Did they

15 address you? Who spoke first?

16 A. I came in and said good day. Crni, who speaks very fast,

17 immediately said Tito's greeting. When I said, "Good day," he said that I

18 had greeted him in the way Tito's people do. I was a little taken aback

19 by this. The young man said, "Oh, so you are that Zaric." I said,

20 "Gentlemen, I am Simo Zaric, deputy commander of the 4th Detachment for

21 security, and I would like to know was it you who summoned me. I'd like

22 to know who you are and what you want." I was very sober in my actions.

23 I didn't know these people, so I answered them in a manly way, so to say.

24 Q. What happened after that?

25 A. After that, this man Debeli, who had his coat on, said,

Page 19278

1 "Mr. Zaric, sit down at this chair." He spoke in a commanding tone of

2 voice. I sat down, and then a discussion started. They were vying with

3 each other, Crni and Debeli.

4 Q. What were they discussing?

5 A. They said to me, "Mr. Zaric, what sort of communist pamphlets are

6 you broadcasting over the radio?" I said, "Gentlemen, I'm not writing any

7 sort of Communist pamphlets. This is an announcement by the command of

8 the detachment and we published it." "We know all about you. You are at

9 the head of the movement for Yugoslavia. You are at the head of the

10 League of Communists, the movement for Yugoslavia. And it's those kind of

11 people who have brought us to this pass." I said, "You can't talk to me

12 like that. I don't want to talk to you in this way." And the young man

13 said, "Did your balinkura tell you these things?" When he used the word

14 "balinkura," I knew they meant my esteemed wife Fatima, who is an ethnic

15 Muslim, and I saw that things were bad. Then I said, "I am not one of the

16 leaders of the movement for Yugoslavia, nor is my wife a balinkura. My

17 wife is a Muslim. And if you can speak in a decent tone, all right. But

18 if not, I'm going." Then the young man with the red beret on came up

19 behind me, behind the chair where I was sitting, and he grabbed me by the

20 hair suddenly, pulled my head up, pulled out his pistol - that was a Roda

21 pistol. That's the type of pistol. That's the brand - and this pistol

22 was used during World War II. It was a kind of trophy weapon. It was

23 quite rare. And this pistol had an especially long barrel. And he said,

24 "Open your mouth," and he thrust the barrel into my mouth towards the

25 left side. He pushed it down my throat and he said, "I fuck your

Page 19279

1 Communist mother. Talk." At that moment I thought I would be dead within

2 a few seconds. And if the Chamber will believe me, I didn't regret dying,

3 but I thought, what has happened to Simo Zaric? Up to this moment I had

4 the feeling that I was somebody in this town, and now all of a sudden I

5 was facing some people who pretended to be patriots, who said they were

6 here to defend Serbs, and yet they were thrusting a pistol barrel down my

7 throat.

8 This man Debeli then said, "Vuk, leave the man alone. Let it

9 go." He pulled the pistol out of my mouth. I pulled myself together.

10 I'm ashamed to say this, but I had to spit out some blood because he had

11 hurt the roof of my mouth. Then Crni said to me, "Listen, brother Zaric

12 [as interpreted]," I have to say this quite vividly because he speaks in

13 the Vranje dialect and he speaks very fast. So it's very hard to

14 understand what he's saying, even though he's an ethnic Serb. But the

15 people who live in that part of Serbia, they speak so fast that they alone

16 can understand each other and communicate with each other. He said,

17 "Forget what happened here." And then the situation calmed down and Mr.

18 Debeli said to me calmly, "Zaric, we are here as your brothers. We are

19 here to help you. We have come here representing the Radicals and we are

20 not interested in any sort of politics. The fact that you're at the head

21 of some sort of League of Communists of Yugoslavia, forget about this.

22 This no longer exists. We all have to be united now." That's what this

23 man said to me very calmly. That was the man with his arm in a sling, and

24 his nickname was Debeli. He said, "I am Debeli. This is Crni, and this

25 is Vuk." So when they introduced themselves, it was always by nickname.

Page 19280

1 I didn't know their real names.

2 Q. Mr. Zaric, what did this Debeli mean when he said "We all have to

3 be the same"? What did he mean by that?

4 A. He wanted to let me know that neither I nor the 4th Detachment

5 could implement any sort of policy of our own. They were there to defend

6 some kind of Serbdom. I don't know what kind of Serbdom, because this cost

7 us dearly, the Serbdom they were there to protect. And when he said that

8 he was there on behalf of the Radicals, he was a deputy in Serbia, a

9 deputy of the Radical Party. And thanks to his merits, in Samac Seselj

10 promoted him to the rank of vojvoda [as interpreted].

11 Q. But I still have not got a reply from you. What did he mean when

12 he said, "We all have to be united, we all have to be together"?

13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... well, here

14 we have two things. One is on page 12, line 11. Here it says, "Listen

15 brother Zaric." Mr. Zaric, when he was referring to what -- to what this

16 Debeli guy said to Mr. Zaric -- I apologise Crni said to Mr. Zaric, he

17 used the word "Bre" and this doesn't mean "brother." So he never said to

18 Mr. Zaric that he is some sort of brother to him.

19 And the other thing is on page 13, line 9, I believe the meaning

20 of this sentence has changed, because here after -- here it says, "And

21 thanks to his merits -- thanks to his merits in Samac, Seselj promoted

22 him to the rank of vojvoda" and this might actually mean that it happened

23 actually in Samac that Seselj was in Samac where he promoted this guy as

24 duke, the way it is written here.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I'm sure Mr. Pisarevic will ask Mr. Zaric to

Page 19281

1 explain.

2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, did Crni ever call you brother when he addressed you,

4 or did he use the word "Bre", "Listen Bre Zaric"?

5 A. He used the word "Listen Bre Zaric," not "Brother Zaric." "Bre"

6 is a word which is often used in the Serbian dialect where Serbs live in

7 Serbia, in Yugoslavia, and it's not usual among Serbs living in Bosnia.

8 Q. And tell us, please, where did Mr. Vojislav Seselj, if you know,

9 promote Mr. Debeli to the rank of duke or vojvoda? Where was this?

10 A. We read about this later in the papers. It was published in the

11 newspapers. There was a list of people whom Seselj had promoted to the

12 rank of vojvoda. This could have been in 1993 or 1994. I read a

13 newspaper saying that Srecko Radovanovic, Debeli, had been promoted to the

14 rank of vojvoda, or duke.

15 Q. Do you remember where this promotion took place? Was it on a

16 mountain, in a town? Where was this?

17 A. I don't know where this was. It was somewhere in Serbia. But in

18 the media I read about this. I couldn't tell you now where this happened.

19 Q. Did it happen in Bosanski Samac?

20 A. No, no. As far as I know, Mr. Seselj never came to Samac.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, though. Mr. Zaric, based on what we

23 saw -- this was based on merits, presumably of what he had done. Was it

24 based on the merits according to the person who promoted him a duke? Was

25 it based on the merits of what he had done in Samac?

Page 19282

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is my opinion. I said that

2 this was my opinion. When other dukes were promoted, amongst those names

3 in the newspaper we also read the name of this Srecko Radovanovic,

4 Debeli. So I drew the conclusion that this was because of his merits

5 while he was participating in the war in the area of Bosanski Samac.

6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And do we interpret "merits" to mean actions,

7 what he did?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Mr. Seselj always

9 spoke very -- very well about all of the people that he sent to fight and

10 because Mr. Srecko Radovanovic was at the head of such a unit, I don't

11 know which criteria they applied in order to promote someone into a duke,

12 and I don't know whether Mr. Seselj also had in mind all the negative

13 things that had taken place and that are linked to all of these people.

14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Mr. Zaric, Her Honour Judge Williams was interested in the

16 following: When you said "merit," did you imply with that term the

17 activities undertaken by Mr. Srecko Radovanovic?

18 A. Yes, that is what I am thinking of, because of all that he did

19 during the war, activities in the area of Bosanski Samac.

20 Q. And how did this meeting end?

21 A. The meeting ended in the following way: "You may go. Be wise so

22 that we do not have to meet again regarding these matters." I left the

23 office. And believe me, I was completely broken. This Vuk came out

24 behind me, the one with the red beret. And at the point just as I was

25 about to go down the stairs and go towards my car, where Toso, the driver,

Page 19283

1 was waiting for me, he said, "Just one moment, Mr. Zaric. Could you

2 please just go into the SUP yard." And he took my sleeve, and instead of

3 going to the right towards the exit, he turned me to the left. And I came

4 out before this unit that was lined up, and I saw it as I was going up the

5 stairs before. But he went up to this young man who was standing in front

6 of these people from the unit and he said something to him, and then this

7 young man turned to me and said - and that was actually Mr. Lugar - and he

8 said, "Brothers, we have come here to bleed, but as far as our brother

9 Serbs here are concerned we have this Tito's partisan here from the people

10 who are here." And I stood there petrified. And then he continued,

11 "While we're getting killed and dying out here, he's defending the Turks

12 and the Ustashas." I was completely at a loss. I couldn't recognise any

13 of the people who were there. There were about 50 or 60 men lined up in

14 two columns. They were completely equipped with military equipment. They

15 had hand grenades hanging from their belts. They were fully equipped.

16 They looked quite terrifying. Some swore at my traitor mother, some

17 cursed my balija mother, and I was afraid that somebody would just take

18 their weapon and that it would be all over for Simo Zaric.

19 But what was a handicap and what was shameful for me is the

20 following: To the right of the entrance, Mr. Stevan Todorovic was

21 standing like this, next to the wall. His hands were behind his back. He

22 was wearing some kind of special black uniform, a police uniform, which

23 was rarely or practically never seen in our area. He was also wearing a

24 black beret, not a navy or blue beret but some kind of black special

25 beret, and there were a few of our police officers who were peeking out

Page 19284

1 through the windows, but none of them dared say a word.

2 When Lugar said this, "We are going to our jobs now and we will

3 deal with this trash when we want to," then that was one of the most

4 difficult moments for me during the war, even though I did have some

5 difficult moments later on. But this was my beginning in this war, as it

6 began in Bosanski Samac.

7 Q. On that occasion, were you afraid for your life? Were you afraid

8 for the safety of your family?

9 A. I am not so brave to be able to just survive all of that, just

10 simply like that. I was just thinking at that point that I was just happy

11 that my family was not there at that point. I wasn't worried about myself

12 when they put the barrel of the pistol in my mouth. This was the only

13 thing that I was thinking about that, this war wouldn't last too long [as

14 interpreted]. But really, I was very afraid.

15 Q. And where did you go after that?

16 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have some problems of translation. Here it

17 says on page 17, line 14, "This war wouldn't last too long." Literally

18 Mr. Zaric said that, "I was not afraid of that. It is just one shot, and

19 that doesn't last long." This is literally what he said.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall accept that then.

21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. And where did you go after that and who did you go with?

23 A. I got into the car with Mr. Toso, and I told him to take me to the

24 command of the 4th Detachment, and I just managed to tell him, "Toso, I

25 almost got killed in there." That was the only sentence that I had the

Page 19285

1 strength to utter, to tell him what happened. I said to him, "I will tell

2 you when we get to the command. I can't wait to get there so that I can

3 have a little bit of water and collect myself."

4 Q. And did you get to the command?

5 A. Yes. I arrived at the command, and this could have been perhaps

6 at about 1.00 p.m. or a little bit after 1.00 p.m.

7 Q. And who was there at the command when you got there?

8 A. Commander Antic was there, as well as Deputy Jovo Savic, also

9 Vlado Sisic was there, one of our commanders, one of our company

10 commanders was there, one of the communications officers. His name was

11 Bojic, Stanko Bojic, he was a communications officer, and a couple of

12 other people who happened to be at the command at that time. Because when

13 I -- when I left, when Culap called me, I told Commander Antic that they

14 were calling me to go and that I would come back quickly, and that is how

15 I came back also.

16 Q. And did you tell them what happened to you at the police station?

17 A. Yes, I told them everything. As much as I had the strength to

18 tell them, I told them what happened to me.

19 Q. And Mr. Zaric, did you take any other steps to inform anybody else

20 about what you had been through?

21 A. Yes. I asked the commander that I wanted to inform the commander

22 of the 17th -- the command of the 17th Tactical Group about what had

23 happened and I wanted him, if he was able to go with me, to see Commander

24 Nikolic, that he and I go together to see him, and also to go and see

25 Makso Simeunovic. We called them there, over the radio, and we received

Page 19286

1 the information that at that point Commander Nikolic was not there but

2 that he would be there in the afternoon and that it wasn't a problem for

3 Commander Antic and myself to drop by.

4 My entire story, which I relayed to Mr. Maksimovic, was that I had

5 experienced a terrible problem and that I wanted him to hear from me about

6 that personally.

7 Q. Before you went to the commander of the 17 Tactical Group, did you

8 inform anyone else about what happened to you?

9 A. Yes, a little later, when I had collected myself somewhat, I

10 decided to go to the agricultural cooperative where the Crisis Staff was

11 and to try --

12 Q. Who did you meet at the Crisis Staff, at the agricultural

13 cooperative?

14 A. Of the people who I remember being there, I saw Mr. Blagoje;

15 Mr. Milan Simic; Stevan Todorovic was already there; Bozo Ninkovic was

16 there; Mitar Mitrovic was there. I -- perhaps Savo Popovic was there

17 also, Mr. Milos Bogdanovic was there. So they were all there in two

18 offices. So these are the people that I found there, and this was in one

19 of the administrative buildings of the agricultural combine.

20 Q. And who did you go to see there?

21 A. I went to the office of the president of the Crisis Staff, went to

22 see Mr. Blagoje, and Milan Simic happened to be there with him at that

23 point, as well as Stevo, and I also think that Mr. Milos Bogdanovic was

24 there too.

25 Q. And what did you talk about with Mr. Simic and the others on that

Page 19287

1 occasion?

2 A. I told them briefly what happened to me and I told them that

3 Mr. Stevo watched this scene in the yard and I said, "I don't know what

4 this can lead to. Is this supposed to be some kind of intra-Serb war?" I

5 wasn't even sure whether the 4th Detachment and the people would back me

6 at that point, but I tried to instill courage for myself and I said that

7 if anybody wanted any kind of conflict like that, I need to take certain

8 steps concerning the 4th Detachment, and then what would happen would

9 happen. So that was the gist of my reaction.

10 Q. And how did Mr. Blagoje Simic and the others react to the way that

11 you reacted to what had happened to you? I'm thinking of the others who

12 attended this conversation.

13 A. I would like to say very truthfully that Mr. Blagoje was a little

14 bit surprised with what I had told him. The only thing he said was that

15 the military should not interfere in politics. And when he said that, I

16 felt that the comment of Mr. Simic regarding this announcement was

17 finished regarding this matter. But then there was a whole tirade

18 [Realtime transcript omitted the word "tirade"] by Mr. Todorovic regarding

19 this.

20 Q. And what did Mr. Todorovic tell you [as interpreted]?

21 A. Mr. Milan Simic and Mr. Todorovic vied about who would insult me

22 more.

23 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Microphone not activated] Yes, maybe Mr. Zaric

24 could possibly speak a little bit slower just for the transcript. I

25 understand that he's very upset with this topic.

Page 19288

1 First of all, we have here on page 20, Mr. Zaric said, "There was

2 a whole --" he used the expression cannonade from Milan Simic and Stevan

3 Todorovic regarding this. So he mentioned Mr. Milan Simic.

4 And then Mr. Pisarevic asked, "And what did Mr. Todorovic and

5 Mr. Milan Simic tell you?" That is the correction.


7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. What did Mr. Todorovic tell you, first, what did he tell you

9 first? And then you will tell us what Mr. Simic told you.

10 A. Todorovic told me, "It doesn't surprise me if you're going around

11 pretending to be some kind of a Commie and you're defending the Turks."

12 At that point he would use the term "Turks" to refer to Muslims. "You are

13 pulling them out of jail, while our brothers, Serbs, are dying here on the

14 front." While, Milan Simic, who surprised me greatly - and later I

15 understood that Milan is actually a person that I did not actually know

16 all that well - in that context he told me, "Enough of politics and people

17 like you, because I have a frustrated person like you at home, a person

18 like you." And then when he said that he had a person like me at home, he

19 actually meant his father, Vojo, because later and during the testimony

20 this will also come up, he mentioned that before to me.

21 Mr. Blagoje Simic tried to calm the situation down. He told both

22 of the men to calm down; also, he told me to calm down. We spoke with

23 raised voices, and I must say that I was quite angry and I said that I

24 would inform my commander about what had happened to me and that this was

25 simply something that I would not bear.

Page 19289

1 Q. And did you manage to get to the commander of the 17 Tactical

2 Group, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic?

3 A. Yes, I did. And when I left, Milan Simic told me, "Tell the

4 commander to teach you not to be involved in politics but to only involve

5 yourself with the military." That was his message when I left the

6 office.

7 In the afternoon, Mr. Antic and myself, together with Toso

8 Tutnjevic, went to the command of the 17th Tactical Group, and I informed

9 Commander Nikolic and the security officer, Mr. Makso Simeunovic, in

10 detail about all that had happened to me in Samac that day.

11 Q. And what did Commander Nikolic tell you? What steps would he

12 take? What did he say?

13 A. He said that he would do everything that, he would warn them that

14 they could not behave like that towards the military. He also did in fact

15 say that it would have been a good thing for this announcement, which we

16 released internally as a command, had he also been a little bit more

17 informed about this announcement. Antic and myself then said that in

18 order to effect a better homogenisation of the 4th Detachment and to --

19 and because of the overall atmosphere in the town itself, because we had

20 seen all kinds of events and heard all kind of stories, it was our wish to

21 encourage the people to join the 4th Detachment because we believed it to

22 be a unit which had the proper attitude towards all of the people,

23 regardless of their ethnicity. And that is why we were guided by the

24 desire to propagate in a positive way the position of the 4th Detachment

25 and its status, because we thought that we would get more points in that

Page 19290

1 way and that some people then would believe that the 4th Detachment

2 enjoyed somewhat more authority.

3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: First of all, I would like to ask the witness to

4 slow down a bit.

5 And then, on page 22, line 13, it reads, "He said that he would do

6 everything that, he would warn them," and you find the same word also

7 later on. What do you mean by "them"? Could you be a bit more precise in

8 that sense.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic meant the

10 representatives of the authorities. And in more specific terms,

11 Mr. Todorovic, who at that moment showed the most impertinent attitude

12 towards me, and he also meant those specials. He said that he would try

13 to talk to them and tell them that they were not supposed to behave like

14 that.

15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Did Commander Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic indeed talk to any of the

17 representatives of the authorities with Todorovic and the leaders of the

18 specials?

19 A. Yes. I know that because one part of the conversation took place

20 while Antic and I were there, and another conversation that I remember

21 very well was a conversation that he had with Mr. Blagoje. He told him in

22 that conversation that this was not a good thing to have happened. And

23 then after the conversation with Mr. Simic he immediately proceeded to

24 talk to Mr. Todorovic, and already that conversation between Mr. Todorovic

25 and Commander Nikolic ended up on a very sour note, that there was a lot

Page 19291

1 of convincing going on, and Blagoje told him that certainly this was not a

2 good thing that happened to Simo, but Blagoje also told the commander that

3 the army should stay out of the politics, to which Nikolic replied that he

4 knew exactly what kind of an announcement we broadcast and that from now

5 on the army would engage in its own business. And he also informed

6 Mr. Stevan Todorovic that from then on he would not allow any member of

7 the JNA to be mistreated in such a way.

8 Q. Mr. Zaric, after these events, were you afraid for your family?

9 A. Of course. That is something that was always on my mind.

10 Q. What did you do about that? How did you protect your family?

11 A. For two days I kept quiet and I did not tell them immediately what

12 had happened to me. I wanted to keep that a secret from them. However,

13 after the conversation that I had on the 20th of April, 1992 in the public

14 security station with Mr. Tihic, and when again I witnessed certain scenes

15 and certain relationships there, finally I realised that I should protect

16 my family. And one or two days later I asked a friend of mine whether

17 there was any possibility for him to bring my family out to the safety.

18 Q. Thank you very much.

19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is it now the time

20 for our break, or should I continue?

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we'll have our break now.

22 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.

23 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.

25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 19292

1 Q. Mr. Zaric, before the break I asked you what you did to protect

2 your family. So please tell us, how did you protect your family?

3 A. On the 21st of April, 1992, I moved my family, my wife, Fatima,

4 and my sons, Denis and Mirel out of Bosanski Samac. In the evening

5 hours of that day, I sent them away to Belgrade.

6 Q. How did you send them to Belgrade?

7 A. Before that, I got in touch with a friend of mine whose name is

8 Mico Vidovic. He was a driver in the company that I was the director

9 of, and he drove a lorry that transported furniture. When I confided in

10 him and asked him to help me take my family out of Samac, he told me that

11 on the 21st of April he was to take his lorry towards Serbia and that

12 there were some other families who were scheduled to go with him. He told

13 me that it would not be a problem for him to take my family as well. The

14 only suggestion he had for them was not to take a lot of personal

15 belongings. That's exactly what happened. In the evening, he drove my

16 [as interpreted] car to -- in front of my entrance, the entrance number 4

17 in the building where I resided. I didn't want my neighbours to see that

18 my family was leaving. I had my own opinion about families leaving. If

19 one's family is sent away, then this instills fear among neighbours.

20 However, bearing in mind everything that had been through, that's

21 what I decided. I put them in his car, and he gave them a lift to Srpska

22 Tisina. That's where the lorry was. And the other passengers gathered

23 there. And on that same evening they went via Brcko and Bijeljina and

24 they arrived in Belgrade around midnight on the 22nd of April. They

25 arrived in the area called Bezanija.

Page 19293

1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small correction. In the transcript,

2 page 25, line -- line 14 -- 15, sorry, "In the evening he drove his car,"

3 not "my car." That's the only thing.

4 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, that's the correction. Yes, thank you.

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've used the term "closed lorry." Can you describe

7 that lorry? You said that it was closed.

8 A. It's a cargo vehicle ranging in length between 8 and 12 metres.

9 There are some smaller roll lorries. There are some bigger lorries.

10 These are special purpose lorries for the transport of furniture and

11 similar type of cargo. Once you close the door on that lorry, it becomes

12 a problem for the passengers because there's no air in the lorry. That's

13 why he had to make sure that the passengers had air. He made some

14 openings in the canvas cover of that lorry.

15 Q. Did you keep it a secret from others that your family had left?

16 And if so, why did you do that?

17 A. I kept it a secret for a while. And when I mentioned "Bezanija,"

18 this is a part of Belgrade which is in the new part of the town of

19 Belgrade, and this is where my wife's sister resided with her husband, and

20 they took them and 15 or 16 more people and they stayed there for several

21 days, up to the moment when all these people could find better

22 accommodation.

23 Q. Were your wife and sons given the status of refugees in the

24 Republic of Serbia?

25 A. Yes. My brother-in-law said that that would be best for them to

Page 19294

1 report to the Red Cross and to take refugee IDs so as to avoid problems.

2 Already after two days they reported to the Red Cross as residents in

3 Bezanija and they obtained refugee IDs.

4 Q. How old was Mirel at that time, your son Mirel?

5 A. My son Mirel was 17 at the time.

6 Q. Was he a student at that time? Did he attend a secondary school?

7 A. Yes. He was in the fourth grade of the secondary school for

8 economics.

9 Q. Did he continue his education in Belgrade?

10 A. Yes. He completed the fourth grade of the school of economics in

11 Belgrade.

12 Q. In what year was that?

13 A. That was in 1992, when he started, and completed it in 1993.

14 Q. Why did your stepson, Denis, also decide to become a refugee in

15 Serbia? Why did he go as well?

16 A. Denis left because that was my wife's wish. And to be honest, it

17 was also my own wish. I did not want to separate members of my family and

18 listening to these other Serbs talking about balijas and Turks I was aware

19 of the fact that my stepson's parents were both Muslims and I could only

20 assume that if things went pear-shaped what his lot would be. That's why

21 I decided that he should leave together with my wife, despite the fact

22 that he was not a minor at the time and he was a member of the 4th

23 Detachment.

24 Q. A few days later, did something happen to the commander of the 4th

25 Detachment, Mr. Radovan Antic?

Page 19295

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. How did you learn about that, about something having happened to

3 him?

4 A. I heard from him personally. This happened to him a few days

5 after the problem that I had with the gentlemen called Crni, Debeli, and

6 Vuk in the public security station. The problem that Mr. Antic had arose

7 in the department store, where Mr. Stevan Todorovic moved, together with

8 some of his security service, because this was a much more secure building

9 than the public security station, which was on the banks of the River

10 Sava.

11 Q. What did Mr. Antic tell you? What had happened to him in the

12 public security station?

13 A. He told me that he had been called to come to the public security

14 station which was in the department store. Apparently Mr. Antic was to

15 meet his commander there. Actually, that he was required to go there by

16 Mr. Stevan Todorovic, the chief of the public security station, and some

17 other people. He went there immediately without ever giving a second

18 thought to what could happen to him there.

19 Q. And what happened to him?

20 A. He told us -- he was very shattered when he was telling us his

21 story. When he arrived there in the office of the commander, there was

22 Mr. Lugar, there was also Mr. Stevan Todorovic, and again Lugar started

23 talking to Radovan Antic about the announcement. Again -- again a

24 question was raised as to why the army, that is, the Communists did that,

25 and he was asked "How long did you Communists intend to behave like that?"

Page 19296

1 These were the words that were addressed to Mr. Antic.

2 Q. Was Mr. Antic physically mistreated?

3 A. Yes. When Mr. Antic said he had nothing to do with it, because

4 Mr. Antic speaks in a way similar to the way I speak, and when he said to

5 them that what they were saying had nothing to do with the truth, he was

6 knocked out by Lugar and thrown under the table, where Mr. Todorovic was,

7 and Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Radovan Antic come from the same village, which

8 is called Batkusa, and they were next-door neighbours there, because

9 Todorovic comes from Donja Slatina and Mr. Antic comes from Batkusa, so

10 that they were neighbours and they knew each other from before.

11 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Pisarevic, I would like to -- to ask the

12 witness through which channels does he have this kind of information?

13 Because I -- I think that he wasn't present when -- when these things

14 happened. So could you please ask him, or I can ask him. How do you know

15 about what was happening in the department store about which you are

16 telling us now? Thank you.

17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have heard His Honour's question. How do you know

19 what happened?

20 A. At the very beginning, when you asked me about this, I said that I

21 heard all this from Commander Antic, so that the details of what happened

22 to him there is what I heard directly from Commander Antic, who told us

23 about it when the whole episode was over, and when he was brought back

24 from Obudovac on the following day, where they locked him up after he came

25 to the command. Commander Antic told us in the command of the 4th

Page 19297

1 Detachment how he was knocked out and so on and so forth. I hope this is

2 clear enough.

3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: This is clear enough, and it means that you have

4 no direct knowledge about what happened. It's a kind of hearsay.

5 Somebody told you; Mr. Antic. Am I correct?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you are correct, Your Honour.

7 What I said is what I heard from Commander Antic personally.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mr. Zaric, in your reply just now you said that Mr. Antic had been

10 locked up somewhere. Where had he been locked up?

11 A. He told us that after this they put him in a car and took him

12 through Gornja Slatina in the direction of Obudovac. There they put him

13 not far from where there's a soccer field in Obudovac and where this

14 special purpose unit was accommodated, and throughout that night, until

15 the following morning when he was released, he was locked up in a toilet

16 which was in a shed outside and he had to actually crouch over the toilet

17 the whole night. That's what he told us.

18 Q. Who let him go? Who released him from there?

19 A. He said that he was released by one of the leaders of the special

20 purpose unit. He thinks it was Debeli, as far as I can remember, but I'm

21 not sure. All I know is that on the following morning he was told that he

22 was free to leave and he came to Samac and he told us this whole story.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry, excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic.

24 Mr. Zaric, did you see any visible injuries on the person of

25 Commander Antic resulting from this experience he had in the department

Page 19298

1 store?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Antic had a big blue bruise

3 under his eye on his head, on his cheek, for at least a week or maybe ten

4 days. He told us that Lugar had hit him. And in addition to all his

5 other characteristics, Lugar was an active boxer for the Radnicki club

6 from Klagurevac [phoen].

7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. On that occasion did Mr. Antic say how he felt? Did he tell you

10 what his experience was?

11 A. It was very difficult for him. In view of what I had gone

12 through, all I can say is that his experience was even worse than mine. I

13 can't say that he's a more timid man than I am, but he told us in the

14 command that he had been humiliated so badly, and he was the commander of

15 a detachment, that if this happened again he would no longer feel able to

16 lead a unit like ours [as interpreted].

17 Q. Thank you.

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. We have one small problem in the

19 transcript. What Mr. Zaric has just said, on page 31, line 15, that after

20 this has happened, not if this happens again. This is not what Mr. Zaric

21 said.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe he can repeat what he said slowly.


24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Zaric, what did Mr. Antic say after all these events? Can you

Page 19299

1 please speak slowly so that the interpreters can keep up with you.

2 A. He said that because of what he had gone through and the

3 humiliation, he was no longer able to lead the unit at whose head he was,

4 that he had no strength left psychologically after this humiliating

5 experience. That's what he said in the command where I was and Deputy

6 Jovo Savic and some other people whose names I can't remember at the

7 moment. But he was quite clear about this.

8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. And what steps were taken after what

9 Mr. Antic said? Did you inform your superior command of this?

10 A. Yes. The command of the 17th Tactical Group was informed

11 immediately, and on the same day in the afternoon Mr. Radovan Antic,

12 Mr. Jovo Savic, and I went to Pelagicevo.

13 Q. Did you have occasion to talk to the commander of the 17th

14 Tactical Group, to Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic?

15 A. Yes, and Mr. Makso Simeunovic was also there, as was the chief of

16 staff, Major Brajkovic and maybe some other men, but I am certain that

17 those three were present when we arrived there.

18 Q. What did Commander Nikolic say to Mr. Antic on that occasion?

19 A. When Mr. Antic told him his story, the one I have already

20 mentioned here, and told them what his position was, Mr. Nikolic tried to

21 convince Commander Antic to stay on as the commander and not to be

22 discouraged. He mentioned what had happened to me. I mean, what had

23 happened a few days previously. And he said, "You see? Simo has managed

24 to gather the strength to continue. We mustn't give way before them. We

25 mustn't show them we are cowards." What he said was all to this effect,

Page 19300

1 and this was Nikolic speaking to Commander Antic.

2 Q. After this, did Mr. Antic stay on as the commander of the 4th

3 Detachment?

4 A. No. I have to say that in spite of the words spoken by Lieutenant

5 Colonel Nikolic, in spite of the fact that I believed that Mr. Antic would

6 muster the courage and stay with us in the command of the 4th Detachment,

7 he remained determined. He said he could not go on, and he begged the

8 commander to find some other solution and to assign him to some other duty

9 within the 4th Detachment or somewhere else.

10 Q. Did Commander Antic issue any orders on that occasion?

11 A. Yes. I have to say that there was no time to waste, so that

12 Commander Nikolic said, "Mr. Savic, from this moment you will take over

13 the duty of commander of the 4th Detachment and Radovan, what would you

14 like to do? How can we solve your problem?" Radovan said he would like

15 to do some engineering work, if that could be of any use. And on that

16 occasion, that was agreed and the personnel officer in the command

17 immediately typed out a decision, and Captain Jovo Savic was then

18 appointed commander.

19 Q. What did Radovan Antic do in the 4th Detachment after this?

20 A. He carried out tasks connected with engineering as a special

21 field, and this was on the ground in the area of responsibility of the 4th

22 Detachment, and actually this was building dugouts on the dykes or

23 embankments that I have already mentioned during my testimony.

24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us something about the

25 situation in the town of Bosanski Samac in those first days of the war?

Page 19301

1 Was there any shelling? What was the situation like in general?

2 A. We cannot say anything good about those days in any area. The war

3 had started, and the first victims fell. On the 18th we had a man killed

4 and one seriously wounded and an infantry attack by the HVO from Prud over

5 the bridge on the River Bosna leading to my native village of Trnjak and

6 the village of Prud which is in the direction of Odzak municipality.

7 Q. Can you remember when this infantry attack took place by the

8 forces of the HVO over the bridge on the River Bosna?

9 A. It was in the morning hours of the 18th, as far as I can

10 remember.

11 Q. Were there any casualties?

12 A. Yes. One of our men was killed, and one was wounded. The wounded

13 man, however, was wounded in the afternoon of the 17th, while the one who

14 was killed was killed on the 18th of April in the morning and he was

15 killed by a shell from a recoilless gun which had been fired from the

16 direction of Prud. In this infantry attack, when the HVO forces started,

17 our forces returned fire on the defence line facing Prud and then several

18 enemy soldiers were killed on the side of the bridge that is nearer to the

19 village of Prud.

20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, you mentioned some arrests of citizens of

21 Bosanski Samac. Who did you inform of these arrests?

22 A. From the very first moment, as soon as I learned of any problems,

23 I immediately informed Mr. Makso Simeunovic. I wrote official notes, and

24 on many occasions I also informed him orally whenever I had an opportunity

25 to do so. From the very first day, everything that happened and

Page 19302

1 everything that I was able to observe as a negative phenomenon I

2 immediately informed Mr. Makso Simeunovic in a very professional manner

3 and a very proper manner.

4 Q. Did you also inform Commander Nikolic?

5 A. Whenever I was in the command, and if the commander was there,

6 yes, then I always told him. Of course, I informed Commander Nikolic in

7 general of any large-scale problems, and I informed my superior officer in

8 detail about many other matters that I didn't want to burden Commander

9 Nikolic with, in view of his responsibilities as the commander of the 17th

10 Tactical Group. And I did this as an intelligence officer.

11 Q. Did Mr. Simeunovic and Mr. Nikolic order anything for you to do

12 regarding the gathering of information of significance for the military

13 situation?

14 A. Yes, they did.

15 Q. What did they order you to do?

16 A. On the 20th, I received an order - this is the 20th of April - I

17 received an order from Commander Nikolic and from Mr. Makso Simeunovic

18 that I needed to go to carry out a number of informative talks at the

19 public security station with certain people aimed at checking illegal

20 weapons or illegal arming in the area of Bosanski Samac and the possible

21 inclusion of some -- and the possible participation of some JNA personnel

22 in such arming.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.

24 MR. RE: Your Honours, a moment ago my learned friend

25 Mr. Pisarevic at page 20, line 16 said, "Thank you, Mr. Zaric. You

Page 19303

1 mentioned some arrests of citizens of Bosanski Samac. Who did you inform

2 of these arrests?" The Prosecution just requires clarification of what

3 arrests we're talk of and when. In our submission it's more appropriately

4 dealt with in examination-in-chief, these sorts of things, than

5 cross-examination, as it appears to be important for Mr. Zaric's defence.

6 So I ask that this be fleshed out a bit. And of course the negative

7 phenomenon that he referred to a moment ago.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure Mr. Pisarevic will deal with that.

9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.

10 Q. What information did you have, Mr. Zaric, about who was arrested

11 in the town of Samac in that period, on the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th?

12 Who did the arresting and under whose authority were the arrested persons

13 placed and where were they detained?

14 A. In the part of my testimony -- before, I've already talked about

15 some of these things. The information about the first arrests was

16 something that I already had on the 17th and the 18th, and this is why I

17 received the order to go and for the members of the 4th Detachment, who

18 were already there, to be released. I also said that on that occasion I

19 saw the logbook with the officer on duty, Ilija Lukovic, which I went

20 through to see which members of the 4th Detachment were there and that I

21 saw in that book the names of 30 or 40 people who had already been

22 arrested, all the people.

23 Q. You saw their names in that book?

24 A. Yes, I saw their names.

25 Q. But you didn't see their faces?

Page 19304

1 A. I did not see their faces. I saw the names of the persons in the

2 logbook that was in the possession of the officer on duty, Ilija Lukovic.

3 Q. These 30 or 40 people were not members of the 4th Detachment.

4 A. No. There were about six or seven members of the 4th Detachment

5 amongst these people. All the other arrested persons were persons of

6 Croat or Muslim ethnicity. Dragan Markovic was also the one-and-only

7 Serb, if I can put it like that, who was on that list and who was detained

8 at the time, according to what was written in the book.

9 Q. And when did you receive this order from Mr. Simeunovic and

10 Mr. Nikolic?

11 A. I've already said that it's a problem for me, in view of what I

12 had already experienced at the public security station. So how could I go

13 there and how should I behave once I go there? But Commander Nikolic

14 actually told me that he informed Mr. Stevan Todorovic, the chief of the

15 public security station, that there was a need for a part of the

16 interviews to be carried out there with people who were detained there and

17 that Simo Zaric would come to conduct a part of those interviews.

18 Q. And what did you do at the police station when you went there?

19 Where did you go? What did you actually do while you were at the police

20 station?

21 A. When I got to the police station for the first time, this was

22 sometime on the 20th of April in the morning, I reported to Mr. Todorovic

23 out of a certain kind of discipline because Mr. Nikolic told me that he

24 had already been informed and that I should just go there and tell him

25 that this was something that has already been agreed. I found Stevan

Page 19305

1 Todorovic in an office with a number of members of the multi-coloureds,

2 and these premises at the Secretariat for Internal Affairs, which I could

3 see immediately after that because he sent me there and told me to go

4 there and report to Milos Savic, the chief of the crime division, because

5 Milos Savic was performing the duties of the chief of the crime division

6 at the public security station. The image that I saw at the public

7 security station at the time was really horrendous. Papers were strewn

8 all over the place. The cashiers' boxes were opened in all kinds of

9 ways. You could see that this was a classic break-in. As soon as I

10 talked to Milos and Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic, I got the information - they

11 were actually carrying out the duties in the crime department - I got the

12 information that this had already disappeared, all of it had disappeared.

13 There were no personal identity cards, no travel documents, no driver's

14 licences, no stamps. There were no specific forms which were used by the

15 citizens. So this entire team of the new special forces that arrived

16 apparently knew what was the first thing that they needed to do once you

17 come to the public security station.

18 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you said just now that there were no personal

19 identity cards, there were no forms, what did you mean? Did you mean the

20 forms for the identity cards?

21 A. Yes, this is what I thought I meant, the forms necessary to apply

22 for ID cards, for driver's licences, for vehicle registration documents,

23 for travel documents, all of these forms which were kept in the general

24 and administrative affairs department in any public security station.

25 Q. Thank you very much. And did you go to see the chief of the crime

Page 19306

1 division, Mr. Milos Savic?

2 A. Yes, I did. I went to see Mr. Milos, whom I knew from before.

3 Before the war, he was performing the functions of the chief of the crime

4 division, and he worked in that department when Dragan Lukac was appointed

5 as acting chief of the public security station. I also knew

6 Mr. Sarkanovic from the period when I worked at the service and after that

7 also. I said that I -- I told them that this was the task that was given

8 to me and that I would like, based on the conducted interviews that they

9 already had and based on the information that they have, I said that I

10 needed to get some information that was most important for me, and what

11 was most important to me was the illegal arming and whether some officers

12 of the JNA participated in this by way of some warehouses, depots, and so

13 on. That was my main intention. And I told this to Mr. Sarkanovic and

14 Mr. Milos.

15 Q. Did Mr. Savic and Mr. Sarkanovic give you access to the statements

16 that were already taken?

17 A. Yes, they did. There were a few, not many I must say, because I

18 got there on the 20th, so this was still at the stage of -- at the early

19 stage. So they had some statements there. They also had some material

20 which they showed to me. This was the material that was found in the

21 office and that related to the defence plan of the Party for Democratic

22 Action.

23 Q. We will discuss this a little later. Did you conduct an

24 informative talk on that day with Mr. Sulejman Tihic?

25 A. That was the intention, but that day Vlado Sarkanovic told me

Page 19307

1 that --

2 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't think the wording of this was translated

3 well. It was translated literally, but the meaning of Mr. Zaric's words,

4 it's not "that was the intention." It just happened that way. This is

5 the correct translation. I mean, literally this is what Mr. Zaric says,

6 but the meaning is -- is that it just happened that way.

7 MR. RE: Perhaps in -- I'm sorry.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I was just about to say that the -- he can

9 give us the answer again.

10 MR. RE: But the question is a little bit ambiguous in my

11 respectful submission. He says, "Did you conduct an informative talk."

12 I'm not quite sure what an informative talk is. Does that mean interview?

13 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I think we will leave it that way. Let's just

14 see what the answer will be. They use different terms. But what is

15 important is they did discuss something with Mr. Sulejman Tihic.

16 I'm sure, Mr. Zaric, you heard what Mr. Lazarevic was trying to

17 say. Maybe you can go -- you can just give us your answer again.

18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please repeat again what happened and how it

20 happened so that Mr. Tihic happened to be at the crime division.

21 A. On the occasion of this interview -- of this talk that I had with

22 Mr. Sarkanovic and Mr. Savic, Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic told me that he was

23 about to conduct an interview with Mr. Sulejman Tihic and that he was

24 expecting at any moment for one of the guards to bring Mr. Tihic in for an

25 interview, for an informative talk. I'm saying "an informative talk," but

Page 19308

1 you can also take that to mean an official interview. This is something

2 that we use the term "informative talk" for.

3 Q. And after you found this out from Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic, was

4 Mr. Tihic brought to this office where you were with Sarkanovic and

5 Savic?

6 A. Yes, after a few minutes Mr. Sulejman Tihic was brought to this

7 room. I said hello to Mr. Tihic. Mr. Sarkanovic and Mr. Savic did the

8 same thing, and we sat down in one of the common rooms, all four of us,

9 and talked for a few minutes, all of us together.

10 MR. LAZAREVIC: On page 41, line 8, it is translated, "I said

11 hello to Mr. Tihic." What Mr. Zaric said was, "I greeted Mr. Tihic in

12 proper and human way." These are the words that he said. He didn't say

13 "hello."

14 JUDGE MUMBA: It doesn't make much difference, anyway. Let's

15 proceed, please.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. What was the relationship between you and Mr. Tihic like before

18 the outbreak of the conflict?

19 A. It was very good.

20 Q. After that, did you continue to talk to Mr. Tihic?

21 A. Yes. We had some coffee together there. Of course, Mr. Tihic was

22 quite upset. His state of mind was disturbed, and this was evident, you

23 could notice that. And this was a conversation with people that he knew,

24 so he wasn't expecting for anything bad to happen, so maybe at this point

25 this was something that he felt was good. So after we drank the coffee, I

Page 19309

1 said that it would be best if Mr. Tihic and I conducted our interview, and

2 I said since -- we called Sulejman Tihic "Mane" in Samac. I asked him,

3 Mane, is there a problem for the two of us to have an interview? To which

4 Mr. Tihic replied there would be no problem at all and that he would

5 actually prefer to have this interview with me.

6 Q. And what did you and Mr. Tihic talk about?

7 A. First of all, Mr. Tihic, once we were left alone in one of those

8 rooms, there are three rooms like that which belong to the criminal

9 investigations department, and Mr. Tihic and I were in one of those rooms,

10 while Mr. Sarkanovic and Milos went to the other two rooms and they were

11 conducting interviews there with other people. First we talked about the

12 fact generally before we even got to any official relations. We talked

13 about how and in what way Mr. Tihic was arrested. He told me that he was

14 at the Radio Samac building and that he was reading a text that was

15 written for him and that he had read this text out in the presence of

16 Mr. Vaso Antic, as the editor-in-chief of Radio Samac. I told Mr. Tihic

17 that I had the opportunity to hear this conversation only once, or his

18 address to the citizens of Samac, but that I had heard that this

19 announcement of his would broadcast on Radio Samac several times because

20 someone probably ordered that this appeal of his and his voice be heard

21 several times throughout the day.

22 Q. What else did you talk about?

23 A. Then we came to the topic of illegal arming and we talked about

24 the issue of documents which I received from Mr. Milos Savic relating to

25 the military or war plan of the Party for Democratic Action. This was the

Page 19310

1 main topic of our interview throughout that whole day. This was on the

2 20th. That's the day that I'm talking about.

3 Q. While you were talking with Mr. Tihic, did somebody call you from

4 any of the other offices?

5 A. At one point, while Mr. Tihic and I were talking, a special came

6 knocking on the door. I heard other people calling him Laki [Realtime

7 transcript read in error "Lucky"]. He opened the door and told me, "Boss,

8 you are needed by Mr. Todorovic, Crni, and another man in the office

9 there. They need you just briefly."

10 Q. You've used the word "boss." What did he mean when he called you

11 boss? How did you understand that word, when he addressed you as boss?

12 Were you indeed his boss, or is that a popular way of address?

13 A. I was not a boss of his, but this lad, this special, addressed

14 people like that all the time. That was his standard behaviour. He would

15 use certain words. He referred to himself as somebody who has the

16 authority, but he was a beast down underneath.

17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Page 43,

18 line 7, concerning this gentleman who came into the room, he's listed here

19 as being called Lucky, L-u-c-k-y. It's Laki, isn't it? Can we get a

20 clarification of the actual name and maybe how it's spelled?

21 MR. LAZAREVIC: L-a-k-i.

22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Thank you.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Laki, was that his name or his nickname?

25 A. That was his nickname, and all the time they used nicknames rather

Page 19311

1 than names. That's how he was introduced to everybody, and he always

2 referred to himself as Laki.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever learn his real name?

4 A. Later on I learned that his family name was Lazarevic. I didn't

5 know his first name. I never knew his first name, but his last name was

6 Lazarevic.

7 Q. And did you go there? Where did you go to, which office?

8 A. The office where I was talking with Mr. Sulejman Tihic was on the

9 upper floor, at the end of the corridor, and the gentlemen who wanted to

10 see me were in the office which was at the far end of that same corridor.

11 I said to Mane, "You can give a second thought to all the things that we

12 have discussed so far [as interpreted]. I'll be back very soon."

13 I came to this office at the far end of the corridor.

14 MR. LAZAREVIC: One second. The meaning of what Mr. Zaric said

15 was a different one. Here on the transcript on page 44, line 10, here it

16 says "I said to Mane `you can give a second thought to all the things that

17 we have discussed so far'", and what Mr. Zaric said was, "Mane, you can

18 put on paper if you remember something more."

19 JUDGE MUMBA: That's a very different --

20 MR. LAZAREVIC: It's a very different meaning.

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pisarevic, you can go over that again so

22 that we can get it from Mr. Zaric himself.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.

24 Q. Mr. Zaric, as you were leaving the office where you were with

25 Mr. Tihic, what exactly did you tell him and what did you mean by using

Page 19312

1 this word, to do a thesis? When translated from the Serbian, what does

2 that mean?

3 A. I meant to put on paper certain things that we would later

4 discuss. I used the word "thesis." What I meant was to make some bullet

5 points of the things that we would discuss. I did not tell him to give it

6 a second thought but to put certain things on paper that we would later on

7 discuss.

8 Q. And where did you go next?

9 A. I went to that other office, and that's where I found

10 Mr. Todorovic, Mr. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni. At that time I knew him only

11 by his nickname Crni, but now I know his full name. I hope it won't be a

12 problem if I mention his full name, although I didn't know him at that --

13 know it at that time.

14 And there was also another gentleman, in civilian clothes. They

15 referred to him as "Major." I know that his first name was Nikola. They

16 referred to him as Major Nikola, and they introduced him to me as somebody

17 from the air force and the anti-aircraft defence of the Army of

18 Yugoslavia.

19 Q. Very well, then. Mr. Zaric, what did you talk about?

20 A. First of all, Mr. Todorovic asked me what did the comrade tell

21 you? When he used the word "comrade," in our former system that was a

22 very common word, a very popular word among the people and among the

23 politicians [as interpreted]. It was associated with the League of

24 Communists. Up to the first multi-party elections, Mr. Tihic was --

25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Again, I have to intervene. Mr. Zaric

Page 19313

1 should really speak slower.

2 On page 45, he didn't say that the word comrade was a very popular

3 word among the politicians but among members of the Communist Party. This

4 is how they addressed each other. Members of the Communist Party

5 addressed each other as "comrade." It has nothing to do with politicians

6 or whatever.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please proceed.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Continue, Mr. Zaric.

10 A. I'm trying to speak as slowly as possible, and I don't seem to be

11 able to do that. There are still mistakes. I will really try to speak as

12 slowly as possible.

13 When he said, "How's our comrade," I tried to explain why he used

14 the word "comrade." At that moment it was a derogatory word. When he

15 said that, he knew that up to the multi-party elections Mr. Tihic and I

16 were members of the League of Communists. And then I said, "There are no

17 problems." I replied to Mr. Todorovic's questions in a very official

18 way. I had already been used to his way of communication and to his way

19 of provocations.

20 This gentleman, to whom they referred as Major, and whom I saw for

21 the first time, the gentleman whose first name was Nikola and for whom

22 they told me that he is a member of the air force and the anti-aircraft

23 defence of the Army of Yugoslavia, he only told me this: "Mr. Zaric, how

24 is the interview with Mr. Tihic getting on?" I replied, "We are having a

25 very correct interview, a very correct conversation, and personally I

Page 19314

1 believe that Mr. Tihic is a very correct person and that I will be in the

2 position to take his statement within a few hours and that by the end of

3 the day this statement should be completed." This was more or less

4 everything that I heard or said in that room. It only took a few minutes.

5 Q. When you returned to the office where Mr. Tihic had remained

6 sitting, what did you see?

7 A. I saw something really ugly and absolutely incredible. Mr. Tihic

8 was sitting at a desk. He had paper handkerchiefs in his hand and he was

9 covered with blood. The blood was dripping on the piece of paper in front

10 of him. He had written down something on that paper. When I entered the

11 office and when I saw him in that wretched state, in sheer disbelief I

12 asked him, "Mane, what happened?"

13 Q. What did Mr. Tihic tell you? What happened?

14 A. Mr. Tihic told me, "The gentleman who had come to invite you to

15 that meeting, he came back. He beat me up." Mr. Tihic had been beaten on

16 his face. His nose was broken. He was bloody all over. There was blood

17 on his shirt, on the front part of his shirt. He was in a very shattered

18 condition.

19 Q. What did you do next, Mr. Zaric?

20 A. I turned around very fast, and I went back to the other office,

21 the office where Mr. Todorovic, Major Nikola from the air force and the

22 anti-aircraft defence of Yugoslavia, and Mr. Crni were, the gentlemen that

23 I had spoken with only a minute before that.

24 Q. What did you tell them?

25 A. I addressed Mr. Todorovic and told him, "What kind of a scenario

Page 19315

1 are you trying to stage for me? While I've been talking to you here, and

2 when I got back I found Mr. Tihic covered in blood. Are you trying to set

3 me up? Are you trying to put me in an awkward position by doing that?

4 What are you trying to do?"

5 Q. Did somebody reply to that?

6 A. Yes. Crni replied and said, "You don't have to feel very sorry

7 for balijas, do you?" Mr. Nikola from the air force and the anti-aircraft

8 defence of Yugoslavia started acting out, I would say. He said, "This

9 really doesn't make sense. Why don't you let the man do his job. Let

10 bygones be bygones." I said to these gentlemen, "I will not allow this

11 kind of treatment. If I talk to people, these people will not be beaten

12 up." And I also told them that "I would immediately inform Mr. Nikolic

13 and my security officer and I will no longer perform this job if such

14 scenes will be a common occurrence from now on."

15 Q. What happened next?

16 A. I returned to the office and I took Mr. Tihic to the toilet. He

17 washed his face there. He freshened up a bit, and he came to his senses

18 just a little. And then we returned to the office. I apologised most

19 sincerely to Mr. Tihic for what he had been through, and I asked him,

20 "Mane, don't you think it would be good for us to interrupt this

21 interview and continue it tomorrow?" I said that because I saw what state

22 he was in. Mr. Tihic answered me, "Please don't go. They will kill me

23 here. I can continue talking to you -- I prefer talking to you rather

24 than to go through something similar again."

25 Q. Did you continue talking to him?

Page 19316

1 A. Yes. Very often during that day Vlado Sarkanovic would drop by in

2 that office where I was conducting an interview with Mr. Tihic. At one

3 point he saw what had happened, and I also told him in very brief outlines

4 what had happened. Then I asked Vlado to talk to a lady called Andja.

5 She was a typist, and she would type out statements after interviews. I

6 believe that her name was Andja Pupcevic or maybe Petkovic. I'm not sure.

7 She was a typist in the crime department.

8 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Mr. Zaric is referring or mentioning the word

9 "interview" with Mr. Tihic. What did you interview him about and what is

10 the meaning of the word "interview"? Could you tell us about that?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can tell you that. I talked

12 with Mr. Tihic about the illegal arming of paramilitary formations.

13 During that interview I used that term to talk about the things which the

14 party of democratic action was doing before the outbreak of conflicts. I

15 also talked about Mr. Tihic about the drafting of the war plan of the

16 party of democratic action and how they established their paramilitary

17 units. We also discussed about his best knowledge that he had about the

18 quantity of illegal arms in the possession of Muslim units. And I also

19 wanted to know how much he knew about that, which important meetings he

20 attended, the meetings at which some important things were discussed,

21 including the important meeting that took place in Prud on the 21st of

22 March, 1992. Those were, generally speaking, our major topics. Finally,

23 I took an official statement from Mr. Tihic, and this was one of the

24 exhibits during the trial, I believe. I am not sure, but I believe that

25 it has been presented here.

Page 19317

1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Mr. Zaric --

3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: If I may continue. Who were you representing

4 while asking and interviewing Mr. Tihic? How did you conceive your role

5 at that moment?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that under orders from my

7 commander, the command of the 17th Tactical Group, and my superior officer

8 for security, Mr. Makso Simeunovic, I was given the task of carrying out a

9 certain number of interviews in the public security station with a view to

10 obtaining information connected to illegal arming and the organisation of

11 paramilitary formations by the parties of the HDZ and the SDA and certain

12 activities of illegal arming of people through depots of the JNA.

13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you so much. When you are talking about

14 illegal arming, this is a very ambiguous concept. When is arming illegal,

15 as to your understanding, and when is it legal?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view, the way I saw and

17 understood the problem is as follows: At that time, the JNA --

18 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Please be brief. And don't, so to say -- just

19 answer my question, and don't go back into history and whatever. Just

20 answer me what is legal arming and what is illegal arming.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything that the national parties

22 in the pre-war period did to arm their members, which was not connected to

23 the official defence component, the JNA, all this, in my view, was illegal

24 arming, because I am deeply convinced that political parties should act by

25 political means, rather than arming their members with weapons.

Page 19318

1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: So if I understand you correctly, you mean

2 that -- let's say, put it straight. Muslims, Croats, and Serbs who were

3 possessing weapons, they were all illegal, except for the possession of

4 weapons handed over to them by the 4th Detachment? Is that what you are

5 trying to tell me?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, precisely so.

7 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you very much.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mr. Zaric, when drawing up this statement, did you enter correctly

10 what Mr. Tihic told you?

11 A. Yes. Everything that Mr. Tihic found it necessary to say in

12 answer to the questions I put to him, all this I entered into the

13 statement, the statement was typed out, Mr. Tihic read it, he signed it in

14 his own hand, and I think this was done in the most professional manner

15 possible and quite properly, as far as the taking of statements goes.

16 Although, I do understand the position in which Mr. Tihic found himself.

17 Q. At that point in time, while you were drawing up the statement,

18 did you have any knowledge about the activities of Mr. Tihic which were

19 not entered into the statement?

20 A. I did have certain information, and I have to say quite honestly

21 that I didn't want to enter this information into the statement in order

22 not to make his position more difficult.

23 Q. When did you finish your interview with Tihic and the drawing up

24 of the statement?

25 A. This statement was taken in the late afternoon. I might say quite

Page 19319

1 late in the afternoon. It could have been 1600 hours, perhaps. It was

2 springtime and it was starting to get dark. We stayed there because Tihic

3 wanted me to stay with him for as long as possible in order to stop

4 something happening to him.

5 Q. After this, did you receive any sort of request from Mr. Tihic?

6 Did he ask you if he could speak to someone on the phone?

7 A. Yes. I have to say that during the day, and when we first sat

8 down to have some coffee, Mr. Milos Savic, as the chief of the criminal

9 service, Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic, and I, he asked if there was any

10 possibility for him to be released -- to be released and not to be in the

11 situation he was in. Mr. Milos replied that this did not depend on him

12 but that they must take a statement and then Mr. Todorovic would decide.

13 He was the only one who could say who was to be released and who could not

14 be released.

15 When Mr. Tihic and I completed the statement, he said, "Simo, is

16 it at all possible - it's getting dark - for me not to stay in prison? Is

17 there any chance for me to get out of here?" And I said to him, "I know

18 Stevo is the one who's going to decide about this. The only thing I can

19 do is try to talk to Mr. Blagoje Simic, to see if he can have any

20 influence, because until yesterday you were both politicians, working

21 shoulder to shoulder. You were in the parliament of Samac together. So

22 why couldn't the two of you have a chat about this?"

23 Q. And what did you do, Mr. Zaric?

24 A. He was very pleased, and he asked whether he could talk to

25 Mr. Blagoje Simic. So I called up Mr. Simic from the office where I was

Page 19320

1 sitting with Mr. Tihic, and this was in the evening.

2 Q. And what did you and Mr. Blagoje Simic talk about?

3 A. I let Mr. Simic know that I had completed an interview with

4 Mr. Tihic, acting under orders from my superior command, and that I had

5 completed the task and that now the fate of Mr. Tihic was to be decided,

6 so I asked Blagoje if there was any way that something could be done and I

7 told him that Mr. Tihic was sitting right next to me and listening to our

8 conversation. I said, "He would like to talk to you directly. What I

9 have talked about with Mr. Tihic is quite enough. It's possible to talk

10 to this man and to release him." That's what I said to Mr. Blagoje Simic.

11 Q. And did Mr. Sulejman Tihic talk to Mr. Blagoje Simic?

12 A. Yes. Yes, they did talk. Because after what I said, Blagoje said

13 to me, "Very well. Let me speak to Tihic." And I passed the receiver to

14 Mr. Tihic, and then Mr. Tihic and Mr. Blagoje continued the conversation.

15 Q. Do you know what they talked about?

16 A. I remember the words -- or some of the words that Mr. Tihic spoke

17 at the time. Of course, I didn't know what Mr. Blagoje was answering at

18 the other end, but I could draw some conclusions.

19 Q. What did Mr. Tihic say to Mr. Blagoje Simic?

20 A. Mr. Tihic said something like this: "Blagoje, I know the

21 situation is out of control. I had no idea what all these things would

22 lead to." That's how I understood what he said. He said, "Please, I have

23 addressed the citizens of Samac, and I think this was useful. It will be

24 far more useful if I am released, if I can go among those people and be

25 active among them, because I have some authority among the Muslims.

Page 19321

1 Please do something to have me released from this prison." This, to the

2 best of my recollection, is the purpose of what Mr. Tihic said, as I can

3 best paraphrase it.

4 JUDGE MUMBA: Shall we take our break?

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll continue our proceedings at 18.05.

7 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we'll proceed, Mr. Pisarevic.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11 Q. Before the break, Mr. Zaric, we talked about how Mr. Tihic and

12 Mr. Blagoje Simic spoke on the phone. When they finished their

13 conversation, did you again speak on the telephone with Mr. Blagoje Simic?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what did you talk about then?

16 A. Mr. Blagoje asked me, "What do you suggest?" And I said to

17 Mr. Blagoje, "I suggest that Stevan Todorovic, Mr. Tihic, and I come to

18 see you and that we discuss this and then that we release the man, because

19 he has made a statement, we have his announcement, I think that Sulejman

20 Tihic is needed more among the people than in prison at this moment."

21 Mr. Blagoje Simic replied to this, saying, "Stevo --" meaning Stevan

22 Todorovic, "is Stevo somewhere around? Is he in the station?" I said I

23 had heard that he had been there but I hadn't seen him in the last few

24 hours. Mr. Blagoje then told me to try and check whether Mr. Todorovic

25 was there, whether he was at the station, and that the three of us should

Page 19322

1 go to see him.

2 Q. When you say "the three of us," can you give us the names? What

3 three men were to go to Mr. Blagoje Simic?

4 A. I meant Mr. Tihic, Mr. Stevan Todorovic, as the chief of

5 the public security station, and myself.

6 Q. Thank you. And did you then finish your conversation with

7 Mr. Blagoje Simic?

8 A. Yes. Mr. Blagoje was then in the office, in the agricultural

9 complex. And I said, "As soon as I have a chance --"

10 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have -- oh, yes, maybe now it will be

11 corrected. Yes. It's all right now. Thank you.

12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Please continue, Mr. Zaric.

14 A. I said to Mr. Blagoje, "As soon as I find Stevo or contact him,

15 I'll do my best to have the three of us come and see you in the office

16 where the Crisis Staff was, together with Mr. Blagoje."

17 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you try to find Stevan Todorovic and did you find

18 him in the end?

19 A. Yes, I did try. I called the duty officer in the public security

20 station and asked him if the chief was there. He said the chief had been

21 in the building a short while before. He wasn't sure where he was

22 exactly. And I said if at all possible that -- I asked him to find him

23 and to bring him to the office where we were.

24 Q. And did Mr. Stevan Todorovic finally show up in the office, and

25 after how much time from the moment you left this message to the duty

Page 19323

1 officer?

2 A. He did call about two hours later. In the meantime, I had called

3 the duty officer several times to ask if they had established contact with

4 him, and the answer was that they were looking for him and that they still

5 hadn't found him. After more than two hours, he burst into the office

6 where I was with Mr. Tihic. Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic was with us. Mr. Milos

7 Saric was with us also. And I think Mr. Milos Culapovic was with us in

8 the office as well. I'm not sure if it was him, but I know there were

9 other people there. However, I'm absolutely certain that the two I've

10 mentioned were in the office with us.

11 Q. Were you with Mr. Tihic throughout these two hours?

12 A. Yes, throughout all this time. And we talked. And when

13 Mr. Blagoje said that he would discuss this, I was encouraged and so was

14 Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic, and we transmitted our optimism to Mr. Tihic,

15 thinking that there was a chance that we would come to an agreement and

16 that Mr. Tihic would be released. That's what we talked about among

17 ourselves before Mr. Todorovic entered the office.

18 Q. And when Mr. Todorovic finally turned up, what happened and what

19 did he then say to you and to Mr. Tihic?

20 A. Mr. Todorovic, as I learnt very quickly on the following day, had

21 been sleeping in the communications centre during those two hours. The

22 duty officer had told him, but he said, "No one is to find me until I wake

23 up." Of course, the duty officer didn't want to tell me that he was drunk

24 and that he was sleeping it off. I learned this only on the following

25 day, from Mr. Milos and Mr. Vlado.

Page 19324

1 When Mr. Stevan Todorovic turned up in the office, he was very

2 rude. He said, "What do you want?" Those were the first words he spoke.

3 And he turned towards me and the others who were around the table. I told

4 Mr. Todorovic that I had talked to Mr. Blagoje and that we had agreed for

5 Mr. Tihic and Mr. Todorovic and myself to go for a talk with Mr. Blagoje.

6 And then he said as follows: "Is this perhaps something about Tihic being

7 freed?" I said that I wasn't really fully informed about everything

8 because I didn't want to let him know, but I told him that this was

9 something that was agreed upon and if he didn't believe me, he could call

10 Mr. Blagoje and check if it was true that Mr. Blagoje said that we should

11 come and see him at the agricultural cooperative. That's where

12 Mr. Blagoje Simic's office was. Then he turned to face Mr. Tihic.

13 "Balija, there is no freedom for you." I don't know whether this is okay

14 to use the vulgar terms on that occasion, whether it's okay to repeat that

15 in front of the Trial Chamber. I can repeat what he said. I'm not

16 ashamed to say that. But out of consideration for the Trial Chamber and

17 the participants in the proceedings, I would refrain from that.

18 Q. Well, you can perhaps use some other terms to convey what was

19 said.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: No, I don't think it's necessary. He can simply

21 describe whether he used derogatory terms towards Mr. Tihic.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23 "You Turks in 1389 and 1361 in the First Balkan War and in the

24 Second Balkan War and in the First World War and in the Second World War,

25 you are now in league with the Pope and the Vatican, and for you and

Page 19325

1 people like you there is no freedom. Get out. And I do not want to be

2 bothered about this any more by anyone." He slammed the door so that I

3 didn't even have time to say, "Stevan, wait." I wanted to tell Mr. Stevan

4 Todorovic to stop. I wanted to say this to him again, but there was no

5 opportunity to do that. After these very terrible words that he spoke, he

6 left us simply frozen, and I had the impression that Mr. Tihic was

7 petrified of fear after those words.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Does that mean that that evening you did not go with Mr. Tihic and

10 Mr. Todorovic to see Blagoje Simic?

11 A. We didn't go. After Mr. Todorovic left, there was a deathly

12 silence in the office where we remained. We couldn't find any words. We

13 didn't know what to do. And the first person to say anything was

14 Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic. He said, "Mane, don't worry about this now. We

15 will now arrange for him to go into one of those other rooms, in the

16 room -- in the building so that he doesn't have to go to the TO

17 premises." And then he said, "Things are always clearer in the morning

18 than they are at night, so we will make some kind of arrangement." So

19 then very quickly they took Mr. Tihic out of the office, and I only said,

20 "Mane, I did everything I could, but I am not able to do any more than I

21 did and I'm very sorry about that." And this is what I want to say again

22 today openly in front of the Trial Chamber. This is a very clear, simple

23 truth.

24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric.

25 A. I would like to say one more thing: When they took Mr. Tihic out

Page 19326

1 of the room, Sarkanovic and the guard took him. I don't know where they

2 took him. I called Mr. Blagoje Simic and I said, "Mr. Blagoje, Stevo was

3 here. It's not possible to talk to this man. He doesn't accept

4 anything." And then I told Blagoje more or less what he said, and Blagoje

5 then used a proverb of ours to the effect that "you should neither feed a

6 fool nor take them home." This is a saying. And he said, "What can I do

7 now when he's behaving like that?" And I just said, "Blagoje, I really

8 don't know what, but you are the president of the Crisis Staff. He's the

9 chief of police. I am leaving now. And if anything can be done, then you

10 should do it. If not, at least I want you to know that I am informed you

11 about everything." So this was the last comment of Blagoje, when I

12 informed him that Mr. Stevo did not want to go where he was invited to go

13 by Mr. Blagoje.

14 Q. Thank you. This saying, this proverb, "Do not feed a fool nor

15 take them home," what does that mean? Can you just clarify a little bit?

16 What did you conclude from Mr. Simic's words?

17 A. This proverb means that it is best to have nothing to do with

18 people like that. However, it seems that it was our fate in Samac to have

19 such a person, and he wasn't the only one. There were several such

20 people. He was a man who was quite characteristic.

21 Q. And did he mean Stevan Todorovic when he used that proverb?

22 A. Yes, he meant him.

23 Q. Did you have the opportunity to see Mr. Tihic again at the Samac

24 police station after a few days?

25 A. Yes, I did.

Page 19327

1 Q. How did it come about that you saw Mr. Tihic again at the police

2 station in Bosanski Samac?

3 A. This happened perhaps a week, seven days or so later. I was

4 informed that Mr. Tihic wanted to see me. He was asking for me, and that

5 he wanted to have another interview with me. I received this information,

6 that the duty officer called our duty officer at the command and that he

7 was asking for me. I was out on the field -- in the field at that point.

8 I wasn't at the command of the 4th Detachment. When I reported to the

9 duty officer at the police station to ask why they were asking for me, he

10 said, "Milos Savic told us that Mr. Tihic would like to talk to you. Do

11 you have any time to come to the public security station in Samac?" And I

12 said yes, I would come very quickly, perhaps within the hour at the most.

13 Q. And did you go to the police station?

14 A. Yes, I went to the police station. This was perhaps already

15 around noon, according to my estimate.

16 Q. Did you meet with Mr. Tihic at the police station?

17 A. Yes. I found Mr. Tihic at the police station. He was already

18 sitting down with Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic and Mr. Milos Savic in the office

19 when I came.

20 Q. And these are the offices used by the criminal investigations

21 department?

22 A. Yes, those are the three offices that that department was using,

23 except on this occasion we were in a sort of room that was in the middle,

24 that had a good view of the TO and the yard -- of the TO building and the

25 yard, and the view from there was much better than during a previous

Page 19328

1 conversation in another room that was held.

2 Q. And when you met Mr. Tihic, what did you talk about? What did

3 Mr. Tihic tell you?

4 A. Mr. Tihic told me that he felt it was necessary for him to talk to

5 me again, believing still that I would be able to help to resolve his

6 situation and that he is released from jail perhaps. He told me how he

7 spent the night before, how difficult it was and how they threatened him,

8 that some members of the Sareni were going to hang him, and he said that

9 it was important to him for me to come to the station so that he could

10 tell me about this.

11 Q. And did Mr. Tihic ask you on that occasion to be present there at

12 the police station to protect him?

13 A. Yes. Since he -- he told me that that night, the night before he

14 was beaten, that he was also beaten upstairs and downstairs, that they had

15 used chilli peppers and put them in his mouth, that some Musa [phoen] and

16 this Laki that I had talked about, how they had beaten him and threatened

17 him and again asked him for money, and then they told him that he would be

18 hanged the next day in the square or somewhere else. This is what he more

19 or less told me.

20 Q. And did you stay at the police station on that day?

21 A. I asked him, "Did you tell this to Mr. Savic and to Vlado?" And

22 he said, "They know all about this, but they are powerless to do

23 anything." And he felt safe enough to tell me the whole story and asked

24 me to spend that day with him, as if I had some new interest or reason to

25 talk to Tihic, because Mr. Savic and Mr. Sarkanovic had interviews with

Page 19329

1 other prisoners. And my presence was supposed to be a pretext so that I

2 would stay with him that day formally, because I didn't really have

3 anything to talk about with Mr. Tihic, as a matter of fact.

4 Q. And while you were in the crime investigations department office,

5 did anything happen at the TO headquarters where certain persons were

6 detained?

7 A. Yes. When Mr. Tihic and I stayed in that middle room, Tihic asked

8 me could he get up and walk around a little bit. The man was probably

9 kept in these poor conditions in these rooms. And I said, "No problem.

10 Feel free to get up and look around and so on." And at one point while he

11 was walking past the window he said to me, "Look, they're just killing

12 Ibela at the TO yard." Ibela is Ibrahim Salkic, called Ibela, and he has

13 already appeared before this Chamber.

14 Then I came up to the window and stood next to Mr. Tihic because

15 the window was painted halfway with white paint, so you couldn't see from

16 the bottom to the middle but you could see from the middle to the top part

17 of the window, so we could see what was going on through that part of the

18 window in the yard of the TO building. A group of men in the camouflage

19 uniforms were using different objects. Some of them had bars; some had

20 batons; some had wooden poles; some were using their fists. They were

21 simply around him and they kept hitting him in turn, and he was howling

22 and jumping up in a horrible way. These moans were just so terrible.

23 Even though Mr. Salkic is a pretty strong man, I am sure that the beatings

24 that he was receiving were pretty strong and the pain was -- they were

25 causing was pretty strong, and I'm sure that the situation was not

Page 19330

1 tolerable or pleasant for either myself or Mr. Tihic either. And I said

2 to Mr. Tihic, "I never thought that anything like this could happen and

3 that members of my people could behave in this manner and that I was

4 powerless to do anything about it." That was the most difficult thing for

5 me.

6 Q. And after that beating of Mr. Salkic, which you and Mr. Tihic saw,

7 did anything else happen at the TO headquarters?

8 A. Yes. There was one incident very soon afterwards. I will

9 remember that day. I remember it well. It was the Orthodox Easter. It

10 was the 26th of April, 1992. Suddenly we sensed that a vehicle was

11 stopping suddenly in front of the police station. We could hear the sound

12 of the engine, and then we could hear the screeching of the tyres, as the

13 brakes were applied, so that Mr. Tihic and I just got up by instinct and

14 went up to the window to see what was going on.

15 Q. And what did you see when you got to the window?

16 A. When we got to the window, Mr. Lugar was in that car. He was

17 dressed in a wonderful -- let me say he was wearing wonderful sports

18 equipment. He was wearing a white tracksuit, a white jacket, white

19 sneakers, and he had a white T-shirt. So he was wearing very smart sports

20 gear, if I can put it that way.

21 Q. And where did he go when he came out of the car?

22 A. His car was parked to the right, towards the Territorial Defence

23 building. But when he got out of the car, he went into the public

24 security station building first.

25 Q. When Mr. Tihic saw Lugar, did he tell you something? Was he

Page 19331

1 scared?

2 A. Yes, he was scared. And he said, "Simo, I'm sure he is going to

3 kill me. That will be the end of me." That was more or less what he told

4 me.

5 Q. And what happened next?

6 A. When Mr. Lugar entered the public security station, I really

7 thought that he would come to us, and I took Tihic to a next-door office.

8 I locked him up there, I took the key, and I returned to the first room,

9 to the first office. Later on, I heard that he hadn't shown any interest

10 in seeing Mr. Tihic, but the two of us were afraid. We were afraid that

11 his arrival was not just an accident, that he had very particular

12 intentions, and that's why I locked Mr. Tihic up in that other room that I

13 have just described.

14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: When this event was occurring, were you armed?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only thing I had was

16 7.62-millimetre pistol.

17 JUDGE LINDHOLM: As an officer of my army, why didn't you kill

18 Lugar?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you really think I should have

20 done that?


22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I had killed Lugar, then I am

23 sure I wouldn't be sitting here today and my family would have never seen

24 me alive after that.

25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: That is no proper explanation.

Page 19332

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zaric, don't respond. Just proceed with your

2 evidence, please.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you realised that Mr. Lugar was not coming up,

6 that he was not looking for Mr. Tihic, did you return Mr. Tihic to that

7 first office, to the office where he was previously?

8 A. Yes, I did. But before I returned him there -- I would like to

9 say something else. When Lugar returned and was somewhere in the middle

10 of that street between the public security station and the Territorial

11 Defence headquarters, he yelled very loud, "Song. Song," in the Ekavian

12 dialect, the way people from Serbia speak. After he uttered that word

13 "song," that could be heard 50 metres around the buildings. All the

14 detainees in the Territorial Defence headquarters started singing

15 pro-Chetnik songs about Draza Mihajlovic, about Topola, and about the

16 guards of General Draza.

17 Q. Very well, then. And then you returned Mr. Tihic after that?

18 A. No, not immediately. Mr. Lugar asked for the gate of the

19 Territorial Defence headquarters to be opened. Then he went there, and it

20 was only then that I returned Mr. Tihic to the room where I was. And as

21 of that moment on, the two of us observed everything that went on across

22 the road when he entered the courtyard of the Territorial Defence

23 headquarters.

24 Q. While you were observing, what did you see? What was going on in

25 the Territorial Defence headquarters, the building that is across the road

Page 19333

1 from the public security station?

2 A. All the detainees were in one room. Lugar gave an order to the

3 guard to open that room. He entered the room, and the song became louder

4 by the minute, because he would ask them to sing louder and then they

5 would start singing louder. So their choir became so loud that one could

6 see them hundreds of metres away from that building. I apologise.

7 Q. What happened after that, Mr. Zaric?

8 A. Then we sat down, and all of a sudden we could hear a shot, one,

9 and another after that.

10 Q. Could you maybe decide where the shots came from?

11 A. They came from the direction of the Territorial Defence

12 headquarters, the building that Mr. Lugar had gone to.

13 Q. When you heard those gunshots, did you do anything?

14 A. Yes. When we heard those gunshots, I called the duty operations

15 officer in the police station. I asked him who was firing, what was going

16 on. The only thing he told me was, "Lugar killed a man."

17 Q. Having received this information, did you call anybody on the

18 telephone?

19 A. Yes. After a certain period of time, through the window we saw a

20 body being pulled out. That's what Mr. Tihic and I saw. The body was

21 pulled out through the door and was put by the door. It was a lifeless

22 body, and Mr. Lugar after that sat in the car with a pistol in his hand.

23 He hit on the gas pedal, the tyre screeched again, and he drove on in an

24 unknown direction towards the eastern part of the town Samac.

25 Q. Who did you call, Mr. Zaric?

Page 19334

1 A. Once I was sure that the man had been killed, after I received

2 reliable information, very soon after that I learned who that was.

3 Q. Who was it?

4 A. It was Ante Brandic, also known as Dikan, a native of Hasici, a

5 village in the Bosanski Samac municipality. This was a man who was

6 detained in that room. And after the killing, a few minutes later I

7 telephoned Mr. Blagoje.

8 Q. And what did you tell Mr. Blagoje Simic on the phone?

9 A. I told him, "Blagoje, Lugar has just killed a man in the

10 Territorial Defence building." Blagoje responded, "How did that happen?"

11 I said, "I don't know how it happened. I only know that he killed him in

12 front of 50 other men." That's what I told Blagoje, because I assumed

13 that all those men who were in that room were able to see how Dikan was

14 killed, because they were all inside. We couldn't see what was going on,

15 but it was my assumption that there were about 50 people there, and that's

16 why I said that he had killed him in front of 50 other people who all saw

17 that. That's what I said to Mr. Blagoje Simic. And I also told him that

18 this was the last straw, that I would immediately inform my command that

19 people cannot be treated like that and that he, as the president of the

20 Crisis Staff, should do his utmost to prevent any situations like this

21 from happening. This was my exchange with Mr. Blagoje Simic.

22 Q. How did Mr. Blagoje Simic react to those words of yours? What did

23 he tell you?

24 A. Blagoje told me that he would see what he could do about that,

25 that he had to talk to Stevan Todorovic, the chief, and later on I learnt

Page 19335

1 that at that very moment Mr. Nikolic arrived in the area of Samac

2 municipality.

3 Q. Did you learn that from Mr. Blagoje Simic or from somebody else?

4 A. No, not from Blagoje Simic. Later on I learnt that when I called

5 my command to ask them what was going on. Then I was told that "The

6 commander is with a major, Major Zivanovic, a commander of an armoured

7 unit, and that he said that he would soon be with us." I told him, "Okay,

8 come back soon. I would like to see you as soon as possible."

9 Q. Did you talk to Mr. Nikolic on the phone?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. What did you tell him in that telephone conversation?

12 A. I told him, "Commander, a little while ago I was in the public

13 security station, and one of the specials, Lugar, killed a man in front of

14 50 other people. This is enough. Enough is enough." Since we were

15 already the 26th of April, on the previous days I spoke to him. I

16 informed Makso Simeunovic about tortures and all the other incidents, and

17 Makso Simeunovic reported about that to Commander Nikolic. So Commander

18 Nikolic was up to speed with everything, all the ugly things that were

19 going on in Bosanski Samac.

20 Q. And then did you ask Commander Nikolic to take some measures?

21 A. Yes. I asked him to do whatever is possible to help these people

22 out of this inferno for several reasons. For example, now a man was

23 killed without any reason whatsoever. Secondly, I had information

24 available to me according to which people were exposed to all sorts of

25 torture and maltreatment. The building where they were was not secure.

Page 19336

1 If a shell had fallen anywhere near, I don't know how many of them would

2 have survived, and so on and so forth. There are several reasons for us

3 to try and do our utmost to transfer these people to some other more

4 secure place.

5 Q. So what did you agree with Commander Nikolic? What did he say he

6 would do?

7 A. He said he would have a word with Captain Petrovic. This Captain

8 Petrovic was the security officer [as interpreted] in the 17th Tactical

9 Group and in the garrison of Brcko and he said that he would try and see

10 that Captain Petrovic how could these people under a certain pretext be

11 transferred to the JNA barracks in Brcko so as to be safer, so as to be

12 accommodated in a safer place.

13 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is one word missing here in the transcript.

14 When referring to Captain Petrovic, Mr. Zaric said "this Captain Petrovic

15 was previously the security officer in the 17th Tactical Group," because

16 we already know that Mr. Simeunovic was security officer.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you for the correction.

18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. And after a certain period of time, did Mr. Nikolic inform you

20 about the agreement he had reached with Mr. Petrovic?

21 A. Yes, he told me that he had had a word with Petrovic, that

22 Petrovic expressed his willingness to carry out this action. I knew that

23 on the 26th of April, which was the Orthodox Easter, this group of

24 specials with Mr. Todorovic and some other men of his from the police were

25 celebrating the Orthodox Easter in a coffee place called Trile, which was

Page 19337

1 some 3 or 4 kilometres away from Samac, and that they all were there in

2 that celebration.

3 Q. Did you, Mr. Zaric, insist on this action be carried out

4 immediately, during that day or during that night?

5 A. Yes, because I knew that Lugar had come from that coffee bar, did

6 what he did, and returned there, and that's why I said the best thing

7 would be for them to be transferred as soon as possible, while those

8 people were celebrating, because if they were not moved before they

9 return, I didn't know what could happen to these people.

10 Q. And finally, did Mr. Nikolic inform you what would be done on that

11 evening?

12 A. Yes. He told me that Makso Simeunovic would come with a certain

13 number of military policemen, with a necessary number of vehicles, and

14 that these people would be transferred to Brcko. And as for me, that I

15 should make sure that the organisation of their transfer was carried out

16 in the shortest possible time.

17 Q. When you received this information from Commander Nikolic, where

18 did you go?

19 A. I received this information, and then I returned to the public

20 security station. I found Commander Savo Cancarevic there and Mihajlo

21 Topolovac was also there. I must say that I had a lot of trust in these

22 two people. I told them about the action that was being prepared, and I

23 told them that this action had backing of the commander of the 17th

24 Tactical Group, Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic.

25 Q. Mr. Cancarevic and Mr. Topolovac, did they express willingness to

Page 19338

1 participate in that action together with you?

2 A. Yes, they did. They expressed their willingness, and I told them

3 that if they encountered any problems, they could say that this was the

4 order of the army and that then they could talk to his boss.

5 Q. Do you mean Stevan Todorovic, when you say "his boss"?

6 A. Precisely.

7 Q. Did you see Mr. Tihic in the police station?

8 A. Yes, I did. I didn't get involved in finding out who was there,

9 but I said to Mr. Cancarevic and Topolovac to prepare a list as soon as

10 possible because I got information that the car with Mr. Makso Simeunovic

11 would be there very soon. They said they would do it. And when I found

12 out that the action would be carried out, I went to Mr. Tihic, who was in

13 one of the offices upstairs. After our conversation, he remained upstairs

14 all the time. I approached him, and I told him - because this is what I

15 really believed, from the bottom of my heart - I told him, "Mane, I

16 believe you are saved. I had a conversation with Mr. Nikolic and he

17 personally made sure -- will make sure that you are transferred to Brcko,

18 in a safe place. I hope that this will be the end of your troubles."

19 Mane gave me a hug. I gave him a hug. I believe that we even kissed each

20 other sincerely, as two human beings. I was at the time of the opinion, I

21 had a strong belief that him and other people will be saved.

22 Q. And did Mr. Makso Simeunovic come with the military police of the

23 JNA? Did they arrive in front of that building?

24 A. Yes, he arrived. He arrived. According to my estimate, it was

25 dark. It may have been around 2200 hours or thereabouts. I met Mr. Makso

Page 19339

1 Simeunovic in front of the offices of the Territorial Defence. They came

2 in two Pinzgauers - that's how we called these vehicles - these Pinzguaers

3 carried the military police armed with automatic rifles and with white

4 belts. There must have been between 15 and 20 people in each of these two

5 vehicles, and there was also another big military vehicle between these

6 two Pinzgauers.

7 Q. When you say a military vehicle, you mean a cargo vehicle?

8 A. Yes, a cargo vehicle with benches on two sides where people can

9 sit. This is the vehicle used for the transportation of troops whenever

10 they go to the field.

11 Q. It was covered with a canvas cloth?

12 A. Yes, it was covered. The top was covered, and the sides were

13 covered with a canvas cloth.

14 Q. Where did this vehicle park?

15 A. As soon as they arrived, the gate was open. It was a wide gate,

16 wide enough to allow for the passage of a lorry. It reversed into the

17 yard, and the driver parked in the yard not far from the door behind which

18 the detainees from Samac were detained.

19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is it time for us to

20 adjourn?

21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn now.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

23 at 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

24 the 9th day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.