Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 19444

1 Monday, 12 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the

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

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You're continuing.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]

14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zaric.

15 A. Good morning.

16 Q. Before we adjourned on Friday, we were talking about your visit in

17 Pelagicevo, and you told us that in the morning of the 9th of May, you

18 went to Commander Nikolic and that Toso Tutnjevic drove you there. After

19 that conversation, after this meeting with Commander Nikolic, did he give

20 you some orders?

21 A. He did.

22 Q. And what did Commander Nikolic order you to do?

23 A. Through the conversation that we had, Commander Nikolic said that

24 he would undertake to talk about the incident with Messrs. Crni and

25 Debeli, that he would also talk with Mr. Todorovic so that certain

Page 19445

1 measures could be taken, and he told me, as transpired from the

2 conversation, that it would be good if I went to Belgrade, call Makso

3 Simeunovic, colonel, who at that time was retired. But I'm talking about

4 Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic, I'm sorry, colonel, who was retired, but who used

5 to work in the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia and to

6 try, through him, to convey the information to those most responsible in

7 the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia so as to remove this

8 problem from the agenda and see how it would be solved.

9 Q. Thank you. Did you -- and when did you go to Belgrade, if you

10 did?

11 A. After the conversation in Pelagicevo, in the command of the 17th

12 Tactical Group, my driver, Toso Tutnjevic, and I returned to Samac. And

13 later on, I took my private car - at that time I had a Golf - so I got

14 into the car, put some of my -- of things there, because that was also an

15 opportunity to visit my relatives in Belgrade and to see them, and I had

16 agreed with the commander to stay a day longer so as to be able to see

17 them, because at that time exactly my wife was in a hospital at Bezanijska

18 Kosa because she was having a heart complaint. So that after I returned,

19 as soon as I packed a few things, I immediately got into the car and left

20 for Belgrade.

21 Q. You've already told us something about the meeting in the

22 headquarters regarding the events in Crkvina, but now I'd like to ask you

23 about some further details in this regard. First, can you tell us when

24 you arrived with Jugoslav Maksimovic at the headquarters, what was the

25 reaction of those present, when you told them about the crime in Crkvina?

Page 19446

1 A. To be quite honest, everybody was aghast, and nobody approved of

2 that act. Mr. Jugoslav Maksimovic first took me to General Gligorijevic's

3 office, and since I had testified about that during the previous days,

4 after that meeting, General Aleksandar Maksimovic, Aco, also came and was

5 present at this meeting. At that time, he was discharging the duty of the

6 chief of the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia. And I

7 deemed there is no need for me to repeat it once again.

8 Q. No, none whatsoever. Mr. Zaric, were you asked after these

9 meetings to put together an official memo about the conversations that you

10 had?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And that note, was it done?

13 A. The official note was written in one copy, and one only, and then

14 it was retyped in that office, and I have to be honest and say that -- to

15 those gentlemen, both Vasiljevic and General Gligorijevic, and even

16 Colonel Maksimovic himself, who was present, and that I told them and

17 asked them not to reveal my visit and to keep that note in a special way,

18 as a secret, because I was afraid of those people. I was afraid they

19 would take revenge on me and my family.

20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, maybe Mr. Zaric could clarify one

21 thing, because according to what it says here in the transcript, and I

22 listened very carefully to what he actually said, here he says on page 3,

23 line 13: "The official note was written in one copy, and the only, and

24 then it was retyped," which might suggest that some other copies have been

25 made. So maybe this can be clarified.

Page 19447

1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Mr. Zaric, this note, will you tell us: How was it done

3 technically?

4 A. Technically, the secretary came into that office and to her

5 directly - as I'm talking now, loudly, and clearly, as I'm testifying

6 before this Trial Chamber - I dictated to her what I knew about the event

7 most directly.

8 Q. And when she took down your dictation, did you sign it then?

9 A. I signed that official note exactly on the 9th of May, 1992.

10 Q. Did you sign that one copy only?

11 A. I signed only one copy, and that had been agreed to do it in one

12 copy only, for purely security reasons.

13 Q. So no other copies were made and you did not sign anything else?

14 A. Nothing except that one single copy of the official note, which

15 took a page and a half.

16 Q. Very well. And when you returned from Belgrade, did you report to

17 Commander Nikolic about the results of your visit and tell him all that

18 had happened?

19 A. Towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, or rather, towards Samac and

20 Pelagicevo, I returned exactly on the 11th of May, in the morning hours.

21 From Belgrade, I directly went to the command of the 17th Tactical Group

22 and told Colonel Stevan Nikolic and the security officer, Makso

23 Simeunovic, how -- what was said during the meeting and what I had done

24 there.

25 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric. Let us move on to another subject, the

Page 19448

1 subject of isolation of a considerable number of citizens of Croat

2 ethnicity in Crkvina. How did you learn about that, that a significant

3 number of citizens of Croat ethnicity had been put in isolation in the

4 village of Crkvina?

5 A. I learnt it in two ways. One part of that scene, that is,

6 rounding up of people in trucks and taken to Crkvina, I saw with my own

7 eyes, because it took place in front of my building. And secondly, in the

8 public security station I had the opportunity on those days precisely to

9 see a decision taken by the Crisis Staff to isolate the Croat people.

10 That decision was in the office of the chief of the public security

11 station, Mr. Todorovic, who, now and then, at that time, came to those

12 premises, but one copy of that decision was also with people who worked in

13 the criminal investigation department, that is, Mr. Milos Savic and

14 Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic. So that what I saw with my own eyes, and when I saw

15 this decision about isolation, then I became quite clear how that act had

16 come about, to isolate people in the sense of the question that you asked

17 me.

18 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric. And according to your knowledge, who

19 rounded up women of Croat ethnicity in Bosanski Samac, and men too, and

20 neighbouring villages, and put them in the stadium in Crkvina?

21 A. All my knowledge concerning the event indicated that it was

22 exclusively within the jurisdiction of the police, the public security

23 station in Bosanski Samac, and I was, for instance, the eyewitness to a

24 case when the police came in a car, after that, that is, in a truck,

25 fetched up in front of the building, and when a teacher, called Ruza, was

Page 19449

1 already in the truck, and when Mrs. Jelena Kapetanovic boarded that truck,

2 and only a day or two later a police vehicle took away two Muslim women

3 too. So that at that moment, Croats were not the only ones who were going

4 to that so-called isolation.

5 Q. Thank you. Do you know who guarded, who looked after those people

6 and citizens in Crkvina?

7 A. I was not in Crkvina. I hadn't been to Crkvina. I had only heard

8 that there was a large group of isolated people there from neighbouring

9 Croat villages and the town of Samac, and I also had information that they

10 were being guarded by members of the public security station in Samac.

11 Q. To the best of your recollection, how long were people kept at the

12 stadium in the village of Crkvina?

13 A. It lasted about a couple of days. I really can't tell you how

14 many exactly. But very soon after that -- and what is very soon

15 afterward? Four or five days perhaps. And then the story went that

16 people from Crkvina, from the big youth club that we called that, returned

17 to their homes, and some men were isolated then in two gymnasiums. One

18 belonged to the elementary school in Bosanski Samac and the other one was

19 the gymnasium in the secondary school, again in Bosanski Samac. They are

20 about a hundred metres away as the crow flies.

21 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever go to this -- to either gymnasium of the

22 elementary or the secondary school?

23 A. No, I've never been there.

24 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to what went on there?

25 A. Nothing nice. From what I would hear, at certain points in time,

Page 19450

1 when it occurred to Specials or some drunk policemen, they were exposed to

2 ill-treatment, torture, degrading behaviour, and so on and so forth. And

3 part of that story was directly told me by Djuro Prgomet, who is my

4 friend, who is my daughter's father-in-law, who, for a while, was detained

5 and isolated in those same premises where Croats were isolated, and he's

6 also a Croat by origin.

7 Q. And what do you know, Mr. Zaric, about the village of Zasavica,

8 and who was accommodated there?

9 A. My -- the first time I learnt about the village of Zasavica was on

10 the 26th of May, 1992, when, right next to that village, on the bank of

11 the Bosna River, the first, I'd say, exchange of people of the population

12 between the municipalities of Bosanski Samac and Odzak.

13 Q. Mr. Zaric, we shall be talking about that exchange later on. But

14 do you know whether some persons were accommodated there in that village?

15 A. As far as I know, a more intensive arrival of non-Serb population

16 to that village took place in August 1992. After a case which has to do

17 with the flight of a large number of persons of Muslim ethnicity across

18 the Sava River to the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

19 Q. And who took relevant decisions, and who took those non-Serb

20 families to the village of Zasavica?

21 A. As far as I know, it was all organised by the public security

22 station in Bosanski Samac, headed by Mr. Stevan Todorovic. I know one

23 fact regarding Zasavica, and that is that before the hostilities started

24 in the territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality, a relatively large

25 part of that population, at the invitation of the Crisis Staff in the

Page 19451

1 municipality of Odzak, crossed the Bosna River into the territory of the

2 municipality of Odzak. Because as far as I know, Zasavica is a village

3 with 95 per cent of the Croat population. There were some 550 people who

4 lived in that neighbourhood community, and more than one half of the

5 population left the area before any incident.

6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. We shall leave now the village of Zasavica,

7 but we shall return to it, rest assured.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.

9 MR. RE: There was something in my respectful submission left

10 unanswered by Mr. Zaric's answer. It's something which could normally be

11 objectionable. That's the answer: "As far as I know, it was all

12 organised by the public security station in Bosanski Samac, headed by

13 Mr. Stevan Todorovic." Mr. Zaric hasn't given the basis for his

14 knowledge, that is, how he knows it was Mr. Todorovic and what

15 Mr. Todorovic actually did. Otherwise the answer would have been

16 objectionable, but I didn't object because I thought he might explain it.

17 So I'd asked that my learned friend clarify it with his client because

18 it's appropriate to do so, in my submission, in the examination-in-chief.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. That shouldn't be a problem.

20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've understood what my learned friend wanted to

22 know. How is it that you know that it was done by the public security

23 station, headed by Stevan Todorovic? Did you see that, hear about that,

24 read about it?

25 A. What was done in August, the transfer and rounding up of the

Page 19452

1 population and the transfer to the territory of Zasavica, that was not

2 something I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes, but I did have

3 the opportunity to hear about it at those moments when, at that time, I

4 was returning from Odzak to the Samac territory. That was when I was told

5 that was done with the trucks, escorted by the police from the public

6 security station. So I heard that it had been done in that way, and I had

7 no opportunity to see that directly.

8 Q. And in August, when this was being done, was Stevan Todorovic the

9 chief of the public security station?

10 A. Yes, he was. Mr. Stevan Todorovic discharged the duty almost

11 until the end of the war.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, you already said in your testimony that the army of

13 Republika Srpska was founded on the 12th of May, 1992 and that the army of

14 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia left the territory of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 19th of May, 1992. What do you know regarding

16 the departure of members of the army of Yugoslavia? Who left, and where

17 did the officers and troops who left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina

18 or, in this case, the municipality of Bosanski Samac, originate from?

19 A. I have to admit, quite frankly, that that decision about the

20 definitive pull-out of the Yugoslav People's Army on the 19th of May,

21 1992, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was something that made me quite

22 unhappy, because I knew that that meant the final extinction of a country

23 which I loved. And I realised finally that with the departure of the

24 Yugoslav People's Army from this territory, we'd start living under

25 completely different conditions, and regrettably that is what happened. I

Page 19453

1 know that the decision ordered that all the troops, officers, and NCOs in

2 the Yugoslav People's Army who had been born in the territory of Serbia,

3 Montenegro, or possibly some other republic, and who had, until then, been

4 in the Yugoslav People's Army, had to leave the territory of Bosnia and

5 Herzegovina, and that is indeed what happened.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, which military formations were formed in the army of

7 Republika Srpska on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac,

8 Pelagicevo, after the withdrawal of the JNA?

9 A. On the 12th of May, that is, on today's date in 1992, under a

10 decision of the Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

11 the army of Republika Srpska was established. With the departure of the

12 JNA on the 19th of May, a military transformation occurred of the armed

13 forces which were on the territory of Republika Srpska. Instead of the

14 17th Tactical Group of the JNA, which up to that moment had been the

15 military defence component for the area of Bosanski Samac, among others,

16 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was established, and all the

17 detachments - and there were five infantry detachments at that time - were

18 renamed and reorganised to make up infantry battalions which were later,

19 of course, part of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

20 Q. In these newly established military formations of the army of

21 Republika Srpska, in the commands, in the battalions, the companies,

22 squads, and so on, did people who had been born in Bosnia and Herzegovina

23 stay?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you know who was appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina

Page 19454

1 Infantry Brigade?

2 A. The commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was Colonel

3 Mico Djurdjevic, who was born in a village called Tisina, which is not far

4 from the town of Samac and belongs to the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

5 So he was born on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

6 Q. When was Colonel Djurdjevic appointed commander of the 2nd

7 Posavina Infantry Brigade and can you tell us when this happened how old

8 he was and whether you know anything about him as a man and a soldier?

9 A. I couldn't tell you exactly how old he was, but it was between 50

10 and 60 years of age. And according to my estimation, he was a very

11 strong, courageous, stout-hearted officer, and a very calm, disciplined,

12 and moderate officer.

13 Q. Thank you. When Commander Djurdjevic was appointed commander of

14 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, did he take any measures within the

15 sphere of his competence to improve the situation on the territory?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did he convene a meeting in Pelagicevo, the village where the

18 command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was located?

19 A. A few days afterwards, that is, about five or six days after his

20 arrival, Colonel Djurdjevic was active on two fronts. As far as I was

21 able to observe, one of these fronts was organising the brigade command

22 and setting up the organisation of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade in

23 such a way that one could tell who was at the top and who was at the

24 bottom. And as for the second front I mentioned, I thought he worked very

25 well on collecting certain information in order to determine what the

Page 19455

1 situation of this unit was, what its state was, the unit that was now

2 called the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

3 About five days later, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic convened a meeting

4 of prominent persons, and this was held in a room in Pelagicevo. The

5 persons who attended the meeting included almost all the commanders of the

6 battalions, their assistants for security and moral guidance, all the

7 commanders of other independent units within the scope of the 2nd Posavina

8 Brigade, part of the new command that had already been inaugurated by him

9 within the 2nd Posavina Brigade, and the most responsible people from the

10 political life of the municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under

11 foundation. This was approximately the composition of the people who

12 attended that meeting.

13 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you attend the meeting?

14 A. Yes. Yes, I participated in the meeting.

15 Q. Do you know who was there on behalf of the civilian authorities of

16 the municipalities of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation?

17 A. I am certain that on behalf of Bosanski Samac municipality, the

18 meeting was attended by Mr. Blagoje Simic, as the president of the Crisis

19 Staff; by Mr. Milan Simic; Mr. Stevan Todorovic; maybe there was Mr. Milos

20 Bogdanovic, but I'm not sure; and Bozo Ninkovic. But the first three men

21 I mentioned were there. I'm certain of that. And on behalf of

22 Pelagicevo, there was Dusan Tanaskovic, Milan Milicic, and Mirko Dragic,

23 who then held two posts, one in the military and the other political,

24 because he was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party there.

25 Q. Thank you. What did Colonel Djurdjevic, the commander of the 2nd

Page 19456

1 Posavina Infantry Brigade, say at that meeting? If you can summarise it

2 briefly, just mention the topics he discussed, and what did he want from

3 the military and from the civilian authorities?

4 A. He drew attention to the gravity of the situation we were in after

5 the departure of the JNA from that area, and he used a saying to the

6 effect that we should rely on our own strength now, meaning that we were

7 now the local representatives of the Serbian people, whether we were in

8 the military or politicians, and that it was up to us to organise and take

9 over the territory and the defence of the Serbian people in that area. He

10 also drew attention --

11 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Zaric. We have a comment on the transcript.

12 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is something here in the transcript that

13 Mr. Zaric didn't say, on page 13, line 9, 8 and 9, that "it was up to us

14 to organise and take over the territory." This is not the words that

15 Mr. Zaric said.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Mr. Zaric, did he say you should take over the territory or that

18 you should defend the territory?

19 A. He said: Whether we are speaking of the military or of

20 politicians, it is our task to organise ourselves in such a way as to

21 ensure a defence component so as to preserve the territory on which the

22 Serbian people live. That was the context of what he said.

23 Q. What else did Colonel Djurdjevic say at that meeting? Did he ask

24 that the civilian authorities should deal with civilian matters and the

25 military with military matters, or something like that?

Page 19457

1 A. Yes, precisely so. It became evident from what he was saying that

2 he had taken stock of the situation very well and he didn't want to

3 conceal this from any of us. He drew attention to the fact that there had

4 been kinds of behaviour that were not in accordance with military rules

5 and discipline, and that politicians had interfered in military matters,

6 and vice versa, and that this was intertwined. He was very explicit about

7 this, saying that, as commander, he would advocate exclusively that the

8 military do its job and take responsibility for the defence of the

9 territory, and that he would not allow any groups - and he referred

10 especially to the volunteers from Serbia - that he would not allow them to

11 act as they wanted, in line with the information he had. And he said it

12 had to be clear that what was with the army had to be under the control of

13 the military, and what was in the police had to be under the control of

14 the police, and everything else outside of that were paramilitaries and

15 parapolice and would not be allowed to remain on the territory. He said

16 he would not allow politics to interfere in the personnel policy of the

17 military, and he also said that the military could not psychologically

18 influence political standpoints and attitudes in that area. That would be

19 a summary of what he said in front of all of us.

20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe the transcript was not quite accurate. Here

21 on page 14, lines 18 and 19, and 17 as well, "military could not

22 psychologically influence political standpoints." Could not -- well, what

23 Mr. Zaric was referring to is certain military pressure on politicians to

24 meet the demands of the army, and the way it is said now, some

25 psychological influence, doesn't sound quite clear.

Page 19458

1 JUDGE MUMBA: I mean, in actual fact it comes to the same thing.

2 It's the military influencing political standpoints that also could

3 include applying pressure on the political leaders.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, on that occasion, did Commander Djurdjevic say, or

6 rather, ask, that the volunteers should either be placed under the command

7 of the military or the police, or, if they refused that, that they could

8 go to Serbia over the Drina River?

9 A. Yes, precisely as you said. That's what he said, very decidedly,

10 and that's what he advocated at that meeting.

11 Q. Mr. Zaric, what did the other participants in the meeting say?

12 Did they support the commander? Did they oppose his intentions and

13 measures?

14 A. In the discussion, several battalion commanders took part, first

15 of all. As far as I can remember, the politicians did not take the floor,

16 but when the colonel was summarising what had taken place, as to whether

17 all of us present in the room agreed with what he had said and what I have

18 testified to, there was no one present at the meeting who raised any

19 objections to these firm and clear standpoints taken by Commander

20 Djurdjevic. On the basis of this, I and many others concluded that

21 unanimity had been achieved concerning the standpoints put forward by the

22 commander at that meeting.

23 Q. And how did the meeting end, the meeting with Colonel Djurdjevic,

24 the commander?

25 A. I would say that it ended in a good atmosphere, at least in my

Page 19459

1 view. Perhaps after the withdrawal of the JNA, for the first time there

2 was a sense of relief among most of us, and with that meeting we seemed to

3 have surmounted the psychological crisis we had been undergoing, that is,

4 our anxiety about what would happen in the future. So this meeting ended

5 well and had a very positive effect on all the participants.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know what happened to Colonel Djurdjevic, the

7 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, a few days after this

8 meeting?

9 A. Yes, I do know. About seven days later, as regards Colonel

10 Djurdjevic and some relations, the situation went wrong. It turned

11 around. And the impression I had had of unity, when the meeting in

12 Pelagicevo ended, had in fact been only a pretense of support, and

13 afterwards commander Djurdjevic was replaced in circumstances that I think

14 are special.

15 Q. Very well. Do you know whether Commander Djurdjevic, before he

16 was replaced, attended a meeting, and where that meeting was held?

17 A. Yes, he was at a meeting. The meeting was organised in the

18 Toplana, in the heat-generating plant, where the headquarters of the

19 Bosanski Samac municipality Crisis Staff was.

20 Q. Do you know who invited Commander Djurdjevic to that meeting in

21 the heating plant where the headquarters of the Crisis Staff of the

22 Bosanski Samac municipality was?

23 A. In a conversation that I had later on with Mr. Djurdjevic, I

24 learnt that he had been invited to the Crisis Staff by Mr. Blagoje Simic

25 and Mr. Stevan Todorovic. I was one of the people who was present at part

Page 19460

1 of that meeting, and I witnessed a scenario that took place there.

2 Q. What part of the meeting were you present at, and who brought you

3 to the meeting?

4 A. I was brought to the meeting by my driver, Toso Tutnjevic, and I

5 had just been at the front lines, the defence lines of what was already

6 the 5th Battalion, in its area of responsibility, and I had received

7 information that I should report urgently to the Crisis Staff, where

8 Commander Djurdjevic was attending a meeting, and that the commander of

9 the 5th Infantry Battalion, Mr. Jovo Savic, had already gone to the

10 meeting.

11 Q. Who ordered you to go to that meeting?

12 A. The duty communications officer in the 4th Detachment told me that

13 Commander Jovo Savic had sent word that I was to go to the meeting in the

14 Crisis Staff, urgently, and that the commander of the 2nd Posavina

15 Infantry Brigade, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic, was already there. On the

16 basis of this information, I went to the heating plant by car and came to

17 the meeting.

18 Q. Mr. Zaric, you used the expression "the 4th Detachment," and just

19 before you mentioned the 5th Battalion. What unit was it at that time?

20 A. It was the 5th Infantry Battalion, because after the new

21 establishment, that was the name it was given, after the 12th of May.

22 Q. Mr. Zaric, we have already explained this. If there is a slip of

23 the tongue, we will correct it. Don't worry about this.

24 And when you arrived at the meeting in the heating plant, where

25 the Crisis Staff was, who did you see there at the meeting? Who was

Page 19461

1 present?

2 A. The office of the president of the Crisis Staff was full, full of

3 people. Apart from the commander, Mico Djurdjevic, as the commander of

4 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, there was also my commander, the

5 commander of the 5th Infantry Battalion, Captain Jovo Savic. Of the

6 people from the Crisis Staff, there was Mr. Blagoje Simic, Mr. Stevan

7 Todorovic, Bozo Ninkovic, but I don't know whether at that point in time

8 he held any special post. Then there was Simeun Simic, and in my

9 estimation, about ten lads in military camouflage uniforms, with weapons.

10 They were all in the room.

11 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you recollect whether Savo Popovic also attended

12 the meeting?

13 A. It was possible that Mr. Popovic was there as well, but I'm not a

14 hundred per cent sure right now. It is possible, though, that he was

15 there.

16 Q. Who chaired the meeting?

17 A. I wish to say that I came to the meeting, and there was a certain

18 atmosphere there. When I entered, I was assigned a small space with a

19 chair, and at the time the speaker was Mr. Stevan Todorovic, which doesn't

20 mean that he chaired the meeting as well. However, when I got into the

21 office, he was the one who was delivering the speech.

22 Q. And what transpired during the meeting, Mr. Zaric?

23 A. Mr. Todorovic, in his typical style, and in my opinion without any

24 respect for the others, turned to Colonel Mico Djurdjevic and said to him

25 that he had received information to the effect that the army, and

Page 19462

1 especially people from the special battalion, as it was called at the

2 time, were not pleased with the attitude that he took as commander, and

3 that he, as commander, was not trusted by the Serb population in the Samac

4 municipality, and should he fail to change his attitude, the Serb people

5 could pay dearly for that consequence, and that certain lack of unity

6 could come out of that in the area.

7 This is what I remember Mr. Todorovic saying.

8 Q. Mr. Zaric, you also mentioned that there were some men there who

9 were armed and wearing camouflage uniforms. Do you remember anybody in

10 that group, anybody in particular?

11 A. Yes, I do. I remember Mr. Aco Jankovic, for example, who was

12 quite rough and insolent at the meeting. I remember when he addressed

13 even the president of the Crisis Staff, and later on me as well, and

14 said: Why is it that somebody who doesn't have to wear a military

15 uniform - and at that time Mr. Blagoje Simic had a military jacket, a

16 camouflage type, and I had a similar one as well - and then he turned to

17 me and said: And people like Zaric, why would they need a military

18 uniform? So as I said, he was quite rough, and he made it known that

19 should Mr. Mico Djurdjevic continue acting in this manner, that the

20 volunteers, these major warriors, if I can call them that, would leave the

21 area, and that with them the area would be also deserted by those who

22 attended training with them, and that that could bring about negative

23 consequences among the troops and among the people.

24 I remember one of those people who took the floor. His name was

25 Aco Jankovic. And in addition to him, there was Cedo Lukic there as well,

Page 19463

1 who had attended special meeting. Then there was another lad from Gajevo,

2 whose name I cannot remember. Later on, he unfortunately was killed. I

3 think the name was Lukic. I think he attended the meeting as well.

4 So all in all, those were the men who had attended the training,

5 which prior to the war was kept secret by Mr. Todorovic and some other

6 people who had sent them there.

7 Q. And in this tense atmosphere, did Commander Djurdjevic give some

8 kind of a proposal to Mr. Blagoje Simic?

9 A. I don't wish to repeat myself, but I, and perhaps quite a large

10 number of people who had occasion to hear and to see what was the attitude

11 of Mr. Djurdjevic as commander, and I have to say that he's a very calm,

12 moderate person - he, having assessed the situation, said the following:

13 This is not an atmosphere in which such serious discussions can take

14 place. And then he suggested to Mr. Blagoje that all of us who were in

15 the room should leave it and to have Mr. Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic,

16 and himself only remain in the room. And following that, this is exactly

17 what took place: All of us left the room, while the three of them

18 remained there in the office of the president of the Crisis Staff.

19 Q. Did somebody else enter the room subsequently, the office of the

20 president of the Crisis Staff, while the meeting, including Djurdjevic,

21 Simic, and Todorovic, still went on?

22 A. In the lower part of that building, which is called the heating

23 plant, there was a mini restaurant where some of us sat. Some of the

24 people were in front of the building. And after about an hour, perhaps

25 even less than that, after about an hour following our leaving the room, a

Page 19464

1 car came with Mr. Crni in it, and then he entered the room with those

2 three gentlemen in it.

3 Q. How long did that meeting in the office of the president of the

4 Crisis Staff go on for?

5 A. An hour at the most.

6 Q. What did you learn following the end of that meeting?

7 A. The first to come down the stairs was Mr. Stevan Todorovic, who

8 was in a very good mood and quite talkative. He came down to the mini

9 restaurant where all of us were sitting. He said: Everything is over.

10 Commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade is Crni. He didn't say

11 Dragan Djordjevic. He just said Crni. He said commander of the 2nd

12 Posavina Infantry Brigade is Crni. Everything has been agreed. There

13 will be no problems.

14 He came to Mr. Jovo Savic [as interpreted] and to me to

15 congratulate us on the appointment of the new commander, whereas I

16 considered this to be a slap in our face.

17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one word in transcript, page 21, line 14. He

18 came to Mr. Jovo Savic and to me. Mr. Zaric was referring to Todorovic.

19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Mr. Zaric, did Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, truly become commander of

21 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?

22 A. Unfortunately, he did.

23 Q. What is your opinion about his military qualifications and skills

24 as commander of a brigade, and I mean Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, here?

25 A. He did not have the skills to command a unit of that size.

Page 19465

1 However, he was a brave soldier and he could have led a small sabotage

2 unit. I do not deny that.

3 Q. Did he have any military education? Did he hold a rank, a

4 military rank?

5 A. As far as I knew then, and as far as I learned later, he had no

6 qualifications whatsoever. He was an ordinary soldier. He had only

7 attended this special training based on which he received the status of

8 the instructor or inspector within the special police forces.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the question.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the answer, the question was not recorded.

11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, who was appointment chief of the 2nd Posavina Infantry

13 Brigade within the army of Republika Srpska?

14 A. When Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Dencic, who was acting

15 commander of the east Bosnia Corps, officially appointed Mr. Dragan

16 Djordjevic, Crni, commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, then

17 many of us learned for the first time that his actual name was Dragan

18 Djordjevic. Up until that time, we only knew him as Crni, which was his

19 nickname. When, after two or three days following this meeting at the

20 Crisis Staff, he received an official decision appointing him commander

21 and awarding him the rank of lieutenant colonel, which is something that

22 can happen anywhere in the world, therefore, then Dragan Djordjevic, Crni,

23 appointed Srecko Radovanovic chief of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

24 His nickname was Debeli. And he and Crni had come together with the other

25 Specials on the 11th of April, 1992.

Page 19466

1 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you remember who was appointed commander of the

2 military police company at the time?

3 A. Jovanovic, Zvjezdan, was appointed company commander of the

4 military police. He was one of the Specials that had come from Serbia.

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, following these changes within the command of the 2nd

6 Posavina Infantry Brigade, was commander of the 5th Battalion within this

7 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade also replaced? And now I'm talking of Jovo

8 Savic.

9 A. Yes. I remember that event very clearly. After the arrival of

10 Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, as commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry

11 Brigade, Captain Jovo Savic was replaced. He used to be commander of the

12 5th Infantry Battalion. And he was -- the person who replaced him was

13 Mr. Radovic, whom I considered a military dissident. And at the time I

14 was collecting information that would lead to him being disciplined, due

15 to some of the acts he had committed.

16 Q. Did Mr. Mladen Radovic have any rank, officer's rank, or was he a

17 non-commissioned officer?

18 A. I believe that he was a sergeant at the time.

19 Q. Mr. Zaric, and who removed Mr. Jovo Savic, Captain Jovo Savic,

20 from his post as commander of the 5th Infantry Battalion and replaced him

21 with Mladen Radovic?

22 A. The decision replacing the old commander and appointing the new

23 commander was the decision passed by Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, commander of

24 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and Captain Savic was the one who

25 relayed to me certain details regarding that. After he was replaced, he

Page 19467

1 told me about what had happened in the premises of the department store,

2 which is where Mr. Savic went pursuant to summons from Mr. Stevan

3 Todorovic and where Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was present as well.

4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, shortly thereafter, did you travel to

5 Belgrade?

6 A. Yes. Shortly after these events I went there.

7 Q. Who asked you to go to Belgrade, Mr. Zaric?

8 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic asked me to go to Belgrade. It was a telephone

9 call that came in the evening hours.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the accused please break

11 between question and answer.

12 A. He told me that I should be in Belgrade the following day, due to

13 certain tasks and things that needed to be done. When he spoke with me on

14 the phone, he didn't give me the reasons. I told him that I didn't mind

15 going there because I considered that to be an opportunity to visit my

16 family as well. That was my thinking.

17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Zaric, who else went to Belgrade with you, and how did you

19 travel there? What transportation means did you use?

20 A. When Blagoje told me that I was to go to Belgrade, I asked him

21 what were the arrangements, when we were to leave, and so on. Since

22 Mr. Blagoje Simic and I lived in the same building but not in the same

23 parts of the building, he told me that sometime around 6.00 I should be in

24 front of the building and that the car would come to fetch us. That's

25 exactly how it was. It was Blagoje who went to Belgrade with me. We were

Page 19468

1 driven in a police car by Mr. Stevan Todorovic and Mr. Miroslav Tadic came

2 with us as well.

3 Q. Was there somebody awaiting you in Belgrade?

4 A. Yes. In Belgrade, by a building which was considered to be a

5 government building of the Republika Srpska in Belgrade, in front of the

6 building we were met by Mr. Milos Bogdanovic, who at the time was

7 municipal secretary for National Defence in Bosanski Samac municipality.

8 In the car with him was his wife and two children.

9 Q. When you met with Milos Bogdanovic, was there a verbal conflict

10 that broke out there and then; and if so, please tell us who was involved.

11 A. We did not stay long there in front of that building, as

12 Mr. Todorovic had told us that we should leave as soon as possible in

13 order to attend a meeting at the republic Ministry of the Interior of

14 Serbia, because there were some people there that he had and that we had

15 to see. Therefore, he just suggested for Milos Bogdanovic to transfer

16 from the car in which he was to the car in which all of us were.

17 Therefore, Milos joined us, whereas his wife and children remained at the

18 parking place, waiting there for him, because Milos believed that he would

19 be able to join his family shortly.

20 In the car, as we were driving towards the centre of Belgrade,

21 Milos Bogdanovic put a question to Mr. Todorovic in front of all of us.

22 He said: Stevo, what were your orders all about, the orders on arresting

23 people in Gorice? Yesterday I barely managed to pass, and were it not for

24 Debeli - and by this he referred to Srecko Radovanovic, who at the time

25 was chief of staff - therefore, were it not for him, I would not have been

Page 19469

1 able to go to Belgrade. You had ordered to your policemen at the

2 checkpoint in Gorice to arrest me.

3 I saw Mr. Simo Zaric, Miroslav Tadic, Jovo Savic, Fadil Topcagic,

4 and Savo Popovic on that list of yours of men to be arrested. Those were

5 approximately the names of people who, pursuant to Stevan Todorovic's

6 order, should have been arrested.

7 Q. And what happened after that?

8 A. Stevo said that this was some kind of a pre-emptive message and

9 that he did not consider it to be terribly important. However, I have to

10 say that when I heard about this in the car, when I heard that my name was

11 on the list of people to be arrested, a very fierce verbal conflict broke

12 out between myself and Mr. Todorovic, and in that altercation and

13 argument, while we were arguing, we arrived into the yard of the Republic

14 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.

15 Q. And how did that conflict calm down, the conflict involving you

16 and Bogdanovic, on one side, and Stevan Todorovic on the other side?

17 A. Only owing to Mr. Blagoje Simic. He said something along these

18 lines: If we are unable to calm down, and if we are unable to overcome

19 this arguments, then we should get back into the car and return to Samac

20 immediately. That's what Blagoje said in the yard of that building, once

21 we got there.

22 I have to say that after that, we calmed down a little bit,

23 because we had arrived in front of the building and we were to attend a

24 meeting that seemed to have been organised by Mr. Stevan Todorovic.

25 Q. Did you have a meeting in the building of the Ministry of the

Page 19470

1 Interior of Serbia?

2 A. Mr. Todorovic was the only one who left the car while it was

3 parked in the yard of that building. The four of us remained in the car.

4 He went to the reception desk and talked to the duty person and was told

5 that Mr. Frenki was not there and that we could not attend the meeting

6 that he had planned, but should rather go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic, who

7 at the time had a post in the federal government of Yugoslavia.

8 Q. And did you go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic?

9 A. Yes, we did. We went in a car to the new Belgrade area, where the

10 building of the federal government was at the time. Mr. Andjelko Maslic

11 is somebody who was originally from our area, from the area of Bosanski

12 Samac municipality, and he was the last secretary of the presidency of the

13 federal Yugoslavia.

14 Q. Mr. Zaric, did all of you go to see Mr. Andjelko Maslic?

15 A. Yes, all of us.

16 Q. What did you talk about with Mr. Andjelko Maslic on that occasion

17 when you visited him?

18 A. As far as I can remember, there were several current topics to be

19 discussed with Mr. Andjelko Maslic. The most important topic, as far as I

20 can remember, dealt with the fate of certain requests, concerning which

21 the Crisis Staff of Samac wrote to the federal government, and it had to

22 do with the fate of Serbs that had been arrested and detained in Odzak

23 municipality. We spoke to Mr. Andjelko Maslic whether anything else could

24 be done regarding that, whether any other contacts could be used to do

25 something about the fate of those detained people. And the other topic

Page 19471

1 that we discussed was the fate of a large number of refugees from the

2 territory of Samac municipality who, according to our information, were

3 stationed in two or three areas, locations, around Belgrade. I know that

4 a large number of refugees of all nationalities from Samac were housed

5 around Bezanijska Kosa, another group near Pancevo, and there was a third

6 location where they were housed. I also remember well that Mr. Blagoje,

7 just like all of us, insisted and pleaded with Mr. Maslic to see what he

8 could do to assist, through the Red Cross and other institutions, to see

9 what he could do for the people from our area.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it is

11 time for our break now.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take our break.

13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we proceed, the Trial Chamber would like to

16 address the Prosecution. The demographer's report was filed on the 8th of

17 May, and the Trial Chamber wanted to find out from the Prosecution when

18 they will be able to reply, to indicate whether they want the expert for

19 cross-examination. We were thinking that maybe you would be able to reply

20 by Friday this week.

21 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't think that should be a problem at all, if

22 Your Honours please, and I'm quite happy to put in a reply by Friday.

23 That should be no problem at all.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We can have the reply orally, unless there are

25 some other details you wish to put in.

Page 19472

1 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd be very grateful if we could do that. That

2 would save a lot of time.


4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll -- perhaps Friday morning or afternoon,

5 depending on whether we have morning or afternoon sessions, I'll --

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think by morning so that --

7 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. I'll make it clear on Friday. Thank

8 you.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: If the Prosecution indicates that they would like to

10 cross-examine, the Trial Chamber was thinking that - this was addressed to

11 the Defence, especially Mr. Lukic, who appears to be in touch with this

12 expert - that she should attend court on the 26th of May, that is, in two

13 weeks' time.

14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not think this will

15 cause any problems. Independently of the Prosecution's request and

16 decision of the Trial Chamber, I have already asked the Victims and

17 Witnesses Unit to prepare the visa for Mrs. Radovanovic, and I think that

18 it will be granted. At the time I was discussing with her the schedule in

19 principle, she said that she could come in May any time, except that she

20 would need to know two or three days earlier because of her other

21 commitments. So if we accept that it will be the 26th of May, that will

22 be fine, and I can, if it is so decided, I shall inform her to reserve

23 that particular time and she'll come. There will be no problems.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think it would be better to inform her of

25 that date right away, and then subject to confirmation as to which

Page 19473

1 position the Prosecution will take by Friday, so that she can clear her

2 diary. Thank you.

3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, by all means. That is

4 the best option. So I'll let her know today, and as far as she is

5 concerned, there will be no problem whatsoever.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, you can continue.

7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Mr. Zaric, before the break we were talking about the meeting at

9 Mr. Andjelko Maslic's. So how did this meeting with Mr. Andjelko Maslic

10 end?

11 A. Well, I'd say that it ended in a completely normal atmosphere

12 among people who knew one another and who had to discuss two or three

13 serious subjects. But to my mind, it ended very correctly.

14 Q. Fine. Did you go to any other meeting after the meeting with

15 Mr. Andjelko Maslic ended?

16 A. I did.

17 Q. And where did you go, and who else went with you?

18 A. After the meeting, we went to Zemun, which is a part of Belgrade,

19 to the main building of the command of the air force and AAD of

20 Yugoslavia. And when we set off from the platform in front of that

21 building which housed government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

22 and where we had been at the meeting with Mr. Andjelko Maslic, Stevan

23 Todorovic, whether in jest or deliberately, said, in front of everybody:

24 Now I'm taking you to my central office. That was his interjection, his

25 comment. And after ten minutes or so, because it wasn't far away, we

Page 19474

1 fetched up in front of this building of the command of the AF and AAD of

2 Yugoslavia.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, who received you there in that building of the AF and

4 AAD command?

5 A. In the office to which we went upstairs, after, of course, the

6 procedure of reporting at the reception desk, we were welcomed -- well,

7 they -- he was introduced as General Gajic. General Bajic --

8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises.

9 A. -- was at the time Chief of Staff of the AF, AAD of Yugoslavia, so

10 I'm referring to General Bajic. There was also with him Colonel -- his

11 name escapes me right now, even though it is very familiar. But I'll

12 remember it as I testify. And Mr. Todorovic greeted them, particularly

13 cordially and warm-heartedly, and from this I concluded that they had

14 known each other from before. Then we entered a large conference room,

15 with a large conference table with several chairs. In that room there

16 were already two men in police uniforms, and they merely introduced

17 themselves, saying they were coming from the federal secretariat of the

18 interior. That was that I do not remember their names, but as we shook

19 hands, Colonel Jeremic -- now it's come to me, I'm sorry. I have just

20 remember, it was Colonel Jeremic who was the PR man for a man in the

21 security department of the special service of the AF, AAD of Yugoslavia.

22 We entered this room, all five of us. We had -- we partook of

23 coffee there, and a spontaneous discussion started after that.

24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Zaric, before that, had you ever met General Bajic and

Page 19475

1 Colonel Jeremic?

2 A. No. I never met them, nor, to be quite honest, had I ever heard

3 of them before.

4 Q. What was discussed at that meeting?

5 A. Well, at first there was the usual atmosphere. Stevan Todorovic

6 perhaps took the lead and made some general assessments about the state of

7 things on the front line in the area of Bosanski Samac, and during the

8 meeting, after that atmosphere, a man turned up and everybody received him

9 with a certain respect and stood up. He was wearing civilian clothes and

10 he merely introduced himself as Frenki.

11 Q. Did you ever learn the real name of that person, and what post did

12 he hold?

13 A. I learned that only after I arrived here in The Hague. That is,

14 before that, I had no idea. And when he introduced himself as Frenki and

15 said he came from the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, that was the

16 only identification we heard about him at that meeting.

17 Q. But later on did you find out what his name was?

18 A. Yes. He's called Simatovic.

19 Q. Mr. Zaric, at that meeting, was there any mention of Dragan

20 Djordjevic, called Crni, and who raised that topic on that occasion?

21 A. Yes. Dragan Djordjevic did come up in the discussion. I think

22 that it was after Mr. Frenki arrived it became the chief topic at the

23 meeting and the chief topic of the discussion conducted then. Mr. Blagoje

24 Simic, during those discussion, when the term came to talk about Dragan

25 Djordjevic, Crni, said, more or less, that this was an individual who

Page 19476

1 enjoyed outstanding trust of the combatants in the area of Samac, that he

2 was a brave guy, and that that was the impression he left amongst the

3 troops.

4 After him, Stevan Todorovic made charisma out of Mr. Dragan

5 Djordjevic, Crni, as said.

6 Q. Will you please explain what you mean by this.

7 A. Well, he approximately said that new time gives birth to new

8 heroes and that he, simply put -- for the Serbian Bosnian people he had

9 become an idol, that he had become a hero, and that it had become

10 inconceivable to wage any further struggle without him and that that was

11 one of the chief reasons why he had been appointed and was currently

12 performing the duty of the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade

13 in Samac. And among other things, he said how valiant he was, how brave

14 he was, how intrepid he was, and he said that he had to all intents and

15 purposes become the idol of the Serbian people and that the struggle could

16 not be fought without him. That was about that.

17 Q. Did Mr. Simatovic say anything on that occasion concerning the

18 abilities and qualifications of Mr. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni?

19 A. He did, very briefly. Mr. Frenki Simatovic commented on those

20 thoughts that we had heard before, and I remember well when Mr. Frenki

21 said, approximately this: I think that Crni is not a man of a calibre

22 allowing him to lead a brigade. He does not possess those abilities. His

23 level is such that he could lead perhaps a unit of a sabotage nature. But,

24 he said, if it is your decision to have him as a brigade commander, then

25 you need another team of people in the command of the brigade who are

Page 19477

1 qualified -- who are properly qualified, because Crni can't even read

2 maps. And I remember that very well indeed.

3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. How long, as this meeting went on, did

4 General Bajic talk over the telephone with somebody?

5 A. Yes. General Bajic, after all this talk and requests put forward

6 by Mr. Todorovic, and invitation to all of us present there to voice our

7 official opinions as to what we thought about Mr. Crni, and as we were

8 doing that, I think that Mr. Miroslav Tadic was the only one who wasn't in

9 the room with us there as we were discussing this, because as we were

10 discussing it, Mr. Miroslav Tadic left the room for a moment to meet a

11 high-ranking officer in the AF and AAD Yugoslavia who was a relative of

12 his and who was a pilot in the air force of Yugoslavia and was born in

13 Novi Grad. And I know that Miroslav Tadic at some point went out of the

14 room, and then Milos Bogdanovic presumably assessed the situation - I

15 don't know how - and said that he had nothing against Crni being the

16 brigade commander. And to be quite honest, it was fortunate for me that

17 before me Mr. Frenki took the floor and said what he said. That is what

18 I've just told you about. And when Mr. Todorovic insisted, said: Let's

19 hear what Mr. Zaric has to say about Mr. Crni. Your Honours, at that

20 moment, I assessed my position, and I wish to say that all I said was: In

21 view of the thoughts expressed by Mr. Frenki, that is, that Crni was not

22 up to the job and so on, that I agreed with that appraisal, but that in

23 principle I had nothing against Mr. Crni discharging that duty.

24 The words I uttered were the result of my assessment of the

25 situation rather than my private opinion and appraisal of his

Page 19478

1 capabilities. But it is up to the Honourable Court to make the final

2 assessment.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have been talking now about things that I had

4 already prepared about that, but you didn't answer the question that I

5 asked you, and that was whether General Bajic, during that meeting, talked

6 with somebody over the telephone.

7 A. Yes. After this discussion that I've told you about, General

8 Bajic said: Right now I'm going to call General Mladic. Now did he say

9 my class? When he says "class," then in the Yugoslav People's Army and

10 perhaps in other armies of the world, this usually means people belonging

11 to a particular generation when they graduate from the military academy.

12 So he stood up, opened the door, left the room, and there one of the

13 officers, because there was a small office in front of this one, an

14 officer provided a connection for him and he had a conversation with

15 General Ratko Mladic so clearly that we could roughly hear what General

16 Bajic was saying. We don't know what General Mladic was saying, but we

17 know the approximate words which General Bajic uttered.

18 Q. And did you conclude from these words that General Bajic was

19 talking with General Ratko Mladic?

20 A. Yes, absolutely.

21 Q. And as he was talking with General Mladic, what kind of a

22 conversation was it? Could you learn something from the manner in which

23 you were listening to this conversation?

24 A. Well, you see, when General Bajic let Mladic know that there was

25 some kind of a delegation of representatives from Samac and that we were

Page 19479

1 allegedly supporting Mr. Crni, and so on, then General Mladic said

2 something and replied. And after that, I remember well General Bajic

3 saying: I know that Mladic, but he was appointed by Dencic. As if

4 Lieutenant or Colonel Dencic who was discharging the duty had appointed

5 Crni as the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. And then a

6 conversation ensued. Right. So that's the situation. Let them see how

7 he will turn out to be. And that was the end of the talk and the

8 conversation between General Bajic and General Mladic.

9 Q. And then General Bajic returned to the room. Did he say anything?

10 A. Yes, he did. So help me. My classmate seems to be angry. But,

11 he said, or at least that is how I understood it, he should now take you

12 to task. And this word, "take you to task," means to tell him some -- to

13 criticise him, to say something daring. That is how I understood -- that

14 is how I saw this word, "take to task," to Blagoje Simic.

15 Q. And did Blagoje Simic go and take over the connection?

16 A. Yes. Blagoje Simic went. He greeted General Mladic. They did

17 not talk long. Blagoje was explaining some attitude concerning Mr. Crni,

18 that is, that he was enjoying this courage amongst the soldiers, as said.

19 And General Mladic replied something, and later on Blagoje Simic told us

20 what was General Mladic's reaction within that context. And he said:

21 Right, General. We shall bear this in mind, as we are about to do. Thank

22 you. It was only two or three sentences which we could overhear through

23 this open door, and Mr. Blagoje, I have to say, returned to this office

24 rather flushed. One could see that this conversation with Ratko Mladic

25 didn't make him particularly happy, that he was quite upset about it, I'd

Page 19480

1 say.

2 Q. And what did Blagoje Simic tell you after all that? What was the

3 conversation between him and General Mladic about?

4 A. Well, simply, and in a nutshell, Blagoje said that General Mladic

5 had said to him: Mr. President, you are the municipal mayor, mobilise the

6 people to feed the army, take care of other things which have to do with

7 the people, and don't meddle with the army and their personnel policy

8 there. At least that is what I understood to have been the message, as

9 Blagoje put it to us. And I also remember when Blagoje told him that he

10 had been appointed by Colonel Dencic, that he had not been appointed by

11 the Crisis Staff. So that would be this story in a nutshell.

12 Q. And how long did this meeting take? How long did you stay there?

13 A. Well, not particularly long, because people had other

14 commitments. And after this whole story, I don't know if we had that one

15 coffee or more, or did we finish our discussions then and left this

16 building of the AF and AAD. Whatever the case, we did not stay there much

17 longer.

18 Q. Did you have any other meetings with official representatives of

19 the government of Serbia or the army or somebody?

20 A. No, nobody else. I know well that we only went back to that first

21 building that we had gone to when we had arrived in the morning, and in

22 that car, Mr. Milos Bogdanovic's wife and his two children were still

23 sitting in that car. It was already in the afternoon hours. So that

24 Milos Bogdanovic stayed on with his family, and Mr. Blagoje,

25 Mr. Todorovic, Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and I returned to Samac.

Page 19481

1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, now we shall move on to the subject of

2 exchanges. What can you tell us about the exchange of the 26th of May,

3 1992, near the village of Zasavica, by the Bosna River, which you have

4 already mentioned in your testimony? How did you find out about that

5 exchange?

6 A. A day or two before that exchange, there was a lot of talk in the

7 town of Samac about it, and it just happened that I learnt that such an

8 exchange was afoot and that representatives of the International Red Cross

9 were involved in it, and I think that the first information about that

10 exchange I received in a spontaneous conversation with Mr. Tadic. But

11 some other people also knew about that exchange, so that it was not

12 difficult to learn that this exchange was being organised by the

13 International Red Cross.

14 Q. Were you present during the exchange? Will you tell us: Where

15 were you?

16 A. Yes, I was present at the exchange. It took place at the

17 outskirts of the village of Zasavica, on the bank of the Bosna, which

18 separates the municipalities of Samac and Odzak. On that occasion, from

19 what I could see, there were many people, I'd say, who, either out of

20 curiosity or because somebody from the other side was coming to them, were

21 onlookers at that exchange, and the vehicles which brought persons to be

22 exchanged had taken a side road; that is, they didn't come through the

23 village of Zasavica. They just took a side road, fetched up some three or

24 four hundred metres away, not far from the bank of the Bosna River.

25 Q. Why were you there, and in what capacity were you there?

Page 19482

1 A. I had received information that the exchange which the Red Cross

2 was in charge of would involve members of my family and relatives arriving

3 from the municipality of Odzak, and this was the main reason I was among

4 those present there.

5 Q. Did you have any assignment in that exchange?

6 A. No. I was simply an onlooker, someone waiting for his own

7 relatives to be exchanged.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.

9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there is an

10 error in the transcript, page 38, line 23. Mr. Zaric said the information

11 that the Red Cross had at its disposal. It says here: "Which the Red

12 Cross was in charge of." He said that the information that was at the

13 disposal of the Red Cross was that his relatives would be arriving. So

14 could this be clarified, please.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. How did you, Mr. Zaric, get the information that some relatives of

18 yours would be exchanged in this exchange organised by the International

19 Red Cross? Who did you get the information from?

20 A. I personally got this information in the Red Cross, because I went

21 there when I heard that they were coming. I went to their offices. And

22 one of the women there showed me the list, and I saw a large number of my

23 relatives and friends, all of them elderly, that would be coming.

24 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you went to the Red Cross, did you go to the

25 municipal Red Cross of Bosanski Samac municipality?

Page 19483

1 A. Yes. That was the municipal Red Cross that had its headquarters

2 in the pensioners' club.

3 Q. Thank you.


5 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honours. In relation to the question before,

6 at line 14: How did you, Mr. Zaric, get the information that some

7 relatives of yours would be exchanged in this exchange organised by the

8 International Red Cross, with respect, there's been no evidence from this

9 witness that it was in fact organised by the International Red Cross. A

10 few moments ago, Mr. Zaric said it was easy to learn that it had been. In

11 my submission, if he's going to say that and try to assert that it's an

12 established fact, that it was in fact organised by the International Red

13 Cross, that's the ICRC, Mr. Zaric has to tell the Trial Chamber the source

14 of his information that enables him to so conclude.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You've heard what Mr. Re has

16 said.

17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have heard what my learned

18 friend has said.

19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, on page 38, line 5, Mr. Zaric was

20 giving his answer, "exchange was afoot and the representatives of the

21 International Red Cross were involved in it." I found it in the

22 transcript, so this is not quite accurate what Mr. Re just said.

23 Mr. Zaric actually did mention International Red Cross as the organiser of

24 this exchange, on page 38, line 5 and 6.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but I thought that the Prosecution would still

Page 19484

1 want to know how he came to know that the International Red Cross were

2 involved at all. The question still remains.

3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Mr. Zaric, how did you learn that there would be an exchange and

5 that this exchange was being organised and carried out by the

6 International Red Cross?

7 A. I said that one of the people who gave me this information was

8 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, from whom I heard that the International Red Cross was

9 getting involved and that there would be an exchange and that certain

10 talks had been held with the local Red Cross in Bosanski Samac. This is

11 the information I received, and about two days before this information [as

12 interpreted], this was generally known. And on the 26th, in the morning,

13 I went to the Red Cross, and from one of the women - I think it was

14 Mrs. Petkovic or perhaps Mrs. Jovanovic, who were working there - I got a

15 list. I saw the list drawn up by the local Red Cross of people arriving

16 from the municipality of Odzak to the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

17 This is why I decided to be present at the exchange.

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... For the

19 transcript on page 41, line 8. Mr. Zaric actually said: "About two days

20 before this exchange," not this information, "this was generally known."

21 It was generally known two days before the exchange actually happened.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.

23 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I renew my objection to

24 Mr. Zaric saying that he knew that the International Red Cross had

25 organised the exchange. The explanation he has just given in response to

Page 19485

1 my learned friend's question: How did you know it was organised, was

2 Mr. Tadic had told me that the ICRC was "getting involved." And there's a

3 large difference between organising and getting involved. And unless

4 Mr. Zaric can give a better basis for his knowledge, for his conclusion of

5 "organised," I object to that evidence going in.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: I think from Mr. Zaric's point of view, besides

7 informing the Trial Chamber that he was given that information by

8 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, he hasn't said anything further.

9 Yes, you can continue, Mr. Pisarevic.

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

11 Q. When you arrived in the area where the exchange was to be carried

12 out, that is, in the vicinity of the River Bosna, where were you standing,

13 and who were you with, when you reached that spot?

14 A. I stood there with a group of citizens, perhaps 20 or 30 metres

15 away from the trucks, when the trucks arrived with a police escort. And

16 among these citizens, there were people from Trnjak, Donja Dubica, Novi

17 Grad, who either lived in the Bosanski Samac municipality or had arrived

18 there before the war, and they wanted to show that they cared about their

19 people. So there was quite a large group of citizens there looking on and

20 observing the course of the exchange.

21 Q. This group of people whom you have just described, this was the

22 group you were standing with, if I understood you correctly, 20 metres

23 away from the trucks, in which the persons participating in the exchange

24 were?

25 A. Precisely so.

Page 19486

1 Q. You have just said that this group of people, which included you,

2 was some 20 or 30 metres away from the trucks where the people to be

3 exchanged were. How far were you from the bank of the River Bosna, where

4 the exchange actually took place?

5 A. Three hundred to four hundred metres, in my estimation, because

6 there was a winding path leading to that spot and we couldn't see, but the

7 bank was some 300 to 400 metres away from the spot where we were standing.

8 Q. Mr. Zaric, was Teodor Tutnjevic among that group?

9 A. It's possible, but I'm not sure. I can't remember now. It's

10 possible that he was.

11 Q. Did you, Mr. Zaric, come to the village of Zasavica together with

12 Teodor Tutnjevic?

13 A. Yes. I remember that he drove me there, so he was there.

14 Q. I assume that you were able to see the trucks. Could you explain

15 what the procedure was for the exchange? Who was beside the trucks? How

16 did events unfold?

17 A. There were policemen from the public security station next to the

18 trucks, and when the people got off the trucks, their names were read out

19 by a representative of the ICRC, next to whom, I remember well, was one of

20 the policemen. The representative of the ICRC could not read the names

21 properly because the local names are difficult to pronounce, and the

22 policeman who was observing the representative [Realtime transcript read

23 in error "president"] of the ICRC reading out the names, after five or six

24 names, he would, if the representative of the ICRC calling out the names

25 had mispronounced the name, then the policeman would correct it.

Page 19487

1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Just for clarification: It says on

2 page 43, line 19 that it was the president of the International Committee

3 of the Red Cross who was reading out the names. I think maybe we should

4 check with Mr. Zaric to see who actually it was.

5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said "representative."

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's what I heard, representative. It's

7 just the way it is typed. So it was representative, actually. So just

8 proceed with your evidence.

9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Mr. Zaric, is it right?

11 A. I said "representative."

12 Q. Very well. And when the group was formed, where did it go?

13 A. When a group of five or six people was formed, one of the

14 policemen would lead those people down the path, in the direction of the

15 River Bosna, where the exchange was carried out. In the meantime, we

16 observing the situation were informed that on the bank of the River Bosna

17 there was a woman who was also a representative of the ICRC, and another

18 representative, as far as I knew, there were three of them all together,

19 who were registering certain things and directly conducting the exchange.

20 Q. Mr. Zaric, from the spot where you were standing, were you able to

21 see that woman and those other representatives carrying out the exchange

22 on the bank of the River Bosna?

23 A. No. From the spot where we were standing, we couldn't, or at

24 least I couldn't see that.

25 Q. On that occasion while you were there, in one of the groups of

Page 19488

1 people to be exchanged, was there someone who approached you and asked you

2 something?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Tell us who it was and how this happened.

5 A. I was approached by Mr. Andrija Petric, a man who knew me, and I

6 have to say that I also knew Mr. Petric from before, and probably in

7 passing, when he was supposed to go down toward the River Bosna, he said

8 he wanted to see me. And these people said to me that Andrija Petric

9 wanted to see me and tell me something, and of course I approached Andrija

10 to see him and to see what he wanted from me.

11 Q. And what did Mr. Andrija Petric ask you to do?

12 A. Andrija only said that he did not want to go to the other side,

13 that his wife and children were remaining on this side, and it so happened

14 that Andrija Petric was married to a woman whose mother was born in

15 Trnjak, where I come from, where I was born, and I said to Mr. Petric,

16 when he got to the banks of the River Bosna, where the representatives of

17 the ICRC were, that he should tell them that he did not want to cross over

18 to the other side. There was nothing else I could do to help him. And he

19 said to me: Is there anyone still there? Is there somebody else there?

20 Because he thought that the man whose name -- who had called out their

21 names was doing what he was doing and that would be the end of it as far

22 as the procedure went.

23 Q. Did you explain to Mr. Petric what your status was there?

24 A. Yes. I said to him: Andrija, I don't decide about anything here,

25 but my advice to you is, because I had heard from what the people there

Page 19489

1 were saying that there was a small table there, a sort of camp table, on

2 which there was a piece of paper, and that the representatives of the ICRC

3 were there and that people were being asked as to whether they wanted to

4 go or not. So I said to him: Tell the representatives of the ICRC who

5 were there that you don't want to go, and I think everything will be all

6 right.

7 That was my suggestion to Mr. Petric.

8 Q. Do you have any information as to whether Mr. Petric was exchanged

9 on that occasion or whether he stayed behind?

10 A. No. Mr. Petric did not go on that occasion, nor was he ever

11 exchanged later on. He accepted my suggestion, and he was taken back to

12 Samac afterwards. And I think he continued to live in Samac afterwards,

13 and he testified to this here.

14 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know that after this, Andrija Petric was

15 released and allowed to go home?

16 A. Yes. He was allowed to go home and he spent the whole time with

17 his family. Of course, I know that the building in which he resided was

18 hit by a shell and he had to move somewhere else, but I know he remained

19 in Samac with his family throughout all this time.

20 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us who, if anyone, of your family members

21 arrived in that exchange from the territory of Odzak? Can you enumerate

22 some names, if you can remember them.

23 A. Among these names was my close relative, Savo Borojevic. There

24 was also Svetozar Savic, my uncle. There was also Obrad Cajic, a relative

25 of mine. There was Milan Arsenic, my uncle. And if I were to look at the

Page 19490

1 exhibit, I might remember, but perhaps it's not so relevant now.

2 Q. When these relatives of yours arrived, what did you and Toso

3 Tutnjevic do?

4 A. Toso and I took my relative, Savo Borojevic and some others in the

5 car and we went with them.

6 Q. Where did you go?

7 A. We went to Tekstilac, which is a canteen where the Red Cross, the

8 local one from Samac, had organised the reception, so to say, of these

9 people who had arrived from Odzak municipality to be exchanged.

10 Q. Mr. Zaric, were you present at the exchange of the 4th of July,

11 1992, in Lipovac?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Tell us, please, why you were present at this exchange which was

14 held on the 4th of July, 1992, in Lipovac.

15 A. There were two very important reasons. One was because it so

16 happened that I was seeing off friends of mine who were going to be

17 exchanged, especially the Prgomet family, where my daughter Natasa is

18 married to one of their family members, and some other friends related to

19 that family. The second reason was that I had information that a large

20 number of my nearest and dearest, my friends and relatives, would be

21 arriving from Odzak.

22 Q. Did the Prgomet family ask you to see them off?

23 A. Yes, they did. My friend, so I call him, Djuro Prgomet, asked me

24 if I could go with them to the place of exchange because there were about

25 30 relatives of his and his wife's on the list who had applied to the Red

Page 19491

1 Cross, wishing to go to the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and they

2 were afraid that something might happen and he would feel safer if I was

3 with them. Of course, it never occurred to me to refuse my friend's

4 request, and before this decision that he made to be exchanged, he had

5 experienced some unpleasantness. He had been arrested by the police in

6 Samac because he was a Croat. He had been detained in the school. Two

7 men were killed in front of his eyes, and he was afraid, and that was why

8 he wanted very much to leave the area with his family.

9 Q. When you say "friend," let's clarify this for the sake of the

10 transcript. Whenever you use the word "friend, Djuro Prgomet," what in

11 fact do you mean by this term "friend"?

12 A. My daughter Natasa is married to his son. In our area, the

13 parents of children who marry each other are referred to as friends.

14 They're a special kind of friend. Djuro Prgomet is the father of my

15 son-in-law, who married my daughter Natasa.

16 Q. Can you describe how you travelled from the house of

17 Djuro Prgomet, your son-in-law's father, to the place of exchange?

18 A. I think that the number of people who were exchanged on both sides

19 was such that it was one of the largest exchanges, if not the largest,

20 between the municipalities of Bosanski Samac and Odzak at the time. On

21 that day, the 4th of July, I and my driver came to my friend's house, or

22 rather, my relative's house. I helped them take their belongings and go

23 to the playing field in front of the secondary school, where buses were

24 prepared to take people to the exchange; not only them, but afterwards

25 Toso went and collected the rest of the family, because, as I say, there

Page 19492

1 were over 30 family members who had applied in the Red Cross, and some of

2 them arrived on foot, but some of them had belongings to carry, so Toso

3 went and drove them

4 Q. So they got on the buses, and then how did the exchange proceed?

5 A. They went through Bosanski Samac via Loncari, Brcko, Bijeljina,

6 Race on the bank of the Sava, which divides Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia

7 in that area, and then, when they crossed over to Serbia, they went in the

8 direction of the town of Sid. And nearby is the village of Lipovac, where

9 the international forces of UNPROFOR were stationed and where, on the 5th

10 of July, the exchange took place.

11 Q. That convoy of buses that was involved in the exchange, was it

12 subjected to any checks at various checkpoints? Were there any problems

13 while crossing through those checkpoints?

14 A. Yes, there were checkpoints. There weren't any major problems.

15 The largest problem occurred at the Gorica checkpoint. The entire convoy

16 was stopped there. I wish to say that on that occasion I went in my own

17 private car, a Golf, and when the buses were stopped, I went out of my car

18 and approached the spot to see what was it all about. One of the alleged

19 commanders of that police patrol attacked fiercely, verbally, Mr. Miroslav

20 Tadic, as well as people who were organisers of the exchange, because in

21 one of the buses there was Mr. Grga Zubak, and the policemen believed that

22 he shouldn't have been there because allegedly one could get a large

23 number of people in exchange for him. So it was a tense situation that

24 went on for several minutes, until he calmed down and let the convoy

25 continue.

Page 19493

1 Mr. Tadic and he had a fierce verbal duel before he finally

2 conceded and let the convoy go on.

3 Q. Did Grga Zubak remain on the bus?

4 A. Yes, he did. He remained in the convoy, and I remember well that

5 he also came to Sid where another unpleasant incident regarding him took

6 place. Some people arrived there, and I can tell you now that it was

7 pre-arranged by somebody else. How come Serbs from Vukovar knew that

8 Grga Zubak was on that bus? They wanted to get him off the bus, and

9 thanks to Mr. Tadic, Veljo Maslic, and Svetozar Vasovic, somebody else

10 intervened and these three gentlemen that I mentioned were the official

11 organisers of the exchange, and everybody knew that Grga Zubak was to be

12 exchanged.

13 Q. And was Grga Zubak finally exchanged on that occasion?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you, Mr. Zaric, have any official assignment in that exchange

16 that took place on the 4th of July of 1992?

17 A. None whatsoever, except what I mentioned in the beginning of my

18 testimony, when I explained how it came about that I was present there

19 during that exchange, because I was seeing some people off, some people

20 that were very dear to me, and at the same time I was greeting some

21 relatives of mine arriving from Odzak municipality.

22 Q. Were you ever a member of the exchange committee in Bosanski Samac

23 municipality, Mr. Zaric?

24 A. No, never.

25 Q. Were you a member of the municipal Red Cross, Mr. Zaric?

Page 19494

1 A. No, I was not.

2 Q. Let us now return, Mr. Zaric, to the end of May, 1992. I wish to

3 analyse with you two conversations that you had via the centre for

4 information and with the people in Odzak municipality.

5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we will be

6 mentioning a protected witness, and therefore I suggest that we now turn

7 into private session.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let's move to private session.

9 [Private session]

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 19495












12 Pages 19495 to 19511 redacted private session.














Page 19512

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.

14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Mr. Zaric, let us now move on and talk about late July 1992. It

16 was not challenged that you then became an advisor in Odzak. So would you

17 please first tell us --

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that Mr. Pisarevic has to pose the

19 question again, because his question was not: It was not challenged that

20 you then became an advisor in Odzak. This is how -- what the record says,

21 and maybe we should go through this again.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't seem to understand the interjection, but can

23 we proceed, Mr. Pisarevic.

24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, the question of Mr. Pisarevic was that

25 Mr. Zaric became deputy of the president of civilian war council in Odzak,

Page 19513

1 and here it says advisor in Odzak. It's not accurate.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see. It's the translation. Can the question

3 be repeated, please.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, you assumed the duty in Odzak as deputy president of

6 the civilian war council in Odzak; is that correct?

7 A. I was assistant, not deputy, an assistant to the president of the

8 civil war council. The president had several assistants, and that's how

9 we experienced this body. Nobody was officially his deputy.

10 Q. Thank you. First tell us: When was the municipality and town of

11 Odzak put under the control of the army of Republika Srpska?

12 A. I think it was in mid-July, around the 15th of July, when the

13 forces of the 1st Krajina Corps took the municipality of Odzak under their

14 control.

15 Q. Do you remember the name of this military operation?

16 A. It was entitled "Corridor."

17 Q. Thank you. Do you know which military formation of the army of

18 Republika Srpska took part in Operation Corridor?

19 A. These were mostly units from the 1st Krajina Corps. As far as I

20 can recall, headed by the then commander, General Omer Talic [as

21 interpreted].

22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter corrects herself. Momir Talic.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Do you know whether the 2nd Posavina Brigade took part in this

25 operation?

Page 19514

1 A. No. The 2nd Posavina Brigade did not take part in the operations

2 around Odzak.

3 Q. Do you know that after Odzak was put under the control of the army

4 of Republika Srpska, in the Odzak municipality, and therefore in the town

5 of Odzak, a military administration was introduced?

6 A. Yes, I am aware of that.

7 Q. Can you explain to us what this meant in practice and what you

8 understand by the term "military administration"?

9 A. By the term "military administration," I understand a hierarchy of

10 authority in the area, and the word "military administration" in this

11 context means that the chief power was in the hands of the military

12 administration, headed by the superior officer in charge of that area of

13 responsibility where the military administration was introduced.

14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, do you know how it came about that the

15 civilian war council was established for the municipality of Odzak?

16 A. To the best of my recollection, this was perhaps a few days after

17 the 1st Krajina Corps took control of the territory of Odzak, and a

18 meeting was held in the office of the Crisis Staff in Samac, to which I

19 was also invited. Mr. Blagoje Simic was there, as the president of the

20 Crisis Staff; Milan Simic was there; Savo Popovic; Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, who

21 at that time was already the chief of the department of the ministry of

22 National Defence; and there was also a group of people who were born on

23 the territory of Odzak municipality, some of whom had lived there before,

24 and others had lived there in the municipality of Samac, but they

25 originated from the municipality of Odzak.

Page 19515

1 Q. And what was said to you at that meeting? Why were you invited

2 there?

3 A. As far as I can remember, Mr. Blagoje Simic, as the president of

4 the Crisis Staff, informed us that a military person from the area of

5 Odzak municipality had been to see him. I think this man's name was also

6 Simic. And he was in charge of certain civilian affairs in the Krajina

7 Corps or in that military administration - I'm not sure which - but

8 Mr. Blagoje said that they had come to meet Mr. Simic and that a military

9 administration had been introduced there. But because Samac was the

10 municipality closest to Odzak and most of the Serbian people from Odzak

11 municipality had become refugees in Samac and been given refugee status,

12 all this gave me to understand that there was concern about the

13 municipality of Odzak, political or humane concern, by the institutions in

14 Samac. And then Mr. Blagoje said that they were asking the Crisis Staff

15 to try and trace a number of people who had been born in the municipality

16 of Odzak or had resided there, or residing in this area, and who might

17 perhaps assist the civilian war council in order to establish normal life

18 there, because there were no other people living in that area at that

19 time.

20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that there is some misunderstanding

21 about what Mr. Zaric has just said. On page 72, when he was talking about

22 people who were born in the municipality of Odzak or had resided there, or

23 resided in this area, and who might perhaps assist the civilian war

24 council in order to establish normal life there. He was referring to the

25 military organs, not civilian war council. It wasn't established yet,

Page 19516

1 obviously, at that point. He was referring to military administration

2 that was already established.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps Mr. Zaric can go over that.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please slow down and explain and answer this

6 question as to the purpose of gathering these people together, whom they

7 were supposed to assist, and so on.

8 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic informed us that this military person had asked

9 him to have a civilian military body established, composed of people who

10 had been born on the territory of the municipality of Odzak, regardless of

11 whether they had been residing there or whether they were residing

12 somewhere in the municipality of Samac, and the purpose of this was that

13 the military administration, which had already been established there,

14 should be assisted in establishing normal civilian life in the area.

15 That's what I understood at that meeting.

16 Q. Thank you. And was this civilian war council in Odzak established

17 then?

18 A. Some people who were present at the meeting came up with

19 suggestions. For example, Miso Pavic, from Novi Grad; and Andrija

20 Jovanovic from Donja Dubica; and Mr. Milosevic from Donja Dubica, and a

21 certain Goranovic from Trnjak. Spontaneously a suggestion was put forward

22 that the president of this civilian war council should be me. Mr. Blagoje

23 Simic responded to this by saying that he understood the suggestions of

24 these people and that he personally was not opposed to this, but in view

25 of some official connotations --

Page 19517

1 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.

2 A. -- Mr. Savo Popovic should be appointed to that post because he

3 was a member of the Crisis Staff and could therefore establish direct

4 communication with the Executive Board and the organs on the territory of

5 Samac municipality. I was neither in the government, nor was I a member

6 of the Crisis Staff.

7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Very well, Mr. Zaric.

9 A. Of course, I did not respond to what he said, and I said as far as

10 I was concerned there was no problem. It was agreed, however, that

11 Mr. Zaric should go there and help, as far as he was able to.

12 Q. And what was your post in late July 1992?

13 A. At that time I was assistant commander of the 5th Infantry

14 Battalion for intelligence and security and moral guidance.

15 Q. Mr. Zaric, at that meeting did you become part of that civilian

16 war council for the municipality of Odzak?

17 A. A general suggestion was made at that meeting by some of the

18 participants, and the entire civilian war council was not nominated at

19 that meeting. This was worked out later on in the course of practical

20 work in the field. But a certain number of members were appointed at that

21 time, and I was one of them.

22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, during his testimony, Mr. Zaric, of

23 course, in a number of occasions, mentioned this body that he was a member

24 of, and he used to refer to it as civilian military council, not civilian

25 war council. Word "war" was never mentioned. So maybe these words should

Page 19518

1 be used further in the transcript, and this is actually the very same

2 body.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: This body, this civilian military council, this is

4 the same body which was headed by Savo Popovic, wasn't it?

5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Precisely, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So we use the term "civilian military

7 council," then.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. When you became part of the civilian military council, what tasks

10 were you given and what were your duties in this civilian military

11 council?

12 A. Very soon after this, we went to the municipality of Odzak, and in

13 a room in the hotel which had a sliding door and which was used as a

14 dining-room, and when the sliding door was opened, it was partitioned off

15 so that a smaller room was created. This was the first office used by the

16 civilian military council in the hotel in Odzak.

17 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you arrived in Odzak, was the first session of the

18 civilian military council held?

19 A. Yes. It was held in the room I have just described.

20 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you remember who presided at that session and who

21 was present?

22 A. The session was chaired by Colonel Novica Simic, who was then the

23 commander of the Operative Group, which had the status of a military

24 administration. And in my view, he was practically the military governor

25 at that moment. Apart from him, from the military there was the chief of

Page 19519

1 staff of the Operative Group, Major Mile Deronja; there was Mr. Mackic,

2 who was the assistant for intelligence and security in the Operative Group

3 and the military administration; then there was Colonel Dujanin, who was

4 performing the duty of the assistant commander for the rear in the area;

5 and among those of us who were from the civilian military council, there

6 were about 10 or 15 of us approximately, there was Savo Popovic, of

7 course, as the president of the civilian military council; there was

8 Rajkica or Rajko Dragic, there was Mr. Jovanovic, Mr. Milosevic,

9 Mr. Nedic, Mr. Pavic, Mr. -- I think his name was -- I don't know what it

10 was. A man who was in charge of health care. But at any rate, those were

11 some of the people who I remember well as being members of that civilian

12 military council.

13 Q. At the first session of the civilian military council in Odzak,

14 which was attended by the commander, Colonel Simic, what did Colonel Simic

15 say? What was the relationship between the military administration and

16 the civilian military council?

17 A. As far as I can remember, Colonel Simic said that on the territory

18 of Odzak municipality, in the whole area of responsibility, a military

19 administration had been introduced, and even further afield, because it

20 also covered part of the territorial which was then under the control of

21 these forces but which gravitated toward the municipality of Bosanski

22 Brod. He said that he was pleased that we were all there, that he saw in

23 us people who could help in the municipality of Odzak to create, as soon

24 as possible, the conditions for the return of the refugees who had left

25 Odzak while it was controlled by HVO forces.

Page 19520

1 He pointed out that a military administration is rarely introduced

2 but that this time it was a necessity and that it required a lot of

3 discipline, order, work, and obedience, or words to that effect. And he

4 said that it was up to the civilian military council now to nominate

5 commissioners in the local communes, where we were expecting the return of

6 refugees, to appoint commissioners in some companies in the town of Odzak,

7 where all the industry of Odzak was concentrated, and also to appoint

8 commissioners in other social institutions, in the health care system, the

9 educational system, the utilities company, and so on and so forth.

10 Q. And did the civilian military council assign tasks and appoint

11 commissioners for certain areas of activity or certain towns and

12 villages? Was this done?

13 A. Yes, this was done. And all the proposals we put forward at that

14 time, for example, who could be the commissioner in a company such as

15 Energoinvest, Elkroj, so on, or in the town of Odzak. Each such decision

16 was signed, apart from Mr. Todorovic, also by the commander of the

17 military administration.

18 Q. Which Todorovic did you mean?

19 A. I meant Popovic, Mr. Popovic, the president of the civilian

20 military council. So that each decision was signed by the command of the

21 military administration, and it also bore the stamp of the military

22 administration, appointing certain people to certain duties.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is it now time for a

24 break?

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will continue at 1445 hours.

Page 19521

1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.45 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 2.46 p.m.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.

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

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, before our break, we spoke about the appointment of

6 various commissioners, and you told us that each of the appointments made

7 by the civilian military council was further confirmed by the commander,

8 who was at the helm of the military administration. Is that right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. What was your post within the civilian military council, and what

11 were your duties and tasks?

12 A. I was assistant to the president of the civilian military council

13 for security matters. That was the simplest way of defining it. Whereas

14 the essence of my task in the hierarchy had to do with Mr. Gojko Mackic,

15 who was the security officer of the military administration in Odzak. I

16 received tasks and assignments directly from him, and I reported directly

17 to him, so to speak, or rather, everything that I found out that had to do

18 with the security, I conveyed to him personally.

19 Q. Thank you very much. When you said that you reported directly to

20 him, do you mean that you submitted certain reports to him about your

21 work?

22 A. Yes, I did submit reports to him about my work, about what I had

23 learned while working in the field; and if I made any official notes,

24 memos, or conducted any official interviews with the persons while working

25 in Odzak municipality, then I would transmit to him the written material

Page 19522

1 concerning that.

2 Q. You mentioned that you conducted certain informative interviews in

3 Odzak municipality and also compiled official notes.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the usher to help me

5 with the document, which has our internal marking PDB 8/4. If one copy

6 could be placed on the ELMO, please, or rather, if one copy could be put

7 in front of Mr. Zaric.

8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask that one copy be

9 placed on the ELMO as well.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take a look at this document.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters requested that one copy be placed

13 on the ELMO.

14 THE INTERPRETER: It has been, Your Honour. Yes, we have it.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Have you looked at it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is that an official note on the informative interview conducted

20 with Drago Rakic?

21 A. Yes, it is, an official note on informative interview conducted

22 with Drago Rakic.

23 Q. Now please take a look at the last page of the document. Is the

24 signature of the person conducting the interview, or rather, drafting up

25 the official note, your signature?

Page 19523

1 A. Yes, it is my signature.

2 Q. Could you please read to us what it says above your signature.

3 A. Above my signature it says: "Assistant to the president of the

4 military council for security matters," and then underneath it says:

5 "Simo Zaric," and you can see that I personally signed it.

6 Q. Was that your official title, the one that you've just read to us?

7 A. Yes, that's exactly what my official post was. And now that we're

8 dealing with the term "official note," I would like to explain that it's

9 not a typical statement, but rather an official note. And if you can take

10 a look at the last sentence, which is right above my signature, it says

11 there: "I suggest that the intelligence security organ for the area of

12 Trnjak conduct an additional clarifying interview with Rakic and suggest

13 further operative measures. This is what I suggested concerning Rakic and

14 then the rest was up to the people who were within the military

15 administration in Odzak.

16 Q. When you drafted this official note, what did you do with it

17 actually?

18 A. I gave this official note to Mr. Gojko Mackic, who was the chief

19 security officer for the entire area of responsibility within the military

20 administration in Odzak municipality. In the area of Trnjak, which I

21 mention here, there was a part of the unit of Laktasi Brigade, where there

22 was kept in Jez for a time a security officer. Therefore, I suggested

23 that that security officer should conduct further clarifying interview,

24 because Mr. Rakic returned back to his home and lived in the area of

25 responsibility of that unit.

Page 19524

1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I don't need that document any

2 more. Thank you. Could we please be given a number for this document.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I just wanted to be clear with you,

4 Mr. Pisarevic. You wanted this document in as an example of the type of

5 work Mr. Simo Zaric used to perform at that time?

6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Including what he did at the time.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Any objection from the Prosecution?

8 MR. WEINER: No objection, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please.

10 THE REGISTRAR: This will be treated as Exhibit D52/4 and D52/4

11 ter for the B/C/S.

12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to

13 introduce additional two documents which are identical, and all of the

14 questions that had been put so far with respect to the previous document

15 would also apply to these two documents. So perhaps we could just put

16 this before Mr. Zaric to see if this is indeed his signature. These

17 documents have internal number PDB 9/4 and PDB 10/4.

18 Q. Mr. Zaric, have you looked at this document?

19 A. Yes, I have. This is a document drafted by me. This is my

20 signature at the end of the document. And there is also a proposal to

21 undertake certain measures.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.

23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. This document is an official note that you drafted after

25 conducting an informative interview with Rajko Vujkovic?

Page 19525

1 A. Yes, that's right. This is an official note which I compiled

2 while conducting the interview with Rajko Vukovic. I would like to say

3 that when it comes to methodology in compiling this official note, that

4 what is most important to me is the content of the official note and how I

5 conveyed to the security officer.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, all right. That is the most important thing for you.

7 But now we are focusing on what was your job during that time while you

8 were in Odzak, for one month, and the question speaks for itself about

9 your work.

10 A. Yes, absolutely. I agree with that.

11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown,

12 please, document PDB 10/4.

13 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take a look. Please put it on the ELMO. Have

14 you -- did you compile this document, Mr. Zaric?

15 A. Yes, I did. This is an official note following my conducting an

16 interview, informative interview, with Borislav Rakic. At the end of this

17 document there is my signature.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I won't be needing these documents

20 any more. Thank you.

21 Could these documents be marked, please, as exhibits. Could they

22 be admitted into evidence, please, and be given numbers.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the numbers? I take it the

24 Prosecution holds the same stand.

25 MR. WEINER: Yes, we've got the same documents.

Page 19526

1 THE REGISTRAR: The official note dated 31st of July, 1992, will

2 be Exhibit D53/4 and ter for the B/C/S. The official note dated 3rd of

3 August, 1992, will be Exhibit D54/4 and ter for the B/C/S.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, we have seen here three official notes. Did you

6 compile any other similar official notes?

7 A. Yes, a great number of them. And when I say "a great number," I

8 mean tens of them, dozens of them. And they focused on the issues that

9 were covered in the official notes that we have seen here. Some of my

10 interviews were conducted with some of the residents of Odzak municipality

11 who happened to be either in the camps or happened to stay in Odzak

12 municipality. They experienced certain things. And then, together with

13 the rest of the documentation I could get a hold of, I would turn that and

14 this documentation to the security officer. I know for a fact that some

15 of the documents were sent to the committee for investigating war crimes

16 in Belgrade, which was then transmitted to the International Tribunal in

17 The Hague.

18 Q. Thank you. As regards all of the official notes compiled by you,

19 did you compile them and treat them in the same way as these three that we

20 have analysed here, or rather, who did you send this to?

21 A. The methodology was the same. I would compile up an official

22 note, then I would submit it to Mr. Gojko Mackic. During that one month

23 while I stayed in Odzak municipality, he was the chief security officer of

24 the military administration for the entire area of responsibility in

25 Odzak.

Page 19527

1 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you submit any kind of reports to the Crisis Staff

2 of Bosanski Samac municipality? Or rather, at that time, that was the War

3 Presidency.

4 A. No. I did not have such a duty, neither did anybody assign that

5 duty to me, nor did I ever submit any kind of written reports to the

6 Crisis Staff in Samac.

7 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you receive any orders from the War Presidency of

8 Bosanski Samac municipality?

9 A. No, I did not receive any orders. There is something peculiar

10 there with respect to all other members of the civilian military council.

11 The office of the Ministry of Defence of Bosanski Samac assigned me to a

12 unit which had a number within that military administration. Therefore,

13 that month that I spent there is recorded in my records as me being there

14 as a member of the military administration and working as a security

15 officer in that area.

16 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you discharged these duties in the municipality

17 of Odzak and in the town itself, did you have some kind of an office? Did

18 you have a working space; and if so, where was it?

19 A. My working space was a desk in a corner of the large room that was

20 created by closing the sliding door when the sessions of the civilian

21 military council were held. In the evening hours, or whenever I had any

22 time available, I would go to that desk and type up written material.

23 Therefore, I did not have adequate working conditions which are required

24 or were required by the nature of my work. However, such were the

25 circumstances in the beginning.

Page 19528

1 Q. Mr. Zaric, what kind of technical equipment was at your disposal

2 in the beginning?

3 A. I had nothing but a typing machine, some paper, pens, and an old

4 briefcase that I used to carry around with me and that was used as

5 evidence here.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric --

7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just for the

8 sake of clarity, I'd like to just ask Mr. Zaric one question.

9 Mr. Zaric, you mentioned here the old briefcase, and it's stated

10 here, quoting you, that "I used to carry around with me and that was used

11 as evidence here." I'd just like to point out that when we looked at a

12 briefcase here and the Judges examined it here on the Bench, it was not

13 the actual briefcase that you were using then, but rather the briefcase

14 that you bring into Court every day. Am I correct? We didn't see the

15 actual old briefcase. What was put before us was the briefcase that you

16 bring into Court every day, and we looked at that as an example of the

17 type of briefcase that you were using then, and I believe a photocopy was

18 made of it off the ELMO. Is that correct?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, you're not correct. That

20 briefcase which was photographed here is the very same briefcase that I

21 had before the war. It is at least 20 years old, and that was the only

22 briefcase I used, both during the events in Samac and while I was in Odzak

23 discharging this task. I don't think there's anything contentious here. I

24 still carry that very briefcase today. I bring my papers in it when I

25 come here to the courtroom.

Page 19529

1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I realise that, Mr. Zaric, and we see it every

2 day. It was just that my recollection - I stand to be corrected - my

3 recollection was that we were looking at that briefcase just as an example

4 of the same type. But if you say that it is the same one that you were

5 using and have used for 20 years, that's fine.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely right, Your

7 Honour. This is the briefcase that I've been using for over 20 years.

8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Mr. Zaric, you said that the civilian military council, upon

10 approval of the commander of the military administration, appointed

11 commissioners for certain economic subjects and for certain inhabited

12 places. Can you please tell us: Who was appointed by the civilian

13 military council and the military administration commissioner in the town

14 of Odzak?

15 A. In the town of Odzak, Mr. Dusko Gavric was appointed

16 commissioner. I remember some other commissioners in various local

17 communes. For example, in Donja Dubica, Minic, Aco, was appointed

18 commissioner. In Trnjak, it was Ljubo Goranovic. In Svilaj, it was

19 Mr. Rakic. In Novi Grad, it was Drago Nedic. So I remember some people

20 from that time who acted both as commissioners in local communes, and I

21 remember that Mr. Gavric was commissioner in the town of Odzak.

22 Q. Can you remember who was appointed commissioner in certain

23 economic subjects, in certain companies?

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, I think, if I recall correctly, we

25 heard most of this evidence from Mr. Savo Popovic, and I don't think that

Page 19530

1 we're interested in repeating it. I think Mr. Zaric can stick to what

2 role he played at that time. I think we had enough covered as to how the

3 administration was run there, from Mr. Savo Popovic.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We will

5 not dwell on that any more.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you came to Odzak for the first time, what did you

7 see there, or rather, what was the situation like in town?

8 A. The town was not in a particularly good situation. Several large

9 residential buildings had burnt down. For example, in a new settlement

10 called Hanka, which was not far from the gym hall and secondary school in

11 Odzak, one of the largest residential buildings in downtown Odzak, not far

12 from the market, had also burnt down, and there were a number of houses

13 that were either torched or mined. And there was a large number of

14 buildings that were not damaged by shelling or anything else. So I

15 believe that the situation as I found it indicated that there had been

16 military operations going on, that a lot of damage was created by the

17 withdrawal of the HVO, and that a lot of buildings were damaged. That was

18 the situation in the Odzak area at the time.

19 Q. Upon your arrival, did you find any civilian population in Odzak,

20 the town and the municipality?

21 A. No, no population whatsoever, except a small number of Serbs who

22 were hiding in forests, or elsewhere, during the pull-out of the HVO

23 forces. Those were the only residents we found when we arrived in Odzak

24 municipality.

25 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know whether, in Odzak municipality, in town,

Page 19531

1 there were any civilians of Croat and Muslim ethnicity at the time of your

2 arrival?

3 A. When I arrived there, I did not find any Croats or Muslims there,

4 nor did anybody say that there were any residents who were of that ethnic

5 origin.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, prior to your arrival in Odzak, was a detachment of

7 civilian police from Samac already deployed there in Odzak?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can you remember who was the commander of that detachment of

10 police from Bosanski Samac?

11 A. Commander of that police detachment was Mirko Pavic, who prior to

12 that used to work as a policeman. He was a professional policeman in

13 Bosanski Samac. Mr. Mirko Pavic was born in Novi Grad in Odzak

14 municipality, and that was perhaps one of the reasons for his appointment

15 for a time as commander of the police station in Odzak.

16 Q. Do you recall perhaps how many civilian policemen and which

17 civilian policemen were in that particular police unit from Bosanski Samac

18 sent to Odzak?

19 A. I couldn't really remember most of their names, but I know well

20 last names of some men. And even Mr. Gavric was in the early days a

21 policeman, the one who became a commissioner later on. So one was

22 Ugljesic; one was Rakic, who came from Novi Grad; there was one Milojevic,

23 from Donja Dubica; Kovacevic, from Novi Grad. I remember those guys, but

24 there were also some others whom I did not know all that well.

25 Q. Were there any checkpoints at places, at accesses to the area of

Page 19532

1 the military administration?

2 A. No. To be quite honest, during the war, in a small area, I've

3 never seen more checkpoints in a smaller area of the municipality than in

4 the municipality of Odzak.

5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Problem in the transcript. The answer was not no,

6 as recorded on page 88, line 18. Mr. Zaric started his sentence with:

7 "Never," and then he continued saying that never in one -- in a smaller

8 place were more checkpoints. And here is recorded "no." So actually it

9 is an opposite answer that Mr. Zaric gave.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can that be -- can you go over that so that we

11 get the correct answer.

12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you understand what the problem is? Will you

14 please answer the question.

15 A. To make it clear, there was a very large number of checkpoints in

16 the municipality of Odzak. Every unit which made part of the military

17 administration had its own checkpoint and some sort of its area of

18 responsibility. So that it was a psychological burden in the early days

19 to have to go through all those checkpoints. If one went from Odzak to

20 Novi Grad, or to Trnjak, which was my birth place, one had to go through

21 no less than 10 or 15, all sorts of different checkpoints.

22 Q. And who was at those checkpoints? Who manned them?

23 A. At those checkpoints, in the depth of the territory, were the

24 members of the units. At times, they had belts and looked like military

25 police, and in places there were ordinary soldiers without those white

Page 19533

1 belts. So that you enter an area, you come across a checkpoint, and they

2 were authorised to stop you, to check you, and everybody had to produce a

3 relevant paper showing that he was permitted to move in that direction.

4 Q. Did you and other members of that civilian military council, or

5 persons in general who came to the area of the military administration in

6 Odzak, was everybody bound to have a permit to enter -- to gain access?

7 A. Oh, yes, down to the last one. You couldn't move about without

8 those permits. We were members of that body, and it just so happened that

9 I was a man who was frequently on the ground, in the field, yet I couldn't

10 go anywhere without being stopped, and I had to show my pass that I had

11 been issued by the military administration so that I could move around the

12 area of responsibility, the territory of the Odzak municipality.

13 Q. Will you please explain the procedure. What did it look like?

14 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and the witness please break

15 between question and answer.

16 A. Well, the soldier stops you at the checkpoint, for me and my

17 driver, I was driven at the time by Mr. Tutnjevic and asked to see our

18 IDs. And then I show a pass which says that Mr. Simo Zaric is authorised

19 to move around the area of responsibility in the territory of the

20 municipality of Odzak.

21 Q. Will you slow down, Mr. Zaric, please.

22 Mr. Zaric, who was responsible to take care of the infrastructure

23 and normalisation of living conditions in the town of Odzak?

24 A. All this aspect of life that was being made to suit more normal

25 civilisational conditions was the responsibility of Mr. Dusan Gavric, who

Page 19534

1 assigned a team of people that he would cooperate with so that he could

2 perform all the jobs that had to do with infrastructure and everything

3 else which was indispensable for a normal life.

4 Q. Mr. Zaric, did citizens who were under labour obligation come to

5 Odzak?

6 A. Yes, they did.

7 Q. Do you know of what ethnic group did they belong to, those

8 citizens who came to Odzak under labour obligation?

9 A. Those citizens came from the territory of the municipality of

10 Bosanski Samac and were by and large Muslims and Croats, from the

11 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.

12 Q. Do you know which means of transportation, in what way did they

13 get from Bosanski Samac to Odzak?

14 A. As far as I know, at times they took buses, but more often than

15 not they would be brought in by trucks.

16 Q. Did they have any escort?

17 A. Yes. That was mandatory, in addition to a driver, there would

18 always be a policeman from the public security station, invariably, either

19 when they came by bus or when they came by truck.

20 Q. And what was the procedure for people under labour obligation to

21 make these people take these means of transportation to come to Odzak?

22 Where did they go to?

23 A. From what I could see and hear, because that was not my field,

24 they would fetch up in front of the police station's building more often

25 than not, in Odzak, I mean, and it is more or less in the centre of the

Page 19535

1 town, about three to four hundred metres away from the hotel and the

2 military administration command.

3 Q. Do you know who was there to receive them, or who would be there

4 to receive them?

5 A. They would be received there by the commissioner from Odzak, and

6 they would fetch up in front of the public security station, and then,

7 from there, they were assigned to various tasks and jobs which the

8 commissioner had agreed with the president of the civilian military

9 council or the military administration, depending on what had to be done

10 or what had most urgently to be settled at that particular moment in the

11 territory of the town of Odzak.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, to the best of your recollection, who issued tasks to

13 those people who were under labour obligation, to the best of your

14 recollection?

15 A. As far as I can remember, it was Mr. Gavric, the commissioner.

16 Q. Thank you. And you, Mr. Zaric, were those people who were under

17 labour obligation under any kind of your jurisdiction or not?

18 A. No. I absolutely had no authority over those people, nor was I in

19 a position to issue any orders to these people, that is, to do whatever.

20 It went beyond my tasks and beyond the needs of my service.

21 Q. Fine. And, Mr. Zaric, during your stay in Odzak, did you have an

22 opportunity to see those people who were under labour obligation?

23 A. Yes. I saw -- I would see them as I would walk down a street, and

24 people worked. And now it depends. Some swept streets, some mended

25 roofs. I saw women sweeping streets or putting the hotel in order, or who

Page 19536

1 worked in the kitchen, so that at times that segment of the work happened

2 before my eyes, and that is where I would see them.

3 Q. Did you ever control the work of people under labour obligation?

4 A. No, I never did that. There was no need for me to do that. And

5 in that hotel that I'm mentioning, there was a joint kitchen, a canteen,

6 for everybody who had their meals there. So that on several occasions, I

7 had the opportunity to sit together with them, and I deliberately at times

8 moved -- changed tables so as to be with everybody. For a while, it was

9 merely concerning personal relations and so on and so forth. But I know

10 they had the same meals as we did, that is, as other people who had some

11 other commitments and tasks in the territory of the municipality.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, within the framework of your jurisdiction, were you in

13 a position to protect some of the people under labour obligation in

14 Odzak? I, in particular, mean women, persons of the female gender.

15 A. Once I had the opportunity, as I was working in that room in

16 Odzak, I was approached by a young woman. She happened to be related to

17 my wife. And she complained to me of the vulgar behaviour of a soldier

18 from Krajina who insisted that she should go with him to some special

19 room, and so on and so forth.

20 Q. So what did you do when you heard it from her?

21 A. As soon as I heard about it, I notified Mr. Mackic, and I know

22 well that Mr. Mackic took certain steps, and I think later on he talked

23 with all those women, once when they were at lunch there, and said: If

24 you have problems of this kind, to let him know immediately. And after

25 his admonition, I think that a similar intervention never happened again,

Page 19537

1 and I do not think that anyone ever asked assistance because something

2 like that was happening to her. But I -- yes, but this incident stuck in

3 my memory because I personally interceded with Mr. Mackic.

4 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you aware that property was taken away from Odzak?

5 A. Yes, I am.

6 Q. Will you please tell us: What was the procedure? If somebody

7 wanted to take some property from the territory of Odzak, or rather, from

8 the territory controlled by that military administration?

9 A. I know well what people in the military administration told us at

10 a meeting we had concerning property, that it could not be taken out of

11 the area without relevant certificates which could only be issued by the

12 military administration. However, what I could see in practice, and what

13 I could learn in practice, is that there was a big gap between what was

14 theoretically advocated and verbally advocated and the manifestations this

15 phenomenon took in practice.

16 Q. Fine, Mr. Zaric. Will you please tell me: If somebody wants to

17 take out some movable property, who is it that one has to apply to for the

18 authorisation to take out this movable property from the municipality of

19 Odzak? What was the procedure to follow?

20 A. The procedure was: If it was necessary to take out some goods

21 from the territory of Odzak, then one had to have the authorisation issued

22 by the military administration, that is, without the signature or whether

23 the assistant commander for the logistics, which was part of the military

24 administration, or another authorised person, authorised by the commander

25 of the military administration, that is, and that the application could

Page 19538

1 then be submitted. And if it had to do with the civilian sector, then

2 such an application could be made by Mr. Savo Popovic, on behalf of the

3 civilian military council. If some of the goods -- if some merchandise

4 was to be taken to some other area or if somebody needed to take something

5 private from an area, again, one had to have the authorisation of the

6 relevant military administration. So without this document, and that was

7 a rule which had -- which had been made public, nobody should have been

8 allowed to take anything out without having it put on record and without

9 knowing the destination of that merchandise.

10 Q. If I understand you well, no merchandise and no property could

11 leave the territory of the municipality of Odzak without the knowledge of

12 the military administration.

13 A. That's right. That is how I understood that. And I believe that

14 certain documents which I saw by accident always bore the signature of the

15 person authorised by the military administration.

16 Q. Can you tell us: How was the control performed? That is, that

17 all the merchandise or all the movable property was accompanied by

18 appropriate documentation, how could that be checked?

19 A. Well, I have to say something in all honesty. I'm not defending

20 the position of Odzak or something that went on only in the municipality

21 of Samac or Odzak. During this unfortunate war -- this unfortunate war

22 was particularly characteristic of the general criminalisation which was

23 related both to people and the army. What happened in Odzak, even though

24 there was a military administration there. For instance, I received

25 information from some policemen that at the checkpoint, some of the

Page 19539

1 merchandise, some of the goods, with a signature of authority had left in

2 the direction of Krajina and so on and so forth.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please answer just this one question: What

4 were the measures which -- what were the measures attempted to be put in

5 order in order to enforce the decision? And we shall discuss criminal

6 removable property at some other time.

7 A. Well, it was these checkpoints which were at all the main exits

8 from Odzak. One led towards the municipality of Modrica, another one into

9 the depth of the municipality at the time of the pontoon bridge across the

10 River Bosna, one went in the direction of Samac, and the third one went

11 through Novi Grad, towards the municipality of Brod. So these were the

12 three exits, and one couldn't leave the municipality of Odzak without

13 coming across those checkpoints, at which one could check whether there

14 was documentation accompanying all the merchandise, all the movables that

15 were being taken out of the area.

16 Q. Now tell me: In your opinion, were the movables taken out

17 disregarding the procedure prescribed for the municipality of Odzak and

18 from the territory of the military administration?

19 A. I'd say yes. It did happen, and one couldn't keep it all under

20 control. I cannot say that it happened tacitly, but it looked to me as if

21 somebody tolerated a part of such phenomena.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, this answer doesn't help us at all.

23 Actually, I think it's as a result of your own question, where you asked

24 the witness whether in his opinion. What you should be asking him is what

25 actually happened, what did he see, if anything, regarding this -- the

Page 19540

1 property movements.

2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Well, that was what I was driving

3 at with my question, but perhaps I wasn't precise enough.

4 Q. Mr. Zaric, what it is that you know, what did you see, that is,

5 and what information did you receive while you stayed and worked in Odzak

6 about illegal, wrongful, illicit removal of property from the territory of

7 Odzak, that is, the town of Odzak? What do you know, if you know anything

8 about it? Will you tell the Chamber.

9 A. To begin with, I will say that when we made our first steps as the

10 civilian military council, one of our first tasks was -- and I think we

11 did it very properly indeed - we made a register of all the property found

12 in companies and private business outlets in the territory of the town and

13 municipality of Odzak.

14 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please make a pause.

15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could D49/4 be shown to the

16 witness. That is the register of property in the municipality of Odzak.

17 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please have a look at the document. Leaf

18 through it to see what it's about, and especially I want you to look at

19 the last page to see who signed the document.

20 Have you had a look?

21 A. Yes, I have. It is the document that I was talking about. Well,

22 it says here "the military council." It's some initial terminology,

23 insufficient for those early days, and it was signed by Rajko Dervenic,

24 who was assistant president of the civilian council for economic affairs

25 for the municipality of Odzak. That was the definition of the office he

Page 19541

1 held in this civilian military council.

2 Q. Mr. Zaric, as a member of that commission which made a census of

3 all the property that we see in this document?

4 A. Well, it just happened that I participated in this census during

5 the first two days, and I was at the Borovo [Realtime transcript read in

6 error "Boro"] Factory and the Elkroj factory, and the report and the

7 census we submitted together, and it had been incorporated in this one

8 document.

9 Q. Could you please repeat the name of this factory, Borovo -- what

10 was it? Because it's misspelled in the transcript.

11 A. It is under Roman VIII on page 5 of the Bijic [phoen] version,

12 Borovo Odzak - Odzak, that is one company, and the other one is a company

13 which is under Roman VII, it is called Elkroj Odzak 2.

14 Q. So you are referring to two companies in which you personally

15 participated in the census in the taking of the stock?

16 A. Yes, together with some other people who were with me in that

17 commission.

18 Q. Right. We don't need this document any longer. Please proceed.

19 A. It transpires quite clearly from the document that some economic

20 facilities were unscathed and undamaged at the time when the territory of

21 Odzak was taken over by Serb forces, or rather, by the 1st Krajina Corps

22 and introduction of the military administration.

23 Q. Mr. Zaric, what was the purpose of this document?

24 A. Well, its purpose was to take stock of the situation and to try to

25 see whether prerequisites could be provided for the re-activation of

Page 19542

1 normal business life in the territory of the municipality of Odzak. That

2 was the chief purpose.

3 Q. And what do you know about it? Were these facilities preserved

4 and all these assets that you registered, that you recorded, or rather,

5 Mr. Rajko, when you did this in the beginning, when the civilian military

6 council came to Odzak?

7 A. Well, some of these assets, yes, have been preserved, and others

8 had been taken away in different ways, I'd say using both civilian and

9 military channels, from the municipality of Odzak. I can give you a few

10 characteristic examples on the basis of which the Chamber could see how I

11 perceived and experienced this problem.

12 When referring to the Elkroj factory and the Borovo factory, I

13 know that with some documentation, the machinery from that factory, the

14 machines from that factory were taken by trucks to the factory of Utva in

15 the territory of the Bosanski Samac municipality. I happened to see those

16 machines in that warehouse with my own eyes. So they had been transferred

17 from those factories and brought over there. And what was the lot of

18 these machines after that, and where they went on, that I do not know.

19 Perhaps some bodies will go into that at some stage.

20 The second question: I've told you about my orchard in Trnjak.

21 At that time, the fruit trees had been felled. But this orchard was

22 fenced off with a metal fence. Hundreds of heads -- when I say "heads," I

23 mean livestock, all sorts of, from the youngest calves to yearlings to

24 cows, and on, they had all been put into this compound, into my orchard.

25 And the first time I got to that village, those commissioners had

Page 19543

1 practically got together this livestock which was wandering around, they

2 had rounded up all this cattle and put it in that orchard. And the cattle

3 stayed there for a while, they fed it, and ate it, and after that they

4 gave back to the troops and the rest of the cattle I know was transferred

5 with the consent of the military administration. Some of it was taken to

6 the municipality of Samac with their authorisation. And then the

7 Executive Board of the municipality of Samac then distributed it to

8 different farms, and so on and so forth. So that is what I know.

9 I also know that one of the most expensive machines at the Strolit

10 factory had been taken away upon the order of the social military

11 administration, that is, the military administration which was duty-bound

12 until after that, yet they allowed that a very expensive machine go to

13 Jelsingrad and I heard that it had been installed there to meet the needs

14 of some other factory over there. And in Donja Dubica the troops from

15 Krajina savaged and destroyed a completely new telephone exchange which

16 had been put up in Donja Dubica. So when I mentioned a word, when I said

17 there was organised, as I called it, plunder, that is what I had in mind.

18 To my mind, it wasn't sufficient to have a document that some merchandise

19 could be taken out if it was being alienated from a particular source or

20 political account community, and yet we are getting ready to introduce in

21 that area a new civilised life and bring in our people who were refugees

22 at the time. So that was my very rigorous attitude to this subject and I

23 did not spare either side when I say this.

24 But again, what went to Samac again could not go there without

25 somebody having initialed and approved such a thing. When I say

Page 19544

1 "someone," I mean somebody in the military administration.

2 Q. Just a moment ago you mentioned the one side and the other side.

3 What did you mean by that?

4 A. I mean the military, if they were alienating and taking away some

5 goods or if a truck arrived in front of the Samac Executive Board driving

6 that livestock, or if machines were removed, I was then referring to the

7 Executive Board, representing the authorities in Samac. And of course the

8 question arises as to what the fate of the machines and the equipment was.

9 Q. So when you say "both sides," one side, according to you, is the

10 civilian authority and the other one is the military?

11 A. Yes, absolutely.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak, did you spend the nights

13 there?

14 A. No, I didn't spend the nights in Odzak. I often stayed in Odzak

15 throughout the day. But every evening I went back to Bosanski Samac with

16 Mr. Tutnjevic and slept either in my own flat or, depending on the

17 security situation, somewhere else.

18 Q. Did you and Mr. Toso go from Samac to Odzak and come back every

19 day?

20 A. Yes. It wasn't a long drive, because when the platoon bridge --

21 the pontoon bridge was set up near the village of Pisari, over the River

22 Sava, we could go between Samac and Odzak in about 15 minutes. It's only

23 15 kilometres away.

24 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak municipality and in the town of

25 Odzak, was your sister Jelena there, and what did she do in Odzak?

Page 19545

1 A. Yes. One of my sisters who had lived in Odzak before the war was

2 Jelena, and when the civilian military council started its work, she acted

3 as a secretary in the civilian military council, and she was actually the

4 technical secretary of Mr. Savo Popovic for the issuing of documents,

5 certificates, or any other documents within his competence. And later on,

6 Jelena went to work in the local Red Cross on the territory of Odzak

7 municipality, and she worked there as a clerk.

8 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak, did you ever appropriate any

9 property belonging to somebody else from Odzak, thus gaining possessions,

10 material possessions, property, profiting by this?

11 A. I like to refer to sayings, and I'm now referring to one which

12 means that I never took anything, nor did it ever occur to me to do such a

13 thing.

14 Q. Mr. Zaric, while you were in Odzak for about a month or so, was

15 Savo Popovic the president of the civilian military council throughout

16 this time?

17 A. Yes, he was, and when I left around the 25th of August, he stayed

18 on. I left Odzak as soon as the new commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade

19 was appointed. I was called back and practically a few days before the

20 end of August I left Odzak.

21 Q. Did Mr. Toso Tutnjevic stay with you until the 25th of August?

22 Did you leave Odzak together?

23 A. Yes, we left Odzak together. And on the 25th of August, I was

24 called to the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade because in Pelagicevo a

25 new commander had been appointed.

Page 19546

1 Q. We'll come to that, Mr. Zaric. But tell me now: After this

2 period of time, that is, after the 25th of August, 1992, did you go to the

3 territory of Odzak municipality and to the town of Odzak?

4 A. Yes, I did, mostly to my native village of Trnjak, where normal

5 conditions were created. I went to try to repair some things so that my

6 mother could return. She was a refugee. And I also went to Odzak to

7 visit my sister Jelena, who was the only one of my sisters living there,

8 because the property of my other sisters had been completely destroyed and

9 they were never actually able to return to the territory of Odzak

10 municipality.

11 Q. To conclude: While you were in Odzak, what was your status? Were

12 you a member of the military or were you a person with a work obligation?

13 A. I had the status of a military person. I was attached to the

14 military command of the military administration, and I wish I had the

15 document now, because I can't recall the number. But from the 25th of

16 July to the 30th of August, my booklet says that I was a member of the

17 Operative Group, which had its number. So that I was exclusively a member

18 of the military. That's how I was treated. Although I have described how

19 I came to Odzak and what I did there.

20 Q. And, Mr. Zaric, where did you go after the 25th of August, 1992,

21 when, as you say, you left the territory of Odzak municipality and the

22 territory of the Odzak military administration? Could you just wait a

23 moment.

24 [Defence counsel confer]

25 A. I was informed that I was to report to the command of the 2nd

Page 19547

1 Posavina Brigade in Pelagicevo on the 25th of August. I received this

2 information through the duty officer in the communication centre, in the

3 5th Infantry Battalion. He rang me up in the evening and said that he had

4 received this information. So that with my driver, Mr. Tutnjevic, instead

5 of going to Odzak, in the morning I went to Pelagicevo to report to the

6 command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.

7 Q. And what did they say to you there? To what duty did they assign

8 you?

9 A. The new commander told me - and that was Major Mile Beronja, who

10 only a day or two before was appointed by the commander of the East

11 Bosnian Corps to be the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

12 He told me I was appointed assistant commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade

13 for moral guidance, religious, and legal matters. That was the title

14 according to the establishment.

15 Q. Mr. Zaric, when was this order issued by Commander Mile Beronja?

16 A. The conversation with me was conducted in the presence of

17 Commander Beronja and the Chief of Staff, Jondic, Vojislav, a captain

18 first class, who was then performing the duty of Chief of Staff of the 2nd

19 Posavina Brigade. I was told that I was to prepare for my transfer and

20 the decision on my appointment to this duty was formally to begin on the

21 1st of September, 1992, when I began to live and work in the 2nd Posavina

22 Brigade in Pelagicevo.

23 Q. When you said "to live," what did you mean by that?

24 A. Because for a time I resided, whenever it was necessary, in a

25 building we had there, where, when you had completed your task and night

Page 19548

1 fell, Mr. Tutnjevic was my driver and I had a room where we could stay,

2 because the command required me to be present there in the command and on

3 the ground. This was quite a different kind of duty, far more responsible

4 than others I had performed before that.

5 Q. Does that mean that you spent most of your time now in the village

6 of Pelagicevo?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. Can you now briefly try to explain: What was the sphere of

9 competence of the organ for moral guidance, religious, and legal matters?

10 What were the tasks of this organ in a brigade such as the 2nd Posavina

11 Infantry Brigade?

12 A. First I wish to say: Unfortunately, before I was appointed to

13 that duty, there was no one else. I had no predecessor to hand over to me

14 documents and suchlike. But the chief duty was to maintain direct contact

15 with the units on the ground, understand the mood of the soldiers,

16 understand their material and social status, to help the families of

17 wounded soldiers or soldiers who had been killed, take care of funerals,

18 deal with their status. So this was a social card --

19 THE INTERPRETER: As said --

20 A. -- going directly from the command to the soldiers in the brigade.

21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. As assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs,

23 to whom were you subordinate, Mr. Zaric?

24 A. I was directly subordinated to the commander of the 2nd Posavina

25 Brigade, Commander Beronja, according to the chain of command. And

Page 19549

1 according to the chain of subordination, my superior at that time was

2 Zivko Dosen who was the assistant commander of the East Bosnia Corps. He

3 was a colonel and he was also in charge of morale, religious, and legal

4 affairs.

5 Q. Mr. Zaric, to whom did you report on your work or the work of the

6 organ you were in charge of?

7 A. I had to give detailed reports according to a certain procedure to

8 the assistant commander of the East Bosnia Corps for morale, religious,

9 and legal matters, but the reports I sent and the documents could never be

10 dispatched unless they were signed, not just by me but also by the

11 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. This was the regular

12 procedure that had to be implemented according to the regulations that

13 were then in force.

14 Q. Mr. Zaric, as assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal

15 affairs, who gave you your orders and the instructions for the work of

16 this organ?

17 A. It was again in two ways: From the assistant commander of the

18 East Bosnia Corps for morale and religious affairs, while part of my tasks

19 directly stemmed from what came from the commander or the command, if the

20 command adopted certain conclusions, and in the nature of the work, they

21 were directly connected with what I and my men were to do, because I

22 didn't work alone. I had a team of men working in my organ.

23 Q. Thank you. Did you, at the same time, have the status of a member

24 of the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade of the army of

25 Republika Srpska?

Page 19550

1 A. Yes. I had the status of a member of the command, and according

2 to importance, I was the third most responsible man, according to the

3 hierarchy in the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. At the top was the

4 commander, then there was the Chief of Staff, and the third man would be

5 the assistant for morale, and then I won't enumerate anymore.

6 Q. No. No, don't. But if you can remember, please tell us: How

7 many members did the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade have?

8 A. I think the command had about 15 members, including the

9 headquarters command, and those in charge of civilian affairs. But when

10 we started, it had 13 members, at the time I was transferred there.

11 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have already said that the commander of the 2nd

12 Posavina Infantry Brigade was Major Mile Beronja. You have not told us,

13 however, so far, who was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps of the

14 army of Republika Srpska.

15 A. At that time, when I was transferred to the duty of assistant

16 commander, the duty of commander of the East Bosnia Corps was performed by

17 Colonel Novica Simic, and that was the colonel who was the first commander

18 of the military administration in Odzak, who stayed there for a very brief

19 period of time. And after him, a new colonel was appointed. I can't

20 remember his name, but I know that they were changed very quickly. But

21 Novica Simic was a colonel, was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps.

22 Q. You have described the situation in the brigade that you found as

23 regards morale, religious, and legal affairs. Tell us, please: What did

24 you do when you first arrived in order to make sure that this body

25 fulfilled its tasks?

Page 19551

1 A. In view of the level of responsibility that was given to me, I

2 first studied the rules and regulations governing the work of the

3 assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs. And then I

4 studied the methodology and the procedures as to how reports should be

5 drawn up on the morale situation and all other relevant issues, and

6 submitted to my command, and that was the command of the East Bosnia

7 Corps, and within that, the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

8 Q. I will now put a few questions to you to try and clarify the chain

9 of command in the army. The lower-level units, such as battalions, for

10 example, did they also have their organ for morale, religious, and legal

11 affairs, and did they have their assistant commanders for these tasks?

12 A. Yes. Every infantry battalion, and later on there were seven

13 infantry battalions and not only five in the brigade, after the

14 reorganisation. And there were independent units, engineering units,

15 artillery units, and so on. Each of these units and each infantry

16 battalion, under the rulings and regulations, had a post in its command of

17 assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs.

18 Q. And you, as the assistants commander for morale, religious, and

19 legal affairs, what was your relationship with the assistant commanders

20 for these same matters in the battalions and independent companies and so

21 on?

22 A. To put it very simply, what the assistant commander for religious

23 and legal affairs and morale was for me at the level of the East Bosnia

24 Corps, on a smaller scale, I represented the same thing for all these

25 other assistant commanders in all the other units of the 2nd Posavina

Page 19552

1 Infantry Brigade. I cooperated with them, and it was their duty to submit

2 reports to me as to the situation regarding morale, religious, and legal

3 affairs in their units.

4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, when you took up the post of assistant

5 commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs, did you draw up a

6 report on the situation that you had found as to morale in the 2nd

7 Posavina Infantry Brigade?

8 A. Every month, reports had to be written and submitted to the

9 Superior Command. On my arrival, some 10 or 15 days later, I actively

10 toured all the units, desiring to take stock of the situation, as fully as

11 possible, in order to draw up a full report and submit this to my command,

12 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and also, of course, to the command of

13 the East Bosnia Corps, and this is what I did.

14 Q. This first report of yours which you drew up, was it considered in

15 the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade in Pelagicevo?

16 A. Yes. Every one of my reports was considered, and so was this one.

17 Q. And when the command acquainted itself with your first report as

18 to the morale situation in the brigade and the morale of the organs for

19 morale, religious, and legal affairs, what did the command decide? What

20 did it decide should be done, in view of the situation that you discovered

21 on your arrival, in order to improve the situation?

22 A. In view of the fact that I was perhaps slightly too critical in my

23 description of the situation, I was told to review the situation in detail

24 in each unit and draw attention to all those elements that were leading to

25 a decline in morale among the soldiers, and as reflected in the rear, on

Page 19553

1 the population living in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Posavina

2 Brigade.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it is time to

5 conclude for the day.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall adjourn and continue our proceedings

7 tomorrow.

8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.15 p.m.,

9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of

10 May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.