1 Friday, 13 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
7 MR. KAY: May I raise one matter at this stage? It concerns the
8 time available to the accused for cross-examination. This is obviously a
9 very important witness. We appreciate that there has become a witness
10 congestion problem for the Prosecution. That was not the accused's
11 responsibility nor fault. The witness that was preceding this witness in
12 terms of the case was not of such importance. The Prosecution time was
13 quite a sufficient period that has eaten into the time for this witness.
14 I appreciate he was taken fairly swiftly by Mr. Groome in something under
15 two hours, but it has had the unfortunate effect of reducing the amount of
16 time available to the accused if other witnesses are sought to be fitted
17 in today.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll think about that.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You can have an extra half hour. You've
21 got an hour and a quarter.
22 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Selak, we left off yesterday discussing the
1 attack on the military column of the JNA in Dobrovoljacka Street. I'm
2 sure you will remember the event and several officers were killed on the
3 occasion, among them a woman who was also in the column, a young soldier,
4 and the rest were transferred to the Dom and the gym where the members of
5 the military police of the Patriotic League interrogated them and so on.
6 I'm sure you're aware of the event. Yes?
7 A. I know about this event, Your Honours. However, I don't know the
8 details of it, so I can't testify to that because I don't know the real
9 truth of what happened.
10 JUDGE MAY: What was the source of your information about what
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The information media, the radio,
13 the television, the papers.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. No point asking him about what he read in the
16 I'm going to interrupt you for one minute, Mr. Milosevic. There
17 is a matter which we should have dealt with -- I should have dealt with at
18 the outset to assist the Prosecution involving witness B-1047, who is
19 going to give evidence soon. This is an application to admit his evidence
20 in lieu of viva voce under Rule 92 bis. We have seen the objections
21 raised by the amicus. We uphold those objections. We do so for two
22 reasons. First of all substantive, that this is a witness giving evidence
23 about a new municipality, Sanski Most, and a new incident in it. It is
24 important evidence. We think it should be given live.
25 Secondly, procedural, that it is out of time, and we said on the
1 last occasion that we gave a ruling that we would regard such matters with
2 care and would by no means necessarily give leave if applications were
3 made out of time.
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Selak, and do you know that it was precisely because of those
8 events, the time you were still in active service, the blockades, the
9 attacks on the column, and so on that the officers, their families, and
10 soldiers from other republics were transported by air from Sarajevo, Banja
11 Luka, Tuzla, to Yugoslavia? They were flown to Yugoslavia precisely
12 because of those attacks. Do you remember that?
13 A. Your Honours, that wasn't only because of the attack. It was that
14 people from Croatia, Serbs from Croatia were travelling to Bosnia and
15 Serbia, and they were being transported by planes and by cars and also by
16 railway. I know that because from Banja Luka, you would either take a
17 plane or some other means of transport. So in addition to the families
18 leaving, they would take their property with them too, their movables.
19 Q. All right. And do you know that the officers who were originally
20 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia had the right to decide, after the
21 15th of May, whether they would like to remain in their own republics and
22 be placed at the disposal of their peoples, that was their right?
23 A. Everybody stated what they wanted to do individually. I know that
24 from my particular unit not a single Serb and Montenegrin -- born in
25 Serbia and Montenegro did not ask to leave their positions in Banja Luka,
1 for example.
2 Q. You mean from your logistics base?
3 A. No, from Banja Luka.
4 Q. From the whole of Banja Luka?
5 A. I'm talking about the corps command. I know about that. I don't
6 know about the individual units so I don't want to talk about that. I
7 don't want to testify about the individual cases I don't know about. But
8 as to the corps command and the command of the base, I do know that and I
9 do know that not a single officers or non-commissioned officer wanted to
10 return or left.
11 Q. All right. That's something you claim, but let's move on. We'll
12 come to that.
13 In the 1996 statement, you say that it became clear from 1991 that
14 non-Serb officers cannot be trusted and that they weren't welcome. This
15 is on page 6. Now, do you have, as I see that you have various data
16 available to you, do you happen to know how many Muslims there were in the
17 army of Republika Srpska at all?
18 A. I haven't got any information exact information as to the officer
19 cadres who were Muslims or Croats by ethnicity in the army of Republika
20 Srpska, but yesterday when we -- we were discussing that matter, and there
21 was some misunderstanding that arose. It was considered that I remained
22 in the army of Republika Srpska.
23 Your Honours, I did not. On the 18th of May, 1992, there was
24 official proclamation of the army of Republika Srpska. Whereas on the
25 19th of May I tabled my request for retirement, and the General Staff, the
1 administrative department did in fact retire me, accepted my request. So
2 I was no longer an officer of the army of Republika Srpska. My officers,
3 Croats and Bosniaks from the base, that is to say nine of them, I think it
4 was nine of them, left the logistics base and went to the Federal Republic
5 of Yugoslavia. And later on, they had to go to other states.
6 Q. Well, I assume they went to other states of their own free will,
7 didn't they, other countries?
8 A. Yes, because they feared for their lives if they were to stay in
9 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And I have a concrete case in point
10 where a man saved his life and he now lives in Ireland. His name is
11 Captain Tako Redzep [phoen].
12 Q. Tell me, were any of the officers killed from the former JNA when
13 they went to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? Can you quote a single
14 example of any case of that kind?
15 A. I have no information about that, Your Honours.
16 Q. Well, I'm glad to hear that at least, that you say you don't know.
17 But you're saying now that you didn't remain yourself. You didn't stay on
18 and that there was a misunderstanding when it came to you. I didn't claim
19 that you stayed on in Republika Srpska and the army. I said quite the
20 contrary, that you were at the head of some secret organisation, Muslim
21 one, in Banja Luka and you confirmed that yourself.
22 A. Not Muslim, of the Banja Luka people, Bosniaks and Croats who
23 feared for their lives, and people were fleeing, and we advised them to
24 leave and save their lives because there was a lot of arrests and abuses
25 and beatings, corpses were thrown into the Vrbas River and so on and so
1 forth. So we advised the people to escape from Banja Luka if they could.
2 Q. All right, Mr. Selak. In your 1996 statement, you say that to the
3 end of 1992, Muslim officers and Croats were replaced who held posts of
4 leadership in the army such as the commanders of brigades, platoons,
5 regiments, and so on.
6 A. There was an order issued by General Mladic, and I have it, Your
7 Honours, here with me. I think the OTP has it as well. And that order
8 orders Muslims and Croats to be replaced from their duties and to be sent
9 to the army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for further
10 disposition. That was May, I think, 1992. The order was a May order of
12 Q. That is probably something that refers to individual cases, but
13 for example, do you happen to know about this, that the 2nd Semberija
14 Brigade, Paso Halilovic [phoen] was in command of that particular brigade,
15 do you know about that? And throughout the war he was the commander, so
16 I'm asking you very specifically.
17 A. I'm hearing the name of that man for the first time. I've never
18 heard of him before. I don't know about his name or the post he occupied,
19 so I can't comment because I don't know the man.
20 Q. Well, I'm just quoting an example which denies -- refutes what
21 you've just said.
22 A. Individual cases are not the general rule.
23 Q. I quite agree with that except that you were speaking about
24 individual cases yourself.
25 Now, do you know that to a great measure Croats and Muslims from
1 the JNA left because they wanted to of their own free will, and for the
2 most part they would join up the newly established military formations
3 that were created on ethnic grounds in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that true?
4 Is that correct?
5 A. No, it is not true, Your Honours, because yes, there were
6 paramilitary formations, yes there were volunteer units, and the JNA
7 officially supported these and appointed officers and supplied them with
8 weapons and materiel. There is official data to bear that out. But, Your
9 Honours, I would like once again to refer to the order by the commander of
10 the army of Republika Srpska, General Ratko Mladic, who under number 28/4
11 of the 9th of June orders and I quote: "To the officers -- that officers,
12 Muslims and Croats, should be sent on leave straight away, forthwith, and
13 that they should be sent to the army of Yugoslavia in order to deal with
14 their status in the service." And it was on the basis of this order that
15 people did indeed leave and go to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And
16 this was strictly confidential.
17 Q. But as you yourself said nothing happened to them; is that right?
18 When they arrived in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
19 A. But they had reason to leave the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
20 and go to third states.
21 Q. That's not true. They didn't leave all of them. But you weren't
22 listening to go my question. I said that the Muslims and Croats mostly --
23 the majority of them, left the JNA and joined up with the other units, the
24 Muslims and Croats, Croat units. You said paramilitary units, but I said
25 that the Croats and Muslims left the JNA to form the newly established
1 formations which were formed on an ethnic basis in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 A. Your Honours --
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Selak, you've answered that question. You said
4 no, it's not true. Now, let's have another question.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. How come that 1.100 officers, officers of the former JNA, found
7 themselves in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina then?
8 A. Well, what should they have done, Your Honours? They had to
9 defend their own people or should they have left them to be slaughtered?
10 The result of this was had this not happened, there would have been even
11 more victims and unfortunately, as I said, 287.000 were killed.
12 Q. Well, I'm asking you about the facts and you are now expounding on
13 those facts. So what I'm saying is true, is it not?
14 A. Yes, it is true that the people -- these officers joined the army
15 to defend their own people. And I fully agree with that. I approve. I
16 couldn't go myself because I was prohibited from leaving Banja Luka.
17 Q. I am just noting and observing what you said, and we can make a
18 whole image from the different mosaic pieces of how these individual
19 armies were formed in this process.
20 A. Well, you, Milosevic, gave over the whole of the JNA --
21 JUDGE MAY: Don't address --
22 A. -- handed it over --
23 JUDGE MAY: Don't address the accused, please, Mr. Selak.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. As I was saying, in your statement you also claim and state that
2 the officers, like all the others who stepped over to the new Yugoslav
3 army in the SRY -- FRY, were given very low-ranking positions because
4 people didn't trust them. That was not true.
5 A. Yes, it was true, Your Honours, and I have cases to quote as
7 JUDGE MAY: We went over this yesterday. I don't think we need to
8 go over it again.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In your statement from 1996, you say that the units of the Banja
11 Luka Corps were engaged in Croatia. So now I'm asking you the following.
12 Do you know that according to the report of the command of the Argentine
13 and Nepalese battalions respectively in the UN, the army of Republika
14 Srpska was not engaged in Western Slavonia, and the last soldier was
15 withdrawn from there around the 5th of June, 1992, as well as the command
16 of the 5th Corps of the JNA from Stara Gradiska. Are you aware of that?
17 A. I know that the units withdrew in the month of July but the tanks
18 remained preserved there and weapons did as well. I'm talking about the
19 KP Dom in Stara Gradiska and Croatia and that was guarded by the army. I
20 know that there were ten tanks there, T34 self-propelled transporters and
21 also artillery weapons.
22 Q. Mr. Selak, please answer my questions. Oh, let me get closer to
23 the microphone. I'm being told by the interpreters that they can't hear
25 And do you know that the main task of the JNA at the time was the
1 creation of buffer zones between the conflicting parties and the
2 mobilisation of the JNA and the TO which was under the command of the JNA
3 according to the constitution of the SFRY and the law on People's Defence
4 and also on the protection of military facilities? Is that right,
5 Mr. Selak?
6 A. That was official policy, but that was not the way people behaved
7 in practice. So it was practice that refuted this altogether.
8 Q. All right. Mr. Selak, in your statement -- oh, I see. So you're
9 saying that official policy was one thing and in practice other things
11 A. You know about that the best, because you issued orders for that
12 kind of thing, and you imposed such solutions.
13 Q. All right, Mr. Selak. I was on official policy and you are
14 talking about some official policy?
15 A. You took over the army -- the control over the army in June 1991.
16 Q. All right, Mr. Selak. You cannot testify about that. That's for
18 In your statement, on page 11 you say that there is a list of
19 members of the Banja Luka Corps who are responsible for the war, as you
20 put it, and for the atrocities that were committed by members of the
21 corps. On the basis of what are you accusing these people when you know
22 full well what their duty was of each and every one of these officers in
23 the corps?
24 A. Your Honours, these are people who are responsible for carrying
25 out genocide in the territory of Bosanska Krajina, especially in the
1 municipalities of Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kotor Varos, Bosanska Gradiska
2 and other municipalities. That is precisely what I spoke about. I talked
3 about their responsibility for having carried out genocide. About 2.000
4 people were killed in one day in Kozarac, and it is these people who are
5 responsible for all these crimes in the mentioned municipalities.
6 Q. All right. We're going to get to that, and it's somewhat
7 different from the way you've put it or, rather, it is quite different.
8 And on page 8, in the last paragraph you even deal with the
9 reasons for the war. You say that the three main reasons for the war in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina are Serb nationalism, propaganda of the Serbian
11 Orthodox Church, and the propaganda of the Serb academy of sciences and
12 arts. That is what you said, Mr. Selak; is that right?
13 A. That's what I said, and I stand by that.
14 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, since you are delving into all these
15 issues, mainly issues you don't know about, tell me, is it correct that
16 this war in Bosnia-Herzegovina started when at the referendum, without the
17 participation of the Serb people, an illegal decision was reached on the
18 independence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, although it is a fact
19 that the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina said that the republican
20 consists of three peoples who had equal rights according to the
21 constitution. Is that right?
22 A. No, that's not right. Your Honours, the Serb people in their
23 referendum in October 1991 stated that they wanted to stay behind in
24 Yugoslavia. And at the referendum on the 29th of February and on the 1st
25 of March, 1992, they did not vote en masse. They simply did not take part
1 in the vote. Sixty per cent of those who voted at the referendum voted in
2 favour of an independent sovereign Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
3 was recognised by the European Union and by the United Nations, and that
4 is the truth.
5 Q. Well, that's the tragedy of it all, that this recognition led to
6 the conflicts that took place later.
7 Do you remember that the main foreign representatives at that time
8 who were dealing with Yugoslavia-related issues, namely Cyrus Vance and
9 Lord Carrington indicated that recognition before having all three peoples
10 accede to it would mean the beginning of a civil war? Do you remember
11 these warnings? Do you remember these facts, these facts which are
12 undeniable, and after all, recorded in their public statements?
13 A. I remember that Karadzic stated --
14 Q. I am asking you whether you remember this.
15 JUDGE MAY: What does it matter what this witness knew or didn't
16 know? It could be something he read in the papers. Again, it cannot
17 assess the Tribunal to hear, quite honestly, with respect to him his views
18 about it. Now, have you got some more concrete questions which the
19 witness can deal with it?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, he is specifically talking
21 about the reasons for the war, and I'm asking him about what the actual
22 reasons for the war are. So I'm asking him on the basis of his
23 statement. It's not that I'm making up new questions.
24 JUDGE MAY: No. He didn't give any evidence about this, as I
25 recollect. And really, it's not a matter for him what started the war.
1 All he can tell us about is what was happening in Banja Luka and his
2 experience. His general views, I'm afraid to say, are totally irrelevant.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. What he wrote in these
4 statements of his are irrelevant matters; right? So there's no need for
5 me to question him about that?
6 JUDGE MAY: If he did give them in evidence, yes, certainly.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. Since you're talking about the independence of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is it correct that the decision was passed without the
10 presence of Serbian members of parliament in the parliament of
12 A. The members of parliament from the ranks of the Serb people, Your
13 Honours, left the session of parliament of their own free will. They
14 obstructed the debate on this issue within parliament. That is what I do
16 Q. All right. Is it correct that Alija Izetbegovic, who did not hide
17 his ambitions to create a state of an Islamic orientation --
18 A. That's not correct.
19 JUDGE MAY: Were you present in the debates at the Assembly?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Were you a member of the Assembly?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: No. All irrelevant, Mr. Milosevic. Now, let's move
24 on to something he can deal with.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right. Then I'm not
1 going to ask him. But he did talk about his own explanations of the
2 reasons that led to the war, and now you're saying that I can't ask him
3 about that.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. But do you remember --
6 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm going to stop you because you are
7 misunderstanding the point.
8 The views of witnesses about why historical events happened are
9 irrelevant. Now, it may be necessary at some stage for us to rule on it,
10 but we shall do so on the evidence of those who can give evidence about
11 it. If you want to give evidence about it, you can, if you think you can
12 assist us. But the views of the base commander in Banja Luka at the
13 relevant time, with due respect to him, are not relevant to these
14 proceedings. That's the point.
15 So you debate -- try and debate with these witnesses all these
16 political points. It's all totally irrelevant, and you'll be stopped.
17 Ask them about their evidence. And if they say -- if they give views in
18 statements, then that is not evidence unless it's given in court.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May. It
20 is political issues that are being tried here, nothing else. What have I
21 got to do with everything he's been testifying about anyway.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. But tell me now that these tensions that existed, that were
24 present during the referendum throughout the territory of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina culminated in the killing of Nikola Gardovic, a Serb,
1 and the wounding of Radenko Mirovic, also a Serb, and this is on the 1st
2 of March and it was during a wedding?
3 JUDGE MAY: You've been told that you are not to ask him
4 questions. Now, if you waste more time by not obeying instructions, the
5 whole cross-examination will be brought to an end. It's up to you whether
6 you want to go on or not.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I am dealing with the
8 things that the witness talked about in relation to various events.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you know anything about the attack on the military convoy in
11 Tuzla that was withdrawing from that town and when 49 soldiers were
13 A. Your Honour, I heard about this particular incident over the media
14 as well, and I don't want to make any comments because I haven't got any
15 accurate information. I'm testifying under oath, and I don't want to do
16 any wrong.
17 Q. All right. Do you know about the directive that pertained to all
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Izetbegovic issued this directive to the Main
19 Staff of the TO for an all-out attack against all JNA barracks. You were
20 a soldier then. This was the 12th of April, 1992. Are you aware of that?
21 A. Your Honour, this is the first time I hear of this document. I
22 did not have it in my hands, and I never heard a word about it.
23 Q. All right, Mr. Selak. In your statement, on page 10, paragraph 1,
24 you say that municipal leaders wanted to be protected from paramilitary
25 formations and mistreatment that was carried out by the SOS. And then it
1 says in brackets "Serb defence forces." And that these SOS were political
2 and police forces of the Serb Democratic Party that did work for them.
3 Now, tell me, since this is what you allege, who commanded this
4 SOS? You allege this is what happened. Who commanded these forces?
5 A. When I was head of the group for -- for cooperation with the UN,
6 my offices were in the Bosna Hotel. On the first floor in the same hotel
7 were paramilitary formations, or rather, the headquarters of the Red
8 Berets. And the White Eagles and others were in Banja Luka. They were
9 even selling weapons at the Kozara barracks. I noted this in my official
10 notebook, that paramilitary formations are selling weapons in the Kozara
11 barracks, and their headquarters were in the Hotel Bosna and they had
12 their training grounds at Manjaca.
13 Q. Who are these Red Berets, please?
14 A. These are military formations of the Serb Democratic Party that
15 were assisted by the Yugoslav People's Army. There is documentation here
16 about them in the OTP where this is approved, that is to say to set up
17 such organisations as forces of the SDS.
18 Q. All right. Let's add this to the list then. So you claim that
19 the Serb Democratic Party had Red Berets of their own; right?
20 A. They had their own paramilitary formations. That's for sure.
21 That's something I know and there are documents to that effect.
22 Q. Since you say that paramilitary units trained at Manjaca, is it
23 correct that General Talic, at the meeting held in March 1992 ordered all
24 paramilitary formations to leave the Manjaca training grounds?
25 A. This was the month of May when a camp for prisoners of war was
1 established at Manjaca. He issued an order to establish this kind of camp
2 for 2.500 men, and then he had to withdraw the paramilitaries from their
3 training grounds in Manjaca.
4 Q. So it's not that he abolished them altogether, it was for this
5 detention centre for prisoners of war.
6 A. This is what the war book says. I'm not going to comment on his
8 Q. Manjaca is often referred to, and I heard this when I came here.
9 Is it correct, the information that I received, that this centre for
10 prisoners of war went on for a total of about three months?
11 A. No, Your Honour. On the 1st of June while reporting to the corps
12 commander, and I was present, he ordered the establishment of a camp for
13 prisoners of war at Manjaca. The commander of the camp was Bozidar
14 Popovic, then a lieutenant colonel and then a full colonel. The camp went
15 on until the 18th of December 1992.
16 Q. When was it established? What did you say?
17 A. Well, the month of June. The orders were received on the 1st of
18 June and I was in Manjaca on the 12th of June and I was dealing with
19 logistics, and I saw inmates in barns because, actually, this was a cattle
20 farm. So they were preparing the premises for taking in prisoners of war
21 who ranged from the age of 15 up to 80.
22 Q. So it went on for longer than three months?
23 A. I said from June to December.
24 Q. So that is about six months. And did anybody mistreat prisoners
25 of war there?
1 A. It's not only that they mistreated them, they killed them. I
2 haven't got the names here, but I do have them in Sarajevo in my notebook,
3 the names of persons who were killed in Manjaca. I know about 11 people
4 who were killed in Manjaca. I have their names, and they originally come
5 from Kljuc and Sanski Most most of them. I do have these names, Your
7 Q. All right then, since you were there, since you saw the prisoners
8 of war and now you say that you have some names, did you see anybody
9 mistreat a prisoner of war?
10 A. I did not see that because I was officially touring the logistics.
11 I only saw inmates, men who were building a fence around the barns. I did
12 not go in, and I did not check out the details.
13 Q. All right. You said a few minutes ago that you're testifying
14 under oath and that you don't want to speak about things you are not aware
15 of; then please stick to what you saw yourself.
16 A. I said what I saw, and I stand by that. There were people who
17 were killed.
18 Q. And what you said in relation to Colonel Bozidar Popovic is
19 something that you also heard from someone? Is that right? You didn't
20 see him do that?
21 A. No, I knew him. He was my neighbour where I lived in Banja Luka
22 and I know him very well.
23 Q. All right. You know him. Did he tell you about that? Did he
24 tell you that he killed some prisoners of war? Did he tell you about
1 A. No. Your Honours, I never said that, that he did any of the
2 killing, but people under his command were killing people. And of course
3 he is responsible for having allowed that as camp commander.
4 Q. Are you sure he allowed it?
5 A. Your Honours, I believe that no comment is required in this
6 respect, because it is only natural that a commander is responsible for
7 actions taken by his subordinates and he did not take any sanctions
8 against them.
9 Q. Are you sure he did not take any sanctions if something happened?
10 A. Yes, I am sure.
11 Q. Was the Red Cross there?
12 A. Yes, the Red Cross did come there.
13 Q. All right. Will you explain, please, since in your statement,
14 this is the statement of 2000, on page 8, in the fifth paragraph, you say
15 that you're not sure how members of paramilitary units were being armed at
16 Manjaca; is that right? You yourself say that you're not sure, that you
17 don't know what happened, but you put it in your statement?
18 A. Your Honours, allow me to explain this. In the November, I was in
19 the office of the corps commander who at the time was General Uzelac.
20 Colonel Subotic called him up on the phone. He was later army Minister of
21 Republika Srpska, and he asked him about the training of paramilitary
22 units at Manjaca, of non-military organisations. And later on, General
23 Uzelac asked me what was the first name of Subotic. He didn't know his
24 first name. Subotic used to be assistant chief at the military academy
25 for logistics, and he personally organised the training of paramilitary
1 formations at Manjaca. I know this because I know Subotic very well, and
2 he told me that. He said that there were people being trained who were
3 not from the JNA.
4 Q. Were they members of the TO?
5 A. No, no, no. They were not the TO. I said that the headquarters
6 of those formations was at the Bosna Hotel in Banja Luka.
7 Q. I quoted you saying that you didn't know how they were armed, and
8 you also go on to say that you didn't know which groups were being trained
9 there nor who was the commander, because you personally didn't witness
10 that training.
11 A. Your Honours, at the -- on the 1st of June when we were briefing
12 General Talic, he ordered that all the soldiers at Manjaca be armed. I
13 have that note here in this notebook, Your Honour.
14 Q. So he ordered the soldiers to be armed.
15 A. Yes, that they be given weapons. That soldiers be given weapons.
16 He said "soldiers." Of course he wouldn't say civilians.
17 Q. He used the term "soldiers." But you believed they were
19 A. That they were paramilitary units, because there was no need for
20 him to explain that to us. We gathered that.
21 Q. But as you didn't see any of that, let us finish with Manjaca.
22 You don't know which units were there, nor how they were armed, nor who
23 was their commander. You didn't see any of that yourself, did you? Is
24 that right, Mr. Selak?
25 A. Your Honour, I didn't go to Manjaca later on to watch the
1 training, but the information of the corps commander and his order was
2 explicit, and it explained everything, that the people who were being
3 trained at Manjaca should be armed and pulled out of Manjaca so that the
4 prisoners of war could be accommodated there. Where they went after that,
5 I don't know.
6 Q. Do you know of the decree of the Presidency of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina issued on the 8th of April when the republican staff of the TO
8 was abolished and the staff of the TO of the Republic of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina was formed?
10 A. I'm aware of that order. I don't know the details, but I do know
11 of the order.
12 Q. Do you remember that by that same order the president relieved of
13 duty General Lieutenant Colonel Drago Vukosavljevic was relieved of his
14 duty and Hasan Efendic appointed Staff Commander?
15 A. No, I don't know that. I didn't have that order in my hand. I
16 was in Banja Luka at the time.
17 Q. Did you have in your hand a book by Hasan Efendic in which he
18 wrote, "On the first day of its renewed statehood, the Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was creating or, rather, legalising the armed forces
20 after 1884 and 1941. Bosnia has its own army once again."
21 A. I heard of that book. I never had it in my hands, Your Honours,
22 and I can't comment on it.
23 Q. Since you confirmed at least the part that does not relate to the
24 book but to the event, how then can you say on page 13 that the Serbs
25 prevented the mobilisation of Muslims? Who could have prevented the
1 mobilisation then? What prevention of mobilisation are you talking about
2 when you see that the TO was being organised, and he himself claims that
3 the army of BH was formed after 1887 and 1941. So what prevention of
4 mobilisation are you referring to?
5 A. Your Honours, a witness of what I'm going to say now is General
6 Galic. As Colonel, he was commander of the 30th Partisan Division based
7 in my warehouse at Kula near Mrkonjic Grad. We were attending a meeting
8 with the president of the municipality of Donji Vakuf, Kemal Tezic, he was
9 president of the municipality. The president of the municipality Simic
10 Osanic [phoen] from Bugojno was also present, as well as his deputy who
11 was president of the SDS in Bugojno. I was present and Colonel Galic.
12 We were debating how we could calm down the situation. Also, the
13 problem of mobilisation was discussed. And the President of the
14 municipality of Donji Vakuf said on that occasion, Why did the Secretariat
15 for National Defence of Donji Vakuf municipality put away the call-up
16 papers for Muslims and Croats? And those papers were distributed only to
17 TO conscripts who were Serb. That was the procedure applied in all other
19 The secretariats for national defence in which the Serbs had a
20 much larger percentage than the others, they put away the call-up papers
21 for Muslims and Croats so that those call-up papers were given only to
23 In my official notebook, I have a note from that meeting at Donji
24 Vakuf where the president of the municipality refers to that.
25 Q. And what did he say --
1 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let's clarify this.
2 Can you give us the date of the meeting, please?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, for me to
4 find it. If I can have a moment, please.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if it assists the
7 Chamber --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 133. I've
9 found it. On the 13th of April, in my notebook, on page 133, it says:
10 "PSO, president of the Municipal Assembly of Donji Vakuf, Kemal Terzic."
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. GROOME: I was going to suggest we look for it but since the
13 witness has found it --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Selak, I don't know what the mayor of Donji Vakuf said, but do
17 you remember that it was Izetbegovic himself who demanded that the Muslims
18 do not respond to the call-up for mobilisation and that those who were
19 already serving in the army should abandon the army? Do you remember
21 A. I never saw that document. There were comments about it, but I do
22 not wish to comment on it because I didn't have it in my hands. There was
23 mention of it when that document was issued and whether it was legal,
24 whether one individual can make such a prohibition I can't say.
25 Q. That's the whole point, that everything that was done then was
1 done illegally.
2 You mentioned Donji Vakuf in 1992. Do you remember that as early
3 as the 21st of November, 1991, in the local commune of Donja Puharska, a
4 protest rally of Muslims was organised against the decision of the legal
5 authorities of the SFRY to implement partial mobilisation of able-bodied
6 men of all ethnicities, of course. The Muslims were protesting because
7 they didn't want to be drafted. And among the leadership was
8 Dr. Mirza Mujagic, who was present president of the municipal party, and
9 another member of the party leadership. So they protested against this
10 partial mobilisation as early as November 1991. Do you remember that,
11 Mr. Selak?
12 A. No, I don't. I'm speaking under oath. I'm under oath, and I
13 stand by that.
14 Q. That is your regular response. You speak about Bosko Kelecevic
15 and you say that he was directly responsible for planning and following
16 the attack as you call it of Prijedor, Kozarac, and Derventa. How did you
17 get that knowledge? As you say, you're under oath.
18 A. Your Honour, Colonel Bosko Kelecevic later General was Chief of
19 Staff in the corps command and deputy corps commander. The Chief of Staff
20 is the person who plans operations, and the corps commander signs them.
21 That is what the procedure is and combat rules stipulate this.
22 Q. So that means that you derived that conclusion by deduction, not
23 on the basis of your knowledge but on the basis of the fact that
24 specialised bodies do the planning.
25 A. No, I attended meetings with the corps commander when he issued
1 orders to his subordinates, and they noted this in official notebooks upon
2 which they started the planning with exact deadlines who should do
3 what by what time and then the plan would be submitted to him for signing.
4 Q. I see. So you attended decisions being taken and orders being
5 issued regarding the attack on Prijedor, Kozarac, and Derventa; is that
7 A. No, I wasn't present to that.
8 Q. That's what I'm saying. You couldn't be present. Is it also true
9 that you could have no knowledge about any attack within the framework of
10 the corridor operation in the first half of June, 1992, because you were
11 already a pensioner by then? Is that right?
12 A. I was not present at that, and I cannot speak about the details.
13 Q. But you did speak about it.
14 A. Not about the details.
15 Q. In your statement, you mentioned the attack on Kozarac in 1992 and
16 also the events in Prijedor. Do you know that in 1991 there was an event
17 in the immediate vicinity, that is in Croatia, when the conflicts
18 escalated and especially there were attacks on Serb villages in Western
19 Slavonia which seriously disturbed the Serbian population living in the
20 border area towards Croatia? Do you remember that?
21 A. I do. I remember a similar situation. General Adzic ordered me
22 when we were attending a meeting in November 1991 to tour the units of the
23 5th Corps together with a group of officers in Pakrac and Lipik. Colonel
24 Talic went with me who later became corps commander. When the artillery
25 battalion and the entire artillery was shelling the towns of Pakrac and
1 Lipik, I watched this from an observation post. Not another shell was
2 returned from the Croatian side. They were shelling houses. This was the
3 order of the corps commander and Colonel Talic said it was all right, hit
4 at them hard, and I attended this event. I was present there.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Selak. Now, tell me, please, that atmosphere in
6 connection with those events and the attacks on Western Slavonia, did it
7 prompt the Serbs from Western Slavonia to move and to flee because you
8 were shelling them from Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is that what you're
10 A. I'm not claiming that. Their Honours know why the population
11 fled, both Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks. People were trying to save their
12 lives. I too would have fled if I had been in their place, because in the
13 area of combat operations, one could not be safe. And it is common
14 knowledge who did the aggression.
15 Q. You're trying to say that those Serb settlements in Western
16 Slavonia were attacked by the Serbs, that an aggression was committed by
17 them by your corps or as far as Bosnia and Herzegovina -- from
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that what you're claiming?
19 A. Your Honour, the president of the Crisis Staff in Okucani, or
20 rather, the commander of the TO of Okucani reported to me that there
21 were 2.500 men present. In fact, there were 500 men. The army was arming
22 citizens of Serb ethnicity in that area. I also have that piece of
23 information in my notebook.
24 Q. I do hope you will answer my questions instead of responding by
25 commenting on other matters in response to all my questions.
1 JUDGE MAY: The problem is that you misrepresent all the time what
2 he's said.
3 Now, who was it that the artillery was shelling in November 1991
4 when you were in Pakrac and Lipik.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was close to Pakrac
6 on the hill, at an observation post of the brigade command when Croatian
7 towns, Pakrac and Lipik, were being shelled. And I saw both of them
8 through binoculars, that houses were being shelled. There was a meadow in
9 front us which was about 1 kilometre long and one could see well. There
10 was no fire being opened against JNA units.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. How much time did you spend at that observation post?
13 A. Two hours, because at 5.00 p.m. I had to be at the Mahovljani
14 airport near Banja Luka to brief General Adzic as to what I had seen in
15 the area of combat operations around Pakrac and Lipik.
16 Q. And what did you tell him?
17 A. First of all I told him that the logistics had provided everything
18 necessary for the unit and that large quantities of ammunition were being
19 spent without cause and that we could run out of ammunition. And then for
20 the second time that day, General Uzelac was present. He said to me --
21 General Uzelac's name was Nikola, and he said to him, "Nikola, you are
22 going with Selak to Bihac. You deal with the Serbs and Osman will deal
23 with the Turks." And I responded, "Surely you mean the Muslims, General."
24 Both of them were quiet and he gave me a look and after that I had
25 problems. And that was the end of my meeting with General Adzic.
1 Q. Now, tell me, please, according to the SDA plan as you're talking
2 about the municipality of Prijedor, far before the beginning of the armed
3 conflict did the municipality of Prijedor lose a significant portion of
4 its Muslim population? In fact, only young, able-bodied men stayed
5 behind, and extremists representing the SDA. Do you remember that? You
6 had the information. This was in the zone that you were in.
7 A. That is not true. In Prijedor, the majority population was
8 Bosniak. After the 1991 elections, they should have formed the executive
9 branch, that is the government. There were problems. And the 33rd
10 Mechanised Brigade was in Prijedor under Colonel Arsic, and he, together
11 with the Crisis Staff, was in charge of everything, so that the Muslims in
12 Prijedor did not or could they have planned combat operations.
13 Individuals and groups perhaps, but there were no military formation, Your
15 Q. So you mean only terrorist groups were being formed and not
16 military units?
17 A. No, not terrorist groups but people in local communes were
18 organising themselves using hunting weapons and what they could purchase
19 from paramilitary formations or JNA units. And there's a list, Your
20 Honours, in the Tribunal of the names of people who received which rifle.
21 And I testified about that in the Brdjanin case.
22 Q. Very, very well, Mr. Selak. But since you speak about that, do
23 you remember that the president of the SDA in Prijedor in February 1991,
24 president and a member of parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mirza Mujagic
25 and President of the Municipal Assembly, Professor Muhamed Cehajic, and
1 the secretary of the SDA, Becir Medunjanin went to the JNA barracks to
2 protest with the officers because of the arrival of a military unit that
3 had been dislocated there from Slovenia to Croatia or Prijedor.
4 A. Your Honours, a battalion arrived from Pancevo to Prijedor, the
5 barracks there, and when the battalion was put up at the barracks, I
6 arrived with a group of officers to see unit. It was a logistics
7 battalion with some weaponry. Where it ended up, I don't know. But as
8 for Mirza Mujagic and his activities, I can't speak about that because I
9 don't have the necessary information. What I do know is that there wasn't
10 military organisation at a larger level but just in the local communes.
11 Now, what Mr. Mirza Mujagic himself did, I really don't know those details
12 at that time.
13 Q. Were you informed as a high-ranking officer that on the 19th of
14 April, 1992, that the Ministry of Interior and defence of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina sent strictly confidential dispatches to the
16 authorities in Prijedor with an order to block communications of military
17 facilities to attack military units and to seize the weapons, technical
18 materiel -- materiel and equipment? Were you informed about that in view
19 of the fact that you were in charge of logistics, materiel, equipment, and
20 so on as you have already explained to us?
21 A. Your Honours, I know nothing about that document, but there is no
22 logic to it because how can the population seize weaponry from a motorised
23 brigade, a unit that numbered over 3.000 men?
24 Q. All right. This was all empty -- the empty-handed population on
25 your side. All people unarmed on your side.
1 A. Well, I said what I said.
2 Q. All right, Mr. Selak. Tell me this then, please, do you remember
3 an event that took place on the 1st of May, 1992, in the night in Kozarska
4 Street where from the back a reserve military policeman, a Serb, Radenko
5 Capo [phoen], was killed? He was from Gornje Jelovac. And that it was
6 known that the perpetrator was a member of the illegal paramilitary
7 formation of the Green Berets Rahi Music nicknamed Muha [phoen]? Do you
8 remember that event which seriously jeopardised?
9 JUDGE MAY: No. How could he remember this? It's pointless
10 asking these questions.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the point is the following:
12 It's as if you were to ask -- if I were to ask about something that took
13 place in Scheveningen and he was here. And I asked him whether he knows
14 what happened here. Prijedor is just by Banja Luka and in the area of his
15 activities. So that is the analogy.
16 JUDGE MAY: Let us find out from the witness. Was Prijedor within
17 your area of responsibility?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right then. Do you remember the killing of this man called
22 Dzapo [phoen] killed by a member of the Green Berets, Rahi Music by name?
23 A. No. I don't know the individual details and the individual cases
24 either in Banja Luka or elsewhere. I know of many people who were killed
25 but as to the details of the individuals I can't say.
1 Q. All I'm trying to do is to try to establish together with you,
2 Mr. Selak, the general atmosphere that prevailed at the time, because the
3 very next day -- this happened on the 1st of May. The very next day a
4 cousin of the person killed shot at four Muslims and then the Municipal
5 Assembly of Prijedor expressed their condolences and regrets to the
6 families of the people killed on both sides and appealed to the population
7 to observe peace and calm and mutual respect, and a curfew was even
8 introduced in order to prevent further incidents from breaking out, from
9 9.00 in the evening to 6:00 in the morning. I'm sure you'll remember
10 that. That was still -- that means that was the 1st and 2nd of May, 1992.
11 So I'm sure you'll remember that.
12 A. I was in Prijedor when the battalion arrived. I have no
13 information of that kind. They didn't reach the command of the logistics
14 base. Whether they reached the corps, I don't know. Perhaps certain
15 political circles, the security organs and so on, it might have reached
16 them but the corps in Banja Luka did not get that information.
17 Q. Did you receive the information that despite efforts made by the
18 commune due to these two incidents, that is to say both on the Muslim side
19 and the Serb side, that they were trying to quell the situation but what
20 happened was quite the reverse, that during the night armed
21 paramilitaries, Croatian ones and the SDA ones, the Party of Democratic
22 Action in Ljubija, took control of the public security station there,
23 disarmed and shut up the police of Serb nationality and blocked this local
24 commune? Do you remember that?
25 A. That piece of information is not correct.
1 Q. All right. What about the 3rd of May, 1992? Did the leadership
2 in the local commune of Kozarac set up an armed unit of Territorial
3 Defence? They were actually called -- they were actually the Green Berets
4 but they weren't called the Green Berets, and the strength was 2.500 men.
5 A. That is not true, Your Honour. This is total untruth. That is
6 absolutely not true.
7 Q. It was one of the largest formations, in actual fact, which was
8 established at that period.
9 A. The list that the OTP has here, Your Honours, speaks of 186 or 85
10 men. Don't hold me to the digit. But the list stipulates exactly how
11 many people were concerned, which weapons were issued, the number of the
12 rifles, and 120 people were armed with some hunting rifles as well. In
13 the entire local commune, and that served to protect the population of the
14 Kozarac local commune in which on the 28th of May, over 2.000 people were
15 killed in the space of one day. And allow me to say a few words about
16 that, Your Honours, if you will, because Colonel Dragan Marcetic, for
17 example, assistant corps commander at the time, reported as the leader of
18 the team to the corps. And he said that on that particular day, 800
19 people were killed in Kozarac. General Talic looked towards me, glanced
20 at me, because he had all -- he turned towards me, then turned towards
21 Colonel Marcetic again, and he said, "I suppose you want to say that 80 to
22 a hundred people were killed and you can inform the Main Staff of the
23 Republika Srpska of that." And I have this piece of information jotted
24 down in my notebook. There is another document in the OTP according to
25 which the corps had reported to the Main Staff of the army of Republika
1 Srpska that in fact only 80 people had been killed.
2 Colonel Marcetic had already reduced the figure from 2000 to 800
3 men, whereas General Talic had ordered that the report should say that
4 only between 80 and a hundred people had in fact been killed. And that's
5 the truth, Your Honours.
6 Q. Mr. Selak, not to waste time and lose time on this you therefore
7 claim that it is not true that in Kozarac a unit was established of the
8 Green Berets to the strength of 3.500 men fighters; is that what you say?
9 A. Yes, that's what I do say.
10 Q. You say that only a unit of 120 people?
11 A. 180 to 186 was the number, the strength of the unit.
12 Q. Ah, I see. And how many inhabitants does Kozarac have?
13 A. I haven't got the exact figures. It is a local commune, in fact.
14 Q. Yes, and how many inhabitants?
15 A. It is a local commune of Prijedor. I don't know the exact number
16 of inhabitants. But what is true is that unit was formed to protect the
17 local commune of Kozarac because it borders on Mount Kozara which is where
18 the 5th Kozara Brigade had been mobilised and the commander of that
19 brigade was Pero Colic. And that was 100 per cent Serb Territorial
20 Defence or unit.
21 Q. And in Kozarac this wasn't a 100 per cent Muslim unit; was it?
22 A. Yes, it was. But it was about 175 people. Half of them didn't
23 have weapons.
24 Q. And the Serbs and Muslim were killed so the Serb brigade and the
25 Muslim brigade and you claim that in Kozarac 2.000 people were killed,
1 is that what you're claiming?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Oh, come on.
4 A. Your Honours, there are documents to bear that out. I haven't got
5 those documents with me, but if need be, we will find the documents with
6 the names of the people killed and their numbers. The camp in Omarska was
7 established at that time where the people were incarcerated. The entire
8 population were expelled and many of these people were transferred to the
9 Manjaca camp near Banja Luka.
10 Q. All right. We'll establish these -- it's easy to establish those
11 facts. Just don't keep referring to the fact that they here in the OTP
12 have those facts and figures. We know the type of facts and figures they
13 have here. Just tell me this: At the time when these incidents were
14 taking place in the area of the municipality of the initiative of the
15 local population themselves, joint mixed multinational armed patrols began
16 to be formed. This was in the village of Petrov Gaj in Trnopolje, et
17 cetera, where there was a multi-ethnic population and similar initiatives
18 were undertaken from different villages, from Kozarusa, for example, Cela,
19 these are all Muslim villages. And these multinational patrols were set
20 up to prevent the clashes and conflicts and the really tragic events that
21 followed, that came to pass.
22 A. I had no official information about that so I don't want to speak
23 about something in general terms. I can't stand by that, so I can't
24 answer that question, Your Honours. I can't give an explicit answer to
25 that question.
1 Q. All right then. What about the 10th of May in Hambarine? Was
2 there a meeting of the leadership of the SDA that was held when the
3 barricades were erected? I'm sure you'll remember that.
4 A. I don't know. I am not a member of the SDA. I was an officer of
5 the Yugoslav People's Army. As I say, I was not in Prijedor except once
6 during the war and I can't testify about the details, about the
7 organisation in Prijedor. I don't know. All I know is the reporting that
8 was done to the corps commander and anything that I was able to hear from
9 the subordinate organs.
10 Q. Well, do you how people were killed, people who had just come to
11 do away with the barricades, not to attack anybody, just to abolish the
12 barricades in order to ensure the flow of traffic and they were killed?
13 Do you remember that? All that took place at the beginning of May. You
14 were still there in the army.
15 A. There were barricades and checkpoints set up everywhere, even
16 Banja Luka. Now, who organised those barricades, who erected them when
17 and why I really can't say; I don't wish to comment. People organised
18 themselves in order to protect their lives, and I can't find fault with
20 Q. So what you're saying is the barricades were put up, workers come
21 to do away with the barricades, to abolish them in order to allow the free
22 flow of traffic. And then I'm sure you'll remember in Hambarine from an
23 ambush four members of the unit who this come to abolish the barricade
24 were killed without attacking anybody. They didn't attack anybody. I'm
25 sure you'll remember that.
1 A. I don't remember that, but I do remember that in Hambarine there
2 was a detainee camp which included women and children. Are they prisoners
3 of war?
4 Q. Of course they aren't, Mr. Selak. And I certainly do not consider
5 that women and children can be considered to be prisoners of war.
6 Tell me this now please: Was it precisely on that same day, and
7 we're talking about May, so before the attack took place, that the
8 authorities in Kozarac was taken over by the Red Berets and the
9 municipality started its mobilisation and moved to work under wartime
10 conditions? Is that how it was before the conflict that you mentioned
11 where you say that many people were killed?
12 A. No. The Green Berets as a formation did not exist. What did
13 exist was a Territorial Defence unit of the local commune of Kozarac with
14 the number of people that I mentioned a moment ago. They were not the
15 Green Berets as far as my information tells me. The official name was not
16 the Green Berets. That is not correct.
17 Q. Okay. The official title of them was not Green Berets. Now, you
18 claim that these paramilitaries on the Serb side, that they did have an
19 official title calling them paramilitary formations is that what you're
21 A. There are documents to bear that out, documents belonging to the
22 5th Corps which mention paramilitary formations specifically and their
23 numbers ranging between 5.100 people, although I think that the numbers
24 were far higher.
25 Q. All right. Never mind. If it exists in the documents, we'll be
1 able to find them.
2 A. Yes, you do have the documents.
3 Q. Tell me, please, on the 23rd of May, in Prijedor, at the
4 crossroads between Esad Suhajlovic Street [phoen] and Miso Jasvec [phoen]
5 Street, after these Muslim barricades, you knew Captain Mihajlo Brodo
6 [phoen], I assume, and his associates.
7 A. No, I did not know him. Unfortunately I did not know a large
8 number of officers. Banja Luka had over 1.000 officers alone, so I
9 couldn't know them all.
10 Q. All right. I won't ask you about that particular settlement
11 then. Now, do you remember that on the 24th of May there was a clash
12 between two different streams of the SDA, that is to say between the
13 Muslims themselves in Kozarac and there was an armed settling of accounts
14 in which the commander of the local Muslim paramilitary unit of the SDA
15 was killed? His name was Osman Didovic because he considered that the
16 time had not -- was not ripe yet for a final settling of accounts to take
17 place, a final showdown with the authorities, the Serb authorities in the
19 A. How can you ask me about details of that kind when I was in Banja
20 Luka myself. Now, what the SDA did and the SDS or any other party in
21 Prijedor, I really can't testify about details of that kind. I was --
22 never had access to those documents nor did I ask for access to them, Your
24 Q. All right. Fine, Mr. Selak. I can't ask you about any details,
25 what happened barely 20 minutes -- 20 kilometres from where you were. You
1 have come in here to testify against me. I was the president of a
2 different state hundreds of kilometres away from there.
3 A. Yes, but you, Milosevic, were in command of the JNA units from
4 June 1991, and that -- the results of that we know about.
5 Q. That is, first of all, not true, and secondly, that's not true.
6 And secondly, you couldn't know about any of that.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let us leave these general matters and deal with
8 concrete matters. You've got five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Only five minutes?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then I'll have to skip over
12 many matters here and go back to the tabs. I think this particular tab
13 was 23, tab 23. Let's just clear that point up.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, it is the letter written in handwriting to the person of
16 Mr. Momir Talic. That's what it says. The date is the 28th of May, 1993
17 and you quoted from that document, Mr. Selak, did you not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Well, when we place this in the context of the material time, you
20 will be able to see that the document speaks of something quite different
21 in fact. Now -- so the date is indisputable. It is the end of May, the
22 28th of May, 1993, in fact. That's right, isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, do you remember that on the 1st of May, the 1st and 2nd of
25 May in Athens, the Vance-Owen Plan was signed by all three sides?
1 A. I remember the date [as interpreted]. I remember that the plan
2 was signed but I can't remember the date.
3 Q. Yes. Now, do you remember that it was not accepted at the
4 Assembly -- adopted at the Assembly at Pale and that because of that we
5 introduced an embargo towards the Republika Srpska as a means of coercion
6 and duress for them to accept the plan, the peace plan? The embargo did
7 not only -- did not refer to humanitarian aid alone. Otherwise, all other
8 commercial and other transactions, there was a total embargo in place. It
9 just did not apply to humanitarian aid.
10 Now, this particular letter shows that the deputy director of
11 commodity reserves, deputy manager, said that according to a decision by
12 the FRY government, nothing can be given except humanitarian aid. Is that
13 a document which bears this out?
14 A. This document shows how this official order could be bypassed,
16 Q. Whether somebody tried to bypass something or not, I cannot know
17 myself. But I do know that thousands of tonnes of diesel fuel for the
18 area which we -- in which we have established was inhabited by a million
19 people necessary for hospitals and so on, the distribution of goods and
20 food, was just a drop in the ocean. It didn't represent any great amount.
21 And who knows how much motor oil and lubricants.
22 So, does this document then show us when we place it in the
23 context of the relevant material time that as a consequence of the
24 endeavours to exert pressure for people to adopt the plan that this
25 embargo was put in place and the commodities deputy manager says we cannot
1 provide you with anything except humanitarian aid. Have we cleared that
2 point up? Is that clear?
3 A. No, we have not.
4 Q. Then explain to me what this is about?
5 A. Your Honours, when we're talking about fuel, I was eyewitness in a
6 work organisation called Auto Servis when the fuel tanks were adapted to
7 trailer tanks, and they were masked with tarpaulins and the fuel was
8 transported, Your Honours, precisely in an unlawful manner, illegal
10 Q. I'm not asking you about any smuggling.
11 A. But this is what the document speaks about, how to sidestep the
12 provisions that were made and supply people with fuel.
13 Q. This is a decision of the government of the FRY to the effect that
14 nothing can be issued, no supplies could go through except humanitarian
15 aid. Now, whether there was smuggling going on, that's another issue
16 altogether. That's not what I was asking you about.
17 Let me just consult my notes for a moment. I don't know how to
18 make the best use of the five minutes I have left.
19 JUDGE MAY: It's less now. It's less now. You can ask two more
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, at the end of these tabs I
22 did not see -- I did notice this. It's 25, I think. It's tab 25.
23 This is an order on defence securing the territory and offensive actions,
24 command of the 1st Krajina Corps.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you have this document before you?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. What does it say here? Does it say "order"? "This is an order
4 issued by the corps commander." Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Does it say in paragraph 2 that in the combat operations that took
7 place so far the enemy carried out different types of genocide against the
8 Serb people and often against their own people wishing to portray this to
9 the international public as if it were done by the army of the SR of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
11 hoping for foreign intervention against the territories of the Republic of
12 Serbian Krajina? That is the 31st of July, 1992. Is that right?
13 A. That's what it says. That is what it says under the heading
14 "Enemy," and this is an assessment of the enemy by the corps commander.
15 Your Honours, can I say something about this?
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is an explanation needed?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this -- this is an
22 assessment of the enemy. This happened regularly. The enemy would be
23 besmirched so that the soldiers would think that they were fighting for a
24 just cause. And it was deceptions of this kind that raised the morale of
25 uninformed persons because they thought that this was correct information.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Oh, so this is incorrect information and it is usual for the corps
3 commander to give incorrect information?
4 A. No, this is his assessment to a greater extent and also it's a
5 suggestion to his own men to make this suggestion further on to the very
6 last soldier.
7 Q. All right. Mr. Selak, please look at page 2 of this order.
8 Middle of the page. "Along the Svilaj-Odzak-Modrica axis, the enemy has
9 engaged between four and five brigades of the Croatian army." So it is
10 the Croatian army that is present in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 And it says the 102nd, 105th, the 106th, the 107th, the 108th Brigades.
12 Mr. Selak, do you know that not only here but also at Kupres, for
13 example, there was the presence of the Croatian army of Leopard tanks,
14 German made, and so on? Do you know about that? I'm asking you whether
15 you knew about the presence of regular Croatian army troops in the
16 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
17 A. Yes, I was aware of that. And I know that the regular Croatian
18 army entered the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina just as the Novi Sad,
19 Valjevo and Uzice Corps entered the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
20 this was aggression against the sovereign State of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. And I'm asking you about whether you knew about operations of
22 these brigades and do you know about operations in the north of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and down in the area of Kupres?
24 A. Yes. I didn't know the number of brigades, but I knew that there
25 were operations taking place. I didn't know which brigades were exactly
1 involved, but there were operations in Kupres. The Banja Luka Corps had
2 also sent there own men there because indeed units of the regular Croatian
3 army were there.
4 Q. All right. Mr. Selak, it was my understanding that I do not have
5 the right to put any more questions although I have quite a few left?
6 JUDGE MAY: If you had not wasted your time putting irrelevant
7 questions which the witness can't deal with you would have had more time
8 for the others.
9 Yes. If you'd care to begin, Mr. Kay.
10 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
11 Q. Mr. Selak, a general matter first of all, and that is that the
12 context of your evidence concerning what was happening within the JNA in
13 1990 to 1991, 1992, was at a time when certain republics of the former
14 Yugoslavia were considering separation?
15 A. Yes, that's the period concerned.
16 Q. The JNA within which you served was a national institution for the
17 former Yugoslavia, and it was being affected, just as any other
18 institutions were, by the politics of the time. Would you agree with
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The JNA as a national institution, like any other army, was very
22 conscious of its historical past, the conflicts that cause it to come
23 about and the history of the people to whom it served, and that was
24 something that was particularly taught to officers and soldiers within the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As part of that history, the events of World War II formed a very
3 significant part of the teaching to the soldiers of the JNA, and in
4 particular the Ustasha forces and the involvement of the axis powers?
5 A. Yes. But you did not mention the Chetniks in addition to the
6 Ustashas. They also supported the fascist forces in the territory of
8 Q. Thank you. And that's a very useful observation, because
9 throughout this institution of the JNA, as the republics were making
10 noises and steps towards separation which would have meant the dissolution
11 of the old Yugoslavia, a great deal of distrust was apparent within the
12 military as people started looking towards their own ethnic groups.
13 That's what happened?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The JNA was one of the largest armies in the world. You'll
16 probably know better than me the full scale of that size in comparative
17 world terms, but it was an enormous army spread throughout Yugoslavia.
18 A. The units of the Yugoslav People's Army covered the entire
19 territory of Yugoslavia according to strategic assessments related to the
20 protection of the state that would come by way of aggression from
21 neighbouring states.
22 Q. Would you agree that it was an enormous army? It was probably the
23 largest in Europe or one of the largest in Europe.
24 A. It was not the largest in Europe. According to the information we
25 had, it was among the three or four best equipped and best trained armies,
1 but whether that was actually correct or not is something I cannot say
2 because we could not compare all of this to the other countries of Europe.
3 This is the kind of information that we were being given, but I cannot
4 confirm it or deny it.
5 Q. Very well. But within the military itself, there were issues
6 being raised as to what should happen to the army during this period of
7 conflict between the republics, as the republics were voicing their desire
8 to go independent.
9 A. Well, doesn't any state or any republic have the right to decide
10 about its own fate? A referendum of the people or, rather, its elected
11 Assembly has the right to think about this and to pass decisions about
13 I, as a soldier, gave an oath to the Yugoslav People's Army, but
14 the then-Yugoslav People's Army. I would have given my life for it. But
15 in the 1990s, it what no longer that. It was no longer my army, the one
16 that I had sworn an oath of allegiance to.
17 Q. But the issue was that throughout the military, this was a problem
18 for the military as to what should happen to it. Who did it belong to?
19 Where should it go? And in 1990 and in 1991, there had been no
20 independent creation of other armies within the separate republics?
21 A. Yes. There was no organised army except in Slovenia. But the
22 weapons of the Territorial Defence were not returned to the JNA units.
23 The republics had the command and control over the Territorial Defence
24 units, so the republic of Slovenia had their own units straight away, as
25 soon as they assessed that there could be a conflict and that they should
1 defend their state.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, when you come to a convenient moment.
3 MR. KAY: One more question.
4 Q. You were a logistics officer. By any means of comparison, the JNA
5 was a very large army. What was to happen to it had not been decided, say
6 for a limited way in Slovenia by 1991. This institution, which was a
7 Yugoslav institution, was still there as a whole body but with an
8 undecided future; isn't that right?
9 A. The Yugoslav People's Army was, in terms of its size, a major
10 encumbrance for the economy of Yugoslavia, and I thought that the army
11 should be downsized. However, in view of the ethnic make-up of its
12 officers, it is quite clear why such a large army, such a strong army was
13 held for so long, so that it could be abused by political factors, and
14 indeed this did happen, this kind of abuse.
15 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Selak, you gave evidence concerning the ethnic composition of
21 the JNA, and I now want to ask you some questions about that.
22 When you gave evidence in the Tadic case, and I'm looking at the
23 transcript of that case at page 1827, you stated that when the first
24 mobilisation was carried out in 1991, the ethnic composition reflected the
25 situation on the ground. However, at the end of 1991 and 1992, this was
1 seriously disrupted. And you went on to say the ethnic composition became
2 99 per cent Serb.
3 Do you stand by that statement that the original ethnic
4 composition reflected the situation on the ground?
5 A. Yes. The first mobilisation was in May 1991, and it did reflect
6 the ethnic composition on the ground from which the war units were being
8 Q. However, in this time when certain republics were seeking their
9 separate identity, what took place was a withdrawal of certain ethnic
10 groups from the army.
11 A. Well, you see, I'm claiming that the units in the area of Banja
12 Luka Corps and in my area of my responsibility when the 5th Corps of the
13 JNA was being mobilised as well as the logistic base in Banja Luka, I
14 speak about them. I cannot talk about the ethnic composition in Slovenia,
15 Croatia, Macedonia, and other areas because I didn't have the necessary
16 information at the time.
17 Q. As a military officer, though, of high rank involved at your
18 level, you were aware, though, weren't you, over the situation that was
19 developing, what the political situation was having an effect upon within
20 the army?
21 A. I did have that information, but I'm talking about precise figures
22 regarding the percentage of a particular ethnic group that responded to
23 the call-up or did not respond. We had information about political
24 developments and about the demobilisation, but I didn't have the figures
25 by municipalities, by regions. I didn't have access to those figures nor
1 did I need them after all.
2 Q. I'm not asking about the specifics in that form but the general
3 effect. And it would be right to say that as the republics were exerting
4 their voices and their politics to achieve independence, this was having
5 an effect upon the composition of the army as ethnic groups sought to
6 group together.
7 A. We can say that of the reserve force that was mobilised and not of
8 the active-duty force. The republics had authority regarding the command
9 and equipment of TO units. If we consider the republic of Slovenia, they
10 did not return their weapons to JNA warehouses, whereas the other
11 republics did. So I cannot tell you exactly regarding Slovenia, how many
12 did, how many did not, but the republics were those who had the
13 decision-making powers according to the constitution when it came to
14 Territorial Defence.
15 Q. In the reserve, again before or at the time of 1991, the reserve
16 officer corps corresponded in ethnic terms to the territory of each unit
17 at that time.
18 A. That is how it should have been, but specifically we can't know.
19 But in essence, yes, it did reflect in May 1991. Already by September,
20 there was less response, and we even had to send the police to bring
21 people to join army units, that is, the military police.
22 Q. And looking at the context of this, it again was because of the
23 political conflict that was happening as to certain parts of the former
24 Yugoslavia wanting to separate. It was reflecting what was happening at
25 the political level; isn't that right?
1 A. It was the political factor that led the army. The army was an
2 executive organ of the political powers. And this went from the level of
3 the General Staff right down to lower-level units.
4 Q. But as regards to what was happening, this was finding its way,
5 feeling its way throughout the whole institution of the army because there
6 was uncertainty as to what was to happen to the army?
7 A. Yes, there was uncertainty, and it is a question as to how the
8 assistant commanders for moral guidance from the General Staff to the
9 battalion, what directives they received and how they reacted. So
10 certainly there was a dilemma as to what would happen with the whole of
11 the JNA. I myself had dilemmas because I wasn't indifferent to it, as to
12 what would happen tomorrow with the people and myself personally. It was
13 only logical that we were worried about it.
14 Q. That's what I was going to ask you about next, your own experience
15 of this matter, because you had viewed yourself as being a military
16 officer within the Yugoslavia army?
17 A. Yes. I was of a Yugoslav orientation, but I was for the equality
18 of all nations without any domination by one nation or group or an
19 individual over others. A life deign of man throughout the territory of
20 Yugoslavia [as interpreted].
21 Q. Those issue and that debate had not been resolved in 1991 or in
22 1992 as to what exactly was going to happen. Leaving Slovenia on one
23 side, as to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, whether in fact they were
24 going to be independent states. In 1991, the early part of 1992, that had
25 not been resolved. That's right, isn't it?
1 A. Croatia was the first to embark upon independence. And I wouldn't
2 like to go into that. I am speaking for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 The accused, Milosevic, told me that as an officer, I was a spy --
4 no. I was a fighter. I would never have agreed to Muslim domination. I
5 wanted all three nations to live on a footing of equality in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I would never have played myself in the service of
7 one nation. This is my homeland and this is my state, though this has
8 been -- I have been accused of this. And that was my position then and
9 still is my position now. I wish every man, every citizen of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina to be able to live with me and to be able to move
11 freely and lead a normal life, and this should be true of each and every
13 Q. Moving on then from that issue to the withdrawal of equipment, the
14 withdrawal of equipment from Slovenia and Croatia in terms of the JNA made
15 military sense at the time, didn't it?
16 A. It made military sense, yes, so that the equipment and materiel
17 should not be left to Slovenia. And everything was withdrawn. I had a
18 question yesterday to the effect that everything was not pulled out.
19 Everything was pulled out, even the furniture. The order of
20 General Kadijevic, the Chief of Staff, and we have that order here, he
21 ordered that all mobile property be withdrawn from Slovenia to Croatia,
22 that is to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, and that was in fact done.
23 And deadlines were fixed, July 1991 and October 1991.
24 Q. In military terms, no army leaves its possessions and material and
25 equipment in a place where it may not have control over it. To you as a
1 logistics officer, that would have made sense at the time; isn't that
3 A. Yes. But that same equipment was left in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
4 was handed to the army of Republika Srpska 100 per cent. Both the weapons
5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that was withdrawn from Slovenia and
6 Croatia, and this was handed over to the army of Republika Srpska. How
7 can that be explained?
8 Q. In terms of Croatia, we have already discussed the knowledge of
9 the military concerning historical political events, and the issues of
10 World War II which involved Croatia were very much in the thinking of the
11 military as to what would happen if that equipment was left in their
12 hands. That is what they thought about it. That's right, isn't it?
13 A. Normally they thought about it, indeed, but if we're saying that
14 it was the Yugoslav People's Army, wasn't it logical for the equipment and
15 materiel that was in Croatia, that was in Slovenia, that was in Bosnia to
16 be left where it was instead of withdrawing everything to
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. So that means that is
18 Yugoslavia. And if that was the Yugoslav army, I made a mistake as to
19 where I was, where I served.
20 Q. Exactly. This was in the context of the Yugoslavia army, because
21 the feeling then was that there might still be a Yugoslavia in the future,
22 that separatism may not happen, that independent states may not be
23 created, that there was still that chance and hope that you yourself had
24 hoped for?
25 A. Once Slovenia had withdrawn and the war started in Croatia, I was
1 sceptical that a solution would be found. Unfortunately, I was proven
2 right, and I feared that Bosnia-Herzegovina would be a victim of those
4 Q. As you said in your evidence in the Tadic case, and I'm looking at
5 the transcript at page 1850: "Slovenia, Croatia slowed down the tempo of
6 its activities so that in the meantime the Croatian people put up
7 resistance and the formation of the Republic of Croatia took place, and a
8 part of the weapons that was not returned was used for the struggle
9 against the army or, rather, for the acquisition of independence."
10 Do you -- please respond.
11 A. Yes, but let us look at Knin, Slavonia, Baranja. Weapons were
12 distributed in an unauthorised manner to the citizens there, and that is
13 when the fighting started. At the Plitvice lakes we know what happened,
14 in Gospic as well. Therefore, I cannot judge the policies of the Croatian
15 government and the Croatian people because according to the constitution
16 they had the right to decide their own fate so I wouldn't like to enter
17 into a polemic about that. From a military aspect, yes, but regarding
18 political motives and solutions of the Croatian people, I would rather
19 not, because Slovenia had a right to this and Croatia as well as a part of
20 the federal Yugoslavia.
21 Q. But in terms of the military and the prevailing political issues,
22 the military was aware that weapons left in places which were seeking to
23 secede, that secession not being agreed, that those weapons could be used
24 to achieve independence, and that's what they wanted to prevent.
25 A. Who approved those political decisions? It is well known who had
1 a majority vote in the Assembly of Yugoslavia, in the Presidency.
2 Therefore, it is known who made the political decision. And the army was
3 there just to carry it out. And it was abused and utilised to achieve the
4 political goals in Yugoslavia.
5 Q. In relation to that material and equipment that was withdrawn,
6 you've said that it was used for the replenishment of units. And in your
7 evidence previously in Tadic and the Brdjanin case you stated you were
8 referring to your own area of Banja Luka.
9 "Replenishment" is a restocking of materials that were needed for
10 the equipment of the military; is that right?
11 A. No, that is not what I meant. Units of the corps in my area of
12 responsibility and other units were 105 per cent to capacity. Five per
13 cent were reserves. And this was provided in peacetime. There were
14 reserve stocks in the logistic base in Banja Luka. All that came from
15 Slovenia and Croatia entered base warehouses and was registered. However,
16 what corps units took when the motorised transport came to the territory
17 of Banja Luka Corps, that material was taken by the units and there was no
18 record of that. Even General Talic spoke about that, saying it wasn't
19 recorded. Unfortunately, that surplus, in we can call it that, was not
20 recorded and it was distributed at will by the commander who decided to do
21 so, whether he was brigade commander, regiment commander, or division
22 commander. So there were never any proper records of that, how many
23 weapons of what kind ended up where and those were surpluses.
24 The units, Your Honours, were not entitled to have more than 5 per
25 cent extra equipment because that would encumber them in their movement
1 between combat operations. That is why they had a logistics base to cover
2 all their needs on a daily basis.
3 Q. From the 18th of May, 1992, the command of units and bases came
4 from that period from the Main Staff of Republika Srpska in Pale?
5 A. Yes. The decisions were officially made by the Main Staff of the
6 Army of Republika Srpska at Pale.
7 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no more questions.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
9 Q. Mr. Selak, in response to a question by Mr. Milosevic, you read a
10 quote of General Mladic of the -- and you said you -- this was from the
11 9th of June. I just want to simply ask you, you appear to be reading from
12 your work notebook. Were you, in fact, reading from your work notebook
13 which has been introduced as 463 tab 32.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please note that the English translation of that quote is
16 01104831. If I also might note there was some discussion about the work
17 notebook with respect to an incident in Donji Vakuf. The ERN number for
18 the translation of that portion of the workbook is 01104738.
19 Now, Mr. Selak, during the time that General Tito was alive, was
20 there a policy regarding the ethnic make-up of the officers' corps of the
21 JNA reflecting the ethnic make-up of Yugoslavia in general?
22 A. It was felt or, rather, it -- the commanding staff should have
23 reflected the population or at least roughly in percentage-wise it should
24 correspond to the ethnic composition of the population of Yugoslavia.
25 I never had any official information up until then as to the
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 22374 to 22380.
1 extent to which that was really properly balanced.
2 Q. Now, during the -- your cross-examination, you took out what
3 appeared to be a printed form, and you talked about this issue, about the
4 difference between the ethnic representation of the officer corps and the
5 ethnic composition of Yugoslavia. I'm going to hand back a copy of that
6 to you, and I would ask that it be assigned an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the next exhibit would be
8 Prosecutor's Exhibit 464, tab 26.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I might just check with the
10 Registrar. I believe it's 46 --
11 THE REGISTRAR: 464.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Sir, can I ask you -- can you just tell us the figures that are
14 reflected in that exhibit which you brought here with you, based upon your
15 experience as a Colonel in the JNA, does that -- do the figures in that
16 table represent your experience as a Colonel in the JNA during 1991?
17 A. Yes. I even thought it was even more drastic, and I was bothered
18 by this. It troubled me.
19 MR. GROOME: The Prosecution would be tendering that as an
21 Q. Now, Mr. Kay asked you a question. He have said: In military
22 terms, no army leaves its possessions and materiel and equipment in a
23 place where it may not have control over it, and you responded that yes,
24 that was true. My question to you was -- or is: The assets left behind
25 in Croatia and Bosnia, did they include air force assets of the JNA such
1 as planes and aircraft and helicopters?
2 A. Yes, because from the Pleso airport in Zagreb, planes arrived
3 together with all the personnel, and all the officers were relocated at
4 the Banja Luka airport under the control of the army of Republika Srpska,
5 and the commander of the air force was General Ninkovic, whom I knew
6 personally. I also knew the commanders who came from Bihac and the others
7 from the Pleso airport near Zagreb. And about 40 planes, roughly. The
8 number varied. Some went to Belgrade. There were daily flights between
9 Banja Luka and Belgrade.
10 Q. Now, you've testified that in the case of Slovenia, the JNA
11 withdrew everything including tables that it owned. My question to you
12 is: In your view as a logistics commander would it have been technically
13 possible to have withdrawn all of the JNA property and resources from
14 Croatia if that was the desire?
15 A. I don't know. I think that from Varazdin it was not withdrawn
16 because there was a problem. The corps commander in Varazdin was
17 convicted in Belgrade later on. I think the armaments were left behind.
18 The rest was pulled out even by ship, by rail, et cetera. So how much was
19 left, I think not much because the army managed to pull out all of it at
20 the time.
21 Excuse me, when I was answering the gentleman's question as to
22 whether the army should have pulled out, if it was Yugoslav, then what was
23 in Slovenia should have been left in Slovenia. What was in Croatia should
24 have been left in Croatia, because it was their property. The people
25 there financed the needs of the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 Q. You refer to a case of a commander in Varazdin. Was that
2 commander court-martialed for having left some JNA assets in Croatia that
3 he was unauthorised to leave there?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now in the case of Bosnia, you've talked about a significant
6 number of military assets that were left in Bosnia upon the JNA
7 withdrawal. In your view as a logistics commander, would it have been
8 technically possible for the JNA to have withdrawn the assets that were
9 subsequently left in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. The JNA could have withdrawn a major portion of that equipment.
11 It did withdraw it from all the garrisons in which the Croats and Muslims
12 or Bosniaks were in the majority so that the Tuzla Corps was withdrawn
13 towards Bijeljina and handed over to the army of the VRS, the 4th Corps to
14 Pale and handed over to the VRS. Also, the Banja Luka Corps remained
15 within the VRS. A total of five corps were formed in the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina for the VRS using the property, the assets that were in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the assets withdrawn from Slovenia and Croatia so
18 that they were fully replenished with all the weapons and materiel they
19 needed. They even had a surplus.
20 Q. So is it your testimony that instead of the assets being withdrawn
21 as they were in Slovenia, they were redistributed to areas in Bosnia where
22 there was a predominantly Serb population?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now I'm going to be asked that you be shown Prosecution Exhibit
25 464, tab 23 once again. This is a document that Mr. Milosevic questioned
1 you about this morning.
2 My question to you is: This document is a handwritten document.
3 It's not -- it doesn't appear on the official letterhead of the FRY
4 government; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, at the top of that document there's a name, Amidzic. Do you
7 know who Amidzic?
8 A. Yes, I do. It's Bosko Amidzic, Colonel of the quatermaster
9 service. And before that he was head of the quartermaster service in the
10 corps. With the death of Mr. Vaso Tesic, the deputy for logistics, he
11 took over as corps commander for logistics and that is the Amidzic who is
12 mentioned here.
13 Q. Now this morning Mr. Milosevic put to you the proposition that
14 this letter taken in the context of the rejection of the Vance-Owen Plan
15 is a clear indication that an embargo was established between the FRY and
16 Republika Srpska. My question to you is in drawing your attention to that
17 the sentence that reads: "It shouldn't be mentioned that this," referring
18 to the diesel fuel, "is for the needs of the army and it will be the way
19 that you agree."
20 Does that sentence reflect the proposition that Mr. Milosevic put
21 to you or more accurately reflect the proposition that soon after the
22 embargo was put in place, that steps were being
23 taken to circumvent it?
24 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that's a proper way to put a question in
25 re-examination, Mr. Groome. It's a leading question.
1 MR. GROOME: I will withdraw it then, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at some point I think there may be some
4 confusion over the exhibits, so if I may take stock and if the Court would
5 like me to do that now or --
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution in binder 464 tendered
8 Exhibits 1, 2, 4, 6 through 16, and 19 through 23. It was our intention
9 to withdraw the remainder. The accused in his cross-examination, however,
10 has worked with Exhibits 3, 17, 18, and 25. The Prosecution has no
11 objection to the introduction of those exhibits, and that would leave
12 Exhibits 5 and 24 to be withdrawn.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a technical matter. What we've
17 just been given, these tables that Mr. Groome was commenting on, as far as
18 I can deduce from this, these are excerpts from somebody's book.
19 JUDGE MAY: We'll ask the witness.
20 Where did you get the tables from, Mr. Selak?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I took these from the archives of
22 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is complete documentation about it
23 in the research centre for the camp -- it's in -- Bosnia-Herzegovina was
24 where I contacted somebody, and they made -- they gave me access to this.
25 It is an authentic document, and there is documentation stored there, and
1 we can provide it for you, Your Honours. The fact that somebody might
2 have taken this to write a book, these facts and figures to write a book,
3 I really can't comment on that.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, is it quite clear that this is
6 no official document? It has been and it says extracted. It is page 57,
7 58. So it is an excerpt of something. And in the footnotes we can see it
8 says author Mirsad Abazovic, et cetera, and it is -- they are quotes from
9 a book.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's clarify the matter.
11 Mr. Selak, thank you for coming to the Tribunal again to give your
12 evidence. It is concluded and you are free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. There is some difficulty.
17 Yes. Apparently there's been some confusion in the preparation of
19 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I recall addressing the Chamber
20 specifically two days ago saying that I was hoping to conclude Dr. Babovic
21 and indeed one other witness today, which I was going to accomplish
22 because I was going to take Dr. Babovic extremely shortly under the
23 general provisions, just serving his report and tendering him for
24 cross-examination, and I can remember saying that two days ago. And at
25 that time, the order of witnesses was exactly as it is today and there had
1 been notification given.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MAY: It may be if we break early we might be able to
4 resolve it. We've got Dr. Babovic.
5 MR. NICE: Dr. Babovic is here and of course we're very anxious
6 for him to be able to go home --
7 JUDGE MAY: It may be that we can resolve it during the break.
8 One thing with this witness, I would like to be clear because I don't have
9 a curriculum vitae in English.
10 MR. NICE: I hope you do now. It's tab one of the exhibit.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness be sworn.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 WITNESS: BUDIMIR BABOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Nice:
21 Q. Your full name, please.
22 A. My name is Budimir Babovic.
23 Q. And there's a series of exhibits associated with this witness, but
24 might it for good order be sensible to exhibit first the expert report
25 with its corrigendum and then following that the exhibit bundle?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, expert report will be Prosecution
2 Exhibit 465.
3 MR. NICE: May the corrigendum of the 6th of June be part of the
4 same exhibit for convenience.
5 THE REGISTRAR: And the binder of exhibits will be Prosecution
6 Exhibit 466.
7 MR. NICE: There is one other document that I asked to be
8 exhibited and that is -- and that is a document that's been distributed
9 this morning which is a summary of key documents to be admitted during his
10 testimony. I trust the Chamber's found it. It's simply a route map to
11 remind the Chamber of what will be found in the full report should they
12 find that convenient and if so, could that become Exhibit 467? 467 for
13 the other exhibit.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Correct, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. I haven't got this route map. Where will
16 I find it?
17 MR. NICE: It was distributed this morning, I believe. It's a
18 document of four pages, looks like that.
19 JUDGE KWON: Summary.
20 MR. NICE: Summary, yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Dr. Babovic, did you prepare at the request of the Prosecution the
24 report that's now been exhibited as Exhibit 465 on the police?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And your curriculum vitae at tab 1 of Exhibit 466 setting out your
2 history and expertise, His Honour has indicated that he hasn't had an
3 opportunity to review this in advance because no English translation was
4 provided, so we can deal with it in a little more detail than I otherwise
5 would have done with apologies for there not having been an English
6 version in advance.
7 Montenegrin by birth with a Ph.D in political science from
8 Belgrade. You served in scientific and diplomatic institutions between
9 1960 and 1983, then significantly for these purposes became head of
10 Yugoslav central bureau of INTERPOL from 1983 and until 1991. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Before we move on, can you explain to the Chamber what it was that
13 caused you to retire, as you did, from that bureau in 1991?
14 A. I asked to retire ahead of time at a point in time when I realised
15 that things were happening in the country about which nobody knew what was
16 going on, why something was being done, who it was being done for. And
17 apart from that, I had a clash with the people in the Ministry of the
18 Interior too.
19 Q. You remained associated with INTERPOL as your CV shows, and then
20 from 2001 became chairman of a think tank for the reform of police in
21 Serbia, and you set out bodies of which you are an admitted member in your
22 curriculum vitae. Correct?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. You've written widely. The two most significant publications
25 perhaps for the purposes of this Trial Chamber are your book "The Police
1 and World Order," published in Belgrade in 1997, and your book "Human
2 Rights and Police in Yugoslavia," published in Belgrade in 1999 and 2001.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And so that there can be transparency and clarity, your book on
6 "Human Rights and the Police in Yugoslavia," was published before you were
7 ever contacted by the Office of the Prosecutor and indeed was probably the
8 reason why you were contacted by them?
9 A. Yes. That is precisely so. It was on the basis of the book that
10 the OTP contacted me.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, unless you want me to go through the other
12 publications, I'll leave the curriculum vitae.
13 JUDGE MAY: No. Thank you.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Your report to which we will now turn, Exhibit 466, and I'm only
16 going to look at half a dozen paragraphs at the most, has as its
17 introduction at section 2, paragraph 3 on page 6, and if this could be
18 laid on the overhead projector for -- if you've got an English-version
19 copy, lay this page on the overhead projector I would be grateful.
20 Contains this paragraph which I will read out, although it is the only
21 paragraph of that size that I will read. If you could just lay the
22 English version paragraph 3 on the overhead projector.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Prosecution Exhibit 465.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. As part of your introductory remarks to your report, Dr. Babovic,
1 you say this: "Throughout this period, Slobodan Milosevic had a position
2 which de jure enabled him to directly control the highest level of the
3 police hierarchy and thus exert a decisive influence on police
4 organisation in Serbia. Moreover, in some respects he had an obligation
5 to exercise control and prevent breaking of the law. During the one-party
6 system, he was the president of the party in power, controlling all the
7 other levers of authority which only carried out the party's will. When
8 the multi-party system was introduced, Milosevic remained president of the
9 Presidency, then President of the Republic of Serbia. His authority and
10 obligations were then defined by the constitution and the laws. His
11 position relative to the Serbian police was not weakened when he moved
12 from the post of Serbian President to that of President of the FRY. He
13 retained undiminished real power and acquired constitutional and legal
14 authority because, as FRY president, he became the ex officio President of
15 the Supreme Defence Council. In this capacity, he had legal authority
16 over the police forces in peace and war."
17 Help us, please. Did that paragraph draw on the documents you
18 read and your expertise or on a combination of that and general knowledge
19 and personal experience?
20 A. For the most part it was based on an analysis and documents and my
21 general knowledge and expertise and in part also the result of general
22 analysis -- analyses which were in existence.
23 Q. As to the body of your report, I only want you to identify a
24 couple of paragraphs where you're dependent on a single source of
25 information so that the Chamber can have that point clearly before it. If
1 we go to paragraph 161 on page 46.
2 We see at this paragraph where you're dealing with the engagement
3 of the Serbian police outside Serbia, and you use the term "para-statal
4 formations," as inclusive of paramilitary and para-police formations. You
5 see that you are dependent on a book footnoted at 66 by Milos Vasic and
6 Filip Svarm. Similar reliance I think is to be found in paragraph 164.
7 Was that book your sole source of information for the material
8 that you're setting out in those paragraphs?
9 A. It was the most important source of information about these
10 issues, but of course there were other sources of information as well.
11 Q. You could give reasons if asked why you would be prepared to rely
12 upon Vasic and Svarm's book? I don't intend to ask you the reasons but
13 you can give them if you are asked?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At page -- no. We will move on then now to your conclusions which
16 we can find at paragraph 209 on -- I think it's page 50 -- no. I beg your
17 pardon. Page 59. If this page, paragraph 209, paragraph 210 can be laid
18 on the overhead projector, I would be grateful. The top of the page for
19 the usher, please. Thank you.
20 Included in your conclusions were these, that "From 1986, Slobodan
21 Milosevic occupied positions which de jure enabled him to directly
22 influence the work of the organs of the interior and the violation or
23 protection of human rights and freedoms." The analysis provided in your
24 report focused mainly "on Kosovo and Metohija and the actions of the
25 Serbian organs of the interior outside so-called Serbia proper. However,
1 the manner in which the accused exercised his authority in Serbia itself
2 should also not be forgotten." And you then end with this sentence:
3 "Analysis has shown that de jure authority represented no boundary for
4 Milosevic's actions. When he found it inconvenient, he would disregard it
5 in practice or change it by issuing decrees or decisions."
6 Does that paragraph set out in summary form the conclusions that
7 you with your expertise reached on the analysis of the documents either
8 already known to you or shown to you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Paragraph 210 says this: "Milosevic not only the authority, but
11 also the obligation to oppose violations of the laws and of human
12 rights. If from no other provision, this obligation follows from the
13 oaths of office he took when elected president."
14 Do you stand by that opinion?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. We pass down to paragraph 214, having covered in detail in your
17 report the oaths he took, you find the following on analysis, "That the
18 greatest responsibility for the most important decisions regarding the
19 operations and conduct of the police lies with the accused."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You then go on to say these two points. First, "That the Serbian
22 MUP operated outside Serbia directly or through its own para-state
23 formation and that the para-state formation established by the SDB MUPs
24 committed crimes in the areas engulfed by the war and that Milosevic knew
25 of the operations of the para-state formation and other MUP forces." And
1 you refer to something that's shown on a videotape, the Chamber and you
2 have seen, and that he approved of them, you say, but there is no proof
3 that he asked for unlawful activities to be corrected.
4 Here you are to some degree dealing with questions of fact, are
5 you not?
6 A. Yes, that's right. I wasn't able to find traces of evidence of
7 this kind that they asked that -- that he asked that unlawful activities
8 be corrected. I found no evidence of that.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I simply draw to your attention that those
10 paragraphs obviously are mixed in their content as to expertise and fact
11 because we are not seeking by an expert witness to cover matters not
12 properly in his field of expertise.
13 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, Mr. Nice, I'd like to -- I'd
14 like the witness to reiterate the first part -- the first paragraph in
15 this paragraph 214 and give us some reasoning and detail.
16 MR. NICE: Certainly. That, of course, is not a question of fact.
17 That is a matter of expertise.
18 Q. You heard His Honour Judge Kwon's question and request. If we
19 could go back to the first subparagraph of paragraph 214, your conclusion,
20 the greatest responsibility for the most important decisions regarding
21 operations and conduct of the police lay with Milosevic. Could you assist
22 us, please, by summarising the process of reasoning that led you to that
24 A. Well, an analysis of the constitution and laws indicates that the
25 accused was occupying positions in which those authorisations were
1 inherent with respect to the police, whether as president of the Central
2 Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia or as President of the
3 Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Serbia and President of Serbia by
4 virtue of office. He had the duty and competences and authority to
5 control, to dovetail and to guide the conduct and behaviour of the police
6 force, and this emanates from legal provisions precisely defined and the
7 law in 1989, and also in addition to this, it is common knowledge or,
8 rather, the situation was well known according to which communication
9 between the president and individual services in the Ministry of Internal
10 Affairs was a direct communication, which means that he could directly
11 influence decision-making on the part of these organs of state security.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Dr. Babovic, much of the analysis that you did
13 and indeed it seems to me that a great part of your conclusions would have
14 required legal analysis, analysis of laws, am I right?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. I am not a
16 lawyer myself, but I did study law, and I analysed the constitution and
17 the laws in the extent to which this was necessary for me to respond to
18 the request made by the Tribunal for me to analyse the legal provisions
19 and constitutional provisions from the aspects of responsibility and
20 authority over the police. That means that although I'm not an expert in
21 constitutional law nor am I a lawyer myself, I did limit myself to
22 analysing those provisions in the texts which refer and regulate the
23 police force and conduct thereof.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: But your training is not in law. It's in social
25 science. Your expertise is not in law. It's in the social sciences.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. That is correct, yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: And Dr. Babovic, having heard what you said before,
3 may I take it that your analysis is based upon your legal knowledge as a
4 layman or, if I can put it that way, an uncommon knowledge or common
5 sense which is known to everybody, not based upon some factual details
6 which you got from some documents? Am I right?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have already said, I did not
8 graduate from the faculty of law, but I did study law. So you can treat
9 me as being a layman. You can say I'm a layman, but I don't think that
10 that is the most suitable assessment perhaps. And in the course of my
11 work, throughout my work, I had to confront questions where I -- which
12 required a knowledge of certain legal provisions and constitutional
13 provisions and stipulations, and in that sense I did gain a knowledge of
14 the law.
15 I apologise, but the second part of your question was what, Your
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. And you said in addition to the legal
18 problem, it is common knowledge or, rather, the situation was well known
19 according to which communication between the president and individual
20 services in the MUP.
21 You referred to some common knowledge rather than some specific
22 factual evidence you got some through specific evidence. Do you follow
24 You based your analysis on common knowledge. Could you clarify
25 that meaning?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could, but I should first like to
2 point out that my analysis was not based only on common knowledge and
3 information that was accessible to all people in Yugoslavia and beyond,
4 but I base my analysis primarily on the texts of the constitution and the
5 appropriate laws, so that I couldn't say that my analyses were based on
6 common knowledge and commonly held positions. They were present, but
7 these analyses were based on a study of the constitution and the laws.
8 And I make reference to the particular Articles of the constitution and
9 the laws that corroborate my positions.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Doctor. That's what I can get as much as
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Can I enlarge on what the Court has been asking you in this way:
14 Office holders who have a connection with the police, whether President or
15 senior policemen or junior policemen, find the scope of their powers and
16 their duties and responsibilities identified in what material?
17 A. The main document is the constitution which regulates in general
18 terms, among other things, the obligations of members of the police,
19 particularly with respect to the obligation to respect human rights, and
20 also to preserve security and public law and order. Then comes the law on
21 the state administration which defines the powers of individual ministries
22 and the duties of individual ministries. Then comes the law on internal
23 affairs which in general terms defines what needs to be done by the
24 Ministry of Internal Affairs. And then those matters are further
25 elaborated in the bylaws and enactments such as rules and regulations,
1 decrees, et cetera.
2 Q. If we take a tangible example - I'll just find my document - to
3 show whether police and other senior relevant ministry officials have to
4 be acquainted with the law and its development - let me just find the
5 one - are the examples of the laws that you've referred to and for which
6 we have a summary that drew objection and complaint at the time that they
7 were introduced, reflecting people's knowledge and understanding of the
9 A. They did meet with criticism from professional circles at the very
10 time they were passed. The constitution of Serbia adopted in 1990 was
11 criticised from several different points of view. Among others, there was
12 public criticism and the authorities recognised this need for the
13 constitution of Serbia to be adjusted to the constitution of the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia that was adopted two years later. The law on
15 internal affairs of 1989 was also criticised, especially by professional
16 circles in the opposition because of the provisions in the first place
17 which seriously restricted or abolished autonomy, thereby provoking
18 additional problems. Certain rules and regulations were also criticised.
19 For example, the law, this is not a regulation but a law, a law on ranks
20 which in what I would call a counter constitutional manner introduced
21 certain provisions.
22 Shall I continue? Then certain provisions of the rules --
23 Q. Just pause there for a minute because there's a supplementary
24 question I want to ask you, or two supplementary questions I want to ask
25 you, but we'll stay with the one on ranks for a minute if we may to
1 reflect on knowledge and, as it were, necessary expertise.
2 If the Chamber would be good enough to go to tab 2, the summary,
3 which is probably the easiest way of getting at it and look towards the
4 end of the first page, number 5 and tab 5, the law on the ranks.
5 Now, to help the Judges, your position as set out in your report
6 is that the law on the ranks was a legitimate or an illegitimate extension
7 of the presidential powers? You can see it in paragraph 24.
8 A. There is no doubt that the law on ranks did infringe upon the
9 constitutional principle because by a lower-level legal document matters
10 were regulate that had could only be regulated by constitution, that is
11 the power of the president of the republic. The law on ranks authorised
12 the president of the republics certain -- with certain rights that were
13 not given to him by the constitution. And as a result, this strengthened
14 the powers of the president of the republic in relation to the police.
15 Q. Was this part of the legislative developments that drew some
16 reaction and objection? Just yes or no.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And purely by happy coincidence, did the Serbian Constitutional
19 Court deliver its decision on this particular piece of legislation
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And although we only have a newspaper report of its decision, its
23 decision was to what effect?
24 A. The decision is not identical with my analysis. I cannot say
25 that. But basically it doesn't differ in the least from my analysis that
1 I drew my attention to, and that is that by a lower-level legal act,
2 matters are regulated which should be regulated by a higher-level
3 document. And the Constitutional Court, and I have another objection
4 regarding the law of ranks, and that is that it gave the authority to the
5 president of the Republic of Serbia to decorate foreign citizens who have
6 merits for the security of Serbia. And the Constitutional Court in
7 yesterday's decision did not accept this, but I think that in the
8 present-day situation when we have the state community of Serbia and
9 Montenegro, this should not be accepted. However, I criticised this
10 bearing in mind the situation when we had the Federal Republic of
11 Yugoslavia and when decorations awarded to foreign citizens was the power
12 given to the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Dr. Babovic, you say the Constitutional Court did
14 not accept the approach that you had to this particular question, but
15 whose view would this Court accept? Speaking for myself, I would rather
16 accept the Constitutional Court's position on an issue of law rather than
17 your own, because you are bringing to this exercise your expertise as a
18 social scientist, not as a lawyer. And it is clearly a legal issue. The
19 question whether the law on ranks is an impermissible extension of
20 presidential power it seems to me is quintessentially a legal issue. The
21 Constitutional Court agreed with your point on one extent and no another
22 way they did not agree on it and you still hold to that view?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course I wouldn't
24 like in any sense to call in question your own judgement that for you the
25 position of the Constitutional Court is more relevant than mine, but I
1 just wish to point out very briefly that the Constitutional Court did
2 accept what was essential, and that is that the law gave powers to the
3 president of the republic which it could not have given him.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Now, my second supplementary question relates to the same problem,
7 that is the need for those involved to understand the law and to be
8 familiar with it but from a different angle.
9 If we could go now, please, to tab 7, at least tab 7 in the
10 summary which is on the second --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just pausing there. If the witness could give us a
12 date when the law on ranks was introduced or that provision, that Article.
13 MR. NICE: Yes. That's at tab --
14 JUDGE KWON: 5.
15 MR. NICE: -- tab 5. And the document is dated the 26th of
16 December, 1995, so -- and the view of the witness has been held at
17 material times since then.
18 JUDGE KWON: At the outset of the law it says 1879. That's why
19 I'm --
20 MR. NICE: I see what you mean. That I can't immediately
21 explain. It's probably a copying oddity, and I don't know where 1879
22 comes from.
23 It's the item number of the legislation Ms. Milenov informs me and
24 the document itself is that date.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. But if we could look at things from a slightly different
3 perspective and go now to tab 7 or the summary of tab 7 on page 2 of the
4 summary, which is the decision from the 21st of April of 1997, which
5 was -- I beg your pardon. It's not tab 7. Absolutely my mistake. It's
6 an exhibit that we must call from somewhere else. It's Exhibit 277. 277,
7 please. Sorry.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that exhibit is in the vault. I will
9 get it during the break.
10 MR. NICE: But I can ask the witness about it.
11 Q. You reviewed a decision dated the 21st of April of 1997. Our
12 Exhibit 277, which was a decision which identified the apparent legal
13 right of the President of the Republic of Serbia to have direct contact
14 with the RDB and the RDB to have the right to contact the president.
15 Now, that, when we look at it, appears to be a formal decision,
16 but was that something that was known publicly at the time, and when did
17 you first learn about it?
18 A. It was not published in public. I was aware of it at the time,
19 but I saw the decision itself for the first time among the Tribunal's
21 Q. You were aware of it, but was it generally known about at the
22 time, or not?
23 A. Was it made available at the time, or not.
24 A. No, it wasn't made available to the public. And a certain smaller
25 segment of the public did know that the head of the state security service
1 was not communicating with the Minister or through him with the president
2 of the republic but was communicating directly with the president of
3 republic. The decision you are referring simply formalises such a state
4 of affairs, makes it formal.
5 Q. So that when we look at expertise about the police, is it
6 necessary for somebody dealing with the police, like any policeman however
7 junior or high, or any minister however high, is it necessary for that
8 person to know the body of law and regulations that controls what the
9 police do?
10 A. Of course, but he must also follow the orders he receives from the
11 president of the republic.
12 Q. And the second part of my question is this: Is it significant in
13 analysing from an expert's point of view how the police were operating in
14 fact to know what rules such as this one were made in a formal way but
15 kept from the general public gaze?
16 A. It is very important, because it is an indicator of a general
17 attitude towards law and legality that existed at that time, so that when
18 we look at that decision, it is not founded on the law on internal affairs
19 nor in the constitution, because neither of those documents make any
20 mention of the head of the state security service as being a collocutor of
21 the president of the republic. Rather, it mentions either the government
22 or the minister in the law on internal affairs.
23 Q. May I ask two final questions before what -- maybe the Chamber
24 will decide is a convenient moment but if I can.
25 The last of your conclusions at paragraph 215 says simply this:
1 "Due to all of the above it is impossible not to raise the issue of
2 Slobodan Milosevic's command responsibility arising from his actions or
3 his failure to act," but is it important - I reduce my two questions to
4 one - is it important for the learned Judges to have in mind that you're
5 not seeking to trespass on territory they control, namely the law of this
6 institution by interpreting command responsibility in a way that's
7 technical to this court, but if we come back to paragraph 59 of your
8 report, by looking at command responsibility in the way a police person
9 would look at the issue. And you -- paragraph 59 explains how you, with
10 your background and with your approach to the problem, view command
11 responsibility in these terms.
12 "Command responsibility relative to the MUPs is herein taken to
13 mean the authority of a collective or individual state organ to issue
14 orders to the Ministry of the Interior or within the Ministry or to
15 directly influence its work in some other manner. Within the MUPs,
16 command responsibility is to be found at all levels of the police
17 hierarchy, but will be discussed here only to the level of department
18 chief. Bearing this in mind, command responsibility in the SFRY will be
19 discussed first."
20 So -- did you there set out how you're using the term command
21 responsibility in a police force.
22 A. Precisely so. It never even occurs to me that I could suggest to
23 this Trial Chamber any final conclusions that it will reach in this case.
24 But I was asked to analyse the relevant documents and on that basis to
25 present my opinion and that is what I did here. And I did so within the
1 limits that you yourself have just indicated, Mr. Prosecutor. This is not
2 a technical definition of command responsibility but a definition which I
3 gave for the needs of my own analysis and report.
4 MR. NICE: I don't know if that's a convenient moment. I have a
5 few more questions to ask about the summary, the route map, if I can do
6 that, if the Chamber is going to have a break then.
7 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, it was quite plain, and the
8 Prosecutor made it quite plain on Wednesday that Dr. Babovic was coming
9 after the last witness. We have the transcript here to remind us. So you
10 should have been ready for him today. We take it there's been some
11 confusion on your part, but it may be that during the break you can sort
12 that out. Would you like an extra ten minutes' break in order to try to
13 do that?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I would rather the break
15 shouldn't be prolonged so that we don't extend the sitting. Yesterday you
16 extended the sitting, so I had only 15 minutes for going into the fresh
17 air, and the day before I only had five minutes. So for me, that is much
18 more significant than when I will have the opportunity to
19 cross-examine -- to begin cross-examining this witness.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well, but you must be ready then to begin
21 cross-examining this witness after the break.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course, Mr. May, I'm ready. I
23 never said for a moment that I wasn't ready.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Twenty-minute break.
25 Dr. Babovic, could you remember in this break and any others there
1 are, I must warn you formally, not to speak to anybody about your evidence
2 until it's over, and that does include the members of the Prosecution
3 team. Could you be back, please, in 20 minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I was only -- in light of the questions
8 that Your Honours had asked, I was only going to make some brief reference
9 to the exhibits, but the accused being ready to cross-examine, I'm ready
10 to maximise his time by sitting down now really.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Babovic, tell me first what are you by
14 education? You have a degree in which area?
15 A. I graduated from the faculty of philosophy, as it was called then,
16 the group for French language and literature, and I studied law part
17 time. Later on, I had a doctorate at the Faculty of Political Sciences.
18 Q. I see that you have a degree in the French language and
19 literature. That is the diploma that you have?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And where did you get your master's degree?
22 A. At the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade in 1996, I think
23 it was.
24 Q. And what was your master's thesis?
25 A. Are you talking about the master's or doctorate thesis? No. I'm
1 sorry, I didn't have a master's thesis because the papers that I published
2 were recognised as equivalent to the a master's degree, so I didn't have
3 to sit for a master's degree.
4 Q. So being by education somebody with a degree in the French
5 language, after that you got a degree at the faculty of sciences in
6 Belgrade; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did I understand correctly from the information that I was
9 able to glean from the documents I have that you consider yourself to be a
10 policiologist, a police researcher. Could you explain to me what that
12 A. A police researcher is a scholar that specialises in the study of
13 the police, who studies the science of police, a science that has been in
14 existence as such for some two decades in the world, though it is not
15 fully and sufficiently recognised.
16 Q. Tell me, at which universities in Europe is this science
17 recognised as a science, police study?
18 A. I couldn't tell you.
19 Q. As you have a doctorate, you must know what the constituent
20 components of any science are. Could you tell me what is a subject and
21 what is the method of police science as a science? Because I hear of this
22 discipline for the first time, and I should like to learn about it.
23 A. Many people haven't heard of it. As for the methods of police
24 science, it uses the comparative and historical method. As for subject
25 matter, it is the police, the institution of the police, its formation,
1 development, its activities, its position in society. Those are the main
2 determinants of that subject.
3 Q. Tell me, where did you get this title of police researcher?
4 A. This is something that one doesn't acquire, this. People are the
5 individual specialising in the police is called a policiologist.
6 Q. As I hear this for the first time, I assume that if there is such
7 a science and you represent yourself as being a policiologist, then I
8 assume you must have acquired this title as policiologist.
9 A. No, I didn't, but this science as such, this calling is recognised
10 in Serbia, but it is also recognised in other countries. And at the
11 academy of police sciences, the science of police or policiology is
12 taught. It doesn't make any difference whether you will call it the
13 science of police, police science, or policiology.
14 Q. You are aware that there are experts for the police and that there
15 is a police academy in Belgrade.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you consider yourself to be an expert for the police in view of
18 the fact that you have a degree in the French language and a doctorate at
19 the Faculty of Political Sciences?
20 A. I couldn't say whether I consider myself that, but others do.
21 Q. So you can't tell us whether you consider yourself to be an expert
22 for the police.
23 A. That would be immodest.
24 Q. Tell me, what was the subject of your doctorate at the Faculty of
25 Political Sciences? What was the subject?
1 A. International police relations and INTERPOL. That was my doctoral
3 Q. What title did you acquire?
4 A. I acquired the title of doctor in political science.
5 Q. You acquired this title of doctor of political science because you
6 took a doctorate at that faculty. I wanted to clear that up, because I
7 understood from Judge -- Mr. Robinson that you were a sociologist, but in
8 fact you are a doctor in political science.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now tell me, please, in view of the fact that by education you're
11 a teacher of French and that you have a doctorate on international police
12 cooperation and INTERPOL, on what grounds do you consider yourself to be
13 an expert who is qualified to explain the structure of the Ministry of the
14 Interior of Serbia, its organisation and methods of work, the relationship
15 between the state security and the police et cetera when you have
16 absolutely no formal education to qualify you for this nor any real
18 A. Regarding that real knowledge, that is up to others to judge, but
19 I was head of the national INTERPOL office from 1983, and surely during
20 those activities I necessarily acquired certain knowledge about the
22 Q. Yes. I assume that is what you did, as that is what it says in
23 your biography in the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs. That is
24 where you worked.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You worked there for about eight years; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And from what you say, you were working in -- on matters of
4 cooperation with INTERPOL; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And as far as I know, that mainly relates to exchange of various
7 information between the national police and INTERPOL.
8 A. Yes, that is true, but when an individual engages in those
9 activities, he may also inquire into other areas such as the work of
10 police institutions in other countries, in his own country, various
11 aspects of police activities and its position in society, and these were
12 subjects that were frequently on the agenda of INTERPOL meetings.
13 Q. I gathered that as you knew French and that being one of the
14 official languages of INTERPOL, you mainly dealt in exchange of
15 information between our police and INTERPOL; is that right?
16 A. From 1984 until 1991, I was in the leading bodies of INTERPOL, and
17 for six years, from 1989 until 1992, and from 1992 until 1995, for two
18 terms I was INTERPOL advisor for revision of the statute or constitution
19 of INTERPOL.
20 Q. Is it true that in the police you did not attend any advanced
21 additional training or seminars or the like?
22 A. That is right.
23 Q. Is it also true that you were never involved in police operational
24 work on the ground?
25 A. That is true too.
1 Q. Tell me, then, on the basis of what you, as a French teacher,
2 consider yourself to be competent in police expertise in Serbia and
4 A. I've already said that I cannot say that I consider myself to be
5 competent. It is others who consider me to be competent.
6 Q. And when were you retired, which year?
7 A. 1991.
8 Q. When did you get your doctorate?
9 A. In 1996.
10 Q. Five years after you were retired?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. At the time when you were in the Federal Secretariat of the
13 Interior, then Stane Dolanc was Minister of Police; is that right?
14 A. No. When I came to the federal SUP he was there but then after
15 that there were two other ministers.
16 Q. All right. But he brought you to the federal SUP as far as I
17 understood things?
18 A. He suggested that to me.
19 Q. What did you do then? What were you doing then, actually, when he
20 suggested that you come to the federal SUP?
21 A. Until May 1982, I was executive secretary of the Central
22 Committee of Montenegro. When this congress was held, I did not have a
23 job any longer, no offers were made to me. I was not told what I would
24 do. So my friend who was president of the Yugoslav association of post
25 and telecommunications made me an offer to head the international
1 relations department there.
2 Q. All right, Mr. Babovic. So you had held a political post in the
3 Central Committee of the League of Communists of Montenegro and then after
4 the congress since you were not elected you went to work in the Federal
5 Secretariat of the Interior in view of your knowledge of the language and
6 also in view of your political correctness?
7 A. Yes. After -- no. Actually, after that I went to work at the
8 Yugoslav PTT.
9 Q. Oh, I see. You worked at the post office and then from the post
10 office you were transferred to the federal SUP?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Tell me, please, did you write the following paper: "Human rights
13 and police in Yugoslavia" in 1999?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I have this. Actually, it's only part of a facsimile. In that
16 book, you claim that in Serbia, in 1997, there were about 150.000
17 policemen, and I assume that as author of this book you are responsible
18 for the accuracy of the information presented in it.
19 A. I am responsible for the accuracy to the extent to which that it
20 is known that that is what the budget appropriation was for that year. It
21 was made public then in 1999, and it was never refuted or challenged in
22 any way.
23 Q. Anything can be published in the newspapers. I assume that if
24 somebody is writing a book, then one has to seek appropriate information,
25 facts and figures.
1 On page 83 of your book you say, that in 1997, the MUP of Serbia
2 had about 150.000 members. That's what's written in your book. That's
3 what you wrote; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. Mr. Babovic, do you know that in Serbia there was
6 never more than 34.000 persons employed in the MUP? That includes the
7 public security and the state security sectors. That is to say the
8 uniformed police and the people who are not in uniform, the personnel not
9 in uniform, that is to say the cooks, the typists, everybody. So
10 altogether, it is 34.000. So why did you more than quadruple the number
11 of personnel of the MUP? And then how does this go along with your
12 credibility as an expert?
13 A. I said what I had to say.
14 Q. Where did you get this from?
15 A. From the newspaper, from some kind of newspaper.
16 Q. Some opposition newspaper, I gather?
17 A. I repeat. I've said what I have to say.
18 JUDGE MAY: What was your source for that figure which you gave?
19 Could you tell us that, Dr. Babovic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the source was the
21 budget of the Republic of Serbia for that year in which a sum was
22 appropriated for that number of police personnel.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Babovic, you know full well that the budget does not earmark
25 personnel but finances, funds. So the only item that could have been in
1 the budget was police expenditures. The budget would certainly not say
2 how many members the police would have. The budget is adopted by way of a
3 law. You know that, don't you? It's adopted by the Assembly?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. You don't have any other explanation?
6 A. I don't.
7 Q. All right, Mr. Babovic. Tell me, is the reason for this kind of
8 wrong exaggeration of the number of policemen in Serbia the fact that your
9 book was published --
10 JUDGE MAY: No. He doesn't accept what you say.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
12 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't accept what you say. He says he's got the
13 right figure and you've got the wrong one.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May. Then perhaps I
15 was wrong. Perhaps you are right then.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. All right tell me, please, the financing of your book, was it
18 assisted by the Open Society Fund, the Soros fund, the one that you
19 acknowledge in the book.
20 A. Yes, that could be seen from the book after all.
21 Q. Oh, it can be seen from the book. Is that the reason why you've
22 given such figures?
23 A. No. That never could have been the reason.
24 Q. All right. Tell me, please, on the basis of what could you say
25 already in the introductory part of your analysis that the police
1 committed crimes outside Serbia and in Kosmet? What do you use to prove
2 that? Was there a single crime that was established by a court of law on
3 the basis of what you wrote then in that book of yours in 1999?
4 A. I don't have all the records now in front of me in terms of
5 everything that was happening and everything that was published in the
6 media, but I would just like to remind you that the non-governmental
7 organisations were pointing out numerous instances of torture at police
8 premises. They also pointed out that people died in police premises and
9 many other unlawful actions at that time.
10 Q. All right. As far as unlawful actions are concerned, there can
11 always be unlawful actions, and you could have found out about that only
12 from criminal Prosecution of such illegal acts or perhaps some other
14 A. I found out from what had been made public.
15 Q. Made public where, please?
16 A. Made public in the Yugoslav media and in the foreign media. The
17 foreign media wrote about this considerably too. Not only foreign media
18 but also foreign state agencies also dealt with this subject matter
20 Q. Oh, I see. So you based your expertise, your expert opinion, on
21 what you read in the newspapers?
22 A. These are newspapers and people who wrote about this and who I can
24 Q. Oh, so that's it. And you say inter alia that the police was
25 militarised; is that right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Do you know when the gendarmery was founded within the police?
3 A. Yes, in 2001.
4 Q. Oh, in 2001. After my term of office; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. The founding of the units of the gendarmery, is that
7 militarisation of the police? Because as you said yourself, they did not
8 exist before that.
9 A. That in itself is not an act of militarisation, because the
10 gendarmery exists in a great many countries. And for none of these
11 countries can one say that they have a militarised police. As for Serbia,
12 the entire police had been militarised. There was no difference between
13 the police and those who do not belong to the police, to the police
14 administration. Everybody had ranks, everybody had weapons, everybody had
15 light weapons, heavy weapons. And in the curriculum of the police
16 academy, military sciences and military skills ranked first.
17 Q. I'm not aware of that, that military sciences ranked first in the
18 police academy, but ...
19 Please, you say in your expert report on page 4, paragraph 2, that
20 in March 2000, the Constitutional Court declared as the
21 anti-constitutional --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down. The
23 interpreters do not have the text.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Who was President of the FRY in March 2000?
2 A. You were president.
3 Q. I was president. So isn't that proof of civilian control over the
4 legitimacy of the work of appropriate state agencies and bringing it in
5 line with the constitution?
6 A. We have to be reminded of the time that had to go by before an
7 unconstitutional provision was declared as such.
8 Q. Do you know that throughout this decision on the order on bugging
9 this had to be -- this had to be approved by the Court of Serbia? I don't
10 know about Montenegro.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So the decision to have somebody bugged would have to be approved
13 by the Constitutional Court of Serbia?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. But do you know that as for both Chambers of the Federal Assembly
16 separately and together, that is to say attached to the Chamber of
17 citizens and also attached to the Chamber of Republics, there was a
18 committee for security?
19 A. Yes, but I do not refer to that particular subject matter here.
20 This ruling of the Constitutional Court is one that I refer to as proof
21 that it was considered that a law that is not being applied -- that was
22 not applied from when you took power was still within the legal system.
23 It is only in that context that I referred to. I did not want to say
24 whether there had been any bugging or not.
25 Q. Do you know then that throughout this time it was only the Supreme
1 Court of Serbia that could rule on this? Is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. You also know that in both Chambers of the Federal Assembly there
4 were committees for defence and security respectively. Are you aware of
6 A. Yes, I know about both. But I must say that this Constitutional
7 Court also made certain rulings that could hardly be considered to belong
8 to that particular area, that is to say constitutionality and legality,
9 and this was during your rule. I can also say that one of the presidents
10 of this -- one of the chairmen of this committee for security said
11 officially that during his four-year term, the committee did not meet a
12 single time.
13 Q. Mr. Babovic, since we came to the conclusion that you're not an
14 expert in legal matters, there is no point in going into an explanation
15 now as to what the Constitutional Court did and whether the Constitutional
16 Court worked according to the constitution or not. Somebody else who was
17 qualified in legal matters would probably have to discuss that?
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Milosevic, you can't stop the witness giving
19 his evidence by that sort of comment. If he wants to refer to the
20 Constitutional Court, of course he can. Let's go on.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. All right. And do you know that in the National Assembly of the
23 Republic of Serbia there was always a committee for defence and security?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you know that all these committees in the Assembly of
1 Yugoslavia and in the Assembly of Serbia have the task inter alia to
2 follow the work of the Ministry of the Interior and both of the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia and therefore, the
4 republican committee for security and defence also deals with control over
5 the work of the ministry? So the control of work of the Ministry of the
6 Interior also falls under that committee, that is to say of public
7 security and of state security. The interpreters are telling me that I'm
8 moving too fast and that I should slow down for the simultaneous
9 interpretations. So I am trying to slow down.
10 A. When the constitution was adopted in 1992 in the Federal Assembly
11 and in the Republican Assembly, there was no special commission which was
12 envisaged by law for control over the state security service.
13 Secondly, I think that this is not a forum where we should discuss
14 how the laws functioned and how they were observed.
15 Q. Well, I assume it's not, because the point of departure is that
16 laws do function.
17 And do you know that according to the law it is the duty of the
18 government to submit reports on its work at least once a year to
19 parliament? Of course including the interior as a particular area of
21 A. I am aware of the law, but I don't know whether the government
22 submitted such reports every year.
23 Q. The fact that you are not aware of this, can that be a basis for
24 your assertion that the government did not submit reports to the
25 parliament and that the Ministry of the Interior within the government did
1 not report to parliament?
2 A. No. That can be checked.
3 Q. Do you know that or do you not know that?
4 A. I do know that.
5 Q. But you allege that reports were not submitted?
6 A. That is what I'm saying, yes.
7 Q. Very well. And do you know that it's the duty of the government
8 to look into the lawful functioning of its own agencies?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So if you know all of that, we have an example that you refer to
11 yourself on page 4, in paragraph 2, of successful judicial control. That
12 is what you mention in your report. And then if there is parliamentary
13 control through appropriate parliamentary committees, how can you then
14 claim that after the SFRY ceased to function - this is page 4, paragraph
15 2 - there was no control over state and public security? How can you
16 claim that?
17 A. On the basis of knowing what was going on.
18 Q. On the basis of knowing what was going on? You have judicial
19 control and you give such an example. There are parliamentary committees
20 and you say that there is no control because there was no control. That's
21 what you say?
22 A. I said how this control was exercised and how a committee, the
23 committee for defence and security, had a four-year term of office and
24 they did not meet a single time. See then let's see what kind of control
25 there was in fact. It was envisaged by law, but law -- the law was not
2 Q. All right. We have different views on that. But the control of
3 parliament was not within my line of work, as you know. It is the
4 executive and the legislative branches of government that are separate.
5 Tell me what you know about this, about this in which you give
6 your expert opinion. A policeman as a law enforcement official, does he
7 need a special order to arrest someone, to bring someone into custody if
8 he finds someone in the process of committing a crime?
9 A. No, no order is needed.
10 Q. So if it is not needed, how do you explain this centralisation of
11 the MUP to which you've made such negative references?
12 A. I'm surprised that this question is being put, because the law
13 from 1985 established in Serbia a very decentralised police system in
14 which municipalities had very important prerogatives. Among other things,
15 they decided who would be head of the police organisation in their own
16 territory. They were brought together with an inter-municipal conferences
17 or whatever these associations were called, these regional conferences.
18 And they also had major prerogatives.
19 In that system, the minister had the right to give an opinion
20 about a candidate who had been put up.
21 Now, it's not only the question of a particular candidate or head
22 of the service. What is particularly important is that responsibility for
23 carrying out or not carrying out duties and assignments was not geared
24 towards the local authority where this is supposed to be carried out, or,
25 rather, it was directed at the local authorities.
1 And then when the law in 1989 was passed, then this was moved to
2 the republican ministry. The republican ministry then had all powers in
3 terms of appointing and relieving of duty all officials and so on.
4 Q. All right. You are talking about the times of self-management and
5 the change of the constitution when the police was organised as it was in
6 every other country.
7 A. What the police is organised like in other countries is a question
8 that we can -- that can be discussed. I think that the centralisation of
9 the police force exists in certain countries but in those countries too
10 great efforts are being made or, rather, great efforts have been made in
11 the past to decentralise the police and to bring the police closer to the
12 population, to serve the population and not to serve the regime.
13 Q. All right. That's fine. Now, is it correct that the police, in
14 fact, by virtue of its functions was expressly and markedly decentralised
15 as opposed to the army where a soldier cannot act contrary or without
16 orders from his superior in the police force according to certain
17 situations provided by law that I quoted a moment ago. If you find
18 someone engaged in a criminal act need not wait for anybody's order but
19 can arrest that individual, take them into custody, et cetera. So he has
20 been authorised. He's an authorised individual before the law and is
21 there to enforce the law.
22 A. Well, that is not something that I'm challenging.
23 Q. All right. Fine. Now on page 7 of your report, paragraph 4, you
24 say that policemen in front of the diplomatic representative offices in
25 Belgrade, you say for years wore the uniform and insignia of the MUP of
1 Serbia and you claim that security for those embassies came under the
2 authority of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
3 Now, let's clear that point up straight away. All that is
4 correct. It's all correct, except my question to you is: Do you know
5 that the federal MUP, I'm talking about the Federal Ministry of the
6 Interior, officially saw sought reinforcements from the MUP of Serbia,
7 policemen from there because the federal MUP did not have enough men to
8 provide security details for the diplomatic representative offices and
9 that these same policemen which the MUP of Serbia provided to help out the
10 federal MUP, that the federal MUP was in command of those policemen who
11 were attached to it, because it is true that foreign representative
12 offices was the duty of the federal MUP. It was their duty to provide
13 security details.
14 A. I don't know about that.
15 Q. Well, is that another example of your lack of knowledge on the
17 A. I don't think this changes matters at all because the MUP of
18 Serbia in fact provided security details and helped out the MUP of
20 Q. Well, Mr. Babovic, have we explained this point? It was at the
21 request of the federal MUP, in fact, that the MUP of Serbia provided to
22 the MUP of Yugoslavia reinforcements but it was the federal MUP under
23 whose command they came. Don't you know that?
24 A. Well, that is less important. What is more important is to see
25 the relationship between the federal and republican MUPs, who was superior
1 to whom and who implemented whose orders, carried out the orders.
2 Q. All right. Now, tell me this, please, then: Security details for
3 diplomatic offices and representative offices, was this done in an
4 efficacious manner? Were these premises indeed safeguarded and
5 protected? Were there ever any problems with regard to their security?
6 A. I really don't know.
7 Q. So you don't know that either. All right. Now do you know this:
8 As you've been talking about the building in Kneza Milosa Street, do you
9 know that there was a court proceedings with respect to the proprietary of
10 the building in Kneza Milosa 92 Street and that it belonged to the MUP of
11 Serbia and that therefore that gave them the right to enter it?
12 A. This is the first time that I hear that there was a court ruling
13 according to which the special forces of MUP were able to enter the
14 federal offices.
15 Q. There was no violence there at all. That's got nothing to do with
16 it. What I'm asking you -- I'm asking you because on pages 7 and 8 of
17 your report and what you say there, do you have any valid evidence to bear
18 that out except for the fact that you rely upon an intrigue, if I can put
19 it that way, somebody who is allegedly my biographer and whom I don't know
20 at all and his name is Slavoljub Djukic, somebody who wrote a book with me
21 it seems, so you rely and refer to him. Is that the source of your
23 A. As to that particular event I was informed after it happened, and
24 I knew how it came to pass, how it actually happened, and that's what I
25 write there. And I also took over an analysis provided by the recognised
1 biographer, your recognised biographer, Slavoljub Djukic, so that I don't
2 there's any dispute there. You say there wasn't any violence. Well, the
3 whole hallway which is a large hall as big as this courtroom here was
4 packed jammed with special forces with their rifles cocked at the ready.
5 I know that from one of the men who entered with the Minister.
6 Q. All right, Mr. Babovic. All right. We've heard that. You seem
7 to have heard this from somebody but let's move on. And as I say, this
8 alleged biographer I myself don't know, so I don't know how he can be any
9 biographer of mine.
10 Now as you claim on page 10 there was a police brigade, do you
11 know that within the administration police department there was never a
12 police brigade? It never existed?
13 A. Within the police administration, there was not a police brigade?
14 Is that what you're saying? Well, we can check that out. We can verify
15 all that, because I think that what I say is quite correct and is
16 well-founded both on a knowledge of the rules of organisation for the MUP
17 and also on the knowledge of the realistic state of affairs.
18 Q. Well, we'll come to all that in due course. But as far as I
19 remember, there was a police brigade only in the Belgrade SUP, in the SUP
20 of the city of Belgrade and not the police administration. It never
21 existed there.
22 But tell me this now, please: As you claim that there were 189
23 departments of the interior up until the arrival of KFOR in Kosmet, and
24 after that 110 departments of internal affairs, and you write about this
25 on page 12, paragraph 3 of your report, is that what you're claiming?
1 That's my question.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Well, do you know that to this day there are just as many internal
4 affairs departments as existed in 1999 and 1998 and 1995 or rather that
5 none of them were shut down and that for the territory of Kosmet, Kosovo
6 and Metohija, there are departments which were relocated to central Serbia
7 but institutionally they still exist, and they perform certain activities
8 with respect to the population, and inhabitants who had to flee under
9 pressure of terror, under duress, they had to leave their thresholds and
10 homes and those people of -- receiving their salaries. They have work
11 posts that they occupy. Do you know anything about that?
12 A. In the places where the internal affairs departments existed, they
13 no longer exist. Now, whether they exist anywhere else in paper form I
14 really can't say.
15 Q. I'm not speaking about paper and documents and chapters of any
16 kind, I'm talking about material beings and material places and
17 facilities, people who receive their salaries and so on and so forth.
18 That's what I'm talking about. Let's make that clear.
19 Now, on the basis of what are you able to claim that the other
20 SUPs except the Belgrade SUP had as many as nine units? And you say this
21 on page 12, paragraph 4. You say, "Apart from the Belgrade SUP, all the
22 other SUPs had nine organisational units." That's what you state
24 MR. NICE: It would help the Chamber. I think if the accused
25 gives the actual paragraph numbers rather than the page numbers of the
1 B/C/S because it may be the Chamber is having some trouble finding it.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Paragraph number, please, Mr. Milosevic.
3 MR. NICE: I think it's about 40.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Which paragraph, Mr. May?
5 JUDGE MAY: Which paragraph are you referring to?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm referring to page 12, paragraph
7 4 of the report.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now find a number against the paragraph. Tell
9 us what it is.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not have that report. I have
11 my notes in front of me, Mr. May.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, look, it's no good just reading out like this
13 when no one can follow. In future if you don't have the report, make sure
14 you note the paragraph number. Otherwise, we can't follow the
15 cross-examination and we're likely to exclude it, nor can the witness.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I can do my best to assist by -- the
18 witness should have the B/C/S version in front of him. The page numbering
19 and paragraph numbering is entirely different from the English version.
20 So the fourth paragraph on page 12 would be our number -- paragraph number
21 40. That doesn't quite match with the line of questioning that we've been
22 listening to but it's close to it I think.
23 JUDGE MAY: Are the B/C/S numbers different too?
24 MR. NICE: I don't believe the paragraph numbers are different.
25 It's just that the page numbers are --
1 JUDGE MAY: The paragraph numbers should be the same.
2 MR. NICE: Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So it is not being disputed that you say that apart from the
7 Belgrade MUP, they had nine organisational units, these other SUPs?
8 A. That is based on access to official documents. I can't tell you
9 now exactly which ones. I don't have them to hand. Of course I can
10 verify this in due course later on.
11 Q. All right. Now, do you know, for example, that in Smederevo there
12 was a SUP with just two units, and in Velika Planinica, Smederevska
13 Palanka, Djakovica there was just one department. In Uzice there were six
14 units in the SUP. Priboj, Plepan [phoen], Novo Varos, Bajina Basta,
15 Pozega and Capljina.
16 A. Well, one thing -- our organisational units that's one thing and
17 in the local communes is quite another.
18 Q. But there aren't nine organisational units anywhere. So how is it
19 you claim there were nine organisational units to each SUP department?
20 A. According to the line of work.
21 Q. All right, Mr. Babovic, let's move on. Let's not argue and
22 quibble over these matters. That is not how things stand as you can see.
23 Do you happen to know that in July 1998, by decision of the
24 minister of the interior, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, that a staff to prevent
25 terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija was established?
1 A. I do know that, yes.
2 Q. And the commander of that headquarters was General Sreten Lukic;
4 A. Yes, that's right. Sreten Lukic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is paragraph
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Why don't you mention that in your report then?
11 A. I do mention it, precisely in paragraph 54.
12 Q. Would you read out paragraph 54, please?
13 A. "A month later on the 16th of June, 1998, the MUP's staff for
14 preventing terrorism was formed and Sreten Lukic was appointed its
15 commander too. The staff had 13 corps members including Milorad Lukovic,
16 also known as Legija, while the expanded staff included the chiefs of the
17 secretariats and the centre for state security from the Kosovo and
18 Metohija area," and so on and so forth.
19 All right. Now tell me this, please. Do you happen to know the
20 names of the territorial organisational structures of the state security
22 A. They were called the centres of state security.
23 Q. Centres you say?
24 A. Yes, centres. That's right.
25 Q. Now, do you know that the organisation of those centres did not
1 coincide for the most part with the organisation of the secretariats
2 because there were far fewer centres than there were secretariats?
3 A. I write about that too. That's what I state in paragraph 56. I
4 list all the state security centres of which there were 18 in total,
5 whereas the secretariats of the interior, there were 32 of those. 18 and
7 Q. All right. How come you claim then that the president of the
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had a command roll over the MUP of Serbia
9 when, according to the law, the MUP of Serbia is responsible for its work
10 to the government of Serbia and the Federal Assembly, the National
12 A. Well, certain provisions exist, especially in the law on defence
13 which vests the president of the SR of Yugoslavia with the power -- with
14 these powers in peacetime, not only in times of war but the powers vested
15 in him during peacetime as well and this relates to - I'll tell you in
16 just a moment, let me just find it. This is implemented through the
17 defence plan for the country which is adopted by the supreme defence
18 council which is again led by the president of the republic whose duty it
19 is to see to the implementation of the council's decisions and issues
20 orders for their implementation. And the plan for the country's defence
21 determines the rights and duties of citizens and state organs including
22 the MUP with respect to general mobilisation, the organisation and
23 preparations for defence as well as the commands of duties and units of
24 the Yugoslav army in conformity with the plans and orders by -- issued by
25 the president of the republic.
1 Q. This means you've used deduction to conclude that a defence plan
2 of the country is enacted in which each state organ has a role of its own
3 to play. And on the basis of that you then go on to claim that the
4 president of the FRY has a command responsibility over the Ministry of the
5 Interior of Serbia.
6 A. I'm not saying that on the basis of deduction. I'm not deducing
7 it. I'm observing it on the basis of what has been written.
8 Q. So is he in command of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of
9 Communications, of traffic, and all the other ministries that exist in the
10 Republic of Serbia? Because they are all state organs and by the same
11 token they all have some role to play in the country's defence which means
12 that the president of the FRY has a command responsibility over all these
13 state organs. That is on the basis of what you have read out; right?
14 A. The president decides on the deployment of the army and authorises
15 the plan for the army's deployment and mobilisation whereas the MUP of
16 Serbia has clearly defined tasks with respect to preparing the country's
18 Q. Mr. Babovic -- Mr. Babovic, you're quoting Article 17 very well of
19 the law on defence which states: "That in the event of an imminent threat
20 of war, a state of war, or a state of emergency, the units and organs of
21 the interior may be used to carry out combat tasks, that is," and so on
22 and so forth. The quotation is there. Those units and organs in combat
23 tasks. These units and organs are subordinated to the Yugoslav army
24 officer commanding the combat operations. And that is what Article 17 of
25 the law on defence states.
1 Is it then quite obvious, Mr. Babovic, that we're talking about
2 concrete tasks, concrete MUP units and concrete operations on the part of
3 the army of Yugoslavia? Now, if you don't understand it in this way,
4 then, for example, this is what could happen: Criminal investigations
5 during wartime should be conducted by the army, that the army should put
6 out fires during a war, to issue passports and ID cards; right?
7 So from this, we can see that they are subordinated exclusively to
8 the Yugoslav army officer commanding the combat operations on the ground
9 where they happen to be. So this refers to circumstances of that kind.
10 It is not attachment and resubordination of the ministry to the army of
11 Yugoslavia. Isn't that right, Mr. Babovic?
12 A. If you read the next paragraph, then you will be able to see that
13 we can say that the president of the Supreme Defence Council is not
14 responsible for the manner in which these tasks and assignments are
15 carried out. However, the supervising office in command of the combat
16 operations cannot on his own behalf change orders and decision enacted and
17 made by the president of the defence council.
18 Q. All right, Mr. Babovic. Now, we're dealing here with imminent war
19 operations if should they come about and resubordination exclusively
20 within combat operations because of the principle of unity of command and
21 not on the attachment or resubordination of the MUP to the area of
22 responsibility. I hope that at least is clear.
23 A. I would like to say that this is not immediate war operations or
24 imminent threat of -- it is an imminent threat of war, a state of war, a
25 state of emergency. That is what it says. Those are the these
2 Q. Very well. We'll come to that too. Please. You said something
3 in connection with Radovan Stojicic, Badza. Do you know what he became
4 before he became Colonel General when ranks were introduced?
5 A. As far as I heard, he was a Lieutenant.
6 Q. Does it seem serious enough to you to give an answer as you did,
7 as far as you heard he was a Lieutenant?
8 A. Why isn't that serious if that is what I heard from people working
9 in the MUP and who were very embittered about it?
10 A. Very well, Mr. Babovic. Every person who doesn't think him well,
11 but when you're compiling a report of this kind, shouldn't you check out
12 facts so as not to give answers on the basis of what you heard?
13 Before that in the MUP there were no ranks. So you know that,
14 don't you?
15 A. Yes, that's right. There were ranks in the police -- no, the
16 militia, the Milicija.
17 Q. But Radovan Stojicic, Badza, before acquiring that rank was the
18 Chief Inspector, which was the highest position that existed in those
19 days. You had from a clerk, then various types of inspectors of different
20 ranks. His was the title of Chief Inspector. Therefore, he couldn't have
21 been a lieutenant, nor did he have such a rank. Before that he was a
22 commander of a special unit of public security, which again meant that he
23 couldn't have been a Lieutenant. The least he could have been would be a
24 Colonel. Did you have that in mind when you wrote down something like
1 A. I said what I had in mind.
2 Q. Do you know that when ranks were introduced he was chief of the
3 public security department, which meant that he was in charge of the
4 entire uniformed police?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE MAY: We must adjourn now at quarter to because there is
7 another case this afternoon and the court is needed for that.
8 Dr. Babovic, we must ask you to return, if you would, please, on
9 Monday morning to conclude your evidence.
10 Mr. Milosevic, you can have a further hour for cross-examination
11 if you want it.
12 MR. NICE: I'm not sure what Dr. Babovic's travel plans were. I'm
13 afraid I haven't investigated them. I hope he can be here on Monday.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, would you -- perhaps you could speak to the
15 Prosecution about it, Dr. Babovic.
16 If it is impossible for him to be back, then we will very have to
17 interpose him at a later stage, but it would be much better if he could
18 finish, obviously.
19 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes. So leave to talk to him about that?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course. Have you a list for next week? What
21 else is coming?
22 MR. NICE: I have a list. I've just signed and it's ready for
23 distribution. We've got a witness. We've overrun a bit. We've got
24 problems and we must take witnesses as quickly as we can so that the
25 accused must always be ready for expert witnesses to be taken with even
1 more brevity than I took this morning's witness. I should also tell the
2 Chamber that I'm -- I had been hoping to distribute one of the larger
3 witness lists in an amended and updated form today. It's going to come to
4 you, I think, on Monday. This is the list of the outstanding witnesses of
5 all kinds including 92 bis, and it's a document that really shows the
6 progress that we're making and the further progress by way of reduction
7 that we're going to have to make. It should be with you on Monday or I
8 hope, at the latest, Tuesday.
9 JUDGE MAY: So if we can we'll conclude this witness's evidence.
10 We then have B-1407 and then Mr. Riedlmayer.
11 MR. NICE: And then of course we have got a major witness
12 starting -- due to start on the Tuesday. It may be necessary or desirable
13 to reorganise so that Riedlmayer comes after the following witness. I'd
14 like the accused to have that in mind. We are intending to serve or have
15 already served a number of exhibits that may be used with that substantial
16 witness, although my hope is to reduce the number of exhibits that I deal
17 with through him. My choice is between waiting until Monday, knowing
18 precisely how limited is the exhibit base I rely on or giving the accused
19 the opportunity to look at all the exhibits. I've gone for the later
20 option rather than the former. We have problems about production of
21 documents by the authorities, but I'm going to proceed without any further
22 documents because there's no real prospect of getting them in the next
23 day, although I have repeated my requests.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now until Monday morning.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of June,
2 2003, at 9.00 a.m.