International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2434

1 Thursday, 2 May 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, everybody. May the case be

6 called, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.


10 And your appearances with the OTP?

11 MR. BERGSMO: It's Morton Bergsmo and my co-counsel Nick Koumjian,

12 and case manager Ruth Karper.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And for the Defence, please.

14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and Mr. John

15 Ostojic for the Defence.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Let's today start immediately with

17 our new witness of today. Am I right, witness in open session but

18 protected, voice distortion and face distortion?

19 MR. BERGSMO: That is correct.

20 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I had understood face

21 distortion and pseudonym only.

22 MR. BERGSMO: Yes. Face distortion and pseudonym.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, but I had asked what about voice

24 distortion, therefore the problem with the Registry.

25 MR. BERGSMO: I apologise. There was a problem with my hearing

Page 2435

1 here, but thank you.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So only voice -- or only face.

3 MR. BERGSMO: Only face and pseudonym, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Pseudonym. Witness D?

5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. And we call witness "Witness D." And the

7 witness can be brought in, please.

8 [The witness entered court]

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me in a

10 language you understand? First of all, my apologies that I have to

11 address you as "Witness D" only, but it's in your interest. It's for your

12 protection. Please understand.

13 Could the declaration be taken from the witness, please.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated.


18 [Witness answered through interpreter]

19 THE WITNESS: [In English] Thank you.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The OTP may start the examination-in-chief,

21 please.

22 MR. BERGSMO: Thank you, Your Honour. Initially, we would like to

23 ask some questions to establish the identity of the witness, and we would

24 ask that we go into private session for that purpose.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can't see any objection. Private session.

Page 2436

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Page 2447

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11 [Open session]

12 MR. BERGSMO: Thank you.

13 Q. Witness, if when you give your answers to the following questions,

14 there is a need to disclose information which could lead to your

15 identification, you may indicate that, so that we could go into private

16 session again.

17 What were the working relations like in the Executive Board

18 between the SDA and SDS members?

19 A. [No Interpretation]

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Witness, slow down, so that the interpreters can

21 hear you. Could you please repeat the answer, because we don't have it on

22 the transcript.

23 THE WITNESS: So for me, the Executive Board is an operative body, and

24 that is how I saw it when I started working there, as an operative

25 non-political body. And all the positions in it were held by people who

Page 2448












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Page 2449

1 were specialised in a particular field so that, for instance, economists

2 who were in charge of fiscal affairs and development, then engineers,

3 civil engineers or architects, again, in the appropriate secretariat;

4 lawyers held posts related to law. So that at the beginning, in my view,

5 there were no problems or disagreements in our mutual relationships and

6 the coordination of our work.


8 Q. Did the working relations change over time?

9 A. This is what happened: Direct relationships between members of

10 the board, personal relations, did not change so much as did the method of

11 work of the Executive Board which later blocked its activities, because

12 the SDS towards the end started giving instructions to their members

13 simply not to attend meetings of the Executive Board.

14 Q. And did the SDS members of the Executive Board then attend

15 meetings?

16 A. As I said, at first, for quite a long time, the work was normal.

17 Later on, if an order comes for them not to attend, they didn't attend.

18 And then a meeting could not be held, no valid decisions could be made if

19 they were not represented. Because half of the voting members were from

20 the SDS and half from the SDA so that no valid decisions could be taken

21 without the participation of both.

22 Q. Did the SDS members of the Executive Board seem to operate on the

23 basis of some plan, or was there a pattern in their conduct?

24 A. Whether there was a plan on their part, I really can't say. But

25 this blockade took place later. This blockade was more reflected upon the

Page 2450

1 work of the Assembly, much more than on the work of the Executive Board.

2 Q. Approximately when did this blockade start?

3 A. As far as I can remember, the blockade was first in the Assembly.

4 First it was partial, and then it was total. The first difficulties arose

5 when the parties could not agree on certain appointments. Then later on,

6 these obstructions occurred more and more often.

7 Q. Did the SDS members of the Executive Board want Prijedor

8 municipality to join the Autonomous Region of Krajina?

9 A. Certainly that was the aim. It was quite clear. They were

10 simply, if not directly, then indirectly, dissatisfied that they were

11 unable to implement their policies in a legal manner, through voting.

12 They didn't -- they wanted to have this decision made for Prijedor to join

13 the Autonomous Region of Krajina. They couldn't achieve it at the

14 Assembly or the Executive Board through legal means.

15 Q. So it was your impression at the time that this was the general

16 SDS position in Prijedor, that Prijedor municipality should join the

17 Autonomous Region of Krajina?

18 A. Yes, certainly. That was quite clear from other things, too. In

19 various ways, for instance, through the media, the Kozarski Vjesnik

20 published on the first page one day a map of the division of the town of

21 Prijedor. Kozarski Vjesnik was closely linked to the SDS, and this was an

22 intimation of something that they intended to achieve. They simply wanted

23 separate Serb territory.

24 Q. Are you aware if the SDS or Serbian political leaders in Prijedor

25 attempted to have a change made in the uniform of the Prijedor police?

Page 2451

1 A. There was this tendency - I don't know whether it was an order,

2 because I wasn't directly involved in the coordination of the SDS - but I

3 know that this was already done in Banja Luka and in towns in which they

4 had an undisputed majority, so they were able to outvote smaller parties

5 and peoples like Bosanska Dubica and Bosanski Novi where they had already

6 introduced new uniforms. And I know that the chief of police from Banja

7 Luka came to the Prijedor police to have talks in this connection.

8 Q. Who was that who came from Banja Luka?

9 A. I wasn't present at that meeting, but I heard about it, and that

10 it was Stojan Zupljanin and there were some other leaders from Prijedor,

11 according to what I heard. As I said, I wasn't there. The chief of

12 police, members of the police, I don't know whether it was the president

13 of the municipality, the presidents of the SDS and SDA parties, I think

14 both of them were there. Who else was there, I don't know. This is what

15 I heard.

16 Q. What is your source for this information?

17 A. I heard this in very brief form from the chief of police at the

18 time in Prijedor.

19 Q. Did he tell you more about this meeting that occurred?

20 A. He spoke very briefly about it. He said that the atmosphere was

21 tense because it could be felt that the Serb policemen had already

22 received certain instructions, but were waiting for some sort of a signal,

23 that he wasn't in favour of this, and that no concrete agreement had been

24 reached. That is how I understood it.

25 Q. Could you give the name of the chief of police at the time to the

Page 2452

1 Court, please.

2 A. Hasan Talundzic.

3 Q. What was his ethnic or religious identity?

4 A. He was a Bosniak.

5 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, I wanted to ask a couple of questions

6 that may require private session. I don't believe that they will take a

7 long time to address.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Can the witness please give us the exact

9 name of the chief of police, Hasan and then could you please spell the

10 name. Thank you.

11 THE WITNESS: Hasan Talundzic. [In English] It's correct.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's correct.

13 Then we proceed in private session.

14 [Private session]

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23 [Open session]

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed.


Page 2457

1 Q. Did the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor

2 municipality report to the Municipal Assembly?

3 A. Yes, actually. The highest legislative body is the Municipal

4 Assembly, and the Executive Board is an organ of the assembly. It's

5 official name is "the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly" so it's a

6 body that is subordinated to the Municipal Assembly, and it is the duty of

7 the Executive Board to report on its work to the assembly. And also many

8 issues were not within the terms of reference of the Executive Board. It

9 just makes proposals, and it is the assembly that passes the law and turns

10 these proposals into law. Afterwards, this didn't function so well

11 because the assembly was blocked, the work of the assembly was blocked.

12 Q. In practical terms, how did the reporting from the Executive Board

13 to the Municipal Assembly function?

14 A. The Executive Board, if it held a session and there were certain

15 issues that needed to be verified by the Assembly, then those documents

16 would be sent to the secretary of the Municipal Assembly. Then, in

17 cooperation with the president or vice-president, it is the duty of the

18 secretary to prepare the agenda for the Assembly meeting including the

19 items prepared by the Executive Board, including a report on the work of

20 the Executive Board.

21 Q. And could any member of the Executive Board be present in the

22 Assembly when there was reporting?

23 A. Yes. It was a rule that if an item was on the agenda proposed by

24 the Executive Board, then the people who had prepared the material, the

25 documents, from the Executive Board should explain those documents before

Page 2458

1 the assembly.

2 Q. Was the position as president of the Municipal Assembly more

3 important in the hierarchy than that as president of the Executive Board?

4 A. It is hard to say with precision and clarity, but let me try and

5 explain. The Municipal Assembly, as an assembly, is a higher-level body

6 than the Executive Board. It is the highest legislative body. And as

7 such, the position of the Municipal Assembly and of the mayor should be

8 the highest function, though the position of the president of the

9 Executive Board is also quite high in the hierarchy.

10 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, may we go into private session again.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The reason?

12 MR. BERGSMO: I was planning to ask some further questions

13 relevant to the institution on which the witness served concerning the

14 work of that institution.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.

16 [Private session]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

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Page 2459













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Page 2460

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8 [redacted]

9 [Open session]

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed.


12 Q. Can you explain to the Court what the abbreviation "SDK" stands

13 for.

14 A. I can explain the abbreviation, of course, but I'm not an expert

15 in economy. I couldn't give any explanation as to its work. However the

16 acronym itself stands for "Sluzba Drustvenog Knjigovodstva", public

17 accountancy service. It is actually a local auditing agency, public

18 auditing body which supervised all financial transactions and payments

19 which are done in a given area. So all these -- transactions are done in

20 through this particular office. It is very difficult to explain this to

21 someone coming from the west. This system has now been abandoned in

22 Bosnia, but it used to be an institution through which money transactions

23 and payments were done. At least, that's how I understood the service to

24 be. They had the overall control over financial transactions, and they

25 were in charge of supervising the legality of such transactions.

Page 2461

1 Q. Does this mean that financial transactions did not happen through

2 banks and postal services but happened through the SDK?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did the SDS in Prijedor have a position on reorganisation of the

5 SDK?

6 A. As far as the overall, local policy is concerned, I think that the

7 SDK was a very significant institution for them because as I heard in

8 Sanski Most and in other towns such as Bosanski Novi and Bosanska Dubica,

9 the SDS had completely taken over the SDK. So it was very obvious that

10 they were trying to do the same in Prijedor. An incident to that effect

11 actually occurred, an incident I heard about.

12 Q. And what was that incident?

13 A. From what I heard, it appears that the lady who was the acting

14 director of the SDK in Prijedor, Mrs. Hava Bahtijaragic, I believe is her

15 name, called the president of the municipality and she complained that she

16 had had a very unpleasant visit by the leaders of the SDS who had

17 threatened her telling her that she should change the way the service was

18 working and that the Serb SDK should be established; that is, that she

19 should also adopt the tendencies towards further regionalisation as it was

20 the case in the area. Mico Kovacevic ^ said that the vice-president of

21 the Municipal Assembly in Prijedor was also there. So apparently, there

22 was a group of people who threatened her, who endeavoured to establish a

23 Serb SDK in Prijedor. I think it happened in early April or late March

24 that year if memory serves me right.

25 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would like to show the witness a

Page 2462

1 document. That is Document 87 on the Rule 65 ter exhibit list of the

2 Prosecution.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the provisional number would be S18.

4 MR. BERGSMO: May I ask the witness to read the heading of the

5 document.

6 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

9 MR. LUKIC: If my learned friend could tell us the ERN number so

10 we can find the document, so we can be able to follow it as well. We

11 probably have it, but we don't know which one.

12 MR. BERGSMO: Of course. It is, for the translation -- let me give

13 you the original first which is, since you have the benefit of command of the

14 language, 02116450, one page only. And for the translation, 03041509 with

15 a second page which ends with 10 instead of 09.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please wait until the Defence has the document

17 before ...

18 Defence, you have got another copy? Would it be possible for the

19 OTP to provide another copy of this document.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: We did provide a copy this morning to the Defence.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You can proceed.

22 MR. BERGSMO: Yes. If the witness would be so kind as to read the

23 headings of the document, including the indication of place and date.

24 A. "Social accounting service in SR, socialist republic, Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina, Sarajevo central office, general director." Do you want me

Page 2463












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Page 2464

1 to go on?

2 Q. Yes, please. If you could read the first two paragraphs.

3 A. Yes, okay.

4 "Today, the 10th of April, 1992, representatives of the SDS of

5 Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, Bosanska Dubica and Sanski Most, and the

6 presidents of the municipalities of Bosanska Dubica, Bosanski Novi and

7 Sanski Most, and the chairman of the executive committee of Prijedor,

8 Milan Kovacevic accompanied by the president of the SDS party, Milomir

9 Stakic, visited this branch office with the request that the Serbian state

10 take over the branch office and the field offices.

11 "They demanded an immediate implementation of the decision which

12 you will find enclosed in the attachment, and they also demand that

13 Serbian SDKs be formed, that is, that the representatives of the SDS take

14 over the leading positions in all four municipalities according to an

15 organisational plan that they have already implemented."

16 Q. And then, if you could go down to the third-last paragraph and

17 read that and the second-to-last paragraph, please.

18 A. Okay. "In Bosanski Novi, they have already installed a man as a

19 field office director, of which I informed you yesterday, and in Bosanska

20 Dubica the director is working together with the SDS because he travelled

21 to Bosanska Gradiska in order to open an account.

22 "In Sanski Most, an ethnic Serb was appointed acting director, but

23 they, too, decided to merge with Banja Luka where they have opened

24 accounts."

25 Q. I actually meant the next two paragraphs, if you could kindly

Page 2465

1 proceed.

2 A. Yes. "The Prijedor SDS party is demanding the same or the

3 possible break away of the Serbian SDK, which is what the others also

4 want.

5 "They state that, in their words, this separation should be done

6 in a peaceful way in order to avoid the use of force, because as they

7 said, they were ready for anything if by Monday there is no agreement on

8 the above.

9 "I ask for instructions or perhaps for your intervention."

10 Q. Thank you.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think this would be an appropriate time for

12 break now. We resume at 11.10.

13 --- Recess taken at 10.48 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated, and may we proceed

16 immediately.

17 MR. BERGSMO: Thank you, Your Honours. The Prosecution wishes to

18 ask a question which would, again, bear on the identity of the witness.

19 It is essentially only one question.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then for one question and the answer,

21 private session, please.

22 MR. BERGSMO: Thank you.

23 [Private session]

24 [redacted]


Page 2466













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Page 2467













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Page 2468

1 [redacted]

2 [Open session]

3 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would like to show the witness and

4 to tender Document 95 on our Rule 65 ter list, Document 95. The ERN

5 number of the original is at the bottom of the page, 0016209, and it has

6 two pages. The translation, ERN number is at the top right corner of the

7 English translation are 03016149 and 150, page 2. Could this document be

8 shown to the witness, please.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this would be provisional S19.

10 MR. BERGSMO: May I ask the witness to slowly read the heading of

11 the document.

12 A. "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Prijedor municipality, Executive

13 Board, extract from the minutes of a meeting of businessmen and

14 representatives of the Prijedor municipality held on the 21st of April,

15 1992, on the premises of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly, the large hall,

16 commencing at 10.20 hours."

17 Q. Could I then ask you to go down to where it says "agenda" in the

18 English version, and read from there, please.

19 A. [In English] Page 2 or --

20 Q. Yes, in the original that would be on page 2 where it starts

21 Dnevni red.

22 A. "For this meeting, the following agenda was proposed and adopted:

23 1. Economic issues in Prijedor municipality. In the discussion on this

24 agenda item, a large number of attending businessmen from Prijedor

25 municipality took part, representatives of banks, the SDK, and Prijedor

Page 2469

1 Municipal Assembly.

2 "After the discussion on this agenda item, the

3 following conclusion was adopted."

4 Q. Then just read the first line after the number 1.

5 A. "1. A working group was appointed consisting of the following:

6 Dzemal Sefer, director of Prijedor PBS."

7 Q. Thank you. I don't think we need to read the list of names. Does

8 this document contain a summary of minutes of the meeting you just

9 referred to earlier?

10 A. Yes. In the conclusions under point 2, you will find what I

11 mentioned a moment ago, that this group was formed to examine the

12 possibilities and the purpose of this proposal that was the subject of

13 discussion. Yes, that's it.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would then like to show the witness

16 and introduce Document Number 101 on the Rule 65 ter exhibit list, that's

17 Number 101. The ERN number of the one page original is 0038531. That is

18 indicated in the lower half of the right side. The ERN number of the

19 English translation is 01902874. Does the witness have a copy of this

20 document?

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It will be provisional S20.


23 Q. Please read slowly the heading of this document, including the

24 indicated date.

25 A. "The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian

Page 2470












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Page 2471

1 municipality of Prijedor, Executive Board, number 04/92. Date: 29th

2 April, 1992.

3 "At a session of the Executive Board of the Serbian Assembly of

4 Prijedor municipality held on the 29th of April, 1992, the following

5 decision was adopted:

6 "1. The Prijedor branch of the SDK is hereby joined to the SDK of the

7 Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina.

8 "2. Slobodan Goronic, graduate in law, is appointed acting director of

9 the Prijedor SDK by the Serbian Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.

10 "3. This decision takes effect on the day of its adoption."

11 "The president of the Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

12 Q. Please read the text in the stamp in the original.

13 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbian assembly

14 of Prijedor municipality. SDS." That is the stamp -- their stamp.

15 Q. Given the date of this document, 29th of April, 1992, do you have

16 any comments on the significance of the document?

17 A. That date, the 29th to the 30th, was when power was illegally

18 taken over in Prijedor so that probably this was one in a series of

19 preparatory acts for the illegal takeover, because for me, this is an

20 illegal document of an illegal body because a Serbian Executive Board was

21 an illegal organ that was never legally elected.

22 Q. What was -- why was it so important to secure control over the

23 SDK, in your view?

24 A. I said earlier on that I am not an economic or financial expert,

25 but I noticed a long time ago that there was a large concentration of

Page 2472

1 efforts for the Serbs to take over control of the SDK, because it

2 controlled financial transactions and payments. All payments which are

3 then taxed, republican taxes, municipal taxes. So this share of those

4 funds was not intended to go towards the republic Sarajevo, but rather the

5 region. And for them, it was very important to have control over monetary

6 transactions and payments. I understood that because after all, money is

7 a source of power.

8 Q. Was the region controlled by the SDS at that time?

9 A. As far as I know, such moves had been taken earlier on in Banja

10 Luka and the other surrounding towns that I have mentioned in which the

11 SDA was dominant, in Dubica, Sanski Most, and so on. Because this was

12 done in this way because there was no way of doing it legally, so the

13 document you showed earlier on was an attempt by a legal body to legalise

14 this move. So an illegal body had to be formed to pass an illegal

15 document.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, I would request that we briefly go into

18 private session again in order to protect the identity of the witness.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session.

20 [Private session]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 2473

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12 [Open session]

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed.


15 Q. What was the significance of the Council for National Defence?

16 A. Council for National Defence was involved with matters regarding

17 security in case of problems in the area of the Prijedor municipality. If

18 there are certain operational problems. It was not a legislative body.

19 It was a body which was part of the Municipal Assembly for the purpose

20 carrying out some specific policies.

21 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to

22 introduce -- to show the witness and to introduce Document Number 90, 90

23 on the Rule 65 ter exhibit list. The original language version has ERN

24 numbers 00574584 and 85, that's indicated at the top of the document. The

25 English translation has ERN number 01107402 and 03, also indicated at the

Page 2474

1 top of the document.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provisionally S21.


4 Q. May I ask the witness to read the document from the top, and not

5 to do so too fast.

6 A. Very well. "09.59." It probably indicates the time. "45100, SO

7 BL YU". If I can read it correctly.

8 Q. What would that stand for?

9 A. I don't know.

10 Q. Could it stand for Municipal Assembly, Skupstina [phoen] Opstina,

11 Banja Luka, Yugoslavia?

12 A. I simply don't know. I cannot recognise the postal code. As far

13 as I remember, the Banja Luka postal code was 78. I see the abbreviation

14 BL, however, I don't recognise the number. I don't know what 45100 stands

15 for. I cannot explain this because I was not familiar with the document.

16 There follows another number which I cannot explain, "41505 SOP LE

17 YU." Whether this is a telefax system sign, I don't know.

18 "Serbian republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministry of National

19 Defence, Sarajevo. Number 1/92. Date: 16th of April, 1992."

20 Q. You may continue down to the first decision.

21 A. "To the governments of the AR, I believe, Autonomous Region, and

22 the SAO, of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to all

23 municipalities: Pursuant to Article 68 and in accordance with Article 81

24 of the constitution of the Serbian Republic of BH, SBiH, at its session

25 held on the 15th of April, 1992, the Presidency of SBiH adopted the

Page 2475

1 following decision."

2 Q. Please read the first decision.

3 A. "1. The Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

4 Herzegovina shall be established as an armed force of the Serbian Republic

5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Command and control Territorial Defence will

6 be exercised: municipal, district, and regional staffs, and the republican

7 of the SBih TO."

8 Q. Could you then read from where it says "explanation"

9 "obrazlozenje".

10 A. "Explanation: 1. Those municipal TO staffs which have until now

11 functioned well shall remain in their existing formation and composition.

12 Establish TO staffs in newly established Serbian municipalities along the

13 same line.

14 "Two --"

15 Q. Thank you. Did you at the time have any information about the

16 existence of this document?

17 A. No, I really didn't.

18 Q. What is the significance of this document as far as you can see?

19 A. Whenever I see a document for the first time -- well, it's

20 difficult to comment. But what I can tell you is that it seems to me that

21 it is an attempt to establish a newly ethnic army on the territory of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina. They talk about a Serb force here, so it would

23 have been a parallel armed force, apart from the official forces in Bosnia

24 and Herzegovina.

25 Second, I think that this document was issued by a body which was

Page 2476

1 not part of the official institutions of the system.

2 Q. When it says in explanation one: "Establish TO staffs in newly

3 established Serbian municipalities along the same lines," what do you

4 think that would refer to?

5 A. I think that the following is clear in this document: As I have

6 already indicated, in those municipalities where the SDS had clear

7 majority, there were no problems. They had already implemented their

8 objectives. However, in the municipalities where they were unable to

9 achieve their goals through legal means, that is, to establish a

10 one-nation state, they divided these municipalities and set up Serb

11 portions of these municipalities, or they took over power in these

12 municipalities and established them as Serb municipalities. So this is

13 how I understand it. This is what they mean by "newly established Serbian

14 municipalities".

15 Q. And you obtained no information at the time, in the second half of

16 April of 1992, about such developments in Prijedor municipality?

17 A. No, not at all. If I may add a further comment, from this I can

18 conclude that they had a very well-organised system of information which

19 was not part of the official institutions. So official institutions did

20 not have any insight into this, but I'm sure that they must have had very

21 good cooperation at all levels.

22 Q. Could you briefly explain to the Trial Chamber the significance of

23 a "TO staff"? What does it stand for and what is its significance?

24 A. The Territorial Defence, as its name indicates, is an organisation

25 designed to defend a specific territory. It was not an army; it was not a

Page 2477












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2478

1 military at the level of a state, which was supposed to function at the

2 level of the state with its military units. These were regional units

3 which in cases of mobilisation are activated and used for the purposes of

4 defence in a given territory. That is how I understand the meaning of the

5 term "the Territorial Defence." So these staffs were locally established

6 and had jurisdiction over certain territories, specific territories.

7 Q. If you look again at the text in the second section called

8 "Odluku," "decision," would you please read the first section there.

9 This is not the first section called "decision" but the second section

10 called "decision."

11 A. "Decision, 1. A state of an imminent threat of war is hereby

12 declared. 2." --

13 Q. Thank you. Did you have information at the time that a Serbian

14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared an imminent threat of war?

15 A. No.

16 Q. If I can, just for the record, go to the very end of the document,

17 after the name of the Serbian national defence minister, Bogdan Subotic,

18 there are two text lines. Could you briefly read those two lines.

19 A. "Transmitted by Vukovic on the 16th of April, 1992 at 10 hours 6

20 minutes. Received for Banja Luka Jerko Batinar." Then there's a plus and

21 a question mark.

22 Q. Thank you.

23 Did you, to move on, ever hear about the existence of parallel

24 Serbian government structures prior to the takeover of power in Prijedor?

25 A. They even broadcast it over the Prijedor radio. I didn't hear it

Page 2479

1 directly, but it was confirmed later on. One day, they just announced

2 that they had established their government, that is, the Executive Board

3 and the head of the police and a number of other officials. They

4 mentioned the name of the president of the executive council and some

5 other names. I didn't hear it directly, as I said, but I learned that

6 they had appointed their representatives, Serb representatives, to the

7 official positions in Prijedor. When this was announced, I know that the

8 president of the municipality, Mr. Cehajic, whom we met at the Kozara

9 Putevi Company, and Kovacevic was there as well, so he asked him what it

10 meant. How come it was now announced over the radio that Serbs had

11 proclaimed their government? And he said - he was very specific - he said

12 it was just a political move by the SDS. So in other words, he actually

13 confirmed what happened, although he didn't ascribe much significance to

14 it by explaining that it was a mere political move.

15 However, subsequently it turned out that they already had their

16 men to be appointed to various positions in town.

17 Q. Was it President Cehajic who informed you of what had been

18 announced in the media about such parallel structures as well?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Could you please explain to the Court what happened during the

21 takeover at the end of April 1992.

22 A. Obviously, I didn't expect anything of the kind to happen. I was

23 getting ready to go to work, and the phone rang. It was still quite

24 early. And it was the chief of police, Mr. Talundzic who called me, and

25 he said: "Are you getting ready to go to work?" I said "Yes." "There is

Page 2480

1 no need for you to go to work." He said. "Tusic, myself and others had

2 been to the municipality, and it seems that they are returning all SDA

3 people and sending them home. If you look out through the window, you

4 will see people in uniform." And it was true. I looked out of my window,

5 and I realised that there were a lot of people in uniform with weapons all

6 around the town. And he also told me that their guards had been

7 positioned at various locations around the town, at the mine, in front of

8 the banks, the SDK. This is what he saw on the way home.

9 So I stayed home that day. I didn't go out. It was a shock, I

10 must say, and I -- everyone could see that it was an illegal military

11 Putsch, and that the takeover of power had been carried out illegally and

12 with weapons because it was perfectly clear they were armed. So my

13 initial reaction, as I said, it was a shock.

14 Then we had to figure out what to do. The population was upset

15 because the way this takeover of power had been carried out. If a

16 takeover is carried out with weapons and with threat of force, then one

17 can expect anything. I spoke over the telephone with the people who were

18 removed from their positions, and we tried to see what should be done. But

19 we concluded that there was actually nothing we could do at the time but

20 to wait and to see what would happen. As I said, there was nothing we

21 could do. We didn't have any influence any more. So those of us who had

22 been appointed to various positions were the first ones to be dismissed.

23 But other dismissals soon followed in various local companies, and they,

24 of course, targeted non-Serbs. This was all done very openly, and my

25 wife, for example, was immediately dismissed. And other non-Serbs from

Page 2481

1 other local companies, without any explanation. They were simply told

2 that they could no longer be employed.

3 So as I said, initially, there was just tension and confusion.

4 But very soon, people start thinking about leaving and going to an area

5 which would be safe, because we didn't know what would happen. It was

6 relatively peaceful during the first days. As far as we heard later on,

7 they were busy with positioning their people to the functions that they

8 believed to be important. And almost all of such functions were

9 important.

10 So after a few very peaceful days, arrests started. As far as I

11 know, the local leaders were arrested, such as the president of the

12 Municipal Assembly, the legal president of the Municipal Assembly, and he

13 was arrested and taken away. I heard about a number of people who were

14 taken away in this manner. The president of the Court, the public

15 attorney, a number of doctors. And then the uncertain times began, the

16 days were getting very difficult because of the psychological pressure.

17 We knew that people were being arrested without any justification, without

18 any reason, without any charges having been brought against them. These

19 charges were later on fabricated. Well, there was no need to fabricate

20 any charges actually. But what caused an even greater psychosis were the

21 news broadcast by Radio Prijedor and the news which were published in

22 Kozarski Vjesnik. They spread hatred towards non-Serb population through

23 the media. It was a kind of hatred, a very primitive hatred and primitive

24 propaganda which was difficult to explain to anyone with even the modest

25 education.

Page 2482

1 They tried to inspire hatred towards non-Serbs as much as it was

2 possible. When Mr. Ganic's, Ejub Ganic was mentioned for example, his

3 last name was pronounced as "Ganici," so that it would resemble the

4 Albanian version of the name. When the name of Mr. Medunjanin was

5 mentioned and he was the secretary of the National Defence -- am I

6 speaking too fast? His name was always pronounced "Medunjani," so it

7 would resemble an Albanian surname. So this was a kind of very low

8 propaganda in order to instill as much hatred as possible towards that

9 population. When the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Haris Silajdzic was

10 mentioned, he was never referred to as Minister Silajdzic but as Hodza

11 Silajdzic, only because this gentleman spoke Arabic fluently, and so

12 that's why he was called a hodza. So it was through this type of

13 propaganda that the atmosphere in town changed.

14 Q. What is a hodza?

15 A. An Islamic priest. I can say that through this propaganda and

16 through this dissemination of fear and hatred they tried to intimidate the

17 population as much as possible and tell them there was no place for them

18 in the municipality. A very large mosque was destroyed at the time

19 together with the Catholic church.

20 Q. And what was the impact on the non-Serbian population of this

21 propaganda?

22 A. The impact was such that it created fear. It's difficult to

23 describe what happened and what the atmosphere was. One day meant one

24 year for me in those days, living in an environment of that kind. Because

25 people were being taken away systematically, and we heard that they were

Page 2483

1 being killed in the most atrocious ways in various camps, such as Omarska,

2 for example, that they were beaten to death in a most bestial fashion.

3 That is what we heard, that people were being killed in this way.

4 Of course, I tried to hide, and I managed to hide. I went to live

5 in an empty apartment at the time. But it is interesting to note what

6 ordinary people thought at the time. I called a colleague of mine, an

7 engineer, and I asked him whether he had a place to hide. And he said:

8 "Why should I go into hiding? I haven't done anything wrong." And it

9 sounded perfectly normal. However, a few days later, he disappeared.

10 So whether one was guilty of something or not didn't matter. All

11 that matter was that he or she was a non-Serb.

12 Q. When you say "he disappeared", what does that mean?

13 A. I know that he went to a camp and that he never returned.

14 MR. BERGSMO: Should we briefly go into private session to get the

15 name of that person?

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Private session, please.

17 [Private session]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 2484












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2485

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [Open session]


5 Q. Was there at some stage a call for supervisors to return to work?

6 A. First of all, I assume -- let me say first that I hid in an

7 apartment that happened to be empty, and I was alone there. My access to

8 information was such that I could occasionally listen to a

9 battery-operated radio. My impression was that, first of all, they

10 dismissed all non-Serbs; and secondly, they couldn't reach some they

11 wanted to reach because they had been dismissed. And in order, perhaps,

12 to facilitate their access to them, there was a proclamation that

13 executives, leading people should return to work to be interviewed and to

14 hand over their duty to their successors.

15 Q. Did you report to duty?

16 A. I personally saw what it was about and who we were dealing with,

17 because I can also say that throughout my life, I worked together with

18 people of all ethnicities. But it was during those days that the world

19 fell apart for me. So it never even occurred to me to report anywhere. I

20 simply had no trust in anyone any more. I do know of people who did

21 report for duty, that they disappeared. I even had telephone contact with

22 my wife in such a way that I wouldn't call her, but she would call me. And

23 after the telephone would ring a certain number of times, then I would

24 call her back. So I heard that an acquaintance of ours, who was a

25 manager, that he reported and he hoped he would be released. So she

Page 2486

1 advised me to do the same because it was difficult for me. I was alone,

2 separated from my family. However, it never even occurred to me to do

3 that. And that man was later killed.

4 MR. BERGSMO: Maybe in private session, we could have his name,

5 please.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session.

7 [Private session]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [Open session]


12 Q. Do you know where he was killed?

13 A. He was killed in the Omarska camp. He was killed by being beaten

14 to death. That was the way in which he died.

15 Q. What did you learn about the Bosnian Serb Crisis Staff in

16 Prijedor?

17 A. What I was able to learn, or guess at, was based on my rare

18 occasions when I listened to the radio, because I had to save on the

19 batteries so as to be informed as to what was going on. For me, the

20 Crisis Staff meant fear. I had the impression that everything that was

21 being done in Prijedor, absolutely everything, that behind it stood the

22 Crisis Staff. This applied to both the civilian and the military and

23 paramilitary activities. People were rounded up, taken away, and killed.

24 Talking about this, I watched with my own eyes how the old city was

25 destroyed. And later, I heard on the radio that they said in their

Page 2487

1 report, when some foreign visitors came, they showed them the old town

2 which -- they said it had been destroyed by combat operations, and I knew

3 it was a lie because I watched it with my own eyes.

4 Q. Were there references to the Crisis Staff on the radio?

5 A. Yes, very frequently. Whenever anything important for the town

6 happened, no name was mentioned, but simply "the Crisis Staff." It was a

7 "proclamation of the Crisis Staff." In my impression, it was the highest

8 level body, but for me it simply meant fear.

9 Q. You say that it was said that it was a "proclamation of the Crisis

10 Staff." Was this a standard term that was being used on the radio?

11 A. I think it was. A "proclamation" or "announcement" or something

12 like that.

13 Q. How did you spend your time after the takeover of power in

14 Prijedor?

15 A. As I have said, the first few days were relatively peaceful.

16 However, after the arrests started, I already thought about the need to

17 seek shelter, only I didn't know where, where to go. One night, I slept

18 at my neighbours. However, later, I moved to another building, to an

19 empty apartment owned by a relative who happened to be in hospital in

20 Banja Luka at the time.

21 Q. Did you stay indoors most of the time?

22 A. I did. Yes.

23 Q. Did you experience psychological pressure from the situation you

24 were in?

25 A. Yes, of course. First of all, there was uncertainty, fear for

Page 2488

1 one's life and what would happen next to myself and my family. Secondly,

2 I was separated from my family, as they were in our apartment and I was in

3 another apartment. And because every day, one would hear that someone

4 else had been taken away so that there was uncertainty every day.

5 Q. Did you have children at the time?

6 A. I did.

7 Q. How old were they at the time?

8 A. They were small children, born in 1987 and 1982, my younger

9 daughter.

10 Q. In terms of what you eyewitnessed during this period, did you ever

11 see one of your neighbours or neighbours of yours being arrested?

12 A. Yes. Mr. Cehajic was arrested. And that very moment, I called up

13 a colleague of mine to tell him that Cehajic had been arrested and that it

14 would probably be a good idea for us to seek shelter somewhere, because we

15 could see that people were being arrested without any charges. And then

16 my colleague said: "Wait a minute. Somebody's calling me. Call me

17 later." However, when I called him a couple of minutes later, his wife

18 answered saying that the policeman had taken him away and the person who

19 was ringing were the police, in fact, when I was calling.

20 Q. Do you know what happened to this person later?

21 A. He is no longer alive.

22 Q. Do you know if he was killed and where he was killed?

23 A. We heard that they were killed in Omarska. That's what I heard.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We should go in private session for the name.

25 MR. BERGSMO: Yes.

Page 2489

1 [Private session]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [Open session]


18 Q. Who arrested Cehajic?

19 A. Policemen in uniform.

20 Q. Did they have normal police uniforms, as far as you could see?

21 A. As far as I was able to see, yes. They also had machine-guns on

22 them.

23 Q. Do you know the wife of the late President Cehajic?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What was her profession?

Page 2490

1 A. She was a physician.

2 Q. Was she working with President Kovacevic?

3 A. Yes. As far as I knew, they were colleagues from work, and they

4 knew each other from before.

5 Q. Did she say anything about why her husband had been arrested?

6 A. I spoke to her. She went directly to see Kovacevic, because she

7 believed or she wanted to believe him because he was a colleague of hers,

8 and she hoped to get some assistance from him. And she was given a very

9 strange and rather nonchalant, unclear answer, and that is that Cehajic

10 was arrested really because they were unable to arrest the president of

11 the SDA. So they arrested him. That answer was rather strange.

12 Q. Did the police ever come to your apartment?

13 A. Yes. First, the police would come when it was announced on the

14 radio that apartments would be searched for weapons.

15 Q. What happened?

16 A. Two policemen came to my apartment, and they searched the whole

17 apartment. And then they took my two children - you know now how old they

18 were - separately to a separate room, and then they questioned them in

19 detail, whether I had any weapons. And this I learned from them later

20 about this, because I had no access there. They tried in a perfidious way

21 to get answers from them, taking bullets out of their pockets: "Did your

22 father have anything like this or that?" So imagine such small children

23 should be humiliated in this way and be interrogated by the police.

24 Q. Have the children had problems or have there been manifestations

25 of problems based on this incident later?

Page 2491












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2492

1 A. It's very hard to know the psychology of children. And at that

2 particular moment, one only thinks of safety, one's own safety and the

3 safety of the whole family. And this entire atmosphere of pressure, one

4 necessarily feels directly, but it is only later on that one realises how

5 this overall atmosphere and pressure and this inexplicable pressure on the

6 non-Serb population is manifested much later.

7 When we reached free territory, maybe after eight months of life

8 like this, I was astonished when my younger daughter asked me: "How is it

9 that we can speak out loud now?"

10 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, at this stage we were planning to go

11 into another aspect of what the witness had eyewitnessed at that time.

12 So we can break at this point, if you wish.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is an appropriate time. So we adjourn now

14 and resume at 2.00 sharp. Thank you.

15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.18 p.m.











Page 2493

1 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

3 May we continue immediately with the examination-in-chief.

4 MR. BERGSMO: Yes, Your Honour.


6 MR. BERGSMO: Before we move on to the subject I had alluded to

7 before we broke for lunch, allow me to ask a few additional questions

8 concerning the search of the apartment of the witness.

9 Q. After your apartment had been searched, were other apartments in

10 your building also searched?

11 A. Yes, I think that only the apartments inhabited by non-Serbs were

12 searched because the apartments in which Serbs lived were not.

13 Q. Through your job your --

14 A. Excuse me. During the search of the apartment, since you asked

15 me, I forgot to mention that when they were leaving the apartment, these

16 two policeman told my wife, actually one of them who was a reserve police

17 officer and who knew her by sight from work, he said "You better flee and

18 try to hide somewhere because here you not safe."

19 Q. Through your job or your position, had you been given a pistol?

20 A. [redacted] were issued with a

21 pistol.

22 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, do we address the record? It seems to

23 me that the information that was just offered preferably had been given in

24 closed session.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't want to make a matter of principle now,

Page 2494

1 but in principal, the hearings have to be public. It is a question of

2 transparency and this principal of public hearing should prevail. Already

3 this morning I am afraid sometimes I granted too much possibilities for

4 hearing in closed session; therefore, I think the public should know what

5 has happened and it is only for the protection of the witness we go in

6 closed session. Therefore, I can't see a reason for this now.


8 Q. What happened to the pistol that you had?

9 A. I returned it through an acquaintance of mine. I gave it to him

10 and told him to take it back to the Secretary of National Defence. I

11 returned it.

12 Q. Was this prior to the police search of your apartment?

13 A. Yes, this was before the search.

14 Q. So at the time of the search, you did not possess any weapon?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Did you witness any use of force from the window of the apartment

17 in which you were staying?

18 A. I can say that during my stay in this other apartment where I was

19 alone and isolated from my family, I witnessed a lot of things. One

20 morning I remember in particular it was a foggy day, and shooting could be

21 heard coming from all sides. After the fog had cleared a little I saw

22 many vehicles carrying soldiers and police officers. I saw trucks

23 carrying dead bodies. I could see their legs or feet hanging from those

24 trucks or other similar vehicles. And since this part of town, this

25 neighbourhood is called Stari Grad, the old town of Prijedor, I saw a tank

Page 2495

1 which had pointed its barrel towards the neighbourhood of Stari Grad and

2 opened fire. After a while after it had stopped firing and destroying the

3 old town, I didn't understand what was going on. I was merely observing

4 the events from my window.

5 After that, I saw a number of buses which were parked alongside

6 the edge of the Stari Grad neighbourhood, and I could see people leaving

7 Stari Grad in columns. These people were civilians, men, women and

8 children, and boarding these buses, the buses that were parked there.

9 After the buses had picked these people, they took them somewhere, I don't

10 know exactly where, probably to a camp. Later on, I could see various

11 civilian and military vehicles coming to the area. I saw people in

12 uniform going to Stari Grad and taking away everything they could find

13 there. I saw them taking this property and loading it onto the

14 vehicles. The area had lot of small businesses, lot of cafes there. So I

15 concluded that a plunder of Stari Grad had started.

16 I remember a man in uniform standing by a vehicle who was not able

17 to load everything that he had into the trunk, so he put many things

18 inside the car and the car was eventually so full of things that he could

19 hardly see out of the car. He drove with difficulty as a result of that.

20 This took place some 100, 150 metres away from where I was. After this

21 looting was finished, I saw a number of houses being set on fire. So a

22 systematic destruction of the Old Town started, house by house.

23 There was a mosque next to the building where I took shelter, some

24 20 or 30 metres away from this building, some people entered the mosque

25 and set the carpets on fire, first. And I could hear through the door

Page 2496

1 that the people who lived in the building where I was, I could hear that

2 they were concerned and worried, not because of the fact that the mosque

3 had been set on fire, but they were afraid that the fire would spread to

4 the building.

5 So I could observe the destruction of the houses in Stari Grad and

6 the arson which went house by house. Later on -- later on I heard over

7 the radio that the destruction was the result of combat activities, which

8 was not true.

9 Q. Did you see those who started the fires?

10 A. Those were people in military uniforms, camouflage uniforms.

11 Q. Were all the persons who were engaged in the attack on Stari Grad

12 in camouflage uniforms, as far as you could see?

13 A. Well, in these operations, it was mostly people wearing camouflage

14 uniforms, but there were also individuals in uniforms of the reserve

15 police force who looted the houses. But those who carried out the

16 destruction by throwing various explosives were mostly people wearing

17 camouflage uniforms.

18 Q. And the tank you refer to, was that a regular army tank type?

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we just have a break for urgency of time.

20 We are thinking your request for redaction of at 206, this redaction

21 should be granted. Any objections? Thank you.

22 Proceed, please.

23 MR. BERGSMO: With that redaction, would the affirmative answer of

24 the witness also be redacted or only his qualifying sentence that

25 followed? It is in the record.

Page 2497

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: All the necessary is redacted. Thank you.

2 MR. BERGSMO: Thank you.

3 Q. Sir, you referred to a tank that you had eyewitnesses that was

4 involved in the attack on Stari Grad. Was this a normal army tank?

5 A. Yes, it was an ordinary military tank.

6 Q. Did you see any armed persons who were engaged in combat

7 activities against the uniformed soldiers and the other Serbian armed

8 personnel?

9 A. No, I did not see them. I just heard the shooting early that

10 morning. As I said, it was a foggy morning, but once the fog had cleared

11 up, I was able to see this tank and a column of people leaving Stari Grad.

12 They were all civilians who eventually boarded the buses that I mentioned.

13 Q. Please explain to the Court what Stari Grad is.

14 A. As the name itself indicates, it is the old centre of the town.

15 It is the area where the town of Prijedor began. But what is characteristic

16 about the old town, about Stari Grad and what contributed to it being

17 totally destructed is the fact that it was built in the old traditional Bosniak

18 architecture, even some -- there were lots of buildings, lots of houses

19 that were protected because of the architectural value and because of the

20 historical importance. And one other thing which was also very important

21 and which was a characteristic of the old town was the fact that it was

22 all inhabited by Muslims, by Bosniaks, and it consisted of houses that

23 were built in the typical Bosniak tradition.

24 Q. Do you know what is today where Stari Grad used to be?

25 A. Before I answer your question, if I may, let me just say that

Page 2498












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2499

1 several days after this destruction of Stari Grad, heavy machines

2 arrived - I don't know where they had come from, probably from some

3 construction companies - and they completed the job. They levelled the

4 area of Stari Grad. So no one would recognise this as Stari Grad any

5 more.

6 As for your question, after the area was razed to the ground, of

7 course there were no houses left, no structures standing, it was just a

8 clearing and now with the help and the approval of the International

9 Community, they started building the old houses, that is the houses

10 belonged to -- which belonged to the former residents, to the survivors.

11 I heard that several such houses had been built in the meantime.

12 Q. You mentioned that it had been reported that Stari Grad was

13 destroyed as a consequence of combat activity. As far as you know, had

14 there been any provocation prior to the destruction of Stari Grad which

15 you have described to the Court?

16 A. As I have already indicated, all the information that I was able

17 to gather being there was through the local radio, Prijedor radio. I was

18 trying to save batteries as much as I could. So this was the type of

19 information that I was able to receive, apart from the information given

20 to me by my wife who went out from time to time to the market, for

21 example. I, according to the information that I had at the time, didn't

22 know of any such provocations. But I know that the local radio very often

23 announced the presence of Green Berets in Kozarac, several thousand, for

24 example, which was a very clear sign for the mobilisation of citizens. I

25 know that this by no means was true, but whether there were minor

Page 2500

1 incidents here and there I don't know that because I did not personally

2 see them; I did not experience them.

3 Q. During the period when you were in hiding, were you ever taken to

4 the police station in Prijedor?

5 A. Yes. Most of the time -- actually, during my stay in this

6 apartment, I didn't go out and since my batteries were dying, I made a

7 mistake and went to my apartment to get the battery from the car so that I

8 could listen to the radio again. As I entered the apartment - I believe

9 it was at the beginning of June - so when I got into the apartment

10 carrying this battery, I think it was in the early afternoon hours, an

11 hour later I heard a very loud knock on the door. And when we opened the

12 door, because we had to open the door, there were six police officers

13 there. They said that I had been seen around town on that day wearing a

14 military uniform.

15 They must have -- they had to have some kind of explanation, some

16 kind of accusation when they came for people. They searched me, first of

17 all, in the apartment and then they searched me once again when they took

18 me downstairs. After the search I was taken to the police station. I

19 think I was fortunate because many of my friends or acquaintances saw that

20 I was being taken to the station, so people thought that I was no longer

21 there, that I disappeared. I think it was on the 11th of June. So when I

22 got to the police station, I noticed a major commotion there, a lot of

23 people running around and I thought that perhaps it was because of the

24 funeral which was organised on that day, the funeral of one of their

25 combatants, Karlica was his name, I believe. So it was my impression that

Page 2501

1 this event actually helped me because they started looking for a vehicle

2 that would take me to Omarska, but it seems that most of the police force

3 and the vehicles were mobilised for the purposes of this funeral. So

4 after a while, after I had waited for about 10 or 15 minutes in the

5 corridor of the police building, I was approached by a police officer who

6 told me, you can go home now, but you should not leave Prijedor because we

7 will come for you again.

8 And that is how I went back home hiding around buildings and I

9 left and went to this other apartment again. It was then that I learned

10 from my wife that many of my neighbours thought that I was taken to

11 Omarska on that occasion.

12 Q. How did your family survive and cope with the situation during the

13 period when you were in hiding?

14 A. First of all, as was the case with other Bosniak or rather

15 non-Serbs, I did not work. So we had to find some money in order to buy

16 groceries; our supplies were running out. My wife went to the local

17 market and sold a lot of things, a lot of our belonging from our

18 apartment. But this was also a dangerous thing to do, especially if you

19 wanted to sell more valuable things because we heard of cases when people

20 tried to sell more valuable things that it cost them their lives. We

21 heard of a man who had sold a cow because a cow was quite expensive. We

22 heard about what happened later. The people to whom he had sold the cow

23 later came to his house to get the money back and to kill him.

24 So we tried to survive as best as we could, all the while looking

25 for a solution to leave the town.

Page 2502

1 Q. How were you or your family trying to find a way to leave the

2 town?

3 A. I couldn't really participate in those efforts because I couldn't

4 appear in public, and it was my wife who sought for a way out. There was

5 the Red Cross, that was very dangerous to take one of their convoys, and

6 also because we were well known in Prijedor. So she tried to find some

7 other convoys and she found a more reliable convoy in Banja Luka. And we

8 tried to get out through one of the organisations in Banja Luka where we

9 were not well known. And there were professional organisations who

10 engaged in resettlement, the resettlement of non-Serb population.

11 Q. We will return to how you left Prijedor shortly.

12 You have referred to the role played by the local media that some

13 of the announcements created fear in the population. Could you give some

14 examples of that kind of announcement?

15 A. Even the most ordinary news item referring to the humiliation of

16 other peoples or the fear of other peoples and there was evident efforts

17 to mobilise, galvanize the Serbs. There were reports, features for

18 instance, about a doctor in hospital. I remember in this particular case,

19 he was a Croat, and apparently because he badly treated Serb patients,

20 some had died, this already was an indication that that person would not

21 fare well. And a short while after that programme, the man was taken to a

22 camp. So every report was permeated with hatred for other peoples.

23 Q. You have referred to what you called "Green Berets." Were there

24 reports about the presence or activities of Green Berets in the media?

25 A. I just said a moment ago that when a report appears about

Page 2503

1 preparations by the Green Berets, this was already a clue that they were

2 getting ready to attack someone. They sought an excuse, a pretext in

3 order to legalise their crimes. That was the attitude of the media. The

4 position was that other people were jeopardising the Serbs and they

5 realised that to kill a non-Serb was not illegal. It was a terrible

6 atmosphere one that is difficult and impossible to describe.

7 Q. When we refer to media at that time in Prijedor, was there more

8 than one main media organ? Was there more than the radio?

9 A. What I was able to hear was only Radio Prijedor. Now, whether

10 there were others, I really don't know.

11 Q. Was there a newspaper, a local newspaper with broad circulation?

12 A. Yes. It was the Kozarski Vjesnik and journalists of that

13 newspaper were also reporters on Radio Prijedor. In a sense, they all

14 belonged to a single broadcasting company. They were accommodated in the

15 same building, almost in the same premises.

16 Q. In your judgment, did the Crisis Staff control this broadcasting

17 company, this group of journalists?

18 A. What kind of control there was and what kind of relationship

19 existed between them, I can't say. But I had the feeling that they were

20 acting in the spirit of what was happening in Prijedor and in line with

21 the moves being made by the Crisis Staff.

22 Q. Are you aware of any critical report on the Crisis Staff or

23 description of the Crisis Staff on the radio after the takeover?

24 A. No.

25 Q. When you were hiding in the apartment other than your home, did

Page 2504

1 Serbian forces ever visit that apartment?

2 A. Yes. This was also a rather difficult situation for me. In this

3 whole series of events, there were of course, worse. I heard loud banging

4 on the entrance door downstairs as I was in the apartment. I rarely

5 opened the door. I went out in the evening, sometimes, to go to my own

6 apartment. I heard this banging on doors approaching mine. They

7 knocked on my door. I opened. There were two men in uniform wearing

8 camouflage uniforms with so-called red berets - what formation that was, I

9 don't know - and they said that they were looking for weapons as they had

10 been told that someone was shooting from this building. However, at the

11 top of that building was Serb snipers, so that I doubt the truthfulness of

12 what he was -- what they were saying. However, when I showed my ID card,

13 when they saw that I was a Bosniak and that there was another name on the

14 apartment door and not mine, the man who was superior, obviously, ordered

15 this other one that I should be made to kneel down at the point of a gun.

16 He put his rifle, leaned it on my head. He said that he would set the

17 apartment on fire if he found any weapons and that he should guard me like

18 that while he went upstairs.

19 So I stayed there with the barrel of the gun leaning against my

20 head. After some time, however, one could hear the opening of several

21 doors upstairs and then a very loud noise. This was the hallway so I

22 didn't know whether it was a shot or something else. After a period of

23 time, this other man ran down the steps caught the other one by the

24 shoulder and they ran out. I went inside again and closed the door in

25 shock. I realised later what had saved me.

Page 2505












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2506

1 I learned in the corridor, from neighbours who were living there,

2 through the door that they were talking, that the second man who went

3 upstairs from door to door, that he came across the door that he knocked

4 on and I learnt that a man lived there who either couldn't hear well or

5 was sick or who just didn't react quickly. He was lying in bed and he

6 slowly came to the door. This one lost patience, this soldier and he shot

7 through the door. And when he opened the door, he saw the man was

8 bleeding. The neighbours who were there started shouting at him, "But he

9 is a Serb, you wounded our man," and he panicked and he ran away. And I

10 realised that this mistake of his saved my life.

11 Q. Did you ever meet President Kovacevic after the takeover of power

12 in Prijedor?

13 A. Yes. What happened was that at the end of July or the beginning

14 of August when we heard that international observers and reporters and the

15 Red Cross had discovered the camps in Prijedor and the International

16 Community had brought some stronger pressure to bear in connection with

17 those camps, the intensity of arrests decreased and I felt freer and one

18 day I went to my own apartment. I think this was early in August,

19 somewhere there. However, on that day, some time in the afternoon, the

20 police came and knocked on my door and they simply said that they were

21 looking for me.

22 At first, I thought they were maybe looking for someone else who

23 had the same name, but he said, no, that they were looking for me. That

24 some people from the International Community, some reporters had come and

25 they wanted to see me in the halls of the Ljubija Mine, the dining room,

Page 2507

1 the so-called red hall. I had no choice but to go with them. So these

2 two policemen took me there. When I entered this hall in the mines, I saw

3 inside Kovacevic, the chief of police Drljaca, one of the directors of the

4 mines, a lawyer from the mines, another police officer and a journalist of

5 Newsday, Roy Gutman, and he was the one who was looking for me. He had a

6 list and he wanted to see whether I was alive. As soon as I entered,

7 Kovacevic told me, sort of quietly, under his breath, "These men are

8 asking for you. I thought that you were dead or in Omarska." So I saw

9 that he was surprised to see me there. I sat there for a while. This Roy

10 Gutman had some questions for me and then they took me back home.

11 I remember that I asked the chief of police on that occasion, as

12 Roy Gutman asked me, what it was that I wanted to do, what my intentions

13 were in Prijedor. I said that I wanted to leave the town, that simply

14 there was no life for me there any longer. And I asked the chief of

15 police whether he knew of any safe convoys leaving Prijedor. And he said

16 openly, "The only safe convoy are those escorted by the International

17 Community. These others are not." And I had earlier heard this, but this

18 actually confirmed what I had heard, that many convoys heading towards

19 Travnik from Prijedor, that the buses came back bloodied.

20 Q. Was Drljaca the chief of police at that time?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Was he responsible for some of the convoys?

23 A. I don't know exactly, but I do know from people who had heard how

24 the convoys were organised, that the convoy was escorted by the police.

25 So I assumed he should have been responsible. How the coordination

Page 2508

1 actually worked, I really don't know. But according to the plan, convoys

2 should have been provide with security. But he openly said of those

3 convoys, that they were not safe.

4 Q. So it was your impression that neither the convoys organised by

5 the Red Cross nor convoys with police security were safe for you and your

6 family?

7 A. Yes, yes.

8 Q. And do you know who was the leader of Prijedor Red Cross at that

9 time?

10 A. According to what I was able to learn, because all the information

11 I obtained was from second- or third-hand, that it was the former

12 President of the SDS Srdjo Srdic. [In English] It is wrong on the

13 screen -- okay.

14 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would like to show the witness and

15 introduce document number 115 in the Prosecution Rule 65 ter exhibit

16 list. The original has ERN number 00634034. It is one page. The English

17 translation has number -- ERN number 03006814 at the top of the page.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be then provisionally S22A and B.


20 Q. Please read the document.

21 A. "The Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian municipality

22 of Prijedor, Executive Board, number 02-111-64/92, date: 4th of May,

23 1992.

24 "Pursuant to Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure of the

25 Executive Board of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor, at the session

Page 2509

1 held on the 4th of May, 1992, the government of the Serbian municipality

2 of Prijedor adopted the following decision:

3 "1. The secretary of the municipal Red Cross conference of Prijedor,

4 Sabiha Obradovic, is hereby relieved of her duty as of 4th of May, 1992.

5 "2. This decision shall take effect on the day it is adopted and the

6 president of the Executive Board shall be responsible for its

7 implementation.

8 "President of Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

9 Q. What was the ethnic-religious identity of Sabiha Obradovic?

10 A. Mrs. Sabiha Obradovic, as far as I know, is a Bosniak.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we, for clarification, hear from the

12 interpretation, please, in paragraph 1, if the word could be repeated,

13 please, by the witness. "Is hereby off her duty." Could you repeat it in

14 your mother tongue, please?

15 A. Yes. "Is relieved of her duty of secretary of the municipal Red

16 Cross conference on the 4th of May, 1992."

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for clarification.

18 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, we would like to show the witness and

19 introduce document number 114, 114 in the Prosecution's 65 ter list of

20 exhibits. The original has ERN number 00633935 at the top of the page,

21 and it is a one-page document. The English translation has ERN number

22 01087490 also at the top of the page.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, do we really have all 114?

24 MR. BERGSMO: I understand that the Prosecution had given the

25 wrong number to this document last Monday when we notified the Defence and

Page 2510

1 the Trial Chamber of which exhibits we intended to introduce. But I also

2 understand that there was a correction yesterday, so whereas on Monday we

3 might have referred to this as number 115, it should be 114.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 115, we just had.


6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And unfortunately we are not in the possession

7 of 112.

8 MR. BERGSMO: 114?

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 114, yes.

10 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, we have two extra copies here.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Usher, could you please hand them to me.

12 MR. BERGSMO: I am sorry, Your Honour, only one extra copy.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this would be provisional S23.

14 MR. BERGSMO: May I ask the witness to read the document, please.

15 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian municipality of

16 Prijedor, Executive Board, number 02-111-58/92, date: 4th of May, 1992.

17 "Pursuant to Article 78 of the Rules and Procedure of the Serbian

18 municipality of Prijedor at a session held on the 4th of May, 1992, the

19 government of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor issued the following

20 decision:

21 "1. Srdo Srdic is hereby appointed the acting President of the Prijedor

22 Municipal Conference of the Red Cross and his appointment becomes

23 effective as of 4th of May, 1992.

24 "2. This decision shall take effect on the day it is issued, and the

25 President of the Executive Board shall be responsible for its

Page 2511

1 implementation.

2 "President of the Executive Board."

3 Q. As far as you know, what was the position of Srdic in SDS around

4 this time?

5 A. I really don't know. I know that earlier he was president of the

6 SDS. What position he held in the party later on, I really don't know.

7 He was probably a member of the leadership. What position he held

8 exactly, I don't know.

9 May I make an observation regarding this document? It is

10 interesting to note that on the top it says "Serbian municipality of

11 Prijedor; whereas, the stamp of the legal municipality is used with the

12 words "Municipal Assembly of Prijedor," which means an attempt to legalise

13 this document.

14 Q. So you are saying that the stamp, according to the text, belongs

15 to the Municipal Assembly in Prijedor?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And on 4th of May, 1992, who was functioning as president of the

18 Municipal Assembly?

19 A. In May, 1992, you are asking me?

20 Q. Yes, after the Serbian takeover.

21 A. In May 1992 after the takeover of power, as far as I know, in my

22 opinion, there was no legal president of the Municipal Assembly, but the

23 illegally appointed president was Stakic.

24 Q. You mentioned that you at the meeting with president Kovacevic, the

25 Executive Board and others in late July, early August, had expressed a

Page 2512

1 wish to leave Prijedor as soon as possible. When did you actually manage

2 to leave Prijedor?

3 A. I managed to leave Prijedor in December of that year, at the end

4 of the year, therefore.

5 Q. Could you give additional information about the way you leave --

6 left, additional to what you mentioned earlier?

7 A. I said earlier on that my wife tried to find a connection in

8 Banja Luka and she managed to do that. An organisation that was engaged

9 in the resettlement of the population asked for a certain sum, and she

10 paid this sum, and they said they would let us know when to come. And I

11 managed to find a former colleague from work, who used to work with me,

12 who was a Serb, of course, because no one else could take me to Banja

13 Luka. I had to have someone of confidence with me. And he drove us by

14 car to Banja Luka. But there were cases that people paid to other people

15 and after that, they lost their lives. But this man justified our trust

16 in him.

17 Q. Did your whole family leave together, that is, you, your wife and

18 your children?

19 A. Yes, we left together. In a convoy from Banja Luka.

20 Q. Did you then leave Bosnia-Herzegovina?

21 A. Yes. I went abroad.

22 Q. Before you left Prijedor, did you have to sign any documents

23 relevant to your property or any other documents?

24 A. As I said, I personally didn't go out, but my wife had to. There

25 were certain documents to be compiled. She had to go to the bank to get a

Page 2513












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 2514

1 certificate which would prove that she had no outstanding debts, to close

2 some payments and some additional formalities to be completed. But we did

3 not sign anything concerning our property.

4 Q. What were you able to bring with you?

5 A. Just the property that could fit in a bag, the basic necessities.

6 The clothes to change, a little food.

7 Q. What is the status of the apartment your family used to live in?

8 A. You mean the current status?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I really don't know. But I heard that somebody moved in shortly

11 after that. I don't know who it was, but I think it must have been one of

12 the deserving Serb combatants who was eventually given this apartment.

13 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would, before we conclude, like to

14 show the witness and introduce a few more documents. First document 111,

15 111 on the Prosecution 65 ter list of exhibits. The one page original has

16 ERN number 00633929, the English translation has ERN number at the top of

17 the page 01087486.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provisionally S24.


20 Q. Would the witness be so kind to read this document, slowly.

21 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian municipality of

22 Prijedor, Executive Board.

23 "At its 9th meeting, held outside the regular schedule on the 2nd

24 of May, 1992, the Executive Board of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor

25 adopted the following decision:

Page 2515

1 "1. Idriz Jakupovic is hereby relieved of his duty of president of the

2 Prijedor Municipal Staff of the reception of refugees, effective as of

3 4th May 1992.

4 "2. Jovan Vukoja is hereby appointed acting president of the Prijedor

5 Staff for the reception of refugees.

6 "3. This decision takes effect forthwith, and the president of the

7 Executive Board shall be responsible for its implementation.

8 "Number 02-111-55/92, Prijedor, date: 2nd May, 1992.

9 "President of the Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

10 Q. Do you know the ethnic religious identity of the two persons

11 referred to in paragraphs one and two?

12 A. Jakupovic, who is relieved of his duty, is a Bosniak and Jovan

13 Vukoja is a Serb.

14 Q. As far as you know, was President Kovacevic a member of the Crisis

15 Staff?

16 A. I really don't know who the members of the Crisis Staff were. I

17 never heard their names being listed, but it was my assumption that the

18 self-appointed president of the Municipal Assembly would be one of them,

19 the president of the Executive Board and the head of the police. But

20 these were just my assumptions. I never saw a document to that effect.

21 Q. As far as you know, would the president of the Executive Board be

22 a member of the War Presidency, municipal War Presidency that were to be

23 established in times of emergency under the regime prior to the takeover?

24 A. Yes. I think that the president of the Executive Board should be

25 a member of the War Presidency.

Page 2516

1 Q. Would the president of the Municipal Assembly also be a member of

2 the municipal War Presidency, as far as you know?

3 A. Yes. As far as I know, I think that he would have been the

4 president of the War Presidency.

5 Q. The person referred to in paragraph 1, Jakupovic, was this person

6 politically active?

7 A. As far as I know, he used to be a member of the Assembly. He was

8 a deputy of the socialist -- Social Democratic Party, that he was a

9 representative of that political party. Unfortunately I heard that he was

10 killed in Omarska.

11 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would then like to show the witness

12 and introduce document 112, 112 in the Prosecution's Rule 65 ter list of

13 exhibits. The original version has at the top of the page ERN number

14 00633932 and the English translation has, again at the top of the page,

15 ERN number 01087487.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be then provisionally S25.


18 Q. May I ask the witness to read the document.

19 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian of municipality

20 of Prijedor, Executive Board, number 02-111-56/92, date: 4th of May,

21 1992.

22 "At the 11th session of the Executive Board, held on the 4th of

23 May, 1992, the government of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor adopted

24 the following decision:

25 "1. Esad Mehmedagic is hereby relieved of his duty as deputy municipal

Page 2517

1 public attorney effective as the 4th of May, 1992.

2 "2. Slobodan Radulj is hereby appointed acting municipal public attorney

3 effective as of he 4th of May, 1992.

4 "3. This decision comes in to effect forthwith, and the president of the

5 Executive Board shall be responsible for its implementation.

6 "President of the Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

7 Q. What was the ethnic-religious identity of the persons referred to

8 in paragraphs one and two?

9 A. In paragraph one the deputy that is, Mr. Esad Mehmedagic, is a

10 Bosniak and the second person, the one being appointed, Slobodan Radulj,

11 is of Serb ethnicity.

12 Q. Do you know what subsequently happened to the person referred to

13 in paragraph 1?

14 A. According to all information, he was also killed in Omarska.

15 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, I am looking at the clock. The

16 Prosecution is prepared to continue, but we can also break at any time it

17 is convenient for the Court.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What would be the remaining time for you?

20 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, the Prosecution was planning to

21 introduce three more documents and then ask four general questions, four

22 or five general questions to the witness.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, please proceed with the documents and then

24 we have a break later.

25 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would like to show the witness and

Page 2518

1 introduce document 120, that is, 120. The one-page original has at the

2 top the page ERN number 00633939. The English translation has at the top

3 of the page ERN number 01087493.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would then be provisionally S26.


6 Q. Would the witness please read the document.

7 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian municipality of

8 Prijedor, Executive Board, number 02-111-59/92, date: 5th of May, 1992.

9 "Pursuant to Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure of the

10 Executive Board of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor, at its session

11 held on the 5th of May, 1992, the government of the Serbian municipality

12 of Prijedor adopted the following decision:

13 "1. Iso Bucan is hereby relieved of his duty of the commander for

14 logistics security effective as of the 5th of May, 1992.

15 "2. This decision shall take effect on the day of its adoption and Major

16 Radmilo Zeljaja shall see to its implementation.

17 "President of the Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

18 Q. What is the ethnic-religious identity of the persons referred to

19 in paragraphs 1 and 2?

20 A. The person who is relieved of his duty is a Bosniak and the person

21 mentioned in paragraph 2 who is entrusted with the implementation of the

22 decision is a Serb and a member of the military. This is actually the

23 first time that I see a member of the military being involved in the

24 decision of -- in the decision of the Executive Board.

25 Q. Does this decision exemplify the exercise of authority of a

Page 2519

1 civilian body over the military after the Serbian takeover?

2 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour. I think that there is no

3 foundation for asking this kind of question.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Although the witness has apparently, to a

6 certain extent, already answered this question, the connection seems to be

7 clear and therefore the objection is dismissed.


9 Q. Does this decision exemplify the exercise of authority of a

10 civilian body over the military after the Serbian takeover?

11 A. In my opinion, looking at this document, I think that it is at

12 least telling that there was close coordination between the Executive

13 Board and the army and military authorities, that is. As I said, it is,

14 to say the least, quite telling.

15 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honour, the Prosecution would like to show the

16 witness and introduce document 126, that is 126, from the Rule 65 ter list

17 of exhibits of the Prosecution. The original of this document has ERN

18 number 00633942. The English translation has ERN number, also at the top

19 of the page, 01087496.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Provisionally S27.


22 Q. May I ask the witness to please read the document.

23 A. "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbian municipality

24 of Prijedor, Executive Board, number 02-111-62/92, date: 5th of May, 1992.

25 "Pursuant to Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure of the

Page 2520












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13 English transcripts.













Page 2521

1 Executive Board of the Serbian Municipality of Prijedor, at its session

2 held on the 5th of May, 1992, the government of the Serbian municipality

3 of Prijedor adopted the following decision:

4 "1. Vahid Ceric is hereby relieved of his duty of assistant commander

5 for the organisation of mobilisation and personnel affairs, effective as

6 of the 5th of May, 1992.

7 "2. This decision shall take effect on the day of its adoption, and

8 Major Radmilo Zeljaja shall be possible for its implementation.

9 "President of the Executive Board, Dr. Milan Kovacevic."

10 MR. BERGSMO: And finally, Your Honours, the Prosecution would

11 like to show the witness and introduce document 122, that is 122, from the

12 Rule 65 ter list of exhibits of the Prosecution. The original has two

13 pages and the first page has ERN number at the top of the page, 00634039,

14 second page, 40, instead of 39. The English translation has in the middle

15 of the page, ERN number 00913684, and the second page, 85, instead of 84.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would then be provisionally S28.


18 Q. May I ask the witness to start reading this document.

19 A. "Minutes of the 2nd session of the National Defence Council of the

20 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, held on the 5th of May, 1992, starting at

21 1500 hours.

22 "The session was chaired by Dr. Milomir Stakic, President of the

23 council.

24 "The following attended the session: Dr. Milomir Stakic, Rade

25 Javoric, Slavko Budimir, Slobodan Kuruzovic, Dr. Milan Kovacevic, Vladimir

Page 2522

1 Arsic, Simo Drljaca, Bosko Mandic and Radmilo Zeljaja, members of the

2 council. The session was also attended by Simo Miskovic, Radenko Banovic,

3 Ranko Travar, Vojo Pavicic, Mile Mutic and Milenko Rajlic.

4 "The minutes were taken by Spiro Marmat.

5 "For the purposes of this session, the following agenda was

6 established:

7 "1. Discussion of the decision on mobilisation and the passing of

8 resolutions - conclusions.

9 "Participants in the discussion included Dr. Milomir Stakic, Slavko

10 Budimir, Radmilo Zeljaja, Vladimir Arsic and Slobodan Kuruzovic.

11 "The discussion resulted in the following conclusions:

12 "1. The Municipal Secretariat for National Defence is to reinforce the

13 TO detachment and the War Unit 4777, in conjunction with the military

14 department and in accordance with the requests made by the commanders of

15 these units.

16 "2. The mobilisation orders following from the decision of the

17 Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina Assembly are to be carried out, when

18 the actual situation in the municipality renders it necessary and in

19 accordance with the needs and a special plan, through call-up papers

20 issued by the Secretariat of National Defence.

21 "3. By the 8th of May, 1992, a meeting is to be organised and convened

22 with the directors of all companies in order to brief them about the newly

23 arisen situation and their immediate obligations.

24 "4. It is hereby suggested to the Executive Board of the Municipal

25 Assembly to consider moving to wartime organisation and operation for some

Page 2523

1 enterprises, some companies, and to adopt in relation to that appropriate

2 decisions -- decision.

3 "5. The competent organs of the Municipal Administration, as part of the

4 implementation of the provisions laid down by the aforementioned decision,

5 will have the duty to secure priority communications; secure priority

6 supplies of food, oil products, energy and other commodities; provide a

7 continuous monitoring of production processes and the service sector in

8 the new circumstances, and to submit regular reports thereof to the

9 Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly.

10 "6. A curfew is hereby introduced in the entire area of the municipality

11 between 2200 hours and 0500 hours for all persons except those who have

12 proper authorisations issued by the police, the military police or the

13 Serbian Territorial Defence.

14 "7. All paramilitary units and individuals who possess weapons and

15 ammunition illegally are called upon to surrender them immediately, and

16 not later than the 11th of May, 1992 by 1500 hours, to the Public Security

17 Station in Prijedor or its nearest department. After this period, the

18 relevant organs will start searches and seizures of any such weapons and

19 ammunition and will apply the most rigorous sanctions.

20 "The chairman adjourned the session at 1630.

21 "Minutes kept by Spiro Marmat.

22 "President of the National Defence Council, Dr. Milomir Stakic."

23 Q. At the top of the document it is indicated that Dr. Milomir Stakic

24 was president of the Council. How do you interpret that part of the

25 document?

Page 2524

1 A. [No interpretation]

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please read a little bit -- speak a

3 little bit slower.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to repeat his answer,

5 please.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please repeat the entire answer.

7 There was no interpretation. Thank you.

8 THE WITNESS: As I said, under normal circumstances, the president

9 of the National Security Council is the President of the Municipal

10 Assembly by virtue of his office. So in this case, in this newly

11 established and illegally established government, this president would

12 automatically become the president of the National Security Council.

13 THE INTERPRETER: National Defence Council, correction.


15 Q. Do you know -- do you have information about the persons listed in

16 the subsequent paragraph and their relations with the SDS?

17 A. I don't know all these people but the leading ones were people who

18 were appointed to these positions on behalf of the SDS. For instance, the

19 President of the municipality, the President of the Executive Board, the

20 commander of the Territorial Defence, those were all people that the party

21 appointed to those positions. I know that Kurusovic, Slobodan was

22 appointed commander of the Territorial Defence by the SDS. Simo Drljaca

23 was also appointed by the SDS as chief of police.

24 Q. Who was Slavko Budimir?

25 A. Slavko Budimir was one of the officers in the Department for

Page 2525

1 National Defence. I assume that he was automatically appointed secretary

2 of Secretariat for National Defence when Becir Medunjanin [phoen] was

3 replaced. That is my assumption.

4 Q. Who was Vladimir Arsic?

5 A. He is a military man. He comes from the Garrison. He represents

6 the army. I think he was a colonel in those days.

7 Q. Is Simo Drljaca the chief of police you referred to earlier today?

8 A. Yes. Actually, he was appointed chief of police after the

9 takeover of power.

10 Q. Who was Bosko Mandic?

11 A. I don't know him.

12 Q. Is Radmilo Zeljaja the military person referred to earlier by you

13 this afternoon?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Who is Radenko Banovic?

16 A. Radenko Banovic was in the secretariat for the Kadastar. He was

17 the member of one of the secretariats in the municipality and he was a

18 member the Executive Board.

19 Q. What about Ranko Travar?

20 A. I don't know him.

21 Q. And Vojo Pavicic?

22 A. Vojo Pavicic earlier was deputy secretary for town planning. And

23 he was probably now appointed head of that department.

24 Q. And Mile Mutic?

25 A. Mile Mutic is one of the journalists of Radio Prijedor and

Page 2526

1 Kozarski Vjesnik. Actually, as far as I know he may have been the editor

2 in chief or even the director.

3 Q. Milenko Rajlic?

4 A. I am not quite sure about that. But I do know that there was a

5 journalist by that name, if that is the man.

6 Q. Javoric, whose name is higher up in the paragraph, who was he?

7 A. He was -- he used to be in the Territorial Defence.

8 Q. Are any of these persons non-Serb?

9 A. No.

10 Q. They are all of Serbian ethnic identity?

11 A. Yes, including the person who kept the minutes.

12 Q. If you go to conclusion number two, there is a reference to

13 call-up paper issued by the municipal Secretariat for National Defence.

14 To which extent does this paragraph suggest that the municipal

15 administration Prijedor was supporting the general military activities in

16 Prijedor?

17 A. This is a clear conclusion that an order is being forwarded taken

18 by the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and there is clear

19 indication that there is coordination between the Assembly of the

20 Autonomous Region and the Assembly of Prijedor. So there was coordination

21 between the two, that a military solution is being adopted that was

22 imposed in Banja Luka.

23 Q. And the subsequent order addressed by the National Defence Council

24 in Prijedor is addressed to the municipal Secretariat for National Defence

25 in Prijedor which was a part of the Municipal Administration; is that

Page 2527

1 correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. If you go to the third conclusion which refers to the ordering

4 that a meeting take place with the directors of all enterprises, by the

5 8th of May 1992, in order to brief them about the new situation and their

6 immediate obligations, does this order suggest that there was coordination

7 between the main economic actors in Prijedor and the military activities?

8 A. For me, that is exactly what it means. According to my

9 understanding, they probably wanted to mobilisation the mechanical

10 equipment and the other resources that the economy had in its possession

11 for military purposes.

12 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, we have some few more questions

13 concerning this documents. So we can break at any time.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is really well-deserved break now and we

15 resume at 4.00 sharp.

16 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.

17 --- On resuming at 4:04 p.m.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated and then we continue

19 immediately. May the witness be brought in. And we have to close at 4.45

20 sharp, and "sharp" means sharp, today. Thank you.


22 Q. We go back to the document Minutes of the Meeting of the National

23 Defence Council on the 5th of May 1992. If we can move to conclusion

24 seven on page two, there is a reference at the end of that paragraph to

25 "the most rigorous sanctions." In light of your professional and other

Page 2528












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 2529

1 experiences in Prijedor, how do you understand these words?

2 A. For me, to say the least, this conclusion sounds threatening

3 because the application of the most rigorous sanctions, one can only

4 imagine what that can mean. To me, that is like a death threat or

5 threaten -- threat of arrest. It is a threatening provision in any case

6 and it is hard to imagine what lies behind the threat, exactly.

7 Q. Additional to what you have already said about this document, do

8 you have any other observations on its significance?

9 A. It is hard for me to say anything new. This is just one in a

10 series of events, probably planned, in the process of forming an

11 ethnically pure Serbian Krajina. The mobilisation of all forces including

12 the economy and so on.

13 Q. Have you, in your analysis of events in Prijedor, after the

14 Serbian takeover of power in April 1992, in your mind distinguished

15 clearly between the National Defence Council of the Municipal Assembly and

16 the Crisis Staff?

17 A. Most frequently and mostly actually I listened over radio Prijedor

18 about the Crisis Staff. I didn't hear the Council of National Defence

19 being mentioned. I didn't know it existed as such. Because my impression

20 was the Crisis Staff was behind it all.

21 Q. Based on the members of the council present at the meeting on the

22 5th of May, would there be much difference between the membership of this

23 institution and the membership of a regular War Presidency in a

24 municipality in a time of emergency?

25 A. In times of this danger of war, the War Presidency or the Council

Page 2530

1 of Defence would not look like this in normal circumstances. Because here

2 it is compiled quite differently. One cannot see who has which function.

3 Because I have said already that Council for National Defence consists of

4 the president of the municipality, the President of the executive council,

5 the commander of the Territorial Defence, the chief for National Defence,

6 a representative of the Garrison, the chief of police, those would be the

7 people under legal conditions in -- under illegal conditions as we see

8 here. I really don't know how these people were selected.

9 They were probably all the people who were appointed to these

10 positions that I have just listed, and some additional ones.

11 Q. You say, "the War Presidency or the Council of Defence." In your

12 mind, prior to the takeover, was there a difference between a War

13 Presidency which would be established if there was a situation of emergency or

14 threat of war or imminent threat of war and the National Defence Council?

15 A. According to what I know, in the case of an immediate threat of

16 war being proclaimed, as far as I am familiar with the law, because after

17 all, this is a legal question. After the proclamation of a threat of war,

18 the Council for National Defence is transformed into a War Presidency and

19 the Assembly is transformed into a wartime assembly. It is called a

20 wartime assembly. It is still operating, but it is a wartime assembly.

21 That’s as far as I know.

22 Q. So it is correct in your mind there is not a sharp distinction

23 between a War Presidency and the Council for National Defence insofar as

24 the War Presidency would be a transformation of the National Defence

25 Council of the Municipal Assembly?

Page 2531

1 A. Yes, as far as I know about these matters.

2 MR. BERGSMO: Before I close with asking some general questions,

3 Your Honours, the Prosecution --

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before you leave this document, for

5 clarification, may I put one question to the witness, please. On the last

6 page after the name of Stakic, Dr. Milomir, we find two -- I don't know

7 what it is. I don't want to give -- "SR" what does it mean, please?

8 A. In our country, we frequently use the abbreviation "SR" following

9 the signature. It means with his own hand. Signed himself, that that man

10 himself signed it with his own hand. His personal signature.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for your clarification.

12 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, before I move on to some general

13 questions, the Prosecution would request that the Court accept all

14 documents introduced today into evidence.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are we to do it document by document or our way,

16 where package observations by the Defence?

17 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we would like first to raise the issue

18 that if we look at the document 23, 24, 25, on which Mr. Kovacevic, late

19 Mr. Kovacevic should have been signed, we would see that all those

20 signatures are different. So obviously, either these documents have been

21 planted or forged or in any way illegally produced. So for us, it is

22 absolutely not possible to accept this kind of game [Realtime transcript

23 read in error "again"]. I would rather, on the other hand, I would also--

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt you. Please don't speak of

25 a game.

Page 2532

1 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I don't know if you are aware, but the

2 persons who collected some documents for this Tribunal have been arrested

3 for terrorism in Sarajevo and have been processed by federation

4 authorities, not by RS authorities. So we really have all fundaments to

5 believe that something wrong have been done with the documentation that

6 has been presented in front of this Tribunal.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of course it is the right for the Defence to

8 demonstrate or even to prove that the document was false or was a

9 falsification or whatever. Let's go through the documents

10 document-by-document. May I ask that in the transcript at 16:14 the word

11 "game" may be added. We have serious problems today with the transcripts,

12 I am afraid.

13 Then let's please proceed with the documents in the order of the

14 65 ter numbers. The first one was Exhibit former 9, now 17.

15 Objections?

16 MR. LUKIC: We don't see the signature on the document, Your

17 Honour, at all. And we object to these documents, thank you.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S17 admitted into evidence, and in the English

20 version as small 'A' and the B/C/S version small 'B'.

21 Then we turn to 87, which is S18.

22 MR. LUKIC: We in no way can confirm the authenticity of this

23 document because we don't know what the signature of this person - only

24 says Director - should be. So basically the same grounds for the

25 objection as with the previous one.

Page 2533

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as 16A and B

2 respectively.

3 95, which is now provisionally S19.

4 MR. LUKIC: Not signed. Same objection.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S19A and 19B.

6 Former 101 now provisionally S20.

7 MR. LUKIC: The seal used does not correspond to the function of

8 the signee.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S20A and 20B.

10 Number 90, now S21.

11 MR. LUKIC: On this document, if you see it, the first page, the

12 first paragraph, later on something has been added. The whole document

13 has been composed in Latin letters and then, in the second row, you see

14 Cyrillic letters. So obviously, afterwards, something had been added,

15 obviously and not by the same person who composed. Because this is

16 electronic version of a transmission of a document in the pash [phoen] and

17 this has been added later on in Cyrillic. There is no possibility to

18 transmit through the pash Cyrillic letters.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any comments from the side of the Prosecutor to

20 this document which is evidently a faxed transmission?

21 MR. BERGSMO: Could we have the witness read what has been added

22 in Cyrillic, or the text that is there in Cyrillic?

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could it be provided for the witness, please.

24 There are two parts in Cyrillic, if I can see it correctly, in the middle

25 and at the right-hand side, over the signature.

Page 2534


2 Q. Could the witness first read the header of what seems to be a

3 facsimile transmission at the top of the document.

4 A. You mean from the very beginning?

5 Q. At the very, very top of the original document there is, in very

6 small letters --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- what seems to be the header of a facsimile transmission.

9 A. "16/04/92 10:16." Then I can't see the first few figures.

10 Then: "7312, 566, SO, Banja Luka."

11 Q. Could you then please read the time indication in the actual body

12 of the text which is on the first line of the heading.

13 A. "09.59."

14 Q. Would you then please go down to the heading under the indication

15 of the date and again read first the text which is in Latin letters and

16 then read for us the text which is in Cyrillic letters.

17 A. "To the governments of AR and SAO of the Serbian Republic of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina," then comes Cyrillic, or rather: "To all Serbian

19 municipalities."

20 Q. To the right, partly above that heading, is there a stamp?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What does it say inside that stamp?

23 A. The top line is very illegible, unclear. Probably it says the

24 Socalist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Then the second line,

25 "Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina"; third line, "Assembly of the

Page 2535












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 2536

1 Autonomous Region of Krajina."

2 Q. Is there a signature under that stamp?

3 A. Yes, yes.

4 MR. BERGSMO: The Prosecution would like to point out, Your

5 Honours, that the document, as explained earlier by the witness,

6 originates from the republic level of authority from the Serbian Republic

7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Ministry for National Defence, whereas the

8 addition in Cyrillic refers to local distribution, and the stamp also

9 refers to a regional political organ with its seat in Banja Luka, as far

10 as the Prosecution knows. And the header of the facsimile transmission

11 also refers to a political institution in Banja Luka. The Prosecution

12 would therefore submit that this in no way casts the authenticity of the

13 document in doubt.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would the witness be so kind and come back to

15 the Cyrillic letters above the signature. Can you identify the word

16 there?

17 A. As far as I am able to see, and it is quite logical, the word is

18 "odnosna" [phoen], "that is" or "rather."

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any observations from the Defence?

20 MR. LUKIC: In addition to what has been said before, does this

21 mean that the Prosecution admits that this document has been altered?

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is for the evaluation of evidence later on,

23 and as it is said and laid down in our guidelines, the admission into

24 evidence doesn't have any impact at all on the content of the document and

25 it's open for any challenge of the authenticity, of course. Therefore,

Page 2537

1 document S21 and 28 -- 21A and 21B is admitted into evidence.

2 May we now turn to the former 115, now 22.

3 MR. LUKIC: This document I would like to comment, in conjunction

4 with, in connection with document number 24, so we have to decide which

5 signature is the signature of Mr. -- of Dr. -- late Dr. Milan Kovacevic,

6 because obviously we can see that those signatures are not the same.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Under our guidelines, this is no reason for not

8 admitting, so therefore this document is admitted into evidence as S22A

9 and B. Then, it is 114, now 23.

10 MR. LUKIC: Same objection, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The evidence S23A and B. The comparison you

12 wanted to draw was between which documents, please?

13 MR. LUKIC: 22, 23, 24. Different signatures. You can check 23

14 and 24, for example.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is the Office of the Prosecutor prepared to

16 provide expert statement on the signatures?

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: We are not prepared to. They have not been

18 submitted for analysis. I would submit, from my looking at them, they

19 appear to be the identical signature, as identical as the normal

20 variations between one individual's signature. Obviously, if the Court instructs

21 us, if the Court is very interested in that information, this would be -- we

22 would have to arrange for an outside agency to conduct that analysis and

23 we would have to obtain some originals from that person. We probably have

24 some since he was once in custody of the Tribunal.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We want to come back to this issue later after

Page 2538

1 the Judges have conferred to this issue. May we now turn to the former

2 112, now as 25.

3 MR. LUKIC: This is the third type of signature, Your Honour, from

4 the same person. Completely different.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have different documents. I can't see a

6 signature on this document. And it is ending with 932; right?

7 MR. LUKIC: 25.


9 MR. LUKIC: Yes.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 932, I can't see a signature.

11 MR. LUKIC: There is few lines underneath, but has nothing to do

12 with the signature from the document number 23.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mean the lines within the stamp?

14 MR. LUKIC: That is right, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. We have to come back to this as well.

16 Admitted in to evidence as S25A and 25B.

17 Then we have to turn to 120, now 26.

18 MR. LUKIC: Same objection, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Also as regards to signature; right?

20 MR. LUKIC: That is right, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted in to evidence as S26A and S26B.

22 The former 126, now 27.

23 MR. LUKIC: Same objection.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted in to evidence as S27A and S27B.

25 And finally 122, now 28.

Page 2539

1 MR. LUKIC: Although it says, as this witness explained, that it

2 has been signed by Dr. Stakic, there is no signature at all.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Judges are aware of this. Nevertheless,

4 admitted into evidence as S28A and S28B.

5 And once again for the clarification, also the accused should

6 understand our proceedings, this does not mean automatically that the

7 Judges believe this document is edited by you, Dr. Stakic. I think this

8 was all as regards documents.

9 Thank you. You want to proceed the last 11 minutes with the

10 hearing?

11 MR. BERGSMO: Yes, we have a few more questions.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But, please, take into account the time limit.

13 MR. BERGSMO: Yes.

14 Q. Sir, did you yourself, when you were in Prijedor, see clear signs

15 of coordination after the takeover of power between the Crisis Staff, the

16 police, the military and the paramilitary groups?

17 A. As far as I could conclude, or hear, I think that the most

18 important information and the most important announcements made on the

19 radio were done by the Crisis Staff. It was only after that, after, for

20 example, an announcement was made that an inspection or a search for

21 weapons would be carried out, that the police actually carried it out.

22 That is why I believe that there was such coordination between the Crisis

23 Staff and the relevant authorities such as the police or perhaps the

24 military.

25 As for the paramilitary groups, I heard that there were various

Page 2540

1 such groups, but I don't know about their activity. I heard about the

2 existence of the White Eagle, groups from Banja or Croatia, whether they

3 had any control, I don't know.

4 Q. Did you hear of instances where the police or the military acted

5 contrary to the orders and announcements originating from the Crisis

6 Staff?

7 A. What one could hear over the radio is what was actually carried

8 out. That is why I am sure that there must have been some kind of

9 coordination between all these bodies and the Crisis Staff. I don't know

10 of any activities that would have been outside their control. I really

11 don't know. It is possible that there were such activities, but I don't

12 know.

13 Q. Are you aware if the accused Stakic ever distanced himself or

14 objected to the policies and actions of the SDS and Crisis Staff in

15 Prijedor?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Given his position, as before the takeover, vice-president of the

18 Municipal Assembly in Prijedor and his position in the SDS, do you think

19 it would have made a difference if the accused Stakic had distanced

20 himself or objected to the policies and actions of the SDS and the Crisis

21 Staff in Prijedor?

22 A. I think that it is quite clear that had any of the leaders tried

23 to distance himself, this would have had some effect, especially in his

24 case who exerted considerable influence within the SDS. However, I never

25 heard of any such cases, of any leading figures to have distanced

Page 2541

1 themselves from this policy.

2 Q. What in your view given your position and experiences in Prijedor,

3 was the purpose behind the arrests, the detention camps, the forcible

4 transfers, the killings which happened in Prijedor after the takeover of

5 power?

6 A. It was clear to me that they were trying to instill fear amongst

7 the non-Serb population as a whole. Their message was that there was no

8 place for the non-Serb population there. It was a systematic cleansing of

9 the municipality of its non-Serb population which was carried out through

10 the destruction of homes, the eviction from homes, the destruction of

11 religious institutions, both Bosniak and Catholic ones. So the only

12 conclusion is that their aim was to establish an ethnically cleansed

13 municipality.

14 MR. BERGSMO: Your Honours, that was the last question the

15 Prosecution has for the witness in the examination-in-chief.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I have the impression for the Office

17 of the Prosecutor time is of essence as regards for 73(C).

18 MR. KOUMJIAN: That is correct

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we immediately come to this point.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Just to make it clear to the Court because

21 the rules require a filing by 4.00. A motion was filed, but it could be

22 withdrawn I believe this afternoon. Our issue is simply under Rule 73 for

23 a matter of evidence and procedure, the only interlocutory appeals --

24 interlocutory appeals are allowed under two circumstances, and the first

25 would be with leave of this Court. We are asking this Court for leave

Page 2542

1 because we believe that this is a matter of general interest to

2 proceedings before the Tribunal.

3 The issue that we are raising is the Court's order on the

4 identification parade or identification procedures for the witness. We

5 think it is important that there be a standard across all Trial Chambers

6 so that there is an appearance that there is uniform procedure used

7 throughout the Trial Chambers in this Tribunal. So we are asking this

8 Trial Chamber to certify this is a matter that would be of interest to all

9 trials pending before this Court so we can get one uniform decision.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

11 Observations by the Defence.

12 MR. OSTOJIC: Our only observation, Your Honour, is that we agreed

13 and concurred with your opinion last week in connection with the

14 identification process. And the part that we agree with our learned

15 friend from the Office of the Prosecutor is that it is an important issue.

16 But other than that, we certainly don't have a comment as to the

17 interpretation or the difference of opinions in the various Chambers.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Chamber has discussed the already yesterday

19 announced request for a certification, and we came to the conclusion that

20 this request has to be dismissed because no doubt its intention of all

21 Trial Chambers in this Tribunal to come as close as possible to truth and

22 to exhaust all possible means to come in doing so, as close as possible to

23 truth. It is only to grant an additional mean of recognition of a

24 person. It is not any kind of prejudice for one party because without any

25 doubt, the two possibilities are additionally available for the parties to

Page 2543

1 present photographs, and this identification in the courtroom which grants

2 the Judges the direct impression of the testimony of a witness when seen

3 five persons which may be taken from this Tribunal may be taken from the

4 street of wherever as it is custom in all courtrooms in this world. And,

5 therefore, we don't think it is necessary to have a decision on this

6 issue, especially when the Judges of this Tribunal decided last week that

7 in principle there should be no longer any kind of interlocutory appeal.

8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour, for considering our request

9 and giving us a ruling today. Just one other matter I have been asked to

10 clarify. Was S24 admitted or is the Court withholding its decision on

11 that?

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 24. Please help me. What is the document? One

13 from today?

14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, from today. We also, by the way, just to

15 remind the Court, we still have S12 pending we can deal with tomorrow.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: A lot are pending, also some motions from your

17 side we are expecting due to 1st of May, but 24 was admitted into

18 evidence.

19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we have 25 seconds to go and we thereby

21 adjourn and resume tomorrow 9.00 sharp.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

23 4.45, p.m., to be reconvened

24 on Friday, the 3rd, day of April, 2002,

25 at 9.00 a.m.