International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3568

1 Monday, 27 May 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

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

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, everybody. Please be seated.

6 Could you please call the case.

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

8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances at the 25th session of this

10 trial.

11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian with

12 Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.

13 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic with Mr.

14 John Ostojic for the Defence.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Anything special, any administrative

16 matters?

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So let's proceed directly with Witness Number

19 35. Thank you for the proofing notes. They are available also for the

20 Defence?


22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Is anybody prepared to bring the witness

23 in?

24 [The witness entered court]

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Mujadzic.

Page 3569

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You can hear me in a language you understand?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, can we please hear your statement.

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

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

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter].

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we start.


13 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:

14 Q. Sir, just to remind you, I know you speak English, but please wait

15 for the interpretation to be complete before answering and pause a moment

16 before answering only in your language.

17 Doctor, can you please state your name.

18 A. My name is Mirsad, Mirsad [as interpreted] Mujadzic.

19 Q. Sir, where were you born and in what year?

20 A. I was born in Banja Luka in 1962.

21 Q. Where did you grow up?

22 A. I grew up in Prijedor.

23 Q. Can you tell the Court what your education was and where you were

24 educated?

25 A. I completed my elementary and secondary education in Prijedor

Page 3570

1 after which I went to study university in Banja Luka. I completed

2 graduate studies -- postgraduate studies in Zagreb, and I began my

3 specialisation in surgery in Bihac and completed it in Sarajevo. But I

4 spent part of my specialisation training in Ljubljana, also in Vienna, in

5 Austria and Munich and Freyberg in Germany.

6 Q. So is it correct that your profession is a medical doctor?

7 A. Yes, that is correct. I am a medical doctor, a surgeon.

8 Q. Are you continuing to practice medicine today?

9 A. I was always involved in my actual profession, and that is -- this

10 is what I did for most of my life, and I still practice, as a plastic

11 surgeon actually.

12 Q. Did you -- can you tell the Court about where you worked after

13 completing your medical training? First, what year did you complete your

14 medical training?

15 A. I graduated from the school of medicine in 1987. Thereupon, I

16 continued working as a general practitioner in the town of Prijedor until

17 1990. Actually, 1991, to be more precise. And it was at that time that I

18 started my specialisation in general surgery. And after the war broke

19 out, I fled to Bihac and continued my training in general surgery there.

20 As for my qualifications as a surgeon, I can provide you with more

21 details. I studied in Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Germany, Austria, also in

22 Great Britain.

23 Q. You mentioned that you worked in the town of Prijedor. Did you

24 only work within the town of Prijedor, or did you ever work in other parts

25 of the municipality?

Page 3571

1 A. There were two so-called primary medical institutions in Prijedor.

2 One of them covered the nonworking community, nonworking residents, and

3 they were distributed in various neighbourhoods and villages of the

4 municipality of Prijedor. The second segment, the second institution,

5 covered the working population, and this was the so-called occupational

6 medicine institution. Such surgeries, there were several of them, were

7 located throughout the town of Prijedor, but they were always linked to a

8 particular company or a working organisation. So through my working

9 experience, I was able to become familiar with the entire town of Prijedor

10 and had contacts -- numerous contacts with various segments of the

11 population through my work.

12 Q. Doctor, the interpretation indicated that you became familiar with

13 the town of Prijedor and worked in the town. I'm not sure, are you saying

14 that you only worked within the town, or did you work in other parts of

15 the Opstina or municipality?

16 A. When I said the town of Prijedor, I was actually referring to the

17 municipality of Prijedor because in our language and in the way we speak,

18 we often confuse the two, the two concepts, the town and the municipality.

19 I actually had opportunity to work in the entire municipality of Prijedor,

20 not only the town of Prijedor.

21 Q. Did you do compulsory military service in the Yugoslav army?

22 A. Yes, I did. In 1980 and 1981.

23 Q. What was your job when you were doing your compulsory military

24 service?

25 A. During my military service, I was with the communications

Page 3572












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Page 3573

1 department, with the signals, in infantry units. I was a simple infantry

2 soldier, but I was later sent to undergo officers' training, which I

3 completed in the rank of sergeant.

4 Q. So at that point after you completed your officer training, is it

5 correct that you worked within a medical unit within the army?

6 A. As for the medical corps, at that period of time, I'm talking

7 about my generation and one generation before me, we were sent -- we were

8 required to do our military service immediately after completing the

9 secondary education. And that is why I served outside the medical corps

10 of the army. Prior to my generation, conscripts went to do their military

11 service only after they completed their university education. So

12 graduates of medicine were used for that purpose while doing their

13 compulsory military service. But since I served immediately after

14 completing my secondary education, I was just a soldier with the infantry.

15 Q. Were you ever a soldier with the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

16 A. No, I was never a soldier of the BH army, though it may sound

17 paradoxical, because many people ask me how come I served the JNA and not

18 the BH army later on. No, no, I was never a member of the BH army.

19 Throughout the war, I worked as a physician, as a medical doctor, and I

20 never donned a uniform. I spent that entire period of time wearing a

21 white uniform, a doctor's white coat, and I performed my duties in

22 accordance with the ethics of the medical profession. I provided

23 assistance to Serbs, Croats, Muslims alike, to anybody who needed

24 assistance.

25 Q. Were you a member of the Communist Party?

Page 3574

1 A. No.

2 Q. Sir, what is your ethnicity?

3 A. I'm a Bosniak.

4 Q. And Doctor, is your -- are you married and do you have children?

5 A. Yes, I am married, and I have three children.

6 Q. What is the ethnicity of your wife?

7 A. She is also a Bosniak.

8 Q. Your first two children, can you just tell us what year they were

9 born in?

10 A. My eldest son was born in 1987. My younger son was born in

11 October 1991. So prior to the beginning of the war, my eldest son was

12 four, and the youngest one was six months old.

13 Q. Were you a member of any other party other than the Communist

14 Party?

15 A. Yes, I was. After the democratic changes in Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina, I became a member of the Party for Democratic Action.

17 Q. Can you tell the Court how it was that you came to become a member

18 of the SDA party?

19 A. Personally, my motive for joining the party was to make my own

20 contribution to the democratic changes which were taking place in our

21 country at the time. And although I did not consider it as my vocation,

22 politics. I was already a student of graduate studies in Zagreb at the

23 time, and I always considered myself as a scientist, not as a politician.

24 But despite that fact, at that time, I felt that it was necessary for me

25 to join in this process of transformation because I felt that there was a

Page 3575

1 kind of revolution going on, a democratic revolution, going on. The

2 previous system, the communism, we had had it for about 50 years, and I

3 felt that it was necessary for me to join and to make my contribution to

4 these democratic changes in the society.

5 Q. Which individual or individuals first approached you about joining

6 the SDA?

7 A. Nijaz Kapetanovic. He was one of the founding members of the

8 party, together with several other individuals. At that time, the party

9 had already had its steering committee established, and they asked me to

10 help find a larger group of intellectuals and to mobilise them so as to

11 have the party enriched in this sense as well. And I took it upon myself

12 to do it.

13 Q. You mentioned that at the time you joined, I think you indicated

14 at one point you were doing some training in Zagreb. Can you explain, did

15 you join the party in Zagreb, or in Prijedor?

16 A. I joined the party in Prijedor. There were no such activities in

17 Zagreb at the time. At least, I don't remember that there were.

18 Q. So were you at this time still travelling or living part-time in

19 Prijedor?

20 A. Actually, I spent most of my time in Prijedor even while I was a

21 postgraduate student, but I would go to the university during my leave, my

22 annual leave, and my paid leave of absence, which used to be the custom

23 for those who were undergoing some additional training. So I spent 80 per

24 cent of my time in Prijedor, and about 20 per cent of my time in Zagreb.

25 Q. Did your parents live in Prijedor at the time?

Page 3576

1 A. Yes, they did.

2 Q. Did your wife and children -- excuse me. Where did your wife and

3 children live at the time?

4 A. Also in Prijedor.

5 Q. Did your wife have a profession?

6 A. Yes, she did. She is also a physician, and we were together

7 postgraduate students.

8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Did the interpretation finish? I'm sorry. Yes.

9 Q. Did you hold any position within the SDA in Prijedor?

10 A. Yes, I did. I became president of the municipal board.

11 Q. Can you explain how that happened? Was there an election or how

12 were you chosen?

13 A. As I said, there was this initiative committee or steering

14 committee which had about 50 members, mostly volunteers, most of whom I

15 did not know. So I didn't expect much, in terms of being elected to any

16 of the functions. At that time, there were two currents within this

17 board, each of them supported their own candidate. Nijaz Kapetanovic and

18 several other members then lobbied for myself as some kind of medium --

19 midway solution in order to reconcile the two currents that existed within

20 the board. So without any previous experience or knowledge, I was elected

21 to this position.

22 Q. How old were you at that time that you were elected the president

23 of the SDA in Prijedor?

24 A. 27.

25 Q. Did you later hold a position within a region of which Prijedor is

Page 3577












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Page 3578

1 a part?

2 A. Yes, I did. I became the president of the regional board, the

3 region of Banja Luka.

4 Q. Did that region include various municipalities that were part of

5 the Bosanska Krajina, SDA committees from various municipalities part of

6 the Bosanska Krajina?

7 A. Yes, it did. It consisted of 17 municipalities of the Bosniak

8 Krajina, that is the region of Banja Luka.

9 Q. Were you ever elected to a position, an elected position not

10 within the party but within the government or legislature?

11 A. Yes. I was nominated to the House of Citizens at the election,

12 and I was elected deputy to the parliament.

13 Q. Was that the 1990 elections?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you explain to us how the legislature of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina was set up. Was it one unicameral or a bicameral legislature?

17 A. The legislature of Bosnia-Herzegovina had two Chambers. The

18 Chamber of Citizens and the Chamber of Municipalities. The Chamber of

19 Citizens had 130 deputies which were elected according to the relevant

20 regions and the Chamber of Municipalities had 110 deputies which were

21 elected on the basis of municipalities. Each municipality elected their

22 representative to the Chamber of Municipalities in the parliament.

23 Q. So what jurisdiction were you elected in? Which area did you

24 represent?

25 A. The Chamber of Citizens is a legislative body which approved, or

Page 3579

1 rather, drafted proposals to legal documents together with the government.

2 It had jurisdiction over all proposals or drafts at the level of the

3 republic. And they initiated proposals of bills which were to be passed

4 or approved at the federal level.

5 Q. I'm sorry. My question is: What is the electorate, the area,

6 that voted in the election in which you were elected? Is it for the

7 Opstina of Prijedor or was it on a national level or regional level?

8 A. The Chamber of Citizens was elected in the following way: There

9 were seven regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And depending on the size of

10 the region, a certain number of deputies were to be elected. As far as

11 the Bosnian Krajina is concerned, there were 25 deputies to be elected.

12 And it all depended on the number of votes that the relevant party

13 received during the election. So the House of Citizens, the Chamber of

14 Citizens, its members were elected on the basis of the so-called regional

15 principle.

16 Q. Were you elect as a member of a particular party on a particular

17 list, and if so, can you explain how that list is made up?

18 A. When I indicated that I was the president of the regional board, I

19 did not mean to say that I was elected to the office of the president of

20 the regional board. The nature of this function was a coordinative one,

21 and it happened as a result of a number of coincidences, because the town

22 of Prijedor had the majority of Bosniak population. And it was actually

23 the town of Prijedor which deserved this function, not myself personally,

24 so I was acting as the president of the regional board which drafted the

25 list of candidates for the Chamber of Citizens at the regional level. And

Page 3580

1 during one of these sessions, I was nominated as the first person on the

2 list of SDA party members for the Chamber of Citizens of Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina.

4 Q. As a member of the parliament in Bosnia, did that give you public

5 exposure? Was there any way for the average people to know what was going

6 on in the parliament?

7 A. All sessions of the parliament were broadcast directly through the

8 media. There was TV coverage for all parliament sessions. So it was

9 through my work and my appearances in the parliament that the public of

10 Bosnia and Herzegovina had the opportunity to become familiar with my

11 person and work. The same goes for many other deputies, too.

12 Q. You talked about the ethnic makeup of Prijedor.

13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps we could put S1 on the ELMO.

14 Q. While that's being prepared, Witness, Doctor, can you tell us what

15 was the breakdown in the population according to the 1991 census in

16 Prijedor?

17 A. According to the 1991 census, there were 44 per cent Bosniaks,

18 42.5 per cent Serbs, 5.5 per cent Croats, the remaining citizens of

19 Prijedor belonged to other ethnic groups, Bosnians, Bosniaks, Yugoslavs.

20 In the village of Trnopolje, there were other nationalities, other ethnic

21 groups, too. There were 17 different minorities in Trnopolje of different

22 origins, Czech, Ukrainian, German, Hungarian, and so on and so forth, 17

23 different minorities, different minorities of European origin.

24 Q. Before you is S1 on the screen in front of you, and as you can see

25 it is colour-coded to indicate the predominant ethnic group in various

Page 3581

1 settlements, towns, and municipalities. Do you find this to be roughly

2 accurate as to how the ethnicities were distributed within Prijedor?

3 A. Essentially, as far as I can tell, shown here on this map are only

4 certain points marking certain villages inhabited by Croats, Serbs, or

5 Bosniaks. But this way of presenting it is just not accurate enough

6 because the areas are not marked with precision, the areas in which

7 citizens of certain nationality live.

8 Q. Is it correct that there are also minorities in many of these

9 areas, that they're not pure -- can you explain, please. How were the

10 ethnicities distributed? Was it one pure ethnicity in various areas or

11 were there areas where they were intermixed?

12 A. This is the essence of what I tried to say. This map is

13 oversimplified. For example, it shows Ljubija marked in green, which

14 would probably mean that only Bosniaks lived there, but that's not true.

15 In Ljubija, there was a small percentage, minor percentage of both Croats

16 and Serbs, whereas on the other hand, in the village of Trnopolje, there

17 also lived a number of Serbs and other ethnic groups, too. All, for

18 example, in a number of villages such as Brezicani. Brezicani had a Serb

19 majority and a Muslim minority. Therefore, there were a number of

20 villages where citizens of all three ethnic groups were mixed, which is

21 not really shown clearly on this map.

22 Q. Was there a difference between how people lived and ethnicities

23 were mixed within the town and the area surrounding the town of Prijedor?

24 A. There was no essential major difference in the way of life. There

25 was a difference in terms of certain historic indications. Kozarac, for

Page 3582












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Page 3583

1 example, until the 1960s, was a municipality, as well as Ljubija, well

2 into the 1960s. And Prijedor was, in a way, on the same level as Kozarac

3 and Ljubija. But Kozarac and Ljubija, their citizens, they've always had

4 their own identity, very keenly felt. This especially is true of the

5 citizens of Kozarac. Kozarac, as a town, was established as a town in the

6 13th century, a long time before Prijedor, which was established in the

7 17th century. Omarska itself is also a separate entity in a way. It had

8 not been a municipality before, but due to the high concentration of

9 Serbian population in this area, there were over 20.000 citizens of Serb

10 nationality there, it was also displaying certain aspirations to become a

11 municipality in its own right. So that Prijedor was a agglomerate of a

12 number of different, let me say, entities.

13 Q. At the time of the outbreak of the conflict in 1992 in Prijedor,

14 were people affect, in your view, by memories of historical events in the

15 Second World War?

16 A. From the historical point of view, until 1942, Prijedor was

17 controlled by the so-called Ustasha government. This was the government

18 of the independent state of Croatia and its dictator, Ante Pavelic. It

19 was a time in which particularly the Serb peoples suffered a great deal of

20 damage and loss of lives, especially from Potkozarje. Many Serbs from

21 Potkozarje perished in the camp at Jasenovac. So that the way Serbs from

22 the region perceived the situation from a position full of pain in terms

23 of Second World War.

24 Q. Was there a difference in the history of various parts of Prijedor

25 and the role they played, these various areas, in the war?

Page 3584

1 A. When I spoke about Serbs, Serb citizens in Prijedor and their

2 sufferings, what I was mostly referring to was citizens of Serb

3 nationality who lived in the area of the Kozara mountain, the so-called

4 Potkozarje, which is an area traditionally with a partisan past. And this

5 area was a symbol in the former Yugoslavia, in Tito's Yugoslavia, of

6 brotherhood and unity, a symbol which Ante Markovic used, when he sensed

7 that Yugoslavia was in crisis, to found his own party and to point out, to

8 underline the importance of this epic or mythical, if you like, area of

9 Potkozarje. Known, famous, throughout the former Yugoslavia, even songs

10 from the area were sung throughout Yugoslavia.

11 On the other hand, we have the Omarska area, where there was also

12 a high concentration of Serbs. Historically speaking, this area had a

13 Chetnik past, marked by Chetnik ideology basing itself on Draza

14 Mihajlovic's ideology, which was to blame for many crimes against non-Serb

15 population during the Second World War.

16 Q. You mentioned the results of the 1991 census. Did this census

17 indicate any trend in changes in the population percentages of the various

18 ethnicities? In other words, how did it compare to earlier census

19 results?

20 A. The 1991 census showed a completely different picture of the

21 proportions, of the ratio between the different ethnic groups in Prijedor,

22 so that in 1981 apparently, there were 43 per cent Serbs, 38 per cent

23 Bosniaks, 6 per cent Croats, and citizens belonging to other ethnic

24 groups, or of other identities and allegations that I've mentioned before.

25 So the main difference between the 1981 and 1991 census is that in the

Page 3585

1 1991 [as interpreted] Census, the Serbs were an obvious majority. There

2 were 5 per cent more Serbs than Bosniaks, whereas according to the 1991

3 census, the overall picture was reversed so that the Bosniaks suddenly

4 became the majority. And the Serbs the minority, but the difference is not

5 that great. It really -- it's really a bit more than 1 per cent. In

6 absolute figures, this is 49.700 Bosniaks and 48.000 Serbs, which means --

7 which implies a difference of only 1.700 citizens in favour of Bosniaks.

8 Q. Doctor, without going into great detail regarding history, can you

9 tell us, at the time that you became the president of the SDA in Prijedor,

10 were the surrounding events involving changes in Yugoslavia, did they have

11 an effect in Prijedor, and can you briefly describe what the main issues

12 were at that time?

13 A. These changes date back to 1987, the changes within the Communist

14 Party. First in Serbia and then throughout Yugoslavia. The splitting up

15 of the system according to a national principle, first Slovenia bailed

16 out, and then Croatia, and the Bosnian delegation distanced itself. Then

17 the appearance, the emergence of Milosevic as an undisputed leader in

18 Serbia, and then his later political behaviour, his public statements. He

19 appeared as the guardian of Serbs throughout Yugoslavia. And as the

20 herald of an idea that was to divide the whole of Yugoslavia against

21 Milosevic, pro and against Milosevic. The essence of his idea was to

22 abolish the 1974 constitution, which afforded equal rights to all federal

23 units regardless of their size. So a republic as small as Montenegro with

24 only 600.000 inhabitants had the same number of delegates, the same number

25 of votes, in the federal parliament as Serbia with 8 million people. This

Page 3586

1 principle, however, guaranteed equality to all ethnic groups, a principle

2 founded by Tito, and up to that point always respected, observed.

3 Milosevic wanted to change this principle by introducing a new principle,

4 one citizen, one vote, whereby he could gain the upper hand in the former

5 Yugoslavia because Serbs were the majority ethnic group. This was

6 unacceptable to all other ethnic groups and resulted later on in the

7 disintegration of Yugoslavia.

8 What is essential for the case of Prijedor is that their situation

9 was very much reflected in Prijedor, and Prijedor was carved up into the

10 two opposing camps, the pro-Milosevic and the contra-Milosevic camps.

11 Q. Can you tell us which political parties belonged to the

12 pro-Milosevic and which to the anti-Milosevic camps?

13 A. As I've already said, even the communist party itself split up

14 into a number of anti-Milosevic factions. So that a number of

15 organisations within the communist party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, depending

16 on what the majority was in that particular region, Bosniak, Serb, or

17 Croat, these factions were also divided along ethnic lines, pro and

18 contra, pro- and anti-Milosevic. If talking about parties based on a

19 certain national zeal such as the Party of Democratic Action, the Croatian

20 Democratic Union or Serbian Democratic Party, speaking of these, it is

21 clear that the SDS backed Milosevic, gave him full support, as well as

22 other Serb parties founded in Bosnia-Herzegovina such as the Serbian

23 Movement of Reconstruction based on Vuk Draskovic's ideology in Serbia, or

24 the Radical Party, only established in Prijedor, in Omarska, whereas on

25 the other hand, part of the communist association, the then Social

Page 3587












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Page 3588

1 Democratic Party, Party of Democratic Action, and the HDZ were against

2 this.

3 Q. Can you tell us, was the SDA platform against Yugoslavia at the

4 time of its founding?

5 A. In the part of the founding programme of the SDA was the

6 preservation of Yugoslavia as an essential element for the survival of

7 Bosniaks in these areas. So the SDA viewed the problem of Yugoslavia in

8 the same way as all the other republics and all the other citizens of

9 Yugoslavia who tended to see Yugoslavia as a community of all the

10 different ethnic groups with equal rights for all. But they decidedly

11 opposed Milosevic's vision of Yugoslavia which offered no such equality.

12 Q. What was the effect of the Slovene and Croatian declarations of

13 independence upon the platform of SDA and its willingness to stay within

14 Yugoslavia?

15 A. The SDA cherished a theory of equidistance as Bosnia-Herzegovina

16 was multinational already in terms of its ethnic makeup. And by that very

17 fact had to observe a balance between Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. When

18 Slovenia and Croatia began to drift away from the former Yugoslavia, the

19 attitude of the SDA was: If Croatia stays as part of the former

20 Yugoslavia, we shall still consider that country as Yugoslavia, if only

21 Slovenia decides to leave and Croatia stays, because there will continue

22 to exist a balance between Croatia on the one side and Serbia on the

23 other. If Croatia should leave, too, secede from the former Yugoslavia,

24 then the balance is clearly compromised and that is no longer Yugoslavia,

25 but rather the Greater Serbia. Our attitude was that in that case, we

Page 3589

1 couldn't be left behind as only part of Greater Serbia and nothing more.

2 Q. Did the war following the Croatian declaration of independence in

3 1991, did that war have its effects upon Prijedor, and if so, can you

4 explain those.

5 A. The war in Croatia was a warning to the citizens of Prijedor. It

6 meant that the terrors of war could also spread to the Prijedor area, and

7 the citizens were wary of such a possibility, especially because we had

8 this analysis by a Slovene expert named Gersak, saying that it was

9 exactly precisely in the Prijedor area, due to its strategic importance

10 and position and its proximity to Banja Luka, there could be conflicts and

11 clashes in the Prijedor area.

12 Q. Did mobilisations occur within Prijedor, and did this have some

13 effect upon the populations?

14 A. Immediately after the war began in Croatia, the JNA wanted to

15 mobilise all citizens of Prijedor. There was an instruction from the

16 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina that its citizens should not take

17 part in this war against Croatia and against Croats. It was considered as

18 fratricide, and they were advised not to respond to mobilisation or to

19 callups to take part in this war against Croatia.

20 Q. From the time that you had served in the JNA during your

21 compulsory military service until the outbreak of the conflict in 1992,

22 had the JNA changed? And if so, can you explain those changes.

23 A. The JNA, at the time when I was serving my military service, that

24 was in the 1980s, early 1980, 1981, the army was Yugoslav in the true

25 sense of the word. It reflected the interests of all the ethnic groups,

Page 3590

1 all the nationalities living in the former Yugoslavia. There were several

2 elements showing this. I will only name the most important ones.

3 Above all, high positions in the army such as generals, in the

4 1980s, there were about six Bosnian generals and an equal ratio, a

5 proportional ratio of all other nationalities, too, Croats, Slovenes.

6 This was gradually lost so that in the 1990s, there was not a single

7 Bosnian general. And in the JNA, also other ethnic groups lost a number

8 of generals. So gradually, in a gradual way, the army became ever more

9 Serbian and ever less Yugoslav, in the sense of the word I have just

10 described.

11 Another important problem that gave rise to a certain amount of

12 mistrust by citizens from the other republics of Yugoslavia, other than

13 Serbia, that is, is that in 1989, the internal organisation and structure

14 of the JNA underwent thorough changes. Before, it was based mostly on the

15 republican principal and responded within the republican borders of the

16 former Yugoslavia. This new organisation scheme carved up the republics

17 without observing their borders and created a unitarian organisation.

18 Thirdly, a very important issue, they separated from the makeup of the

19 JNA, units of the Territorial Defence. Those were, we can say, republican

20 armies. Weapons were taken from their storage facilities and transferred

21 to the storage facilities of the JNA.

22 Q. Did the events of the war in Croatia affect people's confidence in

23 the JNA?

24 A. Wartime events added to the citizens' lack of confidence, the

25 Bosniak citizens, especially when speaking about Prijedor, because the

Page 3591

1 mobilisation that was carried out the first time when two brigades from

2 Prijedor were to be transferred into Croatia, the collection sites in

3 Jaruge, there were several witnesses there, witnessing to the setting up

4 of the 45th Kozarac Brigade, Colonel Colic was also there. There were

5 many soldiers there wearing Chetnik insignia, which stunned many people

6 into disbelief. They considered that this was untenable and unacceptable

7 for the JNA. Obviously, Colonel Colic did not mind. What's more, on that

8 occasion, he said that one should go to war in Croatia whereupon, a major

9 number of mobilised soldiers, both Bosniak and Croat and Serb, even Serb,

10 protested. Then he gave a nationalistic, chauvinist speech saying that it

11 was high time all Ustasha crimes against the Serbian people were avenged,

12 and that all those Serbs who refused to join in this were traitors, and we

13 would not regard them at all.

14 Those who joined in, who joined him, started to insult the other

15 Serbs calling them traitors and promising them revenge after they were

16 back from Croatia, which created an overall atmosphere of mistrust between

17 Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats because at this point, the JNA identified

18 itself fully with the Greater Serbian and Chetnik aims.

19 Q. You mentioned Colonel Colic.

20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


22 Q. You mentioned Colonel Pero Colic was and the Kozarac light

23 brigade. Was that a unit stationed, or headquartered in Prijedor?

24 A. The unit in question, while it was deployed at the front line was,

25 as far as I remember, quartered in Novska, in the theatre in Croatia.

Page 3592

1 However, once the war in Croatia was over, it came back and was stationed

2 in Prijedor.

3 Q. What other JNA units were in Prijedor?

4 A. The 43rd, if my memory serves me right, the 43rd Brigade which was

5 led by Colonel Arsic and Major Radmilo Zeljaja.

6 Q. Where was the actual headquarters of the 43rd Brigade?

7 A. The headquarters of the 43rd Brigade were in the barracks at

8 Urija, which is a Prijedor neighbourhood.

9 Q. Can you tell us if that unit was armed with any heavy weapons, to

10 your knowledge?

11 A. Both units were armed with various kinds of equipment, the kind of

12 equipment that is most commonly used to arm a brigade, including

13 artillery, which consisted of a number of tanks, guns, Howitzers, and, of

14 course, the usual infantry weapons commonly used by the units of this

15 size.

16 Q. You mentioned the Colonel Arsic and Major Zeljaja. Do you know

17 where they are from?

18 A. Colonel Arsic comes from Serbia. He's a Serb from Serbia proper.

19 He comes from the area of Sumadija, judging by his accent, that is, the

20 area of central Serbia. As for Major Zeljaja, he used to serve as a

21 member of the military in the town of Sarajevo. He was in charge of the

22 area of Sarajevo.

23 Q. At the time of the outbreak of the conflict, how many in your

24 view, your estimate, what percentage of the officers and men in those

25 units stationed in Prijedor were of Serb ethnicity?

Page 3593












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3594

1 A. Those units were -- those units consisted almost a hundred per

2 cent of the members of the Serb community, with a negligible percentage of

3 Bosniaks, Croats, and others.

4 Q. What about the police force in Prijedor? How was that broken down

5 as far as the ethnicity of its members?

6 A. The police force, as other major institutions within the country,

7 was predominantly Serb traditionally speaking, although the composition

8 of the Prijedor population, as I've already indicated, was equal, 50/50

9 between Serbs and Bosniaks. However, the police force had almost 80 per

10 cent of members of the Serb community. And as regards major offices,

11 major functions within the police, that was also the case. The similar

12 situation prevailed in all other major state institutions. I'm referring

13 to the judiciary, to the financial institutions, and other public

14 companies and public institutions in the town of Prijedor, which was more

15 or less the case with other major towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16 Q. When you talk about the distributions of these top posts, you're

17 speaking of before the 1990 elections. Is that correct?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 Q. Let's go and talk about now those elections in 1990. Can you tell

20 us what the results of those elections were in Prijedor?

21 A. The Prijedor parliament had 90 seats, of which the SDA, the Party

22 of Democratic Action, received 30 at the multiparty elections. The

23 opposition parties got a total of -- I'm referring to the Social

24 Democratic Party, the Social Alliance, the Liberal Alliance, and the party

25 of Mr. Murselovic, that is, the Party of Private Entrepreneurs, they had

Page 3595

1 30 deputies. The Serb Democratic Party had 28 seats, and the Croatian

2 Democratic Union, 2 seats.

3 Q. Was there any kind of agreement on the republic level between the

4 three national parties for the 1990 elections?

5 A. Yes, there was an agreement which was signed by the presidents of

6 the parties, Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Karadzic, to the effect that the

7 offices of the presidents of municipalities and chiefs of police in those

8 municipalities were either SDA or HDZ or SDS. One should go to the party

9 which had won the majority of seats. As for the offices of the deputies

10 to these two functions, they were to go to the second party, that is, the

11 party which had won the second largest number of votes. So specifically

12 for the area of Prijedor, since the Party of Democratic Action got the

13 majority of seats, in accordance with the said agreement, that party

14 should have gotten the offices of the president of the Municipal Assembly

15 and the chief of police. As for the Serb Democratic Party, they shall

16 have received the offices of the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly

17 and the deputy chief of police.

18 Q. What was considered the top position within the municipality?

19 A. The top position within the municipality, or rather positions,

20 were the office of the president of the Municipal Assembly, the

21 vice-president of the municipality, the president of the municipal

22 government, ministerial positions, that is, the offices of various

23 secretaries within the government.

24 Q. Which of these positions was considered the top position?

25 A. The top position was, of course, the position of the president of

Page 3596

1 the municipality.

2 Q. So who became the president of Prijedor municipality following the

3 elections?

4 A. Following the elections, the president of Prijedor municipality

5 was Mr. Muharem [as interpreted] Cehajic. He became the president.

6 Q. You indicated that the -- you told us the results of the elections

7 and that the SDA outpolled the SDS party in Prijedor. How did that

8 compare to the results in other municipalities in the Bosnian Krajina?

9 A. The Bosnian Krajina, generally speaking, is an area which,

10 according to the composition of its municipalities, is predominantly Serb

11 with the exception of the municipalities of Prijedor and Sanski Most. The

12 municipalities situated in the Sana River valley, Kljuc, Sanski Most,

13 Prijedor, and Bosanski Novi, which all of whom had major concentrations of

14 Muslim/Bosniak population. So in the town of Sanski Most, the Bosniak

15 population was predominant. They had five -- they were 5 per cent more

16 than the second largest group. But although there were more than 5 per

17 cent more Bosniaks in Sanski Most, it was the SDS that won the election

18 and not the SDA, as one would have expected in accordance with the

19 composition of the population. Whereas in Prijedor, although the Serb

20 leadership at Pale expected that, in view of the 1991 [as interpreted]

21 Census, Prijedor was considered to be a predominantly Serb town, they

22 thought that the election would be won by the SDS. But contrary to their

23 expectations, it was the SDA that won the election in Prijedor. So apart

24 from Jajce, which was geographically separated and situate towards the

25 south of the country, Prijedor was the only town in which the SDA won the

Page 3597

1 election, in that area of Bosnia. And I am referring to the Banja Luka

2 region, of course.

3 Q. You indicated that the Serb republic leadership was surprised at

4 the results, and the translation indicates "in view of the 1991 census."

5 Which census were you speaking of, regarding the 1990 election results?

6 A. I apologise. 1981. It was either my mistake or an error in

7 interpretation. I was referring to the census carried out in 1981,

8 because that census, that is, the census in 1991, took place after the

9 election which took place in 1990. So only the census of 1981 could be

10 taken into consideration because the census which took place in 1991

11 occurred after the election, and it turned out that Prijedor was

12 predominantly Muslim. But before that census had taken place, it was

13 somewhat surprising that the Prijedor, being a predominantly Serb town,

14 was now ruled by the SDA, that is, that the SDA won the election in

15 Prijedor.

16 I apologise, but I have to intervene in the interpretation. I

17 would like the interpreters to interpret the word "Muslim" with the word

18 "Bosniak." The word Muslim denotes religious affiliation, whereas

19 Bosniak is a term that denotes an ethnic group. Muslims can refer to

20 Albanians also, but the word "Muslim" should be interpreted as Bosniaks,

21 because it refers to the Bosniak population, the Bosniak ethnic group.

22 Q. Okay. Thank you. We'll try to do that, and I'll try to do that

23 also, and please correct me if I don't.

24 Sir, this victory for the SDA in Prijedor, did it have an effect

25 on your personal standing on the level of the republic with the

Page 3598












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3599

1 republic-level SDA leadership and your popularity among Bosniaks?

2 A. As is usually the case, it is the winners who become popular

3 amongst the population. So my popularity was the result of the fact that

4 Prijedor was the only town where the SDA won the election in the Banja

5 Luka region. This, later on, was instrumental in my being delegated to

6 the republic level as a representative of the SDA.

7 Q. Were you a member, then, of the main board of the SDA party for

8 the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And how old were you at that time?

11 A. This was in 1990, and I was 28 at the time.

12 Q. How did the SDS party react to the results of the elections in

13 Prijedor?

14 A. The SDS thought that the elections were not regular. They

15 expected a victory. So they lodged a number of complaints with the

16 election commission. And after these complaints had been reviewed by this

17 commission, the republic commission, it was established that the results

18 of the election were legal and regular, and that the procedure, the whole

19 procedure, was performed in a regular way.

20 Q. You talked about the agreement to divide positions. Can you tell

21 us if there were any problems in Prijedor implementing that agreement

22 between the three national parties?

23 A. The representatives of the SDS had a difficult time reconciling

24 with the fact that they had lost the elections in Prijedor and that a

25 certain number of very important positions which, so far, were

Page 3600

1 traditionally Serb positions or belonged to the members of the Serb

2 community, they expected that they would only strengthen their position in

3 the town. But now, those positions were supposed to go to the SDA party,

4 so they tried to obstruct the results -- the implementation of the results

5 of the elections.

6 Q. Were you personally involved in the negotiations regarding the

7 division of positions in Prijedor?

8 A. Yes, I was.

9 Q. At one point did the leader of the SDS party intervene in the

10 negotiations, Mr. Karadzic?

11 A. Since even after almost two months, the local government in

12 Prijedor was still not established, and since the town was in crisis

13 because the SDS did not wish to implement the results of the elections,

14 Radovan Karadzic became personally involved. At one point in time, he

15 invited me to have a talk with him after one of the sessions of the BH

16 parliament, together with Mr. Srdjo Srdic.

17 Q. What was Srdjo Srdic's position at the time that you had that talk

18 with Mr. Karadzic?

19 A. At the time, Srdjo Srdic was the president of the Serbian

20 democratic party, and a deputy to the Chamber of Citizens of the Republic

21 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So basically, his position was very similar to

22 mine.

23 Q. In those negotiations, what did the national agreement call for,

24 and can you explain the positions of the various -- of yourself and Mr.

25 Mr. Srdic in those negotiations?

Page 3601

1 A. At the beginning of each such talk, I advocated the position that

2 we should implement the results of the elections. Initially, I thought --

3 I believed, and this was our initiative, that all parties should be made

4 part of the process, including the opposition parties, and that they

5 should all participate in the local government. I thought that this would

6 create a more stable position, a more stable government, for the

7 municipality of Prijedor, which was severely opposed by the SDS, and in

8 particular, Mr. Srdjo Srdic. We then made a second proposal. They

9 insisted that the opposition parties should not be part of -- should not

10 participate in the government. Then we proposed that the positions should

11 be distributed amongst the three parties, the SDA, the HDZ, and SDS, in

12 accordance with the election results, which again was rejected by the

13 delegation of the SDS and Mr. Srdjo Srdic, implying and alluding to the

14 fact that the SDA had 32 seats within the parliament and HDZ only 2 which,

15 for them, meant that they would constitute a minority, that the Serbs

16 would be a minority within that government because they thought that the

17 other two parties would probably try to form a coalition, which was not

18 specifically stated by them at the time but which later became to be known

19 as an Ustasha/Muslim coalition.

20 Our next proposal was that the government should be divided 50/50,

21 that the SDS would get 50 per cent of the seats and the SDA also 50, which

22 was a concession for the SDS. And then that the SDA should allocate a

23 certain number of positions to the HDZ. With these concessions to the

24 SDS, we wished to create a balance and a stable political situation in the

25 municipality. But this, again, was rejected by the SDS, and then the

Page 3602

1 conversation, the talk with Mr. Karadzic followed.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's appropriate to have a break now.

3 The trial stands adjourned until 11.00.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.

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

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And we can continue

7 immediately.

8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.

9 Q. Doctor, I want to regress a moment and go back to talking about

10 the JNA. Was there an incident in 1991 where a JNA unit passed through

11 Prijedor that received some publicity in which you were involved?

12 A. In the summer of 1991, I think probably August or late July, I was

13 at work. I was practicing medicine, and a number of citizens, in a very

14 agitated state of mind, told me that several tens of JNA tanks passed

15 through Prijedor. Their agitation was easy to understand,, in view of the

16 ongoing war in the neighbouring Croatia. Prijedor was only 30 kilometres

17 far from Croatia. I drove in a car with several citizens to see what was

18 going on, and I could see that in the Prijedor airport, Urije, there were

19 between 20 and 30 tanks stationed there. When I talked to several

20 officers to tell me what was going on, they either did not want to offer

21 an explanation or simply didn't know. They said that only their superior,

22 General Uzelac, had the authority to speak about that because he was in

23 command of the operation.

24 On my way back, I saw a car in which I noticed a very high-ranking

25 officer. I motioned with my hand, and the car stopped. I came out of the

Page 3603












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Page 3604

1 car. I approached the other car. And out came a colonel who said his

2 name was Colonel Kostic, who was the chief of the intelligence service, of

3 the military intelligence service of the Banja Luka corps. In my role as

4 a deputy and on behalf of the parliament, I requested him to provide an

5 explanation as to what was going on to help allay the tensions, rising,

6 mounting among the citizens at that point. He replied that the army did

7 not have any obligation to account for anything, that the only place they

8 can be called to account for something was in Belgrade. I then told him

9 that the army should be under the control of civilian authorities, and

10 that their responsibility was not only to the general staff but also to

11 organs of civilian authority. The parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina

12 was, according to the constitution, the highest body, the highest

13 authority, so the least to be expected at that point was to have

14 information provided on what was going on.

15 In the contrary case, the implication would be that Yugoslavia at

16 that point was based on dictatorship-like relations, like a military

17 junta, without any power for civilian authorities. His reply was rather

18 abrupt. He said that he wished to discuss with me no further, and that's

19 how our conversation ended. Deputy Srdjo Srdic, before I managed to

20 explain what was going on, in the parliament, he came forward accusing me

21 of having been very arrogant. He said I arrogantly asked questions about

22 something that, in his view and in his words, was not within my

23 competence.

24 Then I came forward, took the floor, and explained that I merely

25 requested information from the army, so that I could go out to the

Page 3605

1 citizens and explain to them what was going on. The army completely

2 ignored my request, and I'm not speaking of myself as myself personally,

3 Dr. Mirza Mujadzic, but rather as a deputy member of parliament of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This caused -- gave rise to a number of different

5 reactions in the parliament. Representatives of the SDS reacted in a very

6 negative way -- there was an uproar -- while members of other parties

7 approved my reaction. This indicated the attitude of the parliament of

8 Bosnia and Herzegovina towards the JNA. It was divided on that issue,

9 just like all Yugoslav citizens were divided at that time into two camps,

10 two factions, pro-Milosevic and anti-Milosevic.

11 Q. Was this exchange at the parliament and the speech of Srdic

12 televised?

13 A. Yes. Both speeches, both mine and that of Mr. Srdic were

14 televised, so that citizens throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina had the

15 opportunity to listen to both these discussions in the parliament.

16 Q. You talked about the Territorial Defence forces and the fact that

17 there was a change in their organisation -- and correct me if I am wrong,

18 but I believe you testified this morning about the JNA taking control of

19 the weapons of the Territorial Defence. Is that correct?

20 A. Yes, that's correct. That's true of all the republics of the

21 former Yugoslavia with the exception of Slovenia. In all of the republics

22 of the former Yugoslavia, the JNA took all the weapons in possession of

23 the Territorial Defence units which were as much as republican armies.

24 They took all the weapon from the storage facilities, both light and heavy

25 weapons, and transferred them to their own storage facilities. The only

Page 3606

1 place where they failed to do so was in Slovenia, because the Slovenian

2 authorities prevented this in good time and prevented them being

3 transferred to the JNA storage facilities from their own facilities.

4 Q. In 1991, was there an occasion in Prijedor where some of these or

5 some weapons were distributed by the JNA back to TO units?

6 A. Yes, that's correct. During 1991, a part of the weapons in

7 possession of the Prijedor Territorial Defence was distributed throughout

8 the local communes of Prijedor municipality. These are small territorial

9 entities. There were around 70 of these in the Prijedor municipal area.

10 Q. Can you briefly describe what events had triggered that

11 distribution of weapons.

12 A. This was on Colonel Arsic's initiative. As a representative of

13 the SDA, I was invited to a meeting -- excuse me if I'm using a term which

14 is not adequate, but I think this was the council for national defence of

15 Prijedor municipality, presided by the president of the municipality and

16 attended by chief of police, chief commander of the Territorial Defence,

17 commander of the civilian protection. We were also invited to these

18 meetings as party presidents. Mr. Miskovic, who was then serving as party

19 president, Mr. Arsic and Mr. Zeljaja were also present as representatives

20 of the army. The session was chaired by the then president of the

21 municipality, Mr. Cehajic. The explanation for this sort of initiative

22 was provided by Colonel Arsic. He said that there was a certain danger

23 that the so-called Zenga which is how they referred to Croatian soldiers

24 of the then Croatian army, there was a danger that those could cross from

25 Croatia into Prijedor municipal area, the front line as I've said before

Page 3607

1 was very near. What triggered this is an incident in which five soldiers

2 crossed from -- into the neighbouring municipality Bosanska Dubica to the

3 village of Knezevica only 50 kilometres from Prijedor which caused fear

4 especially among the Serbian population. So the distribution of these

5 weapons took place following an explanation that the population had to be

6 protected from incursions by Croat paramilitary units.

7 Q. To your knowledge, was this distribution of weapons done equally

8 in all of the various settlements of Prijedor?

9 A. No, it was not distributed evenly or adequately in all places. We

10 were informed that some local communes with Muslim majority, Bosniak local

11 communes, in some of these, weapons were distributed that were antiquated,

12 wrong type of ammunition was distributed. Some handheld launchers with no

13 cartridges, quite useless. On the other hand, in other local communes of

14 Serb majority, the situation was different. In some local communes, there

15 were complaints that less weapons were given out than in those local

16 communes where Serbs were the majority.

17 Q. You talked about attending a meeting of an institution that was

18 translated as the national defence council. Is that an institution that

19 was provided for under the existing law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and can

20 you briefly explain the purpose of that institution?

21 A. Yes, indeed. The council for national security was designed to

22 function in the immediate threat of war. And of course, in war danger.

23 By virtue of his function, the president of that council is also the

24 president of the municipality, and he's also the civilian commander of the

25 defence of the town. And according to law, he's responsible for the

Page 3608

1 defence of the town on the local level. So both the chief of police and

2 the commander of the civilian protection and the defence, Territorial

3 Defence, are all under his authority. And also, in terms of, not really

4 immediate command subordination but in a certain sense, he was also the

5 superior of the army that was in the area.

6 Q. Did the law provide that the chief of police and the army

7 commander in that area would also be members of this institution, the

8 national defence council, on the municipal level?

9 A. The commander of the Territorial Defence, yes. As far as the army

10 commander, specifically in this case, Colonel Arsic, according to Bosnian

11 and Herzegovinian law was supposed to be present, but that was not binding

12 for him. So it was not binding, but in practice, that's how it worked.

13 Q. In your experience up until the -- during your presence in the

14 municipality in 1992, did you see evidence of cooperation between the army

15 and particularly Colonel Arsic and Major Zeljaja and authorities from the

16 SDS political party?

17 A. Although I sensed or intuited, and many people on the ground came

18 back to me with this sort of information, but I was still very reserved

19 for quite a while, because the JNA itself, despite all the changes that I

20 had described, declared itself publicly as the Yugoslav People's Army and

21 wanted to have nothing to do with any national allegiances. So the

22 information I received at the beginning, I was quite reserved. But then

23 in early 1992, February 1992, March 1992, more specific information

24 followed from people who saw JNA lorries in Serbian villages where weapons

25 were being distributed by JNA soldiers and were in certain places such as

Page 3609












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3610

1 above the village of Brezicani, where there were reports about the

2 existence of training grounds for Serbs. And these training grounds were

3 controlled by the JNA. At that point, I felt the need to draw Colonel

4 Arsic's attention to these facts. When I told him about it, he said he

5 thought this was not true. And although I had no photographs at that

6 time, I used a trick. I told him that we had photographs of this at our

7 disposal. He was then confused, and he said, "Well, okay, we'll look into

8 the matter then. Maybe some irresponsible officer did something like

9 this, but we'll certainly look into this matter."

10 Q. Skipping ahead just for a moment, after the takeover of the

11 municipality and the removal of the legally elected government from the

12 1990 elections, did you see evidence of cooperation between the army and

13 the new authorities of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor?

14 A. If you're referring to the period when the military, the so-called

15 military putsch took place in Prijedor, that is, when the army had the

16 legal organs of authority dismissed, that's the night between the 30th of

17 April and the 1st of May, the next morning, so on the 30th of April, that

18 is, on the 1st of May, we found the whole town flooded with military. In

19 front of all important town institutions, there were patrols, between 10

20 and 15 soldiers as in classical war films where the military putsch takes

21 place, outside the police station, outside the municipal building. But on

22 that day, Colonel Arsic officially distanced himself from this act. He

23 said these were -- this had been done by paramilitary units of the SDS.

24 However, it was abundantly clear that this was merely an

25 anti-declaration, and that this was not true because citizens recognised

Page 3611

1 soldiers from his brigade, or the brigade under the command of Colonel

2 Colic among the soldiers standing outside these buildings.

3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'd now like to briefly play a portion

4 of Exhibit S11, a video. And on the transcript of that, I'd like to play

5 the portion on page 2 starting with the announcer's statement by Rade

6 Mutic, and have that played and translated up to the response to the

7 questions from the journalist and the response from the guest, and then

8 stop the videotape.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Koumjian, do we have the transcript, the

10 interpreters?

11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Well, it's Exhibit 11A. Perhaps I could give

12 my transcript to the interpreters.

13 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, please.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we need three, for three booths.

15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Looking for a solution.

16 I don't think -- could the interpreters read off the -- they can't

17 watch the ELMO because the video will be on. We could come back to it

18 later after the next break.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have another copy here with the registry.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Would two copies be sufficient.

21 If the interpreters are ready, we can start the playing of the

22 video.

23 [Videotape played].

24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] We called him from Prijedor as he is

25 at the moment the person the best informed on events in Prijedor. For

Page 3612

1 already two months there have been fights with Muslim extremist in the

2 territory of the Prijedor municipality. For almost two months the town

3 was quiet but the town's surroundings were not. This was affirmed these

4 days. For the last three days, there are fights again. Can you explain

5 to us how, why?

6 First of all, one remark. It's not only me being the best

7 informed on events in Prijedor. All authorities and their bodies are very

8 well familiarized with events in Prijedor, and as I, maybe more than the

9 others, cooperate with them, I am familiar as well. Answering the

10 question about my opinion on fights in the last two months in the

11 territory of Prijedor municipality, they are not only in the territory of

12 Prijedor municipality. There are fights, more or less, fierce in all

13 Western Krajinas municipalities. Firstly, and it is known in public,

14 Muslim extremists attacked our units in Hambarine and Kozarac, and this

15 was the cause for what happened. We were not naive to think that combat

16 actions will not repeat. We were ready to meet the same attacks by

17 Ustashas and extremists and Muslim fundamentalists. And it happened these

18 days. The fights in Rizvanovici and Biscani are renewed, and at this

19 moment, we are in the process of liberating the Kurjevo forest, including

20 all inhabited areas there. In the first place, where the concentration of

21 Muslim forces is great, especially after the withdrawal from Kozarac and

22 Hambarine.

23 One Prijedor's unit on the Posavina front line in the region of

24 Gradacac. What is the situation there?

25 We have a very difficult task, because the unit is deployed in the

Page 3613

1 mountain, the rugged area where Muslim extremists are well fortified. But

2 in spite of that, as I've said, when the unit was departing for the front

3 line, they will carry out the tasks they have. There were days when they

4 were passing seven or even more kilometres in a single day. Their

5 performance is excellent."

6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.

7 Q. Doctor, do you recognise Colonel Arsic on that video?

8 A. Yes, I recognised both the journalist and Colonel Arsic. The

9 journalist is Mutic, and the soldier is Colonel Arsic.

10 Q. When Colonel Arsic said -- and I don't have the transcript in

11 front of me at the moment, but to paraphrase -- that "all of the -- it's

12 not only me being the best informed on events in Prijedor, all authorities

13 and their bodies are very well familiarized with events in Prijedor as I,

14 maybe more than others, cooperate with them." Is that consistent with

15 what you experienced and saw in Prijedor regarding the relationship

16 between Colonel Arsic and the authorities that took over power in

17 Prijedor?

18 A. Well, it was in this way that Colonel Arsic wanted to emphasise

19 that the responsibility for certain events was not only his, but that in

20 fact, members of government bodies were the people who were familiar with

21 what was going on. But in fact, he said that certain orders, although he

22 didn't say this expressly, but from a number of other events, it was clear

23 that some orders came from the civilian authorities of Prijedor as well as

24 certain instructions to certain units of the JNA and Territorial Defence

25 and police in Prijedor municipality, which he implicitly confirmed with

Page 3614

1 this statement of his.

2 Q. Going back to our discussion before the break, we were talking

3 about the division of posts, and you mentioned an incident at the

4 parliament where you had a discussion with Mr. Karadzic. Can you tell us

5 about that incident.

6 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat the last part of your question,

7 please.

8 Q. Can you tell us about what happened when you had the conversation

9 with Mr. Karadzic.

10 A. I said that the meeting was initiated by Mr. Karadzic himself, but

11 was probably the result of the complaints of the president of the SDS and

12 the leadership of the SDS on the SDA leadership. At least, this is what I

13 could gather from his words. Their leadership accused us , blamed us for

14 the failure of the agreement. And I said that we had made several

15 concessions to the SDS in order to reach an agreement on several

16 occasions, and that we were in favour of such an agreement and that we

17 wanted a more peaceful and more stable situation in the area of the

18 municipality. And that is what I told explicitly Mr. Karadzic. I

19 remember telling him that we tried to reach a solution, a peaceful

20 solution, but that the three proposals failed. He was very surprised. It

21 was obvious that he had had some different information. And throughout

22 that conversation, he tried to be as friendly and polite as possible. And

23 he tried to alleviate the situation which was obviously very difficult and

24 problematic. He even made a joke at one point, but one of his sentences,

25 which was uttered in a facetious manner could be interpreted as some kind

Page 3615












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3616

1 of warning. When I said that we would agree with the option where the SDS

2 would have 50 per cent of the seats and the SDA, which had the majority,

3 together with the HDZ would have only 50 per cent in order to reach an

4 agreement, and I thought that we demonstrated a considerable amount of

5 understanding by giving that proposal, he laughed. He smiled, and he

6 said: "Be careful with my people. Be careful with Serbs, because if they

7 get angry, they can be very difficult."

8 Q. Following these conversations, were there negotiations on the

9 local level to try to actually divide up each of the posts?

10 A. I forgot to mention that I had said to Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Srdic

11 during that meeting that I, personally, as the president of the party,

12 agreed with the proposal, but that I had to put it before our main board

13 and that I needed an approval for the proposal from the leadership in

14 Sarajevo as well, because there was a general agreement at the level of

15 the republic which was somewhat different from the proposal that I had

16 made in order to reach an agreement. And thanks to a number of people who

17 were quite understanding, I managed to convince them that this was

18 necessary and that the objectives would be served in the best way by

19 proceeding like that. And that was how the agreement was then carried

20 out.

21 Q. Again, the conversation you had with Karadzic, did that take place

22 at the parliament in Sarajevo?

23 A. Yes. This was a semi-formal conversation during one of the breaks

24 in the session of the parliament. Mr. Jovo Tintor, a very close associate

25 of Mr. Karadzic invited me to join Mr. Karadzic who at the moment was

Page 3617

1 together with Mr. Srdjo Srdic in the lobby of the parliament building.

2 And it was after this invitation that we had this talk in the presence of

3 Mr. Tintor.

4 Q. Just to make sure we understand the agreement you proposed, you

5 proposed that the SDS, which had received 28 seats, would receive half the

6 positions, and that the SDA party, which had 30 seats, would receive half

7 the positions by give some of its positions to the HDZ party which had two

8 seats. Is that correct?

9 A. That is correct, though I wanted to indicate that I did not wish

10 this type of agreement to imply any link of the SDA and the HDZ, though

11 there was a danger of such an interpretation, that there was an agreement

12 between the SDA and the HDZ. But we in the territory of the Prijedor

13 municipality, always endeavoured to apply the principle of equidistance in

14 our political actions, that there was always the same distance between the

15 SDS and the SDA, and the SDA and the HDZ.

16 However, because of that conviction of the SDS, we finally agreed

17 to this proposal, but we made it clear that did not imply any specific

18 link that we might have had with the HDZ.

19 Q. Can you briefly explain why did you want to avoid the appearance

20 that the SDA and HDZ were in alliance in Prijedor?

21 A. As I have already indicated, the population of the Potkozarje area

22 had suffered a lot during the Second World War and were the victims of the

23 Ustasha regime in the territory of the Prijedor municipality. Many Serbs,

24 even women and children, were taken to concentration camps in Croatia, and

25 they had painful memories from that period of time. So given this

Page 3618

1 historical burden, we wanted to demonstrate an equal amount of cooperation

2 with both sides, because Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a country, was

3 constituted on the basis of this principle, the principle of cooperation

4 between the three ethnic groups. Any alliance of any of the two ethnic

5 groups would cause -- would entail destabilisation of the country and

6 eventually lead to disintegration of the country. One of our primary

7 objectives was to preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina the way it was, and with

8 that in mind, we tried to retain this equidistance between the SDA, SDS,

9 and HDZ, to the extent it was possible.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honours, I'd like to have shown to the witness

11 Exhibit S97B. If that could be given to the witness to review.

12 Q. Doctor, have you had a chance yesterday to briefly review this

13 document?

14 A. Yes, I have briefly. This document is a rather detailed

15 description of the division of power in the territory of the Prijedor

16 municipality, including a number of significant political functions and

17 major public institutions which fell under the jurisdiction of the

18 municipal government. The proposal was drafted by a group of people. You

19 can see my signature on one of the pages -- on only one of these

20 documents. The remaining documents have been signed by a person whose

21 signature I cannot identify at this point because the participants in

22 these negotiations were not the same all the time. I have to point out

23 that nothing, none of the conclusions indicated in these documents have

24 ever been implemented.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the document please be put on the ELMO for

Page 3619

1 a short moment in time because it was not announced as a exhibit in

2 connection with this witness.

3 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe it was.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, no. Therefore, my request. Thank you.


6 Q. Is it correct, Doctor, that this consists of -- I don't want to

7 take the time to count now, but more than ten pages detailing specific

8 positions such as reading from the second page the 4th of July company

9 that the director would be SDA and deputy director SDS, that the Toplana

10 company, the director would be SDS, deputy director SDA, et cetera, for

11 many positions throughout Prijedor. Is that correct?

12 A. Yes, that's correct. There were such proposals. There were many

13 such proposals. This is only one of them.

14 Q. Is it correct, looking at the third page, there are proposals for

15 the court?

16 A. This is page 2. It would be page 4 in B/C/S, titled "Justice

17 Department". I believe that is the question that you have in mind.

18 Q. Can you just read the names of the positions that were being

19 assigned or divided in the justice area.

20 A. The basic court or the lower court and the president of the Court,

21 public prosecutors' office, the lower public prosecutors' office, deputy

22 public Prosecutor, and one more deputy public Prosecutor. As you can see,

23 there were two deputies to the public Prosecutor, one of the posts being

24 intended for the HDZ. Then we have the municipal public attorney's

25 office, municipal public attorney, deputy municipal public attorney, and

Page 3620

1 municipal misdemeanours court, and the office of the president of the

2 Court. So in total, that would be eight or ten key positions within the

3 justice department in Prijedor.

4 Q. I would now like to go to what is page 8 on the English

5 translation, but the page entitled "Public Security." And just to speed

6 things up, I'll read the names of the positions. It indicates the

7 Prijedor public security station, the chief of the station, the general

8 police commander, deputy commander, assistant for the -- word is

9 illegible. Assistant for crime, assistant for traffic, traffic police

10 commander, deputy commander, assistant commander, then the head of crime

11 division, the assistant for white-collar crime, assistant for general

12 crime, the head of legal affairs, the head of communication, the head of

13 material equipment department. And then below the public security heading

14 is a heading Prijedor Territorial Defence staff, and it indicates the TO

15 staff commander.

16 Is it correct that there was discussion regarding the division of

17 all of these post inside the justice, public security, and TO, and who

18 would be nominated for these positions?

19 A. There was no discussion regarding specific names. What was

20 discussed was the possibility of bringing these offices in line with the

21 results of the elections and that with time, the national -- the ethnic

22 composition of the police force should be changed, once again in

23 accordance with the ethnic makeup of the population and the results of the

24 elections. But of course, we were perfectly aware of the fact that this

25 would take time, maybe even years, and no one insisted on any dismissals

Page 3621

1 from the police force, only with the purpose of changing the national --

2 the ethnic structure of the police force. Since 80 per cent of the police

3 functions were occupied by members of the Serb community, we proposed, we

4 suggested that the long-term objective would be that once a specific Serb

5 police officer retires, then a new Bosniak police officer would be hired.

6 The overall objective being to have this structure of the police force be

7 reflective of the overall ethnic makeup of the community. So out of all

8 these top positions that you have enumerated, eight or ten positions, as

9 far as I know, only one position went to a Bosniak. So by asking for at

10 least three more positions, we tried to strike a balance within the

11 leadership of the police force.

12 Q. You mentioned that in the negotiations, specific names were not

13 mentioned. How did you actually arrive at a name? Let's take the

14 position of the chief of the police station. Who got that position, and

15 can you explain to us who proposed that person?

16 A. The position of the commander of the Territorial Defence and the

17 chief of police force, together with a number of positions within the

18 justice department, have a two-level type of subordination. In practice,

19 de facto, these people were nominated by the local level of government.

20 These people are -- their names are put forward. In the case of the chief

21 of the police, by the SDA of Prijedor to the minister, and it is the

22 minister who, de jure, in accordance with law, approves of the nomination

23 or appointment. But this is only in principal. In practice, he should

24 always approve the proposal that comes from the local level. So all of

25 these nominations to all of the posts that I have enumerated, the chief of

Page 3622












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3623

1 police, the commander of the Territorial Defence and the various judiciary

2 functions, are all discussed and proposed at the local level.

3 Q. So again, what you explained -- you were talking about the chief

4 of police. Is it also correct, the same thing, for the Territorial

5 Defence and for the president of the Court, the ministry of justice, the

6 Territorial Defence at the republic level would have to, de jure, approve

7 those nominations. Is that correct?

8 A. Yes, that is correct, the same principal being applied to the

9 judiciary, to the Territorial Defence, to the secretary for national

10 defence.

11 Q. In the case of Prijedor after the 1990 elections, who did the SDA

12 nominate for the chief of police position?

13 A. Hasan Talundzic.

14 Q. Was Mr. Talundzic a professional policeman, prior to that

15 nomination?

16 A. The position of the chief of police is a political position, so in

17 practice, both the chief of police and his deputy are politicians. The

18 remaining positions within the police force that you indicated are

19 positions which required previous experience in the police work, which is

20 not the case, in principle, for the chief of police and his deputy.

21 Q. So is it correct that Mr. Talundzic was not a professional

22 policeman?

23 A. No, he was not. He was an engineer who was employed in the

24 Ljubija mine ore company.

25 Q. Was there a particular problem with a deputy police commander

Page 3624

1 proposed by the SDS?

2 A. The post of the deputy police commander went to the SDS. However,

3 on two occasions, nominations were sent to Sarajevo which were not

4 adequate because nominations were sent in respect of individuals who only

5 had secondary education. But the law required a university degree for

6 anyone occupying the post of chief of police or deputy chief of police.

7 And the SDS accused the SDA, and me personally, for not letting the

8 nominated deputy chief of police. And that is the reason why they did not

9 want to discuss the remaining eight positions within the police force

10 which were important. And in this way, they obstructed any changes -- all

11 changes from taking place within the police force, and they accused us of

12 obstructing this process.

13 Q. Thank you. Moving from Prijedor back up to the level of the

14 republic and events leading to Bosnian independence, can you describe the

15 process by which the Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent?

16 A. As I have already said, the entire Yugoslavia, former Yugoslavia,

17 was divided in two camps, pro- and anti-Milosevic. A number of events

18 occurred which eventually led to the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Slovenia

19 having been the first republic to secede, which was followed by Croatia,

20 and then it was Bosnia's turn. Bosnia and Herzegovina had to make a

21 decision. They had to decide whether to remain within the rump Yugoslavia

22 or Greater Serbia, or to follow the example of the two previous republics

23 and call a referendum with the objective of deciding whether Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina should go independent, as Slovenia and Croatia.

25 As for the Croatian Democratic Union and the Croatian ethnic

Page 3625

1 group, the answer was a foregone conclusion because it was obvious that

2 the HDZ and the Croatian population within Bosnia and Herzegovina would

3 vote for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its secession from

4 Yugoslavia, following the example of Croatia. The HDZ and Croats in

5 Bosnia generally speaking refused any possibility of staying within

6 Yugoslavia.

7 As for Bosniaks, their position was, as I have described, that we

8 were not strongly opposed to any of the solutions. However, as I have

9 already explained, with the departure of Croatia, there would no longer be

10 appropriate balance within the rest of Yugoslavia, and we believed that

11 the only solution that at the time was acceptable for Bosnia was that the

12 issue of independence should be decided on a referendum. The matter was

13 brought before the parliament which voted in favour of a referendum. The

14 parliament decided that a referendum should be called, the question

15 being: "Are you in favour of an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina." I

16 must emphasise that the deputies of the Serb Democratic Party did not

17 participate in this voting, which does not mean that other Serbs, members

18 of other parties, did not participate in the voting.

19 Q. When was the referendum on independence held?

20 A. I'm afraid I don't remember the exact date. I think it was in

21 late February or beginning of March. Beginning of March probably.

22 Q. Do you recall when Bosnia was recognised by the European Union and

23 the United States as an independent country?

24 A. Yes. I remember clearly because it was associated with a number

25 of other events. That took place on the 22nd of May.

Page 3626

1 Q. I'm not talking now about United Nations.

2 A. Yes, you're right. That was quite a bit earlier. That was during

3 April. What I was referring to was recognition by the United Nations.

4 You're right.

5 Q. When was Bosnia recognised by and admitted as a member of the

6 United Nations? You mentioned it was associated with other events in

7 Prijedor. Can you tell us what was going on when you heard the news that

8 Bosnia had become admitted into the United Nations?

9 A. It was 7.00 in the evening. The event was televised on the 22nd

10 of May, 1992. At that moment, I was in my parents' house, and I heard

11 shots being fired. I went out of the house to see what was going on.

12 Several hundreds metres from my parents' house, I saw people gathering. I

13 approached them, and I saw that a group of people had gathered around

14 several people who were lying on the ground and a white Lada car. I came

15 closer to see what was going on, and I realised that two young men who

16 were lying on the ground were fatally wounded. In fact, already dead.

17 Three others were slightly wounded. One of them, as far as I can

18 remember, was not even wounded. I think there were six of them all

19 together.

20 Q. Where was this incident where the two men were killed?

21 A. The incident took place at the Polje bus stop which belonged to

22 the Hambarine local commune.

23 Q. You indicated you came to the scene of this Hambarine incident on

24 the 22nd of May. Were you there when the shots were actually fired?

25 A. No, I wasn't.

Page 3627

1 Q. You said -- you indicated you heard the shots and went to the

2 scene. About how far was it from your parents' house to where the car was

3 and the men were dying?

4 A. As I said, I think several hundred metres. Possibly 3 or 400

5 metres away.

6 Q. What did you do when you got to the scene?

7 A. I acted as any physician would. I examined the wounded. I saw

8 that two of them were dead, were shot dead, and that the remaining three

9 were wounded with wounds that didn't pose a threat to their lives. But as

10 I had no medical kit handy to administer medical care to the wounded, to

11 the injured, I asked for emergency, for first aid, to be called for the

12 wounded from a telephone in a local commune so that they could be assisted

13 because regular phone lines unlike the one at the local commune were

14 interrupted in that period. They were cut off. Also, another member of

15 the Territorial Defence who was manning the checkpoint was wounded. Ferid

16 Sikiric, he was wounded in the upper thigh a bit in the back.

17 Q. Doctor, you pointed to somewhere on your body. Could you stand up

18 and just point to the area where you saw the wound on Sikiric?

19 A. Sikiric's wound was approximately in this region. So we're

20 talking about the part between the lumbar region and the gluteal region,

21 the upper part of the upper leg, in this region here. Please excuse me if

22 anyone should not understand medical terminology, the technical terms, but

23 that's where the shot was located.

24 Q. May I --

25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, for the record, would it be accurate

Page 3628

1 to describe the area that the witness pointed at as just below the belt on

2 the right leg, slightly posterior on the right side about 4 inches to the

3 back in a posterior direction.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I completely agree with this

5 description.


7 Q. We'll come back to that incident. I didn't mean to go into

8 details with that now because it's out of sequence. But is it correct

9 that this happened the same day that Bosnia was admitted into the United

10 Nations?

11 A. Yes, that was on the same day.

12 Q. In these movement [sic], as the events unfolded in 1991 with the

13 war in Croatia, did it become apparent to people that Bosnia was moving in

14 this direction, and was it an issue, the future independence of Bosnia,

15 among the political parties?

16 A. Are you referring to the period in 1990, 1991, or 1992? Could you

17 specify, please? Or do you mean the entire period from the beginning all

18 the way to the war?

19 Q. Let's go to 1991, once the war in Croatia is going on. At that

20 time, did it become apparent that Bosnia -- that certain parties were

21 moving, the SDA in particular, towards seeking the independence of Bosnia?

22 A. At that time, our attitude was not so decided because the Croatian

23 issue had not been decided yet. At the moment, when Croatia was

24 recognised as an independent state, and as soon as it became clear that it

25 had seceded from the former Yugoslavia, it was then that we realised we

Page 3629

1 had no other way than to follow the same path.

2 Q. In late 1991 and early 1992, did the SDS respond to the events of

3 the Croatian independence and the movements towards independence in

4 Bosnia?

5 A. Perhaps it's slightly oversimplified to say it like that, but

6 there was a whole sequence of complex events in Bosnia and Herzegovina

7 culminating in the SDS leaving, walking out of the parliament. The

8 republics of Slovenia and Croatia and even Macedonia made it very clear as

9 early as 1991 to the federal government, which had made several

10 intervention inside the monetary system up to that point violating

11 principles embodied within the constitution, federal principles.

12 Actually, this was done by Serbia as one single federal unit led by

13 Milosevic. Croatia's and Slovenia's reaction was to stop sending federal

14 revenue back to Serbia, back to Belgrade. No financial means or revenues

15 that were related to the JNA were being sent. So I'm talking about the

16 period before the official recognition of these two states as independent.

17 In reply to Serbian incursions into the monetary system, they

18 started to -- they started to print their own currency. The nature of

19 these events was that Bosnia and Herzegovina could not remain aloof. The

20 HDZ also insisted that Bosnia and Herzegovina speak out on these events.

21 Our proposal was neutral. It was not as radical as the respective moves

22 by Croatia and Slovenia. Our proposal was to establish a fund into which

23 all the federal money would be pooled. So if Croatia and Slovenia at some

24 later stage, in negotiating the way to continue with Yugoslavia, if they

25 still decided to pool money into that fund, then Bosnia and Herzegovina

Page 3630

1 would continue to do the same thing. But unless the agreement -- that

2 this agreement was reached, then also we would keep the funds. So all the

3 political parties in the parliament agreed, with the exception of the SDS,

4 who categorically opposed any idea of stopping the money flow for

5 the JNA or for Yugoslavia. This was not logical, however, because they

6 were members of parliament of the Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament and

7 not of the Yugoslav parliament and also citizens of Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina, not Yugoslavia.

9 A number of other events, which due to lack of time I will not go

10 into now, culminated in the SDS walking out of the parliament. That's

11 between 1991 and 1992, and they founded their own Serbian parliament.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Let's please have a break now until

13 12.45.

14 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.

15 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. First of all, I have to

17 apologise for being late. There was a serious problem in another section

18 of our Trial Chamber. And in addition, I wanted to point out the

19 confusion we had beforehand. It was only caused that you, of course,

20 rightly mentioned that the document 97, it's provisional 97. And we, in

21 our binder, still have the 65 ter numbers, and this was 76. Therefore, I

22 would appreciate when coming back to these exhibits, please quote both the

23 former 65 ter and the new provisional number. Thank you.

24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Certainly. Thank you.

25 Q. Doctor, you talked about the walkout from the parliament of Bosnia

Page 3631

1 and Herzegovina by the SDS party. Was that in November of 1991?

2 A. I think it was a little later. As far as I can remember, it was

3 early 1992, the first days of January. The beginning of 1992 or possibly

4 the end of 1991. I can't remember the exact date.

5 Q. In addition to responding by walking out of the parliament, were

6 there efforts by the SDS to create regional organisations?

7 A. These events followed before the SDS walked out of the parliament.

8 This took place -- I can't say the exact date, but I think it was in the

9 autumn of 1991, possibly October. October 1992 -- I'm sorry, 1991. The

10 parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in session, and the media

11 published the information that Autonomous Regions of Krajina, old

12 Herzegovina, Romanija, and I can't remember. There was another autonomous

13 region, had been established and marked off as autonomous Serbian regions.

14 The only thing that struck us as suspicious is that some of the delegates

15 from the SDS did not attend the session of the parliament. When the news

16 came through the media, we were a bit taken aback by these events. And at

17 that time, we were at a loss as to how to interpret the true reasons for

18 the establishment of these regional structures or organisations. But

19 immediately afterwards, the presidents of these autonomous -- of these

20 regional structures spoke up and talked about the real intentions that

21 they were harbouring.

22 Q. Were these regions created in all areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

23 or were they created in particular areas of Bosnia, and did you notice the

24 criteria that was used in selecting the areas for the autonomous regions?

25 A. The basic criterion was to do it in those areas of Bosnia and

Page 3632












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3633

1 Herzegovina where Serbs were the majority so that, for example, the region

2 of Bosanska Krajina normally composed of about 60 per cent Serbs and 40

3 per cent non-Serbs was one of the largest such areas. And for the SDS,

4 beyond doubt, among the most important regional organisations or parastate

5 structures for the SDS, because Banja Luka was the centre of that region.

6 The biggest town in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serb majority.

7 Q. Was Prijedor historically considered part of the Bosnian Krajina?

8 A. Yes. It has always been a part of the Bosnian Krajina.

9 Q. Were there any efforts made to have Prijedor join the Autonomous

10 Region of Krajina?

11 A. Yes. At first, the reasons for the setting up of these regional

12 structures were justified by economic reasons so that professors from the

13 Banja Luka university came to explain that the only reason for the

14 establishment of these regions was regionalisation, and that there was

15 nothing else behind it, other than the idea of economic independence from

16 Sarajevo. Our reply was logical; if that is really the case, then let's

17 carve up the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina into regional units based on

18 economic, and not ethnic principles, because these regional units that

19 they had established were founded along national lines, and this was only

20 applied in areas with Serb majority. Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, Sanski

21 Most, towns in which the SDS did not have more than 50 per cent majority,

22 so could not vote to join the region of Banja Luka, they refused to join

23 the autonomous region.

24 Q. In January of 1991, was there a separation -- did the SDS set up a

25 parallel organisation, parallel to the municipal government headed by

Page 3634

1 Cehajic?

2 A. As a result of the establishment of these autonomous regions and

3 of the fact that a number of municipalities did not join the autonomous

4 regions in which the Serbs were not the majority, the result was the

5 establishment of the so-called Serbian municipalities, and that's what

6 happened in Prijedor also.

7 Q. Do you recall when that happened in Prijedor, the month and year?

8 A. I think that one such municipality was publicly proclaimed in

9 January or February 1991.

10 Q. 1991 or 1992?

11 A. 1992.

12 Q. Who became the president of that parallel government, the Serb

13 municipality of Prijedor?

14 A. The president of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor was Mr.

15 Milomir Stakic.

16 Q. Did you know Dr. Milomir Stakic prior to the 1990 elections?

17 A. Yes, we did know each other.

18 Q. How did you know Dr. Stakic?

19 A. Above all, we were in the same line of work. But even prior to

20 that, we often travelled together from Banja Luka to Prijedor on the

21 train. That's about 60 kilometres. As he lived in Omarska, which was

22 about halfway between Banja Luka and Prijedor, he used to get off at the

23 Omarska train station. So we shared some time, and we talked long before

24 these events. When he was a student at the medical school in Banja Luka,

25 we went to the same school in Banja Luka.

Page 3635

1 Q. Do you know what political party or political parties Dr. Stakic

2 belonged to?

3 A. As far as I can remember, in Omarska, the first party that was

4 founded was the Serbian Radical Party, which was the only branch of the

5 Serbian Radical Party throughout the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The

6 headquarters of this party was in Belgrade. And it seems interesting that

7 it was exactly in Omarska that they had the only branch in Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina. According to my information, Mr. Stakic was also involved in

9 the setting up of the Serbian Radical Party. But during the pre-electoral

10 period, the Serbian Radical Party entered an electoral coalition with the

11 Serbian Democratic Party, so that Mr. Stakic later, or perhaps even during

12 the pre-electoral period, became a member of the SDS.

13 Q. In the 1990 elections, was Dr. Stakic elected to the assembly, and

14 did he gain any position in the government, in the legally elected

15 government?

16 A. Dr. Stakic was legally elected as a deputy in the municipal

17 parliament in Prijedor and also legally elected as the deputy president of

18 the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.

19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'd like to show the witness Exhibit

20 93, which has the 65 ter number of 21.

21 That could be put on the ELMO for the witness.

22 Q. Witness, have you had -- Doctor, have you had a chance to read

23 this brief document, and can you tell us what it is?

24 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honours. Would my learned colleague

25 lay a foundation for these questions, whether this witness has ever seen

Page 3636

1 this document prior to this event. Because he's a fact witness.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objection dismissed.


5 Q. Doctor, can you tell us how you understand this document? What is

6 it?

7 A. As far as I can tell, although the image is not very clear, if I

8 may, I'd like to have a look at the original document or the copy

9 directly. All right. Now, the image is clearer so I can see very well.

10 This is a document showing the decision to elect representatives for the

11 annual BH-SDS convention in July 1991. Mr. Stakic, Mr. Kurnoga, and

12 Duskovinovic [phoen] were elected by the municipal board of the SDS as

13 candidates for the assembly, for the Bosnia-Herzegovina assembly of the

14 SDS.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd now like to show the witness Exhibit 94, which

17 had the 65 ter number of 25.

18 Actually, I think we could put the English on the ELMO, and I

19 believe the doctor is capable of understanding that.

20 Q. Doctor, do you recognise --

21 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honours.


23 MR. LUKIC: We have the same objections, and not to be

24 repetitious, we object every and single document on which does not appear

25 the signature of this witness. So just for the record. We'll clarify

Page 3637

1 these matters during our cross-examination.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. But you will understand that for the

3 same reasons, your objection is dismissed. But admittedly, I would prefer

4 if at the end of such a statement, the witness could be asked whether or

5 not he can identify the signatures of the persons on the document. Thank

6 you.


8 Q. Doctor, do you recognise this document as the minutes of a meeting

9 of the Serbian Democratic Party in Prijedor on the 11th of September,

10 1991?

11 A. Yes, I do. If you look at the document, it's obvious.

12 Q. And on page -- the bottom of page 3, the top of page 4 of the

13 English translation, is it correct that it indicates that a vote was held

14 for the position of vice-president of the party? A vote first for the

15 president, and then the vice-president of the party?

16 A. Yes. We were informed. I knew this even without looking at this

17 document, because we were directly and indirectly informed about the

18 elections in the SDS and that there were changes as concerns the position

19 of the president and vice-president. We did have interparty negotiations,

20 and it was crucial to know who the new representatives of the SDS would

21 be.

22 Q. Who were elected in the positions of president and vice-president

23 of the SDS party in Prijedor at this meeting?

24 A. At this meeting, Simo Miskovic was elected president of the SDS,

25 and Dr. Milomir Stakic was appointed vice-president.

Page 3638

1 Q. Thank you.

2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd like to now show the witness S96, which has the

3 65 ter number --

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we please stop one moment that we don't

5 get confused. We have in the B/C/S version, if the usher could please

6 present the B/C/S version, we have a handwritten part. And I don't know,

7 at the end is this a signature or what it is. It's the page ending with

8 the number 595.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was an electoral assembly, and

10 the electoral procedure is usually like that. And as can be seen from

11 this document, these rules were respected by the SDS. The electoral

12 procedure was governed by an independent body meaning people who were not

13 themselves be appointed, and the records, as the final document, were

14 certified and confirmed by people who were not themselves appointed. It

15 is obvious that the record was compiled by two persons. I think the first

16 signature is Vojnovic, Ilija, and the second Ilindzic, Dragan. These

17 persons were not, in a manner of speaking, involved in the procedure.

18 They just put a stamp on the record.

19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I perhaps think Mr. Lukic and perhaps

20 the witness could help me. I believe that only the handwritten notes are

21 translated. Is that correct?

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This was the additional problem. I wanted to

23 come to this later. Please, the last question, have you ever seen before

24 the signatures of the two persons in the two bottom lines of the

25 just-mentioned page?

Page 3639

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have never seen these two

2 signatures before. I simply read on the left-hand side, quite legible in

3 Cyrillic there are the names of these two people. I know both of them by

4 sight. They're no personal acquaintances, and I have never seen their

5 signatures before.

6 I was not able to identify their signatures. I merely read their

7 names on the left-hand side.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for your assistance. And if the usher

9 could then please put on the ELMO the following two pages in Cyrillic, but

10 not handwritten but machine-typed.

11 Could you identify this document? This is probably just a summary

12 of that what we found before as handwritten.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. This is a

14 summary from the Prijedor SDS meeting, pre-electoral meeting. That's

15 precisely what it is.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you identify on the second page, the last

17 line and the signature?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have here two different names. On

19 the left is the person who chaired the electoral session. His --

20 Savanovic, Dragan, whom I know personally, and the other person is the

21 recording clerk, Vinko Kos, whom I also know personally.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have before us a document without a signature

23 at the left-hand side. Correct?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And my question is just here evidently the

Page 3640

1 document tells us that the session was finalised at 19.30, and in the

2 document before, it states 20.20. Therefore was my question, how is it

3 possible to have this discrepancy?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I please have a look at the

5 previous document. Your Honour, President of the Court, as you can tell,

6 if you compare the first two pages of both records, you will see that both

7 records have completely identical dates and time given for the beginning

8 of the sessions. So 11th of September, 1991, 5.30 in the afternoon, both

9 bearing the same title. These are minutes from the Municipal Assembly of

10 the Prijedor SDS. I'm afraid that maybe you're not able to read Cyrillic,

11 so it's difficult, then, to assess the authenticity of these two documents

12 in terms of their identity. But in abridged minutes, mistakes like these

13 were often made because the level of organisation of parties such as the

14 SDS at that point probably did not involve any professional assistance in

15 terms of compiling records and minutes. So I believe this is an

16 accidental mistake and not a deliberate one, but I think that yes, these

17 two are identical documents.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for your assistance.

19 Please proceed with the examination-in-chief.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I would now like to turn to Exhibit S96, 65 ter

21 number 69.

22 Q. If we could put, perhaps, on the ELMO the page with the stamped

23 number ending in 8529, the B/C/S version ending in 8529 on the stamp in

24 the lower right.

25 Doctor, can you tell us what this document is?

Page 3641

1 A. I must point out that I haven't had an opportunity of seeing this

2 document. However, we were informed of the contents of this document

3 through the media in Prijedor in 1992 in the month of January when this

4 happened. A moment ago, I couldn't remember the exact date. Now I see

5 that it happened in January 1992. I remember quite clearly that when the

6 decision of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor was reached, that is, the

7 decision of the previously established Serbian municipality on the joining

8 of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor with the Autonomous Region of

9 Bosnian Krajina. The document is signed by Dr. Milomir Stakic.

10 Q. Just so -- to be clear for the record, when you say it's signed by

11 Stakic, do you really -- are you familiar enough with his signature to

12 recognise it, or are you stating that because that's the name underneath

13 the signature line?

14 A. In this case, I'm able to recognise the signature because I was

15 able to see his signature not only the documents emanating from the SDS,

16 but also on various kinds of medical -- medical documents such as

17 prescriptions which he used to sign, the documents which normally

18 circulated within the medical institutions and would sometimes reach me.

19 So I am able to recognise the signature of Dr. Stakic at any rate.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd now like to show the witness S101.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can the parties agree that for clarification,

22 not confusion, when there are additional questions, they be put

23 immediately? If the witness could be shown, please, the document once

24 more in B/C/S, in the English translation after the date, we don't have a

25 word but apparently in the B/C/S version there is a word. Could you

Page 3642












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3643

1 please be of assistance, what you can see there? After 17 January, it's a

2 question mark, 1992, and then the word afterwards.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The word is customarily written or

4 spelled in accordance with the rules of what was then called

5 Serbo-Croatian language, or the Bosnian language, that after the number

6 indicating the year, the word indicating the year would also follow. So

7 translated into English, it would be 17 January, the date, and then the

8 year, 1992.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you. And then we had on Friday a

10 short discussion on the third page which ends with 96A. Do you know a

11 Mr. Boro Bizgojevic?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Boro Piskojevic.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. I misspelled the name, if the usher

14 could present the third page after the B/C/S version.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the gentleman in question is Mr.

16 Blagojevic, who I didn't know. The word is misspelled. Obviously, this

17 is Mr. Blagojevic. I had only heard of him, but I did not know him

18 personally.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, thank you. Please proceed.

20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd like to show the witness S101, which has the 65

21 ter number of 84.

22 Q. Can you briefly tell us what this document is?

23 A. This is a decision on the election of deputies to the assembly of

24 the Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina, and the text goes on as

25 follows: "By secret vote out of several candidates, the following were

Page 3644

1 elected as deputy, Milomir Stakic, Milan Kovacevic, Milan Pelinovic, Simo

2 Drljaca, Dusan Kurnoga, Simo Miskovic, Dragan Siljak." The document is

3 once again signed by Mr. Milomir Stakic, in his capacity as the president

4 of the Serbian people's assembly, that is, the Serbian municipality of

5 Prijedor.

6 Q. Thank you.

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm finished with the

8 documents for now.

9 Q. Doctor, from your viewpoint. Back in late 1991, early 1992, did

10 you become concerned that an armed conflict or a war was coming to Bosnia?

11 A. I personally was rather worried with the way the events were

12 developing generally in the former Yugoslavia, the federal level, because

13 it was clear that Bosnia and Herzegovina would find itself in a very

14 difficult situation in view of its multiethnic character. Also, in view

15 of the fact that it's western borders were with the part of Croatia which,

16 at the time, was already a war zone. I am referring to the Serbian

17 autonomous region within the Republic of Croatia where conflicts had

18 already started. But even before that, on the basis of certain

19 developments within the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was clear

20 that certain political differences which were quite significant between

21 the SDS deputies and all other deputies to the parliament, let me mention

22 only one example. At the first session, it was necessary to take a solemn

23 oath, solemn declaration, as it is customary in all parliaments in the

24 democratic world. So the text of the oath, and I'm paraphrasing now was

25 "I pledge my loyalty, my allegiance to the Republic of Bosnia and

Page 3645

1 Herzegovina, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." The SDS

2 deputies insisted that the word order should be changed and that instead

3 of "I pledge allegiance to the Republic of Yugoslavia" the text should be

4 I pledge my loyalty to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and

5 then to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." This seems like a rather

6 banal and perhaps not too difficult a political problem. However, the

7 whole of the first session was spent discussing this seemingly banal issue

8 which was actually very important because when the first law was supposed

9 to be passed by the parliament, the law on the extension of additional

10 taxes of 3 per cent to -- for the budget of the Yugoslav People's Army, a

11 major split occurred. The SDS were in favour of prolonging this law. We

12 tried to find a compromise, but the SDS members, deputies, were adamant in

13 their proposal that we should continue supporting the JNA by acting like

14 this. We tried to find a different solution. And again, the whole

15 session was spent discussing this particular issue.

16 And as time went by, the conflicts within the parliament regarding

17 similar issues were getting exacerbated, and it became obvious that there

18 was a major rift between the SDS and the remaining parties which were

19 represented in the parliament. So after the third session of the

20 parliament, it became obvious that whenever political discussions end up

21 in a deadlock, that as soon as political discussions end up in a deadlock,

22 an armed conflict is likely to occur. And that is how all major armed

23 conflicts always occur in the world. So as I say, it was very difficult

24 to find an acceptable solution. It was clear that Slovenia and Croatia

25 were leaving Yugoslavia, and we all knew that an armed conflict as a

Page 3646

1 result of that would occur in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2 Q. Based upon what you saw in the armed conflict in Croatia, did this

3 cause you to have more concern about what an armed conflict would mean for

4 Bosnia and Prijedor?

5 A. We were worried for several reasons: Bosnia and Herzegovina is a

6 multiethnic country; however, its multiethnic character is not the result

7 of the mere fact that it is inhabited by Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks.

8 What further adds to the complexity of the issue is the fact that the

9 population is mixed even in small villages. So it would be rather simple

10 if Serbs only lived -- if one could say that Serbs lived in the western

11 part, that is, the eastern part of the country, Croats in the western part

12 of the country and so on and so forth. These three ethnic communities are

13 mixed in all areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And in the areas -- there

14 were, of course, areas which had a predominant ethnic group. However,

15 there were many other areas which were ethnically mixed, and it was

16 impossible to envisage a war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One couldn't say

17 where the front lines would be, and this is what we feared most at the

18 time.

19 Q. From your knowledge of the conflict in Croatia, did it appear that

20 the civilian population suffered during that conflict?

21 A. In Prijedor, we were able to hear terrible stories about the

22 events taking place in Croatia. Some of the stories were almost

23 unbelievable, but I personally heard a story told by a soldier who had

24 come back from the front line. Most of these stories were about the fact

25 that these soldiers destroyed everything that came their way, even a story

Page 3647












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13 English transcripts.













Page 3648

1 that they played with a severed head of a man there and other gruesome

2 incidents that I find very hard to describe here. At the time, I found

3 difficult to believe these rumours because after all, we were part of

4 Europe, living at the turn of the century, and we thought ourselves as

5 part of the civilised world. There was a direct line connecting

6 Stuttgart, Sarajevo, and the Adriatic coast, so we were closely linked

7 with Europe, with the western Europe. And Bosnia-Herzegovina, we felt,

8 was part of that world. On the other hand, this fact also instilled some

9 hope in us. We didn't believe that such events would happen in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, the reality in Croatia proved the contrary.

11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'd now like to play a portion of 65

12 ter number 805, a video, if that brief portion could be marked as an

13 exhibit.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this will be Exhibit S117.


16 Q. Doctor, if you could watch the screen while this video is played,

17 I'll have some questions for you afterwards.

18 [Videotape played]

19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps -- I don't know if we need a translation.

20 Q. Did you recognise that scene, Doctor, and can you tell us, were

21 you present when this speech was given? You have to answer out loud.

22 Sorry.

23 A. Yes, I was present at that session. And now, as I was watching

24 this, I was overwhelmed by the same feeling as then.

25 Q. In the video, because we didn't have it translated, and forgive

Page 3649

1 me -- and anyone correct me if I misstate, Dr. Karadzic indicated that the

2 Muslims were not ready for war and could face extinction. Is that what

3 you recall Dr. Karadzic saying at that session?

4 A. Yes, he said quite literally: "The road down which you are

5 headed" so that's the road to have a referendum and go down the path of

6 Bosnian and Herzegovinian independence, he said this road would lead

7 Bosniaks to hell. Bosniaks are not ready for war. They are unarmed. They

8 have no army. That road, he said, could lead to extinction for Bosniaks

9 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10 Q. When Dr. Karadzic said that the Muslims or Bosniaks were not ready

11 for war, do you believe that's true, at least in regards to Prijedor?

12 A. Essentially, I think that was equally true in all parts of Bosnia

13 and Herzegovina, not only in Prijedor. I know preparations carried out

14 for the defence from a possible attack that might issue from such threats,

15 Dr. Karadzic did say this sentence in public, but even prior to that,

16 threats were coming from lower levels. This is only a threat coming from

17 the very top, president of the SDS, about possible intentions by the SDS

18 if we decided to still go down the road that could take the Bosniaks of

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina to hell, as he said. Prijedor, like many other

20 cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- I am referring to Bosniaks and Croats,

21 not to Serbs now -- was not ready for defence, to defend itself from a

22 possible attack by the SDS or the JNA.

23 Q. Did you have any conversations with other individuals regarding

24 how to possibly prepare the people of -- or the Bosniaks and non-Serbs,

25 particularly the Bosniaks in Prijedor, for the possibility of a war?

Page 3650

1 A. We, conscious as we were of the events in Croatia and the real

2 danger for the war to spread, to spill over into Bosnia and Herzegovina,

3 conscious as we were of the strength of the JNA, allegedly the fourth

4 strongest military power in Europe at that point, the heavy weapons, the

5 aviation, and all the other weapons they had, we did take certain steps,

6 steps available to us at that moment, in order to prepare some sort of a

7 defence to protect the population.

8 Q. Can you describe those steps that you took.

9 A. At the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the presidency took the

10 decision that in the immediate threat of war, so we're talking about April

11 1992, throughout the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

12 Territorial Defence units were to be set up. Also, even prior to that

13 event, conscious as we were of the danger with the speech given by Dr.

14 Karadzic and other lower-level delegates preceding even Karadzic's speech

15 which was just the final confirmation of all our suspicions. All this led

16 us to carry out certain preparations, political preparations, too, for

17 people to understand that there was a real danger from the JNA because in

18 the minds of most Bosniaks, the concept of Tito's Yugoslavia of the JNA,

19 of World War II partisan past, all these had very positive connotations in

20 their minds. Someone had to explain that this was no longer the JNA they

21 knew, that this was the Serbian army posing a real danger to them. So

22 this was the first problem we were facing. We had to explain these things

23 to people.

24 Another problem was how to organise these people. We didn't have

25 any military structure at our disposals to use to organise ourselves. And

Page 3651

1 a third and most serious problem is lack of weapons, because we didn't

2 have any weapons or any serious weapons. To put up any serious form of

3 resistance to a force such as the JNA then was.

4 Q. Was there any obstacle to Bosnia obtaining weapons from third

5 countries?

6 A. Your Honour, probably you all know, but I'm going to repeat this:

7 In the early stage of the war, there was a prohibition -- there was a ban

8 on arms, so there was no legal way to import weapons. On the other hand,

9 even prior to that ban, throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were

10 joint patrols of the military and police. The whole country, ever since

11 November or December, I think, 1991, was flooded by patrols, checkpoints

12 being set up by the military and police jointly. That was because the

13 army was accusing the parties of obtaining weapons. This was a way to

14 control it. Between Banja Luka and Prijedor, for example, you can come

15 across three, four, or more checkpoints on any of the important roads. It

16 was absolutely impossible to transfer any considerable amount of arms into

17 the country from any of the sides, because Bosnia was simply closed off in

18 terms of communications from all sides.

19 Q. When you said that there was a ban and there was no legal way to

20 import weapons, are you referring to an international embargo -- arms

21 embargo on all the parts of the former Yugoslavia?

22 A. I would not like to broach here a major political issue relating

23 to the import of weapons into the former Yugoslavia, but with Your

24 Honours' permission, I will give my own opinion. Croatia was open to

25 Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy. Serbia, that is representatives of the

Page 3652

1 Serbian people, were armed directly by the JNA, which later was to

2 proclaim itself Serbian army. And practically, the SDS had behind it the

3 fourth military power in Europe, which one of the delegates once told me

4 directly as we clashed in conversation. She said: "You Muslims, what do

5 you think? We have behind us the JNA, a major military power. And what

6 do you have? You have no backing. You have nothing." That was only one

7 such comment that preceded the comments made by Mr. Karadzic later on.

8 Talking about the ban, it actually only applied to the Bosniaks,

9 because we were the only ones without weapons. So a ban on the import of

10 arms could not be referring to either the Croatian or the Serbian side,

11 speaking of sides. It only applied to the Bosniaks in practical terms, so

12 we were the only side hit by the embargo, and there was no way for us to

13 get weapons, no legal, or for that matter, illegal way, because due to

14 these checkpoints being set up and Bosnia-Herzegovina being closed off

15 from all sides, there was no way for us to get weapons into the country.

16 Q. Thank you. But just so the record is clear as far as the

17 evidence, is it correct there was an international arms embargo upon all

18 the states of the former Yugoslavia? Is that correct?

19 A. As far as I remember, yes, there was one.

20 Q. Did you have conversations with someone named Halilovic?

21 A. Yes, I did.

22 Q. Can you tell the Court who was Mr. Halilovic?

23 A. Mr. Halilovic was an officer of the JNA, the former JNA. He was a

24 major. And it was quite early, I think it was in spring 1991, as far as I

25 know, he left the JNA, disappointed as he was by processes transforming

Page 3653

1 the JNA into a Serbian army. Having realised that the events then taking

2 place would lead to war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he placed himself at

3 the disposal or - let me rephrase this, alongside with some other citizens

4 and officers of Bosniak and other nationalities, as far as I can remember,

5 these were not only Bosniaks - they set up or they called the Patriotic

6 League and took as their platform the platform of the presidency of Bosnia

7 and Herzegovina.

8 Just briefly, I will explain what this means, the platform of the

9 presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This means that Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina was in a situation where it would need to defend itself, and

11 it calls on all those who feel that Bosnia and Herzegovina is their

12 homeland and who see that Bosnia and Herzegovina is threatened by the JNA,

13 all those who were patriots should return and defend their country. It

14 struck me as logical. Mr. Halilovic was the president of the

15 Patriotic League and a man who started and initiated a patriotic action to

16 defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17 Q. Did Mr. Halilovic come to Prijedor, and did you have a discussion

18 with him regarding what could be done to defend the people of Prijedor?

19 A. Yes. Mr. Halilovic came twice to Prijedor. The first time he

20 came -- excuse me, I can't remember the exact date, but I think it was

21 around September 1991. And he familiarized me with this platform of the

22 presidency according to which the Patriotic League was to become an

23 organisation, initially not a military organisation, but an organisation

24 joined by all those who in the case of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina were

25 willing to defend it. So he went around visiting people in the field who

Page 3654

1 he thought would be willing to support the Patriotic League. We had a

2 talk, and I also gave my support to this idea because I thought that it

3 was necessary.

4 The other time he came was, I think, November or December, so late

5 in 1991. And that time, he was accompanied by another man whose name I

6 cannot remember. The words he was using are -- he struck me as an officer

7 probably, a military officer. This time, Mr. Halilovic wanted us to give

8 our backing to the foundation of the Patriotic League in Prijedor

9 municipality, which of course I agreed to. And we did support the

10 foundation of the Patriotic League on the municipal level, also

11 politically, above all politically, by politically mobilising a number of

12 people, by explaining the ideas and aims behind the patriotic league.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I'm afraid we have to call it a day

14 for today. And the trial stands adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.

15 [The witness stands down]

16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

17 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on

18 Tuesday, the 28th day of May, 2002,

19 at 9.00 a.m.