1 Thursday, 1 August 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, everybody. May we please hear the
7 case number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And today's appearances.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian and
12 Michael McVicker with Lise-lotte Karlsson for the Office of the
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Good morning.
15 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic assisted by
16 Mr. Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We may proceed immediately with the continuation
18 of the cross-examination until 9.40, please.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 WITNESS: NUSRET SIVAC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-Examined by Mr. Lukic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness?
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. I would like to ask you something about the year 1991, that is
1 September 1991. Do you know that the ruling SDA party in Prijedor did not
2 permit the recruiting commission to inspect the lists of the military
4 A. Your Honour, let me clarify this. In 1991, the Serbian Democratic
5 Party acting -- acting apart from the legally elected authorities in the
6 municipalities of Prijedor recommended to Serb military conscripts to
7 volunteer, as they said, but not to report to the Secretariat for National
8 Defence. Instead, they were to report to the barracks in Prijedor, put on
9 a uniform, and go to fight in Croatia.
10 The highest organs of government, the Republic of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina and other republic institutions explained that Bosniaks,
12 Muslims, and others should not be taken in by the Serb propaganda and that
13 they were not duty-bound to report and to put on uniforms and go to fight
14 in Croatia.
15 To make things even more absurd, at the head of the secretariat
16 for National Defence, Becir Medunjanin had been appointed in a legal and
17 regular way. He was a member of the Party of Democratic Action. But the
18 military command took advantage of this, the military command from
19 Prijedor, that is, headed by Vladimir Lasic, and Radmilo Zeljaja and they
20 staged an incident or, rather, they attempted to break into the
21 secretariat for National Defence by force and take away the list with the
22 names of all men liable for military service in the municipality of
23 Prijedor. In other words, Becir Medunjanin, as the secretary of the
24 military department in Prijedor was quite right. He was obeying
25 instructions coming from Sarajevo, from high authority, and he was right
1 not to give Radomir Lasic, Zeljaja and their associates to take by force
2 the lists of men liable for military service in the municipality of
4 Let me explain. Let me explain why they needed those lists.
5 Later on in 1992 when the Serb Democratic Party with the help of the army
6 and police took over power in Prijedor, they made use of these lists to
7 accuse all those who had not reported -- who had not responded to the
8 call-up and accepted the Serb ideology and gone to fight in Slavonia, in
9 Lipik and Pakrac, and also other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. All those
10 who refused to join the Serb army who were Muslims and Croats were accused
11 chiefly of this. This was one of the chief allegations made against them,
12 one of the main reasons for their being taken to the camps, to Omarska and
14 I will give you just one example. Stjepan Maric, an engineer, a
15 Croat who was the director of the electronic mathematical centre in the
16 Ljubija mines, although he was a Croat, was mobilised by force as an
17 expert on rocket systems, and he was taken off to the war theatre in
18 Croatia. He spent a certain time in Croatia at the war theatre but
19 managed to escape from there. He didn't want to kill his own people, the
20 Croatian people.
21 Stjepan Maric was one of the first people to be taken to the
22 Omarska camp, and he was killed in July 1992, although for a time he
23 obediently served in the army of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. May we conclude that your answer to my question is yes?
25 A. Yes. The legal authorities did not allow the paramilitary
1 formations led by Zeljaja and Arsic to get hold of the documents.
2 Q. Is it your testimony today that in 1991, in September, the JNA was
3 a paramilitary formation in Bosnia?
4 A. No. But it was taken on the character or, rather, already had
5 taken on the character of a single-nation army, and it included a large
6 number of paramilitary formations which they had under their control.
7 They were arming them. They were giving them uniforms, not to go into
8 further details.
9 Q. Your television company, from the beginning of September 1991, did
10 it tell you, when you were reporting on the JNA, to use the term "The
11 former JNA"?
12 A. Yes. Yes. All the journalists of Bosniak and Croatian
13 nationality used this term. Only the Serbian journalists still called it
14 the Yugoslav Army, the People's Army, which intervened between the
15 opposing sides. However, the army had lost its former character.
16 Unfortunately, it became a single-nation army and started killing their
17 own people.
18 Q. In your view, can the Serbs from Bosnia carry out aggression
19 against Bosnia?
20 A. The Serbs from Bosnia did carry out an aggression against Bosnia
21 with the help of -- with the help of their brothers on the other side of
22 the River Drina. It was not only Serbs from Bosnia who took part in the
23 killing of Bosnia. It was also the regular units from the former
24 Yugoslavia or, rather, from Serbia. So that in the area of Prijedor and
25 the Bosnian Krajina in 1992 there were parts of the Uzice Corps, the Knin
1 Corps, and other smaller elite units which had arrived there in order to
2 destroy Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. Do you know who commanded them?
4 A. Their Commander-in-Chief is now here in Scheveningen, and he is
5 being tried. I'm referring to Slobodan Milosevic. And those who
6 implemented his policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the most wanted men;
7 they are Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
8 Q. When you speak of the percentage of voters who voted for an
9 independent Bosnia at the referendum, do you know what percentage of Serbs
10 voted for an independent Bosnia?
11 A. I don't know exactly, but according to what I can remember of what
12 I reported from the referendum, I think that according to the statements
13 made by members of the electoral commissions I visited and I had an
14 opportunity to visit only a few polling stations, a large number of Serbs
15 voted for an independent and sovereign Bosnia. How many Serbs actually
16 voted for an independent and sovereign Bosnia we can only speculate,
17 because it is the right of every voter to vote in secret.
18 Q. Do you know whether the Croatian villages in the Ljubija
19 hinterland were armed, how well they were armed, and whether they obtained
20 weapons from Croatia?
21 A. The Croatian villages in the hinterland of Ljubija where the
22 Croatian Democratic Union was in power were armed but very poorly armed.
23 I have already said here that the Muslims and the Croats in the
24 municipality of Prijedor stood no chance. And the same applies to the
25 whole of the Bosnian Krajina. The area of Prijedor and Banja Luka, I will
1 repeat, was the largest military barracks in Europe, where there was a
2 concentration of large rocket systems. There was a large number of
3 soldiers of the former Yugoslav army who had retreated from Slovenia and
4 Croatia and the most elite units were there. So that the Muslims and
5 Croats in the area of the Bosnian Krajina stood no chance.
6 The weapons the Croats in the Ljubija hinterland and the Muslims
7 in Kozarac had managed to collect were very meager. They were very --
8 they were very badly armed in comparison to the Serbian army and police.
9 Q. Do you know that in March 1992 the villages of Donja Puharska were
10 already holding night patrols?
11 A. According to the decision of the executive board of the legally
12 elected municipal assembly, the citizens of Prijedor in the enclaves where
13 Muslims mostly lived were very upset because of frequent incursions by
14 rampaging drunken Serbian soldiers who, as I said, were stationed in
15 Prijedor and its surroundings. They would get drunk at night and enter
16 parts of town inhabited by Muslims or Croats. They would fire shots.
17 They would shout threats. They would provoke people. And as far as I can
18 remember, at one of the sessions of the then-legally elected municipal
19 assembly, a decision was made that the local communes inhabited mostly by
20 non-Serbs should set up patrols consisting of two or three men or set up
21 checkpoints where they could at least report when a group of Serbian
22 soldiers turned up so that someone could come from the main police station
23 and try to calm down the situation.
24 Q. Is your answer to my question yes?
25 A. Yes, it is. But these checkpoints were not of a militant
1 character. It was simply to control who entered into the Muslim enclaves,
2 into their depth.
3 Q. In March 1992, was there anarchy, smuggling, corruption in the
5 A. Your Honours, in my previous testimony, I have already explained
6 the political atmosphere in the municipality of Prijedor in early 1992.
7 This same situation obtained in 1991 as well. The Prijedor Municipal
8 Assembly was a legal body composed of about 30 delegates of the Party of
9 Democratic Action, 28 from the Serbian Democratic Party while the others
10 were deputies from other parties, and it was unable to reach a single
11 decision which was vital for the citizens of Prijedor only because in
12 making any decision, the work of the assembly was obstructed by members of
13 the party of the Serbian Democratic Party who in this way obstructed any
14 decision being reached including legislation important for the life of a
15 town such as Prijedor.
16 In this way, the Serbian deputies, by obstructing the work of the
17 assembly, only wanted to gain time. They wanted nothing to get better in
18 the municipality of Prijedor. And paradoxically, in the meantime, they
19 worked on establishing parallel Serbian institutions, a Serbian army, a
20 Serbian assembly, so that when they took power in late April 1992, they
21 could level accusations at the Party of Democratic Action and others,
22 saying that they were to blame for the fact that the Prijedor municipality
23 had gone from bad to worse.
24 Let me just tell you. After the national parties came to power,
25 only the leading posts were assigned in the municipality of Prijedor. All
1 the other posts and key positions in Prijedor organisations, companies,
2 and so on were never assigned. And one of the reasons for this was that
3 this was obstructed by the Serbian side. Ninety-five per cent of the men
4 in these leading posts were Serbs from the former system. And as I said,
5 it was not important whether someone had a membership card of the Serbian
6 Democratic Party. They all worked in a concerted manner on making
7 Prijedor an ethnically pure town and on having the other ethnic groups
8 disappear from the municipality of Prijedor.
9 Q. Was a Crisis Staff established in Kozarac headed by Becir
10 Medunjanin, in which Islam Bahonjic, Muta Tadic, Ilijaz Memic and Osman
11 Didovic participated?
12 A. When they saw what was happening in the other areas in Prijedor, I
13 think the citizens, when they saw they had been abandoned by the Party of
14 Democratic Action and its headquarters in Prijedor, a group of eminent
15 citizens of Kozarac set up their own Crisis Staff which functioned very
16 briefly. Unfortunately, they did try but it was too late. It was too
17 late for them to organise. They bought some weapons or received some
18 weapons, but the people of Kozarac never had a plan to attack any Serbian
19 village, and Kozarac was surrounded by Serb villages.
20 Their intention was only to try to defend their homes and their
21 town should the Serbian army and police set out to destroy Kozarac and
22 kill its people.
23 Q. In Ljubija in May 1992, Branko Bjekic was exchanged. He was a
24 police commander in Ljubija, a Croat by nationality. He was replaced by
25 Fikret Sarajlic who had been dismissed from his job in Prijedor, and he
1 was assisted by Drago Tokmadzic, Ismet Taric, Aziz Aliskovic and Velid
2 Krupic. In this way, they took over the police station in Ljubija. Is
3 this correct?
4 A. Yes, for a very short time. They did not agree to be commanded by
5 Simo Drljaca, and the extremists from the Serbian Democratic Party who had
6 taken over the police station in Prijedor.
7 Let me just mention to Their Honours that all the members of the
8 Crisis Staff, the so-called Crisis Staff of Kozarac and these policemen
9 headed by Fikret Sarajlic who took over the police station in Ljubija for
10 only a few days, they were all killed in Omarska.
11 Q. Your cousin Adnan took packages to Slavko Ecimovic at Krumovo or
12 he sent them by Dr. Esad and Hamed Cuk; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Yes, it is. My cousin Adnan was a school friend of Slavko
14 Ecimovic. They had gone to high school together. Slavko Ecimovic was the
15 best man at my cousin Adnan's wedding.
16 Q. According to you, how many detainees were there in the Trnopolje
18 A. When I got there, there were about 5.000 people, because the
19 elementary school which made part of that camp was full. The cooperative
20 centre with the large cinema hall was overcrowded, and there were also
21 other places. There is no need for me to explain it. It doesn't really
22 matter. But the largest number of the inmates were in the Trnopolje camp
23 under --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Technical problems. There is a noise.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's all right now. The largest
1 number of inmates in the Trnopolje camp were in the open air, in some
2 shelters they made themselves of sticks and plastic bags and blankets to
3 protect them from rain or sun.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know that Kurevo units were divided in four parts, that the
6 first one was headed by Kajmo Alagic and that his group was in the Ljubija
7 area, that captain Suad Halilovic was also in that group? The second
8 group who -- which had Slavko Ecimovic at its head, was in the area of
9 Zagar, Polje, Tukovi and Prijedor. The third group headed by Lieutenant
10 Asmir Muhic was responsible for the area of Rizvanovici, Hambarine, and
11 Biscani. The fourth group with Iset Mesic, nicknamed Hadzija, at its head
12 and Nenad Babic was in the area of Skela, Rasovci, and Puharska are you
13 familiar with this?
14 A. Just a moment because I have some technical problems. There, now
15 it's better.
16 Mr. Lukic, what you have just said in your rather exhaustive
17 question is information which is not supported by any documents. This
18 information about these groups has been taken from newspapers such as
19 Kozarski Vjesnik, and this was written by Zivko Ecimovic and Rade Mutic a
20 year after the power was taken, was seized in Prijedor. So the
21 information that you have given us now come from the well-known kitchen of
22 Zivko Ecimovic and Rade Mutic, and how relevant and how realistic it all
23 is up to you to decide.
24 If you want me to, I have a copy of Kozarski Vjesnik with this
25 article and I can give it to you.
1 Q. The information I have --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One microphone is on, but the other
4 one -- yes. Now we have two microphones.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Sometimes it's on purpose that only one is
6 on because we have some impacts on the clear line. What we heard before
7 was already the line from Banja Luka.
8 I just wanted to come back. You said just a minute before that
9 "If you want me to, I have a copy of Kozarski Vjesnik with this article
10 and I can give it to you." Please feel free to do so after the break this
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can do it in the afternoon, not
13 before that, because excerpts from Kozarski Vjesnik are in my room here.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. The information I have is that the facts were taken over from
17 Mirza's diary who participated in the attack on Prijedor?
18 A. Mirza --
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: That is not the testimony. There is no question
20 before the witness at the moment.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sustained.
22 MR. LUKIC:
23 Q. Did you ever read Mirza's diary? And Mirza participated in the
24 attack on Prijedor?
25 A. Mirza, and the initial B, is an old acquaintance of mine from
1 Prijedor, and he participated in the liberation of Prijedor in the same
2 group as Slavko Ecimovic. And some fragments of his impressions about the
3 event he told me, and I used them and included them in my book.
4 But let me ask you something, Mr. Lukic. Who did you get my book
6 Q. I am not allowed to testify from the place that I am at.
7 A. Well, my apologies. But if the subject about today's hearing is
8 my book, then I object. My book is not a document nor does it have any
9 archival value. My book was written for the public. And in view of the
10 profit and everything else that the publishers are taking care of, some
11 parts of my book were paraphrased without my knowledge, and I do not think
12 that my book is relevant here to be discussed here. As far as I can see,
13 all your questions actually arise from my book. But this is neither a
14 literary club nor a discussion about -- about a book. And you are not --
15 you are neither a literary critic nor an historian to judge my book.
16 I am quite ready to, in a regular procedure, in a civil action, to
17 account for all that I've put in my book before a normal court, including
18 Republika Srpska if it proved that it is impartial. And all those who are
19 mentioned in the book, if they think that I was not right to do that, why
20 don't they bring charges against me? As far as I know, I didn't present
21 my book to the gentlemen from the OTP and the Tribunal to use it when
22 writing the indictment against your client. I own up only to these
23 statements that I gave to the representatives of the OTP of The Hague
24 Tribunal and the statement that I signed, and I think you should leave the
25 book for some other time.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let me ask the parties to refrain from
2 discussing literature. It's on purpose that we have the witness before
3 us, and the purpose is that we hear directly from him what he experienced
4 to the best his recollection and not to go to third or secondary sources.
5 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, hearsay is allowed in front of this
6 Tribunal. This Defence would like to exclude that kind of evidence, and
7 if it's the case, we would refrain from these line of questions, but
8 unfortunately it's not. And I --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It has nothing to do with hearsay, to be quite
10 clear. The witness was confronted with a line of questions on all these
11 issues, and he answered in an adequate way, and I can see no merits to
12 come back to what I would call not hearsay but secondary sources.
13 Otherwise, we could read the book of the witness here and it would not be
14 necessary to cross-examine the witness.
15 MR. LUKIC: That's exactly what I'm doing. I never mentioned his
16 book. I used his book only to know and suppose what the witness could
17 know. If he does not know, he can say so. I have to have some kind of
18 source about the knowledge of the witness.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's right, but unfortunately, I can't here
20 go back to this part where you started, "Did you read this or that book,"
21 and this is the way the question I would not admit.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Are you aware who, on the 23rd of May, 1992,
24 broadcast a message to the people of Hambarine to hand down their weapons?
25 A. As far as I can remember, it was an ultimatum which was read by
1 newscasters of Radio Prijedor on behalf of the Crisis Staff of the
2 municipality of Prijedor, Serb Crisis Staff of the municipality of
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I should have known better already two minutes
5 before it's 9.40, and we have to prepare --
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I have some bad news. I just received
7 an e-mail that the satellite is down and we cannot get a videolink at the
8 moment. I propose that we continue until we hear that the link is back
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know that the OTP always has the best
11 information available, so therefore, please continue. You let us know
12 when it will be here, because we heard already the signals from Banja
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, perhaps -- I don't know if the video booth
15 has different information. I'll ask my contact to send us an e-mail when
16 they know otherwise.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The videolink has the same information -- the
18 video booth, excuse me, and they're trying right now to resolve the
20 MR. LUKIC: May I?
21 Q. [Interpretation] Did you say that Mile Mutic requested the
22 surrender of these weapons?
23 A. Yes. At some point, personally, the ultimatum to the people of
24 Hambarine to surrender their weapons was issued directly by Mile Mutic,
25 director of Kozarski Vjesnik and Radio Prijedor who, for a long time
1 before that, already wore the uniform of the perished Yugoslav army with
2 the high rank of the a major, I believe, a man who was trained at the
3 reserve officer school in Bileca. And according to my sources, he was
4 even a KOS man, that is, a man who was trained under the conditions of
5 special war to take over the role in the media and to use these media to
6 emit such ultimatums.
7 Q. And as for the front men of the SDA [Realtime transcript read in
8 error "SDS"], where were they and their families when the conflict broke
10 A. I can't hear. Oh, yes, I do. Mr. Lukic, let me make a brief
11 introduction. In preparation for earlier cases, I had the opportunity --
12 I had the opportunity to get certain documents which concern Prijedor, and
13 in a Radio Prijedor programme marking the third anniversary of the
14 liberation of Prijedor - that is how the Serbs called it - when the 30th
15 of May was proclaimed the most important holiday of the town, and that was
16 the day when the ethnic cleansing began. The leader of this democratic
17 party, Miskovic, said that when they launched the action on the 30th of
18 April to take over the power, Mirza Mujadzic came to the barracks and had
19 some talks there. Mirza Mujadzic went to the barracks to discuss with
20 Simo Miskovic and Drago Zeljaja and others and other people who were to
21 take over the power that night. And Simo Miskovic says openly, but he
22 glassed in silence over the most important thing, where they had reached
23 an understanding, that is to take the power without any bullet being
24 fired, that is, without force. And then it is said that the problems
25 arose only when they were discussing where to go to dinner after that.
1 Mirza Mujadzic, after that, that is after the power was taken
2 over, acting under the instructions of his friends in the SDS [As
3 interpreted] went somewhere to Hambarine field, somewhere in the area of
4 Carakovo where he spent -- spent some time. It is true that Dr. Mirza
5 Mujadzic earlier, at the time when it was still possible, had sent his
6 family somewhere outside Prijedor.
7 Q. Thank you?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think the question that was asked and that was
9 answered was "the front men of the SDA," but the transcript showed that
10 the transcript showed that the question said "SDS".
11 MR. LUKIC: That's right, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification to the record.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You say you were beaten in the Omarska camp. Is that correct?
15 A. It is. Not me only, everybody else too.
16 Q. What happened to your glasses as they beat you?
17 A. I did not wear any glasses in the camp of Omarska.
18 Q. And what is the dioptrics?
19 A. Well, now I think it's over plus five or something.
20 Q. And at that time in 1992?
21 A. I think it was 0.75 plus 0.75. But I had glasses and I used
22 glasses only when I dared use them because I was afraid, but as a rule I
23 did not use them because I did not really need them.
24 Q. Are you following the cases before the -- before the Tribunal and
25 especially the cases relating to Prijedor?
1 A. In the country that I live in, all I can do is keep up with agency
2 news from the Milosevic case, that is, only Milosevic's trial is in the
3 centre of attention. There is absolutely no information at all about
4 other cases.
5 Q. You are preparing a documentary film, and I presume that you see a
6 lot of material in relation to that, do you?
7 A. Well, let me tell you. I'm still gathering the material. I have
8 not yet embarked on that film. But I did -- but I recorded some of it
9 myself, travelling around refugee camps in Bosnia, that is, those areas,
10 those locations where the people from Prijedor still are. I also paid
11 visits to Prijedorians who live abroad and also prepared some episodes
12 about them. Perhaps I will use them in my documentary film that I will
13 shoot some day.
14 Q. Do you know when did Dr. Stakic start to grow his beard?
15 A. Well, I think that is his personal private matter when he started
16 growing a beard.
17 Q. But you described him that he started growing a beard, that he put
18 on weight, that he started growing older. Do you know when all that
20 A. No, no, no. It was the first day when I came here for the
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it is indeed a question the witness
23 cannot answer, to refrain from other comments.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sivac. Please receive my apologies if you found
1 some of my questions disagreeable. Thank you very much. This is the end
2 of my cross-examination, and I wish you a nice trip home whenever you
4 A. Thank you, Mr. Lukic, for your very correct examination. You're a
5 professional, and I also wish you plenty of success in your further work
6 in the defence of your client. Thank you.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are there any questions in re-examination,
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just learnt that there is a total breakdown of
11 all the lines, and we have to proceed. What about the video prepared?
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't -- I've asked what the status is of the
13 transcript. I believe by now we should have a transcript, although I
14 haven't received an answer, in B/C/S. We probably do not yet have a
15 translation, but if Your Honour wants to take a 15-minute break, I can
16 come down. I think by then we will probably at least have a transcript in
17 B/C/S for the booth. Your Honour may even want to take a longer break
18 because I have to say that the sound quality, as Your Honours heard the
19 first time, is actually much worse on the first portion of the videotape
20 than it was during the interview of Dr. Stakic. I don't know if the
21 interpreters want to hear it once in the booth, the tape, with the
22 transcript before they do it in court in front of Your Honours.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What is the intention? How many portions do you
24 want to --
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: There are three portions, a total of 15 minutes.
1 And actually, I do not think it has to be shown in front of this witness.
2 The witness may have some comments but it's a report by Mr. Mutic, I
3 believe. Mr. Sivac has already stated that. And it speaks for itself.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But it may be of some assistance that the
6 witness can give us one or other comment by his huge experience in this
7 case. But then before we start with the break, I personally have only one
8 question. Unfortunately, I haven't the transcript of yesterday already
9 before me, but could -- from the top of my head, you mentioned yesterday
10 in relation to one document, I think it was S243, on the destruction of
11 some buildings that there are several false documents on the market, and
12 it would be well known that indeed some documents are more or less fake
13 and produced only later. You were not asked and therefore you did not
14 comment on this.
15 Could you please explain for our better understanding a little bit
16 more what is this? Is it only a rumour or do you know that there are such
17 falsifications of documents and done by whom and for what purpose?
18 The background of this question is that it might be that in this
19 concrete case we have to rely on numerous documents, documents where the
20 authenticity is contested. And therefore, I would like you to explain to
21 us something about your knowledge on this issue of alleged false
23 A. Your Honours, Mr. President, the knowledge that I have, and not
24 only that I have but also the knowledge of the people who are currently in
25 power in the municipality of Prijedor, shows that a large number -- a
1 large portion of precisely cadastral books, land surveying books, and all
2 the other property records which relate to the property in the
3 municipality of Prijedor have been tampered with, have been changed. Some
4 were forged. And all the documents which are issued by the municipal
5 authorities in Prijedor need to be subjected to close scrutiny.
6 When it took over the power, the Serb Democratic Party, one of the
7 first things it did, was to take up some of the land surveying books and
8 property records, was to change, to forge the books and records there
9 regarding the owners. And people who go now there trying to re-enter
10 their property, their ownership, are running into serious trouble now.
11 That will be my answer. So I'd like to ask you to try to put all
12 these documents in line with documents which perhaps could be obtained
13 from Sarajevo.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So what I understand from your question is that,
15 first of all, these special kinds of cadastral books and land surveying
16 books, they are the ones you had in mind when you discussed on the forgery
17 of books and records or documents. Have you ever heard that there are
18 other documents or even newspapers such as Kozarski Vjesnik or orders
19 given by what kind of authority in the municipalities over or under the
20 headline "Crisis Staff," or "War Presidency"? Have you ever heard that
21 these documents were subject to forgery?
22 A. I have no information about that, but I wish to draw your
23 attention to a Kozarski Vjesnik issue, I'm not sure you're familiar with
24 it, which featured a map. I think that this Kozarski Vjesnik issue is
25 some time from April or March 1992. On that map, the Prijedor
1 municipality is divided into its Serb part and its Muslim part. And in
2 the accompanying text, it says that the Serbs own 70 per cent of the
3 territory of the municipality of Prijedor.
4 At that time already, they had turned to all the social ownership,
5 including large parts of the national park of Kozara, large public farms.
6 All the major companies, they simply said that all these companies should
7 belong to the Serb people. And Muslims were given nothing. They were
8 only given some small villages where Muslims, Bosniaks, and Croats used to
9 constitute a majority population.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. As mentioned before, we would
11 appreciate if this afternoon you could bring along this article you
12 mentioned before to court, and may I ask one additional question?
13 You are --
14 A. Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the framework of your research, did you ever
16 come into the possession of the Official Gazette number 1, 1992, of
18 A. No, Your Honour. Although through some of my private contacts I
19 tried to obtain some sort of documentation on the basis of which I could
20 make a film or write a new book. But what I was most interested in were
21 the minutes or, rather, the records from the Omarska and Keraterm camps
22 where inmates were interrogated and investigated.
23 Through my friends who are living there, and for their safety, I
24 must not mention their names. I tried to obtain one or more such records,
25 but after all my attempts, I was told that all the documentations about
1 the investigations carried out in the camps of Omarska and Keraterm were
2 burnt very soon after the camps were closed down. So the records were
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this.
5 Judge Fassi Fihri, do you have any questions? No. Judge
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Sivac, in your testimony of 1994 you said,
8 page 9 English version, at Serb meetings in Maricka, a village used by
9 Chetniks as a base and where most of the guards at Omarska came from,
10 people such as Radovan Karadzic and Jovan Raskovic from Knin and Krajisnik
11 appeared and Chetniks wearing uniform caps with cockades and other
12 insignia. Can you explain to us why this village or town became a base
13 for Chetniks and the meetings of -- Serbian meetings?
14 A. Your Honour, you are referring to the rally held in the village of
15 Maricka in front of one of the oldest Orthodox churches in the area. This
16 took place in August 1990 on a great Serbian holiday, Ilindan, Saint
17 Eligus feast day. Maricka was not selected by chance. A month or more
18 before this event took place, I was filming near this village, in another
19 village called Nisivici. I was filming a ceremony in which - I don't know
20 if this word can be translated or interpreted - but the foundations of a
21 church destroyed in World War II were blessed or consecrated. This church
22 had been destroyed by the Partisans, but it had been a Chetnik base during
23 World War II. Fifty years later, the authorities in Prijedor allowed
24 another church to be built on the same spot, and as early as that time,
25 several months before this took place, it was already evident. There were
1 improvised stalls around the church selling Chetnik insignia. Chetnik
2 music was being played very loudly, over loudspeakers, and this was deeply
3 offensive to all the other nations. And this was all done openly, not even
4 trying to conceal it.
5 I said that that area traditionally always nurtured the ideology
6 of Draza Mihajlovic and his followers, that for 50 years their wish to
7 continue along the lines put forward by their great leader, Draza
8 Mihajlovic, they wanted to cleanse all the areas where they lived of
9 Muslims and Croats. They wanted them to be purely Serb settlements. And
10 as I wrote in one of my texts, the masks people wore were removed at that
11 time. Things that had been long forgotten were brought out of the closet,
12 and the symbols of the Chetnik movement, the kokarda, were resurrected.
13 These places again became places where crimes could be committed, and I
14 was proved to be right.
15 Your Honour, Maricka was not selected by accident as one of the
16 places where the long concealed tradition had been nurtured, where revenge
17 had been planned for so long, where plans had been made that all non-Serbs
18 should be killed. And as General Mladic later on said in an interview
19 after the conquest of Srebrenica, after many, many years, we are revenged
20 against the Turks, as they called us, for their uprising and for
21 everything else.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Sivac, have you any knowledge about
23 Dr. Stakic's relationship with Radovan Karadzic and other leaders of the
24 Republika Srpska?
25 A. I have no evidence of this or any documents to prove it, but
1 probably in view of his post, he would have to have had contacts because
2 it was the policy of Radovan Karadzic and his associates that he so
3 diligently implemented in Prijedor.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Sivac, in your statement in the framework
5 of German participation in the UN Commission of Experts Prijedor Project,
6 in March of 1994, you mentioned the name of Ranko Curcija as the member of
7 Crisis Staff and said that he was also president of the radical Chetnik
8 party. Can you tell us about this party and about the activity of this
9 Serb Radical Party in Prijedor municipality?
10 A. Your Honour, the name of this man is Ranko Curcija. He was a
11 driving instructor in a driving school. For a very brief time in 1992, he
12 was at the head of the Radical Party, as far as I know, in Prijedor, and
13 he was a follower of the policy of his big idol Vojislav Seselj who he
14 received very warmly in the town of Prijedor one day.
15 A big rally of the Radical Party was held in the amateur theatre
16 in Prijedor, and it was attended by their leader, Vojislav Seselj, in
17 person. Ranko Curcija stayed in that position for a very short time
18 because he was not suitable. The leadership of the Radical Party
19 explained that Ranko Curcija was a Serb married to a Croatian woman and
20 that it was unimaginable that the Radical Party could be led by a person
21 who was married to a Croat and living with her.
22 Ranko Curcija was replaced. As far as I know he was sent off to
23 the battlefield somewhere as a punishment. And the post of the president
24 of the Radical Party was filled by my colleague, a journalist and banker,
25 Branko Maksimovic who was a correspondent of the Belgrade newspaper
1 Politika from that area.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you know other persons from the Prijedor
3 municipality who participated in the activities of the Serb Radical Party?
4 A. Yes, I do more or less. Branko Maksimovic's deputies were Kamenko
5 Radzenovic [phoen], also known as the Colonel Pukovnik, Slavko Gavronovic
6 who studied at university but never graduated. He was a student for over
7 30 years, and he was in the top leadership of the Serb Radical Party.
8 There were the Sovin brothers. I would mention each of their names, who
9 originate from an old Chetnik family and arrived in Prijedor from the area
10 of Drvar. And there were many others whose names I can't remember now.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Sivac. I have no more
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask to whom it may concern any
14 news from Banja Luka? Any updates?
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't have any, but I did find out that
16 apparently our computers continue to be down today and our transcript will
17 not be completed or hasn't been completed yet. It's still quite a ways to
18 go, and I think it's a difficult tape. We probably want to do it right.
19 I actually would prefer to do it right and I don't think it will be
20 necessary to have the witness here because it is a news report. He didn't
21 film it, and we have the reporter -- he has indicated that he recognised
22 the reporter who was speaking, Mr. Mutic.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I've just been informed that the
24 satellite system is still down.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Nevertheless, may I ask whether it is possible
1 to see the three portions after a break of half an hour and the OTP could
2 provide the booths with these portions that they can see it in advance,
3 that we at least have a slight impression? And the background is I want
4 to avoid a situation that either the Judges or the Defence later states
5 it's necessary to hear and to see this once again in the presence of the
6 witness before us.
7 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, if I may.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
9 MR. LUKIC: Dr. Stakic is sick. He had a temperature yesterday
10 and he has a temperature today. He only didn't want to complain because
11 he understood that this witness has to leave and that the videolink has
12 been prearranged in advance. But if the videolink is not likely to be
13 successfully connected today, with the permission of Your Honours, we
14 would like to have this -- today's session as short as possible so
15 Mr. Stakic can try to recuperate.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can I understand by commentaries that it's not
17 your intention to request the witness to come a second time for the
18 purposes of commentaries on the video?
19 MR. LUKIC: No, it's not our intention, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then I indeed -- the only remaining
21 question is that I would ask the witness to provide the article mentioned
22 before during this day to a representative of the OTP and this later on
23 can be forwarded to the Defence and the Judges.
24 At the same time, I want to thank you, Mr. Sivac, very much for
25 all your efforts to stand difficult questions from both parties, and I
1 think you gave us an in-depth view into that what from your perspective
2 happened at that time in Prijedor. And as I mentioned earlier, this is
3 the only basis we have for exercising our mandate to come as close as
4 possible to the truth on what has happened in Prijedor in 1992.
5 Thank you very much. You are excused. And I may ask the usher to
6 escort you from the courtroom.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the impression that
8 everybody's already bored with me.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is indeed a wrong impression.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, we have to take care of the health
12 condition of the accused. May I ask that the nurse of this Tribunal takes
13 contact with Dr. Stakic during the next break in order to find out whether
14 or not he is able to follow the proceedings, because indeed we have to
15 stand by, all participants, until we have the line, the connection, with
16 Banja Luka. Everybody knows how expensive such videolink is, and it can't
17 be substituted later. So therefore, we have to wait indeed until the link
18 will be possible.
19 And I would ask the Registry or the OTP, whoever knows first, to
20 inform the other participants that we immediately re-assemble in the
21 courtroom when we have the necessary information.
22 May I turn to now what still has to be established. It's only
23 very short. We did not decide on the admission into evidence of the video
24 presented by Mr. Sivac. I understand the entire video is tendered by the
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: The entire video that was played in court. I don't
2 know if Your Honours want the entire video because that includes a lot of
3 completely irrelevant information such as singing and a trip to
4 Scandinavia by a group. I would at this time offer the section of the
5 interview of Dr. Stakic. When we complete the transcript, I will have
6 another exhibit of the 15 minutes or so that are most relevant.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. So we limit it to the one minute and
8 eight or whatever it was we saw here in the courtroom.
10 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then this portion of this video is admitted into
12 evidence as S240.
13 May I ask the parties, did you receive this Chamber's decision on
14 Defence request to exclude evidence as inadmissible?
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we did, Your Honour, but I have to admit that I
16 haven't read it yet. I really didn't have time. I was preparing this
17 witness, so -- but as I understood, the documents were admitted into the
18 evidence, and I think that we will ask your permission to appeal.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Will you or do you?
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I do.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We just discussed this matter and we are aware
22 that this would be your conclusion. We discussed this issue beforehand
23 and, therefore, we decide as follows: Under Rule 73 of -- sorry, the
24 right to be heard for the OTP.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, but I have nothing to say, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then under Rule 73(B), the version of 1
2 May 2002, certification is granted because the decision involves an issue
3 that would significantly affect the outcome of the trial and the further
4 proceedings. It is important for the Trial Chamber whether or not this
5 Trial Chamber can indeed work on the basis of also these photocopies
6 included in the 81 documents. And furthermore, this might have an impact
7 on the expertise requested on the handwriting and the authenticity of some
9 Therefore, an immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may
10 materially advance the proceedings.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then after having heard the information on the
13 health condition of Dr. Stakic, we -- let's try to proceed. And please
14 let us be informed on that, what happens in Banja Luka.
15 The trial stays adjourned until further notice. Please, all the
16 participants stand by. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
19 [Closed session]
12 Pages 6804 to 6845 – redacted – closed session.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.55 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day
13 of August, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.