International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11348

1 Wednesday, 29 January 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

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

6 May I ask the usher to escort the witness into the courtroom

7 immediately. Thank you.

8 During the time, may we hear the case number.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is case number IT-97-24-T, the

10 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances, please.

12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann

13 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

15 And for the Defence, please.

16 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and Danilo

17 Cirkovic for the Defence.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then the witness of today

19 appeared as well.

20 [The witness entered court]

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Vila, good morning to you as well. You know

22 you gave us yesterday your solemn declaration. No doubt this is valid

23 also today.

24 So Mr. Koumjian, please.

25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.

Page 11349


2 [Witness answered through interpreter]

3 MR. KOUMJIAN: If I could ask the usher just to move the ELMO back

4 a little bit so we're not...

5 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian: [Continued]

6 Q. Good morning, sir.

7 A. Good morning.

8 Q. Can you tell me, sir, were you ever the most powerful politician

9 in Prijedor?

10 A. Within the political party that I belonged to - that was the SDP -

11 for a while I was the executive secretary, and I was professionally

12 employed in that party and I received a salary there. Later on I was the

13 vice-president of the municipal board of the Socialist Party of Republika

14 Srpska and the main board of the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska, but

15 that was later on.

16 Q. Did you ever hold what you considered to be the most powerful

17 political position - I'm not talking about party position - but position

18 in the civilian politics in Prijedor?

19 A. At that time in the executive government the most powerful

20 position was the president of the executive board, and today it is the

21 mayor, according to the new law on local administration.

22 Q. Okay. So your position is that in 1997 and 1998, when you were

23 president of the executive board, you were the most powerful political

24 figure in Prijedor?

25 A. I wouldn't say that I was a political figure. It was a figure

Page 11350

1 belonging to the executive part of the functioning of the administration

2 and the relationship with the population and with the economic subjects.

3 It belongs to the area of the application of laws and the exercise of the

4 rights of citizens.

5 Q. At that time, which political party did you belong to, in

6 1997-1998?

7 A. At that time I belonged to the Socialist Party of Republika

8 Srpska. That is correct. And as its candidate, after the verification of

9 the election result, I was appointed to the aforementioned position.

10 Q. Did the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska hold the most seats in

11 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly of any party at the time of your

12 appointment to the executive board?

13 A. In that period, the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska was the

14 second ranking party in Prijedor municipality, after the SDS. And we were

15 followed by the Party for Krajina and Posavina.

16 Q. Thank you. So in 1997, when you became the president of the

17 executive board, can you remind me -- I was a little bit unclear -- when

18 did you become the president of the executive board? At what -- during

19 what month in 1997?

20 A. I believe that the implementation and my appointment to that

21 position was in November of 1997.

22 Q. Prior to being appointed the president of the executive board,

23 were you a member of the assembly or did you hold another position earlier

24 in 1997?

25 A. Yes. I was on the list of my party as a deputy, and as a deputy I

Page 11351

1 was given a seat in the assembly. However, one cannot be a deputy and a

2 member of the executive branch of the government. These two are

3 incompatible, and that is why I had to return my seat of a deputy, and I

4 was replaced by the second ranking after me in the municipal assembly, and

5 I went to the executive branch of the government.

6 Q. Okay. Thank you. So my understanding is that in 1997, in

7 November, when you took the position of president of the executive board,

8 the SDS party was the leading party in the Prijedor Municipal Assembly

9 in -- within the Republika Srpska Prijedor --

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Who held the position at that time of president of the municipal

12 assembly?

13 A. At that time the president of the municipal assembly was

14 Mr. Borislav Maric, a member of the SDS.

15 Q. Sir, you've testified here in court that the president of the

16 executive board was a more powerful position than the president of the

17 municipal assembly. Is that correct?

18 A. That is correct.

19 Q. You've also told us -- we know that in 1990, after the 1990

20 elections, the SDA won the most seats in the assembly and was awarded the

21 position of president of the municipal assembly, and the second party

22 received the position of president of the executive board, that being the

23 SDS. We know from your testimony this morning that in 1997 the leading

24 party was the SDS and they received the position of president of the

25 municipal assembly, and the second party, your party, received the

Page 11352

1 position of president of the executive board. Can you explain, sir --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Why is -- thank you. Can you explain, sir, why it is that the

4 leading party would not take the leading position in the municipality in

5 both 1992 and 1997?

6 A. I can't tell you about 1992 because I was not a member of the

7 interparty agreement on the implementation and the distribution of power.

8 But about 1997 I can tell you that at the time the interparty agreement

9 took quite a long time and that agreement ended up with the distribution

10 of various areas. According to the law, they could ask for certain

11 sectors, and the minority population had the right to 20 per cent of the

12 seats in the executive government. In the interparty agreement, the first

13 thing that the SDS asked for was the president of the executive board, the

14 secretary-general of the municipal assembly, and the chief of the sector

15 for economy. These are the most powerful positions, and this could not

16 reflect the total SDS result in the elections. They insisted on being

17 awarded the position of the secretary-general of the municipal assembly

18 and the chief of the sector for economy.

19 Finally, the SDS accepted for their candidate to be appointed the

20 secretary-general of the municipal assembly, the president of the

21 municipal assembly, and the secretary of the sector for economy.

22 Q. Sir, in 1997 in the assembly in Prijedor, in the beginning of that

23 year, who was the president of the assembly?

24 A. You mean before the elections?

25 Q. Well, let's talk about the -- from January through July of 1997.

Page 11353

1 Who was the president of the municipal assembly of Prijedor -- 1997?

2 A. I believe that it was Dusan Kurnoga.

3 Q. In fact, sir, let me try to remind you. Wasn't it Milomir Stakic

4 who was the president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor in 1997?

5 A. I really don't remember the dates when people were removed and

6 replaced and when new people came into positions. It's very difficult for

7 me to remember those dates.

8 Q. Well, you do remember that after the war in 1996 and 1997,

9 Dr. Stakic was again the president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.

10 Correct?

11 A. Well, you have reminded me, and yes, I can say that this is

12 correct.

13 Q. Thank you. And it's correct, is it not, that Dr. Stakic

14 represented -- he was the candidate of the SDS party at that time;

15 correct?

16 A. At that time, I believe so. I believe that he was an SDS

17 candidate.

18 Q. And the SDS at that time controlled the -- had the most seats in

19 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly. They had the majority of seats; correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you know what happened to cause Dr. Stakic to no longer be the

22 president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor in 1997?

23 A. It was Mr. Borislav Maric who was the candidate for the president

24 of the municipal assembly. He was elected on the proposal of the SDS.

25 And upon the expiry of his mandate, I believe that Dr. Stakic returned to

Page 11354

1 the position of the CEO in the health centre or a doctor in the health

2 centre.

3 Q. Okay. So if I understand your answer, you believe that Dr. Stakic

4 at the end of his mandate -- you believe it expired sometime in 1997 and

5 then he returned to work in the Prijedor health centre?

6 A. Yes. I believe that this is what happened. There were the

7 elections, that -- one set of mandates expired, and that the new set of

8 mandates was put in place and was implemented.

9 Q. Okay. Let me suggest some things to you and you tell me whether

10 these remind you of events that took place back in 1997, some five or six

11 years ago. Do you recall that in July of 1997 Dr. Stakic was the

12 president of the municipal assembly and in the middle of that month SFOR

13 arrested Mico Kovacevic -- Dr. Milan Kovacevic and attempted to arrest and

14 during that attempted arrest killed Simo Drljaca? Do you recall those

15 events taking place in Prijedor in July 1997?

16 A. I remember the arrest of Dr. Kovacevic and him being taken away.

17 I also remember the incident in which Simo Drljaca was killed, but I'm not

18 aware of the fact that it was -- that there was a failed attempt to arrest

19 Dr. Stakic. I'm not aware of that.

20 Q. Well, I hope -- I don't believe I stated that, so let me -- I

21 believe I said an attempt to arrest Mr. Drljaca.

22 Sir, did you ever see Dr. Stakic after that day when Mr. Kovacevic

23 was arrested?

24 A. On one or two occasions I saw him in the health centre in

25 Prijedor.

Page 11355

1 Q. Do you recall the months that that took place?

2 A. No, I can't recall that.

3 Q. Did Dr. Stakic -- let me try -- suggest something to you and tell

4 you -- and you can tell me if it reminds you. Did Dr. Stakic leave the

5 position of president of the municipal assembly before the expiration of

6 his term?

7 A. I believe so, because the implementation of the results was in

8 November 1997 and from the June events to November, I don't remember that

9 Dr. Stakic was physically in the position of the president of the

10 municipal assembly and that he discharged the duties of the president of

11 the municipal assembly. I believe that acting president of the municipal

12 assembly was Mr. Radanovic, who at the time held the position of the

13 vice-president of the municipal assembly and who, when the president was

14 absent, would take the place of the president. Now, as for the real

15 reasons for the president's absence during that time, I wouldn't be able

16 to tell you what those were.

17 Q. Thank you. Sir, Mr. Radanovic, who you just mentioned, is that

18 Momcilo Radanovic, nicknamed Cigo?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was Mr. Radanovic one of those persons you referred to -- well,

21 excuse me. Can I -- perhaps we can go into private session.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can see no objections.

23 Private session, please.

24 [Private session]

25 (redacted)

Page 11356

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 [Open session]

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One second. Thank you.


15 Q. Sir, did you know Dr. Stakic outside of the municipal assembly?

16 Did you know him socially or professionally in other ways?

17 A. He was an acquaintance, and I didn't know him before I met him in

18 the assembly. He was not my physician. We never socialised outside the

19 building of the municipal assembly.

20 Q. Would you run into him around the town? Would you see him in

21 public places?

22 A. Very rarely. I saw him maybe once or twice when he was playing

23 snooker in a restaurant. He was in the company of two or three young men

24 or men of his age whom I didn't know.

25 Q. From your observations of -- excuse me. Did you ever go to his

Page 11357

1 office in 1992? Did you ever go to the office of the president of the

2 municipal assembly?

3 A. I can't remember. It may have been once or twice. When I

4 represented my group of deputies, when we were talking about the agenda of

5 the upcoming session. But this was not me talking to him, but I was

6 always accompanied by other people and there was always the

7 secretary-general of the municipal assembly present there.

8 Q. Would you describe Dr. Stakic and your knowledge of him

9 professionally as being an intelligent person?

10 A. It is very hard to judge somebody who is of a different

11 profession, who comes from a different walk of life. I believe that he

12 was a promising doctor, and I believe that as a young and inexperienced

13 person he was pushed into the politics and he wasn't aware of how politics

14 worked. He was politically inexperienced when he was pushed into that

15 sphere of life.

16 Q. Sir, you haven't answered my question. Do you believe Dr. Stakic

17 was an intelligent person? Can you answer that.

18 A. Of an average intelligence, I would say.

19 Q. In your dealings with Dr. Stakic, would he listen to other

20 individuals?

21 A. I have said, and I will repeat that. Whenever I met Dr. Stakic,

22 it was in connection with the preparations for the upcoming session of the

23 assembly. We were talking about the items on the agenda. And as far as I

24 could notice, he would listen to the proposers, be it the executive board

25 or some other proposers. He would listen to their suggestions. He would

Page 11358

1 accept their suggestions. And together with the secretary-general of the

2 assembly, he would finalise the preparations for the session. The

3 secretary-general was in charge of preparing all the technical details of

4 the upcoming session of the assembly.

5 Q. In your contacts with Dr. Stakic when he presided over the

6 municipal assembly in 1992 and later, when -- after the war ended, of the

7 Dayton Agreements, you indicated you attended about 80 per cent of the

8 assembly sessions or more -- did he appear to be a president who was

9 informed about events that were taking place in Prijedor?

10 A. Based on what was presented to the local parliament, it is my

11 impression that he was aware of what was taking place in Prijedor. During

12 the assembly session, he would also give introductory remarks and

13 explanations on various items of the agenda. As the president of the

14 municipal assembly, he was very correct in his presiding over the session.

15 He would give the floor to everybody who asked the floor and he would give

16 everybody the opportunity to express their views.

17 Q. As the president of the executive board in 1997, your office was

18 on the same floor as the office of the president, is that correct, the

19 same floor of the municipal assembly building?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. Did the president of the municipal assembly and the president of

22 the executive board receive media - for example, Kozarski Vjesnik, Glas

23 newspapers - and official documents like the Official Gazettes of Prijedor

24 in order to keep informed of the events?

25 Q. At that time I believe that Kozarski Vjesnik, Glas, and

Page 11359

1 Oslobodenje were the papers that were ordered and received. And as for

2 the Official Gazette, the Official Gazette was received by the technical

3 services who had to be abreast of the new laws and their implementation.

4 So the Official Gazette was mostly received and followed by the

5 secretary-general and his staff.

6 Q. And you as the president of the executive board could request

7 reports. And in fact, you yourself testified you requested reports from

8 the security services regarding their activities, and they responded and

9 reported to you. Correct?

10 A. Very rarely at that time. Maybe once or twice throughout the

11 whole mandate we discussed the security issues at a session of the

12 assembly. For a simple relation, political relationships were stabilised,

13 the implementation was in place. We had some more urgent things to

14 discuss. And at that time the political and security situation was

15 already stable. Refugees started coming back. The situation between the

16 people and various ethnic groups, started improving. And that's why we

17 didn't discuss the security situation that much.

18 Q. On page 46 of yesterday's LiveNote, line 5, you said: "I did

19 request some reports on the political and security situation and the

20 security of the citizens. I never requested anything else, any other

21 reports, and there are no other contacts." And the question that you were

22 responding to had to do with giving orders to the Ministry of the

23 Interior.

24 So sir, did you request from the police or Ministry of the

25 Interior reports, and did they respond and give you those reports?

Page 11360

1 A. I believe that there has been a misunderstanding. While I was in

2 the position of the president of the executive board and earlier on, the

3 executive board could not order anything to the Ministry of the Interior

4 or ask from them to do certain things. The only thing that we could ask

5 from them was a report on the political and security situation for the

6 assembly session. As far as I can remember, throughout all of my mandate

7 it -- such a report was considered at an assembly session once or maybe

8 twice.

9 Q. Let me repeat the question. Did you ask for reports from the

10 Ministry of the Interior and did you receive those reports that you asked

11 for?

12 A. Repeat. Once or twice throughout my entire mandate a request was

13 filed with the Ministry of the Interior to report on the political and

14 security situation, and they sent us the report and it was discussed, but

15 I can't remember at what session of the assembly was it that we discussed

16 such a report.

17 Q. Sir, yesterday you discussed on your direct examination the duties

18 of the president of the municipal assembly, and you listed certain limited

19 duties, setting the agenda, presiding over the sessions, representing the

20 municipality when there were delegations of dignitaries or special events.

21 Is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did the president of the assembly also speak to the media? Did he

24 represent the assembly in the media?

25 A. Well, some of his duties concerning managing the work of the

Page 11361

1 assembly, yes. Concerning those subjects he did speak to the media.

2 Q. When you talk about delegations, would that be, for example, a

3 delegation from Banja Luka of regional leaders coming to Prijedor, that

4 they would be met by the president of the municipality?

5 A. Usually the president of the assembly did host such delegations

6 during my term of office as the executive board. But the president of the

7 executive board and the secretary-general of the municipality were always

8 there too. Usually there was a group of three or four representatives of

9 the local community hosting such delegations. That -- welcoming such

10 delegations. That also depended on the type of delegation that was

11 arriving. Were they from the republican organs? Was that an

12 international delegation? Usually a protocol would be drawn up and an

13 agenda would be set with subjects to be discussed so that adequate

14 preparations could be made.

15 Q. Do you recall in the summer of 1992 Radoslav Brdjanin, who was

16 then the president of the Crisis Staff for the Autonomous Region of

17 Krajina visited Prijedor?

18 A. He was not a guest of the parliament. Now, whether he was

19 welcomed at the building of the municipal assembly, I really don't know.

20 Q. Were you present during his visit at any time, to the best of your

21 recollection?

22 A. No, never.

23 Q. You've described these rather limited duties of the president of

24 the municipal assembly. You told us that this is a professional position,

25 so it's a position that he's given a salary for, as opposed to the nominal

Page 11362

1 salary that normal deputies get; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Given how limited the duties are that you described, why is it

4 that this is a full-time position? What does the president do all day?

5 A. Well, in addition to problems related to the work of the assembly

6 and its sessions, as well as the amount of coordination involved in

7 setting up an assembly meeting, during his regular working hours the

8 president of the assembly must prepare all these tasks. Part of his time

9 goes to receiving parties and clients, citizens requesting to see the

10 president of the assembly, requesting to see the president of the

11 executive board too in order to exercise some of their rights which were

12 not included in the regular procedure. Or, for example, if citizens

13 wanted to lodge complaints concerning certain phenomenon or certain

14 officials, the behaviour of certain officials.

15 Q. So part of the duty of the president of the municipality -- the

16 municipal assembly is to make sure that the concerns of citizens of

17 Prijedor reach that assembly; is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Sir, were you ever a member of the National Defence Council in

20 Prijedor?

21 A. No. My position during the time when I was president of the

22 executive board, there was no such body at that time according to the

23 then-existing regulations.

24 Q. In 1992, did you attend any meetings after the takeover of the

25 National Defence Council?

Page 11363

1 A. No, I never attended any of these meetings. And I don't know who

2 the members of the council are supposed to be. At any rate, as a deputy I

3 never attended any such meetings.

4 Q. Okay. Fine. Then I won't ask you further questions about that.

5 Sir, at the municipal assembly sessions that you attended, during

6 the time period that Dr. Stakic was the president of the municipality, did

7 you discuss providing what aid the municipality could to these refugees

8 from places like Croatia, from Zagreb, from Knin, from other parts of

9 Central Bosnia that were coming to Prijedor? Did you discuss providing

10 aid to those persons?

11 A. I don't think this was discussed at any of the sessions of the

12 assembly. On one or two occasions certain reports were received from a

13 special centre recording the incoming refugees. Probably it was through

14 humanitarian organisations or in some other way that these problems were

15 being dealt with. It was not part of the decision-making process of the

16 local parliament. Information was received on several occasions about the

17 growing numbers of incoming refugees and the lack of adequate facilities

18 to put them up, but the situation at that time was a very high

19 unemployment rate and a desperate economic situation in general.

20 Q. Sir, what crimes -- you mentioned yesterday a murder that you were

21 aware of that occurred after the takeover of a reserve policeman. What

22 other crimes are you aware of that occurred after the takeover from the

23 30th of April through the end of September 1992?

24 A. I can't say for certain whether it was on the 30th of May or

25 between the 29th and 30th of May. Certain paramilitary units from the

Page 11364

1 direction of the old town tried to storm the local information media, the

2 Kozarski Vjesnik and the local radio station, the municipality building,

3 and the MUP building. There were casualties there. I think the attackers

4 suffered casualties too, as well as those who were defending these

5 institutions and buildings. I know where in town exactly these buildings

6 are, but I don't really remember where I was on that particular day, so I

7 was not an eyewitness to these events. I learned about these events from

8 the media and by talking to friends and colleagues. Members of the

9 families of those who had lost their lives in these incidents also told me

10 about the whole thing.

11 Q. Are you finished?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Sir, in addition to this incident that you're talking about, the

14 attempt by Muslims and Croats to reverse the takeover of the 30th of April

15 and to violently get rid of the authorities in Prijedor, are there other

16 crimes that you're aware of?

17 A. Well, there were quite many attempts. There was a war on, so

18 there were a number of murders. There were a number of murders where

19 persons of the same ethnic background killed each other or maybe there

20 were paramilitary soldiers killing people. The times were unsafe. Given

21 the nature of my job in one of the companies I worked for or as a deputy

22 to the municipal assembly, I had no need for direct contact or to monitor

23 these events. And aside from that, it has been quite a long time.

24 Q. So, sir, I gather from your answer to my last two questions that

25 aside from the murder of a reserve officer that you remember and the

Page 11365

1 attack that you told us about, you're not aware of any crimes committed by

2 the Army of Republika Srpska, by the police in Prijedor, and the civilian

3 authorities in Prijedor against Muslim and Croat citizens of Prijedor.

4 A. Well, there were a number of military operations and activities in

5 the area of the so-called Brdo following events in Hambarine and Kozarac.

6 However, this is between 7 and 12 kilometres outside Prijedor. And aside

7 from people who were there in the actual area witnessing these events, it

8 was very difficult to know anything for sure if you were in Prijedor or

9 somewhere even further away. I do know that part of the population was

10 killed during those military operations. But under what circumstances

11 exactly and how many, I really can't be -- I really can't tell you.

12 Q. When you drove from Prijedor to Ljubija, you passed through the

13 Brdo region; correct?

14 A. Up to the events in Hambarine and following those events, it was

15 quite risky to go there, to pass through that area. So for a month or two

16 I didn't go to Ljubija. The only way I spoke to the guards from Miska

17 Glava and Vojavi [phoen], was by telephone. I'm referring to the guards

18 from my company, the security guards. They would walk to the company

19 premises and we'd arrange things through Jakara Marina, a secretary who

20 lived in Ljubija. And our only concern that time was to keep our premises

21 from being invaded and our property from being looted. It was only after

22 a month or two, a month or two after the operations and the clashes in the

23 Brdo area - I'm talking about Hambarine, Rizvanovici, Biscani, and

24 Rakovcani - that I took the road to Donja Ljubija.

25 Q. Okay. Sir, I'm going to move on, and I'm now going to ask you

Page 11366

1 questions not having to do with your own personal knowledge of events but

2 with what you heard during municipal assembly meetings presided over by

3 Dr. Stakic.

4 At these meetings, did you discuss removing the non-Serb

5 population from Prijedor?

6 A. Discussions during assembly sessions or decisions of the assembly

7 or conclusions of the assembly never, at least as far as the sessions I

8 attended were concerned, included any such subjects. All the decisions

9 and conclusions of the assembly were published in the Official Gazette of

10 the municipality, so it's possible even now to verify if any such

11 decisions had ever been made.

12 Q. Well, the decisions and conclusions are published, but the

13 discussions, what people said, is not published in the gazette; isn't that

14 correct?

15 A. To the best of my recollection, what was reviewed during one of

16 the assembly sessions was a report by the Crisis Staff related to the

17 period of time when the assembly was not meeting. So you have this report

18 marked with the exact date and entry number, as well as its subject, so

19 such decisions were then verified. But discussions focussing on such

20 issues, no, there were no such discussions.

21 Q. Sir, were there discussions about organising convoys from

22 Trnopolje and other locations to take non-Serbs out of the Prijedor

23 municipality?

24 A. I'm not familiar with any such conclusions by the assembly,

25 conclusions to that effect, but I know that a number of people were

Page 11367

1 leaving Prijedor. I know because people talked about this. And there

2 were collection centres for those who were found innocent of any crimes

3 and had expressed their desire to leave Prijedor and go to a different

4 place.

5 Q. Did you vote to confirm the decisions of the Crisis Staff at the

6 meeting of the municipal assembly on the 24th of July, I believe, 1992?

7 A. The end of July, yes. I remember it was the end of July. I can't

8 remember the exact date. Most deputies agreed and ratified the

9 conclusions and decisions of the Crisis Staff.

10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps the witness could be given Exhibit 250,

11 S250.

12 Q. While that's being handed out -- sir, if you could take a look at

13 this document. It's number S250. Do you recognise this as the decision

14 of the municipal assembly from late July 1992 wherein the decisions of the

15 Crisis Staff were confirmed?

16 A. To the best of my recollection, this precisely was the material

17 used at the assembly and this is the way it was handed out to the

18 deputies. There were no introductory remarks. There was no discussion

19 even, I believe. I think the assembly, that is, the majority of the

20 deputies, were informed about this section and the deputies then ratified

21 the conclusions and decisions of the Crisis Staff in the interim period

22 between the two assembly sessions.

23 Q. Was there any discussion, debate, or disagreements regarding these

24 decisions?

25 A. As I already said, I don't think there was a discussion as such

Page 11368

1 during that session concerning these issues. These were handed out to the

2 deputies. They were asked whether they had any objections or questions.

3 There were none, so this was ratified in its original form. I think the

4 deputies understood this more as a form of report on the enactments

5 adopted by the Crisis Staff in the meantime, which had already been

6 implemented and which received ratification, official ratification in this

7 way.

8 Q. Do you recall Dr. Stakic making any negative comments or any

9 objections to these decisions?

10 A. I don't remember any objections or comments.

11 Q. Sir, did the municipal assembly appoint judges in Prijedor?

12 A. The judges of the basic court are appointed by the Ministry of

13 Justice. I think the municipality only appoints the judge for the -- the

14 misdemeanour judge. But I'm not sure exactly what sort of influence they

15 have in that particular appointment. The judiciary is independent from

16 the local, legislative, and executive authorities.

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. If the witness could be given S259, please.

18 Q. Sir, just take your time and familiarise yourself a bit with this

19 document, and then I'd ask you to turn when you're ready, to point to

20 number 8, Roman numeral VIII. Not the agenda 8 but the Roman numeral

21 VIII.

22 Would it be correct, sir, that you were appointed, according to

23 this document, to the commission on elections -- excuse me, to the

24 elections and appointments board?

25 I'm sorry, it's --

Page 11369

1 A. Yes, yes.

2 Q. I'm sorry. I gave you the wrong -- 13, Roman numeral XIII. Yes.

3 So, sir, were you appointed to the elections and appointments

4 board which was headed by Mr. Savanovic?

5 A. Yes. This is a regular commission of the assembly, an assembly

6 body, the elections and appointments board. And I was appointed member.

7 You can see my name under number 9.

8 Q. Thank you. These are elections and appointments to what type of

9 positions?

10 A. In that period of time, personnel was quickly changing due to the

11 war circumstances, and this also concerned appointments to positions of

12 the heads of companies, administration institutions, and all those within

13 the purview of the municipal assembly. As at that time state -- social

14 property was proclaimed state property and in this particular case the

15 municipality was in charge of appointing directors to the range of

16 companies across the municipality. Most directors who were appointed were

17 members of the majority party.

18 Q. Okay. Thank you. If you can keep that document. I'll come back

19 to it in just a moment, but I want to cover one or two points I missed.

20 Sir, you talked about the murder of a reserve policeman after the

21 takeover. Did you witness that crime?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you speak to a person who was a witness to the crime?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you ever see the investigative files regarding that crime?

Page 11370

1 A. No. No.

2 Q. Would it be correct to say you don't know the circumstances of

3 that murder or who the perpetrator was?

4 A. Yes, that would be correct.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, you had also spoken in your direct examination

6 about property being temporarily confiscated, property that was abandoned

7 and used. Did you see Muslims and Croats leaving Prijedor on convoys over

8 Vlasic Mountain? I'm not asking if you went on a convoy, but did you see

9 those people gathering to get onto convoys in Prijedor?

10 A. On one or two occasions, as I was passing outside the building

11 that is today the Kozara museum, which is just across the way from the

12 municipality building and the MUP, I did see buses taking busloads of

13 civilians away. I saw people who were there to see those people who were

14 leaving off. I don't know, however, which company exactly or which

15 drivers were in charge of the transport or who the people boarding these

16 buses were. My assumption was that they were headed for border crossings

17 or on their way to territory controlled by whichever side they were

18 thinking about crossing over to.

19 Q. Sir, those people you saw, it appeared they were leaving with what

20 they could carry. They had a bag. They had a suitcase. And that was the

21 belongings that they were leaving Prijedor with. Correct?

22 A. Yes. Those were civilians, predominantly women and also a few

23 men, and as far as I could see they had suitcases or bags. They would

24 carry what they could physically carry with them.

25 Q. Isn't it true that in order to leave Prijedor, individuals,

Page 11371

1 particularly those who were held in the Trnopolje camp, had to renounce

2 all of their property to Republika Srpska?

3 A. I'm not aware of any such enactment that would have been issued

4 and implemented. I only know that for a person to be able to leave

5 Prijedor, would have to have a confirmation that they had paid all of

6 their bills, utility bills. Then they would take that to the MUP and

7 receive a permit or -- for travel, some sort of a document they would

8 receive. I'm not familiar with the whole procedure. I don't know what

9 they received from the Ministry of the Interior.

10 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I'm going to move back to the document,

11 and I promise I'm getting towards the end. If you can look at the final

12 point on S259. And that would be Roman numeral XVIII. Would it be

13 correct that at this session of the municipal assembly of the 27th of

14 August, 1992, presided over by Dr. Stakic, that there was a discussion on

15 the security and political situation in Prijedor and that among those who

16 participated in that discussion were Colonel Vladimir Arsic, Simo Drljaca,

17 and Dr. Milomir Stakic?

18 A. Yes. It is obvious that information on the political and security

19 situation on the territory of the municipality of Prijedor was considered

20 and that after the introductory remarks, there was Colonel Vladimir Arsic

21 and the chief of the public security service, Simo Drljaca, who were

22 guests. Also here I can see the names of those who took part in the

23 debate. I remember that I participated in that particular session of the

24 assembly.

25 Q. Sir, at this particular session or at any other session presided

Page 11372

1 over by Dr. Stakic that you were present at, did you discuss or did anyone

2 discuss the murder of detainees in the Omarska camp?

3 A. No. At these sessions, we talked about political and security

4 situation, about the possible reasons for this situation to get more

5 complicated on the territory of the municipality. Some statistical

6 information was presented by the centre for security services, and they

7 were relevant to the perpetrators of traffic -- violations of traffic and

8 the relationships with the population. It was never the -- on the agenda

9 of the municipality to discuss the collection centres and further actions

10 in that respect, nor did the assembly ever issue any conclusions with that

11 regard. This was simply never the subject matter of any discussions or

12 debates.

13 Q. Did you discuss at this session or any other the shelling and

14 arson of homes in Hambarine on the 23rd of May, 1992 in Kozarac area on

15 the 24th and 25th of May, 1992, and the casualties to civilians that

16 occurred during these operations by the army?

17 A. As far as I can remember, this was not the subject matter of the

18 parliamentary debate, nor were any data ever submitted on such incidents.

19 We were never presented any figures or any other kind of report of any

20 sort.

21 Q. Did you ever discuss the destruction of Catholic churches and

22 mosques throughout the opstina of Prijedor but in particular, right in the

23 city, in the town of Prijedor the destructions of the main mosque, the

24 main Catholic church?

25 A. It is true that the buildings that you have mentioned were

Page 11373

1 destroyed during the war. I was working at the Impro, and as I was

2 leaving for work, in the morning I saw the police who did not allow the

3 general public to enter the street where the Catholic church had been and

4 they explained that the road was not passable. I took a different road

5 towards the railway station, and then along the railway line I went to the

6 Impro building, so I did know that this had been done, that the church had

7 been destroyed. However, who the perpetrators were, who the organisers of

8 that crime were, I don't know. I was never in the position to see any

9 documents to show me any data on who the perpetrators or organisers of

10 those things were.

11 Q. Sir, my question is only whether or not these incidents or these

12 crimes were discussed in the municipal assembly during the sessions you

13 attended. And if I'm correct, I understand your answer to be no. Is that

14 correct?

15 A. No, never. We didn't discuss that.

16 Q. Sir, in late July of 1992, the army conducted what is listed in

17 the front page of one of the Kozarski Vjesnik articles as a Ciscenje in

18 Brdo -- that the army planned a Ciscenje in Brdo. Did you discuss that in

19 the municipal assembly, either in this particular meeting or any other

20 meeting?

21 A. No, we didn't discuss that at any assembly sessions.

22 Q. Did you ever discuss in the municipal assembly the massacre in

23 late July of detainees in room 3 in Keraterm or the incident that was very

24 well known in Prijedor of shooting, a long night of shooting at the

25 Keraterm facility?

Page 11374

1 A. We didn't discuss that in the municipal assembly. And as far as I

2 can remember, the public media carried a story on an attempted attack by

3 the detainees on the guards, and that's -- that was the reason why the

4 shooting took place. However, this was never discussed in the municipal

5 assembly.

6 Q. Did you ever discuss in the municipal assembly - I believe the

7 session we're talking about is the 27th of August - the crime that

8 occurred at Koricanske Stijene in a convoy leaving the Trnopolje camp in

9 Tukovi and escorted by police in Prijedor where hundreds of mean --

10 approximately 200 men were lined up on a cliff and shot?

11 A. The municipal assembly didn't discuss that, and I don't have any

12 knowledge or information about that event.

13 Q. Sir, can you tell us of anything that Dr. Stakic did when he was

14 president of the municipal assembly to prevent these crimes, to punish the

15 perpetrators, to let people know what was happening so that some changes

16 could be made?

17 A. According to the authority of the municipal assembly, he was not

18 in the position to order either repressive or protection measures. As to

19 whether he had any private contacts with anybody, I don't know. But in

20 any case, this was not under his authority. It was under the authority of

21 the police anything that has to do with the protection and security of

22 citizens. It is the chief of the security centre who is responsible at

23 the local level. And at the level of the republic, it is the Minister of

24 the Interior who is responsible for that.

25 Q. So I understand from your answer, you're not aware of anything

Page 11375

1 that Dr. Stakic did to prevent, to punish, or to deter any of these

2 crimes?

3 A. I have no information about any such activity.

4 Q. Thank you. No further questions. Thank you, sir.

5 Questioned by the Court:

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just want to take the occasion when you have

7 in front of you this document. It's S259, XVIII. And can you please tell

8 me why was it that Colonel Arsic and Mr. Drljaca took part in this

9 discussion in the municipal assembly, being not members of this

10 institution?

11 A. [Interpretation] If my memory serves me right, the aforementioned

12 persons were guests of the assembly. They didn't address the assembly on

13 that occasion. And what their real role was when they appeared in the

14 municipal assembly as guests, I don't know.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the only time that Mr. Arsic and

16 Mr. Drljaca participated in sessions of the municipal assembly?

17 A. [Interpretation] I believe that this was the only time when the

18 two of them attended an assembly session. If my memory serves me right,

19 there was another representative of the military who attended as a guest

20 on one or two occasions, but the assembly never discussed the military

21 issues. It was only when we discussed the political and the security

22 situation, then we would have guests. But those guests never gave any

23 proposals to the assembly or discussed any matters before the assembly.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You tell us this was a special event. Can you

25 recall where these persons, especially Mr. Arsic and Mr. Drljaca, were

Page 11376

1 seated in the room?

2 A. I believe that the session was in the Rudnik hall and our guests

3 were sitting in the front row on the left-hand side, the side that is

4 reserved for guests rather than for the deputies themselves.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it the custom that guests could, as it is

6 reflected here in this document at the right, to take part in the debate

7 as all the others and it would appear in the document as a participation

8 in the debate as all the other members of the municipal assembly?

9 A. I believe that they had -- that they did say a few words about the

10 political and security situation on the territory of Prijedor

11 municipality. But I can't quantify the length of their contribution or

12 the positions that they put forth on that occasion. In any case, they

13 participated when discussing the matters regarding the military. And in

14 any case, they would say about the things that compounded the political

15 and security situation on the territory of the municipality, but that was

16 all. They didn't make any other contributions.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You would regard this document as you have it

18 before you - one example, S259 - as a reliable document, or did you ever

19 have doubts that on these minutes something was reflected what never took

20 place?

21 A. At every subsequent session of the assembly, the first item on the

22 agenda was considering the minutes of the previous session and their

23 adoption. There were occasions when deputies objected to the wording of

24 the minutes, and most often it was just the wording, the technical

25 mistakes in the minutes. I can't say that this is an authentic document

Page 11377

1 that was presented to the deputies at this session of the assembly.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in other words, would you have reasons to

3 believe that when we can read here that, for example, Colonel Vladimir

4 Arsic took the floor twice, Mr. Drljaca took the floor twice, this would

5 be correct?

6 A. I can't say with any degree of reliability that that indeed was

7 the case.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, did you have reasonable doubts that

9 documents as such were signed by Dr. Stakic and the accuracy of the copy

10 certified by Dusan Baltic, that these were incorrect statements or

11 incorrect certifications?

12 A. According to the book of rules governing the work of the assembly,

13 any decision passed by the assembly is signed by the president of the

14 municipal assembly, and this is certified by the signature of the

15 secretary-general of the assembly and the stamp.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One thing is theory. One thing is practice.

17 Was there any -- to the best of your recollection, was there ever a

18 serious discrepancy between this theory, what you just -- that you just

19 told us, and the practice?

20 A. As a deputy, I was not in the position to know anything about that

21 part. A deputy merely participates in the debate, votes in favour or

22 against a certain conclusion or decision or similar things. The rest of

23 the procedure lies with the municipal assembly and the committee for the

24 publication in the Official Gazette.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Only for my better understanding: Following

Page 11378

1 such a suggestion, you received the minutes of a session as a document?

2 A. No. On -- during a subsequent session, we received minutes of the

3 preceding session.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That was my question. And had you ever reason

5 to believe that the content of this document you received on the next

6 session on the previous session was incorrect?

7 A. I don't remember any deliberate mistakes or any blatant mistakes

8 or any different interpretation of the discussions at the previous session

9 of the assembly. There were some minor technical mistakes that were then

10 corrected after the objections put forth by the deputies.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We need no longer document S259.

12 Witness Vila, did you drive a car in 1992?

13 A. I do have a car. I've driven since 1978, so I did pass the

14 driving test. I have a driving licence.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was not whether you have now a car

16 and whether you had a driving licence. My question was: Did you have and

17 drive a car in 1992?

18 A. No. At that time the situation was difficult. I did have a car,

19 but I didn't drive it.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Why didn't you drive your car?

21 A. The reason was simple: The price of petrol was 6 German marks,

22 and what a worker could make, as his salary was 2 German marks.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I need to understand. Did you have a car for

24 professional purposes or in your factory in 1992 did you have there any

25 car?

Page 11379

1 A. I had a vehicle, a Zastava 101. That was my personal vehicle.

2 And I had a company car, a two-seater, and usually I drove myself to Novi

3 Grad. I would go there to fetch the designs, and then I would bring them

4 over to the production floor. So sometimes I would drive myself;

5 sometimes it would be the professional driver who would drive that company

6 car.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there any shortage of petrol at that time in

8 1992?

9 A. Yes, there was a shortage of fuel. One couldn't obtain fuel

10 freely at petrol stations. The retail prices were between 5 and 6 German

11 marks, and the standard of living of the population at that time was very

12 low and the use of cars was practically impossible. Most of the cars on

13 the streets belonged to the military or to the police, and people who

14 drove them were either members of the military or the police or members of

15 the organs which were important for the functioning of the municipality.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you need a certificate or permit to get

17 petrol at that time, in 1992; to be more concrete, after the takeover?

18 A. Do you refer to me personally or my company?

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For your company or for -- whatever purpose --

20 when a citizen or any other person needed petrol, was it necessary to have

21 a certification or permit to receive this petrol?

22 A. In most cases, like I've already told you, there were very few

23 private vehicles on the roads. And one could --

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please answer my question. I asked

25 already twice whether when buying petrol at a petrol station you would

Page 11380

1 need a permit or certification.

2 A. I don't remember.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever been in Cirkin Polje?

4 A. I am familiar with that neighbourhood.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever visited the Crisis Staff building

6 in Cirkin Polje?

7 A. I am not aware of the fact that the Crisis Staff was in Cirkin

8 Polje. I was never in the Crisis Staff in Cirkin Polje.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever seen a certificate or permit

10 issued by the Crisis Staff in order to obtain petrol?

11 A. I think this was regulated. You knew how to obtain a certificate.

12 But I have never seen any of these certificates, not a single one, and I

13 don't know what it said.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So would you regard yourself as a privileged

15 person, opposed to others needing such a certificate?

16 A. I said yesterday that from the 20th of May, 1992 onwards my

17 company was not operating, so there were no privileges for me in the sense

18 of using a car or being able to obtain petrol. I was definitely not in a

19 privileged position because I didn't drive. I didn't use my car;

20 therefore, I wasn't using petrol, between April 1992 and March 1993. It

21 was only after I started working for the meat industry company called

22 Impro that I had to use a car for business purposes, but sometimes even

23 for business official purposes I was using public transportation.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The trial stays adjourned until

25 11.00.

Page 11381

1 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

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

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One very small question based on document D54.

4 We need not present it to you.

5 If you recall, was Mr. Mile Mutic a member of the assembly?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is it correct that he was a member of the Democratic Party of

8 Serbia?

9 A. Democratic Socialist League.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever meet Mr. Mutic besides the honour

11 meetings of the assembly?

12 A. Yes.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you regard this person as a reliable person?

14 A. I know him quite well.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was: Do you regard him as a

16 reliable person?

17 A. Yes.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that he was -- yeah, the other way

19 around. In which way was he connected with Kozarski Vjesnik?

20 A. For a while, he was the director of Kozarski Vjesnik. During the

21 war, he was in a military unit, and today he is again the director of

22 Kozarski Vjesnik.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When did Kozarski Vjesnik appear for the first

24 time?

25 A. I think in 1973 or 1974. It has been a weekly paper since 1973 or

Page 11382

1 1974.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Mile Mutic, did he appear frequently in the

3 sessions of the -- or attend frequently the sessions of the municipal

4 assembly?

5 A. During the period when he was not on the front line, he was

6 present as a deputy. I don't remember exactly how many sessions he

7 attended and how many sessions he failed to attend.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's now turn to a separate issue. We have not

9 yet admitted into evidence the document tendered yesterday by the

10 Prosecution. This was the document provisionally marked S394B. May I ask

11 first, as I indicated yesterday, the Defence whether or not the Defence

12 received this document beforehand.

13 [Defence counsel confer]

14 MR. LUKIC: We received the document before, Your Honour, from the

15 Prosecution, yes.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The best possible original would be available?

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. It's been provided to the Registry.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May it please be shown, if it has not yet

19 happened, to the Defence.

20 MR. OSTOJIC: We haven't examined the document, Your Honour, thank

21 you. Would you like our comments if any?


23 MR. OSTOJIC: We have a couple of things. First we would like to

24 know the source or the origin in which the document was procured. There's

25 nothing on the back side as we've seen from other documents.

Page 11383

1 Secondly, we'd like if possible to get verification if the

2 forensic handwriting expert was also provided off the top of our -- or my

3 head, I can't recall if he was provided with this signature which purports

4 to bear the signature of a Stakic Milomir. If he utilised that in the

5 analysis.

6 And if possible, the rationale why it was not provided to the

7 forensic handwriting expert at that time.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's discuss this later, because it's not

9 related to the concrete witness statement. So I understand you object

10 against the admission into evidence of this decision?

11 MR. OSTOJIC: Right, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the given -- reasons given on previous --

13 similar occasions, this document is admitted into evidence as 394B-1, the

14 original; the copy is 394B, as indicated yesterday; and the English

15 version is S394A.

16 May this document please be shown to the witness.

17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to clarify. The general rules -- I don't know

18 who made them -- are that the original stay with the evidence unit. We

19 can provide a colour copy to the Court of the original.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it may be substituted by a colour copy and

21 the parties be provided also, please, one colour copy to the Bench. Thank

22 you.

23 Once again, the question to you, Witness Vila: You are

24 identifying your own signature?

25 A. Yes.

Page 11384

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I then ask that the witness be shown where

2 is my stamp collection? Here it is - Exhibit S79B.

3 For a moment I don't want to go into detail of the content of this

4 document, but could you please have a look on the block of signature and

5 stamp on the right-hand side, on the bottom of the page, and could you

6 please explain for us what we can see there.

7 A. What we can see is the signature and name of Dr. Milomir Stakic.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you will please compare. I think you have

9 still available document S394, the best possible original. If it could be

10 handed to the witness.

11 Witness Vila, to the best of my recollection - and if the parties

12 so want, I will find the page of the transcript - it was in yesterday's

13 testimony that in the case of the absence of Dr. Stakic, a document would

14 be signed by Mr. Savanovic?

15 A. Yes, according to their respective competencies. The

16 vice-president of the municipal assembly stands in the for the president

17 of the municipal assembly in all the competencies of the president of the

18 municipal assembly.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you now could be so kind and compare the

20 signatures on document S394B, the one page where you also -- we can find

21 your own signature. Signatures 1 and 3, would this be such an example of

22 signing the document while the president of the municipal assembly was

23 absent? Would this be correct?

24 A. Yes, in the absence of the president of the municipal assembly,

25 the vice-president stands in for the president.

Page 11385












12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts. Pages 11385 to 11396.













Page 11397

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So comparing the signatures 1 and 3 on this

2 single piece of paper and the other document you have before you, 79B,

3 would this document be signed by Dr. Stakic or by Mr. Savanovic?

4 A. I am not an expert in graphology. I'm not a handwriting expert,

5 but as a layperson I think I can say that this is not the same signature

6 as the one under number 1, Dr. Stakic's signature under number 1. It

7 looks very much like signature number 3, though, but I can't say for sure.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are no expert; absolutely correct, your

9 statement. We can't demand to go into details when even experts cannot --

10 cannot come to a 100 per cent clear expertise.

11 So may we now turn to -- for a moment to 79 only. You may read

12 this document, please. We did already, but that you are aware of the

13 content of the document.

14 Did you ever see or hear about this concrete order previously?

15 A. No.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When the municipal assembly turned back to their

17 regular meetings, isn't it your testimony that the municipal assembly

18 ratified at that time all the decisions, orders, conclusions taken by the

19 Crisis Staff?

20 A. Yes, it did ratify. I can't tell for sure whether this order was

21 on the same list. But in case it had been on the same list, then this

22 decision too would have been ratified, yes.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown document S181.

24 Just already page -- the first page of the Official Gazette, number 3 of

25 1992, dated Monday, 31 August 1992.

Page 11398

1 Do you see item 120?

2 A. I can't see it. I can't find it right now.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we please have the English translation on

4 the ELMO.

5 MR. LUKIC: If I may be of assistance, Your Honour.

6 [Interpretation] Mr. Vila, it's the number on the first page in

7 the upper left corner.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that 3/92?

9 MR. LUKIC: Just below that line you see number 120.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I can see it.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Is it correct that later it reads: "All

12 acts (decisions, orders, rulings and conclusions) adopted by the Crisis

13 Staff of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor or the War Presidency between

14 29 May and 24 July 1992 are hereby ratified"?

15 A. I am not sure that the original of the text given to the deputies

16 has the same thing written, "order," or "decision." It is not quite clear

17 from this decision whether the decision order was among the enactments

18 that the deputies decided to ratify.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm aware of this, and I will later confront you

20 with this other document. But now is it correct that in fact on the

21 Official Gazette of the Prijedor Municipality it reads: "All acts adopted

22 between 29 May and 24 July 1992 are hereby ratified"?

23 A. Yes.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wouldn't it be correct that then also a order of

25 17th -- 17 June 1992 would be included in this decision?

Page 11399

1 A. If it is on the relevant list. If included in the relevant list.

2 In that case, yes.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't discuss in the moment the relevant list.

4 I discuss that what is reflected in the Official Gazette. Here it reads:

5 "All acts, decisions, orders, rulings, and conclusions are hereby

6 ratified."

7 A. Yes.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be correct that also, as it's -- as

9 we can read it here from the Official Gazette, this order would be

10 ratified -- would have been ratified, the -- at its session of the -- of

11 27 August 1992; correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it for the municipal assembly or the Crisis

14 Staff or the War Presidency to order to form a joint intervention platoon

15 and ordering the Prijedor Public Security Station and the Prijedor

16 regional command to do so?

17 A. This simply would have been unnecessary for the simple reason that

18 within the purview of police work, the police is also supposed to protect

19 the material, technical equipment, the population, and everything else.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The question was whether or not it was in the

21 framework of the -- of the mandate of the municipal assembly, the Crisis

22 Staff, or the War Presidency to give orders as reflected here in this

23 document to the Prijedor regional command to form a joint intervention

24 platoon.

25 A. This would be outside the authority.

Page 11400

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be your testimony that this order in

2 fact would be -- not be covered by the legal mandate given to these

3 bodies; correct?

4 A. Precisely.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I take it from your testimony that you are not

6 aware of this order. If you would have been confronted the 27th of

7 August, 1992 with this order, would you have objected?

8 A. Yes, I would have objected.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May then -- the other documents may

10 remain with the witness.

11 May we turn -- may we have in addition document S250 once more,

12 please.

13 Can we please proceed this way, as we did it yesterday, that

14 always English version be put at the same time on the ELMO.

15 May I ask you now as a at that time member of the municipal

16 assembly, do you see discrepancies between the one document and the one

17 published in the Official Gazette?

18 A. I have not been able to find the relevant order in this text.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If I may guide you to the second paragraph.

20 Isn't it correct that it reads there: "In the period between 29 May and

21 24 July 1992, the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency passed

22 enactments --" and then in parentheses "(decision/orders, decisions odluke

23 rjesenja, and conclusions) which are hereby submitted to the Assembly for

24 confirmation as follows"? Isn't it correct that it reads that this

25 document may have - it's a question to you - may have formed the basis for

Page 11401

1 your decision adopting all previous acts between 29 May and 24 July 1992,

2 this same period of time covered by the decision published in the Official

3 Gazette and this document, where it reads "Subject, confirmation of

4 decisions within the competence of the municipal assembly adopted by the

5 Crisis Staff"?

6 Could you please try to find in this document S250 the decision we

7 just discussed. That was the decision of -- on the intervention platoon,

8 Exhibit S79 of 17 June 1992. Can you find it?

9 A. It says in my copy "16 June" and then "23rd June."

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So correct me if I'm wrong. Would it be the

11 correct conclusion that this order from 17 June 1992 was not included?

12 A. According to this list, it hasn't been included.

13 MR. LUKIC: If I may be of some assistance, because it's a bit

14 hidden in our B/C/S version.

15 [Interpretation] Page 8 at the very bottom of that page. You

16 can't even see it very well. XXX Roman and then under number "1."

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this means that in fact you were at that time

19 seized also with this order of 17 June 1992.

20 A. No, it was not the whole order, just its title. The body of that

21 order, its contents, were not available to the deputies.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.

23 Leaving all the documents with you, may the witness be shown

24 Exhibit S77.

25 Without any view to the contents of this document, let's first

Page 11402

1 have a look on the signature and stamp block. Can you see any difference

2 opposed to the previous document S79?

3 A. There is a stamp and a signature. But whether this is indeed

4 Stakic's signature, I don't know.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you would agree it's not the same signature

6 as we found it on 79; correct?

7 A. It doesn't look like the same signature.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Looking now on the stamp, we -- what can we read

9 there?

10 A. "Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Municipal Assembly

11 of Prijedor. Prijedor" in both the Latinic and the Cyrillic scripts.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And in the middle - it's better reflected on

13 document 79, which no doubt is not signed [Realtime transcript read in

14 error "is signed"] by Dr. Stakic - there we can see in the middle some

15 insignia. What is the meaning of this -- these insignia depicted there?

16 A. In my copy, I can't see it very well. The only thing that I can

17 decipher is number 4.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could, therefore, the witness please be shown

19 the original of S79, which is available and photocopied.

20 MR. OSTOJIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. If I may just have a point

21 of clarification. On the transcript on page 43, line 13, did the Court

22 say "with respect to document 79, which no doubt is signed by Dr. Stakic"?

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is not signed.

24 MR. OSTOJIC: That's what I thought. But the transcript reflects

25 "is signed..."

Page 11403

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. As we are aware yesterday, we have

2 absolutely been careful with the transcript at the moment. I don't

3 know --

4 MR. OSTOJIC: One last point. On document 77, the English

5 translation, there's clearly a typo on it because it references the date

6 of June 1993, among other mistakes in the translation that's provided.

7 Not on the top left-hand corner but in the body of the first paragraph.

8 Just so the record is noted on that. Thank you.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are aware of this problem. And as you may

10 have seen yesterday, we try to do our very best to assist also the parties

11 having reflected that what has been said on the transcript.

12 So now, can you now see the middle of the stamp? What is depicted

13 there, in the insignia you can see there?

14 A. This is the coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you can see a mountain, in front of it two

16 chimneys. And on the side there are some ornaments. So this is the coat

17 of arms of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I would be interested to know why this

19 mountain. Which mountain is depicted? Is this a special one, maybe in

20 memorium of a special event or...?

21 A. No. I believe that the coat of arms represents the mountains of

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and its rich forests. And the chimneys symbolise

23 factories, the processing factories. And the chimneys also represent

24 development.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You yourself mentioned that you

Page 11404

1 could only identify the number 4 on this stamp. Isn't it true that on

2 both documents, 79 and 77, we can read this number 4?

3 A. Yes, it is clear, and I can read number 4.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't it there only

5 one copy of a stamp with number 4 for the purpose of not abusing stamps,

6 as it seems to be custom in most countries?

7 A. It is customary for stamps to be marked by various numbers, to

8 bear various numbers in various organisational units and that one number

9 will correspond only to one organisational unit.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May we then now turn to the content

11 of this document. It reads that it's on quote "recommending to the Crisis

12 Staff the manner of payment to and catering for the army and the police in

13 the Prijedor municipality area." Can you say it is covered by the mandate

14 of Crisis Staff, War Presidency, or municipal assembly?

15 A. I don't know for a fact that this was under the authority of the

16 Crisis Staff and of the War Presidency. But as far as I understand it,

17 the army paid its regular units -- that is, it provided for its clothing,

18 for its footwear, and for food. Now, whether the local community raised

19 voluntary funds for the provisions, I don't know. I can't confirm that

20 for a fact.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it for these bodies to charge Simo Drljaca

22 with making a comprehensive review, as we can read it from this

23 conclusion?

24 A. Yes, this is what it does read in the conclusion.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it covered by the mandate of these bodies to

Page 11405

1 do so, charging Simo Drljaca with making a comprehensive review?

2 A. I believe that this is out of the scope of the mandate of this

3 body.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then turn to -- back to document S250.

5 And could you please have a look whether or not this conclusion can be

6 found in this document from August 1992.

7 A. I'm having some difficulties locating the relevant part of this

8 document.


10 In case Defence counsel have identified this document already

11 on -- if you may be of assistance.

12 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, Your Honour. We are searching the documents to

13 find the various numbers of these stamps, so we are not -- we are not

14 following the document. Give us one second.

15 [Defence counsel confer]

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you read Roman XII, "Enactments passed on

17 16 June 1992."

18 MR. LUKIC: That is on page 8, Mr. Vila.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Here it reads: "Conclusion no. 02-111-198/92,

21 assigning members of the Crisis Staff the duty of preparing a system of

22 supplying food to the army and police troops."

23 And then wouldn't it be correct to -- that this is in fact the

24 document S77, the same number, same date?

25 A. Yes.

Page 11406

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in conclusion, wouldn't it be correct to

2 state that the municipal assembly adopted these conclusions, orders - I

3 don't want to go to any further - documents mentioned in this document?

4 A. Yes.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that you yourself participated in

6 the ratification of these previous decisions, orders?

7 A. Yes. But I must say that these were just the title of these

8 orders, decisions, conclusions without their contents.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: All right. Would it be correct that also

10 Dr. Stakic was seized with this decision reflected in document S250?

11 A. As a deputy in the same way and to the same extent as all the

12 other 90 deputies.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dr. Stakic was presiding over this session?

14 A. As far as I can remember, I believe that he was.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So can you tell us why it was that just this

16 document, S250, was not printed in total in the Official Gazette but that

17 it read only "all acts adopted by the Crisis Staff are hereby ratified,"

18 without referring to the concrete acts, orders, rulings, conclusions?

19 A. I don't know why this was done.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May a reason be that at least some of these

21 documents were previously printed in the Official Gazette no. 2 of 1992,

22 these decisions, conclusions by the Crisis Staff?

23 A. I wouldn't know.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Let's turn to another topic. Yesterday

25 transcript page LiveNote 46, line 17 for following you stated: "The

Page 11407

1 statute of the municipality contains an article governing the case of war

2 or imminent danger of war when the assembly isn't able to meet as usual

3 and as necessary. The article says that the Presidency of the assembly

4 can be set up. I am not sure why they changed the name from Presidency of

5 the assembly to Crisis Staff."

6 So it would be a correct conclusion that in times of war and

7 urgency or imminent danger of war, not the entire assembly would act but

8 only the Presidency of the assembly; correct?

9 A. That is correct.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you are not aware also of maybe reflecting

11 this during the night why it was that instead of using the term

12 "Presidency of the assembly" the term "Crisis Staff" was used?

13 A. Personally, I believe that it would have been better if the

14 statute had been complied with and if the name had remained "the

15 Presidency of the assembly."

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So "Presidency of the assembly," this would be

17 in concreto the following persons. Could you please give us the name of

18 the present Presidency.

19 A. Members of the Presidency by the virtue of their positions are the

20 president of the assembly, the vice-president of the assembly, and a

21 number of others appointed by the municipal assembly from various

22 departments or secretariats.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown document S180,

24 item number 19.

25 May I first ask you: Did you participate in the meeting of 22 May

Page 11408

1 1992?

2 A. I said yesterday that I am not sure that I attended this session

3 but I said that I was at the sessions at which decisions, orders, and

4 other conclusions were ratified.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Independent from the question whether or not you

6 were present at that meeting, if you have a look on the persons appointed

7 as members of the Crisis Staff. Following your testimony. Dr. Stakic and

8 Mr. Savanovic would be borne members as you stated the Presidency of the

9 assembly now equaled with the Crisis Staff?

10 A. Yes.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How is it possible that we find on this list

12 also the commander of the Municipal Territorial Defence staff, the Chief

13 of Prijedor Public Security Station, the Secretary of Prijedor Municipal

14 Secretariat for People's Defence? Was this covered by the statute, making

15 reference to -- that in cases of emergency, the Presidency of the assembly

16 would act instead of the entire municipal assembly?

17 A. I believe that Mr. Stakic and Mr. Savanovic were appointed as the

18 president and the vice-president of the assembly. They are supposed to be

19 members of the Presidency or in this case of the Crisis Staff. The

20 president of the executive board is a member of the executive part of

21 government and should not take part in the legislative part of the

22 assembly, and the same goes for the Territorial Defence and for the

23 security centre. If one was to look strictly at the statute and the role

24 of the Presidency, the Presidency should be made up of the president, the

25 vice-president, and some of the deputies or presidents of the standing

Page 11409

1 committees of the assembly.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The same document, if you would

3 please have a look on the top page, item 18, "Decision on the organisation

4 and work of Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff." To the best of your

5 recollection, did you attend this meeting, the 20th of May, 1992?

6 A. As I said, I'm not sure whether I attended this particular

7 meeting.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you have a look on Article 6. Would it be

9 under the mandate of the Presidency of the assembly to coordinate the work

10 and activities of all components of All People's Defence, consider issues

11 of mobilisation, development, and reinforcement of the armed forces and

12 other organisations and foster their cooperation with other responsible

13 municipal organs, and so on?

14 A. This is not a legal obligation or it is not within the purview

15 according to the statute of the municipality.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And if you have a look on Article 9 of the same

17 document. "The Crisis Staff shall at all times cooperate with the army of

18 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Civil Defence, and Public

19 Security through the senior officers or organs of these institutions."

20 A. Article 9 -- that's exactly what Article 9 says.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would this be covered by the mandate of the

22 Presidency of the assembly?

23 A. This would have been outside the scope of the Presidency's

24 authority.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then only a final question related to this

Page 11410

1 document: On the top of this document of the Official Gazette of Prijedor

2 Municipality, it reads "year 1." Was there no Official Gazette of the

3 Prijedor Municipality in the year 1991?

4 A. I suppose that there was. Every year you had the Official

5 Gazette.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it be a wrong assessment that -- stating

7 "year 1," that it's to demonstrate that a new period began for Prijedor

8 in 1992, or what was the underlying reason to add it "Official Gazette of

9 Prijedor Municipality, year 1" in 1992?

10 A. The obligation to publish the Official Gazette is prescribed by

11 the law. Now, why this reads "year 1," I really don't know.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this a decision taken in any of the bodies

13 you were a member of?

14 A. You mean the decision to put "year 1" here?


16 A. I don't remember any such decision being made.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

18 Another topic: Yesterday LiveNote page 67, line 18 you stated:

19 "I remember President Cehajic's statement on the radio that he would put

20 up Gandhi-like resistance, meaning that he would not take part in this

21 whole thing." To the best of your recollection, when was this that you

22 heard President Cehajic on the radio?

23 A. That was on the same day or the day after the takeover.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be April 30 or 1st of May; correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 11411

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I know that this question was already put to

2 you, but let me try again. It was the president of your municipal

3 assembly - you were a member of this assembly - weren't you interested in

4 the fate of Mr. Cehajic?

5 A. The assembly did not discuss this, nor did we have any information

6 concerning Mr. Cehajic.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But wouldn't it be natural that you would be

8 interested as a member of this body what is the fate and what's the reason

9 why Professor Cehajic never appeared again?

10 A. I was wondering at the SDA and HDZ deputies why they didn't come

11 to the new founding sessions to raise that issue themselves, because they

12 too were legitimately elected and appointed deputies during that

13 particular term of office.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What would you understand by the notion of

15 "Gandhi-like resistance"?

16 A. In as far as I'm familiar with the term, it implies struggle by

17 silence in order to achieve a certain aim or a certain interest. This

18 probably refers to a long-term struggle.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it would be a non-armed resistance; correct?

20 A. Yes, I should suppose so.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Finally once again, as you sit here, you don't

22 know about the fate of President Professor Cehajic?

23 A. I really don't know his fate. But after people who had previously

24 left moved back to Prijedor, I never heard that he came back, but I know

25 that his wife did. I don't know any of the other details concerning his

Page 11412

1 fate.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The 29th of April did you participate in any

3 meeting or demonstration or conference of special nature?

4 A. No.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you get a new ID the 30th of April, 1992

6 allowing you to enter the building of the municipal assembly opposed to

7 Professor Cehajic?

8 A. We did have a new deputy's ID, but I'm not sure if this was done

9 for the first session or for one of the subsequent sessions of the

10 assembly.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you still have this ID?

12 A. Not on me right now, and I'm not sure if I've kept it.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But it's your testimony that immediately after

14 the takeover, a new ID was issued for you; correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it a special ID for members of the municipal

17 assembly?

18 A. Yes. It had the same shape and the same size for all deputies

19 containing personal information and a photograph of the deputy.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Isn't it true that at the same period in time,

21 immediately after or on the date of the takeover, IDs were also issued to

22 other bodies or other organs or other institutions such as the police, the

23 bank, the executive board?

24 A. I can't know for sure whether other institutions and organisations

25 changed their IDs too.

Page 11413

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who gave you this new ID?

2 A. The technical services, the secretary of the municipal assembly.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you been at Cirkin Polje the 29th, the 30th

4 of April?

5 A. No.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're aware that there maybe was a meeting at

7 Cirkin Polje?

8 A. No, I'm not aware of that.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are you aware that IDs were issued at Cirkin

10 Polje at that period of time?

11 A. I don't believe that any IDs would have been issued at Cirkin

12 Polje, because they just didn't have the technology, the equipment it took

13 to produce IDs. You usually have specialised services and units that

14 issue documents and produce these documents and the IDs, and I'm not sure

15 who was in charge of what you were talking about.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever seen one of your colleagues from

17 the SDA or HDZ with such a new ID?

18 A. I think they did not take part in the prolonged part of municipal

19 assembly sessions after the takeover, and I have no idea why they didn't.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In yesterday's testimony, LiveNote page 48,

21 there was a broad discussion on the notion of the "artificial creation,"

22 or better, "Muslims as an artificial creation." Do you recall that you

23 testified yesterday on this issue?

24 A. Yes, I remember very well.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On page 49, line 4 you made reference to

Page 11414

1 different censuses, 1961, 1971, 1991. Was it possible for a citizen in

2 Prijedor to declare himself or herself in handwriting as a Muslim, Serb,

3 or Croat, or wasn't it true that on -- let's call it on the ballot or on

4 the document that had to be filled in it was already printed the -- the

5 categories had already been printed whether a person would identify him or

6 herself as a Muslim, as a Serb, or as a Croat?

7 A. I can't remember exactly all the information that the ballot

8 contained, but there is one box which says "nationality" or "ethnic

9 group," which means that the subject of the census must identify himself

10 as belonging to one of the ethnic groups. Whether all the different

11 ethnic groups were offered so that anyone could circle what they

12 identified themselves as or whether there was a blank space left for the

13 person to add their own ethnic background, I can't really remember, since

14 there have been no censuses since 1990.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You said "1990." I think 1991 would be correct;

16 correct?

17 A. 1991. Correction, 1991.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Coming back to this quotation of Muslims being

19 an artificial creation. To the best of your recollection, in what

20 newspaper, as far as you know, did you read this quote?

21 A. I think it was in the local papers.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And this would be Kozarski Vjesnik?

23 A. Kozarski Vjesnik, yes.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And it is your testimony that you can now after

25 ten years recall having seen this special expression? I'll put it this

Page 11415

1 way: "Muslims as artificial creation."

2 A. I can't remember the text exactly, the exact wording. I can't

3 even remember if Dr. Stakic actually said this or if maybe the journalist

4 who wrote the article added this himself. I really don't know, so I can't

5 confirm.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Vassylenko, you have additional questions.

7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, I have some.

8 Mr. Vila, you testified that after the takeover in Prijedor, a

9 person had to have ID and work assignment in order to travel through the

10 Prijedor municipality. What is it, a work assignment -- what is the

11 correlation between work assignment and duty obligations which were

12 introduced in Prijedor municipality after the takeover?

13 A. The law prescribes that the Ministry of the Army through the

14 Department for Military Issues across the towns in case there is a

15 mobilisation, that they should mobilise manpower and materiel and

16 technical equipment in the percentage and to the extent specified in an

17 order from the ministry, from the republic. The remaining military-aged

18 men receive work assignments by a special decision in their company or

19 institution -- in the same company or institution in which they had worked

20 up to that point in order to secure continuation of services for all these

21 companies and institutions.

22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And is it the same, work assignment or duty

23 obligations?

24 A. Yes.

25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: It's the same.

Page 11416

1 And then what authority introduces this work assignment or duty

2 obligations in Prijedor municipality?

3 A. The companies or their administrative body or organ, in

4 coordination with the Ministry of Defence or one of its departments, they

5 would coordinate and agree which of the military-aged men would receive a

6 work assignment, the Ministry of Defence, one of its special departments.

7 But if the army requires a higher degree, a higher grade of mobilisation

8 at any given point in time, then part of those who had up to that point

9 held work assignments become mobilised for the army. But that's only if

10 there is -- if the degree of mobilisation increases as required by the

11 army.

12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. But in Prijedor municipality, what

13 body -- what, let us say, official body adopts a decision on introduction

14 of work assignment or duty obligations?

15 A. War assignment is a legal obligation. It's prescribed by the law.

16 The Ministry of Defence is in charge of the relevant records and all the

17 other issues, the Ministry of Defence and its department in Prijedor, its

18 branch is Prijedor branch.

19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But again, you testified about war assignment

20 or work assignment?

21 A. Work. Work assignment.

22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Work. And it was my understanding also that

23 you said about work assignment.

24 And in Prijedor -- why the Ministry of Defence decided about work

25 assignment?

Page 11417

1 A. The Ministry of Defence in cooperation with the directors of the

2 different companies and administrative bodies within these companies

3 harmonised their respective data as to who was holding the work

4 assignment. And then the Defence department or the Ministry of Defence

5 would issue mobilisation papers, and the administrative body would issue a

6 certificate concerning the work assignment or the engagement of a

7 particular individual in a certain company or institution.

8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: A decision on work assignment existed after or

9 before the takeover in Prijedor?

10 A. In earlier periods, we had drawn up plans on what to do and how to

11 function in case of war across the board in the companies and

12 institutions, and what it said is that according to the degree of

13 engagement, the companies and institutions should be manned by all the

14 available people who were not mobilised into the army, into the military.

15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Your enterprise received a work assignment?

16 A. In my testimony yesterday, I said that the company where I worked

17 simply ceased to operate on the 20th of May 199 -- correction, went on

18 collective vacation, collective leave on the 20th of May and thereafter

19 never resumed work, because we were working with foreign partners and due

20 to war, the foreign partners stopped their -- stopped all their

21 commissions. It is within the competence of the executive board and the

22 director of the company to decide who is in charge of providing for the

23 minimum of activity by the company, and then this is verified or ratified

24 by the relevant ministry department.

25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I understand. But did you receive work

Page 11418

1 assignment before 20th of May; yes or no?

2 A. Now, I'm not sure about the exact date of when work assignments

3 began, but my own work assignment was signed by the director general of

4 our company and then this was ratified, this was accepted by the Prijedor

5 Department of the Army.

6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But who ordered your director to introduce work

7 assignment?

8 A. The hierarchy is determined by a plan according to which the

9 company functions in wartime or under the imminent threat of war. Each

10 company has a plan of functioning.

11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. I -- next question.

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

13 The trial stays adjourned until ten minutes to 1.00.

14 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

15 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May sit down, please.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Of course.

19 Judge Vassylenko, I interrupted you before the break. Please

20 continue.

21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Vila, have you ever been to Omarska or

22 other defence facilities in the Prijedor municipality?

23 A. I have never been even in the near vicinity of the centres that

24 you have mentioned.

25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have any of your friends and neighbours,

Page 11419

1 subordinates, or acquaintances were mistreated, arrested, or detained in

2 Omarska or other detention facilities between May 1992-September 1992 in

3 Prijedor municipality?

4 A. During those events, I couldn't know who was in those centres. It

5 was only on the return of some people in 1996 I spoke to some of my

6 acquaintances and they told me they had been there.

7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But in 1992, you were not aware about these

8 facilities and the detention of people in these facilities?

9 A. On the media there was information for the general public that a

10 certain number of people were in the investigation centres or in the

11 collection centres. I don't know what term exactly was used. And the

12 intention was to find out whether they organised paramilitary units and

13 whether they instigated some things on the ground that would lead up to

14 war conflicts. I didn't have any more information on that.

15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You told us that Dr. Stakic was elected to the

16 Prijedor Municipal Assembly as representative of the Radical Party,

17 founded by Veljko Guberina.

18 A. I said that yesterday, and I learnt that about a month or two

19 months after the first session of the assembly at the beginning of the

20 work of that assembly, I didn't have that information. I only learnt that

21 subsequently.

22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But can you explain us how it has happened that

23 Dr. Stakic being elected as representative of Radical Party was appointed

24 as vice-president on behalf of SDS?

25 A. I don't know exactly, but I believe that that Radical Party,

Page 11420

1 founded by Guberina formed some sort of a coalition with them. And Dr.

2 Stakic is a native of Omarska, where Serbs are a majority, and he received

3 support from these people. I am not sure what the real reasons were and

4 how the two parties reached this agreement on the appointment of

5 Dr. Stakic to that position.

6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you know Dr. Milan Kovacevic?

7 A. I knew him from the municipal assembly at the time when he was

8 given the mandate as the president of the executive board of the municipal

9 assembly. After that, I would see him at the sessions of the municipal

10 assembly in his capacity as the president of the executive board, he would

11 introduce the motions tabled by the executive board for the adoption by

12 the municipal assembly.

13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And if compared with Simo Drljaca, what was --

14 your assessment, what was the intellectual level of Dr. Kovacevic?

15 A. Mr. Kovacevic was very professional in the execution of his tasks.

16 Sometimes he would appear rough in the treatment of other people.

17 However, if one talked to him for a bit longer, you would see that he was

18 a moderate person.

19 As for Simo Drljaca, one could say that he was a very

20 short-tempered person, that he had a very short fuse, and he didn't listen

21 too much to either his superiors or to his subordinates for that matter

22 and that he had a propensity to act of his own will, not to listen to the

23 advice of other people.

24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But what about their intellectual level? I

25 mean, Simo Drljaca and Dr. Kovacevic, how you assessed their intellectual

Page 11421

1 level. It is low, high, average, super high?

2 A. I believe that he was a person of an average intelligence. Both

3 of them had a university degree. In order to obtain a university degree,

4 you have to have an average level of intelligence, I suppose.

5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Before you stated that Dr. Stakic also has an

6 average intelligence, and how can you explain that persons of average

7 intelligence were elected to the Prijedor Municipality leadership, not

8 other people with higher intelligence?

9 A. Those were difficult times. Most of the intelligentsia and

10 intellectuals sort of escaped responsibility, fled from responsibility

11 because they didn't want to take any risks, and they knew in advance that

12 they would be taking risks.

13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, I have no more questions.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

15 Judge Argibay, please.

16 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Good afternoon, Mr. Vila. I will try to go back

17 to one thing that I want a clarification on it. Yesterday you told us -

18 I'm not asking yet. I'm repeating -- quoting what you said yesterday -

19 that there were soldiers coming back from the front that would carry

20 weapons. Some lines under that statement you said that there were certain

21 groups who were prone to looting. Today again you mentioned looting. And

22 you told us that in your building you formed a group to guard -- to

23 protect the building and its neighbours. And a little later - I think it

24 was a question by the Defence counsel - you said that this was, or

25 something like that, a common practice in Prijedor during -- that was the

Page 11422

1 question. You said that you think there were a number of buildings where

2 similar measures were being taken. Do you know what happened in other

3 cities or villages or hamlets around the municipality of Prijedor? Was

4 this also a practice by civilians, as you told us, to protect the

5 buildings, the neighbours, something like that?

6 A. Yes. As far as I know the situation, there were people in the

7 villages who were afraid, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. They

8 were afraid of the possible attacks of paramilitary groups and possible

9 slaughters and similar things. So in other villages and towns it was

10 customary for the civilians to set up night guards that were in place to

11 send certain signals if they noticed a group of unknown people coming.

12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: How would you make a difference -- I'm sorry,

13 Judge -- the Presiding Judge also told me that I have not quoted the page

14 on yesterday's transcript, and the problem is I have not a copy of it.

15 But it was -- the question was the first one at 15.13.26, just for the

16 Defence to -- and the Prosecutor to look at it.

17 Sorry. I'm coming back. Then how would you make a difference

18 between these groups self-designated to protect the other civilians as

19 night guards and what you recently said in this same page, some lines up,

20 a paramilitary group? How you would tell the difference between one and

21 the other.

22 A. Night guards in the buildings were organised by the tenant

23 councils. They would not leave the buildings. It was their task to stand

24 guard during the night and record anybody who left the building or entered

25 the building. And if those people didn't know the person who tried to

Page 11423

1 enter the building, they had the right to ask for their ID. These groups

2 of neighbours did not carry arms. They just had a copy of the key for the

3 front door. And if somebody turned up at the door, they would ask their

4 name and they would ask for their ID.

5 There were incidents on the territory of the municipality when

6 some rogue soldiers carrying arms would be involved in the murders of

7 people. There were Serbian girls murdered by Serbians. There were

8 murders who have in the meantime been elucidated. There are some which

9 have never been elucidated. I've just mentioned that as an example of

10 things that were happening at the time.

11 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So the question -- the problem and how you make

12 the difference between these groups of civilians and this, what you call,

13 paramilitaries was that these were unknown people to you.

14 A. Yes.

15 JUDGE ARGIBAY: What you called paramilitaries. They were unknown

16 people. And this was, as you stated some lines before the last page, that

17 was customary around the villages of Prijedor municipality; is that

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence, please.

22 Further examination by Mr. Lukic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] Once again, good afternoon, Mr. Vila.

24 A. Good afternoon.

25 Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions arising from the questions of

Page 11424

1 my learned friends from the Prosecution and the Honourable Judges.

2 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher to show the witness Exhibit No.

3 S394, please.

4 Q. [Interpretation] Here you can see a conclusion. And above the

5 signature, you can see that this is a conclusion passed by the presidents

6 of political parties and presidents of the groups of deputies. As far as

7 the SDS is concerned, who was its president at that time?

8 A. I'm not sure. It may have been Miskovic, but I'm not sure.

9 Q. So the person under number 2.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Do you know who the president of the group of SDS deputies was?

12 A. At that time it was Mr. Savanovic.

13 Q. Can you see the presidents of other parties and presidents of

14 other party groups on this list?

15 A. Yes. Under number 6, Aiz Grabic. He represented the Socialist

16 Alliance of Youth or the Party of Private Initiative.

17 Under number 7, Dragan Svraka was from the same party, from the

18 Party of Private Initiative.

19 Under number 8, I can see my name.

20 Q. Were you the president of the party or the president of the group

21 of the deputies?

22 A. I was the president of the group.

23 Under number 9, Milena Vokic represented the group of the

24 deputies of the Reformist Party.

25 Under number 10, Nebojsa Bogunovic represented the same party, the

Page 11425

1 Reformist Party.

2 Under number 11 and under number 12 are representatives of the

3 HDZ.

4 Number 4 and 5 are representatives of the SDA.

5 Q. Was Mr. Mujadzic the president of the party for Prijedor, of the

6 SDA?

7 A. I don't know whether he was the president for Prijedor or for the

8 region. One of those things.

9 Q. And what about Husein Crnkic? Was he the president of the SDA

10 group?

11 A. He was a deputy. I don't know whether he was the president of the

12 group or the representative of the group of the SDA deputies. I don't

13 know for a fact.

14 Q. Can we then agree that the positions of the SDS president and the

15 president of the group of SDS deputies are here represented under number 2

16 and number 3 in the persons of Simo Miskovic and Dragan Savanovic?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Stakic Milomir, therefore, on this list does not belong to either

19 of these categories as a representative of the SDS.

20 A. It was usual for the president of the assembly and the presidents

21 of the political parties and the presidents of the groups or chair people

22 of the groups should discuss issues and host meetings or chair meetings.

23 Q. Very well. Thank you.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't know whether it's due to

25 misinterpretation or a wrong statement. On page 66, it reads: "The

Page 11426

1 president of the assembly," and we are referring now to 22 January 1992.

2 MR. LUKIC: At that time Mr. Stakic was the vice-president of the

3 municipal assembly.

4 I would now like the usher to show the witness Exhibit S79,

5 please.

6 Q. [Interpretation] This document mentions the establishment of an

7 intervention platoon. Are you aware of the fact that there was an

8 intervention platoon commanded by the Crisis Staff and later on by the

9 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?

10 A. No, I am not aware that something of that sort existed.

11 Q. Was it usual for every battalion to have an intervention platoon?

12 A. I said yesterday that I am not very familiar with the army. But

13 while doing my regular military service and in conversations with others

14 who were in operative military units, I found out that there were certain

15 groups which were sent in advance of certain military operations.

16 Q. Today we spoke of various signatures and stamps. Do you know

17 whether the stamp or stamps were in the possession of the president of the

18 municipal assembly or whether they were with the secretary of the

19 municipal assembly?

20 A. It was usual for the stamps to be with the secretary of the

21 assembly because he was the one who used the stamps when dispatching

22 documents and signing certain documents that had to do with payments.

23 Q. Later on we will come back to this, or rather, we can proceed

24 right away.

25 MR. LUKIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... the next

Page 11427

1 documents. So S064, S066, S068, S069, S070, S072, S080, S081, S394.

2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the registrar, S66 was admitted as J4.

3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You told us, Mr. Vila, that a certain number on a stamp referred

5 to a particular service. On the stamp that we have seen, we could see the

6 number "4." Can you see number "4" on this stamp or a different number?

7 A. Well, there is a number that's clearly visible, and that's number

8 "3."

9 MR. LUKIC: Can you put it on the ELMO, please, the original.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, what is the number of this document?

11 MR. LUKIC: It's S64B.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No. It should be. So, therefore, that we are

13 not confused, S64 is another document.

14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. It's not your mistake, Mr. Vila. Can you look at the document

16 now, document S64, and tell us the number that is visible on the stamp, if

17 you can see it.

18 A. It's not quite legible. I don't know whether it's a "3" or "5."

19 Q. But it's definitely not "4"; isn't that correct?

20 A. That's correct. It's not "4."

21 MR. LUKIC: Could we now see the document no. S66 or J4.

22 Q. [Interpretation] Can you see a number on this stamp?

23 A. As far as I can see, the number is "8."

24 Q. "8" or "3"?

25 A. Yes, "8" or "3."

Page 11428

1 Q. When we blow it up on the computer, we can see that it's "3." But

2 it's definitely not "4"; is that so?

3 A. No, it's not "4."

4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. Can the witness be shown document no. S68,

5 please.

6 Q. [Interpretation] This is less legible. But if you could.

7 A. Well, again, it looks like either a "3" or an "8."

8 Q. Thank you.

9 MR. LUKIC: S69, please.

10 A. Again, there's a number here which is either "3" or "8."

11 Q. [Interpretation] When we blow it up, we can see that it's "8," so

12 you are right.

13 MR. LUKIC: S70.

14 A. I think it's "3."

15 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 MR. LUKIC: S80, please.

17 A. It looks like an "8" to me.

18 Q. [Interpretation] Would you now look at document S394 and compare

19 the signatures. The signature on document 394, under number 1, and the

20 signature on document S80.

21 A. On the second document, underneath the word "president," it says

22 "for," and then there is a signature, which means that somebody was

23 signing for him.

24 Q. So it's obviously a different signature.

25 A. Well, it's not identical under number 1.

Page 11429

1 Q. And the stamp is one we have seen before, number 8.

2 A. Yes.

3 [Defence counsel confer]

4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Would you please now compare the signature under number 3 with --

6 from document S394 with this signature.

7 A. Well, these two don't look alike either.

8 Q. So this signature does not belong to the vice-president of the

9 municipal assembly, if we compare these two documents.

10 A. As far as I'm able to tell, they don't look alike.

11 MR. LUKIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... and show the

12 witness Exhibit No. S81, please. And to put the same document, S394, to

13 compare.

14 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please tell us the number on the stamp.

15 A. It's visible here. It's "4." And the signatures, as far as I can

16 tell, are different.

17 Q. So this signature differs both from number 1 --

18 A. And number 3.

19 Q. From document S394 and from number 3 on document S394; is this

20 correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 MR. LUKIC: And would the usher please be so kind and show the

23 witness number S048, please.

24 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell the stamp number on this stamp?

25 A. The number is not legible. I don't know whether it's "2," "3," or

Page 11430

1 "8."

2 Q. And whose name is written there, although there's no signature?

3 A. Mr. Travar Ranko, who is the Secretary for Agriculture.

4 Q. Thank you. We have now finished with this quick research into

5 various stamps and signatures.

6 On page 54, Their Honours asked you -- that is, His Honour

7 Judge Schomburg asked you whether after the takeover of power you

8 immediately received an identifying document, identity papers. And when

9 you replied that you received your identity papers on the first or second

10 session of the municipal assembly, what identifying document were you

11 referring to?

12 A. I was referring to my deputy's card.

13 Q. Is your identity card different from this card?

14 A. Yes, it is. The deputy's card has a number on one side and the

15 photograph of the deputy, his name, and on the back it states the rights

16 and the immunities of a deputy, and then it's put into a plastic cover.

17 It's plasticised.

18 Q. When you -- did you ever ask for a new identity card?

19 A. Yes, I did. I think it was in 1993 or 1994. But I can check that

20 because -- no, I've left it in my hotel.

21 Q. An identity card is a document that all citizens have; is that

22 correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. The deputy's card is a card that only deputies in the Municipal

25 Assembly of Prijedor have; is that correct?

Page 11431

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. As a deputy in the municipal assembly, did you have to

3 keep track of orders issued by the municipal assembly?

4 A. Our duty was when summoned to a session to acquaint ourselves with

5 the material, the amendments that we had received in writing, or to give

6 proposals orally as to certain modifications or amendments to the material

7 to be discussed. Apart from deputies elected to municipal commissions or

8 committees deputies had no other duties, and the commissions dealt with

9 certain areas, and there was a group of deputies of each party which would

10 meet before a session to take up standpoints on certain issues, and then

11 either as a group or electing one person to represent them they would do

12 that, but you were able to have your own opinion as a deputy. This was

13 not prohibited.

14 Q. As a member of a commission, did you also have to follow the

15 orders of the municipal assembly?

16 A. The election and appointment commission, of which I was a member,

17 worked according to orders by the municipal assembly. It was presided

18 over by the president of the commission based on interparty agreements on

19 the distribution of certain mandates. The personnel commission at a

20 session of the local parliament would bring proposals to the assembly

21 concerning certain appointments and nominations, but only within the

22 purview of the local assembly.

23 Q. At the same time when you were a deputy and a member of the

24 election appointment commission, you were a director of an enterprise, a

25 company, were you not?

Page 11432

1 A. Yes. These different duties did not collide, at least not

2 according to the then-existing legislation.

3 Q. That was not our question, but thank you for this explanation.

4 However, as the director of a company, did you follow the instructions of

5 the municipal assembly or of the director general, whoever your direct

6 superior, according to the hierarchy inside the enterprise, the company?

7 A. The overall activity within a company is run according to the

8 internal hierarchy of the company itself. Contacts with the municipality

9 were most often limited to contacts with the Secretariat for the Economy.

10 This contact was usually related to obtaining certain approvals,

11 authorities, statistics regarding production raids, business results, that

12 sort of thing.

13 Q. The Secretariat for the Economy is part of the executive bodies of

14 government, and the head of this secretariat is a member of the executive

15 board; isn't that correct?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. If someone was a member of the Crisis Staff and at the same time

18 the director of a company, by virtue of being the director of a company or

19 in his -- in the person's position as the director of the company, would

20 that person then follow the instructions received from his direct superior

21 directors or from the Crisis Staff? What's your opinion, even if you were

22 not a member of the Crisis Staff yourself?

23 A. The director was gainfully employed in whatever company he was

24 working for, and he would answer to the board of managers and to his

25 superior director.

Page 11433

1 Q. If someone was, for example, a member of the Crisis Staff and at

2 the same time the chief of the Public Security Station, would that person

3 then follow the orders of the Crisis Staff or the orders of his superiors

4 in the chain of command in the Ministry of the Interior?

5 A. According to the then-existing laws, the head of the police -- the

6 chief of police would answer to the -- to his superior minister, the

7 Minister of the Interior.

8 MR. LUKIC: I would like now the usher to show the witness

9 document no. S77, please.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I use the meantime to ask the parties what's

11 your assessment about the necessary remaining time for the Defence and

12 the -- maybe the Prosecution.

13 MR. LUKIC: 10, 15 minutes.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the Prosecution?

15 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think about the same.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So unfortunately it's impossible to conclude

17 today.

18 But please proceed for the next three minutes.

19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Your company on the 16th of June, 1992 was not operating. That's

21 what you told us.

22 A. No. We worked until the 18th of June, which means for another two

23 days.

24 Q. You mean May?

25 A. Yes, yes. Excuse me. I meant the 18th of May.

Page 11434

1 Q. At that time did any other companies or institutions operate? For

2 example, the bakeries, the Prijedor bakery?

3 A. Companies like Zitopromet for processing wheat and the bakery to a

4 lesser extent were operating. The Impro meat industry company was also

5 operating. The Prijedorcanka [phoen] company, the fruit company, some

6 parts of the iron ore mine in Ljubija, all the hauliers, the Autotransport

7 and the Autoservice, the transport companies also to a lesser extent, or

8 the capacity of their activity was smaller than -- the paper factory was

9 also operating.

10 Q. Thank you for this comprehensive elaboration. We did not expect

11 you to remember all the details.

12 Was it necessary to provide bread for the army at that time?

13 Because you said that the bakery was operating.

14 A. According to my information, the military commands would close

15 contracts, make contracts with certain factories or companies regarding

16 the supply of certain items. Now, whether in Prijedor the army had any

17 such contractual relations with any of the companies and what the exact

18 extent of these contracts was, I really don't know.

19 Q. When someone was mobilised -- when a person was mobilised and sent

20 off to the front line, was it common practice for that person to keep

21 receiving their salary in the company where they were employed --

22 gainfully employed?

23 A. In the first period, some people were receiving two salaries,

24 because they were receiving a symbolic salary as members of the army and

25 also back in their own company. Later on all they were left with is the

Page 11435

1 money, whatever money they were receiving from the army, or clothes and

2 food. At some point it was only clothes and food and no longer money.

3 However, their employment was frozen, and the only thing that was still

4 being paid was the contributions to the pension funds. And even this was

5 done only by those companies who could afford to do that. But many of the

6 companies simply couldn't afford.

7 Q. Does all of this apply to reserve policemen? Please tell us if

8 you know.

9 A. I think more or less the same thing applies to them.

10 Q. I think our time has just run out and we'll finish for today.

11 Thank you very much.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please understand that the same

13 rules are valid today as I told you yesterday, not to contact parties,

14 maybe witnesses, or the Defence counsel. We'll meet again tomorrow then

15 in the afternoon at quarter past 2.00.

16 The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow at 2.15.

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45,

18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 30th day of

19 January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.