1 Thursday, 6 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. Our apologies for
6 the belated start. But unfortunately a legal officer fell ill, and we are
7 grateful that we have an immediate replacement, if I may say so.
8 Anything to be discussed before the start? This is not the case.
9 May I ask the usher to escort the witness into the courtroom, please. And
10 then in the meantime we can call the case.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
12 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances, please, for the
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann
16 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence.
18 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John
19 Ostojic for the Defence.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Budimir. Sorry for the
22 delay. Due to the fact that a legal officer fell ill, we had to start a
23 little bit later.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, as a matter of principle, did you
1 have any contacts with one of the parties during the testimony, we'll say
2 in the evening, in the afternoon until now?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't have any contacts with
4 either party except with an acquaintance of mine who is going to testify
5 after me. We are in the same hotel.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I wouldn't be surprised that this would be
7 Mr. Travar. Correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's true.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I then ask Mr. Koumjian to continue your
10 line of questions.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, good morning.
12 WITNESS: SLAVKO BUDIMIR [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Questioned by Mr. Koumjian: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Budimir, in the article that we looked at yesterday afternoon
16 regarding Mr. Medunjanin, it indicated that he was captured with his
17 personal Winchester rifle. Are you familiar with this generally with this
18 type of weapon?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Would it be correct from your knowledge of military hardware that
21 this is not a weapon issued in the JNA at that time and was not a
22 military-issue weapon. Is that correct?
23 A. I am no expert for military weapons. I know very little about
24 weapons as a matter of fact. But as far as I know, the available
25 weaponry, the range of weaponry available to the JNA did not include this.
1 However, I never entered a single JNA depot and had no real information
2 about it.
3 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that this is a single-shot rifle?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you. Sir, after you were appointed by the Serbian Assembly
6 as the secretary for the secretariat of national defence, did you ever
7 talk about that appointment - I believe you said it was in late
8 April - with Mr. Medunjanin, who was actually serving in that position
9 and, as you said, working in the same building with you?
10 A. No. Either at my initiative or at Mr. Medunjanin's.
11 Q. You talked about the 24-hour information centre in the basement of
12 the Municipal Assembly building. Can you tell us what kind of technical
13 equipment was available in that facility.
14 A. That facility mostly held equipment needed for communicating
15 information such as telephone sets, and there was also one radio station
16 for communication with those areas that did not have telephone lines.
17 Radio communications were developed with local communes that did not have
18 telephone lines, and it was through that channel that we got information
19 from them.
20 Q. On Tuesday, you talked about, at page 18, line 7 on my
21 LiveNote - I note that my pages were apparently different than Mr. Lukic's
22 for some reason - that the centre is still in the same location and all
23 the equipment and technical means that are required for work are located
24 there. Are you saying that the only thing, technical means available, are
25 a telephone and a radio?
1 A. I didn't say that was the only thing we had. You asked me what
2 technical equipment was located there, and I said precisely what the basic
3 equipment of the centre was. There was also a teleprinter, a switchboard,
4 and some other technical equipment that I really don't know much about
5 because I'm no expert in communications, just as I'm no expert in
6 weaponry. I didn't major in this area. I know just as much as a layman
7 does. And I'm not denying if you have more information about this, if you
8 tell me that there was a particular piece of equipment there that I didn't
9 know about or didn't mention, I won't refute it.
10 Q. Thank you. As the supervisor, as the secretary of the secretariat
11 for several years, were you familiar, did that equipment include
12 encryption equipment? In other words, equipment to encrypt and decipher
14 A. Yes. And that equipment was only connected to our organisational
15 unit in Banja Luka. If something that was encoded came from above, we
16 were able to decode it, to decrypt it. And our employee in charge of
17 decoding was able to deal with such telegrams.
18 Q. Would it be correct then sir that this communication centre was
19 not for the purpose of people calling up to complain about not having
20 electricity and water, it was for communications with higher bodies and
21 military and police units?
22 A. That would not be correct to say. It had nothing to do with
23 police or army units because the police and the army had their own
24 communication centres. The main purpose of our centre, however, was to
25 collect information from the civilian sector, as I have already described.
1 And I don't think there is any need for me to repeat it. You cannot make
2 the link that you are trying to make because the police and the army had
3 their own communication centres that were not linked up with our system.
4 Q. Can you explain, sir, why the encryption equipment was useful in
5 collecting information from civilians and complaints about civilian life?
6 A. This equipment was not intended to collect such encrypted
7 information. The information that was collected was collected through
8 open telephone lines. When we got instructions from the ministry at the
9 higher level about replenishment and reinforcement of units or about
10 military documents that contained information such as strength of troops,
11 et cetera, then this encrypting machine was used to decode such
12 instructions from higher levels.
13 Q. Thank you. So among the uses of that information centre was to
14 receive confidential, secret information about things such as army unit
15 strength and deployments of military units. Correct?
16 A. No. No, the centre did not do that, nor did I say that in my
17 testimony. That part of information was gathered by the army in their own
18 communication centres. They had information of that kind. We did not
19 collect such information, nor was it in our purview.
20 Q. Thank you. I believe your answer is on the transcript.
21 Sir --
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Madam Registrar, could the witness be shown S99.
23 Q. While that's being handed to you, sir, is it correct that among
24 the information received in this information centre would be instructions
25 from the republic level political leadership to municipal bodies such as
1 the Crisis Staff and the president of the Municipal Assembly? Would that
2 be correct?
3 A. Yes, if that occurred in the afternoon when these institutions
4 were not working, then it was the central telephone downstairs or the fax
5 machine that received such documents.
6 Q. Sir, you're now being shown the document which is handed to you,
7 S99 in this case. As you can see, it is a letter, and the person whose
8 name appears at the bottom as a signatory is Dr. Radovan Karadzic. The
9 title used is "President of the Serbian democratic party of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina" and it is addressed "to all the presidents of
12 Sir --
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the document in the meantime please be
14 placed in the ELMO in a way that we can see the entire page.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN:
17 Q. Referring to the fourth paragraph, you can read along with me, is
18 it correct that Dr. Karadzic indicates that the "municipalities now face
19 an obligation to urgently connect their own information centres with the
20 regional centres if it has not been done so far and provide for the
21 personnel and other requirements to monitor the situation in the field,
22 keeping in mind the current situation in the republic, it is necessary to
23 cooperate with the public security service by providing the centres with a
24 duty shift and ability to convey and receive information 24 hours a day
25 nonstop, Saturdays and Sundays."
1 And then the next paragraph -- excuse me two paragraphs down, the
2 letter continues: "With regard to the above, it would be useful if you
3 personally inform yourself about the state of affairs in the information
4 centres in your municipality as well as their performance capabilities."
5 Sir, do you understand this letter, from what you see in it, to be
6 referring to the type of information centre that you had in the basement
7 of the Municipal Assembly building?
8 A. I did not have the opportunity to see this letter, and I didn't
9 act on the orders of the president of the Serbian democratic party. But I
10 don't see any contradiction here. I told you that we were connected to
11 the regional centre in Banja Luka and that we performed duties within the
12 purview of the civilian structures and we exchanged information with other
13 end-users of that information.
14 Q. In fact, it's consistent with what you told us about the use of
15 the information centre. Correct?
16 A. If I am required to say yes here then yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Let me just make clear: You're never required to say
18 yes unless that's the truth. I just was asking you for an answer.
19 Sir, you mentioned that President Stakic would come by the
20 information centre, that Mr. Drljaca and Mr. Zeljaja would sometimes stop
21 by. Why did they stop by the information centre, given that they had
22 their own communications available in the police and in the army, if you
24 A. I said that they would stop by in the afternoon, given the nature
25 of the duties that were performed. They were interested in what was going
1 on in the town. There were shortages of electricity, lack of water.
2 Water would be poisoned. There were outbreaks of contagious diseases.
3 And I didn't object to them coming and inquiring as to what the situation
4 in town was like. I thought it only normal for them to be interested in
5 that. I didn't have any other contacts with them. We didn't talk about
6 anything else. The president of the municipality also came to inquire
7 about the situation, and so did others, other people who were interested
8 in the situation.
9 Q. Well, did Mr. Drljaca and Zeljaja and Dr. Stakic stop by your
10 office during working hours or only stop by and meet you at that
11 information centre?
12 A. They stopped by my office very rarely. President Stakic came to
13 my office only once, as far as I can remember. And Mr. Drljaca and
14 Mr. Zeljaja never visited my office during the working hours. When we saw
15 each other, it would be at the meetings in the Municipal Assembly and
16 occasionally when one of them would stop by the early warning and
17 information centre, the reason being that I used to spend quite a lot of
18 time there, and that's where they could find me, and that's where they
19 would come to see me.
20 Q. When you say "the meetings at the Municipal Assembly," are you
21 referring to the Crisis Staff meetings, the National Defence Council
22 meetings, Municipal Assembly meetings, or all three?
23 A. It depended on when meetings took place. First, there would be
24 the National Defence Council meeting, and then there would be the Crisis
25 Staff meetings. There were sessions of the Assembly, and there were other
1 contacts and appointments regardless of the formal meetings. Some
2 questions were being discussed, and some issues dealt at informal
3 meetings. For example, I would meet with the secretary for economy or the
4 president of the Municipal Assembly without actually scheduling a meeting
5 or outside the formal meetings of any of the bodies.
6 Q. Thank you. Did the meetings of the National Defence Council take
7 place - in 1992 I'm talking about - take place in the same location as the
8 meetings of Crisis Staff, the room near the president's office that you
9 described earlier?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You mentioned Tuesday, on page 24, line 12, that "the president of
12 the assembly had a direct line with the chief of the SUP." Do you know
13 what the purpose of that direct line was between Dr. Stakic and
14 Mr. Drljaca's office?
15 A. I didn't say that the president had a direct line with the chief
16 of the SUP. I said that before the arrival of both Mr. Stakic and
17 Mr. Drljaca and myself to these offices, there were functional lines among
18 all the officials, the president of the League of Communists, the
19 president of the Municipal Assembly, the secretary of the secretariat for
20 national defence. So they were the so-called functional lines, three
21 numbers, three-digit numbers, so that they could all sort of establish a
22 conference call if you wish. I did not use this connection. I didn't
23 need to use it. Whether somebody else used this functional connection for
24 some purposes, I don't know. You would have to sort of ask other people.
25 I never used this functional line.
1 Q. Okay. I understand you didn't use it. I'm just going to read
2 your testimony from Tuesday on page 24, beginning on line 10, just to make
3 sure you feel it's accurate and do not want to correct or change it. At
4 the end of line 10, you began: "In addition to telephone numbers, there
5 were some functional numbers with three digits, and those were direct
6 lines between the president of the municipality, the chief of the SUP."
7 So that would be accurate. Correct?
8 A. That is correct, but I would like to add to that that it was not
9 just between these two persons. There was a line at the territorial staff
10 at the secretariat for defence, in the former office of the League of
11 Communists. And I said, and it is correct, that there was a line between
12 the president of the Municipal Assembly and the chief of SUP, but there
13 were also other offices connected by means of that line. Now, as to who
14 used this line and for what purposes, I don't know. I don't agree that
15 this line existed only between these two offices. There were seven or
16 eight different offices and different officials connected by means of that
17 functional line. So not only the president of the Municipal Assembly and
18 the chief of SUP.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated] These were eight of the most important
20 officials, people fulfilling the most important --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN:
23 Q. These were eight of the most important officials, people
24 fulfilling the most important functions in the municipality. Would that
25 be correct?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. According to the previous law and the previous system, and this
2 was the legacy of that system. This is what we inherited for the former
3 system. In some of the offices where this line existed, according to
4 the new organisation and new distribution of power, this stopped
5 existing. Some of the functions -- some of the positions were abolished,
6 so these telephones still existed in the offices, but people were simply
7 not there because some of the positions were abolished. And that's when
8 these telephone lines were disconnected.
9 Q. Sir, after the takeover of power, when you took over the position
10 of the secretary of the secretariat, when was the next time you saw
11 Dr. Milomir Stakic?
12 A. I don't remember whether it was in the period of three, five, or
13 seven days, whether that was the time interval. I can't remember.
14 Q. When you had this first meeting with him that you recall, was it
15 an individual meeting or was it in a meeting of a body such as the Crisis
16 Staff, National Defence Council?
17 A. The Crisis Staff was not functioning at the time, so it was not at
18 a meeting of the Crisis Staff. I can't remember whether this was the
19 session of the National Defence Council or whether we had a sort of met
20 just the two of us. I can't remember.
21 Q. You were shown during your testimony minutes of the meetings of
22 the National Defence Council on the 15th of May and the 29th of May. How
23 many meetings of the National Defence Council do you think you attended in
25 A. I can't remember.
1 Q. Is it more than ten?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you attend more meetings than the two that we discussed in
4 your earlier testimony?
5 A. I don't remember.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, could the witness be shown S28.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, before we are leaving the
8 actual document, and in order not to have to return to this document, may
9 I ask a question based on this document. Previously your testimony was
10 that this document would be in line with your previous testimony. We can
11 see that this letter was dated March 23, 1992. The follow-up question
12 would be: When was this centre in the municipality -- in the building of
13 the Municipal Assembly established under the special circumstances? I
14 recall very well that you mentioned that there was always such a centre in
15 the past and afterwards. But when were these measures requested by
16 Mr. Karadzic the 23rd of March 1992 established?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what measures he asked
18 for and what measures were taken on Mr. Karadzic's orders. I didn't have
19 those documents, and I never acted on any of such documents. As far as I
20 can remember, I acted on the order that arrived from a superior body in
21 Banja Luka. And according to that order, we were supposed to introduce a
22 24-hour duty for the purpose of the Crisis Staff. We established that
23 service, and it is mentioned in the document that the on-duty service is
24 established for the purposes of the civilian sector. I didn't see this
25 document before. I see it for the first time, so I really don't know who
1 asked for what measures and what measures were implemented.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You just say you don't know who asked for what
3 measures. By whom was this letter you have before you signed?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Karadzic.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And who was the recipient of this document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] President of the municipality.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And this would be?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Stakic. I apologise. I'm not
9 looking at the date. But it says "to all the presidents of
10 municipalities" and it is on the 22nd March of 1992. The president of our
11 municipality was not Dr. Stakic, but Mr. Cehajic.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there a president of a shadow government at
13 that time, Mr. Budimir?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know any such thing, nor did
15 I participate in any such thing.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To be realistic, do you believe that a letter of
17 this kind would be addressed to Professor Cehajic, being not a member of
18 the SDS, but written by the president of the SDS?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personally, I think that it
20 wouldn't. But in my previous answer, I've said that I don't know that I
21 didn't participate, that I didn't receive this letter, and that I didn't
22 participate in the implementation of any measures relative to this letter.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was that important with this letter that we
24 can read "destroy after reading"? In the headline of this letter.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I didn't write this
1 letter. I didn't consider the importance of that letter and what it
2 contains, and I never had this letter in my hands before.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Mr. Budimir, just to follow up a bit, you told us that you were
6 not a member of the SDS in 1992 and did not join the party until 1994. Do
7 you feel that you were within, in 1992, do you feel that within the
8 Crisis Staff and the National Defence Council there was an inner circle
9 who were members of the party who were more trusted than people like
10 yourself and Mr. Travar?
11 A. I'm glad that you have asked me that and that you have mentioned
12 that I became a member of the party in 1994, because I wanted to add
13 something to what I said yesterday. When you asked me, I said "yes,"
14 bearing in mind something that reflects the truth, and that is that in my
15 statement given to the investigators of the Prosecution, I explained the
16 circumstances under which I became a member of the SDS. It was not my
17 free choice. I was selected as a member of the municipal board by a
18 higher body, and I would like to mention that, something that I've already
19 said to the investigators.
20 And as for your question, sir, it is my personal opinion that this
21 would reflect the truth. Some other people enjoyed more trust than me.
22 And as for Mr. Travar, you can ask him the same question, and I'm sure he
23 will give you his own personal views of that.
24 Q. Sir, as a citizen of Prijedor, weren't you aware that in January
25 of 1992, although you were not a member of the SDS, there was the
1 formation of a separate Serbian municipality, a shadow government, and
2 Dr. Stakic was made the president of the Assembly of the Serbian People of
3 Prijedor Municipality?
4 A. I had information from the media about the establishment of the
5 Assembly of the Serbian People. This appeared on the media. I believe
6 that it was in January. So whatever was public information, I had the
7 same information. As for the shadow government, I don't have the exact
8 information, and I can't tell you anything about it.
9 Q. Okay, thank you.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just for the purpose of the transcript, I don't
11 think it's worth showing to the witness, but I would refer the Court to
12 S96, which is a document signed by Dr. Stakic, President of the Assembly
13 of the Serbian People of Prijedor dated 17 January 1992.
14 Q. Sir, going back to the National Defence Council, I believe the
15 witness --
16 A. Allow me. I am not denying that this is his signature, as you
17 you're saying that it is. I just said what I had to say.
18 Q. Yes. I'm not asking --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it would be fair enough that the witness
20 be shown this document nevertheless. We have the necessary time.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, in the meantime, on page 14, line 22,
23 you mentioned "some other people enjoyed more trust than me." Who would
24 be these people?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those people were prominent members
1 of the party who were members and officials of the municipality organs.
2 And it appeared to me that they enjoyed more trust than me. I've told you
3 that when I was appointed, I was not a member of the party and that it was
4 not a final solution. They respected me, and the only thing I know is
5 that people did not have any objections to the performance of my duties
6 because I always respected the law. But as far as information goes, I was
7 not so close to the source of information. I was not treated in the same
8 way. I don't know how to put it, how to explain to you what I felt.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please add names to your answer, the
10 question who would be these people. And you referred: "Members of the
11 parties who were members and officials of the municipal organs." Could
12 you please give us the names you are referring to in your answer.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said. President of the
14 municipality, vice-president, chief of the public security station, the
15 president of the Executive Board, these were the leading individuals in
16 the Municipal Assembly.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And in a hierarchy?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said president of the
19 municipality, vice-president, president of the Executive Board,
20 vice-president of the Executive Board, and chief of the public security
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be the de jure situation. What about
23 the de facto situation?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] De facto, I can't tell you anything
25 for a fact because I don't have the proved facts and documents to
1 corroborate that. I have explained in my testimony how people socialised,
2 who socialised with whom. But as for your question, I cannot be precise
3 in giving you any answer because that would be beyond the scope of what I
4 knew, and I can't tell you something that I am not positive about.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Absolutely. And it is not the duty and not the
6 obligation for a witness to give us opinion. If a witness so wants, there
7 is no problem with this. Of course, based on the facts, and the facts are
8 your meetings with the acting persons in 1992 in Prijedor. Would you, for
9 example, come to the conclusion that one of the members of the Crisis
10 Staff played a more dominant role as the others, for example, Mr. Travar
11 playing an exceptional role, or anybody else, in a way trying to get a
12 stronger position than, say, Dr. Stakic or Mr. Savanovic or others?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your question is very general. But
14 if you want me to say something about Mr. Travar, I can. But I adhere to
15 my statement, and I claim that the leaders had more influence by virtue of
16 their positions. They were closer to the source of information;
17 therefore, they had more influence. The only information I received was
18 from the Ministry of Defence, and those people who were in the leading
19 positions received more information and information is power. That gives
20 you the right and gives you the ability to influence events and people.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clear answer.
22 Please, Mr. Koumjian, sorry for having interrupted you once again.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Sir, going to --
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe we were going to show the witness S96.
1 May that be put on the ELMO, and the B/C/S handed to the witness.
2 Q. Sir, this is just the document that I referred to. Do you
3 recognise this as a document issued by the Assembly of the Serbian People
4 of the Prijedor Municipality dated the 17th of January 1992, apparently
5 decision number 3 of 1992. And the signatory, the person -- the name at
6 the bottom, the title is "president of the Assembly of the Serbian People
7 of Prijedor Municipality, Dr. Milomir Stakic."
8 Just, sir, we wanted to give you an opportunity to look at that
9 document and to make any comment if you wish to make any comment on this
10 decision to join the Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina. If you don't
11 have any comment, perhaps that's okay.
12 A. I don't have any comments. I have already said that I didn't take
13 part in these processes and events.
14 Q. Sir, let's now go to S28, minutes. S28, the document you've just
15 been handed has the title "Minutes of the second session of the National
16 Defence Council of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, held on the 5th May
17 1992 at 1500 hours."
18 It indicates Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the council, chaired
19 the meeting. Sir, if you look at the minutes, those persons listed as
20 members attending were Dr. Milomir Stakic, and the third name is your own,
21 Slavko Budimir. Would this -- the document refresh your recollection that
22 there was a meeting of the National Defence Council at least on the 5th of
23 May, if not sooner, 1992?
24 A. I cannot remember that clearly. But I said yesterday, if a date
25 is written on the paper, then I can hardly argue with it.
1 Q. Sir, I want to go through some of the people listed as "members"
2 of the council. In addition to Dr. Stakic, was Rade Javoric. Can you
3 tell us what his function was?
4 A. He was the commander of the TO staff.
5 Q. Your name appears, Dr. Kuruzovic. And you can correct me if I am
6 wrong, he was then the -- well, can you give us Dr. Kuruzovic's title. He
7 was a Territorial Defence commander of some sort.
8 A. It's not Dr. Kuruzovic, it's Mr. Kuruzovic. There was a duality
9 at that time because there was a vacuum between the replacement of one
10 commander and the appointment of another, an interregnum if you will.
11 The transition of duties had not yet taken place, so both were present.
12 Q. Thank you. Then Dr. Milan Kovacevic, president of the Executive
13 Board. Vladimir Arsic, from the 43rd Motorised Brigade. Simo Drljaca,
14 chief of the SUP. Bosko Mandic, and Radmilo Zeljaja.
15 So would I be correct, sir, if that I said that individuals with
16 military positions among this group of members would be Mr. Javoric,
17 Slobodan Kuruzovic, Vladimir Arsic, and Radmilo Zeljaja, approximately one
18 half of the members of the council. Correct?
19 A. With your permission, I would like to correct you. You are using
20 the term "members of the council" and it doesn't say so here. It only
21 says the session was attended. These people were not members of the
22 council except for Mr. Kuruzovic and Mr. Javoric. There was such a
23 function, council members in the TO staff. But the other people apart
24 from Kuruzovic and Javoric were not members of the council. As it says
25 here, they only attended.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Okay. Sir, perhaps there's an issue of translation. But in the
2 paragraph that we're referring to, in English, there appears to be two
3 groups: The first are members of the council present, which begins with
4 Dr. Stakic and ends with Mr. Zeljaja. And following that is a group of
5 others in attendance, and that is the group of Simo Miskovic, Radenko
6 Banovic, Ranko Travar, Vojo Pavicic, Mile Mutic, and Milenko Rajlic.
7 Do you see in your language and would it be correct that the first
8 group, including the military members, were the members of the council?
9 A. They were not members of the council. I told you yesterday what
10 the status of the National Defence Council was. It had not been
11 established by the assembly. The assembly did not adopt a document naming
12 members of the council as such. These people attended the session, but in
13 accordance with the law that regulated these matters, they were not
14 members of the council. And I stand by my view, they were not members of
15 the council, nor members of the TO staff. Their presence there was
16 occasional. Whatever anybody may have written here. I have expressed my
17 view the way I see it and the way it was prescribed by law.
18 If you wish, I can produce this law and tell you exactly who the
19 members of the council were. I also made a reservation saying that the
20 assembly in that form never set up this body and appointed these people by
22 Q. Okay, sir, we're interested in how it actually functioned, rather
23 than looking at the law right now. Do you have a recollection of how the
24 National Defence Council functioned in 1992? Is your recollection pretty
25 clear about that? Do you remember attending the meetings and what
2 A. I remember as far as my memory serves me.
3 Q. Sir, you recall our conversation in March of last year in Banja
5 A. I do. I do remember most of this part of our conversation, but I
6 don't know what specifically you mean.
7 Q. Thank you. I'll read to you from page 13, beginning on line 23.
8 Mr. Malik asked you: "Were you ever part of the body named as the council
9 of the municipal defence in Prijedor, council for national defence." And
10 you answered: "The council for national defence was a body that was
11 according to the law supposed to be formed in every municipality. And by
12 the secretary of the secretariat for people's defence, according to that
13 law, was the secretary of this, this Council for national defence."
14 Now sir, what I'm really interested in is the next sentence of
15 your answer. You said: "That as far as I can recall, this body never
16 functioned, at least for the time while I was performing the function of a
17 secretary of the secretariat of people's defence."
18 In March of last year, can you explain why you were confused and
19 stated that the National Defence Council never functioned while you were
20 the secretary of the secretariat?
21 A. I think I've answered precisely the first part of the question,
22 and I don't think there is any discrepancy between that and what I said a
23 moment ago. As for the second part, in view of the fact that the assembly
24 did not appoint this body formally and legally, I specified that this body
25 had not really worked properly from the legal point of view because if the
1 assembly did not legalise the operation of this body, it is irrelevant
2 that it operated at all. I cannot argue with facts and the evidence
3 produced before me, but that's how I approached this matter.
4 Q. Sir, in your mind in March of 2002, when you said "as far as I can
5 recall, this body never functioned," do you think you were confused
6 between the National Defence Council and the Crisis Staff because they
7 overlapped in membership, both were chaired by the same person, Milomir
8 Stakic, and both performed more or less the same function?
9 A. Why do you think I was confused?
10 Q. Because, sir, you said: "As far as I can recall, this body never
11 functioned." And we know, we've now seen at least three minutes of
12 meetings of the National Defence Council in which you were in attendance.
13 So obviously, the body did function.
14 A. I just said something about the legality of this body. I told you
15 how I view this matter, and I don't think I confused anything. I had so
16 many interviews about this where I had to concentrate on this, and my
17 memory has not gone completely after all. I hope you can accept that I'm
18 not trying to hide anything or to mask the truth or whatever.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you explain -- in your last answer, you said
20 you've had so many interviews about this matter. Aside from your
21 interview in Banja Luka with Mr. Malik and myself in March, who else has
22 interviewed you about this matter?
23 A. I didn't mean that I had interviews with anyone apart from you.
24 Q. Sir, moving back to --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Apparently there's a problem with the mike.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: No, no, no. Just I think with the translation or at
2 least the understanding of the translation. I think the witness just now
3 said he didn't say that he had those interviews. But yet it was
4 translated I didn't mean to say that I had those interviews. We'll have
5 that checked out, but just so that we can note for the record that portion
6 of it, because the witness is obviously --
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, no comments. If I would kindly ask the
8 Prosecution to repeat the question.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN:
10 Q. Mr. Budimir, I'm sorry, but there's an issue about whether we
11 correctly understood the translation of your answer. So I'll repeat the
12 question. I'll just read it off my screen. I asked you: "Can you
13 explain in your last answer you said you've had so many interviews about
14 this matter. Aside from your interview in Banja Luka with Mr. Malik and
15 myself in March, who else has interviewed you about this matter"?
16 A. I didn't talk to anybody about these issues except with you and
17 Malik, and I said I discussed some general matters in my correspondence
18 with Mr. Travar. I had no opportunity to talk to it about other people.
19 And in the most recent times, when we had contacts, I didn't have contacts
20 with anyone else. And when the Presiding Judge asked me "with whom I
21 contacted in the last six months" I gave a precise answer. There was no
22 need for me to discuss it in the past period because I was involved in a
23 completely different kind of work. You must have misunderstood me. I
24 discussed this only with you, and I discussed general matters with
25 Mr. Travar.
1 Q. Thank you. Going back to the minutes for a moment, in the list of
2 persons not members who attended, we have several names that we recognise
3 and whose functions we know, such as Mr. Miskovic. But can you explain
4 the function of Mr. Radenko Banovic. What was his position and function
5 at that time, 5th of May, 1992?
6 A. Radenko Banovic was the head of the service for property-related
7 and legal affairs, and the land registry, or the registry of immoveable
8 property. I don't know what it was called at the moment. Maybe it was
9 the secretariat. But it was the unit in the municipality for
10 property-related and legal affairs, and the registry of immoveable
12 Q. At this meeting of the National Defence Council was Mile Mutic.
13 Can you tell us in what function Mile Mutic attended the meeting of the
14 National Defence Council?
15 A. Mile Mutic, before and after, on two or three occasions, he was
16 replaced as director of Kozarski Vjesnik. I don't know whether he was the
17 director then and whether he was present. But he was present as the
18 representative of that publishing house he worked for. Whether as an
19 editor or a director or in some other capacity, but that's his line of
20 work. And I think it was on those grounds that he attended. I can't
21 specify whether he was the director of Kozarski Vjesnik at that moment. I
22 can't be sure, but I know he worked for that company.
23 Q. And you have told us before about Mr. Rajlic, you mentioned his
24 name. He was on the video, one of the persons you identified. Can you
25 tell us the function of Milenko Rajlic.
1 A. In the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly, he was secretary
2 for information.
3 Q. Would that be a body that dealt with the media and with
4 communication, propaganda, if you will, or if you want to use the word
5 communication, between the authorities and the public?
6 A. There was no particular body for that. We are talking about
7 Mr. Rajlic. As far as I can remember, he never managed to actually set up
8 that secretariat. And there was nothing like what we have in these
9 systems here, somebody who is the spokesperson for the authorities. He
10 was only appointed. And the system for the actual discharge of his duties
11 was never developed as it was supposed. So he was present there, but his
12 job as it should have been done was not actually done because there was no
13 appropriate infrastructure and organisation established.
14 Q. Sir, these minutes indicate this is the second session of the
15 National Defence Council. The minutes you looked at the first day you
16 testified, from the 15th of May, indicated they were the fourth session.
17 Do you recall the third session of the National Defence Council?
18 A. I don't remember. I don't remember either the first or the
19 third. I really can't play it all back in my head. I can see what's
20 written in the minutes, and I can't remember really all these other
21 sessions. I don't remember what happened, when, and how.
22 Q. Okay, thank you. Sir, how often would you have contact with
23 bodies above -- in your area of responsibility, bodies above the municipal
24 level, with the republic or regional level?
25 A. I think I have spoken about this in my earlier testimony. I said
1 I had contacts only with the minister for defence and the secretary of the
2 secretariat of national defence at the Banja Luka level which was my
3 superior body. With the secretary of the secretariat, we had two-weekly
4 or monthly contacts in this period. And as far as this period which you
5 are talking about is concerned, perhaps I had one meeting with the
6 minister of defence in August or maybe it was September. But I have
7 already said that the issue was not a professional one, but it was a
8 matter of families of disabled men and veterans, and the development of
9 our system in that respect.
10 I also said with other leaders on higher levels, I had no contact
11 whatsoever on any grounds.
12 Q. Let's confine ourselves to May of 1992 after you first assumed the
13 position of secretary of the secretariat. Do you recall, did you have any
14 in-person meetings with the person who headed that secretariat at the
15 republic level in May of 1992?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you have any meetings with anyone at the regional level, face
18 to face, in May of 1992?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. How often would you be in telephone contact, if at all, with the
21 republic or regional levels in May of 1992?
22 A. Well, I can't tell you how often. That is such a broad question.
23 Whatever I answer, often or not often. Whenever there was a need to
24 clarify something, we had contacts. But I don't think the telephone
25 contacts were very frequent. When something needed to be done, we had
1 contacts, but the instructions we received were very clear and precise,
2 and there was no particular need to talk on the telephone.
3 Q. So would it be correct that you had much more frequent contacts
4 with Dr. Stakic, Colonel Arsic, and Mr. Zeljaja than you had with your
5 superiors at the republic and regional level. Correct?
6 A. Correct, depending on the question and depending on the duties,
7 everyone was treated equally.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please.
9 MR. LUKIC: I would just like the witness to repeat the answer.
10 Because I think that it's wrongly reflected in the transcript. Whether
11 it's affirmative or negative.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN:
13 Q. I'll repeat the question, to remind you, sir.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN:
16 Q. Mr. Budimir, my question was, I'm going to read it off the
17 screen: "Would it be correct you had much more frequent contacts with
18 Dr. Stakic, Colonel Arsic, and Mr. Zeljaja, than you had with your
19 superior at the republic or regional level. Correct?"
20 A. I said it was not correct. I said I had contacts with these
21 people, depending on matters under discussion, and which I received in the
22 form of orders. Depending on how these instructions and orders arrived, I
23 treated these persons equally. I would kindly ask you one thing, because
24 it also happened with the Prosecution and with the Defence as well,
25 because you are trying to put something in my mouth, and you are trying to
1 get me to say something. I am now having to focus on fending off attempts
2 to put words in my mouth. I would appreciate it if I could be spared from
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise: The microphone did not
5 really catch the first word of the witness's answer, so it was not clear
6 whether it was correct or not correct.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No problem, thank you.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Is it possible to move the microphones closer to
9 the witness.
10 Q. Mr. Budimir, your secretariat was somewhat of a link between the
11 civilian authorities who would support the armed forces and the army. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. My secretariat discharged its duties in keeping with the law and
14 the regulations. We did not provide any support to civilian authorities,
15 and we didn't supply the army with anything either. We worked only in
16 keeping with the regulations. I told you what the duties of our organ
17 is. Recruitment, entry into military records, replenishment, and
18 reinforcement of military units, and the rest, according to procedure.
19 This is how I define the work of our organ. I don't see it as providing
20 support to this or that party. In the light of the relationship between
21 executive and legislative authority, we only had a role in executing
22 mobilisation insofar as we exchanged information when the army asked us
23 just for example, to mobilise an engineer who was a leader or head of unit
24 in the post office system. They are asking us to send him to an army
25 unit, and the post office refuses to let him go because they can't work
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 without him.
2 Or another engineer from the waterworks is required to go to an
3 army unit, and his company is also hard-put to spare him. That is how we
4 worked in harmonising the needs of the army with the executive and
5 legislative authorities, trying to make sure that the army units
6 are -- have the strength needed, and the civilian aspects of life in town
7 can go on more or less normally.
8 Q. Was part of your responsibility taking care of goods in the
9 companies and things that had to be assigned to the army?
10 A. No. Only the replenishment of unit with men and materiel and
11 technical supplies was under our authority. But only some supplies. The
12 army already had heavy machinery and vehicles, so they already had 90
13 per cent of the equipment. And as for us, we would only replenish the
14 army with supplies, with 10 per cent supplies that we got from the
15 companies. We didn't supply the army with any types of goods save for the
16 materiel and technical equipment, and the manpower. And the materiel and
17 the technic the equipment strictly according to the prescribed
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before I give the floor to Defence counsel, I
20 would kindly ask Prosecution counsel also to mention the page of the
21 previous statement he is referring to.
22 Mr. Lukic, please.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We are aware that this
24 witness sometimes speaks very fast, and that the translators cannot catch
25 every his word. But we think that it's very crucial. When he was
1 explaining on page 29, line 10 --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I once again the Prosecution counsel, before
3 the break, to repeat this question. I think that's the easiest way to
4 cure alleged misinterpretations of the answers of the witness.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: In this instance, Your Honour, could I read the
6 answer and ask the witness to correct the translation if there's any
7 problem? I'll read the question.
8 MR. LUKIC: -- that they were contacting...
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so, Mr. Koumjian.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN:
11 Q. The question I asked you, sir, again, I'm sorry, is "was part of
12 your responsibility taking care of goods in the companies and things that
13 had to be assigned to the army?"
14 A. You said you would read the answer for me to correct. So that's
15 what I'm waiting for. Do you now want me to repeat my answer, or are you
16 going to read my answer back to me and then ask me to correct whatever I
17 think is not correct.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir, the counsel of the Prosecution did
19 that what I wanted him to do, to repeat the question, allowing you to give
20 the correct answer. So please be so kind and answer the question.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm sorry for confusing you.
22 Q. I'll ask the question again, Mr. Budimir. It's my fault. The
23 question I asked was: "Was part of your responsibility taking care of
24 goods in the companies and things that had to be assigned to the army?"
25 A. My answer was no. This was not our responsibility. We only had
1 to replenish the units with conscripts and materiel and technical
2 equipment. That is what I said in my answer. I apologise. Maybe I
3 should slow down a little. I'll try to adjust my speed in the future.
4 Q. Okay. And further in compliance with His Honour's orders just
5 before the break, sir I'm going to read to you the question I asked you in
6 Banja Luka in March, and your answer. And if you feel it needs to be
7 corrected in any way, please do so. I asked you beginning on line 17,
8 page 23: "Your secretariat was somewhat of a link between those civilian
9 authorities who would support the armed forces and the army. Is that
10 correct?" You answered: "Okay, yes, we were, because we were actually on
11 the borderline because we took care of the people who had to go into the
12 army, had to go into the police, who were assigned to the civilian
13 protection, to the work obligation, so on. And we were also taking care
14 of the goods and the companies, you know, the things had to be assigned to
15 the army, to the companies. And so, and so. So basically, we dealt with
16 the distribution of both, the people into the units and the materiel
17 goods. We had first of all you do have to understand that we had no power
18 to issue any orders towards the army or the police or the civilian
19 protection, or the companies or institutions. Our task was to secure
20 conditions for them to be able to work."
21 Do you stand by that answer, sir?
22 A. Given the fact that we have translation, I don't see any
23 discrepancy here. If we have understood each other well, we are talking
24 about the place where the word "goods" was mentioned. But I was talking
25 about the materiel and technical equipment. And in that sense, we were
1 some sort of a link between the municipality and the army. It was our
2 obligation to create the conditions for the companies to work, to have
3 enough people, and for the army to have enough people. We also had to
4 make sure that the companies had enough technical equipment to be able to
5 work, like, for example, the water supplies and other companies. At the
6 same time, we had to make sure that the army had enough vehicles because
7 their needs were increased at the time. So this would be in keeping what
8 I said previously.
9 If you will allow me, I would like to say that we didn't keep a
10 record on any goods that were assigned to the army. So we could not
11 dispose with them. What our duty was, was to keep record on conscripts
12 and materiel and technical equipment. That was our only responsibility.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We should not forget, as I did yesterday, from
14 the Prosecution, there was tendered an enlargement of a previously
15 admitted document. It was the article from Kozarski Vjesnik dated 12th of
16 June 1992 with the headline "Becir Medunjanin arrested." Any objections?
17 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S162/5B-1.
19 The trial stays adjourned until 11.00 sharp.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
23 Mr. Koumjian, you may proceed immediately. Thank you.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I misplaced my notes, so
25 I'm going to be more disorganised than normal, even more disorganised.
1 But if the witness could be given a new document. It is now being
2 distributed. Conclusions of the 14th session of the war presidency of
3 Prijedor Municipality held on 6th August 1995. It was distributed on
4 Monday, so everyone should have a copy. And the booths were given copies
5 on Monday.
6 Q. Sir, in 1995, were you still in your position now part of the
7 Ministry of Defence, that is, the municipal National Defence Council?
8 A. Your Honour, I would like to correct something that was said about
9 my personal status. Can I be given the permit to do that now, or maybe
10 towards the end of my testimony? If I am given the permit to do it now, I
11 would like to answer the question after that.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir, this is your testimony. And
13 whenever you want to correct or amend something, you may do so.
14 Therefore, do this now, and at the end of your testimony, I will ask you,
15 based on concrete points, whether you want to amend or to correct the one
16 or other answer.
17 So, Mr. Koumjian, please understand that I give the floor first to
18 the witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yesterday,
20 the Defence and the Prosecution asked me detailed questions on my marital
21 status and my family status. I would like to say that one of the
22 Prosecution witnesses in this trial is (redacted) He said
23 something untruthful. He actually said a lie about my father. He stated
24 that my father was --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed one word.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to say that my father
2 participated in the people's defence war from 10th of February 1994 to
3 1945 [as interpreted]. That he has been awarded several declarations, and
4 I would like to provide this Trial Chamber with some proof corroborating
5 that. Given the fact that this witness has uttered a blatant lie about my
6 family status and about my father, I have the proof that will -- that I
7 have with me, and that will prove the contrary.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, would please the transmission be
9 stopped and redacting on the delay the name that the witness mentioned as
10 soon as possible. And I think Your Honour understands the reason.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Of course, but the name is not reflected
12 on the transcript. We can resolve the problem --
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: But it would be on the videotape.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, as soon as possible. Please, Madam
15 Registrar, it's urgent.
16 May I ask you, please, to write down the name of the person you
17 just mentioned. And this name be then admitted under seal as J31, that we
18 have it clear in our record. Additionally, I have to ask you ex officio,
19 how did you learn about this information on another witness appearing
20 here -- let's go into private session, please.
21 [Private session]
12 Page 13089 – redacted – private session
12 Page 13090 – redacted – private session
12 Page 13091 – redacted – private session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
22 [Open session]
23 MR. KOUMJIAN:
24 Q. Sir, has the document been given to the witness, the conclusions
25 of the 14th session of the war presidency. And could the English be put
1 on the ELMO please.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is already on the ELMO.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
4 Q. Sir, in 1995, did you still hold the position of secretary of the
5 municipal secretariat for national defence? And you can correct the title
6 if I've misstated it at that time.
7 A. Yes, I was still heading that organ, but this organ had the status
8 of a section in the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska. It was not a
9 municipal organ.
10 Q. Okay, thank you. In this document, you are mentioned as having
11 attended this particular meeting on the last page -- excuse me, you're
12 mentioned on the last page as -- in point number 2 of agenda item number
13 3. There's a direction to you. First, can you tell us, this war
14 presidency in August of 1995, can you explain what it was.
15 A. The war presidency was a body which was also appointed according
16 to the instructions from higher authorities. I don't know now who exactly
17 gave this order. I think it must have been the president of the state or
18 the government that gave the order in the Official Gazette to form war
19 presidencies at Municipal Assembly level, or maybe it was the assembly of
20 Republika Srpska. I don't know. The instruction for the establishment of
21 this war presidency was received by the person who was then acting as
22 president of the municipality.
23 Q. Who were the members of the war presidency of Prijedor
24 Municipality in 1995?
25 A. I can't remember who occupied which post and who was named member
1 of the presidency by appointment. I believe there was a decision on the
2 appointment of these people from a higher authority, but I can't remember
3 now who these people were, who were the members, and how many there were.
4 If you refresh my memory, perhaps I could help you. I can't enumerate all
5 these members. I think there was a president of the Executive Board. I
6 believe there was a conflict whether this post would be occupied by the
7 president of the assembly or a deputy to the assembly. I don't know who
8 the other members were.
9 Q. Okay. Perhaps this document may refresh your recollection.
10 Looking at agenda item number 1, point number 4, it states that "The war
11 presidency members, Veljko Djukic, Vlado Vujcic, and Dr. Milomir Stakic
12 visit the garrison after 2200 hours and gather information about the
13 military situation." Were these three individuals named the three members
14 of the war presidency of Prijedor in 1995?
15 A. As for Mr. Djukic, I am certain. About Mr. Vlado Vujcic, I don't
16 know and I don't know about Mr. Stakic either. I don't know which posts
17 they occupied. It is possible that the decision appointed them members.
18 Ex officio, they were not supposed to be unless there was a special
19 decision on their appointment to the War Presidency. It is possible that
20 they were members too but I can only tell you for sure about Mr. Djukic
21 because he was president of the Executive Board.
22 Q. If you look at agenda item number 3, this is a rough translation
23 that we have, so I would ask you to read the first point on agenda item
24 number 3. To be sure that we have the correct translation, can you read
25 that slowly.
1 A. "By 1700 hours, one group of the working war presidency --"
2 Q. Sorry. On agenda item number 3 on the last page, if you could
3 read the first -- point number 1. It's at the end of the document. There
4 are three points. And the paragraph just above the one that contains your
5 name. I mean point number 1. I'm looking at the English only. But
6 agenda item number 3.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the transcript is clear, this is page number
8 02140 -- sorry, I have to restart. 02147071. And we discuss the bottom
9 part of this document, the three last paragraphs.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first item reads: "The
11 Presidency hereby adopts the conclusion that Momcilo Radanovic,
12 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly, be acting president of the
13 Municipal Assembly until the election of the president."
14 MR. KOUMJIAN:
15 Q. Sir, would it be correct that Mr. Radanovic became acting
16 president until Milomir Stakic was then again elected the president of
17 Prijedor Municipality?
18 A. Since I cannot place this in time, the moment when Mr. Radanovic,
19 or rather Mr. Stakic resumed his function as president, I believe that
20 after Mr. Radanovic, Mr. Maric became president. Mr. Stakic was before
21 this gentleman. I really have to say that I'm not sure about this. But I
22 was president of the Executive Board in 1996/1997, and I think Radanovic
23 occupied this post before Maric. The changes were frequent. All I know
24 is that for a while, Mr. Kurnoga was in this post, and he was replaced,
25 and there were problems with this war presidency, whether the president of
1 the Municipal Assembly would head this war presidency or it would be a
2 deputy to the assembly. You will have to excuse me, really, on this.
3 Q. When you were vice-president of the Executive Board in 1996 and
4 1997, was Dr. Stakic again the president of the Municipal Assembly of
6 A. Yes, Mr. Stakic was on this post then. But I was vice-president
7 of the Executive Board when Mr. Stakic was president. Whether
8 Mr. Radanovic was vice-president while Mr. Stakic was president -- anyway,
9 Mr. Stakic was on this post for a while. And then came Maric, and during
10 Maric's term of office, my term of office expired after the multiparty
12 Q. I'm trying to place this in time. Did Dr. Stakic become again the
13 president of the municipality to the best of your recollection before the
14 end of war, before December 1995, or after the end of the war, after the
15 signing of the Dayton accords?
16 A. I really cannot place this in time now, but I don't think it's any
17 problem to establish that. There must be a decision of the assembly on
18 this. I know when President Stakic was replaced in 1992/1993, he became
19 president of the assembly, and he was president of the assembly while I
20 was vice-president of the Executive Board. When he was appointed by the
21 relevant decision exactly, I don't know. I know my decision was received
22 in June or July and was valid for eight months. I think this fact can be
23 established very clearly independently of my testimony.
24 Q. Thank you. At this time, the body you headed was the branch of a
25 republic level body, the department of defence or Ministry of Defence.
1 And yet, in point number 2 on agenda item 3, the next paragraph to what
2 you just read the war presidency apparently has issued a conclusion that
3 Slavko Budimir assign an expert from the defence ministry department who
4 shall, in cooperation with an officer in charge of defence issues of
5 the municipal bodies, prepare a draft on war systemisation of the
6 municipal administrative bodies.
7 So, sir, even in 1995, did municipal bodies continue to give
8 directions to the body you headed which was then part of the Ministry of
10 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. We would object because this
11 is irrelevant and outside the scope of the indictment.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is, no doubt, in line with the questions put
14 to this witness, and all the previous witnesses, and no doubt, the acts as
15 such are not in the framework -- in the timely framework of the
16 indictment, but it has to do something with the role and the character of
17 Dr. Stakic. And therefore, dismissed.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. Sir, were you able to follow my rather convoluted question, or
20 would you like me to restate it?
21 A. Yes, I followed the question. The decision that came from a
22 higher level appointed me member of that war presidency, and I was acting
23 chief of section, that section being a state body. If I can ask you to go
24 back to the earlier appointment of the Crisis Staff, Mr. Simo Drljaca was
25 also appointed to that Crisis Staff, which was a republican organ. And in
1 this case, it is not an order issued to a municipal body by a republican
2 body. It is only a case of this body being requested to provide
3 something. The municipal body could always ask from a republican body, to
4 make certain reports, drafts, documentation, et cetera. In this case,
5 nobody issued me with an order to do something, nor did this order have a
6 basis in the law saying that pursuant to the law, this and that, article
7 so and so. Our body was asked to help with the preparation of wartime
8 systemisation, because we were the most professional in this area. We
9 knew the number of enterprises, companies, their staffs, et cetera, and we
10 could determine how many people could be allocated. And I believe it is
11 in this sense, along this line, that this request was made.
12 Q. From the time you joined the SDS party in 1994 through the summer
13 of 1997, did Dr. Stakic remain politically active in Prijedor?
14 A. During the time when I was a member of the SDS, from 1993, or
15 rather 1994 onwards, I believe Mr. Stakic, or rather Dr. Stakic, was
16 active as long as he was president of the Municipal Assembly. But when he
17 left that post, he stopped taking active part in the work of the party and
18 in the work of these bodies. While he was president, it was normal for
19 him to take part in the work of the municipal board of the party.
20 Q. If you know, did Dr. Stakic, after leaving the municipal office,
21 the office of president of the assembly, continue to attend party meetings
22 and be a prominent member of the SDS party?
23 A. I do not think so. I don't feel he did. I cannot even tell you
24 exactly when he left his post and whether he continued to be in the party
25 and to be a prominent member for a while longer. I believe he was an
1 active member as long as he held the post that he held. After that, I
2 don't know how actively he worked in the party and for how long. I can't
3 tell you precisely yes or no. I can only say as much as I did.
4 Q. Do you know on the document you saw before you, where Dr. Stakic's
5 named as a member of the war presidency, when he became a member of the
6 war presidency and who appointed him to that position?
7 A. If it existed, and I don't want to say it did, I think many more
8 people were appointed to the war presidency than to the Crisis Staff. So
9 if he was a appointed to that presidency, he was appointed by some higher
10 organ, maybe the presidency, maybe the assembly. Anyway, somebody from
11 upstairs. Some people were appointed by name to this war presidency,
12 because I know that I was appointed to that war presidency myself. And I
13 believe Mr. Djukic was named as president of the Executive Board, or maybe
14 as a deputy of the assembly. He received that enactment which said that
15 certain people were appointed to the war presidency. All I know is that
16 there were more members of the presidency than there were members of the
17 Crisis Staff.
18 And they were named not only by the function, by the posts they
19 held. There were also other people who didn't occupy specific posts.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, because the transcript is
21 not quite clear on this issue. On page 43, line 24, Mr. Budimir, you
22 stated: "If I can ask you to go back to the earlier appointment of the
23 Crisis Staff, Mr." and then until now it wasn't possible to catch up the
24 name, "was also appointed to that Crisis Staff which was a republican..."
25 and then the word is missing. Could you please repeat this part of your
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that Mr. Drljaca was
3 appointed to the municipal Crisis Staff. He was chief of the public
4 security station. And that was a body at the republican level. At the
5 republican level, there was the Ministry of the Interior and the public
6 security station was an organisational unit of the ministry, just the same
7 way I was vice-president of the Executive Board, and Mr. --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter lost this part. We apologise.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please repeat. The interpreter has
10 lost the last part of the answer. It reads: "Just the same way I was
11 vice-president of the Executive Board, and Mr. ..."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that is not what I said. I said
13 unlike him, I was member of the Executive Board as secretary of the
14 municipal secretariat for national defence, ex officio. But Mr. Drljaca
15 was not a member of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly because
16 he was chief of the public security station. And that was a state body, a
17 single unified state body of the Ministry of the Interior. And from that
18 state body, he could not be a member of the municipal body. I could be a
19 member of the Executive Board, however because at that moment I was
20 secretary of the municipal secretariat.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, but nevertheless, you said in the
22 beginning of your answer, page 46, line 3: "I said that Mr. Drljaca was
23 appointed to the municipal Crisis Staff." So there was no problem to be
24 on the one level, and then appointed at the same time to the municipal
25 Crisis Staff, or did I misunderstand you? Once again, you said: "I said
1 Mr. Drljaca was appointed to the municipal Crisis Staff. He was chief of
2 the public security station, and that was a body of the republican level."
3 This was your answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. But I also
5 said earlier that by a decision, whether it was the president or the
6 presidency, the Crisis Staff was appointed naming by name the people
7 occupying certain posts who would be members of that staff. And they were
8 consulted in that context on this issue.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
10 Mr. Koumjian, please.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. Sir, you said yesterday, on page 49 of the LiveNote, beginning on
13 line 11, you were talking about the relationship between the Crisis Staff
14 and army or police. And you said: "But as far as pointing out of
15 problems in the territory of the municipality, and the taking of measures
16 to prevent repetition of such incidents, it was the obligation of
17 municipal bodies to point out such things and to ask the competent
18 authorities to take whatever measures were necessary to redress any
19 deficiencies and problems."
20 Sir, in any of the meetings that you attended, did Dr. Stakic ever
21 complain of crimes committed by the army or police against the non-Serbian
22 population of Prijedor?
23 A. I have told you that we did have situations of that kind and
24 discussions. And when things culminated with the events in Prijedor that
25 went outside of the law and the measures prescribed by the law, certain
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 authorities did not take appropriate measures. Dr. Stakic asked the
2 public security station to restore law and order in town, and also he
3 asked the army to keep their military conscripts under control.
4 Throughout the time, even when certain members of the army were on leave,
5 they still belonged to the army, and they should be under the control of
6 the army. Everybody in the presidency, including Dr. Stakic, asked for
7 these illegal acts on the territory of Prijedor to be put an end to.
8 Q. Specifically, what illegal acts are you referring to?
9 A. We are talking about plunder, killings, disorder, arson, and other
10 similar things.
11 Q. Are you talking about crimes specifically directed against Muslims
12 and Croats?
13 A. I'm talking about the acts which were targeted at everybody across
14 the board, although one could say objectively that they were mostly
15 targeted at Muslims, and maybe Croats to a lesser extent, as well as Serbs
16 to a lesser extent.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please.
18 MR. LUKIC: I think that the witness specified that they were
19 discussing the crimes in the city. And it's not reflected in the
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
22 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Budimir? You were discussing crimes in the
23 city of Prijedor rather than the outlying areas of the municipality?
24 A. The jurisdiction of the president of the municipality and
25 municipal organs is the entire territory, so what I had in mind is the
1 entire territory.
2 Q. Did you discuss, then, the detention of thousands of Muslims and
3 Croats at the Keraterm and Omarska camps?
4 A. I've already stated - I believe it was yesterday - that the
5 subject matter relative to these collection centres was not on the agenda
6 of the meetings of the Crisis Staff, and that I don't have any information
7 on that. Or that I did not attend any of the sessions of the Crisis Staff
8 where these matters would be discussed.
9 Q. Sir, did you discuss specifically the massacre in July of 1992 at
10 the Keraterm facility in the Crisis Staff where people in town heard
11 shooting for hours at night from automatic weapons?
12 A. I spent nights outside the town. My house is about 6 kilometres
13 from the city centre. And I was not in the position to hear that.
14 Subsequently, I learned about the events, but I don't have any precise
15 information as to what had happened. Nobody reported on that to anybody,
16 and we did not receive any reports at the Crisis Staff. We didn't discuss
17 those events at the sessions that I attended.
18 Q. Did you ever discuss the massacre at Koricanska Stijena of over
19 200 men on a convoy escorted by Prijedor police having left Tukovi and
20 Trnopolje headed towards Travnik?
21 A. Officially, I never discussed that with anybody, within the
22 purview of my organ, this was not under my jurisdiction and under my
23 authority. This was under the jurisdictions of the Ministry of the
24 Interior. I don't know what happened there. I was not in the position to
25 be informed about that at any formal sessions. Nobody ever reported on
1 that event at any of the formal sessions of any of the formal organs or
2 bodies that I was a member of, and I did not receive any official
3 information on what happened at that place.
4 Q. At any of the meetings that you attended, did Dr. Stakic complain
5 or criticise the army for its actions in Hambarine in May, 23rd of May; in
6 Kozarac, between the 24th and 26th of May; and in the cleansing of the
7 Brdo region in July?
8 A. We did not discuss that at the Crisis Staff, and I don't know
9 about him criticising that. I don't know whether he said anything about
10 that in his public appearances. In any case, this was not the subject
11 matter of our discussions, and I never heard of the president criticising
12 that at any official meetings. At this point, I would like to rule out
13 his public appearances or his appearances in any other place.
14 Q. Obviously you can only testify about what you saw or heard. Sir,
15 did the Crisis Staff order that Stari Grad be levelled to the ground after
16 the 30th of May?
17 A. The Crisis Staff didn't issue such an order. I don't know who
18 would it be that the Crisis Staff could issue order to? The Crisis Staff
19 did not have any instruments, any tools, to issue such an order and have
20 it implemented. I don't know. I'm sure that such an order could not have
21 been implemented. In any case, the Crisis Staff could not have ensured
22 the implementation of any such order.
23 Q. Sir, what contacts did you have in your official capacity with the
24 Ljubija mine company?
25 A. In my official capacity, my contacts with the Ljubija mine were
1 with the CEO of the company. We were talking about the recruits who were
2 to be mobilised from his company. Actually, to be more precise, they were
3 comprised by the additional mobilisation. We discussed the matter in
4 terms of the mine giving conscripts for the army but still being able to
5 maintain the level of their production.
6 Q. Sir, did you -- I'm not sure what the correct word would be. But
7 did you make sure that equipment from the Ljubija mine company was put at
8 the disposal of the army or of the Crisis Staff? Was that part of your
10 A. I did not concern myself with the equipment of the mine. You said
11 something else, but I can't remember what you asked me. When there was a
12 request of the army for a piece of machinery or a vehicle to be mobilised
13 for the army, I would forward that request to the company director, and
14 they were then under the obligation to put such a vehicle or machinery at
15 the disposal of the army. If the company could not do without such a
16 piece of machinery or equipment, then we would set up priorities together.
17 In any case, it was the army's priorities that came first rather than the
18 company's priorities.
19 Q. Would you then, if I understand you correctly, you would convey
20 the army's request to Mr. Marjanovic for specific equipment that the army
21 needed. Would that be correct?
22 A. Yes. We forwarded such requests to all the companies, including
23 the mine, and we additionally mobilised materiel and technical equipment
24 from those companies.
25 Q. One question before the break: Was Mr. Marjanovic a member or did
1 he attend meetings of the Crisis Staff?
2 A. Mr. Marjanovic was not a member of the Crisis Staff, and I don't
3 remember him ever having attended the Crisis Staff meetings.
4 Q. If I can slip in one more question to finish the subject, was the
5 equipment of the Ljubija mine company used to bulldoze and flatten Stari
7 A. That was not under the authority of the body that I headed, and I
8 don't have any information on that. I didn't participate in that, so I
9 cannot give you any clarification on that. It was not done on my order,
10 if this was done. And under whose orders, you should ask somebody else.
11 I'm sure they would be able to give you a better answer than me.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To stay in the context, and not to come back to
13 this question again, on today's transcript, page 48, line 7, you said:
14 "Everybody in the presidency, including Dr. Stakic, asked for these
15 illegal acts on the territory of Prijedor to be put an end to."
16 Question: "Specifically, what illegal acts are you referring
18 Your answer was: "We are talking about plunder, killings,
19 disorder, arson, and other similar things."
20 Later on, you added that you never discussed -- or it was never
21 discussed at least in your presence in the framework of the Crisis Staff
22 the establishment of camps or reception centres or collection centres,
23 whatever term you want to use. Isn't the conclusion correct that
24 following this, when you're discussing reactions on plunder and killings
25 and disorder, these camps were not designed as a reaction on plunder,
1 killings, and disorder?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question can be answered by
3 those who set up these camps or investigation centres. I've told you that
4 I didn't take any action, measure, or procedure relative to these
5 collection centres under my authority. Secondly, that these centres were
6 never discussed at the Crisis Staff meetings. Why and for what reason, I
7 don't know. And who was it who should have put that question on the
8 agenda, I don't know. I did what I was supposed to do, and the only
9 matters that I was supposed to put on the agenda when this was needed were
10 the matters that fell under my jurisdictions and that were within my
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But once again, you stated that "everybody in
13 the presidency, including Dr. Stakic, tried to react and to prevent these
14 plunder, killings, disorder..." And would it therefore be correct that in
15 this context, to put an end to these illegal acts, to quote your own
16 words, these killings, disorder, the establishment of camps in this
17 context was never discussed as an appropriate measure or response to these
18 killings and plunder? Correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct. We never discussed
20 that. Why and who retained this information, at what level, within which
21 circle, I don't know.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then finally, we have to decide on
23 the document tendered by the Prosecution. The conclusions of the 6th of
24 August, 1995 of the Republika Srpska Prijedor Municipality War Presidency.
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We think that it's outside of the
2 scope of the indictment.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have already previously the comment -- our
4 comments after the deliberations of the Chamber. Therefore, admitted into
5 evidence as S403A and B respectively.
6 The trial stays adjourned until half past 1.00.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.06 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
10 Mr. Koumjian, please continue.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. Mr. Budimir, from your office in the same building as the SUP
13 building, did you hear screams and other sounds, or did you see things
14 that made you aware of prisoners being abused in that building and in the
15 parking lot to that building?
16 A. In my position, the position that I worked in and from that room,
17 I could see people being brought in to the SUP building. And every time,
18 a different door was used. The next door was used. And I could see
19 people being brought in through the parking lot, and they were taken to
20 the restaurant. And this is where two offices were that served for those
21 people who were taken in. During my working hours, while I was there, I
22 didn't see any abuse going on. I didn't see anybody being beaten up among
23 those people who had been brought in.
24 Q. Did you hear any screams?
25 A. No, not during my working hours. I didn't hear any screams. In
1 the afternoon I was never there. I was either at home or in the early
2 warning and reporting centre.
3 Q. Where did you live at that time? What area or village?
4 A. I lived in Miljakovci which is 5 and a half kilometres south of
5 the town which is on the right bank of the Sana River.
6 Q. So would that be correct that that would be towards the Brdo
8 A. Across the Sana River in relation to Brdo, a bit higher up.
9 Q. In your travels around the municipality, did you see homes
10 destroyed, either by shells or by arson, in the area of the Hambarine and
11 the wider area of Brdo, and in the Kozarac, Kamicani, Kozarusa area?
12 A. Yes, I did see that houses had been burnt down and destroyed.
13 Q. Did you visit the area around Brisevo near Ljubija and see similar
15 A. No, I didn't go in that direction. I went through Kozarac towards
16 Banja Luka, and that was on the way home I could see Carakovo and parts of
17 Hambarine on the left bank of the Sana River. I could see that these
18 parts were destroyed. But I've already said that there was no need for me
19 to go towards Ljubija during the war operations. My job simply didn't
20 take me there.
21 Q. You mentioned in your examination three names of employees of
22 non-Serbian ethnicity, I believe all Muslims, who worked with you after
23 you became the secretary. Dzevad Habibovic, Kerim Mesanovic, and Muhamed
24 Burazerovic. Were you aware that all three of them were taken to the
25 Omarska camp in the summer of 1992?
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and answer because
2 the nodding is not reflected on the transcript.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not nodding. I'm going to
4 answer the question that was put to me.
5 Now, you have confused me. Can you please repeat the question.
6 In the meantime, I have forgotten the question. And if you could repeat
7 these names, I will answer your question.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN:
9 Q. Certainly. I named three Muslims who I believe -- I understood
10 from your direct examination or from your earlier examination worked for
11 you when you were the secretary of the secretariat of national defence for
12 the municipality. And forgive my pronunciation, I believe they were
13 Dzevad Habibovic, Kerim Mesanovic, and Muhamed Burazerovic.
14 A. If you will allow me a correction, they didn't work for me. They
15 worked in the body that I headed. As far as these three individuals are
16 concerned, subsequently I learned that they had been taken in by the
17 Ministry of the Interior, but I don't have any information of their
18 further movements and eventually of their lot.
19 Q. Did you learn that Muhamed Burazerovic was killed in the Omarska
21 A. Subsequently I learned that Burazerovic was a victim of the war
22 operations, but I don't know exactly how and where it happened. I'm not
23 aware of the circumstances of his death.
24 Q. Sir, you told us that every citizen has a duty to report abuses
25 and crimes and that a body such as the Crisis Staff would have a duty to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 direct the attention of competent bodies to any abuse by the police or the
2 army. Did you, as a member of the Crisis Staff and National Defence
3 Council, ever initiate any discussion about the crimes that you were aware
4 of against the civilian population of non-Serbian ethnicity in Prijedor?
5 A. If we establish a link between your last question and your
6 question before last, I can only say something that I have already said in
7 my testimony. When the first person out of the three that you've
8 mentioned failed to turn up for work, and when I learned that he had been
9 brought in by the police, I went to the chief of the police and asked for
10 the explanation as to how this happened and under what circumstances.
11 What I received as the answer was very ugly. I was told that I was
12 protecting some people, that I gave them shelter in my body, and then the
13 receiver was slammed down on me.
14 After that, I never asked for any explanations. I never initiated
15 any discussions because all of these things were under the jurisdiction of
16 this man who reacted so badly to my first telephone intervention.
17 Q. Sir, in the National Defence Council or the Crisis Staff, prior to
18 the 22nd of May, prior to the incident at Hambarine, were there
19 discussions about preparing for conflict with the Muslim and Croat
21 A. No, not at the session that I attended. There was no discussion
22 about preparations of conflicts between ethnic groups.
23 Q. You mentioned earlier in your testimony that you were aware that
24 an artillery unit was moved from the front in Croatia back to Prijedor in
25 May, in early May. And as soon as I can find the document, I will have it
1 shown to you.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: May the witness be shown S61 -- excuse me, that's
3 not it. S345, please.
4 Q. While that's being prepared, sir, did the police enforce a curfew
5 in Prijedor after the takeover?
6 A. I don't know exactly. I can't remember when the curfew was
7 introduced. There was a curfew in force for a certain period of time, but
8 I don't know exactly when that was. And I do know that it was the
9 Ministry of the Interior that introduced this curfew. But that was
10 something that they had the right to do. It was within their legal
11 authority to do that.
12 Q. Well, sir, the Ministry of the Interior or police did not
13 introduce -- they enforced the curfew. Is that correct? They were the
14 ones that would arrest people that would violate the curfew. Correct?
15 A. The enforcement of the curfew was under the authority of the
16 police; however, I don't know whether anybody was arrested, where, or
17 when. I simply can't provide you with any facts on that.
18 Q. We'll come back to that in a moment. First, regarding the
19 movement of the artillery, if you look at S345 which you should have in
20 front of you now, in point number 2 of this combat report dated the 3rd of
21 May 1992 and marked "strictly confidential," the second sentence under
22 point number 2 indicates that "in the course of the 2nd and 3rd of May,
23 one 105-millimetre Howitzer battery and one anti-armour artillery battery
24 of the 343rd Motorised Brigade were relocated to the Prijedor area in
25 order to strengthen the units and the wider Prijedor/Ljubija/Kozarac
1 area. The units have taken up their positions."
2 Do these dates, sir, in this order - realising that it's a
3 military order that you may or may not have seen marked "strictly
4 confidential" - do these dates correspond to your recollection of when
5 that artillery was moved?
6 A. I said that I have a general knowledge of the relocation of those
7 units, but under whose orders and when that happened I can't tell you
8 because I never had precise information on that.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sorry, but could the witness be shown again S28.
10 Q. Sir, S28 was the minutes of the 5th of May of the National Defence
11 Council. Isn't it correct, sir, that that was the session and that was
12 the body that introduced the curfew that was enforced by the police?
13 A. This body was not authorised, nor did it have ability to introduce
14 a curfew. It could have proposed that if discussion was taking place on
15 disorders and law and order. They could have proposed that, and they
16 could have forwarded that proposal to the Ministry of the Interior. And
17 the Ministry of the Interior was the only body that could have introduced
18 a curfew having taken into account the situation in the territory.
19 Q. Sir, the curfew, according to this decision, was introduced by the
20 National Defence Council. I'm not asking you what its legal authority
21 was. Isn't it correct that at that session, the curfew was introduced and
22 that this document was signed by Milomir Stakic?
23 A. I'm not disputing the wording of this document, but what I'm
24 saying is that the discussion did not take this form, and I'm also saying
25 that the Crisis Staff could not have introduced a curfew because the law
1 on the Ministry of the Interior regulated precisely who it was who was
2 able to introduce a curfew. And no further or subsequent document
3 derogated that law. So the only person who could have introduced a curfew
4 was the minister of the interior, maybe upon the proposal of the Crisis
5 Staff. But it was only the minister of the interior who had legal
6 authority to introduce it.
7 Q. Sir, let's talk about mobilisations for a moment. The Crisis
8 Staff or National Defence Council, did they order you, direct you in any
9 way to mobilise individuals?
10 A. They didn't order, direct me, or do anything similar. Even if
11 they had, I could not have acted on any such instructions because in my
12 work, I was governed by the law on national defence. I've already said in
13 my testimony that it is the president of the republic who orders
14 mobilisation, gives the order to the minister of the defence, and then it
15 goes down the line of command. Since we had problems that I've already
16 mentioned, mobilisation was carried out, but the units were not mobilised
17 to the full strength. Then conscripts were appealed to by public notices
18 to report to their respective units. Mobilisation could have been carried
19 out by a general, public notice. Those were posters that were -- that
20 were to be seen all around the town, and then people would report to their
21 units, having read those notifications. So this was maybe what the Crisis
22 Staff could do and they did. But it was not in the purview -- within the
23 purview of the Crisis Staff to order mobilisation of any of the
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S61.
1 Q. Sir, while that's being prepared, during 1992 and throughout the
2 war until Dayton, would it be correct to say that people at least of
3 Serbian ethnicity saw that responding to the mobilisation was a patriotic
5 A. That is a very general political question. And it will largely
6 depend on every individual, every conscript. We did not carry out a
7 public poll, and this can be accepted as a general position. But I can't
8 give you a precise view of what people may have thought. What I can tell
9 you is that in keeping with the law, everybody was duty-bound to report to
10 mobilisation and report to their units, or when posters were distributed
11 all over the town, then they had to respond to that call according to
12 their military specialisation that was recorded in their service books.
13 Q. Thank you. Let me try to be more specific. Leaders of the SDS
14 party, would it be correct that they made public pronouncements that
15 responding to the mobilisation was a patriotic duty, and that it was their
16 position that it would have been wrong under their stated political
17 position for people to use family connections, for example, to attempt to
18 evade mobilisation?
19 A. As to the first part of your question, I can accept it. And my
20 answer would be that yes, there had been appeals invoking patriotic duty
21 to that effect. And I cannot answer the second part of your question
22 because I don't accept the premise.
23 Q. Okay. Perhaps I wasn't clear. What you do not accept, if I
24 understand you, is that you're saying leaders of the SDS did not try to
25 get their family members excused from military service just as a favour.
1 Is that correct?
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please.
3 MR. LUKIC: Can the witness be shown the exhibit on which this
4 matter is discussed, or it's presumed. So I ask --
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm not discussing an exhibit. I'm asking the
6 witness a question.
7 MR. LUKIC: Then it is not in evidence. It's presumed facts.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I don't want to argue the point in
9 front of the witness, but if counsel has put in evidence that they have
10 offered their 92 bis on this point. These are the questions I'm directing
11 my questions to. It's not that I'm saying this happened. I'm talking
12 about why it would not happen.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you'll allow me, may I answer --
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Please wait for the Judge to rule.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objection dismissed after deliberation.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN:
18 Q. Sir, you may answer. Thank you.
19 A. The colleague asked if certain members of the SDS tried in some
20 way to protect themselves or their family members. On that issue, I said
21 in one statement that I gave that I, as chief of section, had encountered
22 a similar situation; namely, deputies of the Municipal Assembly of
23 Prijedor adopted a conclusion at one of their sessions to the effect that
24 they, as deputies of the Municipal Assembly, should not be called up into
25 the army. And they justified it by saying that they, as deputies, are
1 very busy with their municipal duties. However, since I always followed
2 the law on the army, which was a higher legal enactment, I could not
3 accept that conclusion adopted by the deputies of the Municipal Assembly.
4 Therefore, I conducted mobilisation as envisaged by the law. And because
5 of that, I encountered certain problems because some people insisted that
6 I should respect the conclusion I spoke about, rather than follow the law,
7 if that answers your question.
8 Q. Actually, that wasn't my question. And I appreciate you trying to
9 answer my question, Mr. Budimir. If you can try to keep your answers
10 confined to the question, perhaps we can move a little faster. I'm sorry,
11 I'm going a little slowly today. Sir, to be direct, did Dr. Stakic ever
12 contact you and ask you not to mobilise someone? Yes or no, if you
14 A. Well, everybody asked some favours at one time or another, not
15 only Stakic but everybody. But I never acted on such requests. I did
16 what I was asked to -- what I was required to do by law. I also had major
17 conflicts with deputies on that score, but I don't want to waste any more
18 of our time elaborating on that.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you ever mobilise Dr. Stakic?
20 A. After he left his office of president of the municipality,
21 Dr. Stakic reported to the command of the 43rd Brigade to his colleague,
22 Zeljko Macura, and spent some time in the army. I don't know exactly how
23 much time. Probably until he returned to political life.
24 Q. Sir, S61 is the document which is before you now. It's dated the
25 22nd of May. First, if I could ask you, on the 22nd of May, this is a
1 date which we all believe in this courtroom was the date of the incident
2 at the Hambarine checkpoint. Do you recall the incident in question? I'm
3 not asking if you were there, but do you recall that day of the incident
4 at Hambarine?
5 A. I remember the story about this incident, but I cannot recollect
6 the date.
7 Q. Did the Crisis Staff or the National Defence Council or any body
8 of which you were a member meet on that day to discuss a response to that
10 A. No, not as far as I can remember. I don't remember myself
11 attending such a session.
12 Q. Sir, can you briefly explain, if you know, which units the
13 following numerical designations refer to. War unit 4777?
14 A. That is the 43rd Motorised Brigade.
15 Q. 3507?
16 A. I cannot remember these numbers exactly. I think those were units
17 which had points of mobilisation assembly in Banja Luka. It may have been
18 an armoured brigade, but I cannot remember their code numbers, apart from
19 this 8316, which was the 5th Kozara Brigade.
20 Q. Was 3507 a Banja Luka rocket unit?
21 A. I don't rule out that possibility, but I can't say for sure. I
22 can't remember all the codes. You are asking too much.
23 Q. How about TO 8316, does that-- are you able to recollect what that
25 A. I just said, it's the 5th Kozara Brigade.
1 Q. I'm sorry. Sir, do you recall seeing this order -- excuse me,
2 decision on mobilisation on the territory of Prijedor dated the 22nd of
4 A. My recollection is not very clear, but in view of the job I was
5 doing, I don't rule out the possibility that I had had access to this
6 document. But it was not drafted in my agency. It was drafted by one of
7 the technical services. I can't rule it out one way or another. Whenever
8 an issue fell within my competence, I always tried to gain access to all
9 the necessary information and see what needs to be done.
10 Q. Thank you. You mentioned posters that would appear in town
11 instructing individuals to report to their war units. Were these posters
12 signed in the name of the Crisis Staff, the name of the National Defence
13 Council? How were they signed, if at all? Did you sign them?
14 A. As for these posters, I mentioned them only as one of the
15 possibilities used. Whenever general mobilisation was announced, one of
16 the possibilities was to announce it by posters, on the media, and every
17 other way. We tried to use every possibility to get military conscripts
18 to report as soon as possible to their points of report. However, at that
19 particular time we didn't have access to printworks, and we couldn't make
20 these posters.
21 As for announcement of mobilisation through the media, it said
22 "the command of such and such a corps is urging military conscripts to
23 report to this and that unit," et cetera. There were also appeals by all
24 political and social forces to get the men to report -- to respond to
25 military callups, but it was usually the military units themselves that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 appealed to the conscripts to report wherever they were supposed to
2 report. That was the official demand, callup, made by military units.
3 Q. Sir, you indicated that you did not have access to printworks at
4 this time. Isn't it true that on the 30th of April, after the takeover,
5 placards appeared throughout Prijedor explaining the reasons for the
7 A. I didn't say that we didn't have access to the printworks. I said
8 we didn't use that possibility, which was envisaged by the legislation for
9 announcing various things. As for posters, everybody had access to that.
10 There were all sorts of posters with various announcements. I said that
11 we didn't use that way because we mostly made announcements through the
12 media, public appeals, and especially in this case, callups were served
13 through the army.
14 Q. Did posters appear after the takeover signed on behalf of the
15 Crisis Staff explaining the takeover?
16 A. No. Oh, sorry, no, we were talking about mobilisation all this
17 time, and now you come up with government and takeover. Could you please
18 repeat the question.
19 Q. After the takeover on the 30th of April, did posters appear in
20 town explaining the takeover and saying why the Crisis Staff had taken
22 A. I don't know that there were any posters about the Crisis Staff
23 taking over because the Crisis Staff never took over power. All I know
24 is that after the takeover, there was an information programme where
25 representatives of the government stated the reasons. And I don't
1 remember any posters written by the Crisis Staff saying that they took
3 Q. Sir, before the army attacked Hambarine and Kozarac, did you
4 discuss those issues, the security situation, and what the army response
5 would be in any of the bodies that you were a member of, Crisis Staff or
6 National Defence Council?
7 A. I don't remember. Many issues were discussed, but precisely in
8 the sense that you are referring to, possible responses and details, I
9 don't remember anything of the sort. I don't remember there was any talk
10 about possible outcomes and premises and how one should respond to them.
11 I don't remember anything of the kind.
12 Q. Sir, surely you would remember, wouldn't you, if you discussed
13 attacking an area of Prijedor, of the army attack an area? Wouldn't that
14 be something that would stick in your memory, even now, 11 years later?
15 A. No, there were no discussions about anyone attacking anyone else,
16 especially not the army. And I personally had no information at all about
17 any attacks, and I already said I had no information at all about
18 takeovers or attacks of any kind.
19 Q. Well, sir, on Tuesday, you were talking about the Crisis Staff and
20 the agenda. On page 21, beginning on line 12, you said: "Even when we
21 were formulating the agenda, I believe there wasn't a precise agenda.
22 There was a broad item, political security situation. And within that
23 item, all the different questions were discussed."
24 Sir, would the army attacking, shelling, an area of Prijedor, in
25 your opinion, fall within this broad item of political security situation?
1 A. I am not arguing with what you say about the army attacking. I am
2 not arguing about whether it needed to be discussed or not. But at the
3 sessions which I attended, there was no discussion about this shelling and
4 about this event. I'm not disputing what you say but this organ, this
5 body, did not discuss that because as I said earlier, the army never
6 informed us of any of its activities or measures that it took.
7 Q. Sir, what is the most memorable discussion that you can recall now
8 of the Crisis Staff? What issue of importance do you remember now that
9 was discussed?
10 A. In my opinion, the most important issue we discussed was when we
11 wanted to stop the unrest in town and when we asked the army and the
12 police to restore order, and we even suggested to help them resolve the
13 situation concerning military conscripts. They refused that, and the
14 situation eventually didn't change. Our possibilities were thus
15 exhausted, and we could not make any more demands on them to take measures
16 so as to restore law and order.
17 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that the Crisis Staff issued demands upon the
18 people in the Hambarine and Kozarac areas, threatening them just before
19 the army attacked?
20 A. No, I think that the Crisis Staff never issued anything of the
21 kind. I don't remember anything of the kind, nor did such a document pass
22 through my hands.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S383.
24 Q. Sir, wasn't it part of the statute of -- or whatever the legal
25 document is called of the Crisis Staff and of the Municipal Assembly to
1 ensure the security and safety of the citizens of the municipality?
2 Wasn't that one of your basic responsibilities?
3 A. The safety and security of the citizens in the municipality fell
4 within the competence of the Ministry of the Interior. In the normal
5 course of things, the Crisis Staff, as a body which took care of the
6 overall situation in the territory of the assembly and all aspects of
7 social life, discussed this issue and demanded from the Ministry of the
8 Interior to take the necessary measures to restore law and order and all
9 the other things that we have already discussed.
10 Q. I'm sorry.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: The correct document is S389.
12 Q. Sir, S389 is a page from Kozarski Vjesnik of the 29th of May
13 1992. And you will see bordered in yellow highlighters several articles
14 with various dates signed "Crisis Staff." One is dated the 23rd of May
15 1992. The one begins "at 1900 hours on 22nd May..." If you could find
16 that article.
17 A. I see it under number 2. Here, on my paper.
18 Q. Thank you. If you can look at the third paragraph where it
19 indicates: "The Crisis Staff hereby orders the population of Hambarine
20 local commune and other local communes in the area, that is, all the
21 citizens of Muslim and other ethnicities, to hand over the perpetrators of
22 this crime, particularly Aziz Aliskovic and his group, who are the direct
23 organisers of this clash, to the Prijedor public security station, or the
24 competent military organs by 1200 hours today, Saturday, 23 May." And
25 that's the end of the sentence on the translation I have.
1 The next sentence is: "This crime has exhausted all deadlines and
2 promises, and the Crisis Staff no longer can nor is it willing to
3 guarantee the security of the population of the above-mentioned villages
4 in this area."
5 Sir, isn't it a fact that the Crisis Staff made that demand on
6 Hambarine and, in fact, the army followed up on that threat and attacked
7 the town, shelling it with tank fire?
8 A. Based on these conclusions from the newspaper, I cannot accept
9 this as proof that there were appeals from people in the Crisis Staff to
10 do this. I don't dispute that part, but it was within the competence of
11 the police. It was their job. I don't see why anybody would write this
12 if it was in the competence of the police to take these men into custody.
13 I stand by my viewpoint that as an agenda at the session -- as an agenda
14 item at the session which I attended, this was not discussed in such a
15 way. And as a rule, the Crisis Staff would not be signed. It was the
16 person heading the Crisis Staff, the responsible person in the Crisis
17 Staff, that was normally signed. So I stand by my earlier stated point
18 that it was not discussed in the Crisis Staff; the Crisis Staff could not
19 issue such an order; it could only ask the police and the army to take
20 whatever measures were in their competence to redress the situation and to
21 restore order.
22 Q. Did the Crisis Staff or Dr. Stakic, to your knowledge, ever issue
23 any denial of this article or of other public media statements on behalf
24 of the Crisis Staff?
25 A. I don't remember that. I don't even remember this article, and I
1 don't remember any denial.
2 Q. Sir, surely you talked in the Crisis Staff about the visit of
3 foreign journalists to the Omarska and Trnopolje camps in August of 1992.
4 Isn't that true?
5 A. That is not correct. We did not surely talk about this visit. I
6 had no information about that visit, and the Crisis Staff did not discuss
7 visits by journalists in my presence. I only saw it on videotape. I
8 believe it was Mico Kovacevic who gave some sort of interview to
9 journalists. But nobody gave him instructions as to what to say on behalf
10 of the Crisis Staff, nor did he later report to the Crisis Staff as to
11 what was said and what was discussed.
12 Q. Just to clarify something, when the Crisis Staff was first
13 activated, was the Executive Board at that time suspended? In other
14 words, was the Crisis Staff meeting in place of the Executive Board?
15 A. The Crisis Staff assumed the duties and obligations of the organs
16 of the Municipal Assembly, and they were not supposed to meet in that
17 period. When they were not able to meet, rather. I don't know whether
18 that lasted for 10 or 15 days in the last quarter of May, or perhaps the
19 first half of June. I believe the Executive Board did not meet during
20 that period. But as soon as the situation was a little normalised, every
21 member of the Executive Board continued to work in his office and
22 occasional sessions of the Executive Board were held. And sometimes the
23 sessions of the two bodies perhaps intertwined. But it is quite possible
24 that at a certain time, the Executive Board could exist in parallel with
25 the Crisis Staff.
1 A large number of deputies that was required was not able to meet
2 for a while, until August or perhaps end September. I don't think I can
3 place this in time precisely.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to intervene once again, but on page 71,
5 line 6, when asked about a visit by journalists, you answered: "I only
6 saw it on videotape." Could you please tell this Chamber when you saw
7 this on videotape and -- please, first, when.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I may have seen it on TV or maybe
9 journalists from Prijedor showed it to me. I can't remember. I can't
10 give you a precise answer to that question. I remember having seen
11 Mr. Kovacevic. I recognise his mannerism. He was talking to somebody.
12 But when it was that I saw it, when it was that I became aware of that, I
13 can't remember.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But wouldn't it be normal when you would have
15 seen it on TV, to answer this question "I saw it on TV" instead of "I saw
16 it on a videotape." Please try to concentrate on this question. Did you
17 receive a videotape on this? And by whom?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I did not receive a
19 cassette. I saw this footage on television. I was not in the position to
20 have that videocassette in my hands. And I apologise if you have
21 misunderstood my answer.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
23 Mr. Koumjian, please proceed.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. We had a videotape that we're
25 apparently having some trouble with, S11.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this would be an appropriate time to have a
2 break, if you agree.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, or I could move to another subject -- sure.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, the trial stays adjourned until 5 minutes
5 to 3.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 2.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 3.05 p.m.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
9 Mr. Koumjian, would you please proceed.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Budimir, you told us that the Executive Board may not have
12 been functioning at the time the Crisis Staff or may have functioned at
13 the same time. I'd like now to play a video of chronicles of Prijedor.
14 It's S11.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Would my learned friend be so kind and quote what the
17 witness said, and the page number, please.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't have it because it's today. He said it
19 just before the break. I don't have it on my monitor. I'll withdraw the
21 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the video booth, then, please play the video.
23 Just for the record, this is S11. And the transcript, we have it set to
24 be cued to begin at page 13.
25 [Videotape played]
1 [Please refer to Exhibit S11A for video transcript]
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Budimir, a few questions about that video. First, in the
4 initial, would it be correct to place the time of this interview, given
5 that the announcer talks about combat activity in Ljubija and Colonel
6 Arsic refers to military activity -- renewed fighting he said, in
7 Rizvanovici and Biscani and there's also the announcer talked about the
8 town being quiet after two months and that this programme is likely
9 broadcast in late July, the second half of July of 1992? If you're
10 unsure, you can say so.
11 A. I'm not sure.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. I want to avoid that a question seems to
13 be a misleading one. You should be aware that on the top page, it reads
14 "produced by TV Banja Luka, 30th of June, 1992".
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I believe that refers to the
16 top -- that's above the line refers to the programme on the tape before
17 the one we just saw. There are various programmes on S11.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I know. But maybe it's then of assistance also
19 to put to the witness the date of the production of TV Banja Luka, of this
20 part of this clip.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: We'll check and see -- I don't have that page, if
22 there is one, that shows the date. Ms. Karper will be looking for it. In
23 the meantime, just in the interests of time, sir --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic wants to take the floor.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Would the Prosecution be able
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to tell us whether Mr. Stakic gave this interview the same day as
2 Mr. Arsic or not?
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the Prosecution can't testify in this
4 case. And therefore, this question is more or less a rhetorical one. But
5 I think it is helpful to have the end of this document where the date of
6 the production is reflected. And then we all can draw our own conclusions
7 whether this was on the same day or not.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: There's no production credits at the end of this
9 segment. There are credits, excuse me, but there's no date given. And
10 that's on ERN page 03065777.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, at least, for the attempt. So we
12 have to draw the conclusions out of the context and the content of this
13 document. Thank you.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
15 Q. Sir, Dr. Stakic in his interview indicated, and I'm reading from
16 page 14: "During war operations, there was a Crisis Staff in Prijedor
17 that has now been renamed the war presidency by a decision from the
18 government and the Presidency of the Serbian Republic. But as soon as the
19 initial combat activity subsided, we activated the executive committee,
20 and it now operates normally."
21 Would I be correct, sir, in your opinion, in concluding that the
22 executive committee was suspended at least during the initial phase of the
23 Crisis Staff?
24 A. As for the terminology that you have been using, I don't know
25 enough about it. But I said that at the moment when the Crisis Staff took
1 over the duties of the Municipal Assembly and its organs, for a brief
2 period of time, for objective conditions and events in the territory, the
3 Executive Board did not meet, and that lasted for a short period of time.
4 As soon as the secretaries of various secretariats as members of the
5 Executive Board were able to do their job properly, then the Executive
6 Board started functioning again. So I don't see that there could have
7 been any sort of suspension. I don't know whether we understand each
8 other. I believe that what I am saying is more correct. The Executive
9 Board was never formally, legally suspended; it only stopped being
10 convened for a brief period of time.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification.
12 In the interview with Colonel Arsic, he begins by indicating "I
13 would first like to make one remark. I am not the only one who is
14 well-informed about the events taking place in Prijedor. All government
15 organs also know very well what is going on in Prijedor."
16 Would you agree with what Colonel Arsic said in that interview?
17 A. Since all of us here are trying as much as possible to arrive at
18 the truth, I can try and share my views with you. In this specific case,
19 you can see how a systematic and experienced person answers questions. As
20 soon as he is asking a question, he makes some reservations. If that same
21 question had been put to Dr. Stakic, who was an inexperienced young
22 person, he would have accepted -- he would have taken the bite and
23 continued talking. But this person here has tried to pass on the buck, if
24 I may say so, on to other persons, although he had never reported on the
25 activities of the army to any of these people. The only persons he
1 reported to were his superiors in the army. I don't hold it against him
2 because that is exactly what he was supposed to do under the law.
3 Q. Sir, did Mr. Baltic attend meetings of the Crisis Staff?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Baltic did attend the Crisis Staff meetings.
5 Conditionally speaking, he didn't attend all of them, but yes, he did
6 attend them.
7 Q. Do you recall, did Mr. Baltic inform the Crisis Staff through
8 written reports on implementations of conclusions of the municipal Crisis
9 Staff or decisions of the Crisis Staff?
10 A. I don't remember that. I only know that the decisions were made
11 by the Crisis Staff, and that Mr. Baltic was then submitting them to the
12 Municipal Assembly for ratification. I believe that this session was at
13 the end of July or beginning of August. I can't remember exactly because
14 I did not attend that session at which the decisions were ratified. I
15 believe that once these decisions were ratified, the Crisis Staff stopped
16 being convened, and that there was no further feedback on the ratification
17 of the Crisis Staff decisions at any of the meetings of the Crisis Staff
18 after that.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S115.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, before we leave this area, may I ask the
21 witness to show to the Defence and to the Prosecution the exhibit as
22 admitted under Exhibit S11A where it clearly reads that the videotape from
23 000 to 0444, pages 12 to 14, is a production of TV Banja Luka, 30th of
24 June 1992. And if I am wrong, please let me know.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, my position on that is that this tape
1 0444 includes several programmes that were put on one videotape. The date
2 that you're referring to, I believe, reflects --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: These are the text just immediately beforehand
4 read out.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, but there's a line -- I believe that that date
6 refers to the programme immediately before what was read out. That's my
7 belief, and from what the context of the interview, it's very clear it's
8 late July.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May this document also please be shown to the
10 Defence that both parties have the same possibility to comment on this.
11 It's only the right to be heard on this question.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps the witness might help us in one respect.
13 Q. Sir, Vidovdan, is that a holiday that has a specific -- does it
14 fall on the same day each year? Can you help us on that?
15 A. Yes, 28 June every year.
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: If we may just comment, Your Honour, briefly, if I'm
19 correct in understanding the Court, the exhibit that the Court just
20 tendered as admitted S11A, it is the paragraph that is on the first page
21 of that that seems to be similar to the one that the Prosecution has shown
22 the witness. Correct?
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One is the rough translation, and the other
24 seems to be a revised translation.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it might be important, and I think the Court
1 suggested this, and I apologise if I didn't hear it because we were
2 conferring, I think 11A should be shown to the witness because it is in
3 our opinion somewhat different than the rough translations when it
4 involves the questions that are specifically being put to the witness
5 relating to the war presidency, et cetera. Because the 11A seems to be
6 rather clear on when it may have started and when it may have ended.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you will have the opportunity to come back
8 to this. Please only be aware that this is a rough 11A as admitted into
9 evidence until now, it is a rough translation. And it would be for the
10 Prosecution now to tender the final and revised translation. That would
11 be then in addition with -1 as usual. That was -2.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Ms. Karper has on her records an indication that
13 the final translation was submitted to the Defence and Chamber on the 5th
14 of February, it has -- it begins the ERN number 03065755.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The master of our files is Madam Registrar, she
16 has the casting vote. And let's come back to this later. And of course,
17 it's your right to come back to this issue.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: And I think I was about to show the witness a
19 document -- I believe it was from S115.
20 Q. Sir, was it among the responsibilities of Mr. Baltic to prepare
21 reports for the Municipal Assembly or for the Crisis Staff regarding
22 technical matters and reports regarding their decisions or conclusions?
23 A. Yes, the technical services of the Municipal Assembly headed by
24 Mr. Baltic had a duty to process documents and data within the purview of
25 the Municipal Assembly, including the takeover by the Crisis Staff of the
1 functions of the Municipal Assembly.
2 Q. Sir, if you look at this document, on the report on the
3 implementation of the conclusions of the Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff,
4 number 1 of the report is "the conclusions for which the public security
5 station is responsible," and there follows 12 different decisions. The
6 first of which is one that came up during the first day of your
7 questioning by Judge Schomburg, the conclusion on banning the release of
9 Sir, did you ever see this report before?
10 A. With your permission, just as I gave you a precise answer saying
11 that the technical service was serving the Municipal Assembly, I can state
12 with full responsibility that the legislator when adopting this law
13 regarding the Municipal Assembly envisaged that the president of the
14 municipality as a political figure is not required to know the
15 legislation, but he is responsible for the legality of the work of
16 municipal bodies, and he made responsible for this the secretary of the
17 Municipal Assembly, and the law prescribes that only a lawyer by training
18 can occupy this post. As I said, he was required to do this, and I'm
19 saying this now, that the man who drafted this conclusion did not do so in
20 accordance with the law.
21 On the contrary, he drew his own conclusions from the discussion.
22 I, however, stand by my earlier statement that the Crisis Staff was not
23 able to order anything to anyone through a document of this sort, nor
24 could they order the army to take any measures whatsoever. I don't
25 remember having access to this information, to this document that we are
1 discussing now. But this is my explanation as best as I can give it.
2 This man was required, whenever he saw an enactment that was not strictly
3 in accordance with the law, to warn the president that there was a
4 discrepancy, a deviation from the law, and that it shouldn't be done this
5 way. Thank you. I don't know. Maybe I spoke too fast for the
7 Q. Sir, again we're not asking you what the legality is. We're
8 asking you questions about what happened.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But I think it would be interesting to hear, was
10 there any such dispute between Mr. Baltic and Dr. Stakic you referred to
11 that should have happened in case a decision, conclusion, would not be in
12 line with the law. Was there ever such a dispute?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said the secretary was required to
14 tell the president that this enactment should have a basis in law. But
15 whether they had any disputes and whether the secretary indeed drew the
16 president's attention to this, I really don't know.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please proceed.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. Sir, would Mr. Drljaca have reported on his implementation of
20 Crisis Staff decisions in your opinion? And for the benefit of counsel,
21 I'm referring to S114 now.
22 A. At the sessions of the Crisis Staff which I attended, there was
23 not a single written document in the form of brief or report on the work
24 of the Ministry of the Interior wherein this body reported or informed the
25 Crisis Staff about the execution of its duties and tasks.
1 Q. Sir, what role did you play in your professional capacity in the
2 transfer of the non-Serbian population from Prijedor Municipality?
3 A. I had no role whatsoever in the evacuation of the non-Serbian
4 population from the Serbian -- from the territory of the Prijedor
5 Municipality. All I did was in accordance with the instructions of the
6 government of the Republika Srpska, and that was to issue certificates for
7 the movement of the population outside of the territory of the Prijedor
8 Municipality. And that was in keeping with the current decision.
9 Q. Did you ever visit the Trnopolje camp in order to give people
10 permission to leave Prijedor?
11 A. No, I never visited Trnopolje camp in order to give people
12 permission to leave Prijedor. What happened was this: At the request
13 of -- I think it was the representative of a health-care body, some doctor
14 from Banja Luka, a visit was made to Trnopolje, and it was made by an
15 official of the administration with these documents who issued this
16 document or these documents, these certificates, to the people who
17 happened to be there at the time. I think the name of the doctor is
18 Aleksic. He was a representative of some health-care organisation or
19 maybe the Red Cross or the International Red Cross. I don't remember
20 exactly. I think it was Dr. Aleksic.
21 Q. Sir, is it correct that the Trnopolje camp was located very close
22 to the railway station in Trnopolje?
23 A. The collection centre in Trnopolje, I have never been there. But
24 I know that it was near the school building which means that it was also
25 close to the railway station.
1 Q. Were you aware, sir, of large numbers of people, Muslims and
2 Croats, being put on cattle cars and transported out of Prijedor through
3 Banja Luka and out of the area of this Serbian Republic?
4 A. No, I was not aware of that, nor was that within the competence of
5 the body that I headed.
6 Q. Sir, in your professional capacity, were you aware of the
7 desperation of Muslim and Croat families to leave Prijedor in the summer
8 of 1992?
9 A. I knew that many people wanted to leave, and many people came to
10 the secretariat where I worked asking for permission to leave the
11 territory of Republika Srpska. All those who submitted the prescribed
12 application in due manner received approvals from the body that I headed.
13 And as for the further organisation of their departure, I don't know
14 anything about it. I think it went through the International Red Cross,
15 but I really don't know for sure. I was not able to follow or monitor all
16 that because I had my own job.
17 Q. Thank you for answering part of my question. But the other part
18 was, sir, were you aware of the absolute desperation of these people to
19 leave Prijedor?
20 A. I didn't know about the mindset of any particular person, nor was
21 I able to know that. All I could was to work in accordance with the
22 regulations. All those who applied for documents received them. The
23 situation was chaotic. There were many people, Serbs, Croats, and
24 Muslims, I'm not disputing that the Muslims were in the worst in
25 situation. All of them were running away wherever they could.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
3 MR. KOUMJIAN:
4 Q. Sorry sir, we missed the last sentence. If you could repeat it.
5 All we heard was that people were running away wherever they could.
6 A. I said after that that of course I'm not putting a mark of
7 equality between all citizens. Of course Muslims and Croats were worse
8 off than Serbs. All people who left -- who could leave left, and all
9 those who applied for permission to my body received permission. And many
10 people left by their own personal vehicles even without any approval,
11 especially those who were on their own, who were fleeing.
12 Q. Sir, in that summer of 1992, there were long lines of mainly women
13 standing outside the SUP building waiting to see you or your employees to
14 get permission to leave Prijedor. Correct?
15 A. Yes, that is true. There were long lines of people waiting for
16 permissions. All of them addressed themselves to the employee who was in
17 charge of the administrative procedure. He was a lawyer by training.
18 They submitted their documents. And as far as we were able, we tried our
19 best to issue those people with documents in accordance with the
20 regulations. I thought that we should do our work in keeping with the
21 law, and that citizens regardless of their ethnicity should be able to
22 exercise their rights.
23 Q. Mr. Budimir, on what floor was your office at that time?
24 A. My office was on the first floor, and the work that I talked about
25 right now was being done downstairs on the ground floor.
1 Q. Do you remember that after the broadcast of the first group of
2 foreign journalists to visit the Omarska camp, a great number of foreign
3 journalists descended upon Prijedor, came there, and some of them came to
4 see you? Is that true?
5 A. No. There was not a single journalist who came to visit me.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I have two articles, one dated the
7 15th of August 1992 by Tim Judah. And the second dated the 13th of
8 August, 1992, by Andrej Gustincic. May they -- they are in English only.
9 May they be distributed -- I believe they have been distributed to the
10 parties, but perhaps could be put on the ELMO. Let's start with the one
11 from the 15th of August.
12 Q. Mr. Budimir, this first article appeared on the 15th of August
13 1992 -- excuse me, that's the date line of the article - in the Times of
14 London. The journalist was Tim Judah. And the article begins by
15 stating: "Slavko Budimir, secretary for the people's defence of the
16 northern Bosnian town of Prijedor, has a fat file of applications before
17 him. They have been filled in by people who want to leave Prijedor. `We
18 have no right to stop anyone who wants to go', he says."
19 The article goes on in the next paragraph to say: "Mr. Budimir
20 says up to 3.000 Muslims have applied to quit Prijedor in the past 15
21 days, and this has nothing to do with ethnic cleansing." It goes on to
22 quote you as saying, in the same paragraph: "Even some Serbs want to
23 leave. Look, all these forms say they want to go for material reasons.
24 After all, there's not much work here." The journalist says that: "After
25 some pressing, Mr. Budimir eventually admits that some Muslims might want
1 to leave because of insecurity and war psychosis."
2 Do you recall now speaking to two journalists, one of whom spoke
3 Serbian or one of the B/C/S languages, in your office in early August
4 after the initial broadcast from the Omarska camp?
5 A. No, I don't remember. And as far as my memory serves me, for all
6 the duration of the war, I never spoke to a single foreign journalist.
7 Q. The article goes on to talk about, in the next paragraph, quoting
8 you as saying: "Look, all this has to do with forces over my head. There
9 is no reason for anyone to leave, nor do I support this."
10 First of all, is that true? Would you stand by that statement?
11 Do you think that would be accurate as to how you felt in August of 1992?
12 A. I have already said what I think about this. I said that I never
13 spoke to a journalist, and I assert that I never had any contacts with
14 journalists, foreign or otherwise, throughout the war.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: If we could then put the next article, the second
16 page, on the ELMO.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In order not to create confusion, this last
18 article August 15, 1992 would be provisionally marked S404A.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN:
20 Q. Before we leave that article, I'm sorry, there's another quote
21 from Mr. Budimir on the bottom of the first page, the journalists
22 indicate, Mr. Budimir, that they asked you about the detention camps.
23 "Mr. Budimir claimed `nobody is being detained.' When it is pointed out
24 that the whole world has seen the Serb detention camps around Prijedor on
25 television, he says, `they are only for people involved in armed
1 activity and conspiracy.'"
2 Do you have any comment upon this quotation attributed to you in
3 an international newspaper?
4 A. I couldn't have any comment because I never spoke to a foreign
5 journalist for all the time the war lasted. I can say that with full
6 responsibility. You can see the entire collection of Kozarski Vjesnik for
7 that period. You can find only one interview, and that had to do with
8 labour duty. You cannot find a single other article or interview with a
9 foreign journalist.
10 Q. Sir, on the next article --
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, may that be marked next in order, the
12 article dated the 13th of August by Mr. Andrej Gustincic.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provision S405A.
14 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, excuse me.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
16 MR. LUKIC: Just not to create the confusion, the term "radnovisa"
17 [phoen] is usually in our case translated as "work obligation." Now we
18 heard "labour duty." So maybe now it should be clarified. Thank you.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this assistance.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN:
21 Q. Sir, on the second page, there's some similar quotations as the
22 last, but I'll read quickly just through a few lines. "On the first floor
23 of the defence ministry building in Prijedor, Slavko Budimir local
24 secretary for defence has a pile of application forms on the desk before
25 him. He insists the Muslims are leaving only because they want to find
1 better jobs elsewhere, looking for medical treatment, or suffering from
2 war psychosis and insecurity."
3 On the last two paragraphs on this page it says: "Visibly uneasy
4 about what he is doing Budimir is quick to disassociate himself from his
5 work. `All this has to do with forces over my head. There's no reason for
6 anyone to leave. Nor do I support this.'"
7 Do you have any comment on that, sir?
8 A. I have told you, sir, that I didn't have any interviews with
9 foreign journalists throughout the war. And I stand by what I am saying
10 firmly with full responsibility. If you want any comments from me
11 nevertheless, then ask me a question that is not related to this, and I
12 will answer it.
13 Q. Sir, how many Muslims and Croats did you give permission or
14 permits to leave Prijedor to in the summer, fall -- spring, summer, and
15 fall of 1992?
16 A. I cannot give you a precise answer to this question because I
17 don't have any figures. But I agree with what you say; namely, that many
18 people waited in front of our agency every day waiting for their
19 permissions. I don't know how we can find this figure, but I can say that
20 those people who applied for permission to leave received that permission
21 within a reasonable time. I said that I issued these permissions based on
22 the decree issued by the government, and based on the accompanying
23 documentation that had to be provided together with the application.
24 Q. Sir, was this line of people in front of your office something
25 that was well-known to all those who worked in the centre of Prijedor?
1 A. The people who passed by could see lines, queues, before the
2 office, sometimes the queue was longer; sometimes shorter. There were
3 never any huge queues. But depending on the period, the number of people
4 in the line varied.
5 Q. Sir, is it correct that these were the -- the great, great
6 majority were women?
7 A. Well generally speaking, I can accept your claim that there were
8 more women than men, although there were some men, too. But yes, in
9 principle, there were more women.
10 Q. Sir, why were there more women in front applying to leave than
12 A. Well, probably because of the general situation in which
13 insecurity prevailed. Men were perhaps afraid to leave their homes, move
14 around. It made no difference to me, woman or man, anybody who came to me
15 and wanted to exercise their legal rights was able to do so.
16 Q. Sir, if a woman came to you and told you that her husband, her
17 son, or her brother was in the Omarska camp and she wanted permission to
18 leave for herself and her husband or son, how did you respond?
19 A. The parties who came to apply did not contact with me directly.
20 They communicated with the clerk who handled the applications. Only on a
21 couple of occasions every day, if I happened to be there, if the lawyer
22 would come to me and told me that all the documents were in order, I would
23 sign the application, taking the man's word for it, and not doubting that
24 he had followed the entire legal procedure.
25 Q. Did you give instructions as to whether permission should be
1 granted to men who were detained in the Omarska and Keraterm camps?
2 A. I gave no instructions whatsoever. The clerk who handled the
3 applications had his own copy of the decree, and the accompanying
4 enactment which regulated exactly what was supposed to be done. I had no
5 idea who was located where. Instead, if a person filed the application,
6 he was issued with a permission regardless of ethnicity, sex, or any other
7 parameter. People were treated as citizens.
8 Q. Sir, if someone owned an apartment in Prijedor, did you require
9 them to give up that apartment or to give it to the municipality in order
10 to leave?
11 A. Among the documents that were required from citizens about to
12 leave the territory, there was a document whereby the citizen had to
13 produce proof that before departing, he returned his apartment to the
14 rightful owner. That means if somebody was a citizen of the Republika
15 Srpska and the apartment was owned by the Celpak company, then the citizen
16 had to produce proof that the apartment he resided in was returned to the
17 Celpak company.
18 Q. What about people who owned a house or apartment?
19 A. Those people were not required to produce any such document. If
20 somebody owned their own land and apartments or houses, this applied only
21 to people who lived in socially-owned apartments. Private owners were not
22 required to produce this particular document. This documentation is very
23 precisely regulated. We have an exact list of documents required that can
24 be submitted to this Court. That shouldn't be a problem.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could the witness be shown S109.
1 Q. Sir, did you, in fact, follow a regulation of the Autonomous
2 Region of Krajina that individuals could only leave with a maximum of 300
3 deutschmark, or have you heard of this regulation?
4 A. Yes. It was an instruction which I didn't receive from the Crisis
5 Staff, as you had, of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. This document
6 came to me from my superior body of the ministry, from the secretariat in
7 Banja Luka. And this was being implemented for a short period of time,
8 and I know that there were negotiations in Geneva and that the president
9 of the municipality asked from me to make a photocopy of that enactment to
10 see who was it who issued that order. I gave it to the president of the
11 municipality, and then he sent it either to the president of the
12 municipality or the president's office, and then the president of the
13 state immediately ordered for this enactment to be abolished, and on the
14 following day, this act became null and void. And immediately upon that,
15 we stopped applying that enactment.
16 Q. When you say you gave it to the president of the municipality, do
17 you mean Dr. Stakic?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Was Dr. Stakic a conduit between the municipality and regional and
20 republic level leaders and bodies? In other words, did he receive
21 instructions from them that were implemented in the municipality, and did
22 he communicate concerns of the municipality to the higher level bodies?
23 A. I'm talking about only this specific case. I was asked to submit
24 a photocopy of this enactment. I gave this to the president, and I
25 believe he told me that he had been required to submit that to the
1 president of the assembly because the president of the state received a
2 complaint in Zurich about charging this fee or something, and that if he
3 was required to abolish that law. As for the levels of communication and
4 the lines of communication between Dr. Stakic and other bodies, I don't
5 know about that. I've already told you that I believe that Dr. Stakic was
6 subordinate to the president of the assembly and the president of the
7 state. Now, who his contacts were with, I don't know.
8 Q. You told us early in your testimony that there would be occasions,
9 a few occasions, when Dr. Stakic was not present at a meeting because he
10 was out of the municipality. Do you know where he travelled?
11 A. I don't know. I didn't keep a record on Dr. Stakic's movement,
12 nor was I ever responsible for doing that.
13 Q. Is it correct that when the Executive Board met, Dr. Stakic
14 sometimes attended the meetings of the Executive Board, although not a
15 formal member?
16 A. Yes, there were some issues that required the presence of the
17 president of the Municipal Assembly. This was in place even before these
18 events, and this practice still persists. Because the Executive Board is
19 a body that serves the president of the municipality, provides the means
20 for the work of the office of the president of the Municipal Assembly,
21 prepares the general documents and materials that the president of the
22 Municipal Assembly is supposed to communicate to the Assembly.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no further
24 questions at this time.
25 We have not yet admitted 405. We would move to have it admitted.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have a number of documents not yet admitted.
2 We'll come back to this later.
3 In terms of superiority and subordination, could one say that the
4 Executive Board was subordinate to the president of the Municipal
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the Executive Board was
7 subordinated to the Municipal Assembly. And the president of the
8 Municipal Assembly chairs over the sessions of the Municipal Assembly, and
9 the Executive Board reported on its work and was responsible to the
10 Municipal Assembly, which was presided by the president of the Municipal
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
13 Before I open the discussion on the two documents, S404A and
14 S405A, I regard it as my obligation to recall that what I told you at the
15 beginning of your testimony. And this is the risk that you're running
16 when testifying in a way foreseen under Rule 91. This would be a false
17 testimony under solemn declaration punishable with a fine of 100.000 Euro
18 or a term of imprisonment of seven years or both.
19 You have seen the two documents, one appearing in The Times, and
20 one from Reuters. Reuters is a news agency. So, in fact, it might
21 be -- it might be but we can come back to this later by hearing Mr. Tim
22 Judah in person, it might be that the primary source for this is the
23 Reuters agency report of August 13th.
24 Therefore, my question: Have you ever seen or were you ever
25 visited by Mr. Andrej Gustincic? Maybe he didn't appear with you as a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 journalist. Because I think you as an intelligent person, you know how
2 easy it can be to -- just to call both witnesses, maybe they still have a
3 tape or own notes, and then you will run into a difficult situation. And
4 it's for a judge also to prevent crimes to be committed. And therefore,
5 in your own interest, I have to ask you once more, did you ever discuss
6 these issues in Document 405A with a Mr. Andrej Gustincic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I appreciate you
8 drawing my attention to this, and I do feel the responsibility with this
9 regard. As far as I can remember, if my memory serves me well, I really
10 don't remember that a journalist visited me ever or asked me any
11 questions. I don't have any reason whatsoever to withhold the truth if I
12 can remember things. I would answer all the questions that are in this
13 article. But at this moment, I can't remember that. This person may have
14 come and stepped into my office for five minutes, maybe accompanied by
15 somebody else. Maybe he didn't introduce himself. Maybe they did talk to
16 me, but I never realised that that was an interview. Anybody could enter
17 my office and ask me questions. I never asked for any protection either
18 by the police or the army. Maybe people stepped into my office, asked me
19 questions that later on appeared in an article. But I can't remember
20 that. I simply -- I talked to everybody, to a number of people. But I
21 claim with full responsibility that I never received somebody who would
22 have introduced himself as a journalist. I never spoke to a journalist in
23 that capacity. Maybe it was somebody else who came to my office and
24 whatever they asked me, I answered. I've spoke the truth all the time.
25 And all I want to say is the truth. So whatever questions you want to ask
1 me, the Prosecution, the Defence, and you, Your Honours, I will answer
2 your questions.
3 You know that times were really difficult, and I abide by my
4 testimony that I really do not -- I'm not aware that I had contacts with
5 any journalists. And if you believe and if you deem it important to come
6 to the truth, I will answer to all the questions that may be put to me by
7 the Prosecutor. So if the Prosecutor wants to ask me the same questions
8 again, I will answer them. Thank you, Your Honour, for warning me and for
9 drawing my attention to this.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So indeed, I want you to give you a second
11 chance and draw the attention of the representative of the Prosecution
12 that, in fact, in the article by Tim Judah, reference is made to Andrej
13 Gustincic of Reuters news agency. But based on the content, I would like
14 you to ask the same line of questions once again related to the content,
15 whether based on the content the witness is able to recall what he
16 allegedly stated.
17 You started with 404.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm now going to 405 and looking for where it
19 begins to speak about visiting Mr. Budimir.
20 Q. The article, Mr. Budimir, by Mr. Gustincic, and there has been
21 some testimony in this trial that he speaks B/C/S, states: "On the first
22 floor of the defence ministry building in Prijedor, Slavko Budimir, local
23 secretary for defence, has a pile of application forms on the desk before
24 him. He insists that the Muslims are leaving only because they want to
25 find better jobs elsewhere, go for medical treatment, or are suffering
1 from `war psychosis and insecurity'. Some Serbs also want to leave, he
2 says. But closer inspection of the forms show that out of some 3.000
3 people, only about 400 are Serbs, and most of them are from mixed
4 families. Visibly uneasy about what he is doing, Budimir is quick to
5 dissociate himself from his work. `All this has to do with forces over my
6 head. There is no reason for anyone to leave, nor do I support this.'"
7 The remainder of the article deals with the journalists speaking
8 to some of the women, or at least one young woman who had been in the line
10 Do you have any recollection, sir, of any foreigner -- or perhaps
11 he didn't appear to be a foreigner, a person speaking your language,
12 speaking to you prior to the 13th of August, probably between the 6th of
13 August and the 13th of August 1992?
14 A. If I may be allowed to offer my comment: In this article, it says
15 that there was a pile of papers in front of me. These papers were never
16 in front of me. They were always in front of my official, the lawyer that
17 was dealing with these papers. And in the second part, it says "when by
18 closer inspection you can see that there are so many of these and so many
19 of those," really, nobody would have allowed this person a closer
20 inspection of these documents. So whatever it says here is simply not
21 true. And the third question, I don't know what you want me to say. I
22 will answer your third question. Can you just repeat what the third part
23 of your question was. About the reasons why these people were moving or
24 something like that, in relation to what it says here. Maybe you could
25 repeat that part of the question. I want to make myself clear on that
1 part of the question as well.
2 Q. Well, I'll just quote what the article says you said about people
3 leaving. The article quotes you as: "Insisting that the Muslims are
4 leaving only because they want to find better jobs elsewhere, go for
5 medical treatment, or are suffering from `war psychosis and insecurity.'"
6 It says that you told him: "Some Serbs also want to leave."
7 A. I've already said that everybody was leaving, and those who
8 applied to the Ministry of Defence as citizens and asked for permission to
9 leave, we would enable them to do so through prescribed procedures. As
10 for the reasons for which they were leaving, I've already said that
11 everybody was leaving and that I didn't make any distinction between
12 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. But I also said that Croats and Muslims were
13 worse off than the Serbs. But everybody was leaving. And as for other
14 reasons given here, they can apply but I must say that the -- what I think
15 is the most important reason for which they were leaving, it is not in the
16 Serbian, so I don't know. But it seems to me that it is -- this is what I
18 I don't know -- I don't remember what was the reason given, if
19 somebody can translate those reasons to me because they are only in
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe it's not necessary to repeat once
22 again that this certain paragraph quoting you as "he insists that the
23 Muslims are leaving because they want to find better jobs elsewhere, go
24 for medical treatment or are suffering from `war psychosis and
25 insecurity.'" This would be totally in line with your --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed, I certainly
2 didn't say that they were leaving first and foremost because they wanted
3 to find a better job. The primary reason would be objective
4 circumstances, and then other reasons would follow. So I'm sure I didn't
5 say that the most important reason for their departure was their wish to
6 find better jobs. I'm sure of that.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And these most important reasons would be?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most important reasons was the
9 situation in town, disrespect for law and order, plunder, killings,
10 murders, and this had effect on everybody making it the primary reason for
11 departure of everybody. And then other reasons mentioned here and others
12 would follow.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, do you want to be confronted with the
14 other article as well a second time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will leave it up to you. But you
16 have already said yourself that this article may have originated from
17 another source, so that this is not an original article, but that there is
18 another primary source of that article. But if you think I should be
19 confronted with it again, I will certainly do that.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I stated that it might be a secondary source
21 only, but as to the fact there were some additional quotations quoted as
22 your own words, I would believe it would be only fair to you -- for you to
23 be confronted with these quotations once again in Document S404.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN:
25 Q. In the article by Tim Judah, S404, the article begins: "Slavko
1 Budimir, secretary for the people's defence of the northern Bosnian town
2 of Prijedor, has a fat file of applications before him. They have been
3 filled in by people who want to leave Prijedor. `We have no right to stop
4 anyone who wants to go.'"
5 First, sir, do you think you would have said that to someone if
6 they had asked you, that you had no right to stop anyone who wanted to go?
7 A. If I may be allowed to say firstly that it really doesn't make
8 sense to quote from a different article within this context. It cannot be
9 a quotation if it was transferred from another article. And as for the
10 question that you have put to me, I neither prevented or stopped people
11 from doing anything. I just implemented the regulations in the way that
12 they were worded, and I worked with all the citizens in my capacity as the
13 head of the body that I headed. So this would be my answer to you and to
14 this Honourable Chamber.
15 Q. Okay. To continue with how this article quotes you, it says:
16 "Mr. Budimir says up to 3.000 Muslims have applied to quit Prijedor in
17 the past 15 days, and this has nothing to do with ethnic cleansing.
18 `Even some Serbs want to leave,' Mr. Budimir says. `Look, all these
19 forms say they want to go for material reasons. After all, there's not
20 much work here.'" And then the journalist writes: "After some pressing
21 Mr. Budimir eventually admits that some Muslims might want to leave
22 because of `insecurity and war psychosis.'"
23 In the next paragraph, it quotes you as saying: "Look, all this
24 has to do with forces over my head. There is no reason for anyone to
25 leave, nor do I support this."
1 The next paragraph, it quotes you as saying: "Nobody is being
2 detained." When asked about the pictures of people in Omarska and
3 Trnopolje camps, you said: "They were only for people involved in armed
4 activity or conspiracy."
5 A. These are fabrications. I never uttered these words. I believe
6 that I was very precise talking about all of these issues. And if there
7 are other concrete questions, I'm willing to answer them. As for this, I
8 claim that these are fabrications. I've never said that, and you could
9 have concluded that from my previous testimony. I've already told you
10 what my views are on all of this, and I don't see the need to go over the
11 same grounds again.
12 I apologise, if I may add something else: Once again, I would
13 like to thank the Presiding Judge to give me the opportunity to overcome
14 this problem in this way, and I hope that this may help to avoid any
15 problems in the future.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clear statement, Mr. Budimir.
17 And I have now to ask the Defence, objections against the admission into
18 evidence of these two documents?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, of course, Your Honour. We do object for these
20 documents to be admitted. And I don't know if the Prosecution has further
21 data regarding these statements made by those journalists. And we would
22 like to cross those journalists if Your Honours think they should be
23 called. But before there is testimony, I think that they should be
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I do not at the moment have any
1 further information. I asked to have the documents admitted. As
2 Your Honours know, hearsay is admissible. The Court may consider the fact
3 that they are hearsay and the witnesses are not here. I would also refer
4 the Court to the decision, fairly recent of the Appeals Chamber, on the
5 subpoena for Jonathan Randall, and the criteria that the Appeals Chamber
6 asked the Trial Chambers to look at, basically indicating a preference
7 that in cases where the evidence is not - and I'm going to misstate the
8 standard because I don't have it on the tip of my tongue --
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's quite clear that you're referring to.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: -- the high standard that journalists should not be
11 called. These are definitely war correspondents who were in Prijedor in
12 August of 1992.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But for the second part of the question put by
14 Mr. Lukic, does the Prosecution have the original articles, the two of
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't believe so, but we can check. This is
17 obviously -- it appears to me to be something taken off the internet or
18 off some type of news service, indicating that these were 645 stories and
19 various numbers that were printed off --
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe it could be helpful to have the articles
21 as such in its entirety because sometimes we have the -- we have to make
22 the unfortunate experience that what was -- what is seen on the internet
23 is not the entire article or only part or sometimes even misleading. I
24 don't want to say that this is true for these concrete articles, but we
25 have to take care. And therefore I would ask the Prosecution, if
1 possible, to produce these two articles in its -- in a copy of the
3 Applying the standards in this Trial Chamber on the admission of
4 evidence, only as to the mere fact that these documents were discussed in
5 Court and the witness made reference and clarification on these documents,
6 it is absolutely necessary to admit these documents in evidence.
7 Therefore, the article from 15th of August 1992 is admitted under S404A.
8 And the other one from the 13th of August 1992 as S405A.
9 Then we have the problem with Document S11. And I was just
10 informed that the final transcript of the whole tape S11 was until now
11 only distributed to the Defence and the Judges, but never admitted into
12 evidence. Therefore, my question, first, to the Prosecution, does the
13 Prosecution tender the entire transcript of S11?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections by the Defence. This is opposed to
16 the rough translation in part, the entire final and revised translation.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: We're still examining that, Your Honour, but we do
18 have an objection based on the final translation because we think it quite
19 frankly doesn't match the tape that's presented. But having just reviewed
20 it this afternoon, we would like to reserve it and we think S11 comes
21 closer, at least in our opinion, to what the actual tape and conversations
22 or interviews were with the participants. I think the Court can compare
23 the two and make that decision on its own, but we would like the right to
24 examine it with the tape contemporaneously and then look at the entirety
25 of the document as well as the tape.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The entire transcript of the tape S11 admitted
2 into evidence as Exhibit S11A/B-2.
3 Anything else for today? And may I ask, what is the time estimate
4 for additional questions to put to the witness tomorrow?
5 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I think that we can finish in less than
6 45 minutes.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we would then proceed in the following
8 order: That we first would hear Witness 006, and then at least try to
9 hear the second Defence witness by tomorrow. If there are any problems,
10 please let us know. But if we could finish with two additional witnesses,
11 it would facilitate the work of the victim and witness unit and, of
12 course, of the witnesses having the right to come back to their home
13 country immediately.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, just to advise the Court with respect
15 to Witness 006, obviously he'll be prepared and is prepared to proceed
16 tomorrow. The second witness just arrived this afternoon. So we don't
17 and have not met with him. We just said hello. We're meeting with him
18 this evening, so we did not anticipate, since he just arrived today, that
19 he would be going on tomorrow. And we are caught in a little difficult
20 situation because obviously the proffers are not complete and they won't
21 be complete until very late this evening once we've had an opportunity to
22 meet with him. He did just arrive late this afternoon.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We leave it in this case to the parties. Your
24 preference would be to proceed immediately after Witness 006 immediately
25 with Mr. Travar.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: That's fine, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The opinion of the Prosecution, please.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Either is fine.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we have to decide on this and let you know as
5 soon as possible and as soon as practical. This concludes today's
6 hearing. We are sitting tomorrow in Courtroom II once again, in the
7 afternoon, a quarter past 2.00. And therefore, the trial stays adjourned
8 until tomorrow, 15 minutes past 2.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
11 at 4.35 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
12 the 7th day of March, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.