1 Friday, 7 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Whilst we are hearing the
6 case, may I ask the usher to escort the witness already in the courtroom.
7 Could we please hear the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian,
12 Ann Sutherland, and Lise-Lotte Karlsson for the people -- for the
13 Prosecution, that was an old habit, excuse me.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon. Branko Lukic and John Ostojic for the
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon as well. So that there's no
18 unclarity, we proceed as scheduled. 008 following -- 006.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, Mr. Budimir. After this long
21 week for you, we really hope that we conclude your testimony in the next
22 one hour.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Thank you, Your
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please.
1 WITNESS: SLAVKO BUDIMIR [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Further questioned by Mr. Lukic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Once again, good afternoon, Mr. Budimir.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. I said yesterday that my redirect would last for about 45
7 minutes. However, when I looked through the transcript, I saw that a lot
8 of my questions are unnecessary because you've already answered them. I
9 hope, therefore, that we will complete this questioning much sooner today.
10 My learned friends from the Prosecution asked you on page 6 of
11 yesterday's transcript about a document from March 1992 sent by the
12 president of the SDS, Mr. Radovan Karadzic, related to the establishment
13 of information centres. Do you remember, did your information and
14 alerting centre in March 1992 employ any Muslims or Croats?
15 A. In March 1992?
16 Q. Yes. There were, you say, employees of Muslim and Croat
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Vojo Pavicic was also a member of the Crisis Staff. Is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you remember, was he a member of the SDS at the time?
23 A. I didn't keep tabs on SDS members. I don't know.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 You tried to explain this yesterday, but you were interrupted in
1 mid-answer. You were about to tell us who members of the National Defence
2 Council were supposed to be according to the law. Do you remember if you
3 have a document governing this and can you assist us in any way?
4 A. I said in my testimony that members of the council, that is, the
5 composition of the council, was regulated by the earlier law on all
6 people's defence from 1983. And I said that under that law, members were
7 the president of the Executive Board, president of the League of
8 Communists, president of the socialist alliance of working people,
9 president of the veterans' association, and other members appointed or
10 elected by the Municipal Assembly. And I said that as of the multiparty
11 elections, the multiparty assembly did not actually elect or select
12 members of the National Defence Council. In other words, it did not elect
13 the National Defence Council as a working body or appoint its members.
14 Q. Another question from the Prosecution yesterday had to do with the
15 records of the National Defence Council minutes, in fact, where there was
16 a reference to Mile Mutic. You explained which post he held and which
17 duties he discharged as best as you could remember. Do you remember of
18 which party Mr. Mutic was a member at the time?
19 A. I know that at that time, Mr. Mutic was a deputy to the multiparty
20 assembly from the socialist party.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. I'm sorry, it's either the socialist party or the reformist party,
23 the party of Ante Markovic. If the drift of your question was whether he
24 was a member of the SDS, then the answer is no, he was a member of some
25 other party. Whether it was the union of reformist forces of Ante
1 Markovic or it was the SDP, the former League of Communists, I'm not
2 sure. I remember that before the multiparty elections, it was not the
3 socialist party; it was the League of Communists and the reformist party
4 of Ante Markovic.
5 Q. Thank you once again.
6 I tried yesterday to intervene at one point, but I quoted the
7 wrong line. So with the permission of the Chamber, the Prosecution asked
8 you a question which you answered, but I don't think it was recorded fully
9 in the transcript. Page 29, line 2, when you were talking about the
10 adjustment of the -- or rather the harmonisation of needs of enterprises
11 and companies with the needs of the army. You said a second engineer from
12 the waterworks was required to go to a unit. His company was also
13 exerting pressure to keep him on his job. So we worked on harmonising the
14 needs of the army with the executive and legislative authorities. And I
15 think at this point, you also mentioned "as well as with enterprises and
16 institutions" because this part did not come into the record.
17 A. If it is not recorded, I want to say that I always used the term
18 "enterprises, institutions, and other legal entities." So this should be
19 added. Whenever it was impossible to harmonise that, then the executive
20 and legislative authorities sided together with us on this issue.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Are you aware that the fiercest fighting on the 30th of May 1992
23 during the attack on Prijedor took place in the old town?
24 A. I'm not aware of that because at that time, I was not in that
25 area. When the attack happened, I was in the building of the Municipal
1 Assembly, in the information centre, and I learned about it later.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 At the moment when you saw the recording, or rather the programme
4 showing late Dr. Kovacevic, do you remember, was he already dead at that
5 moment? If you don't remember, please feel free to say so.
6 A. Could you refresh my memory, what recording was it where I saw
7 Dr. Kovacevic?
8 Q. We had a discussion yesterday about whether it was a videotape
9 that you saw or a TV programme.
10 A. I said I saw it on TV, but I don't remember when I saw it and I
11 don't remember any details, including whether Dr. Kovacevic was dead at
12 that time. I simply don't remember.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 In response to a question from the Prosecution, page 89, line 20,
15 and the question was in line 18, the question was: "Did you issue
16 instructions and approvals to your clerk, to your officer, who was issuing
17 approvals for departure to men who were detained in Omarska and Keraterm?"
18 You said that you didn't issue your clerk with any instructions, that the
19 clerk had his own copy of the decree upon which he acted. Do you remember
20 who issued that decree?
21 A. The decree on the movement of goods and citizens across the
22 territory of the republic was issued by the government of the republic.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 Also, you were asked about Document S403. Those were conclusions
25 from the meeting of 6th August 1995. At that time, the body was called
1 the war presidency. It was a meeting of the war presidency. Could you
2 explain to us briefly, describe to us, the situation in Prijedor after
3 Operation Flash and just before the Storm, operations of the Croatian army
4 which were carried out in 1992 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: 1995. Interpreter's correction.
6 A. Since this was not within my competence, I can only speak about it
7 in general, but I can say that the situation was complex. There was a
8 large number of refugees passing through Prijedor, and the large number of
9 refugees looking for shelter and accommodation in Prijedor.
10 Q. Do you remember which post Dr. Stakic occupied at the time? What
11 was his job then?
12 A. I don't remember. If you can refresh my memory, maybe I can
13 remember it. But I really don't remember the course of events, who
14 changed posts when, who was replaced by whom. I really can't remember. I
15 know that Mr. Stakic, from the moment when he was relieved of his duties
16 as president of the municipality, served in the medical unit of the 43rd
17 Brigade, and then he became again president of the municipality. Whether
18 he was president of the municipality at that moment, we can find out from
19 documents. I don't know when -- why you are asking me about it. Maybe
20 you can look up documents and spare me these questions.
21 Q. Absolutely. If you don't remember it, we don't insist on an
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you very much, we have no further questions for
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are there any additional questions?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour. Excuse me, just one. Sorry.
2 Further questioned by Mr. Koumjian:
3 Q. Sir, you talked about the situation in 1995 between Operation
4 Flash and Storm. During that period, was Arkan and his militia in
6 A. I cannot precisely determine which period of time it was. But I
7 know about these units, although I had absolutely no contact with them. I
8 know they were in the territory of Prijedor Municipality, but I don't know
9 in which period.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. No further questions.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any question in return? This is not the case.
12 So then finally, this concludes your testimony. We have to thank you for
13 this patience and all the informations we obtained during the week. And
14 we wish you a good and safe trip home to Prijedor.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. If you
16 allow me, I would like to thank you personally, Your Honour, for your good
17 treatment. I would like to thank the Defence team and especially I would
18 like to thank the Prosecutor for their professional attitude and for their
19 kind treatment in the preparations and during the hearing. Thank you.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial will have for technical reasons a
21 break of 10 minutes now. Therefore, we stay adjourned until 10 minutes to
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 --- Break taken at 2.38 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 2.52 p.m.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. For technical reasons, if
2 there are no objections by the parties, we'll proceed in closed session.
3 Any objections?
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can't see any. We will continue in closed
7 [Closed session]
12 Pages 13175 to 13228 – redacted – closed session
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And may I ask the usher to
22 escort the witness into the courtroom, please.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, Mr. Travar. Can you hear me in
25 a language you understand?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can hear you
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and first sit down.
4 I have to give you some informations beforehand. You're called as a
5 Chamber witness and therefore, you didn't receive the necessary
6 informations other witnesses would get when called by either the
7 Prosecution or the Defence. Therefore, it's for me to inform you, and you
8 have seen this on the letter of -- on the invitation letter, that it is
9 granted safe conduct both from this Chamber and the authorities of The
10 Netherlands. So you shouldn't be afraid that anything might happen to
12 But you have to know that as a witness, you have to state the
13 truth and nothing but the truth. And our rules, as all the rules of
14 procedure in criminal cases provide, that in case of false testimony under
15 solemn declaration, a witness can be held criminally responsible in case
16 he testifies under solemn declaration falsely. The maximum penalty for
17 false testimony under solemn declaration is, in this Tribunal, a fine of
18 100.000 Euros or a term of imprisonment of seven years or both. We have
19 no reasons to believe that there is any ground that you would give a false
20 testimony, but it's part of the necessary information that you should know
22 And at the same time, you should know that our rules provide in
23 Rule 90, 9-0, paragraph (E) that a witness may object to making any
24 statement which might tend to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may,
25 however, compel the witness to answer the question. Testimony compelled
1 in this way shall not be used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution
2 against the witness for any offence other than false testimony. This
3 Trial Chamber is not prepared to compel a witness to answer a question
4 that might tend to incriminate you. Therefore, you may -- you may refuse
5 to answer any questions the reply to which would subject you or one of
6 your relatives to the risk of being prosecuted for a criminal offence.
7 Did you understand this information?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've understood.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I then ask you to give the
10 solemn declaration.
11 WITNESS: RANKO TRAVAR
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You may be seated again, please.
16 Is there any reason that would bring you to the request of having
17 some protective measures? Then please let us know.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there is not.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please then give us your first name
21 and last name.
22 A. My name is Ranko Travar.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And your father's and your mother's name,
25 A. Father's name, Lazar; mother's name, Milka.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the place and date of birth, please.
2 A. Rore, Glamoc Municipality, 4th January 1958.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And currently, you are residing where, with the
4 concrete address, please?
5 A. I live in Banja Luka, Branko Majstorovic Street, number 15.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And sorry that I have to ask this, in the
7 context of this case only, what is your ethnicity and your nationality?
8 A. Correction. House number is 13, not 15. My ethnicity is Serb.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I ask the usher the witness be
10 shown Document Exhibit Number S80, 8-0.
11 The English version, please, on the ELMO. Have you ever seen this
12 document before, Mr. Travar?
13 A. Yes, I have, because my signature is on it.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that it reads: "Dr. Milomir
15 Stakic" and then "Za, Travar"?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. This part of the work had to do with the
17 department and the secretariat which I covered.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How was it possible that you had to sign a
19 document on behalf of Dr. Stakic?
20 A. I don't know. Mr. Stakic was probably away on that occasion, and
21 I was there. And since this had to do with my purview in the Executive
22 Board, that is, the purview of my secretariat, somebody probably brought
23 this document to me to sign.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the only time you had to sign a
25 document on behalf of Dr. Stakic, or did this happen more often?
1 A. I think this happened very rarely. I don't remember signing
2 documents often. If I did, it was only because they had to do with my
3 line of work.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wasn't it the rule in Prijedor that in the
5 absence of Dr. Stakic, the deputy should sign, or I'm wrong with this
7 A. That was the general rule.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown Documents S73,
9 S74. In advance, for Madam Registrar, S77.
10 Would you please tell us the signature block, what can you read
12 A. I think the first signature line in this document, 0054308, this
13 could be Savanovic's signature. But I'm not 100 per cent sure. In this
14 second document, 00544305, I think Dr. Kovacevic has signed. Yes, that's
15 what it says here. That's Kovacevic's signature.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then, please, S77. And as a
17 follow up, S81.
18 What says the signature block here?
19 A. It's Dr. Milomir Stakic. I believe this is the signature of
20 Dr. Milomir Stakic, although I rarely received documents signed by him.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How often would you say that you received
22 documents by Dr. Stakic?
23 A. For the most part, those were only documents that had to do with
24 the purview of the secretariat for the economy and social services, that
25 is, the budget and finance, the part which I covered.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then finally, S81.
2 Could you identify this signature. Could in this case please be
3 put the B/C/S version on the ELMO. Have a look on the apparatus on your
4 right-hand side.
5 A. No. This signature is not familiar to me, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
7 Most of the documents I have shown to you have in common that they
8 are documents where you can read in the headline "Krisni Stab," "Crisis
10 Could you please tell us in context the history of the Crisis
11 Staff in Prijedor since January 1992.
12 A. I must tell you that in that period, from January to April, I was
13 very little involved in the developments in Prijedor. I was not a member
14 of any organisation or party. Simply speaking, in 1991, I was mobilised
15 into the army, and some time in December, I returned, since I was the
16 financial director of a company called Zitopromet from Prijedor. And my
17 duties and my job was to make the balance sheet, the final statement of
18 accounts. I was one of the people who drafted those statements of
19 accounts. And I was regarded as one of the best financial experts.
20 So in this period, January to April, was a period which I don't
21 know much about because I was not involved in any discussions until the
22 moment when the new Executive Board was to be elected. That is, the
23 executive authority elected by the Assembly of the Serbian People. From
24 what I could learn from the media, at that moment, there was a rift among
25 the deputies. First of all, it was the republican deputies, the deputies
1 of the republican assembly. And then it had a ripple effect down the line
2 to the municipal level.
3 Sometime in mid-April, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor made its
4 election and appointments, and I was elected on to the Executive Board as
5 the secretary of the secretariat for the economy, service industries,
6 budget, and finance.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you participate in this meeting of the
8 Serbian Assembly?
9 A. Yes. I attended the session which was held at the utilities
10 company, and I think it was on the 16th of April. Maybe the 17th. Around
11 that time. Between the 15th and the 20th.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who invited you to join this meeting?
13 A. I think it was Mr. Simo Miskovic, but maybe I should have
14 explained my position at the outset. I resided in a house next door to
15 Mr. Miskovic, and he was one of the few people I knew well at the time,
16 together with Mr. Kovacevic. I knew Mr. Miskovic because I was his
17 next-door neighbour, and I knew Mr. Kovacevic because he was the
18 anaesthesiologist at the surgery that my wife underwent. That's how I got
19 to know him.
20 At that time, I knew very few other people, and that goes for
21 Mr. Stakic, too.
22 Mr. Miskovic was the one who made the nominations, and that's at
23 least my assumption. And he was the one who invited me to attend that
24 meeting of the assembly. Or perhaps it was Dr. Kovacevic. I'm not sure
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As to the fact that your answer was not quite
2 clear to this point, did you know Dr. Stakic before the takeover? Yes or
4 A. I didn't know him. I knew about him from the media. But I never
5 met him.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That you don't run into problems, on the
7 transcript it reads now: "I never met him." This is the period before
8 April 1992. Correct?
9 A. Yes, we met in April sometime for the first time.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you tell us on what occasion you met
11 Dr. Stakic?
12 A. I cannot remember exactly. It may have been at one of the
13 meetings or at that session of the assembly. I can't remember the
14 occasion or the date. But it was around that time.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you're referring to one of the meetings,
16 which kind of meetings was it?
17 A. Before that session of the assembly, I attended -- in fact, I may
18 have attended as a guest one of the preliminary meetings in preparation
19 for that session of the assembly. I mean, I didn't attend in my official
20 function, but I did attend one meeting before that session of the
21 assembly. Whether it was a meeting of the SDS board or some other
22 meeting, I really can't remember now.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When did this line of meetings approximately
25 A. I have told you that I attended one meeting. I believe it was in
1 early April, but I cannot be sure of that. In any case, it was not in
2 either February or March, because at that time, I was busy doing the
3 balance sheet and the annual report in my company. So it was sometime in
4 early April, I believe.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On page 66 of our transcript, you stated: "I
6 have been at one of the meetings or at the session of the assembly." "One
7 of the meetings," once again, to try to be as precise as possible, who was
8 present during these meetings and who was inviting for these meetings?
9 A. I don't know what kind of a meeting that was. Maybe it was the
10 meeting of the SDS board at the municipal level. If that was the case,
11 then I must have been invited by the then president of the party. I told
12 you that I attended one meeting, and that meeting preceded that session of
13 the assembly. But I can't remember the exact date when that meeting took
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who presided over this meeting, and once again,
16 who invited you for this meeting?
17 A. I believe that I was invited by Mr. Miskovic. But, Your Honour,
18 I'm not sure. This was the first time I attended any meetings. I didn't
19 know most of the people there, and none else but Mr. Miskovic could invite
20 me. But I really cannot remember exactly what kind of a meeting that
21 was. I believe that it was an SDS board meeting.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's now ten years ago, and easy to understand
23 that it's difficult to recall. But please try to the best of your
24 recollection, who presided over this meeting?
25 A. I can't remember whether Mr. Miskovic was the SDS president at the
1 time or whether it was somebody else. I was not a member then. I
2 attended as a guest, somebody who meant something in the area of finances.
3 It is very difficult for me to say anything precisely because I am not a
4 hundred per cent sure.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Where did this meeting take place?
6 A. I believe that it was in the hall of the communal services, in the
7 same place where the assembly was.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who asked you for the first time whether or not
9 you would be prepared to act as secretary of Prijedor secretariat for the
10 economy and social affairs? Was it prior to this first meeting?
11 A. I don't remember the time. I don't think it was before that first
12 meeting. And it was either Dr. Kovacevic or Mr. Miskovic. One of the two
13 of them, but I can't remember exactly who it was.
14 But I believe that Mr. Miskovic was the one who insisted on my
15 appointment, because he knew me. We were first-door neighbours.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and tell us in
17 context what you recall about this meeting of the Serbian Assembly, you
18 told us, in mid-April 1992?
19 A. I believe that this was a session at which appointments were made,
20 people were nominated into the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly
21 at that session. I don't know whether there were any other items on the
22 agenda. I really can't remember.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But wasn't there at that time already an acting
24 Municipal Assembly in Prijedor? What was the necessity to have another
25 Municipal Assembly?
1 A. I have already said that at the time, from what I could learn from
2 the media, there was a rift among the deputies in the republican assembly
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And that the Serbian deputies walked out, and
4 that after that, there was a referendum and a plebiscite which was
5 organised at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was an absolute
6 division, according to the ethnic principle, and the population split into
7 the Croat and Muslim part on the one hand, and the Serb part on the other
8 hand. And deputies in assemblies split. There were Serbs on one side,
9 and Croats and Muslims on the other side. And that's how the Serbian
10 Assembly or the Assembly of the Serbian People was set up.
11 I apologise. Maybe I have been using wrong terms. But I've told
12 you that my only source of information were the media, and the only thing
13 I knew at the time were the things that I learned from the media. And
14 that is how the Assembly of the Serbian People was held at that time, and
15 the new Executive Board was established, and people were appointed to this
16 Executive Board of the Serbian Municipality of Prijedor. I believe that
17 this was the official title of that body at the time.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To the best of your recollection, at that
19 meeting, who else was appointed member of -- just to rephrase the
20 question. Who was at that time assigned to specific posts in the
21 Municipality of Prijedor?
22 A. You mean the Executive Board of the municipality, the body
23 appointed and set up by the Municipal Assembly?
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My question was a more general one. Was, for
25 example, the president of the Municipal Assembly elected during this
2 A. It was the Executive Board that was appointed at that time. And
3 as for the president of the Municipal Assembly, I believe that it was
4 Mr. Stakic who had previously been the vice-president of the previous
5 Municipal Assembly. Only some of the Serbian deputies, together with the
6 vice-president, continued working as the Assembly of the Serbian People.
7 At that session of the assembly, the Executive Board was appointed with
8 Mr. Kovacevic at its head. He had been the president of the Executive
9 Board even before then. Mr. Bosko Mandic was appointed as his deputy. I
10 was appointed as the secretary for economy, service industry, budget, and
11 finances. Housing and residential affairs were given to Mr. Radenko
12 Banovic. Property and legal affairs, I believe that was the title of the
13 secretariat, Mr. Vojo Pavicic was in charge of that secretariat.
14 The tax administration secretariat was given to Mr. Boro Babic.
15 There was also the secretariat for general administration, and the head of
16 that secretariat was Mr. Sveto Petrovic. The secretariat for people's
17 defence, I don't know whether it was one of the parts of the Executive
18 Board. I believe it was. And that its head was Mr. Slavko Budimir. I
19 believe that there must be a decision to that effect, so if I have skipped
20 somebody, you can refer to that decision which I'm sure exists.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who presided over this meeting?
22 A. I believe that it was Dr. Stakic. Do you mean the meeting of the
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
25 A. Dr. Stakic.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And who sat at his left and at his right-hand
3 A. Your Honour, I can't remember. I didn't know these people
4 personally. I'm not a native of Prijedor. So one of my biggest problems
5 is the fact that I don't know that many people there. I really don't know
6 who was sitting where.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When did you learn for the first time when you
8 would have to take over your new functions as elect-secretary for economic
9 and social affairs?
10 A. During the night of the 30th of April.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please explain in the context, to the
12 best of your recollection, what happened during the night of the 30th of
13 April. To be quite concrete, beginning the 29th of April, then to the
14 30th of April, what happened? When did it start? Please, tell us in
15 context what you recall.
16 A. I rented an apartment at that time. And sometime after midnight,
17 around 1.00, the police came to fetch me. And they took me to one part of
18 the town which is known as Cirkin Polje. There was a house there. I
19 arrived at that house. I entered one of the rooms in that house where
20 there were a lot of people whom I didn't know well enough, apart from
21 those that I have already mentioned. Mr. Miskovic, I knew, and
22 Mr. Kovacevic.
23 I stayed in that room until the morning. There was a hallway in
24 front of that room swarming with police and the army. And sometime around
25 half past 5.00 or 6.00 in the morning, we were taken by cars to the
1 Municipal Assembly building. And it was then that I, for the first time,
2 entered that office where I would from that time on continue working in.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was this the first occasion in your life that
4 you around midnight were asked by the police to be escorted by police to a
5 certain meeting or for other purposes?
6 A. Yes, that was the first time. Before that, I never had anything
7 to do with the police.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wasn't it a big surprise for you during
9 midnight, police arriving at your home?
10 A. Yes. Of course, yes, it was.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What did they tell you? Why did they come to
13 A. They told me that they were given the task to take me to Cirkin
14 Polje. I asked them why should I go there? They replied: "You will hear
15 when you get there." And that was more or less the exchange between me
16 and these two uniformed policemen that came to fetch me.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to say, until now I don't have a real
18 impression what happened during all the time in Cirkin Polje. Could you
19 please assist us in having a clear picture of this -- of these events
20 during nighttime.
21 A. I didn't know many people at that time. I only heard that it had
22 been decided that the Serbian Municipality would be set up and that we, as
23 the new Executive Board, were supposed to take over our offices. I met a
24 number of people there, the people whom I didn't know before. I knew only
25 two people personally, and Mr. Srdic, I knew him as a deputy. I knew that
1 he was a deputy, and he was also there. That is when I first met
2 Mr. Slobodan Kuruzovic, who was sitting in that room when I arrived, and
3 there were all the other people who were appointed to this new Executive
4 Board. I can't remember all of them now.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who gave a speech at this meeting?
6 A. No, there were no speeches. I don't remember that anybody
7 delivered any speech. There were no formal speeches. But I believe that
8 I learned either from Mr. Miskovic or from Mr. Kovacevic, in any case, one
9 of them told me that we were supposed to take our offices and that we were
10 supposed to start working as the Executive Board that had been appointed
11 at the session of the assembly. There were no official speeches
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see Mr. Drljaca at this meeting?
14 A. I believe I did. But he would come and leave. I can't remember,
15 and I can't claim that he was there for a fact. I spent a certain time in
16 front of that room in the hallway, the hallway which was forming with the
17 police and the army. And I believe that Mr. Drljaca did drop by.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about Mr. Savanovic?
19 A. I believe that Mr. Savanovic was also there. At the session of
20 the assembly that we have mentioned, he was the vice-president of the
21 assembly. I believe that he was there, but I can't remember all the
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about Dr. Stakic?
24 A. I really can't be sure. I believe that he was there. I believe
25 so. But I can't be sure. I can't remember all the faces and all the
1 people that I saw there. We're talking about one room which was very
2 crowded. There were lots of people there. I believe that he was there as
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Isn't it true that you as a, you call it
5 "newcomer" in Prijedor, as you mentioned previously, for the first time
6 saw Dr. Stakic in this meeting of the Serbian Assembly and that at that
7 time, Dr. Stakic was presiding over this session, and therefore,
8 Dr. Stakic was a prominent figure for you at that time? And isn't it true
9 that, in fact, because of this, you recall that, in fact, Dr. Stakic was
10 present during this meeting in Cirkin Polje?
11 A. One would expect Dr. Stakic to be there. But I cannot be sure
12 that he was there. I believe that he was, but as I say, I'm not a native
13 of Prijedor, and I met some of these people for the first time, that is,
14 people who were members of the assembly and the Executive Board. There
15 were only very few people that I knew before that moment, so it is very
16 hard for me to say at this moment whether those particular people were
17 there at the time. Later on, I got to know people better. But thinking
18 back, at this moment very hard for me to say with any degree of certainty
19 that these people were there at the time because at that moment, I didn't
20 know them very well.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But to insist, I understand that you didn't know
22 many people in Prijedor coming to the town. But you already attended a
23 meeting of the Serbian Assembly presided over by Dr. Stakic; and
24 therefore, knowing that this person would have a -- would play an
25 important role in Prijedor. Please try to recall.
1 A. To recall, to remember whether he was in Cirkin Polje? Is that
2 what you're saying? I believe that he was.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Travar, did you see him?
4 A. Your Honour, I am really sorry. I am under solemn declaration,
5 and I'm not a hundred per cent sure. And I can't be positive about him
6 being there on that evening. I can't tell you with a hundred per cent
7 certainty that he was there. But I believe that he was. I'm not a
8 hundred per cent sure that I saw him. I saw many people there. I did
9 know Dr. Stakic at that time, but I'm not a hundred per cent sure that he
10 was there during that night. I don't know when he came. There were a lot
11 of people. And as far as I can remember, all I can say is that I believe
12 that Dr. Stakic was there in that building in Cirkin Polje.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you then were asked to go to your new
14 office, can you please tell us, where was this office located? In which
16 A. That office was in the building of the municipality in Prijedor.
17 And it was on the top floor of that building, on the right-hand side as
18 you get to the top of the staircase.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And may I ask, whom did you in person replace,
20 this early morning of the 30th of April 1992?
21 A. The -- my predecessor was Mr. Milovan Dragic who was the secretary
22 of that secretariat in the previous composition of the Executive Board.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What happened then with Mr. Milovan Dragic?
24 A. As far as I know, he was mobilised by the army at the time when he
25 was in that office. And later on, I believe he became the director of the
1 communal services or the construction institute. But I'm not sure. I
2 believe that he became the director of the communal services.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were there still personal belongings of
4 Mr. Dragic in the office when you entered the office early in the morning?
5 A. No. I didn't find any personal belongings. There were just
6 papers and things like that. But I can't remember exactly what I found in
7 that office. Immediately after that, there was a meeting of the Executive
8 Board, and then we went back to our offices, and we waited for our staff
9 to arrive.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you tell us when did this take place, this
11 meeting of the Executive Board?
12 A. It was held early in the morning, but I can't remember the time.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who presided over this meeting?
14 A. Dr. Kovacevic.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what did he tell you at that time?
16 A. I don't remember the details. I don't know specifically what he
17 said. But that was the first meeting where he said that everybody should
18 work in their job in their respective secretariats in a professional
19 manner. That was the first meeting. No particular decisions were made.
20 He just told us to go and do our respective jobs.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it before 7.00 or after 7.00?
22 A. Your Honour, I can't remember precisely the time when this meeting
23 was held. I think the employees started coming to work, and the working
24 hours began at 7.00 a.m. In the municipality.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Therefore, my question: Was it before the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 employees arrived at work or after?
2 A. Yes, I think the employees turned up for work.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Had they already turned up for work when you
4 held this meeting or not?
5 A. The secretary of the Executive Board was already there at the
6 office. I know she had come by that time. I don't know about the others,
7 because only the newly appointed members attended that meeting. I really
8 can't remember such details, Your Honour. A lot of time has elapsed after
9 all, too much time for me to remember exactly how this meeting went and
10 the circumstances in which it was held.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you meet Dr. Stakic at this day, the 30th of
12 April 1992?
13 A. I don't remember. I don't think so.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The time has come to call it a day. May I ask
15 you not to contact any of the parties, be it the Prosecution or any member
16 of the Defence team, whilst you're staying here in The Hague. And the
17 same is true, please, refrain from any contacts with other maybe witnesses
18 testifying in this Tribunal during the weekend. I know you have a tight
19 schedule, and it is necessary that you have to leave on Wednesday. Is
20 this correct?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is true. I have delayed some
22 of my obligations in my new job because originally I was supposed to start
23 testifying as of the 10th. And I had scheduled a meeting of the board of
24 directors in the bank which I work for now, and I was supposed to submit
25 my report after an independent audit. But since my testimony was
1 postponed to Wednesday, I delayed that meeting until next week. But
2 regardless of that, if you think I should stay on some long -- a while
3 longer, I can perhaps rearrange things by telephone.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. And I thank
5 you for your testimony of today. And I have to thank all the people
6 working for us here, helping us to understand each other, and in all the
7 other functions, technical functions and wheresoever.
8 I want to recall that the next 65 ter (i) meeting takes place on
9 Monday, 9.00, in my office. And the trial as such will recommence on
10 Monday, a quarter past 2.00 in the same courtroom.
11 The trial stays adjourned until Monday.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
14 at 7.07 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
15 the 10th day of March, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.