1 Wednesday, 31 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case IT-08-91-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL
9 Good morning to everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
10 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner assisted
11 by Crispian Smith, Case Manager, for the Prosecution.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
13 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Eugene O'Sullivan, appearing for Stanisic Defence
14 this morning. Thank you.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Zupljanin Defence
16 this morning, Igor Pantelic, Dragan Krgovic, and Miroslav Cuskic.
17 JUDGE HALL
18 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour instructed us yesterday that we should
20 give our position on two outstanding motions. And I informed the usher
21 that whatever pleases the Court I can do it right now while the witness
22 is ushered in.
23 JUDGE HALL
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
25 Your Honours, we do not object to -- to safe conduct motion. To
1 the safe conduct granted to the witness; and the second thing was the
2 protective measures. It is our understanding that the protective
3 measures have been already granted in a previous cases for two, and
4 for -- for the third one which was asked by the Prosecution we do not
5 object, so therefore ...
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE HALL
8 MR. PANTELIC: We don't have objection, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Ms. Korner, I don't know whether you have been alerted that you
11 have 46 minutes left.
12 MS. KORNER: I knew that yesterday. Thank you.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE HALL
15 her questioning of you, I would remind you that you're still on your
17 Yes, Ms. Korner.
18 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 WITNESS: SLOBODAN SKIPINA [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Skipina, I only have 45 minutes left to question you, so I
23 would be grateful if we could move fairly quickly through the remaining
25 Yesterday you mentioned when you were answering questions from
1 Judge Harhoff, and this is at page 8339 of the transcript, a man called
2 Batko who committed, as you put it, misdeeds against the Bosniak people
3 in Grbavica, in Sarajevo
4 Do you remember mentioning him?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you said to the -- the -- the Judge, I think that,
7 Mr. Planojevic had told you that the minister knew about it and that he
8 took it upon himself to inform the army about it, because Batko was a
9 member of the Territorial Defence?
10 Was Batko ever arrested during this period?
11 A. I don't know whether he was ever arrested, but I know that this:
12 After a while, when that question was raised, he disappeared, vanished
13 from that area, and nobody knew where he went. Whether any steps had
14 been taken, I don't know.
15 Q. Has he been recently arrested?
16 A. Yes, I heard he was arrested in Spain.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... matter of a month or so ago;
19 A. That's right. I suppose that's him, because I didn't know his
20 last name, but I think it's him but his nickname. It was said he had
21 committed crimes at Grbavica.
22 Q. And he had been arrested as a result of a warrant from the Bosnia
23 State Court; is that right?
24 A. I really don't know what his orders -- or warrant.
25 Q. Okay. One other matter, you talked about the building in Pale in
1 which you were housed whilst you were head of the SNB. Was that a
2 building known as Kalovita Brda?
3 A. Yes. It was a small administrative building of the scouts union
4 at Kalovita Brda.
5 Q. And is it right that the various government buildings in Pale are
6 all fairly close to this?
7 A. No. All of them are at least 1 kilometre away from that
9 Q. All right. Whilst you were in charge of the SNB, did you receive
10 reports from military intelligence?
11 A. Yes, I received from time to time reports of the military
12 security service, their intelligence section. I'm not aware of their
13 organisation internally. And these small reports would be addressed by
14 the army to the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Assembly,
15 the prime minister, and my name would also be there, as head of the
16 National Security Service. I'm not sure if it was copied to the minister
17 of the interior as well because I occasionally briefed Minister Stanisic
18 about the substance of these military reports. But they usually
19 concerned the military situation, the situation on the battlefield, where
20 they were doing well, where they were in jeopardy. Nothing particularly
22 Q. But did you actually have meetings with Colonel Tolimir, as he
23 then was?
24 A. I first met Colonel Tolimir towards the end of May when he came
25 to occupy a leading position in the Army of Republika Srpska together
1 with General Mladic. He came to my office to introduce himself. We
2 talked very briefly. He described briefly the situation in the theatre
3 of war in Croatia
4 another three or four times, but we did not speak at length.
5 Q. All right. And, finally, on the question of personnel, before I
6 turn to the various meetings you went to, did Dragan Devedlaka that you
7 mentioned, who appears on the chart, did he become, for a short period,
8 before he went off to Belgrade
9 A. Yes, he did. Do you want to know the background how that came
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... just deal with some specific
12 questions about that.
13 He was one of your subordinates. Was it you who appointed him as
15 A. No.
16 Q. Who made the appointment?
17 A. I suppose it was the minister, but I can only suppose. I can't
18 be sure.
19 The thing is, I sent Dragan Devedlaka as my deputy to Bijeljina
20 to check whether there were any operatives of the State Security Service
21 who had fled from Tuzla
22 instructions about work and to see who among them could be head of sector
23 of the State Security in the process of forming a Security Services
24 Centre. We needed a head of the state security sector who could approve
25 of candidates, and Dragan Devedlaka really went to Bijeljina and spent
1 there about ten days, and then I expected he would come back. But then I
2 received a fax message saying that Dragan Devedlaka was appointed head of
3 the CSB
4 There were two candidates for head of centre, one was Jesuric and another
5 one was someone named Cvjetinovic, but the politicians could not agree
6 which of them would get the appointment so the vacancy remained for quite
7 some time.
8 My assumption is that the authorities from Bijeljina could not
9 have appointed Dragan Devedlaka because they didn't know him. Therefore,
10 I suppose it was done by the minister.
11 Q. Well, didn't the fax tell you that? As it was -- he had been
12 appointed by the minister?
13 A. That's what I tried to explain in my first interview with the
14 OTP, that I did not quite understand this.
15 I only remember from that fax message that Dragan Devedlaka was
16 appointed head of the Security Services Centre. I can really not be sure
17 any longer who signed the fax message, but that's what it said. I just
18 deduced that it could have been Minister Stanisic who appointed him.
19 Q. Well, because it's a long time since you listened to your
20 interview, can I just remind you at page 44 of the interview that what
21 you told the OTP was that a fax came stating that Dragan Devedlaka, with
22 the approval of the Minister of the Interior, Mico Stanisic, was
23 appointed the head of the CSB
24 JUDGE HALL
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Ms. Korner. We lost the LiveNote, Your
2 MS. KORNER: Oh.
3 Yes, we've all lost it, I see.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE HALL
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE HALL
9 this courtroom. The whole system has a problem which may take,
10 quote/unquote, several minutes, so we'll rise until it is repaired.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Break taken at 9.27 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 9.51 a.m.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just for the purposes of the record,
15 Ms. Tatjana Savic has joined the Stanisic Defence. Thank you.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. Mr. Skipina, when we had to adjourn I just read to you what you
20 said in interview about the fax; namely, that it had been said that
21 Devedlaka, with the approval of the minister of the interior, was
22 appointed the head of the CSB
23 Is that right, what you said in interview?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. All right. I want to move now fairly
1 swiftly through some of the meetings that you told us about.
2 First of all, on the 12th of May, not really a meeting as such,
3 but did Mico Stanisic tell you that he was going to Banja Luka?
4 A. He didn't tell me he was going to Banja Luka, but I heard in
5 conversations that he had been to Banja Luka to attend a promotion
6 ceremony of the police of Republika Srpska.
7 Q. Right. When you way "promotion ceremony," what do you mean? A
9 A. It was a ceremony to promote the police force with new insignias,
10 as opposed to the old police force.
11 Q. And do you know how he got to Banja Luka?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Well, did you explain to -- when you were interviewed about how
14 he got to Banja Luka?
15 A. I don't think I explained how the minister got to Banja Luka
16 I did explain how, on one occasion, I had asked the minister that if
17 anyone should be travelling by helicopter to Krajina because no other way
18 was possible, to get me a place on that helicopter so I can go to
19 Banja Luka and visit the National Security Sector. However, that never
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm so sorry, I believe the witness said the
23 military helicopter. I think it might be important.
24 MS. KORNER:
25 Q. Did you say "military helicopter," sir?
1 A. Yes, military helicopter.
2 Q. All right. Were you aware of the special unit of the MUP?
3 A. You mean the special police led by Milenko Karisik at Vrace?
4 Yes, yes, I knew.
5 Q. Did that have any helicopters?
6 A. As far as I know, the special police had helicopters that,
7 allegedly, and I heard this from Vlastimir Kusmuk, who was in charge of
8 the police, helicopters that were broken and needed to be sent for repair
9 and were transported one to Serbia
10 helicopters. So throughout the war, or, rather, as long as I was head of
11 that service, the special police or the MUP, at least as far as Sarajevo
12 was concerned, did not have any helicopters because I know that when a
13 policeman was injured he had to be transported by car. There were no
14 helicopters in operation in the region of Sarajevo.
15 Q. Did you know anything about the special police unit that operated
16 out of Banja Luka attached to the CSB there?
17 A. Absolutely nothing.
18 Q. All right. You sound very positive about that, sir.
19 All right.
20 A. Yes, I am -- I'm really very positive.
21 Q. All right.
22 Can we move then, please, to the 1st or about the 1st of June.
23 Did you pay a visit to Trebinje?
24 A. Yes, on the orders of Minister Stanisic, I and assistant minister
25 for the police, Vlastimir Kusmuk, went to Trebinje. Because the minister
1 had told us that certain problems had cropped up in the relations between
2 the employees of -- of the CSB
3 Let me just remind you that in mid-April I sent Novak Blagojevic
4 to Trebinje to try to rally together the operatives who had fled from
5 Mostar to Trebinje. And after seven days, Blagojevic returned and he had
6 the same instructions as Devedlaka, by the way. He told me he had been
7 expelled from Herzegovina
8 didn't name any names, but he said people from the CSB because before the
9 war he had worked in that area on Serb nationalism.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sorry to stop you, sir, but
11 I'm afraid because of the limited time I just want to know - if anyone
12 wants to ask you further questions they can - I simply want to know about
13 your meeting -- the meeting that you and Mr. Kusmuk had with Krsto Savic?
14 A. We were attending the meeting. That was my first visit to
15 Trebinje and before the meeting I went to the offices where the National
16 Security Service employees were. There were three employees, one active
17 duty, and two of them retired. I asked them what they were up to. They
18 said basically nothing. They said Krsto Savic had told them that they
19 would only be working when he issues them orders but they said basically
20 he kept them idle.
21 Two employees, Ljubisa Traparic to the best of my recollections,
22 and Miro Prelo, were forbidden access to these offices because they, too,
23 before the war, as employees of the State Security Service, had been
24 engaged in work concerning Serb nationalism.
25 Shall I continue?
1 Q. No. Please, just tell us about the conversation that you and Mr.
2 Kusmuk had with Krsto Savic.
3 A. Yes. At that meeting of the senior staff of the CSB, I also saw
4 Jovo Cokorla, a former employee of the State Security Service, with whom
5 I was collaborating before the war. I was an inspector at the Republic
6 level, and he was an inspector at the lower level. And I said, Let's
7 appoint Jovo Cokorla head of sector for national security. And I got the
8 answer, He's still being vetted as to whether he is a good enough Serb.
9 Then his commander took the floor and said, Nobody's -- we're not
10 going to have anyone from the outside making appointments in the National
11 Security Service. We are going to decide on these matters ourselves.
12 And the only ones who are going to be admitted are those who have proven
13 themselves in the fight against Bosniaks, Muslims. And I had to react.
14 I said, As long as I'm head of this service, such people will not be
15 working in this service, and you are not going make any appointments in
16 the service, and that's how the meeting ended.
17 And that's the first time that I told Vlastimir Kusmuk that I was
18 going to resign because I can't get along with people like that.
19 Q. And when you said that Cokorla should be appointed as head of the
20 sector, who gave you the answer, He's still being vetted as to whether he
21 is a good enough Serb?
22 A. Krsto Savic.
23 Q. From Trebinje did you go on to Bijeljina?
24 A. No, we didn't go to Bijeljina. But sometime during those days,
25 and I can't pin-point the date, those two meetings in Trebinje and in
1 Bijeljina took place within a short interval. It was a long time ago, so
2 I can't even tell which one took place first.
3 Q. Pause. I'm going ask you again, please, sir, specific,
4 questions, and I would be grateful if you just concentrate on the
5 questions rather than telling me the whole story.
6 Who asked you go to Bijeljina?
7 A. Mr. Stanisic.
8 Q. And did he explain why he wanted you to go to Bijeljina?
9 A. Yes, very briefly.
10 Q. Briefly tell us why he wanted you to go.
11 A. He said there would be a meeting tomorrow in Bijeljina, a meeting
12 of the political leadership of Semberija, which includes Bijeljina,
13 Ugljevik, Lopar, Zvornik, and other municipalities that belonged to
14 Semberija. The two of you will be going to attend that meeting. You
15 don't have to speak, just be there and listen. After that meeting,
16 conduct interviews with Mirko Blagojevic, leader or President of the
17 Serbian Radical Party in Bijeljina, and Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer and tell
18 them or, rather, convey to them my order and the order of the President
19 of the Republic that they should place themselves under the command of
20 the army and stop mistreating Bosniak citizens in Bijeljina and leave
21 police work to the police station in Bijeljina, the public security
22 station in Bijeljina.
23 Q. Can I ask when you recalled, please, for the first time that in
24 addition to saying that these two people should put themselves under the
25 command of the army that Mico Stanisic had also added that they must stop
1 mistreating Bosniak citizens?
2 A. I did not understand the question, When I recalled.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... because as you remember,
4 when you were interviewed you didn't mention that last part about Mico
5 Stanisic saying that they should stop mistreating Bosniaks. So I'm just
6 asking when it was that you first remembered that part of the interview.
7 Or, sorry, the conversation with Mico Stanisic.
8 A. I think I mentioned that to the investigators the first time they
9 interviewed me. At least that's my recollection.
10 Q. Well, I will be corrected if I'm wrong, this is page 59 of your
11 interview. That part of the interview, that part of what you just said
12 did not appear. However, let's move on.
13 So can you just briefly tell the Court, please, first of all,
14 what it was that Blagojevic and Ljubisa Savic were doing towards the
16 A. At that meeting, which was attended by around 30 persons, the
17 first one to take the floor was a lieutenant-colonel, whose name I don't
18 remember, who had been on the battlefield in -- at Majevica, an area
19 bordering on Tuzla
20 as hollow as Swiss cheese whereas Bijeljina was full of soldiers --
21 Q. Stop. Sorry, that is not the question about the meeting. The
22 question was, what was it that Blagojevic and Ljubisa Savic were doing to
23 make Mico Stanisic, you say, say they should stop mistreating Bosniaks?
24 A. After that meeting Vlastimir Kusmuk and I had separate
25 discussions with Blagojevic and with Ljubisa Savic, also known as Mauzer.
1 Q. Sorry, stop for a moment, please, and concentrate on the
3 You say that Mico Stanisic said you should speak to Blagojevic
4 and Savic, Mauzer, to say they should stop mistreating the Bosniaks.
5 Before the meeting, before you spoke to them, what did you understand
6 from Mico Stanisic or anybody else they were actually doing?
7 A. Well, I concluded something based on what I was told by the
8 minister. I didn't want to make any assumptions of my own, at least not
9 before speaking to them.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... all right. Can you tell us
11 exactly what the minister said to you that these two men were doing?
12 A. I repeated to them that they should stop mistreating the Muslims
13 in Bijeljina.
14 Q. No.
15 A. That was it.
16 Q. I'm sure you did. I'm not interested at the moment in what you
17 said to Savic and Blagojevic. I'm interested and I'm asking you what the
18 minister told you that these two men were doing before you ever went to
19 Bijeljina with Kusmuk.
20 A. Nothing else. I was only told that we should discuss things with
21 Mirko Blagojevic and Ljubisa Savic, aka Mauzer, telling them that they
22 should put themselves under control of the army and to stop mistreating
23 the citizen of Muslim ethnicity. There were no other explanations, save
24 for that one.
25 Q. But unless you knew what it was they were doing from Mico
1 Stanisic, how were you going to tell them to stop doing it?
2 A. First, we were tasked to speak to them, to hear them out as well,
3 to see what they had to say of each other, and we did so.
4 Q. All right. How did Mico Stanisic know that these two people were
5 mistreating Muslims? Did you tell him?
6 A. I don't know how he knew. I did not tell him.
7 Q. All right. And so you didn't ask for any other further details
8 before you spoke to these two men about what it was they were doing
9 towards Bosniaks?
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. You told us you spoke to these two men. And what
13 A. Through the chief of the public security station, whose name I
14 believe was Pantic, we asked that Blagojevic and Savic be summoned to the
15 station so that we would have an opportunity to speak to them. I think
16 Mirko Blagojevic was the first one to appear. When we put questions to
17 him about the problems, he told us that Ljubisa Savic, aka Mauzer, had a
18 unit of his own, comprising only Serb refugees who had fled from Tuzla
19 Gradacac, and elsewhere. He also said that Ljubisa Savic, aka Mauzer,
20 was expelling Muslims from their homes in Bijeljina in order to find
21 accommodation for the fighters of his unit. That was the gist of what
22 Blagojevic told us.
23 When we spoke to Ljubisa Savic, aka Mauzer, he said that Mirko
24 Blagojevic's unit was cruising Bijeljina trying to protect Muslims, and
25 those of them who were well off, paid to his unit to be transferred
1 abroad, via Serbia
2 their own running -- up and running with the Muslims. That's what
3 Ljubisa Savic said about Mirko Blagojevic.
4 After these conversations, we conveyed to them the orders of
5 Mr. Stanisic and the President of the Republic, but I don't think it had
6 much effect. Later on, they resumed in Bijeljina.
7 Q. Did Mico Stanisic give you instructions as to what you should say
8 to them, if they wouldn't agree?
9 A. He probably said something else, but I can't be sure. It's been
10 a while. I only remember the main points. I don't really remember
11 whether he said that they would have problems because of that or not.
12 Please do bear in mind that it's been a long time.
13 Q. You have got a fairly good memory about him saying that you
14 should speak to them and that you should tell them that they should stop
15 mistreating Muslims. If they didn't stop mistreating Muslims, what was
16 to be the sanction? Did he tell you that?
17 A. He didn't. This would entail further assumptions. I only wanted
18 to share with you the task we were assigned and how we carried it out.
19 Q. And why was it that this was something within Mico Stanisic's
20 area of responsibility? In other words, that he should instruct you to
21 tell these men to stop mistreating Muslims. Why was it his job?
22 A. I suppose because, in some way, they took over control of the
23 town of Bijeljina instead of the public security station. It was my
24 presumption that Aco who was the chief of the station complained to him
25 stating that the station was unable to function because of them. It
1 basically became clear later. They prevented the MUP from doing their
2 work. They were doing things of their own in Bijeljina pressuring the
3 MUP to leave saying that they had no need of them. There were quite a
4 number of issues with those units.
5 Q. Did you report back to Mico Stanisic the results of your
6 conversation with the two men?
7 A. Yes, absolutely. Any task issued by Minister Stanisic was
8 something that he would be briefed on later on.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... at this same meeting?
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER: Sorry, yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just ask if I have understood the witness's
13 testimony correctly. Because from your question it would appear and from
14 the witness's testimony that Minister Stanisic had ordered you to get
15 hold of Blagojevic and Savic and tell them to stop mistreating Muslims.
16 And then when you got hold of Savic, he appeared to have told you that
17 Blagojevic was having his own unit that was cruising Bijeljina, and I'm
18 now quoting from what you have just told us, "trying to protect Muslims,
19 and those of them who were well off, paid to his unit to be transferred
21 So I'm just a bit confused, what was it that Savic told you that
22 Blagojevic was doing? I mean, because it appears that he was actually
23 protecting Muslims.
24 MS. KORNER: I think it is a protection racket, rather, Your
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: But let's just be clear about what was --
2 MS. KORNER: Certainly.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: That Blagojevic was actually supposed to have
4 done. That is unclear to me. Can you clarify, sir?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were the very words of
6 Ljubisa Savic. That's what he said about Mirko Blagojevic. This is not
7 something I said. Ljubisa Savic said, Blagojevic's men were not engaged
8 in fighting the war. They were simply going about town taking money from
9 the Muslims and transferring those among them who were rich elsewhere.
10 That's what Savic said about Blagojevic. That's what he had to say about
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. But my question is then: Did that
13 correspond to what Minister Stanisic had told you about the activities of
14 Mr. Blagojevic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Basically it was contrary to what
16 Stanisic had told us about them mistreating them. He said that both were
17 mistreating the Muslims, and this was contrary to what Ljubisa Savic had
18 to say about Mirko Blagojevic.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: And what did you make out of it then?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was my conclusion that they both
21 had interests of their own to stay in the town and not go to the front
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Ms. Korner. I'm terribly sorry. The
25 part of the answer -- the witness's answer previously, it is page 16 from
1 line 20 until 17 -- page 17 line 2, the part of his answer was not
2 recorded where he was -- he was saying that these people were threatening
3 the -- the MUP when it moved into the Bijeljina and they were against
4 that and -- I just -- I just thought maybe this could be clarified with
5 the witness.
6 I'm sorry, Ms. Korner but.
7 MS. KORNER: On page 16.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Page 16, line 20 starts with, "I suppose because,
9 in some way, they were -- they took over control of the town of Bijeljina
10 instead of the public security station" and then on.
11 MS. KORNER: "It was my presumption that" the name of the chief
12 of the station "complained to him stating that the station was unable to
13 function because of them. It basically became clear later."
14 What is missing?
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Because -- because the context is lost because what
16 he -- what he -- what the witness tried to -- to establish that it became
17 clear later when the MUP was set up -- its headquarters in Bijeljina they
18 were protesting about it, and they wanted the MUP to go away from
19 Bijeljina. Well, that was -- that is the gist of what I wanted you to
20 clarify with the witness.
21 Thank you.
22 MS. KORNER: All right.
23 Q. Mr. Skipina, you have heard what Mr. Zecevic said. Is this
24 right, that, later on, when the MUP was being established in Bijeljina,
25 these men protested? Blagojevic and Savic?
1 A. That is correct. They never accepted the fact that the MUP
2 headquarters was supposed to come to Bijeljina from Pale. They kept
3 saying we'd have no need of you. Can you go up to the hills, and we'll
4 deal with our problems here ourselves. That was the gist of it.
5 They never basically accepted that the seat of the MUP be in
6 Bijeljina. In my view, it indicated to me that they had much more --
7 much more space to manoeuvre before the MUP came than afterwards.
8 Q. Just to make it absolutely clear, that was the period when the
9 headquarters of the MUP moved from Pale to Bijeljina.
10 A. Yes. And afterwards.
11 Q. Now, at that same meeting, and I'm afraid we really need to take
12 this very quickly, and I have got three documents I need you to deal with
13 as well.
14 And in Bijeljina, did you come across a man called Goran Zugic
15 who you had known before the conflict?
16 A. Yes. At the expanded meeting, Goran Zugic participated as well
17 who was an employee of the Tuzla
18 him during the meeting itself. It was only later that I asked him what
19 he was doing there. And he said he had fled Tuzla in early May and since
20 then was in Zvornik.
21 Q. Absolutely. Okay. He was in Zvornik. And did he tell you about
22 what was happening in Zvornik?
23 A. Yes. I asked him about what the news were in Zvornik. He said
24 that in Zvornik there was a strong paramilitary unit called "Zute Ose,"
25 yellow wasps. He said that they basically looted all of Zvornik
1 including the Glinica factory and that they used trains to ship the goods
2 to Serbia
3 Muslims. He also said that he was in contact with Minister Stanisic and
4 that he tasked him with, to the extent possible, checking who the members
5 of that group are and whether they had any links to the municipal
6 leadership, what their base was, and so on.
7 Upon my return to Pale, I and Kusmuk informed the minister of the
8 contents of the meeting and the discussions with Blagojevic and Mauzer.
9 I also told him that I met Goran Zugic. The minister then said, Yes, I
10 had given him some tasks, although he didn't explain which. He also said
11 that it concerned a large group comprising criminals from Zvornik and its
12 environs as well as from Serbia
13 that he would have to arrest them.
14 Q. Now --
15 A. You want me to -- Goran Zugic after the action which followed,
16 although I don't know much about it, received threats that he would be
17 killed. He fled to Montenegro
18 with the MUP in Podgorica and Herceg-Novi. I think it is important to
19 say that he was killed while he was security assistant to Mile
20 Djukanovic, the Montenegrin president. He was killed in front of his
21 apartment, which may have been a result of the threats he had received
22 while in Zvornik.
23 Q. Yes, all right. Anything may have happened. But, look, all I
24 want to know is this: Did either Zugic or Mico Stanisic explain to you
25 how they had been in contact with each other without going through you as
1 head of the National Security Service?
2 A. Neither of them explained. The minister, as the man number one,
3 had the right to issue individual tasks without having to explain it to
5 Perhaps it would have been fair to inform that individual's
6 superior that he was doing something for the minister so that the
7 immediate superior would know that his employee had been issued a task by
8 the minister.
9 Q. Yes. But, you see, you told the Court yesterday that you had
10 received no reports of these crimes that were being committed against
11 Muslims as head of the State Security Service.
12 So does that mean you didn't know anything about what was
13 happening in Zvornik?
14 A. I didn't know anything. I didn't know that Goran Zugic was in
15 Zvornik, and we had no communication. I didn't know anything about the
16 crimes in Zvornik.
17 Q. So the minister knew about them. And the minister knew about the
18 crimes in Bijeljina, but you knew nothing about it?
19 A. No, I didn't. I did not have a service up and running in
21 Q. And you simply have no idea how it was that Goran Zugic had got
22 in touch with Mico Stanisic to tell him about these crimes?
23 A. I had no idea. I suppose once Goran fled, he reported to the
24 minister and received tasks from him, but I had no knowledge of that.
25 Q. All right. And this meeting with Goran Zugic took place at the
1 same time as the Bijeljina meeting which was at the beginning -- sometime
2 around the beginning of June 1992; is that right?
3 A. Yes. I saw him for the first time at that meeting in Bijeljina.
4 The people working in Bijeljina knew him because --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... don't worry about that. I
6 just want the date. It's around beginning of June 1992.
7 A. More or less.
8 Q. All right. Now, I have to move really quickly through the
9 remainder, please, of the matters that I want you to deal with.
10 You told us that it was your meeting with Savic that led you to
11 say to Kusmuk you were going to resign. Did you, in fact, resign at the
12 beginning of July?
13 MS. KORNER: And can we have a very quick look at the resignation
14 letters that you sent to Mr. Stanisic and, indeed, Mr. Djeric.
15 Your Honours, it's -- the letters themselves aren't important so
16 I'm just putting them up -- they're not part of our document list. It is
17 just to remind him. 10324. It's the mere fact of his resignation as
18 opposed to the -- to the letter.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MS. KORNER: We'll see the English in a minute, I hope. Yeah.
21 Q. Is that the letter that you wrote to Mico Stanisic on the -- it's
22 dated 3rd of July, saying that you were resigning and the reason you gave
23 for the resignation was that you were being mentioned in the media as one
24 of the main culprits in criminal activities. And you were asking
25 effectively for your culpability be ascertained and you have also
1 informed the prime minister, Mr. Djeric, of this. And I don't think we
2 need bother with that.
3 And you told us yesterday that it was at the time of your
4 resignation that you had the meeting with Mr. Djeric where you talked
5 about the various crimes.
6 Is that right?
7 A. Yes, it is. But the term "crimes" is not fully applicable.
8 Q. Well, I don't want to waste too much time on this. But what you
9 say is fully applicable.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
11 repeat the answer, it was unintelligible.
12 MS. KORNER:
13 Q. Sorry, you have to repeat your answer, Mr. Skipina. Interpreters
14 didn't hear you. What's the applicable word, if not "crimes."
15 A. Different types of criminal offences. Crime can be one aspect of
16 criminal conduct directed against civilians, et cetera, but there are
17 other types of criminal offences directed at property as well as people,
18 in my view.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. You resigned. I'd like you to look,
20 please, at a record of a meeting held on the 6th of July, which is --
21 it's P168.
22 JUDGE HALL
23 much longer do you think you would be?
24 MS. KORNER: I've got three -- I'm literally just going to rush
25 him through these documents. Have I finished my time?
1 JUDGE HALL
2 MS. KORNER: Okay. Ten minutes.
3 JUDGE HALL
4 technical problems, I still intend do take a break this morning because
5 the accused would have been in court during that period, and I was
6 thinking that I would -- I was looking at the clock and thinking that it
7 would have been convenient for you to finish and then we take the break.
8 MS. KORNER: It is literally three -- three -- no four documents
9 but I'm just going to literally ask him to identify that he was at that
10 these meetings and that's it.
11 JUDGE HALL
12 the break now and then --
13 MS. KORNER: Yes, it's the length of time it takes to come up on
14 the screen.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, to save time, while the witness is
19 coming in, could I have up the document that I was asking for, which is
20 P168. And it's page 20 in English, and page 20 in B/C/S.
21 English? No. One in English and one in B/C/S, please. Thank
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 MS. KORNER:
25 Q. Now, Mr. Skipina, when we adjourned, I was about to ask you to
1 look at this document, which is a record in somebody's diary of a meeting
2 apparently in Trebinje on the 6th of July, so three days after your
3 resignation. And it appears that you were there together with your
4 travelling companion, who seems to be around the place most of time,
5 Mr. Kusmuk, also Mr. Draskovic, and Mr. Vukovic, and Krsto Savic was
6 there again.
7 Do you recall three days after your resignation because, as we
8 will see, you did stay with the MUP, that you attended this meeting in
10 A. I don't remember this meeting, nor do I remember being in
11 Trebinje after submitting my resignation. I was in Trebinje just twice,
12 once during the tenure of Minister Stanisic, the second time during the
13 tenure of Minister Ratko Adzic. I saw here on one document, 20-something
14 June. It could have been before and in some other place. I quite simply
15 am not aware of this meeting. It's impossible for me to recollect that I
16 was in Trebinje after resigning. After submitting my resignation, I
17 never went into my office again. I sat outside my office. If any of the
18 operative officers asked me about anything, I directed him to Minister
19 Stanisic and that's --
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yes, but Mr. Stanisic, as
21 we'll see, kept you on as a special advisor, didn't he?
22 A. Yes. As of 6 August.
23 Q. Yes, but -- are you saying that at no stage, this is what you're
24 saying, that whoever compiled this record has got this completely wrong,
25 that at no stage did you attend a meeting in Trebinje with Mr. Kusmuk and
1 Mr. Draskovic and an inspector called Vukovic?
2 A. Not in Trebinje. Maybe somewhere else. But whoever wrote this
3 record, if you have the details I'm not saying that this meeting never
4 took place, but it's just that I can't remember it at all. It couldn't
5 have been on the 6th of July, because all the time, from my resignation,
6 I was with Minister Stanisic on the 4th, with Minister Djeric on the 3rd.
7 I never went into the offices again. I simply couldn't have attended
8 this meeting. Whoever wrote this record should tell us where this
9 meeting took place, but with 99 per cent certainty, I can say it was not
10 in Trebinje. Maybe 1 per cent I can write-off -- I can put down to my
11 bad memory.
12 Q. All right. Do you remember a meeting, wherever it was held, but
13 attended by the people shown there where there was a discussion and you
14 apparently spoke as well about the formation of separate police units at
15 the level of the centre ... and then Mr. Draskovic talking about a
16 special-purpose unit.
17 A. I don't see anywhere in the text that I spoke about separate
18 police units. I could have only spoken about things concerning the
19 National Security Service.
20 Q. All right. I haven't got enough time to pursue this further.
21 Even though you had resigned, you did attend the 11th of
22 July meeting, didn't you, in Belgrade
23 about the detail, but you were there, weren't you?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. All right. And, as you say, on the 6th of August --
1 MS. KORNER: And can we have up, please, document 2382, very
3 Q. You received an official appointment. And is that your
5 MS. KORNER: Sorry, we haven't got the English get.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. So, in fact, although you had officially resigned
8 your position as head of the SNB
9 you, because between July and 6th of August, when you got your formal
10 appointment, you were still part of the MUP?
11 A. Yes. I was part of the MUP, but I wasn't doing anything, and I
12 can explain further, if you wish.
13 Q. No thank you. I don't need you to explain further.
14 And I should have ask you this. I think it's right that you were
15 replaced as head of the SNB
16 A. Yes, but not immediately. Kijac and Dragisa Mihic managed the
17 service together for a while after my resignation. And on 6th of August,
18 the minister appointed Kijac head of the service.
19 Q. All right. Okay. And then I want to finally deal quickly with
20 two other meetings that you attended. On 9th of September, I think you
21 attended the steering council meeting of the MUP.
22 MS. KORNER: Could we have up, please, document 00239.
23 Your Honours, although the last document is on our list, again, I
24 don't see that it needs to be exhibited, unless anybody wants it. Well,
25 it's on our 65 ter list.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm not sure what is the position. We don't object
2 that this document be just for the accuracy of --
3 MS. KORNER: Okay, I'm happy.
4 In that case, Your Honour, may I ask that the appointment of
5 Mr. Skipina, in August, be -- become an exhibit.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: What's the 65 ter number?
7 MS. KORNER: What did I say? It's 2382.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm terribly sorry. One other thing, I don't know
11 if -- if his resignation has been exhibit.
12 MS. KORNER: It wasn't on our 65 ter. I can -- I can exhibit it,
13 if I'm allowed to.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, yes, yes. That was my idea, because.
16 MS. KORNER: Okay. In that case, that is, please, 10324.
17 I'm just waiting for exhibit numbers.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. This would be exhibit -- so 65 ter 2382
19 becomes Exhibit P1267; and 10324 becomes Exhibit P1268, Your Honour.
20 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
21 Q. Right. Do we there see the record of the meeting on the 9th of
22 September in Mount Jahorina
23 minister, and it's the, if I can put it, the terrible trio again,
24 yourself, Mr. Kusmuk, and Mr. Draskovic.
25 And do you remember attending this meeting?
1 A. Yes. I was there for a short time, but I don't understand about
2 the trio.
3 Q. Forget that, I shouldn't have said that. It's just that you
4 appeared together at the last meeting and you're together at this
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, in that case, I don't have time to go
7 through the contents, but could that be marked -- exhibited and marked,
9 JUDGE HALL
10 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1269, Your Honour.
12 MS. KORNER: And then, finally, the meeting of the 5th of
13 November. And that is document number 266 [sic], another steering
14 council meeting.
15 Q. Again, was this a meeting held in Bijeljina, which you
16 attended -- attended as the minister's advisor?
17 A. Yes, we can see from the document.
18 Q. And we also see that although he didn't seem to attend the last
19 meeting, on this occasion, Stojan Zupljanin was also there. Is that
20 right? Do you remember seeing Stojan Zupljanin there?
21 A. I never saw Stojan Zupljanin before the session of the collegium
22 that was held in Belgrade
23 July. That was the first time I met Stojan Zupljanin. Since this is the
24 5th of November, this was perhaps my third time seeing Zupljanin.
25 Q. Yes. Because, in fact, in September, didn't you go to Banja Luka
1 together with Kijac and have a meeting with Zupljanin?
2 A. That's correct. But it wasn't a meeting with Zupljanin. It was
3 a meeting with Kesic, and we only came by out of courtesy to greet the
4 chief of the centre, have coffee with him, and then we moved to Kesic's
5 office to work.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may that be admitted and marked then,
9 JUDGE HALL
10 MS. KORNER: Yes.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skipina, that's all --
12 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P1270, Your Honour.
13 MS. KORNER: Yes.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: And what was the 65 ter number? I didn't get
16 MS. KORNER: 266.
17 Q. Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Skipina. That's all I ask.
18 A. Thank you.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Skipina.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we changed the order
22 of our examination because my examination will be very brief, in view of
23 the witness's testimony. Mr. Cvijetic will question this witness after
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation], Mr. Skipina, let me introduce myself formally
2 now, although we saw each other briefly last Sunday. I am Dragan
3 Krgovic, and, on behalf of Stojan Zupljanin's Defence, I will ask you a
4 few questions pertaining to your evidence.
5 Since we speak the same language, there is a danger of
6 overlapping, and, therefore, please make a short pause after each of my
7 questions before you start answering to have a clear transcript. I will
8 also take care, because I'm usually the source of the problem.
9 Mr. Skipina, in your evidence, you spoke about your beginning in
10 the National Security Service and your prior work. My question is: In
11 view of all the circumstances that prevailed when the MUP of Republika
12 Srpska was established and when you started to work, these circumstances
13 were not regular. They were not normal.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And practically your service as the whole MUP of Republika Srpska
16 was in its cradle you were just beginning to recruit personnel and
17 establish separate services?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. I explained that to the Prosecutor.
19 Q. Small wonder, then, that there was not enough information, not
20 enough exchange between different services in those early days, when the
21 MUP was only starting to operate.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. There is one particular fact pertaining to your service, namely,
24 that for a long time, you did not have any contact with centres in
25 Banja Luka, in Trebinje, and in some other places, because of a breakdown
1 in communications.
2 A. There were only CSBs in Banja Luka and Doboj that had operated
3 even before the war. With them, I had no communication; whereas, with
4 centres in Trebinje, Sarajevo
5 after the war broke out. But I have to emphasise that the sectors of
6 national security in Trebinje and Bijeljina were not established even
7 until the end of my tenure, except the sector in Sarajevo that was led by
8 Dragan Kijac.
9 Q. And as you said in the interview to the OTP, you first met some
10 managers, some senior staff of the centre at that meeting in Belgrade
11 July 1992.
12 A. Yes. That's the first time I met Andrija Bjelosevic, chief of
13 the CSB
14 Jesuric; Nedeljko Kesic; and there were other chiefs of public security
15 sectors perhaps Duro Bulic among them whom I also met then for the first
16 time. Many senior officers whom I met for the first time then.
17 Q. The Prosecutor also showed you a number of documents, and this is
18 a slightly different topic regarding those daily bulletins, some of them
19 bore your signature, others didn't. And you spoke about the style in
20 which those documents were written.
21 When you said the style was unusual, did you mean to say that it
22 was not the normal style for your service? Your service did not write
23 such documents in that way. Is that right?
24 A. That's right. Our documents were more articulate, more concise.
25 These daily bulletins contained certain things that are not really
1 acceptable to me as a member of the police.
2 Q. On the other hand, from what -- from my understanding of the way
3 the MUP operates, these were documents emanating from the operative duty
4 service, right?
5 A. I suppose so. In fact, I believe that the first information from
6 the ground would come in to the operative duty officers who forwarded
7 them to the analysis department, which summarized the information and put
8 it together in the form of a bulletin.
9 Q. And an operative duty officer would just sum up the reports of
10 operative duty officers from different centres and put them together in a
11 single report, and that's the kind of bulletin that was shown to you?
12 A. Yes, well, an operative duty officer will not take responsibility
13 either for the style or grammar or contents. They wouldn't dare to
14 change anything and the way they come in, they put it in the bulletin.
15 Q. And since this department for analysis was not really manned for
16 a long time, this operative duty officer would put this information
17 together on his own and just forward it.
18 A. Yes, and I signed them as such. Although, now, when I look at
19 them carefully, perhaps I shouldn't have put my signature on them.
20 Q. And the style of this writing in the bulletins, that was the
21 language that was normally in use at that time between the warring sides.
22 A. Yes. It was common. And it's unbelievable how individuals
23 started a new jargon that, until then, had not been acceptable, had not
24 been in use.
25 Q. But in wartime, it was common, and that was so throughout the
2 A. Yes. But, as I said, it's so unbelievable that both people and
3 language can change so suddenly.
4 Q. And that's the style and the expressions that all the three
5 warring sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina commonly used.
6 A. Well, yes. If you were there to -- to hear the conversations of
7 Bosniak and Serb policemen through talkie-walkies you would be aghast at
8 the terms they used on both sides.
9 Q. In response to some questions from the Prosecutor in the last
10 session, you spoke about the meeting of the 11th of July where you said
11 you first met Stojan Zupljanin.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up, please, P160.
13 Q. I have some hard copies for you, with the usher's assistance. If
14 it is easier for you to look at the documents on paper, I prepared a
16 Mr. Skipina, look at this document. I believe the Prosecution
17 showed it to you during your interviews.
18 Have you had occasion to see it before? It's your tab 1.
19 A. Yes, I have seen it before.
20 Q. The title of the document is: Brief survey of the functioning of
21 the MUP so far and the outline of future activities.
22 It refers to a meeting of the senior staff of the MUP of 11
23 July 1992.
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. When I say that it's a summary, it's an extract from the
1 discussion from the deliberations at that meeting. It's the
2 contributions and discussion that has been recorded. It's not a
3 reflection of the entire meeting. It's just a summary. Is that right?
4 A. Yes. A summary implies brief extracts from the broader
5 discussion that took place.
6 Q. Turn the page, please.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] In e-court too.
8 Q. We can see the list of participants, including your name. Then
9 look at the third paragraph from the top, which reads that the minister
10 explained the method of work, made an introductory speech about the
11 security situation and the role of organs for internal affairs, and then
12 the chiefs of centres spoke about the security situation in the region
13 and the tasks to follow.
14 Does -- is this consistent with your recollection of the meeting,
15 that the minister spoke first, made an introduction, and then the chiefs
16 of centres spoke about the situation in their regions?
17 A. Yes, I believe the minister opened the meeting and outlined the
18 topics that would be discussed. He said that finally after three months
19 we managed to meet all together, that it's important to make reports
20 about the previous period and outline the problems we encountered, to see
21 how we were going to work in the future, that we would make appropriate
22 conclusions that everyone would have to abide by in the future. That was
23 basically the introduction made by the minister.
24 Q. Do you remember the sequence of -- of the contributions to the
25 discussion in which order the speakers took the floor?
1 A. I don't know. According to this document, Mr. Zupljanin spoke
2 second, which is possible, but I can't really remember. But if the
3 document says so, and if this summary really reflects the sequence of the
4 speakers, then Stojan Zupljanin came second.
5 Q. In the document it also stated that the National Security Service
6 will hold a separate meeting, but there are no conclusions from that
7 meeting included in this summary; correct?
8 A. Yes. And I can explain that.
9 Q. Perhaps not. I'm only interested in the fact that this summary
10 was merely an excerpt and is not a reflection of the entire meeting.
11 That was the crux of my argument. Do you agree with me?
12 A. Yes, as I have already said so.
13 Q. But what did you want to explain? Perhaps we should allow you to
14 do that.
15 A. As far as I recall, there was a break after the contributions by
16 centre representatives. There were four of us, as far as I can remember.
17 It was myself, Kijac Dragan, Kesic, and Dusan Zivkovic from Doboj had a
18 discussion group concerning the National Security Service. We did so
19 separately, and I presume it is for that reason that it was not included
20 in the summary.
21 Q. You said that you met Stojan Zupljanin for the first time then.
22 The Prosecutor asked you about that -- Stojan Zupljanin's contribution
23 from the way you explained it in your interview.
24 Could you please go to page 5 of the document, which is 8 in the
1 Mr. Skipina, as far as I understand, there were several items, or
2 topics which dominated the meeting, as you explained in your interview.
3 First of all, most of the representatives of the centres complained about
4 the work of the Crisis Staffs. Wasn't that one of the main topics at the
6 A. I can tell you this. Those chiefs of centres basically addressed
7 the same issues. There seems to have been a pattern. They all pointed
8 out problems which they encountered in their work which were almost
9 identical. Among other things, Crisis Staffs were mentioned as well as
10 municipal leaderships, which tried to influence the work of the MUP and
11 the public security stations.
12 Q. And basically this is what you also mentioned in one of your
13 answers to the Prosecutor when you said that those public security
14 stations were under a lot -- a lot of influence exerted upon them by
15 local leaders. Is that correct?
16 A. When answering Madam Prosecutor's questions, I said that the
17 Ministry of Interior, on the 1st of April, inherited, so to speak, a lot
18 of personnel which had been appointed in 1991 and who came there as party
19 representatives without the necessary background and experience they
20 should have possessed as chiefs of public security stations.
21 They made use of that opportunity and in order to stress that
22 they had been prosecuted -- persecuted in the past as political
23 dissidents although some of them were actually from a criminal milieu
24 they basically did not feel themselves to be part of the organs of the
25 interior. They were in this vicious circle including municipal
1 leaderships and to them it seemed that it was all that mattered, that
2 they listened to their instructions and that the MUP was something very
3 distant. At least that's how -- what my impression was of certain public
4 security stations although not all of them, by no means. I didn't get to
5 see all of them.
6 Q. In paragraph 2, page 5, we see Stojan Zupljanin's contribution.
7 He says -- he mentions the army and Crisis Staffs as well as
8 War Presidencies which required that as many Muslims be assembled as
9 possible and they did not leave such tasks to the Ministry of the
11 He states then in the Assembly centres the conditions are poor
12 and that they did not meet international standards. He also states that
13 such centres were inadequate for different reasons.
14 I presume this was the first time you heard of the existence of
15 such centres and the poor conditions there. Correct?
16 A. Yes. I heard for the first time of the existence of collection
17 centres and camps from Stojan Zupljanin. I think he was the only one who
18 mentioned that at the meeting out of all those here, including the chiefs
19 of the centres. I didn't go through the whole document and all of the
20 contributions because I simply wanted to preserve the -- my own memory,
21 to see what I actually remembered. I believe he said that there were
22 certain issues in the field with the existence of collection centres or
23 camps, I'm not sure which term he used. I believe them to be the same.
24 I couldn't tell a difference.
25 In any case, he pointed out that there were such places, and as
1 far as I remember, he mentioned the infamous -- yes, Omarska, the Omarska
2 camp in Prijedor. I don't think he mentioned any others which does not
3 mean there weren't any others. But as far as I remember, he referred to
4 Prijedor and Omarska specifically.
5 Q. And basically he is saying that the army and Crisis Staffs were
6 those detaining people in such centres. At least that's the way I read
7 his contribution; correct?
8 A. Yes, one would say so.
9 Q. A chief of CSB
10 In a way, he had to inform his superior so that that superior would deal
11 with that problem on a higher level; is that correct?
12 A. If that was the intention of the meeting - and I believe it was -
13 and if Minister Stanisic, in his introductory remarks said that he wanted
14 to know from them what the problems were and how to overcome them, in
15 order to continue working, he wanted to make certain conclusions, and I
16 believe it was the duty of those centre chiefs to inform him of the
17 problems they encountered. They had to inform their superiors, and, in
18 this particular case, the minister.
19 Q. The issue of the army and their role in the establishment of
20 those centres and detention, that is something that should have been
21 dealt with by the government and Presidency as well as the Supreme
22 Command. Is it not correct?
23 A. In any case, all of them, or at least some of those bodies,
24 rather than the MUP.
25 Q. The role of the Crisis Staffs and their competences was something
1 that needed to be dealt with by civilian authorities, the Assembly, and
2 the Presidency, as well as the government; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. I also explained in one instance what the Crisis Staffs
4 were doing. If they sent me 2- or 300 Bosniaks to Pale, then you can
5 only imagine how they went about their work.
6 Q. Stojan Zupljanin took the measures he thought were necessary. He
7 wanted the minister to know so that issues could be addressed. What
8 would you have done in his place?
9 A. I believe he pointed out the problems he encountered in the
11 Q. Did you know that there were conclusions made at this meeting and
12 that certain measures were taken following those conclusions in order to
13 disband such centres and in order to establish what the situation was
14 with them?
15 A. I know that the minister said that certain tasks would be issued
16 after the meeting that everyone needed to abide by. However, I never saw
17 those conclusions, not until 2004, when they were shown to me by the
19 Q. Mr. Skipina, have a look at your tab 5, which is the last
20 document, I believe.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 2D26 in
23 Q. I believe you have occasion to see this document.
24 A. I have not had a chance to see this document.
25 Q. Do you know any of the persons mentioned here? This is a
1 decision by which Stojan Zupljanin established a commission which was to
2 visit the municipalities and public security stations of Prijedor, Sanski
3 Most, and Bosanski Novi.
4 Do you know any of the people mentioned therein?
5 A. I do. I know the first two people, Bera, Vojin; and Vaso
6 Skondric. Vojin Bera was a member of the National Security Service
7 before the war. He was charge of a department in the state security
8 centre in Banja Luka. Vaso Skondric worked in Sarajevo. I think he was
9 a commander with the traffic police. As for the other two, I don't know
11 Q. You can see that there was a task by which the commission was
12 charged with ascertaining whether there any remaining detainees and
13 detention centres in the aforementioned municipalities as well as whether
14 any citizens were being brought in and for what reason, as well as their
15 numbers. He also wanted to know what the number of those processed was
16 and what their age, ethnicity, and sex was, as well as the conditions of
18 Basically this seems to be a result of the conclusions of the
19 11th of July meeting and discussions held there.
20 A. In the explanation, in the statement of reasons, it is stated
21 what these tasks were derived from.
22 Q. We can see in the statement of reasons that --
23 A. That it was pursuant to the order of the Ministry of Interior ...
24 Q. It seems that something was done following the discussion and
25 conclusions of the meeting in Belgrade
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go back to P160.
3 Q. The first document in your binder; page 5 in the Serbian and 8 in
4 the English version.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 5 in the Serbian and 8 in the
6 English. The number of the page is 03241855. This is it.
7 Q. Another topic which dominated the meeting was the participation
8 of policemen in military operations. The chiefs complained that the army
9 took basically all police personnel in order to make them part of their
10 operations, leaving the towns and settlements without any security bodies
11 and that the MUP was unable to exercise its duties.
12 Do you remember that?
13 A. There were several chief who complained that they could not go
14 about their activities the way they wished to because they were short of
15 staff and that it had an impact on the increase of crime in their areas
16 because they did not have a sufficient number of policemen who would work
17 on the prevention of such crimes.
18 Q. If you look at paragraph 4 from the top, this is Zupljanin's
19 contribution, the second sentence: The army wishes to engage the entire
20 staff bringing the policemen to the battle-field and front lines.
21 This was a serious issue that was discussed at that meeting, was
22 it not?
23 A. I cannot confirm that from my personal knowledge, but it seems
24 that this was what Mr. Zupljanin's contribution was about.
25 Q. Another issue that was discussed was the financing of MUP from a
1 single source. If you look at the penultimate paragraph, where it says:
2 "The financing of the MUP and of other services is the task of
3 the Krajina Serb Autonomous District government, and when single funding
4 is secured there will be fewer interventions and tempering?"
5 Do you recall that as a problem, that the municipal authorities
6 which financed such stations and military units also sought ways to
7 influence the work of the MUP as well as its leadership?
8 A. Well, it's a well-known rule, the person paying you is who you
9 work for, and that's how it was. All centre chiefs complained of this
10 problem of financing.
11 Q. There was also a mention made of the functioning of the
12 communications system. Mr. Zupljanin said --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat this part of his
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. --
17 JUDGE HALL
18 MR. KRGOVIC: Yeah.
19 [Interpretation] I apologise. I seem to have been too quick
20 without waiting for your answer.
21 Q. One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the issue of
22 communication -- communications. Mr. Zupljanin, in the last paragraph of
23 his contribution, says that the functional system of communication was
24 broken, that it broke down.
25 Is this what you tried to explain when you addressed the system
1 of communication within the MUP at the time?
2 A. Well, it broke down because, for example, I, who was at the helm
3 of the National Security Service, did not have my communications system.
4 What was communication like within the public security system and the
5 means they could use in different periods of time is not something I'm
6 fully familiar with, but I could overhear from time to time that the
7 lines were down. I am no communications expert, hence, I cannot tell you
8 anything specifically about what did and what did not function at what
9 time. I only know that everyone was saying that the basic lines of
10 communication concerning information went through Sarajevo and that this
11 should be avoided until such time when there is an independent
12 communications system in Republika Srpska. I know that apparently
13 Minister Nedeljko Lajic, who was the telecommunications minister, perhaps
14 in May, said, Now we have a complete communications system, but I'm not
15 familiar what that system was like.
16 Q. Turn the page, please. It's page 6 in B/C/S and page 9 in
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The next page.
19 Q. There were also complaints about the work of the military
20 authorities, and it was said that the military prosecutor's office is not
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. It says the military prosecutor's office is not functioning.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel please slow down. This can't be
1 read this fast.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: Yeah, I try.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Do you remember hearing that there was
4 discussion to the effect that the military prosecutor's office was not
6 A. Yes, not only the military by also the civilian prosecutor's
7 offices. It was said they practically don't exist. They don't work.
8 Everybody was saying that.
9 Q. I have to go back to one topic.
10 When we were saying that the functional communications system had
11 collapsed, you said there was a problem with rounding off the
12 telecommunications system, and Minister Lajic said something like, This
13 system should be complete in May, but as long as you were on that
14 position of assistant, you did not have any communications with Doboj or
15 Banja Luka?
16 A. That's correct. Those two centres were the only ones that
17 existed and operated before the war. I had no communication with them.
18 As for the others, they were just in the process of being
19 established, and national security sectors were not established in them
20 throughout my tenure. There was only one in Sarajevo.
21 Q. This entire system of communications that you spoke about while
22 you were under-secretary, it never really came into operation during your
24 A. As far as the national security sector is concerned, it did not
25 come into operation. I don't know if that is also true of the public
1 security sector. I can't say one way or another because I don't know. I
2 just said that on one occasion Minister Lajic said they had bridged a gap
3 on one line and it doesn't go through the Federation anymore. Now, which
4 part of Republika Srpska it concerned, I don't know.
5 Q. That was precisely what I wanted to ask because I understood you
6 as saying that communication lines went via the Federation and that was
7 one of the major problems in communication; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's right. Many intercepts are available here to this
9 Tribunal and the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 Q. And when you say "Federation," you mean the Muslim/Croat
11 Federation within the framework of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. There was no other federation there.
13 Q. Now having clarified this, let us go back to our document. The
14 next paragraph refers to the problem MUP was facing in pursuing the
15 perpetrators of these criminal acts, and Stojan Zupljanin says that
16 several thousand criminal cases have not been completed, there are no
17 judges for criminal cases. Judges are intimidated. They are receiving
18 threats. And in certain municipalities, like Bosanska Krupa, Donja Vas,
19 Kupres, Derventa, courts are not working. And then Zupljanin goes on to
20 say that hardened criminals are being released from prisons which has a
21 great effect on the efforts to restore the rule of law and law
23 Mr. Skipina, do you agree with me that this is a serious problem
24 which had a great impact on the functioning of the MUP at the time
25 because practically whatever efforts the MUP was making had no effect?
1 A. That's right. And, in general, MUP is not the only one that's
2 supposed to fight various kinds of crime. The prosecutor's office should
3 also be involved. When they receive information that a crime has taken
4 place, they could, on their own initiative, instruct the Ministry of the
5 Interior to investigate, to find evidence, et cetera, but that happened
6 very rarely.
7 As far as courts are concerned, the situation was the same. A
8 lot of personnel remained in the territory of the Federation, and most
9 people were more concerned with finding a safe or better life in
11 in the prosecution, in the judiciary, everywhere.
12 But I agree with what is stated here; namely, that the problem
13 was, indeed, very serious.
14 Q. And whatever the police did, the -- when they detained someone,
15 compiled a criminal report, filed it, if that person ran free again three
16 days later, that certainly affected the work of the police and the morale
17 of the citizens.
18 A. Certainly. It also affected the morale of the members of the
19 MUP. If nothing is done to prosecute the person properly, it blunts the
20 edge of the fight against crime and the morale of the MUP.
21 Q. You also said that certain conclusions were made after this
22 discussion but you are not aware of the procedure that followed.
23 Let me just see if later, as an advisor to the minister, a period
24 when you said you weren't doing anything, let me show you a document that
25 reflects some conclusions of this meeting in Belgrade.
1 It your tab 2.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] And it's Exhibit 2D25.
3 Q. Mr. Skipina, I don't think you saw this document before.
4 It's from July 1992 from the Security Services Centre sent to
5 public security stations, all of them, to the commands of the 1st and 2nd
6 Krajina Corps, to the MUP for their information.
7 Please look at page 3. It's page 4 in B/C/S, conclusion number
8 2. It's an order, in fact, an instruction.
9 Stojan Zupljanin states explicitly after this meeting --
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] In English, it's the next page, I
12 Yes, that's the right page.
13 Q. In item 2 of this instruction, it says that public security
14 stations may not receive or carry out any orders, decisions, conclusions,
15 stances or similar by crisis or regional staffs or other legal entities,
16 which have not been adopted according to established procedure and
17 delivered in writing to public security stations and which do not relate
18 to the jobs and tasks within the competence of the service or are not in
19 accordance with the law and bylaws.
20 This is one of the conclusions of the meeting. It's an
21 instruction to the public security stations which are responsive to
22 Crisis Staffs, that they should stop doing that.
23 A. Yes, it is consistent with the conclusions of that meeting of the
24 collegium in -- from July.
25 Q. Paragraph 6 regards the guarding of these detention centres.
1 Stojan Zupljanin says that public security stations may not, without the
2 approval of the centre, undertake to guard persons arrested by
3 unauthorized persons, considering that these affairs do not fall within
4 the purview of the service. This practically forbids the police to
5 participate in the security in such centres.
6 A. Yes, it follows from the order.
7 Q. And that was one of the issues raised by Stojan Zupljanin at this
8 meeting in Belgrade
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know when the time for the
11 break is, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 at that. I -- remembering that you indicated that you wouldn't be very
14 brief, I wondered how close you are to finishing.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have perhaps one
16 more document to show to the witness and five questions on that document
17 and that would be all. Some ten minutes, not more.
18 JUDGE HALL
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m. ^ spell checked to
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, with your leave, I would like, while
25 we are waiting for witness to come, just to correct the transcript
1 regarding two 65 ter 266, it is not P1207, as stated in the transcript,
2 so 65 ter 266 is Exhibit P1270. And for the clarity, just to repeat,
3 that 65 ter 239 is P1269. Thank you.
4 JUDGE HALL
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Skipina, one other topic you haven't discussed during your
8 evidence here, I have a question on that.
9 While you were head of the National Security Service, were you
10 aware of the existence of a group called Milos which was active in the
12 National Security Service but went under the pseudonym of Milos
13 something like that.
14 A. No. In the AOR
15 existence of a parallel service called Tajfun. And later on, while I was
16 advisor, I came to know that a Mice group or Mico's group was active in
17 Teslic. And as for Milos
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at Exhibit P964,
19 which is behind tab 3 in your folder.
20 MS. KORNER: I don't particularly want to object, but if says he
21 has never heard of Milos
22 document, which is a Milos
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] My question only had to do with
24 whether he ever received the report.
25 Q. Mr. Skipina, have a look at the document.
1 A. I have to read it first.
2 Q. While you were head of the National Security Service, you had
3 received this document or a similar document bearing the signature Milos
4 A. Had I ever received it, I would not have previously answered your
5 question by saying that I was not aware of the name Milos.
6 Q. From your subsequent contacts with Mr. Kesic, who was the head of
7 the National Security Service in Banja Luka - in other words, of the
8 Banja Luka national security centre - have you ever learnt of the
9 formation of the group of Milos
10 areas of the municipalities of Doboj and Banja Luka?
11 A. At the first meeting in Belgrade
12 he never discussed the matter. Later on I didn't have any discussions
13 with Mr. Kesic on the issues regarding the service. This was in within
14 the purview of the newly appointed head of the CSB Dragan Kijac. In
15 other words, my answer is no, I had never discussed the existence of the
16 Milos group with Mr. Kesic.
17 Q. Do you know a member of the National Security Service by the name
18 of Predrag Radulovic?
19 A. Yes I do know him. When I worked in the State Security Service
20 of the Republican SUP
21 Centre there. I don't know if he ever went onto work for the Banja Luka
23 Q. At the time when you were head of the service, did you receive
24 any sort of report from him, such as an operative report or a report in
25 general, a brief?
1 A. Only -- it only would have been possible if he physically went
2 through the corridor and turned it over to me, so throughout my term of
3 office I never received any sort of report from Mr. Kesic or from --
4 Q. Or from Radulovic, right?
5 A. No, not from Radulovic.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skipina. I have no further questions for you.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Skipina, before we give the floor to
8 Mr. Cvijetic, I'd like to explore this last point that was made by
9 Mr. Krgovic because I find it somehow odd that there would be a unit
10 operating in your own house, in your own service, the SNB that was
11 apparently operating without your knowledge.
12 So my question to you is: Were you aware of the facts that there
13 were several things that might have gone on in your one institution
14 without you knowing of it, or does this come as a big surprise to you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It came as an outright surprise to
16 me. And if ever within the service, a subservice were to be formed, then
17 in that situation, neither Mr. Kesic nor I could ever have been heads of
18 our respective services.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: So how are we to -- to understand the evidence
21 If I understand Mr. Krgovic correctly, he is assuming that the
22 group Milos was working in the collection of evidence and intelligence
23 in -- in the SNB
24 And you're now saying that you had no idea that this was going
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. I had no idea. But
2 had I had normal communication, this would not have happened. There
3 should not exist any sort of subgroup active within the National Security
4 Service but operating outside of the rules of that service. It is
5 illegal and unacceptable.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER: Just before Mr. Cvijetic cross-examines, on page 51,
8 line 5, where the witness spoke about the parallel service called
9 Typhoon, it's not actually spelled like the wind or the weather but it's
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Cvijetic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Skipina, for the record, let me state that I
16 am counsel, Slobodan Cvijetic, and I represent the Defence for Mr. Mico
18 Good afternoon to you.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. Initially I will be dealing with one period of your activity and
21 work, which has been, in my view, gone through a bit too quickly since
22 you are competent to deal with one topic in particular.
23 As a member of the State Security Service, you dealt thoroughly
24 with the phenomenon problem of nationalism on -- and when I say
25 nationalism I mean Serb, Croat, and Muslim. Am I right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Of course, I'm referring to the pre-war period; is that right?
3 A. That's my understanding.
4 Q. In your line of work related to nationalism, can you explain to
5 us what your role was in the case involving Mr. Alija Izetbegovic? Just
6 briefly, please. What your role in that was and what you did, et cetera.
7 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Your Honours, I'm not at all sure how this
8 is relevant to any of the issues that Your Honours are dealing with in
9 this trial. I know that it's Mr. Cvijetic's thing that the historical
10 background is of some importance. But at the moment I can't see that,
11 and nor can I see how it's relevant whatever role this witness played in
12 the investigation as to Izetbegovic.
13 JUDGE HALL
14 where are you going? This is wholly new, something that wasn't part of
15 the Prosecution's case, and it, on the face of it, is not, as Ms. Korner
16 said, relevant to any of the issues before us.
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this will be just a
18 couple of point from the historical context that I will tie in with the
19 causes and reasons for the transformation and dissolution of the Ministry
20 of Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 witness to leave Sarajevo
22 Serb personnel employed in the BH MUP did the same, et cetera.
23 This is a topic that will shed light on what is relevant for this
24 case. This is merely a brief introduction leading me to the topic.
25 JUDGE HALL
1 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, two minutes.
3 A. In 1983, I was the key person in the State Security Service for
4 documenting the counter constitutional activity of a group of Islamic
5 fundamentalists headed by Alija Izetbegovic, Bekmir Omer [phoen], Hasan
6 Cengic, and others. The platform of their activity was worked out by Mr.
7 Izetbegovic in his book entitled: "The Islamic Declaration." And the
8 inspiration for all of this was found by them in the successfully carried
9 out Islamic revolution in Iran
10 Q. Mr. Skipina, Mr. Izetbegovic was convicted and served his
11 sentence. Was he being observed or surveilled by the State Security
12 Service at the time as well?
13 A. I don't think that I understand your question. When do you mean
14 at the time?
15 Q. While he was serving his sentence in Foca.
16 A. He was not being treated, although Munir Alibabic, the inspector
17 of the State Security Service, did occasionally go to visit him.
18 Q. Based on these contacts and opinions, Mr. Izetbegovic's sentence
19 was shortened considerably, as you will be aware. He did not serve the
20 full sentence.
21 A. Yes, I know. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and serve
22 roughly six.
23 Q. Shortly upon his release, he formed a party; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did the leadership of the party include the same individuals who
1 shared his views before he was convicted?
2 A. The same individuals who were involved in the 1983 case against
3 Alija Izetbegovic took up the strategic positions in the party that he
4 formed, the Party for Democratic Action.
5 Q. Thank you. We will no longer dwell on the topic. We got two
6 minutes to deal with it.
7 Following the multi-party elections, the so-called division of
8 power occurred among the three parties that won most of the votes; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you agree with my statement that the Serbian Democratic Party
12 within this division of power, did come out short, if I can put it that
14 A. Yes. To the general surprise of the population, Mr. Alija
15 Izetbegovic insisted that he -- that they be given the Ministry of the
16 Interior of all the ministries, since they won most of the votes. They
17 were entitled to choose the ministry of their choosing. The other party
18 that had the choice next was the Serbian Democratic Party, which opted
19 for the Ministry of Agriculture. The third ranking party, the HDZ, took
20 the Ministry of Defence. Even Mr. Kljuic himself stated for the
21 television that they were grateful for -- to Mr. Karadzic for not opting
22 for the Ministry of Defence. Mr. Karadzic opted for the Ministry of
23 Agriculture. My conclusion about that issue today is that for this
24 reason there are no Serbs in towns like Mostar, Zenica, Tuzla, and
25 especially Sarajevo
1 of them now live in smaller places and their occupation is agriculture,
2 which is what Mr. Karadzic had chosen for them.
3 Q. You will agree with me that, in order for a state to be formed
4 which is dominated by one peoples only, the key ministries were the
5 Ministry of The interior, Ministry of Defence, and possibly the Ministry
6 of Foreign Affairs; is that right?
7 A. That's right. In times of war two key ministries are the
8 Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of
9 Foreign Affairs, of course, means the art in negotiating with other
10 countries and lobbying for positions and programmes you wish to
12 Q. In order to achieve that goal, it was necessary to arm one's own
13 people and, as for the Ministry of the Interior, the personnel of other
14 ethnicities had to be either removed or marginalised; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's how things actually developed.
16 Q. This goes to the gist of my following question. How did this
17 marginalisation come about, briefly, in the Ministry of the Interior?
18 A. In the Ministry of the Interior, there were certain problems in
19 the SDA party as well. Namely, Mr. Izetbegovic insisted that he be the
20 sole person appointing the minister of the interior. His candidate was
21 the former minister of the interior, Mr. Besic. However, Fikret Abdic
22 presented an obstacle because he received the most votes as a member of
23 the Presidency, and he was supposed to be the first President of the
24 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was in favour of Alija
25 Delimustafic, who was his candidate. There was a comprise in which
1 Mr. Abdic gave up on being president in favour of Mr. Izetbegovic, and in
2 return, Delimustafic was appointed minister of the interior. I can go on
3 explaining this in more detail if needed.
4 Q. That will already be my next question. How did the Serb
5 personnel fair within the Ministry of the Interior?
6 A. The SDA kept most of the management personnel from the previous
7 MUP, since they were professionals. On the other hand, the SDS used the
8 best of Serb personnel, who existed at the time, gave up on them, I would
9 say. It wasn't by their permission but due to the lack of their
10 initiative, Sredoje Novic who -- the last person who was in charge of the
11 state security sector who was supposed to be at the helm of the entire
12 Yugoslav state sector as well as Momo Andzic [phoen] who was assistant
13 minister for crime were removed, they were pensioned off or assigned to
14 secretarial work in public security stations. Assistant Minister of the
15 Interior, Mr. Hilmo Selimovic, did so by virtue of his decision. I also
16 suffered under him significantly when I was pensioned off.
17 Q. As far as I understood, you worked on Mr. Hilmo Selimovic's case
18 while you were still in the state security sector concerning his possible
19 involvement in certain criminal activities; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. In the state security sector we had received a document
21 from the then-Republican Assembly containing information provided by
22 certain employees in -- with respect to his activities at the time. He
23 was, at that time, the general manager of the Sarajevo beer brewery. He
24 was also a member of the Central Committee of the League of Communists at
25 the time. I called Mr. Selimovic before my operatives came to see him in
1 the brewery to check such information, telling him that it was my
2 intention to send them to see, to verify that information. He asked
3 Slobo, Please do not do that. Things are clear here. And I said to him,
4 If it's true that there's nothing happening then we would submit a report
5 to that effect, to the Assembly, which is only in your favour.
6 I did send my operatives there, and they came across various
7 indicia of embezzlement in terms of state-owned property. He came to see
8 me in my office asking me to call off the investigation and the case,
9 which I refused. When everything was completed, we compiles a report in
10 the service, which we forwarded to the prosecutor's office, the Assembly
11 and the city council because he was a member of the city council. After
12 that report, he was excluded from the membership of the city council, but
13 the prosecutor's office never followed up on that case because of things
14 which went on behind the scenes. It simply retained the document but did
16 Q. So, in essence, he received a very important role in the Ministry
17 of the Interior after the multi-party elections. He could even decide on
18 personnel policy. Am I correct?
19 A. Yes. He made a purge in the Republican SUP, he drove away a lot
20 of people, even Bosniaks if they had previously worked on the case of
21 Alija Izetbegovic. Such people were, for example, Borisa Delic, who was
22 my deputy. He's a Bosniak and holds law degree and has perfect command
23 of two languages. He appointed him to a position in Han Pijesak, which
24 is 80 kilometres away. Of course, he refused because he hailed from the
25 city. When he refused, he asked him what information he had on him so
1 that he could prosecute me. My deputy, Mr. Delic told him he had nothing
2 to share with him about me and then Selimovic asked him to go to see me
3 so that he would tell me that eventually I would get arrested.
4 Q. During the purge, the Serb personnel faired very poorly.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In my personal opinion as a policeman, since I knew a lot of
7 those people, people who did not fulfil the needs of such positions were
8 appointed to the positions of those who had previously been sent away.
9 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Page 60, line 14, it seems that
10 the witness's answer figures as a question, so we have the answer
11 continuing. This is not a new question.
12 Could we please show a document to the witness, which is 1D118,
13 and with the assistance of the usher, could we please provide these hard
14 copies to the witness.
15 Q. Mr. Skipina, this is already in evidence. It was compiled by
16 employees of the state security sector of Serb ethnicity. The title
17 speaks for itself. It is in your tab 1. There's no need for you to
18 follow it on the screen.
19 Please see what the title is and then we'll go to the contents.
20 It is quite a voluminous document, but we will refer to it
21 briefly only.
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Can we go to the first page,
23 please, now. Yes.
24 Q. In the first paragraph, Mr. Skipina, the last sentence it says
25 that this service has so far been the inclusive function of the SDA and
1 the HDZ for the following reasons, and you have already addressed those.
2 In the second paragraph it is stated that the SDS, that is to
3 say, the Serbs got the fifth and sixth administration in the services or
4 in the sectors.
5 In the fourth paragraph it is stated that the SDS lost the second
6 person in the State Security Service, the position which should have been
7 assigned to Mr. Nedjo Vlaski, and I believe you are familiar with that
9 Am I correct?
10 A. You are. For a while Dragan Devedlaka was supposed to have been
11 appointed and then Nedjo Vlaski was the next candidate, but neither of
12 them was appointed to that position which apparently ceased to exist at a
13 late point in time.
14 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to the next page.
15 There are various facts and further evidence of this process of
16 marginalising Serb personnel.
17 On page 5 in the last paragraph, it is stated that only Serb
18 politicians and staff were being wire-tapped.
19 Is it true that the service was used to wire-tap only Serb
21 A. Well, unless you have a transcript of that service concerning
22 Kljuc, Izetbegovic, and others, then you can conclude for yourself who
23 were the subjects of wire-tapping.
24 Q. There's also a mention made of the withdrawal of equipment from
1 A. I'm not privy to that.
2 Q. I believe we can agree on the following conclusion: That one of
3 the methods of creating a state following one's own interest was to have
4 control of the Ministry of the Interior. Am I correct in assuming that?
5 A. Yes, absolutely so.
6 Q. Could another method be also creating one's own army inside the
7 Ministry of the Interior or turning it into a party army?
8 A. If you expand the reserve force of the police to levels which are
9 extraordinary, then one could arrive at such a conclusion too.
10 Q. Did you know that Mr. Hilmo Selimovic during a single night used
11 to issue three -- up to 300 appointments or decisions by which people
12 were employed in the Ministry of the Interior or made part of the reserve
13 force and who were mainly Muslim?
14 A. I'm not familiar with any figures, but I know of the existence of
15 such orders. I learned of that through my contacts with the operatives
16 whose superior I used to be. And these people were Serbs, Muslim, and
17 Croats who held me in high regard as a person who had formally been a
18 part of the management structure, and they shared this information with
20 Q. Did you know that in 1991, the SDA, illegally so to speak, or
21 contrary to the rules, and that they went beyond the police school in
22 Vrace in order to send certain personnel to Croatia?
23 A. I am not familiar with that, but I do know that the key person in
24 charge of the functioning of the MUP on behalf of the SDA was Hasan
25 Cengic who was tried alongside Mr. Izetbegovic, and such a person was in
1 charge of all MUP policy, and you can only imagine what such a MUP would
2 look like afterwards.
3 Q. Could you please explain what you also wanted to say about
4 Mr. Cengic. You said he was an Imam?
5 A. Yes, he was a -- part of the clergy. He was equivalent to a
6 cleric in other religious communities.
7 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Within the context of this topic,
8 for ease of reference, could we please have P424, MFI.
9 Q. Which is your tab 2.
10 This is what we have just discussed. Before you is one of
11 similar lists, of which which we have several. In this case, there were
12 463 members sent for training to Croatia. The document was signed by
13 Hasan Cengic himself. Is that correct?
14 A. I'm sorry, I can't see the signature.
15 Q. The cover page where it says: List.
16 Do you know who was the secretary of that party?
17 A. I don't know.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues] ... I wonder
19 where we are going with this. I believe the witness has told us that he
20 was unaware of the fact that the SDA was sending people to Croatia for
21 military training sort of outside the normal procedures.
22 So isn't that the end of this topic?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was about to make the same objection.
24 Unless the witness has seen the document before, is familiar with any of
25 its contents, this is leading us nowhere.
1 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, then we don't have it
2 correct in the transcript. I seem to have heard the witness that he was
3 familiar with that type of activity of the party but that he was not
4 familiar with the figures.
5 Q. Did you know whether any people were sent for training to Zagreb
6 A. I said that I knew or that I had heard that policemen were sent
7 for training to Croatia
8 that they were sent for military training to Croatia.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you.
10 Yesterday, in response to one of the questions by Ms. Korner, you
11 mentioned a specific fact linked to this subject; namely, the arming of
12 the Muslim population in 1991.
13 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... page number,
14 please, of where the question is in transcript, from yesterday.
15 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I'm speaking of the document that
16 I was about to show. He was talking about a document which deals with
17 the arming, and I'm going to show the document now. It is 1D --
18 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ... you said
19 yesterday in an answer to a question by me. You said he gave an answer,
20 and I'm asking you what question, what answer, on what page of the
22 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I will explain. Mr. Skipina was
23 saying yesterday that he had interrogated a person who had been detained,
24 and he was the key organiser of the arming activities in the territory of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's on page 8304. And that person made a statement
1 about the arming activities. It was videotaped, and it was even
2 broadcast publicly.
3 That is the part of the witness's evidence I'm referring to.
4 Can we place 1D03-2306 on the screen.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Just correct the transcript, the
7 page is 8305, line 18.
8 Q. Mr. Skipina, it's the last document in your folder, tab 25, I
10 Is that the person you mentioned yesterday, Senad Emic. This is
11 his statement. Sorry, Senad Memic. And if you leaf through, you will
12 find his handwritten statement.
13 Do you recognise this?
14 A. I do. But his full name is Senahid. Senahid Memic.
15 Q. Is that the person -- and, in fact, it's written in his own
16 statement, written in longhand, Senahid Memic?
17 A. Yes, that's the person I mentioned yesterday. He was caught with
18 five or six different false IDs in Serbian names, among other things. He
19 had a membership card of the SDS
20 institutions, agencies, et cetera.
22 all the key persons from the SDA party as being involved in the arming.
23 And you -- you know all this. You don't have to read.
24 A. I can both read it, and I know it.
25 Q. He goes on to say, through which channels the arms were
1 purchased, how they were distributed. He mentions another cleric, a
2 Muslim Imam in Zagreb
3 paragraph on page 2, Sefer Omerbasic, the Zagreb mosque Imam?
4 A. Yes. I know -- he was under surveillance by the State Security
5 Service of Croatia
6 Q. And then follows his handwritten statement, the same text as the
7 printed version.
8 Can you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Skipina, did you use any illegal methods to
11 coerce this person into writing this statement such as beating or
12 anything else?
13 A. No. It was a normal interview. I was even criticised by my
14 colleagues in the police force when I decided to exchange this man.
15 Mr. Bakir Alispahic, for instance, told me, Why don't we prosecute him?
16 I said, Let's play it down, we are not going to win anything if we try
17 him and convict him. Let him -- let him go over, but let us keep all the
18 documents. And, indeed, I had him exchanged in the first round of
19 exchanges that I organised with the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Just after -- for the transcript,
21 the -- the second sentence in this last passage is the beginning of the
22 answer. Currently it is all recorded as my question.
23 Q. To finish with this document, Mr. Skipina, you confirmed the
24 authenticity of this document, you are aware of it. Is that correct?
25 A. Absolutely.
1 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe all the
2 requirements are met to admit this document, and I would like to tender
4 MS. KORNER: I'm happy if it is admitted as to -- this is what
5 the witness says was said in this statement, but not as to the truth of
6 its contents, if I can draw that distinction. If it's being -- if the
7 reason is because it's going to be said, so that Mr. Cvijetic
8 understands, that, therefore, what is said in this statement is the truth
9 and the Trial Chamber should accept it as the truth, well, then I'd
10 object. If it is simply being admitted to show this is what was said in
11 this statement by this man, Memic, then I have no objection. But I would
12 object to any attempt to address the Chamber on the basis of what is said
13 in there is true. The proper course would be to call Mr. Memic.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 the document or the truth of its contents?
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] According to the Rules of this
18 Tribunal, circumstantial evidence is allowed. But the point here is in
19 the authenticity of the document, and the Prosecution, of course, will
20 not miss a chance to question the allegations made therein. But let me
21 ask the witness.
22 Q. Was it your impression and did you have any other corroborative
23 information for the allegations made here?
24 A. Basically yes, but I would have to re-read it to refresh my
25 memory as to the specific facts. But, in general terms, that's what I
1 spoke about.
2 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] I believe all the conditions are
3 met, Your Honours, for admitting this document.
4 JUDGE HALL
5 asked earlier? The mere fact that this document exists, in other words,
6 the piece of paper that you're putting before the Tribunal, or are you
7 seeking to rely on what the document contains as being accurate and,
8 therefore, evidence on which you're relying? Because if it is the
9 latter, then -- then you come square up against the objection Ms. Korner
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Both, Your Honour. The witness is
13 the one who took this statement, not a third party. The witness took
14 this statement himself, and he can answer both your questions. Namely,
15 that the document is authentic and that he had the impression that the
16 statements made by the interviewee were correct and that he had other
17 information to corroborate it.
18 MS. KORNER: What Mr. Cvijetic is trying to do is to get around
19 the provisions of Rule 92. If he is trying to rely on the statement for
20 evidence of the truth of the contents, he has two options: One is he
21 calls the witness viva voce as part of his case; the second is he obtains
22 a 92 ter statement saying that this is true or I suppose -- he cannot
23 have it in on this basis and argue that its contents are true.
24 The best he can hope to do at this stage is have it as a
25 statement that apparently this witness took.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry to interrupt, but Mr. Smith has kindly
3 brought something to my attention. This statement is 17 pages long in
4 B/C/S, and we've got a translation of three pages, so it's not even
5 properly translated.
6 JUDGE HALL
7 would do is have the document marked, and we move on.
8 Mr. Cvijetic, did you take Ms. Korner's point, that what we have
9 is a partial translation of a document, so the Chamber and, of course,
10 the side opposite has a difficulty in addressing -- in the Chamber's
11 part, comprehending it; for the -- for the OTP's part, in terms of
12 addressing it. So in order not to delay today's proceedings, let's move
13 on ... for identification.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, if I may be of assistance,
15 there is a misunderstanding between Ms. Korner's understanding and the
16 facts in this particular document.
17 The documents consists of the typewritten statement typed by this
18 witness or somebody from the MUP who was taking the statement and the
19 handwritten -- the very same statement of the person who gave the
20 statement, so it's in handwritten form. The person, this Senahid Memic,
21 wrote it with his own hand and then it was retyped.
22 So there is no point of -- of translating twice the very same
23 content. That is why the translation consists of only the typewritten
24 document and the handwritten document just to prove the accuracy and
25 truthfulness of this statement because it was signed and written by this
1 particular person, and that is why it is a full -- a full translation of
2 the contents of this document. It's just that it's basically two
3 documents but with the same content.
4 I hope I was of assistance. Thank you.
5 JUDGE HALL
6 explanation, the position that the Chamber takes is that it would be
7 admitted, and counsel are alerted that the argument and the appropriate
8 time would be a question as to what weight to give to it. Because
9 obviously in terms of the truth to which it purports to speak, because it
10 is not the witness's statement and the maker, the effective maker is --
11 is apparently not being called as a witness, then there is an argument to
12 be advanced as to how much weight the Chamber should give it at the end
13 of the day.
14 MS. KORNER: Sorry, so I just understand, Your Honours are
15 admitting it as an exhibit but will not - I hope I have got this right -
16 but will not accept that its contents are true in the absence of the
17 maker being called or a statement to that effect?
18 JUDGE HALL
19 Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: Well, then --
21 JUDGE HALL
22 rules of evidence applying to this Tribunal, hearsay evidence may be
23 admitted in certain circumstances. The particular document is being
24 tendered through the witness -- through the witness on the stand who
25 recorded it. As with any other witness performing such a function he is
1 hardly ever able to testify to the truth of the contents, and the
2 argument may be made that having regard to the fact that the witness is
3 giving evidence why do we need the document, but for the sake of
4 completeness - I can think of no other appropriate word - we would allow
5 the document in. But it is obvious that because of the -- what it is and
6 how it came to be made, there is a -- then the Defence at the appropriate
7 stage is making its argument, they would appreciate that the -- that it
8 is for them to persuade the Chamber to give it the -- the weight which
9 they would undoubtedly seek to have it given by the fact that they were
10 seeking to tender it.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, well, Your Honours, can I -- I agree. It is
12 quite a difficult point. But Rule 92, which governs the admission -- I
13 see Mr. Pantelic wants to say something, but can I just finish.
14 Rule 92, which governs the admission of written statements and
15 transcripts in lieu of oral testimony, says that factors against
16 admitting evidence in the form of a written statement or transcript
17 include but are not limited to whether there's an overriding public
18 interest in the evidence being presented orally. A party objecting can
19 demonstrate that its nature and source renders it unreliable, and, three,
20 there are any other factors.
21 So, Your Honours, which -- there is a difference between
22 admitting it, because this witness says this is the statement I took, and
23 giving any weight at all in these circumstances to the truth of its
25 I -- appreciating that hearsay is admissible, we would submit and
1 this is -- I don't agree. I don't want to take up too much time, but we
2 would submit that statements of this nature, in the light of what you
3 have heard about similar statements of this nature, to admit it as true
4 would be contrary to the spirit of the rules. That's our objection.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE HALL
7 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you very much Your Honours.
8 It's from my point of view issue of certain importance. I think
9 my learned friend, Ms. Korner, is not right with respect to the structure
10 of that problem.
11 Point number one is that the witness here was an official
12 professional police officer who was in capacity to get this statement
13 from -- from a suspect or from a person. That's point number one.
14 Point number two is that if we are going to follow the pattern
15 that my learned friend, Ms. Korner, is suggesting us here, then, in
16 thousands of various occasions where we have to evaluate the -- the --
17 the -- the documents in -- in particular court proceedings that we
18 already admitted or many other statements with regard to the facts
19 occurred as a background of certain event, et cetera, et cetera, then we
20 shall be in very serious problem.
21 My humble advice would be now to permit -- to my learned friend,
22 Mr. Cvijetic, to see and check with -- with -- with witness, is there any
23 other corroborative evidence or documents or any other source that gave
24 the right to this witness to conclude that this was a truthful statement.
25 Then we are going to second point. I mean, the second part of
1 the game. If Ms. Korner is challenging this evidence, facts, all other
2 relevant issues, then she is very welcome to bring the person in
3 question, the suspect, or to obtain from him by the way of deposition or
4 92 bis statement, relevant statement of that witness and then, only then,
5 this Trial Chamber will be in the situation to give a weight, certain
6 weight to the evidence, to the exhibit.
7 So I think my proposition is constructive and maybe we should
8 permit our learn friend, Mr. Cvijetic, to find a proper way to -- to --
9 to get the personal knowledge and -- and practically evidence from this
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner, I -- I don't think that Rule 92 has
13 anything to do with this problem.
14 Nobody until now is introducing the gentleman that wrote this --
15 this statement as a witness. That's what Rule 92 is about, it's about
16 witness statements. Nobody says that this gentleman, Memic, or whatever
17 his name is, is a witness. It's a document that is standard.
18 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Your Honours, that's
19 exactly the point I'm trying to make. Your Honour has actually hit it in
21 The document itself I perfectly accept if it is going in purely
22 for the basis that it is a document apparently seen or taken by this
23 witness, and this is what is recorded in the document. What -- the
24 Defence are trying to go one further and say that you, the Trial Chamber,
25 should accept this -- the contents of this statement as the statement of
1 Mr. Memic as the truth. So they are, in fact, attempting to make this
2 man a witness without calling him.
3 Your Honours, that's the only -- otherwise how could they
4 possibly do this otherwise? They can't call Mr. Memic, and they know it.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Microphone not activated]
6 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, with respect, it is. They're
7 trying to make this man, what he said in this statement, they are saying
8 you should accept as true. In other words, he -- what you are being
9 asked to say, this is a witness as to the truth of what's contained in
10 this document.
11 There is a real difference between the document going in as a
12 document. This is what's recorded in the document as opposed to without
13 hearing the witness, without any of the Rule 92 safe-guards, that's the
14 point. You should accept what is in the statement. So it is trying to
15 get round Rule 92 by this method.
16 I can see Your Honour is not convinced but if you think about
17 it --
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I didn't hear all that, Ms. Korner. I heard a
19 document that was tendered and you're trying to make a distinction and
20 what is tendered, the document or the statement, the truth or -- that's a
21 distinction we until now never made.
22 MS. KORNER: [Overlapping speakers] ... but, Your Honour ...
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... another document come
24 in and all the rest is weight.
25 MS. KORNER: Well, no. But, Your Honour, this is slightly
1 different, and this has happened before that these so-called confessions
2 made by people in the custody of RS municipal are being put in in order
3 to show you that what was in those contents -- sorry, what is contained
4 in the statement are true.
5 Now that is not a proper way of dealing with these matters, and
6 it is an attempt to get round Rule 92. Because otherwise these witnesses
7 should be called or statements taken from them under the circumstances of
8 how they came to make the statements.
9 Now the onus is being put on the Prosecution to call these
10 witnesses. We have the difficulty firstly of whether we can find the
11 witnesses, which in one case we can't, or whether you will allow us to
12 put in extra evidence to counter this. Mr. Pantelic has invited us to do
14 But we say that if the Defence wish to rely on these statements
15 as being true then they have two options: One is to call the maker; or
16 secondly, to obtain the proper certification under Rule 92.
17 And, I'm sorry, it's standard stuff that -- that -- I say -- that
18 if a statement is -- is put in without the maker being called there has
19 to be good reason as to why the maker is not being called.
20 MR. PANTELIC: And Ms. Korner have a right for her theory, but I
21 protest for the using word of so-called confessions. If that's a part of
22 theory, it's okay. But so-called confessions in this particular case and
23 other cases it is well, well beyond the proper standards.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 MR. KRGOVIC: I think Mr. Zecevic will do that.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, I'm thankful for Ms. Korner for her
3 The only thing that now strucks [sic] me -- I'm returning a bit
4 back in the case. We have a decision by the Honourable Trial Chamber on
5 the assistance of the Office of the Prosecutor concerning the intercepts.
6 Now are we to understand that the intercepts, the documents have been
7 admitted only as documents without -- without this -- the allegation of
8 truthfulness of -- of the contents of these documents, because, in this
9 case, we also did not have the person who created these documents.
10 Now, this is a -- I don't know -- I'm -- I'm just rather putting
11 my observation on the issue and we intend to deal with the -- with the --
12 with Your Honours' ruling in -- in our written submission. But I'm just
13 putting -- putting this observation now before the Trial Chamber.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 1.45. It is time that we take the adjournment for today.
16 The document as tendered may be admitted and marked and no doubt
17 at some point we would seek to be persuaded by Ms. Korner that the
18 content should be wholly disregarded.
19 So we take the adjournment until tomorrow morning at 9.00, I
20 believe, we are still in this courtroom.
21 And I would remind the witness of what I said yesterday about not
22 discussing the matter.
23 Thank you.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day of April,
2 2010, at 9.00 a.m.