1 Thursday, 17 November 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Good morning to
9 everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, good morning, Your Honours.
11 Alex Demirdjian for the Prosecution with Belinda Pidwell and
12 Sebastiaan van Hooydonk.
13 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
14 Appearing for Mico Stanisic, Slobodan Cvijetic, Ms. Deirdre Montgomery
15 and Annemarie McNulty.
16 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
17 Aleksandar Aleksic and Miroslav Cuskic appearing for Stojan Zupljanin
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
20 Before the witness comes back into court, can we go back into
21 private session, please.
22 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE HALL: And if there are no preliminary matters, may the
12 usher please escort the witness back to the stand.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Bubic, good morning to you. You may resume your
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
17 JUDGE HALL: And before Mr. Demirdjian continues his
18 cross-examination, I remind you that you are still on your oath.
19 WITNESS: OBRAD BUBIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Demirdjian.
22 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Demirdjian: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Bubic, I would like to ask you a clarification. Yesterday,
25 at page 25889, you said that in early 1992 you were the owner of a chain
1 of boutiques, is that right, in Kotor Varos?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was the name of that chain of boutique, please?
4 A. Sloboda.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, do you remember yesterday I showed you a
6 document dated the 8th of June, 1992, which was the appointment of
7 Mane Tepic, do you remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You expressed your views, I believe, that there was a problem
10 with the document. So we did a little bit of digging around. I'd like
11 to show you a series of five appointments in relation to your light
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we first have up number 20366, please.
14 Q. Now, I want you to look at each of these five appointments, one
15 by one, and reserve your comments for the end. Look at them as a
16 package. So the first one on the screen -- yes. The first one on the
17 screen should be in relation to Andjelko Stanic, do you see that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you know Mr. Stanic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And was he a member of your brigade?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Well, and we see that the date is 8th of June, 1992, signed by
24 Mr. Novakovic.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we have the next one which is 20367, please.
1 Q. 20367 is in relation to Zivko Krsic, commander for moral and
2 guidance. Did you know Mr. Krsic?
3 A. I knew Krsic well. He was my neighbour.
4 Q. Very well. And it says here that he is commander for moral and
5 guidance. On the 8th of June, he was appointed and it signed by
6 Dusan Novakovic.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we see the other one, 20368.
8 Q. The next one is for Mr. Nenad Jerkovic, commander for logistics.
9 You knew Mr. Jerkovic. You told us that yesterday, didn't you?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And he is also appointed on the 8th of June, and it is signed by
12 Mr. Dusan Novakovic.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we go to 20369, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Novakovic, yes.
15 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
16 Q. Now, 20369 is in relation to Slavica Jerosimovic, chief of
17 quartermaster service, and he, too, is appointed on the
18 8th of June, 1992, and is it signed by Dusan Novakovic. Did you know
20 A. Mrs., I knew her by sight.
21 Q. And the last one is 20370. And 20370 is in relation to a man by
22 the name of Zeljko Tesic, chief of the medical service. Do you know
23 Mr. Tesic?
24 A. Yes, he is a physician and still works in Kotor Varos. He has
25 his private practice there.
1 Q. Right. So, sir, yesterday you suggested that there was an error
2 with the appointment of Mr. Tepic. I put it to you that, in fact, these
3 documents are all correct. You simply were not involved in the creation
4 process of these appointments. Would that be right?
5 A. Let me tell you, I'm not contesting the correctness of these
6 documents. What I'm saying is that I'm not aware of them. I don't know
7 anything about them. As far as I know, the brigade on that date was not
8 established yet. This is what I know. This is my personal knowledge
9 because I met Commander Novakovic only when I was released from prison.
10 I had never met him before I was taken prisoner. So it doesn't make too
11 much sense to me. Maybe this did happen on the 8th of June, I'm not
12 denying even that, but maybe that was done for some future period, for
13 something that would be done with a delay. In any case, this is
14 something that I'm absolutely not familiar with.
15 Q. And you told us yesterday that you too were mobilised on the
16 8th of June; is that right?
17 A. On the 8th or on 9th I said. I believe that it was on the 8th.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, I would ask that the series of
19 these five appointments -- yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Demirdjian. I had thought that
21 the issue was the stamp, and so my question goes to the witness: If you
22 can recognise the number on the stamp, because I notice that on each of
23 the documents that we've just seen the stamp carries the same number, and
24 I think it was your suggestion yesterday that this number did not belong
25 to the unit that you knew.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. Correct.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: So now what?
3 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, may I ask for the witness to
4 remove his headphones for a minute.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. Mr. Bubic, can you take off your
6 headphones, just for a seconds.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, we did some backgrounds checks and
8 it may be that we'll been in a position to address this with the witness
9 who has a bit more knowledge about military issues, if there is any
10 occasion in the near future. Our information is that this is an old JNA
11 stamp, and, indeed, as the witness indicated yesterday the new stamps
12 bore a four-digit code starting with 7. The one we saw yesterday was
13 7001, I believe. We do have other documents showing stamps later on in
14 1992 of this brigade when it changed, but our information is this is an
15 old JNA stamp with a five-digit code. So at this stage what I'm
16 proposing to do is to tender the appointment of Mr. Tepic who is the
17 commander of his brigade, the one that I showed yesterday, along with
18 these five appointments. The point being that this witness is being
19 called to talk about the activities of his brigade and his evaluation of
20 the numbers of armed forces of the other side and we are saying that
21 these documents go to his credibility. He is too much of a low-level
22 witness. He does not know exactly the composition of his own command, of
23 his own brigade. And, in fact, second point is this document shows that
24 a number of people were appointed a few days before the take-over in
25 Kotor Varos and that this brigade was being formed during the month of
1 June, and, indeed, it was established that as we saw from documents in
2 the month of July.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just ask the Defence if there's any issue
4 from your side regarding the stamp.
5 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as you have said it
6 yourself, I notice that the stamp is the same on the six or seven
7 documents and that the number of the decision in the heading is also the
8 same. My objection with regard to the -- today's part of the
9 cross-examination by the Prosecutor is this: He asked the witness
10 whether he is familiar with these people and whether they were members of
11 the brigade, and the witness confirmed all that. And I'm not contesting
12 that. However, my learned friend from the Prosecution did not clarify
13 with the witness whether the witness knew that all those persons, all
14 those individuals on the 8th of June started discharging duties to which
15 they were appointed according to these decisions.
16 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We asked the witness to remove his headphones,
17 but clearly he can understand what is being said right now.
18 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Really, that was not my intention.
19 You are absolutely right. I agree that my learned friend can use this
20 line of questioning in order to challenge the witness's credibility.
21 However, he explained yesterday what he knew and what he thought about
22 the documents shown to him yesterday. However, as for today's set of
23 documents, the Prosecutor has not exactly clarified what I have just
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Demirdjian --
2 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
3 JUDGE HALL: -- we see the logic in your application in terms of
4 the document from yesterday --
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes.
6 JUDGE HALL: -- ignoring for the moment the illogicality of the
7 witness not being able to speak to it from his own knowledge, but we see
8 the purpose for which you wish to tender that, but we don't see why these
9 additional documents need similarly to come in. It seems to us that the
10 point that you are making would be adequately made by allowing the --
11 yesterday's document in.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I agree, Your Honours. I agree. So if we just
13 tender 65 ter 20340, that should suffice.
14 JUDGE HALL: So that's -- that document is admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2418, Your Honours. Thank you.
16 JUDGE HALL: And the witness may replace his head phones.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may be mistaken,
18 but I believe that the document that was shown to the witness yesterday
19 was not admitted into evidence, at all, yesterday on the appointment of
20 Mane Tepic.
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's what we were doing right now. Yes,
22 that's what just happened.
23 Q. Sir, could we also have up 65 ter 20348, which was the list I
24 showed you yesterday, tab 39. Do you remember this list that I showed
25 you yesterday, sir, which had members of your unit. You named two men,
1 Asim Aganbegovic and Adis Hadziselimovic, as members of the Croat and
2 Muslim community who remained in the TO and later on the VRS. Now, let
3 me ask you, before coming to court yesterday, had you seen this document
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Because you told us that you spent a number of days in proofing
7 with Mr. Aleksic. Was this document not shown to you at all?
8 A. No, the document wasn't shown to me.
9 Q. If you look at the far right, you see the ethnicity of the
10 commanding officers of this unit. They are all Serbs on the first page.
11 If you go to the second page, it also says Serbian for every one of them.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: If we can go to page 2.
13 Q. It all says Serbian. They are all Serbs. And if we go to the
14 last page, page 3 in the B/C/S version, we see two who are not marked as
15 Serbs. And these are the very two same persons that you named yesterday.
16 One is marked as a Yugoslav and one actually does not even have an
17 ethnic -- and then ethnicity. So there are 57 names on this list and
18 only two of them are not Serbs, and these are the same two that you told
19 us yesterday. So are you sure you've never seen this document before?
20 A. I'm sure.
21 Q. Very well. Now, yesterday you also told us that in the reserve
22 police there were quite a few Muslims and Croats who remained after the
23 take-over; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, you gave us two names and you say you were not able to give
1 us any other names. In your view, how many Muslims and Croats remained
2 in the reserve police? You don't have to give us a precise number.
3 A. I can't give you a precise number because I don't know it, but I
4 believe that there were four or five Muslims, approximately, and slightly
5 fewer Croats.
6 Q. And did you know, ballpark figure, how many reserve police
7 officers were there in Kotor Varos?
8 A. I really don't know.
9 Q. If I told you that there was 265 reserve police officers in
10 Kotor Varos, would you agree with that?
11 A. I can't agree with you because I don't know. I can't agree with
12 something that I don't know.
13 Q. Fine.
14 A. Moreover, that number sounds a bit exaggerated.
15 Q. Very well. Now, yesterday, you told us at page 25925 that during
16 your captivity Sprzo told you that on the left bank of the Vrbanja
17 there's more than 1.000 of them. When you meant "of them," you meant of
18 non-Serb forces, and you added that you really doubted that number. Do
19 you remember telling us in that in court yesterday?
20 A. Yes, I remember. I thought that they tried to daunt me with
21 bragging about their forces, because objectively I had not encountered
22 that many of them, but where I was, in the places where I was -- which
23 means I was not along the entire length of the bank of the river that was
24 controlled by the Muslim forces, but in the places where I was and where
25 I was passing through, I must have seen over 200 of them.
1 Q. Now, it is an accepted fact in this case that on the day of the
2 take-over - the take-over took place, in fact, on the 11th of June - and
3 that this take-over took place without any resistance; isn't that right?
4 A. As far as I know, that was the case. It is right.
5 Q. And you told us that you were guarding buildings throughout the
6 month of June. Was guarding buildings your only assignment, sir?
7 A. That was my only assignment, my exclusive assignment.
8 Q. Now, can you tell us which buildings were you guarding exactly?
9 A. I was in the Bregovi neighbourhood in front of high-rise building
10 called Kocka 1, 2, and 3.
11 Q. And the Bregovi neighbourhood, what is the distance between this
12 neighbourhood and the centre of Kotor Varos?
13 A. I don't know if I'm the best person to ask that question.
14 There's some 500 metres between the general assembly building and the
15 very centre of town.
16 Q. And this Kocka 1, 2 and 3, what are these buildings exactly?
17 What were you guarding exactly?
18 A. Our task was not to allow the population to go out of the
19 buildings and we were to make sure that nobody used any weapons and
20 killed anyone.
21 Q. So these are apartment buildings?
22 A. Yes, residential buildings.
23 Q. Very well. And what were you wearing when you were guarding
24 these buildings?
25 A. I wore a grey, olive uniform of the former
1 Yugoslav People's Army.
2 Q. And when you say that you wanted to ensure that nobody got out of
3 the buildings, were you, in fact, enforcing the curfew?
4 A. There was no curfew yet, but the people in the command of the
5 town defence told us to guard these buildings, to make sure nobody
6 ventured out as there was also a threat of sniper fire. There was some
7 soldiers moving about as well from the 22nd Brigade. Therefore, there
8 was always a possibility of somebody producing an incident. There were a
9 lot of intoxicated people, and it was best to make sure that nobody was
10 out in the street and that the people were safely in their homes.
11 Q. What kind of a weapon did you have on you while you were
13 A. I had an automatic rifle.
14 Q. Very well. Now, sir, could you tell us, prior to the take-over,
15 who was the secretary for national defence in Kotor Varos?
16 A. The aforementioned Mane Tepic.
17 Q. And do you know a man by the name of Miro Petrusic?
18 A. I don't know Miro Petrusic in person. However, he was present in
19 the police station building, the same building that housed the national
20 defence department. He was there for a short while, but I can't really
21 tell you what he was doing there.
22 Q. Now, it is, in fact, that Mr. Petrusic arrived late, in fact,
23 early in 1992. Did you know that he was the secretary for national
24 defence in Kotor Varos?
25 A. I knew that he worked there but I didn't know what his duties
1 were because I don't know the man.
2 Q. Very well. Did you know the chairman of the national defence
3 council, Anto Mandic? Did you know of him?
4 A. I did know of him. He was the president of the municipality of
5 Kotor Varos up until the 11th of June. I had never had any dealings with
6 him, so I didn't know him personally. I knew him by sight.
7 Q. Very well. And did you know the SJB commander, Nedjeljko Maric,
8 or did you know of him?
9 A. I also knew him by sight. I used to see him around.
10 Q. Did you know that Mr. Petrusic, Mr. Mandic and Mr. Maric were
11 arrested on the 11th of June, 1992?
12 A. Well, it doesn't really matter, but I did hear of it at a later
13 date. I can't remember exactly when. I also knew -- no, no, no, no, I'm
14 mistaken. That's not him. I can't recall the name at this time. No,
15 no, it was Sadikovic I had in mind. No, I was mistaken.
16 Q. That's fine, sir. These three men you said you heard later on
17 that they were arrested, did you also hear they were beaten black and
18 blue once they were arrested?
19 A. I don't know about that.
20 Q. That's fine. You told us yesterday that during the month of June
21 and July, there were negotiations for the surrender of weapons. And that
22 these negotiations were conducted with religious officials, hodzas and
23 Catholic priests. For reference it's page 25906.
24 So effectively, sir, your forces arrested the head of the
25 National Defence, the SJB commander and the head of the executive --
1 well, the chairman of the National Council as well. The three leading
2 figures of the non-Serb community who, prior to the take-over, held key
3 positions in Kotor Varos. And then what you are telling us is that your
4 forces were expecting to negotiate with religious officials. Was that
5 the situation?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat his answer.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
8 Q. Can you just repeat what you just said, sir. Interpreters didn't
10 A. I'm not hearing the interpretation well. I'm having trouble with
11 my headphones.
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we check that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now it's fine. It's all right now.
14 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
15 Q. Do you need me to repeat my question?
16 A. No, no, it's okay.
17 Yes, yes, please, if you would.
18 Q. Sir, you told us about negotiations yesterday, during the months
19 of June and July. And you said that these negotiations were conducted
20 with religious priests, hodzas, and Catholic priests; correct?
21 A. Among them were also certain citizens of more prominence who
22 were -- who had some sort of authority among the people. There were also
23 representatives of the army. There was also Zdravko Pejic, who was
24 involved in negotiations and he performed certain duties for the MUP.
25 Q. We understand. But what I'm putting to you is that on the
1 non-Serb side, you had arrested all the key figures of the civilian
2 authorities. You had arrested the head of the National Council, the SJB
3 commander, and the chairman the National Council, the three people we
4 mentioned earlier today, and what you are doing is you are negotiating
5 with religious officials. Wasn't that the situation?
6 A. It wasn't the religious officials who negotiations were held
7 with, rather, it was the religious officials and citizens of renown who
8 went to the various villages to conduct these negotiations with the
10 Q. I will not belabour the point. Sir, you were aware that non-Serb
11 civilians were arrested on the day of the take-over?
12 A. I wouldn't agree with you fully. I do know, or rather, I heard
13 that a surrender of weapons operation was launched and those who refused
14 to surrender weapons were brought in for interviews. That's all I know
15 about it.
16 Q. Your position is that anyone who did not have a weapon or who did
17 surrender was not arrested?
18 A. Yes, I do not know of a single individual who would have been
19 arrested in that situation.
20 Q. And you don't know of any women or elderly men who were arrested
22 A. That I don't know for sure.
23 Q. Sir, during the month of June, these arrests were conducted by
24 the police and the army. Do you remember seeing the Special Police from
25 Banja Luka during the take-over on the 11th of June?
1 A. We ordinary citizens referred to all those policemen who we
2 didn't know and who wore camouflage uniforms as specials. It was a
3 novelty of sorts to see troops in camouflage uniforms. There had been no
4 camouflage uniforms worn by soldiers previously. As for policemen, I
5 wouldn't say that it was a camouflage uniform. It was, perhaps, a
6 version of their blue uniform. So people would refer to all such
7 individuals wearing that sort of uniform as specials. So any expertise I
8 might have in that respect is quite lacking, in fact.
9 Q. Now, you were telling us just before that you were guarding the
10 buildings that you mentioned during this month. Did you see -- did you
11 know that there was a Catholic church close to your building, the
12 Kocka 1, 2, and 3?
13 A. Of course. It is in the immediate vicinity of the apartment
14 building where I lived -- or live, maybe some 30 or 40 metres away. And
15 even -- I am sorry, I even took part in building the church. I gave a
16 personal contribution for this church to be constructed. As a neighbour
17 and acquaintance, I was on quite good terms with the priest who was
18 serving there by the name of Mato or Franjo, I can't remember. I've
20 Q. Now, were you there when it burned down on the 2nd of July, 1992?
21 A. No, I wasn't there. I was not there.
22 Q. Was this right next to the building that you were guarding?
23 A. Yes. In fact, I don't know where I was on that day. What I do
24 know is that when I returned in the afternoon hours, the church was still
25 alight. Stories circulated that the Serbs set fire to it, and then I
1 heard other stories that the Croats set it alight so that the Serbs may
2 not use it for whatever purposes they see -- saw fit. So I don't know to
3 this day who is responsible for the destruction of that church. The only
4 thing I know is that the church was reconstructed. It was rebuilt, and
5 it looks just the same as it did before the war and I'm really glad about
7 Q. And in which year was it rebuilt?
8 A. Well, I think the construction works ended some two or three
9 years ago, and people from all quarters gather there for various Catholic
10 festivities, and there's always a crowd of people.
11 Q. Very well. Sir, when you were telling us of your -- the day that
12 you were captured on the 5th of July, you told us that after the funeral
13 you were in Vrbanjci at the command. Can you clarify for us that it was
14 the command of which unit exactly?
15 A. You misunderstood me. I wasn't in the command. I was outside of
16 it in front of a cafe --
17 Q. The command itself --
18 A. Well, it's not the same thing, really, is it, to be in the
19 command or outside of it? There was a catering establishment. Let me be
20 quite clear, I never stepped foot into that catering establishment,
21 either before the war or after the war, and I really don't know what it
22 looks like.
23 Q. That's fine, sir. It was a probably mistake in my question, and
24 that is not the point. The point I'm asking you right now is: Which
25 unit was stationed at that command?
1 A. It was the command of the 22nd Brigade.
2 Q. Okay. And this brigade also had a command post, you told us, in
3 Maslovare, I believe?
4 A. Yes, I did. That was in the early days, but then, and perhaps I
5 may be mistaken in that, they either relocated the entire command from
6 Maslovare or part of it, so we referred to that cafe as the command of
7 the 22nd.
8 Q. Now, while the unit was in Maslovare, when it arrived, did you
9 know that the commander of the unit stationed in Maslovare was
10 Slobodan Zupljanin?
11 A. He was the commander of one battalion only at the start when they
12 got there first. Allegedly, the 22nd, when it arrived, had the strength
13 of a battalion. I don't know where other battalions were, if there were
14 any. What I do know is that together with Slobodan, there was Mr. Peulic
15 there as well. He was the commander of the brigade.
16 Q. And do you know what, if any, relationship did
17 Mr. Slobodan Zupljanin have with Stojan Zupljanin?
18 A. They are related. Three times removed, I think. I think their
19 grandfathers were brothers.
20 Q. Very well. Moving back to Vrbanjci, now, it is correct to say
21 that by the 5th of July when you were outside, not in the command post,
22 by this time Vrbanjci had been attacked by the Serb forces about ten days
23 prior to that?
24 A. That's difficult for me to say now truly whom attacked whom,
25 since the Muslims were on the left bank of the Vrbanja and opened fire on
1 to the population on the right bank. And it was mixed population. In
2 the very centre there was Serbs and Muslims, and a bit further uphill
3 there were Croats living. Based on what I heard, and it was stories in
4 the grape-vine, after several failed attempts at holding talks, a unit
5 set out from within the 22nd Brigade supported by the Kotor police -
6 well, at any rate, from the municipality, I don't know exactly where,
7 with weapons, and I did mention it yesterday - and it was at that point
8 that our forces in the area sustained major casualties.
9 Q. Sir, 50 civilians, non-Serb civilians, were killed on an attack
10 on the 25th of June, 1992. Do you say that this did not happen?
11 A. The 25th of June?
12 Q. 25th of June there was an attack on Vrbanjci by Serb forces. You
13 are telling us you heard about it. You didn't take part in this attack?
14 A. I most certainly didn't take part in it. I did hear of it,
15 though. The attacks were more or less frequent, but this is the first
16 time I've heard of 50 people having been killed there. It's the first
17 time. It's not that I'm denying it. It's possible. It's just that I
18 don't know. It wasn't something I was aware of.
19 Q. So you are telling us that you did not take part in this attack?
20 That's your evidence?
21 A. Yes, yes, I did not.
22 Q. You also told us that this was a mixed village. It is correct to
23 say that was predominantly inhabited by non-Serbs; do you agree with
25 A. Excuse me, which village are you referring to, Vrbanjci?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. There were Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, all of them were
3 represented, I'm sure. It was -- well, it's a coincidence, but I am
4 married to a lady from that village, and there's an entire street that is
5 inhabited by Serbs. And there's an odd Croat house in that street and
6 several others --
7 Q. Sir, the question is not if there were Serbs, Croats and Muslims.
8 That I agree with. The question is: Were you aware that it was
9 predominantly inhabited by non-Serbs?
10 A. Well, roughly, yes.
11 Q. Very well. I'll move on to the 5th of July, the event you
12 described where Colonel Stevilovic, Markovic, and Petrusic were killed,
13 where you were captured. Now, you told us that you didn't know
14 Stevilovic on that day. Had you heard of him before?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You did not know what kind of activities he was involved in as
17 part of the military intelligence of the 1st Krajina Corps?
18 A. No, I most certainly didn't.
19 Q. So on that day when you were in Vrbanjci, you went into the car
20 with these two men you did not know anything about?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Now, you didn't tell us where you started off on that day. You
23 told us you travelled to Obudnjik for the funeral. Where were you at the
24 beginning of the day? Were you in Kotor Varos?
25 A. I was in a hamlet of Rujka that I mentioned yesterday. There was
1 a guard stationed there, in case Sadikovic's forces were to strike from
2 the direction of Bilice. This is some 200 metres from my flat, as the
3 crow flies. And then in the morning, I went to Maslovare and then
4 attended the funeral and went back to Kotor Varos.
5 Q. The question was: Where were you at the beginning of the day.
6 So to make sure we are able to finish your testimony today, I will ask
7 you to just focus on the question, and if I need additional details, I
8 will ask you. Can we agree on that?
9 So, Rujika, that's in the north of Kotor Varos; isn't that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. So you travelled from Rujika all the way to Maslovare and
12 you had to pass through Vrbanjci on your way, is that right, on the main
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what were you wearing that day?
16 A. The grey, olive JNA uniform.
17 Q. Okay. So just to recapture your evidence, you went from Rujika
18 in the north of Kotor Varos, you travelled all the way to Maslovare, you
19 went to Obudnjik for the funeral, you then went to Vrbanjci, and from
20 Vrbanjci you ended up in Vujevica [phoen] where you were captured. Does
21 that summarise your travel on that day?
22 A. Yes, as I set out from Vrbanjci towards Kotor Varos, I was
24 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that you asked permission the day
25 before that, on the 4th of July, to attend the funeral, and you asked
1 this permission -- you asked this to Gojko Stolic; right?
2 A. Exactly.
3 Q. Very well.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Now, can we pull up 65 ter 20351, please. It's
5 tab 45. Your Honours, since we only received this document which is, in
6 fact, Mr. Bubic's book, we only received it last Thursday, we were unable
7 to request a full translation so we were able to do a cursory review and
8 manage to select some portions for translation.
9 Q. Now, sir, this is the cover page of your book; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Could we go to - this is going to get tricky -
12 page 5 in the English version which should be page 6 in the B/C/S
13 version. Now, to help you out, can we zoom in to page 10 on the B/C/S,
14 the left side of the page in the B/C/S. Bottom of -- okay. That's fine.
15 Scroll down a little bit, please. Very well.
16 Q. Now, do you see on that page that you asked permission to Ziza or
17 Zivko Krsic?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Demirdjian kindly speak into the
19 microphone. Thank you.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
21 Q. Yes, I'll repeat my question. I guess we have that question in.
22 So, sir, do you see that you asked permission to Zivko Krsic first?
23 A. I don't need to see this. I know this. Zivko Krsic was visiting
24 the army at their century posts and along the way I heard from him that
25 the funeral would take place tomorrow in Dabovci, and I told him it would
1 bode well for me to go because they were my neighbours and along the way
2 I would visit the family in Maslovare. He told me to come to the
3 command, town command.
4 Q. Pause for a seconds. My only question was that you asked
5 Zivo Krsic. Now, I want to take you too --
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we slide to page 11 in the B/C/S version and
7 can we scroll down to -- in the English version scroll down to the bottom
8 of that page. Right.
9 Q. Do you see, sir, on that page, at the bottom of your page,
10 page 11, that Mr. Krsic warned you to not get on that road because the
11 next day on the 5th of July at 10.00 in the morning an air attack was
12 expected on Vecici? You see that?
13 A. Yes, I see.
14 Q. You did not mention that yesterday, that there was an air attack
15 on Vecici on the 5th of July. Now, despite the warning, and I understand
16 that it's in your book, you also spoke to Mr. Stolic and you decided to
17 get on that road?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. You decided to get on that road on the 5th of July.
20 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We can put away the book for a second, and I
21 would ask that we pull up P1818 which is at tab 15A.
22 Q. Now, sir, what I'm showing you right now is a document of the
23 1st Krajina Corps of the 15th of July, 1992. What I'd like you to do
24 is --
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: First, we can go to the last page and see that
1 it was signed by the Assistant Commander Vukelic. Very well. And now we
2 can go back to page 2 in both English and B/C/S.
3 Q. Now, in your version, in the B/C/S version, just above the
4 section called B, just above that, there is a paragraph that begins with
5 the words "Na Vlasickom."
6 A. Yes, I see it.
7 Q. Now, this document says that three surprises occurred on the
8 Vlasic plateau resulting in of the deaths of 16 MUP and four members of
9 the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade. There is substantial presence of HOS
10 and Green Beret formation in that area. Now, the next sentence says that
11 many of the casualty resulted from a lack of vigilance and the relaxed
12 attitude of civilian police members as well as a lack of combat
13 discipline. Individuals and groups entered the said dangerous areas on
14 their own initiative and conducted actions there. Some of them wanted to
15 demonstrate the courage of Krajina and were killed for this reason.
16 Now, sir, this is exactly what happened in your case, wasn't it?
17 You knew very well on that day that in Vujevica, and this is information
18 that your command possessed, there were possible targets or ambushes, and
19 you even told us that Markovic casually said that not every bullet kills.
20 So on that day there were clear signs that this was a dangerous area and,
21 nonetheless, your car drove through; is that right?
22 A. That's right. But I need to explain something. Since Mr. Krsic
23 told me that planes would do some bombing that day, on the left bank of
24 the Vrbanja river, on the right as I was travelling, I didn't see any
25 reason to fear this bombing, supposedly the road was clear and it was a
1 clear road. And the reason to visit my family and the funeral of these
2 three young men, this was the reason, and it didn't require any
3 particular courage on my part.
4 Q. Now, sir --
5 A. Basically, I was not a brave soldier.
6 Q. Sir, now, I'm going to put my next question to you and I want you
7 to know, as I've indicated in the beginning, I do not challenge what
8 happened to you on that day, that these three men were killed and that
9 you were captured and you were in detention for 16 days. I do not
10 challenge that for one minute.
11 However, in your book, you said during your captivity you found
12 that Sprzo's unit was receiving information from Serb informants. I
13 believe in your book you call them "spies." And that these informants
14 were updating Sprzo on a regular basis about the movement of senior army
15 officers. Do you remember that in your book, or do you want me to pull
16 it up?
17 A. I think I didn't write about the movements of many officers,
18 reports of their movements, but that he told me that he knew the
19 situation on our side very well and that there were people on our side
20 who conveyed this to him, and that is that's correct, but not
21 high-ranking officers.
22 Q. Sir, you were aware that at the time after you were released
23 there were suggestions that Colonel Stevilovic, his killing was organised
24 by his own side? Did you hear of such suggestions at the time?
25 A. Yes, I did hear this, yes. Perhaps that was the reason to write
1 what I wrote so that the truth would finally come out.
2 Q. Sir, however, you were not part of the plotting of this killing,
3 were you?
4 A. God forbid.
5 Q. Now, sir, did you know that Colonel Stevilovic, just five days
6 before he was killed, was involved in an operation in Teslic --
7 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] What is the basis of this
8 question, please? The witness said that he met them for the first time
9 when he went into the car. He didn't know these men beforehand. How can
10 it be expected that the witness would know what Stevilovic meant to do
11 five days before?
12 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: You didn't hear the rest of my question. Let me
13 put the question first.
14 Q. Sir, and this is in relation, again, to my last question which is
15 what you heard after you were released. Did you know and did you hear
16 that Stevilovic was involved in an operation in Teslic just five days
17 prior to his killing, and that this operation was aimed at arresting a
18 group of Serb soldiers and policemen known as the Mice group? Did you
19 ever hear of this after your release?
20 A. No, no, I never, no.
21 Q. So in those suggestions that you heard after your release, what
22 reasons did you hear for his killing?
23 A. No one mentioned any reasons to me, but of all the stories that I
24 heard -- one particular story that I heard was that Serbs killed him.
25 Another story was that he was betrayed by the Serbs, that some of these
1 spies had reported when he would be travelling towards Kotor Varos. The
2 third version I heard from Sprzo while in captivity and that it wasn't
3 meant for him, for the two of them, that they were not to be killed, that
4 the killing was being prepared for Peulic and Zupljanin. I did believe
5 this somewhat later when I came out of captivity. I also heard about
6 Savo Tepic, that he was released, that he had gone through, that they
7 didn't want to shoot at him, that they were waiting for Peulic and
8 Slobodan Zupljanin.
9 I even talked to Savo about this later, and I asked him why he
10 would do this when -- I asked him if there was room for Kotor Varos and I
11 felt very unpleasant, and at the time he said it's very dangerous and he
12 said it was better for one person to be in the car rather than two,
13 three, four five people. If someone dies then fewer will die. And
14 that's what I heard later.
15 Q. That's is fine, sir. I have one document, we have a series of
16 them, but I'll just limit myself to one. Sir, were you aware that the
17 funeral of Mr. Stevilovic took place the day after he was killed?
18 A. How could I know this?
19 Q. Did you hear about it later on?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know that a funeral did take place which was attended by
22 the commanding officers starting by Momir Talic and Ratko Mladic. Were
23 you aware of that?
24 A. No, no. Since I didn't know about the funeral, I couldn't know
25 the other information about it, certainly not.
1 Q. I'm not going to get into the details of this, but we have in
2 evidence the war diary of the 1st Krajina Corps which shows who exactly
3 attended this funeral. What I want to show you is a document at tab 34.
4 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Which is 65 ter 20346.
5 Q. Now, sir, I'm sure you are aware that the chief of your army,
6 Mr. Mladic, was taking detailed notes during war time. I'm sure you've
7 heard of this in the media; correct?
8 A. I heard about these diaries perhaps about a month ago, recently,
9 since he has come to The Hague. And the initial knowledge I had about it
10 was through the media, so it's quite fresh.
11 Q. Well, sir, as I told you, we have the war diary of the first KK
12 which shows that Mr. Mladic attended this funeral. So he was aware on
13 the same day that Mr. Stevilovic was killed. He was aware of this fact.
14 Now, I want you to look at the notes he took during a meeting in 1994
15 with General Subotic, and what he says here two years after the event was
16 that regarding 3 and a half kilos of gold, it seems that the late
17 Colonel Stevilovic and Markovic knew about this, and this may have been
18 the reason why Stevilovic died. Do you see this at the middle of the
20 A. I see it. I see it, Subotic saying this.
21 Q. Now, sir, this is two years after the events, after you were
22 debriefed by the military police, and it appears that in 1994 even the
23 chief of your army had doubts about who organised the killing. So, sir,
24 I put it to you that -- and -- well, I put it to you that although Sprzo
25 and his men did execute this operation which resulted in the killing of
1 the three men and your captivity, his own army took part in the
2 organisation of his death?
3 A. I think that you are mistaken, sir.
4 Q. Very well, sir. So your evidence is that his own side did not
5 organise his killing?
6 A. Not certain. I watched it with my own eyes, everything, and this
7 unfortunate man, Sprzo, while I was with him there on the other side, I
8 had come to trust him in a certain way, he would have told me this.
9 Q. But he didn't tell you -- just a second, please.
10 A. He told me --
11 Q. Just a second, please. In your book, he did tell you that he was
12 receiving information from Serb insiders and information about movement
13 of Serb officers. He did tell you that.
14 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Can you show this where this is
15 written in the book, can you read it please, where it's written about
16 Stevilovic and Markovic as well. Furthermore, if I know that this part
17 of General Mladic diary has been admitted, you can call him, he is in
18 The Hague and he can tell you what he thinks. Don't take things out of
19 context. Getting to know the effects of the Operation Granica 94, what
20 do we know about Operation Granica 94?
21 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: You can deal with this --
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but you did not pose the
23 question properly. You took it out of context. You were not fair to the
25 JUDGE HALL: In any event, Mr. Demirdjian, the witness's
1 testimony at bottom is that he doesn't really know what the background
2 was to this, so the whereas the Prosecution may have a theory as to what
3 happened, how does -- where does that take us in terms of evidence? The
4 witness -- you are examining this witness. He says he doesn't really
6 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, this witness was one of the
7 victims who was arrested on that day. He was part of this event. If
8 anything, I would expect that he would have the curiosity to know what
9 happened, and it is in his book that there were such suggestions. That's
10 where I was going at. And my final conclusion was to put to him that
11 although it was organised by one side, it was executed by another. That
12 was all I was suggesting. And Mr. Aleksic can deal with the book, if he
13 would like to, in re-examination. But that is not the point. The point
14 was to show him that there were suggestions out there. I was trying to
15 explore to see if he was aware of them. That is all. That is all. So
16 if I come back to my specific question.
17 Q. And it will be my last question before the break, sir. What I
18 asked you specifically, I told you before I'm not challenging the fact
19 that Sprzo executed the operation per se, what I'm suggesting to you was
20 that the killing of Stevilovic, Markovic, Petrusic is not limited to the
21 operation of Sprzo that his own army took part in organising it,
22 preparing it, or, in any way, providing information to Sprzo and his men.
23 Can you agree with that?
24 A. No, no. One thing, during my decent captivity, I came to trust
25 Sprzo in a certain way. He was a man to whom I opened my heart and soul,
1 and if he told me that it was not meant for the generals, as he referred
2 to them, that this was meant for Mr. Peulic and for Slobodan, then there
3 is no doubt for -- reason for me to doubt him. I think he was quite
4 sincere to me. There were moments when he was really open and sincere to
5 me. Therefore, had the Serb side organised it and had it gone through
6 him on his side, he would have told me - I am confident of this - but he
7 did not.
8 Q. So how do you explain that in your book you tell us that he had
9 information from the Serb side about the movements of Serb officers?
10 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the third time,
11 Mr. Demirdjian is saying something that is not written in this book. He
12 should show this. The witness answered his question. I've read the book
13 myself and there it says that Sprzo told the witness that he had
14 information, that he had information about the situation in the Serbian
15 army, the usual information. But there is no mention of the movement of
16 officers, and the witness has said this, and now this is being repeated
17 for the third time and it's not correct.
18 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Well, it appears that Mr. Cvijetic and
19 Mr. Aleksic cannot read. Can we please go back to tab 45, please. And
20 in e-court and in the B/C/S version -- I'll wait for it to come up. Tab
21 45. I apologise, 65 ter 20351. I hope I'm relying on a proper
22 translation now. So if we go to page 25 in e-court for the B/C/S
23 version. On the book that should be page 48. Yes. Can we zoom into the
24 right side. And in the English version it's page 7. Scroll to the right
25 side of that page and zoom into the top paragraph.
1 Q. Do you see the paragraph, sir, where it says:
2 "He even said that spies were mostly Serbs who do not like
3 Slobodan nor Peulic, and he was convinced that they were informing him
4 correctly and on a regular basis about their movement."
5 Do you see that?
6 MR. CVIJETIC: [Interpretation] The witness needs to read the
7 entire paragraph.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see.
9 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
10 Q. Very well. So does it say, and Mr. Cvijetic --
11 A. However, this pertains only to information about Slobodan and
12 Peulic. He didn't mention anyone else to me that they were following
14 Q. And Slobodan and Peulic are senior Serb officers of the army;
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: I think this is a good time, Your Honours, for
18 the break.
19 JUDGE HALL: So we talk the break to return in 20 minutes.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
23 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought
24 in, may I just extend my apologies to Mr. Aleksic and Mr. Cvijetic for
25 the comments I made earlier. In the heat of the moment you say things
1 that you don't necessarily mean and that I thought that that was not in
2 my nature. So, in any event, my apologies for the comment.
3 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes. Just for the sake of timing, Your Honours,
6 I shouldn't be much longer, probably another half-hour.
7 Q. Mr. Bubic, I'd like to go back to the day of the take-over on the
8 11th of June. We haven't explored this topic yet with you. Can you tell
9 us exactly where you were on that day?
10 A. Performing my duty as the -- the guard for those buildings in the
11 centre of the neighbourhood where I live.
12 Q. Okay. And is it correct to say that these buildings were
13 approximately 200 metres away from the Kotor Varos sawmill, give or take?
14 A. You are right.
15 Q. And while you were guarding your building, were you able to see
16 civilians being brought into the sawmill?
17 A. Not on that day. Sometime later, I did see groups of civilians
18 coming to the sawmill. To the best of my knowledge, they were people
19 from the nearby locations where combat activities had already begun,
20 whether it was from this end or the other end. I heard that the better
21 part of the population had expressed their willingness to leave
22 Kotor Varos, so rather than having to go door to door to collect these
23 individuals, the authorities informed them that they should gather in one
24 area where buses would come to pick them up.
25 Q. Now, these people were not just gathering to pick up buses. They
1 were also detained in the sawmill; is that right?
2 A. They were waiting for buses. That's the information I heard. I
3 didn't hear it from any officials, I heard it from ordinary people in the
5 Q. And from where you were, you didn't see people being brought into
6 the sawmill?
7 A. From that area, one could not even see them being brought there
8 because there were buildings obstructing the view. I did see, though,
9 individuals being brought or taken away, not groups though.
10 Q. And is it your evidence that no one was detained in the
11 warehouses of the sawmill?
12 A. That's not something I can state for a fact, just as I cannot
13 that this was the case, because I didn't see it for myself, but I did
14 hear what I already said, that people were gathering there for that
15 particular reason. And I think that they spent no more than two days
17 Q. Very well. And from where you were, approximately, as you say,
18 200 metres away, did you hear any beatings coming from the sawmill?
19 A. No, no.
20 Q. And you were, as you said earlier before, guarding this building
21 throughout the month of June?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'd like to move to another topic --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a minute.
25 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Yes, Judge.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: -- because before we leave this issue, Mr. Bubic,
2 did you, at any point, see or hear any buses coming to the sawmill?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not specifically at the
4 sawmill. I did know of other locations where they were coming but I
5 didn't hear anything of the sort in relation to the sawmill.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are welcome.
8 MR. DEMIRDJIAN:
9 Q. Just one last question on this topic: Did you see who was
10 bringing these individuals to the sawmill?
11 A. Well, I said a moment ago that I wasn't able to see people as
12 they were brought to the sawmill. I could see individual people being
13 taken out of buildings. As far as I know, those people were taken to the
14 police station. At least that is what soldiers and a policeman who was
15 there told us when we asked them where they were headed with these
16 people. This allegedly because on that day the process of disarming
17 individuals and those who refused to surrender weapons were taken to the
18 police station for interviews. This is the information that I had.
19 Q. Very well. And just to complete this, the police station itself
20 is also not too far from your building, the building you were guarding?
21 A. Well, it wasn't far, but we were not allowed to leave the area
22 that we guarded.
23 Q. Very well. Moving on to something you told us on -- yesterday at
24 page 25897. You told us that you learned of a plan to -- by the Croats
25 and the Muslims to organise a hunting lunch on Mount Borje on the 12th of
1 June and they wanted to invite all prominent Serbs. There were lists for
2 liquidation. You told us that yesterday. Do you remember that?
3 A. This is something that I heard in captivity. Mr. Sprzo himself
4 told me that. I will refrain from the vulgar terms he used in relating
5 this story to me. He was swearing my Chetnik mother and what was said
6 was, "you were lucky because this had been the plan." Truth to tell, I
7 had long been inquiring with my friends of these events in order to
8 arrive at some sort of relevant conclusion, but, to this day, I haven't
9 been successful.
10 Q. Where I come from, I would ask to strike this answer as
11 non-responsive, but I don't think we'll be doing it here.
12 Sir, the question was: Do you remember what you said yesterday?
13 All you have to say is "Yes, I remember." Can we agree on that? That is
14 what you told the Court yesterday.
15 A. I don't understand.
16 Q. My question was to you: Whether you remember telling us this
17 story yesterday. That's all I asked of you. I want you to focus your
18 answers to my question. You said that to the Court yesterday, yes or no?
19 Yes? Very well. Now --
20 A. Very well, very well.
21 Q. You don't know if this information is true, do you?
22 A. I don't.
23 Q. Right. Now, you told us then when you were released you were
24 debriefed by the military police. This was in July 1992. Do you
25 remember that?
1 A. I was not debriefed by the police in July, it was later, because
2 two hours after I was released, I went to Banja Luka for treatment, for
3 medical treatment. So I returned in the first ten days of August. It
4 could have been early August, therefore, that the military police
5 debriefed me. And it was in Banja Luka that I was debriefed, but I can't
6 remember the date.
7 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Can we just pull up tab 16B which is
8 65 ter 20364.
9 Q. This is a document from the military police in Banja Luka of the
10 21st of July, 1992. It is an Official Note relating to the events you
11 told us about. If you look at the first paragraph, it says:
12 "Following checks made on the ground, information obtained from
13 the reconnaissance patrols, and interviews conducted with a number of
14 people, and in particular with Obrad Bubic from Kotor Varos, regarding
15 the multiple murders committed on 5 July, the following has been
17 So, sir, does this document refresh your memory, it may have
18 been, in fact, in July? I allow that the passage of time may have
19 affected your memory in that sense, but it appears that you were, in
20 fact, seen in July?
21 A. Excuse me, I misunderstood you a moment ago. My understanding
22 was that you had asked me about the debriefing by the military police in
23 Kotor Varos because I wasn't in Kotor Varos at the time, and it is true
24 that I was debriefed in Banja Luka.
25 Q. Very well.
1 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: We can put that document away.
2 Q. Now, you were debriefed on that day. You told us that you were
3 also debriefed in Kotor Varos. You provided a signed statement in 1995
4 and you also published a book in 2004. Now, what seems to me a bit
5 surprising, sir, is that this piece of information that there was a plot
6 to kill prominent Serbs on Mount Borje, which appears to be an important
7 piece of intelligence information, does not appear in any of the
8 documents referring to the events that you went through, not this
9 Official Note, not your book, not your statement in 1995.
10 So what I'd like to ask you is: Did anybody refresh your memory
11 in relation to this piece of information?
12 A. No, I've been aware of this information throughout. Bearing in
13 mind the fact that it was insignificant when it comes to my book where I
14 wrote of my own personal knowledge and suffering, I didn't pay much
15 attention to it and I heard it from people who belonged to the opposite
17 Q. Now, sir, your book is about 175 pages and includes a lot of
18 detail. Your statements and your debriefings were given to military
19 police, and this is part of the security organs in the army. Wouldn't
20 you say that this is an important piece of information, the plot to
21 assassinate prominent Serbs in Kotor Varos? This is something that you
22 would have, at the time, informed the military police?
23 A. Well, to be quite frank, I don't know what moved me not to tell
24 this story, but after all, I was writing about my own golgotha, about my
25 own ordeal and not that of others in the municipality of Kotor Varos.
1 Other than that, I did discuss this issue extensively with my friends.
2 Q. But you didn't inform the military police?
3 A. No, I didn't inform anyone.
4 Q. Okay. On a slightly different topic, sir, when did you arrive in
5 The Hague exactly?
6 A. On Saturday morning.
7 Q. Saturday morning. And when did you first meet --
8 A. No, no, Friday.
9 Q. Friday. And when did you first meet with representatives of the
10 Defence team?
11 A. On that same day, in the afternoon, I think.
12 Q. On Friday?
13 A. Yes, I think it was on the same day in the afternoon.
14 Q. Did you meet them again on Saturday?
15 A. I met up with Mr. Aleksic, and Aleksic, Mr. Krgovic and I had
16 lunch on several occasions.
17 Q. This was on Saturday and also on Sunday?
18 A. Both on Saturday and Sunday.
19 Q. And on Sunday you had also lunch and dinner with them?
20 A. Well, to be quite frank, I don't remember.
21 Q. When you met with them, did you tell them about this event of the
22 12th of June, or not the events, but what you heard about a plot to
23 assassinate prominent Serbs? Did you tell them at that time?
24 A. I believe I did, yes.
25 Q. And give or take, can you tell us how many hours you spent with
1 them on Saturday and on Sunday?
2 A. An hour or two, including lunch or dinner.
3 Q. That seems like a very short lunch, sir. Did you spend one or
4 two hours each day or in total?
5 A. On each of these days.
6 Q. And did you go through the topics that you would be discussing in
8 A. Well, generally, yes.
9 Q. Generally. Were you asked at any point to provide additional
10 clarification on what you had said before to them?
11 A. No. No, in fact, I did tell Mr. Aleksic not to burden me with
12 these issues overly since I was going to discuss them in court anyway.
13 To be quite honest, I do -- I am at my best if I don't discuss these
14 issues. I feel better. And if I may add, I never re-read the book after
15 I finished writing it. I simply want these things to slip my mind. I
16 don't want to remind myself of these events and misfortunes.
17 Q. Very well. And one last question on this topic: Was it on
18 Saturday that you mentioned the issue of the plot to kill prominent Serbs
19 on the 12th of June?
20 A. I don't remember which day it was.
21 Q. Was there any day that you just had lunch and dinner and didn't
22 talk about these events at all?
23 A. Yes, I think so.
24 Q. Which day was that?
25 A. I can't remember.
1 Q. Sir, yesterday at page 25926, you told us that Muslims and Croats
2 started moving out of Kotor Varos, that you were present during their
3 departure. Now, when you say moving out, did they move out willingly?
4 A. It's a very difficult answer to give. To have anybody move from
5 an area that is their native area is very difficult, but people realise
6 that there was a war on and thought that they would be better off
7 elsewhere. So based on what I know, they asked to leave the area of the
8 municipality of Kotor Varos.
9 Q. And these buses were generally convoys going towards Travnik; is
10 that right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Now, sir, in September one such convoy was leaving Kotor Varos
13 and heading towards Travnik, and do you remember halting a bus and taking
14 it towards Celinac, towards a school in Celinac to identify people on the
15 bus? Do you remember that?
16 A. I do have a recollection but not of that situation. I received
17 an order from the corps command, via my command, that I should be the one
18 to have a look at the column of people leaving Kotor Varos before they
19 boarded buses in the local commune of Zabrdje and that was the only
20 locality where I witnessed this situation. My task was to have a look at
21 these individuals and identify among them those who tortured me, if any
22 of them were, and to see if among them were individuals who used to have
23 weapons and were on the other side.
24 I spent the entire day seeing that column off. Fortunately, I
25 didn't recognise any of the individuals that the military security branch
1 in Banja Luka was interested in. I met quite a few friends that I
2 greeted. I even met a neighbour, a lady neighbour who used to live in my
3 building, Mila or Nena with an odd sounding family name, Zaklan, which
4 means slaughtered in B/C/S, whose husband had died before the war, and I
5 remember seeing this woman who used to be a proper lady and with such
6 demeanour and when I saw her she had two odd pairs of shoes. One was
7 brown and the other black. And I asked her about her sons and she said
8 that she had to leave her elder son back in the woods whereas she was
9 taking the other son along. She told me, "Obrad, Obrad, by God, please
10 give us some bread, if there's any to be found." At that point, a
11 vehicle, driving in the opposite direction from Celinac, appeared. It
12 was a van taking bread to Kotor Varos, and I pulled it over and took a
13 sack with some 12 or 13 breads in it, gave that sack to her, and we
14 parted ways, tearful both of us.
15 And some two or three years ago --
16 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, sir. I mean, I know that these are very
17 important issues to you, but I must focus your attention, again, to the
18 question. The question was about a bus that you halted and took towards
19 a school in Celinac. Now, these details that you provided us may be of
20 some interest, but I want you to focus, again, your answers to the
22 Now, you say you recognised some neighbour of yours, some
23 neighbours of yours in those buses. Now, all of these were Muslims and
24 Croats; correct?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Do you remember seeing someone that you recognised by the name of
2 Dzemalija Avdic?
3 A. No. Unfortunately - I was meaning to tell you this - two or
4 three years ago, I came by a book that the Muslims and Croats had
5 published in Zagreb. Among the statements contained in that book there
6 is the statement of Dzemalija Avdic, who used to work with me. He was a
7 plumber in my company. He stated that I was the one who conducted triage
8 of people, selecting those who would be going to the free territory and
9 those who would be sent to Manjaca. The statement that he gave is
10 shameful and I swear by my honour that this is not true. I never did
11 anything of the sort.
12 Q. So you are saying that you never separated a group of men from a
13 group of women and children going towards Travnik? Is that what you are
14 telling us?
15 A. Not that I wasn't separating groups. I didn't separate a single
16 person. And that's the truth.
17 Q. And that's your evidence?
18 A. Yes, absolutely.
19 Q. Very well. Sir, when was the last time that you saw
20 Stojan Zupljanin before coming to this court?
21 A. Well, I think it was during the war, near the very end of the war
22 in Maslovare, as he was taking either his mother or father back from a
23 medical visit.
24 Q. So you didn't see him after the war?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, sir, when there were rumours in July 1992 that you, too, had
2 been killed in this ambush, is it correct that your brother who lived in
3 Banja Luka called Stojan Zupljanin to go with him to identify what they
4 thought was your body; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And is it correct that your two families were pretty close?
7 A. Well, no, that's not true. They are not close. We are
8 acquaintances and have been for a very long time, but our lives parted
9 ways, in fact, if I can put it that way. Even when it comes to family
10 visits, we never were on that sort of terms.
11 Q. In 1992, what was your brother's occupation in Banja Luka?
12 A. He was a driver in the Autoprevoz company in Banja Luka, Holijaz
13 [phoen] company, and he drove the Munich-Banja Luka route all the way
14 until 1993.
15 Q. So your brother, who was a driver in Banja Luka, was able to get
16 the chief of the Security Services Centre Banja Luka to come with him to
17 identify what was thought to be your body, and you are telling us that
18 your families are not close? Is that your evidence?
19 A. I don't know what you mean when you say families, when you say
20 closeness. I would -- what I would mean by that is we would be
21 socialising, having dinners together, whereas encounters lasting two or
22 three minutes where there would be an exchange of words, well, that's not
23 something that I would consider closeness. Even when it comes to my
24 brother in Banja Luka, I see him once every month or two and I truly
25 never went to visit Stojan, nor did he me.
1 Q. Sir, you told us of a number of isolated events in early 1992,
2 the killing of two or three people. However, you didn't tell us when
3 asked questions by Mr. Aleksic any stories about the killings of Muslims,
4 for example, at the medical centre, or the killings of civilians in
5 Vrbanjci, the shelling of Vecici. You did not discuss the arrest of
6 Muslims and Croats in Kotor Varos. Are you telling us that you are not
7 here testifying to help an old friend?
8 A. Your Honour, I'm here to help justice and to contribute towards a
9 reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I never defended war crime.
10 If anybody committed a war crime, a tribunal is the best place to be
11 judged of that and to punish such persons. So my answer to your question
12 has to be negative, sir.
13 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: That's all I ask, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE HALL: Re-examination?
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Very few things, Your Honours.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bubic, when you arrived in The Hague to be
18 proofed for this testimony, did you go and were you seen by a doctor?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Just hold on a minute, please. How many times and on what days,
21 if you remember? When did you go to see a physician and why?
22 A. Before I came here, I requested medical escort to this place
23 because in the month of July I contracted a very contagious infectious
24 disease, consumption, Tuberculosis, and I spent the entire month of July
25 and August in hospital. Somebody in the Tribunal, I don't know what
1 service that was, did not grant me medical escort and they told me that
2 they had doctors here who would be able to assist me. I consented to
3 that, and I thanked them for that, they immediately took me to see a
4 doctor, an anaesthesiologist. To my astonishment and to my delight, in a
5 way, the doctor that I saw here in Scheveningen after 20 years managed to
6 establish that I had shrapnel in the body from the bullets that were
7 fired into the car on the day when I was captured. They gave me
8 findings, they gave me X-rays, and so on and so forth. I have quite a
9 lot of problem with some wounds on the body.
10 MR. DEMIRDJIAN: Your Honours, we've already heard all that in
11 chief. I think [indiscernible] should control, again, the questions.
12 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Bubic, you've already told us all that. On what days, how
14 many times did you go to see the doctor, and how much time did you spend
15 in consultation with the doctor?
16 A. I really can't tell you on what days, but I know that I went
17 there three or four times to be examined. I can't remember on what days,
18 unfortunately. I only know that those were lovely people, that they took
19 very good care of me.
20 Q. Did you have a back ache on Saturday and did I give you some
21 tablets after previous consultation with the witness and victims service
22 of the Tribunal?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Let's now go back to something entirely different. A
25 lot was said about Mr. Manojlo Tepic, also known as Mane. Some documents
1 were shown to you. Do you remember, if you can tell us, when you were
2 mobilised before you were captured in June? Did you used to meet with
3 Mr. Manojlo Tepic or see him around, and if you did, where was that?
4 A. I know Mr. Tepic personally but I never met him, not for a single
5 time up there.
6 Q. During that period of time from the 8th of June to the
7 5th of July, did you ever meet him in the command of the town defence in
8 the place where Captain Stojic was?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. You are welcome.
12 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call up
13 Mr. Bubic's book in e-court again. It is under tab 45. We are looking
14 for page 25 in Serbian and page 7 in English.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on page 48
19 in Serbian, the left-hand side of the monitor. Can we zoom in on the
20 entire page, please.
21 Q. Mr. Bubic, the Prosecutor showed you one part of the page. One
22 part of the page has been translated. However, I would kindly ask you to
23 slowly read for the benefit of the interpreters, to slowly read this page
24 starting with the sentence "truth be told" and read all the way to the
25 penultimate paragraph, but please do it slowly. Be mindful of the
1 interpreters as you read. Aloud, please.
2 A. "Truth be told, the names of my tragically perished co-travellers
3 is what I heard in [indiscernible] and I had already forgotten them. He
4 started telling he me about the operation. This is what he called the
5 terrible crime. He was more than satisfied with the success of his
6 combatants. He was not clear how come that I had not been hit with a
7 single bullet. How come that I had remained alive under such heavy
8 infantry fire. To my question -- when asked about what we had talked
9 about along the way, I told them that we had not spoken a word. They
10 were very interested in finding out where they came from, with whom they
11 were and similar.
12 "Sprzo confessed to me then that we suffered the misfortune
13 accidently because the operation was organised for two strong beasts,
14 'Slobodan Zupljanin and Bosko Peulic,' who to their bad misfortune had
15 not arrived as it had been announced. He spoke very badly about them,
16 characterising them as big war criminals and being deeply convinced that
17 soon an end would come for them, too, considering the fact that they had
18 established a great spy network on our side. He even said that his spies
19 were mostly Serbs who didn't like Slobodan or Peulic, and he was
20 convinced that they were informing him correctly and on a regular basis
21 about their movement.
22 "In passing, he told me that only a minute or two before
23 Savo Tepic had passed by them in a Golf, but, according to him, it was a
24 pity to spoil such a big and well-planned operation just because of one
25 Sava, who they would gladly crucify for that matter, and when he says
1 crucify, obviously he means crucify them like Jesus, of course."
2 Q. Very well. Based on what you have just read out, and you've
3 testified about that already, who were the targets of the operation,
4 according to what you learned from Sprzo?
5 A. For Peulic and for Slobodan, they were supposed to be the targets
6 of the operation.
7 Q. Did you know that Mr. Slobodan Zupljanin had been injured, that
8 was a few days before this event, and what do you know about that?
9 A. I heard that he had been injured, but I'm not aware of the
10 details of that incident to this very day. I know that he was injured on
11 the road from Vrbanjci to Kotor Varos.
12 Q. Is that the same road that you took on that day?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
15 further questions for this witness.
16 Thank you, Mr. Bubic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are welcome.
18 JUDGE HALL: Well, Mr. Bubic, that brings your testimony to an
19 end. You are now released. We thank you for coming to the Tribunal to
20 give evidence, especially having regard to the frightening and personally
21 painful experiences that you had, the incident to which you testified.
22 And we trust that you continue to recover from those incidents, albeit
23 20 years on. So we wish you is a safe journey back to your home. Thank
24 you, sir. The usher would now escort you from the courtroom, because we
25 would not be rising immediately.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE HALL: The -- perhaps we better go into private session.
5 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE HALL: So we take the adjournment to 9.00 tomorrow morning
25 when the next witness on the Zupljanin list will be called.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.47 a.m.
2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of
3 November, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.