Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10805

1 Monday, 14 June 2004

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic, and Dragan Jokic.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

9 Mr. Karnavas, are there any protective measures for the next

10 witness?

11 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.

12 JUDGE LIU: Are there any other matters that the parties would

13 like to raise?

14 MR. KARNAVAS: I have none, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE LIU: I see none, so could we have the witness, please.

16 [The witness entered court]

17 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

19 JUDGE LIU: Could you please make the solemn declaration in

20 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.


Page 10806

1 [Witness answered through interpreter]

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

3 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.

4 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:

5 Q. Good morning, sir.

6 A. Good morning.

7 Q. Could you please tell us your name.

8 A. Bogoljub Gajic, G-a-j-i-c.

9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Gajic, could you please tell us where you're from.

10 A. I'm from Bijeljina.

11 Q. How long have you lived in Bijeljina?

12 A. I lived in Bijeljina up to 1965, and then from late 1992 to this

13 very day.

14 Q. All right. Thank you. Could you please tell us a little bit

15 about your educational background.

16 A. Back in 1965, I completed my training at a teachers' college, and

17 I left with my wife for Srebrenica municipality where I worked at a

18 village school together with my wife. In 1970, after I'd graduated, I

19 started working with the Ministry of the Interior in Tuzla.

20 Q. All right. Could you please tell us how long were you a teacher.

21 A. I worked as a teacher from the 1st of September, 1965 to the 1st

22 of January, 1970.

23 Q. And after 1970, what work did you do? Concretely.

24 A. In 1970, I started working as inspector for the youth and

25 underaged persons with the Tuzla security centre -- security services

Page 10807

1 centre, and in 1975, having completed my undergraduate studies, I started

2 working as higher inspector for sexual crimes and crimes against limb,

3 life and limb.

4 Q. So in other words, you were a police inspector.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And could you please tell us, for how long were you a police

7 inspector?

8 A. I worked as inspector until the 30th of June, 1986.

9 Q. All right. And after that, could you please tell us, what kind of

10 work did you do?

11 A. After that, I set up a private detection agency as a private

12 detective, which was the first agency of that kind in the former

13 Yugoslavia and remained the only one.

14 Q. All right. Now, where were you when the war broke out? Where did

15 the war find you?

16 A. The war caught me in Tuzla.

17 Q. And did you stay in Tuzla throughout the war?

18 A. No. I stayed in Tuzla from the 15th of May to the 1st of

19 September when, based on my assessment that my life could be at risk, some

20 friends helped me to forge documents. I tried to leave Tuzla on the same

21 day at about 2330 hours, but I was arrested in the village of Posusje.

22 Q. And what happened to you after that?

23 A. After several days in Posusje, I was taken to a prisoners' camp in

24 Ljubusko, and from sometime in November, I can't remember the exact date,

25 at some point in November I was transferred to the camp in Mostar.

Page 10808

1 Q. How long were you a prisoner at the camp in Mostar?

2 A. I spent a total of about a hundred days as a prisoner, give or

3 take a day or two. Sometime in mid-December 1992, Mr. Mazowiecki, who was

4 there on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council, unilaterally

5 closed the camp down one day, and the prisoners who still remained there

6 were taken away in Red Cross buses over to Montenegro.

7 Q. All right. And eventually where did you go?

8 A. After a brief recovery at a hotel in Montenegro, I arrived in

9 Bijeljina where my family still lived, some of my family. I have

10 relatives there, and my wife was in Bijeljina. The two sons -- my two

11 sons were not in Bijeljina at the time.

12 Q. All right. Now, when you arrived in Bijeljina, were you

13 mobilised?

14 A. No. There had been several summonses from people I knew to join

15 the Ministry of the Interior, several offers to join. I must admit when I

16 saw who exactly worked there at the ministry, which persons, I didn't like

17 what I saw and I refused to join. Another acquaintance eventually

18 convinced me to join the investigations section of the 3rd Battalion of

19 the military police of the East Bosnia Corps based in Bijeljina.

20 Q. So you did in fact join the VRS?

21 A. Yes. On my own free will, but I had not been mobilised.

22 Q. Okay. And could you please tell us a date. When would that have

23 been?

24 A. I believe it was between the 20th and 25th of December, 1992, or

25 thereabouts. I can't be quite sure, but it was certainly the second half

Page 10809

1 of December 1992.

2 Q. And if you could just please tell us, how long did you remain in

3 that position?

4 A. With the investigations unit that was attached to the Military

5 Police Battalion, I stayed until the 1st of April, 1994.

6 Q. Okay. And after that did you remain in the VRS?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Okay. All right. Now, what I want to do is go back a little bit

9 and focus our attention on the 3rd Battalion, the military police of the

10 3rd Battalion of the East Bosnian Corps. First of all, could you please

11 tell us a little bit about this MP unit.

12 A. I'm not really a military strategist myself. The unit was set up,

13 it was called the 3rd Battalion of the military police. Globally

14 speaking, I didn't have too much to do with the MP unit. I tried to help

15 set up an investigations unit or department that was within the

16 composition of that unit, and I must point out that I'm proud of that

17 particular achievement. There were seven persons working in that

18 department, and they had a total of about 200 years of police work

19 altogether prior to the outbreak of war. So those people were true

20 professionals.

21 Q. All right. Now, I just want to make sure that we understand.

22 This -- the MP -- this battalion, the 3rd Battalion of MPs, that was part

23 of the corps itself, was it not, the East Bosnian Corps?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And I take it below the corps you had brigades at the East Bosnian

Page 10810

1 Corps, very much as in the Drina Corps, for instance?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, let's focus a little bit on the -- your investigative unit

4 that was within the MPs of the 3rd Battalion of the East Bosnian Corps.

5 Please explain to us a little bit, what exactly did this investigative

6 unit do?

7 A. The unit as part of the MP Battalion, the investigations unit,

8 mainly dealt with crimes, crimes that had been discovered or crimes that

9 the unit was informed about through brigades or through individual

10 persons. All of us in that department were specialists in a way for

11 particular areas. One of my colleagues specialised in traffic-related

12 crimes, another specialised in burglaries. My own speciality in that

13 department, because that had always been my task on the force, my

14 speciality, I worked on murder cases, rapes, and robberies possibly. So

15 the department dealt with crimes, the usual crimes. It's the usual thing

16 that professional police officers do.

17 Q. All right. Now, what sort of resources did this investigative

18 unit have?

19 A. The people working there, that was the most important thing.

20 Everything else depended on what we could get. We had some equipment. It

21 wasn't much. And our operational personnel were not happy. The police

22 officers were not happy, but that was the equipment we had. Sometimes

23 one, two, or three vehicles to go out and carry out a on-site

24 investigation. We had a room for detention of suspects, people suspected

25 of having committed crimes, and we had a room where we could interview

Page 10811

1 them. We had a small room. When one of us was working, everyone else

2 would need to leave the room. That's how small it was. We used whatever

3 we had, and we tried to adapt to how things were at the time in that war.

4 So nothing special.

5 Q. All right. Now, was there a commander or a komandir of this

6 particular unit that was within the structure of the MPs, the military

7 police of the East Bosnian Corps?

8 A. At that time, the commander of the battalion of the military

9 police was captain, I believe that was his rank at the time, Keserovic.

10 We as a unit or department were directly under the command of the

11 battalion commander, although I believe that as a department we were more

12 independent than some other formations or units in the battalion. I mean,

13 the company, the logistics people. I think we enjoyed a higher degree of

14 independence. We made proposals of our own accord sometimes, and we

15 processed crimes.

16 Q. All right. I just want to try to work on figuring out the

17 hierarchy over here. So the next few questions, I'm going to focus on

18 that. You mentioned a Captain Keserovic. Is that the same General

19 Keserovic who is currently in Banja Luka, if you know?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. All right. And he was the commander of the military police or the

22 commander of the 3rd Battalion?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, was the 3rd Battalion within the security organ, if you know?

25 A. No.

Page 10812

1 Q. Do you know by any chance who Captain Keserovic, at the time,

2 reported to? Who was his immediate commandant?

3 A. The 3rd Battalion, the 3rd Battalion, it was a unit that was

4 within the composition of the East Bosnia Corps. In my view, it was an

5 independent unit just like all the other brigades, except that it wasn't a

6 brigade, it was a battalion. Now, whether the battalion commander,

7 Mr. Keserovic specifically, was duty-bound to report to the person who was

8 in charge of security-related issues with the corps or perhaps directly to

9 the corps commander, I really can't say.

10 Anyway, the corps was in a different location from the battalion.

11 There were meetings, and Mr. Keserovic would report at the corps command.

12 I'm not sure how comprehensively, but he did.

13 Q. All right. And I take it that the -- this unit, the investigative

14 unit, reported to Captain Keserovic?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, just as an aside, could you tell us whether you know from

17 your experience and personal knowledge whether the Drina Corps had a

18 similar investigative unit within the military police structure, at the

19 corps level, that is.

20 A. Yes. All corps had either the same or identical kind of

21 organisation.

22 Q. Again, just so we can have a better notion, did your investigative

23 unit, to your understanding, have working relations with the Drina Corps

24 investigative unit?

25 A. Not much really. Depending on a specific case, the territories of

Page 10813

1 the East Bosnia Corps and Drina Corps were adjacent, after all, and

2 everyone worked within their own area of responsibility, the area of

3 responsibility of their respective corps.

4 Q. All right. Now, if we could just focus our attention a little bit

5 on how an investigation would commence. So I want to talk about that a

6 little bit. Please tell us, first of all, how would an investigation be

7 initiated, at whose request?

8 A. For an investigation to get off the ground, first there must be a

9 crime that has been found out. And how does one do that? Well, there are

10 different ways and different sources. There can be an injured party to

11 inform us. There can be an accidental witness. There can be someone else

12 who just has some obtained this information. So there were different ways

13 to find out about this.

14 Once a crime has been established, without taking the long way

15 around, you must go and verify whether this crime has really occurred.

16 Sometimes a crime is publicly discussed and sometimes it's written about

17 in the media. So as soon as the existence of a crime has been proven

18 - I'm talking about crime against life and limb, which was my area

19 - most often but not always what you do is you draw up an operations plan

20 detailing actions to be undertaken in order to shed light on the crime.

21 Then you start implementing that plan. You need a little luck, you need a

22 lot of work and a lot of experience, and you try to pursue that task to

23 completion.

24 Q. All right. But I want to take it step-by-step. Can you as the

25 inspector within this investigative unit initiate an investigation on your

Page 10814

1 own without, for instance, a -- an injured party or a witness coming to

2 you?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And under what circumstances would you do that?

5 A. Having found out about the existence of a crime, I was duty-bound

6 to report to my superior officer. I never encountered any difficulty. It

7 never happened to me that a superior officer tried to prevent me from

8 finding out about the existence of a crime, verifying the existence of

9 that crime. So that was the method that we applied in order to verify the

10 existence of a crime.

11 Q. All right. So based on some information, you could just go to

12 your immediate supervisor, that would be Captain Keserovic, inform him;

13 correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, would you need his approval or could you just give him the

16 indication that you were about to commence an investigation?

17 A. The squad was made up of people, professionals. Captain Keserovic

18 knew that full well.

19 A. He never asked us to report in writing or to send in comprehensive

20 reports about what we knew. He said, "I know you're capable officers.

21 Please go about your work the best way you can." I never doubted for a

22 moment that any of my superior officers could try to stand in the way of

23 an investigation. And I'm talking about bodies within my field of work

24 when I was trying to verify a crime. I was never in the least afraid that

25 anyone would try and stand in the way.

Page 10815

1 Q. I'm not suggesting that anyone was. I just want to know, did you

2 have to get clearance from Captain Keserovic to proceed with your

3 investigation or did you merely have to give him notice that you were

4 conducting an investigation or about to conduct an investigation?

5 A. It's difficult for me to draw that sort of distinction, but I

6 would be inclined to say that, yes, some kind of clearance was required.

7 Sometimes it was a tacit one, but he had to be in the know, and by virtue

8 of that, he would have approved as soon as he found out that I was

9 actually doing something.

10 Q. All right. Now, what if a witness were to come to you? Were you

11 duty-bound to proceed based on information from a witness?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And was -- were there any mechanisms in place at the time that

14 you're aware of that would allow a witness to a serious crime to remain

15 anonymous or protected, that is their identity should be protected?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And is there a particular reason why, if you know?

18 A. When we look at this kind of crime, it's very difficult to assume

19 that there could be anonymous reports. Well, perhaps there may have been,

20 I don't know. Whoever reports a crime must talk about certain facts.

21 It's difficult to conceal that person's identity then, or we had no

22 arguments to back that course of action.

23 When you talk about this kind of crime, you know, it's difficult

24 to translate what was happening at the time into the present. Back where

25 I live, life at that time was worthless. It wasn't worth much. I'm not

Page 10816

1 saying the situation is a lot better now, but that's how it was back at

2 the time. Someone would have found out sooner or later, and obviously

3 this person would have been scared, and the person would probably think,

4 "If I report this crime, my family and myself would probably be at risk.

5 Our lives would be at risk." That's what the person would have been

6 thinking, or at least that was my understanding. Except if I, for

7 example, was courageous, daring enough to, on my initiative, conceal the

8 identity of whoever provided the information, but I was there by placing

9 my family at the same risk as I would have been placing his at, because

10 the prosecutor, after all, wants clear information.

11 Q. All right. But what if -- what if information came anonymously by

12 way of letter? In other words, the person did not report directly but

13 would just write a letter informing the investigative unit of a potential

14 crime that had taken place?

15 A. It was a matter of assessment. We were not duty-bound to proceed

16 based on anonymous information. If you ask me what I would have done on

17 receiving an anonymous letter, I would most probably have informed my

18 superior organ, through my commander, of course, and I would have waited

19 for their approval, or perhaps I would have tried to assess whether this

20 anonymous letter contained sufficient facts for me to embark on

21 preliminary information gathering and checks. That is a hypothetical

22 question. It's hard to generalise. It would depend on the particular

23 case.

24 Q. All right. Now, to what extent did you rely on the military

25 police - not within the investigative unit but the other military police -

Page 10817

1 to assist you in your investigation?

2 A. Not very much. I relied on all the information that could assist

3 me in throwing light on the crime in question, whether it was a citizen, a

4 policeman. So it was up to the individual to find his own methods of

5 information gathering.

6 Q. I'm going to interrupt you here for a second. Concretely what I'm

7 asking is would you be relying on the military police, for instance, to

8 locate someone, subpoena someone, arrest someone?

9 A. Of course.

10 Q. All right. What about the security organ within the corps? Would

11 you -- did you have any relationships, that is the investigative unit, not

12 you personally but the unit itself, did it have any professional

13 relationship where they would engage them to assist -- or engage it, I

14 should say, the security organ?

15 A. For the most part I would do this through the battalion commander.

16 Maybe directly occasionally but not bypassing the battalion commander.

17 Q. All right. What about with the prosecution organ, the military

18 prosecutor? To what extent did you have a professional relationship with

19 him or that office?

20 A. If there was a crime and we managed to prove it and find a

21 suspect, we would file a criminal report and bring the accused to the

22 investigating judge of the military court. If we could not find the

23 perpetrator, we would submit a criminal report against an unknown person

24 and sometimes a report to the prosecutor who had, then, the burden of

25 filing a criminal report. And we would, of course, act on any request to

Page 10818

1 collect additional information if the prosecutor dealing with the case had

2 questions.

3 Q. Okay. And what if the matter had been forwarded on to the

4 investigative judge? Would you -- did you have any professional

5 relationships with that organ?

6 A. No. I personally always felt that by submitting a criminal report

7 and bringing in the perpetrator, that was the end of the policeman's job.

8 I never thought about what course the investigation would take, whether

9 the person would be found guilty or not. I may be wrong, but I feel that

10 this is not a policeman's job.

11 Q. All right. Now, I want to switch topics a little bit, and perhaps

12 we can talk about the types of cases that you were involved with. First

13 of all, could you please tell us, during that two-year period that you

14 were with the investigative unit of the 3rd Battalion of the East Bosnian

15 Corps, whether there were any investigations conducted against Serbs who

16 had committed crimes against Muslims.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. All right. What sort of crimes are we talking about?

19 A. We're talking about -- for example, I'll tell you what I did.

20 There were murders, there was rape, there was robbery; all the crimes.

21 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us, of those cases, how

22 many involved officers, where you were investigating, for instance, an

23 officer who had committed or had ordered the commission of atrocities

24 against Muslims or crimes against Muslims?

25 A. I never had occasion to contact proceedings against an officer who

Page 10819

1 participated in or ordered any such crimes. Of course, I did engage in

2 other investigations against even high-ranking officers who committed

3 other crimes, but in relation to murder or rape, I had no knowledge that

4 any officer had either participated in or ordered the commission of such

5 crimes.

6 Q. All right. Now, what sort of crimes are we talking about, then?

7 There wasn't murder or rape. What sort of crimes did you initiate

8 investigations against officers?

9 A. For the most part it was aiding and abetting illegal trade. In

10 cigarettes, for example. There were certain abuses of authority by

11 providing false documents enabling someone to gain illegal advantages,

12 funds, and so on. That was the sort of thing that we investigated

13 involving officers.

14 Q. In other words, war profiteering, for lack of a better term.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us how many investigations,

17 if you recall, were actually conducted against officers of somewhat of a

18 medium or high-ish level, at the corps level, that is.

19 A. Are you referring to the total number of crimes?

20 Q. I'm not interested in numbers, but -- well, let me rephrase the

21 question. Against lieutenant colonels, majors, lieutenant colonels and

22 upwards, how many investigations did you conduct against them or were you

23 aware of?

24 A. I conducted three such investigations.

25 Q. All right. How many investigations are you aware of against

Page 10820

1 members of the security organ?

2 A. Are you referring to persons carrying out the function of security

3 organ in particular units?

4 Q. I'm referring to members of the security organ conducting

5 activities, whatever they may be. Whether they believe they were lawful

6 or unlawful, how many investigations do you recall having been initiated

7 against those individuals?

8 A. None.

9 Q. All right. Now, I want to focus your attention to a particular

10 individual. Please tell us if you know -- know this individual and know

11 of him. His name is Colonel Beara. Were you acquainted with this

12 individual?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And did you know him both personally and by reputation?

15 A. I met him two or three times, but we did not converse directly. I

16 think that I knew more about him by reputation.

17 Q. All right. And being an investigator within the 3rd Battalion of

18 the East Bosnian Corps, could you please tell us what reputation Colonel

19 Beara enjoyed.

20 A. It would depend on the individual. If you're asking me

21 personally, I think it was very low, very poor. When people heard that

22 Beara was coming to unit, whether it was a corps, a brigade, or a former

23 barracks, 70 per cent of the officers would disappear from the barracks on

24 that day. They would suddenly all have very important business elsewhere.

25 Q. Why is that?

Page 10821

1 A. I'm thinking about how to reply. Not because I don't know the

2 answer but because it's hard to explain. Many people did not know or

3 maybe they were able to assume that Colonel Beara was the -- a close aide

4 of General Mladic, and I have to say that General Mladic enjoyed a very

5 high reputation. How he came by it, I won't go into that, but Beara was

6 General Mladic's right hand, and everybody wanted to avoid Beara.

7 When you asked me about the number of security organs against whom

8 criminal reports had been filed, I have to say that these were all Beara's

9 men, to put it very simply. So I will conclude by saying that these

10 people were not to be touched. That's my personal opinion. Of course

11 that was not my own attitude.

12 Q. All right. What about the security organ itself? What sort of a

13 reputation did it have?

14 A. Do you mean among the soldiers or among the general public or the

15 officers? If you're asking me what I think about it, I personally think

16 that the security organ did not enjoy a very good reputation. Whatever

17 reputation he had was based on his position or the fear it inspired, not

18 his own qualities.

19 Maybe I'm not putting this very clearly. If you need

20 clarification, please ask.

21 Q. Let me ask you this: Why would the security organ inspire fear?

22 A. Well, you know, in our lives, we had all at some point had a job

23 that was somehow secret in the state security or somewhere else, and that

24 applied to the security organs. You didn't know how they had come there,

25 where they went. They didn't associate with people a lot. There whole

Page 10822

1 organisation was somehow surrounded by mystique, and I think that it was

2 this that inspired fear among people. Or in my own free interpretation,

3 in the pre-war period, the state security and public security never got on

4 very well. The police investigations department and the intelligence

5 security service perhaps did not understand each other very well and get

6 on very well, and this was something that was always in the air. It's

7 hard to give a precise reply as to exactly what it was that stood between

8 them.

9 Q. All right. Let me go a little more concretely in this case.

10 Based on your experience, what would the possibility be to -- for an

11 officer, assuming that he had learned of -- of crimes that the security

12 organ had been involved in. And in particular let's say Beara himself,

13 what would the possibility be of asking that an investigation be launched

14 against Beara?

15 A. No. No. It would have been suicide.

16 Q. Why?

17 A. Well, it's a difficult question to answer why. Because of fear,

18 fear of the person, fear for one's own life and the life of one's family.

19 Q. All right. Now, what if it wasn't Beara himself? What if it was

20 just somebody who was the assistant commander for security at a corps

21 level, say someone like Lieutenant Colonel Popovic of the Drina Corps?

22 A. The answer is the same but the fear would be a little less because

23 he was a lower-ranking officer. All these people, as I've said, were

24 people who were put there like chess pieces by the person we are talking

25 about, that is Colonel Beara, or perhaps somebody else from the top, I'm

Page 10823

1 not sure, but I think they were his men.

2 Q. Based your experience, and you have a lot of experience in law

3 enforcement prior to the war and during the war, do you think it's

4 possible that someone at the corps level, an assistant commander for

5 security, could be involved in large-scale atrocities without the

6 knowledge of or involvement of his superior, that is Beara?

7 A. It would be hard to believe in such a possibility. My reply may

8 not be appropriate, but I think Beara knew what they had for breakfast let

9 alone what they were planning to do that day. I repeat, this is my own

10 personal opinion. I'm referring to my own personal opinion, and I abide

11 by it.

12 Q. All right. Well, what about at the brigade level? What if we

13 were talking about the assistant commander for security or the chief of

14 security and intelligence if it was a light infantry brigade? What was

15 about that, if they were asked to investigate conduct concerning

16 large-scale atrocities? What would the possibility be of launching an

17 investigation against such an individual?

18 A. You know, in the chain of command, there was a kind of double

19 standard. This officer would be responsible to the brigade commander, but

20 in view of his job, what he did, he was also responsible to someone of

21 Beara's type, someone who was like Beara. And the possibility of the

22 brigade commander instituting legal proceedings for a crime against his

23 security organ would be very tenuous, because these people were directly

24 linked to Beara, much more directly than to their own brigade commanders,

25 although they did belong to the brigade.

Page 10824

1 Q. All right. And do you know whether, based on your experience, of

2 course, whether it would have been possible to launch an investigation

3 against, say, the commander or the chief of intelligence and security, at

4 the brigade level, that is, without the corps, the corps security organ

5 becoming aware of it? In other words, doing some sort of a clandestine

6 investigation. Would that have been possible under the circumstances as

7 they existed back then during the war?

8 A. No. No. The corps had to know. Everything had to be done

9 through the corps.

10 Q. Explain that a little bit so that's not lost on us. What do you

11 mean everything had to be done by the corps? Because we're talking about,

12 at this point in time, some lower-ranking officer at the brigade level.

13 He just happens to be the chief of intelligence and security.

14 A. Yes, I understand your question. This lower-ranking officer at

15 brigade level would depend on the security officer in the corps, to put it

16 very simply. And without him, the brigade commander could not initiate

17 proceedings against his own security officer.

18 There were no such cases. He couldn't do it. Security officers

19 communicated with their superiors from the corps who were in charge of

20 security and intelligence, and they rarely communicated with the brigade

21 commanders - it would depend on the particular brigade commander - even

22 though they did belong to the brigade. They were set apart in a way.

23 That's how it was.

24 Q. Now, just -- I failed to ask you, do you think it's possible that

25 the --

Page 10825

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Issa is feeling suddenly very sick. If we

4 could take just a brief break so we could --

5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we take a break?

6 MR. KARNAVAS: This would be appropriate, Your Honour. Yes.

7 JUDGE LIU: Maybe we could have our first break now. We will

8 resume at 10.30.

9 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.

10 --- On resuming at 10.30 a.m.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, how are you feeling now?

12 MS. ISSA: I'm okay, Your Honour. I don't know why, I just

13 suddenly felt very nauseous. I appreciate the break, but I feel fine now

14 and I can continue.

15 JUDGE LIU: If you feel any problem, just inform us. I think we

16 are flexible and your colleague is also flexible to have the breaks

17 whenever you need.

18 MS. ISSA: I appreciate that, as well as Mr. Karnavas's

19 flexibility in this regard. Thank you very much.

20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Karnavas, please continue.

21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. And truth be told, I needed the break

22 myself, so it was well timed.

23 Q. Now, sir, I just wanted to finish up, more or less. What if --

24 what if the -- an officer, a commander, came to you and -- with

25 information with respect to potential crimes that might have been

Page 10826

1 committed by, say, his chief of intelligence and security but asked you to

2 keep his name hidden? In other words, for you to commence an

3 investigation but without disclosing his identity. Would you do that or

4 would it be possible to do that?

5 A. In theory, yes, although if he refused to disclose the person's

6 identity to me, I would insist that he disclose the person's identity to

7 someone else and maybe I would ask the person to send an anonymous tip so

8 it would reach us by mail, and there would be all the regular steps. I

9 would perhaps insist on gathering data on the case. Well, it depends on

10 the specific case. If the crimes we're looking at are the sort of crimes

11 you're talking about, murder, that sort of thing, I wouldn't be too ready

12 to jump the gun and open an investigation on the basis of an anonymous

13 tip-off.

14 Q. All right. If you want to adjust your headsets a little bit.

15 There you go. All right.

16 Well, I'm speaking about atrocities of a rather large scale.

17 Would it be possible, under the circumstances, to keep the identity of the

18 complainant, the person, the commander that's bringing this to your

19 attention, would it be possible to keep his identity secret throughout the

20 course of the investigation?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Why not?

23 A. We're not talking about individual cases of murder. If we're

24 talking about large-scale crimes, I suppose in such a case it would be

25 necessary to inform -- well, I'm not even sure myself. Perhaps the people

Page 10827

1 in the top positions or several different individuals. You should inform

2 as many highly positioned people as possible if the crimes we're looking

3 at are large-scale crimes or mass crimes. But I was not aware of anything

4 like that while I was there in my position.

5 Q. Speaking in a hypothetical sense. To what extent did you rely on

6 the civilian organs, the civilian police, to assist you in your

7 investigations?

8 A. Little.

9 Q. And by that what do you mean?

10 A. Throughout the period that we're talking about, there was some

11 sort of a tacit or public misunderstanding between the military and

12 civilian structures in the areas so that both the military police and the

13 civilian police were sometimes like two distinct units in the same area.

14 I don't know how else to put that. So we didn't rely on each other much

15 except if someone was using their own personal acquaintances or contacts.

16 Q. All right. Now, in your position, this particular unit that we're

17 speaking of, the 3rd Battalion of the East Bosnian Corps, did it have

18 authority to investigate civilians who might have committed atrocities

19 against civilians, say, who were prisoners of war?

20 A. No. And the reason was at one point you couldn't even tell who

21 was a civilian and who was a military person. According to one theory,

22 everyone was a military person at the time because there had been general

23 mobilisation. So some segments pulled out and went back to the so-called

24 civilian structures, bodies. So as far as civilians were concerned, there

25 were a number of such cases. I filed criminal reports against two persons

Page 10828

1 who introduced themselves as civilians initially because they were not

2 members of any particular military unit, however, the military prosecutor

3 decided to go ahead and press the charges, and those persons were

4 sentenced and they are now serving their sentences.

5 Q. All right. And lastly - and I might have asked you this question

6 already - would it have been possible for -- for you or any other organ to

7 provide protection? We have a witness protection programme here for those

8 who are cooperating or assisting the Tribunal. Did such an institution

9 exist at the time so that witnesses could come forward, provide

10 information, and be protected, they and their families?

11 A. No. Officially there was no system of protecting the witnesses or

12 their identity, not prior to the war or during the war. I don't think now

13 we have anything like that in place. People are talking about some

14 possibilities now, but back then, no, there was no protection guaranteed.

15 Q. All right. Now, you told us that you left the 3rd Battalion of

16 the East Bosnian Corps in 1994. Could you just briefly tell us what

17 you've done since then.

18 A. What I've done since. After that or before that?

19 Q. After that. We've finished talking about your experiences as a

20 member of the investigative unit of the 3rd Battalion of the East Bosnian

21 Corps. You told us you left in 1994 and were no longer a member of the

22 VRS. Just so we know, because I'm ending my questioning of you, just so

23 we know, what have you done since, what sort of work?

24 A. I have worked for a number of state-owned companies for my

25 livelihood. Nothing much, just to make a living. Two state-owned

Page 10829

1 companies. One was into selling fruit juice, and there was another one

2 selling sweets and pastries. It was just to make a living.

3 Q. In other words, you're no longer connected in any way with law

4 enforcement?

5 A. No. No. I no longer wanted to remain involved.

6 Q. And I failed to ask you, you told us you left in 1994. If you

7 could reflect back to 1995, July, August, September, and onwards, 1996

8 perhaps, was the situation the same in 1995 and 1996 as it had been in

9 1994 or had it changed?

10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.

11 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I think the witness has already testified

12 he left in 1994, so I don't see how he could ask this question.

13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour. I'll rephrase.

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, and your question is too broad. It's very

15 difficult for the witness to answer.

16 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll narrow it, Your Honour.

17 Q. After you left in 1994, where did you go, sir? What did you --

18 well, did you move from Bijeljina?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Did you move from -- so you were still in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, we know that you were no longer a member of the military

23 police or a member of the 3rd Battalion within the East Bosnian Corps.

24 Could you please tell us whether you are competent enough to tell us and

25 describe to us the conditions as they existed a year after you left, say

Page 10830

1 in 1995, or had things so drastically changed that you are no longer --

2 you are no longer capable of giving us any background information?

3 A. I understand your question. I believe things didn't change much.

4 Although I was no longer directly involved in the unit, there were a

5 number of my younger colleagues who sometimes saw it fit to consult me on

6 a number of different issues, to seek my advice. I helped some of them

7 set up their operational plans, to set up investigations. Everyone knew

8 me. My colleagues and the people who came after me to work with the unit,

9 they all knew me.

10 Q. Your particular unit, you left in 1994. Just briefly, could you

11 tell us why you left.

12 A. It was for personal reasons. The battalion commander had been

13 removed, and the new one who came along was a professional officer, and if

14 I may add, a competent officer, but he was not a police officer. Whatever

15 we had gathered throughout the years in terms of the people who worked

16 there and our activities, he set out to establish absolute power over the

17 unit, and I couldn't cope with that, I must admit. I must say I have

18 always found it very difficult to respect a superior officer who is less

19 competent than myself. I said that I would just go and do something else.

20 I said goodbye, and I said I would leave them to it. I went on sick

21 leave, after which I returned my military identity booklet, and I left.

22 Q. What happened to the investigative unit since Captain Keserovic

23 left? That's who you were referring to earlier; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What happened eventually to this investigative unit that had been

Page 10831

1 set up and organised to carry out these investigative tasks?

2 A. There were six of us in the unit, and very soon, within one or two

3 months, five of us left and new people came along, younger people, who I

4 must admit were successful in continuing our work. Perhaps they were not

5 as successful as we used to be, but certainly they didn't start from

6 scratch. There was something that we left behind for them that they could

7 use in their work.

8 Q. Now, I want to give you one more hypothetical. Assuming that the

9 -- that the assistant commander of the security organ of the Drina Corps

10 was involved in planning and perhaps even executing atrocities, how

11 possible would it have been for the investigative unit of the military

12 police of the Drina Corps to have conducted an investigation against that

13 security organ?

14 A. I think it would not have been possible. I don't think that there

15 would have been a possibility to conduct an investigation.

16 Q. Sir, I want to thank you very much for coming here and giving your

17 evidence. There may be some questions from Mr. Stojanovic, Mr. Jokic's

18 lawyer, and the Prosecution, and the Judges may have some questions. If

19 you could be as frank and forthright with them as you have been with me, I

20 would most appreciate it. Again, thank you very much, sir.

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.

22 Mr. Stojanovic -- he's not here. Mr. Lukic, yes.

23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, no, our Defence does not have any

24 questions for this witness. Thank you.

25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Any cross-examination?

Page 10832

1 MS. ISSA: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour, I do have a few

2 questions.

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.

4 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:

5 Q. Good morning, sir.

6 A. Good morning to you.

7 Q. I just have a few questions, sir, relating to your testimony about

8 the investigation and prosecution of Serbs having committed crimes against

9 Muslims. You said that there were such investigations. Do you have any

10 records that reflect that there were such investigations of Serbs having

11 committed crimes against Muslims?

12 A. Yes. These records exist. I'm not in possession of these

13 records, but the military prosecutor is. I'm not sure about all of those

14 cases, but I think there were eventually sentences in all of those cases,

15 and those persons were sent to prison pursuant to those sentences.

16 There was a case where two brothers were killed. There was a rape

17 case, and so on and so forth, and those are some of the cases that I

18 worked on.

19 Q. Okay. Now, are you referring to the years between 1992 and 1994,

20 I take it, that those cases that you say took place?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Okay. Do you know, sir, who Mr. Novak Kovacevic is?

23 A. No, I'm not familiar with that person.

24 Q. You're not aware, sir, that he was -- he worked as a prosecutor in

25 the Bijeljina district before 1992, subsequently became the chief

Page 10833

1 prosecutor there and was sitting as a judge in the Bijeljina district?

2 A. I was in touch with prosecutors from the Bijeljina district but

3 not with Mr. Kovacevic. Probably he had left the prosecutor's office by

4 then. I knew the prosecutors who were active in Bijeljina at the time

5 when I was there.

6 Q. According to Mr. Kovacevic, sir, all the military records after

7 the dissolution of the military court in 2000 were sent to the Bijeljina

8 district, were transferred there, and that, according to him, there were

9 no such records that reflected that the VRS was -- members of the VRS were

10 prosecuted for committing crimes against Muslims. Are you aware of that?

11 A. I don't know what Mr. Kovacevic said, but I say this with full

12 responsibility: I had two persons detained and carried out investigations

13 against two persons from the village of Medzasi in the municipality

14 because they had committed the murder of two young Muslims, Bosniaks, on

15 the River Drina. I was even assisted in this by certain bodies from

16 Yugoslavia, from across the river Drina. They carried out investigation

17 on their turf, and I worked on mine. One of these persons was sentenced

18 to nine years in prison and the other to seven. Those are two brothers.

19 I wasn't really very much into names, but this information should be easy

20 to obtain and perhaps I can pass it on to you later on, if you like.

21 Q. Okay. Do you happen to have any of those names now? Are you able

22 to tell us who these people were?

23 A. No, I really can't remember their names, but it should be simple

24 enough to find those. They're from the village of Medzasi in Bijeljina

25 municipality. I know they were brothers. I remember all the details

Page 10834

1 about how I had them arrested, how the investigation was carried out, how

2 the criminal report was filed, how the bodies were identified. The family

3 of the injured parties, they were well aware of the bodies and everything

4 surrounding that.

5 Q. Okay. Now, as I understand it, sir, as I understood your

6 testimony, anybody who was aware of or privy to an offence in the military

7 context was required to report it. Is that fair to say?

8 A. Not quite. I wouldn't agree when you say was required to report

9 it, but it may be the case. I don't have an answer to that question.

10 Q. Okay. Perhaps I can refer you, then, to Exhibit P380.

11 MS. ISSA: If I can get the assistance of Mr. Usher. We can put

12 the English version on the ELMO. Page 8, please.

13 Q. Just so we know what we're talking about, this is entitled

14 "Guidelines for Determining Criteria for Criminal Prosecution," and it's

15 from the Main Staff of the armed forces of Republika Srpska. It was

16 admitted previously under -- as P380, for the record. If we turn to page

17 8, which is under the heading of "Criminal Offences Against Humanity and

18 International Law," and we look at the second paragraph, that, sir, speaks

19 to officers who find out about criminal -- about crimes having been

20 committed by their members - and I'm just paraphrasing because we can see

21 the text there - are answerable for these -- for criminal offences. Do

22 you find that in your version?

23 I could read it out to assist you. It states: "If officers

24 merely find out that units of the armed forces of the army of Republika

25 Srpska or their members have committed or are committing such acts and

Page 10835

1 take no measures to prevent the consequences or the acts themselves and

2 expose perpetrators to criminal prosecution, this in itself makes them

3 answerable for these criminal offences."

4 Are you aware of -- of this guideline, sir?

5 A. Well, let's say that I am. I didn't use this as a guideline while

6 I was on the job, and I'm not sure what the question is about.

7 I -- I'm not sure that I had these guidelines, for example, back

8 in 1993 while I was still on the job, these specific guidelines, that I

9 had a chance to familiarise myself with these, but I believe that this was

10 understood, that it was the duty of an officer to report the -- that a

11 crime had been committed.

12 But I'm not sure what your original question was, whether everyone

13 was duty-bound to report. When I say "everyone," I mean ordinary

14 citizens, too, and not only officers, military officers. Perhaps you

15 would like to repeat your question and I'll try to go back to what you

16 asked me about.

17 Q. Well, sir, I was simply asking if you were aware of this

18 particular guideline, and I read it verbatim and it specifically refers to

19 officers. And I understand your answer to mean that you're not quite

20 sure. If you're aware of it, it's just something that you may have known

21 about but you don't recall if you've seen that before. Am I correct in

22 stating that? It's a very simple question.

23 A. Yes, you are right, but this would have been understood regardless

24 of whether I had a chance to look through these guidelines or not. It's

25 -- it's a matter of an officer's honour. And officers would have been

Page 10836

1 bound, duty-bound by his officer's honour to report a crime that he knows

2 had been committed.

3 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, for the sake of this witness, would you

4 please inform him about the date of this document.

5 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. It's actually dated 1992.

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.


8 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, sir.

9 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE LIU: Any redirect, Mr. Karnavas?

11 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, at this stage are there any

13 documents to tender? Mr. Karnavas?

14 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.

15 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa?

16 MS. ISSA: No, thank you, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE LIU: But we received a long list.

18 MS. ISSA: Unfortunately, Your Honour, I didn't have too much

19 information to go on, so I was perhaps over anticipating.

20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, Witness, thank you very much for

21 coming here to give your evidence. The usher will show you out of the

22 room and we wish you a very pleasant journey back home. You may go now.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 [The witness withdrew]

25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas.

Page 10837

1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.

2 JUDGE LIU: Do you have another witness available? I believe that

3 last week you informed us we have two witnesses for this week.

4 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, Mr. President. I anticipated one

5 to take a little bit longer on my direct, and I thought that the cross

6 might be a little bit longer, but also, because there are only two for the

7 entire week, I had planned on putting the next witness on for tomorrow, so

8 I'm afraid I erred in not having him available to go on now. So that's it

9 for today.

10 JUDGE LIU: I see.

11 MR. KARNAVAS: Given that Ms. Issa also is rather ill, I think

12 this is appropriate too, so I am taking advantage of that situation as

13 well.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your consideration. Since

15 there is no witness available, are there any other matters that the

16 parties would like to raise at this stage? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President. I think just

18 housekeeping. I believe on Friday, when I wasn't here, there was some --

19 a short discussion about Mr. Schifanelly, one of the Defence experts, and

20 I had -- Mr. Karnavas and I had talked and we had tentatively agreed not

21 to have -- we really don't object to the report coming in under the Rules

22 as long as it's clear that we do not accept it as truth but that it is the

23 Defence version of the events, which is -- which is fine, and that way I

24 think we cannot -- not have -- we can resolve the matter, the whole case a

25 little earlier and that Mr. Schifanelly will not be testifying and we will

Page 10838

1 accept the report into evidence, and if that's -- the understanding is

2 that we still have it, that's -- that's fine with the Prosecution.

3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Can I hear the response from Mr. Karnavas.

4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President. I did speak with Mr. McCloskey

5 on Friday, and that was what was conveyed to me, and I said that's fine.

6 Rather than fly the gentleman over to testify more or less to what is in

7 the report, the understanding was that the report and the attaching

8 documents would come in, the supporting documents. So we filed a motion.

9 So you have a report and then the supporting documents to the report. So

10 that would be in lieu of flying the gentleman over here to testify about

11 that limited scope. So -- because that was an issue that had been raised

12 by Mr. McCloskey earlier, and I'd given him assurances that the nature of

13 his -- of his testimony would be limited to the scope of the report

14 itself. And so I think that in light of that, and we understand that

15 they're not accepting what is in the report but they're accepting the

16 report in lieu of viva voce testimony, so that's my understanding, and it

17 is rather efficient.

18 JUDGE LIU: I'm a little bit worried about those so-called

19 attaching documents, you know. I'm just afraid, you know, some documents

20 will go through the back door.

21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour -- Your Honour, I'm disappointed to

22 hear that, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE LIU: I'm not blaming you, you know.

24 MR. KARNAVAS: No. I understand that, but I can assure you that

25 there's nothing in the -- in that document itself that should raise any

Page 10839

1 alarms. The report itself is rather terse. However, in order to

2 understand how somebody could reach that -- that conclusion or make that

3 report, it was necessary to -- it was necessary for them to spend a

4 tremendous amount of time looking at other documents. Now, the -- there

5 are some sources that are referred to, many of them already in. Whatever

6 is not, I certainly am making every effort to -- to provide the

7 appropriate pages that are being referenced so that there's nothing that's

8 going to be sneaking in through the back door.

9 The report, it is what it is, and Mr. Schifanelly, in essence, is,

10 if I may summarise his report, is challenging the methodology of

11 Mr. Butler. That's all I'm going to say. I'm not going to go into

12 specifics, I won't give my closing argument, I'll save it for another day.

13 But basically that's the limit of it. But then, without having that

14 supporting document, you may wish -- may be thinking, well, how could this

15 person possibly give such an opinion or opinions, and so that gives you

16 the -- the opportunity to see his approach and his analysis and how he

17 reached his final conclusions. So that's all it is. And we're certainly

18 not going to argue something through the back door. That's not my

19 approach and I don't think it would be appropriate, although I am familiar

20 with the tactic.

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey.

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. We haven't really -- in

23 looking at this material, I don't even believe we'll be calling Mr. Butler

24 on rebuttal. We may, as we review the whole case, but I don't believe so.

25 And if there is any material that appears to need some sort of rebuttal

Page 10840

1 or some information that's in there, we -- we may provide that. But as it

2 stands, I think the Prosecution is not -- doesn't have a real concern with

3 -- with this material. I think the Court, given all the material and all

4 the testimony, has -- will be able to make its own judgement.

5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think this kind of practice

6 should be encouraged, that both parties could meet together and discuss

7 about the documents, especially the expert statements.

8 Is there anything else?

9 So, the hearing for today is adjourned, and we will resume

10 tomorrow morning at 9.00.

11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.07 a.m.,

12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of June,

13 2004, at 9.00 a.m.