1 Wednesday, 11 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin, can you hear me in a language that you
10 can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes. I
12 can hear you and understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for the
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good morning, Your Honours. Anna Richterova and
16 Kapila Waidyaratne for the Prosecution assisted by Denise Gustin, case
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. Appearances
19 for Radoslav Brdjanin?
20 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I'm
21 Milan Trbojevic with my associate Marela Jevtovic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you too. Are there any
24 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Good morning, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
1 MR. WAIDYARATNE: There is one matter which I would like to raise,
2 Your Honour. There was -- with regard to the next witness, Mr.
3 Muharem Murselovic who testified in the Stakic trial we intend to submit
4 his previous testimony from the Stakic trial and with the Defence counsel
5 we agreed to certain facts and there was an area which there was -- which
6 was in dispute and which we have submitted to the ruling from the Chamber.
7 We would expect a decision from the Chamber. Therefore, after that, we
8 could see as to whether we could redact or whether we should leave it in
9 the transcript before we submit the exhibit.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you referring to? The only information
11 that I have is that there seems to be just one very short sentence in the
12 transcript on page 2875, which the Defence object to or would like to see
13 redacted from the statement.
14 MR. WAIDYARATNE: From 2875, line 4 to 2876, line 10.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: From page 2875, line 4, yes?
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: To 2876, line 10.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: 2876, line?
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Ten.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You would like these to be redacted, correct,
20 Mr. Trbojevic?
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a text which
22 Mr. Ackerman wrote requesting it, but it is at odds with what you just
23 read out to us.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I mean, if you want a decision from us you
25 need to be categoric and clear. Are we talking of the same two pages or
1 not? Because we can't hand down a decision if you're not agreeing on the
2 text that you would like to see redacted.
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I would point out the relevant lines to
4 Your Honour from the transcript.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I have it marked from page 2875, where
6 Judge Schomburg starts with: "Once again a question far away from
7 judicial questions," and the rest of the page follows and you go to the
8 next page, until line 10, because the rest of that page and part of the
9 page that follows has already been redacted.
10 MR. WAIDYARATNE: That's correct, Your Honour. I'm referring to
11 the pages that Your Honour has just referred to. The lines. 2875,
12 from --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Well, actually, the document that I have also
14 shows a marking right through until page 2878, at the bottom. And I think
15 it is natural that it includes also the last part of page 2878 because, as
16 you see, "what I considered him to be amongst the most responsible" so I
17 think it's a logical sequence of --
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, may I?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: We have agreed as Your Honour pointed out in
21 2876 from page 11 -- line 11, to 2878, up to 25, if I may say.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Trbojevic --
23 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Line 19, I'm sorry, Your Honour, line 19, which
24 we have agreed to.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will agree with my
2 learned friend. I will accept that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Accept what? The indication of the pages?
4 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I agree with what the
5 Prosecutor has just proposed.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, our decision is --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So the decision of the Chamber is to redact in its
9 entirety the contents of the transcript starting from page 2875, line 4,
10 up to and including page 2878, line 25. No, no, 25. I'm redacting this
11 as well. Because it's got nothing to do with -- it's to do with
12 Dr. Stakic. So and if you are -- of course you are free to put any
13 questions, but that's easy and we could have avoided all this. Let's
14 bring in the witness. The witness has no protective measures, if I am
15 right, Madam Richterova?
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, there are no protective measures.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Murselovic. And welcome to
20 this Tribunal. You are about to start giving evidence and before you do
21 so, you are kindly requested to read out the text of the solemn
22 declaration that is going to be handed to you by the usher. That is
23 equivalent to an oath and is your undertaking in front of this Tribunal
24 that in the course of your testimony you will speak the truth, the whole
25 truth, and nothing but the truth. Please proceed.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: MUHAREM MURSELOVIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter].
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I have your permission to proceed,
8 Your Honour?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. I understand that the witness knows
10 you already.
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So I don't need to introduce you to him.
13 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I thank you.
14 Examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
15 Q. Mr. Murselovic, good morning to you. Can you hear me?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. You testified in another trial, in the trial against
18 Milomir Stakic, on the 6th, 8th and the 9th of May, in this year, the year
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Yesterday, you reviewed your testimony from -- in that -- from
22 that trial by listening to the audiotapes; is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. You stand by that testimony?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Mr. Murselovic, I will today ask you some questions to clarify
2 certain things and also ask questions with regard to some additional
3 information, but before that, to introduce you to the Chamber, I will ask
4 a preliminary couple of questions to introduce you. Mr. Murselovic, you
5 resided in Prijedor municipality before the war?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And even at present, you reside in Prijedor?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Before the war, you were engaged in the catering and the
10 restaurant business; is that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. Do you still engage in that business?
13 A. Sir, no, not since 1998, because after the first multi-party
14 elections for the local assembly, I was elected the deputy president of
15 the assembly, and in -- was elected the deputy president of the local
16 parliament in the municipality of Prijedor.
17 Q. What is -- do you hold any position today in the municipality of
19 A. Yes. I am the president of the assembly, and I'm a member of
20 parliament in the entity called Republika Srpska.
21 Q. What is the party that you represent now in the municipality?
22 A. I represent the party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or rather in the
23 local elections we were together with the Party for the Integral
24 Democratic Bosnia-Herzegovina but I'm a member of the Party for
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and I represent that party in the parliament of Rep --
1 in the entity of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, to go back to 1992, prior to 1992, the
3 conflict in municipality Prijedor, you were also engaged in politics; is
4 that correct? And which party did you represent?
5 A. In 1990, I was a member of the party of private entrepreneurs.
6 It's a small party which brought together self-employed businessmen. Since
7 I was one of them and since I was a member of the association of
8 self-employed entrepreneurs, I was a member of that party.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, did you -- were you elected to the municipal
10 assembly in Prijedor in 1990? After the multi-party elections?
11 A. Yes. I was elected after the first multi-party elections in 1990,
12 and at that time I became a councilman representing that party in the
13 assembly of the municipality of Prijedor, and I was a councilman.
14 Q. Mr. Murselovic, very quickly, in that assembly, in 1992, could you
15 explain the representation of the members and which party members were
16 there in the assembly and who held the majority?
17 A. In the then assembly, the multi-party one, there were 90 seats.
18 30 seats were held by the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA, that is.
19 The Serb Democratic Party, the SDS, I mean that is its acronym, had 28
20 seats. The Croat Democratic Union, the HDZ, had two seats. The former
21 Socialist Party also held a number of seats. Then the so-called Reformist
22 Forces of Ante Markovic also had a certain number of seats and I was one
23 of the councilmen, the Socialist Alliance also had a certain number of
24 councilmen so that all the opposition parties, if I may call them that,
25 had 30 seats altogether, and the SDA, SDS and the HDZ had about 60 seats.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, could you explain, give the information, as
2 to how you would -- you observed the working relationship between the
3 main -- two main parties, the SDA and the SDS, which if I call the
4 coalition government?
5 A. I think it had all been agreed -- it was all agreed in advance
6 that all the small parties didn't have much say. The SDA and the SDS had
7 the majority. They consulted each other and appeared before us with
8 already ready-made proposals. They had a majority so it didn't really
9 matter whether we voted yes or no, and that is how it started working from
10 the beginning, but as the time went by, one increasingly felt that there
11 were certain reasons, certain subjects on which they could not reach
12 agreement so that the whole of 1991 passed in various interruptions in the
13 work of the assembly, those two parties having failed to reach an
14 understanding, there were frequent breaks in the work of the assembly, and
15 that the regular parliamentary business that is decision-taking and all
16 that was somehow pushed back to the background.
17 Q. Now to take your mind to the beginning of 1992, the year 1992,
18 were you aware, and do you recall the establishment or the proclamation of
19 the Serbian municipality that was formed in the municipality of Prijedor?
20 A. In early 1992, I can't recall the exact date, it was decided, that
21 is, there was a decision which set up this Serb Municipality of Prijedor.
22 It looked funny to me, that is, quite simply the Serb Municipality of
23 Prijedor was proclaimed. I found that curious because the municipality of
24 Prijedor is one municipality, villages and people are all mixed, and I
25 simply could not imagine how a political party could separate, step out
1 and proclaim the Serb Municipality of Prijedor. The media then carried
2 this announcement that the Serb Municipality of Prijedor was proclaimed, I
3 do not know who attended that session of the assembly because we, the
4 other councilmen were not summoned, I'm not sure any other councilmen were
5 asked to participate in the session apart from the SDS but they held their
6 session and they also chose all the persons who should hold all the
7 important offices in the Serb Municipality of Prijedor from amongst the
8 ranks of the SDS.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Creation of the Serbian
10 municipality, what did you observe with regard to the working of the
11 members of the SDA and the SDS members in Prijedor municipality?
12 A. I have to say that members of the SDA party did not take part in
13 that process. I do not know. But it was proclaimed -- how was it
14 proclaimed? At a meeting at an assembly session which I said was held but
15 I read about it in the press. They designated all the offices, all the
16 officials and all the functions were claimed by the SDS party. Let me
17 explain. For instance, Milomir Stakic was then the deputy president of
18 the municipal assembly, at that assembly of the Serb Municipality of
19 Prijedor, he was appointed the president of the assembly. Another person
20 was designated as his deputy, for instance. Dr. Kovacevic who was the
21 president of the executive council kept this office of the president of
22 the executive council. For instance the President of the court was
23 Nedzad Seric and somebody else was put in his place, Mico Kreca who was
24 the judge in the district court in Prijedor, and it didn't sound logical
25 to me because at that time nothing had changed yet. In point of fact, the
1 situation on the ground was the same, but they did take this decision,
2 proclaimed it and it was there, I suppose, in anticipation of some better
3 times, and we were shortly to see what would happen but at that time we
4 did not accord much importance to it. We thought that it was just a sign
5 of some protest of one of the partners which we failed to understand.
6 Q. So as a result, did the assembly function smoothly in the
7 municipality of Prijedor?
8 A. The assembly as such did not really function smoothly. There were
9 frequent interruptions. It was called several times in January, February,
10 and even March, I think, but no serious work was done. And there were
11 some understandings which we could not understand. I mean, you know what
12 happened? Serbs would frequently -- I mean the Serb Democratic Party
13 would frequently come up with some ultimatums to adopt a resolution to
14 condemn this or that, or to take the decision to remain in Yugoslavia and
15 so on. All sorts of things that were not the subject to be dealt with by
16 the assembly of the municipality of Prijedor. Then the Serb SDS
17 councilmen walked out of the assembly, the president of the assembly,
18 Mr. Muhamed Cehajic then adjourned the session so that there were several
19 attempts to go on working but the assembly simply did not function.
20 Q. Mr. Murselovic, moving on, you are aware that there was a change
21 of -- in power in the municipality of Prijedor on the 30th of April, 1992;
22 is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. After this takeover, after the 30th of April, 1992, could you
25 briefly explain and state what political changes that you saw in the
1 municipality of Prijedor?
2 A. On the 30th of April, or rather the next morning, I got up and I
3 could see that the streets were swarming with soldiers, that at all the
4 junctions and at all the crossings there were some checkpoints with the
5 military and the radio began to air a proclamation and there were posters
6 all over the town with the text of this proclamation, saying that the Serb
7 Democratic Party had taken -- had taken over the power in the municipality
8 of Prijedor because it could no longer bear, it could no longer watch the
9 municipality of Prijedor go down the drain, both economically and
10 politically, that this was the necessary step and that that was why the
11 SDS had taken over the power. So these posters were all around the
12 streets and it was signed by the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
13 Prijedor and that was the first time that we came face to face with that.
14 I must say that it all came as a surprise to us. A day or two later, the
15 curfew was introduced from 10.00 in the evening until 6.00 in the morning
16 and generally speaking, there was noticeably larger presence of both the
17 military and the police. True, I need to add that we heard this repeated
18 over and over again, that the SDS had taken over the power without a
19 single bullet fired, and they were justifying their action by saying they
20 wanted to save the town from the chaos, political and all the rest.
21 However, I must say that the situation changed radically, the
22 curfew -- well, I observed it and I didn't go out after 10.00 in the
23 evening so people locked themselves up in their houses, in daytime there
24 was -- you could feel there was fear there. At that time, also, Serb
25 soldiers or rather the Territorial Defence went to Slavonia, to Pakrac, to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Lipik in Croatia, I mean, they would come back so there would be gunfire
2 all night long and people began to be afraid, began to feel insecure,
3 uncertain, as to the future.
4 Naturally, after they took over the power, the assembly did not
5 meet again, at least not in the form in which it was elected.
6 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you referred to the Crisis Staff. Did you know
7 who were the members who were in the Crisis Staff?
8 A. Yes. I've said that it became clear to us only then it became
9 clear to us that that Crisis Staff, as far as we could see, and this was
10 what we were convinced of, from the Serbian municipality of Prijedor, so
11 to speak, that president who had been appointed, Milomir Stakic, as the
12 deputy president, he had been appointed as president, and he became the
13 president of the Crisis Staff. So he was deputy president of the
14 municipality and became The president of the municipality and became the
15 president of the Crisis Staff. Instead of the chief of the police who was
16 a Bosniak up until then, all of a sudden, a new chief of the police
17 appeared on the scene who had been appointed in the Serbian municipality
18 of Prijedor as the chief of police, Simo Drljaca, as president of the
19 Court there was Mr. Kreca. He was appointed as I said a minute ago.
20 Instead of the secretariat for national defence, Medunjanin was appointed
21 there before, someone else was appointed instead of him, a Serb, et
22 cetera, et cetera. So all those who were appointed in that Serbian
23 municipality of Prijedor, they took over these posts and in a certain
24 sense they became the leaders in that Serbian municipality of Prijedor and
25 we identified that with the Crisis Staff, because the Crisis Staff and
1 Mr. Milomir Stakic often explained themselves after the proclamation and
2 they -- he clearly declared himself as the president of the Crisis Staff
3 and of the assembly at the time.
4 Q. Mr. Murselovic, talking about the Crisis Staff, the people who
5 were in the Crisis Staff, were there any, according to your information
6 and knowledge, were there any military personnel in the Crisis Staff in
8 A. Yes. There was one man who introduced himself as the chief of the
9 Territorial Defence and he would often go to Pakrac, Lipik. He was a --
10 someone who wasn't a professional soldier. Mr. Slobodan Kuruzovic was his
11 name. Apart from that the chief of the garrison, it was someone -- I
12 don't know what his rank was. His name was Mr. Zeljaja and there was a
13 Mr. Radmilo Arsic, I think his first name was Radmilo, yes. They were
14 members of the Yugoslav army and they held certain positions. I don't
15 know what rank they had, Major, Colonel, I don't know, in the garrison in
16 the municipality of Prijedor and they became part of that Crisis Staff.
17 And after certain incidents, they would often speak, issue certain
18 ultimatums that had to do with the surrendering of weapons and with all
19 the subsequent events.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, after the takeover on the 30th of April,
21 1992, you testified previously with regard to a meeting with the President
22 of the Crisis Staff, Mr. Milomir Stakic, a few days after the takeover.
23 Do you recall that?
24 A. Yes, I do. Mr. Stakic was the deputy president of the
25 municipality and we would often see each other at the assemblies, at the
1 sessions of the assemblies. He was even a guest in some of my restaurants
2 at the time, and when that happened, when he became the leading man in a
3 certain sense and when all the Bosniaks were sent back from their jobs and
4 no one was allowed to enter the municipality or the organs of
5 administration or into the court, we talked about that day at length when
6 power was taken over and when Mr. Nedzad Seric, who was the president of
7 the court, he was sent back from the entrance, we were shocked by this
8 when we found out about that. Mr. Seric was a respected man from
9 Prijedor. He was the president of the court and even the women, the
10 officials, they talked about this, they said, "can you imagine this? They
11 sent Mr. Seric back from the door." He was the president of the court.
12 It was unusual for us. And when Mr. Stakic took over, to turn back to
13 that subject, I was very interested in what that meant. In the sense of
14 how things had changed. I was the president of independent entrepreneurs
15 and I wanted to find out whether we would be working at all, whether it
16 had sense for our catering establishments to work, et cetera. I wanted to
17 know whether people would be able to continue to work or whether something
18 unusual would happen.
19 So I told the President's secretary I would be coming to visit, so
20 Mr. Stakic's secretary, who was then promoted to the position of
21 president, and I wanted to talk to him, I wanted to find out what was at
22 issue, what was happening. I was accompanied by a transport man, someone
23 called Pavicic, a secretary from our association, Mr. Simatovic, he was a
24 Serb, the other one was a Croat and there was another person who was a
25 Bosniak. He was with me too and he also -- he was also involved in the
1 catering industry and in certain other businesses. Mr. Stakic saw us, as
2 soon as we entered the hall that was a little before 10.00 in the morning,
3 I saw that the secretary who had been working up until then for
4 Mr. Cehajic, I saw that she was there and that she was still working
5 there. And in the municipality of Prijedor, there is an office, a
6 reception area, and on one side you have the president's office and the
7 deputy president's office on the other. That's how it's been for 30 or 40
8 years in the municipality. I noticed that Mr. Stakic had already moved
9 into the office which had -- which was for the president of the assembly.
10 The offices are the same size but one is connected to a room because of
11 meetings, et cetera, that was the custom.
12 I joked with that secretary, with Mica because we had known each
13 other for a long time and I said, "My dear Mica, these people are changing
14 all the time but you're a permanent element here. You know." And she
15 laughed. So then we went to see Stakic together. He saw us. A gentleman
16 went out of his office, came out of his office. He is a councilman now,
17 Mr. Marko Pavic. Before he was also the president of the assembly. He
18 had the last mandate in the so-called socialist system and Stakic was
19 quite pleasant. He saw us in. I said these are my colleagues from the
20 association. If the work of political parties is forbidden does that mean
21 that the associations of entrepreneurs, that their work is also forbidden?
22 What does this all mean? And he told me, "well, to tell you the truth,
23 Muso," that's how they called me, "I don't know what to tell you. I'm
24 now getting ready to go to Banja Luka. I've got to go to Banja Luka at
25 10.00 and when I return, I'll explain everything to you. I'll have more
1 information and I'll tell you whether you'll be able to work." There were
2 shortages, very often there wasn't any petrol, et cetera. We had a lot of
3 problems. It was difficult for us to work and I told him what our
4 problems were and I asked him to tell us what this meant for the future,
5 whether something would be changed, if the political power structure had
6 been changed did that mean that the economy would function, does it mean
7 that these private enterprises will work, et cetera, but he spoke about
8 totally different issues, as far as I can remember. He mentioned certain
9 things which at the time I have to say I didn't understand very well. He
10 said that in Kupres, certain things were happening, I don't know what and
11 we wondered whether we would be working. Something like that. But in any
12 event he told me, you know, "I'm going to Banja Luka. I'm in a hurry now,
13 I'll find out everything that I need to know over there. I'll get the
14 information and when I return in a day or two days' time, I'll call you
15 and then I'll tell you what will happen."
16 We didn't spend more than ten minutes there. We said goodbye to
17 each other. I saw that he was in a hurry. We left. I think that he was
18 correct when he saw us. But he didn't contact me afterwards. We didn't
19 see each other afterwards. And he didn't contact me either. Things
20 unfolded in a completely different way. So we didn't see each other.
21 Q. Mr. Murselovic, why do you think Mr. Stakic said he was going to
22 Banja Luka?
23 A. Well, look, the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka had been
24 proclaimed then and before that, some sort of normal reorganisation so to
25 speak, of the entire system of working, et cetera. Before that, sometime
1 before that, there were certain changes in the payment of taxes and
2 contributions and there was the proclamation of these autonomous regions
3 and he quite simply thought that he was going to consult someone there to
4 see how that would function in the future, et cetera. So that's what I
5 understood him to be saying and that's in fact what he said.
6 Q. Mr. Murselovic, moving on to the month of May, 1992, you testified
7 in the Stakic trial in detail with regard to the incident that took place
8 on the 22nd of May, 1992, in Hambarine. After that, thereafter, do you
9 recall any shelling of Hambarine and what took place in that area?
10 A. Well, I have to say that that was a -- throughout the month of
11 May, that was a time when there were many incidents, quite a lot of -- the
12 population was disturbed quite a lot. There was a lot of shooting, there
13 were a lot of uniforms around town. There were drunken soldiers walking
14 around town. They were bearing arms, et cetera. There was an incident in
15 Hambarine. What exactly happened, we were only able to find this out
16 through the proclamations, through announcements from the Crisis Staff.
17 They alone communicated with the population through the media. Perhaps if
18 some members of the Crisis Staff provided an explanation. What was at
19 issue, in fact, there was some sort of shooting at a checkpoint in
20 Hambarine and I think that this resulted in the death of one of the
21 Serbian soldiers, one of the Serbian soldiers was killed, someone who
22 wanted to pass through the checkpoint in Hambarine. I have to say that
23 Hambarine is an enclave which consisted of six local communes. The
24 population was Bosniak, Muslim, purely Bosniak and Muslim, so when some
25 soldiers wanted to pass through, soldiers from the Territorial Defence
1 units, Bosniaks stopped them and shooting broke out. One of the soldiers
2 who was in the -- in a car, a Serbian soldier, I think one was killed, one
3 was wounded, something like that. The Crisis Staff then made an
4 announcement, naturally, according to which all members of the
5 Territorial Defence had to surrender their weapons. They said the
6 perpetrator should be handed over. There are various versions of what
7 happened in Hambarine, but they insisted on the weapons being surrendered.
8 And on the perpetrators surrendering themselves to the Crisis Staff. I
9 think that Radmilo Zeljaja also made such announcements, they were all
10 involved in these negotiations that had to do with surrendering weapons,
11 et cetera. But the Bosniaks didn't want to surrender their weapons. And
12 then I think that was on the 23rd or the 22nd, I don't know exactly, a day
13 or two later, Hambarine was shelled.
14 It was shelled from all directions. I think there were heavy
15 weapons around Prijedor and at certain checkpoints above Prijedor at that
16 time and then that village was shelled indiscriminately. One or two tanks
17 even passed through the town. They arrived below Hambarine and they fired
18 at each house. I think the shelling was quite indiscriminate and quite a
19 lot of civilians died then. But they still kept repeating that they would
20 disarm the units of the Territorial Defence et cetera. So that was the
21 shelling. I didn't go up there at the time. I didn't have any contacts
22 but I know that there were quite a few wounded people and quite a few
23 people who were killed.
24 Q. Mr. Murselovic, before we go to the area with regard to where you
25 would speak about your arrest, do you recall the shelling of Kozarac on
1 the 24th of May, 1992?
2 A. Yes. That was a day or two later. Kozarac is on one side of
3 Prijedor and Hambarine is on a completely different side of Prijedor, in
4 fact. Kozarac is to the east of Prijedor and Hambarine more to the west.
5 Requests were made there for weapons to be surrendered too and I was later
6 informed that certain conflicts broke out, they asked for the policemen to
7 surrender, they asked for the police to be disarmed and the Bosniaks in
8 Kozarac, and at that point Kozarac was also shelled. It's the first time
9 I saw how these heavy weapons fired over the town at Kozarac and there
10 were some firing from the immediate vicinity. That was my first
11 experience, the first time I saw a real war in the sense of the artillery
12 being used.
13 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you were arrested on the 23rd of May, 1992; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes. That was Saturday, the 23rd of May. The curfew was still in
16 force, people didn't go out. They remained at home for the most part. I
17 have to say that at the time I watched the news at 7.00 and I have to say
18 I was sitting in my office in the centre of town, in the main street. The
19 only news programme that was watched was the Banja Luka news because the
20 repeaters on Kozara had been destroyed earlier on, the transmitters had
21 been destroyed, so we only watched the news at 7.00. The news that was
22 broadcast from Banja Luka. That was that autonomous region, I don't know
23 how it was organised. But there was only a news programme at 7.00. We
24 couldn't watch the Sarajevo or Zagreb news or the Belgrade news. Only the
25 Banja Luka news programme at 7.00. Because usually, the news was at half
1 past 7.00 but this was at 7.00. I was sitting there and I watched the
2 news and at one point the speaker said something like this: "A group of
3 extremists from Kozarac has confessed, as admitted that the financing was
4 provided by a well known catering person from Prijedor, Muharem Murselovic
5 that weapons were financed," something like that, certain other names were
6 mentioned, someone called Kulenovic from Zagreb, someone else. People I
7 don't know. I was surprised by this news, and as I was sitting in my
8 office I phoned the police immediately and I remember that a policeman
9 called Jankovic picked up the phone. And I asked him, "What's going on?
10 What do you mean financing? You know we were in a situation we were like
11 mice in the town. What's this all about? This really wasn't the truth,
12 you know." And he told me, "I don't know about that. I haven't got a
13 clue." I asked had him is there anyone who can deny this? Is there
14 anyone who could say that this has nothing to do with the truth? And he
15 said, "I don't know. If necessary, someone will call you." I don't
16 remember whether I later went to see him, since it wasn't far. I was
17 about 100 metres -- it was about 100 metres away from my flat. That was
18 the distance between my flat and the police station. There was just the
19 park and a hotel between us, in fact.
20 I returned -- I was in my office again, and half an hour later,
21 someone called me from the street. I opened the window. I saw two
22 policemen there. One of them -- I knew one of them. His name was
23 Bato Kovacevic. Perhaps that was his nickname. Maybe it's Slobodan. But
24 Kovacevic is his surname for sure. He said, "Come out, they need to see
25 you in the police station." I said, "Well, I've just been there, I just
1 called them. I can't remember." He said, "No, come on, they want to see
2 you." I went out. The policeman I didn't know -- I don't know his name
3 in fact -- asked me whether I had any weapons. I said I've got some kind
4 of a pistol up there in the safe. I don't know. He said, "Okay, let's go
5 to the police station." They took me into an office. I think there were
6 32 or 33 offices on the first floor -- I think it was office 32 or 33 on
7 the first floor, and one young man called Krneta questioned me. A young
8 man. He took a blank sheet of paper, wrote my name and surname down, my
9 date of birth, the name of my father, of my mother, my mother's maiden
10 name, and he asked me what I knew about that affair. I said, "I know what
11 you know. The same things that you know. I heard this piece of
12 information and I phoned you. What's going on? This has to be denied. We
13 need to know the truth."
14 So we were there from 8, 9, 10.00 he said he was married no a
15 Muslim he had recently become a father. He was a modest man, a young man,
16 a nice man. He didn't say anything. I said, "What am I going to do here?
17 Am I going to spend the night here? Are you going to let me go home?
18 It's 11.00, what's going on. No one tells me anything." He said you'll
19 spend the night here. I asked him, "Am I arrested?" And he said, "well."
20 So at about 11.00 they took me out of the hall. Behind me I saw a
21 colleague of mine. Music Ilijaz. He was a professor and at one time we
22 worked together at the catering school. Ilijaz Music. We waved to each
23 other. They took us down behind the police station in Prijedor. Behind a
24 car park. They took us into some -- into a room, where drunks and
25 homeless people, such people, have -- go to sleep there. There was some
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 sort of wooden constructions there.
2 Soon after, Mr. Cehajic, president of the municipality, entered,
3 and I said, "Well, this company is great." I joked. There were seven of
4 us there. And we talked. The night was long. There were seven of us,
5 apart from Ilijaz and Mr. Cehajic and myself, a certain Mehmet Tursic also
6 appeared. He was the chief of the administration, of the revenue
7 administration in Prijedor. There was a young doctor called Sikora, a
8 Croat. And there was a tradesman I knew, Jusuf Ceric, they called him
9 Juso. And there was a young man whom I didn't know at the time. He said
10 he was the son of someone called Danica, who had a catering establishment.
11 She was a Croat and her husband was a Bosniak, a Muslim, who had died
12 earlier on in a car accident.
13 I didn't know that Danica was a Croat but he said, "yes, my mother
14 is a Croat." So there were the seven of us in that room. And we spent
15 the whole night there.
16 And throughout the night, they were taking something out in the
17 yard. You can hear -- you could hear them operating with the weapons,
18 take the ammunition out and shooting up into the air and they cried out
19 all the time, "these are Ustashas, they have to be killed," et cetera,
20 they tried to frighten us they would knock on the door a bit and so on.
21 And as the night advanced, they -- there were some sort of bars above and
22 occasionally a bullet would come in, would enter, we hid behind the wall
23 on the other side. And that's where we spent the night.
24 The following day, at 6.00 or 7.00, at dawn, they took us out, one
25 by one, and they took us to the office for questioning.
1 I went to see the same investigator. I was questioned there. He
2 tried to encourage me. He said, "Well, Murselovic, you know this piece of
3 information has been denied." I was happy. I said, "good, are you going
4 to leave -- let me go now? What am I to do here? [Realtime transcript
5 read in error "MS. KORNER:"] I spent the whole night in that room." He
6 said, "I don't know anything that I can tell you about this." And that's
7 what happened. Later on I stayed there until -- I then stayed there until
8 7.00 or rather in the afternoon, I was there until about 6 or half past
9 5.00 and then Ranko Mijic called me. He was the chief of the criminal
10 police. Before that they brought me a beer or something to eat. The
11 policemen had started turning up. They were moving around in the morning.
12 And then Mico called me.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: We have got in the transcript appeared
14 Ms. Korner.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. I know that. I have -- but she is
16 everywhere, you know. So that will be corrected later. That will be
17 corrected afterwards.
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I thank my learned friend.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I noticed it actually but I was going to leave it
20 until the end. Thank you. Sorry for that interruption, sir. You may
21 proceed but please try to cut it down a little bit. Be shorter. Because
22 otherwise you're going to be here for a whole week.
23 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I didn't want to disturb the witness,
24 Your Honour. I would ask Mr. Murselovic to be brief and be short. Thank
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And in actual fact, Mr. Murselovic, just to remind
2 you, if you look at this, this is the transcript of every single word you
3 said in Stakic. We have it. It's part of the records in this case. We
4 are going to read it. In other words, you don't need to repeat in any
5 great detail what you have already stated in the Stakic case. Having said
6 that, I invite the Prosecutor to direct the witness right to what is
7 important and the witness to be very brief in his replies. Thank you.
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I would, Your Honour.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 I apologise. Somehow it all comes back to one and one starts talking
11 about. But all I can say that around 5 or 6.00, Mr. Mijic Ranko said,
12 "You can go now. It's been denied. But just don't leave Prijedor. And
13 just in case, so that I went back home.
14 And that was the end of my first arrest.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE:
16 Q. Mr. Murselovic, after that on the 30th of April, 1992, you were
17 arrested for the second time; is that correct? I'm sorry, in May. On the
18 30th of May, 1992?
19 A. Yes. I was again arrested on the 30th of May. As a matter of
20 fact, that day, there was a lot of shooting.
21 Q. Mr. Murselovic, after that, you were taken to the Omarska camp; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes. That day, the 30th of May, I was taken away. The police
24 came to take me. We were taken to the Balkan hotel. There were lots of
25 people from all over. Then they put us on buses and took us to Omarska.
1 Q. And in Omarska you were detained until the 6th of August, 1992; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, before we ask some additional questions with
5 regard to your detention in Omarska, I would like to ask you, you
6 mentioned seven persons who were detained in the police station on the
7 23rd of May, 1992, with you, people whom you mentioned, Muhamed Cehajic,
8 Ilijaz Music, Dr. Sikora, and the others. Did you see any of these
9 persons after that and who are they and where did you see them?
10 A. I saw some of them in Omarska, for instance, I saw Cehajic in
11 Omarska. I saw Seric, Jusuf Seric, I saw him in Omarska. And I saw now
12 what's his name, the director of the revenue service, oh, yes, Mehmet
13 Tursic. Them I saw in Omarska. Those others, I never saw again and I
14 assume or rather it can be safely assumed that they are no longer alive
15 but those three I saw in Omarska, but in Omarska, all trace of them is
16 lost. So that of those seven arrested, I was the only one who left
17 Prijedor and is still alive. And the trace of those others was lost in
19 Q. The persons that whom you did not see in Omarska, did you see them
20 after the 23rd of May, 1992?
21 A. No, no, never, never after that.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, after you were taken to the Omarska camp, you
23 were taken with many others in the bus, am I correct?
24 A. That's right, yes.
25 Q. You were detained in first in the Mujo's room, the place called
1 the Mujo's room in the restaurant building?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Did you see Dr. Muhamed Cehajic in Omarska in the Mujo's room?
4 A. Mr. Cehajic, professor Cehajic, he taught in the secondary school.
5 I saw him and he was the first person I saw in Omarska, because he was
6 sitting in the middle of the room. And then we talked, and for about a
7 month or two, a month, that is how long I was there, no, two months in
8 point of fact, I used to see Mr. Cehajic except for a short time during
9 which he was taken to Banja Luka to be interrogated but came back. But I
10 found him in Omarska on the 30th of May when I got there.
11 Q. You have given a detailed description of the times that you were
12 detained in Omarska, in the previous trial. You have mentioned
13 that -- you mentioned in the previous testimony that you were detained at
14 the latter part before you were transferred to another camp in a place
15 called the garage. Was there a female detained with you in that place
16 called the garage?
17 A. It's a double garage, about 22, 23 metres square, and with us we
18 were about 150 or perhaps 170 in that garage, and there was one woman with
19 us, her name was Hajra Hodzic or Hadzic, no, no, no, Hadzic, Hajra Hadzic.
20 She was the only woman there. All the others were men.
21 Q. Do you know whether she survived the camp or not?
22 A. I don't think so because I never saw her again.
23 Q. Were there any other women detained in the camp?
24 A. There were some 30-odd women there, 31, 32, I wouldn't know the
25 exact number. They always sat in the restaurant when we ran there for our
1 meal. Some of them were released before us. Some 7 or 8 days before we
2 left Omarska. Others, however, stayed on and this Hajra was one of those
3 who stayed behind and one Mahmuljin, Velida Mahmuljin, I believe,
4 is -- her maiden name is Arnud [phoen] because I know her family, a
5 teacher, married to late dentist, Mahmuljin, and three or four more women.
6 Yes. Mrs. Besirevic, an economist who worked in the bank so some three
7 or four women stayed behind I'm not sure and Hajra was one of them and all
8 trace of them is lost since then. And those young women left earlier, I
9 think seven or eight days earlier, they went to Trnopolje, to Prijedor,
10 and I think they all left Prijedor later on.
11 Q. Mr. Murselovic, who were the people who were detained with you in
12 the place called garage before you were transferred to the camp Manjaca?
13 A. With me, in the garage itself, there were many people I knew, my
14 acquaintances from Prijedor. There was, for instance, a well known
15 doctor, Dr. Sadikovic, Eso Sadikovic, yes, Dr. Eso Sadikovic, chief of
16 department and a specialist for ear, nose and throat. And then there was
17 one Sefik Terzic, nicknamed Kiki. There were lots of people in the garage
18 and the conditions were terrible. I mean hardly a morning passed without
19 somebody -- I mean, people frequently suffocated to death there because if
20 you -- because there were too many people. If you pull your leg out, you
21 can't put it back. So you just stand there because there is no -- there
22 was no room for anything and that is how the morning comes, and when the
23 door of the garage is opened, we all collapse, what for the lack of
24 oxygen, what from fatigue because we spent days on end without sleeping.
25 It was horrible. We were kept there under the pretext that we were to go
1 for an exchange. And thank God, this did not happen because nobody ever
2 returned who was taken for such an exchange.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, you mentioned the person by the name of
4 Eso Sadikovic. Did he survive the camp? Have you met him after you were
6 A. Let me tell you, Dr. Eso, he was a popular man. Everybody liked
7 him. He was interesting. He was good company. And he frequently wrote
8 columns for a newspaper. He was with us in that garage. And then when we
9 eventually left the garage, and the exchange did not take place, some
10 three or four days later, around 10.00 at night, he was called out by a
11 gentleman by a guard, no, not guard, Drago Prcac, an elderly policeman and
12 he took him out around half past 10.00 or something, supposedly there was
13 a bus ready to go somewhere, so he called out Dr. Sadikovic's name and he
14 went out and I never saw him again so he must have been killed because he
15 never turned up again.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Murselovic, you testified in your -- the previous trial
17 with regard to the interrogations that you faced in the Omarska camp. Did
18 they tell you at any time as to why you were detained or why you were
20 A. No. I was interrogated by two interrogators, the name of one was
21 Nenad Tomcic and the other one was Neso, too. All they said was,
22 "Where -- when were you arrested? Where were you before that? Before we
23 arrested you?" And I said, "well, where could I be? I was at home." And
24 that was the sum of it. They asked me some other things but they never
25 told me why I had been arrested or why I was there. I kept asking them
1 what all this supposed to mean, whether will they let me go but they said
3 Q. Mr. Murselovic, at any time did anyone institute legal action
4 against you?
5 A. No, not against me.
6 Q. You described in your previous testimony the occasions or the
7 instances that you were beaten by guards in the Omarska camp.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Recalling these instances, did you at any time provoke any of the
10 guards for them to beat you or did you do anything wrong while were you
11 detained in the camp?
12 A. Definitely not, because we were undernourished and hungry and in
13 rags because we had to sleep on the concrete now. A few people had some
14 jackets or something to spread on the floor and sleep on that, or a piece
15 of cardboard, and those fared well. Everybody was scared because people
16 were being taken out at night and killed right in front of our eyes. So
17 that nobody ever provoked anyone. Everybody tried to keep quiet. A man
18 called Simo Kevic who used to work with me earlier, he said to the guards,
19 "Well, this one persecuted Serb children whilst he was in school." So
20 they got me and started beating me with cables and something. I know that
21 one of those who beat me was a young man called Marmat and at some point I
22 stopped him and I said, "ask your Borka if I ever persecuted Serb
23 children," and then he stopped beating me and then on another occasion
24 they beat me in the WC. I was there and they broke the door in our WC in
25 that room where I was, all the feces was floating around so that nobody
1 could approach it. It was very -- it was all plugged so they took me to
2 another room to relieve myself. And as they took me there so somebody
3 broke the door they beat with the rifle butt on the door hard, "there is a
4 balija, he must be performing ablutions," and they broke these two ribs,
5 and once as we were coming out carrying food, they invariably beat us and
6 once I was well beaten up, I could not see who it was but it happened to
7 me. So that I was beaten several times, good and proper. I don't really
8 know why. But I wasn't the only one. They beat me just by accident
9 without knowing or what, but some were beaten during interrogations as
10 they were interrogated and a number of them succumbed to those beatings
11 because their legs and arms were broken and when they would return from
12 this interrogation, they would be in such a bad shape that they would die
13 right there in front of us. I remember one such instance.
14 Mr. Zijad Mahmuljin for a while he was president of the executive council
15 he was also one of those who died amongst us and there were other such
16 instances but I believe I've already testified about this. So that, yes,
17 beatings were frequent. Once I -- there was Osman Mahmuljin a good friend
18 of mine, and a doctor, he was the director of the hospital. He was with
19 us. And I could see that those people who were beaten, they look
20 completely changed. They had bruises and swellings on their heads and
21 faces and all over them so we tried to put them some cold compresses to
22 allay the pains and this doctor said, "well, I don't know, they won't last
23 long because their kidneys have been destroyed so they will die, they will
24 never get home." So it was really horrible to look at those people.
25 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you described about the interrogation and you
1 referred to some of the interrogators. Do you recall these people who
2 were referred to as interrogators as to from where they came from?
3 A. The majority came from Prijedor. There was this one Tomcic who
4 interrogated me, Nenad. There was also a certain Dragan Radakovic who
5 used to be the manager of the national park and taught drawing. And there
6 was Milo Savljevic he is at present employed in the municipal hall. There
7 were even some from the Court. On several occasions I saw Dragan -- no,
8 not Dragan Dragosavljevic. Dragan's son, yes, Zivko Dragosavljevic who
9 until recently was president of the court in Prijedor. He also
10 interrogated me. Then Tomic who was the public prosecutor he also came on
11 several occasions. I didn't know him well at that time but he was shown
12 to me but also there were some people whom I did not know at all. Nobody
13 knew them because after all we knew everybody in Prijedor. So I asked who
14 are these people? And we were told that they were from Banja Luka and
15 they were interrogating and conducting more serious investigations. That
16 is what Sefik Terzic told me, that they interrogated him, those
17 interrogators from Banja Luka but they came with those interrogators from
19 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, will this be a convenient time to
20 take a break?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, certainly. Please yourself.
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will have a 25 minute break, resuming
24 immediately thereafter. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Murselovic, the interpreters are finding it very
3 difficult to catch up with the speed with which you're talking. As a
4 result, the transcript that we are having has many, many mistakes, through
5 no fault of the interpreters. I would kindly ask you to slow down in your
6 answers and be as short as possible because otherwise, you will not be
7 helping us at all. Thank you. Please.
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Murselovic, before the break, you were talking about the
10 interrogators. Now I would move your -- the area of questioning and be
11 brief as possible when you answer the questions. Mr. Murselovic, before
12 you were transferred to Manjaca, you testified in the previous occasion
13 and even today that you were detained in the place called the garage,
14 which was in the restaurant building; is that correct? And you mentioned
15 persons such as Eso Sadikovic. Do you remember when you were transferred
16 to Manjaca, is it correct if I say that it's the 6th of August, 1992?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you have also testified in the previous trial as to the
19 journey from Omarska to Manjaca in your previous testimony. Now, during
20 this journey, were the following persons -- did you know or did you see
21 the following persons by the name of Dedo Crnalic, Nezir Krak and Djuzin,
22 his real name being Babic? Could you briefly tell the -- explain to the
23 Court as to what happened to these people, when you reached -- when you
24 all reached Manjaca?
25 A. We spent the entire day of the 6th -- on the 6th of August
1 travelling. We arrived in Omarska around 10.00 in the morning. We were
2 taken in to Omarska and at about 10.00, we arrived at Manjaca. We stopped
3 frequently. It was very hot. We arrived in the evening. It was dark.
4 They left us in the bus until the following morning with the heating on,
5 everything was shut, they didn't let us out, and then they took
6 Dedo Crnalic out of my bus. They called out to him, asked him to come
7 out, someone called out to him, I don't know who, they immediately started
8 beating him. It was dark so you couldn't see much and we were lying down
9 below the seats. After a certain time, someone threw Dedo in at the front
10 door and that's where he remained lying. Mr. Nezir Krak wasn't in my bus.
11 He was in the next bus. We heard him being called out. They called out
12 to him, asked him to come out, which he did, and the following morning,
13 when we got out of the bus, I saw that Dedo remained lying at the front
14 door of the bus, and he didn't seem to be alive. That's what I was told.
15 When we lined up, someone recognised that young man called Sejo
16 Babic, his name is Sejo or Sead but everyone called him Djuzin after his
17 older sister. Someone took him a little further away. And later on we
18 found out that he had been killed. We were all out there standing out
19 there, and they then started calling us out, a camp commander appeared and
20 it was then that we realised that we had arrived at Manjaca. It was
21 someone called Bozidar Popovic. I think that was his name. And he said,
22 "I'm not interested in these dead people but the men who have lined up,
23 the people who have lined up, I'll take them in." We were later informed
24 that some of those bodies were taken to Prijedor in the buses, and Mr.
25 Crnalic, well, his funeral was this year, in the summer, because he was
1 floating in the Vrbas River, that someone recognised him. He was exhumed
2 this year and buried at the local cemetery in Prijedor, whereas the others
3 have not been exhumed yet and they haven't been found either.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I have in the transcript here
5 this year and this year. His funeral was this year in the summer because
6 he was floating in the Vrbas River, that someone recognised him. He was
7 exhumed this year and buried at the local cemetery in Prijedor. In other
8 words, when was -- he was -- he was detected floating in the Vrbas River
9 when? Soon after his arrival in Manjaca? And how did you come to know
10 about this?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those dead bodies were taken back by
12 bus and they were thrown out, they were thrown into the Vrbas River when
13 returning. This is something that we found out later on. And somewhere
14 near Banja Luka, I don't know where exactly, they were buried at some
15 cemetery as unidentified persons. And there was an exhumation that took
16 place, that was carried out this year, the family wanted Mr. Crnalic to be
17 exhumed and he was exhumed and buried at the local cemetery in Prijedor.
18 He was buried this year, ten years later.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You may proceed. Thank you.
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Murselovic, how long did you stay in Manjaca? How long were
22 you detained in Manjaca?
23 A. I was in Manjaca until the 14th of November, 2002
24 [as interpreted], when, through the intermediary of the Red Cross, we were
25 transferred to Karlovac, in the Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you spoke about exhumations. Subsequently, after
2 your release and after you returned to Prijedor, were you involved in
3 the -- any exhumations that took place in the municipality of Prijedor?
4 A. I wasn't directly involved in that process of exhumation but I was
5 involved in the burial of those who had been exhumed because the
6 commission for locating missing people, the federal commission, from 1998
7 up until now, has been looking for missing people, and in Prijedor we've
8 published a book of those missing. This concerns people who have
9 disappeared without trace, who were missing, and this book of missing
10 people from Prijedor stops at number 3.280, something like that, but the
11 process of reporting is still ongoing, because entire families have been
12 reported as missing or went missing, and there was no one to report this,
13 but from 1998, and I'm referring to the commission for locating missing
14 people, has exhumed missing people, and to date, the number of citizens,
15 many citizens from the municipality of Prijedor have been exhumed, a lot
16 of Bosniaks and a small number of Croats, and between 1.500 and 1.600 have
17 been exhumed. Of this number, about 1.000 individuals have been
18 identified, many families, many family members, have provided samples for
19 DNA analysis so that this identification process, the process of
20 identifying the victims, is still in progress to this very day, and I have
21 to say that the last mass grave was found last year in the area of the
22 iron ore mine called Jakarina Kos. That's a grave. It's thought to be a
23 secondary grave because the bodies were transferred there from some other
24 location. The commission for missing people and representatives of the
25 international community exhumed about 380 bodies from that grave. And a
1 certain number of body parts, which have nothing to do with those bodies.
2 The burial has not taken place yet. We thought that perhaps at the end of
3 this year or the beginning of the next year, they would be buried at
4 local -- in local cemeteries in Prijedor and around Prijedor, in
5 accordance with the wishes of the families. And this concerns those who
6 have been identified.
7 Q. To leave the Omarska camp, during your detention what was your
8 observation about the existence of the camp or the organisation, the
9 day-to-day running of the camp, the Omarska camp, Mr. Murselovic?
10 A. I think that the camp was very well organised. I have to say that
11 food was brought on a daily basis -- once a day from the social catering
12 service in Ljubija. I recognised some of them who brought the food, who
13 were involved in that. And the camp itself was in the iron ore mine,
14 Ljubija. The guard shift would come and the shift lasted for 12 hours.
15 And then they were free for 24 hours after that. So we always knew which
16 guard would be in a certain shift. This schedule wasn't changed. Every
17 day, and regularly, on a regular basis, investigators would come,
18 interrogators would come in a small bus. They came at about 8.00, more or
19 less, that was in the morning, and returned between 4.00 or 5.00 or 6.00.
20 The guard was organised, there was a guard organised in the immediate
21 vicinity of the area -- of the premises that we were kept in and guards
22 could also be seen a little further away. So one could safely say that
23 this was well organised and functioned smoothly. Questions -- questioning
24 was carried out in a certain order, certain places where the detainees
25 were held, and on that basis, I can conclude, I can come to the
1 conclusion, that the camp was well organised, and as soon as we arrived
2 there on the 30th, everything was functioning. When we arrived at the
3 Omarska camp on the 30th of May, it was already functioning.
4 Q. Did you also observe dead bodies that were lying in the vicinity
5 and subsequently they have been removed?
6 A. Yes. In the course of the day, someone would be killed or someone
7 would be returned after having been questioned, would die among us, in the
8 room we were kept in, but most of them were called out at night, the
9 guards would call people out throughout the night and take some people
10 away, some of those whom they had called out. And in a certain sense we
11 never saw them alive again. In the morning, between 7.00 and 8.00, we
12 would sometimes see near the white house on the grass, we would see
13 people, dead people, lying on the grass and then a small van, a small
14 yellow van, would appear. It was a small van. And it had a cabin at the
15 front and there was -- and one part of it served for transporting freight.
16 That's where they would load the dead bodies, five, six, or seven of them
17 and they were taken away somewhere. That van returned perhaps about half
18 an hour or 45 minutes later. So we came to the conclusion that it didn't
19 go very far with its load.
20 Q. Mr. Murselovic, now I would take your mind to an incident, a
21 meeting that took place in Banja Luka. Were you a member of the assembly
22 of the Chamber of Commerce in Banja Luka before the conflict?
23 A. Yes. I was a member of the main commercial assembly, as it's
24 called, and before 1990, I founded a company, as I had two catering
25 establishments, I had 14 and 15 -- between 14 and 15 employees. I founded
1 a company and then I don't know on whose suggestion it was, I was elected
2 as a member of the assembly of the Chamber of Commerce in Banja Luka.
3 Q. Who was the president of that chamber?
4 A. The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Banja Luka was
5 Zvonko Mersa I knew him because he was born in Sanski Most and before he
6 came the director or rather the president of the Chamber of Commerce in
7 Banja Luka he was the director of a big company which was called
8 Krajinaturist and it had all catering companies under it. It unified all
9 catering companies in the Banja Luka territory. This was some sort of
10 organisation of -- some sort of working organisation which covered these
11 big companies.
12 Q. Mr. Murselovic, do you recall attending a meeting in Banja Luka
13 where -- to elect the president for that particular year?
14 A. I think that Mr. Zvonko's, one of his mandates had come to an end
15 and he was put forth as a candidate by entrepreneurs to be a -- given
16 another mandate, to be granted another mandate, and the session was
17 scheduled, was scheduled for certain other items too but I know that one
18 of the items had to do with electing a president of the assembly of the
19 Chamber of Commerce in Banja Luka and Zvonko Mersa was suggested by
20 entrepreneurs and we were members of the Chamber of Commerce. He was
21 proposed and we were to elect him for another mandate as president.
22 Q. Do you recall which year, which year it was?
23 A. I think that was at the end of 1991, perhaps it was November or
24 December, but I am almost sure that it was at the end of 1991. I don't
25 believe that it was in 1992 because not much was happening in Prijedor at
1 the time so I couldn't link it up to anything else but I'm almost sure it
2 was at the end of 1991.
3 Q. When the name of the President, your nominee, was proposed, could
4 you explain what happened during that meeting?
5 A. We were all sitting there, and all of us entrepreneurs. There
6 were a lot of people whom I knew. And then somehow, I don't know how,
7 Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin appeared from somewhere, two or three men were with
8 him, and they suggested that as president of the Chamber of Commerce of
9 Banja Luka, one of their candidates should be elected. I can't remember
10 whom they proposed, but Mr. Brdjanin wanted to take the floor on several
11 occasions and he insisted and he explained that the SDS was the leading
12 party in Banja Luka. He insisted that it was necessary for someone to be
13 a candidate and that someone should be elected following a proposal from
14 the Serbian Democratic Party. The entrepreneurs, the private businessmen
15 participated in the discussion. They did not share this position. And to
16 tell you the truth, that's the first time that I saw Mr. Brdjanin. I
17 wanted to know who that man was. I asked, "Who is this man?" They said
18 he's an engineer from Celinac, a member of the core leadership of the SDS,
19 et cetera. But after several discussions, we didn't accept Mr. Brdjanin's
21 But instead, we elected the person we had proposed, Mr.
22 Zvonko Mersa. We elected him one more time. Mr. Brdjanin left in protest
23 with his men. That's how it ended. That's the first time I saw the
24 gentleman. To tell you the truth, I didn't see him after that but I
25 followed his appearances in the press. I was well informed. But after
1 that, I did not personally see him, not until this day.
2 Later on, when I had contact with Mr. Zvonko Mersa, I saw him at
3 the end of 1992, beginning of 1993, in Zagreb. I met him there. I asked
4 him what happened later on, and he said, "two or three months later, I was
6 But I've also seen Mr. Zvonko in Sanski Most and in Zagreb
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Murselovic, do you recall in the -- during the
9 Stakic trial, you presented the Trial Chamber with a document which was
10 subsequently admitted as an exhibit, which you had in your possession? Do
11 you recall that instance?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, may I be permitted to give this
14 document to Mr. Murselovic?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Which in the Stakic trial had the exhibit number
17 45A. And in this trial, which is, I'm told, which is numbered at P255.
18 And the other document which has the Stakic number as Exhibit S45-1A.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you find it?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, can we put the English text on the ELMO?
22 Okay. Yes, question?
23 MR. WAIDYARATNE:
24 Q. Are you familiar with this document? Did you see this document
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you tell the Chamber as to how -- when you saw this
4 A. I saw this document after the war. An acquaintance, a Serb
5 acquaintance of mine, brought this document to me. It had to do with
6 Mr. Stakic, because on the other side, there was Mr. Stakic's signature,
7 and this decision, signed by Mr. Brdjanin on the other side was endorsed,
8 I can't remember what it said, but there was a signature, president of the
9 Crisis Staff of the municipality of Prijedor, Mr. Milomir Stakic. It was
10 then that I saw this text of this decision which was signed by
11 Mr. Brdjanin, and I have its copy before me now.
12 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, may I be permitted to show Exhibit
13 S -- Stakic number -- case number S46B, ERN number 00633171?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Murselovic, is that the document that you were speaking about,
17 that you presented to the Trial Chamber in the Stakic case?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, I have the English translation of
20 the same document, which in the Stakic case was Exhibit S46A.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Which could be put on the ELMO. Thank you,
23 Your Honour. May I be -- I'm told that an exhibit number should be given
24 to these documents.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a double reference number in one. Basically, I
1 think it would be P154 something/ and then the Stakic exhibit number.
2 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I read it as P1542/ --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: S46A.
4 MR. WAIDYARATNE: 46A.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the last one that we have seen. The
6 previous ones will be -- now, let's start, P1542/45A will be the first of
7 the documents that you referred to.
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Very well, Your Honour, yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: With the Serbo-Croat or Serbian version in Cyrillic
10 becoming /S45B.
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Very well.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Then what was in Stakic, S45-1A becomes
14 MR. WAIDYARATNE: It should be P1542.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You're keeping 1542?
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: As it's the same exhibit.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I can live with that. No problem. And
18 then the next one, then there is of course the Cyrillic text which will be
19 /S45-1B, all right?
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Very well.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Then S 46 A becomes P1542/S46A and B. All right?
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Please bear with me, Your Honour. The
23 transcript number being P1542.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
25 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Then /S46A and then /S46B and then there is another
2 one which is identical to the last one in Serbo-Croat which is S46-1B.
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, sorry for interrupting you. I don't want
5 to take any of your time.
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
7 Q. Referring to the document which is signed by the president,
8 Radoslav Brdjanin, could you read the heading of that document,
9 Mr. Murselovic, please? That's 45A.
10 A. The document is headed "decision" and then it says the letterhead
11 or rather the number and the date, and then, "Decision." This is called
13 Q. As the document speaks for itself, I don't want you to read out
14 the document. How did you get this document? When did you first see this
16 A. I saw this document when a citizen of Prijedor, and it was
17 sometime in the year 2000 or 2001, brought this document to me, to my
18 office. We talked about something and he asked me if I had seen this
19 decision. Well, I had some idea. There was a lot of talk about the
20 existence of such decisions but I'd never seen one before, and then he
21 showed it to me and told me, "Well, you can keep it if you want to." And
22 I took it. On one side, was this decision made by the Banja Luka Crisis
23 Staff and signed by Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin, and on the other, on the verso,
24 was not the decision but Mr. Milomir Stakic was signed there and there
25 were closely related, that is, on the same sheet of paper but on the verso
1 side, that had Mr. Stakic's signature and the letterhead and the seal of
2 the municipality of Prijedor, and the decision of Milomir Stakic, rather,
3 and this Mr. Stakic's decision has to do with a decision which was signed
4 by Mr. Brdjanin, and it's date is only one day later. That is, that
5 document, the decision is the -- dated the 22nd of June and Mr. Stakic's
6 document is dated one day later.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, that concludes the examination, as
9 I'm new to the procedure in this Trial Chamber, do I submit the exhibits
10 at this stage or at the end?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No I would prefer if you would submit the exhibits
12 at this stage straight away so that we can facilitate matters. If you
13 want some time, perhaps we could start with the cross-examination and you
14 can do that. If you're ready, you can go ahead.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, I would tender it but the documents
16 would be ready at the next session, after the cross-examination.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. All right. So we will do that
18 Ms. Gustin, in due course. Take your time.
19 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Murselovic, you are going to be
21 cross-examined now by Mr. Trbojevic, who I suppose you know, and he is
22 co-counsel with Mr. Ackerman on the Defence team for Mr. Brdjanin.
23 Mr. Trbojevic, the witness is all yours.
24 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not have too
25 many questions. Should we perhaps make a break now or what? I don't
1 think I will take more than half an hour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: If you are in a position, because we have
3 three-quarters of an hour for the next break so if you are in a position
4 to start with your cross-examination, start now and finish when you
5 finish. I mean no one is chasing you. You take your time. If instead
6 you require a short break, I can give you a short break too. It's up to
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No, I do not
9 need any special break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please do not feel constrained that you need
11 to finish the cross-examination by a particular time. Take your time.
12 The day is all yours. We don't have another witness this morning, no?
13 So --
14 MS. RICHTEROVA: No we do not have any witness for today.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Richterova. Mr. Trbojevic,
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Murselovic. You already gave long and
19 exhaustive answers but nevertheless, my job is to ask you some more
20 questions, perhaps we shall need some further clarifications.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please speak into his
23 JUDGE AGIUS: My attention is being drawn that you need to move
24 the microphone a little bit and speak straight into it because the
25 interpreters are having some difficulties. Yes, and one other thing,
1 Mr. Murselovic, and Mr. Trbojevic, Mr. Trbojevic is very familiar with
2 this already but probably you're not, since you both speak the same
3 language, there is always the tendency that one doesn't wait before
4 putting a new question or answering a question. So please allow a short
5 interval between question and answer and vice versa so that you do not
6 cause difficulties to the interpreters. Mr. Trbojevic, sorry for
7 interrupting you.
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. So following the multi-party elections, a coalition of
10 national -- of ethnic parties formed the government and took their seats
11 in the assembly and it more or less was in proper working order in 1991;
12 is that right?
13 A. Well, I don't know. It worked. There was a semblance of work,
14 because they managed to divide between themselves the chief offices, that
15 is the assembly met but there were many problems and interruptions and
16 recesses and so on and so forth but yes, you could say that it worked.
17 Q. And the general political situation in the former Socialist
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had, to all intents and purposes,
19 drastically changed following this multi-party elections over the next
20 year or so, isn't it?
21 A. Well, there was a war in Croatia. The then Yugoslav army and
22 members of reserve units, of the Yugoslav army went to the front in
23 Croatia. The units from Prijedor went to Lipik, to Slavonia generally
24 speaking, to that area so that that was a time which was wartime, to call
25 it that. And in Prijedor, you could sense it because somehow there was
1 insecurity, there were shots fired, there was intimidation and so on and
2 so forth. So, well, yes, the assembly met but one could say its
3 performance was not particularly high.
4 Q. Since you were a politician and you were a councilman, I'd like to
5 draw on your experience, of your knowledge of the circumstances then, and
6 will you tell us, isn't it true that the Presidency of the former SFRY had
7 also broken apart and the federal assembly too? It also was paralysed, it
8 couldn't work?
9 A. Well, the Presidency of Yugoslavia, we are now somewhere in the
10 higher political spheres, at that time it had still not broken apart, but
11 there were constantly some problems. It was a time when that Presidency
12 still worked, it still worked. And it was a time when those
13 representatives we had, that is representatives of the then republics,
14 travelled from one part of Yugoslavia to another in pursuit of a solution
15 for the future of Yugoslavia, seeking pursuit of a solution that would
16 permit Yugoslavia to survive. And that was the principal stumbling block
17 because they somehow could not see eye to eye. Some republics openly said
18 that they wanted to walk out of the federal state of Yugoslavia. Some
19 fought to preserve that state. And that was that time. And in the
20 meantime, in the latter half of 1991, war broke out in Croatia.
21 Q. But the former constitution of the SFRY was still in force?
22 A. The constitution did not change. It could not be changed under
23 the circumstances.
24 Q. And the role of the Yugoslav People's Army was to preserve the
25 territorial integrity and viability of the territory?
1 A. That is what the constitution said.
2 Q. And this actions which this army undertook in Slovenia and Croatia
3 were aimed at trying to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.
4 And that was in accordance with the constitution, wasn't it?
5 A. Let me tell you how I see those things. After those first
6 incidents in Slovenia and you must remember them, the television made a
7 big deal of that, when a Bosnian soldier said, "Well, we are allegedly
8 attacking, they are allegedly defending themselves." Remember that? Then
9 it became already obvious that the situation was not -- would not remain
10 and that the policy that is some Serbian politicians were already saying
11 that they wanted to preserve the ethnic areas where in their opinion the
12 Serbs lived, and under the circumstances, naturally, the Yugoslav People's
13 Army was of two minds, if I may put it that way. That is at that time,
14 members of other ethnic groups began to leave the Yugoslav People's Army.
15 Immediately after the start of the conflict in Croatia, in 1991, the
16 Yugoslav People's Army was, if I may put it that way, cleansed of the
17 members of other ethnic groups and we all believed, if Croatia was gone,,
18 that is, if Slovenia was gone and if Croatia refused to be in this
19 association of states, then we thought that there was no room for
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in such an union, because the Serb people was
21 predominant and then the army and all the other structures would then
22 predominate too.
23 Q. So if we say that these are the -- that this is the source of the
24 coalition partners in the municipal assembly in Prijedor, you will agree
25 with that, I hope, won't you?
1 A. Well, I could say that these were opinions which could not be
2 harmonised. Those were two different opinions and there was no meeting
3 point with them. Our municipal assembly was asked, and I have to say that
4 for the sake of truth, that is the Serb Democratic Party requested the
5 municipal assembly to adopt something like a declaration, something like a
6 decision, stating that we wanted to stay in Yugoslavia, that is to say,
7 lend our support to this whole process. The SDA could not agree with
8 that. We could not agree, we could not go along with that because I
9 thought then and I think that today, that Yugoslavia could not exist or
10 cannot exist without Slovenia, without Croatia, and to my mind, that is
11 not Yugoslavia any longer. And by the very fact that in 1918, when
12 Yugoslavia was founded, as the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
13 Q. Well, we don't have to go so far back. Wouldn't you agree --
14 A. Yes, I agree but we could not accept that.
15 Q. I hope you won't hold it against me.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Mr. Trbojevic?
17 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
18 Q. So these were insurmountable differences and what it led to was to
19 report to the -- respond to the callout or not, this was another
20 difference between the SDA and the SDS?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Do you remember a case which started at that time -- I can't even
23 tell you when exactly because I don't have these documents with me -- that
24 in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that multi-party one, had embarked
25 on the debate on the protection of the vital national interests? It was
1 in the wake of the constitution of the assembly, in the wake of the oath
2 they took, and they were saying that they were to prepare the text of the
3 new constitution so when the problem of the protection of the vital
4 national interests would come up, then certain procedure would be set in
5 place, events would be organised and so on and so forth, do you remember
7 A. Yes, I do. That is what we have now.
8 Q. And of course, it all ended when the war broke out, isn't it?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And let's go back to the situation in the municipality. Soldiers
11 are coming back from the front, bringing their weapons with them, so of
12 course some are afraid, some are shocked, some feel very powerful and all
13 sorts of things happen in the town. You told us about that. Is it true
14 that, economically speaking, when payments were interrupted with Slovenia
15 and Croatia when the war broke out, when it became difficult to do
16 business with Yugoslavia, that the situation, that the businesses -- that
17 the economy was disrupted?
18 A. Absolutely. You mentioned a detail. When people came back from
19 the front, at that time, we still tended to idealise things. I remember a
20 detail when Mr. Kuruzovic, Slobodan Kuruzovic brought a car for himself
21 from Croatia, and many other things were brought over. Among other
22 things, he brought another car, a car for himself, a good car for him,
23 from Croatia, and we simply couldn't understand that there was all this
24 looting, and why all this was being done, and under what excuse did he
25 bring in this car? Besides, everything was disrupted, inflation was
1 rampant, and somebody persistently offered this money, those dinars, which
2 were dinars which were exchanged in the streets and the inflation was
3 going up from one day to the other, and people would change as much money
4 as they needed until noon and afternoon one had to change more money
5 because the dinar would lose some of its value. So the economic situation
6 was nothing to write home about. But there was a lot of speculation that
7 this money was being brought in by the troops, and that the army trucks
8 were used to bring in this money and that it was being sold in order to
9 get healthy, sound illegal currency back. That's the German marks. So
10 that salaries were not worth anything and companies could not work.
11 Q. And naturally people were absent, they were off to the front, they
12 were not at their workplaces?
13 A. That's right, and there were shortages of everything, of fuel, raw
14 materials, and I also have to say that Bosniaks and Croats refused to
15 respond to the call-ups, and they were other requests to hand over
16 weapons. Weapons were handed over, but what people found particularly
17 hard was when they came back from the front and they came back through
18 Gradiska, Banja Luka and Prijedor, that was the route they took,
19 throughout, I don't know how many weapons there were, but there was talk
20 that one could not walk through Prijedor really, because the town was all
21 littered with cartridges and empty shells and whatnot and every night
22 there would be shooting, so that there was this -- people felt very
23 insecure. So that was a time fear and insecurity was very
24 characteristic -- the principal characteristics of that time.
25 Q. Tell me, there is some information that the weaponry that belonged
1 to the Territorial Defence was distributed among the people in 1991, that
2 it went out on to the ground?
3 A. I don't have such information, and I do not know who it was
4 distributed to but what I do know is that Serb villages were being
5 intensively armed and they had weapons, whereas the Bosniaks did not have
6 weapons, but they frequently bought weapons with all that fear around.
7 Somebody was selling something. I have to tell you something. Soldiers
8 coming back from the front used to sell their weapons. I don't know how
9 they were allowed to bring them there. So that a neighbour of mine said,
10 "Murselovic, mind you don't buy a weapon from a Serb soldier because he'll
11 take your money but he will then report the number of the weapon he sold."
12 And I recently saw this man, it's another matter that I never intended to
13 buy any weapon but no doubt it was very well organised, that somebody was
14 to sell weapons to the Bosniaks, and then he was duty-bound to keep the
15 money but report the number of that weapon to somebody, and that person
16 then, when requesting that the weapons be handed over because there was
17 this action: "Turn over your weapons, turn over your weapons," but it
18 concerned only the Bosniaks and Croats, you know the Serbs did not have to
19 return the weapons because they were mobilised so that they knew in
20 advance who had weapons and people had sooner or later to return those
21 weapons and then it will be established that it was this rifle, the number
22 so and so, such and such, so that there were all sorts of things going on.
23 Q. Was there any activity with regard to those weapons? Did they try
24 to prevent its illegal distribution?
25 A. Yes, there were attempts that were made. The first incident
1 occurred when the Bosniaks returned those weapons, the Bosniaks and Croats
2 returned the weapons in front of the municipality. They didn't want to go
3 to the line and they left the weapons there. There was -- there were a
4 lot of people there. They tried to find a common language to reach an
5 agreement but I, to tell you the truth, didn't participate in that. I
6 believe that it was best for me to see as little as possible and to know
7 as little as possible. I was a councilman and I didn't participate in the
8 authorities. I wasn't part of the authorities so I didn't want to meddle
9 in that affair.
10 Q. Tell me, did you hear that some of the Serbian soldiers lost his
11 job or they lost their job because they didn't respond to the
12 mobilisation, they didn't respond to the call-up?
13 A. Perhaps there were -- there was one case or perhaps there were two
14 cases I couldn't count the number of cases on my fingers. I couldn't say
15 how many Serbs didn't want to respond to the mobilisation. There were
16 very few such cases. Perhaps they tried to avoid being mobilised by some
17 other means, you know. But what is for sure is that there were very few
18 such cases because all the time, a propaganda war was being conducted,
19 which stated that the Serbs were under threat and that they had to defend
20 themselves, et cetera. They were told that 1941 should not be repeated
21 but there were few men. Later I was told that some people had left, had
22 gone to Belgrade, there were such cases but the vast majority took up arms
23 and went to the front, to Croatia. There is something else I would like
24 to say. The local papers at the time kept reporting on this and films
25 were shown from the battlefield, and it was then that I first heard the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 term mopping up, you know, that was something that was ugly and that two
2 pages in the Kozarski Vjesnik --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Because you're not answering the question. You're
4 deviating from the question which was a very a simple one: "Tell me did
5 you hear that some of the Serb soldiers lost their job, et cetera" and you
6 answered, "yes there may have been one or two cases" and that should have
7 been the end of your answer.
8 Next question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. But do you agree with me that that was legally a possibility, that
12 it was a legal possibility that they could be held responsible, legal
13 proceedings could be instituted against them?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You said that from the 30th of April, when the Serbian Democratic
16 Party proclaimed that power had been taken over, you said from that time
17 on, all the leaders and prominent people of other nationalities were
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And then workers too?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could we agree that from the 30th of April onwards, up until the
23 22nd of July, which is -- the 22nd of July, which is the date of the
24 decision that you looked at, most replacements of personnel had been
25 carried out in the course of April and May and those three weeks in June?
1 A. Well, most of the leaders had been sent back, had been sent back
2 from their work, and in the meantime some of them had been taken to camps,
3 and they didn't go to work at all. I think that this decision established
4 the situation on the ground, you know. The actual situation.
5 Q. Well, tell me, they spoke about -- there was discussion about the
6 appointment of the chief of police and you expanded on this in response to
7 a question put to you by the defence in the Stakic case and I wouldn't
8 want to go into that discussion at the moment but we are in a dilemma.
9 The chief of police in the municipality is to be appointed by the minister
10 of the interior, according to the law. You said that the municipality had
11 something to say and either had to agree to something or propose
13 A. To propose.
14 Q. I don't know but could we expand on that and provide an additional
15 clarification about the law, the law says that the chief of police in
16 municipalities is to be appointed by the minister of the interior?
17 A. That's correct but the appointment is very often just formal. The
18 assembly appoints someone in accordance with proposals from certain
20 Q. The minister of the Interior?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that you didn't know whether the chief of police had to
23 report to the executive board of the municipality?
24 A. I don't know but I think that cooperation was quite close because
25 when Mr. Simo Drljaca was appointed, he was appointed in the Serbian
1 municipality of Prijedor as the chief of the police too.
2 Q. I would now like to ask you about this propaganda, something about
3 this propaganda. And you have said something about that on page 4 of your
4 testimony of December, 1997, that's the first statement, the date of which
5 is incorrect, it says 1992. On page 4, you said that that propaganda
6 wasn't directly against non-Serbs but that Muslims were accused for not
7 participating in the fight against the Ustasha and they complained about
8 events that took place in 1941 et cetera. Is there anything else that we
9 could say about that propaganda?
10 A. Well, let me tell you, there was a propaganda war which was
11 conducted with a lot of insistence, they said that the Serbs were in
12 danger and that one shouldn't allow 1941 to happen again. And secondly,
13 there was constant propaganda in the sense that some of the Bosniaks
14 apparently killed a Serbian friend and then they said that there was an
15 event, Dr. Osman Mahmuljin was supposed to kill a colleague of his, a
16 doctor who was ill, et cetera. We knew that this was falsehood, that
17 people from Stubice had to kill their neighbours and there were certain
18 list that were circulating, you know. I'm sure that none of that was
19 true. And that someone was planting such stories and encouraging such
21 Q. When you spoke to Stakic a day or two after the 30th of April, you
22 said that one of the questions that you put to him was whether political
23 parties had been prohibited?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did that question have a cause? Was there an announcement
1 according to which the parties had been prohibited?
2 A. Well, as soon as there is an announcement they say that in a
3 multi-party system, one party is taking over power, as soon as there is
4 such a proclamation then it's obvious that one, other parties are
5 prohibited because they used force to take over power. And in that
6 announcement, everything was directed against the SDA, but among other
7 things I was told -- I asked what does that mean? Is work forbidden? Is
8 the parliament going to function? I was interested in how this would be
9 functioning. I said if this is going to be prohibited, can we work
10 through the association? Will private enterprises be able to work? Will
11 we be able to get petrol, will shops be able to work, will anything
12 function? That's what I was thinking about.
13 Q. I just want to check whether there was an announcement according
14 to which work was prohibited?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You said that Stakic, while you discussed this matter, how are we
17 going to work, whether we will work, he mentioned the situation in Kupres,
18 that something was happening in Kupres, what did that have to do?
19 A. Well, he said that people over there were more or less fighting
20 already and that everyone had been mobilised. And that we hadn't yet felt
21 those terrible consequences of the war, that's what I thought he was
22 referring to. I didn't assume that that would happen in our locality in a
23 couple of days. He mentioned Kupres, and at the time I didn't understand,
24 because I have to say that at the time we were in a situation where there
25 was a classical blockade, an absolute media blockade so we didn't know
1 what was happening anywhere. As I said a minute ago, all the transmitters
2 had already been destroyed. The transmitter on Kozara was not working and
3 we could only watch Banja Luka television. I don't know what it was
4 called at the time. And we could listen to the local radio station.
5 Q. If I have understood you correctly, a lot of information about
6 what was happening in Kupres was not available to you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Tell me, with regard to this event in Hambarine and in Kozarac,
9 you said there was an incident in Hambarine and, if I'm not mistaken, you
10 said one person was wounded and another person was killed, there was
11 certain other information but that is not important right now, what I'm
12 interested in is was there an incident that preceded the situation in
13 Kozarac? Do you know anything about this?
14 A. As far as I know, before that, in Kozarac, the entire police force
15 was disarmed, and I'm referring to the police from the -- the police force
16 from Kozarac, and I have to say that the policemen who were Bosniaks, we
17 still haven't exhumed them but they were disarmed and the army took over.
18 The Territorial Defence in Kozarac, in a certain sense, they blocked
19 Kozarac, they put up checkpoints of their own, but people kept passing
20 through towards Brajkovac through Kozarac and I know that people from
21 Kozarac said that there were quite a few provocations from the police on
22 the way to Kozarac. I don't know, they had put obstacles in front of
23 cars, et cetera. There were these minor provocations, you know, the ones
24 that we are good at. So a request was made for Kozarac to be disarmed and
25 a conflict broke out. There was a direct conflict. What happened after
1 that, I don't know, because Kozarac is 12 kilometres from Prijedor.
2 Q. In Hambarine and in Kozarac, there were ultimatums, requests for
3 the weapons to be surrendered and for perpetrators to surrender
4 themselves, as you said?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you said that one ultimatum was signed by the Crisis Staff and
7 today you said that one ultimatum was signed by Radmilo Zeljaja?
8 A. Yes that's how it was.
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE: That's incorrect, Your Honour, if I may recall,
10 remember, it was not said that it was signed by the Crisis Staff, and it
11 was signed by Radmilo Zeljaja, that it was announced.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right actually. Yes, Mr. Trbojevic.
13 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] That's the same to me. I didn't
14 literally mean a signature on a piece of paper.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put the question to the witness or the
16 statement to the witness as corrected by Mr. Waidyaratne. Do I pronounce
17 your name well? Because I find it difficult.
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: No, Your Honour, very correct.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. One ultimatum was announced by the Crisis Staff and another by
23 Radmilo Zeljaja or the command?
24 A. Well, I have to say that they were together, Radmilo Zeljaja as
25 commander of the army was also part of the Crisis Staff, as such he
1 represented so to speak the military part of that entire process. We
2 identified the two with each other because in Kozarac, an open conflict
3 broke out. After the shelling of Kozarac, there were -- there was
4 fighting on a large scale.
5 Q. In the course of the day, I understood you -- I thought that you
6 said that there were various ultimatums but now you're saying that this
7 included the one and the other?
8 A. Well, an ultimatum means that there has to be an unconditional
9 surrender of weapons, the perpetrators have to surrender unconditionally,
10 individuals have to surrender unconditionally, weapons, too. That's an
12 Q. I just want to determine how many of them participated in that.
13 On page 4 of your statement, dated the 13th of January of this year, you
14 said that you thought that the coordination between the Crisis Staff and
15 the military command was absolute. You said that the Crisis Staff had
16 both military and civilian power and in the same paragraph, you said that
17 the army had its own command hierarchy so these two things seem to
18 contradict, there seems to be a contradiction here.
19 A. In the Crisis Staff, Mr. Kuruzovic was in the Crisis Staff. He
20 had the rank of major. I know him personally. I don't know these
21 military men. He went to the battlefield in Slavonia, in Croatia.
22 Mr. Zeljaja was there and he participated.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you're answering the question. The
24 question was this it's being put to you that in the same context you first
25 affirmed that the Crisis Staff had a both military and civilian power and
1 also that there was a hierarchy, command hierarchy, inside the army.
2 Mr. Trbojevic thinks or believes that those two statements are
3 conflicting. Would you agree to that or not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think they -- there was very close
5 cooperation between them.
6 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. You said that when you were arrested the second time, you said you
8 were taken away and you wanted to ask them where they were taking you and
9 one JNA soldier, you said, pointed a pistol at you. That was on the 30th
10 of May. I believe that you heard that the JNA had officially withdrawn
11 its units from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 19th of May. So could this
12 be a JNA soldier or was this soldier a member of the Army of Republika
13 Srpska, of some second or third unit?
14 A. I said that he was wearing a JNA uniform, a JNA military uniform.
15 I don't see much of a difference here. You know the ranks and everything
16 is the same. They wear the same uniform and there are no particular
17 insignia that can enable one to distinguish them from others.
18 Q. One would expect that the JNA soldier had JNA insignia on him.
19 There would be the five-corner star?
20 A. He didn't have a cap.
21 Q. Ordinary soldiers didn't have pistols as part of the standard
22 weapons issued to them. So if he didn't have a cap, he wasn't wearing
23 regulation uniforms. If he doesn't have a regular weapon he's not a
24 regular soldier. He doesn't seem to be a regular soldier.
25 A. Let me tell you, I got off the bus, I crossed the Zeger crossing
1 and went in the direction of the police station. A man approached me. I
2 didn't know him. He was in a military uniform and he asked me, "Where are
3 you going?" I told him why I wanted to go to the police station. I said,
4 "We didn't know where we were going or why we were going there." But
5 when I told him my name, he took a pistol out and said, "You want to cut
6 throats of Serbian children." He kicked me and I immediately got into the
7 bus. I didn't have much time to observe what sort of insignia he had or
8 what his rank was because I entered the bus and I lay down on my stomach.
9 Q. Tell me in response to a question from the Prosecution, you said
10 that while you were in Omarska, they -- no proceedings were instituted
11 against you. I think that you said no proceedings were instituted against
12 me. Were any proceedings instituted against anyone else?
13 A. We spoke to each other. We spoke amongst ourselves and we would
14 usually ask each other, what had happened, what did they ask you about, et
15 cetera. That's quite normal. Some said that they had signed something,
16 some statement that they had made. And I saw some sort of paper with
17 Mr. Cehajic in which it stated why -- what he was suspected of. Someone
18 from the prosecution had written something down, something like that. I
19 didn't sign anything. And I didn't discuss this matter for long.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not answering the question, the question was,
21 were any proceedings instituted against anyone else? You answered
22 everything except the question. So what is your answer?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is that I was told that
24 some men had signed something and that proceedings were instituted against
25 certain men.
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. Was a record made when you were questioned?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And finally, what you last said about the meeting in the
5 Chamber of Commerce in Banja Luka, you said that in the name of the SDS,
6 Mr. Brdjanin proposed a candidate as president of the Chamber of Commerce
7 and you said that his proposal was not accepted?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So could we conclude that he couldn't order who should be
11 A. Well, that entire process in our opinion seemed to be arrogant,
12 insolent. He appeared with that candidate. I can't remember who the
13 candidate was any more but we didn't even vote about this candidate. We
14 only voted on the proposal for Mr. Mersa.
15 Q. Among the members of that assembly, of the Chamber of Commerce
16 there were certain Serbs?
17 A. Yes, absolutely.
18 Q. So my conclusion is that Mr. Brdjanin's proposal didn't have
19 enough authority to be accepted?
20 A. Yes. And it didn't go through the usual procedure that was
21 adopted for a proposal, when a proposal was being put forward by a group
22 in the assembly. That wasn't well defined at the assembly.
23 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
24 A. Thank you, too.
25 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there re-examination?
2 MR. WAIDYARATNE: One question.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
5 Q. Mr. Murselovic, you were asked about your knowledge of the other
6 detainees, as to whether there was proceedings instituted against them
7 when they were in Omarska, and you said that some were -- that some people
8 had charges against them or legal proceedings instituted against them. Do
9 you know specific people whom you're referring to?
10 A. I said that some people signed statements that they made and some
11 people, such as Mr. Cehajic had a piece of paper in which it stated what
12 they were suspected of.
13 Q. Did -- [Previous translation continues] ... Were they taken to a
14 court of law?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did he survive the camp?
17 A. He didn't.
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Murselovic, as you see, you managed to finish
20 even before time. You will very soon be escorted by our usher out of this
21 courtroom, and you will be given all the assistance you require to return
22 to your country. However, before you leave this courtroom, it is my duty
23 as the Presiding Judge, in my name and the name of the other two judges as
24 well as on behalf of the Tribunal to thank you for having accepted to come
25 back to The Hague to give evidence for the second time. I know it's not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 easy for anyone, and it's for this reason that I thank you once more.
2 Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So now what's left, I suppose is the exhibits.
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Yes, Your Honour, may I be permitted to tender
7 into evidence the exhibit, the transcript from the Stakic trial.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Marked as P1542 with the accompanying exhibits?
10 Documents which were given numbers as P1452/S45, P1542/S46, P1542/S45-1,
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that all right with you, Mr. Trbojevic?
13 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, Your Honour. No
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So these documents are being so admitted.
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for all your cooperation, both sides.
18 Is there anything else before we wind up for the day?
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to mention only one thing, according
20 to order of witnesses, we scheduled one witness for tomorrow.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, 7.134.
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: 7.134 and one witness for fly day which is 7.54.
23 I was informed that the witness 7.134 will take one hour, most probably
24 less than one hour, and I was also informed that there won't be very
25 lengthy cross-examination. So in fact, I -- I am seeking advice from you,
1 whether it would be more convenient for you to hear two witnesses tomorrow
2 or whether you would prefer to be present at the plenary and stick to the
3 schedule as planned? It means one witness tomorrow and one witness on
4 Friday. It's up to you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic, would it cause the Defence any
7 disruption or any serious problems if we hear both witnesses tomorrow?
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No, it wouldn't cause any
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So if you are in a position to bring both witnesses
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, we will in position to bring the second one
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We will hear their evidence tomorrow. I thank you,
15 Madam Richterova. Tomorrow we will be sitting in the morning, I forgot
16 whether it's this courtroom or some other courtroom. I think this
17 courtroom is needed for the plenary. Courtroom I, we are meeting in
18 tomorrow. I thank you once more. And good afternoon.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 12.33 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
21 the 12th day of December, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.