1 Thursday, 24 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. Madam Registrar, call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a
10 language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
12 can follow in a language I understand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, too. Appearances for the
15 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner assisted
16 by Denise Gustin case manager.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances Radoslav Brdjanin.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honours. David Cunningham
19 with Aleksandar Vujic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you too. Any
22 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
24 MS. KORNER: I know that and I have no doubt that the Dutch
25 journalist will be delighted to hear we are in open session for this
1 witness as well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good. It's unfortunate that some journalists
3 don't appreciate the importance of having closed sessions in order to
4 protect certain sensitive witnesses, without whom this Tribunal would not
6 MS. KORNER: I agree, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's unfortunate. I do not have, as you know, as a
8 Trial Chamber we do not have a PRO, the Tribunal has but this is as far as
9 I can go on my own.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I agree. I think it's better not to
11 comments too much on this except to say this. I agree entirely with Your
12 Honour's remarks. It may not be known to the press that - or the world at
13 large - that this area has a great deal of difficulties in respect of the
14 differing nationalities and that's one of the problems and were they to be
15 privy to the information which Your Honours are privy to and Defence, it
16 might be a different matter. Your Honour, that's all I want it to say
17 about that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just very briefly deal with the
20 motion -- I need to go into closed session on this, private session.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Private session.
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You were inviting criticism.
24 MS. KORNER: I was. Private session, it's a confidential motion
25 I've just seen.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
2 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry to say that in the rush to get
18 this witness to make the further statement, to look at documents because
19 we weren't expecting him to testify until tomorrow, the extra documents
20 that were produced by the witness from Petrovac who came up with this mass
21 of documents, some of them were omitted and they are not in Your Honour's
22 list and they are not on the Defence list. I don't think we will get to
23 them before the break. They are important documents but we are going to
24 arrange for copies of the extra documents to be made and handed out as we
25 get to them. I'm sorry about that. It was my fault. I didn't notice
1 that I'd missed a whole batch of the documents produced.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I should add that this witness like the
4 other witnesses has not been proofed in the sense that Your Honours know.
5 Finally, Your Honours, I've spoken to Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham
6 thinks he needs about two hours to cross-examine. Your Honours, this
7 witness has a lot to get through, as you'll see from the list.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I have not even managed to read --
9 MS. KORNER: He's another witness --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: -- what I would have liked to read because that's
12 MS. KORNER: Exactly. Your Honour, he's one who has a diary as
13 well, as Your Honours have seen. Your Honours, there are two methods of
14 approaching this. One is we could say, or Your Honours could say, you
15 must finish him by tomorrow. And we can move the next witness up but
16 there will be a gap before the last witness. He cannot be here to testify
17 before the Thursday of next week. And the next witness we anticipate will
18 certainly take two days. I'm in the hands of Your Honour. If I can't
19 finish I could apply to put in both the statement and the --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, let's go through it slowly
21 because -- this witness was scheduled to start tomorrow.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And the idea or the plan was to have him finish on
25 MS. KORNER: The idea was to have him finish on Monday, exactly.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely. Then there was a witness on Tuesday and
3 MS. KORNER: Exactly.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And then the final witness.
5 MS. KORNER: Thursday, Friday.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thursday, Friday.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What I had in mind but we discussed this and we are
9 quite open to accommodate both of you, if you require the time, but my
10 idea initially was since we were starting with this witness today, that we
11 would try to finish him tomorrow, so that at least he won't have to stay
12 here over the weekend. Now, if you can live with that, that obviously
13 would be my preference.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If, however, between the two of you, you require
16 more time, we are prepared to accommodate you. Yesterday, I was told, but
17 I think it was a mistake, that you needn't worry that much about not
18 finishing with this witness by Friday because there will not be any
19 witness available for Monday in any case. So -- and I found that strange
20 because any witness who needs to start on Tuesday necessarily would be
21 here at the end of this week. So you tell me what you would like and we
22 will accommodate you.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we can. Certainly, we could try and
24 move the witness up with the assistance of the VWS who would have to bring
25 him in on the weekend and he could start on Monday if we finish this
1 witness tomorrow. He won't take more - we estimate - than two days for
2 the whole thing. Therefore there would then be a spare day on Wednesday
3 although we do have some bits and pieces to clear up. Again, Your Honour,
4 I don't know how long the last witness will take.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I don't know. I don't want to interfere
6 in that but the subpoena was to the effect that he would be available to
7 start giving evidence on Wednesday.
8 MS. KORNER: No, Thursday and Friday.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you sure?
10 MS. KORNER: Yes, 31st and 1st.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought it started from the 30th.
12 MS. KORNER: No it's the 31st, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: See how --
14 MS. KORNER: Can we see how we go and then perhaps --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. No problem on our part. And if you need to
16 keep this witness here until Monday over the weekend and finish him off on
17 Monday, we have no -- we haven't got a problem.
18 MS. KORNER: I'm grateful, Your Honour, because I think as Your
19 Honours will see he's clearly a witness of some importance.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He is a witness of some importance for sure, yeah.
21 Like many others. All right?
22 Just to make sure, I inquired about this, but we are in open
23 session and no protective measures.
24 MS. KORNER: No protective measures, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So Madam Usher, could you bring the witness in,
2 Mr. Cunningham, if, as we go along, you feel that the time you
3 require for your cross-examination should be longer, you just let me know.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Very well, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right? Thank you.
6 I apologise to you, Mr. Cunningham, I did not ask you for your
7 remarks about what Madam Korner said, namely that some documents she
8 hasn't been able to hand over to you in time and that she will be making
9 them available before the break or by the next session.
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, I don't have a problem with that.
11 They are doing their best.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. If you do have a problem then we will
13 reserve your position and you will have an opportunity to cross-examine
14 with -- the witness can some delay. Thank you.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you can understand what I am saying
19 in a language that you can understand?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You are about to start giving evidence
22 in this case, which has been instituted and ongoing against
23 Radoslav Brdjanin. Our rules require that you make a solemn declaration
24 before you start giving evidence, a solemn declaration to the effect that
25 in the course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole
1 truth and nothing but the truth. Madam usher is going to hand you the
2 text of the solemn declaration, that is equivalent to an oath, and that
3 you will be -- that will be your undertaking with us. Please go ahead and
4 read that solemn declaration aloud.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: JOVICA RADOJKO
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please take a chair.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: There are a few things that I need to tell you
12 before you start giving evidence. Number one is that the procedure that
13 is followed here is pretty much similar if not identical to the procedure
14 followed in most other courts of criminal jurisdiction elsewhere. Namely
15 that you will first be examined, questioned, by the Prosecution, and in
16 this case, the officer questioning you will be -- is Ms. Joanna Korner,
17 whom you've met already and then she will be followed by Mr. Cunningham,
18 who is the gentleman in the front row to your left, and he is representing
19 Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin. We will -- we call that cross-examination.
20 Your duty, pursuant also to the oath that you've taken here, is to
21 answer all questions that are put to you as fully and as truthfully as
22 possible irrespective of who is putting the question. In other words, you
23 have no right to make a distinction between Prosecution and Defence. Your
24 duty or responsibility is to treat them equally and answer all questions
25 that are put to you. Answer all questions with this reservation, there
1 may be instances where I can intervene and say, "sir, don't answer that
2 question." But unless and until I say that, your obligation is to answer
3 the question. There is another matter which is very important and which I
4 need to talk to you about.
5 When you were interviewed by the Prosecution, you were informed
6 that you may well be a suspect, in other words that the Prosecution here,
7 at the time you were being interviewed, may well have had evidence which
8 could actually make you end up being charged. However, I am told and I'm
9 assured now by Madam Korner that that is certainly no longer the case. In
10 other words, that you are not a suspect and that you should take this into
11 consideration obviously while you give evidence.
12 However, if in the course of your testimony, questions are put to
13 you, whether by the Prosecution or by the Defence, which you think, you
14 believe, that if you answer, you would be exposing yourself to some
15 criminal action, to some criminal proceedings, in other words if you think
16 that by answering those questions you would be incriminating yourself,
17 then you have a right to ask me not to answer those questions. We will
18 discuss it and then we will decide whether you should answer the questions
19 or not. The matter is regulated by our rules and I want you to feel
20 comfortable knowing that you are protected throughout the entire testimony
21 that you will be giving. But what is perhaps more important than anything
22 else is that I'm telling you publicly here, in open session, that you are
23 no longer a suspect in terms of our statute and of our rules.
24 Do you have any questions?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: We did not hear the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Start with the examination-in-chief.
3 MS. KORNER: I think if the microphones could be pulled a little
4 closer. The interpreter did not hear him say he had no questions.
5 Examined by Ms. Korner:
6 Q. Sir, could you give your name to the Court, please?
7 A. My name is Jovo Radojko.
8 Q. And were you born on the 1st of October of 1956 in Klenovac in the
9 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, as it was then called?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And are you a Serb by nationality?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, sir, are you presently a practising judge in the basic court
14 in Derventa?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And as a judge presently serving, was your appointment approved by
17 the office of the High Representative in Bosnia?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. I want to ask you, sir, a little bit about your
20 background. Is this right, that you completed first of all the higher
21 administrative school in Zagreb in about 1981?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Then you went to the political science faculty in Zagreb intending
24 to become a journalist, but didn't complete that but went instead to law
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in 1987, did you receive your diploma from the Zagreb
3 University law school?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Then, did you work in Zagreb until in 1990 you passed the bar
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I think you worked as a secretary to begin with in a school
9 intending to continue your education but then at the end of 1990, was
10 there some kind of ethnic problems with you as a Serb working in a
11 Croatian school and were you then invited to go and work in Petrovac?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. All right. And did you arrive in Petrovac at the end of 1990?
14 After the multi-party elections?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you a member of the SDS?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when had you joined the SDS?
19 A. In the course of 1990, in Croatia.
20 Q. So you joined the Croatian SDS party at that stage?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Now, when you arrived in Petrovac, at the end of 1990, were you
23 appointed secretary to the executive committee of the municipal assembly?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. And was that at the invitation of the President of the municipal
1 assembly, Mr. Novakovic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And just to complete -- jump forward a little bit, Mr. Novakovic,
4 was he actually killed during the course of the conflict?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Had you known Mr. Novakovic before you took up your appointment?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you come to Petrovac as a result of the invitation to
9 become the secretary?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, I want to ask you, please, a little bit about Petrovac
12 because you'd been born there and I think your family came from there.
13 Was Petrovac, Bosanski Petrovac, aligned economically, politically and
14 judicially to the municipality or the region, really, of Bihac?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And for what reason was that? Was it a geographical
17 region -- reason, I'm sorry?
18 A. Well, by and large, yes. I'd say it was the geographic one.
19 Q. All right. I think if we can just for a moment put up the map,
20 I've forgotten what the number is now. The bigger map of the Balkans like
21 that so we can remind ourselves where Petrovac was.
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry, maybe just sometimes -- it's because -- P1956.
23 Q. If we can just home in on the part towards the left of the plan,
24 we can see or we should be able to --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Your microphone, Ms. Korner, please.
1 MS. KORNER: Sorry, it's actually very unclear on this. Any way
2 of focusing a bit more? Obviously not. I tell you what. Can we move it
3 up slightly? No, no, I'm sorry, the other way, usher, down, sorry, down,
4 down, down, down, down. And down a bit more, please. Thank you. Stop
6 Q. Now, sir, can you see -- I think we can see Bihac on the lefthand
7 corner of the map, if we go in virtually horizontal line we can see
8 Banja Luka and then Petrovac, which is not terribly clearly marked, I have
9 to say, on this, we can see coming down from Bihac, just there.
10 MS. KORNER: I hope Your Honours can see that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We know where it is any way. We have seen this map
12 before and Petrovac was precisely indicated by a previous witness.
13 MS. KORNER: Exactly, Your Honour. I just want to show the
14 relative positioning with Bihac and Banja Luka.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We can see it here any way, so.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
17 Q. Now, I think it's right, is it not, that Bihac as a municipality
18 in itself, had a majority of the Muslim nationality; is that right?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And Bosanski Petrovac, and you needn't bother about the figures
21 because we've had them, had a majority of Serbs by nationality?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Now, I want to show you, please, a document which is P5, dated the
24 26th of April, 1991, which you've looked at before.
25 MS. KORNER: That is on my list, Your Honour. Could we have that
1 please put up on the ELMO?
2 Q. Now, you've seen this document before, dated the 26th of April,
3 1991, which is a decision on the separation of the Petrovac municipality
4 from the Bihac intermunicipal regional association. Do you know
5 why -- first of all, could you look -- is that -- do you recognise the
6 signature of Mr. Novakovic?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Do you know why this decision was taken?
9 A. There were several reasons for it. One of them was economic. The
10 municipality of Petrovac was very much lagging behind some other
11 municipalities in the region, economically, and therefore there was a
12 serious demographic decline because of it. It had 32.000 inhabitants in
13 1931 and the figure was the same in 1991, except that in 1991, its
14 population was 15.500. Its infrastructure was backward and therefore
15 there were economic reasons in the first place.
16 Secondly, as far as I can remember, the atmosphere at the time,
17 there were also some political reasons. That is, by seceding, by
18 separating, as far as I know, they wanted to bring some pressure to bear
19 both on the centre in Bihac and the republican administration in Sarajevo,
20 in order to render more topical, to put on the agenda the problems which
21 were becoming serious, and already at that time ethnic -- interethnic
22 tensions had begun to emerge. I think it followed in the wake of the
23 events in the municipality of Korenica in Croatia. After that, a certain
24 degree of interethnic tension emerged between the Serbs and the Muslims in
25 the area. Emotionally, and well, through their propaganda, the Muslims
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 endorsed the action of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior, of the
2 Croatian police, in the municipality of Korenica, and the Serbs were
3 against it so as far as I can recall now, these were the first reasons and
4 they were just that one drop too many which then, coupled with, compounded
5 with the economic reasons, made them decide to go alone.
6 Q. All right. The Muslim members of the municipal assembly, did they
7 object to this decision?
8 A. I wasn't always party to -- I didn't always participate in the
9 sessions of the assembly and possibly I was not present at that particular
10 session, because some of the Serb councilmen did not like me being present
11 there and so that I was present only when I had to, as a member of the
12 executive board, say when I was needed there to explain the legal aspects
13 of some decisions, but what I can say is that from my recollection of the
14 general atmosphere and the general views, be it of the Serb parties or
15 Muslim parties or those parties which were ethnically mixed, that the
16 Muslim councilmen, at least the councilmen representing the SDA, were
17 explicitly against it.
18 Q. All right. That same day, if you look now, please, at P1813, was
19 a decision made in the assembly to join the community of municipalities of
20 the Bosanska Krajina? And again, was that decision signed by
21 Mr. Novakovic, as president of the assembly?
22 A. In my opinion, since I know Mr. Novakovic's signature, I'd say
23 that this document is an authentic copy but whether it was taken that same
24 day, I'm not sure, as I think that the dates on the top are different, but
25 it would be logical for this decision to follow the previous decision,
1 that is, chronologically, they should follow after that initial decision,
2 even though it is not sure whether this is the 20th or the 10th of April,
3 because there is a misprint here.
4 Q. You're absolutely right, but I think if we look back at the first
5 decision, we will see that has the number 162/91, at the end, and this one
6 is 163/91 so it looks as though it follows on. All right.
7 A. Just as I have just said.
8 Q. Yes. Thank you, sir. You can put that document away.
9 Do you know whether or not anyone from Bosanski Petrovac attended
10 the founding meeting of the -- this particular association of
11 municipalities in Banja Luka a few days before this decision?
12 A. I was not aware of that. As a matter of fact, I do not know
13 whether somebody was present. Possibly, yes. If somebody was present,
14 then it should have been Mr. Novakovic -- then it would have been
15 Mr. Novakovic, and a councilman representing Serbs from Petrovac but I'd
16 say that Mr. Novakovic in more -- in every likelihood was present, if
17 somebody was present and the logic tells me that somebody should have been
19 Q. All right. I want to deal, please, with some of the members of
20 the SDS in Bosanski Petrovac. First of all, we've dealt with
21 Mr. Novakovic. Was he the President of the assembly?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. And was he also a member of the municipal board of the SDS in
25 A. He was, yes.
1 Q. Was the President of that municipal board somebody called
2 Dragan Ivanic?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Was there also a Mr. Bogdan Latinovic, who was both a member of
5 the assembly, the republican assembly, and a member of the SDS board in
6 Bosanski Petrovac?
7 A. Mr. Latinovic was a member of the municipal board. I think he was
8 one of the so-called delegated members. He was the President of the
9 municipal board -- of the executive board, excuse me, of the municipality.
10 But basically he wasn't a particularly strong partyman. He was there as a
11 professional, rather.
12 Q. All right. We may come to some other people in a moment but
13 you've told us you were the secretary to the executive board. Who was the
14 secretary to the municipal assembly?
15 A. Mr. Zarko Sikman.
16 Q. All right. Now, theoretically, therefore, he should have been the
17 person responsible for the secretarial duties at the assembly. Did you,
18 however, from time to time, do administrative work for the assembly?
19 A. Mr. Sikman was, on the basis of the job description, he was to
20 perform all the duties that had to do with the assembly, and in the early
21 days of his tenure, he did do that. It particularly refers to the initial
22 period, that is, 1991. However, even already at that time, at
23 Mr. Novakovic's request, I took over some of the work, I started carrying
24 out additional control supervision of various documents, especially the
25 legal documents and I even started drafting those documents to be tabled
1 and presented for discussion.
2 And then my role began to grow and I was made responsible for an
3 ever-larger number of things that had to be -- of documents that had to be
4 prepared for the assembly so that by mid-1991, I took over the majority of
5 those, how shall I call them, more important issues, at least in so far as
6 legal regulations are concerned. Mr. Sikman had an additional
7 responsibility, because he had continued to -- he continued to act as a
8 secretary in the -- of the company that he used to work for before the
9 war, that is he was there, a lawyer there, even though that was informal
10 and he also was involved in some private business at home.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. So that I can really say that he, up to a point, misused his
13 office and dodged work.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, Mr. Novakovic, was he also on the
15 main board of the SDS?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How influential a politician was Mr. Novakovic? I mean what were
18 his contacts with the leadership like?
19 A. My impression was that Mr. Novakovic was a very influential man,
20 or rather he was what one usually calls a leader. Formally speaking, he
21 didn't hold a particularly high-ranking office in the area but basically,
22 in view of his natural traits, the skill with which he knew how to impose
23 his authority, to establish a direct contact with people, to make them
24 respect him, he was in point of fact a leader. He directly communicated
25 with the republican leadership, both the joint one until it all caved in,
1 and the leadership which represented the Serbs in the then B and H.
2 For instance, I was present on several occasions when he would,
3 without any formalities, but he would call -- but he would dial the
4 numbers of the then members of the Presidency, Mrs. Plavsic and likewise
5 with Mr. Radovan Karadzic, without any ado or anything, and as far as I
6 gathered, he communicated with them as his peers. There were no
7 particular formal -- he didn't use any particularly formal forms of
8 address when he spoke with them.
9 Q. All right. I want you to have a look, please, on this topic at
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour this was referred to in the statement at
12 page 4. Not the interview, the actual statement, the witness statement.
13 Q. Now, this is addressed to the assembly of the Republic of Serbia
14 and the president of the Republic of Serbia, and it calls on both to
15 "undertake all necessary measures in accordance with your constitutional
16 obligations towards the Serbian people as a whole to protect the Serbian
17 people in Croatia, on the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
18 on the state terrorism imposed by the Croatian leadership and the MUP.
19 "Furthermore we ask you to provide the necessary weapons to arm
20 people so that unprotected Serbian people, which was attacked during the
21 Easter holiday of peace and love can be defended. We think it is
22 necessary for the representatives of the Republic of Serbia to start
23 participating in the works of all the organs on the Autonomous Region of
24 Krajina and to establish to what extent the survival of the Serbian people
25 has been threatened on its own territory."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And it goes on like that. And then at the bottom again, it's a
2 signature and it's typed Mr. Novakovic. Again, can you identify the
3 signature as that of Mr. Novakovic?
4 A. Yes. I recognise Mr. Novakovic's signature.
5 Q. All right. Now, can you help us as to - there is no date on
6 this - as to what this is referring to and why it was sent?
7 A. I can tell you that. It is true that this is not a formal
8 letterhead. There is no date, there is no reference number or anything,
9 and I suppose this was the omission of a clerk who did it because he did
10 not follow the administrative procedure. Nevertheless, I think that the
11 document is authentic. That is I know how the -- how things unfolded at
12 the time when this document must have been written. There was an event
13 which prompted such a document, and that was when the special units of the
14 Croatian police tried to take over control in a part of Croatia's
15 territory which had separated and become the SAO Krajina.
16 Subsequently, this SAO Krajina proclaimed the Republic of Serb
17 Krajina and that happened on the Orthodox Easter, which I think
18 additionally upset the population and encouraged interethnic intolerance.
19 And on that occasion, there were some armed skirmishes. As far as I can
20 remember, on the -- on the Croat and on the both the Croat and the Serb
21 side had one fatality each and several casual at this time. The Serbs
22 were poorly armed even there. In our area apart from hunting weapons they
23 had nothing and then Mr. Novakovic, referring to that particular incident,
24 he practically calls upon those institutions in Serbia requesting that
25 armaments be provided for the Serbs.
1 Formally speaking, he is referring to a constitutional obligation
2 which Serbia had introduced in its constitution, whether in 1990 or 1991,
3 I believe it was done in 1990, which stipulated that it was Serbia's
4 obligation to protect the interests of Serbs living in republics outside
5 Serbia, and the last paragraph, the last passage, I think that this list
6 of municipalities was his arbitrary decision to do that, because I do not
7 think that he could have communicated with their presidents in such short
8 a time. Besides, in Bihac, there was a Muslim majority and its president,
9 its mayor, the municipal mayor, was a Muslim and I now recall his name.
10 His name was Nenad Ibrahimpasic and I knew him personally.
11 So that he couldn't have communicated with the municipal mayor,
12 with the municipal president n Bihac and enlist his support for this
13 activity. He could have done it with a Serb representative but that
14 couldn't have been the municipal mayor. And then Sipovo, which is deep in
15 the territory of B and H, in relation to Croatia, once again, I do not
16 believe that he managed to communicate with them. Or that at that time
17 they had any particular interest in the matter because Croatia was and is
18 quite far away from them.
19 Q. All right. Two matters then. Does this relate to something that
20 happened in 1991?
21 A. Yes. I said that the immediate reason was the attempt by special
22 police units of Republic of Croatia to put under their control the
23 territory of the SAO Krajina, that is territories bordering on B and H.
24 Q. All right. And what we are talking about there, I think you've
25 made that absolutely clear, is effectively the Croatian Krajina, what
1 became the RSK?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. All right. And the last question on this: Do you know whether
4 Mr. Novakovic had personal contact with Mr. Milosevic?
5 A. I think that for a period of time, perhaps before he was killed,
6 perhaps it was in 1992, I know that he once tried to, thought to speak to
7 Mr. Milosevic, or more to the point, that they went to look for flour, but
8 whether Milosevic received him then or not, I am not sure but I know that
9 he sought an audience with him and that a man was engaged there, he was
10 the director of the commodity reserves in Serbia and it was through him
11 that he sought an audience with Milosevic.
12 Q. All right. Don't worry, that's all I need. Thank you very much.
13 You can hand that document back to the usher now. I want to move, then,
14 please, to the autumn really of 1991. Did the war in Croatia increase the
15 interethnic tensions in Bosanski Petrovac?
16 A. Yes. Up to a point. Not much but a little, yes.
17 Q. As a result of mobilisation, did armed men, armed members of the
18 forces, start to arrive in Petrovac?
19 A. Yes. After there was a change in the military organisation, I
20 think the Knin Corps was formed, perhaps it existed from before, I don't
21 know. Then a part of the Petrovac military conscripts in accordance with
22 the plan which existed in the former Yugoslavia, was mobilised as part of
23 the reserves into units which were in operative use in Croatia, on their
24 arrival for a holiday these people brought back weapons with them very
25 often, sometimes they brought up -- brought back weapons which were
1 permitted, but they also brought back trophies from the front and this
2 caused certain tensions.
3 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you two documents from October of
4 1991, please. First of all, one that's already been produced as P22 and
5 then there is a new document, Your Honour, which is on the list, which has
6 the disclosure number 2.572. Both of which documents, Judge, you've seen
7 before. Now, the first document, P22, is a telex headed from -- it says
8 "please deliver the telex to the president of the municipal assembly,"
9 and it's an order of the SDS party in Sarajevo which was made public at
10 the meeting of all the municipal presidents on the 26th of October, 1991
11 in Banja Luka chaired by Mr. Karadzic and fully accepted at the session of
12 the Presidency of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. And first of all,
13 sir, you were shown this when you were interviewed but have you
14 seen -- had you seen this before the interview?
15 A. I don't think that I did, but I said in the interview that the
16 form of the document, the way it looks, the way it's been executed and the
17 incoming stamp, all of these things indicate that this is an authentic
19 Q. And it's headed to all the municipalities or the - sorry -
20 municipal assemblies. How would it have come to you, to you in Petrovac,
21 I mean, not you personally? By telex?
22 A. The way the document looks, there is no doubt that it arrived by
23 telex through the communications centre and the communications centre is
24 an institution which was in each municipality before the war. It was used
25 for special communications, and particularly in the event of war. So that
1 it arrived through the communications centre by telex.
2 Q. All right. Now, the document before that, if you can just look at
3 that, is again it looks like some kind of -- I don't know, telex, maybe?
4 And it's dated the 18th of October. That's handwritten. And it says, "I
5 pronounce by the authority granted by the statute, the state of emergency
6 in the SDS, binding for all SDS organs, members and personnel in the party
8 "You will be receiving instructions --" I'm sorry. I thought you
9 had been handed it at the same time. But can you keep -- don't give the
10 other document back for the moment.
11 "You will be receiving instructions about the measures daily," and
12 so on and so forth.
13 Had you seen this before you were shown it in the interview?
14 A. I didn't see this even during the interview with you. This is the
15 first time that I see this document, the document bears a stamp by
16 the -- of the Zavidovici municipality which is in central Bosnia, but I
17 recall that a similar decision about the so-called suspension of political
18 functions of the Serbian Democratic Party was adopted, I don't know in
19 which period, probably when the war broke out or immediately prior to
21 Q. All right.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What number are we going to give this?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we are on 2450.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
25 MS. KORNER:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. This says that I pronounce by the authority granted by the
2 statute, the state of emergency in the SDS binding for all SDS organs.
3 Were the decisions made by Mr. Karadzic and members of the main board
4 binding, as is stated here, on the municipal boards?
5 A. I have to say that this formulation, by the authority granted by
6 the statute, does not mean anything, and means a lot. It means that in my
7 opinion, at that point, there is no specific decree for the suspension or
8 for the war operations, but in view of the authority of the President of
9 the party, Dr. Karadzic, and in view of the circumstances which in some
10 municipalities were extraordinary, I believe that these instructions were
11 being implemented, the instructions that were coming, but for the most
12 part, these instructions were implemented.
13 Q. There is a slight difference. If the main -- leaving aside this
14 particular document, if the main board issued instructions to the
15 municipal board, were they obliged -- was the municipal board obliged to
16 carry out unless for some reason it was impossible, an instruction could
17 not be carried out? As a general principle, I'm asking you.
18 A. The general principle was to carry out those decisions, and this
19 was done, except in special cases which perhaps we'll discuss later, in
20 cases where it was impossible to carry them out, when, from a technical
21 point of view, or a legal point of view, it was not possible to carry them
22 out or it was not sensible to do it, but generally they were respected.
23 Q. All right. Now, could you have back for a moment the instructions
24 of the 29th of October, which was signed by Mr. Brdjanin as the
25 vice-president of the assembly of the autonomous region? Can you tell us
1 which of these instructions were implemented in Petrovac? For example,
2 the "instruction number 1, a command of the town and round-the-clock
4 A. The majority of these instructions were never carried out in
5 Petrovac. Some of these orders are illegal, and unconstitutional. For
6 example, order number 1 was never carried out, and the military command
7 even much later, much later, requested for a command of the town to be set
8 up. I personally told President Novakovic at the time if this were to
9 happen that I would be the first to find a way to escape from Petrovac,
10 and that we would all be in danger if a military command were to be
11 formed, if there were to be a town command to be formed. A command of the
12 town is a military occupational institution. It's not a representative of
13 any kind of civilian authority.
14 So that item number 1 was never carried out in Petrovac except for
15 round-the-clock watch. This was not by the SDS. This was something that
16 was done by the entire staff. I occasionally was on duty myself, if a
17 meeting had to be held immediately, you will see based on documents that
18 some meetings were held at night. It was not also in our authority to
19 carry out full mobility.
20 Q. All right. Can we -- I think if we cut this short because you
21 dealt with this in the interview, in fact, was -- about the only one that
22 was partially implemented was item number 7?
23 A. Yes. That item was implemented then and also much later. This
24 was something that was carried out continuously.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. This referred to food supplies, clothing, medical supplies,
2 medical service. This is something that was planned before in our
3 municipality and was done even before the war, and during the war.
4 Q. All right. So if we take this in the round, as I say, to try and
5 cut this short, is it your position that almost nothing that was put into
6 this order was carried out by Petrovac at this time, in October of 1991?
7 A. For the most part, none of this was implemented. There was no
8 need in the municipality of Petrovac for any of these actions.
9 Q. And why was that?
10 A. At the time when this decision was adopted and when this
11 instruction arrived, we were not in a position to have a serious number of
12 deserters. Were anybody to leave the Knin Corps at the time, they would
13 have to come back quickly. If they brought illegal equipment and weapons
14 back and they concealed it and the police didn't have any indications of
15 it being anywhere, making lists of surplus goods, even during the war, we
16 traded on economic principles and continued production in our companies
17 throughout the war, so we didn't give anything to anyone nor did we ask
18 for anything from anybody. We did trade, of course. Paramilitary
19 formations that are mentioned here, we didn't have any of those. The
20 first such formations -- the first formations that appeared, appeared
21 during mobilisations so this could refer to some of our neighbouring
22 municipalities, some of these items.
23 Q. Again, in order not to spend too much time on this, to summarise,
24 these things that were being dealt with here were not causes for concern
25 in your municipality at this stage, is that a fair summary?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right?
3 A. It would be a fair summary.
4 Q. Thank you. You can put that back or give it back to the usher.
5 Now, I want to ask you about Mr. Brdjanin who signed that telex. Can you
6 remember now when was the first time that you heard about Mr. Brdjanin?
7 A. I actually didn't really hear of him. The first time I saw
8 Mr. Brdjanin was actually when I heard of him for the first time. On one
9 occasion, on the instruction of the then-president, Mr. Novakovic, had
10 something to do with the organisation of the court or the prosecutor's
11 office in Petrovac and this is why I had to go to Banja Luka.
12 Q. Okay. I'll pause there because as we'll see that was clearly in
13 1992 because there is a record of your meeting. Before you went to Banja
14 Luka in 1992, had you heard of Mr. Brdjanin?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. We are going to look at a number of documents starting
17 in around May of 1992, where there was communication between the
18 autonomous region assembly and then Crisis Staff and your Crisis Staff.
19 Were you aware that Mr. Brdjanin was the President of the Crisis Staff in
20 Banja Luka, the regional Crisis Staff?
21 A. Yes. I was, but I don't remember when I found out about it. As
22 political representatives of the Banja Luka region, I know a doctor who
23 was the president of the SDS, and I know of another man, his name was
24 Dr. Vukic. I met him personally. Then I also knew another president who
25 was either before or after Vukic. He was the director of a rubber
1 manufacturing plant. There was also Mr. Kupresanin. He was a more
2 prominent figure from that region. Mr. Brdjanin, I actually found out
3 about him in relation to this activity of president or the vice-president
4 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. I don't remember the first time I
5 heard his name.
6 Q. All right. In that case, we'll deal with this when we look at the
7 documentation about that. Now, can we talk for a moment, please, about
8 the radio and the sort of programmes that went out on the radio and
9 television? Did -- was there a transmitter in Ostrelj?
10 A. Yes. There was a transmitter at Ostrelj.
11 Q. And had that been destroyed by Serbs in 1991? Or was that
12 destroyed by Serbs in 1991?
13 A. It was never officially established who destroyed it, but from
14 talks in cafes, I know and I think that that is probably true, that a
15 group of people in the late evening hours or early morning hours went
16 there and destroyed the transmitter. They were drunk. They either
17 destroyed -- smashed it up or burned it. And the result was that we lost
18 our TV signal. After that, we had a kind of backup option, but mostly all
19 signals were weak in our area. It was not possible to hear or see very
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge, I appreciate that you are making every effort
22 to go into detail in answering the questions that are put to you.
23 However, if you can keep yourself or restrict yourself to a shorter
24 answer, I think we will get over faster. The reason is that most of the
25 events that you are telling us about, we've heard from other witnesses.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 So keep that in mind.
2 MS. KORNER: All right.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour, yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MS. KORNER: I don't know whether Judge Taya would like to ask a
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 JUDGE TAYA: If the group who destroyed the transmitter is Serb or
11 not, he has not yet answered.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I heard, it was a
13 Serb group.
14 MS. KORNER: All right.
15 Q. And just, the simple point is, does that mean that after that,
16 Petrovac could not receive the programmes from Sarajevo?
17 A. For a brief period, yes.
18 Q. How long -- when you say a brief period, for how long?
19 A. I don't know exactly, a month or two months or three months,
20 possibly. I'm not sure. I know that an auxiliary transmitter was set up
21 later. It was called Macja Greda or Ilijina Greda, I think. And this
22 enabled us to receive the signals, but the signals were much weaker.
23 Q. All right. At this stage, at the end of 1991, was Radio Petrovac
24 still made up of different nationalities of reporters and management
1 A. Radio Petrovac was a small station and it had perhaps one or two
2 employees. I think that they were Serbs. I'm not sure. Later, more
3 people were employed, after the war started, and all of those people were
5 Q. I'd like you to have a look, please, at something from the radio
6 station, P1817. Now, this is a document I think you had a chance to look
7 at yesterday, or the day before. It's a news report apparently about the
8 arrangements for the plebiscite that was to be held of the Serbian people
9 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If we look at the second paragraph, it says
10 the opposition parties cannot and will not prevent their members from
11 taking part in the plebiscite because as they said it's not right to
12 forbid anyone from expressing their personal freedom. They are concerned
13 by the existence of ballot papers in different colours which leads in
14 advance to division. Was it the situation, sir, that the -- there were
15 different coloured ballot papers for the Serbs and for those who were
17 A. I don't believe that that could be the case. It's possible that
18 the ballots were of different colours, and it's possible that there were
19 different colours for yes and for no, but simply because of my work, I
20 didn't have time to go to the plebiscite, even though I intended to do so,
21 so I don't know what this is all about. I don't know if they are talking
22 about the political colours, I don't know. But the way the news item is
23 published, I think it's an authentic piece of news because the positions
24 of the parties according to my recollection were faithfully and correctly
1 Q. All right. Just finally on this, the last part, "The most
2 important thing in this is that after reconciling positions concerning the
3 plebiscite following the joint meeting, people went for a coffee together
4 in the way that we in Bosanski Petrovac have become accustomed to doing."
5 That seems to suggest that there was -- that even though there was
6 political difference, the parties were able to socialise together, the
7 SDA, the HDZ and the SDS or the SDS and the SDA. Would you agree with
9 A. Yes. I agree, because interpersonal relations between the
10 deputies, regardless of party affiliations were similar to what they were
11 before. They would argue in the assembly, but during the breaks they
12 would be together.
13 Q. All right. Thank you, you can put that away. Now can we deal,
14 please, with the political developments between October and December,
16 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, maybe that -- I think it's
17 probably -- I'm going to deal with a collection of documents.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Judge, we will have a 25-minute break now.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. Could you have, please, P1814?
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm on page 19 of the interview.
1 Q. Judge, this is a document dated the 24th of October, 1991. So
2 effectively it's between the instructions from Karadzic and the telex that
3 we looked at, which states that "after a debate at the session of the
4 municipal board of the SDS, the following conclusion was adopted by a
5 majority, namely to form a Crisis Staff of the assembly of the Bosanski
6 Petrovac municipality." This hasn't got a signature. Would that suggest,
7 sir, that this is a file copy?
8 A. There is no signature, and I think not, because it is a filed copy
9 because according to our administrative rules, it should have been signed
10 too. That copy should have been signed too but I think that this was done
11 by the then-SDS secretary, who had a law education but he wasn't very
12 tidy, and presumably that is why the signature is lacking. I now recall
13 that at that time, that is late 1991, Stevo Radosevic was the President of
14 the SDS rather than Ivanic. Radosevic left that office I think because he
15 was a private businessman, and this particular duty interfered with his
16 business. But I still think that this is an authentic document.
17 Q. All right. Can I just ask you this, and perhaps you can answer
18 yes or no? Were you present at this session of the municipal board?
19 A. I don't remember, but as a rule, I attended those sessions, so I
20 believe I was.
21 Q. All right. It says that there is to be a Crisis Staff set up of
22 the assembly but it's a decision being made by the SDS municipal board.
23 If there was to be a Crisis Staff set up, should that not have been the
24 decision of all the assembly, including the SDA members and any other
1 A. Your conclusion regarding the composition is correct in principle,
2 but this staff must have been formed following the SDS instructions that
3 we saw in those -- in that earlier document.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. All right, can we just move, then -- you can
5 hand that document back. Could we look at two other documents, please,
6 for -- around the same period, P1815 --
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I should add that this was a document
8 that an objection was taken to by Mr. Ackerman.
9 Q. I don't want to trouble too much with the contents. Effectively
10 it's dealing with the mobilisation, I think, and the formation of the 19th
11 Partisan Brigade and says that Bosanski Petrovac will mobilise one
12 battalion. Do you recognise the signature?
13 A. I do. It is the signature of Jovica Sepa. At the time, he was
14 the head of general administrative affairs.
15 Q. All right. And the stamp on the top, what does that suggest to
17 A. The stamp is, in point of fact, a reference mark but it is
18 incomplete, and I suppose once again it is the omission of a clerk
19 responsible because we do not see the reference number here either.
20 Q. All right. Okay. Thank you. And now could you look at the next
21 document, P1816? I'm sorry, forgive me, I ought to give that back to you
22 a moment. It's dated the 5th of November, P1815. When we looked at the
23 telex, we saw that there were some instructions about mobilisation. That
24 was dated the 29th of October and this document is dated the 5th of
25 November. Were the two of these -- was this order connected to the
1 instructions in the telex?
2 A. Yes. I would say so, bearing in mind the chronology, the
3 chronological order.
4 Q. Because it talks about establishing full mobility of the
5 Territorial Defence and forming units. Thank you.
6 Yes, I'm sorry, now could you have P1816, please?
7 Which is dated the 2nd of November, so it's three days before
8 this. And it's a news item about what is described as a public forum
9 being held. And there we see in the second paragraph, "The secretary of
10 the secretariat for general administration, Mr. Sepa, stated that four
11 mobilisations had already been carried out in the area of Petrovac." We
12 see that various members of the JNA were there. Milutin Vukelic and
13 Colonel Selak. And somebody has crossed that out and written Osman Selak.
14 Who was Milan Skundric?
15 A. Milan Skundric is a colonel, commander of the logistics base of
16 the 5th Army District which before the war covered the republics of
17 Slovenia and Croatia, and later on, when the base -- after the base had
18 moved its materiel and after it pulled out from Croatia and Slovenia then
19 they set up their logistics base in the area of Petrovac, and subsequently
20 it moved to Banja Luka. And he was always the commander of that -- of
21 that base. It's a logistics base responsible for the supply of
22 ammunition, foodstuffs, medical supplies.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. On the same topic of mobilisation, could
24 you look at, please, Exhibit P1818, which is from the Territorial Defence
25 staff of Petrovac and is a request for the issuing of effectively missing
1 equipment? It states, in the second or third paragraph, that "since the
2 JNA units from Croatia have been transferred into the area of our zone of
3 operations," I think that's what that means, "we believe we are obliged to
4 ensure mutual cooperation." Then it talks about the reorganisation of the
5 Bosanski Petrovac Territorial Defence has increased the strength from 540
6 conscripts to 1700 and so and they are missing a number of items of
7 weaponry, as we can see.
8 So by December of 1991, there had been a huge increase, had there,
9 in the number of men being mobilised?
10 A. That's right. Except that they were not mobilised then. They
11 were -- the files, the records were simply expanded and they were
12 mobilised later, but once again it was the JNA which was on top of it.
13 There was a complete battalion, infantry was mobilised, and that is 121
14 soldier and officer, I remember the figure exactly. And here they are
15 asking to do this in order to expand the records, that is, the TO
16 commander is trying to get the weapons from the then command on the
17 strength of this and that was still the JNA command which had moved to the
18 BH territory from Croatia.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, I want to ask you, please, a little
20 bit at this stage about the acquiring of weapons by the Serb population.
21 By this stage in 1991, was any pressure being brought upon
22 President Novakovic to arm the persons of Serbian nationality?
23 A. Yes. The pressure was exercised on different occasions.
24 Q. How did you find out about it? Did he tell you about it or were
25 you present when some of these -- this pressure was brought to bear?
1 A. As a rule, I was present when such groups of people came. As a
2 rule he did not speak to me about that except perhaps because of those
3 visits he would do it later on, because his view was that people should
4 know only what their immediate business was, but I saw these groups come.
5 They were, to all intents and purposes, informal delegations from what was
6 called neighbourhood communities, so these would be local organisational
7 units from different areas, several villages would make for one
8 neighbourhood community, and one would have the representatives of
9 citizens, they would put together delegations, four, five men strong. And
10 they invariably came with slightly panicky requests that they be provided
11 with weapons, that they were under threat, that they were in great peril,
12 and the president resisted those pressures thinking that they were
13 exaggerating things, and that they were basically trying to come by
14 weapons, which could then lead to trouble because they were neither army
15 units nor was there any way to keep those citizens under any kind of
17 And that was in 1992, I think it was January, after the
18 mobilisation, such pressures ceased completely. I mean he simply refused
19 to see any more such delegations, because by that time, some people had
20 refused to take up even those army weapons, that is they refused to
21 subject themselves to the military command, so that these requests
22 remained merely on paper.
23 Q. Well, in 1992, after the mobilisation, did Serbs respond to the
25 A. Yes, by and large, but there was also a certain number of Muslims
1 who responded too.
2 Q. All right. And those who responded to mobilisation, would they be
3 given weapons automatically?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. They got them.
7 Q. Before that, though, when these people were coming to see
8 Mr. Novakovic, these communities, did they say anything to Mr. Novakovic
9 about what was happening in other municipalities?
10 A. Yes. They said how other municipalities had allegedly already
11 procured weapons, that they had allegedly already formed some detachment
12 and that was it. We are lagging behind. And he kept saying that we were
13 not in danger -- in any danger because we are too far from the theatres of
14 operations and I know that he checked it with other municipalities. I
15 know that he called their leaders and once he told me personally as I was
16 trying to draft a document, that he had found out that they were lying.
17 So it was thought that they were trying to somehow lay their hands on
18 weapons and then use them at their own discretion.
19 Q. And I think again just to complete this, is it right that you
20 discovered, or it was discovered, that weapons had been smuggled in
21 particular from a place called Kragujevac?
22 A. Kragujevac.
23 Q. All right. Now --
24 A. I'm sorry.
25 Q. Yes. Did you discover that weapons had been smuggled from there?
1 A. It wasn't I who discovered it. I learned it through informal
2 conversations with people, that hunting carbines were being offered and
3 they allegedly had been brought from Kragujevac, that they were new
4 carbines, Remington carbines, and in a pub, in a tavern or somewhere, one
5 of men said, "well, if you want to, we can get it for you and it's 1.000
6 German marks." I said I didn't want it, that my husband had a hunting
7 weapon at home.
8 THE INTERPRETER: "That my father," excuse me, "had a hunting
9 weapon at home."
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Just answer the question so that we move along
11 because we are expecting a long cross-examination so we need to move along
12 as speedily as we can. Thank you.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Right. Can we have a look -- could you please be shown, please,
15 this is the last part of December, 1991, Exhibit P1819? And at the same
16 time, could you also be given, please, P25? Now, if you look first of all
17 at P1819, this is a meeting of the SDS party secretariat on the 26th of
18 December, 1991, and it's the minutes, apparently this was the first
19 meeting. You apparently were present. And if you look at item 2, the
20 instruction on the organisation and activity of organs of the Serbian
21 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in emergency circumstances needs to be
22 typed in seven copies and every member of the Secretariat is to be given a
23 copy. This was to be organised and carried out by Nenad Dragicic [phoen].
24 Who was he?
25 A. He was the party secretary at the time.
1 Q. All right. And if we look at -- if you look just briefly at P25,
2 that's the document headed, "Instructions for the organisation and
3 activity," et cetera. Do you remember these instructions being discussed
4 at this meeting on the 26th of December?
5 A. According to the contents of the minutes, I believe so, but it was
6 a long time ago.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. But yes, that is -- how it should have been in the regular course
9 of events.
10 Q. Now, it said that there was to be seven copies for every member of
11 the secretariat. Do you remember being given a copy?
12 A. I don't remember that, but quite possibly, I suppose I was. And
13 if I was present at the meeting, I would simply put such documents in a
14 drawer or something. I didn't study them particularly. I mean, in view
15 of the job and my responsibilities, that was really a secondary activity.
16 Q. All right. Can you look at just the last page? There is a stamp
17 on it and a signature. Do you recognise the signature? I'm sorry, not
18 of -- I'm sorry of Exhibit P1819, I'm so sorry, not the actual
20 A. The stamp is of the Serb Democratic Party. Is that what you mean?
21 Q. Yes. And the signature?
22 A. I believe it to be authentic.
23 Q. The instructions in there, we went through them in the interview,
24 but did you -- you came under, I think, the Variant A type of municipality
25 because you were a municipality where the Serbs were in the majority. Did
1 you follow those instructions? For example, around-the-clock staffing?
2 A. Yes, regular standing duty for a while. Later on, it was not
3 necessary and so it stopped.
4 Q. All right. Then, "daily meetings of the secretariat so that the
5 situation on the ground can be constantly monitored and evaluated." Were
6 there daily meetings, that you recall?
7 A. No, no. It wasn't possible technically so that was one reason,
8 and there was no need for that. They met when necessary.
9 Q. Then the SDS municipal board shall immediately form a Crisis
10 Staff. You had in fact rather pre-empted that, hadn't you, because you
11 did that in October, or at least you laid the groundwork?
12 A. Yes. We did positively because some instructions were conveyed
13 verbally and now I cannot remember, but there is no doubt that some
14 instructions were verbal and that formal documents would be drawn up
16 Q. All right. Thank you, that's all.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we have done this document to death by
18 now as I know Your Honours will recall earlier on in this case.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, can we move, please, into 1992? And
20 let us now deal with a document that you actually were responsible for.
21 Could you be shown, please, the copy of your notebook or diary?
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think a page was provisionally
23 exhibited by Ms. Sutherland. Do you remember there was some discussion
24 about this and I don't know whether she informs me it was given some sort
25 of provisional number. I think it came up during the course of
1 Mr. Treanor's evidence.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What you're suggesting, Ms. Korner, I have a
3 recollection of, but I would rather not --
4 MS. KORNER: Ms. Gustin is going to check.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I would rather not confirm.
6 MS. KORNER: I think it will help because it was given a
7 provisional number so if we stick to the same number then it's easily --
8 although it's out of sequence.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I certainly do recollect Ms. Sutherland making use
10 of one page of someone's notes.
11 MS. KORNER: That's right.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But I wouldn't say it was this witness's --
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it was, and we will come to the page she
14 asked Mr. Treanor about. It was given a provisional number of P2369. And
15 it seems to me that the whole -- if the whole diary becomes that one
16 exhibit number, then it's easy to connect the two up.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
18 MS. KORNER: It was put in on the 3rd of July, as I say with
19 Mr. Treanor.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: 2369?
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: P2369.
23 MS. KORNER: 3rd of July.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Unfortunately, I don't have the transcript of the
25 3rd of July on --
1 MS. KORNER: Well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We were sitting in another courtroom.
3 MS. KORNER: That's right. But I think Ms. Gustin confirms that.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I do not put it in doubt, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: The page, I think, that was referred to was the one
6 for the 14th of February.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, correct.
8 MS. KORNER: Yeah. And I'm going to go back to that one now.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 MS. KORNER: I recall, I think Your Honour said that it would be
11 admitted once it was proved.
12 Q. Judge, is that a copy of a diary or notebook that you kept during
13 the period 1992?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. What happened to that notebook when you left Petrovac in 1995?
16 A. It stayed in my desk.
17 Q. In your desk, what, in the municipal building?
18 A. That's right, yes.
19 Q. Thank you. I think you've had an opportunity to go through this
20 before. Do you confirm that that is in your writing and it is a photocopy
21 of your document?
22 A. Yes. I confirm its authenticity.
23 Q. Thank you. I want you to turn, please, in that notebook to the
24 14th of February.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that is on page 26 of our translation.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. On that date, did you record the -- first of all there was an
4 executive board meeting it looks like and then an SDS Serb Democratic
5 Party assembly in Sarajevo at 1745 that day? And is it clear that you
6 attended that?
7 A. I attended one assembly session in Sarajevo, instead of
8 President Novakovic. He sent me but I think this was during the
9 declaration of the Serbian assembly or the Serbian Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's possible that -- it's possible that these are
11 the conclusions which were brought over from that assembly session.
12 Q. Do you remember -- but do you remember -- I think you told us this
13 before -- that you attended a session -- some meeting in the Holiday Inn
14 in Sarajevo? While Mr. Novakovic was in Belgrade?
15 A. Yes. I think it was the Holiday Inn or the B and H assembly. I'm
16 not sure. I know I passed through checks at the entrance and then
17 speeches were given, Dr. Karadzic was present. I don't know whether that
18 was on this same day or not.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. But I was there on one occasion.
21 Q. Well, what you're recording here, it's been translated as entry
22 speech, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, and it's the first part that I'm interested
23 in, it says -- I'm sorry, could you just read because the translator had
24 difficulty in reading your writing here. Could you just read what you say
25 after that first sentence after Dr. Radovan Karadzic? Could you just read
1 it aloud?
2 A. I will read it out aloud and I can also interpret it. "Activate
3 the second degree, activate organs of authority so that they practically
4 carry out their duties."
5 Q. Okay. And do you know what that was referring to?
6 A. With -- by "activating the second degree," what they mean is
7 according to what I recollect from the instructions on the division of the
8 municipalities into the A and B categories, I think the second degree or
9 level is a higher level of alert and readiness, and "to activate the
10 organs of authority to practically carry out their duties," this probably
11 refers to the group of the B type where the Serbs did not have a majority
12 so these organs of theirs, which had separated, needed to actually
13 function and perform as an administration or an administrative service for
14 the citizens because up until that point they were just formally
16 Q. All right. Thank you. Then apparently he talked about the
17 referendum, said the Serbs must not take part in it, because they've
18 already given their declaration on this matter. Was that a reference, I
19 think it's fairly obvious, to the up-and-coming referendum on independence
20 for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. And then the final part, under -- the one before the
23 bottom of that page, strategic goal to uphold Serbia and Montenegro and
24 necessary support for our -- could you just -- I'm sorry, could you read
25 that sentence as well because again there was difficulty, where it starts,
1 strategic goal?
2 A. "Strategic goals, to preserve Serbia and Montenegro, a necessary
3 mainstay or support for our goals."
4 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. And then the next part, definition
5 of the Serb people, or Bosnia-Herzegovina nationals.
6 All right. Can I now deal, please, with what happened later on in
8 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, I just lost my place for a
10 Q. Yes, please, P1822. This is a document apparently signed by
11 Mr. Kerkez, the chief of police in Bosanski Petrovac, and it's a request
12 to the army for weaponry and uniforms and the like. So it looks as though
13 it goes along with the earlier document that we saw from the TO. Again,
14 do you recognise -- did you know Mr. Kerkez?
15 A. I knew Mr. Kerkez. He has died.
16 Q. All right. Are you able to identify his signature?
17 A. I saw him infrequently but I think that the signature is
18 authentic, in view of the way the document is written and in view of the
20 Q. All right. Now, were you aware that the Petrovac police were
21 seeking further uniforms and weaponry?
22 A. Yes. It did.
23 Q. All right. Okay. Ah, yes.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I'm reminded by Ms. Gustin
25 this was one of the other documents that Mr. Ackerman objected to and you
1 reserved judgement until we identified it. So -- in fact, I think
2 identified its source. Just let me check that. I think we did identify a
3 source eventually but I thought -- this is P1822. Yes. Your Honour, this
4 was one we did identify. It took a long time but I think you reserved
5 judgement on it just so you're aware of it. Thank you. All right.
6 Q. Now, can we move, please, to 1824? The 11th of March. Now, in
7 summary, this is a member of the Crisis Staff, the Serbian People's Crisis
8 Staff, held on the 11th of March. You were present and the discussion
9 resolved around who was going to be the commander of the public security
10 station, and it appears that a Muslim, Fuad Ferizovic, had been appointed
11 commander and there was some problem about this. Do you remember this
12 discussion about who was going to be at the police station?
13 A. I remember.
14 Q. Can you -- very briefly in summary what was the problem?
15 A. According to the interparty agreement at the level of the
16 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the parties in power had agreed
17 amongst other things in those municipalities where one ethnic group was in
18 a majority, to have the chief of police come from the ranks of that ethnic
19 group, which was the most numerous, and the rest of the staff would be
20 determined according to the ethnic key. In this case, the security centre
21 in Bihac decided that a Muslim should be the chief in Petrovac, who was
22 not actually accepted by that community. He was a Muslim. And he didn't
23 have any experience in police work before that. So that is when this
24 dissatisfaction began to appear.
25 Q. So even though, theoretically, about a year before, a decision had
1 been taken to join the Banja Luka region, by the assembly, the Bihac
2 region was still attempting to exercise authority in Petrovac; is that
4 A. It's correct, and we continued to work with them still.
5 Q. All right. Can you have a look, please, now, at the P1825? This
6 is a document that you saw, I think, yesterday. Again, can you identify,
7 it's a very bad copy, but does that look like Mr. Novakovic's signature?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. All right. Now, I want to deal at this stage --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour this is at page 3 of the statement.
11 Q. -- with this question of instructions and requests. Under the
12 conclusions on the first of April, 1992, we see that Bosanski Petrovac
13 citizens are requested to refrain from disorderly conduct. Under item
14 number 7, first of all item number 6, the Territorial Defence staff is
15 instructed to issue an order to the territorial units to assume control of
16 the territory and under item 7, the public security station in Bosanski
17 Petrovac is instructed to ensure total control of passage and entry into
18 the Bosanski Petrovac of all persons. Now, was there a difference between
19 a request, as phrased, and an instruction?
20 A. Yes. There is a difference. If you use the term "are instructed,
21 are ordered" it means that it's an order. But if you use some other term,
22 such as "are called upon to" then it's more of a recommendation and a
23 request that does not essentially have to be carried out. But when it is
24 said here, "are instructed to," then it means that it's an order, even
25 though the expression "are instructed to" is used as a rule when the organ
1 that issued it does not have any legal grounds to issue an order and is
2 actually trying to appropriate more power than it enjoys under the law.
3 Q. All right. Can we deal with that? The order to the
4 public -- there are a number of orders -- I'm sorry, instructions, or
5 orders, to the public security station. I don't know whether you were
6 actually familiar with either the Bosnia-Herzegovina law of the interior
7 or the subsequent Republika Srpska, but in your view, what powers did the
8 municipal assembly and the Crisis Staff have to order the police?
9 A. In the formal sense, they did not have the authority or the
10 powers. They could have expressed their dissatisfaction or they could
11 give recommendations. As a rule, requests should have been carried out
12 through a higher organ, the regional organ, first Bihac and then Banja
14 Q. All right. But here, as we can see, in number 7, it's saying it
15 instructs, in number 9 --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact -- if I may interrupt you, I would suggest
17 you invite him to answer your question because he's only given a partial
18 answer to it. I mean, he's told us what legally it should have been but
19 was it so in practice? And since you were asked a question relating to
20 both the municipal assembly and the Crisis Staff, may I ask you to keep
21 them apart and tell us whether you perceived any difference between the
22 Crisis Staff and the municipal assembly when it came to instructing or
23 requesting the police or the military?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tried to explain
25 that already, and I will try to complete my explanation as briefly as
1 possible. These orders are a consequence, according to my understanding,
2 of the existence of a law which was changed, perhaps a year before that, a
3 law relating to internal affairs. According to a prior law, the
4 municipality had direct powers over the local police. And all those
5 people, the people in the municipality and in the police, by inertia,
6 preserved their relations for the most part.
7 As far as the assembly and the Crisis Staff are concerned, the
8 Crisis Staffs were established as ad hoc bodies. The difference between
9 the Crisis Staff and a municipal assembly is in the following: A Crisis
10 Staff by its functions unified the legislative and the executive
11 functions. It had the powers of the executive -- of the assembly and the
12 executive board. That is why, directly by their functions, certain people
13 had to be members of the Crisis Staff. A part of them or some of them
14 were delegated from amongst experts and technically essential personnel.
15 A further difference is in the following: Decisions adopted by
16 the Crisis Staff had to be submitted for verification to the assembly
17 later. Regardless of their ad hoc powers, they were a consequence of the
18 current situation. The decisions of the Crisis Staff could be confirmed
19 by the assembly, they could be changed or they could be cancelled. These
20 are the differences, and if necessary, I can explain even further.
21 In relation to the police, in a certain period, which was a
22 transitional period, when the functions were being transferred from one
23 regional centre to another regional centre, specifically from Bihac to
24 Banja Luka, our police actually remained without any kind of real control
25 from a regional centre, and it was effectively without a functional
1 administration. The administration was never at a satisfactory level and
2 it wasn't that particularly at that time. So in the functional sense, the
3 assembly had augmented or higher powers over the police, and the police in
4 essence, except for some key and dubious decisions, actually carried out
5 instructions such as these.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. So if we can just summarise that, whatever the legal position may
9 or may not have been, the reality was that the police did carry out some
10 of the instructions of the assembly and the Crisis Staffs?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Can you just have a look, please, at Exhibit P202 on this topic,
13 although this is jumping forward a little bit in time. This is a dispatch
14 that was sent from the CSB in Banja Luka to all of the SJBs and its
15 conclusions at -- of a meeting that was held on the 6th of May, which was
16 attended by, it looks like, the chief of the Bosanski Petrovac SJB,
17 amongst all the other municipalities.
18 Can you look, please, at item number 14, first of all? Actually
19 before you do that, until were you shown that document yesterday, had you
20 ever seen it before? I should ask you that.
21 A. The first time I saw it was when the investigator showed it to me,
22 yesterday or the day before, I'm not sure.
23 Q. Item number 14, the chief of the CSB will arrange with the
24 government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina to make a decision
25 entitling Banja Luka Security Services Centre to acquire all confiscated
1 ownerless property, et cetera. As far as Petrovac was concerned, did the
2 police confiscate what's described as ownerless property and use it to
3 equip themselves? In particular, in respect of motor vehicles?
4 A. The police could not do this, as far as vehicles are concerned, no
5 confiscation was done but a mobilisation was carried out, so that vehicles
6 which were mobilised in accordance with regular procedure were given to
7 the police for their use. Besides that, I know of one case where one
8 vehicle later than this period, was determined to have been stolen, and I
9 think that the owner was from Bosansko Gravoho so this stolen vehicle was
11 Q. Then if you go, now, please to 23: "In all our activities, we are
12 obliged to observe all measures and apply all procedures ordered by the
13 Crisis Staff of the autonomous region."
14 Is that something that surprises you as a decision taken?
15 A. I apologise. I cannot see item 23. In my copy I only go up to
16 item 17.
17 Q. It may be on the other page. I think it's on the next page?
18 A. Ah, there is something on the other side.
19 Q. Yeah. It should be on a separate page. Item 23, I think you saw
20 that yesterday.
21 A. That's correct. That's correct.
22 Q. Would you expect the CSB, and other police stations, to observe
23 all measures and apply all procedures ordered by the Crisis Staff of the
24 autonomous region?
25 A. Yes, yes. This is a significantly different relationship than the
1 one at the local police station level, because here there was, formally, a
2 government of the region in existence, and by that logic, the police was
3 obliged to abide by instructions so that this conclusion of theirs is in
4 accordance with the regular procedure.
5 Q. All right. And then under that we see a reference to this
6 disarmament deadline expiring on the 11th of May; "we should take no
7 action until the Crisis Staff makes the relevant decisions and it's
8 important we solve this problem comprehensively." And we will look at
9 that when we come to the disarmament in Petrovac.
10 Yes, thank you very much, sir, you can give that back to the
12 All right. Could you have a look, please, now, at Exhibit P153?
13 This is a document addressed to the governments of the autonomous regions,
14 the autonomous districts, of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 to all Serbian municipalities, and it's dated the 16th of April and it
16 says, "a state of an imminent threat of war is declared. General public
17 mobilisation of the TO in the entire territory is ordered" and so on and
18 so forth, and it's signed by Mr. Subotic. Did you see this document? I
19 mean, I know you saw it in the interview, but had you seen it at the time?
20 A. I think that I did, and based on the contents, I think that I did
21 look at the document, and I'm saying this because I know that by referring
22 to this legal grounds, at a later occasion I told the then-chief of
23 cabinet of Dr. Karadzic that his legal basis was wrong, and that this
24 Article 81 does not give the powers or the authority for these actions.
25 Q. All right. But nonetheless, by -- what effect did that have in
1 Petrovac? Did you start to mobilise? Is that the mobilisation that you
2 were talking about?
3 A. It did not affect the municipality of Petrovac in no way, because
4 the mobilisation had already been completed by that time, on -- at that
5 day, more people had been mobilised in Bosanski Petrovac than the military
6 rules allowed even.
7 Q. All right. Can you look, please, next at Exhibit P157, same
8 month, April? 26th of April this time. That's an excerpt from the
9 instructions for the work of the municipal Crisis Staffs of the Serbian
10 people signed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Djeric. Do you recall receiving
11 that document?
12 A. Not exactly, but this document must have been used, no doubt,
13 because the instruction, the instruction under item 2 confirms what I've
14 just said, that certain members had been appointed ex officio and some
15 other items too, I don't want to go into that, but this is an authentic
17 Q. Right. And in number -- item number 14, the last item, the Crisis
18 Staff shall convene and make decisions in the presence of all its members,
19 take official minutes, issue written decisions, and submit weekly reports
20 to the regional and state organisations of the Serbian republic. I think
21 we'll see some of the reports that you sent to the region. Do you
22 remember if you did weekly reports or just occasional reports?
23 A. I don't remember exactly. Possibly that initially at the time
24 when the instructions were issued, the reports were weekly, and I guess
25 that later on, they were submitted now and then, and then eventually
1 ceased to be ceased [as interpreted] because the organisation was changed
2 by then.
3 Q. All right. Yes, thank you. You can give that document back now.
4 Thank you very much. I want to move, then, for a moment to your notebook.
5 Can you -- we're really -- yes, if we just look for a moment please at
6 your entry for the 6th of April, our page 47, we see -- there is a --
7 there is a -- I suppose you could call it a shopping list, but
8 "cigarettes, (400 packets)" but then: "Fax 39-155 (Banja Luka) Serbian
9 Democratic Party Secretariat request for replacement of Chief of Public
10 Security Station." Does that relate back to what we saw being discussed
11 in that executive -- in the Secretariat minutes?
12 A. No. No. It doesn't. Here, the replacement of Chief Kerkez was
13 being sought, because Chief Ferizovic never took up the office. I forgot
14 to tell you that. And President Novakovic was not on good terms with
15 Kerkez, and never stopped asking for his removal.
16 Q. So eventually, as we will see, was he removed and replaced by
17 Mr. Gacesa?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Gacesa is the one who took up the job that
19 was earmarked for Fuad Ferizovic but the witness can clarify that.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes.
21 Q. Can you just clarify, sir? Who became the chief of the public
22 security station?
23 A. The chief of the SJB, Fuad -- well, Fuad Ferizovic never became
24 chief. After the opposition to his appointment by the Serbs, nobody even
25 tried to bring him into the office. So that Kerkez was succeeded by
1 Gacesa. I'm not sure whether Kerkez was dismissed and then appointed an
2 inspector or was it the illness which made him leave because I know that
3 he died at an early age.
4 Q. Okay. Then if we just very quickly move through your diary for
5 the beginning of May, 7th of May, page 48, Your Honours, you apparently
6 went to Banja Luka, and had conversations there about -- it was really
7 schooling, was it, education generally?
8 A. Let me see, yes, correct, correct. If you want me, I'll clarify
10 Q. No, I don't think we need it but just to note that you were
11 apparently told to contact Mr. Erceg and we can see that on page 50 who
12 was going to become -- who was going to announce who the Minister of
13 Education for the Autonomous Region of Krajina was going to be.
14 Mr. Koljevic, apparently -- Kovacevic?
15 A. I was to establish contact with Mr. Erceg because we were about to
16 found a secondary school. The secondary school in Bosanski Petrovac had
17 been abolished a long time before that. We were trying to reinstate one.
18 And that was why I wanted to see him, and at that time I also communicated
19 with the then head of the teaching administration regarding the necessary
20 personnel and their structure, the kind of teachers that we would need.
21 Q. All right. Now, staying with your diary, please, then, can we go
22 to your entry for the 9th of May, 1992, where there was a meeting with the
23 SDA? And you've recorded, have you, a Mr. Hidic speaking. Could you just
24 tell the Court who Mr. Hidic was, the first name of Mr. Hidic?
25 A. Mr. Hidic -- everybody knew Mr. Hidic as Sasa but his real name is
1 Safet and he was a member of parliament from Petrovac, and he was
2 representing the Party of Democratic Action.
3 Q. All right. And what he's -- he's talking about there is the
4 reserve military units, violent behaviour, threats made by other citizens,
5 reservists shooting and expressed the willingness of the Muslims to puts
6 on uniforms and defends the borders of the Petrovac municipality but not
7 against other Muslims and they refused to go anywhere else.
8 First of all, was this a bone of contention between the Serbs and
9 the Muslims that they were refusing to answer the mobilisation call?
10 A. Yes. It was a bone of contention.
11 Q. And the other matters that he's talking about, the threats and the
12 behaviour in cafes and reservists shooting, by May, was there already a
13 problem of violence against the Muslim population?
14 A. Well, the problem of violence emerged when a larger number of
15 soldiers turned up. That is as far as I can remember, it was precisely at
16 that time, in early May, when a sizeable number of soldiers came on leave
17 from different units and from the different fronts. As a rule, soldiers
18 returned with weapons they had been issued with, and the military were not
19 sufficiently well organised so that the commands could not keep them under
21 The municipal authorities requested on various occasions that this
22 control be established, and Mr. Hidic is insisting on this, because
23 Muslims and the number of them who reported to those units was
24 insignificant, these Muslims feared all this shooting around town, and
25 they feared people who would get drunk and then use wantonly very serious
1 weapons. Then he talks about threats coming from some citizens which
2 practically means that one of those armed soldiers, and presumably some
3 civilians too, threatened citizens of Muslim ethnicity which indicates
4 that the Muslim community in Petrovac was concerned and through their
5 member of parliament, Hidic, wished to convey that concern to the Serb
7 Dismissals, well, a certain number of individuals in companies and
8 public services were fired because they had failed to respond to call-up
9 summons, and the wives of such individuals were also given notice.
10 However, it affected mostly the Muslims because they, by and large, did
11 not respond. As for the Serbs, I know that in one or two cases, wives
12 were dismissed from their jobs because their husbands had evaded
13 mobilisation. And this readiness expressed here for the Muslims to put
14 on, to put on uniforms, it went on even after this period of time, but
15 there was really a moral problem with the Muslims putting on the uniforms
16 of the Serb troops and going out to the front to confront the
17 Muslim -- other Muslims. So some of them agreed to go to the front in
19 Q. All right. And if we just turn over our page, it may be on the
20 bottom of your own, but you've written: "The issue of weapons owned by
21 Muslims should also be considered." What was that referring to, can you
23 MS. KORNER: It's at page 53, Your Honour.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a general wording, and it
25 could mean two things. One, and perhaps more likely one, is that it deals
1 with the legal weapons owned by Muslims, because there were hunters,
2 sportsmen and the like, mostly as hunters. Or to protect their property.
3 So those would be mostly pistols or revolvers, so I guess that it is that
4 kind of weapons that is meant here. And possibly, also, the Muslims had
5 managed to come by some of the formation, some of the proper army weapons,
6 and perhaps any weapons owned by Muslims are meant here.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. All right. And then can we look, please, yes, before we look at
9 the 12th of May meeting in your diary, could you look, please?
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I did miss this out on my
11 list as well, I would just ask it to be put on the ELMO. P186. It's in
12 the Petrovac binder after divider 21. If we just put the English on the
14 Q. You were shown this?
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he was shown this in the interview.
16 It's at page 39 of the interview.
17 Q. This is addressed to the president of the municipal assembly dated
18 the 11th of May, pursuant to the decision of the Crisis Staff of the
19 autonomous region of the 11th of May, we submit to you the statement of
20 accounts. Now, at the same time, you will need Exhibit 227, please.
21 Actually, in fact, I'm sorry, we don't have that particular
22 conclusion. No, we don't, regrettably. Of course this is not a complete
23 list of all the conclusion. Anyhow, it says, "Could you please
24 immediately -- if you go back to P186, could you please immediately
25 deposit the said amounts to transfer the amounts? And we see on their
1 Bosanski Petrovac was supposed to be paying 15.552 dinars -- no, sorry, it
2 was 15.000 population times 30 dinars, 466.000?
3 A. That's the population.
4 Q. Do you remember whether you paid this amount or anything like
6 A. I wasn't responsible for the implementation of national decisions.
7 It was the administrative affairs department, but we complied with all our
8 duties, so I presume we did pay this.
9 Q. All right. And can you now have, please, Exhibit 1828, please?
10 MS. KORNER: That is on my list.
11 Q. Again, this is addressed, it's dated the 10th of May, addressed to
12 the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the war staff, Banja Luka, report on the
13 conduct of mobilisation, and it's signed on behalf of, I think, Za,
14 president of the National Security Council, Mr. Novakovic. So
15 Mr. Novakovic was the President of the assembly and the president of the
16 National Security Council, was he?
17 A. That's right. And he was also the President of the Crisis Staff,
18 ex officio.
19 Q. Right.
20 A. I wrote this document and it was with his authorisation, I also
21 signed it and sent it. I suppose that it was a formal letter, and it did
22 not require a special procedure. We merely point in it at a problem of an
23 excessive number of people being mobilised and that it is becoming an
24 economic threat.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. And perhaps, sorry, I also see that we are letting them no that
2 the cooperation with JNA has been put in place or rather that the TO units
3 had been placed under the JNA command. In other words, we did not have
4 any territorial or local units, we never had them under our control. They
5 were always part of the official formations.
6 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you. Now, can we for a moment, please, go
7 back to your diary? First of all, the 11th of May?
8 MS. KORNER: Our page 56, Your Honours.
9 Q. It starts with something to do with the transmitter, but
10 underneath that, you've noted the name Ciganovic and in brackets, (N.
11 Sad). Was that -- who was that?
12 A. Mr. Ciganovic was originally from Petrovac. I think he worked in
13 the police or in some security service or something. I met him. We were
14 introduced but I never tried to find out what he really did.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. But it was because of this local connections and because he had
17 relations there, he was supposed to try to find a transmitter so that our
18 radio could start working again.
19 Q. Do you happen to remember what his first name was?
20 A. I don't know, because I was a newcomer to Petrovac and those
21 people who knew him had known him from before. He was about 50 years of
22 age, perhaps 50 odd.
23 Q. All right. Can we move then to the next day, the 12th of May, in
24 your diary? And you had a meeting at 3.15 in the afternoon, clearly with
25 representatives of the army and also it would appear with representatives
1 from other municipalities including Mr. Klickovic from Krupa. I think was
2 Mr. Vjestica there as well?
3 A. Well, my copy is pretty poor and I can't see his name but if his
4 name does not figure here, then he wasn't there because I really took care
5 to put -- to be very precise about who attended what meeting.
6 Q. All right. And where was Mr. Kovacevic, Stevo Kovacevic, from?
7 A. I don't remember. You know, I came to meet people for the first
8 time quite often. They would come ex officio, we would be introduced, but
9 I didn't really know much about them, at least quite a number of them.
10 Q. So from your municipality, you were there, was Rajko,
11 President Novakovic, Bogdan, Mr. Latinovic, was Obrad Vrzina?
12 A. Let's see, from the Petrovac municipality, from the Petrovac
13 municipality, there were Novakovic, then yes, Bogdan Latinovic,
14 Obrad Vrzina, and I was there too. There was also the President of the
15 assembly from Bihac, which I suppose was Ibrahimpasic, then municipality
16 of Krupa, with associates, then General Spiro Nikovic, Miro Rokvic, must
17 have been an officer, an army officer or something but now I remember,
18 Savo Kovacevic with associates, Savo Kovacevic should have been one of the
19 senior officer with the then JNA but he wasn't present since I crossed him
20 out. I suppose I expected them to turn up because they had been announced
21 and so, to be more efficient, I put their names in advance.
22 Q. To summarise, it looks there was a -- Mr. Klickovic started
23 talking and talked about facts suggesting that the mujahedin were in
24 Bosanska Krupa preparing criminal plans and General Nikovic or Ninkovic
25 emphasised the necessity of the division of the Croat and Muslim
1 territories, and measures for the return of officers to the Serbian
2 republic. Now, were you aware that that day in Banja Luka there was an
3 assembly meeting taking place, of the Serbian assembly?
4 A. No. I wasn't aware of that, but on the other hand, I know what
5 was discussed in detail.
6 Q. Right?
7 A. At the meeting.
8 Q. Were -- where was this meeting taking place? Can you remember?
9 A. In the municipal hall, I believe. I mean that was the common
10 practice. As a matter of fact, I'm quite sure that it was in the
11 municipal hall.
12 Q. All right. Now, in this discussion, there is a lot of discussion
13 about the Muslims and the like. Was -- were the Muslims regarded as a
14 threat by the Serbs from Bihac and from Krupa?
15 A. A minor correction, sorry, I said something which is not quite
16 right. It transpires from the note that Dr. Stevo Beslac was the
17 municipal mayor from Bihac, and not Nenad Ibrahimpasic, which in other
18 words means that that municipality had already split along the ethnic
19 lines. Now I'll answer your question.
20 Q. Thank you. It's all right. Yes, were the Muslims in Krupa --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- And Bihac, did the Serbs, Mr. Klickovic, Mr. Beslac regard the
23 Muslims as a threat?
24 A. They did regard them as a threat. I think that this meeting took
25 place after the fighting in Krupa, because it says that there was no
1 plundering or rape during the combat but that now the looting had started,
2 which is people who were plundering the Muslim property who -- which
3 remained in this part of Krupa and that means that there was some combat
4 operations during the meeting and that is why the representatives of the
5 superior command were present there.
6 But Serbs, as a population, not only these two leaders, but Serbs
7 as such were very afraid of Muslims in that area because during World War
8 II, at a place Stara Govedarica, some 7.500 Serbs were killed, at Crno
9 Jezero 4.000 Serbs and in Bihac, at one site only now, there are different
10 figures, some say 12.000, others 5 -- 15.000 Serbs, so because, they were
11 a minority, they were afraid.
12 Q. Right. Okay. I was going to say don't worry about the numbers in
13 World War II but can you just answer this question, yes or no? In 1992,
14 were people in Bihac, Krupa and Petrovac still remembering the events of
15 World War II?
16 A. Yes, they did.
17 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we break now? Okay. We'll have a 25-minute
19 break. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, before Ms. Korner gets started, can
23 I point out a possible error in transcription. And the witness,
24 obviously, would need to confirm this. Page 37, line 7.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, page 37?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I believe if I've got my passage identified
3 correctly this deals with the number of men in a battalion. The
4 transcription says 121, I believe he testified to 721.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript it says infantry was -- "there was a
6 complete battalion infantry was mobilised and that is 121 soldiers and
7 officers. I remember the figure exactly." Did you say 121 or 721?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said 721. 721.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Cunningham. Thank you, Judge.
10 Let's proceed.
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. Sir, just to finish off on that meeting, we were talking about how
13 people in Bihac and Krupa regarded the Muslims as a threat. As far as
14 Petrovac was concerned, there was -- in your view, was there any serious
15 threat from the Muslims, given the number of Serbs there?
16 A. The Muslims who lived in Petrovac, in my opinion, did not pose a
17 serious threat.
18 Q. Thank you. All right, now on that day, that is the 12th of May, I
19 think the assembly decided on the strategic goals and we will see the
20 nexus between that and what was said in your meeting. Could you now be
21 given disclosure 2.573.
22 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honour, this is actually another
23 translation of what is already P189, but it's a better translation. So it
24 may be that we want to replace the translation, if nothing else but not
25 make it a separate -- or we could simply make this P189.1.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's better.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes.
3 Q. This is the decision after the assembly held that day of what the
4 strategic goals were and it's under -- it has the signature block or
5 whatever, typed signature, of Momcilo Krajisnik. Do you remember hearing
6 about this at the time that it was made, this decision? Because it was
7 published in the gazette in November, 1993.
8 A. This decision was not heard of or known about in 1992. I saw this
9 decision when it was published, and I think it was after the 26th of
10 November, 1993. Certain decisions were made with a considerable delay,
11 after a situation was established, then the decisions would be modified in
12 accordance to what was wanted or in accordance to the actual situation on
13 the ground and I think this is one of such decisions. For example, on the
14 12th of May, 1992, this corridor between Semberija and Krajina, I don't
15 know whether it was in question at all or the corridor in the Drina River
17 Q. Yes. Don't worry because, in fact, we have the full record of the
18 session, so we know these things were talked about. All I was asking you
19 is whether you personally knew about it in 1992. And your answer, I
20 gather, is you didn't?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. All right. But in your meeting, General Ninkovic was emphasising
23 the necessity of the division of the Croat and Muslim territories. Did
24 you understand him to be saying that was a division from the Serbian
1 A. General Ninkovic's intention at this meeting did not coincide with
2 the intentions mentioned in this decision of the 12th of May, 1992. I am
3 sure of that for the following reasons: General Ninkovic was a
4 professional officer. He was known as a person who did not have any
5 particular leanings towards national interests, and he wanted a division
6 in the area of western Krajina. There was some discords in Krupa and
7 Bihac. There was a compact Croat community in the area of Bihac, in
8 several villages, and this is what he talked about. At the same time,
9 accords were being made, parallel with this, between Mr. Ibrahimpasic as
10 the President of Bihac, with some Serb representatives. I know about this
11 personally because we went several times for negotiations and this was for
12 a division to be made in the Bihac municipality in such a way that the
13 Serbs would set up their own administration in a part of that
14 municipality, and the Muslims would do the same in their part. This is
15 what General Ninkovic meant. This is the division that he was talking
17 Q. All right. First of all I think you refer to that, if you look at
18 the end of your note, our page 58, where somebody says it's important that
19 the Serbian Municipality of Bihac be quickly established. But in effect,
20 you're saying that what General Ninkovic and other people at the meeting
21 were talking about, if I've understood you correctly, is that the Serbian
22 territories should separate from the Muslim and Croat?
23 A. Yes, that's what was said.
24 Q. All right. Can you look, please, then at the very end of your
25 note, you've recorded there that -- this is our page 59 -- that -- in
1 fact, it's a continuation, you say that would give us great advantages by
2 establishing municipalities, "Serbs would attain almost everything they
3 are entitled to. Militarily Serbs in Bihac have completely failed." Then
4 underneath that, you have written a number and the name "Martic." Was
5 that Milan Martic?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And just to summarise that, that is the Milan Martic who is
8 awaiting trial here; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I don't think -- I hope there is not going to be any dispute
11 about this, you told us about this in interview, was this in connection
12 with you going to Dalmatia to collect fuel which was then seized by
13 Martic, and you had to go and negotiate with Martic to get the fuel?
14 A. Yes. That is correct. This is fuel that our municipality bought
15 and they prevented us from actually getting it.
16 Q. All right. And then you've also recorded the name of
17 Milomir Stakic, the Prijedor municipal assembly. Was that you
18 giving -- it says 100 tonnes of fuel, was that you obtaining fuel from
19 Prijedor or providing fuel to Prijedor?
20 A. Regarding Stakic, they had 100 tonnes of fuel and of those 100
21 tonnes, we were to receive a certain quota which was to be divided amongst
22 several municipalities. We were supposed to get the fuel. There is a
23 military warehouse which was situated in that municipality.
24 Q. All right. Did you ever meet Stakic?
25 A. No. I never met him, but on one occasion, I saw him at a meeting.
1 I only had contacts with him about the fuel or with his staff, and I know
2 that we did receive our entire quota.
3 Q. All right. Can you just tell us what meeting did you see him at,
4 if you can remember?
5 A. There was a meeting, I think at the Prijedor assembly or
6 somewhere, but it was in Prijedor anyway. I don't remember in which
7 building. President Novakovic sent me because he could not go. So I went
8 to see what would be discussed and also to convey to him the information
9 about the meeting. There was a large number of representatives from
10 municipalities throughout the region. I also saw him on another occasion
11 when he was passing through Petrovac. That time he was the President of
12 the regional board of the Serbian Democratic Party because the party had
13 been reorganised. And they were going to a meeting on the border with
14 Croatia. They went to a tourist resort. And that's the other time that I
15 saw him.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. Can you move now, please, in your diary or
17 your notebook, to the 18th of May, which is page 64 of the English
18 version? And just -- it's really the next page that -- for us, Your
19 Honour, page 65 that I'm interested in. You've written in part of that
20 entry, "consent" -- "Rajko, Presidency," and then, "consent on behalf of
21 the Crisis Staff, request to the Krajina government for 25 tonnes." What
22 was that about?
23 A. It's hard to remember it all. The request to the government of
24 Krajina for 25 tonnes is probably about securing fuel, because during that
25 period, it was a problem to obtain fuel. I don't know about the Crisis
1 Staff bit with the working president. It probably could mean that the
2 Presidency of the Crisis Staff or the Presidency of the assembly needed to
3 be organised. So this was just a note reminding me of a certain
4 obligation that I had to carry out.
5 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, can we move, please, still on your
6 diary, to the following day, the same page, 19th of May, there was a
7 "Crisis Staff at 8.00 urgent". Does that mean there was a Crisis Staff
8 meeting at 8.00?
9 A. I believe so, yes, and I have it in my notes, I also have the
10 minutes by hand.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. And it's unfinished, but yes, this was a reminder to inform the
13 members at 8.30, and this obligation was also for the day before, so I was
14 obliged to inform them that the President instructed that a meeting should
15 be convened.
16 Q. All right. Now, could you go, please, to part of your notebook,
17 it's on our page 66, where you have written, "I am exchanging an apartment
18 in Bihac" and then you describe it, "Suitable for remodelling into
19 business premises for the equivalent in Banja Luka. Offer should be
20 made." Can you tell us, it was a personal thing or it was a draft for a
21 general dealing with exchanges of property?
22 A. It's possibly part of a general exchange of property. However,
23 this was a specific case. This is my boss at the time, the President of
24 the executive board, who instructed me to make the ad and to send it to a
25 newspaper, probably to Banja Luka. Yes, Glas is the -- Glas newspaper of
1 Banja Luka. And I did send this ad there. So he wanted to exchange his
2 apartment, he wanted to exchange his apartment in Bihac for an apartment
3 in Banja Luka. He did do that but then this decision was later cancelled
4 by the High Representative after which he sold the apartment.
5 Q. All right. We will come on to this as a topic a bit later but at
6 this stage, in May of 1992, was there already beginning the procedure
7 whereby Muslims could exchange property with Serbs in Bihac or Banja Luka?
8 A. Possibly that something had begun but this was not very much.
9 Only later did this become a mass occurrence, this exchange of property.
10 Q. All right. Now, I missed out something that happened a little
11 earlier. I'd like you to look, please, as Exhibit P1829. This is really
12 dealing with disarmament. This is a meeting on the 15th of May of the
13 Crisis Staff, again were you present and on this occasion actually taking
14 the minutes?
15 A. I was present and I was taking the minutes.
16 Q. And if you look at the signature at the end, whose signature is
18 A. I've already looked. It's Mr. Novakovic's signature.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to stop, the reason I'm doing
20 this because all these documents were objected to by Mr. Ackerman. I'll
21 stop if -- perhaps Mr. Cunningham can confirm before tomorrow that the
22 objections are now dropped. Otherwise, I'm going to have to go on doing
23 this throughout--
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We understand what you're up to.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
1 MS. KORNER: It's just wasting time if the objection is withdrawn.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I cannot stop you, Ms. Korner.
3 MS. KORNER: No, no. What I mean, this is really where the
4 Defence have to come forward and say we drop the objection. Otherwise I
5 have to go on proving this.
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'll inform the Court of that first thing in the
7 morning, but my guess is the objection will remain.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We can do did in another matter. You can just bring
9 all these documents out now, hand them one after the other to the witness,
10 let him go through them, and then we'll just have a confirmation from him
11 or a denial, one of the things, whether they are authentic or not, whether
12 he has reason to doubt their authenticity.
13 MS. KORNER: I think, Your Honour, what we will do is perhaps that
14 will take a little time because they are all in separate places.
15 Q. We will simply, as I go through these documents, judge, if you
16 could indicate if on any occasion when you look at them you either have
17 doubts about the signature or the authenticity and that way it's probably
18 the simplest way of dealing with it.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words the procedure that we are going to
20 follow, judge, is the following: Unless, when you're shown these
21 documents, unless you tell us, "I don't -- I have doubts as to the
22 authenticity of this document," we are going to take it that you consider
23 those documents as authentic. In other words that you are recognising the
24 signature and you're recognising the stamp, if there is a stamp.
25 MS. KORNER: All right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood the procedure.
3 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
4 Q. All right. Agenda, definition of the procedure regarding the
5 order by the Banja Luka regional Secretariat for National Defence. Was
6 that a reference to the order which had been issued on the 4th of May by
7 Lieutenant Colonel Sajic in respect of mobilisation and curfew and the
8 like? Perhaps you better look at this time 227, the very first decision.
9 If you hang on a moment, it's going to be given to you or should be given
10 to you.
11 A. 2 2 --
12 Q. If you look at the very first decision, you turn over and you can
13 see Lieutenant Colonel Sajic's name as the secretary, dated the 4th of
14 May. It orders mobilisation and then four -- then 3, wartime schedules,
15 4, curfew, 5, "all paramilitary formations and individuals who illegally
16 possess weapons and ammunition are to immediately, and by 1500 hours on
17 the 11th of May, at the latest, surrender them to the municipal
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Excuse me for interrupting. Can I get an exhibit
20 number, please?
21 MS. KORNER: P227.
22 Q. And then if you go on in that, the gazettes, you will see the
23 deadline is extended, if you go, please, to number 7, the session of the
24 11th of May, the conclusions there, the deadline for the surrender of
25 illegally acquired weapons has been extended to the 14th of May. Now, was
1 that, to your recollection, judge, was that discussed in this meeting of
2 the 15th of May, when it says definition of the procedure regarding the
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you remember what was being discussed then?
6 A. At this meeting, at which I was the note-taker, this discussion
7 was about specific requests of the army command which was forwarded to us
8 through the Secretariat for National Defence of the AR Krajina, because
9 they are taken over the manner in which they worked from the former state
10 and its army organisation. So that we were to send some men to the area
11 of Kupres where the units of the Serb army were.
12 Moreover, the mobilisation was already done and over in our case,
13 at the time when this body is ordering the general and public mobilisation
14 of the rest. So that what we are dealing with here and I believe I've
15 told you about it, the veterinary medicine services, the medical service,
16 had to be somehow reinforced. There were difficulties in clearing the
17 grounds because there were many bodies, many people were killed.
18 Q. Don't worry.
19 A. And there was livestock wandering about.
20 Q. I think we will come on to that a little later. We'll see the
21 livestock problem in a moment. I agree you've already dealt with the fact
22 that you'd already mobilised, but there was an order, was there not, that
23 there should be a disarmament of persons who possessed weapons,
24 paramilitaries, as it was described?
25 A. Yes. It existed, and if you want me to, I'll explain what it was
2 Q. First of all can we just -- deal with that, was that, do you
3 remember, getting an order, originally from the national -- the
4 Secretariat of National Defence of the autonomous region with deadlines
5 subsequently being extended that what is described as paramilitary
6 formations and individuals illegally possessing weapons being disarmed?
7 A. Yes. There were orders of that type, and also I heard it raised
8 in discussions so there were deadlines for disarmament and I know that
9 they were extended.
10 Q. Right. Now, the only question was: Was that something -- you've
11 told us you discussed the orders that have come through about supplies to
12 the army but do you remember that being discussed at this meeting of the
13 15th of May?
14 A. Why, yes. It was on the agenda.
15 Q. All right. Okay. And we'll look at a document where you deal
16 with how Petrovac dealt with that disarmament order in a moment but can
17 you go, please, to item 2, the discussion of -- I'm sorry, it's actually
18 quite complicated, it's decisions, they have conclusions and then
19 decisions, and under decisions it's at page 4 of the document for us.
20 "Shooting in public places and all other shooting are strictly prohibited
21 because such a misuse of ammunition endangers security and jeopardises the
22 defence capacity of the Serbian people."
23 That's what was written here. You've already described how
24 shooting was a problem. Was that the real reason, as given here, as to
25 why shooting was to be prohibited? Because were you charged with carrying
1 out this task.
2 A. I was made responsible together with other colleagues for
3 misdemeanour, that is for the definition of misdemeanours and these petty
4 offences fell under our -- under the municipal jurisdiction. That is
5 specific to our system. And this here prescribes the penalties for the
6 perpetrators of such petty offences. The real reason, well, here we see
7 that it diminishes the combat preparedness and the waste of ammunition.
8 But that was of lesser importance. The chief reason was that such
9 behaviour of either individuals or groups who did that disturbed
10 significantly the public peace and order and it also affected the feeling
11 of security of citizens.
12 People felt intimidated, especially the Muslims, but Serbs too,
13 because any citizen who could not resist such behaviour had reason to
14 be -- to feel intimidated, to feel afraid, and I think it was very
15 distressful for Muslims, so they submitted written requests asking that
16 this be put an end to.
17 Q. Right.
18 A. And they voiced their fears.
19 Q. Okay. What I really want to know is why did you feel -- if that
20 was the real reason, why was it necessary to give a reason that it was
21 actually a misuse of ammunition, jeopardising the defence capacity, in
22 other words that you were wasting ammunition? Why not put the real
24 A. The real reason is not indicated for political considerations.
25 Had the real reason been indicated, that is that it was because of the
1 fear that the Muslims felt, a vast majority of citizens would not have
2 been happy with such a position of the municipal administration.
3 Secondly, people who indulged in such activities were not really model
4 citizens and they would have then said that the authorities were doing it
5 to protect Muslims. And it was thought that if we did it in this way, we
6 would leave them without that cause of discontent and that thereby we
7 would manage to find or to establish grounds for their prosecution.
8 Q. All right. Now, in the next decision, we can deal with that quite
9 briefly, you and Mr. Sikman and Mr. Sepa were to form a commission to draw
10 up proposal for insignia to display -- to be -- which will be displayed
11 publicly and ways of displaying the Serbian flags blah, blah, sorry, not
12 blah blah, and so on and so forth, ending up with change of town and
13 street names. Did that happen? Was there a change of names and insignia?
14 Just answer that fairly briefly, sir.
15 A. Some of the changes were carried out, some were not. I know that
16 the high street, which -- where the municipal hall was and so on and so
17 forth, our institutions was renamed from Marsal Tito to St. Sava, perhaps
18 there would have been more changes but in the assembly, councilmen
19 disagreed regarding various proposals, and Mr. Sikman was there ex officio
20 as the second of the assembly I was there as the legal expert and Sepa was
21 the head of the general administrative affairs department and actually it
22 was his department's job.
23 Q. All right. But -- that's all right. Yes, thank you very much.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't answered about the insignia yet.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes.
1 Q. The insignia, was that changed?
2 A. I was about to answer that part. I was made responsible for
3 thinking up the insignia for the vehicles used by the army. And I
4 improvised it in a way. I saw a vehicle with a -- with some new markings
5 and it was a triangle and in it were letters which said either the Serb
6 army or the Army of Republika Srpska or something like that, and I just
7 copied it and asked a clerk to make those markings, those symbols, those
8 emblems and we then put them on our vehicles to indicate they had been
9 requisitioned, both so that at the checkpoints somebody wouldn't seize
10 that particular vehicle or requisition it, mobilise it once again.
11 Q. Thank you, sir. That's all I want to ask you about that document.
12 Can you look now, please, at P1842 which is a report to the assembly on
13 the work of the Bosanski Petrovac SJB. Now, was one of the powers that
14 the assembly had to call for a report from the SJB on its activities?
15 A. One of the powers, yes. The assembly was to receive reports, also
16 to comments on those reports, to make objections, and possibly request
17 certain measures from higher police instances but yes, this was one of the
18 original powers of the assembly.
19 Q. Right. Now, it's an undated, unsigned report. You had a chance,
20 I think, to read it or to look at it at the time of the interview. Was
21 that a document that you had seen before? In other words, at the time
22 that it was written? Whenever that may have been.
23 A. I was not supposed to see this report in terms of the regular
24 procedure. I was the secretary of the executive board. And this was
25 intended for parliamentary debate. And I wasn't there unless I was asked
1 to be there. What I can say is that I know from other sources that
2 weapons of similar type were being seized.
3 Q. Right.
4 A. Those were mostly hunting weapons, and some of the army weapons
5 were also found.
6 Q. Right. But if we look at this report very briefly in the last
7 five minutes, it's the police reporting on the disarmament operation
8 ordered apparently because, it says, the CSB in Banja Luka, described as
9 the most professionally conducted operation, completely broke up the SDA.
10 In addition to the seizure of illegal and legal weapons, through its
11 painstaking efforts, the public security station took a series of planned
12 and organised operational measures and so on and so forth. Detaining
13 persons who possessed illegal types of long-barrelled firearms, isolating
14 persons who had demonstrated extremist views with respect to the policies
15 of the Serbian people. And then it lists the various arms that were
16 recovered, of which - and bullets as well - if we look at the list, it
17 appears that most of the weaponry recovered was legally owned. In
18 reality, was -- were the people being disarmed the non-Serb population?
19 A. Well, I think judging by the circumstances, I do think that it was
20 the non-Serbs who were disarmed by and large. Possibly that some of this
21 weaponry, especially the army weaponry, were also seized from Serbs who
22 were involved in excesses, but the hunting weapons, at least as far as I
23 know about that time, they were mostly -- such weaponry was mostly seized
24 from Muslims, and as a rule, their hunting weapons were licensed. They
25 all had their licences for such weapons.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. Another source that I know, and I mentioned it, at that time, and
3 later, the police regularly, and I mean almost -- submitted almost daily
4 reports regarding their operations relative to what went on on the ground.
5 So that I learned about this in a different way. Why there is no
6 signature on this text, well, probably this was merely an original
7 document which was copied for the councilmen and they were about 50 of
8 them. So to -- what they did was merely copy this document, I mean
9 whoever on the assembly staff did it, they merely copied the document and
10 deliver it to the councilmen.
11 Q. All right.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But you have -- I take it that you have no reason to
13 doubt the authenticity of this document?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I haven't read this document
15 either now or before but as for the seizure of weapons I have no reason to
16 think it not being authentic so, yes, I think that this is authentic.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's an appropriate moment. Your
18 Honour, I'm sorry but I will take the whole of tomorrow. I understand
19 that will still leave Mr. Cunningham sufficient time to cross-examine on
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, of course, you have time to think
22 how much time you require for your cross-examination, and you will have
23 all the time that you require.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will adjourn. Judge, we will meet again
1 tomorrow morning at 9.00 and I suppose it has already been explained to
2 you that in all probability you'll have to stay the weekend here and then
3 you will finish on Monday.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
8 the 25th day of July, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.