1 Thursday, 18 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Very good morning,
7 Your Honours. Case Number IT-99-36-T, The Prosecutor versus
8 Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that you can
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
13 can follow in a language I can understand. Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
17 Julian Nicholls, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
19 Mr. Ackerman or Mr. Cunningham, appearances for the Defence.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honours. David Cunningham
21 with John Ackerman, along with Aleksandar Vujic for the Defence.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
23 Do you have any preliminaries yourselves for the time being?
24 Now, we are as promised coming back to you on the position we feel
25 ought to be taken regarding the execution or stay of execution of the part
1 of our Rule 98 decision in virtue of which we basically stated that there
2 is -- we basically acquitted the accused of the charge of the genocide
3 under the third category of joint criminal enterprise. Now, you will
4 definitely all agree with us that if you look at the Rules, there are two
5 different approaches depending on whether the accused has been found
6 guilty or whether the accused has been acquitted. But again, it seems
7 that the Rules address the final situation more than anything that may
8 happen in between.
9 The position is as follows: That when the accused is found guilty
10 there is, according to the Rules, it seems, a stay of execution pending
11 the outcome of the appeal, but of course the accused remains in detention.
12 When there is an acquittal, you have the inverse, the opposite legal
13 situation in the sense that it seems to me that you have an immediate
14 execution of the judgement. There is release, and what the Rules provide
15 for is actually a remedy should there be a reversal on appeal and the
16 accused is still on release.
17 We think that looking at the Rules, we should keep the position,
18 the legal position, of the accused as it emerges out of our decision. I'm
19 prejudiced in the sense that whatever we are going to decide now will not
20 prejudice this status of the accused in regard to the third category of
21 joint criminal enterprise in relation to genocide. However, since there
22 is an appeal, we thought it would be wise not to ignore this fact and to
23 suggest to you to make representations on this issue as we go along. Your
24 case is finished in any case. You don't have any more evidence. The
25 Defence position may be a little bit different --
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's not quite right, because there's
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 MS. KORNER: I'm not saying that we will be calling rebuttal, but
5 that should always be kept in mind.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suppose, to be on the safe side, Ms. Korner,
7 let's play it the safe way and imagine for a moment that the charge is
8 still on in the indictment. In other words, let's -- for the time being,
9 you are to assume that it's still before us and that we would be pleased
10 to hear your submissions or anything that you may have in regard.
11 However, we are making it very clear that should we arrive to the
12 final stage of these proceedings without a final pronouncement by the
13 Appeals Chamber on the issue, then we are going -- we are not going to go
14 into the matter. In other words, we will stay by what we had decided in
15 the Rule 98 bis decision. So this is why I'm saying that what we are
16 stating now is a practical approach to the matter without, however,
17 letting it in any way prejudice the legal status of the accused as it
18 emerges out of the Rule 98 decision.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I suggest, because there are a
20 couple of matters I want to address to you on this. But may I suggest
21 that perhaps we leave it, because it's not going to affect anything at
22 this moment. So --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: At this moment, no.
24 MS. KORNER: We can have the witness. The difficulty, to
25 summarise it, is this: Your Honours have not acquitted of a charge.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: No, we have said that there is incompatibility
2 between the concept of the third category of joint criminal enterprise and
3 genocide, because of the specific intent requirement in genocide, et
4 cetera, and so we have basically said there is no case to answer.
5 But, that creates, if you look at the Rules, it creates a legal
6 relationship between the accused and the Trial Chamber. And the legal
7 relationship is such that there is nothing in the Rules which would
8 indicate that our decision insofar as it relates to that issue would be
9 stayed, the execution of our decision will be stayed simply because there
10 is an appeal pending.
11 There's nothing in the Rules which would show that; rather, if
12 there is a legal argument to be drawn from the Rules is that in such case,
13 the accused would have the full advantage of that decision under the law,
14 and it will remain like that until the matter is decided upon by the
15 Appeals Chamber. If it so happens that the Appeals Chamber would not have
16 dealt with and determined the matter before we come to the final decision,
17 then we are bound by our own decision. Because otherwise, it wouldn't
18 make sense deciding a matter and reopening it.
19 MS. KORNER: No. I understand that. And Your Honour, in one
20 sense, as we suggested in our appeal it would have been better had it been
21 left until the end of the case because then of course Your Honours would
22 have been able to say that as a matter of law we find that this mode of
23 liability does not apply.
24 Your Honour, the difficulty as I say, what Your Honours actually
25 did was say a mode of liability we find in law cannot apply. He's not an
1 acquitted person.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We said something more important than that,
3 Ms. Korner. Because we are fully aware of what the parameters of the
4 Rule 98 exercise are. However, there are overriding principles, and these
5 overriding principles are matters -- fundamental matters of substantive
6 law, criminal law. And one of the basic principles is if a crime isn't on
7 the statute book, it doesn't exist, one cannot be found guilty of that
8 crime because it simply doesn't exist.
9 So we stated in our decision that there is no such thing as
10 criminal responsibility under the third category of joint criminal
11 enterprise, criminal responsibility for genocide under the third category
12 of joint criminal enterprise. So basically we were applying there the
13 principle that as you said Judge Schomburg loves, and me, too, that there
14 should be no guilt, if there is no crime and no punishment if there isn't
15 a crime. So we apply--
16 MS. KORNER: I think I'm just repeating myself, Your Honour. I
17 think that's the point. There's no such thing as a crime of joint
18 criminal enterprise. The crime is genocide or persecutions or
19 extermination or whatever it may be. The joint criminal enterprise is a
20 method by which he may be held liable for the commission of that crime.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a method of commission, a mode of commission.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes. I think I understand what Your Honours are
23 saying. So as it -- although the principle is one of importance --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It is, definitely.
25 MS. KORNER: -- I don't think there's anything else I need to
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13 English transcripts.
1 address Your Honours on. And we understand that if at the end of the day
2 when we come to final submissions there's no Appeals Chamber' judgement,
3 then of course Your Honours will find in the way you already found.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are bound by our own decision because it wouldn't
5 make sense.
6 Yes, do you have --
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only other thing, it may well be
8 that certainly before the end of the trial, we'll get a decision in the
9 Krstic appeal and that may say something about the matter.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to know if I can now take as a
12 concession on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor that joint criminal
13 enterprise does not in any form constitute a separate offence, because I
14 would like that very much if they're now conceding that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a mode of commission, Mr. Ackerman. You can
16 take it from me that --
17 MS. KORNER: We've never for one moment suggested an offence.
18 It's a mode of committing the offence.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a mode of committing. And this is not
20 something that the Prosecution has invented or I am inventing. It's
21 something if you read practically all the decisions of this Tribunal
22 dealing with joint criminal enterprise starting from when it was first
23 conceived in Tadic, you will immediately realise that it's a mode of
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that, Your Honour. But there has also
1 been suggestions that it relates to the law of conspiracy, which is, in
2 effect, a commitment offence in itself.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, we had spent hours discussing in
4 Chambers the difference between joint criminal enterprise, conspiracy, and
5 complicity for that matter. And don't forget that conspiracy, for
6 example, the idea of conspiracy is alien to practically all the civil law
7 jurisdictions. It's only emerging now as a result of its introduction in
8 international conventions dealing, for example, with drugs or with
9 transnational organised crime, and that's when some countries heard for
10 the first time about the notion of conspiracy.
11 MS. KORNER: Of course, Your Honour, it's in the statute in
12 respect of genocide. For some reason, actually, nobody has ever used it,
13 and I think that's because of the difficulties.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I want to make it absolutely clear,
16 because we dealt with it, and I think Talic's counsel raised it and
17 suggested that joint criminal enterprise was a separate offence. We have
18 always maintained it's never been such. It's merely a mode of commission.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And we are making it very clear that never for
20 a moment did we understand that there was a charge, a separate charge, of
21 a joint criminal enterprise. I mean, it's -- in fact, it's one of the
22 modes of criminal responsibility that is being put forward in the
23 indictment. In fact, we have to go through the whole exercise if there is
24 no responsibility under joint criminal enterprise, then we have to see
25 whether there is individual responsibility otherwise.
1 So yes, Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The other possibility that we really haven't
3 discussed Your Honour is that the Appeals Chamber may decide not to decide
4 that this really is an issue that is --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: So we may not get a decision from them other than
7 not to decide.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know about that. I mean -- and I am not in
9 a position to go to the Appeals Chamber and say: "Please, when are you
10 going to decide this? We need to have it decided." I will try and send a
11 message that the sooner it is decided, the better. But that's about it.
12 It's beyond my --
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we certainly asked for an expedited
14 hearing, and I saw Mr. Hocking, the senior legal officer to the Appeals
15 Chamber, the other day and reminded him we didn't want to finish the case
16 before we got the decision from the Appeals Chamber.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, and I can understand that, Ms. Korner. And I
18 will -- I haven't had a chance to speak to the President about it, about
19 the need to have this decision, this appeal dealt with and decided.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't know whether in fact -- I don't
21 know whether Mr. Ackerman intends to put in a response because that
22 may -- if they know there's not going to be a response.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't think there's any need for me
24 to respond. I think the issues are very, very clear. Your decision, it's
25 basically an issue between you and the Prosecutors. I tend to agree with
1 your decision, but for me to say that probably doesn't advance the ball in
2 any direction at all.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that's it.
4 Any -- the -- I have got some in fact, I will hand it to you now
5 in case you think you have time to have a look at it. This is a -- again,
6 we don't feel bound or I don't want to send a message that this is a
7 decision that we have already taken. It's being submitted to you for your
8 consideration and ask for, possibly, a feedback, this is the tentative
9 schedule, plan of our work until this case is decided.
10 Please come back to us in the course of this morning with regard
11 to how much time you require for the Prosecution rebuttal and Defence
12 rejoinder because that may gain us a week. And there is an indication on
13 possible suggestion on a site visit which could move downwards. There's
14 no problem there. But it will be then proximate to the filing of the
15 deadline for the filing of the briefs. We have also brought forward the
16 deadline for the filing of the briefs from the 30th of March as it was to
17 the 26th of March. And then -- for both of you. And then give you a
18 further week, that is up to the 2nd of April, to file any possible
19 responses. Have a look at it. And the idea is to have the closing
20 arguments on -- in the week between the 5th and the 9th. If it's not
21 convenient to either of you or both of you, please let us know, and we
22 will make the necessary adjustments.
23 Usher, could you please hand one to Ms. Korner and one to
24 Mr. Ackerman. Thank you.
25 Yes, could we bring the witness in. Usher, could you bring the
1 witness in, escort the witness in, please. Thank you.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness does not have any protective measures in
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 Good morning to you, Mr. Vracar.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you, too,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Very shortly, you'll start giving your testimony,
13 your evidence, in this ongoing trial against Radoslav Brdjanin. But
14 before you start testifying, our Rules require that you make a solemn
15 declaration, solemn undertaking, that in the course of your testimony you
16 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
17 text of the solemn declaration is going to be handed to you by
18 Madam Usher. Please read it out aloud, and that will be your solemn
19 undertaking with us.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a seat, and I'll explain to
23 you very short -- very briefly the procedure.
24 You are a witness for the Defence, and that basically means that
25 you will first be questioned by the Defence counsel. In this case, it
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13 English transcripts.
1 will be Mr. Cunningham, who you've met already. Mr. Cunningham then will
2 be followed by Ms. Korner, who is the leading counsel for the Prosecution
3 in this case. The fact that you are a witness for the Defence does not
4 entitle you to distinguish or discriminate between the Prosecution and the
5 Defence. Your obligation, your duty, and your responsibility under the
6 oath that you took - you've just taken - is to answer each question that
7 is put to you irrespective of who is putting the question truthfully and
8 as fully as possible.
9 It is our idea to finish with your testimony today so that you can
10 return to your home. This very much depends on the way you answer
11 questions. Please, don't give us information that you are not asked for.
12 Your answers should be brief and to the point. Thank you.
13 Mr. Cunningham will go first.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: NIKOLA VRACAR
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Cunningham:
18 Q. Your name is Nikola Vracar?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. I want to make sure that you speak up loud enough so that the
21 microphones pick up your voice. And it might help you to scoot your chair
22 up a little bit so you get a little closer. I also want you to remember
23 both what I've told you and what His Honour has just told you, that is to
24 keep your answers as concise and precise as possible.
25 I'm going to ask you some background questions. In what
1 municipality were you born?
2 A. The Municipality of Kljuc.
3 Q. Were you raised in Kljuc?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In 1992, what municipality were you living in?
6 A. The Municipality of Kljuc itself.
7 Q. And where within the municipality did you live? A village?
8 Hamlet? What?
9 A. In the centre.
10 Q. In the centre of the town of Kljuc?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where do you now reside? What municipality?
13 A. I now reside in Banja Luka.
14 Q. Are you married?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you have any children?
17 A. Yes, I have three children.
18 Q. Are you currently a member of any political party?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Have you ever been a member of any political party?
21 A. No.
22 Q. I'm going to ask you now about your educational background. Did
23 you attend secondary schools?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And where was that? What municipality?
1 A. In Banja Luka, up until the earthquake in 1969, and then in Kljuc.
2 Q. And upon completing your secondary school studies in Kljuc, did
3 you attend university?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And where did you study at?
6 A. I studied in Rijeka.
7 Q. And what discipline, what field did you study?
8 A. I graduated from the faculty of electrical engineering.
9 Q. When would you have graduated from the faculty? What year?
10 A. In 1979.
11 Q. Upon graduating in 1979, did you put your training in this field
12 to use?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What sort of work did you do upon graduating from university in
16 A. I worked in a factory as an electrical engineer to maintain the
17 equipment there.
18 Q. Did you ever go into teaching?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up, please.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
21 Q. I heard your answer. You need to speak up.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where did you teach?
24 A. I worked in the secondary electrical engineering school in Kljuc.
25 Q. Were you teaching there in 1991 and 1992?
1 A. Yes, that's where I worked since 1983 onwards.
2 Q. Okay. And sometime in 1991 or in 1992, were you mobilised?
3 A. Yes, I was mobilised, but it was only in 1992.
4 Q. Okay. And what were you mobilised into? Were you mobilised into
5 the military or some other entity?
6 A. I was mobilised into the reserve force of the police.
7 Q. And the reserve police force where? What city or what
9 A. Kljuc.
10 Q. And do you remember when you were mobilised? What part of 1992?
11 A. It was sometime in April.
12 Q. Okay. As a reserve police officer, were there limitations placed
13 on what you could do as a police officer? For example, could you act
15 A. No.
16 Q. Tell us briefly how that worked, the relationship between the
17 regular police and the reserve police.
18 A. They were of mixed composition, and the head of the group or
19 patrol was an active-duty policeman. He knew the rules of service, and of
20 course all the other rules and regulations governing the service.
21 Q. And as a reserve police officer who was mobilised in April of
22 1992, typically what would your duties be during the work day?
23 A. Well, regular police duties. Traffic control, maintaining law and
24 order, that kind of thing.
25 Q. Who was your direct supervisor?
1 A. He was the chief, Mr. Kondic, Vinko Kondic.
2 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Dusan Stojakovic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was he a police officer as well?
5 A. He was an active-duty police officer, yes, the deputy chief of the
7 Q. Is he a Serb?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And are you a Serb by ethnicity?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Remember to keep your voice up because that was a little
12 soft, please.
13 I'd like to take you back to 27 May 1992. Were you a police
14 officer that day in Kljuc?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. Were you still a reserve officer on that day?
17 A. Yes. That's right.
18 Q. And did you work that day in your capacity as a reserve police
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. That morning, 27 May 1992, did you receive an assignment?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. Who is "we" that you just referenced?
24 A. Well, it was the patrol made up of three of us.
25 Q. Okay. And what was the assignment that you received?
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13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Four of us, interpreter's correction.
2 A. The assignment was to go to a village near Kljuc. It was called
3 Peci because we had received information to the effect that on the road
4 from Kljuc to Sanski Most, in that area there, barricades had been
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
7 Q. The village that you just mentioned, what ethnicity is that
9 A. Well, the inhabitants were mostly of mixed ethnicity, Muslims and
11 Q. After you received that assignment, what did you do?
12 A. When we received the assignment, or rather the commander
13 Stojakovic received the assignment from his commander, we got into the car
14 and went on assignment.
15 Q. When you say "we," as in "we got into the car" how many people got
16 into the car?
17 A. There were four of us. Two active policemen and two reservist.
18 Q. Give the names of your other three colleagues for the Court and
19 tell us whether they were regular or a reserve officer.
20 A. The driver was Milos Kecman, he was an active-duty policeman. And
21 Dusan Stojakovic, the deputy commander or deputy chief, he was an
22 active-duty policeman as well. Of the reserve policeman, there was
23 myself, Nikola Vracar, and Milenko Bajic.
24 Q. You told us Mr. Milos Kecman was the driver. Where was
25 Mr. Stojakovic seated?
1 A. He was seated next to the driver.
2 Q. Tell us where the two reserve officers, you and the other
3 gentleman were seated?
4 A. Bajic was sitting behind the driver on the back seat, and I was
5 sitting to his right.
6 Q. Were you all four of you wearing uniforms identifying yourself as
7 police officers?
8 A. Yes, police uniforms.
9 Q. What sort of car did you get into or vehicle did you get into?
10 A. A Golf.
11 Q. That vehicle, was it identified by its markings or insignia of a
12 police car?
13 A. Yes, that's right. It had all the signals and the markings of a
14 police car.
15 Q. Were you and your colleagues armed that day?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What sort of weapons did you have?
18 A. We had long-barrelled weapons and short ones.
19 Q. By short-barrelled weapons, are you referring to handguns or
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. What time did you -- when you left on this assignment, the four of
23 you in the Golf, approximately what time of day was it?
24 A. It was around 10.00.
25 Q. Okay. And where did you go to -- where was your destination?
1 A. Our destination was the village of Pec.
2 Q. And that village is how far from your starting point? How long
3 did it take to you get there? How many kilometres is it away?
4 A. Well, it's roughly about 15 kilometres.
5 Q. Did you actually make it to the village that you set out to, or
6 did something happen on the way?
7 A. Unfortunately, we didn't arrive at our destination.
8 Q. Okay. What happened on your way to your destination?
9 A. Before -- in front of the village of Pec, there's another village
10 called Krasulje which is where they had set up a barricade, a roadblock.
11 And we had to stop some 50 metres from that barricade. Before we got out
12 of the car, they opened fire at us, from machine-gun fire and from
13 pistols, too.
14 Q. Let me stop you right there. The place where you were stopped at,
15 I'd like for you to describe it for the Court. Are we in an urban setting
16 where there's buildings around or is it something else? Could you
17 describe generally speaking what the area around the place where you
18 stopped your car is like.
19 A. It was an asphalt road, the usual kind, fairly straight. And
20 behind a curve, there was a block set up. And that part of the road goes
21 through a forest. There are trees on both sides, on both sides of the
22 road. And when we stopped there, we saw the barricade, so we stopped. We
23 didn't even get out of the car when they opened fire at us from different
24 kinds of weapons. Then --
25 Q. Let me stop you right there. Let's take this step by step. Where
1 was the gunfire coming from? What direction?
2 A. From all sides. Actually this was a sort of ambush that we had
3 fallen into.
4 Q. Okay. When you were a younger man, did you do your compulsory
5 service in the JNA?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you have any experience, knowledge of working with handguns and
8 firearms? While you were in the military, did you have experience with
9 firearms, rifles, other weapons used by the military?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you told us that when the shooting started, they opened fire
12 from different kinds of weapons. Based on your experience, could you tell
13 what sort of weapons were being used?
14 A. Well, hunting weapons, semi-automatic and automatic weapons.
15 Q. Okay. When the gunfire started, where were you at? Were you
16 still seated in the car?
17 A. We were in the car, yes.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. And then we tried to get out.
20 Q. Okay. What happened to Mr. Milos Kecman?
21 A. He was wounded.
22 Q. Where was he wounded at?
23 A. He was wounded in his left leg, the thigh.
24 Q. How serious was his wound?
25 A. Fairly serious because it was an entrance/exit wound, and three or
1 four bullets hit him.
2 Q. All right. The front-seat passenger, Dusan Stojakovic, what
3 happened to him?
4 A. Well, he was a strongly built man, fat, and he found it difficult
5 to come out of the car. And when he stepped out, he was hit, too.
6 Q. And what was the result of the wounds that he received?
7 A. He died shortly afterwards, in a matter of minutes.
8 Q. Did he pass away at the scene?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What did the two reserve officers, you and the colleague -- your
11 colleague seated in the back seat, what did you do once the shooting
13 A. We got out of the car, too, and engaged in the fighting.
14 Q. How long were you shot at? How long did the shooting go on?
15 A. Roughly 30 minutes.
16 Q. Okay. Did you ever see the individuals that were shooting at you,
17 or were they camouflaged?
18 A. They were in the forest, and you couldn't see them because it was
19 May and lots of leaves on the trees.
20 Q. Did your colleague, your fellow reserve officer, was he wounded or
21 injured in this gunfire?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And where was he wounded at?
24 A. In his arm, hand.
25 Q. Could you tell - I understand that they were camouflaged - but do
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13 English transcripts.
1 you know how many individuals were involved in this ambush of you and your
2 three other police officer colleagues?
3 A. According to our military information, there were -- it was a
4 company, which means about a hundred people.
5 Q. Okay. You told us that Mr. Milos Kecman, the driver, was injured,
6 shot in the leg. What happened to him? Could he get away from the scene?
7 A. He crawled out across the road, and about two hours later he
8 managed to make his way to a village where he was taken care of by some of
9 the villagers.
10 Q. What happened to you and your fellow reserve officer? You told us
11 that you engaged the people who were ambushing you; you returned fire.
12 What happened after that?
13 A. They asked that we surrender. However, we used that moment when
14 they weren't paying that much attention to jump to the other side of the
16 Q. What were you -- were you -- what were you doing on one side of
17 the road? Were you protected in a ditch or what?
18 A. Well, yes, there was a slope just underneath the road.
19 Q. When there was a lull in the action, when they weren't paying that
20 much attention, what did you and your colleague do?
21 A. Well, we withdrew, went back through the forest.
22 Q. Okay. You told us that your fellow reserve officer was wounded in
23 the hand. Did you get injured? Did you get hurt in this process?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And where were you injured and how did it happen?
1 A. When I fell down the slope, there was a rock there, and I
2 dislocated my left shoulder completely.
3 Q. After you managed to get into the forest, what did you and
4 your -- the other reserve officer do?
5 A. Well, we were separated for a time, but we knew the general
6 direction we would be taking, so we went back the way we came, but through
7 the forest. And this went on for about an hour and a half.
8 Q. What time did the -- roughly speaking, what time did the actual
9 ambush, the actual shooting start, to the best of your recollection?
10 A. Around half past 10.00.
11 Q. Okay. And was it just on the four individuals that were in the
12 one Golf automobile, or were there other people that were with you?
13 A. Behind us, there was another combi van.
14 Q. Who was in that combi van?
15 A. Policemen were in the van, too.
16 Q. When you stopped at the blockade, the roadblock, how far away was
17 that other police vehicle to you?
18 A. He was behind the curve, so we weren't actually able to see him.
19 Q. Was that vehicle ambushed as well and involved in the shootout?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were those officers injured in this ambush?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What sort of injuries did they receive?
24 A. One of them was seriously injured. He had wounds through his
1 Q. And did he survive the wounds?
2 A. He was captured, but he survived.
3 Q. Okay. Now, when we left off, you and your fellow reserve officer
4 were in the woods, had been separated, but had a common destination.
5 Where were you looking to go?
6 A. We wanted to reach Kljuc.
7 Q. And were you injured to such an extent that you needed medical
9 A. Well, this is how it was. My legs were fine. The only thing was
10 that my shoulder hurt me.
11 Q. On your way to Kljuc on foot, did you come across anyone who could
12 provide you medical assistance?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And how did that happen?
15 A. Well, when I left the forest and went up on the to road, I
16 happened to see some villagers. When I went up to them, we talked for a
17 while and an ambulance came by.
18 Q. The name of the village, do you recall the name of it?
19 A. Gornji Ramici.
20 Q. What ethnicity is that village, if you know?
21 A. Well, a mixed population, Muslims and Serbs.
22 Q. Okay. And in that village, did you find any medical -- that's
23 when you said an ambulance came by. What happened when the ambulance came
25 A. There was a doctor, Dr. Kapetanovic in the ambulance. He stopped,
1 and he examined my shoulder.
2 Q. Did he take you with him in the ambulance?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And after getting in the ambulance with the doctor -- by the way,
5 what was the ethnicity of the doctor, if you know?
6 A. The doctor was a Muslim.
7 Q. How did he treat you while you were under his care?
8 A. He was very proper. He bandaged my shoulder, and we got into the
10 Q. Once you got into the car after being bandaged, did you proceed
11 directly to the hospital?
12 A. We drove towards Kljuc, and it's about 10 kilometres away. And
13 then we stopped at Pudin Han.
14 Q. First of all, what is Pudin Han?
15 A. It's a village near Kljuc. It's about 2 or 3 kilometres away from
17 Q. What ethnicity is this village?
18 A. Mostly Muslim.
19 Q. What happened when the ambulance stopped in the Muslim village of
20 Kljuc -- excuse me, of Pudin Han?
21 A. The doctor got out and went to the cultural centre there. That's
22 a building that's about 40 or 50 metres from the road, and he talked to
23 some people there.
24 Q. And could you see people around the cultural centre?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And describe these people that you saw for the Court. First of
2 all, roughly how many people could you see?
3 A. Well, there were about 30 people there.
4 Q. All right. Was there anything unusual about either the way that
5 these individuals were dressed or what they were carrying?
6 A. Well, most of them were wearing uniforms, and they had weapons,
8 Q. Describe the uniforms that you saw.
9 A. They were the uniforms of the Territorial Defence.
10 Q. In these 30 or so individuals, some clad in uniforms, had weapons.
11 Tell the Court if you can what sort of weapons you remember seeing.
12 A. They had rifles, the classical type of rifle, carbines. Then they
13 had semi-automatic rifles and machine-guns. And they belonged to the JNA
15 Q. Okay. How did you feel as someone who had just been ambushed,
16 seeing one of your colleagues die, and two other colleagues wounded when
17 you saw these armed individuals? What were you thinking?
18 A. Well, that's when I really became afraid.
19 Q. Why was that?
20 A. I was afraid they would kill me.
21 Q. Obviously, they didn't because you're here. But tell us how long
22 did the doctor stay at the cultural centre that day.
23 A. Well, for a very brief space of time. Five minutes perhaps.
24 Q. What happened after that five-minute meeting with the armed
25 individuals carrying weapons in the Muslim village of Pudin Han? Where
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 did you go from there?
2 A. The doctor got into the car, and we went off to the hospital.
3 Q. And where is the hospital located at? Is that actually in the
4 town of Kljuc?
5 A. Yes, the hospital is in town, in Kljuc.
6 Q. And if you can recollect, approximately what time of day would it
7 have been that you arrived at the hospital for treatment on your shoulder?
8 A. It was about 1.00, 1300 hours.
9 Q. And while you were there receiving treatment for your shoulder,
10 did something unusual happen? Were there other emergencies there in the
12 A. Yes. Lots.
13 Q. Okay. Tell us what you saw at the hospital. Who was being
14 treated? Who had these emergency treatments that you've just described?
15 A. Lots of wounded people, young soldiers of the Yugoslav Army who
16 were wounded and had been brought in. And they had been wounded at
17 Pudin Han, too.
18 Q. Okay. You got to the hospital at about 1300 hours. When did you
19 start seeing these young, wounded soldiers start arriving at the hospital?
20 Approximately what time was it?
21 A. Before 2.00.
22 Q. Okay. And were these young men in uniform or in civilian clothes?
23 A. They were regular soldiers who were withdrawing from Knin.
24 Q. Okay. And I appreciate that answer. But were they in uniform or
25 in civilian clothes?
1 A. They were in uniform.
2 Q. And how many young soldiers, wounded young soldiers did you see
3 being brought into the hospital that day in Kljuc?
4 A. There were quite a lot of them. I saw about five or six of them.
5 Q. Okay. And do you know the nature and extent of the injuries that
6 these individuals received?
7 A. Well, they had received injuries from mortars and from firing
9 Q. It came out translated as "mortars."
10 A. Rocket launchers.
11 Q. Commonly what is known as a Zolja?
12 A. Yes, that's right. Zolja rocket-launcher type.
13 Q. Do you know whether any of the injured soldiers passed away as a
14 result of the ambush?
15 A. Six soldiers died [Realtime transcript read in error "decide"].
16 Q. Now, you were there receiving treatment for your injured shoulder.
17 Was your shoulder --
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Was your shoulder injured to such an extent that you could return
20 to work, or did you miss work as a result of the injury?
21 A. I spent about three months on sick leave.
22 Q. Okay. I forgot to ask you this question earlier, but what was
23 your understanding with respect to these JNA soldiers that were
24 withdrawing. Were they armed or unarmed?
25 A. They were not armed.
1 Q. After -- you told us you had three months' sick leave. After that
2 three months expired, did you return to your duties as a reserve police
3 officer in Kljuc?
4 A. No. I went to work at the school.
5 Q. Okay. What do you -- where do you currently reside at? What
7 A. Banja Luka.
8 Q. And what do you now do in Banja Luka? What is your profession?
9 A. I work as a professor.
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I have just a minute, Your Honour.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, sir. I have no additional questions.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
14 Ms. Korner.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, I'm just going to say -- I noticed
16 at the time. It has come out -- I think the man said -- I'm sorry, I
17 think the witness said "six soldiers died," and I think it says "decide."
18 I think we ought to correct that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was whether he was aware of any deaths.
20 It's not your fault.
21 You're now going to be cross-examined by Ms. Korner. Ms. Korner,
23 Cross-examined by Ms. Korner:
24 Q. Mr. Vracar, I want to ask you first of all about your training and
25 mobilisation into the reserve police. You were, I told us, mobilised into
1 the reserve police in April of 1992. Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Had you been a reserve police officer before that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you attend any training?
6 A. No, I didn't.
7 Q. None at all?
8 A. No.
9 Q. No weapons training?
10 A. I served the army --
11 Q. I understand that. But didn't they give you any extra weapons
13 A. No, they didn't.
14 Q. Were you given any training in your duties as a reserve police
16 A. Yes, they did.
17 Q. Did they give you training in the sort of matters that you would
18 be dealing with as a reserve police officer? In other words, arrests,
19 that kind of thing?
20 A. We were only taught about the basic laws and regulations and the
21 basic duties to be performed by a policeman.
22 Q. All right. Now, I want you to have a look, please, at a document
23 which has got the number -- disclosure number.
24 MS. KORNER: It's a new document, Your Honour. I don't seem to
25 have it.
1 Would Your Honour forgive me.
2 Your Honour, for the moment, can I put this on the ELMO. I think
3 it has been disclosed in advance, but I'm not sure it's on our list.
4 We're just checking that. But Your Honour, it's a list of -- first of
5 all, can you give that to the witness. And then we'll put the English
6 translation on the ELMO.
7 Q. Right. This is -- do you agree, and then we'll have to get the
8 B/C/S because it's obvious what it is. Do you agree that what you're
9 looking there, sir, is a list of active and reserve police members
10 assigned to the SJB Kljuc?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you -- I need it back for a moment, I'm afraid. Yes, can you
13 identify your name at number 20 on the list of reserve police officers.
14 MS. KORNER: Usher, could you now put the B/C/S on the ELMO.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MS. KORNER:
17 Q. Do you know why your name has been underlined and with a circle
18 around the 20?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Well, there's some markings by other names on that list that we
21 can see. First of all, Mr. Milan Tomic, did you know him? Number 77, who
22 was a full-time officer, I think.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you just tell us what job Mr. Tomic held?
25 A. Commander of a department.
1 Q. Was he the commander of the Sanica substation?
2 A. I don't know what he did exactly.
3 Q. Didn't you work out of that station?
4 A. No.
5 Q. All right. What about Mr. Mladen Todorovic?
6 A. Attached to the criminal police.
7 Q. And did he have some kind of command position? In other words,
8 the leader of some kind of a unit?
9 A. As far as I know, he wasn't.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may that, then, be made an exhibit.
11 It's P2721.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, may I ask you, only that page that
13 you -- or the entire document?
14 MS. KORNER: No, I think the entire document. It's only two
15 pages, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I don't have any objection, but I was
18 going to ask if there's an extra copy if we could have it, please.
19 MS. KORNER: It's coming down. I'm sorry, Your Honour. It was
20 left off my list.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could I have a look at the document
23 Go ahead, Ms. Korner. It is being admitted as Exhibit Number P --
24 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, 2721.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. Now, next, can I ask you to look at another document. Again,
3 Your Honour, we've only translated part of it, because it's quite a
4 lengthy document, but it's headed --
5 MS. KORNER: This, I think Your Honours have. It's disclosure
6 4.223. That's definitely on my list, and we can hand it out to
7 Your Honours. I see Your Honours have it. We have it here for
8 Your Honours. And the Defence, if necessary.
9 Q. Right. Again, this is --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, all these documents come from the Kljuc
11 Police Station, I should say.
12 Q. This is the plan of the wartime strength organisation and
13 systemisation. Does your name appear as number 111 on the list?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The -- what does the second column show? It's headed: "Post
16 category, management, key, and other"? Third column, sorry.
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Then we see your education and secondary school -- it doesn't
19 mention there -- yes, it does further on. Is that your name,
20 Nikola Vracar?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Your year of birth, 1952, showing you have a university degree.
23 You were assigned as a conscript. But then it says this: "Assigned to
24 work obligation. Yes or no." In your case, it says "no." That's right,
25 is it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. And then finally it gives the address of your
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may that, then, be made Exhibit 2722.
5 Your Honour, it's a much -- Your Honour, we've now got copies also
6 of the earlier exhibit, 2721.
7 Your Honour, it's a very lengthy -- the whole document is rather
8 lengthy one showing all the persons, and it may be as well to make that an
9 exhibit at this stage. But we've only translated that page that shows
11 Q. Now, sir, when you were mobilised into the reserve police, what
12 type of unit were you mobilised into?
13 A. The regular police service.
14 Q. Weren't you, in fact, mobilised into something called a
15 manoeuvring unit?
16 A. We carried out regular police tasks, and there was no need for
17 such a unit.
18 Q. Weren't you and other members of the reservists formed into a
19 special unit called, and I'm doing the translation, manoeuvring unit,
20 manevarski --
21 A. I really don't know.
22 Q. What do you mean you don't know? Was there such a unit in your
23 police station?
24 A. As far as I know, we didn't call it that. I was a police officer,
25 and the department was divided up into platoons. And we were the third
2 Q. I am asking you whether your unit -- well, no. The first question
3 I'm asking you, was there in your police station something known as a
4 manoeuvring unit, otherwise known as an intervention squad?
5 A. Yes, there was.
6 Q. Right. And were you a part of that intervention squad?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 Q. Right. So you're saying an intervention squad and not a
9 manoeuvring unit. Is that what you're saying?
10 A. Basically, it's the same.
11 Q. Okay. Now, you tell us what the duties of an intervention squad
12 were, because they were special, weren't they?
13 A. Well, we were attached as reserve policemen to the active-duty
14 policemen from that company.
15 Q. You tell us what the special duties were of this intervention
17 A. Only regular affairs, regular business, as far as I know.
18 Q. Well, why were you called an intervention squad?
19 A. I really don't know.
20 Q. During the time which, according to you, you spent in the police
21 force, which was I think -- according to you, it was from the beginning of
22 April until the incident at the end of May. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Are you telling us the truth about that, Mr. Vracar?
25 A. Yes, I am.
1 Q. During those two months or so that you spent there, what was the
2 duty of the intervention squad?
3 A. Regular patrols and maintaining law and order and assisting the
4 regular police force.
5 Q. And what does "maintaining law and order" mean?
6 A. Maintaining, preserving human rights, property.
7 Q. Wasn't the intervention squad used to deal specifically with
8 potential trouble spots?
9 A. I don't know about that.
10 Q. Wasn't that one of the reasons why you and your colleagues were
11 sent on the 27th of May to deal with the apparent putting up of
13 A. The barricades were set up, and we went to see what was going on
14 there with the active police officers.
15 Q. No. Listen, please, to the question. The reason that you went to
16 that particular place on that day was because your squad, your
17 intervention squad, was used to go to potential trouble spots, wasn't it?
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to object. It's cumulative. She has
19 asked this question before, and he said he didn't know.
20 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. I don't -- I've been through this before.
21 I'm entitled to re-ask the question because he didn't answer the question.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, Ms. Korner.
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. Now, sir I'm asking you: Isn't it the case that the reason that
25 you went on the 27th of May, you were sent to, in fact, it was supposed to
1 be Peci, was because that was one of the special duties of your squad?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And because you were, as it were, a special squad, you received
4 rather more specialised training, didn't you?
5 A. No special training because we all served the army a year or two,
6 and there we had infantry training in the army.
7 Q. Did you ever go to Manjaca before the camp was opened, the
8 military training ground, to receive special training as part of this
9 intervention squad?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. Right. That was in February 1992, wasn't it?
12 A. It was.
13 Q. You were a reservist before you were mobilised in April 1992,
14 weren't you?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. Why did you tell us that you weren't a few moments ago?
17 A. I thought that you had asked me when I had been mobilised.
18 Q. No, sir. I asked you very clearly whether you had been a
19 reservist before April 1992 when you were mobilised, and you replied "no."
20 You're saying that's because you misunderstood my question.
21 A. I didn't understand the question. I thought that you had asked me
22 when I was mobilised.
23 Q. All right. Now, let's deal with this special training that you
24 and your fellow reservists received.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I say for these purposes -- well,
1 Your Honour, perhaps we can have the break now.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: As you wish, Ms. Korner.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm referring to P1123.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. We'll have a 25-minute break.
5 How long do you expect your cross to last?
6 MS. KORNER: Until the next break, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. All right, Mr. Vracar. Let's deal with the special training you
13 received in February 1992 in Manjaca. It's right, isn't it, that when you
14 were asked who your direct supervisor was, you said Mr. Kondic? That's
15 Vinko Kondic who was the chief of police. That's right, isn't it?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And the reason that you, an ordinary reserve police officer, came
18 directly under his command was because the intervention platoon or
19 manoeuvring unit came directly under him. That's right, isn't it?
20 A. Well, he was the chief of the whole of the police force, including
21 that platoon, of course.
22 Q. Yes. You reported directly to him, or your platoon came directly
23 under his command.
24 A. Yes, like all the other policemen.
25 Q. And the training that you received in Manjaca was training in the
1 use of mortars. That's right, isn't it?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Zoljas?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Heavy machine-guns?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Hand-to-hand combat?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In which you excelled, didn't you, because you were a karate
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that training, there were some Muslim police officers,
13 weren't there?
14 A. There were units from all the police centres, and of course the
15 composition was mixed, Catholic, Muslim, and Serb.
16 Q. But the difference was this, wasn't it: That the only persons
17 allowed to use live ammunition were Serb police officers; none of the
18 Muslims or Croats were, were they?
19 A. No, we all worked under the same conditions. We didn't have any
20 divisions in the unit.
21 Q. And what you were actually getting, and this was the first time, I
22 suggest, this had ever happened, was training from military instructors?
23 A. The training was conducted by instructors from the police force,
24 from the Banja Luka centre actually.
25 Q. And also by the military, wasn't it? Military instructors?
1 A. There were several instructors from the army, too, yes.
2 Q. And the effect was that your unit and others from within the CSB
3 Banja Luka jurisdiction were being specifically trained for use in combat,
5 A. All the units that were there, for example, from Dubica, Prijedor,
6 Nova Banja Luka, they all underwent that training because it was a
7 training centre. And the practice was within the defence system of the
8 SFRY that every year in that same spot, whether it be summer or winter,
9 all territorial units would undergo training, including members of the
11 Q. I suggest, however, that this was unusual training. It wasn't the
12 sort of training -- I'm sorry, I'll make myself clear. It was not the
13 sort of training that you had received before.
14 A. Mostly it was infantry training, except for the combat section.
15 Q. And it was made absolutely clear to you, wasn't it, when you were
16 fully mobilised in April of 1992 that your unit was going to be used in
17 action against non-Serbs?
18 A. Well, that's not what was said. But what was said that we would
19 intervene if there was any major unrest.
20 Q. All right. Now, let me move straight away to what you say -- no,
21 I'm sorry, one more thing before that. On the 7th of May, a month or so
22 after you had been fully mobilised, all police officers in Kljuc were made
23 to take an oath of loyalty, weren't they, to the new Serbian Republic?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. And at that stage, all Muslim police officers virtually left or
1 were dismissed?
2 A. They were still at work.
3 Q. Maybe for a little time after that, but by the end of May all of
4 them had gone, hadn't they?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, on the 27th of May, you told us that you and three other
7 people were sent to look at some barricades that had been set up in Peci.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You didn't tell us until much later on - in fact, at the time of
10 the incident - that also present at the incident was also a combi
11 containing police officers.
12 A. I said that.
13 Q. You told us when you were being asked about the incident. Where
14 did they come from?
15 A. They were policemen from our police station.
16 Q. All right. So it wasn't just the four of you in this one car.
17 There were a number of other police officers. How many all together?
18 A. There were about seven or eight other men.
19 Q. So there's a total of 12 of you, or thereabouts, going to look at
20 this barricade?
21 A. Yes, 12 or 13. I can't say exactly.
22 Q. All right. Apart from your police officers from the Kljuc
23 station, were there also military police there?
24 A. No. Just the civilian police force.
25 Q. Were there ever any members of the military police present during
1 the course of what you've described as the ambush?
2 A. You mean in the area? No. Not at that point in time, there was
4 Q. And all these police officers, including Mr. Stojakovic were
5 members of the intervention squad?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You were saying that some of them are not?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Who?
10 A. What did you say? I'm not quite following you.
11 Q. Which? In the car with you or in the other combi?
12 A. In the car, there were two reserve policemen and two active-duty
13 policemen. In the combi van, there were also several active-duty
14 policemen and several others who were reserve policemen. So it was a
15 mixed patrol.
16 Q. All right. Were some of the members of a traffic patrol?
17 A. No. Except Kecman.
18 Q. I want you to look, please, at part of an exhibit, which is 1012.
19 And I've marked the relevant part for the witness in B/C/S.
20 MS. KORNER: It's P1012. Perhaps we can have the English on the
21 ELMO at page 6. I'll give the B/C/S to the witness. That's for the
22 witness, and if you just put page 6 of that document.
23 Q. Now, this is part of a report that was compiled by Mr. Kondic
24 relating to activities of the Kljuc SJB. And it says -- I want you to
25 read to yourself, please, just where I've highlighted paragraph 1, which
1 is headed: "Setting an ambush in the Gornji Ramici sector." Let me know
2 when you've finished reading it.
3 A. Yes, I've read it.
4 Q. All right. Now, does that say there that the intervention squad
5 of the manoeuvre unit, a traffic patrol, and members of the military
6 police, 14 in all, immediately went to the scene to establish what had
8 A. The military police held the checkpoint which was at Pudin Han.
9 That's not where it was.
10 Q. I'm sorry. This is stating that apart from you, your unit, plus a
11 traffic patrol, members of the military police went to the scene. Now, is
12 that right or isn't that right?
13 A. Well, I really don't know. Perhaps they went later on. But when
14 this event took place, they weren't there. Perhaps they were there
16 Q. Well, according -- just read -- go on to the next part of this.
17 Because according to this report when it describes Mr. Stojakovic being
18 fatally wounded, it says apart from Mr. Stojakovic being fatally wounded,
19 Zeljko Despot, a member of the military police, was also wounded. So, is
20 this wrong?
21 A. Well, I really don't know what capacity that Zeljko Despot was in.
22 He wasn't in our car. He was in the second car at a distance of about 2
23 or 300 metres and which hadn't turned around the curve yet, as I said a
24 moment ago. So I don't know that man and I can't say, nor can I say what
25 capacity he was in there.
1 Q. I'm sorry. What are you saying -- where do you say the military
2 police were? They were holding a checkpoint at Pudin Han?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So they have got nothing to do with this incident?
5 A. No, because it's at a distance of about 4 to 5 kilometres.
6 Q. All right. So whoever gave Mr. Kondic this information to write
7 this report, according to you, who was actually there, Mr. Kondic has got
8 wrong information?
9 A. I do apologise, Your Honours. Quite possibly they were there
10 after the event had taken place.
11 Q. I'm sorry --
12 A. I don't know that. I can't say.
13 Q. Yes, but no, no. This report says that in this ambush, so called,
14 this -- not only was Mr. Stojakovic killed, Mr. Despot, Mr. Kecman, and
15 you've described the injury, were also injured?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. But you never saw a member of the military police at the scene at
18 any time whilst you were there?
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. Well, you can give that back to the usher for the
21 moment. And I want to examine your description of this incident. You
22 were armed with pistols and automatic rifles. That's right, isn't it, all
23 four of you?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. The policemen in the combi behind you were all armed with
1 automatic weapons.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And when you arrived at Krasulje, there was a barricade, and you
4 had to stop, you say, 50 metres before the barricade. Why did you have to
5 stop 50 metres away from the barricade?
6 A. Well, I don't know. I wasn't doing the driving. Kecman was the
7 driver, and he stopped the car because he saw the barricade.
8 Q. I want to understand your description. The moment the car was
9 stopped, something like a hundred people opened fire on the car. Is that
10 what you're telling the Court?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I want you to think very carefully about this, because I don't
13 want you to say something without thinking about it. Are you really
14 telling the Court that there were not less than a hundred people opening
16 A. Well, this is how it was. In view of the fact that they were in
17 the forest, and that there was shooting coming from all sides, we had that
18 impression that we were being attacked by that number of people roughly.
19 Now, whether it was actually like that, we couldn't ascertain exactly. We
20 couldn't count them all.
21 Q. So it was a positive fusillade - if you understand that
22 expression - of fire?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Coming from weapons, you told us, that were different kinds, so
25 we're talking about rifles, semi-automatics, are we, pistols?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That went on for half an hour?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Again, I don't want to be unfair to you, sir. In the situations,
5 and I accept entirely that there was firing going on like this, are you
6 sure that you mean 30 minutes?
7 A. Roughly 30 minutes, yes. Because I know that afterwards when I
8 pulled out, I looked at my watch and saw that it was 11.00, whereas this
9 happened at around half past 10.00.
10 Q. And in the course of this sustained firing for 30 minutes by
11 something that felt like to you a hundred men, all that happened was one
12 injury, two woundings according to the report, and one death?
13 A. That's right. And two more of us were wounded, injured. So there
14 were four injuries in actual fact.
15 Q. Yes, but I mean it's fair to say your name doesn't appear in any
16 of these reports because your injuries didn't come from any firing at all;
17 they came from jumping down, I think you told us, a slope.
18 A. Yes, that's right. And that's what it says in the document, that
19 there were two light injuries, two heavy, more serious injuries, and one
20 man dead.
21 Q. Sprains to joint and shoulder. I want you to explain to us, to
22 explain to the Court, please, sir, because you were part of it all, how it
23 was that not one single person in this combi or one person - I'm sorry, we
24 don't know who this military policeman was or where he came from - how on
25 earth in half an hour's fighting, firing in this ambush, so few fatalities
2 A. The combi that was behind us was held up behind a kerb, and when
3 the first shooting started, they withdrew. Do you understand? So there
4 were only the four of us up there in front, up ahead. And then the
5 problem was for these two, Bajic and the other man, Kecman, to be pulled
6 out. Then I left the car after then and fell down the slope, hit a rock,
7 and sprained my shoulder.
8 Q. So even though you got out of a car and there's this fire going on
9 all over the place, you managed to get out of the way?
10 A. We jumped out of the car when the shooting started. We fell down
11 to the ground, of course, because they were above the road at an
12 elevation. So they fired over us in actual fact. It was only those like
13 the late Stojakovic who didn't manage to lie down. He was killed. So
14 this was a matter of seconds. If you managed to lie down quick enough,
15 you survived. If not, you didn't.
16 Q. That's the truth of it, isn't it? The killing of Stojakovic was
17 virtually an accident because any firing wasn't particularly aimed at you
18 as persons, was it? It was to warn you off?
19 A. No, he wasn't killed accidentally. Because if somebody is
20 shooting at you from a machine-gun, it's not by chance, accidentally.
21 Q. The truth of this is this, isn't it: You went to that barricade
22 with your 14 or 15 people, and Stojakovic got out of the car and started
23 firing his automatic rifle, didn't he?
24 A. No. Stojakovic didn't use any weapon, his pistol or his rifle.
25 Because as he was getting out, he was killed.
1 Q. And what then happened was there were some armed men at this
2 barricade, and they returned fire. And it was at that stage that
3 Stojakovic was killed, and Mr. Kecman was wounded? That's what happened,
4 isn't it?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. I'm sorry. You may not have understood the question. Because I
7 don't want to take an unfair point. I'm suggesting to you, I want you to
8 understand, this that what actually happened was that the firing started
9 from your vehicle, whether Stojakovic or somebody else. And at that
10 stage, fire was returned by people manning the barricade. And then --
11 A. We had no instructions to fire at all. All we had to do was to
12 establish what was going on. At the barricade, there was a machine-gun
13 nest, and they opened fire from that machine-gun nest targeting us. And
14 that's when the shooting from the forest started. In these couple of
15 seconds while we managed to get out of the car, the late Stojakovic fell
16 by the car riddled with bullets.
17 Q. Forget about your instructions. Whether or not you received
18 instructions, did one of you in the car open fire on this barricade?
19 A. No.
20 Q. If you got out of the car in a matter of seconds. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Your companion who also escaped - I've forgotten his name now,
23 Bajic - he got out of the car in a matter of seconds?
24 A. Yes, he did.
25 Q. And in a matter of seconds, the two of you had got down the slope.
1 A. No. We got out of the car and lay down beside the car.
2 Q. All right. How long did it take you to go down the slope?
3 A. Well, there's a space there which was about 10 metres wide, an
4 open space, so you can run across 10 metres in -- I don't know, 10 seconds
6 Q. I want to know how long you lay under the car for before you made
7 your run.
8 A. About half an hour.
9 Q. And you didn't fire back?
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Q. You did fire back. All right. And then during that half hour,
12 after that half hour, are you saying the shooting stopped?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. For what reason that you could see?
15 A. They asked us to surrender.
16 Q. But instead of surrendering, you made a run for it.
17 A. Yes. We used this moment to make a run for it. Or rather,
19 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]...
20 A. No, they didn't. Because it's a rather dense forest.
21 Q. All right. At any stage did you throw a grenade?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Him personally.
24 Q. Did you personally throw a grenade?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How did you do that if you were lying under the car?
2 A. No, I didn't say under the car. Beside the car. And that's a big
3 difference. I lay beside the car because if I was under the car, you
4 can't fire from that position.
5 Q. All right. You're lying beside the car. How did you throw a
6 grenade? Did you get up to throw the grenade?
7 A. You can throw grenades from a lying down position as you can from
8 a standing up one.
9 Q. And where were you throwing the grenade at if these people were
10 all in the forest?
11 A. I threw it in the direction of the firing, to have a chance to
12 withdraw, although the range, of course, was very short because lying down
13 you can't throw a grenade very far.
14 Q. And you didn't tell us you were armed with grenades. Were all of
15 you armed with grenades that day? All the officers?
16 A. I can't say exactly.
17 Q. Well, you had one. Did your fellow officer, Mr. Bajic, have one?
18 A. Believe me when I say I don't know.
19 Q. Why did you have a grenade with you?
20 A. Well, all of us were issued with grenades, but some people didn't
21 want to wear them on them and some people did.
22 Q. The truth was that you and your compatriots, including
23 Mr. Stojakovic, were sent to attack these barricades, weren't you, and
24 attack the people manning them?
25 A. Our assignment was to see what was going on in the area because
1 reports had come in, we received information that large groups of people
2 were being amassed and that there was a roadblock.
3 Q. Now, you then, escaped, and you went to Gornji Ramici, and you
4 were seen by a doctor, Kapetanovic, a Muslim.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who treated you and was taking you to hospital.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know what the first name of this Dr. Kapetanovic was?
9 A. Emir.
10 Q. And what happened to Dr. Kapetanovic, sir, this doctor who looked
11 after you?
12 A. I don't understand your question. Nothing happened to him.
13 Q. Wasn't he arrested and taken to Manjaca?
14 A. I don't know that.
15 Q. Just have a look for a moment, please, at exhibit --
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this wasn't on my list because until he
17 mentioned it, I wasn't aware of this.
18 Q. -- P1033. All we need to show -- this is a list that was sent by
19 Mr. Kondic to the CSB in Banja Luka, all the persons who had been arrested
20 and taken to Manjaca. Have a look, please, at number 1161 on that list.
21 That's him, isn't it?
22 A. 11 --
23 Q. 1.161 on the list. Can we put the -- it's the last page, I think,
24 of the document.
25 A. I see. 1161, you said.
1 Q. Yes, that's right. A man just under 40, late 30s at the time.
2 That's the man who treated you, isn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you think of any reason, any reason at all, why that doctor
5 who treated you should have been arrested and sent to Manjaca a few days
7 A. I can't know. I can't remember. Or rather, I don't know why the
8 man was arrested.
9 Q. Because you know, don't you, that this incident and the incident
10 involving the military patrol were used as an excuse for an all-out attack
11 on these Muslim villages, Krasulje, Pudin Han, Peci? You know that, sir,
12 don't you?
13 A. I don't know about that reason, no.
14 Q. Never heard that at all?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. Now, you told us that you were on sick leave for three
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I want you to think about that answer. Are you telling this Court
20 that you didn't work again for three months?
21 A. I spent one month at home in my village. Then I went to Kljuc.
22 And from time to time, I would do duty work, shifts, because I was working
23 part time.
24 Q. Well, can I ask you if you're really trying to tell the Court the
25 truth, because this is the second time. Why did you tell us you were on
1 sick leave for three months?
2 A. Well, there's a category that we call sick leave part time because
3 if you are incapacitated to a certain degree, if your health has been
4 injured in any way, then you perform lighter duties.
5 Q. Well, I'm now going to ask you first of all to look at a record
6 for May of 1992.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this is disclosure 42240.
8 Q. Which I suggest is your work record, includes your work record.
9 Includes a lot of other people's as well. I want to ask you about
11 MS. KORNER: Can we have the English on the ELMO, please.
12 Q. Now, first of all, sir, is that your work record for -- it's a
13 document of everybody's work record, but it includes yours for May of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I want to ask you, does that show first of all the length of the
17 shifts that you worked during the course of each day?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Does S under that stand for "guard duty," "straza"?
20 A. I don't know what that means.
21 Q. All right. Do you know what PU means?
22 A. I don't know that either.
23 Q. All right. I'm going to suggest to you that it stands for
24 "punkt," checkpoint duty. Did you do checkpoint duty during May?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And that shows that you were working, it looks like, different
2 lengths of shifts until the 24th, until the 31st, when you worked 12-hour
4 A. That's not possible.
5 Q. Well, that's what I was going to ask you. I agree that you didn't
6 work through June, and I accept entirely it was through your injury. But
7 to begin with, you went back to work, didn't you?
8 A. I don't understand. What month is this for?
9 Q. May of 1992.
10 A. This is all right, until the 27th, then.
11 Q. So your pay presumably was calculated on the shifts that you
12 worked. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, for May.
14 Q. Right. Now, why would anybody show you as working for 12 hours on
15 the 28th, the 29th, the 30th, and the 31st if you weren't working?
16 A. Your Honours, I really do apologise. At that time, I was in my
17 village because I was undergoing medical treatment. I don't know why
18 somebody wrote this. This plan and schedule is usually written out at the
19 beginning of each month. The duty and shift plan. So probably this was
20 written out at the beginning of the month because you don't go and write
21 it for each separate day. So I assume it was written out at the beginning
22 of the month and stayed that way unchanged.
23 Q. Well, I accept that you were not working again until the end of
24 June. But I'm going to suggest to you, sir, that during July and August,
25 and when we've had it checked, I suggest also later, you were working.
1 Can you have a look now, please, at the document for July.
2 Now, you say that in your view, this was written out in advance.
3 If you never went back to work at all, there would have been no point in
4 showing you as working at all. Do you agree with that, sir?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's have a look at your work record for July.
7 I'm going to suggest to you that the first -- do you know what MV stands
9 A. That's MD.
10 Q. Perhaps somebody has typed that in error.
11 A. It means "junior duty officer".
12 Q. Quite right. So you do know. I'm sorry --
13 A. Mladzi drzavni.
14 Q. And then SS means "arrest duty," doesn't it, if you go down to the
15 11th of July.
16 A. I don't know that. I don't know what that is.
17 Q. Well, SL means "day off," doesn't it?
18 A. I don't know that either. I don't know these abbreviations. I'm
19 not familiar with them.
20 Q. The only one you do know, therefore, is MD?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that SS is "arrest duty," and that S
23 is "guard duty," P is "patrol duty," and PUB, "checkpoint at gas station."
24 Did you do duty as checkpoint at the gas station?
25 A. At the checkpoint, yes.
1 Q. You see, it's about the 11th of July, I want to ask you. On the
2 10th, you apparently weren't working. But I want to ask you about the
3 11th of July.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you go to the Biljani school?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Are you sure about that?
8 A. 100 per cent.
9 Q. You know, of course, what happened at the Biljani school on the
10 10th of July, don't you?
11 A. I don't know exactly, just on the basis of what I heard.
12 Q. You heard, didn't you, almost immediately that there had been a
13 massacre of some 60-odd Muslims by members of the military and the police?
14 A. Yes, I heard about that, but I don't know how many people fell
16 Q. And it's perhaps one of the most notorious crimes in Kljuc, isn't
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The unit headed by a Marko Samardzija who was a teacher, wasn't
20 he, in civilian life. Did you know him?
21 A. No.
22 Q. All right. Just forgive me one moment. I want you to have a look
23 at another document.
24 All right, could you have a look, please, at P986. Now, this, I
25 accept, sir, is a document you probably haven't seen before.
1 A. No.
2 Q. It's signed by Lieutenant Colonel Samardzija, Territorial Defence
3 Kljuc command. And under paragraph 2, do you see (d): "The Sanica police
4 platoon will move along the following route, Sanica to Jakupovac,
5 Donji Biljani, and in the area in Donji Biljani, it will set up a
6 checkpoint where suspicious persons shall be dealt with. Extreme cases
7 shall be sent to the Kljuc SJB for further processing."
8 Were you one of the people who was sent along there to set up a
10 A. No, no. No.
11 Q. Now, please, have a look at P987. This is a note from the command
12 of the Sanica substation. That commander was, in fact, Mr. Tomic, wasn't
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This is a note that he wrote concerning the mopping-up action in
16 Sanica by military organs or the battalion of commander Jovan Kevac. He
17 was another police officer, wasn't he, Mr. Kevac?
18 A. Kevac was an officer of the Territorial Defence.
19 Q. All right. I'm sorry. I think you may be right about that.
20 Then he describes that on the 9th of July 1992, I was informed by
21 the commander of the battalion that his units would undertake a mopping-up
22 operation of the terrain, meaning the villages Gornji Biljani and
23 Donji Biljani, therefore it was necessary that the police officers of the
24 substation join in as well. Then he describes his version of the
25 mopping-up on the 10th of July. "The military units began the action
1 which included clearing out" - and he names all the villages - "and it was
2 planned to put the military prisoners in the area school in Biljani.
3 "For these requirements, I received help from the section for the
4 intervention of the mobile unit of the Kljuc public security station."
5 Now, so I accept you weren't at work on the 10th. Were members of
6 your intervention squad part of that operation?
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. When you went to work the next day, didn't you hear about the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you hear --
12 A. I heard that. But who took part in it, I don't know.
13 Q. Where did you hear it from? Members of your platoon?
14 A. People at the station in town were talking about it because it was
15 a terrible event. It was the talk of the town.
16 Q. I just want to ask you this, sir: Were you, that day when you
17 reported for duty, on the 11th of July, and according to that, the record
18 of your -- sorry, your work record, you were sent for guard duty. Were
19 you sent to deal with the remaining people who were left at Biljani as
20 part of your guard duty? Put them on to buses?
21 A. No. May I explain.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. I told you that I was on -- I spent two months -- a month at home,
24 and then another two months I had a grace period as it were. And there
25 was an assistant of mine, a policeman on duty, and the guards were in
1 front of the station.
2 Q. I'm sorry, sir. You told us originally you didn't work at all.
3 That's not true. This shows that the duties you were doing, does it not?
4 This document?
5 A. I understand. I carried out those duties, but I was -- I worked
6 part time actually. I performed light duties. I assisted the people on
7 duty and the guard service in front of the station. So the fact that I
8 had difficulties with my shoulder did not make it more difficult for me to
9 carry out those tasks.
10 Q. I understand your injury was nothing -- was a dislocated shoulder.
11 Why is it it took so long for you to recover, according to you?
12 A. Because it was a very serious dislocation, a full dislocation.
13 Q. Did you carry out guard duty - I think you told us you did - at
14 the police station?
15 A. Yes, in front of the entrance to the police station.
16 Q. There were prisoners being kept at the police station, weren't
18 A. There were people who had been brought there for questioning.
19 Q. And that questioning involved prisoners being beaten, didn't it?
20 A. I don't know that. I didn't see that.
21 Q. You may not have seen it, but you heard it, didn't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm sorry. Are you answering my next question?
24 A. I heard.
25 Q. You heard the beatings.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you ever try and do anything to stop the beatings?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An ordinary policeman --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you answer the question, before
7 you answer the question.
8 Mr. Vracar, you are being asked a question. If you feel or you
9 think, you believe, that in answering that question you might be
10 incriminating yourself, you might be exposing yourself to some criminal
11 proceedings, you can ask us to be exempted from answering that question,
12 and we will decide whether to exempt you or not. This is a measure of
13 protection that this Tribunal has in place to protect witnesses from being
14 asked or answering questions that could incriminate them. So if you think
15 that is the case, you just ask us not to answer the question.
16 So could I ask you, Ms. Korner, to put the question again.
17 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Sir, the question was this: Did you ever try to do anything to
19 stop the beatings?
20 A. My influence was very small. I was an ordinary policeman. I
21 couldn't decide on anything.
22 Q. The question was, did you try?
23 A. As a person of high morality, I didn't agree with that. And I
24 told some of my colleagues that it wasn't all right, the things they were
1 Q. Did you try and leave the police force?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When?
4 A. I left the police station, and then I worked for a bit in the
5 municipal service. It was a long time ago. I cannot recall the dates.
6 And then I left the police end of 1994, before the new year, beginning of
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm beginning to get confused here because earlier
9 on --
10 MS. KORNER: He told us, yes, he left after three months.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And he went back to teaching; that's what he said.
12 He said that he was on sick leave for three months, one month at home, two
13 months in Kljuc. And after, that he was asked a specific question by
14 Mr. Cunningham, and he said "I went back to teaching after that." So I
15 need some kind of explanation at this point in time, what you did
16 precisely after August of 1992.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. And why you told us earlier, as His Honour has just pointed out,
19 that after three months of sick leave you went back to teaching.
20 A. I worked at school for some periods of time. And when the units
21 were carrying out different tasks, we were asked to patrol for a day or
22 two. I didn't consider that to be special involvement or engagement. In
23 order to maintain law and order, because the population had remained
24 without any protective force.
25 Q. In fact, you stayed working as a full-time police officer, didn't
1 you, until September 1992 when you were mobilised into the 17th Light
2 Infantry Brigade? That's right, isn't it, sir?
3 A. I wasn't in the brigade. They sent out this summons by mistake,
4 and I had some duties at the police. But actually only occasionally, from
5 time to time, took part in those assignments because my basic job was the
6 job I performed at the school.
7 Q. I'm sorry, sir. You did receive an order to go to the 17th Light
8 Infantry Brigade. Is that what you're saying?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you're saying you were able to not obey it?
11 A. They sent me -- they sent it out by mistake because the person
12 that sent it to me did not, in fact, see the military schedule.
13 Q. So I suggest, sir, you didn't go back to teaching until the
14 25th -- or sometime after the 25th of July 1995. Is that right, sir?
15 A. I worked at the school. I said that before. And occasionally, I
16 was performing my service. The fact that -- well, I was definitely
17 demobilised at the end of the war, as you say.
18 Q. You were a fairly well-known police officer in Kljuc, weren't you,
19 sir, because of your karate skills?
20 A. I was above all a professor, and I had thousands of pupils, and of
21 course I was well known.
22 Q. And you can't go back to Kljuc, can you, sir?
23 A. I can. Why not?
24 Q. That's why you're living in Banja Luka, isn't it?
25 A. I live in Banja Luka because of my children.
1 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Korner.
3 Mr. Cunningham, no re-examination?
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I need to produce -- I've
5 sent for -- we only translated May and July.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: But I'm informed that the other records will show him
8 working August as well, until September. I'm asking for them to be
9 brought down, and may I ask they be made a bulk exhibit.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection?
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: None, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be tendered, and that will be P2723.
13 MS. KORNER: I mean, with just the whole lot, although we may
14 translate it, just so we can keep it together.
15 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Taya wishes to put some questions to you.
17 Go ahead, Judge Taya.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE TAYA: I understand that not every reserve police officer
20 was not assigned to special intervention squad. Is that right?
21 A. [No Interpretation]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you speak loud, please, because the
24 interpreters couldn't hear you. What was your answer to that question?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not everyone was engaged.
1 JUDGE TAYA: Why you were assigned a member of the special
2 intervention squad?
3 A. At the time of the mobilisation, basically younger people were
4 engaged, and sportsmen.
5 JUDGE TAYA: Your intention to be a member of the special
6 intervention squad was not taken care of? You had no desire to be a
7 member of the special intervention squad?
8 A. No. No.
9 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Taya. I don't have any questions
11 for you, which basically means that your testimony comes to an end here.
12 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I didn't want to interrupt Ms. Korner's
14 examination, but I think that there was a mistake in the translation.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Page 39:11, page 39, line 11.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and what is the mistake?
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Let me get there. I apologise.
19 Question reads as follows: "I suggest this was unusual training.
20 Sorry, I'll make myself clear. It was not the sort of training you had
21 received before."
22 Answer: "Mostly it was infantry training except for the combat
23 unit." I'm told that he didn't say "combat unit," but "fighting skills".
24 I don't know if that makes a difference, but I wanted to give him a chance
25 to clarify that if I'm correct.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vracar. You've heard what Mr. Cunningham
2 has just stated. What was your answer? Was it as it has been explained
3 or put by Mr. Cunningham, or did you actually --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said exactly that it was ordinary
5 infantry training with fighting skills or combat skills, not unit.
6 Karate, judo, self-defense, that kind of thing, skills.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Vracar, your testimony comes to an end
8 here on behalf of this Trial Chamber and of the Tribunal, and on behalf of
9 Judge Janu and Judge Taya, I should like to thank you for having come over
10 to give testimony here. You will now be escorted by Madam Usher out of
11 the courtroom, and you will be attended to, receive all the assistance you
12 require to make your return home possible at the earliest.
13 I also wish to wish you a safe journey back home, and extend to
14 you and your family the best wishes for this festive season.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, before we pull down the curtains, anything on
18 your part, Ms. Korner?
19 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. I think -- looking at the list.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MS. KORNER: I see -- well, the first thing I notice that
22 Your Honours are still retaining the Maglov contempt hearing then.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. For the time being, for sure, yes.
24 MS. KORNER: All right. But otherwise, Your Honour, that seems,
25 to us anyhow, more or less what we discussed, and we agree to the schedule
1 that Your Honours have set out.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you have other preferences, both of
3 you, let us know. I mean...
4 I will be returning to The Hague very early. So I will be
5 available here should the need require.
6 MS. KORNER: All right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
8 Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I've looked at the scheduling
10 documents you gave us. It appears like that's workable to me.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: The other thing that I will tell you and
13 Ms. Korner is that Witness Number 14 --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because there I have to find the list.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Number 14 will not be coming for certain, so we
17 will be moving witnesses up on the list. And there may be some additional
18 changes within the next 24, 48 hours that I will advise you of if it
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: While on my feet, I want to wish happy holidays to
22 everybody in the room.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I was going to deal with that.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yesterday, we applied -- Mr. Nicholls
25 applied to put in the transcript of the interview of Mr. Sajic as an
1 exhibit. On the basis, Your Honour, effectively the same with Mr. Radic,
2 that quite a lot of it was put to the witness. Now, if it's not made an
3 exhibit and then something goes wrong, as we all know occasionally, the
4 transcript doesn't properly reflect sometimes the question and answers for
5 various reasons, it would be important to be able to go back and look at
6 the exact questions and answers which were put and accepted. And that's
7 why it needs to be an exhibit.
8 Your Honour, obviously if no questions are put except for one or
9 two, it doesn't matter. But here, quite a lot were put, and Your Honours
10 agreed in the case of Mr. Radic, so we're asking for Mr. Sajic as well.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I talk to Mr. Ackerman briefly, Your Honour.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I think there's a qualitative difference
15 and quantitative difference between Sajic and Radic. While there were a
16 lot of questions directly asked out of his interview by both sides, I
17 think there weren't that many with respect to Mr. Sajic. I -- and
18 Mr. Nicholls would have his exhibit, I think he maybe had five items out
19 of an 81-page English document that were tabbed, and I went into three
20 different things in the statement. So I don't think -- I don't think it's
21 a fair comparison, and I don't think it should be admitted, and we would
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the position as we see it, and therefore our
25 decision reflects the position, is as follows: We believe that there is
1 some utility, some practical utility in having the transcript of the
2 interview of the Prosecution -- with the Office of the Prosecution with
3 Mr. Sajic. But of course, we will be giving it the probative value only
4 insofar as there may be parts in that statement that relate to specific
5 questions that were asked yesterday, and not beyond that. I mean,
6 it's -- it cannot substitute the testimony, the direct testimony that
7 Mr. Sajic gave here in any case.
8 Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Otherwise, the exercise would be to find in
9 the document itself which parts should be admitted and which parts
10 shouldn't be admitted. But we will use our good judgement on that. Yes,
11 Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's a matter that I keep planning
13 to raise and then forgetting by the time I get to the Court. I think
14 probably both of us now are starting to work on the final briefs that
15 we're going to submit to Your Honours.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mm-hmm. I hope so.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'm wondering whether we can expect
18 Your Honours to tell us which of the exhibits you are not going to admit
19 so we'll know what the evidence is that we should be writing those briefs
20 about. Because until we find out which of the exhibits you have decided
21 you are not going to permit into evidence, we don't know the body of
22 evidence upon which we should write our final brief. So we will get a
23 list at some point in the near future of those exhibits that you have
24 decided not to consider?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I had always made it clear that that would
1 be in the final deliberations that we will make in camera. And for the
2 time being, you have to consider that everything that has been admitted by
3 both sides is still there.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: In this consideration, we should consider that --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that before in actual fact you
6 conclude your case we should exclude any document from --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. I apparently had misunderstood you,
8 Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Also, as we go along, I don't know what kind of
10 evidence we are to expect between now and the end of your case. It could
11 be evidence which may shed information on some of the documents tendered
12 and counterproductive if we even tried to do that exercise at this point
13 in time. I think it will be crazy on our part to do that.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I know what Mr. Ackerman means. One of
15 the things, of course, is that Mr. Ackerman has provided to us, and I
16 think to the Court, a number of exhibits which haven't gone in through any
17 witnesses, and I think he's going to try and move them into evidence at
18 the end of all the --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, understood that.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we're going through those exhibits now
21 to see if there are any first of all that we positively object to on the
22 grounds of relevance; secondly provenance. Your Honour will recall that I
23 asked in respect of the documents shown to Mr. Bojinovic where they had
24 come from, and eventually got an answer.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: Which is an interesting answer but Your Honour, I may
2 be asking the same thing about other documents that Mr. Ackerman
3 wanted -- wants to move in. So it may be as well if at the end of all the
4 Defence evidence or between the gap that's going to arise before the
5 expert testifies, we could just perhaps look at the various --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Ms. Korner. But I didn't understand
7 Mr. Ackerman --
8 MS. KORNER: He's talking about the Prosecution exhibits. That, I
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think at this point in time, we'll reserve our
11 position on each and every document that there is.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, obviously, we'll be pointing -- I think
13 the truthful answer is we will be drawing attention to what we consider to
14 be the major documents and any evidence that shows that they are authentic
15 and important.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, sorry. We missed making -- Your Honours
18 having ruled that the interview can go in, that will be Exhibit P2720, the
19 interview of Sajic.
20 And finally, Your Honour --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Because 2720, we had one yesterday. We
22 definitely had one yesterday. I tell you why, because when you said today
23 this will be 2721. I was under the impression that we had 2721 yesterday,
24 so I checked and --
25 THE REGISTRAR: It's the statement entered by the OTP.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- we had 2720 yesterday.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, that was the interview. I said, "Can we make it
3 2720." Or Mr. Nicholls said that.
4 THE REGISTRAR: At that time you mentioned statement.
5 MS. KORNER: All right. Whether it's a statement or an interview.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Then if you're sure about this, it will 2720.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes.
8 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If I can ask the -- is that the statement that's
9 coming over here?
10 MS. KORNER: Yes.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I just wanted to make sure.
12 CROWN COUNSEL: So we all have the same version. I agree.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's what I was asking about.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, finally, on the topic of the length of
15 the final --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Briefs.
17 MS. KORNER: -- briefs, I think, Your Honour, it's usually about
18 200 pages. Would Your Honours say 200 pages with leave to apply if we
19 really feel we want to go over that?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you make it 50, Ms. Korner?
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we're trying to help out. We could make
22 it short by saying see all of --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, when we came to the Rule 98, you found
24 us, I suppose, both of you, very flexible. This is a major case, so I can
25 imagine that you might require more than 200 pages. Please feel free to
1 request -- put a specific request, and we will deal with that. But we
2 have no intention as of now to restrict you unduly, in other words.
3 Neither you nor the Defence obviously.
4 MS. KORNER: Right. Thank you.
5 Your Honour, we've now got June, the records show -- Your Honour,
6 I think what we'll have to do is get a statement showing what these
7 abbreviations mean.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MS. KORNER: I was obviously, as Your Honours gathered, given a
10 key, but it's not evidence.
11 Sorry, I'll just find my key. It shows sick leave, Your Honour --
12 does Your Honour have it now? Can I hand it up. You'll see -- June,
13 BO -- and for the Defence as well.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'll get a statement from someone to
16 confirm all this, but --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner.
18 MS. KORNER: -- BO stands for sick leave, and not what anybody
19 else in this Court may think it stands for.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, who do I cross-examine about this?
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if you want a witness, I can call a
22 witness to deal with that in rebuttal.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's that important --
24 MS. KORNER: Well, if Mr. Ackerman wants to, I'll discuss it with
25 Mr. Ackerman. I'll call a witness. Can I just say what my understanding
1 is, and I'll call evidence --
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, could you just say where it came from. If
3 you give me a source, then I may be happy.
4 MS. KORNER: The information comes from -- I can't remember
5 whether the witness testified in closed session or not. The witness you
6 cross-examined from Kljuc whose statement went in.
7 Can we just go into private session for a moment, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go to private session for a while.
9 MS. KORNER: I don't think he was. He wasn't. I see...
10 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, PO equals "sick leave". MD,
2 "junior duty officer".
3 MS. KORNER: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: SS.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is now looking at what?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's in July.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes, I think I dealt with that with him. But SS
8 stands for "arrest duty".
9 JUDGE AGIUS: SL is --
10 MS. KORNER: Is "day off".
11 JUDGE AGIUS: P?
12 MS. KORNER: PUB is "checkpoint at gas station". And P is "patrol
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And PUB -- PU? Checkpoint.
15 MS. KORNER: PUB --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. PU only. PU. You have it in May.
17 MS. KORNER: In May. Where are we? Thanks. May, PU, checkpoint
18 duty. Punkt, apparently.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one S?
20 MS. KORNER: One S is "guard duty".
21 And then for August, does Your Honour have that now?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. No --
23 MS. KORNER: I think that's again --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, I don't have August. I have May, June, and
1 MS. KORNER: We've now got August as well. Can we hand that up.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think -- I have been told that SS
4 are the initials for "strazarenje sluzba," which would be I think "guard
5 duty," and not "arrest duty".
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's not according to my key, but I
7 think it's a better that I get a statement setting all this out very
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 Yes, now you have another PU. PUM.
11 MS. KORNER: Yeah, well, PUM. Your Honour, that doesn't appear on
12 my key, and I'm just wondering if it's mistyping, either PUR or PUB.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't help you there.
14 MS. KORNER: I can't read it, I'm afraid.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And OB?
16 MS. KORNER: Golly, don't know about that either.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think Ms. Korner is correct. I
18 think we should wait until we have an actual statement.
19 MS. KORNER: I think we will.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: We'll probably get it wrong.
21 MS. KORNER: I'll get a statement for all this.
22 Your Honour, the final thing, there's one for September as well.
23 Thank you. And that shows -- it has got the S symbol. And then I
24 honestly don't know what else he was doing after that. Your Honour, I'll
25 wait and see about the statement. It appears until we get to the day off
1 bit, and that looks like he was working up until the 11th of September.
2 And our information is that he no longer appears on the books of the
3 police station after September, but again I'll get that put into writing.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
5 Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Sorry, have you finished, Ms. Korner?
6 MS. KORNER: I have.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, with regard to the -- you asked at the
9 beginning of the session for some comment regarding rebuttal and rejoinder
10 aspects of this.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: And Ms. Korner suggested at one point that they
13 might only have documents, but that's really not my point. I see that
14 there is a period of two days from the end of what would be the
15 Prosecution's rebuttal to the beginning of what would be the Defence's
16 rejoinder. And it would be impossible for us to find a rejoinder witness
17 on Saturday and Sunday and have them here to testify on Monday unless we
18 were to know significantly in advance who the Prosecution was going to
19 bring on rebuttal and with some detail what person was going to say.
20 Because rejoinder has to be rejoinder.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's fair enough.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if we take the view that we want to call
23 evidence live as opposed to putting in documents of any sort, we'll notify
24 Mr. Ackerman and Your Honours in advance.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
1 MS. KORNER: We're still in the process of investigating certain
2 matters that have come up.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours, like Mr. Ackerman, may I wish
5 Your Honours a happy Christmas.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course. And this, of course, prompts me to
7 reciprocate. Before we adjourn, on my own behalf and on behalf of
8 Judge Janu and Judge Taya, I should like to thank you both, first, for
9 wishing us the very best. And I should like to extend to you,
10 Mr. Ackerman, you, Ms. Korner, and your teams, your respective teams, but
11 not only to you but to everyone taking part in this trial, the staff, the
12 legal staff, the interpreters, the technicians, everyone, our very best
13 wishes for this festive season.
14 For the new year, I will wish you and your respective families
15 happiness, good health, peace, internal and with others, and of course,
16 tranquility. The same wishes go to all those who are not with us here
17 today but who are following these proceedings, either here in The Hague or
18 in ex-Yugoslavia.
19 The trial stands adjourned until January 12th.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I should -- just as you adjourn, I
21 didn't for one moment want to suggest that the shorthand writer in this
22 court made mistakes in the transcript. It was pointed out to me that any
23 errors that did occur could be avoided if we gave copies of the documents
24 to them. And so I think I wanted to make it absolutely clear and offer
25 any apologies. There was no slight intended.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. We stand adjourned until
2 January 12th. Thank you.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.25 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
5 January, 2003.