1 Wednesday, 13 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic to continue your examination.
7 WITNESS: GORAN KOVACEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, and
10 thank you.
11 Examination by Tapuskovic: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacevic, I have about 20 minutes more, and
13 I'll try, if possible, to cover a few other things. Let me show you, but
14 first can you please tell the Judges, after leaving Pretis on the 4th of
15 April, 1992, during those years, subsequent years, did you ever go to the
16 Pretis factory?
17 A. Well, I did drop by, but not too many times. Only when I had
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
20 Prosecution document 65 ter 02026.
21 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, do you see this document? Take a look at who has
22 issued and signed this document, and tell us out loud.
23 A. This document was issued by the secretariat for the economy of
24 Vogosca municipality and it was signed by Milorad Motika, the manager of
1 Q. What is the date?
2 A. 20th of September, 1994.
3 Q. Can we now look at the next page, please. Do you see the title?
4 Can you please read it?
5 A. "Pretis production capacity."
6 Q. Can you please quickly take a look at the first page. Anyway, you
7 know that I have shown this document to you before examination-in-chief
8 and that you have seen it. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us what these two -- what these first pages refer to,
11 but please be brief.
12 A. The first page, as well as other pages, concern the development of
13 Pretis after the Second World War up to the 1990s, that is, the beginning
14 of the war, and its production programme is shown over the period,
15 including the civilian and military production.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you remember what kind of industrial branch this
17 was? What was the annual turnover and earnings from exports? Do you
18 remember that?
19 A. I remember that for the time these were very high figures. They
20 were expressed in dinars, but I cannot tell you exactly because I did not
21 work in the financial department.
22 Q. Thank you. This is all written in this document.
23 Can we please now look at the last page. And please pay attention
24 to paragraph -- the fifth paragraph from the bottom. It begins with the
25 word "Establish ..." Can you read this paragraph, and after that tell me
1 whether this is consistent with the condition of the Pretis factory when
2 you later came to visit it occasionally. Please read the paragraph which
3 begins the words "Established."
4 A. "The sanctions imposed by Serbia on RS have had disastrous
5 consequences on supplies of raw materials because the factory relies
6 almost 100 per cent on supplies from SR Yugoslavia. It is even more
7 difficult to procure tools, office supplies, and especially spare parts
8 because most of the modern equipment is imported and it is difficult to
9 import spare parts up to now."
10 Q. Was that the situation that you saw when you came to visit later,
11 when these events happened in the period from 1992 to 1995?
12 A. This situation prevailed throughout the war, as far as I was able
13 to see when I visited the Pretis occasionally. But the situation
14 deteriorated following the imposition of the sanctions.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document,
17 65 ter 02026, be admitted as a Defence exhibit.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As D227, Your Honours.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'd like to show you another document. Yesterday, you spoke about
22 the events in Buca Potok, Zuc village, that happened in the first days,
23 and how everything started in 1992. I'd like to show you now 65 ter
24 document 03263.
25 Mr. Kovacevic, please take a look at the title of this document,
1 read it, and tell us what it pertains to, if you can, please.
2 A. This is a document issued by the Ministry of the Interior, and
3 that's a daily report, number 104.
4 Q. Thank you. Look at the date.
5 A. The 3rd of June, 1992.
6 Q. Thank you. Since we don't have enough time to go through the
7 entire document, could you please read the passage which begins -- that's
8 the fourth paragraph, and it begins with "The enemy groups ..." Please
9 read it out loud.
10 A. "The enemy groups have attacked the village of Zuc from the
11 position at Pofalici and Buca Potok. The attack was repelled and one of
12 our combatants was wounded in this battle."
13 Q. Without going into everything that is written here, does what you
14 have just read correspond to what you said and how you described the
15 events at the beginning and what you said yesterday during the
16 examination-in-chief relating to Buca Potok and Pofalici?
17 A. This is precisely the reflection of that. Only the name of
18 Milojica Stevanovic, the victim was not mentioned here. Everything else
19 is here. I mentioned Zivkovic, Odzakovic, Stevanovic, Rakic, and other
20 families who moved out of the area.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can the document
22 0263 be admitted as a Defence exhibit.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As D228, Your Honours.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, since I have very little time left, you described
2 the events that took place towards the end of 1994. Can you tell us very
3 briefly, what was the situation between December and May? You told us a
4 few things, but can you tell us briefly a little bit more?
5 A. Between December 1994 and May 1995, I said that I think that a
6 truce was signed, although I'm not sure. There were no war operations and
7 activities either by the BH army or by our side. Therefore, this truce
8 was being observed until the end of May, approximately, when provocations
9 started and then later became an offensive.
10 Q. Can you just tell us briefly what happened when this offensive was
11 mounted? Can you please tell the Chamber that?
12 A. Yes, sir. The BH army mounted an offensive on all points in
13 Nisici, towards Hadzici, Treskovica, our front line. I'm talking about
14 the battlefield of Rajlovac and Zuc where I was, including Ilidza as well.
15 Q. Thank you. You said the Rajlovac battlefield. Up until then, you
16 were threatened from which positions during the whole war? I'm talking
17 about the positions where you were.
18 A. In most cases, from the direction of Zuc, the Zuc plateau.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he just
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Now, when the offensive started, were you threatened from other
24 directions as well? You mentioned Hadzici; you mentioned Nisici. Were
25 there any other attacks that you expected to come not only from Zuc but
1 from other directions as well?
2 A. Since the area of responsibility that we covered was actually
3 covered by my brigade - excuse me - included the Nisici front, at the time
4 we were attacked from two sides and there was also fire coming from Igman
5 during the offensive.
6 Q. Thank you. In view of all that and these attacks, I'm going to
7 show you Defence document D159.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have that brought
9 up on the screens. D159.
10 Q. Have a look at who issued that report, what the date was, and read
11 out loud paragraph number 1. Can you tell me whether that tallies with
12 the events as you remembered them in the time you refer to and concerning
13 the things you've described? Please read it out loud, the heading, the
14 date, and item 1.
15 A. This is a report on active combat actions by the command of the
16 1st Corps - interpreter's correction - command of the 12th Division. The
17 date, the 4th of July, 1995, signed by the commander of the 12th Brigade,
18 Brigadier Fikret Prevljak. Item 1 states literally:
19 "During the period between the 15th of June and the 3rd of July,
20 1995, we fired from all types of weaponry that we had at our disposal
21 against over 300 VTs of the enemy."
22 Q. Does that correspond to what you actually were able to observe at
23 the positions where you were?
24 A. Precisely so. I intentionally paused here when weaponry was
25 mentioned and pieces as well, because in our language these are two
1 different terms. When I say "weaponry" or "weapons," I mean infantry
2 weapons, and "pieces" pertains to artillery.
3 Q. Throughout the period of the clashes and in the period referred to
4 here, can you tell us, first of all, how many soldiers from your platoon
5 and from your positions were killed? And, in particular, do you know
6 anything of any casualties among the civilians of Pofalici and other
7 locations? Can you tell us something about that or not?
8 A. I personally know of a soldier who was killed on that line by the
9 name of Radoslav Miskovic. I know that there were some wounded soldiers.
10 I remember two of them. And there were many other things, although I
11 didn't keep track. I cannot tell you precisely, but I know that Dragan
12 Krnjajic was wounded at our position as well as Mirko Tambur, and so on
13 and so forth.
14 Q. What about civilians?
15 A. I don't know about civilians. Well, there was one civilian who
16 was killed in front of his house in my settlement by the name of Mirko
18 Q. And to conclude with, can you tell me whether you had contacts
19 with the population during this period? Did you have any contacts with
20 refugees, and do you know what their feelings were at the time and how
21 they felt? That would also be my last question.
22 A. First of all, to correct the transcript, it isn't Mirko Miskovic
23 but Mirko Micukic.
24 And concerning your last question, the refugees had already gone
25 through the atrocities at Pofalici and other locations at Sarajevo, but
1 the offensive that year took place throughout the territory of Republika
2 Srpska. And since the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was far more numerous
3 than ours, people were expecting loss of territory, extermination,
4 persecution. However, at Pofalici it did not take place.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You said the Bosnia-Herzegovina army was far more
9 numerous than yours. Can you tell us something about the relative level
10 of weaponry as between the two armies?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you much. I can only
12 tell you what I presumed since I'm not an expert in those matters. The
13 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina took over the barracks, as I mentioned
14 yesterday, from the JNA. I think it has also been recorded in the
15 broadcast when the JNA was trying to pull out and to save their skins, and
16 they just moved into their barracks. They were not inferior to us in any
17 way. At least that's what I think.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
19 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kovacevic.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Ms. Edgerton.
22 May I inquire whether you wish to have that last document
23 exhibited? That's to Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this already is an
25 exhibit. This is D159.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Yes.
2 MS. EDGERTON:
3 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, as you've heard, my name is Carolyn Edgerton and
4 I'm going to be asking you some questions from the Prosecution bench about
5 some of the evidence that you've given today and some other matters, and I
6 just wanted to tell you, if you find my questions unclear at any time or
7 in any way, please tell me and I'll be happy to rephrase them or try and
8 clarify them for you. Is that all right?
9 Now, yesterday, you spoke a little bit about your military service
10 record and said that you were a platoon commander and your company
11 commander was Sinisa Krsman, but I noticed that was, unless I was
12 mistaken, from 1993. Yesterday, you spoke about the formation of the
13 military unit you were a part of in May 1992, and I'd actually like to go
14 back to that, if that's all right.
15 Now, you mentioned earlier that in the context of the agreement
16 over the evacuation and surrender of the -- evacuation of the JNA and
17 surrender of the JNA barracks in Sarajevo - Marsal Tito, Jusuf Dzonlic,
18 Viktor Bubanj - people in your neighbourhood started organising themselves
19 under the Territorial Defence Staff, and you said: "So we set up units.
20 Rather, the TO staff organised units, armed fighters using the weapons
21 left over after the JNA had evacuated the Rajlovac barracks."
22 Do you recall that?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please say yes or no rather than nod.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
25 MS. EDGERTON:
1 Q. Now, if I was to suggest to you that the evacuation of the
2 barracks you mentioned or you named actually took place at the very end of
3 May 1992 and the organisation of the Serbian people in the area of
4 Rajlovac began much earlier than that date, would you agree with that?
5 A. I don't know the exact date, the date of the army's withdrawal
6 from the Rajlovac barracks, as I specified yesterday, and I stand by it.
7 Q. If I was to say to you that the Serbian municipality of Rajlovac
8 was proclaimed on February 23rd of 1992, prior to the referendum on
9 independence and prior to the recognition of independence of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina on the 6th of April, would you agree with that?
11 A. Again, I have to repeat that I don't know that date either, and I
12 don't see any reason to. It's a matter of the local authorities for each
13 municipality, the way the local communes and municipalities were
14 organised. As for the exact date when the Serb municipality of Rajlovac
15 was founded, that I don't know. I know that it was sometime in early
16 1992, but not the date. And it's a local authority matter.
17 Q. You're familiar with Radovan Karadzic, who was the President of
18 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I take it?
19 A. I am familiar with that.
20 Q. He was a media figure over the course of many years, so I imagine
21 you would have heard his voice many times. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, in the media, yes.
23 Q. All right. That being the case, I'd like us to listen to an
24 intercepted conversation, which is -- the transcript of which is going to
25 appear on the screen in front of you so that you can follow in your own
1 language, and it's number 03232. The date of that conversation is 23
2 February 1992.
3 [Audiotape played]
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, do you recognise the voice of
6 Radovan Karadzic in that conversation? I'm sorry, the transcript doesn't
7 record nods.
8 A. I am not sure. I can guess or try to recognise, but I cannot be
9 certain. You also have to allow for a possibility that it's not him. If
10 I'm to be held responsible and held to my word, I would never say for sure
11 that this was indeed he, not even after listening to this. As for me to
12 be able to say whether it is he or not, I can't remember some other even
13 more familiar voices, let alone President Karadzic's.
14 Q. This conversation mentioned the place Reljevo. Where is Reljevo,
15 Mr. Kovacevic?
16 A. Reljevo is a local commune in Rajlovac.
17 Q. And the two men in this conversation, Karadzic and Mr. Grkovic, as
18 you saw, talked about the boundaries of the Serb municipality of Rajlovac,
19 going as far south as the TV station and going north to Vogosca and going
20 to the west to Osijek. Does that --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, I don't understand how you can put
22 that to the witness, the two men in this conversation, Karadzic and
23 whoever the other one was, because he hasn't agreed that it is Karadzic.
24 MS. EDGERTON: I was simply saying that on the basis of those
25 recorded in the transcript that you saw before you, Your Honours, but,
1 yes, quite right.
2 Q. Mr. Witness, the two people in this conversation talked about the
3 territorial definition of the Serb municipality of Rajlovac, as I said
4 before, as far south as the TV station, as far north as Vogosca, and as
5 far east as -- pardon me, west as Osijek. Would you agree that that
6 corresponds with your knowledge of the territorial boundaries of the Serb
7 municipality of Rajlovac?
8 A. I'm not quite certain that things are that way exactly, but if
9 this is an authentic conversation, then I guess so. I wasn't privy to
10 that. I didn't have a map of the Serb municipality of Rajlovac. I wasn't
11 into that, and I don't know what these two men may have discussed,
12 Mr. Grkovic and President Karadzic. Therefore, I don't know.
13 As for any maps of the municipality of Rajlovac, I did see it at
14 some point, but I don't think it was exactly as it was portrayed here. I
15 think it was smaller. It was shown on TV. Although the northern and
16 western borders do tally more or less.
17 Again, I have to tell you that I had nothing to do with politics.
18 I don't know what was being decided at the sessions of the local Municipal
19 Assembly and so on and so forth. As for the map, I told you what I think
20 of it.
21 Q. So based on your answer, what I take from your answer is that
22 although to your knowledge, to your personal knowledge, the borders of the
23 municipality may have been slightly smaller, the northern and western
24 borders corresponded more or less with this conversation; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Could this be entered as a Prosecution exhibit,
2 Your Honours?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As P769, Your Honours.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. And could I have --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see Mr. Tapuskovic on his feet.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this has already
9 been exhibited, but I object on the basis of principle. As regards any
10 future intercepts, if a witness can say something about those for certain,
11 then I have nothing against your ruling. But, in principle, if he's
12 uncertain whether it is as the Prosecutor puts it, then he cannot say
13 anything and he cannot be held responsible.
14 Therefore, maybe such intercepts should be introduced via some
15 other witnesses. Your ruling stands as it is, but such intercepts may
16 come again, and I'd ask you to ask the Prosecutor to introduce such
17 intercepts only through witnesses which can actually confirm those. That
18 is my general position as Defence counsel.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I admitted it on the basis of his agreement
20 with the Prosecution's proposition that the borders identified in the
21 municipality, identified in the conversation that he heard, correspond
22 with the -- are more or less correct. So I admitted it on that basis.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
24 Could I now ask we see the document with the 65 ter number 03256
25 on the screen, which are the notes of a commemorative speech on the
1 promulgation of the Serbian municipality of Rajlovac recovered following
2 the reintegration in 1996.
3 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, do you see the document in your language in front
4 of you?
5 Mr. Kovacevic, could I draw your attention to the first sentence
6 on the first page, which reads: "We gathered on 23 February 1992 and
7 promulgated the Serbian municipality of Rajlovac."
8 Does your memory, Mr. Kovacevic, now stand refreshed as to when
9 the Serb municipality of Rajlovac was proclaimed?
10 A. Well, you know what? As I said a minute ago, the 23rd of February
11 was crossed out here and then written again, which may be correct and then
12 it may not be. However, I didn't take part in it, and I don't know. The
13 newly appointed municipal president took part in that, as well as some
14 deputies and delegates, whatever they were called at the time. I was just
15 a plain ordinary citizen. I took no part in the formation of that Serb
16 municipality of Rajlovac or its promulgation; therefore, I cannot tell you
17 much about it. The date seems to be inserted later. It needn't -- it
18 doesn't have to mean that it's incorrect, but I can't say anything about
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Edgerton, who was the author of this? Who
21 held the speech, and what was the occasion?
22 MS. EDGERTON: The occasion, Your Honour, as set out in greater
23 detail in the document itself, was a commemorative gathering on the
24 promulgation of the Serbian municipality of Rajlovac, and the
25 Prosecution's submission, given the location of recovery of the document,
1 which was from the office of the Serbian municipality of Rajlovac
2 following the reintegration, was that it was written by a member of the
3 Serbian municipality assembly.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: So was the speech ever held?
5 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, is your question perhaps more whether
6 or not the gathering ever took place? Certainly, the affair, in the
7 Prosecution's submission, was commemorated, but we've not had evidence in
8 this court at this time to this effect. The evidence has been brought
9 before other Trial Chambers in this Tribunal.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: So we're looking at a document. We don't know who
11 the author is. We're not sure if it was ever read out. We're not sure if
12 the occasion took place. So what are we exactly to believe here?
13 MS. EDGERTON: With Your Honour's permission, I would like to put
14 certain passages of this document to the witness to see whether they
15 correspond with the witness's recollection of what took it place in the
16 period leading up to May 1992 when he's spoken about the formation of his
17 territorial units.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honour Judge
20 Harhoff, I would like to hear the Prosecutor's response to your question.
21 I think it is very important to know who authored this document. It is
22 very important for the continuation of the cross-examination with this
23 witness. Perhaps we should show the witness the last page of this speech
24 and then he might be able to tell us who drafted that. And this is very
25 necessary for us to be able to do anything with this document that might
1 be exhibited. Perhaps we can look at the last page to see whether we can
2 tell who drafted it.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, to whom is it written?
4 MS. EDGERTON: You see the addressees, "Dear Gentlemen and Dear
5 Guests," Your Honours, at the top of the document.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's crossed out.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honours. It's notes on the speech for
8 the commemoration of the promulgation of the Serb municipality of
9 Rajlovac. Regardless of who may have written the document or who it may
10 have been addressed to, Your Honours, I'd submit I'm certainly entitled to
11 put propositions, factual propositions as set out in this document, to the
12 witness to determine whether or not they correspond with his recollection.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us see the last page.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Certainly.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't know to whom it is written or who wrote
16 it. I believe its reliability may be in question. Let me consult my
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll allow you to put the questions
20 to the witness.
21 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Witness, if I could direct you to page 5 of the B/C/S translation,
23 paragraph 4; on the English, page 6.
24 It reads -- perhaps we could scroll the B/C/S version upwards a
25 little bit just to make sure everything -- it reads: "Thanks to
1 politically tactic activities, we managed to take over the most important
2 military and civilian facilities --"
3 A. I'm not receiving interpretation.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Start again, Ms. Edgerton.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. Mr. Witness, can you hear me now at all?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The page on the original
8 has to be scrolled down, not up.
9 MS. EDGERTON: My apologies.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please scroll down.
11 MS. EDGERTON:
12 Q. If you could look at paragraph, I think, 4 on this page, it
14 "Thanks to politically tactic activities, we managed to take over
15 the most important military and civilian facilities in Rajlovac, even
16 though some of them had well-organised units the Territorial Defence."
17 Mr. Kovacevic, have you heard the passage I've just read to you
18 and do you see it in front of you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you agree with that proposition?
21 A. I've already said a few moments ago I have no idea who wrote this,
22 and I do not see any reason why I should agree or disagree with this
23 because I never participated in this. At that time I was a citizen who
24 went to work in Belgrade in 1992 every day. If this is from February
25 1992, I mean, a document from February 1992, which is questionable. I
1 went to work regularly at the time --
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In the transcript, all of a
5 sudden we see Belgrade. Nobody mentioned Belgrade.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That is what we heard the
7 witness say. We apologise.
8 MS. EDGERTON: And he did. I heard him say Belgrade as well.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You speak B/C/S?
10 MS. EDGERTON: I understand --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Understand B/C/S.
12 MS. EDGERTON: -- some B/C/S, and I can hear what he says.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Good for you, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: I've been here a long time, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Maybe you can assist the Defence team at times.
16 MS. EDGERTON: That may be my future one of these days, Your
18 Q. Sir, what we were focusing on was what you had testified yesterday
19 where you said: "The TO staff organised units, armed fighters, using the
20 weapons left over after the JNA had evacuated the Rajlovac barracks," and
21 what I'm asking you is whether, in light of what you testified yesterday,
22 the proposition that you managed to "take over the most important military
23 and civilian facilities in Rajlovac, even though some of them had
24 well-organised units of the Territorial Defence," was correct. Are you
25 prepared to agree with that?
1 A. Yesterday, I spoke about the organisation of units when I was
2 involved in those units. That certainly is not this date that is here in
3 this document, and I cannot agree with this because I don't know about
4 this. I only know about the time that I referred to yesterday, when I was
5 involved in the organisation of units under the Territorial Defence.
6 Now, whether they had activities before that or not, again I'm
7 telling you at the time that this document is dated I went to work
8 regularly for about two months. Not only me, but all of the town of
9 Sarajevo went regularly to work, to their factories.
10 As for these activities, I have no comment to make. I have
11 nothing to add, nothing to deny --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
13 Ms. Edgerton, you can't take this any further, this issue any
15 MS. EDGERTON: I understand, Your Honour. And since this was a
16 matter which went solely to the witness's credibility, I won't be seeking
17 to tender the document at this time.
18 Q. Perhaps we could move, Mr. Kovacevic, to what you've spoken about
19 again, the time when you were involved in the organisation of units under
20 the Territorial Defence. Could you tell me, was the Rajlovac Territorial
21 Defence ever subordinated to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in May 1992,
22 which is the time you specifically addressed yesterday?
23 A. I said yesterday the Territorial Defence, as it was called then,
24 although the Territorial Defence was already divided. Every municipality
25 had its Territorial Defence, and every local commune made some kind of
1 units at that time of the first conflicts.
2 In May 1992, I said yesterday, the army of Republika Srpska was
3 created in the beginning of May, sometime around the 10th. So I, as an
4 ordinary soldier, could not know who was my superior, who was my
5 subordinate, except for my immediate superiors. But probably, by virtue
6 of the fact that the army of Republika Srpska was established, these units
7 in Rajlovac were probably subordinated to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, if
8 that was your question.
9 MS. EDGERTON: That being the case, could we see document 03234,
10 please. Pardon me, 03244. My apologies. 03244.
11 Q. Do you see the document on the screen in front of you,
12 Mr. Kovacevic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If we could scroll down in the B/C/S version slowly and then go to
15 the second page so the witness can see the entire document. In fact, go
16 to the second page when he says he's had a chance to read the provisions
17 of the document.
18 A. What should I read on this document, what paragraph, or should I
19 read the entire document?
20 Q. It's not a long document, Mr. Kovacevic, and you're entitled to
21 have a look at the document, but I would ask you to pay particular
22 attention to paragraph (e), please. Sorry, in your version, paragraph
24 MS. EDGERTON: I see, Your Honours, that there seems to be an
25 error in the paragraph numbering of the English translation. I'll have
1 that corrected.
2 Q. Have you read paragraph (e), Mr. Kovacevic?
3 A. It's rather illegible. I guess that you're interested in the bit
4 that starts with "The Rajlovac Brigade ..." If so, I'm going to read that
6 Q. Please.
7 A. Yes, I've read it.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Could we go to the last page, please, of the
9 document so the witness can see who signed the document.
10 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, do you see the signature of the gentleman who was
11 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at that time, Tomislav Sipcic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So, Mr. Kovacevic, here on the 22nd of May, 1992, you see an order
14 from General Sipcic restructuring, effectively, the territorial forces of
15 the Serb republic to form larger units. Now, to the best of your
16 knowledge, is this order consistent with the situation as you recalled it
17 at that time?
18 A. I told you yesterday, as for what I know -- and I'd like to
19 emphasise once again that at that time I was an ordinary soldier who was
20 at the line underneath Zuc plateau. So this is the first time I hear of
21 this. Actually, perhaps I did hear of it, but I forgot who the first
22 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was. At that time, I didn't know
23 that. Today neither.
24 Q. Perhaps I could ask the question by going back to my original --
25 to something you said originally.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In your testimony earlier this morning, you said that you thought
3 the Rajlovac Territorial Defence was by this time subordinated to the
4 SRK. Do you have any reason to change that position now, seeing this
6 A. The territorial unit of Rajlovac under the jurisdiction of the
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at that time, in May? I mean, I said I think that
8 if the army of Republika Srpska had already been established, that all
9 units the Territorial Defence were linked up within the system of the army
10 of Republika Srpska. That's what I think. I'm not sure. I was not in
11 such a high position to be able to know that, the date, the beginning,
12 or -- I mean, maybe even up to the month of June they were not linked up,
13 or maybe they were but I didn't know about it.
14 I said I think, because the army was established on the 12th.
15 According to this system of automatism, all the units of Republika Srpska
16 should be linked up into a whole. Again, I say "I think." I'm not sure.
17 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, I'm not sure I quite understand. Are you actually
18 disputing the veracity of this document, even though it effectively goes
19 to confirm what you testified?
20 A. I am not disputing the veracity of this document. I'm just saying
21 that I don't know of this document. It is probably true. I mean, I
22 cannot confirm it as true, except for what I said. I claim that the truth
23 is what I said, and I'm not withdrawing in terms of what I said. And if
24 that corresponds with the document that is in front of me, then, well,
1 MS. EDGERTON: That being the case, Your Honour, I'd like to ask
2 that this be tendered as the next exhibit.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As P770, Your Honours.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. Was the Rajlovac Territorial Defence eventually subsumed into the
7 Rajlovac Brigade?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Under the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
10 A. Again, I'm telling you, probably yes. If it goes without saying
11 that every military unit has to be linked up, then yes. But I don't
12 know. I was not an officer or a signatory of some documents. I was a
14 Q. And do you know where the brigade headquarters was?
15 A. The brigade headquarters was at the Rajlovac barracks.
16 Q. And do you recall who the brigade commander was?
17 A. The first commander of the brigade, I remember the last name. I
18 don't remember his first name. Vujasin, Captain First Class.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps we could have one further document from
21 1992, and at that point I'll leave that here, and the document bears the
22 ter number 03248.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, what you should see on the screen in front of
24 you is an SRK command order dated 7 June 1992.
25 MS. EDGERTON: If we could go to the last page of the document,
1 please. Flip over that way so the witness could see the signature. On
2 the B/C/S, please. I don't see that that's the last page of the B/C/S
3 document. It doesn't correspond with the translation.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] On the Prosecutor's list, yes, I
7 got this document. I saw it, I read it, but it ends precisely on this
8 page that we saw just now, and there is no signature on that page, and I
9 didn't see whether the document had a signature somewhere else. I did not
10 receive any such thing. On this page there is no signature.
11 MS. EDGERTON: I see we have an e-court error. Obviously all
12 pages of the B/C/S version haven't been uploaded, and unless we can find
13 it very quickly, to save time, I'll move on and come back to that one part
14 of 1992, if I may.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. So then moving on, in fact jumping to 1993, Mr. Kovacevic. Your
18 unit, I understand, was subsumed, or the Rajlovac Brigade, which included
19 your unit, was subsumed under the control of the Vogosca Tactical Group
20 which later became the 3rd Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade; is that
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. And where was the command headquarters of the Vogosca Tactical
25 A. I think at the Motel Sonja. I'm not sure.
1 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber where the Motel Sonja was so
2 that they know?
3 A. On the condition that it is correct what I said, namely, that this
4 is at the Sonja Motel, not Sanja, it is between Rajlovac and Vogosca by an
5 intersection on the road. Krivoglavci is the name of the settlement.
7 Q. Again what, Mr. Kovacevic? I'm sorry, you said something that the
8 interpreter translated to me. No?
9 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said "again"; he said "opet."
10 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, from this time, the time at which your unit was incorporated
12 into the Vogosca Tactical Group, up until the end of the war, did you,
13 Mr. Kovacevic, have any direct contact whatsoever with SRK command staff?
14 A. No. I had meetings in my company with the company commander,
15 sometimes with the battalion commander, commander of the battalion. I
16 personally never took part in some meetings - well, let's put it this
17 way - at a higher level. I mean, I am referring to the corps command, the
18 brigade command. I had no such opportunity.
19 Q. So have you ever, during the course of the indictment period from
20 August 1994 until the end of the war, met Dragomir Milosevic?
21 A. Personally, no. I met him through the media. The general did
22 come, but I did not have an opportunity to see him. He came to the area
23 of responsibility of my brigade, but I personally did not have an
24 opportunity to see him.
25 Q. How do you know that he came to the area of responsibility of your
2 A. Well, I remember this occasion. I think it was some celebration
3 in Vogosca. I remember that they said that the general would come to that
4 celebration, and I was at the lines then so I could not attend and I could
5 not see him.
6 Q. Do you remember approximately when that might have been? Was it
7 in 1994 or 1995 or actually sometime prior to that?
8 A. I don't know exactly. The end of 1994, I think, or the beginning
9 of 1995. I think it was cold. That's why I'm saying the end or the
10 beginning, because it was winter, I think. That is how I remember it,
11 that the weather was cold on that day.
12 Q. Fair enough. Now, do you remember on what occasions you saw him
13 on the media?
14 A. Well, the media -- well, usually I could see not only General
15 Milosevic but, generally speaking -- well, not media. I mean officers of
16 the Serb army and civilian authorities. I could see when there were some
17 celebrations, when some things that were important happened at the front
18 line. But for the most part, when enemy offensives were under way, the
19 general, well, would issue statements and things like that for the people
20 and for the army. Of course, for the army commands went in different
21 ways, but for the people, well, at meetings I could see that on the news,
22 the daily news, very often.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Now, I understand that the last page of the
24 document we just recently dealt with has been uploaded into e-court, so
25 perhaps we could go back to 03248. That's the last page, according to the
1 translation. Now we have the last page of the document.
2 Q. You see, Mr. Kovacevic, that this represents an order signed by
3 Tomislav Sipcic, again, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at that
4 time, 7 June 1992, and the document is directed -- the order is directed
5 to, among others, the Rajlovac Brigade. Would you agree with that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right.
8 MS. EDGERTON: If we could go back to page 1, please. I see the
9 pagination is different. In the English version, could we go to page 2,
10 because we'd like to see paragraph 2.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, if I could direct your attention to paragraph
12 2, it says:
13 "The Sarajevo-Romanija Corps has a task to," and the word in your
14 language is "ocistiti," "parts of Sarajevo where the Serbian population is
15 in majority by functional deployment of forces; if possible, to divide the
16 town along the line Nedzarici-Stup-Rajlovac; to secure the area of
17 Sarajevo airport and its surroundings to "izvrsiti ciscenje," Mojmilo,
18 Dobrinja, Butmir, and Sokolovic Kolonija."
19 Do you see that, Mr. Kovacevic?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. EDGERTON: Now, if we could move down to paragraph 4 in both
22 versions, and for the relevant paragraph, you'll have to go to the next
23 page in the -- the relevant sentence, you'll have to go to the next page
24 in the English, and the next page in the B/C/S, please.
25 Q. In this paragraph, Mr. Kovacevic, would you agree that SRK forces
1 have been ordered to divide the city of Sarajevo along the line
2 Nedzarici-Stup-Rajlovac and, by further activities, take over dominant
3 facilities? Is that correct?
4 A. I don't know what the order-issuing authority meant, although I
5 have read the broader context, not only what you read. And then there's
6 also the blockade of the Zlastiste-Pale road, then of the Trnovo-Lukavice
7 road. So I don't see exactly what was meant, cutting the town into
8 sections or taking over this from a strategic point of view. I'm telling
9 you again, I'm not very knowledgeable about this. I was an ordinary
10 soldier. I don't know what he meant.
11 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 I am intervening only when things are very, very important, and in this
13 case, what is concerning -- what's interesting here is that on page 27,
14 line 15, we can see "Pale road," and in B/C/S the witness said "deblokada
15 puta Zlatiste-Pale," and the English interpretation said "deblockade."
16 The LiveNote will certainly be corrected accordingly. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Thanks.
18 MS. EDGERTON:
19 Q. If we could move further in this document down to paragraph 5.6,
20 please --
21 MS. EDGERTON: And I'm receiving French interpretation.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Perhaps I think you're also knowledgeable in
24 MS. EDGERTON: Much more so than in B/C/S, Your Honour.
25 Q. Paragraph 5.6 sets out, Mr. Kovacevic, specific tasks of the
1 Rajlovac Brigade, "to persistently hold the achieved line," and further in
2 5.7, "to persistently defend achieved positions and prepare some forces to
3 be ready to intervene in the area north of Rajlovac and to be active in
4 the direction of Rajlovac-Stup in the town-dividing phase."
5 Would you agree that's what the document says in those paragraphs,
6 Mr. Kovacevic?
7 A. That is what this undoubtedly says, but it's not for me to agree
8 because I don't know. Generally speaking, this is the first time I see
9 this document. I mean, I didn't even know about this document ever until
10 now. And I said yesterday at this same time I was wounded at this line
11 when there was this BH army attack at Zuc on the 8th of June. So I'm a
12 bit confused by this, but no problem, I'll find my way.
13 Q. So the BiH army attack was -- offensive that you've described was
14 one day following the issuance of this order; is that correct? This order
15 to the SRK to work for the division of Sarajevo.
16 A. What is correct, that it was one day following the date of this
17 order but in my zone of responsibility, that is to say, the zone of
18 responsibility of the Rajlovac Brigade. I don't know exactly whether it
19 started earlier on at some other axes, Ilijas, Lukavica, Hadzici. At any
20 rate, in my zone of responsibility of the Rajlovac Brigade, the offensive
21 started exactly on the 8th of June, in the morning.
22 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, on the basis of this rather strongly worded order
23 that's directed to all other brigades of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
24 including yours, I put it to you that the Rajlovac Brigade wasn't just
25 standing in front of their homes, as you had said yesterday, not only
1 defending their territory but defending territory they had achieved with a
2 view to securing the division of Sarajevo. What would you say to that,
4 A. I will repeat what I said yesterday. These lines that, as you
5 say, were captured, they were set up there without any conflict. There
6 was no seizure. They were in front of our houses. Here in the hotel, I
7 have a document that can substantiate and confirm that this is where my
8 house was and where the line was. Even UNPROFOR drew these lines in that
10 It is true that we were precisely in front of our houses, at least
11 I know that. And I can show you again on the same map which villages and
12 neighbourhoods were involved. These were all Serbian villages, and you
13 can verify that in a hundred ways. These were the Serbian houses, and the
14 line ran by the houses.
15 In this area, which, according to you, the Rajlovac Brigade
16 occupied or the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, it was not at all, let's say,
17 populated by other ethnicities. We didn't capture anything. These were
18 our property, our land, our forests which we owned, and this is where the
19 line was set up at the beginning of the war. We were attacked, as I told
20 you, on the morning of the 8th of June in those places. We didn't attack,
21 seize, or divide the town as you are saying.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next question.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
24 Q. Actually, I'd just like to follow up on something you said,
25 Mr. Kovacevic, because it reflects a theme I heard from you yesterday as
1 well. You said just now: "... in this area, which, according to you, the
2 Rajlovac Brigade occupied or the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, was not at all,
3 let's say, populated by other ethnicities."
4 Mr. Kovacevic, I put to you that in fact the area occupied by the
5 Rajlovac Brigade and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was in fact densely
6 populated by other ethnicities to the point where ethnicities were
7 living -- mixed ethnicities were living in apartment buildings together.
8 What would you say to that?
9 A. I never said that in the area, in this area that was under the
10 control of the SRK, that there were no members of other ethnic groups.
11 Yesterday, I said that only about the area of the Rajlovac Brigade.
12 Now, in response to your question, in the area of the Rajlovac
13 Brigade and its zone of responsibility, I think that the ratio was 97 per
14 cent Serbs and 3 per cent others. And there were no apartment buildings,
15 because these neighbourhoods mainly consist of private houses.
16 I'm telling you again, I cannot be very decisive about the exact
17 percentage, but I think between 95 and 97 per cent were Serbs and the rest
18 accounted for 3 to 5 per cent. I don't know about the Sarajevo-Romanija
19 Corps, and I never said anything in that sense yesterday. I was talking
20 about the area of responsibility of the Rajlovac Brigade.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic has a point.
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] There is something missing in the
23 transcript. On page 30, line 18, after the witness said [In English] "...
24 consist of private houses," [Interpretation] the witness added, and I'll
25 say it in B/C/S, "iskljucivo," and then he said exclusively, and then not
1 exclusively, but was only made up of private houses.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not clear to me. What was omitted
3 after "private houses"? May I have that? You can say it in B/C/S so I
4 can have it translated, what you claim to have --
5 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that it
6 would be perhaps safer to ask -- to put the question to the witness just
7 to see what kind of houses were in those villages. He talked about
8 private houses. He did not talk about apartment buildings. So there were
9 no apartment buildings there, but the witness just stated that there were
10 private houses.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, can you just tell us what you said?
12 Tell us what you said.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely this --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't want a long narration, just in relation
15 to this particular issue.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I said:
17 Exclusively private houses with no apartment buildings.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this was the neighbourhood
20 consisting of private homes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you refute the Prosecutor's suggestion that
22 it was an area, I believe the Prosecutor said, with mixed ethnicities.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In one part, yes, as I said, this
24 very low percentage, not a mixed one. How shall I put it? In one area
25 there were a few members of other ethnicities, whereas the other part was
1 completely of the same ethnical composition.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Actually, Mr. Kovacevic, what you said yesterday was there were no
5 Muslims residing within a 20-kilometre radius. In fact, 20 kilometres is
6 an incredibly far distance and spans the width of the city of Sarajevo.
7 Let's go back, Witness, to members of other ethnic groups in the
8 area of the Rajlovac Brigade, and perhaps we can talk about that in the
9 context of the area of responsibility of your brigade.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
11 MS. EDGERTON: I see.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have to hear from the Defence counsel.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Robinson, the
15 Prosecutor put forward a thesis and the comment of what she found in his
16 statement. I think the witness should be allowed to respond to this,
17 whether he actually said that there were no Muslims within the
18 20-kilometre radius. I'd like to hear the witness's answer to this.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are correct, yes. That was the question you
20 put to the witness and he hasn't answered it.
21 The question was that yesterday you said that there were no
22 Muslims residing within a 20-kilometre radius.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this is correct
24 or whether I said that the majority population was Serbian in the area of
25 20 kilometres, so the majority. So this more or less is equal to the area
1 of the Rajlovac Brigade.
2 Let me explain. This is an area stretching from Ilidza and
3 Ilijas, Sarajevo Polje, next to the River Bosna. And let me go back to
4 the same thing that I said, that there were 6 to 7 per cent other ethnic
5 groups and the rest were Serbs. And this is what I think I said yesterday
6 when I spoke about this.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Robinson, this
9 is absolutely something that the Prosecutor is entitled to seek an
10 explanation to, but please, we have to be consistent. What the Defence is
11 always asked to do is to quote exactly and precisely from the transcript
12 what the witness said without asking the witness to explain his words.
13 There is to doubt that the Prosecutor is entitled to put these questions.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you have chapter, verse, and page,
15 Ms. Edgerton? I hope we can move on.
16 MS. EDGERTON: I hope so, too, Your Honours. I will in a few
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, do that in the break, because we are past
19 the time for the break.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton. I'd like us to try to move
25 away from this business of, You said this and you said that and it's in
1 the transcript. Let us see whether we can get on with this matter.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Fine, Your Honour. I'd be happy to do that.
3 Q. Witness, we were talking before we broke about the area of
4 responsibility of your brigade, and I'd like to ask you the following:
5 Did the area of responsibility of your brigade include the town of
6 Vogosca? It included the town of Vogosca, didn't it? And that's -- a yes
7 or no answer would suffice for that, Witness.
8 A. I didn't say anything, and I will answer you in this way:
9 Probably, yes, but I cannot confirm that because I don't know anything
10 about the lines and the responsibility.
11 Q. Now, did the area --
12 A. Excuse me. I didn't understand properly. Now I understand the
13 question. The Rajlovac Brigade did not include Vogosca.
14 Q. It included the village of Semizovac, didn't it, and the village
15 of Svraka.
16 A. No. Semizovac neither.
17 Q. And the village of Svraka?
18 A. No, neither Svraka.
19 Q. The village of Ahatovici?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The village of Dobrosevici?
22 A. Yeah. That's the next village.
23 Q. The area of Otes.
24 A. No.
25 Q. Let's focus on Dobrosevici and Ahatovici. No Muslims lived in
1 those villages from 1994 through to 1995, did they?
2 A. No.
3 Q. These were in the area of responsibility of your brigade. They
4 didn't live in those villages because they were killed or expelled in
5 1992; isn't that the case?
6 A. I cannot claim what happened with them, whether they were killed
7 or expelled. What I know, and I'm telling you again, I wasn't either in
8 Dobrosevici or in Ahatovici. I was on Zuc. And in my area of
9 responsibility, as far as I know, there were conflicts in Dobrosevici and
10 Ahatovici between the forces of the army of Republika Srpska and the Green
11 Berets or the Territorial Defence, as it was called then, so in those
13 What happened after that, whether they were killed or expelled, I
14 have no knowledge about that because I didn't take part either in those
15 clashes, nor did I learn later any particulars about these events, in the
17 The area of responsibility, yes. The units deployed in this area
18 took part in the conflicts. My unit did not take part in the conflict.
19 Therefore, I don't know whether they were expelled or killed as you put it
20 so decisively. I cannot confirm that.
21 Q. Three words would have sufficed as an answer to that question, and
22 you would have made yourself equally clear, with respect, Mr. Kovacevic.
23 But now I'd like to move on to one last period remaining in 1992,
24 and I want to talk about the incident you spoke of at the Pretis factory
25 in 1992 relating to what you say were the takeover of weapons. You didn't
1 see it, did you? You didn't see it, did you?
2 A. I have to correct you. It wasn't the weapons. It was ammunition,
3 the takeover of ammunition from the Pretis factory, because there was no
4 weapons in Pretis. It is true. I didn't see it with my own eyes.
5 Q. So you weren't there, were you?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You don't know what, if anything, was taken because you've only
8 heard about it or seen stories about it on TV. So you don't know, do you?
9 A. I said how I learnt about this, whether something was taken or
10 what was taken, and I learnt about that from the security guards from the
11 factory who, a day or two after the attack because I don't remember when I
12 first went to the factory after the attack, described to me how this
13 attack happened. Now, 10 or 15 years later, we are constantly hearing
14 about this attack and the takeover of ammunition from Pretis. I didn't
15 need to --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please speak more slowly. Thank
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you must speak more slowly in the
19 interests of interpretation.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. Are you familiar, Witness, because you're from the area with the
23 name of --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. And
1 precisely because of the pace of his speech, the transcript didn't record
2 that he has been listening for months how Vikic is boasting nowadays on TV
3 what he had taken from Pretis in those times. Mr. Vikic can be seen very
4 often on television in the present time, and this was not recorded in the
5 transcript because he was speaking too fast.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let the witness just tell us that again so
7 we can have it from the witness, and at a reasonable pace.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll repeat what happened on that
9 day, or shall I repeat how I saw Vikic several times on television
10 boasting about this action?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just the latter.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the recent years, at least three
13 times I saw Vikic in the programmes on the state television bragging about
14 this action of taking over the ammunition from the Pretis factory, and he
15 claimed that by so doing they defended the city, because they took large
16 quantities of anti-tank Osa 2 rockets. According to what he's saying in
17 these shows, that prevented a tank and armoured attack on Sarajevo. This
18 is what I've seen several times in the last few years.
19 MS. EDGERTON:
20 Q. Anything you know about this incident you've heard from other
21 sources. That's clear, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, but from the participants in the events --
23 Q. Well --
24 A. -- those directly involved in them.
25 Q. Maybe it's time for us to hear from another participant in the
1 events, the Serb leader who actually organised the Serbs in their response
2 to the incident.
3 MS. EDGERTON: I'd like us to play a video-clip now of Jovan
5 Q. Jovan Tintor was a very influential figure in Vogosca and Rajlovac
6 areas, wasn't he? He's a Serb whose name was known throughout the
8 A. Known, yes, but I don't see why he would be influential. He was
9 not either a civilian or a military official, at least not in my
10 municipality. Neither a military or a civilian official. But I know that
12 Q. He was a member and head of the Crisis Staff for the Serbian
13 municipality of Vogosca, Mr. Kovacevic.
14 A. Yes, but the Serbian municipality of Vogosca was the Serbian
15 municipality of Vogosca. I was in Rajlovac, I was in the Rajlovac
16 Brigade, and I -- it is true I worked in Pretis, which is in Vogosca, and
17 I completed my employment on the 4th of April, 1992.
18 MS. EDGERTON: If we could see the video now, please.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MS. EDGERTON:
21 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, now having seen Mr. Tintor, who was the leader of
22 the Serbs, inside that factory and having heard him say, "Thanks to our
23 presence of mind, thanks to our security, we succeeded in defending the
24 factory and we put it to an end," does that change your view as to what
1 A. No. I think that there is some discrepancy there; therefore, I'm
2 not changing my view. What Mr. Tintor is saying is what I said yesterday,
3 that only in the third attempt of their breaking in it happened that they
4 thwarted that. There were people wounded. He mentioned that there were
5 people killed; I don't know about that. Dragan Vikic never mentioned
6 sustaining any casualties, wounded or killed. Dragan Vikic is not
7 mentioning that. Tintor is talking about the third attempt, and those
8 were the Green Berets or territorials from Kobilja Glava who wanted to
9 take this opportunity, just as the special unit took the opportunity, to
10 get hold of part of those weapons -- I mean not weapons, ammunition.
11 Q. And so --
12 A. And in that third attempt, this is what happened according to what
13 Mr. Tintor was saying. As far as I know, and I also spoke about security
14 guards who were tied in and these were my colleagues with whom I had been
15 working for 10 years, two times the special units pulled it out and the
16 Green Berets started to attack from Kobilja Glava, and that is when they
17 organised themselves and the clashes broke out and ended with people
18 getting wounded.
19 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, so what you're saying is, on the basis of your
20 secondhand knowledge, you're prepared to dispute what one of the
21 organisers of the incident said, what one of the Serb leaders of the
22 incident said; yes or no?
23 A. I dispute the part for which I claim to have heard about from
24 Dragan Vikic. He never mentioned this clash.
25 Q. Thank you. If we could move on to --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MS. EDGERTON: My apologies. 03267, please.
3 And, yes, could I ask this video be tendered as the next
4 Prosecution Exhibit, please.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As P771, Your Honours.
7 MS. EDGERTON: It was 03267.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Kovacevic, you see in front of you from June 12, 1992, a
9 report from the Ministry of Economy of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, which says in the very first line:
11 "From the moment the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
12 Pretis factory ... has remained undamaged. There were some minor
13 misappropriations of materials, tools, kits, machine parts, vehicles and
14 the like."
15 Now, looking at this document and having heard Mr. Tintor and his
16 version of what happened, are you still sticking to your story, sir?
17 A. I told you what the source of my information was, and I stand by
18 what I saw personally on TV. This is not my story.
19 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have this document entered as the next
20 exhibit, please.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As P --
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we don't know what
24 the date is, nor do we know who signed this document. We cannot see
25 anything on this document. No, there is no date. I think we have
1 received this document, but we cannot see either the date or the
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: May we be directed to the date and the signature,
4 Ms. Edgerton.
5 MS. EDGERTON: I've just provided the date, which was the 12th of
6 June, 1992. And the signature, if we could go to the second page of the
7 B/C/S version.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There is no signature on the
11 document. We don't know what the nature of the document is; therefore, I
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Edgerton, is it on your list of exhibits?
14 MS. EDGERTON: It was on the revised list which was -- it was on
15 the revised list which was finalised this morning and sent out to Defence
16 counsel yesterday evening, Your Honours. And I --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us see the heading again.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not receive
19 this last night.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, the parties were all forwarded these
21 on the e-mail, including the Trial Chamber. I have to admit, it was 7.11
22 p.m., after -- that was the time of the e-mail yesterday evening.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: 7.11 p.m.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, what did the witness say in
1 relation to the document?
2 MS. EDGERTON: On the face of the witness's testimony that he
3 heard secondhand through the media that some -- either ammunition or
4 explosives for ammunition were taken, substantial quantities according to
5 the media, I put the first and second sentence in this document to him
6 which said in fact there were minor misappropriations of materials, tool
7 kits, machine parts, vehicles and the like, to see if, having heard
8 Mr. Tintor and looking at this document which I would submit, Your
9 Honours, has all the indicia of reliability, he still held to the story
10 that he had heard in the media. And his reply was he sticks to what he
11 heard in the media.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: He has not agreed with your proposition or what
13 is represented in the document.
14 MS. EDGERTON: He has not agreed with what is represented in the
15 document, which is -- which purports to be and seems to be a report to the
16 Ministry of the Economy on the situation in Pretis.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll not admit the document. Let's move on.
18 MS. EDGERTON: I'm informed by my colleague Ms. Bosnjakovic, I
19 omitted to tender ter number 03248, which we dealt with earlier. Yes. If
20 it could be tendered. I would like to tender it as an exhibit.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will admit that one.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes P772.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Now --
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Ms. Edgerton, just one question for
25 clarification to the witness.
1 Witness, as of the 4th of April, 1992, right up until the end of
2 the war, who was in control of the Pretis factory? Was it the ABiH or was
3 it the SRK?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Pretis factory was controlled by
5 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Two more brief areas of questioning, please.
8 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you were never inside the confrontation lines in
9 Bosnian-held territory of Sarajevo during the course of the war, were you?
10 A. No.
11 Q. So never being inside, you never saw what the MUP did or might
12 have done, whether or not they were taking part in combat, on the inside
13 of the confrontation lines, did you?
14 A. I never said that I know what the MUP was doing inside the
15 confrontation line, but what I said was that we used to encounter them at
16 the confrontation line or the lines of separation. And there was an
17 instance when we killed one of them wearing a special police uniform. It
18 was at Zuc. Therefore, I know they participated in combat. I never said
19 I knew what they were doing within the territory that was controlled by
20 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Whether they directed the traffic or
21 whether they were on patrols, I don't know.
22 Q. So your statement that they participated in combat throughout the
23 war was based on this one single incident now that you've just spoken
24 about; isn't that correct? Yes or no?
25 A. I spoke about the one that I knew about.
1 Q. Thank you. And now just one final question. Never having been
2 inside the confrontation lines during the course of the war, you never --
3 you were never in a position to personally experience privations that the
4 civilians of Sarajevo might have been subject to, that being no water, no
5 gas, and no electricity; isn't that correct?
6 A. As for gas, electricity, and water, just so that you know, it was
7 it all interconnected. It was the same system. It wasn't -- it wasn't
8 possible for a part of Sarajevo or Rajlovac or Hadzici to have gas and
9 water supply and Sarajevo, or, rather, its centre would not. Therefore,
10 whenever we had water, electricity, and gas, they did, too. Therefore,
11 your question is pointless, the question about the privations of those
12 inside the city. We had the same problems they did; civilians, I mean.
13 The same problems that existed in Sarajevo were on our side as well.
14 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, with respect, I know almost exactly how the fuel
15 and infrastructure was interconnected. My question to you was: Never
16 having been inside the confrontation lines, you have no personal
17 experience of the privations civilians inside those lines suffered, do
19 A. That is correct.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have a point, Mr. Tapuskovic?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, an objection, since there
22 was something in the transcript that we disagree with. The Prosecutor was
23 testifying. She said, "I know." A Prosecutor may not testify. She said
24 she knew and then she asked the witness to confirm that. I don't think it
25 is a proper way to question a witness. One cannot say, "I know this and
1 that." Of course she can offer reference or proof of what she's saying,
2 but she may not say, "I know" and then ask the witness to respond.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No importance is to be attached to that
5 Do you have another question?
6 MS. EDGERTON: That's the cross-examination. I have no other
7 questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
9 Judge Mindua.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry, Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, speaking about the
13 production of the Pretis factory --
14 A. I am now.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So we're speaking about
16 the production of the Pretis factory, and you stated that there were
17 mines, ammunition, explosives, Osa missiles, and also aerial bombs, air
18 bombs that were manufactured and stored in the sheds or stores.
19 On the 4th of April when you ended your professional activities,
20 you said that there were air bombs also in those sheds. Can you confirm
21 that or not?
22 A. I didn't say that I knew of everything that was there. I said
23 that those were the things that we used to produce and what could be found
24 in the warehouses. At the moment of my leaving, I didn't know exactly
25 what the inventory was. Out of the entire line of production, I guess a
1 number of such items and types of product were stored there. I didn't say
2 exactly what and how many, though. It should have been there, I guess,
3 because the production went on until that very day.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I see. You may know how the air --
5 do you know how the air bombs were used? Can you say anything about that?
6 A. As far as I know, I saw some aircraft bombs in the factory. As
7 far as I know, they can only be used in aeroplanes.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So according to you,
9 the items were stolen by the special MUP forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
10 and according to the Prosecutor, those items stayed within the premises of
11 the factory. But from what you experienced as a former employee of the
12 factory but also as a military, would you have learned anything as to the
13 use of such bombs, of the air bombs, by the ABiH or by the SRK after the
14 theft was done?
15 A. I can't say anything about that. I don't know. As I said, I was
16 an infantry soldier in the trenches.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, any re-examination?
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, there is, Your Honours,
20 concerning the two documents exhibited by the Prosecutor. But let us
21 start first with P772. Perhaps the witness can have a look at the last
22 page of that document that we saw a moment ago.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, in item 6, can you read it out loud for
25 the Chamber, the second paragraph of item 6?
1 A. "I strictly forbid mistreating civilian unarmed population. As
2 for the prisoners of war, they should be treated in the spirit of the
3 Geneva Conventions. What we approve is the use of one BK," which is a
4 combat kit of ammunition, "and 1.5 PR." I don't know what that stands
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us go back to page 1, please,
7 of that very document.
8 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, we are short of time and have no time to analyse
9 all of this, but you provided certain answers during cross-examination.
10 Please look at item 2. What is mentioned here is the clean-up of Mojmilo,
11 Sokolovic Kolonija, Dobrinja, and so on and so forth. During the war, who
12 was at Mojmilo, Sokolovic Kolonija, Dobrinja, Butmir? Who controlled
13 those locations?
14 Let's start with Mojmilo and Sokolovic Kolonija. It says "mop-up"
15 or "cleanse." Who held positions throughout the war there?
16 A. Throughout the war those positions were in the hands of the army
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. Let us go to page 2 again. In item 5.1 there is mention of
19 Mojmilo again; Sokolovic Kolonija as well. "Mop-up," it is a rather clear
20 word in terms of its meaning in our language. Once you assumed your
21 positions in the trenches, did you know then, or did you perhaps learn
22 later, about the things mentioned here and who controlled those locations?
23 A. I can only reiterate my previous answer, which is that the whole
24 territory mentioned here was in the hands of the army of
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Now let us move to page -- to
3 document 770.
4 Q. Please have a look. As you've seen already, there is the word
5 "order" in that document, and please look at item 1. Read it out loud.
6 A. "The so-far TO units of the Serbian Defence Forces of Serbian
7 Republic of BH restructure in larger groups and form them according to the
8 following plan."
9 Q. Thank you. Subparagraph (e), therefore, paragraph 1(e), could you
10 read that out loud as well, please. It begins with "Rajlovac ..." Can
11 you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Read it out.
14 A. "Rajlovac TO Brigade should be formed from the territory of
15 Semizovac and Rajlovac."
16 Q. When we go back to paragraph 1, what can we see? What is stressed
17 there? I don't want to lead you, but you can read it again for yourself.
18 What type of forces are mentioned there?
19 A. Defence forces, the TO forces. The sentence says:
20 "The so-far TO units of the Serbian Defence Forces of Serbian
21 Republic of BH restructure in larger groups and form them according to the
22 following plan."
23 Q. Thank you. Therefore, who got organised first to get that?
24 A. Judging by this, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina organised
25 themselves first. That's why our forces are referred to as defence
2 Q. What does "TO" mean?
3 A. Territorial Defence units.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No more questions.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
7 Mr. Kovacevic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for giving
8 it. You may now leave.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not receive any
10 interpretation, but I guess it is not important any more.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I said was that that concludes your
12 evidence. The Chamber thanks you for coming to the Tribunal to give it,
13 and you may now leave.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the next witness?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me. If I may have a
18 moment, Your Honours.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is a procedural matter that
21 Ms. Isailovic would like to address to you.
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Isailovic.
24 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
25 I would like to ask for protective measures for this witness.
1 We're talking about the witness T-47. He should be granted protective
2 measures which were given to him in the Galic case already, and according
3 to your decision you have granted him protective measures as well. So I
4 would just like to remind the Chamber that he is going to have a pseudonym
5 and his voice will be distorted as well -- rather, his face will be
7 But, Your Honour, we met with the witness when he arrived in The
8 Hague. Mr. T-47 requested of us to ask the Chamber to lift these measures
9 because he does not object to testify in open session. So he will testify
10 under his own name, and we are presenting an oral motion that these
11 protective measures be lifted.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber welcomes that. Trials are meant to
13 be public.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. My colleague already
15 explained. So the next witness is Kovacevic -- oh, Samardzic, Zoran.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before the witness
18 enters, it doesn't really have anything to do with him, before the trial
19 began -- actually, I wanted to ask you even today that T-23 be the next
20 witness to be heard. He's also protected -- or, rather, T-31. Could he
21 be the next one instead of T-23, because that witness has urgent personal
22 matters to attend to and he would like to finish as soon as possible with
23 giving evidence. And I've already discussed this with the Prosecutor.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see no objection to that.
25 Let the witness make the declaration.
1 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honour, could I just make sure that
2 -- because I see the screen is still down in front of me, are all
3 protective measures being waived?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's my understanding. That was what was
6 So would the screen be lifted, please.
7 Let the witness make the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: ZORAN SAMARDZIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
13 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I will start my examination-in-chief.
17 We have already met, so let's not go into that over here. Even before you
18 entered the courtroom, I told you, because you're a rather temperamental
19 man, that you should speak as slowly as possible, that you should wait
20 until the typing stops, the typing of the transcript, that is. And I hope
21 it's going to be easy for you to adjust since you were already a witness
22 here. Is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Can you tell the Judges -- can you tell the Judges what your name
25 is, first and last name.
1 A. Zoran Samardzic is my name. I was born on the 31st of March,
2 1953, in Nevesinje, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Thank you. In Sarajevo, in Hadzici, in the municipality of
4 Sarajevo, that's where you've been living since 1964.
5 A. Yes. I came from Nevesinje in 1964 to Hadzici with my parents and
6 my brother. That's where I went to school.
7 Q. I beg your pardon. Please. So elementary school, secondary
8 school for catering and your training for a higher degree in catering, all
9 of that took place in Sarajevo in 1970. That's when you finished.
10 A. Exactly. Immediately after that --
11 Q. All right. Well, go ahead.
12 A. -- if you let me continue. As soon as I finished school, I was
13 invited to take up a job as a caterer.
14 Q. Please. I wanted to put a direct question to you about your
15 military service in the Yugoslav People's Army; that you completed that
16 immediately after your schooling in 1972 and 1973.
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Now, please tell us where it was that you worked until the
19 conflict broke out, if you can explain that in greater detail.
20 A. I can. When I returned from the former army, the JNA, in 1973, as
21 we've already said, I got a job at the Hadzici Remontni Zavod, overhaul
22 facility, as the head of the cafeteria and a coffee corner. Up to the war
23 in 1992, I worked there all the time as a caterer and cook.
24 Q. Thank you. If you could just explain something lest there be any
25 misunderstanding, although I informed the Prosecutor about this. Our
1 investigator, when he took your details and talked to you, he noted down
2 that you were a technician at the Zavod. Could you explain that to the
3 Trial Chamber?
4 A. Yes, I can, loud and clear. I was appointed head of the
5 cafeteria. I was called "tehnicki rukovaoc," not "tehnicki rukovodilac."
6 It's technical handler. And I often complained about that, because it's
7 not that I handled a machine or something. So it just had to do with my
8 appointment. But actually, I am a caterer, highly qualified at that.
9 Q. So how many years did you spend working there as a caterer
10 providing food to employees at this facility from the moment when you took
11 that job?
12 A. Well, approximately 19, 20 years, from 1973 to 1992. So in
13 1992 -- may I say this? May I say what it was that was going on?
14 Q. Just a moment. In this facility, who were the employees? Who
15 worked there? Can you explain that?
16 A. Remontni Zavod employed almost 2.000 persons, different types of
17 workers. There were a few technical persons who were at a higher level
18 like me. These were people who had degrees in electrical engineering,
19 mechanical engineering, and then they took a commission as officers.
20 Actually, they were the foremen and they worked in these plants just like
21 the workers did. They wore blue coats just like the workers did.
22 Q. In the cafeteria, the restaurant, you made sure that these people
23 were fed.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I guess my question was a
25 bit too direct. Maybe it wasn't appropriate, this question. Actually, I
1 put a leading question, Your Honours, but I don't think that this
2 constitutes major abuse.
3 Q. What is it that you took care of over all of those 19 years?
4 A. Well, what I took care of is providing food to the people there
5 and to have normal life and work there in the cafeteria and the
6 restaurant, and to make sure that everything was provided for hot meals
7 for the employees at the Zavod.
8 Q. Thank you. And these engineers with higher education, what did
9 they organise on the premises where you worked? What was it that they
10 were repairing?
11 A. Since this was a factory of the land forces of the army of the
12 former Yugoslavia, part of the weaponry from the former units of the
13 Yugoslav People's Army came there for being repaired or overhauled, and
14 these high-ranking people dealt with that, too; of course, with the
15 repairmen as well. So they were called technical personnel, like me. I
16 was also, like they, a civilian working in the armed forces. However, as
17 opposed to myself, they were higher ranking, technical military personnel.
18 Q. Were there any officers there who at the time took care about the
19 organisation of the military from a military point of view?
20 A. No, never, because this was a factory that was solely there for
21 the purpose of repairing and overhauling and maintaining equipment. We
22 just had mechanical and electrical engineering people who were promoted to
23 technical ranks. No way did they -- well ...
24 Q. Who financed the work of these people? Who paid their salaries?
25 Under whose control was this?
1 A. The Zavod was a company based on principles of acquiring and
2 distributing income, and in terms of some fields of cooperation, we were
3 responsible to the Ministry of Defence of the former Yugoslavia.
4 Q. Thank you for that precise reply.
5 I don't have a convenient map so that you could indicate this
6 directly, so I will be compelled, well, provided that you maintain contact
7 with the microphone, that you somehow turn around and show where the
8 Remontni Zavod is, where Hadzici is, where this institution was.
9 MS. EDGERTON: If it assists Mr. Tapuskovic at all, I have a
10 convenient map, in fact a cut-out, that he may want to upload on the
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, because we've been through this exercise
13 before, and I'm afraid it requires a kind of contortion that most of the
14 witnesses are not capable of achieving.
15 MS. EDGERTON: If I could invite either of the Defence counsel, if
16 we could have just a brief moment to have a look at these to see whether
17 they choose to use them. They may not. But certainly visually it's going
18 to be --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Please pass them over.
20 MS. EDGERTON: In all honesty, I hadn't checked that book
21 recently, but I suspect these are going to be in far more detail and we'll
22 be able to see them on our monitors. The Defence may not want to use
23 them, but at least I make the offer.
24 If I may look at the map again, Mr. Court Officer, we may be able
25 to get it up on the ELMO -- sorry, on e-court. It's not yet uploaded. It
1 will have to go on the ELMO.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is it. This is where Hadzici
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Please, can you explain to the Judges what Hadzici was
6 before the conflict broke out. Could you please explain that so that it
7 is clear who it was that this belonged to and what happened later.
8 However, in order to be able to talk about what was there later, what was
9 Hadzici in terms of its position?
10 A. Hadzici was Sarajevo, just like Ilidza was Sarajevo; Dobrinja,
11 Nedzarici, Grbavica. That is to say, all of that was an integral part of
12 Sarajevo. Somebody belonged to the inner city of Sarajevo. We were a bit
13 further away, but we made up Sarajevo. Up until the moment when the
14 armies of -- BH army took Mojmilo, Stupsko Brdo, Zuc, there was an
15 automatic division of the town into two parts. I, as a local Sarajevo
16 man, all of a sudden felt as if I were not a man of Sarajevo and they
17 were. So do you see what I'm saying?
18 Q. So when Sarajevo -- actually, when these things happened, you
19 explained just now -- I don't want to dwell on that now, but we will come
20 to that again, I mean, to what you were talking about just now. I'm now
21 interested in hearing what it was that was going on in this factory where
22 you worked, among the people you lived with all those years. What was
23 going on in the beginning of 1992?
24 A. Hadzici itself --
25 Q. Just slowly, please.
1 A. All right. Hadzici itself, as a town, and my factory, Remontni
2 Zavod, lived in peace up until 1992. The 14th of February, 1992, when
3 only Muslims, ethnic Muslims, responded to the referendum, there was some
4 unrest. There were tensions and separation in terms of groups.
5 As I told you, I was head of the restaurant and therefore I had
6 the opportunity of seeing, because I walked through the restaurant with
7 the best of intentions of meeting people, seeing whether they were pleased
8 with the food and whether everything was all right.
9 Smaller groups were made up. As soon as I would walk up to a
10 table of ethnic Muslims who were having breakfast, they would fall
11 silent. I'd walk away and then they'd start whispering again. What it
12 was they were talking about, I don't know. However, that in itself caused
13 a certain feeling of distrust on my part. I did not know what was going
15 Q. That was in February?
16 A. Yes, in February.
17 Q. Let me ask you this: What happened in March and April?
18 A. Already in March and April the media and the TV showed certain
19 events in Sijekovac and the plight of civilians there, and therefore this
20 contributed to tensions increasing in the Zavod, and it culminated
21 sometime in May.
22 Q. What happened in May? Do you recall when that was?
23 A. I remember it as clearly as it is today. It was the 8th of May,
24 around noon. Members of the Muslim ethnic community left the Zavod. Only
25 200 or 300 Serbs remained who were taken by surprise. They were
1 completely puzzled about what was happening. No one understood anything
2 until the early evening hours.
3 At around 1930, shooting started targeting the Zavod and Hadzici
4 from the village of Dupovci. I can show you on the map. This is
5 Dupovci. So fire was opened at the Zavod without any reason whatsoever.
6 We were completely surprised. And I said a minute ago, since my factory
7 was repairing the weapons for the former Yugoslav army, the people who
8 remained behind, we took rifles - some of them were in working order, some
9 were not - and we responded.
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me, what was the type of weapons that were in the
11 factory? You already said that these were broken weapons. And later on
12 I'm going to ask you more about this. In the subsequent events, were
13 there any weaponry in working order that happened to be there in the
14 repair shop? Were there any working weapons?
15 A. Yes. Since my working place was nearby, I saw that there were two
16 tanks, two Pragas, which are 30-millimetre guns. In order to avoid any
17 confusion, this is not a cannon, 30 millimetre. And two BRDM, and what it
18 stands for, I have no idea at all.
19 Q. Thank you. And the rest that was on the premises of the Zavod,
20 what was the condition of that?
21 A. It was not functioning, except for part of light weapons, that is
22 to say, automatic rifles.
23 Q. And what happened? That was on the 8th of May. Do you recall any
24 of the days that came after that date?
25 A. Soon thereafter, on the 12th of May, i.e., four days after the
1 attack on the Zavod, the entire Hadzici was attacked. A large-scale
2 offensive was launched from the direction of Pazarici towards the city and
3 the Remontni Zavod and the surrounding villages. So that was on the 12th
4 of May.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you show us approximately where Pazarici is? Can
6 it be seen on the map? And if you can't see it, tell us approximately
7 where it is. In that direction; correct?
8 A. Yes, yes, in this direction.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness also mentioned that
10 this was in the direction of Gradac. This will facilitate our work later
11 so that we know exactly where that is.
12 Q. What happened in the days that followed? This was on the 12th of
13 May. What happened with the officers who were the employees, like you,
14 and were not proper military officers?
15 A. Already on the 15th of May, these officers, the so-called
16 technical military personnel, and their families left Hadzici and
17 Sarajevo. There were Serbs, Macedonians, and Croats among them, so each
18 one of them exercised their right to return to their respective states.
19 Only we remained with one officer and a lieutenant colonel --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the details of
21 the person he's talking about.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you are speaking too fast. You said
23 something about the lieutenant colonel which the interpreter did not
24 hear. Would you please repeat it. Yes, repeat it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that after they left Hadzici
1 and Zavod in Sarajevo by these officers, only one of them remained. This
2 man was from Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina. His name was Stevan
3 Radivojesa, a mechanical engineer. He was the only one among the
4 officers, if I may call them that, who stayed with us.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Samardzic, we are not going to be able to explain anything to
7 the Judges unless both you and I make our effort to rein in our temper and
8 speak more slowly. Nothing will be recorded in the transcript. Let us
9 try and speak at this pace, please.
10 So what happened with these officers' families?
11 A. Their families left together with them. They left Hadzici and
13 Q. Please, you mentioned -- did you say on what date that took place?
14 A. The 15th of May. The 15th of May, 1992, that is to say,
15 immediately after the attack.
16 Q. Did you receive any news about what was happening elsewhere, in
17 other municipalities of Sarajevo? Hadzici is one municipality. Did you
18 know what was going on in other municipalities?
19 A. I have certain information that there was shooting at Ilidza as
20 well; also Nedzarici, Grbavica.
21 Q. Did you hear about what was happening in the part of Sarajevo
22 called Pofalici?
23 A. I heard that there were casualties there as well, that Pofalici
24 was simply cleansed. The people who managed to escape, so to say, saved
25 their lives, and those who couldn't escape were killed. A huge number of
1 people were killed, civilians.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton has a point.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Well, two points, actually, Your Honour, if I may,
4 the first being that there was absolutely no mention of the events on
5 Pofalici in the 65 ter summary from this witness, and the second being
6 that this question and answer regarding Pofalici are completely without
7 foundation. And frankly, Your Honour, I fail to see the relevance of
8 events in Pofalici to events in Hadzici, which is what I understood from
9 the 65 ter summary was going to be the testimony of this witness.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us ask Mr. Tapuskovic to answer that.
11 Firstly, the 65 ter summary not mentioning Pofalici, but to me
12 more important, what is the relevance of the evidence?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't mention in
14 any summary all the places in Sarajevo. Otherwise, the whole summary
15 would just be made up of the list of names of municipalities in Sarajevo.
16 And there is not a single witness for whom I said that I do not want to
17 question about his personal status and condition and that of the area
18 where he or she was living when the conflict broke out.
19 This will be very helpful for your understanding of the overall
20 situation, in order to enable the witness to speak about everything that
21 is contained in the summary, and that is about combat activities, his or
22 her participation, what he or she experienced, et cetera. And in this
23 case, it refers only to Hadzici. He never left Hadzici. Hadzici is a
24 municipality in Sarajevo that shared the destiny of the rest of Sarajevo.
25 He said once Mojmilo and Stup were captured, he finally and suddenly --
1 correction, suddenly found himself in a town which was not called Sarajevo
2 any more.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We rule that the question should not be asked on
5 the basis that we are not satisfied about its relevance.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Then, Witness, I will refrain to the issues that you personally
8 experienced, and that is precisely what I want to hear from you.
9 After all of this, you said under what circumstances you took up
10 arms. Tell us briefly what happened later in the month that followed,
11 May, and what you said.
12 A. Very well. So after the 15th of May, as I already said, when the
13 officers, the technical staff and their families left the Zavod, on the
14 25th of May there was another fierce offensive. We again managed to
15 defend ourselves, to consolidate our ranks. We set up a defence line.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you show us on the map where this defence line was
17 and -- first of all, let's see where the defence line was.
18 A. This red line, is that what you mean? This is immediately in the
19 village of Dupovci that I mentioned a few minutes ago. When we entered
20 and set up the line, the line ran through certain houses even.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, please.
22 MS. EDGERTON: This may help Mr. Tapuskovic, but this map, this
23 cut-out, is available on e-court now with ter number 02792D. That would
24 allow the witness to mark it.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We should then have that map
2 Mr. Tapuskovic.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree, only I'm not sure
4 whether we can plot any markings on this. And I agree, Your Honours, of
6 MS. EDGERTON: 02792D. If you could try to call that up in
7 e-court. And there we have it.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Was that the line where you took up position?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us -- you have just said that you were first fired at
12 on the 8th of May from Dupovci. Can you put a circle around that
13 location, i.e., Dupovci.
14 A. [Marks].
15 Q. And mark it with the letter D.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. Before you took up the line that you drew, what did you find in
19 A. In the houses, in the cellars, small windows were covered with
20 blankets and other soft stuff. So we were under the impression that these
21 were loopholes. Each house was connected to the next one with
22 communicating trenches. Even further, people lifted floors from their
23 rooms and dug tunnels under the ground in order to connect themselves with
24 the next house.
25 We found stocks of milk, chocolate, bandages, olive-drab sweaters
1 with a red and black and yellow flag on the sleeves, which is the German
3 Q. And where did you take positions on the line? Was it here or
4 somewhere else so that we cannot see it in the map? Can you just point
5 the direction on the map from Dupovci.
6 A. I would like to apologise to the Trial Chamber. I'm very bad with
7 reading and handling maps. I used to work in the logistics. I was a
9 I know that the line was here, but I'm not sure whether I will be
10 able to put the correct line on the map. This is where my fellow
11 combatants were, and I was in the kitchen.
12 Q. So what was the nearest location to where your position was?
13 A. A transformer station was situated between the Remontni Zavod and
14 Dupovci. This was at the very gate to the Zavod. This was a kind of
15 power plant.
16 Q. Were you on the separation line?
17 A. After the 25th of May and the offensive that I mentioned earlier,
18 I was transferred to the separation line, to the village of Kasatici at
19 the foot of Mount Igman.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we have to take the break now.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Samardzic, we have been dealing with this map. Could you tell
2 us now what the name of this place was where you were at the positions,
3 well, nearby?
4 A. The village of Dupovci. That is not far away from the Zavod.
5 Q. No, I beg your pardon. You've already explained that. But then
6 when you came to the positions, the separation line, where were you then?
7 A. The village of Kasatici.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, can you draw an arrow from Dupovci towards the
9 place where you were, because Kasatici cannot be seen here.
10 A. Yes, Kasatici cannot be seen here.
11 Q. Could you draw an arrow from Dupovci to the place where Kasatici
13 MS. EDGERTON: If it assists again, I have another map what has
14 Kasatici on it, and we could advise the Trial Chamber, I think
15 momentarily, of the ter number. The numbers are just getting uploaded
16 into e-court at this moment.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, the cooperation of the Prosecution is
18 indeed commendable. Let's have it.
19 MS. EDGERTON: Before we upload it, perhaps I can just ask the
20 court officer to show this to Mr. Tapuskovic to see if he's interested in
21 using this map. And Kasatici is on the bottom.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but I'm going to lose quite
23 a bit of time. I just wanted to ask the witness to show whether it's
24 south or east in relation to Dupovci. I just want him to draw an arrow
25 where it is, roughly.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's move ahead, then.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Samardzic, can you just indicate with an arrow whether it's
4 east or south of Dupovci.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Nothing? Then I will have to use
6 what the Prosecutor proposed. I thank the Prosecutor. I believed that he
7 could tell the cardinal points, but -- well, it's not of such decisive
8 importance now. Could this map be kept now for the time being. I think
9 that I have to save time.
10 Q. Mr. Samardzic, when you were at these lines, front lines, what was
11 the distance between your line, the line where you were, and the line of
12 the other side? What was the distance there of those positions?
13 A. Not more than 500 metres, which is to say that we were 500 metres
14 away from the enemy line, if I can call it that. From the centre of
15 Hadzici, we were 2 kilometres away, and they were facing Pazarici. So 8
16 to 9 kilometres to the civilian population; that is to say, there were
17 absolutely no civilians there, only the military in trenches, and that's
19 Q. And you say that you were on the other side in the trenches.
20 Where were you at the positions?
21 A. Kasatici, as I said.
22 Q. But where were you? In a house or what?
23 A. No, no. I was in a trench.
24 Q. At the moment when there was combat activity, can you describe
25 what it was like at the separation line. How did you operate as soldiers?
1 A. We had light infantry weapons, automatic rifles, and that is what
2 we used to fight. We had support for a while of those two tanks that I
3 mentioned at the outset and those two Pragas, so only light of infantry
4 weapons. And we had these tanks as support and those two Pragas as well.
5 Q. You've already explained what was there at the Zavod where you
6 were. And what was in Pazarici before the conflict broke out?
7 A. In Pazarici, that is where a barracks was located. I'd lived
8 there for so many years and I did not realise this was barracks for
9 training artillerymen. And in 1992, it just so happened an artillery
10 regiment was transferred there from Zadar, also from the artillery
12 This barracks was under total blockade up until the 21st of May,
13 1992, I think, when the barracks were deblocked and when the cadets who
14 were there training were taken on two buses of the Zavod, the overhaul
15 facility, to a safe place. And I don't know where that was. These two
16 buses were driven by my two colleagues Metis Dobrica and Tesic Zivko, who
17 also worked at the Zavod. These same people told me that in these
18 barracks, because this was a centre for training artillerymen, there was a
19 lot of heavy weaponry that was left behind.
20 Q. Thank you. You said that you had support from these two tanks and
21 these heavy weapons. What did this activity look like? You said that you
22 had guns, rifles, and this support from heavy weapons. In relation to
23 you, where was this directed, then, and where was this falling, as for
24 your forces?
25 A. As far as I know, these tanks were firing at the front lines in
1 front of us, their trenches. They were supporting us, and they were
2 trying all the time to break through our line, all the time, from day to
3 day almost. So we had fierce fighting there.
4 Q. Thank you. As for your lines where you were, how far away was
5 Pazarici? How far away were the first civilian facilities?
6 A. Eight to 10 kilometres. Around 9 kilometres.
7 Q. What about the army that was in the trenches in front of you? Did
8 they have support, artillery support, as well?
9 A. Yes. From this deblockaded barracks, they had all the equipment
10 that had been left there. They took this. They repaired whatever there
11 was, but there were quite a few heavy calibres there; 152-millimetre
12 howitzers, for instance.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell me, when they would fire, where would this fall,
14 that is to say, what had been fired from these weapons?
15 A. It hardly ever fell on our lines. It fell in the very heart of
16 the urban area of Hadzici; that is to say, it was the civilian population
17 that was being hit.
18 Q. Please, until when did you stay at the separation lines?
19 A. I stayed all the way up to February 1993. That is when conditions
20 were created for the organised feeding of the army, and then I was
21 transferred to head the military mess, if I can call it that, and that is
22 where I stayed until the end of the war.
23 As for 1993, there was lots of fighting and many shells fell on
24 the urban area of Hadzici. At one point in time, the 13th of April, a
25 fateful moment for me, I was visiting a friend who, on that day at 11.00
1 in the morning, got hit in the street. I found him in all bandages. And
2 then when I returned to my apartment, I found my child dead and his
3 colleague, Srdjan.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness take a minute to compose
5 himself. Perhaps a glass of water.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you go on, Mr. Samardzic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Regrettably, I have to ask you about this. You have to tell the
10 Judges what it was that happened, what you saw, and whether anybody else
11 was a victim in addition to your child.
12 A. My only child, Sasa, 13 years old he was, he got killed, and his
13 colleague --
14 Q. Just a moment. Just a moment.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you really need the details of this,
16 Mr. Tapuskovic? I can't see that you really need it.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't need this. I even have
18 the photographs; I'm not going to show them. But now when -- I mean,
19 heaven forbid, it never crossed my mind. I'm not asking -- I mean, I
20 don't want to play with other people's feelings. I certainly don't want
21 to do that. But this witness lost his only son, and I asked him whether
22 somebody else was a victim there in addition to his only son. Now, if
23 that is irrelevant, well, I understand His Honour Judge Harhoff not to
24 have this kind of thing discussed, but I don't understand. I mean, I'm
25 asking the witness to give us at least basic information.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was there another victim apart from your son?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Another boy, Srdjan Zuza. He was 11
4 years old. I found them both in pieces.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. How old was your son?
7 A. Thirteen.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was only the
9 other day that I received this document which only refers to the date of
10 death of this boy, his son. The document is DD003762. What matters is
11 the date that coincides with the date when his son lost his life. It's
12 not been translated, but I would like it to be shown to you that this is a
13 death certificate, the 13th of April, 1993. If that can be admitted into
14 evidence, because it is our document DD003762.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, our position from the outset has been
16 that there was an armed conflict and in fact we have called evidence of
17 the suffering of the Serbian population in and around Sarajevo as part of
18 the Prosecution case. I'm not here to make a parent who's lost his son
19 suffer any further. If Mr. Tapuskovic feels he needs to put these
20 documents into evidence, of course I have no objection. But I don't see
21 how it's germane to the case.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we think it is only of marginal relevance.
24 We admit it, but we encourage you to move on from this topic.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, document ID DD003762 will be admitted
1 as D229.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the map please be given a
3 number. An exhibit number for the map. Can it be a Defence exhibit?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours will admit the map as D230.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if I can also ask
7 him is that relevant or perhaps is that irrelevant as well. At that time,
8 I mean before we move on to 1994, at that time, as a result of these
9 military activities, were there other civilian casualties or not? Or is
10 this irrelevant as well? Should I simply not ask him about that?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let him answer that.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993 there were also casualties
13 in flats. For example, in a flat in the city -- in the centre of the town
14 of Hadzici, the mother of a friend of mine was killed while she was having
15 a coffee in her first-floor apartment. A shell came from Igman, fell on
16 the parking lot, and killed her in her flat. Her name was Ruzica Roncevic
17 Ruza. It also killed my neighbour, Mrs. Savka Sarenac. She was standing
18 on the balcony in my building. That was also in 1993. After 1993, until
19 1994 there was a truce for longer periods. There was sporadic fire,
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. In 1993 or 1994, what was the situation like -- well, let's begin
23 with 1994. What was the situation with food supplies?
24 A. Since I was the manager of the mess, Serbia imposed sanctions and
25 it was extremely difficult to find raw materials for the kitchen and for
1 preparing food for the troops. It was difficult.
2 I remember in 1994, in winter, the beginning of winter, all heavy
3 weaponry around Sarajevo was withdrawn. What ensued was a period of
4 cease-fire with intermittent fire and constant shelling of the centre of
5 Hadzici. Not so intensive, but it was on a daily basis. Every day at
6 least ten shells fell.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know when General Dragomir Milosevic was
8 appointed commander of the SRK?
9 A. I believe that that was in August of 1994, the end of August. And
10 after that, until 1995 - excuse me - there was a sort of truce. But I
11 always have to emphasise, even during these periods of cease-fire, there
12 was fierce fire. I remember clearly seeing from my window of my flat in
13 October 1994 Nevena Sakota was killed in the middle of the street. She
14 was a 19-year-old girl. Also killed was Biljana Krunic, another young
15 girl. She was 18 or 19. One of my employees, Slavko Bujak - and I saw it
16 with my own eyes - lost his leg in those days and he died less than a year
18 Sometime in the beginning of November 1994 --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton is on her feet. We must hear her.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, my extreme sympathies to the victims,
21 but as I've already indicated, we've even called this evidence as part of
22 the Prosecution case. Incidents in Hadzici town are nowhere within the
23 indictment against this accused and I would question the relevance of this
24 testimony at this point.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You make the point, then, Ms. Edgerton, that in
2 terms of the geographic compass of the indictment, Hadzici is outside that
3 area. Is that what you're saying?
4 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honour. There's not a single incident on
5 the indictment --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me hear from Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
8 explained very well that Hadzici was part of Sarajevo, that Hadzici was
9 part of Sarajevo, that Hadzici ceased to be part of Sarajevo after one
10 army occupied Stupsko Brdo and Mojmilo hill and all those other hills east
11 of Hadzici. Hadzici, Ilijas, Nedzarici, Dobrinja, Grbavica, all of that
12 is Sarajevo, just like Zuc and Hum are and all other places.
13 I'm going to ask the witness now to tell us what happened in
14 November, what he knew --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, I have not yet ruled. You can't
16 ask the witness anything. You have to wait for me.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I didn't mean to put the
18 question. However, these events are part of what was happening in the
19 relevant period concerning the responsibility of Dragomir Milosevic and
20 his zone of responsibility, that is to say, the zone of responsibility of
21 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say that Hadzici ceased to be part of
23 Sarajevo after one army occupied Stupsko Brdo, Mojmilo hill, et cetera.
24 Which army was that?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That happened only in the minds
1 of certain people, that Hadzici, Rajlovac, Ilijas, could cease to be
2 Sarajevo. It's all Sarajevo --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Answer the question -- two questions, or, rather,
4 two parts to the question: Which army occupied the parts of Mojmilo, and
5 what time was that?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 occupied Mojmilo, Stupsko Brdo, and thereby cut Sarajevo in two parts.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: What period are we talking about?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In 1992, in May and June, all of
10 this happened, and that is how it remained until the end of the war.
11 Mojmilo and Stupsko Brdo; that is to say, the separation lines cut the
12 city of Sarajevo into two parts. Hadzici, Rajlovac, Vogosca, Ilijas, were
13 all the places in the zone of responsibility of the SRK, and they're all
14 part of Sarajevo.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 Ms. Edgerton, any response?
17 MS. EDGERTON: Only to stipulate that it's the Prosecution's
18 position that the VRS held Stup. That's my only clarification.
19 Your Honour, I think we're talking about what my -- with respect,
20 my friend is talking about a division which may have happened in the minds
21 of certain people, as he said. Sarajevo never ceased to exist as a city.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, on your own submission, Hadzici
24 ceased to be part of Sarajevo well before the indictment period, for
25 whatever reason.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honours, my
2 learned friend says that the VRS was holding Stup. The army of Republika
3 Srpska never held Stup. Throughout the whole conflict it was held by the
4 BH army. Hadzici can never cease to be part of Sarajevo.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us how the events in Hadzici become relevant
7 to the core of the charges, which is the siege of Sarajevo, very briefly.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to repeat.
9 Hadzici never ceased to be part of Sarajevo. For centuries, or at least
10 for 100 years, it was part of Sarajevo, and I already explained under what
11 circumstances. It was not in the inner part of Sarajevo, although the
12 residents of Sarajevo believed it to be part of the core of Sarajevo.
13 There can be no Sarajevo without Hadzici, without Ilijas, or any other
14 place. This is how it was and this is how it is going to remain. At any
15 rate, in the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was
16 this position.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Mr. Tapuskovic, you haven't answered the
19 question that I asked, which was to illustrate how the events in Hadzici
20 become relevant to the core of the indictment which is concerned with the
21 siege of Sarajevo, the city of Sarajevo.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That is precisely the issue. Who
23 was under siege, actually? Who was under siege and where? Was Grbavica
24 under siege? Was Nedzarici under siege? It is up to you to give the
25 final answer, because the Defence thinks that Grbavica was under siege,
1 that Nedzarici was under siege, that Dobrinja was under siege, and that
2 maybe under the worst siege was Hadzici. This word "siege" means nothing
3 under these specific circumstances. Everybody was under siege at the
4 time, especially after the tunnel became operational.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, just for clarification, do you
7 remember this map that we were given in the beginning of the trial?
8 Sorry. Do you remember -- do you have this map with you? Because ...
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. That's number 10 map used
10 by Mrs. Ewa Tabeau. I think we should look at that map.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: There is map 2 in this binder. Yes.
12 Let me, just for clarity, ask you: Is it, in your opinion, the
13 case that this trial is about everything and anything that happened within
14 the thick purple line, which includes Hadzici to the west, Trnovo to the
15 south, Pale to the east, and Ilijas to the north? In other words, this
16 entire area here. Is that, in your view, encompassed by the indictment?
17 Let me show you also.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, quite
19 certainly this whole area in the zone of responsibility of the SRK, and
20 particularly what used to be Sarajevo - Ilidza, Hadzici, Novo Sarajevo -
21 and everything else constitutes Sarajevo. And it is completely unclear
22 who encircled whom. If we were to look at individual parts, as we did in
23 the course of this trial, especially after the tunnel became operational
24 and particularly depending on how you are going to assess who had dominant
25 positions on the hill, if we're going to separate this --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Then just use the indictment to support your
2 point. What is the relevant area as alleged in the indictment? Can you
3 help us with that? I'm trying to find it.
4 Most of the references are simply to Sarajevo. Many references to
5 the civilian population of Sarajevo. For example, paragraph 24 alleges
6 that the Serb forces conducted a campaign of artillery, et cetera, and
7 modified air bomb shelling onto the civilian areas of Sarajevo and its
8 civilian population. If we look at the terror count, again, reference to
9 the civilian areas of Sarajevo and the civilian population.
10 So the question is: What do we mean by "Sarajevo"? I have made
11 up my mind. I'll consult my colleagues.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We rule the question to be admissible --
14 permissible. We'll allow the question.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Samardzic, you've already said what happened by the end of
17 1994. What was the period after that like, for example, concerning food,
18 the end of 1994 and then 1995? Let us try to wrap things up, if we can.
19 A. As I've already stated, sanctions were imposed, and it was
20 increasingly difficult to buy certain things needed to provide meals for
21 the army. And the rumour had it, although I wasn't present, although I've
22 lived there my whole life, that there was a tunnel at Dobrinja that was
23 used in late 1994 and 1995. There was a large-scale offensive in October
24 1994 lasting until December that year. In the lull that ensued in 1995,
25 they dug out that tunnel and it was used exclusively by the ABiH in order
1 to move their troops to Igman and some other elevations that were nearby.
2 Q. Excuse me, can you tell the Judges how come you know that?
3 A. I heard that from my friends and co-fighters, because they could
4 move about, although it was very risky since there was shooting all the
5 time. I spoke to some of those people who managed to see that the tunnel
6 was in existence. It was shown on TV, although I cannot recall exactly
7 when. They used the tunnel to move people and some war equipment and
9 Q. Tell me this: What was the situation like by the end of December
10 and the months following that in Hadzici and in your area where you lived?
11 A. When I talk about Hadzici, I keep thinking about Sarajevo because
12 I was an inhabitant of that city. There was a cease-fire which lasted all
13 the way until June 1995. I think it was the 15th of June when there was
14 an all-out offensive from all front lines, from all sides, against the
15 centre of Sarajevo and Ilijas and Grbavica, everything that comprised
16 Sarajevo. There was an all-out offensive. Until early June there were no
17 major incidents. There was a cease-fire in place.
18 Q. Were there any casualties at that time? You needn't go into any
19 names or similar.
20 A. Certainly there were casualties and victims, as in any other clash
21 or conflict. There must have been some. I know for sure that in Hadzici,
22 throughout the war, over 220 civilians were killed and a number of
23 troops. I don't know their exact number, but there were over 220
24 civilians killed. The offensive lasted until -- almost until the Dayton
25 Accords were concluded. Even after the signing of the accords there were
2 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what happened with the people who were
3 there, who stayed there throughout the conflict? What happened after the
4 Dayton Accords with Hadzici, Ilidza, Vogosca, and the people who lived
6 A. I left Hadzici in 1996, in late February, and I never returned. I
7 spent my entire life there. I grew up there, went to school and worked,
8 and suffered the tragedy I mentioned. I don't want to go back to it. The
9 entire population of Hadzici left. People went different ways. I live in
10 Trnovo, which is a part of the municipality of Sarajevo.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Samardzic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
13 no further questions.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Just your indulgence for a moment, Your Honours,
16 while I check my notes.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
18 Q. Mr. Samardzic, can you hear me?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions now based on some of the
21 things you've testified about today, and if you don't understand anything
22 or if I'm unclear at all, please say.
23 You've testified today about - on page 22 of your testimony - the
24 location of Hadzici, and I'd like you to tell us, if you could give us an
25 estimate of how far in kilometres the town is from the urban area of
1 Sarajevo, say, from the town centre until Marin Dvor, as the crow flies,
2 let's say.
3 A. I know for sure that Marin Dvor or my building is exactly 21
4 kilometres by road, which means probably half of it, as the crow flies.
5 I'd say 10 kilometres.
6 Q. Twenty-one kilometres by road and 10, as the crow flies. Now,
7 what was the ethnic composition of Hadzici municipality, as far as you
8 know? And here I speak about the municipality and not the town itself.
9 A. The urban part, the town, was mixed; 50 per cent -- excuse me.
10 There were Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, but the Muslims prevailed in the
11 municipality since they usually populated the villages around. I would
12 say that there was 70 per cent Muslims in the municipality while the rest
13 were Serbs and Croats.
14 Q. Now, you said in your testimony you had lived in peace as a
15 community up until 1992, but in fact the elected municipal authorities had
16 actually collapsed in October 1991, hadn't they? There was no assembly,
17 no municipality assembly, after that time; is that correct?
18 A. There was no municipal assembly, but there were some parties in
19 power. There was the SDS, the SDA, the HDZ. I don't know what I would
20 call that situation. Things weren't clear. There was no municipal
21 president or president of the assembly. I don't know what the authorities
22 functioned like.
23 Q. And in fact, the Serbian municipality of Hadzici was proclaimed as
24 early as April 1992; isn't that correct?
25 A. In April 1992? Well, I think so, yes, because the police had
1 divided by then. I don't know whether it took place in March or April.
2 But I think I already said that. It was a nightmare, a general chaos. I
3 don't know how the municipality functioned.
4 Q. And road links between Sarajevo and Hadzici were actually blocked
5 from the very beginning of April 1992; isn't that correct?
6 A. It is correct. But in 1992, in March and April, there were
7 check-points with the reserve police force, and those people were
8 Muslims. The Serbs were in the town itself. I don't know what they
9 controlled in the inner town. But as for the perimeter, say, the entrance
10 to Hadzici, I myself was several times stopped by policemen and they
11 searched me and the vehicle as well as the colleagues who were with me. I
12 couldn't understand why, because up until that time things were peaceful.
13 Q. They were in the town -- the Serbs were in the town as a separate
14 police force; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic.
17 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
18 Just one comment that seems to be useful. Page 47 of the
19 transcript, lines 6 and 7, maybe the question should be asked again,
20 because Mr. Samardzic talked about the police. He said that he was
21 searched by the police. This is what he said. That was not written down
22 in the transcript. He said that it was -- the people who searched him
23 were his classmates or people with whom he went to school. He said those
24 were people with whom he went to school when he was a child.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Samardzic, would you just repeat that part of
1 your evidence relating to the search.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
3 For example, I went to Ilidza in Sarajevo. I had relatives there
4 and friends. When returning home, I was greatly surprised, because when I
5 tried to enter the town, the police stopped me. I pulled over. They were
6 in uniform. They asked me to open the trunk. And these people used to go
7 to school with me. Some of them were still bachelors, but some were
8 already married by that time.
9 For example, Adis Dzankic was one of them. Perhaps I can say this
10 as well: I asked his mother Adisa where Adis was, because by that time I
11 had realised that he had been drafted by the Muslim police. She said he
12 was there. And I said, "Well, I see him every day. He goes out with a
13 rifle and returns without it." And the lady was stunned. They were
14 behaving strangely.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. Now, with regard to the Serbian police in the town centre, they
18 were operating in a separate building, weren't they?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What can you tell us, Mr. Samardzic, about an ultimatum that was
21 issued by the SDS to the Muslims of Hadzici on 7th May to leave the town?
22 A. I don't know anything about any ultimatums. What I do know,
23 though, is that the Muslim inhabitants had left the town earlier, by end
24 of April. I saw them myself from Zavod. A saw a woman with two children
25 and an old man. They were on an ox cart moving towards a forest on an
1 elevation. They had packs on the cart. After the first clashes broke
2 out, after early May when we entered those villages, the houses there were
3 full. They didn't take much with them. They only pulled out the infirm
4 and the children.
5 There was no ultimatum on the Serb side. It was impossible how
6 the villages were empty. They left willingly, leaving their houses.
7 Q. Mr. Samardzic, are you saying that, to the best of your knowledge,
8 there was no ultimatum by the Serb side?
9 A. Yes, that's what I'm saying.
10 Q. Now --
11 A. I know that many people -- excuse me.
12 Q. In fact, Mr. Samardzic, also on the 7th of May, Serb army
13 reservists and Serb policemen entered the municipality building in
14 Hadzici, evicted the staff and locked the building, didn't they?
15 A. The 7th of May? I really don't know, believe me that, or I cannot
17 Q. And around that time, the Serb police, in front of the building
18 that they occupied, took a weapon, an anti-aircraft gun, and placed it in
19 front of their police station, aiming it outward, didn't they?
20 A. A gun, you say? I don't understand. What gun?
21 Q. An anti-aircraft gun, Mr. Samardzic.
22 A. It could have only been a Browning. It is a 12.7-millimetre gun.
23 I wouldn't call that a gun. I wouldn't call it a cannon. There were no
24 big cannons at first. When shells start flying about, you don't know
25 where they're coming from.
1 Q. So I take from your answer, then, that there was a weapon which
2 was placed in front of the Serb police station in Hadzici before the 8th
3 of May. Is that correct?
4 A. If I said that there was a weapon, I didn't say it was mounted.
5 Maybe there was something of that calibre, but all I'm saying is that
6 there was no cannon.
7 Q. Now, you've given evidence that shooting in and around the town
8 centre started on 8th of May, 1992, at around 7.30. Now, Mr. Samardzic,
9 isn't it a fact that following this incident non-Serbs from the town of
10 Hadzici were progressively moved from their homes and incarcerated in
11 detention facilities?
12 A. I don't know about that. All I know is that a part of the
13 population left willingly towards Pazarici. No one was driving them away,
14 I swear on that. Many Muslims stayed behind with us in the buildings
15 since they were married to Serbs. They weren't loyal to the Serb side,
16 but they stayed in their houses, and later they worked in different
17 aspects of civilian protection, for example, food supply. My colleague,
18 Ismet Nizic, was a waiter - he's died in the meantime - and he worked on
19 the distribution of food to the Serbs and Muslims. There was no terror.
20 No one forced anyone out of their homes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic.
22 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
23 Once again, I would like to mention that on the transcript, page
24 50, line 11, I read on the transcript "were married with Serbs," but --
25 and I hear very -- I heard the witness, I heard what the witness said, but
1 I never heard the witness mention that somebody was married to the Serbs.
2 He used the word "mixed marriages," but he didn't say that somebody was
3 married, "ozenjen," or "udat," with a Serb. So he talked about mix
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The sentence really should have read,
6 then: "Many stayed behind with us in the buildings since there were mixed
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, because the
9 witness did not mention the word about being married to someone. The
10 witness did not say Bosnians were married to Serbs, or he didn't say that
11 a Swiss person was married to a person of the another nationality. The
12 witness did not say that.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We got the point. You should bear in mind,
14 Ms. Isailovic, that the transcript is routinely corrected, so that unless
15 you see something which you consider is going to be relevant to the
16 examination, to your examination, or the cross-examination, I would
17 encourage you to leave it alone and to take it up only if you think it is
18 going to become vital to the rest of the examination of the witness, or
20 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
21 reiterate that I intervene only when I believe that something will become
22 important afterwards, not only for redirect, the redirect procedure, but
23 also I only intervene when I think that it will stay written down and that
24 perhaps can affect our case.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Please continue.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Samardzic, you've said that you don't know about ethnic
3 cleansing, yet you've talked about a large number of non-Serbs leaving the
4 municipality willingly. Mr. Samardzic, I put to you that those non-Serbs
5 who remained in Hadzici were --
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This witness never used the
9 term "ethnic cleansing," not once. I fail to understand how we have such
10 a question now involving ethnic cleansing. This person worked in the
11 catering industry. He never mentioned ethnic cleansing.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
13 MS. EDGERTON: I'll rephrase the question.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, rephrase it.
15 MS. EDGERTON:
16 Q. Mr. Samardzic, when I asked you whether or not you were aware of
17 the removal of non-Serbs in Hadzici town from their homes and their
18 detention in facilities in the municipality, you said you don't know, but
19 you noted that a number of non-Serb women and children left the
20 municipality willingly.
21 Now, my question to you is: Are you saying that you have no
22 knowledge that the remaining non-Serbs in Hadzici town were removed from
23 their homes and placed in detention facilities in the town itself?
24 A. I don't know about that. I don't think that happened. I really
25 don't know. Most of my day went to produce and make food. I really don't
1 know. But I can say again that no one tried to influence anyone
2 concerning their decision whether they would stay or leave Hadzici. No
3 one bothered anyone else.
4 Q. Now, you've testified previously that you never left Hadzici, and
5 what I'd like to ask you, sir, then, is where -- and you worked at the
6 technical refitting plant until you were sent on the line. So, sir, where
7 is the Hadzici sports centre in relation to the technical refitting plant?
8 A. The sports centre is further down below, towards Remontni Zavod.
9 I was up there throughout the war where the kitchen was; therefore, I have
10 no idea what was happening in the sports centre. From the kitchen I was
11 moved up to the front line in Kasatici. I've explained that already.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, it's time for the break. We'll
13 adjourn until tomorrow.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day
16 of June, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.