1 Thursday, 23 January 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Ms. McKenna, please continue.
8 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 WITNESS: BRANKO DAVIDOVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Ms. McKenna: [Continued]
12 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'll begin by clarifying a question I asked you
13 yesterday. Did you live in Tomina before the war?
14 A. No, I never lived in Tomina before the war.
15 Q. And is your wife's name Rada?
16 A. My wife's name is Jagoda.
17 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Now, at paragraph 18 of your
18 statement you say:
19 "I know from some polemics in the media that attempts are being
20 made to present false claims that the Serbs seized power by force in
21 Sanski Most municipality which is not true."
22 And in paragraph 27 you say that you are puzzled by the
23 suggestion that the 6th Brigade took part in the attack on the
24 Sanski Most Assembly. I'd like to direct your attention once again to
25 the document we were looking at yesterday, that's P3660, and this is
1 Colonel Basara's war record.
2 MS. McKENNA: And this time could we have P -- English page 3 and
3 B/C/S page 5.
4 Q. And under heading 6, Mr. Davidovic, you'll see towards the bottom
5 of that paragraph Colonel Basara, having discussed the political
6 situation, he states:
7 "The 6th then prepared the way for the seizure of power and
8 secured the take-over of the territory of the municipalities of
9 Sanski Most and Kljuc."
10 Now, Mr. Davidovic, this isn't a characterisation from the
11 polemics in the media. This is your own commander, Colonel Basara,
12 describing how the 6th Brigade assisted in the seizure of power and in
13 securing the take-over of the Sanski Most and Kljuc municipalities. And
14 that's the truth, isn't it? There was a deliberate plan to take over
15 power in Sanski Most and Kljuc, and the 6th Brigade assisted in its
17 A. If you will allow me, I would like to start by saying this: The
18 brigade war diary is written by the assistant commander for operations.
19 The brigade commander does not write the diary. I don't know whose
20 document this is, this is as far as the document goes. Second of all,
21 the 6th Sana Brigade did not participate in the take-over of power in the
22 Sanski Most municipality. A territorial unit did but at that moment it
23 was not on the strength of the 6th Sana Brigade. As far as the
24 participation in the take-over of power in Kljuc is concerned, it is
25 correct that we were headed towards Kljuc and some 2 or 3 kilometres in
1 front of Kljuc we were deployed, but we did not open fire that evening
2 when there was a take-over of power in Kljuc.
3 Q. Let's look at the combat report that you drafted, that's P3663.
4 MS. McKENNA: And could we please see pages 4 of the English and
5 the B/C/S. And in the middle of the page in the English --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid we don't have the same
7 page in Serbian.
8 MS. McKENNA: The paragraph that I'm interested in is towards the
9 bottom of that page 4, and it begins:
10 "A marked rift occurred among the leading parties in
11 Sanski Most ..."
12 Q. And in this document it states:
13 "In order to protect socially owned property, on 20th of April
14 the brigade" --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down when reading. Thank you.
16 MS. McKENNA: My apologies to the interpreters.
17 "In order to protect socially owned property on 20th of April,
18 the brigade took control of all the more important facilities and
19 localities in town."
20 Q. So will you agree with me, Mr. Davidovic, that the 6th Brigade
21 was an integral part of the Serb operation to take over Sanski Most?
22 A. If you will allow me, I'll try and explain the situation. In my
23 statement it says that there were elections and that power was set up and
24 the authorities functioned all the way up to the 20th of April, 1992.
25 The president of the Municipal Assembly was a Serb, Nedeljko Rasula. He
1 won a majority vote in the elections, and the president of the
2 Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly was a Muslim. All of that
3 functioned some time up to April. And then the Presidency of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed an imminent threat of war --
5 Q. Mr. --
6 A. -- and then --
7 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'm sorry, I'm going to interrupt you. I'm going
8 to ask you to focus very specifically on the question that I asked you,
9 and it is this: Do you agree that the 6th Brigade played an integral
10 part in the Serbian take-over of power in Sanski Most municipality? It's
11 a yes or a no answer.
12 A. No.
13 Q. I'll move on.
14 In paragraph 21 of your statement you refer to legitimate checks
15 and searches carried out by the 6th Brigade on the 25th of May. Now, in
16 this combat report that we have before us, you describe how from the
17 25th of May to the 4th of June a comprehensive operation was undertaken
18 to mop-up the terrain and disarm Muslim extremists in Sanski Most
19 municipality. I'd like to discuss some parts of that comprehensive
21 At paragraph 23 of your statement you say that:
22 " ... it is a lie that there were civilian casualties in Mahala
23 because there was not even any fighting there in the real sense of the
25 Now, Mr. Davidovic, the operation to disarm Mahala involved a
1 planned, co-ordinated artillery attack by the 6th Brigade and the TO;
2 that's correct, isn't it?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And there's evidence before the Trial Chamber that Serb soldiers
5 forced Mahala residents to gather at a training-ground, following which
6 the 6th Brigade shelled Mahala. Muslim businesses were blown up by Serb
7 forces, houses were burned down, and people, including those too old and
8 too sick to move, were wounded and were killed. Now, that's the reality
9 of what happened in Mahala, isn't it?
10 A. The previous night, if we're talking about the 25th, I don't know
11 the exact date, fire was opened from Mahala to the right bank of the
12 Sana, where there was a majority Serb population. And that's where the
13 fighting started when they opened fire on their side. I was
14 10 kilometres away from Sanski Most at the time, so I don't know all the
15 details. But I heard that one part of our artillery forces, in order to
16 calm the situation down, in order to prevent the escalation of the
17 fighting, shelled -- and that's what I heard, I didn't see that. And a
18 barn was hit, there was some cattle there, the barn caught fire, and the
19 cattle got killed. I know the owner because he was in the riding club in
20 Sanski Most and we participated in competitions together.
21 And then on the following day when I arrived, when I went through
22 Mahala and when my battalion went through there, I did not see a single
23 casualty. And we were passing through Mahala for an hour or an hour and
24 a half. And when we went Mahala, I asked my subordinate officers whether
25 any of our people were either wounded or killed and he said no. Whether
1 anybody was wounded or killed on the Muslim side, he said no. And we
2 left. In the meantime, I bumped into a man who was pushing his mother in
3 a wheelchair, and you can find that in my statement --
4 Q. Thank you
5 A. -- I asked him where he was headed and he said that he was headed
6 towards the medical centre.
7 Q. Thank you. And now you're repeating what's already in your
8 statement. However, you just contradicted what you said in your
9 statement because in your statement you said:
10 "There was not even any fighting in Mahala in the real sense of
11 the word."
12 So let's focus on this issue of civilian casualties.
13 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3652.
14 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this is a decision of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff
15 of the 28th of May, 1992, and you'll see under heading 1 it states:
16 "The location for the burial of people killed in Sanski Most
17 municipality is hereby designated as the Muslim cemetery known as Greda."
18 And under heading 2:
19 "Those killed shall be buried in a common grave without the usual
20 rituals (in the absence of family, et cetera) in the presence of the
21 authorised organs."
22 So two days after the shelling of Mahala, a place where you
23 acknowledge in your statement there was no fighting, the Crisis Staff is
24 making provisions for the burial of people in a common grave in the
25 absence of their family in secrecy. So the fact is that, contrary to
1 your testimony, these people were civilian casualties, weren't they?
2 A. I'm telling you this, and I claim what I saw that day, whether
3 there were any casualties the day before or a day later, I can't say
4 because I don't know. However, on the day when I was there with my
5 battalion and when I went through there, I claim, based on the reports of
6 my subordinate officers, that there were no casualties.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't find the grounds for the
8 assertion that those were civilians and that they were indeed killed in
9 Mahala. I can't find that anywhere in this document. I can't find the
10 word "civilians" or the word "Mahala" in this document. Could you assist
12 JUDGE KWON: That's the question from the Prosecution.
13 Shall we continue.
14 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Let's talk about another operation in which the 6th Brigade was
16 involved. In paragraph 22 of your statement you say:
17 "There can be no talk of unarmed civilians in Hrustovo ..."
18 Now, during the disarmament operation in late May, you and the
19 unit you commanded were based in Kljevci, a Serb village next to
20 Hrustovo; that's correct, isn't it?
21 A. That's correct. My battalion and some other battalions who were
22 there were deployed in the village of Kljevci and that's a neighbouring
23 village to Hrustovo. Kljevci is, indeed, a Serbian village.
24 Q. And people from Hrustovo and other villages in the area handed
25 over weapons to you personally; isn't that correct?
1 A. Correct. Over 10 villages where I went and talked to some
2 prominent people from those villages. I told them about the security
3 situation and what was going on in the municipality, and I told them that
4 it would be good in order to prevent bloodshed if they collected weapons,
5 if they put it in one place, and then we would take those weapons over.
6 That's what happened. Not a single bullet was fired in any of those
7 villages. Over two truck-loads were handed over voluntarily. We took
8 those weapons over and we took them to some depots.
9 Q. You say that not a single bullet was fired in any of those
10 villages, but the fact is, Mr. Davidovic, isn't it, that despite weapons
11 being handed in by some of the inhabitants of Hrustovo, Hrustovo
12 continued to be shelled; isn't that true?
13 A. Hrustovo is an exception. When I arrived in Kljevci, I also
14 invited three prominent villagers from Hrustovo. I was very honest with
15 them and I perhaps told them even more than I should about the strength
16 of brigade and the weapons. I talked to them like brethren. I told them
17 about the situation. I pleaded with them. I pleaded with them to go
18 back to the village and to talk people into surrendering their weapons,
19 like in all the other villages. I told them about all the other
20 villages. One of them -- they all talked to me, they all returned to the
21 village. And one of them told me that they would certainly not be
22 willing to do that because he said that there were 80 men armed to the
23 teeth in front of my house. There's five times as many as that and they
24 would not surrender weapons. I pleaded with them again. We waited for
25 two or three days for them to do that; they didn't surrender the weapons.
1 And you can see that from my statement. Two hundred and fifty of their
2 combatants were captured. They first captured 13 of our own and then --
3 Q. Once again --
4 A. -- three men who were killed in that operation were Serbs and
5 that's what happened first.
6 Q. Once again, Mr. Davidovic, you're repeating what's in your
7 statement. I'd like to focus on the issue of weapons being handed in.
8 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see 65 ter number 25877.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would kindly request that the
10 Prosecutor slows down, please. Thank you.
11 MS. McKENNA:
12 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this is a statement Mr. Adem Seferovic, a native
13 of Hrustovo, and it's a statement he gave to the Tribunal in 1999, which
14 was tendered into evidence in the Krajisnik case.
15 MS. McKENNA: Could we have page 3 of the English and the B/C/S,
17 Q. And Mr. Seferovic says:
18 "The shelling of Hrustovo commenced on 27 May 1992 ..."
19 And he continues:
20 "On 30 May 1992, we decided to surrender our weapons. We took
21 all our weapons to Kukavice hamlet from where Husein Merdanovic
22 transported them to Kljevci by a tractor ...
23 "When Husein returned he told that he spoke with a Serb,
24 Brane Davidovic ... Husein and Davidovic knew each other from before. He
25 had promised that people in Hrustovo can return back their homes and
1 nothing will happen to them. However, the shelling resumed after some
2 hours ..."
3 Mr. Davidovic, my question for you is: Even where weapons were
4 being handed in to you, the shelling of Hrustovo continued; that's the
5 truth, isn't it?
6 A. No, weapons were never surrendered to us. I've just told you we
7 waited for a couple of days for the weapons to be handed over. They
8 didn't want to do that, and then I told them if those who were armed were
9 not willing to hand over weapons, let civilians leave the village to
10 avoid civilian casualties. And then they said that they couldn't do that
11 because those were weapons [as interpreted] wouldn't allow them to do
12 because they were their shield, as it were. They did not hand over the
13 weapons, which you can see from my statement. I don't want to repeat
15 Q. Mr. Davidovic, the 6th Brigade policy was to destroy villages in
16 which any resistance whatsoever was either shown or suspected, wasn't it?
17 A. I categorically claim that that wasn't the case. At first our
18 main goal was to prevent inter-ethnic conflicts, and if that couldn't be
19 done through negotiations and talks then we wanted to disarm armed
20 individuals and groups in order to create conditions for the normal
21 functioning of the authorities. We didn't want to destroy any villages,
22 no chance.
23 Q. Mr. Davidovic, I'd like you to listen to a recording of a radio
24 announcement that was played at the time.
25 MS. McKENNA: And that is P -- for the parties' reference, this
1 is P725, time code 15 minutes, 13 seconds, to 15 minutes, 51 seconds.
2 And for the interpreters' reference it's page 7 of the English and
3 page 11 of the B/C/S.
4 [Audio-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "All the struggle -- you're not
6 capable of standing up to the forces of the Army of the Serb Republic of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The statement of the Serb armed forces command
8 states. It adds your resistance will force us to destroy and devastate
9 your villages which means that you will not be able to live with us in
10 these territories. If you do want to go on living in these territories,
11 accept co-operation, hand over all the weapons and military equipment and
12 surrender to the Serb authorities all the extremists who force you to
13 fight. As long as one of you has a weapon, you risk the destruction of
14 your houses and families" --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The sound is really bad. I don't
16 know whether the witness was able to follow. Could we be provided with a
17 Serbian transcript as well?
18 MS. McKENNA:
19 Q. Mr. Witness, were you able to follow that statement?
20 A. Yes, I could, most of it. Shall I answer?
21 Q. My question for you is: As the Serbian armed forces command
22 stated, as long as one person in a village had a weapon, that gave the
23 Serb forces free reign to destroy houses and to destroy families. That's
24 the truth, isn't it?
25 A. I don't know about this proclamation, but what I wanted to tell
1 you is that I did not own a radio and didn't listen to the radio, and I
2 don't know who wrote this and who said this. And I don't know that the
3 command ever made such a proclamation. I was battalion commander at the
4 time. I was not on the brigade command, but I suppose I would have
5 received such a proclamation. Our order was to disarm without any
6 consequences, if possible. But to destroy a village over one rifle, I
7 don't know, I never heard about that. I never saw that being done.
8 Q. Well, did you hear, Mr. Davidovic, as this Trial Chamber has
9 heard, of the fact that 6th Brigade members shot unarmed women and
10 children sheltering in a garage in Hrustovo on the 31st of May? Did you
11 hear about that?
12 A. That was fighting. There was real combat at the time and it's
13 possible that such things happened, but in combat when this unit of the
14 strength of a battalion headed by Captain Antic, who was not from
15 Sanski Most municipality, was in that village, then perhaps civilian
16 casualties occurred.
17 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this isn't combat. This is a group of unarmed
18 women and children sheltering in a garage and being shot by members of
19 your own brigade. Let's talk about another incident that your brigade
20 members were involved with. The Trial Chamber has heard evidence of the
21 6th Brigade's attack of -- on the 31st of May, the same date, in
22 Vrhpolje, in which soldiers rounded up the inhabitants of Begici near
23 Vrhpolje, took the men to Vrhpolje bridge, beat them, forced them to jump
24 off, and shot them as they did. And at least 28 men were killed that
25 day. Now, is this another example of what you term "armed combat"?
1 A. My unit and myself were not there, we did not take part, and I
2 never saw any of this. If you have evidence about this, it's possible,
3 but I cannot tell you anything because I was never there, nor was my
5 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see P3601.
6 Q. Mr. Davidovic, this is an order from your commander, Basara,
7 dated the 1st of June, 1992, the day after the events in Hrustovo and
8 Vrhpolje we've just been discussing; and it relates to establishing
9 discipline in the units of the brigade during combat operations. And
10 you'll see under heading 1, two paragraphs down it states:
11 "All soldiers prone to committing genocide against people unable
12 to conduct an armed struggle must be discharged.
13 "All soldiers prone to burning down and destroying buildings from
14 which the enemy is not opening fire at the unit must be discharged ..."
15 If we skip to paragraph 2 it states:
16 "In our future combat operations, we must not repeat the mistakes
17 we have made before in the treatment of prisoners. No one has the right
18 to beat or abuse prisoners when they are brought in and until questioning
19 has been carried out ..."
20 And heading 3:
21 "I categorically forbid acts of genocide against the population
22 of the opposing side who are unable to fight, including women, children
23 under 18, the sick and people over 60 years of age."
24 This, Mr. Davidovic, is the reality of what soldiers acting under
25 the command of the 6th Brigade were doing. They were burning down
1 buildings, they were beating prisoners, and they were killing Muslims and
2 Croats, including men, women, children, the young, the old, and the sick,
3 and that's the truth, isn't it?
4 A. I don't know that truth. Wherever I've been, nobody even struck
5 anyone, not even a slap. I see what's written in the order, but it's
6 true that there were individuals who sometimes got out of control outside
7 of the command system, especially when they were on leave outside of
8 their units, to avenge the deaths of their descendents from
9 Second World War. And as far as I know, five or six of them have already
10 been prosecuted and tried. And what Commander Basara wrote here, he
11 wanted to prevent even such individual incidents, to prevent things that
12 should not happen.
13 Q. Mr. Davidovic, contrary to what you've just said, it's in
14 evidence before this Trial Chamber that none of the people who were
15 responsible for these crimes were tried, certainly none were tried during
16 the war. That's the truth, isn't it?
17 A. No. Danilusko Kajtez was tried during the war. He was a member
18 of the brigade, but he had committed a wrong-doing when he was away from
19 the brigade. A procedure was started. He was brought to justice and
20 then I don't know what happened next.
21 Q. Mr. Davidovic, there is plenty of evidence about
22 Mr. Danilusko Kajtez before this Trial Chamber and this evidence shows
23 that he was not, in fact, tried during the war. He was only tried after
24 the war. But I will move on to matters that you have directly testified
25 about. In your statement at paragraph 25, you say that:
1 "As far as" you "know, the people who were brought to Betonjerka
2 were either involved in terrorist activities or connected to people who
3 were ..."
4 And at paragraph 26 of your statement you say:
5 "We neither arrested nor brought in civilians ..."
6 MS. McKENNA: Now, could we please see P3929.
7 Q. As you see, Mr. Davidovic, this is a document dated the
8 3rd of September, 1992. It's the 1st Krajina Corps command report on the
9 state of combat morale in 1st Krajina Corps units in August 1992. Now,
10 by September 1992 you were the 6th Brigade assistant commander for
11 morale; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. McKENNA: Could we see page 4 of the B/C/S and page 3 of the
14 English, please.
15 Q. And the paragraph is at the very bottom of the English and
16 towards the bottom of the B/C/S. And it states:
17 "Certain tensions are still present in Kotor Varos, Kljuc,
18 Sanski Most, and Prijedor ... because of a large number of arrested
19 citizens for whom there is no evidence or criminal reports that they
20 participated in armed rebellion ..."
21 So, Mr. Davidovic, this is the individual to whom you reported,
22 stating that there is no evidence that a large number of detainees
23 participated in any armed activities. You've already explained that
24 insofar as it related to Sanski Most, this document would have been based
25 on information received by you. So that's the truth, isn't it? Contrary
1 to your testimony before this Trial Chamber, contrary to your statement,
2 there was no evidence that a large number of detainees participated in
3 any armed activities?
4 A. Concerning people who were taken into custody, brought in to the
5 public security station of Sanski Most, they were brought in by public
6 security workers. We, the army, did not bring anyone in. They,
7 according to their plan of activities, detected these people who were
8 somehow connected to or had perpetrated these crimes. The station had
9 only one small room where they could place these people. The brigade did
10 not bring any people to them to have them interviewed; they did it
12 MS. McKENNA: Could we please see D470.
13 Q. You've just told the Trial Chamber, Mr. Davidovic, that people
14 who were taken into custody, brought into the public security station of
15 Sanski Most, were brought in by public security workers. We, the army,
16 did not bring anyone in.
17 This is a report of the security services section -- centre from
18 August 1992.
19 MS. McKENNA: I'd like to see page 14 of the English and page 18
20 of the B/C/S, please.
21 Q. And you'll see this is a report specifically of the Sanski Most
22 SJB of 18th of August, 1992. And three paragraphs down it states:
23 "Most of the persons, about 90 per cent, were brought in by the
24 army as prisoners from the zones where there had been fighting ..."
25 So it's just not true, is it, what you've just told the
1 Trial Chamber, that the army didn't bring people to the SJB; in the same
2 way as it's not true that the people detained by the army were all
3 involved in fighting?
4 A. I maintain with full responsibility that I don't know about this.
5 My unit, my battalion, did not bring anyone in. Whether other units did
6 that, it's possible, I don't know, you should ask them. But I am telling
7 you that I personally or members of my battalion never arrested a single
8 Muslim, to the extent that I was able to control the situation. But as
9 far as this is concerned, I have talked to people from the public
10 security and they said that nobody from the army ever brought anyone in.
11 Perhaps it was done by the Territorial Defence which was at that time
12 outside of the system of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
13 MS. McKENNA: Your Honours, I note that I'm -- my time is up.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Davidovic. I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I take it you have re-examination to
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency.
18 JUDGE KWON: Before you do that, probably I may ask Mr. Tieger
19 about this. It's about Exhibit P3660, Colonel Basara's handwritten
20 history. The description in e-court says it's probably written at the
21 end of 1992, and I just had a quick look and we heard evidence from
22 Mr. Keserovic to the effect that he didn't understand why Colonel Basara
23 wrote this after his retirement. So -- so I'm wondering whether we heard
24 evidence as to when Colonel Basara wrote this and how come the
25 Prosecution got that document in its custody?
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 JUDGE KWON: Ms. McKenna is also welcome to comment.
3 MR. TIEGER: No, I was -- thanks, as you noted, I considered that
4 Ms. McKenna's information offhand would -- would be most extensive. But
5 I think even between the two of us, I don't know that I can answer the
6 complete question now. I know that the diary wasn't obtained by the OTP
7 until after the conflict. I don't know if the description or any other
8 aspect of the Court's inquiry was sort of misleadingly conflated with the
9 time of acquisition. If you need the answers right now, I will press
10 very hard to get the concrete answers to your questions now. Otherwise,
11 I will move forward anyway. I don't want to -- I'm not in a position to
12 answer all of the Court's questions with the level of confidence I would
13 want without further inquiry.
14 JUDGE KWON: Sometimes it's termed by the Prosecution attorneys
15 as "war diary," but it's evident it's not a spontaneous war diary written
16 during -- spontaneously.
17 MR. TIEGER: As the Court is aware, there are various forms of
18 so-called -- or various forms of documents that have been admitted under
19 the general term "diaries." And as you just indicated, Mr. President,
20 they embrace both documents that reflect contemporaneous, daily
21 recordings of events and also some that are more retrospective in nature.
22 You're right, it would be more -- perhaps more helpful and certainly
23 clearer if we had different designations for documents that reflect
24 different approaches. But in any event, I will try to obtain for you as
25 quickly as possible both the precise date of acquisition and, more
1 importantly -- and how we came into custody of that. I think you're
2 aware that many documents were obtained from Sanski Most because of the
3 nature of the departure of Serbian authorities from that area in 1995.
4 Some -- many things were left behind and were acquired thereafter. But
5 as for the timing of the entries and our understanding of that, I'll make
6 sure that that's confirmed to the Court.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Am I correct in understanding that this
8 exhibit was admitted as part of associated exhibit for one of the
9 protected witnesses from the Prosecution?
10 MR. TIEGER: That is correct.
11 JUDGE KWON: And we dealt with the associated exhibit at the
12 time. There's no specific opposition, objection, from the Defence as to
13 this exhibit. Am I correct in so understanding, Mr. Robinson?
14 MR. ROBINSON: That I don't recall, Mr. President. I have to
15 look that up.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll leave it at that for the moment.
17 MR. TIEGER: And just to add, I believe that the document has
18 also been admitted in other cases as well.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
21 Your Excellencies. Good morning, everyone.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Davidovic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. We'll begin with the latest points. Could you help us clarify a
1 possible confusion arising from different understanding of terms. Is
2 there a distinction as far as you are concerned between bringing in and
4 A. No, these are not the same acts. To capture means in combat and
5 to bring in a person means something else, it's a different action.
6 Q. Where are people brought in from?
7 A. We didn't bring anyone in. It was done by the employees of the
8 public security station in Sanski Most municipality, on the condition
9 that they had certain information that the persons involved had
10 perpetrated crimes or were in cahoots with perpetrators of crimes.
11 Q. And in our system, whose job is it to bring people in?
12 A. It's the job of the organs of the public security, of the
13 civilian authorities.
14 Q. On page 14 you answered that there were some individuals who
15 deviated. You were talking about this order of Colonel Basara. What was
16 the attitude of these individuals who deviated and -- to their crimes?
17 Did the command turn a blind eye to such acts?
18 A. The command of the 6th Krajina Brigade did not turn a blind eye
19 to such facts. We even established our own prison in one part of the
20 theatre of war, where we detained such offenders for a while. And
21 through moral guidance and political work, we worked with these people to
22 cleanse from their minds what had happened in the Second World War, to
23 make them focus on the present and to stop them from making this link.
24 I'll give you an example: My neighbour, Ismet Foca, and a Serb who had
25 been in good relations before the war but sometimes got drunk and
1 quarrelled, they had different views and once this man came from Prijedor
2 to have a show-down with Ismet Foca who lived like three doors away from
3 me. My wife summoned me. I and another neighbour talked to this man and
4 the quarrel was averted.
5 Q. On page 6 concerning the events in Mahala, you said you were not
6 there on the first day. And in your paragraph 23 you said there was no
7 fighting in Mahala in the real sense of the word. Were there any
8 skirmishes? What really happened? Why do you say that there was no
9 fighting in the real sense of the word, street fighting, house-to-house
11 A. Yes, there were skirmishes, but there was not much resistance.
12 We passed through quickly. But I'm saying that there was no real serious
13 combat. I'm only talking about the day when I passed through. I was not
14 there in the early days.
15 Q. I'll read to you a passage from the book called: It's a crime to
16 forget a crime, page 85. I quote:
17 "Under such circumstances the leaders of the SDA had to retreat
18 to Sehovci and Mahala, and from there attempt to organise some --"
19 MS. McKENNA: Objection.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. "-- sort of resistance. However, it turned out to be absolutely
22 impossible ..."
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
24 MS. McKENNA: I object to this line of questioning from
25 Mr. Karadzic. The witness has said -- he's made clear what his testimony
1 on this issue is. He's said that he wasn't there. He's explained what
2 happened on the day that he was there, and now Mr. Karadzic is reading
3 evidence to him without laying any sort of foundation, simply to feed him
4 the answer.
5 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to respond to this, Mr. Karadzic or
6 Mr. Robinson?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the problem is that the
8 Prosecution made a problem of the events in Mahala and they contest that
9 it was fighting, saying that instead there were civilians there. I'm
10 quoting from a Muslim document, from a Muslim book, and I want to ask the
11 witness if that is consistent with his experience. Because this was
12 directly challenged by the Prosecution. They challenge the claim that
13 Muslim fighters were there in Mahala. They claim that it was an attack
14 against civilians.
15 JUDGE KWON: The witness said there's no real serious combat,
16 didn't he?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness said that the day after
18 the shelling there was no combat in the real sense, there was no
19 conquest, but there were skirmishes, shooting, from both sides. But what
20 I'm trying to say is that it was not a civilian settlement, it was
21 militarised, it was involved in the fighting.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is of the view that the witness was
24 quite clear in his answer and you don't need to refer to other documents,
25 including this book in this regard. Please move on to another topic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I'll ask a general
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Davidovic, do you have any information or knowledge that any
5 of the villages where fighting occurred was an undefended civilian
6 settlement attacked for no military reason?
7 A. No, there is not a single village that I know in the Sanski Most
8 municipality that was attacked, mistreated, where people were killed, not
9 that I know of.
10 Q. Thank you. We heard and we saw, although that was contested, the
11 position of the commander of the 6th Sana Brigade. What was his
12 position? What instructions and orders you -- did you receive from your
13 superior commands, for example, the command of the 1st Krajina Corps with
14 respect to complying with norms, the rules of war, respect for civilians,
15 and their religious buildings, and so on and so forth? What was the
16 position and what kind of documents reached you in that regard?
17 A. Our position, the position of the brigade commander who was
18 respected equally by Muslims and Serbs and they talked to him, was that
19 if war was inevitable and if there was to be fighting, that all the
20 international conventions on warfare had to be complied with. That's the
21 kind of instructions we received from the Krajina Corps and from
22 Banja Luka, but we really didn't need them because that was our position
23 in the first place.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now could the witness please be
25 shown 65 ter 17885.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Pay attention, the date is 7th June, 1992, and the command -- the
3 document says:
4 "Conduct towards killed, wounded and captured members of enemy
5 formations ..."
6 Now, look at the order. Just look at it, you don't need to read
7 it, and tell us whether that was the general position of all the commands
8 and whether the 6th Sana Brigade as a whole behaved in line with this?
9 A. Yes, the 6th Sana Brigade, in all of that, complied with this
10 document. I can give you an example.
11 Q. Go ahead.
12 A. That example -- or rather, there's one in my statement, but I
13 have another one that I can share with you and it concerns a theatre of
14 war where they were deployed. A Muslim soldier was taken prisoner.
15 First I had lunch with him. We were sat at the same table. He ate the
16 same food I did. We were eating together. I talked to him. I talked
17 about the situation in their part of the territory. I asked him
18 questions, and after that I handed him over to the security organs, and
19 then the security organs were supposed to put other questions to him and
20 then exchange him. That's how we exchanged our fallen soldier, a soldier
21 who was killed and then burnt, and we gave them their officer whom we had
22 captured. And we didn't ask any questions.
23 Q. Thank you. What does it say here in the first paragraph?
24 Sanitation of the battle-field and burial, what does that mean?
25 A. That means to remove possible casualties or debris which remains
1 in the battle-field after combat.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4234, Your Honours.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Which facilities were targeted by artillery? What was the main
9 target and what was the main purpose? What was the goal that had to be
10 achieved in Mahala, Muhici, as well as Hrustovo and Vrhpolje?
11 A. First and foremost, the objective was to warn their units and
12 alert them to the fact that there would be resistance, that they were not
13 free to attack certain parts of town, and the same went for the theatre
14 of war. And as for Mahala, as far as I know, the only thing that was hit
15 was that barn that I was talking about. No other facilities were ever
16 targeted, especially not residential properties.
17 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a commander who did not hail from
18 Sanski Most. Could you please tell us whether there were any armed
19 groups or individuals from other formations and from other areas. Were
20 they in Sanski Most and why they arrived there in the first place?
21 A. I suppose so. Why do I suppose so? Because that captain, Avdic,
22 did not hail from Sanski Most. I don't know where he was from. However,
23 when our 12 lads were taken prisoner, in that group was also our captain
24 who was in school with him, or rather, they attended the academy
25 together. They were of the same age. I suppose, but I can't claim, that
1 there was some other people with him who had come from somewhere else and
2 they had arrived in order to prevent the population to surrender their
3 weapons in order to gain yet another argument for the alleged
4 persecutions of the Muslim population on our part. And the only culprit
5 for what happened in Hrustovo was him with his group. Obviously, most
6 probably, he had received an order to that effect from his headquarters
7 in Sarajevo.
8 Q. When you say in the village of Hrustovo and the surrender of
9 weapons, can you share with us some examples of situations where the
10 population handed over their weapons? What happened to such villages?
11 Could you give us their names?
12 A. Yes, I can give you their names, Skuceni Vakuf, Naprelje,
13 Fajtovci, Gornji Kamengrad, Donji Kamengrad, Okrec, Demisevci, Husimovci
14 Pobrijezje. All those villages surrendered their weapons. I told you,
15 there were over two truck-loads of weapons that were handed over to me
16 voluntarily without any problems.
17 Q. And what was the majority population in those villages?
18 A. Muslims.
19 Q. And those villages, were they ever attacked after having
20 surrendered their weapons?
21 A. No, they were never attacked. Those people remained living in
22 their villages, in their houses there. Truth be told, later on many of
23 them left for various reasons, but not because they were pressurised by
24 us. When we arrived they were taken by surprise because they had heard
25 that we would -- that they would be taken to camps. And then when they
1 surrendered their weapons, I told them to go home. I told them to be
2 mindful of dangers, of getting involved in some things. They were really
4 Q. Were there any Croatian villages that surrendered their weapons
5 and what happened to them, and can you give us some of their names?
6 A. There were fewer Croatian villages. Skrljevita and Sasina were
7 the two largest in Sanski Most municipality. I think that in the
8 territory along the border between Sanski Most and Prijedor there were
10 Q. And what about Sasina and Skrljevita as Croatian villages in
11 Sanski Most, were they ever attacked?
12 A. No.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
14 18911. We don't have a translation for that document, but I suppose we
15 will somehow cope and I ask for everybody's tolerance with that respect.
16 Perhaps the Prosecutor has a translation. I would be grateful to them if
17 we could be provided with it if they have it.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please pay attention, this is the Territorial Defence, the
20 Territorial Defence staff. It's an order and you can see that there is a
21 combat mission or task. And as for the date we could conclude from the
22 text that it was before the 26th of May.
23 In the first paragraph the document mentions some parts of the
24 municipality with Croatian Muslim populations, and it says:
25 "The previously infiltrated groups of the HOS and ZNG" --
1 Could you actually read the first part of that paragraph
2 yourself, can you do it aloud but slowly?
3 MS. McKENNA: Sorry --
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 MS. McKENNA: -- to interrupt but just for the parties'
6 assistance, I think this may be the document that is in evidence as
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. So we don't have to
9 read at all. Could you please tell us in the first paragraph it says --
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Why don't we upload it. Yes, I
11 think it is.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please pay attention to the --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no, we need the Serbian version
16 on the left-hand side. The Serbian version disappeared. All right.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could you please look at the first paragraph where there's some
20 reference to some infiltrated groups which do not hail from Sanski Most,
21 the HOS, the ZNG, and the Green Berets which were inserted earlier and
22 have joined up with the hostile villages and towns in ski Most
23 municipality. With their help they have managed to form eight
24 detachments, five independent companies --
25 JUDGE KWON: Just slow -- be slow -- speak slowly, please. Yes.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. It says that they have joined up with the hostile villages and
3 towns in Sanski Most municipality and with their help they have managed
4 to form eight detachments, five independent companies, and a number of
5 independent platoons in Mahala, Kamengradska Dolina, Hrustovo, Vrhpolje,
6 and so on and so forth. Could you please tell us how this -- how does
7 this tally with what you know about the setting up of those hostile
9 A. The public security services were working on detecting such
10 developments. I didn't know anything about that, but I heard rumours
11 about that.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And can we now look at the third
14 page in Serbian and I suppose it will be the second page in English. I'm
15 interested in paragraph 8. Paragraph 8.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Could you please assist us. It says here that:
18 "Upon its arrival in the Hrast sector, the escort company, along
19 with the 82m MB platoon and the 82m BsT squad, will take up position in
20 order to carry out artillery preparations for attack by firing at
21 significant targets ..."
22 Would you say that this is purposeful military conduct, and is
23 this in compliance with the rules?
24 A. I didn't understand you at all. Could you repeat.
25 Q. The last three lines, it says here that upon its arrival in the
1 Hrast sector, this squad will take up positions in order to prepare for
2 artillery support and they will do so by firing at significant targets in
3 the Demisevci village, Bojancic, and Mahala neighbourhood. When it says
4 significant targets, what does it mean in your view?
5 A. This is a normal process in combat.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we go to the following
7 page, paragraph 9, and we also need to go to the following page in
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And looking at this terminology, would you say that civilian
11 facilities are considered to be important and significant artillery fire
13 A. Only on a condition that units and equipment are deployed in such
14 facilities and can be used in combat.
15 Q. Thank you. And now it says in co-operation with the BOV from the
16 6th Brigade, it will neutralise the remaining fire targets and search the
17 Mahala sector. How do you explain the term "neutralise the remaining
18 fire targets"?
19 A. That means that if during combat the enemy forces remain behind
20 one's own lines, those places have to be neutralised, i.e., destroyed.
21 Q. Thank you. And now can you tell us in our system of
22 All People's Defence and social protection, whose obligation is it to
23 secure public buildings and social property in case of a threat of war?
24 A. Before the war it was done by the public security service, and
25 during war it is the task of the Territorial Defence and other units as
2 Q. Thank you. Here it was read to you that the 6th Sana Brigade put
3 in place conditions for the take-over of power. When it comes to putting
4 in place conditions as opposed to active participation, in your view is
5 one and the same thing. What is the meaning of putting in place
6 conditions? Does that imply active participation?
7 A. I really can't understand that. How could we create conditions
8 for the take-over of power when the power already existed? From 1990,
9 from the multi-party elections when the Serbian Democratic Party won a
10 majority vote and the authorities were established in the month of
11 December 1990, and it functioned all throughout 1991 up to the month of
12 April 1992. And when the policemen refused to carry the new markings of
13 Republika Srpska and to take the pledge, although they were guaranteed
14 that they would remain doing their work and that happened at the meeting
15 that was held at the MUP, it was chaired by the chief of the MUP who was
16 a Serb and the commander of the police station who was a Muslim, and the
17 meeting was attended by Mr. Rasula, who was the president of the
18 municipality. They offered to accept the situation and to go on working
19 normally, and that's how they would avoid problems. They refused that.
20 They abandoned the building and they took all of their personal weapons,
21 rifles, automatic rifles that they had had up to then. They also took
22 pistols and other equipment, and they went home. And either that evening
23 or the following day, I don't know when, together with the leadership of
24 the SDA, they entered the municipality building, they barricaded
25 themselves, and they didn't want to talk to us anymore. Now, I don't
1 know what it means when you say the take-over of power by somebody. A
2 few days later, I don't know when exactly how much time they spent there,
3 together with a unit of the Territorial Defence, the president of the
4 municipality, and the SDS leadership arrived in front of the building.
5 They pleaded with them to come out of the building to talk. They turned
6 that proposal down, and then somebody from that unit fired a shot in the
7 air. It was a Zolja that was fired. They were -- obviously got scared,
8 they got out through some other exits, and that's how the municipality
9 building was liberated. So I really don't understand when you say the
10 take-over of power what that means. The power -- the authorities
11 functioned the way I just described to you.
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Davidovic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You have no further questions,
14 Your Excellencies.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
16 Yes, Mr. Davidovic, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of
17 the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to The Hague to
18 give it. Have a safe journey back home.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: Please wait, we'll rise all together.
21 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: Just by way of further response to the question you
23 raised, just to note that Colonel Basara testified in the Stanisic and
24 Zupljanin case and confirmed that he wrote that document, the war time
1 JUDGE KWON: Did he say when he wrote it?
2 MR. TIEGER: I specifically looked for that. I haven't found
3 that yet, so I don't see that that issue was explicitly addressed in that
4 testimony, but I'll keep looking and let the Court know.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I can confirm that we didn't object
6 to the introduction of the diary as an associated exhibit.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 Yes, then we'll resume next week, is it on Monday? Yes. Thank
10 The hearing is adjourned.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.22 a.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day of
14 January, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.