1 Friday, 29 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
9 It was scheduled that we would start with the videolink this
10 morning, the cross-examination of Mr. Biscevic. However, there seem to be
11 some technical problems, although the videolink had been tested yesterday.
12 So let's try to use the time as good as possible.
13 I was informed that it might perhaps not take more than ten
14 minutes to restore the videolink. So I'd rather not start a lengthy
15 discussion at this moment on scheduling. But there's another issue I'd
16 like to raise in private session. So, therefore, Madam Registrar, could
17 we go into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 7632-7639 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: I am informed that the videolink is in place at this
10 Mr. Tieger, you're not asking, but you are excused, if ...
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: The videolink is visible on the computer monitor.
14 Good morning, Mr. Biscevic. Can you hear me in a language you
16 THE WITNESS: [No audible response]
17 JUDGE ORIE: I did hear that you answered to my question but I did
18 not receive any translation of your answer. Or should I go on
19 another --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Now I can hear the English, yes.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said that he heard you and
23 understood you well.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then good morning, Mr. Biscevic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You have been examined on the 6th of September of
2 this year in The Hague, and unfortunately --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- we could then not continue. You could not be
5 cross-examined by the Defence. Therefore, you agreed to be available
6 today. Since it's a long time ago, I'd like you to make again the solemn
7 declaration you already made on the 6th of September that you'll speak the
8 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So could you please
9 make that solemn declaration now, and perhaps you do it, if --
10 Madam Registrar, is there a text available in Banja Luka?
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Thompson in Banja Luka, could you please hand out
13 to the witness the text of the solemn declaration in B/C/S. Then I'll --
14 yes. Otherwise we could do it in parts. If it could be translated to the
15 witness that -- no. Perhaps we find the ...
16 Mr. Biscevic, you'll see the text of the solemn declaration on the
17 ELMO. If you would please read it and then may I invite you to make that
18 solemn declaration.
19 WITNESS: FAIK BISCEVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 [Witness testifies via videolink]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Biscevic. You'll now be
25 cross-examined by Mr. Stewart --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
2 JUDGE ORIE: For the Prosecution -- for the Defence, I mean. I
3 apologise. Is there any problem, Mr. Stewart?
4 MR. STEWART: There's no problem, Your Honour. It's just a
5 curiosity, really. Don't they get the witness on the screen in the public
7 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's for the -- finally, the composition of
8 what is sent out, whether we see the Presiding Judge, Defence counsel, or
9 the witness is governed by specific rules, and the technical booth should
10 make that composition. So at least the witness should appear sooner or
12 MR. STEWART: All right.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mainly if he answers questions, whereas usually, if
14 the question is put to a witness, the screen is composed in a way that
15 we'll see the one who asks the questions.
16 MR. STEWART: Yes. No. Thank you, Your Honour, for that
17 clarification. I was just interested to know, and --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. STEWART: -- it's of some passing relevance in relation to
20 public nature of videoconferencing evidence.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Of course.
22 Mr. Biscevic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Stewart, counsel
23 for the Defence.
24 MR. STEWART: Yes. And the public gallery will have to make do
25 with you and me, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's -- I have -- I can see it from my -- I
2 can see both that the technical booth has the link picture with Banja
3 Luka. Could I be informed if it would not be possible to include the
4 Banja Luka pictures on the composition. Could I just ask as a test for
5 the technicians, ask them to -- at this moment to show the Banja Luka
6 image on the publicly -- yes. It has been resolved.
7 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
8 MR. STEWART: Thank you for that, Your Honour, for sorting that
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
11 Q. Mr. Biscevic, good morning. Can you hear me there in Banja Luka?
12 A. Good morning. Yes, I can hear you well.
13 Q. Mr. Biscevic, some weeks ago, when you were giving evidence here
14 in The Hague, you referred to a visit that you described by a number of
15 people, including, you said, Mr. Krajisnik, to Lusci Palanka, around the
16 time that the parties, the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ, were being formed
17 ahead of the multi-party elections in November 1990. Do you remember that
18 particular point and giving evidence on that particular point?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you identified -- well, you were asked by Mr. Harmon, counsel
21 for the Prosecution: "Now, following the foundation of the SDS party in
22 Sanski Most, did Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Karadzic, come to the municipality of
23 Sanski Most?" And you answered that question.
24 I just want to confirm, Mr. Biscevic: First of all, is it your
25 evidence that you personally saw Mr. Krajisnik in Sanski Most on that
1 occasion in late 1990 -- in Sanski Most, at Lusci Palanka?
2 A. No. No.
3 Q. Is the basis of your evidence that Mr. Krajisnik did come on that
4 occasion the photograph that you referred to in your evidence when you
5 were here in The Hague?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, could you give us some guidance as to
7 the transcript pages.
8 MR. STEWART: I'm so sorry, Your Honour. Yes, this is -- I'm
9 working from the one that has the numbers 5488 and 5489. That's the run
10 of not official, not corrected, as it stands.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. I should have
13 mentioned that.
14 Q. Mr. Biscevic, do you need the question again or are you clear
15 enough about what I asked a moment ago?
16 A. I'm clear about what you've asked me.
17 Q. So what is the answer, then, please, Mr. Biscevic?
18 A. When the multi-party elections were held in Sanski Most, the SDS
19 was established, and when the SDS was established, the first meetings that
20 took place, took place in Lusci Palanka. It was a Serb uni-ethnic local
21 commune, where all the leaders rallied, that is to say, the leaders of the
22 future SDS, from the Federation and from Croatia. There was SAO [Realtime
23 transcript read in error "Savo"] Krajina and from Pristina, there was also
24 support. I myself did not intend personally, but we have a village near
25 Lusci Palanka which was inhabited by the Muslims, and people did go to
1 that meeting, because they didn't think it would be a uni-ethnic rally.
2 And then they told us that they received support from Pristina, from
3 Croatia, and the leaders from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Witness, may I ask you to carefully listen to the
5 question, because the question put to you by Mr. Stewart whether your
6 testimony that Mr. Krajisnik attended was based on the photograph that was
7 shown or, since you testified that you did not personally observe his
8 presence, whether it was on the basis of that photograph that you
9 testified that he was present.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm testifying on the basis of this
11 photograph, and also on the basis of the statements made by the Muslim
12 population who attended the meeting.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note it was SAO Krajina, not Savo
15 Krajina, earlier on.
16 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Biscevic, could you be shown, and that will need to be done on
18 the ELMO, as we call it at this end, P115, which is the photograph that we
19 were talking about a moment ago.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, if you would foresee that you need an
21 exhibit that has been used before, it might be good to have already a
22 small list for the registrar.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I perhaps carelessly only mentioned it
24 to the Prosecution. It's the only one, in fact, anyway, Your Honour. I
25 thought it had been informally discussed, actually, but apologies if the
1 actual number didn't get its way through to Ms. Philpott.
2 Q. Now, you were asked who everybody in that picture was,
3 Mr. Biscevic. The -- you first of all in your evidence - and this was at
4 page 5489, for those who have the transcript at this end - you first of
5 all identified the lady in the picture as Mr. Krajisnik's wife, but you
6 subsequently in your evidence identified that lady as Mr. Karadzic's wife.
7 Just to clarify: Is it your evidence that as far as you recognise the
8 lady, it is Mr. Karadzic's wife?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. STEWART: I'm just trying to get the photograph back,
11 Your Honour, on the screen. I don't know whether it's dropped off for all
12 of us or --
13 JUDGE ORIE: It's there.
14 MR. STEWART: -- just for me. Yes. Thank you.
15 Q. The people that you identify there, the second person seated at
16 the table, second from the left, with a beard, apparently, who do you say
17 that is?
18 A. Mr. Raskovic, from Croatia.
19 Q. What degree of certainty do you have that it is Mr. Raskovic?
20 A. I think it's him.
21 Q. That doesn't quite answer my question, Mr. Biscevic. There are
22 lots of ways of doing this, like a scale of 1 to 10. But in the first
23 place, I'm just asking you to indicate. You say you think it's him, but
24 that's -- I'll put it this way: You don't know it's him. It could be
25 somebody else altogether; is that right?
1 A. I never had any contacts with Mr. Raskovic, but on the basis of
2 the photograph, I concluded that it was indeed Mr. Raskovic. I don't know
3 him closely, so I can't say 100 per cent.
4 Q. Well, Mr. Biscevic, I don't want to have a big debate about the
5 logic of inferring from the photograph itself who it is in the photograph.
6 So let's just stick to something very simple. Do you in fact know whether
7 that is Mr. Raskovic or not?
8 A. I think it is, yes.
9 Q. But you don't know?
10 A. I never had any personal contacts with him, so I'm not 100 per
11 cent certain.
12 Q. Had you ever seen -- have you ever seen him in your life?
13 A. On photographs and on television.
14 Q. How do you -- or can you date this photograph yourself,
15 Mr. Biscevic?
16 A. It's the beginning of the formation of the SDS, which means
17 sometime in 1990.
18 Q. Not quite my question, Mr. Biscevic. That's your assertion. How
19 do you date that photograph as 1990?
20 A. On that occasion, the leaders came in from Bosnia-Herzegovina and
21 they lent their support to the formation of the SDS party. They appeared
22 in public before the masses and held fiery speeches.
23 Q. It doesn't answer my question, Mr. Biscevic. Please, concentrate
24 as best you can. What is it -- what information do you have, in the
25 photograph or from outside the photograph, that when you put it together
1 tells you that this photograph was taken in 1990?
2 A. That was when the leaders were present in Lusci Palanka, when the
3 SDS was under establishment.
4 Q. So does this follow, Mr. Biscevic: That if the leaders were
5 present on some other occasion, the photograph could have been taken on
6 that other occasion?
7 A. That is also a possibility.
8 Q. All right. Well, I'm not going to beat about the bush any more,
9 Mr. Biscevic. This photograph was taken in 1995, when the Republika
10 Srpska Assembly took place in Sanski Most. Do you know of anything to
11 contradict that assertion that I've just put to you?
12 A. I wasn't there then, and I know nothing about that.
13 Q. So you accept that it is entirely possible that this photograph
14 was taken in 1995?
15 A. I accept the fact that the leaders of the SDS were in Sanski Most,
16 and this is shown on the photograph.
17 Q. Do you know whether the -- yourself, do you know that the
18 Republika Srpska Assembly did hold a session in Sanski Most in 1995?
19 A. I wasn't in Sanski Most at the time, so I don't know. I can't
21 Q. Do you know that Mr. Raskovic, though alive in 1990, was dead by
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Perhaps you don't know this, Mr. Biscevic, but do you know that
25 unhappily also Mr. Krajisnik's wife was alive in 1990 but no longer alive
1 in 1995?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You also said in your evidence that you had voted for
4 Mr. Krajisnik in the multi-party elections. This is at page 5491,
5 Your Honour, of that transcript.
6 And just to remind you, because it's only fair. It was some weeks
7 ago, Mr. Biscevic. You said that -- well, let me ask you this first.
8 Slightly earlier in the transcript, at page 5486, 5487, you were asked,
9 foot at page 5486: "Can you tell me at the republican level who the
10 leader were of the SDS party?" And your answer was: "At the republican
11 level, there was Krajisnik, Karadzic, Biljana Plavsic, and Nikola
13 Now, when you gave that answer, did you understand the question
14 and was your answer relating generally to the period right through to
15 1992, or were you talking of the time of the multi-party elections only?
16 A. The time of the multi-party elections.
17 Q. Well, at the reference which I just gave a moment ago, 5495-491,
18 you had been asked by Mr. Harmon: "Was there an agreement between the
19 parties of the SDS, the HDZ, and the SDA to defeat the communists, and can
20 you describe what that agreement may have been?" That's all in relation
21 to the multi-party elections. And your answer was:
22 "We know that Communism was in power for 50 years in Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina, and it was necessary to topple the system somehow. The only
24 way to do so was for the nationalist parties to come together to form an
25 association of a kind, and this is what happened. For example, no one in
1 Sanski Most knew who Mr. Koljevic or Mrs. Plavsic or Mr. Karadzic were.
2 We knew Karadzic. We didn't know who Krajisnik was. We didn't know
3 Mr. Boras or Mr. Ejup Ganic," and so on.
4 So perhaps you could make it clear, Mr. Biscevic. At the time of
5 right up to the actual election, the multi-party election in November
6 1990, you, you yourself, hadn't knowing anything at all about
7 Mr. Krajisnik, who he was, anything; is that right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. So as far as you were concerned, at what point did Mr. Krajisnik
10 become - and that was the phrase used in the question put to you - one of
11 the leaders of the SDS party?
12 A. Do you want me to answer?
13 Q. Mr. Biscevic, I think you can assume that the answer is yes.
14 Whenever I ask a question, please, I would like you to answer, yes.
15 A. When the parties were formed, the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ, we
16 contacted -- had contacts on a daily basis, Mr. Raskovic, Ante Turic, and
17 so on. And when the elections were supposed to happen, there was a list
18 with the candidates put forward. And among those candidates were the
19 above-mentioned. We didn't know these people, but we circled their names
20 because that was the agreement we reached. And it was then that
21 Mr. Krajisnik became a leader of the SDS.
22 Q. Then before the election or then after the election?
23 A. Up until the elections, he was a candidate. After the elections,
24 he was elected and he became an official, a functionary, one of the SDS
1 Q. You referred to the list and you were asked about it. You said
2 there was an agreement. Mr. Harmon said, this is 5491, line 9: "When you
3 say there was agreement from above and there was a list, what kind of a
4 list was it that you, members of the SDA, received, and what instructions
5 accompanied that list?" And your answer was: "All the parties received
6 it, not only us. There was a complete list of all the parties and it was
7 said on behalf of the SDS that these people have to go through; they had
8 to be encircled."
9 Now, just pausing there, Mr. Biscevic, when you say they had to
10 have been encircled that's what you referred to a moment ago, were you,
11 of -- just on a piece of paper, just putting a ring round their names to
12 identify them; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. And then you continued: "Others for the HDZ. It said don't
15 select anyone from the communist list." And you continued: "How we were
16 to proceed was quite clear and that's how we obtained a majority of
18 And when you say "we obtained a majority of votes," by "we," do
19 you mean all three of those parties together or something else?
20 A. Yes, all three parties together.
21 Q. Then the question you were asked was: "So you were essentially
22 instructed from the SDA party at the national level who to vote for;
23 correct?" Answer: "Yes." Question: "Did that include voting for
24 members of the SDS and the HDZ." Answer from you: "Yes, for all the
25 parties." Question: "Did you personally vote on that occasion?" Your
1 answer: "I did." Were you instructed to vote for Mr. Krajisnik among
2 others?" Your answer: "Yes." "Did you do so?" Your answer: "Yes."
3 Now, Mr. Biscevic, it was impossible for you to vote for
4 Mr. Krajisnik, wasn't it, because Mr. Krajisnik was on the list of
5 candidates for the Sarajevo area, and you were voting in Sanski Most;
6 that's correct, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So when you said in your evidence a few weeks ago here in
9 The Hague that you did vote for Mr. Krajisnik, that was incorrect?
10 A. The SDA of Bosnia-Herzegovina voted.
11 Q. So you misunderstood the questions, did you, when Mr. Harmon
12 said: "Did you personally vote on that occasion?" And you said: "I
13 did." And then the next question was: "Were you instructed to vote for
14 Mr. Krajisnik, among others?" And you said: "Yes." And you were
15 asked: "Did you do so?" And you said: "Yes."
16 Is it your evidence that you misunderstood that when Mr. Harmon
17 went on to ask: "Were you instructed to vote?", you thought he was no
18 longer asking about you personally, Mr. Biscevic; at that point he had
19 switched to asking about the SDA, generally? Is that what you're saying?
20 A. I say that the intention was to vote for the leaders from the SDS.
21 The leaders who were on the list in Sanski Most, and a lot of time has
22 gone by since then, I probably don't know the names, but we did vote for
23 certain leaders who were put forward by the SDS and their names circled
24 and we were told that we should vote for them. The same thing applied to
25 the SDA and the HDZ, from Sanski Most to the Federation.
1 Q. So we've got it clear, anyway. You say you voted for candidates
2 in Sanski Most on the Sanski Most list, and that plainly did not include
3 Mr. Krajisnik; agreed?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In fact, Mr. Biscevic, the voting anyway didn't go quite as you
6 say, did it, because with few exceptions, party voters such as yourself
7 voted for their own party's candidates and not for the other party's
9 A. No.
10 Q. You disagree?
11 A. I disagree.
12 Q. You -- I just want to clarify a point about census or population
13 figures with you, Mr. Biscevic. At one point in your evidence - and this
14 on the transcript is 5492, line 10 - you said: "Since in Sanski Most the
15 population is multi-ethnic, 40 per cent of Muslims, 42 per cent of Serbs,
16 the SDS Serbian party obtained the majority in Sanski Most." So that's in
17 a nutshell 40 per cent Muslims, 42 per cent Serbs.
18 Earlier in your evidence, just a few pages previously, at 5486,
19 you said, line 15: "In the municipality of Sanski Most, there were
20 various ethnic groups. The Muslims were in the majority, 45 per cent of
21 the population was Muslim, 42 per cent were Serbs, and the rest were
22 Croats or people who had not decided how to declare themselves."
23 Is the -- those are different figures, clearly, Mr. Biscevic. Is
24 the explanation that you were talking in one place about the municipality,
25 the whole municipality of Sanski Most, and in another place about the town
1 of Sanski Most itself?
2 A. The latter answer is -- the answer is correct. The former is
3 wrong. The Muslim population numbered 45 per cent, 42 per cent Serbs, the
4 rest were Croats. And when I was talking about the 42 per cent of the
5 Serbs, it was probably the slip of the tongue. So the latter answer is
6 the correct one.
7 Q. I think it follows that you're saying the former answer is --
8 well, maybe it's the way -- it's which way around I put it in the
9 questions as opposed to the transcript. Anyway, to get it clear, then, on
10 the basis of the answer you've just given, it was the point in your
11 evidence where you said that 45 per cent of the population was Muslim and
12 42 per cent were Serbs. That's what you say is the correct answer; is
13 that right?
14 A. That's correct. That's right.
15 Q. In fact, the suggestion I put to you, though, is the -- I suggest
16 to you is the correct one, that for the municipality as a whole, there was
17 a relatively slight Muslim majority, according to the 1991 census, for the
18 town of Sanski Most, it was the other way around, that the Serbs -- there
19 were slightly more Serbs than Muslims. Do you know that? If you can't --
20 A. No.
21 Q. No, you don't know it, or no, you don't agree?
22 A. I disagree. There were -- there was not a Serb majority, not even
23 in the town.
24 Q. I'll give you the figures, Mr. Biscevic, because I -- it's
25 probably helpful to do that anyway. For the municipality, according to
1 the 1991 census, Muslims 28.285; Serbs 25.372; for the town, Muslims,
2 7.377; Serbs, 7.952.
3 But I take it from what you said, please confirm, that you can't
4 give any more information or cast any more light on those figures than you
5 have already said in your evidence; is that right?
6 A. Quite simply, I see the difference that you're pointing to. My
7 brother was registered as a Serb, and although he is a Fuad Biscevic, a
8 Muslim, 100 per cent. And there was not one such case but hundreds of
9 them. They were registered in the books as Serbs. And that is why
10 subsequently they were also registered among the Serbs, or kept in the
11 records as Serbs, whereas they were Muslims. And that's why you see that
12 difference there.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Biscevic.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
16 But may I first ask you a clarification. I missed a bit the point
17 about the 1990 or 1995 picture. Well, I do understand that you said do
18 you know for sure, do you know that person. But then you said, and I
19 don't know how to understand it -- you said this was a picture of 1995;
20 would anything contradict that? Is that -- is it the position of the
21 Defence that the picture was taken in 1995? Because then I have some
22 problems in understanding. If you say: Are you aware that person A was
23 not alive any more, person B was not alive any more in 1995, then I have
24 some difficulties in understanding why it would be 1995 rather than
25 1990 -- or is it just that you wanted to elicit from the witness that he
1 could not be sure about the date? So is it the position of Defence that
2 it was -- a picture taken in 1995 or that this witness has insufficient
3 basis for any dating?
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I think somewhere in what I said -- put
5 to this witness, I hope there was, I think there was an assertion that it
6 was 1995. If there's any ambiguity about that, that is the Defence's
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. STEWART: The information about who was alive and who was
10 dead, we've gone as far as we can with the witness as far as evidence is
11 concerned. The -- such matters are then -- well, they're to do with any
12 submissions or argument or inferences that then can be drawn or supported
13 as to the date of the picture.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So I now -- I think I slowly get your point of those
15 persons -- you made sure that a woman on the picture was a specific woman
16 and not another one who --
17 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, if it had been -- well, there's
18 no --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Position of the Defence is -- yes. Position of
20 Defence is that it was actually taken in 1995.
21 MR. STEWART: Yes. And Your Honour it might be helpful if I just
22 say in a nutshell, then.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: Of course it was important to me to establish with
25 the witness that there wasn't any misunderstanding about the lady in the
1 picture, that it was Mrs. Karadzic --
2 JUDGE ORIE: It could not have been 1995.
3 MR. STEWART: Of course, because unhappily Ms. Krajisnik was no
4 longer alive. It's not to say she would have been in the picture at
5 either date, but then so far as Mr. Raskovic is concerned, of course if it
6 actually is Mr. Raskovic in the picture and it's the Defence's case it's
7 not, then --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. STEWART: -- again it couldn't possibly be 1995 so --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's -- okay, now --
11 MR. STEWART: -- that's where we go.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You just excluded some uncertainties which might have
13 opposed against dating this picture in 1995.
14 MR. STEWART: Yes. Particularly as far as this witness's evidence
15 is concerned. But the Defence's case is yes, it was -- it's a picture
16 from the 1995 visit to Sanski Most in connection with the Republika Srpska
17 Assembly. That is the Defence's position.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear to me now.
19 MR. STEWART: Thank you Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, is there any need to further -- questions
21 to the --
22 MR. HARMON: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Biscevic, you'll now be examined again by
1 Mr. Harmon, counsel for the Prosecution.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Harmon:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Biscevic. Thank you very much for appearing in
4 Banja Luka.
5 A. Good morning to you too.
6 Q. There has been a question as to the date of the photograph that
7 you have been shown. It is Prosecution Exhibit 115. You testified that
8 you concluded this photograph was from the date when the SDS party was
9 founded. You've based that on both the photograph and on the basis of
10 statements made to you by Bosniaks who attended the rallies associated
11 with the founding of the SDS party. Was it reported to you by members of
12 the Bosniak community on the date and the occasion of the founding of the
13 SDS party that Mr. Krajisnik was in the municipality of Sanski Most?
14 A. In Lusci Palanka, at the time, the SDS had their seat. That's
15 what -- that's when they decided to establish the party, and that's when
16 the representatives from Pristina, Croatia, and other officials were
17 present there.
18 Q. And my question to you was: Was it reported to you by members of
19 the Bosniak community that Mr. Krajisnik attended those meetings and
20 rallies associated with the founding of the SDS party in Sanski Most?
21 A. I'm telling you again: The gentleman would come to Sanski Most on
22 numerous occasions later on, but this was a meeting for the establishment
23 of the party in Lusci Palanka.
24 Q. Yes. I understood your testimony, Mr. Biscevic, to be this: That
25 at those -- at the founding events associated with the founding of the SDS
1 party in this particular village, members of the Bosniak community
2 attended. They didn't think it was mono-ethnic, these rallies. Is that
4 A. That's correct. Since the village is situated very close to
5 Palanka - Palanka was a local commune - that's why they went there.
6 Q. Did those Bosniaks who attended those ceremonies report to you
7 that Mr. Krajisnik was there?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. HARMON: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 Thank you very much, Mr. Biscevic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the Chamber has no questions, so the
14 parties are not asked whether the questions of the Chamber would raise any
15 further issues.
16 Mr. Biscevic, the Chamber has no further questions to you.
17 Therefore, this concludes your testimony. I was tempted to say in this
18 court. Well, you testified in this court, although from a distance, from
19 Banja Luka. Since you explained that it was not easy for you to find time
20 again to further testify, I'd like to thank you very much for having come
21 to Banja Luka and to have answered the questions of the parties. And I
22 hope that you'll have a safe trip home again.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then the -- Ms. Thompson is the -- I think we could
25 now disconnect the videolink with Banja Luka.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, we have to see what we should do now. And
3 then your next witness, since we have quite some time available, would you
4 be able to call your next witness?
5 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour. I asked the case manager to make
6 those arrangements right now. We still have the issue of the exhibits.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we have the issue of the exhibits. We have a
8 few more. How much time do you think it would take for your next witness
9 to arrive, or is he already in the building?
10 MR. HARMON: We have the --
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps you anticipated too quickly,
14 Mr. Harmon, to -- because I was just discussing what our programme would
15 be today, and I wanted just -- first of all, to know whether there was a
16 witness present at all. But I would suggest, as a matter of fact, that we
17 still have to hear the submissions of the parties on the schedule that was
18 presented by the Chamber. And as I indicated before, that would be one
19 round of each party, ten minutes, and, if needed, another round of each
20 party, five minutes. The Chamber would very much like to hear those
21 submissions first before this break. That would take us 20 minutes for
22 the first round. Then to have a break, and then finish the five minutes
23 for each party after the break, and then hear the next witness.
24 MR. HARMON: I need to get my papers on that, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand. Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, we -- Mr. Harmon's got a
2 practical reason which he's just given, but I would also ask to have a
3 break before we do that, because I want to have a chance to have a further
4 discussion with Ms. Loukas about the matter as well. So it seems that
5 for --
6 JUDGE ORIE: What we could do is to have -- we can do -- to start
7 with the witness at this very moment would be one option, but then he
8 would have to wait for quite some time if we would hear the submissions of
9 the parties on the scheduling after the break. So perhaps it would be
10 better to have the break now, then to have half an hour for any
11 submissions, all together, on the schedule -- the provisional schedule as
12 suggested by the Chamber. Certainly not more. And then hear that
13 witness. That would bring us to -- if we would start at a quarter to
14 11.00, then at a quarter past 11.00 we would start with the next witness.
15 And if there would be any time remaining, we have to deal with a few
16 exhibits as well. But that's not urgent at this moment, I would say.
17 So if the --
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, on the question of the exhibits in
19 relation to the last witness, I'm not sure there is really any serious --
20 JUDGE ORIE: The previous witness.
21 MR. HARMON: I was talking about this witness, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You were talking about this witness.
23 MR. HARMON: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: The witness coming up.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think the last witness in the updating we had I
1 think on the 4th of October, but perhaps Madam Registrar you could assist
2 us whether the exhibits tendered in relation to Mr. Biscevic, whether we
3 decided on them.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibits for Mr. Biscevic were admitted on
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: And they are exhibit --
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I had in my mind, the 4th of October.
9 MR. STEWART: [Microphone not activated]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. STEWART: Is done.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think we are again invited not to speak all at
14 the same time.
15 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So then I suggest that we have a break until a
17 quarter to 11.00, then spend half an hour, not more, on the scheduling
18 issue and that we would start the examination of the next witness, which
19 is an 89(F) witness, as far as understand, at a quarter past 11.00. Yes,
20 it is so decided.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The parties have an opportunity now to make any
24 submissions in relation to the suggested provisional schedule, long-term
25 schedule, as presented to them by the Chamber. Mr. Hannis, it's you who
1 is going to address us first?
2 MR. HANNIS: It is me, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. HANNIS: I'd like to start off and tell you where I'm going to
5 end up. Based on our review of the data regarding what we've done so far
6 and what the Court proposes, we're going to suggest to the Court that we
7 think your proposed schedule, we would like to suggest that it may require
8 an additional five or six weeks beyond the 22nd of April. And I'll tell
9 the Court why.
10 Of our 101 viva voce witnesses, Your Honour, my calculations are
11 based on what we had done as of the beginning of this week. Up to that
12 point, we had had 33 of our viva voce witnesses, and we'd had five 92 bis
13 witnesses who were required to come for cross-examination. We used
14 approximately 127 and a half hours for those witnesses, or actually, 128
15 hours, I guess, Your Honour, which is 22 hours under the one third of our
16 total 450 hours, that one third of our witnesses would take, all other
17 things being equal, if you follow me so far.
18 So I think we are moving more rapidly as we go along, but that's
19 something that we have to take into our calculations. Between the 26th of
20 October, the beginning of this week, and the 22nd of April, 2005, allowing
21 for the Christmas break, for the non-sitting week in November, and the
22 non-sitting weeks in the new year that the Court suggested we would take
23 between the 17th of January and the 22nd of April, I calculated that we
24 would have approximately 85 trial days, which are projected out to 340
25 hours of court time.
1 Now, discounting time for procedural matters and for cross-exam of
2 92 bis witnesses, of those 340 hours, if we used them only for direct
3 examination and for cross-examination, at the usual rate of 60 per cent
4 for cross-exam, I calculated that we would have 225 hours for the
5 Prosecution's direct exam and 135 hours for the Defence cross-exam; of the
6 remaining 68 viva voce witnesses. That's subtracting 33 from 101.
7 So far, as I calculate it, our average time on direct examination
8 for the 33 viva voce witnesses that we've had is 3.86 hours. That's
9 higher than the Court's calculations, but I'll explain why.
10 I took 127.4 hours, which was the total direct exam time for those
11 33 witnesses, and I came out with 3.86. The Chamber average for the
12 witnesses on the list that was given to us was 3.4 hours. But that's
13 because it included the five witnesses, the five 92 bis witnesses who were
14 here for cross. Their total time on direct examination was 0.8 hours for
15 all five of them. So that's -- sort of skews the average a little bit
16 because it was such a small amount of time for the five of them.
17 So if I take that figure of 3.86 hours as the average and I
18 multiply that times the 68 witnesses remaining, I come up with a total of
19 262.5 hours, approximately, for direct examination. That's approximately
20 37 and a half hours more than the 225 we would have between now and April
21 22nd. If you add in the 60 per cent for cross-examination, 60 per cent
22 of that 37 and a half hours is 22 and a half hours. That gives us another
23 60 additional hours or three weeks of trial time.
24 In addition, I threw into the calculation some amount of time for
25 administrative procedural matters based on our first third of this trial.
1 That was running about 16 and a half per cent of the total time. I guess
2 I was optimistic and figured that could be something less, but I thought
3 that between that additional time that we request for direct and
4 cross-exam of those remaining 68 witnesses and some time for
5 administrative and procedural matters, plus I added in about one week for
6 92 bis witnesses for cross. Based on the first third of the case where we
7 had five witnesses, their total time on direct exam and cross-examination
8 was approximately 7 and a half hours. If we had five witnesses in the
9 first third of the case, say, we might have ten more in the remaining two
10 thirds of the case, and double the time, 7 and a half hours, 15 hours,
11 maybe 20 hours. So one more week for those witnesses and one or two more
12 weeks for the 16 and a half per cent for administrative procedural
13 matters. That's where I come up with the figure of an additional six
14 weeks beyond April 22nd, which I believe would take us to -- I think that
15 Friday, the first Friday in June is June 2nd, 2005.
16 And that's the end of my calculations, Your Honour, if you have
17 any questions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I do understand that you -- your response is
19 mainly in terms of not objecting to the time of scheduling --
20 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- but that you think that calculations should bring
22 you a little bit further in time compared to the calculations that of
23 course are underlying the scheduling as suggested, the provisional
24 scheduling as suggested by the Chamber.
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, may I say --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. HANNIS: -- one more thing about that. The front part of our
3 case, the first third, we called more crime-base witnesses in the first
4 part of the case, partly in response to a Defence request about needing
5 more time to prepare. And although initially on one of our first
6 schedules we had some of our more lengthy witnesses and more substantive
7 witnesses in terms of internationals or experts, we moved some of those
8 farther off. And the witness we had at the beginning of this week, we
9 anticipate we're going to have more witnesses like that, who, as the Court
10 could see, sometimes it takes a little longer to get the evidence from
11 than others. On the other hand, we have learned ways to move faster in
12 introducing our case with Rule 89(F) and 92 bis and we're able to short --
13 so I'm trying to balance those two things, anticipating that the last part
14 of our case has a greater percentage of our more complex and lengthy
15 witnesses, on the one hand, which would increase the average time per
16 week, but on the other hand we've learned some short cuts and ways to move
17 faster so that's why I felt comfortable in sticking with that average of
18 3.86 hours, or four hours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That answers the only question I would have at
20 this moment, that is whether we approach it in a more dynamic way or in a
21 rather static, statistical way. And I can tell the parties that the
22 Chamber, at least also included some of the dynamics and the developments
23 until now in its calculations underlying the suggestions.
24 MR. HANNIS: And even though with that projected calculation and
25 that requested time, Your Honour, we anticipate that our total time for
1 presenting our case was still going to be maybe 50 hours under the total
2 450 that were allotted to us at the beginning of the case.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes on the basis of the dynamics the Chamber even
4 thought that it would be still a little bit less than that.
5 MR. HANNIS: And you may be right.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, then it's the first round, the ten
9 minutes for the Defence.
10 MR. STEWART: Two rounds are a knockout, is it? Is that the
11 system, Your Honour?
12 The -- well, of course, that said, Your Honours, we wouldn't start
13 from here anyway in the time-honoured phrase. But just to adopt something
14 of the very twenty-first century terminology of dynamics and statics and
15 so on. In a sense, there is a key distinction there, Your Honour, because
16 what Your Honour was saying, whether we approach it in a more dynamic way
17 or in a rather static, statistic way, now, Your Honour, retrospectively it
18 would be our submission that the Defence's -- sorry, the Trial Chamber's
19 rejection of our motion some months ago was based on a rather arid
20 statistical approach, as opposed to what we would suggest is, wouldn't
21 necessarily use the word dynamics, but something, we would suggest, like
22 the real world as opposed to a calculation of simply hours and figures and
23 so on. Because that is really why we wouldn't start from here.
24 The -- we don't -- we don't quarrel how well Mr. Hannis's figures
25 were followed by the crowds in Banja Luka this morning, but we believe we
1 followed them and see the calculations. So we don't -- we don't quarrel
2 with the figures. We follow those and, in fact they are, joking apart,
3 they are very clearly presented and we see the figures and we see where
4 that leads. Underneath that are one or two additional quite serious
5 problems, which are that when we consider the enormous imposition placed
6 on the Defence in the trial so far, on which Your Honour knows our
7 position and it hasn't changed, the fact that during the first third of
8 the trial we have had more crime-base witnesses, that they take time in a
9 different way, but they aren't, frankly, as inherently difficult to deal
10 with as the other witnesses. The problem is just going to get worse. So
11 we are in a position where this case -- you know, Your Honours know our
12 submissions. This case is at impossible bursting point for the Defence,
13 that the team that we have cannot and has not been able to manage,
14 whatever it may look like on the surface, has not been able to manage this
15 trial effectively so far, and with the change of schedule, and in effect,
16 the increase of dynamic pace, if you like, as opposed to statistical pace
17 of sheer numbers of witnesses, we are going to go beyond bursting point to
18 something which is utterly impossible.
19 So that is our starting point, Your Honour. At some point we are
20 going to have to bring all this back before the Court in a formal way, but
21 the problem is that this schedule won't work because this schedule will
22 be -- will have to explode at some point anyway, because it is a
23 fundamentally a statistics-based schedule which seems also to work to a
24 point -- a point which squeezes everything, and at this -- right here
25 where we are now, which is rather an important point to consider, where we
1 are actually today and where we go from here, which we submit is always a
2 pretty useful test, going somewhere from here, this simply cannot work for
3 the presentation of a fair defence. We're not quarrelling at all with
4 what the Prosecution have said about the need for the presentation of
5 their case. That makes absolute sense. We see that from their
7 Your Honour, the -- we would actually like to put a question, if
8 we may, respectfully, to the Trial Chamber, which is important in relation
9 to all of this, which is that: All this draft, proposed, provisional
10 schedule produces an end date for the actual hearings, including evidence
11 and closing arguments of 6th to 7th March 2006, with the judgement then
12 projected for end of April 2006, which necessarily implies that a huge
13 amount of work will have been done on the judgement as the case is
14 proceeding, because clearly it's not contemplating that it gets written
15 from the 7th of March to the end of April. And I don't think there's any
16 secret about that, Your Honour. And I'm -- we're not suggesting that
17 there's anything improper with a judgement being worked on during the
18 case. That's perfectly normal. So please don't misunderstand us in
19 relation to that, Your Honour.
20 But we do ask the question, Your Honour, whether there is a target
21 date that exists anywhere, whether there is a target date which is being ,
22 well, imposed, requested, or whether that is the way it's working.
23 Because it does fundamentally make a difference whether there's a target
24 date from which we're working back.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let me be quite clear on that issue, Mr. Stewart.
1 This scheduling and a target date is not imposed, is not requested, is not
2 anything of the kind, apart from, of course, the general framework, that
3 we all know that the Tribunal, under the Security Council resolutions is
4 required to wind up its work by a certain date. But apart from that
5 generally known information, there's nothing, apart from the thoughts of
6 the Chamber itself, that has led to this schedule. So there's no outside
7 pressure, nor by other chambers, nor by the President of this institution,
8 apart, of course, that we communicate scheduling. But there's never
9 been --
10 MR. STEWART: Of course.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- anything like you should finish by that and that
12 date. It's entirely, I would say, the independent assessment of the
13 Chamber of what could be achieved if we work efficiently on this case and
14 provide a fair trial to the parties. So just to make that quite clear
15 that there's not such a thing as you asked whether there was.
16 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm very glad to have that
17 assurance, which implies, therefore, that if Your Honours come to the
18 conclusion that more time is needed beyond April 2006 to meet those
19 criteria of efficiency, of course, but fair trial for Mr. Krajisnik, then
20 we will have that time. That's -- that is the -- that is the logical
21 consequence. And we're pleased to have that assurance, Your Honour.
22 So may I, therefore, because Your Honour has invited us to do this
23 pretty quickly this morning, but just running through the draft schedule.
24 Our very brief comments were going to be that close of Prosecution's case
25 22nd of April, 2005, that was simply too fast. The Prosecution say that's
1 too fast and too soon. We would, as Your Honour knows, we would go
2 further than that, because we say we need a lot more on the Defence side.
3 But in general terms, it's obviously too soon.
4 The gap between close of the Prosecution case and submission of a
5 98 bis motion is likely to be simply too short. One can't anticipate
6 exactly what the content of that might be, but that is really very short.
7 There's no inherent problem, then, about the timescale of the next
8 few stages, 98 bis motion, response, reply, decision 73 ter conference and
9 so on. We would have made and, in a sense, do make a submission in
10 relation to start of the Defence case on the 11th of July, which is that
11 would be a -- generally too quick, but, B, there would be a problem which
12 we would invite the Defence -- the Trial Chamber to recognise if it should
13 still arise in the light of the Prosecution's submissions, which is that
14 starting the Defence case in the middle of July, which other things being
15 equal and without an absolute firm commitment, we would expect that on the
16 footing that - and I have indicated this with no great secret - on the
17 footing that it is extremely likely that Mr. Krajisnik himself will give
18 evidence, but we would start with him, and it's an unhappy position to
19 have your client in the middle of his evidence at the end of July, over
20 the recess, coming back after the recess. Because he would be that long
21 in evidence. We have no doubt about that if Mr. Krajisnik -- if we were
22 to start the defence case on the 11th of July, we would not finish Mr.
23 Krajisnik's evidence before the recess. So that would be an enormous
24 practical obstacle. We would in any case have said, well, please give us
25 those extra few weeks to have a clean start after the recess. But it may
1 be that that problem, even within the parameters, if I can put it that
2 way, that we're discussing this, as indicated by the Trial Chamber, it may
3 be that that problem doesn't arise anyway.
4 So far as the defence case is concerned, Your Honour, overall,
5 again, the time frame, with that observation about the starting point, the
6 time frame from 11th of July through to 21st of January, that doesn't at
7 the moment strike us as inherently problematic or obviously wrong. That
8 sort of period. It's of course rather early for us to be able to say
9 specifically. But, Your Honour, we don't -- we don't quarrel with the
10 general guideline approach that about 60 per cent of the Prosecution's
11 case or the Defence case is likely to be in the right region and we don't
12 quarrel with the general time frame there. Our problems, as Your Honour
13 indicates, those arise earlier. If the problems are resolved and we have
14 adequate time to deal with the case between now and the start of the
15 defence case, we wouldn't expect by then to have any particular difficulty
16 in meeting that sort of time frame. I hope that's helpful for
17 Your Honour.
18 And the rest, then, final briefs. Well, it's a tight period, but
19 we understand that the tight period between close of defence case and
20 final briefs, if that is coupled with adequate time to prepare and
21 adequate time to deal with the Prosecution case and the presentation of
22 the defence case as we go along, we understand that built into that is the
23 assumption that it's manageable to deal with the preparation of the final
24 briefs in tandem with the conduct of the case so there can be a short
25 period. We don't quarrel that as a proposition. We don't say that
1 there's some magic about having a long, long time after the close of the
2 case to submit closing briefs, provided that at that stage up to the
3 closing of the case there is enough time to be able to do that in tandem.
4 That's really the essential point. Of course we have absolutely nothing
5 to say about the gap between closing arguments and judgement except that I
6 have no doubt everybody would be delighted to have the judgement within
7 that sort of time frame, which is rather quicker than sometimes has been
8 the position. So we would -- we would congratulate and welcome a Trial
9 Chamber producing a judgement in that time period after closing arguments.
10 The tiny observations, Your Honour, are only that the
11 cross-examination being -- the figures calculated for cross-examination at
12 the moment, as 58.9 per cent only just within the guideline in substance,
13 we come rather more within the guideline because those are figures which
14 include the 92 bis and 89(F) witnesses. So in substance we are well
16 But my final observation, Your Honour, is this: That Your Honour
17 may have noticed that the cross-examination of Mr. Biscevic this morning
18 was really quite short. Your Honour, that's an illustration of that
19 fairly well-known saying: Well, I apologise for writing such a long
20 letter. I didn't have time to write a short one. Whether it was George
21 Bernard Shaw, whoever it was. Your Honour, there is great efficiency to
22 be achieved by giving people enough time to do things, and sometimes the
23 considerable amount of work that goes into preparation actually has the
24 result that things are refined and we do end up with shorter, tighter,
25 more focused, more concise examination of witnesses. And that's -- that's
1 common experience. Not just in the law; it's common experience in the
2 world. But it is absolutely specific experience in trials and it is
3 demonstrated in this case. There are false economies to be achieved, and
4 only superficial economies to be achieved by too much of a statistical
5 approach to such matters.
6 So, Your Honour, that's our first round of submissions. We hope
7 that that's helpful on the basis of information and an indication as to
8 where the Defence stand.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You know, Mr. Stewart, in boxing there's a bell that
10 rings after the round is over.
11 I didn't want to ring a bell at this moment, but ...
12 First of all, I'd like to make two short observations. I think
13 you have noticed quite well that the Chamber is not asking the parties to
14 make great effort in keeping this trial within certain time-limits, but
15 that it seeks to contribute to that itself as well. And I think you
16 rightly noticed the short time we allow ourselves for preparing a
17 judgement, not because we'll not take sufficient time to consider all the
18 elements, all the aspects of the case, but since a lot of work can be done
19 already in early stages. Analysis of certain elements of the case can be
20 made, whether they will finally support one solution or another, but the
21 analysis can be made.
22 So therefore, the Chamber is doing exactly the same, at least
23 intends to do exactly the same as it is asking from the parties.
24 Similarly, of course, if you say the 92 bis motion, well, might perhaps
25 need a bit more time, of course the Chamber there also expects the parties
1 to do whatever they can already in those stages. Of course, you can't do
2 it all. You have to take your time when it comes to filing such a motion.
3 But of course, quite a lot of work can be done in earlier stages. And I
4 do understand that you say the more time you give us in preparation, the
5 more time we also have to process all the information.
6 So that's understood.
7 When you said -- where you made the -- some -- where you gave some
8 comments on the dynamics and the statistical ones, I had in mind, as a
9 matter of fact, to make a distinction between dynamic statistical and a
10 static statistical approach. So you're right in saying that both the
11 approaches have a lot of statistics in them.
12 But what I would like to say at the end of this first round, and
13 let's see whether we need a second round, is one of the things that's also
14 of great importance for the Chamber is to give -- of course the parties,
15 but the parties are here in a professional position, but also to give
16 Mr. Krajisnik an idea on how long he would still have to be in this
17 courtroom and how long he would still have to wait for decisions, whether
18 it will be halfway or whether it will be after the presentation of the
19 Defence case. Because the Chamber is aware that it is a burden to sit in
20 court and to go through such a trial, and that it would -- perhaps even
21 more burdensome if you have got no idea when it will end, what the Chamber
22 has in mind as what could be a reasonable time frame for this trial. So
23 that's certainly, apart from efficiency, apart from statistics, is
24 certainly one of the elements that's driving this Chamber to get some
25 control over that and to give some guidance to the parties, to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 accused, and also to itself.
2 We have heard the first-round submissions. I don't know whether
3 there's any need at this moment to go through a second round of five
4 minutes. Mr. Hannis.
5 MR. HANNIS: There's only one additional thing I want to mention,
6 Your Honour. The Court's provisional calendar didn't provide anything for
7 the possibility of a Prosecution rebuttal case, if we got to that point.
8 I just didn't want to be accused later on of having waived that by
9 remaining silent at this time.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether there would be any need at any moment.
11 But we -- it's not in the schedule and perhaps it should be considered.
12 Mr. Stewart, any further second-round -- it's not a knockout.
13 MR. STEWART: Well, if it is, I hope it's not me that gets knocked
14 out, Your Honour. That's all.
15 The -- the -- yes, well, I just have two brief observations,
16 Your Honour. One is: Yes, we appreciate everything that Your Honour has
17 said about the Trial Chamber's work. There is one very big difference,
18 which is that -- and, Your Honour, here I -- we don't give evidence, but I
19 do sometimes sit as a judge in the high court in England, so I do have
20 some feel of what it's like to have -- not in a case of this size or
21 nature, of course, but one thing which is clear is that if at any point
22 the Trial Chamber feels it hasn't got enough time to work on a judgement
23 and needs more time to work on a judgement, well, the great thing for the
24 Trial Chamber is that you can -- Your Honours can give yourselves more
25 time. So nobody else is ever going to tell you or be able to tell you:
1 This is the time you've got. Because if you need it, of course -- well,
2 it's your duty and responsibility to yourselves and everybody, and
3 Mr. Krajisnik. You can and will take it. And I suppose, Your Honour,
4 that so far as resources can be made available within this building to
5 assist the Trial Chamber to accelerate and meet that deadline, that will
6 happen. That's a very big distinction between the Trial Chamber's
7 position and the Defence's position. We in the end do not have that
8 control. We are ultimately in the hands of the Trial Chamber. And we
9 have really tiny ability to call in extra resources if we find ourselves
10 under pressure. And that is a huge distinction, Your Honour.
11 Secondly: So far as a date for Mr. Krajisnik to know when the
12 judgement will come, we agree in the sense that of course the more
13 Mr. Krajisnik knows about his life and his future, the better. Because
14 it's a helpless position to be in, in many ways, and that's obvious, and
15 we see it all the time and we feel it all the time and it's there in all
16 our discussions. Mr. Krajisnik is, like everybody else, waiting out there
17 on trial. He's an innocent man against whom a case is sought to be proved
18 by the Prosecution. But he has to be there in prison while the trial is
19 proceeding. So of course we agree with that as a principle. On the other
20 hand, what we can certainly assert confidently on Mr. Krajisnik's behalf
21 is that, though he wishes as much clarity as possible about when it's all
22 go to end, he does not for one moment wish that to be at the cost or
23 expense of time to present his defence. So a long stop date for Mr.
24 Krajisnik many, many months later than this would give him what Your
25 Honour referred to just now, but it would also give him an opportunity
1 better to have his defence presented.
2 Your Honour, specific matters in relation to the imminent
3 schedule, but those are rather different. I don't know whether
4 Your Honour wants me to deal with those while I've got my gloves on
5 or --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but then we should establish that at this moment
7 we finish. Perhaps is that about November, December?
8 MR. STEWART: Yes. I'm talking about the next few weeks, which
9 is -- it's disconnected but it's a slightly discrete topic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'd rather not do it at this moment. I'd rather
11 do it perhaps at the end of this morning and then reserve some six or
12 seven minutes for that rather than start to do this at this very moment.
13 The Chamber will consider whatever has been said and we'll
14 consider whether it's -- whether it will issue a scheduling order for such
15 a long-term soon. Yes. Then --
16 MR. STEWART: Sorry, Your Honour. May I just ask. It's just a
17 practical matter. If we are to have five or ten minutes or whatever it is
18 to consider the imminent schedule, Your Honour, I was not proposing to
19 stay for this next witness, so --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Stewart, I'm willing -- one of the reasons
21 why I wanted to postpone it until the end of this morning is that usually
22 these kinds of discussions tend to make more time if we start without a
23 fixed -- and you -- well, your support of my -- it's by taking the first
24 round of ten minutes, approximately 12 and a half. If you could --
25 let's -- the scheduling, short-term scheduling could be discussed now for
1 not more than three minutes each.
2 MR. STEWART: Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And then we'll see if you need more time.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, perhaps I could claw back the two
5 and a half minutes. If I come within 30 seconds, then I should get an
6 accolade, shan't I, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. STEWART: Over all. Your Honour, two points. First of all,
9 it's a little bit difficult for us to form an overall view in this
10 schedule with the various gaps there are saying "to be determined," and
11 the second point, Your Honour, is just that as things stand at the moment,
12 Mr. Mandic and - is it Ms. or Mrs. - Hanson in the same week is too much
13 for us. We suggest that again it's Dorothea Hanson who could possibly go
14 over to somewhere else in the timetable. There seem to be some dates
15 coming up in December, towards -- in the middle of December and those
16 might be good slots for her. I didn't manage 30 seconds, Your Honour, but
17 I think I've clawed back a couple of the minutes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Prosecution.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know. That's difficult. We
20 moved Ms. Hanson once and I -- actually, I think we moved her twice. Once
21 that the Court didn't know about but ... That's a fairly firm date for
22 us. I don't know who the Defence is going to -- which of the Defence
23 counsel are going to be examining which one, but I understood that
24 Ms. Loukas was going to be doing Ms. Hanson and I anticipated that
25 Mr. Stewart was going to be doing Mr. Mandic.
1 MR. STEWART: Well, actually, Your Honour, partly -- perhaps I can
2 just answer. I don't know whether this is Mr. Hannis's time or mine that
3 I'm taking now, but the -- actually I'm doing them both and that -- it is
4 a change because, you know, we're after all entitled to make these
5 decisions. That is a change. It was originally planned that Ms. Loukas
6 would do it, because it -- that worked, only just, but that worked with
7 the timetable we had at the time. But for quite some time it's been
8 understood Mr. Mandic, if called, because that's still not determined.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's still to be decided yes.
10 MR. STEWART: Which is another issue because actually, Your
11 Honour, we also -- given the stretch of defence resources, I must be frank
12 about it, Your Honour, I do not wish Mr. Krajisnik or anybody else to
13 devote time to witnesses who might or might not be called. We've got
14 enough problems with those who are definitely coming.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The parties are urgently invited to resolve the
16 one-week problem. Also, in view of decisions still to be taken, on which
17 I'll not elaborate at this moment, but that affects also dates. So
18 therefore, the parties are urgently invited to resolve that -- now, I do
19 understand that it's just the two concentrated in such a short period of
20 time. Of course, the Chamber could just impose something, but we'd rather
21 see, if a solution can be found, and if not, what exactly was the obstacle
22 to be taken so that the Chamber is better aware of where the pain is. And
23 we'd like to hear then -- if that could be done possibly even during the
24 next break. Because now by the end of the week. We indicated last week
25 that we'd like to have responses on a motion, and since we had not much
1 time left. So the parties are invited to have an intense conversation on
2 that during the next break.
3 Yes. Then the transcripts usually say OTP confers.
4 MR. HANNIS: We'll try to discuss that and get back to you
5 before --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart is available anyhow, because he didn't
7 intend to stay.
8 MR. STEWART: I'm at everybody's disposal, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. STEWART: Of course.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know who is going to do that. Do I
12 understand that the next witness, it's Ms. Karagiannakis who will take the
13 next witness. Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into
14 the courtroom.
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I just say, I should be in
16 Defence counsel's room for the immediate future and I also have my usual
17 number so the Prosecution can get hold of me easily in the building right
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, before you leave, Mr. Stewart, I just wanted to
20 inform you that part of the scheduling, just factual information, that
21 seven days, of course, is the term mentioned in the Rules. So of course I
22 do know that extension of time can be granted for whatever motions are
23 submissions, but the seven days are in the Rules for 98 bis. You asked
24 for more time for 98 bis. You said it was quite tight. But it's --
25 MR. STEWART: Well, fair point, Your Honour. What can I say?
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you need more time, you'll be permitted that time.
2 MR. STEWART: I understand. We've got plenty of time for that,
3 Your Honour. Could I just mention to --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As long as the witness has not entered the
5 courtroom, you're -- please proceed.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I just wanted to say. Ms. Cmeric is
7 also leaving. We're not running away together, but we are both leaving
8 court. Ms. Cmeric is going to be away for the next three or four days
9 with a -- having a very, very well-deserved break, as it happens. So
10 you -- she'll be back on Thursday. Your Honour, I -- I'm not going to be
11 in court until next Thursday either, so I simply -- well, goodbye,
12 Your Honours, and I shall be back when we next -- it will be the week
13 after next, actually.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Odobasic, I take it.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Odobasic, from your answer, I take it that you
18 can hear me in a language you understand.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I hear you well.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence in this court, the Rules of
21 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that
22 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
23 text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher and I'd like to invite you to
24 make that solemn declaration.
25 WITNESS: JASMIN ODOBASIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Odobasic. Please be seated.
5 Mr. Odobasic, you'll first be examined by counsel for the Prosecution, and
6 after that, you'll be examined by counsel for the Defence. If the Judges
7 would have any additional questions, we'll put them to you as well. There
8 is, however, a specific procedure that a part of the evidence you could
9 give to us will be presented by summarising the relevant parts of earlier
10 statements you have given to the OTP. And then additional questions to
11 that will be put to you. This is just for reasons of efficiency.
12 Ms. Karagiannakis is going to examine you, will explain to you how it
13 works, and you'll then be able to hear that summary.
14 Ms. Karagiannakis, please proceed.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, before we proceed, there's just a small
17 matter. I can indicate -- perhaps the witness might need to remove his
18 microphones just for the purposes of this initial comment.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Odobasic, could I ask you just -- first of
20 all, could I ask you: Do you understand any English?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very little.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please take off your earphones. Very
23 little is not nothing, Ms. Loukas, but ...
24 Could you take off your earphones for a moment.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. I can indicate that I had certain
1 objections to the statements which, prior to the witness coming today,
2 happily, Ms. Karagiannakis and I have resolved. I think there's just one
3 small outstanding matter, and that is paragraph 62 of the statement. We
4 can deal with that at a later stage, if need be, but I felt it incumbent
5 upon me to bring that to Your Honour's attention prior to the commencement
6 of the 89(F) summary and the calling of the evidence. That's paragraph 62
7 of the ICTY statement dated 30th of January, 1999.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We can deal with that at a later stage, you said.
9 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. That's my suggestion, Your Honour, but I think
10 it's important that I alert the Chamber to it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could you please put on your headphones
12 again, Mr. Odobasic.
13 Ms. Karagiannakis, you may proceed.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Could the witness please be provided with the redacted B/C/S
16 version of his ICTY statement dated 30 January 1999 and a number assigned
17 to it, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P362.
19 Examined by Ms. Karagiannakis:
20 Q. Mr. Odobasic, do you see your statement in front of you there in
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Do you recognise that statement as a statement that you gave to
24 the representatives of the ICTY?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review this statement before
2 today's proceedings?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, did you advise me of the following two corrections to be made
5 to the statement. The first one is in relation to paragraph 17. I invite
6 you to have a look at that paragraph. Should the first phrase before the
7 comma in that paragraph read: "After the elections and before, during,
8 and after the war in Croatia"? Should that paragraph begin like that?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Would you also then look at paragraph 46 of your statement.
11 Should the first phrase of that paragraph before the comma read: "From
12 October 1992, they started to take us to working units ..." Is that
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: With those two corrections, are you satisfied
16 that these statements are correct and true -- this statement is correct
17 and true?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Your Honours, I now propose to read a
20 summary --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: -- of the statement.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Odobasic, Ms. Karagiannakis will now read those
24 portions on which no further details are likely to be asked from you.
25 She'll summarise that part of your statement.
1 Please proceed, Ms. Karagiannakis.
2 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: The witness is a lawyer, presently working
3 with the state commission for the tracing of missing persons in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina. He provides evidence of an SDS rally just before the
5 elections in 1990, in the main square of Prnjavor. The witness had seen
6 both Nemanja Vasic (President of the Municipal Assembly) and Dragan Djuric
7 (President of the local SDS) present at this rally. Radovan Karadzic was
8 also present. One speaker at this rally had urged Serbs to sell their
9 cows and buy rifles.
10 The witness provides evidence about the activities of Veljko
11 Milankovic and the paramilitary group he commanded, the Wolves of Vucjak.
12 During the multi-party elections, this group had the task of appearing at
13 different voting stations to intimidate people, by their presence, into
14 voting for the SDS. Just before or after the elections, the Wolves
15 attacked the main relay station on Kozara mountain and it was turned
16 towards Serbia. During the second half of 1991, the Wolves would often
17 shoot in the direction of Bosniak and Croat houses.
18 The SDS prevailed in the multi-party elections. The SDS replaced
19 general managers and directors who were not Serbs, as well as Serbs who
20 were not members of the SDS. The witness provides evidence regarding the
21 treatment of Muslims and Croats in the municipality. He states that those
22 people who did not answer the call to mobilisation were dismissed from
23 their employment and lost their apartments. Their business premises were
24 destroyed and subsequently taken over by Serbs. During this time,
25 grenades were thrown into the yards of private houses owned by non-Serbs.
1 He observed the armament of Serb civilians.
2 The witness led the local commission tasked with organising the
3 referendum on the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 29 February
4 and 1st March 1992. The President of the municipality, Vasic, forbade the
5 organisation of the referendum at all locations, except for the Dom of
6 Kultura at the centre of town. In the Croat village of Drenova, several
7 members of the Wolves forced entry to the referendum office and threw
8 documents around.
9 The witness states that the non-Serbs started to leave Prnjavor
10 during 1992 because of mistreatment, looting of property, and forced
11 mobilisation started. Each week, several buses were organised to
12 transport non-Serbs to the Hungarian border. The people had to pay 1.500
13 Deutschmarks each to leave. Before leaving, the people had to obtain
14 permissions and a paper saying that they were giving their property to
15 Serb authorities.
16 The witness provides evidence on the attacks on the Muslim
17 villages of Lisnja and Puraci. 54 houses were burned down in Lisnja and
18 six people were killed, of which four were boys.
19 The witness states that the Serbs set up a detention camp in the
20 summer of 1992 in the Sloga shoe factory. Several hundred Bosniak males
21 from the villages of Lisnja and Puraci were imprisoned at this detention
22 centre. Serbs had set up another camp at Vijaka, in the mill. Guards at
23 these camps had been policemen and members of paramilitary units. The
24 witness details the evidence of the destruction caused to the mosques,
25 Catholic churches, and the Ukrainian church in the municipality of
2 And now, Mr. Odobasic, I have some questions to ask you about the
3 details you've given in your ICTY statement. So could you please look at
4 paragraph 4, to begin with.
5 Q. Now, in that paragraph, you note that Prnjavor was a Serb-majority
6 municipality, whereas Prnjavor town had about a three-quarter majority of
7 Bosniaks. You say there, and I quote you: "There were only four other
8 villages inhabited by Bosniaks." Can you please list those villages for
9 the Chamber.
10 A. I can. These are the following villages: The village of Lisnja,
11 12 kilometres away from Prnjavor, in the direction of Banja Luka; the
12 village of Puraci, bordering with the village of Lisnja; the village of
13 Konjuhovci, two kilometres away from the centre of the town; the village
14 of Galjipovci, which is some four to five kilometres away from the town,
15 and there was one another village with a mixed population, not just
16 Bosniaks, but there were Bosniaks, Catholics, and Orthodox people there.
17 This is the village of Babanovci.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please look at paragraph 7. There you
19 state: "At the SDS rally --" you mention a rally and you say: "At the
20 SDS rally I remember that Radovan Karadzic was there, as well as Dusan
21 Zelenbaba, from Knin, who gave a speech, in which he said: Serbs, sell
22 your cows and buy the rifles."
23 Did you actually see this rally and hear this speech?
24 A. I was personally present there at the meeting. This rally was
25 held in a city square in front of a shopping mall called Prima, and I was
1 some 50 metres away from the rostrum, listening to what the speakers had
2 to say there at the rally. And I heard Mr. Zelenbaba clearly when he
3 invited Serbs to sell their cows and buy rifles, and without any doubt,
4 this was heard by at least hundreds of other people in Prnjavor.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, I draw your attention to statements made in
6 paragraph 9, where you state that a paramilitary unit called the Wolves of
7 Vucjak had been organised and that the leader -- the commander's name was
8 Veljko Milankovic. Then you say, and I quote: "He was well known in the
9 area even before the war as a criminal." Now, what type of criminal
10 activity had Mr. Milankovic been known for before the war?
11 A. I am very much familiar with the village that Mr. Milankovic was
12 native from. He was a good-for-nothing person who never had any
13 employment and dealt with -- and committed different crimes. In the
14 period between 1983 and 1987, when I was chief of the town's inspectorate
15 in the town, the forestry inspectorate lady reported him twice for having
16 done petty crimes in the forest. But he was also known for doing a lot of
17 rows, brawls in the village and he was also known for having stolen
18 things, for thefts committed to the people in the town, and I must say
19 that I have known the family of Milankovic for a very long time.
20 Q. In that paragraph, you go on to talk about his activities in
21 relation to the multi-party elections, and you state: "He blocked the
22 entrance to the culture centre, where a meeting was to be held --"
23 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to this. If evidence,
24 further evidence is sought to be elicited in relation to this question, I
25 would submit it's preferable not to have the particular paragraph in front
1 of the witness for that purpose.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I'm happy just to read it to him. He doesn't
4 need to look. I just want to ask the basis for that statement.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You know, Ms. Karagiannakis, in the 89(F), we
6 have developed more or less a rule which says that you can ask the witness
7 either to read or to -- read to the witness what is in his statement, if
8 this is an introduction for further questions. If you seek confirmation
9 of what is in the statement, we would rather not read it, have it not in
10 front of the witness so that you can elicit that from the witness further
11 details on that part.
12 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, Your Honour. In fact, I've planned my
13 examination so as to -- so I can put a particular -- parts of his
14 statement not for the purposes of reputation or confirmation but mainly
15 for the purposes of finding out what the basis of what is said in there
16 actually is-- that is his own personal knowledge or something else.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If we're trying to establish the basis of
18 knowledge, then I take it, Ms. Loukas, that there is no problem in having
19 in front of the witness what he said and of what he's asked.
20 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
22 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. The distinction that Your Honour
23 has drawn is the distinction that we've all been working to and I just
24 want to ensure that we're proceeding on that basis.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Karagiannakis, if you would please keep
1 that in mind, and I leave it up to you whether or not at a certain moment
2 the witness was -- has to be -- has any need to have the statement in
3 front of him.
4 I don't know whether we should take it away now at this moment or
5 whether we can leave it.
6 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I think we could just leave it there. And
7 I'll just wait. I'll either read something to him, and if he needs to
8 look at something in particular, I'll invite him to do so.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
11 Q. In paragraph 9 of your statement, sir, you say: "Veljko
12 Milankovic, and I quote from here: "He blocked the entrance to the
13 culture centre, where the meeting was to be held. He had five or six of
14 his men with him; all of them were armed. He would not let the SDP
15 meeting proceed. He claimed that he wanted to hold an SDS meeting at the
16 same time."
17 Now, what's the basis of your knowledge for that statement?
18 A. As a member of the only multi-ethnic party existing at the time in
19 the territory of the Prnjavor municipality, I was in the executive staff
20 of the party and would go to the rallies, pre-electoral rallies organised
21 by the party, and I'm talking about the SDP. That day we had a rally in
22 the village of Kremna, in the proximity of what was to be the seat of the
23 Wolves from Vucjak and we headed at the culture centre. And there we
24 were -- we met with Veljko, who was there with his Wolves. He was very
25 dismissive, arrogant. He said.. You are not going to hold a meeting here
1 at the culture centre, because we intend to hold an inaugural session of
2 the SDS here. He addressed some of the Serbs who were there, Bijelo
3 Bijelic and others, and said: Shame on you. You're supporting
4 communists. Why don't you join the only Serb party, the SDS --
5 JUDGE ORIE: May I just stop you, Mr. Odobasic. May I ask you to
6 carefully listen to the question. I mean, what you're saying now is to
7 some extent, although a bit more in detail what appears in your statement.
8 The specific question of Ms. Karagiannakis was: What was the basis of
9 your knowledge. So she'd like to know whether you were there, whether you
10 heard it from someone. This is the question. Yes?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was present there and I saw it
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
14 Q. Paragraph 16 of your statement, you said -- you state: "When the
15 war in Croatia started they used to go to the battlefield and come back
16 with a lot of looted property: Cars and furniture." And there -- in that
17 statement you're referring to the Wolves. Can you please tell the Court
18 how you know that.
19 A. I saw it with my own eyes.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Could the witness please be shown the MUP
21 report, signed by stamped by Stojan Zupljanin, dated 23rd September 1991.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P363.
23 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Could the witness -- I think that might be the
24 report that follows that, because the one that I have is certainly longer
25 than one page. So ... I'll give you the ERN.
1 Could the witness be shown both documents.
2 THE REGISTRAR: The next document will be P364.
3 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
4 Q. Now, sir, could you please have a look at page 3 of the attachment
5 to the first document in B/C/S. It has the number SA 02-0128 on the top
6 of your B/C/S version. Now, there it states that -- this report is
7 speaking about Mr. Milankovic, with whom -- about whom you have stated
8 certain matters in your statement. At that paragraph, it states: "On
9 local and main roads at gun point and in a drunken state, they stopped
10 vehicles and citizens, demanded to see identification papers, conduct
11 searches, insult people and abuse them."
12 Now, do you have any personal knowledge of the Wolves of Vucjak in
13 relation to checkpoints established in Prnjavor municipality?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness's microphone please be
15 switched on.
16 A. I did see such checkpoints. I was even stopped at one such
17 checkpoint in a village of Cilasi.
18 Q. Would you look further down --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Sorry.
21 Q. Could you look further down the page on the B/C/S version,
22 beginning of the last paragraph on your page 3. There it states:
23 "Individually as a group, they" - meaning the -- Milankovic and his
24 group - "provoked and harassed the Muslim population with the aim of
25 precipitating interethnic fighting. In the centre of Prnjavor in the
1 presence of a large number of citizens, some of them were aiming their
2 weapons at cars and Muslim individuals." Now, do you have any knowledge
3 of that activity in relation to the Wolves?
4 A. At the side of the road from -- main road from Banja Luka to
5 Prnjavor, I saw many houses that were bullet-riddled and there were many
6 such houses in the town itself.
7 Q. Is it correct to say that you saw the damage but you didn't
8 actually see them shooting?
9 A. I did see on one occasion when a certain member of the Wolves
10 fired shots in the air in the street where I lived.
11 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 31 of your statement, you say, and I
12 quote: "The main relay station on Kozara mountain was attacked by the
13 Wolves either just before or just after the elections. And it was turned
14 towards Serbia. The telephones were cut off, the situation of course
15 became worse every day."
16 Now, how do you know -- what is the basis for your statement that
17 the Wolves took over the Kozara mountain relay station?
18 A. This was announced on the media, and generally, there were stories
19 around the town of Prnjavor and certain individuals were really
20 celebrating that event. So it was no secret in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. Do you recall when this was announced in the media, approximately?
22 A. I think it was announced immediately after the takeover of the
23 relay station. I'm not sure. I think it was the radio Sarajevo or some
24 other mass media.
25 Q. Sorry. Could you please approximate the time when you heard that
1 the Kozara relay station had been taken over.
2 A. Well, I cannot remember the date, but I think it was in 1991.
3 Q. Thank you. Moving on to another topic. In paragraph 14 of your
4 statement, you say, and I'll quote you: "All Bosniak policemen were asked
5 to sign a paper swearing their loyalty to the SDS, not to the Republic
6 MUP. Since they did not want to sign such an oath, they were dismissed
7 from the police force."
8 Now, could you tell the Court the basis for that statement?
9 A. I personally knew many of the police officers there and I spoke to
10 them. I think one of them was an ethnic Serb and the others were
12 Q. Could the witness be shown the exhibit: "Notice for a court,"
13 it's entitled.
14 THE REGISTRAR: P365.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
16 Q. Sir, I think on your version you have a photocopied page of press
17 reports. Could you look at the press report that's entitled "In the
18 public security station Prnjavor. Signing of statement of loyalty has
19 been finished." And then underneath that "notice for a quarter." Could
20 you have a look at that article.
21 Now, that article states that 16 employees of Croatian and Muslim
22 nationality who were members of the collective, that is, the Ministry of
23 the Interior collective in Prnjavor, had refused to sign loyalty. And
24 then it goes on to quote an official about those events. And the quote
25 comes from a person stated here as Radislav Vincic, the head of the public
1 security station in Prnjavor. Now, do you know Radislav Vincic?
2 A. I did not know him personally from before, but when he became head
3 of the Prnjavor police station, I read about him and heard about him over
4 the media. I just want to add something to my previous answer. I said I
5 remembered some Bosniaks and one Serb, but I also now remember that there
6 were two Croats who also refused to sign the loyalty oath.
7 Q. Is the Radislav Vincic that you've just described as holding the
8 position of -- the head of the public security station, is that the same
9 person as the Radislav Vincic referred to in paragraph 15 of your
10 statement, where you refer to him as the chief of police?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 Now, in paragraph 19 of your statement, do you state, and I'll
14 quote you: "I know that a Serb SDS organiser called Milan Spasojevic told
15 a Bosnian, Esref Softic, that: The time has come for Serbs to finish what
16 we started in the Second World War"? Could you please tell the Court how
17 you know about that?
18 A. He said that to my uncle Esref Softic and he told me the very same
19 day what the man had told him.
20 Q. Do you remember approximately when you heard about this event?
21 A. I think it was -- well, possibly it was in 1991, perhaps towards
22 the end, but I can't remember the exact date. I didn't consider it to be
23 important. But I think it was 1991, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to -- in paragraph 22 of your
25 statement, you say that you observed Serb civilians being armed and I'll
1 give you a quote and ask you a question: "Once I noticed a large truck
2 parked in the front of a hunting lodge near Prnjavor and were distributing
3 weapons to Serb civilians."
4 Now, do you recall when, approximately, you saw this event?
5 A. I can't remember the date now. I think, I say I think, that it
6 was during the war in Croatia. But as I say, I can't be specific.
7 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 23, you say: "Everyone who refused to
8 answer the mobilisation call was dismissed from work and expelled from
9 apartments which were owned by public companies."
10 Now, what do you mean to say -- what do you mean by the phrase
11 "expelled from apartments which were owned by public companies"?
12 A. Well, they were apartments who were assigned to -- by the public
13 companies to the employees, to the employees working in those
14 organisations and companies. They would sign contracts, giving them these
15 apartments, and then if somebody would not -- fail to call -- fail to
16 respond to the call-up for mobilisation, they would rescind those
17 contracts, by which they had allotted those flats to them. And then the
18 people would receive documents saying that they had to move out within a
20 Q. You say in paragraph 26: "One of the very important things which
21 influenced later events was the decision of the Presidency of the Republic
22 Bosniaks did not have to answer the mobilisation call, saying we weren't
23 going to fight against Serbs or Croats. We obeyed this decision not to go
24 to the army, and that's why we had a lot of problems."
25 Now, in that statement, who do you mean by "we"? Who obeyed the
1 decision not to go into the army?
2 A. Mostly the Bosniaks, the Croats, and some other people of an
3 ethnic minority. They refused to go and serve the army because that would
4 mean going to the battlefront in Croatia.
5 Q. Paragraph 23, you talk about the treatment of non-Serbs in the
6 municipality. Now, you state there: "They also started taking over all
7 businesses. During this time, grenades were often thrown into the gardens
8 or yards of private houses owned by minorities."
9 Now, who do you mean by "minorities" in that context?
10 A. Well, in view of the fact that the Serbs had the absolute majority
11 in the town of Prnjavor, everybody else was a minority and came under that
13 Q. So you mean to say the non-Serbs?
14 A. All non-Serbs, yes. Because the majority population were Serbs
15 and 9 per cent were the others.
16 Q. You go on --
17 A. 29 per cent, sorry.
18 Q. You go on tots that bombings of businesses took place. Now, do
19 you have any knowledge about who bombed the private houses and businesses
20 of non-Serbs in Prnjavor municipality?
21 A. I can't confirm that, but the rumours going round town was that it
22 was the members of the Wolves from Vucjak, especially one of their members
23 called Jansa to others.
24 Q. Did you actually see the destroyed houses and businesses?
25 A. Dozens of such businesses and premises, and my business too was
1 seized that way.
2 Q. Do you have any knowledge about whether these houses and
3 businesses that were bombed, do you have any knowledge about them being
4 looted as well?
5 A. My business premises were. As to the rest, I can't say. Most
6 probably they were, because it was theft taking over these business
7 premises after the diversions that were created.
8 Q. And when did these bombings and -- when did these bombings start
10 A. The bombings -- I'm quite certain that they started in the first
11 half of 1992, and I assume that already towards the end of 1991, there
12 were some such bombings too, diversions of this kind, where grenades were
13 thrown and things like that.
14 Q. Paragraph 8, you discuss your role in organising the referendum
15 for the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 29th of February and
16 the 1st of March, 1992. You say there that you formed a commission. In
17 that paragraph, you state: "Serbs tried everything to prevent the
18 referendum voting in Prnjavor."
19 Can you explain to the Court what you mean by that. Sorry. It's
20 paragraph 28.
21 A. Yes, I can. Up -- according to the provisions that were in force
22 the heads of the city commissions were nominated by the commission of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and I was appointed president of the commission for the
24 town of Prnjavor. And as such, I was supposed to organise in the local
25 communes and in the various localities electorate boards. And I went to
1 the Municipal Assembly to inform the president of the Prnjavor
2 municipality about that - his name was Mr. Vasic - and tell him we were
3 going to organise a referendum and conduct a referendum, which was
4 something that was done throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. The
5 gentleman was quite explicit and said that the referendum would not be
6 held in Prnjavor. He also said that we couldn't use the places where the
7 elections took place in previous years. And later on, he allowed just one
8 premiss, the culture centre, so that he could see who was coming to vote.
9 All the other voting posts were in private houses or in some religious
10 premises, against the will of the president and the powers that be.
11 Q. What political party did that president belong to?
12 A. He was from the SDS.
13 Q. You go on to describe an incident in that paragraph 28, and I'll
14 read out the relevant portion to you: "Besides the central location we
15 also established locations in the villages close to the mosques. I
16 remember that in a Croat village of Drenova, several persons of the Wolves
17 forced entry into the office of the referendum and threw documents around.
18 When the Croats gathered up the documents -- then the Croats gathered up
19 the documents, withdrew to a nearby field and held the referendum voting
20 there. An international observer arrived in Prnjavor, I went with him to
21 that village and those Wolves left without further damage being done."
22 Now, how are you aware of the -- of that situation prior to
23 arriving at the village and observing what you did?
24 A. As president of the local commission, I had to set up the
25 electoral board. So I went to the village beforehand. And we maintained
1 telephone contacts with the presidents of all the boards and commissions,
2 as well as the one in Drenova. And at one point in time they informed me
3 that that voting post had been attacked. And at the time, with the
4 international observers and a certain parliamentarian, Naim Kadic, from
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I went to the spot and really on the route to the
6 voting post, we were indeed stopped by those Wolves.
7 Q. Paragraphs 33 and 34 of your statement, you address the issue of
8 non-Serbs leaving the municipality. In paragraph 34, you say that the
9 Serbs found -- you say: "Each week, several buses were organised to
10 transport Bosniaks -- Bosniak and Croats to the Hungarian border via
11 Serbia, where they were pushed out of the buses and left like cattle. The
12 cost of this drive was 1.500 German marks. Before this trip each person
13 had to obtain seven or eight separate permissions and sign a paper saying
14 that they were giving all their property to the Serb authorities.
15 Now, did you see these buses leaving the municipality?
16 A. Yes, I saw them on several occasions. I even sent off some of my
17 own relatives who left in that way.
18 Q. How many of your relatives left in that way?
19 A. At least ten that I could name, maybe more.
20 Q. And what was their ethnicity?
21 A. They were mostly Bosniaks, but there were also some Serbs and
22 Croats who left in the same way.
23 Q. You mentioned their having to obtain seven or eight separate
24 permissions. What types of permissions did people have to obtain before
25 they left the municipality?
1 A. I had to go through that procedure myself later on. Well, you had
2 to have seven or eight permits, and they were as follows: First of all,
3 you had to come by a permit that you weren't being prosecuted in any way.
4 Then later on, a permit that you were not due for military service. And
5 even children of the ages of 2 or 3 and the elderly persons who were not
6 military conscripts had to have permits of this kind. Then you had to
7 have a permit saying you didn't owe money for electricity bills, water
8 bills, telephone bills, et cetera. Anyway, there were seven such permits.
9 Then you would have to go to court to sign a statement saying that upon
10 your departure you were leaving your property to a lawyer to sell within
11 the space of six months, and failing to do that, then the property would
12 come into the possession of Republika Srpska. Only once we had collected
13 all those permits and permissions we would get a permit from the secretary
14 of national defence allowing us to leave, to take the journey taking us to
15 third countries. However, these permits just lasted one month and if you
16 didn't leave within the space of a month, you had to get the permits out
17 again. And each permit cost a certain amount of money. So by the time
18 you got seven or eight of them, this would be a costly business and come
19 to 500 or 600 German marks or more.
20 Q. Now, paragraph 35 and 36, you describe attacks on the villages of
21 Lisnja and Puraci, which you've told us are Bosnian-ethnicity villages.
22 And you state: "Later on the Serbs attacked the villages of Lisnja and
23 Puraci with military weapons. 54 houses were burned down in Lisnja and
24 six people killed." You also state that Serbs shot four young boys. And
25 then in paragraph 36 you state: "During the attack on Lisnja, they had
1 also shelled and then destroyed with explosives the mosque in that
3 Now, how do you know about the events in Lisnja and Puraci?
4 A. Well, in Prnjavor, there was great pressure being exerted when
5 this was going on because many people from Lisnja and Puraci escaped to
6 the towns, to find refuge there. And rumours were going round as to what
7 was happening there. And I talked to an eyewitness for a long time,
8 somebody who had seen everything that had been happening in Lisnja. And
9 as far as the killing of these young men is concerned, I know that ex
10 officio, because they were exhumed a month prior to that and they were
11 returned, their bodies returned to the village of Lisnja and that's where
12 they are today.
13 Q. Did you see the bodies of those four boys?
14 A. Those young boys, after they had been killed, were transported to
15 the village of Konjuhovci, which is where they were buried, and I myself
16 was in the cemetery several times, standing at the graves of those four
17 young boys. And let me repeat a month ago, the commission I work in
18 received a request to exhume the bodies to establish the cause of death
19 and to take them back to their local villages, that is to say, the village
20 of Lisnja.
21 Q. Are you aware of the approximate age of those boys?
22 A. They were either minors or thereabouts, very young boys, just
23 before the age of maturity.
24 Q. So do you mean to say that they were teenagers? Younger or older
25 than that?
1 A. I don't know what you actually mean by "teenagers." When I say
2 they were minors and young minors, that implies from 16 to 20, in that age
3 group. Of course, I didn't check it out, but they were young, young boys.
4 Q. You say you spoke to an eyewitness of these events. Can you name
5 that person?
6 A. Yes. I talked to Miralem Mehimovic [phoen]. I also talked to
7 Nijaz Halilovic.
8 Q. What happened to the Muslim population after the attack on the
10 A. As I said, a portion escaped to town and took refuge with their
11 friends and relatives. Most of the men were arrested and taken off to an
12 area which was turned into a camp. It was, in actual fact, an area
13 belonging to the Sloga shoe factory. It was in the town of Prnjavor,
14 opposite the gymnasium, the secondary school there.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: That might be an appropriate moment,
16 Your Honours, if we're taking a break.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it would. Ms. Karagiannakis, would you have any
18 indication on how much time you would still need?
19 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Less than half an hour. In fact, something
20 between 15 minutes and half an hour, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That even, Ms. Loukas, would lead me to see whether,
22 one way or the other, I've got no idea what your cross-examination will
23 be, but whether we could finish with this witness before the weekend.
24 Otherwise he would have to stay for perhaps not more than one hour after
25 the weekend, and that's something the Chamber wants to avoid, to the
1 extent possible.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, as do I, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Of course, it's not entirely within my hands, but --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
6 MS. LOUKAS: -- I would have thought that -- well, the witness
7 answers everything the way I want him to, it will be very quick.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MS. LOUKAS: But I'm anxious, Your Honour, to ensure that the
10 witness doesn't have to stay in The Hague over the weekend, and I feel
11 certain that if -- let's see. We're now 20 past 12.00. We'll take a -- I
12 assume, a 20-minute break.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Then if Ms. Karagiannakis comes in under her half an
15 hour, I will do everything, I can assure, to -- that we finish.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we see, Ms. Karagiannakis, if we have a 20
17 minutes' break now, then if you could try to see whether, by 1.00, you
18 could finish your examination-in-chief. Then we would have 45 minutes
19 remaining for Ms. Loukas. And that, Ms. Loukas, would approximately do --
20 of course you never can -- but -- always has to ask the Defence whether
21 you're confident that -- yes. I see from your unspoken response that ...
22 Mr. Odobasic, we'll try to see whether we can finish your
23 testimony today, so that it's not necessary for you to, well, spend here
24 the weekend and then -- I don't know, of course, what kind of arrangements
25 are made, but at least that as far as your testimony, it's not necessary,
1 then, to keep you over the weekend.
2 We'll resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to turn into private session for a very
6 short moment.
7 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into
20 the courtroom.
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Odobasic, Ms. Karagiannakis will now resume the
25 Please proceed, Ms. Karagiannakis.
1 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
2 Q. Mr. Odobasic, before the break you had given evidence about the
3 attacks on the village of -- Muslim villages of Lisnja and Puraci, and you
4 told us who had told you about those attacks, the eyewitnesses. Now, did
5 they tell you anything about who had launched -- who had conducted the
6 attacks on the villages?
7 A. I do know for certain that the Wolves of Vucjak took part in it,
8 as well as the regular police force from Prnjavor. And in view of the
9 fact that the village was attacked with heavy artillery being used from a
10 locality called Pavlovo Brdo, then I'm certain that some military units
11 took part as well. I can't say at this point in time whether they were
12 local units or members of the JNA or whatever, but the village was
13 attacked with artillery, weapons, which means weapons that the Wolves of
14 Vucjak didn't possess.
15 Q. In paragraph 38 of your statement, I'll quote you. Now, you
16 say: "I also heard on the radio station a reserve artillery captain named
17 Nedeljko Davidovic, who told her he had 'defeated the balija' by shelling
18 the village and afterwards Wolves units moved in and looted and burned the
20 Now, what village are you referring to in that statement?
21 A. Both villages, Lisnja and Puraci, because they're linked on to one
22 another. It's difficult to differentiate between the two and say where
23 one starts and the other end. They follow on from each other.
24 Q. Thank you. Before the break you also mentioned that the men from
25 Lisnja and Puraci had been taken to be detained at the Sloga shoe factory.
1 In your statement you say that this occurred in the summer of 1992. You
2 also state, and I quote: "They brought in, but not all at one time." And
3 I'm quoting from paragraph 39: "They brought in but not all at one time.
4 Several hundreds Bosniak males from the villages of Lisnja and Puraci."
5 You go on to say: "I was never able to see that camp personally. It
6 didn't exist for long. They interrogated the people, took the money from
7 them, and expelled them from the area. The guards were policemen at that
9 Now, how do you know about these details?
10 A. Well, an absurdity happened from what I did previously. I know
11 the facility well, what it looked like inside and out. And as to the
12 events in the camp itself, I was told by Halilovic, Nijaz, who was a civil
13 engineer, and I happened to be his boss beforehand. But somebody else
14 interrogated him, somebody called Vasic Stamenko - I was also his boss -
15 and the other members of the Prnjavor police of the day. So Nijaz
16 Halilovic told me about the events that went on in the camp for the most
17 part and some of my neighbours who were from Lisnja.
18 Q. In the following paragraph, 40, you mention a camp at Vijaka and
19 you called it the old mill. And I -- then I'll quote: "They took
20 prisoners from Derventa and only some from Prnjavor. The guards were
21 police and some members of the paramilitary units." Now how did you come
22 to know about these details?
23 A. Lokic Bilko, one of my friends, was one of the prisoners who had
24 been badly beaten up in the camp, and there were a certain number of other
25 bogs knack had who passed through that particular camp. But I think that
1 he was maybe for the Croats from Derventa.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Karagiannakis, the Chamber highly appreciates the
3 speed you develop, but it might be a bit too much for the transcribers and
5 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I apologise, Your Honours.
6 Q. Now, in paragraph -- paragraph 27 of your statement, there's no
7 need to look at it, you say -- before I ask the question, could the
8 witness please be shown the next bundle of exhibits or have them before
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, that would be number or
11 numbers ...
12 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P366, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: While the witness is being shown the exhibits,
15 I might identify what they are for the record by reading out the titles.
16 There is a ruling dated 21 July 1992 from the municipal misdemeanours
17 court of Prnjavor municipality, finding -- well -- it is accompanied by a
18 statement of reasons. And then the final document in that bundle is a
19 ruling, a statement of reasons of the municipal misdemeanours court of
20 Prnjavor municipality. And that is dated the 13th of October, 1992.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Odobasic, in paragraph 27 of your statement you
22 say: "Because I refused to be mobilised I [sic] started a court procedure
23 against me and I had to pay a fine. I did not pay and they sentenced me
24 to prison for 17 days. I suppose the prisons were already full and I
25 didn't go to the prison on that occasion."
1 Now, does this bundle of documents represent court rulings in
2 respect of proceedings against you for failure to answer the misdemeanour
3 offence of mobilisation? So the misdemeanour offence of failing to obey a
4 mobilisation call.
5 A. Yes. That's right. These are the rulings that refer to me.
6 Q. As far as you know, were other non-Serb people subjected to these
7 types of legal proceedings in 1992?
8 A. I think most of them were, most of those who failed to respond to
9 the mobilisation call were, and the rest escaped to third countries,
10 precisely because of this mobilisation call.
11 Q. Now, in your statement, you've detailed acts committed against the
12 non-Serb population of Prnjavor municipality during 1991 and 1992, and
13 they are -- they include the burning of Muslim houses and businesses, the
14 destruction of a number of mosques, the attack on Lisnja and Puraci, and
15 two detention facilities. As far as you know, was Veljko Milankovic or
16 the Wolves of Vucjak or anyone else involved in these acts convicted and
17 punished in the municipal court of Prnjavor?
18 A. As far as I know, nobody was ever punished, and I don't even know
19 if proceedings were initiated in any of these cases either.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: That concludes that topic now.
21 Q. I want to ask you about some names that are mentioned in your
22 statement, and could you -- we'll begin with Dragan Djuric. Could you
23 tell us what political party he belonged to.
24 A. I think he was one of the founders of the SDS in Prnjavor.
25 Q. What position did he hold in the municipal government?
1 A. I don't think he was in the municipal government. He was in the
2 Republican Assembly as a deputy of the SDS. And I think his -- he
3 received his term of office the first multi-party elections, when they won
4 two mandates.
5 Q. Did you hear him make any statements with respect to Muslim people
6 in the municipality of Prnjavor?
7 A. The gentleman very often made unacceptable statements over the
8 radio, and when under the influence of alcohol, in the time itself -- in
9 the town itself, he would not mince his words. For example, when he was a
10 guest at the local radio station, he would always have nationalist songs
11 played from Serbia, to show his political affiliation.
12 Q. You said that he often made unacceptable statements. Can you tell
13 us what those statements were?
14 A. Well, at the beginning, they were a little more moderate, in the
15 sense of saying that a Serbian state would be formed and those who
16 accepted a state of that kind can stay. But later on this took on a
17 different form and shape. And since you mention it, sabotage and
18 diversions started, mistreatment started and persecution started. He
19 personally went to work organisation to see if the non-Serbs, the non-Serb
20 inhabitants of Prnjavor had been dismissed from their jobs. And whether
21 the contracts allotting him apartments had been rescinded and so on and so
23 Q. In your last statement you said: "Well, at the beginning they
24 were a little more moderate in the sense of saying that a Serbian state
25 would be formed and those who accepted a state of that kind can stay. But
1 later on this took a different form and shape. Can you tell us what type
2 of statements he makes -- he made later on.
3 A. Later on, especially when the events in Lisnja took place, he said
4 that all the Muslim population had to be disarmed and that they had to be
5 loyal; if they were not, then an attack on Lisnja for every Serb head that
6 fell, 100 balija heads would fall, meaning Muslim heads.
7 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that aspect of the
8 evidence, I think it would be important to clarify whether this is
9 something he heard himself or heard from others. To date,
10 Ms. Karagiannakis has been ensuring that the witness makes those
11 distinctions, and that last series of questions doesn't.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although it could have been asked to the
13 witness in cross-examination, I wouldn't mind if you would do it at this
14 moment, Ms. Karagiannakis.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
16 Q. The statement that you just told us about in relation to the
17 events in Lisnja, I'll read it to you: "He said that all the Muslim
18 population had to be disarmed and they had to be loyal. If they were not
19 an attack on Lisnja for every Serb head that fell, a hundred balija heads
20 would fall, meaning Muslim heads." Do you hear that personally?
21 A. I heard that and some other statements. I can tell you.
22 Q. What other statements did you hear personally?
23 A. Well, over a local radio broadcast, Mr. Djuric was a guest and he
24 was explaining the establishment of the SAO of Krajina, Bosnian Krajina,
25 and I called in to the broadcast, to the programme, and I said that a
1 district of that kind could not be formed because there were
2 municipalities and 24 of them should have come under that area. And that
3 they could not be formed in which -- in those municipalities where the
4 Bosniaks win the majority. And then he said that they wouldn't be asking
5 the people but that they would implement the decision to form the SAO of
6 Bosanska Krajina and things along those lines.
7 Q. You say in your statement that Nemanja Vasic was the president of
8 the municipality, and you also say that he's a member of the SDS. Did you
9 ever hear him -- did you ever personally hear him make any statements with
10 respect to non-Serb people in the municipality?
11 A. I heard from other people. That was actually in 1994 that he made
12 a statement that doesn't refer to this case. In the beginning he stated
13 that the Serbs had taken over power, that they would not use any forceful
14 methods to force non-Serbs out of the town. But since he, as president of
15 the municipality, tolerated all these events leading up to the persecuting
16 of non-Serbs, to drive them out of the area, it becomes quite clear that
17 these were just platitudes.
18 Q. Are you aware of any involvement that he had in the dismissal of
19 non-Serb people and non-loyal Serbs in the municipality?
20 A. I do not know whether he was a direct participant in that, but he
21 was the one representing the organs, the authorities, and the organs of
22 the Municipal Assembly did implement the dismissals of people and the
23 evictions from the apartments and he being president of the municipality
24 must have known about it all.
25 Q. What position did Radivoje Radivojevic hold in the municipality?
1 A. He was president of the Executive Board, meaning the prime
2 minister of the government of the town of Prnjavor.
3 Q. What political party did he belong to?
4 A. He belonged to the SDS.
5 Q. Did you ever hear him make any statements with respect to non-Serb
6 people in the Prnjavor municipality?
7 A. I did not hear his statements. He was more careful in that
8 respect. I know him well. I used to be his boss for four years. But in
9 his appearance he would wear unacceptable iconography, wearing a beard,
10 something that was associated to the conduct of the previous war
11 criminals, of the war criminals of the previous war.
12 Q. When you say unacceptable iconography, what do you mean?
13 A. I'm referring to the Second World War war criminal that was
14 sentenced to death, to be shot by a firing-squad, Draza Mihajlovic. He
15 wore this type of beard and very small glasses. So this man also wore
16 them, just like this war criminal, and he was actually quite successful in
17 doing so.
18 Q. Are you aware of any involvement that Mr. Radivojevic had with
19 respect to the dismissals of non-Serbs and non-loyal Serb people from
20 municipal positions?
21 A. All the decisions taken by the Municipal Assembly of Prnjavor
22 where the SDS had a majority had to be implemented by the Executive Board.
23 Mr. Radivojevic was president of the board and the organs headed by him,
24 that is the government of the municipality of Prnjavor, was the one to
25 implement all these decisions.
1 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Karagiannakis.
3 Ms. Loukas, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
4 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, I am, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Odobasic, you'll now be examined by
6 Ms. Loukas who is counsel for the Defence.
7 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
8 Q. Good afternoon Mr. --
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 MS. LOUKAS: I seem to be having problems with my headphones.
11 Yes. There appear to have been some gremlins in --
12 JUDGE ORIE: It seems if the output is reintroduced in the system
13 again, this is the kind of sound you get. Please proceed.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I just said this is what happens in the output from
16 the system is being put through a microphone in again, then that's the --
17 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The last words were more important, that you may
20 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. I wondered, of course, if it
21 was some sort of anti-Defence conspiracy.
22 Q. Now, good afternoon, Mr. Odobasic?
23 A. Good afternoon, Ms. Loukas.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Odobasic, I just want to confirm some matters with you.
25 Firstly, just on this question of mobilisation. Of course, the situation
1 was that the Bosniak Muslims didn't respond in the main because
2 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, said that
3 Bosniaks should not respond to mobilisation; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And of course, even in the face of that some Bosniak Muslims did
6 in fact respond to the mobilisation and did become part of the army;
8 A. Very few.
9 Q. But nevertheless, there were Bosniak Muslims who did respond to
10 the mobilisation; correct?
11 A. Absolutely so, just as there were Serbs in my army.
12 Q. Indeed. Now, the Bosniaks who did in fact -- Bosniak Muslims who
13 did in fact respond to the mobilisation, they, of course, were not
14 dismissed and didn't lose their apartments; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now, going on to another topic: It's true to say, is it not, that
17 the largest number of the people who were dismissed were those who refused
18 to respond to mobilisation; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And of course, there was a number of people of Serb ethnicity who
21 were dismissed for the same reason?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, just in relation to the police: The issue, of course, there
24 in relation to dismissal from the police that you refer to in your
25 statement, of course, was not, of course, their ethnicity but whether or
1 not they were willing to express their loyalty to the new government;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And I think, as you've already mentioned, there were Muslims,
5 Bosniak Muslims, who were part of the Army of Republika Srpska.
6 A. I've already said that.
7 Q. Yes, indeed. Now, moving on to some matters contained in your
8 statement. I just want to go to paragraph 10 of your statement. Do you
9 still have your statement in front of you? Now, in paragraph 10, you
10 refer to a priest who held very extreme views. He encouraged people to
11 vote SDS. What do you mean by "extreme views"?
12 A. I know the gentleman from my earlier employment. In the very
13 beginning, even before the multi-party system, he was a man holding very
14 extremist positions, in favour of Serbia. At the rallies that he
15 organised, I think this rally was always on the 30th of July, in Potocani.
16 This was before the start of the war. And there were people wearing
17 nationalist Serbian iconography, unacceptable for Bosnia and Hercegovina,
18 would appear. Therefore, people wearing insignia and clothes that were
19 quite unacceptable. And he was known for organising such religious
20 rallies that were then used to promote some political ideas.
21 Q. Now, in relation to -- moving on to another topic - paragraph 17,
22 you indicate there that after the elections, and I think you made some
23 corrections there, before, during, and after the war in Croatia, the SDS
24 replaced all general managers and directors who were not Serbs. Now, just
25 in relation to that, of course, you're aware that, according to the party
1 agreement amongst the parties in power in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the
2 elections, the SDS, SDA, and HDZ, the highest functions went to the party
3 that had the majority in that municipality; correct?
4 A. I don't think you're right. You have to specify the functions
5 that you have in mind.
6 Q. Well, firstly, are you aware of that party agreement, the parties
7 in power in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the election?
8 A. No. No, I'm not aware of this agreement at all.
9 Q. Okay. Are you aware of municipalities where the SDA were in
10 power, had the majority, in fact replacing people with people from their
12 A. Madam, we are talking about general managers here, not about
13 municipality functionaries. And I'm not aware of this, because the SDA
14 was of such minor presence in my town that it could not really raise its
15 voice at all. I don't know for the other towns. There were no directors,
16 general managers, in the municipal organs, and I believe your question
17 referred to the municipal functionaries, whereas I'm talking about
18 managers, people managing companies. And this agreement, even if it did
19 exist, as you claim, did not refer to managers of businesses, of
20 companies, but rather to the officials, functionaries in the municipality.
21 It is an absurdity that, for instance, the manager of a utility company
22 had to be removed.
23 Q. In any event, you don't know about the party agreement that I'm
24 dealing with; correct?
25 A. No. I belong to a different option and I have no idea about the
1 meetings and the agreements between these three parties.
2 Q. So we'll move on to another topic. Paragraph 26, where you deal
3 with the question of mobilisation, and the Bosniaks not answering
4 mobilisation call, are you aware of Bosnian Muslims or Bosniak Muslims
5 going to Croatia to fight on the side of the Croatians?
6 A. I am not aware of any Bosniaks from my town who left to Croatia to
7 fight on the Croatian side.
8 Q. Now, moving on to another topic. You refer in paragraph 29 to the
9 question of the referendum, and you make the comment there that SDS
10 leaders threatened to take by force the voters lists. Now, is this
11 something that you witnessed yourself or something that you heard about
12 from another or others?
13 A. I was told this by Mr. Muharem Halilovic, who was also a member of
14 the electoral board. In fact, the same was done in the village of
15 Drenova, when they had taken the ballot papers there. This by itself
16 indicates that the same thing could have been done in other places as
18 Q. Now, you were told about this, you've indicated, by Muharem
19 Halilovic. Now, this reference to SDS leaders, did this gentleman refer
20 to any particular names?
21 A. It was 12 years ago. I wouldn't be able to remember any names. I
22 don't know who his -- what his sources were, but he was a very
23 well-informed man, because he did hold various decisions in the
24 municipality, even the high-place positions. I think he used to be
25 president of the municipality. He was a very well-informed man.
1 Q. Now, I think you've -- just in relation to, I think, paragraph 39,
2 you've fairly indicated there that, in relation to the Sloga factory, you
3 were never able to see that camp personally; correct?
4 A. No. I clearly said that before the war, these premises where the
5 camp was formed were premises that I was able to see very often, because I
6 was the deputy manager of the Sloga factory. This particular industrial
7 plant was dislocated from the rest, because all the rest were in one place
8 and this one was dislocated. So it was quite appropriate for this. Of
9 course, I knew what the premises were like from before, because for the
10 period during which the people were kept there, nobody was allowed to
12 Q. Yes, but of course my question was: Looking at your paragraph
13 389, you've indicated there that in relation to the Sloga factory you were
14 never able to see that camp personally. I'm not talking about anything
15 that -- I'm not asking but anything prior to the period in history that
16 we're dealing with. I'm just confirming that you've fairly indicated
17 there that you did not see that camp personally. That's all. That's a
18 correct statement, is it not?
19 A. No. I did not see the camp from the inside, but the camp was in
20 the centre of the town, in one of the main streets. You could not pass by
21 the centre of the town without seeing the camp being secured by the police
22 officers. It's maybe some 20 to 30 metres away from the -- one of the
23 main streets in the town. So I did pass by the camp, although I did not
24 see it from the inside.
25 Q. Okay. So you saw the outside of the building; correct?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, similarly, in relation to what's contained in paragraph 40,
3 at Vijaka, which was called the old mill, that, of course, was something
4 you heard about from one of your friends; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Now, going back to paragraph 9 in your statement. You
7 indicate there that prior to the elections the Serbs had organised a
8 paramilitary unit called Vukovi sa Vucjak, Wolves from Vucjak. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When you say before the elections, I take it of course you're
11 referring to the elections of November 1990?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you've indicated there that -- towards the end of the
14 paragraph, that the Wolves used to wear uniforms in the villages, but they
15 didn't turn up in town in uniform. This is the second-last sentence of
16 the paragraph. And in the very last sentence you indicate: "During the
17 elections, they had the task to appear at different voting stations to
18 intimidate people by their presence into voting for the SDS."
19 That's what you've asserted there in your last paragraph of
20 paragraph -- in your last sentence - sorry - of paragraph 9; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, did you actually see this?
23 A. I myself did not, but, as a member of the electoral board of the
24 SDP, I had access to the premises of the town electoral commission and I
25 was able to see several complaints lodged concerning the conduct of these
1 people, their coming to the polling station, threatening people of other
2 political options. I think there were several dozen such complaints, and
3 members of my party did take part in examining these complaints.
4 Therefore, I was very well informed about their behaviour at the polling
6 Q. And you've referred there to uniforms. Did you see the uniforms?
7 A. It was very difficult to make a distinction between who belonged
8 to whom, and what these uniforms were. However, the town being in the
9 proximity of the Croatian battlefield, there were many uniformed people
10 walking around, and it was difficult for me to say who belonged to which
11 formations that came to town. But I myself, several days ahead of the
12 elections, when we were trying to hold a meeting in the village of Kremna,
13 I saw the Wolves, who were preventing the meeting from being held, wearing
14 these uniforms.
15 Q. So you personally saw the Wolves in late 1990; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. It was the village of Kremna, right in front of the
17 community centre.
18 Q. And you're certain of that?
19 A. There were several hundreds of us, supporters of the SDP. All of
20 us have seen this. There was a near physical conflict between one of the
21 Wolves and two other men, Segic and Bijelic, from our crowd. There was a
22 row and then Segic took our banner, our flag, and led us all to different
23 premises, the premises of a school there, to hold our meeting there.
24 Q. And you're as certain of this as you are of the other matters
25 you've given in evidence in relation to the SDS?
1 A. I'm not sure what you're referring to. What do you mean, in
2 relation to the SDS? I came here to tell the truth and to tell what I
4 Q. You're certain about the evidence you've given in relation to the
5 Wolves, just as certain as you are in relation to all the evidence that
6 you've given in relation to today and in your statement; correct?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Odobasic, the Wolves were not formed until 1991. What do
9 you say to that?
10 A. I don't know whether there's a formal date of their establishment,
11 and I have nothing to say about it. We were by the commander of the
12 Wolves and other members of the Wolves driven away from our venue of our
13 meeting, that was in 1989, just before the multi-party elections. I
14 personally recall that in 1989, a person by the name of Slavko Segic, at
15 one of our SDP meetings, claimed to have seen in the vicinity of this
16 community centre of theirs, they held every day drills, practicing
17 shooting from rifles, from RVD's, hand-held rocket launchers, and other
18 weapons that other formations couldn't have. And I saw on that very spot,
19 subsequently, some empty cartridges there. And this can be confirmed by
20 some other members of the hunting club who were there with me. Whether
21 they have a formal date of establishment, I don't know, but they did
22 appear in 1989 and introduced themselves as the Wolves.
23 Q. Now, moving on to another topic, Mr. Odobasic. Are you aware of
24 the newspaper Glas?
25 A. Glas was a newspaper that was -- used to be published in Banja
1 Luka before the war.
2 Q. And were you aware of an article on the 27th of January, 1992, in
3 the Glas Daily, in relation to a lorry belonging to "10 July" arriving
4 with weapons for Muslims that were distributed in Prnjavor? Are you aware
5 of that article?
6 A. It was a local paper that I had never read. As far as the weapons
7 in Prnjavor are concerned, I never heard of a single inhabitant of
8 Prnjavor as having received weapons, nor did anybody distribute weapons.
9 At last, then, in 1992, one company that dealt with this was headed by a
10 Serb, and I have never heard of a single barrel as having been distributed
11 to a Bosniak. And I cannot believe such a possibility at all, that a
12 lorry full of weapons would be able to come to the centre of Prnjavor and
13 distribute weapons to the Muslims. That is quite an inconceivable thing.
14 Q. So you were not aware of arming of Bosniak Muslims in the villages
15 of Konjuvici [phoen] and Lisnja?
16 A. The village of Konjuvici does not exist. And as far as the
17 armaments are concerned, I have no idea about that, because I'm a man who
18 has always hated weapons, even when I arrived in the liberated, free
19 territory, I did -- I performed a job that was not related to weapons in
20 any way. I repeat: I was a member of a party that could not know what
21 was going on at the time. We were social Democrats who were actually
22 marginalised. We did not take part in the government, and I was not even
23 able to be informed or know anything about such goings-on, if there were
25 Q. Now, Mr. Odobasic, on another topic: Were you aware prior to the
1 war of departures of Muslim -- of members of the Bosniak Muslim population
2 leaving Prnjavor on their own initiative because they wanted to avoid the
4 A. You said before the war? Please, could you be more precise.
5 Q. At any time prior to the war. At any time prior to April 1992.
6 A. Yeah. The Bosniaks were receiving mobilisation call-ups in 1991,
7 and probably some of them did leave. And it was possible to leave the
8 town without taking part in the convoys. But probably some of them fled,
9 having presaged that something was going to happen. Now, as for the
10 earlier period, it was a town that nobody ever left for any reason other
11 than the economic one, because in this general area, there were 11
12 different ethnicities living together.
13 Q. And are you aware of a number of people in your municipality of
14 Croat background leaving to avoid the mobilisation?
15 A. There were very few numbers of Croats in the town itself, and I'm
16 not aware of anyone having left the town. Now, whether anybody left the
17 villages, I wouldn't call Croat villages, but rather Catholic villages,
18 that is something I know nothing of. In any case, all of these villages
19 were outside the town perimeter.
20 Q. Are you aware of some Croatians, Bosniaks of Croatian background,
21 in your municipality exchanging immovable property with Serbs expelled
22 from Croatia and going there?
23 A. It is quite likely that something like that happened during the
24 war in Croatia. I'm referring to 1991, when the Serbian authorities
25 expelled a man by the name of Blazevic. He used to be up to then the
1 chief of the TO staff. He might have left and exchanged property with
2 someone in Croatia. But that was his private matter and I never saw the
3 man again.
4 Q. And are you aware of the White Eagles apologising for their
5 dishonourable behaviour to citizens of both non-Serb and Serb background?
6 A. Could you explain what you mean? Do you mean about my beating
7 up -- my having been beaten up? I don't think they apologised.
8 Q. That wasn't my question. My question is: Are you aware of the
9 White Eagles being forced to apologise for their dishonourable behaviour
10 to citizens in your municipality of both non-Serb and Serb background?
11 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether the witness noticed, but your
12 second question was a different one from the first. The first one was
13 about apologies and the second question was about being forced to
15 MS. LOUKAS: I see, Your Honour. Perhaps in my haste to ensure
16 that we finish by 1.45 so that the witness doesn't have to spend the
17 weekend in The Hague, perhaps I neglected to use the word force in the
18 first question. But the second question contains the major elements.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So the question to you now is whether you know
20 anything about White Eagles being forced to apologise for dishonourable
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I know is that after the attack
23 on our houses and our people, after the looting they had conducted that
24 night, the next day they came, led by a commander of theirs, and returned
25 part of the loot. And among that loot was my father's hunting rifle that
1 was broken, and they had seized it the previous night.
2 MS. LOUKAS:
3 Q. Now, were you aware of measures being taken to seize illegal
4 weapons in Prnjavor and that these measures being taken irrespective of
5 the nationality of the person possessing the weapon?
6 A. Madam, that's a farce. It's farcical to say that. They took away
7 weapons that had been legally registered. One day, yes, they did take
8 them away from the Serbs and Bosniaks, but the Serbs were returned their
9 weapons the very next day. And I'm a victim of this kind of conduct on
10 the part of the local police myself.
11 Q. Now, Witness, you understand that my function is to ask you
12 questions, and that's part of my duty to the Court. You understand that,
13 do you not?
14 A. Absolutely, I understand absolutely.
15 Q. And you realise, of course, that neither you nor I will decide
16 this case; that's up to the Judges?
17 A. Absolutely, and that's the only way to go about it.
18 Q. Indeed. And of course, the Judges must hear the answers to your
19 question from both the Prosecution and the Defence?
20 A. And that's what we're doing, precisely.
21 Q. So, Mr. Odobasic, I would prefer that you answered the questions
22 that I must ask you without comments such as "farcical." Do you
23 understand that, Mr. Odobasic?
24 A. Yes, I do, but I must be able to understand each of your
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just intervene for one second. The question
2 was about measures being taken to seize illegal weapons in Prnjavor. Your
3 answer was that legally obtained and registered weapons were taken and
4 that -- then you gave a lot of comments. The question was about illegal
5 weapons and measures taken against them. So perhaps you -- if you would
6 have focused on that question, well, you could have said you knew about it
7 or you did not know about it. Could you answer that question, whether you
8 know anything about measures being taken to seize illegal weapons in
10 A. The only thing I know is the case of Lisnja, whereas in Prnjavor,
11 I don't know of a single case; at least, I don't know about it, where
12 illegal weapons were seized.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If Ms. Loukas would like to further explore
14 that, then she'll have an opportunity to do that.
15 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE:
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Ms. Loukas.
18 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Thank you.
19 Q. Just in relation to the questions of illegal weapons, are you
20 aware of proceedings being brought by the police in relation to illegal
21 weapons against both people of non-Serb background and Serb background?
22 Are you aware of proceedings of that nature?
23 A. I don't know anything about that.
24 Q. And during this period where you spoke of public lawlessness and
25 buildings being blown up and what have you, there were, of course,
1 buildings belonging to people of a Serb background that were affected as
2 well, were there not?
3 A. I just know of one case.
4 Q. And in relation to permits for movement, are you aware of permits
5 for movement being issued for citizens' safety that were issued for all
6 people, regardless of whether they were Serb or non-Serb?
7 A. I never heard anything about any permits for movement, at least
8 not in my own town.
9 MS. LOUKAS: No further questions, Your Honour. And I think we've
10 come in within the time.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any need, Ms. Karagiannakis, to put
12 further questions to the witness?
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Odobasic, I would have two questions for you.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE ORIE: The first one: You were asked by Ms. Karagiannakis
17 about the -- about your knowledge of military returning from Croatia with
18 their loot. You answered that you saw it yourself. Could you please
19 clarify for me: If someone uses a car or furniture, how you can see that
20 it's looted rather than obtained in any way other?
21 A. Right close to my house there was a close relative of the Wolves'
22 commanders living there and in one day the man brought in 14 carloads with
23 licence plates which testified to the fact that they were cars from
24 Derventa, for example, Modrica, and Odzak, and similar licence plates from
25 Croatia. So for the most part, this happened a day or two after the Serb
1 forces entered those areas. Furthermore, these goods were publicly sold
2 on the streets, and also they were still packaged in the original
3 packaging, products of well-known Bosnian and Croatian firms. And we live
4 in a small town and we know who owns what.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My second question would be about illegal
6 weapons in Lisnja. What do you know about it? You started saying that
7 you knew about illegal weapons there. Could you tell us briefly what it
8 was about?
9 A. I didn't say there were unregistered weapons there, but the
10 rumours going round town were that certain individuals did have weapons.
11 I didn't confirm that. I don't know how this came about.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Those rumours were about what kind and what quantity
13 of weapons?
14 A. In the town itself, since Lisnja is 12 kilometres away, people
15 said that individuals in Lisnja from purchasing weapons, allegedly to
16 defend themselves with. And those stories were going round town at the
17 time. Now, what the quantity of these weapons were and what types of
18 weapons, nobody knew. As I say, this is 12 kilometres away on the road to
19 Banja Luka. We couldn't see it from the town ourselves, nor did we know
20 what was actually going on.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know whether they were ever formally seized at
22 a later stage or ...
23 A. I have to say -- I have to tell you what the rumours were in the
24 town of Prnjavor afterwards. What was said was that a member of the JNA
25 had sold the weapons to individuals in Lisnja and that then they went to
1 those houses and looked for those same weapons, the weapons that were sold
2 to these people. Those were the rumours going round Prnjavor. I can't
3 confirm them. But allegedly the members of the JNA sold the weapons and
4 they knew who to go to look for the weapons.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then a final question on the -- I would
6 say the legal papers on your not responding to the mobilisation call. I
7 do see from these papers that you had a defence, not having received the
8 mobilisation papers in time. But even when you received them, that you
9 did not respond to them also. Was there any discussion about whether this
10 mobilisation call, apart from whether you liked the purposes of it at that
11 time, about the legality of that mobilisation call?
12 A. That is a legal question.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just stop you. Let me -- my question was
14 whether there was any discussion about it. I'm -- perhaps I would ask you
15 what this discussion was about, but you could also understand the question
16 whether you ever raised the legality or constitutionality or -- of this
17 call. Because I do not see this reflected in the papers, and I'd like to
18 now know whether it was raised; yes or no.
19 A. No, I didn't raise that discussion. But before the court, in a
20 discussion, it was --
21 JUDGE ORIE: It seems there is a problem with the ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is somebody saying something about a
23 guitar, apparently. As I was saying, during the court proceedings, I
24 talked about the legality or illegality of the call-up, and I think that
25 you can find a legal document in which this can be seen. But I didn't
1 discuss the legitimacy of the call-up anywhere else.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. From what I saw, at least in the first
3 decision, it does not appear as one of the defences you have put to that
5 Then I have another question. I saw in the statement of the
6 reasons -- let me just find it. Yes. The statement of reasons given by
7 the municipal misdemeanours court of Prnjavor municipality, at the very
8 end, it says that you -- I'm afraid I took the wrong document. In a
9 document which is a statement, in which a decision is given on your appeal
10 on the ruling, which is a statement by Misdemeanours Judge Zdravko Bunic,
11 at the end, in the legal remedy, it says: "An appeal may be lodged
12 against this Ruling with --" and initially, but still readable -- "the
13 Republican Misdemeanours Court," which is corrected in the "Misdemeanour
14 Chamber in Banja Luka." I understood that you are a lawyer. Could you
15 explain what is the difference between the republican misdemeanour court
16 and what is the misdemeanour chamber in Banja Luka and whether this change
17 in this language was just a practicality or whether it has a further
19 A. It has a very vital meaning. In the legal proceedings, first of
20 all, I had the right to appeal in the first instance. And then the
21 first-instance ruling was put ad acta [phoen] and a regular proceedings
22 moved. And when the final ruling was brought about, according to the
23 provisions, I had the right to appeal to the misdemeanours court in
24 Sarajevo. So they were the positive legal provisions. Of course, you'll
25 see that this is -- we're dealing with October 1982 [as interpreted] when
1 the Serbian authorities were setting up paramilitary institutions and it
2 was precisely this court in Banja Luka which was the parallel institution.
3 Because, had we wanted to, we couldn't have contacted Sarajevo in any
4 way whatsoever.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I understand that so, therefore, where,
6 under normal circumstances, you would have had an appeal on the republican
7 misdemeanours court, that now your appeal was to be heard by the
8 misdemeanour chamber in Banja Luka?
9 A. Yes, that's precisely right, just as you put it.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much for these answers. Do the
11 questions by the Bench raise any further need for questions to the
13 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honours questions do not raise any issues
14 for the Defence.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I've just got one question, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Karagiannakis has one more question for
18 Further examination by Ms. Karagiannakis:
19 Q. It's just a confirmation on what's contained in the legal papers.
20 For failure to answer the mobilisation call, I understand the legal
21 remedies in this paper are fine and imprisonment; right?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Legal remedies or -- because legal remedies are
23 usually understood to be the possibility to appeal or asking for review.
24 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes.
25 Q. I should say the legal sanctions that flowed from your failure to
1 answer the mobilisation call were first a fine and then a term of
2 imprisonment; right?
3 A. A fine was turned into a prison term, in view of the fact that I
4 hadn't paid the fine.
5 Q. And it was not part of the legal remedy in your case that you
6 would be, for example, dismissed from private employment and have the
7 associated loss of an apartment?
8 A. Absolutely. For failure to respond to the mobilisation, everybody
9 could have been fined, in money terms, and in some drastic cases, a term
10 in prison. But the accompanying punishment of dismissing somebody from
11 their employment and a loss of apartment would have been nonsense, outside
12 any legal system and an expression of the anarchy that set in.
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Thank you, Mr. Odobasic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just trying to understand exactly the -- yes.
15 Yes. Did I understand your answer well, and I hope I did understand the
16 question as well, that the legal remedy would not cover any of the, I
17 would say, side effects of not responding to the mobilisation call, such
18 as losing employment, et cetera? Is that the gist of the question, and
19 did I understand your answer well?
20 A. I don't think I understood it properly, maybe. But as an
21 accompanying consequence of the failure to respond to the call-up was
22 dismissal from jobs, the taking away of apartments, and similar acts.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that was not subject to any legal remedy
24 you could file against this judgement? I mean, the judgement was apart
25 from the other consequences; is that a correct understanding?
1 A. Absolutely apart.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I hope, Ms. Karagiannakis, that that's -- that
3 we now all understood your question and that we, of course, understand the
4 answer of the witness. Yes.
5 Then, Mr. Odobasic, this concludes your testimony in this court.
6 We'd like to thank you very much for having come to The Hague, to have
7 answered all the questions by the parties and by the Bench. As you know,
8 we have not only the information contained in your testimony of today, but
9 it's also your statement is in evidence, so it's not limited specifically
10 to what you said today. I just want you to know that. I wish you a safe
11 trip home again.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should like to thank you for those
13 kind words, and I should like to hope that in your mission for the truth,
14 you persevere and that you bring justice to bear for one and all. Thank
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Odobasic out
17 of the courtroom.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any further procedural issues? I noticed
20 that it's already close to 2.00, and I again have to apologise to the
21 interpreters. But as you are aware, the Chamber would really try to avoid
22 a witness to stay over the weekend just for ten or fifteen remaining
23 minutes. But we are aware that it's only with your assistance and with
24 your flexibility, that we can do it. This is a warning to the parties not
25 to take much more time on exhibits. I would say for this witness we could
1 do them, but not for Mr. Radic, who -- these exhibits are still pending.
2 Ms. Karagiannakis, you would like to tender the exhibits, I take
4 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher -- Mr. Registrar, could you please call
6 them briefly so that we know what exhibits we are talking about and that
7 we hear any objections, if necessary.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I understand that we're talking about
9 Exhibit P366.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's the -- yes. We are talking about -- no.
11 There might be some misunderstanding. I'd like you to read on from 363,
12 because they have got a number but they are not admitted in evidence. So
13 what I see we have, P363, which is a document with, as it says, a --
14 stemming from the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry
15 of the Interior. It's dated 23rd of September, 1991.
16 We have P364, which is a report from the Security Services Centre
17 Banja Luka, dated the 20th of September, 1991.
18 We have a clip from the -- I think it was the -- yes, it's Glas
19 newspaper, of the 21st -- it's the newspaper of the 21st of April, 1992,
20 with an article called "notice for a quarter," dating the 20th of April.
21 And then we have 366, which is a bundle of documents concerning court
22 proceedings against Mr. Odobasic in relation to his failure to respond to
23 a mobilisation call.
24 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Your Honour, there is the matter of the
25 statement -- which is marked P362 and P362.1. I understand my friend had
1 an objection to the last paragraph. I agree to it being struck in light
2 of the witness as evidence here today. So that should also be
3 proffered -- we also offer that as an exhibit.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Would that solve the problem, then?
5 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed it does, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then the Chamber would like to receive, at least for
7 the Registry, one copy where the last paragraph is taken out. Any
9 MS. LOUKAS: To any of the exhibits that have been proffered by
10 the Prosecution? No, Your Honour. I indicated prior to the testimony at
11 the beginning that I objected to 62. That matter -- paragraph 62. That's
12 been settled, and I think perhaps the interpreters might like to go home.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Unfortunately we have to take a decision. The
14 P Exhibits 362 up to and including 366 are admitted in evidence.
15 Then we'll deal with whatever procedural issues next week and not
16 at this moment. We'll adjourn until next Monday, but I think it's in the
17 morning hours. The parties are -- 9.00. It's in the morning, it's at
18 9.00. Courtroom II? Well, the parties should verify whether the
19 indication of the courtroom is correct or not. I wish you all a good
20 weekend. We adjourn.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.04
22 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday, the 1st day of
23 November 2004, at 9.00 a.m.