1 Tuesday, 29 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone after this long Easter
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Mr. Harmon, is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness,
12 which, as I understand, is Ramiz Alajbegovic?
13 MR. HARMON: We are, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
15 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Your Honour, prior to that occurring, there are
16 a number of matters that I would wish to deal with. Firstly, I have a
17 number of objections to the statements that are proposed to be tendered
18 under 89(f).
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MS. LOUKAS: I e-mailed my objections to the Prosecution last
21 night, and I also forwarded a copy to the Trial Chamber so that Your
22 Honours would be aware of it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I have not received it this morning, but those who
24 usually assist me in the early morning hours were late, I take it for
25 technical reasons, so --
1 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I can outline what those
2 objections are now.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Firstly, Your Honour, if you go -- do Your Honours
5 have copies of the statement in front of you?
6 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't got it for the same reason, not with me at
7 the moment, but my colleagues have. So if there would be one additional
9 Yes. I've got them, Ms. Loukas.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. Just in relation to the first page
11 of the statement, which is page 2.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honours, I object to --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you are talking about the ICTY
15 statement or --
16 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour, yes, the statement dated
17 January 1999.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Page 2.
19 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honours. And that would be
20 paragraphs -- yes, 6 to 10. Your Honours, the basis of the objection
21 there is that it basically seems to talk about Serb nationalism and what
22 have you in 1991. I object there on the basis that, Your Honour, in the
23 context, I would submit it's irrelevant and also non-contextual. It just
24 goes to Serb nationalism without referring to the context and the rise of
25 nationalism amongst all parties at that time.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, this is very relevant to what the Court
3 will be considering. The Court has heard through a number of -- through
4 the course of this trial testimony relating to the development of
5 nationalism in various municipalities. This evidence is specifically
6 relevant to the developments of what occurred in the Rogatica
7 municipality, and I intend specifically to ask Mr. Alajbegovic about these
8 two meetings and what the impact and significance of these two meetings
9 were insofar as the political developments in the Rogatica municipality.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, it's not entirely clear to me, do
11 you say it's not relevant if it's not put next to other nationalist
12 movements or --
13 MS. LOUKAS: Precisely, Your Honour. It's non-contextualism in
14 essence makes it irrelevant because it becomes merely tendentious.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But would you consider other nationalistic movements
16 relevant? I mean, would this be something the --
17 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, if we're going to mention Serb
18 nationalism, then of course other nationalisms become relevant. But if
19 we're only going to mention Serb nationalism in the context where -- in a
20 country where three nationalist parties developed and there was
21 nationalism developing among the three different groups, then in that
22 sense it's non-contextual and it's only relevant if it's placed in
23 context. If it's not placed in context, in my view, Your Honour, and in
24 my submission, it's not relevant.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your observation suggests that there was other
1 nationalist -- nationalism developing as well.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I do not know. I mean, let's just assume for
4 argument's sake that the Prosecution takes it that there was only one
5 national movement. That could not even create the context you're asking
6 for, whereas the Defence, if it takes the position that there was other
7 nationalist -- there were other nationalistic developments as well, then
8 of course it could create a context and --
9 MS. LOUKAS: I think it's also a problem with the way statements
10 are taken. For example, the statements are often taken in quite a sloppy
11 way, and prior to the introduction of 92 bis and prior to the introduction
12 of the usage of 89(f) in this context, so they're actually taken in a
13 context whereby it was always assumed that people would give their
14 evidence viva voce in a proper form, not subject to leading questions, and
15 objectionable material could be objected to when it was taken through in
16 terms of proper evidence in chief.
17 I have other objections to the statement that I can take you
18 through, Your Honour, but this is the beginning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now I have heard. Unless there would be any
20 further comment of Mr. Harmon.
21 MR. HARMON: No comment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Your next objection would be, Ms. Loukas.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Now, the next objection, we
24 go to page 3, and that is the first full paragraph there after the list of
25 names, that is paragraph 12, and we look at the last sentence there. Yes.
1 "In my opinion, there was no threat to them whatsoever, and this was
2 mainly an attempt to brainwash them and to encourage Serb nationalism."
3 Now, Your Honour, I object to that on the basis of -- that it is
4 opinion-based evidence, and it's not delineated there on what factual
5 basis the opinion is based. So as an expression of mere opinion, I
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Again, Your Honour, this is a witness who was the
9 chief of the Uniform Police. He was a man who was a person significantly
10 associated with the organs of the administration that existed in the
11 Rogatica municipality at the time. I intend specifically to ask him about
12 these people. I intend to specifically ask him about threats that he
13 perceived during the course of the rise of the Serbian takeover of that
14 municipality, and I do believe, Your Honour, that opinion would assist
15 this Trial Chamber in judging the facts in this particular case.
16 So therefore, I think an opinion, Your Honour, I will explore it
17 with him, and I think it is a proper opinion to elicit given his knowledge
18 of the facts and circumstances that existed in the Rogatica municipality.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What you say as a matter of fact is that you're going
20 to elicit the factual base for what is described here as an opinion.
21 MR. HARMON: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, whether there was any threat or
23 not is not necessarily an opinion, but the second half of the line, of
24 course, is an interpretation of why it was done. Mr. Harmon, would you
25 have any problem in striking this from the statement and see what the
1 witness could tell us in terms of the last part of paragraph 12?
2 MR. HARMON: I have no objection to striking that, Your Honour.
3 He's going to be describing the nationalistic context of these meetings
4 before --
5 JUDGE ORIE: I take it we'll hear his evidence on that.
6 MR. HARMON: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, so therefore the Prosecution does not
8 oppose taking out the line starting with, "In my opinion..." up to "Serb
9 nationalism" at the end of paragraph 12.
10 Your next objection, Ms. Loukas.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. The next objection is
12 again on page 3. That is the seventh paragraph on page 3, which is
13 paragraph 18, which begins --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry, Your Honour. The next objection is on page 3,
17 and it is paragraph 18 on page 3, which begins, "It is of note..."
18 Now, that sentence reads: "It is of note that the elementary
19 school visited by Radovan Karadzic was later used as a detention facility
20 for Muslims that lived in the following areas," and it lists some --
21 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you would like to know why the
22 witness thinks this is of note?
23 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. If it's merely a question of
24 somebody visiting a school at some earlier point, it's hardly of any
25 evidential value whatsoever.
1 MR. HARMON: I can ask him the basis for his conclusion, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's do that then. So that's about -- that
4 the basis of the knowledge of the witness for the observations he makes in
5 paragraph 18.
6 Your next objection, Ms. Loukas.
7 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Just in relation to
8 the last sentence in that same paragraph, "It had also transpired that the
9 other visitor, Rajko Kusic, had overall command over this detention
10 facility when it was used as such." Again, it's a bold statement without
11 any supporting basis in terms of basis of knowledge.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, any problem in --
13 MR. HARMON: Same response, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So this will specifically be dealt with in the
15 examination of the witness.
16 Ms. Loukas.
17 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honours. Now, in page 4 --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, if you put on your headphones then you
19 immediately note that you're not using your microphone.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Now, if we go to page 4, the seventh paragraph.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that it's 25 and starting with, "It was
24 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And you wonder why it was obvious.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, same answer?
3 MR. HARMON: Same answer.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll deal with that.
5 MS. LOUKAS: Again, Your Honours, this just is an indication of
6 how sloppy these statements are.
7 Now, if we move on, then, to paragraph 26. Again, it's the --
8 JUDGE ORIE: You wonder why he was aware of Kusic. Is that -- he
9 says, "I'm aware."
10 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Same answer, Mr. Harmon?
12 MR. HARMON: Same answer, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Proceed, Ms. Loukas.
14 MS. LOUKAS: And then we go to paragraph 29. Again, personal
15 view. "My personal view is that this was an early test to see how the
16 Muslims would react." Again, on the basis of opinion.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: I intend to ask him specifically about that
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then hear his evidence on that specific
21 part of -- what we find in the statement. Ms. Loukas, next.
22 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Now we go to page 7, and
23 that is the very last paragraph.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MS. LOUKAS: "My experiences during this time have convinced me
1 that everything the Serbs have carried out --"
2 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you wonder why these experiences
3 were that he could base his conviction upon.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. I mean, as an expression of
5 opinion, it is wholly objectable -- objectionable on the basis on which it
6 is expressed there in the statement.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Same response, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll then hear the evidence of what the
10 experience was, and the Chamber will then see whether it could adopt any
11 conclusions similar as the witness seems to have drawn.
12 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour. I would ask that that
13 particular paragraph actually be excised.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, let's first hear the evidence. As you
15 know, certainly there's this matter which should be dealt with in
16 examination-in-chief, and I do understand that Mr. Harmon is going to do
18 MS. LOUKAS: Well, I understand that, Your Honour. Now, just
19 going to the second last paragraph on the same page.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. LOUKAS: Again, another indication of how sloppily put
22 together these statements are. That paragraph speaks about various
23 matters in a generalised form without indicating a basis for knowledge,
24 whether it be hearsay, whether it be firsthand hearsay, whether it be
25 secondhand hearsay, what have you. And again I'm sure Mr. Harmon will
1 give the same answer, which is that, you know, these matters will be
2 elicited in evidence in chief, but as a basis for using statements under
3 89(F) without proper evidence in chief, I do make my generalised objection
4 to using statements that aren't formulated in a proper manner.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If I look at your observations, Ms. Loukas, it
6 seems that you say you do not know what the basis is. You mention a few
7 possibilities, not one of them being direct observation by the witness
8 himself, which of course if that would be the case, then --
9 MS. LOUKAS: It should be stated in the statement.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if I say the car came to my house, of course
11 you'd say -- then you should say, "I saw the car coming to my house," or
12 "I heard from some other people that the car came to my house." It
13 should be clear.
14 I take it that, Mr. Harmon, that the examination-in-chief could
15 give further explanation of this part.
16 MR. HARMON: It can, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then expect, before we decide on the
18 admission, then first hear the evidence of the witness.
19 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. LOUKAS: I would make one further point and that is --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
23 MS. LOUKAS: -- it's all very well that these matters will be
24 explored in evidence chief but it's a shame the Defence hears about the
25 exploration for the first time in evidence in chief and nevertheless the
1 statements are put in under 89(F), because one might say, well, we're
2 dealing with the crime base, but, Your Honour, this is significant in
3 terms of ensuring that evidence is taken in a proper form so that
4 linkages, potential linkages can be looked at in a proper form as well.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, if we would have a traditional viva
6 voce testimony, would it be any different? You would have the statement,
7 you would for the first time hear any further or even perhaps the witness
8 might have answered questions only in cross-examination. Isn't that the
9 usual course?
10 MS. LOUKAS: The usual course is to ensure that statements are
11 taken properly in the first place, Your Honour, and not full of
12 generalised statements of the nature -- and objectionable material, as do
13 the nature of these statements. Particularly when we're dealing with
14 gradations of knowledge in terms of firsthand knowledge, firsthand
15 hearsay, secondhand hearsay. When that sort of aspect is not delineated.
16 And when one looks, for example, at the Bosnian statement, that -- the
17 basis of knowledge at various points in that statement is not delineated,
18 and at various points what time the witness is talking about is not
19 delineated. Neither of the statements are particularly impressive in that
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that you would rather -- of
22 course, the Bosnian statement is taken beyond the responsibility of the --
23 MS. LOUKAS: Oh, indeed, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But in general terms I would agree that the lesser
25 questions are open after reading this statement, the better it would be if
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we used the 89(f) and 92 bis procedures.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas.
4 MS. LOUKAS: I've dealt with my objections in relation to this
5 material. The only other point I would make, and this is in terms of
6 making the Trial Chamber aware of how we'll be proceeding this week, I
7 will be dealing with all four witnesses this week, and I can indicate in
8 relation to that, Your Honours, that in terms of dealing with the
9 balancing of the priorities within a very small Defence team, Your Honours
10 will be aware that Mr. Stewart dealt with the three witnesses last week.
11 I'm dealing with the four witness this week. While Mr. Stewart was
12 dealing with the three witnesses last week, I was dealing with other
13 matters relating to the case in terms of experts.
14 The witness folders were not given to me until Wednesday evening
15 of last week because that's been part of the ruthless organising of
16 priorities that has to be undertaken by the Defence team, and of course
17 Your Honours have indicated in relation to both the applications that
18 we've made for further time for preparation that Your Honours would keep
19 an eye on the situation in relation to Defence preparation, and I think
20 Your Honours should be aware of how much time we've had to curtail the
21 time we spend on witness preparation in order to ensure that we're also
22 spending some time on balancing other priorities in terms of Defence
23 preparation, and I -- I place that on the record, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Of course to the extent possible the Chamber tries to
25 take into consideration your concerns. At the same time, I see that these
1 witnesses, at least some of them, the 92 bis witnesses, I remember having
2 studied them already thoroughly in -- last November, I think, when we had
3 to decide on the admission and cross-examination but --
4 MS. LOUKAS: Of course they have to be reviewed since last
5 November, of course, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MS. LOUKAS: I make that point because I think it is important and
8 the Trial Chamber has indicated that it is interested to see what's
9 occurring because ultimately it does affect the fairness of the trial, and
10 of course the Trial Chamber is interested in that and has expressed an
11 interest in being informed as to the progress of the Defence preparation
12 and the balancing of our priorities. And of course the Defence do not
13 have the luxury of having a different lawyer for each witness this week,
14 and I make that point, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: I think the Chamber has to decide on paragraphs 6 to
18 10 as to the objection about relevance. This evidence can be led. It has
19 some relevance and context can be created, if necessary, by the Defence.
20 Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Alajbegovic into the
22 Ms. Loukas, I take it your objections have no consequences as such
23 for the 89(f) summary because that's rather general and is not affected by
24 your objections, I take it.
25 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. In terms of the way that Your
1 Honours dealt with the objections this morning, I think that, yes, there's
2 no question in relation to the actual summary.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Alajbegovic. Can you hear me in a
5 language you understand?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can hear you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Alajbegovic, before you give evidence in this
8 court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn
9 declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
10 truth. The text will be handed out to you now by Madam Usher, and I'd
11 like to invite you to make that solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I solemnly declare that I
13 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Alajbegovic. Please be seated.
15 You'll first be examined by Mr. Harmon, counsel for the Prosecution.
16 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
17 MR. HARMON: Yes. And if I could have the usher's assistance in
18 moving the ELMO a little farther toward the interpretation booth. We will
19 be using the ELMO in the course of this examination. Thank you very much.
20 WITNESS: RAMIZ ALAJBEGOVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
23 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, could you please state your name and spell your
24 last name for the record.
25 A. Ramiz Alajbegovic.
1 Q. Could you spell your last name for the record, please.
2 A. Yes. A-l-a-j-b-e-g-o-v-i-c diacritic. R-a-m-i-z.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Alajbegovic. I'm now going to take you through
4 some specifics as to your background. I'm going to read certain items and
5 then I'm going to ask you to affirm the correctness of those items. So
6 let me begin.
7 Mr. Alajbegovic, you are a Bosniak. You were born on the 16th of
8 May, 1954, in the village of Kopljevic in the municipality of Rogatica.
9 You attended elementary school in Rogatica, and you attended secondary
10 school in Sarajevo. Later, you attended Higher School of Internal Affairs
11 in Belgrade and received a degree as a lawyer for internal affairs. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, from 1975 until the present time, you have been engaged in
15 police work and you have held a variety of positions. I'm going to list
16 those positions - not all positions but most of those positions - and I'm
17 going to ask you to affirm what I have stated.
18 In 1975 to 1979, you were a police officer in the former Federal
19 Secretariat for Internal Affairs in Belgrade. From 1979 to 1991 you were
20 a police officer in Rogatica where you held various posts culminating with
21 holding the position as head of the Uniform Police for the public security
22 station in Rogatica. After you fled from Rogatica, you held various
23 positions in the public security station in Gorazde. And from October of
24 1993 to 1995, you were the deputy commander and then the commander of the
25 Special Police in Gorazde. From 1995 to 1997, you were the deputy
1 commander and then the commander of the police in the Ilijas municipality,
2 a period of 19 months. From mid-1997 to mid-1999, you were the commander
3 of the police in Novi Grad. From mid-1999 to 2001, you were the commander
4 of the police station in Ilidza. From April of 2001 to 2003, in Novi
5 Grad, you were an independent criminal investigator, and from 2003 to the
6 present, you were the chief of the operative centre first police
7 administration in Sarajevo. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to present you with two exhibits. If we could have
10 those exhibits distributed. They are, first of all, a statement that you
11 made, Mr. Alajbegovic, to an investigating judge of the High Court in
12 Sarajevo in criminal proceedings that were pending against an individual
13 named Mico Andric, and the second document is a statement that you
14 provided to the Office of the Prosecutor investigators.
15 Those will be handed up to you in just a moment, and you'll have
16 them placed in front of you.
17 If I could have the exhibit numbers starting with the Bosnian
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P565. And the
20 ICTY statement dated 26 January, 1999, will be Prosecution Exhibit P566.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, if you could take Prosecution Exhibit 565, which
23 is the statement that was made to an investigating judge in Sarajevo. Do
24 you have that in front of you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And have you had an opportunity to review that statement before
2 coming into court?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, you pointed out two corrections you would like me to make in
5 this statement, and I will direct the Court first of all to paragraph 1 of
6 the statement.
7 And I direct you, Mr. Alajbegovic, as well to the paragraph that's
8 marked number 1, the second sentence in paragraph 1. The date 1974 should
9 be changed to 1979. Is that correct, Mr. Alajbegovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The second correction you pointed out to me is on -- is in
12 paragraph 10 of the statement.
13 On the English version, Your Honour, it's on page 7. And third
14 line from the bottom of what's paragraph 10, the number 14 should be
15 corrected to reflect the number 15. So the sentence would read: "The
16 letter also said that we should hand in all our weapons to Mico Andric in
17 Kosovo and that we had to send our answer no later than 1200 hours on 15
18 August..." and it goes on.
19 Now, with those two corrections made in this statement that you
20 made to the investigating judge, is this an accurate statement and do you
21 adopt this statement for these proceedings?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if we can turn to the statement that you gave to the Office
24 of the Prosecutor investigators on the 26th of January, 1999. If we could
25 turn to that statement.
1 Mr. Alajbegovic, have you had an opportunity to review this
2 statement that you gave to Office of the Prosecutor investigators in your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you pointed out to me a number of corrections that needed to
6 be made in this statement, and I'm going to direct you and direct the
7 Court to those corrections.
8 MR. HARMON: If we start, Your Honours, at paragraph 6.
9 The words after the first word "In" in paragraph 6, the words
10 "April and May" should be inserted.
11 The next correction, Your Honour, is in paragraph 7. At the end
12 the first sentence in the English version, if we strike the word "in" and
13 insert in its place the words "between approximately 2 and 5 August."
14 And the then the second correction is "1990" should be changed to
16 The next correction appears in paragraph 11 on page 3 of the
17 English. The first name, Milorad Planojevic, Milorad should be stricken
18 and the name should be Dusan, D-u-s-a-n.
19 In that same list of names, the last name has an aka, Zvjerka.
20 That aka should belong to the name above it. So Milorad Mijatovic is the
21 person who was also known as Zvjerka.
22 The next correction, Your Honour, is on -- in paragraph 20. The
23 next correction, Your Honours, is in paragraph 20. The words "February
24 or" in the first sentence should be stricken. So the sentence should
25 read: "The second visit was in March of 1992 ..."
1 Next I refer Your Honours to paragraph 22, the first line. The
2 words "The following day" should be stricken, and in its place the words
3 "In the days that followed..." That very same change should be made in
4 paragraph 23, striking the first two words "That day," and inserting in
5 its place "In the days that followed..."
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now it becomes a bit unclear to me, Mr. Harmon,
7 because if we change in 22, "From this meeting in the days that followed,"
8 and if you start 23 again with, "In the days that followed," that could be
9 after the days that followed the set up of roadblocks or the days or it
10 could be the days that followed the meeting.
11 MR. HARMON: Let me clarify that on the examination, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. HARMON: The next correction, Your Honour, is a misspelling
14 that appears in paragraph 26. The name of the village "Pesuzici" should
15 be properly spelled. The correct spelling is P-e-r-s-u-r-i-c-i, and there
16 is a banana over the S and a half banana over the C.
17 The next correction is in paragraph 34. The words "I was"
18 following "In my opinion" should be stricken, and the words "they were"
19 inserted in its place. So the sentence would read, "In my opinion, they
20 were being told..."
21 Paragraph 37, the second and third words in the first sentence,
22 "remember seeing" should be stricken and in its place "received
23 information about" should be inserted.
24 The next correction is in a spelling in paragraph 41. It appears
25 in the English version on the bottom of page 5. The village "Kukavica,"
1 if you strike the last letter A and insert the letter E, it will be
2 properly spelled.
3 Paragraph 42, you strike the first word -- strike the first
4 "Later, at 1145 exactly..." If you strike those words and in its place
5 insert the words "On 22 May 1992 at 1200 hours..."
6 And the last correction is in paragraph 43. The word "aircraft"
7 that appears in the third line of the English should be preceded by the
8 word "anti" and followed by the word "weapons." So it should be
9 "subjected to an attack from tanks, artillery, and anti-aircraft weapons."
10 Now, those are the corrections that Mr. Alajbegovic pointed out to
12 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, with those corrections having been made, do you
13 adopt this statement for purposes of these proceedings today?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if I could read then a summary of the
16 written evidence that will be tendered.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Just for practical reasons, I take it you will
18 provide a corrected version then finally if it would be admitted. Is
19 there any need to copy it all again? I made all the changes. I could
20 live with this copy for my personal file.
21 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I've made corrections on my copy
22 as we've gone along as well, so --
23 JUDGE ORIE: So one copy would do for the registrar so we know
24 that's the final version presented.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So there is no need, Mr. Harmon, to cut another wood
2 for --
3 MR. HARMON: Yes, okay.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. HARMON: Let me then read a summary for the public of what is
6 contained in this written evidence.
7 "The OTP is submitting the written evidence of Ramiz Alajbegovic.
8 This written evidence consists of a statement that he provided to the
9 Office of the Prosecutor and statement that he provided to an
10 investigating judge of the High Court in Sarajevo.
11 "Mr. Alajbegovic is a Bosniak from the municipality of Rogatica
12 where, prior to the war, he was the chief of the Uniform Police.
13 "In his written evidence, Mr. Alajbegovic describes Rogatica as a
14 multi-ethnic community living in harmony.
15 "He was present at Serb rallies in 1991 that were overtly
16 nationalistic in tone, where various Serb speakers spoke of Serb
17 nationalism and the desire to build a Greater Serbia.
18 "Mr. Alajbegovic identifies the main SDS leaders of Rogatica and he
19 discusses their activities in encouraging Serb nationalism.
20 "He also describes two occasions when Radovan Karadzic came to
21 Rogatica municipality and met with local SDS officials, including Rajko
23 "He describes the increase of tensions between the Muslim and Serb
24 communities caused by, among other things, the presence and conduct of
25 paramilitary formations from Serbia, the White Eagles, and local
1 paramilitary formations under the command of Rajko Kusic.
2 "Mr. Alajbegovic's written evidence describes meetings with SDS
3 representatives. At one such meeting, he was informed by Rajko Kusic that
4 'there was no future for Muslims in this area and that the Muslims would
5 be attacked' if they did not leave.
6 "His written evidence describes the arming of Serbs in the
7 Rogatica municipality by the JNA and the disarming of Muslim villages.
8 "In respect of the disarming of Muslim villages, he describes a
9 series of ultimatums from Rajko Kusic that were directed to the
10 inhabitants of those villages to hand over their weapons in exchange for
11 which they were promised they could continue to live in the municipality.
12 His evidence shows that these were false promises.
13 "His written evidence identifies the commencement of the war in
14 Rogatica on the 22nd of May, 1992, shortly after the arrival of the Uzice
15 Corps. He describes attacks on various Muslim villages and the
16 consequences of those attacks, specifically the killing of people and the
17 razing of villages."
18 Q. Now, Mr. Alajbegovic, your evidence is going to be dealing with
19 the Rogatica municipality.
20 MR. HARMON: And, Your Honours, if I could first direct your
21 attention to Prosecution Exhibit 527. I'd like to direct your attention
22 to three pages in this exhibit, and the first page, Your Honour, is page
23 3. If page 3 could be shown to the witness as well.
24 Your Honour, on page 3 I'd like to direct your attention to two
25 features of this. Rogatica is located on the east, next to Visegrad and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 next to Sarajevo. You will see in -- Your Honours, that it is in part
2 territory that is contiguous with Sarajevo. If Your Honours turn to page
3 25, Your Honours will see that that part of Rogatica is contiguous with
4 Pale canton, which is part of Sarajevo.
5 And finally, Your Honours, on page 23 itself is the map of the
6 Rogatica municipality identifying a number of the villages and the main
8 Q. Now, Mr. Alajbegovic, I pointed out that the municipality of
9 Rogatica is next to Pale. Can you tell the Court approximately -- the
10 approximate distance between the city of Rogatica and the city of Pale?
11 A. About 65 kilometres.
12 Q. And can you tell the Court the approximate distance between the
13 city of Rogatica and the location in the Han Pijesak municipality where
14 the army of the Republika Srpska had its main headquarters?
15 A. About 65 to 70 kilometres.
16 MR. HARMON: Now -- I'm finished with that large map. Thank you,
17 Madam Usher. If we could turn to the next exhibit.
18 This next exhibit, Your Honours, is a demographic -- a map of
19 Rogatica municipality. It shows the demographic distribution of people.
20 And you will notice, Your Honours, that the statistics above the map, in
21 the left-hand corner, these statistics are based on the 1991 census.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Alajbegovic, you have before you a copy of the next
23 exhibit, which is --
24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P567.
25 Q. -- 567. You had an opportunity before coming to court to look at
1 this map, have you not, Mr. Alajbegovic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this exhibit shows that the majority population in the
4 Rogatica municipality, the majority ethnic group was the Muslims; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Does this map accurately show the villages that were majority
7 Muslim and majority Serb?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in respect of --
10 MR. HARMON: I'm finished with that map. If that could be kept on
11 the ELMO. We're going to be referring to it throughout the testimony.
12 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, can you -- strike that. Was there a significant
13 and main road that went -- that traversed the Rogatica municipality from
14 Serbia to Sarajevo?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And during the course of the war in Croatia and the course of the
17 war in Slovenia, was that route used for convoys of military equipment?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was that road that went through Rogatica municipality
20 strategically significant, in your view?
21 A. Very strategic it was.
22 Q. And why do you say that?
23 A. Because the forces of the Yugoslav People's Army used it to
24 transport its units and military formations, weapons and equipment.
25 Q. Now, before the war started, Mr. Alajbegovic, can you describe
1 what life was like in the Rogatica municipality. And when I say what life
2 was like, what the relations were between the Muslim community and the
3 Serb community in that municipality.
4 A. Very good, solid, and good-neighbourly.
5 Q. And when did the relations -- just approximately, when did those
6 relations start to change?
7 A. At the point when the war broke out in Croatia and when the Muslim
8 -- the Muslim recruits for the Territorial Defence refused to go to the
9 Croatian battleground.
10 Q. We'll get into that in a little greater detail a little bit later,
11 but let me now, Mr. Alajbegovic, refer you to your statement. That is the
12 statement 566, the statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor.
13 If you could please turn to paragraph 11 of that statement.
14 You're going to be referring in the course of your testimony this morning
15 to certain names, and we're going to be hearing about them, and I would
16 like you to assist the Trial Chamber in identifying these people, who they
17 were and what bodies they belonged to. Specifically, if we could start
18 with Rajko Kusic. First of all, did you know Rajko Kusic personally?
19 A. Yes, I knew him personally, Rajko Kusic.
20 Q. And did you meet with him prior to the war and meetings where you
21 were a negotiator on behalf of the Muslim --
22 A. Certainly.
23 Q. -- community?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you identify what organisations Rajko Kusic belonged to?
1 A. Rajko Kusic belonged to the SDS membership, the Main Board of the
2 SDS, in fact, for Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbian Democratic Party, that
3 is. He was a member of the SDS board for Rogatica, and he was also the
4 commander of the Serb army in Rogatica.
5 MR. HARMON: I'd like to, while we're on Mr. Kusic, introduce the
6 next two exhibits, Your Honour, and have those distributed. One is an
7 excerpt, Your Honour, from Prosecution Exhibit 37, and rather than
8 introduce the whole exhibit I've, for your convenience, excerpted the
9 relevant parts of Prosecution Exhibit 37.
10 If Your Honours turn on -- Exhibit 37 was stenographic notes of a
11 meeting of the SDS party that was held on the 12th of July 1991, and if
12 Your Honours turn to the first page, which is 94 in this excerpt, you will
13 see the 45 members who have been elected to the Main Board. The first
14 name that appears is Momcilo Krajisnik. And if you turn the page, you
15 will see item number 39, Rajko Kusic, as being a member of the Main Board.
16 If I could distribute the next exhibit as well. This exhibit,
17 Your Honours -- this exhibit is -- could we have the number, Madam
19 THE REGISTRAR: P568.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Alajbegovic, you've seen this document before coming into
22 court; correct? And this is a document --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this is a document, we see, from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
25 Rogatica brigade commander. It's dated the 1st of August, 1992, and at
1 the end of the document it bears the signature of an individual below the
2 typed words "Commander, Rogatica brigade." The name is Rajko Kusic.
3 Does this confirm what you have testified to, that Mr. Kusic was
4 the commander of the Rogatica brigade?
5 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that's not a proper question. I mean,
6 that's ultimately a matter for the Trial Chamber. To ask a witness, in
7 relation to a document that he hasn't seen before other than the
8 Prosecution showing him the document, is simply not an appropriate way of
9 eliciting evidence. And evidence is not placing a document in front of a
10 witness and saying, "Does this confirm..." That is a matter for the Trial
12 MR. HARMON: I will rephrase the question, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. Is this document showing that Rajko Kusic is the commander of the
16 Rogatica Brigade consistent with the information that you knew in 1992?
17 A. Yes. Most certainly.
18 Q. If we could then turn to the next name on this paragraph 11 of
19 your OTP statement. Sveto Veselinovic. Could you tell the Court about
20 Mr. Veselinovic. What political party did he belong to?
21 A. Sveto Veselinovic belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party, and he
22 was its president for Rogatica.
23 Q. If we could turn to the next name on the paragraph 11; Mladen
24 Vasiljevic. Can you tell the Chamber what political party he belonged to?
25 A. Mladen Vasiljevic belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party in
2 Q. What position did he ultimately hold in Rogatica?
3 A. He was appointed commander of the public security station in
4 Rogatica. And then he became head of the Serbian police.
5 Q. And before the war started, was he a colleague of yours in the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The next name, if we could turn to the name of Dusan Planojevic,
9 can you tell the Court what political party he belonged to?
10 A. Dusan Planojevic belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party.
11 Q. And finally Mile Ujic. Can you tell us about Mile Ujic, what
12 political party he belonged to.
13 A. Mile Ujic was a member of the Serbian Democratic Party in
14 Rogatica, and he discharged the functions of the Prime Minister of the
15 municipal government of Rogatica.
16 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
17 MR. HARMON: Your Honours will be hearing about these names in the
18 course of the examination.
19 Q. Now, in paragraphs 6 and 7 of your ICTY statement, you describe
20 two rallies, and I'd like to focus, first of all, your attention on
21 paragraph 6, the rally that occurred in April or May of 1991. Were you
22 present at that rally, Mr. Alajbegovic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Why were you present?
25 A. We, the public security station, were responsible for ensuring
1 that the rally in front of the church went through peacefully, we as the
2 police force.
3 Q. And did that rally occur in the city of Rogatica itself?
4 A. Yes, in front of the church on the plateau.
5 Q. And did you -- were you present throughout the complete duration
6 of the rally?
7 A. No, not throughout, but we came from time to time and inspected.
8 Q. And during that rally, did you have an opportunity to hear certain
9 speakers addressing the crowd?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How large was the crowd?
12 A. There were over 3.000 people present.
13 Q. And were those -- were you able to identify what ethnic group
14 those people were who were attending the rally?
15 A. There were Serbs.
16 Q. Now, you identify in paragraph 6 -- you said, "Also speaking at
17 this ceremony were a number of Serb nationalists," and you identify
18 somebody you believe to be a writer named Krsmanovic. Did you hear
19 Mr. Krsmanovic speak?
20 A. I heard parts of the speech because I couldn't stay there all the
22 Q. Could you relate to the Judges what parts of Mr. Krsmanovic's
23 speech you heard.
24 A. Mr. Krsmanovic said in his speech, among other things, that people
25 should rally around the cause of Serbian unity, and he was inciting hatred
1 between Muslims and Serbs. He said that Serbs would not allow Bosnia to
2 secede and the genocide of 1945 to be repeated.
3 Q. Did any local SDS --
4 THE INTERPRETER: '41, interpreter's correction.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Did any local SDS political figures address the crowd?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Which SDS political figures from Rogatica addressed the crowd?
9 A. The first to address the crowd was Sveto Veselinovic, president of
10 the SDS, and the last speaker was Rajko Kusic.
11 Q. Do you recall the content of their speeches to the crowd?
12 A. Both of them echoed the speech of Mr. Krsmanovic, and throughout
13 their speeches they were applauded by the crowd. Both of them said the
14 time had come for the Serbian people to unite and to create an integral
15 state. They said they would not allow Bosnia to secede from Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Now, at this particular rally, can you describe the -- what else
17 was taking place besides speeches?
18 A. Mass popular celebrations followed. People danced the kola
19 dance, waved Serbian flags, sang Chetnik songs "From the Topola tree to
20 the fields," and the famous song, "Who says that Serbia's small? It isn't
21 small. It waged a war three times."
22 Those songs were sung the whole day during that rally, that
23 popular gathering.
24 Q. Did this -- did this rally have any effect on the attitudes of
25 people within the municipality and the ethnic harmony that you described
2 A. Yes, certainly.
3 Q. What was the effect of this rally and these speeches?
4 A. The insecurity of the Bosniak people. They were certain that they
5 heard the message correctly, that there would be no peaceful co-existence
6 in that territory and that the worst was a distinct possibility, namely
7 deportation or ethnic cleansing, and that proved to be correct later.
8 Q. Now, if I could direct your attention, Mr. Alajbegovic, to a
9 second rally that's described in paragraph 7 of your statement. This is
10 the rally that took place in the village of Borike between approximately
11 the 2nd and the 5th of August, 1991. Did you attend that rally?
12 A. Yes, we did attend together with the police forces intended to
13 secure the rally, because the organiser of the gathering was the SDS.
14 Q. And approximately how many people were present during that rally?
15 A. There were over 5.000 people present, all of them Serbs.
16 Q. Now, did you hear any speeches at that particular rally?
17 A. I did. The same speakers addressed the people at this rally as
18 well; Krsmanovic, Kusic, and Veselinovic, plus some others.
19 Q. Can you inform the Trial Chamber the contents of the speeches of
20 Mr. Veselinovic and Mr. Kusic?
21 A. The speech of Mr. Rajko Kusic was almost the same as his speech
22 before the church in April, May. It was met with constant applause. And
23 Sveto Veselinovic also repeated his speech from before the church, only
24 this time he went even further by saying that the Drina River had never
25 really been the border, it was only the gap between two lungs.
1 That is what impressed me and the other police officers, Bosniak
2 police officers, who provided security at that meeting. We had a feeling
3 that this was an introduction into the integration of Serbian lands. This
4 speech was later printed in the newspapers the next day and the days that
6 Q. Did a representative of the SDA party speak at this particular
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who was that and what was the nature of his speech?
10 A. It was Mr. Asim Pavica. He spoke before Rajko Kusic and Sveto
11 Veselinovic. He spoke about the need to live together, to be tolerant,
12 and to preserve peace in that area. It was a very brief speech.
13 Q. Do you recall how that speech was received?
14 A. Some of those present applauded, but others gave him the
16 Q. Okay. Let me direct your attention to a paragraph in your
17 statement. It's paragraph 12 in your statement. If would you read that
18 paragraph to yourself. I want to direct your attention specifically to
19 the last sentence in that paragraph.
20 Have you read that paragraph to yourself?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The last sentence reads: "In my opinion, there was no threat to
23 them whatsoever, and this was mainly an attempt to brainwash them and to
24 encourage Serb nationalism." Can you --
25 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that, Your Honour, that was the
1 portion of the sentence that was actually excised from the statement.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just re-read. It's my recollection,
3 Mr. Harmon, that I asked you to elicit this evidence from the witness in
5 MR. HARMON: Correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But there might have been some doubt in respect of
7 the other elements, because we started excising that and then later on we
8 have several times found a solution that a proper foundation, factual
9 foundation, would be laid. So I can imagine that perhaps the distinction
10 between the paragraph 12 and the others might not have been. But as a
11 matter of fact, Mr. Harmon, you were invited to elicit from the witness
12 the factual basis perhaps before asking him to read what the result of it
13 all is.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just for the sake of clarity of the
15 record, at the bottom of page 5 and the top of page 6 of today's
16 transcript in the LiveNote is where the excision is dealt with.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll have a look at it.
18 MR. HARMON: If there is an excision, I'm happy to excise it, Your
19 Honour. I obviously made an error when I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you could perhaps put questions to the
21 witness in relation to it without directly relating to the -- to the text
22 as we see it on paper.
23 MR. HARMON: All right.
24 Q. Then in this paragraph, sir, you identify certain people who are
25 named in that paragraph as travelling around Serb villages, telling them
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that there was a Muslim threat and that they had to protect themselves.
2 Sir, can you first of all identify the time period when these
3 people were travelling around to the Serb villages?
4 A. The period -- it was the period of 1992, January, February.
5 Q. And in your opinion, was what these people were informing the
6 local Serb residents of those villages correct?
7 A. That was not correct.
8 Q. Why do you say that?
9 A. Because there was no danger whatsoever that the Muslim people
10 would attack Serbs, because we, on the contrary, were in favour of
11 peaceful co-existence.
12 Q. Do you have a view as to why Mr. Bojovic and Mr. Planojevic and
13 Milorad Sokolovic were going to these Serb villages to inform the
14 residents that there was a danger?
15 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that, "Do you have a
16 view," the view expressed is a matter to which I've objected to and the
17 matter that has been excised. If Mr. Harmon wants to elicit factual
18 matters that may assist the Trial Chamber, that's one thing, but to get
19 the witness just to express the view is not the appropriate way of dealing
20 with it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Alajbegovic, try to forget the formulation
22 as it was put to you by Mr. Harmon.
23 Did you form an opinion on the reasons why Mr. Bojovic and
24 Mr. Planojevic and Milorad Sokolovic went to the Serb villages, telling
25 the people about the danger? And could you tell us, if you have formed
1 such an opinion, on the basis of what you formed that opinion.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. At that moment, members
3 of the government were aware that these activists were down on the ground,
4 and that was later confirmed by Serbs, by Serb representatives, because
5 not even they were prepared to take up arms against their neighbours at
6 that moment. However, after Sokolovic, Bojovic, and Dusan arrived as
7 persons of authority, the latter were brainwashed. They embraced the
8 ideas of the SDS, and they put themselves at the disposal of the Serbian
9 Democratic Party in the aims of creating the Serbian municipality of
10 Rogatica and thereby Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE ORIE: One additional -- perhaps two additional questions.
12 The first one: How did you know that the government was aware of, as you
13 said, these activists were down on the ground? And if you're talking
14 about the government, perhaps you also explain what government exactly you
15 had in mind.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant then and I still mean the
17 legally elected authorities in Rogatica. They consisted -- that
18 government consisted of the SDA, the SDS, and smaller opposition parties,
19 because we had in that area our people in the police force. At that
20 moment, we still had joint police patrols, and that kind of information
21 would reach me as chief of the Uniformed Police. I passed it on to the
22 president of the municipality, and chief the public security station, who
23 was also president of the SDA. They made certain conclusions which proved
24 to be right in later practice.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would have first one additional question.
1 You told us that the local Serbs were not inclined, at least not before
2 the -- these visits, to take up arms against their neighbours. How did
3 you know that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One part. We're only talking about
5 one part of the territory. For instance, the local commune of Kozici,
6 where I lived and where I went to work every day. So I was able to
7 receive information from some Serbs and from police officers who came to
8 these conclusions, because later arms supply began together with actual
9 use of arms.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes. One point of clarification.
11 So about these two meetings you mentioned, these two rallies in April,
12 May, and August 1991. I just would like to know whether in that region it
13 was common for such meetings to take place, for such meetings to take
14 place along community lines. Was it usual before April for a community to
15 have such meetings for -- when there was some religious occasion or other?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in this form, but it was normal
17 to mark national holidays with some limits to decent behaviour, and Serbs
18 and Muslims would even march together because it was a common land.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] These meetings, how was your own
20 presence perceived by people, whether -- how did they react?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand the question. Do
22 you mean these rallies or the previous ones?
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] No. I'm talking about these two
24 meetings, the meetings you mentioned in your statement. You were there to
25 provide security, to supervise the meeting. Was there any reaction you
1 noticed because of your presence there?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Harmon. And we'd like to have a
5 break within the next three to five minutes.
6 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
7 Q. Very briefly, Mr. Alajbegovic, I would like to direct your
8 attention to the situation of arming of the Serbs.
9 MR. HARMON: And Your Honours, for your information, that's found
10 in paragraph 4 of the Bosnian statement and paragraphs 15, 16, 37 and 38
11 of the statements given to the Office of the Prosecutor.
12 Q. Before we get to those particular paragraphs, can you tell the
13 Court, Mr. Alajbegovic, what happened to the weapons that were stored in
14 the Territorial Defence warehouse in Rogatica?
15 A. I can tell you. The weapons that were in the premises on the
16 Territorial Defence headquarters in Rogatica were located in 1990 to the
17 barracks in Han Pijesak, and it was placed under the control of the
18 Yugoslav People's Army.
19 Q. And when did that occur?
20 A. In 1990.
21 Q. What was the effect of the removal of the Territorial Defence, the
22 weapons from the Territorial Defence warehouse in terms of the
23 availability of arms to people who were in the Territorial Defence?
24 A. It was placed under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army, and
25 it was no longer accessible to either ethnic community.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, at this point, if you would like, I'm
2 prepared to stop.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break for 25 minutes. We will
4 restart at five minutes to eleven. Not by the clock of this courtroom,
5 because by the clock of this courtroom it will be five minutes to ten.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, you may proceed.
9 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, we are on the topic now of the arming of the
11 Serbs, and I want to direct your attention to paragraphs 37 and 38 of your
12 statement. This describes receiving information about the arming of the
13 population in the area of Stavanj. Can you please tell us approximately
14 when the incident that is referred to in paragraphs 37 and 38 occurred.
15 A. Yes. This was the period of October 1991.
16 Q. And if you could take a look at the exhibit -- Prosecution Exhibit
17 567 that is on the ELMO, and if you could use a pointer, could you just
18 indicate with the pointer the area where this particular incident
20 A. Stavanj, Stara Borike, Agarovici, and Stara Gora.
21 Q. And for the record, that is on the eastern side of Prosecution
22 Exhibit 567. Thank you very much.
23 Now, briefly can you explain what information you received, from
24 whom you received that information, and what you did as a result of
25 receiving that information.
1 A. Yes. We - that is I and the chief of the public security station
2 of Rogatica - received information on the premises of the police station
3 from someone we knew, a local of the village of Medna Luka, to the effect
4 that three days before, in a place called Stavanj, weapons were handed out
5 by the Yugoslav People's Army, with two military trucks taking part, and
6 there was an official police vehicle there belonging to the Rogatica
7 public security station, and Mladen Vasiljevic, the then commander, was
8 also there.
9 Q. Based on that information, what did you do?
10 A. We consulted each other, and the next day I, as the head of the
11 public security station, and the crime inspector who worked with us at the
12 time, together with Mladen Vasiljevic got into an official vehicle, and we
13 suggested that we go and check out the area of the local community of
14 Borike, and he agreed to do that.
15 While we were driving towards Borike - I did the driving myself -
16 I suggested that we tour the area around the Stavanj location and take the
17 dirt road to the Borike locality. He agreed to that but I could feel that
18 he was nervous.
19 When we reached the Stavanj area where there was a traffic sign, I
20 said that we would carry on for another 1 to 200 metres and then turn left
21 into the woods there because the unidentified person had given us
22 information to the effect that it was in that area where we would find the
23 remainders of the original cartons and packaging of the weapons belonging
24 to the Yugoslav People's Army, the crates, and they had contained
25 automatic rifles, M53 machine-guns, and M84 machine-guns.
1 We got out of the car, and according to what the man had said, we
2 took to the left into the woods. We found two locations, and we found the
3 remnants of the cartons from which the weapons had been distributed. And
4 nearby the Serbs or, rather, the inhabitants of the villages had been
5 issued the weapons the previous day where Mladen Vasiljevic was present.
6 And they roasted some lambs there, and they celebrated that day, probably
7 for having completed their operation successfully.
8 We managed to take photographs and document the situation we came
9 across, so we have a set of photographs illustrating that whole event and
10 what we came upon. And Mladen told me at that point in time, he said,
11 "Ramiz, yes, it's true, I was there, but please don't tell anybody, any of
12 the SDS representatives, because it could cost me my life." He said, "The
13 worst could happen to me."
14 After that, we left that area and went to the hotel at Borike, had
15 a cup of coffee together, and then returned to the public security station
16 of Rogatica. We compiled a photographic album with all the documentations
17 and compiled proposals for the republican SUP of BH, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 And I personally the very next day handed a copy of that set of documents
19 to the SUP, the crime department there of the SUP where Momcilo Mandic was
20 the chief. And since we knew that the information and data were not
21 something that he could deal with because he would dilute it, we took it
22 to his first assistant, the head of a department of the crime police, and
23 that man's name was Hasib Dazdarevic. And after that we received no
24 feedback information as to what we should do, what steps we should take in
25 cases of that kind, although Mr. Dazdarevic did suggest at the time that
1 what we proposed wouldn't mean a great deal. That is to say we wanted to
2 conduct a search. He said that this would only complicate matters and
3 that's where the whole thing stopped.
4 Q. In respect of the cartons that you described, and you've described
5 the types of weapon boxes, were these boxes JNA boxes? Did they have JNA
6 written on --
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Were you able to conclude, based on the number of boxes you saw,
9 the volume of weapons that had been distributed in the area on that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you inform the Trial Chamber what the volume of weapons that
13 had been -- weapons and ammunition that had been distributed?
14 A. Yes. There were over 50 pieces of long-barrelled automatic
15 weapons and over 50.000 bullets of different calibres for the weapons.
16 Q. Now, sir, I would like to direct your attention to paragraphs 15
17 and 16 of --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, would you -- I apologise. I have one
19 additional question.
20 Could you tell us, Mr. Alajbegovic, whether Mr. Vasiljevic
21 explained why he feared for his life if you would report to the SDS?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. He was quite clear in
23 what he said and meant. If the SDS were to learn about that, it would
24 have meant that he had disclosed the operation conducted by the JNA, which
25 was in cohorts with the SDS from Rogatica and probably the Main Staff of
1 the SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 JUDGE ORIE: So he feared for being negligent in hiding the
3 operation. Is that a correct understanding?
4 Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, just for the record, if the witness
6 would answer audibly it would be a clearer record.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I had forgotten. If you just nod, it does not
8 appear in the transcript. So I saw your nodding vertically, which means
9 confirmation of what I said; is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, certainly.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Alajbegovic, if we could turn to paragraphs 15 and 16 of
13 your statement where you describe being an eyewitness to the distribution
14 of arms. Could you, first of all, give us an approximate date or time
15 when that distribution took place in your presence.
16 A. Yes. All this took place at the beginning of 1991 in the close
17 vicinity of the church, or more exactly by the house next to the church in
18 the Donje Polje settlement in the town of Rogatica.
19 Q. Can you tell the Court precisely what you saw.
20 A. Yes. Towards evening, the employees of the police who were
21 located on the main road running from Sarajevo to Rogatica, the place
22 called Stjenice, which is where a reserve police station existed, informed
23 through the communication lines, informed me, they used my code number,
24 and said that there was an official vehicle, police vehicle, driven by Mr.
25 Mladen Vasiljevic, the commander at the time, that it was driving along,
1 and behind him was a truck who was being -- which was being driven by
2 Limic, who was known as Garo, and that there was a military truck behind
3 his car, and it was assumed that they were driving in weapons from the
4 barracks at Han Pijesak.
5 At the time, we followed the vehicle. The policemen on duty in
6 the field followed the vehicle from the entrance to town until it turned a
7 corner across the church and the church house, where all these vehicles
8 stopped with Mr. Mladen and the man called Limic and two members of the
9 Yugoslav People's Army. And at that point from the direction of Donje
10 Polje, which is inhabited by Serbs, another vehicle arrived, a TAM truck,
11 and two to three tractors, or two large tractors and one smaller tractor,
12 and after that, they started unloading the crates of -- or boxes of
13 ammunition and hand-held rocket launchers from those vehicles.
14 I saw Mladen myself there. He was standing there, providing
15 security, and in front of him up to the main road there was a member of
16 the reserve force, police force, and his name was Zeljko Rajak. He had
17 been in the police force until quite recently. I don't know why he's not
18 working there any more. And then there were activists coming in from the
19 local commune of Kozici, and they took over the weapons, loaded them up
20 into their own vehicles and transported them to the villages and the
21 Kozici local commune, which area was inhabited by the Serbs.
22 They reached the Mokri Lug area and took them to the house of
23 Milenko Obradovic, and that's where the distribution point was to
24 distribute the weapons to the different villages and issue them out.
25 Q. Let me then ask you some additional questions. Did you see a JNA
1 vehicle at the location where these arms were distributed?
2 A. Yes, I said that and I confirm it.
3 Q. And did you see, the person who was driving that JNA vehicle, how
4 was he dressed?
5 A. They were dressed in army uniforms, the JNA army uniforms.
6 Q. Now, you say that a certain activist came to that location. Can
7 you identify by name the activists who came and what party they were
8 associated with?
9 A. Yes. Dr. Radan Bojovic was there, and then there was Milos Rajak
10 with his TAM truck. Then there was Mico Andric, and a certain man by the
11 name of Rajko Ikonic. He was also an activist from the local commune
13 Q. So were the people you've just identified associated with any
14 particular political party, to your knowledge?
15 A. Yes. They were all members of the Serbian Democratic Party.
16 Q. Now, can you take a look at the exhibit that's to your right,
17 Prosecution Exhibit 567, the map of the Rogatica municipality, and with a
18 pointer can you indicate the area that you say is Kozici and where those
19 arms were then taken.
20 A. Yes. There's a local road which isn't indicated on the map,
21 Jevcici. Drobnici, Starcici. Starcici is here. Trnovo. Starcici,
22 Trnovo, Pljevcici, and then there as the little hamlet of Kosovo which
23 isn't on the map between Pljevcici and Kozici. Bunjevac, not on the map.
24 It's also a small place, a hamlet.
25 Q. Now, you said that Mladen Vasiljevic was also present at this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 location and that you saw him there.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you have occasion to confront Mr. Vasiljevic about what you
4 had seen; and if you did, what was his reaction?
5 A. Yes, the next day at the police station, I said, "Mladen, what did
6 all that mean and what's going on?" And he gave me an answer to that.
7 Q. What was his answer?
8 A. He said, "Well, you see, we have to arm ourselves because you
9 Muslims are arming yourselves too." And I said he wasn't right on that
10 score and that I would inform my superiors along the chain of command. He
11 became nervous at that point, but he wasn't much interested in his police
12 work. He had devoted all his time to the other activities, the party
13 activities, the party to which he belonged.
14 Q. Let me then direct your attention to another topic, which is
15 visits by Radovan Karadzic to Rogatica, and specifically I'd like to draw
16 your attention to paragraphs 17 to 20 of the statement given to the Office
17 of the Prosecutor.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes [microphone not activated].
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you said, "I told him that I
20 was going to tell my superiors about it." Who were your superiors in
21 fact, and what were you able to do by telling them this? And in fact, did
22 you actually do something?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't take any steps, but along
24 the chain of responsibility we were duty-bound, both me and Mladen, to
25 inform our superiors at the SUP and the public security station, the RSUP.
1 He didn't do that, I did, but we couldn't do anything further because they
2 said we would complicate matters, because we knew that the army and the
3 SDS were arming the Serb people and that we couldn't oppose this and stand
4 up to it.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, but what I fail to
6 understand is there was still a civilian authority there. There was a
7 civilian Ministry of Interior. There was still a hierarchy that was in
8 place. Everything was still functioning. Why did you not then take
9 either your computer or a pen and draft a report and send it directly to
10 the Supreme Commander? You -- you were in the Ministry of Interior,
11 weren't you? That was your superior. Could you please answer this
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We didn't have computers at
14 the time, but we did have a system of communication by telephone. We had
15 telephone links. And the chief of the public security station, to whom I
16 was responsible together with Mladen, was informed by me, had been
17 informed by me, and he told me that he had informed by telephone a
18 superior instance at the republican SUP.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Now, if we could turn your attention to the first of the two
22 visits that you describe in your statement to the Office of the
23 Prosecutor, the visits by Radovan Karadzic. That's found in paragraphs 17
24 through 19. First of all, Mr. Alajbegovic, could you tell us the
25 approximate time, the date when that visit occurred?
1 A. The first visit by Mr. Karadzic was in December 1991, at the
2 primary school in Rogatica. Elementary school. It was the Gracanica
3 settlement. That's where the SDS had organised a meeting which was
4 attended by Mr. Karadzic with his escorts. They stayed there for an hour,
5 maybe an hour and a half at the meeting, and I managed to contact Rajko
6 Kusic with respect to providing security for their stay. He refused, and
7 he said that we didn't -- needn't meddle as Muslims in this area, that
8 they would take it upon themselves as Serbs. They would provide security
9 for Karadzic as Serbs, for Karadzic and his men, his people.
10 And after the meeting, we were not able to -- we weren't able to
11 be present in the elementary school building. But after the meeting, they
12 went off to the church for a brief period of time, and the church had
13 already become a -- well, a monastery in 1991. And then they went off
14 together with Mladen Vasiljevic to the Borike area and to the facility
15 there which belonged to the former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia,
16 Mr. Dzemal Bijedic, and Rajko Kusic had already set up his staff there,
17 his headquarters in that building.
18 Q. Now, did you personally see Radovan Karadzic during this visit?
19 A. Yes, I did. I was 20 metres away from him on the plateau in front
20 of the school building, from the time he came out of the vehicle to the
21 time he left the school after the meeting.
22 Q. And what SDS local figures was he with, if any, when you saw him?
23 A. I know that he was greeted in front of the school by Rajko Kusic,
24 who welcomed him. Now, who was inside, I really don't know.
25 Q. Finally, in respect of the village that they went to after they
1 were in Rogatica, Borike, can you use the pointer and, on Prosecution
2 Exhibit 567, point out the location of Borike, please.
3 A. [Indicates]
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 A. Rogatica, Seljani, Satorovici, and Borike.
6 Q. Now, in your evidence you said that Rajko Kusic had set up a
7 headquarters in Borike. How did you know that and when did he set up that
9 A. As early on as January 1991, Rajko Kusic started to establish
10 paramilitary units from supporters of the SDS and by bringing in people
11 from outside, which means bringing in people from Serbia. Paramilitary
12 formations. And then when he had set up the unit, for a time he went
13 underground among Serb villages, and then the whole thing became known,
14 that Rajko Kusic had established that armed formation and that that
15 locality was best suited to him and that he was there with those men
16 fairly frequently, with the units there.
17 Q. Let me then turn to two issues, please, in your evidence, your
18 written evidence. The elementary school that Radovan Karadzic visited
19 when he came to Rogatica, can you inform the Court what that became after
20 the war started?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did that particular elementary school become, and can you
23 tell the --
24 A. Yes. The school became a centre, a classical camp from which
25 people were -- which people were brought to and then taken on to secondary
1 school and the nursery in the Rogatica area.
2 Q. Now, what do you base that --
3 A. Surrendering point in fact.
4 Q. On what facts do you base that?
5 A. On facts, because I had confirmation from people who did not wish
6 to surrender and who managed to go into hiding and then to leave the area
7 during the night --
8 Q. Did you ever --
9 A. -- under cover of darkness.
10 Q. Did you ever have any conversations with any people who did
11 surrender, and did they inform you about this particular elementary
13 A. Not personally. I didn't talk to the individuals personally,
14 those who surrendered, but I do know from the people who stayed, and as I
15 said previously, those who were eyewitnesses when the Muslim people went
16 to this detention centre from the settlement, and later on they managed to
17 go over to free territory, which was later controlled by the TO units of
18 the Muslim forces.
19 Q. Do you know who had command over that detention centre?
20 A. Everything was under the control of Rajko Kusic.
21 Q. How do you know that to be the case?
22 A. Well, I know because the people claimed that Rajko, in a vehicle,
23 used a megaphone to make them surrender. He called for their surrender
24 publicly, using a loudspeaker. And then they were moved to the secondary
25 school centre and the detention facility actually there, and then they
1 were transferred to a camp in Rasavnik [phoen], in the Rogatica area.
2 Q. Do you have any other facts on which to base your statement that
3 Rajko Kusic had command of this facility? If you do, will you explain
4 those facts to the Judges.
5 A. Nothing special, because I wasn't there myself.
6 Q. Okay. Let us turn, then, to the next area I'd like to direct your
7 attention and that is the second visit of Radovan Karadzic to the Rogatica
9 MR. HARMON: And that, Your Honours, is in paragraph 20 of the
10 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor.
11 Q. Can you tell -- this visit occurred in approximately March of
12 1992. How were you aware of this second visit of Radovan Karadzic?
13 A. Right. One of our police officers from Lesna Borike, his name was
14 Camil Arnautovic, and he is dead, unfortunately, he informed me that
15 Radovan Karadzic, that his entourage had arrived. He didn't tell me who
16 the people were in his entourage, he said there was Milivojic [phoen] and
17 commander of the barracks in Han Pijesak, Milosevic.
18 Q. Now, Milosevic is Colonel Dragomir Milosevic; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And do you know what position in the army of the Republika Srpska
21 Colonel Dragomir Milosevic later assumed?
22 A. Yes, I know. He was commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
23 Q. Can you describe to the Trial Chamber what occurred after this
24 meeting with Mr. Karadzic and others.
25 A. A couple of days later, the situation aggravated in the entire
1 municipality of Rogatica, meaning that Serb military and paramilitary
2 formations closed off all communications, blocked all roads to prevent
3 communication with Muslim villages and with the legal authorities who were
4 still in Rogatica. Dragan --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- probably came to remove two
7 roadblocks on that road, and I was personally there when he tried, when
8 Rajko Kusic appeared with his men and placed them on both sides of the
9 road. They spoke behind the barricades for a long time, about 40 minutes.
10 Dragomir Milosevic's assistant commander was also there. His name was
11 Asim Dzambasovic, and he was an active-duty officer.
12 When these people arrived, one of the armed men at the roadblock
13 fired two shots in the air to intimidate us, whereas Rajko Kusic spoke to
14 Asim Dzambasovic in these words: "What are you looking for here? This is
15 not your army. Go back to your village Kovanj and line up your troops."
16 In response to that, two officers of the JNA who were there accompanying
17 them tried to calm everybody down to prevent an incident.
18 Forty minutes later the roadblock was removed, however, one still
19 could not go towards the regional road, towards Zepa.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Alajbegovic, you mentioned someone who tried to
21 remove the roadblocks, by the name of Dragan, and then the interpreters
22 could not catch his family name.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dragan meaning Dragomir Milosevic.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. Please proceed.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Let me focus first of all on the unit that you describe as Kusic's
2 paramilitary formations. First of all, how do you know that the units
3 that were at that location were indeed under the command of Rajko Kusic?
4 A. We knew that. We knew that because during those negotiations,
5 Rajko displayed in every way that he was in command, and he set conditions
6 and threatened that the worst could occur if we don't agree to the
7 division of territory, surrender, and if the police and the military do
8 not pledge loyalty to the SDS.
9 On one occasion, he even staged an attack in early morning hours
10 in the fields and meadows before Agarovici village, Stara Gora, Stavanj.
11 Q. Sir, let me interrupt you for a moment. We're focusing on the
12 barricades that you were describing and you said that paramilitary
13 formations appeared. My question is how do you know that those
14 paramilitary formations were Rajko Kusic's paramilitary formations?
15 A. They had special equipment. They wore special camouflage uniforms
16 which was something quite new in our area, never seen before. They had
17 state of the arms -- state-of-the-art weapons, M84 automatic rifles,
18 hand-held rocket launchers, grenades, and they looked like a real military
19 formation, wearing the tricoloured emblems and berets.
20 Q. You mentioned that Colonel Dragomir Milosevic was also present at
21 the barricades. Can you inform the Trial Chamber what the relationship
22 was between Colonel Dragomir Milosevic and the formations that were under
23 the command of Rajko Kusic?
24 A. I can. As we were approaching the roadblocks, the barricades, one
25 of the armed men from that military formation fired a shot and said,
1 "Dragomir is the only one who can go forward. Radomir [as interpreted]
2 Milosevic is the only one who can go forward. The rest of you wait back."
3 And that's what happened. Radomir Milosevic went forward. Rajko Kusic
4 went halfway to meet him. They stopped to talk behind the roadblock, and
5 after they emerged we realised that Rajko Kusic, too, is under the command
6 of Radomir Milosevic.
7 Q. When you say he was under the command of Milosevic, what are the
8 facts that support that particular conclusion?
9 A. There are several facts that support that conclusion. Dragomir
10 kept insisting in those negotiations on division of territory. He kept
11 trying to install a complete blockade. With the arrival of these
12 formations, they managed to install a blockade on the entire centre of the
13 town and to prevent civilian authorities from reaching the centre of the
14 town as well as communication with the outside, and Rajko went along with
16 Q. When you say in your evidence that Dragomir kept insisting in
17 those negotiations on the division of territory, what do you mean by that?
18 A. Yes. In the first stage of this division of territory, it was
19 Rogatica that was being divided into the Serb and the Bosniak part. Then
20 the police force was to be divided, followed by the division of territory
21 between two parts of the police force, which part of the territory was
22 supposed to be patrolled by Serb police and Serb paramilitary formations
23 and which by the Bosnian police.
24 Q. Was there --
25 A. We were not allowed to go into their part of the territory.
1 Q. We'll come to that, those sets of negotiations a little bit later,
2 but we're still talking about the roadblock that you've described. Was
3 there anything that particular day that led you to a conclusion that Rajko
4 Kusic was under the command of Colonel Milosevic?
5 A. Yes, we had that impression, yes.
6 Q. What was it that day that gave you that impression?
7 A. At that moment, he complied with the order of Colonel Milosevic to
8 remove the roadblock in front of the local commune of Seljani, which means
9 that he was under his orders.
10 Q. Now, if -- I would like to direct your attention still to Rajko
11 Kusic's paramilitary formations. Approximately how many men, to your
12 knowledge, were in that paramilitary formation?
13 A. In that well-equipped paramilitary unit that was armed with the
14 most modern equipment, there were between 45 and 50 able-bodied men.
15 Q. And in paragraph 26, you indicate that those units were in certain
16 villages. What's the factual basis for that assertion in paragraph 26?
17 A. Right. From time to time, he moved across certain local communes
18 of Borike area. Occasionally there were volleys of automatic fire.
19 Rockets were fired and mortar grenades, 82-millimetre calibre, and fire
20 was opened to warn Serb villages that they would be attacked by Muslim
21 forces from Visegrad. And the next day, he asked me at the police
22 station, he said in fact that he could not tolerate that any longer, that
23 he was attacked by Muslim forces from Visegrad, to which I replied that if
24 that was correct, then a multi-ethnic team should be formed using men from
25 Rogatica or from the republican Secretariat of the Interior, because we
1 had estimated based on the material evidence he had brought that machine
2 guns were involved and mortars of a certain calibre, that this assertion
3 was not possible because they -- the police and the others did not have
4 such weapons simply.
5 Q. My question is very simple. It's this: How were you aware that
6 Kusic had paramilitary soldiers in the villages of Seljani, Mesici,
7 Pesurici? How were you aware of that?
8 A. We had information that he was moving around that area, that
9 weapons were being fired, and that he was trying to confront Muslim and
10 Serb villages. And then he would move to another area and put in place
11 the same scenario. On one occasion, I went out of Rogatica to a place
12 called Karanfil Mahala --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you, Mr. Alajbegovic. Perhaps you do not
14 fully understand. Mr. Harmon is seeking exactly to establish how did you
15 know. What you do is you say we had information about it and then you
16 describe what the information was. What Mr. Harmon would like to know is
17 how you got that information. Did you see it yourself? Was it reported
18 to you? Did you hear it from other people when you came home in the
19 evening? That's what the question is about.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is very clear: I had
21 information from the ground, and on several occasions I contacted Rajko
22 Kusic personally, as well as his paramilitary units of the SDS, as we
23 called them.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you say, "I had information from the ground," was
25 that by your subordinates? Was that by ordinary civilians? Was that by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 -- what information did you receive, from whom?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both from my subordinates and from
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, proceed, Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Kusic was somebody you earlier said you knew. You knew
7 him through negotiations as well as knew him personally; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in -- at some point in time before the conflict started, did
10 Mr. Kusic inform you whose territory Rogatica municipality was?
11 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, it is preferred if we don't lead on this
12 sort of thing. I would ask Mr. Harmon to reformulate his question,
13 through Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, invitation is to reformulate unless you
15 have major objections of doing that.
16 MR. HARMON: I have no objections, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. Did you have conversations with Rajko Kusic where he made
20 assertions as to the territory of Rogatica?
21 You have to answer the question aloud.
22 A. Yes. I can answer very specifically. From September 1991 until
23 the beginning of 1992, Rajko Kusic called me up two or three times,
24 offering me maps and telling me that this was Serbian territory. He
25 produced coloured maps which I received as preposterous, but on the second
1 and third time he was more insistent and even tried to intimidate me,
2 saying that if we insist on seceding from Yugoslavia, we would be deported
3 and expelled unless we pledged loyalty to Serbs because they considered
4 Rogatica to be part of Serb territory.
5 Q. Did he inform you of the basis for his conclusion, why he
6 concluded Rogatica to be Serb territory?
7 A. Yes. He tried to explain when we talked that Serbs have more
8 lands registered in their name in land cadastres, or registers, and
9 therefore it was Serbian territory.
10 Q. Now, can I direct your attention to paragraph 29, to a
11 conversation that you had with Mr. Kusic in late 1991 during a police SDS
12 meeting at which you attribute a statement to Mr. Kusic "... that there
13 would be no future for Muslims in the area, that we would be attacked if
14 we did not leave." Can you explain to the Judges the circumstances under
15 which that particular statement was made?
16 A. In our eyes, when we later analysed his statement, because I
17 reported it to my superior, it was something like a trial balloon. Rajko
18 Kusic was just testing how we would react to such a sharply formulated
19 condition, namely that we had to leave the area because it was Serb land.
20 That was our conclusion.
21 Q. When he raised -- when he made that particular comment to you,
22 were you surprised?
23 A. By that time, I understood it was very serious, and that's why I
24 reported it to my superior.
25 Q. And then you said in your answer that there was an analysis of
1 that particular statement. Who conducted that analysis, do you recall?
2 A. It was a briefing between me and the head of the police station in
4 Q. And what conclusion did you reach during that briefing as to the
5 meaning and the import of Rajko Kusic's statement?
6 A. I thought I understood what it was all about: Unless we agreed to
7 divide up the territory as they wanted, we could be attacked and the
8 entire Bosniak population could be deported, expelled, or ethnically
9 cleansed, all those who failed to pledge loyalty to the new authorities.
10 However, we continued negotiating because we saw no other way out.
11 Q. Can you, insofar as the period of late 1991 and early 1992, can
12 you explain to the Judges what pressures were exerted by both Rajko
13 Kusic's paramilitaries and paramilitary formations that you describe in
14 paragraph 27 of your statement, the White Eagles? What kinds of pressures
15 did they exert on the Muslim population?
16 A. By their conduct, by their constant transfers from one place to
17 another, they kept complicating the situation by intimidating the Muslim
18 population. In the course of negotiations, they asked that the legal
19 authorities and police be disarmed. They wanted the police force to be
20 divided, followed by lands, followed by disarmament and surrender. And
21 later, they appealed to people to turn in their weapons, pledge their
22 loyalty to Serb authorities, and hand over all the power to them. And
23 that later proved to be true through our negotiations.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to put a question to you.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like you to tell me
1 exactly what was your role, what was your rank within the police at the
2 time. I seem to remember that you were the commander of the local police.
3 That's what I understood. Is that right?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but there is something called
5 the order of the republican SUP concerning action to be put in place in
6 extraordinary circumstances. It was the order from the republican level
7 dated the 19th September, 1991, which increased the level of mobilisation
8 of the entire police force. Then --
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] My question is as follows: You
10 were the commander of the police. How many men did you have under you?
11 How many men did report to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While those joint forces still
13 existed, we had a total of 210 men in the police force, Mladen and I
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] But who was your superior in the
16 chain of command, and who were your superiors when it was not in Rogatica?
17 Outside of Rogatica, what was the level, the administrative level above
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The republican Ministry of the
20 Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that is, the minister.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] When you tell us what you
22 witnessed, these events, we gained the impression that you were alone.
23 Did you have the opportunity following the events you describe and that
24 were so serious, did you have the opportunity to take the initiative to
25 report what you were witnessing? Did you draw up reports? Did you go to
1 the administrative centre to -- at the highest level in order to report
2 what you were seeing on the ground?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So what did you do? What did you
5 do, practically speaking?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We sent official reports through
7 dispatches to the republican Secretariat of the Interior of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina about the establishment of these paramilitary formations
9 headed by Rajko Kusic, about the arrival of paramilitary units from
10 Serbia, the White Eagles wearing their special insignia. Then on the 3rd
11 or 4th March, about the establishment of the Guca Battalion made up of
12 Serb people from Rogatica, among others, who immediately went to the
13 Sarajevo battlefield to fight. That's what you can find in my reports.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] These are documents you drafted
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I received information and as I
17 went out into the field where I saw many things with my own eyes, I would
18 return to the police station, draft my text and then send it by
19 teleprinter or teletype to the central base of the SUP, the Secretariat of
20 the Interior.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Where was this headquarter of the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Sarajevo.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Was there any reaction, any
25 response to your reports, to your telexes? Was there a response?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometimes we would receive feedback
2 in writing instructing us what to do, what to say in the negotiations so
3 as not to complicate matters further, saying that every effort should be
4 made to avoid conflict and war, if at all possible, whereas some
5 information was given us directly by telephone when they called up the
6 chief of the public security station, who was my superior and the superior
7 of Mr. Vasiljevic as well.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. One brief question on the paramilitaries and the Uniform Police.
11 Can you describe the differences in the quality of the armament that was
12 possessed by both the paramilitary formations of Rajko Kusic, the types of
13 armament, and the types of armament available to the Uniform Police.
14 A. Yes. Before that I explained what kind of weapons the
15 paramilitary unit of Rajko Kusic had. If you want me to, I can repeat,
16 and it was this: Automatic weapons, machine-guns of the latest type
17 produced by the JNA, 84 millimetres, hand-held rocket launchers, grenades,
18 special uniforms, and berets with the tricolour emblem, whereas the legal
19 formations, the police force, had the standard type of winter woolen
20 uniforms with windbreakers, wind jackets, and rifles.
21 Q. What kind of arms were available to the Uniform Police? You said
22 standard rifles. Was there anything else in addition to standard rifles
23 available to the Uniform Police?
24 A. No. We didn't have enough to go around.
25 Q. Let me direct your attention now to paragraph 30 of your statement
1 to the Office of the Prosecutor, in which you describe in January of 1992
2 Rajko Kusic and elements of his paramilitaries opened fire on Serb
3 villages with mortars during the hours of darkness.
4 Can you tell us, first of all, what you know about those
5 particular attacks and how you know that the attacks that you describe in
6 paragraph 30 were committed by Rajko Kusic's paramilitaries.
7 A. We knew about it because he turned up with Mladen Vasiljevic. He
8 came to the police station, the public security police station in Rogatica
9 to inform us that what was going on in the Borike area would not be
10 tolerated. And he also said that allegedly Serb villages had been under
11 attack with mortars, the M82-millimetre type, and that the crater that
12 resulted from the grenades and the M84 machine-gun bullets. We knew and
13 said and claimed that those kinds of weapons did not belong to the police.
14 The police didn't have that type of weapon, the Muslim forces, as they
15 referred to us already at that time, but that it was a trick on his part
16 for him to launch offensive action.
17 When I offered to make up a joint team from the republican SUP and
18 the local police to establish the situation on the ground and provide
19 material evidence and to send them up for analysis, he refused. He
20 refused my offer. And that was a sign to us that they had feigned this
21 attack in order to instil fear into his own people so that they then
22 should undertake operations to clear up the area, which later proved to be
24 Q. Did he -- to your knowledge, were there Muslim Green Berets
25 operating in the Borike area in January of 1992 as he claimed?
1 A. There were no units like that in that area. They referred to all
2 the legal members of the police force as being Green Berets, which was
3 quite absurd as far as we were concerned.
4 Q. Now, let me direct your attention to paragraph 39 and also
5 paragraph 5 of the Bosnian statement. I'm going to be covering the area
6 of the disarming of Muslims in villages.
7 In your -- in paragraph 39, you indicate that Kusic accelerated a
8 division between Muslims and Serbs by issuing ultimatums to Muslim
9 villages. Can you be, first of all, more explicit? Tell us when those
10 ultimatums were issued and what the actual words of those ultimatums were.
11 A. Yes. During the negotiation stage in the month of March, April,
12 right up to the first half of May, and later on until the 1st of June,
13 Rajko Kusic, because the terrain was divided up and there was no
14 cooperation or communication with the civilian authorities, Rajko managed
15 to disarm or, rather, the -- take away the weapons that were legally in
16 possession of Muslims in certain villages, such as Osovo.
17 Q. While you identify the villages, could you turn to the Prosecution
18 Exhibit that is next to you, the map 567, and can you point to the
19 villages that you're going to testifying about.
20 A. The village of Osovo; Okruglo, Satorovici, the village of Babljak,
21 the village of Burati. Here it is here, Burati. Then ultimatums
22 reached the Kozici local commune for all the Muslim villages. And later
23 on, of course, during the negotiations the ultimatum also applied to the
24 urban area.
25 Q. Now, how do you know that ultimatums by Rajko Kusic were given to
1 those outlying villages? Were you present when those ultimatums were
2 given to the inhabitants of those villages or was it reported to you?
3 A. I wasn't present, but people, commissioners, those people who
4 contacted us at the police station would inform us and tell us, would come
5 in or call in and say they had received those orders from these
6 paramilitaries and from him personally, because he took part in all this
7 himself personally. Ah, the village of Strmac. I omitted the village of
8 Strmac a moment ago.
9 Q. What specifically was the ultimatum that was reported to you?
10 A. The people who informed us from the areas we couldn't reach said
11 that Rajko Kusic had given them an ultimatum by the next day, 12.00 noon
12 or 1300 hours, that all weapons whether in legal possession or not in
13 legal possession should be brought in, and I'm quoting the example of the
14 village of Strmac, that they should be taken to the centre at Strmac, and
15 that's what people did. In the village of Okruglo and Osovo, for example,
16 it was handed over to the school building in Osovo. In Babljak they
17 handed them over to a local commissioner by the name of Goran Marjanovic,
18 for example. Then in the village of Burati they also handed over their
19 weapons and they carried on living there for a certain time but later on
20 they were brought into the holding centres, the collection centres and
21 then the camps, and some were liquidated and no trace of them is known.
22 Their burial place isn't known either.
23 The ultimatums in the Kozici local commune came in, too, and a
24 date was set when the weapons were to be surrendered. However, Rajko
25 Kusic and his formations did not appear in the area, did not go to that
1 locality, but the next day what happened was that they shelled the area,
2 the area was shelled. Pokrivenik, the village of Pokrivenik and they were
3 shelled with 60-millimetre mortars and the 82-millimetre mortars as well.
4 Rocket launchers.
5 Q. In the reports that you were receiving from Muslims from these
6 villages about these ultimatums, did you receive information as to what
7 would happen if the weapons were not turned in and what would happen if
8 the weapons were turned in?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Please tell the Judges what you heard.
11 A. Rajko's ultimatums said the following: If the weapons were turned
12 in, the people would be guaranteed safety and security and survival, which
13 means that they had demonstrated loyalty to the Serb authorities by
14 turning their weapons in, or rather, to the Serbian Democratic Party,
15 which was in power at the time. All those who failed to turn in their
16 weapons would be expelled, arrested, or suffer the worst consequences.
17 Q. Did Rajko Kusic ever make similar demands to you personally?
18 A. Yes, he did. He kept making them during the negotiations.
19 Q. Let's turn to these negotiations that you've referred to,
20 Mr. Alajbegovic. Between March of 1992 and May of 1992, were there
21 negotiations between the Muslim representatives and representatives of the
22 SDS in respect of the fate of the territory of the municipality of
24 A. Yes, on several occasions.
25 Q. And did you participate in those negotiations on behalf of the
1 Muslim authorities?
2 A. Yes, but not at all of them.
3 Q. Who was representing the SDS in those negotiations that took place
4 between March and May of 1992, by name?
5 A. Right. Well, in the negotiations on the SDS side, on the Serb
6 people, the main negotiator was Rajko Kusic; Sveto Veselinovic, president
7 of the SDS; Mile Sokolovic. He was later president of the Crisis Staff.
8 That's how they referred to him. Veljko Bojovic. On two occasions Petar
9 Jesic [phoen], Radomir Bukvar [phoen], Mile Ujic as president of the
10 executive authorities of the Rogatica municipality; and on two occasions
11 Novak Dzidan and Mladen Vasiljevic.
12 Q. Now, I'd like to focus on just the negotiations that took place in
13 March of 1992. Did the SDS put forward proposals to the Muslim
14 representatives in the Rogatica municipality in those negotiations?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What were the proposals that were put forth by the Serb
17 negotiators in those meetings?
18 A. The first proposal was that the police structures should be
19 divided up and that all property should be divided up percentage-wise,
20 depending on what belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party and their
21 representatives in the police force. Then the next one was that there
22 should be a delineation and separation of territory, both for the town of
23 Rogatica and the overall area of the municipality into a Serb portion
24 where Muslim police forces would not be allowed to enter, and if they
25 entered, they -- their security could not be guaranteed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Did the police divide in March of 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever have any conversations with your Serb police
4 colleagues as to why this division of the police was occurring?
5 A. Yes, certainly. There were some of our colleagues from the -- who
6 were Serbs who condemned it. They were the active-duty policemen, my
7 colleagues, in fact, who did not believe in that, pursuing that kind of
8 policy. And then there were the others. There were those whom -- who at
9 that time we qualified and referred to as people from the reserve force
10 which the SDS had brought into the police, and they were extremist in
11 orientation, and they wanted that to take place. They said to us that it
12 was impossible to work together any more, that there was no co-existence
13 any more, that the Serbs were getting their own municipality, republic,
14 and so on and so forth, and they would join up with the Yugoslav People's
15 Army who would be on their side. And if we were to offer resistance, we
16 didn't have a chance, that we would be expelled and so on. Because
17 allegedly, according to them, that was the position taken by the Main
18 Board of the SDS of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. And you were informed of that directly by members of the Serbian
20 police force in Rogatica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let me turn to negotiations -- I take it negotiations did continue
23 into April and May, and I'd like to focus your attention on the
24 negotiations in April.
25 In April, you were aware that the war had started in Bosnia;
2 A. Certainly.
3 Q. And that there had been --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- already actions in Sarajevo, Bijeljina, Foca, and Visegrad;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, what were the demands of the Serbian negotiators in April of
10 A. A division of territory, a cartographic, a map division on the map
11 into a Serbia area and a Muslim area, offering -- an offering of maps, and
12 that the SDS should -- that all power should be given over to the SDS.
13 Q. Now, in respect of the division of the territory, what was the
14 position of the Muslim negotiators in April in respect of the division of
15 the territory?
16 A. The Muslim negotiators accepted this division into a Serb Rogatica
17 municipality, and later on they did not want to agree to handing over
18 their power to the SDS or turning in weapons, because we knew the scenario
19 that had been prepared.
20 Q. Why did the Muslim negotiators agree to a division of the
21 territory given that the majority population of the Rogatica municipality
22 was Muslim?
23 A. The Muslims went to negotiate to avoid war. They weren't ready
24 for war, regardless of the fact that we were the majority population.
25 Q. And what was the Muslim negotiation position in respect of the SDS
1 demand that full authority of the entire municipality be turned over to
3 A. The Muslim negotiators tried to put it off, said that they would
4 consult higher instances at state level and that we would receive
5 instructions from them, and if they ordered us to go ahead, then we would
6 follow their orders. It was just to gain time to prevent an attack.
7 Q. And did those negotiations continue into the month of May 1992?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to focus your attention on the negotiation session
10 that took place somewhere between the 1st and 5th of May, 1992. Did you
11 personally participate in that negotiation session with representatives of
12 the SDS?
13 A. Yes, I did. I was present together with the representatives of
14 the Muslim side.
15 Q. And who from the Serb side was present during those negotiations?
16 Just identify them by name, please.
17 A. The meeting was chaired by Milorad Sokolovic as the elected
18 presiding person for the Crisis Staff. That's how he introduced himself.
19 And he was wearing a camouflage uniform. Then there was Veljko Bojovic,
20 and then Mr. Tomo Batinic, and I think Mile Ujic, president of the
21 Executive Board was there too.
22 Q. Was Rajko Kusic there?
23 A. No. He would just come in from time to time and leave. He would
24 just see that everything was going ahead and then leave. But he had his
25 formations providing security for the school premises where the meetings
1 were being held.
2 Q. What demands were made by the Serb negotiators in those -- in that
3 particular negotiation?
4 A. In those negotiations the demand was to hand over full authority
5 to the SDS, that the representatives of the Muslim people should call upon
6 the people to surrender their arms, both those that they were in
7 possession of legally and illegally, that they were believed to have in
8 their possession, and that they have no more time to exert pressure, to
9 have pressure exerted on them from the SDS and the military command at Han
11 Q. Now, were those demands accompanied by assurances that if the
12 Muslims did indeed turn over their weapons, that they would be able to
13 live in peace in the municipality of Rogatica?
14 A. Yes, but we didn't actually believe it. The war had already begun
15 in other areas, and we were witness through the media of the events that
16 were taking place, and we realised that the same thing was being prepared
17 for the Rogatica municipality, that we'd suffer the same fate.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned the name Tomo Batinic. Who is Tomo Batinic,
19 and what position -- what political party did he belong to and what
20 position did he hold?
21 A. Tomo Batinic at that point in time was a member of the SDS board
22 for Rogatica, and he performed the duty of director of the payments --
23 payment transactions for Rogatica. He was then proclaimed president of
24 the municipality of Rogatica, or mayor, and that is the function he holds
1 Q. Do you know what position he held in the Bosnian Serb
2 administration in Rogatica post-May of 1992?
3 A. He was president of the Rogatica municipality.
4 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you, can you relate to the Judges what --
5 the specifics of the conversation that you had with Mr. Batinic during
6 those negotiations.
7 A. Yes. Through the negotiations, since I myself was present when
8 they asked for -- asked to turn over authority to the SDS and for the
9 civilian authorities of the Muslim people should call upon the people to
10 surrender and that they would be guaranteed security, I asked him or,
11 rather, Mr. Batinic a direct question because we knew each other very
12 well. I said, "Mr. Tomo, what does all that mean? What does all this
13 mean?" And his answer was this: He said, "We can't wait any longer
14 because there is enormous pressure being exerted on us by the Main Board
15 of the SDS and the military command and that the SAO of Romanija had
16 already been formed and that this coincided with what I said in my
17 statement, and I state it again, that Rogatica officially belonged to the
18 SAO Romanija and that they couldn't wait any longer because pressure was
19 being brought to bear against them to get the job done.
20 Q. And let me then inquire: Did you ask Mr. Batinic about what he
21 meant by those remarks?
22 A. Yes, I did ask him. I said, "What does all this mean?" And he
23 said it meant that they had to carry out the operations and that this
24 belonged to SAO Romanija, which was -- and that Sokolac would be within
25 the frameworks of Republika Srpska.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm going to be turning to two exhibits
2 that will take longer than three minutes to introduce, so if we could take
3 a break at this time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will have a break. Madam Usher, could
5 you please escort the witness out of the courtroom to start with.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, could you give us an indication on how
8 much time you'd still need?
9 MR. HARMON: I would say, Your Honour, 25 minutes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Twenty-five minutes. That keeps you just within the
11 limits of three hours that you indicated.
12 Then, Ms. Loukas, I take it that will then -- the examination in
13 chief will be concluded before the -- before the end of this morning's
14 session, that you could start to cross-examine the witness, well, let's
15 say somewhere 20 minutes past one?
16 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, certainly, Your Honour, I can commence the
17 cross-examination, but obviously it won't be completed today.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Of course not. We will adjourn until ten minutes to
19 one on this clock, which now shows again the right hour.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, we were discussing the negotiations that took
25 place between March and May 1992. During the course of those
1 negotiations, are you aware of the negotiators having to discuss various
2 positions taken by the Muslim side with representatives in Pale?
3 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, that question is entirely leading.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, can you explain to the Judges whether the people
7 who were negotiating from the Serb side in those negotiations that we have
8 been discussing had autonomy to arrive at their own independent decisions
9 or not?
10 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, again. Not as leading as the first, but
11 still leading. In the circumstances, Your Honour, it is better and I
12 think more appropriate --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you rather not having leading questions. I
14 understand that. But isn't it true that the witness has testified about
15 pressure from the SDS Main Board? Let me just have a look and see whether
16 -- Ms. Loukas, the witness has testified that there was pressure during
17 the negotiations from the Main Board of the SDS. If you look at page 71,
18 second half of the page. So therefore the question gives a follow-up to
19 -- unless you would say that the Main Board of the SDS was not in Pale at
20 that time, but --
21 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, that's -- that's the point. No
22 foundation has been laid for inserting into the question from the
23 Prosecution Pale.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And what's the position of the Defence in
25 respect of the location of the SDS Main Board at that period of time?
1 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I think that's a matter for the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Witness, could you tell us, the Main Board of
4 the SDS, where it was located during these negotiations. What city or
5 village or --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The assumption of our negotiators
7 was that they were in Pale.
8 JUDGE ORIE: How did they assume that? Did they tell you or did
9 you -- how did you know that they assumed that it was in Pale?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With every conversation, every
11 dialogue that we had, they always said they would report to the Main Board
12 of the SDS in Pale. Whether they really did so, I don't know, but that's
13 what they said at the negotiations.
14 MR. HARMON: Now, let me have the next two exhibits marked,
15 please. And if we could start, Madam Registrar, by marking the Tanjug
16 newspaper article as the first exhibit.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number P569. And the
18 newspaper article from Glas P570 [Realtime transcript read in error
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Were you informed, Mr. Alajbegovic, that people from the SDS
22 Rogatica hierarchy travelled to Pale?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That was based on what exactly? What was the basis of that
1 A. The basis of that information was the feedback they presented at
2 that next meeting, namely that they had contacted the Main Board at Pale.
3 MR. HARMON: Now, Your Honours, the two exhibits that I've
4 distributed, one -- we'll start with Prosecution Exhibit 569. Prosecution
5 569 is a report from the Belgrade Tanjug domestic service that was issued
6 on the 17th of May, and the article refers to in the first paragraph --
7 and I'll just read relevant portions of the first paragraph into the
8 record. It's dated the 17th of May: "In Sokolac today a meeting was held
9 between representatives of the government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina, the Serb Autonomous Region of Romanija, the Serb
11 municipalities of Osovo and Rogatica, and representatives of the Belgrade
12 based Associations of the Citizens of Romanija Region. The Serb
13 government was represented by Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik, as
14 well as Colonel-General Ratko Mladic, the commander of the military forces
15 of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 Now, in paragraph 3 there's a quotation from Radovan Karadzic, and
17 Mr. Karadzic is quoted as saying: "We know exactly what we want. We want
18 our state in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... And if they want to take Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina out of Yugoslavia, we want to take our state out of Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina."
21 And finally, there is a quotation in paragraph 5 of this article
22 attributed to Mr. Krajisnik, and I will read this into the record.
23 "Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the Assembly of the Serb
24 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressed that the time is ripe for a
25 demarcation of the areas between Croats, Serbs, and Muslims because, as he
1 said, a common state with them is no longer possible. Not because we do
2 not want that but because that is what they want. The Muslim leadership
3 has imposed the war on us, even though the Serbs wanted a political
4 solution of all problems, Momcilo Krajisnik said and informed those
5 present that all Serb patriots will have the same emblem, the Serb
7 The next exhibit, Your Honour, 570, is obviously a report of the
8 same meeting. This is issued in the newspaper Glas and was issued on the
9 19th of May, 1992.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Harmon, just for the transcript, where you
11 refer to 570 by mistake, the transcript a few lines earlier mentioned 270
12 as the number attributed, but it should be 570.
13 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
14 Q. Now, you've described, sir, the meeting that took place on -- you
15 participated on -- between the 1st and the 5th of May, 1992. Was there
16 another meeting that was scheduled after that meeting?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you attend that meeting?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did any of the Muslim representatives who had participated in the
21 earlier negotiations attend that meeting?
22 A. Yes. There was one of the earlier representatives plus a new one.
23 Q. And very briefly, because I want to conclude your testimony in 20
24 minutes, can you tell the Court what happened at that final meeting as far
25 as you know?
1 A. Yes. After the return of two negotiators from the Muslim side,
2 the ultimatum was that all the people should surrender or, rather, pledge
3 loyalty to the SDS authorities, that they should turn in all the weapons.
4 Failing that, operations were possible in the territory of Rogatica
6 Since the civilian authorities had estimated earlier that it would
7 not be a good idea for them to attend these negotiations any longer
8 because it served no purpose, they introduced a new negotiator who didn't
9 belong to any of the parties. And at the point when they were negotiating
10 with the Serb negotiators, the chairman was a colonel or lieutenant
11 colonel from Han Pijesak. He was on the side of the Muslim delegation --
12 or, rather, he was negotiating with the Muslim side. And then in the
13 middle of the negotiations, Rajko Kusic appeared, thinking that the entire
14 delegation was there. He was very surprised to see that none of the
15 earlier negotiators were in attendance.
16 He tried to explain himself to the man from the army who was there
17 together with president of the Crisis Staff, Mile Sokolovic. He was
18 saying that he came there to check their own security situation, to check
19 that nobody brought in any weapons. The lieutenant colonel, however, told
20 him to get out, and he left the room where the negotiations were being
21 conducted, together with his two companions.
22 Q. Now, turning your attention to paragraph 41, it refers to the
23 arrival of the Uzice Corps on May the 19th, 1992. Let me go back to that
24 third negotiation session. Could you tell the Court approximately the
25 date of the third negotiation session that you just described? When did
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the third negotiation -- the second negotiation session in May take place?
2 The one you just described.
3 A. The last negotiations were after the 10th of May.
4 Q. Were those last negotiations before the arrival of the Uzice
6 A. Yes, because the president of the Crisis Staff, Milorad Sokolovic,
7 had announced back at earlier rounds that if power and weapons were handed
8 over, he would work to bring in the Uzice Corps as a force who would take
9 control of Rogatica municipality and provide security to the Muslim people
10 in return for their pledge of loyalty. And already on the 19th of May,
11 they came in from the site of Rogatica to Kukavice region, and they
12 started disarming the population.
13 Q. When you say they started disarming the population, what
14 population were they disarming?
15 A. The Muslim population that we're talking about, Kukavice village.
16 Civilians who had --
17 Q. Can I --
18 A. -- legal permissions to own hunting rifles.
19 Q. I have approximately 15 minutes to conclude your examination, so
20 listen very carefully to the questions I ask and we will conclude this in
21 the time allotted.
22 Can you first of all tell me the size of the corps, the Uzice
23 Corps, that came into the municipality? What was the size of the units?
24 A. I didn't see the corps, because I wasn't in the area.
25 Q. What was reported to you in respect of the size of the units that
1 came in from Uzice Corps?
2 A. The commander of the reserve police who was there in the village
3 with 30 of his men, this village being populated by Muslims, told me that
4 they had already taken control of the left and right bank of the river
5 that goes through Kukavice village and that they had already started
6 disarming civilians.
7 Q. Now, in paragraph 42 of your evidence, written evidence, you say
8 that on the 22nd of May at 1200 hours, the artillery bombardment started.
9 Is the 22nd of May, 1992, a date that -- to which you attach significance?
10 A. Yes. That day marked an all-out attack on the town and all the
11 villages that belonged to Rogatica municipality that were populated mainly
12 by Muslims.
13 Q. As a result of those attacks that commenced on the 22nd of May,
14 can you describe what happened to the villages -- first of all, which
15 villages were attacked, and what happened to the residents of those
16 villages? And you can use, if you would, the exhibit that is beside you
17 on the ELMO. Can you point to the villages?
18 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that question, Your Honour, I
19 think it would be also useful for Mr. Harmon to direct the witness to
20 whether or not he is relating direct knowledge or hearsay, be it first or
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you could please inform us whether what you
23 have seen by yourself, what you observed by yourself, what you heard, and
24 if you heard it from others by what means and who the others were. Please
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. Members of the reserve
2 police force who were in the Muslim villages at the time used various
3 means of communications to call me at my number to say that the shelling
4 of Muslim villages had started at 1200 hours. I myself was at that point
5 in Kozici local commune, not far from the local branch office, and I spent
6 several hours there in a shelter waiting for the fire from artillery
7 weapons, mortars, machine-guns to end.
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. Which villages were reported to you were under attack?
10 A. It was the entire territory of Zepa municipality. It was
11 populated 90, 90 per cent by Muslims. So the attack was on the entire
12 local commune, the entire town, because the representatives of local
13 authorities were in Bijeljina Polje facing Pasic Kula, Starcici, Kugatici
14 [phoen], Radic, Brda and many other places were shelled at the same time
15 over those three hours. The area of Rasolica [phoen] village, Golubovici,
16 Ferizovici, Vragolovi, Kovanj, while Kosove, Strmac, Burati, Babljak,
17 Demurni [phoen] Don and Mali Zazok [phoen], places that had already turned
18 in their weapons, were spared. This information was later confirmed when
19 people crossed over to the territory where the Territorial Defence had
20 been established from the men coming from these majority Muslim villages.
21 JUDGE ORIE: When the witness talked about the town, he was
22 pointing at Rogatica.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. Now, sir, as a result of the events after the artillery attacks
25 started, what happened to the Muslim people who lived in, for example, the
1 town of Rogatica? What did they do?
2 A. Many started moving to the secondary school centre and to the
3 Gracanica school to surrender. There were other people who didn't want to
4 do that, and a bit later a clash occurred with Muslim forces in the town
6 Q. When you say "Muslim forces," very quickly can you tell the Court
7 what you mean by Muslim forces in the city itself.
8 A. I mean those Muslims who did not turn in their weapons.
9 MR. HARMON: Now, if we could have the next exhibit, please,
10 distributed, presented to the witness.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P571.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Witness, have you seen this exhibit prior to coming into court
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. What does this exhibit represent?
17 A. This is the list of civilian casualties in the attack on Rogatica
18 mounted by Serb forces.
19 Q. I won't go into great detail, but did you -- having reviewed this
20 list, did you know any of these people on this list personally?
21 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, before there are any further questions
22 on this document, if -- I submit it would be important to find out who
23 prepared this document. It seems from the evidence that's been elicited
24 thus far that the witness saw it for the first time when the Prosecution
25 showed it to him.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes. I showed the witness this document. This came
2 from a Rules of the Road file. It is a list that comprised 20, I think 7
3 pages. It's a list of people who were killed in various municipalities
4 and I extracted from that list the people who were allegedly killed from
5 Rogatica. This witness has had an opportunity to review this. He has
6 identified -- he knows many of these people and can confirm that. I won't
7 take him through --
8 JUDGE ORIE: So you're not asking him to specifically comment on
9 the list but, rather, whether he recognises the names or --
10 MR. HARMON: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- whether he knows anything about those persons.
12 MR. HARMON: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So the list is just since it might be difficult to
14 remember all the names. Yes, please proceed.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Witness, having reviewed this list, can you confirm that there are
17 people in this list who you know personally and who you can confirm were
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, let me direct your attention to another topic and that is an
21 exhumation that took place in Duljevac in 1998. Did you attend an
22 exhumation at that location?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. Can you tell the Judges very, very briefly about that mass grave.
25 Just inform the Judges about the detail of that exhumation itself.
1 A. Right. We received official information about four Muslim
2 survivors who had surrendered and pledged loyalty to Serb authorities in
3 the months of May and June. Sometime in the first half of July 1992,
4 those people from camps were brought by buses to Kozici local commune in
5 the area of Duljevac village. There were 28 of them. All the 28 of them
6 were placed by Rajko Kusic and his paramilitary forces to act as human
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you're now telling us about persons that --
9 whereas the question was about exhumations. So later if there's any
10 information needed on those bodies exhumated, then Mr. Harmon will
11 certainly ask you. But could you first concentrate, for example, do you
12 know about the exhumation? When did it take place?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The exhumation took place in 1998,
14 when I, being in possession of all this information, went out into the
15 field to the spot where, according to statements by survivors, there was a
16 mass grave, together with a person from the international police force,
17 and there was a prisoner, a survivor who had been taken captive in the
18 Gorazde battlefield. Amor Masevic came back following up on that
19 information to the site to perform the exhumation together with two
20 renowned citizens who had turned in to Serb authorities.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter made a mistake here. Could the
22 witness repeat the last bit. The two Muslims were actually in the grave,
23 they did not come to the exhumation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please repeat the last part of your
25 answer because the interpreters would like to hear it again so that they
1 can translate it to us. You said you went out to the spot where,
2 according to the statement the survivors -- there was a mass grave,
3 together with a person from the international police force. Could you
4 please repeat your answer on from that point.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We found the location of the mass
6 grave. We recorded it on the video camera to document it, and seven days
7 later an expert team from the Bosnian authorities, together with Mr. Amor
8 and his team, went to the same location indicated by this video footage
9 and found a mass grave containing 24 bodies of Muslims who had been
10 executed. And these bodies were those of men -- of people who had turned
11 in to Serb authorities in May and June 1992 in the area of Rogatica, and
12 some of these men came from Seljani village.
13 After the exhumation and after the identification of bodies, they
14 were reburied in one of Sarajevo cemeteries in the locality known as
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic, did you personally attend the exhumation?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were the identities established of the people who were -- of the
20 bodies that were exhumed from that mass grave?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you know some or all of those people whose bodies had been
23 exhumed from the mass grave?
24 A. I knew over 90 per cent of them.
25 Q. Can you inform the Judges whether those people were civilians or
1 whether they were combatants.
2 A. They were all civilians who had surrendered to the Serb
4 Q. You know the professions of some of those people whose bodies were
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What were they?
8 A. There were two doctors, several directors or managers in the
9 commercial organisations from Rogatica, there was a certain number of
10 minors, under age people, and some elderly villagers who had surrendered
11 from the village of the local commune Seljani and others, other places.
12 Q. Now, if we can turn your attention -- I can turn your attention to
13 paragraph 47 of the statement given to the Office of the Prosecutor, in
14 that paragraph you describe a letter that was received, and I don't want
15 to go into the details of what is quoted in this particular letter that is
16 represented in the statement. Are there parts of the letter that are not
17 included in paragraph 47, that have not been quoted?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Can you tell the Judges what else this letter contained.
20 A. I personally received a letter in my own hands, a letter from an
21 under-aged boy from the village of Starcici who had been captured.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The question was what was more in the letter which is
23 not quoted here. I would like to ask you to very much focus on it,
24 because the other information we have read, the statement, so therefore we
25 are aware of that. Please proceed.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. The letter, the next portion
2 says the Muslim population. So "population," the word "population" there
3 is missing. And the signature is the SDS of Rogatica permissions office.
4 That is what is missing here in this letter.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Was there any additional substance in the letter that is not
7 contained in what is reproduced in paragraph 47?
8 A. The details are similar to the letter, and you can find the
9 letter. It was in the intelligence organ at Gorazde.
10 Q. Okay. Was any reference made to Muslims in this letter that you
11 don't see in the paragraph reproduced?
12 A. Yes. The prospects for the Muslim population in Central Bosnia
13 from Visoko to Zenica, that's the portion that's missing. It says "Your
14 perspective of life," as it reads here.
15 Q. Was there any offer in the letter that was made in addition to
16 what's contained in this paragraph?
17 A. The offer was -- that's right, yes. The offer was quite clear
18 that by the 15th of August, we should send a woman, and they would
19 guarantee her safety and security, that she would return, for the
20 forthcoming operation of the cleansing of the terrain and that they would
21 ensure buses to transport the civilians, and in that way they would
22 cleanse the area of the Muslim forces.
23 Q. If we could turn to the next exhibit, please.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P572.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Witness, did I ask you to prepare Prosecution Exhibit 572 to
2 reflect the location of the Muslim communities and the Serb communities at
3 the end in December of 1992?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you identify on Prosecution Exhibit 572 where the Muslim
6 population was concentrated in December of 1992.
7 A. Yes, I can. It's marked on this map here. This is the area that
8 comprises the local commune or, rather, the Zepa municipality --
9 Q. And for the record --
10 A. -- which had already been --
11 Q. For the record, the witness has pointed with the pointer to the
12 area circled in green at the top of the map.
13 Please continue.
14 A. And then the area of the Muslim villages belonging to the Kozici
15 local commune.
16 Q. And for the record, the witness is using his pointer and
17 indicating the area at the bottom right of the map that is encircled in
19 A. And part of the territory of the village of Vrazalice.
20 Q. And for the record, the witness is using his pointer to indicate
21 the area circled in green at the left bottom of the map.
22 Now, in the areas -- in the area that is in between the areas in
23 green, were there any Muslims residing at the end of the December of 1992?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How many?
1 A. In green, yes.
2 Q. How many Muslims were residing in the areas that are not circled
3 in green in the Rogatica municipality?
4 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that, again a
5 delineation as to whether or not we're talking about direct knowledge --
6 MR. HARMON: I'll get there.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, if you would expect the witness to have
8 counted them all, then let's just proceed first and see whether we can
9 start with the cross-examination soon.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon. Of course, the next question would be
11 what would be the basis of his knowledge. No one expects a witness going
12 through the villages, counting all the remaining Muslims. It's really an
13 objection or a suggestion which interrupts rather than assists. Please
14 proceed --
15 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I would now give --
17 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to that, Your Honour, that was not
18 my suggestion.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, it was not your suggestion, but you should not
20 have interfered and you should have let Mr. Harmon go at this moment in
22 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I'm performing my duty.
24 MR. HARMON: May I proceed, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. HARMON:
2 Q. Witness, you've indicated three areas where the Muslims were
3 concentrated in December of 1992. The other areas that are not circled in
4 green, what was the majority ethnic group that resided in that area?
5 A. At that point in time, most of them were Muslims. They were all
6 brought to the camps, which means that they had been cleansed ethnically.
7 Q. Let me ask the question again, okay, and I'd like you to listen to
8 the question very carefully. You have a map, 572, that is on the ELMO in
9 front of you. I asked you a question to identify three areas, the areas
10 where the Muslim population was concentrated in December of 1992, and you
11 pointed out three areas that are circled in green. The rest, the
12 remaining part of the Rogatica municipality is not circled in green. What
13 was the majority ethnic population that resided in the area of Rogatica
14 municipality that is not circled in green?
15 A. In 1992, December; is that right?
16 Q. December of 1992; correct.
17 A. The Serb population.
18 Q. My question is, to your knowledge, how many Muslims remained in
19 the area that is not circled in green in the Rogatica municipality in
20 December of 1992?
21 A. The couple of villages that we mentioned earlier on, but they were
22 all brought to the camps in Rogatica, which means that they weren't in
23 their homes any longer in 1992. They were already in the camp in
25 Q. Can you tell the Court what happened to the mosques that existed
1 in the Rogatica municipality by the end of December of 1992?
2 A. Yes. All the mosques, two city mosques and 30 mosques in the
3 Rogatica municipality in the villages, except the mosque in the village of
4 Lubardici were mined and blasted.
5 Q. And can you -- did you see that personally or were you informed of
6 that information?
7 A. At the time, I didn't personally see it, but later on we learnt
8 from others, and at the end of the war I visited many of these places and
9 saw for myself that those mosques were no longer standing. And in the
10 town itself on the spot where the mosque stood was a parking lot instead.
11 Q. Let me direct your attention to paragraph 52 of the statement
12 provided -- provided to the Office of the Prosecutor. Can you inform the
13 Trial Chamber the facts upon which you base the information contained in
14 paragraph 52.
15 A. Yes. What is meant is the Muslim people who had come to see what
16 was going to happen next in front of those detainee camps in the school.
17 They were arrested there, captured. Many of them were beaten up. Many of
18 them were liquidated or taken off into the night, and to the present day
19 the whereabouts of many is not known. We don't know where they were
20 killed and where the mass graves lie --
21 Q. Mr. Alajbegovic --
22 A. -- in which there are still many --
23 Q. -- did you personally see that or was that information that you
24 received through reports?
25 A. Information from reports and the statements of people who in one
1 way or another had reached the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina and were
2 able to tell, who had reached the BH army.
3 Q. Can you in paragraph -- I'm referring you to paragraph 53. You
4 arrive at a conclusion. Can you tell the Court the factual basis for the
5 conclusion that you include in paragraph 53. What are the facts?
6 A. Very simple: That the politics and policies of the SDA from
7 Rogatica followed the official positions and policy taken by the SDS of
8 the Republika Srpska for ethnic cleansing, persecution, and expulsion and
9 the creation of the state of Republika Srpska. And this came to prove
10 true in practice.
11 Q. Now --
12 A. Because all the commands, all the orders came from top level down
13 to the lower levels.
14 Q. Now, in your evidence, in your answer, you said, and I quote,
15 "That the politician and policies of the SDA..." Is that correct? Let
16 me read your complete answer. "That the policies -- that the politics and
17 policies of the SDA from Rogatica followed the official positions and
18 policy taken by the SDS of the Republika Srpska."
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said SDS.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's a small mistake on the transcript.
21 MR. HARMON: All right.
22 Q. Let me explore this with you a little bit more, Witness. When is
23 the factual basis that -- what are the facts that you have at your
24 disposal showing that the Serbs carried out a well-planned, large-scale
25 operation commanded at the highest level? What are the facts that you
1 base that conclusion on?
2 A. The facts are that there was combat operations against the
3 territories where the Muslims were concentrated, and the object of that
4 was to expel us from those parts, too, which means that everything had
5 been planned from the highest level and staged right down to the lower
6 commands in order to expulse the Muslims.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You were asked about facts. Your position is clear
8 but if you say what the object was, that's not fact. So if you say, for
9 example, command highest level, how did you know it was the highest level
10 and not another level or no level at all?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, you could feel it because
12 there were military formations at their disposal. They had heavy
13 weaponry, the aviation and everything that was at their disposal was
14 directed against expelling the Muslims from those areas; the setting up of
15 camps, et cetera.
16 JUDGE ORIE: May I just try to understand you. Therefore, you say
17 they had weaponry and aviation and that was not available at any other
18 level than the highest level. Is that a correct understanding of what you
19 want to say? So that's one fact which supports your conclusion. That's
20 the weaponry.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us similar facts?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Furthermore, the ultimatums
24 expressed in the negotiations to surrender weapons, to be loyal to Serb
25 authorities, failing which we would be deported and ethnically cleansed
1 from those areas proved to be true in other territories. In those three
2 areas along those three axes where Muslim forces were concentrated,
3 operations were later developed, such as the Zepa enclave operation, and
4 these areas were cleansed from the Muslim population. That is another
6 JUDGE ORIE: You say if I compare from what I know, even if not by
7 your own observation, what happened in Rogatica and what happened in Zepa
8 and by comparing that I draw the conclusion that -- then it should have
9 been organised at the highest levels because of the pattern or
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, I don't know whether you want to explore
14 MR. HARMON: I don't, Your Honour. I have no additional
15 questions. I conclude my direct examination.
16 Thank you very much, Mr. Alajbegovic.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, of course I could invite you to start
18 your cross-examination. It doesn't make much sense perhaps for the last
19 three or four minutes.
20 MS. LOUKAS: There is just one point. Your Honour will recall
21 back on page 89 I made an objection that Your Honour characterised as
22 interfering with Mr. Harmon. I would indicate, Your Honour, I'm sorry if
23 Your Honour gained that impression. I was trying to be helpful because I
24 think it's critical that when the evidence in chief comes out, that the
25 basis of knowledge is made. In any event, Mr. Harmon indicated that he
1 would come to the basis of knowledge, and if one looks back at page 89,
2 actually the basis of knowledge was not come to, and I think prior to
3 finishing the evidence in chief, it would be appropriate that we actually
4 now do finally find out whether the basis of the knowledge was firsthand
5 or secondhand.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I do agree with you. At the same time, I would have
7 expected Mr. Harmon to -- as a matter of fact, the question put by
8 Mr. Harmon finally was not really answered.
9 MS. LOUKAS: Precisely, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So I fully acknowledge, although I thought at
11 that time that you're not greatly assisting, certainly at this time you
12 do, at this moment you do.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MR. HARMON: I will be glad to ask the witness that question.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Alajbegovic, Mr. Harmon had some difficulties in
16 getting an answer to his question how many Muslims remained by the end of
17 1992, December 1992, in the area not circled green? And then you said
18 they were taken to camps. How many were still there living in their own
19 homes in the non-green encircled areas?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the Burati village.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And there they were still living. Could you
22 please point at the Burati village.
23 Could we perhaps have the map again on the ELMO.
24 Could you point at it. Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a village near the thoroughfare
1 from Sarajevo to Rogatica, near a place called Stjenice.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Do I then understand that there Muslims were still
3 living in their own houses at -- in December 1992?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Occasionally.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What do you mean by that? Do you mean not all of
6 them, or now and then, or ...
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I mean is that they were
8 occasionally taken away to give logistical support to the Serb army on the
9 front line and to perform various jobs for the Serbian army in the fields,
10 in the town, anywhere. And in 1995, these people were exchanged.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, apart from the village of Burati, where were
12 still Muslims living in the non-green encircled area and how many?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A small number, Osovo and Okruglo
14 villages. These villagers would occasionally be taken to camps. They
15 would be used to dig trenches. Some of them were eventually killed,
16 others survived.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Any other -- in total, how many Muslims were still
18 living in the non-green encircled area, approximately? I'm not asking an
19 exact number at this moment.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around a hundred.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And that's including the villages you just mentioned?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What makes you say that there were
24 approximately a hundred? On what is this assessment or this number based?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the exchange took place in 1995
1 in the Kula prison in what was then the Serbian part of Sarajevo, those
2 people came to the territory of the federation and I was in a position to
3 see them, to conduct interviews with them, and that's how I got the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could there have been a larger number if not all of
6 them were exchanged so that there were others still remaining?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody stayed behind.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That means that after the exchange, that there were
9 no Muslims living at all any more in the area not green encircled? How
10 did you know that? I mean, what made it possible for you to verify this?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We knew that two families had
12 remained in the town. I don't know what their fate became, but I know
13 they stayed until the end of the war. Whether they were later exchanged
14 or whether they were sent to third countries, I don't know.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon, I've tried to clarify some of the
17 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You have no further questions.
19 Ms. Loukas, we are past a quarter to two. If there is any very
20 urgent matter, please raise it. If not, you may start to cross-examine
21 the witness tomorrow morning.
22 MS. LOUKAS: Certainly, Your Honour. Just very quickly, we've
23 organised a conference with Mr. Krajisnik for 6.00 this evening, and the
24 Registry --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is the witness to be informed about all this?
1 MS. LOUKAS: The witness doesn't need to be here for this.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We'd like to continue tomorrow morning, 9.00, same
3 courtroom. We would like to see you back. May I instruct you not to
4 speak with anyone about your testimony that you have given until now, nor
5 to speak with anybody about your testimony still to be given tomorrow when
6 you'll be cross-examined by the Defence.
7 Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Alajbegovic out of the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, you've planned a meeting for 6.00 this
13 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour, and I can indicate that
14 I have spoken to Ms. Meleras, Michelle Meleras, from the Registry and
15 she's very helpfully trying to organise an interpreter for us this
16 afternoon, and of course, the question of interpreters and conferences
17 with Mr. Krajisnik has become rather difficult in the absence of a case
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm aware of that and it's good to hear that at least
22 the Registry does everything to support the Defence in this.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed they do, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, same
25 courtroom, with apologies for the interpreters and the technicians for the
1 additional five minutes.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
4 March, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.