1 Wednesday, 9 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
9 Good afternoon to everyone from the Chamber as well.
10 Mr. Josse, are you ready to call your next witness?
11 MR. JOSSE: I am, Your Honour, but I think I should deal with one
12 or two preliminary matters --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. JOSSE: -- in relation to his testimony.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. JOSSE: Because if I don't give the introduction, I know
17 Mr. Tieger will do it for me in any event, quite understandably, let me
18 hastily add.
19 This witness arrived in The Hague on Monday. He brought with him
20 quite a lot of documents. I could advance an explanation of sorts as to
21 why they hadn't been forwarded to the Defence in advance of his coming
22 here, but frankly, Your Honour, that explanation wouldn't be terribly
23 satisfactory and wouldn't help the situation that the Chamber,
24 Prosecution, and to some extent the Defence now face.
25 He brought them, in any event. I had someone look at them, give
1 me some assessment of them, and yesterday, after Court, so at about 6.30,
2 I personally served them on my learned friend Mr. Tieger, in B/C/S, of
3 course, and completely untranslated.
4 The position is that they have now been collated and put into
5 bundles with some sensible tabs. However, of course, they remain
6 completely untranslated. There are quite short passages in most of the
7 documents that I wish to use in the course of this witness's testimony,
8 and, well, subject to the views of the Chamber, I will do my best, using
9 the ELMO, in the course of the witness's testimony. Copies of the
10 documents have been provided to the translation booths to try and make
11 matters a little bit easier, although I appreciate, as I keep saying, that
12 the situation is very far from ideal. The Prosecution are rightly
13 concerned and upset about the situation. They've been as cooperative as
14 they can be, but I know my learned friend wishes to make some observations
15 to Your Honour and Your Honour's colleagues, and I well understand that,
16 and I thought I would go first by preambling the situation and explain the
17 dilemma that the Defence case and have imposed, I'm afraid, on everyone
18 else in this courtroom.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Josse, the French have a saying "tout
20 comprendre, c'est tout pardonner," understanding is fine, and I take it
21 that you understood the French, but it doesn't appear on the -- it doesn't
22 appear on the transcript. Understanding everything is -- but perhaps I
23 have to --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Understand is to forgive.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- than to forgive, yes, is to forgive everything.
1 That's, of course, not what we're heading for. I mean, the Chamber in the
2 beginning has, well, accepted, although reluctantly, that what in my
3 language would be called child diseases, that is, the diseases someone
4 suffers when he is not grown up yet, in the beginning of the Defence case,
5 but it's certainly not meant to be the beginning of a tradition. I do
6 understand that further meetings are held on scheduling and preparing for
7 the Defence case. I think it doesn't need any explanation to say that the
8 Chamber becomes quite impatient and that we want the situation to change
9 rather quickly.
10 Mr. Tieger, is there anything you'd like to say in response to
11 what Mr. Josse said?
12 MR. TIEGER: Very little, Your Honour. I appreciate Mr. Josse's
13 accurate explanation of the facts at the outset. So I'll just say --
14 mention two things quickly, one directly connected with his comments, the
15 other related but not directly connected.
16 First, as I foreshadowed earlier, both to the Defence and to the
17 Chamber, under the circumstances, at a minimum, in response to this
18 situation, the Prosecution will not be in a position to cross-examine
19 today. We have committed ourselves to doing the best we can under the
20 circumstances and we will endeavour to minimise the inconvenience to the
21 Court, but I can indicate at the outset that, at a minimum, that that will
22 be the Prosecution's position.
23 Secondly, the related matter concerns the 65 ter summaries that
24 have been received for witnesses who have been identified as next in
25 order. We have been expecting for some time the more detailed 65 ter
1 summaries. I won't go into the nature of the current summaries because I
2 don't believe it's necessary. I think Mr. Josse acknowledges their
3 deficiencies. But with respect to Mr. Banduka and Mr. Kasagic and a
4 witness whom we understand the Defence will seek protective measures for,
5 nothing has been received and I think we're already beyond the 14-day
6 deadline, and that's a matter of growing concern to the Prosecution.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber shares your concerns.
8 Any other issue to be raised? If not, Madam Usher, could you
9 please escort the witness into the courtroom.
10 I will say a few words on another matter that was still pending as
11 to the order of examination of a witness. The Chamber would very much
12 follow, I would say, the lines of logic in this respect. That means
13 examination-in-chief, a witness comes with, I would say, everything's new,
14 the Prosecution then may cross-examine the witness, either challenging the
15 testimony given or introducing even some new matters under Rule 89(H). The
16 Defence then, of course, is in a position to again challenge especially
17 what was raised in cross-examination, new issues or important new
18 elements, new aspects. If there's no cross-examination, of course there's
19 no need to respond in terms of questioning the witness on those matters.
20 And therefore, also, only exceptionally there will be any need for the
21 Prosecution to put further questions to the witness, since the Defence is
22 expected not to raise any new issues in re-examination. But if,
23 exceptionally, new issues or new important elements are raised, then of
24 course the Chamber would give an opportunity to the Prosecution to put
25 further questions to the witness. A similar system would apply if
1 anything is raised newly by questions of the Judges.
2 So it's mainly a matter of logic rather than to say there will
3 never be an opportunity for the Prosecution to put further questions after
4 the witness has been re-examined by the Defence, but it's mainly a matter
5 of assessing what's new. If, for example, the Defence would have
6 forgotten to put one or two questions and would do that in re-examination,
7 then of course there would be an opportunity for the Prosecution to put
8 further questions on that issue to the witness.
9 Is this clear enough, Mr. Josse?
10 MR. JOSSE: It is, Your Honour. Presumably, if as a result of
11 questions from the Bench, either party wish to ask questions arising from
12 the Bench's questions, that is permissible?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Each party can do so, and of course that even
14 could raise some new issues or new elements. But the general logic is
15 clear. If there's anything introduced as a new item or as a new element,
16 the other party can ask questions in that respect.
17 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. I take it that you're Mr. Milincic.
21 Mr. Milincic, before you give evidence in this Court, the Rules of
22 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that
23 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May I
24 invite you to make that declaration, of which the text is now handed out
25 to you by Madam Usher.
1 WITNESS: MILOS MILINCIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Milincic. You'll
6 first be examined by Mr. Josse, who is counsel for the Defence.
7 Examined by Mr. Josse:
8 Q. Would you give the Chamber your name, please.
9 A. Milos Milincic.
10 Q. Mr. Milincic, I'm going to lead you through your background, if I
11 may. It's right that you are by profession a school teacher?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Your subject was language and literature?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You taught at a school in Srbac?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you were for some years a member of the League of Communists?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You joined the SDS when it was founded in July of 1990?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At least a founder member, so far as Srbac was concerned, and soon
22 thereafter became a member of the Main Board of that political party?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. At the multi-party elections in November 1990, you were elected to
25 the Municipal Assembly of Srbac and then, in fact, became its president?
1 A. That's correct, yes.
2 Q. You held that position until 1997, when --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- your party lost the election; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. For how long did you remain a member of the Main Board of the SDS?
7 A. For 12 years, from 1990 until 2002, 12 years.
8 Q. Returning to your personal circumstances, having lost the
9 election, you found yourself without a job in 1997; is that correct?
10 A. I was not working for almost two years. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And after that two-year break you got a job in the municipality;
12 you then went back -- I don't -- the detail of which, certainly for my
13 purposes, doesn't matter. It's right, isn't it, you got a job in the
15 A. There was a service in the municipality that I worked for, the
16 social welfare centre, so I did not go back to teaching, but rather to the
17 social services of the Srbac municipalities.
18 Q. You then became a teacher for a further year after that; correct?
19 A. Yes. A year later I went back to teaching.
20 Q. And that leads us to 2001, where you were appointed to your
21 present job, which is head of the pedagogical college in Banja Luka; is
22 that right?
23 A. Pedagogical institute, that is, in Banja Luka.
24 Q. Returning, if we may, to 1990 and the elections, how was it that
25 you came to be president of the municipality?
1 A. Five parties took part in the elections, which were the first
2 multi-party elections since 1945. Out of these five parties, which took
3 part in the elections in the Srbac municipality, my party, the Serbian
4 Democratic Party, won the majority of the votes. Or, to be more precise,
5 out of 60 MPs, which is the total number of MPs in the Municipal Assembly,
6 the SDS won 47 seats.
7 Q. Could we return to tab 1 of the exhibit bundle.
8 MR. JOSSE: This doesn't need to be put on the ELMO. It speaks
9 for itself. Thank you.
10 Q. This is the list of parties and candidates at the election on the
11 5th of November of 1990; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, yes.
13 Q. And if we turn to list number 3, we see the Serbian Democratic
14 Party and that you were their second candidate.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And just take us, very briefly, through the five parties. List
17 number 1 is which party, please? If you go to the first page of the
19 A. The first list is the Serbian Renewal Movement. The second list
20 of candidates is that of the League of Communists of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 Socialist Democratic Party, and Democratic Socialist Union. The third
22 list is that of the candidates of the Serbian Democratic Party. The
23 fourth list is that of the Party of Democratic Action. And the fifth list
24 is that of the candidates of the Union of Reform Forces.
25 Q. Now, as you've already told us, you in fact were the second
1 candidate on the SDS list. How was it that you became the president of
2 the municipality if you were only the second candidate on your own party's
4 A. At the time, it was not a custom for the person who is elected
5 president of the assembly later on to be necessarily placed first on the
6 list. My party thought that I was the more suitable person for the job,
7 and since my party had the majority, after the elections, it was thought
8 that the other MPs were going to vote in favour of electing me, which
9 proved to be the case, in fact. The assembly, therefore, including the
10 MPs of the other parties, voted for me, as an SDS candidate, in addition
11 to the 47 SDS MPs; therefore, also the other MPs voted for me.
12 Q. I've been very helpfully advised, Your Honour, by the registrar
13 that it's best to take a number for each -- a Defence exhibit number for
14 each tab, as we go along. I appreciate they can't be admitted into
15 evidence until translations are received?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, that would be number?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1, Your Honours, will be D92.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Mr. Tieger, I take it that the absence of any translation doesn't
20 bother you that much in respect of this document.
21 MR. TIEGER: No. That's correct, Your Honour. It doesn't present
22 a problem with this document.
23 MR. JOSSE: In which case, we won't submit it. We will not submit
24 it, Your Honour, unless Your Honour wishes us to.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it is clear that it's a list of
1 candidates -- I have some hesitation as far as especially the heading is
2 concerned. If we would have the heading, up to the first candidate, Lela
3 Radinkovic, perhaps that one line translated, I see that the last --
4 "prebivaliste" may be some kind of origin or place of birth. But if we
5 would know that, I mean, it could be a relatively short document, leaving
6 out all the names.
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I completely agree, and that's
8 essentially the point I wanted to make. And perhaps it's helpful if I
9 clarify precisely what I meant when I acknowledged that the absence of a
10 translation at this point didn't cause particular difficulties. I simply
11 meant that I understood the nature of the document and the witness's
12 references to it, without the translation. Nevertheless, the translation
13 that the Court has indicated it seeks I think is quite necessary, and we
14 reserve any final judgement about the document until such time as it's
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But to start with, then, Mr. Josse, if -- those
17 who are going to translate it in such a way that we do not need all the
18 names and of course it says Serbian either in -- for males or females,
19 Serbian and then what a Yugoslav is and what a Muslim is, that should not
20 be a problem. But all the headings of the list should be translated, as
21 well as the, of course, the last page, date, names of those who signed it,
22 where it comes from. But there's no need to type again the name of 180 or
23 200 persons. That's a waste of time.
24 MR. JOSSE: That's very helpful. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. You've dealt with the results of the election. It's right that
3 it's effectively an agreed fact that over 90 per cent of the population of
4 your municipality was of Serbian ethnic origin; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And the result was that there were two seats won in this 1990
7 election, by the SDA party.
8 A. Yes. According to the number of votes, they got two seats in the
10 Q. Now, in terms of work within the assembly in its early days, what
11 was the relationship like between your party, the SDS, and the two SDA
13 A. It was very correct. We believed that after the fall of
14 communism, or rather, after the first multi-party elections, it was only
15 natural for the parties like the SDA, HDZ, and SDS to exist, and that we
16 ought to communicate with them and develop programmes that would maintain
17 and improve the standard of living in our municipality, in view of the
18 circumstances. We had contacts on a regular basis, and I wish to say that
19 on our own initiative we suggested that the vice-president of the assembly
20 be an MP from the SDA. The assembly endorsed this motion, and Mr. Halid
21 Haliselimovic was the vice-president of the Srbac Municipal Assembly.
22 Q. Just before we turn to him, what was it that united your party
23 with the SDA in those early days in your Municipal Assembly? What was the
24 common enemy, so to speak?
25 A. "Enemy" is a very strong word. We believed that communism
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 suppressed the national identities of Croats, Serbs, and Muslims, some
2 sort of artificial approach was taken in relation to these peoples, and
3 therefore, it was only natural for the SDA, HDZ, and SDS to democratically
4 define their own identities, but also to compete in a normal environment
5 for their own interests.
6 Q. And moving back to Mr. Hadziselimovic, what were the SDS trying to
7 demonstrate by having an SDA vice-president?
8 A. In Srbac municipality we have a place called Kobas, where 940
9 Muslim families lived. It was only logical for a representative of the
10 people, of these people, to represent the interests of the place, because
11 he was best placed to do so and he would be more able to do so in his
12 capacity as the vice-president. There was only one technical difficulty
13 later, in that Mr. Hadziselimovic is a pensioner living in Zagreb, or
14 rather, was a pensioner living in Zagreb, and voted in Kobas. Therefore,
15 subsequently, a conflict of interest emerged that he was unable to be an
16 MP for this particular municipality. In general, he was an open person,
17 easy to communicate with, and a very suitable first person for dialogue.
18 Q. We'll come back to him a little bit later, if we may.
19 Could we turn to tab 2, please.
20 MR. JOSSE: The way I suggest we do this is if you take the front
21 page -- I don't think that needs to go on the ELMO. Could you simply
22 begin by reading us the heading of this particular document, the first
23 four words at the very -- the first four words, at the very, very top, in
24 bold letters.
25 A. Are you referring to the beginning of the text pursuant to Article
1 304, paragraph 1?
2 Q. Yes, I'm referring to the word that begins s-l-u-z-b-e-n-i at the
3 very, very top, the heading.
4 A. Oh, yes, "Official Gazette of Srbac municipality," is that what
5 you mean?
6 Q. It is. And this is dated the 4th of January, 1991. Am I right in
7 relation to that?
8 A. Yes, that's correct. The 4th of January, 1991.
9 Q. I'd like to go to the third page of this document, please, and
10 that perhaps we should put on the ELMO.
11 Number 6, could you read from the word spelled r-j-e-s-e-n-j-e,
12 which I understand means "decision."
13 A. "Decision on the election of the president and members of the
14 regulations commission of the Srbac Municipal Assembly." Below it is
15 stated -- or rather, we have the election of the president of the
16 commission, Marija Krstic. She was a member of a different party. She
17 was a high school teacher, a Croat, and she was nominated for a member of
18 the commission, as well as the list of the MPs. May I continue?
19 Q. If you just stop there for a moment. We see that this part of the
20 document is heavily marked. Who has marked the document?
21 A. I highlighted these parts, together with others from the
22 municipality, prior to my arrival here, in order to show that in 1991, in
23 the municipality, we advocated the interests of all the peoples, including
24 Croats, Serbs, and Muslims.
25 Q. You answered my second question. I only asked you who had marked
1 it. You've told us why you've marked it as well.
2 Let's move to the next list. I think we can go through these
3 quite quickly. Number 7, please. This is another commission, isn't it?
4 This is a commission for social monitoring; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Decision on the election of the president and
6 members of the commission for social monitoring. Under number 4, there is
7 Halid Hadziselimovic, therefore, the vice-president of the Srbac Municipal
8 Assembly, a member of the SDA, a Muslim.
9 Q. And number 8, all I think I need you to do, please, is to read
10 where it says "listu," what this list is in relation to, please.
11 A. A list of MPs taking part or witnessing matrimonies. It is
12 stated: "The following MPs will be present at the entering into marriages
13 on the territory of the municipality of Srbac." Furthermore, it is
14 stated: "The territory in terms of the Registrar's Office, Bosanski
15 Kobas, and the persons stated are Halid Hadziselimovic, Milenko Malesevic,
16 Dr. Afif Abusafija. It's not stated here, but I know he is a medical
17 doctor. Maid Zukanovic, Ljubomir Devic, and Boro Vucenovic.
18 Out of the six names listed here, three are Muslims.
19 Q. Now, why was it in relation to these various lists and commission
20 members that your party was keen to include members from other ethnic
22 A. Well, simply because, as I've indicated a while earlier, we
23 believed that after the multi-party elections, all the peoples, therefore,
24 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, had to be allowed to fully express themselves.
25 It was only normal for the marriages in Kobas to be dealt with by a
1 Muslim. It also reflected the political will of the citizens of Srbac,
2 which was our duty, to reflect their will. It might -- you might find it
3 confusing, the fact that etymologically, Srbac dated -- the name of Srbac
4 dated from 1920s. Therefore, it was not a newly construed name. It dated
5 decades back in history.
6 MR. JOSSE: Could tab 2 be given a provisional number, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D93, Your Honours.
9 MR. JOSSE: Could the witness now go to tab 3. I don't think the
10 first page needs to be put on the ELMO. It speaks for itself. It's
11 clearly the gazette for the 11th of March, 1991. The same four words. We
12 see the date. It's the very last page, page 19, that I would like put on
13 the ELMO, please. I'm sorry. We'll need to look at the page before to
14 make sense of it.
15 Q. At the very bottom of page --
16 MR. JOSSE: The penultimate page, the very bottom, show the
17 witness that.
18 Q. If you'd read the decision on the very bottom of the page, please.
19 A. "Decision --"
20 Q. I'm not worried about the one at the top of that page. The bottom
21 of the page and then turning over.
22 A. "Decision on the election of the president and the members.
23 Q. Turn to the final page. Continue reading.
24 A. "The committee of the committee for religious matters." And then
25 it goes on to say: "The committee on religious matters will consist of
1 the following members," and five names are quoted. And one name in
2 particular, number 5, is of interest to us here. His name is Safet
3 Okanovic, who was a Muslim, and he is a member of that committee, the
4 committee on religious matters. And yes, as I said, Safet Okanovic was a
5 member of that committee.
6 Q. And what did the committee for religious matters do, please?
7 A. They dealt with various issues, ranging from the construction work
8 or restoration of religious buildings or the return of the property that
9 may have been taken away unlawfully. They dealt with religious customs
10 and the display of such customs. Well, that more or less sums it up, the
11 work of the said committee.
12 MR. JOSSE: Could that have a number, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D94, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 MR. JOSSE:
17 Q. If we could go, please, to tab 4. This is the same type of
18 document. This is the gazette for the 29th of -- I assume it's March.
19 Could I just ...
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. JOSSE: It is March.
22 JUDGE ORIE: In respect of tab 3, Mr. Tieger, again the question
23 is, the Prosecution has presented at numerous occasions decisions which
24 were part of an Official Gazette, either of a municipality or of the
25 Republic. I wonder whether everything should be translated here. Because
1 there's many, many pages, which may well be relevant. I do understand
2 that context very often is an issue. At the same time, there's an
3 opportunity to review the other decisions on the basis, I would say, on,
4 first of all, their title. And it might well be that there seems to be
5 totally irrelevant, whereas some other decisions, elections of, well,
6 let's say, committees which would deal with the environment or housing or
7 that the Prosecution would consider them to be relevant as context.
8 But would there not be a possibility to sit together to see what
9 the other decisions are about and whether there's any need to have them
10 translated, or even, Mr. Josse, to agree with the Prosecution that the
11 decisions you mentioned could be separated from the whole of the Official
12 Gazette? Because we're now talking about the Official Gazette of the 11th
13 of March, but of course the Prosecution could say that from a point of
14 view of context, it should be really necessary to see the previous one and
15 the later one as well. And then we end up in a mess of paper we never
16 paid attention to for totally unclear reasons. So I would very much like
17 to see whether there could be any agreement on what to translate, what to
18 tender at all.
19 MR. TIEGER: Of course, Your Honour, and I think that's a
20 practical, expedient, and I think that is in general an approach and
21 philosophy that guided us in earlier parts of the case as well.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So we then -- although provisional numbers are
23 given, it might well be that they finally will be assigned to one portion
24 only and that we receive only a translation of that portion, or that
25 there's an agreement that only that portion should be translated.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE: So we're looking at tab 4, Mr. Milincic. This is the
3 29th of March, and it's the -- strana 10 that we need, please.
4 Q. This is decision number 12. Would you read this quite slowly,
6 A. Yes. This is a decision on an MP's end of term in office. There
7 are two MPs here whose term of office has ended. Number 2 is of interest
8 here, and it says, I quote --
9 Q. I'd like you to read number 1 as well, please, slowly. Read
10 number 1 as well on this occasion.
11 A. So number 1: "It is confirmed that the term of office of Radovan
12 Anicic, an MP of the SDS party at the Municipal Assembly of Srbac has been
13 terminated because he has become a civil servant as of the 29th of April,
15 Number 2: "It is hereby confirmed that the term of office of the
16 MP of the SDA party, Abusafija, Afif has been terminated before the
17 official end of term because he has handed in his resignation as of the
18 29th of April, 1991."
19 And number 3: "This decision is to be published in the Official
20 Gazette of the municipality of Srbac."
21 Q. And we see it's signed by you, as the president; correct?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. So this is one of the two SDA members resigning from the assembly.
24 Do you know why this gentleman resigned?
25 A. Because of the conflict of interest, the first one of these two
1 councillors referred to here has handed in his resignation. He could no
2 longer continue to work in his current position, in his position at the
3 time, and act as a civil servant as well. And this second councillor,
4 Abusafija, Afif, moved to Slavonski Brod, where he found employment as a
5 gynaecologist in Slavonski Brod, in Croatia.
6 Q. And you chose to bring this particular document with you; that's
7 right, isn't it, Mr. Milincic?
8 A. I wanted to submit this document to the Trial Chamber for the sake
9 of the inhabitants of the municipality of Srbac who are following this
10 trial with a great deal of attention, and their goal back then, and now,
11 has always been to show that we never felt that the municipality of Srbac
12 was not big enough for all ethnic groups. What I mean by this is that
13 there was a maximum level of tolerance and that the appointment of these
14 people, of the people from those ethnic groups, was a practical, tangible
15 proof of that. And the events that followed confirm that our attitude was
16 the right one.
17 MR. JOSSE: Could that be given a number, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D95, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What I just said -- this document as well.
21 MR. JOSSE: We'll go straight to tab 5, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether you'll touch upon the matter,
23 Mr. Josse. Replacement of these two members of the assembly is something
24 you'll come to?
25 MR. JOSSE: It is.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Please.
2 MR. JOSSE: I'll deal with it after tab 7, when we --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Otherwise I would have put a question.
4 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
5 Q. Tab 5, similar type of document. This one's dated the 21st of May
6 of 1991, and it's page 4 that we require, please, decision number 6. Thank
8 A. "The decision on the approval for the exchange of a plot of land,
9 which is state property, for the plot of land for Vakuf Mosque from
10 Bosanski Kobas." And then it goes on to say that the Islamic association
11 Vakuf Dzamija, from Bosanski Kobas has been granted the approval to
12 exchange the plot of land and there are references to the land register,
13 and so on and so forth.
14 Q. So, as you've just told us, the bits beneath the number 1 are the
15 details of where exactly the land can be found; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you read, then, number 2, beginning "za," the very bottom of
18 that first column.
19 A. It says: "The implementation of this decision with regard to the
20 records in the land register will be carried out by the land register of
21 the Tribunal in Srbac and the municipal service for real estate."
22 Q. Number 3.
23 A. "This decision is to be published in the Official Gazette of the
24 municipality of Srbac," and then there is the number 04/14765 and the
25 date, the 21st of June, 1991. And the president of the assembly.
1 Q. Mr. Milincic, could you put that -- explain that in some other
2 language? What does this mean? What was the municipality deciding by
3 this particular order or decision?
4 A. I think that this committee on religious affairs came up with the
5 initiative for a certain plot of land which belonged to the Islamic
6 community to be exchanged for a more favourable plot which was owned by
7 the municipality and that they could use it for certain purposes that the
8 Islamic community felt were needed, and their plot of land was not
9 adequate, was not acceptable. There were some problems and they tended to
10 think that if there was this exchange of plots, they would have been able
11 to solve their problem. And the Municipal Assembly accepted that. It was
12 a logical thing to do because there were other instances of exchanges of
13 plots of land. And I think that the initiative came from this committee
14 on religious affairs, and they raised it at the assembly, or submitted it
15 to the assembly. And this provides one practical answer as to what was
16 normally dealt with by this committee. They made a suggestion to the
17 assembly and then the proposal was finally carried.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. JOSSE: Could that have a number, please.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D96, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, if you have dealt with this matter, I'd
23 like to put some additional questions to the witness.
24 What were the problems, and where was the one plot situated, and
25 where was the other one situated? I mean, you said the one exchanged for
1 more favourable to the Muslim community. For what reasons was it more
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether it was in order
4 to build some kind of building or whether it was to be used for a house or
5 religious building or simply in order to use it as an agricultural field.
6 At any rate, I don't remember. But they felt that it was better for them.
7 And it says here what the size of the plot was as well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see some square metres mentioned. But you
9 said "they considered." That committee consisted of a large majority of
10 Serbs and one Muslim. Was the exchange of plots of land fully supported
11 by the Muslim community or was it only suggested by the committee on
12 religious matters?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the original proposal came
14 from the Islamic community, and that's how the whole process got started.
15 It wasn't the other way round. First of all, they suggested it, and then
16 it went through the committee on religious affairs, and so on.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So you say the exchange was fully supported by the
18 Muslim community. Thank you for that answer. Please proceed. We still
19 do not know exactly why it was better and you have no answer to that,
20 but -- of course, if you don't know, you can't tell us.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. JOSSE: Tab 7, please. I should just add, Your Honour, that
23 the Court will observe there is no tab 6. There are a number of tabs
24 missing. They were documents that were originally provided that we
25 decided were superfluous. For what it's worth, the Prosecution do have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we consider that the empty second tab 4,
3 which I find in my binder as non-existent as well. I have two tabs 4, one
4 empty and one filled. But let's continue.
5 MR. JOSSE: So tab 7, same, gazette, 19th of August, 1991. Could
6 we turn, please, to the last page, page 4, decision number 9.
7 Q. Again, read this slowly, please.
8 A. "A decision on the end of term of office of a councillor." And
9 then number 1: "It is confirmed that the term of office --" and there is
10 a typing error here. It is Hadziselimovic, instead of Madziselimovic so
11 it is an H instead of M. So, at any rate, his term of office is
12 terminated and he's a member of the SDA party in the municipality of
13 Srbac, and the reason for this is that he is declared that he's no longer
14 resident on the territory of SRBH.
15 Q. And can you give us any more details about that, where
16 Mr. Hadziselimovic moved to and why?
17 A. He moved to Zagreb. He used to work in Croatia, in Zagreb. And
18 for a certain period of time, he came back to Kobas when he retired, and
19 then he returned to Zagreb once again. And he cancelled his residence in
20 Kobas and he left and went to Zagreb.
21 Q. And just read us number 2 as well, please.
22 A. "It is hereby confirmed that the term of office of the councillor,
23 Milo Miljevic, the councillor of the SDS party in the Municipal Assembly
24 of Srbac has been terminated because he has handed in his resignation."
25 And number 3: "This decision must be published in the Official Gazette of
1 the municipality of Srbac." And the date is the 19th of August, 1991.
2 Q. By the 19th of August, 1991, it means that the two SDA members of
3 your Municipal Assembly had both resigned. Were they replaced?
4 A. The assembly wanted the next people on the list to be called, but
5 the SDA party -- well, first of all, they came to the assembly meetings on
6 a number of occasions. What I mean is the people who were next on the
7 list. And then they stopped attending. And their rationale was that the
8 quorum was there, even if they were not. So they did not put it in
9 writing; they just said that there was no need for them to attend because
10 there was a quorum anyway.
11 Q. And how did this affect, first of all, the running of the
12 assembly? Did it have any effect?
13 A. Purely formally speaking, no, because out of 60 councillors, well,
14 if two, six, five, or ten are missing, you still have the required
15 majority. But the other aspect, the political aspect, is another story
17 Q. That was my next question. What effect did it have politically?
18 A. Well, the Muslim representatives had candidates in other parties,
19 not just in the SDA. But we wanted the SDA members to be present within
20 the assembly at all costs, because we saw no reason whatsoever for them
21 not to be there. And I recall a conversation with these candidates who
22 were next on the list, and they said to me that they were farmers; they
23 didn't have time to spare; and that Halid, since he was retired, and
24 Dr. Afif as well, were people who could manage all that. But since they
25 had gone, well, those two chairs would be left empty.
1 Q. You've described the political effect. Was there any effect on
2 inter-ethnic relations as a result of there being no SDA members in your
4 A. No. The subsequent events were to show that -- no.
5 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps that could be given a number, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 7 will be D97, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask one additional question, Mr. Milincic. Was
9 there ever a decision which was published that next on the list had become
10 members of the assembly?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that decision here. I
12 didn't even ask the relevant services at the municipality of Srbac for a
13 copy. I'm not sure whether we do have that decision or not. It's my
14 mistake that I did not look it up before coming here. In case SDA put
15 anything in writing, we should perhaps have a copy of that, but it would
16 have been logical.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm not talking about logics, but I'm talking,
18 rather, about facts, and not whether the SDA did put anything in
19 writing --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any facts.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is this a decision which -- usually, if a
22 representative body is -- if the composition is changed, this is usually
23 established formally by that body itself, so therefore, one would expect a
24 decision here by the Municipal Assembly to say, just as the decision says,
25 this person and that person left, who is now the member of that assembly?
1 So I would expect, as a matter of fact, such a decision which also, by
2 other means, could be perhaps established, such as attendance lists, where
3 the new names appear. Because it's rather vague. You said some of the
4 ones who were next on the list were present at some meetings and then they
5 did not appear any more. Is there any way you could provide the Chamber
6 with a decision that they were admitted as members of the assembly, or
7 would there be any way of providing the Chamber with, for example,
8 attendance lists on which these new names appear?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't provide that proof because I
10 have nothing. I would just like to add that at that time we were only
11 learning about democracy. Now it is quite clear to all that when a name
12 is dropped, there is a clear provision as to who should deal with
13 replacements. But those were the first multi-party elections, and we were
14 only beginners.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to get things perfectly clear. You say you
16 can't provide that proof because you have nothing. I do understand that
17 you haven't got such decisions brought with you to The Hague. But are you
18 aware of whether such decisions at all exist? Because then we could look
19 at the Official Gazette of Srbac to see whether we can find them. Do you
20 have any knowledge on whether they exist, decisions replacing the SDA
21 members that left by new SDA assembly members?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That gives a different impression from what we
24 heard earlier, which was a kind of a -- that there was a replacement, but
25 it was they that finally did not show up any more because not needed for
1 the quorum, but that you had a totally different position. I now
2 understand that they might never have been formally admitted to be members
3 of the assembly. Is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So they could never have exercised any voting rights
6 if they were never formally admitted as members to the assembly, did they?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Sworn in and all the rest.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That never happened, I do understand.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, it didn't.
10 JUDGE ORIE: May I then remind you that you're supposed to tell
11 the whole truth, because the answers you gave suggested quite clearly that
12 there was a replacement, but it was due to their non-appearance, that they
13 did not participate in the work of the assembly any more. Whereas on my
14 question now, it clearly appears that they never were admitted formally as
15 members to the assembly because, as you said, you still had to learn about
16 democracy, which is a quite different picture from the picture you gave us
18 Mr. Josse, you may proceed.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. There are a few things flowing from that, Mr. Milincic. Do you
21 accept -- well, I'm going to deal with it. Do you accept what the learned
22 Judge has just said to you? It's a statement, but let's turn it into a
23 question. I can repeat it, if need be. He says that -- he's suggesting
24 to you that you weren't telling the truth deliberately. Do you accept
25 that as right?
1 JUDGE ORIE: At least not the whole truth. That's what I said. If
2 that's the same to you -- I make a difference between telling a couple of
3 things that is right. Because I can't say that they -- and I did not
4 understand that the witness was not telling the truth, that some people
5 appeared, perhaps, although not exercising any voting rights, but that
6 they were in a hall where they met and they finally didn't show up any
7 more. I'm not saying that's not the truth. Of course I have to assess.
8 We have further to determine how credible that is. But it's certainly not
9 the whole of the story.
10 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'll correct what I've said.
11 Q. Mr. Milincic, do you accept that you were deliberately or
12 otherwise not telling the whole truth a few minutes ago?
13 A. First of all, I said that the general public in Srbac was
14 following my testimony here, and I had to be -- I have to be fully honest.
15 There is something that I want to tell you. You don't have to believe me.
16 With Sabija's [as interpreted] departure for Slavonski Brod, the SDA
17 practically ceased to exist in Srbac, because he was the president of the
18 party. I suppose that there was no longer a person in place to insist for
19 the -- to new SDA councillors to be formally instated in the assembly.
20 Q. That, in fact, leads to my very next question, which I wanted to
21 develop with you. Tell us, slowly and in some detail, what the
22 constitutional position within your municipality was when a person ceased
23 to be a member of the assembly. Let's make it simple, for one moment.
24 Let's assume that an SDS member, the one we dealt with earlier, has become
25 a civil servant and therefore was no longer eligible to serve on the
1 assembly. What was the procedure, precisely, please?
2 A. The municipal service would ask a given party to nominate the
3 candidate who is next on the list. As soon as the technical service of
4 the assembly receives the nomination, the assembly proceeds to officially
5 endorse a new councillor. I indicated that, with Abusafija's departure
6 for Brod, the SDA lost its leadership in Srbac.
7 Q. Supposing there was no nomination forthcoming from the political
8 party. What would then happen?
9 A. I think it was logical for the technical service to deal with all
10 the procedural matters, proprio motu, necessary for the inauguration of a
11 new councillor, and then the rest would be within the powers of the
13 Q. Now, what in fact happened? We've heard -- you've told us that
14 these two members of the SDA resigned for one reason or another. You've
15 told us that after they resigned, they were not replaced by members of the
16 SDA. Firstly, why were they not replaced by members of the SDA?
17 A. I don't know the reason why. I told you what I assumed, that once
18 they were lost without their -- were left without their leadership,
19 without the president of the party, that the party somehow became
21 Q. And my last question on this particular question is this: I think
22 you mentioned earlier that their two seats remained vacant. When no one
23 was nominated to fill their places, did another political party fill the
24 void or did those two particular places on the assembly remain, as you've
25 just said, vacant?
1 A. No. No other political party filled the vacant post that used to
2 belong to the SDA.
3 Q. And I suppose I should ask you this: From which party did the new
4 vice-president of the assembly come?
5 A. We did not elect a vice-president anymore because we had wanted
6 for the vice-president to be a representative of the Muslims. Since this
7 was not the case, we would have had to vote for a Serb to be put on that
8 position, and we felt that there was no need for that. We had the
9 president of the Executive Board.
10 Q. Would the failure of the SDA to fill their -- either of their two
11 places be something that would need to be published in the Official
13 A. Probably it would. I'm not a lawyer, though. Formally, we do
14 have proof of him -- of them having ceased to hold those posts, but we do
15 not have any other decisions or anything that would have been published in
16 the municipality's Official Gazette. The subsequent events were to take
17 up all of our attentions, rather than the filling of the vacant posts in
18 the assembly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I still have one or more additional questions to the
20 issue, unless you have not finished yet.
21 MR. JOSSE: I was going to move on to another topic, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 You more or less blamed the fact that Mr. Hadziselimovic was not
24 there any more; he had left for not filling in the posts. But isn't it
25 true that Mr. Hadziselimovic only left after the -- we look at these
1 decisions, the one about Abusafija, Afif, who, as I read it well, was a
2 decision of late April 1991, whereas Mr. Hadziselimovic left only
3 mid-August, so a couple of months when he was still there, and you told us
4 that he was the president of the SDA to refill that place. And in
5 relation to that, another question, and perhaps you can give an answer
6 together, that you testified that they came a couple of times to the
7 assembly meetings.
8 Now, if they're next on the list, and if, as you said, you wanted
9 SDA members to be present within the assembly at all costs, why not
10 formally accept them as members? I mean, they came, you told us, a couple
11 of times. I have some difficulties in understanding how the absence of
12 leadership which took place only a couple of months after the first member
13 to be replaced is to blame for it, when they appeared in that assembly but
14 were not appointed as members. So I have some difficulties in
15 understanding the logic of your explanation. But help me out, if you can.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Assembly sessions were held not more
17 than once a month. It is difficult for me to say now from my memory
18 whether these persons came once or twice to attend these sessions, and
19 more so in the capacity of observers, in order for them to ascertain
20 whether they were to be able at all to discharge these functions. Now,
21 Dr. Safi [as interpreted] Hadziselimovic, as far as his relationship with
22 the others in the party is concerned, I cannot vouch for that. I don't
23 know how good their relations were. This was something that was taking
24 place in Kobasi.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse. But looking at the clock,
1 I see that we are at one and a half hours. If this would be a suitable
2 moment for you, since you were moving to your next subject anyhow, we'll
3 have a break until ten minutes past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, before we move to your next subject,
7 Judge Hanoteau would like to ask a question to the witness.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much.
9 Witness, I wish to ask you the following thing: Regarding this
10 kind of withdrawal from the SDA -- of the SDA from political life at
11 municipal level, could you please give me your personal explanation for
12 it. I'm not quite satisfied when I hear you say that the two possible
13 candidates were farmers and that they had other things to do. You are an
14 educated man, you are a responsible man. When the events took place, you
15 must have had some understanding of the political overall situation, over
16 the social situation in your country, and you probably have some
17 explanation for the fact that the SDA sort of withdrew. And I'd like to
18 hear your personal analysis of the situation.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right in saying that
20 they were not the only two councillors who were farmers. There were
21 others who were farmers, too, and that is true. My explanation of their
22 withdrawal is the following: I suppose that they were following the lines
23 and the policies at the central level. One of the two went to Zagreb, the
24 other one to Slavonski Brod. Then those who remained seemed not to have
25 been able to replace them. And this was perhaps the reason why we were
1 unable to further develop our inter-party relations. I may not be right,
2 but I note that the president of the party left and the party itself
3 disappeared. In the beginning, representatives of this party arrived and
4 then later on they seemed not to arrive any longer. Perhaps it was the
5 fault of the assembly not to have pursued the matter further to see what
6 the reasons behind their absence were.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but, you know, in the life
8 of a municipality, as such, when you have important functions, when you
9 are responsible for the political life in such a municipality, you're
10 bound to have conversations, exchanges, including with people, people, as
11 it were, in the opposition. There is a Muslim minority in your
13 Now, following the withdrawals, and when the SDA declined any
14 participation, you did not have any conversation with some individuals
15 from that party? That's what I'd like to understand, to hear from you.
16 What did you hear around? What were people talking about? How did you
17 understand the overall situation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, when someone tells you that
19 he was placed on the list of councillors, without having been consulted at
20 all, then I wonder what's wrong. When you have a person arriving at an
21 assembly session telling you that he was placed on the list without having
22 been consulted first, well, what do you respond to that? How do you
23 respond to that? They had to have six [as interpreted] names on the list.
24 That was probably the reason.
25 With hindsight, now, one can see the situation with more clarity.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 As I've said, those were the first multi-party elections. We were all
2 greenhorns. I know what I would do now if I were president of the
3 assembly. I would nominate another person. At the time, I failed to do
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I still have one question, if you
6 don't mind. In your municipality, as we know, the Muslims were really in
7 a minority. The Serbian population was the majority population. On the
8 other hand, you showed us -- at least Mr. Josse showed us, through the
9 documents that were submitted to us, he showed us that your municipality,
10 if I'm right, is a municipality where there was tolerance, where Muslims
11 had been integrated, had been put on board in various committees, so that
12 their community could be represented; is that right? Now, in neighbouring
13 municipalities, what was the situation like at the time? Was there acute
14 tension? Was there sort of violence by one ethnic group against another?
15 How was it in your neighbours' municipalities 60 kilometres away from you?
16 How was the situation? Could you hear on the radio or could you read in
17 the newspapers? What were your friends telling you? What was happening,
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will be quite frank and give you a
20 somewhat spontaneous answer. Writer Tolstoy in Anna Karenina stated that
21 all happy families look like one another, whereas all those that are
22 unhappy are unhappy in their own different ways.
23 All the municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina were unhappy in
24 their own different ways. My attentions were totally devoted to Srbac
25 municipality and the population there. And being a spontaneous,
1 straightforward person, I had more difficulties with some Serbs who, at
2 that point in time, thought that democracy was merely a rifle to be held
3 in one's hand. We had murders. The family Malesevic was murdered by the
4 Serbs. So this Serb who killed a Serbian family was convicted and then
5 pardoned and then other families were mistreated, their fingers, ears cut
6 off, all done by the Serbs. What I want to say is that wars are terrible
7 evils. But I speak for my own municipality. I cannot speak for Kotor
8 Varos, Banja Luka, Gradiska. I heard all manner of stories concerning
9 other municipalities, some difficulties with Croats. The chief of the
10 municipality -- of a municipality who was a Croat said that he had
11 difficulties with the Chetniks. In the midst of all this evil, I believe
12 that Srbac municipality managed to keep the evil at a very minor scale,
13 and that was thanks to all the people living there, including Muslims,
14 Croats, and ethnic Russians.
15 Recently, the Catholic bishop Komarica, in Banja Luka, when we
16 were inaugurating a school there, he approached me and congratulated me
17 for the role that we had done in our municipality.
18 I may not have given you a direct answer, but what I wanted to
19 tell you was that I experienced and felt all that Srbac, as the
20 municipality, was going through.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question in this respect.
23 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, could I just interrupt. I'm told that
24 the witness -- it reads in the transcript "the chief of the municipality
25 of a municipality who was a Croat said he had difficulty with Chetniks."
1 I think it should say that he was cooperating with Chetniks. Perhaps we
2 could just ask the witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There might be some problem in translation. Our
4 text reads that "The chief of the municipality -- of a municipality who
5 was a Croat said that he had difficulties with the Chetniks."
6 Is that what you said or did you say something different from
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. His neighbours in Novi
9 Gradiska and Brod - these are Croat municipalities - he was criticised for
10 being in touch with me, and he was called a Chetnik, whereas I was called
11 an Ustasha, because we were communicating with each other.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That having been clarified: You told us that
13 you didn't know what to say to someone who said that he was put on the
14 list without even having any knowledge of it, and you said they had to put
15 six names on that list. We just have looked at the list of the
16 candidates. I noticed that there are 60 names --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 60 names. 60.
18 JUDGE ORIE: 60 names. Now I do understand. Because it was
19 translated, I think, as -- yes. They had to have six names on the list
20 was -- so thank you very much for that clarification, which seems to be
21 perhaps a translation mistake. Because now it becomes fully clear to me.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. In many ways, Mr. Milincic, the question I want to ask you next
25 flows, really, from what the learned Judge, Judge Hanoteau, has just asked
1 you. Some time ago, I asked you about the political effect on
2 inter-ethnic relations as a result of there being no SDA members in your
3 assembly, and you said that there wasn't any political effects, and you
4 went on to say "the subsequent events were to show that."
5 What subsequent events were you referring to?
6 A. I was referring to the war, which unfortunately developed and
7 spilt over from Croatia to Bosnia, and our intention was to reduce the
8 evil to the greatest extent. My municipality, Srbac, by a combination of
9 circumstances - you have to know that Croatia's border is 50 kilometres
10 away from us and we are separated by the Sava River. We have 22.000
11 inhabitants - was a pretty wealthy area. I have to tell you that we cover
12 an area of some two -- 500 square kilometres, with some 38 inhabited
13 places. We have large farms, although we have some problems now with the
14 avian flu. We have a lot of livestock. And it all had to be maintained
15 and protected, in order for us to have a constant supply of food. Because
16 everything was at a standstill. There was no electricity, no fuel. We
17 focussed all our efforts to deal the with profiteers who are not concerned
18 with one's ethnicity, whether one is a Croat or a Muslim, but rather
19 dealing in their own affairs. We tried to maintain order and good
20 neighbourly and inter-ethnic relations. We were lucky enough to survive
21 all that, to be -- to have been part of the Srbobran municipality during
22 the war and after the war was a privilege. Whenever we are in Sarajevo,
23 in the company of others, they know very well where we come from.
24 It was in such war circumstances that we had to live and make sure
25 that the war was kept outside our boundaries, that the schools continued
1 working. In Kobas, we asked the chief of the police there to establish a
2 territorial police station, a substation, that was to take care of the
3 situation over there. These were the events that followed later on. By a
4 combination of circumstances, Srbac survived as a municipality. I'm
5 simply telling you the truth, how we had experienced all these events. I
6 believe that my only satisfaction and those who will criticise me and
7 under whose scrutiny I am are the representatives and members of my
8 municipality, who will be following what I say.
9 Q. Was a crisis staff formed?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Why?
12 A. At some point in 1992, we received an order from AR Krajina, and
13 AR Krajina, once again, was an institution referring to the Krajina
14 municipalities gravitating around Banja Luka. Banja Luka was the centre.
15 And they suggested to us, ordered us, basically, to set up a crisis staff,
16 which would see to it that life in the municipality could function as
17 normally as possible. In other words, they were there to prevent
18 conflicts and to ensure proper livelihood for all our inhabitants and to
19 provide protection from everything that comes with a state of war.
20 Q. And what was the relationship of the Crisis Staff with the
21 Municipal Assembly?
22 A. The Crisis Staff met almost on a daily basis, in the mornings and
23 in the afternoons, and they analysed daily events. And the assembly would
24 check the decisions of the Crisis Staff on a monthly basis, or sometimes
25 they would tell them that they were unable to actually make certain
1 decisions, with regard to consumption, mostly, or expenditure, in general.
2 And they would tell them that in case such a decision was repeated, it
3 would not be approved by the assembly. And so the person signing such
4 decisions would be held accountable.
5 So the Crisis Staff met on a daily basis, and afterwards the
6 decisions made by the Crisis Staff would be given the assembly's blessing,
7 whenever the assembly met, on a monthly basis, depending on the
9 Q. And for how long did the Crisis Staff last?
10 A. I can't tell you exactly, but from 1992 up until almost 1995,
11 thereabouts. I can't tell you exactly, but it did exist for a number of
13 Q. I'd like to look, please, at tab 8, which is another gazette, this
14 time dated the 11th of September, 1992. Could we go to page 2, please.
15 It's number 4, middle of the second column. Could you tell us what --
16 read out, actually, what that is.
17 A. Do you mean Article 4, on page 2? "With reference to Article 8--"
18 well, it is about the fund and the board of -- for the director? Is that
19 what you mean? In that case, you have to help me out.
20 Q. The part that is marked, in fact.
21 A. I see. "On the basis of Article 89 of the law on regular tribunals
22 and article 62 of the statute of the municipality of Srbac, see the
23 Official Gazette of the municipality of Srbac number 2/92. The Municipal
24 Assembly of Srbac, at a meeting held on the 11th of September, 1992,
25 reached the following decision: On the appointment of the trial judges
1 and the trial judges for minor offenders --" and actually it's for judge
2 jurors. And there is a list of a number of names, and one name is
3 underscored. It's number 19. The name is Senad Sejfulan, and he was
4 appointed as a juror judge for underage offenders. And further down it
5 says: "This decision must be published in the Official Gazette of the
6 municipality of Srbac," and dated the 11th of September, 1992.
7 Q. And what nationality -- what ethnicity was Mr. --
8 A. Senad Sejfulan is a Muslim. He was a member of the police force
9 in the Republic of Srpska. I think he's living abroad at the moment.
10 Q. And number 4 in this list of 30 names, that reads Nukic Nadir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Ethnicity, please?
13 A. Yes. Nadir Nukic is a Muslim. He's still living in Kobas today.
14 He is a teacher.
15 Q. And summarise what these people, these 30 people who had been
16 nominated, were meant to do. What was their role in the judicial system?
17 A. Well, apart from the president of the tribunal, they were judge
18 jurors. I suppose that's enough. I don't know what else to say. I
19 suppose you know what it is.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that these were not lawyers but laymen who
21 participated in the administration of justice.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. JOSSE: I think in English we'd probably call them
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did they --
2 MR. JOSSE: In England. I'm sorry, Your Honour. In England, we'd
3 call them magistrates, rather than in English.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, in England, also the term "jurors," which of
5 course is something quite different in England. So let's try to --
6 Were they sitting alone as judges, as - Mr. Josse, correct me if
7 I'm wrong - as magistrates are doing in England, in magistrates court,
8 were they sitting alone passing judgements in minor cases or were they
9 assisting or sitting in the presence of a professional judge?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were helping the judge and
11 listening to what was being said. Perhaps occasionally they did say
12 something. But they were not judges, in fact. They were members of the
13 jury. Senad finished grammar school and he certainly wasn't a lawyer. He
14 was a police officer.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters believe it's the jury.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How many would be there in a court, which was,
17 as I understand, presided over by a professional judge? How many of these
18 lay participants would be present in court?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You made a comparison, but it comes down more,
21 I would say, to the German system, where lay participants are sitting
22 together with one or more professional judges and that's, of course, still
23 something unclear whether they take a judicial role, but let's not explore
24 that in full detail. They were involved in the administration of justice.
25 That's the most important thing.
1 MR. JOSSE: For what it's worth, Your Honour, one tier in the
2 English system, exactly that exists, a judge sitting with two lay people
3 on one tier.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's not really a magistrates court, is it?
5 MR. JOSSE: No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed.
7 MR. JOSSE:
8 Q. And why were these two Muslim people nominated to sit in these
10 A. Well, you know, Muslims were sometimes brought to trial as well,
11 and it was only logical that in a multinational context there would be a
12 Muslim representative as well. Whenever there was a dispute or a case
13 involving Muslims, those people would be present.
14 Q. How, in your estimation, did Srbac avoid getting dragged into the
15 Croatian war, bearing in mind it bordered the river Sava?
16 A. This is not a place for a display of emotions, but even now I'm
17 scared of history, of the past events, that is. I must thank the citizens
18 of Srbac, as well as the citizens of the neighbouring Croatian town,
19 Davor, because a great deal of pressure was brought to bear upon us on
20 both sides for these two towns, neighbouring towns, one Serb, another
21 Croat, to start fighting.
22 The mayor of Davor, in Croatia, was very often criticised for the
23 fact that he was supposedly cooperating with the Chetniks, that is to say,
24 for us. And the same for me. I was being criticised for doing deals with
25 the Croats. But we had very risky contacts, in fact, risky for both of
1 us, that is, the two mayors.
2 We would come to the river Sava in the evening and call out to one
3 another and discuss matters which were of importance to both sides. And
4 we very often met. We crossed over by boat. Either he came to see me or
5 I went to see him. And snipers would be out to get us, both of us, as we
6 were rowing across the river. And we vowed we would do everything in
7 order to make sure that the undisputed territory, because even in World
8 War II, there was never any problem there. There were Croats on one side,
9 Serbs on the other side. Why would we fight? But unfortunately, I must
10 state that there was a great deal of envy on both sides and there were
11 forces trying to push us into conflict. And it was probably the only
12 municipality that never entered the fray, as it were, and we're all proud
13 of it. Both the Serb and the Croat press talked of us in a certain way.
14 Bishop Komarica, for the second time, praised the citizens of Srbac for
15 what they did and the way they conducted themselves in preventing a war
16 and in making sure that no dispute arose from a situation where there was
17 no problem. And many students from Croatia came to the school in Srbac.
18 They attended our school and I was their teacher.
19 So all that, in a way, at a certain point, when things got
20 difficult, made it kind of easier for us to -- not to rush into anything.
21 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps tab 8 should be given a number, Your Honour,
22 before I turn to tab 10.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D98, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
1 MR. JOSSE: Tab 10, could I comment to the Court by saying this:
2 It is the most unwieldy by far, and I'll try and deal with it in summary,
3 to begin with.
4 Q. This collection of documents show what, please, Mr. Milincic?
5 A. These are decisions on the basis of which former members of the
6 Armed Forces of the Republic of Srpska, those members who were Muslim,
7 that is, are granted invalidity rights or pensions.
8 Let me just point out that in the Armed Forces of the Republika
9 Srpska, there were 89 Muslims and 66 others, such as Ruthenians, Czechs,
10 Ukrainians, Croats. Unfortunately, three Muslims were killed. And these
11 people here had been wounded and they were recognised as having been
12 disabled between 50 and 100 per cent, and these are papers stating that
13 they would be granted their invalidity rights or benefits.
14 Q. Perhaps I could deal with it like this. If we look at the first
15 document - listen carefully to my questions, please, Mr. Milincic - am I
16 right that these are decisions of the Municipal Assembly of Srbac,
17 department of general administration?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And we can see the first one that you produced is in fact a recent
20 one, 27th of April of this year.
21 A. You know, these invalidity papers get revised on a regular basis.
22 Some categories develop in one way, and others in another way. That is to
23 say, some people get better; others get worse. And so this is a document
24 dated 2005. They were assessed by this relevant committee, and this is
25 the last instance, the last decision about that.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And this relates to an individual called Sejad Djuheric; is that
3 A. Yes. I can see him on the list. So he's a war invalid, the sixth
4 category, 60 per cent invalidity. And it goes on to say: "Continues to
5 recognise," which means continues since the time of the war, when he was
6 wounded. So, "continues to be recognised as a war invalid, sixth
7 category, and 60 per cent disability, on the basis of a wound incurred in
8 the line of duty as a member of the armed forces of the Republic of
10 And then it goes on to say how much money he's entitled to, and so
11 on and so forth.
12 Q. I'm going to go through these quickly, and in order. If we go to
13 the second document --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps first -- could I ask one additional
16 Does it say anywhere when this person was injured, an injury which
17 caused the decision to be taken that he should be -- that he should
18 receive an invalidity pension?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the second paragraph of the
20 decision, it says: "This decision replaces the decision number 022560442,
21 dated the 13th of November, 2002." So that gives us an indication there's
22 no further detail, but any other details would be in the personal file,
23 individual personal file. But we can see that the previous decision was
24 dated 2002. And then in that decision, there is probably reference back
25 to another one, and so on and so forth. I don't know. There is no
1 indication of where or how the person was wounded.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know the individual mentioned in this
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know him. I know some
5 others, but I don't know him. I know, for example -- I'm going to try and
6 find one of my former students here. Mr. Kolaric. He's completely
7 disabled, 100 per cent. I can't find the papers here. I know he was an
8 outstanding student, a great mathematician. Unfortunately, he was badly
9 wounded, but he managed to survive. Kolaric. I can't find --
10 MR. JOSSE: I think it's 11th of February, 2005, is the most
11 recent date, bears the number 02/2-560-26.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I take it that you understand what I'm
13 seeking to --
14 MR. JOSSE: I'm going to be able to help a little bit in that
15 regard in a moment.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That would be great. That would be great. I've got
17 in front of me now number 26, handwritten 26 at the top, isn't it?
18 MR. JOSSE: Yes. Exactly. There's a number that's been added in,
19 handwritten 26.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's the eighth copy.
21 MR. JOSSE: Precisely. That's Abraham Kolaric.
22 A. Yes, that's it.
23 Q. Could we -- I was going to go through all these names, but perhaps
24 I won't do that. Could we go to fourth from the end, please. It's a
25 different type of form, which is in Latin, rather than Cyrillic, script.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you want to go to the sixth from the
2 end, Mr. Josse? I've got 5 still following in Cyrillic when I start the
3 Latin. It's about "Baranjecki, Mitar." Is that the one you had in mind
4 or do you have a different --
5 MR. JOSSE: I must have a different order, I'm afraid.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I have got only one not in Cyrillic, and that is a --
7 let me just check whether that's correct. Yes. I've got only one not in
8 Cyrillic, which is the name Baranjecki, Mitar.
9 MR. JOSSE: We're going to provide Your Honour with another copy.
10 I'm sorry about this.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Baranjecki, Mitar.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now we have three different names because I've now
13 got Zukanovic, Redzo, and that's the one -- the binders aren't exactly the
14 same, Mr. Josse. It would be preferable to receive all the same
16 MR. JOSSE: It certainly would.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I now -- from Zukanovic, Redzo in front of me, and
18 I -- two of the Judges had -- yes. Coming close to it. Now all three
19 Judges have Zukanovic, Redzo in front of them.
20 MR. JOSSE: Well, a few questions.
21 Q. First of all, do you know Mr. Zukanovic? Do you know him
23 A. No. He probably knows me, and I don't know him. I know Kolaric
24 because he was a student of mine.
25 Q. Second question is: Can you help us with his ethnicity?
1 A. He's a Muslim, a Bosniak.
2 Q. Thirdly, if we look about halfway down this --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Are we talking about Kolaric or are we talking
4 about -- because the witness says he doesn't know him, but --
5 Are you talking now about Mr. Zukanovic or are you talking about
6 another person? When you said "he's a Muslim," who did you have in mind?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me whether I know these
8 people. Was that it?
9 JUDGE ORIE: You were asked whether you knew a certain
10 Mr. Zukanovic. You said that you did not know him personally. And then
11 you continued telling us --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zukanovic, no, I don't know him.
13 JUDGE ORIE: But do you know what his ethnicity is,, even if you
14 do not know someone personally, then you might know --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The name tells you what
16 ethnicity a person is.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Zukanovic, then, would be --?
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. What is his --
20 A. Bosniak.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
22 MR. JOSSE:
23 Q. Looking at this document, about halfway down the page we see a
24 word, and I will spell it o-b-r-a-z-l-o-z-e-n-j-e. Read that word out,
25 please, and read the following paragraph out.
1 A. It says: "Statement of reasons. Redzo Zukanovic, from Kobas,
2 submitted an application to the secretariat on the 21st of December, 1999,
3 for the recognition of his entitlement to a disability benefit, on the
4 basis of the wound incurred in the course of his military service in the
5 armed conflicts in --" and here it is stated, "the wounding on the 3rd of
6 January, 1993, Grebnica village, Samac municipality, as a member of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska."
8 It goes on to say that he attached the requisite documentation and
9 handed it over to a medical commission. The commission issued its own
10 findings and opinion. Number 3518, dated 27 December 1999, wherein it
11 established that the named person is an invalid of the sixth category,
12 with a 60 per cent disability, valid for a period of two years. The
13 monthly disability benefit amounts to 18 per cent of a base, and so on and
14 so forth, in accordance with Article this and that of the law.
15 Q. And we can see, can't we, that that decision or document is dated
16 the 28th of December of 1999? At the top left-hand corner.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And let's look, please, briefly as well, at the other document
19 that's in Latin script, that's dated the 18th of May of the year 2000,
20 that relates to Mr. Berinzevski [phoen].
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know him? What's his ethnicity, please?
23 A. Ivan Berezovski was a student of mine as well, or rather, his
24 father is a colleague of mine. He's a teacher as well. Ivan Berezovski
25 is a member of the Ruthenians. So it's easy to identify persons by their
2 Q. I think you may be looking at a different document. You are. The
3 one you're looking at is -- I think must be in --
4 A. I have here in front of me Mitar Baranjecki. Is that what you're
5 referring to, in Latin script.
6 Q. Exactly. Let's deal with that one. Do you know Mitar
8 A. No, I don't know him.
9 Q. Are you able to tell from the name what the ethnicity of
10 Mr. Baranjecki is?
11 A. Either a Ruthenian or a Czech. I don't know. He's not a Serb,
12 Croat, or Muslim.
13 Q. And just this: I just want you to read the one paragraph that
14 begins -- just after the middle of the page, Baranjecki, Mitar 8th of
15 March, 1998. Just read out that paragraph, please.
16 A. "The above named person hails from Cukalo [phoen], is a war
17 invalid of the ninth category, with 30 per cent disability, based on his
18 wounding on the 3rd of June, 1994, at Srbobran." That's Donji or Gornji
19 Vakuf today, I'm not sure which of these. One of the Vakufs, anyway.
20 And then the customary lines as to what his entitlements are, that
21 the medical commission has established that he is entitled to an
22 invalidity benefit permanently, but for a fixed period.
23 Q. I'm going to stop you. And it says, I'm sure I can lead on this,
24 that he was a member of the VRS.
25 A. Yes, yes. In the line of duty, as a member of the Army of
1 Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Yes.
3 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, could these documents, tab 10, be given a
4 number, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 10 would be D99, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then it would have each individual document, because
8 there is some confusion about it. We should, I think, give them the
9 numbers as they appear on the top, and that would then be A to V,
10 including V. Yes.
11 Could I ask one question? Have you dealt with the matter?
12 MR. JOSSE: I have.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us: These documents, were you
14 in any way involved in the decisions taken on these injured persons?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. These were Republican
16 commissions who handle these matters, and I have no contacts with them
18 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you brought the documents, so I don't
19 know where you got them or --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't bring them. No. I didn't
21 myself. There is a municipal commission there that dealt with these
22 matters. I left politics a long time ago. These are ongoing procedures.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But did you bring these copies of decisions to
24 The Hague? Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Three days ago I went to the
1 municipality and asked the current mayor to provide me with the papers
2 that I thought were relevant, and they did. It is no secret.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any Serbs in these documents on invalidity
4 pensions, or are these all Muslims or Russians or ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My intention was the following one:
6 Since the Army of Republika Srpska --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking whether there are any Serbs in it.
8 What your intention was, perhaps Mr. Josse would like to ask you --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, but I only brought the
10 decisions relating to the non-Serbs, as it were. But there were, of
11 course, Serbs in the majority.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it looks as if the applications were made,
13 from what we have seen, and of course we were not able to study them all
14 in sufficient detail, it seems that most of the applications were made
15 quite a long time after the injuries took place. Is that similar for
16 Serbs who were injured? Did they apply for pensions in the late 1990s,
17 and no one got any invalidity pension in the mid-1990s, just after the
18 conflict, 1996, 1997? Because I do understand -- Mr. Josse, I'm just
19 giving you -- it seems that these documents would support the active
20 serving in the VRS by non-Serbs, including Muslims. I see that some of
21 the names are related to the place which we have seen very often in this
22 municipality, if we were talking about Muslims. And on the other hand, we
23 can't compare it with how the Serbs were treated in this respect. So
24 therefore, it's -- the documents may have relevance in several respects,
25 whereas we can find only on one item a clear indication.
1 But let's leave it. If they're not there, we can't -- yes.
2 MR. JOSSE: Can I just --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have a question. But if there's
4 any -- yes.
5 MR. JOSSE: Just on that one point, we can assist to a limited
6 extent. In my bundle, the fourth one along, 144, which is, in fact -- in
7 Cyrillic the name is Kratofil, Emil.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me try to find it first. You said the fourth or
9 the ...
10 MR. JOSSE: The fourth in my -- the fifth, I beg your pardon, in
11 my bundle.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It bears a clear number, yes.
13 MR. JOSSE:
14 Q. Am I right, Mr. Milincic, that this indicates that the application
15 was made by Mr. Kratofil on the 30th of September, 1996?
16 A. Yes, but it says here: "This decision shall replace the decision
17 number 051560189, dated the 30th of September, 1996." Therefore, this one
18 replaces some other earlier decision.
19 Q. And it follows from that, doesn't it, that the application must
20 have been sometime prior to the 30th of September, 1996?
21 JUDGE ORIE: We have not yet established the ethnicity of this
22 person, but --
23 MR. JOSSE: Allow me. Of course, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I see that two documents further it even
25 seems that it replaces a decision of 1994, which would even be earlier,
1 because I see exactly the same text in Cyrillic, but now with a decision
2 dated 1994.
3 MR. JOSSE: If Your Honour would permit me, before Judge Hanoteau
4 asks his question, I was in fact going to go through originally the names
5 of all these people. I've got the advantage. I've had -- but I'll wait
6 and do that after the learned Judge's question.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Josse. This does
8 not interfere with your plan in any way.
9 I would just like to clarify one thing. These Muslim men, or
10 anyway, men from other ethnic groups, these people receiving these
11 benefits, were they originally resident in your municipality?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What corps of the army did they
14 belong to? What corps were they a part of? They were wounded as
15 soldiers; right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They were members -- or
17 rather, the Srbac municipality had its own brigade deployed in various
18 parts of Republika Srpska, and probably in some of the earlier
19 documentation it is stated where he was wounded. These were people from
20 Srbac municipality but from different places, villages.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So my question is this: Do we
22 know where all these people were wounded, in what sort of battle did they
23 take part, on the basis of the papers that you've submitted to us?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know that it was necessary
25 to bring such papers. I can send a fax to the municipality asking them to
1 send us such documents tomorrow. Of course they have to know the place
2 where the wounds were incurred. The commission cannot decide without such
3 papers, especially with such great requirements placed on the budget.
4 They have to have such documentation.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm not saying I would like to
6 see these papers. I would just simply like to know whether, on the basis
7 of the existing documentation, it is possible to find out where exactly
8 these people were wounded.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is on the basis of documentation
10 that the commission issues decisions, and I mean the medical commission.
11 There has to be proof of his having been wounded in the battlefield rather
12 than in a traffic accident. This is a very serious type of decision.
13 There can be no meddling with it. These are municipality stamps. I
14 received these papers from official bodies. Yes, we can obtain these
15 documents, but it may take some time. I am certain that these are
16 truthful decisions.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, sir.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps one small additional question. Do you know
19 whether any of them was wounded in your municipality or that they were
20 wounded elsewhere?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you any figures in
22 terms of percentages, but I believe that most of them were wounded outside
23 the Srbac municipality, depending on the period of time and where the
24 brigade forces were deployed in that period of time.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Just before we move away from these documents, let's go through
3 the names and the ethnicity of the claimants. First of all, 155 was at
4 the top of the bundle. We looked at that first. That was Sejad Djuric,
5 and I think you told us that this person was a Muslim.
6 Next we've got 562/122. That's Jusuf Muhic. What was Mr. Muhic's
7 ethnicity, please?
8 A. I want to tell you something in general. All the decisions I've
9 brought here were issued to the names of non-Serbs: Muslims, Croats,
10 Ruthenians, and Czechs. The person in question, Sahi Muhic, from Kobas,
11 is a Muslim.
12 Q. Right. We can move through this very quickly. 43, Miroslav Vlk.
13 A. Vlk. I believe he's a Czech. His very name will tell you that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could we say there's usually, as we saw in the
15 previous ones, Kobas, which sound very familiar, if you look at the other
16 lists, where most of the Muslims lived. What does it say here after the
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. Where is he from?
20 A. Nova Ves. Nova Ves is one of the Srbac villages, a very wealthy
21 village, inhabited by Czechs. They have -- they are -- actively use Czech
22 language and Czech embassy frequently visits them.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Most important for me was to know whether it was
24 within the municipality, yes or no. Next one.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. Next one is that -- the number is illegible. The date is the 25th
2 of October, 2002. It's Vlado Subotinski.
3 A. Yes. Vlado Subotinski is from Nozicko. It's another Srbac
4 village. He's a Ruthenian, Subotinski.
5 Q. He was your pupil?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Emil Kratofil, 144. I think we dealt with him. We dealt with
9 JUDGE ORIE: We had now, because I missed it, but it's not on the
10 transcript. He is -- Subotinski was Russian?
11 MR. JOSSE: Ruthenian, Your Honour.
12 Q. So it's 126, Ivan Berezovski?
13 A. Yes. Ivan Berezovski, from Razboj, he's a postman. I know him
14 because his father was a teacher. The Berezovskis are Ruthenians.
15 Q. Thank you. 2896, Suad Gazic, I think we dealt with him earlier.
16 He's a Muslim; is that right?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Let's go straight to 26. That's Ibrahim Kolaric. That was your
19 pupil; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. Ibrahim from Srbac, just as the previous person was. As you
21 can see, they come from all the different places from Srbac municipality.
22 Ibrahim Kolaric is a young man but was badly wounded, and I saw him
23 recently, and he doesn't seem in a very bad shape, although I believe it
24 was the lungs that he had trouble with.
25 Q. And he's a Muslim; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, a Muslim. I apologise. I always take it for granted that
2 you know who he is, because we always know whether a person is a Serb,
3 Croat, or a Muslim by his name. This is a Muslim, yes.
4 Q. Number 99, Zeljka Jozic. That's a lady; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Ethnicity, please?
7 A. She's a Croat.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. I'm not -- I don't know, but her name tells me so.
10 Q. 118, Nihad Mujkic?
11 A. A Muslim from Kobas.
12 Q. 113, Edvin Radulovic?
13 A. A Muslim from Povelic, a place not far from Srbac.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... hundred and 35, Nermin
16 A. A Muslim from Kobas.
17 Q. 74, I think, could be 79, Fadil Jehabovic?
18 A. Yes. A Muslim from Kobas.
19 Q. 154, Ivan Brana?
20 A. He's a Czech from Nova Ves.
21 Q. I'm not sure about the next number. It's dated the 18th of
22 November, 2002. It's Milenko Djerman.
23 A. Djerman from Gornji Srdjevici. I'm not sure whether he's a
24 Ruthenian, Czech, or Ukrainian. I believe he's a Ukrainian, judging by
25 his family name, but he's not a Serb.
1 Q. 165 -- sorry. 1.655, Mihal Selenijevic?
2 A. Also from Gornji Srdjevici. I believe he's Ruthenian.
3 Q. The next one I've got is the one in Latin, which we've already
4 dealt with, Mitar Baranjecki. I will move on to 52, which is Minad
6 A. A Muslim from Kobas.
7 Q. The next one is again in Latin. It's 560/182, Redzo Zukanovic?
8 A. A Muslim from Kobas.
9 Q. 197, Halid Mesanovic?
10 A. Also again a Muslim, from Kobas.
11 Q. 97, or it may be 47, Jozef Bures?
12 A. He's from Nova Ves, a Czech.
13 Q. And 183, Zoran Safin.
14 A. He's from Kobas, but I'm not sure whether he's Ukrainian or
15 Ruthenian. I'm not sure.
16 Q. Yes. I have no more questions in relation to those documents,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm a bit lost, because my list is not exactly
19 the same as yours. But we'll try to sort it out.
20 Judge Canivell has one question.
21 JUDGE CANIVELL: I would like to be -- to get clarified one point.
22 It seems that it's common for all those people, in spite of their
23 ethnicity, that they were members of the Srpska Republic army. Is that
24 the case, or is it that afterwards even people from other armies -- not
25 exactly from the Srpska Republic, were considered also being members of
1 this army? That means after the war it has been only one army that
2 encompassed both the previous members of the Srpska Republica army and the
3 people that had been Serbian in army originally from the Srpska Republic?
4 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps -- do I understand Your Honour's question to
5 be did all these people serve in the VRS? Yes.
6 Q. That's the question, Mr. Milincic.
7 JUDGE CANIVELL: Yes.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE CANIVELL: Now they are forming only one kind of army, an
10 army which is common for ... Are they now -- why is the fact that all of
11 them were members of the Srpska Republic army? It is because they were
12 fighting on the side of the Srpska Republic army? No. Well, can you
13 explain me why they are considered to be members of this army, in spite of
14 the fact that they didn't fight during the war on the Srpska Republic
15 side? Is it clear to you, my question?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to try and answer, and
17 then you'll be able to see whether I've guessed what your question was. So
18 all these people who are on this list, as well as a whole lot of others
19 whose documents I didn't bring along and are of Serb ethnicity, were
20 members of the RS army, on the basis of the fact that they were mobilised,
21 according to the usual regulations, whatever.
22 After the end of the war, they were all demobilised, but the
23 wounds that they had sustained meant that they would get disability
24 benefits, as established on the basis of their medical assessment. So
25 they were members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Srpska. As such,
1 they were wounded in different battlefields, and this all -- the other
2 Serbs or Croats, as they may be, whoever was wounded qualified for these
3 disability benefits and these benefits are checked on a regular basis.
4 I don't know whether I've guessed right what your question was.
5 JUDGE CANIVELL: I would like to, if I can understand, that those
6 people that were mobilised and were incorporated to the Srpska Republic
7 army, even if they were Muslims. Because you had mentioned that four of
8 them were Muslims. Were they fighting in the Srpska Republic army against
9 the Muslims?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 86 Muslims were members of the Srbac
11 Brigade, or rather - sorry - I can't remember correctly. It was 79. 79
12 Muslims -- I mean, I prepared for this, so I looked up all this
13 information. So there were 79 Muslims who were within the Armed Forces of
14 the Republika Srpska and within the Srbac Brigade. There were 66
15 Ruthenians, Czechs, Ukrainians, and Croats, put together. And yes, they
16 were on the front lines, so they had conflicts and engaged in battle
17 against the Muslim and the Croat side, paradoxically speaking, but yes,
18 there were the opposite cases. In some instances Serbs were mobilised
19 into the BH army or the Croat army. Unfortunately, that's what civil war
20 brings about.
21 JUDGE CANIVELL: Did you know of some other people that didn't
22 serve in the Srpska Republic army, at least that they were fighting in the
23 opposite army, and if they had got wounded or injured and had become --
24 have got some incapacity, if they had got also this kind of pensions?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are civilian victims of war,
1 people who stepped on mines or when they work in the fields or minding
2 their cattle. Civilian victims do not fall into the same category, and
3 are not treated in the same way as the war veterans.
4 JUDGE CANIVELL: I do not mean only civilians. I mean soldiers
5 included in the Srpska Republic army, they had got also incapacity
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean they served in another
8 army? Is that what you mean? I mean, unless they were in the armed
9 forces of the Republika Srpska, they can't get these benefits from the
10 Republika Srpska. If they didn't serve in the Federation Armed Forces,
11 they can't get the rights acknowledged in the Federation. So it works
12 both ways.
13 JUDGE CANIVELL: I'm not meaning that they are paid the pensions
14 by the Republika Srpska person -- could be the case that they are paid by
15 other organs. You don't know anything about those possibly wounded
16 people, being incapable, being paid by part of the confederation?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they settled in the territory of
18 the Republic of Srpska now, they will still have the previously acquired
19 rights, pension rights, disability benefits, whatever. Otherwise, those
20 that -- veteran bonuses can only be paid to war veterans. They can be
21 qualified for other types of benefits, such as people who became disabled
22 as a result of accidents at work or whatever. We have other bodies who
23 deal with this. Or services who help the poor, in general, disabled in
24 general, or whatever. I really don't know if I'm getting your drift, but
25 that's the situation.
1 JUDGE CANIVELL: What I wanted to know is about soldiers that
2 haven't been fighting inside their organisation, inside the Republika
3 Srpska army, if they had got in case they had been incapacitated, if they
4 are getting pensions because of their wounds in the previous war. You
5 don't know, or do you know? In case you know, why is it you haven't
6 included anyone here?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean people from World War II?
8 War veterans still surviving from World War II.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see if there's any confusion.
10 JUDGE CANIVELL: The confusion is I'm not speaking about World War
11 II. This is not what we are interested. I am speaking about the Bosnian
12 war that took place in 1992, 1993.
13 JUDGE ORIE: May I just seek to clarify. You are asking about
14 soldiers receiving pensions, soldiers that -- well, let's give an example.
15 Are you talking about Serbian soldiers?
16 JUDGE CANIVELL: No. I'm talking about people that were included
17 in the army, that was in the VRS army --
18 JUDGE ORIE: So --
19 JUDGE CANIVELL: -- who had been injured and got some limitation,
20 if they are getting pensions or not. And I had asked him about that. He
21 says that he speaks about civilians.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the police. If there were
23 police officers, they would qualify. But they can't be wounded as a
24 member of the Federation Armed Forces and get benefits from the Serb
25 Republic Armed Forces. But if they were in Banja Luka or somewhere else,
1 yes. But here we're talking only about people who were members of the
2 Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska, whatever their ethnicity, Ruthenian,
3 Czech, whatever. And there were no other armed for his. There were no
4 paramilitaries, whatever. There was just the Republika Srpska and the
5 police force.
6 JUDGE CANIVELL: Okay. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau will have a question for you.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like an extra
9 clarification as well, sir. You had told us that in this brigade from
10 your municipality, there were about 80 Muslims. Now, were those Muslims
11 mobilised by the state authorities?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everybody got an invitation to join,
13 no matter what ethnicity they were. If they were born in a certain year,
14 they would get that.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Does that mean that all Muslims
16 who were of age would receive such an order for mobilisation from your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All able-bodied men received such
19 invitations and were asked to join either the armed forces or do the
20 so-called work duty. Some expressed a wish to join the armed forces, and
21 others wanted to provide logistical support, work as cooks or, I don't
22 know, chop wood or whatever.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could we say that all Muslims of
24 age in your municipality were actually asked to join the army?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is clearly stated up until what
1 age people could be drafted, but younger lads were taken for the brigade,
2 and all the others, the elderly men, were asked to do other things. They
3 would watch things along the river --
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, could you please answer my
5 question. Now, these men who had been drafted, who had been invited to
6 join the army, did they all obey or were there any deserters, as it were?
7 Could you answer that? Did they all join or did some of them refuse to
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is very difficult to give you
10 percentages, but the military police had their hands full as well. What
11 does it mean? Yes, some people were taken in, I mean, Serbs, for the most
12 part. Because there were mostly Serbs in the municipality.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Could you please answer my
14 question. I'm referring to Muslim men now. Now, did all Muslims who were
15 asked to join the army follow that call, or was there a certain percentage
16 of Muslims who refused to join and who fled, who deserted the area and
17 left and went to live elsewhere? You must know that, because you were in
18 charge of the municipality at the time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Those who left, yes. Those
20 who left are no longer there, and those who stayed behaved in line with
21 the overall spirit within the municipality. And, I mean, it's quite
22 another matter that some people felt, okay, if I have my wife and child
23 who are left on their own, I can't do that. And some people are -- were
24 allowed to go back to their homes, because otherwise there would be no
25 livelihood for their families.
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] However, you do see the essence
2 of my questions. Now, the Muslims who were drafted in the army, did they
3 actually refuse to take up arms? Did they refuse on the grounds that they
4 knew that they would be fighting against the people of their own
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't have any information of
7 that, and I don't have any information of them killing people of their own
8 ethnicity. I'm not a military person myself, and there was a military
9 command. But as to me receiving any information of them fleeing or being
10 deserters, I have no information about that. I do have information that
11 there were 79 Muslims in the Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska. As to
12 how many deserters there were, I really do not know.
13 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So it is 79, then. These 79
14 Muslims are how many in terms of percentages, with regard to the overall
15 number of able-bodied Muslim men living in the municipality? Does this
16 mean that these are all the Muslims who could have joined the army, or is
17 it just a proportion of that population?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were 940 families, so it
19 is a proportion. And somebody did some sums and tried to calculate how
20 many able-bodied men would there be in those families. And secondly, how
21 many of those people would be the only providers and would have to take
22 care of the rest of their family. And then you can calculate that. But I
23 didn't prepare for this sort of mathematical analysis. But I could have
24 done, but I didn't.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, we are at a time where we would have
2 another break, if this would be a suitable moment. But it's difficult to
3 ask you, because most of the last questions are put by the Judges. But if
4 there would be any questions you'd like --
5 MR. JOSSE: No. I have no follow-up questions in relation to tab
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, would you then please escort the
8 witness out of the courtroom. We'll have another break for some 20
10 Mr. Josse, could you give us any impression on how many time you'd
11 still need? I'm aware that not all of the time this afternoon was used by
13 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour, I was hoping to finish by the end
14 of the day, but, Your Honour, I'm aware that in one sense timetabling is
15 on my side, because the reality is the Defence have no other witness this
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. JOSSE: I'm also aware that I imagine the Court would not like
19 to trickle into Friday. In other words, either -- I assume that's the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.
22 MR. JOSSE: But so I suspect I will finish tomorrow morning, quite
23 shortly after we have - sorry - afternoon. We're sitting in the
24 afternoon. I will finish -- within half an hour, would be my aim, of
25 resuming tomorrow afternoon. In other words, about another hour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Another hour.
2 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps a bit more.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If we have a break now of 20 minutes, you've
4 still got 50 minutes. We finish at 7.00. Let's see whether we can finish
5 today. If not, you have some additional time tomorrow morning.
6 MR. JOSSE: I'm very grateful.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until 10 minutes past 6.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.50 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, please proceed.
11 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, having said I wasn't going to return to
12 the subject that the witness was just giving evidence about, I've been
13 asked to ask one or two more questions, which I'm happy to do.
14 Q. Mr. Milincic, the non-Serbs who were mobilised into the Srbac
15 Brigade, was any pressure brought to bear upon them to join the Srbac
17 A. Frankly, nobody readily goes into the army, be it Serbs, Muslims,
18 or Croats. But that was the period that called for such sacrifices, and
19 people responded to the call-ups. Forcibly, what does it mean? If you
20 refuse to respond to such a call-up, be it a Serb or a Muslim, there will
21 be a military police coming to get you, and there were no exceptions
22 there. And I mean exceptions in terms of responding to military call-ups.
23 Q. And what was the effect of the military police coming to get one?
24 What would happen to someone who found the military police knocking on
25 their door?
1 A. Well, that person would collect his belongings and go to his
2 assigned unit. Sometimes they would tell the military police that they
3 were able to go on their own, and they would then eventually go on their
4 own to join their unit.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I would have one question. I hope you do
6 not mind.
7 To get a proper idea of what actually, in numbers, was the case,
8 you said that there were 940 families, I do understand, Muslim families.
9 Did you mean families or did you mean Muslims?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I meant families.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That doesn't -- that does not entirely fit into
12 the data we have got in, I think it was P954, but the big bundle of data
13 gives a number of 940, but that's persons, not families. So we have to
14 see -- you say there were 940 Muslim families in the municipality?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see a problem there. There
16 were 940 Muslim families, 145 Croat families. I was merely using --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpret didn't hear what the witness was
18 using to draw upon.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. Repeat what you've just said, please, Mr. Milincic. You said: "I
21 don't see a problem there. There were 940 Muslim families, 145 Croat
22 families. I was merely using --" You said something else, which the
23 interpreter didn't catch.
24 A. Yes. 945 or 950 - I'm not certain about the figures - Muslim
25 families; 145 Croat families in Srbac municipality. These are 1991 data.
1 Of course, we have different data from 1996.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I am looking at the 1991 data, which - of course, we
3 have no translation yet - would give 140 Croats, 940 Muslims, 19.380
4 Serbs. Is that families or is that Serb individuals?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This refers to the population of
6 Srbac municipality.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have a total number of what I understand a
8 little bit over 21.000, almost 22.000, as the total population. Yes. Then
9 there is at least, unless, of course, we have always the problem of --
10 well, the problem, at least we never know exactly who called themselves
11 Yugoslavs. Because on 940 Muslims, 140 Croats -- it seems that these
12 numbers reflect the numbers of individuals. We also have 811 Yugoslavs,
13 for example, which of course could disturb our view on the matter.
14 We'll have a look at it. Please proceed.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. Let's move on to a completely different topic, if we may. Tab 12,
17 please. This relates, doesn't it, to the murder of Mr. Hadziselimovic,
18 whom you had told us had for a time being been the vice-president of the
19 municipality. He had then, you've told us, resigned his seat within the
20 assembly, and I think you told us he went to live elsewhere. Is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, let's not look at the first page, because I don't think that
24 helps. The second page, which is the certificate with the Latin script,
25 which is a document dated the 25th of March, 1996. Help us, please. Top
1 left-hand corner it says "Vojni sud u Banja Luci." Read that, please, top
2 left-hand corner.
3 A. "Military court in Banja Luka, IK number 23/92, dated 25th of
4 March, 1996."
5 Q. We see then the name, Stanica. Continue reading it, please.
6 A. Yes. "Public security station Srbac. The following information is
7 hereby being delivered for the following convicted person, first and last
8 names, Ljubomir Stankovic, father's name, Veljko, mother's name, Koviljka,
9 maiden name, Sancanin, born on the 30th of August, 1960, place of birth,
10 Saferovci village, Srbac municipality, Socialist Republic Srpska, resident
11 at Saferovci village, Srbac municipality, Republika Srpska; ethnicity,
12 Serb; citizenship, Republika Srpska, private by occupation worker. Date
13 and number of judgement, 20th of March, 1995, IK number 23/92. The
14 judgement handed down by the military court in Banja Luka, for which
15 offence," it goes on to say, "murder, under Article 26, paragraph 2, item
16 6, and the criminal offence of causing general danger under Article 172,
17 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Republika Srpska. Sentence: Nine
18 years of imprisonment. President of the Chamber, Captain First Class,
19 Svetozar Davidovic."
20 Q. How do we know which murder this refers to?
21 A. I asked to be sent -- I asked for it yesterday. I know who was
22 murdered, but you don't, and of course I will not give a false statement.
23 I know that it incurs responsibility. You can later on verify my
24 testimony. An offence can be interpreted in different ways. The
25 vice-president of the municipality --
1 Q. Sorry. You're about to tell us. Just tell us who it is and how
2 you know. Just tell us who it is that this individual murdered, and how
3 you know who -- who it is.
4 A. Ljubomir Stankovic mentioned herein, shot the former councillor
5 and vice-president of the assembly, Halid Hadziselimovic, who died several
6 days later in the hospital as a result of his wounds. You know that the
7 president of the assembly is briefed daily, every morning, on the events
8 for the previous 24 hours. That morning I received a written report that
9 the evening before, in Kobas, in a cafe, and there was a name of the cafe
10 as well, there was a fight between Ljubomir Stankovic and Halid
11 Hadziselimovic, where Stankovic opened fire from a weapon, who was
12 seriously wounded, taken to the hospital, and died several days later.
13 This is the judgement handed down in relation to the same man,
14 Stankovic, for that particular murder.
15 Q. And I think, if we turn to the next document, that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, before we continue, exactly relevance?
17 What is it? Is it that people were prosecuted if they would kill Muslims
18 or is it --
19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour. I'd like to deal with it very, very
20 shortly. I mean, the main point I'd like to establish is the fact that
21 the witness - excuse me for commenting here, but Your Honour has asked
22 me - has made a conscious decision to bring this evidence and put it
23 before the court. In other words, he's not trying to hide what happened
24 to this unfortunate individual. That's really the point that I wish to
25 establish. That's why I'm adducing it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, then --
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: No. We do understand that he doesn't want to hide
4 that this person was killed. I don't know whether we need a follow-up for
5 this as well.
6 MR. JOSSE: We don't. The other two -- the first --
7 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness would know anything more about how it
8 happened, then we might be interested to know that, but --
9 MR. JOSSE: I'm probably prepared to release the other two
10 documents -- remove them from the bundle. Could I say, the first one in
11 fact is simply a release document, some sort of parole-type document, and
12 the third one relates to the man's incarceration in Banja Luka. They
13 don't take the matter any further at all.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The only matter we'd like to know is -- first of all,
15 we appreciate that the witness doesn't want to hide any such events.
16 Do you have any knowledge on what caused the fight to happen in
17 that cafe or bar, I think you said it was? Was it just ... Hear anything
18 about it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I heard about this, my
20 immediate reaction was that this was not going to be good, because
21 immediately it was going to be interpreted as a Serb killing a Muslim.
22 But as far as I could hear about this man, he was prone to these fights.
23 And then I called the chief of police, asking him to conduct an
24 investigation into this matter. This was a man who was a councillor, a
25 former vice-president of the assembly, who lived in Zagreb at the time but
1 came back to his weekend cottage and got killed. I felt this moral
2 obligation toward him. He was a man who I cooperated with and --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand. Do you know why and how that fight
4 started? Did they find out?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of police informed me
6 about the way things happened, and I'm telling you this now. I wasn't
7 there. It was Bajram. He came to his village to celebrate this with his
8 family. He was passing by a cafe there from where loud music could be
9 heard. He entered the cafe and drew their attention to the fact that
10 there was Bajram and that this was not proper. And what followed was a
11 tussle. They punched each other. This man was younger. Obviously, he
12 had a weapon with him. The man was taken to the hospital in Banja Luka,
13 which is quite far away. There are some 70 kilometres to Banja Luka. And
14 some two or three days later, he died. I phoned the hospital, inquiring
15 after him, and they told me that he was in critical condition. And this
16 is the truth of the matter.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You thank you for giving this information.
18 Please continue, Mr. Josse.
19 MR. JOSSE: Let's go to -- Could that be given a number, please?
20 I'm happy to submit only --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Second one?
22 MR. JOSSE: Only the second document. The other two can come out
23 of the -- can come out of Your Honour's bundle.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar, that would be number?
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D100, Your Honours, dated 25th March
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we take out the others.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. Tab 13, please, Mr. Milincic. Have the tab in front of you, but
6 it might be best if you first deal with this by narrative. As we can see
7 from the index, these are documents relating to the destruction of the
8 mosque in Kobas; is that correct? It's my fault. Don't worry about the
9 documents for the moment. Put them down. Put the documents down for a
11 A. Very well.
12 Q. First of all, can you tell us the date that the mosque in Kobas
13 was destroyed?
14 A. I'm trying to find the paper. But from memory -- although I can't
15 really tell you. I'm trying to find it here.
16 Q. Is it item number 5, in the -- in the document that's got 5
17 entries in Latin script, I think, is it the last entry from someone called
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So the 11th of July, 1993; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. JOSSE: If Your Honours have got that document, since the
24 witness has got it, perhaps I'll deal with it a different way, using the
1 Q. Read, please, as best you can, Mr. Lazarevic's entry, so in other
2 words, beginning "Radeci," r-a-d-e-c-i.
3 A. "On the 11th of July, 1993, at 2200 hours, Dragan Lazarevic
4 submits this report and indicates as follows: Whilst on duty at the
5 checkpoint in Kobas," which means that he was out in the street, "he
6 noticed twinkling, some lights, in the direction of the mosque."
7 JUDGE ORIE: When you say "which means that he was out in the
8 street," is that the literal text or do you add that to the portion you
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was merely clarifying what the
11 checkpoint meant.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to read, and nothing else, at this
13 moment. Could you please restart after the word "Lazarevic, Dragan."
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Whilst on duty at the checkpoint in
15 Kobas, he noticed twinkling in the direction of the mosque. As he went
16 over to check what was going on, he saw fire had already caught the
17 interior of the mosque." Yes, that's right. It's not "he saw," but
18 rather fire had already caught the interior of the mosque.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. Dragan Lazarevic is a police officer; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And we see a stamp in the right-hand column. That's a police
23 stamp, is it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that column, which is column 10, am I right in saying -- which
1 begins with the word "prezime," am I right that that means the person who
2 committed crime? So column 10 relates to person who committed crime?
3 A. Column 10 -- oh, yes.
4 Q. Go to the top of that -- go to --
5 A. Yes, yes. It's fine. This is where the name of the perpetrator
6 should be indicated, and in the place where the stamp is, the word "NN,"
7 unidentified, is written.
8 Q. Let's just turn the page, please.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, before we do so, could the witness tell us
10 what this exactly is? Is this a register of a police station or is it
11 a -- is that a local police station? If it is, could you please tell us
12 what it is.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the police report concerning
14 the events for the past 24 hours in the municipality, and what it deals
15 with here is the fire on the mosque, or rather, in the mosque, and a
16 police officer's report about what he had seen.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Where did you get this document from?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I knew that this was going to be
19 an inevitable topic here, I requested the police to provide me with this,
20 because it was evident that this had happened, and although there were
21 speculations about it, I wanted the exact information from the police as
22 to how these matters happened. I went over, asked them to give me the
23 papers that would indicate that this indeed had transpired.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I'll tell you what my problem is, and I
25 hope that you'll be able to clarify.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. JOSSE: I can.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If there is a 24-hours report, then not the first
3 entry is somewhere the end of June, with the specific time, the next one
4 is -- well, the third one is the 3rd of July. So these are not 24-hours
5 reports. And if you look at the -- what I understand perhaps to be the
6 location, then it's very much one village rather than -- I only see Kobas,
7 Kobas, Kobas, Kobas. I wonder if this represents certain events. I
8 hardly can imagine that it would present 24-hours reports. So if you
9 would please clarify that.
10 MR. JOSSE: Can I help?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. JOSSE: I, of course, don't want to give evidence, but can I
13 help to this extent: If we look at how I hope Your Honour's bundles are
14 created, there are two documents in the form of some sort of register. If
15 the Court looks at the very bottom of -- in fact, the first page, the one
16 that the witness has been reading from, the Court will see a faxed date,
17 dated today, 09/11/05.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I see.
19 MR. JOSSE: That has been sent to the witness today, at the
20 request of the Defence. The witness -- as has the next document, which
21 is, I think, part and parcel of the same document. The remaining five
22 pages in tab 13 -- which the Court is going to be relieved to hear -- are
23 going to be, of course, later removed shortly -- the witness brought with
24 him in order, again, to tell the Court about the destruction of this
25 mosque. It became apparent when we talked to him that that -- those
1 documents didn't clarify the situation sufficiently, so he made a
2 telephone call, exactly what that call is Your Honour will have to ask
3 him, and he produced -- and the result was these two documents. So
4 perhaps we should ask where these -- whom he telephoned and what these two
5 documents purport to be.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps may I suggest a different way? Couldn't we
7 ask the witness what he knows about it, without using these documents, and
8 then once they're translated we might see that this is reported in police
9 reports and that we could perhaps use them as contextual exhibits or
10 something like that, supporting what the witness said, and then we could
11 go relatively quickly through it. Because I take it that -- I don't know
12 yet what the relevance is, but if you, in questioning -- in examining the
13 witness could make clear to us what -- because at the earlier occasion,
14 the witness said, "I don't want to hide anything." Perhaps he doesn't
15 want to hide anything here as well. But of course the Chamber might not
16 be fully interested in all events that someone might ever think useful to
18 MR. JOSSE: I don't -- I don't want to waste any more time, but
19 respectfully, I agree entirely with Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. JOSSE: It's my fault for putting the document in front of
22 him. I then thought immediately the best thing was to deal with it by
24 Q. Forget the documents for the moment, Mr. Milincic. Just tell the
25 learned Judges what you know of this unfortunate incident, please.
1 A. On this day, it was on the 11th or the 12th - I can't remember
2 exactly - but at some point around 11.00 at night, I was informed, at
3 home, by telephone, that the mosque at Kobas was on fire. And my reaction
4 was, "So what did you do? Did you send the fire brigade in?" And they
5 said "Yes, the fire brigade had gone to the mosque."
6 There is a distance of about 20 kilometres between Srbac and
7 Kobas. As to how fast the fire brigade was, well, when they got there,
8 they did spray the mosque with water, but the roof had already caved in. I
9 think we do have a report from the fire brigade. And judge went to do an
10 on-the-spot check and there were some inspectors, and some technicians --
11 technical experts, rather. At any rate, the mosque was burnt down that
13 The fire-fighters went there, but they did nothing much. They
14 were unable to put the fire out soon enough.
15 And now there is some speculation about this. Well, there was
16 thunder, and there was a thunderstorm, and so the first version was that
17 there was a lightning which caused the fire. It was a wooden mosque and
18 now we've got a new, fancy one.
19 And the second version was that it was set alight by the Serbs.
20 And the third version was that it was set to light by the Muslims
21 themselves, in -- because of the risk and danger, because there were Serb
22 refugees travelling through Kobas. And those were refugees who were
23 leaving their homes because of the war. And they were on their way to
24 Serbia. And the locals were afraid that if those Serb refugees would see
25 the mosque -- well, but this is just speculation, of course.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you. You say it's speculation. The
2 Chamber is not that interested in speculation. The Chamber noted,
3 however, that you gave three options of speculation, two of them you just
4 mentioned them, the third one got a lot of attention. Let's see, has
5 there been ever established who was responsible for what was responsible
6 for the fire at the mosque?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was an inquiry. I can see on
8 the basis of these documents here that a judge was present.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know what the result of that investigation --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, because I've left
11 Srbac, so I'm no longer involved in the political life there, but
12 apparently the real reason was never established, the real reason for the
13 mosque having been set alight. That's quite true. Go and ask any of the
14 citizens and they will tell you the same. Nobody was brought to trial.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So what you tell us is the mosque caught fire,
16 it was taken very seriously by the local authorities sending the firemen
17 there, and that an investigation did not reveal what or who caused that
18 fire. That's the basics of what you wanted to tell us?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, all I want to do in tab 13 is to submit
22 those two documents that have today's fax date on. The others, as far as
23 I'm concerned, can come out of the bundle and we can save the CLSS the
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll -- do you want to introduce them as
1 contextual exhibits? Then there's no need to give them a number. At this
2 moment, if you say they are contextual but perhaps already in the context
3 of this testimony I'd like to tender it, then it will be given a number.
4 MR. JOSSE: I would like that, please.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. A number, Mr. Registrar, would be?
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D101, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse. Seven minutes left. I
8 don't know whether you'll find a subject that you could deal with in that
10 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
11 Q. I want to deal now - we'll see if we can do it in seven minutes -
12 with Mr. Krajisnik. When did you first meet Mr. Krajisnik?
13 A. A difficult one. I saw him on television, when he was the Speaker
14 of the Assembly, of the Joint Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
15 then, when we met and how we met, I can't remember. It's all blurred in
16 my memory. I suppose it was back in 1991 at some point, at the Holiday
17 Inn. I think I met him at the Holiday Inn in 1991. I can't remember if
18 it was in June or thereabouts. But it was a fleeting meeting. But I'm
19 more familiar with him through his work as the Speaker of the Assembly.
20 Q. The meeting that you went to at the Holiday Inn in 1991 was of
21 which organisation or which body?
22 A. I think it was the SDS assembly, and the Main Board was being
23 elected. And on that occasion, I was elected as member of that Main
24 Board. And I think that Mr. Krajisnik became either a member of the party
25 or of the Main Board. I can't remember. I'm not sure. Maybe he had
1 already joined the party before and then he became a member of the Main
2 Board on that occasion.
3 Q. You're digressing for one moment. How would you assess your
4 memory, bearing in mind these events were 13 years ago or so, of events
5 nationally or at the republic level of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 A. I do remember certain events. Others I probably don't remember. I
7 mean, time goes by and certain things I thought were of no consequence, I
8 and focussed more on problems affecting my own municipality, since there
9 was a state of war, and I felt I should do all I could in order to save my
10 own municipality. That was my main concern. I used to call it fate. It
11 was a fateful decision to join politics. And all my activity really
12 focussed on my municipality. But, of course, thank God, I do remember
13 certain events and certain people. Time passes and erases certain
14 memories. That's true, too.
15 Q. When, if at all, did Mr. Krajisnik come to Srbac?
16 A. Yes. On the 12th of October, we have a holiday in Srbac, our
17 patron saint's day. And in 1994, after many problems and difficulties, we
18 finally finished the post office building. It was a facility which meant
19 a great deal to Srbac, and it was supposed to be opened, and I phoned --
20 or maybe I wrote -- I can't remember exactly whether I sent a letter
21 setting out all the details, about a month in advance, and I basically
22 booked the presence of Mr. Karadzic, the president of the Republic, and
23 Mr. Krajisnik, the Srbac -- for the opening ceremony, and for them to
24 visit Srbac at least once. And I was told that they would attend, that
25 they would attend the opening ceremony. However, they didn't show up --
1 or rather, they were late. So they actually missed Srbac, and so they
2 just went to a village near Srbac and had dinner there.
3 After the ceremony, we had opened the post office and they joined
4 us for dinner, and they spent a couple of hours with us and then they left
5 to Banja Luka. And that was the first visit by Mr. Krajisnik in Srbac.
6 Q. From your dealings with Mr. Krajisnik, and indeed from your
7 observing him on the television, what assessment did you make of his
9 A. The same as now. Stable, witty, ready to compromise, and he was
10 very skilful in acting as the Speaker of the Assembly. And those assembly
11 meetings tended to be rather sensitive. What I mean is the
12 Bosnia-Herzegovinian assembly. And he was pretty tactful and witty, and
13 all the mutual jabs or all the possible tensions that were ready to flare
14 up at any minute from the very start was something that Mr. Krajisnik knew
15 how to keep under control in a certain way, and for that reason I suppose
16 he must have had certain problems with Serbs as well, who probably would
17 have liked him to take sides more clearly, to somehow root for the Serbs,
18 as it were. But I believe that the SDS leadership gave him their support
19 in his doing his best in order to make sure that the assembly was able to
20 work and function properly. And he was quite popular amongst the
21 population because of this style, in moderating sometimes difficult
22 political discussions and topics, and very often mediating conclusions and
23 decisions, et cetera. I believe that he used to do his best, really, in
24 order for this assembly to continue to exist and not be dissolved. And
25 unfortunately one day it was dissolved.
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour. I'm going to pause there, if I may.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn for the day, Mr. Milincic. I'd like to
3 see you back tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00, not in this same courtroom.
4 I'm afraid that I informed you yesterday wrongly about the courtroom.
5 Although the schedule says that we're sitting in Courtroom I, we are
6 actually sitting in Courtroom II tomorrow in the afternoon. It has been
7 changed. So we'd like to see you back at a quarter past 2.00. I'd like
8 to instruct you that you should speak with -- to no one about the
9 testimony you have given until now and the testimony you're still about to
10 give tomorrow. Is that clear to you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I read it in all the papers
12 that I was given, that that was the rule.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 Mr. Josse, the estimate you gave before, is that still valid?
15 MR. JOSSE: It is, Your Honour. I'm going to -- I chatted to
16 Mr. Krajisnik at the last break. He and I have come to a practical
17 arrangement as to how I can use my remaining time to suit both of us, and
18 I'm confident that I will take no more than half an hour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
20 Then, Mr. Tieger, I know it was your wish, due to the way you
21 received the information, that you would not start any cross-examination
22 today. That now has been automatically fulfilled. At the same time, I
23 take it that, of course, unexpected circumstances apart, that you'll be
24 able to start cross-examining the witness after half an hour? I'm not
25 saying that you should -- that you could not reserve the rights, in view
1 of documents that are not translated, and as we did before, the
2 Prosecution was allowed to revisit certain matters which it could not
3 possibly look at sufficiently before the start of the cross-examination,
4 but apart from that point, could you start cross-examination tomorrow?
5 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. Excuse me. Thank you. I
6 understand, and that's my expectation.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much.
8 Then we'll adjourn, and I would like to thank the interpreters and
9 the technicians for the four and a half minutes I've stolen from them.
10 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour's reminded me. I, too, actually wanted to
11 thank them, because I know how difficult it is for them when these
12 documents have not been translated, and on behalf of the Defence, I really
13 need to thank them very much for their understanding in our difficult
14 circumstances. Your Honour has reminded me. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And perhaps it's some consolation for the
16 interpreters that we're working hard on getting better control over
17 scheduling and preparations, so we'll hope that this will not last for a
18 long period of time. But I take it that the interpreters do appreciate
19 your understanding, Mr. Josse.
20 We'll adjourn until tomorrow, a quarter past 2.00.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
23 November 2005, at 2.15 p.m.