1 Friday, 27 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Josse, are you ready to continue the examination of the
13 MR. JOSSE: I am, thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to remind you, Mr. Savkic, to -- that
15 you're still bound by the solemn declaration that you've given at the
16 beginning of your testimony, that is that you'll speak the truth, the
17 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I forgot yesterday to introduce Dragan
20 Markovic, who is also assisting on our team. He is going to assist me in
21 playing an extract of a CD later.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome.
23 WITNESS: TOMISLAV SAVKIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Savkic, when we finished yesterday I was asking about the
2 distance between Vlasenica and Milici, and you told the Chamber -- you had
3 told the Chamber that basically you lived in Milici. It was then very
4 hard to get to Vlasenica. We know that you were in Vlasenica on the 14th
5 of April for the Assembly session. That's right, isn't it?
6 A. Yes. At a meeting held on the 14th of April. I don't know the
7 number of that session, though.
8 Q. And when was the next time after that that you went to the town of
10 A. I really can't remember, but it's been quite a while since that --
11 it was quite a while after that. Perhaps it was about 20 days, 30, maybe
13 Q. As far as you are aware, how did the violence break out in your
15 A. The violence escalated because there were a large number of
16 sabotages and ambushes in that period on the main roads --
17 Q. Stop there, please --
18 A. -- I already mentioned that.
19 Q. When you're talking about "that period," what period exactly do
20 you mean?
21 A. I'm thinking of the period from the end of April and the whole
22 month of May.
23 Q. And you may have mentioned sabotages and ambushes in a slightly
24 different context, but I'm not asking you to be specific now. What do you
25 mean by sabotages and ambushes?
1 A. I'm thinking of sabotages and ambushes on the main road,
2 Vlasenica-Milici-Zvornik and Bratunac. The Milici-bauxite mine-Skelani
3 regional road is also part of that. When we're talking of sabotage, I've
4 already said later, sometime after May 26th, the bridge in Nova Kasaba was
5 destroyed; it was on the main road. I mentioned that there was a sabotage
6 in one of the tunnels on the regional roads towards the mine, and the road
7 was blocked by tree trunks after the tunnel.
8 However, throughout this whole period, armed formations,
9 especially in the village of Zutica in the direction of Rudnik, were
10 setting up barricades, cutting off roads, and hijacking the trucks that
11 were transporting the bauxite or also they were hijacking buses with
12 passengers in them. The most serious incident occurred on the 21st of
13 May, I believe, when in that same village an armed formation stopped. A
14 small TAM truck that was transporting civilians, that type of truck has a
15 capacity of three tonnes, and it's covered -- the truck-bed is covered by
16 tarpaulin and explosives were used.
17 And on that occasion two women were killed, if I can recall. And
18 also a small child -- actually, a young man of 17, 18 years old and I
19 think also five men. That was the first time that I actually saw what the
20 casualties look like, who were killed by explosives and massacred. I
21 think two children and one man managed to escape from the small truck, and
22 also a woman managed to escape.
23 Q. I'm going to stop you --
24 A. Another serious incident took place --
25 Q. I'm going to stop you. A few things. Firstly, in this period
1 from the middle of April to, shall we say, the end of May, what were you
2 personally doing?
3 A. I was practically doing two jobs. One was to direct the
4 security -- actually, the engineers service, wherever it was needed. For
5 example, I was a man -- actually, the person who cleared this road after
6 the tunnel was mined because in the JNA I served in the engineers. So
7 this was the kind of work that I was doing, wherever it was needed, if it
8 was necessary to check for mines or to clear the effects of mines, that's
9 what I was doing. Because of the chaos that was already happening in that
10 area, I was also providing advice about fortifying positions and various
11 other engineering issues that had to do with the protection of their
12 villages. That was actually my job.
13 Q. Now, the acts of violence that you have begun to describe, how did
14 you become aware of them? In other words, what were your sources of
15 information at that time?
16 A. I saw all of that with my own eyes. I've already said that. I
17 saw the bridge in Kasaba, and I described the way in which it was
18 destroyed. I also said that I was personally in charge of dealing with
19 clearing the roads and clearing places where there were explosions. I
20 used the construction machinery from the mine to clear the road.
21 This ambush, however, in Zutica, I was the one who saw personally
22 at the health centre in Milici when these people were brought out of the
23 cars in which they were brought there. I saw them personally. The person
24 who escaped, his name is Radomir Ilic, and his nickname is Kratki. He
25 told us all that happened that day in Zutica.
1 When we're talking about the ambush in Konjevic Polje, I think
2 that that took place on the 26th of May. And as I said before, we
3 continued to work as a company. We continued to transport the ore to
4 Glinica and Birac, compared to the previous period when, depending on the
5 time period, the trucks were going. They would be going in a column of 30
6 to 50 trucks. The Muslim formations, where the main organiser was the
7 mentioned Ferid Hodzic and the already-formed military unit whose document
8 we saw, this was the 16th Muslim Brigade, members of that brigade in
9 Konjevic Polje set up an ambush of that convoy on its return from Zvornik
10 when --
11 Q. Stop there. Now, I'm --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse.
13 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The witness has clarified a couple of minutes ago
15 that what he's describing is early April until the end of May.
16 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber has heard evidence that a
18 military-supported take-over of the municipality took place on the 23rd
19 and/or the 24th of April. To better understand the testimony of this
20 witness, I think it would be very useful to know whether when these events
21 took place, whether that was already when armed conflict or at least
22 take-over, however you call it, had taken place or not. Because is it
23 what is the cause -- what's the -- what caused what? Is it -- because the
24 testimony until now seems to -- tends to say: Well, this is what all
25 happened. I take it that that is a -- an explanation of the situation
1 which may make it more clear for the Chamber -- make it more easy for the
2 Chamber to understand all the following events. But you'll understand
3 that then we need a bit of the whole of the context for a full
4 understanding, and that's what the Chamber wants to have, that is a full
5 understanding of the situation.
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'm more than willing to do that. I --
7 could I also add at this juncture how I tend to present the witness's
8 evidence in relation to what went on during the course of the war in
9 1992. As has become apparent already, he has a great deal of detailed
10 knowledge. As usual, it's difficult to disentangle whether it's
11 first-hand, second-hand, third-hand or whatever. There are fortunately,
12 and in the Defence's point of view, some documents which will assist, and
13 I tend to deal with it more, I hope, by giving the Court - I use this word
14 advisedly - a taste for what the witness has to say and his knowledge
15 rather than going into it all, because otherwise that will take an awfully
16 long time. But Your Honour's specific concerns I'm happy to try and turn
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Savkic; before we go on and look at some specific
21 incidents that you assert took place during the course of hostilities in
22 1992, the Chamber would, understandably, like you to put the description
23 of the events that you've already mentioned into some sort of context.
24 And to some extent, I sought to do that by asking where you physically
25 were at this time.
1 Where you were in military, there's no dispute, is there, that was
2 entirely in Serb hands and under Serb control? Let's start like that.
3 A. I already said about the division that in Milici, before this case
4 when power was taken over in Vlasenica, a municipality of Milici was
5 formed without any ethnic markings or significance and it had its own
6 Executive Board and the other required bodies.
7 I would nevertheless like to clarify to the Presiding Judge, just
8 to remind him that when we're talking about paramilitary organisations and
9 arming, I said then, that as early as September 1991, especially in
10 February and March 1992, in the village of Djile and in this other
11 village, Zutica, there were all of these things that happened. It was
12 exactly the same thing, the appearance of armed formations, people who
13 stopped our workers, made them walk back, abused them, they were hijacking
14 trucks. And this affair in the village of Zutica occurred in February and
15 also in March.
16 Q. Now, what about the parts of the municipality that had, according
17 to the protocol, been granted to the Muslims to run? Have you any idea
18 what happened there in terms of a take-over?
19 A. If you're thinking of the villages that remained geographically in
20 the municipality of Milici, I already mentioned some of them. Each
21 incident that occurred, for example, like the one in Djile, was discussed.
22 For example, very often the leadership --
23 Q. I'm going to stop you again. I'm going to stop you again.
24 It's right, isn't it - I hope I'll be permitted to lead on this -
25 that as far as you were concerned, after the protocol had been agreed upon
1 the municipality of Vlasenica no longer existed and there were then two or
2 three separate entities, and you have been talking only about the entity
3 of Milici. Do I understand you correctly?
4 A. I was just talking about Milici right now, the municipality of
5 Milici. As far as we were concerned, that was a completely legal
6 municipality, the municipality of Milici.
7 Q. And are where do you able to talk with any confidence, authority,
8 as far as you are concerned, with what happened in what was then the
9 municipality of Vlasenica, the municipality of Vlasenica after the 14th of
10 April, 1992?
11 A. I've already said that I can speak only on the basis of subsequent
12 conversations, stories, talks, mostly with Serbs but also with Muslims who
13 returned after 1995 to Vlasenica. That's what I can talk about. I wasn't
14 there myself any longer. The information mostly consisted of the
15 following: After Vlasenica was taken over and the organs of power were
16 formed in that entire area -- I'm talking about the rest of the territory
17 now, the town of Vlasenica and the surrounding villages, I'm not talking
18 about the Cerska enclave. So an attempt was made there to form the
19 authorities, and this was done. The Assembly started functioning again,
20 the Executive Board -- the new Executive Board. A few days were needed to
21 form the public security station again because this chief, who was
22 actually from Milici, didn't want to return up there anymore. He very
23 quickly took over the newly formed security station in Milici.
24 So there was an attempt and there was a successful attempt.
25 However, in that time probably there were regretfully individuals, and
1 this is why the last time I cited that famous writer who won the Nobel
2 prize for literature, even though the Presiding Judge made a remark on
3 that. But in such confusing situations like that, sometimes bad people
4 come to the surface. And these are, as the writer says, just people who
5 are only waiting for a situation to create more. They're not trying to
6 contribute to a solution of the situation but --
7 Q. Now, is it my fault -- I think actually the presentation on my
8 part could have been rather better.
9 MR. JOSSE: My apologies to Your Honour, but this might assist.
10 Could this be put on the ELMO, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher.
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Savkic, whilst the usher does that, you must listen very
14 carefully to the questions I'm asking you and try and answer the specific
15 questions. I'm sure that the learned Judges appreciate that you've got a
16 lot that you want to say, a lot of information that you want to impart to
17 them, but it is best if you try and answer the question. Do you
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. First of all, I hope you've got a pointer there. Can you point to
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you assist the witness that he
23 points at the ELMO rather than at his screen.
24 Mr. Savkic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Indicates].
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. It's south-west a bit, isn't it, of where you are?
3 A. This is to the south-east -- or rather, more to the east in
4 relation to Vlasenica, if that's what you had in mind.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you. And point out Vlasenica town.
6 A. [Indicates].
7 Q. And very approximately could -- are you able to demonstrate with
8 the use of the pointer where the boundary of the newly established Milici
9 municipality was, the municipality established by the protocol of April
11 A. The boundary ran from here, where I'm indicating now, through this
12 small village of Pribinici, it encompassed the village of Vuksici, and it
13 went through the village of Buljevici, Vandzici, Metaljka, Rogosija, and
14 something else that's not indicated here. But when it -- where it says
15 Sadici Donji, there is also Sadici Gornji, and then there is Korita, and
16 then it went back down to Nedzelista, and it encompassed Tikvarici,
17 Drakulici, Donji Zalukovik, Bakici, and then it crossed over here, across
18 the river of Zeleni Jadar, and included this part of the territory, the
19 place called Zagradje, and then along the boundaries of the former
20 municipality of Vlasenica in the direction of Han Pijesak, Rogatica,
21 Srebrenica. And basically it went all along this eastern boundary, again
22 in the direction of the municipality of Srebrenica, and this part that I'm
23 indicating now is the municipality of Bratunac. So that was the territory
24 of the municipality of Milici.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's not easy for someone who reads the transcript
1 to understand. Perhaps we ask the witness to mark this on a copy of this
2 map during the next break.
3 MR. JOSSE: With respect, very good idea, Your Honour.
4 Q. Now, I've been trying to -- will you be able to demonstrate in the
5 same manner where the boundary between the Serbian municipality of
6 Vlasenica and the Muslim municipality of Vlasenica was?
7 A. The Serb municipality of Vlasenica started here, from this meeting
8 of three areas, the newly formed municipality of Milici and the
9 municipality of Han Pijesak. And so it ran along the boundary with the
10 municipality of Han Pijesak. And somewhere down here is the beginning of
11 the boundary with the municipality of Kladanj. And somewhere around here
12 the boundary with the municipality of Sekovici. And then here it
13 encompassed the Serb villages Lukici, Simici. And then somewhere around
14 here it crossed this creek, which has no name in fact on the map. And
15 then it went into the town of Vlasenica. And the boundary is specifically
16 described in the town there, and then above Vlasenica it included some
17 Serb villages. It went in the direction of the road towards Milici, and
18 then it turned down to this part in the direction of the river called
19 Zeleni Jadar.
20 So roughly speaking, it is this north-western or western part of
21 the municipality of Vlasenica. Obviously this is the smallest part.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, we will try and see whether we can get
23 you a map and invite you, perhaps during the next break, to draw the lines
24 on the maps so that's easier for us to understand.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Take, for example, the 20th of April of 1992, you're in Milici.
3 Were you aware of what was going on in the Muslim municipality of
5 A. I've said before that it was through the chief of police who
6 obviously came every evening -- or in most cases -- well, he came to see
7 me and we exchanged information. And we would talk to one other; we were
8 friends after all. So it was on the basis of what they knew, the police I
9 mean, that I knew in a way of what went on in most places, in the largest
10 part of this enclave I mean, in the direction of Cerska because this was
11 of essential importance to us for the transport of ore that was carried
12 out on the road to Zvornik, as I've mentioned. And this enclave was
13 bordering that road.
14 Q. So the Chamber would like to know: Were you aware of any
15 take-over there?
16 A. Whether I found out that on the 20th or during the night of
17 the 21st, you mean? Yes, I did find out. After all the details that I
18 described here last time. I found out that there was a take-over, so
19 after a couple of days when it was all set up.
20 Q. Now, as I summarised a few minutes ago, you, both in time and over
21 the years, have collected information and tried to gain a greater
22 understanding of what happened to various Serbian villages during the
23 course of the conflict in, really, spring and summer of 1992. Is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And it's right to say that you believe you've got a great deal of
2 detailed knowledge in relation to that, and you could answer questions so
3 far as some of these instances are concerned? That's right, isn't it?
4 I'm deliberately asking you very broad questions at the moment.
5 A. Yes. You can't argue about that. Yes, definitely.
6 Q. The way I'd like to deal with this is by looking at some
7 documentation, if we can, please.
8 MR. JOSSE: Could the Chamber turn to tab 11. This is a report
9 from the public security station at Milici. It's signed by
10 Mr. Bjelanovic. Was he the chief that you were referring to a little bit
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I think you brought this particular document. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How did you get hold of it?
16 A. On the basis of this document, you can't see the date when it was
17 drawn up. But it is probably a document drawn up by the police chief,
18 probably on behalf of the centre as well. And if it was submitted to me
19 when I was the president of the municipality, then -- well, presumably it
20 would have been submitted to me as well, it would have been normal. And
21 so that's a document which I must have had for quite some time.
22 This is the period of war. The only thing I can't tell you is
23 whether I received it before I became president of the Municipal Assembly
24 or perhaps even earlier, I don't know. But this is one of the documents
25 in which an attempt was made to give an expert presentation on the losses
1 incurred, the victims, everything that happened over a certain period of
2 time. And on the basis of the dates indicated here, you can see what
3 period that is.
4 Q. It might assist the Chamber if you were able to tell them, if you
5 know, the purpose of Mr. Bjelanovic in preparing this document. Why did
6 he prepare it; do you know?
7 A. Yes, I know. It was drafted in order to provide an overview and
8 in order for the prosecution and the investigation authorities to start
9 proceedings with regard to some criminal reports. Up until that time with
10 regard to this information, the only source of information was those who
11 survived. And in this particular period, there was already a case -- in
12 fact, a certain number of people had been arrested, a certain number of
13 people who were members of military or paramilitary Muslim formations.
14 And those people made certain statements which mostly tended to confirm
15 what the survivors of these incidents or misfortunes, whatever, had told
16 us. So I suppose that was the purpose.
17 That was one point. And the other point was that the
18 communication was being drafted already to record all the suffering and
19 the losses on the territory of the municipality of Milici.
20 Q. I'm not going to ask you to go through each of these incidents one
21 by one. Did you -- looking at the eight different incidents that are
22 described in this document, did you visit the site of any of them soon
23 after they happened and see for yourself what had occurred and what the
24 aftermath was, perhaps, more to the point?
25 A. Could I just take a look to check what events are referred to here
1 specifically? Yes, except for the fact that I never visited the place
2 where the convoy of lorries in Konjevic Polje was attacked because it was
3 not possible after that date since Muslim formations were in control of
4 that. But I did visit all the other places. And with regard to the place
5 called Podravanje, which was later annexed to the municipality of Milici,
6 I was there in person.
7 Q. What number?
8 A. Hold on a sec. It's on page 5, number 8, the Muslim attack on the
9 village of Podravanje, the mine-shaft Bracan. I was there myself
10 throughout this attack.
11 Q. Well, let's deal with that then. What were you doing there?
12 A. On the 22nd of September, I was interested with the task of
13 setting up a minefield near the mine in the direction of a canyon of some
14 sort, since there were very few miners working in the mine and being able
15 to ensure security there. And I got there on the 23rd, and there was a
16 kind of depot. It was the part of the grounds that was all dug up, and I
17 was making that minefield, and there were two security officers from the
18 mine who were present as well. I didn't manage to finish the job that
19 day, so I stayed at the mine overnight. And in the morning at around --
20 well, early in the morning, at the crack of dawn maybe, we went to finish
21 the job. And at that moment when we started our work, an all-out attack
22 from all sides started. Both the mine was attacked, as well as the Serb
23 village Podravanje, which numbered more than a hundred households, and it
24 was next to the mine.
25 Very swiftly Muslim formations took control of the Bracan
1 mine-shaft. It is on a hill above the central shaft Podracan. And the
2 fighting around the rest of the mine and the village of Podravanje went on
3 all day until nightfall.
4 In the meantime, some security officers who were at the mine, at
5 the Bracan mine-shaft that is, managed to come down to Podracan where we
6 were, and they told us what went on up there, and they told us about the
7 people who had been killed up there during the night and throughout the
8 night. The inhabitants of the village were arriving; the village of
9 Podravanje, I mean.
10 The tales told were horrific. In the course of the night we
11 noticed -- and I must stress another detail that has just come to mind.
12 When the forces who were attacking - not just this place but many other
13 places as well - never shouted or cried for Bosnia and Herzegovina or
14 anything of the sort; there was always a kind of battle-cry. I mean, I
15 can't really tell you. You really have to experience it. They had this
16 battle-cry Allah-u-Ekber, and everybody was familiar with the meaning of
17 that battle-cry. And the day after -- rather, in the meantime, in the
18 course of the night, even though this whole area was in such a state, one
19 unit managed to fight their way through and come to the central mine-shaft
20 Podracan to join us.
21 The day after when, together with that unit, we -- since many
22 inhabitants of the Podravanje village had not arrived to the mine yet, we
23 attempted to look for those locals and get them to join us in order to try
24 and re-capture the village of Podravanje, even though that village was
25 spread out over about a hundred square kilometres. Unfortunately, out of
1 fear, only 18 villagers joined us. And so we were really afraid that
2 there might be conflict amongst the inhabitants and, yeah, mostly the
4 And then at that mine-shaft Bracan, near a house which was owned
5 by a man called Bozo, we came across two workmen -- or rather, two
6 security officers from the mine. We could hardly recognise them because
7 they looked like children to us from afar. And when we came close we
8 realised why that was the case. In both cases, in their abdominal area
9 and the area of the genitals, in a kind of circle, there were pieces of
10 smouldering wood in the same way in which you see when you build a fire, a
11 camping fire. So that part of their bodies was like a -- remains after a
12 fire, and everything else also had been set on fire.
13 We had also that in the hamlet of Nikolici six injured had been
14 left behind. Some of those injured -- or rather, we managed to get some
15 of the dead bodies out, but entire families had been slaughtered. One of
16 them was the family called Marinkovic. The father, the mother, and two
17 sons. Later on, all six of the injured people I mentioned before were
18 found dead.
19 I have to say that throughout that war, when we talk about
20 formations from Srebrenica, not the others such as in the municipality of
21 Bratunac, Vlasenica, et cetera, it was common practice to find two dead
22 bodies, one next to the other. One body was unharmed and the other was
23 totally massacred. And it took us a long time to realise why it was the
24 case, and then we discovered the reason. In some cases it was very
25 difficult for the fighters to -- for the Serbs to actually admit that
1 sometimes they left the wounded behind, and so finally we discovered that
2 the injured would be massacred. And those who were found dead, their
3 bodies would not be interfered with. And once again, this mostly had to
4 do with the formations from Srebrenica, the Srebrenica Muslims.
5 Q. All right, Mr. Savkic, I'm going to stop you --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I would have a few clarifying questions.
7 Although, Mr. Savkic, I fully understand that it -- going back to
8 these events makes you emotional because what you tell us is of a -- is
9 about atrocities. Nevertheless, I would like to ask a few very simple
11 You were telling us about the village of Podravanje where you said
12 you were, yourself, present during the attack. You also told us that
13 Podravanje was later annexed to the municipality of Milici. When you were
14 there, when the attack took place, Podravanje was part of what newly
15 established municipality?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then too Podravanje was within the
17 newly set-up municipality of Milici.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then what did you mean when you said that "Podravanje
19 was later annexed to the municipality of Milici"?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe I misspoke. Podravanje was
21 before because -- no, just a moment.
22 In the course of this period until the end of 1992 -- or rather,
23 in this entire period, all Serb villages on the territory of the
24 municipality of Srebrenica were burnt down, destroyed, looted, and all the
25 population that the Muslims could possibly slaughter was slaughtered. So
1 at the end of June 1993, apart from three smaller villages, Petrici,
2 Kalimanici, and Crvica, all of the Serb villages, absolutely all of them,
3 had been burnt down. So Podravanje, up until that period, the 24th, was
4 linked to the municipality of Milici.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then I still do not understand what you meant when
6 you said: "It was later annexed to." If you say it was later annexed to,
7 then that suggests at an earlier moment that it was not annexed to Milici.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. Gentlemen, I
9 understand. When I said "later," what I meant was when the municipality
10 of Milici was formed, according to that division. It's easy to see from
11 that document that Podravanje did not belong there because it was in the
12 territory of the Srebrenica municipality. And when all these villages,
13 the Srebrenica villages were burned and torched by the Muslim formations,
14 then we joined that place to the municipality of Milici and all the
15 citizens agreed to that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then do I understand you well that Podravanje
17 was -- well, let's say in the existing system was not located on the
18 territory of Vlasenica but was located on the territory of the
19 municipality of Srebrenica. Is that correct?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then my second question is, and I just want to
22 make sure that I understood your testimony well, you said that you were
23 tasked with the setting up of a minefield near the mine. Of course that's
24 two times the word "mine," but do I understand your testimony well that
25 you were laying mines in the fields in order to protect the mine which was
1 perhaps part of the company you worked for? Is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was precise.
3 The minefield was laid down in the part of the mine from Jadar towards the
4 barren soil. The soil is what's left over once the ore is extracted, and
5 that's also on the mine property.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was that also on territory of Srebrenica or was
7 the setting up the minefield, or was it in the territory of what used to
8 be the Vlasenica municipality?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was on the territory of the
10 former Vlasenica municipality, because the mine was actually on the -- in
11 the area of Vlasenica.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The village was on the Srebrenica territory,
13 but the mine was on Vlasenica territory? Yes.
14 Yes, these were my questions.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. MARGETTS: We've just received a copy of the map that was
19 being used for --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll ask -- during the break, we'll ask the
21 witness to -- thank you.
22 MR. JOSSE: Could this tab have a number, please, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 11, Your Honours, will be D137.
25 MR. JOSSE: I --
1 JUDGE ORIE: In relation to that, may I just ask you, Mr. Savkic,
2 I see that this is a list of civilian victims which you say is prepared in
3 order to further investigate or -- were similar lists made of any civilian
4 victims of non-Serb nationality or ethnicity?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that these were preliminary
6 actions in order for charges to be issued. So these were investigations
7 by the relevant organs. When we're talking about the incidents in Muslim
8 villages, I know that criminal charges were also submitted on those
10 JUDGE ORIE: No -- no, I'm not only talking about Muslim villages.
11 I'm also talking about non-Serb victims on Serb-controlled territory.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this period, if we're still --
13 well, that was September. In that period, the front was already set
14 between the Serb enclaves, if we can put it like that, and the Muslim
15 enclaves. So that in that period, there were no such casualties other
16 than military casualties. What I am saying is that there were criminal
17 charges relating to incidents which occurred in May, regardless of whether
18 we're talking about Serb or Muslim casualties.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I then understand that this list includes
20 Muslim victims of criminal behaviour?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This list that we have here does not
22 contain Muslim casualties.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it's still not clear. Do you say that in
24 this period of time in Serb-controlled territories there were no Muslim
25 victims of criminal activities; there were only, well, let's say, victims
1 of combat activities? Or -- it's not quite clear to me how I have to
2 understand your testimony. And we're talking about the period -- at least
3 this report covers late May 1992, June -- I see mid-June, September, 24th
4 of September. It's not entirely clear to me what you say as to whether
5 there were any non-Serb victims of what you called criminal activity
6 during this period of time.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already explained that this list
8 was drafted after the events themselves. I also said in relation to
9 September when I was talking about Podravan, already at that time the
10 front had been formed and it was characterised just like in World War I by
11 quite precise trench positions. If we're talking about later, April and
12 May, all the individual casualties, both Muslim and Serb victims, were
13 buried one by one. In this information -- this document does not cover
14 them unless we're talking about victims who had been massacred. Criminal
15 charges were issued with the prosecutor's office in relation to serious
16 incidents, crimes, or acts. I know that criminal charges were initiated
17 with the competent prosecutor's offices.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It still does not finally answer my question
19 whether, if this list does not cover non-Serb victims, whether there was
20 ever made a list of non-Serb victims that -- victims of criminal
21 activities. So a similar list but then non-Serbs.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know in this context, but I
23 know that there were relevant lists that arrived at that time. I cannot
24 remember the sources for these lists, but they did exist.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE:
3 Q. I'm going to come back to tab 11 in one moment.
4 Could you have a quick look at tab 10, please.
5 MR. JOSSE: And could that be given a number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 10, Your Honours, will be D138.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 MR. JOSSE:
9 Q. Now, this, Mr. Savkic, is a criminal report in relation to the
10 incidents that you have just described in some detail. On page 2 in the
11 English, there is a quite lengthy description of the incident. Have you
12 any idea what happened in relation to this criminal report?
13 A. I don't have the information about what the public prosecutor's
14 office in Vlasenica did in relation to these criminal charges. Other than
15 taking statements from the survivors, I think that nothing more was done.
16 Q. Could we go back, please, to tab 11. I want to ask you two
17 further --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps, Mr. Josse, just -- I see in the
19 criminal report Naser Oric as being the first one mentioned.
20 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that this is the same person as who was
22 indicted by this Tribunal?
23 MR. JOSSE: Actually, I think you can take it as --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have not familiarised myself in detail with
25 the charges against Mr. Oric.
1 Is this part of the indictment against him? I'm now addressing the
3 MR. MARGETTS: No, Your Honour, I haven't made a comparison, but I
4 have the Naser Oric indictment with me and I'll do so at the break.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So there will be -- if the OTP would have included
6 this or similar activities by Naser Oric, then I think it doesn't need
7 much explanation, that at least the Prosecutor admits that there are
8 serious reasons to believe that Muslim groups -- but I see that the
9 witness would like to tell us something.
10 Please, Mr. Savkic, you wanted to say something to us.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This crime and the scale of it
12 is definitely not -- I remember well the indictment against Naser Oric,
13 and you may recall that what he's charged with in relation to those killed
14 actually is a shameful thing when we're talking about this Serbian village
15 and other Serbian villages in the broader Srebrenica municipality. That
16 is certain.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That will be verified.
18 And of course, Mr. Josse, even if this attack would not be in the
19 charges, then of course it could be -- but again, I do not familiarise
20 myself with the content of other cases unless there's any need to do so.
21 Of course that could shed some light on the matter.
22 MR. JOSSE: Could I make one observation in that regard.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. JOSSE: In fact, the Prosecution provided this document to the
25 Defence under Rule 68. It's also fair to say that the witness provided it
1 to the Defence some time ago. So this is a --
2 JUDGE ORIE: It's clearly --
3 MR. JOSSE: We got it from the witness. Perhaps I now realise
4 it's been translated twice, through no fault of our own, and it's recently
5 been disclosed under Rule 68 quite separately.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. JOSSE: And the two translations are --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed. The main reason why I was
9 asking to see whether there's any dispute about atrocities committed by
10 Muslim forces at approximately this time in this area. We are now talking
11 about, by the way, about September 1992.
12 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, let me go on because I'm hoping a lot of
13 this --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed --
15 MR. JOSSE: -- is not going to be in dispute.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
17 MR. JOSSE:
18 Q. Can I ask you just two final things, one very specific and one
19 very general about tab 11. The specific matter is the very last or the
20 penultimate paragraph, where in fact reference is made to a tape-recording
21 of a conversation between the said Naser and his -- Bjelanovic. Do you
22 know anything about that?
23 A. Yes. Radomir Bjelanovic, the chief, was supposed to be a witness
24 for the Prosecution in the case against Naser Oric. Unfortunately, we're
25 talking about a man who has a very serious heart ailment and has survived
1 a lot of heart attacks already. He responded to the summons by the
2 Prosecution to give a statement, but as he was giving the statement -- two
3 attempts were made. While the statement was being taken the second time,
4 he suffered from burst capillaries on a massive scale. I don't know
5 exactly where. The Tribunal does have information about that. The
6 statement is public. I listened to it. It was conveyed by radio via the
7 mine radio stations. Some of those radio stations were on the strip-mine
8 which were -- was captured and was looted by Muslim formations. The
9 conversation was conducted between Naser and the chief, and it had to do
10 with the release of a number of prisoners which the Muslim forces took
11 with them after the attacks on Rudnik and Podravanje. They took them to
13 Q. The second question really relates generally to the matters
14 contained within tab 11. As I think you've already said, many, if not
15 all, these incidents you can give further details if asked?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. JOSSE: It might assist the Chamber, Your Honour, and I'm sure
18 I can lead on this. Is it -- and perhaps I should have dealt with at the
19 start, but now's as good a time as any, if I ask the witness, as I've
20 already said, in a leading form what in fact he did through the war,
21 because it may not be entirely clear.
22 Q. It's right that you were a reserve officer in the JNA, and at
23 about the 6th of April, 1992 you joined what was then or about to become
24 the VRS?
25 A. Yes. But I also said that I was performing these other tasks
1 connected to the bauxite company. And this is what it states in my army
2 documents, my military booklet.
3 Q. Yes. And you were, as is clear from what you were saying about
4 the incident you've just been describing, an engineering officer and you
5 remained in the army till the 1st of November, 1993, when, as you've
6 already told the Court at the beginning of your testimony, you became
7 president of the Milici municipality?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I think it's also fair to say that in November of 1992 you
10 actually became a battalion commander as opposed to an engineering
11 officer. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I would like to ask you one specific question, and then we will
14 come back briefly after the break to some of the matters covered in
15 general terms in tab 11.
16 The specific matter relates to the Dom Kulture in Milici. What
17 use was made of that during 1992, as far as you are aware?
18 A. When I was describing the situation in April and May, I already
19 mentioned what the situation was in Milici, who passed through. So I
20 don't want to repeat that.
21 Milici was the last bigger settlement, predominantly Serb
22 inhabited. Other than ten families, engineers, and craftsmen who lived in
23 the buildings there who were Muslims, all the rest or Serbs. All of the
24 columns when they came to Milici in the evening, after dark, because after
25 Milici, after Nova Kasaba, as you follow the highway, there is the enclave
1 on both sides of the road. It's the Muslim enclave on both sides of the
2 road. People wanted to spend the night in Milici. It would happen, like
3 it did in one case, that, for example, the cultural sports and art
4 delegation of Serb Sarajevo were from Sarajevo - I'm now talking about
5 April and May, that's the period before the 26th of May, before the ambush
6 in Konjevic Polje - they would ask to spend the night.
7 The then-president, I think his name -- of those -- I think his
8 name was Ilija Katic. He was the president at the time of one of those
9 Sarajevo municipalities. They were travelling so you had about 150 to 180
10 Sarajevans who were travelling with this programme of theirs which they
11 wanted to present in Novi Sad. When they asked us to organise their
12 stopover, then, for example, the women and the youth - there were also
13 youths taking part in that programme - they were all accommodated in the
14 houses nearby, also in the medical centre. And as for the men, we
15 provided the -- some sort of bedrolls for them, sponges. And we
16 accommodated them on the stage of the cultural centre in Milici, while
17 another part of the men were taken to the school in the neighbouring
18 village of Derventa.
19 Before and after that, we didn't want to touch that so that
20 whoever wanted to spend the night, if there was no room in the homes of
21 Milici citizens, was able to sleep there. I have to say and I have to
22 stress again that the Serb citizens as well as Muslims and Croats were
23 still around. So there was no problem for any of them to spend the night
24 in Serb houses, even if they were not Serbs. The next day if the
25 situation on the roads was favourable, they would leave.
1 So that was what the Dom Kulture was used for. In any case, there
2 is an official who would make tours and check on the premises on behalf of
3 the UNHCR. There is I think a record of the name of the person who would
4 come and make these visits.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I'm looking at the clock. It's 10.30.
6 Perhaps it's time for a break.
7 MR. JOSSE: This would be a convenient moment.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could the parties perhaps try to assist me. I looked
9 at D -- at tab 11, that's D137; tab 10, which is D138. D138 describes the
10 Podravanje attack with 27 residents killed, as it says: "Mostly women, the
11 elderly, and the defenders of the village."
12 Now, perhaps you first look at the original to see -- because if
13 it's mostly women and mostly elderly and mostly defenders of the village,
14 then I have some difficulties in reconciling that.
15 At the same time we have some information on it through D137. I'm
16 especially looking at English translation pages 6 and 7 where, for
17 example, where I would say elderly are those above 60, then at least on
18 the basis of the date of birth you can find confirmation that at least
19 four elderly were among those who were killed, at least in that first 13
20 people mentioned. The others we do not have a lot of information about
21 their age. And to the extent we have -- I find on the second list of 12
22 persons, I find no one above 60.
23 At the same time, I take it that on the basis of the first names
24 of these persons, it should be able to identify who -- which of these
25 persons are female. For example, I take it that Mira, for instance -- I
1 noticed that in the course of time is if a first name ends on "a," that
2 it's usually a female name. Sometimes we even find clues such as under 9
3 Mira Saric is described as "daughter." Dikosava Marinkovic is described
4 as the wife of -- and we find some more information about Dikosava
5 Markinkovic later in this document.
6 I'd like to find out, and perhaps the parties could agree on --
7 not specifically on age, but then male or female, to see to what extent
8 the mostly women, mostly elderly finds support in the data we find in
9 tab 11. So if you could agree on what are typical female names and which
10 are male names, the Chamber would like to be informed about it.
11 MR. JOSSE: I'm most concerned about the translation, and I'm
12 trying to ask Mr. Karganovic to assist because it's not clear, reading the
13 English, whether the word "mostly" applies only to the women or also the
14 elderly and also the defenders of the village. And if it applies to all,
15 then doesn't that, with respect, explain that?
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I tried to -- perhaps not clear enough.
17 But I tried to explain that if you have mostly this and mostly that and
18 mostly that, then you have three majorities which is difficult to get into
19 a hundred per cent. But if you'd look at the translation, whether it's
20 mostly -- is mainly related to women, then of course that we could then
21 try to find -- but at least it gives us an impression of the victim
22 population, how many women. Age, we know something about it, although not
23 everything. And of course it does not give any information about whether
24 people were defending the village, yes or no. So I don't have any
25 illusion that the listing could help us on that. But you could perhaps
1 exclude that. I would not easily consider a 70-year-old woman to be a
2 defender of the village, although there are very courageous, elderly
4 We have a break until 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, are you ready to continue?
9 MR. JOSSE: Well, very helpfully Mr. Harmon [sic] agreed to
10 undertake the research that Your Honour requested. So he's done it, if I
11 may say, very meticulously, and run it by me, and he's in a position to
12 tell the Court the results of that research.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, in regard to Exhibit D137 and the
15 incident in Podravanje, the listing that appears on pages 1 -- pages 6
16 to 7 --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. MARGETTS: -- of D137, there are six women in the two
19 groupings. The grouping of 1 to 13 that proceeds over pages 6 to 7 --
20 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that number -- on page 6, numbers
21 9, 10, and then on page 7, number 13 --
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And then 2, 4 and 6 on page 7?
24 MR. MARGETTS: We actually ended up -- we've actually concluded
25 that 2, 6, and 9.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I had a question mark with 9 so it's --
2 MR. MARGETTS: It was only 2, 6, and 9.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And Milija is not a female first name?
4 MR. MARGETTS: No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps --
6 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps you could ask Mr. Savkic the way I --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Savkic, the first name Milija, is that a name that would be a
9 man or a woman?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What page is it on?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Last page of the -- but in general, it says "Milija
13 MR. JOSSE: All three B/C/S speakers that surround me say it's
14 usually a male name.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yeah, okay. Then that matter has been clarified.
16 MR. MARGETTS: One further matter, Your Honour, and that is we did
17 review the Oric indictment, and the incident in Podravanje is not in that
19 JUDGE ORIE: No. Are there incidents related in time
20 approximately to this incident in the indictment? I did not review it.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. Paragraph 27 of the indictment
22 is informative. It states that during the period May 1992 to February
23 1993 there were approximately 50 Serb villages and hamlets that were burnt
24 or otherwise destroyed.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So -- and that is presented as attacks directed
1 against civilians, I take it?
2 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 Just to clarify one issue there, and that is that the municipality
4 of Milici is not specifically named in the indictment. The municipalities
5 where those 50 Serb villages were located are described as Bratunac,
6 Srebrenica, and Skelani.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it seems that this is just across the
9 And at least, Mr. Josse, I understand this as the Prosecution
10 agreeing that in that period of time in that area of the republic,
11 large-scale, unlawful, and, I would say, fierce attacks on civilians have
12 taken place.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. We can say this in terms of the
14 Prosecution's position: Obviously all we can say is that the evidence was
15 sufficient for the Prosecutor to file an indictment, but we can't --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that if you find -- if you're
17 convinced by your own evidence, that would be a good basis for her to
18 agree upon the matter with the Prosecution, isn't it?
19 MR. MARGETTS: I would have to consult on that matter, but we
20 wouldn't wish to stipulate to those matters because obviously the Oric
21 case has been in process for some time subsequent to this indictment being
22 filed. I would need to consult with the Oric team.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That sounds, if not overcautious, then at least
25 MR. JOSSE: With respect, I'm very glad Your Honour's taken this
1 approach because bearing in mind the question Your Honour asked before the
2 break, it occurred to me that the Defence perhaps should ask the
3 Prosecution to provide a huge amount of material that must be in their
4 possession about the activities of Oric, his forces, in and around this
5 time. And I can't imagine that this Trial Chamber wants anyone, least of
6 all the Defence, to spend very much time on an issue that can't seriously
7 be in dispute.
8 So, as I say, bearing in mind the way Your Honour's put it to my
9 learned friend, Mr. Margetts, who, understandably, has been cautious, I
10 don't think I'm going to pursue this any further, save a small clip of a
11 video that I'm about to play and then I'm going to turn to another
12 aspect --
13 JUDGE ORIE: And may I take it that the situation is clear that on
14 the basis of this public knowledge, and having discussed this knowledge in
15 court, which I find very important, because otherwise we could not hide
16 from the parties that this has come into our minds as a Chamber, that
17 this -- these facts which are presented in favour of the accused's case
18 and whereas a balance of probabilities might already be enough to accept
19 them rather than otherwise, that the probability that large-scale attacks
20 against civilians in that area, specifically related in this document to
21 Naser Oric, at least comes into that realm of probabilities.
22 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour. I mean, that -- in fact, again,
23 that very thought had crossed my mind, and of course the Defence don't
24 need to prove that matter in the same way the Prosecution do for a variety
25 of reasons.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 I hope that my observations, which are the Chamber's observations,
3 are sufficient for you to -- to give proportional attention to it still
4 needed, having heard this.
5 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Savkic, the last aspect I think in relation to this that
7 I want to deal with is you provided the Defence with two videotapes which
8 have got a variety of material on them, and primarily both tapes present
9 extremely unpleasant images of individuals who I think you say are Serbs,
10 many of whom have been mutilated and massacred. That's a fair summary,
11 isn't it, of large parts of these two videos?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. JOSSE: There is only one extract, Your Honour, that we wish
14 to play. It's at tab 4, a short translation is found, a translation done
15 by our own team.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. JOSSE: And --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
19 MR. JOSSE: It's an interview with -- in fact, it says a
20 pathologist. I think it's a local doctor, but we'll ask Mr. Savkic to
21 comment upon it afterwards.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. JOSSE: And what we don't --
24 JUDGE ORIE: If you say there's only one extract that we want to
25 play, you also mean to limit that portion -- limit the introduction into
1 evidence of that -- to that portion or --
2 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking for --
4 MR. JOSSE: Yes, for two reasons. First of all, the rest of it
5 has not been transcribed.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. JOSSE: Secondly, this is, in fact, the shorter of the two
8 videos. This one is 20 minutes long; the other is over three hours long.
9 It's right, as the witness has already told the Court and confirmed to my
10 question, the vast majority of these two videos simply depict dead,
11 massacred bodies.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, then at least it is in evidence then that
13 there exists another video which shows this. Even if we have not seen it,
14 that testimony is still part of the evidence.
15 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. I'm happy to deal with it on that basis,
16 if the Court is.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please then proceed.
18 [Videotape played]
19 JUDGE ORIE: I receive no translation. Could we stop it for a
21 Do the interpreters have the transcript?
22 MR. JOSSE: I suspect that that bit may not have been transcribed,
23 to be fair to them.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is -- if you say it's the first of 30 seconds, then
25 perhaps we could agree that the first --
1 THE INTERPRETER: We have the transcript now.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And -- because the procedure we usually follow
3 is that one of the interpreters reads it, it's translated into French so
4 that we also have a complete French transcript, and that the other
5 interpreter -- because following the text is usually impossible, and that
6 the other -- the other interpreter that checks whether what is said is the
7 same as what we find on the transcript.
8 The -- let's re-start from the beginning. Is that possible?
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Who are the dead and how were they
12 "These are all Serbian soldiers from Bircani area, mostly from
13 Vlasenica, Milici, and surrounding villages. These people were killed on
14 a battle-field called Rogosinja, which is the local community of Cerska.
15 This happened on the 26th in the morning, early in the morning, somewhere
16 between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 a.m.
17 "How many victims were there and how were they killed?
18 "They brought in 28 corpses and eight or nine are missing. They
19 were either fleeing or they have not been found yet in the woods, but they
20 are most probably dead because they didn't show up in their units
22 "How were the deceased killed?
23 "Most likely -- very few of them fell into the enemy hands alive.
24 This massacre was carried out afterwards on the deceased or wounded
25 soldiers. This is an unheard of massacre in this area so far, but also in
1 the history of this area and the history of the Balkans.
2 "Some of the bodies were circumcised?
3 "Most of them were. Also, most of them were slaughtered with an
4 axe, their heads were chopped off, their skulls were crushed. This was an
5 unheard of massacre, never before seen in a movie or in real life.
6 "Thank you."
7 MR. JOSSE:
8 Q. Mr. Savkic, first of all, do you know what incident this doctor is
9 referring to?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. When and where did it take place?
12 A. This happened in a village called Rogosija in the municipality of
13 Milici in September. I think, as the doctor said, it was on the 26th or
14 at some point around the 26th of September. I can't really remember. And
15 since the doctor says that there are Serb fighters, amongst those Serb
16 fighters there were also the local villagers from on the basis of the
17 dates of birth of the dead, and especially the locals, it is apparent that
18 there were some elderly people there. But in order for a family to get
19 some sort of material recognition, at that period of time most civilian
20 victims, elderly men or women, were treated as people who had been killed
21 in action, so as for the families to get some material recompense.
22 Q. Do you know the name of the doctor being interviewed?
23 A. I do. It's Dr. Djeric. He is living in Vlasenica at the moment.
24 He's one of the surgeons at that hospital, and that's where the hospital
25 was back then as well.
1 Q. And on whose behalf was he being interviewed?
2 A. I didn't pay much attention to who the interviewer was, but I know
3 that one of the tapes that I had which was something which was recorded by
4 an x-ray technician called Niko Jovic.
5 MR. JOSSE: Could I ask that this have an appropriate number or
6 numbers, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That would be D139, Your Honours. The transcript
10 in B/C/S has not been provided, but we'll give a provisional number
11 of D139A, and the English transcript D139A.1.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Josse, in view of the character of these
13 pictures - I'm not directly addressing the witness - but you certainly are
14 aware that this video-clip raises some questions as to whether we are
15 mainly dealing with murders or with -- which is, I can say for me, a
16 similarly horrible violation of non-respect for those who have been killed
17 in combat. That's something which does not become clear, and at least
18 also the question of civilians, combatants, is -- at least there are some
19 questions. I don't know whether it's possible at all to reliably resolve
20 those matters, but rather than putting all kind of very difficult
21 questions to the witness, I leave it up to you to what extent you would
22 like to further clarify those matters. But it's different from burning a
23 village, where it's clearly -- well, I would say not admitted, but
24 cautiously said by the Prosecution that at least the charges were about
25 wide-spread attack on the civilian population. This creates a little bit
1 of a different picture. There are more questions related to it. I leave
2 it up to you, but I think it's fair that you know what is in the minds of
3 the Judges, even if they do not themselves put at this moment further
4 questions to the witness in this respect.
5 MR. JOSSE: Well, I will then, if I may.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Savkic, you heard the observations of the learned Judge.
7 Listen carefully to what I am going to ask you. Do you -- if you can,
8 answer this yes or no. Do you have any knowledge in relation to the
9 matters that the Bench has just raised?
10 A. Your Honours, the village of Rogosija on the occasion of this
11 attack -- well, not just where these people were killed, but the entire
12 village was razed to the ground. It was burnt down. All the cattle had
13 been taken. So everything had been totally and utterly destroyed.
14 Q. And in particular, in relation to the matter of the defilement of
15 dead bodies, do you have any first-hand knowledge of that matter, either
16 in this incident or in any other incident?
17 A. All those corpses -- well, I myself, as many other citizens of
18 Milici, had seen them ourselves because they were taken to the health
19 centre, that is to say the Milici hospital. And later on I saw the
20 documents, some of which are still in my possession, the documents that
21 came from one of the commanders, one of the Muslims who led one of the
22 military formations, who unfortunately was exchanged and he was never held
23 accountable. And he's still alive today. And he gave a specific
24 description of the events, what happened, and what each and every one of
25 the Muslim fighters did. He himself stated that there were certain
1 wounded who were later killed, and he also named the individuals who did
2 the killing.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I think this puts the -- this creates a
4 context for the video we have just seen which clarifies in some respects
5 that it was not just combat operation, but it was more because cattle and
6 razing to the ground is not something you would, under normal
7 circumstances, expect to be a military necessity. And the last portion
8 makes clear that at least for some of the victims, this could not be
9 considered to have taken within the limits of the law of armed conflict.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
12 Q. I'm going to move on to another discrete issue.
13 Mr. Savkic, were you aware of the presence of any paramilitary
14 units in Milici from April of 1992 onwards?
15 A. Milici did not have any paramilitary formations at that time,
16 April and May. Individual volunteers used to come, in other words, our
17 fellow citizens who were temporarily working in Serbia, and he would go to
18 their villages and join the village guards; or, at a later stage, they
19 would join the legal units of the armed forces of the Republika Srpska.
20 In one case, there were some 20 volunteers who came, and not in an
21 organised fashion, as civilians, and -- some 20-something of them. And
22 they came up there, and I was at the mine at the time. And when they
23 witnessed the cruelty there, some of them left immediately, and 17 of them
24 remained and they were under the command -- or rather, in a unit which was
25 defending the mine.
1 I do know that in the course of the war, on two occasions in fact,
2 smaller units, 20 or 30 men, would come. But as soon as they realised the
3 nature of the terrain where the battles were taking place, they left. So
4 throughout the war these Milici units, which made up the armed forces of
5 the Republika Srpska in the area, had no paramilitary members.
6 Q. The next matter is this: I think at the start of your evidence
7 you told the Chamber that the deputy to the RS Assembly from Srebrenica,
8 in fact, was killed on the 9th of May of, 1992. His name was --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- Goran Zekic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You were the first deputy. You then became a member of the
13 Assembly, but you didn't take your oath until September/October of that
14 year, when you were able to attend a session in Prijedor?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'll ask you some questions about your work in the Assembly in a
17 few moments' time, but until the point that you were able to take your
18 seat in that Assembly, how do you assess the control that the republican
19 leadership had over the municipal leaders in Milici from the 14th of
20 April, 1992, onwards?
21 A. Practically there was no influence over us because the sabotages
22 caused us to be without electricity. Very quickly the telecommunications
23 were cut off. And very often because of the encirclement, which went on
24 sometimes for 12 days at the end of March, we would be completely cut off
25 from the Serb part of the Vlasenica municipality. This would sometimes
1 last for two days, sometimes three, but all of this was creating the
2 difficulties that we talked about.
3 Q. Who was running the civilian side of the Milici municipality once
4 the war started?
5 A. The civilian side was headed by the Municipal Assembly and the
6 Executive Board of the Milici municipality.
7 Q. As far as you know, was there a Crisis Staff?
8 A. In view of everything that I already talked about, and since the
9 Crisis Staff were already abolished on the 30th of May, I don't know if
10 there was a Crisis Staff ever elected in Milici. And the fact is that the
11 Crisis Staff in Milici never held a session or had a meeting. It wasn't
13 Q. And let's be clear, were you ever appointed to any Crisis Staff in
15 A. I was never informed if I was named a part of it. I was never
16 informed that I was actually a member of the Crisis Staff.
17 Q. And so far as the Municipal Assembly is concerned in this period,
18 the period we're talking about, were you a member of it?
19 A. At the time, because of the well-known events that I talked about,
20 I did not attend the sessions of the Assembly until the 1st of November,
22 Q. This is the Municipal Assembly that we're talking about? That's
23 right, yes?
24 A. Yes, yes. I'm talking about the Municipal Assembly. The Milici
25 Municipal Assembly sessions from the time it was established until the
1 1st of November, 1993, when I became the president of the Assembly, I did
2 not attend those sessions until then because I had other obligations.
3 Q. And for the avoidance of any doubt, you weren't on the Executive
4 Committee either, were you?
5 A. No.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, may I ask a few clarifying questions.
7 When you talk about the Municipal Assembly, you're talking about
8 the Municipal Assembly of Milici. Milici was not the same as the previous
9 Vlasenica municipality. How was that Assembly composed? Were people --
10 were elections held? Were the -- those who used to be on the Vlasenica
11 Municipal Assembly automatically now members of the Milici Assembly? How
12 did that work? Could you tell us?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's it exactly. At the
14 numerous meetings when we were working on the division of the
15 municipalities, we discussed how the Municipal Assemblies constituted --
16 were constituted by the legal deputies who lived in those municipalities.
17 And then in order to increase the number of deputies we agreed that those
18 members who were on the lists, regardless of which party who were on the
19 lists but were not part of that particular session could be members. So
20 all the candidates who were Serbs who were on the lists for local
21 elections could be members or deputies of the Assembly. The Muslims from
22 these few villages which remained as part of the municipality that I
23 mentioned before were not included because, according to the protocol, it
24 was possible for each village to decide - I'm talking about Muslim
25 villages - for each village to decide which Assembly they wanted to belong
1 to in order to implement their rights to self-government.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Next question: You said you were not able to
3 attend the Municipal Assembly meetings in Milici because you had other
4 obligations. How frequently would they meet, even if you were not
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are records of those meetings.
7 There are records of meetings of executive -- of the Executive Board. I
8 couldn't really say right now, but they convened whenever the
9 circumstances permitted.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Have you any idea? Until November, three
11 times? Ten times? Could you give an --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I really couldn't say, but it
13 was probably more than three times. Three times perhaps.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Municipal Assembly meetings are, I take it
15 especially in those circumstances, important meetings. You said you could
16 not attend because you had other obligations. What was so urgent that
17 would prevent you from coming to the Assembly meetings? What kind of
18 things I have to understand?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is just one example. After the
20 attack and the razing to the ground of Rupovo Brdo, a Serb village, which
21 occurred on the 9th of June, and this was on the newly built road towards
22 the mine, the mine and the village of Podravanje were cut off from Milici.
23 The breakthrough towards the mine along this road, in order to reach the
24 mine and the village, began sometime quite soon afterwards. I cannot
25 remember the date. And I set out in that period as an engineer. I've
1 already said that my duty was to demine and to check whether there were
2 any mines laid. So -- and this is what I did.
3 When I came to the mine I became the person in charge for defence;
4 more precisely speaking, the commander of the mine for defence. This went
5 on for 48 days, the work up there. So, for example, 48 -- for 48 days I
6 didn't go back to Milici --
7 JUDGE ORIE: You tell us a lot of details. I do understand that
8 your duties as a responsible person for the security of the mines kept you
9 away from those meetings. Is that a correct understanding?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 Mr. Josse, there's other one matter; I leave it up to you whether
13 you want to take that up again. The -- I think the witness said that --
14 yes. The witness referred to the protocol in relation to who would be a
15 member of which Assembly. I could not find any such thing on the protocol
16 until now. If there is, I take it that you'll deal with the matter, not
17 necessarily immediately.
18 MR. JOSSE: I think that might be --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I may have overlooked it.
20 MR. JOSSE: We'll review it and, if need be, return to the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. Could I just ask you to clarify this. It's probably obvious,
25 perhaps important in the circumstances. You've told the Chamber already
1 that the mine was a, relatively speaking, a huge concern. I think you
2 said it employed over 3.000 people at one stage. Presumably it was of
3 real strategic importance. Is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you recall how many sessions of the Republika Srpska Assembly
6 you attended in 1992?
7 A. Maybe three or four, as far as I can remember.
8 Q. And once you were able to attend, to what extent did you report
9 back to the municipal leaders in Milici what was going on at the
10 republican level?
11 A. I went to the Assembly sessions quite often after that first
12 session that I attended; I think I missed two before that. I was at a
13 command post 50 to 100 metres behind the front line. Sometimes this
14 position was on the very line itself. People would come to get me. They
15 would inform me. I would get into the car still wearing my uniform - it
16 was a war - to get to the place where the sessions were being held and
17 they were held throughout Republika Srpska in that period. I very often
18 had to break through, in the military sense, to get to that place. And I
19 would follow the Assembly session, but my goal was to return to the front
20 line as soon as possible. We mustn't forget that in this period, until
21 the end of 1992, in this practically ethnically pure municipality, 17
22 villages and hamlets were razed to the ground.
23 Q. As a -- both a member of the Assembly and a serving officer in the
24 VRS, to what extent did you understand the Assembly to be telling the army
25 what to do?
1 A. The Assembly never told the army what to do. The Assembly dealt
2 with the matters that an Assembly should be dealing with during wartime,
3 and they adopted the appropriate laws, adopted the appropriate decisions
4 regulating the matters that needed to be regulated in wartime. In no
5 period did the Assembly directly issue orders to the army.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I noticed that in one of your previous
7 questions, "Reporting back to the municipal leaders" was not answered.
8 The witness more or less told us how he got to the meetings and -- but he
9 didn't answer your question.
10 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm grateful for that.
11 Q. Yes. The question I asked you a little while ago was the extent
12 to which you reported back to the municipal leaders in Milici what you had
13 learnt of the goings-on at the various meetings that you had attended.
14 A. That would just be lightning-speed information. It would take a
15 couple of hours, and then I would go back to my command post or when I
16 would come usually just to spend the night and perhaps take a bath and
17 then just carry on. The manner in which I reported back was dictated by
18 the wartime circumstances. I would tell them what the Assembly was doing,
19 but I would then more convey to them what the deputies were saying, also
20 what they were talking about during the break. And we would be informed
21 about what the situation was in all the different towns throughout
22 Republika Srpska in the circumstances.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question?
24 Why would you tell them about what was discussed during the
25 breaks? What was the relevance of that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already said, other than this
2 first bit which would be about what the Assembly was doing, then we
3 would -- well, these were all people who had families throughout
4 Republika Srpska and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many of them at
5 the time were more interested in that kind of information, what happened
6 to people and all these things. I mean, this was logical. It was just
7 human nature.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. When you joined the Assembly, what was your understanding as to
11 whether or not there was an expanded Presidency in place?
12 A. When I became a deputy of the National Assembly, there was no
13 expanded Presidency.
14 Before the Assembly session, we would meet at the so-called
15 Deputies' Club, which included all of the parties. Of course the Assembly
16 was not purely Serb; there were probably Montenegrin members as well. And
17 you had people there who had doctorates, and then there were also just two
18 deputies who only had high school education. All the others had
19 university diplomas, academic education. So we would call the members of
20 the Presidency sometimes for these things, but none of us were ever told
21 of the existence of an expanded Presidency, and it didn't exist. But it's
22 quite logical that certain things which a -- the Assembly requested to be
23 done, then it was -- would be logical for the presidents -- the president
24 or the vice-president of the Assembly to get in touch with people to try
25 to seek the best possible solutions. I mean, that was to be expected, and
1 I hope that this was the way things were done. But there was no expanded
2 Presidency at that time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has a question.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] What do you mean exactly:
5 [In English] "So we would call the members of the Presidency
6 sometimes for these things and none of us were ever told of the existence
7 of an expanded Presidency. So we would call the members of the Presidency
8 sometimes for these things."
9 [Interpretation] What exactly do you mean by these words, sir,
10 that I spoke in English?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My words in Serbian were quite
12 clear. If something was important and if the adoption of an important law
13 was in question, something that was in the competency of the National
14 Assembly, then it was logical also to hear the opinion of members of the
15 Presidency. I'm talking about the Presidency comprised of three people:
16 The -- I'm talking about the Presidency of Republika Srpska; I'm not
17 talking about anything else.
18 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes. Did you -- were there any
19 cases where one or a couple members of the Presidency actually took the
20 floor at the Assembly?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you talking about the legal
22 Assembly sessions, the sessions of the National Assembly? Yes, there were
23 such occasions when a member of the Presidency would address the Assembly.
24 Yes, that was quite usual.
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] But --
1 [In English] -- that you describe.
2 [Interpretation] Did the members of the Presidency, did they also
3 go to the Deputies' Club?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my previous answer I said it
5 precisely. When we were talking about important things -- well, not
6 important things, but crucial things, then the members of the Presidency
7 would come; they were invited to the club.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but could you give us
9 examples -- or one example of topics that required the members of the
10 Presidency to come and talk to the club?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really cannot remember now if this
12 occurred at these few meetings in 1992. But, for example, I can remember
13 in 1993 when the Vance-Owen Plan was being discussed, for example, that
14 was when the -- when the president was invited to the meeting of the
15 Deputies' Club, Mr. Radovan Karadzic was the president. And he explained
16 why he initialled the Vance-Owen Plan in Athens. This is one example.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Do I -- do I understand you that members of all
19 parties would attend those meetings in the Deputies' Club?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Deputies' Club was made up of
21 deputies from the SDS and another party -- I think the reformist party of
22 Ante Markovic. And the deputies of the former Communist League of
23 Mr. Durakovic and deputies of the SPO, the Serb movement or whatever the
24 party led by Mr. Draskovic in Serbia, that's what they're called.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The Serb Renewal Movement, I think it is, says
1 the speaker.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not able to remember the
3 specific name, but there were two deputies from his party as well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And they attended all or there were no party excluded
5 from those meetings in the Deputies' Club?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. All of them
7 attended meetings of the Deputies' Clubs; they were members, after all.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. The last answer that you gave in answer to a question that I asked
11 was quite a long answer. Both the learned Judges have asked questions in
12 relation to it. I've got one follow-up question.
13 You said that: "It's quite logical that certain things the
14 Assembly requested to be done would be logical for the president or the
15 vice-president of the Assembly to get in touch with people to try to seek
16 the best possible solutions."
17 What did you mean by that, and in particular the use of the
18 words "get in touch with people"?
19 A. Perhaps "getting in touch" is the wrong way of putting it. What I
20 meant was this: It is, I suppose, only normal that when it comes to
21 essential matters one would want to hear the opinion of the members of the
22 Presidency. That's the one thing. And the other thing is that in the
23 former Bosnia and Herzegovina - I mean, there were quite a few deputies
24 there and I was not present - but it was quite normal for certain
25 pre-Assembly meetings or Assembly meetings to be attended by members of
1 the Presidency. I saw it on TV.
2 Q. I understood your answer to relate to the president of the
3 Assembly, the president of the Assembly that I'm interested in for the
4 purposes of this question. If your answer related to the president of the
5 republic, then that's different. Perhaps you can clarify. Did you mean
6 the president of the Assembly or the president of the republic?
7 A. May I ask you to start from the beginning once again. It is not
8 at all clear to me. Let's try and go back to your first question about
9 this. The way I understood your question was in line with the answer I
11 Q. Okay. Let me try again. I'm going to read from the transcript
12 the follow-up question, which in itself is primarily a quote from an
13 earlier chunk of your evidence.
14 You said earlier -- this isn't quite word-for-word, I've cut out
15 one or two words to try and make it simpler.
16 It's quite logical that certain things the Assembly requested to
17 be done would be logical for the president or the vice-president of the
18 Assembly to get in touch with people to try to seek the best possible
20 My first question, Mr. Savkic, is: Did you mean to say that
22 A. If, once again, this part of the question refers to us, the
23 members of the Deputies' Club, and it referred to the president or the
24 deputy president of the National Assembly, it is only logical that they
25 would be obliged to discuss this with us. I mean, if you meant the
1 president or, rather, the Presidency, it was also entirely logical in the
2 course of such work that the president of the National Assembly and the
3 deputy, either one or the other, to consult with the Presidency in trying
4 to find the best possible solution.
5 The way I see it, it's quite normal. As to whether this was done
6 or not, it's their problem; I wasn't there. I wasn't associated with them
7 in any way, so I don't know. But I would expect that to be the case. It
8 would be normal. From my point of view when I was the president of the
9 Municipal Assembly, it was only normal that prior to any meetings of the
10 Assembly I would go and talk to the president of the Executive Committee,
11 for example, and for the two of us to agree about a number of things, as
12 to how we could try and channel certain solutions, et cetera. That's what
13 I meant.
14 Q. I think the problem was the use of the word "people."
15 By "people," "get in touch with people," you meant members of the
16 Deputies' Club. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, absolutely.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you turn, please, Mr. Savkic, to tab 15. This
19 is a document this Court is very familiar with it. It's been previously
20 exhibited. I think it's part of P64. You've had a chance to look at it.
21 When was the first time you saw it, please?
22 A. I saw him for the first time when -- here, when I came to
23 The Hague, in fact, when someone from the Defence team pointed him out to
25 Q. Were you aware of any such instructions circulating among
1 municipalities in late 1991, the early part of 1992?
2 A. I was not aware of any such instructions. I can give you my own
3 personal opinion in case Your Honours would care to listen to it. But
4 other than that, I did tell you when was the first time that I saw this
6 Q. Your opinion is an opinion of what? I'm not asking you to state
7 exactly what your opinion is, but in broad terms what it is you'd be able
8 to give an opinion about.
9 A. I could give my opinion on the contents of these instructions. I
10 could give my assessment, my assessment and what I believe who drafted
11 this document; I'm almost 100 per cent sure. That's what I meant.
12 Q. And that opinion is based on what knowledge or experience,
13 please? Personal knowledge or experience. Your knowledge or experience
14 I'm referring to.
15 A. I already mentioned that I'm a reserve officer in the armed forces
16 and I graduated from that school, and my average marks were more than 9.5.
17 And something that is striking immediately at first sight is that quite a
18 few things in these instructions are literal quotes from various plans --
19 Q. I'm going to stop you for a moment. Well, --
20 MR. JOSSE: I'd like to ask the witness the next question, Your
21 Honour. It's a matter for the Chamber as to whether the sufficient
22 groundwork has been established. I --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
24 MR. JOSSE: -- I emphasise, I don't put it --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We earlier have heard questions on
2 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And where this witness says that he -- at least
4 that's how I understood his testimony, that he recognises part of the text
5 as literally being the same to something else. You, of course, can
6 further explore that issue.
7 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
8 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Savkic, I stopped you out of an abundance of
9 caution on my part. Go on with what you were saying about similarities
10 that you are able to draw from your reading of this document.
11 A. Well, this document is so similar -- no, I'm going to refer to
12 individual bits of it. It resembles high school handbooks and also topics
13 talking about armed resistance and the way in which people are meant to
14 behave if somebody were to invade or occupy their territory. Most of
15 these tasks more or less, if we think in terms of territorial defence,
16 these are the kinds of references that you come across in -- well, let me
17 limit this a little bit. But in handbooks and text-books in the former
18 Yugoslav republics, the person who drafted this text obviously was
19 somebody who must have worked either for the army or could have been a
20 teacher or could have been in the reserve forces or something.
21 I can illustrate that on the basis of many examples. The only
22 difference is that instead of some notions in relation to the organisation
23 of the reserve forces of territorial defence, the civilian defence, and
24 all that, there are other notions which have to do with the
25 representatives of the party or the existing leaders of that party.
1 But to make a long story short, on page 3, for example, on page 3
2 of this document, point 6: "Strengthen the service providing security for
3 public buildings of vital importance in the community -- in the
4 municipality," sorry.
5 This is something that you can come across in all kinds of plans,
6 documents, municipal papers, high school text-books, and the like.
7 And also point 7: "Establish control over and check the state of
8 existing commander to reserves and proceed to," and so on and so forth.
9 They must have copied it word-for-word from the aforementioned
10 text-books and the like.
11 "To step-up information and propaganda and to prepare an
13 So items 6, 7, 8, 9, and article 11 is something that you can come
14 across absolutely everywhere, in every territorial defence organisation
16 When it comes to civil defence, they have copied it
17 word-for-word. "Carry out preparation, create organisational and other
18 conditions to ensure the protection of children, pregnant women, the
19 elderly, the sick," and so on and so forth.
20 It was copied word-for-word from the manuals describing the code
21 of conduct for the civil defence. And on the second level, this title
22 which says "second level" -- well, both parts of this include similar
23 quotes when he describes the way in which a Crisis Staff should be set up
24 or on page 5.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. I'm going to stop you --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, we could continue but --
3 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- what the witness tells us is that, to keep matters
5 short, that everyone who would have been at high school could have drafted
6 it. That doesn't assist very much. So if you have any specific questions
7 on that, fine; but otherwise I think it's not of great assistance to the
8 Chamber, apart from that you didn't need any specific knowledge.
9 MR. JOSSE: No. I'm going to move on, if I may.
10 Q. Could you --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I wondered, looking at this, ten pages,
12 six times, again and again and again, could we agree on a PM, promo mori
13 reproduction of this? Because I take it that in the course of this --
14 of this case, half of wood would have been saved if the 19th of December
15 would not have been copied. At every occasion we come across it.
16 MR. JOSSE: That seems like a good idea. In general, I don't copy
17 it, but I only -- I'll only copy it when I know the witness is going to
18 comment on it, rather than --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. And the same would be true for what we find
20 under tab 14 on the list.
21 MR. JOSSE: Tab 14 I will attempt to turn our attention next to,
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. JOSSE: That's a very useful lead-in. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Tab 14, Mr. Savkic, the so-called six strategic goals. Well, we
1 can see that these have been signed by Mr. Krajisnik prior to your
2 becoming a deputy. When did you first become aware of the existence of
3 the six strategic goals?
4 A. When I arrived here, I mean to The Hague, that's when I was first
5 made aware of this under this heading "strategic goals."
6 Q. Were you aware of the existence of these goals in a broad, rather
7 than a specific, sense?
8 A. No. No, no. Even though one of the goals, which is number 2
9 here, it didn't go by the same name. It was not called the strategic goal
10 as such, but -- well, if I think back, I think I know what it's all about.
11 But at that time, nobody called this a strategic goal, but it is something
12 else altogether.
13 Q. I'm not going to ask you to deal with any of the six different
14 matters individually. I just want you to tell the Chamber whether in your
15 estimation these goals collectively played an important part in Serbian
16 thinking in 1992.
17 A. One could say that, but, if I may, I could give my own -- make my
18 own comment in relation to these goals, considering that in the course of
19 my work with my colleagues, deputies, I had the opportunity to get to know
20 them very well and the way they ticked, so to say. So I think that on the
21 basis of that knowledge I could say a great deal about the contents of
22 this document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, there's one part of the answer I did not
24 fully understand.
25 Mr. Savkic, you said - and you were referring to the second goal,
1 which is: "Set up a corridor between Semberija and Krajina."
2 You said that you think that you know what it's all about, but at
3 that time nobody called this a strategic goal. If it was not a strategic
4 goal, how did you consider it at that time? Was it something the -- that
5 was important to do, to set up such a corridor but not for strategic
6 reasons? Or how do I have to understand your answer, that you did not
7 know this as being a strategic goal?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour -- Your Honours, the way
9 it is presented here, the way I knew, the way life was at the time, it was
10 much more than a strategic or political goal. I'll try and be brief as
11 much as I can.
12 To give you some idea of the substance of the whole matter, on
13 the 5th and 6th of March, the Croatian forces entered Brod, took Brod,
14 Derventa, and Modrica. So the regular Croatian armed forces, it is a
15 fact; we can't argue about that. And then the part around Modrica was
16 known to be under Muslim -- or rather, Croatian control or authority. So
17 there was no kind of communication, no links, by air, by road, by water
18 did we have through to Krajina. And it was not possible to go through
19 Croatia, and the world community knows --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, may I stop you here. You're describing -
21 and least you started describing - various circumstances which I
22 understand you deem relevant in relation to the existence of what is
23 called a corridor.
24 Yes. Let me just see whether I do understand you well. Are you
25 explaining to us that it was not just a strategic goal but it was of vital
1 importance for you to have such a corridor to exist? Is that what your
2 conclusion would be? Or would there by any other conclusion you would
3 like to draw from the circumstances you started to depict?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that's just what I was
5 trying to say. I had just come to the true reason. The goal is presented
6 in much the same way as the other goals. Obviously, first of all, it was
7 a desire on the part of the deputies from different parts of the Serb
8 republic. But what I was getting at was that it didn't have to be a
9 strategic goal.
10 Considering the situation - and I absolutely have to describe the
11 situation to you - but in that situation we acted in a humane way at that
12 particular moment in time when this was being decided. In Banja Luka we
13 had a case of many babies who were born before the end of term, and
14 they -- there was no oxygen to be given to these babies. And our
15 republican authorities appealed everywhere, to the international
16 community, to the Croatian government, through Boban, that is, through the
17 Croatian community, that is. And I believe that they contacted the
18 Muslims as well. And they asked for this oxygen for these babies to be
19 provided. And nobody at the time wanted to provide this indispensable
20 assistance, as opposed to other situations about which I'm not going to
21 talk. And then apparently 12 such babies actually died, and the
22 international community knew about that. But the international community
23 did not know or did not want to know what happened to the ones who
24 survived and what state they're in today.
25 And had there been some goodwill at a later stage, there could
1 have been some kind of humanitarian corridor. There could have been a
2 water-way down the River Sava or an air corridor. Since none of that was
3 allowed, it is the legitimate right -- I don't suppose -- I don't know
4 whose proposal this was, but I suppose it came from the deputies, but
5 since there was no wish to even discuss that, and there were probably
6 discussions afterwards.
7 But in that situation it was much more than a strategic goal; it
8 was something that was normal to ensure links and the existence of such a
9 corridor in the best possible way. And that corridor was manned by the
10 regular Croatian armed forces and nobody else. And I could quote you
11 other examples as well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think your answer is clear, at least in respect to
13 this one.
14 Mr. Josse.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. Well, I am, partly as a result of that, going to ask you about
17 these other goals, I hope quite shortly. I -- perhaps simplest to begin
18 with number 6, actually. Goal 6 relates to: "Ensure access to the
19 sea ..."
20 As far as you were aware, was that of any importance?
21 A. The Republika Srpska access to sea was probably the desire or the
22 intention of the Herzegovina deputies.
23 If we compare this point 6 and point 2, that is, well, I think
24 that there was no need for that at the time, of course. And I really
25 don't know how come it's here, but obviously throughout that period nobody
1 even attempted to ensure that there was access to sea in any way.
2 Q. Goal 3, please: "Establish a corridor in the Drina River
3 valley ..."
4 What do you say about that?
5 A. If that refers to my corridor, the Milici-Konjevic Polje-Bratunac
6 road or that area towards Zvornik, then there was evidently a need, our
7 need, the need of the citizens. And it's possible that it was also a
8 desire and the proposal of deputies who were from this area, thus to
9 establish a corridor so that we could break out of the encirclement
10 finally. I assume that's what it was.
11 The second part -- well, let's just make a parallel that I just
12 remembered. If this other part, "to eliminate the Drina as a border
13 between Serbian state," then the third and the fourth goal: "Establish
14 borders on the Una River," then they are contradictory to each other
15 because here you want to eliminate a boundary towards the Serbian state of
16 Serbia, although it never in its constitution had the term "Serb state,"
17 but a state of citizens. And then -- so how can it be that you want to
18 have a border to one side and then on the other side, the Republic of
19 Serbian Krajina, to make a border on that side.
20 So only on this example, I cannot really quite tell what the
21 intention was. Obviously somebody wanted something else. The first
22 one: "Establish state borders separating the Serbian people from the
23 other two ethnic communities," it's not stated -- well, it says "borders
24 separating," but it doesn't say independence or joining another state, but
25 it leaves the possibility in possible negotiations for agreement to be
1 reached on whether it would be a community of states, a majority of
2 states. I think most of these decisions to me are like some sort of wish
3 list, a negotiation platform to reach agreement on. None of these goals
4 imply that they should be implemented by military means.
5 I would just like to point out the mentality of the people whom I
6 met, and knowing that I can assume that these were their wishes and it was
7 a basis to talk about with the other groups. I don't think that they
8 managed to reach an agreement, even though everything was signed in Lisbon
9 and Sarajevo. But in view of this --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, keeping in mind your question and looking
11 at portions of the answer of the witness, what he assumes, what obviously
12 somebody wanted, what he wants is not close anymore to your question.
13 MR. JOSSE: Well, in our submission, the answer's a useful one.
14 The demeanour in which the witness is giving the answer is important.
15 But, Your Honour, with respect, I'm not going to --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm not preventing you from --
17 MR. JOSSE: -- pursue that answer.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- If you have one or more specific questions on the
19 matter, but it's --
20 MR. JOSSE: I'm happy to move on.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, apart from looking at the clock,
22 Mr. Josse, but that's another matter. That's got nothing to do with my
23 previous remark.
24 Before, however, I announce the break I would like to ask one
25 question, and otherwise it might be too far back in your mind. Several
1 questions were asked to you about what I call the long answer on the issue
2 of the Deputies' Club. Mr. Josse asked you some questions; Judge Hanoteau
3 asked you some questions. It was mainly about who consulted who during
4 the meetings of the Deputies' Club.
5 Is my understanding correct that the president and the
6 vice-president would consult with the deputies prior to the public
7 meetings in order to find the right solutions? That's one. And that it
8 also happened that the Presidency or in the example you gave to Judge
9 Hanoteau, the president of the republic, Mr. Karadzic, would consult with
10 the deputies. So both consultations between deputies and vice-president
11 and president of the Assembly and consultations between members of the
12 Assembly and the Presidency or the president of the republic, as you said,
13 on very important matters. Is that a correct understanding?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably either the interpretation
15 is bad or -- but in response to the question by the gentleman to the left
16 of you, I literally stated: Yes, there were cases that we personally
17 asked that the president of the republic or the Presidency come to the
18 Assembly, to the Deputies' Club, and I gave you an example with the
19 Vance-Owen Plan, to explain to us why the Vance-Owen Plan was initialled
20 in Athens. That was one example that I gave. Probably I could guess.
21 When it was a matter of extremely important questions, then we would ask
22 for the Presidency to come so that we could hear their opinion about why
23 they did something or why they didn't do something. But mostly this
24 concerned important things.
25 I don't know whether the answer is satisfactory.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, certainly in relation to the answer he
2 gave to your questions, Mr. Josse, it seems to be clear to me.
3 We will have a break until 1.00 -- oh, before I go, could I ask
4 the witness to be provided with the map of Vlasenica so that he could --
5 MR. JOSSE: He's done it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: He's done it already. Thank you very much. We'll
7 look at it afterwards.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We'll first continue the examination of the witness,
11 then I have two matters to raise which takes approximately seven minutes
12 at the end of this morning session.
13 Apart from that, the witness provided us yesterday with what he
14 said were originals of documents, which have been provided to the parties.
15 Is there any need to keep the originals close to us or --
16 MR. JOSSE: Not as far as the Defence are concerned.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
18 MR. MARGETTS: The Prosecution does not, in fact, form a view on
19 that, Your Honour. However, it wouldn't expect so, but we can --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness is there and it will take us,
21 anyhow, until after this weekend until the examination -- the testimony
22 will conclude.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore if there's any need -- so the documents
25 are returned to you, Mr. Savkic.
1 Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE: I am - I can tell everyone - nearing the end of this
4 Q. The map, Mr. Savkic, you've drawn some lines. It's on the ELMO.
5 Perhaps the ELMO can be turned on. That's, I suspect, the most convenient
6 way of dealing with the matter. Point, please, slowly to the Cyrillic
7 proper names that you have put upon the map.
8 A. This is Milici, this is the approximate boundary, since I didn't
9 have the document -- the relevant document when I was putting this in, so
10 I wasn't perhaps specific enough, but this should be it. This is the
11 boundary of the Milici municipality, and these are some Muslim villages
12 which were given the opportunity to declare which of the municipalities
13 they would like to join.
14 Now, this is the territory of one of the part of this mine which
15 is in the municipality of Milici or Vlasenica.
16 And, by the way, the Presiding Judge had asked me where this
17 minefield was supposed to be laid, and that's where I put it in, this
18 black rectangle.
19 Q. Stop. What does the word in the bottom right-hand corner, which
20 is in Cyrillic, say, please?
21 A. "Mine," mine.
22 Q. Thank you. Go on.
23 A. And this territory where I indicated SO Serb municipality of
24 Vlasenica, and this is the boundary here. Here is the dotted line. And
25 the entire remaining area, a part of the town of Vlasenica. And where it
1 says "Muslim municipality of Vlasenica," this is the Muslim-held area, the
2 Muslim municipality of Vlasenica, as well as a part of the town of
3 Vlasenica itself.
4 Q. A small area of dotted line in the top right-hand corner, so to
5 speak, by a place that begins with a K, Kresani, why have you put those
6 dotted lines in?
7 A. That was a Serb village. Donja Rasa, Mladinovici and Kresani.
8 That was a Serb village, but it happened to remain within a Muslim
9 municipality territorially speaking. And I don't really remember whether
10 they were given the opportunity to declare which municipality they wanted
11 to join. That's why I pointed it out, in much the same way as I pointed
12 out the two Muslim villages within these dotted lines in the municipality
13 of Milici.
14 MR. JOSSE: Could that have a number, please?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D140, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber asked for it. Could, exceptionally, the
19 registrar take care of copying it for the parties and for the Bench?
20 MR. JOSSE: Grateful.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Mr. Josse.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. Before the break you were asked a number of questions by a number
25 of people about the Deputies' Club. I want to ask you about
1 Mr. Krajisnik's influence within that Deputies' Club, please. Tell the
2 Chamber your assessment of his influence in that body.
3 A. Mr. Krajisnik was one of the equals in the Deputies' Club. When I
4 say "one of the equals," and this is something that I had hinted at
5 before, but what I meant to say is this: The Deputies' Club meetings
6 sometimes went on for three days and three nights, and talks and exchanges
7 of opinions would take a long time. And one of the deputies was -- had a
8 doctorate in classic German philosophy. It was Professor Buha. And there
9 were other people who had doctorates -- actually, all of them except for
10 two people who only had high school diplomas. For example, Aleksa Buha
11 got his doctorate in Heidelberg in Germany.
12 Q. I'm going to stop you. Let's try and stick to the point,
13 Mr. Savkic. I really want you to concentrate on Mr. Krajisnik's
14 influence, if any, within the Deputies' Club.
15 A. His influence, as I was saying -- well, the overall profile of
16 members was such -- I mean, we were not a sect, in fact. I explained to
17 you what -- the members there were in the club. But we would work for
18 three days and three nights non-stop. There were all sorts of
19 discussions, arguments being put forward. And we would voice our
20 opinions, make suggestions, and not even a person such as the doctor in
21 classical German philosophy could exert any influence upon us. And so of
22 course that Mr. Krajisnik couldn't either. We felt we were all equals.
23 Q. You have talked about the notion of an expanded Presidency. Did
24 you actually attend any meetings of the Presidency in 1992?
25 A. Your Honours, I was not talking about the extended Presidency; you
1 mentioned the notion of the extended Presidency for the first time. And
2 as far as I'm concerned, I myself never saw or never witnessed such an
3 extended Presidency being in session or even in existence for that matter.
4 Q. My --
5 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you ever attended a meeting
6 of the Presidency; whether that was an expanded one or just a normal
7 Presidency is another matter. But did you ever attend a meeting of the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What Presidency do you have in
10 mind? There is the Presidency of the People's Assembly of the
11 Republika Srpska, then the Presidency of the Republika Srpksa --
12 JUDGE ORIE: The Presidency of the Republika Srpska.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Never. I as deputy never attended
14 meetings of the Presidency of Republika Srpska.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. Then how are you able to say that Mr. Krajisnik wasn't a member of
17 that body?
18 A. I explained that. I had never heard of any such thing as an
19 extended Presidency. That notion is totally unknown to me. That
20 terminology didn't exist. When we talked to one another, the notion of
21 extended Presidency just did not exist.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has a question for you.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm returning to something which
24 was said about a quarter of an hour ago on the meetings, rather informal
25 from what I understood, between the Presidency and the club of deputies.
1 I would simply like to know how you were aware or how you perceived the
2 role of the president, Mr. Karadzic, or the vice-presidents if they were
3 there, in these informal meetings of the club of deputies. You're telling
4 us that Mr. Krajisnik was equally, was "our equal." I suppose that as far
5 as the Presidency is concerned, you have an idea of the type of
6 relationship there was between the deputies and the members of the
7 Presidency. How did things actually happen, please?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fully democratically. The members
9 of the Presidency could voice their views in the course of their
10 discussions. Sometimes they did; sometimes they didn't. And let me
11 stress once again that it was only and exclusively the club meetings that
12 dealt with things of vital importance for the Republika Srpska. I did say
13 that with reference to the Vance-Owen Plan, it was us, the deputies, who
14 asked for the president of the republic to come along and explain what
15 exactly he put his signature to -- or rather, what exactly he initialled
16 and for what reason, and he did do that.
17 In other situations, we could voice our views in much the same way
18 as Mr. Koljevic and Mrs. Plavsic. For example, there were certain duties
19 probably for different members of the Presidency. Mrs. Plavsic was mostly
20 in charge with these humanitarian -- of these humanitarian organisations
21 and contacts with the UN humanitarian organisations. And so that was her
22 domain, so to say. She used to talk about that. So in that sense.
23 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Were there any instructions given
24 by the Presidency to the deputies? There were no instructions. There
25 were no subordination between the deputies and the Presidency, was there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes. Absolutely.
2 They were so smart, these people, that they wouldn't allow anyone to tell
3 them what is what.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. Prior to your becoming an active deputy in the autumn of 1992, did
7 you personally know Mr. Krajisnik?
8 A. It is possible that we might have met going through Milici. It is
9 indeed possible. But prior to that date, I might have seen him at a
10 meeting -- I can't really remember what the meeting was called, but some
11 kind of intellectuals' gathering. And I had the honour to attend that
12 meeting, and on that occasion I saw Mr. Krajisnik. I wouldn't say that up
13 until then we particularly knew one another. It is indeed possible that
14 we might have come across one another on several occasions, but as to the
15 two of us having a lengthy conversation of any sort or anything like that,
16 up until then I have no recollection of that. When I became a deputy, I
17 did meet him more often, obviously, at meetings.
18 Q. I want to deal firstly with the period prior to your becoming an
19 active deputy in the autumn of 1992. You've described some limited
20 dealings with Mr. Krajisnik. Presumably you read about him in newspapers,
21 you saw him on the television. What was your estimation of him up to the
22 point that you had personal dealings with him?
23 A. I have to say that as the then-president of the Assembly of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina, I appreciated and took his work into account. I did like
25 him and respect him, not only myself but the majority of the population.
1 Not only Serbs, let's be quite clear, many citizens, including Muslims, in
2 their comments always compared him and some of "their" politicians. And
3 they would say that he was a capable man who knew how to conduct the
4 Assembly; that was beyond dispute. I'm saying that again. Why not? I
5 mean, he was a popular man.
6 Q. Did your estimation of him change in any way when you became a
8 A. No. But I think that we gave him too much of a hard time. I
9 think the job with us was more difficult because of all the things that I
10 mentioned. Work at the Deputies' Club appeared as if there were as many
11 parties as there were delegates. We all expressed our opinions, and this
12 is why the consultations took so long. And the situation, too, was so
13 seriously that it was not so easy to overlook the situation at the time.
14 Q. You have described his popularity. How do you assess his power in
15 the Republika Srpska?
16 A. Mr. Krajisnik didn't have any power. The National Assembly of
17 Republika Srpska at the time and in that period while it was part of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina and part of the National Assembly was an
19 institution which truly had a good reputation and with their personal
20 example, more or less, each of the deputies deserved the respect they got.
21 And the citizens didn't look at the National Assembly in the sense that
22 Momcilo Krajisnik personified the National Assembly; quite the contrary.
23 I've already said that it was possible that he was more popular than the
24 rest of us delegates were. I'm not sure in my own area whether he was
25 more popular than I was. But I'm actually not going to say anything about
1 myself. But he was more popular, I did say that. I don't see that he had
2 any power. I don't see how he could have demonstrated this power at that
3 time, in what way he could have done that.
4 Q. Yes. Thank you.
5 MR. JOSSE: I have no further questions.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, are you ready to start the
8 cross-examination of Mr. Savkic?
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Savkic, you'll now be examined by Mr. Margetts, counsel for
12 the Prosecution.
13 MR. MARGETTS: If I could just ask if the court usher could move
14 the ELMO so I can see Mr. Savkic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. MARGETTS: And, Your Honour, we do have a number of exhibits
17 to distribute, and we may as well take the opportunity to do that now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please turn the other
20 microphone on as well. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And the index with it, Mr. --
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It's separate. Yes. The Chamber doesn't mind if
24 these kind of activities are taken already during the break, the last one
25 before we start the cross-examination.
1 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, we'll keep that in mind for the
2 next occasion.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Margetts:
4 Q. Mr. Savkic, good afternoon.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Mr. Savkic, during the course of your examination by my learned
7 friend, Mr. Josse, you've had the opportunity to outline to the Trial
8 Chamber the various positions that you held that -- during the period 1991
9 through to the end of 1995. I'd just like to ask you: The positions
10 you've described, both in the party, the government organs, and the
11 military organs, was that a complete description or did you occupy
12 additional positions that you'd like to describe to the Chamber now?
13 A. Are you thinking of the duties along the military line or in the
14 organs of authority? Which functions are you thinking of?
15 Q. Mr. Savkic, I think my question was very clear. I said the party,
16 the government organs, and the military. So I'm thinking of all those
17 bodies, as I said.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's start with the party.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the party. In that period, in
20 the period sometime -- well, I really couldn't say right now when that
21 was, whether it was in late 1991 or early -- oh, yes, yes. It could have
22 been possibly in the beginning of 1992 when the president of the Serbian
23 Democratic Party, an elderly gentleman, I'm talking about the Municipal
24 Board of Vlasenica, when he was no longer able because of infirmity and
25 old age to carry out his duties, I think that in that time -- well, I
1 really don't know, I can't recall what time it was, that I took over the
2 functions of the president of the Serbian Democratic Party in Vlasenica,
3 if that's what you're thinking. The gentleman from the Defence didn't ask
4 me that.
5 But as soon as the municipalities were divided, I think that
6 perhaps it had already been suspended in this period, the work of the
7 Serbian Democratic Party, so that I really don't recall the details
8 anymore. But I know that after in Milici the first president who was
9 elected - or perhaps he was already elected at that time, I believe this
10 was in 1993 - was someone else. It wasn't me because at that time I was
11 in army. I'm talking about the party.
12 Q. And through to the end of 1995, did you occupy any other positions
13 in the party?
14 A. In 1993 when the work resumed, yes. From 1993 when the work
15 resumed, yes, I was a member. I don't assume -- no, I don't assume. I
16 was a member of the Municipal Board of the Serbian Democratic Party in
17 Milic, if that's a function.
18 Q. Until what time?
19 A. I am still a member of the Serbian Democratic Party; I already
20 said that.
21 Q. Now could you turn your mind to the government organs, and from
22 199 --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just seek one clarification.
24 The -- your answer was about being a member of the Municipal Board
25 of the Serbian Democratic Party in Milici. Mr. Margetts asked you: Until
1 what time? And then you said: "I'm still a member of the Serbian
2 Democratic Party."
3 Would that include being a member of the Municipal Board of the
4 Serbian Democratic Party?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Milici, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Now could you please turn your mind to the government organs from
9 1991 through to the end of 1995. Please detail each and every government
10 organ that you were a member of.
11 A. I wasn't a member of any government organ, as far as I can recall.
12 I was not a member of any government organ. You would really need to
13 remind me, but in this period I wasn't a member of any government organ.
14 I wasn't in the position to be a member because I was a deputy, although
15 at that time that was something that was possible. Now that is no longer
17 Q. And now in relation to military organs, from the mobilisation in
18 1991 through to the end of 1995, please specify each and every unit you
19 were involved with and each and every organ of the military you were
20 involved with for that period.
21 A. I've already said -- I actually didn't hear the date at the
22 beginning that you said you were interested in.
23 Q. Mr. Savkic, it's the same date that I've been repeating to you
24 since I commenced this examination --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, Mr. Savkic didn't hear your first date.
1 Mr. Margetts asked you this question: "From the mobilisation in
2 1991," and then through to the end of 1995.
3 So we start with the mobilisation in 1991. What was your first
4 military job or position?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mobilisation in 1991, I didn't have
6 any particular military duties except for the fact that I was deployed, if
7 that's what you're thinking, to the joint training centre, 752, in Tuzla.
8 That is a mixed training centre where officers train other officers
9 primarily, if that's what you're thinking. I wasn't mobilised. That was
10 my deployment, place of deployment.
11 I said that I -- and it's stated in my booklet. I can't remember
12 whether it's the 4th of April or the 6th of April, 1992, according to my
13 booklet. And I said that I performed dual functions. One was at my
14 company, and the other one was when I had time I worked on engineering
15 assignments. First there was the command of the reserve battalion, so
16 providing for their needs; and then later when this turned into a command
17 for the whole of the town, that's what it was called, the command of the
18 town, I still kept those duties and I was in charge of engineering duties.
19 I did this work until the breakthrough to the mine, and I was -- had the
20 title of Rudnik defence commander. I was there from late June until early
21 September. And then I returned again in early September --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, unfortunately I have to stop you. I
23 don't know how long your further history will be, but we have to finish at
24 quarter to 2.00. And as you heard at the beginning of this session, I
25 have to deal with a few other matters as well. Well, at least
1 cross-examination has started now. We'd like to see you back next Monday.
2 Mr. Registrar, that would be the morning session, if I'm not
4 THE REGISTRAR: In the afternoon, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, it's in the afternoon.
6 We'd like to see you back next Monday, when the cross-examination
7 will continue. We start at a quarter past 2.00 - I take it in this same
8 courtroom - in this same courtroom. Could you -- would you please follow
9 Madam Usher, and may I instruct you again not to speak with anyone about
10 your testimony, whether given or still to be given. Yes. Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to briefly deal with two matters. Perhaps
13 first start with a never-ending story about exhibits and translation for
15 The Trial Chamber would like to address the parties with regard to
16 a number of exhibits with incomplete translations. On the 15th of
17 December, the Trial Chamber requested that both parties provide
18 translations of a numerous quantity of their previously tendered exhibits
19 before 15th of January, 2006. The Trial Chamber currently has still not
20 received translations for many of these exhibits.
21 For the Prosecution, the following delinquent exhibits remain
22 without translations: P954, P968 to and including P973, P976 to and
23 including P978, P992, and P1008.
24 The following Defence exhibits are also late: That's D84,
25 D113, D114, and D123. The Trial Chamber again requests the parties to
1 provide translations of the mentioned exhibits, on this occasion, no later
2 than the 10th of February.
3 On the 15th of December, the Prosecution was also asked to verify
4 the accuracy of the translation of certain portions of Exhibits P851,
5 P852, and P877.A. The Trial Chamber asked the Prosecution to do so not
6 later than the 10th of February.
7 Since the 15th of December, there have been several additional
8 exhibits pending translation. These are for the Prosecution: P1034,
9 P1049, and P1050; and for the Defence: D113, D114, D123, and D127
10 to D129. The Trial Chamber requests the parties to provide translations
11 of the exhibits no later than the 17th of February.
12 I get a bit confused because on my list now I see similar numbers
13 with different dates, but I'll continue and I'll check over the weekend
14 whether there's any mistake.
15 Additionally, the Chamber reminds the parties that on the 17th of
16 January they undertook the task of submitting a B/C/S version of
17 Exhibit D106, upon which they both agree. The version would thereafter be
18 submitted to CLSS for translation. The exhibit submitted in conjunction
19 with Witness Banduka was submitted on the 17th of November. The Chamber,
20 noting the length of time that has passed since its introduction and the
21 discussion of the parties, asks the parties to consult and to submit an
22 agreed version no later than the 3rd of February.
23 This about exhibits pending translation, I'll carefully check
24 again D113, D114, et cetera. If there's any need for corrections, I'll
25 make them early next week.
1 The last issue I would like to raise is the following: The
2 Chamber has carefully considered the Defence submissions on the 20th of
3 January, 2006, regarding the progress in the presentation of the Defence
4 case, and the Chamber would like to make some observations in that
6 On the 26th of April, 2005, the Chamber issued a Scheduling Order
7 for the remainder of the trial, whereas the Defence had previously stated
8 it preferred to call the accused as its first witness, at the 65 ter
9 conference held on the 23rd of August, 2005, counsel announced that this
10 would not be possible.
11 On the 5th of October, 2005, the Defence filed a provisional list
12 of witnesses accompanied by Rule 65 ter summaries. According to the
13 estimate given on that day, the accused was expected to testify for
14 175 hours, that would be examination-in-chief only, on 56 different
15 topics. The following day the Chamber, referred to the transcript
16 beginning at 17.221, expressed its concern for the total number of hours
17 the Defence apparently claimed for the presentation of its case, including
18 the estimated time for the testimony of the accused.
19 On the 15th of November, 2005, the Defence announced that the
20 accused would testify on or at least start his testimony on the 23rd of
21 January, 2006. On the 18th of November, three days later, the Chamber
22 modified its previous Scheduling Order, thus giving the Defence seven more
23 weeks for the presentation of its case. The Defence case is now due to
24 close on the 28th of April, 2006, unless exceptional circumstances are
1 On the 20th January 2006, the Defence conveyed to the Chamber that
2 the target date to call the accused to the witness-stand was the 20th of
3 February, 2006. It added that it is attempting to shorten the estimated
4 time of the accused's examination-in-chief by using Rule 89(F) and through
5 agreed facts under Rule 65 ter (H). Finally, the Defence stated while
6 operating, and I now quote -- Defence stated that while operating, and I
7 quote: "On the basis that we plan the presentation of the Defence case to
8 be complete by the currently directed date of the 28th of April, the
9 Defence expects to call about 70 witnesses." Today, the 27th of January,
10 2006, the Chamber received a notification of 20 witnesses, including the
11 accused, that the Defence now firmly intends to call.
12 The Chamber would like to express its grave concern for the
13 apparent impossibility of reconciling the information provided on the
14 presentation of the case in the next weeks and the stated resolve to abide
15 by the Scheduling Order.
16 The Chamber has done some optimistic calculations. It started
17 from the hypothetical assumption that the Defence will only call the
18 18 witnesses after the accused, identified in today's notification. From
19 20th of February to the 28th of April, there are effectively a maximum of
20 48 court days, excluding only weekends and UN holidays. That is less than
21 160 hours of evidence, considering the time to be spent on procedural
22 matters and possible delays. Even assuming that the examination-in-chief
23 of the accused will last for only 90 hours, about half of the time
24 announced by the Defence, and assuming that the Prosecution limits its
25 cross-examination to half of that, and assuming that the Judges do not
1 have questions to ask, this would result in 135 hours of testimony for the
2 accused alone.
3 Should the other 18 witnesses take only four hours,
4 examination-in-chief, cross-examination, questions from the Bench, their
5 testimony would require 72 hours. Adding the 135 hours for the accused
6 and these 72 hours, we arrive, as my staff wrote, at more than 200
7 hours -- yes, to be quite precise, 207 hours. That is already well beyond
8 the time we can realistically foresee between the 20th of February and the
9 20th -- the 28th of April.
10 The result of these calculations is of great concern to the
11 Chamber. The Chamber is not in a position to fulfil its duties under
12 Rule 73 ter (B) and (C) as one would expect it to be, that is, on the
13 basis of the information the Rule requires the Defence to provide. The
14 Chamber reiterates that it's therefore up to the Defence to organise the
15 presentation of its case in the best possible way. This requires calling
16 the most highly relevant witnesses and examining them as efficiently as
17 possible, as the Prosecution was asked to do by the Chamber during the
18 presentation of its case.
19 The Chamber therefore urges the Defence to continue planning its
20 case within the limits set, both by the Scheduling Order and by a
21 realistic appreciation of the situation.
22 This concludes the Chamber's remarks on the progress in the
23 presentation of the case -- of the Defence case.
24 This concludes our hearing for today. I should have stopped a
25 little bit earlier because it took more time than the seven minutes I
1 indicated. My apologies to the technicians and interpreters for that.
2 We stand adjourned until next Monday, quarter past 2.00, in the
3 same courtroom.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 30th day of
6 January, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.