1 Wednesday, 24th January 2001
2 [Open session] 3 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m. 4 [The accused entered court] 5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated. Good 6 morning. Good morning to you all; ladies and gentlemen; good morning to 7 the technical booth and the interpreters, the Registry staff, the Office 8 of the Prosecutor and Defence counsel. I see that everybody is present. 9 We're going to take up the case where we left off, but before we 10 do that, I should like to draw the attention of Mr. Krstan Simic to the 11 fact that we're still having some problems with regard to your request for 12 protective measures. I think that there was a problem of the system of 13 numbering the pseudonyms. That was one point. Secondly, the 14 identification of witnesses for safe conduct, safe passage. So perhaps 15 you could contact the registrar to clarify those points. As far as I 16 know, we have had one request asking for protective measures for a number 17 of witnesses, that is to say, pseudonyms, and also a request asking for 18 safe conduct, safe passage. 19 Now, I was given to understand that at the last Status Conference, 20 with regard to the safe conduct request, you withdrew that request, but 21 then I think that I heard yesterday that you would like to retain that 22 request. So now I am asking you which witnesses are asking for safe 23 conduct, and they all need to -- their identities need to be established. 24 So would you please contact the registrar to clear up the matter so that 25 we can take a decision. But we must have concrete elements and all the Page 7099 1 facts for us to be able to make a ruling. 2 Well, there we have it. Would you like to add anything, 3 Mr. Krstan Simic, to that? 4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. There seems to 5 be a misunderstanding that I withdrew the request, but as that is a thing 6 of the past, yesterday we handed in to the Registry all the facts, and we 7 have aligned our numbering system. So I think that the process has been 8 completed. 9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But I myself asked the registrar 10 which persons benefited from the safe conduct, and they told me that we 11 needed a full identification, not only the names of the witnesses but all 12 the other data as well. 13 But let me ask Madam Registrar how things stand with respect to 14 that issue. 15 THE REGISTRAR: We need -- for the witnesses who require safe 16 conduct, we need their address, we need their date of birth, we need their 17 full name and, once we have that, then we can issue a safe conduct 18 certificate. 19 So during the break, I will get with Mr. Simic and Mr. Lukic, and 20 we will finalise everything and make sure we have all the necessary 21 information. 22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. 23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. And please make a note of 24 the fact that before a permit for safe conduct is issued, you need a 25 ruling from the Trial Chamber, of course. Page 7100 1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. 2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think we can now 3 have the witness introduced into the courtroom for the cross-examination. 4 I don't think any other members of the Defence teams had any questions to 5 ask the witness, and I think it is now up to Ms. Somers to have the 6 cross-examination. 7 Are you ready for that, Ms. Somers? 8 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honours. And I want to thank you very much 9 for giving us the evening to get ourselves together in this sort of 10 mix-up. 11 I would like to inform the Chamber ahead of time that a number of 12 the documents which we wish to put in were to have been translated today, 13 but because of the change, we're slightly disadvantaged. Therefore, if 14 the Chamber will permit me, I will, at this stage, ask the registrar to 15 put on the ELMO a document, and I don't know if a copy has been provided 16 to the interpreters, but if I make reference, I may actually have to ask 17 the witness to assist in reading out of it, and we will, of course, 18 provide, within just a matter of days, perhaps by tomorrow, the essential 19 translations. 20 My apologies again. It was a function of the change that just 21 threw us off a little. 22 [The witness entered court] 23 WITNESS: LAZAR BASRAK [Resumed] 24 [Witness answered through interpreter] 25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. Can you
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated. Good
6 morning. Good morning to you all; ladies and gentlemen; good morning to
7 the technical booth and the interpreters, the Registry staff, the Office
8 of the Prosecutor and Defence counsel. I see that everybody is present.
9 We're going to take up the case where we left off, but before we
10 do that, I should like to draw the attention of Mr. Krstan Simic to the
11 fact that we're still having some problems with regard to your request for
12 protective measures. I think that there was a problem of the system of
13 numbering the pseudonyms. That was one point. Secondly, the
14 identification of witnesses for safe conduct, safe passage. So perhaps
15 you could contact the registrar to clarify those points. As far as I
16 know, we have had one request asking for protective measures for a number
17 of witnesses, that is to say, pseudonyms, and also a request asking for
18 safe conduct, safe passage.
19 Now, I was given to understand that at the last Status Conference,
20 with regard to the safe conduct request, you withdrew that request, but
21 then I think that I heard yesterday that you would like to retain that
22 request. So now I am asking you which witnesses are asking for safe
23 conduct, and they all need to -- their identities need to be established.
24 So would you please contact the registrar to clear up the matter so that
25 we can take a decision. But we must have concrete elements and all the
1 facts for us to be able to make a ruling.
2 Well, there we have it. Would you like to add anything,
3 Mr. Krstan Simic, to that?
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. There seems to
5 be a misunderstanding that I withdrew the request, but as that is a thing
6 of the past, yesterday we handed in to the Registry all the facts, and we
7 have aligned our numbering system. So I think that the process has been
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But I myself asked the registrar
10 which persons benefited from the safe conduct, and they told me that we
11 needed a full identification, not only the names of the witnesses but all
12 the other data as well.
13 But let me ask Madam Registrar how things stand with respect to
14 that issue.
15 THE REGISTRAR: We need -- for the witnesses who require safe
16 conduct, we need their address, we need their date of birth, we need their
17 full name and, once we have that, then we can issue a safe conduct
19 So during the break, I will get with Mr. Simic and Mr. Lukic, and
20 we will finalise everything and make sure we have all the necessary
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. And please make a note of
24 the fact that before a permit for safe conduct is issued, you need a
25 ruling from the Trial Chamber, of course.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think we can now
3 have the witness introduced into the courtroom for the cross-examination.
4 I don't think any other members of the Defence teams had any questions to
5 ask the witness, and I think it is now up to Ms. Somers to have the
7 Are you ready for that, Ms. Somers?
8 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honours. And I want to thank you very much
9 for giving us the evening to get ourselves together in this sort of
11 I would like to inform the Chamber ahead of time that a number of
12 the documents which we wish to put in were to have been translated today,
13 but because of the change, we're slightly disadvantaged. Therefore, if
14 the Chamber will permit me, I will, at this stage, ask the registrar to
15 put on the ELMO a document, and I don't know if a copy has been provided
16 to the interpreters, but if I make reference, I may actually have to ask
17 the witness to assist in reading out of it, and we will, of course,
18 provide, within just a matter of days, perhaps by tomorrow, the essential
20 My apologies again. It was a function of the change that just
21 threw us off a little.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: LAZAR BASRAK [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. Can you
1 hear me?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. Good morning to you
3 too, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You are now going to continue
5 your testimony by answering questions put to you by the Prosecutor,
6 Ms. Susan Somers, in this case.
7 Ms. Susan Somers, your witness.
8 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
9 Q. Mr. Basrak, yesterday you indicated that you left Zagreb in
10 September of 1991; is that correct? Is it September of 1991?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. When did you leave your work in Zagreb? Did you physically leave
13 Zagreb in September or did you simply -- or what did you do in September?
14 A. I physically left Zagreb, yes, that's right.
15 Q. I thought maybe you might be able to help us understand a
16 document, though.
17 MS. SOMERS: I would have to ask the registrar to present it
18 again. As I've indicated to the Chamber, it is in its rather raw form.
19 But if you have the pile of documents, it would be dated the 27th of
20 October, 1992, and it bears the number P0048810. It is a three-page
22 If it is too difficult, I'm happy to turn my copy over to the
23 registrar right now. Otherwise, we can present it. Is there one that's
24 possibly available for the ELMO?
25 Q. Mr. Basrak, the document which is on the ELMO, which is on the
1 projector before you, is dated the 27th of October, 1992. It is from
2 the -- essentially from the Serb Republic Ministry of Internal Affairs,
3 the CSB Banja Luka, and the Public Safety Station for Prijedor.
4 Turning your attention to the second page of the document, item 4,
5 it says: "Basrak Lazar," and then, "son of Ranko." Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is this you? Is this about you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Yes, thank you. Tell me, please, the date of separation from
10 Zagreb service is listed in the last line. Does it not say the 7th of
11 November, 1991?
12 A. That was the date when my wife went to Zagreb to fetch my
13 documents. I left and failed to sever my employment ties.
14 Q. You just walked out of your job?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Did you leave there as a police officer in good standing, having
17 walked out of your job?
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] The witness has said that he fled
21 from Zagreb because of the threats he had been receiving and because he
22 felt unsafe. Five hundred thousand Serbs left Croatia, let me mention.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, objection
25 Please continue, Ms. Somers.
1 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 MS. SOMERS:
3 Q. So we have your wife returning to Zagreb, a place from which you
4 fled, to get your documents because essentially you were absent without
5 leave or you essentially walked out on your job; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, when you went to Bosnia, when you went back, you immediately
8 found employment as a police officer? Immediately?
9 A. No.
10 Q. What did you do between the time you arrived in Bosnia and the
11 time you became a police officer? Would you give us the date you were
12 actually made a police officer in Bosnia?
13 A. The 1st of July, 1992.
14 Q. Where did you serve as a police officer as of the 1st of July,
16 A. I was in Police Station 1 in Prijedor -- Prijedor Police Station
18 Q. Were you physically sitting in Prijedor -- well, what part of
19 Prijedor? Is that in the town of Prijedor, or where is that?
20 A. In the town of Prijedor, yes.
21 Q. July 1st, 1992. Maybe you can clarify. Did you tell us yesterday
22 that Kvocka arrived in Tukovi July 1st, 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How do you know, sitting in Prijedor town police department, or
25 police centre, however you wish to define it - we've been a little loose
1 in our terms - how do you know what he did, what he said, what was said
2 about him, to watch out for him if he was in Tukovi and you were in
3 Prijedor? Can you explain that? Help us understand.
4 A. I was a reserve policeman before that in the police station in
5 Tukovi and I was up there during that time. I received my decision --
6 Q. Which time? Please be specific.
7 A. The decision about my employment, I received sometime at the end
8 of July, that is to say, that I had been taken into the service from the
9 1st of July, 1992.
10 Q. You received a decision about your employment at the end of July
11 and yet you were able to start on the 1st of July. Could you explain how
12 that would work?
13 A. I was handed the decision at the end of July, and in that
14 decision, it stated that I was an employee of the police station as of the
15 1st of July.
16 MS. SOMERS: If I could ask the registrar to assist -- the usher
17 to assist us, please, with two documents. I'm happy to provide my copy if
18 it is easier, but they are 00 -- P0042864 and P0042846. The dates would
19 be 10th of July, 1992, and the 24th of June, 1992. Again, that's
20 004268 -- 86 -- sorry, 0042864 and 42846.
21 Q. Looking at the document of 24th of June, 1992, which is also
22 issued out of -- well, it has the same caption as the last document. I
23 would ask you to take a look at the last paragraph, please, and if you
24 could read us, please -- I'm sorry to impose this on you, but in the
25 absence of any other means, if you could read slowly, so there can be a
1 translation, the last paragraph. It says "Obrazlozenje." If you could do
2 that, please. Read the whole thing.
3 A. "In view of the shortage of staff in the Police Station of
4 Prijedor, Basrak Lazar fully meets the requirements pursuant to the rules
5 governing the internal organisation and systematization of work posts and
6 the necessary documents, along with a request, was handed in to the Centre
7 of the Security Services of Banja Luka on the 7th of May [as interpreted],
8 1991, and October 1991. Therefore, we propose that he take up the
9 position of policeman in the Police Station of Prijedor as of the 1st of
10 July, 1992."
11 Q. Mr. Basrak, whose signature is on this document, please? Who
12 signed off?
13 A. Simo Drljaca, the head of the public security station.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises, but the date was the
15 7th of July, not the 7th of May. The 1st of July. I'm sorry. The 1st of
16 July. The first of the seventh month.
17 MS. SOMERS:
18 Q. And looking at the next document which was presented to you, dated
19 the 10th of July, 1992, this document also bears the signature of Simo
20 Drljaca. Would you please just tell us -- it says "Predmet." Just give
21 us the line, if you will. Please read it.
22 MS. SOMERS: Does he have it? No. It's 846. If you can put it
23 on the ELMO and it's visible to the witness, please.
24 Q. What does it say, please? Your name first appears next to the
25 word "Predmet." Could you read that, please?
1 A. "Basrak Lazar and others. Draft decision. We are dispatching
3 Q. And what does it say -- your name appears as number 1 on a list
4 below, and would you please read the language just above your name?
5 A. "The Security Services Centre Banja Luka."
6 Q. Okay. And what is indicated in this document? What is the
7 essence of the document, please? If you read at the bottom -- what is
8 happening in this document?
9 A. This is an accompanying document to the decision sent to us from
10 the Centre of Security Service -- of the Security Service in Banja Luka.
11 Q. Okay. So you were accepted already for service at that point in
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection, Your
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] My learned colleague is making a
17 conclusion. She says, "You have already been accepted," whereas there is
18 no precise decision. These are all draft decisions. So she is
19 manipulating the documents presented to the witness.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Somers. Please don't
21 make your own conclusions, just put your questions to the witness.
22 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Shall I rephrase that?
23 Shall I ask Mr. Basrak, what date do you consider yourself --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Ms. Somers.
25 MS. SOMERS:
1 Q. What date do you consider yourself to have been officially in
2 service in Prijedor?
3 A. When I received the decision about my employment.
4 MS. SOMERS: I'd like to ask the registrar -- the usher, rather,
5 to present a document labelled P0003409.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, before we
7 continue, let me ask you something. Will those -- are those documents
8 being tendered for the first time or have they already been introduced?
9 MS. SOMERS: It is my belief, Your Honour, that these are
10 first-time documents. They were essentially from documents seized from
11 the Prijedor police station, and they are in the system, but I don't
12 believe they have been submitted prior.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think that we
14 should identify the documents, otherwise there will be confusion. So
15 every time you present a document, either a document that has been marked
16 for identification or it is a first-time document, because we have to have
17 it identified, numbered, described, and so on and so forth so that we can
18 follow. I don't know whether the Defence has copies of those documents.
19 Does the Defence have the documents, Mr. Simic?
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I wanted to
21 make an objection referring to that. The Prosecution case, in process of
22 disclosure, has been terminated. Ms. Somers has said that she had the
23 documents but that they were not disclosed, and they are documents linked
24 to the work of the police station, both in Prijedor and Omarska, and the
25 public security station directly related to this case, and that is why we
1 are objecting. Those documents were hidden from the Defence teams and
2 have been hidden to the present day.
3 MS. SOMERS: If I may respond, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Susan Somers, may we have
5 your response.
6 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the documents that we present during
7 examination of a witness would not have to be presented earlier. There
8 was no demand for reciprocal discovery. There was no invocation
9 of 66(B). These documents, in fact, are used and can be presented at the
10 time of questioning the witness, as long as we can show that they are what
11 they purport to be, that we can authenticate them or at least indicate
12 that there is, essentially, an authentication.
13 There is no violation whatsoever. These documents are not
14 documents under 66 that we would have had to have provided, nor are they
15 under 68. So the fact that we have documents coming in has no bearing on
16 anything insofar as their cross-examination of witnesses is concerned.
17 I would like to make sure that the Court is not put at a
18 disadvantage by virtue of the fact that they are not previously labelled.
19 Again, I'm terribly sorry that we had to do it in this very last-minute
20 way. But what I can do, if the Court will permit, if we can just check
21 the record, is assign a temporary tendered number, and then when I have
22 translations, ask that they be admitted with the translation. I think it
23 is not fair to the Chamber to have something in front of it that is
25 But the relevance of them is being set forth by what the witness
1 is producing in the best way we can do, under the circumstances.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but you haven't answered
3 the question. The Defence does not have these documents, and Mr. Krstan
4 Simic does have the right to have these documents in order to be able to
5 ask additional questions, if he so requires.
6 MS. SOMERS: It is correct we did not provide this morning a copy,
7 and I'm very happy to give a stack of them to Mr. Simic. But in terms of
8 prior turning over of the documents, I would not normally do so until the
9 day of examination. My apologies do go out, and again I have no -- I
10 didn't have anything really ready for the Bench and therefore I didn't
11 prepare the pile for the Defence. If the Defence would like, I think we
12 can immediately give one. It's not a problem.
13 May I ask the usher if it's okay to transmit them to the Defence
14 so they can have them.
15 In terms of the marking of them for identification purposes, I'm
16 not clear what the best way would be. If perhaps I could be advised by
17 the registrar, or if I can just stack them at the end and we can
18 indicate -- take a moment and then give the numbers that have been
19 assigned for identification. I'm trying to do it by date and by evidence
20 number that's been assigned now within the OTP's system.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Madam Registrar, do you
22 have a suggestion to make?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President. I would think it would be
24 easier if, as the Prosecution proceeds, each new document gets a number.
25 For example, we've already seen three documents, so the very first
1 document would be 3/173. That's the next number for exhibits for the
2 Prosecution. The second document --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, I apologise.
4 The first document -- we identify documents according to date. So shall
5 we stick to that system? Now, the documents with the date X will be
6 assigned number so and so.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As you wish, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. Excuse me. What is the
9 number, then? Can we have a number? Ms. Susan Somers identified the
10 document by quoting a date. You are saying the first document, the second
11 document, the third document. I am asking you, the document with the date
12 mentioned, which number is it going to have? For example, number Z or
14 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. The document that was dated 10/27/92, is
15 that right, Ms. --
16 MS. SOMERS: 27/10/92.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, 27/10/92, October 27th, 1992, that could be
18 labelled 3/173. Okay. The next date, I believe, is 10/7/92; is that
20 MS. SOMERS: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE REGISTRAR: It is correct? Then that would be labelled 3/174,
22 okay? Then the next date is the 24th of June, 1992, and that will be
23 numbered 3/175.
24 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MS. SOMERS: I beg your pardon. I believe that this next document
2 which I'm asking to have shown to the witness, which is dated -- it's got
3 a range of dates, but the number on it is P003409, would be dated -- I'm
4 sorry, would be 3/176?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's the next number.
6 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. And it can be identified on the top where
7 it has two dates. It says 16/6 to 15/7/92. Is this document on the ELMO,
9 Q. Would you please, Mr. Basrak, read out what the title of this
10 document is.
11 A. "The report on the work results of employees of the Police Station
12 of Prijedor for the purpose of calculating their personal income for the
13 period from 16 June until 5 July 1992."
14 Q. Turning to the last page of this three-page document, there is a
15 list at the bottom where it goes 1 through 6, and your name, does it not,
16 appears first; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What does it say after your name, please?
19 A. As of the 1st of July, 1992, appointed or assigned to the Police
20 Station of Prijedor.
21 Q. So that means -- please help me understand so that I don't come to
22 conclusions that are incorrect. Does that mean that as of the 1st of
23 July, 1992 you were assigned to the Prijedor Police Station?
24 A. Yes, I received the decision but I remained in the reserve station
25 in Tukovi.
1 Q. Your responsibilities while you were in Tukovi, now, they would
2 have spanned how many months? How many months were you actually
3 considering yourself attached to Tukovi?
4 A. As of the 29th of April, when the mobilisation was carried out. I
5 was up there until the dismantling of the station itself.
6 Q. When did this dismantling occur, please?
7 A. I don't remember the date exactly, but it was in September or
8 October, perhaps.
9 Q. Were you working then as a police officer during the month of July
11 A. I had this decision that I received which applied from the 1st of
12 July, and I worked as assistant commander of the Tukovi station.
13 Q. Tell us, please, are you aware or familiar with part of the
14 municipality of Prijedor called Carakovo?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you familiar with an individual who goes by the name of
17 Strika? Strika.
18 A. No.
19 Q. You never worked or commanded someone who used the name Strika?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Are you familiar with a person named Mrdza?
22 A. There is a person with the last name of Mrdza in my town.
23 Q. Darko, also known as Dado, Mrdza, do you know him?
24 A. Not personally.
25 Q. Did you ever go out -- excuse me one second. Did you ever go out
1 on any type of field operation while as a police officer with this person
2 Dado or Mr. Mrdza?
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Ms. Somers. I think
5 we are going around in circles. The witness said that he didn't know him
6 personally, and the next question must then be, "What do you mean by 'not
7 personally'?" Because if you ask a question like that, we have a
8 contradiction. The witness said, "I don't know that man personally." The
9 next question is: "Did you go with that man to ..." and so on. Because,
10 as you can see, this makes no sense.
11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you for that correction. Your Honour, what I
12 am trying to go is the personal -- if you're using the term "personal"
13 literally, it is not the issue. It is the contact on operations that I'm
14 getting at. And if there's been confusion, I apologise.
15 Q. Did you work at any time with a man called Mrdza, also known as
16 Dado Mrdza? Yes or no.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Can you recollect the 18th of July, 1992, meeting up with an
19 individual named Faik Hodzic in Tukovi?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Can you possibly assist me in understanding why this individual
22 indicated that you came to his home and, in your capacity as a police
23 person, commanded units which took him and beat him and had him give
24 certain pledges to the Serb nation while kissing a knife? Could that be a
25 mistake? Could he have mistakenly identified you doing that?
1 A. I don't know. I didn't go out into the field at that time.
2 Q. Can you tell us, please, whether you are familiar with the
3 sections of Prijedor, Rankov -- I believe it's Rankovcani and
4 Rizvanovici? Do those names sound familiar to you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why would -- and perhaps this is completely wrong but maybe you
7 can help clarify it; why would your name be associated with the term for
8 "duke"? What is the term for "duke" in the Serbian language?
9 A. It's "Vojvoda."
10 Q. Do you know why people would refer to you as referring to yourself
11 as "Vojvoda" in your police capacity?
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] My learned colleague did not
15 establish at all that the witness had the nickname of "Vojvoda." Did
16 anyone address the witness as "Vojvoda"? Did he have any information to
17 that effect? It's a leading question asking, "Why do you think people
18 called you 'Vojvoda'?"
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right, Mr. Simic,
20 but in any case, the witness can say, "Nobody ever called me that."
21 Ms. Somers, would you please ask the witness if he knows that
22 there are any persons calling him that. Please continue.
23 And may I ask you at this point how much time do you need to
24 finish with this witness?
25 MS. SOMERS: This should not be a terribly long examination. The
1 points are fairly limited. I would estimate another 15 at most, 15
2 minutes at most.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that's three times
4 more than direct examination, examination-in-chief.
5 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, if I may comment --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. We are not going to
7 enter into a dialogue. I have asked this question precisely because
8 Ms. Somers has already exceeded the duration of examination-in-chief. I
9 don't know if it's three times as long; the registrar knows that. But
10 it's true that the questions refer to the credibility of the witness, but
11 we believe -- and we believe that they are relevant. But there are also
12 exceptions to this principle.
13 Ms. Somers, you will have another ten minutes to finish. Will you
14 please look at your watch now, and you have another ten minutes to finish
15 with this witness.
16 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I appreciate that. Because
17 the length -- if I may just inform the Court, is because an awful lot of
18 information appears to have been omitted yesterday that I believe was
19 terribly relevant to the Court and would be essential for this Court to
20 know in assessing whether or not this witness had some motive perhaps not
21 to tell the whole truth.
22 Q. Did you participate in any of the cleansing operations of
23 Hambarine or of any of the villages I have just mentioned earlier,
24 Rankovcani or Rizvanovici or Carakovo? Do you participate in any of the
25 cleansing operations in any of those villages, please?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Going back to my earlier question. Can you think of any reason
3 why you would have been singled out with the use of a nickname as well and
4 identified as a police officer from Zagreb as one of the persons who was
5 participating in these operations? Is there another person who has a
6 similar name as you, who is also from Zagreb, in that area?
7 A. I'm not aware of that. All I know is that I never participated.
8 And I'm not quite clear about the nickname. Nobody ever addressed me by
9 that nickname.
10 Q. Did you submit to vetting, the vetting process, to continue your
11 police status under the Dayton Agreement, the IPTF vetting status?
12 THE INTERPRETER: There was no microphone for the witness.
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. I'm sorry. Could you repeat your answer if you did submit. The
15 interpreters did not hear you.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And when was that, please?
18 A. I don't --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt you,
20 Ms. Somers, but I believe that there was an answer the interpreters did
21 not catch. Maybe you can have the answer repeated. You see the
22 transcript. It says there is no microphone for the witness.
23 MS. SOMERS: Yes. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought I reread the
24 question about the vetting, and I thought his answer did come back as
25 "Yes," page 19, line 3. Does that seem like it? I thought that was the
1 response to it, unless it was a response to my asking him to do it. If
2 there is any lack of clarity --
3 MS. SOMERS:
4 Q. Tell us, please, when did you submit to vetting with the
5 International Police Task Force, and did you tell them about your
6 activities in July of 1992?
7 A. I remember I made the application to continue work in the police.
8 I don't remember the date.
9 Q. What year?
10 A. That was in 1994, 1995.
11 Q. For working with IPTF. Now, they came into existence under
13 A. After the arrival of international forces, when they asked if
14 somebody -- if people wanted to continue working in the police, I made the
15 application under their regulations as a person who wished to continue.
16 Q. So we understand each other, this was after the Dayton Accords, is
17 that correct, after the war had effectively ended? And that was --
18 A. Finished.
19 Q. At the end of 1995 is when the war ended under Dayton. Is that
21 A. [No audible answer.]
22 Q. Can you tell us, please, you worked with Miroslav Kvocka again in
23 the Prijedor Police Station. When did he resume his duties, as far as you
24 know, in the Prijedor Police Station?
25 A. When the station in Tukovi was dismantled, he came to the Prijedor
1 Station 1.
2 Q. And that's where you were?
3 A. I had left before. Before that, I had arrived from Tukovi to
5 Q. What was he doing when he was sent to Prijedor Station 1? What
6 were his tasks?
7 A. He was the officer on duty in the station.
8 Q. And you also had been an officer on duty, had you not? You were a
9 senior officer on duty, right?
10 A. In the beginning, we were of the same rank, and after awhile, I
11 became an operative officer on duty.
12 Q. And as an officer on duty, he had all rights, as far as you know?
13 Did he have all rights of a regular police officer in Prijedor Station 1?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was he given a weapon?
16 A. He had a weapon, a short-barrel gun. He had brought it with him.
17 Q. So he had a weapon when you first met him. At all times during
18 the period of your acquaintance with him, he's been an officer with a
19 weapon; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you know when he left his service at the Prijedor Police
22 Station? When did he quit? When did he leave?
23 A. I don't remember the date. All I know is that he left. He didn't
24 work there any more. He wasn't employed.
25 Q. Are you aware of any disciplinary action that was taken against
1 him at the Prijedor 1 Police Station during the time period when you and
2 he were working there together?
3 A. I'm not aware of that.
4 Q. Thank you for your time.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, redirect.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
7 Re-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
8 Q. Mr. Basrak, I will start by taking you back a little. Ms. Somers
9 asked you if you had submitted to the International Police Force, IPTF, an
10 application to continue working in the police. Is that true?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The IPTF, before making any decisions, did they vet persons who
13 had made applications?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Did the IPTF issue you with an approval that you may continue to
16 work in the Ministry of the Interior of the Republika Srpska?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did the IPTF ever ask you any additional questions regarding your
19 involvement during 1992 and 1993?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Mr. Basrak, in the police system, did you change your job, your
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Transferred from where to where?
25 A. From Prijedor to Banja Luka.
1 Q. When?
2 A. In 1998. On the 1st of July, 1998.
3 Q. I would like to go back now to the documents, parts of which my
4 learned colleague showed you. I would like you to clarify them for the
5 benefit of the Trial Chamber.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like the
7 witness to be shown document marked 3/173.
8 Q. Mr. Basrak, will you please look at your monitor. Please look
9 through the document first and then I will point -- draw your attention to
10 specific parts of it.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Please let Mr. Basrak have the
12 entire document in his hands and review it, and we will later put it back
13 on the ELMO.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, did you ask the
15 witness to read the entire document or just a part of it?
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, no. I just want him to look at
17 the beginning and the end, and there is no need for him to read the entire
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Basrak, you can put it back. You have had a look at it and
22 now we'll continue your testimony.
23 Mr. Basrak, who sent this document?
24 A. The Services Centre of Banja Luka.
25 Q. Please read carefully the document.
1 A. Security Services Centre of Banja Luka, Public Security Station
3 Q. Did the Public Security Station of Prijedor send this?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. To whom? Below the number, you have the name of the addressee.
6 Please read that out.
7 A. "Subject, Vukasin Janjic and others."
8 Q. Mr. Basrak, what is the addressee? Please read that out.
9 A. "Enclosed" --
10 Q. Mr. Basrak, please concentrate. You said the public security
11 station is sending this. Each letter is addressed to somebody. To whom
12 is this one addressed?
13 A. The Security Services Centre of Banja Luka.
14 Q. Thank you. Which department does it go to in the Security
15 Services Centre of Banja Luka?
16 A. Department -- section for aliens, legal, and administrative
18 Q. And what does it say?
19 A. "Enactment on employment of persons enumerated here below."
20 Q. Please read it out.
21 A. "We hereby deliver the personal files of newly-admitted employees
22 for whom we have made applications for insurance with the competent
23 agency, namely ..."
24 Q. Was your personal file hereby sent to the archives?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Please don't be so nervous.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the witness to be
3 shown the document marked 3/174.
4 Q. Mr. Basrak, we'll follow the same sequence. Who sent this
6 A. The Public Security Station of Prijedor.
7 Q. To whom?
8 A. To the Banja Luka Security Services Centre.
9 Q. What is being delivered, enclosed in this document?
10 A. "We hereby submit to you draft decisions for the persons
11 enumerated here below."
12 Q. What does "draft" mean? Is that a decision or a draft?
13 A. It's a draft decision. It's a proposal for admitting somebody
14 into the service.
15 Q. Does that mean, if I understood you correctly, Mr. Basrak, that
16 the Public Security Station of Prijedor, on the 10th of July, 1992,
17 submits a draft decision, according to which you should be admitted into
18 the service?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Basrak, I would now like you to look at the document 3/175.
21 Please look carefully at the entire document.
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I know we don't have much time,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, excuse me, but
25 perhaps the document should be given to the witness so that he can see the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 entire document. One cannot see the document very well from the ELMO.
2 Please, Mr. Usher, give the witness the document so that he can
3 see specifically the signature. Is that okay? Thank you.
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance, Your
6 Q. Please look at this document. It's short. Have you read it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Does this draft decision --
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I have to interrupt
10 you. Can we please have the document back on the ELMO now. Please.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. I'm sorry.
12 Q. Mr. Basrak, does Mr. Drljaca hereby propose a decision admitting
13 you into the police service at the Public Security Station of Prijedor?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To whom is this proposal addressed? And who made decisions on
16 your employment at that time?
17 A. The Security Services Centre of Banja Luka.
18 Q. Do you know who the chief was then?
19 A. No.
20 Q. I would like to ask you now to find in this draft decision the
21 third line, after the words "in Zagreb 1997," and read what is written
23 A. "Currently a member of the reserve force of the Police Station of
25 Q. Mr. Basrak, is that the reserve Police Station in Tukovi where you
1 worked then and also in June and July 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you work there in June?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How long before the dismantling of the Tukovi station did you
6 leave Tukovi?
7 A. About a month or two before that. I don't remember exactly.
8 Q. Mr. Basrak, you mentioned that you were a reserve policeman in
9 Tukovi; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said that from the 1st of July you received the decision on
12 your employment and that you received that decision in the end of July; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Basrak, did a reserve policeman -- a member of the reserve
16 police force, for the duration of his employment, does he have the
17 obligation to -- is he entitled to a salary during drills and so on?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Are you sure?
20 A. I am not -- I didn't receive a salary.
21 Q. When did you begin working as a member of the reserve police
23 A. I started working on the 24th -- I'm sorry, on the 29th of April.
24 Q. And you did not receive a single salary as a member of the reserve
25 police force?
1 A. I don't remember. I think there was a symbolic sum.
2 Q. I'm not asking you about the amount. We know what the salaries
3 were like in those times. I asked you whether you had received any
4 remuneration at all as a member of the reserve police force from April
5 until you became an active-duty policeman.
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Was that payment made to you at the same time when it was made to
8 professional policemen? Or were there any professional policemen at the
9 Police Station of Tukovi?
10 A. No.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
12 further questions for this witness.
13 I'm sorry. We have a problem with the transcript so I'll ask my
14 question again in order to correct the transcript.
15 Q. Mr. Basrak, up to your arrival - you said it was the 1st of July,
16 1992 - until the arrival of Mr. Kvocka at the reserve Police Station of
17 Tukovi, had there been working, according to the assignments, one
18 active-duty policeman?
19 A. I don't remember there was. But after that, two active-duty
20 policemen arrived. After Kvocka's arrival, two active-duty policemen
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We have
23 clarified a small confusion in the transcript. I have no further
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Krstan
2 Judge Fouad Riad.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Basrak.
5 A. Good morning.
6 JUDGE RIAD: I would just like you to shed some light on a point
7 which you happened to repeat in your examination-in-chief.
8 You mentioned more than once that Mr. Kvocka was considered a
9 traitor by the community in Prijedor. You said that the media treated
10 him, considered him as a traitor because he helped non-Serbs in the
13 Now, in a situation of conflict --
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE RIAD: -- in the situation that existed --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic has a question
18 to raise.
19 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry. I wasn't following on my headphones.
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have a
21 question. I do apologise to Judge Riad. I just wanted to observe that
22 Judge Fouad Riad was mentioning things that we discussed in closed
23 session. He mentioned a name there that was raised in closed session.
24 That's all.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we need to take the
1 appropriate steps, Madam Registrar.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So for this question, we will go
4 into private session for a few seconds only.
5 [Private session]
13 Page 7129 redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 Judge Wald, thank you too.
22 We have no further questions, Mr. Basrak, so you have completed
23 your testimony here at the International Criminal Tribunal. We wish to
24 thank you.
25 I'm sorry. I see Mr. Fila on his feet.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's a rather unusual
2 situation for us as this Defence team. A part of these documents that
3 were given to Krstan Simic by the Prosecution as the Kvocka Defence team,
4 we did not receive any of those documents, but in one of those documents
5 the name of Mladjo Radic is mentioned, whom I am defending.
6 So my question is: Can I ask a question regarding that document?
7 Because in addition to the name Miroslav Kvocka, there is the name Mladjo
8 Radic. So there are several questions. First of all, that document
9 should be given to all of us, all Defence teams; secondly, I wish to
10 remind Your Honours that these are documents which were confiscated from
11 the Prijedor Police Station, and Omarska, I'm not sure, but in Prijedor at
12 least. They are documents that we have never seen. There may be things
13 in there that would be of interest to the Defence in accordance with Rule
14 66(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
15 So my request is to ask the witness a question, to show him this
16 document, and ask him what is in the heading, with the permission of Your
17 Honours. I can also explain why that is important, if I'm instructed to
18 do so.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Fila, let us address both
20 questions; first, the documents for the Defence teams, and the second
21 question is to give you a chance to put a question to the witness.
22 Ms. Susan Somers, first question. Documents for the other Defence
23 counsel. We have a unified concept of defence. I do not want to suggest
24 your answer, but what is your response to this first question regarding
1 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, first of all, only five documents or
2 six documents from this stack which we presented to counsel were used, so
3 I, of course, would ask counsel for the rest back because they're not
4 entitled to the balance, just what we're using.
5 Secondly, if, in fact, there is something on the document that I
6 didn't ask about but if -- and if you could tell me, is it -- what is the
7 date of the document you're referring to? Is it the -- the one that has
8 the range of 16/7 to 15/8? Yes, yes, yes. Of course. Thank you. I have
10 This was not one of the documents which we asked to have
11 examined. It was not one of the documents, and, therefore, I'm not
12 seeking its admission. I don't think it had a --
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It has been marked as 3/ --
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, please. Wait a
15 minute. If you're talking at the same time, we can't follow you.
16 Ms. Susan Somers, you need an indication regarding the document
17 referred to by the Radic defence. Do you need that information? Then
18 wait. Mr. Fila is going to tell you. But you must wait. Otherwise, the
19 interpreters can simply not follow, as you know. We have been working in
20 this courtroom for a long time, and you all know that we need to make
21 pauses. It is simply not possible to speak at the same time. The
22 interpreters cannot interpret two speakers at the same time, not to
23 mention the court reporters as well.
24 So, please, Ms. Susan Somers, wait for Mr. Fila to give you his
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I saw the document on
2 the ELMO. Otherwise, I wouldn't know that the name of Mladjo Radic
3 appears on it. You yourself saw it. This document has been used. My
4 question is -- it has been marked 3/176. On page 3 of that document --
5 and I would like the usher to place it on the ELMO so that we know what
6 we're talking about so I can explain my interest in it, please. Can it be
7 placed on the ELMO, please.
8 MS. SOMERS: If Your Honour would allow me to comment, because I
9 think it's a different document.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I haven't finished yet. Page 3, which
11 has already been shown. Could the usher turn to page 3, please.
12 As you can see, under number 7, it says "Radic Mladjo."
13 The Defence would like to explain the gist of our question. We
14 would like the witness to read out the title of this document.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Fila. We haven't got
16 that far yet. I made a distinction between two questions. One question
17 was to give Ms. Susan Somers a chance to respond to your request to have
18 this document. Ms. Susan Somers needed to know which document you were
19 referring to as mentioning Mr. Radic. Now Ms. Susan Somers knows what
20 document you're talking about, so we can go on to the second question, and
21 that is whether you will have a chance to put a question to the witness.
22 So wait now.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I just wanted to explain
24 why I was asking for this document, if I may.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Go ahead.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] You see, in the heading, something is
2 stated over which we spent at least eight hours of hearings discussing,
3 and that is whether the Omarska Police Station in Omarska was a police
4 station or a police station department, and now the Prosecution is showing
5 us a document in which it says that it is a department of the police
6 station. I personally spent at least three hours on this issue, and we
7 now have a document proving this. That is the reason why I'm asking for
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
10 Ms. Susan Somers, you have information regarding the document we
11 are talking about, number 3/176, page 3, where, as number 7, the name of
12 "Radic" is mentioned. The question now is: Are you going to give the
13 documents to the other Defence counsel?
14 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, of course. If there is a mention of it,
15 there is no problem. Again, we would restrict the distribution only to
16 those documents which we have used, and, of course, I do wish to get back
17 the others. There is no problem. Absolutely correct position.
18 I'm sorry. We had a document that looked similar when I expressed
19 concern before. Yes, fine.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The other question -- excuse me,
21 Mr. Simic. We have to organise ourselves a little.
22 The other question is: What is your opinion regarding the request
23 of Mr. Fila to put a question to the witness on this document?
24 MS. SOMERS: I have no objection, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Fila, to see what we're
1 going to do next, I think that Mr. Krstan Simic was on his feet.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let Mr. Fila finish
3 with his statement, and then I wanted to raise the issue of the return of
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The wish of Defence counsel is the
6 following: For the witness to read out the heading of this document and
7 the names of the persons from 1 to 12, and then I can ask him what that
8 means. Would you please do that?
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you may put the question to
10 the witness, Mr. Fila.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Fila:
12 Q. The Omarska Police Station Department. Page 3, please. Page 3,
13 please. Have you seen it? It says: "The Omarska department of the
14 police station."
15 Does that mean that in Omarska there was a police station
16 department and not a police station, and are the persons listed from 1 to
17 12, from 1 to 12, persons who were policemen in that department?
18 A. [No audible answer]
19 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said, "Yes."
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] This was rather like an
22 examination-in-chief. Do you have a cross-examination now?
23 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
24 Q. The reference, then, of course, is to active duty police officers,
25 would that be correct, insofar as Radic is concerned?
1 I'm sorry, your answer, could you speak into the microphone,
2 please? Active duty?
3 A. I only know Radic and Kvocka. I am not familiar with the others.
4 They were probably active duty, but it's not stated here. It doesn't say
6 MS. SOMERS: No further questions. Thank you for the
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Fila, you have no other
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, thank you. I would just like this
11 document to be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Krstan Simic, you have another question?
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Ms. Somers requested
15 us to return the documents to her because she considers them relevant for
16 this -- not to be relevant for this case in general. We consider
17 everything that is relevant to the Prijedor Police Station to be relevant
18 for our case, and to illustrate that, let me refer to a document in which
19 it says: "The Prijedor Police Station, the Tukovi station, list of
20 members of the reserve police force for personal incomes for May 1992,"
21 and number 1 is "Mr. Basrak Lazar."
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the fact that the Prosecution was
24 willing to give the stack of documents without separating out the ones
25 that were going into evidence is no different than when we give a stack to
1 the Bench and we don't use them or if we tender something and the Bench
2 says, "No, it is not admitted." They are returned to us.
3 These are not the property of Mr. Simic. We gave a courtesy stack
4 so that they were not disadvantaged. There is no right to these
5 documents. The fact that they may be relevant is not the issue here. We
6 did not put them in. They are not theirs to use at this point in time,
7 and I think that the discussion doesn't need to go beyond that. I did not
8 raise these points, and I would ask simply, in a professional manner, that
9 they are returned as they are our documents.
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I respond?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If you understand correctly, you
12 are making a distinction between the documents that you gave to Mr. Simic
13 but that he should return to you those that you did not use. As for the
14 others, he can keep them.
15 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must say I'm
16 surprised by the position of my learned friend, that they are giving us
17 documents as a courtesy, documents on the basis of which they are
18 cross-examining. This is directly against the possibility of the
19 Defence --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Krstan Simic.
21 That courtesy was with respect to the documents that she did not use. The
22 other documents were an obligation for her to disclose to you, the ones
23 that she did use.
24 Allow me to consult with my colleagues.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What the Chamber has decided is
2 that the Defence is going to keep the documents which were used, and the
3 Prosecutor is going to distribute the documents to all co-counsel, all the
4 documents that were used and that were temporarily marked for
5 identification. The other documents that were not used will be returned
6 to the Prosecutor. That's clear.
7 Yes, Mr. Fila, to finish this discussion.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Could the Chamber
9 please consider Rule 66(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, because
10 I am surprised by these documents that the Prosecution is pulling out of
11 its sleeve when they wish.
12 I wish to remind the Chamber that a very, very -- that there's a
13 very, very important document that I cannot find, and that is the schedule
14 of shifts, you will probably recall, in the Omarska camp. At the request
15 of the Prosecution, virtually all documents were taken away from the
16 Prijedor Police Station and were never returned to it - allow me to
17 explain - and those documents are in the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Fila. With all
19 due respect, we have a witness in the courtroom now. We must have respect
20 for the witness who is here and for the others who are waiting.
21 We have already decided regarding the documents that have been
22 marked. As for the others, we have decided they be returned. I think
23 that the question that you are raising may be an important question, and
24 if you wish, you may submit a written motion, because it is a broader
25 issue, and the Prosecutor can respond, because we'll start here a very
1 extensive discussion in the area of Rule 66, and we will get lost in the
2 discussion. So I think this is an issue that can be raised in writing.
3 Mr. Fila, you write easily. I know that. Ms. Susan Somers is going to
5 We have made our ruling. For the moment, the decision that we
6 have taken suffices. After that, we will see.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Basrak, as you can see, we
9 have lengthy discussions here because our objective, as you know, is to
10 have a fair trial but also an expeditious one. I'm saying this also for
11 the benefit of the public who are present and frequently find these things
12 difficult to understand. So I'm making these explanations also for the
13 benefit of the public. Of course, I am not a professor, but we do owe
14 respect to the public as well.
15 So, Witness, thank you very much for coming. Finally you're going
16 to leave, and we wish you a safe journey home.
17 I should like to ask the usher to accompany you out, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I must admit that I wasn't aware
21 that it was a good time for the break. So we're going to have a half-hour
22 break now.
23 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
1 I don't see Mr. Krstan Simic. Is he there or not? He's coming.
2 Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: I think that my lead counsel is just coming in.
5 [Mr. K. Simic entered court]
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Have a rest, Mr. Krstan Simic.
8 Take a few moments to breathe, get your breath back.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm quite ready to
10 begin. I was just sitting with the witness.
11 The next witness is Mr. Milan Racic.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Milan Racic.
14 Can you hear me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You are now going to
17 read the solemn declaration handed to you by the usher. Please go ahead.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: MILAN RACIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Sit comfortably. Approach the
1 Thank you for coming. You are now going to be answering questions
2 put to you by Mr. Krstan Simic, and we'll see how we're going to proceed
3 after that.
4 Mr. Simic, your witness.
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Examined by Mr. K. Simic:
7 Q. Mr. Racic, we just met in the witness room so I don't have to say
8 good morning to you again. You know that I am on the Defence team of
9 Mr. Kvocka, together with my assistant Mr. Lukic, and I shall be asking
10 you some questions with respect to certain events.
11 For the record, could you start off by giving us your full name
12 and surname.
13 A. Milan Racic.
14 Q. Mr. Racic, when were you born?
15 A. On the 20th of October, 1957.
16 Q. Where were you born?
17 A. In Banja Luka.
18 Q. Is that where you reside?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Could you make pauses between question and answer, please. Are
21 you married?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you have any children?
24 A. Yes. Two children.
25 Q. What do you do today? What is your job?
1 A. I'm a haulier for heavy freight, in private business.
2 Q. Since when have you been doing that job?
3 A. Since 1987 or 1988, thereabouts.
4 Q. Mr. Racic, did you ever work in the police force?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was your job in the police force?
7 A. I was a policeman, a militiaman.
8 Q. In what police station?
9 A. In the police stations under the Banja Luka jurisdiction.
10 Q. So you worked in several police stations; is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. When and why did you leave the police force?
13 A. I left the police force in 1987.
14 Q. What was the reason?
15 A. As you know, salaries were not particularly good in the police
16 force and I had to do other auxiliary jobs as well. At the time, this was
17 contrary to the Rules of Service; you weren't allowed to pursue another
18 job. My superiors suspended me as a result and they expelled me from the
19 police force. So later on, I began a private business of my own.
20 Q. Did I understand you correctly? You were sacked by the police
21 force, were you not, because you had two jobs? You had an additional
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you agree with the decision, that decision to expel you?
25 A. No, I didn't agree with the decision reached by the disciplinary
1 commission, and today I have filed a suit against the Secretariat of the
2 Internal Affairs of Banja Luka.
3 Q. What is the object of that lawsuit?
4 A. To show whether I was right or not, who is right, me or them.
5 Q. Are you seeking that the decision of the disciplinary commission
6 be overruled with respect to your sacking, that it be reversed?
7 A. Well, it was reversed once, but the Secretariat prolonged the
8 proceedings because they appealed the decision, and it is still ongoing
10 Q. You mentioned the disciplinary action and all the procedure that
11 followed it. I'm going to ask you several questions in that regard.
12 Who and in what way files requests for disciplinary action to be
13 taken in any given case?
14 A. In my day, this request for disciplinary action - and I'm talking
15 about the time I worked on the police force - was filed by the commander
16 or the police chief of the station to which I belonged.
17 Q. Who decides on the request for disciplinary action?
18 A. The Secretary of the Secretariat. That is to say, a disciplinary
19 commission is set up, and they are in charge of the entire proceedings.
20 The whole case comes under their jurisdiction.
21 Q. Mr. Racic, if I understand you correctly, that means that the
22 commander of the police station to which you belonged was not authorised
23 to discipline you, to bring disciplinary action against you; is that
25 A. Well, the commander of the station makes a proposal, but it is up
1 to the Secretariat and the Secretary of the Secretariat to decide whether
2 to sack individuals or not.
3 Q. Let me be more precise. Does the commander of the police station,
4 was he able to punish you and say, "You will no longer be an employee of
5 the police force"?
6 A. No. He just makes the proposal to the Secretary of the
8 Q. Before any decision is made, is there any disciplinary action
9 taken? Is there a disciplinary commission?
10 A. Yes, and there is a disciplinary commission made up of three
12 Q. After the investigation is conducted, is a proposal tabled and
13 sent to the head for him to make a ruling, a decision?
14 A. The commission makes the decision and the head of the commission
15 confirms it.
16 Q. You worked in police stations all the time.
17 A. Yes, in the Banja Luka area.
18 Q. Who was the main commander, if I can use that word, in the police
20 A. In the police station it is the commander who heads the station.
21 Q. Are there any other superior officers or subordinate ones?
22 A. There is the deputy commander, and the two of them head the
23 station along with the other staff.
24 Q. Were there any other assistants for other affairs?
25 A. Well, depending on the number of staff employed by the station,
1 how many workers the station had, and depending on that, there could be an
2 assistant commander as well, the post of assistant commander.
3 Q. You never worked in the police station department or precinct, did
5 A. No.
6 Q. Let me go back to the work you did after you left the police force
7 and became a haulier and worked with trucks. During the war years, did
8 you use your trucks to transport any goods in the Prijedor municipality?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Can you remember who you did this work for?
11 A. At one time - and I think it was on two occasions, in fact - the
12 company was called Vilako, the owner of the company was Ranko Vila.
13 Q. Where is that company located?
14 A. The company is located on the right-hand side of the entrance to
16 Q. But from what direction in?
17 A. Looking at it from the Banja Luka direction, from Banja Luka.
18 Q. When you transported these goods for the Vilako company, did
19 anything occur which was unusual? Did you encounter anybody while you
20 were unloading?
21 A. Well, I arrived at the Vilako company, and it was a company which
22 was being constructed. There was some construction material being
23 transported. I parked my truck, the workers were there to greet me, and I
24 noticed a man at that particular moment who was riding a bicycle, and he
25 was wearing a uniform, and Mr. Vila, Ranko Vila, came to meet me.
1 Q. Just a minute. Let me restate the question. You said you saw a
2 man on a bicycle, wearing a uniform. What kind of uniform?
3 A. He was wearing a police uniform, the standard regular type of
4 summer police uniform. He probably had a shirt underneath and a summer
5 police jacket over it.
6 Q. What happened to the cyclist? Where was he going?
7 A. The cyclist came up to Ranko Vila, and they began a conversation.
8 I was standing round my truck.
9 Q. Can you remember what they said to each other?
10 A. Well, they were talking about looking for jobs for two young men
11 who had no means of livelihood. They were out of work, and they wanted to
12 find them jobs so that they could survive.
13 Q. What type of job?
14 A. Well, working with electrical installations, something of that
15 kind. And I know that they mentioned some names, and they were the names
16 of two Muslim men.
17 Q. Do you happen to remember those names today?
18 A. No. It wasn't important for me, and I'm very bad at remembering
19 names anyway. So I don't remember the names, no.
20 Q. What was Mr. Vila's reaction?
21 A. Mr. Ranko Vila -- as I say, they were difficult times, and nobody
22 had enough money to live on, and the man in the uniform asked that these
23 two people be given employment, and he said that that was a problem
24 because it was a problem to give anybody a job as there were so many
25 people looking for jobs and that it was especially difficult to employ
1 Muslim men, and he didn't want to have any problems in that regard, but I
2 don't know actually what he answered, what he said.
3 Q. What were the reactions of the person in the uniform?
4 A. Well, the person in the uniform wanted to make a compromise with
5 Ranko. He was ready, as far as I was able to hear standing where I was,
6 he himself was ready to use his free time to help those individuals, to be
7 on the spot, and that he could be there while the two others were actually
8 working; that he was ready to give up all his spare time to be a sort of
9 auxiliary worker and to protect Mr. Vila from having any unpleasantness
10 for allowing these two others, the two Muslims, to do the work, as a
11 cover, sort of.
12 Q. Mr. Racic, talking to me when we had our meeting, you said that
13 the policeman who had that conversation brought himself into a very
14 demeaning position, into a difficult position himself; is that true?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Racic, you spent this whole unfortunate war on the territory
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Several times in your testimony so far today you used the word
20 "unpleasantness" and that that was Mr. Vila's excuse. What, for you,
21 does this unpleasantness mean for Mr. Vila? What would it mean? Why
22 would he have this unpleasantness?
23 A. Well, there were tensions at the time. Everybody was nervous.
24 Nobody had a lot of money. There was no electricity; there was not much
25 of anything, in fact. So even people who had jobs would have had to
1 contend with a certain amount of unpleasantness, especially if they would
2 take in Muslim workers rather than people of their own ethnicity.
3 Q. Mr. Racic, let me be more direct. I too spent the entire war in
4 the same area. Was there any realistic danger of isolation from the
5 environment and situations of excess with grievous consequences for Serbs
6 who would, in the relations that were created, who would decide to employ
7 Muslims? Would they have -- would there be dire consequences for them?
8 A. It depended, of course -- it depended on the different
9 environment, of course, and what the time was, what period.
10 Q. What about the situation in Prijedor? Were you well acquainted
11 with the situation in Prijedor? Would an action of this kind be a
12 dangerous one in Prijedor?
13 A. It's difficult to say. Each case is a separate case. As far as I
14 know, Prijedor, perhaps it would be, but perhaps not. You have to know
15 individual people in order to be able to state an opinion.
16 Q. What about Mr. Vila? Did he show any fear? Was he afraid of
17 employing in Prijedor two Muslim electricians?
18 A. Yes, Mr. Vila did show a certain amount of fear in employing those
19 two men, whereas the person wearing the uniform - as I learnt later on, I
20 learnt that the man in uniform was Miroslav Kvocka - he insisted and tried
21 to persuade Mr. Ranko Vila to give jobs to those two men, to give them
22 some work to do so that they could earn enough money to survive, to earn a
23 livelihood. He insisted upon saying that they were very good electricians
24 and that they were ready to do hard work in order to earn some money.
25 Q. Did they go their own ways there?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Well, I don't know how long they were there for. Mr. Vila went
2 back to the offices; Mr. Miroslav Kvocka, he left on his bicycle, he left
3 the compound of that particular factory.
4 Q. You saw Mr. Kvocka for the first time on that occasion; is that
6 A. Yes, it's true that I saw him for the first time. But I knew him
7 from the times I worked; that is to say, I knew him from meetings in
8 different regions. The Prijedor region belonged to Banja Luka. And we
9 knew each other by sight, actually. We weren't close.
10 Q. But when he came, you didn't know -- when he arrived, you didn't
11 know that he was Kvocka.
12 A. Yes, that's right. It was only through the conversation that he
13 had with Mr. Vila that I came to realise that the man was Miroslav
14 Kvocka. And I let it be known that we knew each other from before, when I
15 was a policeman in Banja Luka.
16 Q. So you only knew him by sight; is that right?
17 A. Yes, only by sight.
18 Q. Do you happen to know whether the men got the jobs or not?
19 A. I don't know. That was the last time that I transported goods to
20 Mr. Ranko Vila's firm. I didn't go there anymore so I don't know. I have
21 no idea whether those two men were employed or not. I really don't know
22 what happened afterwards.
23 Q. So if I understand you correctly, an agreement was not reached as
24 to whether they would be accepted or not.
25 A. Well, Mr. Vila did agree. After this lengthy conversation, he
1 agreed to have those workers brought in, the two young men, but that the
2 other man should guarantee -- be a guarantee for them and that he should
3 ensure that it was those two particular men who were going to work. So he
4 did succeed in convincing Mr. Vila to take the two men on.
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
6 further questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Krstan Simic.
8 I see that it is Mr. Saxon. Oh, I do beg your pardon.
9 What about the other Defence teams? Anybody else who would like
10 to ask this witness a question? I do not see anybody on their feet so I
11 think it is up to Mr. Saxon.
12 Mr. Saxon, your witness.
13 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Saxon:
15 Q. Mr. Racic, can you explain why you had such high expenses before
16 you finally left the police force?
17 A. Well, I like living well, and of course you cannot do that on a
18 police salary. I like to live well and that's why I had high expenses,
19 and I was looking for side jobs.
20 Q. Did you have a problem with alcohol or drug abuse?
21 A. No. Quite the contrary. I don't drink and I don't use drugs.
22 Q. Did you have a problem with gambling?
23 A. No.
24 Q. How many years altogether were you in the police force in Banja
1 A. I worked in the police from the 1st of January, 1980 until the
2 10th of February, 1987.
3 Q. Why, then, if you like to live well and you could not do that as a
4 police officer, did you remain in the police force for seven years?
5 A. In the police, working in the police in that period, it was
6 possible to have your housing situation resolved, and just at the moment
7 when I was about to get a flat, I was sacked.
8 Q. So in other words, the remuneration as a police officer was not so
9 bad, was it?
10 A. On a police salary, you could live normally for quite a few
11 years. We had to be a subtenant somewhere for about ten years before you
12 could get your own flat.
13 I come from a poor family. I always liked to have a good car and
14 that's why I pursued other activities. I worked as a car mechanic,
15 repaired cars. And I don't think I was mistaken or that I did anything
16 wrong that -- doing those side jobs.
17 Q. Very well. Moving on to another topic. If I understood your
18 testimony correctly, you explained that the head of the police station is
19 a commander. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then there will be a deputy commander in that police station,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then depending on the number of subsections within that police
25 station and the size of the station, there might be an assistant
1 commander; is that right?
2 A. Assistant commander could or could not be -- would not be there,
3 depending on the size of the station.
4 Q. Okay. To summarise: The bigger the police station, the more
5 likelihood there would be a commander, a deputy commander, and an
6 assistant commander; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, during your seven-year tenure in the police department, did
9 the Banja Luka police department ever have to take care of, for example,
10 3.000 prisoners at one time?
11 A. The question is not very clear to me. Just a minute. In my time,
12 there was never 3.000 prisoners.
13 Q. If a police station had to take care of, shall we say, 3.000
14 prisoners, would you agree with me that that police station would
15 probably --
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] My learned colleague is asking this
19 witness to make suppositions. The police station is regulated by the
20 Rules of Service and what everyone is doing is strictly regulated by the
21 rules, and looking for such an answer for a regular policeman is improper,
22 I would think.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We shall hear the witness answer
24 in any case. Please continue.
25 MR. SAXON: I will finish my question.
1 Q. ... the police station had to take care of, shall we say, 3.000
2 prisoners, would you agree with me that that police station would probably
3 be big enough to have a commander, a deputy commander, and an assistant
5 A. Well, with regard to 3.000 prisoners, I cannot give you a
6 definitive answer. It's something that has to be decided from a higher
7 level. It's a special situation, 3.000 prisoners.
8 Q. Very well. I'll move on. You mentioned the conversation that you
9 overheard between Mr. Kvocka and the man known as Ranko Vila that
10 concerned the possible employment of two young Muslim men, and you
11 described how finally, after some discussion, Mr. Ranko Vila finally
12 agreed to employ these two young men if Mr. Kvocka would act as a
13 guarantee. Have I summarised your testimony correctly?
14 A. Yes. Ranko Vila was saying that he needs electricians, people of
15 that occupation, but he was nervous about employing Muslims. And
16 Mr. Kvocka was interceding with Mr. Vila, saying that in his spare time he
17 would be present there and, if necessary, work as an assistant to those
18 workers. But he was begging him to employ these two people in order to
19 help them survive.
20 Q. Approximately when did this conversation occur?
21 A. I don't know what you mean by "at what time."
22 Q. Can you give me a year, perhaps a month?
23 A. Yes, I can. The year was 1994. It was in the summer. It could
24 have been June, July, or August. I cannot say that exactly, a lot of time
25 has passed.
1 Q. So then Mr. Ranko Vila decided to trust Mr. Kvocka at that time,
2 didn't he?
3 A. Yes. He decided to help Mr. Kvocka and to employ these two people
4 with certain guarantees of security on his part.
5 Q. Now, with your knowledge of police procedures, wouldn't it have
6 been a violation of proper police procedures for Mr. Kvocka to make an
7 agreement to also be working outside of his police employment and
8 providing protection, so to speak?
9 A. Well, at the time when I was working, that was prohibited, but in
10 1994, it was not a regular situation. It was out of the ordinary. And I
11 don't know whether it was forbidden at that time. Everybody was doing all
12 they could to survive. Those were hard times.
13 Q. Mr. Racic, do you know the ethnicity of Mr. Ranko Vila?
14 A. No, I don't know. Judging by his first and last names, I think he
15 should be of Orthodox faith.
16 Q. Does that mean a Serb, in other words?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I understand the line of employment that you went into after
19 you left the police force, you hauled property in trucks or in a large
20 truck; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you ever haul property that had been taken from the homes of
23 Muslims or Croats who were forced to leave Prijedor or Banja Luka?
24 A. No. I had a small truck, carrying up to 4 tonnes, and I could
25 provide small services, for instance, haul tyres, in case I had a problem
1 on the road. And I had assistant for liquid cargo and for foodstuffs.
2 Q. Mr. Racic, were you ever present in either the Omarska, Keraterm,
3 or Trnopolje camps?
4 A. No.
5 MR. SAXON: May I have the Court's indulgence for one moment,
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. SAXON:
9 Q. I realise that you were no longer in the police force in 1992, but
10 as a civilian during that time, were you aware of the existence of
11 detention camps for non-Serbs in the Prijedor or the Banja Luka area?
12 A. I was aware of that from what I learned from the media, to the
13 extent we could find out about that from the radio, television, et cetera,
14 because sometimes there was no electricity. Since I was a driver, I had a
15 radio in my truck, and I knew from the media.
16 Q. And were you aware that the persons detained in these camps had
17 been pushed from their homes?
18 A. Well, I could suppose that if a person was in a camp, he must have
19 had a house in that area, but I was not an eyewitness.
20 Q. Did the media at that time explain why these people were in these
21 detention camps?
22 A. Well, I don't remember that there were any explanations.
23 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time, I have no further
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 Mr. Krstan Simic, do you have any redirect?
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask
3 just one question.
4 Re-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
5 Q. Mr. Racic, when you spoke to my learned colleague about
6 guarantees, were those guarantees of a policeman or of a man who would
7 just be present, something like, "If anything happens, I'm here."
8 A. It was more of the latter case. "If anything happens, I'm here;
9 it will happen to me as well."
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Simic.
13 Judge Riad, do you have any additional questions?
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Racic, good morning. I just would like to have
16 some precision, and perhaps you are in a condition to give it to me.
17 Now, the conversation you witnessed between Mr. Kvocka and Ranko
18 Vila concerned two specific men. It even ended by the fact that Ranko
19 Vila insisted that these two men only will be working there, that they
20 would not be replaced by anyone else. Then who were these two men, if you
21 know, who pushed Mr. Kvocka to, as you said, demean himself and even to
22 suggest that he will come himself to support them and to guarantee them
23 and to work for them? Who were they? Something very special. They're
24 not just two Muslims.
25 A. I don't know who they were, those two Muslim men. I don't
1 remember mentioning humiliation. The man was simply willing to offer his
2 support and help in those times, which were really hard.
3 JUDGE RIAD: You said he would be an auxiliary worker, that is the
4 translation, and he put himself in a demeaning position, so not my words.
5 This is something you would do for a very close person; you'd do it for
6 your father, for your son. Do you know who these two men were?
7 A. Well, I already told you, I don't know who they were.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Also, something else perhaps you know, although your
9 answer was vague.
10 When you were asked what were the consequences for Serbs employing
11 Muslims in Prijedor, what were the consequences, you said, "You have to
12 know individual people in order to be able to state an opinion." But when
13 you speak of the consequences of a society, what would be the consequences
14 at that time in Prijedor if someone employed Muslims in the community?
15 Was it tolerant?
16 A. Well, I will state my personal opinion. Be it Prijedor, Sarajevo,
17 or anywhere else, everywhere there were problems. Whether a specific
18 person would experience those problems depended on the situation at hand,
19 on the specific case.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge Fouad
23 Judge Wald, no questions?
24 Mr. Racic, I have a couple of questions. You mentioned that, at
25 that time, people had no means of livelihood. What time are you talking
2 A. I'm speaking about the time of war. Even today, the situation
3 down there is difficult. I, for instance, have five trucks and it happens
4 sometimes that I don't use a single truck in a month and don't have a
5 single engagement in a month.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You answered a question of the
7 Prosecutor that this conversation took place somewhere in August 1994. Is
8 that the same time you are talking about?
9 A. As far as I know, 1994 was the time of war.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right. My next question.
11 You said, and I quote, "I found out later that that man was Miroslav
12 Kvocka." When did you learn that? After what?
13 A. During the conversation between Mr. Vila and Miroslav Kvocka, I
14 found out from that conversation that the man in the uniform who arrived
15 on a bicycle was Miroslav Kvocka.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So did Ranko Vila ever mention
17 the name of his collocutor?
18 A. I don't know whether he used his first or last name. But I did
19 hear that his last name was Kvocka and his first name was Miroslav.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry I have to insist, but
21 we have to be precise. So, finally, how did you find out his name was
22 Kvocka? You knew that man by sight. But how did you find out the name?
23 A. From the conversation. The man was addressed by Ranko Vila by his
24 name. Mr. Ranko Vila, when talking to the man, was saying either his
25 first or his last name.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right, then. Another
2 question. How did you know that these two men were Muslims?
3 A. Muslim names were mentioned, and they were talking about very good
4 professionals in this business, very good electricians.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
6 Mr. Racic. Thank you for appearing before the Tribunal. You have
7 completed your testimony.
8 I'm sorry. Judge Riad wants to ask something else.
9 JUDGE RIAD: You just mentioned that the names of the two young
10 men were mentioned, two Muslim names. Do you remember these names as you
11 remember the name of Kvocka?
12 A. I cannot remember those names. I already said I knew Miroslav
13 Kvocka by sight and I knew that there was a man by that name working in
14 the Prijedor region. You must realise that when you see a man in uniform,
15 in a specific situation, you can recall his name; whereas those two other
16 names were a different case, I didn't remember them.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you so much. I realise that.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right, then. Thank you very
19 much. We wish you a safe trip to your domicile. You may leave the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic.
24 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. According
25 to today's schedule, the Defence calls witness Brane Bolta.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Bolta. Can
3 you hear me well?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please take your solemn oath.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: BRANE BOLTA
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may sit down. Please come
11 closer to the microphone. Are you comfortable?
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right. Very well. Thank
14 you. You will answer now the questions put to you by Mr. Krstan Simic,
15 and then we shall see who will continue.
16 Mr. Krstan Simic, you have the floor.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Examined by Mr. K. Simic:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bolta. Together with Mr. Lukic, I am
20 representing Mr. Kvocka.
21 A. [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
22 Q. I will ask you a series of questions regarding the area of
23 Prijedor and the events which occurred there.
24 Before we begin, for the record, will you please state your first
25 and last names.
1 A. Brane Bolta.
2 Q. Just a little quieter, please. Mr. Bolta, when were you born?
3 A. 4th of April, 1960.
4 Q. Where were you born?
5 A. Ahmetovci, Bosanski Novi municipality.
6 Q. You're residing where today?
7 A. In The Hague. I mean, in Prijedor.
8 Q. Are you married?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you have any children?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you employed?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where?
15 A. In the Public Security Centre Prijedor.
16 Q. In that Public Security Centre Prijedor, is there any lower
17 organisational unit where you work?
18 A. There is a traffic police station where I'm working now.
19 Q. Did you do your military service?
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, I'm sorry to
21 interrupt you, but I have a small doubt here. In your pre-trial motion,
22 you mentioned also a man named "Ranko Bolta." I see the last name is
23 "Bolta" and what is written here is "Bolta" -- "Balta," sorry. It's on
24 page 13. What is the name really?
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Those were errors we have already
1 straightened out with the Prosecution. The name is Branko Bolta. I'm
2 sorry. This is my mistake.
3 Q. Where did you graduate from school?
4 A. I graduated from secondary school.
5 Q. Where?
6 A. Bosanski Novi.
7 Q. Which school?
8 A. A vocational school.
9 Q. And after that?
10 A. I went to Zagreb to a training course for policemen, lasting for a
12 Q. When did you graduate; which year? Just a minute. I must ask
13 you, when you hear my question, make a pause for my question to be
14 interpreted and only then answer, to keep the record straight.
15 In what year did you attend this school in Pula?
16 A. From September 1982 to May 1983.
17 Q. You completed the course. Did you start working in the police?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where?
20 A. In Zagreb, and then I moved to Prijedor.
21 Q. When did you move to Prijedor?
22 A. At the end of 1983. The 1st of January, 1984, I began working in
24 Q. What were your work posts from 1984 onwards?
25 A. In 1984, I started working in the police station in Prijedor as a
1 foot policeman and as the junior on-duty officer. Then in May 1984, I was
2 transferred to the police station department in Kozarac.
3 Q. When you started working in Kozarac, who was your commander?
4 A. Mr. Didovic.
5 Q. No, in 1985.
6 A. Oh, Milutin Bujic was the commander of the police department.
7 Q. How many policemen did this Kozarac department have? It's a large
9 A. Yes, it is. There were nine policemen, and the commander was the
10 tenth in that police department.
11 Q. In the Kozarac Police Station department, was there a person with
12 the position of deputy commander to Mr. Bujic?
13 A. No. A police station department does not have a deputy commander,
14 it only has a commander. A police station may have a commander, a deputy
15 commander, and two or three assistants.
16 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned a person called Osme Didovic. Who is
18 A. He is the commander from 1990 onwards, when the changes occurred
19 within the organisation.
20 Q. Does that mean that from the 1st of January, 1990, the commander
21 of the police station department in Kozarac was Osme Didovic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did he replace Mr. Milutin Bujic?
24 A. Yes, he did.
25 Q. Did Mr. Didovic have a deputy?
1 A. He did not.
2 Q. How long did you continue working in the Kozarac Police Station
4 A. Until March 1992.
5 Q. Why did you stop working in the police station department in
6 Kozarac in March 1992?
7 A. I stopped working because there was heightened ethnic tensions in
8 Kozarac, and I could no longer work there because there were nationalists
9 and extremists and I was no longer acceptable in the police station
10 department. Then there were the Green Berets who could be seen moving
11 around Kozarac and so on.
12 Q. On that -- at that time - we're talking about March 1992 - was
13 your safety and security at risk as a policeman?
14 A. I didn't feel at ease, because the Commander Didovic told me on
15 one occasion, "Mr. Bolta, would you like to go and work in Prijedor?" And
16 I said, "When I consider myself to be at risk, I will myself apply to go
17 to Prijedor."
18 Q. Let me ask you again to wait a few seconds after my question
19 before giving your answer.
20 Did I understand you correctly when you said that Mr. Osme
21 Didovic, the Department Commander of the police station department in
22 Kozarac, was conscious of certain extraordinary circumstances when he
23 himself made this suggestion to you?
24 A. I think he was.
25 Q. So in March 1992, you definitively left Kozarac. Who did you
1 report to, on whose approval, and so on? Tell us briefly, how did this
3 A. I reported to the Prijedor Police Station, to the commander,
4 Milutin Cadjo, and he told me I should stay on and work in the Prijedor
5 Police Station.
6 Q. On that occasion, were you given your assignments?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 Q. What were they?
9 A. I was a foot policeman in a particular area, and I also acted as a
10 duty -- junior on-duty police officer.
11 Q. Mr. Bolta, what does that mean, foot patrol service? Could you
12 explain briefly what you do when you have such an assignment?
13 A. A police officer who engages in this activity covers a particular
14 area in the region. So it is his responsibility to ensure safety in the
15 area, to combat crime, ensure law and order, traffic safety, and to
16 monitor persons of interest from the standpoint of security.
17 Q. Did you perform those duties on foot or by car?
18 A. On foot.
19 Q. A person covering such a precinct, does he have any kind of
20 superior rank?
21 A. No, there's no rank, a simple policeman, foot policeman, or a
22 policeman acting as a patrol officer. So he's simply a policeman and
23 nothing more than that.
24 Q. Mr. Bolta, were you ever subject to disciplinary action in the
25 course of your career?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Mr. Bolta, after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords and the
3 reforms carried out within the police force of Republika Srpska under the
4 supervision of the International Community, that is, the IPTF, the
5 international police, did you apply for permission to continue working in
6 the police?
7 A. Did I submit a request?
8 Q. In 1995 to continue working as a policeman.
9 A. I did not submit any request. This is only normal. I used to be
10 a policeman and I continued being a policeman.
11 Q. Did the IPTF and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika
12 Srpska, did they issue a certificate saying that, in view of the events
13 that had taken place, that you could continue being a policeman?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Does that mean, in the police of Republika Srpska, that the people
16 who remained in the police force fulfil the requirements set by the IPTF
17 in terms of the reforms that are carried out?
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I think that Mr. Krstan
19 Simic is testifying instead of the witness, but let us hear you,
20 Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. SAXON: Well, that was going to be part of my objection, Your
22 Honour. At the same time, we have heard no evidence that this witness is
23 qualified to draw such a conclusion or state such an opinion.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, go ahead.
25 I want to say to the parties that I should like to adopt a
1 different procedure. We are wasting a lot of time on objections. As you
2 know, the Chamber has discretionary powers and the Chamber is going to use
3 those powers; otherwise, this will go on forever.
4 So please rephrase your question. You know very well that you
5 were leading. So please proceed. Are you aware of that?
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do admit it, and I will
7 stand corrected.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Continue.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Bolta, did IPTF, in any sense, object or find anything to
11 reproach you for in your prior activities?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Let us now go back to the year 1992. As a policeman of the
14 Prijedor Police Station, as part of the Security Centre, was it known that
15 in the territory of Prijedor municipality there were prisoner camps?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What camps were you aware of that existed?
18 A. I knew that there were the Omarska and Keraterm camps.
19 Q. Within the framework of your duties and instructions from
20 superiors, did you go to the Omarska camp?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. What was your assignment linked to the Omarska camp?
23 A. My assignment was to transport certain persons who had been
24 sentenced on the basis of state or public security problems.
25 Q. Who would give you the instructions to transport suspects to the
1 Omarska camp?
2 A. I received orders from my superiors.
3 Q. When transporting these persons, what did you use?
4 A. I used an official car, the brand being Citroen, known as the
5 Black Meraja.
6 Q. When we mention this car, which we refer to as Marica or Black
7 Meraja, how was it designed? Did it have a separate part for suspects
8 which are being transported?
9 A. Yes, it was a separate section. In the front, there was the
10 driver, co-driver, and possibly two or three policemen, whereas the
11 walled-off area contained the persons being transported.
12 Q. Do you know how much room there was? For how many people was
13 there room in that part of the vehicle?
14 A. The vehicle was envisaged to accommodate eight persons.
15 Q. Sitting in one row or otherwise?
16 A. In two rows or, rather, two times four seats on each side of the
18 Q. Mr. Bolta, was there any rule regulating the transport of
19 suspects? Where did they have to be accommodated?
20 A. According to the Rules of Service in public security, there are
21 strict rules that when people are taken into custody, they have to be
22 boarded in the back part of the van. Should they be behind the driver or
23 co-driver, the person could attack the driver and provoke a traffic
24 accident. Therefore, this was strictly prescribed by the Rules of
25 Service, that all suspects had to be transported in the back of the van.
1 Q. So we come back to the front part of the van. How many people can
2 fit into the front part?
3 A. The driver, the co-driver, and two to three policemen. It
5 Q. My question was: How many people could physically fit into the
6 area in front?
7 A. Five. Five persons.
8 Q. So would they be sitting in one row or several rows?
9 A. In front, there was the driver and co-driver, and behind their
10 backs, there were seats for three more policemen.
11 Q. Mr. Bolta, you mentioned the fact that, following orders from your
12 superiors, you transported suspects to the Omarska camp. Do you know how
13 many times you did that during the period of existence of the camp?
14 A. Twice.
15 Q. Do you know a person called Nusret Sivac?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Who is Nusret Sivac?
18 A. Nusret Sivac was also employed in the public security station,
19 working on the telephone exchange. If somebody called somebody, he would
20 establish connections through the exchange. So, in fact, he was a
21 policeman working on the telephone exchange.
22 Q. Mr. Bolta, in the police, we have an ordinary telephone exchange.
23 But was there some other system of communications, encrypted and
24 confidential communications?
25 A. There was.
1 Q. Was Mr. Nusret Sivac working on those means of communication?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you remember when Mr. Nusret Sivac left the police in Prijedor,
4 and do you know why he did that?
5 A. I don't know when he left the police in Prijedor and I don't know
6 the reason. But I know that he started working as a cameraman for TV
7 Sarajevo, that is, for its studio in Banja Luka.
8 Q. During one of your transports to Omarska, was Mr. Nusret Sivac
9 among the people you transported and whom you knew, as you just said?
10 A. He was.
11 Q. Did you do that on your own?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Who was with you among the policemen?
14 A. Policeman Tomo Stojakovic and Dragan Bosancic.
15 Q. Were they active-duty or reserve policemen?
16 A. Tomo Stojakovic was an active-duty policeman, whereas Bosancic was
17 a reserve policeman.
18 Q. Talking about the reserve police force, those reserve policemen,
19 while being engaged as part of the police, did they receive any
20 remuneration or salary?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was there any difference in salary between active-duty and reserve
24 A. Yes. They had lower salaries.
25 Q. How much lower?
1 A. Well, they were treated as beginners.
2 Q. So the reserve policemen would have the lowest salary within the
3 range of salaries for police officers; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Tomo Stojakovic, is he alive?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And this reserve police officer that you mentioned, is he?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember the occasion when you were transporting Mr. Nusret
10 Sivac to Omarska?
11 A. I think that this occurred in 1992, between the 8th and the 12th
12 of June. I can't remember the exact date. But in any event, it was in
13 June, between the 8th and the 12th.
14 Q. Where did you pick Mr. Sivac from? Where did you set out from?
15 A. The starting point was the Public Security Station Prijedor.
16 Q. Was Mr. Sivac alone or were there other persons with him on that
18 A. There were two other persons.
19 Q. Where did you put them in the police van?
20 A. As I have already said, in the back part of the van, the part that
21 was separated from the front.
22 Q. Let us make it quite clear: Is that the area that is prescribed
23 by regulations for the transport of suspects, persons taken into custody?
24 A. Yes, absolutely so.
25 Q. On that occasion, were you instructed by your superiors to
1 transport some persons from Keraterm to Omarska?
2 A. Yes. There was two-way transport. So we were told to stop off at
3 the Keraterm camp as well.
4 Q. Who did you report to when you arrived at Keraterm?
5 A. As soon as we had arrived, the persons had been prepared for
6 transport. So there were people who were on duty in front of the actual
7 entrance to Keraterm.
8 Q. Did you notify anyone that you were coming to pick up those men?
9 A. No, I did not. I was just given the assignment to transport
11 Q. How many persons were picked up in Keraterm and transported to
12 Omarska; do you remember?
13 A. I think there were five persons.
14 Q. When I say "you," I mean your whole team. Did you have a
15 description of the persons that you were taking to Omarska?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Let me go back to this police van. Who was driving the van?
18 A. I was.
19 Q. Who was sitting next to you?
20 A. Tomo Stojakovic.
21 Q. And where was the reserve police officer sitting?
22 A. Behind us.
23 Q. Whose duty was it to have the list with the names of people that
24 were being transported?
25 A. Policeman Tomo Stojakovic.
1 Q. When you reached Omarska, where did you stop?
2 A. I stopped within the Omarska complex, that is, at the corner of
3 the administrative building that existed in Omarska.
4 Q. Did any of you get out of the van?
5 A. When I came to a halt, Tomo Stojakovic got off the vehicle.
6 Q. Who opened the back door where the suspects were?
7 A. Policeman Tomo Stojakovic.
8 Q. Did those persons get off?
9 A. They did.
10 Q. Mr. Bolta, did anyone approach you then?
11 A. Yes, a reserve policeman who was at the entrance to Omarska camp.
12 Q. When you say a "reserve policeman," how could you distinguish
13 between an active-duty and a reserve policeman?
14 A. A reserve policeman had different uniforms. They were issued
15 these uniforms when they joined, whereas regular policemen had the
16 prescribed uniforms.
17 Q. These cloth uniforms, were they blue in colour?
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. So the difference appears to be only in the thickness of the
20 material but the colour was the same?
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, please be
22 careful. The witness never mentioned blue cloth. You are testifying for
24 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. Maybe
25 the translation omitted to say it. The witness did explicitly say that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this was a woollen cloth uniform. I just wanted to avoid any
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Sorry. But go
4 ahead, please. Maybe it was a problem of translation. I heard the
5 "woollen cloth" the second time.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. They did not
7 recognise the word when the witness used it the first time.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Bolta, what was the person doing from the reserve police
10 force, and did that person have any contact with any one of you?
11 A. He came up to Tomo Stojakovic, who -- came up to Tomo Stojakovic
12 when the persons we were transporting got off.
13 Q. Did Tomo Stojakovic give him anything on that occasion?
14 A. Yes. He gave him the list with the names of those persons on it.
15 Q. Just then did some other persons come up to you who took over the
17 A. Yes. Some people who were there in Omarska, they were dressed in
18 a special way, they had special uniforms, they took over those persons and
19 they searched them.
20 Q. Were those persons members of the reserve force of the Omarska
21 Police Station department?
22 A. They were not.
23 Q. But do you know who they were?
24 A. I later learnt that they were a special unit from Banja Luka.
25 Q. You said that they were members of a special unit from Banja Luka
1 and that they started searching those persons. How did they do that?
2 A. They did not act strictly in accordance with the rules regulating
3 public security. They did it in a rough and insolent way. The persons
4 were lined up against the wall with their hands spread, with three fingers
5 raised, and they were standing on one foot. So they treated them roughly
6 and not in accordance with the Rules of Service.
7 Q. Did you see those persons being beaten?
8 A. No, the persons were not beaten. Sivac was there present, so he
9 can testify too whether he was beaten. I couldn't see everything, but I
10 saw a part of it, and I didn't see them being beaten.
11 Q. On that occasion, did you see Mr. Kvocka?
12 A. Yes, I did. Kvocka was coming up. He was walking around the
13 compound, and he saw Mr. Nusret Sivac, and he came up to him and asked,
14 "What are you, Mr. Sivac, doing here?" And he just said that he had been
15 taken into custody and he didn't know the reason why.
16 Q. Did Mr. Kvocka respond in any way or react to the way in which
17 these persons were being searched?
18 A. He did.
19 Q. How did he react?
20 A. Mr. Kvocka said, "Boys, that's not the way to do it. That is not
21 how you search persons. That is not the proper way to do it. That is a
22 very rough treatment you're giving them."
23 Q. Did Kvocka come up alone or was anyone else present when he came
24 up to you?
25 A. There was another guy, a tall man with a short haircut. He was
1 wearing the same uniform as that special unit from Banja Luka. He came
2 up, and when Kvocka said this, he stopped the others from continuing in
3 the same manner.
4 Q. The person you described as being a member of the special unit,
5 what kind of build was he? Could you describe him?
6 A. He was slim, with a short haircut.
7 Q. And his height?
8 A. He was about 180 centimetres tall.
9 Q. How did he stop this very rough and humiliating search?
10 A. He told his men to stop acting in that way.
11 Q. Did they obey him?
12 A. They did.
13 Q. What did Kvocka do then?
14 A. Mr. Kvocka took that piece of paper from the reserve police
15 officer, and he said that he would go up to see the bosses, to see what it
16 was about.
17 Q. Did he go?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. After Mr. Kvocka left, was this search or mistreatment or
20 humiliation of the persons taken into custody continued in any way?
21 A. No.
22 Q. How long did Mr. Kvocka spend in the administrative building?
23 A. Very briefly. Maybe about five minutes.
24 Q. Did he come back to where you were?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What did he say then?
2 A. He said that it was a mistake with respect to Nusret Sivac, that
3 it was his sister (redacted)
5 Q. Did he say anything as to what should be done with him?
6 A. Yes, he did. He said that Mr. Nusret Sivac should be taken back
7 to Prijedor.
8 Q. Did he say that this was what the bosses had said or that he had
9 decided so?
10 A. He said that the bosses had said that.
11 Q. On that occasion, did he mention the names of those bosses or
13 A. I cannot remember exactly. He may have mentioned them, but I was
14 in the vehicle.
15 Q. When you mentioned the person from the reserve police force who
16 took over the piece of paper from Tomo Stojakovic and then handed it over
17 to Mr. Kvocka, do you know who that person was?
18 A. No. I saw him for the first time in Omarska.
19 Q. When you went to Omarska, and you said you went there twice, did
20 you ever enter the administrative building?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Where did your assignment end?
23 A. My assignment was over once the person we were transporting got
24 off. We then returned to Prijedor.
25 Q. Together with Mr. Stojakovic and this other person whose name
1 escapes me, did you take Mr. Nusret Sivac back to Prijedor?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let me now ask you a few things linked to Mr. Kvocka.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, excuse me.
5 How much more time, roughly, do you need to finish the
6 examination-in-chief? It is ten past one, so it's time for the break. I
7 just wanted to know whether we can finish before the break or not.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Another ten minutes or so, but as
9 it's a new area, perhaps it would be best to have the break now.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. In that case, we should
11 have the break. So we're going to have a 50-minute break. So we'll be
12 coming back about 2.00.
13 I'm going to ask the usher to accompany the witness out, please,
14 and we're going to have our lunch break now.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, we meet again at 2.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.
3 Would the usher have the witness introduced into the courtroom,
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.
7 Mr. Simic, please proceed with your witness.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Bolta, you said that in 1992 you worked in the department of
10 the Police Station Kozarac. The Prijedor Police Station, and I am talking
11 about the basic unit, did it have any other departments?
12 A. Yes, it did. It had two other departments: the Omarska and
13 Ljubija Police Departments.
14 Q. As a policeman yourself, did you know Mr. Kvocka because he worked
15 in the Omarska Police Department?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you know - and if so, please tell the Trial Chamber - what his
18 status was? What were his assignments? What were his job assignments
19 within the police system?
20 A. Mr. Kvocka was the leader of the patrol sector.
21 Q. Did Mr. Kvocka, in the police force system, ever have the status
22 of the commander/commandeer of the police station?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Deputy commander?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Assistant commander?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said that Mr. Kvocka worked as the leader of the patrol sector
4 in the Omarska Police Department. Were there any changes in respect to
5 his employment and work post during 1992, in that sense?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was he transferred to another station in the course of 1992 at
9 A. Yes, he was transferred to the Prijedor Police Station and the
10 reserve station at Tukovi.
11 Q. After Tukovi, did he return to the Omarska Police Department?
12 A. No.
13 Q. After working in the reserve police station at Tukovi, do you know
14 which work Mr. Kvocka performed in the Police Station of Prijedor?
15 A. He was the leader of the patrol sector there as well.
16 Q. Did he have the same assignments as those he had in the Police
17 Department of Omarska?
18 A. Yes, they were the same.
19 Q. Did the leaders of patrol sectors also have the obligation and
20 duty to do shift work on the basis of schedules?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that, along with this service, you too did shift work.
23 A. Yes. I was the junior shift officer in the Prijedor Police
25 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in addition to his work as the leader of the patrol
1 sector, did he do shift duty as well, according to the schedules of the
2 commander of the police station?
3 A. Yes, I think he did. In 1994 and 1995, he was shift leader, I
5 Q. But what about 1992? Did he do it in the same way that you and
6 the other policemen did?
7 A. In 1992, he was the leader of the patrol sector.
8 Q. You said a moment ago that Mr. Kvocka became, that is, was shift
9 leader in 1994 and 1995, did work of that kind.
10 A. Yes, I said that.
11 Q. Before that, before becoming shift leader at that time, were there
12 any changes at the head of the police force? Did you get a new police
13 chief, and if so, who was it?
14 A. Yes, there was reorganisation and transformation within the police
16 Q. Did Mr. Drljaca leave Prijedor as chief of the SJB? Did he leave
17 and did a new chief arrive?
18 A. Yes, he did leave, and a new chief did arrive.
19 Q. Do you remember his name?
20 A. Yes. It was Bogdan Delic.
21 Q. What was Mr. Bogdan Delic by profession?
22 A. He was a teacher. I think he taught. He was a teacher.
23 Q. With the arrival of Mr. Delic, did the relationship change towards
24 Mr. Kvocka as a policeman?
25 A. Well, he went on doing the same work he had done beforehand.
1 Q. Who suggested that he be shift leader?
2 A. When all our work was reorganised, the Minister made decisions
3 with respect to the work of the police force. So the Minister or his
4 deputy or anybody he authorised.
5 Q. Who made proposals to the Minister as to who ought to be put in
6 which position?
7 A. Well, from the commander and the chief of the Public Security
9 Q. Did Mr. Delic propose Mr. Kvocka as shift leader to the Minister
10 of that department?
11 A. Well, I don't really know, but I think he did.
12 Q. Mr. Bolta, to wind up, you worked with Mr. Kvocka for a long
13 time. In his work, in the way he worked and functioned, did he ever show
14 any kind of extreme nationalistic sentiments, any hatred towards the
15 members of other nations or ethnic groups?
16 A. No, he did not. I have known him for many, many years, and I can
17 say that I don't think he was a man of that kind, nor was he a policeman
18 like that.
19 Q. In his private life, did he socialise with Muslim policemen? Did
20 he take them for picnics and excursions at his own holiday home at
21 Kozara? Do you happen to know?
22 A. Yes, he did.
23 Q. Finally, as a man, a personality, was he courageous, brave?
24 A. I know that he was intelligent, brave, courageous, decisive, a
25 true professional in the line of work he did. He was not prone to drink.
1 He was a family man. He loved his family above all else. He was a
2 dedicated man.
3 Q. Did Mr. Kvocka frequent cafes?
4 A. Well, he went to cafes.
5 Q. Did you ever hear of him going to the Stara Kuglana or Old Bowling
7 A. I don't know. I have not heard about that.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bolta.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. That
10 completes my examination-in-chief of this witness.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do the other Defence teams have
12 any questions for this witness? I see that Mr. Nikolic is indicating that
13 they do not. Very well.
14 Mr. Bolta, you will now be answering questions put to you by the
15 Prosecution, and I think the questions will be posed by Mr. Saxon. Is
16 that right?
17 MR. SAXON: Yes.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, your witness.
19 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Saxon:
21 Q. Mr. Bolta, first of all, I'd simply like to clarify a few things
22 that were not quite clear to me during your direct testimony.
23 Early on in your testimony, you said that when you graduated from
24 school as a police officer you first worked in Zagreb, but then you said
25 you first worked in Pula, and those are two different places. I'm
1 wondering if you can clarify that, please.
2 A. I attended a course in Pula which lasted for one year, and after I
3 graduated from that course, I got a job in Zagreb working as a policeman.
4 Q. Then subsequent to that, you transferred to Prijedor; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And subsequent to that, you were transferred to the town of
8 Kozarac; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who requested your transfer from Prijedor to Kozarac?
11 A. The commander of the police station of Prijedor, Esad Alic.
12 Q. So was it a simple administrative transfer?
13 A. Well, yes. Every commander can transfer policemen where he
14 considers they would be used best.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Kozarac is a small community, is it not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I think you explained that at least in 1992, at that time
18 there were nine policemen and a commander of the police department there;
19 is that right?
20 A. Before 1992, when I was transferred, there were nine policeman and
21 the commander was the tenth, but when the nationalistic feelings began,
22 then there were a lot of reserve policemen working in Kozarac in 1992.
23 Q. Prior to 1992, there was no deputy commander, was there?
24 A. No. Afterwards, the police department did not have a deputy or an
1 Q. Now, Omarska as well, the police department in Omarska, that was a
2 very small police department, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It had a commander but no deputy commander; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How about the police station in Prijedor, in the town of Prijedor
7 itself? Approximately how many policemen worked in that police station?
8 A. I think about 60 policemen. I don't know the exact number, but it
9 would be thereabouts.
10 Q. That police station had a commander and a deputy commander, did it
11 not, at least prior to 1992?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So if there was an even larger police unit involving about 90
14 police officers, would that unit also possibly have a commander and a
15 deputy commander?
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness, this one
19 and the previous one, said quite definitely that the law regulated that
20 the police station had a hierarchy, that a department had its hierarchy,
21 and I don't see where this line of questioning is leading by my learned
22 colleague, asking the witness to explain a department. How could a
23 department have something that was not in line with the law? Because the
24 witness said that everything was regulated by law. So I don't see the
25 point of asking witnesses this type of question.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, what is the purpose?
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the point of my question goes to the
3 possibility of Article 7(3) responsibility in this case, and when the
4 police structures in the Prijedor area at that time felt the need to have
5 not only a commander but also deputy commanders, perhaps other
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we come back to the
9 same thing. A department, a police station, all that is regulated by
10 law. Somebody has prescribed that a department exists, unless the law is
11 changed, is amended. And then the fact that a lot of work security-wise
12 came about, that somebody could decide otherwise, let's especially not
13 have this witness speak about that, because it was strictly regulated by
14 rules and the law.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But we are here to establish the
16 facts. So in order to arrive at the facts, ask your questions,
17 Mr. Saxon.
18 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Bolta, if a police structure organisation involving about 90
20 police officers were created, would it then be likely, or possible at
21 least, that there would be not only a commander but a deputy commander, at
22 least prior to 1992?
23 A. I think there was a deputy commander.
24 Q. All right. I will move on.
25 JUDGE WALD: Could I just make one small intervention on that
1 because I was getting myself -- it seems to me he's not an expert witness;
2 therefore, his opinion or hypotheticals dealing with the structure, it may
3 be -- but as a policeman in the area, it may be - I don't know - that he
4 knows what the biggest police station was and how many policemen it had
5 and whether they had commanders or deputies. That would be a matter of
6 his factual knowledge. But a matter of his opinion, I have a little
7 trouble with too, since he's a fact witness and not an opinion witness. I
8 just throw that out.
9 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. I will rephrase my question.
10 Q. Mr. Bolta, what was the largest police station in the Banja
11 Luka/Prijedor area prior to 1992, if you know?
12 A. The largest police station, is that what you want to know?
13 Q. In terms of numbers of police officers working there.
14 A. Well, Banja Luka was bigger, I think.
15 Q. Approximately, if you know, how many police officers worked at the
16 Banja Luka Police Station?
17 A. I couldn't say.
18 Q. Do you know if the Banja Luka Police Station had a commander and a
19 deputy commander?
20 A. Well, according to the law, it must have had.
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bolta, did you support the separation of your
22 police structure from the central government in Sarajevo in 1992?
23 A. Well, I didn't understand that question. Could you repeat your
24 question, please? I don't follow you.
25 Q. Well, prior to the outbreak of the armed conflict, the police
1 structure that you worked for reported eventually to the Ministry in
2 Sarajevo, did it not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In late April 1992, Serb forces took over the town of Prijedor,
5 did they not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. After that time, your police force no longer responded in the
8 chain of command to the former Ministry in Sarajevo; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. My question, simply, then, is: Did you support that separation of
11 your police structure out of the former police structure that existed?
12 A. No. I was an ordinary policeman. It wasn't mine to think about
13 things like that, up to me; it wasn't up to me.
14 Q. Very well. Let's move on to your testimony regarding the
15 detention camps that you said you were aware existed in Prijedor.
16 You said that it was known amongst the police officers in Prijedor
17 that these detention camps existed. How was this fact known? How did it
18 become known to you?
19 A. Well, people were taken off there, they were taken away. People
20 would come to the police station and ask, and we sent them to the Omarska
21 Police Station to see what was going on.
22 Q. When you say that "people were taken off there," are you referring
23 to Muslims and Croats?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, regarding the first time you visited Omarska in 1992 - I
1 believe you said it was between the 8th and the 12th of June, 1992 - can
2 you tell us who ordered you to transport those prisoners to Omarska that
4 A. I received an order from the shift leader, and the shift leader
5 gets orders from his superiors. Now, I don't know who that was exactly,
6 but via the shift leader, work was coordinated further down the line,
7 reaching us.
8 Q. What was the name of the shift leader who gave you that order
9 between the 8th and the 12th of June, 1992?
10 A. His name was Ratko Gvozden.
11 Q. What was his ethnicity?
12 A. A Serb.
13 Q. And I ask you: What is your ethnicity?
14 A. A Serb.
15 Q. Now, on that day when you made that first trip to Omarska, what
16 was the temperature like?
17 A. Well, the temperature was around 20 to 25 degrees.
18 Q. Were the windows open in the van? I'm talking about in the area
19 where the prisoners were.
20 A. No.
21 Q. You mentioned that you -- one of the persons that you transported
22 that day was Mr. Nusret Sivac. Do you know his ethnicity?
23 A. I think he was a Muslim.
24 Q. You also mentioned that there were two other prisoners in the back
25 of that van with Nusret Sivac. Can you please give us the names of those
1 two other prisoners who were in the back of the van when you set out from
2 the Prijedor Police Station?
3 A. I didn't know them.
4 Q. Well, would the name Omer Kerenovic mean anything to you? A
5 former judge.
6 A. No, I don't know that name.
7 Q. How about the name Safet Ramadanovic?
8 A. No, I don't know that man either.
9 Q. Do you know where these men were from?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. When you arrived at the Keraterm camp, because, as you explained,
12 that was your first stop, do you recall seeing Mr. Zoran Zigic there?
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojanovic, you're going to
14 have an opportunity to redirect afterwards, if that was what you wanted,
15 but let's hear the problem.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We do consider
17 that this question should not be allowed in the cross in view of the
18 examination-in-chief that went before it. Zoran Zigic was not mentioned,
19 nor any event concerning him.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojanovic, we know that.
21 We know that Mr. Zigic was not mentioned, but we also know the rest of it,
22 and so do you. You are well aware of what we accorded earlier on. Is
23 that what you wanted to say?
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So let's have the question, and
1 you'll have time to question the witness as well in your turn.
2 Mr. Saxon.
3 MR. SAXON:
4 Q. My question was: When you first arrived at the Keraterm camp, do
5 you recall seeing Mr. Zoran Zigic there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you know Mr. Zoran Zigic from before the war?
8 A. Well, I didn't know him well, just -- I don't actually know him.
9 Q. Did you know Zoran Zigic by sight? Did you know who he was?
10 A. I knew that he was a taxi driver for a time. What else he did, I
11 don't know.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is going a
14 little too far and is becoming testimony regarding Mr. Zigic. If we
15 touched upon Keraterm and said that he did not see Zoran Zigic there, I
16 don't think we should go any further. But I also agree with you that
17 there is some connection, but as he already said, he didn't see him in
18 Keraterm. Perhaps he could ask about Omarska, but that would be that.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon. Could you explain
20 the objective of your question, please, Mr. Saxon?
21 MR. SAXON: The objective, Your Honour, is -- the next question I
22 was going to put to this witness was whether he could recall the accused I
23 just mentioned and another man assaulting one of the prisoners in -- that
24 was in the van that was being driven or accompanied by this witness.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
1 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Bolta, the van -- I believe you were driving the van. Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When your van stopped at Keraterm, do you recall two persons
6 dragging one of the prisoners out of the back of your van and beginning to
7 beat them?
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness never
11 mentioned that he ever got out of the van, and especially not that anyone
12 was beaten, and perhaps questions can be asked as to whether the witness
13 had ever gone out of the van or whether he had seen anything, but ...
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right.
15 Mr. Saxon, please ask him whether or not he ever got out of the
16 van. That is the way in which you should rephrase the question, and you
17 can well do it. So please go ahead.
18 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour. I will ask that question.
19 Q. At Keraterm, Mr. Bolta, did you ever step out of the van?
20 A. No.
21 Q. At any time while you were in Keraterm, did anyone remove any of
22 the prisoners from that van and begin to beat them?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Were there prisoners from Keraterm placed in your van at that
1 A. Yes. They had already been prepared and had already entered the
3 Q. As those prisoners were entering the van, could you see what was
4 happening to them?
5 A. No. I was behind the wheel, and my colleague, who was in charge,
6 Tomo Stojakovic, just closed the door. The people entered, and we went on
7 to Omarska.
8 Q. Did you ever hear any screams or cries of pain at that time?
9 A. No. There was nothing of that kind.
10 Q. Did you ever turn around to look at the prisoners from Keraterm
11 who were placed in that van that you were driving?
12 A. I couldn't have seen them because I look in front of me when I'm
14 Q. Before you drove away from Keraterm, did you ever turn around and
15 look at the prisoners that had been placed in the van at Keraterm?
16 A. Well, no. The people were already prepared when I had entered the
17 front part of the vehicle and they entered in the back.
18 Q. Who handed over these prisoners from Keraterm to you and your
19 colleagues in the van?
20 A. Well, the workers who worked there. I believe they were reserve
22 Q. And did they provide you with any kind of document or paperwork
23 regarding these prisoners who were placed in the van at Keraterm?
24 A. The documentation had been prepared already.
25 Q. During the drive from Keraterm to Omarska, could you hear the
1 prisoners in the back of the van moaning or asking for water?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said that -- during your direct testimony, you said that the
4 persons that you transported in the van to Omarska had been sentenced on
5 the basis of state public security problems. Can you tell me what crime
6 or crimes were these persons convicted of?
7 A. I couldn't tell you anything about this. I was an ordinary
8 policeman who just fulfilled the orders of his superiors. And why they
9 had been sentenced -- I don't know what they had been convicted of.
10 Q. I see. Well, you also said during your direct testimony that part
11 of your job as a police officer was to ensure law and order. So I'm
12 wondering if you could explain who it was who convicted and sentenced
13 these people that were in the van you were driving.
14 A. I couldn't tell you that. They probably had to be taken into
15 custody regarding issues of military or state security; they had to be
16 taken in for questioning.
17 Q. I see. So now you're saying that they had not been convicted of a
18 crime but they needed to be taken in for questioning regarding possible
19 crimes; is that what you're saying?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Can you tell me what law provided for persons to be incarcerated
22 or detained in camps instead of prisons?
23 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness is not an
24 expert to interpret laws. He can only testify to facts.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon.
1 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm not asking for an expert
2 opinion. This question directly stems from the witness's direct
3 examination. He said that it was part of his job to ensure law and
4 order. If that was part of his job, he would have to have knowledge of
5 laws. So I would like to know under what law --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Only on the level of facts,
7 please, if he was aware of a law or regulation that he was supposed to
9 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Bolta, if you knew at the time, what law provided for persons
11 to be detained or incarcerated in camps instead of prisons?
12 A. I couldn't tell you that. I was just an ordinary policeman.
13 There were institutions on higher levels which made decisions.
14 Q. I see. Those institutions in higher levels, they issued orders,
15 didn't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You and your colleagues in the police department, you carried out
18 those orders at the time, didn't you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, during the spring and summer of 1992, you made a total of two
21 trips to the Omarska camp; is that right?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. This first trip was between the 8th and 12th of June.
24 A. That was the second time.
25 Q. Oh, okay. When did you make the first trip?
1 A. I think in mid-May.
2 Q. I see. So in mid-May, you transported persons to the Omarska
4 A. Yes. Once.
5 MR. SAXON: The Court's indulgence, please.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. SAXON:
8 Q. The purpose of these trips to the Omarska camp was simply to
9 transport these persons to the camp.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Approximately how much time did you spend at the Omarska camp on
12 each visit?
13 A. It took five minutes.
14 Q. All right. So altogether you spent a total of about ten minutes
15 at the Omarska camp during 1992; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you were never actually assigned to work at the Omarska camp
18 while it was in operation during 1992, were you?
19 A. No, I wasn't.
20 Q. So do you have any specialised knowledge about the operation or
21 organisation of the Omarska camp?
22 A. No. I had no information; I didn't know what was happening
24 Q. On that second trip that you made, bringing Mr. Nusret Sivac to
25 the Omarska camp, eventually you were told by Mr. Kvocka, "We need his
1 sister, (redacted)." Is that right?
2 A. Yes. He said an error had been made with regard to Nusret and who
4 Q. (redacted)?
5 A. I don't know.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, if I could, I would like to show a
7 document to this witness. This was a document that was used by the
8 Defence, I believe it was yesterday. It's been marked as D17/1. I know
9 that the Defence has a copy; I don't know if the Trial Chamber has copies
10 in front of them.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We don't have it. But in any
12 case, if you put the document on the ELMO, we will be able to follow.
13 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We just have to know, is it
15 really the document under this number, that is, D17/1?
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, to be precise, this is one of the
17 documents that now has two numbers, because it was one of the documents
18 that was admitted into evidence a year and a half ago by Trial Chamber
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That is why I'm asking the
21 question, because, as you know, yesterday we admitted only 37, 38, and 39,
22 I believe, but not 17.
23 Can the registrar please identify this document? Right. We're
24 going to look into it.
25 Please continue, Mr. Saxon. Do we have the document on the ELMO?
1 MR. SAXON:
2 Q. Mr. Bolta, would you take a look at the document that's by your
3 side on the ELMO, please. If you could, take a look at the date on that
4 document. Do you see the date?
5 A. I can.
6 Q. Can you read that date, please? Can you read that date out loud,
8 A. "For expedient and the soon restoration of peace in the territory
9 of Prijedor --"
10 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Bolta. If you could simply read the date that is
11 on the top of the document.
12 A. 1st May 1992.
13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I believe the witness is
14 inadvertently misreading the date on that document. The document I'm
15 looking at says 31 May 1992.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The question, Mr. Saxon, is
17 whether the document you're looking at is the same as the document the
18 witness has. Can you please check it?
19 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour, it is the same document.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, then, perhaps we should put
21 the document on the ELMO so that everyone can see it here. I believe we
22 can see it.
23 The question, Witness, was: What date do you see in the top
24 left-hand corner of the page?
25 A. The 1st of May, 1992.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, and we see the same thing.
2 I believe that perhaps there is a problem here, Mr. Saxon. I believe that
3 everyone, even the public, if the document should be made public, will
4 see -- will read here the 1st of May, 1992.
5 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. Saxon, you have
7 the floor. I'm sorry.
8 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise for the quality
9 of the copy that has been placed on the ELMO. The final English
10 translation of this document says "31 May 1992." We have a problem with
11 the quality of the copy of the B/C/S version. At this point, I don't want
12 to prolong this any more; I will remove the document at this time and move
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We really have to know what the
15 date is because if everybody -- as everybody can see, there is a genuine
16 reason for this confusion. So if you withdraw your question, then it
17 doesn't matter. You can go on.
18 MR. SAXON: Just as a point of clarification, Your Honour. On the
19 exhibit log prepared by the Registry, this document has the date 31 May
21 JUDGE RIAD: And, Mr. Saxon, I can see the trace of "3." There is
22 the trace of "3."
23 MR. SAXON: Yes, there is.
24 JUDGE RIAD: You have to look very clearly.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You mentioned the name. I said
1 that you were mentioned -- confirmed that the Registry has the date on
2 this document as the 31st of May. Can you comment on that, please?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President. I do have on my log the 31st
4 of May, 1992.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we know how you managed to
6 obtain that date?
7 THE REGISTRAR: I'm just referring to my log. I don't have the
8 document in front of me because the usher has it on the ELMO, but I
9 imagine that my predecessor got the date.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Saxon.
11 MR. SAXON:
12 Q. Mr. Bolta, if the date of this document is 31 May 1992 - and I
13 apologise for the poor quality of the copy - is it possible then that you
14 are mistaken when you say you first transported prisoners to the Omarska
15 camp in mid-May 1992?
16 A. No.
17 Q. If you take a look at this document and read paragraph 1,
18 paragraph 1 says that: "The industrial compound of the Omarska mine shall
19 serve as a provisional collection centre for persons captured in combat or
20 detained on the grounds of the Security Service's operational
22 So is it possible -- and then this document is signed by Simo
23 Drljaca. Is it possible that you are slightly mistaken regarding the date
24 of your first trip to the Omarska camp?
25 A. I don't know. I cannot remember exactly when the first time was,
1 but I believe it was in May.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. I will move on.
3 MR. SAXON: If that document could be removed, please.
4 Q. Mr. Bolta, on that first occasion when you transported people to
5 Omarska, do you recall who you transported?
6 A. I don't know the persons. I didn't know them.
7 Q. Do you know their --
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, wait a moment,
10 Yes, Mr. Fila.
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Just wishing to help Mr. Saxon and the
12 others. If you look at charge 6 of the indictment, also prepared by the
13 Prosecution, by the Prosecutor's Office, it says: "Between the 24th of
14 May and the 30th of August, the Bosnian Serb authorities took away to
15 Omarska ..."
16 So you, Mr. Saxon, claim that they were taken away to camps on the
17 24th of May, that is, before the 30th.
18 We can see a trace of another number there, but what number, we
19 don't know. But if you could please only look at the indictment. That's
20 all I wanted to say.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon.
22 MR. SAXON:
23 Q. Can you recall the ethnicity of the persons who you transported on
24 the first occasion to the Omarska camp?
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Objection.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] The witness said he didn't know the
3 people whom he had taken away to Omarska, and how could he possibly then
4 know their ethnicity?
5 MR. SAXON: May I respond, Your Honour?
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It's not necessary for me
7 because we have to know what "not to know" means. He maybe doesn't know
8 the people, Mr. Simic, their names, their parents, their age, but they may
9 be familiar to him. We will only know when the witness answers.
10 So, Mr. Saxon, please ask the question.
11 MR. SAXON: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Bolta, did you know the ethnicity of the persons --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, excuse me. To make
14 things quite clear, Witness, when you say you did not know the persons in
15 the van, what did you really mean? You didn't know them. What did you
16 mean when you said that?
17 A. I didn't know the people. How can I know about them when I didn't
18 know them?
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any event, put your question
20 to the witness, Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. SAXON: I will move on, Your Honour.
22 Q. Can you tell us, what crime or crimes were these persons accused
24 A. I don't know for what crimes. It was not in my competency.
25 Q. Did you know if these persons were dangerous people?
1 A. I didn't know those people. I didn't know what persons were
3 Q. Were these persons handcuffed when they were in the van?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Can you describe their physical condition?
6 A. Well, they were normal people. They varied in build. I don't
7 know what you mean by "physical condition."
8 Q. Can you describe if any of them showed signs of beating or other
9 kinds of mistreatment?
10 A. I couldn't notice because I sat inside the vehicle and I didn't
11 watch them as they were entering.
12 Q. How were these people dressed? Do you know?
13 A. I think they were in their civilian clothes.
14 Q. When persons were detained in the Prijedor area and sent to a
15 detention facility, were they normally left in their civilian clothes or
16 were they given some other kinds of clothing to wear?
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness said he
18 spent only five minutes each time there before going back. So I really
19 don't know where this questioning is going, because the witness has
20 already answered this, and what could he have possibly seen in five
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic, but let the
23 witness answer.
24 Mr. Saxon, please proceed. I'm sorry. Continue, but I must tell
25 you that your time has almost expired. So please proceed.
1 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. When you transported these persons, did you transport them from
3 the police station in Prijedor to the Omarska camp?
4 A. Well, the first part of the trip was from the police station and
5 then it was in two stages.
6 Q. Can you describe the stages of this trip?
7 A. Well, the first trip was from the Public Security Station of
8 Prijedor, and then from Keraterm, where the people who had already been
9 prepared entered the vehicle, and we went to Omarska.
10 Q. So again or, rather, on that first trip as well, your van stopped
11 in Keraterm, picked up prisoners, and took them to Omarska?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you describe the condition of the prisoners who you picked up
14 in Keraterm?
15 A. I cannot because I didn't see enough of those people to describe
16 their condition. I believe they entered the van normally.
17 Q. Did the people who entered the van at Keraterm make any sounds
18 that you could hear?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did they ask you for anything?
21 A. No.
22 Q. When you arrived at the Omarska camp on that first visit, who did
23 you turn these prisoners over to?
24 A. At the entrance, the same way as the second time I went there,
25 there was a reserve policeman on duty there. He took over those people,
1 Tomo Stojakovic gave him the list, and we turned back.
2 Q. On that first occasion, how were the prisoners treated when they
3 were removed from the police van?
4 A. Again, they were searched, also in a rough manner, not quite in
5 accordance with the Rules of Service in the Security Service, as I have
6 already testified for the other occasion.
7 Q. Did anyone intervene to prevent this mistreatment at that time?
8 A. The first time, no one did. As soon as the persons got off, I
9 turned the vehicle around and went back.
10 Q. You yourself did not intervene when you saw these prisoners being
11 treated roughly, did you?
12 A. No. I was sitting in the vehicle.
13 MR. SAXON: The Court's indulgence, please.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time, I have no further
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
18 At this stage, I would like to know whether we can finish with
19 this witness or not. So I would like to know how much more time you need
20 for your re-examination, Mr. Krstan Simic.
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will need 10 to 15
22 minutes. I would prefer us to address the question of protective
23 measures, if we may, as we have prepared a submission and we need your
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let me ask Mr. Stojanovic also,
1 how much time, roughly, you need for your questions.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think we will have
3 about three questions and I think they will take less than five minutes.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we'll resume tomorrow.
8 In any event, regarding your request, Mr. Krstan Simic, briefly,
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] But we need to have the witness
11 seen out, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, you're quite right.
13 So, Witness, you will continue your testimony tomorrow. We have
14 not been able to complete it today so we'll see you again tomorrow.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic, thank you for
17 drawing my attention to this. You have the floor now.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have prepared my
19 submission and I appeal to the registrar to accept it. Could I hand it
20 over to the registrar, please.
21 Your Honours --
22 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.
24 MS. SOMERS: Pardon me for interrupting both counsel and the
25 Bench, but is this any new submission or is this a submission we already
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think I myself am trying to
3 find my way in this connection.
4 What is your aim, Mr. Krstan Simic? Because we don't have stamps
5 here to stamp requests with.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is an identical
7 submission to the previous one, only the list of names has been reduced as
8 some witnesses have already testified. Certain facts have been added, and
9 the pseudonyms are given, in agreement with the Registry.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, Mr. Krstan Simic, you
11 will give that to the Registry and then it will reach us through the
12 Prosecution and the Registry will do its job. After all, this is not the
13 Registry's Office. We are in hearing here in the courtroom. So give your
14 submission to the Registrar and then they will process it.
15 Is that all you wanted to say, Mr. Krstan Simic?
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I will be guided by your
17 decision. But I do appeal to Your Honours, to the Bench, to make a
18 decision as soon as possible because we will have a problem with
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. If we have your submission
21 today, you will have a decision tomorrow. There's no problem. Does that
22 suit you?
23 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, thank you.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but there is a
25 certain protocol that we have to observe.
1 Tomorrow we will resume at 9.20. See you all tomorrow at 9.20.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.08 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
4 January, 2001, at 9.20 a.m.