1 Monday, 5
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning. Please be
6 seated. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen; good morning to the technical
7 booth, the interpreters, the Registry, counsel for the Prosecution and for
8 the Defence. We shall now resume our proceedings.
9 It is Mr. Krstan Simic's turn, and I give him the floor.
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Thank
11 you. The Defence calls Witness Pero Rendic.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pero Rendic.
14 Can you hear me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I can.
16 Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You're going to read the solemn
18 declaration that the usher is going to give to you, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I solemnly declare that
20 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please take a seat.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 WITNESS: PERO RENDIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please approach the
1 microphones. Are you comfortable?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for coming.
4 First you will be answering questions put to you by Mr. Krstan Simic.
5 Krstan Simic, your witness.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Examined by Mr. K. Simic:
8 Q. Mr. Rendic, as you know, my name is Krstan Simic. I am an
9 attorney from Banja Luka, and together with Mr. Branko Lukic, an attorney
10 from Doboj, we are representing Mr. Kvocka in this case.
11 In that context, I will have a number of questions for you, but I
12 would like to ask you to be kind enough to wait a few moments after
13 hearing my question before giving your answers so that we do not overlap
14 and cause unnecessary difficulties for the interpreters.
15 A. I understand that.
16 Q. For the record, Mr. Rendic, will you please give us your full
18 A. Pero Rendic.
19 Q. When were you born, Mr. Rendic?
20 A. On the 10th of September, 1948.
21 Q. Where were you born?
22 A. In the village of Maricka, Prijedor municipality.
23 Q. Where do you reside now?
24 A. In Omarska. Prvomajska Street 139.
25 Q. Are you married?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you have any children?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How many?
5 A. Two.
6 Q. Mr. Rendic, what is your educational background?
7 A. I graduated from secondary school in Prijedor in 1966. In 1972, I
8 completed a two-year post-secondary education in Banja Luka. It is the
9 secondary school of catering, and I started working in that field and
10 continued until 1987.
11 Q. What do you do now?
12 A. I have my own private catering establishment.
13 Q. Where is it?
14 A. In Omarska. Brace Mitrovic street, no number.
15 Q. Have you completed your obligatory military service in the
16 Yugoslav People's Army?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When and where did you serve?
19 A. In March 1967, I started my military service in the Republic of
20 Croatia, in the town of Solin. I spent six months there in the recruiting
21 centre. After that, I went on to Split where I served the rest of my
22 military service, and in June 1968 I was discharged.
23 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry, there is a mistake in the transcript. You
24 said you were discharged. It's written here --
25 A. Yes. Let me explain. There was a crisis in Czechoslovakia, and
1 as I was entitled to a holiday, so I left the army a little earlier. I
2 don't remember the exact dates, but I can tell you the month and the year.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. After completing your military service in the JNA, were you
6 registered in the military records of military conscripts?
7 A. Yes. I had to report immediately to the National Defence
8 Department in Prijedor, and I was given a military assignment which was
9 written into my military booklet.
10 Q. Mr. Rendic, what is a military conscript after a person has
11 completed his military service?
12 A. A military conscript is a person who is over 18 years of age and
13 who until the age of 60 in peacetime and in wartime, is duty-bound to
14 respond to all call-ups sent by the ministry to an able-bodied military
16 Q. Mr. Rendic, our interest focuses on 1992, so I would like to ask
17 you, in the course of that year, 1992, were you mobilised under a regular
19 A. May I say something before answering that question? As I was a
20 non-commissioned officer of the JNA, so ever since I had left the army,
21 1968 until 1986, I was a member of regular JN units, which means a member
22 of the 43rd Motorised Brigade. Because I went through so many reserve
23 trainings and regular reserve training every two years in Vinkovci, I was,
24 in a sense, released from the unit and transferred to the Territorial
25 Defence of Omarska.
1 Q. Mr. Rendic, will you explain what the TO of Omarska means?
2 A. It is also a unit with fewer personnel which is not engaged in the
3 same way as regular reserve units in the 43rd Motorised Brigade. They act
4 as civil defence for the population.
5 Q. Can you roughly remember when it was that you were transferred
6 from the motorised brigade to the Omarska Territorial Defence?
7 A. I'm afraid not with precision. It is difficult to remember all
8 the dates in one's life so I find it difficult to pinpoint that particular
9 date, but I think it was in 1986, around the month of May. Please don't
10 hold me by my word. It is really difficult for one to remember all those
11 details. After all, it was all a long time ago.
12 Q. If I understood you correctly, as of 1986 approximately, you were
13 a member of the detachment of the Territorial Defence.
14 A. It was not a detachment, it was a platoon. A detachment is
15 slightly larger.
16 Q. Thank you for this additional information, but let us go back to
17 my original question. Were you mobilised and in what month of 1992, if
18 you can remember?
19 A. Let me try. Let me go back a little further. As in those days, I
20 had my own private business together with my wife. We had a lot to do
21 because of that business. So I was mobilised, I think it was the
22 beginning of May. Again, I can't remember the exact date, but anyway,
23 allow me to explain how I was mobilised later on, or actually, how it came
24 about that I performed the duties that I did in the course of 1992.
25 Q. Mr. Rendic, as a member of the unit to which you mobilised in
1 May 1992, what was your specific assignment in that unit?
2 A. As I am a logistics man in the regular 43rd Motorised Brigade, I
3 was leader of the Quatermaster's Unit. Later on --
4 Q. Just a moment, please. Mr. Rendic, to make it quite clear for
5 Their Honours and the rest of us here, could you please tell us what is a
6 Quartermaster's section, how many men it consists of, and what its
7 assignments are. Be as brief and precise as possible.
8 A. A Quartermaster's Detachment consists of 12 men. Most are cooks,
9 tailors, and such like, everything that is required to provide a soldier
10 from his clothes to the preparation of food. Is that a good explanation?
11 Q. Yes. Thank you. What particular duty did you have within that
12 Quatermaster's Detachment?
13 A. That brings me back to your previous question. As I had worked in
14 a private catering establishment and being aware of my organisational
15 abilities, the commander came up to me and told me, "Pero, put a uniform
16 on for a while and go to the mines and take over the kitchen operating
17 under wartime conditions."
18 I went there. I found the personnel, the women working there, the
19 manager of the kitchen, Dusko he was called. I explained to him what I
20 had come to do, that I had been assigned to prepare food for the troops
21 or, rather, to organise the preparation of food.
22 The first time I encountered the personnel of the mine and their
23 abilities told me that this personnel, together with me, would not be able
24 to carry out the tasks assigned us to in the way that I thought would be
1 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that this task was assigned to you by
2 the assistant commander for logistics within the Omarska territorial
3 unit. Do you remember his name?
4 A. Yes. His name is Mr. Milan Andzic, who was the Acting Assistant
5 Commander for Logistics, and he was the one who could issue me orders, and
6 he probably received orders from the battalion commander and they from the
7 Crisis Staff, but I have no idea.
8 Q. Mr. Rendic, to round it off, this section regarding the command of
9 the territorial unit, you told us that you were squad leader, your
10 assistant commander was Mr. Andzic, and who was the commander of this
11 Territorial Defence unit?
12 A. Rane Radanovic.
13 Q. Mr. Rendic, you mentioned the fact that in May and the month that
14 followed, as the leader of the Quartermaster Squad, you prepared food for
15 the soldiers. Before we go on to the next set of questions, would you be
16 kind enough to very briefly explain to Their Honours the composition of
17 the personnel involved in food preparation?
18 A. I have already said that once I had met the mine personnel, I
19 realised that they would not be able to accomplish the tasks assigned to
20 us. I looked for a man who would be a professional cook, also a
21 professional butcher, so that together with me, because I was the one
22 organising these activities, to be able to carry out the tasks assigned to
24 Q. In addition to you, a butcher, and a cook, were there other army
25 members in this squad involved in food preparation?
1 A. No, no one else. The rest were just women workers, the cooks from
2 the iron ore mine who were under work obligation. There were between 12
3 and 15 of them. It depended on the number that the manager assigned to
4 the kitchen for that day rather than depending on the kind of meal that
5 was being prepared for the day.
6 Q. Mr. Rendic, in addition to these women employed in the Ljubija or
7 Omarska mines, this Quartermaster Squad, in the course of its work, was it
8 assisted by other persons, and if so, who were they?
9 A. Yes, there were other persons. There were persons also from the
10 catering field, from the Omarska agricultural cooperative, their kitchen
11 there, from catering facilities where their wives were cooks. So in
12 answer to your question, there were other civilians who came to assist
14 Q. Mr. Rendic, let us go back to the managerial structure within that
15 Quartermaster Squad. Tell me, who was in charge? Who was the superior to
16 these women who were under work obligation and who were otherwise employed
17 in the iron ore mine complex?
18 A. Yes. There was a Dusko who was the manager. I can't remember his
19 surname. After all, this was in 1992. We know him as Dusko. And the
20 manager of the whole complex, who supervised things so that there should
21 be no breakdowns, was somebody called Babic.
22 Q. If I understand you correctly, the immediate superior of the women
23 was Dusko.
24 A. Yes, and he kept a logbook of the working hours, and they received
25 a personal income from the mine itself. Only later did they receive some
1 addition from the army.
2 Q. And who was Dusko's superior?
3 A. Babic.
4 Q. What about the butcher and the cook, who were they subordinated
6 A. To me, or rather, we acted as a team who would meet in the
7 morning. It was a meeting or a briefing at which we would agree on our
8 activities for that day. Then we would make our own schedules or, rather,
9 determine the food supplies, in what quantities, who would get them and
10 prepare them for the main cook finally to be able to review the food and
11 start cooking it. And of course, the butcher prepared the meat because he
12 had to deal with large quantities of meat that were in the freezer and
13 that were prepared for that particular meal.
14 Q. Mr. Rendic, who was in charge of seeing that the Quartermaster
15 section should be supplied with the necessary foodstuffs with which to
16 prepare the meals which you prepared?
17 A. According to military structure and the chain of command, it was
18 the assistant commander for logistical affairs whose job it was to ensure
19 the necessary food supplies required for one day or, rather, three meals
20 that were on the menu for that day.
21 Q. Do you know where the food was obtain, that is to say, where there
22 was a sort of foodstuffs basis from which you received the food to
24 A. The -- it wasn't food, it was foodstuffs, foodstuffs to be cooked
25 and prepared into a meal. And the procurement of this was from the Zarko
1 Zgonjanin barracks from which we received our supplies which came to the
2 kitchen in the iron ore mine where we were working.
3 Q. Where was the kitchen located where you did your work? Where was
5 A. The kitchen was located at the entrance on the left-hand side, as
6 I -- on the first time, on the 22nd or the 25th of May, I entered that
7 kitchen. I'd never been to the kitchen before that, and as I say, that
8 was where the kitchen was located on one side. On the other side there
9 was some kind of laboratory.
10 So the first time I entered the cook -- the kitchen was on the
11 22nd or the 25th of May, 1992. That was the first time I entered it.
12 Q. Did those buildings, that is to say, the building you prepared the
13 food in, did it have a name of some kind? Did the people refer to it by
14 some name that was customary?
15 A. It was the administrative building. There were offices on the
16 floor above, down below was the kitchen. I don't really know what the
17 building was called. They were -- it was an office building.
18 Q. Was the building within the Omarska mine compound, or was it at
19 some distance of the compound?
20 A. It was where the Separacija building was where the iron ore was
21 separated, and then down below that there were the dumpers, and that was 2
22 kilometres away from the kitchen.
23 Q. Was it possible from the Separacija building where you prepared
24 the food to see the Omarska mine compound outbuildings?
25 A. No, because it is at some distance.
1 Q. What utensils did you have to prepare the food with? Did you have
2 a military kitchen and all the utensils, or was it from the Ljubija mine?
3 A. The kitchen itself was equipped with all the necessary equipment
4 and utensils necessary for the preparation of food. There were two big
5 steam caldrons. There was a machine for peeling potatoes. There were two
6 separate washing up basins for washing up, the heavy duty washing and the
7 lighter washing. There was a special section for bread, another section
8 for the foodstuffs, a separate storage space for the vegetables, and a
9 refrigerator for meat, a freezer for meat. So it was a very up-to-date
10 high-tech kitchen. A modern kitchen, I could say that, yes, a modern
12 Q. And the kitchen belonged to the mine, did it? It was a built-in
14 A. Yes, that's right. It was owned by the mine, and the mine used
15 the kitchen to provide hot meals for the workers working in the mine
17 Q. What about the electrical energy, the electricity needed for the
18 kitchen to function?
19 A. Well, we had electricity. That was our main source of energy.
20 And later on I can tell you, or perhaps I can tell you now, that the
21 situation was rather a difficult one because we didn't always have the
22 necessary electricity which created problems for us when cooking the food
23 or preparing the vegetables or heating up the precooked meals which had to
24 be cooked slightly.
25 Q. Did you have any other source of power in case there was a power
2 A. Yes. There was a generator which could be used in the kitchen,
3 but the fuel was the problem with the generator, so that what happened
4 sometimes was that a half-cooked meal had to wait for two more hours for
5 the electricity to come back or for us to get the necessary fuel to switch
6 the generator on for the meal to be fully prepared and cooked.
7 Q. Mr. Rendic, this system of cooking, what about the water supply
8 necessary for the cooking, for the preparation of meals? How was that
9 organised? Did you have a water supply?
10 A. Water came to us from a well. When the pump broke down, they
11 intervened in Rosici and we were supplied with just one type of water
12 which we used as drinking water, water for washing, and water for
13 preparing the cooked meals.
14 There were just one or two taps from which we could get water for
15 our cooking caldrons - there were no other systems or other water supply
16 at that time - and that's what they used to use before I arrived. The
17 mine complex cooked the meals using that same water.
18 Q. Mr. Rendic, can I put it this way: Your work technology did not
19 change, if I can use that term, compared to the cooking technology used
20 beforehand while the mine was still functioning; is that true? You used
21 the same cooking methods?
22 A. Yes, we had the same potato peeling equipment. We cut the bread
23 in the same way; we had the machine or we cut it by hand. We had the
24 caldrons and so on and so forth.
25 Q. Yes, thank you. We've already heard about that.
1 What was the capacity of the kitchen?
2 A. Well, I consulted Dusko, but they were able to turn out between
3 800 to 1.500 meals for the workers working in three shifts in the mine.
4 Q. Mr. Rendic, where did the bread come from?
5 A. We received the bread from the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks, and in
6 the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks, they had installed field bakeries which
7 worked for -- exclusively for the purposes of the army. They made bread
8 exclusively for the army.
9 Q. Thank you. In your testimony, you said that you prepared food for
10 the members of the army. Did you or, rather, the sector you worked in
11 with the women, prepare food in the course of June, July, and August of
12 1992 for somebody else, for other people?
13 A. Yes. On the 28th of May, I came to work as usual, at about 5.00
14 or 6.00 in the morning, and the main cook, Milan, told me that breakfast
15 had been sent off for the army but that we had 2 kilometres away from us,
16 a group of people who had arrived during the night and to whom a meal was
17 distributed, a ration was distributed, cold ration. And he said that,
18 "The assistant logistics commander ordered me to hand out food to those
19 people, and I personally handed these tins and bread out to those
21 Do you want me to continue?
22 Q. Thank you. That will be sufficient. Mr. Rendic, give us an
23 example of how you prepared lunch, for example, but briefly. We haven't
24 got much time.
25 A. We would prepare lunch in the following way: As there were many
1 meals to prepare, we started cooking lunch at about 3.00 or 4.00 a.m. in
2 order to be able to turn out the necessary number of cooked meals that we
3 were preparing. And lunch would be served between 8.00 and 9.00 for the
4 camp. The second part would go to the army, to be dispatched to the army
5 at about 11.00, which means that we would prepare the same meal, the same
6 type of food, for both because we were not able, technologically speaking
7 or with the capacities we had at our disposal, to make different meals, a
8 variety of meals.
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, it means that your department,
10 during the period that we're discussing, always prepared one meal of the
11 same type, the same meal for members of the army and for the detainees in
12 the Omarska camp. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Mr. Rendic, can you tell us -- give us an example of what one meal
15 or one lunch consisted of.
16 A. I said there were two steamed cauldrons in which the meals were
17 prepared, and in the first ten days we had sufficient supplies of all the
18 foodstuffs. And when I say "foodstuffs" and "ingredients," I mean, for
19 example, the basic foodstuffs necessary, and it usually was a potato
20 stew. There were enough potatoes, there were enough vegetables, there
21 were enough vegetable oils and fats to cook the -- and spices to cook the
22 meal with. So for the first ten days, the meals were very good
23 quality-wise and quantity-wise and was on a par with the standards
24 provided for by the army. There was sufficient quantities. We had enough
25 food and good quality food.
1 Q. Give us an example of lunch. Tell us the different types of
2 lunches you prepared.
3 A. Usually there was bean stew, potato stew, peas. We used to
4 combine having a heavier meal for lunchtime and a lighter meal for the
5 evening meal.
6 Q. What happened after the first ten days? Was the quality of the
7 food the same? Did it remain the same or what happened?
8 A. After ten days, it became more difficult to come by supplies, to
9 procure supplies. Krajina was cut off, as you know, not only with respect
10 to food but with respect to other necessary materials such as sanitary
11 material and so on and so forth. So there was a drop in the supplies
12 which add taste to the food and lend it more caloric value. That is to
13 say there was a shortage of fats and spices. Later on, the wartime food
14 reserves that we were given, the food was not of such good quality later
16 Q. When you began to have supply difficulties, did the food continue
17 to be the same for members of the army and for the detainees in the
18 Omarska camp? I'm talking about lunch.
19 A. Yes. Everything was the same. We cooked the same meal which was
20 dispatched to both groups, and the assistant logistics commander received
21 complaints from the army members. They said, "How can the food have been
22 so good for the first five days and not so good now?" So he had to
23 explain to the soldiers that there was a shortage of spices to make the
24 food tastier. So he said that there was a shortage of flour, of fats, and
1 Q. Mr. Rendic, you and the people working with you that you told us
2 about, that you enumerated, how long did it take you to prepare the meals
3 and how many meals did you prepare in the Separacija building?
4 A. We prepared approximately 6.000 meals. When I say 6.000, let me
5 say that there were about 1.000 to 1.200 soldiers that we had to feed,
6 which meant 1.000 breakfasts for the army, 1.000 lunches for the army,
7 1.000 dinners for the army, which makes 3.000, and the rest of the meals
8 went to that unfortunate camp.
9 Q. Mr. Rendic, can you tell us in numbers how many meals in the
10 course of one day were dispatched to Omarska? I'm not talking about
11 breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but a meal as one unit.
12 A. You mean for the mine?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. The first food supply prepared from 3.00 in the morning to 4.00 in
15 the morning would be cooked by 8.00, 8.00 a.m. The food was then prepared
16 and loaded into -- put into thermoses, big ones, and was dispatched to the
17 camp while there was enough food. Then we continued to cook that same
18 meal for the army from orders from the logistics commander. But we always
19 cooked more food than we needed so that if there was any food left over,
20 we would send the food on.
21 So the thermoses were the same for the army and detainees. These
22 were washed, sterilised, and so on. And when the meals were distributed -
23 and this would take one or two hours - the thermoses would be returned
24 with any leftovers, and once we washed these thermoses, we sent some more
25 food down there. So there was not just one -- food was not only
1 dispatched once, it was dispatched several times for as many meals as were
2 needed. So actually, the kitchens worked round the clock, 24 hours.
3 Q. Mr. Rendic, you mentioned the transport of food both to the units
4 and to the camp. Was your department in charge of transporting and
5 distributing the food? If not, who was in charge of this?
6 A. My section, because it was small and you can see the enormous
7 amount of meals that we had to prepare, it was our duty only to pack the
8 food and the bread, to put the food in these large thermos containers and
9 to cut the bread up and put it in plastic containers, and the food was
10 then taken over by two drivers and two soldiers who knew where they were
11 to transport the food on to further, whether the food was being taken to
12 the mine or to the army lines.
13 Let me just add that from time to time, a TAM truck would be used
14 as an auxiliary to dispatch this second round of meals if the other
15 vehicle was not available. So we had two, the main vehicle and this TAM
17 Q. Mr. Rendic, the soldiers or, rather, the individuals who
18 distributed the food, were they members of the units you yourself belonged
19 to but not your sector; is that right?
20 A. No. They were quite different soldiers. These were soldiers
21 whose sole task it was to dispatch the food as ordered by the assistant
22 logistics commander. So I was not able to spare any men, actually. I
23 only worked with women, so they weren't able to do that job.
24 Q. So they were members of the Territorial Defence; is that right?
25 A. Yes, soldiers from the TO.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. You said that the soldiers had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What
2 about the detainees, did they receive breakfast? Was breakfast, lunch,
3 and dinner sent to them?
4 A. I don't understand the question.
5 Q. I said the detainees, not the inhabitants, the detainees.
6 A. No, the detainees were not sent breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
7 I've already said at 8 a.m., 8.00 in the morning, was the meal. Perhaps
8 it was beans, then we would send beans. If it was peas for that day, then
9 we would send off the peas or the rice. So it was one type of food, one
10 particular menu, and that menu would be dispatched to the detainees. It
11 was one meal, one dish.
12 Q. So did they receive one dish, Mr. Rendic?
13 A. I don't know that because, you see, from me to the distribution of
14 food to them was a distance, so I don't know whether they had one, two, or
15 more meals a day.
16 Q. Mr. Rendic, let us try and clear this matter up again. Was it the
17 same dish, let's say beans one day or peas another?
18 A. Yes, the same dish served to the army. If it was potato stew one
19 day, it would be a beef stew another day, and this was sent to the
20 detainees as well.
21 Q. So the food you prepared for the breakfast for the army, was this
22 sent to the detainees?
23 A. No.
24 Q. What about the dinner?
25 A. Yes, if they needed more food, because they were precooked dishes.
1 But breakfast was tea and bread and butter or some spread, jam or
2 whatever. That was breakfast.
3 Q. What about bread, how much bread was distributed to the army and
4 to the detainees?
5 A. The standard for one soldier was 150 grams of bread. We had
6 loaves of 600 grams, so this would mean a quarter of a loaf per soldier.
7 But there were days when the situation was more difficult and when we were
8 not able to meet that norm because there was not enough flour, there was
9 not enough yeast, so I would receive less quantities of bread. And the
10 quantity of bread I received, the amount of loaves I would receive, would
11 be divided up into the meals so that there were days when recruits and the
12 people who were in the camp as well would receive less bread than the
13 prescribed norm. They would receive, say, an eighth of a loaf of bread.
14 That was how we cut the loaf.
15 Q. Mr. Rendic, could you tell us when this bread restriction started?
16 When was this period when there was a shortage of bread?
17 A. It was a long period. When I say long, even one day was a long
18 period, but this lasted for about 10 to 12 days. Right up until the time
19 that fresh supplies of flour reached us. I don't know where the supplies
20 came from. But private bakeries also helped us out and sent us some
21 supplies, as the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks was not able to supply us with
22 sufficient bread.
23 The population had difficulty in coming by bread as well, not only
24 us who were trying to meet the requirements of the army and, as I've
25 already said, of the camp and its detainees.
1 Q. Mr. Rendic, you were a tradesman; you had a shop. Do you happen
2 to remember -- can you remember how much a sack of flour in the
3 Prijedor-Banja Luka area cost on the black market?
4 A. It was very expensive. When you say expensive, it was expensive
5 for us, and it was over 20 Deutschmarks, German marks, maybe even more,
6 which means it was 100 per cent more expensive because we were cut off
7 and, you know, supplies are used up very fast.
8 Q. Was the situation the same with cooking oil and salt?
9 A. I've already said that we had a problem with fats. As I say, fats
10 give a meal high caloric value, and there was a shortage of cooking oil
11 and salt, spices. Detergent as well for washing. That shortage was felt
12 previously because there was terrible rampant inflation so that the shops
13 were empty. There were long lines for detergent, for example, and it was
14 very difficult to come by those basics, basic food supplies.
15 Q. Mr. Rendic, did you ever go to the Omarska camp?
16 A. No. I wasn't able to because of all the work I had to do.
17 Q. What about the work of your Quartermaster section? Did anybody of
18 the civilian authorities control it? Was it under anybody's control?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who came to control you?
21 A. The assistant commander for logistics, Mr. Andzic, came to inspect
22 us. Then there was Mr. Drljaca. I don't know what his function was, but
23 I heard later that he was commander of the Crisis Staff of the CSB of
24 Prijedor. So they would call upon me and ask me what problems I was
25 having with respect to supplies and foodstuffs and the cooking of hot
2 Q. Did you tell Mr. Drljaca of the problems you were encountering?
3 Did you inform him of the situation?
4 A. Yes, and I said that all the reserves that the mine had, all the
5 mine's reserves of salt, spices, cooking oil, had been used up, and what
6 we were receiving were minimum quantities and that it was difficult for us
7 to meet our assignment, to cook the meals with these shortages.
8 Q. What did he answer?
9 A. He said, "Well it's wartime. What you have, you must prepare and
10 distribute that food." I said that the army was boycotting the food we
11 were sending out, that the army was -- the soldiers were refusing to eat
12 the kind of food we were dishing out, and that was a problem that he had
13 to confront. And he was an eyewitness. He saw this when he went to the
14 front, he saw this happening, soldiers throwing the food away. And he was
15 very angry with me, but I said we couldn't cook if we didn't have what to
16 cook the meals with.
17 Q. Within the frameworks of the work you did with these women, were
18 you also in charge of preparing meals for the investigators?
19 A. Yes. We prepared food for them, too.
20 Q. How many meals?
21 A. Two meals, one between 10 and 11, and the second meal when they
22 got home between six and seven, sometimes later, sometimes earlier, but
23 they had two meals a day.
24 Q. Were their meals different? Were the dishes different, better
25 quality compared to the food received by the army and the detainees?
1 A. We would prepare their meals separately. They would have meat and
2 salad, but they would have the same additions of vegetables, potatoes, and
3 beans which were served to them as well.
4 Q. Members of the Omarska police who provided security to the camp,
5 did you also prepare food for them?
6 A. Yes, we did. We also prepared food for them. They ate the same
7 kind of food as the soldiers, except for the fact that the third shift, as
8 they called it, had a kind of lunch package which included a sandwich.
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, the members of the security
10 personnel, if they worked a 12-hour shift, they only had that one meal
11 which consisted of a sandwich; is that correct?
12 A. I'm not familiar with the kind of shifts they worked in. All I
13 know was that they were sent some food, that is, the lunch package which
14 consisted of a sandwich, between 6.00 and 8.00 or 10.00 because they were
15 working this third shift.
16 Q. Are you referring to the night-time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That is 2200 hours?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Rendic, could any policeman from the Omarska camp
21 have any kind of influence on your section in terms of improving the
22 quality of food?
23 A. No. Why? Because --
24 Q. That is quite enough, Mr. Rendic. Thank you.
25 Did any members of the security personnel of the police station
1 have any ability to influence the quality of the food so that the quality
2 of the food would be improved?
3 A. No. They had a person who was in charge of procuring the supplies
4 necessary for preparation for the food, and that person was the assistant
5 commander for the logistics and the main base. That was the person who
6 was in charge of that.
7 Q. Mr. Rendic, during the time that you spent working in the kitchen,
8 did any member of the police station in Omarska ever pay you a visit
9 during that period of time?
10 A. No, never. The doors of our kitchen were closed. We didn't have
11 much time for socialising with people. We didn't have enough time to talk
12 with anyone.
13 Q. You live and you work in the centre of Omarska; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How far is that from the police department, from the Omarska
16 Police Department?
17 A. Eight hundred metres, approximately.
18 Q. Did you ever meet the person by the name of Miroslav Kvocka in
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you know his family?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. What was Mr. Kvocka by profession?
24 A. He was a policeman. As far as I know, he used to carry out
25 patrols with Ljuban. So I would see him from time to time in the street.
1 I was one of those residents who never asked any assistance from the
2 police. I was a law-abiding citizen, so I didn't know him very well. I
3 knew members of the police insofar as they were customers in my shop.
4 Q. Did you know the father of Mr. Kvocka?
5 A. Yes, I knew his father. I socialised with him, because for a
6 period of time I used to travel to Prijedor where I was the manager of a
7 restaurant. So I used to go to work at 5.00 in the morning, and the late
8 father of Mr. Kvocka was a baker in the Zitopromet company. He was a poor
9 man, a hard-working man, and I knew him very well. He had a lot of
10 difficulties in his life. He died some time ago.
11 Q. Mr. Rendic, during the time when this Omarska camp was
12 functioning, did the family of Mr. Kvocka have any threats from extremists
13 in Omarska? Were they threatened in any way?
14 A. Omarska is a very small town, you know, and in the year of 1992,
15 when people came from the front in Slavonia, when a lot of people were
16 being killed, Mr. Kvocka, according to the stories that I heard, kept four
17 or five members of a different ethnic community in his house, and I know
18 that he was exposed to a number of threats by other people. They
19 threatened him with blowing his house up. They called him a Serb
20 traitor. But those were stories. I didn't have anything to do with
21 that. And the times were very difficult, and only later on when certain
22 units were established and where people went to war did the situation
23 change, but those times were very difficult and a word could cost you your
25 Q. You said you knew Mr. Miroslav Kvocka as a policeman. Was he a
1 problematic person? Was he a difficult personality? What kind of respect
2 did he enjoy amongst his fellow townsmen?
3 A. Well, I knew him. I know he was a well-respected man, that he was
4 a professional policeman, and I know that he did not have any conflicts
5 with the residents until the breakout of the conflict. He was a reliable
6 person, the person one could work with, one could count on. He had a good
7 reputation. He was well-respected in the town. He was a hard-working man
8 and he lived his own work.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Rendic. I don't have any further
10 questions for you.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This
12 concludes my examination-in-chief of this witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do Their Honours have any questions
14 for me?
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Rendic. We will see.
16 Do other Defence counsel have any questions for the witness? No.
17 Mr. Waidyaratne.
18 Mr. Rendic, you will now be asked questions by the Prosecutor, and
19 then after that perhaps the Judges will also have certain questions for
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
24 Q. Mr. Rendic, good morning.
25 A. Good morning, sir.
1 Q. How well did you know Mr. Kvocka?
2 A. I knew him because he was a customer in my shop. I also knew him
3 because I would see him from time to time in the street because I also
4 moved around a lot, and I knew where his house was, and I knew his
5 father's family, and I also knew his father personally.
6 Q. Have you spoken to him? Did you socialise with him for you to
7 give us such a recommendation?
8 A. Occasionally, yes. We may have gone out for a drink from time to
9 time, and we would also talk to each other in my shop.
10 Q. Did you know as to where Mr. Kvocka was during 1992, in the month
11 of May?
12 A. No, I didn't. All I knew was that he was at the police station,
13 but I didn't know anything about his function there because I was very
14 busy with my own work.
15 Q. Did you see him in the camp, in the Omarska camp?
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
17 A. No, I didn't see him there. I never went there.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] The witness answered the question,
19 but he had also said previously that he had never been to Omarska.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic, but the witness
21 has already answered the question. If I am correct in reading the
22 transcript, the witness said that he had never gone there.
23 Yes. Mr. Waidyaratne, the witness has already answered your
24 question. He said he had never gone to the camp. So if he had never gone
25 to the camp, he could not have seen him there. So would you please strike
1 your question or proceed with another one.
2 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Yes, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, where did you work when you prepared this food?
4 Where was this location or the building called the Separacija?
5 A. The building called Separacija was located at the entrance, at the
6 main gate to the mine company. It was on the left-hand side where the
7 kitchen was, together with the administration building, which included
8 also a laboratory and the kitchen as well.
9 I went there for the first time when I was assigned to do that
10 kind of work, to organise the work that I was given as an assignment.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, to make it clear, to get to Separacija, the
12 building where you worked, you had to pass the main gate in the camp. Am
13 I correct?
14 A. No. There was a junction, you see. Then there was the main gate,
15 and on the left-hand side there was the entrance to the kitchen, that is,
16 to the premises of the mine company, and the camp itself was 2 kilometres
17 away from that location.
18 Q. For you to enter this location, Separacija, were you showed with a
19 special pass by the Omarska police?
20 A. No, because everybody knew me. Of course, the guards who were
21 manning the gate knew what my assignments in the mine company were. So
22 the only document I had and that I needed was my military identity card
23 which enabled me to enter the premises and to carry out my duties. The
24 same applied to the people who were involved in the preparation of the
25 food together with me.
1 But there is another thing I would like to mention. Usually
2 members of the Quartermaster's section know each other and they are very
3 well known to other people. At that time, you know, there was a very big
4 shortage of food and people knew us. They knew who we were and what we
6 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, you spoke about a gate and the guards. At which
7 place? What is this gate and the guards that you speak of?
8 A. There was the main gate to the mine company, that is, to the
9 administration premises which include the kitchen. There was the gate
10 number 1. I don't know what it was called. I wasn't interested in that.
11 Those were the guards in the camp.
12 Q. Did you know any of these --
13 A. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, the guards in the mine company. There was
14 a man there who was from Lamovita. I knew him from sight. I knew that he
15 was from the Lamovita village. There was another resident of that place
16 which was called Obrad, and all those people knew me because I had a shop
18 Q. These guards, were they armed? Did they carry weapons?
19 A. No. At least I didn't notice that. I'm sorry I'm speaking too
20 fast. I didn't notice that, and they didn't carry their arms -- they
21 didn't carry arms when I saw them.
22 Q. Very well. Now, you said that you went to the Separacija building
23 on the 22nd or the 25th of May, 1992. Am I correct?
24 A. Thereabouts. Yes. Yes, you're right, but I cannot tell you the
25 exact date. It must have been around the 22nd of May that I was assigned
1 to carry out the job that I have already described here, that is, to work
2 on the preparation of food.
3 Q. You were told by -- whom did you -- who asked you to go to this
5 A. I have already said that the assistant commander for the
6 logistics, Mr. Andzic, my superior.
7 Q. Now, when you went there, between this time, on the 22nd or the
8 25th of May, who was there? Whom did you take in charge? What did you
9 take in charge?
10 A. I found between 12 and 15 cooks there, the women, who were
11 preparing food for the employees of the mine company; and I also found
12 Mr. Dusko, who was a manager there. Later on I was also introduced to
13 Mr. Babic who was the administrator. And my task was to organise the work
14 on the preparation of the food, and Mr. Dusko -- is that enough?
15 Q. That's fine, that's fine. Now, during that time, there were no
16 detainees in the camp?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So you went there to prepare for the people who were to come
19 there; am I correct?
20 A. For the soldiers. No, no, no, no. No, nobody knew anything about
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
23 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I will strike my objection because
24 the witness has already answered the question, but the question itself was
1 A. I arrived on the 22nd - I will respond to the Prosecutor - or on
2 the 25th, I don't know, and of course I was in charge of preparing the
3 food for the soldiers. So as regards Omarska where there were between
4 1.000, 1.200 people, those were the beginnings of my work.
5 And this is what I told Mr. Simic: On the 28th when I came to
6 work, the main cook told me that a group of people had arrived and that
7 they had been given sandwiches, some dry rations, sir. So I believe that
8 I was perfectly clear.
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE:
10 Q. Thank you. You are. So the first batch of detainees, according
11 to your knowledge, arrived on the 28th of May; am I correct?
12 A. Yes, on the 28th of May.
13 Q. And from the 25th to the 28th, how many meals did you prepare for
14 the soldiers?
15 A. I have already said that, between 800 and 1.200 meals depending on
16 the kind of numbers I was provided with. The assistant commander for
17 logistics was in charge of telling me how many meals were necessary for
18 that particular day.
19 Q. Now, you said that during the time that you spent in preparing the
20 food, making arrangements, that you all had morning meetings or
21 briefings. Who and who discussed? Who and who attended the meetings?
22 A. As I said, there were only three of us men and that the rest of
23 the personnel were women, and the assignments were given on an individual
24 basis. There were people who were in charge of washing the dishes, of
25 cutting vegetables, and we all knew what the main cook was in charge of.
1 He would receive the necessary foodstuffs which were supposed to be
2 cooked, and that was the part of work that he was responsible for. And he
3 was also responsible for that part of the distribution, but he didn't know
4 who the food was sent to. We had pots of 25 to 30 litres' capacity, and
5 he would fill them to their full capacity, and then they would be sent
7 Q. Mr. Rendic, I apologise if I have to, you know, clarify certain
8 positions, but you must bear with me, but in brief you can answer. I
9 can't restrict you, but if it's possible if you answer in brief it would
10 be very helpful. Try to understand the question that I'm asking you.
11 A. Yes, but it is my nature. I always -- I'm always willing to
12 provide explanations.
13 Q. Mr. Rendic, when the amount of people or the meals that you have
14 to provide increased, who provided you with that number?
15 A. No, I didn't ensure that. I only got commissions, and the
16 assistant commander from the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks was the one who was
17 in charge of transporting the food to the place where it was distributed.
18 I did not take any part in that. I didn't know anything about the number
19 of meals that had to be prepared.
20 Q. Mr. Rendic, I don't think you understood the question.
21 Now, at the beginning you provided 1.200, as an example. Did it
22 gradually increase? If it increased, how did you get to know about that?
23 A. Of course I knew it because of the quantity of foodstuffs that I
24 would receive, because one day I had, for example, one loaf of bread, the
25 next day I would receive ten loaves of bread, so it means that the number
1 of people who needed it had changed in the meantime. It was logical. I
2 just noticed at one point in time that the number -- that the numbers have
3 increased. I realise that there were more beneficiaries than before.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, you said one time, in fact you told Mr. Drljaca
5 that you needed more food and the quality of the food. Now, were you in a
6 position to make requests for food, for provisions?
7 A. No. I was only in a position to draw their attention to all
8 problems and difficulties linked to the quality of the food. I was not
9 able at any point in time to order larger quantities of food to be sent to
10 us. As I told you, Mr. Drljaca said during a meeting that the situation
11 was difficult and that it could not be improved, that people had
12 difficulties in general, the population in general, but that referred to
13 the soldiers and to the army. I don't know anything about the rest of the
15 Q. Now, when you were not -- you said at certain times there were
16 difficulties, and in providing the bread that you had a problem. When
17 there was a shortage, whom could you tell, and what action did you take if
18 there was no sufficient bread available?
19 A. See, I was commissioned a certain number of rations. If for 6.000
20 meals one needs 1.500 loaves of bread and I received only 1.000 loaves of
21 bread, naturally I had to ask myself what happened to the rest of the
22 bread. But I didn't have any direct influence. I couldn't order any
23 larger quantity of bread. This was something that could have been done
24 only by my superiors.
25 Q. So you're simply saying that if there was a shortage, you were
1 unable to do anything; you didn't care?
2 A. Nothing. I wasn't able to do anything, of course. It was not
3 within the scope of my competencies.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, you said very briefly about the preparation, that
5 the kitchen was well equipped.
6 A. Yes. Can you hear me? Yes, the kitchen was well equipped;
7 however, the capacity was 1.000 to 1.500 meals. That was the actual
8 capacity of the kitchen. Is there anything else that you would like me to
10 Q. Yes. So you were not in a position or it was impossible to
11 provide 6.000 people; am I correct?
12 A. Yes, it was impossible, but given superhuman efforts and the
13 fact -- the way we worked in the kitchen 24-hour day or around the clock,
14 we managed partially to accomplish that, too. When I say partially, we
15 may have been able to achieve it 100 per cent if we had the energy
16 required. To prepare food, you need to have energy sources. And also to
17 prepare good quantity -- good quality food in sufficient quantities, you
18 needed fats, spices, and other elements to provide the necessary calories
19 and the necessary taste to food.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, you said you provided food to the Security
21 Services, the group that was in the camp, the detainees, and the
22 interrogators. First I will get to the interrogators. Did you any time
23 see interrogators having the food that you provided, their consuming the
25 A. No. I said that I never went to the camp. The first meal was
1 served, then the second. Should I continue?
2 Q. You can answer in a very short form whether you know, whether you
3 saw. I asked you a simple question, whether you saw or not. Do you know
4 whether they consumed that or --
5 A. They ate the food. I said that we would prepare goulash for them,
6 for instance, a stew, then schnitzels, and then the side dishes were the
7 same as those given to the troops. If there was rice, they would get
9 I didn't see them where they were working down there, but when
10 they came back at 1800 hours or between 1800 and 1900, sometimes 2000
11 hours when they had the second meal, then they ate that meal in the
12 restaurant of the mine complex. The restaurant was separate from the
13 kitchen in another room, in a large hall.
14 Q. When you say that they had the meal in the restaurant, as you had
15 not been to the camp, you don't know as to whether in fact they had?
16 A. Food was sent to them down there. I don't know who served their
17 food. I think it was an employee of the mine. But the second meal, they
18 ate that meal in the restaurant next to the premises where we were
19 preparing food.
20 Q. Now, did you see this -- now, you say, "In the restaurant next to
21 the premises where we were preparing the food." Did you see the
22 interrogators coming to the restaurant? Who were they?
23 A. No. At that time, I was resting because my working day was from
24 4.00 a.m. until 5.00 or 6.00 p.m., and they always came after that. So I
25 too had a family, and I needed some time to rest. I would organise
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 everything so that they would come and their meal would be served to them
2 by the cook. Is that clear?
3 Q. You have to be a little bit more clear. Now, you didn't see them
4 coming to the restaurant next to the premises that you were cooking in?
5 A. The kitchen is to one side; the restaurant is the other. The
6 separation was just the self-service line that people would form. That
7 separated the kitchen from the restaurant.
8 Q. Just one more question. Was this restaurant that you're talking
9 about in the premises where you prepared the food?
10 A. Yes. Yes. I said that at the beginning. Because next to the
11 kitchen was a self-service restaurant. You'd pick up a tray and take your
12 food. So it was a self-service system.
13 Q. I have to ask you this question. Now, there was another kitchen
14 and a restaurant in the camp. Have you been to that restaurant in the
15 administration building?
16 A. No. No, no. I had nothing to do with that. I didn't have the
17 time physically to go anywhere.
18 Q. So, Mr. Rendic, what you're trying to say is that there were
19 interrogators who came to the place -- to the restaurant which was in the
20 premises where you prepared the food?
21 A. I'm not sure we understand one another. The first meal would be
22 sent to them to their workplaces. Where that was, I don't know. The
23 second meal that they took after they completed their duties, they ate it
24 in a dining-room adjoining the room where we were preparing the food. Do
25 you understand now?
1 Q. I very much understand. That's why I asked you a direct
2 question. You could have easily answered that question yes or no.
3 Did you know any of these interrogators?
4 A. No. They were people from Banja Luka. And thank God I never had
5 contact with any of those people, so I didn't know any of them.
6 Q. Why do you say thank God that you didn't have any contact with
7 these people?
8 A. Because throughout my life and career, you know when you do
9 something wrong, you have to go to an investigator or a judge. I never
10 had anything to do with such people.
11 Q. Were you scared of them?
12 A. No. Why? If I was scared, I wouldn't be here today. So I'm not
13 a scared person. I've come to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
14 Q. Mr. Rendic, did any of the people who were detained in the camp
15 come to the kitchen to help?
16 A. In the preparation of the food, nobody. I did notice some persons
17 washing the windows on the administration building, and that was at
18 another entrance and not the entrance to the kitchen. So nobody could
19 take part in the preparation of the food who didn't have a health
20 certificate, who wasn't healthy enough and allowed to work with food.
21 Q. Can you very briefly give the names of the people who were
22 involved in the preparation of the food? The cooks, if I may be
24 A. Let me see. I know that the main cook was Milan Predojevic. The
25 main butcher was Drago Vuceta. As for the others, the people who had
1 duties connected to the preparation of food, were workers of the iron ore
2 mines Omarska, and they performed the duties of cook in peacetime in the
3 mine, and they were under the work obligation to assist us in preparing
4 the food.
5 Q. Mr. Rendic, now you said that you were provided water to do
6 everything, for drinking and preparation. Am I correct?
7 A. No. No, you're not correct. Nobody brought water to us. There
8 was water running from a water pipe. That was the situation we found in
9 the mine when we arrived. The same water that they had in peacetime,
10 before the conflict broke out. So that same water was used to prepare the
11 food for the workers of the iron ore complex. So there was no delivery of
12 water from the outside with tanks, barrels, containers, or anything like
13 that. The same water was used for the soldiers and for everyone else.
14 Q. That's for preparation. Am I correct?
15 A. For preparation and for cooking and for washing, for everything.
16 The same water was supplied to us for everything. If we needed to wash
17 the potatoes, we used the same water. If we needed to wash the beans, we
18 used the same water. If we needed to cook beans, it would be cooked in a
19 large cauldron with that same water. So the same water was used for all
20 these purposes.
21 Q. Mr. Rendic, you don't know as to whether the soldiers brought
22 water from outside to drink?
23 A. That was impossible. I didn't have five taps. There was no need
24 to bring water supplies. We had sufficient quantities of water. Now,
25 whether the soldiers, depending on where they were, couldn't use that
1 water or maybe they used water from wherever they were. Omarska does not
2 have a water-supply system. It has wells.
3 Q. Mr. Rendic, getting back to the meal again, when you said, if I
4 understood correctly, was that you prepared the food, and it was given to
5 soldiers to be taken to the security personnel and the people in the
6 camp. Am I correct?
7 A. Let me explain. No. The food was prepared, if we're talking
8 about the camp, for the camp between 3.00 a.m. until 7.00 a.m. So the
9 first batch of food was prepared that was then sent on.
10 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. I do not want you to repeat what
11 you've already said. To make it simple, I will rephrase my question.
12 After the food was given to the soldiers to be transported, you
13 don't know as to whether it reached those people or not?
14 A. No. That was not my responsibility. The assistant commander for
15 logistics was responsible, and he knew exactly where the food was going.
16 Q. Or what time it reached those people concerned? You don't know?
17 A. There were different times for the transport of food as we were
18 short of fuel and we had only one, sometimes two vehicles to transport the
19 cooked food. Is any additional explanation required? The time for
20 breakfast for the troops, do you need the times? Do you need me to tell
21 you the time?
22 Q. No. You do not know as to whether when the food reached the
23 people in the camp, the detainees, was spoiled or not?
24 A. Well, you see, the commander for logistics gave me orders that the
25 first batch of food, that is, between 8.00 and 9.00, needed to be
1 distributed down there between 12.00 and 1.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Rendic. The
3 question was whether you knew or not. The answer should be yes or no.
4 Did you know or not?
5 A. Whether the food was spoiled or not? Is that the question I'm
6 asked to answer? I didn't quite understand it then. Could you please
7 repeat the question?
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, please repeat.
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE:
10 Q. You do not know whether the food was spoiled when it reached the
11 people concerned, the people that were to consume that, the detainees?
12 A. I don't know the context within which you wish me to answer that
13 question. It is simply not possible for the food to be spoiled within
14 such a short span of time.
15 Q. Mr. Rendic, you said that the food was prepared at 3.00 in the
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Waidyaratne, how much more
19 time do you need to complete your cross?
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: About 10 minutes or 15 minutes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right. We've going to have
22 a break then. We'll have half an hour break. I will ask the usher to
23 accompany the witness out, please.
24 Half-hour break.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
3 You may be seated, Witness.
4 Mr. Waidyaratne, ten more minutes, please.
5 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, thank you.
6 Q. Mr. Rendic, being the person in charge, the logistics person in
7 the kitchen, did you keep any records of what was provided to you about
8 the supplies?
9 A. No, I didn't keep a record of supplies, but the supplies arrived,
10 and whatever arrived that day was cooked for the next day, and everything
11 had to be used up.
12 Q. To make it clear, what you are trying to say is it was -- was it
13 provided on a daily basis? Were the provisions sent to you on a daily
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Now, while you were in the Omarska, this kitchen that you were
17 referring to, did you see in the month starting at the end of May, the
18 month of June, July, a busload of people being brought to the camp?
19 A. No, I didn't see anything because in view of the position of the
20 kitchen, it was not possible for me to see that. The kitchen faced
21 towards the east, and the road is to the west in relation to the kitchen.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Rendic, you had been in the military services, and did it
23 interest you or -- what was your understanding as to why all these people
24 were brought to the camp?
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
1 A. I'll answer the question.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] The witness was head of the
4 kitchen. He doesn't know the type of prisoners; he didn't see them. How
5 can he explain why they were brought there, and I really don't understand
6 the purpose of this question.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Waidyaratne, what is the aim
8 of that question?
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, as to whether he was aware as to
10 why these people were brought. If he's not, he could say so, but being in
11 -- working there for two months, providing meals for these people for two
12 months, as to whether he was aware as to why these people were --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Put your question, please, to
14 the witness.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you. I will make it more ...
16 Q. Mr. Rendic, what was your understanding or did you get to know as
17 to why these people, the detainees, were brought to Omarska?
18 A. No, I was not given any explanation. I just received the order to
19 prepare the food, or rather, the cooked meal. I know nothing about who
20 those men were, why they were brought there, who they are, or anything
21 like that.
22 Q. You were not made aware, but did you find out, being there for two
23 months? Did you make an attempt?
24 A. Yes. And of course, I learned from Mr. Drljaca the kind of people
25 involved and who -- not really who they were, but what it was about. To
1 be specific, I didn't know the aim, why they were brought there, nor the
2 methods used. I knew that they were people from our area of a different
3 ethnic group, but I don't know why they were brought there.
4 Q. What ethnic group?
5 A. I said Bosniak or Muslim ethnicity they were. Those people, why
6 they were brought there, I told you I don't know why they were brought
7 there, nor by what means I also don't know. I told you what I was doing
8 there. My duty was simply to organise the work involved in preparing
9 cooked meals for the troops and for them.
10 Q. I'm sorry. I have to go right back to the place where you
11 started. When you came to the Omarska camp, were you in the
12 43rd Motorised Brigade?
13 A. No. I was in the TO. I told you. I left the Motorised Brigade
14 in 1985 or 1986.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. You're welcome.
17 Q. Another matter. The last time I would go into this area. You
18 said that you provided sometimes sandwiches for the shift which worked in
19 the night, the third shift.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who requested you do that?
22 A. At the request of the assistant commander for logistics or,
23 rather, upon his orders, because they took over duty, and when dinner was
24 being distributed, they were not there. They came to work at night, so we
25 had to provide them a meal in the form of a lunch packet or a salami
1 sandwich or a cheese sandwich, something like that. I'm sure you know
2 what I mean.
3 Q. Mr. Rendic, you said that two meals were provided to the
4 detainees, one in the afternoon, which was a heavier meal, and one in the
5 evening, a lighter meal. Was dinner provided to the detainees?
6 A. No. I said that one type of food was being prepared. So if it
7 was, shall we say, beans for the soldiers for lunch, then before that,
8 beans would be prepared for the camps. If for the soldiers rice was
9 prepared for dinner and food was lacking down there, then any surplus
10 would be sent there to make up for any lack of food down there. That's
11 what I said at the beginning.
12 Q. So make it once clear. Only one meal was provided to the
14 A. I don't know that.
15 Q. Now about Mr. Kvocka. Did you know Mr. Kvocka's father?
16 A. Yes. I knew him in person. We would travel together on the way
17 to work. I was working in Prijedor. I was manager of a restaurant. He
18 was working in the Zitopromet company as a baker, and we took the same
19 train going to work and coming back from work. Not every day, perhaps,
20 but we would meet often.
21 Q. Did you see him in May 1992, during the time of the conflict?
22 A. I can't remember that. You see, I didn't have much time in 1992.
23 Q. Do you know as to when he passed away?
24 A. Yes, I do. When he passed away, it was a poor family. I know
25 that they took some supplies from the shop, that they were in a very
1 difficult position as a family. They were not well off, and knowing his
2 sons, we assisted them to provide what is necessary for a funeral, which
3 in our custom costs quite a bit.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting you.
5 The question was whether you knew when he died. Just tell us the date.
6 You don't have to tell us the whole story. Just answer the question when
7 he died.
8 A. I don't know the date when he died, but I know the financial
9 situation they were in.
10 MR. WAIDYARATNE: That concludes my examination. Thank you, Your
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
13 Mr. Waidyaratne.
14 Mr. Krstan Simic, your witness.
15 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I only
16 have a couple of questions.
17 Re-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
18 Q. Mr. Rendic, when you were talking about the entrance to the mine
19 complex at the gate next to the Separacija building, you said that there
20 were guards there. Can you tell us whether they were military guards,
21 police guards, or the security workers of the Omarska mine?
22 A. They were workers in the security of the Omarska mine. I didn't
23 see any other security officers. There was another gate also that I used
24 to jump over sometimes.
25 Q. You said that the distance between the Separacija building and the
1 camp is about 2 kilometres. How long would it take a vehicle to cover
2 this distance from the Separacija to the mine complex where the hangars
3 and the other buildings were?
4 A. Well, probably about ten minutes. It's an asphalt road. There
5 are no major bends in the road, only one or two, so about ten minutes.
6 Q. Mr. Rendic, let us make things a little clearer, although we've
7 already discussed this. Once the food was packed, who took over the food
8 to transport it to the soldiers, to the camp, and who brought back the
9 containers after the food had been distributed?
10 A. As far as the transport of food to the camp is concerned, there
11 was a Zastava vehicle taken for that purpose. Two drivers were assigned
12 by the assistant for logistics. Those two soldiers had the assignment,
13 once the food was prepared, to load the thermos containers and the bread
14 and drive that food to the place of distribution.
15 As for the soldiers, the same vehicle would transport the food and
16 distribute it among the units, depending on the number of soldiers
17 deployed in the area.
18 Q. I'm afraid my question was not completely recorded in the
20 You said that the transport was done by a Zastava vehicle that was
21 owned by the agricultural cooperative; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was it requisitioned for the means of that unit?
24 A. Yes. Let me also add, if that vehicle was late, then we would
25 take a vehicle from the mine, upon approval from Mr. Babic who allowed us
1 to use it to be able to transport the food for other units because of the
3 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to these soldiers. Were they members
4 of the Territorial Defence unit and under the responsibility of
5 Mr. Andzic?
6 A. Yes. The soldiers were also from the Territorial Defence, but not
7 of the kind of speciality that I had in the kitchen.
8 Q. I just wanted to know whether they were members of that unit.
9 A. Yes, they were.
10 Q. After the food was delivered, did those same men come back with
11 the containers in which the food had been transported?
12 A. Yes, of course. Everything had to be brought back for us to be
13 able to use them again the next day.
14 Q. Were they the same men?
15 A. Yes, the same.
16 Q. Were they all members -- were they also members of the same
17 military unit?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If I understand you correctly, members of the police station
20 department had no contact whatsoever with the transport of food to the
21 place of delivery; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, do you realise
24 how you worded your question? But let us hear Mr. Waidyaratne.
25 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Not only that -- I'm sorry.
1 Your Honour, not only that it was a leading question, Mr. Simic in
2 fact gave the answer.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Rephrase your question,
4 Mr. Krstan Simic. Put your question but not in a leading way.
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I'll rephrase the
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please do so.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Did the policemen from the police station department have any
10 contact with the transport of food to the Omarska camp?
11 A. No. From the moment the food was taken over and loaded until it
12 was transported, they had no contact with it.
13 Q. Mr. Rendic, you're an experienced caterer. The containers in
14 which the food was transported, were they special containers; if so, what
15 makes them special?
16 A. Let me explain. In the mine we found these thermos containers
17 which were used by cooks to deliver food to workers working in various
18 locations. These thermos containers keep the food warm. They're used
19 specially for the transport of food. The same applies to military thermos
20 containers that are used in the army to keep the food warm and preserve
21 all its properties, but this food can be kept in these containers five to
22 six hours on the outside. If it is very hot, then the food can go bad,
23 but in the winter months, then the food can be kept in those containers
24 for longer periods.
25 Q. Finally, when we were talking about the price of flour, you said
1 that a sack of flour cost 20 Deutschmarks; is that right?
2 A. Everything was sold on the black market in those days. There was
3 no normal sales. Everything was out of control in those days.
4 Q. Yes, but tell us, you said that in those days this was a lot of
5 money. What kind of salaries were people getting in those days?
6 A. Well, the inflation was soaring, so if you didn't spend your
7 salary the moment you got it, the next day you couldn't buy two packets of
8 cigarettes for that salary. Am I clear?
9 Q. Could you buy ten sacks of flour with your salary, for instance?
10 A. No, I could not.
11 Q. How much could you buy?
12 A. If I went to a shop and if flour was available, you could buy a
13 sack of flour, a small sack of detergent, a bit of sugar, and that's all
14 if you spent it the moment you got it. The minimum quantity you needed to
15 keep a family alive.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rendic.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
18 further questions.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Krstan Simic.
20 Judge Riad has the floor.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, thank you.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Rendic. I'd like to have a few
24 clarifications to put certain parts of your testimony together.
25 You mentioned at the outset that you were using the same cooking
1 methods which were used when the mine was still functioning, and it could
2 produce something between 800 and 1500 meals. That's what I understood.
3 Then you mentioned that you would usually give something between
4 800 and 1.200 meals to the soldiers before the detainees came, which means
5 that the soldiers would take something like 1.200 meals. The detainees
6 came. Were your cooking methods adequate to provide for all the
7 detainees? Because the margin is very small. The margin would be 300
9 A. I should like to say good morning to the Judge, to Your Honour,
10 first. Let me answer the question.
11 First of all, I said the food was top quality when we had the
12 necessary supplies, and I said at the outset that the staff I found
13 working there was not able to cater to the needs of 1.000 to 1.500 meals,
14 which means they needed assistance. Do I make myself clearer?
15 None of us knew what was to happen later on. We didn't know that
16 we were going to be faced with the situation as it arose later on, so that
17 I wasn't able to plan ahead, to plan in advance.
18 Does that answer your question, Your Honour?
19 JUDGE RIAD: Well, my question is very simple. Did you have the
20 capacity to provide for the detainees when your maximum was 1.500, as you
21 said, and already the soldiers would take 1.200? Before the detainees
22 came, you said you made 1.200 meals. So the margin was very small. Was
23 that enough for the detainees?
24 A. Well, no, it wasn't enough.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Now, there was some kind of food you mentioned like
1 goulash and schnitzel and so on. Of course, that was never sent to the
2 camp. That would be eaten on the spot, as you said, in the dining-room
3 adjoining the room where the food was prepared. So that was never sent to
4 the camp.
5 A. Certain quantities of food were sent, of meat, I'm sorry, of meat
6 were sent, but very small quantities which didn't satisfy -- which weren't
7 enough for even a meal. Now, some would get a piece, others wouldn't, but
8 the quantity of meat wasn't enough and wasn't up to standard, up to the
9 norm, because the conditions were just not able to cater to the norm, and
10 my superiors knew about this lack of meat.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Now, what was the weather like at that period? Was
12 hot or cold? The summers are usually hot, are they?
13 A. Yes, it was hot. Temperatures were high.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Because you said the good could be kept warm. But
15 was there enough refrigeration, if it is hot, to prevent it from getting
16 spoilt? In your opinion as an expert.
17 A. Well, it was like this: You couldn't put a hot cooked meal into a
18 fridge. Once the hot food had been poured into these large thermoses,
19 these 10 or 20 thermoses, the food would be poured into them and the food
20 would be dispatched, transported, and during that short space of time, the
21 food would be kept warm. You couldn't send hot food into a refrigerator
22 because the temperature difference would be too great. So the food didn't
23 get cold.
24 JUDGE RIAD: In your professional opinion, when the food can wait
25 from 3.00 in the morning to the evening, for instance, or afternoon, would
1 it remain healthy to eat, the kind of food you sent?
2 A. What I said was this: We started preparing the food at 3.00 a.m.,
3 which means that we got all the supplies and then we started peeling them,
4 putting them into the cauldrons, and the food started being cooked at
5 7.00. So it took some time to prepare. Then the food was poured into the
6 thermoses at about 8.00 and the food was transported. What happened to
7 the food after 9.00, I don't know. But I know that from 1.00 p.m.,
8 2.00 p.m., 3.00 p.m., the commander would ask us for additional thermos
9 supplies full of food for that part of the terrain, for example, which
10 means from 8.00 to 12.00, that was the time that the food was actually
11 there, when it could go bad from 8.00 to 12.00, but it all depended on the
12 conditions that prevailed, that is to say, what kind of plates and other
13 utensils were used down there. I don't know the utensils they had for
14 serving the food, for dishing it out from these large containers to
15 actually dishing it out further on.
16 JUDGE RIAD: You just mentioned two things which I would like to
17 get more straight. You said the detainees were not sent breakfast, lunch,
18 and dinner. You mean the food was sent once and then they would do
19 whatever they wanted with it? Is that what you meant? Because your
20 affirmation was the detainees were not sent breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
21 A. Well, no, they weren't sent breakfast. They were just sent one
22 main meal, one main course, one main meal or dish. And you know what you
23 get for breakfast. Breakfast is standard. But the other meals, it was a
24 type of one standard main course meal for the day. Now, whether that was
25 divided into two meals or whether it was served to them in one meal, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 can't say.
2 JUDGE RIAD: But at least breakfast was not there. That's what I
3 understood anyhow.
4 A. That's right, Your Honour, yes.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Now, you mentioned you knew the father of
6 Mr. Kvocka. Were you a friend of the family or just you knew the father?
7 A. Well, I just knew the father. We would meet on the way to work,
8 in the bus or in the train to and from work.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Concerning the information you gave us that
10 Mr. Kvocka would lodge some people of different ethnic communities in his
11 house, did you know that as a friend or was it common knowledge in the
13 A. I heard that from the population, from the locals, from the local
14 inhabitants. They talked about that. But as I say, I had very little
15 time to leave my unfortunate kitchen. I had to work all the time. But
16 sometimes when I would go to have a coffee in a cafe or go to a shop, it
17 was sort of talked about, the fact that there were several families
18 staying with the Kvocka family, and that was why people despised this,
19 despised him for it. But I made no comment.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Did they not say any more specific things, like for
21 instance they were his in-laws, for instance, or they were specific
22 people? It was just a common rumour without a very specific number or
23 kind of people?
24 A. I didn't know who the people were, actually.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Then you said there were threats to blow his house.
1 Was this also firsthand information --
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 JUDGE RIAD: -- or just rumour? What was that? Did you know the
4 people who threatened that?
5 A. I didn't know the people, but that's what the comments bandied
6 around were. I heard that people wanted to blow the house up. These were
7 difficult times, you know. People came back from the Slovenian front in
8 coffins, and Kvocka's father's house was on the way to the cemetery. And
9 people were angry, of course, because if their children and sons had been
10 killed in that unfortunate war of ours, and there was somebody harbouring
11 people in his own house, people from a different ethnic group, a different
12 nationality, then of course people resented this.
13 JUDGE RIAD: You said the house was on the way to the cemetery.
14 To your knowledge, was it ever attacked or stoned or anything?
15 A. I don't know.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Mr. Rendic.
17 A. Thank you.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Riad.
19 Madam Judge Wald has the floor.
20 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Rendic, I believe you said that the first time
21 you came to look at the kitchen where you would be working was somewhere
22 around May 22nd or May 25th and that people were preparing meals for the
23 mine employees, the people who were there, and you realised there wouldn't
24 be enough for you.
25 Now, what happened after the detainees came to the camp? Did mine
1 employees continue to be employed there? Did they get their food from
2 your kitchen or someplace else? I mean, what happened to the food
3 supply -- the food source for the mine employees, or did they just go away
4 and not work there any more after the detainees began to come? Do you
6 A. Can I answer? Well, it was like this: There was a part of the
7 employees who used the food prepared for the army and for all of us.
8 They, too, ate that food. They still kept on eating the food prepared by
9 us. The employees went to work for the purposes of the army under the
10 wartime conditions, and they, too, had their work assignment in the mine
12 JUDGE WALD: So that just to make sure I understand, when you were
13 talking in your testimony about meals that would be prepared for somewhere
14 between 1.000 to 1.200 soldiers, did that include the mine employees who
15 were conscripted into the army, or was this part of the mine employees,
16 extra, over and above, the 1.200 soldiers?
17 A. I said at the beginning that they were all the people who had been
18 mobilised, the army, the population, the workers, the employees. So
19 whether it was 20, 30, or 100 meals, it didn't matter. When you had such
20 a large quantity, it didn't matter if you had this extra quantity.
21 JUDGE WALD: Okay, thank you. My other question is, did you know
22 at any time during the two months that you were working in the kitchen in
23 the Separacija, did you know how many -- approximately around how many
24 detainees there were in the camp?
25 A. No, I did not. I did not know. My assistant commander knew that,
1 and he said that about 3.000 meals should be sent to them down there.
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay. So that source of information would allow you
3 to guess or to think that there were maybe somewhere around the same
4 number of people being detained as the extra number of meals; is that
6 A. Well, I don't know what to say to that. Our goal was 6.000 meals.
7 JUDGE WALD: Right.
8 A. So for the army, 1.000, and more around here, that makes about
9 6.000, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
10 JUDGE WALD: That would be 3.000. If it's 6.000 meals that were
11 prepared every day, and you had around 1.000 or 1.200 soldiers times three
12 meals, that's about somewhere around 3.000 which leaves 3.000 extra,
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 JUDGE WALD: Okay, okay.
16 A. And I said because the army received breakfast, lunch, and
18 JUDGE WALD: Okay. I understand from your testimony, but I simply
19 want to verify it, that once the food left your kitchen in the thermoses
20 to go to the detainees, you had no control over its distribution; is that
21 right? In other words, you didn't have anything to do with the food when
22 it got unloaded from the thermoses and distributed to the detainees; is
23 that correct? So --
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 JUDGE WALD: Did you have any way to know in what quantities the
1 detainees would get the food? You said they would get this same food that
2 you would be sending out, at least one meal, same food as to the army.
3 But did you have any idea what quantity of that food a detainee would get
4 as opposed to, say, an army person who was getting the same food for one
5 of his meals, or did you not know anything about what quantity of the food
6 they got?
7 A. I knew nothing about the distribution of the food, quantity-wise
8 or anything else.
9 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You mentioned that you were 2 kilometres I
10 think away from the camp, but you also -- so that you didn't see busloads
11 of detainees coming, but you also mentioned that at one point you did see
12 some detainees washing the windows around the neighbouring administration
13 building, right? That's what my notes say, you did say that you saw some
14 detainees doing some kind of washing of windows, something like that,
15 maintenance work.
16 Now, were there other occasions while were you in the kitchen
17 where you saw any number of detainees, I mean, around doing some kind of
18 maintenance work or anything else, or was that the only occasion that you
19 ever saw, actually saw detainees during the two months that you were
21 A. That was the only time. I saw a few women washing the glass, the
22 windows. Who they were, I don't know, but I later learnt that they were
23 people who were from down there, but who they were, I don't know. And
24 that was the only time.
25 JUDGE WALD: And they were all or predominately women who were
1 doing the washing of the windows?
2 A. They were only women, just women.
3 JUDGE WALD: All right. Now, you said you knew Mr. Kvocka, you
4 knew his father well, and you knew him as a policeman who was patrolling
5 the streets in Omarska. While you were working in the kitchen, did you
6 know that Mr. Kvocka was an official of some kind in the camp? Did you
7 know while you were in the kitchen -- you didn't know that he performed
8 some functions over in the camp?
9 A. No, no, I did not know, and I didn't learn about that.
10 JUDGE WALD: Did you learn about that at any point thereafter? If
11 so, how soon thereafter?
12 A. I learnt about that only much later. When he came here. Before
13 that, I knew nothing about that.
14 JUDGE WALD: Now, we heard from you that you learned, presumably
15 from your own superiors or somebody, that at certain points when you
16 didn't have the right ingredients and there were shortages of oil or fats
17 or spices, that the soldiers were complaining or rejecting the food that
18 was sent to them. But I think that you also told us that nobody from the
19 camp ever came to visit your kitchen. Is that right? You said that other
20 people from your crisis centre, Drljaca, and your own logistics centre
21 would come and visit, maybe inspect your kitchen, but that no one from the
22 administration, direct administration of the camp ever came; is that
24 A. That's right. Nobody ever came from there.
25 JUDGE WALD: If they didn't come, did you ever hear complaints
1 from anybody working in the camp, from the officials, guards, or
2 higher-ups, anybody working in the camp that the food was not good, not up
3 to par?
4 A. No, I didn't hear about any complaints, but I did hear about
5 complaints from soldiers who were mobilised at the time.
6 JUDGE WALD: But from nobody in the camp?
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE WALD: Were there times during the shortages that you talked
9 about or even during the electricity problems you had, were there times
10 when the quantity of the food that you were able to send over to the camp
11 in the thermoses was considerably or markedly less than other times? In
12 other words, the majority or all days, did the same quantity of the food
13 go over to the camps or were there days when less quantity of the food
14 went over because of the shortages that you talked about?
15 A. We didn't send less food. The only thing is that it wasn't such
16 good quality food, and the food was late sometimes because of the
17 electricity cuts, the lack of fuel. So we would be late in preparing the
18 food. That's what would happen. And sometimes when we were cooking
19 beans, for example, because the beans were from the war reserves and old
20 beans and you have to soak them in the water the night before, and then if
21 there was no electricity the next day, it would be half cooked and then
22 you would need another one and a half hours to cook it with the generator
24 So it was very difficult to cook the food, much more difficult
25 than under normal conditions. So sometimes about 10 per cent of the
1 overall mass of food, there were some beans that were not cooked well
2 enough, properly, but you couldn't actually notice that. It was such a
3 small quantity impaired to the bulk that when the food was sent out, you
4 wouldn't be able to notice that.
5 JUDGE WALD: I only have two more questions. One would be, in
6 your experience as a person who manages food and caters, if food that was
7 healthy and fresh when you put it into the thermos containers and it was
8 taken to another place and taken out of the thermos containers, say these
9 bean soups or the goulash or whatever you were serving was taken out of
10 the thermos containers and left sitting for four or five hours before
11 being served to the people that ate it, would there be a problem of
12 spoilage then?
13 A. Of course there would be spoilage. It depended on the receptacles
14 that the food was put into, poured into.
15 JUDGE WALD: I understand. My last question. It concerns the
16 water. You told us that you basically used the same water from the same
17 wells and the same taps for food preparation, for drinking, for whatever
18 you needed it for. Did you use the same taps all the time or the same
19 well source or were there many different ones around the area and you used
20 them indiscriminately or you used them all or did you use just one or two
21 special taps, and were they close by the kitchen?
22 A. The taps -- each cauldron had a tap, and so the taps were where
23 the plates were washed, where the pots and pans were washed, and where the
24 vegetables were washed. It was the same water.
25 JUDGE WALD: Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Madam
2 Judge Wald.
3 Mr. Rendic, I myself have three questions to ask you, and the
4 first is the following: You said that from time to time there was a lack
5 of food in the camp. Is that right? Did I understand that correctly, not
6 enough food?
7 A. Well, no, there were not enough foodstuffs that were supplied to
8 us in the kitchen where we then went on to prepare and cook the food. And
9 facts -- some ingredients were lacking, that is to say, cooking oil and
10 salt and spices.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but you never learnt that
12 there was a lack of food in the camp; is that correct?
13 A. No, I did not hear about that. No.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That means that you never had
15 information about the lack of food in the camp?
16 A. No. No, I had no information of that kind at all, because there
17 was a man in charge of that.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. My
19 second question is the following: The people transporting the food from
20 your kitchen to the camp, were they the same people who brought back the
21 empty containers? Is that right? They were the same people who brought
22 back the empty containers?
23 A. Yes. They were usually the same people. They transported the
24 food down there and brought back the containers.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. What time did they
1 come back with the empty containers, with the dishes? What time?
2 A. Well, it was like this: As we used the same receptacles, the same
3 containers for the army, and we sent out the food for the army at 12.00,
4 which meant that the containers had to be there at 11.00 or 11.30 so that
5 they could be washed and used again, to pour the food into them and take
6 them up to the front line to the soldiers. So these same containers were
7 used by them down there and the army. So it was a circle. It was a
8 continuous circle because we didn't have enough of the these thermal
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, for me to
11 understand you better, what time did the food leave your kitchen for the
13 A. I said between 8.00 and 9.00. That was the first shipment. And I
14 don't know when they distributed the food in the camp, but the empty
15 thermos containers were returned to us, to the kitchen, between 11.00 and
16 11.30, where they were washed and filled again to be sent on to the army.
17 The remaining thermoses down there were brought later on, if any remaining
18 ones stayed on. But as I say, we had a shortage of everything, thermos
19 containers and everything else.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] These thermos containers, were
21 they individual ones or were they larger ones?
22 A. Well, I have already said, Your Honour. I said at the beginning
23 that they were 20-, 30-, 50-litre containers. I said that to begin with.
24 And even smaller thermos containers would be for five, ten, 20 people. So
25 those were the smaller ones. The other ones were the large ones, and that
1 is what is referred to as thermoses in army terms.
2 Now, the thermos containers that we found in the mines were
3 larger, a little larger than the army thermos containers, and I found them
4 in the kitchen. They had been used previously by the mine. I said all
5 this to begin with.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. And now my third
7 question. We know that you like to give explanations, and, therefore, I
8 would like you to explain one matter to me. I think I heard you say that
9 you took the number of meals -- that you knew the number of meals by the
10 amount of foodstuffs you came to prepare the meals with. Is that
12 A. Yes. We would get the foodstuffs in the afternoon for the meals
13 that were to be cooked the next day. Now, if we had 500 or 600 kilos of
14 potatoes, I would have to peel those potatoes and we knew that that would
15 be the number of meals.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but why did you have to
17 divide a loaf of bread into eight pieces so that every person receives an
18 eighth of a loaf of bread?
19 A. That wasn't what it was like at the beginning, to begin with.
20 That was the situation later on with the short supply of flour and yeast
21 and everything else you needed to make bread. So instead of receiving
22 1.000 to 1.500 loaves of bread, I would receive less, and then I would
23 have to divide up all the bread, which meant that rations were reduced.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So when you received less
25 quantity did that not mean for you that there were less people, or did it,
1 less people to feed, or did it?
2 A. No, the same number of people remained.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But why then do you say that if
4 you received a lot of foodstuffs, there are a lot of people to be fed; and
5 that would mean that if you received less foodstuffs, there would be less
6 people to feed? Do you follow my logic of my question?
7 A. Yes, I understand your question, but I had to divide up what I was
8 given, what I received, if you understand me.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think I understand you, yes.
10 Mr. Rendic, we have no further questions to ask you. You have
11 come to the end of your testimony. We thank you for coming here to The
12 Hague, and we wish you a good trip back to your place of residence, and
13 every success in the work of your restaurant. I will now ask the usher to
14 accompany you out of the courtroom.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should like to thank all Your
16 Honours. Thank you very much, and I wish you Judges all the best as
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic.
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to the list,
21 I would like to call witness Miro Bijelec at this point.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Bijelec. Can
24 you hear me? You will first read the solemn declaration that the usher is
25 going to give to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: MIRO BIJELEC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated
6 now. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. First of all, you will be
7 answering questions that Mr. Krstan Simic will put to you.
8 Mr. Simic, your witness.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Examined by Mr. K. Simic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Bijelec.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. As you know, my name is Krstan Simic, and together with Branko
14 Lukic, I represent Mr. Kvocka in this case. In that context, I will ask
15 several questions of you relating to your life and work in the course of
16 1990. But let me first ask you to pause a little before you answer my
17 questions so that the interpreters can interpret my question and your
18 answer subsequently. May we begin?
19 A. Yes, we may.
20 Q. For the record, could you state your name please?
21 A. Miro Bijelec.
22 Q. When were you born, Mr. Bijelec?
23 A. On the 23rd of June, 1943, in Arandzelovac in Serbia.
24 Q. Are you married?
25 A. Yes, I am.
1 Q. Do you have any children?
2 A. Two.
3 Q. Where do you live today?
4 A. In Banja Luka in Jevrejska Street, number 22.
5 Q. Did you do your military service?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Where?
8 A. In Dzakovo in Croatia, and the last six months in Gorazde in the
9 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. When?
11 A. 1964.
12 Q. Mr. Bijelec, what did you do in your life? What was your
13 occupation? But try to be as brief as possible.
14 A. I was a sportsman, and I also had a private catering business, a
15 cafe which is called "988" in the centre of the town.
16 Q. What kind of sports did you practice?
17 A. Handball.
18 Q. Were you an active player?
19 A. Yes, from 1958 until 1976.
20 Q. And what club did you play?
21 A. In Borac which was a handball club in Banja Luka.
22 Q. Was it an important handball club?
23 A. By all means. During -- in the former Yugoslavia, the club was
24 the federal champion six times. It won the cup ten times, and it was the
25 European champion once in 1976 [Realtime transcript read in error "1996"].
1 Q. Before becoming champion of Europe, did you play in any finals?
2 A. Yes. In 1995 we played against the German club.
3 Q. There is a mistake in the record so let me rephrase the question.
4 When did the handball club Borac become the champion of Europe?
5 A. In 1976.
6 Q. Thank you very much. The transcript read "1996."
7 Did you have any other titles?
8 A. Yes. In 1991 the club was also the European champion, but at that
9 time I no longer played. I was a -- I was the club's manager at that
10 time. I was on the managerial board of the club.
11 Q. Mr. Bijelec, it seems that we are having problems with the speed
12 with which you give your answers, so I should like to remind you once
13 again to pause before answering my questions.
14 Did your generation become European champions?
15 A. Yes, but I played in two generations. On the first occasion it
16 was in 1957 when we became members of the Yugoslav league. I was 19 years
17 old -- I was 15 years old at the time, and I continued with the same
18 generation which eventually became champions, and they achieved the best
19 results in the history of the club, that is, they were the most successful
20 club in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later on in Yugoslavia
21 as a whole.
22 Q. Mr. Bijelec, Borac, the handball club, did it have other players
23 who played in the federal selection?
24 A. They won 13 gold medals in the Olympic Games, and we won seven
25 world championships and a number of gold and bronze medals. And recently
1 the club won third place in the championship of -- in the European
2 championship which took place in France yesterday.
3 Q. Mr. Bijelec, Abaz Arslnagic, did he ever play as a member of
5 A. Yes. He played in the year of 1964 up until 1976.
6 Q. What is he by ethnicity?
7 A. He's a Muslim, that is, what we call today a Bosniak.
8 Q. Are you closely related with that gentleman?
9 A. Yes. I was his best man, was his kum. Our families knew each
10 other for a very long time. Minister Karalic, who was a member of the
11 government of Mr. Dodik, is also kum of Mr. Golic. Then Momo Golic is kum
12 to Dr. Nebojsa Popovic who now lives and works in Liege and who is a
13 member of the managerial board of the standard football club from
14 Liege and I'm also a kum to Abaz Arslnagic.
15 Q. Mr. Bijelec, once again. Mr. Bijelec, I have to remind you of the
16 necessity to make pauses between questions and answers.
17 Let us talk about this type of relationship, that of being a kum
18 to someone. What does it mean in our parts of the world?
19 A. To be a kum to someone means something more than being his friend.
20 Q. Is it normal for kums to socialise, even after the ceremony has
21 taken place?
22 A. Not only kums, but also their families and children. It is
23 perfectly normal for them to socialise, to visit each other.
24 Q. What did Mr. Arslnagic do when the war broke out?
25 A. In the state of Quatar.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. What was he doing there?
2 A. He was the coach of the local handball club.
3 Q. Mr. Arslnagic, was he at one point in time the coach of the
4 Yugoslav selection in handball?
5 A. Yes, but he was also the coach of the Croatian selection and also
6 the coach at one point in time of the Borac handball club, and also the
7 coach of the junior selection of Yugoslavia who won first place, the gold
8 medal, during the world championship in 1980.
9 Q. What was -- what is -- what are the relations between you and
10 Mr. Arslnagic?
11 A. The very -- we're on very good terms, and more than that. I must
12 add that the apartment which had been requisitioned during the war has in
13 the meantime been returned to him.
14 Q. Mr. Arslnagic returned to Banja Luka?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, can he just spell the name of
17 Mr. Arslnagic because we have difficult writing it.
18 A. A-r-s-l-n-a-g-i-c [as interpreted]. Do you need his name as well?
19 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. After your career as a sportsman, what did you do? Please pause a
22 A. I stayed at the club as the manager. I wanted to ensure that
23 Borac continues with its successes and its results, which involved
24 bringing in new players, new coaches, taking care of the players, and
25 taking care of the overall conditions in which the club functioned.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, do you really
2 need all of the details involved in the glorious history of this handball
3 club? Do we really need this? Please proceed, but I think we can speed
4 up things a little bit. We are not here to judge about the glorious past
5 of this club.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am aware of that, Your
7 Honours, but this was an introduction to the events connected with the
8 handball club Borac, which was a prominent club and involved in the social
9 and political life of the community.
10 Q. Were you a member of the Communist League previously?
11 A. No.
12 Q. In the course of 1990, when conditions were created for
13 multi-party elections, were you involved in the work of any of the
14 political parties which appeared in that area?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. What was that political party?
17 A. I was a member of Ante Markovic's party, which was an association
18 of reformist forces, and at that time, Mr. Markovic was the Prime Minister
19 of Yugoslavia.
20 Q. At that time, were other political parties created in Bosnia and
22 A. Yes. There were, first of all, national parties, and the creation
23 was made possible by the constitutional changes. The first party to be
24 established was HDZ, then SDA, and finally SDS.
25 Q. Do you remember who was the leader of the HDZ?
1 A. You mean in Croatia or in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 Q. In Croatia.
3 A. In Croatia, it was Franjo Tudjman.
4 Q. What about Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. It was a very good friend of mine, Stjepan Kljujic.
6 Q. How did you know Mr. Stjepan Kljujic?
7 A. Stjepan Kljujic was a journalist who covered sports events, and he
8 used to travel with us a lot within Yugoslavia and abroad, and he was
9 connected with my club Borac.
10 Q. Who was the leader of the SDS?
11 A. At the time it was created, it was Dr. Raskovic. When he passed
12 away, Dr. Karadzic became the leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he
13 remained on that function until the very end.
14 Q. Mr. Bijelec, what was the support that the nationalist parties
15 received, I mean of the HDZ, SDA, and SDS, in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. At the beginning, it was rather difficult. The people had certain
17 misgivings about such parties. They did not trust them at the beginning.
18 However, they were very active in their rallies at the beginning. They
19 even held rallies together, saying that they did not have enough freedom,
20 that they could not freely act. So the situation lasted -- such situation
21 lasted for a certain period of time, but later on, each ethnic community
22 joined their respective nationalist party more or less.
23 Q. You said that in 1990 you also joined the Alliance of Reform
24 Forces of Ante Markovic, the then Prime Minister. Did that political
25 party start to build an infrastructure in Banja Luka?
1 A. At that time, there was a big change within my club. We knew - I
2 mean we at the club - that nothing would happen with these nationalist
3 parties. And when Ante Markovic appeared and when he announced that he
4 was about to create his own party called the Alliance of Reform Forces, we
5 gave him our support, and I personally declared publicly that the members
6 of Borac would become members of his party because it was a reformist
7 party, and we identified ourselves as members of this local sports club
8 with the policy of the Reformist Party.
9 Q. Let us go back to your handball club. Did it consist of players
10 of various nationalities?
11 A. Yes. There was one Croat, there were several Muslims. Dobrivoj
12 Selez was a Croat, Hasanovic was a Muslim, and so on and so forth. I can
13 give you many examples of that. It was a multi-national club as opposed
14 to the football club Borac which was mostly a Muslim club, and the
15 basketball club Borac which was mainly a Serb club. We were the only club
16 that was multi-national.
17 Q. You mentioned Ante Markovic. Who was he?
18 A. He was a Croat from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe he was born in
19 Konjic. He was an electrical engineer, and he came to Zagreb to take up
20 his duties as Prime Minister, but before that he was the manager of the
21 Rade Koncar company which was based in Zagreb.
22 Q. What was the assignment that you were given when the branch of the
23 Alliance of Reform Forces was created in your place?
24 A. It was rather spontaneous. There was a meeting that was convened,
25 but we talked freely during that meeting. There was not any particular
1 agenda. There was a number of intellectuals there who attended the
2 meeting, including Zivko Radisic, Ivo Tabakovic, who was a member of Ante
3 Markovic's government. So we talked awhile during that meeting, and we
4 agreed that we should establish -- we should create a kind of steering
5 committee for the purposes of establishing a branch of this party. And
6 on -- that was on the 11th of September, and on the 12th of September, the
7 steering committee was established, and that's how it all began. Each of
8 us given particular assignments, and we started actively working on our
9 assignments until the 15th of September, when we went to Sarajevo to
10 attend the conference, and that took place on the 15th of September, 1990,
11 in Sarajevo.
12 Q. You said that the reformists were getting organised in Banja
13 Luka. What was your specific task within that branch?
14 A. Well, my task was similar to the one I had within the club as to
15 how to organise new members, how to work in the area of Banja Luka, how to
16 function as fast as possible because other parties were far ahead from us,
17 that is, the nationalist parties.
18 Q. The members of this new organisation, did they go out into the
20 A. Yes. We had a number of meetings. First such meeting took place
21 in Kotor Varos. Ranko Zrilic was there. He was the dean of the
22 engineers' faculty in Banja Luka. Marijan Benes was there, who was a
23 famous boxer from Banja Luka. Milorad Karalic also attended the meeting.
24 He is the Sports Minister in Dodik's government. There was another sports
25 journalist from Banja Luka.
1 We all went to Kotor Varos, which is some 20 kilometres away from
2 Banja Luka. There were a lot of activities taking place at that time, but
3 I didn't have any prominent role in them.
4 Q. You mentioned the group of people who went to Kotor Varos. Let me
5 repeat the names of the people that you mentioned. Mr. Marijan Benes,
6 what was he by ethnicity?
7 A. He was a Croat that came from Tuzla to Banja Luka some 30 years
8 ago. Sorry, 20 years ago.
9 Q. Was he a public personality? Was he famous?
10 A. Yes, he was, because of the results that he had achieved both in
11 Yugoslavia and in Europe.
12 Q. In what sport?
13 A. In boxing.
14 Q. You said that Mr. Abaz Arslanagic was a Muslim.
15 A. Yes, he was.
16 Q. Was he also a public figure?
17 A. Yes, he was. He was the best goalkeeper in one of the world
18 championships in France.
19 Q. What was his nationality?
20 A. He was a Serb.
21 Q. Was he also a public figure?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. I'm afraid we didn't get the name of the last personality
25 A. He was famous. He was the captain of our team when we were
1 champions of Europe.
2 Q. Could we repeat this question?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness slow down.
4 A. We were talking about Milorad Karalic. He was a professor at the
5 Faculty of Economics, and he won many medals as Arslanagic. He played
6 251 times for the former Yugoslavia national team, and by ethnicity he is
7 a Serb.
8 MR. K. SIMIC:
9 Q. You mentioned Tomo Maric.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was he by ethnicity?
12 A. He's half/half. His father's Serb, his mother a Croat.
13 Q. Mr. Bijelec, the other members of the reformist forces, could you
14 name some of the most prominent figures in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. There was Emir Kusturica, a well-known film director in Yugoslavia
16 and on a world scale. Then Goran Bregovic, the well-known leader of the
17 Bijelo Dugme rock group, and then Dragan Kalinic who is President of the
18 Assembly of Republika Srpska but at the time he was a member of the
19 reformist forces. Ivo Tabakovic, a professor and doctor of chemistry. I
20 think he's living in London now. Then there was Professor Nenad
21 Kecmanovic, dean of the university in Sarajevo. A poet and screenplay
22 writer, Abdulah Sidran from Sarajevo. Professor Dzemal Sokolovic, also a
23 university professor in Sarajevo.
24 So there were quite a number of these prominent people who were
25 members of the reformist forces.
1 Q. The name of Abdulah Sidran did not go down in the record.
2 A. He was a Muslim and a poet. Sidran. He wrote the screenplay for
3 Emir Kusturica's films.
4 Q. Talking about Banja Luka, were there prominent figures in Banja
5 Luka who were members of the reformist forces?
6 A. Brana Trivic, who in the previous system was President of the
7 Socialist Alliance. She was a handball player also in the Borac club of
8 Banja Luka. Then Dzevad Haznadar, a well-known businessman from Banja
9 Luka. And at the meeting, Zivko Aleksic, now a member of the Presidency
10 also attended. He was a president of the board of management of Borac for
11 two mandates, but at the establishment meeting on the 12th in Banja Luka,
12 he did not appear, and though we see each other on a daily basis, I still
13 haven't asked him why he didn't come then. But later on, he joined the
14 Socialist Party and headed it in Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Mr. Bijelec, in those days, that is, in 1990, did Mr. Markovic
16 come and visit the area? Was there a meeting at which he spoke?
17 A. He said that he would make an address on Mount Kozara on the day
18 of the uprising of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 27th of July, that is, the
19 day of uprising from the Second World War. And this meeting was scheduled
20 in 1990, and roughly 20.000 to 30.000 people attended this rally.
21 However, he did encounter some difficulties and problems caused by
22 the nationalist parties, first of all, by the SDS, who said, "Now, why did
23 he choose this particular place in Bosnia-Herzegovina?" that he was doing
24 it on purpose to the Serbs. "Why hadn't he done it in Croatia?" And we
25 already know that the HDZ had made a great deal of progress in its
1 structuring in Croatia.
2 And then the SDA also said that -- opposed it because they were
3 for a unified Bosnia and succession from Yugoslavia. SDA was headed by
4 Alija Izetbegovic. We knew of his Islamic declaration for which he was
5 sentenced to 12 years of prison in the previous system and later
6 released. So these were the various criticisms, and they all boiled down
7 to an unwelcome, to a meeting -- a welcome that he was not -- not a proper
8 welcome given to Ante Markovic when he arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on
9 Mount Kozara.
10 Q. Mr. Bijelec, the Alliance of Reformist forces of Ante Markovic,
11 was it a multi-ethnic party where ethnicity did not count?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What were the aims of this political party?
14 A. The aims were to provide the best possible conditions of life in
15 Yugoslavia, to keep Yugoslavia whole, to overcome hyper-inflation, to
16 reform the economy. He established a convertible currency and progress
17 was being made. And he had a familiar saying, "Everything that is not
18 prohibited is permitted." And we took advantage of this in the Borac
19 handball club. We started setting up our own firms to provide finances,
20 and this was something that was not allowed in the former system.
21 Q. I omitted to ask you a moment ago when you made a statement as a
22 public figure that Borac would join the reformist forces, what were the
23 media reactions?
24 A. They weren't very favourable. I did make a statement for a
25 newspaper, Banja Luka Glas, and then the former director, Andjelko
1 Kozomara, who was a journalist at the time in the TV and radio of
2 Republika Srpska, he branded me a traitor, that I was a Croat, et cetera,
3 various things like that, which I considered it normal. I had expected to
4 be attacked. This didn't just apply to me, but everyone else. That was
5 the kind of atmosphere that prevailed in Banja Luka in those days.
6 Q. Did you personally have any unpleasantness stemming from your
7 co-citizens because you had opted for the reformist forces?
8 A. Yes. First of all, I had to send my son to Belgrade to school,
9 then my -- there was threat that they would blow up my cafe. Then, what
10 is a Croat doing at the head of a club? There were telephone calls and
11 things like that, but I bore it all bravely. I have big shoulders, so I
12 don't mind.
13 Q. Mr. Bijelec, you had reports that other prominent members of
14 reformist forces had unpleasantness.
15 A. Yes, my kum, Arslanagic, they broke into his apartment. They
16 stole his goods; then they moved people out. So there were incidents of
17 that kind. Momo Golic, who is now the director of Borac, was threatened
18 by phone. Why is he keeping Croats and Muslims there? Why doesn't he
19 throw them all out? And things like that.
20 Q. Mr. Bijelec, during the war, was the captain of Borac a Muslim?
21 A. Yes, Arnautovic. He won Olympic medals, gold medals, and a world
22 champion. He is now in Belgrade coaching the women's team of the club
23 Buducnost, I think. Arnautovic is his name, Arnautovic.
24 Q. Could you please repeat the name of the captain of the Borac team
25 during the war who was a Muslim, but letter by letter. Please spell it
1 for us for the record.
2 A. A-r-n-a-u-t-o-v-i-c. First name is Zlatan, Z-l-a-t-a-n.
3 Q. Do you know a person called Ranko Timarac?
4 A. Of course I do. He used to be a waiter in my place. He worked
5 for ten years. He comes from Omarska. After he went to work in the
6 Cyrano restaurant, then he opened his own restaurant in Omarska. The
7 other day he had a traffic accident. He's still fighting for his life. I
8 know him well personally, and my son and his went to the secondary school
9 of economics together.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, excuse me.
11 Perhaps now would be the time for a break. Would that be convenient, or
12 are you about to complete your examination?
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I need another five or six minutes
14 but I don't mind. Either way, Your Honour. Whatever you decide.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we're going to have a break,
16 and we'll come back at 2.00.
17 Mr. Usher, please accompany the witness out.
18 We'll be back at 2.00.
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.12 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 2.05 p.m.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
22 Mr. Bijelic, we're going to resume the proceedings.
23 Mr. Krstan Simic, you said you needed another five or six minutes,
24 and I now give you the floor.
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Before the meeting, Mr. Bijelic, you mentioned a man called Ranko
2 Timarac. Did he contact you with respect to the setting up of the
3 Reformist Alliance for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Yes. He came with a policeman, and the name was Miroslav Kvocka.
5 I remember the name because Kvocka, his surname, means an egg-bearing
6 hen. So I remembered the name. And they asked how they could become
7 members of the Reformist Alliance or, rather, how they could set up the
8 party in Omarska. However, our rules provide for the fact that parties
9 can be established in a municipality, which means in Prijedor, and this
10 would give us an insight -- the necessary insight we need for the voting.
11 So I gave them instructions as to how this is done. They left but
12 returned several days later to say that things were very difficult there,
13 that it was impossible to set up a party there because there was the SDS
14 and SDA parties who had divided up the population. They were equally
15 strong, more or less.
16 I was not able to accept that, and we decided that they should be
17 more aggressive in their approach to setting up this party, that they
18 should try and find prominent figures, prominent public figures. I think
19 they found Mr. Ljuban Andic from Omarska, who is a lawyer by profession
20 and a respected one, and then there was Nedjo Delic, who was the
21 owner/proprietor of a restaurant called Evropa, and that they should
22 report back to me.
23 They didn't contact me later. Timarac came on one occasion and he
24 said that he wasn't able to establish a party over there, that things were
25 difficult, and so that's what happened.
1 And let me also add that Kvocka had said he had been working
2 abroad, that he was a policeman, and that he had always been brought up by
3 his family that he was a citizen of Europe and not to go to war and that
4 his main objective was to be a member of that party so that he could
5 influence the rest of his fellow citizens. And we asked -- they asked
6 again to be admitted into the party in Banja Luka, but we weren't able to
7 do that and that's how the whole episode ended.
8 Q. Mr. Bijelic, the elections took place on the 18th of November,
9 1990. Could you tell us who the winners -- who won the elections?
10 A. There were nationalist parties, and 80 to 90 per cent of them --
11 got 80 to 90 per cent of the votes. Our party did not go through. There
12 was the well-known drama that took place in Bosnia, and we know how that
13 ended. So we did not succeed. We were not successful in our attempt to
14 form -- to do what we wanted to do because the nationalistic parties had
15 far more voters and like-minded people who were ordinary people. They
16 weren't educated; many of them weren't literate. And so that's how things
18 Q. After the elections which were held and the establishment of power
19 and authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in its municipalities, was a
20 chance given to the members of the reformist forces to become part of the
21 authorities in any of the municipalities? Were they given that
23 A. No. At least not in Banja Luka, as far as I know, and the other
24 places either. They were not able to make up the establishment, so to
25 speak. And our former premier, Mr. Dodik, led in that respect, but he
1 wasn't successful.
2 Q. Mr. Bijelic, after the elections that took place on the 18th of
3 November, 1990, which parties took over power and authority in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Could you name them?
5 A. The SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ. They were the nationalist parties.
6 Q. You mentioned Mr. Dodik who was until that time the premier of the
7 Serbian government. Was he a reformist as well?
8 A. Yes, for the Bosanska Krajina region, and I think it was most
9 difficult for him.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
12 questions for the witness, but I should like now to stress that the
13 Defence within the prescribed procedure has announced two affidavits which
14 support the Bijelic testimony. They are the affidavits of Mr. Dejanovic,
15 member of the SDS party, who spoke about the relationship of the SDS
16 towards the Reformist Forces Alliance; and the second affidavit is the
17 statement by former premier of the Republika Srpska, Mr. Milan Dodik, and
18 his testimony is linked to the relationships among the nationalist parties
19 and the Golgotha that the sympathisers of the Reformist Alliance of Ante
20 Markovic had to go through.
21 Furthermore, I should like at this point to tender an exhibit. It
22 is a document entitled, "Criteria for the Distribution of Municipal Posts
23 and Departments," established between the representatives of the national
24 parties of the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ. And this was Defence exhibit,
25 according to our own registry, D96, and the registrar has the exhibit
1 under D62/1. D62 -- I'm sorry, D42/1.
2 This document was signed by the then leaders of the nationalist
3 parties in Sarajevo on the 22nd of December, 1990, and they are Mr. Alija
4 Izetbegovic, president of the SDA party; Mr. Radovan Karadzic, president
5 of the SDS party; and the man mentioned, Stjepan Kljujic, the president of
6 the HDZ party.
7 I should now like to hand you all these documents, and let me say
8 that in the process of disclosure we received the document where it was
9 mentioned that no other party of a leftist orientation shall not be
10 considered and cannot be considered. That is a note at the end of the
12 So could I have these documents handed out, please, to the Trial
13 Chamber and the others.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, you wish to
15 have the document distributed? I think that we already took this subject
16 into consideration, Mr. Simic. The document -- I am going to give the
17 floor to Ms. Susan Somers in a moment, but let me make this observation
18 before I do so.
19 The document wasn't used during the testimony. What I can see is
20 you mentioned the document as being in existence and your intention to
21 have it tendered into evidence. We've already said that the documents
22 that you do not in fact use during the testimony should all be submitted
23 in bulk so that the Chamber and the Prosecutor can examine them and then
24 decide whether to admit them or not. So I don't know why at this stage
25 you are bringing it up. The witness did not mention the document, and you
1 now want to have the documents tendered and admitted.
2 But before I go any further, I'll give the floor to Ms. Susan
4 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I'm not even clear of the relevance of
5 the document. I have not seen the document, and it was not put to this
6 witness. So in the -- given those three points, I would ask at this time
7 that we have a chance to look at it. Certainly to simply shove a document
8 in whose relevance may or may not be established would be a mistake, I
9 think, and if we could look at it and perhaps at the end of our
10 examination and let the Chamber know. Thank you.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, your response.
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have understood
13 your suggestion with regard to certain documents which we have sent out;
14 however, most of the witnesses did not have occasion to see this document.
15 But Mr. Bijelic testified here. He said that after the elections there
16 was absolutely no possibility for the reformist forces or any other force,
17 apart from these nationalistic - and I like to say nationalistic and not
18 national parties - that these nationalistic parties divide up power
19 amongst themselves. And we wanted to show you an authentic document,
20 tender it, which is connected to the testimony made by Mr. Bijelic and
21 confirms that the reformist forces were removed from the political scene
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina because of the victory of the other nationalistic
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. Those forces
25 were rejected. We are now arguing and counter-arguing and presenting
2 I have already said that you should submit the documents to the
3 Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution, and we shall examine them and decide
4 whether to admit them or not, Mr. Krstan Simic. Otherwise, we are going
5 to enter into a process of allegation. When you say that you want to show
6 that the reformist forces did not participate in the government, how does
7 this tie in with the core of the process, the heart of the matter?
8 We did indeed hear the witness testify at length, and I am looking
9 at the summary of the witness's testimony, and it is within that framework
10 that the first secretary of the reform party, that he met him and Kvocka.
11 But what was the essential reason for that? If you could explain that to
12 me, I shall perhaps be able to understand.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. The
14 Defence wishes to show the attitude of the government and the institution
15 towards individuals who supported the Reformist Party and who advocated
16 these ideas. This is related to the indictment charging Mr. Kvocka, as
17 something that is contrary to what the witness is saying and what this
18 document is saying and to what Mr. Kvocka did. This document should be
19 related to the testimony given by Mr. Bijelic.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well then, Mr. Simic. As
23 we have already decided, you will submit the document. The Chamber will
24 consider the document, and we have already been advised of the relevance
25 of the document, if I may put it that way. After the opposing party has
1 expressed its view, we will take our stand.
2 So we do not have to discuss the issue at this point. We will
3 admit it. But I should like you to link up the documents with the matter
4 that is being discussed. We are not going to discuss whether the document
5 is going to be admitted or not at this point. It has been admitted, and
6 we will see about it later on.
7 You have finished with your examination-in-chief.
8 Ms. Somers for the cross-examination or Mr. Saxon? Who is going
9 to cross-examine the witness, please?
10 Yes, but before we do that, I'm sorry, I have to ask whether any
11 other Defence counsel have questions to ask of this witness. It seems
12 that they do not.
13 MS. SOMERS: If I may just take a quick look at this document,
14 Your Honour, before I begin. Thank you.
15 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
16 Q. Mr. Bijelic, your very brief encounter with Mr. Kvocka took place
17 exactly when, please?
18 A. It took place in early September when we started establishing
19 steering committees and taking new members to the party. The matter
20 received a certain amount of publicity by Banja Luka papers, in particular
21 because of the fact that people heard about our wish to do that. So Ranko
22 Timarac, who worked for me at the time and who had an agreement with him
23 at the time, he was supposed to organise a group of people in Omarska, a
24 group of people that he knew, so that we could have as many members as
25 possible. That was our objective at the time.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 As regards the exact time, whether it was on the 12th, the 13th,
2 or the 14th of September, I don't know, but it all took place between the
3 10th of September and the end of September, but I cannot be more specific
4 than that in terms of date. But they came to see me on two occasions.
5 Q. Can you tell us the year, please? September of which year?
6 A. 1990.
7 Q. Was Miroslav Kvocka wearing-- what was he wearing at the time?
8 A. Well, I cannot remember that. It was ten years ago. I really
9 cannot remember how he was dressed at the time. I simply don't recall.
10 He was wearing some kind of sports clothes. It was the beginning of
11 fall. He wasn't wearing any coat or jacket. I remember that it was
12 sunny. It was not cold. There was no snow. The whole thing took place
13 in the Bosna Hotel. You know, we would meet between 30 and 40 people per
14 day, and it's difficult for me to remember who wore what. And even if you
15 asked me what I was wearing at the time, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
16 Q. Well, I thank you for searching your memory. Can you tell us,
17 please, was he coming to you in the capacity of a police officer or as a
18 private individual?
19 A. As a private individual. Ranko Timarac was the one who spoke more
20 because he didn't know me. He said that he was a policeman, that he had
21 worked abroad, that he was interested in helping us in establishing the
22 branch of the party in the area of Prijedor, the SRS party. But we didn't
23 know each other very well at the time. I just remember the name Kvocka
24 because, in our language, it means "hen." So that's how I remembered his
1 Q. Were you the individual who was screening persons who wanted to
2 start up perhaps new chapters or branches of the Reformist Party, as
3 you're calling it? Were you the screener of this?
4 A. Yes. I was the only person who did that because I knew the area
5 of Banja Luka very well. I knew what people did, and I was the only
6 person who was in charge of that.
7 Q. Did you ask Mr. Kvocka why he became interested in your party?
8 A. Well, he said that he had worked abroad. He didn't tell me what
9 exactly it was that he did. Then he said that he was brought up in a
10 European spirit, if I can put it that way, and in the same spirit as I was
11 brought up and Mr. Krstan Simic as well. He knew that nationalist parties
12 were not good. He knew -- he understood what was happening. He probably
13 analysed it, and he really wanted to be the most prominent person of that
14 particular branch, and they were not able to do anything, neither him or
15 Ranko Timarac, without proper support.
16 Q. Did you come to that conclusion after the brief encounter you had
17 in which Mr. Timarac spoke on behalf of Mr. Kvocka? Did you conclude that
18 based on that interview?
19 A. No. See, during that first encounter, I did not come to that
20 conclusion because the situation was such that we had a lot of work to
21 do. We had to establish the steering committee. So we were working very
22 fast. On the second occasion when he came, we realised that he was really
23 willing to become active, and we talked at a greater length.
24 Kvocka wanted us to be more aggressive in our approach, but it was
25 difficult to establish smaller branches or chapters without having a
1 steering committee in Prijedor. We wanted to have a proper register so
2 that we would know how many voters we could count on, how many members of
3 our party would be amongst our voters because the objective, of course,
4 for us, was to win the elections.
5 Q. Based on these two encounters, did it appear to you that
6 Mr. Kvocka was a man who would undertake leadership responsibility?
7 A. Yes. Yes, that was my opinion of him, and Ranko as well, because
8 they were very persistent and they seemed to be knowledgeable about the
9 situation. He knew many people there, and I thought that they would be
10 successful in establishing that committee in Prijedor.
11 Q. Perhaps you can help us understand a little bit more about this
12 institution called the Reformist Party. Was it in fact a party, or was it
13 an alliance that was formed to unify certain parties? How would you best
14 describe that?
15 A. It was a reformist party which was in favour of Yugoslavia, and it
16 was our objective to have the state of Yugoslavia preserved. That was our
17 objective. That was what we had in mind, because the situation was really
18 good at the time Ante Markovic was the prime minister. He managed to
19 control the inflation, we stood very good chances of joining the European
20 Union, and it was perfectly normal for any intelligent person to vote for
22 However, the nationalistic parties joined together and made some
23 joint declarations to the effect that they did not have enough freedom in
24 the former system, so they managed to influence people in that way. And
25 the people in the Balkans are rather primitive, if I may put it that way.
1 They knew exactly what had happened during the Second World War, and their
2 opinion was reflected in the results of the elections. And there was
3 nothing that could be done after that.
4 Q. Mr. Bijelic, did you register this party in Sarajevo with the
6 A. The party was registered in Sarajevo on the 26th of June during
7 the -- 26th of September, I apologise, in Sarajevo during the
8 constitutional assembly. There were people who were in charge of that.
9 They registered the party there, and we registered our branch in Banja
11 Q. Please help us understand something that I'm not clear on. Did
12 you indicate that this party did not participate in the multi-party
13 elections at all?
14 A. No. It participated in the first multi-party elections, but it
15 gained very few votes. I believe 11 per cent or so.
16 Q. Besides the national parties of the HDZ, the SDS, and the SDA,
17 what other parties appeared on or in the multi-party elections, please, if
18 you could name a few?
19 A. The socialist party participated in the elections under the
20 leadership of Zeljko Radisic, then the HDZ -- well, I have mentioned
21 then. Then the liberal party.
22 Q. Are you suggesting that the non-participation or potential
23 non-participation of persons associated with this party was based on
24 discriminatory factors or simply on strict percentages for a very low
25 result in the multi-party election?
1 A. Because of a very low results mostly, but you have to be familiar
2 with the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be able to judge about what
3 kind of people we are and how it all ended. Unfortunately, that was the
4 kind of result that we had, and the situation hasn't changed a great
5 deal. You have seen the results of the latest elections.
6 Q. Can you tell us, please, a little bit about a person you described
7 as your good friend Stjepan Kljujic who was the Croat -- at one time a
8 Croat representative of the presidency, correct?
9 A. Yes. He even used to be the president of the Bosnian branch of
10 HDZ. He attended a meeting together with me and Arslanagic, and he wanted
11 me to organise a rally at the stadium belonging to the Borac football
12 club. I believe it was in the wintertime, in November. And we managed to
13 organise this rally which was not held because of some problems, some
14 conflicts with the SDS that occurred in the meantime.
15 Later on, he lost his favours with Franjo Tudjman and withdrew
16 from the party and established a new party recently.
17 Q. Now, when you say "lost his favours with Franjo Tudjman," would it
18 not be more correct to say that he did not agree with the extremist
19 nationalist anti-multi-ethnic approach that the HDZ had taken on. He was
20 not a person who would tolerate that. Is that not correct?
21 A. We were not in a position to discuss -- we did not have an
22 opportunity to talk, the three of us, Arslanagic, himself, and me.
23 Everything happened very fast. I didn't see him for a while, and then I
24 heard him on the telephone. He said, "I have lost my position with
25 Zagreb," and then all connections were cut off.
1 Later on I heard some news to the effect that he helped some
2 members of the Serb community in Sarajevo which was under siege at that
3 time, and -- but you are probably right in saying that he was -- he didn't
4 agree with the policy of Franjo Tudjman and that that is the reason why he
5 lost his position.
6 Q. When was your last contact with him, either personally or through
7 any other means?
8 A. It was before an international tournament in Sarajevo three years
9 ago when the local authorities didn't let us attend the tournament, so I
10 tried to contact him so that he could exert his influence so that we would
11 be able to participate in the tournament.
12 However, it was Minister Karalic, I think, who sent a very cunning
13 letter to him saying that he had nothing against our participating in the
14 tournament; however, that letter was never sent to us. We were only
15 informed by that over the telephone, but we could not go there without
16 that particular piece of paper.
17 Q. Excuse me.
18 A. The Borac club didn't go there and --
19 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you, please, are you aware, where did
20 Mr. Kljujic spend the entire period of the war? Where was he physically
21 located during the entire period of the war?
22 A. During the war, as far as I know, he was in Sarajevo. He was
23 hiding in a shelter in a basement. This is what a good friend of him told
24 me, a person by the name of Vukajlovic. He was the manager of the Bosna
25 basketball club who died in the meantime. He was the one who protected
1 him in Sarajevo, and he told me that Kljujic was in Sarajevo, hiding
2 himself in one of the shelters.
3 Q. Did you follow any of the activities of the government in Sarajevo
4 during the war to know if perhaps this was true or not true? True that he
5 was in Sarajevo, true that he never abandoned Sarajevo, but did you check
6 to see whether or not he may have been out and about?
7 A. No, I didn't. There was no chance for me to do that. There was a
8 war on. We couldn't go to Sarajevo and there were no communications. But
9 one would hear these things. I'd go to Belgrade. Somebody would come and
10 say -- this was just hearsay, and it is on the basis of that I am giving
11 you this statement. Whether that is correct or not I'm not sure, but that
12 is as much as I know.
13 Q. From what you've said today, it appears that the principal
14 attraction of this reformist movement or alliance, if we want to talk
15 about it later as that, was its economic programme. Would that be fair to
16 say, its economic programme?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you articulate any aspect of its programme about either human
19 rights or inter-ethnic relations in Bosnia? Can you talk about that? Is
20 there anything that sticks in your mind about the platform of that party
21 or movement on those issues?
22 A. I couldn't talk about these ethnic things, but I know that when he
23 came into power, the things he said, and whatever he said came true.
24 Inflation, hyper-inflation, was checked, the dinar became convertible. He
25 went to America to ask for aid and he got it, as well as from the European
1 Union. He told us --
2 Q. Excuse me. Who do you --
3 A. I mean Ante Markovic. I mean Ante Markovic.
4 Q. But did he ever articulate to you or anyone -- did you know him?
5 Did you know Ante Markovic?
6 A. Once we were introduced at Dzevad Haznadar's, in his enterprise.
7 Kecmanovic was there. Ante Markovic was there. We talked about these
8 things, we made agreements, and then everyone went his way, that was all.
9 Q. Is this the Kecmanovic that fled to Belgrade? Is this the person
10 we're talking about?
11 A. Yes. Yes, Dr. Nenad Kecmanovic who fled to Belgrade. He's back
12 in Sarajevo now. He's a commentator on the television station of
13 Republika Srpska. He's a respected person there.
14 Q. Understanding that it was principally the economic aspect of this
15 party or movement, are you suggesting or do you want us to understand that
16 a person who espoused or supported the principles of this movement could
17 not possibly support the principles of a national party or movement? Are
18 they mutually exclusive, in your mind?
19 A. Probably, yes. That party had nothing to do with the nationalist
20 movements. Those are at least my assumptions, because whatever was agreed
21 was achieved, so we had no reason not to trust him.
22 Q. My question is: Could a person, in your opinion, support either
23 an all-Serb or all-Croat or perhaps even an all-Muslim entity and still
24 think that the ideas of Ante Markovic were sound and made sense?
25 A. Among educated people, everyone said that Ante Markovic's was the
1 best and that he should be supported. And he proved that. When it all
2 fell apart, he didn't join any of the nationalist parties. He continued
3 to work on his own, and afterwards he was even an advisor to the
4 Macedonian government. So he had a good programme.
5 Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Markovic supported the breaking
6 away of the Serb municipalities to form the Republika Srpska? Do you know
8 A. I don't know. Believe me, I don't know.
9 Q. I'd like to ask you for a little bit of assistance, and in order
10 to do that, I'm going to ask the usher to show you several documents which
11 have been provided. The newest of the documents have been provided to
12 Defence counsel. The other documents are in the binders which were
13 admitted in 1999 as Prosecution exhibits, and I will refer --
14 MS. SOMERS: Mr. Usher, if you can start -- if you have a packet
15 to present to the witness, it would be very helpful.
16 While this is being done, the numbers of the new exhibits are
17 3/1.77 and 3/1.78. They are documents reflecting signatures concerning
18 Red Cross, Geneva Conventions material. The other documents are 2/2.11 to
19 2.12B as in "boy" and 2/2.14. The latter three mentioned are from the
20 1999 collection.
21 Q. I'm asking you to take a quick look, please, at the documents on
22 the ELMO, if it's possible to put them on the ELMO. 2/2.11. 2/2.11. The
23 document is both in English and in Serbo-Croatian.
24 This is a document, Mr. Bijelic, dated 22nd of June, 1992. This
25 document --
1 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Bijelic testified about his
4 role in the establishment of the Reformist Party. He was the manager of a
5 sports club, and he worked on the affirmation of the party, the Reformist
6 Party. Mr. Bijelic, who is a player, having played 800 matches, and a
7 manager, is being shown documents of the Crisis Staff of the region of
8 Krajina that the reformist forces have absolutely nothing in common. So
9 this question has nothing to do with the questions testified to by
10 Mr. Bijelic today. These are documents from 1992. He was testifying
11 about 1990, after which all his activities ceased in connection with the
12 reformist forces.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.
14 MS. SOMERS: Of course, applying the relevance test, any political
15 knowledge that may or may not be possessed by this witness is critical to
16 the Court's assessing his credibility and his ability to convey to this
17 Court whether or not anything Kvocka may or may not have undertaken is a
18 legitimate reflection of political interest or commitment.
19 These documents are very relevant inasmuch as they discuss the
20 essence of who represents Serb people as a whole. It doesn't talk about
21 Serb people who believe in certain -- I apologise to the interpreters, I'm
22 speaking too quickly.
23 I think the relevance of all the documents which I have presented
24 that are in evidence already, and just I'm asking for comment I'm not
25 asking for admission therein, merits comment by this witness so the
1 Chamber can know how he thinks about the political situation in BH.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may add a
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Only for the credibility of the
5 witness, Ms. Susan Somers, because these documents are outside the date
6 reviewed because the witness testified about 1990 and this is 1992. So
7 solely for the purpose of impeaching the witness.
8 MS. SOMERS:
9 Q. I would like to ask you, please, to take a look at this document
10 which is signed by Radislav Brdjanin on behalf of the Crisis Staff of
11 Banja Luka.
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I see Mr. O'Sullivan
14 on his feet.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: My learned friend has said this document is
16 signed by an individual. I don't believe there's any evidence in the
17 record of the authenticity of this document or the signature of the
18 document. If that has been established, then perhaps we can proceed with
19 these questions; and until that happens, in my submission, counsel's
21 MS. SOMERS: May I respond, Your Honour? These documents are
22 admitted into evidence. One can always look at weight if there's any
23 question of authenticity. But as admitted documents, I would like to ask
24 to proceed.
25 Q. I would ask you, please, to look at --
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. These documents were
2 admitted under which conditions or circumstances? I don't remember.
3 Could you remind us, please, Ms. Susan Somers, and could you also remind
4 the parties. Maybe the Defence does not remember either.
5 MS. SOMERS: I can -- excuse me, Your Honour. I have been
6 helpfully informed by Mr. Saxon, they were admitted subject to challenges
7 of authenticity by the Defence. In fact, no such challenge had been at
8 the time of admission rendered, and they appear to be in.
9 However, Your Honour, whether or not the signature, if I may --
10 the point is, at this point the content, because there are several
11 documents with the same phrase, and I think the repetition perhaps may be
12 evidence of the intent behind the phrase, that it was not a random comment
13 thrown into a document.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. O'Sullivan made a sign as if
15 he wanted to intervene. Do you still wish to say something?
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Very briefly, Your Honour. Documents are
17 admitted under Rule 89 (C) as a matter of relevancy. Now, questions of
18 authenticity go to weight. When there's no proof here as to authenticity,
19 and my learned friend is making submissions regarding authenticity of this
20 document and putting it to the witness that certain aspects of this
21 document have been proven, and in my submission they have not been
22 proven. We don't know the providence of these documents; we don't know
23 who signed it; we don't know whether the witness knows anything about this
24 document. So as much foundation as not been laid, and in my submission
25 it's improper for my learned friend to make submissions when there's no
2 MS. SOMERS: As --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, if I
4 understand correctly, you wanted to test the credibility of the witness.
5 If the witness hasn't signed this document, you can ask him a question
6 that you have to ask him without putting the document to him, yes or no?
7 MS. SOMERS: I think that would be difficult, Your Honour, because
8 although the issue is weight, and certainly during our rebuttal case if
9 there is a challenge to documents, we can address that in our rebuttal
10 case, but in terms of if -- even if the Chamber only looks at it for
11 weight, it is important that it is seen that it is from a document that
12 purports to be an official document.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But Ms. Susan Somers, you could
15 say "I know that," and then put your question. You yourself have said
16 that you were going to use the document for that purpose only, so it is
17 not necessary to link the information you have with this document. And we
18 will see what the response of the witness will be, whether the witness
19 knows or does not know how to answer your question.
20 MS. SOMERS: As long as the Chamber understands that I am not
21 testifying that when I say that "I know that." I am reading, in fact,
22 from a document that is before -- has been before the Chamber for a period
23 of time. And again, we would ask for its admission -- well, it is
24 admitted, but if there is a challenge to authenticity, to allow us to read
25 the passage, because I think it is the phraseology that is important, and
1 my paraphrasing it will not serve the same purpose as reading it. And
2 again, if weight is the issue, the Chamber is within its province to weigh
3 that matter.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think we will have to decide
5 on that. But Mr. Krstan Simic first, let us hear you.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I add a single
7 sentence. I have a feeling that my learned friend wishes the witness to
8 comment on the document. I would first like him to be asked whether he
9 ever saw the document, whether he knows of its existence, and we have an
10 expert witness, Nenad Kecmanovic, who can comment on documents.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, show the
12 witness this document and ask him whether he knows it, and then put your
13 question to him. So please go ahead.
14 MS. SOMERS:
15 Q. Mr. Bijelic, this document before you, you may or may not have
16 seen; is that correct? You may not have seen it.
17 A. No, but let me help you. This -- it is dated 1992, and in 1992 I
18 was in Belgrade with the Borac handball club until 1995. We competed
20 So I know nothing at all about this, nor does it interest me. My
21 activities ceased after the elections. We left and went to Serbia, or to
22 be quite specific, we were stationed in Obrenovac, the Srbija Hotel
23 there. You can check that with the handball association of Serbia. And I
24 was in the Palace Hotel in Belgrade until 1995, and this can easily be
25 checked. And I don't know what happened in the meantime, so there's
1 nothing more I can tell you about it.
2 Q. When you returned to Banja Luka, I presume was the place to which
3 you returned in Bosnia, had you been aware that the position of the
4 government, at least up till a point in time when the war ended, was
5 that -- which is articulated in decision point one where it says the,
6 "Serbian Democratic Party," that would be SDS, "is the sole
7 representative of the Serbian people." Had you been made aware of that
9 A. No. Let me say again, I am not a politician. My main interest
10 was to assert the Borac handball club because changes had occurred, major
11 changes. After a single-party system, a multi-party system was
12 introduced, and we couldn't find our way around. Borac as a club also
13 took a step forward, and that is what guided us. So I never even read
14 this document. As soon as I saw the date, I saw that I had nothing to say
15 because Borac was a Yugoslav club. It was a member of the Yugoslav
16 league. You can check the names of the people involved, and I headed
17 those lists.
18 To make things worse, there were no telephone connections, even,
19 so we couldn't know many things. Especially in Serbia in those days, one
20 couldn't learn about these things. You know why: The press was
21 censored. All we wanted was to keep the club alive, and the handball
22 association of Yugoslavia welcomed us, and we thanked them for this, even
23 though we came from another state. And all that I can say, I can say
24 about what happened until elections in 1991. When we didn't succeed, I
25 gave up. I went back to Borac. Borac had survived, and it exists to this
1 day, and I know nothing beyond that.
2 Q. About Borac, was it a state-run, state-funded club? Was it an
3 asset of the former Yugoslavia?
4 A. No. No. Borac was founded as an association of citizens. Ten
5 citizens get together and form a club. And that is how we were financed,
6 as an association of citizens. The state had nothing to do with us.
7 However, our results were such that the state showed an interest and it
8 assisted us. Not financially, but our players would more easily get jobs
9 upon graduation. As top-level sportsmen, they would be given apartments.
10 In that sense, the state assisted us, but not in any other way. We
11 belonged to an association of citizens.
12 Q. I want to ask you this: Did Borac bring economic benefit, fame,
13 notoriety, to both Yugoslavia and now to the Republika Srpska?
14 A. Not economic benefit. Football players and basketball players
15 bring economic benefit. Handball is a poor man's sport. He didn't gain
16 those funds. Even when we compete in Europe, we have to pay to be able to
17 participate as opposed to football and basketball. But in the case of
18 handball, that is not the case.
19 Q. Would you agree that members of this club are given a certain
20 respect, a certain deference?
21 A. Yes, that quite certainly. Yes, we did enjoy respect.
22 Q. I would like to ask you about the membership of your party, and
23 I'd like to throw some names out to you, please, and see if you might be
24 able to comment. Dragan Kalinic.
25 A. Yes. At the beginning, he was a member of that party. Then he
1 left it and joined the SDS, and now he's President of the parliament of
2 Republika Srpska.
3 Q. And do you know when he left the party?
4 A. Immediately after the elections. He changed his mind. He went to
5 Belgrade, then he came to Banja Luka, and so on. As far as I know, of
7 Q. Not to spend too much time on this, just to put in front of you
8 very briefly 3/1.77 and 3/1.78. They are in English only. I apologise.
9 That is the language of the document. Do you see it in front you?
10 MS. SOMERS: Is it possible to put it on the ELMO? It might be
11 easier. Thank you.
12 Q. This document is a document that was compiled at the invitation of
13 the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva on the 22nd of May,
14 1992. It concerns various aspects of the conventions, and the
15 representatives of various persons or parties from Bosnia-Herzegovina are
17 The second name is a Mr. D. Kalinic, representative of Mr. Radovan
18 Karadzic, President of the Serbian Democratic Party. Would be this the
19 same Mr. Kalinic about whom you were just speaking?
20 A. I assume it is the same man. Because immediately after the
21 elections when he saw the SDS party had won, he joined them. So I assume
22 it is the same man because I don't know any other Kalinic.
23 Q. There is this document which also bears the identifier of
24 Mr. Kalinic, and it was for that purpose that he was once a member of your
25 party and subsequently became a representative of Radovan Karadzic that I
1 show this to you. It is not necessary to discuss it any further.
2 Can you tell me, please, who was a man named Pavic?
3 A. Marko Pavic? He was Minister in Dodik's government. Minister of
4 Transportation, as far as I know. He is from Prijedor. If that is the
5 one you're referring to.
6 Q. Was he also a member of your party?
7 A. I don't remember, because in Prijedor it was not formed. Whether
8 he was a member of a party somewhere else, I don't know.
9 Q. Do you know if he ever worked with Biljana Plavsic?
10 A. I think -- I assume that when Biljana formed her party that he
11 joined that party, but it is an assumption on my part.
12 Q. From the following names, I'd like to ask you perhaps if you can
13 tell us about. Excuse me for looking. Burho Kapetanovic. Does that
14 sound familiar to you? A Muslim. Do you know that name?
15 A. Where is he from? No. Is he from Doboj perhaps? I know a
16 Kapetanovic from Doboj.
17 Q. Were there several Kapetanovics in your party?
18 A. I can't remember, because there were five or six representatives
19 enrolling people. There were quite a number of Muslims. There were quite
20 a number of Croats, and quite a number of Serbs or, rather, Yugoslavs,
21 especially people from mixed marriages. They all declared themselves as
23 Q. Do you know a Mehmedalija Kapetanovic?
24 A. No. No.
25 Q. Do you know a Rizah -- sorry. I can't even read my own writing.
1 How about a Croat named Miroslav Turnusek? Do you know that person?
2 A. No, I don't. I know Miroslav Pitrosek. He's the coach of the
3 women team of Vrbas.
4 Q. Aleksandar Komsic?
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really don't know
7 where this is leading. Mr. Bijelic was a manager working on the promotion
8 of the party. He didn't keep records. There were records by
9 municipalities, and I don't know how Mr. Bijelic can be expected to know
10 all the members of the reformist forces in the area of
12 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, but the witness can
14 say whether he knows or not. Are you afraid that he cannot answer those
15 questions? He can answer them.
16 I was going to say to Ms. Susan Somers that your time is about to
18 MS. SOMERS: I am aware of that.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You have another one or two
21 A. I don't mind, Your Honour. I'll tell you whatever I know.
22 MS. SOMERS:
23 Q. I think this was Aleksandar Komsic.
24 A. No, I don't know that name.
25 Q. These names are persons who were in the Reformist Party in your
1 area who ended up in Omarska camp. Did you ever get any type of request
2 for assistance? Are you aware of any type of request for assistance that
3 may have made it through, as it were, the network of fellow former party
4 members to help out to get these people out of the camps?
5 A. You see, it was impossible for me to know that because I said I
6 was active until the elections, and since we didn't win, I withdrew and
7 concentrated on Borac. Tosic, a former Partizan football player from
8 Prijedor, apparently Partizan pulled him out of the Omarksa camp, I think
9 it was.
10 As for the others, I don't know because the party virtually no
11 longer existed. I went to Belgrade and I don't know anything any more.
12 Since we didn't win, the party dissolved, this unfortunate war started,
13 the non-Serbs were forced out of the Banja Luka just as the Serbs were
14 forced out of Sarajevo, and no one could really keep track of all that was
15 going on.
16 MS. SOMERS: No further questions. Thank you.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you Ms. Susan Somers.
18 Mr. Simic, any additional questions?
19 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] In view of the time, I shall have
20 just two questions, Your Honour.
21 Re-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
22 Q. Mr. Bijelic, when you spoke about the programme of Mr. Markovic,
23 can you tell us whether he had already started with the privatisation
24 process and the introduction of the market economy in the former
1 A. Yes. It happened in Banja Luka. The major companies were about
2 to be privatised.
3 Q. And my last question for you. The reformist forces of
4 Mr. Markovic, were they in favour of multi-ethnicity? Did they want to
5 become involved in that? Was that one of their objectives?
6 A. Yes, that was one of their objectives. It was a precondition for
7 their success.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No further
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Simic.
11 I don't think that we have any questions for you, Mr. Bijelic, so
12 I can only thank you for coming here to testify and to wish you a safe
13 journey back to your place of residence and a lot of success in your
14 work. Let me ask the usher to accompany you out of the courtroom now.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honour.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] See you tomorrow at 9.20.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.14 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 6th day of
20 February, 2001, at 9.20 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.