1 Monday, 25 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused M. Lukic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: As you know, we were scheduled to commence at
7 8.00 a.m.
8 Milan Lukic is unwell. We were waiting to see whether he would arrive.
9 He has not arrived. Our understanding is that he will come later. His
10 illness is not of the kind that would prevent him attending, but we can't
11 deal with any substantive matters in his absence, because I understand he
12 does wish to be present.
13 Mr. Alarid, is that so?
14 MR. ALARID: That is my understanding, Your Honour. My case
15 manager spoke with --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. ALARID: I apologise, I forget the microphone. Your Honour,
18 my case manager spoke with Mr. Lukic about 7.38, and he indicated that he
19 was not well. He did indicate that he wanted to be present for these
20 witnesses especially in light of some of the identification issues that
21 came into play and especially since, apparently, especially the second
22 witness does identify Mr. Lukic, although in a belated manner in the
23 statements, but I think it is imperative that per his request he be
24 present for these witnesses.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll -- we'll wait, but in the
1 meantime I have some administrative matters to deal with, and I'll take
2 the opportunity to deal with them, and I'll also give a decision on
3 Prosecution motion under Rule 92 ter.
4 Today, as you know, we'll stop at 12.00. That is to enable the
5 Judges to attend a very important meeting of the Plenary. I have
6 reorganised the sitting hours, the sitting schedule slightly. We will
7 begin in the mornings at 8.50, ten minutes to 9.00. If my arithmetic is
8 bad then you must correct me. It means, then, that we would go from 8.50
9 to 10.20. We will take a 20-minute break to 10.40. The next session
10 will be 10.40 to 12.10. We would then take a half an hour break, 12.10
11 to 12.40, and we would then sit from 12.40 to 1.45.
12 If this presents any logistical problems for the registry or the
13 detention unit, then I should be advised as quickly as possible.
14 I will take the opportunity to give a decision on the Prosecution
15 motion in respect of those witnesses who are to testify this week. There
16 are five witnesses which are the subject of Prosecution's motion under
17 Rule 92 ter, filed on the 15th of February, 2008, and a supplemental
18 motion filed on the 8th of August.
19 By the motion of the 8th of August, the Prosecution sought to
20 supplement with seven witness statements, and three of those statements
21 relate to witnesses who are scheduled to testify this week. It also
22 requested permission to assign 65 ter numbers to certain material, the
23 subject of the motion of the 15th of February, as well as the seven
25 The Defence of Sredoje Lukic responded on the 28th of February,
1 and the Defence of Milan Lukic responded on the 28th March. Neither
2 party responded to the motion of the 8th of August.
3 The Chamber has reviewed the evidence submitted in the two
4 motions with regard to the five witnesses under consideration, and its
5 conclusion is that the transcripts, the statements, and the associated
6 exhibits are admissible under Rule 92 ter provided the requirements of
7 that Rule are met.
8 The Chamber will also grant the motion of the 8th of August
9 insofar as it requests permission to assign Rule 65 ter numbers. And of
10 course the Chamber will remain seized of the two motions insofar as the
11 remaining witnesses are concerned.
12 And I bring to your attention the fact that the Chamber issued a
13 decision last Friday concerning Mevsud Poljo, who is a Rule 92 bis
14 witness and is to be called for cross-examination this week.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're going to adjourn for half an hour.
17 Yes, Mr. --
18 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, Your Honour, just to use this
19 opportunity to raise some -- some issues.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 MR. CEPIC: With your leave, please. Thank you.
22 Firstly, we received this morning supplemental information sheet
23 from OTP at 7.20, so I kindly ask my learned friend for OTP if we can
24 receive a little bit earlier those kind of informations to have enough
25 time to be prepared for examination. That is the first issue.
1 And second issue also related to witness notification. On first
2 day we received witness notification at 6.20 p.m. So I kindly ask my
3 learned friends if it is possible before 4.00 p.m. on Thursday to receive
4 the witness notification for the next week.
5 And third issue is related to my client. We would like to use
6 opportunity according to European Convention of Human Rights Article 6.3D
7 and according to the practice from the Prlic case, my client would like
8 to ask -- potentially to ask just a very few questions of very few
9 witnesses. Of course the questions for those witnesses my learned friend
10 Mr. Dieckmann and I will lead but just to use this opportunity with your
11 leave, if the Trial Chamber grants that.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: In my view you need to file a motion for
13 something like that.
14 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would need to have it properly considered.
16 File a motion setting out your submission and any authority on which you
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, may I ask the Prosecutor why the
20 information that should have been issued by Thursday of last week was
21 only transmitted to the Defence this morning?
22 MS. SARTORIO: If you're talking about the witness notification
23 that was issued on Thursday at 6.20. I believe that's what he stated.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: 6.20.
25 MS. SARTORIO: Last Thursday.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's in the evening. 6.20 p.m.
2 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. We'll try to get it in before
3 the close of business --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: What about the information that was transmitted
5 this morning?
6 MS. SARTORIO: I believe he might be talking about an addendum to
7 one of the witness's statements. When I proofed the witness this weekend
8 he asked to make some changes to his statement and we drafted up an
9 addendum and had it translated and everything yesterday and we did send
10 it to counsel by e-mail last evening but we did it -- we transmitted it
11 as soon as it was finished. So we have -- this is -- this is a factor
12 that comes up in proofing. Rather than submit proofing notes, which is
13 the custom, the witness felt that he wanted to make certain changes, and
14 we felt it better to do an addendum to his statement rather than me
15 drafting proofing notes and submitting the changes myself.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I guess -- so you proofed the witness over the
18 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question might then be asked why was the
20 witness only proofed over the weekend?
21 MS. SARTORIO: Well, that's the standard practice in the
22 Tribunal, Your Honour. We can't go down to -- to the region to proof all
23 of our witnesses although we'd prefer to do that. But ...
24 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the --
1 MS. SARTORIO: I'm sorry, Your Honour. May I make a correction?
2 Since Defence counsel is not real clear when he said he received -- he
3 did receive something this morning which was in relation to Mr. Ossogo's
4 witness, but I don't -- I believe that they were proofing notes as well,
5 and this witness was also proofed yesterday. So Defence counsel did
6 receive the addendum to the statement of my witness last evening, but
7 received the proofing notes for the other witness this morning. I just
8 wanted to clarify that.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Every effort should be made to have the
10 statements that are to be transmitted on Thursday transmitted by, I would
11 say, 4.00, 4.00 p.m.
12 Chamber made didn't deal with a specific time, but I would say now that
13 we ought to be working for 4.00 p.m.
14 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. We will abide by that.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And that of course will also apply to the
16 Defence when their time comes.
17 We are going to adjourn for half an hour and see whether the
18 accused arrives, but I believe now there is some information from the
19 court deputy.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm now told by the court deputy that he is
22 scheduled to arrive at 10 minutes to 9.00. So we will resume at 10
23 minutes to 9.00.
24 We are adjourned.
25 --- Break taken at 8.19 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 8.50 a.m.
2 [The accused M. Lukic present in court]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Lukic, I see you're here. You are here, and
4 you're fit? Not hearing. I was saying we were sorry to learn that you
5 were indisposed, but we're happy to see you here now.
6 THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the interpretation for Mr. Lukic's
9 THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was given some pills to
10 take, Your Honour, but I do still have a stomach ache.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We note that you're here, and we
12 hope that you'll be well enough to -- to follow the proceedings.
13 Mr. Prosecutor, will you call your first --
14 THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I said I wasn't
15 feeling well. I'm still not feeling well. I was given some medication,
16 but I'm not still feeling well.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does that impact in any way on your ability to
18 follow the morning's proceedings?
19 THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it does impact my
20 ability to do that.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
22 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, in speaking with Mr. Lukic ever so
23 briefly, and actually my case manager doing that, he indicated that
24 although he took pills this morning for his condition he's afraid that,
25 one, that it's bothering him now and that it may necessitate him in sort
1 of an emergency scenario to leave the courtroom at any time and that is
2 the problem that could both disrupt the proceedings and impact his
3 ability, I think, to pay attention.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you making a specific submission,
5 Mr. Alarid?
6 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, in light of the situation I think it
7 would be disruptive if Mr. Lukic was having to leave to use the restroom
8 or whatnot and I don't know if it would be possible to postpone the
9 proceedings of this morning.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid and Mr. Lukic, what the Chamber has
12 decided is that we will start the proceedings, but if Mr. Lukic finds it
13 necessary to -- to leave for the bathroom, then he should let us know,
14 and of course we'll adjourn.
15 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please call the first witness.
17 Mr. Ossogo, is it your witness?
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-022
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: This will be the third Prosecution witness.
23 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It is.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Mr. Ossogo.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Prosecution
4 is calling Witness VG-022. I would like to give the court officer the
5 pseudonym sheet so that it can be given to the witness and so he can
6 recognise his name, and this sheet should be shown to the Chamber and to
8 Examination by Mr. Ossogo:
9 Q. Witness VG-22, on the sheet that you have in front of you, do you
10 see the letters VG-022 and the name next -- and the name next to this
11 pseudonym, is it your name?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. The bottom of the sheet, you will find two other names, names
14 that you may refer to during your testimony. Do you recognise these two
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Could you please show the sheet to
19 the Trial Chamber now. And once the documents will have been shown to
20 the Trial Chamber and to the Defence, the Prosecution would like to
21 tender this document.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo, I notice that you have two
23 pseudonyms on that sheet. In fact -- in fact, three. I think it would
24 be more convenient to have one pseudonym for each sheet so that there's
25 no confusion, but we admit it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P13 under
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you for your comment, and we
4 will take this into account, Your Honour. This is why we had written the
5 witness's pseudonym in very large font, whereas the two other witnesses
6 that he may refer to were in smaller font. Thank you.
7 Q. Witness VG-22, you have been granted protective measures for your
8 safety. The Trial Chamber granted these protective measures. You will
9 benefit from face and voice distortion, but please during your testimony
10 could you refrain from giving any indications as to your address or as to
11 the name of your relatives, but in case this happens I will remind you of
13 Now, we -- we have information in one of your previous statements
14 on what you were doing at the time. What are you doing now,
15 Witness VG-22? What's your occupation?
16 A. I am the director of a private firm.
17 Q. Could you tell us where you lived in 1992, in early 1992? But
18 don't tell us the address. Just give us the municipality.
19 A. I lived and resided in Visegrad municipality.
20 Q. Do give us the month -- the month in 1992 when you lived there,
21 and did you live there throughout 1992 or only for part of that year?
22 A. In Visegrad I lived until May 1992.
23 Q. Were you married?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you have children at the time?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Let's move now to the testimony you made in this
3 Tribunal in the Vasiljevic case in September 10th, 2001. Have you read
4 the -- were you already heard in this Tribunal on September 10, 2001
5 A. I do not think that I gave any statements before the Tribunal.
6 Q. I would like to know whether you testified in the Vasiljevic
7 case, Mitar Vasiljevic.
8 A. Yes, I did take the stand in the Vasiljevic case.
9 Q. September 10th, 2001?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you arrived in The Hague
12 your -- the transcript of your testimony in this case, in the
13 Mitar Vasiljevic case?
14 A. Yes, I was.
15 Q. To your knowledge, this transcript you listened to, was it
16 faithful to what you actually said when you were in court?
17 A. Yes, it was.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] The Prosecution would like now to
20 tender the following exhibit: The transcript of the hearing in this
21 court of Witness VG-022 on September 10, 2001. This is 65 ter document
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit it.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P14, under
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] May I proceed?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, yes.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Witness VG-22, the Defence and the Trial Chamber have the
5 transcript of your testimony in the Mitar case -- in the Vasiljevic case,
6 and this document has been tendered as evidence, so we'll not go back to
7 everything you said at the time, but I just would like to ask you some
8 additional questions to get some details. I would like to ask you a few
9 questions on the White Eagles, the paramilitary formation called the
10 White Eagles. Do you know this formation?
11 A. Yes, I know that there existed such a unit.
12 Q. In which year and where did this formation exist?
13 A. To the best of my knowledge, already in 1992 that unit was set
14 up, and it operated in part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as far as I
15 know, in particular in its eastern part, namely, Visegrad and the
16 surroundings of the town of Visegrad
17 Q. Do you have any information on the strength of this unit in this
18 region where they operated, the strength of the White Eagles in the
19 Visegrad region?
20 A. I could not say what their number was with precision, but these
21 units were not of the type of conventional army units, a thousand
22 soldiers strong or something like that. They were smaller units in
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak closer to the
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You say the White Eagles were operating. Could you tell us what
3 it means?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Ossogo. The interpreter
5 wants the witness to come closer to the microphone.
6 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. I'll come back to -- so I'll repeat my question. You said that
8 they operated in Visegrad, that the White Eagles operated in that area.
9 What exactly did you mean when you said they operated?
10 A. Well, one could say that these paramilitary formations had been
11 set up illegally, and they worked and acted in contravention of the
12 regulations and laws that were in force in Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 for the most part they did harmful -- they undertook harmful actions or
14 impermissible actions.
15 Q. Can you be a bit more specific when you say that they undertook
16 harmful actions?
17 A. Yes, I can. For the most part in their activity they would
18 intimidate people, expel people, and they would commit murders of the
19 non-Serb population.
20 Q. Thank you. When you say non-Serbs, which group are you referring
22 A. For the most part in the municipality of Visegrad
23 Serb population the majority consisted of Bosniaks, of Muslims. So this
24 primarily refers to that population.
25 Q. The White Eagles were undertaking illegal activities against
1 Muslims, is that what you say?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you tell us whether there was any connection between the
4 White Eagles and the JNA, which at the time was in Visegrad?
5 A. Yes. There did exist such a connection, and evidence of that is
6 the fact that the very commander of the Yugoslav People's Army, the
7 commander of the town said so on a number of occasions.
8 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber the name of this JNA commander
9 you are referring to?
10 A. The commander of the town at the time self-styled,
11 self-designated, self-appointed commander of the town was a man by the
12 name of Jovanovic, and he was a lieutenant colonel by rank.
13 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic, did he say anything at one point in
14 time that would be related to the White Eagles, maybe during a meeting?
15 A. Yes, he did. He explicitly and clearly, in front of 4.000
16 people, and I myself was present, stated that the White Eagles units were
17 present in Visegrad and that they were under his command.
18 Q. When he indicated that the White Eagles were under his command,
19 did he mean that the White Eagles were under the integrated command of
20 the JNA?
21 MR. ALARID: Objection, Your Honour. Leading.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
23 MR. ALARID: Leading, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree. That's leading. You're telling the
25 witness the answer.
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness VG-22, could you tell us what Lieutenant Colonel
3 Jovanovic said when he referred to the White Eagles?
4 A. Yes. At the time he clearly said at the football stadium where
5 there were, in my estimation, at least 4.000 Muslims present, he said,
6 "The units of the White Eagles are also under my command, so mind your
7 behaviour and watch your steps, because," and then the -- "or else, or
8 else," and everybody was present knew exactly what that "or else" meant.
9 Q. You said that -- that people -- there were about 4.000 people in
10 front of Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic when he addressed them.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What was their ethnic background?
13 A. They were exclusively Muslims, Bosniaks.
14 Q. Where did they come from?
15 A. They were all inhabitants of Visegrad municipality.
16 Q. Why did they get together?
17 A. The people assembled there because the danger was threatening
18 them of liquidation. This is what they thought. And they were in
19 smaller groups, and then escorted and organised by the Yugoslav People's
20 Army they assembled at the football stadium there in Visegrad.
21 Q. Can you tell us who was -- who was threatening them, if you know?
22 A. There were no verbal threats of the kind directly uttered then,
23 but it was quite clear to everybody that lieutenant colonel was actually
24 saying that he meant to say that the units were under his command and
25 that if he so wanted they would be active or not be active, and if they
1 were active one knew what that meant. That meant merciless liquidation
2 of all Muslims that they came across.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And the people who got together, these 4.000 people, were they
7 A. Yes. They were solely civilians, exclusively civilians.
8 Q. Did it ever happen that the Yugoslav People's Army leave Visegrad
9 and the White Eagles, did they stay in Visegrad?
10 A. Yes. After the departure of the Yugoslav People's Army, those
11 units remained on in Visegrad.
12 Q. These units remaining in Visegrad, did they continue operating?
13 A. Yes, they did. To my knowledge, they continued to operate
15 Q. Witness VG-22, I'm now going to talk about your departure from
16 Visegrad, because at the beginning of your testimony you said that you
17 stayed in Visegrad up to the month of May 1992. Did you leave Visegrad
18 in the year -- in May 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where did you go?
21 A. With my entire family I went in the direction of Serbia
22 to the town of Uzice
24 Q. Can you tell us why you left Visegrad?
25 A. I left Visegrad because I was afraid for my life and the lives of
1 my family members. That's the reason.
2 Q. Can you tell us how you left Visegrad, using what kind of
4 A. I left Visegrad with my own car.
5 Q. Have you been helped by anyone?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. By whom? By whom?
8 A. When I was leaving Visegrad I was given direct help by
9 Mr. Stanko Pecikoza, who was the vice-president of the
10 Serbian Democratic Party, and he was an influential man in town.
11 Q. Do you personally know Mr. Stanko Pecikoza apart from the
12 professional connections you had with him?
13 A. I knew him well, yes.
14 Q. Do you know what happened to him?
15 A. Based on what I know, Mr. Stanko Pecikoza was liquidated by the
16 White Eagle units.
17 Q. When you say "liquidated," what do you mean by that?
18 A. I mean that they carried out this murder. They killed him.
19 Q. As far as you know, do you have any information about the people
20 who murdered him?
21 A. Based on what I know, Your Honours, they were members of these
22 paramilitary formations. And there were also stories. There was talk
23 that it was a certain gentleman by the name of Milan Lukic.
24 Q. If it is possible, can you tell us whom you heard this
25 information from?
1 A. I received this information from several sources, and among other
2 sources also from the family members of Stanko Pecikoza who was killed.
3 Q. If it is possible, could you give us more details, details
4 concerning the family?
5 A. Your Honours, I don't know how much of an effect that would have
6 on the security or safety of the people who gave me this information. No
7 problem. I can tell you more details once this is taken into account.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo, do you have an application to make?
10 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We can continue
11 and maybe start a private session.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session.
13 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Ossogo, you have completed?
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, in the time I had
13 been allocated.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Alarid.
15 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
17 Q. Mr. VG-22, good morning.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Now, at the time that the war broke out -- [French interpretation
20 on English channel].
21 A. I'm sorry, is this a question?
22 Q. Yes. Or it's a statement. Do you agree with that?
23 A. Well, you could say that, yes.
24 Q. You were a head of your party under the new two-party system?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me bring it to your attention that the
1 question which you asked did not come out in the English interpretation,
2 so please ask the question again.
3 MR. ALARID:
4 Q. Isn't it true that you were a leader of your party under the new
5 two-party system in place in 1992?
6 A. I was not a president of the party. I was one of the
7 vice-presidents. And if I can just add, this was not a two-party system.
8 It was a multi-party system that was in place.
9 Q. Well, but isn't it true that basically two parties were in
10 control, the SDA and the SDS
11 A. That is correct. They had the majority in the Assembly. Those
12 two parties had an absolute majority in the Municipal Assembly.
13 Q. And the SDA was primarily a Muslim party?
14 A. The majority of its members were Muslims, Muslim Bosniaks.
15 Q. And because of the demographics of the area, the majority of the
16 Assembly was SDA as well, correct?
17 A. Yes. At these elections the SDA, the Democratic Action Party,
18 did win the majority of the votes.
19 Q. And how long had you been part of this Assembly before the
20 fighting started?
21 A. Your Honours, I was not a member of the Municipal Assembly of
22 Visegrad. At that time, I was in the Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina
24 Q. And I apologise, sir. I read in your initial statement that you
25 were a Member of Parliament, and so I assumed you were an elected
1 official before that.
2 A. The first time I was elected to the parliament of Bosnia and
4 in 1996.
5 Q. And what happened to your position in parliament while the war
6 was being fought?
7 A. Nothing special happened. When I was able to, I attended the
8 sessions, and if I was prevented from attending because of the war, then
9 I didn't attend, and then nothing particular happened.
10 Q. Would it be fair to say that the parliament was not doing any
11 real business while the fighting was occurring?
12 A. If you're thinking of the Assembly of the Visegrad municipality,
13 it worked with difficulty. And also the same thing applies for the
14 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also worked with difficulty.
15 Q. Well, would it be fair to say that it did not work at all due to
16 the fact that it was actually the Serbians and the army that had taken
17 control of the countryside?
18 A. This was a short period, from the time the conflict broke out
19 until the time that the Yugoslav People's Army took over power in the
20 town. But this didn't -- it wasn't a long period of time, perhaps 20
21 days at the most. And when we're talking about the work of the
22 parliament, this is a relatively short period in that sense, so you
23 cannot really say that it was or wasn't functioning during that time.
24 Q. Well, then maybe a better question to ask is who had power over
25 Visegrad in April/May of 1992? Real power.
1 A. In that period, the army -- or, rather, the Yugoslav People's
2 Army had the real power.
3 Q. Who controlled the Yugoslav People's Army?
4 A. The main command of the -- or the Supreme Command of the
5 Yugoslav People's Army was in Belgrade
6 Q. Now, would you please speculate as to when you believe the plans
7 of Belgrade
8 A. This is very hard to say, Your Honours. I really cannot. I
9 mean, I don't know.
10 Q. Well, let me -- let me kind of give you a couple points of
11 reference. At what point in time were the Muslim population disarmed?
12 A. The question is not precise, so it's kind of hard.
13 Muslim Bosniaks were not in some separate organised units where they were
14 armed. There was the Territorial Defence, which was an organ of the
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all were members of that body,
16 all those who lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you're thinking about
17 the disarming of the Territorial Defence, then you could describe it in
18 this way. It happened --
19 Q. Please do that. That is what I meant.
20 A. Yes. From what I can recall, this happened about three or four
21 months before the intense conflict began.
22 Q. And the intense conflict being about the 4th or 5th of April,
24 A. You could take that date as a marker point.
25 Q. Who disarmed the Territorial Defence?
1 A. The Territorial Defence was disarmed by the army. Pursuant to
2 orders of the JNA, all the weapons in the possession of the
3 Territorial Defence were withdrawn. They were taken by them and probably
4 placed in different barracks.
5 Q. And this is the same JNA that was controlled by Belgrade?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. And so even though the entire JNA army didn't come in until
8 later, there were troops in the region organising the disarmament?
9 A. When you say the Yugoslav People's Army, this is the army that
10 had its barracks throughout Yugoslav army, and this means Bosnia and
12 the territory of the municipality of Visegrad
13 Q. And would it be fair to say that just by the demographics and
14 population that the majority of the Territorial Defence was Muslim?
15 A. As you said it yourself, in view of the demographics probably the
16 composition of the Territorial Defence reflected that.
17 Q. And so practically speaking, the disarmament had the effect of
18 leaving the Muslims without ordinary weapons?
19 A. You could say that, although the Territorial Defence, I repeat,
20 was not an ethnic unit. These were constitutionally and legally
21 regulated reserve units. And in case of need, they were the ones which
22 could react quickly in a specific territory to protect the law and so on
23 and so forth. That's why they were called the Territorial Defence.
24 Q. And with the breakdown of order then, still the ordinary
25 Territorial Defence would be unable to protect the laws of that
1 territory. Isn't that true?
2 A. You could say that, although I would not agree with you when you
3 say when the order broke down. Everything functioned, although with
4 difficulty, until the Yugoslav People's Army came.
5 Q. And there's been evidence that the people's -- Yugoslav
6 People's Army came in under the pretense that Muslims were killing
7 people, slaughtering Serbians.
8 A. You could hear such reports on the radio broadcast by some radio
9 stations from Serbia
11 Q. How did it make you feel being a local that knew the truth?
12 A. Well, sir, a person could not feel at ease. It's a very
13 uncomfortable feeling. You think they are not well informed over there,
14 and you try through friends, by telephone and so on to explain to the
15 radio station that things are not the way they see them.
16 Q. And with the disarmament of the Territorial Defence, at best a
17 few people had small arms but no heavy weapons or artillery?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when you first heard the heavy artillery and mortars being
20 used because you knew that the Territorial Defence had been disarmed,
21 would it be fair to say that that was the Yugoslav army using the
23 A. When they began to act or fire around town using the mortars and
24 shells, it was not possible to know exactly what was happening, but the
25 assumption was that these were paramilitary formations organised or
1 acting with the approval of the Serbian Democratic Party. I had, for
2 example, such --
3 Q. I apologise for interrupting you at the translation. Do you want
4 to continue?
5 A. Well, I more or less completed my answer to that question.
6 Q. And the Serbian Democratic Party was the minority party in
7 Visegrad; correct?
8 A. Well, it wasn't that insignificant, but the SDA party had more
9 votes and then right behind that party was the SDS.
10 Q. But with the Muslim population being under attack, didn't that
11 practically put the Serbian Democratic Party in power?
12 A. Not just because of that, but later when the JNA came they
13 installed these people from the SDA to positions of power.
14 Q. Can you explain why the JNA didn't put people of your party in
15 power considering that you were lawfully elected?
16 A. Your Honours, I think that was because the Yugoslav People's Army
17 was not what it was before. It was called the Yugoslav People's Army
18 just the same, but actually it was the army of Serbia comprising
19 exclusively Serb personnel, and that was the main reason why they did
20 that. They expelled legally elected representatives and appointed mostly
21 people from the Serbian Democratic Party in their place.
22 Q. And so would it be fair to say that this is evidence of a prior
23 plan by those who controlled the JNA to replace the Muslims in power in
25 A. I cannot assert that that can be considered evidence, but it's
1 not far from the truth.
2 Q. And who were these people that were in power after the JNA left?
3 A. I wasn't in Visegrad at that time, but later from conversations I
4 know that they were people of Serb ethnicity exclusively.
5 Q. Well, for instance, before the -- the shooting started, the
6 police force was a joint force of both Muslims and Serbs; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And of that, the -- who was the commander of the police before
9 the break-apart?
10 A. I really couldn't give you the exact name. I can't remember
11 right at this time who the police commander was. As for the chief of
12 police who by hierarchy has the highest rank and is the most senior
13 person was --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name. The
15 witness perhaps could repeat it.
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. Please repeat the name of the chief.
18 A. Seval Murtic was the chief of the Visegrad police station.
19 Q. And who replaced him after the war?
20 A. Immediately upon the arrival of the Yugoslav People's Army, not
21 long after that the chief of the police was Professor Risto, and the
22 police commander was Dragan Tomic.
23 Q. And so the head was Mr. Perisic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And second in command was Tomic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And what was the authority of -- of these two positions?
3 A. Their powers were precisely spelled out by law. They were the
4 standard powers that such persons, persons in such positions, such
5 officials, have.
6 Q. And these were -- and this was power to command all of the police
7 and supposed to protect the laws of all citizens?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In your opinion, did these two commanders protect the citizens of
10 Visegrad, including Muslims?
11 A. Judging by later developments, they did not discharge their
12 functions the way they should have discharged it.
13 Q. Were they put in place by the Yugoslav commanders?
14 A. Yes, I think that they installed them in those posts.
15 Q. And by hierarchy would that mean that their command would come
16 really from Belgrade
17 A. The people who appointed Mr. Tomic and the chief, the head, those
18 people had their superiors and their command in Belgrade, and that's for
19 certain. That's for sure.
20 Q. Who was the commander of the Crisis Staff after the Uzice Corps
22 A. The commander of the Crisis Staff or the president of the
23 Assembly upon the departure of the Yugoslav People's Army from Visegrad
24 was Branimir Savovic.
25 Q. And he was also appointed from Belgrade or took his orders from
2 A. I do not think that there was a direct chain of ordering or a
3 command, because Branimir Savovic was the president of the
4 Serbian Democratic Party for Visegrad municipality, and it was probably
5 on that basis that he was the president of the Assembly and ipso facto
6 the president of the Crisis Staff.
7 Q. And do you believe he took orders from Belgrade?
8 A. I personally do not think that he received orders from Belgrade
9 His orders came from the president of the Serbian Democratic Party,
10 Radovan Karadzic, and the seat of the -- that party was at Pale, a town
11 near Sarajevo
12 Q. Now, with regards to -- would it be fair to say that Serbs that
13 did not cooperate with this new power structure were at risk?
20 Q. Would it be fair to say that there was a pattern of forced
21 conscription into the service of the army for Serbians in the area?
22 A. Well, one could say that it was the way you described it, except
23 that the word "forced" could be more adequately replaced by the
24 expression "regular call-ups," because under the law then everybody had
25 to respond to such call-up.
1 Q. But under the law of the time, that everybody would have included
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But Muslims were not being called up. Isn't that true?
5 A. Yes, that is true.
6 Q. And during the time that the army was in Visegrad, there was
7 still lootings and burnings and damage to Muslims' property, correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And Muslims were being removed from their homes and some of them
10 were disappearing or liquidated; correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. Things like that happened, and they
12 happened that way, but perhaps one should emphasise that this was a
13 relatively small number of cases if we take into consideration the
14 situation which actually obtained at the time.
15 Q. But it was not stopped during this time that the Yugoslav army
16 was in town; correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct, but, Your Honours, by your leave if I can
18 add this: To my knowledge and as far as I could see, the
19 Yugoslav People's Army opposed and countered this, and they eliminated --
20 rather, prevented such cases. And if such cases were reported to them,
21 they would intervene, so that eventually it became a less frequent
23 Q. This was just for a few weeks, this appearance of less frequent
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, so far you've used half an hour for
1 your cross-examination, and I'll give you another half an hour.
2 MR. ALARID: Thank you, sir.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should say nothing obliges you to use that.
4 MR. ALARID: Okay.
5 Q. Would it be fair to say that these less frequent cases were
6 during a short period of time of the army's full presence in Visegrad?
7 A. Well, one could say that. In view of the fact that such
8 incidents, if one could call it an incident if you expel a person from
9 his own house or torch his house, happened every day or every second day,
10 and then you wouldn't have such cases for three or four days because the
11 Yugoslav People's Army had taken action.
12 Q. Did they take action, or maybe it was just the appearance of
14 A. I couldn't say with precision. It could be either.
15 Q. You attended the 4.000-person meeting at the stadium; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. At that meeting you had found your own family who you had lost
18 contact with for a few days; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So this was a time of great terror and uncertainty for you to
21 know that your family was not safe or not have any good word of them?
22 A. Yes, exactly.
23 Q. And at this football stadium there's this Lieutenant Colonel
24 Jovanovic; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And he wasn't a friend of the Muslims in that stadium that night,
2 was he?
3 A. You could put it that way, but he acted in his professional
4 capacity as a professional soldier, as an officer. I did not gain the
5 impression that he personally, as a person, had anything against the
7 Q. He threatened the crowd with the White Eagles. He claimed that
8 they were under his control.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Is that the words of a friend of the Muslim people?
11 A. Well, I think that that was a method whereby he wanted to
12 preserve firm control in town and avoid his men having any problems or
13 him having any problems and such.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid. Perhaps you have dealt with
17 that point sufficiently.
18 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour. I just got word from my
19 case manager that Mr. Lukic is not feeling well right now, and --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'll tell you what. I think we'll just
21 take the half an hour break now.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.03 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.37 a.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, go ahead.
25 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. VG-22, after the army left, the SDS took control; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And Savovic was the leader of the SDS at this time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, early on in this process you dealt with Savovic as a leader;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this began following the capture of 12 Serbian -- Bosnian
10 A. Yes. By leave, Your Honours, I should just like to -- to say
11 that I knew Savovic not only from that moment, but I had known him before
12 and we had dealings even before that.
13 Q. But the point I'm trying to make is that you dealt with him as
14 the leader of the situation at the time that you're dealing also with the
15 12 Serbian prisoners?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell the Court about the capture of the 12 Serbians.
18 A. In brief, police patrols, and in fact the Territorial Defence
19 units that were already functional at that time were tasked with
20 inspecting the territory, touring the territory where problems were
21 cropping up or were expected to crop up. So in such -- one of such
22 inspection tours they ran into 12 armed men who belonged to neither any
23 police or Territorial Defence unit. As these men were armed, as such
24 they were arrested and brought into the police station.
25 Q. From -- do you recall giving a statement in this case long before
1 your testimony?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And this was a statement given back in 1997?
4 A. Just -- it is possible that that is the date.
5 Q. Now, on -- in that statement you indicated that the captured
6 Serbs were locals?
7 A. Yes, they were all locals.
8 Q. And they were in camouflage and police uniforms?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Then why were they taken prisoner if -- because they were part of
11 a police unit, were they not?
12 A. No. You see, they did have police uniforms on, but they were not
13 part of the hierarchy. They were not members, not official members of
14 the police force but of some -- I don't know. They represented a
15 different group, some other group.
16 Q. Well, you got to meet them; correct?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. And you even got them -- to know them a little bit since you
19 released them; correct?
20 A. Yes. I apologise. Your Honours, can I just say this? It was
21 not me, myself, personally who set them free. It was a decision of the
22 organs of municipal authority which I just executed.
23 Q. But you were dealing personally with Savovic regarding their
24 release; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you wanted to exchange them for Muslim women and children;
3 A. No, that is not the way it was. There had been some proposals.
4 Savovic's deputies or assistants put forward some proposals, but they
5 themselves did not believe that to be a viable, a realistic option.
6 Q. Because they demanded the unconditional release of these 12
7 soldiers; correct?
8 A. At the negotiations in question, they did insist on an
9 unconditional surrender of these people.
10 Q. So they were not disavowed as criminals, but they were embraced
11 as soldiers?
12 A. They were not considered to be criminals, but it was known that
13 they were a group of armed men who most probably were under the control
14 and command of the SDS
15 Q. And that was acknowledged by Savovic; correct?
16 A. We did not talk about it directly, because that could be sensed
17 in a way. It was implied that that was the way it was.
18 Q. But in fact you knew that one of the members of the 12 was the
19 assistant to the commander of the police.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Wouldn't the assistant to the commander be considered a person of
22 responsibility in the hierarchy?
23 A. Yes, he did discharge that function, but he wilfully abandoned
24 that post and transferred himself into an informal armed group.
25 Q. How do you know he wilfully abandoned that post?
1 A. I know that because I was in practically daily contact with
2 representatives of the organs in power, representatives of the police,
3 and I even personally talked to him directly at that time.
4 Q. After the JNA left, were there check-points with policemen
5 manning them in Visegrad?
6 A. After the JNA had left, well, I couldn't say with precision
7 because I wasn't there in that period, but I suppose that there were such
9 Q. And isn't it true that Muslims needed proper paperwork to come
10 and go freely from Visegrad?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who had the authority to give that paper?
13 A. Until the arrival of the army no one needed any such documents.
14 Once the army took over command in the municipality and town, initially
15 they were the ones who issued the permits for movement, and later on it
16 was the police station that did so. And let me add for a period it was
17 also the so-called National Defence or the Territorial Defence. They
18 were over a period vested with the power of issuing such passes.
19 Q. And who at the police station issued such passes?
20 A. To the best of my knowledge, passes were issued by the chief of
21 the police at the time, Risto Perisic, and also the commander of the
22 police, Dragan Tomic.
23 Q. Isn't it true that vehicles were being taken away by Muslims?
24 A. Yes, there had been such cases.
25 Q. And including a vehicle of yours that was owned by the company
1 you worked for?
2 A. Yes. The police confiscated that vehicle with the explanation
3 that they needed it and gave the explanation that when they had the
4 number of vehicles that they required they would return that vehicle to
5 the owner or to the company that they took it from.
6 Q. Did they give you paperwork proving that the car was taken away?
7 A. I can't remember specifically, but I think as far as I can recall
8 I didn't get any kind of paper of that kind.
9 Q. Do you know if anyone got proper paperwork?
10 A. I don't know. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't. I don't
12 Q. Did you hear of many such confiscations?
13 A. As far as I know, it wasn't really something that happened on a
14 large scale.
15 Q. How many Muslim villages were left at the Visegrad territory
16 during the Crisis Staff governing period?
17 A. You mean what was the size of the population, or are you asking
18 me how many villages there were?
19 Q. I'm asking how many villages were left afterwards or in
20 existence, and if you wanted to talk about the population, that would be
22 A. From what I understand of the question, the answer would be some
23 villages that were in the immediate vicinity of the town, some kilometre
24 or two away, these houses remained. All the other houses that were
25 farther away from town were burned or knocked down.
1 Q. And I may have asked you this already, but who was governing
2 Visegrad after the JNA left?
3 A. After the JNA left. Well, when they were still there the army
4 formed the organs of power, the Assembly, which they -- to which they
5 appointed mostly members of the SDS
6 were the same, the police. All these organs were also installed by the
7 Yugoslav People's Army, and this was all 100 per cent personnel of
8 Serbian ethnicity.
9 Q. And so it was based on this trickle down of appointments that the
10 Crisis Staff or the SDS
11 A. Yes, that's probably how it was.
12 Q. And isn't it true that Muslims were having to pay to get a permit
13 to leave the city?
14 A. According to what I know, these were rare cases. That wasn't the
15 rule, pay and then you will be able to leave town.
16 Q. In those cases, to whom were they paying the money?
17 A. I don't know of such a large number of these cases, but it was up
18 to each person to do the best they could if they could find a connection
19 or something, but there was no rule.
20 Q. Wouldn't that connection have to be to the top of the police
22 A. I really couldn't say how these people managed to do this, to get
23 out of town. And if they had any contacts with the police leadership, I
24 really couldn't say.
25 Q. Now, of the 12 -- in your statement, you indicated that of the 12
1 people captured or Serbians captured, one of them was of the last name
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in your statement it indicates that you did not know the
5 first name. Do you know the first name?
6 A. Probably at that time I couldn't recall it. Now I think that I
7 do know the name.
8 Q. And what do you think you know?
9 A. I think that it was Sredoje Lukic.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not the timekeeper, but I have a sense that
11 you're very near to the end. Six minutes.
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. What were the names of the members of the Crisis Staff
15 A. I really couldn't tell you all the names. I can just assume that
16 the Crisis Staff formed by the SDS
17 took up these positions, the president of the municipality, the police
18 commander, the chief of police, and so on.
19 Q. Now, what was the date that these 12 gentlemen were captured?
20 A. I really cannot remember the exact date, but it could have been
21 perhaps the 15th of April, approximately, 1992.
22 Q. What was the date of the assembly in the football stadium?
23 A. The assembly at the football stadium was on the same day that the
24 army, the Yugoslav People's Army, took total control over the town.
25 Q. And -- in relation to the 15th of April, was that before or
2 A. These people were captured before the Yugoslav People's Army took
4 Q. Now, would it be fair to say that the stories regarding
5 Milan Lukic are all hearsay, secondhand, or even third-hand?
6 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. It's a very
7 general question.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't agree with you, Mr. Ossogo. I think it
9 is within the -- this witness's competence to say whether on the basis of
10 what he knows what has been said about the accused is based on
11 information gathered from other people or even secondhand hearsay as was
12 put to him by counsel.
13 What is your answer to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as Milan
15 Mr. Milan Lukic is concerned, I did not know him. I'm seeing him for the
16 first time. And from what I know about his activities, my
17 personal knowledge -- I don't have any personal experience or any
18 personal contacts. All I know are things that come from talk of friends,
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: Could only one microphone
21 be on at a time, please. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
23 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. And of the witnesses or these people that you heard stories from,
25 would it be fair to say that they have -- it may have even been stories
1 from other people that they were relaying to you in a third-hand way?
2 A. Well, you know how things go. If things are happening like the
3 things that were happening in Visegrad, then these things are told
4 first-hand, secondhand, third-hand. There was a lot of talk about these
5 things. So you have different information about it.
6 Q. Isn't it true that as stories pass through many people, the
7 details can change or be exaggerated?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure he can help you with that. He
9 can't help you with that, Mr. Alarid. You can address us on that.
10 MR. ALARID: Fair enough, Judge.
11 Q. And would it be fair to say that other than those secondhand
12 stories, you have no personal knowledge of Mr. Milan Lukic being a
13 commander of anybody?
14 A. I personally do not. Like I said before, I didn't have any
15 direct or indirect contacts with the gentleman, and I don't have any
16 personal or specific contacts or any information that could come from
17 personal contacts.
18 Q. Are you aware he was a local citizen of Visegrad?
19 A. Yes. Everyone knows that. Actually, excuse me, from what I know
20 he was born in Visegrad and lived there for a certain period of time.
21 After that he lived and worked in Serbia.
22 Q. And this you've learned from stories; correct?
23 A. Well, I wouldn't call them stories. These were conversations
24 with people who knew him well, who went to school with him, for example.
25 Q. Can you tell me -- and if we have to move to private session, can
1 you tell me who those people are?
2 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Dieckmann:
9 Q. Witness VG-22, a very good morning.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
11 MR. DIECKMANN:
12 Q. Good morning, VG-22. My name is Jens Dieckmann and I am Defence
13 co-counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic. I just have several questions. If you
14 cannot understand me, please just indicate it immediately so then I can
15 repeat my question.
16 A. Very well.
17 Q. VG-22, as we have already learned, you have given, on the one
18 hand, an interview, a statement to the investigators of the Office of the
19 Prosecution in 1997/1998. It's true?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This interview, you have had the opportunity to give all
22 information you have been aware and of -- you know correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And as far as you remember, you signed the statement?
25 A. I think that I did.
1 Q. And you have been aware that with your signature you declare that
2 these statements are truth -- the truth?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Very fine. And on 10 September 2001, you have given testimony in
5 the Vasiljevic case; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And again -- sorry. And again, in this testimony you have
8 already had the opportunity to give all names and all informations you
9 have been aware of; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you have given your testimony under oath declaring that this
12 is the truth and nothing but the truth. You remember?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. First of all, before I start with some specific
15 questions, do you agree with me in general that a human being is in
16 general more capable to recall details of events that took place in
17 recent times than events that occurred a long time ago? Do you agree
18 with me?
19 A. Yes. Naturally, yes.
20 Q. In fact, you -- I want to start with some questions regarding the
21 arrest of the 12 Serbs. Is it correct to say that you know the 12 Serbs
23 A. I personally knew most of them, yes.
24 Q. You know where they worked?
25 A. I knew where most of them worked.
1 Q. Thank you. I want to come back to the first initial statement
2 you have given to the Prosecutor. You mentioned, as my learned colleague
3 Mr. Alarid already mentioned you, you mentioned a Lukic was a member of
4 this group; correct?
5 A. If you're thinking of Sredoje, it's correct that he was in that
7 Q. In your initial statement you said this Lukic is the brother of
8 the notorious Lukic. Is this your statement in the initial statement
9 that you have given to the Prosecutor?
10 A. Your Honours, I am not absolutely sure if that is what it says.
11 It's possible. If you have the statement in front of you, then I have no
12 reason to doubt that.
13 Q. But you say it was Sredoje Lukic who was a member of this 12?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you know the profession -- and you know the profession of
16 Sredoje Lukic at this time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the profession of Sredoje Lukic at this time was that he was
19 an ordinary policeman. Is it true?
20 A. I -- from what I know, yes, that is correct.
21 Q. He was an ordinary policeman in the time before the war.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. During your testimony you have given in the Vasiljevic case,
24 there comes also a time when you have been asked about the arrest of the
25 12 Serbs, and is it true to your statement that the arrest -- the first
1 arrest of these 12 happened at the 7, 8, or 9th of April, 1992?
2 A. I cannot be quite sure about the date right now, but that was in
3 that period and probably that is the date.
4 Q. And the arrest of these 12 was done by police forces; correct?
5 A. That's what I was told, that that's what happened.
6 Q. Today and during your testimony in the Vasiljevic case, you told
7 that neither of these 12 belonged to the police force or army or any
8 Territorial Defence. This is your statement?
9 A. Yes. At the time that they were arrested, they were not
10 officially members of the police force or the Territorial Defence.
11 Q. To your recollection and remembrance, Sredoje Lukic was not a
12 member of the police in the beginning of April 1992?
13 A. Sredoje Lukic was a policeman, I believe. I would see him on the
14 street and so on, until a certain date when he left the police station
15 of -- on his own and then joined these informal armed groups.
16 Q. Only sometime later in your statement -- in your testimony in the
17 Vasiljevic procedure, you stated that some of those people who had been
18 taken into custody were members of the regular police force. It is on
19 page 138, lines 16 and 17 of the transcripts in English version.
20 This was your statement in Vasiljevic, that these people who has
21 been in custody, some of them were members of the regular police force.
22 A. Yes. And when I said that, what I meant was that they worked in
23 that capacity before they were arrested, but I don't think that at the
24 moment that they were arrested they were members of the police forces,
25 because if you allow, it wouldn't make sense for the police to arrest one
1 of their own members.
2 Q. That's a good point. May I address you to another point. You
3 have been called to take part in negotiations, as you have already
4 explained. Is it true?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that you have been called for negotiations, it was after the
7 arrest of the 12th by the police. Is it true?
8 A. Yes. There were some talks earlier, but in relation to this
9 group, yes, that's how it happened.
10 Q. Very fine. And at this time you have been called to take part in
11 negotiations, a person, Murat Sabanovic and his men have already occupied
12 the dam at the Drina River
13 A. I think that in that period a little bit before or a little bit
14 after, but anyway, in that area Murat Sabanovic was at the dam.
15 Q. My question was: In the moment when you started the
16 negotiations, Murat Sabanovic had occupied the dam, still occupied the
18 A. I think that he was there at that time.
19 Q. And there was a situation that water was released from this dam.
20 Is it true?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could it be -- I'm sorry. Could it be the 13th of April of 1992?
23 A. Yes. It's possible that that is the date, yes.
24 Q. And the first negotiations you have participated in had taken
25 place one day after the water was released. True?
1 A. I think that we had telephone contacts prior to that as well, but
2 at that particular point in time we had direct contacts.
3 Q. And the water was released by Murat Sabanovic and his men?
4 A. Well, you could put it that way, although they were not trained.
5 They were not capable of actually handling the equipment. There were
6 professionals who were working at the dam, and they did so at their
8 Q. And in the moment the 12 Serbs has been released, these 12 Serbs
9 has been at the dam. Is that true?
10 A. Could you please repeat the question? I'm not sure I quite got
12 Q. Okay. In the moment the 12 Serbs has been released in the end,
13 in this moment the 12 Serbs has been at the dam? It means they have been
14 released at the dam, in freedom.
15 A. Yes. The decision to set them free was taken in Medjedja where
16 the municipal echelons were working and managing affairs at the time.
17 They were handed over to the Yugoslav army's soldiers who were at the
18 dam. They were handed over to them at that time.
19 Q. And the 12 Serbs has been arrested by police and has been
20 transferred to the dam afterwards; correct?
21 A. Your Honours, I could not say anything about their movement with
22 precision. I did hear a story to the effect that at a certain point in
23 time they were at the dam also, but they moved around. They were at a
24 number of locations when they were arrested, as it were, when they were
1 Q. So you agree with me that first of all they had been arrested in
2 police detention and in the end they had been at the dam; correct?
3 A. Well, as I said, they were at the police station. After that,
4 they changed locations, and I heard that for a while they had also been
5 at the dam feature and ultimately, at the end, they were in the
6 settlement of Medjedja where the police and the municipal organs of
7 authority had also transferred themselves.
8 Q. In the moment you started your negotiations, you have been aware
9 that the 12 Serbs has been in the control of Murat Sabanovic, in fact,
10 didn't you?
11 A. No. No, that statement is not true. When we talked I talked
12 with Savovic who had the authority to negotiate on behalf of the SDS or
13 the Crisis Staff, whatever it was that they called themselves. Those
14 people were near a construction company called Granit in the building of
15 a restaurant there, and that's where I saw them too.
16 Q. Murat Sabanovic and his men have been armed in this time? They
17 have control over the dam?
18 A. Yes, they were armed --
19 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the rest of
20 the sentence.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of whose sentence, the sentence of -- you mean
22 you didn't hear the rest of the answer?
23 THE INTERPRETER: The rest of the answer, Your Honour, was: "And
24 they were at the dam."
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Let's move on.
1 MR. DIECKMANN:
2 Q. But Murat Sabanovic and his men were not members of ordinary
3 police. True?
4 A. No, they were not members of the ordinary police.
5 Q. And the moment they capture the dam they were not members of any
6 ordinary armed forces.
7 A. Well, if you will allow me to clarify. When the need arose, the
8 authorities of the municipality of Visegrad
9 reserve police force and the Territorial Defence. They were officially
10 on lists as reserve police force members or reserve Territorial Defence
11 members, and such units, at the call of municipal authorities, could also
12 be joined by all who thought that they should join. So such units would
13 thereby be enlarged in number, both the police units and the
14 Territorial Defence units. And one could say that they were part of the
15 Territorial Defence units.
16 Q. During your testimony in the Vasiljevic case, you told under oath
17 that Murat Sabanovic came there on his own initiative with his own group
18 of men. Is it your statement, your testimony in the Vasiljevic case or
20 A. I do not recall this statement exactly, but I can say that that
21 is the way it was.
22 Q. Thank you. In your first negotiations you talked about
23 conditions for release of the 12 Serbs. Is that true?
24 A. Yes, it would be fair to say that it is.
25 Q. In the first negotiations you have participated, it was said that
1 the 12 Serbs will be released if there will be a cease-fire. Is it true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And in your testimony in the Vasiljevic procedure - this is page
4 143 on the English transcript - you used the term "we." Is it true that
5 you described your activities as negotiator and you described your
6 position using the term "we"?
7 A. Your Honours, I do not understand. I do not sufficiently
8 understand the question.
9 Q. Sorry.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Reformulate. Reformulate the question.
11 MR. DIECKMANN: Yes. Thank you very much.
12 Q. Is it fair to say that in the negotiations you -- your function
13 was an envoy or a messenger of the intentions of the group of
14 Murat Sabanovic? Is it true?
15 A. No. Your Honours, if I can amplify on that. All the activities
16 that were referred to, that we have been talking about actually have
17 nothing whatsoever to do with Murat Sabanovic and his group. They
18 impacted in no way whatsoever the course of the negotiations or could
19 they actually dictate any conditions as to what was to be the object or
20 the substance of the negotiations or anything of the -- that kind.
21 Q. I would like to -- to quote from page 143, line 8 up to 11 of the
22 English transcript of your testimony in the Vasiljevic case. "We
23 discussed the release of the people that had been taken into custody, and
24 our side, if I can use the term, called for a cease-fire, for an end to
25 the mortars shelling Muslim villages and parts of the town, and we said
1 that the two days later we -- they would be released."
2 So you used the term "we" as if you are part of this group. You
3 do not -- you did not transfer a message, you were part of this. Do you
4 agree with me that this is your statement in the Vasiljevic case?
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is identical. That is completely true.
6 But when I used this word "we," what was certainly meant was the
7 structure of the authorities, because I conducted these negotiations in
8 coordination with the president of the Assembly, the president of the --
9 of the Executive Board, the chief of the police who all comprised what is
10 referred to as the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Visegrad
11 I say "we," I mean that group, and I was sort of an envoy of that
12 Crisis Staff to conduct the negotiations that we have been discussing.
13 Q. VG-22, are you aware of an order for Mr. Savovic to the Serb
14 police before these dates that all Serbs have to left the old police
15 station? Are you aware of this?
16 A. Well, I'm not directly aware of that, but I suppose that that was
17 the way it was.
18 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the decision to exclude
19 Sredoje Lukic being a member of the ordinary police before the beginning
20 of April 1992?
21 A. No. I have not any knowledge about any decisions having been
22 taken or supposed to have been taken to chuck out Sredoje Lukic from the
23 regular police force.
24 Q. When I understood you correctly, your only argument to say that
25 Sredoje Lukic was not a member of the Serbian police any more was that he
1 was not taking part in ordinary service any more. Did I understood you
3 A. Well, you could put it that way. If a policeman fails to show up
4 for work, does not report to his superiors and what have you and what
5 have you not, one can assume that he has left the police.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that this behaviour of Sredoje Lukic, taking
7 it as truth, could also be following the order of Mr. Savovic? Couldn't
8 it be, just to leave the old police station?
9 A. Yes. In my opinion that was the reason why he and other
10 policemen as well ceased coming to work, to their regular work posts.
11 Q. So to sum it up, VG-22, would you agree with me to say that in
12 the moment you started your negotiations, 12 Serbs including Serbian
13 policemen has been arrested and kept by irregular armed Muslim forces and
14 that you have used this fact of this arrest as a bargaining chip in your
15 negotiations? Couldn't you say it in this way?
16 A. I will agree with you, with the statement for the most part,
17 provided, however, that these men, these arrested men, these armed men
18 were not under the control of some informal groups or something -- some
19 similar structure. They were always at all times under the control of
20 the regular police or the Territorial Defence.
21 So let me add if the need arose for them to be moved from the
22 police station to another facility or -- because the situation was almost
23 a state of war, that facility was controlled by the Territorial Defence.
24 They would be handed over to them, but always with the knowledge and
25 approval of the police.
1 Q. A last question from my side, VG-22. Is it true to say that if a
2 Serb did act against orders of the White Eagles that the consequences
3 would be the same as someone who did so as a Muslim? Do you agree with
5 A. Yes, one could say that. I wouldn't say identical, the same. I
6 would say almost the same, practically the same.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MR. DIECKMANN: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Dieckmann.
10 Mr. Ossogo, any re-examination?
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Witness, that concludes your testimony. We
13 thank you for giving it. You may now leave.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Your next witness.
16 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls
17 Mr. Ferid Spahic to the witness stand, and he does not wish to have any
18 protective measures. He renounced his protective measures in the
19 Vasiljevic case, and he's not requesting them in this case.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
21 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, Mr. Lukic has indicated to me that he's
22 not feeling well right now.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We will adjourn for 10 minutes.
24 --- Break taken at 11.38 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.53 a.m.
1 [The Accused M. Lukic not present]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
3 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour. Mr. Milan Lukic is too ill to
4 come back, and I would ask for a recess until tomorrow considering the
5 short duration we have left for the day.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Very well. We take that into
7 consideration. We trust the accused will be well enough to attend court
8 tomorrow. We will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 8.50 a.m.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.55 a.m.
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day
11 of August, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.