Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 4646

1 Wednesday, 4 July 2001

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Greaves, you are to continue presenting your

6 case.

7 MR. GREAVES: Yes. May we go into private session whilst I make

8 an application in respect --

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.

10 MR. GREAVES: -- to this witness, please.

11 [Private session]

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Page 4747

1 open session.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.

3 [Open session]

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are waiting for the blinds to be put up. I

5 think it requires a certain delicate touch, Madam Registrar.

6 MR. GREAVES: I hope Your Honour wasn't being so ungallant to

7 suggest that the lady registrar is not delicate.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not at all. Why don't you go to the next one?

9 Yes, you can go ahead now.

10 MR. GREAVES: Yes, Your Honour will recall that earlier in the

11 trial I, raised the issue of people being hustled out of the public

12 gallery when we went into closed session. On Tuesday of this week,

13 members of my family, who had come from quite a considerable distance

14 overseas, attended, and you will recall we had the problem over the voice

15 distortion with one witness, which required you to go into closed

16 session. I had given them a very good briefing as to roughly how the

17 morning would go and what would happen, and I had told them that if there

18 was a problem, there might be a period when we would go into closed

19 session but that it wouldn't last very long. Despite that, the guard

20 insisted on them leaving the public gallery and told them, quite

21 erroneously, that we would be in closed session for at least an hour and a

22 half.

23 I made the observation that it's very important that people do

24 have access to these courts, if at all possible, and it seems that that

25 has happened again despite Your Honour having made inquiries and requests

Page 4748

1 of the Registrar to see that it didn't.

2 The personal side of it doesn't matter, but this seems to be

3 happening again. And it's a matter of great regret that people aren't

4 able to stay, when there is a closed session, to wait until it comes into

5 open session, particularly as they knew, as I had told them, roughly how

6 long matters would proceed.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will instruct the Registrar to bring this to

8 the attention of the security, and to see that the proper procedures are

9 followed.

10 MR. GREAVES: I'm grateful. May we go briefly into private

11 session to make an application for the next witness, please?

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.

13 [Private session]

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7 [Open Session]

8 [The witness entered court]

9 THE REGISTRAR: Pseudonym for this witness will be DK.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

13 WITNESS: WITNESS DK

14 [Witness answered through interpreter]

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.

16 MR. GREAVES: May we go briefly into private session so I can

17 establish his identity?

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.

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8 [Open session]

9 MR. GREAVES:

10 Q. Witness DK, I'd like to ask you, please, about the period at the

11 end of 1991. Had you done your national service in the JNA?

12 A. Yes, I did.

13 Q. In 1991, were you called up in order to serve in the JNA again?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Having been called up, where were you sent?

16 A. To the army.

17 Q. And in particular, were you sent for duty in a particular place?

18 It may be that I can lead about this. Yes, I see my learned friend

19 Mr. Ryneveld nodding. Did you get sent to the front in western Slavonia?

20 A. Not immediately.

21 Q. But in due course, were you sent to western Slavonia?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Witness DK, when did you return from western Slavonia?

24 A. I cannot say exactly. Sometime in January 1992, somewhere around

25 there, but I cannot remember exactly. At the end of 1991, surely.

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Page 4752

1 Q. And when you returned from western Slavonia, did you go back to

2 barracks or did you return home?

3 A. Went home.

4 Q. And what is your home town?

5 A. Prijedor.

6 Q. In due course, were you transferred to the reserve police force?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. When were you transferred to the reserve police force?

9 A. End of April 1992.

10 Q. And were you sent to a particular police station?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. To which police station were you sent?

13 A. Prijedor II.

14 Q. Having been mobilised to the reserve police force, did you receive

15 any form of training before you were assigned to Prijedor II?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Were you given any information about whether you had the authority

18 to arrest people?

19 A. No.

20 Q. The police station known as Prijedor II, in which area of Prijedor

21 was it?

22 A. Prijedor II is in the northern section of Prijedor.

23 Q. And does that area have a name, a suburb name or anything like

24 that?

25 A. Yes. It is called Urije, and that comprises Cirkin Polje, also.

Page 4753

1 Q. And was it over those two places that Prijedor II had

2 jurisdiction, so to speak?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. When you were assigned to Prijedor II, who was the commander of

5 that police station?

6 A. Zivko Knezevic.

7 Q. Did he have a deputy commander at Prijedor II?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And what was the name of the deputy commander at Prijedor II?

10 A. Ranko Jakovjevic.

11 Q. When you were assigned to Prijedor II, to what duties were you --

12 what duties were you given?

13 A. [redacted].

14 Q. And did you work the same shift hours every day, or were the shift

15 hours variable in that sometimes you'd be working in the day, sometimes

16 you'd be working in the night?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. I'm just going to need to clarify that. Are you saying that they

19 were variable hours?

20 A. Yes, variable hours. There were three shifts. The first, the

21 second, and the third shift, and then there were two days off.

22 Q. And who was it who assigned you as a shift leader at the police

23 station?

24 A. Mr. Zivko Knezevic.

25 Q. During the period of your shift, what duties were you expected to

Page 4754

1 carry out?

2 A. Shall I say everything that was part of my duty during a shift?

3 Q. Yes, please.

4 A. When I would come to work, my duty was, according to the roster

5 that was -- schedule created the day before for all of Prijedor II

6 station, my duty was to read out who was assigned to each duty, to put a

7 sign of plus next to every person who came to work and minus for whoever

8 who did not, and to report on to the commander about the job done

9 previously.

10 After the policemen went to their preassigned tasks, I would

11 remain in the station by the phone and by the radio transmitter. During

12 the shift, I would receive reports from the field and forward them to the

13 commander and log them in a book, and that was it.

14 Q. You've told us about the rosters, schedules created the day

15 before. Who was it who created the rosters the day before?

16 A. The roster was created by the station commander who then would

17 give it to the typist who would type it up in two or three copies.

18 Q. Did the shift with which you were working have any responsibility

19 for the physical security of the police station itself?

20 A. Yes. Each shift had that duty.

21 Q. When you say that your duty was to read out who was assigned to

22 each duty, was that done, as it were, at a formal parade of police

23 officers, or where did that take place?

24 A. We had a room where the entire shift would congregate, and from

25 there we would send them out to their various tasks.

Page 4755

1 Q. Approximately how many police officers were assigned to Prijedor

2 II?

3 A. You think per shift or total?

4 Q. Both per shift and total, please.

5 A. I cannot give you the exact figure, but I think there were about

6 100 in the station, and in a shift I wouldn't be able to tell you. I'd

7 say one quarter, 25 to 30 men.

8 Q. You've told us about the making of a note as to who had turned up

9 and who had not turned up. You would take that information to the station

10 commander. Would a replacement be organised as a result of you doing

11 that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Whose decision was it as to who would be the replacement?

14 A. The station commander, Zivko Knezevic.

15 Q. If the station commander was absent, who would fulfil that role?

16 A. His deputy.

17 Q. Could you -- did you have any rank as a reserve police officer?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you have any authority to make changes of your own initiative

20 in the rostering of people?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Prior to the events of May 1992, did you know of Dusko Sikirica?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. For how long had you known him in May 1992?

25 A. I had known him because he was my sister's generation. They went

Page 4756

1 to school together and they socialised. He's younger than me, and that is

2 how I knew him.

3 Q. Did there come a time in 1992 after you had been assigned to

4 Prijedor II when Dusko Sikirica was assigned to the same police station?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can you recall how soon after you were assigned to Prijedor II,

7 how soon after that did Dusko Sikirica come to Prijedor II?

8 A. I think we came to the station together.

9 Q. And when he first arrived at Prijedor II, to what duties was Dusko

10 Sikirica assigned?

11 A. Mr. Dusko Sikirica was deputy shift leader in my shift, that is,

12 my deputy at the beginning, at first.

13 Q. Did there come a time when Dusko Sikirica was sent elsewhere to

14 perform his duties as a reserve police officer?

15 A. After having spent some time in the Prijedor II police station,

16 the need arose for a group consisting of 15 or 16 men to go to the suburb

17 of Hambarine or Brdo to regulate the traffic there, and Dusko Sikirica

18 left with that group. I cannot remember the date.

19 Q. Can you recall -- there came a time when there was fighting in

20 Prijedor, we've heard. Can you say whether it was before or after that

21 fighting broke out?

22 A. After the fighting broke out.

23 Q. Did you continue thereafter to be responsible for reading out the

24 assignments for duty to the police, the reserve police at Prijedor II?

25 A. Yes.

Page 4757

1 Q. Did Dusko Sikirica continue to be assigned to the checkpoint at

2 Hambarine on a continuing basis?

3 A. I'm afraid I didn't quite understand the question.

4 Q. Yes. Did he continue for some time to be based at the Hambarine

5 checkpoint?

6 A. He was there for some time, until the commander Zivko withdrew

7 them.

8 Q. And initially, who was it who had given orders that he be assigned

9 to the checkpoint at Hambarine?

10 A. This happened in our third shift when we came to work. What had

11 happened there we didn't know, but Zivko assigned him and these others to

12 go there.

13 Q. Did you personally ever go to the checkpoint at Hambarine?

14 A. Once I went to take some cigarettes there for the policemen who

15 were there in the course of my shift, during my shift.

16 Q. And did you see Dusko Sikirica at the checkpoint on that occasion?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. During the period when Dusko Sikirica was assigned to the

19 checkpoint at Hambarine, was he ever reassigned at any stage to Keraterm

20 on a day -- for a day or half a day or anything like that?

21 A. After he came from Hambarine, Dusko had a day or two off, I don't

22 remember exactly, and Commander Zivko sent him to Keraterm.

23 Q. Can you remember the approximate date or the date on which that

24 took place?

25 A. I am not able to tell you the exact date. I think he had a rest

Page 4758

1 for a day or two after he came back from Hambarine, and he received orders

2 from the Commander Zivko to go to Keraterm to perform the duty of guard

3 leader for the security of Keraterm.

4 Q. You say you can't remember the exact date. Can you give us an

5 approximate date when he was reassigned to that duty?

6 A. I'm afraid I can't remember. I know it was June, the month of

7 June, end of June. I don't know exactly, or around mid -- the middle of

8 the month. I don't know.

9 Q. Amongst the reserve police and police officers, active police

10 officers, who were involved in Prijedor II, was an assignment to Keraterm

11 seen as being a good thing or a bad thing?

12 A. Excuse me. Well, probably it was considered a bad thing. People

13 didn't go there willingly, but they had to carry out orders.

14 Q. Were there any police officers who made representations not to go

15 to Keraterm?

16 A. I don't remember, but they couldn't refuse Zivko's orders.

17 Q. Was he sent to Keraterm with the same team that he'd been working

18 with at the checkpoint?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Who was it who assigned him to that duty?

21 A. Zivko Knezevic.

22 Q. And were you present when the team was told they were going to be

23 assigned to Keraterm?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. On that occasion, did Zivko Knezevic speak with the team?

Page 4759

1 A. That day, we had a meeting at the station, and Zivko said, and I

2 quote -- actually, the meeting was among Zivko, his deputy and assistant,

3 and then he came out of the meeting and he said, "Sikirica Dusko, with

4 this group to Keraterm, and I don't need any explanations." "No

5 explanations are necessary," sorry.

6 Q. Thank you. In so doing, did he tell them what their duties would

7 be at Keraterm?

8 A. To secure Keraterm.

9 Q. When Dusko Sikirica was assigned by Zivko Knezevic to Keraterm,

10 was he in any way told that he was going to be administering Keraterm,

11 providing the food, providing water, that sort of thing?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did you speak with Dusko before he first went to Keraterm?

14 A. No.

15 MR. GREAVES: Your Honours, I'm moving on to another topic which

16 is going to take somewhat more than five minutes. I don't know whether

17 that's a - in view of what Your Honour said earlier - a convenient moment.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We will take the break now.

19 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness DK, we will adjourn until tomorrow

21 morning at 9.30. During the adjournment, you are not to discuss your

22 evidence with anybody, and that includes the Defence.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

25 4.12 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday the 5th day

Page 4760

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