1 Thursday, 21 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
7 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination is continuing.
10 THE WITNESS: BLAGOJE SIMIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, sir.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Sir, on November 15th on three occasions you testified that you
16 were not aware of the mistreatment of prisoners; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And as we mentioned yesterday, Bosanski Samac was -- is not a very
19 large metropolis, like New York or Tokyo. It's a small area.
20 A. Well, everything is relative. For somebody it can be a small
21 town. For somebody it can be quite large.
22 Q. Well, compared to New York City, Tokyo, Chicago --
23 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour. We've been through all these topics
24 yesterday. I don't see any reason why we are repeating this story. Let's
25 go directly with the questions.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. Do avoid repetition. It implies
2 that you're finished with your cross-examination.
3 MR. WEINER: Far from it. Thank you.
4 Q. Now, sir, you recalled witnesses have testified of beatings during
5 outside of the police station. You've heard witnesses testify in this
6 trial beatings occurred outside of the police station, in the street area
7 in front of the police station.
8 A. Yes. I heard -- the war was going on. The shells were landing
9 everywhere, and the residents didn't move about.
10 Q. No. I'm saying beatings. You recall there was testimony by
11 Muhamed Bicic, Hasan Bicic, that beatings occurred in front of the SUP or
12 police station. Do you recall that?
13 A. I didn't see that.
14 Q. I'm not asking if you saw it. Do you recall the testimony?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you recall the testimony about the beatings that occurred
17 in the courtyard -- outside in the courtyard at the Territorial Defence
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And do you recall the testimony that when prisoners arrived in
21 May, there was shooting and beatings outside of the high school area? Do
22 you recall that testimony?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recall testimony from witnesses that they had to sing
25 Chetnik songs very loudly, sometimes for hours at a time, and this was at
1 the school and at the Territorial Defence building? Do you recall that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And do you recall testimony of witnesses, at least two witnesses,
5 that they would hear screams and cries all night long from the police
6 station, from the Territorial Defence building, and from the schools? Do
7 you recall that testimony?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And finally, do you recall the testimony about prisoners being
10 brought to the local hospital or prisoners on occasional -- occasionally
11 being visited by doctors or nurses at the various detention facilities?
12 Do you recall that testimony?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, over an eight-month period, basically from April to the end
15 of the year, no one other than Stevan Todorovic -- no, I'm sorry, not even
16 Stevan Todorovic -- no one ever spoke to you about the beatings, no one?
17 Or what was happening?
18 A. For the most part of that period, I was not in Samac. And I've
19 said this many times so far.
20 Secondly, Stevan Todorovic never reported on any kind of
21 mistreatment of prisoners, nor did he ever submit any kind of written
22 report to the Municipal Assembly of Samac to that effect nor did he speak
23 to me about that personally.
24 Q. Fine. We know about Stevan Todorovic. He never mentioned it. But
25 did any resident -- my question to you is going to be: Did any resident
1 in that eight-month period ever approach you about the beating of their
2 friends or relatives? Did any resident ever approach you?
3 A. We are here trying to find a needle in a stack of hay. The war
4 was going on. Shells were landing everywhere. There were burials every
5 day. Many wounded, lack of money, poverty, no electricity, no water
6 supply, wounded people, prosthesis, quadriplegics, paraplegics,
7 haemodialysis, vaccinations, you name it. There wasn't a single problem
8 that the municipality was not faced with, and every single resident of
9 that municipality. When I went to work, I had so many problems that it
10 was hard to deal with that and to survive in wartime.
11 Q. That's correct.
12 A. I think that that's a special kind of art.
13 Q. Sir, just what I'm talking about. You were hearing about all of
14 these problems from fellow Crisis Staff members, from fellow municipal
15 officials, from residents. Did one of these persons from the Crisis
16 Staff, from the executive council, from any municipal employee or
17 official, any resident of Samac ever tell you that people were being
18 beaten in the detention facilities; yes or no?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Sir, you mentioned as part of your humanitarian obligation you
21 would try and assist and help out at the hospitals. Did any doctor,
22 nurse, or hospital employee tell you that we have beaten prisoners coming
23 in, or we're going out to the hospitals and there are terribly beaten
24 prisoners? Did that happen, sir?
25 A. I've told you that I was mostly involved in haemodialysis, that I
1 tried to assist in treatment of chronic patients, and that we gave last
2 penny in order to keep people of all ethnicities alive. In addition to
3 that, I put in extra effort in order to try to obtain vaccinations. I
4 tried to provide medicine and vaccinations to residents of all
5 ethnicities. In addition to that, I attended some 500 funerals. We had
6 583 killed, people --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Dr. Simic, the question was straightforward did
8 anybody tell you that there had been prisoners who had been badly beaten,
9 from the hospital staff?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. All right. Let's just continue --
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just have one short question. Dr. Simic, did
14 you ever during the period from April 17th, 1992 and the following months,
15 did you ever enter the TO, the SUP, the elementary, or the high school?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one other question: Did you ever walk past
18 those buildings, all of them or any one of them?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible, but not very -- on
20 very few occasions, because that was the war zone. My offices were
21 several kilometres away from that place.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
23 MR. WEINER:
24 Q. Sir, when did you find out about all these beatings?
25 A. In the later period of time, when we -- as we tried to remove
1 Stevan Todorovic from office, his shortcomings and work at the Ministry of
2 the Interior emerged.
3 Q. Sir, yesterday you indicated that you weren't aware of isolation.
4 Were you aware of any mass arrests in Bosanski Samac of the non-Serb
5 population? And when I say "mass," I mean large numbers, hundreds.
6 A. I told you yesterday that I had the information on Crkvina and
7 that Stevan Todorovic informed me that people had been returned to their
8 homes on the same day with apologies. I was informed about Zasavica, but
9 that was not prison at any time.
10 Secondly, I told you that Stevan Todorovic had informed the War
11 Presidency that he had some prisoners against whom he was gathering
12 documents and that he was about to file criminal complaints, that he had
13 enough material to file criminal complaints and to put those people to
14 trial. And how can a civilian organ interfere in the work of the military
15 and the police?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Your Honour, maybe I'm wrong, but I heard
18 something which is not consistent with the transcript. Actually, it
19 relates to page 6, line 8, the sentence beginning, "I was informed about
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. PANTELIC: I'm not so sure that that was the words of
23 Dr. Simic. Maybe my colleague can clarify that.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. Sir, as I told you yesterday, you've already mentioned the Stevan
2 Todorovic matter. I'm not talking about what you heard from Stevan
3 Todorovic and I'm not talking about Crkvina. My question to you is: Do
4 you agree that you've stated you were never advised of any mass arrests?
5 Is that what your testimony is? You were never aware or advised of any
6 mass arrests of the non-Serb population in Bosanski Samac?
7 A. I've just answered that question.
8 Q. No, sir. As I said to you, other than what you've heard from
9 Stevan Todorovic and other than what you've mentioned from Crkvina, you
10 were never aware of any mass arrests in Bosanski Samac; is that your
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer. The
13 interpreters didn't catch it.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Could you please repeat that answer. The interpreters couldn't --
16 A. Were there any other arrests? You said during your case -- you
17 spoke of Zasavica and prison in Samac and Crkvina.
18 Q. So I take it -- sir, so I take it that you're stating that you
19 weren't aware of any other arrests other than what you heard from Stevan
20 Todorovic and Crkvina, the Crkvina incident. That's your testimony?
21 A. Except for those about which Stevan Todorovic informed the Crisis
22 Staff and War Presidency. He did not inform me personally. Nobody was in
23 charge of informing me personally on any matter. I was a member of a
24 joint body, not civilian government.
25 Q. Sir, yesterday you heard -- you heard me read the testimony from
1 Exhibit 141 at page 43 where Simo Zaric said that "People were detained in
2 the two schools. It was all well known." Do you recall me reading that?
3 Do you recall me reading that yesterday?
4 A. You didn't read it out in that way.
5 Q. Okay. Let me read from page 43, Simo Zaric's interview, Exhibit
6 141. "How was it then that you know that the Crisis Staff is the one who
7 made the decision to isolate these people in Zasavica?"
8 "It was no secret. It was a well-known fact. Everything that was
9 decided was well known. For instance, that people were going to be taken
10 to Crkvina and that they were going to be detained in the two schools, it
11 was all well known. There was no secret about it."
12 Do you recall me reading that to you yesterday?
13 A. I've already said to you that in Crkvina and in schools there were
14 no prisoners at any time.
15 Q. Sir, do you recall me reading that yesterday?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And your other --
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Excuse me, Mr. Weiner. And maybe you
19 can get back to -- I don't know if it will interrupt your flow, but I
20 don't think you've dealt with the clarification that Mr. Pantelic raised,
21 which was page 6, lines 8 and 9, where Dr. Simic said, in the English, "I
22 was informed about Zasavica, but that was not prison at any time." And
23 Mr. Pantelic had said that he wasn't sure whether the transcript
24 reflected -- it was -- reflected actually what Dr. Simic had said. But
25 don't let me interrupt your flow. Maybe you can, though, come back to
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Okay. Sir, let me ask that question. Is that what you had just
4 said, that Zasavica was not a prison? Was that your previous testimony?
5 A. Yes. It was not a prison. It wasn't a prison ever, nor was it
6 possible to turn such a large territory into a prison, nor can two
7 policemen guard such a vast territory.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. But the problem is with the first
9 part of that sentence. I was informed or yesterday I informed you. So
10 it's -- there is some misunderstanding with that regard. So could you
11 clarify that with the defendant, please.
12 MR. WEINER: All right. I'll clarify that next as something that
13 was said before the screen goes away.
14 Q. I just also want to clarify your statement, "I've already said to
15 you that in Crkvina and in the schools, there were no prisoners at any
16 time." Are you now saying there were never any prisoners in the schools?
17 You just said that. It's on line 13, page 8.
18 A. I didn't say in that way. I said that in Crkvina schools, there
19 were no prisoners ever, that in schools in Crkvina there were no prisoners
20 ever. Crkvina has schools too.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think -- that's the way I understood the
22 defendant, yes.
23 MR. WEINER: Okay.
24 Q. The other question, sir, is from -- Mr. Pantelic wanted something.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think it's quite simple, Mr. Weiner. It's the
1 words "I was informed about Zasavica." That's what's in question.
2 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Sir, the question "I was informed about Zasavica." When were you
4 informed about Zasavica?
5 A. At the beginning of the war we started a farm operation there.
6 The owners of the farms were mostly Croats. We had a fair relation with
7 that. They started farm production. We took the food they produced over
8 from them. Can I explain.
9 Q. No. The question is: When were you informed about Zasavica and
10 the happenings at Zasavica? When?
11 A. When I came back from my sick leave.
12 Q. So at the end of the year.
13 A. Towards the end of the year.
14 Q. Okay. All right, sir. I just read to you the statement from Simo
15 Zaric that it was public knowledge about prisoners being detained at the
16 two schools in Bosanski Samac. I'd like to read to you a statement from
17 the joint motion for consideration of plea agreement between Milan Simic
18 and the Office of the Prosecutor, paragraph C, 8C.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I have to object. We as Defence never
13 saw this agreement, specifically this part of C, 8C. I never discussed
14 this motion or content of this motion with my client. He is not
15 absolutely ready to respond on any issue with regard to this plea bargain
16 agreement because the Defence was not provided with the adequate
17 materials. End of story. Thank you.
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this is a public document. This is not
19 a private document. It's a public document that Milan Simic pled. The
20 hearings were open. All I'm saying to him is Zaric knew about it, Milan
21 Simic knew about it, I'm going to tell him that Miroslav Tadic knew about
22 it, and you as the Crisis Staff and War Presidency president didn't know
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, we are wondering -- because the plea
1 agreement remained confidential and there was an order clarifying which
2 part of the proceedings were to be in the -- in the public domain.
3 MR. WEINER: I was under the impression that the confidentiality
4 was lifted off the plea agreement.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: With everything else except the plea agreement, if
6 you read the judgment, you'll find it in there. And there was an order
7 actually clarifying what was to be in the public domain.
8 MR. WEINER: I'm sorry. I --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: So this part of the plea agreement which still
10 remains confidential cannot be put to the defendant.
11 MR. WEINER: All right. I'll move on.
12 Q. Finally, sir, Mr. Tadic has testified -- I'm sorry, has provided a
13 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor. On 26 March, 1998 at pages 28
14 and 29 of Exhibit 138:
15 Q. But Mr. Tadic, you know that dozens if not hundreds of
16 men were arrested in that week after the takeover, or
17 detained at the police station and at camps in Samac.
18 Some of these were old men, as you like to describe
19 yourself, much older than you. At least one of these men
20 was a Catholic priest. Why were all these people being
21 arrested? You mean to tell me every single one of these
22 men was arrested because they were concealing weapons?
23 A. No. I was talking about the first days of the war. I
24 was talking about those days. I was talking about the
25 18th, 19th, the 20th, those first days of the war. I think
1 that not more than 30 were arrested then and there's no
2 question that a large number of people were arrested then --
3 there's no question that a large number of people were
4 arrested then. What you're talk about, the mass arrests that
5 took place, I think possibly a month later.
6 Sir, you've heard that, do you know any reason why Mr. Tadic would
7 say that if it wasn't true, that mass arrests took place a month later?
8 We're talking about May of 1992. Do you know any reason why he would say
9 that if it wasn't true, sir?
10 A. I would rather you asked me about my opinion. I cannot comment on
11 somebody else's opinion. That's his opinion. And authorities is a very
12 complex term. When you say "authorities," one needs to define exactly
13 which authority one has in mind. I knew four types of authorities. I
14 wish to testify myself, not give comments on somebody else' testimony.
15 Q. Sir, the question is: Do you know why Mr. Tadic, not offering an
16 opinion, would state a fact that mass arrests took place sometime in May
17 if it wouldn't true? Do you know any reason; yes or no?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Sir, let's move on to another topic. You testified that you took
20 certain -- that the Crisis Staff took certain actions based on orders and
21 decisions coming down from the republic level. Do you recall that
22 testimony last week?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In fact, you testified that the republic enactments superseded
25 municipal ones. You testified to that on November 14th, at page 90. Do
1 you recall that?
2 A. Yes. That was always that way.
3 Q. Correct. You also testified that you were duty-bound to respect
4 the Serb Autonomous District, the SAO decisions. You testified to that
5 also on November 14th. Do you recall that?
6 A. We accepted or wished to observe the decisions of the SAO, but I
7 can explain.
8 Q. You testified that you were duty-bound to respect those; correct?
9 A. I testified that we respected the laws of Republika Srpska, but I
10 also testified that we wished to join the SAO Semberija and Majevica. Can
11 I explain?
12 Q. You can explain on redirect, sir -- actually, all I'm asking you
13 is if you testified that you respected the decisions. I'm not interested
14 in when you wanted to join, why you wanted to join that SAO. My question
15 is: Did you respect the decisions that came out of that -- that or any
16 SAO that you belonged to?
17 A. Now, that is a legal question. I don't know how to answer that.
18 Q. My question is: Did you testify on page 90 of November 14th that
19 you were duty-bound to respect the Serb Autonomous District decisions?
20 Did you testify to that?
21 A. We were duty-bound to respect everything that was in accordance
22 with the law, and the SAO is a constitutional category.
23 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you this document, sir.
24 Sir, are you familiar with that document, or do you recall it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Sir, that's dated April 26, 1992, and it concerns the instructions
2 for the operation of Crisis Staff headquarters of Serb people in the
3 municipality; is that correct?
4 A. The 26th of April, yes, 1992.
5 Q. And that's the instructions for the operation of crisis
6 headquarters of Serb people in the municipality.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, sir, could we look at paragraph 3. It says: "Crisis
9 headquarters coordinates government functions for the purpose of
10 protecting the territory, safety of the population and its properties,
11 setting up authority and organisation of all other forms of life and
12 work." When it says "safety of the population and its properties," it
13 does not state only the Serb population; correct?
14 A. No.
15 Q. When you say "no," you're saying no, it does not state only the
16 Serb population?
17 A. That does not pertain to the Serb population only.
18 Q. Thank you. If we move on to paragraph 6, it says: "The operation
19 of the crisis headquarters is based on constitutional and legal provisions
20 and also on the decisions of the assembly, presidency, and the government
21 of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina"; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that's just as you had previously said. You have to follow
24 the decisions that come down from above, as you've previously testified;
1 A. But item 3 itself says that the Crisis Staff is the coordinator.
2 It coordinates. It does not carry out. It coordinates. It makes it
3 possible for the state authorities to function.
4 Q. We're on item 6, and it says: "The operation of the crisis
5 headquarters is based on constitutional and legal provisions and also on
6 the decisions of the assembly, presidency, and the government of the
7 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." As you've testified, you
8 have to follow the laws that come down from above; correct?
9 A. No. We were not the executive government. We did not execute.
10 The executive government is a special type of government. We coordinated.
11 Q. Even in coordination, you have to follow the laws and the rules
12 that come down above from the assembly. You have to abide by the laws of
13 the constitution, don't you?
14 A. But we do not implement this and execute it. It is the executive
15 that executes and implements this.
16 Q. Sir, my question is: Even in coordination you have to follow the
17 laws and the rules that come down from the assembly. You have to abide by
18 the laws of the constitution, don't you? That's my question.
19 A. That's the way it is in any state. The laws of that state are
21 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 10 states: "Towards non-combat population
22 and the wounded, behave in an utterly humane manner and in compliance with
23 the International Red Cross. Treat the prisoners of war in a humane
24 manner and according to the laws of the Serb Bosnia and Herzegovina."
25 Now, we've talked about -- and you've just mentioned that
1 Mr. Todorovic told you that prisoners were being held. And you also
2 recall that you've testified on November 15th, when he told you prisoners
3 were being held, he wasn't even making any sense about it, and you said
4 that's because he was a substance abuser. Knowing that Mr. Todorovic was
5 arresting people, what steps did you take in accordance with number 10,
6 your rule number 10, to ensure that the prisoners were being treated
7 humanely? What steps did the Crisis Staff take in accordance with number
8 10 of these instructions?
9 A. That is the question that you put to me that I like the most. The
10 Crisis Staff was coordinator; that is to say, it was not carrying out or
11 implementing decisions but coordinating. We all came to the conclusion
12 that the Ministry of the Interior in Samac was performing poorly. We did
13 not want any prisoners in Samac. We reacted. And since Stevan Todorovic
14 was appointed by the Ministry of the Interior, he was on their payroll,
15 they were his bosses, we tried, by way of coordination, to achieve that
16 the Ministry of the Interior in Samac carries out its job properly,
17 without any prisoners involved. We talked to high officials of the
18 Ministry of the Interior. One of them recommended -- his name is Tomo
19 Kovac. He recommended to Stevan Todorovic that he resign and that he
20 withdraw on his own. He didn't want to do it but he talked about the
21 episode himself. Then we called the chief of Stevan Todorovic, Andrija
22 Bilosevic to Samac to the offices of the War Presidency, and with a major
23 apology because we were discussing the work of the Ministry of the
24 Interior, this decree prohibits this, that we should be involved in the
25 matters related to the military and the police. We presented our opinion
1 that the Ministry of the Interior in Samac was not carrying out its
2 duties, that Stevan Todorovic is not worthy of that job. And we asked
3 Andrija Bilosevic to exercise some more control over his own service in
4 Samac. Andrija Bilosevic was very angry of us and he left the offices of
5 the War Presidency demonstratively. But he did turn to his branch of the
6 Ministry of the Interior in Samac. After a few days he took all prisoners
7 from Samac and he took them to Batkovic, over 100 kilometres away from
8 Samac. And that is where they were under the control of the military.
9 And it was made possible for them to be tried by a military court.
10 Furthermore, he established a commission, because the Ministry of
11 the Interior has inspectors, its own inspectors, and he established a
12 commission of inspectors that came to Samac to check the work of Stevan
13 Todorovic and the Ministry of the Interior. That commission stayed --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Speak slowly. The interpreter is almost running.
15 Can you just speak slowly.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Sir, that all happened at the end of --
18 A. I do apologise. I do apologise for hurrying this much. I get
19 carried away by my emotions a bit, so I'll try.
20 Q. Sir --
21 A. But please let me -- please let me --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...at the end of the year, what
23 did you do in April, in May, and in June? What actions did you take? What
24 orders did you issue? What letters did you send out in April, May, and
25 June? Even July, before you shot yourself in the leg, what actions did
1 you take in those four months in compliance with objective number 10?
2 What orders did you issue? What letters were written?
3 A. Again, it should be known that we were cut off from the outside
4 world, that we were in total encirclement, that we had only five
5 telephones, five telephone lines, that these five telephone lines were
6 under the absolute control of Stevan Todorovic, because his girlfriend
7 worked at the phone exchange, and I could not have a single telephone
8 conversation without Stevan Todorovic eavesdropping on me -- or rather,
9 his girlfriend eavesdropping on me.
10 Q. My question is: Did you issue any orders or write any letters in
11 April, May, June, or July about the safety of the prisoners? Did you
12 issue any orders in that time, April, May, June, or July?
13 A. Give me a description from the instructions. It was prohibited to
14 us -- we were prohibited from interfering in the military and police. But
15 we tried as human beings to exercise some influence so that the Ministry
16 of the Interior in war conditions in the very unfavourable conditions of a
17 civil war, because we are now shedding light on one segment only and there
18 are many, many segments there --
19 Q. Sir, again my question is: Did you issue any orders or write any
20 letters in April, May, June, or July about the safety of the prisoners?
21 Did you issue any orders? And meaning "you," did the Crisis Staff in
22 April, May, June, or July? That's the question.
23 A. In writing? No.
24 Q. The final paragraph is 13. And once again, these are instructions
25 for the Crisis Staff. "War profiteers, pillage groups may -- and so on
1 have to be arrested and hand over to the investigation court of the
2 Republika Srpska."
3 Did the Crisis Staff issue any order in April, May, June, July
4 requesting the investigation or the prosecution of looters, any written
5 orders or any written decisions? Did the Crisis Staff issue any?
6 A. The Crisis Staff put forth a request to the Ministry of the
7 Interior to have judges demobilised. The Crisis Staff appointed a
8 coordinator for creating conditions and for establishing civilian courts,
9 and we also helped military courts so that the military authority could
10 function properly. So that has to do with the military judiciary. We
11 managed to demobilise four judges and we established a court, and there
12 are decisions of the People's Assembly establishing a civilian court in
13 Samac and a prosecutor's office in Samac and three judges from Samac went
14 to Bijeljina, that is to say, that we created conditions for the
15 functioning of the state so that every branch of government would do its
16 own job, so that the judiciary would do their job, the executive their
17 job, and the legislative their job. Unfortunately there was this fourth
18 authority, and that was the military authority.
19 Q. My question again is: Did the Crisis Staff issue any written
20 orders -- I'll add the word "written orders" -- in April, May, June, or
21 July requiring the investigation of prosecution of looters -- actually,
22 I'll read the question. Did the Crisis Staff issue any order in April,
23 May, June, or July, requiring the investigation or the prosecution of
24 looters? Any written orders, any written decisions, did the Crisis Staff
25 issue any? Yes or no?
1 A. That is the job of judges in Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Sir, my question --
3 A. We ensured the work of the judiciary.
4 Q. Sir, the judiciary wasn't doing their job, so my question is
5 again: Did the Crisis Staff issue any order in April, May, June, July
6 requesting the investigation or the prosecution of looters, any written
7 orders or any written decision, did the Crisis Staff issue any? That's
8 the question.
9 A. I have answered you already in terms of how we worked. By
10 encouraging and creating conditions for the functioning of the judiciary.
11 Q. Once again, that's not the question -- the question is: Did --
12 I'll read it again. Did the Crisis Staff issue any order in April, May,
13 June, July requesting the investigation or the prosecution of looters?
14 Any written orders or any written decisions, did the Crisis Staff issue
15 any? That's the question.
16 A. It issued a request to the Ministry of Defence to demobilise
17 judges, to establish courts, and for them to do their job. We thought
18 that it was only in that way, by strengthening the state itself and by
19 strengthening the system, that we can prevent looting.
20 Q. Sir, it's a written decision that was issued?
21 A. It was a written request to the Ministry of Defence to demobilise
23 Q. And what date was that issued?
24 A. It was during the first days of the war. There are decisions of
25 the People's Assembly of Republika Srpska when the court of law in Samac
1 is being established, when the prosecutor's office in Samac is being
3 Q. Sir, what I'm asking you is: In response to the looting, because
4 you've admitted in May and June -- not first days of the war -- you saw
5 looted -- you called them plundered vehicles. What action did you take?
6 What written decisions or written orders were taken by the Crisis Staff in
7 response to those -- that looting and plundering? Were there any written
8 decisions or written orders? So if you first saw it in May and June,
9 we're talking about May and June. Not at the beginning when you're
10 saying, "Let's get the courts going. Let's get things happening." What
11 written decisions? Did you call for investigations? Did the Crisis Staff
12 issue an order calling for investigations of looting and plundering? Are
13 there written decisions; yes or no?
14 A. I have answered that question for you three times already. We
15 thought that by strengthening the state, by strengthening the judiciary,
16 that that is the only way in which we can stop this.
17 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that the Crisis Staff did not issue any
18 written decisions because the Crisis Staff authorised the looting by
19 paramilitaries and the military and by private citizens, the Crisis Staff
20 authorised it. Isn't that true, sir?
21 A. The Crisis Staff did not allow any looting.
22 Q. Sir, I would like to read to you an excerpt from Simo Zaric's
23 statement, Exhibit 141, his statement from pages 51/52. It's his
24 statement of April 2nd, 1998. It's a long excerpt, but he's talking about
25 get away from the Odzak part of it.
1 "The part of Odzak municipality was attached to the Samac
2 municipality." And he's referring to something in Odzak. Then he gets
4 A. I can tell you in two sentences what happened to the
5 property. Let us say that perhaps one section was used for
6 the needs of the Army of Republika Srpska. Of course,
7 soldiers had to live and eat -- I'm sorry, eat and live.
8 Everything else had been looted and taken into private
9 ownership by others, put into the pockets of others. The
10 factors of criminalisation was very evident. Not only among
11 young people, but also among the troops, the army. From the
12 very beginning of the war, this was tolerated, which is why
13 anarchy ruled, which is why criminals had power in their
14 hands. They were allowed to do whatever they wanted. They
15 never had a better opportunity for looting than then. And
16 they would never have done it had not their leadership had
17 allowed them to do so."
18 Q. So this was the Samac Crisis Staff who was allowing this
19 looting to go on?
20 A. Yes. Many things were taken away. It was all organised
21 by them. Many things were also hidden from me and I
22 don't known where things were taken, but I know that many
23 things were taken away -- I'm sorry, were taken then. And
24 since then, the municipality of Vukosavljevica, has been
25 formed there. Now Serbs live and the SDS ruled [Realtime
1 transcript read in error "suicide SDS"] and there had been a
2 strong polarisation between them now, precisely because of all
3 this property that the Crisis Staff have smuggled away
4 somewhere. That is the truth.
5 Q. Do you know if Blagoje Simic and Stevan Todorovic
6 personally benefitted from any of this looting?
7 A. I cannot be sure, but compared to me they have a much
8 better lifestyle. They could not possibly have made that
9 kind of money during this war.
10 Sir, are you aware of any reason why Simo Zaric would accuse you
11 of thievery and being -- you and the Crisis Staff being involved in the
12 looting if it wasn't true?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: My apologies, Your Honour. There is some
15 misunderstanding here in the transcript. Page 24 -- page 24, line 1. The
16 sentence, "Now Serbs live and the suicide SDS." Is that the accurate
17 version that you -- although we could always discuss about it.
18 MR. WEINER: No. "Now Serbs lived and the SDS ruled," should be
19 the line.
20 Q. However, my question is: Sir, are you aware of any reason why
21 Simo Zaric would accuse you of thievery, you and the Crisis Staff of
22 thievery, you and the Crisis Staff of being involved in the looting if it
23 wasn't true? Do you know of any reason?
24 A. I don't know how to answer this question. I absolutely disagree
25 with that statement from the first to the last word and I will prove that
1 it is not true.
2 Q. Sir, do you know of any bias or prejudice on Mr. Zaric's part
3 which would make him give a false statement against you?
4 A. I do not wish to comment upon his statements.
5 Q. Then let us move on to another piece of legislation.
6 Sir, we talked about you being one of the delegates or a
7 representative to the National Assembly of the Serbian People. We --
8 there are different words for "representative." My question is -- to you
9 is: Did you attend May 12th, 1992 session of the National Assembly of
10 the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did you attend that session?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were you aware as the president of the Crisis Staff as well as the
13 representative -- one of the representatives to that delegation or that
14 body, that at that meeting both Karadzic and Krajisnik called for the
15 separation of the Serb population from the two other ethnic communities?
16 Were you aware of that?
17 A. That is a hypothetical question. I do not believe in that.
18 Q. You do not believe in that? Let me quote Mr. Karadzic, talking
19 about the goals. Okay. Let me read --
20 MR. PANTELIC: Again, Your Honour, I would be very grateful if my
21 learned friend can give us certain information where we can find this
22 exhibit or this document; otherwise, it's a little bit --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Difficult for you to follow.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Complicated for us.
25 MR. WEINER: I was just going to read a few sentences. But if
1 you -- I can avoid that. We can go right to Exhibit 5, where there is the
2 decision where they list those six goals, those six strategic objectives
3 or goals.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Then --
5 MR. WEINER: Of Krajisnik and Karadzic.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Then let's use the exhibit then.
7 MR. WEINER:
8 Q. Sir, that decision in front of you is signed by the president --
9 or it's from the president of the National Assembly, Momcilo Krajisnik;
10 correct? Is that who it's from?
11 A. The signature is that of Momcilo Krajisnik, and this comes from
12 the National Assembly. This decision of Momcilo Krajisnik, this is a
13 decision of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska at that moment.
14 Q. Now, sir --
15 A. Because this kept changing all the time.
16 Q. Sir, strategic objective number 1: "Establish state borders
17 separating the Serbian people from the other two ethnic communities." Did
18 I read that correctly?
19 A. No, you didn't.
20 Q. Would you please read strategic objective number 1.
21 A. "State delineation from other two ethnic communities."
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, how did the Crisis Staff of
23 Bosanski Samac or the Municipality of Bosanski Samac implement strategic
24 objective number 1?
25 A. You're saying that as though that was a law. It was no law at
1 all. It was not a decree. It was an objective. We changed from day to
2 day. Prior to that the Lisbon Agreement had been signed. The Lisbon
3 Agreement was signed by the Serb side, just like the Dayton Accords were.
4 So the objectives changed. Objectives were not law, and they were not
6 Q. Sir, what is the date of that strategic objectives? What's the
7 date of that?
8 A. The 12th of May, 1992.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Maybe we could clarify also when it was
11 published too, if there is certain date on the headings of the Official
12 Gazette, just for the sake of clarify, Your Honour.
13 MR. WEINER: It says, "Official Gazette of the Serbian People in
14 BH, number 3/92."
15 Q. My question to you, sir, is -- I asked you how it was published,
16 and you said things changed, and you said the Lisbon Agreement had been
17 signed. But you are aware, sir, that on the 24th -- between the 24th and
18 the 26th, both the HDZ and the SDA had renounced the Lisbon Agreement and
19 it ended.
20 A. The Lisbon Agreement, or rather, Cutilheiro Plan, the plan of the
21 European Union, Mr. Cutilheiro worked until the summer of 1992 on its
22 implementation, and I think that he's disappointed to this day that it
23 hasn't been implemented.
24 Q. Well, you -- well, sir, you would also know that Cutilheiro on May
25 11th, 1992 cancelled any further meetings on cantonisation. So there were
1 no further meetings on cantonisation or the Lisbon Plan. There was a
2 constitutional meeting on the constitutional basis in June or July, but
3 there was never any further meetings. So my question back to you is:
4 Since the Lisbon Plan was over and Cutilheiro had cancelled the further
5 cantonisation plans, how did you implement strategic objective number 1,
6 "Establish state borders separating the Serbian people from the other two
7 ethnic communities"?
8 A. This is no law at all, and nobody had a duty to implement it.
9 Q. Sir, was not the transferring of large numbers of non-Serbs out of
10 Samac by means of the exchange programme in accordance with objective
11 number 1 of the strategic objectives of the Serbian People of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Doesn't that fall right in accordance with that
14 A. In Samac municipality, only 3 per cent of residents were
15 exchanged. Only 3 per cent of the population. And that was done pursuant
16 to five agreements signed by three warring parties under the auspices of
17 the ICRC in Budapest and in Geneva on the 22nd of May, 1992. Five
18 agreements were signed by three warring parties regarding the exchange.
19 Q. Sir, the people who were exchanged out of Bosanski Samac were
20 non-Serbs. Isn't the exchange of non-Serbs in accordance with objective
21 number 1, "Establish state borders separating Serbian people from the
22 other two ethnic communities"? The non-Serbs were leaving and Serbs were
23 coming in. You were establishing almost an ethnically pure Serbian
24 community. Isn't that in accordance with strategic objective number 1?
25 A. By way of exchange, people left but also came. Muslims and Croats
1 and people of other ethnicity came as well. We are now forgetting all
2 other nations, such as Yugoslavs, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Romas, Jews,
3 and so on. We are forgetting all other nations that lived there then and
4 that still live there now.
5 Q. My question to you again is: In Bosanski Samac, by exchanging the
6 Muslims and Croats for Serbs, were you not acting in accordance with the
7 strategic objectives of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 objective number 1? You were separating the Serbs from the non-Serbs;
9 isn't that correct?
10 A. That's not correct.
11 Q. Thank you. One last area I'd like to talk to you about.
12 MR. WEINER: Exhibit 99, please.
13 Q. Sir, I show you Exhibit P99. It was sent to Belgrade. Whom was
14 is that letter sent to?
15 A. To the Federal Executive Council.
16 Q. And it says "the president."
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who was the president?
19 A. A Croat, Ante Markovic.
20 Q. And the letter describes the plight of the Serb civilians of
21 Odzak; correct?
22 A. Yes. The witnesses who wrote these letters can tell you more
23 about this. I only signed it.
24 Q. Okay. Now, it indicates that the civilians were subjected to
25 physical terror, maltreatment, starvation, forced labour, and other brutal
1 means -- I'm sorry, and other methods of brutal abuse, including
2 execution. And it also notes that some prisoners were moved outside of
3 Bosnia. Correct?
4 A. That's what it says here, that some detained Serbs had been
5 transferred across the Sava River to Croatia into concentration camps, and
6 we have not been able to establish their number yet.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, in this case, here, there has been the evidence
8 of the same conduct. Specifically we've heard from witnesses -- the
9 testimony of witnesses, plus one defendant who's pled guilty and has
10 admitted to, in addition to the witnesses who have described, beatings,
11 torture, executions or murder, forced labour, starvation, sexual assault,
12 and prisoners being moved outside of Bosnia. We've heard testimony of
13 that in this case too, haven't we, sir? Is that correct?
14 A. Yes. That's what your witness stated.
15 Q. So, sir, what you have described as an inhumane situation in Odzak
16 also has happened in -- to the non-Serb population of Samac; correct?
17 A. Not nearly that way, no.
18 Q. Sir, could you state that answer again, please.
19 A. Nothing even remotely similar happened to them in Samac, similar
20 to what happened to Serbs in Odzak.
21 Q. Sir, in your letter you talk about physical terror. Hasn't there
22 been testimony here about physical terror by some witnesses?
23 A. I didn't see that.
24 Q. I'm not asking you whether you saw it. Was there testimony in
25 this case of physical terror, beatings and torture? Was there testimony
1 of that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was there testimony of maltreatment?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there testimony of starvation, of being -- getting little
7 A. Yes. But nobody said that I did that.
8 Q. I'm not saying that. I'm just asking if there was testimony. Was
9 there testimony here of people having to perform forced labour? You've
10 heard that testimony.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You've heard testimony of other methods of abuse. You've heard
13 the statements of Stevan Todorovic and the terrible things he had done.
14 A. Yes. But those were all your witnesses.
15 Q. Yes. And you've heard testimony of executions, Crkvina 16 people
17 A. Yes. But those were your witnesses again.
18 Q. And you've also heard testimony from various prisoners that they
19 were moved by helicopter to Serbia, outside of Bosnia. You've heard that
20 testimony too. From Izet Izetbegovic, who you've stated that you're very
21 fond of, you've heard that testimony too; correct? So those same factors
22 which you use in your letter to describe an inhumane situation, there's
23 testimony that that all happened here. So such -- there's testimony that
24 that also existed in Bosanski Samac to the non-Serb population; correct?
25 Those same factors, according to testimony, also existed in Bosanski
2 A. That's what you're saying.
3 Q. That's what the testimony has been so far in this case, that that
4 same situation, an inhumane situation, based on the factors which you've
5 stated, there's been testimony in this case that that same inhumane
6 situation occurred to the non-Serb civilians of Samac.
7 A. Can I describe the difference?
8 Q. All I'm saying is the factors that you've listed, those eight
9 factors to establish an inhumane system, there's been testimony to all of
10 those here in this case, indicating an inhumane system in Samac existed;
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Sir, that wasn't the only letter you've written. Didn't you also
14 on May 15th write a letter to Radovan Karadzic, among other things, asking
15 for his assistance in gaining the release of the Serbs of Odzak? Didn't
16 you also send a letter to Radovan Karadzic?
17 A. Can I see that letter.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have a number, exhibit number. Is that --
19 Your Honour, do we have that in our specification?
20 MR. WEINER: It's not in evidence at this time.
21 MR. PANTELIC: It's not in evidence.
22 MR. WEINER: No.
23 MR. PANTELIC: So then I don't see how we can discuss that,
24 because it's even new for us.
25 MR. WEINER: He's asked for -- I'm just asking if he wrote a
2 MR. PANTELIC: I'm his lawyer, my friend. So I'm not going into
3 the discussion of the document that the Defence never saw and was never in
4 a situation to discuss with the client. Simply as that.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: You'll be able to deal with it in re-examination.
6 The witness has challenged the Prosecution to produce the letter.
7 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I had no -- I had no -- I just was going
8 to ask him if he'd written the letter. That's all.
9 MR. PANTELIC: My duty as a Defence counsel is to prevent that,
10 even if he's trying to see this document. Just as a matter of rules, Your
11 Honour, I don't go -- I'm sure that my client will explain what is --
12 there is nothing, I believe, contentious, I would say. But it's simply a
13 rule. That's my duty as a Defence counsel, to prevent my client to
14 discuss a matter with the Prosecution prior to discuss this same matter
15 with the Defence. And I am -- we were not in that situation, Your Honour.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: This is cross-examination.
18 MR. PANTELIC: But that's an ambush.
19 MR. WEINER: My question is: Did he write the letter? I'm not
20 trying to introduce the letter. I have no intention of introducing the
21 letter. Did he --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Just go ahead. Let him look at the letter. And
24 MR. WEINER:
25 Q. Did you write a letter to Radovan Karadzic?
1 A. I don't remember.
2 Q. Does it refresh your recollection if you -- if I told you that you
3 wrote a letter on May 15th telling him about the terrible situation in
4 Odzak and asking him and the government of the Serbian Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina to intervene? Do you recall signing and sending a
6 letter out to Radovan Karadzic about that?
7 A. That's not impossible, but I don't remember that letter and I
8 would like to be given an opportunity to see it. We sent letters to
9 people every three or four days. That was the only thing we could do in
10 order to try and obtain assistance. We sent letters to all the addresses
11 that we had, where we thought that people could help us.
12 Q. Sir, did you ever send out any letters to Karadzic or Krajisnik
13 requesting an investigation for the release of the non-Serb civilians
14 being held in Bosanski Samac?
15 A. I've answered that question already three times.
16 Q. Well, could you do it a fourth time did you ever send a letter to
17 Krajisnik or Karadzic requesting an investigation into the prisoners --
18 the non-Serb civilians being held in Samac or requesting that they take
19 some action or intervention to release those non-Serb civilians being held
20 in Samac? Did you ever send a letter to Krajisnik or Karadzic?
21 A. We did everything we could in order to re-establish the judiciary
22 and have the judiciary do its work.
23 Q. Sir, did you send a letter -- we have Exhibit 99 here, which is a
24 letter you sent to the Federal executive council in Belgrade. Did you
25 send a letter on behalf of the non-Serb civilians, the residents of your
1 municipality, that were being held in Samac. Did you send that letter to
2 the federal executive council, to Krajisnik, to Karadzic? Did you send a
3 letter to any of those three persons or groups?
4 A. I'm saying to you in which ways we tried to solve that problem.
5 Q. My question to you is: Did you send a letter?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, that has belaboured -- you won't get the
7 answer you want.
8 MR. WEINER: I think it's obvious, no.
9 Q. All right. Let me just go back to one more matter on your letter,
10 sir. You indicate here in your letter, Exhibit 99, "We have proposed --"
11 okay. "The Crisis Staff of our municipality has constantly been trying to
12 reach an agreement on the resolution of the issue of the detained Serbs
13 and in that respect we have proposed that they be exchanged." Who were
14 you planning to exchange these Serbs of Odzak with, the 4.000 Serbs being
15 held in Odzak?
16 A. May I answer?
17 Q. Yes. Who were you planning to exchange these people for?
18 A. We proposed to the republic commission to participate in the
19 exchange process, and the exchange was defined by an agreement signed
20 between the three warring parties in Geneva and in Budapest under the
21 auspices of the ICRC. There are five agreements altogether.
22 Q. Sir, who were you going to exchange the Serbs of Odzak for? Who?
23 A. That agreement has a stipulation where it says that there must be
24 a consensus reached between all three warring sides when the exchange is
25 being carried out.
1 Q. Sir, who were you going to exchange the Serbs of Odzak for? Who?
2 The prisoners? The civilians? Who were you going to exchange them for?
3 A. That was within the scope of authorities of the exchange
4 commission, within the Ministry of Justice, on all three sides.
5 Q. Who were you going to exchange them for, sir? Not who was going
6 to implement it. Not who was going to make decisions. Who? You were
7 going to exchange them, sir, for the non-Serb population of Bosanski
8 Samac; correct?
9 A. We wanted them to be released without any exchange at all, because
10 all these people wanted was to leave. The ICRC took them, trying to have
11 them leave the Odzak municipality. The ICRC was at the head of that
12 column which was later stopped.
13 Q. Your letter says that we propose that they be exchanged. Were you
14 not going to exchange the 4.000 Serbs of Odzak for the non-Serb population
15 of Bosanski Samac? Who were you going to exchange them for, sir? The
16 non-Serb population of Bosanski Samac; isn't that correct?
17 A. You're putting a question to me and answering it at the same time.
18 I told you that that was a task of the exchange commission. There were
19 several proposals in the letter, and one of them was the one you
20 mentioned. But that's what -- in the letter. When you are trying to save
21 people's lives, to save the population, to find a solution in wartime,
22 that doesn't have to be malevolent.
23 Q. Sir --
24 A. Helping people does not have to be motivated by bad will.
25 Q. Sir, you were trying to help the non-Serb -- the Serb population
1 of Odzak. Who were you going to exchange them for? You said that you
2 were proposing an exchange. Who were you going to exchange them for? The
3 only ones you could would be the non-Serb population of Bosanski Samac;
4 isn't that correct? You can say yes. You can say no. Who were you going
5 to exchange them for if it wasn't the non-Serb population of Bosanski
7 A. That's not correct, because the exchange was conducted on all
8 three sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was a very complex issue --
9 Q. Sir --
10 A. And other co-accused will testify to that effect.
11 Q. Sir, isn't it the fact that you did not write any letters to the
12 Federal government or to Krajisnik and Karadzic for the release of the
13 non-Serb population or to investigate the detention of the non-Serb
14 population, since you needed those people to be exchanged. You wanted
15 those people held. Isn't that a fact, sir?
16 A. That's not true.
17 Q. Sir, you indicated at first that you were cut off from the rest of
18 the world. Then a few minutes later in your testimony you indicated that
19 you were sending three to four letters out a week. You didn't send one of
20 those three to four letters out a week about the release of the non-Serb
21 population of Bosanski Samac; isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. I don't remember all of the letters that were written at the time.
23 Q. But you don't recall any letters written on behalf of the non-Serb
24 population, the release of the non-Serb population being detained in
25 Bosanski Samac.
1 A. I don't remember all of the letters that I wrote at the time.
2 Q. Finally, sir, if you --
3 A. I didn't have any bad intentions with respect to anyone.
4 Q. Sir, if you exchanged the non-Serb population of Samac for the
5 Serb population of Odzak, you would be acting in accordance with objective
6 1, that we just described in Exhibit 5. You would separate the Serbs from
7 the non-Serbs; correct?
8 A. No, that's not correct, and that was not a directive at all.
9 Q. Then who were you going to exchange for the Serbs of Odzak?
10 A. You should put that question to the exchange commissions on all
11 three sides.
12 Q. But sir, the exchange commissions didn't write that letter. You
13 wrote that letter. And since you won't answer the question and you refuse
14 to answer it, I'll finish with that. Thank you.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. WEINER: No further questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: I just wanted to find out, Mr. Weiner, about the
18 document which was discussed, which was an excerpt from the instructions
19 for the operation of crisis headquarters, the one you discussed with the
20 accused, by president of the government.
21 MR. WEINER: Could I move that as an exhibit, since he's indicated
22 that he was familiar with the exhibit?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Well, first of all, we didn't find out when
2 Dr. Simic became familiar with this document. Maybe during this trial or
4 And secondly, Your Honour, under the P128, I believe, we already
5 have one document with -- which is ID -- with the -- well, it's hard to
6 know. It's an absolutely new document that we've got this morning. My
7 recollection is that the letter font is absolutely different that we have
8 previously, so --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can --
10 MR. PANTELIC: We don't know what is inside. We haven't discussed
11 that with the -- I haven't discussed that with my client, this new
12 document. And there are many, many issues. The basic one is if -- if
13 allegedly that's the same document that we already have in our exhibit
14 list, so why we should make a double -- a double admission.
15 MR. WEINER: I'm not aware of that being on our exhibit list. If
16 he's aware of that ...
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. Because I was wondering whether we
18 have it. It doesn't seem to be that way.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, during the break we
20 could take a look at this. But I think that this document under this
21 heading and under this date was introduced as an ID document P128 and
22 D31/2. It was an ID document as well. When there was talk about Variant
23 A and B, I think that Ms. Catharine Baen spoke of it. So I think that it
24 was introduced twice but as an identification document only.
25 MR. PANTELIC: And also, Your Honour, if I may interrupt you,
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, it's a similar document -- it's a
3 similar document. It's not the same document.
4 MR. PANTELIC: In which -- to what extent it's similar? With the
5 content of the document or --
6 MR. WEINER: Content is similar, but it's not the same.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Well, simply, Your Honour, if that is the case,
8 then we are in problem. The Defence was just aware this morning of that
9 document. So we cannot give any -- any comment on that. If there is
10 not -- if this document is not the same with the previous -- previously
11 admitted document.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, can you take note of this document and
13 find out whether we haven't got it and clear this matter. We can deal
14 with it later. And then Defence can also look at it and --
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. And another matter, Your Honour, if you'll
16 allow me: Since we've been provided with the one binder of documents at
17 the closing hours on Tuesday, I believe, I was never in a situation to
18 discuss the content of this binder with my client. And I -- I informed
19 this Trial Chamber prior to cross-examination of Dr. Simic, and you told
20 me that after the cross-examination we could discuss that matter. I need
21 at least one hour to go through all these documents, since many of them
22 are not translated, so I have personally to inform my client about the
23 content of these documents and then --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, then.
25 MR. PANTELIC: -- we will proceed.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Then we'll resume our proceedings at 11.30.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We shall resume our proceedings at 11.30
5 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Re-examination.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Simic, during the cross-examination, the
11 Prosecutor asked you a few questions about document 5 -- P [As
12 interpreted]. I would like you to look at Article 2 now, Article 2 of
13 this decision. And please answer my question. In practice, did you
14 advocate your personal interest in the organs of the SAO Semberija and
15 Majevica, you as an individual?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you duty-bound to respect the decisions of that institution,
18 or rather, the Crisis Staff, the Municipal Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac,
19 which were instructions for your own action in the organs of the SAO
20 Semberija and Majevica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you give us a few examples what this looked like. Actually,
23 please explain this to the Trial Chamber. In some decisions or
24 instructions -- I mean, were they discussed at the Crisis Staff? How were
25 decisions reached? And how shall I put this? These instructions for the
1 protection of the interests of the local municipality of Samac, how were
2 they formulated and what were the instructions you had from them? Of
3 course, if you remember. Just in a few words can you explain this
4 mechanism to us.
5 A. These decisions were reached during the war, that is to say, the
6 21st of May, 1992. In conditions of war, this was a question of life, not
7 mere window dressing. Samac was over 150 kilometres away from the centre
8 of the SAO Semberija and Majevica, which was in the town of Ugljevik
9 [phoen]. In this document we expressed our wish to become part of this
10 SAO, primarily so that we could take part in the distribution of oil,
11 humanitarian aid, and all the other resources that were being distributed
12 among the municipalities. So the main objective was - and we ourselves
13 wanted this - we were trying to get into the distribution of oil,
14 humanitarian aid, et cetera, everything else that was addressed to the SAO
15 and which we could not obtain otherwise. However, our wishes were one
16 thing and will of the other members of SAO Semberija and Majevica was
17 another. They did not express their approval that they would accept us.
18 That is, I never saw this approval. We could have been accepted but then
19 we did not get approval and we could have for this distribution of aid --
20 humanitarian aid and oil.
21 Q. Did you ever take part in certain sessions of SAO Semberija and
22 Majevica and upon instructions of the Municipal Crisis Staff? Were there
23 such cases or did this document remain on paper only?
24 A. There were no such cases because I was not accepted by the organs
25 of the SAO Semberija and Majevica.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Ms. Usher. Could we have P124, please.
2 Q. Yesterday I think the Prosecutor asked you about this decision on
3 representing the Serb people of Bosanski Samac. This is on page 8 of the
4 Official Gazette of the Municipality of Samac.
5 MR. PANTELIC: And the English version should be -- it's page 13,
6 I believe, ERN number 00479569.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Now, since there were some misunderstandings
8 there with regard to representatives, delegates, deputies, and so on and
9 so forth, I would now like to ask you the following: Did you have a
10 decision of the National Assembly of the Serb people of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 stating that you were a full-fledged delegate to the National Assembly?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Usually all delegates have their delegate IDs. Did you ever have
14 a delegate ID, an ID for parliament, an ID as member of parliament?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Could you explain to me nevertheless the point of this decision,
17 because obviously it is contradictory to what you said here, and could you
18 explain the point of this decision. You or somebody else on behalf of the
19 Samac municipality, did you perhaps go as observers or whatever? Could
20 you give us some details in this regard, if you know about it.
21 A. In this decision, it says that Mirko Dragic and I are
22 representatives of the Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under a
23 formation. We were invited only once, as far as I know, when the Samac
24 and Pelagicevo municipality was split into two. We were supposed to
25 represent both municipalities. The assumption was that we would be
1 invited when laws are to be passed, laws that have to do with the
2 municipality of Samac. However, I never got such invitations again. That
3 is to say, that I was not invited to represent the Municipality of Samac.
4 Q. When the Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo were split up, were
5 you at that meeting?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you have the right to vote?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you have the right to formulate assembly conclusions?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you have the right to take part in assembly committees?
12 A. No.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Ms. Usher. I've finished with this
14 document. Thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] In relation to the subject matter related to the
16 other SAO, Northern Bosnia, that is, the Prosecutor showed you an excerpt
17 from some minutes, and then he referred to some kind of voting or
18 whatever. And now I'm asking you the following: In December 1991, were
19 you in Doboj?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What were you doing there then?
22 A. I was doing my residency. I worked tat Doboj hospital.
23 Q. Very well. Did you attend this session of the SAO Northern Bosnia
24 when it was formed?
25 A. The first part of the session.
1 Q. Could you explain this to me.
2 A. I had a break for breakfast, and I used that time to go to that
3 session. It so happened that the first part of the session coincided with
4 my break for breakfast, and then after that I returned to work.
5 Q. Were you ever informed by anyone that you were elected
6 vice-president of this SAO?
7 A. No. As far as I know, it did not work, it did not exist.
8 Q. Your answers, the ones you gave to the Prosecutor, do I understand
9 them correctly, that you cannot even say that you were a member of a
10 non-existent body? So were you giving answers to the Prosecutor in that
11 context, or was there some other reason? Could you please explain this.
12 A. I explained to the Prosecutor that I was not given a decision in
13 writing, that I did not hold this position, and that this SAO did not
14 operate and that my municipality never opted for being a member of this
16 Q. Were you a delegate on that occasion in Doboj, at that assembly?
17 A. That's the way I was treated.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, Exhibit P5.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please put this on the ELMO, the Serb
20 version. Now, tell me, where is this decision? Could you find it. Right.
21 Could we please see the top of the page too. Yes, right. Stop.
22 Tell me, what number of the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska
23 was this decision published in? What number is this?
24 A. The number is 22.
25 Q. What's the page?
1 A. The page is 866.
2 Q. What's the date?
3 A. The 26th of November, 1993.
4 Q. All right. Now, tell me this: You personally, Dr. Blagoje Simic,
5 did you know about this decision in May 1992?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When did you first obtain any knowledge about this decision and
8 about those parts of that decision?
9 A. When I got this Official Gazette.
10 Q. When was that? You don't have to remember the exact date, but...
11 A. Towards the end of 1993.
12 Q. Thank you. Now I wish to ask you a few questions by way of
13 clarification regarding Stevan Todorovic. You talked about him in various
14 situations and regarding various circumstances. Could you please describe
15 to the Trial Chamber how come Stevan Todorovic always had the opportunity
16 of attending sessions of the Crisis Staff and the executive board and how
17 could he hold the office of chief of police and everything else? Could
18 you explain this a bit, if you know. What was his way of behaving so that
19 he was in every broth, so to speak?
20 MR. WEINER: I'd object.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. WEINER: I have no objection to questions about Todorovic, but
23 that's at least four or five different questions. Could -- could we just
24 limit. Which question do they want to ask and even ask them separately,
25 or -- that's at least four or five.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. Break them down.
2 MR. PANTELIC: I apologise. Yes.
3 Q. [Interpretation] You see, could you explain this in your own
4 words, what your impression was concerning Stevan Todorovic in that
5 period, in 1992 and in 1993. Could you explain this to the Trial Chamber.
6 A. The impression was that he did not discharge his duties
7 professionally and responsibly, that is to say, the office that he was
8 appointed to, and he did not do this the way we thought it should be done.
9 Q. The very fact that he was physically present, regardless of
10 whether he was invited or uninvited, at sessions of the Crisis Staff, does
11 that mean that he was a member of the Crisis Staff?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Could you please describe a few situations so that we could see in
14 which way he came to the Crisis Staff sessions. Did he request something?
15 Did he want something?
16 A. That was done in an improper way, but I would leave it to the
17 other witnesses to testify about this.
18 Q. Please explain to us this: When his ministry, meaning the
19 Ministry of the Interior, and his immediate superior that you spoke about,
20 Andrija Bilosevic, who was chief of police in Doboj and other police
21 officials, when the investigation against him was launched, can you tell
22 us what was his attitude with respect to you personally and if you know
23 with respect to other members of the Crisis Staff.
24 A. He wanted to take his revenge and he verbalised threats in a sense
25 that nobody should dare to remove him from office.
1 Q. And how did this end? In which way? Because we know that he was
2 not removed, and can you tell us thanks to whom he was not removed, if you
4 A. Thanks to his superiors. He was removed, but later on. However,
5 he was fortunate enough in that the ministers changed almost every three
6 months, and during that time six or seven Ministers of the Interior
7 served, and none of them had enough time or courage to dig into this
8 problem, and the first one that summoned enough courage removed him from
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit -- well, I don't need --
12 sorry. Sorry. I will just discuss that with the defendant directly.
13 Q. [Interpretation] When we spoke about the trial before the military
14 court -- or rather, your statement given to the military investigative
15 judge, and I believe that was in December of 1992. Please tell me this,
16 if you remember: Did the investigative military judge then dictate the
17 content of your statement verbatim, truthfully, or did he dictate it the
18 way he interpreted it or the way that he understood it? I would like to
19 know how was that statement dictated.
20 MR. WEINER: I'd object.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, he can ask him -- or I would suggest he
23 could ask him if he dictated it verbatim or if he dictated it in a summary
24 form, but you can't ask this man did he dictate it how the prosecutor --
25 the investigative judge understood it mentally.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So even truthfully.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. It's not the form of my question
3 regarding to the understanding of investigative judge. Furthermore, my
4 colleague from the Prosecution put to Dr. Simic many witness statements
5 and asking him to comment what was the personal or mental, you know,
6 element of these statements. But I will rephrase this question. No
8 Q. [Interpretation] All right. Please tell me, you mentioned then
9 that the judge dictated that in the sense of what you were saying. Were
10 you able then to follow in a concentrated and accurate way what the
11 investigative military judge was dictating to the typist that was present
12 there then?
13 A. No.
14 Q. In that period of time, November and December of 1992, was there
15 in Samac and elsewhere in Republika Srpska a conflict between the military
16 and civilian authorities?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm interested in Samac specifically. Can you tell me, please,
19 what was the motive of that conflict.
20 A. It was a conflict of jurisdiction. The military took in their
21 ranks all able civilian population, then they requisitioned vehicles,
22 trucks, and so on. They had checkpoints on the roads. And they started
23 controlling the entire way of life, which is something that we, who had no
24 power and were not numerous, we tried to maintain civilian authorities in
25 wartime conditions and that was the core of that conflict. There was
1 crime present as well. A lot of it had to do with the army. The
2 soldiers' brigades came and went. They were stationed there and then left
3 many problems after they left, and those problems were not solved. So we
4 had problems daily throughout those three years.
5 Then there were also arrests. In Samac municipality civilian
6 officials were arrested. In other municipalities presidents of
7 municipalities were arrested. And on one occasion, even the Minister of
8 Defence was arrested and thrown into a pigsty.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I wonder whether, Dr. Simic, you could explain
12 your answer, "No," on line 17 of page 49 to the question posed by
13 Mr. Pantelic, where Mr. Pantelic says, concerning the investigating judge
14 dictating. He asked you: "Were you able then to follow in a concentrated
15 and accurate way what he was dictating to the typist?" And you simply
16 said, "No." I'm just wondering whether you could just very briefly say
17 why were you not able to follow what was being said. And if you couldn't
18 follow, why then did you sign the document?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was unable because in that room
20 there were several people, and there was a conversation conducted at the
21 same time. It was impossible to conduct a conversation and follow what
22 was being dictated. There were two judges. One was talking to me. Then
23 there was Stevan Todorovic there, who gave his comments on every question.
24 Secondly, my health was very poor at the time and it was difficult
25 for me to be concentrated on what I was saying. I was not mentioned -- I
1 was not told at all what kind of a statement it was, and this is why I
2 didn't hire a lawyer. I didn't have legal counsel who would be there with
3 me and assist me in giving that statement. And what was of most
4 importance at the time was that the attitude they had. Those were
5 military prosecutors. They had military escort. And they came in there
6 as though they were about to arrest me. I didn't know whether I was going
7 to be arrested or not, because previously there were cases where
8 presidents of municipalities were arrested. And in our municipality, we
9 had a case where the prime minister of the municipal government was
10 arrested. In war one never knows what's going to happen.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And just the last part of the question: You
12 signed the document, even though you say you couldn't concentrate and
13 really understand what was being dictated. Why, therefore, did you sign
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know that I had an
16 alternative. Had I not signed it, perhaps they would have arrested me.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
18 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please tell me whether you felt fear, and if so, what was the
20 level of that fear at the time when you gave that statement and signed it
21 in the presence of the military investigative judge.
22 A. I don't know. I don't know whether I felt fear. I felt
24 Q. In view of the fact that at the time preparations were made for
25 this session of the municipal assembly, were there any indications or were
1 there any steps taken by the military authorities to take over politically
2 that assembly, or rather, the civilian government? Was it that period of
4 A. Yes, it was that very period of time when the military in Samac
5 municipality attempted to convene the civilian assembly and issued
6 invitations to assemblymen of our municipality. That means that they
7 tried to take over the control over civilian parliament in an illegal way
8 and to convene that session. However, only one assemblyman responded to
9 the notice to attend.
10 Q. Did all of these influences contribute to your feeling of
11 discomfort and your feeling of concern for your existence and your life?
12 A. Yes. There was a feeling of concern and I felt threatened at the
14 Q. So you could have been arrested by the military authorities.
15 A. That wasn't unusual at the time.
16 MR. WEINER: [Previous translation continues] ...objection.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The objection is sustained and I think we've
18 belaboured this matter for quite some time. Can you move on.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, Exhibit P75.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Just one question regarding this document: Did
21 you dictate this letter to the professional staff or to the typists at the
22 Crisis Staff?
23 A. No.
24 Q. If you know, who authored this document?
25 A. The executive council of the municipal assembly.
1 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, regarding the local radio station, you
2 described in detail the problems you had regarding it. I'd like to know
3 the following: In those first few months of 1992, in April and in May,
4 did that radio station work at all? Did it work continuously? Or did it
5 work only occasionally?
6 A. The information that I had was that the transmitter had burned
7 down in the beginning of the war, between the 16th and 17th of April, on
8 the night when the elementary school burned down. That transmitter for
9 short waves was located on the roof of the elementary school. During the
10 first days of war, we tried to buy another transmitter; however, we found
11 an old transmitter which was used for medium waves.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Excuse me. Before you proceed, when you say: "We
13 tried to buy another transmitter." Do you mean the Crisis Staff?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is something that the executive
15 council discussed at the Crisis Staff. Executive tasks were carried out
16 by the executive council. So that means that the executive council was
17 the one who procured, bought the transmitter. However, they made a
18 mistake and they bought an old transmitter that operated on medium waves
19 and was obsolete, so that many people did not have radios in their homes
20 for medium waves because they were outdated. So throughout the war, the
21 radio station suffered through with this old transmitter and very few
22 people, in fact, listened to radio broadcasts because of that, and almost
23 nobody recorded broadcasts. I personally didn't hear a single radio
24 broadcast. I think that it was only in 1997 when the municipality managed
25 to buy a real transmitter, UHT, that had 1 kilowatt power.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Very shortly. Let's go back to my question. May/June of 1992,
3 did the radio station work at all? Did it not work? Or did it work
5 A. I didn't hear radio broadcasts at all during the first days of
6 war. Later on the other transmitter for medium waves was bought, and that
7 transmitter operated when we had electricity.
8 Q. Please tell me, regarding Zasavica, were Serbs present in Zasavica
9 as well? I'm speaking now about 1992 and 1993.
10 A. Yes. There was Serbs in Zasavica even before the war.
11 Q. Were there any new residents in Zasavica who were ethnic Serbs?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Who were they?
14 A. Refugees from other areas.
15 Q. And how were they housed in Zasavica and in other villages in the
16 territory of Samac municipality? Just say that in a few words, please. We
17 are now speaking of Serbs who were refugees.
18 A. I think there's a decree of the government of Republika Srpska
19 regulating this, and there was also the Ministry for Refugees that
20 regulated that through their branch office in the municipality. There was
21 also a commission for refugees.
22 Q. Tell me, please -- no, we'll come back to that later. No, tell us
23 this first: The municipality of Bosanski Samac, in terms of its
24 boundaries in 1992, did it remain the same after Dayton Accords?
25 A. Could you please repeat your question.
1 Q. So the municipality of Samac in 1992 had a certain territory.
2 What I would like to know is this --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
4 MR. WEINER: I think this is outside the scope of
5 cross-examination. However; if it concerns a document that they'd like to
6 bring in ...
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought it was dealing with something like the
8 decision to keep -- to make the boundaries such that Serbs are on their
9 own and the other ethnic groups are on their own.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. It was a part of cross-examination.
11 MR. WEINER: Okay. I will withdraw. No problem. Sorry.
12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Let us go back to this subject. So the territory of the
14 municipality of Samac from 1992, after Dayton, was it the same?
15 MR. PANTELIC: In the meantime --
16 Q. [Interpretation] You don't have to answer yet. Could you focus,
17 please. Just take it easy.
18 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ...please. 31/1.
19 It should be a map, I think.
20 Please, Ms. Usher, could you put it on the ELMO.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a pen - don't write anything on this
22 map - just point out to us the territory of the municipality of Samac,
23 Bosanski Samac from the period before conflict broke out in 1992. Try to
24 explain this line. What was this municipality of Samac?
25 A. On the left bank of the Bosna River, Prud, then the border, the
1 border along the Bosna River to Milosevac, then Gornja Slatina, Donja
2 Slatina, Obudovac, Domaljevac, Bazik Grebnice, Samac.
3 Q. All right. So this thin black line is actually the territory of
4 the municipality of Samac in 1992 before the conflict broke out?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Now, tell me, after Dayton -- first of all, do you
7 have any personal knowledge regarding the Dayton boundary, and what could
8 these red lines be, the ones that are going across the municipality of
10 A. I think that it is precisely this red line that shows the
11 boundaries of the municipality of Samac and the municipality Bosanski
12 Samac Domaljevac, or rather, the boundary towards Odzak.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Pantelic, please.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So that is the Dayton boundary line; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me, during 1992 and 1993, if you know, towards Domaljevac,
18 where was the front line? Could you please show that.
19 A. I think it almost coincides with the Dayton line. It's somewhere
20 around there.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, Your Honour, the defendant
22 just pointed out the red line which, to his words, is the Dayton line from
23 the town of Samac and to the south-east of Samac, above the -- above the
24 village of Brvnik on the Exhibit D31/1.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me now, Dr. Simic: In 1992 and 1993 -- so
1 to the north of this red line that I've just referred to -- out of the
2 three ethnic groups -- or rather, the three constituent peoples, who lived
3 on that territory?
4 A. North of this line there were only Croats living there.
5 Q. So that mean that is that was the territory of the municipality of
6 Bosanski Samac?
7 A. Bosanski Samac Domaljevac.
8 Q. And which ethnic group lives to the west of this red line which
9 is -- which goes more or less along the Bosna River?
10 A. Are you referring to this part?
11 Q. No. I'm just referring to this part of the municipality of
12 Bosanski Samac.
13 A. The village of Prud.
14 Q. And other villages. Who lives there?
15 A. The Croats, in the village of Prud.
16 Q. All right. Tell me now -- answer this question --
17 MR. PANTELIC: Madam Usher, you can take this map.
18 Q. [Interpretation] I'm now asking you the following: You
19 personally, did you have a plan -- did you want to ethically cleanse the
20 municipality of Bosanski Samac and did you want it to be an exclusively
21 Serb municipality?
22 A. No.
23 Q. The members of the Croat people, throughout 1992 and 1993, were
24 they in their territory, the one that they hold today as well?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't have further
2 questions for the defendant.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Then the defendant can go back to his
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The next witness.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I think -- yes. Thank you. I think
9 that the witness unit made certain arrangements with the next Defence
10 witness, I believe. He should be --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: He should be -- yes. The usher can go and collect
12 the witness.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Could you escort the Defence witness. Thank
15 And in the meantime, Your Honour, due to the fact that our break
16 was a little bit changed today, what is our schedule for today?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: We will have a break at 1.00 for 10 minutes only.
18 MR. PANTELIC: For 10 minutes. Okay. And --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: At 1.00 and then continue up to 13.45.
20 MR. PANTELIC: 13.45, yes. Okay.
21 And also, if you'll allow me, Your Honour, in the meantime, what
22 is our schedule for Monday? What would be our working hours? Do we sit
23 in the afternoon? Or I will check that --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: You check the calendar.
25 MR. PANTELIC: I mean, we know that it's afternoon session, but --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. PANTELIC: I'm just wondering if there are some changes or...
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Not that I know of as of now. It may change over
4 the weekend because I heard some other Trial Chambers discussing changes.
5 MR. PANTELIC: I see.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: So just keep checking. But otherwise, it's Monday
8 MR. PANTELIC: Sure, Your Honour. Sure. Thank you.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can the witness make the solemn 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: MIRKO LUKIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.
16 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, witness. Could you please
18 introduce yourself. What is your name and surname?
19 A. I'm Mirko Lukic.
20 Q. Can you hear the interpretation? Is everything all right with
21 your headphones? Please, if you have any problem regarding the
22 interpretation or anything or any technical matters, please draw the
23 attention of the Trial Chamber to this straight away so that we could
24 address it.
25 A. Everything is fine.
1 Q. Also, I would like to ask you the following: Since I assume that
2 this is the first time that you are involved in such procedure, after my
3 question, could you pause for a few seconds so that it could be
4 interpreted into English, so that the interpreters could also record my
5 question and your answer and finally so that the transcript would make
6 sense. Thank you.
7 So Mr. Lukic, tell me, where were you born and when?
8 A. I was born on the 21st of January, 1958 in Gornje Slatina,
9 municipality of Samac.
10 Q. Tell me, where was your father born?
11 A. There, not far away from the place where we live nowadays.
12 Q. So also in the territory of the municipality of Samac.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What about your mother?
15 A. Same thing.
16 Q. What about your paternal grandfather? Where was he born?
17 A. Where my father was born too, in the municipality.
18 Q. Not to go into your family tree now. Perhaps you've investigated
19 this. But you could tell the Trial Chamber since when approximately has
20 your family lived in this area.
21 A. I can say that I did investigate my family tree a bit and that my
22 family came there sometime in the mid-eighteenth century, to this area
23 where my forefathers lived.
24 Q. And that is basically the territory of the municipality of Samac.
25 A. Yes, that is the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac,
1 or rather, Samac.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me, are you married?
3 A. Yes. And I'm the father of three children.
4 Q. So you have sons, daughters?
5 A. I have three daughters.
6 Q. It's a well-known thing among our people that who has daughters is
7 quite active. Tell me, where did you complete elementary and secondary
9 A. I completed elementary school in Gornje Slatina, in my village,
10 and secondary school in Bosanski Samac.
11 Q. Did you continue your education after secondary school?
12 A. Yes. Yes, I did continue, and I entered the University of
13 Sarajevo in 1977 to study law.
14 Q. Very well. So we are colleagues, aren't we?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When did you graduate?
17 A. I graduated on the 6th of April -- no, the 6th of June, 1981.
18 Q. Did you perhaps pass the bar examination?
19 A. Yes. Last year, in 2001.
20 Q. So practically now, according to law, you can be an attorney at
21 law or a judge or a prosecutor? Is that what the regulations say in
22 Republika Srpska, or rather, in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes. I have thus created conditions for myself to work as a judge
24 or prosecutor or to have an office as an attorney at law.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I presume, Mr. Pantelic --
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: -- that the recent history of Mr. Lukic
3 qualifying in 2001 has some relevance, or not? I'm just wondering.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Well, basically it's just a -- I would say a
5 biographical profile of the witness so that we could know that if we are
6 entering into certain interpretation of certain legal aspects of the
7 decisions, stuff like that, that we have here in fact -- of the
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Fine, then.
10 JUDGE LINDHOLM: There is a mistake in the transcript, page 62,
11 line 6. It's -- it was Judge Williams who asked the question and not
12 Judge Mumba.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour, for the correction. I
15 think the colleagues from the court reporting unit will clarify that.
16 Q. [Interpretation] All right. So you graduated from university in
17 1981. Did you do your military service? Did you serve in the military in
18 the former Yugoslavia?
19 A. Yes. I did my military service in the Yugoslav People's Army in
20 1982 in Varazdin, Croatia.
21 Q. And in which field were you then? In which armed services were
22 you engaged?
23 A. I remember, yes. I was an artillery scout on 105-millimetre
25 Q. Upon completing your military service and when you started
1 working, were you called up for military training and exercises as a
2 reservist, or did you have a specific post? Could you explain this to us.
3 A. I was not called up for military training and exercises because my
4 war assignment was in the municipality. I worked in the municipality in a
5 particular line of work, so all of it had to do with my wartime assignment
6 in the municipality, with my actual line of work.
7 Q. So at that time this was in line with the existing regulations
8 from National Defence, and these procedures probably.
9 A. The law on national defence.
10 Q. Tell me, where did you find a job? Where was your first job after
12 A. On the 1st of September, 1981 I got a job at the municipality, and
13 I was engaged in looking into the origins of property. This was an
14 independent agency.
15 Q. That didn't make you very popular in town, did it?
16 A. Sure didn't.
17 Q. And that was sometime after Tito's death, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What did you do specifically? What kind of a committee was it
20 that investigated the sources, the origin of somebody's property?
21 A. There were regulations at the time providing that at the municipal
22 level there was special agencies which had to determine personal assets of
23 an individual. And if it was determined that something -- some property
24 was not properly taxed, then that individual could be requested to pay
25 proper tax assessment on that property.
1 Q. So that was -- that had to do with fiscal matters, with tax
3 A. Yes. Because the assumption was that they tried to evade paying
4 taxes, and we had to determine that and to make sure that taxes were
5 properly paid.
6 Q. All right. Now, tell me, what was your professional post, the
7 following professional post? What title did you have next?
8 A. After I completed my military service, I was head of inspection at
9 the revenue -- Internal Revenue Agency, up until 1985, and then in 1985 I
10 became head of the Internal Revenue Agency in the municipality of Bosanski
12 Q. Now, tell me, please, from 1985 to 1987, you had two posts, didn't
13 you? What did you do at that period of time?
14 A. In 1986 I was assigned to work as a temporary executive at the
15 Stil company which was within Sipad corporation, and I was there as the
16 bankruptcy executive. There were regulations saying that if there were
17 conditions for reviving a company, then a bankruptcy manager would be
18 appointed who would try to revive the company within one year.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you move fast through this period and we can get
22 to the case, please.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, of course. I will do that.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Now, please tell me, what was your post in 1987?
25 A. I stopped being bankruptcy manager, and I resumed my post of chief
1 of Internal Revenue Agency in the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
2 Q. All right. Now, we are in -- going to turn to other matters. And
3 could you please tell us, what position did you have in 1990?
4 A. Up until the multi-party elections, which were held in the fall of
5 that year, I held the post of the chief of Internal Revenue Agency, and
6 then after the elections, I was an official without a portfolio within the
8 Q. All right. So if I understood you correctly, the elections were
9 held in autumn of 1990, and after the new municipal government was
10 constituted, you did not have your previous job; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who was in power then in the municipality of Bosanski Samac? I
13 mean, in terms of political parties.
14 A. After the elections, the new political party majority was
15 established, the coalition majority, which naturally determined the
16 executive and the legislative power. And there were members,
17 representatives, of the Croatian Democratic Community, Party of Democratic
18 Action, and Serb Democratic Party.
19 Q. All right. Now, please tell me, I assume that in this coalition
20 agreement there were certain posts specified within the municipal
21 government, weren't there?
22 A. Yes. Like everywhere else in the world, after the election the
23 coalition majority distributed these offices among themselves.
24 Q. Were you a member of one of these three political parties which
25 established the coalition at the municipal level?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were you a member of some other political party?
3 A. The Union of Reformist Forces of Ante Markovic.
4 Q. At that time Ante Markovic was prime minister of the Socialist
5 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He was prime minister of the Federal
6 Executive Council, wasn't he?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And he's a Croat by ethnicity, isn't he?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this alliance of Reformist Forces was a multi-ethnic political
11 party which advocated preserving Yugoslavia; isn't that right?
12 A. Yes. Those were the principles of that party.
13 Q. After these elections in the territory of Samac municipality, who
14 was appointed Chief of the Internal Revenue Agency, after you were removed
15 from office?
16 A. Based on the assignment of posts, the SDS was given that office,
17 and Pero Safranovic was appointed chief of that agency. He's from a
18 village in the vicinity of Samac.
19 Q. Did he actually assume that post? I mean, did he start working
21 A. The rule was that following the appointment of the new executive
22 council, the new executive council would take over all the authorities,
23 all the documents from the old one, and he came once or twice to see me
24 and I wanted to turn everything over to him. It was all prepared and
25 greed on. However, he never assumed the post of Chief of Internal Revenue
2 Q. After these elections in 1990, what was the procedure that
3 pertained to municipal officials? Did they remain in their posts, or were
4 they removed from office and then some other people were appointed?
5 Please explain to me how did this municipal procedure look like.
6 A. Some of old officials were re-elected to posts, either same or
7 different ones, and pursuant to the law on state administration, some were
8 officials without a portfolio. I was one of those.
9 Q. What did that assume, this term, "an official without a
10 portfolio," in terms of your salary, your duties, and so on? How long did
11 this last for?
12 A. I could remain as an official without a portfolio for six months,
13 receiving the salary that I had prior to that time.
14 Q. Can you tell me, please, in multi-party elections in 1990, did
15 your party win any seats in the local parliament?
16 A. Out of 50 assemblymen, we won three seats.
17 Q. Who was president of the municipal board of your party in Samac?
18 A. Director of Uniglas company, and let me just try and remember his
19 name. Esref Ziambegovic.
20 Q. What was his ethnicity [Realtime transcript read in error
22 A. He was a Muslim.
23 Q. Please tell me whether you ever became a member of the SDS. And
24 if so, please tell me when.
25 A. In the summer of 1991.
1 Q. All right. And when were you elected? You can tell me just
2 approximately -- vice-president of the --
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...I mean, we
4 have noticed a couple of things in the transcript here.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, okay, the name that the witness mentioned
7 was actually Esref Zaimbegovic. But this is not so important. But next
8 row, it's row 25, page 67 -- it says what was his municipality? And the
9 answer was, "He was a Muslim." It doesn't make much sense.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think the -- it should be corrected.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. It should be corrected in the transcript. So
12 on page 67, line 25, my question was, "What was his ethnicity, or ethnic
13 background?" Just a correction.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All right. Let's pick it up again. When were you appointed
17 vice-president of the executive council of the Serb Municipality of
18 Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under formation?
19 A. The Crisis Staff appointed me on the 30th of May, 1992.
20 Q. Were you then head of Internal Revenue Agency as well?
21 A. Well, you see, according to the law on state administration, there
22 were two possibilities when it came to the election of the vice-president.
23 One option was to have him perform his duties as a volunteer, and the
24 other one was to have him perform his regular job, plus to have this duty
25 as well. So I remained head of the Internal Revenue Agency, and at the
1 same time I became vice-president of the executive council.
2 Q. When did you become president of the executive council of the
3 municipal assembly?
4 A. Sometime in June, around the 20th or June, 1993.
5 Q. And what posts did you have following that?
6 A. In 1996 I was elected president of the municipal assembly. In
7 1998 I was re-elected in the elections president of the municipal
8 assembly. In 2000 in the elections I was elected head of the
9 municipality, because in 1999 there was a new law passed on local
10 administration and self-rule which in a different way regulated the
11 functioning of the local government. So the post of the head of
12 municipality was introduced, unlike in the previous times when we only had
13 the president of the municipal assembly and the president of the executive
15 Q. Since it is not quite clear in the English translation, I will
16 have to ask a few more questions. Please tell me, in our legal and
17 constitutional system, president of the municipal assembly is also an
18 assemblyman, a delegate to the municipal assembly, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, it can't be any different because he is one of the
20 assemblymen elected in the local elections.
21 Q. And when it comes to decision making and voting, he has one vote
22 or more in view of the post he holds. So does he have just one vote, like
23 everybody else, or is it regulated in a different way?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the answer is given, yes.
25 MR. RE: Is my learned friend -- is Mr. Pantelic talking about now
1 or during the indictment period in relation to the make-up of the
2 municipal assembly? Perhaps that could be clarified.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. I will just clarify that.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, we are now speaking of the time period
5 before this post of the head of municipality was introduced. So that
6 means the time before that, 1992, 1993, 1994. We're speaking about an
7 entire period of time before this post of the head of municipality was
8 introduced. Is that right?
9 A. In Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout the entire time, up until
10 1990 time [As interpreted], there was the post of the president of the
11 municipal assembly and the president of the executive council.
12 Q. Since you are a lawyer and you're a municipal official, please
13 tell us, explain to us the post of the president of municipal assembly.
14 What kind of a position is it?
15 A. First of all, that person is an assemblyman representing the
16 assembly, preparing the work at the sessions of the assembly, convening
17 sessions, managing the sessions and signing the conclusions that were
18 passed at municipal sessions.
19 Q. We've already said that that person has the same right of vote as
20 other assemblymen; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes. The president of the municipal assembly is -- has an equal
22 status. He can discuss any issue just like any other assemblyman.
23 Q. And when it comes to voting?
24 A. Well, when it comes to voting, everybody votes, and so does he.
25 He votes, together with others. He either votes for or votes against or
1 abstains from voting.
2 Q. So that position in itself does not give any legal possibility for
3 him to impose any documents ex officio, through the post that he holds.
4 A. No. The decision has to be approved by the majority in order for
5 him to approve or dictate that conclusion, regardless of whether he likes
6 that conclusion or not.
7 Q. All right. Now, you told us that there was a change in the law on
8 local government and local self-rule in 1999, and can you tell us whether
9 in Republika Srpska after that there were any elections held and how was
10 this -- how was this law passed. Please tell us that.
11 A. Yes. In April of 2000 temporary election commission of OSCE
12 scheduled the elections and the elections were held at a local level in
13 the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, is it correct that you are talking
15 about 1999 and then the answer also discusses April --
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. The main question here is that I
17 would like to clarify the position of Mr. Lukic now in terms of this
18 legislative, you know.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Well, we're interested in the time period covered by
20 the indictment. That's the period you should be discussing.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. But in order to clarify that
22 issue, the next question you will see the difference between the mayor of
23 the town and the president of the -- it's rather, I would say, specific in
24 our --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What the witness should be discussing is what
1 was obtaining during the time of the indictment.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Because we are interested to find out what the role
4 of the Municipal Crisis Staff was.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. That is why --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: That is --
7 MR. PANTELIC: -- to make this parallel, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. We just want an explanation, what was
9 going on, who had power, who was doing what during the period covered by
10 the indictment. That's all.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] So tell me, in 1992 and 1993 was there a position
13 of mayor in the municipality of Samac. According to law, did it exist?
14 A. No.
15 Q. It does exist now, doesn't it?
16 A. The role of mayor only in big towns. But in smaller towns there
17 is the head of the municipality.
18 Q. But in essence, it's the same, isn't it?
19 A. Yes. It could be put that way.
20 Q. Tell me, during 1991 what is your personal knowledge with regard
21 to a certain situation in the political sense in the municipality of
22 Samac? In 1990, the multi-party elections were held. So from mid-1991
23 until the end of 1991, what are your impressions? You were a citizen of
24 that municipality after all.
25 A. I can say in a few sentences the first period -- that is to say,
1 after the elections -- was one of implementing the election results and
2 constituting the legislative power, and also the assignment of various
3 portfolios for assembly funds, municipal funds, and then tensions started.
4 I think I could put it in a few words now. There are big rallies
5 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Samac. They were organised by
6 the HDZ and the Party for Democratic Action, meaning that they refused to
7 have their children sent to the JNA and they wanted those who were there
8 to return home. Many people gathered in town. Speeches were made. And
9 then in these speeches it could be seen that they were largely political,
10 because when analysing them, one could see that even people who did not
11 have any children in that army made speeches to that effect, that they did
12 not recognise the Yugoslav People's Army, and that children should be sent
13 back home.
14 After that, the National Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina was in
15 session, and when following the work of the assembly on television, every
16 one of us could see that there were certain antagonisms in its work and
17 that there was outvoting with regard to a number of issues and a number of
18 decisions that were to be passed by the assembly. Namely, the HDZ and the
19 SDA outvoted the SDS, or rather, the Serb MPs or representatives in the
20 national parliament.
21 Q. Let me just interrupt you for a second. Since you are a lawyer
22 and since you are from that area from Bosnia-Herzegovina, was there a
23 principle of consensus involved in the previous period before 1990? And
24 in 1990 itself, how were these political questions regulated and
25 parliamentary life in general, through which principles?
1 A. I cannot say precisely, because I was not a member of these
2 parties when this agreement was being fostered between the majority
3 coalition. But there had to be a certain consensus, because otherwise
4 there could be no coalition and the legislative and the executive branches
5 could not be formed.
6 Q. In Bosnia-Herzegovina were the vital interests of all the three
7 constituent peoples respectively invariably observed?
8 A. That was a constitutional principle, a principle enshrined in the
9 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Socialist Federal Republic of
11 Q. In view of the fact that in 1991 you had already been a
12 municipality official for ten years and you had the opportunity of
13 analysing this period, reviewing it, at municipal level was this principle
14 of protecting the interests of all the three peoples, the three
15 constituent peoples, observed?
16 A. Yes. This was a principle that was copied from the constitution
17 and the statute of the municipal assembly. It was observed, but what
18 happened at the level of the national assembly and the government of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina was then transmitted to the ethnic communities.
20 Q. In view of the fact that sometime in mid-October 1991 practically
21 the Serb MPs in the republican parliament were outvoted, and in this way
22 this vital interest was jeopardised. How was this interest --
23 MR. RE: I object.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. RE: I object to Mr. Pantelic leading this way. The evidence
1 is little value if it's not coming from the witness's mouth, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
3 MR. PANTELIC: This is -- well, a common fact, Your Honour. It's
4 not in dispute, I believe, that in the mid-of October the Serb delegates
5 were overvoted by Muslims and Croats. It's a fact. It's nothing more
6 than a fact. We could make that as a fact that's now even in dispute now,
7 Your Honour.
8 MR. RE: The dispute is about the words "vital interest." Not
9 about the outvoting or the parliamentary manoeuvres. It's a loaded
10 question that Mr. Pantelic is putting to the witness. It's assuming an
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic. You break down the questions
13 and let the witness give the evidence.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, okay. Your Honour.
15 I never mentioned, Your Honour, in my question, page 74 -- between
16 16 and 20, I never mentioned a word "vital interest." In fact, this
17 witness already testified that in the statute of the municipality of Samac
18 certain principle was enacted and then I'm going to explore that issue.
19 So I never mentioned -- my dear colleague, I never mentioned the word
20 "vital interest." I don't know. Could you show me now --
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think, Mr. Pantelic, I can show you. It's page
22 75, line 2. That's where I see the words "this vital interest."
23 MR. PANTELIC: Well, it's not -- clearly I said -- I said this --
24 in terms of the --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's get on.
1 MR. PANTELIC: -- nation. Anyway ...
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's get on and avoid opinions from yourself.
3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Lukic, this event from October 1991 at the level of
5 the republic assembly, how was it reflected at local level in Samac, if
6 there were any such repercussions. Tell me what you know.
7 A. It was the same at local level. Again, there was outvoting, and
8 that meant blockading the work of the assembly, because what was insisted
9 upon were certain issues that were ethnic based, and then there was a
10 recommendation to have a plebiscite organised and held.
11 Q. Tell me, in terms of the work of the municipal organs, how was
12 there a blockade? How did these events start evolving?
13 A. Quite simply, a certain draft decision would be prepared for the
14 assembly. For example, regarding taxes. And certain allocations were
15 supposed to be made, and then depending on where this money would be
16 allocated, then there would be obstruction or blockade or something would
17 be forced or there would be a misunderstanding or there would be an
18 unequal quality among the assemblymen themselves. For example, the town
19 plan should be made. There should be town planning in a certain area, and
20 then there would be certain allocations for that. And then, on the other
21 hand, some resources should be earmarked for another area. So it was
22 things like that.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ...break now.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn for 10 minutes only and come
25 back at 13.10.
1 --- Recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.11 p.m.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Continue examination-in-chief.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] So we spoke about these tensions and this
6 blockade in the work of the municipal authorities and secretariats. Tell
7 me, who was then president of the executive council of the Municipal
8 Assembly of Bosanski Samac in the period of 1991, that is?
9 A. It was Mirko Jovanovic.
10 Q. He was a member of which party?
11 A. The Serb Democratic Party.
12 Q. And who was vice-president?
13 A. Izet Izetbegovic from the SDA.
14 Q. I assume that other secretariats and organs were headed by people
15 belonging to the different ethnic groups.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me, of course you saw your colleagues at morning briefings.
18 You had coffee together. Do you have any recollections with regard to
19 these details these days about the contacts you had? Where did you
20 gather? At which office? Could you portray this for us a bit.
21 A. In 1991 in the morning when we would come, we would first have
22 coffee and then we would discuss our work assignments, each and every one
23 of us in his own line of work, and then there were different offices
24 involved from the president, for the vice-president, for the executive
25 council, the secretaries, the heads of various secretariats, et cetera.
1 However, from 1992 onwards as things took the political course they did,
2 people had coffee in my office. Everybody met at my office. That's where
3 everybody could come. And then we sat there. We'd have coffee there.
4 We'd exchange some views and experiences. And then we would all go to our
5 respective secretariats, and everybody would do whatever his work was.
6 Q. Were there any changes there? Why, for example, did colleagues
7 not see each other in other offices? What was the reason for that? For
8 example, why would they all assemble in your office? You were considered
9 to be a tolerant man, a man who was a link in a way between the three
10 ethnic groups; right?
11 A. Well, it can be put that way, but there was some kind of tension
12 between all three. And direct communication at such levels that were
13 unofficial, because of course it was not compulsory to have coffee in the
14 morning together every day. So that's how they spontaneously avoided
15 this. One by one they'd come to see me, we'd chat, and then we'd all go
16 to our respective duties.
17 Q. During these meetings, did anybody from the municipal
18 administration perhaps talk about weapons or show weapons or ammunition?
19 Do you remember anything in this regard?
20 A. I must say that even the socialising in my office lasted until,
21 say, the beginning of April 1992. There was an incident when the
22 vice-president of the executive council, Izet Izetbegovic, one morning was
23 a bit nervous and he was walking around the office and we were drinking
24 coffee and he was shaking something in his hands, and I thought it was
25 coins, and nobody really paid any attention to this. However, the next
1 morning again he came and again he was doing this same thing, again
2 shaking hand with something in then. And then somebody, I can't remember
3 what it is, said, "What is that in your hands?" And then he showed us his
4 hands and he showed us about ten or so bullets of 5.6 millimetre calibre
5 for a small calibre gun. I know that there was quite a bit of commotion.
6 Then Mirko Jovanovic reacted strongly and he left the office and we never
7 sat that way again. We didn't have coffee that way any more before,
8 except when there were sessions of the executive council.
9 Q. What was the comment then, the one given by Izet Izetbegovic about
10 the point of this ammunition, the origin of that ammunition? Did he make
11 any comments to that effect?
12 A. He was asked "Where did you get this?" He said, "Last night
13 these past few nights whatever, we were distributing weapons and
14 ammunition and these remained in my pocket." That was the comment, and
15 that's why there was all this commotion.
16 Q. When he said "we," who was he referring to? What was your
17 understanding then? Did he give an explanation? Who was "we"? Who was
18 distributing weapons and ammunition?
19 A. Yes. He meant the Muslims, or rather, the SDA.
20 Q. Very well. Tell me, in relation to this atmosphere in Samac, in
21 the period from January to April 1992, were there any armed incidents
22 or --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. RE: Before I -- before Mr. Pantelic goes on, I'm objecting
25 and I'm objecting now to the question he's just put in relation to Izet
1 Izetbegovic's activities supposedly with a handful of bullets one morning.
2 The -- Mr. Pantelic, I think, told us he was going to give us his proofing
3 notes. He told the Trial Chamber, I think, last week that he was going to
4 provide the Prosecution with something setting out the facts about which
5 he was -- this witness was going to give evidence. There's nothing in the
6 facts with which we have been provided as to Izet Izetbegovic having
7 bullets in his pocket or talking about distributing weapons the night
8 before. In that sense the Prosecution is taken by surprise as to a
9 fact -- not the issues but as to a specific fact about which he's given
10 evidence. So I object to him asking questions which are not -- on facts
11 which are not outlined in the summary.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: In the summary.
13 MR. RE: I don't -- obviously we don't object to him asking
14 questions. But as long as we have some notice of the facts about which
15 he's going to be leading evidence. This has just come from nowhere.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, it is well-known fact in this
17 particular case, according to the evidence, maybe my learned friend,
18 Mr. Re, was not familiar with that because she came later -- he came
19 later, sorry -- that many witnesses, including Mr. Izetbegovic -- Izet
20 Izetbegovic, actually testified about the armaments of the Muslim forces,
21 about the TO Muslim and Croat forces, and also personal involvement in all
22 these activities. I am speaking in light of the fact that Mr. Tihic
23 testified that, Mr. Lukac, Mr. Izetbegovic, and many others, and we have
24 many facts with that regard, so it is nothing by surprise here.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No. No.
1 MR. PANTELIC: About the armaments of --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: That's not the point. What the Prosecution is
3 saying that according to the summaries provided --
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: There is nothing indicating that type of evidence
6 will come from this witness. Maybe from other witnesses. But this
7 particular witness's summary does not include that part of the evidence
8 which you are trying to draw. This is what the Prosecution are saying.
9 Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am surprised by this
11 objection of the Prosecution because when Prosecutor's witnesses
12 testified, they put questions to their witnesses that were not contained
13 in the witness statements. I can confirm that. I can look this up over
14 the weekend. But I think that my colleague, Mr. Weiner, will confirm that
15 questions were put to every witness that were not mentioned in witness
16 statements. We are now referring to something that is relevant for the
17 indictment. And when it came to Prosecution witnesses, additional,
18 supplemental, questions were put to each of their witnesses. And when we
19 conducted cross-examination of Prosecutor's witnesses, and when we put
20 questions regarding things not being mentioned in the statement, the
21 Prosecutor usually told us that these things were mentioned in
22 Prosecutor's notes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER: That's right. When new things came, we notified
25 them. We provided them with our proofing notes. I would -- I would write
1 a summary based on all the new things or a summary or a statement
2 providing all the new information that was provided. Gramsci Di Fazio,
3 the senior Prosecutor, would provide his actual proofing notes.
4 In addition to that, they had the police reports or the witness
5 statements for -- in certain circumstances since 1999, so three years.
6 Here we have just a group of statements, some are very short, some are
7 maybe a page, some are less than a page. And we were promised proofing
8 notes. If we go back, we had a meeting among the attorneys. We were told
9 we were going to get good summaries and proofing notes. When we had that
10 meeting on Thursday just before we started trial, which would have been
11 about the 7th or the 8th, we were promised -- we were told you were going
12 to get strong summaries -- better summaries and proofing notes.
13 When I turned over the documents which were non-Rule 68 documents,
14 when I called Mr. Pantelic's associate, I was told when I turned over
15 those documents, they were going to provide me with the proofing notes or
16 a better summary of the first witness. We were told who the first witness
17 was then. I told them we don't have a good summary. I was told, "When
18 you hand me those -- you know, hand me any discovery, we will hand you the
19 proofing notes or we will hand you further discovery." When I hand those
20 things over, I said, "Where's my discovery?" They said, "Igor Pantelic
21 will provide it to you. I don't see any reason why he won't do it. I
22 don't have it. Mr. Pantelic is interviewing him at the hotel. You'll get
23 it tomorrow morning."
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's get on, Mr. Weiner. I have to cut you short
25 because these were matters which should have been dealt with by the
1 parties. And in any case, the rules oblige parties to provide summaries
2 on topics which the witness is going to discuss. So what the parties
3 should do is to comply with the rules. If anything, the Defence has had
4 enough notice -- they faced the problems themselves during the Prosecution
5 case and the Trial Chamber kept giving instructions on this. So the
6 Defence cannot be copying the same mistakes that the Prosecution was
7 doing. That has nothing to do with the equality of arms. Instead, the
8 Defence should have complied with the rules. That is what's directing the
9 proceedings, under the instruction of the Trial Chamber.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: The first -- the first filings didn't comply. An
12 order was issued. Again, there was very little compliance with the order
13 of the Trial Chamber. So that -- you can't be pleading the mistakes of
14 the Prosecution. That won't hold. You are supposed to comply with the
15 rules and comply with the Trial Chamber's order, because you were given
16 that order and you were given sufficient time. So there is no excuse for
17 going outside the summaries.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if I may add, please: These facts
19 which --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Just continue your examination-in-chief.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: If you haven't complied with the order as well as
23 the rules, that's it. You'll be confined to the summaries as given.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me, what is your recollection and
1 what do you know about the time period from January to April of 1992 in
2 Samac, in town itself, and in the environs? Were there any incidents?
3 Was there tension between ethnic communities? Were there any events that
4 you can remember?
5 A. I can say that from my line of work, which is internal revenue,
6 through that I had contact with all residents of Samac municipality, and I
7 can tell you yes, there were tensions in a sense that I had to make a plan
8 when my inspectors went to the field to verify cafes or stores or to
9 collect taxes from farmers, I had to make sure that I sent a Croat
10 inspector into a Croat village, that I sent a Serb inspector into a Serb
11 village, and I sent a Muslim inspector to Muslim residents, because there
12 was certain resistance and there was certain obstruction and I didn't want
13 that. I wanted a good flow of work and I was hoping that things would
14 calm down and everything would come to its place. As far as facilities,
15 catering facilities are concerned, it was widespread occurrence that Serb
16 young people went to Serb cafe, Muslims went to Muslim cafes, and the
17 Croats went to Croat cafes, and all of this was caused by an incident
18 which took place on the day of my patron saint, St. Trifun, which is on
19 the 14th of February, when a young Muslim man played with a hand grenade
20 in a cafe. It exploded. He was wounded together with several other
21 patrons of that cafe. And from that time on I don't think that people
22 mixed in cafes. People of different ethnicities seldom went to the same
23 restaurants or cafes.
24 Then sometime in the second half of March, in the morning - I
25 think it was a Saturday - I was in my parents' house in our village and
1 then I received a phone call telling me that people could not enter the
2 town. I asked them why, and they said it was because the SDA put up
3 roadblocks everywhere, in the direction coming from Orasje, in the
4 direction coming from Gradacac, and so on. I tried to go into the city.
5 It was Saturday. It was not a working day. And I couldn't enter the
6 city. I saw the Muslims that I knew there with their trucks and large
7 machinery, and they told me I couldn't enter the city. In the afternoon
8 when I returned, the roadblocks were removed and people could go in and
9 out freely.
10 I also went around the municipality quite a lot, and in all Muslim
11 cities -- I'm sorry, in all Muslim villages there were roadblocks and
12 there were checkpoints where they stopped people, asked for their IDs, and
13 so on. I knew some of the people that manned those checkpoints, but I
14 didn't know all of them. I have to say that I didn't have any major
15 problems myself, except that my IDs were checked and that I would
16 generally go through those checkpoints. But this happened to me in Prud,
17 in Croatia in Tisina, in Hasici, in Grebnica. So in all of their places,
18 in all entry points, they had checkpoints.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the presence of some paramilitary
20 formations in the territory of Bosanski Samac municipality in the period
21 that we spoke of, up until April of 1992?
22 A. As far as the paramilitary formations are concerned, I cannot
23 confirm what individuals did involved, from which side. However, at that
24 time there were some individuals that I didn't know. Now, as to their
25 capacity, in which capacity they were, I don't know. They were present at
1 those checkpoints on the roads. The rumour had it that they were regular
2 soldiers from Croatia who manned those checkpoints together with local
4 Q. Were there any activities at the municipal level between members
5 of political parties that formed a coalition in the municipality?
6 Basically, were these parties involved, these parties that were in power,
7 were they involved in any way in those checkpoints and barricades? Did
8 they try to do anything to overcome this problem?
9 A. The following day --
10 MR. RE: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
12 MR. RE: It's a series of leading questions. The appropriate
13 question is who to your knowledge was involved in setting up these
14 checkpoints, not putting words into the witness's mouth.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Avoid leading questions. Let
16 the witness give the evidence.
17 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, my question, Your Honour, was not who set
18 up these barricades, no. Contrary. My question to this witness was:
19 What are the efforts of the members of three leading parties in Samac were
20 in order to prevent this barricade, to resolve a matter, et cetera. And
21 my question was: Did they try to do anything to overcome this problem?
22 That was the essence of my question. But I will put the question again.
23 No problem.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know whether members of the parties that
25 were in power in Samac did anything to reduce tensions or to overcome
1 problems, especially those problems associated with the barricades?
2 A. The following day I heard that Sulejman Tihic, Filip Pjevac
3 [phoen], and Dr. Blagoje Simic had a meeting and that they decided to tour
4 the entire area of the municipality in order to overcome such problems.
5 Q. Was that successful, or did the barricades remain in place?
6 A. The barricades were removed.
7 Q. Do you know anything about the presence of some special police
8 units from Sarajevo in Samac at that time while the inter-ethnic tensions
10 MR. RE: Which times is Mr. Pantelic referring to, Your Honours?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
12 Q. [Interpretation] We now have in mind the time from December 1991
13 till April 1992.
14 A. Yes. Sometime in December -- or rather, it was winter. I don't
15 know if it was December or January, but it could have been December of
16 1991. In our municipality a special police unit had arrived from
17 Sarajevo. If I remember well, there was some 100 policemen in it, and
18 based on what I know, they were tasked with guarding the bridge on the
19 Sava River between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
20 Q. In addition to barricades in villages, were also bunkers erected,
21 and did you observe anything of this nature, and if so, when?
22 A. In early April 1992 in those places where there were barricades
23 and checkpoints there were bunkers as well. And in some places there were
24 bunkers -- in some remote places there were bunkers, and I know this
25 because I travelled. My house is some 10 kilometres from my office, so I
1 know that in Hasici in a field there was a bunker between the railroad and
2 the village. That's a Croatian village.
3 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. I wanted to see what you knew
4 about the ethnic composition of the population of that village, but you
5 answered that on your own. Thank you.
6 Now, tell me, within your line of work, did you notice any
7 activity that would tell you whether there were private businesses closing
8 down? What went on in municipal taxing affairs in that period of time,
9 from January to April of 1992?
10 A. I have to say that a lot of private businesses were closing down.
11 Mostly those owned by Croats. They had to file a request with me, and
12 then the request was sent on to the Secretariat for Economy. They had to
13 address me first because they had to pay their tax duties and so on. So
14 when they came to me, I would usually ask them what was the reason for
15 closing down their shops, and usually they would tell me that they were
16 getting out of that line of work and that they wanted to go abroad, to
17 Germany, Austria, Italy, to find work there.
18 Q. Was that the real reason, or was there something else behind that?
19 Did you verify this as a tax agency?
20 MR. RE: [Previous translation continues] ...
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Because the latter part says, "Did you verify
22 this as a tax agency?" So it's up to the witness whether he found out
23 what was the real reason from --
24 MR. RE: I missed that last part. I'm sorry.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: You can go on, Mr. Pantelic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Lukic, please tell us.
3 A. I have to say that they complied with this statement saying that
4 they were closing their shops. However, since I knew these people, I
5 would see them frequently later on in town, which means that they did not
6 leave the territory of the municipality and did not move elsewhere.
7 Q. What was your conclusion? You as a civil servant, did you perhaps
8 launch some kind of proceedings regarding this? Why did people do that?
9 That's what we're interested in.
10 A. The reason behind this was that they didn't want to pay taxes.
11 They tried to evade paying taxes, and they didn't want to pay the various
12 contributions that went into the budget.
13 Q. Do you know anything about the presence of some armed uniformed
14 members in February and March of 1992? I mean, the town of Samac itself.
15 A. One could notice -- or rather, everybody in town saw that from
16 Croatia uniformed soldiers of ZNG came on a ferry and they would sit in
17 various cafes --
18 MR. RE: This is well outside the summary provided by
19 Mr. Pantelic. There's nothing there about Croatian -- about soldiers from
20 Croatia coming on a ferry or soldiers from Croatia --
21 MR. PANTELIC: We are speaking, Your Honour, about the atmosphere,
22 the general atmosphere in Samac in pre-war time, which is absolutely a
23 part of the personal knowledge of this witness and all other witnesses.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. PANTELIC: So it's nothing specifically -- with detail that is
1 such and such soldier with that and that name was at that time -- just a
2 general picture.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes..
4 MR. PANTELIC: From -- to the extent of the personal knowledge of
5 this witness, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic, you can proceed. I think some
7 details have to be got into in order to get a clearer picture.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. That was my understanding too.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Please continue, sir.
10 A. I was saying that there were even certain incidents between the
11 members of our police from, from the area of our municipality and these
12 persons. I remember at one point in time that the police found -- that is
13 what people talked about. I didn't see it with my own eyes, but people
14 talked about it, but it is a there true event -- that on the bridge on our
15 side the ZNG disarmed and took off the uniform of one of our policemen,
16 Krunic, and that after that there was commotion due to that incident.
17 What were they doing on our side? Et cetera. And they were with the
18 special unit that was guarding the bridge. Why did they disarm our
19 policeman? And then Dragan Lukac, as far as I know, went to the other
20 side to intervene so that they returned Mr. Krunic's uniform and weapons.
21 Q. All right. Tell me, in March 1992 in the region of Posavina, were
22 there any mass killings, massacres, or were there any clashes between the
23 members of the different ethnic groups? Do you know about any such thing?
24 A. Yes. Not far away, 30 to 40 kilometres away from Samac, in Brod,
25 in Sijekovac, the armed conflict had already broken out, and that's where
1 bloodshed already started -- actually, war already started.
2 Q. Who attacked who there?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the armed conflict is not disputed.
4 It's not disputed.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I agree, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, did you notice in the period just before
7 April -- before the 16th and 17th of April, how did the population react,
8 irrespective of ethnicity? Did they express some concern? Did they
9 remain in town? Did they leave town? Tell us about the atmosphere
10 regarding your own personal knowledge about the situation in mid-April --
11 or rather, before mid-April.
12 A. I wish I could say that I didn't know anything about this, but in
13 that month of April 1992 everybody was afraid of everybody. And I think
14 that the weekends would be the most critical for all, because what
15 happened before that in various parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina showed that
16 something like that could happen in our area too, although promises were
17 made that nothing would happen of this sort.
18 But near my house, for example, a column of Croats from Gornica
19 going to Slavonski Samac would often pass. Most of them were elderly
20 people, women and children, and they were taking agricultural machinery
21 with them. And then after the weekend some of them would come back and
22 others would stay with their relatives. Most of them had relatives in
23 Croatia. And Serbs did the same thing. Those that had relatives in
24 Serbia went that way. And then that weekend would go by, and then they
25 would come back -- some people would stay there, rather, and others would
1 come back. Those who were employed would take sick leave, for example,
2 and cover that time in this way. But there was tension on all three
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... for the
6 adjournment. But if you allow me, I would like to address the Court with
7 this particular issue.
8 Mr. Lukic is the only witness here during this extended weekend.
9 His fellow friends from Samac left The Hague because we want to reduce the
10 budget for their expenses. So in terms of the fact that we shall sit in
11 the Monday afternoon, which is a full four days, and he doesn't have any
12 friends or relatives or contacts here, could we have permission of the
13 Trial Chamber -- of course under very strict conditions not to discuss
14 about any matter of the case to -- because also one of the counsels are
15 his fellow citizen from Samac. Could we have this permission in order to
16 socialise with Mr. Lukic to -- since we didn't enter into the, I would
17 say, contingency issues after the 17th of April. So just in terms of -- I
18 mean, we shall -- we shall go with your decision, of course.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think I understand what you're asking for.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Lukic is our witness here. And due to the fact
21 that he's alone now here without the other witnesses --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. PANTELIC: -- his friends. They left to Samac. They are not
24 in The Hague.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So --
1 MR. PANTELIC: And since he will be alone for four days, do we
2 have permission of the Trial Chamber to contact during these few days --
3 of course, without any -- any possibility --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: You mean yourself to contact Mr. Lukic?
5 MR. PANTELIC: The other colleagues -- especially my colleague
6 Pisarevic, he's from Samac. So we will not discuss this case. But he's
7 alone here, so --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yeah. But he's in examination-in-chief, so there's
9 no reason why there can't be contact with counsel.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. My understanding was that when the -- maybe
11 I'm wrong. When the witness here is starting to give his evidence, that
12 at that moment we are prevented to contact him, but ...
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me hear from the Prosecution.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe -- maybe the Prosecution can help us, because
15 the --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the --
17 MR. PANTELIC: We were in the same situation with the Prosecution
18 witnesses. They -- on several occasions they asked for this kind of
19 permission, so ...
20 MR. RE: The Prosecution doesn't object to social contact between
21 the lawyers and --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: And the witness, yeah.
23 MR. RE: On the weekend, no.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Thank you, my colleagues.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We've actually overshot our time, because the
1 other trial is taking place in this courtroom.
2 So we'll adjourn until Monday at 14.15.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
4 at 1.48 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
5 the 25th day of November, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.