1 Tuesday, 3 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: We are continuing to sit today without
11 Judge Williams, under the provisions of Rule 15 bis, subsection A.
12 Good morning, witness. We are continuing with your
14 Mr. Pantelic.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours.
16 WITNESS: SIMEON SIMIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Simic. On Friday, we spoke
20 about certain activities of the Crisis Staff that had to do with the
21 organisation of farm production, assistance given to the local population,
22 securing cattle feed, and so on. Please tell me this: During its
23 existence, until the War Presidency was established, did the Crisis Staff
24 also organise, together with relevant municipal organs, the sowing of
25 plants and the harvesting? What do you know about these activities
1 between April and July of 1992?
2 A. Before the war and nowadays as well, the municipal assembly would
3 normally pass the plan of harvesting, and who was going to participate in
4 those activities and so on. The operational activities that have to do
5 with sowing of plants was done by the executive council of the
6 municipality. In the times of war during 1992 and 1993, the Crisis Staff
7 was aware of this, and I think that it even passed some decision that had
8 to do with harvesting, but all of these matters were in the jurisdiction
9 of the executive council and the executive council implemented this
10 through commissioners and local communes.
11 There were naturally many problems in that area because the
12 machinery was damaged, there were no spare parts in sufficient
13 quantities. They also lacked manpower. So this was faced with a lot of
14 complications and problems, and very frequently the harvesting was
15 disrupted by shelling and so on, so those people who were involved in
16 harvesting were exposed to a significant risk, and all of this involved a
17 lot of efforts. This -- however, despite of all that, this work was
19 Q. Now, tell me, please, do you know what obligations the
20 municipality had with respect to the Ministry of Defence in terms of funds
21 that had to be provided and personnel and so on? What do you know about
22 this, about what is owed by the municipality in defence matters during
23 wartime? Can you please explain to us what relationship exists between
24 the municipality and other institutions during wartime.
25 A. Since Posavina and Samac is a fertile wheat area and a lot of
1 crops are grown there, crops that are used in order to feed the population
2 and livestock, Samac municipality was actively involved in this, and they
3 did discuss certain matters with the ministry.
4 Q. Let me just interrupt you and ask you this -- can you tell me
5 this: Does the municipality assist to the level that it is able to, or
6 are there certain dues?
7 A. The municipality assists to the level that it is able to.
8 Q. But during wartime, there are certain requirements. There are
9 certain plans that have to be met in terms of production and so on.
10 A. Well, this is how it is: The Ministry of Defence passed a decree
11 regulating the war production matters, and every economic subject in
12 particular had an obligation to draft a plan on wartime operation, which
13 means that they had to list item by item all of the activities that had to
14 be performed by the economic subject. At the same time, in addition to
15 this production plan, the companies had to develop an organisational chart
16 of employees to also specify what was the number of personnel that they
17 required in order to meet their operational plan, and this was especially
18 important in view of the work obligation that existed.
19 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, please, another matter: In view of the
20 obligations that existed with respect to the government, did the
21 municipality implement certain measures in order to increase its budget?
22 Did the municipality levy additional taxes during that period of time,
23 1992 and 1993? I'm now interested only in the matters that fall under the
24 jurisdiction of the Crisis Staff.
25 A. Since there were insufficient funds throughout that time and since
1 additional funds had to be secured, the municipality did take certain
2 measures in that respect. There was a regulation on municipal taxes that
3 was passed. I've already told you that the executive council was in
4 charge of these regulations and their enforcement.
5 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, in the month of May 1992, what was
6 the main topic, what was the main problem facing the Crisis Staff in May
8 A. In May of 1992, the times were very hard, if one can say so.
9 Perhaps April was harder, but May was just as hard because a number of
10 terrible problems had accumulated by then. Throughout the entire month of
11 May, there was a very intense shelling of that area. There was a terrible
12 situation internally, terrible pressure that was caused by shelling, and
13 as a result of that a large number of Serb residents, especially women,
14 children, the elderly, and the sick, had left the area. I think that even
15 after one shelling, in mid-May, a large number of buses carrying Serb
16 residents, mostly women and children, left the area and sought shelter in
18 Q. I am sorry to interrupt you. During that period of time, was the
19 region of Samac municipality left by other residents, not just Serb
21 A. I think so. It probably was, because the situation at that time
22 was unbearable. One could see that with respect to ordinary people, with
23 respect to all people who lived in the area. One could see how people
24 were under tremendous psychological pressure. At the time there were no
25 agencies or services that dealt with that problem, but I know that a term
1 was widely used and at the time entered our language. And I've never used
2 that -- I've never heard that term before, but the term was that the
3 person went nuts, which meant that somebody was unable to maintain
4 rational composure and we had a lot of problems with psychological -- a
5 lot of people with psychological problems. Therefore, the Crisis Staff
6 was faced with a variety of problems. I remember that on one occasion a
7 man came and said that he had three or four children whom he didn't
8 know -- for whom he didn't know who they belonged to. They stayed with
9 relatives in Samac. The parents of these children who were refugees were
10 in Odzak municipality, and the children had to take care of themselves.
11 Q. Did you notice in March and April of 1992, in view of increased
12 tensions, did you observe whether during that period of time the
13 population of Samac also left the area?
14 A. The population of Samac from all three ethnic groups, meaning
15 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, started leaving Samac municipality perhaps as
16 early as one year prior to the conflict, and this culminated in the time
17 immediately before the breakout of war. It seems to me that there was a
18 trend --
19 Q. Can you give us some numbers? I know it's hard to give
20 assessments, but give us an approximate idea.
21 A. I think that there were several thousands of people that left the
22 area, from all three ethnic groups.
23 Q. In May of 1992, what was the number of Serb refugees in Samac, if
24 you know, please?
25 A. In May I would say there was several thousand of refugees.
1 Q. Refugees from where?
2 A. They came from all areas, that is, from the entire Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina. A large number of them was from Gradacac. There were many
4 of them from Odzak as well, and many other places in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 and also the neighbouring municipalities.
6 Q. And what did municipal organs such as the Crisis Staff and
7 executive council do regarding this problem? How did they solve the
8 problems that stemmed from the influx of large number of refugees into the
10 A. The refugees were housed in those facilities that could be
11 obtained at the time. That means that they were housed in Serb houses but
12 also in housing facilities that became vacant after their previous tenants
13 had left. Certain apartments became vacant, and refugees were settled in
15 Q. What did the Crisis Staff do regarding that?
16 A. The Crisis Staff did not do anything regarding that. It was not
17 active in that area. I will repeat: The Crisis Staff did not have its
18 professional staff. It did not have its apparatus. This was handled by
19 services that were in charge of these matters.
20 Q. What was the activity of the Crisis Staff in May of 1992 regarding
21 the problems faced by Serbs in Odzak? You spoke at length about this, but
22 could you please summarise it for us. What were the activities taken by
23 the Crisis Staff and how was this matter resolved, this matter with Odzak?
24 A. I've already told you that the International Red Cross
25 facilitated, or rather, participated in the first exchange of residents
1 from that area. I think that there were a number of these exchanges, as a
2 result of which a large number of residents from Odzak municipality came
3 to the other side. I assume that there were some other mechanisms. Some
4 people managed to flee from imprisonment and from that area. Of course,
5 there were not many such cases. Also, a large number of residents went
6 into other areas where the Croatian side held power. Some of them even
7 went into Croatia. Some people went to Slavonski Brod.
8 Q. What people do you have in mind now?
9 A. I mean residents of Serb ethnicity who were originally from Odzak
11 Q. And where were their relatives?
12 A. Their relatives were in Samac municipality. This uniting of
13 families occasionally was quite a long-lasting process. Some families
14 were separated for quite a long time, sometimes during the entire period
15 of war. I think that there were exchanges that took place as late as 1994
16 and 1995.
17 For example, if one member of the family was imprisoned in April
18 or May of 1992 and then exchanged in 1995, that means that the family was
19 separated for three entire years. And there were many cases like this.
20 Q. Tell me, please, was a decision passed in May to isolate Croats?
21 Was such a decision passed by the Crisis Staff? Also, a decision to place
22 Croats in vital facilities in town; do you know anything about this
24 A. No, such decision was never passed. It borders on --
25 Q. You don't have to comment on this. Were Croats placed in vital
1 facilities in the town of Samac?
2 MR. WEINER: I object.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. WEINER: He's not letting the witness finish the answer.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, because my intention was to --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: I think the --
7 MR. PANTELIC: -- speed up things as much as possible. He can
8 clarify that in cross-examination. I mean, Your Honour, I don't know what
9 the problem is.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, I thought that counsel was right to tell
11 the witness not to comment but just to give evidence in terms of facts,
12 what he knows and what he knew.
13 Yes, please, Mr. Pantelic proceed.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So I'm asking you the following: Were citizens of Samac who were
16 of Croat ethnicity placed in vital facilities in town in May 1992 or in
17 any other period in 1992 or 1993?
18 A. Such horrible things never happened in the territory of the
19 municipality of Samac.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, did some other horrible things
21 happen? Do you know anything about killing non-Serbs in Crkvina, which
22 was committed by some volunteers? What do you know about that?
23 A. I don't have any official information on this, which means that I
24 never found out anything about this either orally or in writing through
25 any official channels. However, I did hear about this. After the
1 already-mentioned volunteer Lugar -- well, this was, say, a month and a
2 half or two after that event, after he was in the investigating prison in
3 Banja Luka -- rather, the military investigative prison.
4 Q. Let's go back to May 1992. You were involved in information. You
5 were a member of the Crisis Staff, et cetera. What do you personally know
6 about this event which I just referred to; that is to say, the killing of
7 non-Serb civilians in Crkvina? We are talking about May 1992. What do
8 you know about that? And if you found out, when did you find out?
9 A. In May, I didn't know anything. I didn't know anything about it.
10 Q. Wait a minute. At the Crisis Staff, was this discussed? Was it
11 discussed among the people in town? This is not a small, minor matter,
12 after all. Do try to remember.
13 A. It is not a minor matter, but it was not discussed in town. I
14 assume that whoever committed such a horrible crime, that is to say, the
15 killing of civilians of non-Serb ethnicity, would also be capable of
16 shutting the mouths of those who would spread such news.
17 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So really --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
20 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that. That's nothing more than
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Yes. Mr. Simic, please focus on what you saw. Do not assume
25 anything. So we are discussing facts.
1 A. Well, I didn't --
2 Q. Look, if you didn't understand -- you said that some -- that you
3 assumed that somebody would shut the mouths of those, et cetera, et
4 cetera, but stay away from such assumptions. Please focus.
5 Tell me, what was the relationship between the municipal
6 authorities and the volunteers in the period between April and June 1992?
7 Can you give us some of your assessments of the situation and so on. Was
8 it friendly? Was it this? Was it that? How could you classify it?
9 A. I cannot testify to anything in this regard because volunteers
10 were within the structure of the armed forces. So the Crisis Staff from
11 that point of view, with regard to this matter, never looked into
12 anything, never discussed anything, so I cannot define this relationship.
13 Q. Very well. Did Stevan Todorovic report to the Crisis Staff on the
14 measures taken, if any, by the police regarding what happened in Crkvina?
15 I'm referring to the killing of a number of non-Serb civilians.
16 A. No. Stevan Todorovic never reported to the Crisis Staff about
17 this crime.
18 Q. Another thing I'm interested in -- well, first of all, actually,
19 tell me, when did you first find out about this, about what crimes were
20 allegedly committed by Stevan Todorovic? I'm asking you personally as an
22 A. I found out about that only from Dragan Lukac's book.
23 Q. When did you read the book?
24 A. I can't remember now exactly, but it was after the war was over.
25 Now, was it 1996 or 1997? I'm not sure.
1 Q. Were you in contact with Stevan Todorovic? Did you talk to him
2 after you read Dragan Lukac's book? I mean, after all, you came from the
3 same town. Did you ask him whether what Lukac wrote was true? Could you
4 explain this to us.
5 A. Stevan Todorovic was no longer in Samac by then.
6 Q. Do you know when charges were brought against Stevan Todorovic,
7 when he was indicted by this Tribunal -- or rather, the Office of the
9 A. If I'm not mistaken, 1995.
10 Q. Did you know about this in 1995?
11 A. I cannot say anything with certainty, but after a few months --
12 Q. In 1995, was there a state of war there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Until when?
15 A. Well, until the war was over.
16 Q. When was that?
17 A. In November 1995.
18 Q. Tell me, are you personally aware of the confession made by Stevan
19 Todorovic in these proceedings before this Tribunal?
20 A. No. I know that the media carried some information to the effect
21 that he did admit certain things. But what it was exactly, I don't know.
22 I'm not aware of the details.
23 Q. All right. If I tell you that Stevan Todorovic confessed that he
24 committed a certain number of crimes, that is to say, beatings, sexual
25 harassment, and let's say killings too. With regard to these confessions
1 made before this Tribunal, did he inform the Crisis Staff about what he
2 was doing in 1992 and 1993? Throughout those two year, did he inform the
3 Crisis Staff of these things that he later admitted to the Tribunal?
4 MR. WEINER: Could --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stevan Todorovic --
6 MR. WEINER: It's a little bit confusing because he's saying he
7 doesn't know exactly what he admitted. If he -- if you tell him "assume
8 the following," he admitted the following, then I think you could say
9 that -- ask that question.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: What do you mean? Because counsel has said
11 "beatings, sexual harassment, and let's say killings too." If you look
12 at the question.
13 MR. WEINER: All right. I'm sorry. I'll withdraw the objection.
14 I'm sorry.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Tell us, Mr. Simic.
18 A. Stevan Todorovic did not tell the Crisis Staff of any such thing
19 when he was present.
20 Q. After the end of 1993, in the period after that, did he ever
21 report to the municipal government authorities about the crimes he had
23 A. Never. This sounds nonsensical to me.
24 Q. Why?
25 A. Why would somebody who had committed such a thing inform somebody
1 about it?
2 MR. WEINER: I'd object once again to speculation, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's either he did or he never did, and I
4 think the witness has answered. Can we move on.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, do you know something about the work of
7 the commission of the Ministry of the Interior in relation to certain
8 activities, certain official activities of Stevan Todorovic?
9 A. Could you please repeat the commission's name.
10 Q. Do you know about the commission of the MUP of Republika Srpska
11 that investigated the work or the activities of Stevan Todorovic in
12 Samac? I mean, if you know, you know. If you don't --
13 A. I don't even know of the existence of such a commission, let alone
14 these activities.
15 Q. Very well. What do you personally know about the event that took
16 place in May 1992 concerning the temporary detention of a number of
17 non-Serb inhabitants at the stadium in Crkvina? Do you know of this
19 A. I don't know anything about that. I only know that the Crisis
20 Staff always made a distinction between military and police activities on
21 the one hand and the civilian activities that the Crisis Staff was
22 involved in on the other hand.
23 At sessions of the Crisis Staff though, the only thing that was
24 done -- or rather, the only thing that was discussed was the following:
25 To try, after Serb civilians were taken prisoner in Odzak, to prevent the
1 possible outbreak of Serb extremism. As for military and police affairs,
2 the Crisis Staff did not involve itself in that at all. I note that the
3 president of the Crisis Staff, Blagoje Simic, always said, "Let everyone
4 do his own work. Let the police do their own work, the military have
5 their own province of work, and the civilian government authorities have
6 their own line of work." So with regard to these particular matters, I
7 know very little, barely a thing.
8 Q. Can you tell me what you personally know about the following: The
9 Crisis Staff and some members of the Crisis Staff in the period from the
10 end of May until the beginning of June 1992, did it take part in any way
11 in the appointment of certain military commanders in the territory of the
12 municipality of Samac? Do you know anything about that?
13 A. The Crisis Staff never had the authority or the powers or was it
14 stipulated in any piece of legislation that the Crisis Staff could do such
15 a thing, namely, appoint military people --
16 Q. Very well. Well, that is the official relationship, which is
17 obvious. However, were there any unofficial attempts to try to impose
18 upon the Crisis -- to have the Crisis Staff impose certain personnel
19 changes within the military units in the municipality? Do you know
20 anything about that?
21 A. No, I don't know anything about that. I have no information about
23 Q. Tell me, what military formation was active in the territory of
24 the municipality of Samac in the period from the end of May, beginning of
25 June, and further on? What was the name of that unit?
1 A. That was the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, which had within it
2 lower-level units.
3 Q. From a military point of view, who comprised the 2nd Posavina
4 Infantry Brigade? Where did these soldiers come from?
5 A. The soldiers were the local Serb population and citizens of other
6 ethnic backgrounds.
7 Q. Within the 2nd Posavina Brigade, were there any active commanding
8 officers of the JNA?
9 A. After --
10 Q. When was this? When was this?
11 A. After the 19th of May, there were no more JNA officers, except for
12 those who originally came from that area. And then they joined the ranks
13 of the Army of Republika Srpska, which was established later. But I
14 cannot give a complete answer to this question.
15 Q. All right. But can you say whether you know when the Army of
16 Republika Srpska was established?
17 A. I don't know the exact date.
18 Q. All right. Tell me, you personally as an individual and as a
19 member of the Crisis Staff, what do you know about the existence of a camp
20 for non-Serb inhabitants in the village of Zasavica?
21 A. I don't know about any camp in the village of Zasavica.
22 Q. You read the book of Dragan Lukac?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You also read newspaper articles, et cetera. Could you describe
25 Zasavica for me. What did this look like? Was Zasavica an area that had
1 barbed wire around it? Were there any watchtowers? Tell me everything
2 you know about Zasavica. Who was in Zasavica, and so on?
3 A. Zasavica is a village on the outskirts of Samac, 4 or 5 kilometres
4 away from Samac itself, on the banks of the Bosna River. When you drive
5 along the road from Samac to Modrica, then you will pass by that village.
6 Q. That's fine. We know that. Could you just describe for us what I
7 asked you.
8 A. I did not go in there, so what I saw from this road -- I mean, the
9 Samac-Modrica road was not unusual in any way. I didn't see anything
10 unusual, and I'm not aware of anything else.
11 Q. All right. What were the activities of the Crisis Staff in
12 relation to Odzak? What do you know about Odzak? We are talking about
13 1992 onwards. Let me ask you another thing, actually: In the period from
14 April 1992 onwards, under whose control was Odzak?
15 A. Odzak was under the control of the Croat side -- or rather, it was
16 the HVO that was in control there from a military point of view, and that
17 is when --
18 Q. That's what you heard. So until when?
19 A. Until the month of July.
20 Q. What happened then?
21 A. Then the Army of Republika Srpska liberated the area.
22 Q. Which unit?
23 A. The units of the 1st Krajina Corps.
24 Q. And what was the role of the Samac Municipal Crisis Staff relating
25 to Odzak at that time?
1 A. The role was as much as possible to help those imprisoned people
2 there who were exposed to terrible torture.
3 Q. When we're talking about the break-through of the corridor -- and
4 now we're talking about the 1st Krajina Corps, which controlled that
5 area -- could you please tell me what happened in the period of July and
6 onwards. What was the role of the Samac Municipal Crisis Staff regarding
8 A. The military administration was introduced in Odzak.
9 Q. And when did you find that out?
10 A. I can't give you the date, but at that time I found out that
11 military administration was introduced there.
12 MR. PANTELIC: -- To rearrange my exhibits there. So if you allow
13 me -- I do apologise personally, because I -- I didn't find enough -- I am
14 going to explore some issue now.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: So?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have a break of 10 minutes, please.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll break for 10 minutes.
20 --- Break taken at 10.21 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.35 a.m.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You can continue.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, you said that the military
25 administration was introduced in Odzak in July 1992 by the 1st Krajina
1 Corps. Could you please tell me what the role of the Samac Crisis Staff
2 was in relation to this military administration specifically. Did this
3 military administration have any requests or demands? How did this
4 function? How did the Municipal Crisis Staff of Samac direct its
5 activities? What happened? Were these partner relations? How did this
6 function? Could you please tell us what you know about this period.
7 A. In that area on the territory of the Odzak municipality,
8 production was to have started up and all the economic facilities were
9 supposed to begin to function. So in this operative sense, it was more a
10 job for the executive authorities rather than the Crisis Staff. So I
11 wouldn't really be able to tell you anything more on that topic. I really
12 don't have any information about that. I don't know what was happening. I
13 think -- no, I know for certain that I went to the territory of the Odzak
14 municipality only once in that period, and that was with journalists from
15 an English TV station which was making a report about the rapes of Serb
16 women during the HVO administration in the territory of the Odzak
17 municipality. I know the name of one woman who was featured in that
18 report, but I wouldn't like to say it publicly, but I could provide that.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll go back to the issues we are concerned with.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, could you please tell me, if you have
22 any information about that, who was heading the military administration in
23 Odzak? Do you know the name of the person, the rank, the institution?
24 What do you know about that?
25 A. It was an officer, but I can't remember his first and last name.
1 Q. Very well. Did anyone from the Crisis Staff in Samac participate
2 in this military administration in Odzak? Was anyone from Samac a part of
4 A. A body, which I think was called the council, the council of the
5 military administration, had as its member a person called Savo Popovic.
6 Q. Savo Popovic, in view of the fact that he was a member of the
7 Crisis Staff, and then as of July 1992 was a member of the War
8 Presidency. Did he take part in the work of the municipal bodies in Samac
9 in the activities of Odzak?
10 A. Mr. Savo Popovic, when he moved to this duty no longer appeared at
11 meetings of the Crisis Staff -- at least, I don't remember seeing him.
12 Q. Very well. That was until mid-July that the Crisis Staff
13 functioned. After that it was the War Presidency.
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Could you please tell me if he sent any reports. Was he in the
16 capacity of an officer of the municipal administration of Samac?
17 A. I don't have any information of him sending any reports to the
18 civilian authorities or --
19 Q. When I say "the civilian authorities of Samac," I mean by that the
20 certain bodies, the executive board and the War Presidency. Did they have
21 any effect on the military authorities who were heading the military
22 administration in Odzak in 1993?
23 A. The civilian authorities in Samac did not have any influence, even
24 over the lower levels of the military structure, and particularly not over
25 this one, nor could it in that sense --
1 Q. Could the Samac civilian authorities issue orders to the military
2 administration in Odzak about what should be done, how things should be
3 organised, and so on?
4 A. The civilian authorities could not issue any orders. Although, I
5 think that there was some kind of decree at the ministry level about some
6 duties which could be carried out in those circumstances. But I don't
7 have any information or knowledge about that, about how this functioned in
9 Q. And could you please explain this concept of military
10 administration. Based on the example in Odzak, what does this -- what did
11 this mean? If you know.
12 A. This is a question that I would not really like to go into and
13 this term "military administration," I couldn't really define it.
14 Q. Did this Crisis Staff and later the War Presidency of the
15 Municipality of Samac in any way participate in the organising of the work
16 duty in Odzak?
17 A. I assume that it did, but I don't have any information on that.
18 There were many destroyed houses there, factories also, and other
19 facilities, and I assume that work was being done in that regard, but I
20 don't have any information about that.
21 Q. Did Serb refugees from the municipality of Odzak in the course of
22 1992 and 1993, if you know anything about that, did they come back to
23 their homes?
24 A. Yes. Serb refugees who fled in the first half of 1992, at the
25 time when that area was controlled by the Croatian side, in late 1992 and
1 early 1993 and in the course of 1993 returned to their homes, to their
2 houses in Serb villages in the territory of the municipality of Odzak, and
3 they did this in large numbers. They repaired their houses there and were
4 creating conditions to resume living there, and they stayed there until
5 1995, when --
6 Q. What happened in 1995?
7 A. In 1995 there was again a mass exodus because --
8 Q. Of whom?
9 A. Of the Serb population because, according the Dayton Peace
10 Accords, the Odzak municipality was to go to the Federation, to become a
11 part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Serb population,
12 afraid that they will not again be exposed to the same things that they
13 were exposed to in 1992 -- so again in a terrible mass exodus moved out to
14 the territory of the municipality of Samac, Modrica, and other
15 municipalities within Republika Srpska.
16 Q. In the course of July 1992 and onwards, was there any Croat or
17 Muslim population in the territory of the Odzak municipality?
18 A. When?
19 Q. During July. I'm talking about the period where the corridor was
20 broken through. Do you have any information about the Croat population
21 and the Muslim population in the municipality of Odzak?
22 A. I don't think that there were any, due to the offensive -- the
23 citizens also were in exodus from that area, and they were fleeing before
24 the army.
25 Q. Did the municipal authorities in Samac have any influence over the
1 movement of Muslims and Croats from the municipality of Odzak in July 1992
2 and onwards?
3 A. The municipality of Samac did not and could not have anything to
4 do with the movement of the Croat and Muslim population from the
5 municipality of Odzak.
6 Q. Could you please be more specific. You said "municipality."
7 That's a pretty wide term. I was talking about the municipal civil
8 authority. So could you be more specific because of the transcript.
9 A. The civilian authorities of the municipality of Samac did not in
10 any way influence nor could they influence the exodus of the Croat and
11 Muslim population during combat operations in mid-1992.
12 Q. The Crisis Staff of Samac municipality and later on the War
13 Presidency -- so in order not to keep repeating, I'm now referring to the
14 officials that were members of the Crisis Staff and later on the War
15 Presidency. So did they ever in their sessions and meetings, ever pass
16 any decisions on forcible removal of the non-Serb residents from their
17 apartments and houses in Samac?
18 A. In Crisis Staff sessions, such discriminatory matters were never
20 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Blagoje Simic advocated such ideas outside
21 of the sessions?
22 A. Blagoje Simic never advocated such ideas.
23 Q. What was the role of the Crisis Staff and later on the War
24 Presidency regarding the arrests of some non-Serb residents in Samac
1 A. Civilian organs of Samac municipality never got involved in the
2 affairs of the military, police, and other services if they did not have
3 any competencies in these areas.
4 Q. Stevan Todorovic, as chief of police, was he an ex officio member
5 of the Crisis Staff up until mid-July of 1992?
6 A. Stevan Todorovic was chief of police, and he was never a member of
7 the Crisis Staff.
8 Q. Did he ever attend sessions of the Crisis Staff? And if so, what
9 was his role there?
10 A. He did. Stevan Todorovic attended sessions of the Crisis Staff,
11 just as he attended all sessions that he was allowed to attend. Stevan
12 Todorovic is a kind of a man who liked to impose himself and to go to
13 places where he was not desired, where he was not a member of a certain
14 group. But that's the kind of man he was. He wanted to appear in all
15 places and among other things, he would also attend sessions of the Crisis
16 Staff. Sometimes he also submitted reports that had to do with the
17 competencies of the Crisis Staff, meaning what was outside of the
18 investigative actions of police.
19 Q. Was Stevan Todorovic a member of the War Presidency of Samac
21 A. No. Stevan Todorovic was not a member of the War Presidency, and
22 he couldn't have been one because that would then create a confusion
23 between the legislative and executive branch of government. He reported
24 directly to the minister for his actions, and the War Presidency was a
25 civilian organ that existed in lieu of the municipal assembly in wartime.
1 Q. Did Stevan Todorovic demand from the Crisis Staff of Samac
2 municipality during its existence to provide additional facilities for
3 prisoners who were under his jurisdiction?
4 A. I'm not aware of him putting such demands.
5 Q. Was the problem of proceedings that were launched against some
6 non-Serb residents -- and by this, I mean criminal proceedings -- ever
7 discussed at the Crisis Staff? Specifically, did Stevan Todorovic ever
8 report to the Crisis Staff on these matters?
9 A. I repeat, the Crisis Staff never got involved in police matters,
10 including these matters.
11 Q. Did he then on his own initiative report to the municipal organs
12 because he as chief of police had a duty to report on the matters within
13 his jurisdiction?
14 A. Stevan Todorovic always used to say that civilians shouldn't
15 meddle into things that do not concern them, meaning the police matters,
16 and that was accepted.
17 Q. Tell me, please, do you know when was it that some detained
18 non-Serbs were transferred to the jurisdiction of the military
19 prosecutor's office -- or military judiciary in Bijeljina?
20 A. I don't know when this took place.
21 Q. Tell me, what do you know about the proceedings that were launched
22 in the military court in Banja Luka? Was the War Presidency in any way
23 involved in this?
24 A. The War Presidency only received a brief piece of information
25 saying that a group of volunteers had committed certain deeds which were
1 investigated by the military organs and that these individuals were in the
2 investigative prison in Banja Luka. I didn't know specifically what this
3 was all about. At that time, I had thoughts that this was in some way
4 connected to the crime in Crkvina. However, I didn't have any specific
5 information about what it was all about except for what I could read in
6 the papers. I think that at the time the paper from Belgrade, "Vecernje
7 Novosti" reported on this. These articles were authored by Banja Luka
8 reporter Boro Maric [phoen]. However, these article were not sufficient
9 to provide in-depth information about what that involved.
10 Q. What were -- what was the information circulated in Samac?
11 A. There were all kinds of rumours circulating in Samac. It was said
12 that those volunteers, due to crimes committed in Crkvina, due to
13 harassment that the population was exposed to, due to looting, were as a
14 result of that imprisonment. And that's what the rumours said.
15 Q. Did the civilian organs in Samac organise looting and plundering
16 of property in broad terms, the property belonging to the non-Serb
17 population? I'm now referring to 1992 and 1993.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER: It's a very leading question.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Did civilian organs of government in Samac,
23 according to your knowledge, organise plundering in the territory of Samac
24 municipality and --
25 MR. WEINER: Objection again. It's the same question. It's
1 still --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: It's the same question, yes.
3 MR. WEINER: It's still leading.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. What do you know about cases of plundering in the territory of
6 Samac and Odzak in the course of 1992 and 1993?
7 A. Civilian authorities did not naturally organise, nor did they
8 participate --
9 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I believe it's time for our break.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let him finish the answer.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Please.
12 A. Civilian authorities did not participate in any actions that had
13 to do with plundering and crime, on the contrary.
14 Q. In the course of 1992 and 1993, were there any incidents of
15 plundering and any other crimes?
16 A. Plundering and crime is in my mind something that goes with war,
17 and there were cases of that naturally; however, there were no cases of
18 organised plundering, especially not plundering organised by civilian
20 Q. Was it organised by some other authorities, some other kinds of
22 A. I'm convinced that it was, because there is a lot of organised
23 crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina even nowadays; therefore, I think that
24 just like nowadays, in the times of war it was organised.
25 MR. WEINER: Move to strike, Your Honour, on speculation.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It has no value, of course.
2 Could we have a break, Mr. Pantelic?
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: And we'll continue our proceedings at 11.30.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, before the break, you spoke about the
10 cases of plundering and that that was a result of the hostilities and the
11 war. Now, tell me, please, did the municipal authorities in any way
12 organise the removal of private property from the private homes of
13 non-Serb residents?
14 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, once again, this isn't
15 cross-examination. He can ask what role did the municipality or the
16 executive take. But this is just -- he's giving statements and he's
17 really asking for a yes or no answer.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic, please reorganise your
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Did the municipal organs, municipal authorities point out to
22 certain negative actions of military authorities? And if so, when and on
23 what occasion?
24 A. I'm not aware of that.
25 Q. In the zone of responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps, were there
1 any cases of unlawful actions?
2 A. I did not have occasion to see a single document, nor did I
3 ever -- was officially informed of this, nor did I hear what the soldiers
4 of the 1st Krajina Corps did. Therefore, I was not aware of any such
6 Q. Now, tell me, please, in the period up until July of 1992, were
7 there any cases where other organs used the name of the Crisis Staff in
8 view of the scope of tasks that had to be completed and in view of the
9 special circumstances during that time? Do you have any information
10 regarding that?
11 A. As far as I know, yes.
12 Q. On what occasions did that take place? What were the
13 circumstances surrounding it and what was the reason behind this?
14 A. In the period when the president of the Crisis Staff, Blagoje
15 Simic, was wounded and while he was recovering, there was a possibility
16 for some other organs to use the name and seal of the Crisis Staff and
17 perhaps pass a document.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
19 It doesn't help us at all. The witness doesn't know what
21 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Your Honour. I will go to another topic.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, was there a stamp of the Crisis
23 Staff with the name of the Crisis Staff on it, or was a different kind of
24 stamp used with some other text?
25 A. The stamp had the following text on it -- the stamp did not have a
1 text indicating "Crisis Staff" on it. Rather, the text was "The Serb
2 Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation." And later on, it
3 simply said, "The Municipal Assembly of Samac," once the Pelagicevo
4 municipality became a separate entity.
5 Q. According to your knowledge, how many stamps were there of the
6 Serb Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation? Can you tell
7 us which organs used that stamp?
8 A. The documents that I saw reflected that that stamp was used by the
9 Crisis Staff, occasionally by the executive council, and I also saw one
10 document which indicated that the police had used that stamp as well.
11 Q. Regarding the schools and their operation, you told us that due to
12 war breaking out, the schools were closed in springtime and then resumed
13 their work in the fall. Can you tell us, please, when did that happen?
14 When did the schools resume their work? In which facilities?
15 A. The 1991/1992 school year was brought to an end in April of 1992.
16 Despite the fact that the students did not attend classes until the
17 official end of the school year, the classes were brought to an end in
18 April of 1992, and then in the 1992/1993 school year, the classes started
19 at the end of 1992. The existing facilities could not be used for classes
20 because the building of the elementary school was destroyed, completely
21 ruined, and it could not be used to hold classes, whereas the building of
22 the secondary school was of a provisional nature, and therefore it wasn't
23 safe to hold classes there due to constant shelling. Therefore, classes,
24 both in elementary and in secondary school, were held in other facilities
25 which were safer. The teachers in the secondary school during that school
1 year travelled to various sites and held classes there because that was
2 safer, both for students and for teachers.
3 Q. Can you tell us what sites those were. Can you tell us where
4 classes were held.
5 A. Classes were held in following sites: In Samac, there were two or
6 three such sites that were considered safe locations.
7 Q. Can you tell us what were these.
8 A. There were two or three facilities that had been used before as
9 catering facilities and then were made into classrooms.
10 Q. And outside of Samac territory?
11 A. The sites outside of Samac were Crkvina, Zasavica, Slatina, and
12 Obudovac Dva.
13 Q. In relation to information, you spoke about the bulletin. The
14 bulletin was -- how should I put this?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: May I ask for correction of the transcript. It is
17 on page 30, line 12. Here it says Obudovac Dva. This would imply
18 probably that it is the name of town. But actually he said that there
19 were two premises in Obudovac, in the village of Obudovac.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. In terms of the transcript, when you mentioned Obudovac, what did
22 you say exactly?
23 A. Let me clarify this.
24 Q. Just briefly.
25 A. Obudovac Dva is a local commune. There was Obudovac I, Obudovac
1 Jedan, and Obudovac Dva, Obudovac II. This is a settlement that is
2 divided into two local communes along administrative lines.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, this bulletin was a printed matter that was
4 distributed in town. Tell me, how often was this bulletin published and
5 what was it printed on?
6 A. The bulletin was an information leaflet. Its dimensions were A4.
7 It was printed in a rather obsolete technology on a so-called copier. Let
8 me explain this a bit. A typewriter would be used to type out the text on
9 the master copy, and then this master copy would be put into this copier
10 machine and then that way it would be printed out.
11 Q. Where was the printing done?
12 A. The information service had its two rooms at the heating plant,
13 that is to say, where the Crisis Staff had its premises.
14 Q. What were the contents of this bulletin? Like, what did it report
16 A. This bulletin published news about the front line, what was going
17 on at the front line, then also information concerning what the civilian
18 authorities did. Also, it carried some texts from other newspapers. From
19 time to time, it also carried information about what the media of the
20 other side were reporting on. So it was pretty short, and for the most
21 part it was like an information leaflet on a single A4 page, and it was
22 copied in, say, 30 to 50 copies.
23 Q. How frequently was it published?
24 A. At the very beginning of the war, that is to say, during the first
25 20 or so days, it was published every day. Perhaps two or three times, a
1 day or two would be skipped. And then, say, once or twice a week.
2 Q. Is the "Koridor" a sequel to this bulletin or is it something
3 quite different? I'm referring to the "Koridor" newspaper.
4 A. No, the "Koridor" is not a sequel to this leaflet. The "Koridor"
5 had been conceived as a more serious newspaper -- magazine, rather, with
6 many more pages. It was printed in a better way, and also its editorial
7 concept was more sophisticated. So it was a real newspaper in the real
8 sense of the word.
9 Q. You personally, as you moved about town, did you hear the screams
10 and the beatings of people in the TO? I'm talking about 1992 and 1993.
11 A. First of all, at that time I never strolled in the streets of town
12 because quite simply that was not a safe thing to do.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: You mean the whole of 1992 and the whole of 1993?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992 was that way throughout, but
15 1993 was already safer.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What about 1992? You started explaining this. You said that you
18 didn't stroll about the streets.
19 A. I did not. Only when I went to work. But that was very fast
20 walking, a very dynamic thing, because sometimes I would experience
21 shelling on my way to work or from work and it would not be easy to find
22 shelter at the same moment. So I didn't hear any screams or anything
24 Q. Did you hear any loud singing from the TO premises?
25 A. I did not hear any singing.
1 Q. At sessions of the Crisis Staff and later at sessions of the War
2 Presidency, was there any mention regarding the passing of certain
3 decisions that jeopardised the basic human rights of the non-Serb
4 population in Samac?
5 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that again, Your Honour. Very leading.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
7 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. How would you describe the decisions of the Crisis Staff and the
9 War Presidency during 1992? What was the objective of these decisions?
10 How would you characterise them?
11 A. I have understood your question. What happened at Crisis Staff
12 meetings was discussed in terms of the subject matter involved in the
13 following way: In every decision the highest civilisational standards
14 were observed. They incorporated the democratic rights of citizens, not
15 only of Serb ethnicity, of course, but all others as well. And at
16 sessions of the Crisis Staff in this way the discussions were held. This
17 was truly taken into account. However, on the other hand, when I looked
18 at some decisions, I saw that they were drafted pretty clumsily, in terms
19 of style. Some of the wording was even ambiguous.
20 So this is something that I ascribed to a lack of concentration on
21 the part of the staff members, especially when there were shellings and
22 different situations. Probably under this kind of pressure, a word or two
23 would be included in terms of something that had not been discussed at the
24 sessions. So I did notice such things in documents, but I know for sure
25 that even if it did happen, that some bad formulation would be included.
1 It never carried any weight in practice really. Very often, actually --
2 let me try to be brief. There were things that testified to a popular
3 belief, and that is that paper will suffer anything. Sometimes there were
4 poor definitions, but this did not really have any practical effect.
5 Q. Finally, let me ask you about this period when you cooperated with
6 Dr. Blagoje Simic. How would you describe his work and generally speaking
7 him as a personality during that period?
8 A. I've known Blagoje Simic since my early childhood, so I think I do
9 know his personality. During this period, during the functioning of the
10 Crisis Staff, that is, he tried investing maximum efforts to get things
11 moving in the best possible way. He always insisted on everyone doing his
12 own job; that is to say, that he insisted on that very often. For
13 instance, if somebody would go into an area that he thought was not his,
14 he would always repeat the following: "No, let him do his job and we're
15 going to do our job." So he did not like any kind of interference in the
16 affairs of others.
17 At the same time, I think that he got into politics very young and
18 that sometimes, since the situation was difficult, he could not always
19 find an adequate answer to some problems. But he made a maximum effort,
20 and in terms of everything he did, I think he was guided by these
21 principles: That it should be fair, that it should not be to anyone's
22 detriment, that there should be no discrimination involved, that no one
23 should be hurt and nobody's human rights should be infringed upon, any
24 kind of human right, material, economic, social, et cetera. And very
25 often people from his party, the SDS, accused him of keeping a lot of
1 people from the opposition in the structures of government. He would then
2 answer that everything that was decided had to be an expression of the
3 will expressed in the previous selections and that there is a place for
4 everyone there and the more people are involved, the more wisdom is
5 involved. He tried to engage this wisdom in the best possible way in
6 order to contribute to the highest principles that everybody was aware of.
7 Q. I beg your pardon. I don't know if I asked you this already, but
8 in 1992 and 1993 you were a member of which party?
9 A. The Liberal Party.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I have finished my
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Any questions by any other counsel from the Defence?
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Defence of Miroslav
15 Tadic, I state that we have no questions for this witness.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: On behalf of Mr. Zaric's Defence, we do not wish
17 to examine this witness.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Cross-examination by the Prosecution.
19 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
21 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Phil Weiner. I work for the
22 Office of the Prosecutor. I'm going to ask you some questions.
23 Sir, your position on the Crisis Staff involved information, did
24 it not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And your job was to obtain information, disseminate information to
2 the press and public; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you were the person who dealt with the press, whether it was
5 the television, the radio, the newspaper press, giving them information,
6 assisting them when they came to visit?
7 A. Yes. I and other members of the information staff.
8 Q. Now, today you testified on page 9 of today's transcript about the
9 Crkvina massacre. You stated, "In May, I didn't know anything about
10 it" -- I'm sorry. "In May I didn't know anything. I didn't know anything
11 about it." Was that your testimony today?
12 A. In the month of May, I did not know anything about that massacre.
13 Q. And then you indicated that "It was not discussed in the town."
14 That was your testimony today, correct?
15 A. I said that I didn't hear anything about it in town.
16 Q. And you also said, "It was not discussed in town." I'm quoting
17 you. When you were asked how could you not know about it, it was -- "this
18 was not a small, minor matter after all. Do you remember?" Your answer,
19 "It was not a minor answer, but it was not discussed in town." Is that
20 your testimony?
21 A. I said that I had not heard anything about this matter in town. I
22 didn't hear it being discussed by people. And at the same time, I did not
23 have any official information about this. I didn't hear that any such
24 thing had happened.
25 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that everyone in Bosanski Samac was aware of
1 this massacre of the non-Serb population and were discussing it in the
2 town? Isn't that a fact, sir?
3 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Why your objection?
5 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, he already said that he was not
6 aware about the issues. And how he could speculate what was the -- in the
7 topics of the other circle of people?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: No. No. This is cross-examination, and the
9 Prosecution can continue.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yeah. But he can be more specific, I mean, in
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No. There is a difference between
13 examination-in-chief and cross-examination, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I am aware.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution can continue.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Sir, isn't it a fact that everyone in Bosanski Samac was aware of
18 this massacre of non-Serb civilians and were discussing it in the town?
19 A. I know that I didn't know. As for some circles or some group, I
20 mean, whether somebody knew about that, I cannot really confirm any such
22 Q. Sir, are you aware that Miroslav Tadic gave a statement to the
23 Office of the Prosecutor on the 27th of March, 1998, which is Exhibit
24 139. At page 7 of that statement, he's asked, "Maybe the --"
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. --
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I did not object when the statements
3 of other persons were quoted, when Blagoje Simic was concerned because
4 he's an accused person who heard what the witnesses said. However, I do
5 object because during the Prosecution case, witnesses were not being in a
6 position to have other people's statements shown to them. So why would
7 this be the case now? Would the same rule please be applied?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, it can't be applied because the material which
9 the Prosecution is referring to was the interview of an accused in this
10 case. So the Prosecution can continue.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. He is questioned at page 7: "Maybe the most notorious incident he
13 was involved in was the killing of 16 or 17 men at the warehouse in
14 Crkvina on the 7th of May, 1992. I know that this killing was widely
15 known by people in the area, and I assume that that was brought to your
17 Answer by Mr. Tadic: "Yes. It could not have been avoided, not
18 to hear about it. Even housewives who had spent the war in cellars heard
19 about it. That was something unimaginable at the time, that someone would
20 commit such a crime for no apparent reason, and that obviously placed a
21 terrible shadow over all the relationships in Samac."
22 Sir, do you know any reason why Miroslav Tadic would say that
23 everyone knew about that if it wasn't true? Do you know of any reason,
25 A. I cannot know what Mr. Tadic was guided by when he gave such a
1 statement, but I know for a fact that housewives and so on, a broad circle
2 of people in Samac, knew this. And if this were so, I would also probably
3 know about it. I don't believe that story about the housewives.
4 Q. Sir, let's move on. Are you aware that the defendant Simo Zaric
5 provided a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor on April 2nd, 1998,
6 which is Exhibit 141? Are you aware that he stated - and he's referring
7 to a meeting he had just had on that morning with Dr. Blagoje Simic, also
8 a defendant, and he, it says, referring to Blagoje Simic, said that "He
9 would call a meeting of the Crisis Staff and do what his job was."
10 Do you recall a meeting of the Crisis Staff in relation to the
11 Crkvina massacre?
12 A. I cannot remember because a meeting was never convened at that
13 time, when the Crisis Staff operated, in order to discuss this topic. So
14 I am absolutely unaware of that.
15 Q. Sir, are you aware that last week Dr. Blagoje Simic testified when
16 asked on direct examination, at page 12.289, "Please tell me, was
17 something officially done after the incident?"
18 A. We asked all competent authorities, especially the judiciary to
19 process that, to bring them to trial, to try them and to punish them.
20 Sir --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Again, I would like to object. The
23 witness is now being told about a statement by the witness from
24 examination-in-chief, which was never allowed to the Defence to tell a
25 witness something that another witness stated during trial. If we want to
1 have equality of sides, then this kind of -- this way of asking the
2 question should not be permitted. Perhaps this question could be asked in
3 another way. Several times the Prosecution -- Your Honour, I cannot tell
4 you any more, but we tried on several occasions to ask during
5 cross-examination a witness about things that other witnesses said and the
6 Prosecution objected to these questions.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But it did happen several times. I
9 cannot give you examples now. This was during the Prosecution case.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] When you asked us to --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: I recall that.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] -- rephrase such questions, if you
14 remember that.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: I recall that. What I'm asking you is the materials
16 the Prosecution is referring to, they refer to which witness?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now the Prosecution has changed the
18 statement of Blagoje Simic. It is presenting what the accused said as a
19 witness during the examination-in-chief. At that moment he was a witness.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So he's being presented -- what he
22 said is being presented as he said it when he was a witness. I understand
23 that in this way they would like to undermine the witness by telling him
24 about what another witness said during the actual proceedings, not a
25 written statement but something that a witness said during the actual
1 proceedings in the courtroom.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: When an accused person decides to give evidence, he
3 still remains an accused person. And for all intents and purposes, he is
4 treated as an accused person.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understand. Absolutely, Your
7 JUDGE MUMBA: So the Prosecution will continue.
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Dr. Blagoje Simic later testified that when he referred to "we,"
10 he's referring to the Crisis Staff. Now, sir, he indicated that the
11 Crisis Staff took actions. Do you know any reason why he would say it if
12 it wasn't true? You were a member of that Crisis Staff.
13 A. This can be explained in the following way: It is quite possible
14 that Dr. Blagoje Simic knew about this event and that he informed some
15 members of the Crisis Staff about it and that they took some steps
16 regarding this matter. But I know for a fact that the Crisis Staff as a
17 body, as a forum, did not have any information about this nor did it
18 discuss this. And as far as I know, there is no document that would
19 indicate anything like that.
20 Q. Sir, but you can only speculate as to why Dr. Blagoje Simic would
21 have said that, indicated that the Crisis Staff acted. You cannot give a
22 positive answer.
23 A. But when he uses the term "we," that does not mean the Crisis
24 Staff as a forum.
25 Q. Sir, that was his testimony.
1 A. That's not clear to me.
2 Q. Let's move on to another issue and let's see how your memory is
3 with this. Sir, could you look at Exhibit 71, please -- P71. I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Prosecution.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Sir, did you have a chance to look at that document?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Could you please look at it.
12 A. I've looked at it.
13 Q. Thank you. Are you familiar with it?
14 A. Yes, I've seen it now. Now I know it. But I haven't seen it
15 before, nor was it ever presented at any meeting of the Crisis Staff.
16 Q. Are you aware of any order by the Crisis Staff -- or any similar
17 order issued by the Crisis Staff? Are you aware of that?
18 A. Could you please repeat the question.
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Regarding what?
21 Q. Are you aware of any order by the Crisis Staff or issued by the
22 Crisis Staff to isolate non-Serb civilians in May of 1992?
23 A. No. I'm not familiar with any decision, order, or any other
24 document which would talk about any discriminatory acts. This was simply
25 something that was not there and it was not part of any decision-making at
1 the sessions.
2 Q. Well, sir, are you aware of any large-scale arrest and detention
3 of Croat citizens in May of 1992?
4 A. I am not aware of any mass arrests in May 1992.
5 Q. Sir, you indicated this morning that a decision of this type - and
6 you used the word "horrible," would be horrible - and you just used the
7 word "discriminatory." Is that correct?
8 A. I didn't understand the question. What should it be exactly?
9 Q. Sir, you just indicated that this type of act, isolating or
10 arresting large numbers of non-Serb civilians, would be discriminatory.
11 And earlier today on direct examination you indicated that it would be a
12 horrible act. Are those your characterisations of such an act, horrible,
14 A. If people are arrested individually or en masse, and there is no
15 underlying intention to protect these people, then of course that is
16 horrible, and I stand by that term.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you indicated that you were involved with
18 the radio station -- you were involved with the radio station in Bosanski
19 Samac, correct?
20 A. The Bosanski Samac radio station had its editor-in-chief, and I
21 did cooperate with him.
22 Q. How often in the month of April -- in the months of April, May,
23 and June did you visit the radio station in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. In view of the fact that the information service of the Crisis
25 Staff issued a bulletin, it did very rarely anything in that domain. I
1 can't remember. Perhaps it was once or twice that I was there at the
2 radio station.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I do apologise.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
5 MR. PANTELIC: It's just intervention to the transcript. 44, page
6 and line 3/4. Maybe I didn't hear, but is that 1992 or 1993? In order to
7 clarify the period, maybe for the transcript, for the purposes of the
9 MR. WEINER: I can clear that up, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. In the year of 1992, how often did you visit the radio station in
13 May? Let's take the month of May.
14 A. Rarely. I didn't have any need to go there, to the radio station.
15 Q. And you know the radio station is right near the schools, the
16 primary school and the secondary school?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And were you aware in May and June and July -- let's say from May
19 through the summer -- how the primary and secondary schools were being
21 A. I didn't know why the elementary and the secondary schools were
22 being used. The elementary school was burned; it was destroyed.
23 Q. Sir, were you aware that the primary and secondary schools, as
24 well as -- in Bosanski Samac, as well as the village of Zasavica, was
25 being used to isolate and detain large numbers, hundreds, of non-Serb
2 A. I didn't know that they were being used for those purposes.
3 MR. WEINER: Excuse me one moment.
4 Q. Sir, are you aware that Simo Zaric gave a statement to the Office
5 of the Prosecutor on April 2nd, 1998, which is Exhibit 141? And when he
6 was questioned --
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that this is a repeated
8 question. I mean, we have already established that the witness doesn't
9 know when Mr. Zaric gave his interview to the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 Maybe my colleague would ask it in a better way, but asking again this --
11 are you aware that Mr. Zaric gave his interview on the 2nd of April. He
12 didn't know that, particularly about the date. If you want to quote it, I
13 have no problem with that. But asking him this way ...
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. I think you understand what
15 Mr. Lazarevic is saying.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Are you aware, sir, that Simo Zaric has given a statement and in
18 the statement he was asked, at page 43, "How was it then that you know the
19 Crisis Staff is the one who made the decision to isolate these people in
21 Answer: "It was no secret. It was a well-known fact. Everything
22 that was decide was well known. For instance, that people were going to
23 be taken to Crkvina and that they were detained in two schools, it was all
24 well known. There was no secret about it."
25 Sir, are you aware of any reason why Simo Zaric would give that
1 statement indicating the Crisis Staff was involved in the isolation of
2 non-Serb civilians if it wasn't true?
3 A. I don't know why Mr. Zaric gave such a statement, but I can say
4 that this was not a generally-known fact. Had it been known, I would
5 certainly know about it.
6 Q. Well, Mr. Zaric further states at page 40, "The Samac Crisis Staff
7 had decided at some point -- I know that. I don't know when the decision
8 was made -- on the isolation of Croats, and they were then -- a number of
9 them were taken from Samac and put in these -- placed in these abandoned
10 houses in Zasavica or also made to -- for them accommodation to be
11 provided by those persons already living there. I don't think it was a
12 camp in a typical sense because they were able to walk about. But
13 certainly I know about the decision, and this was a very unfortunate one,
14 very bad decision made by the Crisis Staff."
15 Question: "So it was the Crisis Staff in Samac at some point
16 decided that the Croats living in Samac municipality should be removed
17 from their homes and sent to Zasavica?"
18 "This was not exclusively for Croats." This is the answer.
19 "This was not exclusively for Croats, because there were also some Muslim
20 families there, I believe. The decision was made following the
21 imprisonment of those people in the Odzak area. I think it wasn't just
22 for Croats."
23 "Q. But the people were forced to leave their homes and go to
24 Zasavica. Is that right?
25 "A. Yes.
1 "Q. And what happened to the homes and the property they left
3 "A. Yes. This is what happened. And first what happened is
4 the authorities in Samac had put in these houses and flats some of their
5 new key people that they had from elsewhere. Later on Serbs from Krajina
6 and refugees from elsewhere were placed in these houses. As far as their
7 property is concerned, it has the same fate as the property as many others
8 as I've mentioned before, is that the paramilitaries and all those
9 criminals thoroughly looted many houses and flats in Samac and many, many
10 goods were taken away."
11 Sir, are you aware of any reason why Simo Zaric would make that
12 statement concerning your Crisis Staff's involvement in the isolation of
13 non-Serbs if it wasn't true?
14 A. I am not familiar with the reasons due to which Mr. Simo Zaric
15 gave such a statement, but what I do know is that the Crisis Staff did not
16 have such authority, nor did it ever deal with that issue, and it did not
17 ever adopt any decision on the isolation of non-Serb -- of the non-Serb
18 population, because that simply was not in the job description of the
19 Crisis Staff.
20 Q. Sir, are you aware that Miroslav Tadic also gave a statement
21 indicating massive arrests occurred? At his interview on March -- on the
22 26th of March, 1998, which is Exhibit P138:
23 "Q. But Mr. Tadic, you know that dozens, if not hundreds of men
24 were arrested in that week after the takeover and were detained at the
25 police station and at camps in Samac. Some of these were old men, as you
1 like to describe yourself, much older than you. At least one of these men
2 was a Catholic priest. Why were all these people being arrested? You
3 mean to tell me that every single one of these men was arrested because
4 they were concealing weapons?
5 "A. No. I was talking about the first days of the war. I was
6 talking about those days. I was talking about the 18th, the 19th, the
7 20th, those first days after the war. I think that not more than 30 were
8 arrested then and there's no question that a large number of people were
9 arrested then. What you're talking about, the mass arrest that took
10 place, I think, possibly a month later.
11 "Q. Do you know of any reason why Miroslav Tadic would indicate
12 that there was a mass arrest that took place in May if it wasn't true,
14 "A. I'm not aware of the reasons why Mr. Miroslav Tadic would
15 give such a statement."
16 Sir, I'd like you to look at Exhibit P82, please. Are you
17 familiar with that document, sir?
18 A. I saw this document later, maybe a couple of months ago in the
19 files or the archives of the Crisis Staff.
20 Q. And, sir, do you know who Mitar Mitrovic is?
21 A. Mr. Mitar Mitrovic was the head of the professional staff of the
22 Crisis Staff.
23 Q. And he was also the secretary to the Crisis Staff.
24 A. He was the secretary of the Municipal Assembly of Samac and the
25 Crisis Staff.
1 Q. And he responded to a letter from his holiness Patriarch Pavle,
2 correct, in this letter?
3 A. That was unusual. However, he allowed himself to reply to the
4 Synod and to his holiness Patriarch Pavle.
5 Q. And the Patriarch was the highest member of the Orthodox church.
6 Wasn't that what his position was back then, the highest member -- or held
7 the highest position?
8 A. Yes. His holiness Patriarch Pavle is the highest person in the
9 Serbian Orthodox Church.
10 Q. And in that letter he said to Patriarch Pavle --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am objecting to the formulation of
13 the question, page 49, line 14. The Prosecutor said that that was a reply
14 to the letter of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle. Whereas, in this letter
15 itself I can see that this is simply an appeal addressed to him. That's
16 why I wouldn't like to Prosecutor to put a question that is not based on
17 the content of the document itself.
18 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, if you allow me, we should go into
19 private session.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: That's fine.
21 MR. WEINER: Sure. That's fine. I wasn't going to go into any
22 names but --
23 MR. PANTELIC: But on the ELMO, we have some names.
24 MR. WEINER: Okay. That's fine. Your Honour.
25 [Private session]
13 Page 13147 – redacted – private session
13 Page 13148 – redacted – private session
13 Page 13149 – redacted – private session
10 [Open session]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can proceed.
12 MR. WEINER: For the record, this is from the November 16th, 1999
14 Q. "Can we come to the subject of isolation" --
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. Before we -- before my colleague
16 proceed, what interview are we talking about?
17 MR. WEINER: This is the Omri, O-m-r-i, the international press
18 interview which was provided to you last week which we discussed, which
19 you mentioned last week that you had received it -- I'm sorry, the week
21 "Can we come to the subject of isolation. Where were the
22 locations of these camps? Who controlled them? Who selected the people
23 to be isolated? Were there any lists? And if so, who prepared them?
24 Answer by Mr. Zaric -- or the defendant Zaric, "All arrests were
25 conducted by the civilian police. But Miljkovic collaborated with this
1 police. Chief of police Todorovic decided who was to be isolated. I
2 don't think there were any lists. The civilian police based its selection
3 simply on national ethnic grounds. On May 8th the Odzak camp --"
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
5 Mr. Lazarevic.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I really have no problem about the
7 content of what is my colleague quoting. It is just a matter of
8 principle. This document was disclosed after the end of the Prosecution
9 case, so I do believe that it is unfair to be -- that this document can be
10 used here impeaching this witness statement. Particularly, having in mind
11 that this document was in possession of the Prosecution for a long time.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. The fact that the document was
14 discovered after the Prosecution case does not really matter. You can
15 deal with it in re-examination or during your case.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Sir, it further states, "On May 8th, the Odzak camp was
18 established and the War Presidency," which should be referring to the
19 Crisis Staff, "here decided for the mass isolation of Croats but also
20 Muslims to create the possibility for exchange. They also detained plenty
21 of my unit, but as time passed my influence diminished and theirs
22 increased and I could do much less."
23 Sir, are you aware of any reason why Simo Zaric would indicate
24 that it was the Crisis Staff or the War Presidency -- at that time the
25 Crisis Staff -- that decided for the mass arrests of Croats and Muslims to
1 create the possibility of exchange? Why he would say that if it wasn't
2 true, sir.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, it would be fair for this witness to
4 have this document in front of him on the language that he understands or
5 at least that we could -- we could have this kind of translation in order
6 to -- to discuss that matter with this witness. I mean, how we can -- how
7 we can even know what the line of -- I mean, it's a matter of fairness
8 finally. Otherwise, it's an ambush.
9 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: But Mr. Weiner had said that this document was given
11 to the Defence, so it can't be an ambush. If you are talking about the
12 document being given to the witness for him to read, that's a different
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, we cannot translate that for the sake
15 of witness testimony or -- it's not in B/C/S language. It's an absolutely
16 useless document for these purposes. So maybe -- maybe at least we could
17 have a copy of that document on the ELMO so that we can follow the
18 relevant part and then to follow the translation, et cetera, because
19 otherwise it's just something which is --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
21 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we don't receive any summaries or
22 statements of what these Defence witnesses will say. I have to guess
23 ahead of time what these people are going to say and try and come up with
24 a cross-examination. Today he started to testify about isolation. How
25 should we know what to -- what to translate, what to be prepared for if
1 we're not getting proper discovery? I can't be prepared to -- to supply
2 translation of this if I don't even know it's going to be rise raised
3 today. We're not getting proper discovery, and this is the problem.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But there is an easy --
5 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if you allow me. It is not -- this
6 witness was -- I mean, we have a summary of this witness as a member of
7 Crisis Staff, Your Honour. And he will speak about every events about the
8 activities of the Crisis Staff. It is not fair what the counsel just
9 said. It is not fair. Because he's a member of the Crisis Staff, so tell
10 us -- he can tell -- or the P exhibits, the decisions of the Crisis Staff,
11 including -- and this issue of isolation. It's not fair, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Weiner. What is required here is to have a
13 translation into B/C/S of the matters you say one of the defendants said
14 to whoever was interviewing him so that the witness can understand what
15 was said in B/C/S and then you can put your questions to him.
16 MR. WEINER: But once again, Your Honour, if we don't know ahead
17 of time what these people are going to testify about, we can't be
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, I think we've discussed enough about the
20 summaries. And in fairness to the witness, you cannot treat him like that
21 because of maybe a mistake by the Defence counsel. But I believe that
22 what Mr. Pantelic has said about the summaries are being sufficient. I
23 think the Trial Chamber would agree with that.
24 MR. WEINER: All right. I just --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Because there are so many points that the summaries
1 indicate that the witness is going to cover.
2 MR. WEINER: Well, I was just going to finish off with a statement
3 from Stevan Todorovic -- or actually, the decision, the judgment of Stevan
4 Todorovic, where he admits to the isolation.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: So the questions about -- in reference to the Omri
6 interview, we don't deal -- you will withdraw them.
7 MR. WEINER: No. I would just leave him with that and ask him
8 does he know any reason why Simo Zaric would say that, that the Crisis
9 Staff was involved in the isolation if it wasn't true.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: But that is a point that the Defence was making,
11 that the witness hasn't seen that document and if at all -- it's in
12 English. Can we have it translated into B/C/S or at least translated. So
13 what -- when you read a statement from that document, let the interpreters
14 translate so that the witness can understand what is in the document. And
15 then you can ask your question.
16 MR. WEINER: I'll just finish with the Stevan Todorovic.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: So that evidence on the Omri interview is withdrawn?
18 MR. WEINER: I'll withdraw that.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
20 MR. WEINER: And just finish with the Stevan Todorovic, then.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, then.
22 MR. WEINER:
23 Q. Finally, sir, are you aware that Stevan Todorovic has admitted to
24 implementing a decision of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of
25 Bosanski Samac requiring all people of Croatian nationality in the area to
1 be isolated and taken to vital facilities in the town and in the
2 villages? Are you aware of that, that Stevan Todorovic has admitted to
3 being involved with the Crisis Staff's decision to isolate Croat citizens?
4 A. I'm not aware of what Mr. Stevan Todorovic has admitted to, but I
5 do know that the Crisis Staff never passed a decision of that nature.
6 Therefore, no isolation whatsoever, no placing of people in certain
7 facilities and so on. The Crisis Staff never passed such a decision, and
8 Mr. Todorovic was not able to implement that decision. Maybe he
9 implemented some kind of his own decision.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness has already
12 replied. But I would like to ask that the Prosecutor be instructed to say
13 when did Stevan Todorovic admit to this. I don't know whether he admitted
14 to this in the proceedings or in the courtroom, but if he admitted to this
15 in the course of an interview, then I don't think that can be introduced
16 as evidence. So could the Prosecutor please tell us when was this
17 admitted by Stevan Todorovic.
18 MR. WEINER: That was during his plea of guilt. As part of his
19 plea of guilt, he admitted to that.
20 Q. So my question to you is: Based on Stevan Todorovic, your police
21 chief, admission to being involved in the Crisis Staff's decision to
22 isolate the Croat population and based on the statements of Simo Zaric and
23 Miroslav Tadic, do you still wish to maintain that you were not aware of
24 the isolation policy issued by the Crisis Staff?
25 A. It's not that I wish to maintain my position. I wish to maintain
1 the truth, and the truth is as follows --
2 Q. Sir, my question -- the question to you was, and I will read it
3 again: Based on Stevan Todorovic, your police chief's admission to being
4 involved in the Crisis Staff's decision to isolate the Croat population
5 and based on the statements of Simo Zaric and Miroslav Tadic, do you still
6 wish to maintain that you were not aware of the isolation policy issued by
7 the Crisis Staff?
8 A. The Crisis Staff did not enforce that kind of policy, so it's not
9 a matter of me being aware or not. I just that the Crisis Staff never
10 enforced such policy.
11 Q. Sir, in addition to the arrests, were you aware that large numbers
12 of non-Serb civilians were being held at the police station, at the
13 Territorial Defence building, at the primary and secondary schools in
14 Bosanski Samac?
15 A. I don't know anything about large number of arrests, either in my
16 official capacity or in any other capacity. All I can say is that I
17 assume there had been some arrests. But as to their numbers, I don't know
18 anything about that.
19 Q. So you're just assuming that there had been arrests, period.
20 You're not aware of any arrests?
21 A. Yes, I am aware of arrests. But all I know about the arrests
22 stems from the television programme which was broadcast by Radio
23 Television Serbia, Novi Sad studio, 10 days after the breakout of
24 hostility in Samac municipality. All I know about arrests was learned
25 from that programme at the time. Later on, of course, I learned about
1 them from the press, from television, and from the book of Dragan Lukac,
2 as I've mentioned to you already. But at the time all I knew about it I
3 learned from that television programme.
4 Q. So when you say "later on," you're trying to tell us you weren't
5 aware of the arrests in Bosanski Samac till years later.
6 A. I didn't say that. That television programme had a report saying
7 that there were arrests. So I knew about the arrests. But as to their
8 numbers ...
9 Q. Other than that television programme at the end of April, you were
10 not aware of any arrests in Bosanski Samac -- any other arrests to the
11 end -- till a few years later when you read Dragan Lukac's book and read
12 something in the press or saw something on television, years later? Is
13 that what you're trying to say?
14 A. No. I'm trying to say that I knew that there were arrests. But
15 as to their scope, the numbers, who was arrested, why, I thought that all
16 of these matters were in the competencies of the police and the
17 investigative authorities. Therefore, I did not dwell on it. As to the
18 numbers and the essence of it, I learned about it later through books and
19 the press.
20 Q. When you say "later," when are you talking about? What year?
21 A. I think 1996, 1997, after the war was finished and once the
22 situation was improved and one could talk about such things.
23 Q. So you're saying you were never aware that hundreds of people were
24 being held at various facilities in Bosanski Samac back in 1992? You were
25 not aware of that?
1 A. I was not aware that hundreds of people were imprisoned, because
2 that's a large number of people.
3 Q. Were you aware that Dragan Lukac, the police chief, was arrested
4 and being held?
5 A. I learned about that from his book.
6 Q. So you were not aware in 1992 that Dragan Lukac, your police
7 chief, was being held?
8 A. I saw on television Izet Izetbegovic and Omer Nalic, and I can't
9 remember any other names. I don't remember whether Dragan Lukac was there
10 as well then. However, I remember the first two persons I mentioned. I
11 remember seeing them on the television programme.
12 Q. And do you remember Sulejman Tihic was being held?
13 A. I can't remember. However, I do not exclude the possibility that
14 he was.
15 Q. So you, at this point, don't recall knowing in 1992 that the
16 president of the SDA was being held -- had been arrested and was being
17 held in Bosanski Samac?
18 A. I didn't know about that because the police method, their
19 operative work, the reasons for arrest is something that I didn't know
20 about it, nor do I know about it nowadays.
21 Q. Sir, were you aware that non-Serb civilian prisoners were being
23 A. I was not familiar with the police methods. I didn't know how
24 they operated. I learned of this later.
25 Q. Sir, at the time were you aware in 1992 that non-Serb civilian
1 prisoners were being beaten in Bosanski Samac? Were you aware of that in
3 A. I wasn't aware that they had been beaten.
4 Q. Were you aware that non-Serb civilians were being tortured in
6 A. I was not familiar with the entire treatment of them, no.
7 Q. Sir, were you aware that other than even the Crkvina incident,
8 non-Serb civilians were being murdered? Were you aware of that in 1992?
9 A. That Serb civilians were killed.
10 Q. Non-Serb civilians. Non-Serb civilians who were being held as
11 prisoners were murdered in 1992. Other than the Crkvina incident, were
12 you aware of that?
13 A. I wasn't aware that any civilians were killed, either Serb, Croat,
14 or Muslim civilians. I wasn't aware of any killing of civilians.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, it's time for the break.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our lunch break and continue at
17 14.30 hours.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll continue with cross-examination.
21 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. Sir, in 1992, were you aware that prisoners were being held at the
25 police station?
1 A. I've already answered that I saw this TV programme of TV Serbia,
2 TV Novi Sad, and it is in this programme that I saw that there were
3 prisoners, so I knew there were prisoners.
4 Q. No. I'm saying being held at the police station. Were you aware
5 that they were being held at the SUP, the police station?
6 A. I was never at the police station, and I cannot confirm anything
7 as an eyewitness.
8 Q. Were you aware that prisoners were being held at the Territorial
9 Defence building?
10 A. I was not aware of prisoners being held at the Territorial Defence
12 Q. Sir, were you aware that prisoners were being held at the primary
14 A. I was not aware that prisoners were being held at the primary
15 school building, and I could not believe that because the primary school
16 building had been set on fire and therefore was unusable.
17 Q. In the gymnasium of the primary school, were you aware that
18 prisoners were being held, in the gymnasium of that primary school?
19 A. I was not aware that they were being held in the gymnasium of the
20 primary school, or did I know what the condition of that gymnasium was.
21 Q. Sir, were you aware that prisoners were being held at the
22 secondary school?
23 A. No, I was not aware that prisoners were being held at the
24 secondary school.
25 Q. Were you aware that prisoners were being held in the village of
2 A. No, never could I notice any such thing, and I did pass along the
3 Samac-Modrica road. I never noticed any such thing in Zasavica. Viewed
4 from that road, that village looked quite usual to me, just like all the
5 other villages.
6 Q. Sir, you were the information officer for the Crisis Staff. You
7 weren't aware of any of this information?
8 A. There were no press releases coming in from the appropriate
9 authorities to the information service, so it is not that I could have
10 made them public through the information service.
11 Q. Sir, as part of your position on the Crisis Staff, did you ever
12 visit the municipal building?
13 A. The municipal building? I went there seldom, very seldom. What I
14 remember is one particular time I went there. I think it was in May
15 1992. I can describe that particular time when I went there, if it is
17 Q. How many times did you visit the municipal building in the month
18 of May?
19 A. I only remember this one time when I went there, which left a
20 profound impact on me.
21 Q. Did you visit the municipal building in the month of April?
22 A. No. In the month of April I was not in the municipal building.
23 Q. As the press officer for the Crisis Staff, the person who
24 distributed the news to the press agencies and the public, you never went
25 to the municipal building to see what was going on in April or May other
1 than one time?
2 A. It was not necessary for me to go there because there were people,
3 journalists, who went there or perhaps they also received information by
4 telephone with regard to a particular area, and then perhaps that is how
5 they made this information public.
6 Q. So people used the telephones or the press used the telephones in
7 April and May to transact business or exchange information.
8 A. Inter alia, of course when the telephone lines were operating.
9 Q. Now, did you hear from anyone -- you must have moved around the
10 city. Did you hear from any doctors, nurses, police officers, soldiers,
11 municipal officials, municipal worker, residents, anyone about the
12 mistreatment of prisoners in the small town of Bosanski Samac?
13 A. No one said anything to me about that.
14 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at document -- Exhibit P127. We've
15 referred to it as the 13 signatories document. It's signed by the
16 defendant Simo Zaric and 12 other officers. I'd invite your attention to
17 page 2, paragraph 5. Do you see where it says "fifth paragraph" on
18 there? Would you count down to the third sentence in that paragraph, the
19 fifth paragraph. It starts, "The massive ...." Do you see it? It says,
20 "The massive arrests and isolation of Croats and Muslims followed without
21 any criteria and some of the prisoners were subjected to measures such as
22 abuse, torture, and even killing, characteristic only of war criminals of
23 Ustasha origin."
24 Based on this document -- yes. Is that what it says, sir?
25 A. Where did that third sentence start?
1 Q. I'll read it again.
2 A. My third sentence reads as follows: "They were joined very soon
3 by," et cetera, et cetera. That's the third sentence that I have.
4 Q. The next sentence. I'll read it again: "The massive arrests and
5 isolation of Croats and Muslims followed without any criteria and some of
6 the prisoners were subjected to measures such as abuse, torture, and even
7 killing, characteristic only of war criminals of Ustasha origin." Is that
9 A. In the document, it says that this is information which is within
10 the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and I did not have the
11 opportunity of seeing this information.
12 Q. Sir, my question is: Is that correct, what I just read to you?
13 Did I read it correctly?
14 A. You read it correctly, but I don't know whether that's the way it
16 Q. My question to you is: Do you know of any reason why these 13
17 military officers would have made that statement about the abuse or
18 mistreatment of prisoners if it wasn't true? Do you know of any reason,
20 A. Well, I'd have to read this document in its entirety and then I
21 could give an answer as to what the intention was. I know that all the
22 way up to the end of the war there was this conflict between the civilian
23 and the military authorities. And as I've already said, this culminated
24 in 1993, September 1993. And Mr. Karadzic and Mladic had some kind of an
25 ongoing conflict throughout the war. It is in that context that I
1 understand this particular information. But I must admit that I haven't
2 read the whole document, so ...
3 Q. Well, sir, do you find it odd that you as the information officer
4 of the Crisis Staff was not aware of the mistreatment of prisoners?
5 However, even the military, Simo Zaric and 12 other military officers,
6 were not only aware of it. They filed a document concerning it. Don't
7 you find that odd?
8 A. Well, what seems even stranger to me is the following: If this
9 was known about, why did the investigation authorities and the other
10 competent authorities of the military, why didn't they take any action?
11 Probably they had some reason. I was not aware of this.
12 Q. Isn't it because that the military and the civilian authorities
13 wanted this to happen? Isn't that why nothing was done, sir?
14 A. I could not say that that could be the answer. I do not believe
15 that this is what the military or civilian authorities wanted.
16 Q. Well, apparently from that letter from the 13th officers some of
17 the military officers did not want the mistreatment going -- continuing in
18 your municipality.
19 But let's continue, sir. Were you -- are you aware that Stevan
20 Todorovic at his guilty plea has admitted to repeated beatings, sexual
21 assaults, and murder at the police station, at the Territorial Defence
22 building, at the primary and secondary school in Bosanski Samac? Are you
23 aware of that, sir? And that's from the sentencing judgment, at pages 11
24 through 12, 31 July 2002. Are you aware that he's made those admissions,
25 sir, to that type of conduct?
1 A. It is quite possible that Mr. Stevan Todorovic admitted to what he
2 had done himself. However, what he did was obviously not transparent
3 enough. It did not reach other people who perhaps should have known about
5 Q. Sir, just my question is: Are you aware that Stevan Todorovic has
6 admitted to that conduct, as I mentioned? Are you aware of that?
7 A. I am aware that he admitted to something. But what it was
8 specifically is something that I'm not aware of.
9 Q. Sir, but you're the information officer. You were the information
10 officer on the Crisis Staff. Wasn't it your job to know what these people
11 were doing and what these people are admitted to, what crimes they're
12 admitted to? That affects your community.
13 A. As for information pertaining to military matters and police
14 matters, this information came from the military and police authorities.
15 So what they submitted was then made public. As for some kind of
16 investigative journalism, that could not be carried out in a war
17 situation. I assume that you are referring to investigative journalism,
18 aren't you?
19 Q. No, sir. What I'm saying is you are the person who provides
20 information to the press. You're the person that they turn to. You're
21 the liaison to the press. It's your job to know these things, isn't it?
22 A. It wasn't only me. There was also the editor-in-chief of the
23 radio station. Then also there was the editor-in-chief of the "Koridor"
24 newspaper. I was not the person who condensed this power in the field of
25 information, because the law on information precisely regulates the
1 authorities and powers of individual persons in the media. However, it is
2 certain that I --
3 Q. Okay. We're going to get to the "Koridor" newspaper and the radio
4 very shortly. But I also want to ask you: Are you aware that your
5 cousin, Milan Simic, has admitted to torturing five non-Serb civilians at
6 the primary school in Bosanski Samac and that these incidents occurred
7 while he was president of the executive council and you were a member of
8 the Crisis Staff or War Presidency? Are you aware of that, that your
9 cousin has pled guilty to these, has admitted to these crimes?
10 A. I am not aware of what he had admitted to. But what I am well
11 aware of is that my cousin, Milan Simic, never spoke in front of me about
12 these actions that you have just referred to.
13 Q. Sir, based on the admissions of your cousin, your cousin, that he
14 tortured five people; based on the admissions of Stevan Todorovic, that he
15 beat, tortured, and murdered people; based on the documents from the
16 military; based on the statements of Simo Zaric, will you agree with me
17 that the prisoners in Bosanski Samac were abused and mistreated in 1992
18 while they were detained, the non-Serb civilians, mistreated during
20 A. I can agree on the following: That neither Mr. Todorovic nor
21 Mr. Milan Simic nor anyone else who had committed such things, never spoke
22 about this in my presence. That is what I know --
23 Q. That's not my question. My question is: Based on the statements
24 of your cousin, Milan Simic, who has admitted to torturing five non-Serb
25 civilians at the primary school; Stevan Todorovic, who has admitted to
1 beatings, sexual assaults, and murder at the SUP, at the TO, at the
2 primary school, at the secondary school; based on the information from the
3 military; based on the statements of Simo Zaric; based on all of these
4 things that I've presented to you, all of these admissions, will you now
5 agree that non-Serb civilians were beaten and abused and mistreated while
6 they were detained in Bosanski Samac in 1992? Yes or no?
7 A. I assume that that's the way it was, but I really did not see any
8 of this or did any one of them tell me about these actions. But I can
9 assume that if that is what they admitted to, then that is probably the
10 way it was.
11 Q. Sir, you mentioned the radio station. Isn't it true that that
12 radio station was broadcasting information concerning the arrest of
13 non-Serb civilians in Bosanski Samac?
14 A. That radio station did not broadcast information about the arrest
15 of non-Serb civilians in Samac.
16 Q. Sir, isn't it true that that radio station was broadcasting
17 information concerning the takeover, the activities of the 4th Detachment,
18 the arrests and the reasons for the arrests of non-civilians in Bosanski
19 Samac? Isn't it true that the radio station was broadcasting all of that
21 A. No.
22 Q. Sir, isn't -- I'm sorry.
23 A. No. That's an analysis -- I mean, the radio station functioned in
24 a way that was quite different. I mean, some kind of a press release and
25 a lot of music. The first day it was broadcasting for about an hour, a
1 bit over an hour. And then some of the equipment -- the transmission
2 equipment did not work and then it took about 20 days for it to start
3 functioning normally. And that is why this information leaflet had been
4 started, so that this shortage of information could be made up for.
5 Q. Sir --
6 A. I mean --
7 Q. I'm sorry. Yes. Excuse me.
8 Sir, isn't it true that not only did the radio station list the
9 persons who were being arrested. That newspaper indicated who was being
10 arrested and being detained in Bosanski Samac and the reasons for it?
11 A. No. That would have been too primitive a type of work in the
12 field of information. People who worked in that area would not go below
13 their professional standards.
14 Q. Sir, as information officer for the Crisis Staff, were you not
15 aware that the radio station and the newspaper, that local news bulletin,
16 was listing the persons who were arrested, notifying the public of the
17 persons who were arrested and the reasons for their detention? Isn't that
18 true? And you should know that as chief of information.
19 A. I know that that is not the way it was. So the information
20 leaflet and the radio station did not publish any names of arrested
21 persons or were they involved in any similar matters.
22 Q. Sir, do you know the man sitting over there in the middle,
23 Miroslav Tadic? Do you know him?
24 A. Yes, I know Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
25 Q. He's --
1 A. We worked together at a school for a while.
2 Q. He was a fellow member of the Crisis Staff with you, a member of
3 the Crisis Staff?
4 A. Miroslav Tadic held a position at the Crisis Staff at the time
5 when he was appointed head of civilian protection staff, and he held that
6 position until the War Presidency was established.
7 Q. Now, sir, Miroslav Tadic was asked when he gave a statement on the
8 26th of March, 1998, Exhibit 138, page 43 - for the Court's edification -
9 and he was asked, "How did you know -- how did you learn about these
10 detainees and the reason for their arrest?" And he stated the following:
11 "Well, just talking in town. I read it in the newspapers. There was a
12 newspaper which was publishing articles. And of course Radio Samac.
13 Radio Samac also had these -- was also broadcasting news. The weapons
14 were found at such and such a person's house or such and such a person --
15 so that's how we knew."
16 Do you know of any reason why Miroslav Tadic would indicate that
17 he got his news from Radio Samac and the newspaper if it wasn't true?
18 A. It is obvious that Mr. Miroslav Tadic got things confused in his
19 recollection, and this statement of his is simply not true.
20 Q. Well, sir --
21 A. And the reasons, that's something that I stated in my introductory
23 Q. Well, sir, let's continue. Your cousin, Milan Simic, president of
24 the executive council, he was also interviewed on March 2nd, 1998. And at
25 page 12 he was asked how he knew why people were being held at the TO.
1 And how does he know? There was a proclamation broadcast on Radio Samac
2 all the time for all those possessing illegal weapons to surrender them.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Another objection, Your Honour, that
5 is based on a principle. I would like to know what the position of the
6 Trial Chamber is where the Prosecutor can in fact put forward part of the
7 statement that was not admitted into evidence.
8 MR. WEINER: Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, yes.
10 MR. WEINER: Yes. Your Honour, when you ask a statement, it is
11 the same as you ask any other question. The witness can deny it. He can
12 say, "I feel that there's a reason for prejudice. I disagree with it. I
13 don't know why he would say it. He's wrong." He can agree with it. He
14 can say it's an absolute lie. It's like any other statement, whether you
15 read a statement or whether you confront a person with it. I've asked him
16 is he aware of any reason -- I'm going to ask him is he aware of any
17 reason that Milan Simic would say it if it wasn't true. I'm going to ask
18 him about the bias and prejudice that Simic would have to make such a
19 statement of that kind. He's claiming this person was in charge of the
20 informational system.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. But the point raised by Mr. Lukic, that it
22 wasn't admitted into evidence, the statement -- the interview that you've
23 been reading. Is that correct?
24 MR. WEINER: Correct. But many statements aren't that we've
25 had -- that we've questioned witnessed aren't introduced into evidence.
1 It's strictly a -- you ask the person strictly as a question. If they
2 agree it to, then their agreement is in evidence. If they deny it, it's
3 not, it's not evidence.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have to go back to what prompted me
6 to put my last question. I realise that the decision of a different Trial
7 Chamber not to put to witness statements of other witnesses or other
8 persons is so that not to confuse that witness. And this is what I
9 understood your position to be during the Prosecution case. But now I'm
10 confused. It seems to me that now we are quietly introducing to the
11 witness a statement of another person, be it in the form of an interview,
12 of some other kind of statement. But in this way, there is an attempt to
13 impeach this witness and to question his credibility. I think that in
14 such cases a question needs to be formulated in very specific terms,
15 rather than put another statement to the witness. I think that was the
16 basis of this.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. The statement which -- the
19 interview which you referred to by Mr. Milan Simic was not admitted into
20 evidence, unlike the other interviews for the other defendants in the
22 MR. WEINER: All right. I'll stick to admitted matters or matters
23 in public.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because it is only fair. Then the -- the
25 point that the Defence would have known how to deal with that regarding
1 the interviews they've had with their witnesses, if that document or the
2 interview was on record.
3 MR. WEINER: Okay. I'll stick with that, in public documents.
4 Q. Sir, are you aware that Simo Zaric -- the defendant Simo Zaric has
5 provided a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor -- actually, I'll let
6 you know -- or for the Court. It's the statement of April 2nd, 1998, at
7 141. And at that -- and on page 12 he discusses on at least four -- where
8 he discusses on at least four occasions the radio station. And let me
9 read that to you.
10 "That morning I wrote, because I was in charge of the morale of
11 the 4th Detachment -- I wrote an article and it was read out and broadcast
12 over the radio three times and since then."
13 And he later goes on to explain that he was chastised for this
14 radio announcement relating to the 4th Detachment that was broadcasted
15 multiple times. Do you know of any reason why Simo Zaric would make a
16 statement that he -- that on morning of the 17th he broadcasted a
17 statement at least three or more times over the radio as to what was
18 happening in Bosanski Samac if it wasn't true?
19 A. It is now that I learned that Mr. Zaric developed the programme
20 together with editor-in-chief. I didn't know that before. If he did
21 that, then that is something they knew nothing of before.
22 Q. And further --
23 MR. WEINER: Excuse me.
24 Q. And further, sir, he also indicated that --
25 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, just -- I do apologise, my learned
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. PANTELIC: It's -- just a correction, I believe, in the
4 transcript. Page 76, line 9. The last part of the sentence, it should
5 be, "Then that is something that I knew nothing of before," because the
6 word "they" is a little bit ambiguous, and I don't believe that this
7 witness said "they," instead of "I." Maybe you can clarify that with the
8 witness, just for the sake of clarity in the transcript.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, you can see that response.
10 MR. WEINER: Yes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Page 76, line 9.
12 MR. WEINER: Yes.
13 Q. You stated "if he did that, then that is something they knew
14 nothing of before." Who are you referring to they being?
15 A. No. I meant Mr. Zaric and editor-in-chief of the radio station.
16 If they broadcast that information, and I knew nothing of it, then they
17 were basically in charge of the programme for that day. I simply knew
18 nothing of it. Even now I don't know what it was all about.
19 Q. Were you aware, sir, that Sulejman Tihic, president of the SDA,
20 was brought to the radio station and told that he should speak to the
21 Muslims and tell them to accept the creation of the Serbian municipality?
22 Were you aware of that, sir?
23 A. I'm not aware that Sulejman Tihic was ever a guest of Radio
24 Samac -- the radio station Samac. Could you clarify this, please. Who
25 brought him there?
1 Q. Sir, while he was detained, after he was arrested, he was forcibly
2 brought to the radio station. Isn't it true that he was forcibly brought
3 to the radio station and made to go on and give a statement to the public,
4 basically to the Muslim public, asking them to accept the rule of the
5 Serbian Municipality of Samac?
6 A. I don't know that, and I cannot believe that either for a very
7 simple technical reason: Had this been really intended, it would have
8 been much easier to tape his statement and then later on broadcast it. I
9 don't see why he would have to come to the radio station personally,
10 because something like that simply wasn't necessary.
11 Q. Sir, well, let me discuss this. Simo Zaric has given another
12 statement. On page 15 of Exhibit 141, in his interview with the Office of
13 the Prosecutor, and he tells how he was chastised by Stevan Todorovic and
14 Blagoje Simic. "While with Todorovic and Simic, they told me that I was
15 no longer any factor of power, that they were in power, that I was nothing
16 and that my job was to look after the borders and that I should not be
17 meddling into the affairs in the town. They also said to me 'why did you
18 put that announcement of the 4th Detachment in the radio?' By that time,
19 that was going out on the radio was there press staff about the creation
20 of the Serbian Municipality of Samac. Also what they did later on was to
21 bring -- then I learned they were bringing Sulejman Tihic, the president
22 of the SDA, who had gone on the radio to say that the Muslims should
23 accept the creation of the Serbian municipality, and I believed this
24 supposed speech of Mr. Tihic had been written and directed by Todorovic
25 and Simic."
1 Sir, do you know of any reason that Simo Zaric would indicate that
2 Tihic was using the radio, that he had broadcasted announcements on the
3 radio, and that the Crisis Staff, the Serbian Municipality, was using the
4 radio if it wasn't true? Do you know of any reason that he would make
5 that statement?
6 A. I truly don't know who chastised whom, whether it was Simo Zaric,
7 Stevan Todorovic, and Blagoje Simic, or vice versa. Blagoje Simic and
8 Stevan Todorovic chastising Simo Zaric. I really am not familiar with
9 their relationship. What I do know about it is that I have no information
10 to the effect that Sulejman Tihic was a guest of Radio Samac, and I've
11 already told you the reasons for that.
12 Q. Sir, my question was: Do you know of any reason why Simo Zaric
13 would indicate that Tihic was using the radio, that he broadcasted
14 announcements on the radio, and that the Crisis Staff, the Serbian
15 Municipality, was using the radio if it wasn't true? That's my question.
16 Do you know of any reason he would make that statement concerning the use
17 of the radio if it wasn't true?
18 A. I don't know of any reason that could prompt him to do that.
19 Q. Sir, let's continue. You testified today and yesterday concerning
20 the military and the lack of involvement of the Crisis Staff in military
21 decisions; is that correct?
22 A. The Crisis Staff never got involved in the military matters and
23 military functioning.
24 Q. Sir, do you know a man by the name of Colonel Mico Djurdjevic? I
25 think you mentioned him on your first day of testimony, Mico Djurdjevic?
1 I'm sorry.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And he was -- he initially replaced Colonel Nikolic as commander
4 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. He held the position just less than a week.
5 Is that true?
6 A. I don't know what went on within the military. I know Colonel
7 Djurdjevic from the incident involving interparty meeting. As for his
8 other activities within the military, I know nothing about that.
9 Q. Sir, isn't it true that the Crisis Staff was -- played the key
10 role in the removal of Colonel Djurdjevic, the Crisis Staff with you
11 serving as a member?
12 A. The Crisis Staff had a problem after the request was submitted to
13 ensure that telephone connections are established. And as to having such
14 powers, as to actually be able to influence the appointment of a military
15 commander, that is simply not true, because military commanders were
16 appointed by relevant military organs.
17 Q. Sir, do you recall a meeting in May of 1992 at the Crisis Staff
18 offices involving Colonel Djurdjevic? At this meeting was Blagoje Simic,
19 Stevan Todorovic, Bozo Ninkovic, yourself, Crni, and volunteers from
20 Serbia. Isn't it true that there was that meeting?
21 A. I don't remember that such a meeting was held.
22 Q. Well, do you recall at a meeting, sir, that the Crisis Staff
23 indicated to Colonel Djurdjevic that they were not pleased with his
24 actions and that you were sitting there when that happened?
25 A. That the Crisis Staff indicated that? In which form? Was it in a
1 written form? Was it verbally?
2 Q. In a discussion they told him that they were not pleased with his
3 actions and that they wanted the colonel to change his attitude towards
4 Crni and the volunteers from Serbia. Do you recall that conversation with
5 Colonel Djurdjevic at the Crisis Staff offices, with armed volunteers from
6 Serbia being present?
7 A. I did not meet Colonel Djurdjevic throughout the entire war. I
8 especially didn't talk to him. Perhaps I did meet him -- did see him
9 passing by. However, I never was involved, nor do I know that somebody
10 from the Crisis Staff was involved in his appointment or removal from
11 office or any other such activities. Simply speaking, the Crisis Staff
12 had no authority to appoint military commanders. That's how it was.
13 Q. Sir, isn't it true that after that meeting with the Crisis Staff
14 members, including yourself, that a private meeting was convened with
15 Colonel Djurdjevic, Stevan Todorovic, and Blagoje Simic, that a short
16 while later Crni entered the meeting, and an hour later they left the
17 meeting, where Todorovic announced that Crni was now the brigade commander
18 and that Colonel Djurdjevic was dismissed? Isn't that true, sir?
19 A. I did not participate in private meetings of that nature;
20 therefore, I am not aware of this.
21 Q. Sir, I want to refer to another statement given by the defendant
22 Simo Zaric. For the Court, it was on April 1st, 1998, Exhibit 140, and it
23 concerns this incident at the Crisis Staff. At pages 34 through 35 he
24 talks about Colonel Mico Djurdjevic, and I'll read it to you. I'll read
25 it slowly. Page 35. It says: "He," in referring to Colonel Djurdjevic.
1 "He did not want any improper actions, incident, looting, anything like
2 that. He was very much opposed to it. Now he only stayed in this post
3 for seven days; probably because of the attitude he had. And I can tell
4 you how he was replaced.
5 Now, he was replaced and this was actually initiated by the Crisis
6 Staff of Bosanski Samac municipality, by the leadership. I would say that
7 two people who had influenced in his replacement was Mr. Simic and Mr.
8 Todorovic. He wanted to have control over the army and the command of the
9 army. A few days before he was replaced, Djurdjevic talked to me on the
10 phone and said he'd come and visit our area of responsibility, positions,
11 and where the army was, and I was then told during the day that he had
12 come and that I should go and say hello to him at the Crisis Staff.
13 When I arrived at the office of the Crisis Staff, I found there
14 Mr. Todorovic, president of the Crisis Staff Blagoje Simic, Simeon Simic.
15 He was there. He was still a member. There was Bozo Ninkovic, who also
16 had some kind of position within the Crisis Staff. With them were several
17 armed special operatives in uniforms, in a kind of camouflage uniform, but
18 these were people who had gone through this special training course.
19 These were people not from the Samac town but from the Samac municipality
20 area. They said they had information that people were unhappy about him
21 taking over command. That's how it was presented. And they said they
22 also wanted him to have more cooperation between the civilian authorities
23 and the command. And they also wanted him to change his attitude
24 regarding Crni, the paramilitary leader, and the group of volunteers from
25 Serbia. I think that then Mr. Djurdjevic estimated the situation was
1 becoming threatening for him. Then he asked for the meeting to resume
2 without nobody else in the room except Todorovic, Simic, and himself.
3 After about an hour, they were joined in their meeting by Dragan
4 Djordjevic, Crni. I later found out that this was his name. So there
5 were four of them. And after about one hour of discussion, Todorovic
6 stepped out of the office and said that everything had been arranged, that
7 there would be a new commander of the brigade, that there would be Dragan
8 Djordjevic, Crni, that it had all been arranged. I have to say I was
9 completely shocked and I was not the only one and there were some other
10 people except for those people who were part of the script making, so they
11 were not surprised."
12 Sir, this statement here by Simo Zaric describes a meeting of the
13 Crisis Staff which resulted in the dismissal of Colonel Djurdjevic and it
14 indicates you were there for part of that meeting. Do you know of any
15 reason why Simo Zaric would make this statement if it wasn't true?
16 A. I can say the following: In the statement that you've just read
17 out, there is a lot of imagination, and I know this imagination very
18 well. It has to do with the times past, in the times when they were set
19 up court proceedings. And everything contained in that statement is a
20 product of somebody's imagination. Let's ask ourselves following how come
21 that Colonel Djurdjevic, who had at his disposal military police,
22 soldiers, the entire brigade, got so scared of unarmed people from the
23 Crisis Staff.
24 Q. Sir, the question was: Are you aware of any reason why Simo Zaric
25 would make that statement if it wasn't true? Is your statement -- it's a
1 lie? Is that your statement? Or is it -- or do you know of no reason
2 that he would make it?
3 A. No. Out of civility, I wouldn't use the term "lie." But there is
4 no doubt that there's quite a lot of imagination there. And also there is
5 no doubt that that's not true.
6 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at Exhibit P127 again. Sir, on the
7 first page, the third paragraph, please. It says "third,".
8 A. This document, I already had.
9 Q. Yes. We're going to look at it again. The first page, again, do
10 you see where the paragraph begins with the word "third"? Do you see that
11 paragraph, sir? It's on the bottom of the first, maybe on the top of the
12 second page.
13 A. The third.
14 Q. Yes. All right. Let me read it.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you see that this document also refers to the Crisis Staff's
17 involvement in the removal of Colonel Djurdjevic? Let's see what it says.
18 "Third, the temporary takeover of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
19 Brigade by Colonel Djurdjevic can be regarded as a brave act worthy of
20 respect given to that. Lieutenant Nikolic in his offices had left these
21 people completely unprotected. However, Colonel Djurdjevic managed to
22 keep this post for only a few days because after he tried to introduce
23 more military order and discipline in the brigade, put an end to certain
24 activities which had directly helped sour relations within the brigade,
25 and dismiss Crni from his post of commander of the special battalion and
1 appoint a new commander, and after he garnered unqualified support for
2 this from the members of the command, battalion officers, and some members
3 of the government and Crisis Staff, a sudden reversal took place with an
4 incident staged in the office of the president of the War Presidency,
5 where an interview was first held with Colonel Djurdjevic in the presence
6 of an armed group of commandos, to be followed by an interview attended by
7 Dr. Blagoje Simic, president of the War Presidency; Stevan Todorovic,
8 chief of the SJB, Public Security Station; Crni; and Colonel Djurdjevic,
9 and resulting in their joint agreement that Colonel Djurdjevic be
10 dismissed. Dragan Djordjevic, aka Crni, was soon appointed commander of
11 the brigade and was promoted overnight from private to lieutenant colonel
12 for this post."
13 Sir, did I read that correctly? Did I read that correctly, sir?
14 A. Yes, you've read that very well.
15 Q. Sir, do you know of any reason why these 13 officers would
16 indicate that the Crisis Staff was involved in the removal of Colonel
17 Djurdjevic if it wasn't true?
18 A. I don't know why. If the majority of the command of the brigade
19 gave their support or backing, why he didn't stay. Who could have removed
20 him if he enjoyed such support within the military structures. That's one
22 Also, I don't know who could have been promoted overnight to
23 lieutenant colonel rank. The Crisis Staff was not able to promote anyone,
24 nor did it have any authority to do that. So everything happened --
25 Q. Well, sir, apparently the Crisis Staff did it according to that
1 statement. So my question to you again is: Do you know of any reason why
2 those 13 officers would indicate that the Crisis Staff was involved in the
3 removal of Colonel Djurdjevic and subsequently the promotion of Crni, the
4 paramilitary, if it wasn't true?
5 A. These are perhaps some settling of accounts within the military
6 circles. This is how I interpret it.
7 Q. And that's your speculation.
8 A. I don't have another answer, because the information by the secret
9 services or the security services were not available to me. That was not
10 the kind of information that I could receive. But obviously something was
11 cooking there, but I cannot claim with certainty anything about that, but
12 I also would like to know the answer to that question.
13 Q. Maybe the answer is, sir -- or maybe the answer is because it's
14 true, the Crisis Staff was involved in that action.
15 But sir --
16 MR. WEINER: Withdrawn.
17 Q. Sir, was the Crisis Staff involved in further -- was the Crisis
18 Staff involved in further decisions relating to military affairs?
19 A. I have to say it again. The Crisis Staff is a civilian organ of
20 authority and did not have any power to get involved; particularly not
21 during the war to get involved into the military structure or the
22 decision-making process within the army. It did not have the authority to
23 do that.
24 Q. Sir, will you turn to page 3 of that same document and look at
25 paragraph 7, please. Okay. Do you see where it says "seventh," paragraph
1 7, sir?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Okay. Let's see what it says there.
4 "The War Presidency or executive committee of Samac municipality
5 made certain efforts to help the army as much as it was able, with
6 materiel supplies and funds for the purchase of certain equipment for the
7 soldiers. This is certainly the positive side of the picture. And
8 influential individuals in the civilian authorities believed and acted
9 accordingly that in return for all of the material and financial
10 assistance they had the right to interfere most directly with the military
11 authorities, formulate personal policy at the level of the brigade, and
12 install at its helm only obedient commanders who would carry out some of
13 their private policies through military channels. Consequently, our
14 brigade has changed six commanders since the outbreak of the war to the
15 present day. Some of them holding that post for a few days, and others
16 for several months, depending on whether they were their players or
17 somebody else's. The civilian authorities generally dominated the
18 military authorities except during Crni's period because the civilian
19 authorities turned some brigade commanders into obedient military
20 commanders in a very perfidious manner."
21 Did I read that correctly, sir?
22 A. Yes, that's right. You've read that correctly.
23 Q. Sir, again, are you aware of any reason -- are you aware of any
24 reason why these 13 military officers would describe the involvement of
25 the War Presidency, the executive committee, in military decision-making
1 if it wasn't true, why they would complain about this?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, could you please allow me one comparison which
3 perhaps is not the best but will reflect in the best way or express in the
4 best way what you have asked. It would be the same as if the wolf were
5 complaining that Little Red Riding Hood was abusing him. That was the
6 relationship between the military and the civilian authority.
7 Q. Well, sir, according to this statement, the military authorities
8 are complaining that the Crisis Staff or at that point the War Presidency
9 and the civilian authorities were ruling the military. They were making
10 the major appointments and they were complaining about it. Now, again, I
11 ask you: Are you aware of any reason why these 13 officers would make
12 this statement if it wasn't true?
13 A. In the previous passage it was stated that all members in the
14 command of the brigade agreed. So the army was united. So how is it
15 possible that such a powerful force --
16 Q. That's not my question. On redirect you can discuss all you would
17 like, your personal views of the army. My question again: Are you aware
18 of any reason why 13 officers, basically the defendant Simo Zaric and 12
19 other officers, would indicate that the Crisis Staff was making key
20 decisions for the military if it wasn't true?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's something within the army.
23 Their reasons --
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to have the Prosecutor's
25 question a little bit more specifically, because on page 87, line 11 he's
1 constantly talking about the War Presidency and now he's interpreting his
2 question and using the term "the Crisis Staff." So I think that it would
3 be necessary for the Prosecutor to be more specific here. Because in that
4 part where he quoted the decision, only the War Presidency is mentioned.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, you understand Mr. Lukic's objection.
6 MR. WEINER: Yes.
7 Q. Sir, once again, are you aware of any reason why these -- why the
8 defendant Simo Zaric and 12 other military officers would state that the
9 War Presidency or the civilian authorities of Bosanski Samac would be
10 making key decisions affecting the military if it wasn't true?
11 A. I interpret that by various interests within the army, as such.
12 And if I may, I would also like to illustrate it as follows: I also as a
13 deputy of the municipal assembly was in military detention, and that
14 speaks quite clearly about the influence of the civilian authority over
15 the military structures. But this did not happen in this period that we
16 are talking about.
17 Q. We won't get into your detention, sir.
18 Let us continue. You've testified yesterday that you were not
19 aware of the reason -- actually, you testified today that you weren't
20 aware of the reason of the arrest and trial of the Serb volunteers or
21 paramilitaries, Crni and Lugar. You just heard gossip, but you weren't
22 aware of the reason. Is that correct?
23 A. I said something a little different, that they were arrested
24 because of what happened at Crkvina, the horrific crime there. Then I
25 also assumed that in view of the fear of the population, of the citizens
1 regardless of their ethnicity, I assume that there they made some kind of
2 mistake that I didn't know about and that is why they were in
3 investigative detention.
4 Q. So, sir --
5 A. And --
6 Q. All you can make is assumptions. You as the information officer
7 did not receive the information as to why --
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. -- these people were arrested.
10 Sir, isn't it true that the War Presidency was involved in an
11 incident leading to their arrest, meaning the closing of the Posavina
12 Corridor? Isn't it true that the involvement of the War Presidency led
13 to their arrest or that the War Presidency was involved in an incident
14 with them which led to their arrest?
15 A. The War Presidency did not take part in the arrests or in any
16 incident. Certain units within the army participated for their own
17 reasons that are not known to me, not entirely.
18 Q. All right. That was not my question. My question probably
19 wasn't -- was a bit vague.
20 Let's take a step back. Are you aware in 1992 Stevan Todorovic
21 and your cousin, Milan Simic, were arrested by the military and held?
22 Were you aware of that?
23 A. Yes, I am aware of that. But I don't know for certain whether it
24 was the military authorities or some other structures, paramilitary
25 formations, the police, but I know that they were arrested. That is a
1 fact that I am aware of.
2 Q. And, sir, are you aware that as a result of the arrest of Stevan
3 Todorovic and Milan Simic, the volunteers or paramilitaries from Serbia,
4 as being led by Crni, closed the Posavina Corridor until Stevan Todorovic
5 and Milan Simic were released? Are you aware of that?
6 A. First of all, I don't know whether this was committed by the
7 paramilitary units. Some units did do that. Also, I would not dare here
8 to give any interpretation, since I am not an expert in that field, of
9 what paramilitary units are. That is not something that I am familiar
10 with. But one of the units did participate in that incident. And as far
11 as I remember, it was the special battalion, which was composed of
12 mainly -- perhaps there were some volunteers there, but mainly from the
13 local soldiers. Actually, they were soldiers who were mobilised from the
14 local base, the local resources.
15 Q. Sir, isn't it true that this action by Crni and the special
16 battalion was implemented with the blessing of the War Presidency?
17 A. That is not true at all, because it is simply impossible for the
18 War Presidency to issue a command to any of the units.
19 MR. WEINER: Mr. Usher, could he please be shown document P116.
20 You can leave that other there. We might go back to it.
21 Q. Sir, what you have in front of you is a four-page document. We
22 refer to it as P116. It's a signed statement of the defendant Blagoje
23 Simic, and it was given to Captain Nikola Tomasevic, an investigative
24 judge, and Prosecutor Captain Bozidar Srdic. I'd invite your attention to
25 the third page, the fifth paragraph. Do you see where it says, "The
1 corridor was closed"? Do you see that, sir? Let me read that.
2 A. I see it.
3 Q. "The corridor was closed after the kidnapping of Milan Simic, the
4 president of the Samac executive board, and Stevan Todorovic, the chief of
5 the Samac municipality Public Security Station. I really do not know why
6 they were arrested. I just know that they were beaten up and the War
7 Presidency has not received to this day any information on why these two
8 men were arrested by the military police.
9 Crni and his assault battalion shut down the corridor with the
10 support of the Samac War Presidency, given subsequent to the closing of
11 the corridor. The Samac War Presidency did not pass any decisions
12 concerning the closing of the corridor, but it supported that action until
13 the release of Simic and Todorovic. The corridor was opened after 18
14 hours, when Colonel Simic promised that Simic and Todorovic would be
15 released. Civilian policemen did not participate in the closing of the
16 corridor; however, they secured the checkpoints."
17 Sir, did I read that correctly?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, this document, which is signed by the defendant Blagoje
20 Simic, indicates that the War Presidency gave the support to Crni and the
21 special battalion for closing that corridor. Do you know of any reason
22 why Blagoje Simic would give this statement right here, this particular
23 statement, if it wasn't true?
24 A. I am not familiar with the reasons why he gave this statement, but
25 I know that the War Presidency did not support any kind of assault unit.
1 And after that I don't know. It looks as if this is some kind of
2 rebellion within the army, and I don't know what is behind it. If one
3 unit refuses to obey its higher command, then --
4 Q. That's not the question. That's not the issue for the question.
5 My question is: Are you aware of any reason why Blagoje Simic would
6 indicate that the War Presidency supported the closing of the Posavina
7 Corridor if it wasn't true?
8 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. If we are going into this
9 matter, my learned friend should say that my client, Mr. Blagoje Simic,
10 completely denied the truthfulness of this statement. So if we are
11 speaking about this statement before the military investigating judge,
12 then my friend should say also that, on the other hand, Mr. Blagoje Simic
13 would like to deny everything which was said under the specific
14 circumstances, et cetera, et cetera.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, Blagoje Simic testified about this
17 statement on two days. On day number one he never questioned that
18 paragraph or any other paragraph except two different comments in this
19 statement. It is signed by him. In his statement at the end, he agrees
20 to the truthfulness of this statement. He agrees to this record without
21 any comment and he signed it. I have the right to question him relating
22 to this signed comment.
23 Now, he might want to come up and say to basically protect himself
24 against conviction to come up and say this is a false statement.
25 Obviously he's admitted to all sorts of criminal actions, surely he's
1 going to say it's a false statement, but I have the right to confront this
2 witness with the statement.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Weiner. Because according to -- as
4 Mr. Pantelic has pointed out, the accused Blagoje Simic was contesting the
5 contents of this statement. So --
6 MR. WEINER: On the second day, but not on the first day.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yeah. But the fact that is that it is being
8 contested by the accused and no finding has been made whether or not it
9 was voluntary at this stage, so it may not be proper to put the contents
10 of that statement to any witness. Because the issue whether or not that
11 statement was voluntary, whether or not he read it, he understood it,
12 before he signed it, and whether or not it is in fact his statement has
13 yet to be decided upon.
14 MR. WEINER: Well, Your Honour, aren't I entitled to confront him
15 and ask him if it's true? What if he then says, "It is true. That did in
16 fact happen"?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: You may ask it as a general -- as an ordinary
18 question, but not as a statement made by Blagoje Simic.
19 MR. WEINER:
20 Q. All right. Let's continue on that statement. Sir, isn't it true
21 that the War Presidency was involved in inviting Crni and the volunteers
22 from Serbia back to Bosanski Samac after they had left the area in the
23 beginning of the summer? After they had left in the beginning of the
24 summer, isn't it true that the War Presidency had invited them back?
25 A. The War Presidency did not fill the military units, because how is
1 it possible that the War Presidency calls up somebody and suggests to the
2 military structures to take those people under their command? This is
3 impossible. The War Presidency did not call up any citizens from any area
4 in order to fill up the military ranks. That was not one of its duties.
5 Q. Sir, will you look at the third paragraph on that same page, the
6 third sentence. I'll read it. "Crni arrived for the second time on the
7 invitation of the Samac Municipal War Presidency and with the approval of
8 the command and Colonel Novica Simic. I'd like to stress that no reward
9 was offered to him for coming to the Posavina front." Words illegible
10 after that. "Under the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, you should the
11 command of" -- then it's illegible,"who appointed him commander of the
12 assault battalion earn" illegible.
13 "Crni asked to bring volunteers from Serbia and Colonel Simic and
14 Major Beronja enabled him to do so, after which approximately," another
15 illegible, "volunteers arrived from Kragujevac, although a higher number
16 had been mentioned prior to that."
17 And then the last sentence of this page. "Debeli was offered --
18 in fact, he requested that we enable him to carry out Orasje war booty in
19 the amount of 50.000 D-mark. Did I read both of those correctly, both of
20 those statements correctly?
21 A. I have to tell you that there is complete confusion in the
22 information here for me, so that I admit that I am not able to find my way
23 around all this information. I don't know why Crni was to have been
24 called from Serbia, when it is well known that he was married to a woman
25 from Samac, Lizja Jusufovic [phoen]. Also, I don't know why Debeli was to
1 have been called when he is marry to a woman from Samac.
2 Q. Sir, my question --
3 A. I've forgotten her --
4 Q. Didn't I read both of those statements correctly? Didn't I read
5 both of those correctly?
6 A. You did read it correctly.
7 Q. Thank you. My next question is: Do you agree that the War
8 Presidency invited the Serbian volunteers back for a second time to
9 Bosanski Samac? You might agree. Do you agree with that statement of
10 Blagoje Simic -- or alleged statement of Blagoje Simic or not?
11 A. I am not understanding that from this text, you read this
12 correctly. But you said that Crni was being invited then volunteers and
13 then General Simic and Beronja were also being called, who are officers of
14 Republika Srpska. So this is a kind of semantic confusion and --
15 Q. All right. All right. All right, sir. Why don't you look at
16 the -- at document -- P127. Maybe states it a little bit better. And
17 that document actually was written prior to this statement. Why don't we
18 look at that, page 4. Do you still very well that document, the 12
19 signatories? Yes. Could you look at that, please.
20 A. Where is this, please?
21 Q. Page 4. Look for the ninth paragraph, please.
22 A. Nine.
23 Q. Okay. First on page 4, the ninth paragraph, if we read, beginning
24 with the third sentence. "The civilian authorities instructed by the
25 Presidency and some government members decided to engage the volunteers
1 from Serbia initially under the control of Debeli, but this command was
2 taken over by Crni in the arrival phase. The decision also set the fee
3 for fighting the war. Allegedly at D-mark 50.000 per man, provided they
4 conquered Orasje, and ample war booty was found there. Crni promised to
5 bring in more than 700 volunteers, but about 300 arrived in the first
6 round. In fact, only 30 volunteers, some of whom had never seen a
8 Did I read that correctly, sir?
9 A. You read it correctly. Again, this is a set-up with a lot of
10 imagination. This is well known from rigged trials of a Stalinist nature.
11 Q. All right. Let's go to page 5, the second -- or the third full
12 paragraph, in the middle. "Why did someone try to bring Crni and his
13 people back at any cost, though people knew what had happened to him and
14 those like him during the first arrest and how he had in fact discredited
15 himself as a person and the post he had held? Why were there requests for
16 the return of Lugar, the man who had not only committed a war crime but
17 had together with like minds forced a legacy of fear and war on our
18 Serbian people and our Serbian fighters in this region?"
19 Again, they talk about bringing this group back. Do you agree
20 that this document indicates that the War Presidency invited this group
21 back from Serbia, Crni, Debeli, and his friends? Do you agree the
22 document indicates that, they read it correctly, that that's what this
23 document indicates? That's the first question.
24 A. That's what it says in the document, but of course this is
25 incorrect. Somebody from the command of the brigade is stating that he
1 brought into his ranks Lugar and Crni yet again. Who is this being stated
2 to? I don't know. And all of this is after military investigative prison
3 at that, so people were at a military investigative prison and then they
4 went elsewhere and then they were brought to the military structures again
5 and now somebody is asking the Crisis Staff how come these people are
6 here. That is something that no one from the Crisis Staff could have
7 known, or I am not aware of anybody having known about that.
8 Q. Sir, do you know any reason why this document, these 13 military
9 officers, would indicate that the War Presidency brought Crni back, which
10 is consistent with Blagoje Simic's own admissions -- own alleged
11 admissions that the War Presidency brought them back, if it wasn't true,
12 sir? Do you know of any reason?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if this is even alleged admission, I
15 would like to know where and when this alleged admission was made. I
16 mean, fairly.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
18 MR. WEINER: In Exhibit 116, the alleged admission that we just
19 read a few moments ago.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The statement which the --
21 MR. WEINER: The alleged statement, yes.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Which the accused --
23 MR. WEINER: This is consistent with the alleged statement. And
24 my question to is him does he know of any reason --
25 MR. PANTELIC: Which is fully contested by --
1 MR. WEINER: It's the alleged statement.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Weiner. You are confusing the witness.
3 Just withdraw that question. Reorganise it and put evidence which is
4 unlike the contested statement of the accused.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Sir, do you know of any reason why the -- why Simo Zaric and these
7 12 other military officers would indicate that the War Presidency was
8 involved in bringing back Crni, Lugar, and the volunteers from Serbia?
9 And this is at a period after the Crkvina massacre. Why they brought
10 the -- why the War Presidency would bring these people back if it wasn't
12 A. The question of the return of volunteers is their matter. It is
13 not something for the Crisis Staff.
14 Q. No. My question is -- whether you want to use the phrase "Crisis
15 Staff" or "War Presidency," are you aware of any reason why these people
16 would make this statement, 13 military officers have signed this statement
17 indicating that the War Presidency was involved in bringing these people
18 back, Crni, Lugar, Debeli, and this is at a period after the Crkvina
19 massacre by some of these people -- why they would bring these people back
20 if it wasn't true. Why would they make that statement?
21 A. Since this document has to do with the military structures, and it
22 was not made public, then the reasons are something that I am not aware
24 Q. Now, sir, you were a member of the War Presidency, weren't you?
25 A. That's right. And that's precisely why I am asking why within the
1 military the investigative organs, the prosecutor, the court, everybody,
2 did not arrest these people if they had such knowledge.
3 Q. My question is -- my question is: Were you a member of the War
4 Presidency? Were you a member?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were you a member after that of the Samac Municipal Assembly
7 in 1993?
8 A. Yes, I was a member of the municipal assembly.
9 Q. And were you a member throughout the year 1993?
10 A. Throughout the year 1993 until the elections.
11 Q. And, sir, isn't it true that the Municipal Assembly of the Serbian
12 Municipality of Samac awarded Vidovdan/St. Vitus Day decorations to a
13 group of soldiers, including Milan Josic [phoen], Milos Bogdanovic
14 posthumously, Dragan Djordjevic, also known as Crni, and Srecko
15 Radovanovic, also known as Debeli? Isn't it true that these people were
16 arrested decorations for the successful command and control of units of
17 the Army of the Republika Srpska, the defence of the people in Serbian
18 land? Isn't that true that they were awarded those decorations, sir, in
19 June of 1993?
20 A. Again, we get to the same thing. The members of the municipal
21 assembly did not make any proposals from their own heads, so to speak, or
22 did they explain certain --
23 Q. Sir, the question was: Were those individuals awarded
24 decorations, St. Vidovdan decorations for --
25 A. At the proposal of the military, yes. Officers, that is. And
1 people from the civilian authorities were awarded on the basis of
2 proposals made by the civilian authorities.
3 Q. Sir, these decorations were awarded, and it indicates the
4 signature of Dr. Blagoje Simic, and it talks about decision to award --
5 and this is a decision of the Serbian Municipality, and they adopted a
6 decision to award this. Not the military; the Serbian Municipal Assembly
7 adopted a decision to award Crni and Debeli decorations for the successful
8 command and control of units of the Army of the Republika Srpska. Would
9 you like to see it in Exhibit P126A, or can you tell us were those people
10 awarded decorations?
11 MR. PANTELIC: I believe it would be fair for the witness to have
12 this exhibit.
13 MR. WEINER: Let him see it.
14 MR. PANTELIC: And for the defendants. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let him look at the exhibit.
16 MR. WEINER: P126 is the Bosnian. P126A, I believe, is the
17 English -- the English translation of that particular portion.
18 In B/C/S, it's item 35 on page 3.
19 Q. The marking on the top is 00456650. You'll see a group of
20 markings on the top of each page. 456650. Do you see the award?
21 A. Which page? Which number -- which page number and which issue of
22 the Official Gazette, please?
23 Q. Page --
24 A. Oh, right. I think I've found it.
25 Q. Do you see item 35, in the right column?
1 A. I see it.
2 Q. It says --
3 A. I see it.
4 Q. "Pursuant" -- and it indicates a session on June 24th, 1993 -- "of
5 the Samac Municipal Assembly adopted a decision to award Vidovdan/St.
6 Vitus Day decorations."
7 In Article 2: "Decorations shall be awarded to the following for
8 the successful command and control of the units of the Army of Republika
9 Srpska, the defence of the people, and Serbian land."
10 And the last two there of the four people named: "Dragan
11 Djordjevic, Crni; and Srecko Radovanovic, Debeli." Isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes. In the decision it says that this recognition is bestowed on
13 all fallen soldiers, all commanders of battalions. Yes, all commanders of
14 battalions. Djordjevic was one of the commanders and I assume --
15 Q. So you awarded Crni and Debeli a Vidovdan award or Vidovdan
16 decoration for successful command and control of their units even though
17 it was their volunteer unit that committed the Crkvina massacre.
18 A. As far as I know, none of these persons committed the massacre in
19 Crkvina, none of those who were given these awards.
20 MR. PANTELIC: I think it's about time for our adjournment. But
21 maybe my learned friend can clarify it. Who do you think "we" -- I mean,
22 "you," you as Mr. Simic, Simeon or you and -- in extended. Could you
23 clarify that with the witness.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. The municipal assembly awarded these people Vidovdan decorations
2 for the successful command and control of units of the Army of the
3 Republika Srpska, even though the unit that they commanded and controlled
4 committed the Crkvina massacre against the -- against 16 -- by killing 16
5 non-Serb civilians. The fact that their units committed a massacre, is
6 that successful command and control? Is that how the Serbian assembly
7 found that to be successful command and control?
8 MR. PANTELIC: It's a --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, the assembly --
10 MR. PANTELIC: -- My learned friend. I mean, could you divide it
11 for the witness. What is the question? The fact that they allegedly
12 committed a massacre? Who -- and then how the Serbian assembly found
13 that -- I agree. You can ask whatever you think, which is necessary for
14 your case, but still in fairness to the witness, I think the question
15 should be split or divided.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we adjourn. We're running out of tape.
17 We'll adjourn the proceedings and continue tomorrow.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
19 at 4.19 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
20 the 4th day of December, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.