1 Tuesday, 21 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall continue our proceedings under Rule 15 bis,
10 paragraph A, as Judge Lindholm is still ill.
11 The Prosecution is cross-examining.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
13 WITNESS: VELIMIR MASLIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maslic. You said you joined the SDS in 1996.
17 Can you recall when in 1996 you joined the party?
18 A. Sometime in mid-1996.
19 Q. And you remain a member of the party?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The party had been in existence and operating since, I think -- or
22 at least since 1990?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in that time, you had had an opportunity to consider its
25 policies and indeed observe its policies at work in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you joined the party in 1996, obviously you had
3 considered its history, were satisfied with its history, and took the
4 decision to join it?
5 A. As I thought about it, I didn't really assess the work of the
6 party, but in 1996 I decided, for one simple reason, to get politically
7 involved in one of the political parties that existed.
8 Q. Yes, but I assume that you had had an opportunity of seeing its
9 policies at work, were satisfied with those policies, and then joined the
10 party; otherwise, why would you join a party with whose policies you were
12 A. I was not engaged in politics before 1996 either, and now I'm just
13 an ordinary party member.
14 Q. Sure. Let me put it to you this way: When you joined the party
15 in 1996, did you violently oppose its policies?
16 A. I don't understand in what sense you mean this, violently oppose
17 its policies.
18 Q. It's a very -- look, all I want to do is put a very simple
19 proposition to you. You joined the party in 1996, you had seen the party
20 at work over the years since 1990; presumably you must have been satisfied
21 with the way it conducted itself and satisfied with its policies and
22 thought that it was the right party for you to join.
23 A. I've already said that I joined the party in that particular year.
24 I did not think about the history of the party.
25 Q. Very well. I'll turn to another topic.
1 Would you agree that whatever the system of exchanges was and
2 however it worked, the result over 1992 and 1993 was that through that
3 system, large numbers of non-Serbs left the municipality of Bosanski Samac
4 and large numbers of Serbs entered the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me? I want to
8 produce a document -- I see the case manager has just arrived.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. I want to produce to you a document that appointed you to your
13 position as director of the social welfare centre. Please look at this
14 document and tell me if you recognise it. And if indeed, it is the
15 document whereby you were appointed to the position of director of social
17 A. Yes, I'm aware of this document.
18 Q. Yes. Okay. And indeed, it's the document that resulted in you
19 being appointed director of social welfare?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Di Fazio, is it an exhibit?
22 MR. DI FAZIO: No. No. I'll produce it. I seek to tender it
23 into evidence. I've got the sufficient number of copies here. May I
24 proceed, or should we wait for the number to be given?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please?
1 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P160 and ter for the B/C/S.
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. All right. Now, obviously, it's clear from the document, and of
4 course just the facts in this case, that you were working for the Bosanski
5 Samac Serbian municipality, weren't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This was a new municipality that had been created for Serb people;
9 A. I don't think that this municipality had been created for Serbs
10 only. This is a municipality where others lived as well, that is to say,
11 citizens of other ethnic backgrounds.
12 Q. It was a municipality whose political representatives was
13 restricted to members of the SDS and other deputies of Serb nationality,
14 wasn't it? If you wish, I can show you the gazette and the Statute and so
15 on. I prefer not to do that, and so we can move on. But would you agree
16 to that extent, that it was a Serbian municipality?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, really, I think that if
19 this is the line of questioning that is desired, then I think that it is
20 fair to show the witness the documents that have to do with the
21 functioning of the authorities in the municipality of Samac.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: It's not the main topic that I'm interested in.
23 I'd prefer not to embark on this road. It was a simple question. I
24 thought I'd get a certain answer. I got another answer. And I had to ask
25 the question the followed. But it's not the primary topic that I'm
1 interested in. In fact, I'll withdraw -- I won't go down this road.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: That's what I was about to say. Withdraw the
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. It's clear from the document P160 that you have to perform your
6 duties as director pursuant to the law of this new Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is so, isn't it?
8 A. Well, these are laws that were in force before the war broke out
9 in the territory of the municipality. Those are the laws on child care
10 and social welfare, family-related laws, and all other regulations that
11 were in force. This was the legislation that was borne in mind and these
12 were the laws that we implemented.
13 Q. Yes. And indeed, any other laws that the municipality might
14 implement which affected your work, you would have to obey them and carry
15 on your work pursuant to those laws; right?
16 A. As far as I know, the municipality could not pass laws, only
18 Q. You were going to carry out your duties then as director of the
19 social welfare centre of Bosanski Samac, in accordance with the decisions
20 of the civilian authorities in the Serbian municipality of Bosanski
21 Samac. That is correct, at least, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, you would agree, wouldn't you, that for an agency
24 conducting important humanitarian work, in those particular circumstances,
25 it was important for you and your agency and the Red Cross to follow the
1 policies and the leadership of the government of the Republika Srpska,
2 first the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and later the Republika
4 A. We in this particular institution, first and foremost, pursued the
5 laws that were relevant in that area. These laws and decisions were based
6 on the basic principles of humaneness and giving assistance to people.
7 All these laws and decisions that we applied were nondiscriminatory.
8 They did not discriminate against a single people or ethnic group who
9 lived in the territory of the municipality of Samac.
10 Q. No. That -- I understand what you're saying, but in those
11 particular times, it was important -- times of war, the emergence of the
12 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was important for you and
13 the municipality to follow policies and the leadership of the government;
14 would you agree with that?
15 A. I've already said that I was not involved in politics. I did not
16 come to head the centre as a political appointee. I came first and
17 foremost as a professional in that area. I followed the laws that were in
18 force, not politics.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'm informed that the
21 LiveNote is not functioning at all for the Prosecution, at least. I don't
22 know if the Defence have similar problems.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I see. And indeed, if we --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Since the monitors are functioning, we shall
1 proceed. They will fix the laptops during the break.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Q. And did the Red Cross, the local Red Cross, adhere to the overall
4 policies of the government of the Republika Srpska or the Serbian
5 Republic, particularly where it affected humanitarian issues?
6 A. The local Red Cross also applied the basic principles of
7 humaneness and the principles of humanism. As an organisation of
8 humanitarian nature, they did not receive any instructions in terms of the
9 policy pursued by any government. They only had their own tasks that they
10 were supposed to carry out within the legislation that existed in that
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P5? Thanks.
13 Q. You were -- as director of the social welfare centre and through
14 your involvement with the Red Cross, you were --
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Could you just -- Mr. Usher, could you just hold
16 the document for the time being?
17 Q. As director of the social welfare centre and through your
18 involvement in the Red Cross, you were committed, weren't you, to
19 following humanitarian principles and seeing that humanitarian policy was
20 carried out through your agency and the Red Cross, through your social
21 welfare centre and through the Red Cross?
22 A. Yes. I've already said who the persons who worked there were.
23 Q. And you found no impediment to doing that from republican-level
24 government, from the policies of the Serbian Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and later the Republika Srpska?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Can you now look at P5.
4 If Your Honours please, I do apologise. May I just briefly look
5 at the document for a good reason. We haven't got our copy here and I
6 just want to very quickly refresh my memory. Perhaps if I might borrow
7 the Court's English copy. Thank you very much.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I be of assistance? In the
9 B/C/S version, it is on page 2 of this Official Gazette. So perhaps it
10 would be useful to look at that page. Perhaps the witness can be told to
11 look at the second page, then.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'm grateful to my learned friend. I had
13 forgotten that the English is just one extract and I'm grateful for that.
14 Q. And I also believe, Witness, that you'll find it under paragraph
15 386. Now, have you seen this before?
16 A. I've never seen this decision before.
17 Q. Are you aware of it?
18 A. No, I'm not aware of it.
19 Q. Very well. If you look at paragraph 1, establishing -- the
20 establishment of state borders separating the Serbian people from the
21 other two ethnic communities, you presumably, then, would not know how
22 that was to be effected, carried out.
23 A. I've already said that I'd never seen this decision and that I'm
24 not aware of it.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know if this
1 line of questioning can be pursued now, when the witness doesn't know
2 anything about this decision. It is now really up to the Trial Chamber to
3 see -- to decide whether this decision can be discussed and whether he can
4 actually answer questions that have anything to do with it. He was not a
5 member of parliament or anything, nor was he involved in government in any
6 other way.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I realise that the witness can no longer tell
8 us anything about the document. He said that he doesn't know anything
9 about it, and that's fine. The document can be taken from him.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: One question, though, I have, Mr. Di Fazio, and
12 maybe I could pose it directly to Mr. Maslic.
13 Clearly, you hadn't seen the document, so you can't comment on the
14 document. But in terms of the substance of what was in there, did you
15 know at the time anything concerning the establishment of state borders
16 separating the Serbian people from the other two ethnic communities,
17 separate and apart from the decision itself?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that I was not
19 involved in politics. I was not involved in government in any way. I was
20 engaged in humanitarian work only in the institution where I was
21 employed. And as for any kind of interpretation of this kind of decision
22 or any opinion, I cannot really go into that because I was not involved in
23 that kind of thing, nor did I give it any thought.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 Q. Just one last thing on the document, if I may. In fact, no. The
1 document can be taken away from the witness.
2 Mr. Maslic, 1992, Serbs and Croats and Muslims lived side by side
3 in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, didn't they?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If those people were to be separated, that would cause, would it
6 not, humanitarian concerns?
7 A. I don't know what you mean when you say "separate." They lived in
8 the same town. What do you mean, "separate"?
9 Q. I know that they lived in the same town, but if they were to be
10 separated, Serbs to be separated from Croats and Muslims --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: You are asking the witness to speculate, Mr. Di
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, yes. Very well. I'll withdraw the question.
14 Q. The end result of the exchanges at the end of 1993 was that
15 Bosanski Samac had become a predominantly Serbian-populated municipality,
16 had it not?
17 A. The municipality of Samac did not remain purely Serb. It is
18 correct that --
19 Q. I didn't say purely Serb. I said predominantly.
20 A. Yes, predominantly.
21 Q. Thank you. I'll turn to another topic.
22 You mentioned in your evidence Crkvina, and you gave -- you said
23 in evidence that in May of 1992 you learnt of a police operation whereby
24 100 to 150 people, Croats and Muslims, were taken to Crkvina for five or
25 six days, and you said in evidence that you didn't know why they were
1 taken there. Did you ever speculate back then, did you ever think that it
2 might have something to do with their ethnicity, the fact that they were
3 Croats and Muslims?
4 A. The employees of the Red Cross, and I personally, were not
5 involved in any kind of guesswork as to why somebody was taken away, but
6 as the Red Cross, we tried to help these people. What the reasons were
7 why they were taken away is something that I don't know, and I said that.
8 We were primarily interested in the conditions under which these people
9 lived and how we could help them.
10 Q. That's right. But you and your activists had to go to Crkvina and
11 work amongst these 100 to 150 Croat and Muslims, providing them with
12 humanitarian care and so on. In the course of doing that, didn't one of
13 them, any of them, explain to you why it was that they had been rounded up
14 and taken to Crkvina, or were they all silent on the issue?
15 A. Since this was a time of war, no explanation or clarification was
16 given to the Red Cross about that. Our only task was to help people. As
17 for the reasons why they were taken away, the employees of the Red Cross,
18 and I personally, knew nothing about that. People who were there didn't
20 Q. All right. Forgetting about your role as director of social
21 welfare, forgetting about the humanitarian intervention, what about normal
22 human curiosity? What about just the fact that there was 100 to 150
23 people, fellow towns people, rounded up and taken there, just as a
24 citizen, weren't you interested?
25 A. I said that we were not involved in any guesswork, and I cannot
1 speculate now either.
2 Q. This operation of the rounding up and taking of people there was a
3 drain on resources in Bosanski Samac, wasn't it, because of course you had
4 to have the police involved, they had to round up the people, they had to
5 guard the people, they had to transport the people. And the social work
6 centre had to get involved, didn't it, by providing humanitarian aid. So
7 it was quite a drain on the resources of the municipality.
8 A. The workers of the Red Cross were informed one morning that there
9 was a group of people there in the culture centre and that these people
10 were in need of help. When they went there, they saw that these people
11 were being guarded by the police. And the Red Cross activists could gain
12 access and talk to them without any hindrance to see what kind of
13 assistance they needed, and they did so.
14 Q. Yes, but -- thank you for telling us what happened. I'm not
15 asking you what happened. What I'm asking you is another matter. The
16 operation of rounding up these people, transporting them, guarding them,
17 and providing humanitarian care was a drain on the precious resources of
18 the municipality at that time, wasn't it?
19 A. Well, the actual resources involved were, I don't know. I know
20 about the engagement of the Red Cross, which involved the daily deliveries
21 of food from Samac to this village, which is some five or six kilometres
22 away. We didn't have to secure this humanitarian relief supplies; we just
23 had to deliver it to the people in question.
24 Q. The operation would have drawn on the services of sufficient
25 people for it to be a significant event in the administration of the
1 municipality, wouldn't it? And as such, it would have been a matter that
2 would have been of interest to the civilian authorities, Crisis Staff?
3 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness has explained repeatedly
6 what he knew about -- knows about this operation and what his exact role
7 was and what he knows about other organs. This repetition of the same
8 question to which the witness has clearly replied. As far as his
9 information and his knowledge about the factors concerned.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not asking for endless repetition of what
11 happened. I keep getting endless repetition of what happened. My inquiry
12 is that the effect on the municipality of rounding up these people, the
13 drain on resources, and whether or not such a matter would be known to the
14 civilian administration, namely, these defendants, or two of these
15 defendants. That's my area of interest. I keep getting a description of
16 what happened, but it's not the description of what happened that I'm
17 interested in; it's the effect of what happened that I'm interested in.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can proceed.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Witness, I just want to -- I just want to establish a basic
21 point. Rounding up 150 Croats and Muslims, using the police to do that
22 and take them out to this place and keep them there for a week, that's a
23 big drain on a war-torn, small municipality, and it's the sort of thing
24 that must, of logic, have been known to the civilian administration, to
25 the Crisis Staff; do you agree with that?
1 A. I don't know what had been known to the civilian administration
2 who participated in these operations, but I know that when the Red Cross
3 was informed of this incident, it was requested to help and exert every
4 effort in order to help those people. I cannot say who participated in
5 the operation and what the role of the civil authorities had been.
6 Q. Well, I've taken that as far as I can go. I don't think I'm going
7 to get any further, if Your Honours please, so I'll leave the topic.
8 The status of these people was a matter of importance to you,
9 wasn't it, that is, whether or not they were prisoners of war or
10 criminals, or simply detainees engaged in some sort of local criminal act;
11 would you agree?
12 A. As far as I know, these were civilians, women and children and
13 elderly people.
14 Q. That's right. And so it's unlikely, isn't it, that they were
15 prisoners of war?
16 A. No.
17 Q. It's unlikely that they had been arrested for insurrection or
18 rebellion against the state or any other similar criminal act, treason or
19 something like that?
20 A. I said that I didn't know why they were there, and I cannot
21 speculate about the reasons why they had been there.
22 Q. These people were essentially prisoners, weren't they?
23 A. They were put up in the culture centre, and they were guarded by
24 the police.
25 Q. Taken from their homes, taken to somewhere else, guarded by the
1 police, isn't that a prisoner? Wouldn't you agree?
2 A. Well, I don't know exactly whether I would use the term "prisoner"
3 or "detainees," but I know that it was not a prison. It was a culture
4 centre in which they were held for a couple of days.
5 Q. All right. Well, let's not quibble about words. They were at
6 least people who had undergone a loss of freedom; would you agree to that
8 A. Their freedom was certainly restricted by the very fact that they
9 were being guarded by other people.
10 Q. All right. If they had been --
11 A. By the police, sorry.
12 Q. If they had been fully-fledged complete prisoners, that would be a
13 matter of concern to the local Red Cross, wouldn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you report to the Executive Board or to the Crisis Staff on
16 the events at Crkvina, the events that I've just been asking about, for
17 example, to tell them how it was going, the humanitarian care?
18 A. Yes. We reported. We informed orally the Executive Board. And I
19 believe that it was the result of our reporting to the Executive Board
20 that these people were released and went home after a couple of days.
21 Q. Right. Are you saying that you personally provided a report, or
22 was it your agency? And how was that carried out? How did you do --
23 conduct the reporting?
24 A. Mr. Mihajlovic was the president of the Red Cross at that time,
25 and he informed the Executive Board orally about the activities that the
1 Red Cross had taken, undertaken vis-a-vis these people, about the
2 conditions in which these people were living, the requests which they
3 addressed to the Red Cross in terms of the required assistance, and about
4 all the problems which -- with which they were afflicted, the diseases,
5 the needs -- their need of medicaments and suchlike.
6 Q. Tell me: Did Mr. Mihajlovic report to the Executive Board the
7 reason why they had been arrested? Because, of course, if the Executive
8 Board was going to do something intelligent about the situation, they had
9 to know that, didn't they?
10 A. I don't know whether Mr. Mihajlovic talked about this particular
11 issue with the members of the Executive Board, but I do know that when we
12 had -- at a consultative meeting of the Red Cross, all these questions
13 were addressed in detail, and that Mr. Mihajlovic informed the Executive
14 Board about these issues.
15 Q. To whom in the Executive Board did he report? Who was made aware
16 of the situation?
17 A. I don't know exactly which man among the members of the Executive
18 Board was in charge of these issues at that time.
19 Q. I'm not quite sure from your answer -- I understand that you don't
20 know exactly which man, but are you suggesting that he reported to one man
21 only or to a collection of men in the Executive Board?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness had said that Mr. Mihajlovic reported to
23 the Executive Board. Is that not sufficient? I thought the Executive
24 Board had certain responsibilities, from the evidence so far in the case.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. He did say that he doesn't know whether Mr.
1 Mihajlovic talked about this particular issue with members of the board.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's when you asked him whether he -- whether
3 Mr. Mihajlovic told the Executive Board the reasons why these people were
4 held. That's when he answered like that.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, in any event, I've got as far as I want to go
6 on that.
7 Q. And can you recall when during this period of incarceration that
8 the report was made?
9 A. I think that Mr. Mihajlovic informed the Executive Board about
10 these issues on a daily basis.
11 Q. Okay. Right. Thank you. So the Executive Board was kept updated
12 by daily progress reports of the situation at Crkvina, the situation that
13 we've been talking about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As far as you're aware, did this episode cause any fear or concern
16 in the non-Serbian population of Bosanski Samac?
17 A. I cannot speak about the feelings of these people, but from my
18 talking with them, they were quite upset and excited. But the very fact
19 that they returned home, I believe changed their feelings. But of course
20 these are their feelings, and I cannot speak about those.
21 Q. Yes. Thank you. But I was actually asking you about the
22 repercussions in the wider community. Did you detect any sense of fear or
23 concern in the non-Serb population following this episode?
24 A. Well, there was fear, but this was characteristic of all the
25 citizens in the municipality, and that was because of the war. So
1 probably there was also fear in these citizens. What the repercussions
2 were of this very episode on the citizens were, that is something I cannot
3 say, because I don't know.
4 Q. All right. Following this episode, was there any sort of official
5 explanation by the civilian authorities about why these 100 to 150 people,
6 men, women, and children, had been rounded up and taken there?
7 A. The Red Cross did not get any such explanation.
8 Q. And nor was one given to the wider community by the civilian
9 authorities; correct?
10 A. The Red Cross was not informed. Whether the wider community was
11 informed, that I don't know.
12 Q. You also gave evidence in chief of the event at Crkvina where 15
13 to 16 people were murdered. You said that you heard about the event
14 shortly thereafter. Did it become a matter of common knowledge in the
15 town and in the municipality?
16 A. This -- I learned about this event, this incident, when several
17 people had been killed only later, and that was a very -- it was a very
18 ugly and uncomfortable feeling for every person in the municipality.
19 Q. You say you only learnt about it later. In your evidence in
20 chief, you said that you heard about it shortly thereafter. That was --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think in fairness to the witness, maybe it's
22 a question of language. Shortly thereafter and later doesn't make much
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. Perhaps it's not important. I just want to
25 make sure that there's no resiling from the position that it was shortly
2 Q. When you said that you learnt about it shortly thereafter, what
3 did you mean? How long after the event did you learn about it?
4 A. I don't know. I heard this from the people there. There were
5 stories. Actually, nobody wanted nor dared talk about these things
6 because of the conduct of the person who had committed that.
7 Q. I just remind you very briefly of the evidence you gave in chief
8 on Friday, the 17th of January, page 15 of the LiveNote. You commented
9 that the story was spread out throughout the town out of fear, that you
10 couldn't hear this officially from anyone, that this was mentioned in
11 talks in town, and there was fear among the people. That's what you said
12 in evidence in chief in response to Mr. Lukic's questions. I take it from
13 that that everybody knew what had happened at Crkvina.
14 A. I said in my statement that I'd heard and that there were stories
15 being spread out through town. But officially, I was never informed
17 Q. I'm not asking about official -- your official -- being officially
18 told of the episode. Just I want to hear -- what I want you to agree to,
19 I'll be frank, is that the massacre was a matter of common knowledge
20 throughout the town; everybody knew what had happened in that small
21 warehouse at Crkvina.
22 A. I cannot say that everyone knew. As for the way in which I found
23 out, actually, the way in which I found out indicates that quite a large
24 number of people also knew.
25 Q. And this is precisely the sort of issue that would cause unease
1 and disquiet amongst the people, the non-Serbs, at least?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did the Red Cross do anything to allay the fears of the non-Serb
5 A. Will you please clarify this question? In what sense, fears?
6 Q. The fears that you -- the unease and disquiet that the people were
7 feeling following the slaughter of 15 or 16 people. Did the Red Cross do
8 anything to reassure the non-Serb population?
9 A. A large number of people, of citizens, came to the Red Cross every
10 day, a large number of citizens of all ethnicities, requesting assistance
11 in humanitarian issues. And as far as I know, the activists did not speak
12 about these issues with anyone else.
13 Q. Did the Red Cross move to provide humanitarian care to the
14 families of the victims, the people who had been killed at Crkvina?
15 A. Yes. Assistance was rendered, but the Red Cross in fact did not
16 know who these people were at all.
17 Q. Sorry. I don't get that. If you don't know who they are, how can
18 you render assistance?
19 A. I was speaking in general about rendition of assistance to people
20 who came to the Red Cross, including people who were non-Serbs. And I'm
21 talking about humanitarian assistance: Food, clothing, et cetera.
22 Q. Yes, but I wasn't speaking in general, I was speaking in specific.
23 I'm asking you: Was assistance rendered to the families of the people
24 killed at Crkvina by the centre of social welfare or the Red Cross?
25 A. I cannot say specifically what assistance was rendered to those
1 people, because the Red Cross didn't know who those people were.
2 Q. All right. Following this murder at Crkvina, it was clear, wasn't
3 it, that the plight of prisoners was really far more severe than not very
4 good food or not very good conditions or beatings and they were actually
5 being slaughtered? Did you speak to the ICRC about this and try and
6 enlist their aid in doing something about it?
7 A. Yes. We spoke to them with the delegates of the ICRC, that is,
8 about all the conditions in which these people were living, we informed
9 them about them.
10 Q. No. I mean, did you speak to them about the deaths at Crkvina of
11 the people who had been in custody?
12 A. In contact with them, and I mean the activists of the ICRC, we
13 told them that we had heard, and the delegate of the International Red
14 Cross said that he also had information about such an incident.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Intervention in respect of the
17 translation. Line 12, page 20. The witness said in contact with them,
18 and I mean the activists of the -- oh, he meant the activists of the -- he
19 said "we, the activists of the Red Cross informed them." This is not what
20 the translation, what the transcript says. So please can this be
21 clarified. That's page 21.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Clarify that with the witness.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Yes.
24 Q. You spoke to the ICRC, that is, your local Red Cross activists
25 spoke to the ICRC about the deaths that had taken place at Crkvina;
2 A. Yes, and we told them how we had learned about it.
3 Q. Did you provide any information as to who had committed the
4 murders, for example, that it was Lugar?
5 A. We could not provide them with a name, because there were stories
6 being bandied about. There was no official information. The delegate of
7 the Red Cross told us that he would talk to the representatives of the
8 police about this question.
9 Q. All right.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me.
11 Mr. Maslic, which delegate of the ICRC was the communication made
12 with? Is it one of the two persons that we've heard about already in your
13 testimony, the lady, Ms. Katherine, or Mr. Matteas? Or was it somebody
14 different? It would be, I think, important for us to know who the
15 communication was made with.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mrs. Katherine was there at the very
17 beginning, and she soon left the area. And after her, Mr. Matteas was
18 there, and we talked to Mr. Matteas about this. He was with an
19 interpreter. He had an interpreter throughout his period, and I believe
20 that he remained in the area with his office in Bijeljina throughout 1992
21 and 1993.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And one follow-up question: Do you know whether
23 Mr. Matteas relayed this information back to ICRC headquarters in Geneva
24 and whether any steps were taken by the ICRC?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not know whether he relayed
1 this information to them. I know that he always joined in in all of these
2 activities. And as to the way in which he transmitted information to his
3 superiors, I don't know about that, because he never informed us about how
4 he did that, nor was he under any obligation to.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. You've already testified that this issue, this event at Crkvina,
7 had caused fear in the -- or concern in the Croat and Muslim population.
8 As a result of that, did you consider, or did you in fact discuss the
9 consequences with leading figures in the civilian administration? By that
10 I mean people like Blagoje Simic or Mirko Lukic or Simeon Simic or Bozo
11 Ninkovic or Stevan Todorovic.
12 A. I've said that I myself have had trouble with that man. There was
13 fear among all the citizens regarding this kind of behaviour and what had
15 Q. Which man did you say that you had had trouble with?
16 A. Lugar. Lugar. I said that in response to Mr. Lukic's question.
17 Q. Okay. But did you speak to those people whom I've mentioned,
18 Blagoje Simic, about the consequences of the murders in the non-Serb
20 A. I said that Mr. Mihajlovic was president at the time, and he was
21 the one who contacted the Executive Board. I never discussed the subject
22 with Mr. Simic, or other issues either, because we only had a line of
23 contact with the Executive Board. As for contacts with the Executive
24 Board, Mr. Lukic had also heard about this event.
25 Q. Mirko Lukic?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know if Mr. Mihajlovic told Blagoje Simic about the
4 A. I don't know. I know that the Executive Board was informed,
6 Q. Did you ever speak informally with any of these people, the people
7 whose names I've mentioned, regarding the consequences of these murders at
9 A. No, I didn't discuss it with anyone.
10 Q. You testified that in the summer of 1992, police took Croats and
11 Muslims to Zasavica, and you don't know why. You testified that Zasavica
12 had police guards and that entry in and out was controlled by the police.
13 Do you recall that evidence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Those people were, in effect, detained there, weren't they?
16 A. It was not a prison, but their movement was restricted within that
18 Q. They were prisoners there. They might not have had bars, but they
19 were prisoners. They couldn't move in and out, their freedom had been
20 curtailed; right?
21 A. They could not leave the village because there was a police
22 checkpoint there.
23 Q. Now, Matteas was the man who asked to go to Zasavica. It was not
24 your idea, was it?
25 A. Red Cross activists went to Zasavica immediately, as soon as they
1 heard that people had been taken there. This was at the request of Mr.
2 Ivica Pandurevic, who was commissioner of that village. He came to the
3 Red Cross and asked that assistance be increased, in view of the increase
4 in the population of that village then. When Mr. Matteas came to Samac
5 for the first time and asked about Zasavica, the activists told him about
6 what the situation was like there. He asked for someone to go there with
7 him, and he said that previously he had received approval from the police
8 to go there. I agreed to accompany him personally to Zasavica, so I went
10 Q. You did not engineer or make any moves to take Mr. Matteas to see
11 these non-Serbs whose freedom had been curtailed. You did not arrange
12 that. It was him -- it was Mr. Matteas who came to you?
13 A. No. I said that Red Cross activists, as soon as they found out
14 about the fact that people were taken to Zasavica, that is, went to the
15 Red Cross and measures were taken. Matteas came soon, and that is when I
16 personally took part in this. I did not go before that because it was Red
17 Cross activists who had gone. On the basis of their reports, the oral
18 reports they made, one could see that the situation there and the living
19 conditions of the citizens there were not that bad but that assistance
20 should be given and that this assistance should be increased, should be.
21 Q. You said that as soon as they found out that people had been taken
22 to Zasavica, the activists went to the Red Cross and measures were taken.
23 Do you mean the local Red Cross?
24 A. I said activists of the local Red Cross went to Zasavica, not the
25 Red Cross.
1 Q. All right. But the measures that were taken were entirely at the
2 initiative of the local Red Cross?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When you took Matteas to Zasavica, did he show any interest in the
5 reason for the detention of these Croats at Zasavica or for the isolation
6 or the curtailment of the freedom, whatever expression you want to give
8 A. Mr. Matteas showed great interest in that village. When entering
9 the village, he passed through the entire village in his vehicle. Then we
10 went to Mr. Pandurevic the commissioner for that village and we talked to
11 him. Mr. Matteas asked me to make it possible for him to talk
12 individually to each and every inhabitant of that village in order to
13 become aware of the living conditions of people in that village. I stayed
14 with Mr. Pandurevic in a house, and he talked to people in the village.
15 He stayed for quite a while then. He talked about the reasons --
16 Q. Sorry. You were going to say he talked about some reasons. What
18 A. The reasons why people were brought in, also their demands, the
19 ones they addressed to the International Committee of the Red Cross. He
20 did not talk about that to me. However, when returning from Zasavica,
21 when he returned to the office of the local Red Cross, we agreed what was
22 needed, and on the basis of that we sent a request to the Executive Board
23 of the Municipal Assembly for additional assistance.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. Look, we're just getting a description of
25 what happened, and I'm not interested in precisely a step-by-step
1 description of what happened. My question is simply this: The reason for
2 people to have been taken to Zasavica. Now, you said that he talked about
3 the reasons why people were brought in. What reasons were they? Why were
4 people brought in to Zasavica?
5 A. I said that he talked to the local people in Zasavica. And then
6 what did he talk about? I said about the reasons and about their demands,
7 about their living conditions, and all questions -- I mean, he did not
8 inform me.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. But when coming to the local Red Cross --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think the entire problem is due to a
13 mistake in the transcript. Page 26, line 15, the witness started the --
14 started saying the reasons, and it says here he talked about the reasons.
15 I think that that is what is confusing the witness. The tape can be
16 heard, in that sentence. Line 15, he said: "About the reasons --"
17 perhaps it is this particular translation that is causing confusion, so
18 perhaps we should avoid confusion.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd be grateful to do that.
20 Q. Let me ask you this --
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio. Just one question for
22 Mr. Maslic.
23 Mr. Maslic, we've heard in testimony here before the Trial Chamber
24 that some of the families whose men, brothers, sons, fathers, had left
25 Bosanski Samac and swum across the River Sava to Croatia, that the
1 families of these persons were taken to Zasavica. Are you aware of that
2 at all? Did you hear anything in town about that or from some other
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard that there were departures
5 from the territory of the municipality of Samac before the war conflict
6 broke out, and I heard that a group swam across the Sava. I don't know
7 how many people were involved and who these people were.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And -- well, the second part of the question
9 was: Did you hear that the -- you know, the mothers, wives, sisters of
10 such men who had swum across the River Sava were collected and taken to
11 live in Zasavica?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether it was only
13 those families of those persons, and I don't know who these persons were,
14 so in that group I don't know who are the persons who were taken away.
15 Was it these families or somebody else.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So is that a yes or a no? You don't know? You
17 don't know? Or is it --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I'm not aware of
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. You are not aware of connection of men swimming across the Sava
23 River to Croatia and the taking of Croats to Zasavica? The two events are
24 unconnected, as far as you're aware?
25 A. I'm not aware of the reasons.
1 Q. All right. Now, let's get back to the visit of Mr. Matteas to
2 Zasavica. At any time during your visit to Zasavica, did you hear anyone
3 explain to Mr. Matteas the reason for their being there, any of the Croats
4 who had been taken there?
5 A. I said that Mr. Matteas, when talking to these citizens, asked
6 that the representatives of the local Red Cross should not be present. I
7 don't know what kind of information he received from citizens who were in
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, did Mr. Matteas seek directly from you,
10 did he ever ask you: Mr. Maslic, what is the reason for these Croats to
11 be here in Zasavica? And if he did ask you, did you give an answer?
12 A. He did not ask the local Red Cross that. He was aware of the
13 jurisdiction of the police and of the role of the Red Cross. So he did
14 not ask us about the reasons, and we did not know about that.
15 Q. You keep saying us and we. I assume, therefore, that he did not
16 ask you personally.
17 A. I'm referring to the local Red Cross and its activists.
18 Q. Did he ask you personally, did he ask you, Velimir Maslic: What
19 is the reason for these Croats to be here in Zasavica?
20 A. No, he did not ask me.
21 Q. This situation was unusual, wasn't it? It was not usual for most
22 of the population to be rounded up and taken to a particular village?
23 A. Well, it's unusual, but there were quite a few unusual things
24 taking place regarding movements of the population within the war zone
1 Q. Yes. No doubt. And furthermore, the ICRC were interested in the
2 events at Zasavica that we've been talking about. Did the unusual nature
3 of the event, plus the ICRC interest, cause you to report to the civilian
4 authorities on what was going on at Zasavica and on your visit with the
5 ICRC there?
6 A. That was not the only reason. There were several reasons there.
7 This is a village with an express need for help and with an expressed
8 desire and willingness on the part of the delegate of the International
9 Red Cross in respect of that village. Our duty is to take part, to give
10 assistance, and to inform about activities.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm not asking you about your duties. All I'm asking
12 you is this: It was a slightly -- an unusual situation, with Croats being
13 specifically taken to this one village, and furthermore, the ICRC are
14 interested and they're asking to go and visit the village. This was a
15 situation that called for a report to the civilian authorities, wasn't it,
16 a report by you to the civilian authorities?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer? The
18 interpreters could not understand it.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness repeat the whole answer? The
20 interpreters said they didn't catch it.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Yes. Could you -- you weren't recorded -- we couldn't hear what
23 you said, so could you just give us your answer once again, please, what
24 you just said.
25 A. I said yes, and that was not the only reason why we informed the
1 civilian structures of authority. Because the gentleman from the
2 International Red Cross had come earlier too. His visit was one of the
3 many regular visits he paid to our municipality and to other local
4 communes in addition to Zasavica. It is a fact that there was multi-fold
5 interest in Zasavica.
6 Q. Right. And so did you -- you provided this report and you said to
7 the civilian authorities: Let's go through in more detail the persons to
8 whom you reported. Firstly, did you report to the Executive Board and the
9 Crisis Staff, or was it only just the Executive Board?
10 A. The Executive Board was informed about that. It was informed
11 about all measures and activities of the local Red Cross and the
12 International Red Cross. We particularly pointed out that it was
13 necessary to give special emphasis to the local clinic in that village,
14 because citizens could not leave that village of their own free will. So
15 then that was done.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Your time is coming to a close, Mr. Di Fazio.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I've got this topic to
18 finish, which I've just about finished. I've not got very much more. And
19 I've then got one last remaining topic, which is -- and that's it. I
20 don't think I'll be able to finish -- obviously, I won't be able to finish
21 before 10.30, and I'll probably need about half an hour thereafter.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Mr. Di Fazio. Yesterday I told you, you had
23 one hour. This morning it's been extended one and a half hours.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, I understood yesterday that we would
25 approach the issue of how long I had this morning, depending on the
1 circumstances. I can tell Your Honours what I have to do, what I think --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: So you go ahead and when we come back you have 15
3 minutes to wind up.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Did the Executive Board -- sorry. In the course of your reporting
6 to the Executive Board about events in Zasavica, you told them, they were
7 obviously aware, weren't they, of the fact that it was Croats who had been
8 taken to Zasavica?
9 A. Yes, Croats and Muslims.
10 Q. And did the Executive Board report on that to the Crisis Staff?
11 A. I don't know about that.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness did respond, but I would
14 like to ask the Prosecutor, because of my entire line of questioning:
15 When he speaks about the Crisis Staff, he should refer only to the period
16 up to July, and after July, it is the War Presidency. And all these
17 events took place after the Crisis Staff ceased to exist. And the Trial
18 Chamber is aware of this. So I don't really object, but as regards future
19 questions that would be put by the Prosecutor, could he please bear in
20 mind the fact that after July the right term to be used is the War
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please ask Mr. Lukic to
23 slow down.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. Would Your Honours just bear with me for
1 one moment?
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 Q. In the course of providing those reports to the Executive Board,
5 it was made clear, wasn't it, that the Croats were being detained there,
6 that is, they couldn't leave?
7 A. Yes. I've already said that.
8 Q. Thank you. And just before the break, we'll move on to one
9 further question. Did the Executive Board in turn report to the War
10 Presidency regarding the detention of these Croats at Zasavica?
11 A. I said I don't know about that.
12 Q. Okay. Did you ever speak to Blagoje Simic about the Croats at
14 A. I did not have any contacts with Blagoje Simic, and I didn't
15 inform him about anything, because we had an Executive Board, a body that
16 we were duty-bound to report to.
17 Q. And can you tell us who in particular, which man in particular,
18 you told of the situation at Zasavica and the detained Croats?
19 A. I said the Executive Board, and I am referring to a body.
20 Q. But you can't remember which men specifically? It doesn't matter
21 that much, but if you can remember, tell us.
22 A. I cannot remember exactly.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, if we break now, it's only
25 10.29, I'll have an opportunity to go through my notes and tailor it a bit
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. We shall take our break now and continue
3 at 1100 hours.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Maslic, you recall your evidence both in examination-in-chief
9 and cross-examination that the International Committee of the Red Cross
10 played a leading role in the organisation of the first exchange, at least.
11 Do you recall that evidence?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. And is it your position that other international organisations,
14 including the United Nations, assisted in that process, United Nations
16 A. The International Red Cross participated in the exchanges,
17 rendered assistance, and on such occasions, also at the request of the
18 opposite side, at the request of our side, as well as of the citizens they
19 provided assistance.
20 Q. Thank you. But as far as international organisations are
21 concerned, do you limit your evidence to the ICRC? That was the only
22 international organisation that you observed facilitating the process of
24 A. In addition to the Red Cross, other organisations would also be
25 involved, humanitarian organisations, that is.
1 Q. Right. International --
2 A. Depending on --
3 Q. Thank you. All I want to know: These other organisations, are
4 they international humanitarian organisations?
5 A. I was about to say that depending on the actual terms of reference
6 of the organisation in question, for instance, the UNHCR assisted the
7 population a great deal in food, in getting them in touch with their
8 separate families.
9 Q. Thank you. But I'm interested specifically in the exchanges. As
10 far as the exchanges are concerned, you've already testified that the ICRC
11 played a leading role in organising and facilitating these exchanges
12 which you've described to the Chamber. In addition to the ICRC, did other
13 international humanitarian organisations facilitate and participate in the
14 exchange processes that you have described? Did you see that taking
16 A. To the best of my recollection, other humanitarian organisations
17 did not participate in any exchanges. I said that the United Nations
18 forces provided assistance in terms of security, of securing the place
19 where the negotiations and the exchanges were taking place. I've already
20 described that.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. I understand your position.
22 Mr. Maslic, the UN commission on human rights provided a report on
23 the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
24 and that was submitted by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Tadeusz,
25 T-A-D-E-U-S-Z, Mazowiecki, M-A-Z-O-W-I-E-C-K-I. Mr. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a
1 Special Rapporteur, and he provided his first report on the 28th of
2 August, 1992, after a visit to the area of the former Yugoslavia, and in
3 particular, Bosnia, between the 21st and the 26th of August, 1992. Part
4 of his report is section D, and he deals there with the difficulties
5 affecting the functioning of humanitarian organisations. And I want to
6 read to you paragraph 50 of that report and obtain your comment, please.
7 Paragraph 50: "In territories --"
8 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we should first ask the
11 witness whether he's aware of that report at all, and then to see how the
12 question should be phrased for a comment on his part.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, we have a B/C/S version of
14 the particular paragraph. It's not an official translation, but as a
15 tool, it might be useful for the witness so he can follow the content of
16 the paragraph that I wish to read to him. If there's no objection, I'll
17 provide it to him. I wouldn't seek to tender it. It's not an official
18 translation, but it's a tool.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but the document you're dealing with, it's a UN
20 document, isn't it.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: It's a UN document in English. Do you wish me to
22 give him this draft translation of the particular paragraph that I want to
23 show him or --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I thought that if you read the interpreters
25 will follow, as long as you read slowly. Because you are calling that
1 other thing a draft translation. The Trial Chamber isn't sure.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine. I'll read out the paragraph.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic's objection was that he wanted you to find
4 out from the witness whether he had ever heard of the report.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Have you heard of this report that I'm referring to? Do you know
7 of it?
8 A. No, I haven't. I'm not aware of this report.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. And I cannot comment on it, not being aware of it.
11 Q. Certainly. Okay. But you can comment on some of the observations
12 of the Special Rapporteur, since you were there on the ground. Now, let
13 me read the paragraph to you, and I'll ask you some questions about it:
14 "In territories of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina under the control
15 of ethnic Serbs, international organisations have repeatedly encountered
16 special difficulties in deciding whether or not they should compromise
17 their principles in order to avoid tragic loss of life. The forces
18 responsible for carrying out ethnic cleansing deliberately put such
19 humanitarian bodies in the position of either becoming reluctant
20 accomplices to ethnic cleansing by helping move target groups out of the
21 area being cleansed to an area of safety under the control of other
22 parties, or leaving them to their fate, which according to the
23 circumstances, may be detention, starvation, or the risk of summary
25 Do you agree with that assessment?
1 A. I cannot agree with this assessment, from my standpoint. I'm no
2 expert. To interpret this kind of a subject-matter. But I can say that
3 the International Red Cross, as a humanitarian organisation, as well as
4 its delegates who had their mandates, themselves exhibited an interest and
5 a desire to help the people that found itself in the war-ridden areas and
6 to provide them with every kind of assistance, including also the crossing
7 over to the other side to respect the principle of the reunification
8 of families.
9 Q. And certainly from what you saw and observed of the exchanges in
10 the area of Bosanski Samac, the ICRC was anything but a reluctant
11 accomplice, on the contrary; it was playing a leading role in the
13 A. I think that the International Red Cross was not a reluctant
14 accomplice, collaborator, but what I said was that the International Red
15 Cross exhibited great interest, was really bent on, keen, to help the
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I seek to tender that
19 report into evidence.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought we took judicial notice of UN documents.
21 It's a public one, isn't it? Unless you want specifically that paragraph.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, yes. Yes, I do want specifically that
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. There's no harm, then.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. And if Your Honours please, just while
1 that's being done, I can wrap up my questioning, if I may just proceed
2 with another question.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, please?
4 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P161. Thank you.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Mr. Maslic, I suggest to you that your evidence regarding the ICRC
7 brokering, organising, facilitating the exchange and the exchanges that
8 you've talked about is untrue, that they did not play that sort of role in
9 the organisation of the exchanges. Do you agree?
10 A. I do not agree.
11 Q. And I put it to you that the exchanges that you have described
12 were in fact a thinly veiled disguise over a crisis of ethnic cleansing
13 that was going on in the municipality of Bosanski Samac. Do you agree?
14 A. I do not agree.
15 Q. And I put it to you that that policy was largely successful, the
16 end result being that large numbers of non-Serbs had driven out of the
17 municipality via the system of exchanges. Do you agree or disagree?
18 A. I think that nobody had been driven out, and I've said during my
19 testimony that citizens reported of their own free will, of their own
20 initiative, and reported their desires to cross over to the other side.
21 Also, citizens from the other side who wished to cross over to the
22 territory of our municipality acted in a similar fashion.
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I have no further questions.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination, Mr. Lukic?
1 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
3 Will document 146/42 be shown to the witness, please, again, for
4 just a brief while, that is, P146/42.
5 Mr. Maslic, yesterday the Prosecutor showed you this document and
6 asked you if the Muslim commission made any distinction between detained
7 persons and civilians, and asked you to take a look at the title of the
8 commission and the title was "Commission for the exchange and flow of
9 civilians." Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Will you please read the title for me of this document slowly.
12 A. "List of persons-civilians who are being sought to be exchanged
13 from the area of Samac-Modrica and the general area, to the area of
14 Lukavac and the general area."
15 Q. Does the title of this document -- is it -- according to the title
16 of this document, is this a free circulation of citizens in question or
17 are they being sought to be exchanged?
18 A. They are being sought to be exchanged, because that was the only
19 way that such a crossing could have been made.
20 Q. Thank you. You said to the Prosecutor, in response to his
21 question, that -- yesterday, that Mr. Matteas, after having talked to you,
22 went to the SUP, the secretariat of the interior, and told you what he had
23 seen. Do you know that before he went to report to the police, did he go
24 and actually see for himself these detainees?
25 A. I'm not quite sure when it was that he exactly went there. I know
1 that he did go to visit the detention units. He was interested in the
2 people who were being held there. And his contacts with the police in
3 respect of his visits to these places and the interviews -- and the talks
4 after that is what he had with the police.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic.
6 Mr. Maslic, did Mr. Matteas take his own personal interpreter with
7 him when he went to do these interviews, or was an interpreter supplied by
8 the police? If you know.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that Mr. Matteas had an
10 interpreter. Her name was Snezana, Mrs. Snezana, I believe, and he always
11 had an interpreter with him.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I realise that you said he had an
13 interpreter. My question was: Do you know whether she was the one or the
14 personal interpreter was the one who went with him when he interviewed the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how he went and how he
17 talked to the detainees, because we didn't go there. We couldn't go there
18 when he went there, I mean the activists of the Red Cross. I can only
19 suppose that that was so, because he would never have any talks without an
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did Mr. Matteas, since he started coming, and you explained to me
24 and the Prosecutor that he came there -- went there quite frequently, did
25 he ever say to either you in person or your colleagues and you heard that
1 any of the colleagues who had come previously, I mean Katherine, had
2 raised any objections vis-a-vis your work and the first exchange? So had
3 any of his colleagues have any complaints about that first exchange and
4 your work in connection with it?
5 A. I never heard Mr. Matteas convey any objections to the work of the
6 local Red Cross in respect of the previous work of the delegates of the
7 Red Cross and as regards his work and his cooperation with the local Red
8 Cross, he always spoke about it in favourable terms when we had meetings,
9 and he always had some remarks in the sense of what else needed to be
10 done, and he always had more and more requirements in that sense.
11 Q. You didn't fully respond to my question. You said that he didn't
12 have objections to the work the local Red Cross, but what I asked you was
13 whether he had any -- he had heard any objections having been raised by
14 his colleagues to the first exchange in Zasavica.
15 A. He didn't say that he had heard any such objections.
16 Q. The Prosecutor asked you yesterday about persons who went to the
17 line to state their opinions, their preferred options, to the opposite
18 side in the sense they were not willing to cross. Was there not a much
19 more appropriate way for that to be done in Samac, in view of the dangers
20 that entailed? My question is: Do you know that a single person that
21 you, your commission, the Exchange Commission, of these persons who you
22 took to the line to either state their views or actually state their
23 options, was any of these individuals ever hurt or suffered in any way,
24 God forbid?
25 A. As far as I know, no one of these persons came to any harm, and to
1 the best of my knowledge, they moved about freely and lived in the houses
2 in town.
3 Q. I'm asking during the actual process of exchange, did anyone come
4 to any harm?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did any person go missing during the actual exchange?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Yesterday, responding to a question by the Prosecutor, you said
9 that people stated their preferred options before the representatives of
10 the International Red Cross when they were present at the exchange. Was
11 it irrespective of whether the International Red Cross was absent or
12 present at the exchange, was it always the case that these people always
13 stated their views to the opposite side?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you have situations of a person being sought repeatedly, many
16 times, to come and state his preferred option again?
17 A. Yes, there were such cases.
18 Q. Was it their families who were in fact insisting to hear from
19 their relatives directly whether they wished to cross or not?
20 A. Yes, there were such instances, and in such instances we made it
21 possible for their families to come there to the spot and to see their
22 people at the separation line and to talk to each other freely, in order
23 to agree what it is that they actually wanted in terms of being sought or
24 their remaining in Samac. As far as I know, there were several such
25 families. They are still living in Samac and they did not cross over to
1 the other side.
2 Q. The Honourable Judge Williams asked you, and the Prosecutor also
3 followed up on that question in respect of Article 143 of the Geneva
4 Convention regarding visits to the -- to people in prison. My question
5 is: Are you familiar with the Geneva Conventions?
6 A. I have read the Geneva Convention. I had occasion to familiarise
7 myself with it. But I'm not versed in every detail. Of course, it needs
8 closer scrutiny as a document. But I have read it in general.
9 Q. While you worked at these exchanges, did you bear in mind Article
10 26 of the Geneva Convention, of the 4th Geneva Convention? I shall quote
11 it for you: "Every party to the conflict shall facilitate research
12 undertaken by members of the families that have been broken up by the war
13 in order for them to be re-established ties, mutual ties, and to meet
14 again if that is possible. It will, in particular, facilitate the work of
15 organisations dedicated to this task on condition that they have
16 recognised these organisations and that they adapt their work to the
17 security measures undertaken by that side."
18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to the question.
19 Firstly, it's cross-examining the witness, and not only that, but it's
20 also placing the answer clearly in his mouth. The purpose of
21 re-examination is to clarify anything that arose in the course of
23 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought this arose in the course of
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Not the specifics of the convention.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: There's nothing wrong. I mean, the Geneva
2 Conventions arose during cross-examination, so Mr. Lukic is in order.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Did you know about this particular article? Did it ever mean
5 anything to you?
6 A. I am aware of this article of the convention. As for these
7 activities that were carried out within the Red Cross, they were related
8 precisely to that article and its implementation.
9 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you today about your membership
10 in the SDS. I'm going to put a brief question to you. Were people free
11 to join the SDS in 1993, 1994, and 1995?
12 A. Yes. It was possible to join freely. Everybody acted according
13 to his own free will and his or her wish to join a political party.
14 Q. But at that time you didn't?
15 A. At that time I didn't want to join a single political party,
16 because of the war itself and because of the circumstances under which we
18 Q. The Prosecutor asked you about the regulations that were
19 implemented in the work of your centre and of the local Red Cross. You
20 already explained that to the Prosecutor, but I would seek further
21 clarification. The laws that you mentioned during my examination-in-chief
22 as well, when were these laws actually adopted, the ones that you applied
23 while you worked at the centre and at the Red Cross?
24 A. I spoke about regulations from the field of social welfare and
25 child care. These are regulations that were passed before the war in the
1 former Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were being applied at the time while I
2 was director of the centre.
3 Q. The Prosecutor asked you today whether the municipality, due to
4 exchanges, had become predominantly Serb populated. I'm going to ask you
5 whether people left the municipality of Samac in other ways, not only by
6 way of exchanges.
7 A. They left by way of going to Yugoslavia, to Serbia. Whether there
8 was any other way in which this territory was left, I cannot say.
9 However, my family was also in Yugoslavia as refugees.
10 Q. Do you know that the -- do you know whether most of the population
11 left by way of exchanges or some other way? I'm referring to the non-Serb
13 A. They left in other ways too, and the municipality was divided
14 during the war. So a significant part of populated areas remained in the
15 Federation, that is to say, BH, with a predominantly different kind of
16 population, like Domaljevac, Grebnice, Bazik.
17 Q. That was not my question. Since you worked on exchanges, can you
18 say whether the non-Serb population that had left the territory of the
19 municipality of Samac left through exchanges for the most part or in some
20 other way?
21 A. Most of them left in some other way.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Maslic, can we find out, though, in response
24 to Mr. Lukic's question: These other ways, could you elaborate a little
25 bit? In which other ways did people leave the non-Serb population, apart
1 from the exchanges?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the first days of the war, of
3 the war conflict, citizens could leave the territory of the municipality.
4 During those first few days of the war, they could leave and they did
5 leave from the territory of the municipality. When a line of fire was
6 established, such departures were not possible. One could only go to
7 Serbia, to Yugoslavia, and to Croatia in this way.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: We've heard that checkpoints were set up around
9 the town of Bosanski Samac and that passes had to be issued by
10 Mr. Todorovic and the military, depending on who the people were. This
11 seems to imply that there wasn't total freedom of movement. Would you be
12 able to again just elaborate very briefly, you know? Is my understanding,
13 from what we've heard to date correct, that there were checkpoints and
14 people had to have passes in order to be able to move in and out of town?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Later they had to. At the
16 very beginning of my testimony, I said that I, together with my family,
17 was outside the municipality during the first days of the war. A great
18 many families, during the first days of the war and on the eve of the war
19 itself temporarily moved out of the municipality because this conflict was
20 being felt, and also the closeness of the war in Croatia. During these
21 first few days of the war, most people from the municipality of Samac, of
22 all ethnic backgrounds, had left in order to avoid these clashes and
23 deaths. Later, when checkpoints were established, the movement of the
24 population was under control.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, and for the purposes of
2 assisting you, we should have this witness's position absolutely clear,
3 now that Mr. Lukic has raised this issue in re-examination. The witness
4 said that most people left by way other than the exchanges, by other
5 mechanisms, and that occurred in the first few days of the war. You
6 should know, I submit, whether this witness's position is that most of the
7 non-Serbs who left the municipality of Bosanski Samac did so at the very
8 beginning, in the first few days of the war, or whether it was via the
9 exchanges. Because it's not entirely clear.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Restricting the people who left to the
11 non-Serb community.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand his position is most of the non-Serbs
13 left in the initial, first few days of the war by some means other than
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: And so --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: You just want that clarified.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: The proportionality has to be clear, whether or
19 not the subsequent exchange process got rid of - sorry - resulted in more
20 non-Serbs leaving than the initial outflow.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. Clarify that with the witness.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you understand? Did you understand what the Prosecutor is
24 insisting upon? Could you explain your views, your knowledge about the
25 facts in relation to the non-Serb population that lived in the territory
1 of the municipality of Samac that had left the territory of the
2 municipality of Samac? Not those that you mentioned who stayed in
3 Domaljevac, et cetera. So out of those who left, most of these people,
4 did they leave before the war or as soon as the war broke out, or did most
5 of that population remain in Samac and did they go elsewhere during the
6 war, by way of exchanges or in other ways? I think that that was the gist
7 of the Prosecutor's question.
8 A. They left before the war started and during the first few days of
9 the war.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that we've clarified this,
11 haven't we, as far as the Prosecutor is concerned?
12 MR. DI FAZIO: We've clarified it as far as the witness is
13 concerned, yes. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what the Prosecutor wanted to
15 hear from the witness.
16 Q. Mr. Maslic, do you know that during the first few days of the war,
17 immediately after the 17th of April, about 3.500 inhabitants from Croat
18 villages in the territory of the municipality of Samac had left? I'm
19 referring to Novo Selo, Tisina, and these villages, Hasici, those who were
20 in that part of the municipality of Samac.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to that question.
22 It's raising an entirely new topic, one that was not raised in the
23 cross-examination, and furthermore has the added problem of it being a
24 highly leading question.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. That wasn't raised in
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'll give up on this question
3 altogether, but I think that this question is derived from what Mr. Di
4 Fazio asked in relation to exchanges and leaving the territory altogether
5 during his cross-examination. But I'll leave it at that.
6 Q. Have you heard of Mr. Mirko Jovanovic?
7 A. Yes, I've heard of him. As far as I can remember, he was
8 president of the Executive Board just before the war broke out.
9 Q. Do you know that he was president of the Executive Board in May
10 1992? Do you know anything about that?
11 A. I don't know exactly how long, until when he was president of the
12 Executive Board, but I know that he was president of the Executive Board
13 just before the war and when the war began.
14 Q. You also talked today about what you knew concerning the massacre
15 in Crkvina, and also about Lugar and about the rumours and about what
16 people said concerning that event. The Prosecutor asked you whether you
17 had the impression that the non-Serb population became fearful after
18 learning about this event. My question to you is whether you personally,
19 as a person, and your co-workers at the Red Cross, did you become fearful
20 of this man after having heard about this event?
21 A. This fear did exist. I was personally afraid of that man. And
22 during my testimony, I said that he had threatened me. So there was fear.
23 Q. I'm going to put another question to you related to this UN report
24 that the Prosecutor read out, and also in relation to your cooperation
25 with the International Red Cross. Mr. Maslic, have you heard of the name
1 of Cornelio Sommaruga?
2 A. Yes, I have. That was the president of the International
3 Committee of the Red Cross.
4 Q. Then?
5 A. Then.
6 Q. Do you know that the International Red Cross issued public
7 statements, press releases, in 1992 and 1993, concerning their work in
9 A. I heard about that, but I did not have an opportunity of reading
10 these press releases or statements, so I'm not aware of their contents.
11 Q. As the Prosecutor showed you a document and read a document to you
12 a while ago, I'm now going to read another document to you and ask you for
13 your comment. This is a statement for the public by Mr. Cornelio
14 Sommaruga dated the 3rd of October, 1992. This is a document that we --
15 MR. DI FAZIO: May I please see the document? I haven't received
16 it. May I see it before any further questions are asked on the document?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This document was disclosed to the
18 Prosecution in 2001, and the Prosecution has it under document -- under
19 number PDB 56/3. This is a document that we said we would be exhibiting.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. And might I just have an opportunity to
21 look at the document first, please?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Before any further questions arise on
24 the issue, if I might just ask for a moment to look at the document.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have copies ready for the Trial
3 Chamber, so could I please ask the usher. The document is in the English
4 language. I haven't got the B/C/S version with me. I'm only interested
5 in two sentences from this document.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask that the document be placed
7 on the ELMO, please, as we have not received any copies.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. We've got no problem with this.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. You can go ahead.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Maslic, let us provide copies to the interpreters now as well.
12 I'm going to read page 3 of this document. I'm going to read this slowly.
13 I'll be reading in the English language.
14 [In English] "In practical terms, this means that the parties
15 involved, if necessary with help of the international protection
16 forces, must take all necessary measures to:
17 "1. Ensure that humanitarian organisation have unrestricted
18 access to all civilian victims of the conflict, so that they can be
19 protected and assisted in their places of the residence." [Interpretation]
20 I'm interested in your comment with regard to the following two articles.
21 [In English] "2. Facilitate the transfer of the most vulnerable
22 civilians and those wishing to be reunited with their families and allow
23 them to reach safe areas.
24 "3. Arrange, as stipulated in the London agreements, for the
25 unconditional release of all prisoners, who should also be permitted to
1 join their families and resettle in safe areas or another country until
2 they can return to their homes."
3 [Interpretation] Mr. Maslic, during your work concerning
4 exchanges, did you make an effort to abide by these positions of the
5 International Red Cross and the statements made by its president?
6 A. During my testimony, on several occasions I pointed out the good
7 cooperation we had with the International Committee of the Red Cross and
8 the assistance we got, and also the major efforts and sacrifices made by
9 its delegates, in order to go along with the wishes and willingness of
10 those who were afflicted by war. We were primarily guided by the
11 principle of family reunification, so that people would be saved rather
12 than become victims of war.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have an exhibit
14 number for this document?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D104/3.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that completes my
18 re-examination of this witness.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Maslic, for giving evidence
20 to the Trial Chamber. You are now finished. You may leave the courtroom.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to thank Your Honours
22 for giving me this opportunity to take the witness stand in front of this
23 Tribunal. I hope that my testimony will help you in performing your
24 duties. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, indeed. It will be very helpful.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before we call the next
4 witness, we would like to propose some measures in respect of this witness
5 in private session. So if we can now proceed in private session for our
6 explanation of why we seek these measures.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we go into private session?
8 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The next witness will give evidence in closed
25 session, upon the request of the Defence. There is no objection from the
1 Prosecution, and the Trial Chamber is of the view that in the interests of
2 justice, it's better to hear this witness in closed session.
3 [Closed session]
13 Pages 14424-14455 – redacted – closed session
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd day of
9 January 2003, at 9.00 a.m.