1 Wednesday, 5 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.13 a.m.
5 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: We're going to start now. Mr. Sehapovic,
8 could you please stand and read --
9 Are the interpreters ready? Yes?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes.
11 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Sehapovic, could you please stand and read
12 the text on the pink sheet of paper in front of you.
13 WITNESS: AHMET SEHAPOVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 PRESIDING OFFICER: Microphone. Microphone.
18 MR. RE: There is no sound over here.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? Can you
20 hear me? No? My mike is on.
21 PRESIDING OFFICER: Everything okay?
22 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
23 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Lukic, we have no interpretation at the
25 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
1 Is it all right now? Okay? Can we start now?
2 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sehapovic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. I would just like to remind you to speak slowly and wait for a
7 THE INTERPRETER: We have a problem. Will you wait a bit,
9 Can you hear this microphone? This microphone is working?
10 And this one? Can you hear me now? Okay. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we continue?
12 Q. Will you tell us slowly your first and last name.
13 A. Ahmet Sehapovic.
14 Q. Ahmet, please slow down. Do you have any nickname that people
15 know you by in Samac?
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer because
17 of the overlap.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Since when have you been living in Samac?
20 A. I was born in Samac.
21 Q. Will you please repeat your nickname, but slowly.
22 A. Cifun.
23 Q. Tell us: When were you born? In what year?
24 A. 1948.
25 Q. Month and date?
1 A. The 8th of December.
2 Q. What are you by ethnicity?
3 A. I'm a Muslim.
4 Q. What are your parents by ethnicity?
5 A. They are Muslims.
6 Q. What is your marital status?
7 A. I was married. I have a daughter. She's in America now.
8 Q. When did your daughter go to America?
9 A. In 1995.
10 Q. Tell us: Where were you working? Where were you employed until
11 the beginning of the war? When I say "until the beginning of the war,"
12 I'm referring to the month of April 1992.
13 A. I worked at the utility company.
14 Q. What was the popular name of that enterprise?
15 A. The 11th of April.
16 Q. Was it called Komunalac?
17 A. Well, yes, later.
18 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me also whether, before the war, during
19 the war, or after the war, were you a member of any political party?
20 A. No, no party.
21 Q. Thank you. What work did you do in this utility company before
22 the war?
23 A. I worked on waste disposal and tended to the garden.
24 Q. Maintenance in the city?
25 A. Yes, city maintenance.
1 Q. Mr. Sehapovic, had you heard of the Cafe AS?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I should like to ask you several questions about the Cafe AS. I'm
4 interested in the period prior to the outbreak of the conflict, prior to
5 the war. Did you frequent the Cafe AS before the war?
6 A. I practically was a fixture, so to speak, at the Cafe AS. I was
7 there at all times.
8 Q. Did you go there every day?
9 A. Yes. I was there every day, without fail.
10 Q. What was the atmosphere like in this cafe before the war? I'm
11 interested in the year 1991 and the first month of 1992. Did you come to
12 the AS every day then?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Describe it for us. What was it like?
15 A. Serbs, Croats, and Muslims came there. There was no problem
16 whatsoever, at all.
17 Q. Was this cafe working around the clock?
18 A. It worked until midnight.
19 Q. Who was the owner of the cafe then?
20 A. Miroslav Tadic was.
21 Q. Did it have its permanent customers?
22 A. Yes, it did.
23 Q. Did members of all the ethnicities come there on a daily basis?
24 A. Yes. They came all the time.
25 Q. Tell us: In that period prior -- just prior to the outbreak of
1 the war, did you also go to the other cafes in Samac?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Were there any cafes that you were not particularly fond of, that
4 you didn't like to go to, where you had problems?
5 A. Yes, there were some. There were some.
6 Q. Where didn't you go?
7 A. I didn't go to Mola, the so-called inn Mola.
8 Q. Who was the owner of that cafe?
9 A. Ratif Atic.
10 Q. Who is what by ethnicity?
11 A. Also a Muslim.
12 Q. And why didn't you go to that cafe?
13 A. I didn't go there because the crowd that gathered there was
14 somehow strong, stronger.
15 Q. What do you mean by "somehow stronger"?
16 A. Well, what I mean is well-heeled, moneyed.
17 Q. Did members of all the three ethnicities go to that cafe?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And who gathered in this cafe, exclusively?
20 A. Izet Izetbegovic came, Omer Nalic.
21 Q. I was asking you about Mola. What crowd came to Mola?
22 A. That's it. Kemal Bobic, Fitozovic.
23 Q. Tell us: Did any one of these well-known Muslims also come to the
24 AS cafe?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who did you see in the AS?
2 A. Izet Izetbegovic, Omer Nalic, Fitozovic as well.
3 Q. Did these people ever have any problems with the guests in the
4 Cafe AS?
5 A. No. In my view, they didn't.
6 Q. Had you heard of the 4th Detachment?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you know who was in the 4th Detachment, or rather, did you
9 know some people who were members of the 4th Detachment?
10 A. No, I didn't.
11 Q. Do you know where the headquarters of the 4th Detachment was
12 before the war?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know where the Sit, the Mladost Sit building is?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. Were there any signs, any emblems, any Yugoslav emblems, before
17 the war on that building that you remember?
18 A. Yes, there were.
19 Q. What were they?
20 A. They were the Yugoslav flag, and I cannot recall exactly what the
21 other flag was at this point.
22 Q. So there were two flags?
23 A. Yes, there were two flags.
24 Q. Had you ever seen any meetings being held at the AS, or that
25 something unusual was going on relative to normal cafe life?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. What did the people do in AS?
3 A. They would gamble, they would shoot pool, they would sit there and
4 have a couple of drinks.
5 Q. Did you see any excesses or any conflicts, any brawls in AS?
6 A. This didn't happen there.
7 Q. Tell me, Mr. Sehapovic: Did you see members of special units
8 during the war in Samac, people who had come from Serbia, the so-called
9 camouflaged people?
10 A. No, I didn't.
11 Q. But were you aware that they were there in Samac? Did you hear
12 about it?
13 A. Yes, I've heard that they were there, but I didn't see them
15 Q. And before the war, had you seen any people come to AS who were
16 not from Samac municipality, people from outside, from elsewhere?
17 A. No, I didn't.
18 Q. Thank you. Now I shall deal with another subject.
19 After the outbreak of the war, which is to say after the 17th of
20 April, 1992, where were you working? Were you still working, and where
21 were you working?
22 A. I worked at the utility company.
23 Q. The enterprise where you had worked before?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How long did you work at the utility company?
1 A. Twelve years and three or four months was the complete length of
2 my service.
3 Q. When the war started, how long did you remain working at this
5 A. For a month or two, I believe.
6 Q. Were you receiving your salaries at the time?
7 A. Yes, we were. Of course, there was a minimum wage.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Will the witness please now be shown
9 document 80A/1 ter, D80A/1 ter.
10 Q. Sir, please look at the people on this list and tell me: Do you
11 see your own name on this list?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Do you know these people, the other people on the list?
14 A. I know them all.
15 Q. This list has, so to speak, two parts: a first part, in which
16 there were nine persons, and a second part, with three people. Is that
17 not so? Look at these three people at the bottom: Safet Dubric, Sabahudin
18 Coralic, and Ruzmir Mustafic. Did you work before the war with you?
19 A. Safet Dubric did, and Sabahudin worked for a month in the lift
21 Q. Did they also receive their salaries?
22 A. No, they didn't.
23 Q. When were they actually added to your enterprise, or rather, when
24 did they start working there?
25 A. I cannot recall the exact time. I know that they came there to
1 help out, as it were.
2 Q. Mihajlo Sljokic, under number 2, and Kosta Mihaljcic, are they
4 A. Yes, they are.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Will the witness please be shown
7 document D80B/1.
8 Q. Do you see your name on this list?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. This is the payroll for June 1992, so it is written here. Do you
11 remember that in that month you also received a minimum wage?
12 A. I did not get it.
13 Q. Tell me: Until what time did you remain working at the Komunalac,
14 at the utility company? What happened after that?
15 A. I worked until June or July, I think -- May or June, sorry. And I
16 don't --
17 Q. And then what happened at that time? Did you get any summons to
18 report anywhere?
19 A. Yes, I got a summons from Dzevad Celic; and not only I, but also
20 some other people.
21 Q. Do you remember whether this was a written call that you received
22 and who signed it?
23 A. It was signed by Bozo Ninkovic.
24 Q. And where did you report to?
25 A. To the pensioners' home, pensioners' club. I reported to Dzevad
2 Q. Were you working with a work detail or work platoon for a while?
3 A. I worked with a work detail up to August, I think.
4 Q. What work did you do as part of this platoon?
5 A. Well, we did various work, different work.
6 Q. Well, tell us one.
7 A. Well, cleaning the streets. I was in charge of the machines, the
8 lawn-mowing machines. Waste disposal, generally, was our job.
9 Q. Were you given any salaries for that at that time?
10 A. No, none.
11 Q. What happened afterwards? Were you transferred to any other
12 jobs? Were you called? Were you summoned to transfer to another service?
13 A. I was called to transfer to the local community, to the local
14 commune, as civil defence.
15 Q. To whom did you report there?
16 A. I reported to Ljubo Vukovic.
17 Q. I am going to ask you about a couple of persons so that you would
18 recall. When you came to the civil defence, was the civil defence office
19 in the same building as the pensioners' club?
20 A. Yes, it was, but not throughout that period. It was relocated
22 Q. You mentioned Ljubo Vukovic. Do you remember whether you found
23 there, in that period while you were working at the civil defence, Trivo
25 A. No. No, I didn't.
1 Q. Do you remember the plumber, Ibrahim Karic?
2 A. Yes, him I remember. There was also Mehmed Kurtic.
3 Q. Do you remember Isko, the driver?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Are these Muslims?
6 A. Yes, they are.
7 Q. Was Zeljko Volasevic perhaps among them? Do you remember him?
8 A. He left. He left about that time.
9 Q. Who was the commander of the civil defence staff?
10 A. I suppose it was Tadic.
11 Q. Did you see him?
12 A. Well, I saw him occasionally, yes.
13 Q. What were you doing in the civil defence? What kind of work?
14 A. When we are told that a dead man has been brought, if he was
15 killed, be he a Serb, a Muslim, or a Croat - it didn't make any difference
16 - we would be called, those of us who would be working there, we would go
17 there, bathe the dead man, and take care of everything. We would get a
18 coffin and we would bury them.
19 Q. Who would tell you that you had to go to the morgue?
20 A. Ljubo Vukovic.
21 Q. When you started working on the preparation of bodies prior to
22 funerals, were you in the civil defence all the time?
23 A. Yes. I was offered to stay because few were willing to do this,
24 so I stayed on.
25 Q. Did you receive a salary while you were doing that work?
1 A. Yes, I did; not just me, but others as well.
2 Q. Did you receive your salary in cash?
3 A. Yes, cash, cash.
4 Q. And who gave you your salary?
5 A. Ljubo Vukovic did.
6 Q. What were the interpersonal relations in the staff in those days?
7 Did you have any problems because you were a Muslim?
8 A. No, no problems whatsoever. Relations were first class.
9 Q. How long did you stay in the civil defence staff?
10 A. Until it was disbanded. Until it was disbanded.
11 Q. Thank you. Just one other brief topic and that will bring us to
12 the close. Were you engaged in the cutting of wood?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Will you tell us what you did?
15 A. I would load the timber and logs, and others would cut them.
16 Q. And when was this when you were loading the wood?
17 A. Niko Ivic was working on this, and Branko Djuric, Bacan
19 Q. Where did they cut the wood?
20 A. In the woods.
21 Q. Did you hear them bringing timber from some abandoned houses in
22 the village?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Were these unprocessed timber?
25 A. Yes. They were logs, which earlier we used to cut with an
1 electric saw. And now, where they would be taken, I don't know.
2 Q. And the three persons that you mentioned cutting the wood, what
3 ethnicity were they?
4 A. They were Serbs.
5 Q. And where did they bring those logs to?
6 A. To Buducnost. Now it's called Nova Forma.
7 Q. And what did you do with the logs in Buducnost?
8 A. We would have them sawed again with electric saws into smaller
9 pieces. Then we would store them up. Now, where they would be taken, I
10 don't know.
11 Q. So you were doing this while you were a member of the work
12 platoon, were you not?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you later go to cut wood in the wood, in the forest?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. When was this when you yourself went?
17 A. I think it was sometime in 1994.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that ends my
19 examination-in-chief. Madam Presiding Officer, rather.
20 PRESIDING OFFICER: Cross-examination.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
22 Q. Mr. Sehapovic, my name is David Re. I'm a Prosecutor. I'm going
23 to ask you some questions about what you've just told us. You understand
25 Before the war, that's before 1992, did you have a flat or a house
1 in Bosanski Samac?
2 A. I had a flat which I hadn't received, really, yet.
3 Q. I'm sorry. Could you repeat your answer? Stop. Could you
4 repeat --
5 A. I had a flat, but one that I still hadn't officially received.
6 Q. Can I just clarify something? Because I didn't quite hear your
7 answer because of the interpretation. Before 1992, April -- Mr.
8 Sehapovic, you must wait until I finish the question, listen to it, and
9 answer the question I ask, please.
10 Before April 1992, I want you to tell us: Did you own a flat or a
11 house in Bosanski Samac? Just tell us again.
12 A. I did. A flat.
13 Q. Were you married?
14 A. Yes, I was. I have one daughter.
15 Q. Your wife: Muslim, Croat, or Serb?
16 A. Muslim.
17 Q. Did your wife leave Bosanski Samac during the war?
18 A. She didn't. My daughter did. My daughter went to America and my
19 wife went to Austria before the war, because we were divorced -- after we
20 divorced. We divorced a long time ago. The daughter stayed behind with
21 me. She was 18 months old at the time.
22 Q. Was that during the war?
23 A. No. My daughter was with me right up until 1995, during the war
24 as well.
25 Q. Okay. You had a flat you were living in in Bosanski Samac. Did
1 other people move in with you during the war? You have to wait until the
2 question finishes, it's translated, and then answer me. The question
3 was: Did other people move in with you when you were living in Bosanski
4 Samac in your flat during the war?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May I just clarify, to avoid any
6 confusion? I would like the Prosecutor to ask the witness when he moved
7 in. Then it will be clearer. "During the war" is a very broad concept,
8 so I would like the question to clarify exactly the time.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. In 1992, 1993, 1994, or 1995, did anyone else move in with you in
11 your flat where you were living in Bosanski Samac; and if so, who and
13 A. In 1995 I was expelled, and at the beginning of 1996 a person came
14 from Plehane. I don't know her name or last name. She stayed briefly. A
15 second person came as some sort of boss. She stayed briefly too. And now
16 there's a third person, who is still living in that flat.
17 Q. Where are you living now?
18 A. I'm now living at my mother's.
19 Q. You said you were expelled in 1995. Where were you expelled to,
20 and why were you expelled?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
22 Please don't answer this question.
23 This question is absolutely outside the framework of the
24 indictment, so I object to any questions being put or answered after
25 1993. It is quite outside the framework of the indictment.
1 MR. RE: I will press the question on the basis of its relevance
2 to the witness's credibility and his experience in giving -- his
3 experience and why he's giving testimony. The Trial Chamber will, of
4 course, rule on whether the answer will be allowed into evidence later.
5 Q. The question I asked you is: Why were you expelled in 1995, and
6 where were you expelled to?
7 A. They simply evicted me. They threw me out of my apartment; that's
8 all. Refugees are coming. That was the sort of explanation.
9 Q. Where were you expelled to?
10 A. I went to my mother's, because I couldn't live in the street.
11 Q. You didn't leave Bosanski Samac; you were evicted from your flat
12 rather than expelled from the municipality. Is that right?
13 A. No one hurt me or expelled me in any way, no.
14 Q. When you worked on the work detail cleaning the streets, how many
15 other people worked on that particular detail with you? Just the number,
17 A. It depends where people were assigned to. There would be three of
18 us, five of us. It depended.
19 Q. And what was the ethnicity of the people you were working with on
20 the work detail cleaning the streets?
21 A. There was a Serb working with me as well, a Serb too. Others were
22 Muslims. Three, four, or five of us, as they would determine over there.
23 Q. You were also working, you told us, on burying people of all
24 ethnicities. When you buried people of any ethnicity - Muslim, Croat, or
25 Serb, that is, Catholic, Muslim, or Orthodox - were they given religious
1 burials in accordance with the rites of their faith?
2 A. Yes. The family would come for them. We would prepare them and
3 do our work, and then the family would take them away and bury them
4 according to their particular rites.
5 Q. Leaving bodies in the street would have been a health hazard to
6 everyone, wouldn't it?
7 A. Of course, yes.
8 Q. So bodies had to be buried, regardless of ethnicity, and as soon
9 as possible, didn't they?
10 A. Yes, correct.
11 Q. In your work detail at cleaning the streets, you were on one
12 detail. How many other details do you know of were there also working in
13 Bosanski Samac at the time?
14 A. There was only one work platoon.
15 Q. When you were cutting wood, your work detail cutting wood, how
16 many people worked with you on the wood-gathering detail?
17 A. There were six of them loading the wood. One was driving. No,
18 I'm sorry. There were seven. Two of us would cut, five would load.
19 Q. Were the other people Muslim, Croat, or Serbs?
20 A. All were Muslims.
21 Q. Was the driver of the truck a Muslim?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Who was in charge of this detail?
24 A. We would get calls to report to cut wood, and we would report to
25 Bozo Ninkovic. He would be the one signing the call-up paper.
1 Q. Were you ever -- did you ever do trench digging?
2 A. No, I didn't.
3 Q. You said -- was it -- you reported to Bozo Ninkovic for the
4 details or the assignment? Is that right?
5 A. A courier would come to fetch us, and he would have these papers,
6 these documents, signed by Bozo Ninkovic. He would come to fetch us and
7 tell us to go to the local community, and that was all.
8 Q. Who was the courier?
9 A. Skejic Suad was the courier.
10 Q. His ethnicity was what?
11 A. He was also a Muslim.
12 Q. You said -- I think your words were that you were a fixture at the
13 Cafe AS. Was this during the war as well as before the war?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Cafe AS was operating for how long during the war?
16 A. Well, it stopped working. It didn't work for about four to six
17 months after the outbreak of the war, because there was a prohibition on
18 alcohol, a general prohibition on alcohol use.
19 Q. After that, was it business as usual at the Cafe AS?
20 A. Yes, it did work later on.
21 Q. Serving alcohol?
22 A. Not much. Very little.
23 Q. Mr. Sehapovic, you told Mr. Lukic before that you were not a
24 member -- you had not been a member of a political party. Had you had any
25 political involvement, like assisting a political party, before or during
1 the war?
2 A. Never.
3 Q. Did you vote in the referendum on independence for Bosnia?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you vote in the municipal elections in October 1990?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you didn't have much interest in politics or government; is
8 that right?
9 A. No, I'm not a politician in any sense.
10 Q. Were you following what was happening at a local level with
11 politics in 1991, 1992?
12 A. How could I follow? There was no electricity.
13 Q. There were elections in 1990 and Municipal Assembly was elected.
14 Did you follow the events, that is, the different parties being elected to
15 the municipal government and what was happening there? Did you follow
16 that through the media before the war?
17 A. I don't really follow these things.
18 Q. Mr. Tadic, is he a friend of yours?
19 A. Well, the owner of the cafe, and as I was there non-stop; that's
20 as far as it went. He's a professor and I am an ordinary manual worker.
21 A teacher, rather. He's a teacher.
22 Q. The Cafe AS, did it seem to you to be a good business, a
23 profitable business?
24 A. Could you repeat that, please?
25 Q. From going to the Cafe AS every day, being a fixture there, did
1 the Cafe AS seem to you to be a profitable business, a good business?
2 A. Well, you see, they did make a good income before the war, but the
3 war did its bit. Everything was over.
4 Q. So Mr. Tadic would have been short of money during the war because
5 his business wasn't working?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness is asked to
7 speculate. I think the question should be rephrased. Did Tadic tell
8 him? Was he aware that Tadic was short of funds? Or something to that
10 MR. RE: I will rephrase it.
11 Q. Were you aware of whether Mr. Tadic was short of money during the
12 war because his profitable business was no longer operating?
13 A. I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about that.
14 Q. Did you know that Mr. Tadic was the -- was in the 4th Detachment?
15 A. I didn't know.
16 Q. So you wouldn't have known that he was the assistant commander for
17 logistics in that detachment?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And you wouldn't have known whether the customers at Cafe AS were
20 members of the 4th Detachment either, would you?
21 A. I am unable to say. I don't know.
22 Q. Did you know that [Microphone not activated]... Exchange
23 Commission in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. There were stories, but that's all. I don't know.
25 Q. What about Mr. Zaric? Do you know Mr. Zaric, Simo Zaric?
1 A. Well, yes, I do know Simo Zaric, of course.
2 Q. Did you know he was the chief of national security service for
3 Bosanski Samac in the war, in 1992?
4 A. I didn't know anything.
5 Q. Do you know Dr. Blagoje Simic?
6 A. Yeah, I know him as a doctor.
7 Q. Did you know he was the president of the Crisis Staff, then the
8 War Presidency, in Bosanski Samac, in 1992, 1993?
9 A. I didn't know that.
10 MR. RE: I have no further questions.
11 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] First of all, for a point of clarification. I
15 think that the Prosecutor didn't understand your answer quite well. When
16 I asked you in the examination-in-chief how often you went to the AS cafe,
17 you said: I went so often that I was married to it. What did you really
18 mean? Were you referring to a wedding or how close you were to the cafe?
19 When you use that expression, what does it mean?
20 A. Well, it means that I was a regular customer, that I came there on
21 a daily basis.
22 Q. You went so often as if you had been married to it - that is an
23 expression used in our language, to avoid any confusion - that you didn't
24 really get married in that cafe.
25 The Prosecutor asked you about religious rites at funerals, and
1 you answered that. But in that connection, when you were washing the
2 bodies, did you make an effort, taking into consideration the ethnicity of
3 those persons? How was the washing of the bodies organised?
4 A. Three of us did it.
5 Q. But was it the custom for the Muslims to wash Muslims, and Serbs
6 to wash Serbs?
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. Did Tiko Tesic [phoen] work with you on those same assignments?
9 A. No, he didn't.
10 Q. But do you know that he washed bodies too?
11 A. Yes, I do know that.
12 Q. And what is his ethnicity?
13 A. He's a Serb.
14 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you whether you know anything
15 about Tadic's financial status before the war and during the war. Do you
16 know whether Tadic assisted people of all ethnicities during the war?
17 A. I have living proof of that.
18 MR. RE: [Previous translation continues]... it doesn't arise from
19 cross-examination. It's a question which, if it should have been asked,
20 should have been asked in examination-in-chief. I asked nothing about Mr.
21 Tadic's assistance to people during the war. So my objection is noted.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will respond, and I will press on
23 with my question, because I think it does arise from the
24 cross-examination. The Prosecutor asked whether the witness knew that
25 Tadic, during the war, was short of money, that is, he had less money than
1 before the war. So my direct question to the witness, arising from the
2 Prosecutor's question, is whether he's aware that with his money, Tadic
3 had assisted people during the war.
4 A. Yes, he did, with his own money.
5 Q. Do you know that he assisted Muslims living in Samac?
6 A. That is correct. There were a couple of occasions.
7 MR. RE: I object. That's cross-examination of a witness, not
8 re-examination. Again -- two objections: (1) It doesn't arise; (2) it's
9 leading; (3) it's cross-examination.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will rephrase this question, but I
11 still believe it does arise from the topic raised by the Prosecutor.
12 Q. Who did Miroslav Tadic assist during the war, giving money to
14 A. He assisted Croats, Muslims.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
17 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you. Mr. Sehapovic, this concludes your
18 deposition today. You may go now. Thank you for coming.
19 We'll have a ten-minute --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
21 PRESIDING OFFICER: We'll have a ten-minute break now.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 --- Break taken at 10.02 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.18 a.m.
25 [The witness entered]
1 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning, Mr. Jekic. Could you please
2 stand and read the pink sheet of paper in front of you.
3 WITNESS: MILAN JEKIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
6 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: The Defence for Simo Zaric.
8 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. You can sit down now.
10 A. Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Jekic, I'm Aleksandar Lazarevic, an attorney. We've already
12 met. And on behalf of the Defence of Mr. Simo Zaric, I will be putting
13 questions to you. I would like to ask you kindly to make a small pause
14 after my question, before giving your answer, in order for everything to
15 be recorded properly.
16 Now, please state your full name for the record.
17 A. Milan Jekic.
18 Q. Can you tell us when you were born and where?
19 A. On the 4th of September, 1954, in the village of Batkusa, Bosanski
20 Samac municipality.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Now, can you tell us: Where are you living
23 A. I live in the same village of Batkusa nowadays, municipality of
24 Bosanski Samac.
25 Q. Can you please tell us now something regarding your education.
1 Where did you complete your primary school, secondary school, and so on?
2 A. I completed primary school in the village of Obudovac, Bosanski
3 Samac municipality. I completed secondary school in Bosanski Samac and
4 then faculty of mechanical engineering in Belgrade, and I have a degree,
5 BS degree, from there. I'm a mechanical engineer.
6 Q. Thank you. Now tell us: Did you complete your military service
7 in the Yugoslav People's Army; and if so, where and when?
8 A. I completed my military service in 1980 and 1981, in Skopje, in
9 Macedonia. I spent my entire 11 months of service there.
10 Q. During serving, while you did your military service, did you have
11 a rank?
12 A. Yes. I was a private; and upon leaving the army, I was given the
13 rank of private first class.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Tell us: Are you married?
15 A. I'm married and I have three children.
16 Q. Now tell us: What is your ethnicity?
17 A. I'm a Serb.
18 Q. Mr. Jekic, were you ever a member of a political party?
19 A. I was never a member up until 1990, and then in 1990 I was a
20 member for a brief period of time, up until 1992. During that time, I was
21 a member of the SDS.
22 Q. Are you a member of any party, political party, nowadays?
23 A. I have not been in any party since the 16th of October, 1992. I'm
24 political inactive.
25 Q. So if I understood you well, you spent some two years in the SDS,
1 from 1990 to 1992, and then following that you were not a member of any
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. I'd like to ask you now something regarding your career. What
5 jobs did you have, what tasks did you have, up until the April of 1992?
6 A. You mean from the very beginning of my life? What period are you
7 interested in?
8 Q. From the time you completed the university. Just briefly.
9 A. Yes. I worked in the secondary school centre in Orasje, then I
10 worked in the factory in Gradacac, then in the repair shop in Modrica, and
11 then for one year in the Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and
13 Q. Now tell me, please, regarding your jobs before the war broke
14 out: You said that you worked in the Ministry of the Interior. Can you
15 tell us which public security station and what were your duties there?
16 A. I worked in the public security station in Bosanski Samac starting
17 in mid-May of 1991, up until the 9th of April, 1992. My duties were that
18 of the commander of the police station.
19 Q. And then what was it that happened on the 9th of April, when you
20 ceased working there?
21 A. On the 9th of April, the then chief of public security station,
22 he, as chief, and I, as commander of the police station, had to resign in
23 writing, at the request of the staff, people who were employed there.
24 Q. For the record, please, can you tell us the name of the then chief
25 of the public security station?
1 A. Yes. His name was Vinko Dragicevic.
2 Q. Tell me, please: What is the ethnicity of Mr. Vinko Dragicevic?
3 A. He's a Croat.
4 Q. Therefore, on the 7th of April, you and Mr. Dragicevic, so to
5 speak, left your work with the police. Can you tell us who replaced you,
6 or rather, who replaced Mr. Dragicevic and you?
7 A. I can't tell you that. I didn't know it at the time. Later on I
8 heard that the acting chief of the public security station was Dragan
9 Lukac, and I don't know who became the commander. This is all the
10 information I have.
11 Q. Very well. I will not insist on any further details. I believe
12 we have enough supporting information.
13 Sir, now I would like to turn to the events during the night
14 between the 16th and 17th of April, 1992. It has been established here
15 that that was the night when the hostilities broke out in Samac. Can you
16 tell us: Where were you that night, the night between the 16th and 17th
17 of April, 1992?
18 A. I was in my bedroom, in my own bed. I slept during that night.
19 Q. I omitted to ask you something, and I believe it's not too late to
20 do it now. Were you perhaps a member of the 4th Detachment?
21 A. No, I was not a member of the 4th Detachment.
22 Q. Were you perhaps a member of some other detachment with the
23 Yugoslav People's Army up until the 17th of April, 1992?
24 A. In that period of time, from the 9th of April up until the 18th of
25 April, I was not assigned or attached to anything. I was simply
1 unassigned. I was a commander of the police station who had resigned, who
2 was suspended, who had to resign, pursuant to the request of the staff
4 Q. All right. We just needed to be more specific about that, to see
5 whether you were a member of any military unit.
6 A. No. I was not active. I have not a member of any military unit.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Now tell us, please: On the 18th of April,
8 what happened?
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Or rather -- I apologise. My
11 colleague has just suggested something.
12 Q. What happened on the 17th of April with respect to you?
13 A. As far as the 17th of April is concerned, I was called by the
14 chief of the public security station, Stevan Todorovic, who was appointed
15 by I don't know whom in Bosanski Samac. He called me on the phone, at
16 home, and he knew that there was a reserve police station in Obudovac,
17 which neighbours my village of Batkusa, and he told me to go there and to
18 organise within that station, and with that station's personnel, several
19 checkpoints that were on the roads towards Orasje, Gradacac, and the other
20 side. And following that, I was to bring to him 15 members of reserve
21 police to Samac, or else he was going to send people in camouflage
22 uniforms to bring me in.
23 So I had no choice but to try to assemble 15 people out of the 40
24 reserve policemen. I managed to find 15 people. We got into three
25 vehicles. And then sometime around noon on the 18th, we got into vehicles
1 and went to Samac, using the marked roads, because all other roads leading
2 to Samac were blocked. That's how it was.
3 Q. Let's just clarify. When you say "people in camouflage uniforms,
4 multicoloured uniforms," who do you have in mind?
5 A. Well, they were wearing multicoloured camouflage uniforms. I
6 don't know where they had come from. And this is what we called them:
7 camouflage people. It wasn't until later that we learnt that there had
8 been some members of special units wearing camouflage uniforms and
9 performing certain tasks and activities.
10 Q. Very well. Therefore, on the 18th you, as you explained to us,
11 got to the public security station in Bosanski Samac. Now, can you tell
12 us briefly: What did you find there when you got there?
13 A. I found a complete chaos there at the station, and I saw people in
14 camouflage uniforms there. There were six people wearing police uniforms
15 who had come from the reserve police station in Gornja Slatina, and I saw
16 quite a number of those people, and there were no former members of the
17 police station.
18 Q. So you got there and you found things the way you just described
19 them to us. Did you receive any tasks or orders from the chief? What was
20 your task supposed to be there? What jobs were you supposed to perform?
21 A. On that day, after my arrival, certain other people came who used
22 to work at the police station. One of those people later became commander
23 of the police station, and he was appointed by authorities; I don't know
24 by whom exactly. I told you that I was commander up until the 9th of
25 April, appointed by the Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. And after resigning, I went there, upon summons or a threat
2 by the chief of the public security station, Stevan Todorovic, and I was
3 told that I was to be a person in charge of records and assigning people
4 there, because that was within the scope of authorities of commander of
5 the police station, who was supposed to assign former police members to
6 various assignments within the police station.
7 Q. Can you please tell us: Who was the commander of the public
8 security station then?
9 A. It was Savo Cancarevic. As I told you, when I got to the station,
10 there were just six policemen there, six reserve policemen at that, and
11 the rest of them were people in camouflage uniform. And as the day went
12 on, the station filled with people. While I was there, for some two
13 months, the station grew to some 250 people, approximately. I'm not
14 claiming that it was exactly 250, but approximately there were 250 people
15 employed there.
16 Q. Mr. Jekic, I have to ask you to slow down a bit so that the
17 interpreters can manage to complete interpretation.
18 A. No problem.
19 Q. Now, can you tell us something -- or rather, tell us what you know
20 regarding an event, and this has to do with finding certain documents
21 within the public security station. What happened? When did it happen?
22 What did you find? Where? And so on.
23 A. Upon a threat received by one of those camouflage people, and
24 later on I learned that his name was Lugar, who came and drank and said to
25 us: Fuck your mothers. I apologise for my language. Fuck your communist
1 mothers. If I find anything red or communist here, I will shoot them.
2 I tried to save my own skin and I tried to resolve this in a
3 normal manner, so to speak. And in the office of the former deputy
4 commander of police station -- my office was in complete chaos and it was
5 all wrecked, and I had to go into this other office, and I went through
6 some documents, through some papers. And in order not to throw away
7 things that did not have to do with communists but had to do with our
8 profession and could potentially be important, this is what I left, and
9 everything else that fell under the threat of Lugar I threw away. I threw
10 it into a pile, and later on that was taken out. And while going through
11 those documents one by one, I found some documentation of the SDA military
13 Q. All right. Very well. Thank you. Now let me just clarify this
14 by putting additional questions to you.
15 So tell us first: What was the office in which you found this?
16 We have had evidence here before this Trial Chamber and we know what the
17 building looks like, so everybody is familiar with it. Just tell me,
18 please: Was it on the ground floor or on the first floor?
19 A. It was on the ground floor, and upon entering from Samac, one
20 would face the windows of that office, and the windows of that office
21 faced the Sava River.
22 Q. All right. So you said that that was the office of the deputy
24 A. Yes, deputy commander.
25 Q. All right. Can you tell us: Who was the deputy commander then,
1 at the time, on the eve of the breakout of hostilities?
2 A. Let me tell you: During that period of time, at the level of the
3 Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the reserve composition of the then
4 police elevated so that the former police station in Samac was included
5 into a larger system, and four reserve police stations were established.
6 One of them was in Samac. So in that police -- reserve police station,
7 the reserve commander became deputy commander of the active composition.
8 That was Mr. Joljic, who was -- and the another one was Namik Suljic.
9 Since Joljic, the commander of the reserve police station, due to
10 emotional and psychological problems, one month prior to that, left his
11 job, everything was assigned to Namik Suljic, and therefore, during the
12 last month, that was his office, Namik Suljic's.
13 PRESIDING OFFICER: [Previous translation continues]... and
14 Mr. Jekic, could you please speak a bit more slowly, for the benefit of
15 the interpreters. Thank you.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Madam Presiding Officer. I'll do my best.
17 [Interpretation] All right. We will try.
18 Q. Mr. Jekic, what was important for us was to hear whose office was
19 it. So the office in which you found those documents, was the office used
20 by Namik Suljic?
21 A. During the last month before the outbreak of the war, the sole
22 user of that office was Namik Suljic, and him alone.
23 Q. Now, tell us, please: Where in the office did you find the file
24 with those documents?
25 A. I found it on a shelf, on top of that shelf. I told you, there
1 was a pile of documents, because the documents were piling in my office.
2 But this particular file with these documents I found on top of the shelf.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... could be shown
4 document D25/4, ter version. And I have a hard copy here, because it has
5 quite a number of pages. And with permission, I would like to show the
6 hard copy.
7 MR. WEINER: Madam Presiding Officer and counsel, for the record,
8 the witness was asked the date in the beginning, and we still haven't
9 received any information concerning the date of this incident.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I will clarify this with the witness.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jekic, before you take a look at this
12 document, can you please tell us the date? When was it?
13 A. I can't tell you exactly, but it was one or two days upon my
14 arrival there, so it could have been the 19th or the 20th or the 21st, at
15 the most. I've told you here and I solemnly declared that I would speak
16 the truth, and this is exactly what I'm doing.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jekic. You will tell us everything you're able to
18 recollect, to the best of your ability.
19 Now, will you please take a look at this document. Now you've
20 looked at the document, and tell us, please: Is this the document that
21 you found in the file in Namik Suljic's office?
22 A. Yes, that is that document; however, a map is missing. It was a
23 map in three colours. I'm telling you now: I had no need, I had no
24 intention to go into analysis of this document. I simply found this
25 document, I saw it, I leafed through it, and I set it aside, and then at
1 about 1.00 a.m. I turned it over to Stevan Todorovic. But I remember very
2 well that there was a map here with three colours - red, green, and blue -
3 depicting the territory of Samac, the town itself.
4 Q. Very well. Now, would you please go with us carefully through the
5 first three pages of this document.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The first page, the upper-left corner. We will agree, naturally,
8 that it says here the SDA, the Party of Democratic Action, Bosanski
9 Samac. Is this the first page that you found at the police station?
10 A. Yes, exactly this one, because I remember well that this was the
11 military organisation of the SDA party, nothing else. I remember this
12 very well, that's for sure, and I know very well that that same commander,
13 that night, took a pencil and found the names of certain people and called
14 them on the phone, and he -- I can't remember the names of those people
15 now. I remember the face of one of them. I don't recall their names.
16 But he called them and told them to come to the station, and they
17 replied: Mr. Commander, the curfew is on. When Stevan Todorovic,
18 commander of police station, a Serb, tells you to come, then you ought to
19 come. And this is how it was.
20 Q. Very well. Now please take a look at page 2.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Take a look at the names and tell us whether this is the second
23 page of the document that you had found.
24 A. Well, based on these names, I know that Sulejman Tihic was the
25 assemblyman representing the SDA in the Municipal Assembly. I know that
1 Izet Izetbegovic was the vice-president of the Executive Council of the
2 Municipal Assembly. I'm not sure exactly, but I know that he was a member
3 of municipal government. Alija Fitozovic is somebody whom I know as a
4 person who exists, but I don't know him personally. I know Omer Nalic
5 from the electric power company. I don't know Safet Hadzialijagic.
6 Q. No. What I'm interested in is whether this is the second page of
7 the document you had found.
8 A. Well, I'm telling you that I know for a fact that that was the
9 military organisation of the SDA party. I didn't go into the document
10 analysis itself. I know that there were names there, that assignments
11 within units, and phone numbers. I didn't want to analyse whose names I
12 hear, what kind of people these were. I found this document at about
13 10.00 p.m., and I turned it over after midnight, at 12.30, to the chief of
14 the police station. Therefore, I can't tell you, now that 10 or 11 years
15 have passed, any more. I know for a fact that this was the military
16 organisation of the SDA party. I know that there were first names, last
17 names, units, and telephone numbers contained in it. I know that.
18 Q. Very well. Now would you please take a look at another document.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: May the witness be shown document D26/4. I
20 believe it's ID still.
21 THE REGISTRAR: It is an exhibit.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm sorry. Then -- yes. Well, I apologise in
23 that case.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this is a brief document. It only has three
25 pages. Is this also a document that you found on that particular
2 A. I cannot tell you with certainty. I cannot claim with certainty.
3 As I told you, I didn't go into any profound analysis. I remember that
4 what I found was military documentation of the SDA. I remember that there
5 were names there listed, telephone numbers, that there were organisational
6 units, and I remember this particular map, because it was at the end of
7 the file. I cannot claim with certainty about this particular document,
8 not with certainty.
9 MR. WEINER: Our copy says D26/4 ID. They indicated it was --
10 counsel indicated it was an ID document. Do you have records of when this
11 was admitted? Because there was a partial admission of documents. I know
12 we objected to this one, and the ones we objected to did not come in.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: The other one, actually.
14 THE REGISTRAR: If we are referring to D25/4, pages 1 to 3 remain
15 ID. The others were admitted on the 3rd of July, 2002. If we are
16 referring to Exhibit D26/4 and ter, these were tendered on the 31st of May
17 and were admitted on the 3rd of July.
18 MR. WEINER: I will -- okay. Let me ...
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Just another question, Mr. Jekic, regarding these documents: To
21 the best of your recollection, was the name of Sulejman Tihic on these
22 documents that you found?
23 A. Yes.
25 A. Well, there is nothing else that I can say, as I said.
1 Q. Thank you very much. You've already said that you handed over
2 these files to Mr. Todorovic and what ensued after that, as far as he was
3 concerned. Now I'd like to ask you several questions regarding the
4 functioning of the public security station and at the time while you were
6 First of all, I'd like to know: The bringing in of persons to the
7 station, who within the framework of the public security station could
8 order that a person be brought in?
9 A. First of all, I should like to tell you that the orders were
10 exclusively given by the head of the police station and the commander of
11 the police station.
12 Q. Thank you very much. If I understood you correctly, it was the
13 head of the police station and the commander of the police station who
14 could order anyone's apprehension and their bringing in into the station.
15 A. During my time, I did not receive a single order to bring anyone
16 in to the station. These orders were not given through or to me. These
17 orders were given directly to the policemen involved, not through their
18 heads. We were four in the shifts, and none of us -- no orders, that is
19 to say, were ever given through any of us commanders, but these orders
20 were directly given to the policemen involved.
21 Q. Thank you very much. What I want to know is: Who is the person
22 who issued the orders?
23 A. It was the head of the police station and the commander.
24 MR. WEINER: Madam Registrar and Madam Presiding Officer, if you
25 look at the list or the summary of -- END OF RECORDING ... isolated
1 incident relating to the seizure of those documents. As a result, I move
2 to strike all of this testimony. Thank you.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, for my learned colleague, I don't believe
4 that this is that important, because the witness was a member of the
5 police. He was in the police station. This is nothing that we haven't
6 heard yet.
7 MR. WEINER: Well, if it's not important, then we will proceed --
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: All right. Then I will proceed, and of course the
9 Trial Chamber will decide. Yes. And furthermore, when we heard the
10 testimony of Mr. Todorovic and some other members, it seems that this
11 document was a basis for arresting -- [Microphone not activated] ...
12 certain people, so this is why I asked about these questions, and this
13 is ...
14 Q. [Interpretation] So I'd like to ask you two things, first of all
15 about Mr. Zaric. Did you see him at the time at the police station, while
16 you were there?
17 A. I saw Mr. Simo Zaric once, perhaps twice, over these couple of
18 days, the first couple of days, and afterwards I never saw Mr. Zaric
19 throughout the period during which I remained at the police station,
20 because our ways part totally after that. I went to the trenches, to the
21 front line, to my unit, and I don't know where Mr. Zaric went.
22 Q. Thank you very much. And just one other question regarding
23 Mr. Zaric. While you were still seeing him, while you still saw him, was
24 he wearing a uniform, and what kind of a uniform was he wearing?
25 A. Well, from this distance in time of 12 years, I cannot remember.
1 Perhaps, as I told you, I saw him once or twice during these first days.
2 Q. Do you know what he was doing then there?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. Thank you. And for the conclusion, please describe the
5 circumstances under which you left the police.
6 A. Well, okay. Well, what was the then militia, the police. I
7 wanted to leave immediately after -- 15 days after I had arrived, but the
8 circumstances were such that it was impossible for one to leave the
10 Q. First of all, please tell me: Why did you want to leave? And
11 then describe the rest.
12 A. In principle, I was a professional policeman for a short period of
13 time. I was a policeman for a year in that particular police station.
14 However, I was not averse to learning this new trade, and I did my best to
15 become a professional policeman. At the beginning of the war, in the
16 terrors that reigned, being professional was something which was not good
17 for one, so that these [indiscernible], especially in view of the fact
18 that I was a shift leader there, a person who was in charge of the
19 paperwork, of assigning people to their respective duties, I didn't like
20 it. So after 15 days, I wanted to leave. I wanted to go back to my own
21 village, to go to the army, join the army there, but I couldn't, because
22 of Stevan Todorovic, because this person told me: Why do you want to go
23 there to join the Chetnik dukes [phoen], and this and that. But this is
24 not the way I viewed things. He needed someone to do the work. And this
25 is how it went on, how it was.
1 I tried for another four or five times, and for a while I
2 maintained these records and duty roster. And at a certain point I heard
3 screams across the street in the territory of Defence Staff, and I went
4 there and looked and saw a group of policemen hitting and beating
5 prisoners. So I walked up to them. I slapped one of the policemen in the
6 face. He fell down on the floor. Then he took a rifle and he threw it at
7 me, and he told me: Fuck your mother. You want me to kill you? And he
8 told -- I told him: Yeah, shoot. And then he went away.
9 On another occasion, I drew out my pistol at a member of the
10 police who was also behaving in this indecent way, and I simply told the
11 head, the chief, Stevan Todorovic: Now you shoot at me. I'm leaving.
12 I'm going. I'm calling it quits. And I left the police station.
13 Q. Thank you. But just please tell me: When was it that you joined
14 the military unit after leaving the police, and where did you remain until
15 the end of the war?
16 A. At the end of July, 24th, 25th, or 26th of July, I left the police
17 station. I had a furlough, a vacation period. I reported to my parent
18 unit in my village. I told them that I had left the police, as a
19 conscientious citizen, as I always was, and am, and the commander of this
20 company to which I was assigned told me to go home for ten days and rest.
21 I stayed at home for ten days. On the 3rd of August I reported to the
22 unit and I spent the whole period of the war in this unit, as a member of
23 it, of I don't know which battalion of the Bosnian brigade.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jekic.
25 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Weiner.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jekic. I'm Phil Weiner. I'm from the
3 Prosecution. I'm going to ask you few questions. Do you understand?
5 Now, let's go back to 1990, okay? You were a member of the SDS
6 party, political party?
7 A. Yes, as of -- I cannot remember. I cannot tell you exactly when
8 the SDS was set up, but perhaps a month or a month and a half after its
9 inception I became a member of the SDS.
10 Q. Okay. And you actually -- your name was on the ballot. You were
11 on the SDS ticket for the Municipal Assembly; isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you were on the same ticket with Dr. Blagoje Simic; isn't that
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. And both of you, you and the defendant Blagoje Simic, were
18 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic and I, and I think - I cannot say exactly - at
19 least another 13 counsellors to the Municipal Assembly.
20 Q. Yes. A total of 15 SDS members were elected?
21 A. I cannot tell you whether it was exactly 15. You certainly have a
22 better figure.
23 Q. Okay. And in that election, the HDZ got 17 votes, the most votes;
24 and as a result, HDZ nominated Vinko Dragicevic to be the chief of the
25 police, or the chief of the SUP. Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. You were nominated to be a deputy by the SDS, as a result of that
3 election, in the police station?
4 A. No, not a deputy -- not his deputy. The structure of the police
5 station was not as such that I should be his deputy. I was just a
6 commander of the police station, which is one organisational unit within
7 the public security station.
8 Q. That's right. I'm sorry. I had the wrong term. You were
9 nominated to be a commander after that election; correct? In 1991 you
10 became a commander of the police station?
11 A. Yes. Not only I; there were three candidates of the SDS who were
12 to undergo a certain procedure at the level of the Ministry of the
13 Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. That's correct. And when you became a police commander, at that
15 time you were an engineer by profession; your background and training was
16 as engineer. Isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes. Graduated engineer of mechanical engineering.
18 Q. You weren't a trained police officer at that time. You hadn't had
19 a career in law enforcement at that time. Isn't that correct?
20 A. It is correct. No. No.
21 Q. When you say "no," you mean you were not trained as a police
22 officer, you had not had a career in law enforcement?
23 A. Until that time, I had not been a professional policeman, but a
24 professional mechanical engineer, and I worked in my profession, which is
25 mechanical engineering.
1 Q. And you stayed in the police station until about 10 days, 14 days
2 prior to the outbreak of war, when you left and went back to Batkusa,
3 where you stayed home where you lived?
4 A. I did not leave the station in that sense. I and Mr. Dragicevic,
5 at the request of the staff, had to resign, in writing, as both the head
6 and the commander of the police station.
7 Q. All I'm saying is: When you left the police station, you were
8 still living in Batkusa and stayed at home in Batkusa, for approximately
9 two weeks, 10 days to two weeks; isn't that true?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And Batkusa is a small village in the municipality of Samac?
12 A. Yes, a relatively small -- it's an average-size village.
13 Q. And were you aware while you were home in the village of Batkusa
14 that around April 11th a group of these volunteers from Serbia, or the
15 camouflage people, arrived by helicopter, 30 of them? Were you aware of
17 A. I was not aware of it, but I had only heard about this, because
18 I'm that kind of a person; I'm not very communicative. I didn't go to see
19 or -- I rather heard some stories from women and men that there were some
20 camouflaged people around.
21 Q. Now, let's continue on. You start working at the police station
22 at approximately April 18th, and you stay through the middle part of the
23 summer, correct, in 1992?
24 A. Until sometime -- the 24th, the 25th, or the 26th of July.
25 Q. Thank you. And you worked under Stevan Todorovic, who was the
1 police chief?
2 A. My superior before him was the commander of the police, Savo
3 Cancarevic, and after him, Stevan Todorovic.
4 Q. And you indicated when you first got there, on or about April 18th
5 and through the 19th, it was chaos; isn't that correct? You described it
6 in your direct examination as complete chaos.
7 A. That is true.
8 Q. And there were people coming and going from the police station.
9 There were JNA people, there were paramilitary or camouflaged people,
10 there were all sorts of people in and out of the police station, isn't --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. This is not what the witness said.
12 MR. WEINER: No. I'm asking the question. I'm not saying that he
13 stated that. I'm asking the question.
14 Q. Weren't there people coming and going from the police station that
15 were not regular police?
16 A. Well, I'm telling you: When I came to the station on the 18th, I
17 found six reserve policemen there from the reserve police station, from
18 Gornja Slatina, and I also found these men in camouflage uniforms, these
19 multicoloured uniformed people, as well as Mr. Stevan Todorovic, the head
20 of the station.
21 Q. And on the 19th, on the following day, people were still coming
22 and going from that police station, and I assume on the 20th and 21st
24 A. Well, these camouflaged people were there. Theirs was the largest
25 number in these first days in the police station. And as time went on,
1 there were fewer of them and there were more of the regular police,
2 because the normal establishment of the police was being manned by
3 standard policemen.
4 Q. And also at that same time, people were being arrested, houses
5 were being searched. Over those first few days after the war began,
6 people were being -- houses were being searched, people were being
7 arrested, and they were being brought into the station and sent across to
8 the TO; isn't that correct?
9 A. Well, as I say, these first apprehensions of people, the bringing
10 in of the people in the initial period was the work of these camouflaged
11 men. And as time elapsed, the number increased of policemen, and it was
12 then they who actually brought people in.
13 Q. No. My question is: During these first few days, people were
14 being arrested, houses were being searched? I'm not asking by whom, but
15 just that people were being arrested, houses were being searched,
16 prisoners were coming into the police station, going across to the TO.
17 You were aware of that, weren't you?
18 A. No, not in the sense that I knew much about it. I know what
19 happened on the 18th, when I arrived, that certain people had already been
20 brought into custody. On the 18th there had been -- when I arrived there,
21 I saw some people, a certain number of prisoners in the police station.
22 Q. I'm not asking if you were involved in it or if you knew about it,
23 but did you see it? Did you see over the next few days people being
24 brought in to the police station as prisoners? That's all. You saw
25 people on the 18th. Did you see people on the 19th and the 20th too, sir?
1 A. Well, as I was saying, there were arrests on the 18th and 19th and
2 20th. I didn't count how many such cases there were. Some people were
3 brought in for interrogation purposes and probably released to go home.
4 Others were kept in the police station or, rather, in the TO staff
6 Q. And during those first few days, you saw Stevan Todorovic in the
7 police station, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th; isn't that correct?
8 A. Stevan Todorovic was in the police station throughout that period,
10 Q. Did you also see Simo Zaric during those few days, first two or
11 three or four days in the police station?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. This is a repetitive question. This is
13 the same question that I asked the witness, and he has an answer. We have
14 an answer for the record. Exactly the same question.
15 MR. WEINER: That's the entry question that I'm going to use to
16 discuss what's going on. That's -- I want to enter into an area relating
17 to Simo Zaric, so I should have the right to ask him if he saw Simo Zaric
18 first. Otherwise he would be objecting that I haven't laid a proper
19 foundation. Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, during those first few days, you also saw Simo Zaric in the
21 police station?
22 A. Once, or maybe twice. From a distance of 12 years, I can't
23 remember how many times I may have seen Simo Zaric. As I said, once or
24 maybe twice, on the first or second day. I hope you understand.
25 Q. And sir, did you speak to Simo Zaric or did you just see him
1 moving through the station on that date, or on those dates that you saw
3 A. I never had any close relationship with Simo Zaric in any sense of
4 the word.
5 Q. So you don't know what he was doing on those one or two occasions
6 that you saw him at the police station, you don't know what his activities
7 were; isn't that correct?
8 A. I have no idea what he was doing, why he came there. I don't
10 Q. So you don't know what, if any, conversations he was having with
11 Stevan Todorovic or Savo Cancarevic during those days when you saw him at
12 the station?
13 A. I have no idea. I know nothing about those conversations.
14 Q. Now, let us continue. Sir, did you ever, as a commander, appear
15 before the Crisis Staff during the month of April 1992, either April or
16 May, or at any time while you served as a commander of the police station?
17 A. I don't know which Crisis Staff you're referring to.
18 Q. The Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac, the Serbian municipality of
19 Bosanski Samac, which was chaired by the defendant Blagoje Simic. Did you
20 ever appear before that Crisis Staff?
21 A. Let me tell you something: I don't know at all that that Crisis
22 Staff existed. I knew so little about these things, and I was not much
23 appreciated in the SDS, so I knew very little. I had no idea that such a
24 Crisis Staff existed.
25 Q. So you weren't aware that Stevan Todorovic was a member of the
1 Crisis Staff and attending Crisis Staff meetings? Were you aware of
2 that? Yes or no.
3 A. No. No.
4 Q. Were you aware that Stevan Todorovic travelled to Belgrade in
5 early May with Simo Zaric, Blagoje Simic, and Miroslav Tadic, in early May
6 of 1992?
7 A. No.
8 Q. All right. Now, sir, it has been uncontested in this case
9 concerning a number of terrible things that occurred at the SUP and the
10 TO, that people were beaten and tortured and there were sexual assaults,
11 robberies, murders. You're aware of that? I'm not saying you were
12 involved in any of that, but you're aware that these terrible things
14 A. As I didn't wish to get into conflict with myself, as you
15 understand. My reasons for leaving the police station were things of that
16 kind, because that was not the professional way to address problems.
17 Q. As you said, it wasn't being run professionally. But those
18 terrible things were happening, and that's why you said it wasn't being
19 run professionally; isn't that true?
20 A. As I was saying, I couldn't understand that somebody would be
21 doing something in a way that was not being done professionally, and as I
22 couldn't join in acting professionally, I distanced myself from such
24 Q. Now, you're also aware that Stevan Todorovic, who was the chief,
25 has admitted to committing a number of terrible crimes, including illegal
1 arrests, detaining civilians in inhumane conditions, beatings, sexual
2 assaults, murders, forcing persons to sign false confessions? Are you
3 aware of that, that he's pled guilty and has admitted to that conduct at
4 the SUP, the TO, and the primary and secondary schools? Are you aware of
6 A. I'm not aware of those facts, because no one told me about them.
7 I don't listen to the media even, because my position towards such media
8 is a negative one, so I'm not familiar with what Stevan Todorovic said,
9 what he declared, or what he admitted to.
10 Q. Okay. Sir, you had seen some unprofessional conduct, some
11 terrible things happening. You knew the president of the SDS party was
12 Blagoje Simic. Did you go to Blagoje Simic and say to him: Some terrible
13 things are happening? Did you complain to him, Dr. Blagoje Simic?
14 A. I didn't.
15 Q. You're an intelligent man, you have a degree, you're a very bright
16 man. You wouldn't -- you must have been appalled by what you were
17 seeing. Did you complain to anyone? Were you able to complain to anyone
18 about what you were seeing?
19 A. Five times I complained to Mr. Stevan Todorovic.
20 Q. And to no avail?
21 A. Of course not.
22 Q. But you didn't complain to the Crisis Staff or Dr. Simic, who you
23 were on the same ballot with?
24 A. You are confusing some basic notions, Mr. Prosecutor. You are
25 involving me in the pre-war Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac, and then
1 in the Serbian Municipal Assembly that I had nothing to do with, you see.
2 Q. So you didn't complain to them. But let me ask you this, sir.
3 You indicated that you didn't complain. You also indicated during your
4 testimony that you left the SDS party in 1992, in October. You're nodding
5 your head in the affirmative. Do you mean yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And is that because you disagreed with some of their policies?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And you're aware that the leaders of the SDS, the national leaders
10 at that time - Biljana Plavsic, Karadzic, Krajisnik - have all been
11 indicted for war crimes and persecutions of the non-Serbs of Bosnia?
12 You're aware of that?
13 A. I heard about it over the media.
14 Q. And would you agree with me that you weren't in favour of the SDS
15 policies of persecution of the non-Serbs?
16 A. Certainly I didn't agree.
17 Q. Now, sir, when you found those papers, anywhere from the 19th to
18 the 21st of April, you found them in a pile, you gave them to Stevan
19 Todorovic. Prior to giving them to Stevan Todorovic, did you make an
20 inventory or summarise each page or make a copy for yourself, or did you
21 just give them to Stevan Todorovic?
22 A. I simply gave them to Stevan Todorovic. But because I had no need
23 to go into that. I was no longer a professional. You understand? I was
24 not working for money any more. I was engaged under wartime conditions.
25 So I found the document, saw that it has a certain validity, I forwarded
1 it on to Mr. Stevan Todorovic, and that was all I had to do with that
2 document, for good.
3 Q. Other than contacting people to come in whose names were listed on
4 those papers, you don't know what Stevan Todorovic did with any of those
5 papers, what his analysis was or what he in fact did with any of them?
6 A. I have no idea. I just know that that same evening, he took two
7 men into custody by telephone, and nothing more about that document until
8 I was called to testify in this case.
9 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
10 A. Thank you.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: May I just have one second to confer?
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 Re-examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I had intended not to ask any additional
15 questions, but I do have one. Would you tell me, please: Did the SDS, at
16 the local level - I'm talking about the level of Samac municipality - did
17 it advocate certain programmes of division on ethnic basis?
18 MR. WEINER: This is not cross-examination. That's a leading
19 question. If you want to ask an open-ended question, you can, but that is
20 a leading question and it's not permissible.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I will rephrase that. I will
22 rephrase that.
23 Q. [Interpretation] The question was phrased in such a way that it is
24 not appropriate for this part of the examination. But as the Prosecutor
25 has already asked you something, and this question arises from that
1 question: What was the SDS programme at the local level, at the level of
3 A. To tell you quite frankly, though I was a member of the SDS in
4 those days, I was not in the higher-level echelons of the SDS to know
5 these things. In any event, the relations were better with the HDZ and
6 the SDA than with the SDP, the former League of Communists. I know that
7 from the level of the Municipal Assembly. But what their further plans
8 were, I don't know.
9 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you. Thank you for coming here today to
10 give your deposition.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
12 PRESIDING OFFICER: You are free to go now. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 PRESIDING OFFICER: We're going to take the lunch break now, as I
16 understand. You can only take the next witness after the lunch, or --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Microphone not activated]
18 PRESIDING OFFICER: Okay. Okay. Fine. Okay. So we'll have the
19 next witness -- we'll have a ten-minute break and then the next witness.
20 --- Break taken at 11.21 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.
22 [The witness entered]
23 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning, Mr. Arandjic. Would you please
24 stand and read the text on the pink sheet of paper in front of you.
25 WITNESS: STEVAN ARANDJIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you. The Defence for Mr. Zaric.
5 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] You may be seated. Good morning, Mr. Arandjic.
7 On behalf of the Defence of Mr. Zaric, I will be conducting your
9 For the record, could you give us your full name, please.
10 A. I can. My name is Stevan Arandjic.
11 Q. Thank you. To cover your personal data quickly, and that was also
12 the suggestion of the Trial Chamber before we arrived here, so I will put
13 my questions in such a way that you can just answer them with a yes or no,
14 so that we can save as much time as possible.
15 Were you born in Gornja Slatina on January 1st, 1959?
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. This is in Bosanski Samac municipality?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And your ancestors have been living for centuries within the
20 territory of Samac municipality?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell me, please: Since when have you personally been
23 living in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. I personally have been living in Bosanski Samac since the end of
1 Q. And you are married and have a daughter?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Tell me now, briefly, please, what your qualifications are, your
4 educational background.
5 A. I attended elementary school in Gornja Slatina, in a village of
6 Bosanski Samac municipality, where I was born. I attended and graduated
7 from secondary school in the municipality of Gradacac, which is to the
8 south of Bosanski Samac. And upon graduation, I enrolled at the faculty
9 of General People's Defence and Social Self-Protection in Sarajevo, which
10 is a department of the faculty of political science. The courses lasted
11 four years and I graduated in 1982, around April or May.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Could you tell us, before the outbreak of
13 hostilities, that is, before the 17th of April, 1992, where you were
14 working and what your job was.
15 A. Prior to the beginning of these unfortunate events, I was working
16 in the department of the Defence Ministry, called, before the war, the
17 Municipal Secretariat for National Defence of Bosanski Samac, as a
18 municipal inspector for the National Defence.
19 Q. Could you tell us where you are working now?
20 A. I'm still working now in the department of the Ministry of Defence
21 of the Republika Srpska, for Samac municipality.
22 Q. By ethnicity you're a Serb, aren't you?
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. Let me ask you now a few -- could you tell us a few words about
25 your party affiliations. Were you a member of a party? Did you join any
1 parties? What party are you a member of now, perhaps? A little bit about
2 your political career, if we can call it that.
3 A. I was a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia ever
4 since secondary school, that is, sometime in 1977, up until 1990, when the
5 multiparty system was introduced in the former Yugoslavia, that is, in the
6 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On that occasion, I joined
7 the Alliance of Reformist Forces for Bosnia-Herzegovina, headed by Ante
8 Markovic. After that, I was not involved in politics, and my professional
9 duty today is incompatible with politics. As a person, too, I am
10 apolitical now. I do not support being a member of any party. At least,
11 those are my opinions today.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Tell me now: Did you do your national
13 service with the JNA, when, and did you have a rank?
14 A. My four-year university course, including training for a reserve
15 non-commissioned officer, so that as part of my education I also regulated
16 the question of military service. And when I graduated, I acquired the
17 rank of a non-commissioned officer, and of course in the reserve force
18 over the years I was promoted to the rank of reserve second lieutenant,
19 and that was the rank I held in 1992.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Let me now move on to another topic, that
21 is, the 4th Detachment. Can you tell me first whether you were a member
22 of the 4th Detachment?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. Can you tell us when you joined that detachment, what was your
25 role in the detachment, and a few details about it.
1 A. I was a member of the 4th Detachment, and as a reserve lieutenant,
2 I was assigned to the position of an officer, that is, the commander of
3 the 2nd Company of the 4th Detachment of the JNA. So I became a member of
4 the detachment sometime around the beginning of 1992. I can't tell you
5 the exact date.
6 Q. We won't insist, of course, but I would like to ask you: When you
7 say you became a member of the 4th Detachment, tell us how you became a
8 member. What was the procedure?
9 A. I was a military conscript, and as such, I was given a wartime
10 assignment and I was told which position I would hold in this military
11 unit. It was not my choice; it was my duty which I had to fulfil and
12 carry it out to the best of my abilities. Of course, the other citizens
13 too of the municipality of Bosanski Samac could have voluntarily become
14 members of the 4th Detachment, if they were not given such a wartime
15 assignment, since the unit was in the process of being formed, while at
16 the same time the nationalist parties were developing their paramilitary
17 formations, so that every military conscript who felt that the values that
18 needed to be defended through the 4th Detachment of the JNA joined that
19 detachment voluntarily, so that the unit wasn't fully completed when the
20 war broke out.
21 Q. You already said that the 4th Detachment was part of the JNA.
22 Tell us: What was the next level of organisation above the 4th
24 A. Yes. The 4th Detachment was an integral part of the 17th TG, or
25 Tactical Group, which was being formed, and one of the detachments was
1 this 4th Detachment, which consisted of the citizens of the town of Samac.
2 Q. Tell me: Regarding the command of the 4th Detachment, who was the
3 commander and who was the deputy?
4 A. The commander was a major in reserve, Radovan Antic, and his
5 deputy was a reserve captain, Jovo Savic.
6 Q. And do you know what positions were held in the 4th Detachment by
7 Mr. Simo Zaric and Miroslav Tadic?
8 A. Like any other detachment, this 4th Detachment also had a certain
9 number of assistants, or rather, every commander had a certain number of
10 assistants. So this commander too had a number of assistants, and
11 Mr. Zaric was the assistant commander for security affairs in the
12 detachment, whereas Mr. Miro, Miroslav Tadic, was also an assistant
13 commander, but for logistic supplies for the unit.
14 Q. In the interest of better understanding of the whole story of the
15 4th Detachment, was this a unit stationed in the barracks, or how did it
16 actually function?
17 A. I've already told you that this was a unit that was just being
18 formed, so that it was in the preparatory stages. It had its nucleus, and
19 it was being reinforced with time and strengthened, but it didn't have its
20 own barracks, it didn't lead the life of a military wartime unit, so that
21 the members of the 4th Detachment, and members of other detachments too
22 within the framework of the 17th Tactical Group, never gathered at one
23 particular place to demonstrate their strength or their power or their
24 physical integrity and wholeness. I think that many didn't even really
25 know who the members were, except, of course, the officer staff and the
1 command staff.
2 Q. Let me ask you: Were you issued a weapon in the 4th Detachment,
3 and did the others have weapons?
4 A. Since the 4th Detachment was in the process of formation, I was
5 issued an automatic rifle, in the unit command which was accommodated in
6 the state-owned enterprise Sit, of Samac, in two offices, and that is why
7 I swear I signed the receipt and took over the weapon, whereas a certain
8 number of members were not armed, because the whole process had not been
9 completed. It was still ongoing.
10 Q. Thank you very much. We won't go any further into the details.
11 We will have some other witnesses who will testify to that. Let me just
12 ask you now to pass on to the night between the 16th and 17th of April,
13 1992. Could you tell us where you were on the evening of the 16th or the
14 morning of the 17th.
15 A. Let me tell you: I was performing my regular duties in the
16 Municipal Secretariat for National Defence, as an inspector for National
17 Defence, as I said, and on that day I returned home, as I had on all the
18 previous days, not knowing what would happen. And of course, sometime
19 after midnight, I was woken up by shooting in town, in the eastern part of
20 the town. I could hear echoes of bursts of fire and individual shots,
21 from infantry weapons, of course. This is the area known as Donja
22 Mahala. The telephone lines were cut, and I was waiting to see what would
23 happen, and expecting somebody to call me, to report for duty. Of course,
24 it was highly risky to leave the house on your own initiative, and I
25 waited until morning. And in the morning, the telephones started working
1 again and I was called up to report to the command. This may have been
2 around 8.00 in the morning. And I went out and reported for duty in the
4 Q. Thank you. I just forgot to ask you something. I think I did put
5 it to you, but I didn't get an answer. What was your actual position in
6 the detachment?
7 A. My position was the commander of the 2nd Company.
8 Q. Tell me: What does that mean in practice? How many men came
9 under your command or did you have control of?
10 A. My company was not fully formed. It should have numbered up to
11 120 men, but in fact, in my company, there were about 40 members, so that
12 it was still in embryonic form.
13 Q. Thank you. Will you now continue where I interrupted you. You
14 were called from the detachment's command and you went there. Tell us:
15 When you arrived, what did you find there?
16 A. I reported to the unit's command and I was informed about the
17 latest development. I was tasked to try and rally members of my unit,
18 calling them up by telephone, and a certain number of them did respond.
19 This lasted a couple of hours. And as I was saying, out of those 40-odd
20 members, quite a large number did not respond, either because they were
21 simply unable to come, it was not possible to arrive, and also a number
22 probably had left the town, maybe that very night. So that a small number
23 responded, only some ten, perhaps, from my company.
24 Q. So you gathered there at the command, and these ten or so members
25 of your company. Were you issued an order; if so, from whom, and what was
2 A. Well, since the situation in town was still raw, I was given an
3 order to use my company, together with the 1st Company, to take position
4 of defence along the embankment of the Bosna River, in the western part of
5 Samac. So we were to take positions there in order to prevent possible
6 incursion of Ustasha forces from Kura [phoen] village, which was separated
7 only by Bosna River, and river at that time of year had a very low level.
8 There is a small provisional bridge over the Bosna River, which was in use
9 at the time, and it was held by Muslim and Croat extremists. Therefore,
10 there was a possibility for some part of the forces to be transported into
11 Samac through that bridge. Therefore, I tried to gain control over the
12 bridge and the area of the bridge, and rather, to put it under the control
13 of the 4th Detachment of the JNA.
14 Q. Can you tell us: What time of the day was it when you went there?
15 A. It was daytime. It could have been sometime around noon or 1.00
16 p.m. I'm not quite sure. I attempted, with a group of my company men,
17 after sending other members to the embankment, I started with the first
18 group towards the bridge, using local objects that were there in order to
19 shelter us. We approached the bridge and the road that was parallel to
20 the road that led over the bridge to the village of Prud, which is some
21 hundred metres from the bridge itself.
22 We came upon a group of two civilians, one of whom was armed with
23 a rifle, with Kalashnikov rifle. The other one was not armed. And these
24 two men controlled the access to the bridge from the direction from which
25 we came, and they enabled an unhindered passage over the bridge.
1 Q. For the record, can you just be more specific about the identity
2 of these people?
3 A. To my surprise, I learned my fellow citizens -- I recognised my
4 fellow citizens, Ramusovic, Srna, Izet [as interpreted]. As I said, to my
5 surprise, because his brothers were in the 4th Detachment with me, his
6 three brothers. One of them was even wounded in town by Muslim and Croat
7 extremists. And the other person was Safet Srna, a bit older than Izet,
8 and he seemed to be drunk, Safet Srna. Naturally, they didn't notice us.
9 They controlled the access to the bridge by moving in both
10 directions and observing the access to the bridge from the direction from
11 which we came from. I didn't have much time to think this through, nor
12 did I have an opportunity to return, because, you see, there was an
13 imminent danger of being noticed and eliminated by them. So I stood
14 hidden behind a concrete fence next to the house, where people lived,
15 obviously. He passed right by me, giving me an opportunity either to
16 disarm him or eliminate him. Naturally, it didn't even occur to me to
17 kill a person whom I knew and who was my fellow citizen and with whom, a
18 month ago, I participated in helping a fellow citizen build a house. This
19 is somebody who glorified Yugoslav People's Army, who criticised
20 nationalists, and who advocated the values of the former socialist
21 Yugoslavia, and by this I mean unity, brotherhood and unity, and so on.
22 And then all of a sudden I saw that man in front of me.
23 Q. Could you please tell us: Who are you referring to now?
24 A. I am referring to Izet Ramusovic. Therefore, I was shocked. So I
25 didn't have much time. All of this evolved in a few seconds. And I used
1 the shelter behind that fence, behind that house, and yelled in a loud
2 voice for him to throw away his weapon. To my surprise - and this is a
3 small house that I'm talking about. It was some seven by six matters -
4 and he started facing towards me with his weapon at shoulder height, and
5 he lifted the -- or turned the barrel towards me, opening fire, but
6 fortunately the bullet ricochetted off the house wall, and fragments of
7 brick and facade ended up spraying on my face, forehead, neck, and so on.
8 I returned fire. I opened a brief burst of fire, and at the height of his
9 feet. I had no intention to kill him. I wanted to frighten him or
10 perhaps wound him in lower legs.
11 He shot out two more bursts in my direction and disabled my rifle
12 for any further action. The front-end side and the backside were disabled
13 on my rifle, and one bullet hit the barrel, so that my rifle was fully
14 disabled. One bullet hit one of my fingers, grazed my fingers, and I
15 wasn't even aware of that. My fellow soldiers were very frightened for
16 me. They went pale when they saw me. However, I think it was fortunate
17 that none of us was armed. He fled together with Srna Safet.
18 Following that, very strong sniper fire ensued, which made it
19 impossible for my group to proceed, and we returned to the place where we
20 had started out from.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Now let me ask you this: Is there any doubt
22 in your mind regarding the identity of the man who shot at you?
23 A. None whatsoever. As I've said to you, this is a person whom I
24 knew personally, who was my fellow citizen, with whom I jointly
25 participated in building my neighbour's house, right next to my house.
1 Q. Following that incident, you went to the command, as you told us.
2 Did you speak to somebody regarding this incident? Did you report it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And if so, whom did you report it to?
5 A. I was provided medical assistance in the first building next to
6 the command. I was given medical assistance. My face was cleaned and
7 then my hand was bandaged. I established contact with commander and his
8 deputy and informed them about the situation, about what had happened,
9 also telling him about the identity of the persons that put up resistance
10 to us. And I believed that my task was over and that it was now in the
11 hands of the command, of the commander, and other organs of the unit, to
12 see whether they wanted to undertake something else.
13 Q. Did they say that they wanted to undertake some other steps? Did
14 they suggest anything to you?
15 A. You know what? Simo was present there, as was Radovan, and they
16 were just as surprised and shocked as I was upon learning of the identity
17 of this person, because, as I told you, his other three brothers were
18 members of the detachment. So they told me: Thank God, Stevo, that you
19 weren't wounded or killed. Then they cursed him and said: Well, just --
20 let's just leave -- let's just leave it at that.
21 Q. When you said "Simo" and "Radovan," can you please give us their
22 last names.
23 A. Simo Zaric and Radovan Antic. They were the persons whom I
24 informed about the incident.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Madam Presiding Officer, I
1 wonder if counsel for the defence could ascertain from the witness who the
2 commander and the deputy were that he reported the incidents to, whether
3 in fact they were Simo Zaric and Radovan Antic, or whether they -- the
4 commander and deputy commander were two separate people. I'd just like to
5 know to whom the reports were made, if that can be ascertained with
6 absolute clarity. Thank you.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, I believe that -- yes, I believe that the
8 witness already said that, but let's go through this again. I hope --
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't need it in chapter and verse; I just want
10 to know if the commander and deputy commander --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: I hope it won't affect my time for -- yeah.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't need it in chapter and verse; I just need
13 to know whether the commander and deputy commander to whom this --
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So please tell us, since we are now talking about deputy,
16 assistant: Now, who exactly were the persons whom you informed about
18 A. As commander of the 2nd Company, I had an obligation to inform my
19 detachment commander about this.
20 Q. And who was that?
21 A. Reserve Major Radovan Antic.
22 Q. And the other individual?
23 A. There in the command was also his deputy, Reserve Captain Jovo
24 Savic, as was Simo Zaric, as assistant commander.
25 Q. So we're talking about three persons: Radovan Antic, Simo Zaric,
1 and Jovo Savic?
2 A. Yes, that's right. And I had a duty to report to the commander of
3 the detachment about this.
4 Q. All right. As I understood it, they told you to leave this aside,
5 to disregard this.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And what explanation did they give you for that? What did they
8 say to you?
9 A. Well, I've just told you, in a way, that his three brothers were
10 members of the 4th Detachment of the JNA. They were not members of my
11 company, but regardless of that, I knew, as they did, the commander or the
12 deputy commander, about this fact, and they tried to soften this in order
13 not to create a bad feeling within our unit. So they just wanted to cool
15 Q. Thank you. Did you personally report this to anybody else, I mean
16 the police?
17 A. Every learned of this incident, all members of the 4th Detachment
18 and, naturally, other residents of Samac and members of the MUP.
19 Therefore, not immediately, but after a month or so - I'm not quite sure
20 whether it was 30 days or 45 days later - I was called to the police
21 station to see Mr. Milos Savic in order to give a statement about this
22 incident. I responded to this call and I described the incident as I just
23 said to you.
24 Q. Thank you. What was the function of Milos Savic within the
1 A. I believe that he was an investigative judge perhaps, or -- I'm
2 not quite sure.
3 Q. That's fine.
4 A. I'm not sure. But he was an investigative officer of MUP.
5 Q. Thank you. So you gave a statement to Milos Savic. Did something
6 else happen regarding this wounding of yours, and what can you tell us
7 about that?
8 A. As far as this incident is concerned, the following year, 1993,
9 the military court in Bijeljina started proceedings against that man
10 because there were some other events regarding that person, and all of
11 that created the conditions for filing charges against Ramusovic. I was
12 called to report to the military court in Bijeljina and give a statement,
13 again pertaining to this incident.
14 Q. Very well. Now tell me this, please: You came to Bijeljina.
15 Where did you go to, whom did you see, who was present, and so on?
16 A. The proceedings were conducted by a judge of the military court.
17 The defendant, or the suspect at the time, was defended by a major. He
18 was an appointed counsel.
19 Q. Let me put a question regarding that. This gentleman, major, who
20 you say was appointed as a counsel, was he present throughout the
21 proceedings? Was he present when you gave your statement?
22 A. Not only he was present, but to my surprise, he put such
23 uncomfortable questions, prying questions, to me that it made me feel
24 quite uncomfortable here and there, and then after that I was told that he
25 took advantage of all of legal provisions available to him in order to
1 defend his client.
2 Q. Did he deny your story? Did he try to challenge what you were
4 A. Yes. It was something to that effect.
5 Q. We are now, naturally, referring to the court-appointed counsel
6 for the accused.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. How many times did you go to Bijeljina regarding this matter?
9 A. I believe I went twice.
10 Q. Now, as you were describing the trial to us, and you told us about
11 the defence counsel, the prosecution, the military court, and so on: Was
12 that on the first occasion or on the second occasion?
13 A. It was on the second occasion.
14 Q. Well, when was the first occasion when you went to the military
15 court in Bijeljina?
16 A. The first time I went there, I gave a statement, and I believe
17 that on that occasion, Ramusovic wasn't present, whereas on the second
18 occasion, both Ramusovic on the major defending him were present.
19 Q. Thank you very much. On the second occasion when you were there,
20 was there a judgement passed down? Did you hear anything about that?
21 A. I personally didn't know what the final outcome of the trial was.
22 Yesterday I had occasion, while preparing for my testimony, to see that
24 Q. Therefore, you didn't know what the outcome was, outcome for
25 Ramusovic? You didn't know that at the time?
1 A. I learned it through the mass media. I learned when it was
2 announced that he had been exchanged, and later on I didn't hear anything
3 about that, except, naturally, for seeing him after the end of war. After
4 the end of war he came back into town, and so on.
5 Q. Let me ask you this regarding the second occasion you went to
6 Bijeljina: When did you give your statement to the military court in
7 Bijeljina, were you cautioned that you had to speak the truth, something
8 along the lines of your solemn declaration here?
9 A. Yes. It was something similar to what transpired here, except
10 that there was a typist, a court reporter there, recording everything that
11 had been said, and there was a Trial Chamber, consisting of three judges.
12 Q. And what about the defence? This major had an opportunity to put
13 all questions he wished to put to you?
14 A. Yes, certainly, and he took full advantage of that.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... Exhibit D24/3
17 ter. Oh, yes. I believe this one is under seal, just for the record.
18 THE REGISTRAR: It is under seal.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please tell us: When is the first time that you saw
21 this document?
22 A. Yesterday, I saw it while preparing for my testimony today.
23 Q. All right. You will see a copy of it now. Please take a look.
24 A. Yes. That's the document I saw yesterday.
25 Q. And prior to that, you had never see it, nor did you receive it?
1 A. No. No.
2 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
3 PRESIDING OFFICER: Cross-examination for the Prosecution.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
5 Q. Mr. Arandjic, following the episode, this man Ramusovic continued
6 to work in the municipality, in the town of Bosanski Samac, didn't he,
7 throughout the remainder of April; he was living there?
8 A. What he did concretely is something that I didn't know. What I
9 did know personally is that he continued living and working in the town of
11 Q. Right. And he continued doing that through May, June, July, and
13 A. Yes. To my surprise, he was not immediately arrested after that
14 incident. No proceedings were instituted against him. I personally was
15 disappointed, given the facts of the incident that had happened. But I,
16 as well as my superiors, bore in mind the fact that he had three brothers
17 who held different views on the situation which obtained there then.
18 Q. He was part of a group of people located at bridges whom you have
19 described as Muslim and Croat extremists; that's correct, isn't it?
20 A. They were members of paramilitary units. These were paramilitary
21 troops, because there were no legitimate -- they were not any -- no, no
22 legitimate military units had been established in accordance with the law.
23 Q. The case is, isn't it, that from your position, he was a member of
24 a group of Muslim and Croat extremists who were armed and carrying out
25 some sort of armed insurrection? That's correct, is it not, according to
1 your position?
2 A. Well, you see, I have to go into some detail to clarify this. In
3 the city of Samac proper --
4 Q. I'm just repeating what you said in evidence, a matter of not more
5 than 10 or 15 minutes ago, as it was translated to me. You said that the
6 bridge was held by Muslim and Croat extremists and they were trying to
7 gain control of the bridge. Now, that, in a nutshell, is your position,
8 is it not?
9 A. It is not that they tried; they did control the bridge, and they
10 controlled the approaches to the bridge.
11 Q. They were in control of the bridge, but they were Muslim and Croat
12 extremists, armed and in control of the bridge; correct?
13 A. They were armed civilians, members of the Croatian and Muslim
14 peoples, and probably members of national parties.
15 Q. Obviously, paramilitaries, armed paramilitaries, Croatian and
16 Muslim extremists and armed paramilitaries?
17 A. Yes, one could put it that way.
18 Q. And, furthermore, this man Ramusovic escaped on that occasion,
19 didn't he? He escaped with his gun?
20 A. Well, he was allowed to escape. Because I'm not a person who
21 would likely kill a fellow citizen. I am not among those who resort to
23 Q. Certainly. So the situation had developed whereby an armed
24 Muslim, paramilitary, who had fired upon the JNA, had left the scene with
25 a weapon. That, in a nutshell, is what had happened?
1 A. Well, literally speaking, he fled, in the fear of being
2 liquidated, because he was not aware of what my intentions were.
3 Q. In the months that followed the 16th and 17th of April, hundreds
4 of Croat and Muslim men were arrested and kept in detention centres in and
5 around Bosanski Samac; that is so, is it not?
6 A. Well, I'm aware of those facts.
7 Q. So we have a situation where a Muslim extremist who has fired upon
8 elements of the JNA has escaped with his weapon, hundreds of Croat and
9 Muslim men are being arrested in the months that follow, but what saved
10 this man was the fact that he had some brothers in the 4th Detachment; is
11 that your position?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object to this question. This would speculate
13 what had this man -- it's calling for speculation. Whether it was this or
14 some other reason, he cannot say that.
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. Well, as far as you're aware, as far as you're aware, you saw --
17 you heard the commanders, these leaders in the 4th Detachment, saying
18 words to the effect that he -- trying to cool the matter down and prevent
19 his arrest. That's the immediate reaction you saw upon reporting the
20 matter when you got back to the command of the 4th Detachment?
21 A. When, I've already described this clearly, I believe.
22 Q. From what you could see, from what you heard, what saved him was
23 the fact that the commanders of the 4th Detachment, including Simo Zaric,
24 wanted to cool the situation down, and that's what prevented the arrest,
25 until much later?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, again, this is actually the same question,
2 that I already objected about.
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 Q. You were told not to make any report, not to raise the matter, not
5 to publicise the matter, not to heat the matter up, not to pursue the
6 matter; is that correct?
7 A. When I was reporting about this to my superior, I was of the view
8 that I had completed my part of the duty. Whether my superior would opt
9 to further report the incident to other organs and bodies, that was up to
10 the commander, to his assistant, then his deputy. I did not go into that,
11 nor did I investigate their further intentions, so I cannot speak on their
12 behalf on that score now.
13 Q. It was apparent to you, was it not -- this is on your own
14 testimony, as I understand it. It was apparent to you that the
15 commanders, including Jovo Savic and Simo Zaric and Radovan Antic, of the
16 4th Detachment did not wish to publicise the matter, did not wish it to
17 become known generally. That is what I've heard your evidence. That is
18 the situation, is it not?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: And just one clarification. I mean that we heard
20 very -- very loud and clear from this witness that there was one
21 commander. So when you say "commanders," there is only one commander.
22 The others were assistants --
23 MR. DI FAZIO: High-ranking officers, then.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- deputies --
25 MR. DI FAZIO: High-ranking officers. I don't want to get bogged
1 down in that sort of detail. High-ranking officers, okay?
2 Q. That was their position, and it was known to you, was it not?
3 A. The assistants were not higher-ranking officers in relation to
4 me. They were in fact reserve, non-commissioned officers, whereas I was a
5 reserve officer. So an assistant commander can be a reserve,
6 non-commissioned officer, if there are no officers available.
7 Q. We're not getting anywhere here, Mr. Arandjic. My question is
8 really very, very simple. It's simplicity itself. When you got back and
9 you spoke to Jovo Savic, Simo Zaric, Radovan Antic, it was clear that they
10 did not wish you to publicise the matter or make it clear -- make it known
11 generally in the community; that is clear, is it not? This is how I
12 understand your evidence.
13 A. It was up to the commander to decide what he would do next.
14 Q. I'm not asking you if it's up to the commander to decide what
15 would happen next. I'm just asking you a very simple question. They made
16 their attitude plain: They didn't want the matter publicised or made
17 known. Yes or no.
18 A. I assume that they wanted the matter to be left alone for a while,
19 and that's what happened.
20 Q. Now, when you went along, months later, or the 40-odd days later,
21 to Milos Savic and reported the matter at the police station, did you make
22 any effort to consult with Simo Zaric or Jovo Savic?
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's not what he testified. I apologise. He
24 said that he was called, not that he went there and reported.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, certainly. Okay.
1 Q. When you were called --
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Inaudible].
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Fine.
4 Q. When you were called, when you were called to the police station,
5 and Milos Savic was there and made it clear to you that he wanted to speak
6 about this matter, did you make any effort to decline to speak to him or
7 try and get in touch with these officers - Zaric, Savic, or Antic - and
8 speak to them about the matter before you made any statements?
9 A. I believed that I did not have to ask for permission to disclose a
10 particular fact to the investigating or law enforcement organs, that is,
11 the MUP. I didn't consult them, because the matter was already well-known
12 to all members of the 4th Detachment. So I didn't consult them.
13 Q. I see. The matter had become known to all -- many members in the
14 4th Detachment in the time leading up to his arrest. Did members of the
15 4th Detachment do anything to arrest him or have him placed in custody of
16 the police, report the matter to the police? Are you aware of any move on
17 the part of 4th Detachment members to bring this man to justice?
18 A. No, I'm not aware of that, that anything was undertaken by the 4th
20 Q. So therefore, it must have been his brothers who protected him, is
21 that your position, the fact of their membership of the 4th Detachment?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Speculation. Speculation.
23 A. I really don't know that.
24 MR. DI FAZIO:
25 Q. You said that you worked in the Ministry of Defence just prior to
1 the events of April 16th and 17th and that you worked there with Bozo
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Milos Bogdanovic also worked, I believe, in the Ministry of
5 Defence around that time. Am I correct?
6 A. Yes, the late Milos Bogdanovic.
7 Q. Right. He was later -- went off and performed military duties and
8 was killed in action, I believe.
9 A. He was killed in an action, yes.
10 Q. And he was a fairly high-ranking man, wasn't he, in the Ministry
11 of Defence?
12 A. He was secretary of the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence
13 of Bosanski Samac.
14 Q. In the period of time following the 16th and 17th of April, was
15 he, Milos Bogdanovic, a member of the Crisis Staff?
16 A. I think he was not.
17 Q. What about Bozo Ninkovic? Was he a member of the Crisis Staff?
18 A. Bozo Ninkovic, I'm not quite sure when, but he took up duty as
19 head of a department of the Defence Ministry in the course of 1992, as it
20 was called then. I think he was a member of the Crisis Staff, but what
21 duties he performed, I don't know exactly.
22 Q. Thank you. You touched upon the events of the 16th and 17th of
23 April, and you said that you heard shooting during the night of the 16th
24 and 17th of April, and in the morning you went -- you were called to your
25 command and you were informed of the latest developments. Who informed
2 A. Of course, my commander, of course, Radovan Antic.
3 Q. And of course, Simo Zaric was there, because he was commander of
4 security affairs, and of course, given the events of the night, that must
5 have been a matter that was directly and entirely within his province of
6 responsibility -- END OF RECORDING.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- for speculation. All right. I'm okay with the
8 question whether Mr. Zaric was there, but the rest of this question, it's
9 just speculation, whether --
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. Mr. Zaric was there, wasn't he?
12 A. He was, yes.
13 Q. And he was briefing you on the events of the night and how the
14 situation had developed?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe the witness already said that he was
16 informed by the commander, so --
17 MR. DI FAZIO: No. This is --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- it's not fair to the witness. He has said: I
19 was informed by a commander. And now you're putting to him that it was
20 Mr. Zaric who informed him.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'm perfectly entitled to do so, and I'll
22 persist with the question.
23 Q. Did Mr. Zaric inform you of the developments of the night, what
24 had happened, what was happening?
25 A. The commander Savic -- or rather, the commander Radovan Antic was
1 duty-bound to inform me, as an inferior, and the others who had responded
2 to the call, about the newly development situation. Zaric was present,
3 but of course it is always the commander in such cases who has the main
5 Q. Of course, Mr. Zaric, therefore, had as good an opportunity as you
6 did to be informed of the latest developments that had taken place during
7 the night and in the early morning?
8 A. I don't know to what extent this is important for this event, but
9 probably he was informed. I hope he was informed.
10 Q. And was -- were you informed of the activities of any Serbian
11 paramilitaries during the night? Was there any report on that?
12 A. Let me tell you: Even though I was a company commander, I was not
13 at all informed, because 10 or 15 days prior to these events, the nights
14 were so stressful. We were in expectation of incursions by Croatian
15 forces across the Sava River and the possibility of paramilitary Croatian
16 forces coming from the village of Prud, so that we were all under stress,
17 both I and my family. And since the telephones were not operating, there
18 was a lot of speculation and people didn't know what was going on. It was
19 only after I went to the command that I was informed what had actually
21 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Di Fazio -- sorry. You have five minutes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 Q. No doubt your time -- the times were stressful, but my question is
24 very simple. When you went to the command that morning, the morning of
25 the 17th, were you briefed on the activities of Serbian paramilitaries in
1 the town during the night?
2 A. Yes, I was informed about them.
3 Q. Were you told to take action against them?
4 A. You see, the situation was highly complex, very complicated, and
5 there were paramilitary formations active on the Serbian, Muslim, and
6 Croatian sides, so that the 4th Detachment too found itself in this highly
7 complex position. And I've already told you that the 4th Detachment of
8 the JNA was a unit that was still in the process of being formed, and it
9 was still growing. And as I said, that morning a very small number of
10 members arrived, not more than 30 to 40 of them, in response to the call.
11 Q. Were you told to take action against the Serbian paramilitaries or
12 not? Very simple. You can answer it with a yes or a no.
13 A. Our task was, as I already said, to take up defence positions on
14 the west of the town, along the Bosna River, and to protect the town from
15 the incursions by Croatian paramilitary forces from Prud. As for Serbian
16 paramilitary forces, that was not discussed, nor was any particular order
17 issued in connection with them.
18 Q. Now, the reason for that, of course, is that you and the 4th
19 Detachment were cooperating with them that night, weren't you, with the
20 Serbian paramilitaries?
21 A. No, that's not true. That is not true.
22 Q. What about subsequent days? Were you briefed to take any action
23 against Serbian paramilitaries?
24 A. The next few days, the town -- armed individuals were still in
25 presence in town, civilians, members of various paramilitaries, who would
1 sporadically open fire from buildings in the town, and it took several
2 days for those operations to be neutralised, that is, the action being
3 taken from certain buildings, fire being opened.
4 Q. Okay. But one thing is absolutely crystal clear: On the 17th of
5 April, the 4th Detachment took action against what you call Croatian and
6 Muslim paramilitaries, but no action against any Serbian paramilitaries?
7 A. Let me tell you that the resistance and the main obstacle to the
8 formation of the JNA 4th Detachment was put up by the SDA and the HDZ, by
9 arming their reserve policemen and their own citizens, civilians, who
10 supported the SDA and HDZ policies. And naturally, it was not to be
11 expected that those Serbian paramilitary forces were not operating against
12 the 4th Detachment; at least, I'm not aware of any such operations by
14 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Di Fazio, your time is up. Do you wish to
15 use some of the minutes left over from this morning?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: No.
17 Thank you very much, Mr. Arandjic. I have no further questions.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Arandjic, you were just answering questions
20 from the Prosecution, and in this re-examination I should just like to go
21 back to a couple of questions for clarification.
22 The Prosecutor asked you, when discussing what the 4th Detachment
23 undertook in connection with your wounding, and you said that more or less
24 everyone knew about it: Did the 4th Detachment do anything to arrest
25 Ramusovic, who had fired at you? And you answered that question. But I'd
1 just like one point of clarification. The 4th Detachment, as a JNA unit,
2 did it have authority to arrest anyone or take anyone into custody?
3 A. No. It had purely military assignments, so that the arrest of
4 Ramusovic, I'm not aware that it was carried out under the patronage of
5 the 4th Detachment.
6 Q. Just one more question as a follow-up to this one. Was anyone
7 arrested by the 4th Detachment?
8 A. I am not aware of it, because there were other MUP bodies who were
9 responsible for security, public law and order, and the rest.
10 Q. Towards the end of your examination by the Prosecution, you were
11 asked a couple of questions in connection with the orders given, that is:
12 Were you ordered to resist the Serbian or any other paramilitary units? I
13 would just like to know, very briefly, what your orders were that day.
14 A. The assignment was very clear and very specific: to take control
15 of the right bank of the Bosna River, to fortify ourselves temporarily for
16 a lying or kneeling position and not allow incursion of Croatian
17 paramilitary forces from the village of Prud, who had tried that night and
18 the following nights to break into the town of Samac, and on that
19 occasion, as far as I know, two members were killed on the very bridge
20 across the Bosna River.
21 Q. So I understand from this you were not told to fight these and not
22 someone else; there were no such orders.
23 A. Absolutely not. Our military assignments were very clear. They
24 always are. They do not have any political nature.
25 Q. And if, by any chance, a member of Serbian paramilitary forces,
1 those camouflage people, had opened fire at you, what would you have done?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Madam Presiding Officer, I do apologise. That is a
3 matter that is rampant -- calls for rampant speculation.
4 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Lazarevic, are you finished? You are
5 finished? Okay.
6 Mr. Arandjic, thank you very much for coming here today to give
7 your deposition. You may go now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 PRESIDING OFFICER: We'll have the lunch break and we'll start
11 again at 5 past 2.00. Thank you.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.48 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.13 p.m.
14 [The witness entered]
15 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good afternoon, Mr. Erletic. Could you please
16 stand and read the text which is on the pink sheet of paper in front of
18 WITNESS: JOVAN ERLETIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 PRESIDING OFFICER: The Defence for Mr. Zaric. Mr. Pisarevic.
23 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. I've already described for you how you should testify. Please do
2 not rush. The interpreters ought to be able to hear you, everything ought
3 to be recorded in the transcript, so please wait until I've asked my
4 question before responding.
5 Please tell us your name and the last name.
6 A. Jovan Erletic.
7 Q. When were you born, Mr. Erletic?
8 A. I was born on the 2nd of September, 1951.
9 Q. Where were you born?
10 A. I was born in Gornji Zabar, which is now called Pelagicevo.
11 Q. Will you tell us what municipality is that?
12 A. That is the municipality of Pelagicevo, formerly belonged to the
13 municipality of Gradacac.
14 Q. Where are you residing now?
15 A. At Pelagicevo.
16 Q. Where did you complete primary school?
17 A. I completed primary school at Gornji Zabar.
18 Q. What are you by profession?
19 A. I am a caterer by profession.
20 Q. Tell us, please: Did you do your military service in the Yugoslav
21 People's Army? Where and when?
22 A. I served the Yugoslav People's Army in 1971 and 1972, as a member
23 of Tito's Guard, in Valjevo and Belgrade.
24 Q. Do you perhaps hold any military rank?
25 A. My rank is Captain First Class.
1 Q. Please tell us: Are you married?
2 A. I was married, but I am now happily divorced.
3 Q. Thank you. What are you by ethnicity?
4 A. I am a Serb by ethnicity.
5 Q. Were you a member of the army of Republika Srpska?
6 A. From the very establishment of the army of Republika Srpska, up to
7 its end, I was a member.
8 Q. What military duty or officer's duty did you perform as of the 1st
9 of September, 1992?
10 A. As of the 1st of September, 1992, I was the operations officer in
11 the technical service.
12 Q. Will you tell us in what unit and the designation of the unit in
13 which you served.
14 A. I was the operations officer on the technical service in the 2nd
15 Posavina Brigade.
16 Q. Did this post that you held imply that you were a member of the
17 command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
18 A. My post did not imply that I was a member of the command of the
19 brigade, but as, at the time being, there was no assistant commander for
20 logistics, I performed the duty of assistant commander for logistics, and
21 thereby, and as such, I was a member of the command of the brigade.
22 Q. Tell us only where was the headquarters of the 2nd Posavina
23 Infantry Brigade.
24 A. The seat or the headquarters of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade
25 was at Pelagicevo.
1 Q. Can you tell us: In that time period, as of the 1st of September,
2 1992, who was the commander of the 2nd Posavska Brigade, 2nd Posavska
3 Infantry Brigade, in that period?
4 A. The commander of the 2nd Posavska Infantry Brigade at the time was
5 Lieutenant Colonel Mile Beronja.
6 Q. And who was the chief of staff of the brigade?
7 A. Captain Milan Josic was the chief of the staff of the brigade.
8 Q. Okay. And do you know who was the assistant commander for morale,
9 legal, and religious affairs?
10 A. The assistant commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs
11 was Simo Zaric.
12 Q. Do you know who was the head of the intelligence and security
13 organ in the brigade?
14 A. The commander of the intelligence and security body in the brigade
15 was Lieutenant Milan Maksimovic.
16 Q. I'm not going to ask you about all the other operations officers,
17 et cetera, but can you tell me: What was the strength of the command of
18 the 2nd Posavina Brigade, in terms of the number of people, of course?
19 A. The command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade numbered 13 members.
20 Q. Are you aware of the fact -- do you know when, rather, Mr. Simo
21 Zaric assumed the position of assistant commander for morale, legal, and
22 religious affairs in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
23 A. I cannot tell you the exact date when he assumed that post, but I
24 believe that that was as of the date of the setting up of the 2nd Posavina
25 Brigade, actually.
1 Q. Do you know that the command concluded that a memorandum should be
2 drawn up about the practices and incidents that were jeopardising and
3 eroding the morale of the men?
4 A. Yes, I'm aware of that fact, because I personally took part in
5 that particular assignment.
6 Q. Can you describe -- can you tell us approximately in what month
7 did the command arrive at this conclusion?
8 A. If I remember correctly, that was in September 1992.
9 Q. Who did the command assign -- who did the command charge with the
10 task of preparing this working paper, this working memorandum of that
12 A. As this, in fact, was within the terms of reference of the morale
13 department and the operations officer for morale was Simo Zaric, the
14 commander charged Simo Zaric with performing that particular assignment.
15 Q. Do you know what activities Mr. Zaric undertook as part of his
16 terms of reference in order to prepare such a paper?
17 A. We in the command decided, agreed, that this paper should be drawn
18 up as such, and we put Mr. Zaric in charge of it. And as far as I heard,
19 he inspected the units, the companies, the battalions, talked to the men
20 and to their commanding officers, and on the basis of his conversation
21 with them, he prepared these conclusions.
22 Q. When did this memorandum, if you remember, of course, when was it
23 discussed in the command of the brigade for the first time?
24 A. I believe that that was the end of September 1992.
25 Q. Were you present when it was being considered, when this
1 memorandum was being considered by the command for the first time?
2 A. Yes, I was there.
3 Q. Were all the members of the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
5 A. As far as I remember, they were all present, and that very fact --
6 because of that very fact, after the reading out of the document and the
7 conclusion of the commander, that was indeed so, as written. We all then
8 affixed our signatures to that document.
9 Q. Was anyone else present at that meeting on behalf of the East
10 Bosnia Corps?
11 A. Present at this meeting was Lieutenant Colonel Jakovljevic, as, as
12 far as I remember, the security organ in the corps, and Colonel Dosen, as
13 the person in charge of morale in the corps.
14 Q. Please, let us clarify a statement of yours. When you say "When
15 we saw that, we saw that it was indeed so," what exactly did you mean when
16 you said that it was indeed as written, as such? What was the position of
17 the members of the command vis-a-vis that particular piece of information?
18 A. The position of the command was that this information memorandum,
19 had been written well, that we all supported it, upheld what was written
20 in there, and that is why we normally signed it.
21 Q. Who briefed the people present at that discussion with the content
22 of the information memorandum that was being considered?
23 A. The information memorandum was read out to the present [as
24 interpreted] by the author of the paper, Lieutenant Simo Zaric.
25 Q. And did the members of the command vote in order to adopt that
2 A. Since all of us signed the paper after the memorandum had been
3 read out, that in itself was sufficient proof that we had indeed voted in
4 favour of it.
5 Q. If I understood you well, so you affixed your signatures to it --
6 you affixed your signature to it?
7 A. Yes, I did. I signed it.
8 Q. Did the other members of the command also sign the document
10 A. After the information memo had been read out, every single man
11 present there signed the paper.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Will Exhibit P127 be shown to the
13 witness, the first and the last page, first and last page, please.
14 Q. Mr. Erletic, please take a look at this document. Is this the
15 information memo that was adopted at a session of the command of the
17 A. Yes, that is correct. This is the information memo that was
18 adopted at the meeting of the command of the brigade, and my signature is
19 here under serial number 4.
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you. That was my next question. So all the
21 other people who were present there also signed the document and these are
22 their signatures, to the best of your -- as far as you know?
23 A. It is true that they signed the document. It is also true that
24 these are their signatures.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you remember what happened after the adoption of
1 this memo? Were there any new discussions and meetings in connection with
2 that particular paper; and if so, tell us something about it.
3 A. A couple of days afterwards, after this memorandum had already
4 leaked to the public, there was a meeting organised at the command of the
5 brigade, that is, between members, representatives of the civilian
6 authorities and the command of the brigade.
7 Q. Please, when you say "civilian authorities," who are you referring
8 to? What civilian authorities were there then?
9 A. On behalf of the civilian authorities, the meeting was attended by
10 Mr. Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Stevo Todorovic. The fourth person with
11 them was a man whom I don't know, and I don't know his name, but I do know
12 that they said that he was there on behalf of the MUP or the SUP.
13 Q. And how did this meeting evolve?
14 A. This meeting was a very tumultuous one on both sides, and it ended
15 by the representatives of the civilian authorities walking out on the
16 meeting in protest.
17 Q. Can you recall whether at this meeting the commander of the
18 brigade, Beronja, did he preclude this information memorandum from being
19 discussed about by the author of that selfsame paper, Mr. Simo Zaric?
20 A. Yes, I can recall that. Yes. I can remember how he forbade him
21 to do so, and individuals, including myself, objected to that, but he said
22 simply: That's the way it is going to be. I'm the commander.
23 Q. Do you know what happened then with Mr. Simo Zaric, after that?
24 And how did he remain, and on what post, in the army of Republika Srpska?
25 A. I cannot remember exactly how much time had elapsed, but I do know
1 that he was later dismissed from that duty and that he ended up as an
2 ordinary soldier.
3 Q. Thank you. I have no more questions.
4 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Erletic. My name is David Re. I'm a
8 Prosecutor. I'm going to ask you some questions about the evidence you
9 just gave. Do you understand that?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. You told Mr. Pisarevic that you were a Captain First Class. Is
12 that at the moment or during the war?
13 A. If you understood me well, I had a rank of lieutenant when I
14 served as operations officer for technical service. However, I finished
15 the war with the rank of Captain First Class.
16 Q. Do you still hold a rank in the reserve?
17 A. Nobody took it away from me, nobody stripped me of it, so I see no
18 reason why I shouldn't have it now.
19 Q. You were a member, you said, of Tito's Guard. That is where you
20 did your military service. Between then and the commencement of the war
21 in April 1992, were you in the reserve or did you hold military rank
22 within the army?
23 A. When I left the army, I belonged to the reserve forces of state
24 security detachment in Brcko.
25 Q. The state security detachment, that's attached to the state
1 security services, the SDB; is that right?
2 A. That's state security service. That's what it was called at the
3 time, before the war.
4 Q. Were you, in effect, a reserve officer for intelligence?
5 A. I was in reserve forces within the detachment of the state
6 security service.
7 Q. And to attain that position, you had to do some military
8 intelligence training, didn't you?
9 A. That's not correct. I had no training whatsoever. I was simply a
10 member of the reserve forces.
11 Q. That's a reserve force of the same body that Mr. Zaric was working
12 for for many years, the SDB?
13 A. I believe that this is the same force; however, it had nothing to
14 do with me and with where I was.
15 Q. How long have you known Mr. Zaric for, Mr. Erletic?
16 A. I've known Mr. Zaric since the beginning of the war.
17 Q. Would you consider him to be a friend of yours?
18 A. From the very beginning of the war, during the war, and nowadays.
19 I see no reason why he wouldn't be considered my friend.
20 Q. What about Mr. Tadic? Do you know Mr. Miroslav Tadic?
21 A. I don't know Mr. Miroslav Tadic. I've simply heard of him and I
22 saw him a few times in passing.
23 Q. The JNA, in which you did your military service in the 1970s, was
24 one of the largest armies in the world, wasn't it?
25 A. It is not up to me to give assessments, nor do I know the strength
1 of other armies, so I can't tell you whether it was one of the largest or
2 one of the smallest. I can't tell you that, because I don't know much
3 about other armies.
4 Q. The JNA was a very professional army, in your experience in
5 serving in Tito's Guard, wasn't it?
6 A. I don't quite understand you. What do you mean, "very
8 Q. It wasn't a ragtag bag of paramilitaries; it was a professionally
9 highly trained, well-organised, disciplined fighting machine, wasn't it?
10 A. The fact that it was a serious organisation, the army in which I
11 served my military service, that is a correct statement. Now, as to that
12 army being a fighting machinery or whatever you called it, I don't agree
13 with that statement of yours.
14 Q. What I'm asking you about is the discipline within the JNA. I'm
15 asking you whether it was a highly disciplined, professional, well-trained
16 army. If you disagree, just say yes; if you agree with me, agree with
18 A. The unit in which I served was the real McCoy; it was the real,
19 professional army.
20 Q. As an officer in the JNA, you received a lot of training in
21 military doctrine, command, and procedures, didn't you?
22 A. There was the regular procedure, depending on who held which
23 position. That's how it was in the army.
24 Q. That's right. And everyone in the army knew their position and
25 who they reported to. It was part of the training, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes. That's how it was in the army in which I served.
2 Q. And the JNA had tightly controlled structure of command, didn't
3 it, from the bottom right up to the top?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You also received training as an officer in the laws of war and
6 the Geneva Conventions, didn't you?
7 A. I have to clarify something here for you. I was a reserve
8 officer, a reserve officer. I was a sergeant in active military. Then
9 once you leave active service, you become a reserve officer. However, I
10 was not an active officer in the JNA.
11 Q. When you received your training, you received training in the laws
12 of war and the Geneva Conventions, didn't you? It was a standard part of
13 JNA training procedure, wasn't it?
14 A. That's not true.
15 Q. Is it not true, or you can't remember back 30 years about the
16 lectures you received when you first did your training?
17 A. That's not correct. I can recall it very well. We were not
18 trained to wage war at all. We were not trained to do that. That army
19 was not trained to wage a war. That was an army trained to defend, not to
20 wage a war.
21 Q. You were an officer in the VRS for some years, and you are aware
22 that looting is against the laws of war, aren't you?
23 A. It is unlawful, but I don't know who did the looting. I didn't do
24 it myself.
25 Q. Mr. Erletic, can you just please concentrate on the question I'm
1 asking you. I didn't ask you who did looting. I'm just talking about
2 looting. Beating of prisoners is also against the laws of war, and you
3 know that from your time as a reserve officer in the JNA and an officer in
4 the VRS; correct?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, let's clarify matters. I was an operations
6 officer for technical service. I had nothing to do with the prison, with
7 the prisoners, with beatings, or anything of that nature. I was neither
8 present nor I was involved in it. I might have heard about that
9 somewhere; however, I did not take part in it. I'm not sure about what
10 other people said. I don't know whether this truly transpired or not. I
11 don't know.
12 Q. Mr. Erletic, please, I'm not suggesting for a second that you took
13 part in any war crimes. I'm just asking you about your view of war
14 crimes, as a professional officer serving in a professional army. Do you
15 understand that? Just yes or no. Do you understand what I'm saying? Yes
16 or no.
17 A. No.
18 Q. It would be unlawful for a soldier to torture prisoners, wouldn't
19 it? And you can answer that from your training and your experience as an
20 officer in the JNA reserve and in the VRS.
21 A. I've told you loud and clear that the army and the JNA did not
22 train us to go and fight, or anything of that nature. We were trained to
23 defend our country from aggressors, not to attack.
24 Q. Are you having some difficulty in hearing the question I'm asking
25 and answering the question I'm asking, Mr. Erletic?
1 A. I have no difficulty understanding your questions or hearing them,
2 but I have a feeling that you're trying to provoke me. I am describing
3 things I know and things where I was present. I can't tell you anything
4 about events where I was not present. I'm no expert at all. I'm an
5 ordinary caterer, and it is not up to me to give assessments on things
6 that had happened.
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Erletic, could you please answer the
8 questions asked by counsel for the Prosecution. It is important for us.
9 It will be important for the Trial Chamber. Counsel for the Prosecution
10 is not trying to imply anything or to trick you into anything; he's just
11 asking simple questions, and it would be very appreciated if you could
12 answer them simply, without arguing with counsel. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give replies to questions
14 to which I don't know an answer or in instances where I'm not an expert.
15 However, I will reply to things that I'm qualified to respond to.
16 PRESIDING OFFICER: If you don't know something, just say so.
17 Just say you don't know, and counsel will move on.
18 MR. RE:
19 Q. My question was: As a long-term officer in the VRS, are you
20 telling us that you don't know whether torture of a prison will be
22 A. I don't know -- how do you want me to reply to that? With a yes
23 or a no? In this case, I do know the answer. It's yes.
24 Q. It's very important that you can give us some information to
25 assist the Trial Chamber in its determination of the truth here. I want
1 you to describe the military formation or the units of the -- which were
2 operating at the time of the war breaking out in 1992. There was the 17th
3 Group. The 4th Detachment of the 17th Group of the JNA was in the
4 Bosanski Samac region. What I want you to be -- what I want you to tell
5 the Trial Chamber, when it gets to read and see your evidence, is how the
6 various units were organised in the command and control structure, from
7 the bottom to the top. Do you understand that?
8 A. I can't tell you that. I live 30 kilometres from Samac. I am
9 from Pelagicevo. I was operations officer for technical service. As far
10 as logistics is concerned, you can put questions to me, and I did not
11 carry out any other duties and tasks, and I'm not informed about them.
12 Q. You've already told us, you told Mr. Pisarevic earlier, that you
13 were on the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. Was it the entire
14 Posavina Brigade which signed the document which you looked at before?
15 A. If you understood me properly, and I said it clearly, as an
16 operations officer, I did not belong to the brigade command. However, at
17 the time, there was no assistant commander for logistics, so I was acting
18 assistant commander as well, and as such, in that capacity, I belonged to
19 the brigade command. It is true that all 13 members of the brigade had
20 signed that document.
21 Q. The question I asked you: Was it the entire brigade command? Is
22 the answer yes or no?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As logistics officer, you would have known how many people, how
25 many men, were within the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, wouldn't
2 A. Yes, I would.
3 Q. How many soldiers were there within the 2nd Posavina Brigade
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. You mean you can't remember now?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I believe we have some slight
8 problems with translation. I have that feeling. I didn't quite follow,
9 because I'm following in B/C/S. Was your question how many members of the
10 command there were or how many soldiers were in the whole brigade, one of
11 these -- in the brigade, actually.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Do you follow? How many soldiers were under the command of the
14 2nd Posavina Brigade?
15 A. I can't recall that. I don't know.
16 Q. Hundreds? Thousands?
17 A. I can't tell you that. I don't know exactly. I don't know.
18 Q. Who did the brigade commander, that's Lieutenant Colonel Mile
19 Beronja, report to? Who was his superior officer, or who was that
20 superior officer attached to?
21 A. Lieutenant Colonel Beronja at the time reported to the East Bosnia
23 Q. Was the East Bosnia Corps the army -- the corps responsible for
24 the Posavina corridor?
25 A. I don't know which corridor you have in mind.
1 Q. How many brigades reported to the East Bosnia Corps?
2 A. I don't know that. I don't know how many brigades were within the
3 corps. I don't know that. I don't know. I never looked into that. I
4 was never interested in that and I didn't need to know that.
5 Q. There was a 2nd Posavina Brigade. Was there a 1st and a 3rd and a
6 4th Posavina Brigade, or rather, Posavina brigades with different numbers?
7 A. There were several brigades, but how many exactly, I don't know.
8 Q. And they -- each of these brigades had an area, an operating area
9 of responsibility, didn't they?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the 2nd Posavina Brigade had a distinct geographical area in
12 which it was responsible for all VRS troops, didn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it was responsible for command of all troops within the Samac
15 municipality, wasn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the brigade was broken down into smaller divisions, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was the next level down from the brigade? What was the name
20 of the next level or the next division down from the brigade? Was it a
21 battalion or something else?
22 A. Well, the next level down from the brigade is a battalion.
23 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Re, your time is up, but you have eight
24 minutes left from this morning. Do you want to use them?
25 MR. RE: We have some from tomorrow. Sorry?
1 PRESIDING OFFICER: Sorry.
2 MR. RE: I think there are a couple of minutes too for the
3 interruption, which is about two minutes.
4 PRESIDING OFFICER: Okay. So then can you finish in ten minutes?
5 MR. RE: Can you just bear with me for one moment?
6 I understand we can also bank time in advance, same -- we don't --
7 we go overtime. We don't use it tomorrow.
8 PRESIDING OFFICER: I don't think so, unless the Defence doesn't
9 object, but I mean ...
10 MR. PANTELIC: Well, I will reiterate the position of the Defence,
11 and we are in some kind of preparation for the application for the
12 certification. Because once again, we think that the right of the Defence
13 is to some extent violated, due to the fact that - we have discussed that
14 in The Hague - due to the fact that, for example, if a so-called hostile
15 witness will give testimony here, the other Defence team cannot
16 cross-examine him. And in addition, this practice, with regard to
17 accumulation of time, only for the Prosecution side is also not in
18 accordance with the principle of equality of arms. So, to be brief -- I
19 mean, for the record. I don't want to open any kind of discussions. We
20 cannot accept any such practice with regard to the future time of one side
21 to be collected on this particular day, because otherwise we shall very
22 soon be in some kind of very chaotic or insecure situation in terms of the
23 proceedings. Thank you.
24 PRESIDING OFFICER: I would just want to -- can I respond first?
25 I would just want to note that counsel for the Defence were informed, at a
1 meeting which took place on the Thursday before this week, about the fact
2 that the Prosecution would be allowed to use the time that they didn't use
3 on cross. You didn't attend that meeting, but you were informed of that,
4 I believe, and you would have had time to raise it before the Chamber.
5 But of course, you are free to raise it when you come back. But just for
6 the record, also, because you could have raised it on Thursday afternoon
7 before the Chamber and you could have raised it on Friday before the
8 Chamber. So -- and there was an explanation given at that meeting
9 explaining why the Prosecution would be actually allowed to do that, as
10 opposed to the Defence.
11 MR. PANTELIC: If I may. We have discussed that in front of the
12 Trial Chamber prior to our trip to Belgrade, so we are very well aware
13 about the instructions, about the position, with that issue, so it's
14 not -- it's not at issue at all. We also proceeded with an oral motion.
15 This motion was denied, overruled. So the only way, in procedural terms,
16 are certification and so on. So we are very well aware about the
17 development with that particular issue. Thank you.
18 DEFENCE COUNSEL: May I just add a few words to what Mr. Pantelic
19 said. The question you addressed to us - at least that is how I
20 understood it - whether unused time -- the Prosecution may use time from
21 the future for this witness. But with regard to this particular topic, we
22 oppose it, we object to it, on behalf of the counsel for Miroslav Tadic,
23 because we were informed by the registrar that they can only use unused
24 time but not time taken in advance. I think that was a clear rule, and we
25 object to any kind of time being used in advance, because I think that
1 would further confuse things, in view of the Rules, which can cause a
2 certain degree of uncertainty, and this would further complicate things.
3 So we oppose any use of time in advance.
4 PRESIDING OFFICER: Actually, when the matter was discussed, I
5 think it wasn't mentioned whether it would be past time or future time.
6 But I agree, in any case, that it creates confusion to use future time, as
7 no one knows if there would be any future time left. And in any case,
8 also, I informed counsel for the Prosecution that we would not count the
9 time for the previous days, that they would only be able to use the time
10 which was left on a given day; otherwise it gets too conflicted and
11 unmanageable. So in accordance with that, you have ten minutes to finish,
12 for now.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. I was asking you about the structure a moment ago, Mr. Erletic.
15 Who did the East Bosnia Corps commander report to? What was the next
16 level of authority?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Ultimately, he would have reported to -- he or his superior would
19 have reported to General Mladic?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. You don't know that the corps commanders would have reported to
22 either Mladic or someone who reported to Mladic? Are you saying that as
23 an officer, a former officer of the VRS, with Mladic as the officer in
24 charge? Is that your evidence?
25 A. I told you nicely that I was a reserve officer, and I never got
1 involved in these things, nor did they really interest me.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I object, Madam Presiding Officer,
3 because the Prosecution is asking the witness certain things, though the
4 witness has clearly told him that he was not a trained or professional
5 officer. He's not a military man. If the gentlemen need to know the
6 structure of the army of Republika Srpska, why not call a military expert
7 to whom such questions can be addressed?
8 MR. RE: I note that objection has taken about a minute and a half
9 of my time. It could have been made in about ten seconds.
10 Q. Mr. Erletic, was your evidence that you were a full-time soldier
11 during the war, an officer in the VRS? Yes or no.
12 A. I don't know whether you understood me properly. A professional
13 officer is one thing, and a reserve officer is something quite different.
14 You must make a distinction between a professional soldier and the reserve
15 force. Mr. Prosecutor, I belonged to the reserve force, and I told you
16 that loud and clear from the very beginning.
17 Q. Were you a full-time soldier during the war? Yes or no. Simple
18 question. Simple answer, please. Yes or no. Either you were or you
20 A. I don't know what you mean by "full time." What kind of working
21 hours are you mentioning?
22 Q. Mr. Erletic, your brigade command took some considerable time to
23 consider the document you signed, the 13 of you signed, and I think your
24 evidence said -- was that it was that you signed it after discussions and
25 after Mr. Zaric had reported back to you. Was the document prepared
1 because the brigade command wished to dissociate itself with what the
2 civilian authorities, that is, the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency,
3 were doing with the paramilitaries?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And was it because the command - sorry - the brigade -- the 2nd
6 Posavina Brigade command was concerned about excessive civilian
7 involvement in military matters?
8 A. I don't know whether anyone feared this or not, but I do know what
9 I personally felt, that is, regarding the arbitrariness of individuals,
10 and we opposed this, and that is what we signed in our -- in that paper.
11 Q. Were you, as a reserve officer in the VRS, concerned about
12 excessive civilian involvement by the Crisis Staff and War Presidency in
13 military matters?
14 A. I told you a moment ago: We were against certain cases of
15 arbitrary behaviour and actions taken by individuals who were causing
16 disturbances and who were trying to mistreat anyone, and we wrote that
17 down, loud and clear, and signed it.
18 Q. And your concern, and that of the other members, or the other
19 people who signed that document, was of civilian, that is, Crisis Staff
20 and War Presidency involvement in the things you've listed there, such as
21 isolation, looting, beating, and enrichment; is that right?
22 A. All that is contained in that report is true.
23 Q. Your concern was about the involvement of the Crisis Staff and War
24 Presidency in all of those things: the beatings, the arrests, the
25 isolations, the looting, and the enrichment of some people?
1 A. I told you a moment ago: I personally was concerned, as were the
2 others with me and whom we talked to and agreed on this. Everything that
3 contributed to lowering the morale of the soldiers in the brigade
4 concerned us, and that is why we signed that information memo.
5 Q. You were concerned, and the other members of the brigade command
6 were concerned, about the War Presidency and Crisis Staff's discriminatory
7 practices in relation to non-Serbs in the Samac region. Was that one of
8 the reasons why you signed the document?
9 A. I told you quite clearly: Anything that contributed, coming from
10 whatever quarter, to the lower morale of the soldiers was something we
11 were concerned about, and we clearly stated in that report what we meant
12 and we signed it.
13 Q. Discrimination against non-Serbs by the Crisis Staff, War
14 Presidency, and their practices in discriminating against non-Serbs, one
15 of the reasons that caused you to sign that document?
16 A. I told you that I was in Pelagicevo. I don't know who committed
17 any discrimination, but we were against that too.
18 PRESIDING OFFICER: Any re-examination?
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] No, Madam Presiding Officer.
20 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Erletic, thank you very much for coming to
21 give your deposition today. You are free to go.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 --- Whereupon the Depositions Hearing adjourned
24 at 3.15 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
25 the 6th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.