1 Monday, 24 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Just one
11 short information before the continuation of this trial. We have all
12 received health report for Mr. Tadic, and in view of the recommendation of
13 the Detention Unit physician, Mr. Tadic will not be present this afternoon
14 at the trial. I have been made to understand that the Defence of
15 Mr. Zaric will commence in this afternoon with the opening statement, and
16 Mr. Pisarevic advised me that his opening statement will last about one
17 hour and 15 minutes. And if it is completed within that time, I would
18 like to ask you that we don't start with Mr. Tadic without the first
19 witness. That will be only 15 minutes. Because the first witness is
20 Mr. Simeunovic who is extremely important for the defence of Mr. Miroslav
21 Tadic and he would like to be present while he is being examined. So
22 tomorrow when we start working normally, there will be no problems for Mr.
23 Tadic to follow the trial when Mr. Simeunovic takes the witness stand.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber agrees with your proposal,
25 Mr. Lukic, and we shall proceed accordingly.
1 So the Prosecution can continue cross-examination.
2 WITNESS: MIROSLAV TADIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tadic. I trust that you're feeling better. If
6 in the course of my questioning, you experience any more difficulties,
7 please ensure that you inform the Chamber straight away. Thank you.
8 A. Thank you too.
9 Q. Now, last week I was asking you some questions regarding the
10 events surrounding the 16th and 17th and 18th of April, and last Thursday
11 you testified that you did not have the impression that the Crisis Staff
12 had decided to take over the town. Do you recall saying that?
13 A. I fell that was the case.
14 Q. Yes. And you also went on to clarify that you had that impression
15 that had not occurred, then or later. Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I would like to direct your attention to some comments provided by
18 Mr. Zaric regarding this issue, and so that you can fully understand his
19 comments, can you please now be shown Exhibit P141 ter. For your
20 information, that is an interview conducted with Mr. Zaric on the 2nd of
21 April, 1998. And in particular, may I ask you to look at page 12 of that
23 Mr. Tadic, the questions that I'm concerned about start about
24 midway down page 12, and the answer continuing on into page 13.
25 A. Are you referring to this passage that starts: "Mr. told us"?
1 Q. I'm referring to the passage where Nancy Paterson, who was asking
2 the questions, is asking Mr. Zaric about a Commander Nikolic receiving a
3 call from Blagoje Simic, informing him that a decision had been made to
4 take over the town. And Mr. Zaric then goes on to provide his answer.
5 And in the course of providing his answer, he points out that Nikolic
6 reported that he had received a phone call from Blagoje Simic during the
7 night of the 16th and 17th. The Crisis Staff had decided to take over the
8 town of Samac, Serbian police and units taking over the vital buildings
9 and objects in the town, and that subsequently the 16th was regarded as a
10 liberation day by the official authorities in the town. Do you see that
12 A. These responses mainly boil down, but I don't know how the
13 response has started. Can you tell me what the first word is? Because I
14 can see here that Mr. -- "Mr. Nikolic told us that he had been informed."
15 Is that at the beginning of the paragraph that you're referring to, or the
16 other one, citing: "You told us that Mr. Nikolic had ordered," or the
17 third one, starting: "You have just told us that Mr. Simic --" I don't
18 know which of the three you are referring to.
19 Q. The answer I am primarily interested in you will find on page 13,
20 commencing on the fourth line, that's B/C/S, and you can read that
21 paragraph. Page 13, four lines down.
22 A. If we look at the part of the third line, saying that on the 17th,
23 in the morning, I don't know exactly for how long, but at any rate, during
24 the night he had been informed by Mr. Simic that the Serbian police
25 forces -- is that what you're referring to?
1 Q. That's correct. It's that paragraph, that passage. It extends
2 from the third -- fourth line down to about midway in the page. Page 13,
3 that paragraph.
4 A. And there they were taking over authority as the Serbian
5 municipality of Samac. If I could only tell to the madam that the
6 official authority, Mr. Simic, and this official authority during the war
7 years, whenever it marked this date, the 16th, I believed that to be the
8 liberation day, you know. I personally do not share this opinion, but
9 they had always emphasised the role of the Serbian police and volunteers,
10 but they never emphasised the 4th Detachment. They did not want to
11 mention that in any case whatsoever.
12 Q. Mr. Tadic, all I'm asking you to do is just read the answer and
13 re-acquaint yourself with it, or acquaint yourself with Mr. Zaric's
14 position. Have you had an opportunity now to read the paragraph? Please
15 inform me when you have. When you have read the paragraph, I will ask you
16 some questions.
17 A. Should I proceed reading?
18 Q. Just -- yes, please read the paragraph and acquaint yourself with
19 the contents.
20 A. "I wish to say that I had not truly or either it is out of pride,
21 but I'm just saying that that was their entire strategy. They are taking
22 this as the foundation for a new history, but, however, I don't believe it
23 is going to be like this. We have always been, in their eyes, a formation
24 of traitors." Is that as far as you want me to read?
25 Q. Mr. Tadic, there seems to be a communication problem between you
1 and I. I'll repeat. I'll repeat what I want you to do. I just wanted
2 you to read the paragraph in B/C/S on page 13 and acquaint yourself with
3 the content of what Mr. Zaric asserts. You will see the paragraph
4 beginning four lines down on page 13, and it ends midway down page 13. I
5 don't want an answer; I just want an assurance that you have read the
6 paragraph and acquainted yourself with the position that Mr. Zaric adopts.
7 That's all I want you to do. Then I have some questions.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think, Mr. Di Fazio, you might make it clear to
9 Mr. Tadic whether you want him to read it aloud or read it to himself,
10 because you haven't he said that, you see, so he doesn't know whether he
11 reads it in his mind and becomes acquainted or whether he's supposed to
12 read it out for the record.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Perhaps it will solve the problem by adopting
14 Judge Williams's suggestion. Read it out into the transcript, please.
15 A. I have already read this section. Do you want me to go on?
16 Q. Thank you. You understand what Mr. Zaric is saying in that
18 A. I understand what is written here.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, in that answer, Mr. Tadic, Mr. Zaric says that
20 the 4th Detachment, Nikolic, was informed by Blagoje Simic that the Crisis
21 Staff had decided to take over the town of Samac. Did Mr. Zaric ever
22 inform you that the Crisis Staff had decided to take over the town?
23 A. Here at the beginning, I haven't read one sentence which reads:
24 "Mr. Nikolic had told us that he had been informed." I don't know who
25 "we" refers to. Therefore, I do not agree with this plural here, and I
1 was not part of that plural. Because it says that "we had been informed
2 by Mr. Nikolic." That must have been Mr. Zaric and someone else with him.
3 And that is what he told them. Since he didn't tell that to me, I have no
5 Q. Mr. Tadic, in that passage, Mr. Zaric makes it clear that he was
6 informed by the commander of the 17th Tactical Group that the Crisis Staff
7 had decided to take over the town. Did Mr. Zaric ever convey that to you
8 in the days following the 16th and 17th of April?
9 A. No.
10 Q. In the days, weeks, and months following the 16th and 17th of
11 April, did you, as a member of the Crisis Staff, ever ascertain if the
12 Crisis Staff had participated in the takeover of the town, as Mr. Zaric
13 seems to be aware of?
14 A. I have never learned about this thing, that the Crisis Staff had
15 done something like that, and I wouldn't agree with this statement,
16 because I don't know who the "we" were, in other words, who were informed
17 by Mr. Nikolic. He didn't inform me; therefore, I wasn't involved in this
19 Q. In the course of providing that answer, Mr. Zaric makes it clear
20 that the official authorities in the town regarded the 16th of April as a
21 celebration day, a day of liberation. When was that first celebrated, the
22 16th and 17th of April? Was it the following year?
23 A. It would only be logical to celebrate the 17th of April, because
24 nothing took place on the 16th. Things happened on the morning of the
25 17th. However, when it was first celebrated, I don't know. It would only
1 make -- be logical to celebrate the 17th, because the events took place on
2 the morning. And if that was the occasion to celebrate, then that would
3 be on the 17th, in the morning. That's in my view. However, a different
4 decision could have been taken.
5 Q. Mr. Tadic, have you got any idea as to why Mr. Zaric, who was not
6 a member of the Crisis Staff, would be privy to information regarding the
7 Crisis Staff's involvement in a takeover, and you, who were a member of
8 the Crisis Staff, was not privy to any such information?
9 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness should first be asked
12 whether he was a member of the Crisis Staff at the time, and then impute
13 to him whether he was aware of that as a member of the Crisis Staff or
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm well aware that Mr. Tadic was made, on his
16 evidence, a member of the Crisis Staff some five days after the 17th. My
17 question is directed to his having received that information at any time
18 following that. My question is directed to his being able to provide an
19 explanation as to why it was that Mr. Zaric received that information when
20 he was not a member of the Crisis Staff, and he did, when he was a member
21 of the Crisis Staff, notwithstanding the fact that he only became a member
22 of the Crisis Staff five days after the 17th.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What I wanted to be clear about: This
24 information from the interview which Mr. Zaric was given, is the
25 implication that it was given -- he was told some days after the 17th?
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Mr. Zaric is saying in the interview that he was
2 informed by Nikolic of the participation of the Crisis Staff in the
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see. All right. Yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: He received that information. He was not a member
6 of the Crisis Staff. Mr. Tadic has never received any such information
7 and is unaware of Crisis Staff participation in the takeover. My question
8 is directed to ascertaining if Mr. Tadic can explain why it is that
9 Mr. Zaric received the information, even though he's not a member of the
10 Crisis Staff, and Mr. Tadic has not.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: You understand my question, don't you --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness can answer that question.
14 A. I understand. I fully understand the question. First of all, we
15 are speaking here about Mr. Zaric and Mr. Nikolic and some other people
16 who knew -- who had this information. I presume that Mr. Zaric, given the
17 fact that he was a security officer or, in other words, he was involved in
18 security issues, he in any case had more broader interests in that respect
19 than I had. At the time that we are discussing, and that is the 16th and
20 17th of April, I wasn't a member of the Crisis Staff, and I knew nothing
21 about these activities. How Zaric came to have this kind of information,
22 I really wouldn't be able to say.
23 MR. DI FAZIO:
24 Q. Thank you. I've finished with the interview. I'd like the
25 witness now to be shown, please, Exhibit P21.
1 Again, Mr. Tadic, would you acquaint yourself with the document.
2 When I say "acquaint," what I mean is read it, have a look at it,
3 understand what the contents are so that I may then question you about it.
4 That's what I mean by acquainting yourself with the document.
5 Mr. Tadic, now I'll ask you some questions about the document, now
6 that you've had an opportunity to acquaint yourself with it. That's a
7 report of the 17th Corps command, isn't it?
8 A. It is exactly what's written.
9 Q. Right. And it's a report of the 17th Corps command; yes or no?
10 A. Yes. That's a report -- at least, that's what's written here by
11 the 17th Corps.
12 Q. Thank you. The first sentence refers to a takeover of all vital
13 facilities in Bosanski Samac during the night of the 16th and 17th. Do
14 you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Midway through the second and large paragraph, it refers to forces
17 of Tactical Group 17, units of the Serb Territorial Defence and the police
18 participating in actions during the takeover of vital facilities in
19 Bosanski Samac. Do you see that sentence, midway through the second
21 A. In Bosanski Samac, the forces of the 17th Tactical Group took
22 part, the Serbian TO, on the police force. Are you referring to the
23 passage where it says also that the situation is calm now in the town, the
24 attack had been repelled and the enemy suffered losses in the operation of
25 taking over the vital facilities in the town, forces of the 17th Tactical
1 Group, the Serbian police, and the TO took part, and the situation in the
2 town now is calm.
3 Q. That's correct. That's right. Now, the forces of Tactical Group
4 17 that participated in this takeover of vital facilities on the night of
5 the 16th and 17th were the 4th Detachment, weren't they?
6 A. Some time ago, I already said that the 17th Tactical Group
7 forces -- I didn't say particularly this, but I did say that the 17th
8 Tactical Group forces had many units. However, here it does not say
9 explicitly that this was the 4th Detachment. I fully agree with this
10 report, and I believe, without knowing about it, I imparted the
11 information that I had and formulated them in particular this way, that
12 the town had been taken by these forces. You have to ask whether the 4th
13 Detachment was part of the 17th Tactical Group. You have to ask the
14 author of this report. I do not deny that the 17th Tactical Group was
15 also the 4th Detachment, but it does not say like that in this report. It
16 just refers to the 17th Tactical Group, and it could be the 1st, the 2nd,
17 the 3rd, or the 4th Detachment or any other detachment. I didn't know who
18 the 17th Tactical Group belonged to. We spoke last year -- last week
19 about this armoured vehicle, and I mentioned that it was there but that it
20 did not belong to the 4th Detachment.
21 Q. Mr. Tadic, would you see if you can possibly answer my next
22 questions with a yes or a no, if you can, of course. The 4th Detachment
23 was part of the 17th Tactical Group; correct or not?
24 A. It is correct.
25 Q. The primary area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment included
1 Bosanski Samac; correct or not?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. This document clearly establishes that forces of the 17th Tactical
4 Group operated, along with Serbian police, on the night of the 16th and
5 17th of April, 1992; correct or not?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Are you saying that the military formation or unit that was
8 primarily responsible for Bosanski Samac that was part of the 17th
9 Tactical Group was not the unit -- the forces of the Tactical Group
10 referred to in this document?
11 A. The only disputable thing here is which units of the 17th Tactical
12 Group took part. Nothing else is disputable. So if the author of this
13 report had put the 1st detachment, the 2nd or the 3th or the 4th
14 Detachment of the 17th Tactical Group or a motorised unit, then this
15 document would be much more clear. However, I think that by referring to
16 this 17th Tactical Group, it means that it comprised a large number of
17 detachment. For instance, this armoured vehicle, for instance, if we omit
18 everything else, was not part of the 4th Detachment, if we put everything
19 else aside.
20 Q. Mr. Tadic, can you tell the Trial Chamber, if you're informed, as
21 assistant commander of logistics in the 4th Detachment, of the activities
22 or operations of any other elements in the 17th Tactical Group on the
23 night of the 16th and 17th of April? Other elements, by that I mean other
24 than the 4th Detachment.
25 A. No.
1 Q. Mr. Tadic, isn't it the case that you know well that the forces of
2 Tactical Group 17 that participated in the 16th and 17th of April takeover
3 of vital facilities in Bosanski Samac -- there's a reference, in fact, to
4 the 4th Detachment?
5 A. The 4th Detachment is mentioned, because it belongs to the 17th
6 Tactical Group. It's not expressly mentioned -- the 4th Detachment is not
7 expressly mentioned, but the 17th Tactical Group is mentioned, so I am
8 including that into the 17th Tactical Group, as well as some other
9 detachments that were a part of it. We cannot claim here that it was the
10 4th Detachment, just as I'm not claiming that it was not a part of the
11 17th Tactical Group, even though this is a purely military question and
12 I'm only interpreting this as a person who has it in front of me.
13 Q. Thank you. I want to remind you of some other evidence that you
14 provided to the Chamber last Friday, the -- on Friday, the 14th of
15 February. For the benefit of Defence counsel, they will find this in
16 LiveNote at page 53. In providing answers to your counsel, Mr. Lukic, you
17 discussed the arrival of paramilitaries at Batkusa, and you made the
18 following points, and I'll quote the evidence to you later if you
19 disagree, but however, I'll summarise what I have read from the
20 transcript. You made the point that everyone knew that the paramilitaries
21 had arrived from Serbia in JNA helicopters. Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. You made the point that their arrival was discussed at 4th
24 Detachment headquarters. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You made the point that this discussion was in the context of an
2 informal meeting. Do you recall that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you were informed by the commander that these paramilitaries
5 would have no contact with the 4th Detachment. Do you recall that?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Therefore, the 4th Detachment commander had been provided with
8 information as to the movements of the paramilitaries. That follows,
9 doesn't it?
10 A. It could be like that, but I don't know about any such
11 information. He could have known about that information, just as I could
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think it is a little unclear what
14 the Prosecutor means by the movements of the paramilitaries. Perhaps this
15 could be clarified. Because to me it is not clear what the Prosecutor
16 means. Which period is he thinking of about the paramilitaries? He's
17 talking about the 4th Detachment, knowledge about it, and then he's
18 talking about the movement of the paramilitaries. So I don't know what he
19 means by this question.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps, Mr. --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, the witness obviously hasn't experienced any
22 difficulties. He was able to answer the questions with simple yes or no
23 answers. But for Mr. Lukic's point of view, if Your Honour pleases, the
24 passage I'm referring to is on page 53, and Mr. Tadic said this: "I don't
25 think it was an official meeting. We were just told that they had
1 arrived. And I think that the commander said that they will not be coming
2 to Samac and that they will not have any contact with the 4th Detachment."
3 Not coming to Samac, number 2, will not have contact with the 4th
4 Detachment. It's the provision of that information to Mr. Tadic and other
5 members of the 4th Detachment at this informal meeting that I am concerned
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It would seem that the people who were
8 providing information knew the role of the special forces. Perhaps that's
9 what you are trying to find out.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: That's exactly my question. I hope that explains
11 it for Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't have any problems with that if
13 the word "movement" means their arrival to Samac. So this is what I
14 wanted the Prosecutor to clarify, the movement. Does he mean when they
15 arrived to the municipality or does he mean the 16th or the 17th?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Solve the problem by substituting the word
17 "activities" instead of "movements." Would that be better?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think that would be clearer.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: We'll do it that way.
20 Q. Mr. Tadic, it follows as a matter of logic that the commander of
21 the 4th Detachment who informed you that the paramilitaries would not be
22 coming to Samac and who informed you that the paramilitaries would not
23 have contact with the 4th Detachment had information as to the intended
24 activities of the paramilitaries; that is so, is it not?
25 A. You would have to ask him. I don't know what he had amongst his
1 papers or in his head. He said --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This question is pure speculation.
4 It's guessing about what the commander could have known, what his
5 information was about those activities. So that would be his knowledge
6 about the commander. So it's pure speculation.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: It's not speculation about what the commander
8 knows. It's anything but speculation. Mr. Tadic's evidence is clear.
9 The commander of the 4th Detachment told him and other assembled members
10 of the 4th Detachment what was going to be happening. They would not be
11 coming to Samac and they wouldn't have contact. How does he know that?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is not in dispute. Tadic said
13 that. But not what the commander knew, but what he told Tadic. The
14 question is what did the commander know about those people. But Tadic's
15 reply was what the commander told him. So a question could be: What does
16 Tadic think that the commander knew? And this is pure speculation, and
17 this is what the Prosecutor is asking.
18 THE WITNESS: Well, he didn't tell that to me. He said that as a
19 comment. He didn't say: Mr. Tadic such-and-such. But he just made a
20 comment that they would not be coming to Samac, and then he went on to say
21 the other things. I don't know what he meant by that. I don't know if he
22 had any wider instructions. He didn't inform us about that at the time.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution's questions are quite clear,
25 Mr. Tadic, so I think it's better to give straightforward answers.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I don't intend to press for
2 an answer. He's provided, I think, an answer already to a previous
3 questions before Mr. Lukic stood up, and in any event, I'm satisfied with
4 the answers that I've obtained, unless the Chamber wishes me to pursue the
6 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Tadic. That's all I want to ask you
9 about the events of the 16th and 17th of April.
10 I'd now like to turn to another topic, and that is Crisis Staff
11 membership. I would just like you to re-establish for the Trial Chamber
12 who was a member of the Crisis Staff and who was not, and their areas of
13 expertise. First of all, we know that Blagoje Simic was president of the
14 Crisis Staff and that he was a member of the SDS, president of the local
15 SDS; correct?
16 A. Blagoje was the president of the Crisis Staff. Whether he was
17 that as part -- as a president of the SDS, I don't know. I think for a
18 while that he wasn't a president of the SDS. So I don't know when he
19 became president, and I don't know those relationships.
20 Q. Thank you. And Mitar Mitrovic was the secretary of the Crisis
21 Staff and a member of the Crisis Staff, was he not?
22 A. I think that he was a secretary, secretary of the Crisis Staff. I
23 think that he was not a member of the Crisis Staff. I never quite
24 clarified that. But he was always present, and an observer who didn't see
25 any of the documents could conclude that he was also a member of the
1 Crisis Staff, because he was always there.
2 Q. Thank you. You were, of course, a member, and your area of
3 responsibility was civilian protection?
4 A. Yes. Just a moment. I was in charge of civilian protection
5 first, and then I was a member of the Crisis Staff, and not a member of
6 the Crisis Staff in charge of civilian protection. So it's the other way
7 around. First I was the commander of the civilian protection and then
8 after that I became a member of the Crisis Staff.
9 Q. Thank you. Milos Bogdanovic was a member of the Crisis Staff.
10 His area of responsibility was as chief of the Secretariat of National
12 A. Yes. I also thought that he was a member of the Crisis Staff,
13 but -- and that he had the post that you have just mentioned.
14 Q. Mr. Bogdanovic was a member of the Crisis Staff by virtue of his
15 position as chief of the Secretariat of National Defence; is that correct?
16 A. It's possible.
17 Q. Mr. Tadic, it's more than just possible, is it not? Let me quote
18 to you from P138, P138 ter, page 50. I don't think you need to be shown
19 it, because I'll just read it out. It's only two lines. You were being
20 asked questions by Nancy Paterson..
21 Q. So was Mr. Bogdanovic a member of the Crisis Staff?
22 A. Yes. Because of his post as chief of Secretariat of the
23 National Defence, he had to be a member of the Crisis
25 That position is very, very clear, isn't it, the position that you
1 adopted in the interview?
2 A. Yes, that is my opinion.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio, but Mr. Tadic already
4 did answer that on -- here, page 17. Your question, line 8, Mr. Tadic's
5 answer line 11, where he said that Mr. Bogdanovic had the post that you
6 have mentioned. But then you asked the question again, and that's where
7 Mr. Tadic gave what you thought was a more I think ambiguous answer. But
8 he had quite clearly answered straightforwardly on lines 11 and 12.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. If that is so, does it not mean that Mr. Bozo Ninkovic also became
11 a member of the Crisis Staff upon his appointment as chief of Secretariat
12 of National Defence?
13 A. I think that Bozo Ninkovic was appointed chief of the Secretariat
14 when the Crisis Staff had already stopped operating, once it became the
15 War Presidency. I'm not sure about the dates, but I think that he became
16 the chief when the Crisis Staff had stopped operating and when the War
17 Presidency had started to function. And I think that Bozo Ninkovic was
18 not a member of the Crisis Staff. I don't have any reason to think
20 Q. Mirko Jovanovic and later Milan Simic were also members of the
21 Crisis Staff?
22 A. I said about Mirko Jovanovic that I assumed that he was a member
23 of the Crisis Staff because he had the main word there. As far as Milan
24 Simic is concerned, he came there sometime in early June, I think, instead
25 of Mirko Jovanovic, and I said that I thought that Mr. Milan Simic was not
1 a member of the Crisis Staff. That was my impression, because he appeared
2 less frequently. And then when he did come, he talked about finances and
3 the situation with the Executive Board and so on. I don't have any other
4 information. I don't think that anyone said that Mr. Milan Simic again is
5 a member of the Crisis Staff or that any kind of solution was made. He
6 was there very briefly because the Crisis Staff then later transformed and
7 became the War Presidency.
8 Q. Thank you. Simeon Simic was on the Crisis Staff and his area of
9 expertise or responsibility was information services, wasn't it?
10 A. I assume so, yes. I knew Simeon Simic well, and I think that
11 that's how it was, yes.
12 Q. And Todorovic was obviously a member, and his area of
13 responsibility was the police?
14 A. According to the way he behaved, the impression could have been
15 formed that that was so. However, according to his function, just as the
16 others were part of the civilian authority, I can claim that according to
17 his function, he could not have been a member of the Crisis Staff, even
18 though I didn't attach much importance to that at the time. But he did
19 appear frequently, and in the way he behaved, he seemed to be a very
20 important person at such meetings. He always wished to be the person who
21 had the last word.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. If I can put it that way.
24 Q. Thank you. And Fadil Topcagic, he was a member of the 4th
25 Detachment, wasn't he?
1 A. Yes, Fadil Topcagic was a member of the 4th Detachment. I heard
2 that he was a member of the Crisis Staff, but I never saw him at a
3 meeting. He was never there when I was there. I don't know if he was
4 there at other times when I wasn't there. That's something that I don't
5 know. But he was never at a meeting of the Crisis Staff at the same time
6 that I was there.
7 Q. What was his area of responsibility, if you can tell us?
8 A. Since we were never at a meeting of the Crisis Staff together, or
9 that he said anything there, my conclusion is that I don't know.
10 Q. Your position on the Crisis Staff was linked to your appointment
11 as chief of civilian protection, wasn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You kept that position throughout all of 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At some point during 1992 --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the question is not
18 clear, because the way it was interpreted, this last question, line --
19 page 20, line 10: "You kept that position," while before he mentioned the
20 position in the Crisis Staff and the position in the civilian protection.
21 So which post does he mean when he says: "You kept that position
22 throughout all of 1992," whether the one of the membership in the Crisis
23 Staff or the one in the civilian protection? Because he mentioned both
24 posts in the question before.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: I was referring to Mr. Tadic's role in the civilian
1 protection. I think he understood that to be that way. I'll ask it again
2 just to make sure.
3 Q. Mr. Tadic, you understood, didn't you, when you said that you kept
4 your post throughout 1992, that you were talking about your post as chief
5 of civilian protection?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your post on the Crisis Staff stopped when the Crisis Staff ceased
8 to exist and the War Presidency took over?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Why was that?
11 A. That's how it was in accordance with superior orders. I don't
12 know whether it was the Assembly or somebody else decided that
13 reorganisation needed to be carried out, and it was carried out, and the
14 staff of the civilian protection returned to a kind of normal situation.
15 So that it was a part of the Secretariat for National Defence, like it was
16 before. So only for a short period in certain conditions was it
17 separated, more in the way of location rather than in an organisational
18 sense. So it was moved from the staff, from the Secretariat for National
19 Defence. Later it was returned to the staff, to the Secretariat for
20 National Defence, and that's where it is still functioning today.
21 Q. Who else lost their position as a result of the change of name
22 from Crisis Staff to War Presidency?
23 A. All of those who were not in accordance with the law that was
24 adopted at the time, or the regulation. All of those that were not
25 included in that regulation or that law. I don't know what it was. But
1 whatever it was that caused the change to come about, either regulation or
2 the law. So if something else, something new is formed, it's formed on
3 the basis of a specific regulation or a law. So all of those who do not
4 fit in with that regulation or that law are no longer members. So it's
5 reorganisation under certain circumstances.
6 Q. Thank you. The situation that the Crisis Staff faced in 1992 was
7 one of considerable stress, wasn't it? There was a state of emergency
8 declared, wartime conditions existed, war damage had been sustained to the
9 municipality and the town, resources were low. You'd agree with that
10 general picture?
11 A. I agree. It was very -- a very delicate situation.
12 Q. The Crisis Staff was responsible for the provision of essential
13 services, for example, water, electricity?
14 A. I agree.
15 Q. It was responsible for repair of war damage, provision of
16 humanitarian aid?
17 A. This was carried out by certain services, mostly repair. I don't
18 know what you consider to be war damage, but if you're thinking of damage
19 to buildings and so on, it's not something that was done by the staff, but
20 it was carried out by specific services, and those services were initially
21 linked with the civilian protection staff, and then later to the Executive
23 Q. It was responsible for housing, the provision of information to
24 the people, security?
25 A. There were services that were in charge of accommodation also.
1 We've heard that here. Initially, the services of the Executive Board and
2 then later the secretariat that was formed was in charge of that, and
3 people who testified explained that here, clearly. They were the ones who
4 dealt with accommodation, and there was a separate, special group for
5 humanitarian aid. That was the Red Cross and the Department for Social
6 Work, as it was called. They were the ones mostly who carried out those
7 tasks. It couldn't be said that the Crisis Staff was in charge of
8 accommodation. That really would not be an appropriate statement.
9 Q. But it was in charge of information and security?
10 A. I don't know who it would be informing or what kind of security it
11 would be in charge of. As far as I'm concerned, I did not attend any
12 meetings to that effect, so I don't know perhaps if a report had to be
13 sent higher. Perhaps the informing would then be done to this effect or
14 in this aspect. The protection would be something that the civilian
15 police would be in charge of, and military security would be in the hands
16 of the military police of a specific area.
17 Q. Do you agree that it was imperative that the Crisis Staff be kept
18 informed of developments in all of those areas that I've just mentioned to
19 you, by its members?
20 A. Well, you know, everybody had their own line of reporting, and
21 everybody, in accordance with their own line, provided this information.
22 For example, a large number of information was sent to the Executive
23 Board, and then the Executive Board would be informing the Crisis Staff.
24 Not every single service went -- small service went to the Crisis Staff.
25 I said that they were related to the Executive Board, and the Executive
1 Board would summarise all of that and submit it or inform the Crisis
2 Staff. But I'm not saying that sometimes some service would come to
3 discuss its problems separately before the Crisis Staff. As far as
4 security was concerned, that had its own line and possibly Todorovic would
5 be somebody at the Crisis Staff who could say something about security,
6 but this was unofficial. While military security did not have any contact
7 with the Crisis Staff. That is more or less my view.
8 Q. You said in your interview, P138 ter, at page 51, that you went to
9 Crisis Staff sessions and "important matters in my domain were discussed."
10 So you provided reports of matters for which you were responsible to the
11 Crisis Staff. I don't want a disposition on everything that you did, but
12 just yes or no: Did you provide reports on your area of responsibility to
13 the Crisis Staff?
14 A. In specific situations I informed the Crisis Staff if that was
15 necessary, but only about, so to say, major issues that would be of
16 interest for the Crisis Staff. Of course, I don't inform them that I
17 needed, for example, ten litres of fuel, et cetera.
18 Q. Yes. I understand and I think the Trial Chamber understands.
19 Also in your interview at P138 ter, page 54, you said that other civilians
20 provided reports on specialist areas, such as flood protection,
21 electricity supply, reports from the director of the medical centre. Do
22 you recall saying that in your interview?
23 A. Yes. In certain situations, when that extended the scope of minor
24 problem, people would come to the Crisis Staff and inform it on the
25 situation in their respective domains. That was particularly the case
1 concerning the situation with medicaments, especially for dialysis, which
2 was difficult to overcome.
3 Q. Thank you. And you recall during the course of your
4 examination-in-chief that you said that the -- that votes, casting of
5 votes in the Crisis Staff, rarely occurred because consensus was reached
6 through discussion? Do you recall saying that?
7 A. I do. That's what I said.
8 Q. And do you recall your counsel, Mr. Lukic, putting to
9 Mr. Todorovic many months ago that the Crisis Staff assisted you in a
10 hands-on sort of way, for example, by helping with the arrangement of
11 funerals, and Mr. Todorovic agreed? Do you recall that evidence?
12 A. I don't recall that evidence, and that was not the case.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll return to that later.
17 Q. And you said in your interview, P138 ter, page 55, that the Crisis
18 Staff issued instructions to you in a global sense, and I use your words.
19 Do you recall saying that?
20 A. If that's what is written, then it's correct, but that was a long
21 time ago for me to remember each and every sentence.
22 Q. Of course. If you wish, I'll put it to you. Do you want me to
23 read the passage to you?
24 A. Well, I mean, if that's what is written, I agree that that's what
25 I said. But as I said, it's difficult to remember every sentence that I
1 ever uttered.
2 Q. Of course. I understand that. And if you want me to put these
3 quotes to you, I'm more than happy to. Would you agree, as a matter of
4 fact, regardless of what you said in the interviews, that the Crisis Staff
5 issued instructions to you in a global sense?
6 A. I agree.
7 Q. So the situation is one where members of the Crisis Staff report
8 on their activities to the Crisis Staff, discussion occurs within the
9 Crisis Staff, voting is unnecessary because -- or rarely occurs because
10 consensus is reached through discussion, specialist reports are provided
11 to the Crisis Staff, there's a full and frank discussion of issues of
12 concern to the Crisis Staff within the Crisis Staff?
13 A. Well, I wouldn't agree with your last part of the statement, that
14 there was frank discussion or any -- I don't know which kind of discussion
15 you meant. There was no love lost, as one may deduce from what you said.
16 There were discussions. Some of them were heated discussions and
17 difficult ones and unbearable ones, et cetera, but we managed -- it was
18 possible to find always the way out of the situation. However, one cannot
19 speak of any love lost in any part of their activity.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought that's exactly what the Prosecution meant
21 when he said that these were frank discussions, because some of them were
22 heated, as you say.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully agree with you.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 Q. And so therefore, the Crisis Staff was kept informed of major
1 developments in the community for which it was responsible, such as the
2 numbers of people being exchanged, the prisons and detention camps being
3 set up, the leading figures around the town who were being arrested, the
4 torture and beatings that were being conducted in the prisons?
5 A. None of the above.
6 Q. You agree, don't you, that the fact of incarceration of non-Serbs,
7 mass arrests, was something that was widely known in the community?
8 A. One may say that that was common knowledge, but a minute ago you
9 said that I had specific relations with the Crisis Staff and that I was
10 receiving, so to say, global instructions from that. After that, you
11 listed all that of which I have -- over which I had no jurisdiction and
12 with which I had no connections. It would only be fair if you mentioned
13 just the activities that I performed and for which I had the consent -- I
14 had an agreement with the Crisis Staff.
15 Q. Thank you. So you've agreed that the phenomenon of mass arrest of
16 non-Serbs was common knowledge. Was the torture and beating of non-Serbs
17 who had been arrested also a matter of common knowledge?
18 A. Well, one couldn't say that everybody knew, but quite a few people
19 did know. There were only 200 policemen, just to mention that. And if
20 you had all those people knowing that, so that was quite a figure. And
21 from these men, other people could have learned what was happening, so one
22 can conclude that a large number of people was aware of what was
24 Q. And is it not the case, Mr. Tadic, that the Crisis Staff, as a
25 body, was aware of these mass arrests of non-Serbs and the torture and
1 beating of the prisoners in the detention camps set up in Bosanski Samac?
2 A. What I can say is that I had some knowledge of that, and I already
3 told you what the reactions were to this knowledge of mine and possible
4 interventions. The same case was with the rest. I do not claim that the
5 Crisis Staff, as an organ, was informed of this -- of any of this directly
6 or by the people who worked there.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P128 ID, please.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio. While the exhibit is
9 being found: You asked Mr. Tadic, on page 25, lines -- 24 and 25,
10 concerning himself and the Crisis Staff, and you asked him whether the
11 Crisis Staff had issued instructions in a global sense. Mr. Tadic replied
12 yes. And then later on we have this reference to global instructions. I
13 really am not that certain that I understand what a global instruction is
14 in the context of what we're talking about, so I wonder whether you could
15 clarify it, because you yourself, Mr. Di Fazio, were the one who raised
16 the terminology.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'll clarify it, if Your Honour pleases, by
18 taking Mr. Tadic to the precise words he used, and then we can invite some
19 comment on that.
20 Perhaps the witness can be shown P138 [Realtime transcript read in
21 error "128"] ter.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Di Fazio, could you confirm whether it is P128
23 or P138 because it comes across as 138, but the transcript reflects 128.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: P138 ter.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. Do you have the --
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think for the assistance of the registry
4 assistant, Mr. Di Fazio had asked for P128, and then I intervened with my
5 question, and now --
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, yes.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And now he's asking for a second document with
8 respect to these global instructions.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I will return to P128, but later after I've dealt
10 with this issue. And can the witness now be shown P138.
11 A. Your Honour, I apologise, but can I be excused for five minutes,
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is of the view that we can
15 take our break now and then -- it's almost 10.15. Then we continue at a
16 quarter to 11.00. So we shall take an early break and continue at quarter
17 to 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution continues.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I wonder if Exhibit P138 could be given
22 to -- 138 ter could be given to Mr. Tadic.
23 Q. Mr. Tadic, can you just read your answers. The passage I'm
24 particularly interested in commences at the bottom of page 55. However,
25 you will see that it's preceded by a question from Nancy Paterson. You
1 can read that halfway through page 55. She was asking you if you were
2 basically taking your orders or given instructions by the Crisis Staff.
3 And then you provide your answer, and your answer commences at the bottom
4 of page 55 and continues over the page into page 56.
5 A. Yes, I have found it, and it begins with "globally." Is that
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Globally, yes, because we worked on a case-by-case basis, because
9 we had to solve very often vital problems for the civilian population
10 living in Samac. We established a series of various social workers teams
11 assigned with specific tasks. If, for example, a shell demolished
12 somebody's house, and if that could be mended quickly, meaning that it was
13 not completely devastated, then a team would immediately go there
14 afterwards -- after the shelling to repair it. If somebody's windows were
15 broken, such person would come and report that his windows had been broken
16 by a shell, and then a team would go over there, entrusted with the job of
17 glazing. At the beginning, we did the glazing at a large scale; however,
18 very soon we realised that that was a useless job, because today we would
19 put the windows on and the next day they would be destroyed. So
20 Therefore, we decided to put plastic foils, and it happened that after a
21 certain time, almost all houses had plastic foils on the windows in Samac.
22 Then there were various different teams helping the civilian
23 population at that time, et cetera. Is this what you were referring to?
24 Q. Yes, precisely. Thank you very much. Now, can you --
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before the question and the answer, on
3 page 30, line 4, Mr. Tadic in fact did not read it correctly, and he
4 said -- where he said: Frequent vital problems. Whereas in the document
5 it says purely vital problems.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Tadic, I'm not asking you about broken glass or anything
8 like that, or replacement of windows. What I'd like you to do is explain
9 to the Chamber, and this follows from the question from Her Honour, Judge
10 Williams, what you meant when you said that in a global sense, globally,
11 on a case-by-case basis, you took instructions from the Crisis Staff.
12 A. Well, globally, for example, if some 30 houses were demolished in
13 Samac, and if I said on the Crisis Staff that we had some 30 houses, I
14 didn't refer to individual cases of this and this individual, but I rather
15 said globally that some 30 houses had been demolished that need to be
16 repaired, and that was that. So there were no particular and specific
17 information about the extent of the damage, the name of the house, and
18 things like that. Or if I spoke about the need for the raw material for
19 building caskets, coffins, then I would say that we need this kind of
20 material, without saying for whom it was intended. I just said that we
21 need a big quantity of the material, and then they would tell me: "You
22 should refer this issue to the Executive Board for them to procure this
23 material." If there was a case of exchange, I would just say that an
24 exchange took place on the 6th or 7th July, 1992, in which 200 people were
25 exchanged. And that was a global information. I didn't give them the
1 list or read out the list of the names of the people who were exchanged.
2 This was the global information that I provided.
3 Q. So you provided the Crisis Staff with the big picture, so to
4 speak, of your activities
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. As did other members of the Crisis Staff?
7 A. Others, not only members of the Crisis Staff, like the ones whom I
8 mentioned, for example, if the seeding operation had to be done, for
9 example, somebody would say that we had planned to sow 1.500 hectares and
10 then they would say: "You should refer the particulars to the Executive
11 Board, who would provide the seed for you." So in my modest view, these
12 were the global issues that were not elaborated in detail.
13 Q. Can I take that answer to be agreement that other members of the
14 Crisis Staff provided the Crisis Staff with reports of the big picture
15 insofar as their areas of responsibility were concerned? Is that what
16 you're saying?
17 A. Yeah, more or less like that.
18 Q. Thank you. Can we just move very briefly into private session, if
19 Your Honour pleases? There's one brief matter that I need to attend to?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we move to private session?
21 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Mr. Tadic, again, if you can possibly answer questions with a yes
23 or a no, I would appreciate it. You took the performance of your duties
24 at the Crisis Staff seriously, very seriously?
25 A. Yes, within my domain.
1 Q. Thank you. You did your best to perform your duties?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You did your best to assist the Crisis Staff to carry out its
5 A. No. In that domain, I didn't do very much. I did whatever was
6 possible within my domain, or even more than that.
7 Q. You were carrying out duties assigned to you by the Crisis Staff,
8 weren't you?
9 A. No, I wouldn't say that, because it wasn't the Crisis Staff who
10 told me to repair the houses, to bury people, to take care of shutting off
11 the water for it not to be frozen. These things were not ordered to me by
12 the Crisis Staff, because that was not within their jurisdiction. There
13 were just current affairs that derived or were dictated by certain
14 situation that the Crisis Staff wasn't aware of at all.
15 Q. Your good performance in civilian protection assisted the Crisis
17 A. My good performance was in the form of assistance in establishing,
18 so to say, normal conditions in the town where we lived. In other words,
19 to assist the population for them to feel as much possibly normally as
20 they can under the given circumstances. I never gave it a thought what
21 the Crisis Staff would think about my work. I was more interested in how
22 the people were going to survive under the circumstances in which I was
23 trying to help them.
24 Q. Were you actively working against the Crisis Staff?
25 A. No. I did my job, and I didn't do anything against the Crisis
1 Staff, because I didn't think it was against the interest of the Crisis
2 Staff if one helped the situation -- the population. So helping the
3 people was not against the interests of the Crisis Staff.
4 Q. As a member of the Crisis Staff, was it not your duty to assist it
5 to perform its functions in whatever way you could, whatever way was asked
6 of you?
7 A. Within the domain of my responsibility, I did it in a correct way.
8 Q. You do not agree with or support the discrimination by one ethnic
9 group against other ethnic groups?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. Were the policies of the Crisis Staff of which you were a member
12 discriminatory in any way, that you are aware of?
13 A. As far as I know, I didn't feel that at any given moment in time.
14 From all the documents, it could be discerned, and also through the
15 actions, that this did not take place.
16 Q. Thank you. On the 16th of April, 1992, there was in existence a
17 democratically elected Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It countered in its membership Croats, Muslims, and Serbs?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. On the 17th of April, it no longer existed?
22 A. I don't know in what form it existed, because at the time I did
23 not have any contacts with that Assembly.
24 Q. Mr. Tadic, are you telling this Chamber that you don't know, that
25 you don't know if the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac had ceased to
1 exist on the 17th and 18th and 19th of April? Is that the position, your
3 A. I am saying that I don't know in which form it was in those days,
4 in relation to the 16th, because a number of deputies, as we have heard
5 here, continued to work. I wasn't a deputy. I wasn't in the Assembly, so
6 I didn't really have any insight into all of that. The form that it had
7 on the 16th was not maintained on the 17th. But I don't know what this
8 form was.
9 Q. The situation is, is it not, that it was dead, defunct, moribund,
10 finished, and you knew that well?
11 A. Well, I wouldn't say that it was moribund. I would just say that
12 it didn't function.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness please be shown Exhibit P89.
14 Q. And you're aware, aren't you, that the municipality of Bosanski
15 Samac -- just before we get on to this document: The municipality of
16 Bosanski Samac, the one that existed on the 16th of April, 1992, had been
17 democratically elected earlier, in 1991, I believe? Do you want me to
18 repeat the question?
19 A. Sorry. I did hear more or less what it's about. Before the 16th,
20 there was this democratically elected municipality, the Municipal
22 Q. Thank you. Now, look at P89. That is the decision on the
23 introduction of a state of emergency. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I see that decision.
25 Q. And in Article 2, it sweeps away the existing institutions,
1 including the Bosanski Samac municipality.
2 A. All bodies of the institution of the municipality of Bosanski
3 Samac will cease to function in their present composition, and all of
4 their functions, rights, and duties are taken over by the Crisis Staff of
5 the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac. Is that what you meant?
6 Q. Yes. And the answer --
7 MR. PANTELIC: I would like to object to this line of questioning.
8 If maybe Mr. Tadic is a legal or constitutional expert, he can given his
9 answers, but otherwise I don't see the justification of this line of
10 questioning, since we saw in the previous proceedings that he is neither
11 military expert nor I believe he's a legal expert and we are entering into
12 the area of legal issues. So maybe my learned friend can rephrase the
13 question, or maybe establish the foundation why he's asking the answers
14 from this witness, who is obviously not a legal expert. That's the basis
15 of my objection. Thank you.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I would have thought that
17 the introduction of a state of emergency, a document that --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I was waiting for the interpretation to end.
19 Mr. Pantelic, I think your objection is misconceived. The witness is
20 being asked on the contents of the document before him.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. So Article 2 essentially sweeps away --
23 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise, Your Honour, and to my learned
24 friend. And the other fact, undisputed fact, is that Mr. Tadic was not a
25 member of Crisis Staff at the period when this document was issued, so I
1 believe that it's well out of scope of his --
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I know that, and I accept that.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, there's no problem at all with the
4 line of questioning that the Prosecution has embarked on. There is a
5 document before the witness and he's simply asking him about the contents
6 which the witness is reading. So please do sit down.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Tadic, please don't read it out. Please don't provide a
9 commentary. Please, if you can, answer with a simple yes or no. Article
10 2 sweeps away those bodies that had made up the municipality, and in
11 particular, the municipality of Bosanski Samac, the democratically elected
12 municipality of Bosanski Samac?
13 A. That's what it states here. But this doesn't look to me like a
14 document, like a usual document from the Crisis Staff, like the ones I
15 could see later and then it says who the document is delivered to, to the
16 files, to the Crisis Staff. On the left side it should state whom the
17 document is given to, and also whom the copies should be distributed to.
18 This to me looks like it was done pretty quickly, in a haste. So I don't
19 know anything about this document. I can just confirm what it states in
20 the document here.
21 Q. But you can confirm, can't you, that on the 17th and thereafter,
22 to this day, the municipality of Bosanski Samac never operated again?
23 A. I can confirm that as of this date, until today, two
24 municipalities of Bosanski Samac functioned. One is Bosanski Samac
25 Domaljevac and the other is Samac. That's what I know. So at that time,
1 the same paper like this one was introduced at the Domaljevac Samac
2 municipality, where the majority population were Croats.
3 Q. Mr. Tadic, are you saying that the municipality of Bosanski Samac
4 decided to dismember itself and set itself up as two separate
5 institutions, one in Domaljevac and one in the town of Bosanski Samac? Is
6 that what you're telling the Chamber?
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not catch the Prosecutor's
8 question. Could you please repeat the question.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly.
10 Q. Mr. Tadic, are you saying that the municipality of Bosanski Samac
11 decided to dismember itself and set itself up as two separate
12 institutions, one in Domaljevac and one in the town of Bosanski Samac?
13 A. I don't know what agreement they reached, but in any case, there
14 were two.
15 Q. Mr. Tadic, is it not the case, very simple proposition that I put
16 to you, that on the 16th of April, a democratically elected municipality
17 of Bosanski Samac existed, it never existed again from the 17th onwards in
18 that form? You would agree with that, at least, wouldn't you?
19 A. Yes. I've already said that I agree with that.
20 Q. All right. Thank you.
21 A. But you do not agree with me that as of that point, there were two
23 Q. Are you aware of any decision that you can point to or any
24 document, any evidence of deliberations carried out by the municipality of
25 Bosanski Samac on or before the 16th of April, where it decided to set
1 itself up as a Serbian municipality in Bosanski Samac and another
2 municipality in Domaljevac? Are you aware of that matter ever being
3 discussed or aired?
4 A. I did not participate at the municipality meetings, so I don't
5 know whether they discussed that or not.
6 Q. Very well. If you continue to look at P89, Article 3 establishes
7 that the Crisis Staff is responsible for taking over all duties and tasks
8 of the Bosanski Samac municipality. Do you see that in Article 3?
9 A. Yes, I see that Article 3.
10 Q. And that is in fact what happened: The Crisis Staff took over the
11 duties and functions of the municipality that had existed on the 16th? I'm
12 sorry. I didn't hear your answer.
13 A. I've heard what you stated, and that's what it says here. Yes.
14 You noted that -- and I don't have any comment on that. If that's what it
15 says, then what you said is correct, if that's what it says.
16 Q. I just want to go a bit further, though. It's not just what the
17 document says; it's in fact what happened and what you saw. The Crisis
18 Staff of the municipality carried out the duties and tasks that had
19 previously been carried out by the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
20 A. The Crisis Staff continued to perform certain tasks, to carry out
21 certain tasks. Whether those were the same ones that were carried out by
22 the Assembly or whether they were broader or narrower, I would not be able
23 to say, because I do not know much about the work of the Assembly. It
24 continued -- it carried out certain tasks. Whether they were the same
25 tasks as those of the municipality or whether that was somewhat modified,
1 I really don't know.
2 Q. And the Crisis Staff was carrying out the functions of the Serbian
3 municipality of Bosanski Samac until such time as that municipality could
4 meet, that Serbian municipality?
5 A. Yes. This was carried out by the Crisis Staff initially. Then it
6 was done by the War Presidency, and then, when the conditions were
7 possible, a municipality -- Assembly was formed, as you were able to hear
8 in this Chamber from those who are much better informed about such things.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P124.
11 Q. That is the gazette. It's been referred to often in the
12 proceedings, Mr. Tadic, and I'll take you to various portions of it. Can
13 you please look at Article 1, very briefly, and again if you can possibly
14 answer with a yes or a no, I would appreciate it. The Article 1 makes it
15 clear that this Municipal Assembly, which is founded, is one of Serbian
16 people and does not refer to the other two ethnic groups.
17 A. Mr. Di Fazio, in the beginning I said that I'm a professor of
18 mechanical engineering, so I can only read this gazette or any other,
19 because I am literate enough to be able to do that. So as far as
20 interpretations of the gazette, I would kindly ask you not to seek such an
21 opinion from me, because I'm sure there are more competent people who can
22 tell you about that. I can read it out and I can state that yes, that is
23 what it says there, but about the meaning or interpretations, I really
24 would not be able to tell you anything about that. If you consider this
25 something important, I can read it and I can give you my interpretation of
1 it, but I don't think that that would be anything important.
2 Q. Mr. Tadic, I'm not seeking your interpretation or legal opinion;
3 I'm simply asking you this: When you read Article 1, it establishes a
4 Municipal Assembly of Serbian people? You don't need to be a lawyer to
5 read that sentence, do you? And that's what it says, does it not?
6 A. Since you've read it out, yes, that's what it states there.
7 Q. Thank you. And Article 5. Go to Article 5. That simply says
8 that this Assembly is only going to have members who are deputies of the
9 Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS, or members of Serbian ethnicity. Do
10 you see that?
11 A. I see that that article states that deputies of the Assembly of
12 the Serbian people of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo, in the process of
13 being established, as well as other deputies among the ranks of the
14 Serbian people following the signing of a statement of joining this
15 Assembly, and that's what it states here.
16 Q. And the gazette says that the Crisis Staff, and you will find this
17 in Article 1 under paragraph 5 -- I'm afraid I don't know where in the
18 B/C/S it appears. I believe it's page 8 of the B/C/S version. Page 8.
19 If Your Honours please, it's page 14 of the English translation.
20 Under Article 1, second paragraph, it says that the municipal
21 Crisis Staff is to be composed of representatives of political, military,
22 and other institutions of Serbian people. Do you see that?
23 A. I see that, yes. It's on line 2 of Article 1.
24 Q. The result of all of that is the complete disenfranchisement of
25 Croats and Muslims in the community.
1 A. That is your opinion.
2 Q. Yes, I know it's my opinion. I'm asking you: Is the result of
3 all of those provisions the complete disenfranchisement of Croats and
4 Muslims in the municipality?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Tell the Chamber what they were allowed to vote for?
7 A. In view of the fact that there was no voting for anyone at that
8 time, there was no voting for them either. Nobody voted for anything.
9 Had there been any voting, they would also have been able to come out and
10 vote for anything, and this is what happened later, when there was a vote
11 in later years. Everybody came out to vote: Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
12 And that's what it was like in Samac also. And the Assembly of Republika
13 Srpska had representatives of the Muslim, Croat, and Serb people when the
14 voting was carried out, and it is like that to this very day. The Samac
15 Municipal Assembly to this day, whenever there is voting, has
16 representatives of the Serbian, the Muslim, and the Croat people voted in.
17 I don't know the exact number, but there is a large number of deputies of
18 Croat or Muslim ethnicity, and most of them are Serbs. But when a vote is
19 conducted, everybody has the right to vote.
20 Q. Mr. Tadic, I'm not asking you about the current situation; I'm
21 asking you about the situation as it existed in 1992 and 1993. The result
22 of those provisions that I've directed your attention to is the complete
23 disenfranchisement of Croats and Muslims; they're not allowed to have
24 their representatives; only Serbs are allowed to be members of this body.
25 That is plain; you accept that, don't you?
1 A. If that is clear, there is nothing there to accept or not to
2 accept, if that is clear to you.
3 Q. It is clear --
4 A. I wasn't in the Assembly, and I don't know what its composition
5 was. I don't know whether it had other deputies. And I know how it was
6 when voting was carried out. At that time, there was no voting. But I
7 know how it is now.
8 Q. You were, however, in the Crisis Staff, and the Crisis Staff was
9 the manifestation of the Municipal Assembly until such time as the
10 Municipal Assembly, the Serbian Municipal Assembly, could function. That
11 is so, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, that is so. If I'm not mistaken, you claim that Fadil
13 Topcagic also was a member of the Crisis Staff, even though I say that I
14 never attended any meetings with him, but that does not mean that he was
15 not a member. But Fadil, according to everything that I know, is not a
16 Serb, so ....
17 Q. Mr. Tadic, would you agree that to deprive ethnic peoples of their
18 representatives in a legislative body is discriminatory?
19 A. I am saying to you now that at that time there was discrimination
20 towards all. At that time, I didn't vote for anything. I didn't vote for
21 the Crisis Staff, nor for the War Presidency, or for - I don't know -
22 deputies. Nobody voted for anything then. So why would there be
23 discrimination against some and no discrimination against others? Nobody
24 had any rights as far as voting was concerned, because there was no
25 voting. We can talk about discrimination during the period when voting is
1 carried out. If there was a vote in 1992 and Muslims and Croats did not
2 vote, then that is discriminatory. But if there was no voting, then there
3 is no discrimination. I would not really want to come out with any legal
4 theories here, because that is something that I'm really not that well
5 informed about. But anyway, this is my understanding of it.
6 Q. Mr. Tadic, I don't seek an explanation of what voting took place,
7 where and when. My question is simple: Do you agree that to deprive
8 ethnic peoples of their representatives in a legislative body is
10 A. I have just explained to you what I think. I still stand by that
11 and I still think that that is so. Please understand: I didn't move in
12 those circles. I wasn't in those assemblies. So it is difficult for me
13 now to speak to you about that in some detail.
14 Q. Mr. Tadic, are you aware of how the Croats and Muslims felt in
15 Bosanski Samac when they no longer had their political representatives in
16 the old municipality of Bosanski Samac?
17 A. How could I know how they felt? No one complained to me, no one
18 from them, to say: "Well, I don't have my own representative. And this
19 is something that is affecting me." Nobody complained in those terms.
20 None of the Muslims complained to me either, even though I had contacts
21 with very many Muslims and Croats.
22 Q. Mr. Tadic, is it the case from everything that you have just said
23 in the last few minutes in answer to these questions, agreement by you
24 that to deprive two ethnic groups of their political representatives is
25 discriminatory? Just tell us yes or no. If you can possibly answer that
1 question is a yes or no, I'd be grateful.
2 A. I do not agree with such an assumption that there is
3 discrimination against anyone along those lines.
4 Q. Would you be happy to be a member of a body that disenfranchises
5 ethnic groups?
6 A. I don't understand. How do you mean, to be a member of a body?
7 Q. Would you function within any organ or body that is effectively
8 discriminating against ethnic groups?
9 A. I did not work in such a body. Obviously you've overlooked the
10 fact that when I said that I formed the staff of the civilian protection,
11 everyone was represented in the staff, and therefore, it's obvious that I
12 did not have any discriminatory intent when I had people of all ethnic
13 groups sitting with me in the office and performing their tasks and
14 drinking coffee together.
15 Q. Explain to the Trial Chamber how those members, non-Serb members,
16 of your staff in civilian protection would organise political
17 representation in the Crisis Staff, the War Presidency, or the Serbian
18 municipality of Bosanski Samac.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Di Fazio, I don't see how this question is
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. I'll withdraw it, if Your Honour
22 pleases, and I'll move on to another topic. I think we've gone as far as
23 we can.
24 Q. Mr. Tadic, I want to move now to another topic, that is the topic
25 of arrests. Do you agree that mass arrests took place within a very short
1 period of time following the 16th and 17th of April? By mass arrests, I
2 mean hundreds of men.
3 A. I disagree, because that was not what happened.
4 Q. Do you agree that at least 30 men, or thereabouts, were arrested
5 in the first few days following the 16th and 17th?
6 A. That was possibly the number, but not several hundreds. If there
7 were 30 of them, I don't think that that was a one-off operation, and that
8 maybe one or two or five people were arrested at one time and that during
9 the day it amounted to 30 people, but that was not several hundreds.
10 Q. Do you agree that --
11 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Witness also said, and I don't see
12 that in transcript, in last couple of lines, from 25, page 46, and then
13 47, 1, 2, and 3. He said: That was my assumption. That was -- it's not
14 a fact. I mean -- maybe you can clarify with the witness, because I don't
15 see that in this part of his testimony, what he said at the end of his
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Tadic, is it the case that you're saying that you assume that
19 30 men were arrested in the first few days after the 16th and 17th of
21 A. I assume because I don't know that for certain, but I submit that
22 30 people were not arrested at once. Perhaps during the first five or six
23 days, some 30 people were arrested, and we heard that from the testimony
24 given here. We heard that on or around the 20th April, there were 30
25 people in custody. Therefore, during those days, some 30 or perhaps 40
1 people, or maybe 20 people, were there.
2 Q. Do you agree that mass arrests took place at least a month later?
3 Let me rephrase that question. Do you at least agree that mass arrests
4 took place about a month later?
5 A. I agree that a large number of people were arrested at a later
6 stage, and by that I mean after the 15th of May. But this is just the
7 information that I heard here. I don't know the numbers, but I know that
8 there were arrests on a larger scale.
9 Q. Can you just clarify something you said in your answer? This is
10 just the information that I heard here." Are you saying that you only
11 became aware of mass arrests following the evidence that you've heard in
12 this case, you only became aware of it here in The Hague?
13 A. No. I said that if anyone here had claimed, regarding the
14 numbers, that on the 20th or 30th of May, there were 300 people arrested,
15 that's what I referred to. So that can take as an approximate number, if
16 that was claimed by somebody who was on the spot. However, since I wasn't
17 on the spot, I cannot speak of any numbers. I say that there was this
18 large-scale operation, but there were people who testified here to
19 specific numbers, and I have no particular reason to doubt their
21 Q. And you're aware, and were aware back in 1992, that some of those
22 men, at least, were considered to be political prisoners?
23 A. I have no information of who and how did it, because I didn't pay
24 attention to that. Those who did the arrests knew on what grounds that
25 was done. I can only here guess whether it was -- there were political or
1 any kind of other prisoners. If I were to categorise them, I would say
2 that Sulejman Tihic was a political prisoner and Ibrahim Salkic, for
3 instance, was not a political prisoner. That would be what I would do.
4 But since I have no notion of what had been happening, I couldn't make any
6 Q. Do you agree that a number of men who were arrested in Bosanski
7 Samac were later exchanged in Serbia, amongst whom was Mr. Tihic --
8 A. I agree.
9 Q. Amongst whom was Mr. Tihic --
10 A. I agree that that is how it happened.
11 Q. Yes. Amongst those men was Mr. Tihic, numbers of about 14 to 15,
12 and that they were political prisoners? Would you agree with that?
13 A. I disagree, because I know some of these men, and they didn't have
14 any political qualifications. But why it was happening like that, I don't
15 know. For instance, Anto Dragicevic, aka Jablan, had no relation
16 whatsoever with politics. He was an unskilled worker, a carpenter, and I
17 don't believe that he was involved in any manner in the politics, and he
18 was exchanged on the 14th of August of 1992. But he cannot be placed into
19 this category at all.
20 Q. Mr. Tadic, you've given repeated evidence this morning that you
21 confined yourself to your task in civilian protection and later the
22 exchanges. How did you acquire knowledge that some of the prisoners were
23 political prisoners, if that is so?
24 A. I can accept the fact that you stated some of them were political
25 prisoners, and I just explained that if I were to make any categorisation,
1 for which I am neither qualified nor competent, I would say that Tihic was
2 a political prisoner and Ibrahim Salkic wasn't a political prisoner.
3 However, it remains to be seen. Therefore, I have no indication
4 whatsoever, and if you want me to do my own categorisation, that would be
5 more or less the case. And as the one -- the man that I mentioned who was
6 exchanged, as you state, the political prisoner, I know for certain that
7 he had no connections with the politics, and his name was Anto Dragicevic,
8 aka Jablan.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tadic, my question is very simple: Can you tell
10 the Trial Chamber how it is that you acquired knowledge that there existed
11 political prisoners, that some of the prisoners were political prisoners?
12 How did you know that?
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I must object. This is for the third
14 or fourth time that my learned friend try to obtain the answer from
15 Mr. Tadic, and he clearly said on many occasions here that he's not
16 competent, that he's not a professional, legal professional, and then I
17 don't see how this kind of evidence and answers can assist Trial Chamber,
18 given the fact that Mr. Tadic explained on many occasions these previous
19 couple of pages that he's not -- he just speculate. He's just assuming
20 that certain person might be political prisoners or whatever. It's just a
21 confrontation. I really don't see the value of this kind of evidence.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Firstly, if Your Honours please, I believe that the
25 task of objecting to any questions on my part lies with Mr. Lukic and not
1 with Mr. Pantelic. Secondly, I'm not asking for legal categorisations.
2 Thirdly, the witness has already said that there were political prisoners
3 and has said so in his interview, and I believe has said so here in Court.
4 Now, that's from his own mouth. So I don't see that --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: -- asking him how he found out or how he knew that
7 they were political prisoners is in any way asking for a legal opinion or
8 not. I'm simply asking him where he acquired his knowledge.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution's questions are all right, in
10 view of the answers given by Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and I think it would do
11 well if Mr. Pantelic would remember that Mr. Tadic is not his client and
12 leave the objections of that nature to Mr. Lukic. And the objection
13 itself is not -- Mr. Lukic? Yes. The objection by Mr. --
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Since you mentioned my name, although
15 I think we already had an opportunity for the Defence to --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you just keep quiet? Yes. I wanted you to wait
17 for my decision on the objection by Mr. Pantelic that it's not valid.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Then you can go ahead and say what you want to say.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In order not to confuse the witness,
21 for whom we already know is not any expert in this domain, the first
22 question to be asked of him is: What, according to Mr. Miroslav Tadic, is
23 a political prisoner. He should explain how he understands that.
24 Otherwise we shall be on a completely wrong wavelength, if we ask him why
25 did he know that somebody was a political prisoner, unless we clarify
1 what, according to his layman's opinion, a political prisoner is.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: With respect, that's a matter that can be clarified
3 in re-examination, if Mr. Lukic so desires.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No. In fairness to the witness, if you are going to
5 proceed with that classification, it's only fair to ask him what he means.
6 Because it's no use of the Prosecution building on when you have your
7 own interpretation and the witness has got his own interpretation, and
8 therefore there is a danger that the witness can be misled.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps if I take the witness to his own words,
10 that might solve the problem for Mr. Lukic.
11 Can the witness be shown Exhibit P139 ter.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] While we are waiting for the document,
13 I propose to the Prosecutor, since they frequently use the interview of
14 Mr. Tadic - I'm referring to Exhibit 538 and 539 for them to be all the
15 time in front of Tadic in order to save time.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm happy with that.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think that a better solution.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Now, P139, Mr. Tadic, page 90 and 91.
19 Q. You're again --
20 A. I have found the page that you mention, but I don't know what
21 you're interested in specifically.
22 Q. Thank you. On page 90, you will see, if you cast your eyes over
23 the text, that you were being asked questions about the men in the camps
24 and exchanges, and you're talking about how it depended on a Croatian
25 request, and so on. Then Nancy Paterson asks you, and I think you'll find
1 this at the bottom of page 90 and 91.
2 Q. What about these people who were sent to Serbia? Were
3 they given any choice about going to Serbia, having to
4 leave, and then being exchanged?
5 And you answered: "I don't know much about it. I only heard
6 about it, that these were some kind of political prisoners, and I don't
7 think there were very many of them, 14, 15, something like that. On the
8 14th of August, 1992, in Serbia, those nine people were exchanged."
9 Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I have found it.
11 Q. Now, can you tell the Chamber, please, how you heard that some of
12 the prisoners in Serbia who were exchanged in August of 1992 were
13 political prisoners?
14 A. This is what it clearly says here. There were stories that those
15 people were some kind of political prisoners, so if you read on, there's
16 the answer: I do not know much about these people, but I heard rumours or
17 stories that a number of these people, they were sort of political
18 prisoners, out of the mentioned 13 or 15. But I think there were 11 of
19 them, that some of them were political prisoners. And I already said who
20 I believe to be a political prisoner, how I see that. So if you compare
21 the two men I mentioned, for instance, about Tihic, I would say that he
22 was a political prisoner because he was the president of the SDA, and
23 Salkic was not a political prisoner, because he was involved in arming.
24 That would be my layman's explanation, and I don't know if it's an
25 appropriate one or not.
1 Q. It will do just fine. Thank you. As a layman, with your layman's
2 ace understanding of what a political prisoner was, when did you find out
3 that there had been arrests of political prisoners?
4 A. I had known even before the arrest that Mr. Sulejman Tihic was a
5 politician, and I knew even before the war that Mr. Ibrahim Salkic was not
6 a politician. Therefore, I presume that that was the basis. Whether that
7 is correct or not, it's just my assumption.
8 Q. Mr. Tadic, do I take it from your answer that you ascertained that
9 there were political prisoners fairly early on after the 16th and 17th of
11 A. No, that's not what I'm claiming. I'm just explaining the manner.
12 Some ten minutes ago you asked me about political prisoners, and I
13 immediately gave you a comparison. Whether there were political prisoners
14 or not, those who made arrests knew that, and they knew why they arrested
15 them. This is just my guesswork and my suppositions how that would be
16 carried out otherwise.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may object. We are
18 just moving within a circle. That is why I insisted to hear Mr. Tadic's
19 definition of political prisoner. His definition meant that the political
20 prisoners were politicians who got arrested. That was his definition.
21 Once the Prosecutor got this answer, they are still pursuing the issue of
22 political prisoner as they see it. He has explained how he understands
23 the term "a political prisoner." So I think this has become a vicious
24 circle around one subject which cannot possibly be clarified from these
25 answers and by putting the questions in the way you are putting them.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'm not seeking to impose
2 any Prosecution viewpoint of what a political prisoner is. I'm seeking
3 the answer to a very simple question: When did Mr. Tadic form the view or
4 hear that political prisoners had been arrested, when it took place, when
5 he found out. Did he know this in April of 1992? Is it something he
6 found out years later? Did he only find out about it here? He has said
7 in his interview that political prisoners were exchanged in August of
8 1992. My question is simply: When did he acquire information that they
9 were political prisoners? I'm not asking for definitions of what
10 political prisoner is. They're his words.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but he had included the expression that he
12 didn't know much about it, so I think, bearing that in mind --
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, he has said in his interview, he has
14 said expressly that they were political prisoners and they were exchanged
15 in August of 1992. He must know.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say this explicitly. I
17 must read it again.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In your interview, when it was read,
19 you said some kind of political prisoner, and that was in the English
20 interpretation it is stated, and that is what the witness explained to
21 this Chamber.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Also says here that I heard stories,
23 and in that way, I learned that a number of these people were political
24 prisoners. There were stories told in my cafe of people guessing that:
25 Oh, these may be political prisoners, and for others, people claimed they
1 couldn't possibly be political prisoners. So according to my definition,
2 a man involved in politics can be a political prisoner and the one not
3 involved in politics cannot be a political prisoner. So this was my
4 layman's definition. That's why I made the comparison between the two men
5 who were arrested. One was, as I see, arrested on one grounds, and the
6 other was arrested on another grounds.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: And if Your Honour pleases, the question that I've
8 been trying to ask, and the information that I've been trying to elicit
9 from Mr. Tadic is when he heard these stories and when he acquired this
10 information. It's a very simple issue.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: You just want to find out when.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: When, that's what my questions have been about for
13 the last four or five questions. I simply can't seem to get an answer to
14 that. That's why I'm persisting with this. It's a very simple issue.
15 Q. So when, Mr. Tadic, did you hear of political arrests -- political
16 prisoners, rather, being arrested?
17 A. On the 14th of August, 1992. That's what is written here, that
18 some people were exchanged as political prisoners and some were not. And
19 these were the stories that I heard.
20 Q. Yes. All right. The arrestees, the people who had been arrested,
21 were all non-Serbs, weren't they, and you knew that when you first became
22 aware of the arrests?
23 A. I knew that there were arrests. The number of people we already
24 mentioned. But there were Serbs among them. The majority were Muslims,
25 then Croats, but there was a number of Serbs as well.
1 Q. My question is: You understood, you knew, when you first became
2 aware of the arrests, that the majority, the overwhelming majority of
3 people arrested, were non-Serbs?
4 A. From the stories that I heard, I knew that a number of people were
5 arrested and that the majority of them were non-Serbs.
6 Q. You knew that people were entering the camps and beating the
8 A. I learned about that much, much later.
9 Q. How much later? When did you learn about it?
10 A. Well, it depended on the case, individual case. I had irrefutable
11 evidence on the 5th of July, 1992.
12 Q. I'm not asking for individual cases. It's a simple question:
13 When did you become aware that people were entering the camps and beating
14 the non-Serb prisoners? Was it in April of 1992, March, May, June, July,
15 August, September, October, November, December, or at some point later in
16 the decade? Just in time. Just a simple question: In time, when did you
17 become aware?
18 A. In July 1992.
19 Q. What was it that gave you the information that people were
20 entering the camps and beating the prisoners in July of 1992? What was
21 your source of information?
22 A. One of the detainees told me that. I wouldn't like to mention his
23 name now.
24 Q. Did you take any action with respect to this information in the
25 Crisis Staff, inform the Crisis Staff of this phenomenon that was taking
2 A. I spoke with Mr. Todorovic, and he told me that that was not my
3 job, that I was in charge of organising funerals and making coffins.
4 However, the detention and prison business was his responsibility.
5 Q. You were aware, weren't you, that it was a widespread phenomenon,
6 that is, it wasn't an isolated case; it was going on all the time?
7 A. We didn't discuss that at the time. He was talking about himself,
8 but he didn't say anything about others.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you please look at P138 ter, page 65.
10 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the response is unclear.
13 He said to me: I think the witness should tell -- say who it was.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said protected witness.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Because he was mentioning also
16 Todorovic, so I didn't want there to be any confusion about that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You said 56, did you?
18 MR. DI FAZIO: No. 66. I don't understand Mr. Lukic's
19 intervention. I'm sorry.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness said, on page 57, line 21:
21 I talked about that with Todorovic. After your question, the witness
22 said: He told me that he was beaten. So I just wanted to clarify whether
23 this was something that Todorovic told him or this protected witness,
24 about being beaten. So this was the sense in which I wanted
25 clarification, and I think that now it has been clarified and it's clear.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Rest assured, Mr. Tadic, I didn't think
2 that you said that Mr. Todorovic was beaten in the camp.
3 Q. Now, the answer that you gave at the top of page 66, would you
4 please read it. Read it out loud.
5 A. At the top of page 66, is it?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. "And I was just beginning to warm up." "Alex said that the
8 interpreter needs a break, and I said that I was just warming up." And
9 then there's discussion about that, that there will be a break.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. Tadic, this is your
11 interview of the 26th of March, the 26th of March.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This interview is from the
13 27th of March.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: The point I wanted to raise with Mr. Di Fazio is
15 that these interviews are part of the record.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: In the sense that they're exhibited.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. They are produced.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, yes.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: They've been produced.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Fully in evidence, yes.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So we don't need the witness to repeat, to
22 read what is already on record.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: He can read it to himself.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine. I'm happy with that.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: If you just want him to refresh his memory as to the
2 answer and then you question him.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly. But my purpose is that the witness
4 acquaint himself an answer before I ask him a question. The reading out
5 need not necessarily occur.
6 Q. All right, Mr. Tadic.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. In your answer, you make clear that people boasted,
9 after they had drink, that they went into the camps and would beat people
10 up, that you never heard that from officials but you heard it from people
11 who did this sort of thing; that they were boasting of having done things
12 that normal people wouldn't boast about. The implication there is that
13 you heard repeatedly that people were going into the camps and beating the
14 prisoners. That's correct, is it not?
15 A. That would be so, that drunk people, when boasting, would say much
16 more than they actually did. But I'm not disputing that they boasted
17 about something that a wise man would never boast about and would not do.
18 But we always have to have a certain degree of certainty about what a
19 drunken man would talk about. These people were under the influence of
20 alcohol, and they were talking about their deeds, quote, unquote. But may
21 I say that they never did it directly to me. I heard it always when they
22 would be telling somebody else who was a more desirable listener than I
23 was, because that is something that they could not talk about with me.
24 Q. The result is that you overheard these drunken conversations, in
25 which people were regularly reporting entering the camps and beating the
2 A. Without this regularly, yes, about people who were entering the
3 camps, whether this was a regular basis or not on a regular basis, that is
4 something that I don't know anything about.
5 Q. From what you overheard in drunken conversations, it became clear
6 to you that this was a widespread phenomenon; it wasn't an isolated case
7 of someone entering and beating and torturing prisoners?
8 A. If you consider information by drunken people as information, then
9 I did have a certain insight about that.
10 Q. You plainly considered it reliable enough to raise the issue with
11 the chief of police and a fellow member of the Crisis Staff, didn't you?
12 A. I didn't consider it as reliable as they said, but I did think
13 that it was a matter of some concern, even if the scale was one-tenth of
14 what they were talking about. So I did discuss that with Mr. Todorovic,
16 Q. Thank you. And you didn't get a satisfactory answer from
17 Todorovic, did you? He, in effect, told you to mind your own business,
18 according to your account.
19 A. Yes, that's precisely what happened.
20 Q. Given that this phenomenon of prisoners being subjected to beating
21 and torture was important enough for you to raise it with the chief of
22 police, why did you not pursue it further with the Crisis Staff as a
24 A. One poet of ours said that fear often mars the reputation of a
25 person. I don't know how difficult it is to translate this into English
1 the way it is said, but to make public remarks to Mr. Todorovic was
2 dangerous. I wasn't so stupid not to know this.
3 Q. Are you saying, then, that you were prevented from raising the
4 matter because of terror instilled in you of Todorovic, or fear?
5 A. Neither I nor anyone else. It was best to talk to him when no one
6 else was present, because then he wouldn't be as arrogant as he was when
7 in a group, because then nobody would find out what was discussed. So the
8 best way to talk to him would be to talk to him in a friendly manner and
9 to make a remark in a roundabout way about some of his activities, not
10 pointing directly to him. And it was my principle to tell him the
11 following: "Stevo, I hear something is going on over there. Could you
12 please take care of the matter?" I never would say: "Stevo, I heard that
13 you hit someone."
14 Q. Just finally on this issue: Did you consider going behind the
15 back of Todorovic and perhaps speaking in private to other members of the
16 Crisis Staff and outlining this problem of the torture and beating of
18 A. I believe that the other members also talked to him in the same
19 way, but we never discussed this officially. Because I knew that other
20 members also had no influence over him, and those who did have an
21 influence on him were not accessible to me.
22 Q. Are you saying that other members of the Crisis Staff raised with
23 him the issue of the beatings and torture in the prisons? Am I correct in
24 my understanding, or did you mean something else?
25 A. You just missed out the "perhaps," because I said perhaps the
1 other members also spoke to him in the same way that I did, and that means
2 a lot. And they probably got the same reply that I did: You do your job
3 and I will do mine. And his job was what he was doing.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that this answer, with the
6 meaning that perhaps they did talk and perhaps they did get a response, is
7 not something that would be useful to the Chamber. Facts are only
8 important, and the replies, which only contain his assumptions, are not
9 going to be of much use to the Trial Chamber.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: That's how I understood his answer. I'm not -- I
11 read it as it comes out plain and clear in the English. He's saying
12 perhaps -- I can clarify it in this way:
13 Q. Mr. Tadic, when you said that perhaps other Crisis Staff members
14 spoke to Todorovic about the beatings and tortures, is that your guessing
15 and speculating or do you have hard information that that in fact
17 A. I said exactly what I thought. I said perhaps these were members
18 of the Crisis Staff, Simeon Simic and some others - I don't know - who
19 were able to say exactly what I was able to say. Maybe they talked to him
20 also. But I don't have any information to that effect. Nobody said
21 anything about that to me. This was not something that was widely spoken
23 Q. Thank you. The issue of the treatment of prisoners was starkly
24 raised in the community following the murder of 15 or 16 people at
25 Crkvina, because they were prisoners, weren't they?
1 A. Yes. Those people were prisoners, and this infamous case did
3 Q. They were prisoners, prisoners of the police, whose head was
4 Todorovic and who was a member of the Crisis Staff?
5 A. I don't know why you are placing Todorovic in the Crisis Staff all
6 the time. I said that he decided, on his own initiative, about
7 everything. He did not ask the Crisis Staff. So whether he was or was
8 not a member of it has no force. I can put it that way. Those people
9 were detained in Crkvina. I didn't know about them, even though I was a
10 member of the Crisis Staff. I believe that the rest of them did not know
11 either. How they ended up in Crkvina, I don't know. I also don't know
12 where he got the idea for them to be in Crkvina. In the security of
13 Crkvina were regular police officers from his station. The crime was
14 committed when those police officers were present, the ones that he had
15 told to guard those prisoners, he or somebody else. As far as I know,
16 those police officers were abused. And from testimony, we heard that
17 after that, police was ordered to carry out the rest of the assignments.
18 So it is unjustified to link me to that in any way, me or the Crisis
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Is it time for the break, if Your Honours please?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Otherwise we shall overwork the interpreters.
22 We'll take a 20-minute break and continue at 12.35 hours.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is still cross-examining.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Q. Mr. Tadic, it was well known, wasn't it, that the people who died
2 at Crkvina were prisoners and that they were prisoners in the custody of
3 the police?
4 A. We've already explained all of that, and if it's necessary to do
5 it again --
6 Q. Is your answer yes?
7 A. Yes, they were prisoners in Crkvina.
8 Q. And Todorovic was responsible for prisoners?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the Crisis Staff took no action following the murder of these
11 prisoners who were in the custody of the police and Mr. Todorovic?
12 A. If you want to -- if you were willing to understand me, then that
13 would be very simple. I told you how my son ended up in prison. In the
14 same way, Mr. Todorovic should have carried out an investigation in
15 Crkvina. If he could have sent people to my cafe, later, in accordance
16 with his official duties to conduct an investigation, he was supposed to
17 do the same thing, as part of his official duties in Crkvina, and issued
18 instructions for certain bodies, and you know better than I do which
19 bodies they are, to conduct such an investigation. The sole
20 responsibility for not doing this is borne by Mr. Todorovic. No Crisis
21 Staff, the Municipal Assembly, or anyone else, has the responsibility,
22 because they were not authorised to do that.
23 Q. Mr. Tadic, is it your position that the Crisis Staff could not
24 issue directions or instructions regarding an investigation to Todorovic?
25 A. This is so obvious that it's not even necessary to explain. To
1 this very day, the civilian authorities are not those who issue
2 instructions for any kind of investigation, and this is not only in my
3 country; it's all over the world. It is known who is supposed to order an
4 investigation, and so on. So the same applies in the case of
5 Mr. Todorovic.
6 Q. Did Mr. Todorovic ever receive instructions on anything from the
7 Crisis Staff?
8 A. As far as I know, he did not.
9 Q. So he was on the Crisis Staff, but the Crisis Staff couldn't tell
10 him what to do, couldn't issue any directions or orders; is that your
11 evidence to this Chamber?
12 A. I'm saying that Mr. Todorovic had a completely different line of
13 command than the one that applied to the civilian authority, just like
14 anywhere else. So that means that the police has its own line of command
15 and the civilian authority does not interfere anywhere in the authority of
16 the police.
17 Q. Do I take it, therefore, that your answer is no, the Crisis Staff
18 couldn't tell him what to do, couldn't issue directions or orders to
19 Mr. Todorovic?
20 A. I completely agree with what you are saying.
21 Q. What function did he perform on the Crisis Staff?
22 A. He performed the function of a man who was present. I don't know
23 what his function was in the Crisis Staff. Mostly he was present, not
24 always. I wasn't present always. But when he was present, he meddled in
25 everything, the least of all in police business.
1 Q. When he was meddling in non-police business, did the Crisis Staff
2 issue directions and instructions to him?
3 A. No. He meddled in the sense of imposing his opinion, not in the
4 sense of questions or receiving any kind of orders. He meddled in the
5 sense of if anybody was supposed to do anything, he knew everything
6 better. If 100 acres were supposed to be sown, he knew that it was better
7 to sow 150 acres. And if there was a specific purpose for a certain
8 building, he knew about that certain building, how it could be used in a
9 different way to a better function. So any topic that was discussed, he
10 would have his own opinion.
11 Q. Would you agree, Mr. Tadic, that the mass arrest of a certain
12 ethnic group by members of another ethnic group is a discriminatory act?
13 A. I would say that the arrest of all those who were arrested was
14 something that was amongst the competencies of the police. The police
15 arrested Serbs, but for the most part, also Croats and Muslims. We did
16 not have the opportunity to talk about the numerous Serbs who were
17 arrested by Mr. Todorovic and expelled from Samac, and there are some of
18 them even in Holland.
19 Q. You heard the evidence of the Prosecution witnesses that the
20 arrests resulted in overwhelming numbers of Croatian and Muslim men being
21 arrested, and that evidence was unchallenged, wasn't it?
22 A. No, it was not challenged.
23 Q. And having heard that evidence, you accept, don't you, that the
24 arrests were plainly discriminatory, because it was Croat and Muslim men
25 who were arrested, in the hundreds, following the events of the 16th and
1 17th of April?
2 A. If Mr. Todorovic, with his team, arrested people without any
3 reason, then yes, it is a discriminatory act. If they didn't have -- if
4 they didn't commit any violations, let me put it that way, let me put it
5 in a mild way. So if he arrested them just because they were Muslims or
6 Croats, even Serbs, and he arrested them without reason, then that is a
7 discriminatory act in relation to all of those people.
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like to turn now to another topic.
9 You testified that you went to Belgrade and informed the patriarch
10 of developments that were occurring after the first exchange had taken
11 place. Do you recall that testimony?
12 A. I went to see the patriarch first of all to draw to his attention
13 to the difficult situation of the people in Novi Grad. That was the main
14 reason for the trip. And then some other topics that were discussed also
16 Q. Let me recap what you said on Tuesday, the 18th of February, on
17 this topic. For the purpose of Defence counsel, they will find this
18 testimony at page 20 of the LiveNote. You were discussing your visit to
19 Belgrade, and you said that --
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, please. I would like
21 to remark that that part was in private session, so I would just like to
22 ask the Prosecutor if he's going to refer to that, that he should remember
23 that it was in private session.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm grateful to my learned friend. In fact, yes,
25 the portion of evidence that I will be referring to took place in closed
1 session, so we should go into closed session for a few moments, please.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we go into private session?
3 [Private session]
12 Page 15687 – redacted – private session
12 Page 15688 – redacted – private session
12 Page 15689 – redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We're now in open session.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks.
25 Q. Okay, Mr. Tadic. I just want to ask you some questions now about
1 your role in civilian protection. I would like you to look at the gazette
2 that covers this area of activity.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: And so could the witness please be given D80/3.
4 Q. All right. Now, first things: That gazette is dated September of
5 1992, and obviously you were appointed to civilian protection well before
6 that. However, is that the gazette -- I'm sorry. Does that gazette
7 provide a blueprint for the conduct of your activities in civilian
8 protection even before September of 1992?
9 A. I should even say the opposite. This one could have derived from
10 the previous one. We cannot say that this is the draft of the previous
11 one. So from a previous gazette, this one could have derived. And what
12 was the previous one, I really wouldn't be able to say, because this
13 Official Gazette was drafted, as you can see, already at the time when the
14 civilian protection staff ceased to conduct its functions that it did
15 during the war. This is the 29th of September, and you can see that many
16 of the civilian protection staff's activities were relegated to the
17 institutions that were established in the meantime.
18 Q. Are you saying that this gazette did not govern your activities in
19 civilian protection, or that there was a similar gazette governing your
20 activities in civilian protection?
21 A. This Official Gazette, at the time, governed, just like any other
22 Official Gazette, sets up the assignments of any body, whether it be the
23 civilian protection or any other institution. That means that at the
24 time, in any case, this was the valid Official Gazette, pursuant to which
25 everybody was obliged to operate.
1 Q. All right. Now, the gazette throughout refers to measures that
2 have to be taken to protect the civilian population, and in particular,
3 Article 11 says that the civilian protection is responsible for the
4 evacuation of civilians to safe areas. Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I have found it, and it can be seen on the screen.
6 Q. Right. And, for instance, Article 16 provides for the civilian
7 protection to work in conjunction with the police and army in rescue
8 operations. Do you see that?
9 A. Article 16, protection from destruction and rescue operation from
10 the debris. Is that what you're referring to, Article 16?
11 Q. Yes. Article 16, last paragraph, says: "Citizens and units of
12 civilian protection, the police and army, shall participate in rescuing
13 people from ruins." Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I've found it.
15 Q. And was civilian protection responsible in the months after April
16 of 1992 for the protection of property by sandbagging, doing whatever else
17 was possible to protect property against the shelling?
18 A. Well, the civilian protection primarily protected the population
19 by sandbagging the houses, not to protect so much the property. And the
20 sandbags were placed in the locations where there was a risk of the
21 civilians to get killed or wounded. So we did not protect so much
22 buildings as much as we protected the civilians inside these buildings.
23 Q. And civilian protection carried out measures to ensure that had
24 people bomb shelters to go into?
25 A. Yes, that's exactly as you say.
1 Q. And that was an important and necessary task because of the
2 continuous shelling that you've described?
3 A. Well, I described that primarily shelters were provided for that
4 purpose, and then also the facilities -- they did not have such
5 facilities, for instance, like health centre, which was all made of glass,
6 and the preventive medical treatment was carried out throughout the whole
7 war. We managed to protect it to a certain extent by sandbags, including
8 the staff and the patients there. That also applied to the hospital and
9 other similar institutions.
10 Q. And the result of the construction of bomb shelters meant that
11 when civilians, people living in the town, came under shelling, attack,
12 they could leave wherever they were and take refuge in these bomb
14 A. The shelters were located in such a way that each big building or
15 in a neighbourhood of five or six houses, one of those houses was taken to
16 function as a shelter, because the shelters are useful only if people can
17 get to them quickly. So in Samac there were 50 or 100 even shelters all
18 over the town. As I said, they are effective only if one can reach them
19 quickly. Even if it is less safe, it is safer than if one has to run
20 around the town and look for a safer shelter.
21 Q. Correct. Thank you. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber what
22 measures you took to provide the prisoners in the TO, in the high school
23 gym and the primary school gym with sandbagging protective measures, bomb
24 shelter measures, and any other measures to protect them from shelling,
25 the incessant shelling that you and other witnesses have described?
1 A. In the same manner like all other buildings, they did it
2 themselves, because it was impossible for the civilian protection staff to
3 take care of everything. So the citizens, the institutions, and everybody
4 who had the need, they took plastic bags from the Red Cross and on their
5 own initiative protected their houses, their cellars, their business
6 premises. So nobody was denied to provide protection by themselves for
7 the building where they stayed. Therefore, these facilities that you
8 mentioned were also in a certain manner protected, and probably by the
9 people who were there. I don't know if anyone from the civilian
10 protection staff took care of that.
11 Q. Is it your position that the civilian protection staff undertook
12 no works to provide any form of protection to the prisoners who were in
13 custody in those places I mentioned?
14 A. Protection was provided, but not necessarily by the civilian
15 protection. As I said, many people protected their houses on their own
16 initiative. It wasn't the civilian protection staff that took care of
17 that. That same applies to the municipal building. Other people took
18 care of that. Similarly, the police station had sufficient number of
19 people who took plastic bags, and they had a sand storage area, some 50 or
20 30 metres away, and they provided these bags. The civilian protection
21 staff mainly took care of the health centre and the hospital, because
22 others were also under the obligation to provide protection.
23 Q. Do I take it from your answer that civilian protection staff
24 undertook no works to provide any form of protection to the prisoners who
25 were in custody in the places I mentioned?
1 A. I have just told you.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I thought the information was clear,
3 Mr. Di Fazio.
4 MR. DI FAZIO:
5 Q. Are you aware of the police undertaking any protective measures
6 for the prisoners to protect them against bombing and shelling?
7 A. As far as I know, and whenever I passed by, I noticed that the
8 windows on the SUP and other buildings were also protected with sandbags.
9 Therefore, measures were undertaken to protect other facilities with these
10 sandbags, in order to minimise the effects of shelling.
11 Q. Are you aware of any bomb shelters being constructed in the TO or
12 in the high school gym or in the primary school gym?
13 A. I have said that wherever it was possible, because there were many
14 ground waters under Samac area, and many buildings could not have cellars,
15 only in places where it was possible, shelters were constructed. However,
16 where it was not possible to have an underground cellar, then sandbags
17 were used, or planks, so one could see in Samac that a large number of
18 private houses or socially owned houses were protected with upright planks
19 covering the window. So if any shell fell nearby, it could not penetrate
20 the house through these planks. That is how a series of other
21 institutions were also protected that didn't have cellars. Let me just
22 tell you that the secondary school did not have a cellar of its own.
23 Q. Mr. Tadic, thank you for explaining the phenomenon of ground water
24 and the use of sandbags and planks in private homes or socially owned
25 houses. However, my question was not that. My question was this: Are
1 you aware of any bomb shelters being constructed in the TO or in the high
2 school gym or in the primary school gym? Just tell the Chamber if there
3 are any bomb shelters built for these prisoners who were locked up in
4 these places, who couldn't move, who couldn't run away. Can you just tell
5 the Chamber if there were any protective measures.
6 A. Mr. Di Fazio, the socially owned institutions involve everything,
7 including the school, the TO, the municipal building, the social or health
8 care institution. This is all what we refer to as socially owned
9 institutions. And all those institutions were protected in one way or
10 another. Self-protection was a crucial element for survival, and if you
11 want me now to tell you that no matter what, I can tell you that the high
12 school was protected because there was not a single person that was
13 wounded by shells, and as we saw before, there were some hundred men
14 there. As for the TO, and you probably want to get this information as
15 well, an excellent protection was provided, which was possible under the
16 circumstances, but the men who got killed in the TO was in fact killed in
17 the courtyard. Are you referring to him? Also, in the SUP, the man who
18 got killed there was killed because he was repairing his car and did not
19 run to the shelter in time, and there was shelter there. The civilians
20 who had their own private shelters in their houses or at their neighbours'
21 places, some hundred of them got killed because the shells were faster and
22 they couldn't reach the shelter. So there was no rule there.
23 Q. No bomb shelters were constructed in the TO or the primary school
24 gym or the high school gym, were they, Mr. Tadic, and that's because no
25 one cared about the fate of the men who were huddled in their prisons.
1 A. Why don't you want to understand? All the buildings were
2 protected in some way. At that time, you could not dig out a cellar in
3 the school building. It wasn't there. But you could use boards to
4 protect windows, some of which were a source of danger. Some other areas
5 could be protected with sandbags. At the TO also, which is a very strong
6 building, there was no cellar, but those openings which presented a danger
7 could be protected by sandbags, and that's what was done. Those locations
8 -- the best thing attesting to this is that nobody was actually hurt at
9 those locations.
10 Q. Thank you. Would you agree with me, Mr. Tadic, that the ability
11 to move around and seek shelter is one of the primary factors in
12 protecting yourself against shelling? Please, if you can possibly answer
13 with a yes or no, I would be very grateful.
14 A. No. The possibility to move in order to find shelter is the worst
15 option. A much better option is that if you already are in some enclosed
17 Q. You would agree with me, of course, as a matter of logic, that the
18 prisoners had nowhere to go in the event of shelling; all they could do
19 was just stay where they were.
20 A. To remain where it is the safest. They did have a shelter about
21 100 metres from the TO, for example, or from the school centre, the
22 shelter was perhaps 50 metres away, one of the shelters. It would be
23 crazy for those people to run over there to seek shelter, which was at a
24 slightly better position than the one where they were. During shelling,
25 the best thing to do is to remain where you are.
1 Q. Thank you. You agree that another of your tasks as chief of
2 civilian protection was the protection of cultural monuments?
3 A. It was protection in the sense of the protection that we have just
4 been speaking about. I can say that the parochial house, the parish
5 house, was also protected with sandbags. The elementary school was
6 located in the cellar of the parish hall. So this is where students or
7 pupils went to school. The age of the students was from 7 years of age
8 up. So they went to the premises of the parish hall, which were protected
9 by sandbags. Anything that could be done was done in order to provide
11 Q. So I take it that, yes, the answer is yes: You, as chief of
12 civilian protection, were responsible, was responsible, for the protection
13 of cultural buildings.
14 A. That is written in the Official Gazette, which you have read from.
15 And I say that five months before that, the situation was quite different.
16 What I have just told you now is also true. This protection was in place
18 Q. All right. Let's go to P138, please. P138, pages -- yes, 138
19 ter. Page 45. And your answer you'll see in B/C/S, starting at the
20 bottom of page 45. Just read the answer to yourself. I'll ask you some
21 questions about it in a moment. Please let me know when you've had an
22 opportunity of refreshing your memory. Okay. All right.
23 A. I've read it.
24 Q. Now, I don't propose to read it out to you in chapter and verse,
25 but essentially you agree, don't you, that you start your answer by
1 mentioning the Official Gazette, that you didn't study it very deeply. Do
2 you see that part of your answer? Just yes or no.
3 A. Yes, that's at the beginning of this, yes.
4 Q. Good. Good. Halfway through the answer, midway through the
5 answer, or perhaps I should say about two-thirds of the way through your
6 answer, you say this: "The primary function of all these forms of
7 civilian protection was the sheltering and evacuation of people, material
8 goods, and cultural objects, or objects, protection of buildings of
9 cultural value." And then you go on to say you had to shelter people,
10 possibly evacuate them, and if it was possible, to look after material
11 goods or buildings of cultural value, so they would not be harmed during
12 the conditions of war. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes, I found the place, but that's not exactly what it says here.
14 Q. Well, and perhaps as we approach the break, can I just ask you
15 again: Having read your answer, do you now agree that you, as chief of
16 civilian protection, were in charge -- was in charge of protecting
17 buildings of cultural value?
18 A. I've told you that when I was given this task, Milos showed me the
19 Official Gazette. It's not that one, but it doesn't matter. And he read
20 it to me and told me what is the most important thing in conditions of
21 war. But I'm not disputing that this is also valid and that, if possible,
22 that was also one of the tasks.
23 Q. Right. Thank you. So one of your tasks was protection of
24 cultural monuments; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Is that an appropriate time, if Your
2 Honours please?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We are going to adjourn and we'll continue in
4 the afternoon at 1500 hours.
5 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.31 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has been informed that the
3 Prosecution have got something to hand in to discuss before the opening
4 speech by Mr. Pisarevic.
5 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. That's quite correct.
6 Before I start, might I introduce from the Prosecution team Mr. Dorian
7 Barag sitting to my immediate right, an attorney from New York who is the
8 fourth person on our team and is working hard behind the scenes while
9 we're in court. He's here today for the opening.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Welcome to the Trial Chamber.
11 MR. RE: The issue I wish to raise, Your Honour, very briefly, is
12 in relation to the testimony of Mr. Svetozar Vasovic on the 31st of
13 January, 2003, at around pages 1503, 4, 5, 6, 7 of the transcript, in
14 relation to the tender of Defence document D1413. It was a document in
15 which there was a dispute as to the actual translation, especially in the
16 explanation going to whether or not the words "Red Cross" of the Crisis
17 Staff of Serbian municipality Bosanski Samac were actually in the
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I remember that. Yes.
20 MR. RE: The Prosecution has had the document re-translated and I
21 can inform the Court and hand up copies of it if they wish to be tendered
22 maybe as an addendum to D1413 that the re-translation is exactly the same
23 as the document which the Defence counsel tendered to the Trial Chamber.
24 It has a translation number of 03073058. Would Your Honours like me to
25 tender it as part of the Defence Exhibit or how would you like me to do
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The original one was a Defence Exhibit?
3 MR. RE: That's right.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Has it been seen by the Defence? Have you issued
5 them a copy?
6 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honours.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like to
8 inform you that we have just seen this now, so if we would be permitted to
9 look at the document and then give you our opinion on the document
10 tomorrow. Because we only received the document during the lunch break.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We'll postpone the ruling until tomorrow
12 morning -- tomorrow afternoon, when we sit.
13 Yes. We'll proceed with Mr. Pisarevic's opening statement.
14 [Defence Opening Statement]
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. As
16 fate would have it, today, at 3.00 and 5 minutes is exactly five years
17 since Mr. Zaric voluntarily surrendered to this Tribunal. And finally,
18 the time has come that he has been waiting ever since then, the moment to
19 present his defence before this Honourable Tribunal and to clarify or
20 dispel any doubts about the facts and acts that he's charged with in the
22 The news about the establishment of this Tribunal in 1993 is
23 something that Mr. Zaric heard about and received with satisfaction,
24 expecting that the foundation of the Tribunal would help to discover and
25 shed light on numerous crimes which occurred during the war in the
1 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the municipality of
2 Bosanski Samac. This was something which he strived for from the very
3 outbreak of the war, which he pointed to already in 1992, even before this
4 Tribunal was established, and because of which he personally, and his
5 family, have suffered grave consequences.
6 Mr. Zaric believed that the day would come when he would appear
7 before this Tribunal as a witness and speak about the crimes which
8 occurred in Bosanski Samac, name the perpetrators, and in this way help in
9 the process of reconciliation and the re-establishment of severed ties
10 among the people who had lived there together for centuries. Discovering
11 that he himself was indicted by The Hague Tribunal was for Mr. Zaric, as
12 well as for many other citizens of Bosanski Samac, completely unexpected.
13 The news was received with disbelief. Many citizens, Serbs and non-Serbs,
14 came to Mr. Zaric's house, offered to testify in his defence, to help in
15 any way, recalling everything that Mr. Zaric did for them and others
16 during the war, as well as how much he helped them. They also remembered
17 how Mr. Zaric publicly condemned the crimes which occurred and how he
18 organised the transfer of people detained in the building of the
19 Territorial Defence, thereby saving their lives. They remembered
20 everything that Mr. Zaric and his family went through during the war. They
21 remembered the threats to physically liquidate Mr. Zaric.
22 A number of those people will appear before this Honourable
23 Tribunal and testify about these facts. However, a much larger number of
24 them will not have the opportunity to tell the Trial Chamber about their
25 direct experiences and knowledge about what happened in Samac during the
1 war. Still, the Defence of Mr. Zaric considers that the Trial Chamber,
2 after hearing the testimony of the proposed witnesses, will acquire a
3 complete and true picture of the personality of Mr. Zaric, his place,
4 role, and authority during the war in the territory of Bosanski Samac and
6 Once he found out about the indictment that was issued against
7 him, there was no doubt for Mr. Zaric about what he needed to do. He
8 considered it his duty to appear before this Honourable Court and face the
9 false charges brought against him, and to remove the label of a war
10 criminal from his name, which has been unjustly addressed to him. His
11 strongest and only weapon in this struggle was and is the truth. Simo
12 Zaric appears before this Tribunal to tell the truth, because the truth is
13 the only principle that he has been guided by throughout his life and the
14 only language that he has ever spoken.
15 This is something that hundreds of citizens of Bosanski Samac
16 knew, members of all the peoples who live there, who came to see Mr. Zaric
17 off to The Hague during his voluntary surrender. First contacts with the
18 investigators of The Hague Tribunal and Mr. Zaric were carried out in
19 April 1996, via his Defence counsel, who met in Orasje with the
20 investigators when he acquainted them with Mr. Zaric's decision to
21 surrender voluntarily and place himself under the jurisdiction of The
22 Hague Tribunal. Keeping in mind the political and security situation in
23 Republika Srpska at that time, he could not implement that decision of his
24 immediately, but he did implement it as soon as the conditions made it
25 possible to do so.
1 Upon his arrival at The Hague, Mr. Zaric, of his own free will,
2 decided to give a statement to the Prosecutor and spoke with the
3 investigators on three occasions, not concealing anything and not avoiding
4 any subject, no matter what it was. As always, Mr. Zaric was completely
5 sincere while providing his statements to The Hague Office of the
6 Prosecutor. These interviews have been tendered into evidence in this
7 case. Many facts that were not known until then were in fact affirmed
8 through the statement of Mr. Zaric, which speaks best about the approach
9 of Mr. Zaric to these proceedings right from the very beginning. For a
10 whole year, Mr. Zaric listened to the testimony of witnesses for the
11 Prosecution and to the facts that they spoke about, and on numerous
12 occasions, he established that those facts were identical to those that he
13 spoke about during his interviews with the Prosecution. However, there
14 were situations in which acts of Mr. Zaric were presented in a false and
15 tendentious way by certain witnesses for the Prosecution.
16 The aim of the Defence of Mr. Zaric is to bring up each one of
17 these untrue claims by witnesses of the Prosecution and to present
18 evidence which would completely shed light on each such episode and
19 confirm all that Mr. Zaric stated in his interviews. The main line of
20 defence for Mr. Zaric is something that the Trial Chamber is already
21 familiar with, based on the allegations of the Defence through
22 cross-examination of Prosecution witnesses, as well as through resumes,
23 summaries of the testimony of witnesses of the Defence contained in the
24 pre-trial motion.
25 Keeping in mind that the number of the witnesses for the Defence
1 and the time allotted for their testimony are both limited, the Defence of
2 Mr. Zaric has primarily focused on establishing the role of Mr. Zaric in
3 the 4th Detachment of the Yugoslav People's Army, the tasks and the
4 activities of the detachment, the command structure, the participation of
5 the detachment in events which preceded the outbreak of the conflict in
6 Bosanski Samac, the events between the 16th and the 17th of April, 1992,
7 and the following months. In order to form a complete picture about the
8 type of military formation that it is, as well as the place occupied in
9 that formation by Mr. Zaric, the Defence will bring, as viva voce
10 witnesses, the commander of the 4th Detachment and his deputy, who will
11 testify about the above facts.
12 In view of the specific position of Mr. Zaric in the detachment,
13 carrying out the duties of assistant commander of the detachment for
14 security, intelligence, morale, and informing, the Defence will bring as a
15 viva voce witness the officer who was immediately superior to Mr. Zaric
16 along the security and intelligence line in the 17th Tactical Group of the
17 JNA, who will explain the tasks and responsibilities of Mr. Zaric in
18 carrying out the duties of assistant commander of the detachment.
19 As a witness who is going to testify or make testimony according
20 to Rule 92 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, Mr. Zaric's Defence
21 will bring also the commander of the then 17th Tactical Group of the JNA,
22 who will explain the position of the 4th Detachment within the Tactical
23 Group, the method of forming the detachment, the tasks and responsibility
24 of commanding personnel of the detachment, the application of the
25 principle of singleness of command and subordination in JNA units, as well
1 as many facts surrounding the events that preceded the breakout of
2 hostilities in Bosanski Samac, and after that, until the withdrawal of the
3 Yugoslav People's Army from Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, through
4 testimony of a certain number of witnesses under Rule 92 bis who were
5 members of the 4th Detachment, the Defence will clarify the role that the
6 detachment played in the events between the 16th and 17th of April, 1992,
7 although in the course of the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution,
8 this fact was, for the most part, explained in the same way as Mr. Zaric
9 had done in his interviews given so far.
10 Mr. Zaric's Defence believes that in the course of the trial so
11 far, the facts related to the 4th Detachment have not been clarified
12 enough and that the information offered in that respect by the Prosecution
13 witnesses were mainly based on circumstantial knowledge and
14 misinterpretation of unreliable information. Therefore, the Defence
15 dedicated exceptional attention to this issue and believes that after the
16 presentation of the proposed evidence, the Trial Chamber will acquire a
17 full picture, both on the 4th Detachment itself and its position within
18 the 17th Tactical Group of the Yugoslav People's Army, and on the internal
19 organisation of the detachment and the place that Mr. Zaric had in it.
20 Bearing in mind that Mr. Zaric spent the entire time of the war in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina in military, first in the JNA and after its withdrawal,
22 in the army of the Republic of Srpska, Mr. Zaric's Defence will hear the
23 witnesses who are going to speak about Mr. Zaric's activities within the
24 command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade of the army of Republika
25 Srpska in the capacity of the assistant commander for morale, religious,
1 and legal matters. These witnesses will speak about his struggle against
2 all negative phenomena that he had spotted and condemned, as well as on
3 all the consequences that derived therefrom, for him and for his family.
4 Mr. Zaric's Defence, bearing in mind the specific nature of the
5 charges against him, will bring a certain number of witnesses who were
6 members of the Serbian police in Bosanski Samac. Some of them will
7 testify viva voce, some under Rule 92 bis, while some of them have already
8 made their statements in the form of depositions. All these witnesses
9 will testify before the Trial Chamber about what Mr. Zaric did in the
10 police station in Bosanski Samac at the outset of the war, what his
11 function was, who took decisions on arrest and detention of citizens and
12 their possible release, as well as on other circumstances of significance
13 for establishing the facts relating to Mr. Zaric's actions.
14 Concerning the proofing of these facts, the Defence will not limit
15 itself only to the statements of members of the Serbian police, but
16 intends to bring the witnesses who themselves had been arrested by the
17 Serbian police, as well as members of the military, who were Mr. Zaric's
18 superiors and who ordered him to conduct interviews with the detainees in
19 order to acquire information on illegal arming based on ethnic and party
20 affiliation. Particularly, Mr. Zaric's Defence will bring a viva voce
21 witness who was the representative of the Ministry of Defence of Republika
22 Srpska for Odzak, and who will fully explain how the system of military
23 administration functioned in Odzak. This witness will also explain the
24 position of Mr. Zaric in Odzak, the duties that he discharged, and his
1 Bearing in mind rather contradictory statements made by the
2 witness for the Prosecution regarding the facts of Mr. Zaric's appearance
3 on the air, over Radio Bosanski Samac, Mr. Zaric's Defence will bring two
4 witnesses to speak about these circumstances, one of whom was an
5 editor-in-chief of Radio Bosanski Samac in the first month of the war,
6 while the other was a technician in Radio Bosanski Samac. Both witnesses
7 were present on a daily basis on the premises of Radio Samac and have
8 first-hand information about the presence of Mr. Zaric on these premises,
9 as well as of everything that was broadcast on that Radio Bosanski Samac.
10 This case is specific because the defence cases of the accused
11 overlap to a certain extent, and therefore, the Defence of Mr. Zaric
12 relies to a certain extent to the defence of Mr. Tadic, especially in the
13 respect of proving the facts relating to exchanges. Numerous witnesses
14 that were heard by the Defence of Mr. Tadic concerning the organisations,
15 the conditions, and the very implementation of exchanges have already been
16 presented -- a large number of facts have already been presented to this
17 Trial Chamber in this connection. Mr. Zaric's Defence will hear a certain
18 number of witnesses concerning these circumstances, both witnesses who
19 were directly present while the communications were carried out over the
20 radio in the information centre in Bosanski Samac, with representatives of
21 the Odzak municipality, as well as those who were exchanged, including the
22 ones who decided not to be exchanged of their own volition. Some of these
23 witnesses will take the stand viva voce, some under Rule 92 bis. Some
24 already have provided their testimony through depositions. However, a
25 common denominator for all these witnesses is that they all have direct
1 knowledge about the role of Mr. Zaric in the process of exchanges.
2 Mr. Zaric's Defence wishes to reiterate that during the trial so
3 far, it has already become clear that Mr. Zaric was never a member of the
4 commission for exchange of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, and
5 therefore, deems superfluous to present any further evidence along these
7 Mr. Zaric's Defence will call a large number of witnesses in order
8 to give statements on certain events in which Mr. Zaric's name was
9 mentioned by the Prosecution witnesses. Each of these witnesses was also
10 mentioned in the statements of the above-mentioned Prosecution witnesses
11 as direct eyewitnesses of these events. Mr. Zaric's Defence thinks that
12 these witnesses will offer full and true information to the Trial Chamber
13 about what actually happened.
14 One of the witnesses was a driver for the 4th Detachment of the
15 JNA who later joined the 5th Battalion of the army of Republika Srpska,
16 who was with Mr. Zaric on a daily basis, including the time that Mr. Zaric
17 spent in Odzak and in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. The Defence is
18 convinced that his testimony will be extremely important in establishing
19 full truth about the events in the context of which Mr. Zaric had been
20 mentioned. Mr. Zaric's Defence is based primarily on the testimony of
21 eyewitnesses and witnesses who have direct knowledge of the events and
22 acts made by Mr. Zaric in Bosanski Samac and Odzak.
23 A number of documents to be proposed by Mr. Zaric will be --
24 Mr. Zaric's Defence will propose a number of documents to be tendered as
25 exhibits, having in mind first of all that the majority of written
1 evidence disclosed by Mr. Zaric to the Prosecution has already been
2 tendered as exhibit in the procedural of reciprocal disclosure. These
3 written evidence will, above all, paint a picture for the Trial Chamber
4 about which functions and duties Mr. Zaric discharged in Odzak and how he
5 discharged them.
6 Among the evidence that Mr. Zaric's Defence plans to tender during
7 the proceedings is a video footage of the police station in Bosanski
8 Samac, with a detailed layout of rooms, both on the ground floor and on
9 the upper floor, shot from various angles. Through this footage, to be
10 commented on by viva voce witnesses, Mr. Zaric's Defence will undoubtedly
11 demonstrate to what degree unfounded and untrue the allegations are made
12 against Mr. Zaric by certain witnesses for the Prosecution.
13 Finally, the Defence will call three witnesses under Rule 92 bis
14 who will testify on the personality and character of Mr. Zaric. However,
15 many other witnesses, describing certain events that they witnessed and
16 the participation of Mr. Zaric in these events, will offer to the Trial
17 Chamber significant data conducive to getting a full picture about
18 Mr. Zaric's character.
19 I would now like to state specific positions which the Defence of
20 Mr. Zaric would like to prove in its case, in the order they are cited in
21 the fifth amended indictment of the Prosecution. The Defence will prove
22 that Mr. Zaric, before the outbreak of the conflict in Bosanski Samac,
23 during the conflict, and after that, is a person who stayed true to his
24 convictions, a man who never differentiated among people based on their
25 ethnicity, religious belief, or their race, a man who fought against
1 nationalism and chauvinism, regardless of where it came from. He
2 expressed his political positions through membership in the social
3 democratic party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a party whose membership
4 included members of all three peoples who lived there and whose programme
5 never had any national characteristics.
6 Simo Zaric was never a state security service intelligence agent
7 in the then state security service. Already, based on interviews that
8 Mr. Zaric provided to the Prosecution, it is clear that Mr. Zaric was an
9 official of the state security service in the Modrica branch, which was
10 part of the public and State Security Centre, which had its headquarters
11 in Doboj. And during the proceedings, the Defence will explain in detail
12 the nature of the duties that Mr. Zaric was performing.
13 Mr. Zaric did not organise the 4th Detachment of the JNA in 1991,
14 and the Defence will show, first of all, that the 4th Detachment was
15 established by a decision of the commander of the 17th Tactical Group in
16 January of 1992, that this was a military unit of the Yugoslav People's
17 Army which could not be organised by an individual or a group of
18 individuals, but that it was established by the authorised command of the
19 Yugoslav People's Army. Mr. Zaric was a member of the 4th Detachment from
20 its establishment, just like many other Serbs, Muslims, and Croats were,
21 who responded to the mobilisation call. He considered it his civic duty
22 to respond to the call-up to a military unit of his state, and thus fulfil
23 his legal obligation, as well as the right to participate in the defence
24 of his country.
25 By a decision of the commander of the 17th tactical group,
1 Mr. Zaric was appointed assistant commander of the 4th Detachment of the
2 JNA for security, intelligence, questions, morale, and information, and
3 this fact was at no point a matter of dispute between the Defence and the
4 Prosecution of this Tribunal. During presentation of its case, the
5 Defence will prove that Mr. Zaric did not have any command function in the
6 detachment, i.e., that he did not have the right nor the possibility of
7 issuing orders to other members of the detachment, and that this, within
8 the formational structure, was something that could be done only by the
9 commander of the detachment, his deputy, the commanders of the companies,
10 platoons, and squads within the detachment.
11 The Defence will also prove that the tasks Mr. Zaric had and which
12 he carried out in the 4th Detachment related to the gathering of
13 information of significance for the security and passing on this
14 information to the commander of the detachment, as well as to the security
15 officer of the 17th Tactical Group, in the form of regular reports. Also,
16 his duties included work to uplift the morale of detachment members by
17 informing them about the tasks and the objectives of the detachment, and
18 finally, to appear in public on behalf of the detachment and provide
19 information to the public about the detachment.
20 That is the main reason why he was often present and active at
21 meetings and public rallies which were organised in Bosanski Samac before
22 the outbreak of the conflict, as well as in the municipality and the local
23 community of Bosanski Samac.
24 Although in the proceedings so far, the fact of Mr. Zaric's
25 appointment as chief for national security in Bosanski Samac has been
1 explained to a significant degree, the Defence will prove that Mr. Zaric
2 never actually took his duty upon himself, that this service was never
3 established in Bosanski Samac, nor did it ever begin to function. The
4 position that Mr. Zaric had, and the duties that he performed in Odzak, as
5 assistant of the president of the civilian military council for security
6 issues, was never disputed by Mr. Zaric's Defence. The Defence will prove
7 that Mr. Zaric, in carrying out these duties, did not receive
8 instructions, nor did he submit reports to the Crisis Staff of the Samac
9 municipality. By presenting concrete evidence, the Defence will show that
10 Mr. Zaric, in Odzak, just as he did before that in Bosanski Samac, carried
11 out security and intelligence tasks comprising the gathering of
12 information of significance for security and that in the performance of
13 those tasks, he reported exclusively to the military authorities in Odzak,
14 to whom he sent reports about his activities.
15 Mr. Zaric's Defence will prove that between April and July 1992,
16 he did not, together with Mr. Miroslav Tadic, work on organising
17 exchanges. In that time period, Mr. Zaric was engaged on compiling lists
18 of Serbs detained in the territory of the municipality of Odzak, solely
19 because he is from the village of Trnjak-Zorice, which is in the territory
20 of the municipality of Odzak, and thus he knew practically all of the
21 villagers from his village. The list of captured Serbs in the compilation
22 of which Mr. Zaric participated was given to representatives of the Red
23 Cross of the municipality of Bosanski Samac and the activities of
24 Mr. Zaric ended at this point.
25 Mr. Zaric at no time denied that on a couple of occasions he
1 talked with representatives of Odzak by radio at the communication centre
2 of the municipality of Bosanski Samac. The Defence will prove that these
3 conversations took place upon the insistence of the Odzak side and that on
4 that occasion, representatives from Odzak insisted that they wanted to
5 speak with Mr. Zaric himself. The purpose of those conversations and all
6 of the activity of Mr. Zaric was aimed at facilitating contacts between
7 representatives of the municipality of Odzak with a detained priest,
8 Father Jozo Puskaric. The case so far has already indicated that since
9 the end of May 1992, Mr. Zaric did not have any contacts with
10 representatives of Odzak, which the Defence will prove by presenting
11 additional evidence.
12 The Defence will prove that Mr. Zaric did not achieve any kind of
13 agreement with Odzak representatives and that their last contact ended in
14 threats and insults addressed to Mr. Zaric.
15 Mr. Zaric never acted together with Mr. Simic and Mr. Tadic, nor
16 any other person, in planning, instigating, ordering, committing, or
17 otherwise aiding and abetting the planning, preparation, or execution of
18 the unlawful deportation and forcible transfer of the population, based on
19 political, racial, or religious convictions. Evidence so far clearly
20 shows that Mr. Zaric knew Mr. Simic slightly, superficially, that they did
21 not share the same political views, and that they did not have any direct
22 contact before the war; that Zaric never visited Mr. Simic in his
23 apartment, or vice versa.
24 Mr. Zaric did not have any particular contact with Mr. Tadic
25 either, except for the fact that both of them were members of the 4th
1 Detachment and that Mr. Zaric went to the AS cafe on several occasions.
2 Mr. Tadic never went to Mr. Zaric's apartment, and Mr. Zaric, perhaps once
3 or twice, went to Mr. Tadic's apartment during all the years that they
4 have known each other.
5 The Defence of Mr. Zaric will prove that there was no joint
6 enterprise between Mr. Zaric and any other person in the persecution of
7 non-Serb population in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski
8 Samac. Facts indicate, without a doubt, that when we are talking about
9 Mr. Zaric, that would practically mean participation in the expulsion of a
10 large part of his own family, which, for the most part, is not of Serb
11 ethnicity. Neither Mr. Zaric nor the 4th Detachment participated in the
12 forcible takeover of power by Serb forces in the municipality of Bosanski
13 Samac, and the Defence will prove this fact by presenting numerous
15 Based on evidence presented so far, it is clear that the key
16 facilities in the municipality were taken over in the night between the
17 16th and the 17th of April, 1992. The 4th Detachment did not receive any
18 order by the Superior Command to carry out any activities in the town, nor
19 was such an order issued by the commander of the detachment. Members of
20 the 4th Detachment spent that night in the same way as the majority of the
21 citizens of Bosanski Samac: In their houses, on which there are numerous
22 testimonies by Prosecution witnesses. Only during the day of the 17th of
23 April did the 4th Detachment receive an order from the command of the 17th
24 Tactical Group to take defensive positions on the outskirts of the town,
25 on the banks of the Sava and Bosna Rivers, with the aim of preventing an
1 attack by the Croatian army from the Republic of Croatia and units of the
2 Croatian Defence Council from the direction of the Prud and Odzak
3 villages. This order, which was implemented by members of the 4th
4 Detachment, cannot be considered forcible takeover of power in the
5 municipality and was of an exclusively defensive nature in preventing the
6 attack against Bosanski Samac which followed soon after.
7 The Defence will particularly again emphasise the position and the
8 duties that Mr. Zaric had in the 4th Detachment, as well as the fact that
9 he did not have any command authority. In addition to the order to take
10 defence positions, the 4th Detachment received an order to collect illegal
11 military weapons from the citizens who had them in their possession. The
12 Defence will prove that in implementing this order, Mr. Zaric did not take
13 part as a person directly involved but, rather, under the orders of the
14 commander, he supervised how this order was being implemented.
15 In connection with this fact, Mr. Zaric's Defence will bring
16 witnesses who were directly involved and who were eyewitnesses of these
17 events. Count 15(b) of the fifth amended indictment, Mr. Zaric is charged
18 with taking part in unlawful arrests and detention of Bosnian Croats,
19 Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serbian civilians on political, religious,
20 or racial grounds and not for the purpose of their protection and
21 security. The Defence will prove that Mr. Zaric was not in any way
22 involved in the arrest and detention of non-Serbian population in Bosanski
24 The evidence presented so far clearly indicate that neither
25 Mr. Zaric nor any other member of the 4th Detachment of the Yugoslav
1 People's Army arrested a single individual or had such powers. On the
2 contrary, all the witnesses who were heard and who themselves had been
3 arrested and detained stated that they had been arrested either by members
4 of paramilitary forces, the so-called Sareni, or camouflaged, or members
5 of the Serbian police of the public security station in Bosanski Samac.
6 The witnesses that Mr. Zaric's Defence intends to call will
7 corroborate this fact, and it will prove that the only person who was
8 authorised and who made decisions on which persons were going to be
9 arrested and detained was chief of the public security station in Bosanski
10 Samac, Stevan Todorovic. Stevan Todorovic was the only one who decided
11 which individuals would be released from the police station, the TO staff,
12 or any other location in which they were detained.
13 For that purpose, the Defence will bring witnesses who themselves
14 had been detained by the Serbian police. Also, Mr. Zaric's Defence will
15 prove that all the individuals who had been detained during the war in
16 Bosanski Samac were in custody of the Serbian police, that all the guards
17 who guarded the detainees in the public security station, the Territorial
18 Defence building, or in the high school, were members of the Serbian
19 police and that the Serbian police was responsible for the security of
21 In proving these facts, the Defence will primarily rely on the
22 testimonies by witnesses who at the time were members of the Serbian
23 police and who have direct knowledge of all these facts. Mr. Zaric's
24 Defence has never disputed the fact that the individuals detained in the
25 public security station, the Territorial Defence building, and the high
1 school were subjected to beating, torture, and that they were kept in
2 inhumane conditions. What Mr. Zaric's Defence will prove in arguing its
3 case is that Mr. Zaric had never, in any way, took part in the beatings or
4 torturing of detainees or that he exerted any influence on the conditions
5 in which they were kept. Not only that; the Defence will prove that
6 Mr. Zaric publicly condemned these phenomena and did everything within his
7 ability to remove the detainees and spare them the beating and the
9 A variety of evidence of this kind of conduct of Mr. Zaric have
10 been presented during the presentation of the case by the Prosecutor. Let
11 us just recall at this time the testimony given by Sulejman Tihic, Ibrahim
12 Salkic, the Witness N, and others. Further, the Defence will prove that
13 at the time when the torturing and the beating up of the detainees was at
14 its peak, when one of the detainees was murdered, Mr. Zaric initiated and
15 organised a transfer of a large group of detainees to the military
16 barracks in Brcko, and thereby most definitely saved many lives that were
17 in danger.
18 The witnesses for the Prosecution who spoke about this pointed
19 out, without exception, that the conditions in the Detention Unit in Brcko
20 were incomparably better than those in Bosanski Samac, that they were not
21 beaten up, and that they were allowed to take a bath and to receive
22 medical treatment. The Defence will prove that this action of Mr. Zaric
23 was motivated exclusively by reasons of security and safety of detainees
24 and the need to help them by placing them out of the reach of the Serbian
25 police and the volunteers
1 Also, the Defence will prove what kind of consequences were
2 suffered by Mr. Zaric himself as a result of this act, to what kind of
3 humiliation and threats he was exposed on account of this, and how he had
4 to go into hiding because his life was threatened.
5 The Defence will prove that Mr. Zaric had no connection whatsoever
6 with what the Prosecutor calls forced labour and what the Defence refer to
7 as the work obligation by using the formulation or the phrase from the
8 laws then in force. It has become already clear and apparent that
9 engaging individuals for work obligation was exclusively under the
10 jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.
11 In the course of presenting the case, Mr. Zaric's Defence will
12 prove that Mr. Zaric was not in any way involved in that, nor did he have
13 any influence on that.
14 Regarding the charges that Mr. Zaric interviewed the detained
15 Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and other non-Serbian civilians, and
16 forced them to sign false statements made under duress, but without
17 disputing the fact that Mr. Zaric did conduct interviews with a few
18 detainees, the Defence will prove the following: Mr. Zaric conducted
19 interviews with detainees on orders from his superior officers, with a
20 view to gathering security information regarding the illegal arming, based
21 on ethnic and party affiliations. Mr. Zaric had never resorted to force
22 or threats while conducting interviews with the detainees.
23 Everything that the detainees stated during these interviews,
24 Mr. Zaric accurately translated into written statements. Mr. Zaric never
25 forced anyone to sign a written statement. The content of these
1 statements is identical to the one -- to what the Prosecution witnesses
2 heard about the circumstances stated before this Tribunal.
3 Mr. Zaric's Defence would like to underline once again that during
4 the Prosecution case, all witnesses who made statements about these
5 circumstances confirmed that the interviews they had with Mr. Zaric were
6 conducted in a completely fair manner and without any threats or use of
7 force. Mr. Zaric did not take part in any way whatsoever in forcible
8 relocation and expulsion of the Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and other
9 non-Serbian civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, from
10 their homes and villages, by using force, intimidation, and coercion.
11 The Defence will prove that by hearing witnesses who, during the
12 hostilities in Bosanski Samac, abandoned their homes. These witnesses
13 will explain their reasons for abandoning their homes, but also the fact
14 that none of the actions of Mr. Zaric was related to that in any way.
15 Mr. Zaric's Defence will prove that in no way did he participate in
16 plunder and seizure of the property of the Bosnian Croats, Bosnian
17 Muslims, and other non-Serbian civilians, including housing facilities,
18 shops, personal belongings, and livestock, without disputing the fact that
19 there were such incidents in the territory of Bosanski Samac and Odzak
20 while the hostilities were in progress.
21 The Defence will prove that as far back as in 1992, Mr. Zaric
22 publicly pointed to these incidents and condemned it. The Defence will
23 present evidence which will demonstrate what kind of efforts Mr. Zaric
24 personally made in order to protect the property of non-Serbs from seizure
25 and plunder. Mr. Zaric's Defence will particularly, during its entire
1 case, will prove that there did not exist any discriminatory intent on the
2 part of Mr. Zaric against non-Serbian population, by relying on the
3 statements made by the proposed witnesses, but also on the facts that
4 speak undoubtedly in favour of Mr. Zaric, as well as his family situation
5 and his political, sport, and cultural engagement.
6 Finally, Mr. Zaric's Defence will prove that in the period between
7 the 17th of April until 31st of December, 1992, did not commit a crime of
8 deportation as a crime against humanity, punishable under Article 5(D) of
9 the Statute of this Tribunal, or unlawful deportation or relocation as
10 grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, punishable under Article
11 2(G) of the Statute.
12 After presenting its case, Mr. Zaric and his counsels are
13 convinced that this Honourable Trial Chamber will have had a true picture
14 about the personality of Mr. Zaric and his efforts to remain consistent
15 and true to his principles, even under the most difficult war conditions,
16 and to help to anyone he could possibly help, regardless of to which
17 ethnicity or religious group that individual belonged, but also to condemn
18 and stand up against any injustice or crime, regardless of who the
19 perpetrators are.
20 Mr. Zaric has decided, after the Defence has presented its case,
21 to take the witness stand himself before this Trial Chamber, believing
22 that, by way of his testimony, he will contribute to establishing the
23 truth. At the end, Mr. Zaric's Defence will return to what has been said
24 at the beginning of this opening statement. Mr. Zaric has not come before
25 this Tribunal in order to cast a reasonable doubt on the evidence
1 presented by the Prosecution against him. He came here to tell the truth
2 and to use it as an instrument to fight fabricated allegations against
3 himself. Mr. Zaric is convinced that after hearing his Defence case, this
4 Honourable Chamber will pass the only judgement that he himself, but also
5 many other citizens of Bosanski Samac, have been awaiting with impatience,
6 a judgement that Mr. Zaric is not guilty on any counts of the indictment.
7 Such decision of this Honourable Tribunal will make it possible for Mr.
8 Zaric to return to his family and his town with dignity.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Zaric.
10 As was discussed this morning, there's no witness. We will
11 continue with cross-examination tomorrow, Mr. Di Fazio.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: How long do you think you still have to go?
14 MR. DI FAZIO: [Microphone not activated] I'm going to do
15 everything that I possibly can to finish -- I'm going to do everything
16 that I possibly can to try and finish tomorrow, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because you've already got -- you've already
18 gone quite a long way in terms of time.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: I appreciate that, Your Honour. I will re-look
20 again at my notes and I will see if I can cut it down wherever I possibly
21 can. My earnest hopes and endeavours will be to finish tomorrow.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Very well. We shall adjourn and continue our
23 proceedings tomorrow.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.20 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of
1 February 2003, at 2.15 p.m.