1 Monday, 10 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Simic and others.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We are continuing with cross-examination by
9 the Prosecution of Mr. Savo Popovic.
10 Yes. We have to wait for the witness. I'm sure he's still coming
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm informed we have to wait a few minutes for
14 the connection to be made.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I please use this opportunity
18 to -- I have just received the last two statements from the Translation
19 Unit, the bis 92 statements, so we would please like the opportunity now
20 for witnesses Djordje Tubakovic and Stojan Damjanovic to hand in their
21 statements. So if Mr. Usher could please hand out the documents to the
22 Prosecution and the Trial Chamber. The first statement is a bis 92
23 statement by witness Djordje Tubakovic.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, for identification
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will get the numbers later. You can go
3 ahead with the next statement.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. The last 92 bis witness
5 whose statement we would like to give the Chamber is a statement by Stojan
6 Damjanovic. We have now disclosed all 92 bis statements as concern the
7 defence of Miroslav Tadic.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
9 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
11 MR. WEINER: Would it be better to deal with the Simeunovic
12 witness now, the live witness, and get that completed? It's just some
13 re-cross-examination and re-direct, and then finish with this sometime
14 later this morning?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Maybe if I may address. This is
16 unfortunately not possible, because having in mind that we have this
17 witness on videolink, we advise the Victims and Witness Section to bring
18 Mr. Simeunovic only after 10.00. So he's not here at the moment. It's a
19 good suggestion, but we did not really have the idea that this is going to
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I think we'll wait. We'll wait another few minutes
22 and see if we can get connected.
23 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Good morning. We are trying to
24 resolve a problem. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
1 I wanted to ask the Prosecution: On these two statements under
2 Rule 92 bis, how long they think they need for the two statements? I
3 thought they would be able to indicate whether or not -- whatever their
4 position is by Wednesday.
5 MR. WEINER: That's fine, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
7 MR. WEINER: No problem.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall go ahead and get the numbers for the
10 THE REGISTRAR: The first statement and the witness's first and
11 last name is Djordje Tubakovic. That would be marked D184/3 and ter.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. ID for identification.
13 THE REGISTRAR: ID.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: And the next statement, the witness's first and
16 last name, Stojan Damjanovic would be marked as D185/3 and ter ID.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 WITNESS: SAVO POPOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness testifies via videolink]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] I think that for the moment we can
23 start with the witness.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Good morning, Mr. Popovic. We shall continue
25 with cross-examination by the Prosecution.
1 Please, you may sit down.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Popovic. You testified last Thursday --
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Thank you. You testified last Thursday that 16 non-Serb civilians
7 were murdered at Crkvina; isn't that correct?
8 A. I'm sorry. I didn't get it. 60? Did you say 60.
9 Q. No. 16, 1-6.
10 A. I didn't testify as to the number. I said that I was not present,
11 and I didn't count, as has been suggested.
12 Q. Well, you testified that a number of non-Serb men or civilians
13 were murdered at Crkvina; isn't that correct?
14 A. What I said is that we had information that a heinous crime had
15 been committed.
16 Q. Yes. You had information and you used the term horrendous, that
17 there was a horrendous event and that a number of non-Serb men were
18 killed; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in a small municipality such as Samac, the murder of a number
21 of men is a major event. You referred to it as a horrendous event.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you learned of this a few days after it occurred. That's what
24 you testified to.
25 A. Yes. Yes, that's what I said.
1 Q. And the Crisis Staff, you said, also learned about this a few days
2 after it occurred.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And due to its significance and awfulness, or if you want to say
5 disgusting nature of killing a number of people, it wasn't hard to learn
6 about this event; isn't that correct?
7 A. Well, it was kept secret, and that's why the true information
8 never reached the Crisis Staff.
9 Q. Sir, isn't it true that due to the horrendous nature of the event,
10 people knew all about this, or people knew that it had occurred, a number
11 of non-Serb civilians were killed in Crkvina? Isn't that true, sir?
12 A. I'm sorry. I don't think I've understood the question.
13 Q. Isn't it true that due to the horrendous nature and the fact that
14 a large number of people were killed or murdered, it was common knowledge
15 that this incident had occurred in Crkvina?
16 A. I emphasised a moment ago that the information concerning this
17 horrendous crime was eventually found out several days later. That's when
18 I found out about it, and I said that several days later we were told that
19 there was an investigation into the crime.
20 Q. Yes, sir. And several days later, you said a few days later
21 previously, people knew about it because it was a notorious event. People
22 knew about it, including the Crisis Staff, a few or several days later;
23 isn't that correct?
24 A. I've said that already. Yes.
25 Q. Now, you testified that the Crisis Staff learned, a few days
1 later, about this event. Was this -- and that this was a subject of
2 discussion at the Crisis Staff. At how many Crisis Staff meetings in May
3 was this matter discussed? Two, three, four, five? How many meetings?
4 A. It's very difficult for me to answer this now how many meetings
5 exactly. After those events, I found out that there had been an
6 investigation, both by the civilian and by the military authorities. As
7 far as I know, the public security station was in charge of that, and the
8 military authorities too. I had no further information as to what they
9 had done and how they had gone about the investigation, what the procedure
11 Q. No, sir. My question is: How many Crisis Staff meetings? Was it
12 more than one that this matter was discussed? More than one, sir?
13 A. I can't be very accurate on this, whether it was at one or two or
14 more of the meetings. It has been a long time, too long a time, perhaps,
15 for me to specify.
16 Q. Now, sir, at this meeting or the meetings when this matter was
17 discussed, do you recall if Blagoje Simic said anything about this
19 A. As far as I know, he insisted energetically for the crime to be
20 investigated and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
21 Q. What about Simeon Simic, who was the press or information officer
22 for the Crisis Staff? Did he have any comments, since this was a very --
23 since this was a major or a significant matter for Bosanski Samac? Did
24 Simeon Simic say anything about it?
25 A. Now, as to which of the members of the Crisis Staff said what,
1 it's very difficult for me to recall precisely. I did not keep any
2 personal record of the meetings which could assist me now to say exactly
3 who said what. But I know that there was a condemnation of that crime and
4 that we were shocked by what had taken place.
5 Q. And when you say we were shocked, that includes all the members of
6 the Crisis Staff: Simeon Simic, Bozo Ninkovic, who was assisting Simeon
7 Simic and was also assisting on technical matters, Miroslav Tadic, all the
8 members were shocked and condemned it; isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. Now, even though you indicate that you condemn this incident, were
11 any letters written to the military, the republican MUP, the SUP, the
12 Republika Srpska government, concerning this incident or the protection of
13 prisoners? Were any letters written after this incident?
14 A. Well, I didn't take any notes at those meetings. That was for the
15 technical secretary or the lawyer who was involved. Whether they wrote
16 letters to anyone or not, I can't say now. I can't remember. But I know
17 that any conclusions from those meetings that were held were documented,
18 and if that was forwarded to anyone in that case, they should have it, the
19 army, the government, or the police.
20 Q. Blagoje Simic has testified on the 21st of November, 2002, that no
21 letters were ever sent in April, May, June, or July about the safety of
22 the prisoners, no orders were issued, no letters were ever written. Do
23 you agree with that?
24 A. Well, Blagoje Simic was the president, and he was best placed to
25 know. Whether he signed anything or not, whether anything was forwarded
1 to anyone or not. If he said that nothing was, then that means nothing
2 was ever sent. I was just a member who was present. I didn't dictate
3 the documents that were drawn up.
4 Q. So let's get this -- I just want to make sure this is correct.
5 You've testified and Blagoje Simic has testified that numerous letters
6 were sent to help the Serb prisoners in Odzak, but no letters were ever
7 sent by the Crisis Staff to help the non-Serb prisoners in Samac; isn't
8 that correct, sir?
9 A. Well, at first, in Odzak, in the Odzak area, there were about
10 4.000 Serb detainees, mostly women and children, and that's why an appeal
11 was sent out to all the factors to assist in liberating those people so
12 that there would be no consequences.
13 Q. Sir, the question was that letters were sent out on behalf of the
14 Serb prisoners being held in Odzak, but no letters were sent on behalf of
15 the non-Serb prisoners being held in Samac; isn't that correct?
16 A. As far as I know, in Samac, a number of persons were detained and
17 questioned as to whether they had taken part in armament, whether they had
18 been members of any of the units, and I don't know why anyone should
19 request an intervention by any of the international organisations, because
20 that was simply the jurisdiction of the public security station and that's
21 what the procedure was.
22 Q. Sir, my question is -- you can answer it yes or no: Letters were
23 sent out on behalf of the Serbs of Odzak by the Crisis Staff, but the
24 Crisis Staff sent out no letters to any public or international agency on
25 behalf of the non-Serbs of Samac that were being detained; is that
2 A. Yes, we did send a number of things in connection with the
3 International Red Cross. But I think also those over there, when there
4 was an international exchange, contacts were -- contact was made with the
5 International Red Cross. Now, how exactly this was done, whether letters
6 or appeals were sent out, I don't know, because that wasn't part of my
7 job. So I can't specify as to what and how exactly was done.
8 Q. Sir, you're not aware of any letters that were sent out on behalf
9 of the non-Serbs -- the non-Serbs of Samac that were being detained,
10 letters concerning problems relating to their safety? No letters were
11 ever sent out, according to Blagoje Simic. Is that also your view: No
12 letters were sent out by --
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, it's rather a suggestion to my learned
14 friend not the objection. For the sake of the clarity of the transcript,
15 maybe he can make reference of the page number of what exactly Blagoje
16 Simic said and when, so that we can follow the accuracy. Because you
17 mentioned that he testified on the 21st of November last year and on
18 numerous occasions. I believe for the -- in order to clarify that, we
19 have to have a number of transcript, page number, if it's possible.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure the Prosecution can --
21 MR. WEINER: Page 12583.
22 Q. Sir, my question is again: Isn't it true that no letter was sent
23 out by the Crisis Staff of Samac on behalf of the detained prisoners in
24 Samac relating to their safety or their health, no letters were ever
25 sent? That's what Blagoje Simic testified to. Isn't that correct, sir?
1 A. I can't speak on Blagoje Simic's behalf, whether what he said was
2 true or not.
3 Q. Well, your memory: Do you recall any letters being sent out in
4 April, May, or June, relating to the protection, health, and safety of the
5 prisoners of the non-Serb prisoners being held in Samac? Do you recall
6 any letters ever being sent? And when I say "being sent," by the Crisis
8 A. As I've said, I can't specify.
9 Q. All right. Let's move on, sir. You testified last Thursday about
10 an unprompted or spontaneous meeting which occurred at the PIK factory,
11 the PIK company, and there was talk at that meeting about the need for a
12 lawyer for the Crisis Staff. Do you recall that?
13 A. As far as I know, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic was the president of the
14 Executive Board, proposed a lawyer, Mitar Mitrovic, as they were both from
15 Obudovac, they knew each other well.
16 Q. That's correct, sir. Mirko Jovanovic, who was an SDS member,
17 proposed Mitar Mitrovic, who was also an SDS member; isn't that correct?
18 A. I do not know whether he was an SDS member or not.
19 Q. Sir, you testified last week, at page 16306, that both Mirko
20 Jovanovic and Mitar Mitrovic were SDS members. Do you wish to maintain
21 that testimony or do you want to recant that at this point?
22 A. It is possible that he was an SDS member, but as far as my memory
23 serves me, he may have been a radical. From these two options, I don't
24 know whether he was SDS or radical. I don't know. Perhaps at the time
25 when he was proposed which party he belonged to at that very moment when
1 he was proposed, whether he was in the SDS or whether he was in the
2 Radical Party, I don't know. But it would be one of these two.
3 Q. Sir, last week you testified: Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, who was a
4 member of the SDS, and Mitar, as technical secretary, was a member of the
5 SDS. That was your testimony. Do you still maintain that both of those
6 individuals were members of the SDS or do you wish to change your
7 testimony? Maybe something happened over the weekend that would make you
8 change your testimony.
9 A. No, no. I do not wish to change my testimony. No.
10 Q. Now, sir, you testified that you attended the Serbian Municipal
11 Assembly meeting of March 28th, 1992. Do you recall that? Remember in
12 Obudovac, where they had the elections? Do you recall that, sir?
13 A. I was present as an observer.
14 Q. And sir, isn't it true at that meeting on March 28th, 1992, Mitar
15 Mitrovic was appointed the secretary of the Serbian Municipal Assembly of
16 Samac, on that date? Isn't that true, sir?
17 A. I didn't take part. I was not a deputy of that assembly. I was
18 an observer. I attended. I was present in the hall, among the others who
19 came to see what was happening. So I can't say or claim 100 per cent what
20 whoever from the elected got which appointment, whether they were elected
21 as the secretary of the municipality.
22 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown Exhibit P124 ter, please.
23 Q. Sir, can you see that document?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Page 19 in the English and page 9 in the B/C/S. Can you see it
1 now, sir, section 10?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Well, sir, let me read to you from the Official Gazette of the
4 municipality of Samac, the same one that we were looking at last week:
5 "Mitar Mitrovic B.L., is hereby appointed secretary of the Samac
6 Municipal Assembly." That's Article 1.
7 Article 2: "This notice shall be published in the official organ
8 of the municipality." Date: March 28th, 1992, signed by Dusan Tanasic,
9 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly.
10 Based on what I just read to you, Mitar Mitrovic was appointed the
11 secretary of the Samac Municipal Assembly three weeks prior to that April
12 meeting that you talked about; isn't that correct?
13 A. From this decision, that can be seen, but I don't know when that
14 decision was compiled, and probably because of that, Mirko Jovanovic as
15 the president of the Executive Board, proposed Mr. -- this gentleman to
16 come and work.
17 Q. But all I'm saying, sir, is Mitar Mitrovic was appointed as
18 secretary of the Serbian Municipal Assembly of Samac three weeks prior to
19 that meeting at the PIK; isn't that correct, based on what I read to you?
20 A. Well, yes, it's true.
21 Q. In fact, sir, were you aware, on the day prior to that meeting,
22 the day prior to that meeting which you attended on March 28th, the
23 Municipal Assembly, that in Sarajevo, Radovan Karadzic ordered that crisis
24 staffs be immediately established, and this was at the Serb Assembly:
25 " The moment you arrive in your municipalities, you must urgently
1 establish crisis staffs."
2 Were you aware of that statement by Radovan Karadzic on the 27th
3 of March, 1992, one day prior to the decision to establish the Crisis
4 Staff at the local Municipal Assembly?
5 A. No. I didn't know about that. I wasn't aware of such a decision
6 or an order that Karadzic furthered or forwarded --
7 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
9 MR. PANTELIC: On the basis that to some extent this witness can
10 be misled by this question. Page 13, line 3, 4, and 5. Maybe it can be
11 rephrased, because otherwise it's unclear what my learned friend said one
12 day prior to the decision to establish the Crisis Staff. Which decision?
13 How he came to this conclusion? Maybe we can clarify that in the
14 question. The question was not so clear, you know.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, counsel is taking the question out of
16 context. He doesn't look at the part on page 12 that's right in front of
17 it. But I'd be happy to clarify it a little bit too.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. WEINER: It's just taken out of context.
20 Q. Sir, Mr. Karadzic's speech was at the 14th assembly session of the
21 assembly of Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 27th, 1992, in
22 Sarajevo, and on that date, Radovan Karadzic said: "You must -- the
23 moment you arrive in your municipalities, you must urgently establish
24 crisis staffs." He said that in a speech to the delegates. And on the
25 following day, you know, as we discussed last week, that a decision was
1 made in Obudovac to establish a municipal Crisis Staff.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. I think it's another sort
3 of manipulation of my learned friend. Where we have a document that in
4 Obudovac the decision was made to create a Serbian Crisis Staff, and
5 speaking of specifically date 28th of March because we are around that
6 date. So maybe, in fairness to this witness, if my learned friend has
7 some of this assumptions, he should show him where it says when it was
8 adopted and then he can elicit the answer from this witness.
9 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we did that last week.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic, this witness attended the
11 meetings. Most of these questions are within his knowledge, so let him
13 MR. PANTELIC: I understand, Your Honour. Thank you. But please,
14 he's speaking on page 13, line 25, that the decision was made in Obudovac
15 to establish a municipal Crisis Staff. And furthermore, he's relating to
16 the date of 27th of March. We all know that certain discussion was made
17 at the level of the Executive Board of the Serbian municipality, and it
18 was two weeks later than this day. It was prior to the outbreak of the
19 hostilities in the municipality. So my basis for my submission here and
20 objection is that my learned friend is trying to confuse the witness,
21 because there are two separate decisions of two separate organs, on two
22 separate dates. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, go ahead.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
25 Q. Sir, let me read you Mr. Karadzic's statement: "We know that our
1 people have armed themselves. We don't know the various ways and means by
2 which this was done, but we do know that the people have enough weapons.
3 I must say, however, that we do not have paramilitary units. When you
4 return to your municipalities, especially the newly formed municipalities,
5 I ask you to do what you are required and entitled to do under the law.
6 The moment you arrive in your municipalities, you must urgently establish
7 crisis staffs."
8 Now, sir, you testified last week, or you agreed last week, based
9 on looking at the Official Gazette that, on March 28th a decision was made
10 to establish a Crisis Staff in Obudovac; isn't that correct, one day after
11 Radovan Karadzic's speech to the Assembly of Serbian People?
12 A. You've presented a decision of the Executive Board, and I've told
13 you about it. I was not present. I was not a member of the SDS or a
14 deputy. You have to put in the context of the Municipal Assembly, and
15 then I had the decision of the Executive Board presented to me. So what I
16 said --
17 Q. Sir, my question to you is: You testified last week -- you read
18 those articles at that meeting that you attended in Obudovac, where the
19 decision was made to establish a Crisis Staff, and that was -- that
20 decision was on the 28th of March, 1992. Isn't that one day after
21 Karadzic's speech on March 27th? Yes or no, sir.
22 A. I said that the first time -- that was the first time I saw such a
23 decision, and I cannot state here yes or no. And I said the last time the
24 same. I don't know why you're insisting now on it when I was not a
25 participant. I was not a deputy at this assembly to say whether I was or
1 not Executive Board member. I was not participating in the making of
2 decisions. I said the first time here, when it was presented to me,
3 that's when I saw such decisions. It's the first time here that I saw
4 such decisions.
5 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you if you were a member at that time. You
6 admitted that you had attended that meeting. So isn't it fair to say
7 that, based on what you read and what you observed, a plan was established
8 for the -- a plan was ruled on to establish a Crisis Staff on the 28th of
9 March, which was one day after Karadzic's speech? Isn't that correct?
10 A. No. I don't know about such a thing, and I cannot confirm that it
11 was like that.
12 Q. Let's move on, sir. You testified last week about your
13 brother-in-law, Colonel Mico Djordjevic [sic]; isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes. He's a relative of mine.
15 Q. And you testified that he was commander of the 2nd Posavina
16 Brigade sometime in May of 1992; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. And can you tell us: How old was he 11 years ago, when he
19 commanded the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
20 MR. PANTELIC: Just a correction to the transcript, because it
21 might be important. In page 16, line 16, instead of Djordjevic, it
22 should be Djurdjevic, D-J-U, et cetera. Because we have two almost
23 similar names here, Djordjevic Crni and Djurdjevic. So it might be of
24 importance to clarify this. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. We should have the correct names,
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Could you tell us how old he was 11 years ago, sir?
4 A. He may have been in his 50s. Whether he was a couple of years
5 older or younger than that, I cannot tell you.
6 Q. Sir, he wasn't aged or elderly?
7 A. Well, he is about my age.
8 Q. At that time, he wasn't aged or elderly?
9 A. Well, depends how you look at it, really. A person who is in his
10 50s or 60s or 40s, whether that person is old or not old, or that person
11 has vitality or not. But let's say that he was not elderly.
12 Q. Thank you. And he wasn't feeble-minded or mentally incompetent,
13 sir; isn't that correct?
14 A. No, he was not.
15 Q. And sir, he was having no problems commanding the 2nd Posavina
16 Brigade due to his age; isn't that correct? He wasn't too old to command?
17 A. No, he wasn't.
18 Q. Now, sir, in fact, he was given another post as commander of the
19 1st Brigade in Brcko, which was much larger; isn't that correct?
20 A. Well, according to the establishment, it was probably like that.
21 That's what he told me. It was --
22 Q. I'm sorry. You said, "It was..." And I didn't get the last of
23 your statement, sir.
24 A. I said that for him it was to take over the command, over the 1st
25 Posavina Brigade, was a lot more important.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in your Crisis Staff meetings you attended
2 in May and June and let's say early June of 1992, did Crisis Staff members
3 discuss any problems with Colonel Djurdjevic commanding his brigade, due
4 to his age? Was that ever discussed in the Crisis Staff among the Crisis
5 Staff members?
6 A. As far as I know, if I was present, it was never in relation to
7 his age, but there were certain problems that he brought up during a
8 visit, that there was a pressure from the side of Crni, and his henchmen.
9 Q. Sir, relating to age, strictly relating to age, were there any
10 issues before the Crisis Staff indicating that he was too old to command?
11 Did the Crisis Staff members among themselves discuss that at a meeting?
12 A. As far as I know, they didn't say that. Perhaps somebody said
13 that, but not while I was present, because, of course, we were related in
14 some way, so when I was present, nobody ever said a thing like that.
15 Q. Sir, did the Crisis Staff members, including yourself, Blagoje
16 Simic, ever contact Colonel Dencic and indicate that they were having
17 problems with Colonel Djurdjevic, Colonel Djurdjevic's command of the 2nd
18 Posavina Brigade, based on his age? Were any of those contacts made?
19 A. I did not, as far as I know -- we were not in contact with Mr.
20 Dencic. I never saw him. Personally, I never met him.
21 Q. Sir, well, you didn't, but did Blagoje Simic or any members of the
22 Crisis Staff go and meet with Colonel Dencic, relating to problems of
23 Colonel Djurdjevic's command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, due to his
24 advanced age? Were there any of those types of meetings with Blagoje
25 Simic or Simeon Simic with Colonel Dencic, or any members of the Crisis
1 Staff that you're aware of?
2 A. I said last time in relation to this that here you have to not
3 take into consideration the Crisis Staff, because if Mr. Dencic gave him
4 an order to go to the 1st Posavina Brigade, that he was too old for the
5 2nd and not for this one, then I said that in this part of the
6 participation of changing the place of Mr. Djurdjevic, that was only
7 Stevan Todorovic who had taken part in that, and Crni and all the others.
8 Q. Sir, my question is: Did the members of the Crisis Staff,
9 including Blagoje Simic, a defendant in this case, or Miroslav Tadic, have
10 meetings with Colonel Dencic relating to problems of Colonel Djurdjevic
11 due to his advanced age was unable to command the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
12 Are you aware of any meetings of that type?
13 A. As far as I know, the answer is no, they didn't meet for that. It
14 is possible, though, that they did meet without telling me.
15 Q. Are you aware, sir -- we've had testimony in this case from the
16 defendant Blagoje Simic that he did in fact communicate with Colonel
17 Dencic and have a meeting with him. I'd like to read to you just a
18 section from the transcript of November 14th, 2002, at page 12300.
19 Q. Did you communicate with Colonel Dencic?
20 Blagoje Simic's answer: "Yes, once."
21 Q. And when was that and on what occasion?
22 A. It was -- it had to do with the visit in Ugljevik
23 and the pressure by the army too, that Colonel Djurdjevic, because of his
24 advanced age, was no longer able to command the army.
25 Q. And that was when, approximately?
1 A. I think it was in the period beginning of June.
2 Sir, did you attend that meeting with Blagoje Simic and Colonel
3 Dencic where problems relating to Colonel Djurdjevic were discussed
4 because of his advanced age, he was unable to command the 2nd Posavina
5 Brigade? Did you attend that meeting, sir?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And you weren't even aware of that meeting being held in Ugljevik?
8 A. No, I was not aware. The first I hear of it.
9 Q. And sir, isn't it a fact that there were other things that they
10 never told you that happened, just like that meeting? Not being an SDS
11 member, you weren't informed prior to April 17th about the different
12 policies and plans of the SDS; isn't that true, prior to April 17th?
13 A. I was not a member of the SDS; therefore, none of them informed me
14 as a member.
15 Q. So Blagoje Simic didn't discuss what orders he was receiving from
16 the SDS leadership, he didn't discuss that with you prior to April 17th?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Blagoje Simic didn't discuss with you what conversations he was
19 having with the SDS leadership prior to April 17th?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And you didn't know what, if any, conversations or meetings
22 Blagoje Simic was having with the SDS leadership prior to April 17th, did
24 A. I'm not sure what you're referring to. Do you mean the municipal
25 leadership or a different level of leadership?
1 Q. The republican-level leadership: Karadzic, Krajisnik, Plavsic,
2 the SDS Main Board.
3 A. Well, I told you that I didn't take part in SDS party meetings,
4 the events surrounding the setting up, the establishment of the
5 municipality, I did follow, because I was interested, and I did attend
6 those meetings, but not the rest of their meetings.
7 Q. Sir, were you present in 1992 and 1993, when Blagoje Simic met or
8 spoke with Karadzic or General Mladic? Were you present for any meetings
9 or conversations?
10 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. Maybe this line of
11 questions could be rephrased in order not to establish certain unfair
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, there is nothing wrong with this
14 question. Will you stop interrupting the proceedings. There is nothing
15 wrong with this question.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: He is being asked whether he was present. That's
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but allegedly present, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Allegedly, that would be fair.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness knows whether or not he was present and
23 he will be able to answer. Will you please keep quiet and just sit down.
24 Stop interrupting the proceedings.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Sir, were you present for any meetings or conversations between
3 Blagoje Simic and Radovan Karadzic or General Mladic in 1992 or 1993?
4 A. No, and I don't know whether they had meetings.
5 Q. Did Blagoje Simic ever inform you or other members of the Crisis
6 Staff about communications he had with the SDS Main Board or Serb
8 A. At meetings of the Executive Board, no such information was made
9 public. That's as far as I can remember. This was ten years ago. I
10 don't think any such information was disclosed. If there had been indeed
11 any such information, this would have been kept within the limits of the
12 close circle of the SDS members, and I was myself not a member.
13 Therefore, I cannot be any more accurate than I've tried to be.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Intervention to the transcript. Page 22, line 12.
15 Maybe something which -- I don't know what the witness exactly said,
16 because the question was related to the Crisis Staff, and in his answer on
17 page 22, line 12, he's speaking about Executive Board. So maybe we can
18 clarify that.
19 MR. WEINER:
20 Q. Sir, in your answer, you stated that at meetings of the Executive
21 Board, no such information was made public. Did you mean the Crisis
22 Staff, sir?
23 A. The Crisis Staff and the Executive Board were not the same thing.
24 Therefore, whether the Executive Board discussed this or had information
25 on it, because I was not a member of the Executive Board and I was not
1 familiar with their procedures and with the items discussed at their
2 meetings; therefore, that's why I'm saying that I cannot provide an answer
4 Q. Sir, when Biljana Plavsic stated that the leaders of the SDS and
5 the Serb leaders provided direction to the municipal leaders, you can't
6 tell us what information they provided to the SDS leadership, because you
7 weren't part of the SDS in 1992 or 1993; isn't that correct? And I mean
8 the SDS municipal leadership of Samac.
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Since we're limited on time this morning, sir, let's move a little
11 bit ahead to Odzak. You testified that while you were a member of the
12 Crisis Staff, you were assigned to Odzak and you became a member of the
13 civilian military council; isn't that correct?
14 A. The Executive Council, yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, objection. I didn't hear that
16 this witness testified that he was a member of civilian military council.
17 He was a member of council of military administration, which is rather
18 different. So maybe my learned friend can be precise with the
19 constructions. And because he just provided me this morning one document,
20 and he can find it on -- it's internal page 03003199, where the -- there
21 is a translation that he was -- Mr. Popovic was president of council of
22 military administration, or military administration council, anyhow.
23 MR. WEINER: It's been referred to several different names, but
24 let's just refer to it as the council, just to move along.
25 Q. Sir, you indicated that you were a member of this council, this
1 military council; isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes. Yes, a member of the civilian council.
3 Q. And --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you ask the witness -- he knows what the correct
6 MR. WEINER:
7 Q. Sir, what is the correct name of this council? We've had several
8 names, the civilian military council, the civilian war council, the
9 military council. What was the correct name, according to yourself?
10 A. The names that we used, military council, executive council,
11 civilian council. Because no document ever ascertained with accuracy, no
12 military administration document, as to what the name of the council
13 should actually be. There is no written document on that. The members of
14 the council simply gave it a name. We christened it, in a manner of
15 speaking, and we used those different names, in communication with other
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, sir, you were involved in economic affairs
18 on that council, sir, weren't you?
19 A. Yes, economic affairs, as far as the civilian sector is concerned.
20 Q. And also in that council was Simo Zaric, a defendant in this case?
21 A. Simo Zaric was added, that is, Simo Zaric and myself were told to
22 go to Odzak and that there we would join the work on organising civilian
23 life. This is the part of work that was assigned to me. And Simo had
24 civilian and military intelligence work. We were supposed to have those
25 areas of activity. And as far as I know, Simo established contact with
1 security organs of the Tactical Group, that is, in the area of
2 responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps.
3 Q. Now --
4 A. That's what Simo did.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, you, sir, were more than just a council member.
6 You were the president or the head of that council; isn't that correct,
8 A. That's correct, but no one ever said or wrote that. They simply
9 came up to me and told me: You will head the council. Council will be
10 appointed to include delegates across the local communes, and that's how I
11 was promoted and became the president.
12 Q. Sir, other people, including Simo Zaric, have indicated that you
13 were the president or head of that council, so people were aware that you
14 were the head or president of that council; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Now --
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. You held that position, you indicated, until the end of March.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And at that point you said you were discharged from that. Did you
21 serve as head of the council any time after March, say in April, May, or
22 June? Did you -- did they rename you head of that council after you were
23 discharged in March?
24 A. A new order came on the appointment of the military
25 administration, and the military administrators took over the whole
1 thing. You can see that the council at that time no longer existed. But
2 rather, we were distributed according to our sectors. My sector was
3 economy, another person had public utility, so the whole thing no longer
5 Q. Now, okay. So there were no council meetings. You didn't attend
6 any meetings as council president after you were discharged; isn't that
8 A. We would be called by the new commander of the military
9 administration to attend meetings, but not all of us at once. He called
10 whoever he needed at a certain point in time. Then he would call the
11 person, talk to the person, and make certain agreements with that specific
13 Q. Now, when you had these meetings, did you ever have meetings with
14 Blagoje Simic or any Crisis Staff members? Did they ever come to Odzak?
15 We're talking in 1993. You mentioned you saw Blagoje Simic two or three
16 times in 1992. Was Blagoje Simic there at meetings or visiting you in
18 A. I know that the new commanders, they kept changing, and they would
19 go to the seats of the municipalities, Samac, Modrica, or Brod. They
20 would talk with the Executive Council and with the heads of
21 municipalities. I'm not sure if Blagoje ever came in 1993. I can't be
22 positive. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But as I no longer held that
23 sort of a position in the new administration, I can't claim with any
24 certainty whether he came in 1993 or not. Personally, I didn't see him.
25 Q. Sir, I'd like to have you look at a document.
1 MR. WEINER: If we can show it over the ELMO.
2 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at in a second the notes of Colonel
3 Ratomir Simic, who you mentioned in your testimony on Thursday, and it
4 relates to a meeting on the 12th of May, 1993. Can you see it,
5 sir? Can you see it in front of you? I'm not sure if it's working?
6 THE REGISTRAR: [In Belgrade] Is it possible [inaudible] --
7 A. I'm looking.
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Do you see the top where it says "12th of May, 1993," the third
10 line down? Do you see the list of participants, the nine participants in
11 the meeting, and number 2 is Savo Popovic, head of the Odzak military
12 administration council?
13 A. President of the council.
14 Q. Okay. And then it says "Blagoje Simic, president of the Samac
15 municipality." Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, yes, I do.
17 Q. Sir, so you were president of the Odzak military administration
18 council after March, after the end of March 1993?
19 A. Formally, yes.
20 Q. And Blagoje Simic did attend this meeting with you. Do you recall
21 this meeting?
22 A. Now that I look at this document, yes, you can clearly see that
23 there was a meeting. But it's been a long time, so I'm afraid I can't be
24 very accurate. This means that there was a meeting, obviously.
25 Q. Well, sir, can you look at page 2?
1 MR. WEINER: Can I see the B/C/S equivalent, please.
2 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to look at -- it looks like the first full
3 paragraph on that page, or it could be the second paragraph on yours. It
4 says: "In answer to General Subotic's question whether Odzak had been
5 destroyed after the liberation and whether it could be settled with five
6 to six thousand refugees, Savo Popovic replied that 80 to 90 per cent of
7 the houses in Serbian villages had been destroyed, while in the Croatian
8 villages, some houses remained intact, and building material should be
9 taken from them, while the rest should be levelled to the ground."
10 Do you recall saying that to General Subotic?
11 A. I didn't say that. These are minutes, and I don't know what the
12 person was taking the minutes said. I never saw this, nor did the person
13 who was taking the minutes show me anything. I was talking about Serbian
14 villages, you see, and said that Croatian villages were not levelled to
15 the ground. I think that's a very arbitrary wording.
16 Q. Because obviously, if the Croat homes were levelled, they couldn't
17 be rebuilt or repaired; isn't that correct, sir, and these people could
18 not come back?
19 A. Both Serbian and Croatian were destroyed, and yet, people came
20 back. People repaired their houses. People brought along construction
21 materials and they mended the buildings.
22 Q. But if you level the Croat homes to the ground, you couldn't
23 repair them; isn't that correct, sir?
24 A. Well, you know, I didn't myself take any part in the reparation of
25 those buildings, so I can't talk from personal experience, because I was
1 not the one destroying the buildings or the one issuing the orders for
2 these buildings to be destroyed.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Objecting. It's for the third
5 time that this witness said that, number one, he was not -- he didn't say
6 that, that probably it's a construction of Colonel Simic. Secondly, that
7 he was not involved in that, so I don't know why --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, why are you interrupting? The witness
9 was there. The witness knows what he's talking about. Let the witness
10 answer, that's all.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I let him to answer Your Honour --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Just sit down. The questions are very clear. The
13 witness is able to say whether he said anything like that which is
14 recorded in this document. What's your problem? Mr. Weiner go ahead.
15 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Now, sir, Colonel Ratomir Simic, who drafted this document, he was
17 the commander of the TG 1 military unit in Odzak; isn't that correct?
18 A. He was the head of the military administration and the commander
19 of the TG.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. WEINER: Your Honours, I'd like to move the admission of this
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked P169 and ter.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, are you continuing or you are through?
1 MR. WEINER: Yes.
2 Q. Sir, you talked about people returning to Odzak. I have a few
3 questions. Isn't it true that there were once thousands of non-Serbs,
4 Muslims and Croats, living in Odzak, actually, tens of thousands were
5 living in Odzak prior to July of -- maybe June or July of 1992? There
6 were tens of thousands, or over 20.000, non-Serbs, meaning Muslims and
7 Croats, living in Odzak; isn't that correct?
8 A. In the area of the Odzak municipality, there were both Croats and
9 Muslims, and Serbs living.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpretation didn't get the last part of
11 the answer.
12 MR. WEINER:
13 Q. And there were thousands --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, the interpreters said they didn't get
15 the last part. Can the witness repeat his last answer, please.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Sir, the interpreters didn't receive the last part of your answer,
18 could you repeat that again, please.
19 A. I said that Croats and Muslims did live in Odzak municipality, but
20 as far as I know, the Muslims only lived in the town itself.
21 Q. But sir, weren't there -- regardless of where they lived in the
22 municipality, weren't there thousands of non-Serbs living in that
24 A. Yes. How many exactly, I can't tell you off the top of my head,
25 if there were 15 or 20,000 of them. But yes, there were quite many, and
1 they were the predominant population in Odzak municipality.
2 Q. And you agree, sir, that many of them, a large number, left as the
3 Serb forces advanced and took over the town?
4 A. As far as I know, before the Serb forces came, for a couple of
5 days, both the Croats and Muslims left the area of Odzak municipality,
6 perhaps on orders by the HVO or another unit.
7 Q. And do you agree that those who stayed, those Muslims and Croats
8 who stayed, were forced out or killed by Serb forces? Do you agree with
9 that statement?
10 A. I said, according to my information, when the units of the 1st
11 Krajina Corps came in, there were no Croats or Muslims there. Therefore,
12 we can't talk about the use of force, if they had left the area, taking
13 with them even a number of Serbs who were in prisons or camps. They took
14 them to Brod and to other places in Croatia.
15 Q. Sir, so you don't agree with that statement. Do you agree with
16 the statement that the other non-Serbs were forced out after the Serbian
17 population returned? Do you agree with that statement, sir?
18 A. Serbs began to return after several days, following the release
19 and the exchange that was done with the Croatian forces. Therefore, Serb
20 retainees could not expel Croats or Muslims who were no longer there in
21 the area.
22 Q. Sir, do you agree that by the date of the signing of Dayton, out
23 of the thousands or the large population of non-Serbs, few, if any,
24 remained by that time?
25 A. After Dayton, in late 1993, I practically took up another
1 position. I was a director in a company, and I was no longer involved and
2 I no longer knew what happened as far as that area was concerned.
3 Q. We'll get back to that in probably about a minute, but let me ask
4 you this: You know Milan Simic, who was a defendant in this case? Do you
5 know Milan?
6 A. Milan Simic, yes.
7 Q. And he was an economist and president of the Samac Executive
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you testified that you had contact while you were on the
11 council with the Samac Executive Board; isn't that correct?
12 A. I said that, as far as subordination or seniority is concerned, in
13 the Crisis Staff, had we carried any real influence, then I probably
14 wouldn't have gone to Milan to appeal for funds to be used for food for
15 those who were returning to the Odzak area, in order to be better able to
16 organise their life. That's what the contacts were about.
17 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, it's time for the break now.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue our
19 proceedings at 1100 hours.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. Since we couldn't start right away
23 because of the technical problems, you have another 20 minutes to complete
24 your cross-examination.
25 MR. WEINER: That's all I plan to use, is another 20 minutes, Your
1 Honour. Thank you. I feel I should also be given some time to make up
2 for the objections.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
4 MR. WEINER:
5 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that you knew Milan Simic and that you had
6 worked with him on some Odzak matters. Did Milan Simic help you or assist
7 you at all?
8 A. Yes. He helped on our insistence, in terms of oil supply -- fuel
9 supply and foodstuffs.
10 Q. And whenever you called on Milan, was he pretty much always able
11 to help you, or did he help you whenever he could?
12 A. Well, there were situations, objectively speaking, when he was
13 able to, and sometimes when he didn't have it at his disposal, or the
14 municipality didn't have it at its disposal. He did something when he was
15 able to, whether he did it to the degree that was required, that's another
17 Q. Did you get along with Milan Simic, get along well with him?
18 A. I didn't have any particular problems in relation to him
19 personally. He did his work. I was elsewhere. So when we had dealings,
20 that was an opportunity for us to be in contact, to meet.
21 Q. And did you trust him? Was he fair with you when you asked for
23 A. Well, it was his duty, as president of the Executive Board, to,
24 whatever he was able to do, in terms of Samac municipality, helping for
25 the people or to the people who were in the Odzak municipality, then he
1 was fulfilling his duty, his obligations. There were situations when
2 intervention should have been made, in the sense that pressure should have
3 been exerted when there were shortages, and we needed things, so then
4 sometimes there would just -- he would just have to insist on some
6 Q. Okay. Now, you're aware that Milan Simic has pled guilty in this
7 case and as part of his plea he's admitted to certain criminal activity.
8 You're aware of that, aren't you?
9 A. I didn't read, and I wasn't -- I'm not aware of everything. I
10 know that he was sentenced. I wasn't in touch with him so that I would
11 know all the details. I just know that he was convicted and that he had
12 partly accepted some responsibility.
13 Q. Sir, according to the sentencing judgement, at page 5, Milan Simic
14 does not dispute and agrees that the government would have proven or that
15 the Prosecution would have proven, paragraphs 36 and 37 of the
16 indictment. And I have the B/C/S copy from the current indictment, which
17 are the same paragraphs, registry's version, paragraphs 28 and 29 in
18 B/C/S. And if you can look at those, I'd like to read those to you. In
19 the fourth indictment that Milan Simic pled guilty to, he admitted to,
20 paragraphs 36 and 37, which are 28 and 29 in the B/C/S version. You
21 should have them on the ELMO, on the screen in front of you, sir. Can you
22 see them? And I'd like to read those to you. Paragraph 36, which is your
23 28, paragraph in front of you: "On or about 13 July 1992, the 1st Krajina
24 Corps of the Bosnian Serb army seized control of the neighbouring
25 municipality of Odzak by force. As the Serb military forces advanced on
1 Odzak, the majority of the non-Serb residents fled the area. Those
2 non-Serbs who had not fled before the takeover fled, were killed, or were
3 forced to leave."
4 And I'll continue, paragraph 37, the next paragraph:
5 "Prior to July 1992, approximately 22.500 Bosnian Croat Muslim
6 residents, out of a population of 30.000, lived in Odzak municipality. In
7 November of 1995 -- I'm sorry, in November 1995, at the time of the
8 signing of the Dayton peace agreement, virtually all of the 22.500 Bosnian
9 Croat and Bosnian Muslim residents had fled or were forced to leave the
10 municipality -- I'm sorry, the Odzak municipality."
11 Did I read that correctly, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is that what happened? People either fled or they were forced to
14 leave or killed?
15 A. Well, I know that people were forced. That's what we were told by
16 the HVO, they were forced to leave, and that's what they did. But here,
17 there's also talk of people being killed. If there were, I wouldn't have
18 been able to know who, when this territory was being -- people being
19 forced out of the territory, if Milan knew, then --
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... is not
21 accurate. Here it says, on page 35, "that's what we were told by the
22 HVO," which would suggest that this witness was told by the HVO what
23 happened, and this is not what he was testifying.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: I think even the gaps, I think the interpreters
25 didn't get everything. Can the witness simply repeat the answer.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Sir, could you please repeat your answer, sir.
3 A. I also spoke previously that we had information at the Crisis
4 Staff that the HVO had ordered people to leave the territory before the
5 1st Krajina Corps arrived, and practically all of the population were
6 taken to the Croatian territory. I don't know anything about people
7 killed, that there were people killed. That could have been -- could be
8 known by those who participated in taking over of this territory, and I
9 was not one of the participants.
10 Q. Sir, were you aware of Serb forces forcing people to leave --
11 forcing non-Serbian residents to leave Odzak?
12 A. I don't know about that, because we did not take part. Our units
13 or Crisis Staff, they did not take part in taking over that territory, so
14 I don't know whether there was or there wasn't. I can't possibly give an
15 affirmative answer.
16 Q. Sir, Biljana Plavsic has indicated that the Bosnian military
17 police and civilian forces, under the control of the SDS and the Serbian
18 leadership, collaborated with the JNA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of
19 Serbia, and paramilitary units from within and outside of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to implement the objective of ethnic separation by
21 force. That's what one of the Serbian leaders has stated as part of her
22 plea of guilt. Isn't that consistent with Milan Simic's testimony that
23 people were forced -- were killed or forced to leave Odzak? Isn't that
24 consistent, sir?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. I don't believe that we
1 heard the testimony of Mr. Milan Simic. If my learned friend makes
2 certain references, it should be --
3 MR. WEINER: It's plea agreement. It's plea agreement. You're
4 wasting time, Mr. Pantelic. You're wasting my time.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because it's a public record.
6 MR. WEINER:
7 Q. Sir, isn't the statement of Milan Simic in his plea agreement of
8 people being forced to leave Odzak or being killed, these are non-Serbs,
9 isn't that consistent with Biljana Plavsic's statement, factual statement
10 for her plea that the JNA, the MUP, and many of these organisations
11 collaborated to force non-Serbs to leave their municipalities? Isn't that
13 A. Well, you're asking me to comment on what Biljana said in court.
14 What Milan Simic said in court, and whether this is consistent or not. If
15 you please, I cannot enter into details of what their testimony is and
16 their behaviour, whether it's consistent or not. Probably they know why
17 they said it, how they said it, and what kind of statements they gave. I
18 don't see why I should offer any comment on that to say whether Milan is
19 right or not and whether Biljana Plavsic said what she said.
20 Q. [Microphone not activated] Sir, the question is: Milan Simic's
21 statement that people were forced to leave and Biljana Plavsic's statement
22 that all these groups; the JNA, the MUP, the military --
23 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Microphone, please.
24 MR. WEINER: Sorry.
25 Q. Milan Simic's statement that people were forced to leave and
1 Biljana Plavsic's statement that it was a policy to force people to leave,
2 aren't those consistent?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to object. The
4 Prosecutor has now stated twice what Milan Simic said as his testimony. I
5 have to put it on the record that the plea agreement is still under seal.
6 Only parts that are in the verdict, in the judgement, can be quoted. The
7 Prosecutor should quote anything to do with the judgement, but the entire
8 plea agreement and the testimony of Milan Simic is under seal. I would
9 like the Prosecutor to be very accurate.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, page 5 of the judgement indicates which
11 facts and allegations Milan Simic agrees to, and it says: "Paragraphs 28
12 to 30, 32 to 34 and 36 to 37 of the indictment," and that's exactly what I
13 just read to him.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. WEINER: Just as it states in the --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps Mr. Lukic should be more careful in
17 looking at the documents the Prosecution is referring to.
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. So once again. One last time, sir. Milan Simic's statement that
20 the non-Serbs of Odzak were killed or forced to leave, isn't that
21 consistent with Biljana Plavsic's statement that it was a policy to force
22 the non-Serbs of certain municipalities to leave? Aren't those two
24 A. Here, when you're speaking about the statements or the
25 testimonies, I don't know what Milan Simic had as data, that in the
1 municipality of Odzak non-Serbs were killed. Where did he get the
2 information? What was the number of non-Serbs killed? At this very
3 moment, I cannot even know whether there were murders.
4 Q. Sir, my question --
5 A. Let alone whether that was --
6 Q. That's not my question. The my question is: Are those two
7 statements consistent? Just whether or not they're consistent. I'm not
8 asking you to examine the factual basis of each. Are those two statements
10 A. I'm not a lawyer by profession to offer comment.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Popovic, that is not a question for a lawyer.
12 That is just a matter of language. The Prosecution is asking you whether
13 the two statements are consistent, that's all. You can easily answer
15 A. Well, I said, they have similarities in the statements, the two of
17 MR. WEINER:
18 Q. All right, sir. Let's go to the last issue. We've had a number
19 of witnesses testify in this case concerning looting in Odzak. You've
20 even admitted as to looting or robberies in Odzak; isn't that correct?
21 A. I said that there was taking away of property from companies, as
22 well as from private homes.
23 Q. Now, sir, while you were in Odzak, Simo Zaric was also in Odzak,
24 in an intelligence position; isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes, he was.
1 Q. And in that position, in intelligence, it was his job to find out
2 what was happening within the Odzak community; isn't that correct?
3 A. Well, he had to if he was doing certain work, as much as he had
4 access to, he had to cooperate with me in terms of security and the army.
5 But in those relationships --
6 [Technical difficulty]
7 MR. WEINER:
8 Q. Sir, we lost your statement after you said, "in those
9 relationships," after you indicated he had to cooperate with you and the
10 army in terms of security. Could you repeat the rest of your answer, sir.
11 A. In these relationships, I don't know how much they agreed, and in
12 terms of all this, he didn't have to inform me, because I was not -- that
13 was not my position of authority for that area.
14 Q. All right. Sir, my question to you is: It was his job to find
15 out what was happening in Odzak; isn't that correct, as an intelligence --
16 as the intelligence specialist for the council? That was his job, to find
17 out what was happening?
18 A. He was supposed to find out, but what he -- whether he was in a
19 position to do that, considering that this territory was, as I said,
20 almost hermetically closed, that each brigade had its area of
21 responsibility, they had their own security organs. How much Simo managed
22 to get to certain information, to certain intelligence, and to get into
23 these areas, he's the one who should know best.
24 Q. But sir, since he was in the area of intelligence and it was his
25 job to gather information, he was in a better position than you to know
1 what was happening in relation to these military and civilian crimes;
2 isn't that correct? He's out there trying to obtain information, so he's
3 in a better position than you; isn't that correct?
4 A. Well, certainly he was better informed.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. WEINER: Now, could the witness see 142 ter, pages 137 and
7 138. The bottom of page 137.
8 Q. Sir, are you aware that Mr. Zaric has given a statement in June of
9 1998 and actually his second statement in April of 1998, and in both
10 statements he indicated that the Crisis Staff was responsible for the
11 organised looting of the town of Odzak? Are you aware of that?
12 MR. WEINER: The bottom of the page.
13 Q. Are you aware of that, sir?
14 A. I don't know about that, that the Crisis Staff was responsible. I
15 don't know for which part was he responsible for, if it was military
16 administration, headed by -- that is, that this was for the part of the
17 Odzak municipality. They had complete authority, they had under its
18 control. So I don't see how Crisis Staff could have been responsible and
19 could have been conducting the lootings.
20 Q. All right, sir. Let's read -- if you follow in B/C/S on the
21 bottom of 137 into page 138. In the English I'll read, which is on page
22 138. Zaric's statement, which is P142 ter. "I know that we found Odzak
23 when we arrived as a military council, the many goods when the Croatian
24 forces were retreating was taken from Odzak from the factories and so on.
25 And that a large amount of goods still remained in the factory. We had a
1 commission, as a military council, which went from company to company, and
2 wrote down the machines, what was there in terms of finished products, in
3 what state it was, how much wheat or corn there was in the silos, how many
4 domestic animals there were in the ranches and the farms, and this
5 military council who wrote all this down, and through commander Popovic,
6 transferred it to the Crisis Staff in Samac, and every day it was
7 organised through the Executive Council and their institutions. They took
8 these machines and these goods. They say that they sold them and gave up
9 some of these goods so that the army of the Republika Srpska could be
10 fed. But I believe that a large amount went into their pockets -- went in
11 their pockets, of which I have no physical evidence, but it went that way
12 because it was looted, and that's the way things were done during this
14 So you -- question: "So you had no knowledge of this looting
15 while it was going on and were not involved?" Answer: "When I talk about
16 this looting, I said it was done in an organised manner, and I
17 participated in no looting whatsoever, not even a plastic cup like this.
18 Much less ordered anybody else to do so."
19 Sir, do you agree with Mr. Zaric that the Crisis Staff was
20 involved in the looting in Odzak? Do you agree with that, sir? You were
21 a member of the Crisis Staff. Were you and the other members of the
22 Crisis Staff involved in the looting of Odzak?
23 A. I did not take part, and I could not have taken part in looting
24 with the Crisis Staff. When talking about organised looting, no machine
25 or anything else could have been taken out without the approval of the
1 commander of the military administration. So if anybody wanted from Samac
2 or Modrica -- I don't know whether you hear me.
3 Q. Yes, I heard you. And Zaric also states, on the 2nd of April,
4 1998: Question: "So this is the Samac Crisis Staff who was allowing this
5 looting to go on?" Answer: "Yes. Many things were taken away. It was
6 all organised by them."
7 Sir, that's P141 ter, page 94. Were you and the Crisis Staff
8 involved in that looting, sir?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you can't answer that question in the
11 affirmative, you can't answer that question in the affirmative, or you
12 would be incriminating yourself in a war crime, isn't that true, sir?
13 A. I can say the following: That if anybody, according to the
14 instructions that were at the time, if that person came to Odzak, and if
15 that person wanted to take some goods, and if he went to the military
16 administration, he would have to supply a request, submit a request, and
17 say that he needed something for a specific purpose. And then if that was
18 approved, he would then have to obtain a certain certificate, a document.
19 That would be recorded. And then that person would take that machine or
20 something else, that person would then take that machine or something else
21 to Modrica or to Samac. Now, if he did something else further with that
22 machine or that other thing, I don't know. I was not in a position
23 whether that was taken somewhere else, I was not in a position to know.
24 Q. My question to you, sir, was: Isn't it true that you cannot
25 answer the question about the involvement of the Crisis Staff in looting
1 in the affirmative or you would be incriminating yourself? Isn't that
3 A. I don't know how I could incriminate myself if, as a man who was
4 there in Odzak, I directly requested or submitted requests for certain
5 things that I needed. But did I participate in such a way that I would
6 prepare certain documents that were submitted to the command of the
7 military administration to be approved? But this was just the military
8 field of authority, whether they would give it to you or not.
9 Q. Sir, you've indicated that Simo Zaric, because of his position in
10 intelligence, was in a better position than you to know what was going on,
11 and you agree with me that he has indicated or he has indicated in his
12 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor that the Crisis Staff was
13 involved in the organised looting of Odzak? Do you agree with me in that
14 statement that I've just read to you, that Simo Zaric, who was in a better
15 position, who you've admitted was in a better position than you to know
16 what was going on has indicated that the Crisis Staff was involved in the
17 looting? Isn't that correct? That's what Zaric has stated.
18 A. If Simo Zaric was in a position to know and to monitor certain
19 developments, then he should specify what the names were of people from
20 the Crisis Staff who took part in organised looting. And just on whose
21 orders something was taken from Odzak then he should know where this thing
22 ended up, if someone had taken anything away from Odzak, on an individual
23 basis or collectively.
24 Q. My question to you is: You've admitted that Simo Zaric was in a
25 better position than you to know what was going on with regard to crimes
1 and looting, and he has indicated that the Crisis Staff was involved with
2 the looting of Odzak. Isn't that true? Isn't that correct, that he has
3 said that?
4 A. That's his opinion. I don't have a single piece of evidence that
5 would confirm that any members of the Crisis Staff appropriated or
6 misappropriated anything, or that they had taken anything away from Odzak
7 pursuant to any orders.
8 Q. But as you previously said, sir, you weren't in a position to
10 MR. WEINER: No further questions.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Popovic. Just a couple of
14 questions, a couple of points remaining to be clarified.
15 First of all, in connection with the last issues broached by the
16 Prosecutor, do you remember, during the military administration, so we're
17 talking about the end of July 1992, which body was there in Samac: The
18 Crisis Staff or the War Presidency, formally?
19 A. The War Presidency.
20 Q. The Prosecutor quoted sections of Simo Zaric's statement.
21 According to your personal information and knowledge, in cases of looting
22 or wherever looting has been ascertained, who was in charge of starting
23 the procedure?
24 A. Military security and civilian security were in charge of that,
25 whenever they had knowledge of any such thing, they would automatically
1 have to take action to stop or prevent looting. If there was organised
2 looting and if they had information that there was organised looting.
3 Q. Mr. Popovic, do you remember an order by General Talic on
4 introducing the military administration from July 1992?
5 A. I remember the oral part, but I've never seen it in writing.
6 Q. I'm asking about your personal knowledge about that. The military
7 administration, were they in charge of property in the area of the
8 military administration and the republic stock and supplies? Do you know
10 A. There were rules and instructions then, and it was up to the
11 military administration and the army to organise for facilities to be
12 guarded, for goods to be transported, and certain instructions were issued
13 pursuant to which a person could move about within the area of
14 responsibility of the Tactical Group. Therefore, it is clear from this
15 that someone failed to do their job, or something along those lines.
16 Q. Just another question issuing from the line of questioning by the
17 Prosecutor. Do you remember to what extent Simo Zaric really spent time?
18 How much time he really spent in Odzak? Because the military
19 administration continued until 1993. Can you remember how much time Simo
20 Zaric actually spent at the council of the military administration?
21 A. I think he was only there very briefly. I couldn't specify
22 whether it was for a month or longer, but I think certainly very briefly.
23 Q. Very well. Mr. Popovic, the Prosecutor asked you about the
24 figures concerning the Serbian and non-Serbian population. Now, after
25 Dayton, how many Serbs are there in the area of Odzak municipality?
1 A. Dozens, perhaps, a hundred possibly. I'm not sure, but not too
3 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit P169, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, this morning you were asked by the
5 Prosecution about several issues concerning the dispatch by the Tactical
6 Group 1, dated 12 May 1993, signed by Colonel Ratomir Simic, about a
7 meeting that was held at the military administration. I will read this to
8 you. I don't know whether you can see on the screen the first page of
9 this document, and then if you can tell me, please, whether you remember
10 that. So on page 1 of the dispatch, item 1 of the agenda was preserving
11 property in the area of TG 1 from being taken away and taken out of the
12 area. Under 2: What to do with the property that is currently under
13 protection but should be given to the goods, supplies, and stocks. Number
14 3: Monitor the situation and solve all major problems, if any, the case
15 of the silos. List and record the property and the like. Item 4: The
16 situation of the military administration and the decision regarding the
17 cessation of military administration.
18 Mr. Popovic, I know it's been more than ten years, or actually,
19 almost ten years since the meeting we are now talking about. These four
20 items of the agenda, do they reflect the issues that were actually debated
21 at the meeting?
22 A. Well, first of all, I couldn't remember this meeting, that this
23 meeting ever took place, but by looking at this dispatch, I see that there
24 was indeed such a meeting. And I think this was more or less what was
25 present on the ground.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, could you turn to page 2 of the B/C/S
2 version, please.
3 Q. [Interpretation] On page 2 of Colonel Ratomir Simic's report, to
4 his Superior Command, the 1st Krajina Corps, the report claims that Mr.
5 Blagoje Simic, the president of the Samac SO, so this is the Municipal
6 Assembly of Samac, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. He proposed for the military administration to be abolished as
9 soon as possible. He provided the example of a farm where cows were kept
10 for milking. He said that the military administration had taken away
11 several lorries of leather and no one knew where they had taken the
12 leather to. Do you remember Mr. Simic discussing that at the meeting?
13 A. I'm trying to think back, and I know that when Colonel Simic came
14 and when Todorovic was in charge of civilian affairs, the council became
15 less important, that that man took over everything. So no wonder that
16 there were cases of misappropriation of property. You've just referred to
17 the case of cows and leather being taken away. That's exactly what
18 started happening when the colonel came and his deputy, Todorovic. And
19 then a month later, I think, another colonel was brought in, who was not a
20 member of the command but rather -- who was not at the command, at the
21 command building, but rather in a different building, where the council
22 was. He only stayed for a very brief while, and then that whatever its
23 name is, military administration was reintroduced and then Colonel
24 Milivoje Simic came. This was all strange, the way things developed.
25 Q. When you refer to Todorovic, who was in charge of civilian
1 affairs, do you know his first name?
2 A. Captain Todorovic.
3 Q. So this is not Stevan Todorovic, chief of police in Samac that
4 we're talking about?
5 A. No. This is a man who came with him.
6 Q. With whom?
7 A. With Mr. Ratomir Simic, the commander, he brought him and he
8 appointed him commander for civilian affairs.
9 Q. On page 2, which you may be looking at - this is an exhibit
10 tendered by the Prosecution today - Colonel Simic proceeds saying that the
11 president of the municipality would like to say the following. This is
12 towards the bottom of the page. I'll read this out to you. He said that
13 every army keeps doing in its own sector whatever it likes, that the army
14 is a state institution, and that he, Dr. Simic, as the president of the
15 Municipal Assembly, cannot accept contact with local commanders. He goes
16 on to say: There is a government, there is a main staff. So that's where
17 these things should be dealt with.
18 Do you remember that particular section referred to by Dr. Simic
19 at the meeting?
20 A. I don't know in which context this discussion was held. If he
21 told me probably that there was a bit of misunderstanding between the
22 commands of the tactical groups in relation to the civilian population,
23 because we had the return of the refugees, not the refugees, but rather
24 the arrival of the refugees in the area of Odzak municipality, and the
25 return of our people, who were coming, who were voicing their discontent.
1 And then when this man came, the man I've just told you about, and the
2 change probably, that's when this conversation ensued, the conversation
3 between the two of them.
4 Q. Mr. Popovic, last question related to this document: There is a
5 reference to two other names here. Do you remember at that meeting, was
6 General Bogdan Subotic also present, who was also the minister of defence
7 in the government of Republika Srpska at the time?
8 A. Frankly, I can't remember that it was a general. Somehow this
9 doesn't ring a bell. I don't think I've ever seen that man. I have heard
10 of Subotic. Now, whether he was present or not, I really can't answer
11 that. I don't know. I'm not sure.
12 Q. On page 1 of this document - I'm not sure if you can see it - we
13 discussed this this morning. There are the names of the participants.
14 Number 7, minister of justice of the government of Republika Srpska, Mr.
15 Jovo Rosic. Do you remember him being there at the meeting?
16 A. Whether he was at that meeting or not, but I know that Mr. Rosic
17 came to the area of Odzak municipality. When exactly, I can't say right
18 now, because I really don't know. I know that he was present and that he
19 held certain talks, but whether on that day or on a different day,
20 probably, perhaps, this Mr. Ratomir provided information which said that
21 we were all there on the same day.
22 Q. On page 3 of this dispatch, Colonel Simic, the commander of the
23 Tactical Group 1, says that on the 11th of May, which means the day before
24 this dispatch was written, Minister Borivoje Sendic also arrived in Odzak,
25 who I suppose was the minister for forestry. Do you remember perhaps
1 whether this minister was also present at the meeting?
2 A. All these leaders who came mostly spoke to the command of the
3 Tactical Group, so if he was there, he was probably in touch with him. I
4 know that these people came and went, and now as far as the precise date,
5 I find that very difficult to say whether it was a day sooner or a day
6 later. I really can't be very specific about that.
7 Q. Finally, please, tell us the following: Concerning the level of
8 these participants and their positions, you personally, or Dr. Simic, as
9 the president of the War Presidency in Samac, were you in a position in
10 any way to influence the relationship between the military administration
11 and the government of Republika Srpska or the Main Staff of the army of
12 Republika Srpska?
13 MR. WEINER: I object, before he answers that, I'd object. It's
14 outside the scope of cross-examination. I never questioned him concerning
15 the influence of the Crisis Staff over the republic of Srpska or the
16 relationship of the military and the government. That's totally outside.
17 He brought that up in direct examination and I never got into any of that
18 in cross.
19 MR. PANTELIC: It came, Your Honour, from the exhibit P169, which
20 was tendered into the evidence just this morning. And since the persons
21 that I just mentioned were present, according to this information --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. PANTELIC: -- on page 1, normally I'm asking his personal
24 knowledge about the influence of the local organs with the government.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. When you come to asking whether people were
1 present and whether or not this institution had any influence, that's a
2 totally different question, and as the Prosecution says, it wasn't raised
3 in cross-examination.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe I can be more specific for this particular
5 meeting. So in that term, maybe I can rephrase the question.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: No, not even for this particular meeting.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. I'll move on, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, tell me: I'm really sorry to have
9 to ask you the following line of questions to you. This is something
10 which the Prosecutor forced me to do by asking you a series of questions
11 in relation to your personal credibility. These questions refer to the
12 SDS, the SDS policies, Biljana Plavsic, and so on and so forth. So I must
13 ask you the following now, since this has been broached by the
14 Prosecution: Tell me, the platform and the policies of the SDS, how would
15 you characterise them or describe them? Briefly.
16 A. The original platform or programme of the SDS, as concerns that,
17 I said at the beginning that I had been a member of the League of
18 Communists. I am a leftist by conviction, a democrat. Some parts of that
19 platform, and with other friends of mine and colleagues, we found certain
20 possibilities. This platform that was offered in the space and at the
21 time was acceptable in some way because you could see that the general
22 population, not because Karadzic or Mladic or anyone else was concerned,
23 came, approached, since there were national tensions caused by Croats and
24 Muslims. It was only normal to expect that such activity and such a
25 platform people would take sides, on the basis of the platform or, rather,
1 accept or acknowledge certain elements espoused by the platform, the
2 policies. And therefore, I was in a position, as a man who was in some
3 way involved in politics, to accept part of the platform that could have
4 been some sort of a platform for activity of us leftists in the overall
5 state of affairs.
6 Q. Mr. Popovic, please tell me: Was the SDS ever banned from their
7 activity by any part of the international community?
8 A. As far as I know, it was never banned, but I know that memberships
9 were frozen at a certain point in time and all activity was frozen as
10 concerns that political party during a certain period of time.
11 Q. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, this freezing of activity,
12 who was it ordered by and in which period specifically, if you can
14 A. I think that was towards the end of 1992, but I'm not sure. I
15 know that for a period of time, all activity was stopped on the part of
16 the SDS. I'm not sure. I know that this was referred to. But as I was
17 not a member, I know that it was in that period; whether 1992 or 1993, it
18 was said that no party activity should be pursued during that period of
20 Q. You mean it was a decision taken by the SDS themselves, as an
22 A. Yes, precisely.
23 Q. Can you tell me, please: The current president of the Presidency
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which party is he a member of, Mr. Sarovic? Which
25 party does he belong to?
1 A. The SDS.
2 MR. WEINER: I object. That's outside the scope of our
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. We are not dealing with current
5 affairs, are we?
6 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, not directly, but since the position
7 of the Prosecution is that the membership in SDS party is something which
8 is wrong, which is to some extent might be a criminal act, that's why --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: There's no such --
10 MR. PANTELIC: That's my impression, Your Honour. That's my
11 impression of the line of the questioning.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: That is wrong. There's no such allegation by the
14 MR. PANTELIC: I mean not allegations directly, but my conclusion
15 is -- was that maybe I'm wrong. Okay.
16 Q. [Interpretation] In connection with the SDS, tell me, please:
17 You, as the -- that was the question asked by the Prosecution. They asked
18 you about instructions coming from high on, from higher levels of the SDS
19 and then percolating downwards. The Prosecutor mentioned Biljana
20 Plavsic's admission and her conviction. My question is: Did you
21 personally, at any point in Samac -- can you hear me? Can you hear me,
22 Mr. Popovic?
23 A. No. I didn't hear the question. The line was down.
24 Q. Fine. I'll repeat the question. You personally, Mr. Popovic, did
25 you have any information or knowledge that in 1992 and 1993, the higher
1 organs of the SDS issued instructions to people at the local level or to
2 the Crisis Staff, more specifically, as to how the Crisis Staff for the
3 War Presidency should operate? Do you have any personal information in
4 relation to that?
5 A. I have not seen any such instructions, nor has anyone informed me
6 of anything like that. Now, whether the Executive Board or the
7 government, as they refer to it in the municipalities, had any such
8 instructions, and probably they did, and probably they worked pursuant to
9 those instructions, but the Crisis Staff or, after a month or two or
10 three, it was transformed into a War Presidency which numbered, say, three
11 members. I'm not sure even about three members. I have never seen any
12 such instructions, nor has anyone ever informed me of the existence of any
13 such instructions. If there was, then it was towards the Executive Board
14 or the executive organ.
15 Q. Do you have a degree in economics? You talked about the Executive
16 Board. Were these instructions issued by the relevant ministries or were
17 these party instructions?
18 A. These could have been certain ministries of the governments. And
19 as far as the parties, if memberships were frozen, then I can't see why
20 the party would have issued any such instructions if it had already frozen
21 all of its activities.
22 Q. You were asked the same question by the Prosecutor concerning the
23 relationship between Blagoje Simic and the higher-level bodies. In 1992
24 and 1993, was Blagoje Simic a member of the leadership of the SDS at the
25 republic level? Do you have any information concerning that?
1 A. No, I don't have any information that he was a member of the
2 leadership or of the higher-level bodies of the SDS.
3 Q. Mr. Popovic, the Prosecutor asked you about the establishment and
4 the work of the Serbian municipality of Samac and of Pelagicevo. They
5 showed you extracts from the Official Gazette. Do you have any personal
6 information on the existence of instructions by the Assembly of Republika
7 Srpska for these organs at the local level not to be activated unless the
8 vital interests of the Serbian people were jeopardised? Do you know
9 anything about any such instruction?
10 A. Excuse me. I don't think I fully understood your question.
11 Instructions related to what exactly?
12 Q. Do you have any personal information concerning the instructions
13 or decision by the Assembly of Republika Srpska that the local assemblies
14 would not be activated unless vital interests of the Serbian people were
15 jeopardised? Just tell me if you know or not.
16 A. No, I don't know about that.
17 Q. Can you tell me, if you know, whether in April 1992, did the
18 municipality of Samac, Domaljevac, start working in the former
19 municipality of Samac?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Under whose control?
22 A. Under the control of the HDZ, under Croatian control.
23 Q. You were also asked by the Prosecutor, in terms of certain
24 decisions by the Executive Board and some that were adopted at the
25 Municipal Assembly of the Serbian people in Obudovac, there were certain
1 subjects to do with the position of Stevan Todorovic, police forces,
2 et cetera. I'm now asking you the following: Who was in command and who
3 was the superior organ to the public security station in Samac? That's
4 one question, please.
5 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that, Your Honour. There's been no
6 cross-examination on that.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. It was when my learned friend
8 mentioned the conclusions of the Executive Board and the tasks of the
9 special police unit, headed by Mr. Stevan Todorovic. So in that sense, I
10 have to clarify --
11 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I asked him about that, but I never went
12 into who was in authority of the MUP or the SUP. If I was given another
13 hour and a half or two, I would have gotten into a lot of issues, but that
14 I never went into.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: [Microphone not activated]
16 MR. PANTELIC: Can I proceed, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I can see that there is no record. I did say
18 that I will allow you to go ahead because the question is connected to
19 what the Prosecution had raised.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Popovic, according to your knowledge, who
22 was the superior organ, and who was in command of the police forces of the
23 public security station in Samac? Do you know?
24 A. Stevan Todorovic was under the command of the Security Services
25 Centre in Bijeljina. As far as I know, that later became Brcko, of the
1 Crisis Staff or the War Presidency. So in terms of vertical hierarchy, it
2 was the Security Services Centre and the ministry. So he never asked us
3 anything, he never reported to us, so we couldn't have asked him anything
4 and we couldn't have influenced anything.
5 Q. Because of some technical difficulties during your answer, line 23
6 of page 57, 58, until line 3, there were certain things that were not
7 logical. Mr. Popovic, can you answer very briefly: Who was superior
8 authority of the Samac public security station and who was in the top of
9 that hierarchy in 1992 and 1993, of the police hierarchy?
10 A. Public security of the station of the area, Bijeljina, and then
11 further up would be the ministry, Ministry of the Interior of the
12 republic. That would be then the minister.
13 Q. So this previous part of the answer, just for the record, I would
14 like to have it stated that because of some technical difficulties, part
15 of the answer from page 57, line 24, 25, and page 58, line 1, 2, 3, should
16 not be taken into consideration, because there were certain technical
17 difficulties. Thank you.
18 Mr. Popovic, you were asked by the Prosecutor about the
19 relationship between Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, and Simeon Simic, and
20 whether they were related. According to your knowledge, were they close
21 relatives or were they not close relatives?
22 A. As far as I know this place where they were born, they have the
23 same last name, but they're not connected in terms of family. I think
24 they're very distant relatives, so to speak. You know what close
25 families, if these are children from two brothers or two sisters, but they
1 are not related in this way.
2 Q. Mr. Popovic, you were asked several questions by the Prosecutor
3 about the establishment of the Serbian municipality of Samac and
4 Pelagicevo, and he also mentioned the term "shadow government." Now, I
5 have to ask you several questions about that. Can you tell me whether in
6 that time - and we're speaking about April 1992 - was there a republic of
7 the Serbian people established in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. As far as I know, that was in 1992. I think it was established
9 then. That would have been --
10 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether at that time, the beginning of
11 1992, was there a constitution of the Serbian Republic of
13 A. I cannot give you an accurate answer. I know it was mentioned,
14 the constitution was mentioned, but whether it existed or not, I'm really
15 not well informed in relation to the constitution. I can't tell you.
16 Q. Do you know whether at the time there was the government of the
17 Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina that was established, led by
18 Professor Djeric? Do you recall that. Is there anything you can say
19 about that?
20 A. Well, yes, I know that that was the government, or at least that
21 was presented to the public, that there was this government, and the Prime
22 Minister was such-and-such, and there were certain ministries that
23 existed. How much they were able to operate from the then position I
24 occupied, I couldn't tell. I think in terms of administration and paper
25 and red tape, everything was done.
1 Q. Now, if today Republika Srpska functions as one of the entities,
2 then can you tell me, your position, whether at that time, could you have
3 understood it as being a shadow government, or was it a regular
4 government? What was your position on that?
5 A. Considering everybody worked publicly, they held meetings at the
6 level of Bosnia-Herzegovina and also on local levels, when we're talking
7 about the establishment of Serb municipalities, Croatian municipalities,
8 municipalities and so on, I don't think that was any kind of shadow
9 government at all, because it was publicly stated and declared.
10 MR. PANTELIC: What's the basis for objection, please.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: I'll withdraw. It's just this is not relevant.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I'm really surprised. He explicitly
14 take -- yes.
15 MR. WEINER: No. What I was talking in terms of a shadow
16 government, that they had parallel governments, he's trying to talk in
17 terms of shadow government in terms of legitimacy of governments and
18 because there's a valid government today pursuant to the Dayton Agreement,
19 that therefore the fact that there was a shadow government back then it
20 was some sort of legitimate government. We're not -- we did not discuss
21 in cross-examination the legitimacy or the validity of the government.
22 There was a shadow government or a parallel government established. I'm
23 not arguing that. But he's trying to back door it into an issue based on
24 the fact that there's a legitimate government today, therefore, do you
25 believe that it was a legitimate government back then? And that's what
1 they're trying to get this person to comment on.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It doesn't help the case of the Defence at
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, yes. Your Honour, that's a legal
5 issue at the end of the day. I know that. But --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Then why are you raising it.
7 MR. PANTELIC: He -- because it was raised during the
8 cross-examination, Your Honour. My learned friend asked him whether the
9 Municipal Assembly was some sort of shadow government. So I have to
10 clarify with this witness what is his knowledge of the term of "shadow
11 government." So it was raised during the cross-examination, simple as
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Go ahead, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Popovic, can you tell me: When you were talking about Colonel
16 Djurdjevic, can you tell me whether later on, because you're somewhat
17 related to him in some way, he is about ten years your senior, isn't he?
18 A. I can't believe he is older. I said he was about my age. So he
19 was about 50 at the time, like me.
20 Q. Mr. Popovic, can you tell me, because you're closely related to
21 him, do you know whether he was ill at the time?
22 A. At that time?
23 Q. Well, from that time onwards, in the next ten years, was he sick?
24 A. He got ill some time ago and he died about a year ago.
25 Q. What did he die of?
1 A. He died of cancer. He had a tumor. So that spread very quickly,
2 and the man died very quickly. But he didn't -- there were no symptoms
3 when he was ill.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous interpretation continues] ... details.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Because --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: It had nothing to do with the Defence case. That's
7 what I said sometime back that you don't imitate the mistakes of the
9 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. I agree with that. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: And you're winding up?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Just a short glance on the
12 issues, and I think I've finished with this witness.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Yes. The Prosecutor showed you this morning
14 Official Gazette about the decision on the appointment of Mitar Mitrovic
15 as the secretary of the municipality. Do you remember that? It was
16 signed by the acting president, Mr. Tanasic. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes. I saw that.
18 Q. That was a decision that was published there. Do you personally
19 know whether he, Mitrovic, was issued a ruling by the relevant organ?
20 Just tell me if you know anything about it.
21 A. I have no knowledge of that.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Popovic.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with my re-direct
24 [In English] [Previous interpretation continues] ... questions for this
25 witness. Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Popovic. You are finished your
2 evidence. You may go.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: This is the end of the videolink witnesses, so we go
5 back to our normal proceedings in The Hague.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, may I ask, respectfully, this Trial
7 Chamber to allow me, let's say, around 15 minutes to prepare. Because
8 next witness, I'm just in the middle of cross-examination of next witness,
9 who should come, Mr. Simeunovic.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Just to arrange some papers here. Fifteen minutes
12 would be fine.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall take our break early, then. This is 12 --
15 almost 12.15. So we shall continue our proceedings at 12.45. No, no,
16 no. This is 20 minutes. 12.35.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can the witness be brought, please.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Simeunovic. We are continuing with you.
23 Mr. Pantelic continues asking you questions.
24 WITNESS: MAKSIM SIMEUNOVIC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simeunovic. May we proceed,
3 please. The Prosecutor asked you, on the 3rd of March, Monday, -- my
4 mistake, sorry. My colleague Lukic asked you the question in relation to
5 the appointment of Captain Jez as the chief of security at brigade level,
6 and so on. You answered that you carried out certain arrests, and when
7 you said "you," you mean the army of Republika Srpska. One of these cases
8 was the arrest of Captain Jez at Donji Zabar. Do you remember being asked
9 that by Mr. Lukic and then you started your answer?
10 A. I referred to the arrest --
11 Q. No, no, no, Mr. Simeunovic. I'm sorry to interrupt you. Let me
12 just ask you the following: Do you remember what you said in connection
13 with that? And then I will ask you another question. If you don't
14 remember, because some time has passed, after all, I can read this out to
15 you to remind you.
16 A. I do remember stating that Captain Jez was arrested at Donji
18 Q. And then, in continuation of your answer, you said that he was
19 arrested because of certain cooperation with them, meaning, I presume -- I
20 presume that you meant Todorovic and the volunteers, and so on. Is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So at that time when you, or rather, the competent organs of
24 Republika Srpska, according to your personal knowledge, since Captain Jez,
25 because of the cooperation with Todorovic and the volunteers, because he
1 was arrested at that time, as part of the proceedings of Republika Srpska
2 were there any proceedings that were then initiated against Todorovic and
3 his volunteers because of their behaviour and beating of prisoners in
4 Samac? Just tell me if you have any knowledge of this?
5 A. No, no. There were no proceedings that were initiated, because at
6 that time they were not members of the Yugoslav People's Army or of the
7 army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Very well. At that time there were no proceedings initiated
9 because of a number of murders that have been committed by Todorovic and
10 by volunteers from Serbia?
11 A. The proceedings that was initiated, I know they arrested Crni and
12 a number of volunteers after the corridor had been cut off, and they were
13 taken to the military prison in Banja Luka. Todorovic was not arrested
14 because of that.
15 Q. Very well. Further on, my learned colleague Mr. Weiner asked you
16 on that day, in connection to Simo Zaric's statement, that is, 542
17 exhibit, P142, that is, statement of Simo Zaric, and in that statement,
18 Mr. Zaric talks about the alleged involvement of Blagoje Simic in the act
19 of bringing the volunteers to Samac. Do you recall when the Prosecutor
20 quoted this to you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell me: At that time, your answer was that you had no
23 reason to doubt the statement by Simo Zaric, because he was an
24 intelligence officer, and today, is that the same, that you have no doubt
25 to doubt his statement?
1 A. I said that I have no reasons to doubt his statement, but as I
2 said then, I know who welcomed that group of volunteers, who came to
3 Batkusa. Blagoje was not one of them -- was not there.
4 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, can you tell me: Considering that the Prosecutor
5 quoted you Zaric's statement, where he said that he had certain -- there
6 were certain indications according to Zaric that Dr. Simic was involved in
7 the act of bringing these volunteers, and you agreed with that. Did you
8 ever receive from Simo Zaric, as from your subordinate intelligence
9 officer, a report about a possible role of Blagoje Simic in the act of
10 bringing the volunteers? Did you get a report or a dispatch from him? Do
11 you know what I mean? Have you received anything like that from him?
12 A. I know that after Simo Zaric arrived, when he went to Belgrade to
13 forward what had happened in Crkvina and to ask for some kind of
14 protection, I know what he said at the time when he returned, when he was
15 reporting to the Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. He said that he found out
16 there that from the Samac government, there was a possibility that was
17 asked from Samac, from RV PVO to transfer those volunteers to the Samac
18 municipality, that he had seen such a request that was submitted by the
19 government of Samac.
20 Q. Very well. When I now read to you statement of Simo Zaric, you
21 can then give your assessment, of course. That's page 56 of his statement
22 dated 1st of April, 1992 -- 1998.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. 1998.
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And he says -- he was asked by Mrs. Nancy Paterson: "Did you ask
1 Mr. Zaric about the role and where these volunteers have come from?" And
2 Simo Zaric then says to the investigators of the Tribunal the following:
3 "Yes, but this true information I found out only in the course of
4 the war. They were in a completely different area of responsibility. It
5 was there in the village of Batkusa where there was a completely different
6 detachment. I was linked to the town of Samac. I later found out that
7 they came, organised by the command of RV PVO of the army of Yugoslavia.
8 It was their organisation, in their security service of that command. It
9 was the command of RV PVO of Yugoslavia, which was the joint link with
10 some representatives of the Serbian MUP. Yes, there was that connection.
11 I think that that's how it happened, through that connection, that there
12 was RV PVO security and the security of the Serbian MUP. I know that from
13 finding out about it later. That's how it arrived, through that line.
14 And Stevan Todorovic was the link that brought these people to the
15 territory of Samac."
16 You have no reason to doubt Mr. Zaric's words?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Further on, you were asked by the Prosecutor about the meeting in
19 Donji Zabar which was organised by Nikolic. Can you tell me,
20 Mr. Simeunovic -- let me remind you: This is about certain gathering
21 between the civilian authorities and the commander Nikolic, and according
22 to you, he then later informed, and so on. You were asked by the
23 Prosecutor. Now I'm asking you: Do you have any knowledge whether
24 Commander Nikolic invited to that meeting representatives of the other two
25 ethnic groups, Muslims and Croats, specifically? Did he also invite them,
1 considering that you mentioned civilian authority? Do you have such
3 A. No, I don't have any such knowledge. He didn't mention that he
4 invited others to this meeting.
5 Q. Do you know who was at the time the president of the municipality
6 of Municipal Assembly of Samac municipality?
7 A. At that time, I knew --
8 Q. Let me remind you: Mato Lujic.
9 A. Yes, I know he was a Croat.
10 Q. You also testified that Commander Nikolic, together with the chief
11 of police, Dragan Lukac, had joined patrols, checkpoints. Do you remember
12 at those checkpoints that were set up? Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let me ask you: Did Nikolic invite Dragan Lukac to this meeting
15 with the civilian authorities?
16 A. He didn't invite him, and I don't see the reason why he should
17 have invited him.
18 Q. Very well. At that time you said -- or you answered to the
19 Prosecutor that it was said that the volunteers will be under the command
20 of the civilian authorities, not under the command of the army, because
21 they were not members of the JNA, they were not part of the JNA.
22 A. Yes. They showed official IDs that showed that they were members
23 of the police of Serbian Krajina. As such, they could not have been under
24 the command of the army, of the JNA.
25 Q. In his interview, Simo Zaric, in his interview dated 1st of April,
1 1998, on page 55, in relation to Commander Nikolic, he says: "Since the
2 commander said that he would put them under his control, and he was also
3 my commander, it wasn't up to me to do anything more than that." You have
4 no reason to doubt these words. This is correct, what he said in his
5 interview, Simo Zaric?
6 A. Perhaps it's true what Simo said, but the commander could not have
7 placed them under his command, because they were not members of the
8 Yugoslav People's Army. Perhaps in some conversation or other he may have
9 said: I'll try and place them under my command. But later on, after
10 their arrival, and after reporting the Superior Command, there was this
11 meeting in Donji Zabar that happened, the one that we already spoke about,
12 and he said -- and that's when he was told who were these people, under
13 whose authority they were, and he said that he had no authority, nor could
14 he place them under his command.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise to my learned colleague. Just to
16 avoid any misunderstanding. When quoting the interview of Mr. Zaric, it
17 was quite obvious that Mr. Zaric used the word "under control." To put
18 these men under control. This doesn't mean -- it doesn't have same
19 meaning as under command. So basically, I just want to avoid any
20 misunderstanding of what the witness answered. I could wait for
21 re-direct, but it's quite obvious what ...
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will continue to quote from page 54 of the same interview by
24 Simo Zaric: "Nikolic told us that the command then, that it was some kind
25 of a gang, meaning the volunteers, and that we will see what will happen
1 to them, as it says here, and that he will deal with them, and so on.
2 After a few days, he then gave information that he would place them under
3 his control and that we shouldn't worry about this at all." You have no
4 reason to doubt Simo Zaric's words? Let's just answer yes or no.
5 A. I have no reason to doubt this.
6 Q. Very well. Very well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You
7 can explain that to the -- to my colleague.
8 Now, can you tell me: You were asked by the Prosecutor about Mico
9 Ivanovic, Mijak. You had information that Mico Ivanovic, Mijak, was
10 appointed as the commander of the Territorial Defence. Can you just
11 confirm this: That man, Mico Ivanovic, Mijak, at that time, he had a dual
12 function. He was the commander of the 1st Detachment of the 17th Tactical
13 Group, at the same time he was the commander of the TO; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. He was the commander of the 1st Detachment, and we received
15 a piece of information saying that he had been proposed to become the
16 commander of the TO, that if this becomes established, that he would be
17 the commander of the TO.
18 Q. Very well. Can you tell me: When did you find that out, you
20 A. That was immediately before this group arrived, so this was in
21 early April 1992.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, Mr. Simeunovic: At the time, did you
23 have any personal knowledge about the establishment of MUP of Republika
24 Srpska? I'm talking about April of 1992.
25 A. I didn't understand. Which MUP do you mean?
1 Q. I'm talking about the Serbian MUP, the MUP of Republika Srpska,
2 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska, in March/April 1992. Mico
3 Stanisic, Momcilo Mandic, going all the way up. You know what I mean.
4 You know what I'm talking about. Have you had any intelligence about
5 that, that the Serbian MUP had been established?
6 A. No. No, I did not.
7 Q. Can you tell me something else: You were also asked by the
8 Prosecutor about whether you knew that Stevan Todorovic was establishing a
9 police unit, et cetera, and you later said that this group of 23 young men
10 had returned from training and that it was then that you found out that
11 Todorovic was establishing this. And then you were further asked by the
12 Prosecutor whether you knew about the fact that Todorovic had been
13 ordered, either by the Municipal Assembly or the Crisis Staff, even before
14 the war, to establish these units. And then you said that probably
15 somebody was issuing orders to him and that this was the Crisis Staff that
16 was doing this. Now, I'm asking you, and that the Crisis Staff didn't
17 have any cooperation with the JNA. Now, my question is: In case that the
18 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska had been established at the
19 time, who would have been superior? Who would have been the superior
20 organ to the public security station and Stevo Todorovic?
21 MR. WEINER: I object.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
23 MR. WEINER: The witness has just testified that he wasn't aware
24 that the -- of the establishment of the Ministry of Interior of the
25 Republika Srpska. And now he's asking about an agency that he wasn't
1 aware was established, who would be superior, or if it would be superior -
2 I'm sorry - to the SUP in Samac. You can ask him -- it's almost a legal
3 question. If it has been established. Or it's a governmental question.
4 Would it -- would they have been superior. But based on his previous
5 testimony, I think it's not admissible at this point.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's beyond what factual knowledge the witness
7 would be able to give evidence on.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic, you are a man who dealt with
10 problems of military security. You probably know something about civilian
11 security as well. Can you tell me: In April, May, June of 1992, who was,
12 organisationally speaking, above public security station in Samac? Do you
13 have any later knowledge or do you have any contemporaneous knowledge
14 about that? It's a very simple question.
15 A. Above the station in Samac, there should have been a unit. Now,
16 whether this is on the principle of a region, whether this was a MUP which
17 coordinated these stations in the region.
18 Q. And above that regional level, who was that?
19 A. Then it would be the republic.
20 Q. When you say "republic," you mean Republika Srpska?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Inaudible.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters didn't get the answer. Can the
24 witness repeat the last answer, please.
25 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Yes, yes. When I said republic, you meant Republika Srpska. Can
2 you just say it audibly so that it's on the record, please.
3 A. If we're talking about that period now, that the station of police
4 was established and it was a Serbian station in Serbian Samac, then, as
5 far as the region that encompasses is concerned, under the control of
6 Serbia [as interpreted] then it would -- that would be under the Republika
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small correction. On page 73, line 6,
9 under the control, it didn't say Serbia of Serbs, because Serbia is
10 another state, and simply it would just imply something different.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Thanks to
13 my colleague Lazarevic.
14 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, we're talking about those young men from the
15 surrounding villages of Samac municipality who were sent for training.
16 Did you know that they were leaving, that they were being sent to
18 A. No. We didn't know. We only learned, when they arrived by
19 helicopters. It was only then that we learned that about 23 of them had
20 left and that Aco Jankovic from Batkusa was their commander. He was the
21 leader of the group.
22 Q. You said a minute ago, that's in your previous testimony, that you
23 would receive daily reports, daily information, from your subordinates,
24 from your colleagues from the detachment concerning the security
25 situation. You do remember that, don't you?
1 A. Yes, I do remember. Except for the 1st Detachment, we never
2 received even a regular report, let alone interim reports, from the 1st
3 Detachment. No such reports from the 1st Detachment ever reached the 17th
4 Tactical Group.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, sorry to interrupt. As a matter of
7 clarity, it says, they asked about the -- this group that was sent for
8 training and it says: "We didn't know. We only learned when they arrived
9 by helicopters. It was only then that we learned." Is he referring to
10 the JNA command, the JNA, he and members of his unit? I think it's
11 important that we know who he's referring to.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the witness can answer that.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, please, when you say "we," or "you," who are you
15 referring to?
16 A. What I meant is that I found out then, and immediately after I had
17 learned that, I told Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic about it. As a command,
18 we found out on that day that they had left and been sent for training.
19 We didn't know at that point, but later we found out that the training had
20 taken place in Sarengrad.
21 Q. Which means soldiers are being sent for training, and you, as the
22 superior security body, didn't know about that; is that what you're trying
23 to say?
24 A. Precisely. And I did say that. The detachment, upon its
25 establishment, had no barracks. I told you this about the 4th Detachment,
1 but the same applied to all the other detachments. Those people were
2 assigned to the detachment. They received weapons, but they were at their
3 homes. They went about their business or they travelled. They would be
4 away for five, ten days, a month, and they had no obligation to report to
5 the commander of the detachment. They were free -- well, in a manner of
6 speaking. They were citizens doing their duty. Only he was in the
7 records of the detachment, his name was. And that's why we didn't know
8 that those people had actually left.
9 Q. I understand, people received mobilisation call-ups, they would
10 place themselves under the command of the 17th Tactical Group. Were they
11 free to move about or did they have to ask permission by the organs of the
12 17th Tactical Group? How did that really work in practice?
13 A. Until [as interpreted] the outbreak of hostilities, the 17th, the
14 18th, and onwards, they did have to ask for permission, but prior to that
15 point, they were free to travel wherever they wanted to. They weren't
16 supposed to report to anyone. They weren't even supposed to report to
17 their own detachment commander if they wanted to leave for five or ten
18 days, to do something for themselves. They were people with seasonal jobs
19 in different places.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is just one word here that makes a complete
21 sense [sic] of this part of the testimony. On page 75, line 12. It's not
22 "until," but after the outbreak of hostilities. And now it makes sense
23 what the witness said.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that will be corrected.
25 Mr. Pantelic, you have had enough time for this witness.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I will cover just a couple of more
2 issues, variant A and B, particularly, then some reports to the Superior
3 Command, and that's all.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Those are not matters peculiar to the defence
5 of your client.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Because --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: They are general.
8 MR. PANTELIC: No, no. They are very specific, because this
9 witness mentioned some organs, like Crisis Staff or, namely, my client,
10 with certain activities regarding volunteers. So I'm just specific to the
11 role of my client and the institution where he was head of. For
12 example --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: So you wind up -- so I'll give you 15 minutes, then.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Did you send to your Superior Command, to the
16 corps, the 17th, commanded by General Savo Jankovic, did you send a
17 report regarding volunteers who had arrived back from their training? Did
18 you report to your Superior Command?
19 A. Yes. As I said, I was present when they arrived in the village of
20 Batkusa. After that, I went straight to the command and reported to
21 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. He called, as I said, the Superior Command
22 immediately and asked them whether they knew who the people were who had
23 arrived by helicopters. And he received no reply from them. He didn't
24 know who the people were. He said a meeting would take place, and then a
25 meeting took place in order to find out who the people were who had
2 Q. In connection with this issue, because you were asked by the
3 Prosecutor and you referred to the TO, tell me: Who commands a unit of
4 the TO? The civilian government, that is, the municipality, or the
5 superior military command? Briefly, please.
6 A. Previously, the TO was commanded by the Yugoslav People's Army,
7 the Yugoslav People's Army commanded previously. But if we're talking
8 about Mijak, who was appointed commander of the TO, the JNA did not
9 appoint him.
10 Q. That's beyond dispute. That's regulated by the statute of the
11 municipality. That means until the 19th of May - that's when Colonel
12 Lieutenant Nikolic withdrew - the JNA commanded the TO, to all intents and
14 A. Effectively, there was no TO. That was under the command of the
15 JNA. The people who were there who were assigned to the TO reported to
16 detachments that had been established by the JNA.
17 Q. Furthermore, concerning Blagoje Simic, you were shown by the
18 Prosecutor the Official Gazette, P124, Exhibit number P124. The question
19 was whether you knew about -- actually, this was never shown to you. You
20 were just simply asked whether you knew that the municipal board of the
21 SDS had initiated the appointment of Blagoje Simic as president of the
22 assembly and later as president of the Crisis Staff. This is clear
23 enough, the way it's stated in the Official Gazette. Do you know that at
24 that time, the president of the Serbian municipality, at first, was Ilija
25 Ristic and was then replaced by Dusan Stanisic? Did you know that?
1 A. I don't remember at all having been asked about the Official
2 Gazette of the Municipal Assembly. I don't remember at all this being
3 referred to.
4 Q. Very well. Now, I'm asking you: Do you remember that the
5 president of the Serbian municipality was Ilija Ristic at that time and
6 was then to be replaced by Dusan Stanisic, please answer if you know? If
7 not, not.
8 A. It's true that I was an intelligence officer, but I was not in a
9 position to know everything.
10 Q. But did you know about this specifically?
11 A. I know that Dusan Tanasic was the president of the SDS in
13 Q. Do you know that he was appointed president of the Serbian
14 municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo?
15 A. I didn't know that.
16 Q. Furthermore, you were asked by the Prosecution, and you answered
17 that you were pro Yugoslav, that you were a Yugoslav by conviction, and
18 that this was the idea you advocated. At that time, were you in favour of
19 protecting the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina by remaining within
20 Yugoslavia? Was that your line of thinking in 1992?
21 A. Had Bosnia-Herzegovina remained part of Yugoslavia and the Serbian
22 people in it, there would have been nothing to protect it from. We would
23 have remained within Yugoslavia, as had been the case up to that point.
24 What we advocated was for Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain within Yugoslavia,
25 as had been the case up to that time. That's the idea we advocated.
1 Q. Do you remember the plebiscite of the Serbian people at the end of
2 1991? The question was: Do you wish to stay within Yugoslavia or do you
3 want an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you remember or not?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. You did take part in the plebiscite, didn't you?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. At that time, the end of 1991 until April 1992, were you in favour
8 of an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina or did you wish Bosnia-Herzegovina to
9 remain within Yugoslavia? Because it's not quite clear --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
11 MR. WEINER: This is outside the scope of my cross-examination.
12 How is this relevant, his personal views on Bosnia-Herzegovina? It's one
13 thing if it's the JNA views or the command of the JNA, but it's --
14 MR. PANTELIC: It's relevant, Your Honour, first of all on page 36
15 on the transcript of the Monday, 3rd of March, he was asked by the
16 Prosecution: What is your convictions there, whether you were in favour
17 of the separate, allegedly separate actions of the SDS and stuff like
18 that. First of all, the line of questioning is related to some extent to
19 the credibility of this witness, and then to clarify his position, because
20 it is not clear from his answer on Monday, 3rd of March, whether he's
21 speaking prior to April 16 or after. Simple as that. I just want to
22 clarify that. And I'm leaving this topic, because I got the answers from
23 this witness.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: You go ahead.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Simple as that.
1 Could we have Exhibit P100, P100.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Furthermore, you were asked by the Prosecutor, in
3 detail, about Biljana Plavsic's admission. Tell me, please, first of all,
4 Mr. Simeunovic: We're talking about the Samac level, the Samac
6 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, can I take a look, please?
7 Your Honour, I do apologise. There are some problems in my list
8 of -- it's P3, actually, Mr. Usher. I do apologise. Because it's a
9 variant A and B, and there are many numbers of the documents, so it was
10 not so clear here.
11 Q. [Interpretation] At any rate, Mr. Simeunovic, before the document
12 reaches you, please tell me: What's your personal knowledge - I'm talking
13 about the period in late 1991 and the outbreak of hostilities in April
14 1992 - your personal information regarding the relationship between the
15 SDS and the JNA in the Samac municipal area? How would you describe
16 that? Was there any cooperation? Were there any plans? Please tell me
17 briefly so we can start with the document.
18 A. There was cooperation at some level. It was not totally rejected.
19 Everything would be debated. Talks would be held for conflict to be dealt
20 with in a peaceful manner, to keep hostilities from breaking out. That
21 sort of cooperation took place, not only on the part of the SDS, but the
22 other parties too. They tried everything possible to avoid conflict.
23 Q. Very well. In Samac, in late 1991 and until April 1992, did the
24 JNA make any secret plans with the SDS concerning the takeover of power in
25 setting up organs of Serb government?
1 A. I didn't know of anything like that.
2 Q. Can you now have a look at the document in front of you. It has
3 several pages. Can you please leaf through them. Just briefly: This
4 document allegedly speaks about -- but we don't know if it's a document or
5 a paper, actually, speaks about the cooperation between the SDS and the
6 JNA. There are two possible scenarios, where the Serbian deputies in the
7 local assembly are in the majority, and the other scenario is where the
8 Serbian deputies are in the minority. And it talks about cooperation with
9 the JNA. First of all, my question is --
10 MR. WEINER: I'd object. Your Honour, this is a complicated
11 document. It's several pages long. It's eight pages long. If you're
12 going to question this witness concerning that document, he should be
13 entitled to read the document or at least go through it, not look at it
14 for 30 seconds and then start questioning him on it. That's not fair to
15 the witness, it's not fair to the case.
16 MR. PANTELIC: I will establish just right now personal knowledge
17 of this witness with regard to that document.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, Mr. Simeunovic: You've looked at the
19 title, you've looked through the document. Can you please have a look at
20 the last page. This document, in this form, did you see it while you held
21 the position of the head of security in the 17th Tactical Group and other
22 units later on? Have you ever seen this document up to now?
23 A. No, I have never laid eyes on this document, and I would really
24 have to go through it thoroughly in order to be able to discuss it. This
25 last page is illegible. It's a very poor copy.
1 Q. We're not going to go into that now, Mr. Simeunovic, and we can't,
2 for the simple reason that you've never seen it before.
3 A. Yes. But in this document, all I can see is the title, "The
4 Serbian Democratic Party of the Serbian municipality, Main Board."
5 Q. In the area of Samac municipality, as you held those positions,
6 did you ever see a document like this in this form and with this title?
7 A. No, never.
8 Q. You were asked by my learned friend, friend and colleague, Mr.
9 Weiner, in connection with the special battalion, as part of the 17th
10 Tactical Group, special battalion. Can you remember: When was it set up?
11 Late April 1992 perhaps. Can you remember that?
12 A. The special battalion was set up not late April. It wasn't even
13 there in May. It wasn't around. It was later.
14 Q. Just tell us, if you remember.
15 A. Perhaps early May, after the JNA left.
16 Q. You were asked by the Prosecutor about Mrs. Biljana Plavsic's view
17 on the shadow government, about her statement, her view, and Simo Zaric's
18 view. What I want to know, more specifically, is the following: The SDS,
19 to the best of your knowledge --
20 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I never asked him -- I never asked the
21 witness about his -- Biljana Plavsic's view. I asked him about the
22 instructions that Biljana Plavsic and the SDS and Serb leaders issued to
23 the municipalities, not their view; the instructions from the top that
24 they issued down.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The Prosecution is correct.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I'm about to
2 ask you.
3 Q. Do you have any personal information whether the SDS sent any
4 military instructions from the top down to their own organs at the
5 municipal level? Did they deal with military issues, according to your
7 A. Can you please repeat the question?
8 Q. The SDS organs at the republic level, did they forward military
9 instructions to their own bodies at the municipal level? I'm not talking
10 about Samac, only specifically. Do you know anything about things like
11 those happening?
12 A. I can't say, because I did not attend any of those top-level
13 meetings. I can't tell you whether they sent anything to the municipal
14 boards. I don't know.
15 Q. I'm merely trying to find out the following, the extent of your
16 personal knowledge concerning the local level. Did you hear that the SDS
17 ever received any military instructions or instructions of a military
18 nature? That's all I want to know.
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Finally, I have one or two questions left. Which day is the day
21 of the feast day of the Samac municipality, traditionally?
22 A. I think it's the 16th of April now.
23 Q. Furthermore, you were asked by the Prosecution, quoting Biljana
24 Plavsic, talking about different acts that are viewed as persecution, or
25 classified as persecution. There's a concept there, but I must ask you
1 first of all if you understood what you were asked, to begin with. The
2 Prosecutor said that Biljana Plavsic had pleaded guilty to crimes of
3 persecution, saying that Biljana Plavsic and members of the Bosnian Serb
4 forces, Bosnian Serb politicians and government organs, and their agents,
5 this word, "agent," that's the word that the Prosecutor suggested to you.
6 I'm not sure if you know what's meant by this concept. Do you know that
7 the army of Republika Srpska --
8 A. No, I don't really remember the word being used.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Weiner, yes.
11 MR. WEINER: I was just going to say: Once again, these aren't my
12 words. He -- counsel constantly takes all of these questions out of
13 context. If he's going to ask him about a question that he was
14 previously -- which is previously stated by the Prosecutor, he should read
15 that particular question, as opposed to just making some summary and
16 taking it all out of context. That was a comment from Biljana Plavsic as
17 part of her plea, that she, the leadership of the Serb government, the
18 SDS, the remaining leadership, the subgovernment units and their agents
19 committed persecution, or actually, orchestrated a campaign of persecution
20 against the non-Serb public of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's not my comment;
21 that's Biljana Plavsic, one of the Serb leaders, comments or admissions.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: The time is up, Mr. Pantelic.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Can I just clarify that submission of my learned
24 friend with the witness, please?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
1 MR. PANTELIC: I will read this portion. It's page 49 of LiveNote
2 version of the transcript of March 3rd. The Prosecution just makes some
3 references to the Biljana Plavsic and my learned friend stated: "Are you
4 aware --" that was a question to this witness: "Are you aware that
5 Biljana Plavsic has pled guilty to the crime of persecutions, indicating
6 that she and members of the Bosnian Serb forces, Bosnian Serb political
7 and government organs, and their agents, committed five of those acts that
8 I just read to you? Were you aware that --" et cetera, et cetera. The
9 answer of this witness was: "I'm aware that Biljana Plavsic confessed her
10 guilt. Perhaps the reporting was not very detailed in our part of the
11 world, but they did say that Biljana Plavsic had confessed to her guilt
12 and that is why this judgement was passed upon her."
13 Q. So now -- [Interpretation] Now, my question to you is this: Do
14 you know that the theory of the Prosecution at this Tribunal is that the
15 army of the Republika Srpska was actually just an agent of the JNA? Do
16 you know about this theory?
17 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that, Your Honour. That's been a
18 finding in the Krstic case, it's been a finding in the Tadic case. It has
19 been the theory of the Prosecution, but it has also been finding by the
20 Courts of this Tribunal.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And the question is taking us nowhere,
23 Mr. Pantelic.
24 MR. PANTELIC: I just want to clarify with this witness the
25 relation on Samac municipality, within organs of JNA and local
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Then ask a direct question.
3 MR. PANTELIC: But first I would like to introduce a witness with
4 the term of "agent," because he was probably misled by certain references
5 that my learned friend made.
6 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Simeunovic, my question is: According to
7 your information, to your personal and professional information, as a man
8 who headed a security body, in Samac municipality, was there any plan or
9 any cooperation between members of the JNA, on the one hand, and members
10 of the local organs of the SDS, on the other, concerning the takeover by
11 force or any crimes that were committed?
12 A. There were meetings, but I don't know that there was ever any
13 discussion of the JNA taking part in the takeover of power. Meetings were
14 held with the SDS, with the SDA, and with the HDZ, with the aim of
15 preventing bloodshed. The aim was to protect the civilian population, to
16 protect the area. Meetings were held for that purpose only.
17 Q. As opposed to making plans for the takeover of power?
18 A. No. I was not aware of any such plan.
19 Q. My last question?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic -- no, no, no. Sit down.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: You've taken your time.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Thank you. Time is time.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. It won't take long. I can promise that.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simeunovic. Considering that
3 I was present during the main part of your examination, I will just have a
4 very short time, stemming from the questions that were asked both by the
5 Prosecutor and by Mr. Pantelic. These are only some slight clarifications
6 in respect of things you have already spoken about here.
7 First of all, when you were asked by Mr. Pantelic about raising of
8 combat readiness of the detachment, he always used the date 16th of April.
9 So now I'd like you to tell us: When you spoke about that, that the
10 commander had decided to raise the combat readiness of the 4th Detachment,
11 was it on the 16th of April or the next day, the 17th of April?
12 A. That was on the 17th of -- of the 4th Detachment, as well as all
13 the other detachments, they were all issued orders to raise combat
15 Q. Thank you. I think this has now been clarified, when this order
16 was issued. Then Mr. Pantelic quoted certain parts from Mr. Zaric's book,
17 and of course asked you if you agreed with the assessment given by
18 Mr. Zaric, and this was in relation to the transfer of prisoners from the
19 TO building to the military barracks in Brcko. I will now quote several
20 more details from Mr. Zaric's book. So on page 243, first paragraph, item
21 6 says:
22 "Mr. Zaric, in relation to this event, that these people over
23 there will die if something is not done to improve their accommodation
25 Do you agree with this quote from Mr. Zaric's book?
1 A. Yes, I do agree, because when I came to transfer them, I saw what
2 the conditions they were in.
3 Q. Thank you. On page 245 of the same book, where it says the
4 following, Mr. Zaric says: "I told them that they should go to Brcko
5 because of the further procedure, that there's a proper Detention Unit
6 there with proper conditions and that they will get a doctor."
7 This is the same as you have testified before this Tribunal,
8 indeed in relation from Mr. Zaric's book?
9 A. Yes, that's the same.
10 Q. Just another detail from page 245, where Mr. Zaric says: "I knew
11 whatever they were up against, they would be better off rather than being
12 close at hand to those who were constantly assaulting them."
13 Does this correspond to your personal knowledge as to the reasons
14 why these prisoners were transferred from the Territorial Defence building
15 to Brcko?
16 A. Yes, it does correspond.
17 Q. Thank you very much. There were a number of questions in relation
18 to what was undertaken by the relevant command of the JNA, not that this
19 was something that was directed at you, but there was a question whether
20 you had filed charges after you found out that Lugar had killed 16 people
21 in Crkvina. Let us analyse this. So far it has not been contested that
22 this has happened on the 7th or the 8th of May, on the 7th or the 8th of
23 May in Crkvina, uncontestably the JNA still exists and is in the territory
24 of Samac municipality; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell me whether Lugar was a member of the JNA at that
3 A. No.
4 Q. Does the JNA have authority only over its own members or over
5 people who are not its members?
6 A. It only has authority over the members of the JNA.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Before this Trial Chamber, Stevan
8 Todorovic -- no. In this Tribunal --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC:
11 Q. Stevan Todorovic was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment and he
12 has confessed to certain murders that he himself committed, whether the
13 JNA or later the army of Republika Srpska had any possibility, any legal
14 possibility of taking any measures in respect of initiating proceedings
15 against Stevan Todorovic?
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... the
17 question should be rephrased.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: But, Your Honours, he was asked already about the
19 crimes that were committed by Lugar.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, he was asked, and whether any institution took
21 any --
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I see no difference. A crime is a crime.
23 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Simeunovic, in your opinion, did the JNA
24 have any kind of authority to initiate criminal proceedings against Stevan
1 A. No, it didn't have any authority, because he was not a member of
2 the JNA.
3 Q. And I would just ask you about one other case that was on that day
4 when the prisoners were transferred to Brcko. There was the murder of
5 that unfortunate man, Dikan, and it is now quite clear that Lugar has
6 committed this murder. So this happened in April, on the 25th or the 26th
7 of April. I think it was on the 26th of April. And Lugar committed this
8 murder. Did the JNA -- or was the JNA in a position to do anything
9 against Lugar in that situation?
10 A. No, it was not in a position, and according to law, it could not
11 have done anything. He was not a member of the JNA.
12 Q. So Yugoslav People's Army is withdrawing, the Republika Srpska
13 army is becoming established. So let us now clear up the question of that
14 special battalion. Did special battalion exist at all while JNA was
16 A. No.
17 Q. So the special battalion was established after the JNA withdrew,
18 and it was a part of the Republika Srpska army; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, what happens is that another crime is committed. There is
21 the murder of a scout. There was the cutting off of the corridor. And it
22 is not contested that previous volunteers or specials, as we called them,
23 they became members of the part of Republika Srpska army and Crni became a
24 brigade commander in the Republika Srpska army; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. After Crni was appointed this brigade commander, then this
1 whole group, they all became members of the Republika Srpska army.
2 Q. Yes. And the trial in Banja Luka, when Crni, Lugar, and some
3 other members of those forces, when they were tried, were they at the time
4 members of Republika Srpska army?
5 A. Yes, and that's when the army undertook measures. They arrested
6 them and took them in prison in Banja Luka.
7 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to get it all in the chronological
9 You spoke about this group, group of young men, who were members
10 of the 1st Detachment and who went to that training course, and
11 Mr. Pantelic asked questions in relation to this. I think that so far
12 it's uncontested that this training took place in Sarengrad --
13 MR. PANTELIC: I ask for the clarification. I never mentioned
14 that these participants in this course were from 1st Detachment; rather,
15 from 17th Tactical Group.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, but the witness said that they were from the
17 1st Detachment.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, do not interrupt the proceedings.
19 Mr. Lazarevic, please go ahead.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So these young men went to this training course in Sarengrad,
22 which is located in the Republic of Croatia, near Ilok. Do you know,
23 perhaps, who was in control of that Sarengrad centre? Was it the army or
24 was it MUP, of the then -- of the then Federal Republic, or was it of the
25 Serbian Krajina Republic? Whose centre was it? Do you have any
2 A. That centre was part of the MUP of Serbian Krajina, and that's why
3 they had these IDs. They showed these IDs that they were members of the
4 Serbian police of the Serbian Krajina.
5 Q. Thank you. I just have one other question. Also here in the last
6 few minutes there was a question in relation to your political
7 convictions, and your viewpoint as to the issues of Bosnia. Because there
8 were several questions involved in relation to the sovereign Bosnia,
9 unified Yugoslavia, and Bosnia in its composition, I will just ask you one
10 question in relation to your personal attitude. Have you ever been --
11 you, as a man, have you ever been in favour of any ethnical division of
12 the peoples living in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Has this ever been your option,
13 your political option?
14 A. Before I answer this question -- I will answer this question.
15 When the lawyer asked me the question, he didn't wait for the answer. I
16 couldn't answer the question. He just said: "Thank you." And my
17 conviction, in terms of this issue, I was never in favour of any division
18 on the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to ethnic lines. I wanted
19 from Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain multi-ethnic, as it was, to remain as
20 part of Yugoslavia, so that we can live peacefully, as we have done until
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no further questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just have one question for you,
24 Mr. Simeunovic.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: During the questioning this afternoon by
2 Mr. Pantelic, he asked you, on page 83, lines 20 and 21, which day is the
3 day of the feast day of the Samac municipality traditionally. And your
4 answer was: "I think it's the 16th of April now." I just have a couple
5 of very short questions dealing with that. First of all, do you know what
6 this special day, 16th of April, is called?
7 A. I don't live in Samac, but I know that in Samac, 16th of April is
8 celebrated as the liberation day, day of liberation of Samac.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: What is happening? Can we have silence, please.
10 THE INTERPRETER: There is no microphone for the accused.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: The microphone was not on, Mr. Simic. Can you
12 repeat what you wanted to say? The microphone was not on.
13 THE ACCUSED SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 16th of April was
14 never celebrated. This witness is obviously lying, lying, lying, like a
16 JUDGE MUMBA: You had your chance, Mr. Blagoje Simic. Your
17 counsel will take that up in his submissions.
18 Yes, the witness can answer the question.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I think you did answer the question. My
20 last related question: Was it Mr. Pantelic, in his question to you,
21 said: When was this day -- what was this day traditionally? So my
22 question to you is: Was there a special holiday on April the 16th, before
23 April the 16th, 1992, or did it just begin as of 1992?
24 A. All the towns, before the war, as we call it in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, they all had their liberation day, and that day was
1 then celebrated. I really don't know which was the liberation day for the
2 Samac. I know in Brcko, 7th of April, and that was celebrated as
3 liberation day on the 7th of day.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Simeunovic. We have finished with
6 you. You may leave.
7 We shall adjourn now and continue our proceedings tomorrow.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
10 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.