1 Tuesday, 13 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
10 WITNESS: SIMO ZARIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
13 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zaric. Yesterday, before we adjourned, we
15 talked about your first information that you submitted to the command
16 about the situation with the morale in the 2nd Bosnian Brigade and about
17 the things that you had found in place when you assumed the post. We are
18 talking about the situation that you found in the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
19 Once you informed the command about the situation, did the command
20 decide to draft a more detailed information about the causes that had a
21 direct bearing on the situation with morale and relationships in the 2nd
22 Posavina Brigade, and who was tasked with drafting this information?
23 A. Such a decision was indeed made at the level of the command of the
24 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade. The body that I was the head of was tasked
25 with drafting such a document.
1 Q. According to the authorities and the competencies of the body for
2 morale and religious and legal affairs, was that your obligation, as the
3 person who was at the head of that body?
4 A. Yes, precisely so. Besides me, there was just another legal
5 officer in the body, and another officer who was in charge of civilian
6 issues. So as regards the drafting of this information, I had to do most
7 of it, because I was an assistant commander.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, how did you obtain information, how did you get by the
9 knowledge that you later on incorporated into your report?
10 A. In order to draft such a report that would reflect the real
11 situation as regards the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, I used the best
12 method of work that was available to me at the time. That means that I
13 would go directly to all the infantry battalions, to all the independent
14 units which were on the strength of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and
15 I talked to the most responsible persons in those units, starting with
16 their commanders and their assistants, especially those in charge of moral
17 guidance and security, and very often, in agreement with the assistants
18 for morale guidance of these units, I also used those moments when the men
19 of certain units were supposed to relieve other men who were on the first
20 front lines, to talk with them about the problems that were visible in
21 their units. Then I would draft notes and I would thus obtain information
22 as to how the last men in the unit thought about the situation that was in
23 place in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
24 Q. When you were drafting this information, this document, did other
25 members of the command participate in the drafting of this information?
1 If so, could you then tell us who those people were who, together with
2 you, participated in the drafting of this information.
3 A. When I was doing this work - and I must say that I had to invest a
4 lot of effort to reach every unit and to carry out all these talks - and
5 when this information was prepared in its, so to say, roll version, then a
6 Working Group was assigned by the command, who was supposed to provide
7 certain input into that information and help me to prepare this
8 information in the most correct way. Members of this Working Group were
9 Mr. Marko Tubakovic, who was the assistant commander for replenishment and
10 personnel affairs in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and I believe that
11 it was in his job description to do that, because he was the one who had a
12 lot of contact with the units on the ground. And there was also Mr. Jovo
13 Savic, a captain, who was a member of the operative educational body, and
14 also a member of the staff of the brigade.
15 Q. In what month were you given the task to prepare this information,
16 and during which months did you work on the drafting of this information?
17 A. I got this task in late October, once I drafted my first
18 information that I wrote based on the first time I saw the situation.
19 Having realised that this called for a more elaborate analysis that would
20 show what had a bearing on the morale of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, the
21 command decided that this information indeed should be drafted, and I
22 dedicated most of the time to drafting this information during the months
23 of October and November 1992.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, this information, or this document, rather, was it a
25 subject of any discussion by the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
2 A. Yes. This document was the subject of discussion, and let me
3 first tell you: I personally drafted this information, taking into
4 account certain suggestions by my colleagues from the Working Group, and
5 this material that was drafted by me and my Working Group was read to the
6 command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. All the members of the command were
7 present and they discussed this information that they had just heard.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have P127 ter put before
9 Mr. Zaric. This is the information, i.e., the document that we have just
10 been talking about.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, while we are waiting for this exhibit, can you please
12 tell us: When was this information adopted?
13 A. This information was adopted in late November or, to be more
14 precise, on the 29th of November, 1992.
15 Q. Can you please look at this information very briefly, and then we
16 will talk about the discussions that ensued and the way this information
17 was adopted. Can you please tell us if this is that information.
18 A. Yes, that is the information that I drafted.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, who were the people present at the session of the
20 command when the discussion took place about this information and when
21 this information was adopted?
22 A. When the information was being adopted as a document, with the
23 conclusions that arose from the discussion, that session of the command of
24 the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade was attended by the following people:
25 On behalf of the command of the Eastern Bosnia Corps, as our Superior
1 Command, there were two assistant commanders of the Eastern Bosnia Corps.
2 One of them was my immediate superior, according to my subordination
3 line. That was Colonel Zivko Dosen. And the other one, the other
4 assistant who also participated in this discussion was Colonel Dragan
5 Jakovljevic, who was assistant commander of the Eastern Bosnia Corps for
6 intelligence and security.
7 Q. Let's just clarify one thing. What was Zivko Dosen's role?
8 A. Zivko Dosen was assistant commander of East Bosnia Corps for
9 morale, guidance, religious, and legal affairs.
10 Q. Which members of the command were present when the information was
11 discussed and adopted?
12 A. All the people who put their signature on this information were
13 present, and the only person who was absent was Captain Milojevic, who was
14 the assistant commander for logistics. He had participated in previous
15 discussions, but on that particular day he was absent, for certain
16 reasons, and I believe that there was another member of the command who
17 was absent. He was the assistant chief of security. All in all, there
18 were 13 of us who signed this information, who had participated in the
19 discussion and who had drafted the conclusions that you can see at the end
20 of this information.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you please look at the last page of this document.
22 Was it decided by the command that all the present -- on behalf of the
23 command should sign this information?
24 A. Yes. It was decided that all the members of the command should
25 sign this information. We're talking about the army, so there was no
1 voting, as one would have at a political forum. When the discussion
2 ended, a proposal was heard and put forward that all the members of the
3 command should put their signature on this information and thus support
4 what is contained in this information, and this is exactly what happened.
5 Q. Did all the members of the command who were present there
6 personally sign this information?
7 A. All to the last signed this information, and all the members of
8 the command really eagerly, and in the most responsible and constructive
9 way, participated in the discussion, so that the fact that they put their
10 signature and supported this information gives this information the
11 character that it has.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you please look at number 3, where it says "the
13 command of the brigade." Can you please read what it says under number
14 3. Is that you, and is this your signature?
15 A. Yes. This is me and this is my own signature.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, how was this document which was adopted at the session
17 of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade evaluated by your superior officers?
18 I'm referring primarily to Mr. Zivko Dosen, who was your immediate
19 superior, as regards the organ for morale, religious, and legal affairs?
20 A. This information was evaluated with a very good evaluation by
21 Mr. Dosen and Mr. Jakovljevic. Our command passed a test of maturity and
22 humaneness by speaking out in the way that it did in this document.
23 Perhaps I'm being immodest, but I know because I participated at a meeting
24 in the East Bosnia Corps, where the commander himself, General Simic, and
25 others who took part in the debate, referred to this document of the 2nd
1 Posavina Infantry Brigade, mentioning it as an example of how other units
2 should have the strength to speak out in public about the morale of the
3 soldiers of the army of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Thank you. What did the command decide to do? No. I withdraw
5 this question. Just tell us: To whom was this information sent?
6 A. The information had the character of a confidential document. In
7 its original form, it was submitted to the Superior Command, that is,
8 directly to the command of the East Bosnia Corps, which then had its
9 headquarters in Bijeljina.
10 Q. And what did the command decide as to how this information should
11 be used in the future?
12 A. The command decided that this information should be forwarded, or
13 rather, that all the soldiers in the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade should
14 be acquainted with the content of this information, in a reasonable
15 manner. And I must say that two or three days after this information was
16 adopted, a meeting was held in Obudovac which was attended by all the
17 commanders of the infantry units and the independent units, their
18 assistants for morale and security, and I was also at this meeting. So
19 was Chief Milan Josic, and part of the meeting was attended by the
20 commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, Mr. Mile Beronja.
21 At this meeting, we informed all those present about the positions
22 taken by the command, about the situation we had found, and we gave all
23 these men the task, because we considered them to be most responsible for
24 the situation in their units, of transmitting this information and these
25 evaluations to the soldiers, without referring to the original text of the
1 information, but simply saying that this was one of the documents debated
2 at the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
3 In its original form, the document was not forwarded to
4 lower-level units as a confidential document, because we did not want it
5 to give rise to other kinds of reactions.
6 Q. Very well. Did the command decide that this document, that is,
7 this information, should be forwarded to the representatives of the
8 civilian authorities?
9 A. No. There was no mention of this, but it was decided that the
10 representatives of the civilian authorities should be informed about
11 certain standpoints which were expressed both in this document and in the
12 debate that was held, and part of the information that was crucial for the
13 people then in power in the municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, what happened after this information about the
16 situation as regards morale was adopted and signed at the command of the
17 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
18 A. I have to say that after a few days I was sincerely disappointed
19 to a certain extent because the original text of this document, as far as
20 I was able to learn, was taken by Commander Beronja, although we hadn't
21 agreed that this should be done and had acquainted Mr. Milan Simic and
22 Mr. Todorovic with this document, and he was accompanied by a man who was
23 working in the command for replenishment and personnel affairs and who was
24 not a member of the command but was an influential man in the brigade
1 Q. Was a meeting held, Mr. Zaric?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Between the command and the representatives of the civilian
5 A. Yes, right away, because the disclosure of certain matters from
6 this document, as was unfortunately done by our commander, reverberated
7 like a bomb that had exploded in our small area, and right away a meeting
8 was held.
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, who convened that meeting, and where was it held?
10 A. As far as I know, the meeting was called by the commander of the
11 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, and the meeting was held in Pelagicevo, in
12 one of the rooms there. And the commander invited the representatives of
13 the authorities from the Samac Crisis Staff and people from the
14 authorities in Pelagicevo, as an integral part of the municipality under
16 Q. Was the meeting attended by all the members of the command?
17 A. I can't be absolutely certain that they were all there, but 90 per
18 cent of us members of the command were certainly present.
19 Q. And was the meeting attended by some commanders of the infantry
20 battalions from the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
21 A. Yes. The battalion commanders were there, and the commanders of
22 the independent units. So this was an important meeting of the most
23 important people from the military, and also the most responsible people
24 from the civilian authorities.
25 Q. Did you attend the meeting, Mr. Zaric?
1 A. Yes, I did, of course.
2 Q. Thank you. Who of the representatives of the civilian authorities
3 of Bosanski Samac attended the meeting? Can you enumerate the names?
4 A. Of the representatives of the authorities, there was Mr. Blagoje
5 Simic, as the president of the Crisis Staff; Milan Simic, as the president
6 of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Samac municipality;
7 then there was Stevan Todorovic, as the chief of the public security
8 station of the municipality of Bosanski Samac; there was Mr. Savo Popovic,
9 as a member of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Samac; there was
10 Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, who at that time -- I don't know whether he was a
11 member of the War Presidency. I'm not sure of that. But I know he did
12 attend the meeting, if in no other capacity than as the chief of the
13 ministry department for National Defence at the level of the municipality
14 of Bosanski Samac. Along with all these gentlemen, there was also a guest
15 who had arrived with Mr. Todorovic and whose name was Ostoja Minic. He
16 introduced himself as a High Representative of the Ministry of the
17 Interior of Republika Srpska.
18 Q. Thank you. As far as you can recollect, was the meeting also
19 attended by Simeon Simic?
20 A. It's possible, but I'm not a hundred per cent certain of that.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, who chaired and presided over the meeting?
22 A. The meeting was chaired by our commander, the commander of the 2nd
23 Posavina Brigade, Major Mile Beronja.
24 Q. Can you tell us who took part in the debate at this meeting?
25 Primarily I mean the representatives of the civilian authorities who
1 attended the meeting.
2 A. I remember well that the discussion included a brief intervention
3 by Mr. Blagoje Simic, but he was not among the first to speak from the
4 civilian authorities, and a very long polemic and discussion was conducted
5 by Mr. Milan Simic, as the representative of the Executive Board,
6 Mr. Stevan Todorovic, as the chief of the public security station; and to
7 our great surprise, Mr. Ostoja Minic, who had arrived as a guest and
8 introduced himself as a High Representative of the Ministry of the
9 Interior of Republika Srpska.
10 Q. Can you remember whether Mr. Bozo Ninkovic took part in the
12 A. Yes. Mr. Bozo Ninkovic also took part in the discussion, and on
13 behalf of the brigade command, there was a brief discussion by the
14 commander, who made a few brief comments. Then the Chief of Staff and one
15 of the battalion commanders, Mr. Savo Bosic.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you recall, after all this time has elapsed, what
17 Mr. Blagoje Simic said at that meeting?
18 A. In my opinion, Blagoje Simic was the most sensitive to the fact
19 that this information touched upon political issues, and he felt that the
20 command and the military should not be dealing with these issues. He
21 thought it was not proper for the military to give political assessments,
22 and that's what he mostly complained about, because he felt that this
23 could upset the relationship between politics and the military as a
24 defence component. This was the most serious criticism put forward by
25 Mr. Blagoje Simic at that meeting.
1 Q. You have already said that Stevan Todorovic also took part in the
2 discussion at that meeting. First of all, tell me: What state was
3 Mr. Todorovic in at that meeting? Could something be noticed on him?
4 A. Yes. I have to say, and it doesn't refer just to Mr. Todorovic,
5 that it was sad to see in what state Mr. Todorovic, Mr. Milan Simic, and
6 Mr. Ostoja Minic, who introduced himself as a High Representative, were
7 in. They were more than drunk, without any feeling of responsibility for
8 what was said at that meeting which, in my view, was very important.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you now tell us briefly what Stevan Todorovic said
10 at that meeting.
11 A. Stevan Todorovic evidently had at his disposal information as to
12 who might be the author of the document, regardless of the fact that there
13 were 13 signatories to the document. He used the word -- rather, he said
14 that the KGB system could be seen in this document, the KGB was the secret
15 service of the former Soviet Union and part of the Yugoslav UDBA, U-D-B-A.
16 He was alluding to the fact that I was the author of this document, and he
17 wanted to say that it was something that any person should condemn rather
18 than giving it its proper weight. He said that there were many
19 insinuations, lies, that there was slander in the document. He said that
20 these were Stalinist methods. These were very harsh words. He felt that
21 this was some kind of military putsch, that it was to bring into question
22 the existing authorities in the municipalities of Bosanski Samac and
24 Q. You have already said what kind of state Mr. Milan Simic was in.
25 Can you tell us briefly what Mr. Milan Simic said at that meeting?
1 A. Mr. Milan Simic was very arrogant. I had never seen him in that
2 light before. He supported the approach of Mr. Todorovic as to the way in
3 this information was drawn up and what its outlines were. And then he
4 addressed all of us in the command in a very cynical manner. He said we
5 had to bear in mind, because the army was dependent on them - and when I
6 say "them," I meant the authorities - so he said if the Executive Board,
7 and I and my men don't bring cigarettes to the soldiers on the line, if we
8 don't bring them food, how do you think you will survive? And this caused
9 a lot of bitterness and outrage, so that one of the commanders who was
10 present and who had a lot of authority in the 2nd Posavina Infantry
11 Brigade, and that was Mr. Savo Bosic, who was the commander of the 1st
12 Infantry Battalion, which was part of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
13 He spoke.
14 Q. Can you remember what Mr. Savo Bosic said on that occasion?
15 A. Mr. Savo Bosic said to Mr. Simic, first of all, you should have
16 arrived at this meeting in a normal state and not drunk. Secondly, he
17 told him that it was very sad that the first man of the executive
18 government should have such an arrogant attitude toward his own army,
19 because we were an army originating from that area. In the morning we
20 were defending the lines; in the afternoon we were working on the fields
21 and in the factories. So Mr. Bosic responded to this very primitive
22 reaction by Mr. Milan as a representative of the executive government in
23 the municipality of Samac.
24 Q. Sir, at some point you mentioned Mr. Simic. Were you thinking of
25 Mr. Milan Simic?
1 A. Yes. I was thinking of Mr. Milan Simic, as the president of the
2 Executive Board.
3 Q. Do you recall what Bozo Ninkovic said at that occasion?
4 A. Bozo Ninkovic introduced himself as being the representative, and
5 in fact he was one, of the ministry of the National Defence of the
6 Republika Srpska, and as chief of the department, stating that, according
7 to him, there were some elements and that the army, in spite of the laws
8 of the National Defence, was mixing itself in other competencies which
9 were not its place. He didn't have any particular arguments to support
10 this theory, but I would say that in this litany of critics of this choir
11 of people who came to tell us various things, he was just basically
12 supporting all the complaints that the other ones were formulating.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, please tell us, according to your recollection: How
14 did Ostoja Minic behave and what did he say at the meeting in question?
15 And I'm thinking of that man who was representing the Ministry of the
16 Interior of the Republika Srpska.
17 A. That's a story on its own, I must say. I saw him for the first
18 time then. Even though he introduced himself as being some kind of an
19 inhabitant of Donja Dubica, that he was born in the municipality of Odzak,
20 that he was a compatriot, he was so drunk that it was incredible. But he
21 very openly, very openly and in a way was a very destructive conversation,
22 he said and started to threaten, stating that this material is a criminal
23 act and that he directly -- or that it directly criticises constitutional
24 order of the Republika Srpska, and stating that he had the occasion to
25 control the work of the security station and that many things that were
1 said as an indicational way, because in that context the information was
2 not talking about the authors of these actions, but it just stated the
3 actions. He said that the security post was working well, and accordingly
4 to the law, that there's nothing illegal going on at that security
5 station. And he was a member of a work group which represented the
6 Ministry of the Interior, and this work group came even before and after
7 on the territory covered by the security station. Now, as to what was
8 found in that security station, we've heard Mr. Slavko Paleksic, who
9 testified before this Honourable Court, and I believe that everything was
10 said through him.
11 Q. You told us who were the members who took part in this
12 conversation, but did you, Mr. Zaric, take part in this conversation?
13 A. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that I was trying to find my
14 words, or find words from my commander - I was sitting right next to him.
15 I was sitting to his left side, and to his right side, the chief of the
16 staff, Mr. -- Captain Josic was there, Major Beronja was his name, and he
17 didn't allow me to talk because he said that it was not a good moment to
18 speak. The atmosphere was not good, and that is why I shouldn't be
19 defending the -- whatever this information was stating. So that's why I
20 must say that the command did not have its chance and the members of the
21 command did not get a chance to explain to these men who represented the
22 authorities to say what was our purpose, why was this information
23 written. Maybe I'm not being modest, but I am one -- I was one of the
24 most influential people who worked on the drafting of this information. I
25 was never given the chance to even say a word during that meeting.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us: How many times did you ask the commander to
2 give you the possibility to speak or to take the floor?
3 A. Well, a few times, three times, actually. Whenever these men from
4 the authorities would take the floor and they would evaluate us the way
5 they were, I thought that it was very important to show and to explain
6 what were the purposes why and how we got these informations which were
7 stated in this document called the information. And in spite of the fact
8 that I myself wanted to participate in this meeting, I was not given a
9 chance to take the floor.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, how did this meeting end?
11 A. This meeting ended, I would say, in an atmosphere which was
12 resembling the Far West.
13 Q. Can you describe to us what do you mean?
14 A. When Mr. Ostoja Minic, who was a man who introduced himself as
15 being a High Representative of an organ of the Ministry of the Interior of
16 Republika Srpska, he said some very heavy words and he was insulting the
17 command. He was saying that it was our responsibility to -- for if a
18 putsch would occur and we should expect that the authorities would
19 change. And the other members of the command had a very strong opinion
20 also, but Mr. Jovan Erletic entered in a sort of a verbal duel with him.
21 He was a member of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade and he was present.
22 So he was the one who had this verbal duel with him.
23 Q. Did I understand you correctly? This meeting basically was not
24 fruitful; it did not bring out many conclusions?
25 A. No, because this verbal duel, in the end, turned out to be a scene
1 in which Mr. Minic got up, walked towards Mr. Erletic, and the latter is a
2 very strong man, a very robust man, and he answered at that moment in such
3 a way that he did not allow Mr. Minic to approach him and to grab him by
4 the jacket. So he grabbed the other one and they started to push each
5 other. There was some pushing and shoving and they were shoving each
6 other on the wall. And I was more under the impression that we were in a
7 restaurant of the Far West rather than at a very important meeting.
8 Q. After this incident, did this meeting continue, or was it over?
9 A. No. It was interrupted at that point. We each went on our merry
10 way, and basically it just ended without any conclusion. And I think that
11 given the seriousness and the character of the people who were present
12 there, this meeting ended without a conclusion and without any serious
13 messages that could objectively be given or be brought after such a
14 serious meeting.
15 Q. After this meeting was ended, Mr. Zaric, tell me: Were there any
16 procedures taken against you on behalf of some authorities of the civil
18 A. After this information and after this meeting, I was basically set
19 aside from that very moment up until the end of the war. Some people from
20 the authorities didn't really like me, and I don't -- I can't even tell
21 you how lucky I am to be alive today and to be testifying here before this
22 international criminal justice court.
23 Q. The Ministry of the Defence of the Samac department, did they send
24 some kind of a letter to the attention of the Eastern Corps, Eastern
25 Bosnia Corps?
1 A. Yes. Right after, one or two days after the adoption of this
2 information, a letter arrived. This letter was drafted on behalf of the
3 department of the Ministry of Defence of Samac, and in this letter I was
4 being degraded. This letter stated about the desertion of my son Mirel,
5 who was 17 years old at the time. He was going to the fourth year of the
6 gymnasium, and they were saying that I had some dubious contacts with some
7 people on the municipality. And they suggested in this letter that the
8 command of the brigade should think seriously about how exemplary or how
9 recommended it is that such a man should be at such a high position within
10 the command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade.
11 Q. Thank you, sir.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
13 the document D31/4.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take this document and put it on the ELMO so
15 that we can all see it.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe we have some technical problems. We
17 cannot see anything on the ELMO.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: We can go ahead, Mr. Pisarevic, because -- what the
19 document is all about and then discuss it with the witness.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: We don't need to have it on the ELMO. We already
22 have it, actually, because it's an exhibit.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, it is not
24 necessary, but I just thought that it would facilitate the matter.
25 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have read this document, you know its contents?
1 A. Yes, and I will remember this document until I die.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us: Is there anything in this document that
3 resembles the truth?
4 A. Those are all lies and defamations. There's not one single word
5 of truth in this document. And as you can see, this document was
6 forwarded to very important organs from the municipality and the territory
7 of the East Bosnia Corps. And, according to Mr. Ninkovic, it was just to
8 shed a very ugly light on my own person.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you. Could you please tell us if this document
10 was discussed during a meeting of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
11 A. Yes, it was discussed during a meeting of the command, and as a
12 member of the command when this document was forwarded, I, as a member,
13 insisted that the command should take positions regarding some evaluations
14 of myself which were stated in this document. I wanted them either to
15 support me or to condemn this disqualification or this way of behaviour.
16 The command reacted in a very positive way, and they had written a letter
17 back to the author of this text, Mr. Bozo Ninkovic.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show Mr. Zaric
19 Document D32/4. That is a letter of the command of the 2nd Infantry
20 Posavina Brigade.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, please take a look at this document. We are not going
22 to discuss the content, because the document speaks for itself. But just
23 please confirm to us, if you can: Is this the document which is actually
24 a letter, stemming from the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, forwarded to
25 the Ministry of Defence of Posavina, department of Samac, and is this an
1 answer to the letter sent by Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, who was at the time chief
2 of the ministry, the department of Ministry of Defence in Bosanski Samac?
3 A. Yes, this is a reaction to this letter. It is. This letter was
4 sent from the command and this letter was sent to Mr. Ninkovic.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, is this written by a commander or does this stem from
6 the command, as a general body?
7 A. It comes from the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, but this document
8 is signed by the commander.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We do not need this document any
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, the command of the East Bosnia Corps, did it take any
13 measures with regard to this document or was it something that was
14 discussed only by your own command?
15 A. As far as I know, the command of the East Bosnia Corps did not
16 take any particular measures once they received this information. They
17 left it to us to deal with this internally, in our area of responsibility,
18 to the best of our abilities.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you aware of the fact that there was a session of
20 the Municipal Assembly of Samac municipality on the 16th of December,
21 1992, in the Trile restaurant in Pisari village?
22 A. I'm aware of the fact, and I personally attended that session.
23 Q. How did you attend that meeting? In what capacity? In what
24 capacity did you attend the meeting that was held on the 16th of December,
1 A. I had the authority of the commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
2 Brigade, Major Beronja, to go to that meeting. It was also in the
3 description of my job. It was more normal for the assistant commander for
4 morale, religious, and legal affairs to represent the command as a liaison
5 officer between the command and the civilian bodies. Very often times I
6 was bypassed, but this time, Commander Beronja gave me his authority to
7 attend the session which was held on the 16th of December, 1992, in Pisari
8 village, in the well-known restaurant Trile, and that's how I went and
9 participated in that session, as a guest, on behalf of my brigade.
10 Q. Can you tell us in brief outlines: What was discussed at that
11 session and whether the information drafted by the 2nd Posavina Infantry
12 Brigade was considered at that session, and was it in any way discussed?
13 A. As far as I remember, there were several items on the agenda, and
14 this information, as a document, was not on the agenda; at least, I didn't
15 see it. However, there was another evaluation of security and political
16 situation that was elaborated by a document drafted by the Crisis Staff.
17 This was one item on the agenda and this was the information that was
18 discussed and which gave the tone to the entire session which was held on
19 the 16th of December.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, although you were only a guest at that session, were
21 you given an opportunity to take the floor and address the deputies of the
22 Municipal Assembly of Samac?
23 A. Yes, I was given that opportunity. I was given the opportunity to
24 speak. I can only say that one of the participants in the discussion was
25 the former or the first president of the Executive Board of the Municipal
1 Assembly of Samac, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic. And when we considered the
2 evaluation of the security and political situation, that was done on the
3 basis of a particular bulletin, and my name was mentioned as one of the
4 first traitors of the Serbian people and the author of some dubious
5 material. Then I received attacks from the most responsible persons from
6 the government; however, I tried to contribute in my own style and I tried
7 to explain what was treated by the information that I authored. However,
8 my impression was that my words did not penetrate the minds and the
9 conscience of the deputies of Samac municipality.
10 Q. Who were the deputies who portrayed you as a traitor of the
11 Serbian people?
12 A. First of all, I would like to say that the information was
13 presented in a bulletin, with particular iconography, and that was signed
14 by Mr. Blagoje Simic. Who were other people who supported that text, I
15 wouldn't go into that, but I know that at that session, the attacks on me
16 were by Mr. Milan Simic, by Mr. Stevan Todorovic, Aco Jankovic, especially
17 Mr. Simeun Simic and also Mr. Blagoje Simic, who said that I engaged in
18 politics while I worked in the army.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: There are two words missing here. When Mr. Zaric
20 was talking about Mr. Blagoje Simic, he said also in the milder form.
21 This is what we heard of what Mr. Zaric said. I don't see this in the
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Is that line 20 or line 19?
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: It's page -- it's page 22, line 19.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think we can clear the confusion.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, you were talking about the people who participated in
3 that session, and you mentioned that Mr. Blagoje Simic also spoke. Tell
4 us: What did you say a little while ago? How did Mr. Blagoje Simic talk
5 about you and about the information that you authored?
6 A. What was recognisable at that session, and the way I had seen and
7 perceived Blagoje Simic, he did not participate in many discussions.
8 However, he always protected the political core, and in that meeting he
9 also pointed to the fact that either I or the command of the brigade
10 interfered too much in politics. And according to him, this was not the
11 task of the army. That was his opinion. And I was given the chance to
12 react, and I said that his words were too harsh and that this is not what
13 the army did. And that is the only thing that he said. He talked about
14 the political engagement. If the Trial Chamber deems it necessary for me
15 to say what other participants said, I will gladly do that and you will
16 become aware how much calmer and milder Mr. Blagoje Simic was with respect
17 to the other participants in the discussion.
18 Q. Was his position milder than the position of other participants in
19 the discussion?
20 A. Absolutely. His position was much, much milder. However, when he
21 presented this political differentiation, he was talking to me and he was
22 addressing me, and he didn't attack me as much as the others did.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you aware of the fact that some deputies of the
24 Municipal Assembly of Samac, who were SDS members, who didn't agree with
25 the discussion and the overall politics, walked out of that assembly and
1 the SDS party? Are you aware of the fact? Do you remember that? And if
2 you do, can you tell us who these people were.
3 A. I remember two cases. One was -- involved Mr. Milan Jekic, who at
4 the beginning of the war was the assistant commander of the police station
5 in Bosanski Samac. Formerly he had been an SDS deputy. At that
6 particular session of the assembly, he publicly voiced his disagreement
7 with the policy of the Serbian Democratic Party and the words of some
8 people who participated in that discussion, and he said that from then on
9 he should not be considered a member of the SDS and he would no longer
10 come to any of the sessions of the assembly. As far as I know, Mr. Jekic
11 didn't go back on these words.
12 The second participant in that discussion who was very critical
13 against Mr. Milan Simic and the work of the Executive Board was Mr. David
14 Simic who was also a deputy and a member of the Serbian Democratic Party.
15 However, later on I heard that he did not abandon his seat in the assembly
16 and that he remained a member of the assembly. But at that particular
17 moment, he was very negative towards some of the moves by the Executive
18 Board and by Mr. Milan Simic, who at that time was the head of that body.
19 Q. At that session, what did Mr. Mirko Jovanovic say? He was the
20 former president of the Executive Board of the Samac municipality and the
21 president of the --
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... Question posed
23 by Mr. Pisarevic was not properly recorded. The question was: "At that
24 session, what happened to Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, former president of the
25 municipal board -- Executive Board," I'm sorry. The question was not:
1 What did Mr. Mirko Jovanovic say?
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's just have the question posed again.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Zaric, what do you know about -- what happened at that session
5 to Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, the former president of the Executive Board of the
6 Municipal Assembly of Samac, who, at the same time, was the president of
7 the Executive Board of the Assembly of the Serbian People of Samac
8 municipality and Pelagicevo under formation?
9 A. Mirko Jovanovic was given an opportunity to say for the first time
10 before the highest body as to how he had been removed from his position as
11 the president of the Executive Board, and for what reasons. He thought
12 that this was an illegitimate act, and he said that some move that had
13 been taken at the beginning, in the early days of the war, were not the
14 moves that he, as the president of the Executive Board, could have
15 seconded. His attendance of the funeral of Aleksandar Vuk, a Special, who
16 was killed on the 1st of May of 1992, from which he couldn't return
17 because of certain problems, that is, the corridor in the area of Brcko
18 municipality was cut off, he was late, and that was used as a reason for
19 the people in the government to believe that he did not want to go on
20 performing his tasks. He said that he didn't want to leave the Serbian
21 Democratic Party. He said that within his abilities, he would continue
22 fighting for some of the goals. And as far as I know, Mirko Jovanovic,
23 either that year or in the following year, he became a deputy in the
24 peoples assembly of Republika Srpska.
25 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to my learned friend. Intervention
1 to the transcript with regard to the interpretation. It's page 25, line
2 13. Mr. Zaric said: "Before the highest legislative body," I believe,
3 and we heard that. And the other issue, maybe my learned friend
4 Mr. Pisarevic can clarify whether Mr. Zaric is speaking on the legislative
5 body on the municipal level or it's a higher level, in order to clarify
6 that. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: First of all we deal with the omission of the
8 legislative body. Do you accept what Mr. Pantelic has said, that you had
9 said it was before the highest legislative body?
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: That's all right. The second part where
12 Mr. Pantelic wants to clarify, you can clarify that with Mr. Simo Zaric, I
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you said "the highest legislative body," were you
16 referring to the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac being the highest
17 legislative body on the territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
18 A. Yes. That's precisely what I meant to that. I meant that, yes.
19 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as Mr. Zaric has
20 already mentioned the bulletin that was published, I would ask that
21 Exhibit D29/4 be put in front of him. This is the bulletin in which the
22 role of Mr. Zaric was mentioned.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, please have a look at the document before you put it on
24 the ELMO. Have you seen it? First tell us, Mr. Zaric: What is this
1 A. This bulletin is one of the ways in which the public was provided
2 with information about the assessments made by the people in the
3 authorities, or rather, what the authorities felt the people should be
4 informed about. There were many such bulletins published during the war,
5 and the chief ideologues and editors of everything contained in these
6 bulletins were Mr. Simic and Mr. Bozo Ninkovic.
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, you mentioned Simic. Since we have had many people in
8 these proceedings with the last name of Simic, could you tell us his first
10 A. I said Simeun Simic. I said Mr. Simeun Simic. I don't know
11 whether it entered the transcript.
12 Q. So the person is Mr. Simeun Simic, is it not?
13 A. Yes, it's Mr. Simeun Simic, and I think that the title of this
14 bulletin deserves attention. I wish to draw everyone's attention to this.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, please tell us: Is this a regular issue of the
16 bulletin or is it a special issue?
17 A. This was a special issue, and here in the middle it says that it's
18 a special issue. And it was specially published for the first assembly of
19 the municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo under formation, which was held
20 on the 16th of December, 1992.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, would you please turn to page 3. I think it's page 3,
22 where your name is mentioned.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Before we do that,
24 Mr. Zaric had stated a couple of lines before, I think it was lines 16 and
25 17 on page 27, that he thought that the title of the bulletin deserved
2 Perhaps, Mr. Zaric, you could tell us what the title is and why it
3 deserves attention before Mr. Pisarevic moves on with his next question.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Yes. I interrupted you.
6 A. Would the usher please help me, because I don't know how to work
7 this equipment. It should be moved a little bit. If you can move it up a
9 The first thing I want to say is that this is a special issue, and
10 here in the middle, that's what it says, that it's a special issue. This
11 large title here says: "Enemies don't have a chance." This is the chief
12 political message of this bulletin. And on the right and left, it
13 mentions the assessment of the security situation in the municipality.
14 Because of this phrase here, which is so evident on the front page, and
15 the fact that it's a special issue, I think this has a certain weight,
16 especially if you look at pages 2 and 3, and there you can see something
17 connected to my name, and some other people who are called to task in this
19 MR. PANTELIC: Could Mr. Zaric be so kind to read the full title
20 the -- of this bulletin.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure he can read that, because it's --
22 MR. PANTELIC: No, no, no. [Interpretation] No, Mr. Zaric. Just
23 the topic, the topic. You don't have to read every word. What it says
24 here in a slanting line, could you read out the whole title, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The writing says: "Political and
1 security situation in the municipality."
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, before you look at the page I wanted you to look at,
4 would you please tell me: Did this bulletin have the character of a means
5 of information in the municipality of Samac in 1992 and 1993? Was it part
6 of the media, so to speak?
7 A. Yes, it was. And I don't know in how many copies it was printed,
8 but there were enough to reach all the institutions in the municipality
9 and the soldiers, the ranks. So it was a means of information until
10 conditions were created for a proper newspaper, which was called Corridor,
11 later on.
12 Q. And who published this information?
13 A. It was the bulletin of the Crisis Staff, as the highest
14 legislative body in the municipality.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's time
16 for a break now.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break now.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, will you please look at this document which is before
23 you, the bulletin. Can you tell us whether your name is mentioned here
24 and whether it says that you are neither a deputy nor a member of any
25 assembly body?
1 A. On page number 2 of this bulletin, the middle paragraph, there is
2 a sentence which reads as follows: "The fact that this is a strange
3 session of the assembly is also shown by the fact that the agenda contains
4 some material authored by Simo Zaric, who is neither a deputy nor a member
5 of any assembly organ."
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Where it says "material," do you understand
7 this to mean the information drawn up by the command of the 2nd Posavina
8 Infantry Brigade?
9 A. Yes. This is the material mentioned in the bulletin.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, would you look at the signature at the bottom of the
11 page. What does it say here?
12 A. In the signature, it says "president of the War Presidency of the
13 municipality of Samac, Dr. Blagoje Simic," and there is his signature.
14 Q. Is there also a stamp? If you can read it. If it's not legible,
15 don't try. It's not really very legible.
16 A. Well, obviously this is the stamp of the Crisis Staff, because I
17 can see that it mentions the Municipal Assembly. But I don't see the
18 entire text. I see that part of it says "Samac," so I assume this is the
19 official stamp then used by the Crisis Staff for its needs.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. We no longer need this document.
21 Mr. Zaric, did you suffer any consequences after learning of the
22 existence of this information and after this bulletin was published? Did
23 you continue holding the post of the assistant commander for morale,
24 religious, and legal affairs in the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
1 A. Yes. I stayed on until the autumn of 1993, when I was definitely
2 replaced and assigned to the duty of a private in a unit.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, as a private in the army of Republika Srpska, where did
4 you go to the war theatre?
5 A. I was in quite a few places, from Han Pijesak, in the direction of
6 Zepa, on Majevica, in Bosansko Grahovo, in Krupa, in Glamoc, in Drvar, and
7 there is no part of the war front in the area of responsibility of the 2nd
8 Posavina Infantry Brigade where I was not with the military.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. And throughout this time, you were a common
10 private in the army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. A common private, although I had an officer's rank. I was
12 commanded by common privates or by sergeants. But I didn't mind. All I
13 wanted was to survive.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, do you have any information about the
15 arrest of Stevan Todorovic and Milan Simic by the military police from
16 Brcko, that is, from the East Bosnia Corps of the army of Republika
18 A. Yes, I did have this information.
19 Q. What did you know about the arrest of Stevan Todorovic and Milan
21 A. As far as I can recall, this was sometime in the first half of
22 November 1992. The members of the military security of the East Bosnia
23 Corps, or rather, their representatives, acting through the military
24 police on the territory of the municipality of Brcko, arrested Mr. Stevan
25 Todorovic and Milan Simic, for certain reasons I was not aware of, and
1 this, of course, gave rise to reactions by certain political structures
2 and some members of the renegade forces. And a part of the road passing
3 through the territory in the direction of Bijeljina and Brcko was cut off.
4 Q. The cutting off of the corridor, where it did happen? In the area
5 of what municipality?
6 A. This happened on the territory of the municipality of Samac, at
7 two points. One was at the crossroads in Crkvina, where part of the road
8 leads in the direction of Modrica, and further on, in the direction of the
9 western part of Republika Srpska; and the other part of the road leads in
10 the direction of Gradacac. The other large point where a bottleneck was
11 created to prevent people from using the corridor, this was on the road to
12 Gradacac, near the village of Kornica, where the road turns left to the
13 village of Gornja Slatina. It was at this crossroads that the barricade
14 was set up, blocking passage along that communication.
15 Q. Can you be a bit more precise as to which forces took part in the
16 closing off of the corridor?
17 A. I was unfortunately a participant of this drama. When we talk
18 about the corridor of Crkvina and the stopping of people to cross were
19 members of the Special Forces, they wore camouflage uniforms, they had
20 hats on their heads. We couldn't see their faces. And there was a
21 member -- there were members of the special force, and they were in the
22 direction of Kornica, going towards Gornja Slatina.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, when you talk about members of Special Forces, who are
24 these people?
25 A. By closing off the corridor, we knew that Mr. Dragan Djordjevic,
1 Crni, was leading that action, and he was also accompanied by Mr. Slobodan
2 Miljkovic, Lugar. He was his fateful assistant. And there were also some
3 other people with them, some volunteers who had come at the time from
4 Serbia to our territory. And there were some local members of the Special
5 Forces who in them saw their heroes.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you have an encounter with these people who were on
7 these barricades which, through the corridor, was cut? If you did have
8 any contacts, please tell us what happened.
9 A. Yes, I did have a direct contact, first in Crkvina in a car in
10 which I was. At that point, it was in the afternoon hours and I was going
11 in the direction of Pelagicevo. I was headed to the command in
12 Pelagicevo, where I was the assistant of the commander for morale,
13 religious, and legal affairs. I was also accompanied by at the time by
14 Captain Jovo Savic. He was also a member of that command. We were
15 stopped at the point by an officer of the police station, Mr. Tesic
16 Djordje. He came by car, and behind him we could see four or five special
17 members, members of the Special Forces. They were armed to the teeth.
18 They had hats on their heads and we couldn't know who was there. We didn't
19 recognise them. We didn't know who they were, who was hiding behind these
21 Mr. Djordje approached us and told us: Where are you coming
22 from? How come you came here? They have the task to kill you.
23 I was so surprised, and I was so astonished by this, and by such a
24 reaction of Mr. Djordje Tesic, whom I had known as a very serious police
25 officer, because before the war he also worked for a certain period of
1 time on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. To be more precise, in
2 Osijek. And because of the war before -- because of problems before the
3 war, he came to Samac and became a professional police officer at the
4 police station of Samac. He only said the following: Turn around and run
5 away before Lugar shows up.
6 Q. And what did you and Mr. Jovo Savic do at that point?
7 A. I was driving the car. I did not have time to think. I was under
8 the impression that this was no joke. We turned around and we went back
9 where we came from. We went in the direction of Bosanski Samac, and from
10 that crossroad, all the way up until Bosanski Samac and up until the
11 building in which I live, there's approximately 4 kilometres. That's the
12 distance between the crossroads and my building.
13 Q. Did you have other encounters of the sort?
14 A. That evening we hid in such a way that it would look like it was
15 an event from a film. We noticed that in Samac arrived a car. Some
16 people were inside that car and they had special uniforms. They wore
17 these special hats. And we went around that settlement, that part of the
18 town, and very quickly we were able to put the car in the garage and to
19 enter my apartment building, the number 4, the entrance number 4 of that
20 apartment building, and we were following from upstairs and we could see
21 them drive around, because we couldn't understand what had happened to us,
22 to me and Captain Savic. We had spent all that night awake. We stayed
23 up, and we were ready that should they enter the apartment building, we
24 were ready to fight back with weapons in order to save our lives. But
25 that night, nobody came into that building, into my building. Nobody came
1 into that entrance, since Mr. Savic and myself were awake and we were
2 watching to see what was going on around the building.
3 Q. So Mr. Jovo Savic, Captain Jovo Savic and yourself, what did you
4 do in the morning?
5 A. In the early morning hours, around 6.00 a.m., as soon as daytime
6 came, we thought the situation became more or less normal, so Mr. Savic
7 and myself drove in the direction -- through Crkvina in the direction of
8 Kornica. And what's interesting to say here is that that morning, in
9 Crkvina, there were no patrol cars, there was no checkpoint, and we
10 thought that the situation had gone back to normal. But around 6.30 a.m.,
11 we arrived to the second checkpoint, where we could see a tank, a Praga,
12 some military vehicles. The situation was horrifying. We saw, on the
13 road that goes from Gornja Slatina towards the crossroads, that there were
14 dozens and dozens of various vehicles, from trucks to buses. Everything
15 was blocked. And near that crossroads, as we were going from Crkvina to
16 the crossroad, we -- Mr. Vincetic got into our car. I remember that last
17 name because the son of that Vincetic died, and that's why that man had
18 gone from Obudovac, and he asked us if we could give him a ride.
19 When we approached the crossroad, all of a sudden Captain Savic
20 said: Look, there's Lugar with his team, with his group of people, at the
21 crossroad. And we were at that point approximately 50 to 70 metres away
22 of the crossroad. I stopped my car, and to the right-hand side, Captain
23 Savic saw, from that house where we had stopped, his wife was born in that
24 house and this is where her parents lived. So we thought that maybe it
25 was a good idea to stop and to very calmly go and pay them a visit. It
1 was his in-laws. And we thought that maybe we can have a coffee and think
2 and see, evaluate how Mr. Lugar would react, and all these volunteers who
3 were armed to the teeth and who were, all them, aside from Lugar or two or
4 three men, wore these camouflage uniforms and these hats, and we couldn't
5 see who they were.
6 Q. What happened afterwards?
7 A. We stayed there about half an hour. We had coffee. We were
8 looking out the window to see what the situation was like. The situation
9 did not change. And then we evaluated that it would be a good idea to get
10 in the car and go on our way, because we thought that Mr. Lugar would come
11 with his group of people, because they were very attentive to our car and
12 they were very often looking at the car and in our direction. So we got
13 in the car. I was driving for about 20 to 30 metres, and all of a sudden,
14 in the direction of the car, that police officer, Djordje Tesic, who had
15 told us the previous evening to stop, or who had stopped us at the
16 crossroad in Crkvina, and behind him, Mr. Lugar was walking in the middle
17 of the road, and to the left, as well as to the right, he was accompanied
18 by five special members, and they were dressed in such a way as I already
19 described to you. Their weapons were pointing at us, and they all started
20 heading in the direction of the car in which we were, and that I stopped.
21 Mr. Tesic, Djordje, only said the following: Gentlemen, you are
22 under arrest. And from this moment on, you will have to go to the base in
23 Hrvatska Tisina.
24 I only asked: Who gave such an order, and who can give such an
25 order? At which point, Mr. Lugar came to us by car, so he approached us,
1 and I must say that he is very particular. I'm not going to describe him
2 to you. He is very cynical. When you look at him, you fear. So he came
3 close to me. He was about 20 centimetres away from me. He looked inside
4 the car. He saw Captain Savic. He also noticed Mr. Vincetic, whom he
5 probably didn't even know. And he said: Look at my little birds. They
6 came me on their own. As if we were some little birds, and as if we had
7 flown into his nest. That's what he meant. So he said: Little birds,
8 where are you flying to? Where are you going? That's what he said, in a
9 very arrogant way. I tried to be very determined, and I said: I'm going
10 to the command of the brigade. I'm going to work. He said: What
11 command? Of which brigade, Mr. Zaric? And I said: Mr. Lugar, you know
12 very well that I'm a member of the command and that I'm going to
14 At that point -- and I just want to say this before: That when
15 they started walking towards the car I said to Captain Savic not to move
16 his hand or his arm. I didn't move either because I knew what the
17 reaction would have been. If they wanted to kill us, I thought that it
18 was sufficient to make a wrong move and they would have pierced the car
19 with bullets. We just stayed calm, and I believe that this is what helped
20 us not to get killed at that time.
21 Now, to the right-hand side of me where Mr. Jovo Savic was
22 sitting, he was also approached by one of these men who were wearing a
23 camouflage uniform. And when this other guy saw Savic, he said: Uncle,
24 what are you doing there? When he said something, he recognised that it's
25 Mihajcic, who is a member of his family and who was wearing this
1 camouflage uniform. So when he said "Uncle," this calmed Mr. Lugar down.
2 And so he said, literally, the following: Gentlemen, go directly to
3 Pelagicevo. I'm going to be there in half an hour from now and I want to
4 find you at the command.
5 We didn't say anything. I was only thinking whether I would get
6 out of that situation alive and whether there would be no incident as the
7 car leaves. Fortunately, there was no other incidents, there was no other
8 measures taken towards us. The car just started, we turned left. And I
9 must say that hundreds and hundreds of buses, trucks, and people were
10 stopped on that road, and they -- it was very difficult to drive, but we
11 went on through the right and we were able to go through and drive on. So
12 we got to Donji Zabari, where at that point there was a forward command
13 post of the East Bosnia Corps.
14 Q. So how did it end, this closing off of the corridor situation?
15 A. Mr. Jovo Savic and myself were in Donji Zabari and we found there
16 the commander of the corps. He was already a general at the time, General
17 Major Novica Simic. We told him what happened, and we asked him: How is
18 it possible that someone should behave that way and close off a corridor?
19 He told us that he was following the situation. He thinks that our
20 commander, Beronja, was quite guilty for it. It was his fault. That's
21 what he said at the time. But he also told us not to be scared to go to
22 the command and that he informed about this the commander and General
23 Mladic, as well as the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, Mr. Momir
24 Talic, who was very soon supposed to send an armoured unit of his which
25 was supposed to make sure that this corridor be reopened.
1 Q. And in the end was the corridor reopened after a period of time?
2 A. Yes, during the day the corridor was reopened and an armoured
3 unit, tank unit, bearing other means, arrived from the part of Odzak which
4 is in the zone of responsibility there, who was headed by Colonel
5 Dupljanin. And because of such an important number of men who arrived and
6 because they were quite impressive, the people who had closed off the
7 corridor, such as Crni, Lugar, and other special members, must have
8 thought that they stand no chance and that it would not be a good idea to
9 fight. And fortunately, through the intervention of Colonel Beronja, who
10 went there on the premises, the barricades were removed, the special
11 members were withdrawn, and the corridor was reopened.
12 Q. Do you know what happened to Mr. Todorovic and Mr. Milan Simic?
13 Were they released from prison?
14 A. Yes. I know that several days later they were released.
15 According to my information, they were taken to Bijeljina, where they were
16 interrogated by the security organs, and later on, upon somebody's
17 intervention, they were released and they were -- they returned to
18 Bosanski Samac. And this contributed to the calming down of the
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, what happened after that to those people, Crni, Lugar,
21 and others who were in the area of Samac municipality?
22 A. As far as I know, given the dramatic nature of that situation
23 before the corridor was closed, information was available to us that a
24 group of scouts from the 2nd Krajina Brigade had been illegally arrested.
25 Their commander was Jovo Vukobrat and their area of responsibility was
1 towards Gradacac, in that part. And these scouts had been arrested by
2 Crni, Lugar, Captain Jez, who discharged the duties of the assistant
3 commander of intelligence and security in the 2nd Posavina Brigade,
4 unfortunately. And after the incident with the corridor, I suppose that
5 this situation was taken the most of, and it seems that during the arrest
6 of these scouts, one of them was killed in a very brutal manner and was
7 hidden in a kiln by those who had killed him. And that's when Crni,
8 Lugar, and their group of specials were arrested, among them was a person
9 from the territory of Samac municipality. These people were taken to the
10 remand centre of the military prison in Banja Luka, and later on
11 proceedings were initiated against them by the military prosecutor and by
12 the military court.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric. Now I would kindly ask you to
14 tell us something about the events that have been mentioned by various
15 witnesses before this Trial Chamber. The first thing I'd like to ask you
16 is the following: Mr. Zaric, together with Teodor Tutnjevic, also known
17 as Toso, were you ever in the police station in Bosanski Samac in the
18 period between 18 April and 26 April 1992? I'm talking about an event
19 which allegedly happened during the night.
20 A. No. I was never in the public security station during the night.
21 The longest period of my stay there was on the 26th of April, 1992.
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, are you familiar with any person whose nickname is
24 A. I know of Bokan only from the media, from the newspapers. I
25 believe that he belonged to some pro-Chetnik units. All I know about this
1 person I read in the newspapers.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, in the police station in Bosanski Samac, did you ever
3 see or were you present while somebody was cocking their pistol against
4 Mr. Sulejman Tihic's head and fired in the air?
5 A. Nothing like that ever happened before my eyes.
6 Q. Between the 17 April 1992 and the end of 1992, did you ever give
7 an interview or did you ever participate in any radio show? When I said
8 "interview," I meant whether you ever spoke to a journalist of Radio
10 A. No, I never gave any interviews. I never appeared on any shows on
11 Radio Samac at that time.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever issue an order to anybody regarding their
13 work obligation, either those in Bosanski Samac or in Odzak?
14 A. Never. This was not my task. I did not have any reason to do
15 that. All that was under the authority of the department of the Ministry
16 of Defence, so anybody who says differently is lying.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to go
18 into private session because I'm going to mention some names of the
19 witnesses who were protected before this Trial Chamber.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we go into private session.
21 [Private session]
12 Page 19595 – redacted – private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know a citizen of Bosanski Samac by the name of
9 Amir Dervic?
10 A. I know Amir Dervic. We are nodding acquaintances. He is the
11 brother of a Dervic whom I knew better. We used to call him Les. He
12 worked in the public security centre, in the communications department,
13 and that's how I also know the younger Dervic, his brother.
14 Q. And do you know whether Amir Dervic was a member of the 4th
15 Detachment of the JNA?
16 A. Yes, he was a member of the 4th Detachment, and his commander was
17 Dzemal Jasenica.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, on the night between the 16th and the 17th April 1992,
19 did you use a Motorola to communicate with Amir Dervic and did you issue
20 orders to him?
21 A. I did not have any Motorolas available to me. The only
22 communication means that we had was Rupovka 12, and we used it to
23 establish communication with the commander. So any story about Motorolas
24 [Realtime transcript read in error "moment row las"], Rupovkas or any such
25 thing is just a fabrication.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small clarification. It's not clear what
2 the answer is here. "So any story about moment row las"; it's Motorolas,
3 here on page 43, line 24 and 25.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. Perhaps Mr. Zaric can just repeat what
5 he said slowly.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Please, Mr. Zaric.
8 A. I said that I did not have a Motorola. Motorolas were not at the
9 time available to us. We did not have them at our disposal. And to be
10 more precise, never during the war on the defence line of the town of
11 Samac Motorolas were used as the means of communication among the men on
12 the front line. We used a different means of communication. It was a
13 very simple means of communication. We did not have Motorolas, and
14 especially not on that morning that you have just referred to.
15 Q. Mr. Zaric, you mentioned this wire connection. Let's clarify this
16 a bit. What do you mean when you say: "We had a wire connection"? Wire
17 means of communication.
18 A. Yes, wire communication. When the line of defence was
19 established, when trenches were dug and bunkers erected, and when trenches
20 were traced for the army to move safely through, then we also established
21 a wire connection. That means that we put a coil of wire on a little
22 device that only had one receiver, and then when you turn this coil
23 several times, then it starts ringing, and the next such device was a bit
24 further, and another one a bit further, all along the trench. This was a
25 direct link to the person who was the commander of that defence line. And
1 every of these devices had its communication. So when somebody called,
2 they would say: Can number 1 respond? And number 1 would respond. There
3 was also number 2, number 3, and number 4. When the coil is turned,
4 everybody's line is ringing, everybody picks up the receiver at the same
5 time, but then the person calling has to identify the one whom he wants to
6 respond. And vice versa: If the person on the line wanted to communicate
7 with the base, they did the same thing. And that's how the communication
8 was established. That is what we did in order for the army to communicate
9 on the defence line.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, is that a classical telephone wire line?
11 A. Yes, it is a classical telephone wire line.
12 Q. This way of communication by way of classical telephone wire
13 communication, could that be eavesdropped on? Could anybody in the enemy
14 forces hear that?
15 A. No, nobody could tap into that line. Nobody else could hear that
16 communication. It was impossible.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would kindly ask the
19 Trial Chamber to allow me to go into private session, because I'm going to
20 mention a witness who testified here as a protected witness.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll go into private session.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 19599 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 19600 – redacted – private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ask Stevan Todorovic, the chief of police in
3 Bosanski Samac, to release some other people from detention, in addition
4 to Tihic and Witness N?
5 A. In principle, I did not conceal my dissatisfaction, and there was
6 a constant verbal skirmish going on. I felt that people could not be
7 arrested and deprived of their liberty without certain criteria being
8 applied, and this is what Mr. Todorovic and the police were doing. He
9 always said that I should not get involved with that, that he was in
10 charge of that, so I was constantly, how shall I say it, trying to
11 intervene verbally with Mr. Todorovic. And I remember well an incident
12 when Mr. Esref Zaimbegovic, whom the Crisis Staff appointed in the
13 beginning to be the coordinator in Utva, and I was -- no, in Uniglas, and
14 I was encouraged by this, because when it so happened that when I went to
15 see Mr. Simic in the Crisis Staff, Mr. Blagoje Simic, I would see
16 Mr. Simic sitting in an office working with people, and Esref Zaimbegovic
17 working in the next office as coordinator. And I thought that conditions
18 were being created that were normal and that the situation would develop
19 along those lines. But this lasted only for a brief period. And I have
20 to say that I heard from people working in the crime detection service
21 that not only there, but all the coordinators and all the directors were
22 asked to provide lists of employees in those companies, and then
23 Mr. Todorovic would evaluate from his own viewpoint who was where. And I
24 know that he also detained Mr. Esref Zaimbegovic, who had an MA in
25 economics and who was one of the best businessmen then residing on the
1 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us what the ethnicity of Mr. Zaimbegovic
4 A. Mr. Zaimbegovic was by ethnicity a Muslim, and I know that before
5 the war he was the president of the municipal committee of the league of
6 reformist forces, which was led at that time by Mr. Ante Markovic. That
7 was his political affiliation.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honour. At line -- sorry, page 49, line 8,
10 Mr. Zaric said that: "In principle, I did not conceal my dissatisfaction
11 and there was a constant verbal skirmish going on. I felt that people
12 could not be arrested and deprived of their liberty without certain
13 criteria being applied." In my submission, it would be appropriate for
14 Mr. Zaric to explain to the Trial Chamber during his examination-in-chief
15 what this certain criteria was. It's a matter which is more appropriate,
16 in my submission, to be dealt with now than in cross-examination, as he
17 has raised it and left it unanswered in his own evidence.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think Mr. Zaric can explain that, because
19 that is his evidence.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, you've understood the objection of my learned
22 colleague. Could you explain what you meant by "criteria," the word
23 "criteria" that you've mentioned? What did you mean by that?
24 A. What I was able to feel after the very first days, and when I was
25 going to the public security station, I meant what are the criteria which
1 were used in order to detain people, and I got the following information:
2 It is because they were possessing illegal weapons, and this is why they
3 were detained. And their names were on the list of the war plan which
4 belonged to that service, and those people were deployed in some
5 paramilitary units. However, and I do not want to go in depth as to what
6 are the criteria. Mr. Todorovic was establishing those. If I were a man
7 and chief of the public security station and if I were an important man, I
8 don't know if I would apply the same criteria. But I wanted to say:
9 Aside from the fact that they had spoken about it, it was very clear, very
10 soon, and we were able to see that the prisons were full of people who
11 neither had any weapons nor whose names were on those lists. So when I
12 talk about that verbal disagreement, I always -- actually, I meant that,
13 and this is why I'm also mentioning the name of Esref Zaimbegovic, Dragan
14 Delic [Realtime transcript read in error omitted words "Dragan Delic"],
15 and others who were brought, according to me, without any reason and what
16 kept in custody for months and months on end in various prisoners and
17 detention centres.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we just have the name of Dragan Delic. I
19 believe that we all heard this name while Mr. Zaric was giving his
20 testimony, and I haven't seen this in transcript. Because when he was
21 referring to people that according to his position were arrested with no
22 good reason, the name of Esref Zaimbegovic was mentioned but also the name
23 of Dragan Delic.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That is agreed that it was mentioned. You can
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell us if Mr. Stevan Todorovic allowed anybody
3 to leave the Detention Centre? Did he agree to your plea?
4 A. No, I think that my interventions had a counter-effect. And after
5 those -- or immediately after those interventions, these people for whom I
6 had intervened actually had a worse treatment than before my
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, in the barracks at Brcko, did you see a witness,
9 Witness N?
10 A. Are you talking about --
11 Q. Do not mention his name, please. I am talking about the witness
12 that I mentioned earlier on.
13 A. Yes, I have seen him.
14 Q. Did you speak to him at that point, or when you saw him then?
15 A. Nothing in particular, only briefly. We had about half an hour,
16 or I had about half an hour to talk to all the detainees whenever I would
17 go to see them.
18 Q. After that brief conversation, did you make any notes?
19 A. I cannot recall at this time.
20 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know a man - he's a citizen of Bosanski Samac
21 and he's known as Kemal Mehinovic?
22 A. Not very well, but I do know him from sight.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever talk to Savo Djurdjevic? He was a police
24 officer on service. And did you ever tell him that somebody was beating
25 up Kemal Mehinovic -- here somebody else should beat Mr. Mehinovic?
1 A. I didn't know that Mr. Mehinovic was in prison up until some
2 documents were disclosed.
3 Q. Please go on.
4 A. I had no idea that Mr. Mehinovic was in prison, and it is only
5 after some documents of the Prosecution were disclosed when I came on my
6 own free will to The Hague. I had not received any communications. I
7 have not seen -- had not seen that man in prison. I had not had any
8 conversations with this man. And I would never have asked anybody to
9 apply any kinds of measures towards him or anybody else. That would be
10 the only detainee that I would have intervened for. So I never, ever
11 intervened for anybody, and I didn't even know that he was in detention.
12 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever tell any police officer at the police
13 station in Samac--
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise, because the transcript was not quite
15 clear. Because here it says: "So I never, ever intervened for anybody."
16 And this would probably cause some misunderstanding, because Mr. Zaric was
17 a couple of minutes ago talking about his interventions made to
18 Mr. Todorovic, to do something about certain detainees to be released from
19 the detention. So just if this can be clarified.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, a few moments ago you talked about Mr. Mehinovic. It
22 was not too clear in the transcript as to what you said regarding
23 Mr. Mehinovic. What did you say, please?
24 A. I said that I never asked any police officer whatsoever to do
25 anything, to apply any measures regarding Mr. Mehinovic, and I did not
1 know that Mr. Mehinovic was in detention in Samac.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever ask any police officer in the police
3 station of Bosanski Samac to beat up any detainee detained at the police
4 officer [as interpreted] or to apply force?
5 A. No, never. Quite to the contrary; whenever I had the opportunity,
6 I said the contrary, especially when I was talking to police officers who
7 were not newly arrived and who were not the yes man of Stevan Todorovic
8 and I was always encouraging them to behave correctly towards those men.
9 That's the only thing that they could have ever heard from Simo Zaric
10 whenever I would go and pay a visit to that police station. That is quite
11 rare, actually, even if that's the main reason for my being at the public
12 security station.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever use the telephone at the police station of
14 Bosanski Samac to talk to somebody regarding some exchanges?
15 A. Never with anybody on that subject. I did not discuss exchanges
16 with anybody, neither from the public security station and neither from
17 any other place, and everything I said, I maintain.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know Mrs. Snjezana Delic?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. How long have you known Mrs. Snjezana Delic from Bosanski Samac?
21 A. Maybe ten years prior to the war. She was a young woman then.
22 Then she was a professor. She was working at the school centre and she
23 was one of the professors, one of the teachers who taught my son Mirel.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know whose wife she was, who she was married to?
25 A. She was married to Dragan Delic, who was the president of the
1 management board of Mebos. It's a company in Bosanski Samac.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know Hasan Delic, the father of Dragan Delic and
3 the father-in-law of Snjezana Delic?
4 A. Yes, I do know him very well, Mr. Hasan is of an older
5 generation. He's older than me. But he is a man who, up until his
6 retirement, worked in the public security station, and this is how I knew
7 him. But I also knew him as a member of the Second World War defence --
8 he participated in the Second World War, and I used to see him a lot.
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, what were your -- what was your relationship with him
10 and with the father?
11 A. Well, I would say that the relationship was very friendly.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have some small misunderstanding here in the
13 transcript on page 55, line 9. The question that Mr. Pisarevic posed
14 was: What was your relationship with him? Referring to Hasan Delic,
15 father of Dragan Delic. And then Mr. Zaric replied to that question. So
16 this is -- the way it was recorded here might suggest that about some
17 relation between father and son.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't see that myself.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, you see, Your Honour, on page 55, line 9,
20 here it says: "Mr. Zaric --"
21 JUDGE MUMBA: What was he describing.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- "What was your relationship with him and with
23 the father"?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Was it a relationship between Mr. Zaric and the son,
25 and then the relationship between Mr. Zaric and the father?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, no. He was talking about Mr. Hasan Delic, the
2 father --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe we can just go over it. Yes. So we come --
4 we deal with it that way.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, what was your relationship with Hasan Delic? How would
7 you describe that relationship?
8 A. My relationship with Hasan Delic, Dragan's father, was very
9 correct, even friendly.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, during the war, were you in Dragan's and
11 Snjezana's house?
12 A. Yes, I was on one occasion.
13 Q. How did that come about? How did you find yourself in the Delic's
15 A. I'll try to be brief when I explain this, but before I give you my
16 answer, I have to give you one fact. Dragan Delic, Hasan's son and
17 Snjezana's husband, had been arrested. That was in mid-April. I don't
18 know the exact date. And he was brought to the public security station in
19 Bosanski Samac. And I know very well that he was one of the people who
20 were transferred to Brcko with the group who went there. I also know that
21 Dragan Delic then was returned from Bijeljina to the area of Samac. That
22 was again in mid-May. And since our former friendship, Hasan Delic, his
23 father, was very concerned about the lot of his two sons. Dragan was in
24 the prison, and the other son, Hazim, had a work obligation. So I
25 understood him as a parent. He tried to see whether I, on my part, could
1 do something about Dragan, to see whether I could have Dragan released
2 from prison. What I could do through the people who worked in the crime
3 department, I could ask them about the reasons why Dragan had been
4 detained, and I received information from Milos Savic, who told me that
5 Dragan Delic had been charged, together with some people from Mebos, of
6 having abused the funds of that company for illegal arming of Muslims in
7 Bosanski Samac, also that they had formed a work group consisting of
8 accountants who went to Mebos, made an analysis, and decided that the
9 books were cooked.
10 I carelessly --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. Again we have some small
12 misunderstanding. Here on page 57 it says that after this group of
13 bookkeepers or accountants checked the records of Mebos factory, they find
14 out - that is Mr. Zaric said - that it has nothing to do with truth. But
15 here it says: "And decided that the books were cooked."
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think he can -- Mr. Zaric can give us that
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, please.
20 A. The team of financial experts which went on Milos Savic's
21 instructions - that's my information - checked the allegations and issued
22 a written report and stated that Dragan Delic did not participate in any
23 financial [indiscernible], nor the financial funds had ever been used for
24 illegal arming of Muslims, and this is what I wanted to say. And it is
25 this precise information that I conveyed to Mr. Hasan when I received this
1 information, and that was -- I can't remember exactly when, but it was
2 sometime in June. And I told him that I believed that everything would be
3 all right, because I had heard that Dragan had nothing whatsoever to do
4 with the type of crime that he was charged with.
5 Hasan, as a father, went again to the public security station and
6 said to Mr. Todorovic that he had heard from me, which was a fact, he
7 said: Simo Zaric told me that my son was not guilty, that he didn't do
8 what you say he did. That's why I had problems with Stevo. Stevo told me
9 that I disclosed information to a balija, and I don't want to use any more
10 of the terms that he used. And despite all that, Stevo did not want to
11 release Dragan Delic, against whom there were no grounds whatsoever to
12 keep him in prison.
13 In late June, in the evening, Hasan Delic found me and told me:
14 Simo, I need to talk to you about something important, but can you come to
15 my place when it gets dark? And he also told me: But I won't be in my
16 apartment. Mr. Hasan lived in a different part of the town. I will be in
17 Snjezana's apartment. Dragan Delic had a house in where his wife,
18 Snjezana, resided together with his two children. I said to Hasan that I
19 would be there in the evening, and that's exactly what I did. That's how
20 I visited the Delic family, and I found Hasan, Snjezana, and her two
21 children in that building.
22 Q. What did you talk about, and what did you learn from them?
23 A. I had some bad news from them. The first thing that I learned was
24 from Snjezana, who told me that during that day, Mr. Blagojevic had paid
25 her a visit, that is, Mr. Stojan Blagojevic, and that he was looking for
1 some other women with whom he had an interview, and that he also had an
2 interview with her, and that he was surprised that she did not have a work
3 obligation, and that he also told her that early on the following day she
4 should report to the Tekstilac company, where she would be working. The
5 Tekstilac company was a factory where the production had started, and
6 there was also a restaurant where ladies were cooking meals for the army.
7 Q. Did you then also learn that Mr. Stojan Blagojevic had confiscated
8 Dragan Delic's passenger vehicle?
9 A. Yes. They told me that the vehicle had been confiscated, and they
10 showed me a document about that vehicle. I don't know whether it was a
11 Yugo or a 101, but if I were to see this document, I could remember.
12 Q. It is not important.
13 A. In any case, this vehicle had been confiscated on that day, and it
14 was confiscated by Mr. Stojan Blagojevic, who was accompanied by Mr. Aco
16 Q. And what did you tell Mrs. Snjezana Delic in the presence of her
17 father-in-law, Hasan Delic?
18 A. I told her that, as far as I knew, that the women with young
19 children, and her children were under the age of 10 - I don't know how old
20 they were, but they were young, in any case - that these women could not
21 have a work obligation and that this was the position when it came to the
22 work obligation, and that I would talk to some people from the Ministry of
23 Defence and I would check that. And as far as the vehicle was concerned,
24 I told her that I didn't know anything about that, but the document that
25 she had received, I told her that she should keep it and maybe in the
1 foreseeable future you could be able to either return the car or you could
2 be compensated for the possible damage. That is what I told her in the
3 presence of her father-in-law, Mr. Hasan Delic.
4 Q. So what about her work obligation? Did she have to comply with
5 that obligation?
6 A. No, she did not have that obligation, because she had young
7 children who were very young. And on the following day, I talked to
8 Mr. Milos Bogdanovic about that. He told me then: Simo, I'm leaving the
9 secretariat, but in any case, I can tell you that this is not possible,
10 and Stojan Blagojevic does not have the authority to order anybody to have
11 a work obligation.
12 I asked him to do something vis-a-vis Stojan Blagojevic and tell
13 him that it was not his place to get involved in that. Later on, I heard
14 that Snjezana did not go to that factory and that she did not have a work
15 obligation, so I assume that Mr. Blagojevic did receive a certain
16 instruction to the effect that this was not up to him to order anybody to
17 do work obligation.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it is
19 the time for a break.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 12.50
22 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know the person called Esma Fitozovic from
2 Bosanski Samac?
3 A. Yes, I know her.
4 Q. Did you ever, during 1992, have any sort of conversation with her?
5 A. Not an official one.
6 Q. And did you ever order her to report to the police station in
7 Bosanski Samac every day?
8 A. No, absolutely not.
9 Q. When you went to the police station, did you ever see Mrs. Esma
10 Fitozovic there in the police station?
11 A. Only once in one of the offices of the crime department on the
12 upper floor.
13 Q. When you said that you never had an official conversation with
14 her, what were your private conversations about, when you had an
15 opportunity to talk to her? Just briefly.
16 A. Our conversations were brief. I know Mrs. Esma Fitozovic rather
17 well, and since I had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Milos Savic and
18 Mr. Vlado Sarkanovic and receive information that the members of the
19 police had searched her apartment, and on that occasion they had found
20 over 30 kilogrammes of explosives under her mattress and some other
21 material. That's why she was asked to come for an interview, to the
22 police station. At the moment when we were together in one of those
23 offices, I told her: Esma, how is it possible for you to allow this to
24 take place? How could you sleep on so much explosives?
25 Her reply to me was: Don't ask me anything, Simo. I swear by my
1 children that I don't have an idea what my husband had done. He has fled,
2 and he has abandoned me and my children.
3 And that was the end of all the conversation between me and
4 Mrs. Esma Fitozovic.
5 Q. When she said "my husband," she meant Mr. Alija Fitozovic, who was
6 one of the witnesses before this Honourable Chamber.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: But there is one more thing in the transcript.
8 Because Mr. Zaric was referring -- it was -- it's all right. It's now
9 been corrected. I'm sorry. No. I apologise again. Here on page 61, on
10 line 14, it says: "Our conversations were brief." And Mr. Zaric was
11 talking in singular about that one and only conversation that he had with
12 her. So this could maybe provoke some misunderstanding.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: But he has explained as to what he discussed with
14 her during -- at the police station. So we can proceed, Mr. Pisarevic.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know a citizen of Bosanski Samac, Esref
17 Kapetanovic? Let me remind you. Esref Kapetanovic, also known as major's
18 son [as interpreted]?
19 A. Yes, I do know him. For a brief moment I could not remember who
20 you were talking about, but I do know this lad.
21 Q. Did Mr. Esref Kapetanovic, in May 1992, ask you for some
23 A. Yes. He came to my apartment and we had a brief conversation in
24 my apartment.
25 Q. What did he want from you? What did he ask you to do?
1 A. He briefly informed me that Jelena Kapetanovic, whose last name
2 was Stanisic at that time, they lived together. He said that she had been
3 isolated, that she was in Crkvina, and he asked me if I could help him and
4 have Jelena released from that isolation.
5 Q. What did you reply to him, Mr. Zaric?
6 A. I told him: I have no authority whatsoever, but my suggestion to
7 him was that he should go to the Red Cross and see if these people could
8 help him, primarily to see why Jelena, being a female, had been isolated.
9 And then he told me: I went to the Red Cross, and their answer to me was
10 rather inconclusive, very ambiguous. And then I said to Mr. Kapetanovic:
11 I'm very sorry, but at this moment, I can't help you with that at all.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, at any point, through the radio
13 communication, did you negotiate about the exchange of some pilots?
14 A. No, no pilots, or anything along these lines. That is absolutely
15 not true.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know a citizen of Bosanski Samac called Kemal
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you say to Sejdin [as interpreted], Naser, known as
20 Cakar that he should arrest Kemal Bobic, and he was a police officer at
21 the station in Bosanski Samac?
22 A. No, neither Bobic or anyone else. That's my one and only answer
23 to this question.
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever have an opportunity to see Kemal Bobic,
25 who had been beaten up and was in the office of Stevan Todorovic?
1 A. No, but I did hear that he was in prison.
2 Q. Mr. Zaric, on the 17th of April, 1992, did you participate in the
3 collection of weapons in the building in which you lived and which was
4 known as number 62?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, in Vuk Karadzic Street in Bosanski Samac, did you ever
7 participate in the unloading of weapons from a truck to the house of
8 Mustafa Omeranovic?
9 A. No. That's a lie. My sister and my brother-in-law live there,
10 but this is just a fabrication.
11 Q. Just say yes or no.
12 A. No.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we now move into
14 private session, because we will talk about a protected witness.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will move to private session.
16 [Private session]
12 Pages 19618 to 19624 – redacted – private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I would like to talk about your family, Mr. Zaric. You have told
17 us so far that on the 16th of April, 1992, in the afternoon hours, that
18 you were in your mother's house in Trnjak and that this is why you were
19 late to the meeting of the municipality, the local commune of Bosanski
20 Samac, and it was the meeting of the coordination body. Tell us, please:
21 Talking about the estate where your mother lives, whose estate was this?
22 A. This estate belonged to my father, and he had -- I had inherited
23 that estate. But through a decision of the court, while my mother was
24 alive, she was to benefit from it, to live on there, and then my sisters
25 too. But while my father was still alive, I was the only male member of
1 the Zaric family, so I inherited the whole estate.
2 Q. Did you take care of that estate?
3 A. Yes, constantly.
4 Q. Did you also take care of your mother?
5 A. Yes, especially I took care of my mother.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, I think we've been through this
7 evidence before, and constantly you talk about travelling to go and see
8 his mother and [Microphone not activated] --
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is partially the
10 fact, because the witness only partially testified on this. But I would
11 like Mr. Zaric to talk to us about the fact as to where his mother was on
12 the 16th, 17th, 18th, and the 19th of April. I believe that this is
13 important and pertinent for the defence of Mr. Zaric.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but he can deal with that, but we also have his
15 evidence as to where he, Mr. Zaric, was during those days.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. Thank you.
17 Q. Please tell us: How old was your mother at the time?
18 A. My mother was around 70 years old at the time. She was in her
19 late 70s and she was about to turn 80.
20 Q. Thank you. Did your mom live on that estate in the village of
21 Trnjak in Sava ?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... Not quite
23 accurate. "She was in her late 70s and she was about to turn 80." This
24 is not the situation. This is not what Mr. Zaric said. He said: My
25 mother had recently her birthday, her 80th birthday, so she wasn't
1 something like 70 years old.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You have explained, Mr. Lazarevic, so we can
3 go ahead.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. On that evening, Mr. Zaric, the evening of the 16th of April,
6 1992, did your mother, Mileva, remain in the village of Trnjak, part of
7 the municipality of Odzak?
8 A. Yes. She stayed in Trnjak. She was always alone in the house.
9 And on the 16th, in the evening, she stayed there. She was there.
10 Q. Mr. Zaric, when did your mom leave the village of Trnjak, and when
11 did she leave the municipality of Odzak?
12 A. She left on the 19th of April, 1992, in the morning hours. It was
13 the Catholic Easter. Thanks to the fact that she was picked up by the
14 husband of my youngest sister, Nada. His name is Marko Jakic. He is a
15 Croatian by nationality and he was able to go through all the barricades
16 and the checkpoints. And thanks to him, my mother was able to leave
17 Trnjak. On that same day, in the afternoon, together with the
18 brother-in-law, Marko, with Nada and their child, they left the estate,
19 and it was then, that afternoon, that my estate was the first estate to be
20 burnt down on the municipality of Odzak.
21 Q. Where did your mother go with your son-in-law, your sister, and
22 their child?
23 A. They went to the territory of Serbia. Then another sister came to
24 join them. Mara Brocilovic, from Odzak, had joined them with her family,
25 and then my mother and all of them together lived for a while in Uzika
1 Pozega, in Serbia, not far from a place called Titovo Uzice.
2 Q. During 1992, did your mother ever have the opportunity to go back
3 to Bosanski Samac? Did she ever come back to Bosanski Samac?
4 A. Yes, she did. My mother did go back to the territory of the
5 municipality of Samac and Odzak, towards mid-August of 1992.
6 Q. And in Bosanski Samac, where did she stay after she came back?
7 A. She stayed at the house in which my daughter got married, my
8 daughter Natasa. This was the house of Djuro Prgomet. And after her
9 arrival, I went to see the competent body of the Municipal Assembly,
10 headed by Mr. Veso Blagojevic, and I obtained a document stating that that
11 house was put at my mother's disposal, my mother and also two other kums
12 who were with her at the time. And she unfortunately stayed for a very
13 short period of time there, because she was actually evicted from that
15 Q. So your mother was staying at the house of her granddaughter,
16 Natasa; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You've just stated a few moments ago that your mother was evicted
19 from the house in which she was staying, the house of Natasa, her
20 granddaughter and your daughter. How did that come about? Why was she
21 evicted, and what did you do? Which measures did you take so that the
22 eviction does not take place?
23 A. It was in November, sometime in November. I was already working
24 on the territory of the municipality of Pelagicevo. I got the information
25 that the police arrived, that they were evicting my mother. I immediately
1 got in my car and arrived -- went to Samac. When I got there, in front of
2 the building, I saw a police officer -- four police cars and police
3 officers, and I saw Mrs. Vajagic, Joka. She had come on behalf of the
4 organs to tell my mother and my kums who were there that they should leave
5 the house. So then I called Mr. Blagoje Simic, the president of the War
6 Presidency, and I kindly requested and asked him not to do this to me,
7 because everything that I had in Trnjak was burnt down and my mother
8 doesn't have a place to go.
9 So Mr. Blagoje told me that there was an assembly of the War
10 Presidency going on and that he was trying to do his best in order to make
11 sure that she is not evicted. He told me to call him back in an hour or
13 I told him, or I told, rather, the police officers, that I had a
14 conversation with him and to wait. Then an hour or two later I called
15 Mr. Blagoje Simic, but he told me: Simo, the War Presidency voted 4
16 versus 3, so there were 7 in the War Presidency, and the decision was
17 adopted that this should take place, that my mother and that these people
18 had to leave the house.
19 So I asked Blagoje if it was possible to take something from that
20 house. I had a dining-room set. It was a carved wood dining-room set and
21 I had bought that set to my daughter when she got married. And Blagoje
22 told me: Yes, you can take whatever you think you should take. And then
23 a commission would come, a commission who was going to do all the
24 inventory. And then another man came, a man who worked at an office, and
25 then he worked there earlier, and I had heard from him that he had gotten
1 a house in Zasavica. So there was absolutely no good reason for such a
2 thing to occur. But he was from Zavidovici. He was a member of the SDS.
3 His rating was much higher than my mother and the other people who had no
4 place to live. And then I had to move them in unfortunately a rundown
5 house in Tihici of the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
6 Q. Do you know who this house in Tihici belonged, whom it belonged
8 A. It was the house of the parents of Mr. Sulejman Tihic. So then I
9 made sure that I had put some kind of makeshift plastic windows, and
10 that's how I tried to resolve my mother's fate. And it is only when this
11 Honourable Trial Chamber in the year 2000 released me and gave me
12 provisional release, it is only then when I went to Samac that I was able
13 to take care of my mother on a better basis.
14 Q. Did you get the information from Blagoje Simic that he really
15 tried to do his best?
16 A. Yes. I really know when I got the information from Blagoje Simic
17 that he was trying to do his best, that my mother stay, Mr. Mirko Lukic
18 and Mr. Sincic, I don't know however if Sincic at the time was at a very
19 high level. I don't know if he was a member -- a very high level member
20 of the War Presidency, but I know that he was present at the meeting. All
21 the other members that were there next to Mr. Blagoje showed that they
22 were powerful within that War Presidency. And even today, in spite of
23 everything, I do not doubt that Mr. Blagoje Simic tried to do everything
24 in his power to make my mother stay there. But I think that,
25 unfortunately, he was surrounded with players with whom he -- to whom he
1 could not command and he could not have any influence on the other
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, today, in the year 2003, what is the status of your
5 A. She is a displaced person in Trnjak, where I was born and where my
6 estate was. Nobody has returned there. My fellow villagers of Trnjak are
7 waiting for me to return, and then they all follow suit. And my mother is
8 living with one sister and then with another sister. And then when my
9 wife, she stays with them, a month with one, two months with another, and
10 that seems to be her destiny.
11 Q. Mr. Zaric, can you tell this Honourable Trial Chamber: What
12 happened with your property, with your assets?
13 A. My assets have all disappeared. It happened in the course of one
14 afternoon. Everything was burnt to the ground. Only some tractors and
15 machinery remained. I had one of the biggest orchards in Posavina. And
16 as far as my house and outbuildings are concerned, all this has burnt
17 down. All this burnt down in the course of one afternoon.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, you have just mentioned the agricultural machinery.
19 What happened to that machinery?
20 A. This was confiscated while the HVO and the Muslim forces
21 controlled Odzak and that area.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to
23 ask to present to Mr. Zaric and Honourable Trial Chamber four photographs
24 depicting the assets of Mr. Zaric, and another photo -- actually, two
25 photos depicting the monument which had been erected in the village of
1 Dubica, to the memory of the victims of fascism in the Second World War.
2 We have already given those photos to our learned friends from the
3 Prosecutor's office. Or maybe it would be more practical for us to make a
4 break and continue talking about this after the break.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll have our break and continue our
6 proceedings at 1445.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.44 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 2.46 p.m.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can I
11 please ask the usher to put the photographs, to have them prepared for the
12 Trial Chamber and for Mr. Zaric.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pisarevic, on your photographs, you can
14 discuss the photographs showing Mr. Zaric's property, but the photograph
15 showing the monument for those who perished in the Second World War will
16 not be allowed.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Since we were told that the Prosecution were given
19 the photographs, is there any objection?
20 MR. RE: No, Your Honour.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Zaric, is this part of the outbuildings in your farm?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What do we see here? What are these outbuildings that have been
1 A. What I'm showing now is the building which used to house pigs.
2 This part here, this used to be a dry kiln for meat. And here there are
3 two columns and there are four more on the right-hand side. Behind that,
4 there was a big barn that served for fodder and part of the farm
5 mechanisation. From this building here, to the right, there was a large
6 outbuilding which also served to house a mechanisation and barrels for the
7 fruit, but this all burnt to the ground. So you can't see those
8 outbuildings, because they completely perished in the fire.
9 Q. Can we have the second photo on the ELMO, please. Is this again
10 part of your property?
11 A. Yes. This is one of the buildings in the farm. This part that
12 I'm showing right now was used as a kitchen. That's what my mother most
13 often used. This used to be a garage, and the part that can't be seen
14 here without a window, that used to be a larder. And on top here, this
15 used to be a completely new floor with a staircase on the southern part.
16 This used to be a beautiful, new building that was built immediately
17 before the war.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Can we see the third photo. And can you
19 tell us what you can see here.
20 A. This is the family house that belonged to me and to my parents,
21 and here, in the part that I'm showing right now, in the year 1995, I
22 constructed a new concrete floor, and there was the attic part on top of
23 it. This all burnt. I did not have the time to finish it, to complete
24 it. Here, where you can see the brick wall, between the brick wall and
25 the window here, there used to be a staircase which led to the top floor,
1 which was 11 by 11 metres large.
2 Q. And now let's see the fourth photo. What can we see here?
3 A. This is one of the larger outbuildings. Here you can see a metal
4 part. From here, downwards, there was a metal staircase for the attic,
5 and you can see the attic door here. What I would like to say is that
6 this hall here that you can see in the wall, this is a hall on the
7 southern wall, a result of the shelling from a recoilless gun from the
8 village of Prud. This shell pierced through four walls and reached the
9 very far end of the building. This same happened on the western side of
10 the building. It seems that they were testing the power of their
11 artillery on this building.
12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
14 MR. RE: Your Honour, I seek some clarification. It seems a
15 little bit --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
17 MR. RE: I just seek some clarification. It seems a little
18 unclear. Mr. Zaric just referred to 1995. Perhaps if we could find out
19 when the photographs were taken and when the damage was done. I'm just
20 not quite following it at the moment.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, yes. When the estate was burnt down.
22 MR. RE: That's right. When the photos -- whether they're recent
23 photos or contemporaneous photos. That's all.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: But is there any dispute from the Prosecution that
25 his family estate was destroyed?
1 MR. RE: No. It's just it's unclear, because he mentioned 1995.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see.
3 MR. RE: I want to know whether it was before or after the events
4 in the indictment.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Yes, Mr. Zaric.
8 A. When I mentioned 1995 in connection with this building, it was not
9 this building. I was talking about the large family house where, in 1995,
10 I had constructed a new concrete ceiling. This house was in this state in
11 1992. And if you look at it today, you will see that it still looks the
12 same as it does in this photograph.
13 Q. Mr. Zaric, was your property destroyed, I mean your farm, in 1992,
14 as we see on these buildings?
15 A. Yes. This happened in 1992. It was set on fire on the 19th of
16 April, 1992.
17 Q. In 1995, who was on the territory of the village of Trnjak? Or
18 rather, what were you doing in 1995 in connection with your damaged family
20 A. I tried to put a new roof on the old family house so that my
21 mother could go and live there, not knowing what would happen towards the
22 end of 1995 and that certain political decisions would be made whereby
23 this part of the village of Trnjak would come to belong to the Federation,
24 which, for the people living there, meant that they definitely had to
25 leave. In 1995, when I had gathered enough funds, I tried to repair the
1 house so that my mother could continue living there and so that I could
2 visit from time to time and continue helping my mother and restore the
3 farm to a normal state of affairs.
4 Q. And in 1995, did you succeed in improving your property?
5 A. Unfortunately not, apart from the concrete slab on top of the
6 house and some brick work, I didn't manage to do anything else.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could these exhibits be given
9 numbers, please.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This set of four photographs will be treated as
12 Exhibit D55/4, in the order they were introduced, from A to D. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise to Their Honours, but I
16 know that Her Honour Judge Mumba said that the photographs of the
17 monuments should not be exhibited. But may I say something about those
18 pictures and that monument?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zaric, those are matters concerning the Second
20 World War. I'm aware that you did discuss what happened to your family,
21 but that was sufficient. We don't need to discuss anything anymore
22 concerning the Second World War.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Zaric, you testified here that your sisters, Mara, Jelena, and
25 Nada, lived in the town of Odzak. Tell us: When did your sisters leave
1 the town of Odzak? What was the date?
2 A. I don't know the exact date, but after the 19th, a few days later,
3 they left, and thanks to some friends and neighbours of theirs, non-Serbs,
4 in Odzak, who helped them leave - for example, my sister, Jelena managed
5 to leave because she put on a Muslim woman's costume, and thus she passed
6 through a checkpoint. A Muslim friend of hers took her to an area where
7 she could reach the part inhabited by Serbs. My sister Mara and my
8 brother-in-law Nenad left in a similar way, thanks to friends, non-Serbs,
9 who helped them get out of Odzak.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. You said that they left after the 19th.
11 What month and what year was that?
12 A. That was in April 1992, immediately after the 19th of April,
13 perhaps between the 19th and the 25th of April. That was the week when
14 all my sisters managed to leave Odzak.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Mr. Zaric, as a member of the JNA, did you
16 have any kind of relations with the SDS political party in the
17 municipality of Samac?
18 A. No, I had no relations with the SDS party on behalf of the JNA.
19 Q. And do you know whether the command of the 17th Tactical Group of
20 the JNA had any relations with the SDS political party in the municipality
21 of Bosanski Samac?
22 A. I'm not aware of anything that would be official contacts, but I
23 do know that Commander Nikolic sometimes said that he had talked to some
24 people from the SDS, some people from the HDZ, some people from the SDA,
25 so at that level he did have certain talks, and I heard about that from
1 time to time. But as for some sort of official support by the command of
2 the 17th Tactical Group for the political party of the SDS, I had no
3 information about that whatsoever.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. During your testimony, Mr. Zaric, you
5 mentioned Stevan Todorovic several times. Can you tell us how you knew
6 Mr. Stevan Todorovic before the outbreak of hostilities in Bosanski Samac?
7 A. I knew him slightly. I knew him from the pre-war days as an
8 administrator of a factory, and those of us who knew about the economy and
9 business did not have a high opinion of him as a businessman. With the
10 help of some friends, however, he was appointed receiver of a factory, of
11 a furniture factory.
12 Q. Did you have any friendly relations with him?
13 A. No. We would see each other from time to time, but we would only
14 say hello. He was a young man who liked cafe life. He liked
15 socialising. And I never imagined, on the basis of his leisurely and
16 informal behaviour before the war that he would turn out the way he did
17 during the war.
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I was just waiting for the interpretation to
19 finish. I just think it's a point of clarification. This seems rather a
20 new term for us to hear about Mr. Todorovic. Maybe it's a translation
21 issue. Page 85, line 5: "He was appointed receiver of a factory." Is
22 this the correct term, "receiver"? Receivers are usually to do with
23 bankruptcy and so on and so forth. I'm just wondering whether we could
24 clarify what exactly the position was, to make sense of the record.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [No interpretation]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time he was the receiver and
3 he was preparing for the bankruptcy proceedings of that factory. So you
4 are correct, Your Honour. The factory was bankrupt.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Zaric, what were your relations with Stevan Todorovic during
8 the war on the territory of Bosanski Samac, or, more precisely, from the
9 17th of April, 1992, until the end of the war in 1995?
10 A. Our relations were quite bad. Almost from the very first days of
11 the outbreak of hostilities until the end of the war, Stevan Todorovic was
12 really quite a character. He was a man who, when he gained power, assumed
13 a completely different role, a role in which one could not recognise him
14 any more. No normal communication with him was possible. He did not take
15 into account any advice. He advocated Serb nationalism. He advocated
16 positions I disliked. And the way he treated detainees is something that
17 need not be commented on here.
18 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you and your family have any problems with
19 Mr. Todorovic, or rather, the police organ whose chief he was?
20 A. Yes, very often. My wife mentioned one of these incidents. I
21 will not repeat this. But Mr. Todorovic was very rough with me. He set
22 up an arrest for me and Mr. Fadil Topcagic at Rasa, where we were taken to
23 the police station in Sremska Mitrovica, on the territory of Serbia, under
24 suspicion that we were illegally transferring Croats and Muslims to
25 Serbia, and people later told us, when they learned who Simo Zaric was and
1 what sort of man I was, they told us about this.
2 Secondly, as chief of the public security station, he arrested my
3 son on several occasions, brought him in and exposed him to very
4 unpleasant situations. For example, on one occasion, they took him from a
5 wedding my son was attending, and this man was dressed up as if he was
6 Draza Mihajlovic. There were open threats which I heard from others that
7 he had uttered. But I never trembled before him, although I was afraid
8 that one day it might cost me my life.
9 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you and Mr. Stevan Todorovic ever plan, prepare,
10 incite, order, or aid and abet, or support the planning, preparation, or
11 perpetration of persecutions of the population on the territory of the
12 municipality of Bosanski Samac?
13 A. No. Something like that could never happen to me.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Zaric, would you please tell us what your
15 relations were with Milan Simic before the war.
16 A. Before the war I had relatively good relations with Milan Simic.
17 I knew him as an economist younger than me. When I was the director of
18 the company he worked in my accounting department in Buducnost. Before
19 that, I knew that he worked in other companies and that he was considered
20 to be quite an expert in accounting. He was a calm person, a friendly
21 person, one with whom you could discuss many topics in a very reasonable
22 manner. I knew his father Vojin better than I knew him.
23 Q. And how well did you know Mr. Milan Simic, and what were your
24 relations during the war, during 1992 until the end of 1995?
25 A. Well, to be quite honest, of all the people I knew before the war
1 whose characteristics were good, if one of them showed many bad
2 characteristics during the war, Mr. Milan Simic is one of them, and I'm
3 deeply disappointed in him.
4 Q. Did you have any relations with him during the war?
5 A. Yes. We had a few skirmishes, and in the presence of
6 Mr. Todorovic, I have to say that for I don't know what reasons, Milan
7 started drinking frequently at the beginning of the war, and he was
8 holding a very responsible and important post. He and Todorovic attacked
9 me after the announcement, after the move to Brcko, when I was in the
10 command of the brigade, at a meeting Mr. Simic insulted me so badly that
11 many people got up to calm him down. He thought I was a frustrated man,
12 someone who was behind the times, and so on. And my greatest
13 disappointment was what Mr. Milan, as the president of the government,
14 allowed himself to do, and that was to dispense justice to helpless people
15 in prison.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you, together with Mr. Milan Simic, ever plan,
17 prepare, instigate, order, commit, or otherwise aid and abet the planning,
18 preparation, or execution of any persecution of the non-Serbian population
19 in Bosanski Samac?
20 A. No. Simo Zaric was never part of that group of people.
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know Mr. Blagoje Simic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us since when you have known Mr. Blagoje Simic?
24 A. I got to know him a few days before the start of the war. He was
25 one of the younger intellectuals on the territory of Bosanski Samac. I
1 knew his brother, Cedomir, much better, because I worked with him, and of
2 course his father, and I knew Blagoje as a promising young doctor, who was
3 said to be one of the better students of the school of medicine at the
4 university and who worked in the health centre in Bosanski Samac and
5 raised some important issues concerning dialysis, which was a big problem
6 in our area.
7 In the late autumn of 1991, he and his family moved to the
8 building in which I also lived, so from then on I saw him more often.
9 However, we only said hello and greeted each other. We never sat down in
10 a cafe together, or anywhere else, to have a drink together, which would
11 mean that we were friends rather than simply acquaintances.
12 Q. Did Mr. Blagoje Simic ever come to your apartment? Did he ever
13 visit you?
14 A. No. Mr. Blagoje Simic never came to my apartment, nor did he
15 visit any other member of my family.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever go to Mr. Blagoje Simic's apartment?
17 A. No. I never went to his place, nor did any other member of my
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues]... Line 9 and
20 10. Mr. Zaric answered: "Mr. Blagoje Simic never came to my apartment,
21 nor did any other of his family." And here it says: "Nor did he visit
22 any other members of my family."
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll accept your correction, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What were your relations like with Mr. Blagoje Simic during the
1 course of the war, from 1992 up until 1995?
2 A. Aside from the fact that we had some political differences,
3 ideologically we were on different wavelengths. Mr. Blagoje Simic and
4 myself, we could say that we had relation -- we had a relationship which
5 tolerated each other.
6 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever plan, instigate, order, commit, or
7 otherwise aid and abet the planning, preparation, or execution of any
8 crime referred to in -- previously, such as the prosecution of the people
9 of the municipality of Bosanski Samac?
10 A. No, never.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter notes: With Mr. Blagoje Simic?
12 Answer: No, never.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. I think we also need a little
14 clarification of the text here, transcript, page 90, line 3. It talks
15 about the prosecution of the people of the municipality of Bosanski
16 Samac. I presume you're talking about what's in the indictment,
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. Yes, the
19 persecution of the non-Serb population of the municipality of Bosanski
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, do you know Mr. Miroslav Tadic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How long have you known Mr. Miroslav Tadic?
24 A. I've known him for a longer period of time. He is 10 or 11 years
25 older than me. He belongs to a different generation. When I was a
1 younger man, he always remained in my memory as being a very good athlete
2 on the territory of -- in the territory of Novi Grad municipality of
3 Odzak. Later on, he became a professor. He worked at the mechanical,
4 technical school, and at the time I was attending the secondary school of
5 economics. So I've known Mr. Tadic ever since I was a younger man. But
6 at the time, Mr. Tadic and myself were not particularly good friends.
7 Q. What was your relationship like with Mr. Tadic, meaning before the
8 17th of April, 1992?
9 A. On the 1st of October, 1991, when I had to retire and when,
10 because of my retirement, I had more free time, I started to go to the
11 Cafe AS, where I had the opportunity to play pool and to talk to some
12 people, to play cards with some friends, and this is how and when I met
13 more often Mr. Tadic.
14 Q. Did Mr. Tadic ever come to your apartment?
15 A. Mr. Tadic never came to my apartment.
16 Q. Mr. Zaric, tell us: Aside from the fact that you were going to
17 Cafe AS, did you ever pay a visit to Mr. Miroslav Tadic's house?
18 A. I believe that it was on one occasion only. It was a birthday
19 party, and a friend of mine, an old school friend, came to Mr. -- Jovisa
20 Kovacevic. Mr. Tadic invited me and this man, and I believe that only
21 once I went to his apartment. It was on a first floor. And I never
22 visited him otherwise. He was not a friend in that sense.
23 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you ever plan, instigate, order, commit, or
24 otherwise aid and abet the planning, the preparation or execution of the
25 non-Serb population - sorry - the persecution of the non-Serb population
1 of the municipality of Bosanski Samac with Mr. Miroslav Tadic?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you, in concert with any other person, plan,
4 instigate, order, commit, or otherwise aid and abet the planning, the
5 preparation, or the persecution of the non-Serb population of Bosanski
7 A. No. Everything I did was quite the contrary.
8 Q. Mr. Zaric, did you plan, instigate, order, commit, or otherwise
9 aid and abet the planning, the preparation, or the execution of the
10 illegal deportation and transfer -- and forcible transfer of hundreds of
11 Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and other non-Serb civilians, including
12 women, children, and the elderly, from their homes of the municipality of
13 Bosanski Samac, and did you participate in their transfer to other
14 countries and other parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which
15 were not under the control of the Serbian forces?
16 A. No. It has nothing to do with me.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Can you please tell us when and how did you
18 find out that there was an indictment against you and that you were
19 figuring amongst a list of accused for the criminal Tribunal for the
20 former Yugoslavia?
21 A. I found this -- I found about this at the end of July 1995. I was
22 at the time on the battlefield with my unit, in the municipality of
24 Q. The municipality of Lopare is situated where, approximately?
25 A. The municipality of Lopare is situated to the east of Bijeljina,
1 in the direction of Zvornik.
2 Q. How far is that from Bosanski Samac?
3 A. From Bosanski Samac, one could say that going through Bijeljina
4 and Zvornik, maybe there's 150 kilometres between -- in between, or more.
5 Q. Mr. Zaric, when did you decide to voluntarily give yourself up and
6 to put yourself under the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal
7 for the former Yugoslavia, for crimes committed in the territory of the
8 former Yugoslavia?
9 A. I took this decision at the very moment when I felt that, in the
10 territory of the Republika Srpska, political activities were created in
11 such a way that this was possible; otherwise, I would have come earlier.
12 Q. What was stopping you, Mr. Zaric, from giving yourself up and
13 putting yourself under the custody of the Tribunal? What were these
14 security political reasons for which you couldn't give yourself up
15 immediately and put yourself under the custody of the Tribunal?
16 A. First of all, I would like to say: It is only in 1996, if I
17 remember correctly, after the Dayton Agreement, that the first conditions
18 were created and that the first after-war elections were able to take
19 place. Through these elections, and up until actually that time, the
20 political monopoly or, should I say, the SDS was holding the monopoly, and
21 its political activities was creating some security components in such a
22 way that they were not enabling me to come to this decision and to give
23 myself up voluntarily to the Tribunal in The Hague.
24 In 1993 I was particularly in favour of the creation of this
25 Tribunal, never thinking that I would be sitting right now here. But when
1 I'm talking about this, I would like to say that in this joint indictment
2 which, for the first time, was published officially in the territory of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, through all the media, I must say that there was
4 five names from Bosanski Samac were on that list and Slobodan Miljkovic,
5 Lugar, from Serbia, was also on the group of indictees, and on this list
6 at that time I should say were some important people from the political
7 and military life of Bosnia-Herzegovina, such as Mr. Karadzic, such as
8 General Mladic, Dario Kordic, Mr. Aleksovski, and so on and so forth,
9 other important personalities, their names were also on that list.
10 A certain political climate was created, rallies, support rallies
11 were organised, in favour of the people who were on those lists. This was
12 all organised by the official authorities of the time, and I remember that
13 such a rally took place in 1996 in Bosanski Samac, organised by the SDS,
14 and the speakers who participated in that meeting at the cinema, which was
15 full, I attended that meeting because I was interested by what was going
16 on. They were defending the position of the people who were indicted and
17 whose name appeared on that list of indictees.
18 I recall that the very famous lawyer, Veljko Guberina, took the
19 floor. I know that there was also Jovic, a political figure from Serbia.
20 There were also some local leaders as well. But I will always remember
21 the speech of the president of the municipality of Samac at the time,
22 Mrs. Mirko Lukic, who replaced Mr. Blagoje, because Blagoje Simic was no
23 longer appearing, because his name was also on the list of indictees,
24 through a decision of the international community.
25 Mr. Lukic was supporting Mr. Karadzic and Mladic and he was saying
1 that those were important Serbian sons and that we should not -- or that
2 they should not be delivered to anybody. He also started to talk about
3 the situation, a local situation. Then he talked about us Serbs from the
4 municipality of Samac. He talked about the people who were indicted. And
5 I must say: That person had a very inflamed speech and he used a
6 particular iconography, to mention Mr. Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic,
7 Mr. Milan Simic. But he did not mention the names of Mr. Miroslav Tadic
8 and myself.
9 At that meeting, there were some divisions were created, some
10 divisions were created, and there was a support given through an applause,
11 a fiery applause, and Mirko Lukic, the president of the municipality,
12 repeated again the names of those three men but myself and Mr. Tadic were
13 not mentioned once again. And I recall correctly when I went to The
14 Hague, I told Mr. Lukic that I will never forgive them for this, not
15 because I want to be in the same basket as the other ones, but why are
16 they making -- were they making such differences and thinking that we were
17 less important [as interpreted] than the other ones? But I must say that
18 such a political climate was not creating the necessary conditions for me
19 to give myself up to the International Tribunal.
20 I know that Mrs. Biljana Plavsic came, and I have my own personal
21 opinions about her with regards to the responsibility, and when Mr. Dodik
22 also public appeared and came. There were other political situations that
23 were created. But this is why me and Mr. Tadic [as interpreted] took a
24 decision to voluntarily give ourselves up to the Tribunal in The Hague, as
25 the first Serbs who did that.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, we have two corrections for the
2 transcript. First is when Mr. Zaric said, on page 95, line 11: "And
3 thinking that we were less" -- not important. He said less Serbs. This
4 is what he said.
5 And the other thing is that also Mr. Milan Simic was mentioned
6 about making a decision to surrender them in the custody of the Tribunal,
7 not just Mr. Tadic. So it's on page 95, line 17. This is why me and
8 Mr. Tadic, as well as Mr. Milan Simic. Because he was also mentioned.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we'll accept that.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. And finally, Mr. Zaric: You have given us your lawyers,
12 Mr. Lazarevic and me, permission to express your apologies to every
13 witness who was a victim of this war for everything that they suffered and
14 they went through this war. Tell me, please, and tell this Honourable
15 Chamber: What was your motive to give us such an order to express your
17 A. This is something that I deemed as a human being was the least I
18 could do to these people to express my sincere sympathy for the sufferings
19 that they went through, because in a certain way I witnessed many things,
20 I saw many things, I heard a lot of things as well. And I placed my all
21 being to reduce the suffering to the minimum possible. Obviously I was
22 powerless to prevent many of these things from happening. But when I
23 asked you to express my words of sympathy for all these people went
24 through, I meant that sincerely, as a human being, and before this Trial
25 Chamber I would like to say that these are my sincere words from the
1 bottom of my heart.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] This completes my
4 examination-in-chief of the witness Simo Zaric.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I say something
6 else before we continue? I would like to add a sentence to my testimony.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can go ahead.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really would not like to be
9 misunderstood, but I find it very difficult to work like this. This is a
10 superhuman effort for me. I have been testifying for some time now, and I
11 feel rather tired. I don't know whether you have been informed that in
12 the year 2000 I had undergone surgery and that I've been having a lot of
13 problems. Before the beginning of my testimony, I asked my doctors to
14 give me some sedatives to help me to endure and go through this battle,
15 for which I've lived for the first -- last five years. I have the
16 impression that I still have energy but not enough to allow me to be
17 concentrated in the afternoon, at least not concentrated enough to be able
18 to answer the important questions that will have a bearing on my destiny.
19 That's why I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to consult my team of
20 doctors and ask them whether I can endure such a long working day. I
21 really feel very tired, very exhausted.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zaric. The Trial Chamber has understood
23 what you have said. But then, between you and your lawyer, you asked for
24 this long time to give evidence and to complete everything that you wanted
25 to say. Because if you look at the record, the other two accused persons
1 took this much time completing, including the cross-examination, upon
2 their evidence, and the Trial Chamber had to allow you to take this much
3 time just to make sure that you were given the rights that you needed to
4 give evidence which you felt would help your defence. We shall now
5 proceed to cross-examination.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has decided that you'll take
9 a break and we can continue with cross-examination tomorrow, and tomorrow
10 we are sitting in the afternoon.
11 I just want to find out who will start.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since I don't have that
13 many questions, I will be the first to start, and I believe it will take
14 me about an hour to finish my cross-examination. And I assume that my
15 colleague Pantelic will require more time. I don't know.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I see -- yes. I remember now the Trial Chamber
17 has been informed that the two other witnesses are here, Mr. Erletic, I
18 think, and Mr. Pantelic's witness. Maybe, to allow more time to Mr. Simo
19 Zaric to rest, we can start with them tomorrow, because they're fairly
20 short, I take it. And once we complete them, then the cross-examination
21 can start. And also it will allow the other two witnesses to go back,
22 instead of waiting. So we'll adjourn now and continue our proceedings
24 Before we rise, Mr. Pantelic, I would like to find out: Would you
25 like your witness to start tomorrow, or we start with Mr. Erletic?
1 MR. PANTELIC: Well --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Because your witness is also brief.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I think -- I spoke with my learned friend
4 Mr. Pisarevic. We think that maybe Mr. Erletic will start the
5 cross-examination, and then have Mr. Pivasevic in-chief and additional
7 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. So we shall start with Mr. Erletic,
9 We will rise now.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 3.42 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
12 the 14th day of May, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.