Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20069

1 Tuesday, 20 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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. It's Mr. Pantelic continuing.

10 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]

14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Zaric.

15 A. Good morning.

16 Q. I have only a few questions left for you. In connection with

17 certain replies you gave to the Prosecutor. Tell me, Mr. Zaric: The

18 Prosecutor asked you about the document which was actually the decision of

19 the People's Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the

20 strategic goals of the Serbian people.

21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] I cannot remember -- [In English]

22 Exhibit number --

23 MR. RE: P5.

24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, my friend. It's P5, yes.

25 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. Zaric: The framework of

Page 20070

1 these goals was in fact more or less the territory of the present-day

2 Republika Srpska; is this correct? If you can remember.

3 A. I couldn't tell you precisely.

4 Q. But this referred to the territorial component of the Serbian

5 people as a subject?

6 A. Absolutely. That's the conclusion that can be drawn.

7 Q. This territory, with greater or smaller differences, is the

8 territory recognised in Dayton in this part of Bosnia-Herzegovina today;

9 is this correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Furthermore, the Prosecutor asked you something in connection with

12 your book, but in fact I have another question before I put this one. It

13 is not contentious in this case, and you spoke of the fact that the

14 previous territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, as of 1991, was

15 divided in mid-April 1992 into the Serbian and Croatian part; is that

16 correct?

17 A. Yes. Right away. This became quite clear immediately after the

18 conflict broke out.

19 Q. And the part which practically became the Serbian municipality of

20 Samac, the Serbian population was in the majority; is this correct?

21 A. Yes, it is.

22 Q. So it is not contentious that the same situation obtains today.

23 The pre-war territory of the municipality of Samac has been divided and

24 now there is Domaljevac Samac, belonging to the Federation, and the

25 remainder belonging to the Republika Srpska, which is called the

Page 20071

1 municipality of Samac; is this correct?

2 A. Yes, it is.

3 Q. And part of the pre-war municipality of Samac, from 1991, that's

4 Prud, it belongs to Odzak; is this correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 MR. RE: Your Honours, I object to this line of questioning.

7 Mr. Pantelic is permitted, I understand, to ask questions which have

8 affected his client's interest arising from my cross-examination. I don't

9 recall asking anything about demographics or population changes or

10 municipal boundaries when I cross-examined Mr. Zaric. In my submission,

11 it doesn't really arise.

12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, respectfully, this is Defence case.

13 Our position is that there was a division of the pre-war territory of

14 municipality of Samac. My learned friend asked Mr. Zaric whether the

15 Serb -- Bosnian Serbs were in minority on the territory of municipality of

16 Samac. And it was something which was unclear in the cross-examination.

17 So I just want to clear it up, to see where, on which territory we are

18 speaking, and so on and so forth.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You can cross-examine. I

20 remember that question.

21 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

22 Q. [Interpretation] And finally, Mr. Zaric, a few questions which my

23 learned friend the Prosecutor put you in connection with some parts of

24 your book, where you describe Dr. Simic, his political standpoint, and so

25 on. Do you remember that?

Page 20072

1 A. Yes, I do. I remember.

2 Q. The SDS party is still active in Republika Srpska, that is, in

3 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, it is.

5 Q. And a member of the SDS is at present also a member of the

6 collective presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?

7 A. Yes, Mr. Paravac.

8 Q. The SDS was not in power during the previous term of office

9 because party coalitions were set up along other lines; is this correct?

10 A. You mean in --

11 Q. In the Republika Srpska.

12 A. Yes. There were times when it was not in power at the level of

13 Republika Srpska, but in certain municipalities it was in power.

14 Q. As regards Samac, you're a member of the socialist party of the

15 Republika Srpska. You have already told us that.

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. And you personally, as a member of the SPRS, are practically a

18 political opponent of the SDS. We are now talking about party platforms.

19 A. Yes. Platforms, and also ideological views. I am a political

20 opponent of that party.

21 Q. But we shall agree that the only judge of political platforms are

22 election results?

23 A. Absolutely. That is the most democratic way.

24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't have further

25 questions for this witness. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Zaric.

Page 20073

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.

2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good

3 morning to Their Honours.

4 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:

5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zaric.

6 A. Good morning.

7 Q. Mr. Zaric, during your cross-examination, the Prosecutor asked you

8 something about the detention of large numbers of Muslims and Croats

9 during the war. So can you tell us: Were there any Croats or Muslims who

10 were never detained during the war in the municipality of Bosanski Samac,

11 where the Serbian authorities were in charge?

12 A. Yes, of course.

13 Q. And did members of the Muslim and Croatian people remain living in

14 their homes in Samac throughout the war, in certain numbers?

15 A. Yes. A certain number of them remained living in their homes.

16 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you about the structure of the

17 JNA, the military districts, the security administration, and other parts

18 of the army, and you told him that the headquarters of the 17th Corps of

19 the JNA was in Tuzla, that the commander was Savo Jankovic, a general, and

20 that the headquarters of the 2nd Military District was in Sarajevo, and

21 that at its head was General Milutin Kukanjac.

22 A. Yes, that is correct.

23 Q. Can you remember, when the attack on the army convoy of the JNA

24 took place, which was withdrawing from the barracks where the command of

25 the 2nd army district in Sarajevo was located?

Page 20074

1 A. I can't remember the exact date, but I know that this was sometime

2 in May, I think, and this 2nd convoy from Tuzla, which was also attacked,

3 I think this was on the 15th of May, 1992. I know that both convoys

4 experienced attacks.

5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Are you aware of the fact that soldiers of

6 the JNA, before that, were surrounded for days in the barracks of Husinska

7 Buna in Tuzla?

8 MR. RE: I object on two bases. One, Mr. Zaric is testifying, and

9 I do ask that he be directed not to lead in his re-examination. And

10 secondly, this has absolutely nothing to do with anything I asked in

11 relation to the takeover before. The closest I got was I asked about

12 JNA -- or depletion of the strength of the JNA in the 17th Corps before --

13 in 1991 and 1992, before the JNA withdrew. The only questions I asked in

14 relation, that I can recall asking in relation to the JNA after the

15 withdrawal were when Mr. Zaric went to Belgrade and his reasons for going

16 to Belgrade, nothing about attacks in Tuzla on JNA convoys, which are a

17 long way from the indictment material.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You've heard what Mr. Re has

19 said, leading the witness; and then, secondly, the content, the material

20 of your question, being outside the cross-examination.

21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I understand the

22 objection raised by the Prosecutor, and I understand your instructions. I

23 cannot agree, however, that the Prosecutor, in his cross-examination, did

24 not put questions in connection with the situation and the organisation of

25 the JNA. When the Prosecutor asked Mr. Zaric why, on the 9th of May, he

Page 20075

1 went to Belgrade, I wish to show what the situation in Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina was, because the 17th Tuzla Corps and the 2nd Military

3 District, on the 9th of May, were under siege; they were blocked. And my

4 next question to Mr. Zaric was going to be whether Mr. Zaric, or anyone

5 from the 17th Tactical Group, had any possibility of going to the command

6 of the 17th Corps in Tuzla, and whether there was a command of the 2nd

7 Army District in Sarajevo any longer. And the only possibility open to

8 them was to go and ask for help in Belgrade.

9 MR. RE: That's -- I object -- I withdraw any objection on that

10 basis, if that's the basis on which he asked the question, but that wasn't

11 the way the question was put. If he's going to ask why did you go to

12 Belgrade instead of somewhere else, sure.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, then. Let's proceed.

14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Mr. Zaric, on the 9th of May, 1992, were you able to go either to

16 the command of the 17th Corps in Tuzla or to the command of the 2nd

17 Military District of the JNA in Sarajevo?

18 A. No, no way. I assert that at that time all the barracks of the

19 JNA in that area were under blockade of the Muslim-Croatian forces, or

20 rather, the new Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was

21 led by President Izetbegovic.

22 Q. Was this the reason for your going to Belgrade, to the security

23 administration in the General Staff of the JNA in Belgrade?

24 A. It was one of the reasons. The other reason was the very fact

25 that we knew that these people had come from there, so we wanted to see at

Page 20076

1 the very highest level who had sent those people there, and we wanted to

2 let them know what these people were doing there. And if anyone could

3 influence those people, and those paramilitary structures, we wanted them

4 to do something, either to withdraw them or to stop them from doing what

5 they were doing. Those were the two chief reasons.

6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric. Are you aware of the decision of the

7 presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the withdrawal of

8 members of the JNA who were citizens of the FRY from Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina?

10 A. Yes, I am aware of that decision. I don't know its exact date,

11 but I do know that the order on the withdrawal of the JNA from the

12 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that all soldiers, officers,

13 non-commissioned officers, and civilian employees of the JNA on the

14 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina who had been born on the territory of

15 the FRY had to leave the area. I am aware of that decision, yes.

16 Q. You have already testified here that members of the JNA respected

17 that order of the presidency of the FRY. Do you know whether all the

18 members of the JNA were duty-bound to act according to the order issued by

19 the presidency? And I'm referring to those who were on the territory of

20 the municipality of Bosanski Samac and were part of the 17th Tactical

21 Group of the JNA.

22 A. I knew the people in the 17th Tactical Group very well. Not a

23 single member of the JNA who had been born on the territory of the FRY

24 remained on the territory and in the area of responsibility of the 17th

25 Tactical Group, which later became the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.

Page 20077

1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, the volunteers, or the Specials, who

2 arrived on the territory of the municipality of Samac, did they also

3 withdraw to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the 9th of May?

4 A. No. This rule did not apply to them. They remained in our area.

5 Q. If I understood you correctly, did the presidency order apply to

6 the volunteers?

7 A. I don't know whether it applied to the volunteers, but in my view,

8 at that moment, they did not have the status of members of the JNA, and

9 the category of volunteers during a war is something I am not familiar

10 with in legal terms, but I do know that this group of volunteers which

11 arrived on the 11th of April, 1992, in Samac, stayed on this area after

12 the 19th --

13 THE INTERPRETER: As said by the witness.

14 A. -- of May.

15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, the Prosecutor put questions to you about

17 the takeover of power in Bijeljina, Zvornik, and Bosanski Brod by Serbian

18 Specials. I'm only interested in Bosanski Brod at present. Who took over

19 power there, and when was this, to the best of your recollection?

20 A. I told the Prosecutor yesterday that in Brod, it was not Serbian

21 Specials who took over, but in the night of the 25th and 26th of March,

22 1992, the regular units of the Croatian army and the HVO from the

23 surrounding villages took power in the municipality of Bosanski Brod and

24 perpetrated the notorious massacre in the village of Sijekovac against the

25 Serbian population.

Page 20078

1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, I would now like to ask you -- I see you

2 don't have your book, but I will hand you a copy. Could you please turn

3 to page 259 and read only the first sentence.

4 A. You mean after number 4?

5 Q. Yes, after number 4. Precisely so. Just the first sentence.

6 A. I understand. "On the 9th of May, a date which we used to

7 celebrate with pride as the day of victory over fascism, on orders from

8 Commander Nikolic, I am travelling to Belgrade."

9 Q. Thank you. You have already testified that on the 9th of May you

10 were in Belgrade.

11 A. Yes. That's not contentious.

12 Q. So you abide by your claim that on the 9th of May you were in

13 Belgrade?

14 A. Yes, I do. That is a fact which is a hundred per cent true.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown

17 Exhibit P140 ter. This is Mr. Zaric's interview. But all three

18 interviews can be put in front of him, in fact.

19 Q. Mr. Zaric, could you please find page 57. This is P140 ter, your

20 interview of the 1st of April, 1998.

21 A. You said page 57?

22 Q. Yes, page 57.

23 A. Yes, I have found page 57.

24 Q. Where it says "somewhere in early May"?

25 A. Yes, I see that.

Page 20079

1 Q. Where you say that you were in Belgrade, on page 58, you say this

2 was on the 9th of May. Do you see that?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. And you said that to the Prosecutor during your interview. You

5 mentioned this date.

6 A. Yes. This is just what I told the Prosecutor in 1998.

7 Q. This was your first interview, was it not?

8 A. Yes. My first interview with Ms. Nancy Paterson.

9 Q. Would you please now look at your interview of the 3rd of June,

10 1998. Have you found it?

11 A. Yes, I have.

12 Q. Would you please now look at page 56 of that interview.

13 A. Yes, I've found 56.

14 Q. Excuse me. I apologise, Mr. Zaric. Not 56, but 96. There's a

15 typing error here.

16 A. Yes, I've found the page, 96, the page you're asking about.

17 Q. It says here "Zaric," so it's your reply to the questions put by

18 investigator Oleg.

19 A. Yes, I see it.

20 Q. Would you please read just a part of your reply as far as where it

21 says "General Gligorevic, Colonel Maksimovic." So could you just read

22 that part.

23 A. Yes. All right. "No, no, no, not that. But when I say this, it

24 means that I can appear there. I don't know. I can testify here. I can

25 see that. Colonel Maksimovic that I'm talking about is perhaps one of the

Page 20080

1 people who know more about that, because he brought that document to the

2 meetings so that we could see it. But Mr. Mikelic, it happened on the day

3 when I went to inform about the crime in Crkvina, because the crime in

4 Crkvina happened on the 8th of May, and on the 9th of May, 1992, I was

5 already at the command of the security of Yugoslavia, and there were

6 generals, General Vasiljevic was there, General Gligorijevic, and Colonel

7 Maksimovic."

8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, you don't have to read any further. In

9 this interview of the 3rd of June, 1998, you said that the crime in

10 Crkvina happened on the 8th of May, 1992.

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. You also confirmed that the very next day, that is, on the 9th,

13 you had gone to the security command in Belgrade and reported about the

14 incident; right?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. And you stand by this statement, that the crime in Crkvina

17 happened on the 8th of May, 1992, and that on the 9th of May you were in

18 Belgrade, don't you?

19 A. Yes, I do.

20 Q. You never -- no. As a matter of fact, do you remember if, in any

21 one of the interviews, to any one of the investigators, you said that that

22 crime had happened on a different date, on a date other than the 8th of

23 May, 1992?

24 A. No, I did not mention any other date to any other investigator,

25 except that when I was talking with Ms. Nancy, we were talking, I wasn't

Page 20081

1 specific. I said on the day in the early May when the crime happened, I

2 went to Crkvina, but she didn't ask me specifically about the date then.

3 Q. Now I'd like you to go back to your interview of the 2nd of April,

4 1998, which is 141 ter, and turn to page 58.

5 A. I've found it.

6 Q. There is an interpreted question of Ms. Nancy, where she tells

7 you -- you're talking about the incident about the murder in Crkvina on

8 the 7th of May. Do you see this? She asked you that question and you

9 didn't answer that.

10 A. Yes. That's a question where Ms. Nancy put in the date, and she

11 said this is an incident, the murder in the village of Crkvina on the 7th

12 of May. And then she goes on: Do you know why people from the

13 Territorial Defence went there?

14 Q. In that interview, you answered Ms. Nancy's question on page 61.

15 It begins: The incident in Crkvina. Look -- have a look at that answer

16 and try to see if you confirmed anywhere in it that you confirmed to

17 Ms. Nancy that the crime had happened on the 7th of May.

18 A. That's right. I didn't find it in this part here.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I won't be needing

21 these documents any more.

22 Now I'd like to ask that the witness be shown P81 ter.

23 Q. Mr. Zaric, have a look at it and tell us - although I do not think

24 that this is in dispute any longer - that the date when this decision was

25 taken is the 29th of April, 1992, isn't it?

Page 20082

1 A. Yes, it is.

2 Q. The Prosecutor put it to you that you interviewed some persons in

3 your capacity of the assistant chief for national security in the

4 municipality of Bosanski Samac, so that my question to you is: When did

5 you interview Mr. Sulejman Tihic?

6 A. As far as I can remember, it was on the 20th of April, 1992.

7 Q. Thank you. In other words, you interviewed him before you were

8 appointed chief for national security?

9 A. Yes, absolutely.

10 Q. And when did Mr. Zaric interview brothers Bicic and Omer Nalic?

11 A. Well, this was, to the best of my recollection, the next day after

12 I went to Brcko, so it could have been the 27th of April, 1992.

13 Q. In other words, you conducted all those interviews with these

14 persons before the decision to appoint you was taken?

15 A. There's no doubt about that.

16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I won't be needing this document

17 any more. Thank you.

18 Q. The Prosecutor put it to you that you were chief for national

19 security and that in that capacity, in late May 1992, you went to Belgrade

20 with Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, Stevan Todorovic, and Milos

21 Bogdanovic. Now tell me: Before you left for Belgrade, was there a

22 meeting of the Crisis Staff at which it was the decision to appoint you to

23 the duty of the chief for national security was withdrawn?

24 A. I think that this meeting took place before we left for Belgrade.

25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zaric, the Prosecutor also put it to you that one

Page 20083

1 of the reasons for the transfer of prisoners to Brcko was to get

2 supplementary statements from them. Mr. Zaric, was there any reason which

3 prevented you from possibly interviewing them in Bosanski Samac?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Very well. I'd now move on to questions which the Prosecutor

6 asked you about the interview for Novi Sad television. Apart from

7 Sulejman Tihic, Omer Nalic, Safet Hadzialijagic, Coner, and Izet

8 Izetbegovic, did any other Muslim give an interview to the Novi Sad

9 Television?

10 A. If my memory serves me well, Mr. Ramusovic, called Tota, a member

11 of the 4th Detachment also gave an interview. He was wounded in that

12 well-known incident which happened on the 2nd of April, 1992. And

13 participants, not interviewees, but on the tape, there is also the

14 recording of conversations with several citizens in Samac who gave their

15 views about the state of affairs and how they saw those early days of war.

16 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now tell me if you remember: To what

17 ethnic group did these townsmen who were interviewed around the town

18 were?

19 A. As far as I can remember, of three females who were in that

20 programme, two were Croats by ethnicity and one was a Muslim. I know that

21 well because one of the Croat women was a woman who lent flat to me and

22 my wife when we had got married. And the other two I know. Jasna Gibic,

23 I know that she is a Muslim, and the other one, Ruzica, I don't know her

24 last name, but I know -- that is, I think that she is a Croat.

25 Q. Very well. Were all the interviews aired in one programme, in a

Page 20084

1 single programme of the Novi Sad Television?

2 A. The tape that is used here as an exhibit is the tape -- the only

3 tape that I saw. I didn't see anything else. So that all the interviews

4 and the way that the journalist edited this tape, that is how it was

5 aired, and all these interviews were shown at one and the same time.

6 Q. Mr. Zaric, were the interviews of Mr. Ramusovic and those females

7 that you indicated used as propaganda against Muslims and Croats?

8 A. No. Out of the question. They told their human story on that

9 occasion. It has nothing to do with this kind of propaganda.

10 Q. Right. Let's leave propaganda and some other effects that the

11 Novi Sad Television matter produced. The only thing I want to know is the

12 following: In your interview to the journalist of the Novi Sad

13 Television, did you tell the truth?

14 A. Absolutely. All that I said, it was based on the security

15 intelligence information that I had collected until up to that time, the

16 29th, when I gave that interview.

17 Q. Very well. And the Prosecutor, towards the end, asked you a

18 number of questions about your book, how it was written, what sources did

19 you use, and you said that you had associates helping you with the book.

20 Was that your answer, that you were helped by associates?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. Now, will you explain: What did this help look like?

23 A. Well, I write down what I think should be in the book and then

24 these editors, language people, and other associates who helped me get

25 this book published, they permitted themselves to describe certain things

Page 20085

1 slightly differently than I had done, in a thesis, or rather, that I had

2 sent them through my investigators. And that is, there are slight

3 assessments, slight differences between what I intended to say and the way

4 they intended to put it, in first person singular or in a slightly romance

5 way, so that the book could carry a more powerful message of its author,

6 in that sense.

7 Q. Very well. And is that why there are certain imprecisions and

8 inaccuracies in the book?

9 A. Yes. There are a number of typos and a number of imprecisions,

10 but I had no occasion to put it to them, because it was too late. I mean,

11 I got it in the shape and form as you have it before you.

12 Q. Mr. Zaric, where were you when your book came out?

13 A. I was here in Scheveningen, in prison, that is, in detention,

14 practically.

15 Q. Could you now have a look at the cover of the book, that is, the

16 back cover, and the Prosecutor put it to you that everything that the book

17 says is true. When was that letter written, that is, this text which is

18 printed on the last page of the book?

19 A. This was written on the eve of my departure for The Hague, and it

20 was only one of the interviews I gave to a journalist, and it was a kind

21 of my confession in the form of an interview. And I wish to tell Your

22 Honours that it happened that my departure for The Hague was made public

23 in the Bosnia-Herzegovinian public, so that as I was about to leave, I

24 gave many interviews to many people and I tried to explain there proudly

25 why I was going, why I did not feel guilty, and that I believed truth and

Page 20086

1 justice and the truth was the only way to justice, and I still believe

2 that.

3 Q. Mr. Zaric, was this text written before, even before you started

4 writing a book?

5 A. No. This text was written on the eve of my departure for The

6 Hague. One of the journalists wrote it. They put my signature there, but

7 I suppose that is some kind of iconography. I think it was the layout of

8 people who were preparing the book.

9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zaric.

10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my

11 re-direct.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Before you sit down, Mr. Pisarevic, considering the

13 discussion about the book, previously the Prosecution had asked for

14 excerpts of the book to be admitted into evidence, if I remember. The

15 excerpts that they were using. And the Trial Chamber was informed that

16 actually the whole book had been officially translated, if I recall. The

17 Trial Chamber is of the view that it's only better to have the whole book

18 produced into evidence, so much reference has been made to it, and it's

19 better that the whole, complete book is admitted into evidence.

20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by all means, but it

21 wasn't my impression that a large number of pages of the book was

22 tendered. However, Mr. Zaric's Defence deems that the book should be

23 admitted as a whole, since fragments of it have been tendered and

24 admitted, simply to avoid taking parts of the text out of their proper

25 context.

Page 20087

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. Have you finished what you

3 wanted to say?

4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yes. Yes.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: I just wanted to find out whether any other Defence

6 counsel wanted to say anything about this. I'll turn back to the

7 Prosecution.

8 Since the whole book has been officially translated and the

9 excerpts that were admitted into evidence, the Trial Chamber would suggest

10 that we use the same P number for the book, the Exhibit number for the

11 book, and its translation.

12 MR. RE: P181? P180? I formally tender Mr. Zaric's book, the

13 English translation is "Crucified in The Hague," first edition, 1999.

14 Five English copies and three photocopies of the original B/C/S.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, please.

16 The Trial Chamber is of the view that the actual book in B/C/S

17 should be presented to the registry so that the registry can have the

18 actual copy.

19 MR. RE: The actual book, I think, is in the -- the Prosecution's

20 copy is in its Evidence Unit. We can retrieve that or Mr. Pisarevic has

21 his own copy there.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I think the Prosecutor should produce that, the

23 original copy in B/C/S, the one which -- because it has the coloured

24 pictures and --

25 MR. RE: We'll do that, Your Honour.

Page 20088

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Very well.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Or maybe, Your Honour. If I may, maybe Mr. Zaric

3 has his own copy, he put his signature and --

4 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. It's the copy which is published, the

5 one which is on sale. The Prosecutor will make sure that the registry has

6 an original copy.

7 Yes. Can we have the numbers, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, the extracts which were admitted

9 on the 17th of April will maintain their exhibit number, P180 and P180

10 ter, and the full tendered book in English will be P180/A, and the B/C/S

11 original copy will be treated as P180/A ter. Thank you.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE MUMBA: The Bench has some questions to ask the accused, but

15 before that is done, we are proposing that we have a break now and

16 continue our proceedings at 10.30.

17 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.

18 --- On resuming at 10.32 a.m.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Bench has some questions for Mr. Simo

20 Zaric, and Judge Williams will begin.

21 Questioned by the Court:

22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: [Microphone not activated] Good morning,

23 Mr. Zaric. I just have --

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Good morning, Mr. Zaric. I just have a few

Page 20089

1 questions I'd like to put to you. The first question is whether the name

2 of the paramilitary unit that Lugar was a member of, whether it was called

3 the Grey Wolves. Do you know that?

4 A. I don't know, Your Honour, the exact name of the unit. They never

5 introduced themselves as an organisation that had a name. As far as I

6 know, however, they did have an image of a grey wolf, an insignia of a

7 grey wolf on their sleeves, on their armbands.

8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for that. Second, and related

9 question, is whether you know or heard that this group, this unit, whether

10 it was equipped or financed by the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

11 A. I really don't have this information. I know that at the outset,

12 the police force in Samac did not receive remuneration for its work, in

13 money, but only in kind. So I'm not sure I can give you a proper answer

14 to that question, or a precise one.

15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. The next question concerns your

16 second trip to Belgrade, towards the end of May, 1992, along with

17 Mr. Todorovic, Dr. Blagoje Simic, Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and Mr. Milos

18 Bogdanovic. You mention in your interview, P140, that you met with a

19 number of people, including one with the nickname of Frenki. Is that

20 correct?

21 A. Yes. Mr. Frenki introduced himself as such, and he attended the

22 meeting in the air force and anti-air defence building in Zemun.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Was this man nicknamed Frenki, was his actual

24 name Franko Simatovic?

25 A. Yes. I know now that this is the person, but at the time of the

Page 20090

1 meeting, he only introduced himself by his nickname, Frenki. I had never

2 seen him before.

3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Did you find out at that meeting, or perhaps

4 later, what his job was, what his position was in Belgrade?

5 A. What I found out later was, as I heard, that he held a high post

6 in the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, in the state security sector.

7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. Did you hear anything concerning his

8 connection with the special operations unit, otherwise known as the Red

9 Berets?

10 A. Yes, I did hear that, but my information comes from the

11 newspapers. A lot has been written about this recently, and I found out

12 in this way about his connection with the Red Berets.

13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And did the Red Berets have any role in the

14 events which transpired in the municipality of Bosanski Samac in 1992,

15 1993?

16 A. I can't say that this is the same team, but bearing in mind that

17 the Specials sometimes did wear red berets on their heads, if we can make

18 a logical connection between the two, then I might say that these people

19 belonged to a part of that unit. But I can't be sure. It's a fact,

20 however, that they did wear red berets on their heads. That was one of

21 the uniforms they used during their stay on the territory of the

22 municipality of Bosanski Samac.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for that. My next question concerns

24 whether, following the interviews that you carried out at the SUP in

25 Bosanski Samac, whether you authorised or arranged for the release of any

Page 20091

1 persons being detained there, including a Mr. Jusufovic and a Mr. Fadil

2 Sabanovic.

3 A. No. I had no authority. But had I been able to, I would have

4 done that every day. Neither did I talk to Mr. Jusufovic, nor to

5 Mr. Sabanovic. I can only assume from what I know how Jusufovic was

6 released. If you insist, I can clarify. But as far as I personally am

7 concerned, I was not in a situation to release any detainee. I did not

8 have such a possibility open to me.

9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. I wonder whether Mr. Zaric could have

10 P127 ter put in front of him. Because, Mr. Zaric, I just have a couple of

11 questions just for the sake of clarification of a few points in that.

12 Fine. I'd like, if you could, for you to look at the second real

13 paragraph, beginning with the words "first it is a fact that the Tactical

14 Group number 17 command played a significant role in the war period, and

15 even in the first days of the war." And then it goes on to say that this

16 was concerning the organised arming of the Serbian people in particular.

17 And my question to you is: In the pre-war period, and in the first days

18 of the war, as this document says, how was Tactical Group 17 organising

19 the arming of the Serbian people in Bosanski Samac?

20 A. The only way that arming was carried out through the 17th Tactical

21 Group, and what I know for certain, is this was done through the

22 detachments that were part of the 17th Tactical Group. The word

23 "territorial detachments" is used here, but that is simply to say that

24 these detachments were on the territory of the municipality of Samac and

25 that they were represented by local people, people who had been born in

Page 20092

1 the area. I do not know of any other way in which the 17th Tactical Group

2 armed the Serbian people, except for organised detachments. At the time,

3 as far as I can remember, there were five organised detachments of the JNA

4 before the outbreak of war.

5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you for that. If we could turn to

6 the next page, the paragraph beginning with the words "fourth, when the

7 war broke out." And it goes on to say: "First the Crisis Staff and then

8 the War Presidency of Samac municipality came under the influence of a

9 handful of individuals." I'd just like to know: Handful obviously

10 implies more than one or two. I'd just like to have your, shall we say,

11 impression as one of the drafters of this document, who that handful were,

12 handful of individuals that privatised their positions in the civilian

13 government, and so on and so forth.

14 A. In my view, the Crisis Staff was a rather small body, in view of

15 the difficult wartime circumstances. It did not have many members. When

16 referring to the privatisation and some relations, I was really thinking

17 of people like Stevan Todorovic, Simeun Simic, Bozo Ninkovic. These

18 people who had the most influence, direct influence on many events in the

19 area, and it's a fact that Mr. Blagoje Simic was at the head of the Crisis

20 Staff. However, regardless of all this, I cannot ascribe to him these

21 sort of intentions which I attribute to some individuals. In the area of

22 Samac, Mr. Todorovic's, Simeun Simic's and Bozo Ninkovic's influence was

23 very evident, and Milan Simic's influence. They had special connections

24 with Mr. Crni and those Specials. That's why I put forward this

25 assessment. I think they privatised their policy and turned it in a

Page 20093

1 direction which the people of the area did not deserve.

2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And if you could take a look at the paragraph on

3 the next page, beginning with "seventh." It says: "Seventh, the War

4 Presidency or executive committee," et cetera. And twice in that

5 paragraph, it refers to the involvement of the civilian authorities in the

6 military. In the fourth line, it says: "Influential individuals in the

7 civilian authorities believed and acted accordingly that in return for all

8 the material and financial assistance, they had the right to interfere

9 most directly with the military authorities." And then further down in

10 the same paragraph, it says: "The civilian authorities generally

11 dominated the military authorities." And I would just like to hear your

12 comments on that.

13 A. In this unfortunate war, it was evident that the military did not

14 have at its disposal enough materiel, especially enough food, cigarettes,

15 and other basic needs that every soldier has when he is on the front line,

16 or in the theatre of war. The army relied on the authorities in the

17 municipality for assistance in this respect. I heard several times a sort

18 of blackmailing policy. What will happen if we don't give you these

19 things? And it's not only I who am saying this. When before the

20 information was put together, I talked to people, I heard other people say

21 this. That's why I thought there was blackmail of the military who were

22 defending the territory. And I thought with reference to the second part

23 of your question, that on the territory of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, five

24 or six commanders were changed within a few months, and in my view, the

25 reasons for this were that some powerful people in the authorities wanted

Page 20094

1 to have obedient commanders, commanders they could influence. That is my

2 conviction as to what was going on in that period of time.

3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one final question, Mr. Zaric. In the same

4 paragraph, the last couple of sentences, beginning with the words "Family

5 and ideological connections were also pronounced in the organs of civilian

6 government, which formulated in a very perfidious way a political,

7 material, and financial strategy, which was in fact a well-designed

8 product and the implementation of private ambitions as the basic

9 conditions for the bosses outside this area to get their share," and so

10 on. It goes on a few words more. I'd just like to have your comment on

11 those words, those sentences.

12 A. Well, you see, there were attempts. I don't want to risk

13 correcting something, but when several people bearing the same family name

14 turn up in a government body, for example, in the Crisis Staff, there was

15 Blagoje Simic, Simeun Simic, the president of the government was Milan

16 Simic, one of the assemblymen was called David Simic. So these family

17 relations seemed to be there, in my view, and that's why I made this

18 assessment. As regards financial transactions, the people in charge,

19 especially in the Executive Board, had power in disposing of material and

20 financial resources in the municipality, and the bosses who are mentioned,

21 the media also wrote about this, and it could not be concealed from us who

22 were local inhabitants, that some members of the special units were given

23 limousines, coffee shops, they were able to build houses, and that's why

24 we thought attention should be drawn to this to prevent these narrow

25 family and ideological connotations from emerging. That, Your Honour, is

Page 20095

1 my answer to your question.

2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.

3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Good morning, Mr. Zaric. I have a couple of

4 questions.

5 A. Good morning.

6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: And the first ones relate to what happened

7 yesterday, and I'm relying on my memory, because I haven't had access to a

8 transcript from yesterday's proceedings. And the last questions I'm going

9 to ask you are of a more general nature.

10 Yesterday, during the cross-examination, the question of

11 collecting away weapons after the takeover in April 1992 was brought up at

12 least twice, once directly, and on the second time, more or less in

13 passing. On the first occasion, you let us understand that the collecting

14 of weapons, not only in order to consolidate the power of those who had

15 taken over the town, but that it also was a wise measure in order to avoid

16 an interethnic conflict. I think you even used the word "bloodshed." And

17 even if you didn't say it, I understand that you meant the municipality of

18 Bosanski Samac. Isn't that so?

19 A. Yes, you are right.

20 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you. You didn't in that connection touch

21 upon which the future consequences or implications would have -- would or

22 could have been if such a conflict had broken out. Do you perhaps want to

23 say some words about that, not to be too lengthy but in as few words as

24 possible? Thank you.

25 A. Yes, I did not talk about this, but had there been a return

Page 20096

1 conflict by some forces in town, if I understood you correctly, I think

2 that the town of Samac would have been flooded with blood and the tragedy

3 would have been far greater. That is my deep conviction. If you recall,

4 when I replied to the Prosecutor about the collection of weapons by the

5 members of the 4th Detachment, I said that this was only in the area close

6 to the defence line, where we were holding positions, expecting an attack

7 from Croatia, and the territory of Samac controlled by the HVO, and it was

8 logical, or it seemed logical to me, that the soldiers on the first

9 defence lines should not be threatened by someone in the houses behind who

10 might shoot at them and who did not have the same opinion of the soldiers

11 in the 4th Detachment that I had, and others who were on the defence

12 line. There is no doubt that before the war, there really was division in

13 the town, both along military and political lines.

14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I recall very clearly that you yesterday

15 mentioned the imminent danger of warfare, and you let us understand that

16 if the weapons hadn't been collected, the soldiers on the line would have

17 run the risk of being shot from behind. And that means perhaps this is

18 repetitive in a sense, but I think it's important to hear it also from you

19 that that means that there was no strong solidarity between the different

20 groups in your society, even if people had been living there for decades,

21 not to speak about centuries. I think this is a proper and correct

22 interpretation of what you said yesterday.

23 A. Yes, you are right, Your Honour, and that is precisely what our

24 biggest tragedy is, Your Honour. Yes, you're right.

25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: And I'll go over to a more general topic.

Page 20097

1 Through your testimony, you have clearly denounced and condemned what

2 happened after the takeover of power in Bosanski Samac, and it's not

3 necessary to repeat all those sad things, all the atrocities and horrors

4 that took place. It's well known to everybody in this room. But

5 yesterday I think -- I think; I'm not sure, but I think I heard something

6 of interest and importance. Perhaps I heard it only, so to speak, between

7 the lines, or it might be that my memory doesn't serve me well. I'm not

8 going to ask you directly: Did you say this or that? I'm going, so to

9 say, around. And if you for a moment leave aside all the atrocities and

10 all the horrors and bad things that took place after the takeover in April

11 1992, I put two questions to you which you can answer together or

12 separately, just as you like.

13 My first question is: What was, at the time when it happened,

14 your opinion of the takeover of power in Bosanski Samac? And secondly,

15 what do you, based on your long experience, think had happened if the

16 Serbs had not taken over the power on the 17th of April, 1992, or in the

17 days or weeks thereafter? These are the questions.

18 A. As to the first question, I have to say, and I have already said

19 that, but let me answer you. I'm one of those people who were against any

20 form of ethnic organisation of either municipalities or regions. So that

21 would be my answer as to your first question.

22 And the second question, had what happened in Samac not happened,

23 that is, had there not been a takeover, then there is no doubt that

24 Bosanski Samac would have come under the forces of the HVO, that is, the

25 Muslim-Croat coalition, and Samac and Samac people would have suffered the

Page 20098

1 same fate that the Serb people suffered in Odzak, Modrica, and

2 neighbouring municipalities where the HVO forces prevailed. And there is

3 no need for me to repeat how people fared in those areas which those

4 forces had placed under their control.

5 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you so much. No further questions.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. In view of some of the matters touched

7 upon by the Judges, I would like to ask the parties if they want to

8 clarify anything.

9 Mr. Simo Zaric, the Prosecution.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not know whether

11 gentlemen from the Prosecution or the Defence have something, and I do not

12 know whether that is --

13 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Mr. Zaric.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Zaric. I'm asking the parties now, unless

15 you want to say something else.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Anything from the Prosecution? Any matters for

18 clarification?

19 MR. RE: No, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic?

21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours.

22 Further cross-examination by Mr. Pantelic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zaric, in relation to the questions asked of

24 you by members of the Trial Chamber, answer this briefly: Following the

25 19th of May, 1992, in the territory of the Samac municipality, at the 2nd

Page 20099

1 Posavina Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska was active in the

2 municipality of Samac; is that right?

3 A. Yes, it is.

4 Q. And the commander of the brigade will be what rank [as

5 interpreted]?

6 A. It is the commander of the East Bosnian Corps who appoints brigade

7 commanders, to my knowledge, as far as I know. And it is quite possible

8 that such a person is appointed by the main staff, at the proposal of the

9 commander of the East Bosnia Corps. I'm not quite sure --

10 MR. PANTELIC: In the transcript, it's page 31, line 3. In fact,

11 my question was -- maybe it's a matter of interpretation. My question

12 was: Which authority is in charge for appointing the commander of

13 brigade? That was my question.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's now recorded and the answer seems to have

15 answered your question.

16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. And while this turns out to be an important topic, what can you

18 do? I have to ask you that.

19 Mr. Zaric, tell me, and I'm talking about the Samac municipality

20 villages and hamlets in the municipality of Samac is there - how shall I

21 put it - a sort of a grouping of last names in that region?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Specifically, are there the same last names in Samac, in the

24 region of Samac, and at Pale, or in Trebinje?

25 A. There are a number of such cases.

Page 20100

1 Q. But we are talking about frequent last names, say, in the Sava

2 River valley. Does it mean that we shall find the same type of last names

3 on Romanija, or does it vary from one region to another?

4 A. Not necessarily.

5 Q. And, for instance, there are hamlets in the territory of the Samac

6 municipality which are even called after the most populous group of

7 members of that community. Would that be correct?

8 A. Yes, it would.

9 Q. For instance, in the village of Pisari, the largest number, the

10 most numerous, would be Pisarevici?

11 A. Yes, in the village of Pisari, the largest number of locals would

12 be called Pisarevici, in Crkvina, it would be some other last name, in

13 Obudovac, you have a large number of people called Djukic. That is, for

14 instance, what comes to my mind right now, but there are these phenomenon

15 that you are talking about.

16 Q. On the Croat side, in the area of Odzak and in the Croat part of

17 Posavina, you come very often across the last name Matanovic is that

18 right?

19 A. Yes, it is.

20 Q. And of course, because of a very large number of Matanovic, many

21 Matanovics we heard participated in the front structures for power, isn't

22 it?

23 A. Yes. As far as I know, in the municipality of Odzak, several

24 Matanovics held different offices during the war.

25 Q. But that, Mr. Zaric, need not mean that they are all closely

Page 20101

1 related?

2 A. Yes, absolutely. I agree with you.

3 Q. Simic is a last name -- no. Before that, let me ask you this:

4 Shall we agree - and of course it is most difficult to talk about, because

5 we are both laymen - but the most frequent last names among the Serbs are

6 Petrovic and Jovanovic; is that so?

7 A. Well, yes. If one really went into these ethnographic things, one

8 might say that perhaps it could be that way.

9 Q. And above the average share belongs also to Simic as a last name

10 of these people?

11 A. Yes, particularly in our municipality, because Simics do not all

12 come from Kruskovo Polje. You can also find Simics in Batkusa and there

13 are Simics who were inter-married and who therefore were not blood

14 relations. But you could also find that last name Simic in other

15 municipalities as well.

16 Q. Now, I wouldn't repeat questions that I've already asked. We have

17 the transcript and we shall have -- we can go back to that to see what

18 was -- how Blagoje Simic treated Milan Simic with regard to appointments,

19 et cetera, et cetera. But I'd like to ask you only the following: When,

20 in the latter half of April 1992, the Crisis Staff was put in place,

21 according to the information that you have, what was more important if one

22 was to become a member of the Crisis Staff: To belong to different

23 political parties, as we know, or to have the same last name? What was of

24 more importance? Can you tell me that?

25 A. Well, it's rather difficult for me to answer that.

Page 20102

1 Q. But if you can, do then -- then please do. If you can't, then --

2 A. Well, perhaps in the beginning, while people were still in a fluid

3 state, then perhaps there were some people who in somebody's opinion were

4 thought to --

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zaric --

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure how to answer this

7 question, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zaric. I have to interrupt you, because

9 the question doesn't make sense at all.

10 MR. PANTELIC: I will rephrase the question, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: And also, you should stick to the matters that were

12 raised in the questions of the Bench.

13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if I may -- I'm still, Your Honour, on

14 the topic of family name, because that's surprisingly, but it seems that

15 it's quite important for the Prosecution and also it's the issue which was

16 raised by Her Honour Judge Williams, so I have to really comment.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can go ahead.

18 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Yes. Since we are talking about last names, you will agree with

20 me that the last name Tadic -- that Tadic is also a frequent last name in

21 the municipality of Samac, and so on?

22 A. In the municipality of Odzak, it is very characteristic, and the

23 Tadic family is very large.

24 Q. And my last question is as follows: On the basis of your personal

25 knowledge, and bearing in mind the party membership of the members of the

Page 20103

1 Crisis Staff in the latter half of April 1992, and you know that we're

2 talking about liberals, reformists, non-party figures, SDS. What I'm

3 trying to say is the following: Would you say that that body was, if I

4 can put it that way, diverse in party terms, or were there familiar

5 relations?

6 A. Well, I cannot say that their links were based on party

7 membership. I'd rather say that the connection was similar political

8 views, because one could be a liberal yet embrace the SDS policy or was a

9 member of some party and then all of a sudden embrace the SDS policy.

10 Then it doesn't matter. But to me it's important, what was one's

11 political option and what one did as a member of the Crisis Staff.

12 Q. So if I'm getting your meaning, the familial relations were not

13 predominant; is that so, Mr. Zaric?

14 A. Well, in those early days, no, they were not. That is how I would

15 put it. But no, to be quite frank, and perhaps the word "familial" is too

16 strong, because at that time I profoundly believed, because for the first

17 time the discussion who was related to whom among the Simics was here in

18 this courtroom. At the time when I was not aware of that fact and there

19 are very many Simics on a particular body or on the highest ranking body

20 in the municipality, it might be a logical conclusion, even if they were

21 not related, I would have also liked to have more Zarics at my side, but

22 unfortunately there weren't, and I was alone. Even if they weren't my

23 close relatives.

24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with my --

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel? Thank you very much, Mr. Zaric.

Page 20104

1 MR. RE: Your Honours, I'm sorry. Could I, with leave, ask

2 something in relation to that, arising from Mr. Pantelic's extended

3 cross-examination which is connected to Your Honour's questioning of

4 Mr. Zaric?

5 JUDGE MUMBA: You wanted to put questions to Mr. Zaric?

6 MR. RE: Yes, yes, arising from what Your Honours put and

7 Mr. Pantelic then extended.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Very, very sparingly, Mr. Re.

9 MR. RE: Yes. I will do so. Thank you, Your Honour

10 Further cross-examination by Mr. Re:

11 Q. Mr. Zaric, your evidence was that you spent a considerable

12 amount of time before you prepared this and drafted this document

13 researching it, P127. It's the document I'm referring to. That was your

14 evidence last week or the week before. I can't remember when at the

15 moment.

16 A. If you want me to be accurate, I was engaged in preparing the

17 material for about a month and a half. I don't know whether it is a long

18 period of time. Well, if you wish, you can see it like that. But I spent

19 about a month and a half after I arrived in the command of the Posavina

20 2nd Infantry Brigade to try to collect the basic information and to be

21 able to write, to write my information.

22 Q. And when you prepared it, this is P127, the document we call the

23 13 signatories, and I'm only asking you in relation to the questions

24 Mr. Pantelic and Judge Williams asked you, you carefully checked your

25 information because it was important that it was accurate because it was

Page 20105

1 an important document you were putting forward to the Posavina Brigade

2 staff; correct?

3 A. Yes. I did my best to reflect in the information what I heard

4 from the sources, that is, from the soldiers on the ground, and the way

5 that soldiers and officers spoke about their perception of the situation,

6 and then I talked with a group of people who were made responsible for

7 putting it on paper. So I'm talking about the gathering information on

8 the ground. This is not police work. It is the work of a morale man and

9 something that should contribute, if I may put it that way, to creating a

10 more favourable atmosphere for promoting morale in any army, and therefore

11 in the army of Republika Srpska as well.

12 Q. And when you referred to -- when you referred to family

13 connections in this document, as Judge Williams asked you, you were

14 only -- you were only referring to the extended Simic family, weren't you?

15 A. No. I didn't have them in mind only. It just so happened that

16 this subject was put on the agenda. To my mind, there were other familial

17 connections in that rather narrow circle that I had in mind, of course,

18 and where I -- and in places where I could hear something about it.

19 Q. The information you had was that these familial connections were

20 enriching themselves, and that's why you put it in the document, wasn't

21 it?

22 A. Well, I said how I came by that information, and the information

23 that I came by was put in this information, and I stand by what is written

24 in it.

25 Q. Is that yes, the information was that these familial connections

Page 20106

1 were enriching themselves, which is why you put it in? Is the short

2 answer to that yes?

3 A. Well, I don't know if I mentioned the enrichment and those

4 familial connections. I do not know if it was within that context. But

5 bearing in mind different combinations that existed in the area, I also

6 indicated such a possibility that perhaps these familial and family

7 relations had something to do perhaps with somebody maybe acquiring better

8 living conditions.

9 Q. And apart from the extended Simic family, what were these other

10 families or familial connections that you are referring to who were within

11 the small or the narrow confines of the civilian authorities, apart from

12 the Simics, who were these other families?

13 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to give names. Now you are making me

14 think who was related to whom in the Crisis Staff. I know that

15 Mr. Todorovic was related to some people in the S -- or some in the Main

16 Board of the SDS, so that perhaps I could talk about such a combination.

17 And about friendly ties between Savo Popovic and Milos Bogdanovic, now,

18 these would be friendly ties. Simics, I've already said what in a way I

19 thought. And Simic and another Simic, and I'm referring to Simeun Simic

20 and Bozo Ninkovic, that is a kind of a party and friendship connection,

21 because they have always belonged to the same type of political option.

22 So that - how shall I put it - a heterogeneous mix of different

23 combinations.

24 Q. Mr. Zaric, you said family and ideological connections. All I'm

25 asking you is, apart from the Simics, and we know there was a large

Page 20107

1 extended family Simic, even if the connections went back over some

2 generations, what were the other families? You refer specifically to

3 family. If not the Simic family, what other families are you referring to

4 in the civilian authorities? Families. Please concentrate on family, as

5 you've used the word in this document.

6 A. I can't remember it. It escapes me right now.

7 Q. And finally, the living conditions or the improved living

8 conditions you referred to, can you give us some examples of what you saw

9 or what your research revealed about these improved living conditions, or

10 the financial advantages which these families were gaining as a result of

11 their position?

12 A. Well, listen, I didn't go to check the property and the financial

13 status of individuals. These stories originated with men on the ground,

14 and it was on the basis of that that we put it in. For instance, I know

15 information which has never been investigated that 500.000 marks had been

16 taken from the safe of the public auditing services, that this was broken

17 into with special equipment, but none of the official bodies or agencies

18 ever investigated that case. There was only the knowledge that that had

19 happened. Where that money went to, well, had somebody done it, now I'd

20 be able to give you qualified information. But as a morale man, I wasn't

21 into investigation. I merely collected information as to what went on on

22 the ground. Information, and if you follow the conclusion, we requested

23 security authorities to investigate those cases, and so on and so forth.

24 You listened authentically to --


Page 20108

1 A. -- to the witness Slavko Paleksic, who was one of the men who went

2 there who carried out the control of the public security station and found

3 an appalling situation there, and Todorovic told us here how everything

4 was in line with the rules of service. My apologies.

5 MR. RE: Thank you for Your Honours' leave.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Simo Zaric. We have

7 finished extracting evidence from you. You may go back to your seat.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I merely hope

9 that you'd allow me to say something, but thank you.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zaric, you can sit down. You still wanted --

11 you still wanted to say something?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. I will say something if

13 you think it serves no purpose, then I'll go back to my place so as not to

14 disrupt the protocol.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. You are free. You can say what you want to

16 say.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I merely wanted to say that

18 last night I knew it was the last night which I would have before the last

19 round of my testimony here, for which I had waited so long, and I took

20 some notes down to remind me of what I wanted to tell the Chamber. It

21 will take a few minutes because of my concentration. So if you allow me

22 to share with you my last -- my latest thought, if it goes beyond the

23 protocol that exists here, then of course I will not say anything.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. The Trial Chamber can only allow you to say

25 what you want to say, regarding the case against you, nothing outside

Page 20109

1 that.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's precisely what I meant

3 to say, how I experienced this. Only a few sentences, a few minutes, if

4 you will allow me. And when I start, if you think this is outside the

5 case, please interrupt me and I will stop immediately.

6 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What I can caution you about is that you have

7 given your evidence in defence of your case, so you have to be very

8 careful as to what you say.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is quite clear to me.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Does this mean you are allowing me

12 to say something?

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I was just making sure that you understand

14 that you've given your defence, and if you want to say anything, be very

15 careful as to what you say so that it doesn't undermine your defence.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.

17 Your Honours, I belong, and I belonged, in the ranks of those

18 forces in the area where I lived before and during the war, who opposed

19 courageously, humanely, and unambiguously all occurrences and all those

20 who advocated ideological, ethnic, and religious hatred. This had as a

21 consequence a bloody civil war in which, unfortunately, war crimes

22 occurred, as well as many other tragedies and inappropriate measures which

23 were a result and product of the war. Had I not been what I was, from the

24 viewpoint of the public post I held in the area, all I can say is that I

25 was simply an unfortunate participant in that cursed war, like many others

Page 20110

1 on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. I

2 was a participant in this war who, within the limits of his physical and

3 human possibilities, struggled to reduce the evil to the smallest amount

4 possible, and I will never be able to understand what criteria I used to

5 accuse someone of such a serious thing as a war crime, regardless of what

6 segment is referred to, and thus be tried in the international palace of

7 justice.

8 There are many such innocent participants on the territory of the

9 Republika Srpska besides me, and this means that I don't want to think

10 that samples taken at random, or on purpose, have to bear the burden of

11 all the victims and of all the countless people who behaved correctly

12 during the war. It is very hard for me to bear the fact that the

13 injustice against me has been so harsh that from the date of my voluntary

14 surrender until today, I, along with some other individuals who are real

15 murderers and criminals, those who raped, tortured, enjoyed persecuting

16 and deporting people, that I am among them, among those who really deserve

17 to bear the blame for the war crimes that happened.

18 Freedom is the most precious thing a person can have, but it

19 cannot replace the brutality against me which has deeply shaken me and my

20 family and my people and all my sincere friends and acquaintances who know

21 that I would never commit a crime, under any circumstances. I am aware of

22 the fact that a conviction in this International Tribunal and a sentence

23 awarded here is to serve as a preventive measure --

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zaric, you are going outside the perimeters of

25 your defence, and I have to stop you.

Page 20111

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do apologise.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You may go back to your seat.

3 [The witness stands down]

4 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. With regard to certain

6 procedural issues, if I may address the Trial Chamber, please.


8 MR. PANTELIC: During the Prosecution case and more recently

9 during the testimony of Mr. Zaric, and of course today, with regard to

10 certain line of questions, the role of Frenki, person with nickname

11 Frenki, Mr. Simatovic, allegedly head of special operation unit and

12 recently indicted by the Office of the Prosecution, together with

13 Mr. Stanisic, who was also head of state security in Serbia - we know that

14 this indictment was issued, I believe, on 1st of May this year - and of

15 course, Your Honour, I don't want to speculate whether the theory,

16 Prosecution theory, would be to somehow to make any connections with Samac

17 region and events in Samac. That, of course, is a matter for final

18 submission of the Prosecution. But just as a step of cautious -- as a

19 step of -- as a act of prevention, in legal terms, I believe that I'm

20 speaking on behalf of all my colleagues, given the fact that from certain

21 media we learned that Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Simatovic gave certain

22 statements to the Office of the Prosecution, and therefore, certain parts

23 of their statement might be of certain impact, whether it will be a Rule

24 68 or maybe we could paste them in the broad picture of Samac case. I

25 don't know. I don't want to speculate. But the fact is that these two

Page 20112

1 gentlemen, they gave the statements to the Office of the Prosecution.

2 Actually, their investigators came to Belgrade, I don't know how many

3 times, but the office of Prosecution is in possession of the statements of

4 Mr. Franko Simatovic, aka Frenki, and Mr. Jovica Stanisic. So what I

5 would like to respectfully move this Trial Chamber to order the Office of

6 Prosecution to disclose only relevant parts. The Defence is not

7 interested at all of, I would say, overall strategy, of the Office of

8 Prosecution with regard to these two gentlemen, not at all. But in the

9 interests of justice, we believe that certain portions of statements which

10 are in possession of the Office of Prosecution related to Samac case might

11 be, might be, of relevance for the Defence, whether, as I said, it will be

12 according to Rule 68 or maybe -- who knows. Maybe there are some

13 aggravating facts there.

14 Namely, I'm speaking of alleged meeting in command, air force

15 command, where Mr. Simatovic allegedly was. Maybe it's a logical way to

16 conclude that since the office of Prosecution was in possession of this

17 event, of knowledge of this particular event, maybe during the

18 interrogation of Mr. Simatovic they asked him same question. So let's see

19 and let's clarify this issue which might be of relevance for our case.

20 So in conclusion, Your Honour, I would like to respectfully move

21 this Trial Chamber to render proper decision which might be of importance

22 for the Defence case. Thank you, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. In view of the way you have put your

24 submission, what you want is to ask the Prosecution to disclose to the

25 Defence the statements you say they collected from these two, Simatovic

Page 20113

1 and Stanisic?

2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. But specifically, the parts

3 relating to Samac case and defendants here. So Defence is not interested

4 at all of other aspects of these statements. So probably office of

5 Prosecution can -- like, because they did that in previous phase of

6 proceedings. They disclosed us part of the statements which are subject

7 to disclosure, et cetera.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. I understand.

9 MR. PANTELIC: Totality, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: -- specific about the two persons. I will ask the

11 Prosecution.

12 MR. RE: Mr. Pantelic clearly knows far more about this matter

13 than the Prosecution -- this Prosecution team does. Mr. Pantelic clearly

14 knows that Bosanski Samac features in the Simatovic and Stanisic and

15 Seselj and Milosevic indictments. This Prosecution team is unaware of the

16 statements to which Mr. Pantelic refers or whether they are in fact

17 statements or interviews, but we will certainly search and disclose

18 anything that falls within Rule 68 or is relevant to the defence of the

19 case, having now, on this day, been notified of the existence, according

20 to Mr. Pantelic, of this material.

21 JUDGE MUMBA: I just wanted to be clear.

22 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise, Your Honour. Just for the record,

23 the basis of my knowledge is certain articles from media and certain

24 statements of Mr. Simatovic and Mr. Stanisic Defence counsel. So we

25 learned recently that they were in contact with Office of the Prosecution,

Page 20114

1 and therefore - maybe I'm speculating, I don't know - they know what they

2 have in their hands. Maybe they know they have statements. If they

3 don't, what can we do? Thank you.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is of the view that maybe by

6 the next time we meet, on Monday, the Prosecution will be in a position to

7 say whether or not they have anything. The Trial Chamber also wishes to

8 note that most of these cases are related under the -- I hope that the

9 parties should only be concerned with evidence which is relevant to the

10 charges against the accused in this indictment.

11 There's the matter the Trial Chamber would like to clear with the

12 Defence, and this is regarding the question which was raised by the

13 Prosecution motion regarding the deposition witnesses. This is whether or

14 not the Defence would like to call any other deposition witnesses for

15 cross-examination.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Defence for Dr. Simic does not

17 wish to cross-examine any of Rule 71 witnesses. Thank you.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.

19 Mr. Lukic?

20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of Miroslav

21 Tadic does not intend to call any of the witnesses for cross-examination

22 of any Rule 71 witnesses, that is.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Mr. Lazarevic.

24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Mr. Simo Zaric's Defence, we also do not

25 wish to cross-examine any of the witnesses that gave their statement on

Page 20115

1 depositions in Belgrade.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We have the demographic expert coming on

3 Monday, and after that we'll see whether or not we can ask each Defence to

4 say whether or not they are formally closing their case. So we are

5 adjourning our proceedings now. We'll meet on Monday, the 26th of May.

6 The Court will rise.

7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.47 a.m.,

8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of

9 May 2003, at 2.15 p.m.