1 Thursday, 8 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, we are in open session. The voice
7 distortion is now on. I'm asked to remind everybody that when the voice
8 distortion is on, they should switch their microphones off when they're
9 not speaking.
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I'm not finished with the meeting
11 which we were dealing with in private session. Could I ask that we -- or
12 it may make sense just to conclude that portion of B-1237's testimony and
13 then go into open session or however the Chamber would like to do it.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 [Private session]
13 Pages 20393-20397 – redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Sir, I apologise for taking your testimony somewhat out of order.
1 We are now in open session, and I'd ask you just to give us briefly some
2 basic background facts about Zvornik. Approximately how many people were
3 living in Zvornik at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992?
4 A. Zvornik is one of the municipalities which is on the very border
5 between Bosnia and Serbia, on the banks of the Drina River. The
6 municipality itself had about 80.000 inhabitants, and the town of Zvornik
7 itself about 20.000 inhabitants.
8 The ethnic composition was mostly as follows: 60 per cent of the
9 population were Muslims, about 38 per cent were Serbs, and there were 2
10 per cent others, mostly a couple of Croatian families, a couple of Jewish
11 families, a couple of Romany settlements too.
12 Q. Sir, is it true that at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992
13 that the relationship between the Serb community and the Muslim community
14 began to deteriorate, and was this in your mind marked in particularity by
15 a comment you heard Branko Grujic make at a meeting?
16 A. Yes, it is true that relations deteriorated, inter-ethnic
17 relations, that is, and it is true that I heard certain comments by
18 Mr. Branko Grujic.
19 Q. Can you please summarise the comments that you heard Mr. Grujic
21 A. He said, "You Muslims must understand that we don't want to live
22 with you. One of the reasons is, for instance, the way in which you're
23 exploiting the Serbs. You're multiplying, that is, Muslims are
24 multiplying more quickly than Serbs, and our children go to joint schools
25 and joint kindergartens which are financed out of joint funds. In this
1 way, we are paying for the maintenance and schooling of your children, and
2 we won't go on doing that."
3 JUDGE MAY: Who was this Mr. Grujic? If we've had evidence, I
4 don't recollect that.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Can you please remind us who Mr. Grujic was?
7 A. Mr. Grujic was president of the Party of Democratic Action in
8 Veliki Zvornik.
9 Q. I'd ask that the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 441, tab 2.
10 And this can be placed on the overhead projector.
11 Sir, do you recognise this exhibit? You can look at the actual
12 exhibit to your left.
13 A. I do know this document.
14 Q. And what do you recognise it to be?
15 A. It is actually a review, an overview, of names, first and last,
16 indicating titles of the gentlemen I came across in that period of time
17 that I communicated with.
18 Q. Were you involved in the creation of this document and have you
19 checked it for its accuracy?
20 A. Yes. I have verified the accuracy of this document, and I have
21 signed it as being accurate and authentic.
22 MR. GROOME: I ask that it be left on the overhead projector so we
23 can refer to it during the course of the testimony.
24 Q. And, sir, I want to now draw your attention to the period between
25 January and March of 1992. During that time period, did you become aware
1 that parallel governmental structures were being established by the SDS?
2 A. Yes, I learnt about that.
3 Q. I'd ask you to describe the structures or organisations that you
4 have personal knowledge of and explain how you knew that these structures
5 were being established.
6 A. A Serbian municipality of Zvornik was set up, a Serbian SUP, a
7 Serbian Territorial Defence was formed. The way in which these were
8 formed was as follows: The Serbs simply withdrew from all the municipal
9 bodies based in town of Zvornik, and they set up premises in companies in
10 Karakaj. They stole a couple of passenger vehicles, including the car of
11 the president of the municipality, and they simply no longer appeared at
12 official meetings of the Municipal Assembly.
13 This escalated, in particular, in March, even though obstruction
14 started already at the end of 1991.
15 Q. I want to draw your attention to February of 1992. During this
16 time period, did you become aware of the movement of JNA military
17 resources in and around the Municipality of Zvornik?
18 A. Yes. I learnt about the movement and presence of the Yugoslav
19 People's Army in and around the municipality of Zvornik.
20 Q. Do you know a person by the name of -- are you aware of a person
21 by the name of Colonel Tacic?
22 A. Yes, I do. I did know that person by the name of Colonel Tacic.
23 Q. Can you describe what unit he commanded and what movement of that
24 unit you were aware of?
25 A. He was in command of an armoured brigade which, until the outbreak
1 of the conflict with Croatia, was stationed in Jastrebarsko in the
2 vicinity of Zagreb. And at the beginning of February, it was dislocated
3 or moved to Dubrave, which was in the vicinity of Tuzla.
4 Q. Did his unit once again move to the area of Mali Zvornik?
5 A. Yes. As tensions grew, it became clearer and clearer what the
6 real purpose of that unit was, and in end March, that unit occupied all
7 the bridges in Zvornik municipality, and a couple of tanks were deployed
8 in Mali Zvornik itself with their barrels trained towards my place of
9 birth, my home village.
10 Q. Sir, I will ask you about the presence of paramilitary forces in
11 Zvornik a little later in your testimony, but at this stage, the time that
12 you're describing as each of the bridges being secured by these JNA
13 resources, as you've described, were there any paramilitary forces from
14 Serbia in Zvornik prior to the securing of the bridges?
15 A. No, there were no paramilitaries in Zvornik before that.
16 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask now that the witness be shown a copy
17 of a map from Prosecution Exhibit 336, pages 28 and 29. I'm going to ask
18 it be placed on the overhead projector.
19 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to take the pointer. I will ask you a
20 few questions about this map. My first question to you is: Is it you
21 that made the markings on the map?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And what do the markings on the map indicate? Please don't give
24 us the location now but tell us what do they generally indicate, these
25 circles you've made on the map?
1 A. They indicate the places where the forces of Colonel Tacic were
2 deployed and the forces of the Serbian Territorial Defence of Zvornik.
3 Q. I'd ask you to go through each of the locations, point to it, "A"
4 through "E" and just tell us the locations where you have knowledge that
5 these forces were so deployed.
6 A. Location "A" indicates this place, Dubrava, where the staff was
7 initially located. I mean, the staff of Colonel Tacic.
8 Location "B" is Sekovici, the place where in the course of March
9 Colonel Tacic deployed his forces. And the same goes for location "C",
10 Papraca village, where in end March the new staff of Colonel Tacic was
12 Point "D" is, in fact, Mali Zvornik. The place of deployment of
13 this armoured brigade and the forces of Colonel Tacic and the Territorial
14 Defence of Mali Zvornik.
15 Celopek and Trsic are places where the forces of Colonel Tacic
16 were deployed together with the Serbian Territorial Defence.
17 JUDGE MAY: Do we have a number for this brigade or a name? Can
18 you help us with that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was simply an armoured
20 mechanised brigade from Jastrebarsko. That's how we referred to it.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. Sir, the troops that you're describing now, were they deployed in
23 a way, a secret way, or were they visible to people that would have been
24 in the area, in the areas you've described?
25 A. They were visible in these areas that I just described.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can I ask you to summarise the types of military resources, to the
2 extent you haven't already, that you personally observed, the types of
3 equipment and also the quantity of men?
4 A. I saw tanks and anti-aircraft cannons that were deployed at every
5 bridge, and in Mali Zvornik, in Celopek, Trsic, and at the hydro power
6 station of Mali Zvornik. In Dubrava, I saw similar weapons as well.
7 Q. I just want to return briefly to the bridges that you described as
8 being secured. Could I ask you to name the bridges and the locations
9 where those bridges are?
10 A. The first bridge is the so-called new bridge in Zvornik, a
11 concrete bridge located in Zvornik's industrial area. The second bridge
12 is the railroad bridge which connects the industrial area of Zvornik with
13 Serbia. And a third bridge is the bridge at Sepak.
14 Q. During the course of your testimony, you've referred to both
15 Colonel Tacic and Captain Obrenovic. My question to you is: What if
16 anything do you know about the relationship, the command relationship,
17 between those two men?
18 A. Well, if Colonel Tacic was the commander, the superior of
19 Captain Obrenovic, then Captain Obrenovic was commanding only a part of
20 that brigade, a smaller part.
21 Q. Do you know where Captain Obrenovic was based from? Where was his
22 base of operations?
23 A. He mainly covered Karakaj, Celopek, and Mali Zvornik and moved
24 within that circle.
25 Q. Are you familiar with the name General Jankovic?
1 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that name.
2 Q. Can you tell us who he was and what was his command relationship
3 to Colonel Tacic?
4 A. General Jankovic was the commander of that military district of
5 Tuzla, and he was superior to Colonel Tacic.
6 Q. A few days prior to the attack on Zvornik, were you present at a
7 lunch where several people were, including General Jankovic?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. Can you please describe what occurred at that lunch? And I'd ask
10 you to begin by telling us to the best of your recollection where it was
11 and when it was?
17 Q. Can you summarise the relevant portions of that luncheon meeting.
18 A. Well, it was a very pleasant luncheon for the most part.
19 General Jankovic did most of the talking. He was a very witty gentleman,
20 the soul of the party. He told us jokes about his own folks, Montenegrin
21 men and women. He tried to calm us down. He told us that there was no
22 reason for us to be afraid, that the army would not attack us. On the
23 contrary, they would protect our people.
24 Q. I want to draw your attention now to early April. Can you
25 describe how the situation developed in early April and whether or not
1 there was a Muslim crisis committee was established during that period of
3 A. Well, the situation in Zvornik was very, very tense. There had
4 been a couple of murders, assassinations in Kravica, that is Bratunac
5 municipality. Then there had been the murder of a policeman in Kalesija.
6 The SUP had already been disbanded. In fact, Serb members had established
7 their own parallel SUP. The Serb Territorial Defence had been set up, the
8 Serb Municipal Assembly. And from the old town itself, Serbs continued to
9 move out. And a couple of days prior to the attack on Zvornik, there was
10 not a single Serb there.
11 The Crisis Staff was set up on the 6th of April when it was
12 already certain and perfectly clear what was in the offing. And the
13 purpose of creating that Crisis Staff and the purpose of all its
14 activities was to avoid war at all costs.
15 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the 7th of April, 1992. Did
16 you become aware that a number of men from or associated with Arkan were
17 arrested or detained in Zvornik?
18 A. Yes, I did learn about that, that a group of Arkan's men had been
19 taken into custody into the SUP building of Zvornik.
20 Q. Can you please tell us how you knew that these men were taken into
22 A. Well, at that moment, I was on duty at the SUP according to the
23 schedule that the Crisis Staff had made on the 6th of April, and I was
24 there when a group of citizens brought in four members of Arkan's
25 paramilitary units.
1 Q. Were they armed?
2 A. Yes, they were. They had Magnum pistols. They had knives. They
3 had handcuffs that the police force was equipped with at the time, and
4 they had wires for strangling people.
5 Q. Where precisely were they detained?
6 A. They were arrested at the crossing from Karakaj, that is the
7 Serbian part of the municipality of Zvornik, at the entrance to Vidak's
8 field, which is the Muslim part of Zvornik. And they said they were on
9 their way to the Jezero Hotel, according to instructions from Belgrade.
10 It was the location where they were supposed to join their units and move
11 into the action of liberating Zvornik.
12 MR. GROOME: Excuse me. Could I ask the usher to hand a note to
13 the registrar. Thanks.
14 Q. At the time that these men were detained, were the bridges that
15 you've described earlier as being secured by the JNA, were they still
16 secured in that fashion?
17 A. Yes. They were still secured in the same way.
18 Q. Did the men that were detained, did they have identification cards
19 with them?
20 A. They did have IDs, and these IDs were signed by Arkan, his full
21 name, as well as the emblem of the unit.
22 Q. I want to ask you a question about the border controls. When
23 people would pass from Zvornik into Mali Zvornik and vice versa, would
24 they be asked to produce identification to identify themselves?
25 A. In addition to the fact that the situation was still very tense,
1 in fact even though the situation was very tense, crossings were still
2 possible, although the police did check every person and every car that
3 came into Zvornik.
4 The other bridges, the railroad bridge and the concrete bridge in
5 Karakaj, were completely inaccessible, and fishermen could not cross them
6 at all. They chased them away. And every access to Zvornik was under
7 strict control.
8 Q. Did the men make statements regarding where they were trying to go
9 at the time they were detained?
10 A. Yes. The shortest one among them who had a pony-tail said that
11 the Belgrade media, radio and television, incessantly broadcast reports
12 about the corpses of Serbs flowing down the Drina River, about camps that
13 had been set up at football stadiums in Muslim areas, and that every Serb
14 should help to save Serbs in Bosnia.
15 Q. Did they make any statements regarding the presence of other like
16 people in Mali Zvornik, Serbia?
17 A. They said their unit was waiting for them there, and it was their
18 assembly point.
19 Q. Now, at the time that these men described what they were hearing
20 in the media in Belgrade, had any of that or did you make any observations
21 that would have formed a basis for that? Did you see any bodies in the
22 Drina or did you see or know of the existence of any detention centres for
24 A. No. I neither noticed anything, nor did it exist in the first
25 place in our municipality.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, at this time I'm going to move to
2 paragraph 62 of the summary on page 10.
3 Q. Sir, can I ask you to tell us, when did -- when did the outbreak
4 of hostilities actually begin in Zvornik?
5 A. Could you please clarify your question? What do you mean when you
6 say "hostilities"?
7 Q. Did there come a time when in your view there was an attack on
9 A. Yes. The attack occurred in the small hours of the 8th of April.
10 It started with rifle fire from Karakaj against the Muslim areas of
11 Zvornik municipality, which was in fact just an introduction for the
12 general attack, for the all-out attack that followed around 8.00 in the
13 evening of the 8th of April.
14 Q. When you use the word "all-out attack," could I ask you to
15 describe what precisely you mean.
16 A. After that conversation with that paramilitary unit and after the
17 ultimatum, at 8.00 in the evening bombing started, shelling of the town of
18 Zvornik, mainly its Muslim neighbourhoods known as Zamlaz, Bajr and
19 Fetija, and Vidak's field.
20 Q. Were you still in the central part or still in Zvornik town itself
21 at the time the shelling began?
22 A. No, I was not. I was on the hills above my village.
23 Q. Can you estimate for us the quantity of shells that you heard or
24 saw on that evening strike the towns of -- the Muslim areas that you've
25 just described?
1 A. That night about 200 shells were fired.
2 Q. Were you able to see from where those shells were fired?
3 A. They were fired from the territory of Mali Zvornik municipality,
4 or more precisely a location near the mosque in Mali Zvornik, also from
5 Karakaj and Celopek.
6 Q. How were you able to tell from where these shells were fired?
7 A. Yes. It was night-time. You see a radiant light from the
8 explosion of shells and the trace of them falling.
9 Q. To your knowledge, did the local Territorial Defence unit of
10 Mali Zvornik or of Zvornik itself have the type of equipment necessary to
11 fire the quantity and type of shells that fell on Zvornik that night?
12 A. It certainly did.
13 Q. In the following days, were you able to -- from where you were at
14 this time, able to see some of the events that were transpiring down in
15 the town of Zvornik?
16 A. Yes, I was in a position to see the events in Zvornik.
17 Q. And your viewing of events in Zvornik, was it done with the
18 unassisted eye or did you have anything to amplify and magnify your view?
19 A. I had my service binoculars.
20 Q. Before I ask you about specific events that you saw, I would ask
21 you to summarise the general -- your general observations during this time
23 A. After the shelling which took place in the night of the 8th of
24 April, paramilitary units together with the Territorial Defence, the Serb
25 TO of Zvornik, of Mali Zvornik and Loznica municipalities began the ethnic
1 cleansing of the town itself, the town of Zvornik.
2 Q. When you say "ethnic cleansing," can you please describe your
3 particular observations?
4 A. In the parts of town that are close to the first neighbouring
5 village, I saw them taking out people from residential buildings and
6 private houses. I saw them separating women and children from men and
7 executing grown-up men and even grown children.
8 Q. I want to now draw your attention to some specific events. Did
9 there come a time when you saw a number of people taken from an apartment
10 block in Zamlaz?
11 A. Yes, I did. I did see a group of about perhaps ten men, ten
12 people taken out from a residential building in Zamlaz.
13 Q. And when, to the best of your recollection, did you make this
15 A. I saw that on the 9th of April. It might have been between 10.00
16 and 12.00, perhaps 11.00.
17 Q. And can you please describe what you saw?
18 A. I saw them taking people out. I saw them removing women and
19 executing a group of about ten men.
20 Q. Were you able to tell from your vantage point whether or not the
21 men that you say were executed were armed at the time of their execution?
22 A. Those people were civilians who were unarmed.
23 Q. Were you able to recognise any of the people that were executed?
24 A. Yes. I recognised late Sabit Bilalic and his son whom I can't
25 recall now.
1 Q. How were you able to recognise those two among the group?
2 A. Sabit was one of the biggest men in Zvornik. He had
3 extremely -- he had an extremely thick moustache. And his son was very
4 tall and played basketball in the first village. I knew them personally.
5 Q. Did you observe another group of ten people taken from this same
6 part of town towards the centre of Zvornik?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Can you describe your observations of this group of ten people?
9 A. I saw a group that was being taken towards the centre of Zvornik,
10 and I heard volleys of gunfire being fired. I heard moans and screams.
11 Q. Did you know a person by the name of Fehim Kujundzic?
12 A. I knew the late Fehim. He was the director of the secondary
13 technical school in Zvornik. He was a personal friend of mine and a
14 colleague of mine. For a while we worked together at the secondary school
15 in Zvornik.
16 Q. Did you see or hear anything occur in the vicinity of where he
18 A. I saw that paramilitary formations were present in front of his
19 building too, and I heard bursts of gunfire.
20 Q. I want to now draw your attention to Hudovic street. Did you make
21 any observations of events on that street?
22 A. Well, I saw these same units mercilessly executing a man. Also, I
23 saw them mercilessly killing a person who tried to come up to this man and
24 help him. This happened in the main street in Zvornik at the entrance
25 into Zvornik on the road leading further on to Belgrade.
1 Q. Were any of the people that you've described as seeing them
2 killed, were any of them armed that you could tell?
3 A. No. Nobody was armed.
4 Q. From your vantage point, were you able to see some activity on one
5 of the bridges that connected Zvornik with Serbia?
6 A. Yes. Across the bridge which is known as the bridge of Filip
7 Kljajic in Zvornik. There was a group of citizens crossing that bridge,
8 women and children primarily. They were going in the direction of Mali
9 Zvornik where a collection centre was, actually, for the deportation of
11 Q. At this time when you could see the bridge, were the JNA -- was
12 the JNA still securing the bridge?
13 A. That bridge was secured by a MUP unit from Mali Zvornik together
14 with the Yugoslav People's Army, and everybody had to show their IDs when
15 crossing over to the Serbian side.
16 Q. The killings that you've described, were you able to identify any
17 of the perpetrators or any of the organisations that they may have
18 belonged to?
19 A. Well, the perpetrators were primarily members of these
20 paramilitary units. They had camouflage uniforms, officer's boots. They
21 had camouflage caps, camouflage hoods, automatic rifles identical to the
22 weapons and equipment I had seen the day before during the meeting at the
23 Jezero Hotel in Mali Zvornik.
24 Q. Can you estimate what period of time, how many hours, were you
25 making your observations from the vantage point?
1 A. Well, a few hours must have gone by.
2 Q. During the hours that you were making these observations, did you
3 at any time see members of the Yugoslav People's Army intervene and
4 prevent some of the killings and other things that you've described?
5 A. I didn't notice anything that would indicate that.
6 Q. Would they have been in a similar position as you to see and be
7 aware of what was going on in the town of Zvornik that day?
8 A. They were 100 per cent aware of everything that had been going on
9 in Zvornik, and they are the ones who had prepared for everything that had
11 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's now for you to cross-examine,
13 bearing in mind that part of the testimony was in private session, and if
14 you want to cross-examine about that, we must go into private session.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to take things in
16 order, Mr. May, according to the testimony of this witness, although it
17 was my understanding yesterday that this session was partly closed because
18 the equipment was not working for voice distortion.
19 JUDGE MAY: That was not the reason. So anything that was in
20 private session, cross-examine in private session, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, then. Then I will first
22 have to ask him about what he testified about in the beginning, because I
23 don't find this very clear. I don't find the reasons or the motives
24 clear, and this entire conduct that is described by the witness.
25 Now, if this has to be in private session, then I will examine him
1 in private session.
2 JUDGE MAY: If you want to go chronologically, you can begin by
3 asking him about events which he described this morning, but there may
4 come a time when you've got to go into private session.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May. Any way you
6 want. You can handle it any way you want. I assume these are things
7 that can be referred to in public session because you explained the
8 reasons for private session by being a small number of persons, and this
9 doesn't have to do with this small number of persons.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] As you can see from the information provided
12 here, you were a member of the leadership in Zvornik; is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 MR. GROOME: Objection, Your Honour. That document was introduced
15 under seal, the background document.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did not specifically say which
17 position he held, Mr. May.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Since you were a member of the leadership at the time, which you
21 described, does that also mean that you were a member of the Party of
22 Democratic Action? Is that right?
23 A. I was never a member of the Party of Democratic Action.
24 Q. The president of the municipality, was he a member of the Party of
25 Democratic Action and a leader of the Party of Democratic Action?
1 A. Yes, he was a member of the Party of Democratic Action and a
2 member of the Executive Board of the Party of Democratic Action.
3 Q. You explained -- you mentioned, rather, the name of Branko Grujic,
4 that he was president of the Serb Democratic Party in Zvornik.
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And who was president of the Party of Democratic Action in
8 A. Asim Juzbasic. Dr. Asim Juzbasic.
9 Q. Since you described Grujic as having said that Muslims were
10 exploiting the Serbs, that he said that in some speech of his --
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Well, where did Grujic make this speech?
13 A. He made this speech at the meeting hall of the Municipal Assembly
14 of Veliki Zvornik.
15 Q. When you say that Grujic, which I assume was then an assemblyman
16 in Veliki Zvornik and a member of the SDS after the elections --
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. So he was a member of the Assembly of Zvornik.
19 A. Well, I saw him at all meetings of the assemblies and he was
20 probably an assemblyman, a member of the Assembly.
21 Q. So he spoke at a session of the Municipal Assembly?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Was it only Grujic who spoke at the Municipal Assembly meeting
24 that you're describing or did this president of yours also make a speech
25 at that Municipal Assembly meeting?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. He did speak, but about a completely different subject.
2 Q. Are you trying to say that none of you who were present there made
3 any comments whatsoever in respect of what Grujic had said, that the Serbs
4 were -- that the Muslims were exploiting the Serbs?
5 A. I commented on that.
6 Q. And did you take a position then about this? As far as I
7 understand, this was a polemic at the regular meeting of the Municipal
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. And what was the position of the Municipal Assembly then about
11 this political polemic of yours as to who was exploiting who?
12 A. No position was taken. No resolutions were passed, official
14 Q. All right. I assume that the president of the Municipal Assembly
15 was chairing the meeting?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The President of the Assembly of Zvornik was a Muslim?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. His name is not a secret, is it?
20 A. I leave it to the Trial Chamber to decide about that. It is well
21 known who the president was. Well, yes, you can say who it was.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the accused.
23 JUDGE MAY: The interpreters are having some problem hearing you,
24 Mr. Milosevic, so would you speak clearly, please.
25 The registrar explains there's some difficulty about the
1 microphone, but go on. We'll do as best we can. Just try and leave a
2 pause, if you would, Mr. Milosevic, between answer and question and that
3 would assist.
4 THE ACCUSED: Mr. May, okay now. [Interpretation] From time to
5 time my microphone goes off without me having done anything.
6 JUDGE MAY: I know. It's not your responsibility. It's not your
7 responsibility. Now, let's --
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In the Municipal Assembly, you had representatives of the SDA and
10 the SDS for the most part; is that right, after these elections?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were there any officials at the municipality who did not belong to
13 a single party?
14 A. Well, I was an official who did not belong to any party.
15 Q. Are there any other such examples?
16 A. Not that I know of.
17 Q. All right. I can see it here on the computer monitor still. You
18 gave a table, a list of persons on this particular table. Mr. Groome said
19 that this was some kind of a document. I understood on the basis of your
20 statement that it is their officials who made a table of persons that you
21 refer to in your statement and that that table was made or, rather, that
22 this list was made, including all the names that -- of persons that you
23 mentioned in the statement.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So it's not a document really. It's just a list of names of
1 persons that you mentioned.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell me now, please, you say that parallel structures were being
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On the basis of what I managed to make out on the basis your
7 testimony, I assume that you will agree with me that it is important to
8 place events at a given time, to put them within a time frame work; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 MR. GROOME: I ask that just the identity of the participants of
4 this meeting be given in private session.
5 JUDGE MAY: I don't think it was given in private session before.
6 Possibly it should have been out of abundance of caution. Yes.
7 Do you want to ask anything more about the -- about the lunch?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have separated the notes
9 I took during public session and the notes I took during private session.
10 This about the luncheon was in public session.
11 JUDGE MAY: That's absolutely right. You're quite right. But now
12 the question of the participants it's thought should be in private
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it was my error, and we did ask that
15 those names be redacted when I realised that the names --
16 JUDGE MAY: There was a redaction, but no criticism of you,
17 Mr. Milosevic, but we -- if there's anything more you want to ask about
18 the lunch, I think we better go into private session.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I'm not going to put any
20 questions related to names.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand that this was - how
23 should I put this? - a customary thing that was done when a guest would
24 come to the municipality, the highest representatives of the municipality
25 would be present at that luncheon. Is that right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And I assume that this was the practice that prevailed earlier on
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So if a general would come, if a minister would come, the director
6 of a company that has business links with you coming from any part of
7 Yugoslavia. So this was basically the way in which people communicated in
8 Zvornik; is that right?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. When was this luncheon held?
11 A. It was during the week before the week during which the attack on
12 Zvornik took place. I don't know the exact date. I think it was the end
13 of March, say, the 30th, the 31st of March or the 1st of April.
14 Q. All right. You said here that the attack on Zvornik took place on
15 the 8th of April.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So that's about a week before the attack on Zvornik?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, let us just get the time in order, and I'd like to put some
20 questions to you in relation to this.
21 A. Please go ahead.
22 Q. It was my understanding that the general maintained a pleasant
23 atmosphere during lunch, and he said it was the task of the army to defend
24 the people, to protect the people.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. You said that your Crisis Staff was established on the 5th of
2 April; is that right?
3 A. I said the 6th of April.
4 Q. What was that?
5 A. The 6th of April.
6 Q. Very well. The 6th of April. Is the 6th of April the date when
7 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised?
8 A. I really don't know these details, but I don't think so.
9 Q. This is a very well-known detail, because Bosnia-Herzegovina was
10 recognised exactly on the day of the 6th of April, the day when Hitler
11 bombed Belgrade on the 6th of April, 1941. It's a very well known date.
12 You, as a high official, must have been aware of this date?
13 A. I knew that it was that, but I wasn't aware of it being exactly
14 that 6th of April.
15 Q. You can take my word for it, and it exists in documents.
16 So on the 6th of April, the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina is
17 recognised on the basis of the referendum in which the Serbs did not take
18 part. Are you aware of that?
19 A. It is well known that the -- that the referendum was organised,
20 and I know that the Serbs obstructed the referendum.
21 Q. Very well. As a high official, did you know that in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina the rule was to respect and observe the positions of
23 all three peoples, the Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims?
24 A. I am aware of that.
25 Q. Do you know that this referendum was illegal because the entire
1 Serb people, as a constituent people living in Bosnia-Herzegovina, refused
2 to take part in --
3 JUDGE MAY: We are getting well aware from this witness's evidence
4 which was to do with Zvornik. It was quite specific. These sound like
5 political and constitutional arguments which are not for this witness to
6 deal with. You can address us on it in due course. Let's deal with the
7 witness's evidence.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, all the more absurd to
9 bring witnesses here before me to testify about certain events concerning
10 the civil war in a neighbouring state and not allowing this to be linked
11 to the political explanations that only follow as a logical consequence.
12 JUDGE MAY: You can give your evidence in due course, but the
13 evidence which is being given is about what happened in Zvornik, and it's
14 being given as evidence against you. The weight of it is a matter that
15 we'll have to consider. Now, let's go on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May. But
17 I am trying to show precisely through this witness that the activities
18 that the witness is testifying about coincide exactly. Of course, this is
19 from his very own position.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So on the 6th of April, the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
22 Zvornik is being established, and that is what this witness claims, and
23 I --
24 JUDGE MAY: You can ask him why it was established, of course.
25 That's a matter he can deal with.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I can ask him, Mr. May, if
2 something were not clear, but there's no need for me to ask him whether --
3 what time it is now, whether it's 10.25, because I have a big clock up
4 there and of course I can see it's 10.25. So if it was on the 6th of
5 April that Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised on the basis of an illegal
6 referendum, the Crisis Staff was established precisely to carry out this
7 kind of illegal activity further.
8 JUDGE MAY: What are you suggesting to this witness, that the
9 Crisis Staff was set up to pursue an illegal activity? Is that it?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the entire secession of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina was illegal.
12 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about that. What are you suggesting
13 to the witness was happening in Zvornik on the 6th of April? Now, you
14 seem to be making a suggestion that the Crisis Staff was set up for some
15 purpose. What I'm trying to find out is what purpose you say it was set
16 up for.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Was the Crisis Staff set up because a crisis had broken out?
20 A. You're asking me?
21 Q. Yes. Yes. You established the Crisis Staff. There was a crisis,
22 and then you established the Crisis Staff.
23 A. No. Crisis is a small word. It's a small word. We established a
24 Crisis Staff because it was quite clear that an attack was in the offing,
25 an attack against Zvornik, and we established a Crisis Staff to avert this
1 attack at all costs.
2 Q. All right. All right. Sorry, I've forgotten this witness's
3 number. Somehow I don't have it written here.
4 A. I think B would be sufficient.
5 JUDGE MAY: It's --
6 MR. GROOME: B-1237.
7 JUDGE MAY: 1237, yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1237. Very well. 1237.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right, Mr. 1237. We have stated this when you established
11 this Crisis Staff, that is to say on the 6th of April. Now, why was there
12 a crisis on the 6th of April?
13 A. Well, the Serbs withdrew. There were no Serbs in Zvornik.
14 Cannons and tanks were deployed at the points I mentioned.
15 Q. We'll get to cannons and tanks later, but tell me now, since you
16 say that the Serbs left all the municipality structures in Zvornik; is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Why did they leave these municipal structures precisely then?
20 A. Well, they started obstructing the work already towards the end of
21 1991, and they got out because they thought that they should no longer
22 live together with Muslims.
23 Q. Mr. 1237, is that an explanation or is it to be explained by the
24 fact that they do not accept this kind of state that was proclaimed and
25 established without their consent?
1 A. They left all the municipal structures even before the
2 international recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. But when was the referendum held? Don't you remember?
4 A. I don't remember exactly.
5 Q. Oh, you don't know that. Very well. Now, in order to save time,
6 let us look at some other details that you referred to. You said that the
7 group of Arkan's men was arrested in Zvornik; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where were they arrested in Zvornik?
10 A. They were arrested from -- at the entrance from Karakaj into
11 Zvornik in the part of Zvornik that is called Vidak's field.
12 Q. All right, where is Karakaj?
13 A. Karakaj is an industrial zone.
14 Q. Of Zvornik?
15 A. Yes, of Zvornik.
16 Q. You said that they were on their way - how should I put this? - to
17 meet up at the rallying point at Hotel Jezero?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Tell me, is Hotel Jezero in Mali Zvornik?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So why would they be going from Serbia to the left bank of the
22 Drina River to go to Hotel Jezero which is on the right bank of the Drina?
23 A. No, no. They were coming from Karakaj in order to cross the
24 bridge in the centre of Zvornik into Mali Zvornik.
25 Q. Does that mean that these men were locals of Zvornik?
1 A. No, no, no. They came from Belgrade.
2 Q. Oh, they came from Belgrade. Belgraders went via Zvornik from the
3 left bank of the Drina to the right bank of the Drina to the Hotel Jezero?
4 A. They reported to the Crisis Staff in Karakaj and then they were
5 instructed to join the units in Mali Zvornik.
6 Q. How did they manage to get to Veliki Zvornik at all? They had to
7 go through Mali Zvornik and the Hotel Jezero where you say their rallying
8 point was, was in Mali Zvornik?
9 A. They crossed over to Karakaj. I don't know where they crossed
10 over to Karakaj but first they reported at the rallying point in Karakaj
11 where they were told to report, and Karakaj is about 5 or 6 kilometres
12 away from the town of Mali Zvornik. And then from Karakaj they set out
13 towards Mali Zvornik. And instead of crossing the new bridge they went
14 further on in order to cross the bridge in the centre of Zvornik which is
15 about 2 kilometres away from the Jezero Hotel in Mali Zvornik.
16 Q. We're just talking about different territories now. Karakaj is in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Mali Zvornik is in Serbia. You say that they came
18 from Belgrade, and they went via Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to
19 return to Serbia and Mali Zvornik. That is what you're claiming.
20 A. That's what they said in their statement, that via Karakaj --
21 Q. Very well. And you say that they had some knives and some wires
22 for strangling? Are there any cases that were registered of someone being
23 strangled by a wire in this area? Do you have a single such case
24 registered of somebody being strangled by a wire?
25 A. Well, this is quite well known what kind of terrible crimes were
1 committed in this area.
2 Q. We are not talking about that now. Many crimes were committed all
3 over Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the point is who committed these crimes.
4 A. I hope that the court will establish that.
5 JUDGE MAY: It's now time to adjourn. We will adjourn now.
6 Twenty minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was told that this other
11 microphone should be working normally.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You spoke about the Territorial Defence in a considerable part of
14 your testimony and in your statement. Will you tell me, please, in view
15 of the knowledge that you obviously have about all these things, are you
16 familiar with the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY adopted in 1986
17 pursuant to which the commands of armies were transformed into military
18 zone commands and that the Territorial Defence in those zones are placed
19 under their command?
20 A. I am not familiar with the details, but I do know that there was
21 this decision about command.
22 Q. The commands of Territorial Defence were under the command of the
23 Presidency of the SFRY.
24 A. Under the command of the JNA, the JNA and the Territorial Defence
25 were together. Together they constituted the armed forces which were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 under the command of the Presidency. Yes, I know that.
2 Q. This was part of the concept of All People's Defence, and they
3 were a component part of the defence system of the SFRY; isn't that so?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Very well. Do you remember the order of the Presidency of the
6 SFRY dated the 29th of May, 1990, that all weapons and warehouses of the
7 TO have to be transferred to the JNA warehouses?
8 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
9 Q. Do you know that that order was issued precisely with the aim of
10 avoiding the arms getting into the hands of any people who might have been
11 prepared to use those weapons again the JNA?
12 A. I don't agree with your conclusion.
13 Q. Why then was this order issued?
14 A. Subsequent events showed that the order was issued so those
15 weapons would not get into the hands of people who were not Serbs.
16 Q. On what grounds do you make such an assertion?
17 A. On the grounds of the decision which was taken just before the
18 war, about a month before the war. The decision of the command of the
19 district staff of the Territorial Defence in Tuzla, Colonel Milojkovic to
20 the effect that the weapons of the TO be distributed to two municipalities
21 in Tuzla, Sekovici and Lopare, which are municipalities exclusively
22 inhabited by Serbs.
23 Q. I see. So that is the basis on which you come to that conclusion.
24 And tell me, what was the feelings of the population of the Zvornik area
25 towards the JNA?
1 A. I can only speak in my own name and in the name of the people I
2 knew. Unfortunately, until the very last I believed in what I was taught,
3 and that is that the JNA is the armed force of all the peoples and
4 nationalities. However, it didn't prove to be so.
5 Q. Tell me, did Muslims respond to JNA call-ups for mobilisation
6 which they were obliged to do as military conscripts of the state to which
7 they still belonged?
8 A. I can really only speak about the TO and the mobilisation of
9 citizens for the needs of the JNA was up not municipal Secretariat for
10 National Defence, which is a different department and a different
12 Q. I see. So you can't go into that. Very well. Tell me, and it is
13 true that inspection was done of weapons in the JNA warehouses and that
14 this inspection was carried out by a JNA officer and an official of
15 Zvornik municipality who was a Muslim?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Why was that inspection done?
18 A. To see whether those weapons which had been paid for with the
19 funds of the inhabitants of Zvornik municipality, whether those weapons
20 were indeed in the place where they should have been.
21 Q. Tell me, please, was this done to make sure that none of the
22 weapons had gone missing and that they had not got into the hands of
23 unauthorised persons or extremists of any ethnic group?
24 A. It was simply a routine control and check of weapons, routine
25 checks of what was being alleged by the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 Q. Tell me, since when were these inspections carried out once a
3 A. Since the beginning of 1992, at the request of President Pasic.
4 Q. In your statement page 2, fourth paragraph, you make a rather
5 radical statement I would call it, that members of the SDS were
6 aggressive, evil, and that they hated everything that was non-Serbian. Is
7 that what you said?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. In making such a statement, were you referring to all of them, to
10 all Serbs, or to all members of the SDS, or to certain individuals in the
12 A. I was referring to the SDS discussions that I heard and saw with
13 my own eyes.
14 Q. But you quoted one discussion of the SDS which doesn't speak of
15 any kind of hatred but only about exploitation as far as I gathered. That
16 is what you quoted?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Do you have any other shall I call it a fact or argument to
19 corroborate such an allegation of yours that they hated everything that
20 was non-Serbian?
21 A. Judging by their behaviour in the town of Zvornik itself, they
22 were able to park, and they did park their cars wherever they wanted. No
23 one dared protest, not even the police. They started killing Muslims,
24 overtly advocating that Zvornik was Serbian, that it would be Serbian.
25 Q. How come this is not mentioned in your statement that somebody
1 started killing Muslims?
2 A. Will you please repeat your question.
3 Q. My question is: How is it that this -- that somebody started
4 killing Muslims in Zvornik and that they were saying that Zvornik was
5 Serbian is not in your statement?
6 A. Well, nobody asked me about that.
7 Q. Very well. You say that the SDS enjoyed the support of the
8 Serbian academy of sciences, the Yugoslav state security service and the
9 General Staff of the JNA; is that what you assert?
10 A. Yes, I do assert that.
11 Q. Very well. Could you tell me when, where, and how did these
12 institutions or services express their support for the SDS?
13 A. I remember a statement on Sarajevo television by general -- a
14 general who was then the commander of the General Staff of the Yugoslav
15 People's Army, General Adzic, who explicitly stated the Yugoslav People's
16 Army will defend the interests of the Serbian people. And what the
17 interests of the Serbian people were was determined by the SDS.
18 Q. I am afraid you wrongly connected things. When did General Adzic
19 say this, and on what occasion? And was it linked to a particular event?
20 Do you remember the context?
21 A. It was one of his statements on television. I don't remember on
22 what occasion, nor the exact date, but I do know that he said that the
23 Yugoslav People's Army would defend the interests of the Serbian people.
24 He said that loud and clear. Unfortunately, I didn't know you would ask
25 me that, because I probably could have found out the exact date. There
1 must also be recordings available.
2 Q. General Adzic was well known as somebody who advocated the
3 preservation of Yugoslavia and the equality of all the Yugoslav peoples.
4 Surely you know that?
5 A. I don't know that, and I don't believe that.
6 Q. You don't distinguish between solidarity with the people that was
7 in jeopardy, in this case the Serbian people, from the support of a party?
8 A. That is your opinion, and I think that it is not correct that
9 anyone in Bosnia-Herzegovina were in jeopardy.
10 Q. Yes. But on page 7, in paragraph 1, you say that it was clear
11 that the local Serbs didn't know that war was being prepared. Is that
12 right or not?
13 A. The leadership didn't know, but the most extreme section did.
14 Ivanovic and Mijatovic didn't know that Zvornik would be attacked and that
15 what was done would be done. That was my opinion. Otherwise, they
16 wouldn't have agreed to a division of Zvornik municipality and the
17 restoration of normal life.
18 Q. Tell me, what are you really claiming? Were the local Serbs
19 aggressive and evil people who implemented the plans of the Serbian
20 academy of sciences and the Yugoslav State Security Service, as you say,
21 or did they not at all know anything about it?
22 A. The most extreme section knew, and I think that Ivanovic and
23 Mijatovic did not know.
24 Q. Very well. We'll come to that later, as there are certain things
25 that were discussed in private session, and I wouldn't like us to go into
1 private session. Tell me, please, on page 2, paragraph 6 of your
2 statement you say at that leading positions in Zvornik were held by Serbs
3 and that as in other places of Yugoslavia, as you put it, they were
4 privileged. Is that what you said?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Tell me then who from the beginning and during all these conflicts
7 was president of Zvornik municipality?
8 A. A Muslim, elected at the elections.
9 Q. Who was chief of police in Zvornik?
10 A. A Muslim.
11 Q. Who was commander of the Territorial Defence in Zvornik?
12 A. He was a Muslim.
13 Q. Well, then, since this is in contradiction with your statement,
14 you yourself have just confirmed this, and you say that Serbs were
15 privileged in the former Yugoslavia, give me at least one basis for this
16 claim that Serbs had greater or broader rights than the rest of the
17 Yugoslav peoples.
18 A. Eighty per cent of the positions of general managers in Zvornik
19 were held by Serbs. Eighty per cent of the housing stock, of the socially
20 owned housing stock was utilised by Serbs. This is an enormous, enormous
21 economic privilege.
22 Q. Who appointed them to those positions? Did they appoint
23 themselves or in Zvornik municipality in which you yourself said there
24 were 60 per cent Muslims and 38 per cent Serbian and 2 per cent others. I
25 took note of these figures made during your own public testimony. How
1 could the Serbs in a system of self-management in which decisions were
2 taken by -- in the way in which you are very familiar with, how could they
3 have got to those positions?
4 A. Any important position, as you know probably very well, could not
5 be taken without a decision by a municipal commission, a special
6 commission which was under the control of the Municipal Committee of the
7 League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
8 Q. Does that mean that the Muslims were not members of that same
10 A. Of course. Throughout the post-war period. I'm not talking about
11 the period after the elections and the outbreak of the conflicts, but the
12 main say was held by the Serbs. In the Municipal Committee of the League
13 of Communists of Yugoslavia and in the state security service. Those were
14 two institutions which had the greatest influence regarding personnel
16 Q. But you mentioned a moment ago that both the president of the
17 municipality and the chief of police and the TO commander were Muslims?
18 A. Yes, after the elections.
19 Q. And in this former state of SFRY, did anyone prevent you Muslims
20 from practising your faith, to being educated, becoming well-known
21 sportsmen, artists, judges, president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, et
23 A. No, nobody prevented us from doing that.
24 Q. And during that former common state of ours, was any mosque
25 perhaps destroyed or during the existence of that Yugoslavia, were more
1 Islamic religious buildings built than over five centuries of Ottoman rule
2 in the area?
3 A. I don't know whether that was quite so, but I do know that mosques
4 would be built without any problems.
5 Q. Is it also true that in the Yugoslavia such as it was at the time
6 Muslims acquired the right to declare themselves as being members of the a
7 Muslim nation for the first time in history?
8 A. Yes, correct. The constitution of 1974, I think, envisaged that.
9 Q. And is it true in the SFRY Muslims had their representatives in
10 all the top level state and military bodies, that in every respect they
11 participated on a footing of equality, in social, political, and every
12 other aspect of life in SFRY?
13 JUDGE MAY: We really cannot waste more time on this. These are
14 all matters of history. They are not particularly for this witness to
15 deal with. He didn't give any evidence about this, and your time must be
16 limited, and it mustn't be wasted on peripheral matters. Now, you have,
17 Mr. Milosevic, one hour left. We will give you that. That is longer than
18 the Prosecution had. But you must deal with relevant matters with which
19 this witness is concerned, not general matters.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this witness testified for
21 two hours and 35 minutes, according to my arithmetic. Before the break, I
22 questioned him for 25 minutes, so please be kind enough and work out how
23 much more time is left for me.
24 JUDGE MAY: The answer is one hour. The Prosecution examined him
25 for one hour, 40 minutes, and you can have slightly longer.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That can be checked in the
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell me, please, in the period you are testifying about, that is
5 the beginning of January 1992, what was the only legal military
6 organisation pursuant to the law and the constitution?
7 A. The Yugoslav People's Army and the Territorial Defence.
8 Q. Did the JNA have units and barracks all over the territory of
10 A. Not everywhere, because by then it had already retreated from
11 Slovenia and the conflict was ongoing in Croatia.
12 Q. Very well. But was there any violation or any prohibition on JNA
13 units being stationed in Zvornik?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not familiar with those details.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You spoke of a unit which was relocated from Jastrebarsko in
18 Croatia to the territory of Zvornik, and you marked some points where the
19 forces of that unit were deployed of that same unit; is that right?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And you call that unit a military group, don't you?
22 A. It was an armoured mechanised brigade from Jastrebarsko, and these
23 were parts of that brigade.
24 Q. On page 3, paragraph 1, however, you say that these were members
25 of the reserve force of the JNA; is that right?
1 A. They appeared after the New Year holidays in 1992.
2 Q. And were you, too, a member of the reserve force of the JNA?
3 A. I was not. I was a member of the TO.
4 Q. And in your statement, you say that they were visited daily by JNA
5 officers and that between the JNA and the reservists there were close
6 links, but those reservists, weren't they members of the JNA?
7 A. Those were reservists who had been mobilised mostly -- not mostly
8 but a hundred per cent from parts of Zvornik municipality inhabited by
9 Serbs. They were all Serbs.
10 Q. Well, tell me, please, was this due to the fact that Muslims
11 already then refused to respond on the basis of the political position
12 taken by the SDA? They did not respond to call-up papers.
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know anything in connection with the mobilisation of the
15 Muslim police in Zvornik, and who ordered it, that is, the mobilisation of
16 the Muslim police in Zvornik?
17 A. I don't know anything about that.
18 Q. Do you know anything about the activities in that connection by
19 the president of the municipality and a SDA representative, Abdulah Pasic
20 and Nedzad Pavic, later commander of the 1st Army of Bosnia and
22 A. I don't know anything about that. I hear that name for the first
24 Q. And did you respect the order issued on the 4th of April, 1992,
25 while the B and H was still part of SFRY issued by Alija Izetbegovic to
1 mobilise the TO, the police, and the Civil Defence?
2 A. I never heard of that order.
3 Q. You never heard of it?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know that on the 12th of April Izetbegovic ordered an
6 all-out attack on barracks in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. I'm not aware of it.
8 Q. I see. And on page 3, paragraph 3 you refer to some activities of
9 the JNA in that area and you say that every bridge in Zvornik was secured
10 with some weapons of its own by the JNA and that there was several tanks
11 around Sehovici inhabited exclusively by Serbs; that is what you say?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did the army deploy its units to areas where that unit was located
14 which had come from Jastrebarsko, and then relocated to the territory of
15 Zvornik municipality?
16 A. Yes, it mostly relocated its forces so that Zvornik municipality
17 should find itself surrounded.
18 Q. All right. Do you know in view of all the jobs that you did that
19 the JNA was securing communications, roads, bridges, that it was not
20 carrying out any sort of blockade, it was doing simply the securing
21 operation? It was not in order to control roads and bridges. It was
22 securing them from sabotage attacks and anything else that could have been
23 expected at the time. Was that the way it was?
24 A. No, it wasn't like that. In peacetime there is no need for any
25 activity of the JNA that was carried out at the time in Zvornik
2 Q. From who then was the JNA protecting the bridges, Sekovici? From
3 whom if there is no danger at all? Why would they need to secure those
4 facilities, for what reason?
5 A. To occupy the best, the most favourable positions for attacking
6 Zvornik later.
7 Q. From your description, I understand that you are talking about the
8 conflict in Zvornik itself, and you are mentioning paramilitary
9 formations. I am not aware that it was the JNA who attacked Zvornik.
10 A. The JNA did the artillery shelling together with Territorial
11 Defence units and thus prepared the Zvornik municipality for what came
13 Q. All right. Do you know who Sead Hadziavdic is?
14 A. I know who he is.
15 Q. Do you know that precisely according to the reports of your
16 security of Zvornik dating back to autumn 1991, that person dealt in the
17 illegal arming of Muslims?
18 A. I know nothing about that.
19 Q. If you know nothing about that, do you know that the same was done
20 in Kamenica, by Saban Redzic [phoen] and Esad Haskic [phoen]?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You don't know that either?
23 A. No, I don't. I did my job honestly and with honour, trying to be
24 as little affiliated politically as possible.
25 Q. Well, that doesn't mean that you couldn't have been informed about
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 what other people were doing if it was illegal and could be conducive to
2 conflicts. On the contrary, it should have been your obligation to know
3 that. Yes?
4 A. Yes, it should have been but I know nothing about the activities
5 you mention.
6 Q. That's curious, because occupying the position you occupied in
7 Zvornik, you knew nothing about those activities, and I as a president of
8 another state, a neighbouring state, am supposed to know about these
9 activities. Is that what you're saying?
10 JUDGE MAY: That's a comment, not for the witness to answer.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Are you aware that a very important role in the arming and
14 military organising of precisely Zvornik Muslims was played by
15 Captain Hajrudin Mesic, former chief of police in Ugljevik?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. Very well. Tell me please about Colonel Tacic. You say that he
18 was a very able officer because he managed to retreat with his unit
19 intact, his weaponry intact from Jastrebarsko and deploy them where he was
20 told to. Does this observation of yours speaks to the intensity of
21 attacks in Croatia?
22 A. I didn't mean the intensity of attacks. I knew that there were
23 open conflicts there and attacks on JNA barracks.
24 Q. On page 3 in paragraph 4, you say that Colonel Tacic was often
25 interested in facilities that the Territorial Defence of Zvornik held in
1 Drinjaca and asked you for permission to use those facilities to
2 accommodate soldiers. Is that true?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. Well, then, if he who is relocated there asked for permission to
5 use these facilities, if he is an officer of an aggressor's army, the JNA,
6 couldn't he have simply captured these facilities instead of asking you
7 for permission to use them?
8 A. That a question? Is that a comment, an assertion?
9 Q. It's obviously a question. Why should he be asking you for
10 permission if you say that he was using force against you?
11 A. Well, to delude us into believing that the JNA wishes to negotiate
12 in a legal manner in order to occupy whatever they believe they should
14 Q. So that is your explanation. Tell me, now, page 4, paragraph 2,
15 you say that in the first week of April, schools were closed down as well
16 as shops owned by Serbs and that most of the Serbs had left Zvornik. Is
17 that what you're saying?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Is that correct?
20 A. It is.
21 Q. Since you are saying yourself that Serb shops were closing down,
22 that Serb people were leaving the town, explain kindly who was endangering
23 the Serbs so that they had to leave their property and evacuate?
24 A. They received information to that effect from the Party of
25 Democratic Action, and it was a paranoid feeling of being endangered that
1 was inspired by those institutions that I already mentioned.
2 Q. You mean the General Staff of the JNA and the academy of sciences?
3 Is that it, the institutions that gave these instructions?
4 A. No. I mean the Serbian Democratic Party.
5 Q. You say they received written instructions. Did you see such an
7 A. No, I didn't, but I heard about it later while I was in Tuzla.
8 Otherwise, it's impossible to explain how well they were organised and how
9 disciplined they were in implementing this order.
10 Q. Are you saying that they received it by mail in Zvornik at home or
11 was it delivered in some other way this written order, as you put it,
12 issued by the SDS telling them to run away from Zvornik?
13 A. You should ask them about it.
14 Q. And who signed this instruction?
15 A. You have to ask them.
16 Q. Could one of the reasons for the Serbs evacuating the town been
17 the fact that as far as back in January 1991, in Zvornik, a military unit
18 was set up led by Midhat Grakic, a notorious criminal from Zvornik called
19 Mosque Pigeons?
20 A. I know nothing about it.
21 Q. So having occupied the job you did you know nothing about this
22 military unit led by notorious criminal, Midhat Grakic?
23 A. No, I know nothing about that.
24 Q. Do you know at that time in the broader area of Zvornik a Muslim
25 paramilitary unit was formed under the name of Kobras commanded by a man
1 named Suljo who worked before the war as a teacher in Sapna village? And
2 it is assumed the man's name is Sulejman Terzic. Do you know about that?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. Do you know that this unit, since October 1992, was commanded by
5 Semsudin Muminovic, known under the nickname of Kobra, later commander of
6 the BH army?
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. You didn't heard about him?
9 A. I heard about him but I don't know which unit he commanded.
10 Q. Did you hear about the events dating back to March 1992 which also
11 caused great anxiety among the Serbs, namely in the hamlet of Sahmani,
12 five Serb young men were arrested without any provocation whatsoever and
13 were interrogated by Avdija Omerovic?
14 A. I know nothing about that case.
15 Q. Tell me, please, let's go back to those four men ever Arkan's who
16 drove a Mercedes. You said, "Our police force arrested them," and I'm
17 quoting you here. Is that so?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What is that police force that you call your own?
20 A. The police that remained in the building.
21 Q. The Muslim police?
22 A. The police who didn't leave the official SUP of Zvornik
24 Q. Are you confirming in that way that your police force set up those
25 roadblocks and checkpoints and arrested people?
1 A. I never said that.
2 Q. But you described precisely actions of that kind.
3 A. It was the policeman who was on duty at that time in that place,
4 and he was assisted by a group of citizens. Citizens had by that time
5 organised themselves in a very naive way, and everybody was defending
6 their own yard and their own home.
7 Q. The citizens were armed?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So only the policeman was armed and those people who were
10 defending their homes were unarmed?
11 A. One hundred per cent unarmed.
12 Q. And that group of unarmed citizens with one policeman arrested
13 these men who were armed with guns, with wires, with knives, handcuffs?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And about this organisation of citizens, this self-organising of
16 citizens, was it the thing that is more adequately referred to as
17 paramilitary formations?
18 A. No, because a paramilitary unit has to be armed. It can be called
19 a paramilitary unit only if it belongs to a certain structure. This was
20 not the case here.
21 Q. How many checkpoints did you have of the kind where you arrested
22 those four men?
23 A. As far as I know, we had only that one.
24 Q. And where was it? When was it set up?
25 A. I didn't even know about that one.
1 Q. And you found out about its existence when they were arrested?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you allow the possibility that there could have been more than
4 one checkpoint?
5 A. In the town itself and in the broader urban area populated by
6 Muslims, that was certainly the only checkpoint.
7 Q. And tell me, did Serb citizens of Zvornik have the possibility of
8 passing through these barricades of yours?
9 A. There were no barricades. Of course they could have passed.
10 Q. Okay. Call them checkpoints.
11 A. They could pass. It was simply a group of citizens which after
12 dark watched and observed who was passing through.
13 Q. Okay. You say those four men were taken into the police station
14 and interrogated.
15 A. It was not really interrogation. They started talking of their
16 own accord. The youngest one started.
17 Q. They couldn't have started on their own. Who questioned them?
18 A. The person who was on duty outside the Crisis Staff.
19 Fehim Kujundzic, Izet Kujundzic was there. I was there, and the policeman
20 who brought them in together with that group of citizens.
21 Q. Well, since they confessed to quite a number of things, as you
22 say, were they subjected to some sort of torture or mistreatment?
23 A. They were not.
24 Q. You say on page 4, paragraph 4, that these young men were about 20
25 years old. They were very strong, strongly built. And I'm quoting you,
1 "That they had an intimidating look about them." Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But in the next sentence you say one of them was very thin, rather
4 short, about 165 centimetres tall. So which is true?
5 A. What I said is true, I was particularly impressed by one of them
6 who looked like he worked out. He was 190 metres -- centimetres tall.
7 Another one was very tall as well. They had crew cuts.
8 Q. I'm asking you about this contradiction which I cannot put
9 together with your description of those very well-built, very strong young
10 men who had an intimidating look about them.
11 On the same page, paragraph 6, you say that these men were
12 released later that same day, and they were released as you say in the
13 next sentence by a Muslim policeman who escaped together with them. Tell
14 me now, were they released or did they escape? And I am quoting you all
15 this time.
16 A. This policeman unlocked the cell where they were detained, took
17 them to the hydro power station, and left with them.
18 Q. You say he left with them. They were not released, therefore.
19 They escaped.
20 A. Well, as far as this policeman is concerned, I consider that he
21 escaped because he left the territory of that municipality which was under
22 the threat of imminent attack.
23 Q. And you say this was a Muslim policeman.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. What could have a Muslim policeman known or expected to happen in
1 order to know that he should run away together with these people?
2 A. He knew that Zvornik was about to be shelled by artillery.
3 Q. So your own policeman knew what the other side was going to do?
4 He didn't know what you were going to do.
5 A. We had no intention of doing anything. All we wanted was to save
6 our necks.
7 Q. Is it true that on the 4th of April Muslims in Sapna village put
8 up a barricade on Zvornik-Tuzla road and blocked the way of JNA vehicles?
9 On that occasion, a NCO of the JNA, Mika Stanojevic was killed. Do you
10 know anything about that?
11 A. Do you know that Mika Stanojevic had killed a civilian before
13 Q. I don't know about that. All I know is that while vehicles were
14 trying to pass through this NCO from the JNA was killed from ambush.
15 A. Unfortunately your assertion is incorrect. That man had
16 previously killed an unarmed civilian, and that was confirmed also by JNA
18 JUDGE MAY: Could you confirm or tell us about what happened in
19 Sapna on the 4th of April when it's alleged that this man was killed? Can
20 you help us with that, please?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can help you. A military column,
22 only with the intention of provoking the local population, there was no
23 necessity involved, it moved along the road to Sapna. And then they
24 continued after the intersection in a direction known only to them.
25 In Sapna, they came across a place where there was a big fair, and
1 of course they were stopped. And one of the civilians walked up to the
2 car in which the mentioned NCO was. He took a pistol out and killed this
3 civilian in cold blood, like a dog. The rest of the citizens reacted to
4 that. Of course they attacked the soldiers. They struggled for their
5 rifles. They started shooting at the column. And there was a statement
6 made by the military about this. This was on TV, Radio-TV Sarajevo,
7 Radio-TV Belgrade. Soldiers, wounded soldiers who lay in hospital then
8 stated resolutely that the mentioned NCO was the first person to fire on
9 that occasion.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So he opened fire because they were passing there, and you don't
12 even know which direction they were going, and then unarmed civilians
13 killed him afterwards? Is that what you're saying?
14 A. My claim is that he was the first person to open fire, that he
15 killed a citizen of Sapna, and that he was then killed.
16 Q. So they were not stopped, they were not attacked, and then this
18 A. Well, this fair was merry-making, and sometimes an entire road, an
19 entire field are blocked, and it was probably their assessment that they
20 had to stop. Nobody stopped them for sure.
21 Q. Were there other persons who were killed and wounded there?
22 A. In addition to this NCO, I've already said that another Muslim was
23 killed, and there were wounded soldiers and citizens too, of course.
24 Q. How were these soldiers wounded by unarmed civilians?
25 A. By firearms. But this area is well known by the fact that these
1 citizens had weapons, hunting weapons. So at that time it was customary
2 that whoever could buy a rifle did by then.
3 Q. Let's just clarify this.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the question.
5 JUDGE MAY: Can you repeat the question, please?
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is it your assertion that in the area of Zvornik there were no
8 Muslim forces? When I say "Muslim forces," I mean armed men established
9 in military formations or, rather, paramilitary formations?
10 A. There weren't any as far as I know.
11 Q. All right. In relation to that, I have to ask you something in
12 private session, but I would like to continue in open session for the time
14 At a given point in time after the event you described in closed
15 session, I mean this encounter, this conversation, et cetera, you went to
16 the public security station in Zvornik; isn't that right?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. At the public security station, was there a some kind of a staff
19 or something?
20 A. I've already said there was a Crisis Staff established by the more
21 prominent citizens of the municipality of Zvornik.
22 Q. All right. How should I put this? A particular person who was in
23 a leading position then addressed the people there and said, "Zvornik will
24 be attacked. However, we are not going to surrender." These are
25 quotations from your written statement.
1 How is it possible then for you to say already in the next
2 sentence that you did not know whether there was any kind of organised
3 resistance? And you say that you didn't have any weapons either.
4 A. This is quite simply correct. And the president then added, "Let
5 everybody try to save themselves as best they can."
6 Q. So then this goes hand-in-hand with what you said previously when
7 I quote you. And I'm quoting you from your written statement. "We will
8 be attacked, but we are not going to surrender," and so on and so forth.
9 A. Well, he thought that we would not be standing there with the keys
10 to the municipality of Zvornik or with roses, that we would not be
11 standing there at the Filipa Kljajica bridge waiting for Arkan to hand him
12 over the keys and also the seals of Zvornik, because that's what he had
14 Q. Do you know that one of the locals from the village of Divic who
15 testified here said that the Crisis Staff of that village obtained weapons
16 precisely from Zvornik?
17 A. I don't know about any such thing.
18 Q. So you don't know that you had weapons let alone distributed
19 it -- that you distributed it in the neighbouring villages?
20 A. I don't know about any such thing.
21 Q. You said that the attack on Zvornik started about 8.00 in the
22 evening and that 200 shells fell on town. This is where it says on page
23 7, paragraph 4.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And you say that this was on the 8th of April.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Well, what were these positions that were targeted by the
4 A. What was targeted were parts of the town of Zvornik that are
5 populated by Muslims, namely Vidak's field, Bajr, and Fetija, Zamlaz,
6 Meksoja [phoen].
7 Q. Tell me, please, since you say that there was this kind of
8 artillery shelling and, actually, you said that it was the Territorial
9 Defence that had this kind of weapons. That's what you said in response
10 to Mr. Groome's questions. And this went on all night.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Was Zvornik destroyed?
13 A. Well, Muslim houses were destroyed in these areas that I
14 mentioned. They were set on fire. They were razed.
15 Q. Were there any dead or wounded persons in the shelling?
16 A. By then, I had already left Zvornik, and I had no further contacts
17 with anybody who could have known about these things, so I cannot answer
18 this question.
19 Q. But in response to my question whether Zvornik was destroyed, you
20 said that it was destroyed.
21 A. Yes it was.
22 Q. Very well. Do you know who Dr. Asim Juzbasic is?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. He was a MP in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Zvornik?
25 A. That's right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Do you know who Izet Mehinagic is?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Do you know that these two men at a press conference in Tuzla in
4 1992 and this was published by the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje, they state
5 that had they were just coming from Zvornik, that the Serb forces have
6 quite a few killed and wounded men and that the Muslim forces, until they
7 left had about 15 men wounded and one person who was killed. This is what
8 was stated by these two prominent men from Zvornik. As you see, members
9 of parliament. And this was carried by the Sarajevo newspapers. As you
10 know, Oslobodjenje is a Sarajevo newspaper.
11 A. I did not see this statement, and I do not wish to comment upon
13 Q. I don't want you to comment upon it but this is what they said.
14 Can you give me an answer to that? What were the weapons you used to open
15 fire against Serb positions?
16 A. I'm not aware of any kind of fire being opened against Serb
17 positions, because after the 8th of April until I went to Tuzla, I was no
18 longer an official, and I stopped having any contacts with any organised
20 Q. All right. Then you stopped having contact with any organised
21 structures, but you did have organised structures then, didn't you?
22 A. The Crisis Staff and the Presidency or, rather, the Executive
23 Board attached to the Municipal Assembly.
24 Q. Where did you spend the night?
25 A. That night I spent at a hill above the closest settlement there.
1 Q. And who was in the group that you were with when you climbed up a
2 hill and watched the town? Was it with that group?
3 A. All of this are the slopes of Mladjevac. It was a not an formal
4 group. It was just a spontaneous group. Unfortunately all of them were
5 killed later.
6 Q. Were you wearing uniforms?
7 A. No we weren't.
8 Q. You were in civilian clothes?
9 A. We were in civilian clothes.
10 Q. Did you have any weapons?
11 A. I only had an official pistol.
12 Q. I see from your statement that a few of you had binoculars.
13 A. There was a hunter among us who had binoculars.
14 Q. Well, tell me then, how far away is this hill as the crow flies
15 from Zvornik?
16 A. Well, not more than a kilometre depending on the position where
17 you are. It can even be less than 500 metres.
18 Q. All right. So from that distance, from that particular place
19 which was not further away than 1 kilometre, you could establish that
20 somebody was taking citizens out and executing them as you described this
21 a few moments ago; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. You even managed to recognise from this distance of 1 kilometre
24 the persons who were being taken out and executed. That's what you're
25 asserting too, isn't it?
1 A. I recognised Sabit Bilalic and his son.
2 Q. All right. Can you tell us who it was that killed these men?
3 A. Men in camouflage uniforms killed them, the ones that I had seen
4 the previous day, the previous night at the Jezero Hotel in Mali Zvornik.
5 Q. Mr. Groome asked you whether you had seen the JNA take any action,
6 and your answer was no.
7 A. At that moment, they did not take any action. They didn't do
8 anything in terms of protecting the population.
9 Q. Well, you say that at that time you didn't see that, but don't you
10 know, and that is what the general told you, that the role of the JNA was
11 to protect the people?
12 A. Unfortunately, they didn't do anything to protect the Muslim
14 Q. Where did you get this information from that they did not protect
15 anyone or that they did not make every effort to calm the situation down
16 in Zvornik when you say that you left, that you fled straight away?
17 A. As for the events that followed in Zvornik itself and that I heard
18 about later in Tuzla, that made it clear that the people were left to the
19 mercy of the paramilitary organisations like sheep and that the Yugoslav
20 People's Army did not move a finger to protect them.
21 Q. You say that you saw Arkan's men. From that distance, how could
22 you distinguish the insignia on their uniforms and how could you establish
23 that it was these persons?
24 A. Well, they had a special type of weapons. I've already referred
25 to that. They had officer's boots, revolvers of the Magnum type and
1 automatic weapons. They wore those balaclavas that look like ski caps.
2 Q. Tell me, please, you told me -- you said here, rather, on page 8,
3 paragraph 1, that they were progressing two by two and hiding behind
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Does that mean that fire was opened at them and that there was
7 actually some kind of fighting going on in town?
8 A. There was no fighting going on in town. That is the customary way
9 in which people move about when they are trying to take a settled area, a
10 built-up area.
11 Q. Since you say that something happened in the main street of
12 Zvornik, that is to say, the centre of town, how could you see this event
13 through all these houses and buildings?
14 A. I saw that they were taking a group of citizens towards the centre
15 and that then fire was opened by the DOZ.
16 Q. Well, wait a minute. Could you see in town that somebody was
17 executing some citizens? Could you see that with your very own eyes from
18 that hill?
19 A. I didn't see it in the centre of town, but I saw it in the area
20 that I marked as Zamlaz, which is less than a kilometre away from the
21 place where I was. Later, statements made by citizens confirmed what I
22 had suspected, that is that by the DOZ a group of ten citizens was
24 Q. Well you claim that you saw these 10 citizens?
25 A. No, no, no.
1 Q. And you say you established it later?
2 A. No, no, no. I saw a group of citizens taken out and executed in
3 front of the first building in Zvornik at the exit towards Sarajevo, and I
4 saw that they were taking a group of citizens from that same territory.
5 Q. Just tell me who did that.
6 A. The men who had camouflage uniforms and automatic weapons.
7 Q. And among them you recognised precisely these paramilitary
8 formations that you had seen earlier on?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And now you also said that you saw a large group of citizens
11 fleeing across the bridge into Mali Zvornik, that is to say to Serbia. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Well, do you know how many citizens fled to Serbia?
15 A. They were women and children for the most part. It was a column.
16 As for exact figures, I'm not exactly aware of them.
17 Q. Well, do you find this logical that if somebody thinks that they
18 are in danger from Serbia, that they are in peril from something has going
19 on from Serbia, would it be logical for people to seek refuge in Serbia?
20 A. Well, we did not know that at the time regrettably, and they were
21 instructed by the paramilitary formations to go to Mali Zvornik, and that
22 is where collection points were organised and then they were sent further
23 on to Hungary and elsewhere.
24 Q. There is no question of deportation first and foremost. And also,
25 do you have information that any of the refugees -- let's not say from
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but say from Zvornik were mistreated in Serbia and
2 that in any way there was any kind of discrimination against them in
4 A. I heard that there were such cases.
5 Q. You heard that there were such cases?
6 A. And I know that a citizen of Zvornik was killed in Mali Zvornik by
7 the paramilitaries, the paramilitary organisations. The only criterion
8 was whether you were or were not a Muslim.
9 Q. Are you trying to say that a Muslim was killed in Serbia?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know that over 70.000 Muslim refugees from
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina found shelter in Serbia and that they were all treated
13 like all other refugees who sought shelter in Serbia?
14 A. You have to ask refugees who were put up in Sremska Mitrovica
15 about that, in some temporary camps.
16 Q. All right. Tell me now, you said on page 8, in paragraph 6, that
17 some men in Kula organised resistance, and we have information here that
18 the Crisis Staff of Kula Grad sent a message to the Crisis Staff of Divic
19 that they have nothing to be afraid of while Kula Grad is in Muslim hands.
20 This is what was stated by a witness here.
21 So who was it that had taken this Kula Grad and what kind of unit
22 was this? And what is it that you saw then when you were watching through
23 these binoculars? This is what you referred to earlier on in closed
24 session, so I don't want to make the question any more specific.
25 A. I don't know anything about these units, about these activities
1 and about these staffs. And when I was observing through binoculars, I
2 didn't see a thing.
3 Q. You didn't see a thing, but you did tell your collocutor that you
4 did see these deployed forces of the Green Berets at that moment?
5 A. At that moment, had he asked me whether I could see myself up
6 there, I would have said yes because my life was in the balance.
7 Q. So what is the point of this conversation if over there at
8 Kula Grad --
9 JUDGE MAY: Now, if you want to ask about matters in private
10 session, we must go into private session. Let me remind you of this. You
11 have quarter of an hour left, and if there are matters you want to
12 challenge about evidence given in private session, you should do so now,
13 because you wouldn't get an extension having spent -- having spent a lot
14 of time wasting on a great deal of detail. So it's up to you whether you
15 want to cross-examine on that or not.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to your calculations, how
17 much more time have I got left, Mr. May?
18 JUDGE MAY: You've got quarter of an hour.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Only until the end of this sitting?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then just a couple of questions
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you know that the commander of the Muslim forces in Kula Grad
25 was Sabir Nisevic, the so-called Captain Almir?
1 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
2 Q. Do you know that the units in Kula Grad were joined by a group of
3 100 combatants from Kalesija and Zivinice?
4 A. I don't know anything.
5 Q. Cazim Kurenovic, Rehib Remic, Salih Markovic, Izet Selimovic,
6 Zijad Smajic, Munir Tubic?
7 A. I don't know anything about that.
8 Q. You have decided to say that you don't know anything even before
9 you hear my question.
10 JUDGE MAY: That is a comment. You were reading out a ream of
11 names. Of course he can't give any answer if he doesn't know them. Yes.
12 If you want to go into private session, we should do that.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, is it true that this battle around Kula went on
15 until the 26th of April?
16 A. I don't know anything about that.
17 Q. And do you know that on the 9th of May, the village of Gornja
18 Baljkovica was attacked when Muslim forces killed a large number of Serb
20 A. I don't know anything about that.
21 Q. You don't know anything. And have you heard of the attack on the
22 Serbian village of Boskovici and of the people who were killed then? I
23 even have a list of their names, but there's no point reading them out.
24 It includes women. Do you know anything about that?
25 A. I don't know anything about that.
1 Q. And have you heard of Semso Muminovic from Kovacevici and Dzemail
2 Spahic from Vitinica, Hajrudin Labudovic, known as Labuc, from Teocak?
3 A. I've heard of them.
4 Q. And do you know because of this crime which I mentioned a moment
5 ago, Semso Muminovic was praised, commended and the 26th Brigade of the
6 Muslim army under his command came to be known as the Viteska Brigade, the
7 Chivalrous Brigade. Do you even have a list of those crimes in official
9 A. I don't know anything about that.
10 Q. I see. You don't know anything. And did you hear of the attack
11 on the Serbian village of Rozanj on the 23rd of May? Again I have a list
12 of names of the people killed.
13 A. I don't know anything about that.
14 Q. You don't know anything about the participants from the village of
15 Jakic, Sarac, Ramic Alija, et cetera?
16 A. No. I've never heard of them.
17 Q. Do you know anything about the capture of 38 Serbian villagers at
19 A. No, I don't know.
20 Q. Do you know that after the liberation of Kamenica a soldier from
21 Zvornik provided a document --
22 JUDGE MAY: No. We're wasting time. We're wasting time going
23 through all this. Now, you've got ten minutes left.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Is it true that the municipal authorities accused you of
1 supporting the SDA, and they said they would not allow you to do anything
2 that could jeopardise the inhabitants of Tuzla when you went to Tuzla?
3 A. That is true.
4 Q. That the Muslims of Tuzla --
5 JUDGE MAY: I think we'll go into private session now.
6 [Private session]
13 Pages 20468-20475 – redacted – private session
16 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
22 you about this first topic, only for this first subject would I like to go
23 into private session.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, could you please explain to me this issue connected with
15 the arrival of the JNA in February 1992 when Colonel Tacic managed with
16 his unit completely intact to appear in the area of your municipality? Is
17 that so?
18 A. Dubrave is in Zivinice municipality, and he later dislocated to
19 Zvornik municipality.
20 Q. He arrived in February?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But yesterday when you were answering the questions of Mr. Groome,
23 you mentioned the following: When you were entering that day Mali
24 Zvornik, you noticed a large number of members of the JNA of the Bijeljina
25 garrison, is that so?
1 A. Mali Zvornik.
2 Q. Never mind where. That day, did you see members of the Bijeljina
3 garrison anywhere?
4 A. Well, those units of the reserve forces were under the command of
5 the Bijeljina garrison.
6 Q. Were there still units that had arrived in February, the complete
7 units that had arrived under the command of that officer in February?
8 A. Yes, there were.
9 Q. You didn't say during examination-in-chief that you saw anyone but
10 members of the Bijeljina garrison. How do you explain that? In fact,
11 could you explain that to the Judges, and why this part about the
12 Bijeljina garrison does not feature anywhere in your statement given in
13 April 1996?
14 A. Well, it's probably the case that nobody asked me anything about
15 it. I don't understand your question. What do you want me to explain?
16 Q. You heard a question by Honourable Judge May. Could you tell us
17 the name of that unit, and you answered the way you answered. But in
18 examination-in-chief, you mentioned that you saw members of the JNA of the
19 Bijeljina garrison, and you had never mentioned that before.
20 A. That's not true. The assistant to the colonel who was commander
21 of that Bijeljina garrison was often together with Territorial Defence
22 units which were also part of the Bijeljina garrison, and I saw him often.
23 Q. In your statement of April 1996, you spoke only about certain
24 individuals that you saw, but you didn't mention seeing them on that day
25 when you arrived at Mali Zvornik. You didn't say that you had seen any
1 members of the JNA. How can you explain that?
2 A. Probably never asked me.
3 Q. And you also said that when you were entering Mali Zvornik you
4 also saw a large number of MUP members. You didn't mention that in April
5 1996 either.
6 A. Well, probably never asked -- no one asked me anything about it.
7 Q. Thank you. When you returned, you already told the Court about
8 that meeting and how hard it was for you to decide and that you ultimately
9 decided you would not surrender after all. [redacted]
13 Q. We said perfectly publicly that he went to his home.
14 A. Yes, the first neighbouring village.
15 JUDGE MAY: It should be redacted. If there is any further
16 question on this, you can ask it in private session.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if I'm allowed to
18 ask how far that village is from Zvornik.
19 JUDGE MAY: As far as what he saw was concerned, he said he was
20 about a kilometre away. If that was the point you were asking, he said he
21 was on a hill about a kilometre away.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Let's go into private session.
24 [Private session]
13 Page 20480 – redacted – private session
13 Page 20481 – redacted – private session
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
10 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-1237, that concludes your evidence. Thank
11 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE MAY: Before the procedural hearing, I will announce two
16 rulings. The first concerns the statement of Mr. Becirovic. The
17 statement of Mr. Becirovic is admissible under Rule 92 bis with
18 cross-examination. It is a cumulative statement dealing with events in
19 Bratunac, some of which have already been touched on. The statement will
20 be admitted under the Rule. However, the witness will be required to
21 attend for cross-examination.
22 The second ruling concerns the Foca transcript evidence and the
23 admissibility of statements of transcripts, I should say, under Rule 92
24 bis. All the statements are -- transcripts, rather, are admissible under
25 the Rule. The following witnesses must attend for cross-examination:
1 B-1015, B-1533, B-1618, B-1120, B-1536.
2 By a majority, Judge Robinson dissenting, the following are
3 admitted without cross-examination: B-1542, B-1543, B-1121, B-1537,
4 B-1538, B-1540.
5 Written reasons for this ruling will follow.
6 Mr. Nice, dealing with tomorrow, there is one witness. Is it
7 anticipated -- or there is one witness on whom we've ruled. Is it
8 anticipated that witness can be got through?
9 MR. NICE: Two witnesses for tomorrow. I think the one you just
10 ruled on. Mr. Groome can deal with it because he's going to be here
12 JUDGE MAY: We've just received I might say through the usual
13 system, we've received another statement, and you want us to look at that,
14 do you?
15 MR. GROOME: It was our hope to begin and to complete two
16 witnesses tomorrow, Your Honour, if that is at all possible.
17 JUDGE MAY: We will see how we get on. The matter which is for
18 discussion is the Prosecution motion for further time. We have received
19 full pleadings on that, including the observation of the amicus, and we
20 have today received an amended Schedule B, I anticipate.
21 And, Mr. Nice, it would be of assistance to me to know the
22 witnesses or which of the witnesses or which schedule you are applying to
23 call. I take it from your pleadings that you are applying to call the
24 witnesses in Schedule 1, the priority witnesses, as it were. I think you
25 put them in priority 1.
1 MR. NICE: Annex B, I think is it's title but it doesn't much
3 JUDGE MAY: If I've got that wrong. Schedule B. Yes. Sorry,
4 Schedule B.
5 MR. NICE: Yes.
6 JUDGE MAY: And 128 witnesses. There may be one or two less now
7 because some have been called, but 128 witnesses with a total of
8 100 -- about 119 days is the time estimate.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. The latest version of the document,
10 by the way, which merits just a minute of attention shows on its reverse
11 side 128 witnesses to come. You'll see also I've changed the format so
12 that witnesses are now numbered, and I've also indicated or we've had
13 indicated whether they are going to be the subject of applications for 92
14 bis, and there is another comment column to amplify bits and pieces about
15 the witnesses.
16 The document is frozen, that is to say the numbers are going to
17 stay the same now until the end of the case for ease of reference and
18 discussion, the identifying numbers, 1, 2, 3, to 128. And when will
19 happen is that as witnesses are deleted because they've given evidence or
20 deleted for other reasons, they will be shaded out in one way or another
21 and therefore the Court will be able readily to see from a document with
22 which it will become familiar as later generations of the document are
23 provided how much is left which will basically be the stuff that's in
24 ordinary black on white.
25 You'll notice that there's a significant difference in the hours
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 estimated as required by the witnesses on this version of the list, 479,
2 from what was listed on the earlier version of this list and the
3 application of the 17th of April, which I think was, I'll find it, 543
4 hours. That revised estimate comes for various reasons but not least
5 because of the expectation of being able to apply the provisions of 92 bis
6 to part, in any event, of the evidence in chief of some of the these
8 A point that was insufficiently highlighted in the application, or
9 the two points that were insufficiently highlighted and they are these:
10 First, by this list we are clearly within the budgeted number of witnesses
11 allowed for us. Your Honour says that 128 witnesses should be reduced by
12 the number of witnesses heard since the list was originally formulated.
13 That's ten witnesses. So on this list there's something like 118 yet to
14 go. There have been so far heard 51 witnesses in the Croatia and Bosnia
15 sections. Adding those figures together, 51 and 118, we come to 169 and
16 we were originally allowed 170-odd witnesses so we are within budget for
17 the number of witnesses. And the problem, of course, is with the time,
18 given the original estimate of time or deadline of time that the Chamber
19 gave us.
20 In addition to the witnesses listed on Annex B, there are all the
21 witnesses identified as 92 bis on Annex D, and the court's original ruling
22 was that 92 bis witnesses would be additional to witnesses otherwise
23 described as live witnesses.
24 Of course, since then the decisions and practice of the Chamber
25 has become clear, and we're grateful to have the Foca decision which
1 further guides us in how we can deal with the witnesses under 92 bis. At
2 the moment and under the original Schedule D of the application of the
3 17th of April, we had suggested that 92 bis witnesses under the Chamber's
4 current practices for Croatia would take 14 days, and under those
5 practices for Bosnia would take 18 days. We -- thank you very much.
6 Now, that's 18 plus 14 days, 28, 32 days. Something in the region
7 of seven or eight four-day weeks. And we would not wish to take that
8 amount of time, of course, with proving crime base evidence, and would not
9 be anxious about applying for it.
10 We had, of course, originally had the reasonable expectation or
11 not unreasonable expectation that a great deal of this material would have
12 been fully bis'd. We make no complaint of the rulings which have been
13 made since and which we entirely respect. It's just led to a necessary
14 change so far as we're concerned in the attitude we have to adopt.
15 So far as Bosnia is concerned, the Chamber will be aware of course
16 that without a significant amount of the evidence from Annex D, 92 bis or
17 demi-bis if we can so describe it, there will not be an adequate cover of
18 the already very reduced number of municipalities charged in the Bosnia
19 indictment and so therefore by one means or another, we must put in a very
20 significant and substantial part of this evidence. What we would hope to
21 do would be to review those lists soon with an eye to the rulings that the
22 Chamber has made, but also if this is possible, with an eye to any clarity
23 that can be given by the accused to his defence to these particular
24 topics. There's no reason why he shouldn't be required to identify what
25 his case is, it would be our respectful submission, in order to see which
1 witnesses are good candidates for being fully bis'd and to identify a
2 reasonable number that might take the usual one hour of evidence at most
3 per witness.
4 In this way, it seems to us we should be able to have a proposal
5 for the Chamber for 92 bis witnesses of this kind, that's crime base
6 witnesses, which will add, of course, to the amount of time to be taken by
7 the live witnesses but which should not add too large an amount of time.
8 So that's my immediate answer to Your Honour's questions, which
9 are the witnesses to be called. Can I just make plain because it's a
10 public filing, our position in relation to Annex C, which has been
11 described as witnesses that really should be called?
12 They are provided there for a number of reasons. They are
13 witnesses who we, as it were have, only just been able to decide are not
14 critical to our case. They are witnesses who, in a sense, we would very
15 much want to call and who we would reasonably expect were it not for the
16 limitations of time a court would otherwise want to hear from.
17 Depending on what happens by way of attrition of one form or
18 another to the Annex B list, it's possible we may seek to move one or more
19 of these Annex C witnesses across. More important, they are available for
20 the Chamber to consider given that the Chamber has powers to call
21 witnesses to see what is the next tier of available evidence on particular
22 topics that itself might wish to hear from. The Chamber's powers to call
23 witnesses are meaningless unless it has some knowledge of what's available
24 and this is one way of providing that material to the Chamber.
25 Your Honour, I know how limited we are for time, and as always or
1 very often, procedural things properly come at the end of a day. I've got
2 a number of other points I could make, but I don't know if the Chamber
3 wants to raise anything with me or --
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, two matters. The first that there are still a
5 large number of unidentified witnesses. I don't know how many on the
6 revised Schedule B, but there were something like 17 or 18 on the old
7 schedule who are unidentified, and the amici say, and there seems to be
8 some force in it, that the time has come for a full list to be supplied.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the list --
10 JUDGE MAY: We obviously have to consider making an order to that
12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the list is full in the sense that these
13 are all of course witnesses identified and known to us. Some of them are
14 Rule 70 witnesses. I will say a word about that or so in a second.
15 Others are witnesses for whom application has yet to be made. And of
16 course until made and granted they can't be named on this list. But that,
17 I think, covers those otherwise anonymous witnesses at this stage.
18 Going back to the Rule 70 witnesses, as the Chamber may
19 have -- may recall from earlier observations I've made, there are -- have
20 been some difficulties about the terms upon which certain Rule 70
21 witnesses may be available to us. It's being made plain to those who have
22 authority in respect of those witnesses, outside independent bodies or
23 entities that have authorities over those witnesses that we can't go on
24 much longer without revealing the position fully to the Chamber so that
25 the Chamber can be informed, and I forecast that I'll be in a position to
1 do that probably in about two weeks.
2 As to naming people who have yet to be the subject of
3 applications, that will have to wait until the applications are made. We
4 can seek to deal with as many applications as possible now, but of course
5 if there are pending issues, witness concerns that they have arising from
6 recent events or the final agreement of witnesses to cooperate to the
7 extent of giving evidence, we can't do it until that's in hand. We may
8 have identified witnesses and they may be at the point of agreeing to be
9 witnesses, but until that final moment has passed, we can't name them.
10 We can deal with that as soon as may.
11 But, Your Honour, we would press the Chamber to -- not to apply
12 simply the time limitation approach to the case. We've got this far, and
13 we've achieved enormous economies of time, in our respectful submission.
14 We've used every conceivable procedure for abbreviating proceedings and
15 proposed everything that we possibly could, but we are now in the position
16 of having a number of witnesses within the budget allowed to prove the
17 case, subject to the additional period of time required for the 92 bis
19 The time witnesses take given that we are absolutely brief in the
20 way we take them, is a matter for the accused, the amici, and, of course,
21 the Court. And in our respectful submission, having been allowed these
22 witnesses and there happening now to be an incompatibility of the two
23 parameters of witness numbers and time --
24 JUDGE MAY: I don't agree with that. I don't agree with your
25 submission at all. It's perfectly plain. You can have a certain number
1 of witnesses, and you have this time available to call them.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we would respectfully differ. Certain --
3 JUDGE MAY: That's what the order meant, I can tell you. If it
4 wasn't plain, you should have raised it before.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it was never in our ability to determine
6 how long witnesses would take. And let me be absolutely blunt. As the
7 Chamber knows, we have questioned on occasions the appropriateness of a
8 simple rule of thumb, one hour for us, one hour for the accused, and that
9 approach has almost inevitably led to the accused maximising the amount of
10 time he takes.
11 We've seen this in other cases where that rule has applied where
12 accused have been represented by experienced lawyers. They've maximised
13 the amount of time that they take in cross-examination with the effect,
14 and it may well be the objective of limiting the amount of evidence that
15 can be put in by the Prosecution, so that in our submission if the 170-odd
16 witnesses was an appropriate number of witnesses and if we have done
17 everything we can to take those witnesses swiftly, and we have, it would
18 not be just now to make a further reduction in the number of witnesses
19 that we are able to call to prove these extremely important cases. And
20 the Chamber will appreciate that if we turn to Srebrenica and Sarajevo as
21 two examples, here are extremely important allegations that must be
22 ventilated in respect of which we've made very substantial adjustments in
23 order to have a real prospect of bringing them within the limited number
24 of witnesses allowed to us. But if there were now to be applied a time
25 bar or put another way, if the present time limitation weren't to be
1 amended, then it might be simply for want of a really rather modest amount
2 of court time that those matters couldn't be explored and it would be our
3 submission that that would be quite wrong.
4 JUDGE MAY: You've known of the time limit for over a year. It
5 was first mentioned in April last year. So the Prosecution has been aware
6 of what was in the Trial Chamber's mind for a year, and indeed you've
7 known about it, the precise date, since whenever it was, July last year.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes, we were pretty well on target with
9 Kosovo and we were pretty well on target with Croatia. The Bosnia case
10 has always been a much larger case. Mr. Groome reminds me this morning
11 that what happened in Zvornik, I think, in terms of one view of
12 criminality outweighs everything that happened in Croatia. It's always
13 been a very large case. And if it be the reality that the Chamber in
14 estimating for Bosnia, doing the best it could, underestimated, then
15 there's nothing more that we can do about it. We haven't been, in our
16 respectful submission, in any sense other than extremely efficient in the
17 reduction of evidence in the Bosnia sector and by the more recent
18 proposals that we are making and we've made and are now being put into
19 effect, we are swiftening the pace again. But if there was an
20 underestimate, in our respectful submission that can't sound in large
21 parts of this critical indictment not being susceptible to proof for that
22 reason alone. And of course we've been alert to the time limitations. We
23 think of very little else, I'm afraid and various members of our team
24 spend little -- spend inordinate amounts of time trying to sort out what
25 can be dropped and how long witnesses take and so long. But our duty is
1 to prove these counts.
2 We have reduced the Bosnia allegations very substantially. The
3 case has to be proved in respect of Bosnia as a whole, not just in respect
4 of a small part for which we are producing the fullest evidence at this
5 earlier stage and we would ask the Chamber to say that the proper course
6 at this stage of the trial given its conduct to date, is to deal with the
7 remaining amount of time available by reference to the number of witness
8 properly to be called.
9 That would encourage the accused to -- because he will know it
10 won't make any difference to how much of evidence we can call in terms of
11 witness numbers, that will encourage him to make the odd cross-examination
12 that doesn't waste time. It'll help him in many ways. The Chamber will
13 still be in a position to do as it did on an earlier occasion with me to
14 say for individual witnesses, well, this witness only two hours in chief,
15 something of that sort. The Chamber has all those powers available to it.
16 But we will, nevertheless, be in a position to prove our case.
17 So that's our basic argument. We've made the suggestion in the
18 various filings that the Chamber can seize itself of various other powers.
19 One of the reasons for making Annex B as comprehensive as it is and I'm
20 going to ask that it be enlarged and made more comprehensive to help you
21 from time to time is that although you may not feel it appropriate to
22 indicate which witnesses you do not wish to hear from because to do so
23 might in some way be thought to be revealing a conditional provisional
24 view of the Trial Chamber, this document, in combination with the fill-box
25 document that, as the Chamber knows, comes periodically to explain where
1 we are evidentially and is a document which may very well match documents
2 kept by the Chamber itself, could be possible for the Chamber, for
3 example, to look through the list from time to time and to put us on
4 notice that it would require to be satisfied of the particular value of
5 particular witnesses. So that in that way or in some other way the
6 Chamber will be able to exercise its inherit or identified powers to
7 ensure that the trial is as expeditious as it can be but without imposing
8 a time guillotine that will simply cut off parts and have the effect of
9 cutting off parts of the case all too possibly very important parts.
10 As to Srebrenica and Sarajevo, the Chamber will recall that at an
11 earlier occasion we, in a couple of pleadings specifically, invited the
12 accused to defer preparation of those parts. We had in mind then that the
13 scale of those cases as tried as separate cases here creates various
14 problems. One of which is, of course, a disclosure problem to which we
15 can come on a later occasion. We were aware that until we can see how
16 time was going we couldn't be sure of the way we would present those cases
17 in order to fit them in in the time, we've now made those decision so it's
18 possible to identify the way those cases will be put. There will be
19 further refinements to the list, but we've made those decision and the
20 accused will be able in the weeks and months to come to prepare for those
21 without having wasted -- wasting -- wasted his time preparing, for
22 example, the entire material put in in the Galic case, which as the
23 Chamber may know is finishing today.
24 So everything has been done to make it manageable by the accused.
25 Everything has been done to save time and to be efficient, and the time
1 taken is to a large degree out of our control once we call the number of
2 witnesses allowed by the Chamber as initially appropriate.
3 Couple of points about the amici brief. This is not a question of
4 reinstatement of witnesses. The only variation is witnesses that we have
5 applied or are yet -- are about to apply to add to the list, and as the
6 Chamber knows, whenever we've added witnesses, we've deleted a large
7 number as well.
8 The historical position on this is that there was a very large
9 list initially. That list was reduced, I suppose, first in the list
10 associated with the report of December of last year, and that list was
11 very nearly within budget for the number of witnesses, and then it's this
12 Annex B together with Annex D identifies the lists that may now count as
13 the final witness list subject to the inevitable changes to amend or
14 delete as may occur.
15 We are, I should say, optimistic that we will be making further
16 amendments either as to witnesses to be taken at all or witnesses to be
17 taken only in part of the evidence currently identified, and I hope the
18 Chamber will trust us, because we have pursued economy in the use of time
19 as nothing else in this case.
20 JUDGE MAY: If you are successful and you had, as it were, a free
21 run, when do you anticipate you would finish your case?
22 MR. NICE: I would forecast that on this list as presently
23 constructed and giving us 119 days plus a reasonable period of time for 92
24 bis would take us into the New Year, about January, February.
25 Now, I expect to be able to do better than that because I forecast
1 that with the procedures we're using, 92 bis'ing wherever possible, and by
2 the natural process of attrition, we may be able to do a little better
3 than that.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, I think we should give others a
6 Mr. Milosevic, this isn't strictly a matter which affects you in
7 the sense that it's a matter between the Prosecution and the Trial
8 Chamber, but since they are applying to vary an earlier order, it's right
9 that you should be able to address us on it if you want, in particular,
10 the issue which I raised with Mr. Nice you may want to raise, which is
11 about the witnesses whose identity you don't know about and you haven't
12 been told about.
13 Now, is there anything you want to say just about this motion?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This entire explanation does not
15 merit a comment, Mr. May. It is only time that is being discussed here,
16 and it seems to me that in this entire enterprise that you call a trial,
17 there is no other element that is important to discuss other than the
18 element of time. This goes beyond the criteria that any legal court of
19 law would have. So I have nothing to say to that.
20 As for non-disclosing the identity of witnesses, that has become
21 regular practice. As you can see as of late, we've only had a series of
22 anonymous witnesses. I think this practice of anonymous witnesses no
23 doubt shows the very idyllic relationships that now exist in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And also this, what you call a trial, is only
25 instigating and increasing inter-ethnic hatred and tensions.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay, have you anything to say?
2 MR. KAY: It's just a few observations because the Prosecution
3 have made a number of points. In our first year, we sat 120 days. So
4 when the amici put in the observations we filed before the Trial Chamber,
5 looking at what was on offer, it seemed to us it was going to be an extra
6 year of trial from now. And in the relief sought, it's quite clear the
7 Prosecution wanted the entire amount of witnesses within the schedule, and
8 that meant all the annexes. That is, it seems, to be withdrawn by
9 Mr. Nice to a more restrained position. But the point missing from the
10 Prosecution's submissions is this principle of expedition, and in our
11 submission, that is something that the Trial Chamber has to bear in mind
12 as a very important principle in the fairness of the trial. It's to do
13 with the scale and manageability and time.
14 JUDGE MAY: You say just as a matter of detail that we sat 120
15 days during the first year. That, I take it, until the 12th of February.
16 MR. KAY: Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: It looks as though it was really rather over 140 days,
18 in fact.
19 MR. KAY: I looked at my CD-ROM and saw a day count there of 120
20 from the 12th of February, but I may be wrong on that. If I am, I am, but
21 there we are.
22 JUDGE MAY: It may be you weren't here those days.
23 MR. KAY: Yes. But 20 days extra being out still makes the point,
24 in our submission.
25 MR. NICE: Can I just clarify one thing because of -- I understand
1 Mr. Kay's misunderstanding when he says we've changed our position. We
2 haven't. I accept it wasn't as clear as it might have been but in fact in
3 paragraph 21 of the original application of the 17th of April, when we
4 added up the witnesses we wanted to call, we only added Annex B and
5 Annex D. It's always been our position that Annex C was witnesses who it
6 would be appropriate to hear if there were an abundance or no limit on
7 time. It's always been our understanding that those are witnesses who fall
8 into a second category, but with the time limits on us we wouldn't be able
9 to call save in particular circumstances.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll consider the motion, and we will give our
12 ruling in due course. We will sit again tomorrow at 9.00.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.36 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of May,
15 2003, at 9.00 a.m.