1 Tuesday, 25 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: A very good afternoon. Please be seated. May
6 we hear the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon. This is Case
8 Number IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And today's appearances, please. For the
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian
12 and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. John Ostojic on
15 behalf of Milomir Stakic.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And I take it, before we start with
17 the videoconference, that we hear today Mr. Ljuban Jankovic without any
18 protective measures necessary as checked already with Banja Luka.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then let's start immediately with the
22 May I ask for a sign from the audio and video unit, is it fine?
23 Okay. I see confirmed. So let's wait for Charlotte Dahuron to be seen.
24 Yes, she is. First a sound check. Can you hear us?
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] I can hear you perfectly. Can you
1 hear me?
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, everything seems to be fine.
3 So the witness is present. May we have a view throughout the
4 entire room first that we can see who actually is present.
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I then ask you, Madam Dahuron,
7 to bring the witness in to your room.
8 Good afternoon from The Hague. Mr. Jankovic, can you hear me?
9 Mr. Jankovic, can you hear me? Good afternoon from The Hague. May I
10 start once again. Mr. Jankovic, can you hear me in a language you
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] Could you please retry, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Mr. Jankovic, can you hear us?
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] Okay. Not loud enough. We're trying
15 to fix this.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. So let's wait a minute. And please tell
17 us when you are ready.
18 So once again, the third attempt: Mr. Jankovic, can you hear us
19 from The Hague?
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] It's not loud enough.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Madam Dahuron, can you maybe exchange your
22 earphones or your headphones? Could this solve the problem?
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] Okay, let's try again.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The fourth attempt: Mr. Jankovic, can you hear
25 us from The Hague?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I thank you for coming, testifying in Banja
3 Luka. May we first hear your solemn declaration, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, Mr. Jankovic. You are called as a
7 Defence witness, and therefore, I give now the floor to Defence counsel,
8 Mr. Ostojic. Please, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 WITNESS: LJUBAN JANKOVIC
11 [Witness testified through videolink]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Ostojic:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Jankovic. My name is John Ostojic, and I
15 represent Milomir Stakic. Thank you for appearing and giving your
16 testimony here in this case. Can you hear me, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Sir, can you please give us your full name, your first and last
19 name, and your date of birth.
20 A. I received no translation.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I notice on my B/C/S channel, it's
22 almost inaudible also, so the problem may be here with the microphone for
23 the interpreters, not our microphones.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can we continue, Mr. Jankovic? Is it better
25 now? Apparently there is a problem in the moment. Mr. Jankovic, one
1 other attempt: Can you hear us here from The Hague in the moment in a
2 language you understand? Mr. Jankovic --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No translation.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The translation for Mr. Jankovic is provided
5 here in The Hague or in Banja Luka in this case, Madam Dahuron?
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] It's provided in The Hague, Your
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So may I ask the booth, any problems? No, there
9 shouldn't be a problem. Then let's try to continue.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, perhaps the channel on his microphone
11 is not set for him to receive the B/C/S version if they can just verify
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] We are checking at this moment, Your
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask somebody from the B/C/S booth to speak
16 a little bit or to read out something that they can test the functioning
17 of the system.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] Your Honour, the witness has confirmed
19 that he can hear well.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So everything should be fine now. Mr. Ostojic,
22 MR. OSTOJIC:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Jankovic.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. Once again, my name is John Ostojic and I am one of the attorneys
1 representing Dr. Milomir Stakic. We would like to thank you for coming
2 and giving your testimony in this case. Sir, once again, can you please
3 give us your full name, first and last name, and date of birth.
4 A. My name is Ljuban Jankovic. I was born on the 10th of March,
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir, where you were born and in what municipality
7 that was.
8 A. I was born in Novi Seher, Maglaj municipality.
9 Q. Can you give us a little background, sir, relating to your
10 educational experiences. Where did you go to school and what degrees did
11 you obtain?
12 A. I have completed the school for dentistry in Belgrade, and further
13 on, I specialised in oral surgery, dental surgery in Zagreb.
14 Q. And what year did you complete your medical studies?
15 A. 1982 was the year I completed the dental school in Belgrade, and
16 my specialisation, I completed in Zagreb in 1991.
17 Q. Sir, did you become gainfully employed after you completed your
18 dental specialisation in Zagreb in 1991?
19 A. I was already employed at the health centre in Prijedor.
20 Therefore, after completing my specialisation training, I returned and
21 started working as a specialist for oral surgery at the health centre in
23 Q. Share with us, if you will, the time period in which you were
24 employed at the health centre in Prijedor. From what time to what time?
25 A. I am employed -- I had been employed since the 2nd of August,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 1982, and up until the 1st of February, 1988, was when I stayed working on
2 when I started my specialisation. My specialisation was started at the
3 general hospital in Prijedor, at the department for general surgery, and
4 then starting on the 1st of November 1988, I went to specialisation
5 training in Zagreb where I did my specialisation in oral surgery and
6 facial surgery at the Salata Medical Centre also in Zagreb.
7 Q. From 1988 through 1992, can you tell us specifically where were
8 you employed.
9 A. My official place of employment was the health centre in Prijedor,
10 but starting in 1988, I attended specialisation in Zagreb up until the 4th
11 of March, 1991.
12 Q. Can you describe for us during the period that you were in Zagreb
13 what the atmosphere was like for you as a physician working there up
14 through and including March of 1991.
15 A. Simply speaking, they treated me very properly, professionally. I
16 socialised with well-educated people, and there were no problems.
17 Q. During the time period, sir, of the spring and summer of 1992,
18 were you employed at the health centre in Prijedor?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. Describe for us what your duties and obligations were in the
21 capacity in which you held during the time period of the spring and summer
22 of 1992.
23 A. During that period of time, I was head of dental department at the
24 health centre.
25 Q. Forgive me for asking this question. Can you tell us what your
1 ethnic background is.
2 A. I'm a Serb.
3 Q. Can you tell us, sir, if at any time you served in the military.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us when, and if more than two occasions, please
6 specify whether you served in the military on more than one or so
8 A. I was mobilised on the 19th of November, 1991, and I spent two and
9 a half months in the army.
10 Q. Can you tell us who issued the mobilisation papers which required
11 you to join the military in November of 1991 for two and a half months.
12 A. I think those were armed forces. That was the Yugoslav People's
14 Q. At any time, sir -- strike that. Tell us in what capacity you
15 were mobilised and where you were mobilised in November of 1991.
16 A. I served as a person with medical background, and I was head of
17 the medical corps in the 5th Kozara Brigade.
18 Q. Can you tell us during that time period, commencing on November
19 1991, who was the commander or your commanding officer in the 5th Kozara
21 A. It was either Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel Pero Colic at the
23 Q. Can you describe for us, sir, your duties and obligations while
24 being head of this medical unit while you were mobilised with the 5th
25 Kozara Brigade.
1 A. As the head of the medical corps, I had two physicians within my
2 unit, and our tasks were to treat and examine soldiers and civilians that
3 came as patients.
4 Q. During your mobilisation, sir, was there any time that you can
5 recall that there was a policy of discrimination against those persons to
6 whom you would be providing medical care as a member of the 5th of Kozara
8 A. No. Absolutely not. We didn't even know first and last names of
9 the people that came to be treated by us.
10 Q. You stated that your tasks were to treat and examine soldiers and
11 civilians that came as patients. Can you describe for us where these
12 people would be coming from and the nature and extent of their injuries,
13 to the best of your recollection.
14 A. Do you have in mind soldiers or civilians?
15 Q. Both.
16 A. In view of the fact that we treated injured and sick soldiers, and
17 those civilians who lived in the area where we were stationed, the local
18 population, so to speak.
19 Q. Did at any time, sir, while you were mobilised as -- in the
20 medical corps of the 5th Kozara Brigade, did there come a time ever, sir,
21 that you would have to have contact with the local civilian and municipal
22 political government?
23 A. No. Absolutely not. I didn't even know a single civilian who was
24 in the organs of authority.
25 Q. Would, sir, and I'm going to ask you, during that time period,
1 would -- were there ever any interference from the civilian local
2 political, municipal organs with respect to the jobs and duties that you
3 were providing in the 5th Kozara Brigade?
4 A. Absolutely not.
5 Q. Following your mobilisation, can you share with us what you did
6 after the two and a half month period in November of 1991? Did you
7 ultimately leave or were you discharged from the 5th Kozara Brigade?
8 A. I was demobilised in January of 1992, and I returned back to my
9 professional duties, back to my job.
10 Q. And where was that, sir?
11 A. My job was at the health centre in Prijedor.
12 Q. Would it be fair to state that from January through at least April
13 1992, you continued to work in the health centre in Prijedor? Correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. During that time period, sir, did you likewise have an opportunity
16 to see the events as they were unfolding in the Prijedor Municipality with
17 respect to any tensions that were on the rise?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you share with us, sir, from your perspective, to the best of
20 your recollection, what do you recall about that time period prior to
21 April 1992.
22 A. I don't know whether it was in late March or in early April. I
23 don't go to the stadium area very often. However, I saw many buses,
24 especially carrying women and children, leaving town. I saw them also by
25 the building of the old Jugobanka in April. In April of 1992, several of
1 my colleagues took their annual leave and left the town, never to come
2 back. This is what was going on sometime in late March, early April.
3 What else can I tell you about that time period? For example, a good
4 friend of mine with whom I socialised a lot, an orthodontist, his name was
5 Suljo Mahmuljin and we were family friends, was quite tense and anxious at
6 a certain period of time. And I frequently asked him, Suljo, why are you
7 so tense? And he would say to me, Can't you see the dark clouds gathering
8 over our state? He smoked a lot and he was very nervous, tense. So it
9 seems that nobody slept peacefully at night during that period of time.
10 Those are little details from that time.
11 Q. Forgive us for asking, but the details may help us get a clearer
12 picture of the events as they unfolded. So with respect to this
13 Dr. Mahmuljin, you mentioned his first name. Was his formal first name
14 Osman, or do you know?
15 A. No, no, it was Sulejman.
16 Q. Can you tell us or list for us approximately the number and name
17 of other colleagues who left the Prijedor Municipality in late March and
18 early April as a result of the increase in tensions in the municipality.
19 A. Yes, I can. As far as I can remember, there was Dr. Danijel
20 Dzafic who left for Skopje because this is where his wife and children
21 were staying. Dr. Branko Kalember went to Belgrade. Then I think
22 Dr. Smail Hrnic left on the plane from Banja Luka to Belgrade. Then I
23 remember a nurse called Jasna Foric who with her family left Prijedor in a
24 bus. And if I tried hard to remember, perhaps I could come up with some
25 other names. But these are just a few names that I can remember off the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Sir, did these physicians and colleagues, as you mentioned, a
3 nurse, did they tell you or share with you the reasons for their departure
4 from the Prijedor Municipality?
5 A. Well, the reason given was annual leave, going on a holiday.
6 Q. I recognise that was the formal reason given to the health centre
7 in Prijedor. But do you know from speaking to them, if you do and if you
8 recall, what did they share with you as to the reasons why they were
9 leaving the Prijedor Municipality?
10 A. Based on the stories going around, that there was a lot of
11 insecurity felt by people in Prijedor, the need was felt at least to have
12 families move to more peaceful areas in the former Yugoslavia. A lot of
13 people moved to the west. But I think that the reason people were leaving
14 town was the insecurity.
15 Q. Doctor, did at any time during these conversations with
16 individuals, did any of your colleagues mention or reference that they
17 were being terminated or discharged from their employment because of their
18 ethnic background?
19 A. No, absolutely not. We even recorded them as having taken unpaid
20 leave, even though they were absent for more than five days without
21 justification. And the law stated that if somebody was absent for more
22 than five days without justification, they would be terminated. However,
23 we recorded them as being on unpaid leave. And let me give you another
25 Our colleague, Danijel Dzafic called us from Skopje and told us
1 that due to certain reasons, he was unable to return to Prijedor. And
2 that was some time in May. We had him recorded as a person on an unpaid
3 leave, meaning that nobody was fired but all of them were considered as
4 having taken unpaid leave. And it was believed that eventually they would
5 return to their workplace.
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir, during the period from April through
7 September 1992, where were you, whether you were in employed and in what
9 A. Yes. I was employed at the health centre as head of dental
10 department. I was doing my job, that of an oral surgeon.
11 Q. Did there come a period, Doctor, from April through September 1992
12 that you obtained a work obligation, or did you continue to work in the
13 same capacity as you did prior to April of 1992?
14 A. Which April do you have in mind? The 1st of April or what time?
15 Q. Generally speaking, was there a time, sir, that you were issued a
16 work --
17 A. Yes, we did have a work obligation.
18 Q. And share with us what period that was.
19 A. I can't give you the exact date. I don't remember. I truly don't
21 Q. Thank you, sir. If I can just suggest, and I apologise for doing
22 so, do you recall it being approximately the spring and summer of 1992?
23 And if you don't remember, please just say so and we'll move on.
24 A. No, no, I can't remember when that was.
25 Q. In any event, I believe we've established that during April
1 through September 1992, you were working in the Prijedor Municipality.
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Can you share with us, sir, to the extent of your recollection,
5 can you tell us specifically on April 30th, 1992, what events unfolded in
6 the Prijedor Municipality.
7 A. On the 30th of April, there was a takeover, and that is all I can
8 tell you about that date.
9 Q. Sir, at the time, prior or after, were you a member of any
10 political party or affiliation?
11 A. No. Absolutely not. I was not a member of any political party,
12 either before or after, only during the period when the League of
13 Communists existed. I was a member, but I left the party in 1985.
14 Q. Just so that we're clear, and I'll ask a open-ended question, were
15 you a member of the SDS at any time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Could you tell us, sir, on May 22nd, 1992, we have established
18 essentially that there was an incident at the village of Hambarine. Do
19 you recall or can you share with us if you were involved in treating or
20 caring for any soldiers that were brought to the hospital on or about that
22 A. I know that that incident took place on the 22nd of May, and I
23 know that two soldiers were killed. I was not at the hospital at that
24 time. I was in the health centre.
25 Q. Did you later learn, sir, what rank or what unit these soldiers
1 who were killed were members of?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what information or facts you know relating
4 to the attack on the city/town of Prijedor on or about May 30th, 1992?
5 A. I don't have any information about that attack. I know that there
6 was an attack on the 30th of May, 1992, but I don't have any other
7 information on that attack.
8 Q. I apologise, because I'm sure it was an inartful question.
9 Specifically, Doctor, since you worked at the health centre, do you recall
10 whether there were people who were being brought to the health centre to
11 be cared for and treated as a result of the events, namely, the attack on
12 the 30th of May, 1992, in the city/town of Prijedor?
13 A. Yes, absolutely. There were persons injured. There were people
14 who asked for medical assistance, both in the health centre and in the
15 general hospital.
16 Q. To the best of your recollection, were there any fatalities as a
17 result of the attack on the city/town of Prijedor on May 30th, 1992?
18 A. Of course. I can't remember the exact number, but there may have
19 been a dozen or two dozen people who were killed.
20 Q. Let me change or switch gears, as we say, to another topic. Did
21 you know of the late Dr. Milan Kovacevic?
22 A. I knew him.
23 Q. Did you know him professionally, socially, or both?
24 A. I knew him professionally because I was a resident in oral surgery
25 at the department of general surgery where the late Kovacevic worked as an
1 anaesthesiologist. So we cooperated as colleagues because I was there for
2 six months at his department.
3 Q. Let me ask you, and forgive me for doing so, if you know a person
4 by the name of Simo Drljaca?
5 A. No, I don't know him. I don't know whether you have put that
6 question correctly. I know of him, but I don't know him personally.
7 Q. Yes, my question was if you knew him personally. We'll get to the
8 other issues in a moment. Can you tell us, sir, whether you knew
9 Dr. Milomir Stakic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you share with us in what capacity you know him,
12 professionally, socially, or in both manners?
13 A. I know him professionally, and I can also tell you what period I
14 know him from, if you want me to tell you that.
15 Q. Yes, I believe it would help facilitate this process.
16 A. Yes. I heard about Dr. Stakic for the first time during the
17 elections in Prijedor in 1990. I knew that he was the vice-president of
18 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly. I didn't know him personally at that
19 time. But he was well-known all over the town. There were very few
20 people who didn't know -- who knew about our colleague Stakic, so he was
21 not well-known in Prijedor. And I don't know whether he ever worked as a
22 doctor in Prijedor at the time. I absolutely don't know that.
23 I first met him in September 1992. We asked him to see us, to
24 meet with us because we believed that as a colleague of ours, he could be
25 of a lot of assistance about the health insurance fund in Prijedor. We
1 wanted to establish that fund in Prijedor. The alternative was for us to
2 be the branch office of the health insurance fund of Banja Luka, and that
3 was the first time when I actually met Dr. Stakic.
4 Q. And since September of 1992, did you have an opportunity to visit
5 and to meet with Dr. Stakic on a number of different occasions?
6 A. No. I believe that this was the only meeting that I had with
7 Dr. Stakic. I don't remember when that was, but there was a change of
8 government in Prijedor, and that he was replaced by Kurnoga as the
9 president of the municipality. I don't know when that was, whether it was
10 December or January 1993. And as -- for Dr. Stakic, I don't know where he
11 was at the time. He didn't work at the health centre. Maybe he was
12 mobilised, but I don't know that.
13 Q. At any time following 1993, did you have an opportunity to see or
14 visit or meet Dr. Stakic again in any capacity?
15 A. Yes, in 1993, I believe it was in May 1993, Dr. Stakic became the
16 deputy of the director of the medical centre of Prijedor, and he was my
17 immediate superior. He was my boss. He was the director of that
19 Q. Share with us, sir, for how long you had worked with Dr. Stakic
20 commencing on May of 1993? Did you work for him for a number of months,
22 A. Dr. Stakic remained the deputy of the director of the health
23 centre up to 1995 when the medical centre was split into the general
24 hospital, the health centre, and the pharmacy. In 1995, Dr. Stakic became
25 the director of the health centre, so we had a continuing cooperation from
1 May 1993, when he was the deputy director of the medical centre, up to the
2 year 1995 when he became the director of the health centre. And we
3 cooperated with him, not just me as the head of the dental services, but
4 all of the other heads of different services had to cooperate with
5 Dr. Stakic.
6 Q. And sir, when you say "cooperate with Dr. Stakic," you were
7 cooperating and facilitating and ensuring that the patients and the
8 citizens of Prijedor were going to get optimal care and treatment for any
9 illnesses that they may be seeking medical attention. Correct?
10 A. Yes. In that sense only, in the sense of the professional
11 discharge of our duties. Nothing else but that.
12 Q. Were you able, sir, at that time, to formulate an opinion based
13 upon a reasonable degree of certainty as to Dr. Stakic's character and
15 A. Frankly speaking, I didn't think too much about Dr. Stakic. My
16 personal opinion, based on the contacts with Dr. Stakic and the way he
17 conducted meetings, the way he treated his colleagues, I can say that he
18 was very quiet, very self-effacing, never raised his voice. It was very
19 easy to cooperate with a man like him. If he had problems, since there
20 are a lot of services in the whole centre, he found the time to talk to
21 the respective head of services and discuss the problems in order to deal
22 with the problems in the most satisfactory way. So it is my opinion that
23 he is a good professional, a good colleague, and that he discharged his
24 duties in a very professional manner. And he discussed with us all of our
25 problems that we had as health-care providers.
1 Q. At any time during the period that you knew Dr. Stakic, including
2 September of 1992 when you first met his acquaintance, did Dr. Stakic
3 express or exhibit any signs of prejudice or discrimination against
4 Muslims, Croatians, or other non-Serbs?
5 A. No, I am claiming this categorically, no. At all the meetings
6 that we had and that we attended as heads of services, I believe that my
7 colleagues, at least 90 per cent of my colleagues were not politically
8 engaged. They were not members of any of the parties, so we were not in
9 the position, and we did not discuss any other matters but the health care
10 that we were supposed to provide. And that is all we discussed in our
12 Q. Sir, I'm going to go back a little. During the period again April
13 through September 1992, to the best of your recollection, do you remember
14 if a curfew was imposed on the citizens of the Prijedor Municipality?
15 A. Yes, I remember that there was a curfew.
16 Q. To the best of your recollection, sir, was that curfew imposed
17 only on Muslim, Croatians, and non-Serbs, or did the curfew apply to you,
18 sir, as a Serb living in the Prijedor Municipality as well?
19 A. The curfew applied across the board, to all the citizens of
20 Prijedor. And that included me as well.
21 Q. As a medical professional, again, to the best of your
22 recollection, from April through September 1992, was there, sir, at that
23 time in the Prijedor Municipality a lack of essential supplies such as
24 electricity, water, and medical supplies?
25 A. Yes, of course. There was -- there's no single citizen of
1 Prijedor who will ever forget that period. We didn't have electricity for
2 40 days. We lacked water, and we had to borrow food from each other.
3 There was a shortage of electricity. All those whose fridges were full of
4 meat and other foodstuff obviously had to either throw it all away or
5 share it with others. So it was a dark period when we went back to
6 medieval ages.
7 Q. At any time, sir, during the period that you worked at the health
8 centre, whether it be in 1992 or during the period of 1993 through 1995
9 when Dr. Stakic was working at the same centre with you, was there at any
10 point that there was a refusal to care for or to treat citizens of
11 Prijedor who were of the Muslim, Croat, or non-Serb ethnic group?
12 A. No, absolutely not. There was no question about that, let alone
13 for this to be forbidden for people of other ethnic backgrounds to be
14 treated. That was absolutely not the case.
15 Q. Dr. Jankovic, on behalf of Dr. Stakic, we thank you, and we have
16 no further questions.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Prosecution, after this surprising
18 early end of the questions put by the Defence, are you prepared for
19 cross-examination immediately?
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I am prepared, but I also, if Your Honour wants to
21 take the break, I don't think I have more than an hour at most. Whatever
22 you would like to do, but I'm prepared to start now.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think then it's better to proceed now.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian:
25 Q. Sir, first a question: Would I be correct that you -- are you a
1 medical doctor or are you a dentist?
2 A. I'm a dentist.
3 Q. Thank you very much. You talked about your time in the army
4 during the war in Croatia, that you were mobilised for two and a half
5 months beginning in I believe you said September -- let me check my
6 notes. November 1991. At that time, sir --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. At that time, sir, you were serving in the JNA, the
9 Yugoslav People's Army, and the army of Republika Srpska had not yet been
10 formed. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You talked then about the influence of civilians, municipal
13 officials on that army, the JNA. At that time that you were serving with
14 the 5th Kozara Brigade, the civilian authorities in Prijedor were headed
15 by Muhamed Cehajic, a Muslim. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So your conclusion about the influence of civilians on the army is
18 based upon your experience in seeing what influence Dr. Cehajic and the
19 civilian authorities in Prijedor had on the JNA fighting in Croatia. Is
20 that correct?
21 A. I don't think I said that. I didn't say that the civilian
22 authorities interfered with the work of the army. There was no influence
23 on the part of the civilian authorities on the army. Absolutely none
25 Q. I understand that, sir. What I am trying to understand is the
1 basis of your experiences to reach that conclusion, your experience is as
2 serving as a medical professional during a conflict outside of Bosnia, in
3 Croatia, with the JNA. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Sir, did you take part in any way or serve with the 5th Kozara
6 Brigade during operations in Prijedor such as the attacks on Hambarine and
8 A. No.
9 Q. Sir, are you familiar with ultimatums given by the Crisis Staff to
10 the people of Hambarine and Kozarac that they would be attacked if they
11 didn't comply with certain demands?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Let me object to the form of the question, and I
13 think it mischaracterises the prior testimony. And if counsel would like
14 to give the, as he puts it "ultimatums given by the Crisis Staff," then we
15 know from other witnesses, and I won't share it in the presence of the
16 witness, their testimony, witnesses that were brought by the OTP --
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me --
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, no arguments. No arguments in the
19 moment, in the presence of the witness. Let us hear your response,
20 please, Mr. Koumjian.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, if it's necessary, I can -- we can get
22 the documents. But I'm talking about S389. Perhaps it won't be necessary
23 if we simply ask the witness if he heard this. He can answer yes or no.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe it's better to have a breakdown of your
25 question in two parts.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay.
2 Q. Sir, did you read Kozarski Vjesnik?
3 A. No, I did not. I never. I didn't read it the 1980s, I didn't
4 read it in the 1990s. I don't read it now. I have to tell you one thing,
5 since I have never been a member of any parties and I am not interested in
6 politics, the only thing I am interested in is my profession. I do not
7 read Kozarski Vjesnik. I don't read any other newspapers for that matter
8 except for my own professional papers and trade papers.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. So, sir, just so I understand, your opinions of
10 your knowledge of the relations between the civilian and military
11 authorities in Prijedor in 1992 is based upon your experiences as a
12 medical professional who did not read the local media, was not a member of
13 the government, was not a member of any political party, and was not
14 serving in the army at the time of these events between April and
15 September 1992. Correct?
16 A. Can you please be more clear. I have not understood the question.
17 Q. Certainly, I'll try to repeat it. I'm sorry. It is a bit of a
18 long question, but it's because I'm trying to summarise several facts. If
19 any of these are incorrect, please let me know. Is it true, sir, that you
20 were a medical professional, you did not read the local media, you were
21 not a member of the army between April and September of 1992, and you were
22 not a member of the government or any political parties during that time
23 period. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Sir, just briefly, while you were in Croatia, did you know someone
1 named Cigo Radanovic? Had you heard of him or did you meet him when you
2 were with the 5th Kozara Light Brigade?
3 A. I heard of him, but I didn't know him.
4 Q. Can you tell us, was Cigo Radanovic fighting with a militia,
5 private militia, in Croatia?
6 A. I absolutely don't know that. I've never heard of any such thing.
7 Q. Sir, isn't it correct that Cigo Radanovic became somewhat famous
8 at least among the Serbian community in Prijedor for his exploits during
9 the war in Croatia?
10 A. We're talking about the man whom I don't know personally and about
11 his fame. Maybe you should ask people who consider him famous.
12 Q. Sir, I'm asking you as a normal citizen of Prijedor. You said you
13 had heard of Mr. Radanovic. Tell us, what did you know about
14 Mr. Radanovic and his role, Cigo, his role in the war in Croatia?
15 A. I can't tell you anything about that. What I heard about him was
16 when he was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
17 Q. Okay, sir, I'll move on to another topic.
18 You said that in September of 1992, you went to see Dr. Stakic
19 because of a concern, you wanted to set up an insurance fund. Is that
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I must have asked the wrong question.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There's no censorship at all.
23 I just was informed that the link has unfortunately broken down.
24 The trial stays adjourned until 4.00 sharp.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And let's try, whether we are
3 lucky enough, that we have a stable connection, may I ask the audio and
4 video unit immediately to show us Banja Luka. Okay.
5 May I ask you, Mr. Witness, can you hear us once again?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then please proceed, Mr. Koumjian. Only for
8 the transcript, there is --
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, present since the break is Mette
10 Birkelund, an intern with our office.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So please proceed.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN:
13 Q. Sir, you talked about having worked directly under Dr. Stakic for
14 some time at the Prijedor health centre. And you talked about his
15 management, that he was a person who would discuss problems. Would you
16 say he was a person who asked those who were working around him if there
17 were any problems and had an open door, you could go and speak to him and
18 he would listen and find out what was going on among those people he was
20 A. Yes, that's right. I could confirm that.
21 Q. Was he an intelligent man, in your opinion?
22 A. He probably is, given that he has completed medical school.
23 Q. When he was the director of the health centre, did the health
24 centre run smoothly given all the problems that you had with resources, et
25 cetera? Did you feel that he was able to control what resources were
2 A. The health centre doesn't function great today either, and there
3 was no question that it didn't function great in those days. But at least
4 there was effort put in aimed at that.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you feel that Dr. Stakic had a good understanding
6 of what the problems were that the health centre faced?
7 A. I don't know to what extent he was acquainted with it. But in
8 view of the office that he held, he should have been informed about
10 Q. Was he a person who could make a decision, or was he indecisive?
11 A. Ask me specifically about a specific decision.
12 Q. It's difficult for me to do because I was not present at any of
13 those meetings. But sir, when you went to Dr. Stakic with a request, was
14 he able to give you an answer, either yes or no? Was he the type of
15 person who could give an answer to your request?
16 A. Given that he was director, he had authorities that went with that
17 office. And knowing the problems and having had consent, he was in the
18 position to approve something. Well, I can give you a specific example.
19 For example, procurement of medication, he could have, when talking to the
20 head of any department, gynecological, pediatric department, or any other
21 department, he could have a conversation with people from those
22 departments because he was unable to handle it all by himself, and he had
23 to have contact with all the departments and heads of respective
24 departments in the health centre.
25 Q. Okay, thank you. You mentioned that you went to see Dr. Stakic in
1 1992 in September in order to, I believe, start an insurance fund. Why is
2 it that you went to see Dr. Stakic who you had not known before that time?
3 A. Dr. Stakic was a colleague of ours, and believing that Prijedor
4 should have a health insurance fund, we went to see him, not specifically
5 to request that it be established, but simply to see whether there was a
6 possibility to ensure that Prijedor and its surrounding areas, Dubica,
7 Kostajnica and so on, could have their own fund for health insurance for
8 that area. So there was simply a conversation of a consultative nature to
9 see whether he could give us advice. The other option was to remain a
10 branch office within the Banja Luka health insurance fund.
11 Q. Doctor, I'm sure at that time you knew many other physicians and
12 medical professionals. Would I be correct that the reason you went to see
13 Dr. Stakic, who you did not know personally at that time, was because he
14 was the president of the Municipal Assembly and you thought he could
15 assist you given his position?
16 A. It did not cross my mind, but it is possible. I don't know at
17 whose initiative we went there. At the time, there was a medical centre
18 headed by director of the medical centre. The hospital, health centre,
19 pharmacy, and occupational medicine clinic were just units within the
20 medical centre, and there were people heading all of those units. So this
21 question was of interest to all four units within the medical centre. And
22 somebody came up with the initiative to establish health insurance fund
23 because even before all of these events, Prijedor had its own health
24 insurance fund. I don't know whether we went to see the right man. I
25 don't know about that. But we went to see him because we thought he could
1 give us some kind of advice and tell us. I don't know whether it was the
2 Municipal Assembly or the executive council that would eventually have to
3 decide about that. I don't know.
4 Q. You went to the office of the president of the Municipal Assembly,
5 is that correct, in the Municipal Assembly building to have this meeting?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it was -- Dr. Stakic was the only official present, the rest
8 were the representatives of the medical centre. Would that be correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So, Doctor, isn't it a fact the reason you went to see Dr. Stakic
11 was because of his position of the president of the Municipal Assembly in
12 Prijedor because you felt he was in the number one position in the
13 civilian government in Prijedor, correct?
14 A. I have no comment to that.
15 Q. Well, can you just tell us the truth. Is that the reason, yes or
17 A. No. I don't know how relevant my opinion is. I would have to
18 deal with the issues concerning the establishment of the health insurance
19 fund. As I've told you, I'm not interested in politics. I have no
20 political activity. But I don't know to what extent the office of the
21 municipal president, Municipal Assembly president was important. I don't
22 know whether that person is more important or the person heading the
23 Executive Board of the municipality. I don't know. It is possible that
24 we went there just to have a talk, to ask for his advice, to see what
25 further steps should be taken.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the question has not yet been answered.
2 May I ask the Prosecution to repeat the question because we deserve a
3 correct answer.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Doctor, isn't it a fact that the reason you went to see
6 Dr. Stakic, a person you did not know before, was because of his position
7 as president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, correct?
8 A. I've said that had Stakic not been a physician, we would have not
9 gone to see him. We went to see him because he was a colleague of ours.
10 Q. Okay. Doctor, how many other colleagues that you had never met
11 before did you go to see to discuss this insurance fund?
12 A. Not all of the colleagues are qualified to talk about the health
13 insurance fund. There is top echelon of the medical centre, with people
14 who can give a proposal how to establish the fund. We went to Banja Luka
15 to speak to the then-president of the health insurance fund and see
16 whether it should remain in Banja Luka and whether we should be a branch
17 office of it or whether we should have a fund of our own. So it wasn't
18 just Dr. Stakic that we consulted. We also went to Banja Luka about this
19 matter. And I believe that a physician is in the position to discuss
20 this, and not somebody who is not a medical professional.
21 Q. Well, to ask my question again, Doctor, in Prijedor, what other
22 physicians did you speak to about the insurance fund besides Dr. Stakic?
23 Did you meet with all of the physicians in Prijedor, or just with
24 Dr. Stakic?
25 A. If the five of us met with all the physicians, there would have
1 been perhaps some 60 to 70 physicians attending the meeting altogether.
2 Q. Instead, you met with only one physician, and that one happened to
3 be the president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. There were many more senior physicians that you could have spoken
6 to such as Dr. Kovacevic, but you didn't speak to Dr. Kovacevic. You went
7 to see Dr. Stakic. Yes or no?
8 A. We didn't talk to Dr. Kovacevic.
9 Q. And there were many more famous and well-known physicians, such as
10 Dr. Esad Sadikovic. You didn't go and see him about the health insurance
11 fund, did you?
12 A. Dr. Esad Sadikovic was a personal friend of mine. I don't know
13 where Dr. Esad Sadikovic was at that particular moment.
14 Q. Okay. I understand that. Let me move on, and we'll come back
15 perhaps later to discuss your relationship with Dr. Sadikovic.
16 Sir, you talked about some friends of yours or colleagues, excuse
17 me, who had left Prijedor prior to the takeover on the 30th of April.
18 Were there other colleagues of yours that remained in Prijedor who were of
19 non-Serb descent, specifically Muslims and Croats?
20 A. Yes, there were.
21 Q. In trying in your own mind to understand why some of your
22 colleagues of Muslim and Croat descent left Prijedor, did you ever
23 consider and do you believe that there was an atmosphere of hostility
24 towards physicians who were Muslim and Croat in Prijedor?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You said that nobody -- you said I believe at one point in your
2 transcript. I can try to find the page. That we had put everyone on
3 unpaid leave. When you say "we," who are you referring to? Were you
4 yourself in charge of placing individuals on leave?
5 A. No. I was not in charge of that personally. There is a service
6 in charge of recording who came to work and who didn't. And what I was
7 saying referred to people who had left for annual leave at the time, who
8 had left the territory of Prijedor and failed to return back to their
10 Q. Sir, when you said "we had them on unpaid leave" and I think I can
11 find -- let me try to be fair to you, let me try to read the quote. It's
12 beginning at 14:45:11. You said: "Our colleague, Danijel Dzafic" --
13 would that be correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. "Called us from Skopje and told us that due to certain
16 reasons, he was unable" --
17 A. From Belgrade.
18 Q. Okay. From Belgrade. Okay. And due to certain reasons, he was
19 unable to return to Prijedor. And that was some time in May. We had him
20 recorded as a person on an unpaid leave, meaning that nobody was fired but
21 all of them were considered as having taken unpaid leave."
22 When you said "we," since you yourself were not doing it, did you
23 mean the Serbs working in the hospital, or who did you mean by "we"?
24 A. During that period of time, it wasn't just Serbs working there.
25 There were Muslims as well. When I say "we," I mean the service. I don't
1 mean particular people. Had I hadn't myself, I would have said so, or had
2 I meant my colleagues. But when I say "we," I mean the service itself.
3 And as I've told you, during that period of time, there were Muslims
4 employed as well, not just Serbs, at various health-care institutions.
5 Q. Can you tell us of any Muslims working in the Prijedor health
6 centre to your knowledge throughout the summer of 1992. Can you give me
7 the names of any who remained throughout 1992, or at least through the end
8 of September. And I'm talking about medical physicians.
9 A. I can tell you about people from my department. There was
10 Dr. Midhad Besirevic, and also a young doctor who had come from Trebinje.
11 His first name was Mirza. I don't remember his last name. However, they
12 left Prijedor. I don't remember when. They were not fired. They were
13 not terminated. They simply left of their own free will. As for the
14 health centre itself, I don't know about that because I was at the dental
15 department at the time.
16 There were Muslims working, just like Serbs. However, there were
17 some that went of their own will. I've just given you two examples. It
18 wasn't just Muslims leaving. I can tell you that Dr. Goran Papic and his
19 Jadranka also left Prijedor sometime in September. And they are living in
20 Sweden nowadays. They were Serbs and they left.
21 Q. Okay, sir, I understand that. Let me go back to my question. My
22 question was not dealing with any dentists, but physicians. And I'm not
23 talking about people who left on their own or left for any reason or
24 disappeared in 1992. I'm asking you do you know the names of any Muslim
25 physicians who remained working in Prijedor at the hospital or at the
1 health centre through September 30th of 1992? If you don't know, you can
2 tell us.
3 A. I can tell you that I have no contact with the hospital. I even
4 did not have contact with the health centre at the time. There was a
5 director of the health centre at the time, and I was heading the dental
6 department. So I am not now referring to the employees of the hospital or
7 the health centre. The dental department in Prijedor is physically
8 separate from the health centre.
9 Q. So I understand your answer to be that you do not know the names
10 of any doctors of Muslim ethnicity working in Prijedor through the 30th of
11 September, 1992. Yes or no.
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you, sir.
14 Now, in talking about why people leave, were you ever aware of
15 accusations, very threatening -- well, very serious accusations of serious
16 misconduct levelled against people of Croatian, Muslim, or non-Serb
17 descent, such as Dr. Zeljko Sikora or a Dr. Osman Mahmuljin?
18 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. Okay. You mentioned a Dr. Mahmuljin, and I believe you said his
20 first name was Sulejman. The Dr. Mahmuljin that you knew, was he a
22 A. No.
23 Q. What was he?
24 A. He was an orthodontist.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. That clarifies something. So it would be
1 incorrect that you knew Dr. Osman Mahmuljin, the cardiologist? You did
2 not know him. Am I correct?
3 A. No, you're incorrect. I did know Dr. Osman Mahmuljin as well.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'm sorry -- thank you for clarifying that.
5 Doctor, I believe there's a document in Banja Luka that I would
6 like to have shown to you, and it is a newspaper article. It has not
7 previously been marked, although the page, Your Honour, was -- Court and
8 counsel have it, of the B/C/S, was previously disclosed. And it's from
9 Kozarski Vjesnik from the 10th of June, 1992. If we can just please be
10 patient with me, sir, because we're distributing copies to people here.
11 Thank you for your patience.
12 The article that I'm going to ask you about is in the upper left.
13 Do you have a copy of that, sir, in front of you now that you can read?
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be provisionally marked 402A and B
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I don't know if it would make sense.
18 I don't have a whole lot more cross-examination, to just have the witness
19 read this article now. May I?
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we should proceed as usual.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN:
22 Q. Doctor, could you please read the article, and I would ask you to
23 please read a bit slower than you normally would because it's going to be
24 interpreted. Just pause for a second after each sentence. Please read it
25 out loud now.
1 A. Yes, I will, to the extent that I am able to see this.
2 Q. Perhaps --
3 A. Shall I start reading?
4 Q. Yes.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Can we ask the Registrar, does the witness have the
6 best copy available?
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] We have only one copy, and we tried to
8 put it on our ELMO here and maybe --
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: We don't need it -- whatever is easier for him. We
10 don't need it on the ELMO here. We all have copies.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Banja Luka] [Indiscernible]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to put this document on the
13 ELMO, the B/C/S part. And focus on the concrete article, and then be
14 transmitted to Banja Luka from our ELMO.
15 May I ask the witness, can you read the article now?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can try. It's not terribly clear.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So that it's clear from the transcript, it's
18 Kozarski Vjesnik of 10 June 1992. Would you please be so kind and assist
19 us in -- by reading out this document. Thank you.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, could I suggest that I read in
21 English, and the interpreters read the B/C/S to the witness as I'm
22 speaking. Would that make sense?
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If there are no objections, we can try it this
24 way. So may I ask the witness, if you see a discrepancy or would believe
25 some other words have to be used, then please alert us immediately. The
1 representative of the Prosecution will now read out the document in
2 English, and you will hear it in B/C/S.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: The top portion of the headline is "Medical
4 treatment of cardiologists Zivko Dukic on the night of the attack of
5 Prijedor. The story. The main headline: "Survived all `therapies.'"
6 "Many of our fellow citizens are sure to remember sentimental
7 soaps such as the hospital at the 'edge of town,' 'the black forest
8 clinic,' or films such as Coma where bribable and corrupt doctors do many
9 evil things and kill their patients. We would all be hard pressed to
10 imagine even the possibility of something like that happening in reality.
11 The recently exposed activities of Dr. Sikora, who had been using
12 deliberately and for years monstrous methods to reduce the birth rate of
13 the Serbian people sheds a completely new light on the professional
14 behaviour" --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: "On the professional behaviour of some physicians
17 in Prijedor. Many of us will be taken aback when they hear that certain
18 physicians, too, were treated in, to put it mildly, a strange way.
19 "More than a month ago, Dr. Zivko Dukic, a cardiologist, came down
20 with a serious illness, the very same illness he treated and cured in so
21 many patients during his long working life."
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please stop there so the interpreters
23 can catch up with you, sir.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: "But on the evening of 28 May, when Dr. Dukic was
25 struck by a coronary failure in his family apartment, not everything was
1 done in accordance with medical ethics. His work colleague, Dr. Osman
2 Mahmuljin, who was on duty that evening at the city hospital coronary
3 unit, thoroughly forgot the words of the Hippocratic oath, thus harming
4 rather than helping the sick Dr. Dukic, namely, immediately upon the
5 arrival of Dr. Dukic, whose freshly done ECG clearly showed an acute
6 infarct, instead of doing what infailingly has to be done in such cases,
7 Dr. Mahmuljin made moves that would surprise even complete medical laymen,
8 let alone the present medical personnel.
9 "There was enough morphine at the coronary unit, but it never
10 reached the sick cardiologist. Oxygen got lost somewhere on its way
11 towards the unit. Things that were the most necessary, that should have
12 been the first for Dr. Mahmuljin to secure for a sick colleague never
13 reached his sick bed. Subsequent therapy received by Dr. Dukic during his
14 two and a half hour long agony is beyond all comprehension. Instead of
15 speeding up his heart rate, Dr. Mahmuljin did exactly the opposite. He
16 decided to administer 2 per cent Zylocaine which further lowers the blood
17 pressure, but administered 800 milligrams of the medication thus exceeding
18 the 750 milligram dose required for a full period of 24 hours.
19 "The frequency of Dr. Dukic's heart sank to almost 40. But
20 Dr. Mahmuljin kept convincing his sick colleague, who was still conscious
21 in spite of his bad condition that the frequency was as high as 60. The
22 agony of Dr. Zivko Dukic lasted from 2100 hours to 2330 hours when
23 Dr. Radojka Elenkov, present director of the Prijedor hospital, arrived at
24 the coronary unit wishing to help her sick colleague.
25 "She is the one who is the most responsible for the fact that
1 Dr. Dukic's heart endured. She discontinued the therapy Dr. Mahmuljin was
2 using on Dr. Dukic, and in the course of the night, new drugs
3 significantly improved the health situation of the sick physician. It is
4 interesting that after his two and a half hour vigil over Dr. Dukic,
5 Dr. Mahmuljin remained in the hospital building for the next two days,
6 although he was not on duty any more and had nothing to do.
7 "The answer to that can be found in the words of Dr. Elenkov, that
8 is the conclusion that impose it is self in this case. 'We know what was
9 going on in our city in these moments and who perhaps should have taken
10 over the power. I may be able to link these things in this sense.'"
11 Doctor, with articles such as the one just read appearing in
12 Kozarski Vjesnik, do you find it surprising that non-Serbs would flee
13 Prijedor in order to preserve their safety and the safety of their
15 A. Kozarski Vjesnik is the paper that I never -- I've never read. Of
16 course, I'm surprised because I knew Dr. Mahmuljin. He treated my mother
17 who had problems with her heart. And that is all I can tell you.
18 Q. And your experience, your impression was that Dr. Mahmuljin was an
19 experienced professional cardiologist, and a person who treated everyone,
20 and your mother I presume was of Serb ethnicity, everyone in a
21 professional manner. Correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. In your department, was there a Dr. Harambasic, a dentist, working
24 for you?
25 A. There was a lady doctor.
1 Q. And did this lady doctor, to your knowledge, isn't it correct that
2 she was arrested and taken to the Omarska camp?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You mentioned other -- that you knew other physicians. Aren't you
5 aware that other physicians were arrested and taken to the camp such as
6 Dr. Ibrahim Beglerbegovic, others were killed in the camp such as
7 Dr. Jusuf Pasic; Dr. Sikora, who was just mentioned in that article; your
8 friend Osman Mahmuljin; Dr. Jusuf Pasic; Dr. Islam Suljanovic; Dr. Enes
9 Begic; and Dr. --
10 A. I didn't know all of these physicians. Those people worked in the
11 hospital or in the health centre or in Kozarac. I have only spoken about
12 my department, the dentistry department. So I can't tell you what was
13 going on in hospital, who was arrested, who was taken away, because I
14 don't have that information. I simply don't know.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you know Dr. Islam Bahonic?
16 A. No.
17 Q. You said you were friends with Dr. Esad Sadikovic. He was a very
18 well-known and popular physician in Prijedor. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You were aware that he was --
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. He was married to a Serb and had been the head of a peace movement
23 in Prijedor before the conflict. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you're aware he was taken to the camp and has never been seen
1 since he was alive, since he left -- was taken out of the Omarska camp by
2 the police?
3 A. I don't know when he was taken away. But later on, I learned that
4 he was in the camp.
5 Q. Doctor, you said that when Dr. Stakic was the head of the health
6 centre, you attended many meetings with him and that he showed no
7 discrimination towards any ethnic group. Were there any Muslim or Croats
8 present at these meetings?
9 A. That was in the period between 1993 and 1995. I would have to
10 think hard to remember who the heads of the different services were at
11 that time. I don't think that there were any Muslims among them.
12 Q. Do you remember any Croats being at any meetings with Dr. Stakic
13 that you were present at in 1993 to 1995?
14 A. I really don't know who Croats were and who were Serbs, because
15 sometimes the family names are the same. So I wouldn't be able to tell
16 you who was of what ethnic background.
17 Q. Did you ever hear Dr. Stakic speak about your missing colleagues
18 such as Dr. Mahmuljin, Dr. Sikora, Dr. Sadikovic, and discuss what had
19 happened to them? Or did he ever mention their names in your presence?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know of anything that Dr. Stakic did to prevent crimes in
22 Prijedor or to punish perpetrators of crimes? If so, can you give us
23 specifically what you know about what Dr. Stakic did.
24 A. No, I don't know. I can't answer that question.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: No further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First question is on your personal background.
5 May I ask you, please, you told us in the beginning of your testimony
6 today that you graduated in Belgrade and Zagreb, and you had vocational
7 training there. May I ask you, did you also have any kind of vocational
8 training in other towns?
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever left Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Specifically, are you referring to my period of continuous
12 education? I don't know what you have in mind.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In general for purposes of vocational training,
14 for purposes of holiday or whatsoever, did you ever leave
16 A. But of course. I attended world international congresses,
17 European congresses, I went to all the professional meetings, seminars.
18 And as for my holidays, I've had holidays in France, in Germany, Italy,
19 not to mention the places in the former Yugoslavia where I had my
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When doing so, did you ever use an airplane?
22 A. No. I have to explain about the airplane. I have a fear of
23 flying. The first time, as the medical student, when I was in the
24 position to go to Spain, I didn't go because I was afraid of flying. To
25 this very day, I have this fear of heights and fear of flying.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this is the reason why unfortunately you
2 can't -- we can't have you here in our courtroom which would be even more
3 advantageous --
4 A. That is the only reason.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this explanation.
6 A. Thank you.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you know Professor Cehajic?
8 A. No.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Another issue: You mentioned that you visited
10 Dr. Stakic in September 1992 in the municipal building in Prijedor. Did
11 you go there spontaneously or did you have an appointment with Dr. Stakic?
12 A. Firstly, I didn't go there by myself. I was a member of the
13 delegation. I didn't go there to see somebody I didn't know at the time.
14 It was my job that took me there, my profession that took me there to meet
15 with Dr. Stakic.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Who was in your company?
17 A. I remember that lady doctor from the hospital, Dr. Elenkov was in
18 the delegation. I believe that Dr. Zec represented the occupational
19 health department. And on behalf of the pharmacy, there was a pharmacist
20 whose name I can't remember. A lady whose name escapes me at this moment.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, who was the head of this delegation?
22 A. There was no particular head of the delegation. Nobody really
23 headed the delegation. Maybe the person who was at the time the head of
24 the medical centre.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But once again, was there any appointment in
1 advance, or did you go spontaneously to the Municipal Assembly?
2 A. I believe that Dr. Elenkov asked for a meeting with Dr. Stakic, so
3 I believe that it was Dr. Elenkov who arranged that meeting. That is what
4 I believe. I'm not sure.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you recall on which floor it was in the
6 municipal building you met Dr. Stakic?
7 A. I believe it was on the first floor.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you enter Dr. Stakic's office directly or
9 had you to pass another office, another room?
10 A. We had to announce our visit with the secretary, who was sitting
11 in a room, and that's where we waited. And then we were shown into his
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did the secretary expect your arrival? Was she
14 aware that you were coming?
15 A. Yes. I assume that yes.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that on the one hand side of this
17 office of the secretary, there was the office of the president of the
18 Municipal Assembly; on the other hand, in the other direction, the office
19 of the vice-president? Correct?
20 A. I should have thought so because it was my first visit to that
21 place ever.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The first, but not the last?
23 A. It was the first time that I went to that particular office. But
24 I did go to the municipal building before, but this particular office,
25 that was the first time when I entered that office. And after that, I
1 never went to see Dr. Stakic in his office.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: On page 15, line 14, you told us that you knew
3 that he "was the vice-president of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly." When
4 you met Dr. Stakic in September 1992, in which capacity did you meet
5 Dr. Stakic? What was the capacity of Dr. Stakic? Because until now, as
6 mentioned on our transcript, one can only read that you knew Dr. Stakic as
7 the vice-president.
8 A. I didn't know him as the vice-president. I only knew of that
9 fact. The first time I actually met Dr. Stakic was in September 1992.
10 And I absolutely did not know him as a person, as an individual before
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have understood this. But let us know, when
13 he was introduced to you, he was introduced to you as the vice-president
14 of the Municipal Assembly or in which other capacity?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your testimony would be you spoke with
17 Dr. Stakic not knowing in which capacity he acted in the municipal
18 building at that time?
19 A. We came to talk to him as a colleague, as a fellow physician, not
20 as the president of the Municipal Assembly. We would not have come to see
21 the president of the Municipal Assembly if that person at the time had
22 been a civil engineer, for example.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Jankovic, isn't it true that you knew that
24 at that period of time Dr. Stakic was, in fact, the president of a Crisis
25 Staff? Would it be correct?
1 A. No, I absolutely don't know anything about Dr. Stakic and the
2 Crisis Staff.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You never heard that there was a Crisis Staff in
5 A. I heard, not of just one Crisis Staff, but of many of them.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you see Dr. Stakic in uniform?
7 A. I don't remember. I don't remember ever having seen him wearing
8 civilian clothes either. I absolutely do not remember ever having seen
9 him wearing a uniform.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you drive a car in 1992?
11 A. Did I drive a car in 1992?
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You told us now that you knew that Dr. Stakic
15 was vice-president of the Municipal Assembly, and then later that you
16 learned that he was president of the Municipal Assembly. On today's
17 testimony, transcript page 8, line 23, you answered: "I didn't even know
18 a single civilian who was in the organs of authority."
19 Apparently you knew that Dr. Stakic at that time was in the
20 beginning vice-president, later the president. What brings you to the
21 testimony that you "didn't even know a single civilian who was in the
22 organs of authority"?
23 A. Not in the organs of authority, in the military authorities.
24 Authorities are usually civilians as far as I know.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, are you still gainfully employed
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask where?
4 A. The same place, the health centre of Prijedor, and I'm still an
5 oral surgeon in the department of dentistry.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you tell us who is today the director of
7 this health centre?
8 A. Yes, I can. Dr. Spomenka Pavkovic, a pediatrician.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What is the role, if any, Dr. Stakic plays today
10 in this health centre?
11 A. I think he has no role.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When did you see him for the last time in the
13 health centre?
14 A. When was that? I can't remember the date. I can't remember
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Approximately? You mentioned --
17 A. It could have been in 1996 perhaps. Perhaps in 1996.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you know whether or not Dr. Stakic is
19 still on the payroll of this health centre?
20 A. I don't know that, but I believe that he's not.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One final question: Answering the question put
22 to you by the Prosecution, you mentioned that you were aware that a lady
23 doctor, colleague of yours, was brought to a camp. Did you take the
24 opportunity when being in the Municipal Assembly to discuss this question
25 with Dr. Stakic?
1 A. I don't know when was it that the lady doctor was taken to the
2 camp. I learned that through her husband because he personally called me
3 by telephone and told me that she had been taken, not to the camp
4 actually, but that she had been taken -- was it to the police station or
5 some place like that? That's what he told me. And then later on, I
6 learned that she had been taken to the camp. I don't know whether it was
7 six months later or a year later. But at any rate, her husband personally
8 called me and told me that Dr. Biba had been taken to the investigative
9 centre or to the police station. I really don't know now.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you make any investigations, any attempts to
11 find out where your direct colleague, Dr. Biba, was at that time and what
12 was the reason why she was apparently arrested, as you told us?
13 A. I don't know whether I was able to do anything because I could
14 yield absolutely no influence. I was not involved in politics, and I
15 really couldn't go to anybody to inquire about anyone. I was simply
16 focussed on my job, and I wasn't interested in other things. The dark --
17 darkness reigned during those times.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you, as a human being, didn't you have some
19 thoughts why it was that these persons, Dr. Biba and others mentioned by
20 the Prosecution, that they disappeared, what was the reason for this?
21 A. To tell you the truth, I really don't know where people
22 disappeared. I don't know whether they stayed in Prijedor area, whether
23 they were taken to camps, whether they were taken to places outside of
24 Prijedor area. That's the only reason.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But the question would be: Why did they
2 A. I have no answer to that.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you think, you as a human being giving me as
4 a human being this answer, I can believe you, that you didn't --
5 A. But let me tell you something. Dr. Biba is in Prijedor nowadays,
6 so she was in the position to leave. She did leave, and today she is back
7 living in Prijedor. So let me tell you something. One had to survive
8 during those times 40 days without electricity, water, no food, illnesses
9 all around. During wartime, people focus on themselves and they care less
10 about other things, especially if they are not interested in politics or
11 other matters.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you take the opportunity to discuss with
13 Dr. Biba when she returned why at that time she was arrested?
14 A. I did not talk.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I personally have no further questions.
16 Judge Vassylenko?
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I have no questions.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Argibay.
19 JUDGE ARGIBAY: No questions. Thank you.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any additional questions by the Defence, please?
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, with the Court's permission, I do.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Ostojic:
23 Q. Sir, once again, my name is John Ostojic on behalf of the Defence
24 of Dr. Stakic. I want to clarify a couple points if I may, and perhaps
25 you could help me with that. The Prosecution in this case has taken us to
1 a period of certain meetings from 1993 to 1995. And when I asked you the
2 question, sir, on my direct whether Dr. Stakic exhibited any ill will or
3 prejudice towards other ethnic groups, you responded that he did not. The
4 Office of the Prosecution proceeded to ask you who was at the meeting, and
5 you answered that to the best of your recollection, there were no Muslims
6 at the meeting, and you were unsure if there were Croatians at this
8 My question to you, sir, and I'm giving you this by way of
9 background, my question to you, sir, is the following: Given this
10 opportunity, with all Serbs at these meetings, did Dr. Stakic express in
11 an exclusively Serbian meeting any ill will against other nationalities or
12 any prejudice, or did he promote any ethnic hatred against non-Serbs,
13 given the opportunity that he was simply with his fellow Serbs? Did he
14 share any of those types of views with you?
15 A. I can, but let me clarify something. These meetings starting in
16 1993 when Dr. Stakic was director were of a professional nature. They
17 were professional meetings of the departments within the health centre. I
18 never heard a discriminating word pass Dr. Stakic's lips during that
19 period of time.
20 Q. The meeting in September of 1992, sir, at that time, was --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: My apologies to the interpreters.
23 Q. At the meeting of September 1992, sir, when you first met the
24 acquaintance of Dr. Stakic, that also was a meeting which consisted of
25 only Serbs by ethnic background meaning that there were no Muslims or
1 Croatians present when you were trying to obtain assistance for the fund
2 for health insurance. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At that meeting, sir, during a tragic period in the Prijedor
5 Municipality, did at any time Dr. Stakic with his fellow Serbs express
6 nationalistic views or promote ethnic hatred against non-Serbs?
7 A. No. There was absolutely no talk of any political matters.
8 Health care was the only topic discussed.
9 Q. Let me ask you, if I may, and with some leniency with the Court's
10 permission and as well as the OTP's, I understand you didn't read the
11 Kozarski Vjesnik. You were showed an article that we have marked as S402A
12 and B respectively. Is it not true, Doctor, that the reason you didn't
13 read Kozarski Vjesnik was because it was full of such sensationalism and
14 fiction, that which was just read by the OTP to you, and in fact the
15 Kozarski Vjesnik was considered a tabloid newspaper that had a very small
16 and minimal circulation?
17 A. Not only I do not read Kozarski Vjesnik, but no other paper. As
18 I've told you, I never read them in the 1980s, in the 1990s, or in the
19 year 2000 and on. Those are all tabloids in my opinion. I'm not
20 interested in anything that is outside of the professional realm.
21 Q. And sir, the Prosecution also asked you questions regarding what
22 Dr. Stakic did to prevent crimes or to punish the perpetrators of the
23 crimes, specifically I believe it's reflected on page 39, lines 20 through
25 My question to you, sir: Are you familiar with the laws that were
1 in place at that time given the situation and the declaration that there
2 was an imminent state of war? Are you familiar with the military doctrine
3 and laws at that time state as to who has the authority, the duty, and
4 obligation to investigate, arrest, charge, prevent, and/or punish
5 perpetrators of a crime? Are you familiar with those laws?
6 A. No, I'm not. Not at all.
7 Q. You mentioned, sir, a doctor by the name of Dr. Harambasic. Is
8 that the same Dr. Biba that you mentioned, is that the same person, you
9 giving us her first name?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Just want to make sure I have the same person. You mentioned she
12 was arrested. Do you know, sir, as you sit here whether she was
13 arrested -- first of all, do you know when she was arrested?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you know, sir --
16 A. I don't know the date.
17 Q. Do you know, sir, who arrested her?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know, sir, if the civilian political authorities in the
20 municipality ever arrested any individual regardless of their ethnic
21 background in the spring and summer of 1992, or were these arrests, sir,
22 made by either the police, an independent structure, or the military, an
23 independent structure following various provocations and attacks within
24 the Prijedor Municipality?
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence counsel to refrain from
1 comments and arguments when putting questions to a witness. Thank you.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: May the witness answer the question, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Not yet. Please, rephrase your question and
4 refrain from these additional comments and arguments.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. Doctor, let me ask you a question: Do you know whether
7 Dr. Harambasic was arrested at any time after the attack on the Serbian
8 soldiers on May 22nd at Hambarine? Do you know if she was arrested at
9 that time?
10 A. The word "arrested," I've heard from her husband that she had been
11 taken in, in to custody for an informative interview. Following the
12 events in Prijedor, that she had been taken into custody for an
13 informative interview.
14 Q. Fair enough, sir, and I apologise if I misunderstood you. She is
15 still alive, and obviously she would be the best person that we could ask
16 that question of. Wouldn't you agree?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's calling for the witness to give an opinion
19 that he is not qualified --
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I think under the rules, the Court can take judicial
21 notice of that, but it won't go beyond that.
22 Q. Sir, my final question, if I may, the Office of the Prosecution
23 has referenced a person by the name of Cigo Radanovic, and you mentioned a
24 little bit about him, and then I think you mentioned that he ultimately
25 became vice-president of the Prijedor Municipality. Help me and the Court
1 understand, is this Mr. Cigo Radanovic the person who became ultimately
2 the vice-president of the municipality after Dr. Stakic was ousted from
3 the position in the municipality?
4 A. I don't know what period of time it was. I know that he was
5 vice-president of municipality, but I don't remember when.
6 Q. And it was at the same time that this Mr. Cigo Radanovic came that
7 other groups replaced members of the Municipal Assembly in Prijedor.
8 Right? Whatever period of time that is; I understand you don't know it,
9 other people were also replaced --
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, counsel is leading the witness and
11 suggesting the answers. But I'll stipulate to that fact and Mr. Radanovic
12 was the vice-president when Mr. Kurnoga was president; that's in
13 evidence. We also have a second period which is in evidence according to
14 documents which I could state if you'd like.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: That's why if I may reply, it's not misleading.
16 It's in evidence. Similarly, the OTP didn't show documents reflecting
17 when this was. We would like just clarity as to when that was to the
18 extent that the witness knows. Certainly I think by permitting me to ask
19 a couple of questions, we can determine it wasn't before that period
20 because I think the Court has enough information as to who was the
21 president of the municipality prior to that time.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admittedly, I can't see in the moment the
23 relevance of this at this particular moment. Please proceed.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Finally, sir, in describing Dr. Stakic when the OTP inquired of
1 him being intelligent, et cetera, did you find Dr. Stakic to be the type
2 of person who had the characteristics or personality that would interfere
3 in the day-to-day activities of a physician at the health centre or
5 A. He wasn't able to interfere in day-to-day work. He didn't have
6 qualifications for that, nor did he have these -- the scope of
7 authorities. How can somebody who works in a tuberculosis or
8 anti-tuberculosis department work -- or treat patients in a different
9 department? How could he interfere?
10 Q. When the physicians and medical-care providers would visit
11 Dr. Stakic in 1993, et cetera, they would present problems to Dr. Stakic
12 that they wanted to be taken care of with respect to the health clinic.
13 Correct? Issues that concerned them, whether they would be of a nature of
14 supplies and other matters such as that. Correct?
15 A. Yes, since he was the director, that road had to be taken. The
16 talk with the director was mandatory in order to procure medical supplies,
17 medications, and so on, in order for the department to function properly.
18 Q. And, Doctor, having worked at that facility, would it have been
19 reasonable for Dr. Stakic to rely on the information that was being given
20 to him in order to assess the situation and make a determination as to
21 what it is that he should do in order to assist?
22 A. I don't know what you are referring to. But the meetings were the
23 meetings attended by heads of departments. When a department needed
24 medical supplies, medications, and so on, this was discussed jointly at
25 the meetings in an attempt to find solutions to procure medications or
1 supplies so that the department can function properly.
2 Q. I understand. Thank you, Doctor. Just one last question: In
3 this meeting in September of 1992 when you met with Dr. Stakic and other
4 colleagues for the fund for the health insurance, was Dr. Stakic attentive
5 and it seemed that he wanted to help in procuring the assistance to the
6 medical professionals that continued to provide to the extent possible
7 cure and treatment to the citizens of Prijedor? Was he helpful during
8 that meeting? He accepted you in the meeting? I'm asking you now: Did
9 he assist in procuring that fund?
10 A. Yes. I remember that the meeting was very brief, that basic
11 issues concerning the establishment of the fund was stated, and that that
12 was all.
13 Q. Thank you, Doctor.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: We have no further questions.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any other questions in return by the
16 Prosecution, please?
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Very briefly.
18 Further cross-examination by Mr. Koumjian:
19 Q. So you were able to establish that fund after the meeting in
20 September 1992?
21 A. The fund was not established. We remained a branch office of the
22 Banja Luka fund. During that period of time, or even perhaps in early
23 1993, we were a branch office. But it could be that in 1993, later on,
24 the independent fund for Prijedor was established.
25 Q. Well, I believe in answer to the last question, the last question
1 of Defence counsel was: "Did he assist in procuring that fund?" Asking
2 about the meeting with Dr. Stakic in September. And your answer was yes.
3 So Dr. Stakic did assist you at that time. Is that correct?
4 A. Dr. Stakic accepted to meet with us and listened to us carefully
5 concerning the issues regarding the establishment of the fund. However,
6 during that period of time, we were Banja Luka branch office, and the
7 Prijedor fund was established later on. But I don't remember exactly
9 Q. Okay, thank you. Just one other topic. Sir, Dr. Harambasic, this
10 woman, counsel asked if she was arrested after the attack or the incident
11 at Hambarine and whether she was arrested after the attack on Prijedor,
12 the 30th of May. In fact, she was arrested in June of 1992. Correct?
13 A. As far as I know, the attack on Prijedor was on the 30th of May.
14 So the June comes after that.
15 Q. Dr. Harambasic was arrested in June of 1992 approximately, the end
16 of June. Is that correct? Does that sound correct to you, in the
18 A. I really don't know when she was arrested. I really don't know
19 that. All I know is that after the 30th of May, the month of June comes
20 next. And I don't know when Dr. Harambasic was taken into custody. I
21 know that only because that's what her husband informed me of.
22 Q. And when -- thank you. And when her husband called, he told you
23 that she was originally taken to the Prijedor SUP. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. And you subsequently learned that she was taken to the Omarska
1 camp. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us, Doctor, do you have any reason to believe that
4 Dr. Harambasic, this woman, was involved in the incident at Hambarine on
5 the 22nd of May or the attempt to retake Prijedor on the 30th of May?
6 Have you heard anything or do you have any reason to believe that she was
7 involved in either of those events?
8 A. I didn't hear that Dr. Harambasic was involved in anything.
9 Q. Do you know of anything, any crime, that Dr. Harambasic committed
10 or was suspected of that would justify her arrest? And detention in the
11 Omarska camp?
12 A. No, I didn't hear anything at all of her being guilty of anything.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you very much, Doctor. Thank you, Your
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence?
16 MR. OSTOJIC: No, Your Honour, thank you.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can see no further questions. This concludes
18 your testimony, Mr. Jankovic. You are excused. And the videolink is
19 hereby closed. We proceed as usual.
20 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The line may be disconnected.
22 Let's now turn to the remaining questions. There was a document
23 tendered by the Prosecution today. Objections?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Just based on relevance, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As ruled previously, in order to know what was
1 discussed in the courtroom, this document is admitted into evidence as
2 S402A and B respectively.
3 We have to come back to the document tendered yesterday by the
4 Prosecution under the provisional number S401A. The Defence made the
5 reservation to comment on this today.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We have S401, and we have
7 examined it. We would like to have the actual original documents from the
8 census which give the information and background of the second individual
9 that appears on S401. Obviously there are some discrepancies with the
10 birth date, specifically the year, and we just would like to know and
11 further inquire as to how -- and I hesitate to say this because I think
12 the Court will deem it as an argument, how the demographic unit --
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, can we go to private session for this.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.
15 [Private session]
12 Page 12585 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12586 – redacted – private session
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We heard no objections as to the document S401.
19 It is, therefore, admitted into evidence as S401A and, as requested, this
20 was related also to this document as under seal?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, S401.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S401. And we admit into evidence, without any
23 further comments the other documents with the ERN number 02296872 as J30.
24 Let us go into some details of these two documents. This Trial
25 Chamber, to a certain extent, feels misguided by the Prosecution because
1 we believe it would be -- it would have been the obligation of the
2 Prosecution to present these documents before the discussion of
3 Milorad Stakic, whoever this person is. We feel misled, and we feel that
4 we wasted a lot of time on this question based on the line of questions
5 put to witnesses by the Prosecution. I think there is an obligation not
6 only under Rule 68 but when trying to establish a link between the accused
7 and another person, forgot a moment that it was allegedly the brother of
8 Dr. Stakic, when they try to establish such a link, it's the obligation to
9 provide all the material they have in their possession at that point in
11 We, in addition, believe that it's a sign of unprofessionalism to
12 have contacted Milorad Stakic the 7th of February, 1991, already, and then
13 not continuing with the necessary. Under Article 29 of our statute,
14 several times the Prosecution has requested the cooperation of Germany and
15 they always got this assistance in criminal matters. And it would be the
16 easiest exercise to ask for the criminal record from the general federal
17 Prosecutor who within 24 hours could have given you the answer about the
18 outcome of the case and where, in fact, based on this file, where this
19 Milorad Stakic was at that point in time, the relevant period as described
20 in the fourth amended indictment. But we regard this information to date
21 as absolutely irrelevant. We are mandated to decide on individual
22 criminal responsibility and not on family-related criminal responsibility.
23 I think the Prosecutor should have known better and not have
24 opened this unfortunate and unhelpful debate opening a side issue with,
25 and by doing so, not leaving the remaining limited power, and this is
1 true, the limited capacity of the Defence, the limited capacity of the
2 Chamber, to the real questions of the case. And these are legal
3 questions. We heard that the Prosecution is not prepared to discuss these
4 legal questions. We have to accept this. And of course, in addition to
5 this, the link, and this is a central point of this case, the link between
6 Dr. Stakic and the crimes. So we deplore this development, but in
7 conclusion we came to the result that it is not necessary to go in any
8 further details of this question.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: May I just say one thing even though the Court --
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't know who was first.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Maybe I can just -- with respect to J30, and I
12 recognise the Court's comments on page 60, lines 1 through 3, that
13 document is not all that's in the possession of the OTP in connection with
14 this issue. J30's date as generated of last week is just a summary of the
15 material. We would still like to get the entire interview if possible or
16 if the Court deems it appropriate. That would be our only comment in
17 connection with that.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Anticipating this request, we already decided
19 during the break that we regard this issue as irrelevant for the outcome
20 of the case.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Your Honour, if I could just briefly
22 address it. First, we agree entirely with the Court that we have an
23 obligation not just under Rule 68 to the Defence, but to the Court not to
24 mislead the Court or to waste time. The issue of Milorad Stakic, while I
25 agree was marginal, it was not irrelevant because -- and it is something
1 that developed during the case. We first came across that name in the
2 documents seized by Mr. O'Donnell which at that time, to be honest, I
3 thought was possibly a pseudonym used by Dr. Stakic.
4 Then, when one of the Defence witnesses testified, we came across
5 documents showing that a Milorad Stakic was working at the Omarska camp.
6 When I said "came across," yes, these documents, all of these documents
7 I'm discussing were in the possession of the Office of the Prosecutor I
8 think before we began this case. But there are 3 million pages -- over
9 3 million pages in the possession of the Office of the Prosecutor. We
10 obviously -- none of us knows everything in those 3 million pages.
11 When we learned -- when we requested just about a week ago from
12 the demographic unit to confirm or to provide us that with the information
13 about that Milorad Stakic who -- it does turn out there is a brother of
14 the accused named Milorad, but when we asked for whether there was
15 another, information that would tend to suggest that I believe it was
16 Mr. -- one of the Defence witnesses, I'm not sure he's protected so I
17 won't say his name who worked at the camp who said the person had a
18 different name and was not the brother. When that was confirmed, we
19 immediately turned it over to the Defence and to the Trial Chamber.
20 However, if we had an ill intent to mislead the Trial Chamber or the
21 Defence, it wouldn't make sense for us to immediately when we got that
22 information to turn it over.
23 As for this interview, first, I can't comment upon contacts with
24 governments because many of those are covered under Rule 70. But
25 secondly, the interview raised my suspicions to be honest. It wasn't
1 until we -- because the brother said he had worked at the Omarska camp.
2 It wasn't until the demographic information was obtained that we saw that
3 it does appear that this Milorad working at the camp was someone else, and
4 that's when we immediately turned it over.
5 But all I can ask, Your Honours, is to consider that our intent,
6 my explanation, that our intent was never to mislead the Court and always
7 was, as soon as we found out information that we possibly had been
8 misleading the Court, to immediately turn over the information that
9 contradicted that.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification, and I think it
11 was, in fact, helpful. And I think one conclusion of this is that we
12 shouldn't discuss the question of the brother of Dr. Stakic in the future
13 because it has, Dr. Stakic, no relevance for our case. And on behalf of
14 the Chamber, the apologies that we at all discussed this question. And I
15 think it must be -- must have been extremely difficult for you to listen
16 to these discussions and to these unhelpful attempts.
17 But let us now proceed. The question of the relevance has been
18 declared moot. It's not relevant. So the question is now related to the
19 four certified statements. Are there any objections against the admission
20 into evidence of these statements as taken in Banja Luka in the beginning
21 of this week?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I just received this this afternoon
23 and looked at them over the last break. And on my quick perusal, they
24 appear to be the same as the documents that we saw unsigned, and assuming
25 that that is true, then we have no objection. I would note that there was
1 one witness who did not fulfill the technical requirements and that he did
2 not have an identification. We believe that is the witness, and we're not
3 asking to insist upon that technical issue in this particular case, so
4 we're not -- we don't object to that 92 bis statement.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any comments by the Defence?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe the witness did have identification, just
7 not a photo ID. But that's acceptable to us. And just for the record,
8 there is one witness who by verification did not sign her name, and I
9 believe the reasons are stated set forth as to why she did not. And we
10 just hope that that's accepted as the signature having had the document
11 read to her specifically. So that there won't be any issues raised in
12 connection with that specific 92 bis statement.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Prosecution, can you accept this?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Absolutely. I don't see any other alternative.
15 And given those circumstances, that seems appropriate.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then we also had the chance to go
17 through these documents. The 92 bis statements given by Milan Cuk, by
18 Mira Stakic, by Zorka Cuk, and finally - correct me if I am wrong - what
19 was the first name of Mr. Ratkovic? Nada -- Nadja Ratkovic, are admitted
20 into evidence under Rule 92 bis. For the further proceedings, I learned
21 based on a telephone call with Madam Dahuron that we would receive as soon
22 as certified two additional statements. Then one statement would be based
23 merely on a previous transcript and no additional statement would be
24 taken, only one. And this could be taken in Belgrade Monday next week,
25 but by another presiding officer. And Madam Dahuron is prepared to leave
1 during the weekend and return to The Hague Saturday, Sunday.
2 So one, I was informed, was stricken from the list of maybe 92
3 bis. May I hear from the Defence which of them it was.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: I think the person at issue was Mrs. Divjak, if I'm
5 not mistaken, but I thought that the decision has not been ultimately made
6 to withdraw the statement. If the Court has the information that that was
7 the decision, I will have to accept it.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, no, it was only via and not --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: I honestly think that there was trouble getting
10 contact with this lady, so because of the deadlines, to the extent that we
11 couldn't obtain that contact, I'm not sure what her personal plans were
12 for this week, that we were going to simply withdraw it if she is not
13 available this week when the Madam Registrar was there.
14 The other two, I believe, the coordinations have been made. There
15 are unfortunately in Belgrade and not in Banja Luka, and that's why there
16 was a little confusion as to where they can sign. They could not travel,
17 from my understanding, travel to Banja Luka from Belgrade because of -- I
18 believe they have children and they are in school and couldn't provide for
19 a caretaker during that trip.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we expect the remaining two envisaged 92 bis
21 statements by tomorrow, and maybe we then can already decide on these two
22 questions. But only that the parties know, we can only expect the final
23 one beginning or in the middle of next week.
24 In addition, I have to inform the parties that in case there would
25 be no obstacle, unforeseen obstacle, the Chamber witness, (redacted),
1 would be available as of Tuesday next week, only for the purposes of
2 preparation. We don't really know whether he will actually appear, but it
3 is planned. We'll decide later on which concrete date this witness will
4 be heard. Let us first see him being here in The Hague.
5 Anything additional for the moment?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: There are just on the 92 bis, if I may, Your
7 Honour. We had originally applied for I believe 16. The Court has
8 granted us 7. And additionally, the Court had granted us one to be
9 provided pursuant to his transcript. Just so that we're clear on the
10 procedure, should we simply file a motion and attaching the transcript in
11 full in our possession, and identifying it as 92 bis, or -- we can
12 coordinate that I'm sure with the Court Registrar and we'll do that.
13 The second question that I have is: Does the Court wish us to
14 present a written request for Mr. McFadden to present the statement?
15 Because we had made that application. I recall the Court granted it. I
16 believe that Mr. McFadden is waiting to get an order from the Court. I
17 have not seen one, and he will not prepare a statement with respect to
18 Dr. Stakic and the time period of his incarceration without an order. But
19 that's my understanding of what's required, and I hope I didn't misstate
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The order can be found on the transcript the
22 same date you made the request. And you should identify this order from
23 the transcript maybe with the assistance of our legal officer. As to the
24 question how to present the other documents, please exchange your views
25 mutually. Prosecution, Defence, together with the legal officer. We
1 won't anticipate this because we are in the moment not aware which
2 statement or which part of the transcript it should be. So therefore,
3 first the facts and then the ruling.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't think there's any necessity for such
5 formality. If counsel gives me the transcript or even the date and the
6 witness, we'll look at it, and we can orally agree and just have it
7 admitted, save them from writing one more motion.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's what we intended since the start of this
10 case, the 16th of April to, avoid unnecessary filings, let's proceed in
11 this way and try to discuss everything orally.
12 We will hear the next witness as scheduled. What do you believe
13 will be the estimate time in real time, may I put it this way.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Again, Your Honour, it is a little difficult having
15 not met the witness. We think for sure with respect to Witness 037 who is
16 appearing via videolink that we should have more than ample time to finish
17 him tomorrow. I think the entire process will take no longer than
18 today's. We think we'll ask him approximately an hour and a half. Again,
19 I hesitate because I'm uncertain. We also have a witness that arrived
20 today at the Court's request who, I believe, although -- I believe his
21 number was 077, if I'm not mistaken --
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: -- who I am meeting this evening at 7.30. He will
24 likewise be prepared to proceed immediately after the videolink statement
25 so that we can have a full day tomorrow, unless the Court --
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You already anticipated my last question. I
2 would ask you to be prepared that we hear Witness 077 tomorrow. We have a
3 provisionally amended proffer with the caveat that you had had no chance
4 at all. Please be so kind, if there are any additional points of
5 relevance, give us the necessary written hint before we start tomorrow's
7 MR. OSTOJIC: We will do that immediately this evening, Your
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Any other questions?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: There is one other issue that I have to raise.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: The Court last Thursday I believe an issue arose
13 with respect to one of our investigators and specifically my conduct in
14 connection with that attempt to procure the investigator to have the right
15 to visit Dr. Stakic, to assist the Defence lawyers in the final stages of
16 this case. I mentioned I believe at that time that I disagree with the
17 categorisation that was attributed to me. I certainly want to apologise
18 to those people who felt that I personally offended them in trying to
19 procure that item. I don't necessarily agree, but I think that's
21 Since that time, the Court was kind enough to check for us what
22 the Detention Unit rules were, and quite candidly, even this morning,
23 we're still trying to find exactly what the interpretation of the rules
24 are. This morning I was told specifically that the rule is clear that
25 only Defence counsel and co-counsel have a right and would be permitted to
1 visit with Dr. Stakic, not anyone with the Defence team, either together
2 or not. We just wanted a clarification on that because we would like this
3 gentleman to assist us, and we think in a joint effort with Dr. Stakic,
4 since he is a lawyer, he would be able to assist us in the four facets
5 left in this case. Namely, the witnesses remaining, we can make informed
6 judgement decision since he has met with some of them as to whether they
7 are going to proceed or withdraw depending on the time constraints; the
8 rebuttal and rejoinder issues that may arise, the oral submissions and
9 ultimately the written submissions. It's important for us to have the
10 cooperation specifically of Dr. Stakic on those issues but as well as the
11 assistance of Mr. Marko Pavic because he has followed the proceedings and
12 has obviously assisted us in bringing the witnesses here.
13 So we again -- we're just uncertain. The Court has given a clear
14 indication of what the detention rules are. I spoke to the Detention Unit
15 himself. I spoke with no less than three people from OLAD. It's still
16 not clear as to whether or not he's approved to visit with Dr. Stakic with
17 our presence and without our presence.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it was clear enough that the
19 client/counsel privilege is limited to counsel as such, but knowing about
20 your limited capacities, Mr. Christian Rohde was kind enough to discuss
21 this issue with Mr. McFadden in person, and it was granted that additional
22 visits but, of course, monitored visits can take place from now on as far
23 as there is a capacity. But they granted and they stated that there would
24 be no limitation if it remains proportional, put it this way. But there's
25 not the slightest doubt. Please make reference to these decisions taken
1 by Mr. Christian Rohde and Mr. McFadden in person.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Anything else. This is not the case. I thank
4 everybody for the assistance of today. And this concludes today's
5 hearing. The trial stays adjourned -- let me just interrupt in
6 parenthesis, maybe we can start tomorrow only a little bit later because I
7 have to conduct another initial appearance. But please be prepared to
8 start as scheduled. Therefore, the trial stays adjourned until tomorrow,
9 at quarter past 2.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
11 at 6.29 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
12 the 26th day of February, 2003,
13 at 2.30 p.m.