1 Wednesday, 5 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning to everybody. May we please hear
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please, for the
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann
12 Sutherland, and Ruth Karper.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence, please.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John
15 Ostojic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May we go, please, for one minute
17 into private session.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 12976 – redacted – private session
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I should like to have comments on the 92 bis, 94
15 bis statements, especially the new one Defence requested for admission.
16 Also only by Monday. Beforehand, we can't resolve any problems. We are
17 aware that one of the envisaged witnesses for next week has been
18 cancelled. Therefore, it might be not that problem in case we can't
19 conclude with the last witness scheduled for this week. We would in
20 addition like to hear comments on the admission of the new exhibits
21 arriving, having arrived this week. But this can also be done only next
23 Then the question of the time of today's hearing and tomorrow's
24 hearing. We will sit today from 9.00 to 12.00, and then from 1.30 to 4.30
25 today -- this will be tomorrow, 6 March, 9.00 to 12.00, 1.30 to 4.30. The
1 5th of March, that is today, 9.00 to 10.30, 11.00 to 12.00, 1.30 to 2.30,
2 2.45 to 1500, this is ex parte under Rule 66(C) as foreseen under the
4 I would ask the parties to give an answer to the question whether
5 the translations, the necessary translations, have been exchanged. Are
6 there any gaps? And finally, we are aware that Mr. Milorad Loncar, in
7 fact, was in the list of the witnesses under 92 bis. It was discussed at
8 that point in time. One of the reasons why not to hear Mr. Milorad
9 Loncar, that it would be a witness being repetitive, opposed to another
10 priest who apparently has not got the necessary license or admission to
11 testify in this case. But the Defence should know that up to this moment,
12 we do not know when Dr. Stakic met this Milorad Loncar, on which occasion,
13 for what purposes, and what is the relevance for our case. We are
14 prepared to revisit this question because the ruling at that time was
15 primarily based on the repetitiveness of this witness. This is no longer
16 the case. But as long as we don't have any additional data justifying the
17 calling of another witness, we can't decide on this. So we expect also
18 here a written additional comment.
19 Any other urgent matters for this morning? This seems not to be
20 the case. So may I ask the usher to escort the witness into the
21 courtroom, please.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Budimir. You are prepared to
24 continue --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- To continue with your testimony?
2 May I ask the usher to distribute the transcript Exhibit S91-1.
3 It's already done. Then may I ask the at this time audio-unit to play the
4 tape. And may I ask you, Mr. Budimir, to listen to this tape that will be
5 played only in those parts, for the parties, to be found on pages
6 transcript 5797 through 5823.
7 WITNESS: SLAVKO BUDIMIR [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
10 [Audiotape played]
11 [Please refer to Exhibit S91A for audio transcript]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Can you hear who is speaking on this
14 A. I am not sure, but I assume that this is the voice of
15 Mr. Miskovic.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I would kindly ask you, when you are sure
17 that you have identified the one or other voice, please say stop
18 immediately. All right? Can we proceed this way?
19 A. It's okay if I can follow.
20 [Audiotape played]
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop.
22 Have you now some clarification for yourself, are we listening to
23 the voice of whom? Is it, in fact, Mr. Miskovic?
24 A. I believe that it is Mr. Miskovic.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And when we just heard "then I scheduled a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 meeting of the Crisis Staff for 2.00 a.m.," does it in any way change your
2 testimony when the first meeting of the Crisis Staff was held?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then let's continue, please.
5 [Audiotape played]
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. You have heard the reporter making
7 reference to Mr. Simo Drljaca. Once again the question: Are you sure the
8 voice we just listened to was not Mr. Drljaca but Mr. Miskovic? Correct?
9 A. I am more positive that this is the voice of Mr. Miskovic than I
10 am that this is the voice of Mr. Drljaca.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we then proceed, please, with the tape.
12 [Audiotape played]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop.
14 May I ask you, are you able to identify the voice you are just
16 A. I believe that this is the voice of Mr. Kuruzovic.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
18 Please continue with the tape.
19 [Audiotape played]
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. Would you like to add something to your
21 testimony of yesterday and the day before yesterday?
22 A. In connection with what I have just heard?
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
24 The answer is not yet on the transcript. If you could please
1 A. I said no.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
3 Please continue with the tape to be played.
4 [Audiotape played]
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Stop. This concludes this part of the
7 My last question to you, do you have, having heard this, any
8 amendments to your testimony of yesterday or today to make, especially
9 related to the meeting in Cirkin Polje?
10 A. No, I stand by my statement, by my testimony, that I arrived in
11 Cirkin Polje around 4.30 p.m., that the situation was very chaotic and
12 after that we went to our respective jobs. The gentleman mentions here
13 there had been lists of people who were unable to enter the premises.
14 However, in the agency where I worked, I never received a list, a
15 blacklist of people, who were not allowed to enter the premises where I
16 was working. And all the employees who showed up for work that morning
17 were able to enter the premises of the secretariat for national defence
18 and go to their jobs. None of the employees of the secretariat which I
19 headed had a problem coming into the building.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it still your testimony that the first
21 meeting of the Crisis Staff was held after the 20th of May 1992?
22 A. As for the official Crisis Staff - and I don't know what
23 Mr. Miskovic is talking about - but the official Crisis Staff was set up
24 pursuant to a decision by the president or the presidency - I don't know
25 which - and signed by the president. And it was set up after the 20th. I
1 believe there had been a session of the assembly. We discussed the dates
2 yesterday. And I stand by my view that the Crisis Staff was established
3 and started working after the 20th of May.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
5 It's now for the Defence to put their questions to the witness.
6 Please, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Questioned by Mr. Lukic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Budimir.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. As you know, I am Branko Lukic representing the accused, together
12 with Mr. Ostojic. I will start from this last transcript of a radio
13 programme that we have heard today. First of all, I would like to ask you
14 this: Did you know about the existence of other Crisis Staffs in Prijedor
15 Municipality in the spring and summer of 1992?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you know about the existence of the SDS Crisis Staff?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 After this, I would like to try to go through the transcripts of
21 the previous two days when you were answering the questions of the Judges
22 who invited you to testify in the first place. While doing this, I will
23 quote certain numbers denoting pages and numbers of the transcript. I'm
24 saying this so that you should not be confused when it comes to that.
25 This is only done so that our learned friends from the OTP and the Trial
1 Chamber are able to follow. If you do not know the answer to a question,
2 please feel free to answer "I don't know."
3 On page 27, 126 of that day of the trial, that is, Monday, you
4 were talking about the session of the assembly of the Serbian Municipality
5 of Prijedor which elected the officials of the Executive Board of the
6 Assembly of the Serbian People of the Prijedor Municipality. You said
7 that it was in the first half or the -- the first half of April or
8 mid-April. Are you aware that at that time, that is, in mid-April 1992,
9 the breakup of the legal system of Bosnia and Herzegovina was already
11 A. In my testimony, I said that from the beginning of 1992, in the
12 organ that employed me, we did not apply the current regulations. We were
13 not applying the current regulations. And I have complete information
14 about this aspect. And generally speaking, it was common knowledge that
15 in all areas of social life, laws and regulations were not being applied,
16 but I don't have all the facts in order to be able to give you a very
17 precise answer on other scores. All I know is the area of defence which
18 was regulated by the law of national defence and the law on the army. I
19 assert that as of 1991 in the area where I worked, these laws were not
20 being applied.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Do you know that the Muslim/Croat presidency of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina carried out a mobilisation of the Territorial Defence as early
24 as the 8th of April 1992?
25 A. I don't remember the date when the mobilisation was carried out by
1 the presidency or whatever this organ was called. But I know that the TO
2 was mobilised and that some other units were formed within the framework
3 of those preparations. But I have no precise information about dates and
4 times, and I cannot answer you precisely when that happened.
5 Q. Do you remember that at that time in the presidency of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, the Serbian people were not represented?
7 A. I think they were not. But I cannot remember the exact course of
8 events, what happened when, because in view of my job, I was not aware of
9 what was going on at the federal level, at the level of the state of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. But I believe that certain members, Serbian
11 members of the presidency, had already walked out by that time.
12 Q. Do you know that at that time, that is, in mid-April 1992, in more
13 than 50 per cent of Bosnia and Herzegovinian municipalities, the conflict
14 had already started, more precisely in 58 municipalities?
15 A. I don't know the number of municipalities --
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There's an objection by the Prosecution.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, the objection is the form of the question.
18 It presumes facts that are not in evidence. "Do you know that..." If
19 it's not true and the witness said "no," it implies that this is an
20 established fact. The question is leading and presumes facts not in
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the Defence, do you have some
23 documents in support of your question? Because I don't recall, please
24 help me if I am wrong, that we have something on this as evidence.
25 MR. LUKIC: Both is true, Your Honour. The truth is that there is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 such evidence, but because of late translations, I'm aware that
2 Your Honours are not familiar with the evidence because this evidence is
3 offered by the Defence. And this is the set of the documents that have
4 been translated recently.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So --
6 MR. LUKIC: But the witness answered so he is not aware, so I'll
7 move on.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And in similar cases, when you're aware
9 that we have not had this possibility to go through those exhibits, please
10 put your question in the form of a real question and not -- give the
11 answer by questioning. I'm just discussing with Mr. Lukic only.
12 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Budimir, this question was addressed to me, plus instructions,
16 but if you have something to add, please go ahead.
17 A. If you allow me, as far as I remember, I said I have no
18 information or precise data about that. And I'm only stating the facts of
19 which I really know and which I have official records. I have some
20 knowledge about this as a normal citizen from the press and other sources,
21 but I cannot rely on that in my testimony.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 At the session held in mid-April, I'm talking now about the
24 session of the Assembly of the Serbian People of Prijedor Municipality,
25 was it ever said when you would take your office, was it linked to a
1 particular date, or was your election conditional upon other things?
2 A. I think I said in my testimony to His Honour the Presiding Judge
3 that it was in no way determined when I would take up my office. And I
4 don't remember that it had ever been said when and how and under what
5 conditions. Only the nominees were chosen for these posts.
6 Q. After this session, did you go back to your job and continued
7 working as usual?
8 A. Yes, I did continue in the job that I did before.
9 Q. On page 32 of the 126th day of trial, line 3, His Honour Judge
10 Schomburg asked you whether you had been issued with a new document
11 enabling you to enter the premises where you worked. Since in the course
12 of this trial, the issue arose frequently of new documents being issued, I
13 have to ask you whether you had been issued then with an ID, a personal
14 ID, which is an identification document that every regular citizen has?
15 Did you get a new ID?
16 A. I already answered that I don't remember that I had been issued
17 with any new document. And especially not the document of the kind you
19 Q. This is only an additional question. Of course I accept the
20 answer you already gave to the Trial Chamber. Do you remember when you
21 obtained a new personal ID after the takeover? Was it several years
23 A. I don't know. I have my ID with me. I can produce it and show
24 you when it was issued. I don't remember when I got it. Maybe 1994,
25 1995. If you allow me, I'll produce it right now and tell you the date of
2 It was issued on the 13th of May, 1997.
3 MR. LUKIC: Would the usher please be so kind and place this ID on
4 the ELMO.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, can you see on the screen this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is this your ID?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Would you be so kind as to read when it was issued.
11 A. Date of issue, 13th of May, 1997. Registration number 1619/97.
12 Valid for ten years.
13 Q. By which agency was it issued?
14 A. The Ministry of the Interior of the Republika Srpska, public
15 security station of Prijedor.
16 Q. Do you remember perhaps whether you had changed your ID between
17 April and May 1997?
18 A. I don't remember.
19 Q. Thank you very much. We will no longer need this document.
20 On page 34 on the 126th day of trial, line 10, His Honour Judge
21 Schomburg asked you who else was replaced in the municipality of
22 Prijedor. You answered that only officials were replaced. You also said
23 that Mr. Medunjanin failed to show up for work on that day. From the
24 takeover up to the beginning of armed conflicts in Prijedor Municipality,
25 was anybody fired in your agency?
1 A. No.
2 Q. After the beginning of war, conflicts, did some people stop coming
3 to work?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember the names of the people who stopped coming to
6 work, some of them at least?
7 A. Mr. Dzevad Habibovic, Mr. Burazovic, Mr. -- he worked in the
8 electronic communications centre but I can't remember his name. I believe
9 that his name was Ekrem but I'm not sure. I can't remember actually.
10 MR. LUKIC: I would like now the exhibit --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I've just remembered.
12 The name is Kerim. I've just remembered the gentleman's name.
13 MR. LUKIC: I would like the Exhibit S141 to be shown to the
14 witness, please.
15 I'm sorry, we'll come back to this document because I didn't mark
16 exactly the line.
17 Q. [Interpretation] You were saying that at one point, the military
18 territorial body took over everything that was connected with
19 mobilisation. Was that body a different body from your secretariat of
20 national defence?
21 A. Yes, it was different because the secretariat for national defence
22 is a civilian organ formed by the Municipal Assembly in accordance with
23 the law on defence whereas the military territorial organ was established
24 by the army. Its purpose was to perform identical tasks, but the
25 difference is in the establishment and in the body which established this
2 Q. Can you now tell us who established this military territorial
4 A. It was established by the former JNA as a subordinate unit. It
5 was established by the Prijedor garrison, and the offices of that military
6 territorial organ were in the barracks. And some of the people who worked
7 in the secretariat for national defence opted to join that military
8 territorial organ. I did not want to do that. I decided to stay working
9 for my agency.
10 Q. You were also talking about the moment when a mobilisation was
11 taken over by some other organ from the military territorial organ and
12 that this happened at the session on the 15th of May 1991 of the National
13 Defence Council. Was it discussed at the time that these tasks should be
14 taken over by the defence council of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor or
15 alternatively that these tasks should be returned to the secretariat for
16 defence of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
17 A. At the session, it was discussed that these tasks that were
18 performed by the military territorial organ should be returned to the
19 municipal secretariat for national defence as it was the case before these
20 tasks had been taken over by the military territorial defence. Why the
21 military territorial defence, i.e., the army, took over these jobs is the
22 fact that in 1991, the secretariat did not abide by the rules but just
23 obeyed orders that arrived in the body, in the -- to the officials of the
25 Q. When it comes to carrying out regulations and performing the tasks
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and the role of the secretariat for national defence of the municipality
2 of Prijedor, did Mr. Medunjanin play a role?
3 A. When it comes to the performance of tasks of a certain organ, the
4 person who is the head of that organ is responsible for the performance of
5 those tasks.
6 Q. I would like to move on to another topic which was mentioned on
7 page 60 of the 126th day of this trial when you were talking about the
8 building of the municipality and meetings of the Crisis Staff. Do you
9 remember that during the attack on Prijedor which took place on the 30th
10 of May 1992, there was a sniper fire on the building of the municipality
11 and that shots were fired into the offices of the president, the
12 vice-president, the small conference room?
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Objection. Counsel is leading the witness and
15 suggesting answers.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sustained.
17 MR. LUKIC: I would like to clarify now. Am I in
18 cross-examination, Your Honour, and whether the leading questions are
19 forbidden in cross-examination?
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: May I clarify my objection. I did use the wrong
21 words. The question was "do you remember" and I did forget -- I don't
22 know if this is cross-examination or not because of Mr. Budimir's unique
23 status as a Court witness.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is only for as you have seen in the
25 invitation by this Chamber. The witness is a Chamber witness and it is
1 for the parties to put questions not in the framework of examination and
2 cross-examination, but it is just to put additional questions to the
3 witness, because the witness is a witness under Rule 98. The basis for
4 not allowing this question is the mere fact, and this was the second part
5 of the objection by the Prosecution, that in fact the answer was put to
6 the witness. And the question should be always phrased in a way "was it"
7 or "do you remember," allowing the witness to give an answer. So
8 therefore, please rephrase your question.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Budimir, do you remember the attack on Prijedor which took
11 place on the 30th of May 1992?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember whether there was fire being opened on the
14 municipal building?
15 A. Yes, I remember. On that evening and on that night, I found
16 myself in the early warning and reporting centre, which is in the
17 basement, and I remember there was fire opened from automatic weapons on
18 the building of the Municipal Assembly.
19 Q. Do you remember that this caused the breaking of the glass on the
20 windows of this building?
21 A. Yes. Bullets entered the offices on the first floor, and there
22 were traces of bullets on the walls of these offices.
23 Q. Do you remember that as a result of that, meetings after this
24 date - I know that you were a member of several bodies, so do you remember
25 that meetings of the Crisis Staff after this were held in the basement of
1 the building of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
2 A. I've already said that meetings were held in the hall which was
3 adjacent to the office of the president of the Municipal Assembly, and
4 that in the basement, there was an early warning and reporting centre
5 whose role was as I've already stated. Whether after this attack, after a
6 day or after this attack any sessions were held down there in the
7 basement, I can't remember. But I believe that this situation calmed very
8 soon, and that after that, there were no other sessions held in the
9 basement. I am not ruling out the possibility that on the following day
10 and the day after that, sessions may have been held in the basement for
11 the reason that you have stated.
12 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher to show the witness Exhibit
13 Number 180, please.
14 Q. [Interpretation] On page 65 of the 126th day of trial, you were
15 asked something about item 97 which begins at the top of page 69. I'm
16 going to ask you, Mr. Budimir, whether you remember that the Territorial
17 Defence of Republika Srpska was abolished on the 12th of April 1992
18 pursuant to a decision of the assembly of Republika Srpska?
19 A. I remember that the Territorial Defence was abolished pursuant to
20 a decision of the assembly which was forwarded by the competent command
21 for implementation. But I can't remember the exact date, so I cannot
22 confirm that this indeed is the date that you have mentioned. Again, I
23 cannot establish that for a fact.
24 Q. The conclusion that we are talking about was passed on the 29th of
25 May 1992. I apologise. I have misled you. I should have asked you
1 whether you remember that the Territorial Defence of Republika Srpska was
2 abolished on the 12th of May 1992, but still you remember -- you don't
4 A. Yes, my answer would be the same regardless of the date.
5 Q. If we assume that the 12th of May 1992 is the date when the
6 Territorial Defence of Republika Srpska was indeed abolished, what was the
7 importance of the discussion on that issue that took place on the 29th of
8 May 1992?
9 A. I can't say that because I think there was no point discussing
10 that because it was a decision made by a superior organ that should have
11 been implemented. What could have been discussed was the way the decision
12 was to be implemented. We could only ratify what a superior body had
13 already decided. We could only discuss how to implement a decision by a
14 superior body; nothing else.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In order that we don't have to come back, when
16 mentioning "superior body," what do you mean by this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I mentioned a superior body, I
18 mean -- if we're talking about a brigade, then the superior body is a
19 corps. And if I mention a municipal assembly, then I believe that the
20 superior body is a national assembly. And if I mention the president of
21 the municipality, then I believe that the superior person is the president
22 of the state. And if I talk about myself as the secretary of the
23 secretariat, then my superior is the Ministry of Defence. So this is what
24 I mean when I mention the word "superior." I'm talking about the body
25 that another body is reporting to. That is what I mean when I say
2 MR. LUKIC: I would like now the usher to show the witness
3 Document 141. It's on the 59th page of the English version and on the
4 44th page of the B/C/S version.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, would you please look at the first
6 page of this document. You will find it on your left-hand side. Can you
7 please read the heading so we know what this is all about.
8 A. "Minutes of the 16th session of the Assembly of the Serbian People
9 of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on the 12th of May in Banja Luka."
10 Q. Kindly read the passage in the top part of page 44.
11 MR. LUKIC: The English version, page 59.
12 A. I don't know what the purpose of me reading this is. I don't have
13 any information on that. I've already stated that in political terms, I
14 cannot give you my judgement of the decisions of an organ. And I
15 will -- I will do what you tell me to do, Your Honours, if you think I
16 should read I will. But I don't know whether there's any point in me
17 reading because I cannot give any assessment of something that I haven't
18 seen before.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If the Defence can focus on a concrete portion,
20 and then I think --
21 MR. LUKIC: It's only one paragraph on the top of the page 44 in
22 B/C/S version.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. So as we proceeded in the past in the same
24 way, please be so kind to read it out loudly, and then if possible,
25 comment on this as requested by the Defence counsel.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Still we have to adopt these
2 amendments. Who is in favour? Who is against? Abstaining? This means
3 that the amendments to the constitution have been adopted. Precede,
4 please. A participate in the discussion. At the session held on 12 May
5 1992, it adopted a law on amendments to the National Defence act. Article
6 1: In the National Defence act, Official Gazette number 4/92, in all the
7 provisions of the act, the terms "Territorial Defence" and "armed forces"
8 shall be replaced by the following words: "The Serbian Republic of the BH
10 "Article 2: Subsection 2 of the article 10 is hereby expunged. It
11 is an article in the subsection which regulated something concerning
12 Territorial Defence.
13 "Article 3: Articles 37 to 53 also have to do with Territorial
14 Defence and are hereby expunged.
15 "Article 4: This act shall enter into effect eight days from its
16 publication in the Official Gazette of the Serbian people of
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. My question, Mr. Budimir, is as follows: Was this session
21 competent to change the law that we were reading about?
22 A. The competencies of this assembly should be discussed by those who
23 were the leaders of that assembly. I told you that I just implemented the
24 laws that I was supposed to implement. This assembly and this part here
25 were established in the way they were established. We all know that this
1 was the assembly of the Serbian People which was legitimate and legal in
2 the given situation. And I don't want to go into talking about any
3 broader, more general aspects of this.
4 Q. I've told you, if whenever you feel you don't know something, you
5 are more than welcome to say "I don't know."
6 My question is whether we can now conclude that the Crisis Staff
7 did not have any authority to abolish the Territorial Defence in any of
8 its parts, including the Territorial Defence of the municipality of
10 A. I would not use the word "authority." I would use the word
11 "competency." And in accordance with the laws that were in effect, the
12 Crisis Staff did not have the authority or the competency to abolish the
13 Territorial Defence in the territory of the Municipality of Prijedor.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MR. LUKIC: Would it be a convenient time now, Your Honour, or I
16 should proceed?
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You may proceed 5 more minutes.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] When we're talking about the Territorial Defence,
20 I would like to ask you to help us with something and explain to us how
21 the units of the Territorial Defence were divided into the manoeuvre units
22 and territorial units.
23 A. The territorial units of the Territorial Defence were in charge of
24 controlling the territories of municipalities by providing security to
25 facilities and roads, and they were set up in local communes and in
1 companies and institutions. In companies and institutions, territorial
2 units were somehow connected with the existing guard services of the
3 respective units and companies.
4 As for the manoeuvre units, the word says that these units were
5 active not only in a certain territory but they could be used in a broader
6 area outside the territory of a certain municipality in keeping with the
7 orders of the superior commands.
8 Q. Was the 5th Kozara Brigade a unit of the Territorial Defence?
9 A. In accordance with the development plans of the Territorial
10 Defence, it developed as a manoeuvre unit of the Territorial Defence. And
11 it was resubordinated to the JNA; that is, to the army.
12 Q. Was it customary for the so-called manoeuvre units to be
13 resubordinated to the army even in the peacetimes? Or did it only happen
14 when the immediate war threat was declared? Could you tell us something
15 about that?
16 A. I've already told you that all the units, their preparations and
17 plans for development, and their replenishment of these units was done by
18 the Territorial Defence. There was the municipal staff of the Territorial
19 Defence, there was the district staff of the Territorial Defence, and
20 there was also national staff of the Territorial Defence. When the
21 immediate threat of war was declared, these units were immediately
22 resubordinated to army units.
23 Unlike this Territorial Defence, which was established on the
24 Territorial Defence which was established on the territorial principle and
25 was resubordinated to the army units later on, as I have already said in
1 my testimony.
2 Q. Who was the commander of the 5th Kozara Brigade?
3 A. Mr. Pero Colic.
4 Q. And what was Mr. Kuruzovic's function or position?
5 A. Mr. Kuruzovic was appointed the commander of the municipal staff
6 of Territorial Defence.
7 Q. When it comes to the appointment of the municipal staff of the
8 Territorial Defence, did the Municipal Assembly play a role?
9 A. Yes, it did play a role. The Municipal Assembly, that is. It put
10 forth proposals which were later on confirmed by the -- commander of the
11 Territorial Defence. Whether this procedure was implemented to the full
12 or not, I can't tell you. I don't have that information.
13 MR. LUKIC: Would it be a convenient time, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.00 sharp.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, you may continue immediately.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, I would kindly ask you now to take
20 the document that is in front of you. The Trial Chamber has already asked
21 you questions about this. Page 54 of the Official Gazette of the
22 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, issue 2, year 1992, and please look at
23 Item 55 again.
24 In this item, the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of
25 Prijedor decided to relieve of his duties the commander of the Territorial
1 Defence of Prijedor, Major Slobodan Kuruzovic. As you can see, the
2 decision is dated 29th of May, 1992.
3 Since from the document S141, which is minutes from the Assembly
4 of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we saw that the Assembly
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was abolished on the 12th of May 1992, can we
6 conclude that on the 29th of May, 1992, there was no republican commander
7 of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian People in Bosnia and
9 A. The assembly adopted the decision, but I have no information about
10 the implementation of that decision and how it was actually done in
11 practice. I'm talking now about the timing. I'm not questioning that
12 this decision was made. I don't think that it made any sense to discuss
13 it, and I don't think it made any sense to formulate it in this way if it
14 had been already decided and the matter was already resolved.
15 Q. Thank you. So this enactment relates to the commander of the
16 territorial part of the Territorial Defence, that is, the part related to
17 Prijedor Municipality?
18 A. Yes. The commander of the TO, the territorial part, because the
19 manoeuvreing part was headed by another commander, and it was subordinated
20 to the army. It was headed by Commander Colic.
21 Q. I would now like to ask you one thing you have already been asked
22 about, and I just want a clarification. It has to do with the late Simo
23 Drljaca. Is it true that you did not see Mr. Drljaca socially?
24 A. It is true.
25 Q. Because you were not there, you probably don't know who he spent
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 time with, his spare time, I mean. Just for clarification.
2 A. I didn't spend time with him, and I don't know. But I did say in
3 my previous testimony that Mr. Drljaca and Mr. Stakic and Mr. Arsic often
4 spent time together. I didn't socialise with them, but I knew that the
5 three of them did see each other socially.
6 Q. I have one thing to ask you that has to do with the transcript of
7 this radio programme. I will read out. It is from Exhibit S91-1, page 4
8 of the B/C/S version. Mr. Kuruzovic says: "At 5.00, representatives of
9 our Serbian authorities came to see me in the command headquarters.
10 President of the municipality, vice-president of the municipality,
11 chairman of the executive committee, secretary for the economy, defence
12 minister, and all the others according to their respective departments in
13 the municipality, and then we began dispatching them their separate ways.
14 There were also a few prominent company directors there."
15 You mentioned this when you came to Cirkin Polje, didn't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. His Honour asked you where your office was located, and you said
18 it was in the building of the Ministry of the Interior in 1992. Apart
19 from the section that had to do with the centre for alerting, your office
20 was in the Ministry of the Interior?
21 A. Yes, it was in the same building in the annex, which belonged to
22 the secretariat for defence. Two-thirds of the building belonged to the
23 Ministry of the Interior, and one additional wing that was built later
24 belonged to the organ that I worked for.
25 Q. Thank you for this additional explanation.
1 However, you did mention that later on, your department of the
2 Ministry of Defence moved. Did it move to the building of the Municipal
3 Assembly of Prijedor or to some other place further removed and how
4 removed from the Municipal Assembly?
5 A. Not the department, but the section. Section is a lower unit from
6 the department. This section moved to another building near the Patrija
7 department store. It used to be the building accommodating
8 socio-political organisations, the municipal committee of the League of
9 Communists, the socialist alliance, the league of the socialist youth and
10 other organisations. We occupied the lower part of the building -- sorry,
11 they occupied the lower part of the building, and the part of the building
12 that we got was allocated to the Ministry of the Interior.
13 It was perhaps 800 away from the existing building of the Ministry
14 of the Interior. I can't be precise. I didn't measure it.
15 Q. I didn't expect you to quote the exact distance anyway. Thank you
16 very much.
17 Page 21 of yesterday's transcript, the 127th day of trial, there
18 was talk about the agenda of the Crisis Staff. You explained that it
19 concentrated mainly on general issues moving on later to specific
20 discussion. Do you know, perhaps, whether the members of the Executive
21 Board participated in the preparation of various items in this agenda?
22 A. As for the preparation of the agenda, I already said that there
23 were no particular preparations. As for general issues discussed, all
24 members of the Executive Board, depending on the issue under discussion,
25 participated. If something had to do with socioeconomic issues, then
1 Mr. Travar took part, Mr. Pavicic took part when issues from his province
2 were discussed. If something relating to defence was in question, then I
3 would talk.
4 Q. Thank you. The sessions of the Crisis Staff that you attended,
5 were they sometimes chaired by the late Dr. Kovacevic?
6 A. Generally speaking, I think that Mr. Savanovic usually stood in
7 for Dr. Stakic. I don't rule out the possibility that certain sessions
8 were chaired by Dr. Kovacevic, because according to the logic of things,
9 generally speaking, he was the man who could have chaired meetings.
10 Perhaps there were situations when Mr. Savanovic was absent, and I don't
11 really know whether there was an agreement between Savanovic and Kovacevic
12 as to which one of them would chair sessions. I can't know how often that
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher now to show the witness the
16 document marked as S152, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] This is a document issued by the public security
18 station in Prijedor allegedly signed by the chief of the public security
19 station, late Simo Drljaca. Could you please look at this document and
20 tell us whether you had ever seen it before.
21 A. I never saw this document before, nor did I participate in any
22 session of the Crisis Staff discussing the documents you're asking me
23 about and producing here. I don't know what this is all about.
24 Q. Thank you. We won't be needing this document any longer.
25 Mr. Budimir, your municipal secretariat for national defence,
1 could it have declared mobilisation, or did this instruction have to come
2 from a higher level, from a different level?
3 A. Mobilisation could only have been declared by the competent
4 authority authorised to do so by law, and it could not have been the
5 municipal secretariat for national defence. It was not authorised to
6 declare mobilisation by any means.
7 Q. We agree with you. But I would kindly ask you to tell us which
8 authority, which organ, was authorised to do so?
9 A. President of the republic through the Ministry of Defence.
10 Q. Since you know this area so well, some questions will surely sound
11 odd to you, but in view of the case before this Tribunal, we have to ask
12 them. Please tell us, could the Municipal Assembly declare mobilisation?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Could the Crisis Staff do that, the Crisis Staff of the Municipal
16 A. No.
17 Q. It is a well-known fact that many people failed to respond to the
18 mobilisation callup in 1991. And you told us that those people were not
19 prosecuted. No repressive measures were taken against them at that time.
20 Is that true?
21 A. That is true. Those who, in keeping with the existing laws, were
22 supposed to take such measures did not do so.
23 Q. And if someone failed to respond to the mobilisation callup, did
24 that person continue to be required to respond?
25 A. Yes, until the law changed. As long as that legal requirement
2 Q. Can you please tell us, if you can remember, under what
3 legislation did your organ work, the municipal secretariat for national
5 A. The municipal secretariat for national defence operated under the
6 law on all people's defence. The Official Gazette was dated year 1983.
7 And also, under the federal law on defence from 1983. There were also
8 bylaws and instructions that regulated in detail the affairs, the purview,
9 and authorities of these organs such as their authorisation to recruit, to
10 reinforce units, to mobilise, et cetera. I am saying what the situation
11 was until the adoption of the law on defence and the law on the army
12 adopted by the Assembly of the Serbian People of Republika Srpska.
13 Q. These changes happened in June 1992, didn't they?
14 A. The 1st of June 1992 was the date when these two laws were
15 adopted. I believe the Official Gazette was 7/92.
16 Q. The Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, you mean?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As a municipal body, you said you operated until the 1st of August
19 1992 due to the transition as of the 1st of June 1992.
20 A. Under the law, the changes were supposed to take place
21 immediately. But the organisational changes in the concerned bodies in
22 terms of the staff and the organisation as well as decisions to replace
23 some people and to change their status, all these changes were completed
24 on the 1st of August. I, for instance, had a decision as head of the
25 department for national defence that actually put me on this job on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 1st of August. But these changes were officially proclaimed on the 1st of
3 Q. As a municipal body, were you required to submit any reports to
4 the Executive Board of the assembly of Prijedor?
5 A. Under the previous law, regulated that the municipal body was
6 required to submit reports to the Executive Board and the Municipal
7 Assembly on certain issues envisaged by the law. And on other issues,
8 annual reports had to be submitted covering all the aspects of the work of
9 that body and all the facts relevant, which were conditionally speaking
10 secret. On the municipal level, such reports had to be submitted to the
11 republican level because that was the body controlling the municipal level
12 and the municipal body in this area.
13 Q. Which of these two bodies gave you instructions and orders?
14 A. Depending on the issue in question, depending on the issue and who
15 had competence for it. The republican secretariat was competent for
16 issues related to the army. They gave us plans regarding replenishment
17 and reinforcement. We as the municipal body only informed them of the
18 movements of the men; so many were recruited; so many were sent to
19 military drills; so many responded to callups, et cetera, et cetera. We
20 didn't organise it, we just implement it.
21 Q. The purpose of your body was to supply the army with troops and
22 materiel goods, materiel and equipment as the term was?
23 A. The function of the secretariat was to reinforce the army with
24 military conscripts and materiel and equipment.
25 Q. Can you please tell us, how did the army communicate their needs
1 to you?
2 A. These needs were communicated at the level of the Ministry of
3 Defence. This was integral communication. And then this was broken down
4 and sent to -- first to Banja Luka, to the department of defence in Banja
5 Luka, which then broke down that information into various units. And this
6 department, as the second level in the organisation of the Ministry of
7 Defence, would submit the information to us, and we acted on that
8 information, and we reinforced the units in the territory of Prijedor
9 Municipality. We also did it elsewhere, not only in Prijedor but also in
10 Banja Luka, depending on where units were located. So from a higher
11 level, we would get a breakdown according to which we would then reinforce
12 all of our units with both troops and materiel and technical equipment.
13 Q. Can we then conclude that the army never communicated its needs
14 either through the Municipal Assembly or through the Crisis Staff?
15 A. If you are talking about the brigades, the 43rd Brigade and
16 others, they never communicated directly to us. They would communicate it
17 towards the Ministry of Defence, and then the Ministry of Defence would
18 inform the departments, and the departments would then inform us about the
19 requirements for troops and the materiel and technical equipment.
20 Q. Is it correct that your municipal secretariat for national defence
21 could not command the troops, the army?
22 A. The municipal secretariat for national defence did not have any
23 authority to command anybody or anything. It didn't have any instruments
24 of coercion. It didn't have any people that would enforce anything. We
25 only had nine people working in our agency, and three people in the
1 information centre. That was all I had. I didn't have any other
2 authorities, neither me personally nor my agency had any authorities or
3 competencies towards any other organs or bodies.
4 Q. I have to ask you whether that means that your agency could also
5 not command the police, the Territorial Defence, the civilian protection?
6 Would that be correct?
7 A. I've already said that when I answered your previous question.
8 But let me just explain the term of "civilian defence." We as a body
9 participated in the preparations and reinforcements of the ranks of the
10 civilian protection. But at the level of the municipality, there was a
11 municipal staff for civilian defence, and its commander was the
12 vice-president of the Executive Board. From -- so we were in charge of
13 preparations, and the command was given to the commander. So we couldn't
14 command civilian defence. It was the commander who did that, and he
15 received his orders from the district staff for the civilian defence, and
16 the district staff received their orders from the republican staff. And
17 as for the other structures and bodies, we didn't have any authorities
18 over any of the bodies or organs that you have asked about.
19 Q. Mr. Budimir, you or your employees controlled companies and
20 institutions during the times of peace in order to see whether they comply
21 with the laws and obligations prescribed by various regulations dealing
22 with the requirements of national defence?
23 A. The law on national defence regulated the competency and authority
24 of the secretariat to inspect the preparedness for national defence of
25 companies and other legal entities. A certain period of time I spent
1 working as an inspector who was in charge of carrying out inspections.
2 But this is such a complex issue, and I don't have the time to now go into
3 details about all the plans that the companies had to draft. They had to
4 draft plans for exceptional conditions, extraordinary conditions, plans
5 for supplies under extraordinary conditions. So there were all sorts of
6 plans that I don't think I have the time to go into details of all of
7 these. If you have to ask me something more specific, I will gladly
8 answer, but this question was too general.
9 Q. My next question would be the following: Is it correct that you
10 did not have the right to command over any of these companies and
11 institutions in this sense?
12 A. When you say "you," I don't know what you mean.
13 Q. I apologise. As the municipal secretariat for national defence?
14 A. That is correct. We could not command anybody. When we noticed
15 as inspectors that certain companies did not comply with the regulations,
16 we could only issue a decision and a ruling that they should rectify their
17 procedures in order to comply with the regulations. And then when they
18 received this decision, they could appeal to a higher institution. But
19 they usually did not complain because they respected our professional
20 opinion, and they would rather put things right when they were told that
21 there were things to be put right.
22 Q. Is it correct that the army had its own lines of supply, that they
23 had other lines of supply outside of the requirements that went through
24 the secretariat for defence?
25 A. The army never sent requests to the secretariat for national
1 defence about their supplies. What they sent us were requirements for the
2 reinforcement of troops in particular units. As for the supplies, the
3 quartermaster supplies, the army had its central quartermaster supply, and
4 as the secretariat we had nothing whatsoever to do with the supplies for
5 the army.
6 Q. Is it also correct, and would you agree with me when I say that
7 your secretariat never supplied either the army or the police or the
8 Territorial Defence or the civilian protection with weapons and
10 A. I have to go back --
11 Q. We have to clarify some things, and we are taking the opportunity
12 of you being knowledgeable about things.
13 A. We never supplied anybody with ammunition, weapons, food, or
14 anything similar. The only thing we did as an organ of -- municipal
15 organ, we reinforced units and Territorial Defence with troops. And we
16 also carried out assignment of every conscript to companies, institutions
17 and other legal entities, and we also deployed conscripts into the units
18 of civilian protection.
19 Q. What was the form of the orders that you received from the higher
20 instances of your secretariat, later on the ministry? Were these orders
21 or decisions or what?
22 A. All the documents that arrived in the secretariat for national
23 defence were in the form of orders. I'm not ruling out the possibility
24 that there were some other kinds of documents, bearing in mind the
25 administrative nature of our organ. We also had the authority and
1 competencies to deal with the issues of all the conscripts in terms of
2 their ability for the army, whether they were able to serve the army or
3 not. So these documents were not orders. But I believe that you're
4 asking me about the documents that arrived from higher
5 instance -- institutions, and these arrived in the form of orders.
6 Q. Was it customary for such orders that you received from your
7 superiors, from the secretariat of national defence, later on from the
8 Ministry of Defence, would contain the addressee and what measures should
9 be taken?
10 A. The orders which arrived in my organ, since we had professionals
11 working across the board, and these professionals knew what state
12 documents were, regardless of their form, whether they were orders,
13 decisions, conclusions, or any other. All of these documents should have
14 contained a number, the date, the addressees, which actions were required,
15 specific deadline by which these measures were supposed to be taken, who
16 the documents were to be delivered to, and who should be informed about
17 the implementation of the order that has been received.
18 Q. I would like to go back to the question of mobilisation. Would
19 you kindly explain to us whether the callup papers or replenishment and
20 reinforcement of units were delivered by the military police or by the
21 civilian police, that is, the Ministry of the Interior?
22 A. The department of the Ministry of Defence, and earlier on, the
23 secretariat for defence, were not delivered either by the military police
24 or by the civilian police. The conscripts received their callup papers
25 through a courier service that was established as a service of this
1 organ. These people who were couriers were also conscripts, and they
2 worked in the part of town where -- with which they were familiar. They
3 would receive callup papers from the officials in charge of mobilisation,
4 and they were the ones who delivered those callup papers to the
5 conscripts. It was their obligation to hand-deliver the callup papers and
6 report whether they found the conscript at home or not.
7 In case the conscript was home but refused to take the callup
8 paper, then we, as the body, would ask the police to bring this particular
9 conscript to our department for national defence, and later on to the unit
10 to which he was assigned. And that was only the case if the conscript was
11 found at home but refused to take the callup paper.
12 Q. In the spring and summer of 1992, your secretariat, and later on
13 the department of the Ministry of Defence, did it participate in the
14 reinforcement of the units of the Ministry of the Interior with men?
15 A. The municipal secretariat for national defence, from 1991 when the
16 mobilisation of the units and structures of the army started, also started
17 developing the reserve police units. The municipal secretariat headed by
18 my predecessor Mr. Medunjanin carried out mobilisation of the reserve
19 units of the police. But it did not carry out the mobilisation of the
20 army. At that time, it carried out the mobilisation and reinforcement of
21 the units of the Territorial Defence.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Budimir, in the interest of the time, I
23 would ask you to only answer the questions put to you, and the question
24 put to you was related to spring and summer of 1992 only.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In any case, thank you, Mr. Budimir, for this additional
2 explanation. I would now like to ask you whether you can explain to us
3 who was it who decided about military assignment? In other words, who
4 would be given what assignment?
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: During which period of time, please?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. If you can explain whether the same regulations were in force
8 before the 30th of April and after the 30th of April 1992. Let's say
9 throughout the entire 1992.
10 A. As for the military assignment, it was not a decision by -- made
11 by any individual. It depended on who was trained for what during their
12 compulsory military service, and it was based on their physical
13 abilities. There were professionals who decided on that depending on
14 people's military occupation. There were professionals who decided on
15 that in keeping with the military occupation of the people who were at
16 their disposal throughout all that time.
17 Q. When you're talking about professionals, are you talking about the
18 professionals affiliated with your organ, the secretariat for national
20 A. Yes, the secretariat, and later on at the department of the
21 Ministry of Defence.
22 Q. Now I would like to ask you something about the work obligation.
23 Do you remember who was it who drafted plans on work obligation?
24 A. Companies, institutions, and other legal entities. They would
25 deliver their plans to us with their requirements. We did not have to
1 respect their requirements to the full. But as much as we could, we
2 respected their wishes. However, you have to know that we had to meet the
3 needs of the army and the police and the Territorial Defence first. And
4 it was only then when we could meet the requirements of companies and
5 institutions for people who would be assigned to work obligation.
6 Q. You became a member of the Executive Board of the Serbian Assembly
7 of the Municipality of Prijedor after the takeover, which was on the 30th
8 of April 1992. You became a member because you were the head of the
9 municipal secretariat for national defence.
10 A. No, I was not the head of the secretariat; I was an assistant for
11 civilian affairs. And I've already said that I became a member of the
12 Executive Board as the secretary of the municipal secretariat. So it was
13 my function that entitled me to membership in the Executive Board.
14 Q. Can you tell us, up to when were you a member of the Executive
15 Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor and why you stopped being a
17 A. I was a member up to the 1st of August 1992, and then by the
18 decision of the Ministry of Defence, I was appointed the chief of the
19 department of the Ministry of Defence. Thus, I became an official of a
20 state organ. I stopped being an official of a municipal body. As a state
21 body official, I could not be a member of a municipal body. These two
22 were incompatible.
23 Q. The rule according to which state officials could not be members
24 of a municipal body was in force even before the 30th of April, 1992.
25 Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. For that same reason, army officers and Ministry of Defence
3 officials could also not be members of the Executive Board of any
4 Municipal Assembly. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 Q. Now, I would like to ask you something about the National Defence
7 Council. Whose organ was the National Defence Council?
8 A. The National Defence Council was one of the organs of the
9 Municipal Assembly.
10 Q. What was the main role of that body?
11 A. I have already explained that, so I'll be brief this time because
12 the Presiding Judge has already drew my attention to the time. The role
13 was to consider the issues from the authority of the municipality and put
14 forth proposals with this regard. Obviously, the issues relative to
16 Q. Could this body make decisions with executive force?
17 A. No.
18 Q. The Municipal Assembly, was that a body which adopted decisions on
19 the issues on which proposals were put forth by the National Defence
21 A. The National Defence Council formed opinions, put forth proposals
22 and submitted those through the assembly. And the assembly could take
23 those into consideration, and only adopt those decisions which were in
24 keeping with the law on national defence.
25 Q. Do you remember if the meetings of this body were attended by
1 people who were not its members? If you remember the minutes of a meeting
2 of this body, the meeting that took part on the 15th of May 1992, this
3 meeting was attended by three representatives of the army. And there was
4 also Mr. Simo Miskovic there. Also Milenko Rajic was there. Were these
5 people guests at the meeting, and do you know what their role was? Can
6 you tell us something about that?
7 A. I've already said that after the elections which took place in
8 1990, the assembly never appointed people to the defence council in
9 keeping with the act on defence. And that is probably why, depending on
10 the issue that were on the agenda, there were other people present at the
11 meetings because the issues that were discussed were never classified.
12 They were something that other people could be informed about.
13 Q. You've told us that this is the -- one of the bodies of the
14 Municipal Assembly, and earlier on, you told us that this body was not in
15 session during the existence of the Crisis Staff. However, while this
16 body was active, and that was the first half of May, did the army inform
17 the members of this body on its operations and activities? Did the army
18 inform this body about classified information, about things which were
19 classified as military secrets? Can you tell us something about that.
20 A. The army, under no regulation, had the obligation to inform the
21 Council for National Defence on those issues. And the army never did
22 inform the council on any of such issues. According to the law, all of
23 its obligations and activities, the army had to coordinate with its
24 superior command. And it was from that command that it received orders
25 for the -- for carrying out its actions and operations.
1 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Budimir.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe now is the time for a
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. May I ask the usher, please, to escort the
5 witness out of the courtroom.
6 As to the fact that this Trial Chamber discusses administrative
7 matters and other issues under the rules designed to be part of Status
8 Conferences, I reviewed the transcript, and I found out that it's time,
9 and it is necessary once again, to address you Dr. Stakic in person by
10 asking you whether you have any complaints about the situation in the
11 United Nations Detention Unit; and in addition, whether you have actually
12 any health problems.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no problems. Half a day work
14 is okay, and I can cope with that.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the defendant. We can't hear the
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have been informed that Mr. Pavic
18 has arrived, and he is a member of my Defence team. But he has not
19 visited me yet.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the meantime, it was once again
21 cross-checked, and there is -- at least there should be no obstacle for a
22 monitored visit by this member of your Defence team. So I think it would
23 be appropriate, if there is -- should be any obstacle, then the Defence
24 should alert us on this and giving the concrete names of persons denying
25 the access of these persons to the United Nations Detention Unit.
1 But what about the situation in the United Nations Detention Unit
2 as such? Are there any actual problems in the moment?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. There are no
4 problems at all.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This concludes this morning's hearing. After
8 the break, we'll restart. The trial stays adjourned until 30 minutes past
10 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.35 p.m.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please continue.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Budimir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. During the war, that is, after April 1992, in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, and in Prijedor, was there a terminology
18 dividing or making a distinction between military and civilian
20 A. This is a general question. I personally based my testimony on
21 the laws and regulations. In the army, there are no authorities, and as
22 far as I'm concerned, the term "military authorities" from the legal point
23 of view does not exist.
24 Q. Is there a term "civilian authorities"?
25 A. Authorities exist. Legislative authority, executive authority,
1 and judicial authority.
2 Q. Thank you. Then I will not keep you on this ground any longer?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to show
4 Exhibit S107 to the witness.
5 Q. Do you have this document in front of you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This document is dated 30th of May 1992, signed by Simo Drljaca.
8 From the first sentence in this document, can you see that the first
9 person singular is used in relation to the person issuing the order? In
10 other words, does it say "I order the following..."?
11 A. That's what it says.
12 Q. In the same sentence, I know you are not a language expert, if
13 there is any decision by the Crisis Staff mentioned in this sentence,
14 wouldn't it be correct to interpret that there is a decision by the Crisis
15 Staff for or relating to rapid and efficient restoration of peace, and not
16 securing of these facilities --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous interpretation continues] ... of a
18 hypothetical nature.
19 MR. LUKIC: It's not in the transcript. But did I hear that the
20 question is not admitted?
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That is correct. It should read: "Question not
22 admitted because of its hypothetical nature."
23 MR. LUKIC: But discussing about this document, we always had
24 hypothetical nature of questions relating to whether there was the
25 decision of the Crisis Staff or whether there was not a decision of Crisis
1 Staff regarding this issue. And many questions have been asked relating
2 to this question. So if I may reformulate my question and try to ask the
3 witness his opinion.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thanks.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, I'm saying this again, if you can
7 tell us, how do you see -- how do you understand the meaning of the first
8 sentence in this document? What could it possibly refer to? What could
9 the decision of the Crisis Staff, if any, refer to?
10 A. I have already said that I do not wish to express my own views and
11 comments. I can only talk about the documents. And when the Presiding
12 Judge asked me about this document, I made my view clear and said that I
13 don't know about such a decision of the Crisis Staff. And what is written
14 here and in which form, I really don't want to comment on.
15 Q. In Item 3 of this document, there is a reference to three names.
16 Item 3 reads: "Further work and the selection of detainees shall be
17 continued by a mixed group of national, public, and military security
18 investigators. They shall be organised respecting the same principles of
19 equal representation. Mirko Jesic, Ranko Mijic, and Lieutenant-Colonel
20 Majstorovic shall be responsible for their work."
21 First of all, let me ask you, was any of these persons a member of
22 the Crisis Staff?
23 A. From the decision on the organisation and establishment of the
24 staff, you can see clearly the composition of the staff. It proceeds from
25 that that none of these persons were members of the Crisis Staff.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 Could the Crisis Staff issue any orders to members of the
3 national, public, or military security?
4 A. I've already answered a similar question saying that the Crisis
5 Staff had no competencies or powers over the police or the army, and the
6 bodies you mentioned are an integral part of the police and the army. It
7 follows, therefore, that the Crisis Staff could not issue any orders to
8 the Ministry of the Interior or the VRS, the army of Republika Srpska.
9 Q. In Item 11 of this document, could you please turn the page and
10 look at Item 11, we read, and it refers to the three persons mentioned
11 above: "The security services coordinators shall submit every day a
12 report on the preceding 24 hours to the chief of the Prijedor public
13 security station at 1200 hours or when the circumstances allow no delay,
14 they shall do so immediately."
15 Did you see that the organisers -- coordinators of these services
16 ever submit a report of this kind to the Crisis Staff of the Municipal
17 Assembly of Prijedor?
18 A. I've never seen any such report.
19 Q. In Item 12, we can read: "The chief of security shall proceed in
20 the same way with regard to the operation of the security services and
21 security problems, if any."
22 Have you ever received a similar report, a report of that kind,
23 from the chief of security in the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly
24 of Prijedor?
25 A. I didn't receive all the documents that were addressed to the
1 Crisis Staff, but such a document never passed through my hands.
2 Q. In Item 15, which is on the following page, if you would be so
3 kind as to turn, please, the chief of the public security station, Simo
4 Drljaca, orders: "I strictly forbid provision of any information
5 whatsoever concerning the functioning of this collection centre. All
6 official written documents shall be kept at the collection centre and may
7 be taken out of it or destroyed only upon the approval of the chief of the
8 Prijedor public security station. This shall be the responsibility of the
9 security staff."
10 Is this one of the parts of this document relating to the rest of
11 the documentation indicating that outside of this centre, it was not known
12 what was going on, so you, in the Crisis Staff, did not know what was
13 going on in the Omarska investigation centre either?
14 A. I cannot draw any conclusions on why and how. I can only say that
15 I never had these documents before me, nor did I attend any sessions of
16 the Crisis Staff that possibly discussed these documents.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: May I ask the usher to exchange the document and show
19 the witness the document number 180, please.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, I know it may be a little difficult
21 to skip from one document to another the way we are doing, but I would
22 appreciate it if you could tell us this: From item 18, which is on the
23 top of page 1, you can see the number 18 here on top of the page, can we
24 see from this item on what basis the decision on the organisation and work
25 of the Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff was adopted?
1 A. It says: "Pursuant to the constitution of the Republic of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina -- constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
4 Q. Does that mean that we see from this decision that the Crisis
5 Staff of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly was not established on any -- on
6 the basis of any decision made by the defence council of the Municipal
7 Assembly of Prijedor? It was adopted based on the constitution of the
8 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely, Article 110.
9 A. I have already explained the function and the purview of the
10 National Defence Council. It was a body of the assembly. It was an
11 advisory body and it was not able to make decisions. It was the assembly
12 that made decisions, not this body.
13 Q. Insofar as you are familiar with the legislation relating to the
14 national defence and social self-protection, and we know that you spent a
15 lot of your years of service working in these bodies, can you tell us, did
16 this legislation ever envisage that civilian politicians at municipal
17 level participate in the making of decisions of the army and the police in
18 the case of immediate threat of war?
19 A. I have already said earlier that the army operated under the law
20 on the army, and the Ministry of the Interior operated under the law on
21 the Ministry of the Interior. I said these were state bodies, not
22 municipal bodies. There was no intertwining of competencies. Everything
23 was very precisely regulated by the legislation so that the Municipal
24 Assembly and its bodies had no powers over the army or the police. In
25 keeping with the law on the army and the law on the Ministry of the
1 Interior, these matters were regulated at state level.
2 Q. The question I will now ask will sound to you as the same, but I
3 have to ask you. Did anybody of the officials of the Municipal Assembly
4 or the Crisis Staff have the ability to prevent any action of the army or
5 the police?
6 A. I have already said this. There was legislation regulating the
7 competencies and powers of all entities involved. The entities that you
8 mentioned did not have any power to prevent any activity undertaken by the
9 army or the police, if I understood the drift of your question.
10 Q. You have, and I thank you.
11 I will go just one step further before we finish with this area.
12 Since they were unable to prevent, did these civilian authorities have the
13 ability to punish anyone from the army or the police for any action that
14 was already taken?
15 A. Not a single provision in the legislation envisaged that it was
16 within the purview of the municipal bodies to take sanctions against the
17 army or the police. They were answerable for their work to their
18 superiors. But as far as pointing out of problems in the territory of the
19 municipality and the taking of measures to prevent repetition of such
20 incidents, it was the obligation of municipal bodies to point out such
21 things and ask the competent authorities to take whatever measures were
22 necessary to redress any deficiencies and problems.
23 Q. Was it also the duty of every citizen?
24 A. That goes without saying. The system worked in such a way that
25 every citizen was required to report to the police any event that he
1 witnessed that violated public law and order or went contrary to -- ran
2 contrary to the legislation.
3 Q. We have established that the sessions of the Crisis Staff were
4 occasionally attended by Mr. Arsic and Mr. Zeljaja. Did the Crisis Staff
5 or the National Defence Council have the ability to require them to
6 report, to provide information? If I may assist you, could the Crisis
7 Staff tell Mr. Arsic, "We want to know where this or that battalion is
8 located and what operations it is conducting."
9 A. Anyone could ask any question they saw fit. It was not forbidden
10 to ask questions. But these matters were within the purview of the army
11 and in keeping with the law on the army, the commander was not required to
12 give any explanations regarding the activities of the army. Therefore,
13 there were no such questions asked, only general questions were asked
14 about unrest, disturbances of law and order, robberies, looting,
15 et cetera. As far as activities of the army are concerned, and its
16 operations, no questions were ever asked.
17 Q. Were meetings of the Crisis Staff supposed to be attended by a
18 certain number of the members of the Crisis Staff?
19 A. I really don't know. I don't know whether there is any document
20 which provides for a minimum number. In the work, I didn't pay too much
21 attention to that. I know that sessions were attended by a certain number
22 of members, but I don't know whether there was a minimum number. There
23 were sessions which were not attended by a certain number of people
24 because their work took them elsewhere. I was one of those people who
25 sometimes couldn't attend the meetings of the Crisis Staff because I had
1 to inspect facilities on the ground.
2 Q. Thank you. Did the Crisis Staff control the media in Prijedor
4 A. The Crisis Staff, as an institution, I don't remember that it ever
5 discussed the media. It did not have any such authority, and it never
6 discussed those matters at any of its sessions. It never gave any orders
7 to the media. Whether any individual member of the Crisis Staff had
8 personal contacts with any of the journalists or editors in chief of the
9 media, I wouldn't know. Personally, I don't have that information.
10 Q. Do you know - maybe you can explain to us - how much weaponry was
11 in Prijedor Municipality at the time and who was it who was armed? Also,
12 what kind of problems did it cause in the spring and summer of 1992?
13 A. I have already said that when I was talking about mobilisation and
14 the reinforcement of units and structures which were legally mobilised and
15 armed. And as for other weaponry, I didn't have any information. I did
16 not keep any official record on that, and it was not part of my duties to
17 keep an official record on other weaponry.
18 Q. The Crisis Staff, and before that, the Municipal Assembly, did
19 they identify the problem and did they ask from the army to disarm the
20 illegally armed units and individuals?
21 A. We were talking about that yesterday when we were talking about
22 the disarmament of paramilitary units and we're talking about the minutes
23 of the meetings of the national Security Council, and I believe that I've
24 already said enough about that.
25 Q. I had to ask you these questions in order to avoid giving the
1 impression that my following questions are going to be leading questions.
2 Did the Crisis Staff issue any proclamations calling upon people
3 to surrender their illegal weapons?
4 A. To be honest, I don't remember that very well. I remember that
5 the Crisis Staff called upon able-bodied men to report to their units.
6 There were also announcements calling people to restore peace and order,
7 and other sorts of appeal in the media.
8 Q. Thank you very much. This is exactly what I wanted to hear from
9 you. And this is exactly what I wanted to ask you, about these
10 announcements and proclamations. Were these announcements binding upon
11 the army and the police? Were they compelled by these announcements to
12 start disarming these units and individuals who were illegally armed?
13 A. These announcements were addressed to citizens. They were not
14 addressed to the military and police structures. They were just an appeal
15 to citizens to act accordingly. They did not apply to the police and to
16 the military.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MR. LUKIC: I would like now to have Exhibit Number S79 shown to
19 the witness, please.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Budimir, the Chamber has already asked you
21 something about this document. I have a question relative to Item 3.
22 This is a document which was drafted on 17 June 1992, and it is an order.
23 Its form is the form of an order. The Item 3 of this document says that
24 the Crisis Staff should give its consent to the members proposed for the
25 platoon by the regional command and public security station. And the
1 order is relative to the establishment of a single intervention unit of
2 the police and the army.
3 Did you ever attend a session of the Crisis Staff, or did you hear
4 from other members of the Crisis Staff, that the Crisis Staff had given
5 its consent for the composition of the intervention platoon whose
6 establishment was required by this document?
7 A. I said enough yesterday about this document. I would only like to
8 add that we asked for all the irregularities to be prevented. And by
9 that, I mean plundering, theft, killings. We asked the police and the
10 army to restore order and peace. How they were going to do that, we
11 didn't know. We thought that people that they had available to them were
12 not good enough, and we wanted some new people to take their place. What
13 they did after that, I don't know. In any case, we could not exert any
14 influence on the selection of these new people who were supposed to take
15 care of law and order.
16 Q. So did the Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor have
17 under its command the here mentioned intervention platoon or any other
18 police unit for that matter?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 I have to go back to the subject matter of the municipal
22 secretariat for national defence which was the agency that you worked for.
23 You said that you were in charge of keeping the record of conscripts, that
24 you also sent callup papers, and you have explained to us how this was
25 done. Once conscripts were sent to their respective military units, you
1 as the municipal secretariat for national defence, were you in any way
2 responsible for these soldiers or policemen?
3 A. I would like to correct the first part of your question. It was
4 not me personally that kept the records, but my agency that I headed. And
5 as for the second part of your question, once the Ministry of Defence
6 delivers the callup papers and the recruit responds to it, reports to the
7 place where they were supposed to report to and are sent to the unit, then
8 the responsibilities of the secretariat regarding the status, status and
9 the rights and obligations of this conscript ceased to exist until the
10 moment this conscript is demobilised and is again placed at the disposal
11 of the Ministry of Defence. Then again we assume responsibility and we
12 continue keeping that person on our record.
13 Q. Mr. Budimir, is it also correct that you did not even know what
14 units the people whom you mobilised were assigned to, that it was the army
15 who decided on that?
16 A. I told you how mobilisation was carried out. When I was at the
17 head of this agency, and when the additional mobilisation took place, this
18 additional mobilisation was carried out according to regulations, and I
19 did not have any information as to where conscripts were sent to. This
20 was done in the computer centre based on their military specialty. And
21 that's how they were assigned to units. I was not in the position to know
22 where each of the conscripts were being sent to. It would not be
23 feasible, given the large number of the people who were mobilised.
24 Q. I agree with you. I just wanted your clarification on that. Is
25 it also correct that the army did not inform you when somebody got killed,
1 so it would happen that you send callup papers to people who had already
2 been dead?
3 A. Yes, there were cases like that. But this was only natural given
4 the situation and the difficulties in the theatres of war. There was no
5 timely correspondence between us and them, and that's why things like that
7 Q. I would also like to ask you another thing. Among the members of
8 your family, are there any non-Serbs?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us who they are and can you tell us something about
11 them, where were they in 1991 and 1992?
12 A. My sister was married to Broho Branic [phoen] in Prijedor, and she
13 has two children with him.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, Your Honour. The witness has not
15 answered the second part of the question.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm aware. But I wanted to leave it for the
17 Defence to continue because the question is not answered yet.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Can you tell us what happened to your sister and your
20 brother-in-law in 1991 and 1992?
21 A. Before the war started, they were divorced. One daughter remained
22 with my sister, and the other daughter and her father left the territory
23 of Republika Srpska. And now they reside in America.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So now I have to intervene myself, because in
25 fact the second part of the question, I anticipated you would come back to
1 this. But as you didn't, the question was: "Among the members of your
2 family, are there any non-Serbs?" This was the question.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You just mentioned the name, but we do not know what is the ethnic
5 background of your brother-in-law.
6 A. He is a Muslim. I believe that you would be able to conclude that
7 based on the first and the last name. I apologise if you were not able to
8 do that and if I was not precise in giving you the answer.
9 Q. You were telling us about the documents which were indispensable
10 for some categories of people to leave the territory of Republika Srpska.
11 Regulations and legal provisions that regulated that matter at that time,
12 were they passed at the level of the municipality of Prijedor or at some
13 other level, like, for example, the level of the republic?
14 A. The government of Republika Srpska issued a decree on the movement
15 of people and goods in the territory of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Were the documents that people were supposed to obtain different
17 for those who were able-bodied and fit for military service and others?
18 A. We did not have any authority over conscripts. It was the
19 military authorities who had authority over them. And as for the movement
20 of civilians and other citizens, this decree gave us the authority over
21 them. When I say "we," I mean the agency that I was the head of.
22 Q. If a Serbian wished to leave the territory of Republika Srpska, in
23 1992, after the takeover, that is, after the 30th of April 1992, was that
24 person free to do that or was that person also required to have prescribed
1 A. The decree did not make a distinction between ethnic backgrounds.
2 It was applied equally across the board, and it was applied to all
3 citizens regardless of their ethnic background.
4 Q. I have to tell you before this Honourable Chamber what has been
5 alleged here. It has been alleged that non-Serbs were required to sign a
6 document by which they were leaving all of its belongings, all of its
7 assets to the government of Republika Srpska, and in return, they would be
8 allowed to leave the territory of Republika Srpska. Did you ask people to
9 provide you with such a document in order for you to give them a permit to
10 leave the territory of Republika Srpska or what did you do?
11 A. The decree and the subsequent orders and decrees of the competent
12 bodies, and in that, I mean the ministry, it was never provided for the
13 similar documents to be submitted by people who wanted to leave the
14 territory of Republika Srpska. Among the documents that were required by
15 the decree was not any such document as the one that you have just
17 Q. Although you are not an expert on the following area, I will still
18 ask you, because all of us have some immoveable assets. Do you know that
19 in our country, before the war, during the war, and after the war, that
20 for somebody to transfer the ownership of their immoveable property, this
21 has to be done through the so-called land books, which are kept by
22 municipal courts for every municipality?
23 A. I have general information on that, but I don't have any precise
24 information because in my private life, I've never been faced with that.
25 In my job, I've never been faced with that, so I would not be able to give
1 you any precise information on that.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Budimir. I have no
3 further questions for you at the moment.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Prosecution may, then, proceed as to the
5 fact that the envisaged 66(C) hearing will be held in camera only a
6 quarter past 3.00, and not in this courtroom. The Prosecution may proceed
7 until 3.00 sharp, please.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Questioned by Mr. Koumjian:
10 Q. Mr. Budimir, did you join the SDS party in 1994?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell us, sir, how long were you either the secretary for
13 the secretariat for people's defence in Prijedor or its successor, and I'm
14 not -- please, you can give us the title. I don't want to make an error
15 on that, when it became part of the Ministry of Defence, that same body.
16 How long did you remain in that position?
17 A. I remained in that position up to year 1996 or 1997. And for six
18 months, I was the vice-president of the Executive Board of the Municipal
19 Assembly. And after that, I was the chief of the department for planning
20 in Banja Luka, in the Ministry of Defence. And that was up to the time
21 when I took my current employment. I believe that I have given you the
22 right date, but I can't be sure. But that was in any case the way my
23 career went.
24 Q. Thank you. Sir, can you explain to us how the secretariat for
25 people's defence in Prijedor Municipality was divided into four different
1 sections at the time of the takeover on the 30th of April, prior to and
2 after the takeover.
3 A. Yes. Within the secretariat, we had a section for defence
4 preparations, then for military affairs, a section for civilian
5 protection, and a section for administrative and legal affairs. So we can
6 call it sections or departments, whichever way you want to call them. We
7 had these four sections, and I worked in the section for defence
8 preparations, and later on I was the assistant for the civilian sector or
9 for civilian preparations.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, let's go through each of those, and if you
11 could briefly give an explanation of the responsibilities of that
12 section. First section you mentioned was the section for defence
13 preparation. What were the responsibilities of that section?
14 A. We mainly did planning of the all people's defence, as we were
15 supposed to do, within the purview of the Municipal Assembly. And we also
16 carried out inspections of these preparations, enterprises, companies, and
17 other economic entities. We also wrote reports and studies of the
18 situation regarding defence in all its aspects.
19 Q. Can you briefly explain the section for military affairs, the
20 responsibilities of that section.
21 A. The section for military affairs had a record of military
22 conscripts aged 16 to 60, or 65, for regular soldiers and officers
23 respectively, and determined wartime assignments for every military
24 conscript between military units, Territorial Defence, and other bodies
25 such as civilian protection.
1 Q. Thank you. Just to clarify something that was mentioned a few
2 moments ago in Mr. Lukic's questions, during the time period after the
3 takeover through 1992, or let's say until August 1st, because you said the
4 section changed somewhat at that time, would it be correct that during
5 that time period, from the 30th of April until the end of July, that when
6 you assigned a conscript to a military unit, you, in your secretariat,
7 would designate the unit that that conscript would go to? That was part
8 of your database and part of the information you gave the conscript,
10 A. Well, in principle, as we explained before, that would be
11 correct. However, in that particular period, mobilisation had already
12 been carried out so that the system of assigning military conscripts was
13 broken up. We didn't know who was where at this point. In that period,
14 we used this period to harmonise databases with the army, because we
15 didn't have enough data on who was in the police, who was in the army. We
16 had only data for civilian defence. We used this time to establish who
17 was where, and then when the records were straightened out, we knew where
18 every military conscript was. And from that point on, when we sent callup
19 papers to a military conscript, he was required to respond.
20 Q. Thank you. I believe a third area you mentioned was civilian
21 defence. You can correct me if I have the title wrong. And this was the
22 position in which you were in, you were the head of, on the 29th of April
23 1992. Is that correct?
24 A. That is correct. This section was headed by Zoran Pavic, and we
25 had those four sections in our organisation that I mentioned. We had two
1 assistants of the secretary, one of whom was in charge of civilian defence
2 and military preparations -- sorry, preparations. And the other one was
3 in charge of military affairs. Later he was also assigned to deal with
4 the legal affairs such as legal issues which may arise in connection with
5 the rights and duties of military conscripts, et cetera.
6 Q. Thank you. But I think perhaps we don't quite understand each
7 other. I'm sorry, let me try to clarify. We went through the
8 responsibilities of two of the sections. A third section, I believe, was
9 called civilian defence. Is that the correct title?
10 A. No. Civilian protection, rather than defence. Protection being a
11 broader term than defence.
12 Q. Thank you. Were you the head of that section prior to the
13 takeover on the 30th of April?
14 A. I was not the head of that section before the takeover. I was
15 carrying out inspection duties. I worked as inspector in this section for
16 defence preparations.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you for that-- for clarifying that. Can you explain
18 the responsibilities of the section for civilian protection.
19 A. The responsibilities of the section for civilian protection
20 included planning and preparation for the work and operation of the
21 civilian protection, establishing units and formations of civilian
22 protection for all purposes, from general to specialised units such as
23 veterinarian, radioactive, and other protection. And in keeping with the
24 law, this section assigned military conscripts to this section, but only
25 based on the proposal of the competent body until the moment they were
1 actually used. At that moment, the competence over them passed over to
2 the head of the relevant assistant of the chairman of the Executive Board.
3 Q. To be a bit more concrete on the responsibilities for civilian
4 protection, would I be correct if I understood you to mean that among
5 these responsibilities would be providing for the health care of the
6 population in the time of war or other catastrophe and providing for
7 shelter during war for civilians and basic humanitarian relief?
8 A. No, this section did not have anything to do with health care or
9 humanitarian protection. It was supposed to help in case of natural
10 disasters and similar accidents, but that did not mean health care and
11 humanitarian work. It only meant rescue and assistance at the moment of
12 the accident concerned, whereas health care was provided by health care
13 organisations and humanitarian assistance was provided by humanitarian
15 Q. Thank you. Can you explain the responsibilities of the
16 administrative and legal affairs very briefly, the final section.
17 A. That section dealt with the administrative and legal aspects of
18 various applications by military conscripts for instance, if they
19 complained about violations of their rights during their service, this
20 section dealt with such complaints. It also instituted proceedings
21 against persons who failed to adhere to the orders of the competent
22 authorities within which this section worked.
23 Q. At the time of the takeover, all of these sections were located in
24 the same building with the SUP across from the Municipal Assembly.
1 A. Yes, conditionally speaking in the SUP building, because I
2 explained exactly yesterday how the ownership of this building was
3 divided. But yes, we know what we are talking about.
4 Q. Sir, how often would you have contact with Mr. Becir Medunjanin
5 prior to the takeover?
6 A. I didn't have much contact with Mr. Medunjanin before the takeover
7 for the simple reason that he had his own deputies and assistants. I
8 mentioned Mr. Marmat and Mr. Dzihic who were his predecessors. And in
9 addition to them, he had three men before me to consult with. And I was
10 number four in this line. So we didn't have much contact really. It was
11 just when we needed to discuss a particular issue related to defence
12 preparations or the civilian aspect. But such occasions were very few,
13 and those times were very busy, and they were all busy dealing with the
14 mobilisation and the failure of military conscripts to respond to
15 mobilisation callups, so they had little time for other things.
16 Q. Did I understand you correctly that there were nine employees of
17 the secretariat prior to the takeover?
18 A. No. I didn't make myself very clear. I said after the takeover
19 and the reorganisation of the secretariat from the municipal body which
20 became an executive body, that was true. Before that, this body, together
21 with the centre for alerting, the total number of employees was 35 to 36.
22 Q. How far was your office from Mr. Medunjanin's office on the 29th
23 of April?
24 A. One floor apart --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: On the same floor,
1 the witness seems to have said.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN:
3 Q. Just to clarify, you had an office on the same floor. Is that
5 A. One floor apart.
6 Q. Would you see Mr. Medunjanin daily?
7 A. I don't know what you mean by "daily" exactly. I can tell you
8 that I saw him every day, considering that we came to the same building to
9 work and left it. We did work in the same building; therefore, we saw
10 each other often.
11 Q. Thank you. You understood me. Sir, when Mr. Medunjanin, as you
12 said, did not come to work on the 30th of April, did you return any
13 personal items to him or his family that were left in his office?
14 A. I didn't return anything, nor did he leave behind anything in his
15 office. There were the normal items on his desk. I don't know if he left
16 any personal belongings there.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, when did you become aware of Mr. Medunjanin's
18 fate of what happened to him in Prijedor?
19 A. I cannot answer this precisely. I really don't know. I don't
20 know either when it happened or when I learned about it.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Sir, His Honour Judge Schomburg did ask you
22 some questions about that. I don't want to repeat it.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: But I'd like the usher to please put on the ELMO, I
24 have a blown-up copy of S162/5. Perhaps it could receive a new number.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We should take the usual procedure and add -1.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Budimir, it may be clearer to you if you turn to your left and
3 actually look at the paper, whatever is easier for you, rather than the
4 computer screen. But it's up to you.
5 First, do you recognise any of the individuals in that
6 photograph? Sir, why don't you actually turn and look at the photocopy on
7 the screen and see if it's better. It's to your left.
8 A. I recognise Mr. Medunjanin. I don't know the other people. I had
9 no occasion to see anyone else. I can look at either copy, whatever you
10 want me to do.
11 Q. Sir, is it -- does it appear to you that the individuals on the
12 ground are dressed in civilian clothing, and that those around them armed
13 are in uniform?
14 A. Well, it doesn't appear to me. I can see that much.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the witness please be so kind and look on
16 the ELMO. It might be easier for you and us. And would you please take
17 the pointer and show us which person you identified as Mr. Medunjanin.
18 THE WITNESS: [Indicates]
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Indicating for the record the individual on his
20 knees for the left-hand side of the photograph with hands together in
21 front of his body.
22 Q. Sir, in your secretariat, did this photograph, did this event,
23 cause some discussion among the employees that worked with Mr. Medunjanin
24 for over a year?
25 A. No, I don't think there was. I don't remember that I ever saw
1 this issue of Kozarski Vjesnik when it came out. And I don't know where I
2 was at the time, whether I was in Prijedor or anywhere around Prijedor.
3 But I don't remember any particular comments that could have been made
4 about this.
5 Q. Well, just to be clear about your last remark, sir, did you travel
6 outside of Prijedor between the 30th of April and the end of September of
8 A. If you mean outside the territory of Prijedor Municipality, the
9 territory that was then controlled by Serb forces, yes, I did travel. But
10 I didn't go any further because while doing my job arranging files and
11 databases, I toured the units around the municipality, and I also had to
12 coordinate with the Ministry of Defence in Banja Luka. I had certain
13 duties related to that, so I didn't spend all my time strictly on the
14 territory of the municipality.
15 Q. Okay. So you went outside of the municipality of Prijedor in
16 order to visit units of the army. Is that correct?
17 A. I wasn't exactly touring the units themselves. I had to compare
18 the databases between various military departments with the database we
19 had in Prijedor. And I was accompanied only by my assistants who were
20 working together with me on this. And the rest was within the competence
21 of my superior organs. I mean, to tour the units was their job, it was
22 the job of the military department in Banja Luka. I wanted to make clear
23 that these were trips I made for work purposes. They were not private
24 visits, although I did know some of the soldiers. I went there to work.
25 Q. Thank you. So obviously, to visit these units, you had to have
1 information about where they were deployed. Correct?
2 A. I didn't have that information, and I didn't go along the lines of
3 deployment of units. I rather went to the headquarters of the units which
4 housed the personnel services of these units. That's where we did our
5 job. As far as the deployment of units across the territory and their
6 plans, the layouts, I really had no insight into that.
7 Q. For example, sir, were you aware that an artillery unit of the
8 43rd Brigade was brought back to the municipality from the front lines in
9 May prior to Hambarine incident?
10 A. I was aware of that, but I didn't go to the place where the unit
11 was located. I did not visit that territory.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Before leaving Mr. Medunjanin, the article
13 indicates that his wife and son were also arrested with him. Was there --
14 did you ever meet his wife prior to the takeover of Prijedor?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Sir, do you know why his wife, Sadeta Witness T, was arrested?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Sir, have you learned that Sadeta Medunjanin was put on a bus from
19 the Omarska camp and that bus disappeared, and those bodies including hers
20 have been exhumed within the municipality of Prijedor? Excuse me, it may
21 be in Sanski Most that her body was exhumed. But exhumed either near
22 Sanski Most, that borderlines one side or the other Prijedor-Sanski Most
24 A. No.
25 Q. Sir, you talked about the 24-hour information centre --
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, but I would appreciate if
2 the witness would read out this article, and especially the line under the
3 picture. And then finally find out whether he's able to identify any
4 other person on this picture.
5 Could you please be so kind and read out aloud this document.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, there is a translation attached to
7 that document, just so Your Honours and -- we may have one copy if the
8 booth needs it.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think when in conclusion of today's hearing,
10 because we have to conclude in fact at 3.00 sharp, if you would be so kind
11 and read very slowly that the interpreters can follow. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Yesterday, members of the army of
13 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina captured Becir Medunjanin
14 in one of the numerous dugouts above Kozarac. Another member of the
15 headquarters of the Sana/Una region, in the army of Alija Izetbegovic.
16 Together with him, his eldest son Besici, wife Sadeta, and Suad and Fehim
17 Trnjanin, and members of the Crisis Staff were also captured. The
18 operation for capturing Becir Medunjanin leader of Muslim extremists from
19 Kozarac was conducted by the army over 15 days. In the course of
20 capturing Becir Medunjanin yesterday morning around 8.00 a.m., not a
21 single soldier of the Serbian army was injured, but five members of the
22 Green Berets were liquidated. These five were the personal security
23 detail of the leader of Muslim extremists from Kozarac.
24 "During the arrest, a large volume of documentation and weaponry
25 were seized, including the Winchester rifle, the personal weapon of Becir
1 Medunjanin who, over the course of the past year, held himself out to be a
2 great peacemaker".
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then the line under the picture itself?
4 What does it read?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Becir Medunjanin together with wife
6 and son, and close associates, Trnjanin."
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And if you have a closer look on the entire
8 picture, can you identify any other individual? Maybe it's better to look
9 on the apparatus.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know these people, either
11 the soldiers or these people kneeling together with Mr. Medunjanin.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, if I could have two minutes to finish
13 with this article.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN:
16 Q. Sir, correct me if I am wrong, but I understood you to pronounce
17 the name as you were reading the article Medunjanin. Is it correct that
18 the pronunciation you used is the correct pronunciation, but the name in
19 the article is spelled, to make it sound Albanian? That is, misspelled to
20 make it sound Albanian?
21 A. I believe that we, in our secretariat, always referred to him as
22 Becir Medunjanin. I really don't have in front of me his ID or other
23 documents. I'm telling you how we called him. Which name is on his
24 personal identification papers, I have no way of knowing.
25 Q. Would it be correct that as spelled in the article, the name would
1 be pronounced Medunjani, and that would connote Albanian origins?
2 A. I wouldn't like to guess what it could possibly imply and what the
3 intentions were of the author of this. I told you I referred to him as
4 Becir Medunjanin, and I don't know how his name is spelled in his
6 Q. I didn't ask you about the intention of the authors. Does the
7 name Medunjani - you're from the former Yugoslavia - does that indicate to
8 most people someone of Albanian origins?
9 A. Well, from how it looks, yes, but I told you how I referred to
11 Q. Thank you. Sir, in the second-to-last paragraph, the last
12 sentence, if you could look at it again, it indicates that not a single
13 soldier was wounded during the capture of Becir Medunjani yesterday
14 morning at about 8.00 while at the same time five members of the Green
15 Berets were eliminated. Does that word "eliminated" mean to you that they
16 were killed, or does it mean to you more specifically that they were
18 A. Please do not ask me to talk about events which I did not
19 participate in or witness. I have no information about it, and I really
20 can't speak to how, why, and when. It would be more appropriate to ask
21 participants or those who issued the orders. I am the wrong person to
22 ask. I can't tell you anything.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Unfortunately, we have really to close now.
24 Only that the parties and, of course, you Mr. Budimir know, we have to
25 continue tomorrow in the morning, same courtroom, 9.00, with your
1 testimony. Then it would be followed by the testimony of the Defence
2 006. I have asked -- or to recall that the proffer of the first witness
3 for next week Monday is due tomorrow, and please inform the victim and
4 witness unit on the necessary personal data for the witnesses to come next
6 This concludes today's hearing. The trial stays adjourned until
7 tomorrow, 9.00.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
10 at 3.03 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
11 the 6th day of March, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.