1 Monday, 10 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good afternoon to everybody, even though it is
6 not a very good afternoon because Judge Schomburg has taken ill.
7 May I ask the Registrar to call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And appearances for the parties.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 Nicholas Koumjian, Ann Sutherland, and Lotte Karlsson for the Prosecution.
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
14 John Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. And as I just told, Judge Schomburg
16 is unfortunately not available to sit in the courtroom this afternoon
17 because he is not well. I understand from the legal officer that she has
18 informed you of his unavailability and that there are no objections to
19 Judge Argibay and I sitting this afternoon under Rule 15 bis.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Correct, Your Honour.
21 MR. LUKIC: Defence does not have any objections, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
23 May I ask, Dr. Stakic, do you have any objections to proceeding in
24 this way?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Therefore, considering that Judge Schomburg is
2 not available to sit in this case today for reasons of his personal
3 health, Judge Argibay and I, being satisfied that it is in the interest of
4 the justice to do so, and based on the consent of the parties and
5 Dr. Stakic himself, I hereby order pursuant to Rule 15 bis of the Rules of
6 Procedure and Evidence that for today, the hearing continue in the absence
7 of Judge Schomburg.
8 I would like to start with -- I would like to touch upon some
9 procedural matters. As regards today's witness, in light of Judge
10 Schomburg's absence, I would like to ask the parties whether they object
11 to interrupting the testimony of Mr. Travar, who is appearing as Chamber
12 witness, in order to hear Defence Witness 043?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. As we shared with the
14 Court officer this morning, we are of the position that 043 is not
15 prepared since we did not meet with him at length and scheduled to meet
16 with him this evening and tomorrow morning as well, as we have indicated
17 to the Victim and Witness Unit. So we would not be prepared to proceed
18 with Witness Number 043 at this time.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But as far as I remember, the Witness 043 had
20 to be ready to testify last week, on Thursday or Friday. And we got a
21 proffer for the testimony of this witness, and I don't understand why it
22 is impossible to start with Witness 043 now.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, I could explain that to Your Honours. The
24 witness arrived, I believe, last Thursday afternoon at The Hague. We
25 spent that evening obtaining general information for the proffer. We did
1 not cover the specific documents we wanted to with the witness. In the
2 interim, as the Court recalls. The schedule of the witness who testified,
3 Mr. Budimir, lasted far longer, and we had another witness in the dock
4 that we were meeting with and preparing. So we spent the Thursday with
5 that witness as well as Friday preparing the witness who the Court heard,
6 006, on Friday.
7 Subsequent to that, we were preparing since Mr. Travar started his
8 testimony --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Ostojic, slow down, please.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: -- Our schedule indicated that he would be
11 proceeding after Mr. Travar. So we allowed him to relax since he just
12 travelled here, and we did not want to tax him in terms of all the
13 documents --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel slow down, please.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: [Previous translation continues]... Was calculate
16 and since we were not advised of it since until morning and we were
17 present for the 65 ter conference that was cancelled obviously, we did not
18 schedule to meet with him and --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel slow down, please.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: [Previous translation continues]... We would meet
21 with him on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But long before last week, the Chamber asked
23 for Witness 043 to be prepared for testimony on Thursday. That's why we
24 would prefer to start with Witness 043, to save the time and to meet the
25 emergency related to the illness of Judge Schomburg. And it is difficult
1 to understand why this witness wasn't prepared.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, first of all, the witness was scheduled -- was
3 supposed to come earlier but only arrived Thursday afternoon. As the
4 Court knows, we sat Thursday as well as Friday, so we could not meet with
5 him to prepare him, other than in the evening hours.
6 Secondly, we had a second witness, 006, who was testifying, and we
7 needed to meet and prepare that witness for his testimony on Friday.
8 Similarly, on Friday afternoon, Mr. Travar was called to the stand, and
9 started testifying. Had we known -- obviously it's something that
10 happened late in the weekend if not this morning. Had we known, we would
11 have started, and if the Court instructed us to bring the witness for
12 Monday, we would have had him prepared this weekend. We were busy doing
13 an enormous of other things -- and I apologise for that for the Court --
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Again, I remind you that the Bench ordered
15 Witness 043 to be prepared to testify for Thursday last week, and it was
16 scheduled. So that's why we hoped that this witness will be available.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: If the Court remembers, on the record, we even said
18 we were placed in a catch-22 for the witness to have testified on
19 Thursday, we had not met with him until Thursday evening. It would have
20 been impossible. We shared that early on with the Court. So I think
21 initially, we had anticipated based on the schedule that the witness would
22 arrive sooner and that based on the time schedule, he would be prepared to
23 testify on Thursday or Friday. But as the week progressed, everything
24 changed and left us in ultimately a state of confusion because of these
1 So again, we apologise to the Court. But the witness is not
2 prepared, and if someone would have called us sooner, we would have
3 attempted to prepare him.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow down, please.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: [Previous interpretation continues]... Be
7 MR. OSTOJIC: The witness, as I stated earlier, we are meeting
8 with him this evening at 7.30 as well as tomorrow at 9.00. He could
9 proceed to be ready by tomorrow afternoon.
10 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. After consulting with Judge Argibay, the
12 Chamber rules as follows: The Chamber decided to proceed today with
13 Mr. Travar only in the absence of Judge Schomburg in the Court. After
14 questions from the Bench, please do -- well, some procedural issues.
15 After questions from the Bench, the Defence will have an opportunity to
16 put their questions to Mr. Travar, followed by the Prosecution. This, of
17 course, will not prejudice the right of either party to put questions to
18 Mr. Travar following any additional questions from the Bench tomorrow.
19 Therefore, we shall now continue with the evidence of Mr. Travar.
20 Could the usher please bring the witness in the courtroom.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good afternoon, Mr. Travar. The Bench would
23 like to remind you that you are still under solemn declaration to tell the
24 truth in this courtroom. Do you understand that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
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13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please be seated.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 WITNESS: RANKO TRAVAR [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Perhaps the Defence [sic] explained to you that
7 today we have the hearings in the compositions two Judges because
8 Judge Schomburg has taken ill. And acting in accordance to the Rules of
9 Procedures, we will proceed in the limited composition.
10 On Friday afternoon, Judge Schomburg questioned you about the
11 events of the night of 29th April, 1992, in Prijedor. In your effort to a
12 meeting that took place in Cirkin Polje, attended by, among others, what
13 you described as members of the new Executive Board. I would refer the
14 parties to the pages 13.244, 13.246 of Friday's transcript.
15 My first line of questioning relate to the events of this
16 evening. And in this regard, I would like the audiobooth to play an
17 audiotape, Exhibit S91.
18 Mr. Travar, this exhibit purports to be a transcript of a
19 broadcast of Radio Prijedor in 1995 entitled "Remembering the takeover."
20 I would ask that you, Mr. Travar, listen carefully to the tape and
21 indicate when you have any comments or when you recognise any of the
22 voices on the tape. After the tape has finished, I will put some
23 questions to you. And when you will recognise the voices, please to say
24 "stop," and then comment.
25 Could the audiobooth please play the tape, Exhibit S91, as cued.
1 [Audiotape played]
2 [Please refer to Exhibit S91A for audio transcript]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. This is Mr. Miskovic's
4 voice. But first, I'd like to say that you began by saying that the
5 Defence had told me what would happen today. But I did not communicate
6 with the Defence because I'm the witness of the Court. So I wanted to
7 make this clear. I did not communicate with the Defence. However, this
8 is Mr. Miskovic's voice.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
10 Please continue.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please -- audiobooth, please, to continue.
13 [Audiotape played]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. This is the voice of
15 Zivko Ecim, the reporter.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And Zivko Ecim mentioned the name of
17 Simo Drljaca. Was it the voice of Simo Miskovic or Simo Drljaca?
18 A. That was the voice of Simo Miskovic.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. Let us continue with the tape.
20 [Audiotape played]
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. This was the voice of
22 Mr. Kuruzovic.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please continue.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please do continue playing the tape.
1 [Audiotape played]
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Stop.
3 This concludes this part of the audiotape.
4 My question to you, Mr. Travar, having heard this : Do you have
5 any amendments to your testimony of Friday, especially related to the
6 meeting in Cirkin Polje?
7 A. Your Honour, I have never heard of this tape before. You said
8 that this tape was recorded in 1995. In that period, in 1992, I was not
9 informed about many of the things which are mentioned on this tape. It
10 was sometime in late March that I was informed by the then president of
11 the party, and I believe that it was Mr. Miskovic. He informed me that I
12 am supposed to come to this meeting. I believe that it was the meeting of
13 the SDS board. At that time, I was not a member of the party, and I
14 didn't participate in any of these activities. What I know for a fact is
15 that after midnight, two policemen came to fetch me, because in the
16 meantime, on the 16th of April, at the session of the assembly, a new
17 Executive Board had been appointed. And that's how I found myself in
18 Cirkin Polje.
19 As for all the events that preceded that moment, I claim with full
20 responsibility that I didn't know anything about those events nor did I
21 have an opportunity to listen to this interview that was conducted with
22 Mr. Miskovic and Mr. Kuruzovic.
23 What I know for a fact is that here, the Crisis Staff is
24 mentioned. The Crisis Staff at that time did not exist. It was
25 established in mid-May pursuant to the instruction of the presidency, or
1 maybe it was in late May, in the latter part of May. And this happened at
2 one of the sessions, and then it was that the functions were established
3 that would later on form the Crisis Staff.
4 Here, when they talk about the Crisis Staff, I did not attend any
5 of the meetings before the 16th of April. I didn't participate in any of
6 the meetings, and I was not aware of any of the meetings that took place
7 in the afternoon in the barracks and elsewhere, as it is mentioned on this
8 tape. My first information about the takeover and about our departure for
9 the assembly building -- I learned my first information about that when I
10 arrived in Cirkin Polje after midnight. I don't have any other comments
11 because at that time, I was not an active member of the SDS.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar, for your answer.
13 My next question: What was Dr. Stakic's position after the
15 A. Dr. Stakic was appointed as the president of the Municipal
16 Assembly. He was appointed at the session which was held sometime in
17 mid-April. From then onwards, he was the president of the Municipal
18 Assembly, from the 16th of April, that is.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But as far as I understand, at that time, the
20 president of the Municipal Assembly was Dr. Cehajic.
21 A. In my testimony on Friday, I tried to explain the situation as
22 much as I was informed about it. And my information all came from the
23 media. There was a rift among the deputies in the state assembly, and
24 this had a ripple effect on the deputies in Municipal Assemblies. The
25 deputies of the Serbian ethnicity decided to establish a Serbian
2 I know that Dr. Cehajic was the president of the municipality. He
3 was elected after the first multiparty election. I believe that it was in
4 1991, but I'm not sure of that. I believe that Dr. Stakic at that time
5 was his deputy during that period of time.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And after the takeover, Dr. Stakic became --
7 A. After the takeover, Dr. Stakic became the president of the Serbian
8 Municipal Assembly.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Of the Serbian Municipal Assembly. Yes. And
10 what was the fate of --
11 A. That is, the Prijedor Municipality.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: In your municipality. And what was the powers
13 of Dr. Stakic as president of the municipality?
14 A. I must be honest and say that I was not familiar with the
15 structure and the legislative power and administration. So I wouldn't be
16 able to tell you anything about the powers that he had. I know that he
17 chaired the assembly meetings and that he had some duties within the
18 municipality. He chaired the sessions, and the Municipal Assembly would
19 adopt decisions proposed by Dr. Stakic as the president. And when the
20 decisions were passed, he would sign those decisions. I'm not that
21 familiar with this part of the legislative power, and I therefore can't
22 give you any details on his powers at that time.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Was Dr. Stakic an influential political figure
24 in the municipality and as president of the Municipal Assembly?
25 A. What I can tell you at this moment is that Dr. Stakic was young
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and not experienced enough to be the leading political figure. There were
2 many more people who were much better known than him. It was a well-known
3 fact that he was the president of the Municipal Assembly, and that is what
4 I also could learn from the media. But I don't think that he played a
5 significant political role at that moment given his age and his
6 experience. I wouldn't say that he was a prominent politician.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And how can you explain the fact that
8 Dr. Stakic, being young, inexperienced politician, was elected as the
9 president of the Municipal Assembly -- vice-president of Municipal
10 Assembly, and then was, after the takeover, was appointed as the president
11 of the assembly while in the Prijedor Municipality there were other more
12 influential and prominent political figures?
13 A. I really can't comment on that. I didn't participate in the
14 interparty negotiations after the elections because I was not politically
15 engaged in any of the parties. So I really don't know how it happened
16 that a person who didn't have any political experience was appointed. I
17 believe it was some sort of a compromise between the political parties,
18 but I can't give you any comments because at that time I wasn't there and
19 I was not a member of any of the political structures. So I can't give
20 you any personal opinion on that.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. My following question: You
22 mentioned that the Crisis Staff was set up later in May 1992. When
23 exactly and why a Crisis Staff was created and replaced the Municipal
24 Assembly, legitimate body?
25 A. I don't know the reasons why it happened. But I do know that
1 pursuant to the instruction issued by the then-presidency of the
2 republic -- the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina - I believe
3 that this was the full title of the state - an instruction came in which
4 it said that the Municipal Assembly couldn't meet because of the
5 conditions of an immediate threat of war, and that the Municipal
6 Assemblies should be replaced by the Crisis Staffs that would meet instead
7 of Municipal Assemblies.
8 After that, there was a decision issued by the then-government of
9 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this decision provided
10 for the work of that body prescribing the functions and bodies that would
11 constitute the Crisis Staff. I really don't know what the reasons were
12 for the establishment of the Crisis Staff because at that moment when the
13 Crisis Staff was set up in Prijedor, there were no war operations going
14 on. I believe that this was sometime around the 20th of May. In any
15 case, in the latter part of May.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you take part in the setting up of the
17 Crisis Staff in the Prijedor Municipality?
18 A. Did I? The Crisis Staff was appointed by the Municipal Assembly
19 pursuant to the instruction that was issued by either the presidency or
20 the government of the then-Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 And this instruction prescribed the sectors that would constitute the
22 Crisis Staff. And the Crisis Staff was appointed by the Municipal
23 Assembly. And yes, I believe that I did participate at that session of
24 the Municipal Assembly, which was held in the latter part of May, but I
25 can't be sure of that. I know that my secretariat, the secretariat that I
1 later on headed, was one part of that Crisis Staff pursuant to the
2 instruction of the presidency of the republic.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And did you participate personally in meetings
4 related to the -- which -- where the establishment or setting up of the
5 Crisis Staff were discussed?
6 A. No, I didn't participate in these meetings. As the secretary of
7 the secretariat -- I don't know. Which meetings do you have in mind?
8 But in any case, as the secretary of the secretariat which covered a very
9 delicate area, and those were budget and finances, I was invited to a
10 number of meetings, and I participated as the secretary of that
11 secretariat in a number of meetings. But I don't know what meetings do
12 you have in mind in terms of the establishment of the Crisis Staff? I
13 know that the Crisis Staff was established by the Municipal Assembly
14 pursuant to the instruction issued by the then-presidency of the Serbian
15 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: May I ask usher to show the witness
17 Exhibit S60.
18 May I ask the witness to read out the first page of this document.
19 A. "Minutes of the fourth meeting of the Council for National Defence
20 of the Prijedor Municipality held on 15 May 1992 starting at 1000 hours.
21 Dr. Milomir Stakic president of the council chaired the meeting."
22 Do I have to repeat what I've just read?
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: No, please do continue reading.
24 A. "The meeting was attended by the following: Dr. Milomir Stakic,
25 Dr. Milan Kovacevic, Simo Miskovic, Vladimir Arsic, Pero Colic, Slobodan
1 Kuruzovic, Radmilo Zeljaja, Rade Javoric, Slavko Budimir, Simo Drljaca,
2 Cedo Sipovac, Vojo Pavicic, Bosko Mandic, Ranko Travar, Milenko Rajlic,
3 Dragan Savanovic.
4 Spiro Marmat kept the minutes. The following agenda was
5 confirmed: 1, decision on the organisation and functioning of the Crisis
6 Staff. 2" --
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Stop. Then please point to 1 of the agenda on
8 the following part.
9 A. "The decision on the organisation and the functioning of the
10 Crisis Staff."
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do continue.
12 A. Shall I continue or do you want me to comment on this?
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do read out to the end of this page, and then
14 please do comment.
15 A. "2, mobilisation in the municipality. 3, the issue of the status
16 of deployed forces. 4, disarmament of paramilitary formations. 5, taking
17 over the duties of the military department.
18 "Item 1, the decision on the organisation and functioning of the
19 Crisis Staff, the following persons participated in the discussion:
20 Milomir Stakic and Slavko Budimir. After the discussion, the following
21 conclusion was reached:
22 Under 1, "It is hereby accepted to organise and start the function
23 of the Crisis Staff. The proposed composition of the Crisis Staff shall
24 be supplemented by the -- by a representative of the Prijedor Garrison.
25 "2" --
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Stop. That's enough. Now, please do comment.
2 You would like to make some comments, please.
3 A. Let me just say that in my testimony last year, as a witness for
4 the Prosecution, I said that I did not remember this body or this organ,
5 nor do I know what its role was, that is, the National Defence council.
6 There were some specific questions put to me, and I said that I did not
7 remember the National Defence Council, and that I didn't know what its
8 authorities were. I also don't know how it was set up, how it was
10 I attended a number of meetings, not only this one, and probably
11 because of the specificity of my job. Here, I can see that I was present
12 at this meeting, that I attended this meeting, but I have forgotten what
13 was discussed at all of these meetings. And as for this meeting, if I
14 participated in the discussion, it was only about the issues that
15 pertained to the purview of my secretariat, and it was my duty to exempt
16 the -- some of the people from the military mobilisation in order to
17 enable the companies in Prijedor to keep on functioning.
18 I wanted to see Prijedor being supplied with electricity, water,
19 food. I wanted the town to prepare for the harvest, and that's why it was
20 my duty to exempt as many military conscripts as possible from serving in
21 the units. And that is the only thing that I could talk about at this
22 meeting, and that is why I can't remember this particular body. I don't
23 know what its main task was, what its essence was, and I don't know what
24 kind of decisions it could make.
25 I have never seen these minutes before -- I may have seen it if
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13 English transcripts.
1 the Prosecution showed it to me during my previous testimony, but I really
2 can't remember.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, I am not asking you about the
4 council for people's defence. I'm asking you about the Crisis Staff. And
5 that's why this -- the organisation and functioning of the Crisis Staff is
6 not a standard, normal issue which were discussed. It is an extraordinary
7 issue. And that's why I am asking you: Do you remember what was going on
8 at that time and how the Crisis Staff was set up? You were a member of
9 the Crisis Staff. And how the other people were appointed to the Crisis
10 Staff? Did military and police take part in the Crisis Staff, as members
11 or as invited persons?
12 A. The police did have a representative in the Crisis Staff, but the
13 army didn't. And he was never appointed by the Municipal Assembly as a
14 member of the Crisis Staff.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Who is "he"? You said: "He was never
16 appointed as a member of the Crisis Staff." Who is "he"?
17 A. A representative of the army. No representatives of the army were
18 appointed as a member of the Crisis Staff because that would be contrary
19 to the instruction on the establishment of Crisis Staffs at municipality
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But in the document you just have read, it is
22 said that the people's defence council recommended that the representative
23 of the garrison in Prijedor be added to the proposed list of members of
24 the Crisis Staff. Do you remember that? Do you remember who made this
1 A. I don't remember, Your Honour. I only know that an army
2 representative, a garrison representative, was never appointed as a member
3 of the Crisis Staff. No army representative ever participated in the
4 meetings of the Crisis Staff as a member. And who it was who proposed
5 this at this particular meeting, I can't remember.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You just said that representatives of the
7 military never participated in the functioning of the Crisis Staff as a
8 member. But did the military be represented -- did the military attend
9 the meetings of the Crisis Staff?
10 A. Very rarely. But only when they wished to attend those meetings
11 and when solutions were sought for their materiel status. For example,
12 when we discussed problems that culminated in terms of the supply of the
13 army with food, first and foremost. And also when there were requests for
14 some of the conscripts who had been mobilised to be released from the
15 units, they were invited only as guests to those meetings. It happened
16 very rarely. I attended a few meetings which were attended by the
17 military who participated in the discussion of the issues that I have just
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar. It seems to me it is an
20 appropriate time to have a break. The trial stays adjourned until 4.15
22 --- Recess taken at 3.17 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 3.48 p.m.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, let's continue.
25 My next question: How were people appointed to the Crisis Staff?
1 What were the criteria for appointment the members of the Crisis Staff?
2 A. I don't know what the criteria were. But I know there was a
3 decision, whether of the presidency or of the government, on that basis of
4 which people were appointed -- they were appointments by function. That
5 is, not the names, but the functions were the Crisis Staff.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: [Previous interpretation continues]... Did you
7 were appointed as member of the Crisis Staff?
8 A. Because on the basis of the criteria laid down by either the
9 government or the presidency of the then-republic, it was said that the
10 secretariat for economics and services activities should also be
11 incorporated, and I headed it. Had it been somebody else, it wouldn't be
12 so. It was the office that I held that made me a member of the Crisis
13 Staff, not my name, not I as a person.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you remember the names of the other members
15 of the Crisis Staff?
16 A. I'll do my best to recall them. I do remember most of them, but
17 perhaps I'll omit a name or two. Ex officio members were the president of
18 the assembly and the president of the board. And those were
19 Mr. Kovacevic -- Mr. Stakic and Mr. Kovacevic. Then their deputies,
20 Mr. Mandic and Mr. Savanovic. The secretary for National Defence, it was
21 Mr. Budimir. Secretariat for property affairs, Mr. Pavicic. The
22 secretariat for economics and finance, that is budget and finance, it was
23 myself. Then I think that the secretary for information or a person
24 responsible for information was -- I think it was Milenko Rajlic, also was
25 a member of the Crisis Staff. But there is a decision which specified the
1 offices and the names of the members of the Crisis Staff.
2 So that at present, I can't remember any more, either offices or
3 names. But there is a decision with the exact offices and names of people
4 who made up the Crisis Staff.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What about the representative of the police?
6 A. Yes, I apologise. Yes. A representative of the police, Mr. Simo
7 Drljaca, who was the chief of the public security station.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: How long was the Crisis Staff in existence?
9 A. I don't know exactly. But I think it was until July or mid-July.
10 It worked for about two, two and a half months. I can't remember the date
11 when it was abolished. I also believe there is a decision on its
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Was it always called the "Crisis Staff"?
14 A. What do you mean, during that period of time was it called that?
15 Yes, it was called the Crisis Staff.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you heard the name "war presidency" or
17 "war commission"?
18 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that term. But I do not think that at that
19 time there was anything like that. I believe that later on -- the war
20 commission or the war presidency was set up later on. But I don't think
21 that at the time of the Crisis Staff, such a body existed, and I do not
22 know who it consisted of. No, I can't remember.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So in your opinion, the Crisis Staff was
24 renamed at one point of time as war presidency or as war commission?
25 A. I don't know whether the war commission was set up following the
1 Crisis Staff, because that was not my job, and I believe the people in the
2 professional bodies of the Municipal Assembly would know that. I just
3 can't remember. I know that the term "war presidency" rings a bell, but
4 whether it immediately -- it came -- it emerged in the wake of the Crisis
5 Staff or not, I simply can't confirm that. And I do not know who were its
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. My next question: Who was the president
8 of the Crisis Staff?
9 A. The president of the Crisis Staff was the president of the
10 assembly ex officio, and that was Mr. Stakic.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So Mr. Stakic became president of the Crisis
12 Staff ex officio; he wasn't elected as such at the first meeting of the
13 Crisis Staff? Or he was elected?
14 A. I don't remember, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And who presided over the meetings of the
16 Crisis Staff?
17 A. As a rule, it was Mr. Stakic.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And when Mr. Stakic was absent, who was
19 presiding over the Crisis Staff?
20 A. I think that it was Mr. Kovacevic who did that. But at times, the
21 vice-president of the assembly, Mr. Savanovic, was in the chair. But more
22 often than not, it would be Mr. Kovacevic.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So either Mr. Kovacevic or Mr. Savanovic
24 presided over the Crisis Staff when Mr. Stakic was absent. Yes?
25 A. That's right, but it was Mr. Kovacevic as often as not. Of
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13 English transcripts.
1 course, I have to add that I did not attend all the meetings of the Crisis
2 Staff, that is, I'm referring only to those meetings of the Crisis Staff
3 that I attended. I need to make this reservation.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Had you attended -- have you attended the first
5 meeting, the very first meeting of the Crisis Staff?
6 A. I cannot remember, Your Honour. I believe I did.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And do you remember what issues were discussed
8 during the first meeting of the Crisis Staff?
9 A. I really cannot remember. It was 11 years ago, and these are
10 details. Only if I had some documents to look at them, then perhaps I
11 could say something about it. But what were the issues, I really -- I'm
12 not even sure that I -- I'm not even sure that I attended the first
13 meeting of the Crisis Staff.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The first meeting of such an important body in
15 such a very difficult time in the life of your country and Prijedor
16 Municipality and -- okay.
17 How were the meetings organised? What were the working order of
18 the meetings of the Crisis Staff?
19 A. To be quite honest, I do not think that the way in which meetings
20 were convened was regulated. I think it was professional services, or
21 rather the services of the assembly, because it was practically the
22 assembly which was in session, that is, which was convened because of the
23 assembly could not be convened on a regular basis. And I believe that it
24 was the professional services which prepared and organised the work if the
25 Crisis Staff did not do it properly.
1 The meetings were usually convened ad hoc. Most of them would
2 adopt the agenda after the people had gathered there. And there were no
3 minutes of those meetings and decisions which were related to the Crisis
4 Staff. That is, I would not say that there was a uniform -- I can't say
5 that there was a standard, uniform way in which these things were
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And how often the meetings of the Crisis Staff
8 were convened?
9 A. Well, no, I do not think that they were particularly frequent. I
10 cannot say. They were held when the need arose. So that is when the
11 president would think that there were questions warranting discussion. He
12 would call a meeting and suggest that they be included in the agenda.
13 So I do not know how many meetings were held, but there should be
14 either records or decisions that were adopted there because all the
15 decisions of the Crisis Staff had to be in accordance with a decision of
16 the government of the Serb Republic. Also decisions had to be ratified by
17 the assembly. So that there are those decisions and the dates of their
18 adoption. But I wouldn't be able to say how many sessions there really
19 exactly were.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You anticipate that the dates of the adoption
21 of the decisions or enactments of the Crisis Staff are the dates of the
22 meetings of the Crisis Staff?
23 A. Well, I think that's how it was. It couldn't be any other way. I
24 mean, I don't know. I really can't -- I didn't run the Crisis Staff, and
25 the secretariat or the legal staff who were to take care of that, they did
1 it so that I don't know.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: May I ask the usher to show the witness
3 Exhibit S250.
4 May I ask the witness to read out the first half of this document.
5 A. "The Assembly of the Municipality of Prijedor, confirmation of
6 decisions within the competence of the Municipal Assembly adopted by the
7 Crisis Staff.
8 "At the session of the 20th of May, 1992, the Municipal Assembly
9 of Prijedor adopted decision such and such number on the organisation and
10 work of the Crisis Staff. Article 2 of the above decision lays down that
11 the Crisis Staff shall decide on matters within the jurisdiction of the
12 Municipal Assembly if the assembly cannot meet, but has the duty to submit
13 every decision it adopts for confirmation by the Assembly as soon as the
14 Assembly can meet. By decision number 01-023-53/92, dated 14th July,
15 1992, the Crisis Staff was renamed the war presidency, retaining the same
16 members and powers.
17 "Between the 29th of May and the 24th of July, 1992, the Crisis
18 Staff -- that is, the war presidency, adopted enactments, decisions,
19 orders, dispositions and conclusions which are hereby submitted to the
20 Assembly for confirmation as follows:
21 "1, enactments of the 29th of May, 1992."
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Now, please do read out only the titles of the
23 items, first, 2, 3, 4, and following. Okay. The first item, "enactments
24 passed on 29th May, 1992." Yes?
25 A. "Item 1, enactments passed on 29th of May, 1992. 2, enactments
1 passed on 31st May, 1992. 1, decision number 2 on the dismissal of
2 the" --
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: No, no, it's not necessary to read out the
4 names of the decisions. I ask you to read out the -- just the titles of
5 the issues, 1, 2, 3, 4, Roman.
6 A. Roman, I see. So enactments of the 29th of May, 1992. "II
7 enactments of the 31st of May, 1992. III, enactments of the 3rd of June,
8 1992. IV, enactments of the 4th of June, 1992. V, enactments of the 5th
9 of June, 1992. VI, enactments of the 6th of June, 1992. VII, enactments
10 of the 7th of June, 1992. VIII, enactments of the 8th of June, 1992. IX,
11 enactments of the 10th of June, 1992. X" -- there's something before it,
12 I don't know whether it's 9 or 10, I don't know. "Of the 11th of June,
13 1992. XI, enactments of the 12th of June, 1992."
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Enough. Now, having read the enactments and
15 the titles of the issues from I to X, can you conclude that the meetings
16 of the Crisis Staff took place every day in the first decade of June?
17 A. Why, yes, often. Now I see between the 5th to the 10th of June,
18 practically every day.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What kind of issues were discussed during the
20 meetings of the Crisis Staff during these ten days?
21 A. Many issues predominated at those meetings. But by and large,
22 those were issues which had to do with life in the town, that is, the
23 supply of the town. At that time, there were shortages of electricity, of
24 water. I mean, I can remember perhaps the subjects that were of major
25 concern to me as a member of this body, and perhaps say something about
1 them. But 99 per cent of the issues had to do with the operation of some
2 normal life in the town at that time because it was intolerable at the
4 So it was the time when there was no electricity, and Prijedor is
5 a town where there is no water if there is no electricity. Basic
6 necessities, and I am now talking about my field of work, so basic
7 foodstuffs were distributed on the basis of lists with the right to
8 introduce coupons, that is, to ration the food. There were also other
9 issues which had to do with the harvest, with sowing.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So you're insisting that in time of war, 99 per
11 cent of the issues discussed in the Crisis Staff were related to the
12 normal life? How it come?
13 A. It was the Crisis Staff and municipal agencies by virtue of the
14 laws which governed their work, and neither the Crisis Staff nor the
15 Executive Board changed them. And by statute, they could not discuss
16 matters or put on the agenda matters that fell outside their field of
17 operation. The meetings of the Crisis Staff, I usually took part in
18 discussion which had to do with the attempts to establish normal life in
19 the town, that is, the supply side of the public amenities, social
20 problems, harvest, sowing, and so on and so forth. If military issues,
21 whether they were discussed by the Crisis Staff, if you tried to or if you
22 wanted to -- if you had guests or invited guests or visitors who were
23 military persons, you could never get a valid answer what was going on
24 because they had their own chain of command and reporting. Their answer
25 invariably was "that's none of your business" or something along those
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13 English transcripts.
1 lines. "Things are under control."
2 So it was simply impossible to discuss any of such matters with
3 anyone from the ranks of the military. And we knew, I as somebody from
4 the town, was aware of combat operations, that in the town, there were all
5 sorts of things happening, from looting to murders to everything else.
6 But the Crisis Staff could never discuss such matters.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, as far as I understand, the Crisis
8 Staff was an extraordinary body which was created in the state of
9 emergency. Yes or no? And it was the only body functioning in the
10 Prijedor Municipality at that time.
11 A. I said that, yes, this body was set up because the assembly could
12 not meet. And it discussed matters that were within the jurisdiction of
13 the assembly. Which issues those were and what issues the assembly could
14 discuss, I, as a member of the Crisis Staff, that is, as a member of the
15 Executive Board and the secretary of the secretariat, I cannot confirm
16 what were the issues under the -- in the province of the assembly because
17 the secretariat had to bear in mind that every one of those agencies and
18 bodies was adopting decisions falling within their competence. And that
19 was why the Crisis Staff was set up. But again, it could not go beyond
20 its province of work as laid down by the constitution and statute.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: May I ask the usher to show the witness Exhibit
23 May I ask the witness to read out the title of this document.
24 A. "Pursuant to Article 110 of the Assembly of the Serb Republic of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor at its session
1 of the 20th of May, adopted the following decision on the organisation of
2 work of the Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor.
3 "Pursuant to this decision, the Crisis Staff of the Municipality
4 of Prijedor is formed and its spere of action set out.
5 "Item 2, the Executive Board [as interpreted] of the Municipality
6 of Prijedor is set up to coordinate work, to provide for the safety of" --
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Item 2, it seems [No microphone]
8 A. The Crisis Staff, this is the decision on the establishment of the
9 Crisis Staff of the Municipal Assembly of the 20th of May, that is. I
10 didn't say the Executive Board. I said the Crisis Staff.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. On the transcript, it was the Executive
12 Board. That's why I interrupted you. Excuse me.
13 A. "Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff is established according to the
14 functions of the authorities, the defence of the municipal territory, the
15 protection of safety of people and property, the establishment of
16 government, and the organisation of all other fields of life and work. As
17 coordinator" --
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Stop. Then I ask you to read out Article 5 of
19 this document.
20 A. "Article 5: In accordance with the assessment of the political
21 and security situation and realistic requirements, the Crisis Staff shall
22 adopt relevant decisions on the organisation and work of the Municipal
23 Assembly, its organs, and other municipal organs and local communes."
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So as far as I understand --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: According to the Article 5 of this document,
2 the Crisis Staff has the right and duty to assess the political and
3 security situation, make realistic requirements, and to adopt relevant
5 Do you remember meetings of the Crisis Staff when political --
6 assessments of the political and security situation in Prijedor
7 Municipality were discussed?
8 A. There were meetings of the Crisis Staff where items of the agenda
9 were the discussion on the political and security situation in Prijedor.
10 Reports were submitted and read about the situation, and this was usually
11 done by the chair, by the person presiding the meeting. And as for the
12 security situation, I've told you that it was very rarely or almost never
13 that we had enough information from the public security station.
14 Whenever you wanted to ask Mr. Drljaca about the situation, he
15 would reply that this is something that the municipality cannot go into.
16 He said "municipality is one thing, and we have our line of reporting
17 towards the Ministry of the Interior," and that is why these items were
18 rarely put on the agenda of those meetings that I attended.
19 Having said that, I repeat, there were meetings at which these
20 issues were indeed discussed.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what kind of decisions were taken while the
22 questions of -- or issues of the political and security situation were
24 A. I don't know, Your Honour, what decisions you have in mind. We
25 did not adopt any specific decisions. We usually received information,
1 and this information was taken into consideration. But we never adopted
2 any decisions falling under that area. We would never vote on those
3 things. We would never adopt decisions. We're talking more about
4 information, about the number of crimes, traffic accidents, and so on and
5 so forth. But we only received that as information, just information,
6 nothing else.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you ever -- had the Crisis Staff ever
8 discuss the issues related to the armed conflict in the Prijedor
9 Municipality, the establishment of the camps or detention centres in the
10 Prijedor Municipality?
11 A. No, Your Honour. We never discussed these issues. I've told
12 you. Whenever we wanted to learn something, this was not something that
13 the Crisis Staff would do, and this is the kind of reply we would get.
14 They would tell us: "These are not issues of your concern. Everything is
15 under control." This is the kind of answers we would get from the persons
16 who attended the Crisis Staff meetings as army representatives. But that
17 happened very rarely. At the meetings of the Crisis Staff that I
18 attended, we never discussed these issues, nor could we put these issues
19 on the agenda of our meetings.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did the Crisis Staff discuss the issues related
21 to the incident in Hambarine village?
22 A. No. I didn't attend any such meeting.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: May I ask the usher to show the witness Exhibit
25 Please do read the very beginning of this document.
1 A. "Ministry of the Interior, Security Services Centre Banja Luka,
2 public security station Prijedor. Official secret. Strictly
4 "At the request of the commission of the Banja Luka Security
5 Services Centre formed pursuant to the decision of the chief of the Banja
6 Luka Security Services Centre number 11-141/2 of 14 August 1992, Prijedor
7 public security station, in addition to presenting the existing
8 documentation and allowing an insight into the situation in the field,
9 submits to the commission for its use the following report:
10 "1, reception centres in the Municipality of Prijedor."
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please stop. And then the -- please do look at
12 the page 9 of this document. Whose signature is it? Who signed this
14 A. I don't know, Your Honour. It says the chief of the public
15 security station, Simo Drljaca. But I don't know whether this is his
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You never saw his signature before?
18 A. I can't remember. Although I saw it, I have recognised signatures
19 that I saw often. But this one, I can't remember. I assume that this
20 will be his signature because it doesn't say here that somebody signed on
21 his behalf. But I cannot remember that this indeed is his signature.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. Now please do look at the page 2 of this
23 document. Did you find the page?
24 A. Yes, page number 2.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please do read out the para 2 of this page.
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13 English transcripts.
1 A. "Since the citizens of the village of Hambarine did not respect
2 the decision of the Ministry of National Defence of the Serbian Republic
3 and did not surrender their arms, they refused to cooperate with the legal
4 organs of government over the attack on the soldiers, and rejected demands
5 the army made to them, the Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor
6 decided on military intervention in this village to disarm and capture the
7 known perpetrators of the crimes against the soldiers. The army did
8 intervene, but it did not" --
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Stop. So far as I understand, this document
10 says "the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality decided to intervene
11 militarily..." How you can comment this part of the document?
12 A. I am a hundred per cent sure that the Crisis Staff did not adopt
13 this decision. I was not at this session in any case, and this is my only
14 comment, I'm sorry to say. I see this document for the first time. This
15 report was drafted by the ministry and submitted to the public security
16 centre. This is not a report that was commissioned by the Crisis Staff.
17 The essence of the problem is that I am sure -- and when I look at
18 things now, I'm sure that both the army and the police abused the position
19 in the name of the Crisis Staff. And this document confirms it very well
20 and confirms my suspicion about the honesty of the things which were done
21 by the police and the army at that time. And they wanted to pass their
22 acts on as the acts of the Crisis Staff.
23 I'm sure that a decision like that was never adopted at any of the
24 sessions of the Crisis Staff. This is a report that was submitted to the
25 Security Services Centre. I don't even know when this was drafted. If
1 you will allow me a second to look at the date on the document...
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please do it.
3 A. I don't know what the date of this report is. It says here that
4 this was done at the request of the Public Security Services Centre, and
5 that the decision was dated 14 August. So this is a request that came
6 from Banja Luka, from the Security Services Centre. And the police had
7 its line of command and the line of reporting. And they were in no way
8 subordinated either to the Crisis Staff or to any other municipal body.
9 That was the case before and it is still the case to this very day. I
10 really can't comment on this document. I can only say with certainty that
11 at the Crisis Staff meetings that I attended, this decision or a decision
12 of that kind was never adopted, and I claim that with full responsibility.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Can you tell us who proposed decisions? Who
14 proposed draft decisions? How they were discussed? How they were
15 adopted? What was the voting procedure?
16 A. Decisions of the Crisis Staff were not drafted because of the
17 negligence of the technical services of the municipality. They were not
18 drafted in a proper way. They were not worded in the proper way. There
19 was occasional voting at the meetings of the Crisis Staff when there were
20 important issues on the agenda. But the majority of the issues on the
21 agenda were relative to an aspect of the civilian life in the town, and
22 usually the final -- the last sentence was "is there anybody against?" If
23 something was defined as a conclusion or a decision or an order, that
24 would be in keeping with the authorities of the Crisis Staff and could
25 have been adopted as such.
1 I didn't have any feedback in -- either as the minutes of that
2 meeting or the decisions adopted at that meeting. The only decisions I
3 received were those decisions that covered an aspect of the area that my
4 secretariat was in charge of.
5 There was occasional decision-taking by vote at the meetings of
6 the Crisis Staff. Questions would be asked whether there was something
7 against, if an enactment was defined within the purview of the Municipal
8 Assembly and the Crisis Staff.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But to my knowledge, about texts -- about 200
10 decisions and other enactments of the Crisis Staff were transferred to the
11 Municipal Assembly for adoption. And you have read the part of the
12 document. And a predominant part of these decisions were published in the
13 Official Gazette. And practically all of these decisions were carefully
15 So how can you say that strucna sluzba or technical service showed
16 negligible attitude toward performance of their duties? But do you
17 believe that the members of the technical service or workers and
18 functioners of the technical service were in charge of preparing the
19 decisions of the Crisis Staff? Who initiated decisions which were adopted
20 by the Crisis Staff?
21 A. When I mentioned that technical services were negligent in the
22 performance of their duty, I meant in legal terms. Technical services
23 would sometimes allow discussion on the issues which were not within the
24 competence of the organs that discussed them. And these decisions could
25 not be adopted as such. When decisions were adopted, they were never
1 precisely worded.
2 At the meetings of the Crisis Staff, the job was never completed
3 and decisions were never signed. We would get feedback from the technical
4 services. After discussion would take place at the Crisis Staff and
5 something was concluded, then such a decision would be worded by the
6 technical services, who would then type it and deliver it to the president
7 for signing.
8 The minutes from the meetings should have been made available to
9 all the participants, but in my case, I never saw any of the minutes, and
10 I never saw the wording of the -- either the Crisis Staff or the Municipal
11 Assembly. I only saw those decisions which were relative to my
12 secretariat because I received them through the protocol, either me or one
13 of my assistants. If those decisions were relative to a certain area, be
14 it the economy, the budget, or service industries, or agriculture.
15 I just wanted to say that the ignorance of people who should have
16 been more professional in their approach to their work and in the
17 channelling of the work of both the Crisis Staff and the Municipal
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, so you believe that due to the
20 negligence of the technical service, lack of the professionalism within
21 the technical service, some decisions or enactments of the Crisis Staff
22 never were -- which were taken by the Crisis Staff never were formulated
23 and put on the paper and sent to all members of the Crisis Staff?
24 A. Minutes were never delivered to us, and so that was also the case
25 with the decisions. So we didn't have the feedback on the things that we
1 discussed at our meetings. We didn't have the feedback either in the
2 forms of the minutes or decisions.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You just said, and it's page 33: "When
4 decisions were adopted, they were never precisely worded, and they were
5 discussed by the strucna sluzba." So these decisions which were strictly
6 worded, what kind of decision? Can you give us an example?
7 A. I apologise. I didn't understand your question. What is your
8 question? Could you please repeat it? What would you like me to tell
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My question is: You said that due to the
11 negligence of the technical service, there were discussions and the
12 decisions -- some decisions were never adopted. And in some cases, the
13 decisions were not worded properly or precisely. Yes or no?
14 A. At the Crisis Staff meetings themselves, decisions were never
15 worded to lend themselves to voting. They were never delivered to the
16 members of the Crisis Staff beforehand. So we never knew what would be
17 discussed at the meetings.
18 Only after discussion on the issues proposed either by the
19 president or one of the members of the Crisis Staff, decisions were
20 drafted subsequently. It would only be natural for us to receive all the
21 necessary materials before the meetings of the Crisis Staff so as to
22 enable us to prepare ourselves for discussions. This would
23 have enabled us to give our remarks and participate in the discussion.
24 That is what I wanted to say.
25 So after the discussions at the meetings of the Crisis Staff, it
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13 English transcripts.
1 was the technical services that worded or drafted those decisions based on
2 their notes that they took during the meetings. They would then draft the
3 decisions, deliver them to the president for his signature. And as for
4 me, I would only receive those decisions that were relative to the work of
5 my body. I never had an opportunity to see any of the other decisions,
6 and that is what I wanted to say.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My next question: Was it possible that Crisis
8 Staff adopted a decision and technical service will never formulate this
9 decision in terms of legal -- in terms -- in proper legal form and
10 presented it to the other members of the Crisis Staff?
11 A. We didn't get the text in advance for any of the decisions.
12 That's why we didn't know anything about that part. In our work, we did
13 not receive beforehand the decision that we were going to discuss and the
14 decision we were going to adopt at the meeting.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, it's -- okay. Let us put the thing
16 another way. A member of the Crisis Staff -- at the meeting of the Crisis
17 Staff, a member of the Crisis Staff proposes to adopt a decision, and then
18 a decision is taken. But then technical services is not working on the
19 wording of this decision and this decision is not delivered in written
20 form to other members of the Crisis Staff?
21 A. After the discussion at the Crisis Staff meeting, there was a
22 person who was in charge of making notes of the discussions that took
23 place during the meeting. That person would also make a note of the
24 decision either being taken or rejected. And after the meeting of the
25 Crisis Staff, this decision would be put on paper, would be drafted, and
1 delivered to the president for signature. We did not have this decision
2 drafted beforehand. This decision was drafted based on the notes taken by
3 the person who was in charge of taking those notes. And then the
4 technical services would put that decision into writing, and that decision
5 would be delivered only to those people that had to receive it. So I
6 didn't receive beforehand, before any of the sessions, any of the
7 decisions that I was going to be involved in taking during any of the
8 sessions of the Crisis Staff.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I got your point. I would like you to get my
10 point. Was it possible that a decision would be adopted by the Crisis
11 Staff but technical service never will put this decision on the paper?
12 And this decision would be implemented by the, let us say -- by the
13 president of the Crisis Staff by saying to military or police or the
14 civilian authorities that this decision was taken and please do implement
15 this decision?
16 A. I don't know whether this was possible. I didn't receive any such
17 decision. I can only tell you that I had an opportunity to see a decision
18 that the Prosecution showed me during my testimony, and I could only say
19 that that is a decision that I never saw, and that that decision was never
20 discussed at any of the Crisis Staff meetings. This decision was relative
21 to the release of persons from the reception centres or camps.
22 When I gave that testimony, I had an opportunity to see one of
23 those decisions that I had never seen before, and I said then that I had
24 never seen that decision before and that that decision had never been
25 adopted at any of the sessions that I attended.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. My next question: Has the Crisis Staff
2 ever adopted confidential decisions?
3 A. I don't remember. How do you mean "confidential"?
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, in the proper term of this word, a
5 decision which had not to be published or announced publicly?
6 A. No, not to my knowledge.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You mentioned that somebody always took notes
8 during the meetings of the Crisis Staff. Yes. Do you know the name of
9 the person, the name of the recording clerk or notetaker?
10 A. I can't remember. I said on -- on Friday, I said when I had met
11 most of those people. I think that the secretary of the assembly was
12 usually present at such meetings, and his name was Mr. Baltic. I think it
13 would have been natural for him to take notes and prepare the material for
14 sessions, but I don't know. I'm not sure. I think that he was supposed
15 to do that as the secretary of the assembly.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, I am aware that Mr. Baltic, Dusan Baltic,
17 was the secretary of the assembly. But he was head of the technical
18 service at the same time, yes?
19 A. Yes, he was the -- its head, the secretary of the Municipal
20 Assembly. That was the exact title. Now, whether he kept record, I don't
21 know. I really can't remember who was the one who took notes.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Some of his subordinates took notes during the
23 meetings of the Crisis Staff?
24 A. I really don't know. I can't remember who took notes. I already
25 said that we did not get the copies of the minutes as members of the
1 Crisis Staff, so I do not know who took notes at the Crisis Staff
2 meetings. I know that Mr. Baltic was present, and I suppose that he took
3 some notes.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And how many meetings of the Crisis Staff you
5 attended personally?
6 A. I don't remember the exact number. Quite a number of them. I did
7 not attend all of them, but there were more of those sessions that
8 attended than those I didn't. But the exact number, I really don't know.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Of course, I'm not asking you for an exact
10 figure. 5, 10, 20?
11 A. Well, a dozen, five, ten. I don't know. I really don't know.
12 But I was present at the majority of those sessions.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what issues related to your sphere of
14 responsibility were discussed during the meetings of the Crisis Staff?
15 A. My secretariat covered four areas of work: Economic -- economy,
16 education, self-service industries, including children's establishments,
17 social work -- welfare centres. Then there was a department with dealt
18 with agriculture and forestry, and another department for budget and
19 finances. So these were the four departments within the secretariat for
20 economy and service industries.
21 With regard to economic issues, that is, the department which
22 covered economy, pursuant to the then statute now and before, it was
23 responsible for preparing the material, information, for the assembly at
24 the Executive Board about the economic situation from the physical volume
25 of the production to the performance to whatever. And to report to the
1 Executive Board through the secretariat and the Municipal Assembly about
2 the economic results achieved.
3 Insofar as service industries are concerned, apart from the major
4 problems in the field of education at that time, because it was the end of
5 the school year, there were also questions such as looking after people
6 who were social cases. There was in Prijedor a centre for parentless
7 children and other people who needed accommodation. That was part of
8 the -- so kindergartens, Creches, the manner of their financing. As for
9 forestry and agriculture, questions concerning harvesting or spring
10 sowing, and harvesting in June predominated. And by and large, the work
11 of inspectorates in that department protecting forests and forest
13 Budget and finances were the things that I was mostly involved in
14 because the budget fell below 50 per cent with reference to a decision
15 that the assembly had adopted regarding the budget for that year. Simply,
16 the payments had practically come to a halt so that the public revenue
17 distribution was very difficult, if there was any. The internal revenue
18 department, the taxation department, they had very few people anyway. And
19 they found it very difficult to levy and collect taxes and dues. And at
20 that time, the inflation was incredibly high so that even the little money
21 that we managed to collect would be devalued in no time. And I was
22 looking for ways and means to protect it. So those were the topics which
23 dominated my work in that office and my work in the Crisis Staff, and of
24 course, the Executive Board.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Was your secretariat or the secretariat you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 headed ever initiated any draft decision which was discussed during the
2 meetings of the Crisis Staff?
3 A. There were such decisions. I can't remember them specifically.
4 But from those areas which are quite broad, there were a number of issues
5 that were prepared in my offices, in my departments, and were then
6 submitted for discussion to either the Crisis Staff or the Executive
7 Board, or rather every head -- I'm sorry.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Can you recall -- could you recall the most
9 important decision in the economic sphere?
10 A. There were all -- I mean, I can't remember. I cannot put them
11 really in any order of importance. But in the economic sector, we did not
12 have any special decisions. Rather, this sector, this department for
13 economy, its only task was to monitor economic trends, prepare draft
14 information and submit it to the assembly. It had no possibility to
15 decide on what individual organisations or enterprises would do. That is,
16 that department and this agency was not as a body superior to companies.
17 It was only a body of the assembly which reported to the assembly about
18 economic developments, the physical volume of production, the number of
19 employees, exports, and so on and so forth.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, has the Crisis Staff ever discussed
21 the issues related to the destruction and looting of property during the
22 war in the Prijedor Municipality? Property is your sphere of
23 responsibility. Yes?
24 A. No, no. It is not. Property was within the province of work of
25 the secretariat for property affairs, if that is what you mean. But
1 indubitably, the Crisis Staff at times, when I urged them, would include
2 in their agenda items to discuss the plunder or destruction of property.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So your statement is that the Crisis Staff
4 never discussed the issues related to the looting and destruction of the
6 A. On the contrary. I confirm that it was at my insistence that
7 there would be discussions of those issues. That is, I confirmed that,
8 yes, it was discussed, and I was one of the authors of proposals to
9 discuss the matter.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Now, you remember that you initiated some
11 decisions before the Crisis Staff to be adopted. Yes? Can you tell us
12 about the content of these decisions?
13 A. I wasn't the author of draft decisions concerning the property of
14 the citizens in the Municipality of Prijedor because that was not within
15 the jurisdiction of my secretariat. This secretariat was called the
16 secretariat for property affairs. And I, as a member of the body -- of
17 that body, of course, knew all that was going on in the town. There were
18 robberies and the looting of shops, destruction of property, and break-ins
19 into apartments. And we also discussed those matters. But that was not
20 my field of work as the secretary of that secretariat. And I remember
21 that we requested and urged those whose chief task that was, and that is
22 the police, to bring in some order and try to prevent the plunder, chaos,
23 and anarchy which had set in, because precisely those who were responsible
24 to prevent it had failed to do that, and these are the police and the
25 military police.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And whose properties and houses were looted and
2 destructed, plundered in the Prijedor Municipality?
3 A. By and large, those were Muslim houses. But there were also Serb
4 houses which were broken into and plundered.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you know the instances where persons
6 responsible for the looting and destruction of property were punished by
7 the police?
8 A. Unfortunately, I don't know that because I didn't have the
9 opportunity to find that out. And I think that those agencies which were
10 to investigate those cases and prosecute them did not work properly. In
11 the first place, I mean, the police, the prosecutor's office, if the
12 police had failed to do its job, then of course the prosecutor's office
13 couldn't do its part of the work. I think they didn't work as well as
14 they should have. But that, of course, is my personal opinion.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar.
16 It is an appropriate time for the break. Trial stays adjourned
17 until 17.30 sharp.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.01 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.34 p.m.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So, Mr. Travar, can you remember any other
21 decisions initiated by your secretariat or by other members of the Crisis
22 Staff, other bodies of the municipality, related to economic sphere, and
23 especially related to the property?
24 A. Specifically, no, I don't recall any particular decision. If you
25 could show me one, then I could comment on it. But none of them were
1 important. Now, when it comes to property matters, let me clarify it once
2 again: Matters concerning property in the municipality were not under the
3 province of work of my secretariat.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Whose responsibility was the issues of
5 property? Wasn't it an economic issue?
6 A. The secretary of the secretariat for property affairs. That
7 was -- this was called for property relations. Mr. Pavicic headed that
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Was the representative of this secretariat
10 appointed as a member of the Crisis Staff?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What is his name?
13 A. Vojo Pavicic.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I would like the usher to show the witness
15 Exhibit S181.
16 Item 121 of this exhibit on the first page. The decision to
17 declare property that has been abandoned state property.
18 A. Do you want me to read it or...?
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes.
20 A. Or to comment on it?
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please do read this decision, the decision
23 A. "All abandoned property, moveable and immoveable, that belonged to
24 people who have left the territory of the municipality of Prijedor and
25 persons who have taken part in the armed rebellion is temporarily declared
1 state property and placed at the disposal of the Municipality of Prijedor.
2 Aricle 2" --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Will the witness please slow down.
4 A. "The municipal secretariat for urban planning, housing, public
5 utilities, and property law affairs and the municipal surveying
6 administration in cooperation with other municipal organs, shall inventory
7 all immoveable property."
8 I am reading Article 2 once again: "The municipal secretariat for
9 urban planning, housing, public utilities, and property law affairs and
10 the municipal surveying administration in cooperation with other municipal
11 organs shall inventory all immoveable property [Land, single-family
12 houses, business premises, farm buildings, et cetera] owned by persons
13 referred to in Article 1 of the present decision.
14 "Article 3: The allocation of property referred to in Article 1
15 of the present decision shall be regulated by a separate decision of the
16 Municipal Assembly.
17 "Article 4: The present decision shall remain in force until the
18 relevant legal acts in this domain are adopted by the Assembly of the
19 Serbian Republic of BH.
20 "Article 5: The present decision shall come into force on the day
21 of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of the
22 Municipality of Prijedor."
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, have you been acquainted with this
24 decision before?
25 A. I cannot remember exactly whether at the time I took part in a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 discussion about this decision, but I can comment on it. It shows that it
2 refers to the secretariat that I spoke about.
3 But I think that this was an attempt to, if possible, prevent
4 further plunder and destruction of that property. But this is the premise
5 or work of another secretariat, so that specifically I cannot know why it
6 was proposed and why it was adopted.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you think from the point of law, was it
8 legal to declare abandoned property -- all abandoned property, including
9 private property, I suppose, state property without consent of the person
10 who was the owner of this property?
11 A. Your Honour, I'm not a lawyer by profession, and I cannot say
12 whether at that time it was possible legally or not. And this decision
13 does not fall within the province of work of my secretariat, so that I
14 don't know.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But imagine you had a property and you left
16 Prijedor Municipality, and your property was declared state property.
17 What would be your reaction?
18 A. Well, I'd ask to get my property back legally. I don't know how
19 to comment on it. I also had many relatives and friends who had fled from
20 another part of Bosnia and Herzegovina whose property stayed in the other
21 part, brother, sister, and so on. But I'm not a lawyer, and I do not know
22 if it was possible to take such a decision. Once again, it is evidence of
23 what I said before, that the legal department of the Municipal Assembly
24 was -- had to intervene and say whether such a decision was possible or
25 not. I'm not a lawyer, and I never addressed these problems, so I cannot
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So if your property would confiscated, you'll
4 A. That's right.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Because it is unfair, it is unjust, it is an
6 illegal act?
7 A. Well, whatever, but it's not fair. And whether some regulations
8 allowed such a decision to be taken, that, I do not know. But it is
9 definitely not fair.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: It is not "pravicno," you said, yes? It's
11 legally non-fair? Please do repeat your answer.
12 A. I said that I think that it is not fair. When I say that it is
13 not fair, it is not fair.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. And can you tell me, whose property was
15 declared state -- whose abandoned property was declared state property in
16 real life?
17 A. All property that was abandoned, including private property, the
18 property of various companies including private companies, the property of
19 all the persons who abandoned the area, including Muslims, Serbs, and
20 others. I believe that this was the case. I really don't know. I can't
21 say exactly. I'm not familiar with this area. I've never addressed these
22 issues, and I've never analysed them, so I can't say for a fact.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: By and large, who abandoned their property at
24 that time? What was the ethnicity of the persons who abandoned --
25 A. Those were mostly Muslims.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Travar. I have no more
2 questions at the moment.
3 Please, Judge Argibay.
4 JUDGE ARGIBAY: I would like to ask you a question, Mr. Travar,
5 taking you back to something you said already. You told us that on April
6 the 16th, there was an assembly of the Serbian Assembly, and you were
7 nominated, selected, whatever, to be a member of the Executive Board. But
8 then this position was really taken by you on the day of the takeover of
9 the Prijedor Municipality. Is that correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Okay. Between the 16th and the 30th, you already
12 knew what you were supposed to go, and what was your work, where do you
13 supposed to go, or you were just told that you had to wait for a call from
15 A. I knew what this office implied. If somebody was the secretary of
16 the secretariat, I knew what I was supposed to do. But I didn't know
17 where I was going to sit because before that, I had never been in the --
18 in these offices, save for the ground floor of the municipal building that
19 I went to on one or two occasions. So the first time I actually entered
20 my office was on the 30th of April, and I knew that Mr. Milovan Dragic
21 occupied the post of the secretary of that secretariat. He was in that
22 office until the 16th of April when I was appointed.
23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Do you mean to say that there was nobody there
24 between the 16th of April and the 30th of April? It looks like that in
25 the transcript. I'm not sure what you've said. I don't understand your
1 language, sorry. But it looks like Mr. Dragic, who's an acquaintance of
2 yours, you know him, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So Mr. Dragic was the secretary for this
5 secretariat up to -- in the transcript it said: "Until the 16th of April
6 when I was appointed." That was the day of the assembly, but you took
7 your office only on the 30th, you told me that.
8 A. That is correct.
9 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So between the 16th and the 30th, who was there?
10 Who was responsible there?
11 A. I don't know. I don't know who was responsible. I never entered
12 those offices, and I didn't know anybody but Mr. Dragic. We were
13 appointed on the 16th, but the first time I entered the municipal building
14 was on the 30th of April. Who was there in the meantime, I don't know.
15 All I know is that Mr. Dragic discharged those duties until then, and then
16 he was mobilised. And at that moment, he was not in Prijedor.
17 JUDGE ARGIBAY: When you were appointed on the 16th of April, were
18 you told that you were supposed to take this position up on the 30th?
19 A. No.
20 JUDGE ARGIBAY: What was the condition on the starting to work?
21 What were you told about that?
22 A. I've already said that the deputies or the assembly was split into
23 two, the Serbian deputies walked out. They --
24 JUDGE ARGIBAY: That's very clear. I don't have any doubt that
25 you were selected and appointed on the 16th of April by the Assembly of
1 the Serbian People that had split from the multiparty, let's say,
2 assembly. That's not the question. The question is: When you were
3 appointed, were you told "you're coming in to the office on April the 30th
4 or the 20th," or should you wait for a call to come in to the office?
5 What was the condition? You were not going on the 16th. Is that correct?
6 A. That is correct. I didn't go there on the 16th. I returned to my
7 job. I worked for a company called Zitopromet. I was the head of
8 finances there, up to the 30th of April. That means I didn't come into
9 that office until the 30th of April. I wasn't told anything. It was my
10 feeling that -- that the assembly was divided and the new municipality
11 would be formed and it would call the Serbian Municipality with a Serbian
12 majority, and that it would be then that I would come into the office.
13 But nobody told me when that would be. Nobody told me it would be on the
14 20th or the 30th or any date whatsoever. I don't remember that anybody at
15 that point in time mentioned any specific dates.
16 JUDGE ARGIBAY: And so it was very surprising to you that you were
17 called into this meeting on the early hours of the 30th of April by the
19 A. That is correct. That is exactly what I've stated.
20 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you. I have no further questions for the
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Judge Argibay.
23 Now, the floor for the Defence. Please, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Questioned by Mr. Lukic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Travar.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. As you know, I'm Branko Lukic, and together with John Ostojic, I
4 represent Dr. Stakic's defence before this Tribunal.
5 We were talking about the rift and the division between the
6 Serbian Municipality of Prijedor and the Municipality of Prijedor which
7 was elected in the multiparty elections in 1990. Do you know if the
8 session of the newly elected assembly which took place on the 16th of
9 April, 1992, appeared as an announcement in the media?
10 A. I believe so, but I can't remember.
11 Q. We're talking about the establishment of this new municipality.
12 That was not kept a secret from anybody.
13 A. I can't remember whether I watched it on TV. At that time,
14 electricity was very scarce. We would have it for two hours a day
15 maximum, and due to my obligations that I had, I didn't watch much
16 television. But I believe that it was not kept a secret because there was
17 a division already at the state level in the republican municipality. On
18 the first day of my testimony, I mentioned a referendum and the
19 plebiscite, and that's what I could learn on the media.
20 Q. Did somebody tell you at that session that the establishment of
21 the new assembly should be kept a secret?
22 A. Nobody said anything along these lines.
23 Q. Mr. Travar, since the two of us speak the same language, because
24 of the translation, sometimes my question and your answer overlap. Maybe
25 it would be good if you follow the transcript on the screen.
1 A. What I have on the screen is not the transcript. I have something
2 else. I don't have the transcript of our conversation.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Previous interpretation continues]... Changed to the
4 transcript, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And now I have it in English.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The transcript is in English. It doesn't really matter for you to
8 be able to follow the words, just to see when my question is finished. In
9 any case, if you can focus more on your answers than on the screen in
10 front of you.
11 At this gathering in Cirkin Polje, were you told in the morning of
12 the 30th of April, 1992, were you told who was it who took over the power
13 in Prijedor?
14 A. I don't remember that anybody told me anything. I said that I had
15 arrived, and I saw a number of people whom I didn't know, and I spent most
16 of the time in the corridor in front of that big room where these people
17 were sitting. And I did mention some of their names. I don't remember
18 anybody having told me who it was who had taken over.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: May I ask the usher to show the witness Exhibit Number
21 S28, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] The Honourable Judges asked you about the meeting
23 of the National Defence Council of the Municipality of Prijedor. Will you
24 please read the passage mentioning the names of the people who attended
25 that meeting, and then I'll ask you some questions.
1 A. "Minutes of the second session of the National Defence Council of
2 the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor held on 5 May 1992 at 1500 hours.
3 "Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the council, chaired the
5 "The following members of the council were present at the
6 meeting: Dr. Milomir Stakic, Rade Javoric, Slavko Budimir, Slobodan
7 Kuruzovic, Dr. Milan Kovacevic, Vladimir Arsic, Simo Drljaca, Bosko
8 Mandic, and Radmilo Zeljaja, members. The meeting was also attended by
9 Simo Miskovic, Radenko Banovic, Ranko Travar, Vojo Pavicic, Mile Mutic,
10 and Milenko Rajlic. The minutes were taken by Spiro Marmat."
11 Q. Mr. Travar, looking at the first part of the minutes of the second
12 session of the National Defence Council of the Municipal Assembly of
13 Prijedor, is it clear that you are not a member of this?
14 A. Yes, that is exactly what it says here, but I have already said
15 that in my testimony, and I mentioned what I said to the Prosecutor when I
16 gave my testimony last year. I told him that this body the National
17 Defence Council is absolutely unknown to me and that it didn't mean
18 anything in my work. But I didn't deny having attended a number of their
19 meetings, and it is clear from this passage that I was not a member of
20 that body because the members of this body are mentioned in the first part
21 of that passage as attending members of that body.
22 Q. When you attended this meeting of the National Defence Council on
23 the 5th of May, 1992, before that, a few days before that, you were
24 employed by administrative organs?
25 A. Until what day?
1 Q. Until the 5th of May, 1992. So you were a member of an
2 administrative organ for only four or five days?
3 A. That is correct. All throughout my career, I was involved in
4 finances. That is correct.
5 Q. At that time, there was no way for you to know which organs of the
6 Municipal Assembly existed?
7 A. That is correct. That is what I learned later on, after I took my
8 office. And when I started working, that's when I learned more about the
9 administrative bodies in the municipality.
10 Q. Can we also conclude that in May 1992, you didn't know -- you were
11 not familiar with the composition of the bodies of the Municipal
12 Assembly? You didn't know who the members, which people were the members
13 of these bodies?
14 A. Can you please specify when -- what you mean when you say what
15 people were in what organs? I knew that the Executive Board was one of
16 the organs, and before my appointment, I didn't know who the people in the
17 Executive Board were and which parts it consisted of. When I was
18 appointed, I made sure that I learned. But I didn't know what parts did
19 the Municipal Assembly consist of. I only knew that the Executive Board
20 was one of its parts, and that is what I learned when I was appointed.
21 Q. What I meant is -- was that you didn't know who members of various
22 commissions of the Municipal Assembly were?
23 A. No, I didn't know then and I still don't know it today.
24 Q. I would like to ask you something about payment transactions in
25 1992. Were there any collection of payments from Belgrade and vice versa
1 in that period of 1992?
2 A. I don't know whether payment transactions were interrupted, were
3 at a standstill. As far as Prijedor Municipality concerned, I believe
4 that it happened in March 1992 and that no bills could be paid from
5 Prijedor either to the neighbouring municipalities or to an account in
6 Belgrade. And that was already in place in March 1992. As of that time,
7 there were no more payments from Prijedor.
8 Q. I'm not dissatisfied with your answer; I'm just waiting for the
9 interpretation to be over.
10 Is it correct that the payment transactions with Sarajevo were
11 interrupted as early as the beginning of April 1992? Do you remember
13 A. I don't know whether they were interrupted, but I know that no
14 payments could be made from Prijedor, that Prijedor was excluded from the
15 so-called TK system. TK stands for telecommunications, which was used for
16 the electronical transfer of payments.
17 Q. Do you remember that there were also no payment transactions with
18 Banja Luka for a period of time?
19 A. Yes, I remember that because my company, the company that I worked
20 for, which was Zitopromet, had its offshoots in Novi -- in Sanski Most, in
21 Dubica. So we had daily collection of money in our offshoots which did
22 not arrive into our account which was open in Prijedor. For that reason,
23 the majority of companies opened accounts in Banja Luka. The majority of
24 the companies which still operated and did business with the neighbouring
25 municipalities including Banja Luka, Novi Grad, Dubica, and Gradiska,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 opened parallel accounts in the payment transaction institute in Banja
3 Q. The employees of your company in Novi Grad and in Sanski Most, did
4 they have to bring cash to the headquarters of your company for a brief
5 period of time?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. I believe that this was happening sometime
7 in March and even in early April. However, this was very dangerous. It
8 was a risky business carrying all that cash to be deposited in Prijedor.
9 And that is why our company also opened an account in Banja Luka which
10 served for the electronic transfer of payments from Novi and Sanski Most.
11 Q. Was there a point in time when payment transactions operated only
12 within the limits of the town of Prijedor?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The Municipal Assembly of Prijedor had its own budget. Is that
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Who was the signatory of payment orders to be executed from the
18 budget of the Municipal Assembly, that is, for the payments to be executed
19 with the bank or the payment transaction institute?
20 A. There was my signature as of the date when I was appointed, but I
21 don't know what period you're referring to. Are you referring to the
22 period before the 30th of April or after the 30th of April?
23 Q. We are talking about the period when you were a member of the
24 Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
25 A. Besides me, other signatories were the president of the Executive
1 Board, Mr. Kovacevic; my boss, she was the head of budget, and her name
2 was Nena Lucar; and the deputy president of the Executive Board. I
3 believe that he was also a signatory. But there is a document with all
4 the signatures of those who had the right to sign. In any case, the three
5 of us, that is Kovacevic, Mrs. Nevenka Lucar, and myself had the right to
6 sign payment orders to be executed from the municipal budget.
7 Q. Did Dr. Stakic as the president of the Municipal Assembly or the
8 president of the Crisis Staff have the right to dispose with these funds?
9 A. No. These two posts were separate, and the only body that had the
10 budget at its disposal was the Executive Board. So according to the
11 then-prevailing regulations, Dr. Stakic could not have been the signatory
12 of payment orders.
13 Q. In the constellation of the Municipal Assembly and the Executive
14 Board, who was it who put forth proposals for the budget?
15 A. It was the secretariat -- it was my secretariat, the secretariat
16 that I headed, but the preparations were done by the department for budget
17 but I was the one who was the person who proposed the budget to the
18 Municipal Assembly.
19 Q. Who was it who approved the budget?
20 A. The decision on the execution of the budget was adopted by the
21 Municipal Assembly.
22 Q. And who was in charge of the implementation of the budget?
23 A. The department for budget and finances of the Executive Board and
24 the secretariat for finances and economy that I headed.
25 Q. Were policemen's salaries paid from the budget of the Municipal
2 A. No. The police and the army were not the end users of the funds
3 raised at the level of the municipality. They were financed directly from
4 the budget of the republic.
5 Q. In the territory of the Prijedor Municipality, there were
6 enterprises of state interests such as the Ljubija iron ore mine,
7 Elektroprivreda Prijedor, Telekom, PTT. These companies, that is,
8 institutions, were they bound to submit their reports to the Executive
9 Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
10 A. No, and I said it in my testimony today. The Executive Board and
11 the secretariat which I headed were only responsible for the collection of
12 information, to process that information, and to submit this information
13 to the assembly which was to adopt it. So the results of the economy as
14 such and the performance and so on and so forth.
15 So this was aggregate information collected by the secretariat,
16 and the ledgers which was -- and statements which were submitted to the
17 auditing service, and then they were submitted to the assembly. But the
18 companies were under no obligation to report about their work to the
19 Executive Board.
20 Q. Today you've already answered in part, but I nevertheless will ask
21 you again so that you can give us some additional explanation. Could you
22 order anything to any of these enterprises which I have mentioned, those
23 of particular interest?
24 A. No, I've already said that. The Executive Board and municipal
25 agencies were not institutions which could order or take decisions which
1 would be legally valid or which would apply to state companies. As state
2 companies, they were accountable to the government only and they were
3 under the government. And their reports -- there were reports on their
4 performance they were submitting to governments, and the same holds true
5 of the enterprises today, those which had not been privatised.
6 Q. Did you -- could you order to any other enterprise in the
7 territory of the Prijedor Municipality what to do and how to do it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. We've heard that the Executive Board, that is, the budget of the
10 assembly of the Prijedor Municipality, was in no manner allocated to
11 members of the police or the army. However, I will ask you now whether it
12 is true that the Executive Board had absolutely no formal power, no formal
13 authority over the police?
14 A. I do not know whether I addressed this today or on Friday. But I
15 must have in my statement to the Prosecution claimed, and I still say,
16 that the Executive Board, that is, the executive authority, be it the
17 Crisis Staff or the assembly, could not issue orders to either of these
18 two structures, the police or the army, in any way, not by statute nor
19 by -- in any other way. They had their own chain of command. They had
20 their own decision-making hierarchy. The army went up to the main staff,
21 and the police from the Ministry of the Interior down to the public
22 security station at the town level.
23 Q. Is it also true that in the spring and summer of 1992, the
24 civilian authorities, such the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly
25 and the Crisis Staff, did not even formally [as interpreted] have any
1 authority over the army and the police?
2 A. They had absolutely no authority over these structures.
3 Q. Only for the transcript, in the transcript, we again have
4 "formally," and I asked you whether it was true that the Executive Board
5 of the Municipal Assembly and the Crisis Staff did not have even informal
6 authority over the police and the army.
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. That will be all for the time being so far as the Executive Board
9 is concerned. Now I'd like to ask you something about the Crisis Staff of
10 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly.
11 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher to show the witness the Exhibit
12 Number 180, please.
13 Q. [Interpretation] So we are returning to the document that you were
14 already answered questions about. On the first page, again, under 18, we
15 see the decision on the organisation and work of the Prijedor municipal
16 Crisis Staff. Will you please be so kind as to read for us under 18 the
17 preamble, before the title.
18 A. "Pursuant to Article 110 of the constitution of the Serbian
19 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Official Gazette of the Serbian People
20 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Prijedor Municipal Assembly at its session
21 on 20th of May, 1992, adopted the following decision on the Crisis Staff,"
22 et cetera.
23 Q. Does this preamble make it clear what is the foundation for this
24 decision? Is it a decision of some other authority, of some other body in
25 the assembly of the Municipality of Prijedor, or is it a decision on the
1 organisation and work of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor? Was this decision
2 taken pursuant to the constitution of the Serbian Republic?
3 A. It says that it is regulated by the constitution in its Article
4 110. I didn't read the constitution and I do not know what Article 110
5 has to say about this, but this is what it reads here.
6 Q. You also told us that a decision taken at a higher level, the
7 offices which would be represented on the Crisis Staff were stipulated
8 regardless of who were the persons who held those offices. Would you now
9 please be so kind as to read to us Article 4 of the decision. It is at
10 the bottom of the page.
11 A. "Article 4: The Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality shall
12 have a president, vice-president, and nine members. The president of the
13 Municipal Assembly shall serve ex officio as the president of the Crisis
14 Staff and the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly as the
15 vice-president of the Crisis Staff. The following shall serve as members
16 of the Crisis Staff: The president of the Executive Board of the
17 Municipality; the commander of the municipal Territorial Defence; the
18 commander of the municipal staff of the People's Defence; chief of the
19 public security station; secretary of the municipal secretariat for trade,
20 industry, and public services; secretary of the municipal secretariat for
21 service industries, the secretary of the municipal secretariat for town
22 planning, housing, utilities, and legal property affairs; the health and
23 social security officer at the municipal secretariat for economy and
24 social affairs; and information officer at the municipal secretariat for
25 economy and social affairs."
1 Q. And this tells us what you told us about the establishment of the
2 Crisis Staff, does it?
3 A. Well, I didn't list all of them because I wasn't sure about these
4 offices. All I knew was that the offices that should be represented to
5 the Crisis Staffs were specified, and whoever happened to hold those
6 offices would be a member of this body. I said that today, too.
7 Q. At the Crisis Staff meetings, did you ever talk about the
8 discontent regarding the execution, regarding the implementation of some
9 of the decisions of the Crisis Staff? And did you request that the
10 Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor continue with its
12 A. Yes, I did. I also pointed that out in my statement to the
13 Prosecution. I was one of the people who was not happy with the way -- as
14 a matter of fact, unhappy, because to my mind, the Crisis Staff had no say
15 in events which escalated in the municipality because it could do nothing
16 in the army or the police. I am talking about order in the municipality,
17 and that is why I and a group of people in the Crisis Staff asked the then
18 president of the Executive Board, Kovacevic, to dissolve the Crisis Staff
19 because I simply did not want -- and I thought that it would serve no
20 purpose for us to be on a staff which couldn't introduce even a modicum of
21 order in the municipality because none of our requests or appeals or
22 invitation or whatever else we tried to do addressing the police, which
23 was the only one who could introduce and should have introduced order,
24 none of these requests or invitations were ever met with approval, or
25 rather were never translated into real life. That is, it never reached
1 the ears of those who were to implement that.
2 And I asked the then president of the Executive Board to raise
3 this question, whether such a body was necessary at all if it couldn't
4 issue any order to the police, which was called upon to protect people and
5 property and make order and prevent the plunder and everything that went
6 on. I said that today.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: We won't need Exhibit S180 any more. Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] The Crisis Staff of the assembly of municipality
10 of Prijedor, from time to time, received the decisions of the Crisis Staff
11 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Were these decisions merely, then,
12 forwarded, or were they discussed, too?
13 A. The decisions of the Crisis Staff were not discussed at all at the
14 sessions of the Crisis Staff. I do not know how they were distributed or
15 forwarded, but there were no discussions about those decisions -- at least
16 at the meetings that I attended; I'm trying to remember. You must be
17 aware that 11 years have elapsed since the time this happened. Yes,
18 exactly 11 years. So I cannot remember every detail, every subject of the
19 discussion, especially as I already said today, that there were no agendas
20 that would have been proposed in advance or any particular documents that
21 would be submitted for the discussion.
22 Q. And that is the problem, that you're a witness for the Court. So
23 don't blame the Defence. Had you been our witness, we would have shown
24 you all the documents. But we can move on even without that -- without
25 your being able to go through the documentation that we're talking about,
1 since the rules of this Tribunal do not envisage the possibility for Trial
2 Chambers to prepare their witnesses.
3 But now let me ask you something about the terminology that was
4 used at the time, that is, in the spring and summer and later, in
5 Prijedor. Was it a common occurrence for the government to be divided
6 into civilian and military authority [as interpreted]? Were such terms in
7 use at the time? And was the police part of the civilian authority at the
9 A. There were formations and uniformed forces. There was this
10 division, and there was talk about the division into civilian and military
11 authority, at least that was the common -- the common parlance, but I
12 cannot really say on what occasions and how.
13 Q. And once again, for further clarification of the transcript, it
14 said that I asked you that the government was divided into the civilian
15 and the military, but what I asked you, whether the authority was divided
16 into the civilian and the military, isn't it?
17 A. Well, there was no division specified or enforced by law, but in
18 terminology, civilian and military authority were used.
19 Q. Thank you. I understood you on both occasions, but we had to
20 correct the transcript.
21 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher now to show the witness Exhibit
22 S107, please.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Travar, I'd like to give you a few minutes so
24 that you can go through this document because this is an order signed by
25 Mr. Simo Drljaca of the 31st of May, 1992, so that you can tell us if you
1 had ever seen this document before.
2 A. No, I'm quite sure I haven't.
3 Q. In the introductory part --
4 A. Yes, it says so.
5 Q. In the introductory part, it says that, "With a view to the fast
6 as possible and effective establishment of peace in the territory of the
7 Prijedor Municipality and in accordance with a decision of the Crisis
8 Staff, I order the following..."
9 Can one see from this sentence that the order which follows was
10 issued by the Crisis Staff or is it the first person singular, and
11 therefore the order of Mr. Simo Drljaca? Can you help us? How do you
12 understand this order in our language?
13 A. What I positively know is that the Crisis Staff never took such
14 an -- never adopted such an order at a session that I attended. This is
15 an order, true, which the chief of the public security station
16 Simo Drljaca, but I cannot identify his signature. I didn't have
17 frequently the opportunity to see it and study it today, so that I do not
18 know whether Mr. Drljaca signed it. But quite positively at -- this
19 decision was not taken at a session of the Crisis Staff. Had it been
20 taken by it, it would have had to have its number, but here I do not see
21 the number of that decision. And yes, it is in the first-person singular.
22 "I order" is the first-person singular in our language.
23 Q. Is it -- is it the responsibility of the assembly of the
24 municipality of Prijedor, the Executive Board, or the Crisis Staff could
25 be the detention and investigation of people under any circumstances?
1 A. The Crisis Staff did not do it, nor could it do it under the
2 then-legal regulations. That was the business of the police, the
3 prosecutor's office, and the judiciary. And none of these bodies were
4 municipal bodies; that is, they were not subordinate to the municipality.
5 Q. You've already given a tentative answer. I have to ask you
6 severally so that we can clear up certain matters. Did the staff of the
7 state security account for the [as interpreted] work to the Crisis Staff
8 of the Assembly of the Prijedor Municipality?
9 A. No, definitely not. The state security, well its name is
10 self-explanatory, and it shows who it accounted to, who it reported to.
11 And the --
12 Q. And the staff of the public security, did they account to the
13 Crisis Staff of the Municipality of Prijedor?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And what about the members of the military security, did they
16 account to the Crisis Staff of Prijedor?
17 A. They did not.
18 Q. On page 2, item 11, it says: "The coordinators of the security
19 services" - and it means, the public, state, military securities - "shall
20 submit daily reports on the preceding 24 hours to the chief of the
21 Prijedor public security station at 1200 hours or immediately when the
22 circumstances allow no delay."
23 Did these reports ever reach the Crisis Staff of the Municipal
24 Assembly of Prijedor?
25 A. No, not to my knowledge.
1 Q. Under item 15 on page 3, Mr. Drljaca orders: "I most strictly
2 prohibit giving any information whatsoever concerning the functioning of
3 this collection centre. All official documents shall be kept at the
4 collection centre and may be taken out or destroyed only with the
5 permission of the chief of the Prijedor public security station. This
6 shall be the responsibility of the security staff."
7 Did Mr. Drljaca comply with his own order?
8 A. I don't know. I'm reading this document, and I really can't --
9 Q. I'm asking you whether at a Crisis Staff meeting, did he ever
10 speak about collection centres, about the investigation centres, contrary
11 to his order?
12 A. No, I confirmed it today. At Crisis Staff meetings, anything that
13 had to do with reception centres or prisons, they were never mentioned, at
14 least not at those meetings of the Crisis Staff at which I was present.
15 And you couldn't and were not supposed to ask anything about those things.
16 Q. Once again for the record, you were -- you were not to ask or is
17 it that you dared not ask because of your personal insecurity
19 A. Well, we were not supposed to ask that. When we did, the answer
20 would be "it's none of your business. You have nothing to do with it.
21 You've got your business to attend to." And I tried to explain today how
22 all such attempts, at least how my attempts ended, either to have a say,
23 to have a hand in a particular matter, or to find out what was going on
25 Q. The budget of the Municipal Assembly, did it serve to finance the
1 food, the electricity, or derivatives for the collection centres in
2 Omarska and Keraterm?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Do you know who was it who financed the work of the collection
6 A. No.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Lukic, may I ask you: How much time do you
8 need to finalise your questions?
9 MR. LUKIC: For now, probably two, two and a half hours.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you for your answer. In this case, I
11 believe that it is high time to discuss some procedural matters, and
12 especially related to the schedule of the remaining eight days. That's
13 why if you have no principal objection, if the OTP has no principal
14 objections --
15 MR. LUKIC: I have no principal objections, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I would ask you to postpone the testimony of
17 Mr. Travar until tomorrow.
18 MR. LUKIC: I have no objections.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Travar, as we discussed on Friday, until
20 your testimony here has concluded, you may not contact representatives of
21 either the Defence or the Prosecution. Please be back tomorrow at 2.15 to
22 continue with your evidence in this case. Thank you for your today's
23 testimony. Until tomorrow.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The witness is excused, please. Please lead
1 the witness out of the courtroom.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, in the light of the fact that there are
4 only eight more days of trial scheduled for the Defence case, I would like
5 to take this opportunity to discuss the schedule for the remaining Defence
6 witnesses. And please, the floor is yours.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. If there's not a particular
8 question in this regard, the Defence will set out what we believe the
9 schedule will be for the remainder of the week and for the following week,
10 as I believe we have in our written application.
11 This week, obviously with the conclusion of Mr. Travar, we're also
12 going to call witness under Defence 65 ter number 043, who will proceed
13 this week. Likewise, this week we're going to proceed with 65 ter number
14 087, who is our -- one of our academic historians that the Court
15 approved. I did speak with the OTP this morning, as well as last week in
16 connection with that witness. We believe we could conclude that witness
17 in a day and a half.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Sorry, what witness?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: 087, the academic historian.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Ms. Joanna Korner shared with me that she has
22 approximately two to two and a half hours' worth of questions for the
23 witness. If there's a time constraint, the Defence would propose just to
24 ask a few preliminary questions of the witness since the essence of his
25 testimony is clearly confined and set forth in his rather detailed report
1 that has been submitted pursuant to Rule 94 bis already.
2 That would be the extent of the witnesses for this week we
3 believe. To advise the Court, we also received this morning a call with
4 respect to a witness that was scheduled to appear tomorrow. The Victim
5 and Witness Unit has advised me that that witness for some reason is not
6 being granted permission to enter the Netherlands, and we're investigating
7 that. I do not have a 65 ter for this witness. I would rather identify
8 him by name in private session just to be certain, but he follows on our
9 list of witnesses under the number 090, is the immediate one underneath
10 that list.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Excuse me. Let us go into private session and
12 discuss the names of the witnesses.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 13332 to 13336 – redacted – private session
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
11 at 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
12 the 11th day of March, 2003,
13 at 2.15 p.m.