Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14551

1 Thursday, 27 March 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Please be seated. And may I ask

6 the usher to escort the witness in the courtroom.

7 Madam Registrar, may I ask you to call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the

9 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please, for the

11 Prosecution.

12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Prosecution,

13 Nicholas Koumjian, Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the Defence.

15 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic for the

16 Defence.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Thank you.

18 As mentioned yesterday, we hope - you know how relative the word

19 "hope" is here - to conclude as soon as possible, and then the floor

20 would be for the Defence, just so the Defence is prepared.

21 [The witness entered court]

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning.


24 [Witness answered through interpreter]

25 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]

Page 14552

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Kuruzovic, you are prepared to continue with

2 your testimony?

3 A. I did not understand. There was no interpretation.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Kuruzovic, you are prepared to continue with

5 your testimony?

6 A. Yes.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The same information I gave you yesterday

8 applies also today. Only one thing I didn't touch upon yesterday, may I

9 ask you, did you contact before coming here one of the parties? We know

10 that you gave a statement to a representative of the Prosecution the 24th

11 of March last year. Were you ever contacted once again by the Prosecution

12 or by a member of the Defence team in this case?

13 A. The Prosecution has not contacted me. The Defence has contacted

14 me and asked me whether I would wish to give a statement as a Defence

15 witness, and I declined that.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

17 Then let us continue where we stopped yesterday. You recall that

18 you were shown a document signed by a witness, a pseudonym was assigned to

19 this witness, and therefore we can't discuss the name. A certificate

20 issued by the Serbian Red Cross signed inter alia by you. The following

21 question would be, was there a necessity before issuing such a certificate

22 to relinquish the property in order to be able to leave Prijedor

23 Municipality?

24 A. I don't know of any such thing. Where I was in Trnopolje, these

25 things did not happen. I heard that people who had been leaving the

Page 14553

1 territory of Prijedor had the obligation to pay for the utilities,

2 electricity, water, and the similar things. And as far as the

3 relinquishing the rights to property, I didn't hear that. I don't know of

4 such a thing.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So for the parties, the testimony of witnesses

6 Q, Y, Z, and others would be wrong when they state here that they had to

7 relinquish their property before being able to leave the Prijedor

8 Municipality and before receiving such a receipt?

9 A. I don't know of any such thing.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May the witness please be shown Exhibit 292 and

11 293. We will have now a very fast track going through a number of

12 documents, please always the way that the English version is on the ELMO,

13 and the B/C/S version be handed to our witness.

14 Maybe in the meantime, you can briefly tell us the role of

15 Mr. Curguz. You recall the second signature. You signed at the left-hand

16 side of this document of this certificate, on the right side was Pero

17 Curguz. What was his role?

18 A. First, let me tell you that I don't know what document this is all

19 about. I saw it yesterday actually. Mr. Curguz was a member of the team

20 of the municipal Red Cross from Prijedor. He was not on his own. There

21 were other people, four or five women were there with him, and Mr. Curguz

22 was one of the team.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The name is redacted, because it's a protected

24 witness.

25 A. I've read this decision. I understand what it says here, but I

Page 14554

1 didn't see here that it says the shop ceases to operate and private

2 property. I've never done any such thing in my whole life. But let me

3 help you, if somebody wanted to have a private shop or a private business,

4 they had to apply for that stating the place where the business would be

5 operating from and what activity would it be engaged in. Once is ceases

6 to operate, obviously one also has to report that the business ceases to

7 operate, and thus that the obligations of that company towards the state

8 ceased to exist.

9 As for relinquishing the right to property, I've never heard of

10 any such thing, nor have I heard that any such decisions were issued. I

11 can see that this was signed by Ranko Travar, the secretary for the

12 economy. I don't know based on which he is quoting some articles of the

13 law. But I don't think this was confiscating of property. It was just

14 the announcement on the part of the owner that his business would cease to

15 operate after a certain date. This is how I understand this. And it says

16 here that the person applies for the business to cease operating. I

17 believe that that person, as it says here, this was submitted to the -- to

18 various institutions, so I suppose that this person was under the

19 obligation to meet his obligations towards the various funds. I don't

20 understand everything about this thing. These are some obligations and

21 some commitments that a business owner had towards the state.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then, please, Exhibit S293. For the

23 parties, this has to be read in conjunction with transcript 7606 through

24 7607.

25 This means that I have understood this decision well. This is a

Page 14555

1 certificate in which it says that the person who had obligations have

2 met -- has met obligations towards pension funds, health fund, and so on

3 and so forth. I can't see anywhere here that the taxes have been paid,

4 and I don't see here that the property has been confiscated. I can see

5 here that this business, this company, this shop or kiosk is going to

6 cease to operate as of a certain date. I am not familiar with all this,

7 but my logic tells me, and I assume that this is the case based on what I

8 can read in this document.

9 These are municipal affairs, the affairs within the purview of the

10 municipal secretariat.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you for a moment can come back to Exhibit

12 S12. I hope it's still in this redacted version. Exhibit S12. May I

13 first see it before it is put on the ELMO, please.

14 Would it be please placed on the ELMO that we can see it together.

15 We have only one version. And immediately to the signature block, please.

16 The bottom line.

17 Yesterday, you already tried to read this what we can see under

18 the signature of Pero Curguz. And I omitted yesterday to go in some more

19 details on what we can read there. I think it reads, based on the

20 certificate of departure of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, 8 August

21 1992. What was this, the certificate of departure of the Autonomous

22 Region of Krajina?

23 A. I really don't know what this is all about. I don't know why Pero

24 Curguz was supposed to sign this. I never sign any other documents but

25 those that constitute the certificate requested by the Red Cross about

Page 14556












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Page 14557

1 people being there. I don't think this is a forgery. This is my

2 signature. That's how I sign documents. But I don't know what this is.

3 I don't know. I may have been told that the person was leaving the centre

4 in Trnopolje, that maybe a member of his family came to take him, and that

5 this certificate is supposed to be signed indicating that that person

6 indeed had been here. I'm -- I didn't read the contents of this document,

7 and the Red Cross has nothing whatsoever to do with the municipal

8 authorities. This is an international organisation, so I believe that I

9 was under the impression that I did not have to read the contents. I can

10 see in the heading "Red Cross", and this is also the seal of the Red Cross

11 of Prijedor. Maybe it is not nice of me to say that maybe this has been

12 planted on me to sign. I don't know whether anybody had any ill

13 intentions. But I really don't know why I signed this.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please don't misunderstand it. You're not in

15 any way the accused in this case. We want just to hear from you, as you

16 sit here as a witness, to know why was it necessary that there was a

17 certificate as we can read it of departure issued by the Autonomous Region

18 of Krajina? What had the Autonomous Region of Krajina to do with this

19 release?

20 A. I really don't know. I know that according to the logic of

21 subordination, a Krajina should have been superior to the Municipal

22 Assembly of Prijedor. I don't know whether one was supposed to ask the

23 Autonomous Region of Krajina permission to leave either Municipality of

24 Prijedor or some other city. This doesn't make sense to me. A number of

25 people were asked to pay their bills, their rent, their utilities before

Page 14558

1 they left town. A number of people - I don't know how many - but starting

2 with autumn 1991 up to spring 1992 left Prijedor in an organised manner.

3 Muslim and Croat families, mostly women and children, were leaving,

4 whereas able-bodied men remained in the city. I don't want to guess. I

5 know that these things happened. Whether this is correct or not, but I

6 don't know that the number that is mentioned is rather large. Some say

7 that between ten and 15.000 people left Prijedor at that time by buses in

8 an organised manner.

9 I would like to thank you for having said that -- what you've said

10 when you asked me this question. Yesterday all day, you act in a very

11 fair manner and with a lot of -- I was treated by you with a lot of

12 respect, and I would like to thank you for that.

13 So if I need to repeat my answer, I really don't know why the

14 autonomous province of Krajina was in the position to order anything to

15 the municipality or ask the municipality to issue any certificates or why

16 would a Krajina issue a certificate for somebody to leave a certain

17 municipality? I really don't know why this was the case.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Let's now turn to a totally

19 different issue, and this is the work of the Prijedor Crisis Staff.

20 May the witness please be shown Exhibit S60. Do you recall this

21 meeting, the 15th of May? You appear --

22 A. Yes, I remember this meeting, and I can see here that I attended

23 this session.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The meeting was chaired by Dr. Milomir Stakic,

25 president of the council.

Page 14559

1 A. Yes, the National Defence Council of Prijedor Municipality. I

2 apologise.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Then we have the agenda. We don't want to

4 waste time with the agenda, but let's go to the conclusions. First

5 conclusion: If you could go a little bit more down, yes. Still on the

6 first page, only at the end of the page. It was on the organisation and

7 the functioning of the Crisis Staff. And here it reads: "The draft of

8 the decision on the organisation and function of the Crisis Staff is

9 approved under the proviso that a representative of the Garrison in

10 Prijedor be added to the proposed list of members of the Crisis Staff."

11 First, who proposed the list of members of the Crisis Staff, to the best

12 of your recollection?

13 A. I can see here that these are members of the Executive Board,

14 president and the vice-president, and I can see that Vladimir Arsic was

15 also proposed, and the person who proposed it was the president of the

16 Municipal Assembly, Dr. Stakic. And I can see here all the persons, Rade

17 Javoric, the commander of the staff, Cedo Sipovac was the representative

18 of the army, Travar, Zeljaja, Kovacevic and so on and so forth. Probably

19 it was based either on the statute of the Municipal Assembly or the

20 provisions of the laws of the Krajina or the Serbian Republic of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was stipulated what the composition of these

22 bodies should be, and I believe that it was based on that that Mr. Stakic

23 put forth this proposal.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Correct. The only question is why in addition

25 to that what is in fact foreseen elsewhere a representative of the

Page 14560

1 Garrison in Prijedor should be added to the proposed list of members of

2 the Crisis Staff?

3 A. Probably because of cooperation between the police, the army, and

4 security organs. Slavko Budimir is here, and he is the secretary for

5 people's defence. And he was the one to coordinate the behaviour of both

6 the police and the army and the engagement of people, mobilisation of

7 people. And I suppose that it had to be put in writing that a military

8 representative should be there to participate in the discussions on

9 dealing with these issues. As far as I remember, I attended several of

10 these meetings, and in any of them the people -- the National Defence

11 Council or the Crisis Staff ever issued any orders to the army, at least I

12 don't remember. That may have happened in some other meetings that I

13 didn't attend. But in any case, this was not possible because there was a

14 different chain of subordination applied to the army. There was the

15 garrison in Prijedor, and Vladimir Arsic was under the command of the

16 Banja Luka corps on the 1st Krajina Corps. In any case, that is the same

17 corps. Maybe the names were changed later on.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the implementation of this

19 conclusion? Did, in fact, a representative of the garrison in Prijedor

20 participate in meetings of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor?

21 A. Yes, I attended several sessions. I don't remember that he

22 attended every time, but sometimes Mr. Arsic was present, or Cedo Sipovac

23 or Rajlic was there. As representatives probably, if they were supposed

24 to resolve certain problems related to the life and work of the army.

25 That's what I remember. I don't remember any discussion taking place

Page 14561

1 about military actions because there were no military actions in town or

2 around the town. I am certain that this is the reason because the state

3 of war prevailed, troops went to the front line. It needed to be decided

4 how many people should be assigned to the police to maintain law and order

5 in town.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Let's now turn to the next page, and

7 this would be agenda points 2 and 3. "Mobilisation in the municipality

8 and the issue of the status of deployed forces." Apparently following

9 these minutes, you participated you in the discussion, and then the

10 following conclusions were adopted. I'm especially interested in the

11 following, the second: "All persons who have failed to respond to the

12 mobilisation callups starting from 17 September 1991 may not participate

13 in decision-making on organisation of work and security matters in

14 companies and other legal entities. The directors of companies and other

15 executive organs are responsible for the immediate implementation of this

16 conclusion."

17 Then start the transformation of both TO staffs and former unified

18 command for control and command of all the units formed in the territory

19 of the Municipality.

20 Do you recall these two conclusions?

21 A. Not particularly, but I understand what they are all about, the

22 people who failed to respond to their mobilisation callups should under

23 the law be held liable. That was so however you viewed it. From the

24 inside or from the outside. It was the official state organisation called

25 the Serbian Republic Bosnia-Herzegovina, and those who failed to respond

Page 14562












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Page 14563

1 to mobilisation had to be subjected to certain measures. They certainly

2 couldn't be engaged in work related to safeguarding facilities and

3 installations and any works related to security. And I see that directors

4 and managers are made responsible to make sure of that. And about the

5 second conclusion, the headquarters of the Territorial Defence should be

6 included in the single command. As far as I remember, it was later called

7 the Command of the Region to avoid having several military organisations.

8 Therefore, the staff of the Territorial Defence commanded by Rade Javoric,

9 and the staff in which I was, which was not really a military

10 organisation, were formally united and resubordinated to the command of

11 the region. That is, Commander Arsic. And everything was from then on

12 under the command of military post box 4777. Yes, here it is written. A

13 part of the remaining conscripts should be assigned to units, blah, blah,

14 priority to be given to the reinforcement. So this must have been a

15 preliminary decision. I remember telling you that.

16 And I also said that on the 16th or the 17th, I received an order

17 to the effect that I and what was referred to as my staff and the staff of

18 Mr. Javoric without any exceptions should be attached to the command of

19 the region, that is, of the brigade, military postbox 4777.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So in conclusion, this would mean -- you

21 mentioned yesterday the number of one to two thousand persons maximum.

22 They would be from now on under the command of Mr. Arsic. Correct?

23 A. Yes. I don't know for sure actually, but I think those were the

24 numbers within the Territorial Defence units. They were brought under the

25 command of the brigade. And that included all the men who are military

Page 14564

1 conscripts or who volunteered to serve in the army and who were not in the

2 ranks of civilian police. So all of them were either within the

3 composition of one or the other brigade included in this military postbox.

4 All military conscripts from the territory of the municipality.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And it would be correct that war units 4777 and

6 8316 would be part of the 43rd or 343rd Brigade. Correct?

7 A. Well, the 43rd Brigade and the 343rd Brigade are one and the same

8 thing. When they were -- when this brigade was restructured, it was also

9 renamed into the 343rd Brigade. When that happened exactly, I don't

10 remember.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is one and the same brigade, no doubt. But

12 these war units, 4777 and 8316 would be within this brigade. Correct?

13 A. Well, I don't know about this second one, 8316. I don't know

14 which unit that is. But it's possible. If this 8316 was within the

15 Kozara Brigade which was part of the Territorial Defence, then it would

16 not be the case. As for the command of the region, the command of this

17 brigade was ex officio commander of the region. The region was a broader

18 area. Therefore, all the other brigades in that territory were under the

19 command of the region, that is, under the command of Arsic.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But then also in the context of the next

21 following, the fifth conclusion, that all conscripts who have been issued

22 uniforms and other military equipment and who have not joined up to return

23 their equipment as soon as possible. This is only a natural decision.

24 But the question, please help us understand this, how is it possible that

25 the Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff decided in this way on issues

Page 14565

1 normally being in the area of the military, and in part, the police

2 forces?

3 A. I will try to assist you on this issue. I hope you will

4 understand. It is not the army that engaged civilians into its units.

5 This was done through the Ministry of Defence, or rather in Prijedor,

6 through the Secretariat of National Defence headed by Slavko Budimir. And

7 if somebody needed to be called up, to be mobilised, then when the army

8 saw fit to do that, it was done by the Secretariat for National Defence.

9 They handled all affairs related to appointment, relief of duty,

10 engagement, distribution of men, et cetera. This was done by the

11 Secretariat for National Defence and the Crisis Staff. I don't know

12 whether we mentioned yesterday, all men in that state who at one point had

13 completed their military service had their military equipment at home, not

14 including weapons, of course, unless the Territorial Defence was mobilised

15 and people were issued with weapons.

16 So this was a way to call upon people to return the equipment they

17 had been given.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. But in the centre of our interest is, no

19 doubt, number 3. And this is not about conscripts but it's on the

20 formation of a unit, here "form a unified command for control and command

21 of all the units formed in the territory or municipality." And then

22 wouldn't it be alone for the military to decide what priority is given?

23 And here, the Crisis Staff indeed decides priority is to be given to the

24 reinforcement of war unit, first of all, 4777. How could the Crisis Staff

25 decide on these military issues?

Page 14566

1 A. I don't know how else to answer this question. This could have

2 been done only through the Ministry of Defence and the Secretariat for

3 National Defence as part of the Municipal Assembly. And all reassignments

4 could have been handled only that way. Applications could have been made,

5 plans could have been formulated, requests made. But only through the

6 Secretariat for National Defence. And since this Secretariat was part of

7 this National Defence Council and part of the Crisis Staff, it is logical

8 that this should be discussed here. And I suppose it was formulated as a

9 task to the Secretariat to execute this assignment. It was not something

10 for the National Defence Council. At least, that is what I know. Maybe

11 there could have been other provisions in the law allowing for this. I'm

12 not a professional military person.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's briefly touch upon point 4, if we

14 could see the bottom part of this page, please. It reads: "The public

15 security station in concert with the army command should draft the plan of

16 disarmament, after which the actual process should be set in motion and

17 with the assistance of the media."

18 First, public security station in concert with the army command.

19 How could the Crisis Staff decide on these issues?

20 A. It says here "conclusion." A conclusion is not an order, and it's

21 not a decision either. This was concluded, drawn as a conclusion probably

22 for the sake of securing the Municipality of Prijedor, namely, the

23 disarmament of all those illegally armed paramilitary formations. I don't

24 know how else this could have been done except by having them disarmed by

25 the police in cooperation with the army. The weapons were supposed to be

Page 14567

1 collected and taken away, with appeals made to the public to carry out

2 this conclusion, to implement it. This is my understanding.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And then let's turn to the next page, taking

4 over of the duties of the military department, and then the conclusion:

5 "The municipal Secretariat for National Defence is requested to prepare

6 for the Municipal Assembly executive committee a draft staffing table for

7 the Secretariat which shall include the tasks taken over from the military

8 department."

9 Which were these tasks taken over from the military department and

10 how could the Crisis Staff or the National Defence Council better, in this

11 case, how could the National Defence Council "take over" duties from the

12 military department?

13 A. I don't remember exactly, but it's possible that some superior

14 order resulted in a restructuring and something that was called earlier

15 military section became part of the Secretariat for National Defence.

16 This must have been an obligation given to the Secretariat for National

17 Defence by the National Defence Council to formulate a categorisation of

18 vacancies and jobs, because I told you before, calling up people to be

19 mobilised and engaging civilians in any way into the army must have been

20 done through a summons from the Secretariat for National Defence or as it

21 was earlier called, the military section. The military section employed

22 civilians, not military persons. They were tasked with issuing callups,

23 forming and reforming units, and it is through them that the army made its

24 applications and requests reflecting its needs.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So what finally in conclusion, this conclusion

Page 14568












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Page 14569

1 would mean that part of the duties of the military department were now

2 taken over by the National Defence Council. Correct?

3 A. No, it was the municipal Secretariat for National Defence. I'm

4 sorry, I hastened a little. The municipal Secretariat for National

5 Defence was given the task of preparing a categorisation of jobs and

6 vacancies because they had taken over the purview of the former military

7 section. And it all became part of the Secretariat for National Defence

8 headed by Slavko Budimir.

9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This concludes the discussion of

10 this document. Let us now turn briefly to Documents S130 and 203.

11 Can we please see the entire document.

12 Do you recall having seen this document before?

13 A. No, never.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it's not of assistance to go in some

15 details. 203.

16 Can you confirm this decision? Was this decision implemented as

17 it reads here: "Relieved of duties as of 29 May, 1992 ..."?

18 In your interview, maybe you hadn't this document before you, of

19 24 March last year, on page 11, you state: "It would be the 17th of May,

20 1992." To the best of your recollection, what would be the correct date?

21 A. You mean the issuing of this decision?

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Not the issuing, but as it reads here: "... is

23 relieved of duties as of 29 May, 1992..."

24 Is this date correct?

25 A. I received this decision, and it corresponds to this date, that's

Page 14570

1 the day when I received it. And before that, the commander of the region,

2 in other words, the 43rd Brigade, issued an order resubordinating me to

3 the command of the brigade, and from that moment on, I ceased to be the

4 commander of the staff of the Serbian Territorial Defence, and I was under

5 the command of the 43rd Brigade. What it says in this decision probably

6 reflects the fact that when it was impossible for the staff to meet, the

7 staff decided to relieve me of the duties of commander of Territorial

8 Defence, and I received this decision precisely on this date, the 29th of

9 May.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then it continues: "... placed under the

11 command of the command of the region." What would this mean in terms of

12 names, who were from now on your superiors in the hierarchy?

13 A. Commander Arsic, commander of the region and commander of the 43rd

14 Brigade.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And who would be the superior to Mr. Arsic?

16 A. Well, I don't remember exactly at that time who was commander of

17 the Banja Luka Corps. I forgot the name. At the time it was the --

18 General Talic was chief of staff of the corps, and I forget whether the

19 corps was called Banja Luka Corps at the time or not, or the Corps of

20 Republika Srpska. It could have been General Vukovic. I've forgot. Or

21 maybe General Talic was already corps commander. I really can't remember.

22 It could easily be that General Talic was already corps commander.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No doubt, your immediate superior from now on

24 was Mr. Arsic. Did you have to change your office?

25 A. Well, one could say that since the staff did not really exist, the

Page 14571

1 commander of the other staff, the TO staff, moved into the barracks

2 together with all the staff, and all the staff. So I spent my time in

3 that barracks all the time. And the former TO staff offices were

4 transformed into a logistics base. And I had my ways and means of taking

5 from there to Trnopolje cigarettes and some other supplies that I couldn't

6 get through the Red Cross. However, I was subordinated to the command of

7 the brigade, and I wasn't able to do anything without their approval.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As it would be always in wartime.

9 You mentioned the barracks. Which barracks do you mean?

10 A. That is the Zarko Zgonjanin barracks, military postbox 4777. I

11 believe some other military postbox numbers were also there because the

12 military have within their organisation the so-called development command.

13 I believe some units were under its command. The barracks held the

14 command of the region, Commander Arsic, with all his subordinates.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Kuruzovic, did you ever see in this Zarko

16 Zgonjanin barracks arrested or detained persons or persons being there for

17 the purpose of interrogation?

18 A. I don't remember that. I didn't see that. You mean some

19 detainees under interrogation or something? I never saw anything of the

20 kind.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

22 May we then turn to Exhibit Number S21, please. May it be please

23 put on the ELMO in a way that we can see the entire document. What does

24 it mean "the Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic shall be

25 established as an armed force of SBiH. Command and control of the

Page 14572

1 Territorial Defence shall be exercised, municipal district, and regional

2 staffs, and the republic staff of the SBiH TO"?

3 A. The Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we discussed that

4 yesterday, was established. The Ministry of Defence Bogdan Subotic was

5 appointed pursuant to the provisions of the constitution and the decision

6 of the Presidency at a session which was held on the 15th of April, 1992,

7 took the decision on the establishment of the Territorial Defence of the

8 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an armed force of the Serbian

9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The state was established, the

10 authorities were established, and the Minister of Defence therefore

11 ordered mobilisation. Before that, the immediate threat of war was

12 proclaimed. As far as I know, the mobilisation call was published in the

13 media and conscripts were supposed to respond to this mobilisation call.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This decision was, in fact, implemented?

15 A. Yes, because this applied to the tasks of the Territorial Defence

16 staff which existed and which was under the command of Mr. Rade Javoric.

17 And this mobilisation was indeed carried out.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

19 Then the following documents immediately one after the other: 175,

20 68, 70, 69, 72, and 79. Starting, please, with 175.

21 This is an order apparently issued by the Crisis Staff, and it

22 reads: "Commands and members of the military and regular police forces

23 are hereby ordered to immediately seize all materials ..." We shouldn't

24 go into formal details. But how can the Crisis Staff of Prijedor order

25 commands and members of the military and regular police forces to do

Page 14573

1 something?

2 A. Well, I don't know. The -- probably because at that time, there

3 was still an order, that is, a decision, of the Presidency in place which

4 dealt with the immediate threat of war. I suppose that the Crisis Staff

5 did have a possibility to ask that of the police and the army in order to

6 prevent plunder and theft. You know, such things did happen, and the way

7 I understand it, it was asked for these illegally acquired materiel and

8 equipment to be seized. I can see that this concerns the prevention of

9 further plunder of private property and state property, and I can see that

10 this also concerns the control of the exit and entry of all persons from

11 buildings, the control of all the telephone calls. The military police

12 did its own job, and the civilian did its own job. The times were weird,

13 and the philosophy and the mind set of people was different. There were

14 members of my people who carried arms, and for that reason, they thought

15 they could do whatever they wanted to do under the guise of the military

16 uniform or the uniform of a civilian or a military policeman. And because

17 they wore uniforms, they thought they could seize people's property, and

18 because there were such things, there was a need to introduce some order

19 into town and prevent looting and threat because as I've already said, the

20 truth is that there were such things happening at the time.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned this, and it's quite

22 understandable. But let's now turn to 3: "Residents and residents'

23 councils are ordered to monitor around the clock the comings and goings of

24 all people at the entrances to their apartment buildings. Any misconduct

25 should be reported to the competent police or military organs in person or

Page 14574












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Page 14575

1 by telephone ..." And then we can read two telephone numbers. "Any

2 misconduct should be reported ..."

3 Yesterday, we briefly touched upon some heinous crimes in Omarska,

4 Mount Vlasic. Wouldn't it have been the obligation of everybody, each

5 resident, be it now an ordinary civilian or be it a member of the Crisis

6 Staff, to report any misconduct to the competent police or military

7 organs?

8 A. Yes. That was the case. For example, people organised their

9 tenants' councils in building in order to deal with some minor issues, and

10 it was asked from them to participate in all this to control the coming

11 and going of people in their building in order to prevent the looting of

12 property and other such misconduct.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, to come back in case of the killing

14 of a huge number of persons, wouldn't it be the obligation under the rules

15 and the law of former Yugoslavia to report these killings to the competent

16 police or military organs?

17 A. Probably yes, unless this happened during war operations. It was

18 provided for by the law, and this is the case in every country, and the

19 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was no exception to that rule.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned yesterday that related to the mass

21 killing at Mount Vlasic, you were asked to report to -- to write a report

22 to Mr. Arsic. Did you write that report and what happened with the

23 report, to the best of your recollection?

24 A. I wrote the report in the brigade command. I said what I knew.

25 Up to that time, I never heard of any such thing having happened, and I

Page 14576

1 don't know who the escorts were. I know that the civilian police served

2 as escorts. I heard that only two or three days later. They asked me to

3 write a report on when this happened. I wrote a report to that effect,

4 and that report remained in the brigade command. I wrote what I knew. I

5 probably stated when this happened, when the group had left. I don't

6 remember whether they left in two or three buses. I also stated that the

7 transportation was organised, that the Executive Board supplied the fuel,

8 and that the public security station provided escort for this convoy, and

9 these escorts were tasked with providing for the security of these people

10 until their arrival in the territory of Travnik and further on in either

11 Bosnia and Herzegovina or abroad, depending on where people wanted to go

12 from there.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you still have a copy of this report in your

14 possession?

15 A. The statement that I wrote there? No, no, I only remember what I

16 said, and that was that regardless of when such a departure was organised,

17 the president of the Executive Board was aware of that. He helped the

18 organisation of this departure. Commander Arsic was also aware of this

19 departure. Either he or somebody else from the military was supposed to

20 inform the military structures in that part of Mount Vlasic to allow for a

21 safe passage of these people. I believe that I wrote something to that

22 effect. I also wrote in that statement that I didn't know about the

23 incident and that I was not officially informed about it. I believe that

24 I heard of the incident in the Red Cross. And after that, I was asked to

25 draft my report or statement about what had happened.

Page 14577

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you discuss these killings in the Crisis

2 Staff or bilaterally together with Dr. Stakic?

3 A. To be honest, I really don't remember. I don't remember when this

4 happened exactly. After the order issued by the Commander Arsic and the

5 decision of the Crisis Staff, I stopped attending Crisis Staff meetings or

6 any other meetings for that matter, and I really don't remember ever

7 having discussed that with him. I probably talked about that with my

8 acquaintances, people that I knew who were surrounding me because it was

9 something terrible. It was an atrocious thing that happened. I may have

10 talked about it with Dr. Stakic as well, but it was not in any formal

11 manner, if you know what I mean.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let us please turn to S68. Once again, we

13 shouldn't go into the details. The question is how it's possible that the

14 president of the Crisis Staff, Dr. Milomir Stakic, orders that it is

15 hereby -- "An order is hereby issued to the military police organs and the

16 organs of the Prijedor State Security Service"? It's not a request; it's

17 an order.

18 A. I can see that it says "order" here. Maybe the army and military

19 police were requested to take possession of all illegally seized property

20 from other members of the military and the military police. However,

21 other people had done that as well, and maybe that's why it was asked from

22 the army and the police to prevent that and that for all illegal property

23 to be taken hold of. I heard that one of the companies in question was

24 Velepromet. I'm not sure. I can only say that at that time there were

25 very few people actually within that brigade, and under that command of

Page 14578

1 that brigade, there were a lot of people on the strength of the civilian

2 police. So maybe this applies more to those who wore uniforms. But it

3 also applied to everybody.

4 Now, what is the logic behind this order being issued by the

5 Crisis Staff, and here it quotes Article 7 on the decision on the

6 organisation and activities of the Crisis Staff. But I believe that this

7 decision on the work of the Crisis Staff was passed pursuant to the

8 constitution and laws of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And

9 I believe that pursuant to such a decision, the Crisis Staff was in the

10 position to issue an order like this.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Exhibit 70, 7-0.

12 Here we can see "Crisis Staff president" illegible, Stakic, maybe,

13 signed and stamped. It reads: "The blockade of the town shall remain in

14 force." Why this?

15 A. I assume, and I know that you know, that on the 30th of May, there

16 was a military attack on the town of Prijedor. There were a number of

17 organised people who participated in that attack, and 16 people killed

18 during that attack in front of the municipal building and all over the

19 town. And I assume that the Crisis Staff expected that something like

20 that would happen again, and that's why it asked for the blockade of the

21 town to remain in force. The blockade was carried out by units -- or

22 actually units under of the command of the region, together with members

23 of the police. They set up checkpoints to control those people who were

24 entering and leaving town. So everybody who was moving around was checked

25 by those units.

Page 14579

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the addressee, in fact, would be the public

2 security station or, as you mentioned, the command of the region.

3 Correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Exhibit S69. Once again, issued by

6 the Municipality of Prijedor Crisis Staff, an order to supply for the

7 troops -- supplies for the troops shall be provided by the Zarko Zgonjanin

8 barracks pursuant to the order issued by the commander.

9 Could you please comment on this document. Once again, an order

10 into the direction of the army.

11 A. The -- what we can see here are vehicles. For a short period of

12 time, I issued everybody with fuel certificates, but this only lasted for

13 a few days, and then it was the Executive Board who did that via its

14 services, the fuel. As we know, there is a petrol station in the

15 barracks, and fuel was issued on the order of the commander. And fuel had

16 to be brought from somewhere.

17 I apologise. This had to be taken from -- this had to be taken

18 from the storage, fuel storage, in town, the so-called Energopetrol. So

19 the fuel had first to be transported to the barracks, to petrol stations,

20 and then it was issued in the way that is stated herein.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But one point of special interest for me is it

22 reads, close to the end: "For Crisis Staff vehicles." What does it mean,

23 "Crisis Staff vehicles"? Did you have special cars provided for the

24 members of the Crisis Staff?

25 A. I don't know. But if the Crisis Staff is mentioned, then this is

Page 14580












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Page 14581

1 the body that in the peacetime was the Municipal Assembly and the

2 Executive Board, secretariats, president of the Executive Board,

3 vice-president of the Executive Board, various secretaries for the

4 economy, for People's Defence. As far as I know, there were two or three

5 vehicles used by the municipality officials when they went on business,

6 when they travelled on business. So I suppose that what is meant here are

7 these vehicles.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you yourself have your own car and driver?

9 A. Before I was issued the order to resubordinate myself to the

10 region command, I had a car that I got from a company. I had my own car

11 which was an old Peugeot 305, very old. And this first car mentioned, I

12 used it for 15 days, and then I returned it to the company that had given

13 it to me. It was sometime around 16, 17, 18 or 20 May. I can't remember

14 exactly. The car was given to me by the company called -- the textile

15 company. I returned that car in good order, the way I got it.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know which kind of -- which car was

17 driven by the president of the municipality as of the 30th of April, 1992,

18 we'll say which car was driven by Dr. Stakic and who was the driver at

19 that time?

20 A. I don't remember the name, but it wasn't Dr. Stakic himself who

21 drove that car. And I also forgot what car was that. I remember that

22 there was a blue Lada. As far as I remember, this was used by inspectors,

23 by officials. And there was also another blue -- white car, a white Lada.

24 The president of the municipality must have been driven in a better car,

25 but I don't remember what car was that. It seems to me that earlier on,

Page 14582

1 before all these incidents happened, the president of the municipality was

2 driven in a black Mercedes. Now whether Dr. Stakic also used the same

3 car, I can't remember.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's skip S72 and go immediately and

5 finally before the break to Exhibit S79.

6 Once again, an order issued by the president of the Crisis Staff,

7 Dr. Milomir Stakic. An order to the Prijedor Public Security Station and

8 the Prijedor regional command. "... are ordered to form a joint

9 intervention platoon to be made up of 20 members from each with the basic

10 task of preventing looting and other criminal activities in the area of

11 the municipality and movement of all unregistered vehicles and vehicles

12 driven by members of the army and police without regularly approved travel

13 authorisation."

14 So we already touched upon this, on an intervention platoon,

15 yesterday. So apparently this intervention platoon was made up by members

16 of the security station and the military. Correct?

17 A. Yes, this transpires from this order.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And it reads in number 2: "That the members of

19 the platoon shall be chosen from among the existing members of the army

20 and the police."

21 A. Yes.

22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: How could the Crisis Staff give such an order to

23 army and police?

24 A. I can see that the Article 3 and 7 on the decision of the

25 organisation are quoted here. I don't know anything about these articles

Page 14583

1 and what the contents of these articles are. But it seems that the order

2 was based on these articles. In any case, it is well known what this is

3 all about. I've told you already that a number of people wore uniforms,

4 and some of them were not even on the strength of either the police or the

5 army and still they wore uniforms because at that time, almost everyone

6 wore a uniform. Some of them were not authorised to carry either a

7 uniform or arms, and these people would seize other people's cars, and

8 they would use those cars - I'm talking about both members of the police

9 and the army - and this had to be stopped. And they -- these vehicles, if

10 they were driven by people who were not authorised to travel, who did not

11 have a document - I'm talking again about the military or the police

12 members who when travelled had to have an authorisation, an official

13 document. So if these people did not have the authorisation to drive

14 vehicles, then it was ordered to the police and the military to take those

15 vehicles over -- away from them. I don't know whether the Crisis Staff

16 could issue such an order, but in any case this was ordered in order to

17 prevent looting and to preserve the property of people. This was the

18 justification for this order.

19 Now, whether this order was at all possible or not, I cannot go

20 into that.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But did I understand you yesterday correctly

22 that this platoon, in fact, was implemented and this order was implemented

23 and this intervention platoon was established; correct?

24 A. I don't believe that this order was not carried out. I don't know

25 who members of this platoon were and who its commander was. But I don't

Page 14584

1 believe that this order was not carried out.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. For this part, for technical reasons

3 we have to make a break now once again, and therefore the trial stays

4 adjourned until 11.00 sharp.

5 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.

6 --- On resuming at 11.05 p.m.

7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we now turn to a totally different issue.

8 May I ask you, was there ever a discussion in the Crisis Staff or in other

9 groups, national defence or whatsoever, on the incident in Hambarine?

10 A. I can't say that I remember it. I suppose I know what happened,

11 but it happened before, before that second attack took place. I think it

12 was on the 22nd or somewhere around that time.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In your statement, it reads on page 45, when

14 asked by Mr. Koumjian: "Did the Crisis Staff discuss the situation at its

15 meetings after the killing of the men at the checkpoint?" Your answer

16 was: "Yes, it was discussed, but the army had already `came with an

17 ultimatum to surrender the weapons within 48 hours.' As much as I

18 remember, that was accepted, and then it was radio broadcasted."

19 Question: "And the radio person who actually announced the ultimatum was

20 Dr. Stakic. Is that correct?" Answer: "Well, I don't know exactly.

21 Maybe he was the one who signed, but I don't know if he was the one at the

22 radio announcing it or it was, you know, radio worker, speaker."

23 Question, "was the ultimatum given in the name of the Crisis Staff of

24 Prijedor"? Answer: "I think. I'm not sure. It was in the name of the

25 army."

Page 14585

1 To the best of your recollection, what would be your testimony

2 today on the events immediately before Hambarine and immediately after

3 Hambarine, especially the involvement of the Crisis Staff?

4 A. Maybe I hadn't understood the question well last year, or maybe I

5 was confused by the whole procedure, the questions, the translations, et

6 cetera. I don't think Dr. Stakic was the one who presented this request.

7 It was done through the radio at somebody else's request. As far as I

8 know, on the 22nd, an army patrol was attacked on its way to Hambarine.

9 They were shot at from a light machine-gun. I think the person involved

10 was Aziz Aliskovic. And throughout that time, there were problems at the

11 checkpoint in Kozarac where passage was denied. This checkpoint was

12 manned by Muslims from the Territorial Defence so that people had to take

13 alternative roads to arrive in the town. I don't know whether it was on

14 the 26th or 29th of May, but I know it was a couple of days after this

15 incident in Hambarine, that this column was also attacked. Some of the

16 soldiers were killed. And there followed an order or a command from the

17 command of the region to eliminate this checkpoint and to allow free

18 passage from Banja Luka to Prijedor. I think that was the sequence of

19 events.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To come back to the first part of the question,

21 at that time, you were asked: "Did the Crisis Staff discuss the situation

22 at its meeting after the killing of the men at the checkpoint?" And you

23 answered: "Yes, it was discussed."

24 To the best of your recollection, was this issue discussed in the

25 Crisis Staff?

Page 14586












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Page 14587

1 A. That is possible, but I'm not completely certain. It would have

2 been logical to discuss it, but whether the discussion was official and to

3 what extent the army was involved, I cannot claim with any certainty.

4 Maybe the Crisis Staff discussed it at a meeting which I did not

5 attend, but I don't remember it. Because this was at a time when I had

6 ceased to be officially the commander of the TO staff and was attached to

7 a unit of the 343rd Brigade.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This was as of, as we just established a moment

9 before, the 29th of May. Correct?

10 A. Well, I don't know exactly. I can't remember the exact date, but

11 it was somewhere between the 26th and the 29th of May that this incident

12 took place on the road from Banja Luka to Prijedor, around the Kozarac

13 intersection. It might have been on the 26th, but I can't say for sure.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you yourself read out the ultimatum in the

15 media?

16 A. No, no, I didn't. I had nothing to do with the radio station at

17 the time. It was only in May 1994 that according to the decision of the

18 Executive Board, I was nominated to become manager of the radio station,

19 and indeed, became the director.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the parties, I'm making reference to

21 transcript page 2864 and 6808.

22 The events in Kozarac, were they discussed in the Crisis Staff?

23 A. Well, I don't know. I didn't attend any such discussion. I

24 suppose it was discussed. It's impossible that it shouldn't have been

25 discussed, at least informally among people. But whether any official

Page 14588

1 discussion had taken place, I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, I told

2 you already who summoned me, in which way, and how I became involved in

3 this general misfortune suffered by the people.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: When you mention this "misfortune suffered by

5 the people," I think one conclusion of these orders we saw in the past,

6 especially based on Exhibit Number S250, was that it was for the Crisis

7 Staff to take care that the order in town was maintained or

8 re-established. What about now these crimes committed indisputably in the

9 camps of Omarska and Keraterm, especially the so-called Room 3 massacre?

10 Did you committed to maintain or re-establish the order in town discuss

11 these crimes in the Crisis Staff?

12 A. That happened during times when I had no direct link with the

13 Crisis Staff. And I suppose this, too, must have been discussed. It was

14 a terrible event that occurred for I don't know exactly what reason. I do

15 know that people were detained in this Keraterm camp. I don't know what

16 grounds and how. Rumour had it that those were people who had been

17 involved in actions against the town. I forget now whether it was before

18 these actions or after. I didn't know at the time who was in charge over

19 there. I heard about it later, over the radio. I know that some sort of

20 military attack was carried out against those people. I heard many people

21 were killed. But I don't know the real reason why this ugly incident

22 occurred.

23 Although you could hardly call something like that an "incident";

24 it is a crime committed by men.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it be your testimony that the fact that

Page 14589

1 these crimes were committed, both in Keraterm and Omarska, were public

2 knowledge in town?

3 A. I don't think they were. They could have become later. People

4 knew about the crime in Keraterm. And what I said before, I said in

5 reference to Omarska, because that camp was not far from the town, and the

6 shooting must have been heard. I don't know where I was at the time. The

7 event took place in the evening.

8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the transcript, it reads "Omarska, it was

9 not far from town." Did you really want to say Omarska, or did you want

10 to say Keraterm?

11 A. People knew about what happened in Keraterm. And as far as

12 Omarska was concerned, it was some sort of investigative prison. And I

13 don't think people knew what was going on in there. It fell within the

14 competence of the Secretariat for Internal Affairs, the public security

15 station. And it was the late Simo Drljaca who was chief of the police

16 station. I don't know on whose orders this centre was established and

17 those investigations were carried out. The rest of it, I know about from

18 what I saw on television, just like other people, and I listened to

19 statements made by people who had been detained there and realised then

20 that lots of things had been going on in there. I don't think those

21 things should have happened. I don't think that is in our spirit and

22 culture as a nation. I don't know how to explain it. I don't think it

23 should have happened at all.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did anybody in the Crisis Staff try to take

25 action to prevent that something like this would happen again in the

Page 14590

1 future? Were there any investigations? Were there any reports to the

2 responsible authorities, be it in the military area or be it in the police

3 or public prosecutor or area of the investigating judge?

4 A. I don't know whether this was discussed by the Crisis Staff. I

5 didn't hear or witness any such discussion. But I suppose it couldn't

6 have gone unnoticed. If the Crisis Staff made decisions regarding water,

7 food, mobilisation, traffic control, requisition of vehicles, et cetera, I

8 don't think they would have omitted to require reports about all these

9 events, and they probably required an investigation by the courts, because

10 from what I know, the incident in Keraterm involved civilians. And

11 civilians are in charge of -- civilians are the responsibility of civilian

12 authorities, and I suppose something of that kind must have been requested

13 or even demanded.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did anybody of you ever go to Keraterm or

15 Omarska and to find out what are the real facts behind that what happened?

16 A. I have said already I had never been to Omarska or Keraterm. I

17 know that Mr. Simo Drljaca and others used to go there, and I know that

18 every day, one doctor and one male nurse would go there to visit, and it

19 is from them that I heard that people from the police went there,

20 including Mr. Simo Drljaca. Whether he had taken some measures to prevent

21 unwarranted action by the police, I don't know. I never read any reports

22 to that effect and never heard anything about it.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You just stated that "Mr. Simo Drljaca and

24 others used to go there." Who were these others?

25 A. Well, I suppose his associates or his subordinates in the chain of

Page 14591

1 command of the public security centre, that is, the Secretariat of the

2 Interior in Prijedor. Later, I saw some footage on television depicting

3 those men, which means that television crews and journalists also visited

4 the camps. I don't know exactly what this footage shows. I don't

5 remember any more, but I know that television crews must have been there.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In 1992, and I really ask you this question

7 related to 1992 and from your perspective, if possible, of 1992, starting

8 with the 7th of January, 1992, who was the most important politician in

9 the municipality of Prijedor?

10 A. It's difficult to say. The government that was established in the

11 night of the 29th and 30th of April consisted of the top leaders of the

12 party and municipality. From January that year until the 30th of April,

13 we had the government that was elected at the elections. It was only

14 formal and had no practical power. From the 29th of April onwards,

15 however, the supreme body in the municipality was the assembly, and later

16 the Crisis Staff, and later the War Presidency. When things calmed down a

17 little, I don't remember when this was exactly, the Municipal Assembly

18 started to operate again as an official body, and Mr. Stakic was the

19 speaker of the assembly, the chairman who carried out the decisions of

20 that body.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was the real function of Dr. Stakic, a more

22 representing function or the real leader at that time, in 1992, especially

23 after the 30th of April, 1992?

24 A. Until the 30th of April, 1992, Dr. Stakic discharged the functions

25 of the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. From that

Page 14592












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Page 14593

1 time on, depending on the period in question, he was president of the

2 Serbian Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. And as we noted before, depending

3 on the decisions of the Presidency of Republika Srpska, he was president

4 of the Crisis Staff or the president of the War Presidency, and later

5 president of the Municipal Assembly. After that, new elections were held,

6 and he was replaced by another man as president of the municipality. And

7 Mr. Stakic was later again elected president of the Municipal Assembly of

8 Prijedor for another four-year term.

9 This, as I said, is the supreme legislative body in the

10 municipality which passes laws, enactments, conclusions by voting in

11 accordance with democratic principles. And he is the president. The

12 president is required to obey the decisions of the assembly, and if the

13 decisions of the assembly are promulgated in Official Gazettes, for

14 instance, he signs them.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you regard Dr. Stakic as a strong politician

16 or, as it is sometimes in politics, compromise candidate? What was your

17 impression when you saw first Dr. Stakic the 7th of January, and then

18 later in his acting capacity, especially at this meeting you mentioned the

19 29th of April when you were called together, and you found out together

20 the time is ripe now for the takeover? Was Dr. Stakic a figure of

21 leadership or puppet on the string of somebody else?

22 A. I didn't know Dr. Stakic very well. He's much younger than me, so

23 I did not have any contacts with him prior to that. He was a physician.

24 As a person, I believe that he does have integrity, that he is firm, he's

25 educated, he's smart. As far as politics are concerned, I believe that he

Page 14594

1 was both at the same time, that he was firm in his decisions and in the

2 implementation of the decisions of the Municipal Assembly, and I also

3 assume that as a humanitarian, that is, as a person who belonged to the

4 medical profession, he encounter situations in which he had to listen to

5 people's problems and show leniency at times in order to help towards

6 solving certain problems. I don't know whether he was a puppet. I

7 wouldn't say that, but I would say that he was under the influence of the

8 late Kovacevic and Simo Drljaca.

9 However, even if there had been influences or pressures, I never

10 heard of them or I never witnessed them in any of the official meetings

11 that I rarely attended. I repeat that. So these influences and these

12 pressures were never visible or officially exerted.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I confront you with a quote from an

14 interview given by Dr. Milomir Stakic later on when looking back to these

15 events, he stated, page 2 of the transcript of Document S187-1C: "These

16 places, such as Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje, were a necessity in a

17 given moment and were formed according to a decision of the civilian

18 authorities in Prijedor."

19 Please comment this sentence.

20 A. Personally, I did not attend a single meeting at which such a

21 decision would have been passed. Maybe Dr. Stakic had in mind major

22 problems that had occurred, and the situation of war that prevailed in

23 town and the things that happened on the 22nd and the 29th, and the army

24 went into a mopping-up operation around Hambarine and Kozarac. And this

25 was a necessary evil. A number of Muslims did create problems and

Page 14595

1 committed crimes, shot at people. On the 16th and during the mopping-up

2 operations in Kozarac and Hambarine and later on. So I assume there was a

3 need for these people to be brought in and interviewed. Maybe there were

4 justified reasons for the existence of Omarska and Keraterm.

5 As far as Trnopolje is concerned, I've already told you when the

6 combat activities started, people of their own will sought shelter from

7 the fighting and went there. Two men were there who were carrying out

8 orders in Prijedor, the late Kovacevic and late Drljaca called me on the

9 phone. And we were on a conference call, so I could hear both of them

10 talking at the same time, and they pressurised me into assuming that role.

11 I was already 50 at the time. I enjoyed certain reputation. People liked

12 me. I am a native of Prijedor. Actually, I've lived in Prijedor since

13 the age of 3. I was born in Serbia, but I was born to a family of

14 refugees from Prijedor who went to Serbia during the Second World War. So

15 they asked me, they ordered me to go there to receive these people. I

16 went up there, and I saw for myself that this was a huge misfortune that

17 up to then, I could only see on television and in films, similar to things

18 that are now happening in Iraq where people are fleeing in huge numbers in

19 order to save their hide.

20 People were coming there in huge numbers on foot, and I tried to

21 help them, to find accommodation. So it didn't take me long to decide,

22 because that's the kind of person I am. I decided to take that role to

23 help these people, to receive them. And in conclusion, let me say that

24 maybe Dr. Stakic -- maybe this is what Dr. Stakic thought, but I

25 personally never attended a meeting at which it was decided to set up any

Page 14596

1 of the three forms or three places where people would gather. But let me

2 tell you, Trnopolje is something completely different because it was never

3 a prison or a camp. It was never an investigation centre or interrogation

4 centre or anything like that.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let me quote once again and little bit longer:

6 "These places such as Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje were a necessity

7 in a given moment and were formed according to a decision of the civilian

8 authorities in Prijedor.

9 Reporter: So those three camps or how are they?

10 Stakic: Reception centres.

11 Reporter: Reception centres were formed according to your

12 civilian authorities.

13 Stakic: Yes. Yes. As I have said, this was a necessity in the

14 given moment when there was no longer any possibility to resolve the

15 question of relations and the division of power through agreement by

16 peaceful means and to an extremist from the ranks of the SDA, Party of

17 Democratic Action and the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Union Party, but

18 mostly the SDA which won here and which at one point lost control and

19 started using force, murdering members the army and the police. We had to

20 set up such centres."

21 A. I accept this as an explanation, however, I don't know. I never

22 heard of any formal civilian body taking a decision to set up these

23 centres. At least, not Keraterm and Omarska. And as far as Trnopolje is

24 concerned, I have already told you how this decision was taken and how

25 this was established.

Page 14597

1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You told us how it was established. I would ask

2 you, who ran Trnopolje centre, what would be your answer?

3 A. It's very difficult to say because this was not either a classical

4 camp or any firm organisation. It was an open centre, and it would be the

5 most logical thing to say that it was run by the Red Cross from Prijedor

6 with huge assistance by the Red Cross from Banja Luka and UNHCR. I was

7 the one who organised and provided for the security of these people

8 through the military command. And as for the supplies and food, this was

9 done via the Red Cross, via the Municipal Assembly, and with the

10 assistance of the institutions that I mentioned earlier on. That is, the

11 Red Cross and the UNHCR. So there was no classical command, nor was there

12 any need for such a command. When people came there, I could not prevent

13 anybody from entering, nor could I prevent anybody from leaving. There

14 were cases when people came and wanted to take people away. I wanted this

15 to be recorded, because I wanted to prevent situations where an accident

16 would happen to these people, and later on nobody would know what had

17 happened to these people, who had taken them away. That's why I wanted

18 all these instances recorded.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Finally, how would you describe your

20 relationship with Dr. Stakic in 1992?

21 A. Dr. Stakic was the president of the Municipal Assembly i.e., the

22 bodies that I've already mentioned. In our private life, we didn't

23 socialise because he is much younger than me. He has his own friends,

24 people he socialised with. I personally did not socialise with him.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did he exercise his duties in a professional

Page 14598












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Page 14599

1 manner?

2 A. Well, I assume that he did. He exercised duties for which he was

3 appointed.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What about the reasons that led to the fact that

5 the first representatives in Prijedor at the same time left their posts in

6 the beginning of 1993?

7 A. I don't know. I don't know what this is all about and what

8 representatives you're talking about. I don't remember. I can't place

9 that in time. I don't know who left their posts. But I believe that

10 there were elections, weren't there? And that a new assembly was

11 established. Now whether that was in 1993 or 1994, I don't know exactly.

12 I only know that there were new multiparty elections, that is, the

13 elections for the representatives to the Municipal Assembly, and the new

14 president of the Municipal Assembly was elected. I don't know whether

15 this was in 1993 or 1994. I don't remember. I can't recall that.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Quite concrete: Why had Dr. Stakic to leave his

17 office or his post as president of the Municipal Assembly without any

18 elections beforehand in January 1993?

19 A. I really don't know. You've taken me by surprise. Maybe he

20 resigned or something like that. I really honest to God do not remember.

21 I believe that Dr. Stakic had a vice-president. He was Dragan Savanovic,

22 and I believe that he was succeeded by a dark-haired, tall guy. I can't

23 remember his name. Oh, it was Dusan Kurnoga. I believe that was his

24 name, Dusan Kurnoga. But whether he replaced Dr. Stakic or whether he was

25 elected and appointed when the new assembly was elected, I don't know. I

Page 14600

1 don't think he would just replace him just like that. And my logic tells

2 me that if Dr. Stakic had resigned for some other reasons, then he should

3 have been replaced by his vice-president. And that was Mr. Dragan

4 Savanovic. Whether this happened or not, honest to God, I can't remember

5 at this moment.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One final question: Already yesterday we

7 discussed the replacement of Professor Cehajic during the takeover. And

8 apparently he was on a list prohibiting him to enter his office as a

9 freely elected president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. Did you

10 follow what happened to Professor Cehajic? What about the fate of

11 Professor Cehajic?

12 A. What you have just stated is correct. It was a fact that he was

13 not allowed entrance. What happened to him later on, I don't -- I didn't

14 know at that time. After a few days, I believe he was taken first to

15 Keraterm and then to Omarska, but I don't know after how many days that

16 was. I don't know whether something happened to him that would be

17 relative to the risk of his life. There were rumours all over town that

18 somebody got killed, somebody didn't. And later on, those people who were

19 rumoured to have been killed would return -- would appear in Prijedor.

20 Many people of Muslim and Croat ethnicities returned to Prijedor in 1994,

21 1995, 1996. These same people had been rumoured to have been killed, so I

22 really don't know what happened with Professor Cehajic. I don't know.

23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever seen Professor Cehajic after the

24 30th of April 1992 again?

25 A. I don't know for a fact. I believe that I saw him once somewhere

Page 14601

1 in town, but I'm not sure. I can't remember. I believe that I saw him,

2 but I can't remember where and why. At the time when he was incarcerated

3 or taken for interrogation, and after that time, I never saw him again. I

4 didn't even see him on the 30th of April when he turned up for work. I

5 only heard that the policemen stopped him and others who to be replaced by

6 new members of the Executive Board, and they had to return to their homes.

7 And when that happened, when Professor Cehajic was either arrested or

8 taken for interrogation, I don't know. I only know that the person who

9 talked to him was Simo Miskovic, or maybe representative Srdic. I believe

10 that one of them talked to him on that day, either on the 30th of April or

11 the 1st of May. They talked to him on the telephone from the private

12 house that had been rented by this Slovenian company. And I believe that

13 they said that Professor Cehajic was in Ljubija staying with his sister or

14 somebody. And I believe that Mr. Senator -- a senator talked to him. I

15 don't know what they talked about. I assume that Mr. Cehajic had said

16 that what had been done was not okay, and then the gentleman who spoke to

17 him explained, then gave the justification for that. And he explained

18 that by the thing that had been taking place before the takeover. But in

19 any case I really -- I cannot remember exactly what this was all about.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you know about any crime Professor Cehajic

21 allegedly had committed justifying his incarceration?

22 A. I cannot answer your question because I'm not a lawyer by

23 profession, and I've never been engaged in a job similar to yours, Your

24 Honour. I can only say that he was a member of the SDA, that together

25 with Mr. Mirza Mujadzic, he organised the armament of the Muslim people,

Page 14602

1 especially in the area around Hambarine. He helped in the arming of

2 paramilitary formations together with him, based on what I could read in

3 the newspapers and hear on the radio, and based on the statements of other

4 people from other parties, he was the one who obstructed the establishment

5 of the legal authorities in the executive branches of power. So maybe

6 somebody decided that this was a good enough reason to incarcerate him.

7 But personally, I would not find that a justifiable reason. The only

8 thing that I would find a justifiable reason would be the armament of

9 illegal paramilitary formations. That was a different matter.

10 Mr. Cehajic was the president of the Municipal Assembly, and most

11 of the power was in the hands of the SDA. So there was no need to -- for

12 them to arm themselves. Maybe the leaders of the party spoke differently

13 and ordered people differently. I know that Muslim people sold their

14 property in order to obtain arms, but that's a different story. This is

15 something you didn't ask me, did you?

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please, once again, try to concentrate

17 on the question and answer to the best of your recollection. How many

18 days was it from the 30th of April, 1992, until the day of his

19 incarceration? One day, two days?

20 A. I'm sorry. I really can't assist you with that. But I don't

21 believe that he -- that it happened so quickly. I don't remember.

22 Immediately after the 30th of April, these things didn't happen. All

23 these problems and incarceration of people took place after the 22nd or

24 the 26th of May. I don't know whether I'm right in saying that. I really

25 can't remember, and it wouldn't be fair of me to say things that I don't

Page 14603

1 know for a fact.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Absolutely correct. You should only tell us

3 what you know for sure. But Mr. Kuruzovic, isn't it true that you know

4 that Professor Cehajic, in fact, died in Omarska camp?

5 A. I don't know that for a fact. I heard it like I heard of some

6 other citizens of Prijedor, unfortunately. I heard it in conversations

7 with people, because nothing has ever been said officially by any of the

8 bodies. We've never read about it in any of the newspapers. We never

9 heard it on any of the media.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This, in principle, concludes my

11 line of questions. And out of order, because I don't know what it's

12 about, may I ask the usher to present a document that has not yet an

13 exhibit number. Please put it on the ELMO.

14 Would you please be so kind and tell us what kind of document this

15 is.

16 A. This is not a document. This is what we call an accompanying

17 letter which accompanies a different document which is either an order or

18 a decision. This is a piece of paper which confirms the delivery of the

19 decision of me being relieved of my duties of the commander of the

20 territorial staff of Prijedor. I don't see a signature here. Probably I

21 did sign this document, because it confirmed the fact that I received the

22 decision on my relief of duties. This was a decision that must have been

23 taken earlier on, but administratively, it was delivered on the 30th. I

24 believe it was taken on the 29th or thereabouts. I don't know.

25 Here, I can actually see the date, 29th is the date. And it was

Page 14604












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Page 14605

1 delivered to me on the 31st.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Judge Vassylenko, please.

3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Kuruzovic, isn't it true that principal

4 political decisions on the most important issues were initially taken by

5 had the SDS leadership, and later on these decisions were implemented by

6 the civilian, police, military bodies?

7 A. I could agree with you. At that time, when the power was taken

8 over and Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was officially

9 established, this was a so-called monoparty system. There was the Serbian

10 Democratic Party, and all the people who were appointed to various

11 positions were members of the Serbian Democratic Party. Like everywhere

12 else in the world, they were supposed to implement the policies of the

13 Serbian Democratic Party, and I hope I have answered your question, sir.

14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So is it true that a person couldn't be

15 appointed to an important post without prior recommendation of SDS?

16 A. Well, now, the highest positions in the republic and in the larger

17 towns and towns like ours, I really don't believe that anybody could have

18 been appointed if they were not members of the Serbian Democratic Party.

19 Maybe members of the Executive Board or managers or CEOs or directors of

20 institutions could have been appointed without even being Serbs, let alone

21 members of the SDS. At the beginning, it was a widespread thing. But

22 later on, as things moved on, it was only Serbs that were appointed, and

23 that is, members of the SDS. In the meantime, things have again changed.

24 A lot of people have returned. The president of our municipality again is

25 a Muslim, and there are a lot of other posts in the municipality and other

Page 14606

1 institutions taken by both Muslims and Croats who are not members of any

2 party. For example, the president of the Municipal Assembly is a member

3 of the party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but others are not. But still,

4 things do follow party lines. In the past, there was just one party. Now,

5 there are several parties. But people are appointed from parties, from

6 various parties.

7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Kuruzovic, who did belong to the SDS

8 leadership in Prijedor Municipality in 1991, 1992? Please do name the

9 most influential political figures in the Prijedor Municipality.

10 A. Well, those were president of the municipal board of the SDS,

11 Mr. Simo Miskovic; vice-president of the party, Dragan Savanovic; and

12 other members of this municipal board who had more or less influence.

13 Since we are talking here about something that has to do with Mr. Stakic,

14 he as a humane person and as a doctor had a certain renown. And even

15 before he was elected president of the municipality, I don't think he had

16 much influence along party lines.

17 Our municipality consists of a large number of local communes.

18 Dr. Stakic did work in Prijedor, but originally he comes from a local

19 commune that used to be a municipality in its own right before the war.

20 And it was necessary for that part of the municipality to be represented

21 in the government because other offices were filled by people from other

22 parts of the municipality. So he was elected as a representative of the

23 Omarska local commune, which used to be a municipality.

24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: [Previous interpretation continues] ... to my

25 question, but you didn't explain why Dr. Stakic, being -- having no much

Page 14607

1 influence as you said, was elected president of Serbian Assembly in

2 January of 1992.

3 A. Well, I hoped I had explained because he was from an area of the

4 municipality with a large population, and where I come from, we take great

5 care to ensure equal representation. And this large population had to be

6 represented in the municipal, legislative body. He was elected because he

7 was a well-respected man, a doctor, well-known, and this population

8 elected him and made him their deputy. There was a voting ballot listing

9 the names of nominees for various functions, such as president,

10 vice-president of the municipality, and other posts. And he was voted --

11 he got the most votes. That's how he was elected president.

12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Kuruzovic, whom Dr. Stakic was subordinated

13 to before the takeover and after the takeover? As I understand, before

14 the takeover, Dr. Stakic has dual status. On the one hand, he was the

15 vice-president of the Municipal Assembly; and on the other hand, he was

16 president of Serbian Assembly.

17 A. Correct.

18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But as a president of Serbian Assembly, whom he

19 was subordinated to?

20 A. Well, in terms of subordination, you could say he was subordinated

21 to the Assembly of Krajina. But this was just form. I don't know how to

22 explain it to you better. It wasn't the practice in real life. You know

23 that he could have been regarded as vice-president of some sort of shadow

24 government, but it wasn't a real shadow government. The assembly's

25 legislative body and the government is an executive body. It was pure

Page 14608

1 form. Serbian people said that they were establishing their own Serbian

2 Republic. They wanted their own Serbian government, their own president,

3 their own assembly, their own Executive Boards and so on and so forth. So

4 that on the 29th and the 30th of May, none of that actually functioned.

5 It was just an expression, a formal expression of the will of the Serbian

6 people.

7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Can you name the persons, the politicians, whom

8 Dr. Stakic contacted and who were among the leadership of Serbian Krajina?

9 A. The Serbian Krajina? I don't know that. If you're talking about

10 Serbian Krajina, you mean Knin? I don't know which time you are referring

11 to. I don't know whether he had --

12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Referring to before the takeover, the period

13 before the takeover when Dr. Stakic was president of Serbian Municipal

14 Assembly.

15 A. Vice-president.

16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: [Previous interpretation continues] ... he was

17 president of Serbian Municipal Assembly since 7th of January, 1992.

18 A. Right. I don't know in which way and what was the formal and real

19 reason that he contacted somebody from the Serbian Krajina, if he did. I

20 told you it was just a formal expression of the will of the Serbian

21 people. Throughout that time, I was the headmaster of a school. I didn't

22 have any particular contact with Mr. Stakic from my job. If something

23 needed to be resolved at the school, I would contact somebody in the

24 Executive Board who was in charge of education matters. I didn't contact

25 Stakic, so I don't know who he contacted in the Serbian Krajina. Maybe he

Page 14609

1 did have a contact person there, but I neither heard about it nor

2 witnessed it.

3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: After the takeover, the Crisis Staff of

4 Prijedor Municipality became the only official body in Prijedor

5 Municipality. Who -- whom was Dr. Stakic subordinated to?

6 A. I don't remember exactly. There was the Crisis Staff of the

7 Autonomous Region of Krajina. That is distinct from the Serbian Krajina.

8 As far as I can remember, I think the president of the Crisis Staff of

9 that Autonomous Region of Krajina was Mr. Brdjanin. He was either

10 president of the assembly or president of the Crisis Staff, or maybe Vojo

11 Kupresanin was president of the assembly. In any case, it was one of the

12 two.

13 And according to the principles of subordination, I believe that

14 person was above Dr. Stakic.

15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what about Biljana Plavsic?

16 A. Well, Mrs. Biljana Plavsic was president of the republic, and

17 regardless of the fact that this ministate of ours was really small, she

18 was far away, far removed from Dr. Stakic. As far as I remember,

19 Mrs. Plavsic visited Prijedor only once, and I remember on that occasion

20 she did speak to Dr. Stakic because he, as the holder of his office, had

21 the duty of receiving her and talking to her. I don't know whether they

22 had known each other before that. I don't think so. Mrs. Plavsic was a

23 personality that far surpassed our municipal level.

24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Kuruzovic, in 1992, you were principal of

25 the school. Yes?

Page 14610












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Page 14611

1 A. Yes.

2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What was the normal duration of the academic

3 year at that time?

4 A. That is prescribed by law. The school year begins on the first

5 Monday in September and lasts for 37 weeks. One term is 18 weeks, and the

6 other term is 19 weeks. So it ends on the -- between the 1st and the 10th

7 of June the following year.

8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you recall that the Crisis Staff decided to

9 shorten academic year in May 1992?

10 A. I had forgotten about that, but I think that's true. That

11 happened, I think, when the military action, or rather the incident in

12 Hambarine happened, when this attack was mounted on Prijedor. I think

13 classes were interrupted and did not continue that year. Normally, they

14 should have lasted until June. I think the decision was made then to

15 discontinue the school year. I'm not quite certain, but I think you're

16 right.

17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: It was on 20th of May. The Crisis Staff took

18 this decision on the 20th of May. And why? Hostilities started on 22nd

19 of May.

20 A. I don't remember the date, but I believe it's the date you quoted.

21 I don't see what the reason could have been. I don't think it was linked

22 with anything else. I don't know exactly what you're driving at. A lot

23 of the teachers were on the front line, but they were substituted by their

24 female colleagues. I really don't remember the reason why this decision

25 was made. But if the Municipal Assembly or the Crisis Staff made that

Page 14612

1 decision, the schools were required to comply without any comment. That's

2 all I can remember. I'm sorry.

3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you know that at that time, the work

4 obligations were introduced in Prijedor Municipality?

5 A. I can't say one way or another, but I suppose that yes, if that

6 was introduced, it must have been governed by the decisions of the

7 Secretariat for National Defence. Because they were in charge of men, and

8 since there had been the takeover of power, movement was restricted for

9 several days. There was a curfew from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m., and that

10 helped preserve peace and quiet in town. Nothing much happened. Yes, I

11 think you're right. I think the work obligation was indeed introduced

12 then.

13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Do you remember when the work obligations were

14 introduced?

15 A. I'm sorry. I don't remember. I can't give you a date.


17 A. I don't know. If the Crisis Staff made that decision, then it

18 could only have been in May or in June. But if it was made earlier, then

19 it was made by a different body. But I don't think it was earlier. I

20 think we worked normal hours before. There was no state of emergency,

21 because a Crisis Staff is formed, for instance, in case of a climactic

22 natural disaster. For instance, a Crisis Staff was recently established

23 in Prijedor because there was a danger of flood. It may sound nasty to

24 you as a term "Crisis Staff," but that was a body that was supposed to

25 deal with emergencies, and that's the term we used. So I am sorry, but I

Page 14613

1 can't really tell you when the decision was adopted.

2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you, Mr. Kuruzovic. I have no more

3 questions.

4 A. You are welcome, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One follow-up question that we have it in the

6 time coordinates, you just mentioned the visit of Ms. Biljana Plavsic to

7 Prijedor. When was this, to the best of your recollection? Was it in

8 summer or fall 1992?

9 A. I think it was in autumn, but I can't remember exactly. I don't

10 even know whether it was in 1992, but I suppose it was, sometime in

11 autumn. Maybe even winter. I'm not sure really.

12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was it together with the visit of Mr. Karadzic

13 and Mr. Krajisnik?

14 A. No, no. I remember that Mrs. Plavsic, as vice-president of

15 Republika Srpska, came alone.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you recall visits paid to Prijedor by

17 Mr. Karadzic and/or Mr. Krajisnik in 1992?

18 A. I don't know whether they visited in 1992. At least, I don't know

19 about Mr. Karadzic. But I know that he did come once, either in 1992 or

20 1993. He attended the ceremony of baptism of the church in Marini. I

21 think that was the immediate reason why he visited Prijedor. I suppose

22 that he also spoke with municipal leaders, the representatives of

23 legislative and executive bodies and party leaders, but I didn't attend a

24 single meeting together with Mr. Karadzic.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wasn't there such a meeting in September/October

Page 14614

1 1992?

2 A. Possibly. But I'm not certain. It seems to me it was in autumn,

3 and I think the foundations of that church were then christened. As far

4 as I know, that church was never completed to this day. There is no place

5 for people to worship.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wasn't there a political meeting in a hotel

7 Prijedor in September/October 1992 that was attended by in any event

8 Mr. Karadzic?

9 A. That's possible, but I don't know. I didn't attend any such

10 meeting. If Mr. Karadzic was there, I don't think such an occasion would

11 have been missed. He, as head of Republika Srpska, must have addressed

12 the people who gathered.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

14 Judge Argibay, please.

15 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you. Good morning, sir.

16 A. Good morning.

17 JUDGE ARGIBAY: I have a little confusion with the dates. Just

18 correct me if I got something wrong, but you were elected the 7th January,

19 1992, as the head of the Serbian Territorial Defence unit, and you said

20 that was at the time a sort of wish of the Serbian people, the Serbian

21 citizens of Prijedor, but that body didn't work at that moment. And so

22 you stayed as a principal to a school until the takeover in Prijedor. Is

23 that correct?

24 A. Yes, correct. And after the takeover, when I was -- before I was

25 a headmaster.

Page 14615

1 JUDGE ARGIBAY: I'm coming to that. After the takeover, then this

2 office, as the head of the Serbian Territorial Defence unit, was put into

3 practice, that was real enough. You have these offices in Cirkin Polje or

4 Urije and some staff under you until at least officially the 29th of May,

5 that the decision was made to disband this territorial office and, you

6 said, resubordinate you to the brigade. Is that correct?

7 A. Correct, I was subordinated to the brigade as early as the 16th or

8 17th of May, and that was confirmed in writing by a decision that was

9 delivered to me on the 31st and was dated the 29th. You are right.

10 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So your office as the head of this Serbian

11 Territorial Defence was practically functioning, let's say, from the 30th

12 of April until the 16th of May, that is, 16 days. Isn't that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Okay. And that was the time when you were, for

15 instance, issuing the vouchers for the petrol delivering, or were you

16 doing another kind of task? And if so, which one?

17 A. Yes, I did issue those petrol coupons, but I don't know how long

18 that lasted, when that ended. A few days early -- one day, they came from

19 the municipal Secretariat for the Economy and took over this job for me.

20 Before that, I had a number of discussions of some renowned people,

21 representatives of the Muslim and Croatian communities trying to reach an

22 agreement with them to jointly preserve peace, law, and order in our town.

23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So after the 16th, 17th of May, you were

24 resubordinated to the brigade, and you just leave the offices in -- I

25 don't remember, it was Cirkin Polje or Urije, and I'm sorry for the

Page 14616












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Page 14617

1 pronunciation.

2 A. Your pronunciation is very good. And in any case, I'm listening

3 to the interpreter. You are right, Your Honour. From that moment on, I

4 was no longer officially the commander of that staff. And then when the

5 written decision came, the Territorial Defence or its staff also ceased to

6 exist. Everything became subordinated to the brigade command. I don't

7 know whether it happened on the 16th or the 18th or the 19th. The staff

8 was restructured into some sort of logistics base, and they continue to

9 discharge those parts of their functions which had to do with supplying

10 army troops and the police manning checkpoints. As far as I remember, it

11 was Mirko Mudrinic who was appointed commander of that logistics base.

12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Okay. Then I come to the next appointment you

13 had, and I'm not very clear when was that. I seem to recall, and I don't

14 have the transcript in front of me, that you said that Mr. Kovacevic and

15 someone else were the ones who asked you to be sort of in charge of the

16 Trnopolje camp. Correct?

17 A. It is all correct, apart from the -- well, that is your opinion.

18 I, for instance, would not subscribe to calling it a camp. As for the

19 rest, you are right. This discussion I had with --


21 A. This particular interview was held with me by late Mr. Drljaca and

22 Dr. Kovacevic.

23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: And what was the date of that particular

24 interview, as you call it?

25 A. I don't remember exactly, but it must have between the 20th --

Page 14618

1 sorry, 22nd and the 26th or the 27th perhaps. Because that attack in

2 Hambarine happened on the 26th, and because of the counterattack of the

3 army, people were fleeing their homes. And as far as I remember, they

4 fled to the Mladost sports hall. I received a telephone call. Somebody

5 from the municipality asked me to accommodate these people in the school

6 building, and I declined. So these people spent a couple of days there

7 because I didn't want to let them stay at the school. So that is about

8 this school business. So the first call must have come between the 22nd

9 and the 26th, and the second came on the 26th or the 27th when there was

10 combat in Kozarac. It was a showdown between the people manning the

11 checkpoint, some Muslims with the army. The Muslims were asked to

12 surrender their weapons, and when they didn't, there ensued a clash.

13 It is always the innocent people who are caught in the crossfire.

14 And that is how it came about that people started fleeing their homes, and

15 then I received this telephone call asking me to provide premises for

16 them. I hope I answered your question.

17 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Yes. But I have a clarification to ask. How was

18 it possible that Mr. Kovacevic was at that time a member of the Crisis

19 Staff because he was the president of the Executive Board, and Mr. Drljaca

20 was the chief of the security station in Prijedor, and you were

21 subordinated to the brigade? How is it possible that those two persons

22 were able to, sort of, send you to the Trnopolje camp?

23 A. I assume that before that, they had a conversation with Mr. Arsic.

24 And I don't know. I didn't check it -- check that subsequently. It never

25 occurred to me to ask. They called me as a person, as a citizen. But I

Page 14619

1 was an officer at the time, but everybody over the age of 22 was a

2 soldier. So there was no strict military subordination at the time. I

3 assume that they got -- they did it in agreement with the army, but they

4 didn't tell me that. They just asked me to do it, and when I went to

5 Trnopolje, first I didn't accept that. But just as a private individual,

6 I went there to see whether people were really coming there. And when I

7 saw that, to my great regret, I accepted the position. But maybe it was

8 God's will for me to go there because I'm a very sensitive person, and

9 maybe this helped those people because nothing that happened there can be

10 considered a disgrace for my people.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry I have to interrupt you. But I learned

12 just in this moment, the tape ran out. And we have to exchange the tapes.

13 And therefore, we need a short break. Sorry that -- I know it's not a

14 convenient moment. For technical reasons, the trial stays adjourned until

15 a quarter to 1.00.

16 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.

17 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Once again, sorry for having

19 interrupted you for technical reasons. If you want to add something to

20 that what you stated previously, please feel free to do so.

21 A. No, I have nothing to add. I hope that the Honourable Judge was

22 satisfied with my answer.

23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Yes. Thank you. But I have, I hope, only one

24 following up. That's you said that you suppose that Mr. Kovacevic,

25 Dr. Kovacevic and Mr. Drljaca had spoken with -- I don't know if he was a

Page 14620

1 colonel by that time or what, Mr. Arsic, beforehand, because you were

2 subordinate to him. Does this mean that there was a constant coordination

3 of conversations between the members of the Crisis Staff or the chief of

4 the security station in Prijedor with the commander of the brigade?

5 A. I don't think that there was a constant coordination. This was an

6 exceptional situation. Somebody had to be sent over there to receive all

7 these people. I shared with you my assumption and why I believe that they

8 insisted on me going there. As far as the army is concerned, at that

9 particular moment, I did not have any military duties in the barracks or

10 in the brigade. I don't know how all this happened, whether that was the

11 commander's recommendation or whether it initially came as a request. But

12 I believe it was a mutual agreement that a person like me - I feel

13 embarrassed talking on my own behalf - but a person like me whom everybody

14 knew and the two or three of them expected that I would look after these

15 people well. And I suppose that they believed that I would not be a

16 disgrace for my own people.

17 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you. I don't have any further questions, no

18 questions.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So finally, if need may be, to whom would you

20 report in 1992 in this capacity in Trnopolje?

21 A. I was in almost daily contact with the army command. This was

22 customary in the units, to come for briefing every morning. And every

23 morning, I would inform the commander about the unit which provided

24 security on the previous day, and I would ask for a different unit to

25 provide the security on that particular day. As far as the accommodation

Page 14621

1 of these people was concerned and provisions for them, the provisions of

2 food and water, the army had nothing whatsoever to do with that. If there

3 was any need for any such of intervention there, I would contact

4 Mr. Travar, who was the secretary for the economy with the Executive

5 Board. And if I needed food or any such thing, I would turn to him. But

6 there were not many such requests because we had permanent assistance from

7 the Red Cross and the UNHCR who brought a lot of flour and milk for the

8 children, and other types of food. Sometimes even fruit. Very often, we

9 would get packed lunches from the local Red Cross. So there was no

10 starvation, there were no outbreaks of illnesses. I've already said that.

11 So the army had nothing whatsoever to do with anything else but

12 provide for the security for this centre, for the people who would guard

13 the centre from the possible attacks of Serbs. There were attacks, people

14 who arrived from Prijedor would be attacked. Their bicycles and money

15 would be taken away from them. And after that, a majority of people would

16 arrive by train. That was safer. Every day, there were families coming

17 from Prijedor and would stay there for a couple of hours. They would

18 bring these people food. But I believe that I have already said all that.

19 I don't want to waste your precious time in repeating myself.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You stated "I would inform the commander."

21 Could you please also add a name.

22 A. The commander of that unit was Arsic. I don't know whether he was

23 colonel or lieutenant-colonel at that time. I believe that he was

24 colonel. I would inform him about the unit who had performed the security

25 duty on the previous day, and I would ask him for a new unit that would

Page 14622












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 14623

1 perform security duty on the following day. So there was always one duty,

2 one unit on duty, and they would be there for 24 hours to safeguard these

3 people.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So would the final conclusion be correct that

5 you felt yourself in two hierarchies?

6 A. I don't know how other peoples felt, but I did, because I was

7 charged with the care for these people. I had to be in constant contact

8 with both the military authorities and the civilian authorities because

9 there were problems. There were attacks. People got their property

10 stolen from them, and that's why I had to turn to the military police.

11 And I had to ask them to arrest some people, not only the people who came

12 as far as Trnopolje and the people there, but also people in Kozarac and

13 around Kozarac who looted property there. There are a lot of people up

14 there. This is closer to Trnopolje, not across the Prijedor/Banja Luka

15 Road towards Kozarac. People lived in their houses, and they heard and

16 they knew I was looking after these people and that I made a lot of

17 interventions to prevent such things from happening. So these people came

18 straight to me to complain, and then I would turn to either the military

19 or the civilian and ask them to regulate things over there. On one

20 occasion, a delegation came into my centre. It was headed by the deputy

21 Minister of Health, Mr. Cedo Aleksic. He brought a delegation and among

22 those people was a congressman from the United States of America who after

23 having visited the centre and the school, he asked to be introduced to the

24 person called Kuruzovic.

25 He was introduced to me, and he thanked me. He told me that he

Page 14624

1 had heard from the people that I looked after them and after their

2 security as much as I could, that I looked after their food and the -- and

3 now, as to the conditions, whether these conditions were good or not is

4 hard to say. One is obviously most comfortable at his own home, needless

5 to say.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask finally, you were paid by whom at that

7 point in time?

8 A. I was paid by the army at the time.


10 A. I apologise. There was a difference between the salary of a

11 military officer and the salary of a school principal, which was my

12 original job. I've already said that I would leave that place in -- late

13 in the afternoon because there was security there. But every morning

14 around 8.00, I would be at school, and I would be paid for that as well.

15 But at that time, the salary of an officer was higher than the salary of a

16 principal, so I would receive not the whole salary but the difference

17 between the salary of a principal and the salary of a military officer. I

18 would receive that difference from the army.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. This concludes the line of questions

20 by the Judges. It's only for us now to decide on this accompanying

21 letter. It was given to us by the Defence. Is it tendered by the

22 Defence?

23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think that it explains when the

24 actual decision was delivered to Mr. Kuruzovic.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?

Page 14625

1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, there's no objection. So the record

2 is clear, I believe Your Honour was referring to the document shown to the

3 witness, the last document shown to the witness, which had the ERN number

4 stamp of 01119285. Also, Your Honour, we have a translation available.

5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There is no ERN number on this document, sorry

6 to say this.

7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. I see. Apparently we've added it since

8 then. But we do have a translation of the document, if Your Honour would

9 like.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. As to the fact that there is no objection,

11 and if it's in fact the same document, this would be then D124A and B

12 respectively. And now, as mentioned beforehand, as to the fact that

13 Mr. Kuruzovic appeared on the list of the Defence witness, it would be for

14 the Defence to continue with the line of questions.

15 Mr. Lukic, please.

16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

17 Questioned by Mr. Lukic:

18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Kuruzovic.

19 A. Good afternoon.

20 Q. We already know each other, but just for the record, my name is

21 Branko Lukic, and together with John Ostojic who is not here today, and

22 Mr. Cirkovic, I represent Dr. Stakic's Defence team before this Tribunal.

23 Also, to avoid any confusion, yesterday, it was mentioned that you were on

24 the list of Defence witnesses. However, after this conversation with me,

25 when you declined the possibility of being a Defence witness, as from that

Page 14626

1 moment on, you are no longer on the list as a Defence witness, and that's

2 why you were invited to give your testimony by the Chamber.

3 Mr. Kuruzovic, I would like to clarify something with regard to a

4 document that was shown to you earlier today, and I believe that we will

5 have more opportunity to discuss documents tomorrow.

6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to give

7 you the document S276.

8 Q. Mr. Kuruzovic, can you tell from this decision which body passed

9 the decision itself, that is, the decision on the closure of work of

10 schools in Prijedor?

11 A. It was at the session of the 20th of May, 1992, by the Municipal

12 Assembly of Prijedor. And this was the decision for the interruption of

13 work of elementary and secondary schools in Prijedor Municipality.

14 Q. Judge Vassylenko asked you how was it that the Crisis Staff issued

15 the decision on the termination of work of schools in the territory of

16 Prijedor? Does this decision mention the Crisis Staff?

17 A. It does not.

18 Q. Thank you. We will no longer need this document for the time

19 being.

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To be correct, it mentions the president of the

21 municipal, Dr. Milomir Stakic, as the signator. Correct?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're asking me, then the answer

23 is yes, it does say Dr. Milomir Stakic, president of the Municipal

24 Assembly.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

Page 14627

1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Mr. Kuruzovic, when you left the army, you were?

3 A. That is from the JNA?

4 Q. Yes, from the JNA, after the regular military service.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. After that, you were promoted, and what was the highest rank that

7 you were awarded?

8 A. In the JNA army, it was captain first-class.

9 Q. After the regular military service, can you tell us what functions

10 in the former JNA did you discharge as a noncommissioned officer?

11 A. I was from the commander of a platoon to the commander of a

12 battalion. In the 11th Brigade, I was a company commander, and before

13 that I was also a company commander in a battalion, and also in the 6th

14 Sana Brigade, I was a battalion commander up to the year 1986 or

15 thereabouts. I can't remember exactly.

16 Q. During your service in the army and later on when you were a

17 member of the JNA as a noncommissioned officer, was it possible, did you

18 ever witness that a lieutenant could issue an order or command somebody

19 who had the rank of a major or a captain first-class?

20 A. Yes, it is possible through the method of subordination. The army

21 could resolve its own problems in different ways. For example, it could

22 happen that a battalion or a company had a number of officers, and that

23 one of the officers would be a higher ranking officer, but the other --

24 but he was also elderly, and he could not exercise his duties properly.

25 And in that case, he could receive orders from somebody with a lower rank,

Page 14628












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 14629

1 but younger. There were such instances. I'm speaking from experience.

2 Q. You're talking about relationship between two officers. But is

3 there a possibility that for a noncommissioned officer could issue orders

4 to a captain?

5 A. No, that could not happen. Only if a captain was a member of a

6 unit and if he was a commander of a company or of a platoon, in that case,

7 the commander of a brigade or region or a corps could convey the order of

8 a higher instance. But to issue a direct order, that was absolutely

9 impossible.

10 Q. Was there a possibility for a foot soldier to order something to

11 an officer? I know that this may sound silly to you.

12 A. Yes, it does sound silly. But I suppose you know what you're

13 doing, and therefore I won't object to your question. In life, everything

14 is possible, but for a foot soldier to issue orders to an officer, that

15 would be a very difficult thing.

16 Q. Difficult or impossible?

17 A. Impossible. In the Second World War, we know who it was that

18 issued orders to the entire German army, but since these units were

19 composed of the ones that we're talking about, the units that existed in

20 1992, if you're talking about the JNA, then no, this is not possible. But

21 if we're talking about some other units, then it would be possible because

22 these units were composed of armed Serbian people, neighbours, friends,

23 acquaintances, and maybe it was possible that somebody with a lower rank

24 or without a rank would -- could be in a commanding position. For

25 example, a commander of a platoon or a company. But that would not be a

Page 14630

1 large unit. Maybe that would be only because he enjoyed respect. But in

2 the proper military subordination, for a foot soldier to issue order to an

3 officer, that would be unheard of.

4 Q. In the territory of Prijedor Municipality, did you ever witness a

5 situation in which somebody who would -- who was a foot soldier,

6 regardless of his reputation, would issue an order to Arsic or Zeljaja?

7 A. No, I've never witnessed anything like that.

8 Q. Did you ever witness a situation in which somebody who was not

9 even a foot soldier, that is, a civilian, would issue a command to either

10 Arsic or Zeljaja in the territory of Prijedor Municipality?

11 A. Based on all the documents that I have had the opportunity to see

12 today, because they were presented to me by the Honourable Chamber, I saw

13 decisions. But a civilian in any position or in any post, to have a

14 possibility to issue an order to the commander of the region or the

15 commander of a brigade, and for such an order to be implemented, I just

16 don't believe that. The only orders that could be implemented by the

17 commander of a brigade could come from the superior commander, that is,

18 the corps commander. I'm talking about the orders and commands that deal

19 with military issues.

20 Q. Thank you.

21 You were asked about the mobilisation that took place in 1991.

22 Did all the men who responded to their callup receive weapons regardless

23 of their ethnicity?

24 A. The organisation of the Territorial Defence and its staff in the

25 town of Prijedor at that time, in 1991, was such that there were regional

Page 14631

1 staffs, regional staff in Urije, regional staff in Kozarac, which had

2 under its command the company from Omarska. Then a regional staff in

3 Prijedor I, Prijedor III, Celinci. In terms of territory, that's how it

4 was divided. And the National Defence Council made a decision that

5 members of the Territorial Defence should be mobilised by their respective

6 staffs, and several days later, another decision was issued to arm them

7 with infantry weapons.

8 As for the question of Honourable Judge, the weaponry ranged from

9 light rifles to light machine-guns.

10 Q. You probably know the ethnic composition of various places in the

11 region.

12 A. I can answer that question. I have to rewind this film a little

13 bit. For instance, the ethnic composition of Puharska and Donja Puharska

14 was mostly Muslim. Of course, there were some Serbs. It was a

15 multiethnic community with a majority Muslim population. Both communities

16 were armed. In Hambarine --

17 Q. There is no need for us to go into that much detail. Just tell

18 me, did all the men who responded to the callup receive weapons regardless

19 of their ethnicity?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you know whether in the municipal staff of the Territorial

22 Defence, the staff headed by Mr. Javoric included some Muslim and Croatian

23 staff?

24 A. Yes, there were several Croats and several Muslims.

25 Q. After the takeover on the 30th of April, 1992, did these people

Page 14632

1 continue to come to work?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Along with the staff headed by Mr. Javoric, did they, too, join

4 the 43rd Motorised Brigade?

5 A. Since the staff was annexed to the brigade, I suppose they were,

6 too. I know that some of them were there, Iso Bucan, Drago Motl. Drago

7 Motl is a Croat. All this staff was attached to the command of the

8 region.

9 Q. I would like to show you a document now, F4. And I would like to

10 ask you something about the time when you were actually appointed

11 commander of the Serbian Territorial Defence.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Document S4.

13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Since it's written in very short script, I'll read out a part of

15 the text to you. The subject is: "Kozarski Vjesnik, issue dated the 24th

16 of April, 1992." Subheading: "The political scene in Prijedor." And the

17 heading is: "The elected government of the Serbian Assembly. The

18 Municipal Assembly of Prijedor made a decision last week to merge the

19 public auditing service of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality with the SDK

20 of the Bosnian Krajina Autonomous Region in Banja Luka. At the 5th

21 session of the Assembly of Prijedor, several important decisions were

22 made. This primarily refers to the election of the government of the

23 Prijedor Serbian Municipality and the decision to merge the SDK (the

24 public auditing service of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality) with the SDK

25 of the Bosnian Krajina autonomous region in Banja Luka."

Page 14633

1 I made a break so that the interpretation can catch up. We

2 continue: "In addition to the previously elected president of the

3 Prijedor Serbian Municipality --"

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The document that is shown on the screen starts

5 with: "Several important decisions were made at the fifth session of the

6 Assembly ..."

7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am reading from the original text.

8 It's possible that interpreters are interpreting as opposed to reading

9 from the text on the screen.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This can't be true because as you're making

11 reference to an article of the 24th of April, and then doesn't it read

12 also in your text that this fifth session of the Assembly of the Prijedor

13 Serbian Municipality, last Thursday, the 16th of April ..? We can't see

14 it in the transcript. Therefore my question. Because I believe there's

15 some importance about the fact --

16 MR. LUKIC: Page 69, line 19 says: "At the fifth session of the

17 assembly of Prijedor ..."

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But here it continues: "Last Thursday, the 16th

19 of April" and I think this is of utmost importance, that the Assembly of

20 the Prijedor Serbian Municipality already assembled the fifth time the

21 16th of April.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We omitted the date

23 accidentally before we found the text on the screen.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you could please restart, we just heard that

25 the interpreters didn't have the screen before them, and therefore omitted

Page 14634

1 this "Thursday the 16th of April." Sorry. So please continue.

2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.

3 Q. [Interpretation] I will start again, Mr. Kuruzovic.

4 "Last Thursday (the 16th of April), at the fifth session of the

5 Assembly of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality, several important decisions

6 were made. This primarily refers to the election of the government of the

7 Prijedor Serbian Municipality and the decision to merge the SDK (public

8 auditing service of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality with the SDK of the

9 Bosnian Krajina Autonomous Region in Banja Luka. In addition to the

10 previously elected president of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality and

11 chairman of the executive committee of the Prijedor Serbian Municipality,

12 Milomir Stakic and Mico Kovacevic, the following persons were elected to

13 the first government of this municipality: Bosko Mandic, to the post of

14 deputy chairman of the executive committee;" and then the names go on

15 until we reach line 10 of the second paragraph in this text where it says:

16 Slobodan Kuruzovic as commander of the TO municipal staff.

17 From this text, do you see that you were, in fact, not elected

18 commander of the municipal staff of the Territorial Defence on the 7th of

19 January, 1991, but on the 16th of April, 1992?

20 A. Anything is possible. I was not a deputy to the assembly, but I

21 was convinced that it was all done by the 7th of January. However, I see

22 from this text that it was on the 16th of April. I've already told you my

23 opinion, and this journalist here writes "government" and the executive

24 committee is not a government. And it did not make decisions that related

25 to the actual life of the entire municipality. Since I worked as

Page 14635

1 headmaster at the time, it's possible that I confused the dates.

2 Q. Well, the difference between the two dates is more than three

3 months, isn't it?

4 A. Yes, it is.

5 Q. How come that you don't remember exactly?

6 A. Well, I tried to explain. I was involved and busy with my own

7 job, and until the middle of April, none of these bodies really functioned

8 in the municipality of Prijedor. Not until the 29th, the 30th of April.

9 Q. There is a document about this on record with this Tribunal, and

10 the number is 262, which testifies to the fact that these elections into

11 the executive committee, or rather nominations for certain other posts,

12 such as yours, took place on the 16th of April, 1992.

13 A. It's possible that I confuse the dates. I was convinced that this

14 had been done at the other session of the assembly. But here you are. I

15 forgot.

16 Q. Can we now consider it as established that when you were giving

17 your statement to this Court, you made a mistake, and the real date is, in

18 fact, the 16th of April, 1992?

19 A. I can accept that, and I can say that it was a genuine mistake.

20 It was simply an oversight. I sincerely believe that this decision had

21 been made on the 7th of January. What really mattered to me is it was a

22 decision of the assembly. The assembly was formally established on the

23 7th of January, and I thought they voted on these issues on the same day.

24 But there you are.

25 Q. Thank you. I don't think there was any ill intention, but we need

Page 14636

1 to clarify the dates.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So just that we need not come back to this

3 point, it is still your testimony that the first meeting of this Serbian

4 Assembly was held on orthodox Christmas, the 7th of January. Correct?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As we can read on this document, S4, speaking

7 about the fifth session held the 16th of April, may I then ask, did you

8 attend the meetings number 2, 3, and 4 of this Serbian Assembly?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not that I remember. I don't

10 remember whether I was a deputy of that assembly or not. I was at one

11 point a member of the assembly, but I don't know in which period. So many

12 things happened at the time, and I don't recall assembly sessions by

13 number.

14 As for this session of the assembly that I attended, it was the

15 one held on the 7th. And I must have attended this one, too, when I was

16 nominated and put up for voting. It was the one on the 16th.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.

18 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.

19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kuruzovic, we heard testimony here about one

21 man being elected on the 16th of April session without attending it.

22 A. You mean some other man?

23 Q. Yes, not you. Do you remember actually attending this session, or

24 do you just suppose that you attended?

25 A. I think I attended. I can't remember quite clearly. But when you

Page 14637

1 said this a moment ago, I think you mean Slobodan Goronjic who was later

2 appointed director of the SDK. I don't know whether it happened then or

3 at some other time. I don't remember.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 Were you and other citizens of Prijedor aware that before the

6 takeover, military barracks and military convoys had been under attack in

7 Croatia for a long time and weaponry was being seized from JNA troops?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did you know at the time from the media that there were attacks on

10 JNA columns in the Dobrovolacka Street in Sarajevo and in Tuzla?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. At that time, in Prijedor, was it commonly believed that what was

13 written in the communications from commanders of the Territorial Defence

14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hasan Efendic, and the Minister of the

15 Interior, Delimustafic, was a serious threat, the thing that you

16 mentioned?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. We established, and you told us yesterday, that your TO staff did

19 not exist before the 29th of April, 1992. In fact, was not in operation.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did this staff cease to operate, in fact, on the 17th of May,

22 1995?

23 A. Yes, officially.

24 Q. I want to correct myself. 1992.

25 A. It was transformed into a logistics base. I don't know whether it

Page 14638

1 was a couple of days or less after the decision made by the Secretariat

2 for the Economy. It was turned into the logistics base which had the job

3 of meeting the needs of the army and the police and the crews manning

4 checkpoints. I think it was Mirko Mudrinic who was at the head of this

5 base.

6 Q. Do you know, or did you know at the time, that the Serbian

7 Territorial Defence was abolished already on the 12th of May, 1992?

8 A. I was not officially aware of that, but I know that it was

9 abolished and the that army of Republika Srpska was established. And the

10 information that I received from the commander arrived either on the 16th

11 or the 17th. Actually, it was the order to go there and to become a

12 member of that army. Maybe it was -- the decision was taken earlier on,

13 maybe in the ministry that the Territorial Defence would be established.

14 And pursuant to that, the commander gave me my order to resubordinate

15 myself to that army.

16 Q. That is exactly what happened.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic, please don't testify.

18 MR. LUKIC: I just wanted to save some time.

19 Could the witness please be shown the document S141, please, page

20 44 in B/C/S or 59 in English.

21 Q. [Interpretation] On the top of page 44, you will find the name of

22 Momcilo Krajisnik.

23 MR. LUKIC: It's page 59, the last paragraph, English version, the

24 last paragraph.

25 Q. [Interpretation] This is the minutes of the 16th session of the

Page 14639

1 Assembly of the Serbian People, Bosnia-Herzegovina, held on 12 May, 1992,

2 in Banja Luka. If you turn to the following page, it's going to be page

3 45 -- are you now on page 44?

4 A. Yes, I'm on 44.

5 Q. It says: "Participated in the discussion at the session held on

6 12 May, 1992, a law was passed on the amendments of the Law of National

7 Defence. Article 1 in the National Defence Act, Official Gazette number

8 4/92 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in all provisions of

9 the act, the terms `Territorial Defence' and `armed forces' shall be

10 replaced by the following words: `The Serbian Republic of BH army.'

11 "Article 2, subsection 2 of Article 10 is hereby expunged: It is

12 an article in a subsection which regulated something concerning

13 Territorial Defence. Article 3, articles 37 to 53 also all have to do

14 with Territorial Defence and are hereby expunged. Article 4, this act

15 shall enter into effect eight days from its publication in the Official

16 Gazette of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

17 Mr. Kuruzovic, can you tell from this document that the Serbian

18 Territorial Defence was abolished on the 12th of May, 1992?

19 A. Yes, I can see that. It was published in the Official Gazette

20 which has to be done within eight days, and then I received my order to

21 resubordinate myself to the regional command, and I received that on

22 either the 16th or on the 17th of May.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll no longer need this document.

25 [In English] But I would like the usher to show the witness Document

Page 14640

1 Number S113, please, if we have time.

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: One more document, and then please conclude.

3 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.

4 Q. [Interpretation] This document, page 66 from the Official Gazette

5 issue 2/92, this is a conclusion dated 29 May, 1992. At its meeting of 29

6 May, 1992, Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff reached the following

7 conclusion:

8 "Because of the formation of the army of the Serbian Republic of

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the need for the Serbian Territorial Defence has

10 ceased. The Serbian Territorial Defence shall be incorporated into the

11 structure of the region and placed under its command."

12 Mr. Kuruzovic, is this the decision of the Crisis Staff after

13 which you no longer attended the Crisis Staff sessions?

14 A. Yes, this is the decision of the Crisis Staff. I stopped coming

15 to its session after the 16th of May. And pursuant to this conclusion of

16 the Crisis Staff, I received my decision on being dissolved from my

17 duties. And as for the other decisions, the Territorial Defence stopped

18 existing, and I had to resubordinate myself to the region commander.

19 Q. One more question, because we are through for the day --

20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, just a slight correction. We have before

21 us page 69, and not 66 as reflected on the transcript. Issue number 97.

22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I have the B/C/S version in

23 front of me, and it's slightly nonreadable. So thanks.

24 Q. [Interpretation] At that moment, Mr. Kuruzovic, on the 29th of

25 May, 1992, the Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

Page 14641

1 Herzegovina, was it already abolished at that moment as we have seen in

2 the document produced at the session of the Assembly of the Serbian

3 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

4 A. It was abolished by the decision of the Assembly of the Serbian

5 Republic, and it came into effect, as it says there, eight days upon its

6 publication in the Official Gazette of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

7 Herzegovina. And then this was a consequence of that decision. The

8 Crisis Staff issued its conclusion, and based on that, I received my

9 decision. On the 29th May, in Prijedor, there was officially neither the

10 staff of the Territorial Defence nor its commander. Pursuant to the

11 decision of the Assembly of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina, the Territorial Defence stopped existing eight days upon the

13 publication of that decision in the Official Gazette. And that was

14 applicable not only to Prijedor, but to the entire territory of the

15 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16 Q. Thank you very much.

17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We will continue today -- tomorrow.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Tomorrow, once again in Courtroom I from 9.00 to

19 12.30, and then from 2.00 to 4.30.

20 The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.

21 [The witness stands down]

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.39 p.m.,

23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 28th day of

24 March, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.