1 Monday, 4 October 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is the case number
9 IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we start with hearing the evidence, I would just like to
12 raise a few procedural matters. The first one is a very simple one.
13 Mr. Weber, I did understand that you wanted to address the Court
14 because you had failed to inform the Court that some protective measures
15 were for Witness JF-047, today's witness, were already there so there was
16 no need for further decisions. That is clear to the Chamber.
17 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then next item is scheduling in relation to
19 Mr. Theunens.
20 Mr. Groome, you wanted to schedule Mr. Theunens for the week
21 starting the 25th, although that's a UN holiday and therefore we would
22 then start hearing his evidence on the 26th? And you would like to use
23 the whole of that week. Now, we have considered this. Mr. Theunens will
24 be scheduled for three days in that week, that is Tuesday, 26th;
25 Wednesday, 27th; and Thursday, 28th. If in the Perisic case one of the
1 four days that has been scheduled would not be needed, the Chamber would
2 seriously consider to use that extra slot, which would then be the fourth
3 day that week. This is not a routine matter, but it's in order to see
4 whether we could concentrate as much as possible the evidence of
5 Mr. Theunens and stays within the limits of the medical reports which
6 says go four days a week is a possibility but preferably to start with
7 three days a week. Now, that's what the Chamber had on its mind, but
8 under those special circumstances and in light of the medical report and
9 also in light of the fact that this then relatively heavy week would be
10 after a nine, ten days not sitting. That's the reason why the Chamber
11 will seriously consider to use the fourth slot that week if available.
12 If it comes to that, of course the parties could further make submissions
13 if there's any need to do so.
14 Finally, the Defence is urged to see -- first of all, to make
15 their cross-examination of Mr. Theunens as efficient as possible. You've
16 asked for quite a number of hours. Whether finally the Chamber grants
17 those hours will depend, among other matters, also on the way in which
18 you use your time. As always, we are closely monitoring. We are not
19 going to set any limits at this moment because the volume of the material
20 which will be introduced through Mr. Theunens is such that the Chamber is
21 hesitant to already start putting limits there, but will certainly
22 closely monitor in which way the cross-examination is conducted.
23 Mr. Groome.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I just wanted to make a suggestion to
25 my colleagues on the Defence, that I'm sure Mr. Theunens would not object
1 to reading material the night of his first testimony. So once he begins
2 his testimony, if both Defence are going to seek to put documents to him,
3 I'm sure he would be happy to read them outside of court and be prepared
4 to address them in court.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I am looking forward to any positive response,
6 apparently then upon agreement of the parties.
7 MR. JORDASH: The -- that sounds very sensible, but the only
8 question I would ask is: Is Mr. Theunens only available to read the
9 nightly before because there's not that much you can get through in a
11 JUDGE ORIE: Shall we leave these details on how much
12 Mr. Theunens can read with how many hours of sleep left for him, shall we
13 leave that to further discussion between the parties? If then the
14 Chamber needs to be involved, we'll gladly hear your submissions.
15 Another item also in relation to Mr. Theunens is the evidence in
16 the Sljivancanin hearing. We have inquired and we've learned that the
17 English transcript of the testimony of Mr. Theunens in Sljivancanin will
18 be available almost immediately and that a B/C/S tape could be delivered
19 in approximately 24 to 48 hours after the conclusion of the testimony.
20 Would that be a sufficient solution for the matter raised by Mr. Groome,
21 that is, access to the most recent statement or in this case testimony of
22 Mr. Theunens?
23 MR. JORDASH: Yes, thank you.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Let me just
25 check. I believe that the date of the testimony in Sljivancanin is the
1 12th; in other words, by the 14th or the 15th of October we should have
2 the tape, and if this is the case then this is acceptable for the
3 Simatovic Defence as well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
5 This is confirmed by Madam Registrar, that within two or three
6 days, if not one to two days, you would have the B/C/S audio-tape
7 available. The Chamber has considered other options as well, but since
8 this seems to be an acceptable option to everyone we'll proceed in
9 accordance with this suggestion, that is, transcript to be provided
10 without delay; B/C/S audio-tape to be provided within 48 hours and
11 certainly not later than the 15th of October.
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: As far as any evidence to be given in private
14 session, that might need further and specific attention in getting the
15 approval of the Appeals Chamber for disclosure of that material, we'll
16 already try to anticipate on that possibility and we'll take care that no
17 unnecessary delay is caused by that, but the public evidence will be
18 available, as I indicated before.
19 If there are no further matters in relation to that, for the next
20 item I'd like to briefly go into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 7600-7601 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
14 We are in open session, although with the curtains down, to
15 facilitate the entrance into the courtroom of Witness JF-047.
16 Mr. Weber, you wanted to raise a matter?
17 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honours. The Prosecution estimated two
18 hours for its examination time for this witness. We will endeavour to
19 complete the examination within this period of time; however, I wanted to
20 let the Chamber know at the outset that the Prosecution may need some
21 additional time to complete this examination. We do not envision this
22 being a substantial amount of additional time and it would be under a
23 half-hour. Nevertheless, we will endeavour to complete the examination
24 in two hours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 Have the other parties already thought about the time they would
2 need for cross-examination?
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We predicted that
4 the Prosecutor would stick to the two hours estimate, and Mr. Jordash and
5 I agreed that I would examine the witness the first. I would take up
6 three hours, by your leave; and Mr. Jordash, who would follow me, would
7 require two hours. This would be the total of seven hours and would fit
8 the two sitting days we have. And I believe that it even falls within
9 Mr. Weber's request for additional time of under a half-hour. I believe
10 that we will be able to complete the examination of the witness today and
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think that should be on our mind.
13 Mr. Weber, it's a bit tight, so therefore try to stick to your
14 original time assessment.
15 Is the witness ready to enter the courtroom?
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Witness JF-047, can you hear me in
18 a language you understand?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll raise the curtains, but your face cannot be
21 seen, your voice cannot be heard by the outside public, and we'll not use
22 your own name but we'll call you by your pseudonym, which is JF-047.
23 We'll wait for a second until the noise of the curtains has stopped.
24 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, sorry to interrupt, but the Prosecution
25 is going to be very quickly going into private session.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, private session, but not -- the curtains for
2 private session can stay up, isn't it?
3 MR. WEBER: Yeah.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 Witness JF-047, before you give evidence, the Rules require that
6 you make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole
7 truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is handed out to you. Could
8 you please make that solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: JF-047
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Witness 47. Please be seated.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you'll first be examined by Mr. Weber.
16 Mr. Weber is counsel for the Prosecution and you'll see him to your
18 Mr. Weber, you want to turn into private session right away? For
19 a pseudonym sheet that's not necessary.
20 MR. WEBER: We can do that in open session. I was going to turn
21 into it afterwards.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. WEBER: May I proceed?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
25 MR. WEBER: Can I ask the Court Usher to please show the witness
1 65 ter 5796.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Which is not to be shown to the public.
3 MR. WEBER: I do believe it's uploaded electronically. I do have
4 a hard copy.
5 Examination by Mr. Weber:
6 Q. JF-047, please look at the pseudonym sheet that now appears
7 before you. Does this sheet correctly state your name and date of birth?
8 A. Yes, it does.
9 MR. WEBER: At this time the Prosecution 65 ter 5796 into
10 evidence under seal.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit 1515 under seal,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P1515 is admitted under seal.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please move into private
18 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 7606-7613 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. WEBER:
10 Q. Did you provide this April 2004 statement voluntarily?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Have you ever been threatened, coerced, or intimidated by any
13 member of the Office of the Prosecutor in the past?
14 A. No, never.
15 Q. If you were asked the same questions that you were asked during
16 this previous 2004 statement, would you provide the same answers with the
17 clarifications that you've noted for the record?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution at this time 65 ter 5794 into
20 evidence under seal pursuant to Rule 92 ter. The single exhibit
21 mentioned in the statement has been previously admitted as Exhibit D11.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections? No.
23 Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit 1516, under seal,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P1516 is admitted into evidence under seal.
2 MR. WEBER: Pursuant to the Chamber's instructions of 18 February
3 2010, the Prosecution seeks leave to present a public summary of the
4 evidence of JF-047. The summary is rather brief and generalised in order
5 to protect the identity of the witness.
6 May I proceed, Your Honours?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Weber.
8 Have you explained to the witness what the purpose is?
9 MR. WEBER: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. WEBER: The witness is a Serbian male who is a member of
12 various units, including a special-purpose unit of the MUP of Serbia,
13 commonly known as the Red Berets. The witness and others were trained in
14 Pajzos near Ilok by members of the Serbian police. The witness saw
15 Franko Simatovic, Frenki, come to the training-ground in Pajzos on
16 multiple occasions and was present during a briefing by Mr. Simatovic
17 prior to the attack on Bosanski Samac. The witness's evidence is that
18 the -- Mr. Simatovic was the commander of a Serbian MUP special-purpose
19 brigade known as the Red Berets in 1992. The witness provides evidence
20 as to the mechanics of the take-over of Bosanski Samac in mid-April 1992,
21 including the co-operation of the Red Berets with the JNA. The witness
22 also provides evidence of the Red Berets and members of the TO
23 mistreating prisoners at the detention centre outside the SUP building
24 between the 17th of April and 31st of July, 1992. The witness also
25 provides evidence of murders which occurred in Crkvina in early May 1992.
1 That concludes the public summary and we would ask to return to
2 private session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We return into private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 7617-7618 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. WEBER:
16 Q. How were the police of Slavonia
17 organised in early 1992?
18 A. The group that was under Debeli's command numbered some
19 30-something men - I'm not sure of the exact number - and Debeli offered
20 me to be the commander of the third squad and to get the rank of
21 lieutenant. Now, as for the command of our group, it was in Ernestinovo,
22 and although I didn't -- I wasn't in contact with them a lot because I
23 was on my usual patrols -- the main command, though, was in Erdut.
24 Q. Who was Debeli 's commander at the time?
25 A. I don't know what his name was. He was in Ernestinovo, but if
1 you were referring to the overall command at the time the commander of
2 the police of Slavonia
4 Q. The transcript of these proceedings has you saying
5 Radivoje Stojicic, Badza. Could you please repeat the name of the
6 individual who you just referred to.
7 A. Radivoj Stojicic, Badza, if I'm not mistaken in his last name.
8 He died in the meantime.
9 Q. In paragraph 29 of Exhibit P1516, you state:
10 "About a week after the visit, Debeli informed us that we were to
11 leave the area in order to prepare for operational duties in Bosnia
12 Could you please tell us the operational duties that your unit
13 was preparing for in Bosnia
14 A. My apologies, but could you please repeat the question.
15 Q. In paragraph 29 of Exhibit P1516, you state:
16 "About a week after the visit, Debeli informed us that we were to
17 leave the area in order to prepare for operational duties in Bosnia
18 Could you please tell us the operational duties that your unit
19 was preparing for in Bosnia
20 referencing in the statement is the SBWS police.
21 A. That's correct. At the time I didn't really know many details.
22 I just knew that we were preparing to leave, that we were supposed to go;
23 and he said that one could decide whether one wanted to go or not. Now,
24 all of the members of the unit reported, they wanted to go, and all we
25 knew at the time is that we were preparing to go someplace in Bosnia
1 Q. In the same paragraph, paragraph 29, you indicate that you went
2 to Lezimir and received training for three to four days. You state:
3 "The six instructors in charge of the training were members of
4 the Serbian police."
5 How did you know that these instructors were members of the
6 Serbian police?
7 A. Well, judging by their conduct one of my country -- one of the
8 persons from my town was a member of the unit and on one occasion he came
9 to visit us. And judging by how he was treated by the other instructors
10 and how the kinds of conversations they had, I concluded that they were
11 members of the same unit.
12 Q. In paragraph 30 of Exhibit P1516, you state:
13 "Following this training we were then brought to Pajzos near Ilok
14 where we were issued new camouflage uniforms and standard automatic
16 Who was in charge of this facility in Pajzos?
17 A. The name of the person who was in charge, the commander of that
18 camp in Pajzos, I don't know who he was. I don't know his name. I can't
19 recall it.
20 Q. My question went more to what units, formations, or organisations
21 were in charge of the facility in Pajzos?
22 A. My apologies. I misunderstood your question. Now I understood
23 what you meant. Now, those units and formations that we belonged to as
24 we were told - and this was repeated on several occasions - that from
25 then on we were members of a MUP brigade for special purposes, that we
1 will undergo very difficult training and exercises, and that we should do
2 our best.
3 Q. How did you know that you joined a MUP brigade for special
5 A. Well, simply because all Serbian police vehicles -- police
6 vehicles you could actually conclude whether they were vehicles of the
7 SUP in Kraljevo and Kragujevac or someplace else or whether they belonged
8 to the republic MUP. You could actually conclude that based on the
9 licence plates.
10 Q. What licence plates did you see that led you to believe that this
11 was a MUP brigade for special purposes?
12 A. All the vehicles had licence plates of the republic MUP or SUP,
13 as it was called at the time. I'm not really sure what the name was
15 Q. What MUP are you referring to?
16 A. I'm referring to the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
17 Q. Could you please describe the facility at Pajzos.
18 A. Well, it was about 800 to 1.000 metres away from the main road.
19 It used to be Tito's villa. On the left-hand side there were hangars and
20 there were wine cellars or something, I am not quite sure; and on the
21 right-hand side there were about ten houses, six to ten houses, which had
22 once been -- provided accommodation for workers. And that is where we
23 were actually housed.
24 Q. In paragraph 30 of P1516, you indicate that you received training
25 in Pajzos from some of the instructors from Lezimir and some new
1 instructors who were also Serbian policemen. How would you describe the
2 training you received in Pajzos?
3 A. Well, it was very intense. It was detailed. We were trained in
4 various mop-up operation techniques, we also underwent fitness training,
5 we were also -- we also trained in how to take over houses and so on --
6 how to conduct searches in houses, et cetera.
7 Q. You state in this paragraph that you received military tactics
8 training. Could you please describe what you were referring to.
9 A. Well, the way a group, a squad, a platoon should handle
10 themselves in certain situations.
11 Q. What situations?
12 A. Well, for instance, searches in houses. How to actually enter --
13 access a house from which someone is shooting at you, what each person's
14 role would be in that situation once you were in the house, and so on.
15 Q. In paragraph 32 of Exhibit P1516, you indicate:
16 "After about two weeks of training in Pajzos, Franko Simatovic,
17 also known as Frenki, came to the training-ground" and held a briefing.
18 Was this briefing the first time you saw Frenki in Pajzos?
19 A. No, it wasn't. I saw him at least twice.
20 Q. On the two previous occasions that you saw Franko Simatovic, what
21 was he wearing?
22 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform of the same kind that we had
23 and a red beret.
24 Q. Returning to this briefing that you discuss in paragraph 32, when
25 did this briefing occur?
1 A. The briefing occurred in early April, on the 1st or 2nd April or
2 perhaps even in late March. I can't give you the exact date. This was
3 before our departure for Bosanski Samac. We were told where we were
4 going, what our duties were, and that was it.
5 Q. Where was this briefing held?
6 A. The briefing was held in a house within that same village. I
7 believe that at one point it housed workers' canteen. At any rate, it
8 was a large room that could accommodate many people. I don't know what
9 its purpose was.
10 Q. Who was present at this briefing?
11 A. Simatovic, Stanisic, and there were two more individuals with
12 Mr. Simatovic. There was Crni, our entire unit, and I believe that
13 Stevan Todorovic was there as well but I can't state that for a fact. I
14 had frequent contacts with him so I may have -- I may be mistaken. So
15 there was our entire unit and a group of lads from Bosanski Samac.
16 Q. Approximately how many members of the unit were present?
17 A. In the meeting room I didn't count them all, but there were
18 between 40 and 50 people.
19 Q. How long did this briefing last?
20 A. I don't think it went on for longer than 30 or 40 minute. I'm
21 not sure, though.
22 MR. WEBER: Could we please go into private session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 7625 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
7 Would this be a suitable moment for -- if you say two or three
8 more minutes would give a more suitable moment, then --
9 MR. WEBER: If I could ask two more questions.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
11 MR. WEBER:
12 Q. In paragraph 32 of P1516, you describe what Mr. Simatovic told
13 your unit at this briefing. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what
14 Franko Simatovic told your unit about its deployment and objective at
15 this briefing.
16 A. We were told that we should leave all our identification papers
17 behind, whoever had their IDs on them or military booklets. We had been
18 given tags a couple of days before. We were told that we would be taken
19 to Bosanski Samac by helicopter and that it would be a difficult task.
20 We were told that if we wanted to return, we had to make sure that we
21 successfully accomplished the task we were being deployed to carry out.
22 Q. The task that you were being deployed to carry out, what was the
23 strategic importance of your operation in Bosanski Samac, as you
24 understood it at that time?
25 A. Bosanski Samac sits on what used to be called the
1 Posavina Corridor and is still called that way. In other words, it was
2 the route from Banja Luka to Serbia
3 MR. WEBER: This would be a suitable opportunity for a break.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Weber.
5 We'll have a break and we'll resume at five minutes past 4.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, you may proceed.
9 MR. WEBER:
10 Q. From March to May of 1992, who was your immediate superior or
11 "komandir" in the Red Berets?
12 A. My immediate commander was Debeli.
13 Q. Who was the superior of Debeli or your "komandant" between March
14 and May of 1992?
15 A. Crni was his superior.
16 Q. During your entire time as a member of the Red Berets, who was
17 superior to Crni and the commander of the Serbian MUP special-purpose
18 units known as the Red Berets?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in my view this is a
21 leading question because the witness has already discussed the commander
22 of special units. Mr. Weber is introducing him rather than asking who
23 was Crni's commander.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's a very composite question, Mr. Weber. Could
25 you please split it up so that we know exactly where you introduce --
1 whether or not facts that are either not yet -- have not yet been
2 established or where you suggest answers to the witness.
3 MR. WEBER:
4 Q. JF-047, you have stated that you were part of a MUP
5 special-purpose brigade that was part of the MUP of Serbia. My question
6 to you is: Who was superior to Crni and the commander of the Serbian
7 special-purpose brigade of the MUP Serbia?
8 A. Mr. Franko Simatovic.
9 Q. In paragraphs 35 and 36 of Exhibit P1516, you describe your
10 deployment to Batkusa by JNA helicopter. Approximately when did this
11 deployment take place?
12 A. I'm sorry, you say "when." You mean when exactly I arrived
14 Q. I am asking you when approximately you arrived in Batkusa by JNA
16 A. In the beginning of April 1992, end of March/1st or 2nd April,
18 Q. Where is Batkusa in relation to Bosanski Samac?
19 A. Batkusa is right on the road. It's a village between Pelagicevo,
20 Crkvina, and Bosanski Samac. Let's put it that way.
21 Q. In paragraph 37 of Exhibit P1516, you state that you were busy
22 securing equipment when you arrived in Batkusa. What equipment were you
24 A. Two or three mortars, I can't remember; 60-millimetre infantry
25 weapon; and some ammunition for the -- those mortars; and some ammunition
1 for rifles.
2 Q. In paragraph 39 of Exhibit P1516, you state that you attended a
3 briefing that was given by Debeli and Kriger who was the commander of the
4 17th Tactical Group. Could you please tell us what units were part of
5 the 17th Tactical Group.
6 A. There was some units of the regular army, that's to say lads aged
7 between 18 and 26 or 27, who did their military service and units of the
8 territorial make-up of the JNA.
9 Q. Could you please tell us about the take-over of Bosanski Samac
10 and how the units of the Red Berets participated in this take-over.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
12 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, could I just -- it -- it is an objection, it
13 is an objection to the extension of a unit of the Red Berets to units of
14 the Red Berets. This is something we've complained about before. This
15 is a witness who is talking about his unit of Red Berets, we're not
16 talking about several.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you could split that up, not to say that if
18 the witness's unit participated that automatically would exclude other
19 units, but at least that would need to be established first, if that's
20 the case.
21 MR. JORDASH: Throughout his statement this witness has referred
22 to a unit --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
24 MR. JORDASH: And his unit.
25 JUDGE ORIE: If you want to talk in the plural in relation to
1 this event, Mr. Weber, it would be best to lay a foundation for that
3 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, if it's acceptable to the Court, I will
4 ask it in a more general way and let him explain.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
6 MR. WEBER: For the record though, there are multiple units of
7 the Red Berets that this witness refers to in his statement, but I will
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but we are talking about a specific event.
10 Let's not -- you offered to rephrase your question. Please do so.
11 MR. WEBER:
12 Q. Could you please tell us about the take-over of Bosanski Samac
13 and how the Red Berets participated in this operation.
14 A. The unit which took part in this operation was the one the
15 commander of which was Debeli, and I often make the mistake of terming
16 this unit as my unit although I was a commander of one of its squads.
17 Our unit, that's to say the men who had undergone training at Pajzos, all
18 of us together participated in the action of taking over Samac, save for
19 the fact that we were divided into several groups. And now I'm referring
20 to my group which is to say one squad and not the entire unit had -- my
21 group had the task of seizing the community centre, the culture hall,
22 which we did, and then we waited for further orders.
23 Q. With respect to the other squads of the Red Berets, how did they
24 participate in the take-over of Bosanski Samac?
25 A. The only thing I know for a fact is that Debeli and Lugar, Debeli
1 was there as commander of the unit, and there were several other
2 individuals who were attached to the unit, I wasn't with them, their task
3 was to capture the police station. Another group was tasked with
4 capturing the silo and yet another group had the task of capturing and
5 securing a bridge by the place called Luka, which was in fact the harbour
6 as its name suggests. Another group was deployed in the direction of the
7 bridge, but in this case it was the other side of the bridge, the other
8 end of the bridge. I'm not sure if the settlement is called Odzaci. At
9 any rate, there was a rivulet next to the Sava River
10 bridge and they were supposed to secure the bridge because that was an
11 area from where reinforcements could possibly get to Bosanski Samac.
12 Q. Did squads from the Red Berets seize all the locations that you
13 have just described as part of the take-over of Bosanski Samac?
14 A. Yes. By some 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning all the tasks were
15 completed. All the groups accomplished their missions.
16 Q. In paragraph 43 of Exhibit P1516, you indicate that you believed
17 Kriger was in overall command of the units participating in the take-over
18 of Bosanski Samac and during this operation your unit co-operated with
19 the JNA in the sense that:
20 "They replaced us when we had secured certain buildings or
21 positions but they didn't conduct combat operations together with us."
22 Could you please explain this to the Trial Chamber.
23 A. At the briefing preceding the take-over of Bosanski Samac, which
24 was on the 16th in the evening, unless I'm mistaken, we were told that
25 the army, that's to say reserve units, if all is well would take over
1 from us in the morning to liberate Bosanski Samac in the true sense of
2 the word, whereas we would be assigned to other duties.
3 Q. Is this what occurred?
4 A. Yes, with a couple of hours' delay perhaps. Still, they arrived
5 and replaced us. We were given an hour or two of rest and then went to
6 conduct searches about the town looking for weapons. Before that there
7 was a truck cruising the town, informing all the citizens, regardless of
8 their ethnicity, to surrender their weapons, either licenced or
9 unlicensed, by basically throwing them out in the street and there would
10 be no repercussions against them.
11 Q. Was your unit resubordinated to the JNA as part of Tactical Group
12 17 during combat operations in Bosanski Samac?
13 A. I think it was because at the briefing on the 16th before heading
14 to Bosanski Samac, Kriger had the main say and then some of his officers
15 would add a thing or two by telling us what it is we have to pay
16 attention to, so that my impression was that the commander of the 17th
17 Tactical Group was the one who was in command of all of our combined
19 Q. How did your unit's participation in combat activities with
20 Tactical Group 17 affect or change your chain of command?
21 A. As far as I was concerned and the others in the unit, in no way
22 because we did not receive orders from JNA officers. Crni would convey
23 orders to Debeli, and Debeli in turn would convey them to us; that's the
24 way it worked.
25 Q. In paragraph 45 of Exhibit P1516, you state:
1 "As a fighting unit, this group of Red Berets participated in
2 numerous combat activities in the area of Bosanski Samac."
3 My question to you is: What kind of unit were you a part of as a
4 member of the Red Berets?
5 A. The same unit for which I was trained. That was the MUP
6 special-purpose brigade.
7 Q. How would you characterise this unit?
8 A. How do you mean? I'm sorry.
9 Q. I'll read your quote again.
10 "As a fighting unit, this group of Red Berets participated in
11 numerous combat activities in the area of Bosanski Samac."
12 My question more specifically to you is: Whether or not you
13 considered your unit a military or police unit?
14 A. In most of the cases we were engaged as a military unit, i.e.,
15 for an attack on a village, for capturing a village, for taking up a
16 specific position. In terms of establishment, we were a police unit.
17 MR. WEBER: Could we please move into private session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 7634-7638 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 MR. WEBER:
18 Q. In paragraph 45 of Exhibit P1516, you describe three combat
19 operations in Bosnia
20 Red Berets. Since we are in public session right now, please do not
21 refer to the locations of these villages; however, could you please tell
22 us what was the strategic importance of these three operations.
23 A. Well, all of these operations were conducted in the area toward
24 Domaljevac and Orasje, in other words, from Grebnice and on. The purpose
25 was to actually shrink the territory that was under Croatian control and,
1 I have to stress here, under control of some Muslim units -- or rather,
2 these were HVO units. But in this area of Orasje there were several
3 villages where the population was Muslim.
4 Q. In paragraph 44 you state that:
5 "We remained for a few days in town and during that time I know
6 that some members of the 'Red Berets' and members of the TO mistreated
7 prisoners at the detention centre outside the SUP building. I was
8 present on two such occasions."
9 Approximately when were the two occasions that you personally saw
10 mistreatment of prisoners by members of the Red Berets and TO?
11 A. In Bosanski Samac, the TO building was across the street from the
12 MUP building, and there was also a gate there for trucks to access them.
13 I think there were two or even three large garages. There was a small
14 workshop and a rather large courtyard where a truck could park, and the
15 courtyard also had -- there was access to the courtyard from a building.
16 And on one occasion I went out to light a cigarette. I was standing by
17 the window and looking out, and I saw three of these men -- three of the
18 men beating a prisoner.
19 Q. These three men that were beating a prisoner, who were they?
20 A. One of them belonged to our unit, whereas the other two were most
21 probably members of the TO. And if you allow me, Your Honours, I would
22 like to expand a bit on this.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you would please first answer the question, and
24 then Mr. Weber will tell you whether he needs further details.
25 MR. WEBER:
1 Q. What ethnicities were the prisoners at the detention centre?
2 A. I never checked their identity myself, but most of them were
3 Croats or Muslims -- or rather, of Croatian or Muslim ethnicity.
4 Q. With respect to the first occasion that you've mentioned, what
5 did you actually observe, what did you see?
6 A. Well, as I've already said, there was a group there of some seven
7 or eight men, but only three of them actually took part in the beating.
8 I didn't really watch them for long. I just saw these three people
9 beating one person, and I -- very soon I turned by back and went back
10 inside. I didn't really want to watch scenes like that.
11 Q. How were they beating the one person?
12 A. Where -- how should I put it? They beat them with their hands,
13 with their legs or feet. Maybe there was even a baton used to beat them
14 up. I didn't really watch this for too long.
15 Q. This prisoner that was being beaten on the first occasion, what
16 was that prisoner wearing?
17 A. Well, he was in civilian clothes, as far as I could see. He
18 wasn't wearing a uniform.
19 Q. With respect to the second occasion that you observed, what did
20 you see on that occasion?
21 A. Well, the other occasion was rather similar, except that more
22 people took part in the beating, four to five. There were also a few
23 standing around and watching but they didn't take part. But on this
24 occasion, there were two men from our unit; I know that because I
25 recognised the uniform, but I didn't exactly see who these people were
1 exactly. I just stepped out. At the time I couldn't step out from the
2 front because workers were moving some furniture out of the building, so
3 I had to use the backdoor and go through the courtyard. So I passed by
4 the garages where these detainees were held. So in passing, as I was
5 going to the MUP building where I had been summoned, I saw this same
6 scene. There were four to five people beating prisoner, and I don't
7 know, there might have been a larger group, but what I'm sure of there
8 were two members of my unit.
9 Q. How many prisoners were being beaten on the second occasion?
10 A. One. As far as I could see, one prisoner was being beaten.
11 Q. What was this prisoner wearing on the second occasion?
12 A. As far as I can remember, he was wearing civilian clothes.
13 Q. Were there any other instances of mistreatment of prisoners that
14 you heard about at the detention centre between the 17th of April and the
15 31st of July, 1992, aside from the ones that you observed?
16 A. Well, I heard that there had been other occasions, but I can't
17 really talk about it because people would say all sorts of things. We
18 actually remained some four days in Bosanski Samac after that. I can't
19 really recall how long we stayed there, but then later on we returned;
20 and from there we were transferred to another place.
21 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have page 9 of the
22 English and page 12 of the B/C/S of Exhibit P1516 on the screen but not
23 broadcast to the public. I believe it actually might be up there.
24 Q. In paragraph 46, you discuss the execution of five to seven men
25 in Crkvina in early May 1992. In the fourth sentence, you state that
1 Lugar had been ordered to do a job. What is the job that Lugar was
2 ordered to do on this day?
3 A. I don't know what he was ordered to do. I never asked him. He
4 asked me whether I wanted to go along with him. He was senior. He had a
5 senior rank compared to me, although we actually had the same rank. And
6 I said, "Yes, why not." And I went with him to Crkvina on someone's
7 orders. Someone had issued orders to Lugar, and Lugar knew that there
8 were prisoners in Crkvina. He wouldn't have known it without the orders,
9 and they were all held in the courtyard of the TO staff. I myself did
10 not know that there were any prisoners in Crkvina until I saw them when I
11 got there.
12 Q. Could you please describe the location where the prisoners were
13 held in Crkvina.
14 A. Well, if you went from Batkusa, you would come to a crossroads.
15 The left fork would take you to Modrica and if you took the right fork
16 you would go to Bosanski Samac. And right there at that intersection
17 where there used to be some kind of warehouse of a state-owned farm or
18 something, there was nothing in the warehouse. And that was where these
19 prisoners were held. They were guarded by several members of the TO,
20 some seven or eight of them, I don't know exactly.
21 Q. When you and Lugar arrived at this location, were there any other
22 members of the Red Berets who were present?
23 A. Four of them came with Lugar, if I'm not mistaken. I came in my
24 own car --
25 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'm sorry to cut off the witness, but
1 upon reflection of my question I actually think it be better we move into
2 private session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 7645-7647 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
25 MR. WEBER:
1 Q. In paragraph 48 of Exhibit P1516, you discussed a newly arrived
2 group of Red Berets in Brcko comprising of about 40 men and commanded by
3 Zika. Who is Zika?
4 A. Zika or Zivorad Ivanovic, unless I'm mistaken, was the commander
5 of that group of the Red Berets who had first arrived in their
6 Land Rovers in Batkusa; and from there, probably in agreement with Crni,
7 they were deployed back to Brcko, to the barracks there.
8 Q. Did Zika have any other nicknames?
9 A. Yes. Tigar, Zika Crna Gorac, Zika Zuza, depending on who would
10 be referring to him. He had several nicknames and these are the ones I
11 know of.
12 Q. Who was the commander of Zika Crna Gorac in May 1992?
13 A. Zika was immediately subordinated to the command in Belgrade, and
14 the commander at the time was Mr. Simatovic.
15 Q. In paragraph 48 you state:
16 "One of the members of this group was Vaso Mijovic" and "...
17 Mijovic was not involved in battle but travelled frequently to Belgrade
18 from where he brought weapons, ammunition, and fuel to the unit. He also
19 provided this service to the VRS if he possessed a surplus supply."
20 My question to you is: What weapons and ammunition did Mijovic
21 bring from Belgrade
22 A. They would bring in standard-issue ammunition -- or rather, no,
23 not the standard, but 9-millimetre calibre and as well as 6.6
24 standard-issue. Then machine-gun ammunition, which is the 12-millimetre
25 calibre. Then there would also be pistol ammunition.
1 Q. How would these -- how would this -- these weapons and ammunition
2 be brought from Belgrade
3 A. Normally by trucks. At least the few cases that I witnessed,
4 trucks were used.
5 Q. What type of trucks?
6 A. One of them was an old military type. We referred to it as Dietz
7 and the other one was a TAM-110 of the modern make.
8 Q. How frequently would Mijovic transport weapons from Belgrade to
10 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly, once weekly perhaps.
11 Q. Could you please explain how Mijovic provided the surplus supply
12 of this weapons, ammunition, and fuel to the VRS.
13 A. I didn't see him provide the supplies, but I suppose that all
14 those trucks of ammunition were not required by a 30-man unit and the
15 ammunition was not unloaded and stored in the building we were billeted
16 in. Perhaps a couple of cases of ammunition would be taken to us. The
17 rest was stored in the hangars belonging to the Army of Republika Srpska.
18 Q. Approximately how much weapons and ammunition was Mijovic
20 A. Believe me when I say that I don't know, some four to six trucks
21 certainly yes, perhaps more. But the very nature of my work in Brcko at
22 the time did not permit me to stroll around and nose into other people's
24 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, from here on out the Prosecution just
25 has a number of exhibits to discuss with the witness. I see that we're
1 at 5.10. I can at least go through one and then there would be two
2 others after a recess at that time, if you would like.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just -- this is not the usual time for the
5 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution then please have Exhibit P1420
6 marked for identification. It is a Posavina Brigade report dated 11 July
8 Q. JF-047, before you is a Posavina Brigade report. Could you --
9 before we discuss its contents, could you please tell us what your
10 understanding was of the Posavina Brigade in July of 1992?
11 A. Do you mean the organisation of it?
12 Q. If you could just please tell us what your understanding of that
13 brigade is in July of 1992.
14 A. At the time in July 1992 it consisted of members of
15 Territorial Defence only; in other words, local villagers. It had
16 several infantry companies or battalions. They had an artillery
17 battalion too. I don't know what its strength was. I didn't have any
18 dealings with them, save for the several pieces of weaponry we had out in
19 the field. I think there was a group of some 10 to 15 volunteers in the
20 church which subsequently went over to Pelagicevo. At the time this
21 group of volunteers had nothing to do with us whatsoever.
22 Q. I see that this document is -- purports to be from
23 Srecko Radovanovic. Could you please tell us whether or not you have any
24 knowledge or understanding of this individual being related to the
25 Posavina Brigade.
1 A. For a while, I'm not sure of the specific date, he was acting
2 commander or commander of that Posavina Brigade. The time you're
3 referring to I did not spend much in the Posavina Brigade. I was in
4 Brcko because this period follows my wounding. I spent some time in the
5 brigade after being discharged from the hospital with Crno and his
6 communications centre or whatever we called it. And later on I was
7 attached to the unit that came from Brcko. So that yes, Srecko was the
8 commander of that brigade for a certain period of time, but I can't tell
9 you exactly how long it was.
10 Q. Is this the same or different individual that you have been
11 referring to in your testimony as Debeli?
12 A. Yes, yes, Debeli, Srecko Radovanovic.
13 Q. How did, if you know, how did Debeli's command of the
14 Posavina Brigade affect or change his chain of command with the
15 Red Berets?
16 A. As far as I know, it did not affect it in any way. Co-operation
17 between him and Crni continued to be good to the best of my knowledge.
18 Q. The document that appears in front of you discusses a region and
19 a village --
20 A. Would you kindly enlarge it. I can't see it very well.
21 MR. WEBER: If we could please have the main text of the document
22 in the middle.
23 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you are not interested in the
24 stamps primarily, Mr. Weber?
25 MR. WEBER: That's correct. I'm looking at the text.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have the typewritten text in the middle of
2 the document, further up. Yes, and now -- can you now read that,
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. I'll do my best.
5 MR. WEBER:
6 Q. JF-047, this document refers to a region of the village of
7 Srednja Slatina, and then a line across three other villages. Are you
8 familiar with the plan that's being discussed in this document and the
9 strategic importance of these locations?
10 A. Yes. I do remember the location of the village and the
11 importance of it.
12 Q. Could you please tell us.
13 A. The village is very close to the corridor across which the roads
14 that were important stretched. There was Gornja Slatina, Donja Slatina,
15 and Srednja Slatina. And if I remember very well, they are closely
16 situated one to another, and I remember that we had one failed action in
17 that area.
18 Q. And you've referenced a corridor. What was the strategic
19 importance of this corridor?
20 A. It was far too close to the corridor to leave them without
21 security and in the hands of another, let me put it that way.
22 Q. Yes, but in a more general sense, are you aware of what the
23 strategic importance of this corridor is?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ask, is there any dispute about the strategic
25 importance of the corridor in 1992, mid-1992?
1 MR. JORDASH: No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, I see you're also nodding no.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. WEBER: With that, Your Honour, the Prosecution would tender
5 Exhibit P1420 marked for identification into evidence along with three
6 additional Posavina Brigade reports from the 3rd, 9th -- from the 3rd to
7 the 9th of July, 1992. These additional reports are 65 ter 1817, which I
8 believe is P1419 marked for identification; 65 ter 1819; and 1820. These
9 come from a collection of documents from the VRS Banja Luka. These
10 exhibits were seized from the VRS Main Staff archive Kozara Barracks
11 Banja Luka on the 18th of October, 2006.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 Perhaps I first ask one question. You were asked, Witness
14 JF-047, whether you were familiar with the plan. Did you know the plan
15 described in this document by the name given to it in this document?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't know of it under the
17 name stated in the document.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections against admission of the documents
20 Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits P1420 and P1419, MFI'd are admitted into
22 the exhibit. And 65 ter 1819 becomes Exhibit P1520 and 1820 becomes
23 Exhibit P1521, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. P1420 and P1419 are admitted into evidence.
25 P1520 and P1521 are admitted into evidence as well.
1 Mr. Weber.
2 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have page 1 of
3 Exhibit P1418 marked for identification. It is a 1 December 1992 report
4 from the command of the Posavina Brigade on developments undermining
5 morale among soldiers and the security and political situation in the
6 Samac municipality. If I could please have it focused on the paragraph
7 that begins with the word "second" or "drugo."
8 Q. JF-047, directing your attention to the paragraph that states:
9 "Second, even while the TG-17 existed and
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolic was there -- was here, a group of so-called
11 'Serbian commandos,' led by 'Crni' and 'Debeli,' arrived in this area in
12 a military helicopter. Nikolic and the TG-17 command initially branded
13 it as a "paramilitary group' and a 'group of bandits and mercenaries,'
14 but after only five or six days they endorsed it and explained it as a
15 'legal elite unit of Serbian commandos' ..."
16 My question to you is: Is this statement accurate?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Who are the elite Serbian command os that this report refers to?
19 A. The only group, the only unit present in that area which had
20 arrived there by helicopter were us, 30-odd of us, and the group of
21 locals who underwent training together with us at Pajzos.
22 Q. How was your unit considered a legal elite unit of Serbian
24 A. Well, I don't know. After a while all the officers and troops,
25 those who were on furlough, they all treated us with respect, they knew
1 why we got there. There were no problems in our relations with the army,
2 the territorials, or the locals.
3 Q. Did you consider yourself to be a member of an elite unit?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. For what reason did you consider yourself to be a member of an
6 elite unit?
7 A. At the time we were still disciplined, well armed, well trained.
8 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have page 3 of this
9 exhibit in both languages. We are going to be seeking to focus on a
10 paragraph that begins with the word "sixth."
11 Q. JF-047, if I could direct your attention to the paragraph that
13 "Sixth, the Special Battalion in Obudovac ..."
14 My question to you, even before you read very far into this, is:
15 What do you know about that battalion?
16 A. The battalion was being made after the withdrawal of the JNA.
17 That's when it was in the making. I don't know when it was definitely
18 formed. And it consisted of young and experienced men from the
19 surrounding area. It mostly consisted of locals.
20 Q. Do you know whether Commander Crni had any relationship to this
22 A. For a while whenever he had time to spare, he held training
23 courses for the men of that particular unit; and I know this because I
24 would assist him in that work on occasion.
25 Q. What type of training would this be?
1 A. The classical sort of training on the edge of a forest, moving in
2 single file, running across open space. Most of these men had not gone
3 through the compulsory military service, so there was a lot of work to be
4 done with them.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, earlier you were looking at the clock,
6 now I'm looking at the clock. But I'm also inquiring with you about the
8 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, we could tender this exhibit at this
9 time, P1418. We -- that -- if we could do that and then I could take a
10 break. I have one more exhibit.
11 JUDGE ORIE: One more exhibit after the break you would say. How
12 much time would that take?
13 MR. WEBER: I could also tender that exhibit now from the bar
14 table and --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I've got no idea what the exhibit is.
16 MR. WEBER: It's -- it would be P1416, which is 65 ter 1792,
17 which I also see is notified by the Simatovic -- or Stanisic Defence for
18 cross. If those two documents were admitted, the Prosecution would have
19 no further questions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the Defence at this moment.
21 MR. JORDASH: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No objection.
24 JUDGE ORIE: P1418 is admitted into evidence. P1416 is also
25 admitted into evidence.
1 Then we'll take a break and after the break it will be you,
2 Mr. Bakrac, who is the first to cross-examine the witness.
3 Thank you, Mr. Weber.
4 We'll resume at 6.00 sharp.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, are you ready to cross-examine the
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness JF-047, you'll now be cross-examined by
11 Mr. Bakrac. Mr. Bakrac is counsel for Mr. Simatovic.
12 You may proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
14 evening to everyone.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
16 Q. [Interpretation] And good evening, Witness JF-047.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, right at the outset I
18 would like to move into private session.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness --
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 7659-7662 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, in paragraphs 8 through 13 of your statement you talk
10 about how you came to get in touch with volunteers of the SRS, the
11 Serbian Radical Party. What I would like to know is this: You said
12 about this --
13 MR. WEBER: Your Honour -- I apologise for interrupting you,
14 Mr. Bakrac. But the Prosecution went out of its way not to refer to each
15 and every unit that the witness had been a member of in order to not make
16 a connection. So if there's any way we could still do the -- any
17 questions about 1991 and the SRS in closed session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 Mr. Bakrac, it's clear if all the jig-saw puzzle pieces put
20 together, so therefore it's perhaps wise to timely go into private
21 session. I don't know whether that is this moment or ...
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I agree with you.
23 But I thought that because there were many volunteers of this party we
24 could proceed in open session, but I agree. We can move to private
1 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 7665-7681 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 We'll adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow, the 5th of
14 October, 9.00, Courtroom I.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
17 October, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.