1 Thursday, 16 December 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon in
8 and around the courtroom. This is the case IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 There are two judges this afternoon. Judge Picard is unable to
12 continue to hear that case for the remainder of this day, and Judge
13 Gwaunza and myself have considered whether it would be in the interests
14 of justice to continue to hear that case and we have come to the
15 conclusion that it is. We, therefore, will continue.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Please be seated, Mr. Stoparic.
18 Mr. Stoparic, I'd like to remind you that you are still bound by the
19 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony, that
20 is that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 Mr. Jordash will now, as I understand for five minutes, continue
23 his cross-examination. Has there been any discussions among the parties
24 about the timing of today?
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as I
1 understood Mr. Groome, he said he needs five minutes. I hope that
2 nothing in my questions will increase that time so we are almost sure
3 that we will be able to finish today.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber's questions, if any, will not take much
7 time. So that's for your guidance. Mr. Jordash, please proceed.
8 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
9 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Jordash: [Continued]
12 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. You told the Court a couple of days ago that you received a third
15 salary directly from Boca; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you also said that this was paid -- this direct payment was
18 also made to some other members of the Skorpions, not many of them;
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And amongst the men who did, there were some who were related to
22 them. Did the men who shot the unfortunate victims receive a similar
23 personal payment from Medic? Were they amongst the number you were
24 thinking about?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How was it that you and -- well, let's stick with you. How was
2 it that you were at the scene when the victims, the prisoners were
3 delivered rather than being with the main a group of Skorpions at the
4 front line or at the camp? Was there a reason for that?
5 A. I left the front line together with another man, we went down to
6 the base, and then we went to our communications centre to take over the
7 recharged batteries for our communications equipment, and together with
8 that, I also took a couple of bottles of fruit juice and some cigarettes
9 and all I -- I was supposed to take all of those things to the front
11 Q. I see. And the remainder, I think we dealt with this yesterday,
12 but the remainder of the men including the perpetrators were there
13 because they were -- would it be fair to describe them as more like
14 personal aides to Medic?
15 A. Well, Aleksandar Vukovar was his official aide, he was
16 responsible for the front line. But you are right, one could easily say
17 about them that they were also some sort of aides.
18 Q. Some of them even slept in Boca's -- where he was billeted,
19 didn't they?
20 A. I believe that they all slept in the same house.
21 Q. Oh. For any particular reason or just because they were on such
22 friendly terms with Boca?
23 A. Well, as far as I know their role was in the sense of being body
24 guards, and if that indeed was the case, then it was only logical and
25 normal for them to sleep close to him.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I just want to return very briefly, and I
2 have only got a very few questions left, but to the issue that we left on
4 MR. JORDASH: Can we have on the e-court please, 1D1733.
5 Q. And you recall I put to you yesterday some testimony from the
6 Belgrade court on the 12th of April, 2006, which suggested that at that
7 point over four years ago you were of the mind that you had actually only
8 seen the bus depart rather than it arrive and deliver the prisoners. Do
9 you recall that?
10 A. I don't. I probably answered somebody's questions over there. I
11 can't tell you anything either approximately or exactly as to what I said
12 at the time.
13 Q. Do you want me to remind you or are you able to think about it
14 now and give us your best evidence today? Could it be that you saw the
15 bus departing rather than being there when it arrived or being there as
16 it was parked?
17 A. I was not standing anywhere near the bus. The bus did not come
18 to the cottages because there's no asphalt road there. I know the time
19 when the bus appeared and when it left.
20 Q. Let me ask you a slightly different question then. Am I correct
21 that you do not know who was on the bus other than, I think,
22 approximately 15 prisoners? You didn't get a good sight of who was on
23 the bus?
24 A. I believe that there were prisoners and some escorts.
25 Q. Well, you believe that, but you didn't see it clearly, did you?
1 A. The distance was 100 metres or perhaps a bit over, and that's the
2 picture that I had before me.
3 Q. And I'm not criticizing you for that at all, but you don't know
4 what happened to any of the people who were on the bus after it had
5 departed leaving, the 15; am I correct?
6 A. I don't know about 15. Why do you mention the number 15? I
7 never mentioned it myself.
8 Q. Well, wasn't -- sorry, maybe that's my mistake. Isn't it the --
9 wasn't it the situation that there was 15 or so prisoners left, they were
10 taken in a truck, and then six of them were taken out and executed. Is
11 that not how it happened?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So it was just the six who were left by the bus; is that right?
14 A. I can't confirm that because at that moment I did not count the
15 men. I knew later there were six, but when they were first brought in, I
16 didn't know. I didn't know whether there were six, seven, eight.
17 Q. Okay. But however many there were, they all were put into a
18 truck and driven to their execution site; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, they were driven away by truck close to the place where they
20 were killed. They had to walk for just a bit.
21 Q. And this event was a shock to you, it hadn't happened before
22 amongst the Skorpions at Trnovo, had it?
23 A. Well, yes, that was the first time ever that I learned about any
24 such thing because even if I hadn't witness such events myself, I would
25 have learned about them.
1 Q. Did the other Skorpions who were 2 to 5 kilometres away find out
2 about this event, do you know?
3 A. Well, yes, the same day. I would say even the same moment. The
4 event had a domino effect, word-of-mouth messages spread very fast.
5 Q. And would you agree that there was general shock amongst the
6 other Skorpions?
7 A. Well, it all depended on who heard the news. I don't know how to
8 describe the prevalent feeling, whether it was shock or not. I can only
9 say that I'm grateful to God to this very day that I was not the one who
10 was ordered to do that.
11 Q. Right. And it never happened again, did it? This was a one-off
12 event amongst the Skorpions?
13 A. Unfortunately that is not the case. There was another event of
14 that nature in Kosovo.
15 Q. You mean the one in Kosovo in 1999?
16 A. Yes, in Podujevo.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, just finally, I want to ask you about a comment
18 or two in your 2005 statement.
19 MR. JORDASH: Could we have P1703, please. And page 3 of the
20 English and 3 of the B/C/S and also e-court, I think. Paragraph 9.
21 Q. You can see there, just take your time to read it when the B/C/S
22 comes, but of paragraph 9 says something a little odd maybe:
23 "Boca then ordered the prisoners to be locked up."
24 Could it -- have you orientated yourself with that?
25 A. Nine. I read 9.
1 Q. Now, you can see that you put in your statement that Boca then
2 ordered the prisoners to be locked up. Is that what happened in the
3 first instance, Boca ordered the prisoners to be locked up?
4 A. I believe that the place used to be a garage as part of a weekend
5 cottage and that's where they were temporarily placed and after that they
6 were loaded on to the truck.
7 Q. Could it be that actually Boca ordered them to be locked up and
8 then on the way to being locked up one of the perpetrators made the
9 decision to kill them disobeying, in fact, Boca's order?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Finally, and I realise I've --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, since we are at this page of 1703, the
13 issue of the 15, whether that has never been said before, I just want to
14 draw your attention to paragraph 12 of that page.
15 MR. JORDASH: Yes. I will ask a couple of questions about that.
16 Q. Can you see that in paragraph 12, Mr. Witness.
17 MR. JORDASH: Perhaps we can go to the next page of the B/C/S.
18 Q. Have a look at paragraph 12, and particularly --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you see that? That's the 15. You see, that's another reason
21 I ask you, Mr. Witness, whether in fact the decision was made by somebody
22 who was in the truck as to who was going to be executed because, am I
23 right, there was 15 people or thereabouts in the truck?
24 A. I just told you that I didn't count them. I can't tell you
25 whether there were six, seven, or eight, and here I can see that I used
1 number 15. Believe me, as I sit here today I can't remember why, and
2 there are only six men on the truck.
3 Q. Okay.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm also -- because I'm not
5 interfering, I left it to you how to divide your time, but the five
6 minutes is --
7 MR. JORDASH: Can I ask for two questions, that's it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ask Mr. Bakrac, because it will be at the expense of
9 his time, and therefore I leave it to you up to the moment where the
10 Defence teams say, please Chamber divide the time for us, then we'll do
11 that. But up to that moment, we leave it to you.
12 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. JORDASH:
15 Q. Mr. Witness, finally, you recall very clearly being employed by
16 the Serbian MUP from August until December 1995; correct? I'm not
17 disputing it.
18 A. I contest that. I did not work, I was a reservist. You used the
19 word "work" which implies that I was active, but I wasn't, I was a
21 Q. Okay, my fault. You were paid during that period, were you?
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. At the
23 end of the last answer on line 17, the witness also mentioned a
24 time-frame in answering Mr. Jordash's question. Unfortunately, I can't
25 see that part of his answer in the record.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether we can get it.
2 You said, Mr. Stoparic:
3 "You used the word 'work' which implies that I was active, but I
4 wasn't, I was a reservist."
5 And what did you then say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said at that time because
7 Mr. Jordash did set a time-frame from the 11th of August up to -- I don't
8 remember exactly when, but I confirm that that is the period in question.
9 I agreed with that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
12 Q. You were paid for that period; is that right?
13 A. We were paid. I didn't know how often I was paid, and when the
14 Prosecutor showed me the payroll, I realised that we were paid every
16 Q. And you knew at that point very clearly you were being paid by
17 the DB; is that right?
18 A. Since we were told we were reservists, I suppose that we were
19 being paid by the DB.
20 Q. And you made that supposition from August onwards, that you were
21 being paid by the DB as a result of being a reservist?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Jordash. Even if I said the MUP, I wouldn't be mistaken
23 because it would still be the same ministry.
24 MR. JORDASH: Thank you, nothing further. Thank you, Your
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
2 Mr. Bakrac, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Let me just take
4 the lectern from my learned friend.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stoparic, you will now be cross-examined by
6 Mr. Bakrac. Mr. Bakrac is counsel for Mr. Simatovic.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I didn't want to intervene into the transcript because I was
11 about to start my cross-examination but let's deal with it now. When you
12 were discussing pays on page 14 in answer to Mr. Jordash's question you
13 said that as soon as you became a reserve member of a unit, and you
14 mentioned which unit, and then you said which unit, and then you said
15 that you supposed it was the DB that was paying you, so which unit was
17 A. The JSO.
18 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let us go back a bit. Mr. Jordash has asked some
19 of the questions that I meant to so I will start from 1992. From
20 paragraph 58 of your statement, which is P1702.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] So could we have that on the
22 screen, please.
23 Q. In paragraph 58 you say, and you testified about it yesterday,
24 that you gathered a group of 200 volunteers and you decided that you
25 would fight on the Brcko front; is that right?
1 A. Well, there weren't 200 of them right away, but gradually we got
3 Q. But the rest is accurate, you decided that you would fight at the
4 Brcko front line?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you fight at the Brcko front as part of that volunteer unit
7 for the duration of 1992?
8 A. Well, I don't know how long we were there. I was coming and
9 going. But I do believe that the period is entered into my military
10 booklet. I don't know it by heart.
11 Q. Very well. We have it in evidence, we won't be wasting any more
12 time. I'd like to hear from you whatever it is that you can remember.
13 My next question, this volunteer group of yours which gradually
14 grew to the number of 200, was it called the 7th Novi Sad Volunteer
16 A. Yes, that is how we called it.
17 Q. Under whose command was this 7th Novi Sad Volunteer Unit in 1992?
18 A. Paja Milinkovic was the brigade commander. I think it was the
19 2nd Posavina Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let's look at two documents which might refresh
21 your memory. Let's see if they have to do with you and your
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we have 2D288.
24 Q. Do you know Colonel Borivoje Tesic?
25 A. Yes. Well the name sound familiar, Tesic.
1 Q. Did there come a time when you were under the command of the
2 Bratunac Brigade?
3 A. I don't think so.
4 Q. Have a look at this telegram. It reads -- so it's the Bratunac
5 Brigade command sending it to the Drina Corps command on the 27th of
6 November 1992.
7 "I addressed you on several occasions for assistance in personnel
8 from the perviously mentioned, 7th Novi Sad Volunteer Company, military
9 post 7410/7 Brcko under the command of Lieutenant Goran Stoparic aka
10 Sida. The company belongs to the Leva Supoderica Detachment whose
11 command is under my command and in my area of responsibility with his
12 personnel. I request that Lieutenant Sida, his personnel, and full
13 equipment be transferred to my command post and placed under my command
14 by Sunday at the latest. Unless the unit arrives, the Leva Supoderica
15 Detachment will not be able to participate in the impending task."
16 Are you familiar with this?
17 A. Yes, but it doesn't mean that I was supposed to implement this
18 order. May I explain?
19 Q. Please do.
20 A. At some point, the Muslim forces under the command of Naser Oric
21 broke through the lines in this area where Lieutenant Colonel Borivoje
22 Tesic was present with the men from Vukovar who formerly belonged to this
23 unit in 1991 as did I. So he learned that we were with the unit in
24 Brcko, and he wrote to the command in Brcko with a request. However, I
25 was never granted permission to leave an area which was equally complex
1 as this one and I therefore never did.
2 Q. But you do know of this corps by Borivoje Tesic for you to come
3 from Brcko to their front line. You are aware of the fact that Leva
4 Supoderica was under his command too. The only thing that you are
5 telling us now is that you, in fact, did not go. So this request was not
7 A. Well, it wasn't down to me to decide about the request. It was
8 up to the colonel.
9 Q. But for the remainder, the document is accurate, is it not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. If I understand you correctly, you said yesterday that the
12 president of the municipality of Brcko offered citizenship of Republika
13 Srpska to each and every men of your company; is that right?
14 A. Yes, he brought along the appropriate forms where one needed to
15 write one's particulars. It was a certified document and it was on that
16 basis that we were entitled to be present in Republika Srpska rather than
17 be a paramilitary group, and in this way we were immediately subordinated
18 to the Army of Republika Srpska. And we received orders and participated
19 in all the actions pursuant to their command.
20 Q. And you were subordinated to the Posavina Brigade?
21 A. Well, it was a captain, a security officer that I took personally
22 all these documents to.
23 Q. So it's late November, Lieutenant-Colonel Tesic is calling for
24 you to come to the Drina Corps, but you remained in Brcko the whole of
25 1992, and will I be mistaken if I say 1993 as well?
1 A. Well, I can't be sure. I don't know.
2 Q. Mr. Stoparic, now that we are discussing Brcko, when you were
3 testifying earlier on, you weren't sure if it was Pesa's unit or Zika
4 Crnogorac's unit, you weren't sure if these were, in fact, two separate
5 units or if one unit resulted from the other?
6 A. Yes, that's true, I don't know that.
7 Q. You also said that as for the unit of Zika Crnogorac you didn't
8 know if it composed individuals from Serbia or locals from Bosnia; is
9 that right?
10 A. I didn't know them personally. There was just this one operation
11 that lasted several hours. Pesa's unit I got to know better and they
12 were all from Republika Srpska save from one individual who was from
14 Q. Let me try and refresh your memory if I can. I can see in the
15 transcript that there is a mention of General Tolimir, I didn't hear you
16 say that at all. You said Pesa's unit and that all of his men were from
17 Republika Srpska and one were from Croatia. Did you mention General
18 Tolimir at all?
19 A. No.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Right. Now, it's corrected, Your
21 Honour. That was my mistake. I apologise to the interpreters.
22 Mr. Stoparic, can we look at 2D301 now, please.
23 Q. Please read this carefully. Tell us, since you were out in the
24 field does this refresh your recollection in any way?
25 A. I've read it.
1 Q. Is it not the case that a unit for special purposes of the MUP of
2 Republika Srpska under the command of Zivojin Ivanovic, aka Zika
3 Crnogorac, is being resubordinated to the command of the Bratunac Light
4 Infantry Brigade?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Does this refresh your memory? Was the unit of Zika Crnogorac
7 known as the Special Purpose Unit of Republika Srpska?
8 A. I knew of them as specials or specialists of the MUP. It says
9 here that it's the MUP of Republika Srpska, so there's no reason to doubt
10 the document.
11 Q. In other words, and the document reflects something that you
12 yourself can recall and that it has to do with Zika Crnogorac's unit?
13 A. I know that they were specials of the MUP and perhaps some of
14 them were from Serbia, I don't know.
15 Q. When you say MUP, you mean MUP of Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes. That's perhaps the reason why I -- well, the reason why I
17 don't feel the need to differentiate is the fact that at the time we were
18 all living in one state.
19 Q. Let's try and understand what you are saying. You don't feel the
20 need to stress that it's the MUP of Republika Srpska because you felt
21 that you were still living in one state, Yugoslavia, is that how I
22 understood you?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what, of course, is of interest,
25 Mr. Bakrac, where the witness earlier said I've no reason to doubt that,
1 whether apart from this document he has any knowledge which specifically
2 addresses the matter on whether this unit was a MUP of Republika Srpska
3 unit or a unit which was -- had to be related to the MUP of Serbia.
4 That's the issue, isn't it? So let's ask the witness whether he has any
5 specific knowledge on whether the unit belonged to the MUP of Serbia or
6 to the MUP of the Republika Srpska.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I hope there's no need for me to repeat what His
9 Honour has just said?
10 A. Well, I didn't even think about it. To be frank, I thought it
11 was a unit belonging to the MUP of Serbia, and only now I see this
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac. And do you have any
14 reason which would support that belief? You said you believed it was the
15 MUP of Serbia unit, is there any basis for that belief? Why did you
16 believe it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm almost certain that I
18 wasn't the only one who held this view. Whenever serious individuals
19 would arrive well-equipped and solemn-faced, we always thought that they
20 were from Serbia, a state that was much better organised than was the
21 case with Republika Srpska at the time. All the various events and
22 ploys, et cetera, well that's the sort of thing that would cross one's
23 mind and that was the case with me as well.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It was therefore -- your belief was based on this
25 impression, if I understand you well?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Your
4 Honour, I tender 2D301 into evidence, although it's in the bar table
5 concerning Mr. Theunens and I think it was marked for identification.
6 Well, I can move on.
7 JUDGE ORIE: As a matter of fact, you have not addressed I think
8 the previous document, 2D288, which is also among the remaining Theunens
9 exhibits and has been provisionally assigned number D181 marked for
10 identification. 2D301 is similarly now provisionally assigned number
11 D187 marked for identification. Everything is now on the record, you may
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Stoparic, another question concerning Zika Ivanovic, Zika
15 Crnogorac, if I'm right you said that he was in a sort of a conflict with
16 local authorities. Is my understanding correct that this conflict was
17 due to the fact that local authorities were responsible for some people
18 leaving Brcko; is that right?
19 A. Yes, yes, something like that happened. I don't know the details
20 but that was the general story which featured the name of Zika Crnogorac.
21 What ultimately happened, somebody was driven out of Brcko. Somebody was
22 expelled. I don't know who exactly.
23 Q. And Zika Crnogorac opposed this sort of contact, did he not?
24 A. I don't know the particulars. I wasn't in any way involved in
25 the conflict. We were simply told at the command that there was this
1 problem there.
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. Sorry, I don't know on whose side Zika Crnogorac was. I don't
4 know the details.
5 Q. Mr. Stoparic, did there come a time in spring 1993 that you
6 fought on the side of the Croatian Defence Council against the Muslims in
8 A. Well, it's not really proper to say that I was on their side. It
9 would be properly said that I was acting in concerted action with them.
10 Q. What does that mean in concerted action? Did you receive such an
11 order from the Posavina Brigade?
12 A. I left Brcko for Teslic because that was the order I received.
13 Q. Can I stop you there. Who did you get the order from to go to
15 A. Well, who was the commander at the time. Perhaps Kutlasic or his
16 deputy, I'm not sure. And I went to Teslic to the school there, which
17 was also the base of the military police. That's where we spent the
18 night and from there they drove us by vehicles along a minor road to a
19 place called Zepca. In Teslic we were informed that we would act in
20 concert with the Croatian Defence Council and that we should not display
21 any hostilities towards them because we would be acting together, we
22 would be working together. I spent about a month or less than a month
24 Q. Who paid you while you were there?
25 A. I received my salaries at the Brcko barracks when I returned.
1 Q. Could you --
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
3 P1702. Paragraph 66. It's the witness's statement.
4 Q. Paragraph 66 of your statement, Mr. Stoparic, there is a mismatch
5 between that and what you said earlier today. It says here:
6 "When I demobilised at Brcko sometime in the spring of 1993 ..."
7 I don't know whether I understand the meaning of the word
8 "demobilised" properly, that means that you left the army. And then you
9 go on to say:
10 "I took a few of the soldiers who shared similar beliefs as mine,
11 and we went to Teslic to work with the HVO on a joint operation against
12 the Muslims."
13 You say here that you first demobilised and then that you took a
14 few of the soldiers who shared your beliefs and that you did it of your
15 own will and you joined the HVO.
16 A. I was not demobilised. I don't know, this is a bit confusing.
17 After that I did demobilise. What beliefs are referred to herein. I
18 have permuted something here.
19 Q. Were you shown this statement when you -- during your proofing
21 A. No, the Prosecutor did not show this statement.
22 Q. He didn't go through this statement?
23 A. I did go through some statements, but I do not remember paragraph
25 Q. Is it possible that you only skimmed some of the paragraphs
1 without ever trying to check or remember, you testifying here based on
2 your prior statements, you provided some details arising from those. We
3 see now that you have not studied your statements in detail.
4 A. Well, I corrected what I thought I should correct, and this term
5 "demobilised" should also be corrected.
6 Q. Very well.
7 A. It may be that I misspoke. I'm not perfect, am I?
8 Q. Very well. So what you are saying today, what you are testifying
9 about today is the truth and what we see in paragraph 66 is not true?
10 A. I testified in the Seselj case and I spoke about the same things
11 and I testified in exactly the same way as today. There is a possibility
12 that I made a mistake. I overlooked something or I forgotten things.
13 Q. Very well, Mr. Stoparic. Let's move on. You are here speaking
14 about the spring of 1993. When we say spring 1993, can you tell us
15 roughly which part of the spring of 1993 are you referring to?
16 A. I remember that there was no snow there. I'm not sure about the
17 exact time.
18 Q. Very well, Mr. Stoparic. And as you testified today, a month
19 after the operation in Teslic, you returned to Brcko and when were you
21 A. After that, but the operation was not in Teslic but in Zepca.
22 Q. Very well, in Zepca. How much later after that?
23 A. I really don't remember. The dates are my weak points.
24 Q. And after Brcko where did you go, and we are still talking about
25 the spring of 1993? Where did you go after Brcko?
1 A. I don't remember. There were field missions where I spent only
2 15 days and returned. That's why it's very difficult for me to remember
3 all the dates.
4 Q. Again as a member of the Posavina Brigade or the 7th Novi Sad
6 A. The 7th Novi Sad Company was disbanded, people scattered, there
7 were no longer combat activities around the town of Brcko. I really
8 don't know.
9 Q. After Brcko you went back to Sid to your place of birth, right?
10 A. I went there very often. I went for furloughs.
11 Q. When did you join the Skorpion unit?
12 A. I don't know exactly. As I sit here, I don't know. I don't know
14 Q. Was that in 1993, 1994? Maybe you can't remember the exact dates
15 or perhaps even the exact month, but what year, what time of the year?
16 A. I apologise, I am a bit confused now. What year? I don't know.
17 I don't know.
18 Q. Very well, you don't know you don't know. What can we do.
19 Will you agree with me that -- and I believe you testified about
20 that -- that the unit -- the Skorpion unit, it's organisation, it's
21 relationship with other units, the issues of procurement, the issue of
22 financing, knew about -- knew -- that Milan Milovanovic, Mrgud knew about
23 all that better than you do.
24 A. Of course. He should be the one to know absolutely everything.
25 Q. Witness, sir, you also spoke about what you heard about the way
1 the Skorpion unit was established. You spoke about that yesterday and
2 the day before yesterday?
3 A. The most difficult thing is to remember names. There was a
4 meeting in Novi Sad and Zivko Sokolovacki and Milovanovic attending the
5 meeting together with some other men. They decided to launch or relaunch
6 the production of oil products and that a unit should be established to
7 secure the fields. And that's how the unit was supposed to come into
9 Q. Who did you hear it from? Who did you hear about the unit, about
10 the meeting, and about who attending the meeting?
11 A. I don't know who the attendees were. I only remember Mr. Zivko
12 Sokolovacki, I never saw the man. I also remember the name of
13 Milan Milovanovic. I heard in the base when I joined the unit. The
14 Skorpion unit already existed. I suppose that I asked somebody how the
15 unit was established.
16 Q. A soldier?
17 A. An officer because I was never on sentry duty. I had other
18 duties, other responsibilities. And the stories sounded plausible to me,
19 sounded logical.
20 Q. Witness, sir, you have just explained to us that Mrgud was the
21 one who was best informed about the unit. You heard -- told us what you
22 heard from others about the meeting. You had an opportunity to look at
23 your statement and to make the necessary corrections in the statement,
24 and you made a correction in paragraph 75 of the statement. First of all
25 let me explain why I asked you when you joined the Skorpion unit. You
1 said it was either in 1993 or 1994 but you are not sure; right?
2 A. A lot of things happened at the time so I really don't know and I
3 didn't keep a diary.
4 Q. In paragraph 75 you corrected something:
5 "When I arrived there," and you say you are speaking about the
6 Skorpion unit, "there were about 200 men in the Skorpions; 30 per cent
7 were experienced, 30 per cent had no experience, and 30 per cent of the
8 men came directly from the Red Berets trained in Kula and Tara, I'm
9 referring to Frenki's Red Berets."
10 And then you corrected something in that paragraph, and you said
11 when you arrived there, there were 200 men in the Skorpions; 30 per cent
12 were experienced, 30 per cent had no experience, and 30 per cent of the
13 men had been trained in Frenki's camps for the Red Berets in Kula and
14 Tara. Those men were not officially members of the Red Berets but they
15 were trained in the Red Beret camps."
16 Is that what you remembered a couple of days ago during your
17 proofing session?
18 A. No, 30 per cent of the men came from the Red Berets. And that's
19 not correct. I was told that 30 per cent of the men had been trained,
20 had completed training.
21 Q. In Kula and Tara?
22 A. Yes, and I can add to that that there was also Erdut.
23 Q. Let me ask you: You corrected this on Monday, four days ago;
24 right? And you are now claiming that 30 per cent of the Skorpions had
25 arrived from Frenki's training centres for the Red Berets and you say
1 that those centres were in Kula and Tara; do you adhere by that?
2 A. I do not adhere by that. I said what I'd heard. I myself did
3 not attend the trainings and then joined the Skorpions.
4 Q. Would you be surprised, witness, if I told you that in 1993 and
5 1994 there was no training centre either in Kula or in Tara?
6 A. I wouldn't be surprised, no. But there must have been a training
8 Q. So everything that you stated here is a matter of rumours or
9 perhaps even the influence of the film that you watched before you
10 provided a statement, and the film depicted a celebration in Kula which
11 1995 and 1996 became the base of the JSO. Can you we say that you were
12 influenced by the film?
13 A. I watched the film a very long time ago and never again.
14 Q. But you did watch the film before you provided your statement;
16 A. Yes, in Belgrade. But I really don't know at what moment was
17 that. I really can't remember.
18 Q. If I understand you correctly, sir, you heard rumours but you do
19 not adhere by your statement because you don't know whether this is
20 correct or not?
21 A. Well, I was told that 30 per cent of the men had been trained and
22 the reference was made to Frenki and that nickname circulated around the
23 front lines.
24 Q. When you were in front lines in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 did you also see Franko Simatovic also known as Frenki?
1 A. I said that I saw him on TV.
2 Q. I know that you told us that you saw him on TV, but I'm asking
3 you whether you ever saw him in person in Trnovo, in Croatia, in Bosnia,
4 anywhere else in any other operation while you were a member of the
6 A. No, I never saw him in person.
7 Q. Witness, sir, there were rumours that the Red Berets were
8 Frenki's Men; right?
9 A. Well, they were called Frenki's Men, not the Red Berets.
10 Q. Are you saying that the Red Berets are one unit and Frenki's Men
11 are a different unit; right?
12 A. Well, Frenki's Men, that's how they were called. Sometimes the
13 Red Berets, perhaps there are two units. I don't think that they are one
14 in the same but I don't know. Very often a reference was made to
15 Frenki's Men. That's what they were called.
16 Q. However, based on that you concluded that that was the unit under
17 Frenki's command. You don't have any information, any proof, any piece
18 of evidence? You don't know any other fact that would point to that;
20 A. When I first heard the nickname Frenki, I didn't know the name.
21 I didn't know who was behind that nickname. It was only later that I
22 learned that that was Mr. Simatovic.
23 Q. After you watched the movie; right?
24 A. No, no, no, before that. The war was still going on. I don't
25 know, maybe there was another Frenki just like there are several men
1 known as Legija. I don't know.
2 Q. Therefore you don't know when the nickname Frenki is mentioned,
3 you don't know who is referred to by that nickname?
4 A. I always thought that it was Mr. Simatovic, especially now that I
5 know his family name. At first I thought that the reference was made to
6 a very highly-positioned person in the state security.
7 Q. But when you heard Frenki's Men, how could you think that that
8 was Mr. Simatovic if you say that you learned only later on that that was
9 Mr. Simatovic when you saw him on TV?
10 A. Well, that's what I said. I said that it was either him or
11 somebody highly positioned in the state security, and it was later on
12 that I related the nickname to the family name Simatovic when I heard it
13 from other people.
14 Q. When you say a highly positioned person in the state security, do
15 you know as you sit today, what was Mr. Simatovic's position in the the
16 state security from the very beginning until this very day or during the
17 real relevant time, the time that we are talking about, do you know what
18 his position was in the state security?
19 A. I believe that he was an assistant to the chief. I don't know.
20 Q. Based on that, what do you base your answer on?
21 A. It's very difficult to say. After a thousand television shows
22 that spoke about all sorts of things, I believe that he was a high
23 official, possibly a chief's assistant. A chief has many assistants,
25 Q. Witness, we have another five minutes before the break, let's
1 look at something else. First of all, tell me while you were a Skorpion
2 member, your commander was Slobodan Medic, also known as Boca; right?
3 A. No, from the very beginning he was commander.
4 Q. Do you know who Boca reported to?
5 A. At times he would go to see generals of the VRS and to see the
6 man Milan Milovanovic. He would also go to the government of that
7 particular region, the SBWS, the head of government of some sort, and he
8 would go there.
9 Q. I apologise, when you say generals of the VRS, do you mean
10 General Loncar?
11 A. I think he was the most recent general. He had predecessors. I
12 don't know.
13 Q. Do you know if Boca Medic reported to anyone else?
14 A. I don't know who all the individuals were who he reported to. He
15 would go to Sid every day. I don't know why.
16 Q. Is there anything like a fact, for instance, based on which you
17 believe or think that Boca Medic reported to Franko Simatovic, Frenki?
18 A. Well, perhaps he didn't report to him personally, but if it had
19 to do with security issues, the reports may have reached that high up. I
20 don't know. At any rate, I think they should have reached that far high
21 because we are talking about armed men. If the reports didn't reach
22 those quarters, at least they should have reached Milan Milovanovic.
23 Q. Therefore, it is only an assumption of yours that unless it was
24 those men from Sid, and Sid is close to the border with Croatia, at least
25 Milovanovic would have received these reports and then if they went to
1 the DB you wouldn't know who they eventually got to; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, I'm looking
4 at the clock. We still have a minute left so I would move on. We have
5 time enough for one more question.
6 Q. Do you reliably know which were the units that were on the DB
8 A. The only legal official armed unit of the DB was the JSO as far
9 as I know. For the rest, what you just said a moment ago would apply,
10 that's to say that I don't have actual knowledge about them. What I can
11 tell you that is absolutely true is the JSO -- I mean absolutely true,
12 that's what I can tell with you absolute certainty.
13 Q. Mr. Stoparic, one more question. It seems to me that you gave an
14 example of a group of volunteers from Nis who wanted to join the
15 Skorpions. You asked Medic about it and he explained it to you the
16 following way: That he was told from the higher-ups that 60 per cent of
17 the men should come from RS and RSK, and 40 per cent from Serbia?
18 A. Yes, that was roughly it.
19 Q. And he said that this had to be the case so that they could claim
20 that those men from among them who were from Serbia were volunteers?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But just confirm if this is right because I'm reading from a
24 A. Well that's what I was told.
25 Q. You are a native of Sid, are you not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you a volunteer in the Skorpions?
3 A. Well, I joined upon an invitation from the commander.
4 Q. So was it a misrepresentative fact that you were a volunteer from
6 A. No, no, but the problem was that there were so many individuals
7 coming from Serbia to the RSK; whereas, those from the RSK were dodging
8 call-ups and fleeing to Serbia. In addition to that, Serbia was not at
9 war. Well, I don't know, that's how he put it to me.
10 Q. But you will agree with me that you, as a volunteer from Serbia,
11 joined the Skorpions as did other individuals who were from Serbia; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right. As for the ones from the the Krajina, they
14 were in fact serving their military, compulsory military term whilst they
15 were members of the Skorpions.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think
17 I've overstepped my time now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break, Mr. Bakrac, and we'll resume at
20 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let's continue. Before you joined the reservists,
25 the JSO, in August of 1995, and while you were still in the Skorpions,
1 did you have any joint actions that you undertook with the JSOs?
2 A. No.
3 Q. When I say JSOs, I mean also the Red Berets and any joint actions
4 with them?
5 A. Well, during the time I was in the Skorpions, no, I don't
7 Q. Witness, you said that the Skorpions had some sort of uniform.
8 Can you give us a description of were there two or three types of
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And where did these uniforms come from?
12 A. I don't know which factories they were delivered from.
13 Q. Let me try and refresh your memory and then you'll tell me if
14 it's correct.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D1731, 65 ter
17 Q. While we are waiting for it to appear on the screen, witness, is
18 it true that on the 7th of July, 2005, you spoke with the investigating
19 judge of the Special Council for War Crimes Stuparic here in The Hague
20 concerning the crimes committed by Skorpions?
21 A. Well, there was an investigating judge, I think so, yes.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can I have 0466-8362. That's the
24 Q. While we are waiting for this, Mr. Stoparic, let me ask you
25 this --
1 THE REGISTRAR: Can counsel please refer to e-court page number.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise, it's page 7 in B/C/S.
3 I can't find the page number in English. Yeah, the page in B/C/S is the
4 accurate one. I think it's page 8 in English. It's the page before in
5 English, so page 7 in English as well. I suppose that's why my assistant
6 didn't write it down. I apologise.
7 Q. So the investigating judge asked you about where the supplies of
8 uniform had arrived and your answer is:
9 "I know about a transfer of uniforms brought by a trader from
10 Sid. He was of course paid for his work. He would frequently be buying
11 them for the Skorpions, and this was Slobodan Medic's private connection
12 and personal acquaintance with the man. In this way both of them were
13 able to earn money."
14 Then he went on to ask you about the caps that you had,
15 et cetera. So does this refresh your memory? Is what I read out
17 A. Yes. The man mentioned here, well, it was actually his company.
18 I even remember it's name. I can give it to you, if you want. Almost
19 always he would be the one providing all the foodstuffs that we needed,
20 everything went through him. I also remember him bringing uniforms on
21 one occasion.
22 Q. So all of it was a private arrangement by Boca Medic who earned a
23 hefty sum through this?
24 A. Well, yes. I even know that after the Erdut agreement, the men
25 sued him for a commercial transaction for which he had not been paid.
1 Q. Did you go to a battle-field in Bosnia as a member of the
2 Skorpions, and if so, where and for how long?
3 A. Well, we went to the Bihac front line to the Cazina -- Cazinska
5 Q. Let's take the Bihac front line first. Do you recall when you
6 went there?
7 A. I don't remember the date.
8 Q. Do you know who ordered you to go to the Bihac front line?
9 A. As I sit here, no. I was given the order by Medic.
10 Q. Do you know who ordered Medic to go to the Bihac front line?
11 A. I suppose it was the command. I can't remember. I don't know
12 who issued the order.
13 Q. When you say the command, who do you mean?
14 A. The command of the Republika Srpska Krajina. I think that the
15 villages around Bihac also belonged to a Krajina, but not this one, but
16 the other one on the other side, and I think that both Krajinas were
17 actually one whole.
18 Q. When you say the command of Republika Srpska Krajina, you mean
19 its military command?
20 A. Well, I don't know. I can't tell you. I think they, the
22 Q. How long did you spend at the Bihac front line with the
24 A. Not much.
25 Q. What does that mean, not much? How long?
1 A. Well, one normally went on field missions for a month and I think
2 that this was under a month, I'm not sure.
3 Q. Witness, do you know at all if Mr. Frenki Simatovic had any role
4 to play or anything to do with the action in Bihac?
5 A. Well, it was around Bihac, not in Bihac proper.
6 Q. Very well, around Bihac?
7 A. I don't know if there were any special units of the MUP or the
8 Red Berets there. I can't remember.
9 Q. When I asked you a moment ago you said that you had never taken
10 part in any action with the JSOs or the Red Berets?
11 A. Well, that's true. Taking part is one thing. We could have a
12 large area. For instance, I was in Kosovo but I didn't participate in an
13 action with the Red Berets.
14 Q. But even now you don't know at all if the Red Berets had a part
15 to play in the Bihac front line or not?
16 A. Well, it's been a long time and I can't tell you one way or
17 another. I'm not sure.
18 Q. Witness, did you see Franko Simatovic in that front line?
19 A. No, I said earlier on that I had not seen Mr. Frenki Simatovic.
20 Q. Let's move on to the other operation in Bosnia which was the one
21 in Velika Kladusa. Who ordered you to go to Velika Kladusa?
22 A. As far as I remember, we were told that the action in Velika
23 Kladusa was a result of an initiative from Belgrade.
24 Q. Let us be precise here. The only thing you remember is being
25 told that this was an initiative from Belgrade, but you don't know who it
1 originated from, do you?
2 A. Now I don't know. I can't give you a name. From Belgrade.
3 Q. Very well. Tell us who told you that the initiative came from
5 A. We, the reconnaissance the platoon were lined up, and Medic would
6 always talk to us more than the other ones in the two companies because
7 we would always go out into the field; whereas, the other companies would
8 alternate. And he said that there would be other units over there
9 participating as well as units from the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
10 Republika Srpska, and we the Skorpions. We were also told that most of
11 the other special units would be involved as well. I don't recall
12 exactly, but I think it was the 5th Corps which attacked the army of
13 Fikret Abdic and that it even captured some of the territories there.
14 And we were supposed to rectify this.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stoparic, you were asked who told you that the
16 initiative came from Belgrade? You started your answer by:
17 "We, the reconnaissance platoon were lined up, and Medic would
18 always talk to us more than the others."
19 Do I understand this that Medic told you that it was a Belgrade
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, for not
22 rounding off my thought. Well, of course, yes, Medic was the one. Medic
23 told us so.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, unless you would have on your mind to
25 ask all the questions the witness already answered, I would have stopped
1 him after the first or the second line. Please proceed.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Q. Witness, how long did you stay in Velika Kladusa on the front
5 A. Not long. We were all poisoned. We contracted diptheria,
6 dysentery or something.
7 Q. Did somebody come to bring you back to Djeletovci?
8 A. It should have been Mrgud. We were waiting for a day or two
9 suffering until the men from another unit came and filled our places.
10 Q. While you were there for a month or so, did you see Franko
11 Simatovic? Did you know anything about his role in the Velika Kladusa
13 A. I didn't see Mr. Simatovic. And if you would allow me to drop
14 some names, some more prominent names, I saw Ulemek. He came to the
16 Q. When you say Ulemek, you mean Legija?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When you say Ulemek, you are talking about the year 1994, do you
19 know which unit did Ulemek belong in 1994, and again I'm talking about
21 A. I don't know much about his history. Actually, I do, because
22 it's public knowledge at the moment. I know that he was a member of
23 Arkan's Tigers and that he was also a member of --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So first he was a member of Arkan's Tigers and then --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The interpreters asked the witness to repeat
3 what he said. You started by saying:
4 "I know that he was a member of Arkan's Tigers and that he was
5 also a member of --"
6 And then could you repeat what you then said?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I know that he was a member
8 of Arkan's Tigers, as well as JSOs after that. He was even their
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you agree with me that Ulemek, Legija, was transferred to the
12 JSO after 1995?
13 A. I don't know for a fact when that happened, in what year. I'm
14 not entirely sure about that. However, I know that during his first
15 Balkan adventure, he was a member of Arkan's Tigers.
16 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you said that while you were in Velika Kladusa
17 participating in that operation until you all got ill you saw only Legija
18 of all the prominent figures. Do you know who was in command of
19 Skorpions during that operation?
20 A. I don't know. My commander was Medic and I don't know who his
21 superior was. I know that Radojica Bozovic was mentioned but I didn't
22 see him. I think he was supposed to be there as well. He may have been
23 his superior.
24 Q. So you heard stories, you heard that he was supposed to be there
25 but you don't know whether he was Medic's commander or not. You only
1 heard that a certain person, Radojica Bozovic was there?
2 A. Yes, maybe Legija was in a higher position than Medic. Maybe he
3 was a higher ranking officer. There was also the command of Abdic's army
5 Q. Did you ever hear of General Mile Novakovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Would you be surprised if I told you that General Mile Novakovic
8 was the Pauk commander and that the Chief of Staff was Cedo Bulat?
9 A. I don't know about Cedo Bulat, but I know that Mile Novakovic was
10 the commander of Pauk and he was supposed to be replaced by Manojlo
11 Manojlovic perhaps.
12 Q. And your unit as well as all the other units were all
13 subordinated to Mile Novakovic, right?
14 A. Well, if Mr. Mile Novakovic who was a general and he was a
15 commander, I suppose that all units were subordinated to him.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic. So those were the two operations in
17 Bosnia. And now I would like to draw your attention to the operation
18 around Sarajevo, rather around Trnovo. Kindly tell us about that
19 operation. Who was it who issued an order for you to march towards
21 A. As far as I can remember, Manojlovic brought Loncar's order to
22 the office at one point in time.
23 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, when you say Manojlovic, which
24 Manojlovic do you have in mind?
25 A. Srdjan Manojlovic. He was an assistant commander. He was an
1 active officer in the former JNA, or perhaps a non-commissioned officer.
2 I'm not sure. In any case, he had graduated from a military school and
3 after that he joined the Skorpions and he worked in the unit.
4 Q. When you say deputy commander, you mean the Skorpion commander
5 Boca Medic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when you say that he brought an order from Loncar, you mean
8 General Loncar who at the time was a general in the Army of the Republic
9 of Serbian Krajina?
10 A. Yes. I'm not sure whether his headquarters was Beli Manastir or
11 in Vukovar.
12 Q. Very well. Mr. Stoparic, when you arrived in the Trnovo theatre
13 of war, how long did you stay there?
14 A. Again a month. I don't know exactly to be honest.
15 Q. Mr. Stoparic, which units did you personally see, did you
16 personally encounter in that theatre of war besides the Skorpions?
17 A. When it comes to the Trnovo theatre of war, I'm going to tell you
18 what I saw when I was on the separation line, or rather on the front
19 line. On my right there was a unit from a town in Republika Srpska.
20 Q. I'll try and jog your memory. Was that unit from the Zvornik
21 Brigade or the Bratunac Brigade?
22 A. Either or, one of the two I believe so, yes. And that was on my
23 right-hand side. I don't remember who was on my left flank. I remember
24 those men whom I called the CSB Doboj unit. There were also some other
25 specials, when I say "specials" I mean people in NATO uniforms, but I
1 didn't see them on the front line actually.
2 Q. Okay. Let's summarise. You saw two units on the front line, one
3 of them was either from the Zvornik or the Bratunac Brigade and you also
4 saw the CSB Doboj?
5 A. Those were specials from Doboj whose commander was a man referred
6 to everybody by the name of Zenga.
7 Q. And that was a unit from Republika Srpska?
8 A. Yes, that was in Republika Srpska.
9 Q. For the Trial Chamber and for the benefit of everybody else we
10 have to clarify, the Zvornik or the Bratunac Brigade were also units from
11 Republika Srpska; right?
12 A. I saw a few of their members and, yes, they are from Republika
14 Q. And you also said that you had seen a few special, where did you
15 see them?
16 A. As I was passing through Trnovo I saw jeeps, jeep vehicles. And
17 on one occasion I was on foot escorting the commander and we were walking
18 to a hotel on Mount Jahorina. Actually, we were walking along is a ski
19 slope. I saw cable cars and there I saw a large group of specials and
20 Medic went there to a meeting, to attend a meeting there, and I heard
21 that Mr. Simatovic was also there.
22 Q. Who told you that? Who told you that Mr. Simatovic was there at
23 that meeting?
24 A. Medic and his other escorts. Although we were not allowed to go
25 there, only Medic went up there to that hotel.
1 Q. Did Medic tell you personally that he had seen Franko Simatovic
3 A. We took the same road back and he went back by jeep. Somebody
4 must have brought it to him, and he never told me that he had met with
5 Simatovic. He mentioned somebody by the name of Kobac.
6 Q. In other words, he didn't tell you that he was supposed to meet
7 Mr. Franko Simatovic? I'll ask you again, did you personally see Franko
8 Simatovic in Trnovo in the Sarajevo front line during the month that you
9 were there?
10 A. If Mr. Simatovic was in that hotel at the time, I was there only
11 once, and after that I was on the front line all the time and I didn't
12 see him, no.
13 Q. Since you say that Boca Medic didn't tell you that he was
14 supposed to meet Simatovic, how do you -- just bear with me for a moment,
16 Who did you hear it from about Franko Simatovic being on
17 Mount Jahorina?
18 A. I try to explain, maybe I didn't put my words properly. When we
19 were walking up that ski path Boca told us, I'm off to a meeting, Frenki
20 is there. Whether he ever met Frenki or not he didn't tell me because I
21 didn't see him on that day, and that same evening or perhaps the
22 following morning, I was sent to the front line.
23 Q. And that's the only piece of information that you had about the
24 presence of Franko Simatovic, Frenki, on Mount Jahorina?
25 A. No, no, it's not. There were other men, Zenga's men who also
1 told us that that guy Frenki was there.
2 Q. Where did they tell you that? Who told you that? Which of the
3 Zenga's men?
4 A. I can describe a situation. I can give you anecdotal evidence
5 which may not be that anecdotal for ordinary people. We went on a
6 mission to scour the forest ground and we didn't know that Zenga unit was
7 ahead of us and they managed to destroy a bunker. There were a few BiH
8 Army soldiers in that bunker and they killed them in combat. Five or six
9 minutes later, we arrived on the spot. We had heard shooting and then we
10 arrived at the bunker. Our entire reconnaissance platoon was there and
11 Medic was with us. And why I remember all of that, I remember it because
12 one of the soldiers cut off the head from the dead body and put it in his
13 rucksack, and then he told one of my soldiers --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, unless you wanted to say that he then told one
15 of your soldiers that he had seen Frenki, the question simply was: Which
16 of Zenga's men told you that Frenki was there? Could you identify him?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The guy who had cut the head off
18 told us that he was going to throw that head on to Frenki's desk.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So you say the person who told you was someone who
22 you saw when a bunker was taken and where this person said that he would
23 put the cut off head of a killed person on Frenki's desk, that's the
24 answer to the question?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the next question is why would you think
2 Frenki's desk would indicate that Frenki was there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not what I think. I'm just
4 telling you what he said. He said that the head that he had in his
5 rucksack, that he would throw it on to Frenki's desk.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that doesn't say anything about whether
7 Frenki was present there or whether he would put it on Frenki's desk in
8 Belgrade or in wherever. He didn't say that Frenki's desk at that time
9 was on Mount Jahorina, was it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm simply telling you when,
11 at what moment and under what circumstances I heard a reference to that
12 nickname Frenki. And I thought that he was somewhere around in the
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's clearly distinguish between the presence
15 of Frenki and a reference to Frenki by his nickname. I do understand
16 that, I take it then from what you earlier told us, that you believed
17 that Frenki was around because that was what Medic had told you; is that
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
23 Q. Mr. Stoparic, could you please tell me first of all do you know
24 whether that person did indeed take that head and throw it on to Frenki's
1 A. I don't know. Perhaps he did, perhaps he did not. I don't know.
2 Maybe he was just a madman. I don't know.
3 Q. Very well. Could you tell me approximately the time when he told
4 you in relation to that event involving those persons when you arrived,
5 can you remember the time?
6 A. Before that. Before that event, a day or two after we arrived in
8 Q. Very well. Mr. Stoparic, I'm going to ask you again, in Trnovo
9 and Mount Jahorina for the month that you were there, you personally did
10 not see Mr. Simatovic even for a brief moment?
11 A. Yes, I repeated it already a hundred times.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
13 P1702, paragraph 100.
14 Q. Witness, sir, I'm going to start reading very slowly while the
15 document is being brought up. While waiting for paragraph 100 to be
16 displayed, you say:
17 "When the Skorpions went to Sarajevo, we were located at Trnovo,
18 a small village under Treskavica mountain near Sarajevo. The joint
19 MUP/DB command run by Frenki was at the Jahorina hotel on Jahorina
20 mountain. I would come with Boca there and I see Rajo Bozovic, Frenki,
21 in passing, Rambo, some of Arkan's Men whom I knew, and others. I did
22 not see Legija there."
23 So what's correct? Is it true that you saw Frenki as you stated
24 in your statement, or what you have just told us for an umpteenth time
25 that you didn't see Frenki?
1 A. No, I didn't see Frenki.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stoparic, this however raises the issue where
3 you so specifically stated that you saw Rajo Bozovic, Frenki, in passing,
4 Rambo, and you mentioned some of Arkan's guys. And then you said I did
5 not see Legija there. Why did you so positively state at the time, not
6 only by saying who you saw but also who you did not see there, that you
7 had seen Frenki?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I say that I didn't see
9 Legija there it means that somebody asked me if I had seen Legija. As
10 for Frenki, I'm 100 per cent sure I didn't see him. I saw some of the
11 Arkan's Men --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I'm going to stop you here. I'm not asking you what
13 you just said, but why at the time you said not only that you did see
14 Frenki but also how you saw him, that is in passing, which now apparently
15 is not accurate, and you did not correct it when you reviewed your
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I must have overlooked it.
18 Maybe that's an error on my part, but it wasn't deliberate.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Stoparic, is the name of Vaso Mijovic familiar to you?
22 A. Yes, it is familiar. I think that the man was there as well,
23 though I can't be sure.
24 Q. Will you agree with me, since you said that you remembered that there
25 was the Zvornik or the Bratunac Brigade, if I suggested that Vaso Mijovic
1 was perhaps within the perimeter of the Zvornik or Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. The name sounds familiar. I think he was there but I can't
3 precisely tell you which unit and brigade he belonged to, where he
4 served. The name is familiar.
5 Q. Did Vaso Mijovic act as commander to you, the Skorpions?
6 A. Well, frankly, even if I had met him, I would not have known that
7 it was him. I don't know, maybe he did. Do you mean to say that he was
8 superior to Boca Medic?
9 Q. Yes. Do you know anything about it at all? If you don't, tell
10 us you don't.
11 A. Well, I don't know if he was the man, but most definitely Medic
12 was not at the top. He was not the top superior.
13 Q. Is it true that General Milosevic of the Army of Republika Srpska
14 was in command of these operations at Trnovo?
15 A. Well, I don't know. I heard his name but I am not sure.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] A moment, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Which allows me for perhaps the time for another
18 question. You earlier told us that you did not know whether this person
19 who said who I would throw a head on Frenki's desk whether he did so or
20 not. However, in your statement, and I read it to you:
21 "One of the guys in that unit through a head of a dead Muslim
22 soldier on Frenki's table at his Jahorina headquarters."
23 So you do not only state that he did but you even indicate at
24 what he location this was done. Could you explain to us why with this
25 detail you told at the time that this person did throw it on Frenki's
1 table, and whereas you now say:
2 "I don't know, perhaps he did, perhaps he did not, I don't know.
3 Maybe he was just a madman, I don't know."
4 What is the basis for what you stated as to this head of the
5 Muslim being thrown on Frenki's table?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I certainly gave the statement
7 several years back and perhaps I had a better memory, but you've reminded
8 me now that in fact it was said that the man did as much, did as he
9 promised, that he threw that severed head on the desk in the command
10 office of -- at Jahorina.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And who told you that, if you remember?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. When he said
13 that he would be doing that for the first time, it was in the presence of
14 everyone. And then probably somebody must have subsequently told us that
15 he in fact did as promised. I can't tell you that I saw him throw it on
16 the desk, but I did see the head.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And this was told to you when you were still in
18 Trnovo or in --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And the feedback you received did not come from the man who
23 promised that he would do such a thing?
24 A. No, I never saw him again.
25 Q. And in answer to my explicit question, you explicitly said that
1 he promised that he would do so, but now that this statement was read
2 back to you, you remember that you heard the feedback?
3 A. Yes, but he didn't only tell this to me. There were 40 other
4 people present.
5 Q. Mr. Stoparic, can you give us a name or two of those who were
6 present during that event, and if you want us to, we can go into private
8 A. Well, all of the scouts were presents as well as Medic in the
9 company of five or six of his men.
10 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let me stop you there. The clock is ticking and we
11 don't have much time. Can you give me names of the Skorpion members who
12 were with you and who heard this and who are still alive today?
13 A. A member of the Skorpions called Darko Miljkovic was the one who
14 opened up the rucksack. Medic saw it. I did. Milovan Stojic did.
15 Q. Who heard the individual say that he would throw the item on to
16 Frenki's desk? I'm not asking you about who saw it but who heard it?
17 Did all of them hear it?
18 A. Yes, all of the ones I mentioned.
19 Q. And did they all hear the feedback about him having done as much?
20 A. I don't know if all of them heard the information, but we were
21 altogether while discussing it and we were discussing it ironically.
22 Q. When you say ironically, you meant that in fact you were making
23 fun of it; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Stoparic, do you know an individual by the nickname of Cena,
1 the name being Goran Sehovac?
2 A. I know the family same Sehovac and I know, and I saw several
3 individuals bearing that surname. As for Cena, no, I don't know.
4 Q. You don't know Goran Sehovac, commander of the special unit of
5 the MUP from Sarajevo? You don't know him from the Trnovo front line?
6 A. No.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that there is typing noise
8 to be heard.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Before you left Trnovo and Jahorina, do you know --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. -- from the Sarajevo area?
14 A. Branislav.
15 Q. Do you recall a celebration at Jahorina?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, the interpreters did not catch the name.
17 When you asked:
18 "Before you left Trnovo and Jahorina, do you know --"
19 And what name did you then mention?
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I don't think I mentioned a name.
21 I asked about a celebration. If Mr. Stoparic remembered before leaving
22 Trnovo and the Sarajevo front line, if there was a celebration of some
23 sorts organised at Jahorina.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, Mr. Bakrac, the answer of the witness
25 was Branislav, so I don't know think that that was an answer to before
1 you left Trnovo and Jahorina was there a celebration. His answer was
2 Branislav, so I don't know what you asked him, but.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, it was an interpretation
4 error. I didn't hear him say Branislav, he said "proslava," meaning
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then this may resolve the matter. So you asked
7 about a celebration before the witness left Trnovo and Jahorina. Then
8 still from the Sarajevo area, is that before he left from the Sarajevo
9 area, to have to understand it that way, and not as a person being from
10 that area. I think I understood it.
11 Did you attend a celebration, witness?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember attending a
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And did you hear of one before you left Trnovo and the Sarajevo
16 front line?
17 A. I don't remember. I don't remember.
18 Q. Did you ever say that after the fall of Srebrenica, Zepa, and
19 Gorazde, did you ever hear of a celebration taking place?
20 A. Well, after the fall of Srebrenica, Gorazde, and Zepa, everybody
21 was celebrating in the military sense, that's to say a military victory
22 was being celebrated. Nobody was thinking about Srebrenica with a
23 different connotation.
24 Q. So in other words, there wasn't a celebration in a specific
25 place, rather there was general merriment?
1 A. Well, if there was a celebration party somewhere, then it must
2 have been attended by Medic. I celebrated it with my fellow soldiers.
3 Q. Did Medic tell you of a celebration that he was going to attend
4 at hotel Jahorina?
5 A. I don't remember that.
6 Q. Did you review your statement four days ago or not?
7 A. Well, yes.
8 Q. Well, paragraph 104 you say:
9 "News arrived about the fall of the enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa,
10 and Gorazde, and then Boca told us that the main purpose of the operation
11 was for troops to move in, and there was a celebration where there was
12 Frenki, Bozovic, and Zenga. I was not there, I was holding our lines
13 against a Muslim counter-attack."
14 So can you remember, was there a celebration or not?
15 A. Well, that the action's purpose was to draw forces away from
16 those places, well, that's what the commander told me. As for the
17 celebration, the commander did not --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Bakrac, already a page earlier, you could
19 have just asked the witness what apparently you want to know.
20 In paragraph 104 you state that there was a celebration at the
21 Jahorina hotel and that Frenki and Bozovic and Zenga were present. Now,
22 what's the basis of your knowledge where you now apparently do not have
23 any recollection to any celebration?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I can't memorise
25 such voluminous material in one day. I have this block. I have this
1 mental block and I'm not Nikola Tesla, you know. I'm just an average
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stoparic, you don't have to memorise anything.
4 What I'm asking you is you stated that there was a celebration and that
5 Frenki was present. Today you say you have no recollection of that.
6 Now, is it that you know there was no celebration?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In answer to the counsel's
8 question, I said that I didn't remember and I find it difficult to
9 remember, that's it. I know that there was general celebration of the
10 victory over the enclaves, but simply I don't know what to tell you. I
11 simply didn't remember.
12 JUDGE ORIE: So you don't remember a celebration. Is it your
13 recollection or do you not have any recollection as to the presence of
14 Frenki at such a celebration?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now that this was read out --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please, if it refreshes your recollection of what
17 you said, fine, but if you don't remember even -- I mean, I do not invite
18 you to remember things that you really do not remember. If you say this
19 refreshes my recollection and I now do remember, fine. But if you say I
20 really don't remember even while reading this, well, I understand what I
21 may have said at the time but I still do not remember, please tell us. I
22 am not inviting you to remember anything just because you think we might
23 like you to confirm what is in your statement. Do you have any
24 recollection either after your memory was refreshed?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to stick to the answer
1 that I gave to the lawyer. I remember that I celebrated together with my
2 soldiers and as for the other details, I really can't remember them as I
3 sit here today. If I said something like that seven or eight years ago,
4 maybe my memory was better at the time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: When you gave that statement, did at any moment did
6 you intentionally not tell the truth?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's nothing for me to
8 intentionally not say. I can say something that perhaps is not true, but
9 I believe it is true and the entire string of events and the entire
10 picture may prove me wrong but that was my perception of the things at
11 the time. I don't know if you appreciate what I'm saying.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Stoparic, when you returned from the Trnovo front line, you
15 went to Sid, right, and if I understood you properly a member of the
16 state security from Sid recommended you for training at the Tara camp
17 belonging to the JSO; right?
18 A. Yes, that member gave me the telephone number and told me if you
19 want to go there, go to Jahorina hotel, ask them to give you a telephone,
20 ring, somebody will come and fetch you there, and they'll take you there.
21 And that's how things transpired.
22 Q. So who did you call, Jahorina hotel at Tara?
23 A. No I apologise, Omorika hotel, I was at Omorika hotel and from
24 there, from the front desk I called that number, and then a vehicle came,
25 a Lada Niva came and a policeman in it, and they took me to Tara hotel, I
2 Q. And did you perceive that as a police training facility?
3 A. Well, the person working at the front desk of the hotel was a
4 policeman. There were very few of us there. I was there for a one day
5 or two before another group joined us and then a person came in civilian
6 clothes and a leather jacket and called my name. Before that I handed
7 over all of my documents and then he told me this, I can see that you --
8 I don't know how to explain that. I see that you are idol. While you
9 are waiting for the group to arrive, I can see that you are a lieutenant,
10 why don't you go to the field and exercise, or rather, train others? And
11 that's what happened, for two days I was in charge of the physical
12 training and then a middle-aged man came and he replaced me. There were
13 quite a few different men who didn't have a clue. They only knew how to
14 put a bullet in a rifle. They didn't know about the communications means
15 or anything.
16 Q. What was the name of that person who trained you and for how long
17 did he train you?
18 A. Well, first of all, we were waiting for a certain number of
19 people to gather and as for the name of that person, I only know that he
20 was a local. He resided not far from there. He was raised on a little
21 town not far from there. That's what I remember. He wore a uniform. He
22 was a professional.
23 Q. What kind of a uniform, a regular police blue uniform?
24 A. No, no, a NATO uniform.
25 Q. How long were you there in training?
1 A. Not long. I don't remember, maybe a week, not longer than that.
2 Q. And you don't remember the name of the person who trained you for
3 a week?
4 A. I'm trying to remember. Actually, I don't think I ever knew his
5 family name, but he did introduce himself by -- himself by his first
6 name. I only remember that he lived in a little town not far from the
7 hotel but I don't remember his name.
8 Q. Did you ever see Franko Simatovic while you were at that training
9 centre at Tara, as you call it?
10 A. No, no, no.
11 Q. Mr. Stoparic, when you left the Skorpions, that's something I
12 skipped, and I want to follow the proper chronology. On the 11th of
13 August you joined the JSO in the way that you've just described. What
14 did you do with the weapons that you had been provided with from the
15 Skorpion unit?
16 A. The Skorpion unit, I handed the weapon over. I gave it back to
17 the Skorpion base.
18 Q. The Skorpion base in Djeletovci; right?
19 A. Yes. I know that everything was loaded on to trucks and driven
20 to the Sid barracks.
21 Q. When you say the Sid barrack, you mean the military barracks, the
22 barracks belonging to the army; right?
23 A. Yes. At that time the military had already been established, the
24 border was there, and the barracks as well. And that was on the road
25 between Sid and Tovarnik. And all the lorries carrying the Skorpion
1 equipment went there and were offloaded there.
2 Q. On the 11th of August, as you say, and we'll go back to the
3 certificate confirming that, when you joined the JSO, did you sign a
4 contract with anybody in confirmation that you were joining JSO?
5 A. No, but that man, the instructor promised to those of us who were
6 good that they would have an opportunity to sign, to be properly
7 activated, but that was to happen after our first field mission but that
8 never materialised. Nobody signed any contracts.
9 Q. That means that you did not sign any contracts despite the
10 promise that had been made to you that contracts would be signed?
11 A. Well, you see, a lot of us asked whether that would happen
12 because according to my military logic, the -- that would have been the
13 top of my career. If I were to become a member of such a unit, I would
14 have quite a huge professional satisfaction because there was a lot to be
15 learned there.
16 Q. Very well. I was just interested in this. You were told that
17 you had signed contracts but no contracts were signed. It was just a
19 A. Yes, that man told us that those who were good first for a period
20 of half a year, then two or three years, I can't remember exactly for how
22 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let's look at another paragraph in the statement
23 and then we'll have a break.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] P1702 again. I believe that it is
25 still on the screen although I can't see it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, I'm looking at the clock. We are about
2 at the time that we have a break. Could I inquire as to how much time
3 you would need after the break?
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 30 to 40 minutes
6 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore if do you it in 30 minutes, then there
7 would be sufficient time for Mr. Groome to ask further questions and for
8 the Chamber as well.
9 MR. GROOME: Estimate about eight minutes at this stage, Your
11 JUDGE ORIE: Eight minutes at this stage. We have 75 minutes
12 after the break. Mr. Jordash as matters stand now, do you think that you
13 would have -- of course, you do not know what questions will be raised by
14 Mr. Groome, but let's see that you finish in 35 minutes after the break,
15 Mr. Bakrac, yes, that would be good, and I also advise you to stop the
16 witness if he is giving you a lot of answers on questions you never asked
17 him because that takes a lot of time and you can stop him and take him
18 back to the question which --
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hesitate when it
20 comes to doing that because sometimes you reprimanded me for not allowing
21 the witness to finish his answer so now I'm cautious and hesitant, but in
22 any case I'll try and see what I can do about that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It's good to be cautious and sometimes to be
24 hesitant. At the same time, it takes a lot of time to listen to answers
25 on matters that you have asked no questions about. We'll have a break
1 and we'll resume at a quarter to 6.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, until 25 minutes past. Please proceed.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could the
6 Court please produce paragraph 109.
7 Q. And while we are waiting for paragraph 109 to appear on the
8 screen, witness, we mentioned contracts, I'm going to start reading the
9 paragraph which is quite long. You say:
10 "After I left the Skorpions, I was in Sid."
11 You spoke to an inspector, you spoke about Tara Mountain and
12 where you went, and then you say as follows:
13 "We became members of the JSO. When my name was called out, it
14 appeared that they knew about my past in the DB's Skorpion unit. They
15 knew my rank and had probably done a background check. I signed a
16 six-month contract, and then after a few months I signed a three-year
17 contract with the Red Berets/JSO. In the contract the unit was called a
18 JSO, the special operations unit of the Serbian DB. And the contract
19 bore the insignia of the 4 Ss with a sword and a wolf. It also featured
20 the stamp of the JSO."
21 You had an opportunity to review this statement four days ago,
22 which is correct, did you sign the contract or did you not? In this
23 statement you even describe the contract.
24 A. I corrected this.
25 Q. Where did you correct this? We have not been notified about any
1 corrections to this effect?
2 A. I corrected this with the Prosecutor.
3 Q. When did you correct this with the Prosecutor?
4 A. I don't know, two or three days ago, I would say. Three days
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I believe he is referring to P1704, the
7 second page where it says paragraph 109. Those are the corrections he
8 made to this paragraph.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could P1704 be
10 displayed on the screen. We would like to see the correction. I may be
11 mistaken, but the way I read this, I don't see this as a correction. Can
12 the second page be displayed, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, the second page of P1704, for me it's a
14 one-page document, and it's the famous document referring to the 11th of
15 June this one page, that's P1704.
16 MR. GROOME: My record is --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please let me check that.
18 MR. GROOME: What is on the screen now, Your Honour, is what I
19 have as P1704, it's the corrections to the statement.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then I may have made a mistake in getting it.
21 Yes, I made a mistake, I apologise for that.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm looking at the
23 document again, I've seen it before, but I don't see this as a correction
24 or as a claim that he didn't sign anything. Let's clarify with the
1 Q. It says here:
2 "Everybody who successfully underwent the training had an
3 opportunity to sign a six-month contract. If they had been good in
4 training after the sixth month, they would be offered a three-year
5 contract with the Serbian MUP."
6 Mr. Stoparic, how come that in 2003 you described the contract
7 that you allegedly signed with the Serbian MUP?
8 A. That person, and I repeated that in my statement, that person
9 told us that we would have an opportunity to sign a six-month contract
10 and then a longer term contract.
11 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I'm pressed for time, in your statement of 2003 you
12 said that you did sign the contract and you even described the contract,
13 and you say the contract featured 4 Ss, a sign with a sword and a wolf,
14 as well as a JSO stamp. Why did you say that in 2003? Why did you
15 describe the contract that you allegedly signed with the JSO?
16 A. I did not sign a contract. That's why I corrected my statement,
17 and here I describe a contract that I saw somewhere.
18 Q. Where did you see the contract?
19 A. Somebody had it at Tara. I believe that that man showed the
20 contract to us.
21 Q. In other words, in 2003 you didn't remember that, and now in 2010
22 you remember that you actually did not sign the contract but that that
23 person at the Tara camp actually showed you what the contract looked
24 like, is that your testimony today?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you, witness.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce P1708.
3 Q. Mr. Stoparic, and while we are waiting for the document to be
4 displayed, let me tell you that this is a certificate which says that
5 between the 11th of August to 22nd December 1995, you were engaged by the
6 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia and that you performed
7 certain tasks and duties. I have a couple of questions with regard to
8 this document.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could Mr. Stoparic
10 have the benefit of having a closer look at the stamp. At the signature.
11 Could that be blown up for Mr. Stoparic's benefit.
12 Q. Mr. Stoparic, first of all tell me, do you know who Stojan
13 Petrovic is?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you tell us where you got this certificate?
16 A. I believe that the name of the place is either Pajdos or Pajzos
17 near Ilok.
18 Q. When did you receive this certificate?
19 A. I suppose that I received it on the 22nd of December.
20 Q. We will display the top of the page in a minute. Look at the
21 stamp, does it say "special purpose unit" rather than "special operations
23 A. It's very illegible. Actually, just the word "unit" is legible
24 and "purpose" is legible.
25 Q. You say that you were a member of the JSO, and here we see that a
1 person called Stojan Petrovic signed the certificate testifying that you
2 were a member of the special purpose unit. How can you account for that
4 A. I really don't know. I never paid any attention to that. I'm
5 looking at this stamp for the first time.
6 Q. Would it be of any assistance if I told you that the special
7 purpose unit was under the public security centre?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Mr. Stoparic --
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Or rather, can we scroll up to the
11 top of the page for the benefit of the witness.
12 Q. It seems, Mr. Stoparic, that you received this certificate on the
13 12th of December and not on the 22nd of December. You had just told us
14 that you received it on the 22nd of December?
15 A. It was not a categorical statement. I just read up to 22nd and I
16 believed fully that that was the day when the certificate was issued.
17 Q. And how do you account for the fact that it was issued earlier
18 than the 22nd. How did they know that you would stay with the unit until
19 the 22nd of December if it was only the 12th of December?
20 A. I state with full responsibility as soon as I received this
21 certificate, when I had already handed back my weapons, my uniform,
22 everything, and at that same moment I got on a bus and went to Sid.
23 Q. Excellent. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up 2D152, please.
25 I am sorry.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Can I ask one question first. Looking at this stamp
2 there are few letters which are clearly decipherable. Is there, and I
3 take it if you would look at the original, and if you would be someone
4 who would be a native speaking -- a native B/C/S speaking person, then I
5 consider it likely that finally one could agree on the text on it, but I
6 would like to know whether there's any dispute about what the stamp
8 Mr. Groome.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the official translation of this
10 document, the person has put -- the native speaker has put a question
11 mark, which usually indicates their uncertainty about the legibility of
12 it, so I wouldn't be able to agree given that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, and therefore I asked. Apparently the person
14 who translated it was hesitant to -- but therefore, of course, what you
15 would do then is perhaps not ask someone who translates primarily but who
16 would look closer to the stamp to see whether the text can be deciphered.
17 I mean, there are relatively simple methods for doing that. Often I
18 would just wonder whether there's any disagreement -- I beg your pardon,
19 Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting you,
21 Your Honour, but perhaps the witness may be of assistance. It is his
22 certificate. He can read the original and maybe he can make out what the
23 stamp says.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do not mind if we ask the witness, but to say how
25 the witness interprets it would be decisive for me would be too far a
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if the Court wishes, I could ask the
3 Netherlands forensic institute to examine the original. They may have
4 special equipment that would allow them to enhance the visibility of the
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If ordinary means would not finally resolve
7 the matter then one could consider that. I'm not immediately thinking
8 about experts, but I would first of all start with a common-sense
9 approach, that is to perhaps use a different light which very often gives
10 already a clue to where ink is found and not without even hiring an
11 expert on it. So to see whether you would agree on that, whereas at
12 least the interpreter found it clear enough to give it at least a try or
13 to -- that's at least what I understand it to be, that the interpreter
14 considered it most likely this text which is more than illegible.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the other thing that maybe Mr. Bakrac
16 and myself could work on over the break is to identify other documents
17 that have both examples of special operations unit, special purpose unit,
18 and to see whether the font is the same or to see whether that sheds
19 light on it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: For example, that's exactly the kind of common-sense
21 approach I would start with before hiring experts. Then the original,
22 you'll carefully keep it, Mr. Groome, for the time being.
23 MR. GROOME: It's in the safe, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine.
25 Mr. Bakrac.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I agree with my
2 learned friend Mr. Groome, but I then suggest that this document be
3 marked for identification. Since the stamp is in dispute, I think it
4 would be reasonable to keep it as an MFI at this stage.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's the status it has and I -- isn't it?
6 MR. GROOME: Well, Your Honour, I think I would disagree.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'll check. If it is MFI'd until now, then no one
8 has applied for changing the status. If it's not being MFI'd, then we
9 might reconsider whether, but I have to check that. I can easily do
10 that, one second. Yes, it is MFI'd, as I thought. It keeps that status
11 for the time being. Please proceed.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can we now
13 call up Exhibit 2D152.
14 Q. Witness, look at this ID and tell me if it's the sort of ID you
15 received when you were a member of the Skorpions?
16 A. Well, it opened in the opposite direction.
17 Q. Well, in addition to that, can you tell me this, I'm putting it
18 to you that this is a dark blue booklet. Was this the sort you had in
19 the Skorpions?
20 A. No, it didn't look that way.
21 Q. My second question this: When you said that a DB official from
22 Sid showed you his ID for a brief moment, is this what this DB
23 official's booklet looked like?
24 A. Well, it did have a large coat of arms, it did say official
25 identity card, so yes, that could be it.
1 Q. Did it stay state security?
2 A. I didn't have it in my hands. The man showed it to me,
3 introduced himself, and said sit down. But it did have the state coat of
4 arms, it did read official ID.
5 Q. But do you recall if it said state security at all?
6 A. Well, the man was most certainly from state security. I didn't
7 have any doubts.
8 Q. Don't think about that. I'm asking you if the ID said state
10 A. I don't remember.
11 Q. Very well. If you don't, that's how it is. Mr. Stoparic, as a
12 member of the Skorpions, you were also deployed at Kosovo in Podujevo
13 were you not in 1999?
14 A. Not just Podujevo, but, yes.
15 Q. Did Milan Milanovic, aka Mrgud, accompany you to Prolom Banja on
16 your way to Kosovo?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Did Milan Milanovic Mrgud find accommodation for you at a hotel
19 in Prolom Banja?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. If I put it to you that Milan Milanovic, aka Mrgud, accompanied
22 you from Belgrade from Makis stadium and that he did not go on from
23 there, did not accompany the Skorpions from that point onwards, what
24 would your answer be?
25 A. I wouldn't say anything. I am convinced that he did accompany us
1 from that point on.
2 Q. Very well. Mr. Stoparic, you gave two more statements.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we call up
4 Exhibit 1D1720. Can we look at paragraphs 105 through 108, please.
5 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you said earlier on in reference to some
6 discrepancy that you were not Nikola Tesla, you are just an average man
7 with no sophisticated knowledge, that you wanted to summarise things.
8 Now, what I'm going to do is I am going to read what you say from
9 paragraphs 105 to 108. You say as follows:
10 "I will briefly explain the reasons which made me take this
11 insane step. At the time there was unprecedented propaganda in our media
12 about a resurgent Ustasha ideology in Croatia. We were told that the
13 lives and personal properties of the Serbs in Croatia were threatened,
14 that one-third of the Serbs would be killed, one-third expelled, and
15 one-third converted to Catholicism. Of course, at the time I was very
16 young and I did not try to think about it but rather just believed what I
17 was told.
18 "The politicians managed in a very perfidious way to awaken
19 chauvinism and to convince us of the necessity to have all Serbs living
20 in one state. They managed to make us see the desire of some FRY
21 republics to become independent and exist outside Yugoslavia as an
22 anti-Serbian act and a possible genocide against the Serbs. In their
23 public appearances, they reminded us of Second World War events, for
24 instance, Jasenovac and other execution sites of the Serbs. At that
25 time, Slobodan Milosevic took the initiative. Later, Vojislav Seselj's
1 era came, even Vuk Draskovic's, not to mention the others. Personally, I
2 either did not want to or I did not have enough intelligence to keep away
3 from the horrible events that were to unfold. I'm a perfectly average
4 man with secondary school education; hence, I cannot reproach myself that
5 much, even now, for becoming part of Slobodan Milosevic's monstrous
6 global plan."
7 Mr. Stoparic, what I just read out, are these your own words?
8 A. I wrote it myself. The Prosecutor should have a manuscript with
9 my handwriting.
10 Q. You gave this to the Prosecutor in writing before you actually
11 had the interview, did you not?
12 A. I sat down at a desk one night and wrote it out.
13 Q. Does the Prosecutor have this? You handed it over to the
15 A. Yes, but not to this Prosecutor sitting here. To someone else.
16 Q. Very well. So, witness, you prepared this ahead of your
17 interview with the Prosecutors and brought it along?
18 A. Let me explain it this way: After what do you call it, a
19 briefing --
20 JUDGE ORIE: First, Mr. Bakrac is going to ask you a question and
21 then would you please answer the question. Otherwise the same happens as
22 we experienced before.
23 Mr. Bakrac.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Stoparic, before you signed this statement, before it was
1 made did you bring this section as an notation that you wrote beforehand?
2 A. Well, it was that evening before my meeting with the investigator
3 that I wrote it and then brought it along the following day.
4 Q. This handwritten note was not disclosed to us. I suppose
5 Mr. Groome doesn't have it or he would have disclosed it.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D1724.
7 Q. So the statement we were looking at just now was given between
8 February 2004 and November 2005, and now I'll be showing you a statement
9 which was given in 2006 on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of August in The
10 Hague. There is no need for me to read from paragraphs 4 through 7.
11 Mr. Stoparic, have a look. We can all have a look. So paragraphs 4, 5,
12 6 are identical to the other ones.
13 So did you produce that piece of paper again in 2006 or was it
14 investigators copying what you said in your earlier statement, or did you
15 simply dictate it from memory to the investigators?
16 A. I wouldn't be able to tell them this from memory. It was just
17 something I wrote one night.
18 Q. So did you write it again a year later? How is it possible for
19 these same words to find their way into a statement you gave a year
21 A. I didn't rewrite this, and what I did write in my own hand stayed
22 with the investigator.
23 Q. So the the investigator reinserted the text that you wrote a year
24 before into this new statement of yours, did he?
25 A. Well, most probably he did.
1 Q. Thank you, witness. My time is running out, I still have some
2 seven or eight minutes left. Tell me, did you in 1997 in Serbia have to
3 respond to accusations for unlawful possession of weapons?
4 A. Well, I don't know what the year, but I received a suspended
6 Q. Did you receive a suspended sentence for the fact that you were
7 unlawfully carrying weapons in the territory of the Republic of Serbia?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did there appear your commander Boca Medic, did he appear as a
10 witness in your trial?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At this trial did Boca Medic state that you were a unit from the
13 Republic of the Serbian Krajina and that you carried these weapons along
14 because you stood guard at the oil fields in Djeletovci?
15 A. I don't know if I was listening to his evidence as he gave it
16 before the Court, but I suppose so, yes.
17 Q. Is it true that he did not mention at all your membership of any
18 unit of the MUP of Serbia?
19 A. No, at this court of law he did not make mention of it.
20 Q. I'm nearing the end, I have five minutes left. Let's try and do
21 this without documents. The Prosecution disclosed us the information
22 that you were a witness for Sasa Cvjetan who was accused of the murder in
23 Podujevo and the trial took place in Belgrade?
24 A. Sasa Cvjetan, yes.
25 Q. Did you twice give a statement before the Belgrade court for war
2 A. I think it was once that I did.
3 Q. Did you in that same case before the court in Prokuplje give a
4 statement, and then subsequently you gave a statement again when the case
5 appeared before the court in Belgrade?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did it turn out that you changed your testimony and that you said
8 that at that first trial at Prokuplje you lied because you were so
9 persuaded by the defence counsel?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Kindly tell us and the Trial Chamber how did it happen that the
12 defence counsel managed to persuade you to tell lies before a court of
13 law to say something that was false?
14 A. The defence counsel approached a number of us and said that we
15 ought to help and defend Cvjetan against the charges levelled at him.
16 There were four of us who appeared in this -- at this trial, and he wrote
17 us in brief terms on a -- wrote to us on in brief terms on a piece of
18 paper what it was that we were supposed to state before the court.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] May I just consult with my client,
21 but I'm at the very end.
22 [Defence counsel and Accused Simatovic confer]
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have three more
24 minutes which I would like to use.
25 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you were shown some payment certificates for the
1 payments you received from the MUP of Serbia, as you said. Was it your
2 salary or per diems?
3 A. Well, the heading said per diems.
4 Q. I'm not asking you what it said, I am asking you how you
5 understood the payments. Were those per diems or salaries?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please explain what the factual difference
7 is, how you -- how you can see whether it's the one or the other. So ask
8 the witness whether he has any factual information about that. I mean,
9 if I get a certain amount of money, then of course you can ask yourself
10 what it is, a per diem or a salary, but how to see the difference and on
11 the basis of what to make such a determination, these are the factual
12 matters that would assist the Chamber in knowing.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Stoparic, would you kindly tell me, since you didn't sign any
15 contracts, as you have just told us, how come you received payments from
16 the JSO, based on what?
17 A. Well, I was there, I was in the area, I suppose it was in good
18 order for me to be paid.
19 Q. You mean in Tara?
20 A. At Tara we were given a small allowance, just to cover our costs.
21 Q. But when you say that you were there in the field, what do you
23 A. Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srem in the Republic of Serbian
25 Q. Witness, you told us yourself yesterday that the per diems that
1 the Prosecutor showed to you, you started receiving them on the 16th of
2 August, 1995. What kind of salaries could there have been before that
3 date, before the 16th of August, 1995?
4 A. I didn't mention any payments. I didn't mention any salaries. I
5 was in the field on the ground and every fortnight we received money.
6 Q. Who did you receive the money from?
7 A. A commander whose name was Rasko, an active member of the JSO was
8 the one who distributed money amongst us.
9 Q. When did he do that?
10 A. Well, when he received the money, he would distribute it amongst
12 Q. Before the 18th of August, were you a member of the JSO at all?
13 A. From Tara, I first went to the village of Njemci and then into a
14 forest, and throughout the entire time of my engagement I was in that
16 Q. After the Tara stint, after September you were in a forest, you
17 received -- okay. How much money did you receive? What was your salary?
18 A. A lot. I don't know.
19 Q. Is it correct that you said to the investigative judge Dilparic
20 at the hearing here, you told him that you received only two salaries
21 from the JSO; is that correct?
22 A. May I answer? I thought that I was there for two months. That's
23 why I said two salaries, and then later on here I saw the payrolls and
24 then I realised that it was every fortnight. So two salaries each
25 fortnight, two payments each fortnight is one monthly salary.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stoparic, I have no
2 further questions for you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
4 Mr. Groome.
5 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honours, I want to
6 make a note on the record that the documents which I acknowledged on
7 Tuesday the Prosecution had failed to provide in advance of this
8 witness's testimony have all been translated and provided in advance of
9 today's hearings. Some were provided yesterday. I do not recall
10 Mr. Jordash asking any questions referring to that material, so I just
11 wanted to ask him to confirm that he had received the documents and the
12 English translation of them.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, it's just about receipt Mr. Groome is
14 asking you.
15 MR. JORDASH: We are talking about the witness's testimony from
16 the previous --
17 MR. GROOME: The documents that Mr. Bakrac has just made
18 inquiries about, the previous testimony in Serbian courts.
19 MR. JORDASH: I have been provide with, I think, two documents.
20 It's the testimony in, I think, the Kosevan -- a court in Kosovo, it's
21 not, though, the totality of the witness's previous testimony that we
22 were seeking.
23 MR. GROOME: Then I'll explore with Mr. Jordash after the hearing
24 if there's additional material which he believes that we are obliged --
25 it's my understanding at this stage we've turned over all of the material
1 that we were obliged and committed ourselves to turning over. If that's
2 not the case then --
3 MR. JORDASH: No, I think it might be right. I think it might be
4 right that the Prosecution have given us what they have in their
5 possession what I'm referring to as previous testimony which isn't, it
6 seems, in the Prosecution's possession but which relates to what the
7 witness has said before in either the court in Kosovo or more likely the
8 Belgrade court in relation to the prosecution of Sasa, which we haven't
9 had sight of.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let me try to keep matters clear. I remember that
11 there was the Canadian statement or the Canadian testimony. Then we had
12 testimony in a court in Belgrade which indicated that in an earlier -- at
13 an earlier occasion the witness would not have told the truth. Now,
14 those earlier testimonies or statements, have they been disclosed where
15 apparently he would have said something not in accordance with the truth.
16 I don't remember that you said that you had it.
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I said that I would inquire
18 whether we had it, and I said that we had a large file that I didn't know
19 at the time. When we checked that large file, we found not only the
20 witness's testimony from the Belgrade case but also the previous case,
21 the trial case as it were, from, I don't recall the name but it began
22 with a P and it was in Kosovo. So three items have been disclosed.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So we have the Belgrade and the history of that.
24 Now, I am a bit confused about The Hague statement because that seems to
25 be a Serbian court where the investigating judge takes a statement in The
1 Hague. I heard Mr. Bakrac referring to The Hague. Where do I have to
2 place that? It's not Canadian, is it one of the big file or is it --
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes -- no, Your Honours, no. What
4 has been disclosed -- yes, this was disclosed by the Prosecutor on the
5 7th of July, 2003. That's when the investigating judge of the Belgrade
6 court was here in The Hague and took a statement from witness Stoparic.
7 Just give me a moment and I'll tell you the 65 ter number. I have it
8 right in front of me.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm mainly interested to establish where the
10 disclosure issues are. Apparently if that was disclosed at such an early
11 stage, there's no disclosure issue in relation to that. Then
12 Mr. Jordash, do I understand you well that you received the Canadian
13 stuff to say so, the Belgrade and history of that material, and that you
14 are not sure whether you've received everything, and that Mr. Groome says
15 that's what we have?
16 MR. JORDASH: That's the position.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's the position.
18 Is that your position as well, Mr. Groome.
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then I think we have at least clarified that.
21 Canada plus Belgrade and the history of Belgrade, previous statements,
22 firstly The Hague statement was there already and is not the subject of
23 any disclosure dispute. Please proceed.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Groome:
25 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I just have a few questions for you. One of them I
1 want to ask to you explain in a little greater detail in an answer you
2 you gave to Mr. Jordash yesterday and is found at transcript page 10461.
3 You said -- and he was asking you questions about your responsibilities
4 or the responsibilities of the Skorpions in Djeletovci.
5 "Well, you see, on one occasion Medic told me this: The border
6 belongs to the military and the oil wells to the state security because
7 the latter facility was of a strategic importance. That's what he meant
8 when he said that."
9 Can I ask you to explain the portion of that where you said that
10 the facility, the latter facility was of strategic importance. What did
11 you mean by that?
12 A. Well, this is what he said to all of us. He said that the border
13 belonged to the military. What he meant was that the Army of Republic of
14 Serbian Krajina would be responsible for the border, and within that same
15 context since we were guarding the border we would be answerable to the
16 military. And as for the oil fields, they belonged to, or rather, did
17 not belong to but that the state security was interested in the oil
18 fields because the oil fields were of a strategic interest.
19 Q. Do you know why the oil fields were of strategic interest?
20 A. Well, as far as I know, the oil fields made a profit for the
22 Q. Now, today at transcript page 9 in response to a question by
23 Mr. Jordash, you indicated that during the period of time for which
24 payment records of the state security service indicate you were paid
25 monies, you were simply a reservist. You weren't actively working. Now,
1 my earlier examination of you you mentioned a few other names that you
2 recognised on those same payment lists. Those being Goran Simovic,
3 Goran Jovic, Laza Kresovic, and Zlatoje Bozic. My question to you now is
4 do you know whether these men were also reservists during the periods
5 reflected in the payment records?
6 MR. JORDASH: Objection. At the time that my learned friend
7 asked that question of the witness and detailed these four men and had
8 the witness confirm that he knew them, the Prosecution declined to
9 continue that examination, and I wondered at the time what that was all
10 about, and I intentionally chose not to open that subject during
11 cross-examination, and I don't think counsel for Mr. Simatovic did
12 either. In light of that approach, in our submission, the Prosecution
13 ought not to now be allowed to open it at the last minute
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, please responds.
16 MR. GROOME: I'm just looking for the exact question that -- so
17 on page 9, Mr. Jordash says:
18 "And you made that supposition from August onwards that you were
19 being paid by the DB as a result of being a reservist."
20 So it's Mr. Jordash that has put to the witness that he was a
21 reservist on this list. I'm simply asking the witness whether the other
22 people he recognised on this list, whether he knows them to also be
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash.
25 MR. JORDASH: But I have no way touched the subject of what
1 status the other four had on the list. The Prosecution obviously had in
2 mind what status those four had on a list when they examined the witness
3 in -- during the direct examination, and they chose not to open it, and I
4 chose not to touch it, and asking the witness about his status is in no
5 way relevant to the other four on the list.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied.
8 Mr. Groome.
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Did you -- do you know whether the other people that you
11 recognise were reservists? Do you want me to repeat the entire question
12 or do you understand?
13 A. I understood the question. Goran Jovic, Laza Kresovic, and the
14 last one were just like me, they were reservists. Whereas Goran Simovic,
15 I'm not sure. I am not sure about him.
16 Q. Now, during your time as a reserve member, as you put it, of the
17 JSO, did you encounter any members who were considered active members?
18 A. My commander was an active officer. For awhile I was transferred
19 to the light mobile infantry and our commander there was an active member
20 of the JSO. His name was Rasko.
21 Q. Was there any difference in the way that active members were paid
22 and reserve members were paid?
23 A. I believe that active members were better paid than us, although
24 they received per diems at the same time as we did. There were some
25 dozen active members who had their little tents close to ours.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could he just
2 repeat -- could the witness repeat, I don't want to suggest. The record
3 is wrong. The witness said that he believed that active --
4 JUDGE ORIE: We are not going to tell the witness what he has
5 said. We will ask him to repeat it and to see whether you are then
6 satisfied with the way in which his words are transcribed.
7 Could you tell us -- well, I'll slowly read to you what is
8 recorded as being your answer. Please correct me if in any way that is
9 not a proper recording of what you said. Your answer is recorded as:
10 "I believe that active members were better paid than us, although
11 they received monies at the same time as we did. There were some dozen
12 active members who had their little tents close to ours."
13 That is what was recorded as your answer. Is that in any way
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All correct.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Bakrac, you have an opportunity to check
17 on the original B/C/S tape and ask for a rectification of translation
18 and/or transcript, but we can't listen back to what the witness says at
19 this very moment, but of course you have an opportunity to challenge the
20 accuracy of the transcript and the translation in this respect. You know
21 how to do it.
22 Mr. Groome.
23 MR. GROOME: Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Stoparic, did either the active members or the reserve
25 members receive a receipt or any paperwork when they received their
2 A. There were identical lists or payrolls identical to the ones that
3 you showed me. I located my name on the payroll and I signed next to the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, the Chamber considers that at this
6 moment you are really seeking the boundaries of what we allowed you to do
7 under the earlier objection of Mr. Jordash. So you could have asked the
8 witness, you have asked him many questions about payments, you could have
9 asked him on receipts at that moment if you had wished to do so. Please
11 MR. GROOME: That was the last question I intended, Your Honour.
12 Q. At transcript page 36 today, you were ask about Pauk and whether
13 you knew a person by the name of Mile Novakovic. Did you ever see an
14 order signed by Mile Novakovic?
15 A. I don't remember but I don't think so.
16 Q. Do you ever -- do you recall ever hearing Mr. Medic saying that
17 he had been given an order by Mile Novakovic?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 MR. GROOME: Nothing further, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: I have one question for you, Mr. Witness.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that I think you said on the 11th of
25 July you were not yet a member of the reserve unit but that you rather
1 were with the Skorpions. Where were you exactly on that date you
2 mentioned with the Skorpions? And I think as a matter of fact that we
3 were talking about the 11th of June. I'll read to you what your answer
4 was. It was the document where there was some dispute about whether it
5 states June or August, and you said:
6 "I wasn't on the reserve force of the MUP of Serbia on the 11th
7 of June, rather I was in the Skorpions."
8 Where were you with the Skorpions at that moment in time?
9 A. My last field mission with the Skorpions was in Trnovo, so we
10 were supposed to be there.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You've also told us that when you were with
12 the Skorpions, you also received a salary or at least money from Serbia.
13 You told us about three sources, the oil industry, directly from your
14 commander, and money from Serbia. Did you receive money from Serbia when
15 you, as you said, on the 11th of June you were in Trnovo?
16 A. Well, we all received salaries in the same way. However, while
17 on field missions we did not receive salaries. We received the monies
18 due to us when we returned to our base in Djeletovci. They would then
19 pay us all of the arrears that had accrued while we were on field
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, was there any time between the moment
22 that you left the Skorpions and when you were engaged by the reserve unit
23 where you were, so to say, unemployed by either, so you were not employed
24 by Skorpions nor by the MUP?
25 A. There was a period. I can't tell you how long the period was,
1 but I was at home for a week or perhaps two. I can't remember.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then my next question is, you joined the MUP unit,
3 as you said, in August. Could you tell us exactly when you left that
5 A. October, November. I don't know. It was already cold. I can't
6 remember. Judging by the certificate that I showed you that was here, it
7 should have been the 22nd but I don't remember the date.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember how you you received that document?
9 Did you ask for it, or?
10 A. No, I didn't ask for it. We arrived at Pajzos, there were some
11 depots there, that's where we returned our equipment, bagfuls of weapons,
12 and when that was done a bus was waiting for us to return us to Sid, and
13 since I was from Sid that was brilliant because I didn't have to go
14 anywhere else. A civilian came, a man in civilian clothes came, he
15 called our names and he issued the certificates to us.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, that certificate is dated the 12th of
17 December. Were you at any moment after the 12th of December still
18 engaged by the MUP?
19 A. Kosovo. Many years later.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Nevertheless, the document says that you were
21 engaged until the 22nd of December. How can you write down on the 12th
22 that you are engaged up to a date which has not yet passed?
23 A. I assure you that when I received the certificate, I was at home
24 that very same day. Now, why the difference, I don't know.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers. I have no further
1 questions. Have the questions of the Bench or the questions by
2 Mr. Groome triggered any need for further questions?
3 MR. JORDASH: No, thank you.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then before we'll excuse the witness, Mr. Jordash,
6 at this point in time we started the testimony of the witness with quite
7 some disclosure issues. Is there anything to be added at this moment to
8 it, or are you still considering whether or not there would ever be a
9 necessity to recall the witness?
10 MR. JORDASH: We are still considering it, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You are still considering that.
12 MR. JORDASH: It looks less likely than it did at the beginning
13 of the examination, but we haven't come to a final decision.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Same question for Mr. Bakrac?
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to see
16 it if the Prosecution has it. I trust Mr. Groome fully when he says that
17 he didn't know of this piece of paper, but nevertheless it would be good
18 if the Prosecution could look into that and try and see if they have that
19 piece of paper and based on that we would judge if there would eventually
20 be any need for it. That would be my suggestion.
21 MR. GROOME: Just to be clear on what we are speaking about, is
22 this the -- when the witness referred to a handwritten note that he
23 presented to the Prosecutor? Is that the note that we are speaking
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think we are talking about the handwritten note
1 the witness prepared the evening before he was interviewed and in which
2 he laid down what caused him to join and what his opinion was about the
3 political developments also referring to Mr. Milosevic.
4 MR. GROOME: I will investigate that matter, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You will investigate that.
6 Mr. Jordash, when could we hear whether what now is said to be
7 less likely, when will you have made up your mind? Because I'm going to
8 instruct the witness not to speak with anyone about his testimony, but of
9 course, we wouldn't impose silence upon him forever.
10 MR. JORDASH: One month. Would that be acceptable to the Court?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, may I take it that within this one month, you,
12 Mr. Groome, would also have been able to see whether there's any such
13 handwritten note?
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stoparic, this concludes your testimony in this
18 court. I would like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and
19 for having answered all the questions that were put to you by the parties
20 and by the Bench. And I would like to instruct you that you still should
21 not speak about your testimony with anyone, whether parties or friends or
22 family. Not to speak and also not to communicate in any other way
23 because there is a chance, although perhaps a small chance, that when the
24 parties have further studied some materials that you would be recalled.
25 Therefore, you are not yet finally excused as a witness. Nevertheless,
1 the Chamber hopes that within approximately a month from now, we can send
2 you a message whether my instruction still stands or whether you are
3 finally excused as a witness, which means that you are free to talk and
4 communicate with whomever you want, of course, within the limits of the
5 Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
6 Is this clear to you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to invite you to follow the Usher and
9 I wish you a safe return home again.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, there's one thing that comes to my mind
13 and that is that I think I invited you the day before yesterday to make
14 submissions on a postponement in writing. We have not received anything
15 yet, I don't know whether -- when we'll receive that?
16 MR. JORDASH: It's almost complete.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's almost complete.
18 MR. JORDASH: It can be filed early tomorrow morning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Early tomorrow morning.
20 Mr. Groome, it seems to me that this is not a matter which should
21 remain undecided, in whatever way we'll decide the matter, too long.
22 Therefore I'm asking you how much time you will need to respond even
23 though I am I aware that you have not yet seen the application, but you
24 know more or less what Mr. Jordash wants to raise because he started
25 already to explain why he wanted a postponement of the proceedings after
1 the recess.
2 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that for next Wednesday? I'm already
3 losing staff to the holiday break, if -- I'm not sure who is here to look
4 at it. I would ask Mr. Jordash to please send courtesy copies so we can
5 get working on it as soon as possible, but there are a number of other
6 projects that I have the limited staff I have working on which are
7 equally important.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And when do you think we could receive courtesy
9 copies of your response?
10 MR. GROOME: I'm saying Wednesday, is that acceptable for the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's for the courtesy. Yes. Of course, the
13 Judges, if we would have an opportunity to even look at what both parties
14 have submitted before Christmas, that would be preferable because next
15 week Friday and the week after that on Monday are UN holidays, and
16 therefore we might be -- not be able to communicate as we usually do.
17 Therefore, if there would be by any chance if it would be possible for
18 you to already finish it by Tuesday, close of business, that would be
19 highly appreciated.
20 MR. GROOME: And we'll make every attempt to do that, Your
22 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any other matters at this moment to be
24 MR. JORDASH: There's one last issue from the Stanisic Defence.
25 Your Honour set a dead-line today for the Defence to inform the Chamber
1 concerning JF-004 and whether we might want to cross-examine him further.
2 This, I'm pausing just in case I say anything that I ought not to in
3 public, but it's concerning the intercepts and we were instructed or we
4 indicated we wanted to speak to a expert.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. JORDASH: We haven't managed to find one as yet and the
7 situation is that we are still looking and expect the search to take a
8 while longer. And we would ask the Trial Chamber to keep open the
9 cross-examination of this witness a while longer also.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, in view of the explanation given by
11 Mr. Jordash?
12 MR. GROOME: I have no objection. I have no objection to
13 whatever time is needed, I just wonder, some of these dead-lines that
14 Mr. Jordash is requesting seem that they are pushing very close to the
15 time that I anticipate that I will be resting the Prosecution case and
16 that would be an impediment to my being able to do that, if there were
17 still witnesses outstanding to be able to be cross-examined.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If we first allow you to -- if we would change the
19 dead-line to the 15th of January to start with but then really expect an
21 MR. JORDASH: I cannot see how the situation would be any
22 different given the Christmas break. I can inform the Chamber what we
23 are doing. We initially were looking at an expert within Serbia. That's
24 not proven possible, and we are now looking internationally to see if we
25 can find and expert and that brings with it obvious problems, and we are
1 doing what we can.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, the 15th of January is set as date in
4 which you either have met the matter covered by the dead-line as we had
5 it or to further explain why you need more time.
6 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And then of course we are asking for detailed
9 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
11 MR. GROOME: On a somewhat related matter, there's a witness,
12 JF -- I believe it's 59, I'm just trying to call up my records here, but
13 it's the witness that the Simatovic Defence had said that they were
14 unable to cross-examine. We will be scheduling these people in during
15 the break. I don't know if there's -- there's no pending application
16 that I am aware of. If Mr. Bakrac knows that there will be none, that
17 would assist the Prosecution in making its final arrangements.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's precisely what
20 I wanted to request. As soon as we break for today, I will go through
21 this witness's statement and everything else that we couldn't do, and if
22 I could have the 10th of January as a dead-line for my response to the
23 Prosecution, if there's any need to call him and to provide a reasoning
24 or an explanation.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, 10th of January is an offer.
1 MR. GROOME: I'll leave it to the Chamber on that. I just want
2 to correct the record, it's JF-052.
3 JUDGE ORIE: But do you oppose against the 10th of January.
4 MR. GROOME: He is -- the witness we now have scheduled to -- is
5 19th of January, so it's not an awful lot of time for a response and
6 decision by the Court and to set up a video conference.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so if we would make it --
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll do my best. I'll
9 try and do it as soon as possible.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, we'll go just in between the two
12 Christmases. Still this year you are supposed to respond, then you are
13 still heading for Christmas, Mr. Groome has had his Christmas already, I
14 take it, and then can further prepare. This brings me to my --
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- to the final thing I'd like to say is that we'll
17 adjourn. As scheduled at this moment, we'll resume on the 10th of
18 January but, of course, all dependant on a decision on a motion which we
19 have not yet received. Whatever we will do in January, I first of all
20 want to wish -- give my best wishes for everyone for the Christmas Day,
21 for the new year. Although I am aware that not everyone in this
22 courtroom is -- will be able to be at home at his Christmas, I
23 nevertheless hope that Christmas and the new year will bring everyone
24 what he expects from it. We stand adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
2 January 10th, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.