1 Monday, 14 May 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
9 This is case number IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 I was informed that the Stanisic Defence wished to raise a
13 preliminary matter.
14 Mr. Jordash.
15 MR. JORDASH: Yes. May we go into private session, please.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 19320 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Plahuta. Please be seated.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Thank
17 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to remind you that you're still bound
18 by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your
20 WITNESS: DEJAN PLAHUTA: [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpretation]
22 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Bakrac will now continue his examination.
23 Mr. Bakrac.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Good day to everyone in the
1 Good day, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
2 Examination by Mr. Bakrac: [Continued]
3 Q. Good day, Mr. Plahuta.
4 A. Good day.
5 Q. Mr. Plahuta, last week when we adjourned, do you remember that we
6 had a look prior to adjourning at three documents that related to certain
7 events, -- or, rather, to the action taken by the Drina Corps and the
8 Uzice Corps following the attack launched on Skelani and Bajina Basta.
9 Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes, I do remember that.
11 Q. At the watch-tower at the Perucac dam did you have a map of the
13 A. Yes, we had a map. It was necessary in order to see the border
15 Q. And on that map -- or, rather, was that map used by your superior
16 to follow the troops' movements, and did you know about where the line
17 was supposed to be, the line where the Uzice and Drina Corps were to link
19 A. Well, yes, of course.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now please
21 have a look at Exhibit 2D1688.
22 Q. Mr. Plahuta --
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Let's enlarge the map, first of all,
24 if possible.
25 Q. Mr. Plahuta, here we can see Bajina Basta. And opposite
1 Bajina Basta, Skelani. I don't want to call up the documents we've
2 already had a look at again, but can you see the village of Sase?
3 A. Yes, I can.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please give the
5 witness a marker so that the witness can mark the location of the Sase
7 Q. Could you mark that location with number 1.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. I don't want to go back to the documents, but we also mentioned
10 the Zeleni Jadar location. Can you see it on the map?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Could you encircle it and mark it with number 2.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Can you remember where that line was supposed to be, the line
15 where the Uzice Corps fought against Naser Oric's forces, and they were
16 fighting from the east against his forces, and they were to link up with
17 the Drina Corps?
18 A. Well, this is the line between the village of Sase, and you
19 bypass Srebrenica and then you link up with Zepa and Luke. That area had
20 to be cut off because it's more elevated that Bajina Basta, and it was,
21 as a result, possible to shell the town on a continual basis, so the line
22 would like this, more or less.
23 Q. To the best of your knowledge, could you tell us something about
24 the forces -- or, rather, the composition, the ethnic composition of the
25 village to the east of this line? Not the forces.
1 A. Well, as far as I know, about 90 per cent of the population of
2 the villages was of Serbian ethnicity.
3 Q. In the documents we've had a look at, the place called
4 Osmace "jezero," Osmace lake, is mentioned. Could you mark that location
5 with number 3, Osmace with number 3, and then could you mark the location
6 of the lake, to the best of your knowledge.
7 A. Well, the lake is more or less here in the vicinity of Osmace.
8 That's where this plateau should be in the mountain. It's not very
9 visible, but it would be here, roughly speaking.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this map that
12 has now been marked by the witness please be admitted into evidence.
13 And, Your Honour, I also had three documents that I dealt with on
14 Friday, and I would also like to tender them now. I could inform the
15 Registrar of the numbers of these documents so that they can be admitted
16 into evidence.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
18 And Madam Registrar is invited to immediately assign a number to
19 them, and we'll then hear from the Defence whether they'll -- from the
20 Prosecution and the Stanisic Defence whether there are any objections.
21 I think first Mr. Bakrac is -- we first take the map which was
22 marked by the witness.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Map 2D1688, as marked by the witness, will
24 receive number D854, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Next one, Mr. Bakrac.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] The next document, Your Honour, is
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document will receive number D855, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Next one, Mr. Bakrac.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Then 2D1670 --
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... will receive
7 number D856, Your Honours.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And 2D1671, Your Honour.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... will receive
10 number D857, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, since the previous translation
12 continued, I -- the numbers for 2D1670 is not yet on the transcript. Is
13 that D856?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I will try to repeat numbers to have
15 it clear on the record.
16 So 2D1667 will receive number D855. The next one was 2D1670 and
17 will receive number D856, Your Honours. And the last one, 2D1671, will
18 receive number D857, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
20 MS. HARBOUR: We have no objection to the map being admitted into
22 With respect to the three documents other than the map, these are
23 part of a Drina Corps collection. These documents were provided to the
24 Prosecution by the Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior on
25 December 2004, and we note that they were not on the Simatovic Defence's
1 65 ter list; however, they all relate to topics covered in the military
2 expert report, which the Simatovic Defence has since withdrawn, and we've
3 thus been able to review the Defence position on relevant issues, so we
4 do not consider the lack of notice to have caused us any prejudice.
5 Therefore, we don't object to the Simatovic Defence adding them
6 to the 65 ter list, using them, or tendering them with this witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, I take it that you'll request the first
8 three documents to be added to your 65 ter list?
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. You're quite
10 right. And I'd like to thank the Prosecution for not objecting.
11 Yes, they were disclosed to the previous Defence, but that was
12 done recently. I would like to request that these documents be added to
13 our 65 ter list.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted to add the documents which were
15 provisionally assigned numbers D854, 855, and 856, to add it to the
16 Simatovic Defence 65 ter list.
17 D854 up to and including D857 are admitted into evidence.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Plahuta, since you are part of the Uzice Corps, a member of
21 the Uzice Corps, did you have any knowledge about any victims in the area
22 that you have just marked? And was the area cleaned up?
23 A. Well, I know that there were victims and that hygiene and
24 sanitation measures were taken in the area, and these measures were taken
25 by the Republika Srpska Drina Corps because this is common military
1 practice. If a certain action is being carried out in a certain stretch
2 of the territory, it is for them to take sanitation and hygiene measures.
3 And the victims, as far as I know, were from Naser Oric's forces. They
4 were Serbians --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to repeat the last
6 part of his answer.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part of your
9 You said that victims were, as far as you knew, from Naser Oric's
10 forces. And then you continued. You said they were -- I think you
11 started with, "They were Serbians ..."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise if I misspoke. The
13 victims that remained on the battle-field were victims who were killed by
14 Naser Oric's forces. What I wanted to say is that the dead were Serbs,
15 and these were the dead who remained as a result of the action taken by
16 his forces.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Plahuta, let's have a look at 2D1680.
20 While waiting for that to come up, Mr. Plahuta, this is a
21 document that we received from the Prosecution when they disclosed these
22 documents to us. I think it is a communiqué from the commander of the
23 Uzice Corps. It's addressed to the Drina Corps. And it was sent by
24 Major Dragoljub Ojdanic, the commander of the Uzice Corps. And here it
25 says that the Uzice Corps will continue with its offensive up until the
1 31st of January, and up to 1200 hours nineteen -- in the year 1993 at the
3 And under item 3, it says that Dragoljub Ojdanic says that it's
4 necessary to have teams for clearing up the battle-field, because in that
5 area there are many bodies. And it is necessary to include journalists
6 in the teams for clearing the battle-field as well as cameramen in order
7 to gather evidence that is necessary for propaganda purposes and in order
8 to document the crimes comitted against the Serbian people.
9 Does this document in fact support what you were saying? Do you
10 have any knowledge according to which this request was made of the
11 Drina Corps by Dragoljub Ojdanic and did the Drina Corps record what he
13 A. Well, yes, that is what I was saying. That is correct. I'm not
14 sure whether those teams went into the field and recorded everything, but
15 what is stated here is correct.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could 2D16 please --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but why not first get answers to your
19 Do you have any knowledge about this request? That was one of
20 the questions asked. You knew of this request?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The command at the
22 watch-tower informed us of the situation in the field in this manner, in
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you had not seen this document, or did you
25 see this document ever before?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I haven't understood
2 you correctly. Could you please repeat your question?
3 JUDGE ORIE: The document which is on the screen, have you seen
4 this before this moment?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I haven't. I don't think I've
6 ever seen this document before.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you know anything about
8 Major-General Ojdanic issue this request?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not sure whether the general
10 personally issued that request, but I do know that when the commander at
11 the watch-tower would brief us, would provide us with information, he'd
12 provide us with information of a general kind. He wouldn't say
13 General Ojdanic did such and such a thing, he would say the staff or the
14 command has issued an order requesting that certain things be done.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 You want to tender it into evidence, Mr. Bakrac.
17 Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1680 will receive number D858,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
21 MS. HARBOUR: This is from the same Drina Corps collection of
22 documents referenced earlier, also not on the 65 ter list. But, again,
23 for the same reasons I stated earlier, we would have no objection to
24 adding it to the 65 ter list or its admission.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, same procedure as the previous ones?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. Could
2 this please be added.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I tried to cut it short by saying same procedure.
4 Leave is granted to add it to the Simatovic 65 ter list, and D858
5 is admitted into evidence.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Plahuta, last week when we discussed this action that
9 followed the attack on Skelani you said that members of the Uzice Corps,
10 members of the 63rd Parachute Unit, and of the 72nd Special Brigade, and
11 of the Guards Brigade participated in that action; isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Can you tell me, if you know, whether any of the units in
14 question sustained losses in the operation?
15 A. Yes. In the course of the operation, during the briefing, we
16 were told that the 63rd Air-borne Unit and the units of the Special Corps
17 had sustained losses.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please look
19 at 2D1639 under seal. I would kindly ask that it not be broadcast
21 MS. HARBOUR: Can I ask that we move into private session to
22 discuss this document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: In private session. Not only the document to be
24 treated as a confidential document but also go into private session.
25 We move into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 19332-19333 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Could we have a look at 2D1638 next.
8 Q. Mr. Plahuta, in this document, the command of the Zvornik Light
9 Infantry Brigade in August 1993 requested assistance in the issuance of
10 Red Berets to the 72nd Command of the Special Brigade of the corps of the
11 special forces of the Yugoslav Army. Reference is made to the formation
12 of the Drina detachment of special forces --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: To the Podrinje
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. -- and some red berets are requested. Do you have any knowledge
17 of this Podrinje red beret detachment having been formed?
18 A. Yes. I don't know what its name was, but I know there was a red
19 beret detachment that was formed on the other side of the Drina, in
20 Republika Srpska.
21 Q. Mr. Plahuta, in addition to the 72nd Special Brigade, what kind
22 of berets were worn by members of the Guards Brigade and the
23 63rd Parachute Brigade?
24 A. They had red berets. It was a sign of recognition.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would also like to
1 suggest that this document be added onto our 65 ter list and that it be
2 made an exhibit.
3 MS. HARBOUR: And this is from the same collection and our
4 position is the same. We have no objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And also not yet on the 65 ter list, if I
6 understand ... yes, I see that.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1638 will receive number D860,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted to add the document to the
12 Simatovic 65 ter list, and D860 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Plahuta --
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Plahuta, was Bratunac also close to Bajina Basta? Is it just
17 on the other side of the Drina river?
18 A. Yes. It is some 50 or 60 kilometres downstream from
19 Bajina Basta.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at
21 Exhibit 2D1526. It is an order of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
22 Brigade command, signed by Commander Lieutenant-Colonel
23 Slavko Ognjenovic.
24 Q. The document refers to an order of the Drina Corps command of the
25 26th of October, 1994, concerning the engagement of the
1 Red Berets Platoon within the MAC-3 operation. It is ordered that the
2 commander of the Red Berets Platoon, Bosko Neskovic, prepare the unit to
3 be introduced into combat in accordance with the previous idea of the
4 MAC-3 operation commander.
5 Mr. Plahuta, on the 27th of October you joined the JATD. My
6 question is this: Do you know Bosko Neskovic, and was he ever a member
7 of the JATD unit of the Serbian MUP?
8 A. No, I don't know this name. I don't think he ever was a member.
9 Q. In other words, you have never met him.
10 A. No. I have neither met him nor heard of him.
11 Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would also kindly
13 ask that this document be added onto our 65 ter list and be admitted.
14 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, we have no objection on the basis of
15 authenticity. This document was seized during a mission in Banja Luka.
16 However, the witness hasn't added anything relevant to the document, and
17 in fact, we see from the date that it was well after the time that he was
18 positioned in this area of the Uzice Corps.
19 The Defence could have simply asked him about his knowledge of
20 this person mentioned in the document if that was what they wanted to
21 elicit from the witness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, any response?
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this time in
24 question, according to our information, the witness went from
25 Bajina Basta to Belgrade. My question was whether he had heard of the
1 Red Beret Platoon and whether he knew that Bosko Neskovic ever belonged
2 to the JATD.
3 I think the Prosecution announced that they would have some
4 documents concerning the person in question that they intend to use
5 during their cross-examination.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But the witness apparently doesn't know this person
7 mentioned here. What, then, is the probative value of this document?
8 The witness --
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
10 JUDGE ORIE: You could put whatever document to a witness and
11 say, Do you know the person which is mentioned in this document? And the
12 witness says, No. And then you admit that document into evidence.
13 That's, of course, a bit of a strange way of operating.
14 Best to do is first to ask whether the name is familiar to a
15 witness, and if he says yes, then to put a document in front of him.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was our idea in this
17 case -- well, in this case a reconnaissance detachment of the
18 Bratunac Brigade had links established with the Serbian MUP apparently,
19 as alleged here. There is evidence in documents showing that in the area
20 of Bosnia and Republika Srpska there was -- there were a number of
21 Red Beret units that had nothing to do with the MUP of the Republic of
22 Serbia and its state security sector.
23 We wanted to ask this witness, who was a member of the JATD as of
24 October 1994, whether he had ever heard of the person in question who was
25 supposed to be in command of a red beret platoon in the Bratunac area.
1 We wanted to have this document admitted as showing that there were a
2 number of Red Beret units both in Republika Srpska and Croatia which had
3 nothing to do whatsoever with the JATD of the Republic of Serbia.
4 JUDGE ORIE: But that's not what you asked the witness.
5 That's -- but, apparently, there's no objection, or is there an
6 objection, Ms. Harbour?
7 MS. HARBOUR: We don't object -- we don't dispute the relevance
8 of this document to contentious issues in the case; thus we don't object
9 if the Simatovic Defence would like to tender it from the bar table.
10 However, we would request that if these are the issues that it seeks to
11 elicit from the witness, that it proceed as Your Honours have suggested,
12 asking the witness first before putting documents.
13 And in addition, this last discussion that the Simatovic Defence
14 has put on the record regarding the relevance of the document, if these
15 are issues that it wishes to elicit from the witness, we would ask that
16 other such discussions be made outside of the hearing of the witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you're right. Perhaps why I didn't seek
18 exactly that explanation from Mr. Bakrac, but he gave them.
19 Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1526 will receive number D861,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: D861, leave is granted to add it to the 65 ter list,
23 and the document is admitted into evidence.
24 Mr. Bakrac, I have one question to you in relation to the
25 previous document, D860. The English translation seems to be of a rather
1 poor linguistic quality. Who translated the document? If, for example,
2 I read that the Zvornik Brigade has formed a maneuver unit, and then it
3 "preformed combat activities in last period of war." I take it that it
4 must be "performed in the last period of the war," but who prepared this
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm checking this with
7 my colleague. I think the translation was uploaded into the e-court
8 system, but, with your leave, if you could allow us some time to
9 investigate the matter, we'll inform you after the break.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have some concerns about the quality. And
11 perhaps the other parties will have a look at it as well, especially
12 those who are native English-speaking persons, because it might be my
13 insufficient knowledge of the English language which caused me to have
14 some doubts.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Plahuta, before these events in January 1993 in Skelani and
18 Bajina Basta, did you know about Franko Simatovic? Had you heard of him?
19 A. No, never.
20 Q. Did you at any point in time see him in Bajina Basta, and if so,
22 A. I saw him, well, I think it was in March 1993, in Bajina Basta in
23 a hotel. Or, rather, it was in front of the hotel. On the terrace of
24 the Drina hotel.
25 Q. Did you meet him on that occasion? Did you try to find out who
1 he was?
2 A. No, I didn't meet him on that occasion. But I did ask about who
3 he was, because there were a few of us who were sitting there, and I
4 asked someone, Who is the man in uniform sitting on the other side? And
5 then one of my former colleagues from the watch-tower -- or perhaps he
6 was at the watch-tower at the time, but, in any case, he said that it was
7 Franko Simatovic, an operations officer in the State Security Service.
8 And he said that he had come there in order to set up an electronic
9 surveillance system. Something like that.
10 Q. How many times did you see him in Bajina Basta during that period
11 of time?
12 A. During that period of time? Well, I only saw him on that
14 Q. As a result of the attack on Skelani and Bajina Basta, was any
15 specific action taken? For example, by the MUP of Republika Srpska. And
16 if so, by whom was such action taken?
17 A. As I said, security was stepped up along the border, and I also
18 know that a staff, a MUP staff, was set up in the police station in
19 Bajina Basta. And I know that a training camp was set up for the police
20 units. It was a training camp at Tara.
21 Q. Do you know who was in charge of the MUP staff in Bajina Basta?
22 A. It was Obrad Stevanovic.
23 Q. Do you know which units were under his command?
24 A. As I have already said, it was a MUP staff, and he exercised
25 command over all the MUP forces at the time.
1 Q. Do you know whether during that period of time he held the
2 position of the commander of some MUP unit in Republika Srpska -- in the
3 Republic of Serbia?
4 A. He was the commander of the special police units, the PJM.
5 Q. You say that apart from the staff in Bajina Basta there was a
6 camp at the Tara that was established. Do you know who set the camp up?
7 A. Well, the camp was set up by Stojkovic, also known as Badza. He
8 set the camp up, that training camp for the special police units, the
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now see
11 2D311. It's a photograph which is on our 65 ter list.
12 While waiting from the photograph to appear on the screen,
13 Your Honours, I would like to say that it's relevant in relation to the
14 descriptions provided by various Prosecution witnesses, the description
15 they provided of Mr. Simatovic.
16 Q. Mr. Plahuta, could you first tell me whether you can tell where
17 this photograph was taken. Can you identify the location?
18 A. Yes, I can. In the background you can see the Drina hotel in
19 Bajina Basta, because it's the only such building in Bajina Basta. It's
20 recognisable. It has lamps of this kind in front of the hotel and trees
21 of this kind as well, so this was a photograph that was taken in front of
22 the hotel in Bajina Basta.
23 Q. Mr. Plahuta, you said that the hotel is quite specific or
24 recognisable, but you can only see part of the building here.
25 A. Yes, part of the building can be seen. But the whole is what has
1 to be taken into consideration. These lamps surround the hotel. You
2 also have them at the square in Bajina Basta. So these lamps and these
3 trees can definitely be found in front of the hotel in Bajina Basta.
4 Q. Is this what Franko Simatovic looked like when you saw him, as
5 you say, in March 1993 in Bajina Basta?
6 A. Yes, this is what he looked like. It's a photograph that was
7 quite possibly taken at that time.
8 Q. And at the time did he wear glasses and did he have long hair?
9 A. No, I didn't notice that he wore glasses. But as for his hair,
10 yes, he had such hair. Yes, he had long hair.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could 2D311 please be admitted into
14 MS. HARBOUR: No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D311 will receive number D862,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Plahuta, last week you told us that in April 1993 your
21 contract with the army expired. What did you do after that, and when did
22 you attempt to find a new job within the MUP?
23 A. Well, once my contract with the army had expired, I worked in
24 various private companies, wherever it was possible to earn a little
25 money. And later, I heard that there was a competition. I heard this
1 from colleagues. Bajina Basta is a small town. I heard from someone,
2 from a friend perhaps, that there was a competition, and then I and my
3 later brother went to the police station to register for that competition
4 for the Tara site.
5 Q. You said that you and your late brother registered in the police
6 station in order to undergo some kind of training at Tara. Did you know
7 what sort of unit you were registering for at the time?
8 A. No, we didn't know anything about that. All we knew was that it
9 concerned a training centre for the police. As for the unit concerned,
10 we didn't receive any such information in the police station.
11 Q. When you and your late brother registered for that competition,
12 what happened after that? Could you briefly tell us.
13 A. Well, when we registered, they said, Come back in a few days time
14 and we'll tell you about the results. We returned a few days later.
15 They said someone will come to fetch you. You've been accepted in the
16 MUP, someone will come to fetch you, and you will be taken away for
17 training, and then we'll see.
18 Q. Could you first tell us when this occurred, in which month and
19 which year?
20 A. It was in the month of October 1994.
21 Q. And did you go to Mount Tara for this training?
22 A. Yes, we did. In fact, a member of the police force from Tara
23 came to fetch us in a Lada Niva car, and he took four of us to Tara.
24 Q. Which building did he take you to?
25 A. He took us to the so-called Sljivovica hotel on Mount Tara.
1 Q. Who received you there, and how many people or how many men were
2 there involved in the training?
3 A. Sale received us at Tara. That's how he introduced himself. He
4 didn't tell us his first and last name. He just said he was Sale, a
5 former member of the military. He said that we had arrived at the
6 training centre where training was provided for the MUP, and he said that
7 our training would start on Mount Tara. And he said that later we would
8 see where we would be sent.
9 And there weren't many of us on Mount Tara. There weren't many
10 men. There were about 20 of us, and that included the logistics at the
12 Q. When you say about 20 with the logistics, there were 20 of you
13 who were attending the course and in addition there was the logistics, or
14 does this include the logistics?
15 A. It includes the logistics.
16 Q. So how many of you were involved in the training? How many of
17 you underwent the training?
18 A. Well, there were the four of us, and with him, that made a total
19 of five.
20 Q. Be so kind as to tell us how long this training lasted, and what
21 did it consist of?
22 A. Well, we only did physical exercises on the mountain. We were
23 taught about infantry weapons, and we had to go running, do push-ups,
24 various kinds of physical exercises, and so on and so forth. This lasted
25 for about two weeks.
1 Q. And where did you go then?
2 A. After that, we were told we would be going to the centre in
3 Lipovica. We were also told that it would be a -- that it was a
4 MUP centre, and it's not far from Belgrade.
5 Q. When you arrived in Lipovica, who received you there? And on
6 that occasion did you learn anything about the unit concerned?
7 A. We were received by the commander of the base there,
8 Dragoslav Krsmanovic, and he told us that we had arrived at the
9 anti-terrorist unit.
10 Q. When you say "we," a minute ago you mentioned the four of you who
11 were in Tara, did you go to -- did all four of you go to Lipovica, and
12 was your brother one of the four men?
13 A. Yes. There were the four of us, and naturally my brother was
14 with us, so there were four of us in total, and Sale who had received us
15 on Tara was the fifth person.
16 Q. Could you tell us how much time you spent in Lipovica, and was
17 there any kind of training provided there as well?
18 A. Well, the base at Lipovica isn't very big and it is therefore not
19 possible to undergo any kind of serious training. But we also did
20 physical exercises there. We were also taught about various kinds of
21 weapons. We were taught about how to read maps. And that would be it,
22 more or less. We were taught about explosives. So it was a kind of a
23 military training, but it wasn't that intensive. We also performed
24 various logistics tasks. We were still being tested, so to speak. A
25 trial period.
1 Q. How many members of the unit were undergoing this training in
2 Lipovica while you were there?
3 A. Well, there were the four of us who were there all the time, but
4 the number of members who were there varied. There were men who had
5 arrived before us, and sometimes men would go home, on leave, they would
6 go to work. So there were up to about 20 men undergoing the training
8 Q. Was there a logistics department at Lipovica, and if so, what did
9 it comprise? Who represented them?
10 A. Yes, there was a logistics department at Lipovica. There were
11 quartermasters, caretakers, mechanics, technical personnel, cooks,
12 maintenance workers, et cetera.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm looking at the
15 clock. Is this a good time?
16 JUDGE ORIE: It is, Mr. Bakrac.
17 We'll take a break, and we will resume at 4.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: My apologies for the delay.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Before the break, I promised to provide an answer concerning
24 document D860. It was translated by our Defence team, and we sent it to
25 CLSS now for translation.
1 Obviously, our English was insufficient to engage in such kind of
2 translation, and we will do our utmost to correct the mistakes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The leaving out of all the articles in English gave
4 me already the impression that it might be a translator who came from the
5 former Yugoslavia, but there are other -- "performed" and "preformed" is
6 not the same, for example.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
8 No, I have one other question for -- I think for D861. I think
9 in the beginning of that document reference is made to some previous
10 decisions on that operation. Is there any way that you could provide
11 those documents to the Chamber as well? You mean, would I -- you see
12 what I mean?
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I do. I believe
14 I understand what you are aiming at. We will try to gather all documents
15 that we have and the disclosed material and forward it to you concerning
16 the operation mentioned in the introduction.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I wasn't asking for all documents. I was
18 asking for the two specifically referred to in that heading or in the
19 beginning of this document.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Certainly. We'll
22 try to have them located and sent. Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Plahuta, before the break we discussed your stay and training
24 at the unit base in Lipovica. Please be so kind and tell us when you
25 arrived there and the date of departure from Lipovica, and where did you
1 go from there? What month and year was that?
2 A. I arrived in Lipovica, as I said, some two weeks following my
3 stay at Tara in early February -- November, 1994. I stayed in Lipovica
4 until end of April 1995.
5 Q. We'll move to that other topic in terms of where you went in late
6 April. But between the period -- or in the period between November 1994
7 and April 1995, when undergoing the training you have described, did you
8 know who commanded your unit?
9 A. The unit commander was Meda [phoen] Radonjic. As a matter of
10 fact, he was the assistant of the unit commander because that person had
11 still not been appointed and they were looking for someone with a degree
12 from the military academy, someone of a more senior rank who would act as
14 Q. Up until the time you joined the JSO in 1996, was the commander
15 ever appointed?
16 A. No, never. It was as late as 1996 that they appointed someone.
17 Q. Can you tell us this: You, as someone who had just arrived in
18 the unit and was undergoing training, how were you familiar with that
19 kind of information?
20 A. Well, we were told by Krsmanovic, I believe.
21 Dragoslav Krsmanovic. When Meda Radonjic came to Lipovica once, we were
22 told that Meda was to come but that he was the assistant commander acting
23 on behalf of the unit commander. We didn't meet him personally because
24 we were lined up and he just passed in front of us. That was the extent
25 of it.
1 Q. When you say "he passed us by" or "in front of us," who do you
2 have in mind?
3 A. Apologies. Medo [phoen] Radonjic, assistant commander.
4 Q. You mentioned Krsmanovic and Radonjic. While you were at
5 Lipovica from November 1994 to April 1995, did you see anyone else from
6 the Serbian State Security Service in terms of high-ranking officials?
7 A. On one occasion, Milan Tepavcevic, deputy head of the service,
8 arrived. He came a few times, though, but on that occasion I saw him for
9 the first time. We were told that he was deputy head and we had to take
10 care of our equipment, vehicles, and tidy up the entire base because he
11 was a senior official.
12 Q. Did you know why the deputy head came to the base?
13 A. Since we were engaged in providing logistics at the base, we were
14 in contact with a Milan, Pajser, I think; that was his nickname. He was
15 in charge of a part of logistics concerning the members of the unit and
16 their needs. He told us about Milan, the deputy head of service, that he
17 was the person in charge of equipment, purchasing of assets, and that the
18 unit relied heavily on him. In other words, whatever we received as a
19 unit came through him.
20 Q. When you say Milan, for the record, Milan deputy head, what was
21 his last name?
22 A. Milan Tepavcevic.
23 Q. In Lipovica, between November 1994 and April 1995, did you ever
24 see Franko Simatovic?
25 A. No, not once.
1 Q. During the same period, did you see Jovica Stanisic at Lipovica?
2 A. No, not once.
3 Q. You say that you were in Lipovica until late April 1995. Where
4 did you go then, and on whose request or proposal?
5 A. In late April 1995 I went to Petrova Gora. It was on orders of
6 the then-base commander, Dragoslav Krsmanovic.
7 Q. Can you tell us how many of you left and by what means?
8 A. We -- well, two of us went to Petrova Gora, myself and a
9 warehouse employee who was older than me. We were taken there in a
10 Land Rover with a driver, and the vehicle returned to Belgrade after we
11 were dropped off at Petrova Gora.
12 Q. Can you recall the name of the warehouse employee who accompanied
13 you to Petrova Gora?
14 A. Rade Vulic.
15 Q. Once at Petrova Gora, who did you report to and what were your
17 A. At Petrova Gora, we were received by Milan Karapandza. He
18 awaited us, and he was our superior there throughout our stay at Petrova
19 Gora. We were busy with logistics, because there were a warehouse there.
20 We also had to provide security or stand guard at the Petrova Gora
22 Q. Were you accompanied by your brother Boris to Petrova Gora?
23 A. No. He never went to Petrova Gora.
24 Q. From April 1995 until what time were you at Petrova Gora?
25 A. Until some ten days before Krajina fell; that is to say, until
1 late July --
2 THE INTERPRETER: June. Interpreter's correction.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Be so kind and clarify for the transcript: Which month did you
5 mention and which year?
6 A. I was there until the end of July 1995.
7 Q. Between late April 1995 when you say you went to Petrova Gora and
8 the end of July 1995, how many members of the JATD were there at Petrova
9 Gora, and what duties did they have?
10 A. The number changed constantly because people went home in Serbia,
11 but it was up to 20, or say between 15 and 20 members of the
12 anti-terrorist group.
13 Q. Which tasks were you given at Petrova Gora?
14 A. At Petrova Gora, I was in charge of the quartermaster's supply --
16 Q. Can you tell us what those supplies included? What was in the
18 A. There was food in the warehouse, some uniforms, boots. There was
19 some infantry ammunition in small quantities for personal use, for rifles
20 and sidearms, and items for personal hygiene, et cetera.
21 Q. Was there another warehouse at Petrova Gora, and if so, who did
22 it belong to?
23 A. There was a warehouse belonging to the Army of Republika Srpska
24 Krajina in the location of the monument at Petrova Gora.
25 Q. Who was in charge of that warehouse?
1 A. It all went through the Pauk command. They were in charge. Yes,
2 it all went through them, the Pauk command and Milan Karapandza.
3 Q. You mentioned your duties. Can you tell us what was the duty of
4 the unit members during the time when you were at Petrova Gora? And I
5 mean members of the JATD.
6 A. Their task was to guard the three facilities, the complex of
7 buildings at Petrova Gora, Magarcevac, and the monument at Petrova Gora.
8 They also had to provide security for the repeater at Pljesevica.
9 Q. Can you tell me, if you know, what was in the three locations you
10 mentioned where you provided security, and what was the purpose of those
12 A. The facilities housed communications equipment for electronic
13 reconnaissance and the scrambling of signals at all three locations. At
14 Petrova Gora there was an antenna. The same at Magarcevac. And as far
15 as I know, at Pljesevica there was a repeater station.
16 Q. Mr. Plahuta, tell me whether at the Petrova Gora complex there
17 were some other people who provided logistical support, and if so, who
18 were they?
19 A. There were several buildings, including a kitchen with cooks and
20 logistics personnel. There was -- there were two officers of the Pauk
21 command in one of the facilities, and occasionally there were guards at
22 the warehouses from the Pauk command. I believe that's it.
23 Q. In the period between end of April 1995 and end of July 1995,
24 during your stay there, did you see Franko Simatovic at Petrova Gora?
25 A. I did. Two or three times.
1 Q. In what capacity did Franko Simatovic come to Petrova Gora, if
2 you know?
3 A. I know that. When he arrived with Milan Karapandza, they came to
4 the Petrova Gora facility. We were introduced there, and he told me that
5 he was an operative who was sent to unify the work of people working at
6 the communications systems and technicians, and he was supposed to unify
7 their work.
8 Q. Let me check this to make sure. Who told you that,
9 Franko Simatovic or Milan Karapandza?
10 A. Milan Karapandza did.
11 Q. Did you issue Franko Simatovic with any supplies from the
12 warehouse? And if so, what was it and to what end?
13 A. Yes, I did. We had a certain quantity of fuel next to the
14 warehouse. It was in barrels. And I filled up the tank of his
15 Land Rover so that he could continue his travel.
16 Q. Since he wanted a full tank, do you know where he wanted to go?
17 A. I do know that. He wanted to go to the repeater station at
19 Q. You say you saw him twice or thrice at Petrova Gora in that
20 period. Do you know -- or, rather, do you have knowledge of how long he
21 stayed at Petrova Gora each time?
22 A. He only stayed at Petrova Gora as long as necessary in order to
23 do what he wanted to do with the electronics personnel, and then he would
24 go away.
25 Q. Mr. Plahuta, before we move on to certain lists relating to
1 indemnities. Are you aware of the fact that in the Pauk operation there
2 were also two tactical groups? Two tactical groups participated in that
4 A. Yes. Tactical Group II and Tactical Group III.
5 Q. Do you know who was in command of these tactical groups?
6 A. Legija was in command of Tactical Group II and Rajo Bozovic was
7 in command of Tactical Group III.
8 Q. Before you went to Petrova Gora, did you know Legija and Bozovic?
9 A. No.
10 Q. During your stay at Petrova Gora, did you meet them?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Did you see Legija or Bozovic during the two-week period you
13 spent on Tara in October 1994, or did you see them in Lipovica during the
14 period of time that you spent there and up until the time that you went
15 to Petrova Gora?
16 A. No, I didn't see them there.
17 Q. You said you knew about two tactical groups, Tactical Group II
18 and Tactical Group III. Do you know where the commander of
19 Tactical Group II, which was under Legija's command, was located?
20 A. Yes, I do. I went to see him on two occasions. I think the
21 command was located in a school or something like that. They had a
22 training centre there for members of Babo's troops. I think it was
23 Babo's Youth. I think they were called the Cherokees or something. They
24 all had these Cherokee haircuts in that centre. As for
25 Tactical Group III, its command was in the town, and it was located in
1 two or three houses.
2 Q. First of all, tell us the following: You said that
3 Tactical Group II, or rather the command of Tactical Group II in the
4 centre, were in a school of some kind. In which town? In which school?
5 A. It was in the town of Velika Kladusa.
6 Q. And you said that Tactical Group III had its command which was
7 located in two houses. Which town was that? Where did they have their
8 command, in which town?
9 A. It was also in Velika Kladusa.
10 Q. For the sake of the transcript, to make it clear, Mr. Plahuta,
11 could you tell us who Babo is? You mentioned Babo's Youth? Who went by
12 the nickname of Babo?
13 A. Babo was Fikret Abdic's nickname. It was a term of endearment in
14 Cazinska Krajina.
15 Q. Mr. Plahuta --
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at 2D49,
17 Your Honours, and while we're waiting for it to appear on the screen, the
18 heading says, "National Defence of Western Bosnia Supreme Command Report
19 on the Visit to the Surovi RNC." It seems that the date of the report is
20 the 11th of March, 1995.
21 Q. And that is before you arrived then. What I'm interested in is
22 whether this was, in fact, the training centre that Legija was
23 responsible for.
24 A. Yes. That's the centre. And they also went by the name of
25 Surovi over there.
1 Q. And we can see that in March there were 158 soldiers. Then it
2 mentions the period of training. When you arrived there in April, when
3 you stayed in the training centre, can you tell us how many soldiers
4 there were, roughly speaking, under Legija's command?
5 A. Well, the base was full of them, and perhaps the number was even
6 higher than this number that we have here. I think there were even more
7 soldiers there.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise. My
9 stomach aches a bit. Could I have a brief break to go to the toilet, if
10 it's not a problem?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Five minutes, if possible.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Everyone is required to remain standby. We will
16 adjourn for a couple of minutes.
17 --- Break taken at 4.36 p.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 --- On resuming at 4.40 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, please continue.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Before I move on to my last question, could 2D49 please be
23 admitted into evidence.
24 MS. HARBOUR: No objection, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D49 will receive number D863,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Plahuta, we are discussing two tactical groups; one under
7 Legija and the other under Bozovic. Do you know whether there were
8 members of the JATD from the Republic of Serbia in those tactical groups?
9 A. No, there were no such members.
10 Q. You said that the command of Tactical Group III was located in
11 two houses. Do you know what the command consisted of?
12 A. Well, in that Tactical Group III there were these houses, a group
13 of houses. And as far as I can remember, there was the 1st Detachment of
14 Babo's troops, the 1st Detachment of the Army for the Defence of
15 Western Bosnia. It was called something like that.
16 Q. With regard to these tactical groups, II and III, who were they
17 subordinated to?
18 A. They were subordinated to the Pauk command.
19 Q. Do you know who the commander of the Pauk command was and who the
20 chief of staff was?
21 A. The commander of the Pauk command was Mile Novakovic, and the
22 chief was Cedo Bolata [phoen].
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now have a
25 look at P461. This document is under seal, so it shouldn't be broadcast
1 outside the courtroom.
2 Q. Mr. Plahuta, we'll first have a look at this list of individuals.
3 The heading says the Republic of Serbia, MUP, RDB, JATD. The date is the
4 1st of March, 1995, and it says that it is a list of members to be paid
5 daily allowances for the period from the 1st of March until the
6 15th of March, 1995.
7 Let's now have a look at page 16 of the document. Under
8 number 22 it says Boris Plahuta. Under number 23 it says Dejan Plahuta.
9 Date of engagement: From the 1st to the 15th of March. Where it says
10 Boris, we can see that it hasn't been signed. But next to the name
11 Dejan, there is a signature of some kind. My question is whether you can
12 recognise your own signature here.
13 A. That's not my signature.
14 Q. Were you at Petrova Gora from the 1st to the 15th of March?
15 A. No, I wasn't.
16 Q. Where were you between the 1st and 15th of March?
17 A. I was in the Lipovica base.
18 Q. And your brother, Boris, was he at Petrova Gora between the
19 1st and 15th of March -- from the 1st to the 15th of March?
20 A. No, he wasn't there either. He was also at the Lipovica base.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we now have a
22 look at the following page.
23 Q. Mr. Plahuta, on the next and last page of this document, dated
24 the 1st of March, 1995, we can see two names: Boris Plahuta and
25 Dejan Plahuta. Date of engagement: From the 6th to the
1 30th of November, 1994. Where were you and your brother at that time?
2 A. On the 6th of November, well, that's more or less the time when
3 we arrived at the base in Lipovica. Perhaps we arrived a day or two
4 earlier or later, but my late brother and myself were in Lipovica.
5 Q. Next to these two names we can see a signature. Is that your
6 signature or your brother's signature?
7 A. No, it's not my signature nor is it the signature of my brother.
8 Q. Did you or your late brother, if you discussed the matter with
9 him, did you ever receive any per diems for the month of November 1994?
10 A. As far as I can remember, no, we never received such per diems.
11 I don't know -- but no, we never received any such allowances.
12 Q. Mr. Plahuta, let's now have a look at something in the same
13 document, which has already been admitted. Let's have a look at page 5.
14 Mr. Plahuta, do you know who Veljko Leka is under number 1?
15 A. A pilot from the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
16 Q. And as for Milorad Stupar and everyone else, can you recognise
17 anyone else in the list?
18 A. Well, there are two or three other names that I can recognise,
19 but it's a helicopter unit from the Army of the Republic of Serbian
21 Q. You say you can recognise two or three other names. For the
22 record, can you tell us who you recognise as members of the helicopter
23 unit from the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
24 A. Milorad Stupar and Mile Zelenovic.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Let's now have a look at P465.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is also under seal, Your Honour.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
4 Q. Mr. Plahuta, while we're waiting for this document: This
5 document is also a list of members to whom per diems are to be paid, and
6 it concerns the period from the 16th of May to the 31st of May, 1995.
7 Let's first have a look at page 12.
8 Under 1 -- number 1, we have Boris Plahuta, then there's
9 Dejan Plahuta. And the period concerned is the 16th to the
10 31st of May, 1995. Was your late brother Boris at Petrova Gora from the
11 16th of May to the 31st of May, 1995?
12 A. No. My late brother was never at Petrova Gora.
13 Q. Do you know where he was at the time?
14 A. During that period of time, he was in the Lipovica base.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta. Let's now have a look at page 2. It's
16 in the same document. And here we also have a list of members to whom
17 per diems are to be paid, and Radojica Bozovic, is under number 1. We
18 have 28 names in the list. Please have a look at them and tell us
19 whether there are any names that you can recognise. Is there anyone who
20 was a member of your unit for anti-terrorist action?
21 A. No, there are no members from my unit from the JATD. Not a
22 single member.
23 Q. Let's have a look at page 5 now of the same document. Here we
24 have 40 names. Under number 1 we can see the name Milorad Ulemek. Is
25 that Legija?
1 A. Yes, that's Legija.
2 Q. Please have a look at the names of all 40 individuals, and can
3 you tell us whether there are any members of your unit included in this
5 A. No, there are no JATD members in this list either.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta. Did you know that there were payments of
7 per diems made during your stay at Petrova Gora?
8 A. I know that there were payments of per diems, but I don't know
9 who received them and how much.
10 Q. Did you discuss the per diems amongst yourselves? I mean members
11 of the unit.
12 A. Yes, we did. Because there were always per diems that were not
13 paid on time, some received it, others did not, or somebody received
14 less. And there was talk of money laundering with relation to the
15 per diems. There were a negative tone to the payment of per diems. They
16 were not paid out in time or some people received them and -- while
17 others did not, so we frequently discussed it.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we look at P468 next.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The document is also under seal, Your Honours.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is indeed.
21 Q. Mr. Plahuta, this is a list of members who received per diems
22 during the period between 1 July and 15 July 1995. Let's look at page --
23 the last page first.
24 Mr. Plahuta, we see Dejan Plahuta and Boris Plahuta. Was
25 Boris Plahuta, your late brother, included in Operation Pauk? And didn't
1 he, indeed, receive the per diems for the period specified?
2 A. As I've already said, he never went to Petrova Gora. He was not
3 at Petrova Gora. As for the per diems, I don't know. I can't recall.
4 But as I said, some per diems were paid while others were not, but he was
5 definitely not with me at Petrova Gora.
6 Q. Mr. Plahuta, you mentioned Vulic and Karapandza. Can you see
7 them in this list?
8 A. Number 16, Radoslav Vulic. And number 17, Milan Karapandza.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta. If we look at the list at page 15, that
10 is to say, the same document at page 15, there is another list. Please
11 have a look at that. Number 1, Mile Mrksic. Have a look at the other
12 names. Can you tell us who these people were?
13 A. I can't say. Mile Mrksic, as far as I know, he was the commander
14 of the Army of Republika Srpska Krajina.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta. Tell me this, please: Did you meet some
16 people at Petrova Gora who later on became members of your unit, the
18 A. I did. I met Mico Petrakovic, Zoran Gulic, and Dusan Momcilovic.
19 Q. For the transcript, could you be so kind as to repeat slowly the
20 first and last names of the three people you met at Petrova Gora who
21 later on became members of your unit?
22 A. Mica [phoen] Petrakovic, Zoran Gulic, and Dusan Momcilovic.
23 Q. When you met them at Petrova Gora, do you know what unit they
24 belonged to?
25 A. Yes, I do. They were with the police of the RSK.
1 Q. Can you be more specific?
2 A. I think it was the SUP in Glina that they belonged to.
3 Q. How come you met them at Petrova Gora?
4 A. I met them at Petrova Gora through Milan Karapandza. He brought
5 them and introduced them to me, saying that they were policemen
6 subordinated to the Pauk command and that I should issue some fuel to
7 them for their vehicle.
8 Q. Did you talk to them on that occasion, or did you simply issue
9 them with the fuel?
10 A. No. I simply provided fuel to them, and they just told me that
11 they were going to have lunch at our mess as they were to travel shortly
13 Q. When did you see the three men again after Petrova Gora, and
15 A. I only saw them again in 1996, I think.
16 Q. Where did you see them, since you say you think you saw them in
18 A. I saw them at the centre in Kula, the base in Kula.
19 Q. Did you talk to them on that occasion? Did you inquire how come
20 they appeared in the base in Kula, and what was their business there?
21 A. I didn't talk to them much then. We simply recognised each other
22 and recalled when we met and where, and they were applying to be made
23 part of the unit.
24 Q. Were they successful in their application?
25 A. Yes, all three of them.
1 Q. Following Petrova Gora, where did you go? You say you were at
2 Petrova Gora until late July. What happened then, and where did you go
3 from there?
4 A. After that, I went to the Lipovica base and then went home on
5 leave for a few days, some four to five days. After that, I returned to
6 the Lipovica base again and went to Pajzos eventually.
7 Q. You say you went to Pajzos. First of all, when did you arrive at
8 Pajzos, approximately? What month and year, and how long did you stay
10 A. I arrived in Pajzos in early August 1995, and I stayed there
11 until December 1995.
12 Q. Who sent you to Pajzos?
13 A. When we arrived in the base in Lipovica, there were about a dozen
14 members who gathered there following their leave. Dragoslav Krsmanovic
15 told us to pack up and go to Pajzos. He accompanied us, I think. We
16 stayed there until the end of the year.
17 Q. Can you tell us, where were you at Pajzos? Where did you go? Is
18 it a facility, and if so, what is it?
19 A. There was a complex at Pajzos. It used to be a winery. There
20 were two or three large wine cellars, there was a Tito's villa, two or
21 three buildings where the members were accommodated. There was a kitchen
22 and a small quartermasters supplies warehouse next to the kitchen.
23 That's it.
24 Q. Can you tell us how many members of the JATD were there at the
25 location when you were there?
1 A. The number of members changed from time to time. It was up to
2 20 members at any given time. The accommodation facilities were quite
3 poor and hence no more members could be billeted there.
4 Q. What duties and tasks were you assigned at Pajzos?
5 A. Our main duty at Pajzos was to provide security for the whole
6 facility at Pajzos. We also did some physical exercise to the extent
7 possible and some training, but that was it.
8 Q. Did you guard the winery, or something else? And if so, what was
10 A. The priority was to guard Tito's villa because it housed
11 electronic equipment for reconnaissance, surveilling, and scrambling.
12 Several operators worked there. From time to time there were also
13 translators there.
14 Q. In addition to you who were there to stand guard, was there any
15 other security for the facility?
16 A. There was nothing else save for the physical security, the
17 standing of guard that we performed.
18 Q. What about the entire complex? Was any equipment set up aimed at
19 preventing any incursion?
20 A. Well, yes. There were mines in the surrounding vineyards so that
21 no one could approach the facility.
22 Q. Let me ask you this: Do you know who Boca Medic is?
23 A. I have heard of him.
24 Q. Do you know what unit he belonged to?
25 A. The Skorpions.
1 Q. Do you know what he was --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
3 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honours, the Skorpions unit and Boca Medic and
4 any knowledge the witness might have about this was not in the 65 ter
5 summary or proofing note for this witness, so we had no notice that this
6 issue would come up.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, my
9 learned friend is right. I agree. It is my omission. We discussed
10 Arkan and that incident. I am willing to withdraw my question about
11 Boca Medic. It is my omission indeed. We had not announced the
12 Skorpions and Medic, but we did announce the topic of Arkan. When we
13 mentioned that, we omitted to inform the Prosecution about our intent to
14 ask about Medic. In any case, I will withdraw my question if it poses
15 any problems for the Prosecution.
16 MS. HARBOUR: It's fine, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then there's no need for the Chamber to rule on the
19 Please proceed, Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you are touching upon a new issue or new area of
22 questioning, then perhaps we better first take the break. Unless you
23 have one or two questions which would easily be dealt with in one or two
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I need between
1 10 and 15 minutes at the most in order to conclude all together. In any
2 case, we can go on a break. I wasn't sure whether you took into account
3 the brief break we had. In any case, I'll need up to quarter of an hour
4 to conclude.
5 As far as I can see from Mr. Stanisic -- well, it might be a good
6 idea to go on a break.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And since the breaks are always full of work,
8 I think we take and break. And we'll resume at a quarter to 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Bakrac, please proceed.
12 Again, I have to apologise, but sometimes there are urgent
13 matters which need to be dealt with during breaks, and I have been
14 hesitant whether or not I should ask my colleagues to sit under
15 Rule 15 bis. But I decided that, although I regret it, that losing eight
16 or nine minutes would be better than to miss most of the session.
17 Mr. Bakrac, please proceed.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Plahuta, before the break we were speaking about your stay at
20 Pajzos and your engagement there. From August 1995 until the end of that
21 year, do you know whether Arkan ever visited the complex in Pajzos?
22 A. Yes. That was at the beginning of August. I was there when he
23 arrived at Pajzos.
24 Q. Did Arkan arrive on his own, and if not, who accompanied him?
25 And did he enter Pajzos?
1 A. He didn't come alone. He came with his escort. There was one
2 other car, there were seven or eight individuals with him, and he didn't
3 enter Pajzos.
4 Q. Could you briefly describe the event for us.
5 A. At the main gate we have the entrance to Pajzos. My brother, in
6 fact, was working at that gate on that day. He was standing guard there.
7 At one point in time he said that he needed help at the gate because only
8 he and another member were there. Several of us who were in one of the
9 buildings went to the gate. He stopped Arkan, naturally informed the
10 operations officer about his arrival at the gate. That was the
11 procedure. And he said that he wanted to enter the Pajzos winery. The
12 operations officer on duty said that he could not enter because there was
13 nothing for him to do there. He had no business there.
14 And then my brother told him that they should go away, they
15 should leave the gate, because there was nothing for them there. He was
16 then very angry and his security got out of the vehicles. He wanted to
17 enter. He didn't provide any reasons for going in. All he did was
18 shout. We did not react to those provocations. Some ten minutes later,
19 having shouted, sworn, and so on and so forth for about ten minutes, he
20 wasn't able to enter. So in the end he turned around and left.
21 Q. If I have understood you correctly, your brother was at the gate.
22 He then asked for reinforcements and you were an eye-witness of that
23 event; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Did you have to point your guns at each other, or was there just
1 a discussion?
2 A. Well, since the situation was such as it was, we arrived with our
3 weapons, our automatic rifles, and we had our weapons at the ready. We
4 were ready to use them. He saw that. He took that to be a serious
5 threat, and he had to leave.
6 Q. If I've understood you correctly, a little earlier on you said
7 that he did not provide any reasons as to why he had appeared. Have I
8 understood you correctly? That's the first question. And if so, did you
9 later find out about the reasons for which Arkan appeared there?
10 A. Well, since the -- since it was a winery and the cellars hadn't
11 been moved, well, I suppose he may have wanted to take the wine away or
12 perhaps to see whether there was any wine there. So that must have been
13 the reason why he was shouting. He also mentioned the wine. And he even
14 said, What? I want to buy some wine. But in any event, he couldn't go
16 Q. Tell me, do you remember whether at the time any of your
17 superiors was present? Who from amongst your superiors with you there?
18 And was there anyone in the villa, and if so, who?
19 A. As far as the superiors are concerned, at that time Krsmanovic
20 was present there. Dragoslav Krsmanovic. He was up in the villa. And
21 the operations officer on duty probably informed him of the fact that
22 Arkan was there, and he said that he could not go in. That was the chain
23 of command, so he must have done that. And I think there were operators
24 working on these electronic devices in the villa as well.
25 Q. While you were at Pajzos from August to the end of 1995, did you
1 see Franko Simatovic there?
2 A. Yes, I did. I saw him arrive on several occasions. I saw him
3 two or three times, and he would go up to the villa. He would go
4 straight there from the gate. There's a path that leads there from the
5 gate, and you could see that he went straight to the villa and he spent
6 some time in the villa.
7 Q. Could you tell us, on those two or three occasions when you saw
8 him arriving there, can you tell us how long he would stay there?
9 A. Well, he would stay there for a lengthy period of time. There
10 were shifts at the gate. But he would spend up to two days in the villa.
11 Q. Did you have the opportunity of speaking to him on such occasions
12 or not?
13 A. No. I didn't have the opportunity to speak to him because at the
14 gate we'd just see who it was and then the operations centre would
15 announce him and he would go straight to the villa. We had no contact.
16 Q. Mr. Plahuta, you said that you stayed at Pajzos until
17 December 1995. Where did you go after that?
18 A. In the December 1995, we went to the centre in Kula. There was a
19 training centre for the anti-terrorist unit that had been set up there,
20 so that's where I went.
21 Q. And did you subsequently become a member -- or, rather, at one
22 point in time was the JATD transformed into some other kind of unit? And
23 if so, when?
24 A. Yes, it was. It was transformed into the JSO, the unit for
25 special operations. And this was in August 1996.
1 Q. Were you a member of that new unit?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we briefly move
4 into private session.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
6 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Plahuta, was the JSO disbanded at one point in time, and if
11 so, when? And after it had been disbanded, did the unit continue to
12 exist under some other name?
13 A. Yes. The JSO, the unit for special operations, was disbanded in
20 A. You wouldn't be wrong. That is correct.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We can now
22 move back into open session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: We return into open session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Plahuta, do you remember -- in fact, were you present at the
4 unit's celebration in Kula in 1997?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you see anyone there? For example, Vasilije Mijovic or
7 Zivojin Jovanovic?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Did you know these two individuals before the celebration in
11 A. No.
12 Q. Do you know when they arrived? Did they arrive on that day, or
13 earlier on? Did they arrive on the day of the celebration or earlier?
14 A. They arrived on the day that the celebration was organised in
16 Q. Were they in civilian clothing or in uniform?
17 A. They were in civilian clothing.
18 Q. We have a video here that shows that the individuals I'm asking
19 you about now are in the uniforms -- wearing the uniforms of the unit for
20 anti-terrorist action. You say that they arrived in civilian clothing,
21 but in the film they are in uniform.
22 A. The individuals who arrived, several individuals arrived -- in
23 fact, they arrived in civilian clothing and they were issued with the
24 uniforms in our warehouse, and they were given certain insignia that
25 indicated their rank so that they could line up there.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Plahuta, after that celebration, did you see them
2 in Kula in the unit or anywhere in the vicinity of the unit?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. Mr. Plahuta, when I asked you about Pajzos and the incident with
5 Arkan, I omitted to put a question to you which is as follows: Did you
6 have a warehouse with weapons and ammunition with other materiel and
7 equipment at Pajzos?
8 A. No, we didn't. We just had a small warehouse for quartermaster
9 equipment, and this was equipment used for the needs of the unit. We had
10 nothing else.
11 Q. Did you ever issue any items from that warehouse to people from
12 the outside, people who weren't members of your unit?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Mr. Plahuta, I have almost completed my examination. I would now
15 just like to go back to a document.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now see P974. And I'd like
17 to see page 13 in the B/C/S version and page 15 in the English version.
18 That's just what I wanted to say.
19 Q. Mr. Plahuta, while we're waiting for the document, it seems to be
20 a document that deals with job specifications within the unit, and it's
21 been discussed at length -- or it was discussed at length before your
22 testimony. You mentioned a certain Milenko whose nickname was Pajser and
23 who worked as an administrator.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now have a look at what we
25 can see under number 37. We don't have the right page yet. It's the
1 13th page in the B/C/S version and it's page 15 in the English version.
2 It's page 15 in the English version.
3 Q. Have a look at number 37. And then it says, 21, it says the
4 leader of the group for administrative duties and other duties,
5 Milenko Milovanovic. Is that the administrator whom you called
6 Milenko Pajser?
7 A. Both the documents that I have in front of me are in English.
8 Could I just see the B/C/S version?
9 Q. It's not that important, but can you remember the surname?
10 A. Yes. It's Milenko Milovanovic. That would be the name.
11 Q. Mr. Plahuta, we spoke about the issue of per diems. Do you know
12 anything about Milenko Milovanovic's fate in the unit? Do you, in fact,
13 know where he worked?
14 A. I --
15 Q. Or up until when he worked there?
16 A. I can't really say up until when he worked in the service. I
17 can't remember. I know he was dismissed from the MUP. It was said that
18 he was dismissed because he'd been stealing per diems from members,
19 because he had those lists on him. He was the person who was, in fact,
20 in charge of those lists for per diem payments.
21 Q. Was this at the time that the unit was still known as the JATD,
22 or was it once it had been transformed into the JSO?
23 A. I think at the time it was still the JATD.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta. Let's now have a look at one more
25 document and I will then have completed my examination.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And the document is 2D1219.
2 Q. Mr. Plahuta, we can see there's a reference to
3 Republic of Serbia, Serbia MUP, personnel file of the member of the
4 special purposes unit. Are you familiar with this form? Have you ever
5 filled in such a form?
6 A. I have not. I'm not familiar with this form. I have never
7 filled out one.
8 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Branko Pavlovic, father's
9 name Milenko, born in Cacak?
10 A. No, the first and last name does not ring a bell.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Plahuta.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is part of a file
13 disclosed to us by the OTP found in Lipovica. We would like to tender it
14 as a separate exhibit. Our Defence asked the Republic of Serbia through
15 its security information agency to provide information about this person,
16 if they have such information in their possession, as to his employment.
17 The answer we received is that the person of this name has no
18 mention in any of their personnel files of either the security agency or
19 the Serbian MUP or the security service of the federal secretariat. They
20 also state that this kind of form was not used when employing people with
21 the RDB.
22 For that purpose, we could look at 2D1219.1. I would also like
23 to tender these documents.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
25 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, to the extent that the Simatovic
1 Defence is -- wishes to tender this document from Branko Pavlovic's
2 personnel file through this witness, it's clear that this witness is not
3 familiar with this form and is not familiar with this person, so there
4 doesn't seem to be any basis to tender this through the witness. And the
5 Defence has further offered its own submissions about a response that it
6 received from Serbia which we would submit is also not evidence. So I'm
7 not sure what probative value that would have.
8 If Defence wishes to tender this from the bar table, we
9 recognise, based on their submission, that the argument that they wish to
10 make and the reason that they would wish to tender it, and we would
11 request that the entire file be tendered rather than this mere excerpt.
12 We have a translation ready of this entire file if the Court rules that
13 this can be admitted as such.
14 The Defence is relying on this single page of Branko Pavlovic's
15 personnel file; however, there is little probative value in taking this
16 card alone, completely out of context. Whereas taken as a whole, the
17 documents in Mr. Pavlovic's file indicate that he joined the unit in
18 August 1991 as a volunteer of the RSK MUP; then in November 1991, moved
19 into a special --
20 JUDGE ORIE: If I may interrupt you. Apparently you are quoting
21 what -- a document which you would like to have in evidence. Now, that's
22 not the usual way, that you first read to us and then ask whether to have
23 it in evidence because then you've put it on the record.
24 One second, please.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour, the Chamber disagrees with you that the
2 witness couldn't tell us anything about this form. Perhaps not
3 specifically for this person but that apparently this form was not used
4 when he became a member of the service. That, at least, adds something.
5 How much is still to be evaluated, but adds something to just tendering
6 the document from the bar table.
7 At the same time, to the extent that there's a suggestion in it
8 that these forms did not really relate to what happened in the service
9 but that it must be wrong or whatever, if you would seek to sender the
10 remainder of it to put -- give context to this, then we would wait and
11 see whether you do that.
12 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, that's absolutely our position. We
13 would not object to the entire file being admitted; whereas we object to
14 simply this excerpt --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MS. HARBOUR: -- being admitted.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Wouldn't it not be appropriate that Mr. Bakrac is
18 focussing very much on this form and the witness saying, I'm not aware
19 that it was used, it was at least not used in respect of myself, to leave
20 it for this moment to that? And if you want to tender the rest in
21 cross-examination, you may have an opportunity to tender that. And then
22 we'll decide on that request.
23 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, that's -- I leave it in Your Honour's
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MS. HARBOUR: At the same time, the witness did say he's not
2 familiar with this person, so it would just be a matter of putting a file
3 of someone unfamiliar to him, to him. But I leave it in Your Honours'
4 hands. If that's ... whatever you prefer.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's also about the form used which was not
6 used in respect of him as a member of the ... so that goes a bit beyond.
7 I would agree if that question would not have been asked. But it was
8 asked and answered.
9 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Madam Registrar, the number to be assigned to the document would
12 be ...
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1219 will receive number D864,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 Does it have to be under seal?
17 Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't see -- well,
19 perhaps the OTP could be of assistance. I think it should be under seal.
20 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, this excerpt is actually from the
21 redacted files, so this particular excerpt does not need to be under
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then it's then a public document.
24 Mr. Bakrac, that was your examination?
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour -- Your Honour, I would
1 kindly ask for your decision concerning 2D1219.1, which is the response
2 of the Republic of Serbia concerning this form and the person in
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
5 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, I don't -- we object to admission of
6 this document. It hasn't been put to the witness and the witness hasn't
7 been given an opportunity to comment on it. And even so, we submit that
8 it has low probative value and is essentially an unexamined --
9 uncross-examined statement by someone in the Serbian government who in
10 turn summarises a letter from BIA; thus we see no reason that it should
11 be admitted. We object to its admission.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, my
13 intention was simply a practical one, to have it introduced through this
14 witness. The witness, of course, is unfamiliar with the document, and I
15 agree. But then the option is to have it bar tabled. I was led by
16 practical reasons, because we went back to the security information
17 agency concerning the file, the forms, and the person in question;
18 therefore, it is for you to rule on, but I can also submit it in the
19 absence of any witness.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Would you oppose a bar table submission?
21 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, we would oppose the bar table submission.
22 Again --
23 JUDGE ORIE: A number will be assigned to it provisionally.
24 We'll mark it for identification and we'll think about it. And perhaps
25 you might think about it after we've heard whether the Prosecution wants
1 to tender more of this same personnel file.
2 Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2D1219.1 will receive number D865,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
6 Mr. Jordash.
7 MR. JORDASH: Could I just inquiry, please, whether the
8 Prosecution -- we're searching our records, but we've got no record that
9 the Prosecution have disclosed a translation of this file, so we're
10 anticipating about 17 [Realtime transcript read in error "70"] new files,
11 only two of which have got translation. So we are getting deeply
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
14 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, I will make sure that the translation
15 of this one is disclosed immediately if it has not been disclosed
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then for the follow-up, it's not marked for
18 identification. Is -- are we talking about the personnel file? Or ...
19 No, we are talking about the --
20 MR. JORDASH: The -- the file that we were just discussing, the
21 Pavlovic. And then --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. JORDASH: -- I think the record said -- says I stated "70 new
24 files," and I said "17." I think that we're going to see that during the
25 Prosecution's cross-examination.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Harbour has raised an expectation that you
2 would find the translation soon, Mr. Jordash. I think --
3 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Harbour.
5 MS. HARBOUR: I apologise for interrupting. This is uploaded as
6 65 ter 6499, and this was on the list of documents that we noticed for
7 use on cross-examination of this witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Bakrac, you are done?
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was on my feet
10 because I wanted to thank the witness and you and to say that I have no
11 further questions.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I said something about losing nine minutes.
13 You lost 13 or 14, Mr. Bakrac.
14 Let's move on.
15 Mr. Jordash, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
16 MR. JORDASH: Yes, I am. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Plahuta, you will now be cross-examined by
18 Mr. Jordash. Mr. Jordash is counsel for Mr. Stanisic.
19 MR. JORDASH: Apologies. I'm ready.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Jordash:
21 Q. I just want to pick up very quickly on the issue of Arkan coming
22 to Pajzos. A witness in this trial claimed a number of things about
23 Arkan or Arkan's Men coming to Pajzos. First of all, he claimed that
24 when Arkan's unit needed supplies, they would come to Pajzos and, as a
25 routine, be supplied by Pajzos.
1 MR. JORDASH: That's JF-048, P523.
2 Q. Do you have any knowledge about that?
3 A. No. I don't know if they took anything from Pajzos. First of
4 all, we did not have a large warehouse. We didn't have the quantities of
5 equipment needed to issue to anyone. That's one thing. Another thing:
6 I can guarantee that during my stay there they did not come there and we
7 did not supply them.
8 Q. And he claimed that three to four crates of ammunition and
9 uniforms were given to Arkan by Dragan Garic. Can I take it you have no
10 knowledge of that?
11 A. No, I know nothing about that.
12 Q. He later contradicted himself and stated that Arkan's Men had
13 come on only one occasion that he'd seen. Did anyone ever tell you that
14 Arkan had been supplied, whether frequently or just the once, by Pajzos?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Can I ask you the same about Boca, the commander of the
17 Skorpions. JF-048 also claimed two things: One, that Boca were supplied
18 frequently; and then later he retreated from that and said Boca's men, he
19 was aware, had been supplied once.
20 MR. JORDASH: And that's, Your Honours, P523 and P5767.
21 Q. Are you able to cast any light on that, whether Boca's men were
22 once or a number of times supplied by Pajzos?
23 A. No. As I said before, he did not come there and we did not have
24 enough ammunition or equipment to issue it to anyone. As far as I know,
25 neither Boca nor any of his men came there.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
2 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, can I just ask for clarification of
3 that last exhibit that Mr. Jordash referred to. P5767 appears not to be
4 an exhibit.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps he intended to refer to a transcript page,
6 because that number is within the range of the transcript where
7 Witness JF-048 testified. But looking at that transcript, Mr. Jordash, I
8 have not yet found -- 5767 is the first page of Wednesday, the
9 16th of June, 2010, and seems not to reflect any testimony whatsoever of
10 a witness.
11 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, I should have said -- Your Honour's right,
12 it's page 5856 of the transcript. And what I can do is set this out a
13 bit more clearly. P523, the Witness JF-048 said that when Arkan's unit
14 or Boca's unit needed supplies, they would come to Pajzos with requisite
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the transcript page number?
17 MR. JORDASH: 5856.
18 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
19 MR. JORDASH: I do beg your pardon. Its page 5805 to page 5807.
20 I'm sorry. I put this together very quickly just now.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because you again refer to a first page of a
22 session. Apparently where --
23 MR. JORDASH: It's --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll have a look, because now I'm going to check it
25 carefully, whether we find ...
1 I found the relevant pages.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Jordash.
3 MR. JORDASH: Sorry for the confusion.
4 Q. Let's just return, then, to this issue of Arkan coming and being
5 turned away. You said today at transcript page 50 that "He had no
6 business there. All he did was shout." And at page 51, that Krsmanovic
7 was there.
8 Why wasn't he invited in to chat with Krsmanovic or someone else
9 about what he wanted?
10 A. As guardsmen at the gate, we were in contact with the duty
11 operations officer who was in charge of communicating with the guards and
12 the communications centre in the villa and the people there. We turned
13 to him and he simply told us to ask him to remove himself, that he was
14 not allowed to enter. That was it.
15 Q. Why? Why would -- do you know why the guardsmen refused to let
16 him enter? Was there a specific reason communicated to you?
17 A. Well, not a reason. We were simply told that he had no business
18 there. And we were doing our job. We were guarding our communications
19 facility. No one could approach it unless they have an approval.
20 Q. Sorry, did I miss this? Who was the guardsman? Sorry, no. Who
21 was the duty operations officer?
22 A. The duty operations officer could have been either a group leader
23 or any of the 20 of us who were guarding the facility. That person was
24 in charge with communicating with the centre up in the villa as well as
25 with the guardsmen at the gate.
1 Q. But what I'm trying to get at is that Arkan was given such, on
2 one view, discourteous treatment, i.e., told to go away, he had no
3 business there, and I want to know whether that's because the person
4 making the decision didn't like Arkan, or it was known within Pajzos that
5 Arkan wasn't welcome. What was the understanding about Arkan being sent
6 away, the reason for that?
7 A. There was no particular reason. He was refused entry as would
8 any other person unauthorised to enter. There was no need for a specific
9 reason to be refused.
10 Q. And was it only those who were connected to, engaged by, or
11 employed by the DB who were allowed to enter?
12 A. The only people who could enter were members of the JATD and
13 operatives, the technical personnel manning the electronic equipment, as
14 well as those who worked in logistics. No one else could enter.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, last week you started off your evidence by --
16 your evidence concerning your engagement in Bajina Basta by saying that
17 in September 1992 there was some sort of competition for contractor
18 soldiers -- for professional soldiers. Do you recall that?
19 MR. JORDASH: That's, Your Honours, page 19309.
20 Q. Do you recall that evidence?
21 A. Yes. It was around that time. In September 1992.
22 Q. Could you just elaborate on that? Am I correct that at this time
23 those men, such as yourself, who had not been conscripted into military
24 or MUP forces would answer calls from various military formations or MUP
25 forces and go and work as contract soldiers? Was this a common
1 phenomena, as you saw it, at that point in time?
2 A. Well, at that time it was enough -- well, I mean, civilians,
3 simple members who were not older than 28 and who had served a military
4 term, any such people could apply for a position of contract or
5 professional soldier.
6 MR. JORDASH: Could I have, please, on the screen P392.
7 Q. I want to ask you about a comment or an entry in a diary or
8 notebook kept by Mladic.
9 While that's coming on the screen, are you able to give any idea
10 or clue concerning the number of men who were registering as contract
11 soldiers at Bajina Basta at the time you did, around September of 1992?
12 A. At the time, quite a lot of men had registered. I don't remember
13 the exact number now. But in that area of the Drina, the watch-towers
14 and the so-called dry borders were occupied by contract soldiers or
15 covered by contract soldiers. So there were quite a few such men.
16 MR. JORDASH: Could we have, please, page 37. I think it should
17 be the next page. Page 2 of this document, but page 37 at the bottom.
18 Q. Now, this is a notebook kept by Mladic, and I would just want to
19 ask if this is the type of contracting that we're talking about.
20 Mladic notes that he had a meeting with political structures in
21 Doboj, 6th of February, 1993. They pointed out:
22 "1. Major problems with various backroom dealings from,"
23 perhaps, "Ozren."
24 And then 2:
25 "Lazarevic ... now called Ciganovic, lives in Belgrade and has
1 permission from Stanisic to form the Red Berets at Ozren (Mico wrote an
2 order from Bozovic to form a special unit at the SJB in Doboj), and these
3 units would serve to drain natural resources from this area."
4 Were you aware that Bozovic was a contract soldier around this
5 time who had come to an agreement with Mico Stanisic? Did you become
6 aware of that at any time?
7 A. Well, no --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour.
9 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honour, I object to that question. It's not
10 based on the document.
11 MR. JORDASH: Sorry, could my learned friend clarify that,
12 please? I am not sure of the objection.
13 MS. HARBOUR: The document does not say anything about contract
15 MR. JORDASH: No, it doesn't. It said Mica was ordered -- or
16 received an order -- I beg your pardon, Bozovic received an order to form
17 the Red Berets in Doboj, that order by Mica Stanisic. And it's our case
18 that that's precisely what happened, and Bozovic was a contract soldier.
19 So I asked the witness about the document, and the question was based on
21 JUDGE ORIE: It's a -- the objection is denied. You may -- the
22 witness may answer the question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that.
24 Q. Did you ever hear of somebody called Slavko Lazarevic who was
25 somebody, perhaps, who was arranging contract soldiers?
1 A. I haven't heard of that name, Slavko Lazarevic.
2 Q. Did you ever hear of Bozovic at this point in time in early
3 February, or the first six months of February at least, working for the
4 RS MUP?
5 A. For the MUP of the Republika Srpska? No, that's some sort of a
6 mistake. I didn't work for that MUP. I worked for the MUP of the
7 Republic of Serbia.
8 Q. No, I think there's been a problem with my question. I'm asking
9 whether you heard or knew that Bozovic was working for the RS MUP at this
10 point in time. Not you.
11 A. I apologise. No.
12 Q. Okay. Let's move on, then.
13 Now, I want to ask you about --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash --
15 MR. JORDASH: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- the expression "RS MUP" is asking, of course, for
17 problems, because does it stand for Republic of Serbia or does it stand
18 for Republika Srpska? Which --
19 MR. JORDASH: You're right. You're absolutely right.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, that's asking for problems. So if you would
21 please always be clear on that.
22 MR. JORDASH:
23 Q. Just so you're clear, Mr. Witness, I was talking about the
24 Republika Srpska MUP. Did you take my question in that way?
25 A. If I have understood you correctly, you asked me whether I was
1 aware of the fact that Bozovic worked for the Republika Srpska MUP.
2 Q. That's what I asked.
3 A. No, I didn't know that.
4 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Let's move on to the operation in Skelani.
5 Now, the -- I want to try to make sure we understand what this
6 was all about, and I want to focus, first of all, on the role and the
7 contribution of the military from Serbia - in particular the special
8 unit, the 68th Guard Brigade, 72 -- 72nd Special Brigade, and the
9 63rd Parachute Brigade - and then later, tomorrow, I want to ask you
10 about the role of the Serbian MUP.
11 So before we begin looking at these two different formations, I
12 want to understand precisely what the operations in Bosnia, around
13 Skelani, were focussed upon. It's correct, isn't it, that around
14 16th of January, 1993, Skelani had been taken over by Muslim forces?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And it's correct that - let me try not to exaggerate - but is
18 it -- would you say -- would you agree with this, that thousands of
19 Serbians had fled into Serbia from the villages in Skelani?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And the villages along the Drina had been torched and burnt and
22 civilians killed and atrocities comitted along and around the Skelani
23 municipality; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. The attacks which had taken place in the Skelani municipality had
1 not been limited to Skelani but had also been aimed and directed at
2 settlements within Serbia; correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. From what you knew from your involvement, is this fair, what a
5 witness in this court said, Milovanovic, the deputy to Mladic, on the
6 7th of December, 2011, page 15410 said that as:
7 "If people in those villages along the Drina within Bosnia heard
8 shots 20 kilometres away, Serbs would immediately flee across the Drina
9 into Serbia."
10 So apart from the attacks by Oric's men, would you agree with
11 that testimony, that it was a common occurrence, effectively, for Serbs
12 to flee from the Serbian villages along the Drina into Serbia, trying to
13 avoid attack?
14 A. In villages further away from the border, they would flee from
15 those villages from the territory in Skelani on the Bosnian side. And
16 when there was an attack, all those who could flee to Serbia would do so.
17 Q. Now, was it clear to you at the time you were contracted in the
18 way that you testified that the objective of the forces from Serbia, the
19 special brigades we've mentioned, was to push the Muslim forces back from
20 those burnt villages to allow Serbs to return to their villages? Was
21 that clear to you?
22 A. That's correct. They had to cross over because that part of
23 eastern Bosnia is more elevated. They had to enter the territory in
24 order to defend the Serbian villages and the town of Bajina Basta in
25 order to prevent it being shelled from more elevated positions.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jordash, I'm looking at the clock. Could you
2 please find a last question.
3 MR. JORDASH: Yes, Your Honour.
4 Q. On that last point, I want to be very clear about what I'm asking
5 you so that we're clear about your answer. I'm nothing talking about
6 what the VRS may have been doing before Oric's attacks, whatever their
7 objectives were within Bosnia. I'm talking about when those specials
8 brigades from Serbia became involved within Bosnia. It's clear to you,
9 isn't it, that their involvement was triggered by Oric's men coming and
10 brutalising those Serbian villages?
11 A. If I have understood your question correctly, you are asking me
12 when these special forces from Serbia became involved and had to cross
13 over the bridge and enter the territory of Bosnia.
14 Q. Yes. And trying to pinpoint exactly what, in your mind, was the
15 trigger for that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you've asked that, but ...
17 MR. JORDASH: I'll resume this tomorrow, if I may.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You may resume that tomorrow --
19 MR. JORDASH: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- because otherwise we'll finish too late.
21 We adjourn for the day. But I would first like to instruct you,
22 Mr. Plahuta, that you should not speak or communicate in whatever way
23 with anyone about your testimony, whether testimony already given or
24 still to be given. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00
25 this same courtroom.
1 Already any indication as to how much time you would need,
2 Ms. Harbour?
3 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honour. Approximately three hours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Any estimate about how much more time you would
5 need, Mr. Jordash?
6 MR. JORDASH: An hour and 45 minutes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: An hour and 45 minutes.
8 We adjourn. And we resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 15th of May,
9 9.00 in morning in this same courtroom, II.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at, 7.02 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day
13 of May, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.