1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Wednesday, 29th May 1996
5 (2.30 p.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Keegan, I believe you were questioning Mr.
8 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, ma'am. If we could have Mr. Mujadzic recalled to the
9 stand, please?
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We have missed you, lawyers. We have been busy in
11 doing other things, but we are happy to be back to see you!
12 MR. MIRSAD MUJADZIC, recalled
13 Examined by MR. KEEGAN, continued.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be seated, Mr. Mujadzic. You understand you
15 are still under oath?
16 THE WITNESS [In translation]: Yes.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
18 MR. KEEGAN: Mr. Mujadzic, since we have had a four-and-a-half day break
19 since you began your testimony, if we might quickly summarise the
20 evidence you have given so far? When we adjourned on Friday
21 afternoon, you had described the ethnic make up and the relations
22 between the ethnic groups in the opstina Prijedor from approximately
23 World War II to about 1990. You stated that Prijedor was considered a
24 model for ethnic relations in the former Yugoslavia; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You also talked about the rise of Milosevic and his programme to
2 shift the balance of power in the former Yugoslavia to Serbia. You
3 testified that his primary methods to obtain control were the use of
4 propaganda and political manoeuvres; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Finally, you also testified about the polarising effect of this
7 political fighting and propaganda on the population in Prijedor and
8 elsewhere, and that it was against this background that the various
9 political parties were founded; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You had mentioned briefly the formation of the SDA and its platform.
12 Could you now explain to the court who controlled most of the
13 positions of power in Prijedor prior to the elections of 1990?
14 A. Most positions of power were held by Serbs.
15 Q. Did this apply to positions in the opstina administration, police and
16 the social economy?
17 A. Yes, it can be said, generally speaking, that about 90 per cent of
18 positions in the administration, in social and public enterprises,
19 that 90 per cent of positions were held by Serbs; whereas in the case
20 of private ownership in private companies
21 90 per cent of the owners were non-Serbs.
22 Q. Dr. Mujadzic, what was the platform of the SDS party when it was
24 A. The platform of SDS when it was founded was democracy, protection of
25 the Serb people -- protection of the positions of the Serb people, to
1 be more accurate -- absolute support for Yugoslavia without any
2 reservation and, of course, the support for the JNA.
3 Q. When you talk about the absolute support for Yugoslavia, what do you
4 mean by that?
5 A. I have in mind the proclaimed idea, idea proclaimed by Milosevic,
6 that is, the kind of Yugoslavia that Milosevic presented.
7 Q. What is that kind of Yugoslavia?
8 A. It is a Yugoslavia in which the Serbs would dominate, in other words,
9 greater Serbia.
10 Q. When you talk about protection for the positions of the Serb people,
11 what do you mean by that?
12 A. I mentioned that the Serbs held 90 per cent of the positions in the
13 state owned and public sector or social sector. Actually, SDS was
14 intended to protect the position of the Serbs holding these posts.
15 Q. What about the other main party in Bosnia, the HDZ, what was its
16 platform when it was formed?
17 A. The platform of HDZ was also democracy, protection of the rights and
18 interests of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including
19 religious rights, cultural rights, but within Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. How would you describe the relations between the three main political
21 parties, when they were founded in 1990?
22 A. Those relations among the political parties were similar to those
23 existing among the people.
24 I mentioned earlier on that two blocks had been formed; the block for
25 the Milosevic type Yugoslavia, in other words, a greater Serbia, and a
1 block against Milosevic's Yugoslavia or, rather, greater Serbia. So
2 that, at first, relationships between SDA and HDZ were normal; whereas
3 there were problems with SDS virtually from the beginning.
4 Q. What was the basis for the SDA's relations with other parties?
5 A. We had no special programme, nor did we receive any special
6 instructions from our headquarters. The basis of relations was
7 contained in the programme of the party, that is, democracy, respect
8 of human rights, respect of the rights of others, to religious and
9 national affiliations and all other human rights that this implies.
10 Q. What efforts, if any, did you make to work together with the other
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What were some of those efforts?
14 A. Even before the elections, we tried several kinds of co-operation
15 with other parties. In view of the national makeup or the ethnic
16 makeup, we paid special attention to relations with the SDS. So that
17 we proposed to them that we launch a joint election campaign in the
18 sense of joint appearances on the radio and on television, joint
19 election marketing campaigns and joint electoral meetings in
20 communities with mixed populations.
21 Q. Did you hold any joint rallies or meetings?
22 A. Yes, I emphasise that all initiatives for co-operation came from our
23 side. In the village of Orlovci, the one and only joint rally was
24 held which is a mixed environment, but the Serbs have a majority, and
25 at the rally attended mostly by Serbs Mevludin Semenovic spoke, who
1 was at the time a candidate for the council of municipalities, the SDA
2 candidate. However, later we learnt that the local SDS leadership
3 from Orlovci was severely criticised by the communal committee of SDS
4 because of this proposal, and after that there were no joint rallies.
5 Q. What other methods of joint campaigning did you propose to the other
6 two parties?
7 A. There was a proposal on a joint poster, election poster, which was
8 sent to all the parties, that is HDZ and SDS and others, because the
9 message was a general message.
10 Q. What was that message on the placard?
11 A. The placard said: "We lived and we will continue to live together",
12 and that was the slogan with which we meant that life under new
13 democratic relations and given the changes
14 we aspired to in the sense of inter-ethnic tolerance and good
15 relations is possible even without the communist limitations that we
16 had before.
17 Q. What did the placard look like?
18 A. Our intention was with this placard to express our desire for
19 communality and good relations among all three peoples in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the proposal for the placard we had symbols of
21 all three peoples or, rather, the flags of all three peoples. In the
22 middle was the Serb symbol and on each side the symbols of Croatia and
23 the Muslims, the Muslim national symbol.
24 Q. How did the HDZ and SDS respond to this proposal?
25 A. The HDZ accepted the placard and they posted it in Croatian
1 communities because, at least as far as Prijedor is concerned, I am
2 quite confident that they had accepted the idea of togetherness,
3 whereas SDS accepted it verbally, but they did not wish to post it in
4 Serb environments, and where the communities were ethnically mixed,
5 where the Muslims posted this placard, their activists tore them down.
6 It is worth noting a commentary made by a member of the
7 communal committee of SDS, Stojan Vracar; he raised the question at a
8 meeting of the communal board of SDS, how could you possibly imagine
9 that Serb symbols and signs should stand between the Ustasha and the
10 Turk symbols?
11 Q. How did the SDS present itself to the other parties and the
12 population at large as the elections drew closer?
13 A. In the election campaign and in their public statements, at public
14 rallies, on the radio, in the
15 press, in their marketing materials, they did not conceal the fact
16 that they were consistently following the policies of Milosevic.
17 However, at their meetings in ethnically pure Serb communities, they
18 went a step further. At those rallies from the very beginning
19 nationalist and chauvinist songs were sung, spreading dissent and
20 hatred for non-Serbs. There are several typical songs or slogans and,
21 if necessary, I can cite them.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you have conversations with party leaders, the SDS
23 party leaders, about the positions and public statements that were
24 occurring at these rallies?
25 A. Yes, on several occasions, both officially and informally, we
1 cautioned the leadership of SDS about such incidents. I personally
2 spoke a couple of times with the President of SDS, Srdjo Srdic, but
3 each time the answer was that this was not their official policy, or
4 their official positions, and that these were irresponsible
5 individuals. When we said that there were too many such irresponsible
6 individuals, he answered: "Do not worry, we have them all under
8 Q. Was there any change in the statements as the elections drew nearer?
9 A. Yes, for the worse.
10 Q. When were the elections held?
11 A. November 18th 1990.
12 Q. These were the first democratic elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What positions were up for election on the ballots?
15 A. At the elections we were voting for delegates to the Republican
16 parliament and for delegates to the communal parliament.
17 Q. Can you describe the composition of the opstina Assembly?
18 A. The municipal parliament in Prijedor had a total of 90 seats, and the
19 Prijedor opstina, unlike
20 all other opstinas throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, was divided into
21 five electoral units or constituencies, and each party had a total of
22 90 candidates on the ballot paper and, of course, it was obtained, the
23 number of seats, depending on the votes.
24 Q. Can you describe the composition of the Republic Assembly?
25 A. The Republic Assembly was composed of two chambers, the chamber of
1 the citizens and the chamber of municipalities or opstinas, so that
2 there were two different ballot papers for the Republic parliament.
3 Q. How were the candidates listed for the council of municipalities?
4 A. For the council of municipalities, there were a total of 110 seats in
5 the Republic Assembly, because on behalf of each municipality only one
6 candidate was elected since in Bosnia-Herzegovina there was a total of
7 110 municipalities and that is equal to the 110 seats.
8 However, on each ballot paper there was only one name attached
9 to each party. In our particular case, the municipality of Prijedor,
10 candidates were given by SDA, SDS and the opposition block.
11 Therefore, on the ballot paper for the council of municipalities there
12 was a total of three names.
13 Q. Mr. Mevludin Semenovic was the candidate for SDA and, in fact, was
14 the person elected to
15 that position?
16 A. Yes, the SDA candidate was elected on behalf of the municipality of
18 Q. For the council of citizens, how were the candidates represented on
19 that ballot?
20 A. For the council of citizens, the electoral system was different.
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided into seven regional constituencies.
22 Those were Bihac, Banja Luka, Doboj, Tuzla, Zenica, Sarajevo and
23 Mostar. Each regional constituency had the right to provide the
24 number of deputies proportionate to the number of voters.
25 Q. For Banja Luka how many candidates were there?
1 A. For Banja Luka, the number was 25 candidates and each party at the
2 level of the region proposed 25 candidates, but on the ballot paper
3 itself only the leaders of entire lists were named, and not all the
4 members of the list. So that each party received the number of seats
5 according to the number of votes it won going according to the order
6 of the names listed from (1) down the list.
7 Q. In that election in November 1990 for the council of citizens, how
8 many seats did the SDA win for the Banja Luka region?
9 A. At the regional level, the number was 13 for SDS, five deputies for
10 SDA, three deputies for
11 HDZ, and I think four for the opposition.
12 Q. Whose name was represented for the SDA on that ballot for the council
13 of citizens?
14 A. SDS -- are you asking me for the name for SDS or SDA?
15 Q. SDA.
16 A. For SDA, my name figured on the list.
17 Q. For the opstina Assembly, what were the results of the election?
18 A. At the opstina level, SDA had the best result with 30 deputy seats,
19 followed by SDS with 28 seats, HDZ, two seats and 30 seats for the
20 opposition party, the Social Democratic Party, the Liberal Alliance,
21 and the Reform forces.
22 Q. What did those results mean?
23 A. As in any democratic election, SDA as the winning party had the right
24 to elect first, to be first to elect positions, and to form a
25 government at the level of the opstina.
1 Q. What did that mean, "to form a government at the opstina"?
2 A. It meant that some key positions in the opstina would have to be
3 elected by the Assembly which, of course, implied a constituent
4 session of the opstina Assembly.
5 Q. Who would have first choice in appointing positions?
6 A. The right to first choice was according to the electoral results
7 enjoyed, of course, by SDA.
8 Q. Under the results who would the SDA normally choose for partners in
9 the coalition to form a majority government?
10 A. On the basis of the results of the election, if all parties were to
11 be counted, then SDA would
12 have had to get a third of the seats, SDS less than one-third, HDZ a
13 small percentage, a small share, and the opposition as a whole
14 one-third. If the opposition was not counted or was excluded, then
15 of course the relationships would be different.
16 Q. What decision was reached on what partners would form the coalition
17 for the opstina government?
18 A. We offered, first, that we were joined by the opposition in a
19 coalition, because it seemed to us that their reasoning was far
20 sounder and better which, of course, was our electoral right.
21 However, SDS opposed this very strongly.
22 Q. So where was the decision finally made -- at the opstina or the
24 A. Our next proposal was that SDS should join in forming the government,
25 and that this should be a government constituted by all parties.
1 However, at the Republic level a decision was taken among the
2 leaderships of the three parties at the Republic level, that
3 opposition parties not be included in the formation of the government
4 and that only SDA, SDS and HDZ participate in the government.
5 Q. So based on the results in Prijedor, as you previously mentioned
6 them, that would result in the SDA having 50 per cent of the appointed
7 positions with the SDS and the HDZ making up the other 50 per cent; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. If we were to respect the results of the
10 elections, that would be the case.
11 Q. Was that, in fact, the case? Is that the agreement that was reached?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. Because SDS did not want to respect the results of the election.
15 Q. What did the SDS want?
16 A. SDS wanted to have at least 50 per cent for itself alone.
17 Q. Were there similar problems going on in other opstinas in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina where the SDS had not won a majority?
19 A. I am sorry, but I cannot hear the interpretation now. I speak English
20 and I can understand your question, but would the interpretation into
21 Bosnian switch on, please, because I would
22 not like any confusion to arise?
23 Q. Shall I repeat the question? Were there similar problems going on in
24 other opstinas in Bosnia-Herzegovina where the SDS had not won a
25 majority in the election?
1 A. Yes, throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina there were similar problems, but
2 it was particularly felt in Prijedor. Generally speaking, one might
3 say that almost in all municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina where SDA
4 had the majority, they gave the SDS more than warranted by election
5 results; and where SDS had the majority and SDA was the minority, the
6 SDA got less than warranted by election results and in some cases it
7 did not even participate in the government.
8 Q. During the same period you were also involved in the establishment of
9 the Republic Assembly and its functions and committees?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How well was the Republic Assembly functioning?
12 A. Almost from the very beginning, from the first session problems
14 Q. What were some of those problems at the very first session?
15 A. Well, the problem was in the oath of allegiance. Before we took the
16 oath, that is, before the parliament was constituted, SDS opposed the
17 text of the oath because it began with Bosnia-Herzegovina and then
18 Yugoslavia which was only logical since it was the Republic
19 parliament. They insisted that Yugoslavia be placed the first in the
20 oath of allegiance which
21 was unusual and illogical.
22 Q. What were some of the major problems that developed in the initial
23 meetings of the Assembly?
24 A. I do not remember if it was the first or the second parliament, but
25 the problem about the extension of the law on an additional tax levied
1 in favour of the Yugoslav People's Army arose at that already, and I
2 think at the third or the fourth session problem with the Federal
3 budget began.
4 Q. What was the problem with the additional tax for the Yugoslav Army?
5 A. In point of fact, it was a provisional law and its validity was to
6 be extended because it was about to expire. HDZ was against that law
7 explicitly. We were against it, but we wanted some of our comments to
8 be adopted which would make the law acceptable to us and SDS was
9 urging its adoption or, rather, the extension of its validity.
10 Q. What were the main objections to allowing the additional tax for the
12 A. Our principal objection could be reduced to saying that the Yugoslav
13 People's Army at that time already was less and less Yugoslav and less
14 and less people's and increasingly Serb army.
15 Q. Were there some particular actions the JNA had recently taken that
16 prompted the refusal to support this tax?
17 A. On the eve of the elections, several quite significant moves of the
18 chiefs of staff or, rather, the leadership of the Yugoslav People's
19 Army happened and those were initiated by the Federal leadership of
20 the army; that was the attitude of the army towards the Republican
21 Territorial Defence and the Territorial Defence which until that time
22 fell under the jurisdiction of the Republican authorities was now
23 placed under the direct control of the Yugoslav Army itself.
24 Then from the depots of armaments for the Territorial Defence,
25 the weapons were transferred and stored in the JNA depots and it
1 happened throughout Yugoslavia almost with the exception of Slovenia.
2 So the Slovenians interfered and prevented the section of the
3 Yugoslav People's Army early on.
4 Then the changes which happened immediately before the
5 elections in the organisation of the Yugoslavia People's Army; like
6 any other army, the organisation of the Yugoslav People's Army was
7 based principally on the communication, strategic considerations and
8 perceived Yugoslavia as a whole, but it also respected political
9 specificities of the former Yugoslavia. The former Yugoslavia was
10 divided into five army districts, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje
11 and Sarajevo, called after the capitals of individual republics. Army
12 districts largely overlapped, not completely, but by and large
13 overlapped, with the Republican boundaries. The army organisation
14 abolished the Sarajevo
15 army district, and Bosnia-Herzegovina was reduced to a lower
16 organisational level, to a corps.
17 Then a very telling process which had begun to develop earlier
18 on in the army, that is, both the quality and quantity of non-Serb
19 personnel began to decrease. In Tito's time, for instance, there were
20 always four to six generals who were Muslims, then so many Slovenians,
21 so many Croats and other peoples which in a manner guaranteed, was a
22 guarantee, that this was the army of all the peoples. On the eve of
23 the elections, there was no Muslim general in the Yugoslav People's
24 Army, as far as I know, and the number of Croats and other peoples in
25 important positions had already declined significantly and the number
1 of Serbs significantly rose.
2 Finally, it is important to mention that the Yugoslav
3 political army had made its political option as it is established, and
4 this began with the highest ranking army officers by founding the
5 League of Communist movement for Yugoslavia which, in fact, endorsed
6 the idea of unitary Yugoslavia, in other words, the idea of
7 Milosevic's Yugoslavia.
8 Q. You mentioned that there were also budget problems related to the
9 Federal budget. What were the nature of those problems?
10 A. In the wake of the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia and
11 Croatia began little by little to pay less and less taxes into the
12 Federal budget, so that practically only Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia
13 and Montenegro were paying into the Federal budget, because Macedonia
14 had also announced already that it would not be paying the taxes meant
15 for the Federal budget; whereas the question of the new organisation
16 of the new -- until the, pending, that is, dissolution of the
17 reorganisation or the new organisation of Yugoslavia. Our proposal
18 was not to deny the tax for the Federal budget, but to open a special
19 account for this budget until the solution of the problem of the
20 organisation of Yugoslavia and, therefore, the share in the Federal
22 Q. Was this proposal accepted by the SDS members of the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina Assembly?
24 A. SDS was categorical in demanding that Federal taxes continued to be
25 paid into the Federal budget. It was absolutely illogical to our
1 minds that their interests were evidently directed more at Belgrade
2 than their own Republic, that is, Sarajevo.
3 Q. After these initial Assembly meetings, what did you see for the
4 future of a government in the Republic with all three main parties?
5 A. Even before the new year, that is, after some three or four sessions
6 of the Assembly -- I am referring to the new year of 1990 -- I was
7 discussing a matter with a fellow deputy and we noted that the
8 relations were deteriorating from one session to the other and
9 increasingly conducive to separation or, rather, a split. We realised
10 that if SDS continued along that road that it would probably result in
11 a war, since intransigent political attitudes under the circumstances
12 could not but result in a war, and it seemed that the SDS or, rather,
13 that the politics pursued by the SDS was in preparation for a long
14 time and that they would not renounce their views.
15 Q. During this time period -- we are talking now November and December
16 1990 -- was the issue of the establishment of the opstina government
17 in Prijedor still a problem?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Had you met with the opstina SDS leaders to try to resolve this
21 A. Yes, more than 10 times and with no success, unfortunately.
22 Q. Was the main obstacle this issue of the having at least 50 per cent
23 of the appointed positions and control in the Assembly?
24 A. Well, the principal obstacle and which we feared was the disrespect
25 for the election results by the SDS who simply could not come to terms
1 with the fact that it was a party which was to get less than 50 per
2 cent according to the election results. However, during the
3 negotiations we tried to arrive at a compromise, and offered some
4 concessions to the SDS.
5 Q. Were they accepted by the opstina members of the SDS at that time?
6 A. Regrettably, they did not accept these concessions. They insisted
7 emphatically and would not give up those 50 per cent.
8 Q. Did you then meet with Radovan Karadzic and members of the Prijedor
9 SDS in Sarajevo?
10 A. Yes, it happened by accident. It was not a previously organised
11 deliberate meeting. It happened, namely, during the intermission of a
12 parliamentary session. Jovo Tintor, a close associate of Radovan
13 Karadzic, invited me to the hall, to the lobby, of the parliament.
14 When I came, there was Radovan Karadzic and Srdjo Srdic, President of
15 the Prijedor municipal SDS committee, were sitting at a table.
16 Q. What did Srdic say were the demands of the Prijedor SDS?
17 A. He first accused the SDA of endangering the interests of the Serb
18 people in Prijedor, said that no agreement could be reached with us
19 and that our proposals were invariably unacceptable.
20 Q. What did you respond?
21 A. Well, as a matter of fact, I explained in front of Karadzic that our
22 proposal was really tantamount to a concession and that it was a
23 compromise. We proposed 50-50 per cent relationship, that is, 50 per
24 cent for the SDS and 50 for the SDA, and this was per se a concession,
25 and then that each of the parties, "You should give us more percentage
1 for HDZ, in agreement with the electoral results of HDZ which had two
2 seats in Prijedor".
3 Q. How did Srdic react to this?
4 A. He got very angry. He was furious. He said: "Do you really think
5 we would permit that an Ustasha Muslim coalition gains control over
7 Q. Did Karadzic say anything to you?
8 A. Karadzic was quiet and tried to be nice. He said, he turned to me
9 and said: "Well, try to reach an understanding and be good to my
10 Serbs, do not threaten them and do not make them angry because they
11 can be very disagreeable when they get angry". Even though he said it
12 with a very polite face, it obviously sounded like a threat.
13 Q. Did you reach a compromise at that meeting?
14 A. I then accepted, agreed finally, to meet the SDS request and make yet
15 another concession to give them a 50 per cent, and that we should give
16 HDZ a certain number, a certain proportion, out of our share alone. I
17 accepted this proposal in principle, saying that I would have to
18 consult my municipal leadership and the Republican leadership about
19 this attitude, wishing to reach a compromise and find, devise some
20 ways and means of maintaining good relations with the Serbs, and in
21 this I was supported by both the municipal and the Republican
22 leadership for these concessions.
23 Q. How was this compromise implemented?
24 A. It was implemented at the constituent Assembly of the municipal hall
25 which took place in the beginning of January 1991.
1 Q. Were there any people from outside of the opstina taking part in that
3 A. Yes, Velibor Ostojic.
4 Q. Who is Velibor Ostojic?
5 A. Velibor Ostojic is a member of the leadership of the Serb Democratic
6 Party, one of the closest, confidential Karadzic's men, and at that
7 time he was acting as the Minister for Information in the Government
8 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Why was he at the Assembly meeting?
10 A. At the municipal, SDS leadership was severely criticised by the
11 Republican SDS leadership
12 for losing the elections in Prijedor. In the eyes of the Republican
13 SDS, the municipal SDS should have won the elections in Prijedor and
14 in many other places, indeed, where the ratio between the Muslims and
15 the Serbs, and even where the Muslims' share was five or six per cent
16 as, for instance, in Sanski Most where there are five or six per cent
17 more Muslims than Serbs, and yet the SDS won the elections.
18 So, evidently, Karadzic was showing that he did not trust the
19 opstina leadership, their ability, their ability to reach a compromise
20 in the implementation of the agreement. Ostojic was evidently there
21 to back the opstina leadership and mediate in the agreement.
22 Q. Was the agreement implemented?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What positions were selected for the opstina administration and
25 filled at that first meeting?
1 A. Those were the main positions in the municipality, the Mayor of the
2 municipality, the President of the municipal government, Deputy Mayor
3 and Deputy President of the opstina government, and eight municipal
4 ministerial posts -- well, as a matter of fact, there were secretaries
5 there, municipal secretaries, holding individual offices in the
6 municipal government.
7 Q. Who was selected as the President of the municipal government?
8 A. The President of the municipal government became Mico Kovacevic.
9 MR. KEEGAN: Could I have photograph 5/107 on the computer screen, please?
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What exhibit is that?
11 MR. KEEGAN: I believe that is Exhibit No. 138. I am sorry. It would be
12 137. It has been marked. (To the witness): Do you recognise that
13 picture, the man on the left?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who is that?
16 A. Yes, this is Mico Kovacevic, Milan, Mico Kovacevic.
17 Q. Is that the man who was elected as the President of the municipal
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Yes. Your Honour, I would tender Exhibit 137, please.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to 137?
22 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It will be admitted.
24 MR. KEEGAN (To the witness): Who was selected as the Mayor of Prijedor?
25 A. Professor Muhamed Cehajic.
1 Q. Was he the nominee from the SDA party?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who was selected as the Deputy Mayor?
4 A. Dr. Milomir Stakic.
5 MR. KEEGAN: Could I have photograph 5/106, please, on the computer? That
6 would be Exhibit No. 138. (To the witness): Do you recognise that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who is that, please?
10 A. Milomir Stakic.
11 MR. KEEGAN: I would tender Exhibit 138, your Honour.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 138 will be admitted.
15 MR. KEEGAN (To the witness): What other appointed positions in the
16 opstina government were discussed?
17 A. Those were the positions in the police.
18 Q. What was the system for the appointments in the police?
19 A. As the party which had won the elections, we were entitled to submit
20 our proposal to the Minister of the Interior for the first post in the
21 police, that is, the chief of the police. We did submit our proposal,
22 and our nominee was appointed by the Minister.
23 Q. Who was the SDA nominee?
24 A. Hasan Talundzic.
25 Q. In fact, did he take up this position as the police chief?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who was entitled to appoint the second position?
3 A. The Deputy Chief of the police or, rather, the post of the Commander
4 of the police was to be proposed by the SDS.
5 Q. Was the nomination accepted?
6 A. The SDS nominated inadequate persons in terms of their educational
7 levels, because any candidate for that post was to have graduated, was
8 supposed to have a university degree, and the SDS nominated a
9 candidate who only had completed secondary school, so that their
10 candidates simply were not adequate.
11 Q. What did the Ministry of the Interior decide for that Deputy
13 A. The Ministry left in that position the former Commander of the
14 police, that is, the person who performed that duty before the
15 elections, until such time when the SDS would submit a proposal that
16 would meet the terms.
17 Q. What effect did that have on the negotiations for the remaining
18 positions of the sector chiefs or section chiefs?
19 A. Namely, in the police, in addition to these two posts first, ranking
20 posts, there were six important officers more, I mean leading
21 executive posts, and they were all taken by Serbs. We requested that
22 a certain ethnic balance be struck within the police.
23 Q. What was the SDS position on that?
24 A. The SDS did not go along with that. They asked us to prevail upon
25 the Minister of the Interior, to appoint their candidate who did not
1 meet the conditions, to appoint him to the office of the chief of the
2 police and, in return, they would enable us to have a man in one of
3 these six positions.
4 This, we could not accept for two reasons: first, because we
5 could not prevail upon the Minister to do something in transgression
6 of the law, anything that would be wrongful and, secondly, because
7 their proposal was not acceptable. It would have been logical that at
8 least two of these six posts available be ceded to non-Serbs.
9 Q. Were there other positions in the financial, industrial and economic
10 sectors of the opstina that you also wanted to negotiate over?
11 A. Yes, we wanted in other areas, in other walks of life, such as
12 socially owned and private companies and other institutions of
13 importance, we wanted to have a balance in them too.
14 Q. In terms of the financial, economic and the public, industrial
15 positions, how successful were
16 these discussions?
17 A. I have already said about 90 per cent of the positions in financial
18 institutions, in social
19 and public enterprises were held by Serbs. The SDS acted as a
20 protector, as a patron, of all of them and did not want to take part
21 in the balloting of these positions or, rather, they wanted to
22 maintain the previous state of affairs.
23 Q. Why were these positions, these appointments, so important?
24 A. Well, it is simply that we wanted in this manner to strike a balance
25 between the political, economic power at the municipal level and the
1 SDS wanted to keep complete control for itself.
2 Q. Once the opstina administration was established, what other
3 significant problems or crises did you face in 1991?
4 A. In the course of 1991 there were several critical points. The first
5 occurred after the population census in 1991, and then the SDS
6 leadership wanted to open the discussion again about the post of the
7 Secretary for Defence, that is, they wanted that position for
8 themselves, even though there was already an SDA candidate appointed.
9 There was also a crisis concerning the drafting for the
10 Yugoslav People's Army after the war broke out in Croatia. Then there
11 were problems with drafting lists which the Yugoslav People's Army
12 wanted to take over from the Secretariat for Defence and put them
13 under its control. There was a problem regarding the transit of a
14 large armoured unit from Serbia via Prijedor. It was stationed at the
15 Urije airfield for a while. Then I might mention some important
16 moments, such as the establishment of the Serb autonomous region,
17 Karadzic's statement in the parliament. In the meantime, I had
18 another contact with Radovan Karadzic.
19 Q. You mentioned first the population census of 1991. What problems did
20 those results cause?
21 A. The previous population census of 1981 showed the population
22 structure to be as follows: 43 per cent were Serbs, 38 per cent were
23 Muslims, Croats about six per cent, and the rest were Yugoslavs and
24 others. But it is important to compare the 1981 census and the 1991
25 census, because the population of 1981 showed that there were five per
1 cent more Serbs than Muslims and the 1991 census showed the ratio to
2 have reversed. So, that the Muslims became the majority in the
3 Prijedor municipality.
4 Q. What reaction did that cause among the SDS?
5 A. In absolute figures, in Prijedor there were 49,700 Muslims and about
6 48,000 Serbs, and that is about 1,700 Muslims more than the Serbs.
7 There was a characteristic reaction of a member of the municipal SDS
8 leadership who upon learning about the results said: "Give me an
9 automatic rifle and in a couple of hours I will turn this result in
10 the favour of Serbs by killing some 2 to 3,000 Muslims." That member
11 of the municipal leadership came
12 from Omarska. I do not remember his name.
13 Q. You indicated that the call for mobilization when the war in Croatia
14 started also caused significant problems in the opstina. What were
15 the nature of those problems?
16 A. Namely, in the beginning of the war in Croatia, the Yugoslav People's
17 Army proclaimed the mobilization. We acted in conformity with the
18 instruction of the presidency of the Republic
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, advising the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 not to respond in favour of military mobilization because we did not
21 want to take part in an aggression, in the aggression, against the
22 neighbouring Croatia. So that we advised the citizens of Prijedor not
23 to accept, not to agree to be called up.
24 Q. There were, in fact, groups who mobilized in opstina Prijedor,
1 A. Yes, a certain number of Serbs did respond favourably to
3 Q. In any of those mobilization calls in the Prijedor opstina, were
4 there some incidents involving non-Serbs that caused concern?
5 A. In Prijedor, the mobilization took place so that two brigades were
6 founded and reinforced. I think they were the 5th Kozara and the 43rd
7 Brigade, I think. There was a characteristic example when the 5th
8 Kozara Brigade was formed, and that was the TO Brigade. Its Commander
9 was Pero Colic, Colonel Pero Colic. When the citizens received
10 summonses and accepted to be mobilized into that Brigade, it became
11 members of that Brigade. Then in Jaruge, which is a place in the
12 municipality of Prijedor where that unit had its meeting point, then
13 those men who came there, by and large, did not know what was the
14 purpose of the call up and where they were supposed to go. When they
15 heard that immediately after the forming of brigades they were to go
16 to Croatia, they began to protest.
17 Then Colonel Colic stood up and said or, rather, delivered a
18 nationalistic, chauvinistic speech and said as follows -- I am
19 paraphrasing -- "Those who want to follow me in the defence of
20 Serbhood which is endangered in this historical hour, and those who
21 want and understand that an historic time has come when the Serb
22 people needs to take vengeance, to avenge all the crimes committed
23 against them, and to prevent that the Ustase cannot, Ustasha never
24 kills the innocent again, those should come to this side; those who do
25 not want that should move to the other side".
1 After those words, people separated. The Serbs remained on
2 one side; on the other side remained non-Serbs as well as a
3 considerable number of Serbs. Amongst this group which was for Colic,
4 there were a number of men who wore Chetnik insignia which annoyed,
5 which vexed the non-Serbs. So that from the group which followed,
6 which sided with Colic, they began verbally attacking those Serbs who
7 had joined the other side in the sense of threats, such as "traitors",
8 how the Serb people, "you will pay when we come back from Croatia",
9 "cowards". After that, some Serbs changed their mind and joined Colic
11 that group which was on the other side.
12 MR. KEEGAN: Your Honour, might that be a good time to break?
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Just one question before we recess: Mr. Mujadzic,
14 you testified a few questions back that, "We did not respond
15 favourably to the mobilization call because we did not want to fight
16 against Croatia". Who was the "we"? Was that the SDA party or was
17 that a particular ethnic group that you were referring to?
18 A. I think that the differentiation or, rather, the said division into
19 two groups, for Milosevic's Yugoslavia, that is, for Milosevic's
20 Serbia, greater Serbia, rather, that it found its reflection there, in
21 the mobilization. The mobilization call was responded to favourably
22 by the Serb population mostly, that is, over 95 per cent, and all
23 non-Serbs did not refuse the mobilization, including Muslims, Croats
24 and many others who defined themselves as Yugoslavs, as Bosnians and
25 various other ethnic groups which were quite numerous in Prijedor. So
1 that once again there was a split, a schism, between the two blocks
2 that I have been talking all this time.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think I know the answer. It must have been this
4 SDA party he was talking about; maybe we will locate it in the
5 transcript ---
6 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, ma'am.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- for clarification.
8 MR. KEEGAN: I believe you stated that the initiation for this refusal for
9 the call for mobilization came from an order of the presidency of the
10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which was then issued out to all of the
11 opstinas; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct. The presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
13 Karadzic were the official authority of the Republic of
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. We will stand in recess for 20 minutes.
16 (4.08 p.m.)
17 (Adjourned for a short time)
18 (4.25 p.m.)
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Keegan, may I just ask a question of the
21 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, ma'am.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE (To the witness): Before we recessed, I had asked you
23 about a response that you had made to a question from Mr. Keegan. It
24 really was just to get an understanding of whom you were referring to
25 when you mentioned "we acted". So let me read the question back again
1 and then see if you can respond. The question was from Mr. Keegan:
2 "You indicated that the call for mobilization when the war in Croatia
3 started also caused significant problems in the opstina. What were
4 the nature of those problems?" Then your answer, sir, was: "Namely,
5 in the beginning of the war in Croatia, the Yugoslav People's Army
6 proclaimed the mobilization. We acted in conformity with the
7 instruction of
8 the presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and advising the
9 population of Bosnia-Herzegovina not to respond in favour of
10 mobilization because we did not want to take part in an aggression, in
11 the aggression, against the neighbouring Croatia. So that we advised
12 the citizens of Prijedor not to accept, not to agree, to be called
13 up". So my question is, who is the "we"? Who do you mean when you
14 say "we"? Would you answer?
15 A. In this specific case when I said "we", I can speak only in my own
16 name or in the name of the SDA party of which I was the President in
17 Prijedor. That was our reaction. But an identical reaction was shown
18 by all other parties and political associations except the SDS.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
20 MR. KEEGAN (To the witness): Dr. Mujadzic, you said earlier when you were
21 listing out the various problems or crises for 1991, you mentioned
22 that in the context of this mobilization conflict there was also some
23 problems related to the position of the Secretary for Defence in the
24 opstina. Can you describe what the problem was with relation to that
1 A. I apologise. The translation is "Deputy Secretary". Was the
2 question asked in reference to the Deputy Secretary of Defence in the
4 Q. No, the Secretary or Minister of Defence for the opstina. Yes?
5 A. Yes, we were talking about the position of the Secretary for Defence
6 who, according to the original agreement, was held by a representative
7 of SDA -- Becir Medunjanin is his name. The Serbs or, rather, SDS
8 suddenly raised again the question of this position. This happened
9 before the mobilization and before the request of the Yugoslav
10 People's Army for
11 these mobilization lists, and at first we did not quite understand why
12 they insisted on raising
13 this question again, and why suddenly they were so eager to get that
14 post. We thought that
15 in this way they wanted to cause a problem over the other unappointed
16 positions in financial institutions and enterprises. However, later
17 it became clear to us why they started insisting again on having a
18 representative of their party, the SDS, holding this position.
19 Q. What was that?
20 A. We did not agree to this question being raised again and to
21 discussing it all over without having at the same time taken a step
22 forward in achieving a balance in the distribution of the other very
23 important positions in social enterprises, financial institutions and
24 other important sectors, which were mostly held by SDS, so that these
25 negotiations were protracted. Then came the demand of the Yugoslav
1 People's Army for exemption of lists for mobilization and then the
2 problems around mobilization occurred. So that we assumed that that
3 was probably the reason why SDS suddenly insisted on raising, on
4 putting on the agenda again the position of Secretary of Defence.
5 Q. Did the Secretary of Defence control the list for mobilization?
6 A. The Secretariat for Defence at the opstina level served, in fact,
7 only as a service which at the request of the army or the Territorial
8 Defence or some other structures according to a precisely defined list
9 of priorities, carried out the conscription; so that, according to
10 this priority, the Yugoslav People's Army came first, then came
11 Territorial Defence, third place was held by the reserve forces of the
12 police and, fourth, by civil defence units.
13 Of course, all lists for filling in all these structures were
14 within the framework of the Secretariat of Defence and under the
15 direct control and within the terms of reference of
16 the Secretary of Defence.
17 Q. You mentioned that there was a problem when a large unit of tanks
18 arrived from Serbian Prijedor at the airport. Can you describe what
19 happened there?
20 A. I think this was in August, July or August, I cannot remember exactly
21 the date. Suddenly, a group of citizens came, very agitated, and said
22 that a long line of tanks and transporters had passed through the
23 city, APCs, in the direction of Urije, which is a district within the
24 city of Prijedor, actually the region around the sports airport of
1 I took a car and drove to Urije to see what was happening. At
2 Urije, I indeed saw between 20 and 30 tanks and armoured personnel
3 carriers and, among the soldiers and officers present there, I learnt
4 that they had come from the direction of Serbia. I do not exactly
5 remember whether it was Smederevo or Svetozarevo. They had come by
6 rail. When I asked whether they could tell me the reason for such a
7 strong force being stationed in the region of Prijedor, they said that
8 -- and added that the people were very upset about it -- they told me
9 that they were not competent to provide answers, and that the answer
10 can be given by General Uzelac who, according to them, was in charge
11 of the operation.
12 Returning from the airport, I met a car. I thought that that
13 it was carrying one of the responsible officers. I waved and asked
14 them to stop. The car stopped, and a Colonel came out who introduced
15 himself as Colonel Kostic. I learnt later that he was in charge of
16 security in the Banja Luka corps. I had a very sharp discussion with
18 Q. What did you ask him about?
19 A. I introduced myself and said I was a member of the parliament of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I asked him to tell me why such a strong
21 military force was suddenly being stationed in the territory of the
22 Prijedor opstina as no competent authority had been informed about it
23 beforehand. His reply was that he was not obliged to provide any
24 information to any individuals; that the Yugoslav People's Army can
25 freely move about without -- move about throughout the territory of
1 Yugoslavia without asking anyone for permission, and that he does not
2 intend to provide me with any answer.
3 My response was that he does not have to give any answers to
4 me as an individual, but that at least the Republic parliament should
5 be informed about it. Then he went on to say that no Republic
6 parliament can control the army, that he is only accountable to his
7 superior command and the Chief of Staff in Belgrade. I responded by
8 saying that, according to the law, at the request of the Republic
9 parliament, such information can be given, otherwise this would be an
10 undemocratic state, a military junta, rather like the one they had in
11 Chile, and this certainly would not contribute to the development of
12 democracy which we should all seek to achieve because the army, after
14 needs to be under the control of civilian authorities.
15 Q. Were your actions on that day raised at a later time in front of the
17 A. Several days later at the first session of the Assembly I had
18 intended to raise this question. However, before I managed to say
19 anything about this incident, Srdjo Srdic, President of SDS and also
20 Deputy in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina on behalf of SDS, took
21 the floor and presented the event as if I had stopped with my car in
22 front of the line of tanks and was so bold as to stop the tanks (which
23 of course was not the case, but rather as I have just described it),
24 but he wanted in saying this to emphasise my responsibility and my
1 Q. You also mentioned as one of the significant events in 1991 the
2 speech of Karadzic before the Republic Assembly which occurred in
3 1991. Were you present when that occurred?
4 A. Yes, that is correct. I remember very well that very important
5 speech. I forgot to mention in answer to the previous question that
6 the reaction in parliament was divided, and that all the people in
7 parliament responded against Srdjo in parliament. They were
8 indignant because the question of the army and its aggression in
9 Croatia was very topical at the time, and later it emerged that those
10 tanks went to Croatia, in fact.
11 As for Karadzic's speech in parliament, I remember very well
12 his speech which shocked all members of parliament and all citizens of
14 Q. What was it about that speech that was so shocking?
15 A. At that parliamentary session there were discussions about taking a
16 stand regarding processes that had already taken place in Slovenia and
17 Croatia, the demands for independence submitted by Slovenia and
18 Croatia. At the Assembly the debate had started on the positions of
19 the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the attitude of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina towards the possible independence of
22 The position of the Croatian Democratic Alliance was
23 absolutely clear. They were expressly against the possibility of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina remaining within Yugoslavia, and they gave full
25 support to the processes that were taking place in Slovenia and
2 -- (no translation).
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are having a problem with the translation.
4 THE INTERPRETER: I am sorry, it must have been a technical problem.
5 MR. KEEGAN: Please continue.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Why do you not repeat the question, Mr. Keegan, and
7 we will have the answer again and we will see if we get the full
9 MR. KEEGAN: You were just describing the position of the Croatian
10 delegates in the Republic Assembly with regard to what was taking
11 place in Slovenia and Croatia. If you could now move to what was the
12 response of Dr. Karadzic in his speech?
13 A. Let me repeat once again, the Croatian Democratic Alliance had opted
14 clearly in favour of supporting the processes which were taking place
15 in Slovenia and Croatia in the sense of the independence of those two
16 states, and their definite stand was that Bosnia-Herzegovina should
17 also go along the same road. Karadzic at the time addressed the
18 Muslims, knowing that the decision depended on the representatives of
19 the Muslims who at that time had still not taken a definite stand even
20 though it appeared that the representatives of the Muslims would also
21 opt in favour of the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Karadzic
22 said then: "If you embark upon the road which can easily lead you to
23 hell, the road which Slovenia and Croatia have already embarked upon"
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are hearing you. I apologise, Dr. Mujadzic.
1 THE WITNESS: I can hear you very well.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The English? I think we can all hear each other. I
3 do not know whether I should apologise yet, I hope it does not happen,
4 you understand, as a physician, sometimes we have difficulties with
5 technical aspects of things.
6 Mr. Keegan, try again.
7 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, ma'am. (To the witness): Dr. Mujadzic, if you
8 could continue with the paraphrase of what Dr. Karadzic said in his
9 speech. So far you have -----
10 A. Yes, it is very brief, my paraphrasing of the statement of Dr.
11 Karadzic, so I can repeat it again. "If you embark upon the road
12 which will take you to hell, it is a road that Slovenia and Croatia
13 have already taken, what may happen is that you disappear because the
14 Muslim people in Bosnia-Herzegovina has no arms, has no army of its
15 own, and if it continues along this road, it will witness bloodshed
16 and probably disappearance from these parts".
17 Q. Were the reports of this speech also broadcast on TV in
19 A. By tradition, Assembly meetings of Bosnia-Herzegovina are fully
20 telecast in Bosnia-Herzegovina so that what Dr. Karadzic said was
21 addressed more to Muslims as a people, because he emphasised that he
22 was addressing the Muslims, and only indirectly did
23 he wish to point out that the responsibility for this decision was
24 with the representatives of the Muslims in parliament.
25 Q. What impact did this speech have on you and the other members of your
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me, Mr. Keegan. Let us wait just one moment,
3 if we can.
4 I have been told that everything is working fine now; that
5 actually there was some work being performed on another or at another
6 room where there are some other mechanical devices that are being
7 installed and because of that that was interfering with our reception.
8 I think that they have stopped working on that other location so we
9 should have free access to each other.
10 MR. KEEGAN: May I proceed, ma'am?
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, please.
12 MR. KEEGAN (To the witness): If I can, Dr. Mujadzic, the question I asked
13 you just before that last interruption was what impact did the speech
14 of Dr. Karadzic have on you and the other members of the SDA?
15 A. The way in which Dr. Karadzic made this statement and the tone
16 sounded threatening, he was very angry, and he seemed to be very
17 serious while he was saying this. We were shocked and, I must admit,
18 frightened as well because we knew that the Yugoslav People's Army was
19 well-correlated with this statement by Radovan Karadzic, and soon
20 after this session -- I am sorry, I am sorry, I apologise, in the
21 course of that session, that is, before his statement, a noteworthy
22 statement was one by Deputy of SDS, Kerovic from Lopari, who addressed
23 provocation in the restaurant of the Holiday Inn Hotel, who said to
24 me: "What do you think? We have the Yugoslav People's army with us,
25 what will you do?" I did not want to respond because the question was,
1 obviously, a provocative one, though I knew that his words were fully
2 in line with reality.
3 Q. Each of these events that we have discussed for 1991, what did the
4 total of these events represent to you, what did they indicate?
5 A. All these events were indicating day after day, week after week,
6 month after month, the deterioration of relations and this was a
7 process -- and there was a process on the way with some events showing
8 that certain things, certain moves by SDS had been planned. Our
9 impression was that we would always be caught unawares by some action,
10 by some move, by the SDS, because we had to look out for a way out
11 from some problem posed by the SDS all the time, and it was more than
12 obvious that they had planned all their activities very clearly.
13 Q. You mentioned earlier the Serb autonomous region of the Krajina. Can
14 you describe for the court what that was, what was the SAO Krajina?
15 A. I think it was sometime in September 1991, a certain number of SDS
16 MPs did not attend the session that afternoon. On the news we heard
17 that several Serb autonomous regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina had been
18 proclaimed, the Serb autonomous region of Krajina, the Serb autonomous
19 region of Romanija, the Serb autonomous region of Stara Herzegovina,
20 that is, east Herzegovina; and the principal purpose, the principal
21 intent, behind the establishment of Serb autonomous regions was the
22 separation from the Republic, from the Republican government agencies
23 in Sarajevo, and siding, that is, joining with the Yugoslavia, that
24 is, greater Serbia.
25 Q. Where was the Serb autonomous region of the Krajina centered?
1 A. The area which the SDS had envisaged as the Serb autonomous region of
2 Krajina, Bosanska Krajina, is the area of the Banja Luka region to
3 which they added some other municipalities where the Serbs constituted
4 a marked majority, such as Drvor, Bosanska Grahovo, and Teslic, I
5 believe Teslic was also included. Those were areas where the Serbs
6 were in a majority, although they had also included in that area
7 places like Prijedor, Sanski Most, Jajce, Kotor Varos, I think Krupa
8 was also envisaged even though the Serbs were a minority there.
9 Q. Did the opstina Prijedor join the Serb autonomous region of the
10 Krajina in 1991?
11 A. No.
12 Q. What other opstinas in that region did not join?
13 A. Apart from Prijedor, Bosanski Novi did not join SAO Krajina,
14 Prijedor, Sanski Most, towns
15 in the Sana River valley -- these are the three towns in the Sana
16 valley -- and also the municipalities of Jajce and Kotor Varos.
17 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if I can ask, not the witness, but you a
18 question? What do you mean "did certain regions join"? Was it a
19 voluntary thing? How could you join or refuse to join?
20 MR. KEEGAN: Dr. Mujadzic, if you could explain, how did opstinas become
21 members of the autonomous region of Krajina?
22 A. I believe that the SDS leadership had prepared an outline framework
23 to include all the municipalities, but various municipalities, as I
24 have already said, did not become part of it.
25 Q. Did it require ----
1 A. The admission to the SAO was to be confirmed by the Municipal
2 Assembly, and in the places I have just mentioned the Municipal
3 Assemblies did not vote for this.
4 Q. What later happened to each of those opstinas which did not vote to
5 join the autonomous region?
6 A. In these municipalities the most horrendous crimes of ethnic
7 cleansing took place in them.
8 Q. Did you have a conversation with Dr. Karadzic about the opstina
9 Prijedor joining the Serb autonomous region of the Krajina?
10 A. It was not any special meeting, and the second meeting with Dr.
11 Radovan Karadzic also took place during a break in the parliamentary
12 session in Sarajevo. I cannot remember who
13 that was, but I know that one of the persons escorting him came to me
14 and asked me to
15 join him and some other SDS members at a table. I do not remember who
16 those others were.
17 Radovan Karadzic, Dr. Karadzic, was in a very good mood and he
18 did his best to be friendly and even cordial. He said: "Listen, you
19 have to know, you have to be aware that the Muslims are, historically
20 speaking, closer to the Serbs than the Croats and you, the Muslims,
21 should be in alliance with Serbs rather than Croats. If the Serbs and
22 the Muslims had an alliance, then we would be able to liberate the
23 whole coast in a very short time, come out to the Adriatic Sea and we
24 could perhaps grant some autonomy to Dubrovnik".
25 Q. What did you respond to this?
1 A. Before I answer, may I recount another part of his speech, of Dr.
2 Karadzic's speech, which is based upon Prijedor?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. He asked: "Well, and what are you doing down there in Prijedor? Why
5 do you not join Banja Luka? Prijedor has always been with Banja Luka
6 and not with Bihac". Meanwhile, this group was joined by one of SDA
7 members of parliament, I think it was Zijad Kadic, and he asked him
8 something, I think, if he had heard a part of a speech about a
9 possible alliance between the Muslims and the Serbs and what would be
10 the Muslims' position in that state, in some Yugoslavia; and Karadzic
11 responded that the position of the Muslims would be very good, and
12 that it would be the second people in terms of its size.
13 Then I asked him whether we would have the right to define
14 ourselves as a people, as Bosniaks, for instance. He said: "Why
15 that? Is it not enough for you to be able to define yourself from the
16 point of view of your religion and to cultivate your culture?" So
17 that he did not mention specifically our right to define ourselves
19 I listened to him carefully and I told him that we, the
20 Bosniaks, did not opt for an alliance with the Croats, and that we
21 simply had our own road, and that Bosnia-Herzegovina needed to and
22 could survive only as a community of three equitable peoples, Serbs,
23 Muslims and Croats; and that the relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 as a Republic, as a state, with Croatia or Serbia, could only be on an
25 equitable footing balanced, we called it the thesis of equidistance,
1 that is, the same distance kept between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia
2 and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, as this was the only way in which
3 we could achieve stability and solution for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 In reference to Prijedor, I said that it was quite true that,
5 economically speaking, Prijedor had always been linked to Banja Luka
6 but that, politically speaking, we did not want to opt either for
7 Banja Luka or for Bihac, that we simply wanted Prijedor to be in
9 Q. What, in fact, was the view of the SDA party on the independence of
11 A. That view was proclaimed rather in early days during the election
12 campaign at a big rally in Velika Kladusa, and could be summed up as
13 follows -- I am sorry -- if only Slovenia leaves Yugoslavia and
14 Croatia remains in it, then it is still Yugoslavia and
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina can remain in such Yugoslavia; and if Croatia also
16 leaves Yugoslavia, then the balance is disrupted and this is not
17 Yugoslavia any more, and then we shall have no other choice but to
18 also leave and request the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
19 this view is based on the equidistance thesis, that is, the same
20 distance between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia Bosnia-Herzegovina and
21 Croatia, as Bosnia-Herzegovina could not remain with Serbia if Croatia
22 has separated, has left.
23 Q. Was this position of the SDA known to members of the SDS during those
24 early days in the campaign?
25 A. Yes, this position was stated publicly and this position, this stand,
1 was maintained for one reason and one only, that Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 this was the only way in which Bosnia-Herzegovina could survive, that
3 this was the only way to preserve its political stability and
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina as one whole, as an entity. That was why we
5 proclaimed that position.
6 Q. With all of these events and situations as the background, how did
7 the Serb referendum or plebiscite and the Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 referendum later on fit into this picture?
9 A. The Serb plebiscite is nothing but a point or, rather, the ultimate
10 stage of a process whereby the Serbs, in fact, said "yes" to greater
11 Serbia, said "yes" to Yugoslavia as conceived by Milosevic. So this
12 was the final stage of a process which had begun much earlier, long
13 before the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. So the only
14 possible answer, the only possible response, to the Serb plebiscite
15 which was held, if I am correct, in November 1991, was a referendum on
16 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I believe, some time around
17 February 1992 which was also but a final stage of a process and,
18 generally speaking, one may say that neither of these events were a
19 cause but, rather, a consequence and the effect.
20 I should like to emphasise that the nature of the Serb
21 plebiscite found its reflection in the mode of voting, and our
22 objection after the Serb plebiscite was that it had been undemocratic
23 by nature and for two reasons: First, because the voting, the ballot
24 papers, were one kind for Serbs -- I think, I believe they were blue
25 -- and another kind for non-Serbs -- I think they were red, so that it
1 reminded us of some racist methods and, secondly, the outcome of the
2 referendum was 100 per cent for, which is impossible in a normal
3 democratic procedure.
4 Q. Dr. Mujadzic, as we then move into 1992, between January and April
5 30th 1992, what significant events or meetings occurred to cause you
6 concern for what was about to occur?
7 A. It was the proclamation of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 I believe it was sometime in January 1992. Then there was the decision
9 on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is the decision on the
10 referendum, taken by the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the
11 referendum for independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then at the
12 local level the return of Serb brigades from the front in Croatia,
13 after the cease-fire in Croatia; the occupation of the transmitter on
14 the Kozara mountain which was transmitting the TV signal for the
15 Prijedor region by Serb extremists, and then a series of talks we had
16 with Colonel Arsic, Major Radmilo Zeljaja, Simo Miskovic, the newly
17 elected SDS President, Srdja Srdic. Then the occupation of Sanski
18 Most by the 6th Krajina Brigade and
19 the talks with General Talic and Colonel Hasecic. Then the military
20 coup in Prijedor in the night between 29th and 30th April, and the
21 attack on the civilian population in Prijedor by Serb paramilitary
22 formations and the newly proclaimed army of the Republika Srpska on
23 23rd May, and the meeting, I forgot that, with Stojan Zupljanin, the
24 head of the Regional Police administration for the region of Banja
25 Luka, rather the head of the security service in Banja Luka.
1 Q. This meeting with the individual you named as Stojan Zupljanin, who
2 called that meeting?
3 A. The meeting was called at the initiative of the Regional Police
4 administration, the head of the centre for State Security of Banja
5 Luka, Stojan Zupljanin.
6 Q. If could I have photograph 5/109 brought up on a computer, please.
7 That would be Exhibit 139. Do you recognise that photograph?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who is that gentleman?
10 A. This is Stojan Zupljanin. I think he has gained weight in the
11 meantime, but I am positive that that is him.
12 Q. Your Honour, I tender Exhibit 139.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
14 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 139 will be admitted.
16 MR. KEEGAN: Where was this meeting with Stojan Zupljanin held?
17 A. The meeting was held in the building of the municipal hall in
19 Q. What was the position of Mr. Zupljanin? What was it that he wanted?
20 A. As opstina Prijedor did not join the Serb autonomous region of
21 Bosanska Krajina, the police station for the municipality of Prijedor
22 was neither a part, had neither joined the centre for State Security
23 in Banja Luka, apart from the chief of the police in Prijedor and the
24 Chief of Police in Jajce. All over chiefs of police in all other
25 municipalities were Serbs. Zupljanin questioned the functioning, the
1 operation of the police station in Prijedor and said
2 he found it inadmissible that the Prijedor police station communicates
3 with Sarajevo, that this communication had to be stopped and that the
4 Prijedor police station had to be placed under the sole control of the
5 State Security centre in Banja Luka.
6 Q. What was the response from the police authorities in opstina
8 A. Talundzic, the Chief of Police who was present at the meeting. May I
9 mention only that apart from the Chief of Police and myself, Muhamed
10 Cehajic, the Mayor of the municipality, was also present. The Deputy
11 Mayor, Milomir Stakic, was also there. The then SDS President, Simo
12 Miskovic. Some individuals escorting Stojan Zupljanin who were armed
13 with automatic weapons entered the room with their weapons who did not
14 introduce themselves, so I do not know who they were. So Chief
15 Talundzic and our answer, that is the Mayor's and my answer, was that
16 the police station in Prijedor would remain within the state structure
17 of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it would respect the
18 decisions and orders coming from its centre, but that we had nothing
19 against establishing some kind of co-operation with the State Security
20 centre in Banja Luka. However, the meeting did not
21 last long. Immediately when he came into the room Mr. Zupljanin was
22 very agitated and angry because outside a large crowd had gathered to
23 protest and they were shouting "Bosnia, Bosnia". He looked very angry
24 and he stood up and left the municipal building in protest. A day or
25 two later in Glas, a regional newspaper, featured his official report
1 in which he stated that an attempt had been prepared against his life
2 in Prijedor which he allegedly barely avoided which, of course, was
3 not true.
4 MR. KEEGAN: Would that be a convenient time to stop?
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, Mr. Keegan, it would be. The Trial Chamber
6 would like to discuss a matter with counsel. So, Dr. Mujadzic, you
7 are excused for the day. You should return tomorrow at 10 a.m. and we
8 will resume your testimony then
9 (The witness withdrew).
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, the Prosecutor has filed a notification
11 under Rule 67(A)(i) of the Tribunal's Rules and it had to do with the
12 requirement that you list rebuttal witnesses ----
13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: --- in response to the Defence's notice of alibi.
15 That has been served on the Defence, has it not?
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, your Honour, it has.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Basically what you say in the notification is that
18 you are unable to determine the specifics of the testimony of the
19 alibi witnesses, that because of that you are unable to provide a
20 complete list of the rebuttal witnesses or, indeed, any rebuttal
21 witnesses, and that the Prosecution will notify the Defence as soon as
22 it determines the rebuttal witnesses it intends to call. Have I
23 correctly stated the essence of the notice?
24 MR. NIEMANN: Essentially the position is, your Honours, that some of the
25 witnesses that we will call in-chief may address some of these issues
1 which may be raised by the Defence in their defence, but we have no
2 other witnesses that we can call or have identified at this stage who
3 would expressly address in rebuttal the defence of alibi, the
4 witnesses that the Defence will call in alibi. Essentially, we cannot
5 do that because we have not been able to get specific enough detail to
6 do it.
7 It may be that even if we had the specific detail we still may
8 not be able to locate
9 such people, but we found it difficult to obtain any useful
10 information or any useful assistance from the people that we would
11 consult on the basis of the information that we have at the moment in
12 terms of identifying rebuttal witnesses.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The concern of the Trial Chamber was that this was
14 just a notice that was filed or notification, and it really did not
15 require any action on the part of the Trial Chamber. But it seemed,
16 at least from our reading of the notification, that you should either
17 file a motion for additional time to comply with the Rule and provide
18 the Defence with your rebuttal witnesses, or you should file a motion
19 for a more specific designation, I suppose, by the Defence as to its
20 alibi witnesses.
21 What I am trying to say is that this was just a notification
22 basically advising the Chamber that you would not be complying with
23 the deadline, because we had set a deadline
24 for you to provide the Defence with the rebuttal witnesses. I think
25 we are concerned that if later you attempt to offer rebuttal witnesses
1 there will be a question of timeliness.
2 So, if it is your intention just to notify the Chamber, that
3 is fine, but if it is
4 your intent to say that, at this time, we want additional time because we
5 cannot respond because of the lack of specificity or, better yet,
6 probably a motion requesting the Defence to be more specific in its
7 alibi notice, because there is nothing that we can do other than to
8 receive the notice and I am afraid it is just deferring a problem.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Your Honour, it was not intended to
10 convey the impression that we were not intending to comply.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No, I understand.
12 MR. NIEMANN: What we wished to convey was that at this stage we had no
13 such witnesses and we did go on to specify the reasons, or some of the
14 reasons, why we did not have such witnesses. I take what your Honour
15 has said, and certainly we will give consideration for filing a motion
16 to address it. We do envisage that problems could arise because of
17 the lack of specificity, and it may be that it is appropriate to deal
18 with that by way of motion. If further specificity is available, it
19 may assist us in locating rebuttal witnesses. The only other way
20 around it we would envisage would be that once the witness had given
22 we may in a desperate attempt at that stage be looking around to see
23 whether there were rebuttal witnesses, but that is a clumsy and
24 perhaps a time-consuming process. Certainly, your Honours, we are
25 quite happy to deal with it by way of motion to raise the issue.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. I think that would be appropriate because
2 67(A)(i) provides that you give the Defence any rebuttal witnesses
3 that you have with respect to the alibi defence, and we set a time
4 limit for it. If you cannot meet that time limit you either have to
5 get an extension of time or we are going to have to resolve the
6 problem of at least your contention that the alibi defence
7 notification is not specific.
8 Do you have anything to say, Mr. Wladimiroff, to that?
9 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Just a little, your Honour. Since the Prosecution has
10 interviewed our client on two occasions quite detailed, we believe
11 that all the details the Prosecution is looking for will be found in
12 his statement. The same names as we provided for in the notice will
13 be found in his statement which is in the possession of the
14 Prosecution since last summer and last December. So we think the
15 Prosecution has lots of details which enable it
16 to do what it should do.
17 The second thing I want to address your Court on is, is it not
18 the idea for the Prosecution to interview the alibi witnesses and to
19 find what they should do by hearing
20 what those witnesses are able to say? They have got the names and
21 addresses. So
22 we think we have complied with all we had to do.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We have not reviewed, of course we have not even
24 received, the statement of your client. So I do not know how specific
25 that is. That is the kind of thing we might receive by way of a
1 motion. They say in their notification that they do not have enough
2 details. What they are saying, I guess, is that although names have
3 been given, they
4 do not know when that person is supposed to be an alibi witness for
5 the Defence. That is the names given.
6 MR. WLADIMIROFF: That is his statement.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I would guess if they look at the statement or maybe
8 if they go and
9 talk to these people whose names are listed, that is a way to get more
10 details about it.
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I understand, your Honour, but once again the Defence
12 takes the position that all this kind of information will be found in
13 the statement of Mr. Tadic.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It may be, and that is why I am suggesting that the
15 Prosecutor bring that to our attention. Right now all we have is a
16 notification that they have not met a deadline that we set. What I am
17 saying is if they do not meet that deadline and later down the line
18 they attempt to offer rebuttal witnesses, they are going to be in a
19 very difficult position without some leave of the Trial Chamber.
20 So, what I am saying is that they need to bring that on to us.
21 If they file a motion saying that it is not specific enough for them
22 to list rebuttal witnesses, you will then respond by saying just what
23 you have said. You have the statement, perhaps even attach the
24 statement to your response. You have the names of the witnesses. You
25 go and talk to them and we will then rule on it. Right now we cannot
1 do anything other than have this piece of paper and we are afraid that
2 later down the line there is going to be a big battle between you two
3 sets of lawyers and we are trying to avoid it. That is all.
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We will just see what happens when they file their
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. You will file that by next Wednesday.
7 Can you do that, please?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. We will stand adjourned until tomorrow
10 at 10 a.m.
11 (The court adjourned until the following day).