1 Tuesday, 24 May 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-08-91-T,
7 The Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Good morning to
9 everyone. May we have the appearances, please.
10 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
11 Alexis Demirdjian and Crispian Smith for the Prosecution. Your Honours,
12 with your leave, after the break, I'll be replaced by Mr. Hannis for
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Slobodan Cvijetic, Eugene O'Sullivan and Ms. Tatjana Savic appearing for
16 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
18 Aleksandar Aleksic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. May we have the witness escorted back to
20 the stand, please.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, Mr. Bjelosevic. You may resume
23 your seat and before Ms. Korner continues, I remind you you are still on
24 your oath.
25 WITNESS: ANDRIJA BJELOSEVIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
3 Q. Now, yesterday, Mr. Bjelosevic, you told us that a member of the
4 MUP had been prosecuted for crimes against non-Serbs. You couldn't
5 remember his name but it was only a phone call away. Did you make the
6 phone call overnight to find out what his name was?
7 A. No, I didn't. I didn't understand I was supposed to.
8 Q. That's fine. I --
9 A. No, I didn't check.
10 Q. All right. Now, I want to return fairly briefly to the question
11 of the relationship between the military and the MUP and in particular
12 your relationship with General Lisica. It's right to say, wasn't it,
13 that whatever the tone of the letters which were exchanged sometimes you
14 and Colonel Lisica had a good relationship during 1992?
15 A. Well, we did have some heated discussions about some matters, but
16 our relationship certainly wasn't hostile. It was a relationship of
17 co-operation. It was fair.
18 Q. Absolutely. And would you agree with this: That you would
19 occasionally visit police officers who were engaged under the military,
20 and from time to time you would run into Colonel Lisica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you would have a conversation that went something like this:
23 You would ask him how long he was going to keep your police officers
24 there because you had better things to do?
25 A. Well, we spoke about the situation on the battle-field, about
1 problems in the rear, security-related problems. Those are mostly the
2 matters that we discussed. I cannot recall the structure of our
3 conversations and I cannot reproduce them, but these are the things that
4 we spoke about.
5 Q. Absolutely. And most of the time -- well, in fact, I would
6 suggest perhaps all the time you found, between the two of you, a
7 solution for any of the problems that might arise?
8 A. When we didn't identify problems, we acted pursuant orders. We
9 could talk about various matters, but it was clear who the executive
10 power of issuing orders had.
11 Q. Well, you see, I want to -- to deal with this. You said
12 effectively the military commander had the power to order anybody within
13 his zone of responsibility. That's what you are saying, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, in his zone of responsibility, the commander could issue
15 orders and involve all structures in defence-related the matters.
16 Q. But that only, that principle only applied if there was the
17 existence and declared state of war; isn't that right?
18 A. And imminent threat of war.
19 Q. Well, no, it was different, wasn't it, an imminent threat of war.
20 There, isn't this right, Mr. Bjelosevic, the commander had the right to
21 request from the ministry the use of police and other such people to help
22 the military, but not actually to simply order, however Colonel Lisica
23 may have phrased the requests?
24 A. Under the Law on National Defence, in case of war and imminent
25 threat of war, that is both, you can check that because you say you have
1 a legal library, and the commander exercises power in accordance with
2 that. He engaged those forces that under his estimate were necessary to
3 defend the front line, and so on. You mentioned that the procedure
4 should have been to apply for approval to the ministry, but that
5 procedure was not prescribed by the law and it would have taken very long
6 anyway. That area was always near the front line. It was very dynamic,
7 and such a procedure would not have been appropriate if it had been
8 necessary to wait.
9 The commander exercised the power that he had under the law, and
10 that's how things happened.
11 Q. Well, Mr. Bjelosevic, I hear what you say, but that is not, in
12 fact, right, is it? It may have been that Colonel Lisica phrased his
13 demands, as it were, as an order, but the reality is, wasn't it, that he
14 had to ask you, and you didn't refuse, and if you had said no, then the
15 issue would have had to have been resolved at the higher level by the
16 Main Staff of the VRS and by the minister; isn't that the actual
17 situation at this stage?
18 A. It was the way I described it, and to clarify additionally, I can
19 remind you of the situation in July when he ordered the entire police
20 force from Derventa to be deployed at the front line urgently, in the
21 direction of Brod. And I only learned about that later. In order to
22 make sure that the situation in town and the surroundings be bearable, he
23 ordered police forces from Prnjavor to take over policing tasks in town,
24 and he said that he did so because things were urgent. He didn't even
25 have time to call me or contact me, but issued a direct order. But to
1 provide security to the town, he ordered police forces from Prnjavor to
2 come and do policing work.
3 Q. I was going to come on to that but I'll deal with it now. In
4 Derventa, a town command was set up, wasn't it, because after the Serbs
5 retook it, it was in, putting it colloquially, a terrible mess; isn't
6 that right?
7 A. Yes, the colonel ordered that military administration be
8 established and one of his assistants was appointed as town commander. I
9 believe that we were able to see his order, the original order.
10 Q. Exactly. And the town command was also set up, actually, by him
11 in Brod, wasn't it, Bosanski Brod?
12 A. Yes. In Derventa -- or, rather, Derventa was in July and Brod
13 was in October, but it wasn't a town command. It was a military
14 administration headed by a military commander where he had his assistants
15 as laid down by the commandant's order.
16 Q. But when a town command was set up because law and order and
17 everything, all facilities, had broken down, the civilian police
18 conducted their own affairs, didn't they, in the same way as they would
19 in normal circumstances. In other words, they investigated robberies,
20 murders, looting and the like; isn't that right?
21 A. Not entirely. Military administration -- the phrase speaks for
22 itself. It didn't provide for a full liberty to the civilian
23 authorities, but we are speaking about a restrictive approach by all
24 bodies involved and the imposition of such rules wherever there's most
25 military administration. But during that period, at least, and that is
1 until October, when we speak about the northern part, the forces spent
2 most of the time at the front line. Some forces dealt with security and
3 many staff were positioned at check-points. Much attention was devoted
4 to the prevention of looting. Looted goods should be seized, taken away.
5 Those were their instructions, anyway, and they were supposed to issue
6 certificates for seized goods, and then arrangements would be made as to
7 what should happen to those goods.
8 Q. Right. Now, you've mentioned check-points. I haven't finished
9 what I want to ask you about commands, but is it right that
10 General Lisica complained to you, or brought to your attention, that
11 these check-points being manned by the police were actually not stopping
12 people with loot, but were effectively taking bribes and letting them
13 through? Is that right or wrong? You can answer that fairly simply.
14 A. Now you've reminded me of something that really happened on
15 several occasions, and please allow me to explain. At the briefings to
16 which I was often invited at the command, we discussed the issue of
17 looting, and Commander Lisica often asked me, What's your force doing,
18 why don't they prevent looting? And I tried to explain what was really
19 happening in practice, that people in uniform are looting and that they
20 are armed and that it was a problem, that there had been conflicts and
21 weapons pointed at people, and so on.
22 On one occasion, I was on my way to the barracks at Derventa
23 where a briefing was called, and I was passing through town and saw at
24 various places that people in military uniforms were loading some goods
25 from houses on to trucks, and so on. When I came to the barracks, I saw
1 Colonel Lisica and told him what was happening, and I suggested to him
2 that we should take a ride through town for him to see what is happening.
3 And then at some places he got out of our vehicle and ordered those
4 persons to produce their ID. They -- and when we got back to the
5 barracks, he was extremely furious. He shouted at the military police
6 and gave them orders to act, and so on.
7 So what you are saying is correct, but what I said is also true
8 and he started to view things a bit differently once he had seen the
9 situation with his own eyes.
10 Q. Right. Thank you. Can I just complete, please, what I want to
11 put to you about town commands. That a town command was a temporary body
12 that existed until civilian life returned to normal; do you agree with
14 A. Yes. It was up to the commander to lift military authority and
15 re-establish civilian authorities. That was based on his estimate of the
16 situation, but it was entirely up to him to make that decision.
17 Q. Right. And finally this: The town commander would co-ordinate
18 the tasks to be done by the police and other bodies?
19 A. If I'm not mistaken, in the order about the setting up of
20 military administration, the town commander was the person who gives
21 orders and co-ordinates activities. I believe you are right.
22 Q. Now, finally on the question of the military and police
23 relationship, disciplinary matters. When you were asked about this by
24 Mr. Zecevic, you stated that: From the moment when the police is
25 deployed in combat - sorry, this is at page 19654 - it represents an
1 element of the armed forces and subject to all rules and possibly
2 disciplinary measures applied by the military because they are engaged in
3 combat by the military. And you were saying that when you had a look at
4 a document which is in the Defence bundle. It's 1D46 and it's at tab 47.
5 MS. KORNER: If we could have that up, please.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Can the usher please help us with the bundle.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. You can see this is the order of the 15th of May of 1992 by
9 Mico Stanisic. Go to the second page, and your direction was drawn --
10 your direction. Your attention was drawn to paragraph 8 where the order
12 "In carrying out regular duties and tasks, the provisions of the
13 Law on Internal Affairs and other regulations of the Serbian Republic of
14 BH currently in force shall be strictly upheld, whereas in military
15 operations, military regulations and rules shall be enforced."
16 And you said yes, that was your understanding, that if they were
17 re-subordinated to the military, police would be disciplined by the
18 military. But your attention wasn't drawn to the second part:
19 "Any violation of regulations and failure to carry out tasks
20 which have been ordered shall be subject to severe punishment and result
21 in appropriate disciplinary and criminal sanctions."
22 Now, you see, Mr. Bjelosevic, if what you are saying is correct
23 and that the -- during re-subordination, the military dealt with
24 discipline of the police, there would be no point, would there, in
25 Mico Stanisic issuing this order, would there, before I put the next part
1 to you?
2 A. I believe you are wrong. I'll try to explain. In the first
3 subparagraph, I don't think that there's anything unclear. I believe
4 that the language of this order is very clear here. The regular duties
5 and tasks are one thing, whereas the police engaged in military
6 operations is another thing. Military relations and rules are mentioned
7 there. Whereas the other subparagraph about violation of regulations and
8 failure to carry out tasks shall be subject to severe punishment and
9 result in appropriate sanctions. I don't see what the problem is here.
10 The minister orders what kind of conduct is appropriate in carrying out
11 bigger tasks and duties, and also states what the situation is when the
12 military --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: When the police is
14 re-subordinated to the military.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then he mentions sanctions and
16 punishment. I don't see what the issue is.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Well, the issue is this: Because I suggest to you that contrary
19 to your assertion, it was, in fact, the police chain of authority that at
20 all times remained responsibility for disciplinary proceedings; whether
21 or not at the time that the disciplinary offence was committed, or the
22 criminal offence, the particular officer was re-subordinated?
23 A. No. It is clear which provisions of which law apply to a police
24 officer at any given time, when the police officer carries out his
25 regular tasks and duties or when he carries out military duties, when he
1 is under military command. That's very clear.
2 Q. Can you point me, please, Mr. Bjelosevic, to any provision of the
3 law that says in terms during the period when an officer is
4 re-subordinated to the military, it is the military who are responsible
5 for conducting disciplinary proceedings?
6 A. By virtue of joining a military formation, the police officer is
7 subject to the military command and the military rules and regulations by
8 the very fact that he has joined the military. Can I try to explain --
9 Q. No, thank you.
10 A. -- by an example.
11 Q. No. Well, all right, if it's an example that's right on point
12 and short. Is this an example from something that actually happened or
13 you are just speculating?
14 A. No, no, it's not speculation. That's how it worked.
15 Q. No, no, before you go into a long example, is this an example of
16 that you are going to give of something that actually happened. In other
17 words, that a police officer whilst re-subordinated to a military command
18 was disciplined by the military? If not, then I am afraid -- and you can
19 be asked about it by Mr. Zecevic, then I don't want to hear about it.
20 A. Well, I can immediately remember two examples. One is from
21 September, I think, during the carrying out of combat operations in the
22 direction of Brod. There was a slight confusion and unplanned retreat.
23 Commander Lisica placed the commander of that police platoon in custody
24 and remand prison. I don't know if I should mention his name because he
25 is a high-ranking police official nowadays. And he was in remand prison
1 for 24 hours.
2 And the other case is from 1994. The incident happened on
3 Mount Ozren near Vozuca. The front line was being pierced and some
4 people went AWOL, and a number of police officers were sanctioned.
5 Although I was in Bijeljina already, it was in autumn, I know that the
6 military police arrested them, and they were detained for awhile. When I
7 arrived at the command post, we calmed down the situation and the people
8 were returned to the front line.
9 Q. Right. I am sorry, who conducted it? It may well be that
10 Colonel Lisica in a fit of rage put somebody into prison for 24 hours.
11 Who conducted any proceedings against him? And you better tell us the
12 name of this man, please.
13 JUDGE HALL: Having regard to the witness's comment about the
14 present status of that man, shouldn't we go into private session?
15 MS. KORNER: Certainly, Your Honours, if you think that's
17 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
18 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
6 MS. KORNER: Sorry.
7 Q. On two occasions, police officers were incarcerated for a period.
8 Who actually conducted any disciplinary or criminal proceedings against
9 any of these people, or were there none?
10 A. In the first case, the measure was imposed by Commander Lisica.
11 The second time on Mount Ozren, it wasn't him. But let me explain this
12 one thing --
13 Q. No, no, I want know, you've said they were arrested. That's not
14 the same thing. I want to know if any proceedings, either disciplinary
15 or criminal, were carried out against any of these people?
16 A. The military has a different way of functioning, and that's what
17 I'm trying to explain. It's the commander who is in charge in peacetime
18 when you would do your national service. An officer would have the right
19 to send you, for up to seven days, to military detention without any
20 proceedings being conducted. The military functions in a different way
21 compared to the civilian structures.
22 Q. Right. Well, I suggest to you that these examples are really not
23 appropriate to the principle which I'm putting to you, and I've already
24 put it to you and you disagree, which is that the -- even when the police
25 are re-subordinated, it is the police who are responsible for taking
2 Now, can I ask you, do you know somebody called
3 Ljubisa Kitanovic? Let me make sure I've got the right name.
4 A. You said Kitanovic?
5 Q. Just let me double-check the name. Ljubisa, yes, Kitanovic, also
6 known as Crni?
7 A. Crni, didn't he have some other name in Samac? I can't remember
8 it now. But I believe that in Bosanski Samac, there was a man nicknamed
9 Crni, but I can't remember his name.
10 Q. Did you know him personally?
11 A. No, I only heard that he was in Samac. I think that Crni is
12 mentioned also at the time of the blockade of the corridor. That name
13 was mentioned quite often.
14 Q. All right. This is a different Crni. This is -- do you know
15 anything about a man called Ljubisa Kitanovic? Do you have any dealings
16 with a man called Kitanovic, born in Teslic?
17 A. I cannot remember anybody by that name right now. I really can't
19 Q. Were you ever made aware of any allegations made against you by
20 this man?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, I want to deal with two matters, finally, quite shortly. I
23 want to ask you for your view, as chief of the CSB for quite a long
24 period, about this: If you received credible information that police
25 officers from an SJB that came within your area of responsibility had
1 killed over 100 unarmed men, would you feel it was your responsibility to
2 make sure that those responsible for the killing were immediately
3 arrested and questioned?
4 A. Maybe it's an issue of interpretation. I'm a bit confused now.
5 If I understood you correctly, you are speaking hypothetically, had there
6 been 100 murders by a policeman, would such a policeman be arrested?
7 Q. Yes, I mean, that's right. I'm asking you, if you received
8 credible information that police officers from an SJB that fell within
9 your area of responsibility had murdered in one incident over 100 people,
10 would you feel it was your responsibility to make sure that these men
11 were immediately arrested and questioned?
12 A. Yes, yes, had I had such information, I would probably do exactly
13 that. Of course it all depends on circumstances, where they are, who
14 they are, what kind of danger there is, but of course there would be some
15 efforts in that direction.
16 Q. Would you think it appropriate for the chief of the SJB to
17 immediately send those police officers as a unit to the army so that it
18 became difficult to question them?
19 A. That would not be appropriate.
20 Q. If police officers under your direct command, Mr. Bjelosevic, in
21 other words, someone you had direct control of, not through an SJB chief,
22 went to a prison and forced the prison authorities to release some other
23 policemen, one of their number, would you think it was appropriate to
24 investigate that matter and question those police officers?
25 A. If I understood you correctly, you are talking about an
1 assumption. Some policemen were detained, and then some other policemen
2 came to take them out of detention using force.
3 Q. Exactly.
4 A. Well, that's absolutely also a breach.
5 Q. Which should have been investigated. If it had happened to you
6 by -- you should have ordered the investigation?
7 A. The commander should have reacted, chief of the station, and
8 anybody else who had such information. I absolutely agree that the
9 reaction should have been made immediately, if such a thing happened.
10 Q. And, finally, if barricades had been erected throughout the town
11 of Doboj before any conflict broke out, and armed men were stopping
12 people at these barricades and surrounding municipal buildings, would you
13 think it appropriate that you should use the police to remove these
15 A. Do I understand you correctly, it's all hypothetical. You say if
16 this happens, if that happens.
17 Q. I'm just asking for your understanding and reaction as a chief of
18 a CSB. Would you have thought that it was proper to allow armed men to
19 set up barricades in the town of Doboj?
20 A. I have to make a connection with reality, with practice here.
21 Barricades were erected at various points in March already, as well as
22 national roads and approaches to certain settlements. If we talk
23 specifically about Doboj, in April there were already some barricades and
24 I think I spoke about that. Such barricades would be put at around
25 sunset at the approaches to Carsija and Gradina and other places, and not
1 even regular police patrols would be able to pass. It was quite clear
2 who was able to enter that area, who would be accepted by people manning
3 those barricades.
4 Q. I'm not talking -- may I make this clear, I'm not talking about
5 barricades at various ethnically separate parts of the town. I'm talking
6 about barricades being erected in order to make demands to the municipal
7 leadership. Totally different situation.
8 A. That's hypothetical assumption. We should consider a number of
9 elements: What it is about, in which municipality, why the barricades
10 were erected, who erected them, were they armed or not? This is all
11 about careful estimate and evaluation of the situation, and only then can
12 you choose an appropriate measure of reaction. What were the
13 circumstances, was it peacetime, war time?
14 Q. Well, one last question and then we'll leave this topic. If the
15 barricades, to your certain knowledge as a police officer and from the
16 information you got, were being put up by criminals, well known
17 criminals, would that make a difference?
18 A. We are still talking about the same hypothesis?
19 Q. Yes, I just want to know whether that would make any difference
20 to what you would do. If the answer is no, then say so.
21 A. Well, I said that I should consider a number of various elements
22 in order to evaluate the situation. Right now, I know nothing. This is
23 just a hypothetical: Barricades set up, municipality blockaded, we don't
24 know who it is, what were the reasons, are they armed are not, are there
25 any people armed within the municipality building, are we dealing with a
1 hostage situation, what are the elements? It all really requires a
2 careful evaluation.
3 Q. I won't pursue this. Final question on factual matters before I
4 deal with the very last topic.
5 In 1994, or thereabouts, were you ordered by Mico Stanisic to
6 solve the issue of the killings at Koricanska Stijena in 1992? And I use
7 the word "solve."
8 A. No. In 1992, Koricanska Stijena, that's something that happened
9 outside the jurisdiction of the Doboj CSB. But when Mr. Stanisic was
10 minister again in 1994, I received another assignment from him. I had to
11 go to Prijedor, I think it was sometime in April, and we had to resolve a
12 situation of multiple murder. Sixteen or 17 people were killed --
13 Q. Sorry, this is a killing that took place in 1994?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Don't worry about that. It's outside what we are concerned with.
16 I simply want to know, whether at any stage, he ordered you to carry out
17 further investigations and solve the killings which had occurred in 1992
18 on Koricanska Stijena?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Now, finally, I want, just quickly, to ask you a few more
21 questions about your time that you told us about with the military, in
22 the period between the beginning of May and the end of June. And do you
23 agree that your military booklet that you provided us with, and which we
24 can see, it's 20096, tab 100. Do you have the original with you?
25 MS. KORNER: 65 ter 20096.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I brought it here, but it seems to
2 have been left in my other jacket. Yes, I think I left it in my hotel
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. All right. We are going to look at it on the screen anyhow.
6 A. I brought it here on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then nobody
7 wanted to take a look at it, so I left it in my room.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't think that we have on the screens the
9 booklet. It's a personal file.
10 MS. KORNER: Sorry, it is. Quite right. 20129. Sorry. And
11 it's tab 108. Sorry.
12 Q. Do you agree that's a photocopy of your military booklet?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the military booklet should record, is that right, the times
15 when you do service with the military? For example, if we go to --
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. You agree. All right. It shows that you did your military
18 service ... somewhere --
19 A. Beginning with the 2nd of October, 1970, until the
20 13th of February, 1971, in Mostar, I was an intern because my national
21 service was recognised as part of my university studies. And then I
22 simply had to do an internship in order to be qualified for the position
23 of an officer and the appropriate rank.
24 Q. All right. Well, that -- it does show -- and I'd -- rather than
25 go through all the pages, that you were shown to be fit for military
2 MS. KORNER: That's at page 3 in English and it's section 5 in
3 B/C/S. That will be on the second page, I think. Third page. Is that
4 section 5? No. It's going backwards, I think. Yes, sorry, it's page 2
5 in B/C/S. Yes, I think we are being shown it. Sorry, I didn't notice
6 that. Right.
7 Q. It shows you were fit for military service on the 20th of
8 September, 1972.
9 MS. KORNER: If we go, please, then to section 6 which is at
10 page 5 in English, and presumably the next page in B/C/S. Yes.
11 Q. Shows you were doing your military service between October 1974
12 to the 13th of February, 1985, in Mostar.
13 MS. KORNER: If we go to page 8 and section 8 in B/C/S -- page 8
14 in English. And it's the fifth page in B/C/S.
15 Q. We see your various promotions, and I'm not going to trouble with
16 them until we get to the -- next page in English, please, and the
17 next ... by 1991, section 6, you've reached the rank of commander or
18 captain, sorry.
19 MS. KORNER: And now, finally, page 15 in English and section 10
20 in B/C/S; 10 in B/C/S. No, that's it. Thank you.
21 Q. It shows that your, as it were -- your military service was
22 cancelled because you've gone to the MUP, is that right, between the
23 4th -- this is the -- obviously the RS MUP, between the
24 4th of April, 1992, to the 30th of June, 1996?
25 MS. KORNER: Sorry, wrong page in English, please. Thank you.
1 Q. Do you agree that there is absolutely no record whatsoever in
2 your military booklet of you being assigned to the military between April
3 and end of June -- sorry, between May and the end of June 1992?
4 A. My war time assignment was not changed. I was -- I remained with
5 my previous war time assignment, but, during that period, I was
6 re-subordinated, and that's something that is normally not recorded in
7 the military booklet.
8 Q. Well, you say you were re-subordinated, and it wasn't recorded in
9 your work booklet either, was it?
10 A. No, it's not normally recorded in the work booklet.
11 Q. By whom were you re-subordinated?
12 A. It was in the command, the forward command post of the
13 1st Krajina Corps. Maybe I should explain it.
14 Q. No, no. You've told us where you were. I understand where you
15 say you were. I want to know, please, who ordered you to go and work
16 under military command? Who? Not where, who?
17 A. It's one thing when there is a written order for somebody to be
18 appointed to a position of command. That is done by a written order and
19 that happened twice. I said once in spring. I think it was the end of
20 May or the beginning of June, at the beginning of the operation called
21 Corridor; and then the second time, it was in November 1992 when I was
22 engaged to perform functions of the battalion commander. And in this
23 interregnum, so to speak, there was no written order. I was engaged
24 according to need. If at one point there was no CSB, then until my final
25 appointment, I was engaged on various tasks that I already mentioned.
1 And there wasn't a written order that applied to the whole of this
2 period. That's what I'm trying to explain to you.
3 Q. You see, that's -- leave aside November. We perfectly accept
4 what happened to you in November. I'm only interested in the major
5 period, which, as you know, I put it to you before, is the period when
6 all these crimes were committed in Doboj. Where is the order that you
7 say re-subordinated you to the military?
8 A. I don't know where this written order is. Whether I returned it
9 with all other document when I was sending back the combat reports,
10 that's probably how it happened, that is how it went back. If you are
11 asking me who wrote that order, it was the corps commander, if I remember
12 correctly, or maybe the Chief of Staff, but I think that it was commander
13 who signed it.
14 Q. The late General Talic, that's what you are saying?
15 A. Yes, yes, I think that he signed the order.
16 Q. Right. Did you let Mico Stanisic know that in this early period
17 of huge change, one of his chiefs of the CSB was simply not going to be
19 A. I informed Minister Stanisic about this engagement of mine when I
20 attended the meeting. I had no opportunity to inform him about that
21 prior to that. Even though the other day you put it to me -- you claimed
22 that it was possible to go to Sarajevo -- to come from Sarajevo, that the
23 communications were operational. But I would like that person claiming
24 that it was possible to reach Sarajevo and Pale to show me which route
25 was open. My position is that it wasn't possible to travel between Doboj
1 and Pale. There were simply no roads.
2 Q. It may not have been possible, and leaving that aside for you to
3 travel, you could, however, have sent a dispatch, couldn't you, to
4 Mico Stanisic, via Banja Luka, as we saw you did before, saying,
5 General Talic has asked me to come and work with the army because of
6 operation corridor? You could have done that, couldn't you?
7 A. Can you even imagine what the situation was like there?
8 Q. Could you just answer the question, please. Could you have sent
9 a dispatch, as you sent a letter over this Dutch journalist, or dispatch,
10 via Banja Luka to Stanisic saying, General Talic has asked or ordered
11 that I go and work with him, is that all right? You could have done
12 that, couldn't you?
13 A. I didn't even think about it at the time. In May, I didn't even
14 know whether there were any links between Banja Luka and Pale at the
15 time, and I don't think that those links existed continuously. I think
16 that some links were established later on, that the army did it, and it
17 worked only sporadically, as far as I know. But to tell you the truth,
18 at that time, in the beginning, in the first half of May, it did not even
19 occur to me that I would have to find, at any cost, a mechanism of
20 informing the minister. Given the factual situation, given how things
21 were, it was pointless for me to sit by myself, as a chief of CSB, alone
22 in the office without having a single department operational. Facing the
23 reality as it was, we were encircled. There were no goods in the shops,
24 there was no money, no living conditions, basically, no electricity, no
25 traffic, disorder in health services. If you can just imagine that
1 situation, and people getting killed all around us and shooting
3 Q. We have already been through the fact, Mr. Bjelosevic, some time
4 ago that the MUP, both in the old BiH and the RS, was a strictly
5 hierarchical disciplined body. Now, how could you possibly have
6 disappeared off, as you say you did, without informing your superiors?
7 A. The state was also organised in accordance with the constitution.
8 It functioned in accordance with the constitution, and then it collapsed.
9 The entire system collapsed. The communications collapsed, everything
10 did. It will not be an exaggeration for me to say that there was this
11 instinct for survival that prevailed for personally and for the family.
12 Q. Absolutely, Mr. Bjelosevic. Instinct for survival for you and
13 the family. You just effectively abrogated your responsibilities, didn't
14 you, to Mr. Petrovic and the SJB, and you effectively hid out to save
15 yourself? That's what happened, isn't it, Mr. Bjelosevic?
16 A. That's not right. I would absolutely not agree that that is how
17 it was and there's numerous evidence and numerous witnesses who can prove
18 that that is not how it was, that I did not run off in that period of
19 time. Had I run off, I would not have been awarded with the
20 Karadjordje Star and I would not have received the veterans status. And
21 it was not me who abrogated the responsibilities and who shifted the
22 responsibilities to Mr. Petrovic. I explained to you what the
23 circumstances were that led to this. And later on you could see how
24 people interfered by way of orders, and later on the Crisis Staff
25 verified this or ratified this officially. And I think that it was
1 rational because only part of the territory of pre-war municipality of
2 Doboj was under the control of the forces and that security station that
3 existed was quite sufficient to deal with the security matters in that
5 Q. I'll make it quite clear. I'm sure you did go off to the
6 military forward command from time to time, and that was your excuse,
7 wasn't it, for not dealing with any of the matters, the crimes that were
8 committed during that period? Do you understand, Mr. Bjelosevic? I
9 suggest you hold full responsibility for what happened and that you were
10 there more often than you are prepared to admit?
11 A. I fully understand your position, what you are claiming, but I
12 disagree with you because that's not how it was. Second, I especially
13 disagree with the last claim you uttered because that's not how it was
14 under the law. The law regulates clearly what the responsibilities of
15 the public security station and its territory, and for some reason you
16 are putting it wrongly. I don't know why you are doing this because
17 that's not how it was.
18 MS. KORNER: I have no further questions. Thank you,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one moment. Mr. Bjelosevic, one follow-up
22 question about this: You said you talked to the minister about your
23 appointment in the army and your leaving your post as CSB chief. At the
24 meeting, you said, could you remind us the date of that meeting you are
25 referring to? What meeting are you referring to?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The meeting which took place on the
2 11th of July in Belgrade.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Before Mr. Zecevic takes the floor, I, too, have
5 a small question for you, Mr. Bjelosevic, namely in respect of the
6 establishment of the town commands which you told us about earlier this
7 morning. And my question to you is: Where these town commands were
8 established, were there also in these towns or municipalities
9 Crisis Staffs existing or established at the same time in any of the
10 places where town commands were established?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. During that period of time
12 when the town command existed, it was, if I can put it that way, the sole
13 authority. There were no Crisis Staffs or any other organs in power.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Did the town command or the town commands, did
15 they include any representation from civilian authorities?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would have the town commander,
17 and the town commander had his assistants for various matters. And it
18 wasn't arranged identically in every town. Military administration
19 existed in Brod, in Derventa, in Odzak. Odzak had the strictest term of
20 military administration because there weren't many civilian residents
21 there anyway and there were very few assistants for various matters.
22 Whereas in Derventa and in Brod, there were more assistants of the town
23 commander for various matters.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks. Just to be clear about what your
25 testimony is: When you say that the town commander had assistants, would
1 these assistants be recruited from his own military staff or would they
2 be recruited from civilian authorities? In other words, what I'm
3 interested to know, Mr. Bjelosevic, is whether the town commands were
4 exclusively military bodies, or whether they were bodies that were
5 chaired by a military commander but also included civilian
6 representatives from the local area?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I fully understood your
8 question. In Odzak, it was an exclusively military administration
9 comprising military officers. In Derventa, some assistants appointed by
10 the operative group command were assistants to the town commander. And
11 if I can remember, one of them was a woman, and then there were also
12 military officers among them. So it was mixed, there were some civilians
13 in charge of certain matters. I think that this lady was in charge of
14 legal affairs or something like that.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Anyway, they are outside the scope of
16 the indictment.
17 MS. KORNER: Exactly, Your Honours. Do you remember, there is a
18 document on the Derventa town command. It was actually shown to one of
19 the witnesses or maybe more than one which sets out who it is. For the
20 moment, I can't remember the number but if I do, I'll remind Your Honours
21 are that.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. I do remember the document, I just
23 wanted to have this witness's explanation.
24 Thank you very much, sir.
25 Back to you Mr. Zecevic.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: May I propose that we adjourn at this point and
2 that I start re-examination -- redirect examination after the break.
3 JUDGE HALL: Yes. By the way, Mr. Zecevic, how long do you
4 anticipate that your re-examination would take?
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, it's very hard for me to say, Your Honours,
6 because I anticipated at the beginning of today -- I anticipated around
7 two, two and a half hours, but now there has been some other matters. So
8 I'm really not sure. I have to review during the break the transcript
9 and see what else do I need to ask.
10 JUDGE HALL: The practical question I'm really thinking about is
11 in terms of your next witness, whether we should be thinking in terms of
12 him tomorrow morning or later this afternoon.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, well, Your Honours, I anticipated this
14 situation, and I already scheduled the witness for tomorrow morning, yes,
15 the next witness. Thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 10.21 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought in,
20 I just want to indicate I am Tom Hannis, now appearing in place for
21 Ms. Korner. And also, she asked me to request that 65 ter 20138, which
22 is the document concerning criminal charges against Jozo Mandic, be
23 tendered and marked MFI.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Tab number, please.
25 MR. HANNIS: 118. 118.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: And how about the military booklet, is that it?
2 MR. HANNIS: Yes, if that was not tendered, we would like to
3 tender it as well.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 20129 will become
7 Exhibit P2344. And 65 ter number 20138 will become Exhibit P2345. Thank
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, I am sorry. Mr. Hannis offered the
10 document P2345 as MFI, and I didn't object because that is the -- that is
11 the practice that we adopted because all these documents are MFI'd
12 pending the submissions. And the second document, 2344, which is a
13 military booklet, I do not object, and that can be tendered in evidence.
14 Can, please, the record reflect.
15 JUDGE HALL: Yes, so the -- you got that?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document P2345 is thus marked for identification,
17 Your Honours.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. May I?
19 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, good morning, Mr. Bjelosevic.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I will first discuss with you the matters that you commented on
24 during the first session with Ms. Korner, and then after that we will go
25 back to the very beginning of your cross-examination and cover the
1 matters that, in our opinion, Ms. Korner failed to touch upon.
2 Sir, on page 3 of today's transcript --
3 MR. HANNIS: Well, I am sorry. Based on that, I would like to
4 impose an interjection at this point. If he is going to ask about
5 matters that Ms. Korner didn't touch on, then I would say that is beyond
6 the scope of cross-examination.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes, I don't think Mr. Zecevic intended to say what
8 he came across as having said.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, precisely right. If you will
10 remember, Ms. Korner on a couple of occasions stopped the witness during
11 his answers as saying, You will deal with that with Mr. Zecevic. And
12 that is what I intend to question the witness about.
13 Q. [Interpretation] On page 3, you replied to Ms. Korner's question
14 by saying, Yes, in the area of responsibility, the commander can issue
15 orders and order all structures on matters concerning defence. And then
16 Ms. Korner, in line 16, suggested to you that that principle can be
17 applied only when the state of war has been declared, and you disagreed
18 with that. You said that the state of the imminent threat of war was
19 identical in that sense. And I have one question concerning that.
20 Mr. Bjelosevic, given the situation that existed in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina in May, April, and June of 1992, even though I think
22 it prevailed throughout 1992, was that, according to you, a de facto
23 state of war or not?
24 A. Yes, it was a state of war. It had all the features of the war
25 conflict. It was just a matter of formal declaration of the state of war
1 or imminent state of war. But formally speaking, given all its features,
2 it was a proper war conflict.
3 Q. On page 4, Ms. Korner asked you about your relationship with
4 Colonel Lisica.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at tab 135 of
6 the Defence binder. This is 1D263, tab 135. Defence tab 135.
7 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, is this your letter sent to the command of the
8 operative group of the Serb army under the command of Colonel Lisica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In this letter, do you request that the police be withdrawn from
11 combat operations?
12 A. Yes, I asked for the commander's approval for the police to be
13 withdrawn from combat action because of the deteriorating security
14 situation. We needed these people in order to solve and stabilise the
15 situation and the security concerns.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] The next document is 1D264 which is
18 tab 231. Tab 231.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is this document, 231, or has
20 something been mixed up?
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Look at the monitor, please.
23 A. Oh, yes, I see now.
24 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, tell me, please, what is this? What is this
1 A. This is the reply of Commander Lisica to the letter which we just
2 saw, to my letter, where he explains, saying, I understand your proposal
3 concerning the withdrawal of police from combat operations.
4 Q. I'm interested in his position regarding your request that police
5 be withdrawn. This is the penultimate sentence, or two sentences before
6 the end.
7 A. Well, you can see it in the middle. I do not authorise the
8 withdrawal of police forces. He has the executive power in this
9 situation and in many others. He made the executive decision.
10 Q. In that same sentence, he makes some comments about the
11 territory. Can you please tell us something about that?
12 A. Yes, he says that he does not allow for the withdrawal to take
13 place because otherwise the front would be moved close to Doboj very
14 soon, and you will not have the territory to control at all. And then he
15 goes on to say, I hope that you understood properly my reasons. And his
16 reasons are fully justified. I completely understand that.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, I'm sorry but you mention tab 231
19 for this document, which is obviously -- well, the transcript mentions
20 231 which is obviously not the document we discussed about because it is
21 said to be the international travel approval for Kreso [phoen], Ismet,
22 231. It's another -- I don't even have a 65 ter number for that one.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: It's already exhibited, Your Honours. It 1D264. I
24 am sorry my tab numbers are mixed --
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: 1?
1 MR. ZECEVIC: 1D264. That is the document that we have on the
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: 1D263, 1D265.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, what I'm informed is that this
5 document was not on the Defence list of documents they were going to use
6 with the witness. It was a document on the Prosecution's list, our tab
7 number 119. 119. So I think that's why you can't find a Defence tab for
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm grateful for Mr. Hannis's assistance.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: 264, that's right. Thank you.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
12 document 1D406, which is under tab 58, if I'm not mistaken. 1D406.
13 Q. This is an order by General Talic, the commander of the
14 1st Krajina Corps, about the assignment of zones of responsibility. Let
15 us comment something on page 2, the second and third paragraphs from the
16 bottom. The one I mean begins with, "The exclusive" --
17 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Let us turn the page in English,
18 please, to find the right paragraph.
19 Q. Go ahead, please.
20 A. "The exclusive right to command and employ units rests with the
21 zone commander as determined by this order."
22 And the following paragraph reads:
23 "In the conduct of combat activities, all police forces shall be
24 placed under the command of the zone commander who shall decide how they
25 are used."
1 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, is this in line with what you stated earlier?
2 A. Yes. And this is in accordance with the laws and regulations,
3 and it also follows from the order issued by the corps commander.
4 Q. Thank you. On page 4, line 50 -- correction 25, and page 5,
5 line 2, Ms. Korner put it to you that the order by Colonel Lisica with
6 regard to the police units from Prnjavor whom he ordered to come to
7 Derventa, that this was in accordance with the setting up of the town
8 command in Derventa. That's what she put to you. Did this order apply
9 to the MUP members from the Prnjavor SJB?
10 A. If I may, I would like to explain in more detail. Because of the
11 complicated and difficult situation on the front line, Commander Lisica
12 ordered the entire police force from Derventa to be deployed to the front
13 line urgently. He was aware that the city was left without any police,
14 and then he ordered the Prnjavor police to send their forces to Derventa
15 and take over police duties.
16 Q. Did Colonel Lisica, as you have just explained, essentially issue
17 an order to two SJBs?
18 A. Yes, yes. He issued an order to the Derventa station about their
19 engagement at the front line, and an order to the Prnjavor SJB to deploy
20 police forces for policing in Derventa. Those were two orders for two
22 Q. Was such an order in accordance with the rules and regulations
23 that were in force then?
24 A. Yes, both stations were in his zone of responsibility, and he
25 acted in accordance with his powers.
1 Q. Sir, speaking about this, and your respective comments can be
2 found on pages 8, 9 and 10 of today's transcript, I'll ask you about
3 document 1D46 which is under tab 47 in the Defence binder. I apologise,
4 it seems that I gave the wrong tab number again. I also apologise to the
5 Trial Chamber. It's an order dated 15 May 1992. Well, then, it's all
6 right. I apologise.
7 You commented item 8 which is on page 2. You were asked about it
8 by Ms. Korner.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you also gave comments on subparagraph 2 of item 8. Does
11 this subparagraph 2 -- or, rather, let me put it this way: To which law
12 or regulation does this subparagraph refer to? How do you understand it?
13 A. This points to the measures to take against those who do not
14 carry out the tasks they have been given, and my understanding is that
15 this is about regular duties and tasks. And in the previous
16 subparagraph, we can clearly see that the order says that in military
17 operations, military regulations and rules shall be enforced.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bjelosevic, since Ms. Korner asked you about some
19 hypothetical situations, allow me to ask you some questions, too.
20 Sir, if a MUP member is at the front line in a trench, and from
21 that place he sees that in some house or somewhere in his field of vision
22 some persons are obviously committing a crime by breaking into that house
23 and taking some items from it, in principle, is a police member, whenever
24 he observes the commission of a crime during the carrying out of his
25 regular duties, duty-bound to react if he observes the commission of a
1 crime? I'm talking about the carrying out of the regular duties. What
2 does the law say?
3 A. Yes, when he is carrying out his regular duties. But, if I
4 understand you correctly, you have described a situation when the police
5 officer was in a trench.
6 Q. We'll get there yet. So under the law, as a MUP member, you have
7 said that normally he is duty-bound to react. In this situation, when he
8 is in a trench, does that MUP member -- or, rather, is that MUP member
9 duty-bound to react or not?
10 A. No. At that moment, he is carrying out a combat task, and he is
11 duty-bound to act in the framework of the orders received when he is at
12 the front line.
13 Q. In other words, if the police officer were carrying out his
14 regular duties in accordance with the law, and if he were to observe the
15 commission of a crime and fails to react --
16 MR. HANNIS: I have to object. This is leading, Your Honours.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: No --
18 JUDGE HALL: As I understand it, he is still conducting his
19 hypotheticals which follows the line that Ms. Korner had done in
21 MR. HANNIS: Well I'm not sure, Your Honours. He got an answer,
22 and now he is saying "in other words," and I see that as leading, but
23 I'll stand by ...
24 MR. ZECEVIC: It's purely hypothetical, and I'm just doing what
25 Ms. Korner was doing half of the time this morning.
1 MR. HANNIS: Yes, but Ms. Korner was on cross-exam.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I was refer together hypothetical nature of the
3 questions, not the roles of the parties.
4 MR. HANNIS: And I was referring to the leading nature of the
6 JUDGE HALL: You have been warned, Mr. Zecevic.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, when a police officer carrying out his regular
9 duties observes or learns that the commission of a crime is in progress
10 and fails to act, does this constitute a disciplinary offence under the
11 Law on Internal Affairs?
12 A. This would be a serious breach of his professional duties under
13 the rule book on disciplinary responsibility that was in force at the
15 Q. Let's now refer to the second situation when he is carrying out a
16 combat task and fails to act, although he observes the commission of a
17 crime. Does that constitute a disciplinary offence?
18 A. No, he is then carrying out a combat task and is duty-bound to
19 act exclusively in line with that role of his.
20 Q. Would a MUP member who was carrying out a combat task in a trench
21 and observes the commission of a crime and then attempt to arrest those
22 committing a crime in accordance with his powers and duties under the
23 Law on Internal Affairs, would he be in breach of his duties as a member
24 of the armed forces?
25 A. Yes, of course. At that moment and at that place, that is, at
1 the front line, that would constitute an offence against military rules
2 and it could even be considered desertion.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bjelosevic, we have seen your military booklet
4 and we'll show it once more. You have the rank of captain in the armed
5 forces, don't you?
6 A. Yes, and at some time in early 1992, I was informed that a
7 decision -- a decision had been taken to promote me to captain 1st class
8 but I never actually did anything to have that entered in my military
10 Q. Sir, is the essence of commanding the armed forces in the
11 military the power of the commander to punish his subordinates?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Since you are a captain in the army, you must be familiar with
14 this. Is the following situation possible in the army: That the
15 commander, during the performance of a combat task, has different groups
16 of members of armed forces under him. And when I say various groups, I
17 mean, on the one hand, those who can -- who he can command fully and
18 punish, and so on; and, on the other hand, those on whom he cannot impose
19 disciplinary measures or sanctions?
20 A. Whatever is part of the organic compound of a unit is under the
21 full command of the commander.
22 Q. Sir, I'm going to show you 1D410, tab 167. I think that this
23 morning during cross-examination you spoke about this document to
24 Ms. Korner.
25 MR. HANNIS: Can we have a reference to where that was? I can't
1 find it in WordWheel.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Just a second. Page -- I'll read
3 it out, page 20.
4 Q. Ms. Korner asked you, and I think that was the essence of her
5 question, whether you have the order resubordinating you. And then you
6 mentioned that there was a written order issued sometime by the end of
7 the year, and you said that it had been commented on earlier. Tell me,
8 is this the order that you referred to earlier?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. HANNIS: I am sorry, can we have some clarification because
11 what I see on a screen is an order signed by Colonel Lisica. And in the
12 page 20 and 21 where there was a reference of this, it appears to be the
13 witness previously said he thought it was an order signed by
14 General Talic.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, it's 20, line 17:
16 "And then the second time, it was in November 1992 when I was
17 engaged to perform functions of the battalion commander. And in this --
18 and in this ... so to speak, there was no written order."
19 I am precisely asking the witness because the record is not
21 MR. HANNIS: Okay. My apology, thank you.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Could you please answer the question, Mr. Bjelosevic?
24 A. Yes, we spoke about the orders. First, there was one in spring
25 1992, and this is the second order, dated 11th November 1992. In this
1 order, Commander Lisica ordered formation of a mixed battalion and then
2 defined what is going to constitute this battalion. Under item 2, he
4 "I hereby appoint Andrija Bjelosevic as battalion commander,"
5 that's me, "and Stijepan Pepic as deputy."
6 And then under number 3:
7 "Immediately carry out senior and junior command reconnaissance,
8 assign tasks to subordinates in the field."
9 So this is the order that was pertained to me, and I acted in
10 accordance with it.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelosevic. As I said, I would like to take a
12 look, again, your military booklet. That's P2344 -- no, excuse me, it's
13 P2345. It will appear on your screen in a second.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I stand corrected. 2344. P2344. I am sorry.
15 [Interpretation] I apologise, can we have page 4, item 7. I would like
16 to clarify something and I hope that you will be able to help us now that
17 we have the opportunity to see this military booklet. Can we zoom in.
18 I'm interested in item 7, number 1.
19 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, can you explain the abbreviation VES, V-E-S, as
20 well as the number that follows immediately after? I'm talking about box
21 number 1, training?
22 A. VES is the abbreviation for the military occupation specialty,
23 and it had a certain number designating this particular VES. The number
24 defines the VES, the military occupational specialty. This has to do
25 with the officer's cadre. For instance, communications had some other
1 number, a technical department had yet another number.
2 Q. Thank you. You have to understand that some of us here are not
3 persons to whom military terminology is entirely clear. Could you
4 explain very briefly, what does it mean military occupational specialty?
5 By that, I mean in simple words.
6 A. Well, to put it simply, it designates what a particular conscript
7 had been trained to do, and this specialty is then entered in his
8 personal files, in his unit as well as in his military booklet. It means
9 what a particular person had been trained to do.
10 Q. Does that mean that if somebody is trained, for instance, to
11 operate a mortar in artillery, that he then is assigned a particular
12 number designated this particular military occupation specialty?
13 A. Exactly.
14 Q. And somebody who is trained to command would then be assigned a
15 different VES number?
16 A. Yes. The numbers designate the coded military occupational
17 specialty definition.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have now page 5, number 8,
20 promotions. Could we have the next page. I'm interested in number 6.
21 So number 6. Thank you. Can we have the same thing in English.
22 Q. Sir, could you comment on this very briefly. I'm interested in
23 item 6, on the basis of whose order, et cetera.
24 A. If you would permit me, I'd like to comment on both pages very
25 briefly. You can see that the promotion was gradual, from second
1 lieutenant, lieutenant, and then, finally, under number 6, captain.
2 Q. Could you speak more slowly.
3 A. So you can see that every promotion is recorded here. The rank
4 is recorded and also on the basis of whose decree the promotion was made.
5 The last promotion, under number 6, was done by decree of the commander
6 of the TO of the SR BiH, and you can see the number and the date. And
7 then I was on a war time assignment in the command of an operational JNA
8 unit before this. You can see that the promotion, in this particular
9 case, was made on the basis of a decree of the president of the SFRY.
10 Q. You mean number 4?
11 A. Yes, number 4.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Can the witness be
14 shown number 9 on the next page of the same document. Number 9 under 1.
15 I mean number 9 that pertains to military exercises. So I'm told it's
16 the sixth page in Serbian while we have the correct page in English.
17 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, could you briefly comment on numbers 1 and 2
18 under number 9, military exercise?
19 A. This relates to the period in 1991 [as interpreted], number 1;
20 and number 2 relates to 1983. That's when I had the war time assignment
21 in the command of that operation unit in the command of the 327th
22 Brigade. So this is the record of the time that I spent participating in
23 a military exercise. Based on such exercises and evaluations, proposals
24 for promotions would be made.
25 MR. HANNIS: I wanted to ask for a clarification. The transcript
1 at line -- page 41, line 5, says, "this relates to the period 1991"; is
2 that correct?
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's for number 1 of the entry.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, 1981. 1981 and 1983.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
6 page 8 in Serbian which is number 11. I'm told it's page 14 in English.
7 Q. Could you give us a brief explanation of number 1 here?
8 A. That's the day that I was entered into military records. It was
9 in Derventa on the 22nd of April, 1971, so that's when I was entered into
10 military records. After that, I was conscripted and all other things
11 that then follow.
12 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, you have the rank of captain and you worked for a
13 number of years in the National Defence Secretariat. Did all citizens,
14 nationals, of the SFRY who were conscripted or fit for military service
15 have same military booklets as this one?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was this military training in the former SFRY an obligation for
19 A. Yes, that's something that stems from the concept of
20 All People's Defence, and then, out of this concept, a system of All
21 People's Defence was developed. So there was the army, that is the
22 operative part of the structure, and then there was Territorial Defence.
23 There were different units classified to different principles. Then
24 there were units of social self-protection that comprised also the
25 civilian protection units. It was something that was defined in the
1 constitution. The constitution said that the defence of the country was
2 both right and obligation of all citizens. And in accordance to that,
3 there was also a duty to train the civilian population, for instance, for
4 evacuation, protection, and so on.
5 Q. Thank you. Did every individual have the right and duty to
6 respond and attend military exercises just like you did twice?
7 A. Of course. Everyone had a duty to respond to such a call and to
8 report to the place of his war time assignment. It could have been a
9 mobilisational exercise or simple training, but everyone had the duty to
10 respond to such call.
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bjelosevic, I found the document that we
12 mentioned awhile ago. So for completeness sake, I would like you to
13 comment on it. It's tab 61, 65 ter 544D1. Excuse me, I'm told it's
14 tab 120. I have no idea why I have tab 61 written here. Could I have
15 your brief comment on this. What is it and what is it about? I
16 apologise, forgive me, Mr. Bjelosevic, I'm being told now that you should
17 look at the monitor. I was right, after all, it was tab 61, not 120.
18 A. This is the order of the commander of Tactical Group 3,
19 Commander Lisica, whereby he orders that certain forces be set up and he
20 uses the jargon word for police, he says "gendarmerie." That is what he
21 means. To use the "gendarmerie" forces from Derventa, Prnjavor and then
22 a company of the Naradzic, Rajko Battalion, and so on.
23 Q. And this Lieutenant Jankovic who is supposed to be the commander
24 of that unit, was he a member of the army?
25 A. Yes, he was part of the town command, and by way of his order, he
1 directly re-subordinated these police forces. He -- by putting them at
2 his disposal.
3 Q. Sir, when military administration is introduced -- I can show you
4 the relevant document later on, but you let me ask you this first: If
5 military administration is being introduced, is it the commander who
6 designates the officer to be in charge of the public security station and
7 police in a particular town?
8 A. Yes. If military administration is being introduced, and if a
9 commander is being designated as the town commander, then all structures
10 who are located there, be it that they just find themselves there or that
11 they are being established by way of the order of that commander, all of
12 these structures, all of these forces are being put under the command of
13 the town commander.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. If there are no
15 objections, I would like to have this document tendered.
16 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I'm not sure specifically how
17 this arises or relates to the cross-examine. I'm working at a
18 disadvantage here because you know I came in cold off the bench this
19 morning, so I may have missed where it comes from. But if it's going to
20 be admitted, I would request my learned friend make some clarification
21 because in the witness's answer at page 43, line 11 he said, "Yes,"
22 referring to Lieutenant Jankovic, "he was part of the town command, and
23 by way of his order he directly subordinated these police forces." This
24 isn't Jankovic's order. So either that answer is incorrect, or he is
25 referring to some other document than the one that's on the screen.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Would you please clarify. I don't want to repeat the question,
3 and it is not entirely clear what Mr. Hannis is objecting.
4 A. Well, if that's what the transcript says, then my words were not
5 recorded properly. I said by way of this order, town commander Jankovic
6 had this unit put directly under his command, the unit comprising the
7 company under the command of Naradzic. So these forces were established
8 by way of the order of the commander of the tactical group, and these
9 forces were directly put under the command of Lieutenant Jankovic by way
10 of this order.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I hope that this is a satisfactory
13 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D543, Your Honours.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] For reference of the
16 Trial Chamber, the documents mentioned by Ms. Korner concerning
17 introduction of military administration in Derventa municipality and
18 concerning the appointment of acting chief of the SJB, are 1D480, 1D408.
19 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, on page 12 of today's transcript --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We are not sure whether
21 the first document mentioned was 1D480 or 1D470.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When answering the question of Ms. Korner --
24 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, I don't know if my learned friend heard, but
25 the interpreters said they had a question about whether the first
1 document mentioned at page 45, line 3, was 1D480 or 1D470. I wonder if
2 we could have a clarification.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much, I'm sorry. I'm rushing
4 because of the time. There are two documents I wanted to put on the
5 record for the benefit of all. It's 1D470 and 1D408. Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, on page 12 -- actually, it started on
7 page 11 and continued on to page 12, you spoke about some situations when
8 the military commander handed down some punishments to policemen and then
9 we went into private session to mention the names of some of these
10 people. Then on page 12, you said how you could remember two such cases
11 and then you described them, and then Ms. Korner asked you -- or, rather,
12 she interrupted you and she said, No, no, I want something else. You
13 said that they were arrested and that is not the same. I wish to know
14 what disciplinary or criminal proceedings were instituted against these
15 people. Then you said that the military had a different system and that
16 this was what you were trying to explain.
17 I gave you the context of this issue that was discussed
18 previously. Now, let me ask you this: Does the army fall under the
19 Law on State Administration?
20 A. No, the army does not fall under that law.
21 Q. Does the army have a disciplinary proceedings that could be
22 considered identical as the one that exists with relation to members of
23 the MUP and as regulated by the Law on Internal Affairs?
24 A. No. Public servants, policemen, and so on, they all fall under
25 the Law on State Administration plus the specific laws, such as the
1 Law on Internal Affairs which regulates the work of policemen, and so on.
2 As for the army, their legal framework consists of the Law on National
3 Defence, Law on Service in Armed Forces, and this is a separate system.
4 The commander is the person who metes out punishment or measures to
5 members of the army and all of those who are in the process of carrying
6 out a military assignment. When it comes to state administration and
7 police, there are all sorts of disciplinary commissions. There are
8 disciplinary proceedings that have completely different elements and
10 Q. Thank you for this clarification. Therefore, I think you have
11 replied, but let us be fully clear. Other disciplinary commissions,
12 disciplinary proceedings and disciplinary organs in the army, yes or no?
13 A. No. It functioned in accordance with unity of command and
14 singleness of command principle.
15 Q. Thank you. Based on military rules, who is authorised to send
16 somebody into military detention?
17 A. It could be done at the level of the company commander and
19 Q. And this punishment of military detention, was it meted out in
20 relation to members of the army?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Sir, Mr. Bjelosevic, just one or two more questions
23 about what was discussed today, and then we will move on to topics that
24 were covered previously. Today on page 17, line 7, Ms. Korner asked you
25 about the order that you received from Mr. Stanisic in 1994 when he
1 served as minister for the second time. You started explaining this to
2 us and then on page 17, line 7, you said, no, this is something that
3 happened in 1994. This is when he gave me this task. I was supposed to
4 go to Prijedor. I think it was sometime in April. We had to solve the
5 multiple murder where 16 or 17 people were killed.
6 And this is where Ms. Korner interrupted you. Tell us what this
7 was about?
8 A. Yes, I started explaining --
9 MR. HANNIS: I am sorry. I object it's not relevant. She didn't
10 interrupt. He answered when she asked at line 11 on page 17:
11 "Sorry, this is a killing that took place in 1994?"
14 Then she said:
15 "Don't worry about that. It's outside what we are concerned
17 So I don't see how this arises from cross-examination or how it's
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Perhaps the witness can take off his earphones and
20 then I can explain.
21 JUDGE HALL: Yes.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, Ms. Korner was citing this paragraph,
23 was asking this question because of the contents of the interview of
24 Mr. Mico Stanisic which is a P exhibit. I will give you the reference.
25 I mentioned it in my opening statement. It's actually a couple of
1 exhibit numbers. Now, this, this question goes into the credibility of
2 what Mr. Stanisic was saying, and therefore because it was misinterpreted
3 by Ms. Korner, I have to ask this question of this witness because it was
4 she who opened this question by posing it. And now I have to clarify it,
5 Your Honour, because, by this, it could be understood that the witness
6 agrees with her suggestion which is completely misinterpretation of what
7 was said in the interview.
8 Now, I want to clarify this situation very shortly, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE HALL: But we're still dealing with matters in 1994.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I guess I need some clarification
11 because Mr. Zecevic seemed to be saying that Ms. Korner misinterpreted
12 something from Mr. Stanisic's testimony that's in evidence?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, his interview that's in evidence, P2303.
14 MR. HANNIS: Where he --
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Where he talks about --
16 MR. HANNIS: Where it recorded that he ordered this witness to
17 conduct an investigation into the Koricanske cliff killings.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that's not the case.
19 MR. HANNIS: Is that not what it says in the transcript?
20 MR. ZECEVIC: That's what it says in the transcript, but it
21 doesn't say so in the interview. That's the point.
22 MR. HANNIS: But this is not the witness to do it with.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: The witness denied that. He said he never got
24 that order. So what is the problem? And Ms. Korner didn't insist. And
25 she didn't want to know about the killing in 1994.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay. I understand and appreciate. I'm sorry,
2 Your Honours. It was my misunderstanding.
3 Q. [Interpretation] You can put the headphones back on. No need to
4 answer this question because we have resolved this.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Can I ask that we take the break now, Your Honours,
6 because I'm ready to move to the previous phase. Thank you.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes, very well.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.25 p.m.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, while the witness is ushered in, I
12 was doing some preliminary inquiries about the possibility that we sit
13 longer today for half an hour, if possible, if I can -- because I would
14 like to finish with the witness today, if possible. But I informed
15 Ms. Veretelnikova that I would be able to give the firm assessment only
16 at 1.30 because at that point I will know whether I can finish within
17 additional half an hour. If not, then we will have to continue tomorrow
18 with the witness.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE HALL: So between now and then, the usual inquiries would
21 be made.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, on page 20785 through -790, on
24 the first day of your cross-examination, you commented on your diaries
25 and official notebooks for Ms. Korner. You may remember answering the
1 Prosecutor's question whether you had notes from meetings that you had
2 with General Talic or anybody else. You replied in the negative. This
3 may be a good opportunity to remind ourselves that during military
4 exercises before the war, we received military notebooks, and you will
5 see in my military booklet that I took part this those exercises. When
6 the exercise finished, we were duty-bound to return the official
7 notebooks before returning home. Those were the rules that were in force
8 in the army. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Tell me, sir, does the Law on Internal Affairs contain any duties
11 of MUP members to have such official notebooks?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Does every military officer have an official notebook in army?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And once the official notebook is full, what must the officer do
16 with that notebook?
17 A. He must return it. Either when the notebook is full or when the
18 mission is accomplished, and before he leaves, but certainly there was an
19 obligation to return it.
20 Q. To return it to who?
21 A. To the command where it was issued. Before leaving, all military
22 documents had to be returned.
23 Q. And those military documents, as far as you know, if you know,
24 where were they kept after that?
25 A. I know when I was in the brigade command that it was kept in a
1 separate locker in the command, and when we would come there again for
2 military exercise, then we would again be issued the notebooks. And upon
3 completion of the exercise, we would return them. Where those documents
4 eventually ended up, I don't know.
5 Q. Was it the same in 1992 when you were first re-subordinated to
6 the JNA and then to the VRS?
7 A. Yes. Upon completion of the task I was assigned, I had to return
8 all my -- all the military documents and the equipment that I received
9 when I got my military assignment.
10 Q. Thank you. On pages 20816 through -819, a document was shown to
11 you. It's under tab 2 of the Prosecution binder. It's 65 ter 20000.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see it on our
14 Q. Let me remind you that this is the transcript of an intercept.
15 The conversation that was intercepted was one between Radovan Karadzic
16 and Branko Ostojic. We've already spoken about this. Ms. Korner put it
17 to you that -- what we can see on the first page towards the bottom --
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll down. In
19 Serbian it's the correct page but it's on the following page of the
20 English text.
21 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, Ms. Korner put it to you that the words, "He is a
22 good man," uttered by Branko Ostojic and Karadzic's reply, "Excellent, we
23 need a professional." As well as the comment by Ostojic, "He is a real
24 one." And Karadzic's words that follow, "We need a professional," that
25 all these refer to you. When you read this transcript, do you agree with
1 that proposition?
2 A. No.
3 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, I'm being advised that what Ms. Korner put to
4 him has not been correctly stated. Can we have a precise reference.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: I gave the reference to the pages 20816 to 20819,
6 and Ms. Korner says:
7 "Now, this is July, a couple of months after you've been
8 appointed at CSB Doboj. Do you have any idea on what basis Mr. Karadzic
9 is calling you 'Andrija' and saying what an excellent fellow you are?"
10 Then I made the -- then I made the objection, and then Ms. Korner
12 "Well, I'm sorry, this is a matter of comment and an improper
13 one, I may say, Mr. Zecevic."
14 And then she quotes the exact parts which I quoted.
15 JUDGE HALL: I don't see the basis of the -- Mr. Hannis's
16 interjection that it inaccurately reflects what was put it him, but what
17 I do have difficulty with is Mr. Zecevic's question, "When you read this
18 question transcript, do you agree with that proposition?" It seems,
19 among other thing, it's really unfair to the witness. You are inviting
20 his comment on his own abilities by two persons who had a conversation
21 just referring to him. I don't know how helpful any answer he gives
22 would be. As I said, it strikes me as being unfair to him.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, if the witness is unable to answer, he may
24 say so. I'm not trying to be unfair to him, I'm just trying to clarify
25 the situation. Because in my understanding of the Serbian language, it
1 is very clear to whom this refers to.
2 JUDGE HALL: No, when you said, "Do you agree with the
3 proposition," perhaps I'm misunderstanding the question, but what I
4 interpret it to mean is whether he agrees with the proposition attributed
5 in the intercept of Karadzic, "Excellent we immediate a professional,"
6 et cetera, where Ostojic said, "He is a good man." That's what I said
7 seems to be unfair to put the witness in a position of agreeing with
8 that, but perhaps your question is not as I understand it.
9 MR. HANNIS: I guess that would be my request, Your Honour. If
10 the question could be reformulated because the way I heard a question,
11 when the answer is no, one interpretation of that is the witness is
12 saying, No I don't agree that they said I was a good man, because I
13 wasn't a good man, perhaps. I don't think that's what he meant but the
14 way the question is formulated, it's difficult to understand what the
15 answer means.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I accept that. I will reformulate the question.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Bjelosevic, I have read out this part of the
18 intercepted conversation. Can you tell us who these comments refer to,
19 in your opinion?
20 A. I have read this carefully and my conclusion is the following:
21 That Mr. Ostojic is asking Mr. Karadzic about some person, and this could
22 be interpreted as an intervention to hire someone, but the name is not
23 mentioned. And then the way I understand it, Karadzic tells Ostojic that
24 this person should contact me in Doboj, and he is praising that person as
25 a good man, a professional. And Mr. Karadzic is saying, "Excellent, we
1 need a professional." That's how I understand it.
2 Q. Do these comments refer to that person or to you?
3 A. I understand them to refer to that person they talked about.
4 Q. Thank you, sir. On page 20865 through -68 --
5 MR. HANNIS: I am sorry, before we go on, could I request that
6 the Court perhaps ask my learned friend to inquire of the witness whether
7 he has only read the transcript or actually listened to the recording.
8 JUDGE HALL: I'm not sure how much turns on this, Mr. Hannis.
9 Ms. Korner had an understanding of it. She questioned the witness on it.
10 Mr. Zecevic has a different take and we have an answer. I think we can
11 move on.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE HALL: The Chamber would make such sense of it as it could.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
15 1D135. I think that's under tab 18 in the Defence binder. 1D135.
16 Q. Sir, on the pages I cited, you commented on this -- on this
17 summary of the minutes of a meeting held in Banja Luka on
18 11 February 1992. You remember that you commented on this for
19 Ms. Korner?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And she -- or, rather, you read on page 2 in Serbian, something
22 that is on page 1 in English, I mean, the -- Mico Stanisic's words that a
23 list of minimal outstanding demands should be assembled at this meeting
24 and submitted to Minister Alija Delimustafic. Do you remember?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Ms. Korner put to you that this conclusion is not mentioned among
2 the other conclusions, namely that these demands should be submitted to
3 Minister Delimustafic with a dead-line for the resolution among other
4 things because this was a secret meeting in Banja Luka which you
6 Please take a look at page 4 of this document. And focus on
7 Mr. Malko Koroman's comment.
8 JUDGE HALL: Yes, I'm sorry, please continue.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Sir, you were present at this meeting. Do you remember the words
13 of Mr. Koroman?
14 A. Yes. Mr. Koroman took a radical stand. It may even be called an
15 ultimatum, and he wanted to cut the whole meeting short. It boils down
16 to, Okay, we have established what we need and we must submit a demand to
17 get that, and if that demand is not met, then we'll block roads, and so
19 Q. Please take a look at page 5 in Serbian. We can stay on the same
20 page in English, and -- I mean, the comment of Mr. Nedjo Vlaski. Do you
21 remember what he said at that meeting?
22 A. Yes, I remember Nedjo and his words.
23 Q. Do you remember that Mr. Vlaski advocated strong media support
24 and informing the public of the demands formulated at this meeting?
25 A. Yes. There was a number of people participating in the
1 discussion who emphasised the need to go into the media with this. They
2 considered that it was possible to exert greater pressure on
3 Minister Delimustafic and his associates through the media and then the
4 demands would be met.
5 Q. On page 20865 and -868, Ms. Korner suggested reasons because of
6 which Zepinic did not attend the meeting. She asked you on page 20869
7 and -870 whether you informed Mr. Zepinic about your complaints. The day
8 before we saw in your diary that you met Mr. Zepinic on the 10th of
9 February as well as Delimustafic. And your reply was:
10 "I told him on a number of occasions before he went to Sarajevo
11 and also through the phone. Every time when he promised that he would
12 solve the problem, he would complain that the chief of the personnel
13 department had been replaced, and Vesinovic [phoen] left, Srebrenikovic
14 arrived, and he was the one who pulled all the strings and that nothing
15 could be done at the moment."
16 This answer is not quite clear in the transcript. Could you
17 please explain what you were referring to when you said those words. And
18 who are those people, Vesinovic, for instance?
19 A. Vesinovic must be a misprint. It's Hilmo Selimovic. He was the
20 assistant minister for personnel, if I remember correctly, until the
21 autumn 1991 or the fall of 1991. He was replaced by Srebrenikovic. So
22 these are the names. Now, what did I say about this? I put forward a
23 number of proposals for different appointments as well as proposals to
24 obtain certain technical equipment for the service. You can see that in
25 my notebooks. Very often at meetings with my own associates, I discussed
1 those subjects. I also made for myself an aide-memoire before I went to
2 the ministry in Sarajevo so that I would know what I had to request
3 there. But it took ages and finally it wasn't resolved, and that's what
4 I was talking about.
5 Now, the lack of efficiency and this personal blockade, so to
6 speak, made me conclude, in the end, that Mr. Zepinic had neither the
7 power nor personality to resolve that, and he confirmed it to me at some
9 Q. Let us clarify this. Did Mr. Zepinic complain to you that
10 because of the replacement of Mr. Selimovic, he was not in a position to
11 ensure that the things that had been requested for him be realised in the
12 MUP of the Socialist Republic of BiH?
13 A. Yes. I think that he told me twice to go and contact another
14 department chief. I think the name was Hajra Hodzic. He told me to
15 speak to him directly and try to obtain what I needed from him. Hajra
16 received me very politely and courteously and we spoke, but he clearly
17 told me without the approval of Assistant Chief Srebrenikovic, he could
18 not do a thing because those were his orders.
19 Q. Thank you. On page 20900 and -901, you were shown document P439.
20 That's Prosecution tab 11 bis. And it's stenographic minutes of the
21 Assembly of RS held on Pale on the 24th of March, 1992.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show to the witness page 31
23 in Serbian. ERN number is 0089-6886.
24 Q. You remember that you commented on this? Ms. Korner read some
25 excerpts from this stenograph.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I would like you to comment on the first paragraph and the second
3 paragraph on this page.
4 A. Let me read it first.
5 MR. HANNIS: Can we have a reference to the English page, if you
6 have it.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I am sorry, I'm trying to find in the transcript.
8 Thirteen, I guess, in the e-court. That's what Ms. Korner says. We have
9 the correct Serbian page. No, no, we had the correct Serbian page. The
10 English page was -- the Serbian page is 31 and the English should be 13.
11 Sorry, we have the wrong English page. I'm reading from the transcript
12 what Ms. Korner was saying and that is why I am ...
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember that this was mentioned.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Could you just wait until we find
15 it in English. [In English] It's the speech of Dr. Karadzic.
16 [Interpretation] It could be page 17 in English. Yes, it's the correct
18 Q. The two paragraphs that I want you to comment on which are
19 positioned at the top of the page in Serbian. In English, they are two
20 paragraphs from the bottom beginning with words, "Newly-established
21 municipalities." Now we have it on the screen, so could you comment on
23 A. This is already the time when many paramilitary units had been
24 established in the field, and also they were known to the public. That
25 is also the time when barricades had been erected, so seen within this
1 context, I think that this is a request to establish the forces in those
2 newly-formed municipalities who were supposed to prevent any threats
3 directed at the territory, any incursions of armed forces, and they speak
4 here about mini-vans. If I can remember that time correctly, this
5 probably relates to the transport of large quantities of dinar bank notes
6 which were then transported from Croatia, literally, in mini-vans. That
7 money was used to buy foreign currency in Bosnia-Herzegovina which was
8 then taken out of the country. And if you read my notes, as well as
9 informative bulletins, that there was a lot of attention given to this
10 particular issue in our area because we wanted to prevent the foreign
11 currency leaving Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. What was then the position of Mr. Karadzic on two issues here,
13 that is the freedom of movement of citizens and the public order?
14 A. Yes, he underlines that these measures would not endanger the
15 freedom of movement. And also he says peace at any cost, wherever it is
16 possible. I see that he is very worried about the events in Gorazde. He
17 says that it's very dangerous, that it is necessary to avoid it, and so
19 Q. Thank you. In the context of this speech by Karadzic and it's
20 interpretation by Ms. Korner on page 20903 up to 20905, she linked up the
21 events in Doboj on the 2nd and 3rd of May and the speech by Mr. Karadzic
22 at this Assembly session on the 24th of March. You responded to that.
23 However, part of your reply at 20903 contains the following words:
24 "If you permit me, I would like to clarify the situation. The
25 events in Doboj occurred between the 2nd and 3rd of May. However, before
1 that in March, there was the take-over of the public security station
2 which was carried out by HOS and other paramilitary groups in
3 Bosanski Brod."
4 Can you explain what you were referring to here? What is HOS and
5 what other paramilitary groups?
6 A. I believe I already spoke about the paramilitary formation that
7 existed in that period of time. Now, if we talk specifically about Brod,
8 there were forces organised there which went to the battle-field in
9 Croatia already in 1991, and their strength was growing. Later on, there
10 were also Croatian Armed Forces. I think I also mentioned that
11 Anto Prkacin appeared in a TV show, and I brought this video on a CD, so
12 you can see that he explains in detail how he executed the action of the
13 take-over of the public security station in Brod which he did, as he put
14 it, with his men. And that's when he --
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the question was:
16 "What is HOS and what are the other paramilitary groups?"
17 This answer is going far beyond the question.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just make it short, Mr. Bjelosevic, I agree.
20 A. There were paramilitary formations, as I have already said.
21 There was the Patriotic League, there were units within the HDZ which
22 were practically the extended arm of the National Guards Corps units and
23 they were also the Green Berets, plus the units that had crossed over
24 from Croatia.
25 Q. Sir, further in that same answer, you say:
1 "Then the station in Derventa was taken over. We also had the
2 situation in Odzak. And then in some parts, there were camps set up
3 where civilians were being held. The same happened in Modrica. So we
4 basically had the situation, which, for all intents and purposes, meant
5 the occupation of the territory. The camps had already been established,
6 population already expelled from some parts, civilian population. And it
7 was only after that that the decision was made that Doboj should at least
8 be spared of that same fate, that we should prevent these same events
9 taking place in Doboj."
10 You mentioned camps in two places. You also mentioned civilians
11 being expelled. I would like to ask you this: Which camps did you have
12 in mind? Who had set them up and who held them? And members of which
13 ethnic community did you refer to when you spoke of civilian population?
14 MR. HANNIS: That's a compound question with about five parts.
15 Could we take them one at a time.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Please answer one at a time. Which camps? Who set them up? And
18 the third question was members of which ethnic community did you refer
20 A. Paramilitary forces in the northern part of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the units that had come from Croatia took over
22 the public security station and the bridge, crossed over and started
23 taking up territory. They took the city of Bosanski Brod and then
24 started attacking villages, one by one, which resulted in population
25 being expelled, refugees, and so on. This wave spread from Doboj -- from
1 Brod to Derventa and down south. And then a camp was set up at the
2 Polet [phoen] stadium, and the forces that I have enumerated held the
3 captured Serb population there. The next camp was set up in Tulek, in
4 the town itself. And then, later on, in April, a camp was set up in
5 Derventa by those same forces, and Serb civilians were held there. Later
6 on, there was a camp in Radic [phoen] where there were military
7 facilities and hangars. And subsequently, another camp was set up in
8 Polje where there were silos where the feed mill was. Whereas in Odzak,
9 there was a camp in a plant called Stolit [phoen]. And then, later on,
10 there were even other instances of mass capture of Serb civilians and
11 then the camp was set up in an elementary school. So this wave was
12 moving closer to Doboj. And the JNA issued an explicit order that Doboj
13 should be protected and control of it maintained.
14 Q. Mr. Bjelosevic, let me ask you this first: The situation that
15 you just described in your answer, did that cause fear in Doboj, these
16 facts that you just enumerated?
17 A. Naturally. A huge number of refugees came from the northern part
18 to Banja Luka and to Doboj. People brought with themselves these stories
19 about what they had experienced. Those who didn't manage to flee were
20 sent to camps.
21 Q. You said earlier that the JNA issued an explicit order that Doboj
22 should be protected and that they should keep Doboj under their control.
23 So tell me, please, who was the commander of the JNA garrison in Doboj at
24 the time?
25 A. It was Lieutenant-Colonel Cazim Hadzic.
1 Q. What was the ethnicity of Mr. Hadzic?
2 A. He was a Muslim, but I think that he declared himself as a
3 Yugoslav, if I remember well.
4 Q. Thank you. At one point, Ms. Korner asked you about
5 Mr. Stankovic, and you said that Stankovic was a major at the time. What
6 was his position at the time?
7 A. Major Stankovic arrived in 1991, arrived in Doboj. To tell you
8 the truth, I don't know his exact establishment position.
9 Q. Thank you. Sir, on page 20908 and -909, you discussed with
10 Ms. Korner the dispatch of the 31st of March, 1991, signed by
11 Assistant Minister Momcilo Mandic. P353. In your reply, you said the
13 "It is quite clear what is being said here. However, I have to
14 tell you that after this dispatch there was a series of dispatches, that
15 it had been agreed and that a collegium was held with
16 Minister Delimustafic, and then there were denials that it took place, so
17 the situation was quite confusing. Therefore, at that point in time it
18 wasn't practically possible to understand what situation would be
19 ultimately. Something was going on, everything was possible, and so on."
20 I wish to show you a document that we received from the OTP, in
21 the meantime. That is to say, I didn't show it to you before. And
22 following that, this document was shown to another witness for the first
23 time. This is 2320 MFI'd.
24 So I would like you to tell us whether you know this document or
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, before the witness answers. I have an
2 objection. It's my understanding this was not on the original list of
3 documents the Defence intended to use with the witness. It seems clearly
4 it's something that they could have done so. I received notice, I don't
5 know, 15, 20 minutes ago that they were now proposing to add it to their
6 list. I'm not sure to what aspect of cross-examination it goes to and
7 why it wasn't on their list before. It has been marked as P2320 MFI. If
8 Mr. Zecevic want to have it received in evidence without the MFI, then
9 I'm willing to do it and have him talk about it.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't.
11 MR. HANNIS: Then I am opposed to him using it with this witness.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: But, Your Honours, of course I can't anticipate
13 what will the cross-examination of the witness bring, what issues will be
14 discussed between the cross-examining party and the witness. Once they
15 finish their cross-examination, then I can add some documents and for the
16 redirect, and clearly this has been a situation in a number of occasions
17 in the past when the Office of the Prosecutor were --
18 JUDGE HALL: I'm inclined to agree, Mr. Zecevic.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, but you haven't addressed the issue of
21 why it wasn't on their list before.
22 JUDGE HALL: Well, as Mr. Zecevic -- well, first of all, we
23 haven't heard the precise question as being put, but as Mr. Zecevic just
24 said, is that the nature of the whole forensic exercise is such that the
25 utility or relevance of a particular document may only become apparent
1 after, in this case, the cross-examination. So I don't know that -- how
2 we can impose a rule on him to -- that would not permit him to use this
3 document, the relevance of which is only now apparently become apparent.
4 I hate to sound redundant.
5 MR. HANNIS: I am sorry. I do understand that, Your Honour and
6 I've certainly been on the other side of that situation myself. However,
7 he has directed this witness to his testimony on the 19th of May at page
8 20908. That's been several days ago, and it seems like if he was aware
9 of it, he could have given us notice before this morning that it was
10 something he intended to use or wanted to add to his list. That's my
12 JUDGE HALL: Please proceed, Mr. Zecevic.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, could we have a tab number.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: I don't have a tab number, Your Honour. I just
15 added it. I am sorry. It's the document that we have on the screens.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: But it is on the Prosecutor's list, isn't it?
17 MR. ZECEVIC: No, it's not.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's not, I am sorry.
19 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, it was on our list to use with
20 Defence expert, Mr. Bajagic, was the first time it appeared on the list.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Sir, do you remember this document? Can you tell us anything
23 about it, whether you ever received it, whether you are familiar at all
24 with this document?
25 A. Among the great number of dispatches, and, as I have told you,
1 there were all kinds of writings indicating that, yes, a collegium had
2 been held and then it was denied, and then again we received information
3 that it had been held. So I'm not sure. I recognise some of these
4 signatures, but right now I couldn't remember. I don't want to
6 Q. No, no, I'm not asking you to acknowledge this document. I am
7 just asking you whether you ever received it?
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. Sir, on page 20910 and -911, you discussed with Ms. Korner your
10 diary. And she asked you about the meeting held on the 11th of July in
11 Belgrade, the first meeting, collegium. No, first it was the meeting in
12 February and the dispatch from Mr. Mandic. I apologise. I gave you the
13 wrong reference. It is 20909. So between the meeting held on the
14 11th of February and this dispatch of Mr. Mandic, Ms. Korner wanted to
15 know whether you had attended a meeting in Sarajevo with other high
16 officials of the Serbian MUP. You answered no. Then she asked you, or
17 rather, she referred you to the words of Mr. Zupljanin uttered at the
18 meeting in July where Mr. Zupljanin, according to Ms. Korner, said
19 something to the effect that, It's been a long time since we met in
20 Sarajevo. Then she asked you again whether you had a meeting in
21 Sarajevo, and you replied that you didn't remember meeting in Sarajevo
22 under those circumstances, in that composition, and so on.
23 Sir, in your diary, do you have an entry about the meeting held
24 in Banja Luka on the 11th of February?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer, please.
1 JUDGE HALL: I don't know whether the witness answered, but the
2 interpreter is asking him to repeat his answer.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please repeat your answer. It wasn't recorded.
5 A. I don't know until I take a look.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will clearly not be
7 able to finish today. So, therefore, I don't think it makes sense that
8 we ask for additional half an hour sitting today. We will have to
9 continue tomorrow.
10 JUDGE HALL: So noted. Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I entered this in my
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I'm sure that I saw it somewhere, but I'll get back to it
15 tomorrow when we return to the issue of your diary.
16 Mr. Bjelosevic --
17 A. Oh, yes, yes, I apologise. 11292 BL which stands for Banja Luka,
19 Q. Well, yes, but we'll deal with it tomorrow. Just one more
20 question: Did you enter all meetings you considered important in your
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, a hypothetical question: If such a meeting had taken place
24 in Sarajevo, would you have entered it in your diary?
25 A. Yes, of course.
1 Q. On page 20911 through -13, you commented on document 1D455 for
2 Ms. Korner. That's at tab 31 in the OTP binder. You are about to see
3 the document on your screen. It's an invitation sent out to the SJBs to
4 come to a meeting in Doboj on 1 April 1992. You commented on it with
5 Ms. Korner. I'm asking you this just in order to clarify the transcript,
6 which, to my mind, was somewhat unclear with regard to your answer.
7 Ms. Korner put to you that this meeting had something to do with
8 Mr. Mandic's dispatch, dated 31 March, but you denied that. So now tell
9 us: Who sent out this letter on your behalf and what was his position in
10 the Doboj CSB?
11 A. The dispatch was signed by Mr. Vojo Blagojevic, who was chief of
12 the department of the police. The commanders of police stations were
13 under his direct authority due to the line of work.
14 Q. It's good that you told us that. Tell us so that we understand
15 better, what is the hierarchy in public security stations or police
16 stations? Who is number one, who is number two and so on? But we only
17 need the three highest ranking officials.
18 A. The public security station is run by the station chief. The
19 second -- second highest ranking in the hierarchy is the commander of the
20 police station. And if there was a traffic police station, then there
21 was also the commander of that station. That was under his direct
22 authority and according to the line of work. Well, there was also the
23 crime enforcement detachment.
24 Q. So there's a connection according to the line of work. This
25 connection between the executive personnel of the SJBs and the -- on one
1 hand, and the CSB on the other, how -- what was it like exactly? To who
2 did the SJB commanders report according to the line of work?
3 A. The commanders reported to the department of the police, if we
4 are speaking about the line of work.
5 Q. Does that mean that the chief of the department of the police at
6 the CSB has authority over the commanders of SJBs in the territory
7 according to the line of work?
8 A. Yes, they were subordinate to him and reported to him.
9 Q. Just one more clarification about this document. Paragraph 2
11 "SM and SMBS commanders must attend the meeting."
12 You have just explained who the SM commanders are, do explain the
13 abbreviation SMBS.
14 A. SMBS stands for traffic police station.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bjelosevic. Sir, when there's a meeting of people
16 in the same line of work, does that mean, in principle, that the chief of
17 the CSB attend such a meeting?
18 A. Well, that depends. It was not mandatory, but he could attend
19 the meeting depending on the topics to be dealt with and the agenda,
20 his -- whether he had time available, other commitments, et cetera.
21 Certainly he was not duty-bound to attend.
22 Q. Thank you. When Ms. Korner insisted that you say whether you and
23 your executive officials at the CSB had a meeting after the dispatch
24 dated 31 March which was sent out by Momcilo Mandic, to which question
25 you answered in the negative saying, "No, I never held such a meeting."
1 And then on page 20918, you explained by saying:
2 "I do not agree with you. During that period, I made every
3 effort to preserve a stable situation and peace, and you can call it
4 whatever you please. Up until that moment, I had the opportunity to see
5 what was happening in the territories affected by the war. I saw what
6 was happening to the victims and refugees and all the evils of war. That
7 is why I wanted to preserve the peace."
8 Mr. Bjelosevic, when you said that you saw what was happening in
9 the war zone and what was happening with the victims and refugees and all
10 the evils of war, what exactly did you have in mind, but very briefly,
11 please? Which time-period and which territory were you referring to?
12 A. On that occasion, I had in mind what was happening in the area
13 around Bosanski Brod, Derventa, Odzak, and so on, and the horrible things
14 people were going through there.
15 Q. Thank you. I may be able to use the remaining time for a couple
16 of questions. On page 20935 through -40, Ms. Korner showed you the
17 Law on Internal Affairs which is P530 here, and it's at tab 10A of the
18 Defence binder. You are about to see the document on your screen. What
19 we are interested in is page 2 of the Serbian version, Article 10 of the
20 law. Then Ms. Korner asked you about Article 10. And on page 20935, you
22 "Yes, in the police jargon this was called 'assistance.' Like,
23 for example, some other government bodies must carry out a decision of,
24 say, the inspectorate when we talk about a construction project, for
25 example. And the construction inspectorate prohibits the construction of
1 a building and orders that what has already been built must be
2 demolished. Then the police, in such a case, provides assistance to able
3 the construction inspectorate to demolish that building or part of the
5 Sir, is the police duty-bound to provide such assistance only to
6 bodies that exercise public authority or any state body?
7 A. All those who enforce the law and in the process meet with
8 resistance on the part of those to who the law is applied. So if
9 somebody is unable to enforce their decision, then you apply for
10 assistance to the police and the police can help them do their job. We
11 are talking about various institutions, not only inspectorates. For
12 example, the social welfare centre or others.
13 Q. Well, you're introduction was good. But is the police duty bound
14 under the law to provide assistance to enforce a court decision, for
16 A. Yes, of course.
17 Q. The example you gave where a court decides that a child be given
18 to one parent for custody, but the child is currently in the custody of
19 the other parent, does the executive body of the court apply for
20 assistance from the police if they have reason to assume that there will
21 be problems of any kind? And is the police duty-bound to act in
22 accordance with such an application?
23 A. Yes. When a court issues such an application, the police is
24 duty-bound to provide assistance.
25 Q. Thank you. The last paragraph of Article 10 which says that
1 before reaching a decision as outlined in the preceding paragraph, the
2 consent of the minister must be obtained. As far as you know, was the
3 chief of an SJB always duty-bound to apply for consent of the minister or
4 only in such cases when, according to his assessment, there could be
5 physical resistance or use of fire-arms?
6 A. Upon reception of a request for assistance, an assessment is
7 made, a risk assessment with regard to the enforcement of that decision.
8 And it is exactly as it is stated here. If the assessment is that there
9 could be more massive resistance or even armed resistance, then the
10 station chief is duty-bound to inform the superior official and apply for
11 approval or consent.
12 Q. Does this provision of the law apply only to assistants as
13 request by other state bodies that exercise public powers?
14 A. Yes, that's what it says, too.
15 Q. And in all other cases, does the police act pursuant to the
16 provisions of the Law on Internal Affairs?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Bjelosevic, we will
19 have to continue tomorrow. I know that you have been here for quite
20 awhile but I promise we will certainly finish tomorrow before the first
22 JUDGE HALL: So we take the adjournment to 9.00 tomorrow morning.
23 And we are in this courtroom for the entirety of this week.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of May,
2 2011, at 9.00 a.m.