1 Wednesday, 28 January 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I have a few matters which I will leave until after we have
12 concluded the testimony of this witness. I do understand that there was
13 an issue to be raised by the Defence as well in relation to D631, but
14 could we also leave that until after we have concluded the testimony of
15 the present witness.
16 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
17 Ms. Edgerton.
18 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honour. In the interim, if I could just
19 do two things: One being a very short response to His Honour
20 Judge Moloto's question of yesterday and that being, Your Honour, that
21 the Prosecution's position with regard to your question is that the
22 evidence in this case shows only a very small number of weapons in the
23 Mahala area, and our position is that in any case there weren't weapons
24 or forces of the number that would have justified the attack on the
25 suburb. If --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MS. EDGERTON: And the other small matter, Your Honour, being the
3 pages that we saw in court yesterday of the witness's diary,
4 65 ter number 31847 which I wish to tender into evidence, have now been
5 uploaded as 31847A.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Madam Registrar, could you assign a
8 number to it or have you reserved a number for it?
9 THE REGISTRAR: P7070 was reserved, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
11 Good morning, Mr. Karac. Before we continue, I would like to
12 remind you that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you have
13 given at the beginning of your testimony.
14 And Mr. Lukic will now continue his re-examination.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 WITNESS: DRAGAN KARAC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Karac.
21 A. Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: Could we have P7015 on our screens.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Before it appears, I'm just going to tell you
24 that it's the bulletin of the Serb Sanski Most, the Serb Democratic Party
25 of Sanski Most. Yesterday this document was shown to you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need pages 38 in English and 25 in
2 B/C/S. The penultimate paragraph in the English version and the third
3 paragraph from the bottom of the page in the B/C/S, Serbian version.
4 Q. You said that only part of your brigade took part in the
6 A. Yes, that's what I said.
7 Q. I'd just like to remind you of something so let us take a look at
8 a document here that the Prosecution tendered, P2411. So this is an
9 order and it says here: Combat task disarmament operation in
10 Sanski Most. It was signed by the commander of the Territorial Defence
11 staff, Colonel Anicic.
12 A. I don't see that here.
13 Q. It's in the upper left-hand corner.
14 A. Okay.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let us take a look at page 2 in
16 this document in B/C/S, and in English we're still on the first page.
17 [In English] No, in English we stay on the same page, on the first page;
18 and in B/C/S we need the second page.
19 [Interpretation] So we need paragraph 3 that says that:
20 "The 6th Brigade, in co-ordinated action with the
21 Territorial Defence staff units, is undertaking combat operations in
22 Sanski Most municipality area in order to disarm enemy forces by placing
23 its main forces in the Skucani Vakuf-Kamengradska Dolina axis with
24 emphasis on the general sector of Sanski Most."
25 Q. We see here that units of the Territorial Defence are taking
1 part. Did you know that, that units of the Territorial Defence took part
2 in disarmament at that time?
3 A. Yes, I knew about that.
4 Q. Did you know at the time who Colonel Anicic was?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let us take a look at briefly at
8 Q. The command of the 5th Corps on the 11th of May, 1992. And do
9 focus on the last paragraph of this document where it says that your
10 brigade took part in liberating the town of Bosanska Krupa. It is the
11 11th of May, 1992, as you can see in the document here and the document
12 of the command of the 5th Corps. At the time, the 5th Corps, was it the
13 JNA or the Army of Republika Srpska?
14 A. The 5th Corps was a corps of the JNA.
15 Q. Later on it grew into which corps?
16 A. The 1st Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. So the document is from the period before the existence of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let us take a look at P3294.
21 This is Nedeljko Rasula's diary. We need page 19 in the English version
22 of this document and the 16th page in the B/C/S version.
23 Q. Do you know which body Nedeljko Rasula headed?
24 A. Nedeljko Rasula was president of the municipality of Sanski Most.
25 Q. What was his role in the Crisis Staff, do you know?
1 A. As far as I know, I think that as president he was supposed to be
2 president of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Sanski Most.
3 Q. So what we have before us here is the 14th of April, 1992, again
4 a document from the period before the establishment of the Army of
5 Republika Srpska, but never mind. I'm going to read it out to you in
6 English what the Prosecutor put to you yesterday, and in this way you
7 could get the right idea. 30722 is the transcript page. This is what my
8 colleague said to you, line 14 onwards:
9 [In English] "Here is a detailed plan for the Serb take-over of
10 Sanski Most involving forces of your brigade. So you must have been a
11 very bad intelligence officer if you didn't know anything about this plan
12 for action."
13 [Interpretation] Yesterday you told us that you as the
14 intelligence organ followed the enemy side?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In relation to this document and the Prosecution's assertion that
17 you were not a good intelligence officer if you didn't know about this
18 plan of the Crisis Staff, this is what I'd like to ask you: Was it your
19 duty to follow the work of the Crisis Staff?
20 A. No, my duty was not to follow the work of the Crisis Staff.
21 Q. The Crisis Staff of Sanski Most, could they issue orders of the
22 JNA or later on the units of the VRS?
23 A. As far as I know, the Crisis Staff never commanded the JNA and we
24 had terrible problems there, also later on the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Did they try to command the units?
1 A. Yes, they did.
2 Q. Did you carry out their orders?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could we make that very concrete.
5 Could you tell us about one or two orders you received which you
6 then refused to carry out?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that once the brigade
8 commander told us that he received information that an attack was being
9 prepared on the brigade command. That is what Colonel Basara said to us.
10 And I know that one evening he gave us Zoljas and hand-grenades so that
11 we could defend ourselves if we were to be attacked. So nobody exerted
12 any pressure against me, but probably somebody was pressuring
13 Colonel Basara to carry out certain tasks that he had probably refused.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's all probabilities, nothing more than that.
15 You don't know apparently?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know what I told you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that is about probabilities.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
19 No, I have one other question. Were you always opposed against
20 interference in the command structures of the armed forces? Did you not
21 accept anyone who was not in a formal position to give instructions or
22 orders? Is that the situation that existed at the time, that the army
23 would only act in accordance with the full hierarchical lines within the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the way it was at the time.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Now, yesterday we saw - I don't know whether you
2 remember, otherwise we could call it up on the screen - we saw that the
3 SDS Board, which is a party organ, said exactly what had to be done by
4 units of the army. Is in your view that strictly in accordance with
5 hierarchical lines within the army organisation?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that that is interference
7 in military hierarchy because we at the time --
8 JUDGE ORIE: But nevertheless we saw yesterday that such
9 instructions were given?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw from the plan of the
11 Territorial Defence staff. I never received an order like that from the
12 Territorial Defence staff. I'm not denying that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: We looked yesterday at the SDS Municipal Board
14 instructing which units should - as far as I remember - be there to
15 secure the situation when the take-over took place. I'm referring to
16 that example. You remember or don't you? Otherwise I have a look at it
17 but I might need the assistance of the parties for that.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes --
20 MR. LUKIC: -- it's the same document. It's just page in
21 English 22 and in B/C/S 20.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we have a look at it. I think it may be
23 the next page.
24 MR. LUKIC: Should be next page.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Next page in English --
1 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, I think if I recall correctly, I've just
2 looked at my questions from yesterday, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MS. EDGERTON: You might be looking for page 21 in English, point
5 number 2 and page 17 in B/C/S, if we're looking for the reference to the
7 JUDGE ORIE: It was the task given to provide security around --
8 yes, it was 2(a). There we see that the SDS Municipal Board gives
9 instructions that a platoon of reservists in the 6th Krajina Brigade
10 shall secure and control the bridge, square, park, municipal building,
11 and post office. A minute ago you said that strictly obeying to the
12 hierarchical army lines was what happened at the time, whereas this seems
13 to me quite far away from that, where a party organ gives instructions to
14 army units.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I did say that
16 they interfered with command over our units.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let me check. One second, please.
18 I asked you whether you did not accept any outside interference,
19 whether that was the situation that existed at the time, that the army
20 would only act in accordance with the full hierarchical lines within the
21 army. You said:
22 "That's the way it was at the time."
23 And only after that you explained that it may have been different
24 at the time. Now what --
25 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, line 5 -- page 5, line 21, I asked:
1 "Did they try to command the units?"
2 And the witness in the next line answered:
3 "Yes, they did."
4 JUDGE ORIE: Isn't it true that you were asking about the
5 Crisis Staff alone?
6 MR. LUKIC: That's right.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was asking a far broader question, and you
8 may be aware that the example I am using now has got nothing to do with
9 the Crisis Staff but it was the SDS Municipal Board. And therefore I
10 asked -- let me try to summarise.
11 You were asked whether the Crisis Staff tried to intervene. You
12 gave an answer to that question that they did try. I asked you for one
13 or two examples. You came up with an example, where as a matter of fact
14 you talked about probabilities rather than about facts. Then I broadened
15 the issue whether you accepted any outside interference at all in the
16 hierarchical structure. Your answer was: We did not. That was the
17 situation at the time. And then after that now I showed you the
18 SDS Municipal Board giving instructions to the army. And it appears to
19 me that you now agree that at that time one was not adhering strictly to
20 army structures but that outside interference did happen. Do you agree
21 with that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were such cases and as you
23 can see in the document issued by the SDS, things like that did happen.
24 However, the Territorial Defence staff was in control of those parts --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking any further questions.
1 Mr. Lukic, I also summarised the sequence of questions and
2 answers for -- in order to make clear to you what was asked and what
3 answers were given by the witness, which may also demonstrate that you
4 inaccurately intervened.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Actually, I did accurately
7 intervene. We have to go several pages back --
8 JUDGE ORIE: We are not --
9 MR. LUKIC: -- it was Crisis Staff --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we are not in a debating club.
11 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We are in a court of law where the rulings are given
13 by the Chamber.
14 MR. LUKIC: Let us go back in the same document to page 38 in
15 English and 25 in B/C/S. Actually now we have to go -- I'm sorry --
16 JUDGE ORIE: While you're finding your way, could I -- I think I
17 said, and I'm looking at the transcript, that I -- page 10, line 5, that
18 I said that "where the rulings are given by the Chamber." Please
20 MR. LUKIC: I need date 14th of April, 1992, and it's -- next
21 page, please. In B/C/S at least.
22 JUDGE ORIE: 14th of April --
23 MR. LUKIC: 14th of April --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- in English page 19 if I do not -- if I'm not
25 mistaken, yes. 19 in English. Is that the one?
1 MR. LUKIC: But this is 20th of April. We need 14th --
2 JUDGE ORIE: 14th of April I find in English on page 19 out of
4 MS. EDGERTON: And for the sake of Mr. Karac, I think you
5 probably want to direct him to page 16 in the document in his own
7 MR. LUKIC: This is -- this is the right page I have on the
8 screen. We need the bottom of the page --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. LUKIC: -- under number 4 and then it says 14th of April,
11 1992. It says that it was a course of action in taking over power in
12 establishing the Serbian municipality of Sanski Most. And then -- yes,
13 under number 4 already on the 14th of April it says -- we don't have I
14 think that --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we have two entries starting with the
16 14th of April --
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- the one starts at the bottom of page 19 in
19 English and the other one is a few pages before that. Do we need this
20 one because --
21 MR. LUKIC: Yes, yes, I need this one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. LUKIC: But I don't have under number 4 in English where we
24 need the next page in English.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's the next page. That's page 20 where
1 number 4, the Crisis Staff, is that the one?
2 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on page 20. There we are.
4 MR. LUKIC: But there is one part missing in English translation,
5 I just noticed that now.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 MR. LUKIC: And I will read it in B/C/S.
8 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Let's first try to establish exactly
9 what is missing.
10 MR. LUKIC: No, no, it's translated, sorry. It's underlined part
11 when it says: "The Crisis Staff consisting of the following members" --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: -- "shall be in charge of all actions ..."
14 So after the 14th it's not actually the Municipal Assembly but
15 Crisis Staff. And that's why I asked this gentleman whether the
16 Crisis Staff interfered in commanding [overlapping speakers] --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, that's apart from what I asked him later,
18 whether there was any interference at all, irrespective from whom.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In this same document on the
20 following page -- [In English] So we'll need the next page.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Under 2 it says:
22 "The platoon of reservists from the 6th Krajina Brigade will
23 secure, control the bridge, the park, the municipality building, the post
24 office building ..."
25 When it comes to guarding of the vital facilities in town, did
1 that duty continue even after the take-over?
2 A. Wherever units and the command were deployed, yes, for the safety
3 of those units. If units were not deployed, obviously there could be no
4 guard duty.
5 Q. When it comes to vital facilities, did you guard them also when
6 you were in --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the last bit of the
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. -- in Croatia?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you also guard the vital facilities immediately upon
13 deployment in the territory of Sanski Most?
14 A. When we arrived in Sanski Most we were deployed and the
15 deployment sectors were where we were and where we guarded facilities.
16 Q. And now I would like to ask you about Mahala. Do you know if
17 Muslim fighters opened fire on Serbian troops from Mahala?
18 A. Please repeat the question. I didn't understand you.
19 Q. Did Muslim soldiers open fire on Serbian soldiers who were on the
20 scouring mission?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did Muslim soldiers outside of Mahala arrive in Mahala on that
23 day to fight or did they perhaps arrive even before?
24 A. Yes, there were members of the Green Berets from the
25 Golaja sector. They had their training camp there. That's where they
1 trained their own units.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, once again I am concerned about your
3 leading questions.
4 MR. LUKIC: This gentleman said to us yesterday that there were
5 certain Green Berets who retreated from Mahala to Golaja the day when the
6 fighting erupted.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: But now when you say to him: Did Muslim soldiers
8 open fire on Serbian soldiers who were scouring the mission, did Muslim
9 soldiers outside of Mahala arrive in Mahala on that day, those are
10 leading questions. They only undermine the probative value of the
11 witness testimony because they come from your mouth.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] To avoid putting leading questions to you,
14 kindly tell us briefly what happened on that day when you scoured the
15 terrain in Mahala, just briefly.
16 A. On that day members -- or rather, armed Muslims were invited to
17 surrender their weapons. A dead-line was set. I believe that it was at
18 12.00, but I can't be sure of that. They were invited to come out before
19 12.00 and to surrender their weapons or operations would be launched.
20 Q. And the operation was indeed launched?
21 A. Yes, the operation was launched. In Mahala itself there was no
22 serious fighting. It is my own personal assumption based on what I
23 learned that they had probably estimated that they cannot put up
24 significant resistance and they withdrew in the direction of Golaja
25 mountain. They had their camps there. And before that some of those
1 civilians, i.e., women and children, had left Mahala. I forgot to say
2 that. They left before the operation was even launched.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now let's look at another
4 document. The Prosecutor tendered it, P2408.
5 This is the title page. We are interested in the following page.
6 The document is dated 30th May 1992. It was issued by the Crisis Staff
7 of the Sanski Most Serbian municipality. It's an order to the Serbian
8 Territorial Defence:
9 "Hereby the Serbian Territorial Defence is duty-bound to prevent
10 all persons from entering the Mahala area except for authorised organs
11 who are involved in the activity of mopping up Mahala."
12 Q. According to you, was the Crisis Staff in a position to issue
13 orders to the Serbian Territorial Defence?
14 A. I really can't confirm whether they could or couldn't do that.
15 In any case, this shows that the Crisis Staff did issue such an order to
16 the Territorial Defence, an order to that effect, that is.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I'd like to call up P3302.
19 Q. This is a transcript of a radio show. It was shown to you
20 yesterday. You were also shown the English page 7 and the B/C/S page 11
21 in this document. On the female voice here we can see at the bottom in
22 the last sentence in B/C/S version, line 7 in English:
23 "If you do want to go on living in these territories, accept
24 co-operation, hand over all the weapons and military equipment ..."
25 In the territory of Sanski Most, to the best of your knowledge,
1 who was it who started the conflict, the Muslim side? The Serbian side?
3 A. On the territory of the municipality of Sanski Most, as far as I
4 know, the first conflicts were caused by the Muslim side in Hambarine, as
5 far as I know, when a vehicle was attacked of the members of the
6 6th Sana Brigade.
7 Q. The Serb authorities, military and civilian, did they offer
8 co-operation on other occasions like this one too, that is to say, to the
9 Muslims and Croats?
10 A. As far as I know, co-operation was always offered to all in order
11 to avoid bloodshed.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now briefly let us take a look at
13 65 ter 3184 --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, such general -- were you nice? Did you
15 co-operate? Did you co-operate at all times? Did you co-operate at
16 every occasion? Doesn't assist the Chamber. If you want to clearly show
17 these kinds of things, then take an example. We have had -- only ten
18 minutes ago I asked for one concrete example on one of the answers given
19 on such a general statement. It turned out that the witness was talking
20 about probabilities rather than about facts. Try to avoid this kind of
21 general sweeping statements and try to focus on facts. Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Karac, did you ever take part in any
24 negotiations persuading people to hand over weapons? Did you go to
25 villages to talk to people?
1 A. I remember that I was involved in such a conversation. I think
2 it was the village of Tomina. I cannot say that with certainty, but I
3 think that we even reached agreement with people that disarmament would
4 take place and that everything would evolve peacefully. People left and
5 after that I really never attended such meetings with anyone.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask then one thing.
8 You told us that you sought to co-operate. I also understand
9 from your answer that the other party also co-operated fully. Now, what
10 happened with that village after that? Were the Muslims living there
11 peacefully for the rest of the war time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that I took
13 part in these talks, that the representatives of the other side accepted
14 and we had reached agreement. However, that was not observed, and I'm
15 going to give you quite a few examples of Muslims living --
16 JUDGE ORIE: No, you may elaborate on that one example but first
17 of all please answer my question. Did they continue to live peacefully
18 there or did they leave or did they stay, or tell us what happened with
19 the village and --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that village a military
21 operation was carried out. Part of the people left earlier. After the
22 operation part of them withdrew.
23 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Who carried out an operation in the
24 village of Tomina and when?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Tomina we did not carry out an
1 operation. In Tomina, Your Honour, we had a meeting.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then something happened that the villagers
3 in Tomina apparently then finally left or partly left or -- let me see.
4 Yes, you earlier said:
5 "In that village," and we were talking about Tomina, "in that
6 village a military operation was carried out."
7 Then I asked you:
8 "Who carried out an operation in the village of Tomina and when?"
9 And then you say:
10 "In Tomina we did not carry out an operation," whereas two lines
11 before you say:
12 "In that village a military operation was carried out."
13 Could you explain to us whether an operation was carried out in
14 Tomina when and by whom?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Tomina an operation was not
16 carried out. In Tomina --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Should I continue? In Tomina there
19 was only a meeting, a meeting with representatives of the surrounding
20 villages --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then what happened that made part of the
22 population of Tomina leave?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that people
24 left that area because they feared for their personal safety.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know or do you not know?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that that is correct, that
2 that is correct.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You think it is. Did you speak with anyone from
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I do not recall the names of
6 these people, not even the people from the Serb side because I did not
7 live in Sanski Most. So I didn't know them personally.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Did the people from the Serb side leave as well?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were people from the
10 Serb side who left too.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Did they leave in the same numbers as the Muslims
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Less, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Were they any less concerned about the safety then?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you referring to the Serbs?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were worried about their
18 safety too.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, they did not leave in the same numbers
20 and we know generally, including Sanski Most, that most of the Muslims
21 left, whereas most of the Serbs stayed. Would you agree with that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I would agree with that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could you explain to me why the Muslims were
24 apparently in such fear that they left and did not return, whereas the
25 Serbs mainly stayed and if they had left at least returned?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Muslims probably left
2 fearing for their lives, and they wanted to go to destinations that were
3 safer. Part of them who thought that war should be waged stayed on. The
4 Serb population was the majority population there and they had more
5 soldiers that had been mobilised and in a way they felt safety coming
6 from that side.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the reason why they stayed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So finally, safety was not secured for Muslims
10 whereas the Serbs felt that they would be safe to stay or return in
11 Sanski Most?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that they felt safer but not
13 all Serbs felt safe.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And again, the example of Tomina shows again that we
18 want facts, facts and not just sweeping statements. Please proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] So you are involved in discussions in Tomina
21 about handing over weapons. Were the weapons handed over?
22 A. Yes, yes, yes. Part of the weapons were handed over. It was
23 mostly hunting weapons that were handed over.
24 Q. Were there any weapons that had not been handed over?
25 A. I think so.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, why do you think so? What weapons were
2 not handed over and why do you think they were not handed over?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think -- well, our
4 assessments were that in Golaja there were between 3- and 400 armed men
5 and time proved that to be right. So Golaja, Your Honour, until 1993 was
6 an unsafe area. In the evening one would not pass along that road --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is Golaja the village of Tomina?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not, it's not, Your Honour,
9 but people from these --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Again, Mr. Lukic, I asked about Tomina, hunting
11 weapons were handed over. The witness asked whether there were weapons
12 that were not handed over. He says: "I think so." And if you further
13 explore that, it turns out that he can't tell us anything about it. He
14 then moves to Golaja apparently which he says is not Tomina. Facts,
15 facts, and nothing else. Please proceed.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] These armed men at Golaja, did they come from
18 that area, like Tomina and the surrounding villages, or had they come
19 from elsewhere?
20 A. From Golaja, they came from Golaja --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again you are leading him. You are giving him the
22 answer to the question. Did they come from Tomina.
23 MR. LUKIC: Or somewhere else.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where did they come from, that's the non-leading
1 MR. LUKIC: I'll move on. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 [Interpretation] Let us now take a look at 65 ter number 3184.
3 [In English] Sorry, 31874. In this document we need page 4 in English
4 version and page 68 in B/C/S version, please.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that part of the selection the Prosecution
7 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then it's P7070.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] On the previous page there is that part where
11 you marked the strategic objectives.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now we need page 68 in the B/C/S
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm sorry, perhaps I disturbed you. That was the
15 original document if you say page 68.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes, in B/C/S it's page 68, and in translation there
17 are only seven pages --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was just asking if that is part of the
19 selection made and then it would be a different e-court number of course.
20 But if that is now the right page, go ahead.
21 MR. LUKIC: We -- now I have the right page in B/C/S and I think
22 that translation we do have of the same page in English, page 4.
23 Q. [Interpretation] So, sir, you do recognise the handwriting?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Whose handwriting is this?
1 A. Mine.
2 Q. We see up here it says: "Meeting of the brigade" --
3 A. "Command."
4 Q. "And the battalion commander"?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Further down, the last asterisk, this is what it says:
7 "There is no solution until agreement is reached between all the
8 three peoples."
9 Was that the position of your military unit?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Solution for what, could you tell us?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You've heard the Judge's question, solution for what?
14 A. This is a solution for the situation that cropped up in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or rather, the tensions that occurred. There was a
16 quarrel among all three ethnic communities and solution was -- and a
17 solution was sought to remedy that.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: If Your Honours don't have anything else, I would
20 move to the last document I have for this witness and finish with him.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you could.
22 MR. LUKIC: If we could have P2876, please.
23 [Interpretation] So this is a document of the command of the
24 1st Krajina Corps. The date is the 30th of May, 1992. Now that we've
25 seen the first page, we need the last page in both versions.
1 Q. On page 30746 of yesterday's transcript --
2 MR. LUKIC: Give me one second. That's not the document I have
3 under this number, 2867, P2867.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps if you say what kind of document you're
5 seeking perhaps it could assist.
6 MR. LUKIC: It's a meeting -- the document right in front of us
8 JUDGE ORIE: Is this the one?
9 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Let us now discuss this briefly. This is a
13 meeting with the presidents of municipalities in the zone of
14 responsibility of the division. It's held on the 14th of May, 1992.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need the last page in both
17 Q. On transcript page 30747, my learned friend Ms. Edgerton
18 suggested the following to you and I'm going to read the question,
19 line 11 onwards:
20 [In English] "So when you said in your written evidence that the
21 role of your brigade was to keep the peace between the opposing sides,
22 that's actually incorrect, isn't it?"
23 A. It is correct that --
24 Q. [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Bear with me. Pay
25 attention to what is being said and what is being said is this --
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need -- we need the previous page
2 in English, I apologise. The very bottom of that page.
3 Q. It says here:
4 "At the end of the meeting, Colonel Galic proposed the following
5 conclusions ..."
6 MR. LUKIC: And then we need the next page in English version.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Under 2 it says in the document which the
8 Prosecutor used to corroborate that argument:
9 "Hold the present positions and defend them without war ..."
10 What kind of instructions did you receive? What does this mean?
11 A. This means that war should be avoided at all costs.
12 Q. At that time, i.e., in mid-May, did the brigade command
13 participate or did they at least try to participate in calming the
14 situation down in the territory of Sanski Most?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know what Commander Basara tried to do?
17 A. There was no day that went by when Colonel Basara didn't go to
18 the villages with a majority Muslim population. He himself hailed from
19 Sanski Most, he knew all those people. He went to those villages to calm
20 the situation down in order to avert any unwanted consequences.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Karac, this is all we had for you. Thank you.
22 A. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. I'll give you an opportunity
24 if you have any further questions. I have one question.
25 Witness, were you aware in any way, because you told us a lot
1 about what happened in Sanski Most, were you aware what happened with
2 some 20 men on the 31st of May or the 1st of June which were taken from
3 the Vrhpolje or Hrustovo area, were then escorted and were forced to jump
4 from a bridge where then they were shot at once they were in the water?
5 Do you have any knowledge about that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is true, this indeed did
7 happen. I don't know who the perpetrators of that were. I know that
8 Colonel Basara went up there to calm the situation down. As far as I
9 know he told me that those were people whom he didn't know and that they
10 scattered when they had seen him.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 Ms. Edgerton, any further questions?
13 MS. EDGERTON: I will have, Your Honour. I estimate right now
14 about -- I'll try and aim for 10 minutes but probably 15 minutes' worth
15 of questions after the next break.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we'll take a break. You may already follow
17 the usher. We'll deal with a few administrative matters. We would like
18 to see you back in a little bit over 20 minutes.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just want to put on the record that the
20 65 ter number of P7070 which was admitted at the beginning of our session
21 today is wrong.
22 MS. EDGERTON: It was and that's one of the -- it's an
23 administrative matter that Ms. Stewart brought to my attention. I
24 inverted the last two digits of the 65 ter number on the record at page 2
25 I referred to 31847 and 31847A. It should of course read 31874 and
1 31874A. And my apologies.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that correction.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, as you see, nothing escapes the attention of my
6 I'd briefly like to deal with the following matter, it's about
7 scheduling and it is about the last week of May of this year. That week
8 starts with the 25th, which is a Monday, of May which is a holiday.
9 Therefore, four days would remain. The Chamber is unable to sit on the
10 28th, that is Thursday, and the 29th, the Friday, for certain, which
11 would leave in that week two days, that is, the 26th and the 27th of May.
12 The -- it came to the mind of the Chamber that the parties - and I'm also
13 looking at Defence - might prefer to sit in the week before that, that
14 is, the week starting Monday, the 18th of May, to sit the full five days
15 and then to sit the week after, that is, the week starting with Monday,
16 the 1st of June, also to sit five full days, which would compensate for
17 not sitting at all in the week --
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, Mr. Mladic, I warned you yesterday.
20 This is the last warning. If there is any other communication with the
21 public gallery, you'll be removed from the courtroom. So rather turn
22 your back to the public gallery so as -- in order to avoid any further
23 incidents. No, I'm not asking for any comment. You can tell counsel
24 what you want to tell.
25 MR. LUKIC: Well, we'll probably have to consult with
1 Mr. Mladic --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. LUKIC: -- and I'm very pro this proposal but --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we would then have two weeks of five days but
5 one full week break between the two. We'd like to hear from you if
6 possible after the break.
7 And of course from the Prosecution as well, but you don't have to
8 consult a client.
9 Then I would -- we'll now take the break. We resume at 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for the witness to be escorted
13 into the courtroom, it may have been a busy break, Mr. Lukic. Any
14 results from your consultations as far as the last week of May is
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, your offer is accepted.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, it wasn't an offer.
18 But then Prosecution, any problems in having a non-sitting week?
19 MR. TIEGER: No, of course that would be fine, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then it's hereby decided that we'll sit in the week
21 of the 18th of May, we sit the full five days. We'll sit in the week of
22 the 1st of June, the full five days. And we'll not sit in the week
23 starting the 25th of May.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Edgerton.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Yes. Thank you.
2 Further Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
3 Q. Mr. Karac, with regard to your testimony today, my colleague
4 showed you P2411, at temporary transcript page 3. And just so you can be
5 sure of your answers, maybe we should just call these documents up as I
6 go through them, please, P2411. So this is an order from the TO
7 commander Anicic for operations against a number of locations in
8 co-ordination with 6th Brigade units. And my colleague Mr. Lukic asked
9 you and you told him that you knew who Colonel Anicic was, and that was
10 at temporary transcript page 4. And then he showed you P2408 --
11 MS. EDGERTON: If we could see that document, please.
12 Q. -- at temporary transcript page 14.
13 MS. EDGERTON: And go over to page 2 in B/C/S and in English,
14 please. All right.
15 Q. So this is a document, the document you saw from the Crisis Staff
16 for Sanski Most Serbian municipality to the Serbian Territorial Defence,
17 dated 30 May 1992, to prevent all persons from entering Mahala --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have the right B/C/S page on the screen.
19 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, we don't. Pardon me, I hadn't realised that
20 there was an authentication page. So if we could go to the next page,
21 Mr. Registrar, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Often it's the back of the page -- previous page.
23 No. We're now moving in the English.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Mr. Registrar I think was having -- there was some
25 functionality problems with e-court when he came on.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Otherwise we should print out the B/C/S version and
2 give it to the witness or read it literally to him.
3 MR. LUKIC: I have one.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You have one.
5 MS. EDGERTON: I'm grateful. Thank you.
6 Q. Right. So that's the other document he showed you, P2408, to
7 prevent all persons from entering Mahala except for those for authorised
8 organs who were involved in the activity of mopping up. And he asked you
9 based on this whether the Crisis Staff was in a position to issue orders
10 to the Territorial Defence, and you said that you couldn't confirm but in
11 any case this document shows that they did.
12 Now, my question to you is this: Since you know who Anicic was,
13 you would know, wouldn't you, that on the very same day, 30 May 1992,
14 that this order was issued, Nedjo Anicic, the TO commander, was on, he
15 was a member of, the Crisis Staff for the Serbian municipality of
16 Sanski Most, wouldn't you?
17 A. Yes, he was a member of the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Lukic also took you back to your notebook
19 that we had talked about yesterday, P7070, and you looked at or we looked
20 at B/C/S page 3 and English translation page 4. And he took you down to
21 the asterisked points and in particular the last one where it said:
22 "There is no solution until agreement is reached between all
23 three peoples."
24 Then he asked you:
25 "Was that the position of your military unit?"
1 And you said: "Yes."
2 And His Honour Judge Orie said:
3 "Solution for what?"
4 Now, your response was:
5 "This is a solution for the situation that cropped up in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or rather, the tensions that occurred. There was a
7 quarrel among all three ethnic communities and the solution was -- and a
8 solution was sought to remedy that."
9 Now, that solution involved ethnic relocation, didn't it?
10 A. I don't have the document before me. May I be allowed to see it,
12 Q. As soon as we've got some functionality restored to e-court, I
13 think that won't be a problem.
14 MS. EDGERTON: P7070, B/C/S page 7, English page 4.
15 MR. LUKIC: I have that one in B/C/S as well if it can help.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but we at least would need the English on the
17 screen as well in order for us to be able to follow. P7070, any way to
18 get it on the screen?
19 MS. EDGERTON: I'll just have a copy of the English printed up
20 immediately. The one I have in my hand is marked up.
21 JUDGE ORIE: There we are.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Oh, there we have it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have the right page, then.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need the English back. And in B/C/S it's the
25 right side of the page.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: There we are.
3 MS. EDGERTON:
4 Q. So can you answer my question now? That solution involved ethnic
5 relocation; correct?
6 A. Yes. There were talks of one of such options. There were
7 options. There were talks of options, yes.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, nothing further.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 We have no further questions for you, Witness. Therefore, I'd
12 like to thank you for coming to The Hague and for having answered all the
13 questions that were put to you, put to you by the parties, put to you by
14 the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again. You may follow the
16 And the usher is --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- invited to bring the next witness.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if you wanted to raise the matter with
21 one of the D documents which we were informed you would like to raise,
22 that was D --
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- 613.
25 MR. LUKIC: -- D613.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. LUKIC: I just wanted to inform Your Honours that we sent it
3 for translation and we expect to have it translated on Friday, this
5 JUDGE ORIE: That's hereby on the record.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Your next witness would be Mr. Predojevic?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, and he will be
9 led by me.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
11 Perhaps I briefly deal with one matter, it's about the statement
12 of Slavko Mijanovic. During the testimony of this witness on the
13 25th of November of last year, the Chamber marked document D799, which is
14 Mijanovic's Rule 92 ter statement, for identification pending a new
15 English translation. This is to be found at transcript pages 28799 to
17 The Defence informed the Chamber via e-mail on the
18 19th of January that the requested revised English translation of D799
19 had been uploaded into e-court under doc ID 1D18-3069. The Prosecution
20 does not object to the translation or the admission of D799 as far as we
21 are aware of and what we see on the transcript and which was also
22 confirmed in an e-mail from the Prosecution of the 19th of January. The
23 Chamber hereby instructs the court officer to replace the existing
24 English translation with the revised translation and admits D799 into
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Witness. It's not very polite of us
3 to continue with other matters when you entered the courtroom,
4 Mr. Predojevic. Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
5 make a solemn declaration. Could I invite you to stand and to make that
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: BRANKO PREDOJEVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Predojevic. You'll first be examined
12 by Mr. Stojanovic. You find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel
13 for Mr. Mladic.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Predojevic.
18 A. Good day.
19 Q. According to our usual form, I would like to ask you to speak
20 slowly and give us your exact first and last names.
21 A. My name is Branko Predojevic.
22 Q. Mr. Predojevic, at one point in time did you give a statement in
23 writing to General Mladic's Defence?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
1 have 65 ter 1D01709 in e-court.
2 Q. Mr. Predojevic, you have a screen in front of you and you can see
3 a text on that screen. So if you do see this in front of you, this is
4 what I'm going to ask you: Do you see a signature on that text; and if
5 so, is that your signature?
6 A. I see the signature and it is my signature.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And could we please look at the
9 last page of this document now.
10 Q. The question is the same, Mr. Predojevic. On this page is the
11 signature yours again? And the date that can be seen here, was it
12 entered in your own hand?
13 A. Yes, this is my signature and the date is written in my own hand.
14 Q. Mr. Predojevic, when preparing to appear in this courtroom, did
15 you tell me that it was necessary for me to ask you something about a few
16 things in your statement in order to spell some things out more precisely
17 and to clarify certain matters?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could we please take a look at paragraph 5 of your statement.
20 Now I would just like to ask you to take a look at this and
21 please follow what I'll be saying. I would like to indicate what it was
22 that you had indicated; namely, that in the first sentence before the
23 words "until the end of the war," or "throughout the war," it should say:
24 "Until the 12th of September, 1994, when I was wounded. And
25 after returning from sick leave from March 1995 until the 11th of
1 October, 1995, I carried out the duties of assistant commander for
2 intelligence affairs in the brigade command and afterwards deputy
3 commander of the assault detachment in the Sana Brigade," and it is only
4 then that the words "to the end of the war" are inserted again.
5 Is this what you found necessary to insert?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 6, in the second sentence, did you
8 indicate to me that in order to be as precise as possible instead of the
9 words "the VRS forces" or, rather, "the 6th Sana Brigade," it should say
10 "the forces of the JNA, the JNA forces"? Then in the same sentence, for
11 the sake of precision, after the words "in the liberation," the words "of
12 the building of the Municipal Assembly of Sanski Most" should be
13 inserted. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 13, so let us please look at
16 paragraph 13 of your statement. Did you indicate to me that for the sake
17 of precision in your statement you said that you wanted to add in the
18 first sentence after the words "of about 30 men," you would like to add
19 the date, the 7th of April, 1993?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I would like to end with paragraph 15. Please focus on this.
22 Did you tell me that in the second sentence, after the word "replenish"
23 we should add the prefix "and," meaning to say: We replenished our units
24 with members of the disbanded paramilitary forces as well. And then
25 there are the words "personnel, military personnel," and you wanted to
1 add the words "my battalion, of my battalion." And finally in the same
2 sentence, at the end certain toponyms should be added. After Usorci, the
3 toponyms Stari Majdan, Dzevar, and Sanski Most should be added?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Now that you've made these amendments and
6 clarifications, today in this courtroom when you took the solemn
7 declaration stating that you would tell the truth, the whole truth, and
8 nothing but the truth, would you give identical answers if the same
9 questions were to be put to you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. These questions, would they be based on the best of your
12 recollection and knowledge in terms of what it is that you are testifying
14 A. You mean answers?
15 Q. Answers.
16 A. The answers would be as you have stated.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
19 tender the statement along with these amendments, the statement of
20 Branko Predojevic. At this moment it is marked 65 ter 1D01709.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections?
22 MR. JEREMY: Good morning, Your Honours. No objections to the
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the statement receives number ...?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D881, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, I
5 would like to tender two associated exhibits, 65 ter 1D02977 and 1D02978.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D02977 receives Exhibit Number D882.
8 Document number 1D02978 receives Exhibit D883, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: D882 and D883 are admitted.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you allow me, I
11 would like to read out a summary of the statement of
12 Witness Branko Predojevic. Thank you.
13 Witness Branko Predojevic as a reserve officer of the JNA and a
14 teacher of defence towards the end of 1991 became professionally involved
15 in the then-JNA and after its withdrawal from Croatia he came, together
16 with his unit, to Bileca and from there to Nevesinje in BiH.
17 After the withdrawal of the JNA from BiH in May 1992, since he
18 was born in BH he joined the VRS and was assigned to the
19 Nevesinje Brigade. On the 22nd of June, 1992, he took over the duty of
20 battalion commander in the 6th Sana Brigade in Sanski Most. And he
21 remained in that position all the way up until he was wounded on the
22 12th of September, 1994. He speaks about the attitude of the VRS towards
23 paramilitary formations, especially SOS, the Serb Defence Forces, in
24 Sanski Most. He says that part of this unit was attached to his unit.
25 He claims that the VRS was never involved in moving out the civilian
1 population from Sanski Most and they carried out only military tasks.
2 The VRS functioned completely separate from the Crisis Staff,
3 asking that they do not interfere in each other's affairs in the domain
4 of the military. He knows that the officers of the VRS did attend
5 meetings of the Crisis Staff but they did not have the right to vote and
6 could not take decisions at Crisis Staff meetings. During his service he
7 did not receive a single order that was in contravention of any law or
8 customs of war or against the civilian population or civilian property
9 and facilities.
10 In the period of 1992 and 1993, it did happen that they had
11 prisoners of war and there was a direct command that these persons should
12 be treated only on the basis of regulations and customs of war.
13 Finally, he speaks of two documents that corroborate his
14 statement. One has to do with the criminal report against members of his
15 brigade who they realised had committed murder of several civilians. The
16 other document is a document of the commander regarding the treatment of
17 paramilitary and volunteer units.
18 That would be the summary, Your Honours, and I would just like to
19 put a few additional questions to him in order to clarify certain matters
20 that are contained in his statement.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at
23 paragraph 19 of D881 which is Mr. Predojevic's statement now.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, before you ask questions, I want
25 some clarification from the summary here. You say in the summary,
1 Mr. Stojanovic, at page 38, lines -- line -- starting from line 2, you
3 "He speaks about the attitude of the VRS towards paramilitary
4 formations, especially SOS, the Serb Defence Forces, in Sanski Most. He
5 says that part of this unit was attached to his unit."
6 Is it part of the SOS or part of the -- part of his unit was the
7 SOS or was it the paramilitary? Or in fact the paramilitary -- is the
8 SOS a paramilitary?
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If you're asking me, then
10 according to the witness's statement, according to the witness's
11 statement, paragraph 13 of his statement, the answer would be yes, he
12 treats them as a paramilitary unit and he adds that they were attached to
13 his unit on that date.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. That clarifies it.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Predojevic, look at paragraph 19. We have to be as precise
17 as possible here. We need to provide as many concrete examples and facts
18 as possible. Therefore, could you please tell the Trial Chamber about
19 POWs, those you captured during operations. What POWs did you have in
20 mind, in what part of the battle-field, when you mentioned the years 1992
21 and 1993?
22 A. I meant the POWs from the Muslim army. That happened at the
23 Gradacac front line. There were subsequent captures but not by my
24 battalion, but rather, various units of the brigade. For example, in
25 1995 near Sanski Most.
1 Q. For precision's sake, could you tell the Trial Chamber and all of
2 us in the courtroom, where is Gradacac? Where was the Gradacac
3 battle-field? In geographic terms, how far was that from Sanski Most?
4 A. That battle-field or that town was some 200 kilometres from
5 Sanski Most.
6 Q. Thank you. And now I'm going to ask you this: Throughout your
7 membership in the Army of Republika Srpska, bearing in mind the war path
8 of your battalion, could you please tell the Trial Chamber where were you
9 and your unit or at least a part thereof deployed during the war?
10 A. If my memory serves me correctly, the first deployment of my unit
11 was in the Bihac theatre of war in mid-July 1992. We were there for no
12 more than three or four days all together. After that, in mid-July I
13 took my unit to the corridor to the territory of Odzak. It was the
14 Tactical Group 1 which was engaged in the breakthrough of the corridor.
15 After that, I took my unit to the Modrica sector or the Ploce sector, or
16 rather, the Pelagicevo sector. That was sometime in August 1992. After
17 that, we were deployed to the theatre near Brod where we participated in
18 combat operations to liberate Brod. We were there up until the moment
19 Brod was liberated. Then we went back to the Gradacac battle-field.
20 That's where my unit was most commonly deployed.
21 At the beginning of 1993, or rather, in early February 1993,
22 until the 7th of March, we were in Bratunac. After a short rest, we were
23 sent to the Bihac theatre at the beginning of April, on the 7th of April
24 that was. We stayed there for a month or so. After that, for a rather
25 long period of time we stayed in Gracac or in Pelagicevo to be more
1 precise. That's where we were stationed until the beginning of 1994 --
2 sorry, not beginning of 1994, until September 1994.
3 In September 1994 we went to Suva Medja in Novi Grad
4 municipality. I stayed there until the 12th of September together with
5 my unit. That's when I was wounded. After that I was on sick leave for
6 nearly six months. And then at the end of February 1995, upon return to
7 the unit, I was assigned the position of assistant commander for
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call up D882.
11 This is the number that the document bears at the moment, D882.
12 Q. In paragraph 10 of your statement, Mr. Predojevic, you speak
13 about the criminal report that was filed against a member of your
14 brigade. You see that in front of you at the moment. The date is
15 5 December 1992. Please tell the Court, during that period of time,
16 i.e., the beginning of December 1992, where were you physically?
17 A. At that time I and my unit were in the theatre of war near
18 Gradacac, and that member of my unit went home for the burial of his
20 Q. And this crime, did it happen while that member of unit was in
21 Sanski Most where he attended the burial of his relative?
22 A. When we returned home I learned about that incident. He was on
23 furlough at the time.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, please help us. Which member are
25 you referring to? This criminal report refers to five different people.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll ask the witness,
2 Your Honour. In any case, it would have been my question anyway.
3 Q. Mr. Predojevic, you have that criminal report in front of you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it is against five different people, Gvozden, Mile - I don't
6 know if the family name is spelled correctly - Miroslav Gvozden,
7 Bojan Gvozden, Ostoja Gvozden, and the minor Zoran Simcic. Could you
8 please tell the Court which of them were members of your unit, more
9 specifically of that unit of yours?
10 A. I'm sure that Mile Gvozden was. I suppose that the others were
11 members of my unit as well, but I remember Mile Gvozden. My unit was
12 replenished from that village. Mile Gvozden, I'm sure. And the others
13 if they were militarily able-bodied men, they were members of my unit.
14 But there were over a thousand members in that unit over time so I can't
15 remember everybody.
16 Q. Thank you very much. When you say Gvozden, Mile, who do you have
17 in mind just for the record, could you please be more precise.
18 A. Milan Gvozden is who I have in mind, to be very precise.
19 Q. Under what number is he?
20 A. Number 1.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And may I clarify the matter further. Was
22 this the person you said -- you were asked:
23 "And this crime, did it happen while that member of unit was in
24 Sanski Most where he attended the burial of his relative?"
25 Is that the person under number 1 or another one?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're talking about the person
2 number 1, that person was on furlough at the time. He had been asked to
3 accompany the dead body and help the family to organise the funeral.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That clarifies the matter. Thank you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. And now let's look
6 at D881, paragraph 16.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'll just briefly ask, I'll not further elaborate on
8 it, but do you know what happened with this criminal report, whether any
9 follow-up was given? Were they prosecuted? Were they punished?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you, at least not in
11 very precise terms because that member of the unit and the perpetrator of
12 that crime after a certain while returned to my unit. It was common
13 practice after the war to prosecute all such persons who had committed
14 similar offences, and legal measures were taken against them as a result
15 of that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: When did the perpetrator return to your unit?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you when exactly, but
18 I know that he returned.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Was it after a week? After a month? After a year?
20 After three years? Approximately.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Approximately after two or three
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you ever inquire why he was not prosecuted
24 at that time? Because you had a likely murderer now within your unit.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I've already told you, it was
1 common practice. Instead of putting somebody in jail, and thus exempting
2 him from war duty, they were recruited into units where they spent some
3 time. And then when the time came, they were prosecuted. I know that
4 many of them who had committed such and similar crimes after the war --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you didn't know during the war that they
6 would be prosecuted after the war, did you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had to know. Nobody could go
8 unpunished. It was not an isolated case. There were several such
9 people. For example, I myself can give you at least the names of two
10 other criminals of that kind.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I accept that some people were prosecuted after the
12 war, but during the war how could you possibly know that they would be
13 prosecuted after the war? Was it announced somewhere? Was it -- were
14 you -- was there an order to say: Well, he should return to his unit but
15 we'll prosecute him once the war is over? Is there any evidence that
16 would support your suggestion that one could know during the war that
17 murderers would just return to the unit and then in the expectation that
18 they would later be prosecuted?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We received that information from
20 our superior command, and I'm conveying it to you. According to that
21 information, when peace came he would be prosecuted. And it was thought
22 at the time that a bigger punishment for him was to be in the unit than
23 to be put in jail.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please move on, Mr. Stojanovic.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour.
1 My colleague Mr. Lukic has just indicated to me that one part of
2 his answer to your last question has not been recorded. Can I repeat the
3 question? I don't want to lead the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You can take him to the portion which was translated
5 and then ask him what he said after that. Otherwise, we would have
6 the --
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. You said that the position was that it was better for him to be
9 in jail than in the unit, and what followed that?
10 A. I said that the position was - hence the solution - that it was
11 better both for -- it was better for the unit for him to be a member of
12 the unit. That for him to be in jail would have given him more
13 protection than being in the unit. And then when conditions were ripe, a
14 full criminal procedure would be taken. And that was really done. In
15 addition to him, I can remember two other people that fared the same.
16 Q. Thank you. And just for the sake of clarification, please look
17 at paragraph 16 which is in front of you, Mr. Predojevic. When you say
18 that the VRS was never involved in any removal of civilian population
19 from Sanski Most, are you referring to 20 June 1992, the date when you
20 arrived in Sanski Most, or are you referring to the time before that?
21 A. Well, I can only testify about the time when I joined the
22 Sana Brigade onwards. And as to what happened earlier, this can only be
23 hearsay because I can only share with you the stories that I heard from
24 other people.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Predojevic, for all your answers. At the moment
1 we don't have any other questions for you.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
4 Mr. Jeremy, would you prefer to take the break now and then have
5 the cross-examination in one flow or rather start now for the next
6 five minutes?
7 MR. JEREMY: I'd prefer to take the break now, please,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take a break of 20 minutes. We'd like to
10 see you back and we'll resume at quarter past 12.00.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.19 a.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Predojevic, you'll now be cross-examined by
16 Mr. Jeremy. You'll find Mr. Jeremy to your right. Mr. Jeremy is counsel
17 for the Prosecution.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Jeremy:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Predojevic.
22 A. Good day.
23 Q. Now, you've already provided in some detail the various war
24 theatres that you were in outside of Sanski Most during the war period
25 and I'd just like to seek a little bit more clarity on your whereabouts
1 during that period. Now, you mentioned that you were wounded in
2 September 1994 and you returned back to duty in March 1995. Where were
3 you when you were recovering from your injuries?
4 A. I recovered first of all at the Prijedor hospital, and after that
5 in the house in Sanski Most.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone is not on.
8 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Sir, I'll repeat my question. How long were you in Prijedor
10 after you were injured? If you went there in September 1994, when did
11 you return back to Sanski Most?
12 A. I arrived in Prijedor after I was wounded on the 12th of
13 September and I was there in their hospital for about ten days, that is
14 to say, roughly until the end of September 1994.
15 Q. All right. Now, I don't think you mentioned it in your list of
16 locations earlier but you do mention it in your statement that you were
17 in Trnovo in June and July of 1995. Do you recall the specific locations
18 that you were at in Trnovo; and if you do, if you could just very briefly
19 tell me, please.
20 A. Yes, I can remember. With that unit that I came to as the
21 commander of this company from the Sana Brigade that was within the joint
22 forces of the 1st Krajina Corps under the command of
23 then-Lieutenant-Colonel Pantelija Curguz; that is to say, I was company
24 commander of that unit of mine because the commander of that unit went
25 away for training.
1 Upon arriving in the Sarajevo theatre of war, we first arrived in
2 the village of Kijevo; that is to say, it's on that road between Trnovo
3 and Sarajevo. From there, along this road, or rather, on the slopes
4 above the road where that dam is on the Zeljeznica river, we arrived in
5 the village of Ilovica. That was a smallish village, or rather, it
6 consisted of weekend cottages. From there we crossed the road, we came
7 to the other side, that is, and arrived at the hill of Hrastovac above
8 that dam that I mentioned, above the Trnovo-Sarajevo road. That's where
9 we remained for, say, 25, 6 days, that unit of my unit, that is, until
10 our replacements came.
11 Q. And during that time-period, were you involved in operations in
12 respect of the Lucevik feature at all?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, as I've mentioned, you've outlined the
15 various locations that you and your unit were in during the war period.
16 Is it fair to say that you spent the overwhelming majority of the war
17 period outside of Sanski Most?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. I'd like to move now to a different topic and that relates
20 to the command posts of the 6th Sana Brigade. Now, in paragraph 6 of
21 your statement you talk briefly of the command post of the 6th Brigade
22 and you say that that was located in Lusci Palanka. Now, are you aware
23 that from the 8th of June, 1992, a forward command post was also set up
24 by the brigade that was located in Sanski Most itself?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, this Chamber's received evidence within a combat report for
2 the brigade, P3851, that this was the case. Now, we don't necessarily
3 need to go to that but my question is: Do you have any reason to doubt,
4 then, that a forward command post was set up in Sanski Most from the
5 8th of June, 1992?
6 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember -- since when I came
7 there, at that time, from Nevesinje, I went to Lusci Palanka, that is to
8 say, where the command post was. And it is possible, as I've already
9 said -- I mean, my memory doesn't really serve me. But later on, yes.
10 Later on during the war - I cannot remember the exact time - the command
11 post was moved from Lusci Palanka to Sanski Most. I think it was
12 somewhere towards the end of that year, 1992, beginning of 1993,
13 something like that. I cannot say for sure.
14 Q. And if I told you that the same document, the combat report of
15 the 6th Brigade for 1992, said that the command of the -- the permanent
16 command of the brigade did move from Lusci Palanka to Sanski Most on
17 the -- at the end of August 1992, would that perhaps refresh your
19 A. I've already said that I spent most of the time -- actually,
20 particularly the first part of the war outside of Sanski Most, or rather,
21 at my own battalion command that was in the area of the villages from
22 which I obtained personnel -- well, it didn't really help me remember. I
23 cannot say exactly what the time was.
24 Q. Okay. That's understood. Thank you. I'd like to move on to a
25 different topic, one that's -- you've already testified about briefly
1 today and that's the SOS unit that was in Sanski Most. Now, in
2 paragraph 6 of your statement you mention Colonel Anicic and you say that
3 he and Dane Ergarac were in command of the SOS. Now, Nedjeljko Anicic
4 was the commander of the Serbian TO after it was set up in February 1992;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 6 as amended today that -- as corrected
8 today, that the SOS participated in the liberation of the Municipal
9 Assembly building in Sanski Most. Now, they also participated in combat
10 operations, mop-up operations in Sanski Most at the end of May and early
11 June 1992; correct?
12 A. Yes. This happened before I arrived in Sanski Most and before I
13 was deployed in the 6th Sana Brigade, but I heard that things were
14 exactly as you had put it just now.
15 Q. And you also heard that when conducting these operations at the
16 end of May and early June 1992, the SOS were acting in co-ordination with
17 the 6th Brigade; correct?
18 A. Well, I don't know that they were acting in co-ordination because
19 until they joined my unit, they worked according to some plan of theirs
20 or Anicic's or Dane Ergarac and his deputy, so you couldn't make head or
21 tails out of it, as we say. And then they became part of my battalion.
22 Q. Now, the operations that you have said that the SOS were
23 participating in at the end of May and early June, would you agree with
24 me that they were in Mahala, Vrhpolje, and Hrustovo, among other
1 A. As for these villages that you are referring to and Mahala, part
2 of Sanski Most, I just heard about these things that happened. And I
3 assume that they probably did take part but I doubt that they had any
4 kind of co-ordination or that they were under the command of the
5 6th Sana. Because I've already said that these were young men who were
6 not disciplined, who acted on their own when carrying out tasks, and even
7 when they would receive a concrete order, again they would do things
8 their way, in their own interest?
9 Q. So leaving aside issues then of co-ordination or command, would
10 you agree with me that the 6th Brigade were also at the same locations
11 that the SOS were found at the end of May and early June, including
12 Mahala, Hrustovo, and Vrhpolje?
13 A. Yes, I agree on that.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Jeremy, by locations, do you mean operations
15 in fact?
16 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you for that clarification.
17 Q. And, Witness, just to be fair to you, I meant that the
18 6th Brigade were involved in the same operations that the SOS were
19 involved in in Hrustovo, Mahala, and Vrhpolje.
20 A. I've already said that they could take part at the same time, but
21 in co-ordination, that's what I doubt. I wasn't there, as I've already
22 said, but I know these people and even when they came to my unit, it took
23 me a while to try to turn them into soldiers. Until then they were
24 totally dishevelled, if I can put it that way, and they worked and
25 operated any which way they wanted.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Are you talking about your -- those soldiers or are
2 you talking about those who commanded that operation?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case I'm talking about
4 these soldiers, the members of the Serb Defence Forces.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but when you say you doubt whether it's in
6 co-ordination, it could still have been co-ordinated, wouldn't it, and
7 then perhaps the soldiers might not have behaved as they were expected to
8 do, but that doesn't make co-ordination at the command level in any way
9 impossible? Or would you disagree?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't agree with that, knowing
11 these men, that they could accept command just like that from someone who
12 was not part of their own plans as to how they should operate. That's
13 how they behaved all the time until they became part of that same
14 6th Sana Brigade. They left whenever they wanted to go and in numbers
15 that they wanted, irrespective of --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you continue again to explain to us what
17 you are not specifically asked for. It appears to me that you haven't
18 addressed the matter I asked you, but I'll not insist and invite
19 Mr. Jeremy to continue.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before Mr. Jeremy continues, just to remind
21 you that Mr. Jeremy's question was: Did these SOS members participate in
22 the same operations as the unit of the army even though they may not have
23 been doing so in co-ordination with the army? So don't -- if you answer
24 the question, don't keep going back to "co-ordination." The question is:
25 They were in the same operation?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the information that I
2 had, they did take part in some of these actions; however, which ones
3 specifically and how many of them took part, that I really cannot say.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was not the question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. Witness, just to stay with this topic, did you ever have any
8 personal conversations with brigade-level staff, with Colonel Basara, for
9 example, about whether or not the 6th Brigade was co-ordinating with the
10 SOS during these May/June operations?
11 A. I did not talk to Colonel Basara. I never talked to him about
12 these activities. I was just a battalion commander and I arrived later.
13 So we really didn't have time to talk about any of that and no need to
15 Q. That's understood. Now, you've mentioned that the SOS -- members
16 of the SOS unit became part of your battalion in 1993 and you discuss
17 this in your statement, for example, in paragraph 13. Now, one of those
18 members of the SOS that joined your battalion was a man called
19 Zoran Ilic; correct?
20 A. I cannot remember all members of this unit , or rather, the SOS,
21 whether this Ilic was there too. But around 30 of these members became
22 part of my unit on the 7th of April, when we were getting ready and when
23 we went to the Bihac front.
24 Q. Okay. I'd like to show you a document relating to this man to
25 see if it refreshes your recollection about whether he was in your unit.
1 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see 65 ter 31869.
2 Q. Now, sir, on the screen before you is a letter from the command
3 of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Brigade, location Dzevar. It's dated the
4 13th of May, 1993. The title is: Zeljko Ilic, explanation.
5 And, sir, having read "Zeljko Ilic" to myself, I've realised that
6 I asked you if you know a Zoran Ilic. So I will correct myself and ask
7 if you knew a Zeljko Ilic? Sir, you'll have an opportunity to read the
8 letter. My question is --
9 A. Zeljko Ilic?
10 Q. Do you recall this man?
11 A. You said the 1st Battalion but this is my battalion, the 3rd one,
12 the 3rd Battalion. And I signed this, or who was this that signed on my
13 behalf? Somebody signed, one of my people. I cannot see exactly who it
14 was. The signature is illegible. It's possible that it was
15 Veljko Stupar, he was desk officer for general affairs.
16 Q. And I understand that it would be typical that as a battalion
17 commander persons would occasionally sign documents such as these on your
18 behalf; correct?
19 A. That was not the rule. That was not the rule, but if at that
20 time I was somewhere in the field outside Sanski Most and the command
21 with two persons functioned throughout the war and they issued all sorts
22 of certificates, compiled lists, did administrative work of that kind,
23 who had left and so on and so forth.
24 Q. Okay. Now, I'm not sure if you've answered the question, but do
25 you -- having looked at this letter, do you recall Zeljko Ilic?
1 A. Well, I cannot remember every member. I mean, over a thousand of
2 them went through my unit --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not every member, Witness.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- so I was practically a stranger
5 there --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not being asked to remember all. You're
7 being asked whether you remember this one. Do you or do you not remember
8 this particular person?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not sure. I cannot
10 remember this man specifically.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. JEREMY: Thank you.
13 Q. Now, Witness, let's take a look at this letter. So we see in the
14 first paragraph there is a reference to Zeljko Ilic, we see his address.
15 We read that he has been a member of the SOS, Serbian Defence Forces,
16 since the 10th of March, 1992, and we read that that unit has been
17 subordinated to this battalion since the 1st of April, 1993.
18 Now going to the third paragraph, we read that Zeljko Ilic has
19 participated in all combat carried out by his units, especially combat in
20 Krupa na Uni, the mopping up of Sanski Most and Kljuc, and in operations
21 to spear-head a corridor through to Serbia.
22 Those mopping-up operations that we see here, that's a reference
23 to the mopping-up operations I asked you about earlier at the end of May
24 and early June; correct?
25 A. Yes, yes, that's when those actions took place.
1 Q. Okay. And that same third paragraph reads on to say:
2 "During all this combat, he exhibited exemplary courage, daring,
3 and discipline when carrying out his command and the other tasks."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: His combat, not command.
5 MR. JEREMY: Sorry, excuse me, thank you for the correction.
6 Q. "... when carrying out his combat and other tasks."
7 Sir, in respect to the mopping-up operations that Zeljko Ilic and
8 the SOS unit were involved in, the -- in respect to those operations at
9 the end of May and early June, this Chamber has received evidence of an
10 incident that occurred on Vrhpolje bridge during these mopping-up
11 operations, specifically on the 31st of May, 1992. At that time soldiers
12 rounded up the Muslim inhabitants of Begici near Vrhpolje. They took the
13 men to Vrhpolje bridge. They beat them, forced them to jump off of the
14 bridge, and as they fell into the water they were shot with automatic
16 I take it that you are aware of this incident; yes?
17 A. As for this incident, I heard about that upon my arrival in the
18 unit. What happened exactly and who did what -- I mean, since I was not
19 there in Sanski Most at the time, I really wouldn't have anything to say
20 about the matter.
21 Q. And did you hear that this man, Zeljko Ilic, was among the Serb
22 soldiers at the bridge in Vrhpolje on the 31st of May? And I can tell
23 you that that is evidence that this Trial Chamber has received, a
24 statement, P2502. So were you aware that Zeljko Ilic was on this
25 Vrhpolje bridge on the 31st of May, 1992?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Going back to this letter, we see in the second paragraph that
3 there is an explanation or recommendation in order to sort out the rights
4 of Zeljko Ilic regarding the use of a motor vehicle that he purchased
5 from Ismet Kurbegovic of Sanski Most. Now, is that name,
6 Ismet Kurbegovic, familiar to you, sir?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, there's also evidence in this case at transcript
9 page 2151-2152 that Ismet Kurbegovic -- or an Ismet Kurbegovic was killed
10 next to Vrhpolje bridge on the 31st of May, 1992, by a man called
11 Jadranko Palija.
12 Now, I have two focused questions in respect of this. The first
13 one is: Do you know if the Ismet Kurbegovic here, referred to in this
14 letter, is the same man that was killed on Vrhpolje bridge?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. And my next question is: Do you know a Jadranko Palija? Is that
17 a name that is familiar to you?
18 A. No. There were a few of these Ilics in my unit, but this one,
19 no, not in SOS, not in my unit, no, at least not in that part of the SOS
20 that joined my unit.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question is about Palija not Ilic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know him.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. JEREMY:
25 Q. Now I would like to show you a document in connection with
1 Jadranko Palija.
2 MR. JEREMY: But before I do, I would like to tender the document
3 on the screen before us.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31869 receives Exhibit Number P7071,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
8 MR. JEREMY: Thank you. Could we please see 65 ter 31801.
9 Q. Now, sir, coming up on the screen before you or on the screen
10 before you is a confirmation of military service of Jadranko Palija.
11 It's dated the 24th of June, 1994.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's Palija. You said Palaja.
13 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour, Palija.
14 Q. Sir, as a battalion commander I take it you're familiar with the
15 form of the certificate on the screen before us?
16 A. I personally did not issue such certificates. This is a
17 certificate issued by the brigade command.
18 Q. And we see the certificate is dated the 24th of June, 1994, and
19 it indicates that Private Jadranko Palija was in War Unit 8099 from the
20 13th of November, 1991, until the 13th of July, 1993.
21 Sir, are you familiar with or do you still remember what this
22 reference to War Unit 8099 indicates?
23 A. That was a war unit of the 6th Krajina Brigade while it was still
24 in Jasenovac, as far as I can remember. I see that this is a stamp of
25 military post 7421, that is the military post of the 6th Sana Brigade,
1 that is to say, when it arrived in Sanski Most and when I was a member of
2 that brigade.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Predojevic, may I ask you: Are you familiar
4 with this man, Jadranko Palija?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Earlier on the gentleman was saying
6 Prljaja, if I remember correctly.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is exactly --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for Palija --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Palija I remember because of this
11 characteristic surname, yes, yes. He was part of the unit but he
12 certainly wasn't with me, with my unit. And he was not in the SOS
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you -- if there's a need for you should
15 clarify that because earlier you referred again to the name Palaja.
16 MR. JEREMY: Thank you for that intervention, Your Honour, it's
18 Q. Now --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I also ask one question.
20 Do you have any recollection of that person apart from
21 recognising the name? Do you have a vague recollection of that person?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know him that well, but I
23 remember now when I read this Palija, I remember that he was there -- I
24 mean, but who he was exactly and which unit he belonged to exactly, that
25 I cannot recall.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you apparently remember that he was not in the
2 SOS forces.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said the forces that came to join
4 my unit, that soldier was not on that force. Now, whether he was part of
5 their unit before that and then when these people joined me, whether he
6 went somewhere else, that I don't know. But he certainly wasn't one of
7 those that joined me on the 7th of April when we set out for the Bihac
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now, could you tell me, was this a man of
10 20-years-old, 30-years-old, 40-years-old, 50 -- approximate age, could
11 you tell us at the time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think he was a youngish man. I
13 cannot remember exactly, I cannot remember his face, Palija. I seem to
14 remember a big man, dark-haired, not older than 25.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Jeremy, perhaps I bring it to your attention that the date of
17 birth given for this person in this document, at least in the English
18 version - the original might be different - raises some questions.
19 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Now, sir, having refreshed your recollection who this
21 Jadranko Palija might have been, do you recall whether he was involved --
22 whether you heard that he was involved in operations on Vrhpolje bridge
23 at the end of May 1992?
24 A. No, I don't know about that.
25 MR. JEREMY: And, Your Honours, in respect to the date I'll ask
1 for a revision of the English. To me it looks like 1961.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at least 61 is almost as good as 81, I would
3 say that's -- but --
4 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours --
5 JUDGE ORIE: We'll leave it to that.
6 MR. JEREMY: Yeah.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We're not going to -- well, of course we have to
8 interpret the evidence but to say, well, I just ask for 81 to be changed
9 into 61, that's perhaps a bit too quick.
10 MR. JEREMY: Yeah, understood, Your Honours. And there are also
11 other ways I think I can verify this date which I won't go into now.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's only a year, by the way, but there are
13 perhaps other ways of verifying that, that may cause this to be
14 interpreted in the way as you suggested.
15 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Now, coming back to this document, Witness, we see that it
17 outlines the period of time that he was in the -- this war unit, 8099.
18 And it also records that no criminal proceedings are being conducted
19 against this particular man as of the 24th of June, 1994. Do you see
21 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
22 Q. Now, as a follow-up question to that, are you aware that criminal
23 proceedings were subsequently conducted against a man called
24 Jadranko Palija and that in 2008 he was sentenced by the BH state court
25 to 28 years for a crime committed during the war, including for his role
1 in the Vrhpolje bridge massacre? Was that something you were aware of?
2 A. I'm not aware of that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1999 I was reassigned to the --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- Novi Sad command, therefore I
7 stopped following the developments over there.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you say "I'm not aware," you've answered
9 the question.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. JEREMY: Could I tender that document, please, as the next
12 Prosecution exhibit.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31801 receives Exhibit Number P7072,
15 Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P7072 is admitted into evidence, but I immediately
17 observe in relation to this that the translation -- the accuracy of the
18 translation is not thereby yet established.
19 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. JEREMY:
22 Q. Just to close this line of questioning, sir, I'd like to show you
23 one final exhibit.
24 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see 65 ter 31900.
25 Q. Now, sir, just coming up on your -- on the screen before you is
1 a --
2 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to the second page in one of these
3 documents. Thanks.
4 Q. It's a press release from the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 taken from the web site of that court.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The English disappeared ... that's again B/C/S.
7 MR. JEREMY: Yeah, we have it now. Thank you.
8 Q. Now, sir, in this press release we read that the appellate panel
9 confirmed the verdict in the Jadranko Palija case. And we read in the
10 first paragraph that the --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You always say Palaja. You mean Palija, I think.
12 MR. JEREMY: I do, Your Honours, and hopefully that will be the
13 last time you need to correct me. Thank you.
14 Q. Sir, in respect to Jadranko Palija, we see that the appellate
15 panel confirmed the verdict in that case and that the panel of the
16 appellate division of the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found
17 Jadranko Palija guilty of war crimes against humanity and war crimes
18 against civilians and imposed on him a sentence of 28 years of long-term
19 imprisonment. And we see in the second paragraph some details about the
20 verdict. And we read in the first sentence that he was found guilty
22 "On the 31st of May, 1992, together with other soldiers of the
23 VRS, he took part in an attack against the hamlet of Begici, the village
24 of Kljevci, on which occasion they rounded up all the civilians found
25 there ..."
1 It goes on to say that they separated the men from the women and
3 And in the last -- just to summarise, in the last sentences we
4 read that he killed one more civilian on the main road leading to
5 Sanski Most and he killed a civilian on Vrhpolje bridge, and together
6 with other soldiers he participated in the killing of 14 civilians who
7 were ordered to remove their clothes and jump off the bridge while being
8 fired at as they were falling into the water. And I finish it there.
9 So seeing that press release from the BH state court, does that
10 refresh your recollection at all? I realise if you haven't seen it, then
11 it won't refresh it, but I ask you the question.
12 A. At the beginning of my testimony I said that I joined the
13 Sana Most [as interpreted] Brigade on the 26th of June, 1992. I heard of
14 this case but I don't know any details.
15 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I'd like to tender that as the next
16 Prosecution exhibit.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MR. JEREMY: If the Defence wants to make its stipulation on the
19 record in respect of this, then I won't insist --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Stipulation of what, Mr. -- that this judgement was
21 delivered, is that what you're talking about, or that he committed those
22 crimes, Mr. Palija?
23 MR. JEREMY: That this judgement was delivered.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Delivered.
25 Would you -- Mr. Stojanovic, is there any dispute about this
1 judgement having been delivered and that it covered the charges and that
2 Mr. Palija was convicted for those charges?
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will always
4 stipulate with the Prosecutor that this type of decision was made. I am
5 familiar with the case. I know that the case was brought to the
6 Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the decision is being
7 reconsidered. I agree that Jadranko Palija was found guilty and that the
8 appeals court confirmed his 20-year imprisonment sentence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And also that the judgement covered the facts as
10 read out by Mr. Jeremy and appearing in the press release.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to stipulate
12 that, Your Honour. I'm not that familiar with the case. I can only
13 confirm the fact that he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in
15 JUDGE ORIE: And did that include the event at the Vrhpolje
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that is part of the
18 decision, I can confirm that and I can agree with that. Now, as to
19 whether the things had transpired in that way, I wouldn't be able to tell
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. --
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's a little bit unclear to me what you mean by
23 "whether the things had transpired in that way." I do not know what way
24 and I do not know what had transpired. So therefore it's ...
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I mean the text
1 provided by the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina because this gives us
2 what the verdict reads. I can agree with the wording of the verdict, but
3 whether things happened in that way or not, I don't know, because he is
4 still fighting for the truth and who am I to interfere with that?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if you would have carefully listened
6 to Mr. Jeremy, you would have known that he sought a stipulation on this
7 judgement being delivered, not on the truth of its content. So
8 therefore, you're responding to something which is not -- which is not
9 apparently the cas.
10 Madam Registrar, would you please --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I first ask Mr. Stojanovic, you referred to a
12 sentence of 20 years, but in this press release it is stated that this
13 person was convicted for 28 years. Was it in -- did you misspeak?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't think that I misspoke.
15 Yes, I agree that he was sentenced to 28 years in prison. I believe that
16 that's what I said the first time.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the Chamber in view of the fact
19 that there was no clear stipulation, the Chamber admits the document into
20 evidence. Could you please assign a number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31900 receives Exhibit Number P7073,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: P7073 is admitted. Please proceed.
24 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Q. And, sir, a final question on this area. Now, according to
1 evidence in this case, Colonel Basara was at the location of the
2 Vrhpolje bridge at some point on the 31st of May, 1992. Now, are you
3 aware of any steps that Colonel Basara took to discipline or punish any
4 members of the 6th Brigade or the SOS in respect to the events that
5 happened on Vrhpolje bridge on the 31st of May, 1992?
6 A. I don't know if any measures were taken.
7 MR. JEREMY: I think we're at break time, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We are at break time.
9 We'll take a break and we would like to see you back in
10 20 minutes from now because we resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 1.15 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to enter the
15 courtroom, P6938 was marked for identification on the 24th of November of
16 last year pending an agreement between the parties as to whether
17 tendering 80 pages of the document was necessary. This can be found at
18 transcript page 28735 to 736. On the 18th of December, the Prosecution
19 informed the Chamber via e-mail that it would only like to tender an
20 excerpt from P6938 consisting of pages 1 through 8 of the English
21 translation and pages 1 through 6 of the B/C/S version and that the
22 Defence does not object. I take it that this is reliable information we
23 received. The Chamber admits into evidence pages 1 through 8 of the
24 English version of P6938 and pages 1 through 6 of the B/C/S version of
25 P6938. And the Prosecution is instructed to upload a new version of
1 P6938 reflecting the Chamber's decision and the Registry is instructed to
2 make the necessary replacement thereafter.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
5 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. Now -- so I'm going to do my best to finish my questions today
7 and I'd like to begin this session by talking to you about the Gvozden
8 case which you've already mentioned during your direct examination and
9 which you refer to in your statement. And now you've -- a criminal
10 report that Colonel Basara filed in respect to this case has been
11 tendered today, that's D882. And I'd like to look at an exhibit in
12 connection with this, a different exhibit, which is P3823.
13 And while it's coming up, sir, I can tell you it's a regular
14 combat report from the 1st Krajina Corps and it's dated the
15 6th of December, 1992, so that is -- that's the day, a day after Basara's
16 report, D882. Could we go to page -- let's just quickly look. So it's
17 from the 1st Krajina Corps command, 6 December 1992, and it's to the
18 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska and we see it's a combat
20 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to the second page, please, in each
22 Q. Now, sir, under number 5 we see the subheading: "Unusual
23 incidents." And we read, and I paraphrase, that on the 5th of December,
24 1992, five men in uniform, probably members of the 6th Light Infantry
25 Brigade, killed seven and wounded one Croatian civilian in the villages
1 of Tomasica and Sasina. And we read that there were three women among
2 those killed.
3 Going to the next paragraph we read that the killings were
4 committed by a still unidentified group of people. It is known that a
5 man called Gvozden was a member of that group. It is assumed that the
6 motive for the killings was revenge because according to witnesses,
7 Gvozden's brother was killed on the front a couple of days ago. And it
8 finishes by saying investigation is underway and the results will be sent
9 to you.
10 So this is a reference to the same incident that was referred to
11 in Basara's report; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And were you aware that this particular incident was reported to
14 the Main Staff by the 1st Krajina Corps?
15 A. No. As the battalion commander, I didn't know that.
16 Q. I'd like to look at a connected document.
17 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see 65 ter 07057.
18 Q. And, sir, while that's being brought up I can tell you it's a
19 decision by the Banja Luka Military Court to remand into custody
20 Mile Gvozden and others under suspicion of having committed murder of
21 Croat civilians in the village of Sasina. The document is on the screen
22 before us now. We see it's dated the 17th of December, 1992. We see
23 there's a description of the investigation and we see that there is a
25 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to the next page in the English, please.
1 Q. So, sir, there we see --
2 MR. JEREMY: And could we go to the next page in the B/C/S as
3 well, please -- actually, sorry, stay with the B/C/S page. Forgive me.
4 Q. So we see a description of the crime. That's the same crime
5 that -- that's described in Basara's report; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. JEREMY: And could we go to the next page in the English and
8 the B/C/S, please.
9 Q. And we see a ruling, it's just -- it's above the signature in the
10 B/C/S and it's at the bottom of the page in the English, we see:
11 "By ruling of this court number 103/92 of 6 December 1992, the
12 accused are hereby remanded in custody for a period of one month,
13 pursuant to Article 191, paragraph 1 of the Law on Criminal Procedure."
14 So, sir, I think you mentioned that you were aware that these men
15 were brought into custody. This ruling, I take it, is consistent with
16 your recollection of events?
17 A. As far as I can remember now, I believe that that was the case,
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. JEREMY: I'd tender that document as the next Prosecution
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 07057 receives Exhibit P7074,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
1 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see 07063.
2 Q. And, sir, we're on the same topic, this is a decision from the
3 Banja Luka Military Court and it's dated the 2nd of January, 1993. So we
4 see in the first paragraph -- or we see the document is from the
5 Banja Luka Military Court. We see the date, 2nd of January, 1993. We
6 see a reference to the Gvozden case in the first paragraph and we see a
7 ruling stating that:
8 "Custody of the following accused ceased ..."
9 And four men with the last name Gvozden are listed.
10 MR. JEREMY: Could we please go to the second page in the
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But in the English you should read the final
13 sentence after the names in that paragraph:
14 "The accused shall be released immediately."
15 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. And so we see a reference there saying the accused shall be
17 released immediately. So I'd like to focus on the words beginning with
18 "on the 2nd of January, 1993," where we read:
19 "On the 2nd of January, 1993, the investigating judge questioned
20 the accused, who stated that they wanted to return to their unit and
21 proposed to that the court end their custody.
22 "The investigating judge considered the proposal of the accused
23 and found that the reason for remanding them custody as stipulated under
24 Article 191, paragraph 1 of the ZKP, Law on Criminal Procedure, pursuant
25 to which the accused were remanded in custody, no longer existed. The
1 military prosecutor also agreed with the cessation of custody and I
2 therefore issued the ruling herein."
3 So, sir, I take it from your earlier testimony that this is also
4 consistent with your recollection that these men were released back into
5 your unit shortly after they were brought into custody; correct?
6 A. Yes, but I did not know that they had been remanded in custody.
7 I remember Mile very well and I know that he rejoined the unit.
8 MR. JEREMY: I'd like to tender that document as the next
9 Prosecution exhibit.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. Document 07063 receives
14 Exhibit P7075, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
16 MR. JEREMY:
17 Q. Now, sir, I'd like to finish this line of questioning by
18 showing -- well, first by asking you a question. Were you aware that in
19 1999 proceedings in this case were still ongoing?
20 A. No, I was not aware of that.
21 MR. JEREMY: Could we please take a look at 65 ter 31872.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, have you sought to agree with the
23 Defence on the follow-up in this case, where the witness apparently does
24 not have much knowledge and where there is documentary evidence? I mean,
25 the easiest way is to agree this is the course it took and then to
1 present those documents from the bar table or in whatever way.
2 MR. JEREMY: I haven't done that, Your Honour. I'm happy to skip
3 this document and sit with Mr. Stojanovic.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, you should do that before you start your
5 cross-examination preferably if there's any matter, but let's move on
6 because -- unless, Mr. Stojanovic, you would agree that all the
7 documentary evidence by Mr. Jeremy is -- reflects the course of -- that
8 the proceedings took after 1992?
9 What other documents do you have or is this the only one?
10 MR. JEREMY: This is the final document I was intending to use,
11 this is the latest document.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then perhaps it takes more time to seek an
13 agreement. Then let's move on.
14 MR. JEREMY:
15 Q. Sir, very quickly we see this is a letter from the
16 Republika Srpska Military Court in Banja Luka. We see it's dated the
17 24th of November, 1999, and we see that it's to the Ministry of Justice
18 of Republika Srpska. The body of the text outlines the history of the
19 events in the Gvozden case to date.
20 MR. JEREMY: If we could go to the second page in the English,
22 Q. And we see that in the final paragraph we read that:
23 "Since we have received no information as to whether the request
24 for extradition was filed," and that's a reference to extradition of
25 Gvozden, "and if it was filed whether the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1 agreed to extradite the accused, we hereby request relevant information
2 so that we can continue the criminal proceedings."
3 So, sir, would you agree that on the basis of this letter
4 criminal proceedings had still not been concluded in respect to this
5 Gvozden case by the 24th of November, 1999?
6 A. Yes, obviously.
7 MR. JEREMY: I tender that document, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31872 receives Exhibit Number P7076,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
12 The appropriate course to take under those circumstances,
13 Mr. Jeremy, is the following: If you see in the statement that the
14 criminal report filed by Colonel Basara is an associated exhibit, then
15 you should approach the Defence and say: I wish to inform the Chamber
16 about that follow-up of that case, I have three, four documents about
17 that because this witness isn't aware of all the documents. And then to
18 propose to the Defence that you would agree that these were the steps
19 taken subsequent to what the Defence presented in its associated
20 exhibits. That's the most efficient way of dealing with it and I would
21 urge the parties to more often use those ways to agree.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, sir, I'd like to discuss paragraph 17 of your statement,
25 where you refer to overlaps between the VRS and the Crisis Staff. Now,
1 did you personally attend Crisis Staff meetings?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, can we agree that as someone who didn't attend Crisis Staff
4 meetings and as someone who spent the overwhelming majority of the war
5 period outside of Sanski Most, you're not really in a position to provide
6 evidence about overlaps between the Crisis Staff and the 6th Brigade and
7 what was actually discussed at those meetings?
8 A. I agree.
9 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move on to the topic of departure of
10 non-Serbs from Sanski Most. Now, in paragraph 16 of your statement we
11 read that: The VRS was never involved in any removal of the civilian
12 population from Sanski Most and the VRS had nothing to do with it. We
13 only carried out military tasks.
14 Now, again, as someone who spent the overwhelming majority of the
15 war period outside of Sanski Most, can we agree that you are not able to
16 provide evidence on what the VRS was doing in respect to removal of the
17 civilian population for those periods that you were not in Sanski Most?
18 A. Yes, I agree. I arrived on the 22nd of June, 1992. I've already
19 said that several times. So I agree with you.
20 Q. Now, as a final area, I'd like to focus on Trnovo which you refer
21 to in paragraph 21 of your statement. Now, in that paragraph you say you
22 headed to Trnovo on the 20th of June, 1995, you spent about 20 days
23 there. You say:
24 "I did not see volunteers from Serbia nor did any such volunteers
25 from Serbia take part in the action conducted by the VRS against the
1 forces of the ABiH in the territory of Trnovo municipality."
2 Now, sir, when you refer to volunteers from Serbia, who exactly
3 are you referring to?
4 A. I'm not referring to anybody in particular. I as a company
5 commander who was up there in the forest some 20 kilometres from Trnovo
6 could only learn as much. At that time I did not hear of any unit being
7 deployed there.
8 Q. So, sir, I understand that your evidence is that there were no
9 units from Serbia in the areas in Trnovo that you were in during the
10 period in your statement; is that correct?
11 A. No, I do not exclude the possibility that they were there. I'm
12 just saying that I didn't know of their deployment because I was with my
13 men on the first line all that time.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, may I take you to what was just read to
15 you. Your statement says you didn't see the volunteers. That's clear,
16 you didn't see them from Serbia.
17 "... nor did any such volunteers from Serbia take part in the
18 action conducted by the VRS against the forces of the ABiH in the
19 territory of Trnovo municipality."
20 As a matter of fact, you are telling us now: I didn't see them
21 and I don't know whether there were any. Is that well understood?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, well understood. Where I was
23 on the front line and as much as I could hear from my neighbours, they
24 were not there. But I really can't say that they were not there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, instead of changing tiny little thing --
1 dates in your statement, it would have been better if you would have,
2 when you were prepared for this evidence, you should have said: This is
3 not true that they were not there because I do not know. That's what you
4 were expected to do during proofing. Because in your statement, what you
5 say in your statement is clearly contradicted now by what you are telling
6 us; that is, that you do not know whether Serbian volunteers participated
7 in Trnovo operations.
8 Mr. Jeremy.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I would like to add, the same is true for
10 your statement in paragraphs 16 and 17 of your statement which is now
11 contradicted by your evidence that you were not aware, you didn't know
12 about it, because you were most of the time absent from that region.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
14 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. And thank you, Witness, I have no further questions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Jeremy.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, any questions in re-examination? Please be aware
18 that we have to conclude not one second later than quarter past 2.00.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, no questions
20 for this witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your evidence, Mr. Predojevic.
22 We'd like to thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and
23 for having answered all the questions that were put to you, put to you by
24 the parties and by the Bench. And I wish you a safe return home again.
25 You may follow the usher.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ORIE: The last few questions and answers and observations
4 by the Bench triggered the following observation, Mr. Stojanovic. Of
5 course the witness should have corrected the statement, but a cautious
6 taking of a statement would have prevented that those sweeping statements
7 on matters the witness just doesn't know should never have entered into
8 those statements.
9 We have ten minutes left. I do not know whether the next witness
10 is stand-by or whether we would -- otherwise, the next witness is not
11 stand-by, then we'll use the time for a few matters from the ...
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, there's one short item. We received a short
14 report on expert witnesses last week.
15 Mr. Lukic, the Chamber again emphasises that what we need is
16 expert reports to be filed and to be presented.
17 Then I'd like to deal with - let me just have a look - with the
18 use of resources in bringing Borislav Vasiljevic to The Hague. On the
19 23rd of January, after having been informed by the Prosecution that it
20 would not cross-examine Witness Borislav Vasiljevic, the Chamber
21 instructed the Defence to postpone calling the witness to give testimony
22 in The Hague until further notice. The Chamber felt that the Defence
23 should make an effort to avoid a situation where resources are spent by
24 bringing a witness to The Hague solely for a Rule 92 ter attestation.
25 The Chamber also considered that any additional evidence the Defence
1 wishes to elicit from the witness in court could have been included in
2 the statement itself. From a review of the statement, the Chamber could
3 not discern that the witness's evidence related to the acts and conduct
4 of the accused and further wondered more generally what this witness
5 evidence could add to the case. The Chamber hereby instructs the Defence
6 to consider how to proceed with this witness and to inform the Chamber no
7 later than the 9th of February of this year.
8 I now continue briefly with an issue remaining from the testimony
9 of Tomislav Puhalac. On the 10th of November of last year, the Chamber
10 marked Exhibit D759 for identification pending verification of its
11 translation, and that can be found at transcript page 28030. On the
12 3rd of December, the Chamber followed up with the Defence via an e-mail
13 on the status of the requested translation. The Defence responded the
14 same day and advised that the discrepancy noted in court were in relation
15 to the two versions of the original. As such, CLSS is not able to change
16 the original. However, as the Defence discovered another discrepancy, it
17 submitted a request for verification to CLSS. On the 16th of December of
18 last year, the Chamber followed up again via e-mail on the progress of
19 this requested translation. As of today's date, the Chamber has not
20 received a response.
21 Is the Defence now in a position to update the Chamber on it at
22 this stage?
23 MR. LUKIC: I'm not, Your Honour. I have to check with --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay --
25 MR. LUKIC: -- my Case Manager.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- then we'll hear from you tomorrow first in the
3 Then one more item, but we'll finish exact in time, is about the
4 Dobrovoljacka Street incident recording. On the 1st of September, 2014,
5 during the testimony of Milorad Bukva, the Chamber asked the Prosecution
6 to inquire whether any audio recordings or written transcripts of
7 communication preceding the Dobrovoljacka Street incident existed. This
8 can be found at transcript pages 25004 through 006. On the 29th of
9 October, the Prosecution advised the Chamber via e-mail that it had
10 limited information that there may be an audio recording held in the
11 military court in Belgrade. On the 27th of November, the Prosecution
12 indicated that it did not have any specific knowledge whether efforts to
13 obtain a copy of the recording were under way. This can be found at
14 transcript pages 28947 to 948.
15 The Chamber hereby instructs the Prosecution to explore whether
16 it is possible to obtain a copy of the recording and the Chamber -- and
17 inform the Chamber should a copy be retrieved.
18 I leave it to that. We adjourn for the day and we'll resume
19 tomorrow, Thursday, the 29th of January, 9.30 in the morning, in this
20 same courtroom, I.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.11 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 29th day of
23 January, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.