1 Monday, 5 May 2003
2 [Closed session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
13 Pages 20040-20085 – redacted – closed session
8 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
10 [Open session]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the next witness is the subject of an
13 application that some, in any event, of his evidence should be given
14 pursuant to the provisions of Rule 292 bis. Your Honours have had the
15 application, I think, since last Friday, although it was only formally
16 probably available this morning. The application is short. The point is
17 a simple one.
18 MR. NICE: As a matter of detail, paragraph 10, Mr. Gusic's first
19 statement was provided on the 1st of June of last year, his supplementary
20 statement was provided this morning: It's, as I say, rather detailed
21 because the witness has been very particular in preparation, and that's a
22 position he's entirely entitled to take and we have no criticism of him
23 for that.
24 The documents I've been able to provide this morning link up the
25 corrections or additions or amendments that he would wish to make by
1 numbers 1 to 14, I think, showing up on a version of the original
2 statement which has one or two other markings. I'm sorry for that, but it
3 was just my own copy, and I hope you'll overlook those other markings -- 1
4 to 14 with associated numberings on the addendum statement.
5 In our submission, this witness qualifies generally under the
6 provisions of 92 bis so that his statement may be given under those
7 provisions. Of course many people, probably the witness himself, for all
8 I know, would prefer to give the evidence in full in order to have a
9 fuller picture publicly available. But our criteria here has to be
10 efficiency and the saving of time and it's our submission now that we've
11 reached the stage in the trial where every conceivable use must be made of
12 procedures that will save time, and if this witness could have his
13 evidence in chief taken by the provisions of 92 bis with live evidence of
14 the numbered paragraphs spelled out, that will save time and will set the
15 sail for the rest of the Prosecution's case.
16 JUDGE MAY: The statements which we have are in fact dated the
17 15th of April, 1999.
18 MR. NICE: Correct.
19 JUDGE MAY: And the 2nd of May, 2003. I thought you referred to
20 one from last year but --
21 MR. NICE: No. I said the first statement was provided to him in
22 June of last year.
23 JUDGE MAY: I understand. Of course.
24 MR. NICE: There's also a short summary that I would read as a
25 reflection of his 92 bis evidence. It's one side of A4, so I think, on
1 experience, it would take about two or three minutes to read.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes. Should we -- we'll hear the accused
4 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. The application is to have this evidence at
5 least in statement form. You would, of course, be able to cross-examine.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this witness was on the
8 previous list of witnesses, and he was said to be a witness who would be
9 testifying live, and the time planned for the examination-in-chief was
10 three hours. And the 92 bis application came on Friday, that is to say,
11 the previous working day.
12 As far as the witness is concerned, he was president of the Party
13 of Democratic Action in his local community, and he gives extensive
14 testimony about the events as he wishes to present them. I don't think
15 he can be considered any kind of cumulative witness or a witness who falls
16 under 92 bis rulings, especially as the opposite side over there treated
17 him as a live witness as a whole until Friday, the last working day, which
18 I think radically limits my ability to cross-examine him and also we're
19 not going to hear live testimony from him.
20 I think that this request and application should be rejected, that
21 either in part or in whole he should come under Rule 92 bis. So I don't
22 only object in principle, I have concrete and specific objections for
23 precisely the reasons for which the other side treated this witness until
24 the last working day before today, on Friday, as a live witness
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
2 MR. KAY: Yes. If we can just deal with the rules first of all.
3 92 bis requires 14 days' notice by the Prosecutor with a period of 7 days
4 for the other party to respond. Plainly those time limits have not been
5 followed in this instance and the Prosecutor seeks an extension of time
6 under Rule 127.
7 The accused's point about that, so far as I can see it, is quite
8 clear. He was prepared for a witness who would, on the Prosecution's
9 original showing, have been allotted three hours.
10 In dealing with the statement itself under the provisions of the
11 Rules, the list of factors in 92 bis cite, amongst others, the cumulative
12 nature of evidence. Looking at the statement of this witness, which deals
13 with the issues between the two political parties, the SDS and SDA, in his
14 municipality, Bratunac, it is difficult to say from what other evidence
15 this is cumulative of.
16 Looking at the statement as well, it deals with issues concerning
17 the involvement in the JNA when it is alleged that the SDS unfairly,
18 unjustly, sought to exercise influence over the rival political party, the
19 SDA. So using force externally and unlawfully to achieve influence and
20 thereafter prevent the SDA from being a functioning force within the
21 politics of the municipality.
22 Under 92 bis, the Court, of course, has amongst other things to
23 take into account, those listed, one of which concerns the public interest
24 in having evidence heard orally. I'll return to that in a moment.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, time is of the essence. I don't want to stop
1 you, but what is the prejudice to the accused if this evidence is given in
2 statement form provided he's given, as he will be, adequate time to
3 cross-examine? Given the problems which are faced by time in this case,
4 is this really a proper objection? There's been much evidence about the
5 differences generally between the SDS and the SDA. We've heard quite a
6 lot of evidence about that. We've heard evidence, as I recollect, about
8 MR. KAY: Looking at the indictment, this is indeed a major
9 witness. If you look at the summary provided by the Prosecutor citing the
10 relevant counts being numbers 3 to 22 inclusive, covering within those 19
11 counts charges of persecution, extermination, murder, wilful killing,
12 crimes against humanity, deportation, plunder, destruction, and the
13 paragraphs cited --
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. KAY: And the paragraphs cited within the indictment which are
16 extensive as well, involving the SDS party of Mr. Karadzic, the
17 allegations in the indictment cite that this accused was behind that
18 strategy and those events. And as far as his objection is concerned,
19 which has some force in it, he wants that evidence to be heard so that he
20 can deal with it explicitly. And that is where we come down into the
21 public interest in favour of oral evidence. There are probably many minor
22 matters that we could deal with very, very quickly in relation to
23 background in this statement, but the important issue is the conflict
24 between the SDS and SDA and the means and tools that were used at the
1 In association with this evidence, we've also been supplied with a
2 Rule 68 binder containing evidence concerning statements from witnesses
3 about the Muslim army that was in operation at the time. So as far as
4 this accused is concerned, his interest in relation to a direct oral
5 testimony, we submit, are clear.
6 There have been many alterations to that first statement that were
7 given and the statement which was made last Friday, which is a point to be
8 borne in mind, as the accused has mentioned many times. The statements
9 themselves often contain inaccuracies which make the task of this Tribunal
10 very difficult to deal with evidence in a paper form, limiting the oral
11 effect of evidence.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE MAY: Judge Kwon will give the ruling.
14 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber notes that the evidence in the witness
15 statement of Mr. Gusic does not relate to the acts and conduct of the
16 accused, nor are the facts and matters addressed in the statement
17 proximate to the accused. Rather, the evidence in nature is crime-based
18 and cumulative of other evidence. Thus, the Trial Chamber will grant the
19 Prosecution's motion and admit the statement of Mr. Gusic under Rule 92
20 bis subject to the following conditions: First, the corrections to the
21 original statement that Mr. Gusic made in his statement dated 2nd of May
22 this year should be given in -- live.
23 Second, the accused will be given more time than the Prosecution,
24 or given the short notice in this specific case, the accused will be given
25 as much time as the Prosecution would have had if Mr. Gusic were a viva
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 voce witness in the whole, that is, about an hour and a half to two hours.
2 Finally, regarding the motion for the variation of 14-day time
3 limit, the Chamber will grant the motion also, considering that the
4 accused was informed well in advance of the fact that this witness is
5 coming and his statement was disclosed to him. However, we will order the
6 Prosecution to abide by the rules for the forthcoming witnesses to the
7 furthest extent possible.
8 MR. NICE: I'm grateful. So far as this week is concerned, there
9 may be further applications which will seek abbreviation of time. We'll
10 do everything to avoid such applications for the future.
11 May the witness come in, please.
12 The Chamber will also want to have a one-page summary from which I
13 will read, the Chamber and the accused and the amici. There is a small
14 exhibit bundle of three exhibits that he's capable of producing, three
15 tabs to that exhibit bundle.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: DZEVAD GUSIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Examined by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. Your full name, please.
1 A. My name is Dzevad Gusic.
2 Q. Mr. Gusic, did you make a statement to a representative of the
3 Office of the Prosecutor on the 15th of April, 1999 with a correction or
4 addition to that statement made last Friday, the 2nd of May of this year?
5 Did you go through a process with an officer of the court whereby you
6 testified to the accuracy of both those statements?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 MR. NICE: May the witness see the attestation of -- or his
9 attestation as verified by the officer of the court and may that become an
10 exhibit in the usual way.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecutor's Exhibit 435.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Is that the document that you produced by attesting the accuracy
14 of the statements?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I will -- if that can be given an exhibit
18 JUDGE MAY: It has one.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecutor's Exhibit 435.
20 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
21 Q. Mr. Gusic, I'm going to read out a summary of the effect of your
22 statements and then we'll ask some detailed questions that have to be
23 dealt with in live evidence.
24 MR. NICE: His statements cover events in Bratunac before and
25 during the takeover of the municipality by Serb forces in April 1992, and
1 the Chamber will be familiar with Bratunac. It can be found on page 29 of
2 the atlas at the bottom right-hand corner.
3 Mr. Gusic's testimony deals with the ethnic composition of
4 Bratunac, pre-conflict ethnic relations, and the formation of a
5 multi-party political system reflected in multi-party elections in
6 November of 1990. His statements explain how, notwithstanding a minority
7 position in the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac, the SDS party issued an
8 ultimatum to the SDA party insisting on a 50/50 power-sharing arrangement
9 and the SDA agreed to that to avoid political chaos. His evidence will be
10 to the effect that members of the SDS said that no co-existence was
11 possible as Bratunac was a Serb municipality.
12 His statements deal with the general intimidation and persecution
13 of Muslims by Serbs in Bratunac and adjacent villages. He deals with how
14 the SDS acted together with the JNA in arming and training local Serb
15 civilians. He details an important incident where JNA and SDS officials,
16 together with Serb police officers, demanded reservists' mobilisation
17 records from Bratunac but were repulsed by a crowd of civilians.
18 Mr. Gusic was appointed president of the Bratunac SDA in March
19 1992. He was involved in negotiations at this time with Serb local
20 officials, including Miroslav Deronjic. These discussions dealt with the
21 division of the police in April 1992 into two separate entities, one
22 Muslim and the other Serb. During these meetings, Deronjic stated that he
23 was under the direct control of Radovan Karadzic and that Karadzic was
24 pressuring him to get the division of the police underway. Deronjic also
25 said that he had regular meetings with Karadzic.
1 On the day of the takeover of Bratunac on the 17th of April, 1992,
2 the witness, as president of the Bratunac SDA, was involved in
3 negotiations with Serb forces which had entered the town. His statements
4 deal with the military takeover of Bratunac municipality that occurred on
5 the 17th of April, that same day, 1992 with SDS president Miroslav
6 Deronjic instructing him and other Muslim leaders to go to the Hotel
7 Fontana where they were to meet the leadership of the Serb military unit.
8 At that ensuing meeting, the witness was told that Bratunac was a Serb
9 municipality and that Serb laws would be introduced. Further, he was
10 warned that if a Muslim fired a single shot, then the entire family of
11 that person who fired the shot would be eliminated. He and his colleagues
12 were given a deadline of two to three hours for the police to surrender
13 their weapons and to identify Muslim nationalists from the area. The
14 witness left the municipality that day and went to Muslim-held territory.
15 Q. Mr. Gusic, in live testimony we are going to deal with some
16 corrections that you made last Friday, or qualifications to your original
17 statement. It may be that you will want to have the original statement
18 before you in B/C/S. If so, that can be arranged. Otherwise, I will deal
19 with the corrections by reference to your English statements. And I'm
20 looking at the English statement, for purposes of reference, which has
21 page numbers in the bottom right-hand corner. The addendum also -- or the
22 other statement also has page numbers in the bottom right-hand corner.
23 Page 2 of each, prior to the conflict, Mr. Gusic, the ethnic
24 composition of Bratunac, by numbers, was what, please? How many Bosniaks,
25 how many Muslims -- sorry, how many Bosniaks, how many Serbs, and how many
2 A. I do apologise, sir, but you said "before the conflict." In
3 Bratunac on the 17th of April, there was no conflict, no clash. Quite
4 simply, the Serb military formations from Serbia and the formations of the
5 Yugoslav People's Army --
6 Q. Sorry, I -- yes. What was the ethnic composition of Bratunac
7 before the conflict? How many Bosniaks? How many Serbs?
8 A. In Bratunac, there were 33 -- a total of 33.300 inhabitants
9 roughly. Of that number, 21 and a half thousand inhabitants were Muslims
10 and about 11 and a half thousand inhabitants were Serbs. The rest were
11 Croats and others.
12 Q. The same pages, 2 of each document for the Court and the accused
13 and my learned friends, towards the bottom of the page, the paragraph:
14 "This illusion began to break down."
15 Mr. Gusic, you were informed at one stage that the statute for
16 your Assembly had been changed so that a two-thirds majority vote was
17 required for decisions to be ratified. What effect did that have on the
18 ability of the Serbs to have control? Was the SDA able to pass any
19 decisions in that Assembly?
20 A. The SDA in that way was not able to pass any decisions in the
21 Assembly if it didn't have a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. And
22 with the amendments to the statute, this meant in the technical mandate of
23 the old Assembly system and composition once the first multi-party
24 elections had been held and when the results were known. So in that
25 period of time, the SDS with the Serb deputies in that -- the old
1 composition, the Municipal Assembly, they asked them to hold a meeting, to
2 change the statute, and to make a decision on the introduction of a
3 two-third majority vote.
4 Q. Thank you. I think you've covered the details sufficiently.
5 On page 3 of the original statement, still on page 2 of the
6 supplement, number 3, in your original statement you dealt, Mr. Gusic,
7 with the -- a group of SDS activists visiting the Territorial Defence
8 secretariat seeking a handover of data files, and the head of the
9 Territorial Defence, Dzemail Becirevic, being ordered to hand it over and
10 refusing and his life being threatened, there being a reprieve until a
11 large JNA unit from Ljubovija arrived.
12 Now, I think that you wished to add to that in your addendum to
13 the effect that at the time of the SDS group of activists led by Mr.
14 Deronjic visiting the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence,
15 requesting the handing over of the documents that you've dealt with, there
16 were some threats. Can you tell us about those threats, please.
17 A. The group of activists of the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS,
18 led by the president of the SDS, Miroslav Deronjic, went to the Municipal
19 Secretariat for National Defence and requested that the secretary of the
20 secretariat, Dzemail Becirevic, that was his name, to hand over the files
21 of all military recruits from the Bratunac municipality. Dzemail
22 Becirevic didn't have authorisation to do so by the command and he said
23 that he would not be able to do so and they threatened to kill him. Then
24 he called in the police for assistance --
25 Q. May I interrupt you. You must appreciate that the learned Judges
1 have read both statements. They know the contents of the statements, they
2 just wish to hear from you about the matters of correction, and therefore,
3 I'm going to focus your attention as narrowly as I can on those in order
4 to save time.
5 Number 5, page 4 of the original, page 3 of the addendum. In your
6 -- I beg your pardon. Yes, page 4. In your original statement, you said
7 that it wasn't long before soldiers were ordered to fire their weapons
8 into the air but eventually the officer withdrew his soldiers and left,
9 having failed to get the files. Is there anything you wish to add to
10 that, or does that broadly reflect the position?
11 A. The police, that is to say the legal police force, had as its task
12 to protect the legitimately elected organs of pound authority in the
13 Bratunac municipality, and the police organised themselves in such a way
14 as they stood by the Muslim people who were afraid of having these files
15 taken out, the unit to take the files out, the military files, because
16 they were afraid that the Muslims might be mobilised and sent to the
17 front, to the battleground in Croatia. So when the army, after several
18 rounds of gunfire, saw that they were not able to intimidate the people,
19 and when the police were resolute in standing up to the police and
20 stopping them from taking the files out of the records, then they went in
21 the direction of Ljubovija and Serbia, following orders from their
23 Q. You noticed during late 1991 the JNA installing heavy artillery
24 weapons and mortars into prepared positions overlooking Bratunac. To what
25 extent were these positions within the Ljubovija municipality?
1 A. All along the Drina River - and the Drina River is the border
2 between Bratunac and Ljubovija and the border between Serbia and Bosnia,
3 in fact - in the locality of Ljubovija several heavy artillery pieces were
4 set up and positioned, and everybody was able to see them, anybody
5 happening to walk that way. And the barrels of those weapons were
6 pointed --
7 Q. At Bratunac?
8 A. At Bratunac, yes.
9 Q. Number 7. You explain how you received intelligence that in the
10 village of Vranesevic JNA regulars were training local Serb civilians.
11 You had this checked out by SDA activists and saw activities yourself.
12 Were you informed about training in the village of Vranesevic?
13 A. We received information about the training of Serb civilians in
14 terms of handling weapons, and this was in Vranesevic, in the village of
15 Vranesevic, and that it was done by the SDA. The activists of the SDA
16 found out about this and on the basis of this source, we asked the chief
17 of police to check this out as well. The chief of police officially sent
18 a police patrol to check this out, and they were able to see for
19 themselves that this is exactly what it was all about.
20 Q. Very well. Number 8, you explained the president of the
21 municipality, Nijaz Dubicic, led the delegation to meet the JNA and the
22 SDA -- SDS to find out what the military activity was about, and you asked
23 questions such as why they were rushing to war, why they were training
24 civilians. You said -- you made a supplementary statement about this
25 where you detail a joint meeting with the SDS leadership and prominent
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 citizens of Bratunac municipality reviewing the political and security
2 situation and undertaking necessary actions to establish mutual trust.
3 What happened at that meeting? What did you ask of the Serbs?
4 A. At this meeting we asked the Serbs to explain to us why the
5 Yugoslav People's Army and the SDS were engaged in the training of Serb
6 civilians for handling weapons, why are they arming the Serb people, why
7 are they preparing for war, why are the barrels on weapons in Ljubovija
8 and Serbia pointing at Bratunac, and why did they -- why are they rushing
9 into a war?
10 Q. [Previous translation continues]... in your original statement
11 with their answers and number 9 in the supplementary point, after their
12 vague answers, was there a decision to issue a joint statement concerning
13 peaceful co-existence?
14 A. They said that we needn't worry too much and that people in this
15 area should live in peace. That is what we had called for, and they
16 agreed with what we said. They wanted to reassure us and they wanted us
17 to reassure the citizens of Bratunac. And a joint statement was issued on
18 peaceful co-existence in Bratunac, and all of those present voted in
19 favour of that.
20 Q. Number 10 on the addendum, which fits between two paragraphs on
21 the original. Did you request from Bratunac municipality president Nijaz
22 Dubicic and the secretary of the Secretariat of the National Defence,
23 Dzemail Becirevic, to check with the JNA command in Tuzla about the
24 training? Did they do that and go to Tuzla? If so, what was the result
25 of their visit?
1 A. Yes, we officially asked the president of the municipality and the
2 chief of police, the secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence,
3 that is to say the representative of the municipality and of the
4 Secretariat for National Defence to go to the appropriate military command
5 in Tuzla and to receive information as to the activities that the army was
6 carrying out in the municipality of Bratunac, especially in the village of
7 Vranesevici, in terms of training Serb civilians to use weapons. They
8 went to this meeting. They received information that the command in
9 charge in Tuzla did not know what unit this was and that within that
10 within three days they'd come to Bratunac, that they would seek
11 information about this and take action. Within the three-day period
12 nobody came from the command in Bratunac, but they also said that these
13 were not units from Bosnia-Herzegovina but that they were units from
14 Serbia and that they did not have any authority over JNA units from
16 Q. We can -- I've temporarily lost my place, I'm afraid. Number 11,
17 you requested a further meeting. Were you visited by Serb leader --
18 Serbian leader Nikola Koljevic and an SDA leader Ejub Ganic, both members
19 of the BH Presidency, and if so, what, in a sentence, did they say would
20 be the outcome?
21 A. They came to Bratunac after a killing from an ambush in the
22 village of Kravica. Two Muslims were killed and two Muslims were injured
23 or wounded from this ambush. This caused a complex political and security
24 situation, and it is for that reason that they came to Bratunac, and
25 meetings were held of Muslims and others in Bratunac and also meetings of
1 the Serbs in the village of Kravica where this ambush had taken place by
2 the Serbs. And they promised in Bratunac at this meeting that they would
3 take all necessary action to see who the perpetrators were, and in Kravica
4 it was agreed that Mr. Ganic and Mr. Koljevic should go together.
5 However, Mr. Koljevic, at his own initiative, went to attend this meeting
6 in Kravica and we received information that he promised the Serbs at that
7 meeting in Kravica that nobody would carry out an investigation regarding
8 the killing of these two Muslims and the wounding of two other Muslims
9 from this ambush.
10 Q. Point 12, page 5 of the original and of the supplement.
11 Mr. Gusic, you spoke in your original statement of how your refusal to
12 divide the police led to a deterioration in the situation with a separate
13 Serb police force being formed. You wish to add that you were compelled
14 to accept this division because of something that Miroslav Deronjic said.
15 What was that, please?
16 A. Miroslav Deronjic was bringing strong pressure to bear to have the
17 police divided. He said he could no longer wait for this division of the
18 police to take place, that Radovan Karadzic was pressuring him strongly,
19 and that if we do not agree to a division of the police force, he could
20 not guarantee peace and security in Bratunac. He mentioned the example of
21 Bijeljina that had been occupied by the Serb forces on the 30th -- around
22 the 30th of March, rather. He said that over there the representatives of
23 the SDA and the SDS respectively did not cooperate properly and that is
24 why formations from Serbia had to come in and occupy Bijeljina, and he
25 said, "It is better for you --" that we divide the police, "and if we do
1 so, I can guarantee peace and security for the municipality of Bratunac."
2 Q. Number 13, the same pages, 5 of both documents, in your original
3 statement you say that you were at your father's house along with your
4 brother-in-law Sabit Mujkic who had been commander of the Bratunac
5 Territorial Defence prior to the position being taken by Dzemail
6 Becirevic. You wish to correct the name Dzemail Becirevic, please?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Whose name should be there instead of Dzemail Becirevic?
9 A. It should be the name of Dzemo Hodzic.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the longest correction is paragraph 14 --
12 or is numbered 14. In fact, this is not a correction, it is simply a
13 meticulous reordering of the contents of the original statement by the
14 witness. He wanted it to have a more logical and chronological sense.
15 And in those circumstances, unless compelled otherwise, I would save time
16 by not reading it.
17 There are a couple of passages only from the summary that we
18 indicated in advance we would seek to give live but we've reduced that
19 number to save time. The Chamber has the summary. At page 3, paragraph
20 8 --
21 JUDGE KWON: But Mr. Nice, in this case the Prosecution has not
22 specified the paragraphs of the witness statements that it wishes to
23 introduce by way of -- by way of Rule 92 bis. Rather, it's said it wishes
24 to submit the whole statement under Rule 92 bis except for the small parts
25 indicated in paragraph 5 of the Prosecution's motion. In this regard,
1 however, I'd like to very much encourage the Prosecution to keep the
2 practice of numbering the paragraphs of the witness statements and
3 identify the paragraph numbers as specifically as it can that it wishes to
4 introduce by way of Rule 92 bis.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we will indeed do that. And I entirely
6 accept that it's a preferable practice. This had certain problems of
7 timing about it and the summary had already been produced. So in this
8 occasion, there were numbered paragraphs of a summary it was proposed to
9 give live, but I feel I can abbreviate those. But for the future we will
10 do it with numbered paragraphs or statements or addendum statements.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. You've dealt extensively in your materials, Mr. Gusic, with
14 Mr. Deronjic. Just help us with this, please: Did Deronjic speak at
15 large rallies? And if so, did he speak in a nationalistic way or not?
16 A. Deronjic spoke at large rallies that were held in Bratunac,
17 especially during the year of 1990. He was a rather shrewd politician who
18 could be rather successful in tempering very radical nationalist requests
19 by making it sound like something moderate and absolutely natural that
20 should be accepted by the Muslim side.
21 Q. Paragraph 10 of the summary. Did Deronjic speak about meetings he
22 had with Karadzic? If so, how did he rely on those meetings in his
24 A. He often said at the time when we were meeting that he had regular
25 meetings with Karadzic, that they were discussing the measures that should
1 be taken and agreeing on them. What is particularly noteworthy is his
2 effort to divide the police in April 1992. At first he mentioned the
3 following reasons: That the police should be divided because the Serb
4 people was a minority in the municipality of Bratunac and that Serbs only
5 trusted Serb policemen. Since we did not agree to this in terms of the
6 police, he said that he could no longer wait. He said that Karadzic was
7 pressuring him strongly to divide the police if we wanted to have peace in
9 Q. Did he appear to have an ability to act independently of Karadzic?
10 A. Well, that's how it appeared. That's my assessment. He had wide
11 powers in terms of his activity. I had the impression that he was
12 Karadzic's right hand, that Karadzic trusted him a great deal, and that he
13 could do a great deal without Karadzic even knowing about this. So in
14 decisive moments, when he could not convince us through his political
15 skills that we should act the way he wanted us to act, then he invoked
16 Karadzic's name and said that Karadzic had ordered it, asked for it, et
18 Q. Page 9 of the summary, paragraphs 38 to 40. During 1991, did the
19 SDS set up a Crisis Staff with members drawn from the SDS executive board,
20 a separate body? And if so, who were the members of the SDS Bratunac
21 Crisis Staff?
22 A. We had information to the effect that in 1991 there was a Crisis
23 Staff of the Serb Democratic Party. Later on, the existence of this
24 Crisis Staff of the SDS was something that was not denied by the activists
25 of the SDS. They were not trying to hide it. A certain number of the
1 members of the executive board of the SDS were also members of the Crisis
2 Staff of the SDS. The SDS --
3 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... please. Move on. Who
4 were the ones who were a member of the executive board and of the Crisis
6 A. Miroslav Deronjic, as president of the party; Ljubislav Simic;
7 Jole Nikolic; Zoran Radic; Zoran Tesic; Dragan, nicknamed Kinez.
8 Q. Of the members of the Crisis Staff, were the following: Momir
9 Nikolic, Dragisa Loncarevic, and Radoljub Dukanovic, also members of the
11 A. They were also members of the Crisis Staff and there were also
12 others who were not on the executive board of the Serb Democratic Party
13 who were experts in these military matters.
14 Q. Did the media report that the SDS deputies in the BiH Republic
15 Assembly had demanded the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina territorially?
16 And if so, following that, did you speak to an SDA official about a
17 conversation he'd had with Karadzic?
18 A. Well, at that time, the media were saying that Serb delegates in
19 the Assembly were asking for the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I spoke
20 to an official of the SDA about that particular subject, and he said to me
21 that Karadzic on one occasion had said to him the following: "You see,
22 we'll have to split up. There's no other way out. That would be the best
23 thing to do." And he said to him, "Well, you see, Mr. Karadzic, you see
24 this big building? Serbs, Croats, Muslims live in it. They are next-door
25 neighbours. How can this be carried out? It's impossible to do that kind
1 of thing." His comment was that this had to be done.
2 Q. And in the event, was a parallel structure of the SDS formed in
3 January 1992? Did they make all appointments at that time? Did it
4 function more fully after the takeover?
5 A. We received information, official information, that is, at the
6 beginning of January 1991 that a Serb Municipality of Bratunac had been
7 organised, consisting of 24 assemblymen of the SDS who were members of the
8 legitimate Assembly of the Municipality of Bratunac. There was also an
9 additional member from the SDP. They appointed Ljubislav Simic as
10 president of this Serb municipality and they appointed Radoljub Dukanovic
11 as president of the executive council of the municipality, and they truly
12 started operating after the occupation of Bratunac, after the 17th of
13 April, 1992.
14 JUDGE MAY: The witness referred to the beginning of January 1991.
15 Mr. Nice, would you clarify that. He may mean 1992.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. In what year was it that the parallel structure was first formed?
18 A. Maybe this was a slip of the tongue, but it was actually in the
19 beginning of January that we received information that this parallel
20 structure had been established, so we received that information but we
21 don't know exactly when it was established.
22 JUDGE MAY: Which year?
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. His Honour wants to know which year.
25 A. 1992. The beginning of January, 1992.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm sorry not to have picked that up.
2 Page 12 of the summary, paragraph 53.
3 Q. Mr. Gusic, after the separation of the police on the 10th of April
4 of 1992, was Milutin Milosevic, a police officer from Ljubovija in Serbia,
5 appointed as head of the Serb police force?
6 A. Yes. He was appointed chief of the Serb police.
7 Q. And was it a day or so after that that Senad Hodzic went to see
8 him to discuss cooperation?
9 A. Senad Hodzic was chief of the legal police at that time. When the
10 division of the police was carried out, one of the conclusions reached by
11 the Assembly was that the two police forces should cooperate in their
12 work, and Senad Hodzic, in accordance with these instructions or this
13 conclusion of the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac, went to reach certain
14 agreements with his colleague Milutin Milosevic about this joint
15 cooperation. He received official information that Chief Milosevic had
16 gone to Belgrade to obtain the necessary equipment for the functioning of
17 the Serb police station.
18 Q. And finally from the summary, page 14, paragraph 64, cultural
19 property. Following the conflict, did you discover how many mosques or
20 other religious buildings of the Islamic faith had been damaged or
21 destroyed in your area?
22 A. They were destroyed. They were totally destroyed, ten mosques in
23 the territory of the municipality of Bratunac. And also other places of
24 worship were destroyed.
25 Q. Can you just give the names of any of those particular mosques,
1 the names of the places of any of those particular mosques? Was there one
2 in the centre of Bratunac?
3 A. One was in the centre of Bratunac. Then there was a mosque in
4 Konjevic Polje. Then there was a mosque in Hrncici. There was a mosque
5 in Glogovo. There was a mosque in Voljavica. There was a mosque in
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. NICE: Finally with the witness, the exhibits. There are
9 three of them, they can be dealt with very swiftly. May the bundle have a
11 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 436, Your Honours.
12 MR. NICE: If that can go to the witness so that he can see in
13 each case the B/C/S version of a document that we have had translated into
14 English or B/C/S, as appropriate.
15 Q. Mr. Gusic, does the first tab of this exhibit, if you'd like to
16 just briefly turn to it, set out in a way that you have approved and
17 accept as accurate by signing the document your brief curriculum vitae?
18 A. Yes, this is my curriculum vitae in brief terms.
19 Q. Tab 2 of Exhibit 436, a document you've helpfully produced,
20 setting out various dramatis personae at the relevant times: President of
21 the SDS, SDS leadership, president of the SDA, and so on. Again, you've
22 signed that on the original so as to assert its accuracy.
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And finally, tab 3, is there a document that you had not seen
25 before coming here but that you've reviewed while preparing to give
1 evidence, being, as we can see from the English language version, a
2 document coming from the Serbian Municipality of Bratunac Crisis Staff and
3 referring to a meeting held on a day unstated in 1992, except at the end
4 it gives it as the 1st of January, 1992, and proclaiming a state of
5 emergency on account of imminent war, asserting that organs of the
6 Assembly of the executive committee of the municipality should cease
7 working to be taken over by the Crisis Staff, that work related to public
8 and state security should be taken over by the Ministry of the Interior of
9 the Assembly of the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 public security station and Serbian Municipality of Bratunac, and defence
11 activities should be taken over by the Territorial Defence of the Serbian
12 Municipality - my emphasis - of Bratunac, parts of the reserve and active
13 police force of the SJB of the Serbian Municipality of Bratunac, with all
14 decisions, orders, conclusions and other documents in the area to be
15 brought in by the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality.
16 Now, that's the document. You hadn't seen it at the time. But
17 does that reflect what actually happened in the takeover of Bratunac in
18 due course?
19 A. It fully reflects what actually happened in the takeover of
20 Bratunac. We can see from the document that the Serb Democratic Party and
21 the Crisis Staff of that party had carried out all necessary preparations
22 for the occupation of Bratunac that was to happen on the 17th of April,
23 1992 by military formations from Serbia and the Yugoslav People's Army.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. You'll be asked further questions, and I
25 hope you understand why it's been necessary to take your evidence in the
1 swift way that it has been achieved. Thank you.
2 A. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Let me just clear up a technical
5 point. This last document that was quoted from, is that the decision on
6 the proclamation of the state of emergency on account of the imminent
7 danger of war in the area of the Serbian municipality of Bratunac?
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You have it.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Before moving on to specific questions, Mr.
12 Gusic, what kind of a conflict occurred on the 17th of April, 1992 that
13 Mr. Nice referred to when certain Serb forces took control of Bratunac?
14 What kind of a conflict was it?
15 A. I am a witness of that day, that is, the 17th of April, 1992, when
16 Serbian units from Serbia and units of the Yugoslav People's Army from
17 Serbia entered Bratunac. They occupied Bratunac. Whereas, on the part of
18 the Muslims in Bratunac, not a single shot was fired. So they took over
19 control by military means and they embarked upon ethnic cleansing of
20 Muslims from Bratunac municipality. They expelled all the Muslims, and
21 there were 21 and a half thousand of them, and in the first month they
22 killed 1.000 Muslim civilians, including children, women, and adult males.
23 Q. You didn't answer my question. What kind of a conflict occurred
24 on the 17th of April?
25 JUDGE MAY: He has answered it. He's described what happened. He
1 said he was a witness of it.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, what was it that you eyewitnessed? You said
4 that the Muslim forces did not fire a single shot. Now, did you
5 eyewitness that those forces that you call Serbian forces had fired a shot
6 and at whom?
7 A. On the 17th of April, 1992 early in the morning I left my office
8 and went to the office of the president of the municipality to discuss
9 certain problems. In the street in front of the Fontana Hotel I saw
10 soldiers in black uniforms armed with automatic rifles pointed at
11 passers-by. I went to see the chief of police to ask him what kind of
12 army had entered Bratunac. I was extremely surprised, in view of the
13 guarantees that we were given by the Serbian Democratic Party that no
14 external units would enter Bratunac. The chief of police didn't know what
15 was going on. He sent two policemen to check whether what I was saying
16 was true. The policemen quickly returned and said that a unit had entered
17 -- that some soldiers had entered Bratunac, that they were standing in
18 front of the Fontana Hotel with their barrels pointed towards the high
19 street and the passers-by. We called the president of the municipality,
20 Nijaz Dubicic, to ask him what was happening and to see whether he knew
21 what was going on in Bratunac. Shortly after that, Nijaz Dubicic, the
22 president of the municipality, arrived and said that he too was surprised.
23 He picked up the phone to call the leadership of the SDS. He called
24 Deronjic, he called Dukanovic, he called Simic; however, none of them
25 answered the phone. The secretary said that they were busy and that they
1 were attending meetings. A little later, Miroslav Deronjic came to see us
2 at the police station and said that military units from the outside had
3 entered Bratunac, that the commanders of those units had said that we
4 should go to the Fontana Hotel, and that if we didn't come, they would
5 know what to do. We understood very well what this meant.
6 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, I have to interrupt you. The question was
7 whether the Serbian forces had fired. Could you make your answer simple.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 17th of April, the Serbian
9 forces, until 16 or 1700 hours, while I was in Bratunac, did not fire any
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusic. I just wanted to establish that. So on the
13 17th of April there was no conflict in Bratunac that you eyewitnessed
14 because you left Bratunac; is that right?
15 A. I left Bratunac on that day.
16 Q. So while you were in Bratunac, there was no conflict in Bratunac.
17 A. I think I've answered that question.
18 Q. Yes, yes, you have. Thank you.
19 Mr. Gusic, you were president of the Party of Democratic Action in
20 Bratunac municipality. That is stated in your statement.
21 A. Yes. I was president of the SDA from the 21st of March, 1992.
22 Q. Is it true that you were among the main Muslim organisers of
23 paramilitary formations and illegal procurement of weapons together with
24 persons such as -- I think he's your brother-in-law, Sabit Mujkic, Bahret
25 Kubura, Enver Kubat, Izet Gusic.
1 JUDGE MAY: No point reading out a list. You can ask the witness
2 about his involvement. You can then ask, if you want, about the
3 involvement of others, but you must take one at a time.
4 What he's put, Mr. Gusic, is this: That you were among the main
5 organisers of a paramilitary formation. Did you organise a paramilitary
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no organised paramilitary
8 formation in Bratunac. And of course I wasn't the person organising any
9 paramilitary formation.
10 JUDGE MAY: The next question is: Were you involved in the
11 illegal procurement of weapons?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not.
13 JUDGE MAY: Was there any procurement on the Muslim side of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the Muslims are concerned,
16 the Muslims had, legally, pistols issued to them, those that had pistols.
17 They had hunting rifles, again legally obtained, those that were hunters.
18 And if someone had another weapon, then it was through the black market or
19 something like that. As for me, I was not familiar with these things.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Very well. Your wife's brother, what is his name?
22 A. My wife's brothers --
23 Q. Yes, your brother-in-law.
24 A. My wife has four brothers. Which one are you referring to?
25 Q. I am referring to the commander of the Territorial Defence of
1 Bratunac municipality.
2 A. None of the four brothers of my wife was the commander of the
3 Territorial Defence of Bratunac municipality.
4 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, please: Do you know Sabit Mujkic?
5 A. I know Sabit Mujkic well.
6 Q. Who is he?
7 A. He was a professor of defence and protection, an honest man, a man
8 of integrity, a man who never had any problems with the law. But it was
9 his assessment that Bosnia and Herzegovina was threatened most by Serbia
10 and the JNA and that there were certain plans by the JNA and Serbia to
11 commit aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he said to me and to
12 many others in Bratunac about this danger; however, many people did not
13 believe him. So he spoke about it.
14 Q. What was the name of the commander of the Territorial Defence of
15 Bratunac municipality?
16 A. The commander of the Territorial Defence of Bratunac municipality
17 was Dzemo Hodzic. He was the last commander of the TO.
18 Q. And was Dzemo Hodzic a Muslim?
19 A. Dzemo Hodzic was a Muslim.
20 Q. And the composition of the TO of Bratunac municipality, did it
21 reflect the ethnic composition of the population of Bratunac municipality?
22 A. I would not be able to tell you because I did not study those
23 figures and didn't investigate those details.
24 Q. If you don't know, just tell me you don't know. We'll see what
25 you do know and what you don't know.
1 Do you know the names I read out, Bahret Kubura, Enver Kubat, Izet
2 Gusic, Mustafa Feridinovic [phoen], Hasim Hasanovic, Djugum, Sulejman
3 Hodzic? Do you know those names?
4 JUDGE MAY: Have you -- just a moment. Let the witness answer.
5 Did you follow that list of names which the accused read out? If
6 not, we'll get him to read them out one by one and you can answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could he read them out a little more
8 slowly, please.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let me do that. Sabit Mujkic, Bahret Kubura, Enver Kubat --
11 JUDGE MAY: Stop there. Those three, do you know any of those?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know all three of them.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Very well. Izet Gusic, Mustafa Feridinovic, Hasim Hasanovic,
15 Djugum, Sulejman Hodzic.
16 JUDGE MAY: Those three, do you know them?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know those three as well. Who's
18 the next one?
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sulejman Hodzic, Salcid Dzanic, Nurija and Nedzad Dzanic. Do you
21 know all of them?
22 A. These last -- some of them I do know, some I don't or I can't
24 Q. Very well. Do you know that these are all persons who were
25 involved in the organisation of paramilitary formation and illegal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 procurement of weapons in the territory of your municipality of Bratunac?
2 Just tell me yes or no so that we can move on.
3 A. No, they did not engage in that.
4 Q. And do you know, Mr. Gusic, that there is a criminal complaint
5 against you because of war crimes committed against the Serb people and it
6 has been registered in the documentation centre of Republika Srpska? It
7 is a publication called "Abstract from criminal complaints against those
8 accused of war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1995, January 1992 Banja
9 Luka." It is stated with precision that you Dzevad Gusic are responsible
10 -- are accused of war crimes. Do you know anything about that?
11 A. I don't know anything about that. I don't know anything about
13 JUDGE MAY: One at a time. And remember the interpreters.
14 Yes. Well, it follows the next question is this: It's alleged,
15 apparently by somebody in Republika Srpska, that you are or were involved
16 in war crimes. Is there any truth in that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no truth in that.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Very well. You say that in Bratunac municipality members of all
20 ethnicities lived together and in harmony but that in those days the
21 Serbian Nationalist Party, as you called it, or passions increased among
22 the population and that it became obvious that the Serbs were treating the
23 Muslims badly, that they were intimidating them, and this was also
24 reflected in politics in which the Serbian Democratic Party started
25 increasingly overtly to reveal its aims. You say this on page 2,
1 paragraph 8, and page 3, paragraph 2, of your statement. Is that true,
2 Mr. Gusic?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Now, let me ask you: The course of events, was it slightly
5 different? Or let me be more specific in my question: Is it true that
6 the Party of Democratic Action had already then seen Bratunac and Bosnia
7 as an Islamic state which did not recognise the Yugoslav authorities or
8 its decisions? Just answer with a yes or no, please.
9 A. It is not true.
10 Q. And is it true that as early as the 1st of September, 1990 a
11 foundation rally was held of the Party of Democratic Action in Bratunac in
12 a highly militant atmosphere?
13 A. You need to specify which rally you're referring to and what it's
15 Q. I'm talking about the rally of the Party of Democratic Action of
16 which you were the president - true, later on; before you it was
17 Kavazbasic - and I'm talking about the rally held on the 1st of September,
19 A. The founding Assembly of the Party of Democratic Action - this was
20 the founding Assembly of the SDA - was held, correct, on the 1st of
21 September, 1990.
22 Q. And is it true that there were more than 1.000 Muslims who
23 demonstrated in the streets, carrying various nationalist markings and
24 threatening the Serbs and their main slogans were that Bosnia was Muslim
25 and the Serb -- that Serbia belonged to Serbs and that the Serbs have to
1 go to Serbia?
2 A. That is not true.
3 Q. So that's not true.
4 A. It is not.
5 Q. Very well. And is it true that already in mid-1991 the leadership
6 of the SDA had organised illegal procurement of weapons and the formation
7 of military units, elaborated plans?
8 JUDGE MAY: He's already dealt with this. He said earlier on that
9 the Muslims only had legal weapons, they had no other.
10 Now, we'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
11 Mr. Gusic, could you remember in this adjournment and any others
12 there may be not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over,
13 and that does include the members of the Prosecution team.
14 We'll adjourn now, 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Gusic, would you please look at page 5 of your own statement.
20 Since you said that my claim in connection with Sabit Mujkic and his
21 family relationship to you and the business he was involved in is not
22 true. In the middle of the page, it says: "One day I was at my father's
23 house --" This is one, two, three, four, five, six -- ninth paragraph.
24 They are brief paragraphs on page 5. "One day I was at my father's house
25 along with my brother-in-law, Sabit Mujkic, who had been commander of the
1 Bratunac Territorial Defence prior to the position being taken by Dzemail
2 Becirevic," et cetera. So does it follow from this sentence that Sabit
3 Mujkic is your brother-in-law, rather than him not being that, as you
4 said? And does it also follow, when I asked you whether he had been
5 commander of the Bratunac TO and you said no, that that is in
6 contradiction with what you said in your statement?
7 A. You asked me whether my wife's brother was commander of the TO
8 staff of Bratunac municipality, and I told you that my wife has four
10 Q. Yes, I know what you said. And then I asked you specifically
11 about Sabit Mujkic, because I read the English version and it says
12 "brother-in-law." So whether that is your wife's brother or your sister's
13 husband, it's difficult to tell, and it doesn't matter. You could have
14 corrected me and said that he -- what he was. But the point is was he
15 commander of the TO or not?
16 A. I gave you a correct answer to your question. As to whether he
17 was commander of the TO staff, I answered that too. He used to be before,
18 but not more recently. He was a teacher of defence and protection at the
19 secondary school centre in Bratunac.
20 Q. Have we cleared up this point, that he previously was commander of
21 the Bratunac TO and that he was your brother-in-law?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So the answer is yes to both my questions.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Now, in the abbreviated examination-in-chief, you said
1 that Milutin Milosevic from Serbia had been appointed chief of police. Is
2 that what you said?
3 A. I said that the chief of the Serbian police in Bratunac was
4 Milutin Milosevic, who before that was in the police station of Ljubovija.
5 Q. I took note carefully of this. You said "from Serbia." I have a
6 statement here regarding the circumstances under which a Milosevic Milutin
7 from Bratunac was killed. So would you please tell me whether there is
8 something that is not correct -- anything that is not correct in this
9 statement. The statement was given on the 8th of April, 1993, and it says
10 that on the 29th of May, 1992 a message arrived at the police station in
11 Bratunac that the regional road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje and
12 Sarajevo was closed because Muslim extremists had put up a roadblock and
13 by opening fire had prevented passage along that road. The chief of the
14 public security station at Bratunac at the time, Milutin Milosevic, a
15 native of Kravica --" which means that he was born in the village that you
16 mention in Bratunac municipality -- "engaged a police platoon and I joined
17 it. We went to the spot on the road close to the village of Lolic just
18 behind Kravica."
19 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't possibly take all this in. Now,
20 what is the statement you're reading from? Whose statement is it?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the statement by Branislav
22 Milosevic, whose father's name is Nedeljko, born in 1956 in Bratunac. And
23 the statement says, "Regarding the circumstances of the death of Milosevic
24 Milutin." And it also goes on to say that the Muslims, the Green Berets,
25 opened fire mostly from infantry automatic weapons so that a lot of people
1 were killed straight away, Milosevic Milutin was one of them, and of the
2 casualties listed were Petrovic Dragan, Milanovic Ivan, Milanovic Goran,
3 and so on.
4 JUDGE MAY: Now the witness can't possibly deal with all of this.
5 Is the point that you're trying to make that Milutin Milosevic did
6 not come from Serbia but in fact he was a native of Kravica? That seems
7 to be the point, which you can deal with.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
9 JUDGE MAY: Can you -- just a moment.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what it says in the
11 statement, Milutin Milosevic, a native of Kravica.
12 And secondly --
13 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with that first of all.
14 What is suggested was that he was a native of Kravica. Can you
15 help us with that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was like this: Whether he
17 was actually born in Kravica, I can't say. But I do know for sure that he
18 worked in the Ljubovija police station in Serbia and that from that
19 position he came to Bratunac to be the chief of the Serbian police of the
20 Bratunac municipality.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. All right. And do you know that when this ambush took place where
23 Milutin Milosevic was killed too there was a total of 12 victims, amongst
24 them two young girls and several other Serbs who happened to be in the
25 vicinity, which makes a total of 12, and that there were around 300 Green
1 Berets who held the position?
2 A. Well, I'd like you to give me a date. Could you tell me the date
3 when that was?
4 Q. The 29th of May, 1992.
5 A. On the 17th of April, 1992, I left Bratunac, so I don't know about
6 all that.
7 Q. All right. Fine. So you don't know about any of this; is that
9 A. No, nothing.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, are you going to accept
11 this statement as an exhibit?
12 JUDGE MAY: No.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the --
14 JUDGE MAY: No. We don't accept statements. You know that. You
15 can call the witness.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Gusic, tell me this, please: Is it true that in the first
19 half of 1991 a certain man called Rizvo Muhic -- does Rizvo Muhic ring a
20 bell? Is it familiar to you, from Bratunac?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you know anything about the formation of a unit numbering 50
23 fighters which was established by this Rizvo Muhic or anybody else? Did
24 you hear about anything of that kind in the first half of 1991?
25 A. No, I know nothing about any of that.
1 Q. And do you happen to know how that so-called Drina Division was
2 formed, the nucleus of which was those 50 fighters set up by Rizo Muhic?
3 A. I really don't know anything about that.
4 Q. Do you know that it was precisely at the beginning of 1991, due to
5 those events, the formation of the unit, many Serbs were already taking
6 their children to safety and had them stay with relatives outside
7 Bratunac? Were you aware of that going on?
8 A. Well, I do know that the Serbs on two occasions took their
9 children, women, and elderly persons out of the Bratunac municipality, but
10 under the SDA party activities and the regime in Serbia. They had no
11 reason to do that otherwise, as far as the Muslims were concerned, as far
12 as the Muslim behaviour in Bratunac was concerned. And they were supposed
13 to do so with the aim of homogenising the Serb people as much as possible
14 and to -- it was a form of exercise that the Serbian people underwent in
15 order to place the Serb people under the unified command of the SDS and
16 the Yugoslav People's Army.
17 MR. NICE: The transcript, line 12, 51.18 refers to SDA party. I
18 think that's an error, and I imagine it's SDS party.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And is it true that in 1991 the verbal inter-ethnic clashes came
21 to a head, as did relationships in general between people, that is to say,
22 between the Serb and Muslim villages in your environment?
23 A. Yes, that is true -- the truth is that there was shooting from
24 Serb villages every night and it was Muslim villages that were targeted.
25 There was hardly a night that went by when Serb villages didn't target
1 Muslim villages in the aim of intimidating and instilling fear in the
2 Muslims in Bratunac.
3 Q. And is it true that in 1991 a certain number of young members of
4 the Party of Democratic Action, that is to say, your own party, the SDA,
5 illegally went to train in Croatia, military and police training in
7 A. I don't know about that.
8 Q. All right. Fine. And is this true, that in Bratunac, after the
9 establishment of the SDA, the extremists of the SDA used every sports
10 event or cultural event to promote Islamic facets of life and that they
11 organised different marches, rallies, meetings in towns and villages with
12 the same emblems used and constant threats, saying that Bosnia was for the
13 Muslims and that the Serbs should go to Serbia? Do you know anything
14 about activities of this kind at all?
15 A. That's not true, and it is especially not true that the Muslims
16 threatened the Serbs. The Muslims had great belief in their neighbours
17 the Serbs and they wanted to live a life in common peaceably in those
18 areas. And I can say with absolute certainty that over the past few years
19 in Bratunac not a single Muslim even slapped anybody -- any one of his
20 Serb neighbours or a Serbian in Bratunac, let alone any greater excessive
21 situation taking place, as far as I know.
22 Q. Well, do you happen to recall the different rallies on the plateau
23 -- that took place on the plateau in front of the Bratunac Municipal
24 Assembly building from which the Serbs were threatened precisely at the
25 time when you were there?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The Muslims did not threaten the Serbs.
2 Q. All right. Now, do you remember this, for example, a concrete
3 case: It happened in the primary school in Kravica where for decades
4 children came to school from the surrounding villages, and on that
5 occasion the Muslims, to prevent their children mixing with Serb children,
6 organised an ethnically pure school in Konjevic Polje, an ethnic pure
7 Muslim school, and it was named Babo Hamza, where a religious situation
8 was introduced. That is to say, instead of the situation for decades
9 prior to that, instead of the Muslims going to the nearest school, which
10 they did until then, a separate transport was organised for their children
11 to Konjevic Polje paid for by the municipality in order for them to be
12 able to attend an ethnically pure school?
13 A. I do remember that, but that's not how it was. The reason for
14 which the locals of Konjevic Polje asked that their children attend school
15 in Konjevic Polje was the killing that took place in Kravica where the
16 Serbs made an ambush on the main road between Zvornik and Bratunac in the
17 evening hours and shot at a passenger vehicle, a Lada, the make was a
18 Lada, and two Bosniaks were killed and two others wounded. And it was
19 after that act that the locals of Konjevic Polje demanded that their
20 children go to Konjevic Polje to school, and the school in Kravica was
21 further away for those children than was indeed the school in Konjevic
22 Polje. So for most of the children, the Konjevic Polje school was closer.
23 Q. So for decades before that children went to a school that was
24 further away than the one nearby; is that it?
25 A. That school hadn't been constructed yet.
1 Q. All right. Tell me this, then: Do you happen to remember that
2 already in the course of 1991 the complete weaponry of the Territorial
3 Defence in possession of all companies and factories had been stolen and
4 transferred to Muslim villages; about 1.000 long-barreled rifles,
5 semi-automatic rifles, machine-guns, a large quantity of ammunition, and
6 other military materiel and equipment, and that this took place as way
7 back as 1991?
8 A. That is pure fabrication. The Territorial Defence did have
9 weapons for its local defence, the defence of Bratunac should the need
10 arise, and those weapons belonging to the Territorial Defence in the month
11 of June, before the multi-party elections took place, were taken away by
12 the Yugoslav People's Army and taken off to their own depots and
13 warehouses, so that none of us had access to it, to those weapons. So
14 that's pure fabrication.
15 Q. All right. Whether it is a fabrication or not, let's look at
16 this: Is this a fabrication too? With respect to the role of the SDA in
17 1990 and 1991, mention is made in Besim Ibisevic's book about that, the
18 president of the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica, in February 1991 to
19 April 1992. He is a historian by profession otherwise. And in the second
20 half of 1990 in Nova Kasaba in a cafe, a meeting was held of the SDA
21 members of Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Visegrad, Kalesija, and Rogatica,
22 and the presiding person was Mehmet Kavazbasic from Vlasenica, and on
23 behalf of the SDA head board Ismet Kasumovic. And the decision made was
24 to arm the Muslims, to set up guards, and to look into the possibility of
25 blowing up the bridges across the Drina River and cutting across the main
1 communication roads leading to Serbia. That's what he writes about in his
2 book, Besim Ibisevic being the author. Did you hear about any of this, or
3 perhaps you read about it or learnt about it in any way whatsoever?
4 A. I really don't know. I don't know what context this has been
5 taken out of or when this was stated. I would have to read the whole text
6 for me to be able to answer your question. But no, I don't know about any
7 of these activities.
8 Q. And do you know anything about the secret advice and meeting at
9 Igman of the SDA with all the representatives of the SDA and deputies in
10 the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the mayors belonging to the SDA party?
11 Do you know about that? The meeting went on for several days. It was
12 held in a hotel --
13 JUDGE MAY: When is it alleged this meeting took place?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Once again in 1991, negotiations in
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And Alija Izetbegovic was expected to take the floor. This is
18 something that Besim Ibisevic writes about in his book. It's an extract
19 from Besim Ibisevic's book.
20 A. As far as Besim Ibisevic is concerned in his book, perhaps we
21 ought to call him here -- the Court ought to call him in here to testify,
22 but I don't know the document in question.
23 JUDGE MAY: Don't worry about the book, because obviously you
24 can't be expected to know about that. But do you know anything about --
25 or did you attend, I suppose more accurately, a meeting at Igman involving
1 SDA representatives of various municipalities and members of the Assembly?
2 Do you know anything about that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I myself really did not attend that
4 meeting, so I don't know what they discussed, I don't know whether the
5 meeting was held at all and what the decisions made were, if it was ever
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. Now, on page 2, paragraph 11, you state that the
9 Serbian Democratic Party posed an ultimatum and insisted upon the division
10 of power according to the 50/50 ratio, although they were in the minority,
11 because you had, as you say, 52 per cent of the seats and the Serbian
12 Democratic Party 40 and the Communists had 8. So what was all this about?
13 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have a copy of his statement. I take
14 it to be that of the 15th of April. He's got one. He's got it.
15 You've got it. Yes, you're being asked about this.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the first multi-party elections
17 were held. The results were, for the Bratunac municipality, 60 deputies.
18 31 were from the SDA party, 24 deputies from the SDS party, and 5 deputies
19 from the SDP and the rest of the political parties that took part. And
20 the government had to be established in the Municipal Assembly first and
21 then, later on, executive power and authority. In view of the fact that I
22 have already spoken about the fact that in the technical mandate the
23 former make-up of the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac had changed the
24 statute and brought in the decision on a two-thirds majority vote, it was
25 not possible to convene a meeting of the Municipal Assembly with the new
1 deputies unless all the deputies -- Serb deputies were in favour of having
2 it convened, so that an ultimatum was set. They said, "We will convene an
3 Assembly and constitute an Assembly if we divide up the power on a 50/50
4 basis." And as it was in our interest, we agreed to have this division of
5 power and we hoped that it would be operational.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What ultimatum are you talking about? Wasn't it standard practice
8 for decades in Bosnia-Herzegovina that no national community, no ethnic
9 community should use outvoting in any way and impose on other ethnic
10 groups its own decisions? So this was a decision on the work of the
11 Municipal Assembly on the basis of a qualified majority and not on the
12 basis of a simple majority.
13 A. By republican law, a law that was in effect for all the
14 municipalities, it regulated the fact that decisions should be taken by
15 majority vote. And in the majority of municipalities, this is how the
16 system functioned. However, in this particular case, when the Bratunac
17 municipality was asked, the statute was amended and this was targeted in
18 advance and put into effect, into practice, in order to paralyse all
19 political work and life.
20 Q. All right. But wasn't it logical for you that in the
21 municipality, since there were both Serbs and Muslims and Croats living
22 there, that there should be a balance among these ethnic communities that
23 lived side by side and on an equality of footing within the municipality?
24 A. Well, we found it even more than logical. The Serbs in the
25 municipality of Bratunac, although they were a minority people - they
1 accounted for 34 per cent of the population - they had far more authority
2 until then in the municipality than the Muslims did. So it is from that
3 point of view that they were more than equitable. If necessary, I will
4 give you a concrete example.
5 Of some 20-odd public companies, 80 per cent of them had Serbs as
6 their general managers. We asked for this pattern to be changed later and
7 that the general managers should be appointed on a 50/50 basis. However,
8 the Serbs did not want this particular form of power to be shared.
9 Q. Is it correct, then, Mr. Gusic, that you started passing decisions
10 by a simple majority vote in the Assembly and that you practically
11 dismissed all the Serbs who had leading positions in the municipality?
12 A. We never passed decisions by a simple majority vote and we never
13 dismissed any Serbs in Bratunac.
14 Q. Very well. But on page 3 of your statement, you say that a group
15 of activists of the SDS visited the Secretariat for National Defence and
16 that they demanded the handover of all the files listing the names of men
17 who could be mobilised and that a JNA unit came there. Who asked for
18 these lists? Was it the SDS or the JNA?
19 A. First it was the SDS, headed by Miroslav Deronjic, that requested
20 this. There were a few activists there, headed by Miroslav Deronjic.
21 They came to the office of the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence.
22 They asked for these lists. However, since he did not have the power of
23 his command in charge to hand over these lists, he did not give them to
24 them. They threatened him and then he was compelled to call the police to
25 help him, and of course the police had to intervene, to come there and to
1 provide security for his office at the municipality, things like that.
2 The activists of the Serb Democratic Party thus failed but then a unit of
3 the Yugoslav People's Army came from Ljubovija, from Serbia.
4 Q. All right, Mr. Gusic. Now, was it from Serbia or from somewhere
5 else, but at that rate wasn't the Yugoslav People's Army the Yugoslav
6 People's Army throughout the territory of Yugoslavia? So there was not a
7 JNA of Serbia or a JNA of Bosnia-Herzegovina; isn't that right?
8 A. I'm just telling you they came from Serbia. That unit came from
9 Serbia. We know that. We know that for sure.
10 Q. Do you know that things were somewhat different, that actually the
11 army was supposed to take over this entire documentation according to a
12 decision reached by the federal government, not according to the decision
13 of any kind of SDS activists from Bratunac?
14 A. Well, then the activists of the SDS should be asked why they
15 wanted to take this file away.
16 Q. As far as I know, they were just supporting the decisions reached
17 by the federal government and they were trying to make sure that this be
18 handed over to the army, not to them. Is that right or is that not right?
19 A. That was not my understanding.
20 Q. All right. Even if this were not your understanding, you
21 nevertheless remember what happened, that is, that the SDA collected a
22 considerable number of people and then you set up a roadblock around the
23 municipality building and then there was the JNA on the other side and
24 they wanted to take over these documents on the basis of the decision of
25 the federal government. What about this roadblock? Was it actually
1 facing the JNA?
2 A. First of all, the SDS rallied the Serb people together, because
3 the activists of the SDS headed by Miroslav Deronjic, they did not manage
4 to take these files away. Then the activists of the SDA called upon the
5 people to gather at a rally in front of the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac
6 with a view to supporting the activists of the Serb Democratic Party, that
7 pressure be brought to bear against Dzemail Becirevic, secretary of the
8 Secretariat of the National Defence, to hand over these card files.
9 However, at that time the police was protecting the municipality. We from
10 the SDA, in view of the fact that it was a market day, Friday, in
11 Bratunac, there were quite a few people who had come from the rural areas
12 to do their buying and selling on that day. The news spread round among
13 the people, this that had to do with the files, and then the Muslim people
14 rallied together and they gave support to the legal government, the
15 legally elected government of the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac. And
16 when the army came, on the one side were Muslims and in front of these
17 Muslims there was the legal police protecting the legal authorities of the
18 Municipality of Bratunac, and on the other side was the army. That unit
19 of the Yugoslav People's Army, with all its weapons, and behind the army
20 was a rather large mass of Serb civilians that were extending their
21 support to the unit of the Yugoslav People's Army. So this was a very
22 unpleasant atmosphere with high tensions, and it culminated when the
23 major, who led this unit, issued an order to fire, and this was done.
24 There were a few bursts of gunfire that were shot above the heads of the
25 people who had gathered there.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Let us see what you wrote here in your statement. At the end of
2 paragraph -- of page 3. "This JNA unit was commanded by a major whose
3 name I do not know. He made threats and began shouting and arguing, again
4 demanding that the files be handed over." So the JNA asked for the list
5 to be handed over, not the Serb Democratic Party. And then you say, "He
6 was joined by SDS officials and Serb police officers and some Serb
7 civilians who happened to be in the street." And then we move on to the
8 next page: "And the whole situation escalated and I had a great sense of
9 foreboding of what might happen."
10 And then you say: "We had a crowd of approximately two to four
11 thousand who remained adamant that they would not allow the JNA access to
12 the municipality building. Soon after that the order -- the soldiers were
13 ordered to fire into the air but we remained resolute and eventually the
14 officer withdrew his soldiers and left, having failed to appropriate the
15 files that he wanted."
16 Is that what happened? The JNA, according to the decision reached
17 by the federal government, asked for documentation that had to do with the
18 military obligation. You surrounded the municipality building by
19 citizens, and they fired into the air in order to make it possible for
20 them to carry out their assignment. However, they did not want to clash
21 with the citizens and then they withdrew without having completed their
22 assignment. Isn't that right?
23 A. There is something that was added to this other page in the
24 statement, and I spelled it out in more specific terms, and it's the way
25 I've been saying here into this microphone. Of course, that's not to say,
1 on the other hand, that what is written in this statement does not portray
2 a picture of what I talked about.
3 Q. All right. But I just quoted your very own statement to you.
4 A. But there is an addendum. I talked to investigators here and I
5 added something to this statement and I think you should have this
7 Q. Let's not waste time over these details now. Is it correct that
8 the first misunderstandings and conflicts in the Municipal Assembly
9 actually came about because of the recognition or non-recognition of the
10 SFRY authorities and their decisions? Is that right or is that not right?
11 A. I really wouldn't know how to answer that question.
12 Q. Well, what you've been saying here about the conflict that had to
13 do with the handover of military documents, is that the reason why this
14 happened? It had to do with the recognition of the state authorities and
15 organs of the SFRY and its decisions?
16 A. At that time this was high politics for me. I know that the
17 secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence did not have the
18 authority from the command in charge to hand over these files, so these
19 were the legal authorities at the time, and he respected the orders of his
20 superiors and he acted according to these orders. As for the decision of
21 the federal government, believe me, I don't know of its existence and I
22 don't even know whether it's true.
23 Q. As far as I can see here, the army asked for these documents and
24 you prevented them from taking these documents and the Serbs supported the
25 decision of the federal authorities, that these documents should be taken,
1 that is. Is that what it boils down to, or are you trying to say
2 something else?
3 A. Well, it's not that the Serbs were supporting the federal
4 government authorities. Quite simply, the Muslims were afraid that these
5 files would be taken away, and this was supposed to be used for forced
6 mobilisation and to send these people to the frontline in Croatia.
7 Q. How do you know that it was to be used for sending reservists to
8 Croatia if this was a federal government decision that the army should
9 take over files concerning military conscripts? How would you know that
10 this was done in order to send military reservists to Croatia?
11 A. I know that at that time there was some fighting at the frontlines
12 in Croatia. Military conscripts were sent to the frontlines in Croatia.
13 Q. And you linked that up to the decision of the federal government
14 to have the documentation taken over.
15 A. I really don't know about this federal government decision.
16 Please don't ask me about it all the time.
17 Q. All right. But you say that the JNA had placed heavy artillery
18 and mortars above the hills -- on the hills above Bratunac with the
19 barrels facing town and that in the village of Vranesevici the JNA regular
20 units were training local Serb civilians and that SDA activists went there
21 to see with their own eyes these particular activities and then they duly
22 reported that back to you. First of all, tell me, do you know for sure
23 where the JNA units were and why this was so?
24 A. I know for sure that they were positioned in Vranesevici and that
25 they were carrying out the training of Serb civilians to use weapons. We
1 had information from several sources. I already said that one of the
2 sources were the activists of the SDA who went there to see it with their
3 own eyes. Another source were local people from the area around these
4 villages, that is to say, the Muslim inhabitants of these villages that
5 were near Vranesevici. And the third report came officially from the
6 chief of police. He sent the police to the actual site.
7 At first we did not know which JNA unit this was, and it is for
8 that reason that the executive board of the SDA of Bratunac officially
9 requested from the president of the Municipal Assembly, Nijaz Ljubicic,
10 and the secretary, the municipal secretary of the Secretariat for National
11 Defence, Dzemail Becirevic, to go to the military command in charge in
12 Tuzla and to ask how come there was a JNA unit training Serb civilians in
13 the village of Vranesevici in the municipality of Bratunac.
14 Q. And the answer you got was that they did not know about this, that
15 any such training was being carried out or that there is any such JNA unit
16 that was within the Tuzla Corps. How come the unit was there?
17 A. The answer we got was that they did not know about this, that they
18 would check it out within three days, and that within three days they
19 would come to the municipality of Bratunac and that they would do their
20 best to have these problems overcome.
21 Q. Well, were these problems overcome?
22 A. After three days, they did not come to Bratunac but they
23 telephoned, saying that this was not a unit from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 rather, that this was a unit from Serbia, a unit of the JNA from Serbia
25 and that they were not in charge in any way and they could not influence
1 this in any way.
2 Q. So these people who said that they were not in charge were also in
3 the command of the corps in Tuzla, the JNA corps; isn't that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So the JNA said to you that they were not in charge of the JNA?
6 A. That's the way it was.
7 Q. In this connection, did a meeting take place afterwards between
8 your representatives and the SDS, and is it correct that in connection
9 with the entire situation in Bratunac it was precisely you and the
10 president of the SDS of Bratunac that issued a joint statement in order to
11 reassure the population that everything would be just fine?
12 A. You see, this statement was made on behalf of all the citizens
13 present at that rally that was held in view of the complex political and
14 security situation in the municipality of Bratunac. On behalf of the SDA
15 and on behalf of the SDS, there were the five top people present
16 respectively, and all the other citizens were represented too, so this was
17 a statement made on behalf of all the citizens. Our aim was to reassure
18 the citizens, stating that solutions would be found in terms of future
19 peaceful co-existence.
20 Q. This was your joint statement and your joint position at the time.
21 A. Of all the citizens who attended that meeting.
22 Q. So the Serbs, the Muslims, the representatives of the SDS, and the
23 representatives of the SDA; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. No exceptions?
1 A. No exceptions.
2 Q. And what you say on page 4 in paragraph 9, is that correct that
3 the president of the SDS of Bratunac said to you then that the Serbs felt
4 that they were a minority and they felt jeopardised because of the
5 pressure that is exerted upon them by the Muslims?
6 A. He said that the Serbs in Bratunac were a minority and they could
7 only trust the Serb police, that they could not trust anyone else, that
8 there were some stories going round that Serbs could be jeopardised and
9 that he wants to provide adequate security to the Serb people in terms of
10 any possible jeopardy.
11 Q. Did he express concern then over developments in other parts of
12 Bosnia due to the information that was coming in that Muslim units called
13 the Green Berets were coming to Bratunac? You talk about that too in your
15 A. He referred to the Green Berets, but he was aware himself that in
16 Bratunac there were never any Green Berets or any kind of organisation
17 that could upset these inter-ethnic relations, as regards the Muslim side,
18 that is. He said this in order to achieve his objective; namely, to
19 divide the police. That was the task he had, and he admitted it later,
20 that Radovan Karadzic strongly pressured him to have the police in
21 Bratunac divided into the Serb police and the Muslim police. Later on we
22 found out why this was done, regrettably.
23 Q. A few minutes ago, during the abbreviated examination-in-chief,
24 you said that a friend of yours said that a friend of his had spoke to
25 Radovan Karadzic and said that Bosnia should be divided and -- who is this
1 friend of yours who talked to Karadzic, and who is it that he told that
2 Bosnia should be divided?
3 A. Osman Brka. You probably know him. At that time he was one of
4 the top men in the SDA and he was there in headquarters and I think that
5 he was an MP as well, and he told me that in the building where the SDA
6 and the SDS were he happened to meet Karadzic in the hall and that
7 Karadzic said that to him, that the Serb people should be separated.
8 Q. So he told you about his alleged conversation with Karadzic.
9 A. Yes, that Karadzic had said to him that this should be done, that
10 this had to be done. And then he asked, "How could that be done? Do you
11 see these big buildings here? Serbs live there. Bosniaks, Muslims, many
12 others, and it's impossible to do that." And he said, "It has to be done.
13 It has to be done."
14 Q. And when was this?
15 A. Well, this was before the aggression against Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina started.
17 Q. Well, when was that, roughly? Will you try and recollect.
18 A. I really can't remember.
19 Q. Was it during the time when there were negotiations on the plan
20 that was known as the Cutilheiro Plan? Was that in those days?
21 A. It was much earlier. I don't know exactly, but it was much
23 Q. Very well. Since you're unable to locate the event in time, tell
24 me, since you mentioned the incident in which two Muslims were killed and
25 two were wounded, was this the reason that resulted in the arrival of
1 members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina coming, one Serb, one
2 Muslim, that is, Nikola Koljevic and Ejub Ganic? Was that the motive for
3 their arrival?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. And on the 4th of April, did Vitomir Zepinic, Deputy Minister of
6 the Interior, and Avdo Hebib, advisor, and Enver Saric, chief of the
7 Department of the Security Service in Tuzla, arrive as well, that is, a
8 day prior to the arrival of Koljevic and Ganic? As I see Zepinic, Avdo
9 Hebib, and Enver Saric, did they come also clearly to try and appeal the
10 situation, to calm things down?
11 A. You see, this was not on the 4th of April. You said it was the
12 4th of April.
13 Q. No, I'm sorry.
14 A. The 4th of September, 1991.
15 Q. Yes, the 4th of September. Yes, I'm sorry. I made a mistake in
16 the month.
17 A. It is true that they came in order to calm the situation down in
18 Bratunac municipality and that their arrival was a function of that --
19 those efforts.
20 Q. Tell me, and just then, in connection with the barricade that you
21 mentioned, there were constant Muslim roadblocks in the villages of
22 Glogova, Branca, and Pervani. Do you remember that?
23 A. In Bratunac, up to the 17th of April, while I was there, there
24 were no Muslim barricades in any part of Bratunac or in any part of the
25 municipality of Bratunac.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. So not in Glogova, Branca, or Pervani, there were no Muslim
3 A. No, that's for sure.
4 Q. So it is not true that vehicles of public transport were
5 intercepted, citizens asked to show their IDs and so on? You know nothing
6 about that?
7 A. I do know that it is not true.
8 Q. And do you remember that on one occasion in Pervani, the Serbs
9 were forced out of a bus and the leader of the roadblock was Mehmed Alija
10 Selimovic who boasted that he had attended wartime training in Croatia.
11 Q. And when was this?
12 A. This was in the autumn of 1991. I don't remember that, and I
13 don't believe that it happened.
14 Q. And at the beginning of February 1992, was a meeting held of
15 representatives of the SDA of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Zvornik, and
16 Vlasenica? Those from Gorazde couldn't come and the meeting was held at
17 the hunting lodge near Srebrenica and the subject was preparations for
18 war. This is also in Besim Ibisevic's book, and at the time you were
19 president of the municipal board in Bratunac or was it your predecessor?
20 This was February 1992.
21 A. If this was in February 1992, I was not president of the municipal
22 board of the SDA in Bratunac at that time, so I really don't know that
23 this happened.
24 Q. But what were you then when Kavazbasic was president?
25 A. I was a member of the executive board of the SDA and one of the
1 three vice-presidents of the executive board of the SDA of Bratunac
3 Q. I see. So you as the vice-president were not aware of a meeting
4 held in February 1992 of presidents and representatives of SDA of
5 Srebrenica, Zvornik, and Vlasenica. You know nothing about --
6 A. I certainly didn't know about it nor did I know that it was held.
7 Q. Have you ever read this book by Besim Ibisevic?
8 A. I heard that he had written a book, but I don't know what it says.
9 Q. And is it true that it was precisely in those days, that is,
10 beginning of 1992, that weapons were stolen from JNA depots? Do you
11 remember that even a gun was stolen, a cannon, in February 1992?
12 A. And where? Where? You mean in Bratunac?
13 Q. In that area.
14 A. In Bratunac certainly not.
15 Q. This is also mentioned in that same book by Besim Ibisevic, this
16 event. As you say that you hadn't read the book, I'm not asking you
17 whether you saw it in the book, I'm asking you whether you remember the
18 event he describes.
19 A. In Bratunac there were no cannon. I don't remember that anyone
20 had taken a cannon from anyone, that is, that any Muslim had done that. I
21 hear that for the first time.
22 Q. Were you personally armed, Mr. Gusic, tell me, in 1991/1992?
23 A. Apart from the pistol I had, I was not armed.
24 Q. So you had a legal pistol with a licence and you opened fire with
25 it, again legally?
1 A. I opened fire with my pistol when I had to, when my life was in
2 danger, as is explained in that statement of yours.
3 Q. And with that shooting, was that intimidation and did people start
4 to move out? You speak about that in paragraph 6, second paragraph -- on
5 page 6, paragraph 2.
6 A. There was constant shooting at night from Serbian villages on
7 Muslim villages. As a result of that constant intimidation and
8 liquidations of certain Bosniaks - I mentioned some examples - and the
9 awareness that Serbs were being armed by the SDS and the Yugoslav army,
10 the people slowly started moving out -- or rather, some individuals who
11 trusted those reports started moving out.
12 Q. I am not asking you about the fire coming from Serbian villages
13 against Muslim villages, as you are claiming. I'm asking you about this
14 when you personally opened fire. You weren't opening fire from a Serbian
15 village, I suppose.
16 A. No. That happened in front of my father's house. I went out in
17 the evening with another three friends of mine --
18 Q. Your brother-in-law Sabit Mujkic, the former commander of the TO,
19 et cetera, you were all armed, weren't you?
20 A. I don't know about them. I really don't know. But there was a
21 burst of fire from the darkness at a distance of 150 metres. I got very
22 scared. I didn't know what to do. I fired a shot with my pistol. After
23 that, the shooting stopped and we managed to escape into Mahala in the
25 Q. I see. So you say they were firing from a distance of 150 metres?
1 Is that what you said? Or did they fire 150 bullets?
2 A. From a distance of 100 to 150 metres. It was dark. I don't know
3 the exact distance.
4 Q. And who were they firing at?
5 A. They were firing at us, who had just left my father's house.
6 Q. But no one was hurt or hit.
7 A. Of course not. And it's a good thing that nobody was hit.
8 Q. When you say that that was normal, that means that nobody wanted
9 to target you.
10 A. I'm not sure about that, in view of how it looked, and we heard
11 the bullets whizzing by and hitting some buildings around us.
12 Q. I see. So they fired at you, a whole burst of fire from 100 to
13 150 metres, and no one was hurt? Very well.
14 On page 5, sixth paragraph, you say it was surprising to what
15 extent each Serb without any exception changed and started to hate
16 Muslims. What do you think -- first of all, is what you're saying really
17 true, or was that perhaps in reaction to what the SDA was doing at that
19 A. The SDA really didn't do anything so awful or bad, nor did it give
20 any cause to provoke such a reaction on the part of the Serb people
21 towards the Muslim people. This was simply the result of systematic
22 preparations by the Serb people to separate from the Muslim people, to get
23 armed, to prepare themselves, and finally to occupy Bratunac municipality
24 and to expel the Muslims and to kill a large number of them.
25 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember that sometime in April 1992 units
1 of the JNA started to withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. I don't remember exactly when that happened, whether there was any
3 withdrawal of JNA units from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I really don't
4 remember that. But I do remember that there were some withdrawals of JNA
5 units from Croatia and that they arrived with great frequency.
6 Q. Very well. You don't remember that. But do you remember that
7 there was an order from the top echelons of the Muslim part of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina to block, prevent, and attack units of the JNA that were
9 leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you remember that?
10 A. No, I don't remember that. I don't remember that there was any
11 such order. If it had existed, I would probably know if any such thing
12 had existed.
13 Q. I see. So you would know.
14 A. Well, possibly. I assume I would have heard it from someone.
15 Q. Well, I will quote now. "The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 Ministry of Defence, TO Headquarters Sarajevo, April 1992. Sarajevo.
17 Order about the implementation of the decision of the Presidency of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina," number so and so, 0211327/92, which
19 doesn't matter anyway, "the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina," then the number I mentioned, "regarding the
21 withdrawal of JNA units from the territory of BH, and because of
22 violations of this Presidency decision and the beginning of plundering of
23 the property of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the former JNA,
24 I order to carry out complete and large-scale prevention and blocking of
25 all roads in BH along which JNA units are withdrawing materiel in
1 coordination with MUP.
2 "Secondly, blockade the surroundings of military facilities from
3 which technical materiel is being withdrawn."
4 So this means that the JNA is withdrawing together with its
5 equipment and materiel and it is -- the response is that it should leave
6 that materiel behind.
7 JUDGE MAY: Before you go on -- before you go on reading.
8 Do you know what the accused is talking about at all?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Ray I really don't
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'm talking about the order of Commander --
13 JUDGE MAY: You can't ask this witness. If he doesn't know
14 anything about it, it's a pointless activity. No doubt you can ask some
15 other witness or get it in in some other way. But asking this witness
16 about it, who knows nothing, is pointless.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, have you noticed that the
18 witness said a moment ago - and I am paraphrasing his sentence - that if
19 any such thing existed, he would have known? Which is quite logical in
20 view of the function that he performed in the Party of Democratic Action.
21 Therefore, as he says that he would have known if any such thing existed,
22 I am now showing him that such a thing did exist, and he now says that he
23 doesn't know about it.
24 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Look, you can produce it with some
25 other witness, but it's pointless arguing about this witness -- about
1 something he knows nothing about. We're just wasting time. Now, move on
2 to something else.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Gusic, do you know of the order of the Minister of Internal
6 Affairs Alija Delimustafic, dated also April 1992, ordering complete and
7 large-scale blocking of all roads in the territory of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina along which units of the former JNA are logging their
9 withdrawal and pullout of equipment and materiel in collaboration with
11 A. I have to say again that I know nothing about that order. And let
12 me remind you that on the 17th of April, 1992 I left Bratunac. You keep
13 saying that this happened in April.
14 Q. It could have been before the 17th of April and it could be after
15 the April.
16 A. That is quite true. That is quite true.
17 Q. So you know nothing from the moment you left Bratunac on the 17th
18 of April. From the 17th of April, you know nothing about Bratunac; is
19 that right?
20 A. I do know some things, but I don't know about the things you've
21 just asked me about.
22 Q. Very well. Up until the 17th of April and inclusive, not a single
23 bullet was fired over there. Bratunac was not captured by force on the
24 17th of April. There was no shooting. There was no fire. This is what
25 you told Mr. Kwon in answer to a question of his. So you don't know
1 anything about Bratunac when anyone was firing any shots, and you don't
2 know anything about these orders either. Is that right, Mr. Gusic?
3 A. Let us be specific: I said that on the 17th of April, while I was
4 present in Bratunac - and this was up until 16 or 1700 hours, I don't know
5 exactly - there was no shooting where I was, and that was in the urban
6 part of Bratunac. As for before the 17th of April, I said several times
7 that there was constant shooting at night from Serbian villages against
8 Muslim villages and that there was even a calling that the Serbs from
9 Kravica ambushed and killed two Muslims and wounded two others. I think I
10 was clear.
11 Q. And do you remember that under those tense circumstances, on the
12 4th of April the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the complete
13 name in those days was the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
14 in incomplete composition, without Serb representatives, took a decision
15 on the mobilisation of the Territorial Defence, the police, and the civil
16 defence? This was on the 4th of April. Do you remember that decision?
17 A. I do remember that decision, a decision on mobilisation. Of
18 course, I don't know whether the Presidency was complete or not. I don't
19 know the details about the decision-making.
20 Q. I see. So you don't know that that decision was arbitrarily
21 adopted exclusively by Muslim and Croat members even though BH was still a
22 part of SFRY in those days?
23 JUDGE MAY: No point wasting time on these things.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And do you remember that on the 6th of April, Germany and then the
2 European Union recognised the sovereignty and independence of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and its separation from the Yugoslav state on the basis
4 of a referendum held again without the participation of the Serbs? Do you
5 remember that?
6 A. Yes, I remember that Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised.
7 Q. And does the rule still apply that the three nations over there
8 are equal in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
9 JUDGE MAY: No, no. Not a question for him.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it true, do you remember, that on the 12th of April, that is,
12 less than seven days after the recognition of an independent Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, Izetbegovic ordered an all-out and unprovoked attack on
14 Yugoslav army facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you remember that?
15 A. I couldn't tell you about those details. Perhaps you should ask
16 President Izetbegovic about that.
17 Q. Will you now explain to me, please, your statement on page 6,
18 paragraph 6. You said that on the 17th of April, a Serbian military unit
19 arrived in town, that soldiers in JNA uniforms told you that it was a Serb
20 municipality, that they were armed and organised and supported by the
21 army. Those are your words I'm quoting. So if this was the JNA, if they
22 were members of the JNA, could they say that they were supported by the
23 JNA? Could you explain that for me, please.
24 A. Yes, I can explain. On the 17th of April, Miroslav Deronjic came
25 to the police station and said that military units -- some military units,
1 some formations had entered Bratunac and that the officers in charge of
2 those units had said that we should go to the Fontana, that they were
3 waiting for us, and if we didn't come, they would know what to do. When
4 we got there, some of those officers were wearing uniforms of the Yugoslav
5 People's Army; others were wearing camouflage uniforms. I don't know
6 exactly what kind of officers they were and what kind of units they
7 headed, but I do know that they said, among other things, "Bratunac is a
8 Serb municipality. Serb laws must apply here. We want to establish Serb
9 authority." They said they were just the forerunners and that the rest of
10 the unit was in Ljubovija. As I was in a corner, as we were leaving, I
11 heard one of them, one of these officers, telling another, "The unit in
12 Ljubovija should be told that they need not come to Bratunac today. There
13 are about one and a half thousand of them."
14 JUDGE MAY: It's time to adjourn.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In this sentence, you say - and I quote your sentence - "They told
17 us that they were armed, well organised, and that they were supported by
18 the army." This is what you say in your statement. So this was obviously
19 some kind of local Territorial Defence claiming that they enjoyed the
20 support of the army. They never -- you never mentioned the things you're
21 talking about now.
22 A. Yes, I did, in the addendum.
23 Q. Oh, I see, in the addendum. We'll talk about those. I understand
24 that we have to adjourn for today.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much more time do I have for
1 tomorrow? Would you be kind enough to tell me, please.
2 JUDGE MAY: Twenty minutes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Only twenty minutes?
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Didn't you say that I would have the
6 time I would normally have had the examination-in-chief not been shortened
7 unexpectedly? And as you see for yourself, the plan was that it should
8 take three hours. So I had reckoned with at least those three hours.
9 JUDGE MAY: No, three hours was the total time which was estimated
10 for the witness. What we have allowed you is one hour and three-quarters,
11 which we think more than sufficient.
12 Could you be back, please, Mr. Gusic, at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
13 We'll adjourn.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
15 at 1.49 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday
16 the 6th day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.