1 Thursday, 12 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Mr. Osman Selak.
7 Your Honour, while we're awaiting the arrival of the witness, the
8 Prosecution will be tendering three exhibits through Mr. Selak, the first
9 being transcripts from the Brdjanin and Talic case and Tadic case in which
10 he testified and which is the subject of an order from this Chamber.
11 Secondly --
12 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with them one at a time.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the transcript is Prosecution Exhibit
15 MR. GROOME: The next exhibit, Your Honour, is a set of exhibits,
16 76 tabs, which are the exhibits that were tendered in the course of the
17 testimony of this witness during those two trials. They are in two
18 binders but consecutively numbered tab numbers 1 through 76.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes. Let's give them a number first and then
20 we'll swear the witness and then we'll hear any objections.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 463.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
2 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
5 MR. KAY: It was an issue of clarification concerning the
6 transcripts. The Court will remember the order in which we pared down the
7 transcripts from the original trial.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 MR. KAY: I take it that part of exhibit which makes up 462 will
10 be the extracted portions of the transcript.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. GROOME: And finally, Your Honour, there is a binder with new
13 exhibits that we will seek to tender through this witness.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That's Prosecution Exhibit 464.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes
16 Examined by Mr. Groome:
17 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to begin your testimony before the Chamber by
18 telling us your name.
19 A. My name is Osman Selak.
20 Q. I'd ask that we begin by having you take a look at Prosecution
21 Exhibit 464, tab 1, and sir, I ask you, is this a summary of your
22 educational and professional background made after you arrived here at The
23 Hague with the assistance of members of the OTP staff?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is that your initials on the bottom of the exhibit?
1 A. Yes, that is my signature.
2 Q. And are you willing to answer additional questions with respect to
3 your qualifications?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. Can you tell us what was the highest rank that you achieved in the
7 A. The highest rank was commander of the logistics base. And in
8 March 1992, head of the department for cooperation with the peacekeeping
9 operations of the United Nations in Bosnian Krajina. After that, I was
10 replaced because I was considered politically unsuitable.
11 Q. How many men did you command, have under your command during the
12 time you were a commander?
13 A. The logistics base of which I was the commander after the
14 mobilisation in September 1991 numbered about 2.300 to 2.500 men. The
15 number varied depending on needs. It would be increased with the increase
16 of the zone of responsibility of the logistics base.
17 Q. Now, sir, the Chamber and the accused and the amici all have
18 copies of your prior testimony in the two trials in which you've testified
19 before the International Tribunal. I'm going to just ask you to -- or
20 draw your attention to some particular points that were not covered in
21 your previous testimony and ask you to comment on them. The next thing
22 I'm going to ask you to look at is Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab 2.
23 MR. GROOME: If the usher could hand up the exhibit to the
25 Q. Sir, prior to testifying today have you had an opportunity to read
1 this document?
2 A. No.
3 Q. I'm asking you after you came to The Hague but before testifying
4 here this morning did you have an opportunity to read this document?
5 A. In the OTP, yes.
6 Q. Can you please summarise what that document is for us?
7 A. Here the commander of the republican staff of the Territorial
8 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina is ordering to the district staffs of the
9 Territorial Defence through the municipal staffs of Territorial Defence to
10 carry out the collection of all weaponry and ammunition from social and
11 public enterprises and to place that weaponry in JNA warehouses.
12 Q. And what is the date of this order or document?
13 A. The 23rd of October, 1990.
14 Q. During your time with the JNA, did you ever receive a copy of this
16 A. I did have an order to collect weapons from TO units in my zone of
17 responsibility, which we did. A part of that assignment was carried out
18 by the 5th JNA Corps in the territory of Bosnian Krajina.
19 Q. And during what period of time did you collect or have the
20 responsibility for collecting weapons from the Territorial Defence units?
21 A. From the end of 1990 until the end of 1991 weapons were collected
22 on a continuous basis. I don't know about the corps because it never
23 provided that information, though all the weapons, pursuant to the law,
24 should have been stored in the warehouses of the logistics base. However,
25 what the corps collected was never returned to the base.
1 Q. And were you aware through your subordinates that weapons were in
2 fact being collected from the various Territorial Defence depots in your
3 area of responsibility?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The next matter that I seek to ask you a question about is
6 something which you testified in great detail in the Brdjanin and Talic
7 case and the Tadic case. I would just note for the record or for the
8 Chamber's benefit the reference in the Brdjanin and Talic transcript for
9 this portion of testimony is transcript number 12.925 to 926.
10 The question I want to ask you simply is: Did there come a time
11 when General Uzelac requested from you that you dispense weapons from your
12 stores that you deemed to be in violation of JNA regulations?
13 A. Yes, General Uzelac required of me that I issue weapons to TO
14 units in Sipovo and Mrkonjic Grad and for the 5th Kozara Brigade on Mount
15 Mrakovica near Prijedor. This was contrary to the law, because weapons
16 could be issued only following an officially declared mobilisation, and
17 this had not been done.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the interest of saving time, I will
19 not replay for this witness an intercept that was played during the
20 witness Milan Babic. It was an intercept between -- I'm just informed
21 that it was in fact not finally tendered with Milan Babic. If I may come
22 back to it in a little while.
23 Q. Sir, I'm now going to ask you to take a look at tab 4 of
24 Prosecution Exhibit 464. And, sir, this is a two-part document, a cover
25 letter and then an assessment request or assessment report attached to
1 that cover letter. Can I draw your attention first to the cover letter,
2 and the first thing I would ask you to comment on is the date of the
3 letter. According to your knowledge and experience, the translation has
4 the date as the 20th of September, 1992. Is that date correct?
5 A. On the title page it says March 1992. Let me look at the end
6 where the signature is. Milutin Kukanjac.
7 Could you repeat the date that you indicated?
8 Q. Well, perhaps it's just a translation error. Do you read the date
9 as -- the date on the top of the cover letter as being March 20th?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Sir, I believe you're --
12 A. No. I don't see that. I see the 19th of March under (c).
13 Q. Sir, I believe you're looking at the assessment report. I'm
14 asking you to look at the cover letter first. A copy of that cover letter
15 is on the television screen in front of -- on the --
16 MR. GROOME: If the usher could set up the television screen.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MR. GROOME: And if the usher could also hand an original to the
19 witness, that's easier.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date is the 20th of March, 1992,
21 issued by the command of the 2nd Military District, and it is addressed to
22 the General Staff of the armed forces of the SFRY to the Chief of Staff
23 personally. The document was signed by the commander of the 2nd Military
24 District, Colonel General Milutin Kukanjac.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Now, General Kukanjac, is that a person whose signature you are
2 familiar with?
3 A. Yes, it is. I saw it hundreds of times, and I was even present
4 when he signed some documents.
5 Q. Sir, can I ask you to read for us the last sentence of the cover
6 letter just above the signature.
7 A. "Please return these documents to us after use. For thoroughly
8 justified reasons, we propose that only a very limited number of people be
9 acquainted with these documents. Commander Kukanjac."
10 Q. Now, that letter refers to the assessment which I now ask you to
11 turn your attention to, and could I ask you to look at the first page of
12 the assessment and tell us the date that's printed across the front of the
14 A. On the first page of the conclusions, the date indicated is the
15 19th of March, 1992, under point (c), if that is what you mean.
16 Q. Yes. I want to now draw your attention to item (5)(f). It's
17 being displayed on the television screen in front of you, and you have the
18 hard copy on the desk in front of you. Can you perhaps for -- take a look
19 at the screen in front of you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could I ask you to read item (f) for us and explain its
23 A. Point (f), "The Yugoslav People's Army has distributed 51.900
24 pieces of weapons (75 percent), and the Serbian Democratic Party, 17.298
25 pieces of weaponry."
1 Q. Are you able to tell from this document where those weapons would
2 have come from?
3 A. The quantity distributed by the Yugoslav People's Army came from
4 the warehouses of various logistics bases and from the surplus of weaponry
5 in corps obtained by the pull-out of units of the JNA from Slovenia and
6 Croatia. And the Serbian Democratic Party received these weapons both
7 from the JNA and from the transports coming from Slovenia and Croatia,
8 sidestepping the logistics bases by stopping corps units and distributing
9 those weapons to the Serbian Democratic Party and to the Territorial
10 Defence units and their volunteers.
11 Q. The section I'd ask to draw your attention to it is the section
12 immediately under that where it says "Experiences." Can you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, I'm asking you to skip the first paragraph in that section,
15 and could you read the second and third paragraph of that section?
16 A. Yes. "Some leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party at all levels
17 are, through various channels, requesting weapons from the Yugoslav
18 People's Army and the Ministry of National Defence of Serbia thereby
19 fighting for superiority which has created divisions and dissatisfaction
20 among the people."
21 Q. If you could you continue with the next paragraph.
22 A. "Some SDS leaders are advocating disassociation from the Yugoslav
23 People's Army and the creation of a different army which could have
24 negative consequences for the JNA, especially regarding the plan to
25 replenish its units."
1 Q. The next section I would ask you to draw your attention to and
2 seek your comment is under item number (6), and it is being displayed on
3 the screen in front of you, and if I could draw your attention to the
4 third paragraph from the top that begins "For the Territorial Defence."
5 It's also on the screen in front you, Mr. Selak. It may be easier to --
6 A. Yes. Yes. "For the Territorial Defence, 78.400 weapons and 1.500
7 tons of ammunition."
8 Q. Does that indicate at least in this one instance the quantity of
9 weapons that were distributed to Territorial Defence units?
10 A. Yes. This is for the Territorial Defence, but it was also
11 distributed among the people in apartment buildings, in various streets,
12 villages. Houses were marked with black markers to indicate that they
13 were Serb houses. And I saw this personally in Derventa, and to those
14 houses weapons were distributed.
15 Q. Now, sir, if I can just ask you to summarise the rest of the
16 document, and would it be fair to say that the document goes on to
17 describe other locations in which weapons were distributed to both the
18 Territorial Defence and civilians in the manner you've just described?
19 A. Yes. The district commander clearly indicates the locations, the
20 quantities of weapons and ammunition given to units of the Territorial
21 Defence in those localities. And he even suggests that a part of the
22 reserves from the ammunition depots in the logistics base at Sevarlije
23 near Doboj be relocated to Loznica in Serbia.
24 Q. Sir, if I can now draw your attention to another exhibit. It is
25 tab 6 of Prosecution exhibit 464. If I could ask the usher to return tab
1 number 4. And I would first draw your attention to the signature on this
2 document. Do you recognise the signature?
3 A. Yes, I do recognise the signature of Colonel Bogdan Subotic. We
4 have been comrades for many years. We worked together at the military
5 academy in Banja Luka for 17 years.
6 Q. Can I ask you to summarise the contents of tab 6, Prosecution
7 Exhibit 464 for us?
8 A. The content of this document is that the Minister of Defence of
9 the Army of Republika Srpska is asking the command of the 2nd Military
10 District of the JNA in Sarajevo that active military officers be engaged
11 to bring up to strength the republican and municipal defence of Sarajevo
12 and the Doboj region.
13 Q. What is the date of this document?
14 A. The date is the 27th of April, 1992.
15 Q. And could I ask you to read the first sentence of the document.
16 A. "Pursuant to essential needs for replenishment with the most vital
17 personnel in the Territorial Defence of the Serbian Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in accordance with agreement reached and promises
19 made in Belgrade, we are asking you to assist us as soon as possible with
20 providing senior officers for the following positions." And now the
21 specialties are indicated, and for some people the actual names and ranks
22 are given.
23 Q. Now, sir, you were a Muslim commander in the JNA during the period
24 of this document. My question to you is: Were you ever aware of an
25 agreement and a promise from Belgrade with respect to Territorial Defence
1 units that were in your area of responsibility?
2 A. Such information never reached me because I was not invited to
3 such meetings because I was not suitable in view of the policies being
4 pursued precisely by Belgrade and the Serbian republic or, rather, the
5 Defence Ministry of the Army of the Republic of Srpska.
6 Q. And, sir, why were you considered unsuitable?
7 A. Being a Bosniak, that is a Muslim, they probably felt that I
8 shouldn't hear these things because arming units of the TO and volunteer
9 units applied only to the Serbian people and not to the Bosniak and
10 Croatian peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that exhibit.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the next series of nine documents all
13 relate to a similar area and is documents related to weapons received by
14 different Territorial Defence units. In the interests of saving time, the
15 witness has been asked to prepare a summary chart which is tab 7 of
16 Prosecution 464. I will show that to the witness now and with the Court's
17 leave go through each of the documents rather briefly and ask that tab 7
18 and the witness's comments as recorded in that document be used in
19 conjunction with the Court's assessment of these documents or if the Court
20 prefers, I can go into greater detail with live testimony of the witness's
21 perception of each document.
22 JUDGE MAY: No. In the interests of time, the course which you
23 suggest is appropriate.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look at Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab
1 7. It is a table of a summary of nine different documents. Sir, do you
2 recognise that table?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Is that a table that you prepared in conjunction with members of
5 the OTP staff earlier this week?
6 A. Yes, it is and I signed each page myself.
7 Q. And did you verify the accuracy of all the comments regarding the
8 documents made in your own language?
9 A. Yes, I verified each one, and I provided comments for each of the
10 documents separately.
11 Q. I'm now going to ask you to comment briefly on some of those
12 documents. I would ask that that table be kept up on your desk in front
13 of you in case you need to refer to it.
14 MR. GROOME: I would ask that the witness be shown tab 8 of
15 Prosecution Exhibit 464.
16 Q. Mr. Selak, keeping in mind that we have some of your comments
17 regarding this particular document, can I just draw your attention to the
18 list of names there? Can you describe what is the purpose of the 10
19 people listed there?
20 A. The purpose of this list of ten names is that these people were
21 participants in the national liberation war during the Second World War,
22 and the president of the Municipal Board of the Association of War
23 Veterans of the National Liberation War requests that these persons be
24 provided with personal weapons.
25 Q. Are you able to tell from the names of these people their
1 ethnicity, and if so, can you describe the respective ethnicities that are
2 represented on this list?
3 A. Yes. Judging by their names, these are all Serbs with the
4 exception of number 5, Faik Avdic, who is a Muslim, a Bosniak.
5 Q. I now ask you to look at Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab 9. This is
6 a series of related documents one dated the 13th of December, 1991, the
7 second dated the 3rd of January, 1992, and the third dated the 8th of
8 January, 1992. Can I draw your attention first to the 13th of December
9 document and ask you, can you summarise what is that document?
10 A. Here the commander of the Territorial Defence of Bosanski Petrovac
11 demands, he doesn't request, he demands these materiel and technical
12 equipment for Bosanski Petrovac and it refers to infantry weapons, and
13 there are 15 different types of weapons listed.
14 Q. And I want to draw your attention to item number 15. It's a
15 request for clothing sets for soldiers, and the number that's requested is
16 1.200. Based upon your experience as the commander of a logistics base,
17 are you able to interpret what that means, the 12.000 uniforms that are
18 requested as opposed to the items that are requested in items 1 through
20 A. One thousand, two hundred, yes.
21 Q. Based upon your experience, does that allow you to draw any
22 conclusion with respect to the number of weapons that are requested as
23 opposed to the number of uniforms that have been requested?
24 A. On an average, the numbers of the Territorial Defence units with
25 respect to the size of the municipality was between 4 to 500 men. That
1 might vary according to the size of the municipality. But in Bosanski
2 Petrovac, they had already mobilised 540 men and that's what it says in
3 this document. Now they're asking combat sets for another 1.200 which
4 means that the unit of Territorial Defence for Bosanski Petrovac were a
5 number a total of 1.700 roughly, which means mobilisation of the whole
6 population of military-able men for Territorial Defence.
7 Q. And is the -- are you able to conclude whether or not the people
8 that the uniforms are requested for, whether they were armed previously to
9 this request?
10 A. No. No, they weren't. They weren't armed previously. And this
11 is just a part of the weaponry. These are small quantities, different
12 types of pistols, rifles, et cetera, for several hundred men. However,
13 the -- they had weapons issued to them before, because the 530th Logistics
14 Base was also there and JNA units were pulling out of Croatia and Slovenia
15 in that territory there. So the TO units would take weapons from them and
16 arm themselves in that way.
17 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention to the 3rd of January document,
18 3rd of January, 1992, my first question to you is: Can you tell us who is
19 the author of the document?
20 A. This document was written by the commander of the 553 -- and 30th
21 base in Petrovac, Colonel Milan Skondric. I know him personally, and he
22 took over from me in July 1992, Banja Luka, took over duty from me.
23 Q. Can I ask you to read the second paragraph of this document
24 beginning with the words "having evaluated political and security
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. "Having evaluated the political and security situation throughout
2 the 530th POB Logistics Base zone of responsibility and taking account of
3 the tasks which the newly formed units of the Bosanski Petrovac
4 territorial staff have, we have concluded that these will serve to control
5 the territory administrative and lateral communications, protect
6 facilities of particular significance and coordinate action by the JNA,
7 the Yugoslav People's Army units, in the eventual or possible execution of
8 combat operations in this area."
9 Q. As --
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, could you confirm whether the translation
11 of this document was provided?
12 MR. GROOME: To the Chamber?
13 JUDGE KWON: I don't think we have it. The document signed by
14 General Skondric.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, maybe I can give the ERN number and
16 confirm it that way, and if not I will have a copy provided. The ERN
17 number is 03000471.
18 JUDGE KWON: It's the first document, yes.
19 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, because --
20 JUDGE KWON: That was the mistake. Yes.
21 MR. GROOME: Because of the ERN numbers, they were ordered
22 sequentially by ERN number rather than by date. They were just ERNed in
23 the correct order.
24 JUDGE KWON: I found it.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Sir, drawing your attention to the last phrase that you just read
2 to us, "The eventually execution of combat operations in this area," as a
3 commander of the JNA in January 1992 were you aware of any planned combat
4 operations in this area, planned as of January 1992?
5 A. In January 1992, in the area of responsibility of the 530th
6 Logistics Base, there were no combat operations of any kind. Bosanski
7 Petrovac covered the territory -- the logistics base of Bosanski Petrovac
8 covered the area up to Kljuc, towards Daruvar and in that area of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina and there was no combat going on there.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: In the eventuality of.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Sir, I draw your attention now to the 8th of January, 1992,
13 document. My question to you is: Are you able to tell whether this
14 request was approved by the JNA?
15 A. Yes. It was approved by Colonel Gradmir Petrovic from the
16 technical service who came from the 5th Military District of Zagreb where
17 he was the head of the technical service. I knew him. Unfortunately, he
18 was killed in Sarajevo immediately after these operations.
19 Q. Mr. Selak, I would like to draw your attention now to another
20 exhibit. It's Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab 10, and can we have your
21 comments on the table which is tab 7. My question to you simply is if you
22 would read the first or the title or the letterhead of this document for
24 A. "The Socialist Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina, Assembly of the
25 Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa, Executive Board," is sending a
1 letter to the military post of 1754 of Bosanski Petrovac which is the
2 530th Logistics Base of Petrovac, but they're using a military postcode,
3 1754 in this case, and is requesting arms for the Territorial Defence.
4 Q. Mr. Selak, is it fair for us to conclude from that document that
5 the people requesting the document did so in the name of the Serbian
6 municipality of Bosanska Krupa and did it in direct communication to the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab 11.
10 This is a letter of correspondence from the JNA dated the 23rd of April,
11 1992. Can I ask you to read the first line of the first paragraph?
12 A. "The Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa asks the command of
13 the 530th Logistics Base and the 10th command corps for help in forming
14 the Territorial Defence units and providing quartermaster and technical
15 material supplies for them (weapons and ammunition) in the first place."
16 Q. Is this an order or a document from the JNA indicating or
17 recognising the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa?
18 A. Yes. And he quotes: "Bearing in mind the order of the Federal
19 Secretary for National Defence, strictly confidential," and the number is
20 359-1, the 29th of February, 1992, as well as the political situation in
21 this municipality, "we think that certain material supplies should be
22 approved, and they should be issued by the 530th Logistics Base." And it
23 is signed bit assistant commander for logistics of the 10th corps, Grujo
25 Q. Sir, you've just read from the second paragraph and highlighted to
1 us a reference to a top secret order --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. 359-1, dated the 21st of February, 1992. In the context of this
4 letter, it appears that this letter has something is to do with
5 logistics. You as the commander of a logistics base at this time, did you
6 ever see order 359-1?
7 A. I can't remember having seen this document under this number
8 because a lot of documents pass through my hands, but I do know that it
9 existed and that it was referred to in communication with units in the
10 area under my responsibility.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think questions of this kind
13 can be asked. We don't have the actual text of the order itself, so this
14 can be quite distorted. It's quite distorted to put it in context with --
15 and in connection with anything else. For the question to be asked and
16 answered, we would have to have the complete text of the order itself.
17 JUDGE MAY: The witness says he doesn't remember any such document
18 as this and he's replied in those terms, so there's no evidential value in
19 his response, however, we have the document for what it's worth. Yes.
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. Sir, I now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab
22 13. And I simply ask you is this another reference in JNA military
23 correspondence to the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa?
24 A. Yes. Bosanski Petrovac is what this is. The military post of
25 Bosanski Petrovac. And the request is for Bosanski Novi in actual fact.
1 Q. And can I draw your attention --
2 MR. GROOME: My apologies, Your Honour, I misspoke. It's tab 12
3 that the witness is looking at now, not tab 13.
4 Q. Sir, could I ask you to look at -- this document also refers to
5 confidential order 359-1; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Does it also refer to a confidential order 2268-1 of the 30th of
8 December 1991?
9 JUDGE MAY: Which tab is he looking at?
10 MR. GROOME: 12, Your Honour. 464, tab 12.
11 Q. If I draw your attention to the last line just above General
12 Kukanjac's signature.
13 A. Do you want me to read it out?
14 Q. No. I'm just asking you does it refer to another confidential
15 order 2268-1 of the 30th of December, 1991?
16 A. Yes. Yes, it does. And the signature is of General -- Colonel
17 General Milutin Kukanjac who signed it personally.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
20 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I notice here it says: "From the surplus in the
22 10th corps unit and available reserves issue weapons," et cetera. I'd
23 like to find out in what circumstances would there be a surplus in the
24 10th corps unit. If the witness can help us with that. How did it come
25 about that there was a surplus? Was that a pretty regular ordinary
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Mr. Selak, are you able to address Judge Robinson's query? Please
5 A. Yes, Your Honour, I can answer that question. I said a moment ago
6 that when the units pulled out along with materiel from Slovenia that a
7 lost of units had to pass through this territory, and the units of the
8 corps took for themselves certain materiel and equipment, especially
9 weapons and ammunition. However, every unit has a certain portion of
10 materiel and equipment, and not to create a surplus for them they gave the
11 surplus to the Territorial Defence, and the rest came from the logistics
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
14 MR. GROOME:
15 Q. Sir --
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, if I could just point out for the
17 record, the confidential order 2268-1 referred to in tab 12 as well as tab
18 15, that was introduced in the Prosecution case as Prosecution Exhibit
19 387, tab 20.
20 Now, if I could ask that the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit
21 464, tab 13.
22 Q. And if I could first, Mr. Selak, draw your attention to the seal.
23 Do you recognise the seal on this document?
24 A. Yes, this is the seal of the staff of the Territorial Defence of
25 Bosanski Novi.
1 Q. And does this document indicate the issuance of a number of
2 different supplies including military armaments to the Municipal Assembly
3 of Bosanski Novi?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Sir, the documents that we've seen from the JNA that refer to
6 different municipalities as Serbian municipalities during this early part
7 of 1992, does that indicate to you a disposition of the JNA at that
8 particular time?
9 A. Yes. This does tell me of the disposition and behaviour of the
10 JNA towards the arming of the units of Territorial Defence. Weapons and
11 other materiel and equipment were given to other Serb municipalities, and
12 I personally had some problems with respect to certain units, with General
13 Uzelac, in fact, and later on with General Talic, but more with Uzelac.
14 And we came to a verbal clash.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because he was not my superior.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This question is quite
19 inappropriate, that is to say to link it to tab 13, because the document
20 in tab 13, in fact, relates to the Socialist Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Novi, and not to
22 the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serb municipality, and
23 that is vital.
24 JUDGE MAY: You can ask questions about that when it's your turn,
25 but don't interrupt, please, the evidence.
1 MR. GROOME: For the record, that question was in relation to Tabs
2 10, 11, and 12.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am indicating to you --
4 JUDGE MAY: No. It's not an objection. It's a point about the
5 document. You can ask the witness about it. You will have your chance in
6 cross-examination, as you know, and you can point out these things.
7 MR. GROOME: I now ask that the witness be shown Prosecution
8 Exhibit 464, tab 14. Perhaps the witness could be shown tab 14 and tab
9 15. They are closely related documents. If 14 and 15 could be placed
10 before him at the same time.
11 Q. Sir, are these two requests for armaments from the municipality of
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What was the ethnic make-up of Bihac?
15 A. The ethnic composition of Bihac was a majority Bosniak population.
16 Q. And having -- having read the documents, does it indicate to you
17 that the municipality of Bihac, their request for weapons was treated in a
18 manner differently than the Serbian municipalities represented in the
19 documents you've spoken to earlier?
20 A. Yes. This is precisely borne out by what I said a moment ago,
21 because the commander of the military district here and Colonel Petrovic,
22 the technical services head, is being sent on requests for equipment to
23 the Federal Secretariat of national defence and the technical service in
24 Belgrade, and it refers to an order of the Chief of Staff of the SFRY,
25 2268, 13th of December, et cetera.
1 Q. I'll now ask that you take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you recognise the signature on this document?
5 A. Yes. The signature is Colonel General Milutin Kukanjac, commander
6 of the 2nd Military District.
7 Q. And can you summarise the contents of this document for us?
8 A. Yes. This is a little strange and unusual, actually, for a
9 commander of a military district to order the command of the light
10 division of anti-aircraft defence. So the order is directly to them that
11 due to the current situation in the city of Sarajevo, the staff of the
12 Territorial Defence of Novo Sarajevo, where there is a majority Serb
13 population, to issue rifles, semi-automatic rifles of the 7.62 millimetre
14 type and 250 pieces of those, in fact. And this document indicates that
15 the commander of the district directly went down to the level of a
16 division and is in charge of the direct arming of the Territorial Defence
17 Staff with the Serb majority population. It's not quite logical. It's a
18 little illogical, but that's how it was, and it concerns the light
19 artillery battalion.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the interests of saving time, I will
21 not refer to two exhibits that I originally intended to refer to. They
22 were dealt with in some manner in the Brdjanin and Talic case. They are
23 in the binders or the Prosecution Exhibits now 463, tab 35, and 463, tab
24 36. They are documents or other examples of the -- what the witness is
25 describing in the last few minutes. Respectively they were in the
1 Brdjanin and Talic case DB117 and DB117.
2 I will now ask the witness to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit
3 464, tab 19.
4 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, Mr. Groome. I was just advised that your
5 reference to the tab 20 of Exhibit 387 is incorrect. Please check it out
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. Sir, can I ask you to take a look at this Exhibit 464, tab 19, and
9 ask you to -- or draw your attention to the three numbered paragraphs on
10 that page. And my question to you is: After the withdrawal of the JNA
11 from Bosnia, did some members of the JNA remain behind in the VRS army,
12 some officers?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And some of the officers that remained behind, were they Serb or
15 Montenegrin officers?
16 A. They were Serbs and Montenegrins.
17 Q. Does this document in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 indicate the
18 conditions under which a Serb, a Montenegrin officer, formerly in the JNA,
19 presently serving in the VRS could return, leave Bosnia, and re-enter
20 service in the JNA in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
21 A. No. What it does is explain that any leave must have
22 authorisation and that disciplinary action will be taken for anybody who
23 leaves the unit of the Army of Republika Srpska of their own accord.
24 Q. And does the document indicate who will -- who will subject these
25 such people to disciplinary action, which army?
1 A. Disciplinary measures will be taken both in the Federal Republic
2 of Yugoslavia and in the Serb republic as well, and in the JNA.
3 Q. I now want to draw your attention to an exhibit that was tendered
4 through you in the Brdjanin and Talic case. It is tab 32, Prosecution
5 463. It is your own work notebook. Before I ask you substantive
6 questions about your notebook, can I ask you a few questions about how you
7 made the entries in this notebook? And my first question to you is: Do
8 you have the original of this notebook with you here in court?
9 A. Yes, I do. I have it in my briefcase.
10 MR. GROOME: With the Court's permission, I ask that the witness
11 be allowed to use his original copy.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. Mr. Selak, while you are taking out the original copy, can I ask
15 you, were you required to keep a work notebook detailing your activities
16 as commander of the logistics base?
17 A. Yes. Every officer of the Yugoslav People's Army was duty-bound
18 to keep a work notebook for his official contacts. And there were two
19 formats for this, the one I am holding in my hand now and a small pocket
20 version. And the notebook was registered in the general protocol and
21 logbook. It was assigned a number, and that is in fact an official
22 document in the control and command of units.
23 Q. And the entries that you made in your personal notebook, did you
24 make them contemporaneously with the events, meetings or matters,
25 contained in the notebook?
1 A. Yes. That's precisely what I did and I made the entries according
2 to the dates. My last notebook was left with Mr. -- Colonel Skondric who
3 took over duty from me, but I took this with me, this one with me and the
4 first date and entry is the 19th of December, 1991. And I recorded all
5 the meetings I had with my subordinates, with the officers, with my
6 superiors, and all other official meetings as well.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, if you could give me the Exhibit number
8 once again.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we provided courtesy copies earlier --
10 was it last week?
11 We provided courtesy copies of these exhibits this morning, and
12 it's under tab 32 of the big binder.
13 Q. Mr. Selak, I ask to draw your attention at this point to an entry
14 on the 4th of May, 1992.
15 MR. GROOME: And for the assistance of the Chamber, the ERN number
16 is 01104766. So 766 would take you to the page of 4th of May, 1992.
17 Q. Mr. Selak, on the 4th of May did you attend a meeting during which
18 there was a discussion or a decision with respect to financial matters
20 A. Yes. I informed the commanding officer in the base command about
21 the orders I had received from my superior. And among other things, I
22 informed them that the military computer centre was being transferred to
23 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence of the 1st Military District
24 in Belgrade.
25 Q. What was discussed at that meeting?
1 A. At that meeting, I informed my superiors regarding the condition
2 of logistics support on certain breakdowns in communications towards the
3 2nd district, that the command of the 5th Corps was in Banja Luka from the
4 15th of May. Let me point out that up until then, it was in the building
5 of the penitentiary in Stara Gradiska in Croatia. And the Federal
6 Secretariat for national defence was set to visit units in Banja Luka.
7 That is the 5th corps.
8 Q. On this same day -- I'm sorry. Can I now draw your attention to
9 your diary entry on the 4 of the June, 1992.
10 MR. GROOME: And if I could indicate to the Chamber the ERN
11 number. 01104801 to 4804 are the pages that I'll be referring to in the
12 English translation.
13 Q. On the 4th of June 1992, did you have a meeting during which
14 General Djukic called about who would be responsible for the salaries of
15 officers in the VRS army?
16 A. Yes. During General Djukic's statement, assistant for logistics
17 of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, he said among other
18 things, and I noted it down literally, that the federal government
19 regarding financing, that the federal government would finance this army,
20 and he's referring to the Army of Republika Srpska, with the numerical
21 strength as it was on the 19th of May, 1992, as stated on its account.
22 The government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken
23 a decision on the financing of military conscripts.
24 Q. Who was --
25 A. -- Through the account as stated on the 19th of May, 1992.
1 Q. Who was to be financially responsible for the pay due conscripts
2 in the VRS army?
3 A. For military conscripts for Republika Srpska as of the head count
4 of the 19th of May was the federal government, and above that number the
5 Government of Republika Srpska. So any number in excess of the number of
6 the 19th of May would be financed by them. And there were problems there
7 because of the level of salaries between active-duty and reserve command
8 officers, because active-duty officers had much higher salaries than
9 reserve officers, and there was a lot of dissatisfaction. And this was
10 discussed at meetings in the commands, and there was some political
11 problems over this.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, you can help me with where we can find the
13 statement by Djukic. I have page 4810, which seems to refer to the
14 remarks of Djukic, but it would be helpful if we can find this in due
16 MR. GROOME: I believe it's on 4804, Your Honour -- I'm sorry
17 4803. And perhaps, Your Honour, over the break we could provide courtesy
18 copies with that passage highlighted to the Chamber if that would be of
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that would be.
21 MR. GROOME: And I have our copy here, Your Honour. It is at the
22 bottom of page 4803 where is says "General Djukic:" And it has his notes
23 regarding that conversation.
24 Q. Mr. Selak, your testimony here today, are you reading verbatim of
25 your notes or are you referring to your notes to refresh your recollection
1 about what General Djukic said at that meeting?
2 A. I wish to read exactly what I noted down at the meeting, and I did
3 my best to note down everything. So can I read it verbatim, please?
4 "Financing: The federal government shall finance this army
5 according to the head count as of the 19th of May, 1992, that had
6 previously been on its account. The government of the Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to finance military conscripts -
8 difference," which means only the difference between the two.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, that portion of what the witness just
10 read is on the top of ERN ending 4804, and you can see "Financing:".
11 JUDGE MAY: I have it.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Selak, you were still a commander after the JNA formally
14 withdrew from Bosnia; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did there come a time when members of your command had to travel
17 to Belgrade after the 19th of May to collect their salaries that they were
19 A. Yes. I would send the head of my financial service to Belgrade to
20 collect salaries for officers and civilians employed in the logistics
21 base. That is their monthly salaries.
22 Q. And did that procedure for obtaining the salaries, did that exist
23 until the time that you left the service of the VRS as it was at that
25 A. Yes. And later on as well, because we received our pensions from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Belgrade. Officers received their pensions from Belgrade as well. And
2 salaries were received regularly throughout the war, because I had
3 contacts with my colleagues in Banja Luka, active-duty officers who
4 normally continued to receive their salaries. And there was this dispute
5 between active-duty and reserve officers over the difference in their
7 Q. Mr. Selak, you've just referred to the salaries for civilians in
8 your command also being received from Belgrade. My question to clarify
9 that point is: Were all the civilians working in your command? Were they
10 all paid from Belgrade?
11 A. All those employed in the Yugoslav People's Army and later in the
12 Army of Republika Srpska who were on the payroll up until the 19th of May,
13 1992, continued to -- remained on the payroll of the Federal Secretariat
14 of national defence in Belgrade. I had quite a number of civilians,
15 mechanics, people working in the warehouses. In the command itself there
16 were very many civilians employed who normally received their salaries in
17 the same way they had done before.
18 Q. Perhaps to help us understand the magnitude of this payment, what
19 would have happened if the payment -- all the payment that you were
20 receiving from Belgrade for your employees, both military and civilian,
21 what would have happened if that had ceased?
22 A. People would have no means of livelihood. They would have to find
23 food in public canteens. They would get flour and bread, the essentials,
24 but it's not just a question of salaries but also weapons, ammunition,
25 fuel for tanks and planes. There would be a total break-up of logistics
1 support, and without logistics support, there can be no army.
2 Q. Would have you been able to operate your command without the
3 support that it received from Belgrade after the official withdrawal of
4 the JNA?
5 A. No, neither me nor anyone else. One cannot live from the air.
6 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a previously admitted
7 exhibit, and it was Exhibit 427, tab 50. We have provided a courtesy copy
8 to the Chamber and the parties here in the Court. In the English
9 translation the portion that I'm going to draw the witness's attention to
10 is ERN 01905597 or page 24 in the translation.
11 I'm going to read you a passage from the English translation of
12 this document. It says: "After the opening after corridor towards the
13 FRY and securing of basic and some consumer goods from that area, there
14 was a positive effect on the overall combat readiness, reinforcement and
15 the capability of units to carry out further tasks. During the year and
16 particularly with the interruption of payments and the separation from the
17 Yugoslav army in the period from May until the end of August, we
18 experienced serious difficulties in getting supplies for combat and
19 non-combat needs."
20 This reference to the corridor, is that a reference to the
21 Posavina corridor, do you know?
22 A. Yes. The corridor going from Banja Luka, Doboj, Brcko, Bijeljina,
23 Srpska Raca on the border with Serbia, and from there on to Belgrade.
24 That is the corridor, the main artery for all the people of Bosnian
25 Krajina, for the 1st Corps which used to be the 5th Corps.
1 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber what would have happened from a
2 logistics point of view if the Posavina corridor, that artery as you have
3 referred to it, had been severed for a significant period of time?
4 A. As a soldier, I am saying quite frankly I shudder at the thought.
5 If I was a corps commander and base commander, I would not have been able
6 to carry out my tasks. The units would not have fuel, ammunition, food,
7 money to meet their regular needs for medicines, and everything else. So
8 the unit would be totally cut off and its very survival would be called in
10 Q. In preparation for your testimony before the Chamber, did you
11 assist members of the OTP staff in preparing two diagrams which illustrate
12 the flow of logistics support both prior to the 18th of May, 1992, and
13 after the 18th of May, 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that the witness be shown
16 Prosecution Exhibit 464 tab 20.
17 Q. My question to you: Is this the diagram indicating the flow of
18 logistics prior to the 18th of May, 1992?
19 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that it be placed on the ELMO. Your
20 Honour, we have the English version on the sanction system, and we will
21 have the B/C/S version on the ELMO so the witness can refer to it during
22 his testimony. The B/C/S version, please, on the ELMO.
23 Q. Mr. Selak, could I ask you to take the pointer on the desk in
24 front of you?
25 MR. GROOME: And if I could ask the director to zoom out a little
1 bit so we can see the entire diagram. Thank you.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Selak, can I ask you to do this in a systematic way? Can
3 I first draw your attention to the box labelled "JNA General Staff."
4 A. I can't hear. Could you please repeat your question? I couldn't
5 hear it. I didn't hear your question.
6 Q. Okay. The B/C/S version is now on the ELMO in front of you, so
7 when you point to something, the rest of us will be able to see it.
8 I'd ask you to do this in a systematic way. Can you begin with
9 the box indicating "General Staff" and then just explain to us how the
10 logistics structure of the JNA operated prior to May 18th, 1992.
11 A. In the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army, there was a
12 logistics administration which engaged in logistics matters for the
13 Yugoslav People's Army. The head of the logistics administration in those
14 days was Lieutenant Colonel Vladan Sljivic. The direct link from the
15 logistics administration towards the command of the 2nd Military District
16 went to the assistant commander for logistics of the 2nd Military
17 District, Major General Ratko Milicevic. The command of the 2nd Military
18 District or, rather, Major General Ratko Milicevic was in command of all
19 the basis that were subordinated to him. There were four of them in those
20 days in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I'm now pointing
21 the -- to the Logistics Base in Banja Luka which I was the commander.
22 I -- it was my duty and responsibility to logistically supply the
23 entire Banja Luka Corps. It was the 1st Corps. The 2nd Corps near Bihac
24 and other units in the territory and area of responsibility of the Banja
25 Luka Logistics Base.
1 Q. Mr. Selak, the line connecting the 5th corps command with your
2 logistics base, the 993rd rear service base, what does that line indicate?
3 A. This line marks the competence of the rear base logistically
4 supplying the corps, for the corps to submit its requests for logistics
5 supplies to the logistics base, and then the logistics base in Banja Luka,
6 if it is unable to resolve the problem on its own, informs the commander
7 of the 2nd Military District of the same, which can solve the problem with
8 resources from other bases. If it is unable to do so, it will send the
9 request to the logistics administration of the Federal Secretariat for
10 National Defence in Belgrade which will deal with it for the whole
11 territory of Yugoslavia or addressing itself to certain work organisations
12 or companies that were manufacturing supplies for the needs of the
13 Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. Mr. Selak, the line connecting your service base with the 2nd
15 Military District Command, does that represent the channel from which --
16 or through which you communicated your logistical needs on a macro-level,
17 which you then in turn distributed to the 5th Corps and other units that
18 made requests of you?
19 A. They were passed on to other units. And there were daily direct
20 contacts between the corps and the base. So there was no need for any
21 interference regarding logistics supplies between the base and the corps.
22 They had direct links. Only if the problem could not be resolved, then
23 the 2nd Military District Command could interfere. And they were
24 responsible both for the 5th Corps and the logistics base.
25 MR. GROOME: If I could ask now that Prosecution Exhibit 21 of 464
1 be placed on the ELMO, the B/C/S version. I would also ask that
2 Exhibit 20 be left with the witness in case he needs to refer to it.
3 Mr. Usher, this is an exhibit that we need to have placed on the
4 ELMO now, and that is tab 21 of 464.
5 Q. Mr. Selak, does this next diagram represent the flow of logistics
6 after the JNA officially withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can I ask you rather than going over the structure again, can you
9 point out to the Chamber what changes came into place after the JNA
11 A. The changes after the withdrawal of the JNA were that the command
12 of the 2nd Military District was disbanded and the Army of Republika
13 Srpska was formed, the commander of which was Colonel General Ratko
14 Mladic. And his assistant for logistics was Major General Djordje Djukic.
15 The 2nd Krajina Corps was formed. I'm talking about my zone of
16 logistic responsibility. And we provided logistic supplies for the Army
17 of the Republic of Srpska Krajina that was in the territory of Croatia.
18 That is the 1st and 2nd operational groups.
19 Also, the bases changed their numbers. They acquired new
20 locations, new places of deployment so that the 27th Logistics Base which
21 used to be the Sarajevo base which was in town was relocated to Pale,
22 Republika Srpska, where the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska was
23 also headquartered.
24 The 30th logistic base in Bilici, this was a newly formed base --
25 Q. Mr. Selak, in the interests of time, the Chamber will have this
1 diagram to study it more carefully. Could I draw your attention to a few
2 particular points of it that I would ask you -- or seek your comment on.
3 The first is you have a thick line between the VJ General Staff
4 and the VRS command. Can you please comment on that relationship.
5 A. That was the relationship that had existed -- existed before too.
6 That is the General Staff of Yugoslavia was competent for the Army of
7 Republika Srpska regarding many questions of control and command as well
8 as logistics support.
9 Q. Now, can I draw your attention to the line connecting the 14th
10 rear service base, the renamed base that you were commander of, and the
11 line that connects that to the technical administration base of the VJ and
12 Commander Colonel Milisav Brkic. Can you describe what that line
13 connecting your base and this direct VJ administration base, what does
14 that line indicate?
15 A. This dotted line means that there were daily direct personal
16 contacts between officers of the technical service in the logistic base in
17 Banja Luka and the technical administration base in Belgrade, the
18 commander of which was Colonel Milisav Brkic who used to be the head of
19 the technical service of the military district in Sarajevo. We
20 communicated regularly by phone. I had his telephone number, and my
21 assistants in this service would regularly have contacts with him to
22 shorten the time needed to provide various technical supplies, because
23 administration is slow, it takes time. So Brkic would write instructions
24 to a subordinate unit to issue the materiel we're asking for so that the
25 unit should be provided with the required materiel in time.
1 Q. I'd like now to ask you some questions on a different topic.
2 During the course of 1992 to mid-May of 1995, did you have occasion to
3 call General Djukic, who is a member of the VRS army, in Pale?
4 A. Yes. General Djukic and I were comrades and friends. We were
5 together at the military academy. He was two years my senior. He was at
6 Pale, assistant commander of the Army of Republika Srpska for logistics.
7 Q. The party I would like to ask you to focus on is was there
8 anything unusual about the phone number at which you used to contact Major
9 General Djukic, member of the VRS army in Pale in Bosnia? Was there
10 anything unusual about that phone number?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was that?
13 A. General Djukic had the call-up number 011. This surprised me when
14 I first learnt it, and I have this number in my agenda. I was surprised
15 to hear a Belgrade area code, because 011 is the Belgrade area code, and
16 this was the area code that was later used by General Ratko Mladic as
18 Q. Drawing your attention to General Ratko Mladic, did you have
19 occasion on April or early May of 1995 to contact him regarding a personal
20 matter? And it's not important that you go into substance of the personal
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what was -- was there anything unusual about his phone number?
24 A. Again, it started with the area code 011, which means it is the
25 area code for Belgrade.
1 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the subject matter of convoys
2 to Belgrade. During the time after the withdrawal of the JNA but before
3 you left your post, were you aware of convoys that were going between
4 Bosnia and Serbia bringing back and forth logistical supplies?
5 A. Yes. My logistics base would regularly send convoys of trucks and
6 tank trucks for fuel towards Serbia and Belgrade where the technical
7 administration would indicate where we would collect what and drive it to
8 the territory of the logistics base in Banja Luka, that is, to my
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I may be moving, so quickly -- I
11 apologise for not giving you paragraph numbers of the witness summary.
12 I'm now dealing with paragraph 68.
13 Q. Can you describe in general terms -- I will talk about some
14 specific examples or ask you to address some specific examples after the
15 break, but prior to the break can I ask you to describe in general terms
16 the types of vehicles that were used in these convoys and the approximate
17 number of convoys in an average convoy?
18 A. The types of vehicles were trucks with trailers, covered with
19 tarpaulin of course, tank trucks for fuel. The columns would consist of
20 45 to 50 vehicles, sometimes more, but these were not only for the needs
21 of the army but also for the needs of citizens. I'm talking about
22 Banja Luka now, because there was a problem of food shortages. So I
23 allowed my convoys to include 10 or 15 vehicles for the transportation of
24 oil, sugar, flour and other foodstuffs. Combat security of the column was
25 provided by the corps in Banja Luka with APCs that went in front and at
1 the end of the column. They secured the column around Brcko and Bijeljina
2 to protect it from any possible difficulties. This was regularly done
3 while I was the commander of the base, and as I was saying, this corridor
4 was the life artery for life -- enabling life in these areas.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, is that a convenient place before --
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. How much longer do you think you might be,
7 Mr. Groome?
8 MR. GROOME: Fifteen minutes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Fifteen minutes. Very well.
10 Mr. Selak, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes' break.
11 Could you please remember in this break and any others there may be in
12 your evidence not to speak to anybody about it until it's over, and that
13 does include the members of the Prosecution team. Could you be back,
14 please, in 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, before I continue, I realise that I've
19 been moving rather quickly through rather large volumes of documents. If
20 it's of assistance to the Court and the other parties and the amici, I
21 have asked Mr. Kerr next to me to provide a copy of those pages in those
22 large documents which we've specifically referred to with the section
23 highlighted. He will have them in advance of the cross-examination or as
24 soon thereafter as the cross-examination begins.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. Mr. Selak, we concluded the first session this morning with you
3 discussing convoys. You gave rather extensive testimony in Brdjanin and
4 Talic, and for the record I would point to transcript page numbers 13111
5 to 3115 where you discussed using a war diary of the 1st Krajina Corps
6 about convoys that were going back and forth between the 1st Krajina Corps
7 and Belgrade; is that correct? Do you recall testifying on that subject
8 in Brdjanin and Talic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review that same war diary, and
11 that is for the record Prosecution Exhibit 463, tab 24, or Prosecution
12 Exhibit 1590 to use the Brdjanin and Talic designation. Did you have an
13 opportunity to review portions of that war diary earlier this week?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And do you recall seeing an entry in that diary from the 7th of
16 July, 1992, describing a convoy of 15 trucks being dispatched to Belgrade
17 to get logistical supplies for the 1st Krajina Corps?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: For the record, the B/C/S ERN number of that page is
20 01304553 and the English is L0088327.
21 Q. Did you also see another entry referring to a convoy on the 9th of
22 July 1992 discussing 45 trucks in a convoy --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And for the record the B/C/S is 01304559 and the English L0088334.
25 Now, I have one more question with respect to convoys. Was there
1 a document that travelled with the convoy detailing the materials or the
2 supplies that were contained or being transported in the convoy?
3 A. Yes. Along with the convoy there had to be all the prescribed
4 documents stipulating the type and quantity of material being transferred
5 to Belgrade and from Belgrade towards Banja Luka for the corps.
6 Q. And was the purpose of that document, in part, in the event that
7 the convoy was stopped so it could demonstrate or show what exactly it was
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter asks Mr. Groome to slow down
10 when he gives ERN numbers thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document clearly stating who the
12 supplier of the goods is and who the goods are being sent to with a
13 signature and a stamp.
14 Q. And what is the name of this document that accompanies the convoy?
15 A. The official document was referred to as the materijalni lista or
16 materiel list or bill of lading which was used for the issuance of the
17 materiel and equipment and the reception of it at the other end.
18 MR. GROOME: I ask that the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit
19 464, tab 22. It is a document dated the 9th of July, 1992.
20 Q. Mr. Selak, have you had an opportunity to read this document
21 prior -- after coming to Holland but before testifying here today?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The document is authored by a Colonel Vaso Tepsic? Did you know
24 Colonel Vaso Tepsic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I want to draw your attention -- this is a document concerning
2 logistical matters. I want to draw your attention to the second paragraph
3 under number 3, and if I could ask you to read the portion that begins
4 with "The commodities from RO Incel..." If you could read that sentence
5 for us, please.
6 A. Point 3 of the order, and I quote: "On the 9th of July, 1992, the
7 motor vehicles shall be dispatched to the work organisation Incel" - let
8 me explain that is the cellulosis paper factory of Banja Luka - "by 1600
9 hours to load 100 tonnes of toilet paper. The motor vehicles shall spend
10 the night in the Incel work organisation. On the 10th of July, 1992, at
11 0630 hours, the motor vehicles shall be collected at the work organisation
12 of Incel, refuelled at the Kozara barracks" - which is in Banja Luka,
13 that's my explanation - "and shall set off for Belgrade at 0700 hours.
14 "The commodities from the work organisation of Incel shall be
15 delivered according to the delivery order in Belgrade. The senior officer
16 of the group shall be responsible for the delivery and shall organise the
17 handover of the technical equipment and materiel, the TMS, for military
18 post 4022 Banja Luka in Belgrade," and that is the corps command, my
20 Q. Mr. Selak --
21 A. -- "and shall take them to Banja Luka."
22 Q. -- Can you please explain what types of materiel that would make
23 up TMS, what's referred to as TMS in this document?
24 A. Technical equipment and materiel, TMS, refers to ammunition,
25 weapons, spare parts, fuel, oil and lubrication for vehicles, et cetera.
1 So technical material, not construction material and the like.
2 Q. Can you --
3 A. Medical supplies and so on.
4 Q. Can you in a sentence or two based on your experience as a
5 logistics commander interpret what is being discussed or described in this
7 A. This document is about vehicles and says that vehicles from the
8 corps units shall be driven to Belgrade and that empty vehicles going to
9 Belgrade should be used to take from the paper factory 100 tons of toilet
10 paper. But on the return journey that they should pick up materiel and
11 equipment from the units of the Yugoslav People's Army on the territory of
12 Yugoslavia or, rather, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a different document, and
14 this is Prosecution Exhibit 464, tab 23. You have been handed the
15 original document. Have you had a chance to read this document prior to
16 testifying this morning?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I want to ask you some specific questions regarding this document.
19 First of all, can you tell us the date of this document?
20 A. The date on the document is - just a moment, please. Yes - the
21 28th of May, 1993.
22 Q. Who is this document addressed to?
23 A. The document is addressed to the person of General Momir Talic.
24 Momir Talic, the corps commander.
25 Q. And he was the commander of what corps in May of 1993?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The 1st Krajina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. And does the sender of this fax or this correspondence indicate a
3 fax number where they can be reached, and if so, what can you tell us
4 about the location of the fax based on the number?
5 A. This number is the fax number in Belgrade, the area code 011,
7 Q. And does this letter regard logistical supplies in specifically D2
8 diesel oil and other motor oil products?
9 A. Yes, it does. It explains the ways in which requests should be
10 tabled for it to be authorised in Belgrade, a request as -- made as
11 "humanitarian aid" for the needs of the Banja Luka region. Fuel 1.000
12 tons of D-2 fuel, et cetera.
13 Q. Mr. Selak, can I ask you to read the first sentence of this
15 A. "General, today I was informed at the Federal Administration for
16 Commodity Reserves by the Deputy Manager Nedjo Bodiroga, that all
17 provision of goods in the Republika Srpska can be issued only upon a
18 decision by the FRY government and only as humanitarian aid."
19 Q. And then can I draw your attention to the second paragraph. Could
20 I ask you to read the last sentence of the second paragraph.
21 A. "I suggest that Mr. Radic should table a request to the Yugoslav
22 government for humanitarian aid for the needs of the Banja Luka region."
23 Q. Mr. Selak, my apologies. It's the paragraph after that. Could I
24 draw your attention to the last sentence in that paragraph.
25 A. I see. "In addition to the other goods, I should like to also
1 mention 1.000 tons of D-2 and certain quantities of motor fuel MB-86
2 octane or 98 octanes."
3 Q. Mr. Selak, I will read a particular sentence for you and I would
4 ask you to find it on your copy. The sentence I'm reading begins with,
5 and I quote, "It shouldn't be mentioned that this is for the needs of the
6 army and it will be the way you agree." Can you find that portion on the
7 original in front of you? Have you been able to find it?
8 A. Yes, yes, that's clear. I've found it.
9 Q. My question to you is --
10 A. Can I read it out? Shall I read it out?
11 Q. It's okay. My question to you is: Does this letter indicate that
12 at least in May of 1993, military supplies, in this particular case of
13 diesel oil and other motor oil products, had to be authorised by the FRY
14 government before being given to the RS and they had to be disguised as
15 humanitarian aid? Is that a correct conclusion from the reading of this
17 A. Yes. Yes. That is my conclusion.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, would the witness be able to identify the
19 author of this letter?
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. Can I ask you to answer Judge Kwon's query if you're able?
22 A. The signature here is that of Colonel Zudic or Budic. However,
23 General Talic wrote up in the right-hand corner "Amidzic." He is Colonel
24 Amidzic, assistant for logistics, because the other Colonel was killed.
25 So Bosko Amidzic replaced him and Talic is writing to him, to Amidzic.
1 Amidzic has to go to Radic, and reach an agreement, and Radic is president
2 of the municipality of Banja Luka.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. Now, Mr. Selak, I'd like to once again ask you to refer to your
6 work notebook. And if I could draw your attention to your notebook back
7 again to the 4th of June, 1992. And on the 4th of June, 1992, did you
8 make a note regarding requirements for materiel that General Djukic had
9 advised you of, those requirements to be fulfilled by the Federal Republic
10 of Yugoslavia?
11 And for the record, the ERN number is 01104811.
12 A. May I begin?
13 Q. Yes. Are you able to find your notes regarding --
14 A. Yes, I am able to. Yes, yes, I've found it. General Djukic at
15 the meeting with the -- Radic, president of the municipality, in his
16 speech Djukic, in addition to other things, stipulated that we should draw
17 up a specification of the materiel from the Federal Republic of
19 Q. And did General Djukic indicate the chain or the path that such
20 requests to Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had to take?
21 A. Yes. The requests were to pass through the usual channels,
22 through the command and Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, and
23 then it was sent on to Belgrade from them to the General Staff of the Army
24 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in fact.
25 Q. Can I draw your attention to the 15th of June, 1992. Do you have
1 entries in your work notebook with respect to a meeting with General Momir
2 Talic? And the ERN number is 01104823.
3 A. Yes. On the 15th of June, 1992, there was reporting to the 1st
4 Krajina Corps commander with respect to logistical support, and on that
5 occasion, General Talic said that the transport of materiel should go from
6 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that that should be organised,
7 transport from the FRY, and that is what I stipulate in my diary or,
8 rather, work notebook.
9 Q. And did you note or is there any note that you've made that
10 indicates the size or quantity of the supplies that were being requested
11 by Momir Talic?
12 A. Yes. I mention here 66 types of ammunition which was critical.
13 We needed those supplies. Seventy-five types of ammunition. Also we were
14 running out of those. There were not enough generators, tyres, tarpaulins
15 for vehicles, spare parts, and expendable material. And then there was a
16 shortage of certain foodstuffs and that all this was being requested via
17 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the replenishment and resupplies.
18 Q. And finally could I draw your attention to the 5th of July, 1992.
19 Do you have notes in your workbook or your notebook with respect to the
20 same issue of supplies being requested and received from the Federal
21 Republic of Yugoslavia? And I'd ask you just to answer yes or no to that
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the interests of time I won't go into
25 the detail of that, and again we'll provide a courtesy copy with the
1 translation highlighted.
2 Q. Mr. Selak, my final question to you is a matter that I began to
3 ask you early on in your testimony and it is with respect to General
4 Uzelac and -- about a request from him to you to dispense weapons. Do you
5 recall that portion of your testimony?
6 A. Could you repeat the question, please? General Uzelac -- what did
7 you say.
8 Q. Do you recall earlier today I asked you about -- did you ever
9 receive an order from him or request from him to dispense weapons which
10 you determined were in violation of JNA regulations?
11 A. Yes. General Uzelac, I think it was in November 1991, asked me,
12 as assistant -- he sent assistant logistics commander to my office and
13 asked me to issue weapons to the Territorial Defence of Mrkonjic Grad,
14 Sipovo, and for the 5th Kozara Brigade.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I didn't have the reference before --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Prijedor.
17 Q. Mr. Selak, I'm going to read a portion of an exhibit previously
18 tendered, and it is an intercept dated the 8th of July, 1991, between the
19 accused Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Karadzic. It was introduced as Prosecution
20 Exhibit 353, tab 31, and it was referred to in transcript --
21 JUDGE MAY: Not yet. Not yet admitted.
22 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry. Marked for identification, Your Honour.
23 And it referred to transcript 13.340 to 45.
24 Q. I'm going to read a small portion of that transcript of that
25 intercept and ask you if this relates -- the matter that's being discussed
1 here relates to the request that you received from General Uzelac. And
2 this is Mr. Karadzic speaking: "Yes. That's underway. But tell me, can
3 we arrange the same thing, that they give me back the armament of the TO
4 in Sipovo and Mrkonjic Grad?" Mr. Milosevic: "That's a small matter."
5 Mr. Karadzic: "All right. Let them arm them there. Here I've got 170
6 ready in Mrkonjic and 150 in Sipovo and they are ready to go to Kupres."
7 Milosevic: "Is Uzelac also in charge of that?" Karadzic: "No, no. This
8 is -- er I think that is him, yes, yes." Milosevic: "Tell him that
9 brother, no problems." Karadzic: "All right." And finally
10 Mr. Milosevic: "We cannot discuss every small detail like this."
11 Based upon your later interaction with Mr. Uzelac, does this
12 conversation relate to the request made by General Uzelac to you?
13 A. Yes. That was precisely it.
14 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, a moment ago Mr. Groome
17 said quite rightly that he went through all this great number of documents
18 very quickly, and indeed he did. As you can see, I received here this
19 morning some transcripts and the various tabs which were just skimmed
20 through. I wish to draw attention to the fact that it is absolutely
21 impossible for me to cross-examine this witness in the course of today.
22 That's --
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's quite obvious. Let me put it
25 quite simply.
1 JUDGE MAY: We have considered the position, the time taken by the
2 Prosecution. We've also considered the fact that this witness has given
3 evidence before in transcript form now before us. So bearing all those
4 matters in mind, you've got three hours starting from now, which will
5 indeed take you into tomorrow.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think three hours will be
7 sufficient, but if that's your decision and ruling, I have nothing to do
8 with that. It's up to you to decide.
9 MR. GROOME: I will just note for the record that the transcripts
10 were provided at the beginning of March.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Selak, you spoke about the corridor, and you
14 said that it was the lifeline for those parts, the main artery; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me roughly now, please, how many inhabitants were there
18 living west of Brcko?
19 A. West of Brcko in my assessment and according to the 1991
20 population census, there were about 800.000 to 1 million people.
21 Q. Right. A million people living west of Brcko.
22 A. Including Doboj.
23 Q. All right. Fine. So that -- and it was just this corridor that
24 served to supply this 1 million inhabitants. If you add to that the
25 inhabitants of the Republic of Srpska Krajina which had no other
1 connection or links with the rest of the country at all, that was the sole
2 lifeline too?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. So that was the only lifeline and connection which supplied the
5 population with what they needed to survive, this 1 million, 2 or 300.000
6 people living in that part. That's right, is it?
7 A. With the exception of the requirements for combat, ammunition and
8 weapons, and all the other things the army needed. So it wasn't only a
9 question of food. The question of food wasn't the only problem.
10 Q. Do you mean to say that there was sufficient food and medicines
11 and clothing and oil and fuel, not to mention all the other requirements?
12 So that wasn't the problem according to you. It was just weapons and
13 ammunition that were the problem.
14 A. I didn't say that food was not a problem, because in my convoy,
15 sir, I always included vehicles transporting food, because I was well
16 aware of the problem and that we ought to solve it in humanitarian terms.
17 Q. Yes. So that's what it's all about. The sole link through which
18 life was ensured and the survival of these people, and as I say there were
19 about 100 -- 1.300.000 inhabitants was in fact this corridor, this
20 lifeline and connections with Yugoslavia. Now, were they able to receive
21 aid and assistance from anybody else? Could supplies come in from anybody
23 A. Well, there was no policy -- had policies and politics been
24 different, there could have been other corridors and communications.
25 Q. Yes. I do agree. If the policy wasn't what it was, had there not
1 been a war, had there not been an armed secession, then none of that would
2 have been necessary.
3 Now, tell me this, as you're well acquainted with that: So this
4 sole corridor through which supplies came in and through which the
5 survival of 1.300.000 persons depended upon, how many different corridors
6 were in existence which you in Bosnia-Herzegovina used to supply
7 yourselves from Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the
8 Western countries and so on? Do you have any knowledge of --
9 JUDGE MAY: No. Before we go into this kind of polemic, the
10 witness can only deal with the area in which he was responsible.
11 Did you receive any support from outside, and a number of
12 countries are mentioned such as Turkey, Iran, et cetera? Did you receive
13 any supplies from them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a single pfennig. Not a single
15 kilogramme of oil or anything else, Your Honours.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Well, that will be easy to demonstrate. But we don't have to do
18 that with this witness.
19 Now, to save time, I should like to move on. Of course I can't do
20 it as quickly as Mr. Groome did, but anyway, I shall go through the tabs.
21 But this passage through the tabs, let me start by quoting one that
22 Mr. Groome omitted, probably unintentionally, but it was tab 18, in fact.
23 He skipped that one.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have the documents as they're referred
25 to. Tab 18. Yes.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Take a look at this then, please. It is addressed to -- the last
3 sentence says -- the last sentence of the document is, as you can see,
4 "inform all members of the Army of the Serbian Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina about the contents of this report in the most suitable
6 way." Isn't that right, Mr. Selak?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So all the members of the Army of Republika Srpska are being
9 informed of the contents of the document.
10 Now, let's go back to the first page. The date on that is 21st of
11 May, 1992. That's right, isn't it, Mr. Selak?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the text begins with the following words: "On the basis of
14 the decision on the withdrawal of the JNA (Yugoslav People's Army) from
15 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a major transformation of the army
16 has taken place. All members of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have
17 left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while officers and soldiers born
18 in this republic have returned to the territory of the Serbian Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and joined the armed forces." Is that right?
20 A. That's what it says in this document, yes.
21 Q. However, Colonel Vukelic who is the signatory for the commander
22 for moral guidance for the 1st Krajina Corps did not have the right to
23 write this last sentence that you quoted because he could have informed
24 only members of the 1st Krajina Corps of the contents and not all the
25 members of the Army of Republika Srpska. That wasn't under his
2 Mr. Selak, even if that is so --
3 A. Yes, that is so.
4 Q. Everything refers to the Army of Republika Srpska. Now, whether
5 he had the right to do so, whether he was authorised by somebody to
6 dispatch this to whom he did, you don't know that and that's not the
7 essential point either. What is essential is what is written here in the
9 A. Yes. But not all the members of the Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia left the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the territory. Just a
11 small portion. So this is not correct.
12 Q. All I'm asking you about, Mr. Selak, is what it says in the
13 document. Now, all the things that are incorrect in documents that you
14 commented on here, we'll come to that due course.
15 Does it go on to say under number 1 there is an explanation saying
16 that the countries of the European Community have interfered, the
17 so-called German bloc, which have had centuries-long aspirations to
18 dominate these areas and which have, because of this, waged two world wars
19 unsuccessfully. In their estimation, this is a suitable time to achieve
20 the centuries-old aspirations, to create many tiny, dwarfish mini-states
21 in these areas which would be very suitable for all kinds of manipulation
22 and dependency. Is that right, Mr. Selak?
23 A. That is what it says in the document.
24 Q. Of course you don't agree with that.
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. Very well. One of these mini-states was to have been Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina in which all key issues would remain unresolved especially
3 relations between the constituent peoples, and those unresolved relations
4 and the violence that was resorted to, did that provoke the civil war,
5 Mr. Selak?
6 A. Your Honours, this document was written by Colonel Vukelic who was
7 born in Serbia, assistant for moral guidance, and as such a document it is
8 addressed to the soldiers with the aim of politically influenced them.
9 Q. Mr. Selak, that is what it says here.
10 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just help us with this. What was the
11 role of the officer for moral guidance? What was his position in one of
12 these units.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, his position was
14 assistant corps commander for moral guidance. So he would see to raise
15 the morale of the officers and soldiers of the corps. And this document
16 is indicative of this, to explain the aims of the battle and what it is
17 they are to achieve, what are their goals right down to the lowest-level
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If it says what it says here, we will have
20 in mind your explanation. So you can simply agree with what it says. I
21 mean, don't agree with the sentiments, but agree that that is what the
22 document says.
23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a document which Mr. Groome
1 submitted here, only he didn't quote from it. It's not my document.
2 JUDGE MAY: I think we better clarify that. Some records appear
3 to indicate that the Prosecution were no longer relying on this document.
4 Even if that's so, it maybe convenient simply to retain it in the bundle
5 and give it the same document number.
6 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. In the interests of time, I
7 withdrew it yesterday evening, but I have no absolutely no objection to it
8 being retained.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll reinstate it and we'll do that with
10 any other documents if they're referred to which were in the bundle. Yes.
11 We'll reinstate that one. Yes.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, thank you very much.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In point 2, does it go on to say: "In such conditions, the
15 Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia found themselves in the
16 most difficult situation even though the oldest and a constituent people
17 they are exposed to unscrupulous deprivation of their rights,
18 transformation into a national minority and genocide. The Serbian people
19 neither could nor wanted to accept such humiliation and loss of rights.
20 In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbian people have organised themselves
21 politically and are firmly resolved to struggle alone to secure their
22 historical right, national dignity and interests."
23 Is that what it says, Mr. Selak?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let me leave out some of this to save time. On page 2, having
1 previously explained where the Serbian people live in Bosnia it says:
2 "They do not want anything that is not theirs and has not been theirs for
3 centuries but will not cede to anyone an inch of their territory. The
4 peace-loving Serbian people primarily care about peace, a peaceful and
5 just solution to all disputes in this areas. That is why its political
6 leadership, bodies and institutions are persistently initiating
7 negotiations on a peaceful separation."
8 You know very well that the Cutileiro plan was signed by all three
9 parties, aren't you?
10 A. Yes. There were negotiations.
11 Q. Very well. Then -- and signed. It also says that after the
12 proclamation of the constitution of the Serbian Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina it still wasn't called Republika Srpska. It was called
14 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the constitution of its
15 state bodies, the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
16 formed as an armed force of the Serbian people. Then that there was the
17 Main Staff, that Lieutenant Colonel Ratko Mladic has been appointed
18 commander, and so on. And then in the following paragraph, please follow:
19 "The uniform of the JNA has been retained, which we otherwise have at
20 our disposal," as they had no other.
21 In the one but last paragraph in the last sentence it says, please
22 follow: "This army is struggling for truth, freedom, a fatherland for the
23 survival of its people, for peace and progress, and that is why its
24 behaviour toward its own people and the enemy has to be dignified and
25 chivalrous and dignified." Now, please, I draw attention to the last
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 paragraph. "It will defend its own people from all dangers and assist it.
2 It will hit at the enemy, an armed struggled, whereas captured and wounded
3 members of the enemy, as well as the civilian population, will be treated
4 in a soldierly, civilised and humane manner in keeping with the norms of
5 international laws of war. That is why all levels of command and control
6 must be engaged most energetically in building up the moral and combat
7 image of our members and must implement all available measures to curb any
8 possible incidents of conduct that could tarnish the dignity and
9 reputation of that image."
10 Is that so, Mr. Selak?
11 A. That is what is written there. But they behaved differently.
12 Q. There is no doubt that there were individuals who behaved
13 differently, but this was the approach that the Army of Republika Srpska
14 adopted in the struggle that was being waged on the territory of the
15 former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that so or not?
16 A. No. That was not the approach, because 280.000 victims were not
17 killed by individuals but the army, paramilitary organisations, and
18 volunteer units. This was written with a different intention, but actions
19 differed from words. More than 60.000 people were moved out or killed or
20 detained in camps, and I am talking about Prijedor alone, the
21 responsibility of the Banja Luka Corps, not to mention others.
22 Q. Very well, Mr. Selak. We will certainly come to those matters.
23 In Serbia at one point in time there was 1 million refugees. I
24 don't know who they had fled from and why. Among them, of course, 50.000
25 Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina who were treated on an equal footing
1 with others, as you know.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've been told before. You're asking
3 questions now, not making statements. If you want to give evidence, you
4 can do so in due course.
5 No need, Mr. Selak, to respond to that.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In order to make the most efficient use of the time available to
10 me, I will now cover several other tabs. I started with number 18, as I
11 said. In tab 1, the personal particulars are given, your personal
12 particulars. I won't read out all of this.
13 You were promoted to the rank of colonel in 1986, commander of the
14 Logistics Base 993. Then in March 1992, chief of the liaison group for
15 contacts between UNPROFOR and the JNA. That is what it says.
16 And then it says on the 19th of May, 1992, you applied for
17 retirement from the service of the JNA. That is the information that you
19 A. Yes. And I have those documents, the originals of those
20 documents, in my briefcase.
21 Q. I believe you, but you explained that you were thrown out of the
22 JNA, and here it says that you submitted a request for retirement.
23 A. You didn't understand me. I was replaced from the position of the
24 chief of the liaison group for contacts between UNPROFOR and JNA in April
25 1992, and I again became commander of the logistics base in Banja Luka.
1 And it was from that position that on the 19th of May I submitted a
2 request for retirement.
3 Do I need to repeat that?
4 Q. Who was the chief of the liaison between UNPROFOR and the JNA and
5 whether that was replacement or reassignment, you were commander of the
6 logistics base, and you went back to take up that same duty. So I assume
7 you were temporarily appointed chief of the liaison group, because that
8 usually is not a job performed by an officer from the logistics area but,
9 rather, from the information administration or another administration.
10 A. No, Your Honours. There were three groups for cooperation with
11 UNPROFOR. The first group was in Belgrade, a second in Sarajevo, and a
12 third in Banja Luka. I have in my briefcase the original document on my
13 appointment as chief of that group, and it doesn't say that it was a
14 temporary appointment but that I was appointed chief of the group, being
15 in the 7th payroll group. And I was there for about one month and ten
16 days. I have the document in my briefcase, Your Honours, and if you wish,
17 I can show it to you.
18 Q. Does it say in the document when you were sent back to the
19 logistics base that you were replaced or re-appointed to the same job?
20 A. No. It says because there was no longer any need for my
21 engagement in the group for cooperation with the UN that I should return
22 to take up my former position of commander of the logistics base.
23 Q. There's nothing discriminatory in that?
24 A. No. It doesn't say so. But in the Tribunal, there is a document
25 in which General Vukelic, the commander of the Banja Luka Corps, in March,
1 requests that because of political unsuitability I should not be appointed
2 to this position of chief of liaison with the UNPROFOR. I had this
3 document in my hands in the Brdjanin trial.
4 Q. Very well. And then on the 10th of July you went on leave, and on
5 the 1st of October, your retirement was accepted. I'm just reading from
6 your own information, not any documents of my own. That your request for
7 retirement was accepted on the 1st of October, 1992.
8 A. Yes. I have all the original documents here. I can show them.
9 Q. I'm not doubting any of this. You yourself submitted a request
10 for retirement. Then you asked to go on leave, and your request that you
11 submitted was accepted. So there's nothing abnormal. No one threw you
12 out of the JNA.
13 A. No, they didn't, but the implication was that I was no longer
14 suitable, because the corps commander held meetings with his assistants
15 for half an hour and only then would I be called in so that I wouldn't
16 hear what they had discussed before I joined them.
17 Q. So as not to go into marginal issues, Mr. Groome quoted from a
18 document from tab 2 in which the republican staff of the Territorial
19 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, it is the 23rd of April, 1990,
20 orders the district and Municipal Staff to collect weaponry and place it
21 under the control of the JNA; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How did you explain why this was done?
24 A. The withdrawal of the weapons from TO units throughout Yugoslavia
25 started at the end of 1990 by decision of the Assembly of the SFRY.
1 Slovenia would not agree to it. Partially, Croatia didn't either.
2 However, Bosnia returned everything to warehouses. And the commander of
3 the republican staff issued an order for the weapons to be transferred to
4 JNA warehouses, and if JNA has control over it, then it is known to whom
5 they would be issued.
6 Q. Now, whether that was known or not is your own conclusion, but
7 what you have here, you have also tab 3 which Mr. Groome did not quote
8 from. I don't know whether he withdrew that one too, but it relates to
9 the same matter. Please look at tab 3. And it is in response to a
10 question of a member of parliament in the Assembly of Serbia. And the
11 delegate or member of parliament made a question, and the corresponding
12 ministry has to provide an answer. And here he's quoted, and it says:
13 "As we have learnt at the federal level, a decision has been taken to
14 abolish the Territorial Defence. Pursuant to that decision, weapons and
15 war materiel have been withdrawn from the warehouses of factories and
16 local communes. Thus the people were disarmed; it was until a few days
17 ago we used to say, 'we are the army.'
18 "My question is: Where are the weapons and what will happen to us
19 now that we do not have the concept of All People's Defence? How shall we
20 resolve these issues?
21 "What to do, where and how, if a rifle is shot from somebody's
22 shoulder at marked Serbian houses?"
23 So a deputy in the parliament of the Republic of Serbia is putting
24 this question precisely because an identical procedure is being carried
25 out in Serbia, weapons taken and placed in JNA warehouses. And then we
1 have the answer.
2 Is it clear and was it clear to you at least in those days,
3 Mr. Selak, that this was also done in Serbia? So not just in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina. It was a decision of the federal authorities, and it was
5 implemented as you see. It fully coincides which you yourself said
6 occurred in Serbia. The same applied to the Republic of Serbia. Are you
7 aware of that?
8 A. The weapons were relocated by the Yugoslav army, later distributed
9 it to members of only one ethnic group, as has been proven through a host
10 of documents available in the Tribunal.
11 Q. We'll come to that too, as you have information regarding these
12 minor distortions which throw a completely different light on the matter,
13 but we'll come to that.
14 Mr. Groome also referred to tab number 4 containing the
15 conclusions regarding the assessment of the situation, and he insisted
16 that you read out the date. This was addressed by the commander of the
17 2nd Military District, Milutin Kukanjac. And he also speaks about the
18 situation on the ground under (a). "Krajina (without Eastern Slavonia),"
19 as that was not the area of responsibility of the 2nd Military District,
20 he says: "According to reliable information, gradually and very
21 persistently," and this was the situation on the 19th of March, 1992, he
22 takes -- "the moderate elements, the leadership recently constituted in
23 Vukovar, is taking the initiative," that is, the leadership of the
24 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
25 And then he says that, "The new authorities are working on ousting
1 Milan Babic from the office of President of Knin municipality." You know
2 that the problem with Babic occurred precisely because he refused to
3 accept the Vance Plan, and the majority in the Assembly of the Republic of
4 Serbian Krajina supported it as is the -- as did the leadership of Serbia,
5 supported that plan.
6 And he says here that, "The behaviour of Milan Babic and his
7 supporters could cause certain problems during the transfer of territory
8 between our forces and the UN forces and the withdrawal of our forces."
9 However, he doesn't believe it will cause any major problems.
10 Then he speaks about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 With respect to Krajina, did Milutin Kukanjac give a correct
12 description of the situation as it was at the time?
13 A. I cannot talk about the political situation in the so-called
14 Serbian Krajinas. I went there only officially to tour the units. But I
15 can't talk about the political situation, and I don't want to make any
17 Q. Very well. But this is a document that has been tendered through
18 you. So please -- please note under (b) he says that in the federal
19 republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, "The situation is virtually dramatic,
20 especially in Herzegovina (Mostar, Capljina), around Bosanski Brod,
21 Travnik, and some others. Polarisation along national lines is
22 increasingly evident. Interethnic hatred in all spheres of life is
23 increasingly more obvious. All this has an inescapable effect on members
24 of the army and the options of individuals, especially in the ranks of the
1 And then he says: "Regardless of statements on the need for
2 cooperation and tolerance, the national parties are drawing increasingly
3 further apart. This is the characteristic of the Serbian Democratic Party
4 and the Party of Democratic Action."
5 So he is saying that these parties are drifting further away from
6 one another. He's not taking anyone's side in that situation.
7 A. You could explain it that way. However, the second part of the
8 document says other things, gives other instructions and guidelines in
9 that same document.
10 Q. Let's go to the end of the document.
11 A. Yes, I agree we should go to the end of the document because it
12 says that under the European Community talks that several important points
13 have come to the fore. And he says: "First, Alija Izetbegovic, the SDA
14 party, Party of Democratic Action, most Muslims are negotiating and
15 believe that an independent sovereign Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina will
16 be created under their auspices in which they would play dominant role.
17 Second, the Serbian people have opted for Yugoslavia," it says, "and if
18 they can't have this then the only consideration is a confederal
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means a respect for all three nations living in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina which would then be a separate state but a confederal
21 one, along confederal lines."
22 And then he says the third variance simply does not exist. Simply
23 there is no third variant. And "Third, the Croatian people and their
24 party, the HDZ," that's the following paragraph, "are advocating albeit
25 cautiously a confederal Bosnia-Herzegovina; in practice, the Croatians
1 have done much for this option. Their advocacy for the unit -- for a
2 unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina is more formal in nature. Such behaviour is
3 more indicative of Muslim/Croatian coalition against the Serbs rather than
4 a realistic option." Is that true and correct, Mr. Selak.
5 A. Well, you're reading all this from the document quite correctly.
6 Q. All right. Fine. And then he goes on to say under 4 that he had
7 a visit from Cutileiro and that Cutileiro said that all sides are at
8 starting positions and that he wants to hear the opinions of the
9 commander, and he presented him with those views. And so on and so forth.
10 And he says, "two facts are quite evident: First, that the Serbs
11 are satisfied and second, that the document," and he's referring to the
12 Cutileiro plan, "are interpreted with so much variety that nothing is
13 clear any longer." Is that what it says?
14 A. That's what the document says.
15 Q. And then he goes on to speak about the situation in the field and
16 the JNA, and he says, "The relationship of the HDZ towards the JNA is
17 growing more antagonistic by the day." Then he goes on to say that there
18 is reference to a "so-called 'Yugo army' that brutally murdered Croats and
19 destroyed houses." And then he goes on to quote under quotations, "'That
20 is a Serbo-Chetnik army.' And that one gets the impression that any talks
21 of the possibility of the army remaining in the Croatian areas in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and some kind of cooperation simply does not stand a
23 chance given the present situation." Is that right?
24 A. Yes. But the army did stay on to the strength of four corps of
25 the Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Then he goes on to say "the role of the army" -- and anyway, I
2 read out to you the piece of information saying that the Army of Republika
3 Srpska was established.
4 A. That's what I'm saying.
5 Q. That it was made up of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina just
6 like the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina made up the citizens of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- was made up of them that is to say that is the
9 A. Yes, but the Serb army received 20 tanks, 1.018 APCs, and 1.260
10 howitzers, et cetera, whereas the others didn't receive a single rifle.
11 Q. Yes, we'll come to that who was issued with what and what actually
12 happened there, but among others it says under point (3), "The role of the
13 army in preventing bloodshed in Sarajevo on the 3rd and 4th of March 1992
14 had strong reverberations in the positive sense of the word among all the
15 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina." And then it goes on to say that, "The
16 party's leaders at all level are trying to minimise the role of the army
17 with the Croatian people, that among that night among his people and are
18 proving quite successful. And I'm sure you'll remember that the army did
19 prevent bloodshed and all the rest of it. Do you remember those events,
20 Mr. Selak?
21 A. I don't remember the key details. I know it happened but I can't
22 remember the specifics and details. I can't comment. It's not that I
23 don't want to; I can't comment on the details.
24 Q. And point B says, "the role of the JNA army that night revived the
25 Muslim people's trust towards the JNA to a great degree. The district
1 command has received most telegrams, letters and telephone calls from
2 Muslims as a sign of gratitude to us for preventing bloodshed. We have
3 learnt that the leadership of the SDA and some other parties are reviewing
4 a plan that would again turn the Muslim people against the JNA. Up to
5 now, they have not proved successful." My comment afterwards:
6 Unfortunately they did succeed; isn't that right sir?
7 A. No, unfortunately, 1.078 lives were what it cost. That was the
8 result. Those were the lives that were lost of all this.
9 Q. The result of the referendum?
10 A. The result of the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. And who perpetrated the aggression, the Bosnian Herzegovinians
12 against themselves?
13 A. No. But with the forces of Greater Serbia and Montenegro.
14 Q. The Army of Republika Srpska was composed of people from
15 Republika Srpska, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, or perhaps from Yugoslavia.
16 Which was it?
17 A. From Serbia and Montenegro.
18 Q. Well, the few volunteers from Serbia and Montenegro, Mr. Selak,
19 can you compare that at all with the number of Mujahedin who had come in
20 to fight on the Muslim side?
21 A. Yes. Those from Ukraine, Belorussia, and Romania, the ones that
22 came in from Yugoslavia and the volunteers from Yugoslavia, Arkan's men,
23 Seselj's men and all the rest of them.
24 Q. Well, you can count them on the fingers of one hand.
25 JUDGE MAY: This kind of argument is not going to get us anywhere.
1 Let's move on to something else.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well. Mr. Groome drew your attention in particular to a
4 portion of this document entitled: "Certain experiences" or, rather,
5 "Experiences" is the chapter heading. That's on page 5 of this document.
6 A. Yes, I've found it.
7 Q. Now, I'm going to draw your attention to something that Mr. Groome
8 might have omitted to focus on. He spoke -- speaks of certain experiences
9 and says, "most of the armed Serbs did not wish to leave their territory
10 proper." And in brackets it says, under inverted commas, doorstep or
11 threshold, from their own threshold, in fact, "but to defend their
12 villages, parts of towns and nearby military facilities; this especially
13 pertains to Serbs in areas where the Muslims are the majority population."
14 So they are afraid for their -- the lives of their families and safety of
15 their families because they are in jeopardy. Isn't that so, Mr. Selak?
16 A. What you've just read out is what it says in the document. Now,
17 what their actual behaviour and conduct was --
18 Q. You mean to say they didn't have anything to fear?
19 A. Well, we see what happened in the territory controlled by the Army
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that there were no camps, that there was no
21 genocide as happened the other side. So that tells you something, doesn't
22 it, sir?
23 Q. Well, I don't -- I assume that you know that there were 400 camps
24 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia for Serbs. I'm sure you are aware of
1 A. I also know that there were 640 camps which were held by the Serbs
2 where they incarcerated women and children, children as young as 1 year
3 old and elderly persons.
4 Q. You don't know that. In you did know that then you would also
5 know about the people who brought you here to testify, not even the people
6 who brought you here to testify can claim that.
7 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to allow these sort of arguments to
8 continue. Stick to this document. If you've got any specific questions
9 about it, ask them.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Well, he also indicates that certain leaders of the Serbian
12 Democratic Party are advocating a distancing from the JNA and creation of
13 some other army, "disassociation from the JNA and the creation of a second
14 army which could have negative consequences for the JNA," and that's quite
15 true. And that the SAO assemblies are making ultimatums on the army and
16 that is true too, "issuing conditions or ultimatums to the army," which is
17 true. And then he goes on to say that "it would be indispensable to put a
18 stop to the arming of volunteer units until the situation quietens down"
19 and so on and so forth.
20 And then further on in that same document it refers to warehouses,
21 depots. It is RMR, which means materiel, war reserves, the situation and
22 problems of dislocation. And then it goes on to state that from
23 Donji Lapac, this should be transferred to Bosanski Petrovac because it is
24 more secure. Donji Lapac is on Serb territory as well but in Krajina.
25 A. Like Bosanski Petrovac too.
1 Q. What did you say?
2 A. Just like Bosanski Petrovac.
3 Q. I assume Bosanski Petrovac is in Bosnia?
4 A. But it is a majority Serb population. So it wasn't relocated to
5 Gornji Vakuf or Travnik.
6 Q. All right. It was relocated to the Bosnia-Herzegovina territory
7 and the Golubic depot near Knin and Golubic is mentioned as a training
8 centre here. And it has been relocated to Bosansko Grahovo where a new
9 depot was to be formed?
10 A. Yes, Bosansko Grahovo, there 90 per cent of the population were
11 Serbs, Your Honours. Take a look at the 1991 population census.
12 Q. He's relocating it from Knin?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Moving it to a more secure location?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. So from the Doboj depot to the Tumare, Trsko Brdo depot which is
17 ten kilometres from Zavidovici, and then the Sevarlije depot which you
18 quoted is thrown out of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina completely and
19 is being sent to Serbia, relocated there. So, not only is he not bringing
20 in from Serbia, he is sending reserves out into Serbia. Isn't that so,
21 Mr. Selak?
22 A. Yes. But take a look at the date, because it was only later that
23 these shortages of ammunition, weapons and all the rest of it was making
24 itself felt. At that time it was ballast, dead weight, and they didn't
25 want that to fall into hands of the enemy or, rather, the other side.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. So this is transference from the depots and not handing out of any
2 kind. Then it says the relocation of these reserves are being unified
3 with the JNA for security purposes.
4 And on page 8, he specifies that "in the Faletici depot and
5 Hadzici depot, Usivak, Igman, and Krupanjska Rijeka, there is a vast
6 quantity" - and the word is vast - "vast quantity of Territorial Defence
7 means and resources and those of the JNA." So that is what you used.
8 Isn't that right, Mr. Selak?
9 A. Yes. And we know the reason why this left Hadzici and Faletici,
10 because it was a Muslim-populated area. So I can prove that too on the
11 basis of the 1991 population census.
12 Q. And then it goes on to say, "bearing in mind the option that soon
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be recognised as a state and that the Serb people
14 did not wish to remain and live in a 'ghetto' state, one could expect
15 numerous problems vis-a-vis the JNA." Are you aware of that?
16 A. That is what it says in the document. But I'm not surprised to
17 see who wrote it and that the person who wrote it should have this kind of
19 Q. And it says, "caution the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina even
20 more strongly through the use of various methods that they should not make
21 any moves against the JNA which could provoke a reaction or clash. There
22 has been much success in this respect following the well-known events that
23 took place in Sarajevo in early March this year, and then he goes on to
24 say that this was also precisely said by Jose Cutileiro a couple of days
25 ago in talks," et cetera, "and that attention was drawn to the severe
1 consequences of the EEC, should support this negative stand towards the
2 JNA." Then he speaks of the need to "eliminate all lies about the army."
3 So judging by all this, is what General Kukanjac states and writes
4 in this document, is it an expression of the objective state of affairs
5 that reigned at the time, that prevailed at the time, and that the JNA had
6 an equal attitude towards one and all, behaved equally towards everyone or
7 do you claim the contrary?
8 A. He did write that the JNA had relationship of equality to
9 everybody, but what he did, the pulling out of reserves and his subsequent
10 behaviour and conduct deny this, Your Honours.
11 Q. All right. That is what you claim.
12 A. Yes. I am here under oath, under the solemn declaration, and I'm
13 telling you how things were, how things stood.
14 Q. All right. Fine. I'm going to try and move on. You spoke of the
15 next portion in detail. Mr. Groome emphasised that in tab 7, in order to
16 save time that there were a number of documents organised within tab 7. I
17 didn't analyse them all, but I know that tab 7 has been compiled in
18 tabular form with columns. And we have your comments here, Mr. Selak,
19 which means that there's a document where you -- which is called the "List
20 of participants in the national liberation war from Kotor Varos to be
21 provided with identify arms." That is one document. And they were the
22 veterans, in fact, the Partisans of the national liberation war, who were
23 provided with these sidearms for their own protection. Is that right,
24 Mr. Selak?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You said there was one Muslim on the list?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you happen to notice that beside the name of that particular
4 Muslim it says that he was the leader of the department, commander of the
5 department that numbered 10 to 15 people?
6 A. Ten men in fact, that he was the komandir, the commander. Yes
7 that was stated.
8 Q. And that he was a Muslim, the commander was a Muslim?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So would you call that a hostile act against Muslims?
11 A. Yes, but they were World War II veterans, over 65 years of age, 70
12 years of age. They were not conscripts. And there were Muslims in Serbia
13 and in Republika Srpska who stayed on, and every man is responsible for
14 his own behaviour and conduct.
15 Q. That is my view too. Everybody should be held responsible for
16 their own conduct and behaviour, not for other people's conducts and
18 A. Yes, yes, I agree with you completely.
19 Q. Then you have the TO Bosanski Petrovac document from the Municipal
20 Staff there written by Captain First Class Obo Brzic [phoen], and you say
21 the request of the 13th of December by the Territorial Defence of Bosanski
22 Petrovac to the logistics base, and all that took place while the SFRY,
23 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in existence and the
24 Socialist Federal Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina too. Is that right,
25 Mr. Selak
1 A. Yes. That is the date. It pertains to those times, that period
2 in history.
3 Q. Then you have that Colonel Skondric supports the request and
4 expounds on why he feels this should be issued. And Gradmir Petrovic is
5 mentioned as well. So all that relates to the time of normal
6 communication between the army and the JNA.
7 Now, do you recall, Mr. Selak, that this morning Mr. Groome asked
8 you where the weapons came from when he spoke about the volunteers, and
9 your answer was -- you explained to him that in part, it came from the
10 logistics bases there, from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina itself,
11 and that in part, as you said, I believe, it came from the part of the
12 weaponry of the units which were withdrawing from Slovenia and Croatia. I
13 believe you said that, didn't you?
14 A. The units or the material reserves from the depots and bases,
15 because the logistics base in Zagreb and Karlovac were disbanded. So
16 those technical resource and materiel were transported to the territory of
17 the Banja corps in trucks.
18 Q. All right. So you said this was from the logistical bases and the
19 resources of the units withdrawing from Slovenia and Croatia; is that
21 A. Yes, because the Zagreb Corps was disbanded.
22 Q. Does that show that at that period of time on the territory of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina there was a vast concentration of weaponry, generally
24 speaking, and military materiel; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So the military materiel and weaponry did not come from Serbia.
2 It was already located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, wasn't it?
3 A. At that time, yes.
4 Q. That's what I wanted to hear, because the opposite is being
5 claimed here. I won't belabour the point, and continue along this
6 tabulary compilation of documents.
7 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. That may be a convenient moment to
9 Yes. Mr. Selak, you wanted to say something.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be allowed to
11 explain something with respect to this document, the document that the
12 accused has just asked me about? I didn't answer your question.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You did answer my questions.
15 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let -- let the witness finish and then
16 we'll adjourn.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the weapons and
18 military materiel which was pulled out of Slovenia and Croatia passed
19 through the territory of Bosanska Krajina too. There was no need to have
20 weapons and materiel from Serbia for the territory of Bosanska Krajina.
21 That's what I said. I don't know about the eastern part of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina which borders on Serbia and Montenegro. So much from
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, Mr. Kern has returned with the excerpts
1 that were referred to of Mr. Selak's notebook. With the Court's
2 permission, I would ask the Registrar to pass this to the accused so he
3 may use it during the break if he wishes.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we will do, but we will adjourn first. Let's
5 adjourn. Twenty minutes.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. We'll sit on until 2.00 to try
9 and make up time. Yes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Selak, will you look at tab number 9 that you've commented
12 on. It is dated the 3rd of January, 1992. It is -- says that it is on
13 behalf of Milan Skondric, the 530th logistics base. Mr. Groome asked you
14 in connection with what it says here in the second paragraph that the
15 point is "to control the territory administrative and local
16 communications, protect facilities of particular significance, and
17 coordinate action by the JNA units in the eventuality of combat
19 Mr. Groome asked you whether any combat activity had been planned
20 and you said that you were not aware of any.
21 My question is: Is it clear from this document that no reference
22 is made to any planned combat operations? It says quite the opposite. It
23 says should or in the eventuality of any combat operations in this area.
24 It means should a state of necessity occur. So there was no plan for
25 executing combat operations but only should people be in jeopardy. That
1 is the expression used. Is that clear or not, Mr. Selak?
2 A. That is what it says in the document signed by Colonel Skondric.
3 However, there were plans for the use of JNA units, war plans, which were
4 updated every year so that such plans did exist.
5 Q. Yes. For decades, ever since the institution called the army
6 exists, it always has its plans. But Mr. Groome didn't ask you whether
7 the army had its plans but whether you were aware of any planned combat
8 operations, any plan of combat operations. And it is quite clear from
9 here that the -- from this that the reference is to the eventuality of
10 combat operations should the armed forces have to be used. So my comment
11 is that no reference is made to specific plans, to concrete plans, but
12 only to the possibility of any combat operations.
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. I'll leave out some of your exhibits because I don't have too much
15 time. Now, for instance, let's have a look at number 12. "To the command
16 of the 10th corps, the 530th logistics base, to the commander personally."
17 Telegram of the 10th corps regarding the formation of the Territorial
18 Defence of the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa. And an explanation
19 is given.
20 This actually, and am I right, Mr. Selak, that this is a local
21 exchange of correspondence between you and the municipality in your area?
22 A. No. The commander of the 2nd Military District is sending a
23 report as to how the 10th Corps command should act, as well as the 530th
24 Logistics Base, and that if they don't resolve the problem themselves they
25 should address themselves to the technical administration of the SSNO.
1 That is the Federal Secretariat for National Defence.
2 Q. And you need to resolve it as the commander of the logistics base?
3 A. No. Colonel Skondric, the 530th Logistic Base. Which was later
4 joined with our base later on.
5 Q. Was it within your terms of reference?
6 A. In that period of time, no. So I won't ask you anything more
7 about this in particular, as I believe that such things and relations with
8 the Territorial Defence were of no -- nothing secret to you. You were
9 well aware of these things.
10 A. They should not have been a secret, because I logistically
11 supplied all the units in my area of responsibility including the
12 Territorial Defence, all the needs for combat.
13 Q. So was this a secret for you or not?
14 A. No, it wasn't any secret. I was well aware of them.
15 Q. That is what I wanted to hear. You have here in tab 15 the
16 request for the replenishment of TO units and the SJB, the public security
17 service, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then it says "The request of the district staff of the TO for
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was this during the period when the JNA was functioning normally?
23 There were no conflicts. The Territorial Defence of Bihac is quite
24 regularly requesting replenishment in weapons.
25 A. This is a unique case of the chief of the service of the command
1 of the 2nd Military District to send to the General Staff in Belgrade
2 permission to issue infantry weapons to the TO staff of a municipality
3 which had a Muslim majority.
4 Q. Very well. The point was to meet the request of that
6 A. Yes, but this is the only case, not for Petrovac, Grahovo, Drvar,
7 Kljuc, and other municipalities, but only for Bihac which had a majority
8 Muslim population.
9 Q. Tell me, please, was this some sort of discrimination towards
10 Bihac which had a Muslim majority?
11 A. I'm not talking about discrimination but a lengthier way of
12 dealing with this problem.
13 Q. As we now have Exhibit 16 too, or tab 16 where he talks about the
14 AP 7 -- command of the 2nd Military District, "Due to the demonstrated
15 need and the current situation in the city of Sarajevo issue the following
16 to Novo Sarajevo Territorial Defence Staff, 250 automatic rifles, 7.62
17 millimetres." You have already commented on this document.
18 Tell me, were the Serbs in Sarajevo endangered or not?
19 A. In those days when this was happening, I did not have any explicit
20 or daily reports about events in Sarajevo.
21 Q. So you're unable to answer that question. So that -- then I won't
22 bother you with it.
23 A. But for the army commander of a military district to send an order
24 to the battalion is rather illogical. And in Novo Sarajevo, the majority
25 of the population were Serbs.
1 Q. Look, please, at tab 18 now in which Talic explained on the 7th of
2 May, 1992, that members of the JNA who are not from Bosnia-Herzegovina are
3 leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
4 A. Not Talic. This is Vukelic, the assistant for moral guidance.
5 We've already commented on this if that is the document you're referring
7 Q. No. I'm sorry. I referred to tab 18 at the beginning. I'm
8 talking about tab 17. My mistake. I gave you the wrong number.
9 From this we see that members from the JNA who are not from the
10 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina are leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Is that right, Mr. Selak?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us move on.
14 A. But upon their request, not in obligatory form, because there's
15 another document, Your Honours, in which it is clearly stated that
16 officers from the Army of Republika Srpska born in Serbia and Montenegro
17 cannot leave their positions without the permission of the General Staff
18 of FRY.
19 Q. Mr. Selak, as you know that the decision was taken for all of them
20 to leave, I assume you're talking about tab 19 which refers only to the
21 desire to prevent chaos so that people should not leave in a disorganised
22 manner but that their departure should be registered and implemented in an
23 organised way, not that they shouldn't leave.
24 A. From the logistics base of which I was in command, I don't know of
25 a single case of a Serb born in Serbia or Montenegro to have left in June
1 or July except for a Bosniak from Montenegro, but not a single Serb did
3 Q. So that is in contradiction with what we noted a moment ago,
4 because we said that they had left, all of them.
5 A. I am talking about the logistics base.
6 Q. So actually you mean the administrative staff.
7 A. No, no, not administrative staff. Ammunition depots, fuel
8 warehouses are not held by administrative staff. They are specialists for
9 ammunition and weapons, chemical devices and so on.
10 Q. Yes. Those are ancillary services but experts, and they cannot
11 leave until they are replaced, but they are all leaving once a solution is
12 found, an appropriate solution is found.
13 A. I repeat, I don't remember that any one of them had left. And
14 there's a table of the corps command, Your Honours, in which it can be
15 seen after the 18th of May how many officers remained in the corps command
16 who were born in Serbia and Montenegro. On the table, you can see their
17 names mentioned.
18 Q. Which is the table you're referring to?
19 A. It was in the Brdjanin case or Tadic.
20 Q. So we'll look into that subsequently. Let us please look now at
21 this table of yours that you prepared, and it is under tab 21, and it says
22 here a review of the logistics flow between the Army of Republika Srpska
23 and the army of Yugoslavia linked to the 14th Logistics Base after the
24 18th of May.
25 In that connection, in your work notebook that you quoted from,
1 the date was the 4th of June, 1992. You described what General Djukic
2 said. Who would be responsible for the salaries of the Army of Republika
3 Srpska, as you say, with the head count on the 19th of May, 1992, which is
4 the date when the JNA is leaving and it is no longer the JNA in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
6 A. The JNA officially was leaving, but the units remained and were
7 renamed the Army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. The Army of Republika Srpska consisted of members who were from
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Just as the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina consisted mostly of
12 members and officers from Bosnia-Herzegovina only they were Muslims.
13 A. No. There were Serbs and Croats. The Bosniaks were the majority,
14 of course. But when we're talking about this order of General Djukic's,
15 it was implemented throughout the duration of the war, Your Honours.
16 Q. Let us clear one thing up, please. You're talking about salaries
17 for those people.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it clear to you, Mr. Selak, that the people retained their
20 required rights to a personal income and social insurance? Is that clear
21 or not?
22 A. Yes. But they retain the same workplaces.
23 Q. They retained their acquired rights. You even mentioned pensions,
24 and certainly someone receiving a pension is entitled to receiving that
25 pension out of the social insurance funds to which his contribution had
1 been invested for that pension during his years of service, and you
2 yourself said here when talking about salaries, you used the expression
3 "One cannot live off air alone. If they hadn't received salaries, they
4 would have nothing to live on." And you even explained that they would
5 have to get their meals from charity canteens, et cetera.
6 So the members of the JNA up until then who stayed on in Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina and who joined the Army of Republika Srpska retained their
8 acquired right to a personal income and social insurance. So what? Do
9 you believe that they shouldn't have retained those rights and that they
10 should have got their meals from soup kitchens and would have nothing to
11 feed their families with?
12 A. Something else are at stake. You know that in our people, in the
13 Balkans there is a saying: I work for the one who pays me. Si if I'm
14 paid by the FRY, then I work for them too, don't I?
15 Q. Mr. Selak, in your case that is absolutely not true. You're
16 saying that those people retained their rights to a personal income and
17 insurance and that was a kind of aid which no one is disputing that the
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did provide to former members of the JNA.
19 But what I am endeavouring to challenge is that by your comments on this
20 table, you said that this showed that the General Staff of the army of
21 Yugoslavia - I've noted down what you said and I'm quoting - was competent
22 or responsible when it came to control and command of the Army of
23 Republika Srpska, which is absolutely not true.
24 So do you know that the Army of Republika Srpska was an
25 independent army, that Republika Srpska adopted its own constitution and
1 that pursuant to that constitution there was a Supreme Command?
2 JUDGE MAY: We will deal with these things one at a time.
3 You're not disputing then, Mr. Milosevic, as I understand it, that
4 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did provide salaries, did pay for the
5 personnel of the VRS; is that right?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, people retained their
7 vested rights to a salary and social insurance.
8 JUDGE MAY: So you're not disputing that they paid. I mean,
9 whatever you call it.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What I am saying is that from what
11 Mr. Selak is saying is something that I am challenging, that is that the
12 army of Yugoslavia had any kind of authority with regard to the control
13 and command of the Army of Republika Srpska.
14 JUDGE MAY: Let us pause there. You've heard what the accused is
15 challenging. Did the army, the VJ, the army of Yugoslavia have any sort
16 of authority with regard to the control and command of the VRS?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when the army of
18 Republika Srpska was formed, General Adzic, the chief of staff, signed the
19 order saying that the commander of the VRS would be Lieutenant Colonel
20 Mladic. That is one point.
21 And secondly, throughout the duration of the war I was in
22 Banja Luka. There were regular communications, supplies, everything went
23 via Belgrade. The politicians made the decisions, headed by the accused
24 and Karadzic, and then this was carried out and implemented by the army.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Mr. Selak, let us be quite precise. Did the Army of
2 Republika Srpska have its own command?
3 A. Yes, it did. And in the Republic of Srpska, was there a Supreme
4 Defence Council?
5 A. All the institutions existed of the Army of Republika Srpska as
6 being an independent state, and those within its composition. And this
7 was signed by the President of the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Krajisnik.
9 A. Yes, that's right, Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. I'm sorry, but we didn't
11 hear the question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In formal terms, yes, but not de
14 JUDGE MAY: Would you repeat the question, please.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it clear that the Army of Republika Srpska was, therefore, an
17 autonomous and independent army, not under the command of any kind of
18 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia?
19 A. There is a document in the Tribunal which states that an officer
20 leaving the Army of Republika Srpska will be held responsible and
21 accountable in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And I was shown that
22 document a few days ago.
23 Therefore, that gives you an answer.
24 Q. It doesn't provide an answer. You said a moment ago that in
25 formal terms it was separated but not de facto, in actual fact.
1 A. Yes, and I say that again. I can confirm that.
2 Q. All right. Now, is there any kind of combat assignment, any kind
3 of order, the usual type of order in an army which could go from the
4 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia towards the Main Staff of the Army
5 of Republika Srpska? Was there ever any such order or did they have their
6 own Supreme Defence Council and their own Supreme Staff?
7 A. Your Honours, there was no need for decisions of this kind because
8 the goals were the same, and that was to create a new Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Mr. Selak, you're a soldier yourself, a military man, and you know
10 that if a chain of command exists, then that chain of command must
11 function. It must be operational. Now, as you cannot show us a single
12 order, nor did any order ever exist, then that chain of command does not
13 exist by the same token; isn't that right, Mr. Selak?
14 A. My answer was yes. In formal terms no, but actually it did.
15 Q. All right. That is your conviction. I'm not going to dwell on
16 that point. But I say that if there are no orders there cannot be a chain
17 of command. You know that as a soldier. You graduated from all the
18 military schools.
19 A. There wasn't need for orders of that kind because it was the
20 politicians that order the army. And you were in command on the 30th of
21 June, 1991. Mamula, Mr. Jovic, and all the rest of them said the same
22 thing at the time.
23 Q. Neither Jovic said that, nor could Mamula have because Mamula had
24 retired long before that.
25 A. Well he gave a statement to that effect.
1 Q. What Mamula said when he was a pensioner and retired, I really
2 can't say. I don't know. But both in formal terms and actual terms, that
3 is quite impossible. But let's move on.
4 Mention was made here of civilians, civilians serving in the army
5 were usually various types of experts, professionals.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. They don't wear uniforms, but they are employed by the army. They
8 can be a driver. They can be a mechanic.
9 A. They can also be doctors and explosives professionals.
10 Q. I don't know what you mean by this pyrotechnics technician. What
11 does that mean?
12 A. For explosive devices and lethal devices. That's what I mean.
13 Q. All right. Fine. Mr. Selak, I'm sure you didn't have any
14 explosive devices and devices of that kind in the Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
15 And you say that over there they adhered to war law and the customs of war
16 and that there were no war crimes, ethnic cleansing or anything of that
17 kind. That's what you claim, isn't it?
18 A. Well, the figures speak for themselves. How many casualties there
19 were, civilians, children, and all the rest of it, and how many
20 combatants. The Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina Camp Inmates has the
21 precise facts and figures. As to the casualties, children ranging from
22 the ages of 1 year to old men of 60 and 70.
23 Q. Unfortunately, all of this was very tragic, and all this did exist
24 on all three sides during the civil war.
25 A. It was not a civil war.
1 JUDGE MAY: Let us not go into these generalisations. Come back
2 to more concrete questions.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I won't enter into any
4 generalities, generalisations. May we see brief footage from a tape where
5 we can see the kind of conduct and behaviour of that Army of
7 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this for this witness? Is he
8 shown on it?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, he isn't shown.
10 JUDGE MAY: Then there's no point showing it to him.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Well, it will have some
12 sense for something else in due course, but we're talking about crimes,
13 precisely the crimes of those -- that army, the Army of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everybody must be held accountable
16 for their own conduct.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes, I completely agree with that, that everybody must be
19 responsible for their own conduct and behaviour. Mr. Selak, you say you
20 are from Visegrad by origin; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And your statement of 1996 says so on page 1, paragraph 1. You
23 say that during the Second World War, crimes were committed against
24 Muslims there.
25 A. Yes, terrible crimes.
1 Q. Who committed those terrible crimes against the Muslims
2 in -- during the war?
3 A. The Chetniks.
4 Q. Tell me, please, as you're from Visegrad yourself, and as you say
5 crimes were committed against the Muslims, do you know that the uprising
6 against the occupiers was started precisely in Serbia on the 7th of July,
7 1941? Are you aware of that?
8 A. The uprising started in Drvar. There was an uprising in Drvar in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the same time.
10 Q. Yes, one month later or several weeks later. It doesn't really
11 matter. But all the people rose up --
12 JUDGE MAY: This isn't a matter for the witness. Whatever was in
13 his statement is totally irrelevant.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. As you are from Visegrad yourself, in your town after the
17 multi-party elections were held in 1990, were threats and pressure brought
18 to bear and physical attacks against Serbs as well, and were they the
19 genocidal slogans about the need to eradicate the Serbs from Visegrad? Do
20 you remember those slogans?
21 A. I'm sure that's not true.
22 Q. All right then. Is it true and correct, Mr. Selak, that on the
23 1st of July, 1991, we're talking about 1991, on the
24 liberation -- Liberation Square in Visegrad, a statute was pulled down to
25 Nobel prize winner Ivo Andric, Nobel Prize winner for literature. He was
1 an author, Ivo Andric. And this was perpetrated by the brother of one of
2 the leaders of the Party for Democratic Action in Visegrad. And the head
3 destroyed with a hammer, smashed with a hammer, the marble head of this
4 statue. And this entire event was televised, was filmed by Muslim
5 television at that time, that is to say the 1st of July, 1991, when the
6 statue to Nobel Prize winner, the sole Nobel Prize winner in Yugoslavia,
7 Ivo Andric, was destroyed for the simple and only fact that he was a Serb.
8 Do you know about that fact? Have you heard about that event?
9 JUDGE MAY: Do you know nothing about this, particularly of your
10 own knowledge?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is this, that the statue
12 was toppled. Who did that, I don't know. I don't know the details. But
13 I know on the bridge of Visegrad thousands of people were slaughtered and
14 that the entire Bosniak population had to leave --
15 JUDGE MAY: That's another matter.
16 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, move on.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So you do know. It's the 1st of July, which makes it in the
19 middle of 1991 exactly.
20 JUDGE MAY: You made the point.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And I'm sure you will remember already in August 1991 there was a
23 slogan put out, a pamphlet distributed by the Muslims in Visegrad which
24 was distributed with 20 instructions, what should be done to the Serbs to
25 expel them or destroy them.
1 A. I'm hearing that for the first time.
2 Q. Don't -- you don't remember that one of the instructions was
3 prevent your children from playing with Serb children, urinate in front of
4 them, et cetera?
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Selak, were you in Visegrad at this time?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was in Banja Luka.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, Mr. Selak is from Visegrad
9 JUDGE MAY: Of course he's from Visegrad originally. It doesn't
10 mean he was there at the time. He was in Banja Luka.
11 Are we going to have any witnesses from Visegrad?
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, that is one of the witnesses -- that is
13 one of the municipalities we are proposing to introduce through 92 bis (D)
14 evidence, so there will be evidence but in 92 bis (D) form.
15 JUDGE MAY: There may be one or two live ones.
16 MR. GROOME: There may be one or two live ones. If I might also
17 to clear up this matter, I believe the witness left Visegrad at the age of
18 5, so he hadn't been at Visegrad for a very long time.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But then it be sensible to have at least one
20 witness live so that these matters can be put to...
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll make sure there's one witness live from Visegrad
23 and you can put these matters to him.
24 Mr. Selak, when did you leave Visegrad? When did you leave?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I left Visegrad in
1 1941. I was fleeing from the Chetniks, and I reached Sarajevo, and I was
2 placed into a children's hostel there where I spent some years, 14 in
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Selak, does that mean that you never went to Visegrad after
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And during those critical years, did you go to Visegrad on a
10 A. No, because my duties were elsewhere in Banja Luka. I couldn't
11 leave Banja Luka for even a week.
12 Q. But I'm sure you'll remember as a JNA officer at that time, you
13 were still a JNA officer, that is to say April 1992 when this man Murat
14 Sabanovic, who otherwise demolished the Ivo Andric statue and threatened
15 to destroy the hydroelectric power plant --
16 JUDGE MAY: No. You're not wasting time with this. You've heard
17 this witness left in 1941. It's absolutely pointless to ask him more
18 questions about it. To ensure that you have somebody you can put these
19 matters to, we will make sure that a witness from Visegrad gets here.
20 Now, no more questions about that for this witness.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, Yugoslavia was a
22 small country, and Bosnia, one of its republics, even smaller. Everybody
23 knew about everything, and I am sure the witness knows about that event
24 without a doubt. But he doesn't like giving answers to that, and I can
25 understand that too.
1 JUDGE MAY: What we've said is that this is irrelevant as far as
2 this witness is concerned. Now, let's move on to something he can deal
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Selak, let's go back to your statement. You completed the
6 military technical academy in Zagreb. That's right, isn't it. That's
7 what it says on page 1 of the statement given in 1996?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. After you completed the Vojno Tehnicka academy, you had all the
10 prerequisites for becoming a Lieutenant Colonel but you achieved the rank
11 of Colonel?
12 A. No. I got the first rank of an officer, second lieutenant, after
13 completing the academy. I was given the rank of Colonel in 1986.
14 Q. Were you appointed to the rank Colonel ahead of time?
15 A. Extraordinary appointment.
16 Q. Right. So you were promoted to the highest officer's rank but
17 General; is that right? Before a general?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Now, this promotion, the fact that you were promoted, that fact,
20 does that testify to the fact that there was no - how shall I put this -
21 no discrimination on an ethnic basis in the army?
22 A. No. My official marks and the appreciation I got was excellent
23 work. And on the basis of this, I was given the legal prerequisites for a
24 promotion to the rank of Colonel, because my units were assessed with
25 these exceptional marks.
1 Q. That's fine, Mr. Selak, and highly positive for yourself
2 personally, but extraordinary promotion is not a right. May we then
3 conclude that the fact that you were promoted ahead of time to the rank of
4 Colonel, that this in fact meant that there was no discrimination, because
5 you were a Muslim, against you? Would that be right?
6 A. Your Honours, in 1991, there were Muslim Colonels in the Yugoslav
7 People's Army, only 28 of them, in fact. According to the national and
8 ethnic key, there should have been 200-odd. There were supposed to be 14
9 Generals, whereas there was only three Generals and so on and so forth. I
10 have an official scale and I can document that. So Selak was one of
11 those. Judged by his merits, on his merits and the results of his work.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ethnic key, there should have been a certain
13 number. What is this that you're referring to?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said ethnic key, and when I said
15 that I mean the number of inhabitants, Muslim inhabitants, Serbs, Croats
16 and so on. The break-up of the population in relation to ethnicity. So
17 that when we speak of ethnic affiliation for high-ranking officers of the
18 JNA, I'm taking -- let me take Montenegrins, there were fewest of those.
19 There should have been four Generals, whereas there were 19 Montenegrin
20 Generals. As to the Serbs, there should have been 56 Generals; there were
21 77 Generals. Muslims, there should have been 14, whereas there were only
22 three. So that was discrimination on ethnic grounds and that is the true
23 of it.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Selak, are you really claiming that in the Yugoslav People's
1 Army there was discrimination on ethnic -- on an ethnic basis?
2 A. In the General Staff and high up, yes, because I do have
3 documents, Your Honours, in my briefcase according to which five of my
4 requests for extra tuition and relocation to my superiors from Banja
5 Luka -- my superiors from Banja Luka sent good marks about me to Belgrade
6 and positive opinions but none of my requests were authorised, and I have
7 them in my briefcase.
8 Q. All right, Mr. Selak, but you received the rank of Colonel ahead
9 of time and yet you say you were discriminated against. Does that seem to
10 you to be logical?
11 A. What I said was in the course of my military service and the
12 results of my work therein, they had to give me the rank of Colonel
13 because the base commander implied a rank of Colonel. I excelled myself
14 in my work so there was no logic that somebody working like that with
15 those marks should not be promoted to Colonel.
16 Q. Very well, Mr. Selak. You mentioned the national key, that is the
17 balance between the positions and the population. Surely that depends how
18 many people opt for military service. In some ethnic groups there were
19 more people who wanted to be soldiers than in others. Surely that was the
20 structure of the army and not only the ethnic composition of Yugoslavia as
21 a whole.
22 A. Your Honours, I have information, individual information, that
23 candidates for military schools, that is Croats and Bosniaks, I'm talking
24 about these two groups, that there was discrimination against them at
25 systematic medical examinations. They were found to be physically unfit.
1 Fortis [phoen] the football player of 18 years wanted to enroll at the
2 military academy was rejected because he was found to be physically
3 unfit. And that was the procedure applied to Muslims and Croats. I know
4 that for sure. In Donji Vakuf, I know the name of the man.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Selak. I'm very glad that you were able to state
6 such things, because it is very easy to establish that that is an untruth.
7 A. That is the truth.
8 Q. It's very -- it's a good thing that you were able to say any such
10 You said that in the course of 1992, you were appointed liaison
11 with the UN forces for a brief period, that is the UN forces designated
12 for Krajina and Bosnia and Herzegovina. You say that in your statement of
13 1996, on page 3, but that you were replaced because did you not agree with
14 the decisions of the political leaders. And you say that you were
15 replaced by the Serbs; is that right?
16 A. I was replaced by the General Staff of the JNA that had appointed
17 me, but it was upon the intervention of the corps commander General
18 Vukovic, who unfortunately was killed, and he can't confirm that.
19 Q. Tell me, please, was the reason that you were moved from that
20 position the fact that you engaged in some sort of espionage activities?
21 A. No, no. Espionage, that is not true.
22 Q. Mr. Selak, on page 1 of your statement dated the 10th of March,
23 2001, you admit yourself that during your first contacts with the
24 International Criminal Tribunal, as you call it, you did not consciously
25 disclose information about your links with the Muslim resistance movement
1 in Banja Luka prior to July 1992. Is it true that you stated that?
2 A. I said that there was a resistance movement. And when I retired,
3 I was elected commander of the resistance movement staff in Banja Luka.
4 JUDGE MAY: Now, the point that the accused is making is that you
5 didn't, when you first spoke to members of the Prosecution staff, disclose
6 those links. That's apparently what it says in your statement. Now, is
7 that right that you didn't, when you first met the Prosecutors, disclose
8 those links?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because I was afraid, Your
10 Honours, for the lives of my associates who were living in the territory
11 of Republika Srpska.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So you did not intentionally disclose information about your links
14 with the Muslim resistance movement in Banja Luka prior to July 1992. Is
15 that right or not?
16 A. Yes it is.
17 Q. And is it true that while you were still in the service of the JNA
18 with the rank of colonel, on two occasions through couriers you conveyed
19 information to Muharem Krzic in Banja Luka? That is what is stated on
20 page 2, paragraph 3.
21 A. Yes, in order to protect the Muslim people from the genocide that
22 was being prepared against it by the JNA and the paramilitary units.
23 Q. I am just asking you whether you did that. You're now explaining
24 some subsequent reasons. Is it also true that you conveyed that
25 information to the government in Sarajevo using your code name Lido?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And tell me, is it true that whatever you learnt you passed on to
3 the embassies of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb and Slovenia?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You conveyed to Krzic information having to do with Sarajevo, is
6 that true?
7 A. Not having to do with Sarajevo but having to do with the lives and
8 survival of Bosniaks in Bosnian Krajina and Banja Luka, only that. I
9 don't know anything about Sarajevo.
10 Q. On page 2 of your statement of March 2001, you can find it in
11 paragraph 4.
12 A. No. The information may have reached Sarajevo, but the
13 information was about life in Banja Luka and saving Bosniaks in Banja
15 Q. Is it true that as far as the quality of that information, it was
16 more or less rumours?
17 A. No. These -- this information related to the survival of Muslims,
18 arrests of Muslims, the formation of groups such as Voltar, Merhamet,
19 arrests, killings, throwing into the Vrbas River. I reported such things.
20 Q. What about this Merhamet group? Is that a Muslim group?
21 A. It's an humanitarian organisation, Merhamet. All the leaders of
22 that organisation in Banja Luka were arrested.
23 Q. Because they engaged in humanitarian activities?
24 A. No. In order to make it clear to the Muslim population that they
25 should leave Banja Luka because they have nothing to look -- expect there
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 because they were going to arrest the more prominent representatives,
2 politicians, economists, and these would be followed by the population at
4 Q. You say, Mr. Selak, that you received information about the
5 shelling of Sarajevo from the commander of the air force, General
6 Ninkovic, with whom you were on good terms; is that right?
7 A. Yes. That is what I said. In order to protect the population
8 from the possibility of the bombing of Sarajevo by the JNA air force.
9 Q. Well, did the JNA air force bomb Sarajevo?
10 A. It did. That is the Army of Republika Srpska did, rather, planes
11 of Belgrade shelled Konjic, Sarajevo, Zvornik, and even Visegrad.
12 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, please, we can see that you said about
13 what you had heard, you say that on one day you happened to come across
14 General Talic, and you heard Ninkovic saying, "We are now prepared to hit
15 Sarajevo." And on the basis of this sentence, you said that you conveyed
16 to the SDA plans on the bombing of Sarajevo.
17 A. Not SDA. That party never interested me. I was interested in the
18 people. I was afraid that the bombing could happen and that people should
19 take shelter so as not to be killed. It was just for preventive purposes.
20 Q. I see. For preventive purposes you said that they might be
22 Tell me, in your statement you say that in most cases information
23 regarding military activities of the 1st Krajina Corps you received while
24 drinking coffee with your Serb colleagues; is that right?
25 A. Whether I was having coffee or meeting with my colleagues in the
1 street who were, until yesterday, my associates, in any event, I did get
2 information in that way too. However, there were no armed actions. Not a
3 single bullet was found, so as not to give an excuse to the Serbian army
4 to commit genocide as had occurred in Prijedor. The resistance movement
5 in Banja Luka didn't fire a single bullet.
6 Q. In your statement, you also say that there were always problems
7 with nationalism in the SFRY. You also say that there was only Serb
9 So my question, Mr. Selak, is: Did any member of your family or
10 was any of your friends persecuted on a nationalistic basis by the Serbs?
11 A. I did not have any such case within my family, but there was
12 nationalism not only among the Serbs but among the other peoples as well.
13 Q. I am glad you said that at least. And on page 4, paragraph 3, you
14 give an example. You say that on one occasion an officer called you a
15 Turk but that he was punished because of that. Is that right or not?
16 A. Your Honours, allow me to explain this particular incident. I
17 can't just say yes or no. I was in the military academy. My final year
18 at the academy, and we were going to have a bath, having a shower, and I
19 had a -- jokingly a fight were my colleague, a Serb. A Lieutenant Colonel
20 Milan Curovija, who was our supervisor didn't realise that it was a joke.
21 I raised this colleague of mine up in the air. He thought I was going to
22 throw him down on the concrete, and he said, "You Turk, let him go." Your
23 Honour, I'm not a Turk. I'm a Bosniak. This offended me. I don't wish
24 to denigrate the Turks at all in any way, but this was in his
25 subconscious, because they called us Turks in a derogatory fashion, and
1 that's why Curovija used the term. And he was punished. I heard he was
2 punish. He tried to apologise to me three years later. He came to Banja
3 Luka. But same occurred with General Adzic in 1991 in September.
4 Q. Let us not lose any more time. Even during this joke and the
5 person who said to you, "Let him go, you Turk," he was punished for doing
7 A. That's what I learnt. I was a cadet at the time, but I heard that
8 he had problems.
9 Q. On page 5 of your 1996 statement --
10 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we didn't get the question. Could it
11 be repeated, please?
12 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. The interpreters didn't get the
13 question. So let's start again. Page 5 of your 1996 statement.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Yes, page 5. You say that the Assembly of the SFRY was controlled
16 by the Serbs. Will you please explain to me how?
17 A. Because the majority of the deputies were Serbs and Montenegrins.
18 And having a majority, let's take the Macedonians too who supported them
19 in those days, that is what I had in mind when I said there was out-voting
20 in the Assembly.
21 Q. You were a senior JNA officer, so I assume that one of your duties
22 was to be familiar with the constitution of Yugoslavia. You know that the
23 Assembly had two Chambers. The Chamber of Republics and Provinces
24 consisted of the same number of deputies from each of the republics. So
25 it was absolutely not possible according to the constitution to have any
1 out-voting or any regulation to be passed in that way, that is by
2 out-voting. Are you aware of that or not? How can you say something so
4 A. Your Honour, it was this same Assembly that took the decision on
5 collecting the weapons of the TO and placing them in JNA warehouses. The
6 republics were against this, and Slovenia would not allow it. But there
7 was this out-voting in the Assembly itself. It's -- the initiative came
8 from the General Staff and then the Assembly adopted it.
9 Q. We have already established that the same procedure was applied in
10 Serbia as well. There was no discrimination. Slovenia did not respect
11 federal laws. Surely it should not be praised for that. What I'm asking
12 you is whether you as an officer, who had to be familiar with the
13 constitution, that it was not possible to have any out-voting in the
14 Assembly of Yugoslavia. If you're claiming you don't know, tell us --
15 JUDGE MAY: He says there was, so I don't think we can go on much
16 further with it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. If you think that this
18 is an argument when I'm asking him whether he knows what the constitution
19 says and what the Assembly looked at, let us cease with the arguments.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Talking about these things, that the weapons had to be placed
23 under JNA control, do you know that this was done for security reasons and
24 in all the republics? For reasons of security, not for any other
25 discriminatory reasons, but only Slovenia did not abide by that decision?
1 A. That is not true, Your Honours, because there were no problems
2 with weapons in the warehouses of the TO units, because my officers would
3 occasionally go to check the security and technical operationality of
4 these weapons. We entered the warehouses and checked the weapons, and
5 there were no problems regarding that. The aim was to take the weapons
6 from the population, from the TO, and to return it to the JNA so that it
7 could issue those weapons to whom they wanted in accordance with their own
8 plans rather than the republic, which was the only one that had any
9 authority over the TO weapons on its territory.
10 Q. You even saw that this question was raised in the parliament of
11 Serbia with the same argument. So Serbia was in the same position as the
12 others. It was a matter for the army, which was a Yugoslav army and not a
13 republican army. Surely you know that as a JNA officer. But the SFRY
14 constitution explicitly said that the defence of the country should be
15 done by the JNA and the Territorial Defence.
16 Q. Yes, but in the case of any danger of war, everything should be
17 under the control of the JNA.
18 A. Yes, in the event of war. And this was peacetime.
19 Q. But as you see, there was a war after all. I just saw that you
20 claimed that you had some information. Do you know, for instance, that in
21 October 1991, not to mention before that, I'm talking about October 1991
22 now, 27 per cent of the officer cadres in the JNA - this is the end of
23 1991 - were neither Serbs nor Montenegrins? They were not even Yugoslavs,
24 because many declared themselves as Yugoslavs. Twenty-seven per cent of
25 the officer cadres.
1 A. Your Honours, I have a table. I didn't bring with me the
2 document. It's in my new work notebook where I noted that the nationality
3 or ethnicity of people in the territory of Yugoslavia in the ranks of
4 majors, lieutenant colonels, colonels, and generals, how many there should
5 have been according to the ethnic composition and how many there were.
6 A. You're talking about the number of the inhabitants and not the
7 number in the JNA.
8 A. Yes, I do have the ethnic background of all these officer ranks.
9 Q. But the structure in the JNA can be compared with the structure of
10 the officers but not the population of Yugoslavia with the structure of
11 the officers' personnel. You can't have a baker as a general, if he's
13 A. It's interesting to note that there should have been four
14 Montenegrin generals and there were 19. Isn't this illustrative?
15 Q. But Montenegrins joined the army in large numbers as opposed to
16 some other ethnicities that had no inclination towards the military.
17 A. Yes, but they made very fast progress in their careers.
18 Q. Do you have an example of a Montenegrin making faster progress
19 than a Muslim because he was a Montenegrin?
20 A. The table speaks for itself, Your Honours. I don't wish to
21 comment on that.
22 Q. Let us not waste time on this. This table could be compared with
23 a proper reference group and certainly not with the population of
25 Do you know, for instance, that in the air force which is an elite
1 branch of any army, so the highest education is required, the longest
2 years of study, 52 per cent of the flying personnel were neither Serbs nor
3 Montenegrins nor Yugoslavs, 52 per cent?
4 A. Your Honour, I don't have those figures, and I can't comment on
6 Q. You spoke about some bombing. That's what I'm asking you about.
7 The JNA, nor the Yugoslav army were never against the Muslims and that
8 both in the JNA and in the Army of Yugoslavia later on, there were
9 occupying the touch positions were most generals who were Muslims. You
10 will remember that the president of the -- the president of the SKS was a
11 Muslim -- League of Communists of Yugoslavia was and so were the
12 commanders of the army, the commander of the centre of high military
14 A. Don't speak in the plural and say "commanders of the army." There
15 was just one case.
16 Q. Well, how many armies were there? Three armies. So one of the
18 A. There were five armies.
19 Q. And one was a Muslim commander, right? Of one of them?
20 A. I'm talking about the whole of the Yugoslav People's Army. The
21 year is 1991, the exact figures. That's what I'm quoting. And you can't
22 deny that. And --
23 Q. We'll take a look at the real facts and figures. I don't want to
24 waste time on that now. But do you know that the head of the intelligence
25 department administration was also a Muslim?
1 A. I don't remember who he was.
2 Q. You don't remember?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. All right. And do you know that in the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was established when the conflict broke out,
6 that 1.100 officers of the JNA were there who were Muslims? Eleven
7 hundred of them.
8 A. I'm hearing that figure quoted for the first time. I didn't have
9 that figure. In the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were both Serbs and
10 Croats and, of course, most of them were Bosniaks because many of the rest
11 left and went to join the Army of Republika Srpska. There were generals
12 too. Jovo Divljak, a case in point, an honourable name. Stjepan Sivljak
13 [phoen], a Croat and there were others too. But I just mention these two
14 because I know them personally.
15 Q. All right. And do you know that in the Army of Republika Srpska
16 there were Muslims too?
17 A. There were until August 1992.
18 Q. All right. We'll get to that in due course. But tell me this, do
19 you know that not a single former member of the JNA who remained outside
20 despite the fact that there was no chain of command, that is to say the
21 Army of Yugoslavia with anybody outside, that not a single individual who
22 had once been a member of the JNA remained outside the Federal Republic of
23 Yugoslavia had no assignments, official assignments even to send out
24 information to the Army of Yugoslavia, nothing at all?
25 A. I don't understand your question.
1 Q. I said let's set aside the fact that there is no chain of command
2 from the Yugoslav army towards any formations outside Yugoslavia.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know that not a single individual who was formerly a JNA
5 member, including all those who received assistance in the form of
6 salaries and social assistance and so, on never had any official
7 assignment by which he would send out any information at all to the Army
8 of Yugoslavia, not even a single piece of information?
9 A. We knew the course of information flow from the bottom to the top,
10 from the underlings to the superiors. So there was no need for that by
12 Q. But I said there were no official channels and there were no
13 unofficial channels either because nobody had any assignments or were
14 given tasks to do this.
15 A. That's what you claim but practice has proved you wrong.
16 Information did pass and it was passed in a regular manner from the
17 municipalities to the Crisis Staffs, to the Government of Republika Srpska
18 and right up to you in Belgrade.
19 Q. You mean the Government of Republika Srpska reported to me?
20 A. Well, you had continuous contacts and meetings. Yes, you did.
21 You know that full well yourself.
22 Q. All right. All right. If you say so. Now, tell me can we
23 question or challenge at all this fact, that the nucleus of the newly
24 created Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say the army in which you
25 say most of the members were Muslims, was precisely in the officer cadre
1 sense composed of that portion of members who had previously been JNA
2 officers? Is that correct or not?
3 A. Of course it is. That's quite normal.
4 Q. Why then, if you say this is normal, is it not normal or does not
5 apply to the Army of Republika Srpska? So if something is normal for the
6 BH army why shouldn't it be normal for the Army of Republika Srpska?
7 A. Because they did away an all the officers who were Croats and
8 Bosnians from that army, Bosniaks. There were several non-commissioned
9 officers who changed their names, and my superior officer changed his
10 name. He took a Serb name and he stayed on in the army. And there
11 were -- there were very few such examples, Your Honours. So you can't
12 compare the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina with this other army, because in
13 the BH army, there were both officers and soldiers who were Serbs, Croats,
14 and Bosniaks. That's quite true. But not in the Serb army. No, there
16 Q. Well, that's not true. And let me quote an example. I skipped it
17 a moment ago to save time, but in April, even in April 1992, that is to
18 say after the recognition of Croatia, et cetera, there was about 600
19 Croatian soldiers, although in January, Croatia was internationally
20 recognised as a state. And in April there were still 600 Croatian
22 A. That's true. That was April. But I'm talking about August, the
23 month of August.
24 Q. All right. Fine.
25 A. Yes. Yes, that's what I said.
1 Q. And are you aware of this, that nobody wielded any influence on
2 the JNA officers who originated from Bosnia-Herzegovina to leave Serbia,
3 nor did they have to leave Serbia if they wanted to stay and live there
4 and reside there and had Yugoslav citizenship, of course, before that,
5 quite normally as JNA officers?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours, but Vojislav Seselj stated publicly that all
7 officers should be replaced who were Muslims and Croats, who stayed on
8 occupying their positions in the army of the Federal Republic of
9 Yugoslavia, and that is what was done.
10 Q. That is not what was done. That's my first point. And secondly,
11 whether Seselj said that or not, you can ask him. You can ask Seselj
12 yourself. I don't know, I can't say.
13 You mentioned, as this is your speciality, your profession, you
14 dealt with logistics and materiel and equipment and so on, that the
15 materiel and equipment was left in Bosnia-Herzegovina when the army
16 withdrew. They left their equipment and for example, in Slovenia the army
17 took everything away. Do you know that that is absolutely not true? And
18 that nothing was taken out of Slovenia once the army left.
19 A. Your Honours, the units of the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew
20 from Slovenia and also from the Republic of Croatia. In Banja Luka, on
21 the railway line, army railway line, I would see 43 truckloads of military
22 materiel, weapons, et cetera, being taken away. Even office tables. It
23 was miserly to watch.
24 Q. You're talking about the pulling out of the JNA units, are you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When they relocated?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That's another matter. Now, do you know, because you were in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time, that the ratio of Serbs at the time
5 in Bosnia-Herzegovina or the relationship towards the pulling out of this
6 equipment was such that their attitude towards it was that they were ready
7 even to enter into a conflict and clash with members of the JNA in order
8 to prevent any kind of pulling out of military materiel and equipment
9 because they thought themselves to be under threat? Now, were they under
10 threat or were they not? Tell me, Mr. Selak.
11 A. They were not under threat. They were not in jeopardy. It was
12 politics, all politics, waged by you from Belgrade and the politics of the
14 Q. Not to go back to the transcript here, I'm just here to ask you
15 and I want to ask you whether you know about this fact because I was
16 quoting from an UNPROFOR report, in fact, and it was on the basis of that
17 report that the UN Secretary-General compiled his own report and submitted
18 it to the Security Council on the 30th of May, 1992, in which it states
19 quite specifically, it indicates the withdrawal of the JNA from
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and indicates the problems that they're having with the
21 blockade of the barracks on the part of the Muslims. And it also points,
22 that same report by the UN Secretary-General, points to the fact that the
23 Army of Republika Srpska was not under the control of Belgrade. And it
24 also indicates that there was the presence of the Croatian army. Are you
25 aware of that Mr. Selak? Do you know about that?
1 A. Your Honours, the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina of 86.000, 40.000 men left to Serbia and Montenegro.
3 And the rest -- the people that stayed on were the 1st Krajina Corps in
4 Banja Luka; the 2nd Krajina Corps, which was established in Western
5 Bosnia, Petrovac, Bihac, Drvar, et cetera; the Eastern Bosnian Corps,
6 which was formed from the 17th Corps of the JNA in Tuzla; and part of the
7 12th Corps of Novi Sad; the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps; the former Sarajevo
8 4th Corps; and part of the 14th corps. The Drina corps was partially from
9 Uzice, and the Herzegovina Corps was the 13th Rijeka Corps.
10 All the materiel and equipment, Your Honours, all the weapons and
11 equipment and men stayed on in these corps. They just changed their
12 names. It was no longer the Yugoslav People's Army. It became known as
13 the Army of Republika Srpska and its corps.
14 In Banja Luka, for example, the corps changed its name. The 5th
15 Krajina Corps changed its name on the 18th of May to become the 1st
16 Krajina Corps.
17 Q. Mr. Selak --
18 A. That's the truth of it, the truth of the matter.
19 Q. Mr. Selak, I don't want to quote all the corps and brigades,
20 including the Mujahedin brigades and others which your army had over
21 there, but everything that you've just enumerated and quoted, is it true
22 or is it not that everything you've just said, they were all units of the
23 Army of Republika Srpska?
24 A. Yes, they were all units of the army of Republika Srpska. That's
25 right. I have a map. I can give you some names if you like, the names of
1 commanders and so on.
2 Q. And all those commanders, were they from Republika Srpska, all of
3 them? General Talic, for example. He's just died. Was he an honourable
4 General? Was he from Republika Srpska? Did he perhaps come from
6 A. What about his assistance for moral guidance, Colonel Vukovic from
7 Serbia? I have a diagram, a schematic of the officers after the 18th of
8 May in the Banja Luka Corps, all the names saying who -- stating who was
9 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and who was from Montenegro.
10 Q. And why shouldn't somebody have the right to stay on of their own
11 free will if they thought they could help the people to defend
12 themselves. Why shouldn't they have that right? Did somebody order them
13 to stay on or did they all stay on because they wanted to?
14 A. Well, the order was that they weren't allowed to leave their
15 positions arbitrarily.
16 Q. All arbitrariness is prohibited in any army, and you know that
17 full well because you're an army man yourself. Arbitrariness is always
18 prohibited in the army.
19 Do you know that the Presidency of Yugoslavia on the 4th of May,
20 1992 passed a decision according to which all JNA members who were
21 citizens of the FRY by the 19th of May should withdraw from the territory
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the latest? That was the deadline?
23 A. Not all members, Your Honour, but soldiers doing their militaries
24 service there and they did indeed return. They were young men of 18.
25 They were doing their regular military service over there. It did not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 apply to officers.
2 Q. All right. If that's your answer, I don't want to argue the point
3 with you.
4 Do you know that the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina on that same
5 day when that decision was passed on the withdrawal of the JNA from
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it donated the FRY and the JNA as the aggressor?
7 A. Those were the facts. That was fact.
8 Q. And do you know that the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the
9 6th, that is to say after the 6th of April when it was recognised, the day
10 that Hitler bombed Belgrade, issued an order on the blockade of JNA
11 barracks and facilities and not to respond to the call-up for
12 mobilisation? Is that how it was?
13 A. No. A blockade was impossible. As to the proclamation of the
14 mobilisation call, that is correct, but a blockade was impossible because
15 the army had might on its side.
16 Q. Did you want to say there was no blockade?
17 A. There was no blockade in the real sense of the word. Perhaps
18 blockades of smaller facilities but not of units, no.
19 Q. And do you know that those decisions had as their repercussions
20 the fact that the military materiel belonging to the JNA couldn't be
21 pulled out? They had a lot of difficulty pulling out materiel and
23 A. That's not true.
24 Q. All right. Now, did you hear, for example, the attack on the
25 military column in Sarajevo?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you know that in Dobrovoljacka this was perpetrated by the
3 members of the Green Berets?
4 A. That's just one case.
5 Q. For the town of Sarajevo I'm talking about.
6 A. Your Honours, that was just one case in point.
7 Q. Well, it was led by the head of the Territorial Defence of the
8 day, Hasan Efendic was his name. Isn't that right?
9 A. I don't know who led that, who was in command. I know about the
10 incident but I don't want to say who headed it. I don't know.
11 Q. Well, do you know that the command post was precisely in the
12 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the building itself?
13 A. Well, what did you expect? Did you expect him to put his head on
14 the block for it to be cut off? People were defending -- preparing to
15 defend themselves, to defend the republic and the population.
16 Q. Is that why they attacked the military column pulling out of
18 JUDGE MAY: This will be a last question and answer. Yes.
19 Yes, Mr. Selak.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. Do you know this, that by -- through the attack on the
22 volunteer column in Dobrovoljacka Street that it was Ejub Ganic who was in
24 A. Your Honours, the column that was attacked, the official
25 information was that it was taking flour, carrying flour and other things,
1 not military materiel. But what it was doing was carrying weapons,
2 transporting weapons.
3 JUDGE MAY: I said that it's time. It's 2.00. We have to adjourn
5 Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Just to answer Judge Kwon's earlier question
7 regarding a particular exhibit. Two exhibits tendered today, 464, tabs 12
8 and 15, in the text of both of those documents they refer to a
9 confidential order 2268-1 of December 1992. That particular exhibit was
10 tendered on the 6th of February this year as 387, tab 20. Now, under that
11 tab there are two orders, 2268-1 is the second order that's contained in
12 tab 20 of 387.
13 And two minor matters. Mr. Selak has referred to a table from the
14 Brdjanin and Talic case. That, I believe, Your Honours, is 463, tab 2,
15 which was tendered earlier today.
16 And finally, Mr. Selak has also referred several times to an
17 ethnic key, and he seems to be looking at a printed document. Could I ask
18 that arrangements be made that he provide a photocopy to myself, the
19 accused, the amici so we can review it overnight and make a determination
20 whether it's appropriately tendered as an exhibit?
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will adjourn now. Nine o'clock tomorrow
22 morning, please.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of June,
25 2003, at 9.00 a.m.