Tuesday, 14 January 2003
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. A very good afternoon to everybody. May we please hear the case number.
THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please.
MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Office of the Prosecutor. And Happy New Year to the Defence and all those who celebrate according to the Orthodox calendar.
MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence. And I thank the Prosecution for their wishes.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I apologise for having been not aware of the fact and, no doubt on behalf of the entire Chamber, we as well wish a very good and prosperous New Year for those who celebrate according to the Orthodox calendar.
Before we start today, the hearings of today, it was on purpose that yesterday I decided not to declare once again closed, the Prosecution's case, and did not excuse Witness Sivac, but I take it from the fact that I got no contacts from the parties, that there is anything in addition that would give a reason for a continuous hearing of Mr. Sivac. So therefore, now Mr. Sivac is excused formally, and at the 10312 same time, we are now once again within the Defence case. I deplore that I have to come back to an issue that we discussed yesterday. This is the presentation of documents in due time and in due form, including translation. Yesterday, after a long discussion, we heard from the Defence their apologies in part about certain issues just discussed recently, but then we experienced that we were taken once again by surprise by another document, by a document which was undoubtedly in the hands of the Defence a period of time ago. And the Defence even presented a number of questions to be put to this witness in advance, without announcing that there would be such a new exhibit. And this exhibit was not translated; it was not understandable; it was not well founded. It was just a kind of guessing game. And it was also, in a way, aggressive against a witness. I think it should be quite clear that it is also for us to protect the interests of witnesses. No doubt that in case the Defence feels it necessary to demonstrate or to prove that a witness is not capable to, or was at that time not capable, for example, to see a certain person due to the fact that he needed glasses and he had not the necessary glasses, that this can form part of the cross-examination. But what cannot be allowed is really to intimidate a witness without any foundation. And as we heard yesterday, there was a document provided from a health centre - I don't want to go into any detail whether it's the same hospital presided over earlier by the accused in this case - and used these documents, in fact, even against a witness, a witness we have to protect, and without any substantiation what the content of this document means. 10313 This may amount to an unethical behaviour from the side of the Defence. The Trial Chamber decided not to go into any investigations on the source of this document and the content of this document. The document has only got a concrete number. It was marked, but it will never be used as evidence in this case. There is no probative value for this case.
Second, how can we avoid that this happens in future again? Maybe in future the Prosecution would require a postponement of the hearing of a witness until they have had the possibility to go into the details of the new and surprising evidence. And it would give reason enough for the Prosecution to ask for this postponement. The same could be true for the Chamber; the Chamber could need some time for preparation. But we want to emphasise, after deliberations, that in case such a delay will occur, it will be on the account of the Defence. There will be no day longer for the Defence case when such a delay is more or less deliberately caused by the Defence. This, of course, does not mean that the case may happen that a witness comes with a new exhibit with new evidence and the Defence wants immediately to tender this evidence. This may be, and this happened in the past and this can happen in the future. But then, please, good cause may be shown and the reason may be shown.
This brings me to the third point: We have the proffer before us. I don't think that we need to revisit the question of proffers. I believe it was understood by the parties. But with a view to today's witness, may I ask the Defence, what is your realistic expectation on the time you need, based on your proffer, for this witness? 10314
MR. LUKIC: We estimated the direct examination of this witness, as you know, Your Honours, being four and four and a half hours, but yesterday we were asked to shorten this period, and we'll do our best. So we think that it may be that we'll finish this witness in three hours.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admittedly, it's still surprisingly long, based on that what we can read from the proffer. So no doubt we proceed as we did in the Prosecution's case. But please, be not surprised that the Chamber takes the liberty to ask you at a certain point of time to concentrate on the relevant portions, relevant for this case, and I want also to ask the Prosecution to do that what's apt for the other party, to intervene if they feel there's no relevance.
Any other comments on the points raised by the Chamber, or other issues before we start hearing the next witness?
MR. KOUMJIAN: I just want to notify the Chamber that the interview of Mrs. Plavsic is available in Court now and can be distributed at the break and has been provided to the Defence earlier today.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, the entire agreement is included?
MR. KOUMJIAN: I'll review that before the break to answer Your Honour's question. I believe the factual basis was a public document, and that's not included.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
MR. KOUMJIAN: I'll review what we have.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Because you will understand that it's absolutely necessary that we know what is and what was the basis of this agreement and whether it has any kind of impact on our case, or may 10315 it tend to have an impact, to be more on the safe side. Thank you. I can't see anybody asking for the floor. May I then ask, any changes as regards the protective measures related to the next witness?
MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honours. There is no changes relating to the protective measures. Only maybe we would ask kindly to discuss the scheduling order, because as we glanced through the document, we wouldn't have any chance to meet with the client if we continue to be in a courtroom the whole day every day.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This is in an absolutely different issue, and it should be taken care that the witness doesn't appear in the courtroom when we are discussing this issue.
As regards this week, it was necessary because of the order of the President to have an extraordinary plenary, first scheduled for tomorrow, then next week, but in this week it will be only -- the sitting will be in the morning in the ordinary period of time. But related to the other weeks, it's in fact that we will have the hearings until 4.30, just in order to allow, in this case, the Defence to have more time for their witnesses as it has shown in the past that -- I remember very well your first initial statement somewhere in April that your witnesses would take us 15 minutes. I was already at that time hesitant, and I'm quite sure it was just an overstatement. But nevertheless, it's necessary to make use of all of the time available for us, and there will be unforeseeable obstacles, impediments in the future no doubt, and therefore we have to make use of the courtroom whenever possible. If there should be an obstacle where, for example, there is no possibility to meet with your 10316 client in this week, then please let me know that I can find a possibility with the responsible persons in this premises that, in fact, what is necessary, you can do your job in the appropriate way, and this means that you have enough time in the evening to come together with your client.
MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So this will be guaranteed. The next witness is standing outside the door, I heard. So please, may I ask the usher now to escort the witness into the courtroom. Thank you.
[The witness entered court]
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming. Can you hear me in a language you understand?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And could you please be so kind and give us your solemn declaration. You find the text there.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated. You are called as a witness for the Defence. Mr. Lukic, the witness is yours.
MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
WITNESS: BORISLAVA DAKIC
[Witness answered through interpreter] Examined by Mr. Lukic:
Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mrs. Dakic.
A. Good afternoon. 10317
Q. For the record, please, would you state your name and surname.
A. Borislava Dakic.
Q. When were you born, Mrs. Dakic?
A. On the 20th of November, 1955.
Q. Where were you born?
A. In Jelicka, in the territory of Prijedor Municipality.
Q. Where do you currently reside?
A. In Omarska, in the territory of Prijedor Municipality.
Q. What is your occupation, and where do you work?
A. I have a degree in law, and I work at the Prijedor health centre.
Q. Could you briefly describe for us the situation in Prijedor prior to the 30th of April, 1992.
A. Well, the situation was normal -- actually, I don't think I understand your question. What exactly do you have in mind?
Q. Were there any changes in terms of interethnic relations in light of the overall situation in the former Yugoslavia with respect to the war that was going on in Croatia and Slovenia?
A. Yes. My friends, my colleagues, people I worked with, as early as in May 1991 - I'm referring to the events that took place in Slovenia at the time - started expressing some different opinions. And in our conversations, we no longer agreed as to what should be done. I am referring to the arguments that there should be no secession from Yugoslavia, and that the -- what was going on in Croatia in 1991 was not right. My colleagues of Muslim ethnicity, in September 1991, openly expressed hostility towards the Yugoslav People's Army, that is, to our 10318 friends and acquaintances who responded to the mobilisation. Our views were no longer the same.
I was still personally in favour of the former Yugoslavia, the country where I lived, the country which I loved, and I loved my friends regardless of their ethnicity. However, I could observe that something strange was going on, in particular, in early March and later in April 1992, when my colleagues, my lady friends who worked with me, started leaving with some very banal explanations, such as that they were going to visit their husbands in Zagreb. They would take their children with them, and they would never come back to work.
Q. Were there mass departures of the population of Prijedor, and which part of the population left and how?
A. During the month of April 1992, departures of the Muslim population were getting massive, on large scale. And every morning, you could see in the centre of Prijedor town, which is located between the football stadium, the social work centre and the department store, and outside the Balkan Hotel and in front of the bus station, you could see several buses lined up and people boarding those buses. In view of the fact that Prijedor is not a very big town, every one of us knew at least a couple of those people who were leaving. I was able to observe this on several occasions. And every morning before I came to work during the month of April, one of my colleagues -- one or two of my colleagues would not show up to work. Specifically, I am referring to Sabiha Music, who was my boss. As we were having coffee that morning, on the 15th of April, she told us that her children will no longer go to school, would stop 10319 going to school, that she would take some time off and go to Zagreb in order to pay a visit to her husband who was working in Zagreb at the time. She left on that day, and I never saw her -- I've never seen her again from that day.
Q. You worked in Prijedor and you lived in Omarska. How did you commute between Omarska and Prijedor at the time? That is, prior to the 30th of April, 1992?
A. I always went to work by car. However, at the beginning of April, this type of commuting was no longer very safe, so I would leave my car at home and travel by bus -- and travel by train. Between Prijedor and Omarska, there is an 11-kilometre long territory inhabited by Muslim population. Up until April 1992, there had never been any problems there and I travelled normally, safely, as I did through any other area. After all, I worked there. However, at that time, I started observing between Petrov Gaj and Prijedor, in the town of Trnopolje, next to the railway station, in early morning hours, I started observing men wearing green caps, which we called "Green Berets" because after all, those were berets. For a while, they did not carry any weapons. However, later on, I noticed that they had some weapons. I'm not familiar with weapons, and I don't think I could tell you what kind of rifles those were, whether they were automatic rifles or some other types of rifles; I don't know, but I'm sure that those were rifles.
And in those days, it was much more comfortable and safer for me to travel by train where there were many more people. Although we were never stopped by anyone, nor did anyone say anything to us in particular; 10320BLANK PAGE 10321 however, on the Banja Luka/Prijedor main road, there were already skirmishes and roadblocks, and also, because I'm a woman, I didn't dare travel around by car. I simply didn't feel safe.
Q. This feeling of insecurity was also reflected in the fact that you, as you have told me, had packed a certain number of your personal belongings in case of emergency.
A. When my boss, whom I mentioned earlier on, went on leave, when she packed her things and left for Zagreb with her children, that moment, although she had never said in particular to me, although we had never discussed the subject, I realised that something was going on, something which didn't augur well. And knowing what could happen, I just collected all of our important personal documents, documents belonging to my husband, my children, and myself, including property deeds, our diplomas, certificates on the completion of our education, and a number of other personal effects which I packed in one bag and which remained packed like that for a couple of years. This would have been the only thing that I would have taken with me if I had had to leave. Those were the things that I considered to be necessary and indispensable.
Q. When did you unpack this bag?
A. Several months after the signing of the Dayton Accords.
Q. Let us now focus on the period between the 30th of April and the 30th of September, 1992. If you can talk about the events in view of this chronology. What was going on in May, if you know, after the 30th of April, 1992; that is, after the takeover? We know that on that day, the SDS took over in Prijedor. What happened after that? 10322
A. Nothing was significantly different between the 28th, 29th of April, or the 1st, 2nd, or the 3rd of May. Everything remained the same on my way to work.
Q. Was anyone sacked from work?
Q. When did the problems in the Prijedor Municipality start? You don't have to give us the exact dates, but just tell us, when do you think these problems started?
A. I think they started on a Friday, which I believe was the 22nd of May, when an open attack took place, perpetrated by members of the -- I don't know whether those were Muslim forces or simply members of the Muslim population, who attacked a soldier in the village of Hambarine. And at the same time, there were certain minor clashes in Prijedor, such as the attack on the military warehouse which my cousin told me about who, the night before, was standing guard next to this warehouse which is located not far from the local barracks. But there were other things that took place even earlier, perhaps even as early as in April 1992. However, it was on that particular Friday that it became clear to me that ugly things were going to happen, that people no longer had any qualms about taking up arms and that they paid no attention as to whether other people were guilty of anything or not.
Q. And then after that?
A. Well, after that Saturday, Sunday, the roadblocks were set up in the area of I think Kevljani or Kamicani. And again, I think one of the soldiers - I think his name was Kolundija - was killed. Whether there 10323 were any other people with him or what was the general outcome, I'm not sure. However, after the attack on the soldiers at Hambarine, the military intervened, and the fighting started. As far as I'm concerned, fighting means opening fire from all sides, irrespective of where the sides are. But I could tell that there were two sides opposed in this conflict, and I could hear shooting from my house. Whether one could call it an armed conflict or something else, I don't know. But as far as I'm concerned, it was a war.
Q. Did you continue to go to work at that time?
A. Those days after the 22nd, no, I no longer went to work. There was a weekend, Saturday, Sunday; and then on Monday, there was no possibility for me to go to work because of this armed conflict. And I simply didn't dare travel across the territory which was -- where there was this conflict going on. However, because I knew that my boss would have to reach a decision on the termination of my employment if I don't show up within five days, on the fourth day, with the assistance of a friend of mine who likewise didn't dare to travel across this area, nor did he dare to go along the Banja Luka/Prijedor Road or Omarska/Prijedor Road, but instead took the route via Busnovi, Rakelici, and Maricka, and reached the Muslim area, the area of Cela but which where at the time there were no extremists or other sentiments expressed, through this area, one could get through the checkpoints relatively safely. And this is how I managed to come to work on that day.
Q. Is Cela a mixed village?
A. I think that one part of Cela used to be purely Muslim, but the 10324 neighbouring villages, called Muslimanska Gomjenica, and then the next one, Srpska Gomjenica, Kamicani, Rakici, to what extent this area was mixed in the neighbouring villages, I don't know because I don't know very well this particular area of Prijedor Municipality. However, I am sure that there were no clear-cut boundaries, that their properties and lots were probably interspersed.
Q. However, you're telling us that at the time, there were no conflicts, no problems in that area.
Q. Until what time did you work in Prijedor, and how did you travel to work?
A. I worked for the remainder of the month of May, and also in June. I travelled as best as I could. The public transport no longer functioned, so I would rely on my acquaintances and neighbours who travelled by car, by truck, and who were willing to give me a lift to Prijedor if they could. If not, we would wait for someone else. The trains and buses no longer ran, so it was quite difficult, and it involved crossing the territory where fighting was still going on. But the incidents usually took place by night. However, the next morning, we had to go to work.
Q. At one point in time, did you stop going to work to Prijedor because you were assigned to work in Omarska?
Q. When did this happen, if you remember?
A. I believe it happened in September or maybe in late August. I 10325 know that I went to Prijedor throughout the summer, but then my chief and the supervisor of my department sent me to Omarska, because the winter was approaching and they needed my type of work in this particular work unit.
Q. During that period of time, from September -- from April until September 1992, what was the situation like as far as health is concerned? What was the situation with medicines and other supplies?
A. The situation was terrible. We were cut off. At that time, there was no corridor towards Yugoslavia. Croatia, of course, we couldn't go there. And you know what such a situation -- what it means for the work of a medical -- medical centre, because there were no factories that were producing medical supplies; medical equipment and medicines alike. And after all, there was war going on, a lot of people were getting sick and wounded. And I know that at that time, as far as medicines are concerned, most of them were often brought by Serbs who were temporarily employed abroad. But before the corridor with Yugoslavia was opened, unfortunately, we were not able to obtain oxygen, let alone other things. A friend of mine whom -- Ljiljana Stjepic, who gave birth in Banja Luka at that time, had a terrible tragedy. She had her baby at that time, but there was no electricity or oxygen and her baby could not be placed in an incubator, and as a result, the baby's vital functions were impaired.
Q. Later on, when the situation got somewhat better, did you travel to -- through Trnopolje?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Did you see people freely leaving and entering the compound of the elementary school there? 10326
A. Yes, yes, I did. This could be seen by anyone passing by.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, could counsel refrain from asking leading questions during the period April to September 1992.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dismissed because in the past we accepted, in this framework, leading questions.
MR. LUKIC: And I really don't know how to ask differently. I asked, "Did you..."
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The objection is dismissed, and therefore you may continue.
MR. LUKIC: Thanks. Still, I tried to explain. Thanks. Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. [Interpretation] So how did you see these people? Were they there in groups? What was it that you were able to observe in Trnopolje?
A. What do you mean "in groups"?
Q. Did you, for example, see a larger group of people located next to the elementary school building?
Q. Did you also see people moving around outside the compound of the elementary school and the community centre?
A. Let me tell you, within this compound, the compound of the elementary school in Trnopolje, there were many people. However, I saw members of their families who had remained behind at home and who would go to Trnopolje and back. Trnopolje is situated some 6 or 7 kilometres away from Prijedor. You don't need any particular transport to go there. I ran into a colleague of mine, for instance, Mile Hopovac, on one 10327 occasion. She travelled on the same train as I did and she told me that she had members of her family who were there, and she told me that she was taking some things to them, and that after that, she would go back home. And when I asked her what they were doing there, she said: "We would like to leave." Obviously this was a very unsafe area for her and for myself as well. But she said: "If we go to Trnopolje and if we are registered there, then it will be easier for us to leave the territory of Republika Srpska." That is, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I didn't ask anything else of her. She got off the train at the station, and I continued on my way.
Q. The people who were doing their work obligation or who were -- who were under work obligation or who were mobilised by the army, were they able to leave freely the territory of Republika Srpska?
A. No, they were not.
Q. Was it necessary for them to obtain some authorisations or passes to leave the territory of Republika Srpska?
A. Well, of course all men who had their military assignment were required to obtain such a permission from the relevant ministry, and they also had to explain why it was necessary for them to leave the territory of Republika Srpska for a while and for how long. Without such a piece of paper, one could not leave. This applied to myself as well, because I was under the so-called work obligation, and I could not cross the border of the country without an authorisation to leave the country.
Q. Do you know who issued such authorisations at the time?
A. They were issued by the Ministry of Defence. And I think that for 10328 a while, they were issued by the Ministry of the Interior; that is, the public security centre in Prijedor was actually closer to where I lived.
Q. Still on the issue of dismissals from work, were all people who failed to show up at work for about five days dismissed?
A. Yes, they were. These employees, however, had the right to object to the decision, the decision on the termination of their employment. Their objections could be reviewed because I know that there are people who received such decisions on the termination of employment at one point in time, but they are still working. So I'm sure that they took it up on a higher level which then examined their particular case and accepted their objections and probably accepted the reasons they provided as to why they failed to show up at work for five days.
Q. Was the number of employees officially decreased?
Q. Were you ever temporarily laid off prior or after April 30th, 1992?
A. Yes, I was. I was on the so-called waiting list on one occasion before April 1992, but also for a while in 1993 for the following reason: During 1989, 1990, and 1991, there were too many employees and not enough work. And the administration board of the medical centre decided at one point in time that it would be more profitable for a certain number of employees to stop coming to work for a limited period of time, two or three months, for instance. They would be given some salary, not as much as they received normally, but they received some payment. And this was the case with me as well for a while. I was on the so-called waiting list 10329BLANK PAGE 10330 in 1989 at one point in time, but also in 1993 the same thing happened. After the outbreak of the conflict in 1992, there was a new staffing table that was made at the health centre, which was adapted to the new war circumstances. And it was the assessment of my boss that at the time, in 1993, there was not enough work for me. So again I was temporarily out of work from May or June 1993 until the 10th of December, 1993. But I was not the only one; there were other similar cases, and it was considered to be a normal phenomenon at the time.
Q. At the end of May 1992, were people automatically laid off or would they wait for these decisions, appropriate decisions, to be issued?
A. When the war broke out, we were all scared. I have already told you that I didn't dare go to work on day one, and I was not the only one who was scared. We were all scared, and I believe that my Muslim colleagues were even more scared than I was. And none of them came on that first day, but the majority of them failed to come for several more days. I felt more safe, maybe, and I took that bypass road. Maybe I did that because I knew what to expect if I didn't show up for work. But many people failed to show up for work for a number of days. Heads of departments of the health centre at the time did not immediately issue termination papers. They waited -- as far as I could tell, they waited for a few days. I would even come across some of our employees in my offices who would show up from time to time but then they failed to turn up for work either on that day or on the following day. Whether they just came to make some inquiries, whether they came to talk to their heads or what, I don't know. It was not in the nature of my work to attend such 10331 conversations, if there were any.
However, as time went by, the decision was made that a law, which was valid in the territory of all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, should be applied. And this is the decision that was also applied and the law that was applied even before the war: If you failed to turn up for work for five days, then your employment would be terminated automatically. This is what was happening in January, April, May, and it also happened in the year 1990, 1991. We applied the same law; we applied the provisions of that same law.
I don't know why, but I assumed that my acquaintances, my friends and colleagues, and all the other employees of the health centre most probably were too scared to come to work. They feared for their safety. However, even if that was true, their employment was still terminated. It had to be terminated regardless of the reasons for which they didn't show up for work.
Q. Are there still records of the people who show up for work and why is that necessary?
A. Yes, of course. I believe that it is normal all over the world. Once you start working, somebody has to make sure that you do show up for work. How else could you be paid?
Q. Did it all influence anything else but the salary? Did it maybe influence the payment into the pension fund or the health-care fund?
A. Of course. If you don't show up for work, you don't receive your salary, you don't receive your health-care contribution, your child support contribution, and all the other contributions that are provided 10332 for by the law of that specific country. In other words, it is impossible to organise work if your employees do not show up for work. How can you do that?
Q. Did you personally, as a legal professional, participate in the procedure to terminate the employment of the employees of the health centre?
A. In 1992, no, I wasn't involved in that.
Q. After September 1992, when Dr. Stakic came to the Prijedor health centre, what position did he come to? So far, there have been some misunderstandings in this trial as regards the dates when Dr. Stakic started working at the health centre and stopped working there.
A. Dr. Stakic came as a doctor to the health centre in Prijedor. That was probably in 1989, but I'm not sure. You can check that in the records of the employee. He worked in the Omarska surgery until the moment he was appointed the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor. I believe that that was in 1990. After the election, that was -- it may have even been in the early 1990. At the time, I really did not pay attention to that. I know that there were elections and that the municipal officials were elected, but when they started working there, I don't know. But as from that time on, he was in that position, and he returned to the health centre of Prijedor in May, on the 19th of May.
Q. What year?
A. 1993, and he was appointed the deputy chief executive officer of the health centre. On that same date, Dr. Milan Kovacevic was appointed the chief executive officer of the health centre, the director of the 10333 health centre. And Dr. Stakic remained in the position of the deputy CEO until the end of 1994 when, pursuant to the decision of the government of Republika Srpska, there was a reorganisation of the health centre, and the health centre was divided into the secondary health care and into the primary health care. Dr. Kovacevic was appointed director of the general hospital, and as of the 1st of January, 1995, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor appointed Dr. Milomir Stakic as the director of the health centre, as the chief executive officer of the health centre. He remained in that position until 1997 or 1998 when he was succeeded by a new director who was then appointed.
Q. In 1993, when he came to the health centre again, did Dr. Stakic -- had he previously been mobilised into the army, to the best of your knowledge?
A. Yes, I believe that he had been, because all of our doctors were mobilised, and they all had their military assignment I couldn't tell you anything of. They would be assigned to a duty for 15 days or 7 days or even up to a month. If you came to work, you could see that somebody was missing, and then he would reappear. I really couldn't know when he was on duty for the military. But all of our doctors were -- had military assignment. You obviously know that, during any war conflict, there should be a person who can administer first aid.
Q. Are you saying that he went to the hospitals which were on the front lines?
Q. As a recruitment official, do you know who was in charge of 10334 recruitments in the health centre?
A. Sadeta Grandic.
Q. Did she discharge the same duty during the time while Dr. Stakic was your employee?
A. Yes, I believe that she is still there. I believe that she was on the same team even last year, as far as I know.
Q. Do you know if Dr. Stakic hired anybody of non-Serb ethnicity in 1993 or 1994?
A. I think so. Nevresa Smitran is the lady's name. She is a laboratory technician of Muslim ethnicity.
Q. Did Mrs. Smitran's father die in that period?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. Did Dr. Stakic try to help her in any way under those unfortunate circumstances?
A. Yes, when Nevresa returned from Tuzla, we actually didn't know when it was when her father died. I believe that it was a weekend, and she went away. When she returned from Tuzla, Dr. Stakic applied our regulations and ordered four salaries to be paid out to her in respect of the assistance for the expenses that she had had at the time. The times were difficult, salaries were low, and that's how he could help her.
Q. Did anybody of non-Serb ethnicity work within the maintenance of the heating system in the health centre? Whose work obligation was that?
A. I don't know whether that was part of the work obligation, but he was an elderly man whose name was Sikman, and there was also another younger man, younger Muslim, whose name was Nihad, and his last name I 10335 believe was Muslimovic.
Q. Is there anything interesting about the position of that man in the health centre?
A. He was treated like anybody else was. But let me tell you one something: Muslimovic's work assignment was as a military person. Instead of being engaged within the military, the Ministry of Defence assigned him to help with the maintenance of the heating system because the health centre was an institution of a special importance in providing health care. And we were not obliged to pay any such people. However, according to Dr. Stakic's order, who told me personally to issue an order to the accountant who was in charge of paying the meals to all of our employees, that this person Muslimovic would also be on that list of those who would be paid for the meals. I don't know how long it lasted, but for as long as this person was there, he had an employment contract and he received the same remunerations as I did. At the time, I thought it was perfectly normal and okay.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: With all due respect, please understand, Ms. Dakic, and also Defence counsel, that we have to concentrate on the period of time of the indictment before us. Nobody, nobody in this courtroom alleges that Dr. Stakic ever discriminated a person on the basis of gender or ethnicity out of the period of time alleged in the fourth amended indictment. And this is the period of time in 1992. These points or remarks, they are no doubt extremely important for you, Ms. Dakic, but it has nothing to do with the case. So may I ask, please, Defence counsel, to concentrate on the disputed points and the relevant parts of 10336 your examination-in-chief. Thank you.
MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
Q. Let's move on to some more general areas relative to the period prior to April 1992 and after April 1992. Can you tell us which ethnic groups were in favour of the secession from Yugoslavia, which were in favour of remaining in Yugoslavia, and how did these peoples or ethnicities rally around this issue?
A. The first ethnic group or people that opted for secession were Slovenes. After them, the same situation repeated in Croatia, which means that the Croatian people also opted for secession from Yugoslavia.
Q. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were the Muslim, the Serb, and the Croats living together. And the Croats, inspired by what had happened in Croatia, opted for the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the remainder of the former Yugoslavia. The Muslims never attempted to hide their desire not to live in Yugoslavia, whereas the Serbs wanted to remain living together with the remaining republics, which were Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. And it was the desire of the Serbian people for the fourth republic in that rump Yugoslavia to be Bosnia-Herzegovina because we were a republic that was rather mixed; it was impossible to draw a line between the Serbs and the Muslims, the Muslims and the Croats, the Croats and the Serbs.
Q. Was there a coalition of two peoples against a third people, and were rallies organised at the time?
A. Yes, they were. You could see it daily on TV. 10337
Q. I'm talking about the period prior to April 1992.
A. Yes, prior to April 1992, the ethnically based parties were established, the first one being the SDA. And after it, I don't know whether the next one was the Serbian Democratic Party, or the HDZ, I can't tell you for a fact. But the establishment of these parties made it clear that the peoples would -- took sides on ethnic background. And it was sort of awkward for a Serb to be a member of the SDA or for a Croat to be a member of the Serbian Democratic Party. At that time, this didn't seem so bad to us; however, the division was already in place. But you could, for example, see at those rallies a Croat flag or a Muslim flag or it would be an SDA flag or an HDZ flag. Or it would be a state flag. However, when I say "state flags," to my mind, these were party flags because Bosnia and Herzegovina still existed and it had its own flag. However, at those rallies, you could never see a Serbian flag or an SDS flag or something like that.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just ask one question: When there were these rallies and campaigning for election, did you see also at that time posters depicting candidates of the parties campaigning for this election?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you also see at that time posters showing Dr. Stakic?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, Dr. Stakic could not be seen on any posters. The elections in the territory of Prijedor Municipality, as I could see, Dr. Stakic was a member of the radical party, which was closer to me. It was founded by Veljko Guberina. That's 10338BLANK PAGE 10339 how I could remember it better. There were many parties, and I would get confused on their names. In the place where I live, Mr. Guberina's party was established, and the president of that board was Mr. Stakic. And as such, he appeared in the multiparty elections which were held in the territory of Prijedor Municipality. And as a member of that party, he was appointed the vice-president of Prijedor Municipality. And when was it that Dr. Stakic became a member of the Serbian democratic party and whether he ever became a member of that party, I really don't know.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just to conclude this, and I'm awfully sorry, but it's of some relevance, did you ever see, be it in Omarska or be it in Prijedor, posters depicting Dr. Stakic, be it for the one or other party?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much. Sorry for interrupting. Please, continue.
MR. LUKIC: [In English] Thank you for your help.
Q. [Interpretation] The division into two options we're talking about the tying of the flags, so did this division reflect in the political life of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
A. Obviously it did. After the establishment of these parties, the majority of the most respectable people, the leading people in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, started opting for one of those parties. And in the sessions of the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were aired on TV so all of us could watch that, one could clearly see that there was no agreement and that there was no unity. Every time the MPs of Serb 10340 ethnicity were outvoted.
Q. Are you aware of the fact that all of the political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in their platforms, before they were set up opted for the mandatory -- the situation in which Bosnia and Herzegovina would stay in Yugoslavia?
A. I didn't read the platform of any of these parties, but reading the newspapers at the time, I arrived at the conclusion that these platforms were all very similar. And they all fostered democratic views, the desire for unity. None of the platforms actually showed it clearly that the establishment of these parties would result in a clash. At the beginning, it seemed to all of us that this was based on the right of every man -- of every person to their democratic view. We lived in a monoparty system for a long, and it seemed to us that was an opportunity for everybody to express their political opinions. And reading the platforms, no, it never occurred to any of us that these platforms would be at the detriment of somebody else. None of these platforms were really obvious in that respect.
Q. Do you know when it was that the SDA and HDZ departed from the proclaimed unity?
A. No, I don't know when it happened. But it was clear, it became clear from their behaviour, when that unity stopped existing. To my mind, it happened at the moment when I saw that at the sessions of the assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the members of the three peoples could never reach any agreement on anything.
MR. LUKIC: [In English] Your Honour, this would be a convenient 10341 time.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 4.15.
--- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
--- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And please, continue.
MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. [Interpretation] May we continue, Mrs. Dakic?
Q. I omitted to ask you, and you failed to mention, do you know whether the buses carrying people who were leaving Prijedor prior to the 30th of April, 1992, do you know which direction, which route, they took?
A. Well, they left the territory of our municipality. I believe that they went to Germany, Switzerland.
Q. Via which former republic of Yugoslavia?
Q. After the 30th of April, you could no longer travel from Omarska to Prijedor via Kozarac. Is that correct?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Did anyone -- was any one of the medical staff killed during that period of time?
Q. Could you describe for us what happened.
A. I cannot tell you the exact date when it happened, but it happened during the war in this part of the country, in the area of Kozarac. Our technician, Blagoje Baltic, went to provide assistance to someone. I 10342 don't know who it was. And was killed on that occasion by the members of Muslim units, Muslim people. Whether those were armed soldiers or civilians carrying rifles, I'm not sure. I cannot tell you that. However, I know for sure that Blagoje had gone to help someone in the area of Kozarac. I don't know whether he was supposed to provide assistance to a Serb or a Muslim. But he ended up being killed.
Q. After the conflict in Kozarac, which took place on the 24th of May, 1992, did any resident of Kozarac reach Omarska at one point in time? Did anyone from Kozarac come to Omarska?
A. Yes. There was a conflict, an armed conflict, between the army and the armed members of the Muslim community on that Saturday or Sunday. I don't know whether it was on Monday or on Tuesday, on the 26th or the 27th of May. But at any rate, from the territory of the village of Kevljani, which was part of the Omarska area but inhabited by Muslims, a number of women and children were brought to Omarska to the community centre there. Most of us knew these people, these women and children, because the children from Kevljani went to school in Omarska from the fifth until the eighth grade of the elementary school. As for the first four grades, they went to the local school in Kevljani.
Q. After a while, did these women and children leave the area of Omarska?
A. Yes, they did. They didn't stay there for long. It was summertime, and many residents of Omarska knew them. They came to see them and gave them water, juices, because these people were their acquaintances, their friends. After a while, these women and children 10343 boarded some buses. What I'm telling you is what I heard from the conversations with the people who were there, and I was told that they were -- that they would be taken to the youth centre in Omarska -- in Prijedor, I'm sorry. And the reason why they couldn't go back to their homes in Kevljani was because there was fighting going on in that area. Whether they eventually indeed ended up in the youth centre in Prijedor or somewhere else, I don't know.
Q. In April and May, did Dr. Stakic travel from Omarska to Prijedor?
A. I believe he did; however, I cannot confirm this with certainty because I didn't know everything about Mr. Stakic. When he came to work to Omarska at the health centre in Omarska as a physician, he did live in Omarska, and I think that he was still living in Omarska when these events took place. Whether during the month of May, in view of the fact that it was impossible to travel and that he had his responsibilities as the president of the municipality, whether he moved to Prijedor at one point in time --
Q. But you knew that he moved to Prijedor after the outbreak of the conflict and you knew that he lived there from that time on. You are just not sure about the date?
A. Yes, we were not that close, you see. I didn't know when exactly he left, he moved.
Q. Speaking of your relationship with Dr. Stakic while you were colleagues, what kind of relationship was it?
A. Well, it was a strictly professional relationship. He was a physician there, and I worked at the same medical facility as a lawyer. 10344
Q. How did he tell people what they were supposed to do? Did he issue orders? Did he verbally tell them what to do?
A. I never received any written order from Dr. Stakic. All our personal contacts were strictly business. We would be called to a business meeting where he would tell us what needed to be done, in terms of everyday organisation of work. He would tell us calmly in a polite manner what needed to be done, who had to do what, who had to obtain medicines or firewood, whatever, what ambulance had to be sent where, and similar jobs. But he would always speak in a very friendly and polite manner to us.
Q. Was Dr. Stakic ever arrested by some paramilitary forces with whom and on account of what, if you know?
Q. Were those Serb paramilitary formations?
A. Yes, they were because those were the only formations -- such formations in the area of Prijedor at that time. But I never discussed the issue with Dr. Stakic. I didn't think it would have been fair and polite for me to ask him about that. All I know was that one morning Dr. Stakic and his driver left. After a while, the driver came back very scared and with his hair cut. He didn't say who it was, but he and Dr. Stakic were taken into custody in the youth centre in Prijedor. Their only comment was something to the effect what they were doing there while the war was going on, why they were not participating in fighting. They were apparently used of having been too meek, to reticent. They had -- were supposed to be more aggressive allegedly. 10345 Anyway, the driver first arrived alone with his hair cut, as I said. And then after a while, Dr. Stakic also came back. They didn't cut his hair, but I never asked him what it was all about.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt, but for a better understanding, could you please tell us at what point in time this incident happened.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The incident took place in 1995.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [No microphone]
MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
Q. I won't ask you anything about that, therefore. You told us that you had never seen Dr. Stakic on posters. Did you -- except on posters. Did you ever see him on TV or hear him speak on the radio?
A. No, I didn't.
Q. In 1992, in the month of May and later, did you become aware of the existence of a Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff?
A. Not at the beginning of May; however, later I heard the term "Crisis Staff" while talking to other people. This, however, was not the first time that I had heard of this concept. In the system in which I lived, one often heard of various Crisis Staffs or civil protection Crisis Staffs which were often set up in emergency situations. Since we were in time of war, whenever I heard the word "Crisis Staff," for me, that it meant a particular body had been established in the territory of Prijedor Municipality to take care of things such as power shortages, lines were cut off at that time. And for days on, we didn't have electricity. 10346 Sometimes, we didn't even have water because the main water facilities were located in the area of Tukovi. So whenever there was no electricity, we didn't have water either.
It was also necessary to organise the work of communal organisations in the area of municipality. So the fact that we had a Crisis Staff, for me, meant that we had someone who took care of everyday life of the population in the territory of the municipality. But I didn't know what tasks specifically they had, nor did I know who the members of this Crisis Staff were.
Q. Can we, therefore, conclude, that you were not familiar with the kind of relationship that the Crisis Staff had with the police, the army, and the Territorial Defence?
A. No, I was not aware of that, but it was not possible for them to be in any kind of relationship with the army because the army was, as it had always been, totally autonomous and independent.
Q. You were an employee of a medical institution?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Before the war, did active-duty servicemen and members of their families undergo treatments in civilian medical institutions?
Q. Where were they treated?
A. They had special medical institutions. There was a military medical centre in Banja Luka, for instance, where doctors and other medical staff treated active-duty servicemen and members of their families, except in exceptional circumstances, in emergency situations, 10347 they could, of course, be given assistance in our medical facility or any other medical facility in Yugoslavia. But at any rate, they had their own special medical facilities where they were treated.
Q. Did Mr. Srdjo Srdic work with you at the same company where you worked?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. Did you know him?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Since when did you work in the same organisation?
A. Ever since I became employed there in 1974, and he had already been an employee of the Prijedor health centre.
Q. What was your impression of Mr. Srdjo Srdic in May, June, July, or before that period of time?
A. The two of us never met actually during that period of time. However, I heard news about him from time to time because after all, we would discuss our colleagues at work, so every now and then, someone would tell me about him or about what was going on in town.
Q. At that time, was he considered to be an important personality in Prijedor?
A. Yes, he was. I don't know which particular office he held at the time, but I know that he was in charge of certain affairs that were conducted in cooperation with the Red Cross because whenever we didn't have electricity, for instance, we would address ourselves to the Red Cross to provide us with candles or with food when it was necessary, hygiene -- sanitary products and so on and so forth. 10348BLANK PAGE 10349
Q. And when you say "we," who do you have in mind?
A. I'm referring to us, employees of the health centre and the hospital in general. Because we at times didn't have adequate equipment or supplies to provide our patients with, so we had to find that somewhere. So we would go to the Red Cross for that purpose. And the persons who were sent from the hospital or the health centre to the Red Cross to get something would often mention Srdjo Srdic. Very often, I must say, that they were not -- these people were not happy with his attitude and the kind of work that he did. Apparently, frequently he refused to give them what they needed, but I personally never went there. I didn't ask anything personally from Srdjo Srdic.
Q. Did you know Mr. Nusret Sivac before the war?
A. Nusret, no, I didn't know him personally. I only knew him by name. I know that I used to see him in town, but I was never introduced to him.
Q. Did Mr. Sivac wear glasses at the time?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. To you, as a layperson, did it seem that he was very shortsighted, that these were glasses with a very high dioptry, or were they just ordinary sunglasses?
A. No, they were not just ordinary sunglasses. I couldn't tell you exactly what kind of glasses they were, but they were certainly not just ordinary sunglasses, and I couldn't really tell you what his dioptry was. That is beyond me.
MR. LUKIC: [In English] This concludes our examination-in-chief, 10350 Your Honour.
[Interpretation] Thank you, Mrs. Dakic. This concludes my examination-in-chief. I will now hand you over to my learned friends from the Prosecution and to Their Honours, the Honourable Judges.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Ms. Sutherland, if you want, you may start. We will have our next break about 20 minutes to 6.00.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour. Cross-examined by Ms. Sutherland:
MS. SUTHERLAND: For the record, Your Honour, I'd just like to note the number of the events that Mrs. Dakic testified about today were not included in the Rule 65 ter summary. And on the 21st of November, we had requested in the Status Conference to be provided with the names in relation to the events raised --
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt you. I think this shouldn't be discussed in the presence of the witness. It is more or less an internal affair. I'm aware of this. And therefore I will convene as soon as possible another 65 ter (i) meeting. It's absolutely mandatory. We can't proceed this way. Thank you.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mrs. Dakic, you testified today that you were working as a lawyer in the medical centre in Prijedor. In April of 1992, how many people did you supervise?
Q. You said that you weren't responsible for drawing up the lists of persons to be terminated. Who was responsible for preparing those lists? 10351
A. The records were kept, and the person responsible for drawing up those lists was the head of the department or the director of the hospital who would inspect the records, together with his assistant, and he would see who was missing from work and for how many days.
Q. Were you involved in the drawing up of any lists from your department?
A. No. I was not the person who had any subordinates. There were no people reporting directly to me. In my work unit, the records on the people who came to work were the director and the head of my work unit. That was part of their duty, and they did that throughout my employment in the health centre.
Q. Do you know the names of any Serb doctors who were dismissed from the hospital in 1992?
A. I do. Dr. Vojislav Milosev. In May 1992, he resided in the area of Omarska. He was my neighbour. He said goodbye to us and went to Serbia. He was a native of Novi Sad, and his explanation was that he no longer wished to be there because he didn't feel safe. He, his wife, and his two children left and never returned. He never came back to work to the health centre or to the general hospital of Prijedor.
Q. You said you were working in the health centre. Were you working in the hospital?
A. According to its organisational scheme, the health centre consisted of the general hospital, the medical centre of Prijedor, the pharmacy of Prijedor, the medical centre in Bosanski Novi, the medical centre in Sanski Most, and the pharmacy in Sanski Most. So when I say 10352 that I worked in the health centre, we were an organisational unit that covered the entire territory and had a certain number of departments or segments, as I've already told you. I worked in the department of general affairs, which were in charge of the administrative work that was needed by all of the departments or institutions that I have just listed for you.
Q. Where was your office located?
A. In Prijedor.
Q. In which building?
A. In the building which is close to the general hospital of Prijedor. These were some prefabricated buildings or cabins.
Q. You're aware that between 550 and 580 people worked at the hospital, are you not?
Q. And approximately 50 per cent of those people were of Serb ethnicity?
A. I can't tell you that for a fact. I have never made an effort to establish that, but it is quite possible. There were a lot of Serbs, a lot of Muslims, there were Croats, but there were people of other ethnicities as well. There were even some foreign citizens, and I can't tell you exactly where they came from. But I knew them by name.
Q. And out of all of the Serb doctors that were employed at the hospital, you can recall the name of one doctor who was dismissed because he went to Serbia. Is that correct?
A. No. Dr. Nikola Jegic also left his employment, was also terminated. If I saw all of the names, then I'm sure I would remember 10353 them. As it is, it is very hard for me to remember all of them. As far as I can remember, Dr. Risto Stojanovski was also dismissed, but he complained. He filed a complaint. His case was reviewed, and Mr. Stojanovski and his wife Jasna returned, came back to work, because they had a justification for the time they were absent. Dr. Stojanovski has been retired recently, and his wife, Jasna, I believe still works in the hospital. I believe that she is in the hemodialysis department.
Q. Is he of Serb ethnicity or Macedonian? I'll move on to another topic.
A. He's a native of Ohrid. He was born in Ohrid, and believe me I never made an effort to establish anybody's ethnicity. We never checked the ethnicity of any of our employees. Believe me.
Q. You testified earlier that in late August or early September, you were assigned to work in Omarska. What work unit were you -- I'm sorry, 1992. What work unit were you attached to?
A. After that?
Q. You said that you were working as a lawyer at the medical centre. And then in late August or September of 1992, you were assigned to work in Omarska. What work unit were you attached to when you were transferred to Omarska?
A. Nothing has changed in my status. The outpatients surgery in Omarska was one of the units of the health centre in Prijedor. And I always worked for the health centre in Prijedor and for the general hospital in Prijedor. And this included the outpatients surgery in Omarska, which was a work unit of the health centre in Prijedor. So 10354 nothing changed in my status. I was just assigned to perform some other duties.
And during that period of time, those duties were performed in Omarska. Because of the difficult situation at the time, my task was to look after the needs of the Omarska outpatients surgery, because that's where I lived and I couldn't commute. So whenever there was a lack of supplies, medical supplies, or fuel, I was in charge of informing the director of the health centre who would then either ask me to come and fetch the supplies or he would ask the main technician or the director of the outpatient surgery in Omarska, whoever, to come and fetch those supplies that were lacking at the moment and were reported to be lacking at the moment in Omarska.
That was actually just an assignment to perform certain tasks at a given time.
Q. You were working as a lawyer in the Prijedor hospital, is that correct, in the medical centre?
Q. And you testified earlier that you were assigned to work in Omarska in late August or September because they needed "my type of work in the work unit." Did you perform any legal tasks within the Omarska outpatients' clinic?
A. Yes, yes, I did. But that's that. That's what I always did. My legal work at the time in Omarska was to maintain the record of the attendance of nurses. Then in consultation with the director of the outpatient surgery, we had to put together the rota of doctors so that the 10355 work could be organised. There were not enough doctors to work around the clock. Still, somebody had to be on call in the case of any emergency. So that was my work.
Q. How long did you stay at the Omarska outpatients' clinic for?
A. Up to May 1993.
Q. Before you were assigned to the Omarska outpatients' clinic, what legal work were you doing within the Prijedor medical centre from April 1992 until late August 1992?
A. My work consisted of the following: During that period of time, due to the fact that a lot of our Muslim staff had - and Croat staff - had left Prijedor, their apartments were vacant. In order to protect these apartments from looting and from other such things, my chief gave me the task to go and make rounds of these apartments to put together the record the condition in which the apartments were found. And pursuant to the decision of the housing committee that was in charge of the allocation of these apartments, I was in charge of putting together the document on the temporary use of those apartments during the time while the circumstances of that nature were in place.
Pursuant to such documents, the majority of our employees were able to use these apartments up to the moment when the ministry for the displaced persons and refugees issued a decree on the return of these apartments that were eventually -- have been returned to the previous owners within the past year or two. In the meantime, these apartments have been purchased by their tenants. During that period of time, that is, in 1992, I was also in charge of drafting the legal acts. One of them 10356 was the organisation of staffing table, and I did that together with a colleague of mine.
I have already told you that the number of work places is not the same in the wartime as it is in the peacetime. And the proposal of this document was always given by the director, so that the director was in charge of proposing this document, and we were just the executors. And we had to draft the document and then we would give that document to our director to sign. He would then check it and see whether everything is within his -- according to his instructions, and then he would sign the document if that document was in keeping with the then prevailing law.
Q. When you say "the proposal of this document was always given by the director," what proposal are you referring to? You're talking about the staffing table. Is this dismissing certain staff?
A. No, I'm afraid you haven't understood what I meant. When staffing tables are drafted, no names, specific names are mentioned. It is done in the following way, for instance: The general hospital needs during this period of time five surgeons or two surgeons depending on the situation; two internal medicine specialists; two gynecologists; and so on and so forth.
When you do this, you do not necessarily refer to specific people. There is a specific number of staff members that are necessary. For instance, each physician requires two assistants or paramedics or technicians, whatever you call them. And by calculating the number of physicians, you can easily calculate the number of paramedics. And the director decides whether he needs five ambulance drivers, for instance, or 10357 three or six other administrative workers. In times of war, the situation might change, and so on and so forth.
When this proposal, this draft, is adopted, then a final staffing table with specific names of the relevant incumbents of these posts is done. That's how it was done, and that's how it is still done today.
Q. Going back to the function in relation to the apartments, you said that the majority of the employees moved into the houses that had been previously occupied by non-Serbs. What were the ethnicity of these employees that moved into the apartments?
A. They were not houses, but apartments, flats, which were built by the health centre, by the medical centre, with the resources that were paid to a special fund by all of us, by all of the employees.
MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour. Let the witness answer the question. We had that --
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, but it was no answer to the question. Therefore, it's correct that there was an interruption. Otherwise, I would have done this.
MS. SUTHERLAND: And I wouldn't have interrupted the witness, Your Honour.
Q. Madam, there must have been a mistranslation, because I did say "apartments." What was the ethnicity of the persons that were placed into the apartments that were previously occupied by Muslims and Croats?
A. Of Serb ethnicity, of course, as a result of the general displacement of the population. Mostly Serb employees remained, and some of these people did not have adequate accommodation, adequate apartments. 10358BLANK PAGE 10359 And in 1992, in June or July, a special commission, a special board, housing board, was established which drew up a list of all these vacant apartments and made a bidding for these apartments. And the employees who did not have apartments and who considered themselves to be entitled to accommodation applied for these apartments. The board then made a selection, evaluated all these cases, and eventually allocated these apartments. The relevant decision read, I believe, that the apartments were allocated for a temporary use, and so on and so forth. None of these apartments was given to anyone for permanent use.
I have already told you that this was done because these apartments had remained empty, vacant. And if the appropriate service from the medical centre had not made an inventory of these apartments, and if they had not issued decisions for temporary use of these apartments, they would have been squatted by other people, people who would destroy these apartments, behave irresponsibly towards the property. And in this way, it was the employees of the medical centre who were allocated these apartments for temporary use.
Q. I want to move now to another topic. You testified earlier that Dr. Stakic came to the health centre in Prijedor in 1989 approximately. And that he worked in the Omarska surgery until he was appointed vice-president of the municipality. You said that on the 19th of May, 1993, he returned to the health centre as deputy chief executive officer, and you said that on the 1st of January, 1995, he became the chief executive officer of the health centre until 1997 or 1998, when he was succeeded by a new director. 10360
Q. How come you are sure on the dates that he returned to the health centre as deputy and when he became the chief executive officer?
A. The date, you're referring to the 1st of January, 1995, and the health centre.
Q. You said that he returned to the health centre on the 19th of May, 1993. Is that correct?
A. Yes, yes. Yes, that is correct.
Q. You said that he became the chief executive officer of the health centre on the 1st of January, 1995.
Q. How come you are sure about these dates?
A. Well, it's easy because we, in the former Yugoslavia, probably didn't have the same kind of system as you did. It may sound strange to you that I should know this. But as I told you, the medical centre was an umbrella organisation which consisted of several components which I have already enumerated. Out patients' clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and other such institutions. The overall health care was provided by the medical centre.
When the war activity started in the area of Prijedor Municipality, and when the law on associated labour ceased to apply in the territory of the former republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the medical centre became one single unit. The Sanski Most outpatients' clinic and the Sanski Most pharmacy were no longer part of the medical centre. They were not in the territory of Prijedor Municipality. They belonged to a 10361 separate municipality. So as of 1992, it was the Prijedor's outpatients' clinic, Prijedor pharmacy, and the occupational medicine centre were part of the Prijedor medical centre.
Q. Pause there, please. Were you privy to any documentation or files in relation to these dates?
A. Yes. In May 1992 [as interpreted], the Municipal Assembly sent a decision to the medical centre whereby Dr. Milan Kovacevic was appointed chief of medical centre, and Dr. Milomir Stakic his deputy. So the two of them remained in these offices until the end of 1994. In the course of 1994, the assembly of Republika Srpska adopted a new law on health care whereby it established the overall network of health institutions in the republic. This law provided for the existence of separate hospitals, clinical centres, outpatients' clinic, and so on and so forth. These institutions became separate. Thereby, a reorganisation was done as far as health care is concerned. This was done in Banja Luka in respect of our area.
So I was also involved in the implementation of this new law, law on health care. I took the documentation to the Court, and I know that the court issued a decision whereby the outpatients' clinic started to exist as a separate institution on the 1st of January, 1995. On that day, the hospital became an independent medical institution, and the Novi Grad outpatients' clinic, the Prijedor pharmacy, they all became independent, separate medical institutions. And that is why I clearly remember these dates. And that's why I know on that day, as a result of this reorganisation, the Municipal Assembly -- 10362
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry, I want to correct something what may be reflected not correctly on page 46, line 2. Here is reads: In May 1992, the Municipal Assembly sent a decision to the medical centre whereby Milan Kovacevic was appointed and so on. I think -- is it true you wanted to say 1992, or did you say 1993?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1993, yes, yes, 1993.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So if this could be please corrected. Thank you.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour. I was just about to clear that up.
Q. Mrs. Dakic, how do you remember the date of the 19th of May, 1993, as the date Dr. Stakic became deputy of the health centre?
A. I will tell you how it happened. As of May 1992, the office of the director of the medical centre was held by Ranko Sikman. In May 1993, the information that the Prijedor medical centre director, Mr. Ranko Sikman, reached me in the afternoon hours on that day as I was sitting on a bench in front of my house. Because a deputy of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly, whom I knew, happened to pass by, and in an informal conversation, he told me as a worker of a medical centre: "Well, today, we have dismissed Sikman, and we are giving Stakic and Kovacevic back to you."
Several days later, a written decision to that effect arrived; that is, the appointment of Mr. Kovacevic to the office of the director. Because Mr. Kovacevic was also one of our physicians who came to occupy an office, that is, the office of the president of the executive council 10363 after the multiparty elections, this decision had to be entered into the proper records, which I still have because such changes need to be kept. I also have a decision on the appointment of Dr. Stakic as chief of outpatients' clinic, and all these decisions are part of the appropriate records that I still keep.
Q. Can you tell us the date Dr. Stakic stopped being the chief executive officer of the medical centre?
A. The 16th of July, 1988, it was Dr. Spomenka Pavkovic who was appointed to that position. Her mandate has been renewed recently as a director.
Q. I'm sorry. In the transcript, your answer reads "the 16th of July, 1988." Can you clarify the date for the Court, please.
A. Dr. Stakic, while he was director of the medical centre, head medical centre, applied to be sent to specialisation in physiotherapy. In 1995/1996, he was still director of the medical centre, but was also head of the Prijedor Municipality. These two functions can theoretically coexist, but they require a considerable amount of effort. And he appointed --
THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we missed the last part of the witness's answer.
Q. Could you pause there for a moment. Two things to follow up your answer. My question was very simple. In your last answer, when I asked you to tell us the date Dr. Stakic stopped being the chief executive officer of the medical centre, your answer in the transcript is the 16th 10364 of July, 1988. Can you please clarify the year that he left.
A. He was the director of the medical centre until that time, and he was assisted in his work by his deputies.
Q. If Dr. Stakic was appointed as chief executive officer of the health centre on the 1st of January, 1995, what year did he cease as chief executive officer? Was it 1997 or 1998? Because the transcript reads "1988."
A. In 1998. I'm afraid I have misunderstood your question. I must have made a mistake in the year. That's why I didn't understand your question.
Q. Dr. Stakic stopped coming to work days after the arrest of Dr. Kovacevic on the 10th of July, 1997. Isn't that true?
A. Dr. Stakic did not come to work to the medical centre during 1996. I told you because of the workload in his capacity as the president of the municipality, he appointed Dr. Zeljko Macura to replace him. And I believe that the two of them consulted on the medical centre affairs. According to the records that we maintain at the medical centre, Dr. Stakic in 1997 left to complete his residency in Belgrade, and he sent us the reports on his residency because that residency had been granted to him long before that. And if he hadn't taken it at that time, the ministry of health would have withdrawn this permission. So this grant, residency grant, was time barred, so he had to take it at the time. That means, he didn't come to the medical centre physically, but according to us, and based on what I have told you, we did not consider that he had left work. All of our doctors who go for 10365 residency have to submit the letters of the institutions where they are sent to complete their residency. And that's what they do in order to prove to us that they are indeed doing what they have been sent to do.
Q. You mentioned that you had these previous decisions that we've talked about, his appointment on the 19th of May, 1993, and the 1st January, 1995. Do you also have the decision Dr. Zeljko Macura replaced him in 1996 in your file?
Q. Do you have the piece of paper in relation to his residency in Belgrade on your file?
A. In the accounting department in the medical centre, there must be such a document. Otherwise, he could not have been paid for that period of time.
Q. Do you know whether Dr. Stakic is still on the payroll of the Prijedor medical centre?
A. Yes, he is. According to the provisions of the law on employment or the labour law, an employee against whom a legal procedure has been initiated is entitled to receive 50 per cent of his salary for the duration of that procedure, or for six months, or until the end of that procedure if the employer so decides. The CEO of the medical centre, in keeping with the provisions of this law, has decided to pay this small amount of money to Dr. Stakic. And whether this is going to be paid out until the moment a valid decision is made by this Honourable Court, I can't tell you. It really depends on the decision of my director. That is, of the director of the medical centre. 10366 It is possible, according to the labour law, for the director of the medical centre to say either tomorrow or the day after or next month that this remuneration will stop being paid. But for the first six months after the procedure was started, our institution was under the obligation to pay this money to Dr. Stakic.
Q. After Dr. Stakic completed his residency that he left for in, you think, 1997 or 1998, did he return to work at the Prijedor medical centre or hospital?
A. No, he did not.
Q. And by his decision in 1996, he was replaced by Dr. Zeljko Macura. So from that point in 1996, he was no longer an employee of the medical centre or the hospital. Isn't that correct?
A. No, it is not. It isn't. The deputy is appointed by the director. It is the director's decision. The director appoints the person who will sit in his place during his absence. And such a decision by the director does not immediately result in his termination of employment because he was appointed president of the municipality. Maybe this word "deputy" has confused you. It is not a deputy, it is the assistant director who acts on behalf of the director during the director's absence for justified reasons.
If the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor had appointed Dr. Macura by the same decision, it would have relieved Dr. Stakic of his duties.
Q. Do you know a person -- have you obtained any records from the hospital or the medical centre in relation to Dr. Stakic's defence?
A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question, ma'am. 10367
Q. Have you provided the Defence with any hospital records of any patients?
A. Yes. When Trial Chamber or Prosecution has a case, they often approach us with a request to get an insight into the documentation of our patient who is at the same time the person being tried or charged with crimes. In October or November last year, that is, 2002, the Defence team of Dr. Stakic approached the medical centre, that is, the director of our medical centre, with a request to provide for the purposes of this Trial Chamber the medical chart testifying to the health condition of Mr. Nusret Sivac. I believe that is the gentleman's name.
On director's order, the service where such documentation is kept has located the medical documentation of this person, and I believe that this documentation was delivered to the office for the cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, and that in turn, that a copy of that document has been delivered to Dr. Stakic's Defence team.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, may I continue.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Along this line of questioning.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you.
[Prosecution counsel confer]
Q. Madam, I would like you to look at a document. While that's being distributed, could you please tell the Court the name of the director of the hospital, or the medical centre, who ordered that the records be 10368BLANK PAGE 10369 delivered up.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Excuse me, usher, before that's given to the witness.
Q. Madam, could you tell me the name of the director of the Prijedor medical centre, please.
A. Yes. Spomenka Pavkovic-Sekulic.
Q. Isn't it correct that within the meaning -- I'm sorry. I will begin my question again.
Information about the state of health of a patient and about the causes, circumstances, and consequences of that state would be construed as a medical secret, would it not?
Q. And isn't it correct that information of this nature may not be disclosed to other persons or published in a manner which would reveal the identity of the patient that that information pertains to?
A. I've already told you, it is our practice that the director can approve the delivery of such information when a request comes either from the Prosecution or the basic court in Prijedor, all with the purpose of establishing the truth. It has happened on a number of occasions so far. In this particular case, it was the Defence team that has sent us such a request. I believe that my director believed that this carries the same weight as if it had been requested by the Prosecution. I'm not claiming that we have not made a mistake, but this has been the practice in our relationship with the judiciary system. Maybe in this case, we have not been vigilant enough. Maybe we have not had the 10370 right instructions, and maybe the director of the medical centre has indeed made a mistake in issuing an approval for such a document to be delivered to a third party.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, may we take an early break. You wanted to break at quarter to 6.00.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think -- how long will it take you to continue with the line of questions on this issue?
MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I was going to move on to another topic, unless you wanted me to continue.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then please understand that before we move over to another issue, I want to ask the witness in person. Did you yourself give any legal advice to the person you just mentioned who ordered the handing out of this document? Was there any discussion on the legality and the question whether or not to hand over this document on the witness in this Tribunal?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have not provided any advice, but I have told you that this is customary. This is what the procedure is. So my director did not even deem it necessary to ask for my advice, because this is part of our practice. And this was not the first time that somebody sent us a similar request.
Maybe our judgement was wrong when we thought that the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution, and Defence are one and the same. Because maybe we were not aware of who has the right to ask for something, who is entitled to request something. But I believe that my director was guided by the former practice, and that she thought that it would not be a 10371 problem if we delivered this document to members of the legal profession. And she did that. Maybe it is our mistake; maybe we did not act correctly. It may be the case that the Defence is not entitled to the same thing as other members or parts of the judiciary system.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do I understand you correctly that you in person were approached by the Defence team?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The Defence team sent a letter to the medical centre. They issued a written request. All the letters that arrive at the address of the medical centre are opened by the personal assistant of the director. Since the director and myself work in the adjacent offices, and since this was relative to Dr. Stakic who had been our director and our employee, obviously the director showed me the letter with the request. So that's why I saw the letter. But I was not requested to give her any advice, nor was I in the position to give her any advice.
Even if anybody had asked me for advice, to be honest, I would have acted as we had in the case when such a case arrived from the basic court in Prijedor. So I would have acted along the similar lines. I would not have seen any hidden agenda in that, and I would have thought that the procedure to be followed was the same.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are aware that you have an excellent recollection as regards time and persons. Do you, to the best of your recollection, can testify about who signed this request and when did the request arrive?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That request arrived while I was 10372 absent, and it was brought by somebody from Dr. Stakic's Defence team. I believe that it was one of his counsels. I am not in a position to tell you exactly who it was, but in any case, it was on behalf of the Defence team.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Whenever in your country a Defence team would, in a case pending in Republika Srpska, approach you and asking you to hand over documents which are protected under Article 13 of the law on protection of health, would you hand over these documents to a Defence team without any consent given by a judge?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until this case, we never had a case of a Defence team requesting something like that. All the requests came from the basic court in Prijedor or in Banja Luka, or the Prosecution. And this time, when the request arrived from the Defence team, we simply that this is what we were supposed to do and that we were dealing with one and the same thing, that required the same procedure in order to arrive at the truth. And believe me, not for a single moment did we think that we were making a mistake. In practice, so far, no Defence counsel acting on behalf of anybody in a case pending in our state has ever approached us with such a request, or at least I don't know of any such case in our practice so far.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: A final question before the break: Were you requested to hand over the entire dossier relevant to this concrete person, or were you asked to concentrate on a concrete period of time only?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the letter that I saw, that I 10373 cannot quote precisely, we were asked to provide the documents relevant to the health condition of Mr. Sivac; to be more precise, in respect of his eyesight. Since this is beyond my scope of authority, I did not work on that. It was done by our service which maintains records on our patients, including Mr. Sivac. They must have located his file, and I don't really know what it says in this file. That particular service must have delivered a document to the director without thinking twice on what it says in the document. And a nurse is not in the position to interpret a medical file; I am not in a position to do that. So they just delivered document, the file to the director, and that's that.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The trial stays adjourned until 5 minutes past 6.00.
--- Recess taken at 5.49 p.m.
--- On resuming at 6.09 p.m.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. You may proceed immediately. Thank you.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mrs. Dakic, was Dr. Stakic an efficient chief executive officer at the medical centre?
A. Well, it's difficult to talk about it now, because in the period of time where Dr. Stakic was chief executive officer, the times were very difficult. We had almost nothing, and Dr. Stakic did his best in order to maintain the highest level possible at that time of health care. I don't know what exactly you mean when you say "an efficient chief executive officer." I mean, the centre did provide health care to all citizens of 10374 Prijedor Municipality, all outpatients' clinic were operational. We transported the sick to the hospital. If that's what you have in mind, then yes, he can be described as efficient.
Q. For example, did he keep himself informed of important events that were happening in the hospital, in the medical centre?
A. Yes. Well, his main concern was to provide adequate health care to the patients, to have adequate medical equipment, the sanitary supplies, bandages, syringes, and the like, and also to make sure that in the small outpatients' clinics located in the neighbouring town, a doctor, a physician, is sent. That is the responsibility of the health centre, and that is what the chief of health centre was supposed to take care of.
Q. Are you aware of whether Dr. Stakic visited the clinics and the infirmaries?
A. You mean, in his capacity as the director?
A. Yes, yes.
Q. Mrs. Dakic, the transcript unclear. Earlier, you testified in May without specifying a year you had meetings with Dr. Stakic about collecting firewood and sending ambulances to different places. Are you referring to May 1993?
A. Yes, before that, I had never met with Dr. Stakic. Up until the time when he became the president of the municipality, he did not have any contacts with me until he became the chief of medical centre. As for conversations with Dr. Stakic in general, they were never personal. They were never of a private nature. Sometimes I attended 10375 these work meetings when my services were needed, and the subject was usually the current needs of the medical centre, later health centre, and individual medical units. And I attended these meetings only upon invitation.
Q. I want to move to another topic. In 1992, were you a member of any political party?
Q. What is your ethnicity?
Q. You testified earlier that Dr. Stakic was a member of the radical party and that that was closer to you. What did you mean by that?
A. Rallies or meetings organised by the radical party led by Mr. Guberina -- I don't know whether it was a committee or a small cell that they had in the territory of Omarska -- took place some hundred metres away from my house, and I was able to watch who gathered there from the window of my house. And I knew that the meeting in question was some kind of founding assembly, a founding rally. Later from the people who were present there, I heard that Mr. Stakic had been elected president. And the local board or whatever it was called -- I never made any effort to learn what it was called, however this organisational unit, whether it was in charge of Prijedor or Omarska, I don't know, but it was all in connection with this radical party which was organised and led by Mr. Veljko Guberina.
Q. I want to move on to another topic, and I wish to show you a number of documents. But before I do that, you stated in your evidence 10376 that between the 28th of April and the 3rd of May, 1992, everything remained the same, and that no one had been sacked. Is that correct?
A. Yes, it is, except for the cases of disciplinary proceedings or in accordance with the law that is still applicable. I did not notice anything of that kind happening at the time, nor did I observe any such thing in my department. I never saw my boss call any of the employees to his office for that purpose. We normally came to work, we normally talked, and I can claim that during that period of time, there were no dismissals, which doesn't mean, again, that this measure of termination of employment was not imposed in respect of someone who had broken some rules. But that practice had nothing to do with the events taking place at the time.
Q. The date, was it -- did I understand correctly you were referring to the 28th of April to the 3rd of May, or were you referring from the 28th of April or to the 30th of May?
A. No, not to the 30th of May; I said explicitly during the period of time which is linked to the so-called takeover in the territory of Prijedor Municipality. During those several days, in my view, then and now, everything was the same as it was on the 27th. Nothing in particular happened, although the tension was visible at the time, I agree. But there were no -- any particular events that would merit any special comment.
Q. Isn't it correct a number of persons were dismissed from the posts of directors of socially-owned companies during May 1992, after the takeover, shortly after the takeover? 10377
A. Yes, that is correct that directors of individual companies were replaced or dismissed. But I couldn't tell you the names of these people because at the medical centre, the director was appointed because the managing organ, the managing board which, until then, had performed that function, ceased to exist. So I cannot tell you the names of previous directors and who was appointed, if anyone afterwards.
Q. Leaving the hospital aside for one moment, are you aware and isn't it correct that a number of Muslims and Croats were dismissed from their positions as directors of companies and were replaced by persons of Serb ethnicity?
A. That was not the case with the medical centre. In 1992 --
Q. Pause there, please. I said leaving the hospital and the medical centre aside, aren't you aware and isn't that correct that a number of Muslim and Croat directors were dismissed from their employment as directors of companies and replaced by people of Serb ethnicity shortly after the takeover in May 1992?
A. This is probably true because a large number of Muslim residents had left the territory of Prijedor, so probably one of the persons who held the office of the director also left. In view of the fact that it was mostly the Serb population that remained in the territory of the municipality, it is only reasonable to conclude that most of them were Serb. But I was not particularly knowledgeable about these things at the time. I don't know when these people left and who replaced them in their respective offices, the offices of directors.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, in between that we maybe can take 10378BLANK PAGE 10379 the necessary measures, do you regard it also as "leaving the territory" when a person was arrested in Omarska and Keraterm?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said "leaving the territory," I meant the people who had moved outside the territory of Prijedor Municipality and took residence someplace else.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what about others?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To my understanding, they didn't leave Prijedor Municipality. At the time, they were still there. If someone was arrested and detained in the territory of Prijedor Municipality, then it means that he or she was still there but was probably prevented from performing their duties. If their freedom of movement was restricted, then obviously they couldn't come to work. This is a very simple conclusion that I'm able to reach.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, but you're a lawyer by profession. Would you regard it as a reason if a person is arrested in a camp for, say, as you mentioned, more than five days, would you regard this as a reason for dismissal?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, personally I wouldn't.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please continue with your line of questions. And feel free to ask for, if necessary, admonition on the Rule 91.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mrs. Dakic, as a lawyer, do you know a former colleague Esad Mehmedagic, a former legal colleague?
Q. Do you know a person called Slobodan Radulj? 10380
Q. I would ask you to look at the following document which is Rule 65 ter number -- I'm sorry, it's an exhibit. S25.
A. Please, I see here a different name. You asked me if I knew the person by the name Slobodan Radzo. Here in the transcript, I can read Slobodan Radulj.
Q. Do you know this person?
A. I do.
Q. What is his ethnicity?
Q. Looking at Exhibit S25, if the English translation could be placed on the ELMO machine, you spoke a moment ago about people, directors, and other persons being dismissed from employment because they left the territory. Do you know what happened to Esad Mehmedagic, the man who was dismissed from the post of municipal public attorney? Do you know that he was taken to the Omarska camp after the attack on Prijedor on the 30th of May, 1992, and that he disappeared from the Omarska camp?
Q. This gentleman had very, very bad eyesight and was nearly blind. Does that remind you at all of who this person is?
A. No, I didn't know any of these people.
Q. Looking at S25, which is a decision of the 4th of May, 1992, of the executive committee of the Serbian Municipality of Prijedor, in fact it dismisses Esad Mehmedagic and appoints Slobodan Radulj. What is Slobodan's Radulj's ethnicity, if you know? 10381
Q. And do you know the ethnicity of Esad Mehmedagic?
A. I do. Muslim.
MS. SUTHERLAND: I've finished with that document.
Q. Do you know a man by the name of Nedzad Seric?
Q. Who was the presiding judge of the municipal court in Prijedor in 1992, in April 1992?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you know who was president of the elections commission during the March 1992 elections?
A. I don't know.
MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I have no further questions. Questioned by the Court:
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mrs. Dakic --
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the presiding judge.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We are extremely grateful that today, on the basis of your testimony, we got a more close view on the CV of Dr. Stakic. May I therefore start with this question: You mentioned that on the 19th of May, 1993, he became deputy chief executive officer of the health centre, the same date Dr. Milan Kovacevic was chief.
Do you know as not in your professional capacity but as a citizen of the municipality of Prijedor, what were the reasons why both of them at the same time moved from the political area back to the health area? 10382
A. I think it was for the following reason: They were relieved of their respective duties, that is, of the vice-president of the municipality and the president of the executive board. And since they were both persons who joined politics from the health centre, it was only normal for them to return to the institutions from which they originally came. It was simply a practice for the people who joined political life, once they are through with it, to return to their original duties, not only in the health centre but in any other company.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But do you know something about the reasons why they had together to leave the political field?
A. No, I don't. Rumour had it at the time that Dr. Stakic more often than Dr. Kovacevic was not a suitable for the duties of the president of the Municipal Assembly. But this was just a rumour; this was something that was heard on the grapevine. I never heard it said officially at a meeting, a rally, or I never heard it coming from an official source.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And to go furthermore in one detail, you mentioned that Dr. Stakic remained in this capacity until the end of 1994, and then became the 1st of January, 1995, the director of the health centre. To the best of your recollection, he really remained there until the end of 1994? Or was there any gap for what reason soever in 1994?
A. As far as I know, there were no changes on the part of the organ who appointed Dr. Stakic as deputy CEO. During 1994, the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor made a decision on organising the health centre as an independent institution and appointed Dr. Stakic as its director which was then delivered, together with other documents, to the registration court 10383 in Banja Luka. Whether anything happened in the meantime, I don't know. I wouldn't be able to tell you.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there maybe a de facto interruption of his work in 1994? Because we have to find out the truth, and we heard slightly different evidence in the past, but only if you know, of course.
A. I don't know.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you prepare today's testimony by revisiting your documents on Dr. Stakic, which would be quite normal, if not the duty of a witness?
A. The facts that I presented before this Honourable Chamber today are the facts that I knew the very moment I was informed that I might be invited to appear as a witness before this Chamber.
All the events that took place during 1992 were extremely bad and are of such nature that I'm sure I will remember for a long time. You simply don't forget such things.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you take ever copies of the file of Dr. Stakic?
A. No, not me. What copies of files do you have in mind?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Previously in your testimony you told us that as usual in the administration, one could find all the letters on the appointment of Dr. Stakic and so on. So therefore, I think there must be a kind of file where we could find these documents. And my question was related to this. Did you ever take or ask anybody to provide you with copies of this file in whole or in part?
A. No, I've never requested anything. When Dr. Stakic was appointed 10384 director, we received in the mail from the competent organ that had appointed him a relevant decision which said that Dr. Stakic, by that decision, has been appointed to that duty. And this document was filed by the person in charge of the files of the health centre. What preceded Dr. Stakic's appointment was not up to me to check. It was not in the nature of my job, and I was not in the position to check it. As far as I know, this was a result of the interparty agreement which is a normal thing in the country where I come from.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, my question was only related to that if, for example, we would deem it necessary to revisit those documents as of 19 May, 1993, or 16th of July, 1998, you would not be prepared to immediately grant us copies or excerpts of this file? To be more concrete: You don't have any copies about this with you, be it here or in your hotel?
A. No, no, no.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It could have been of assistance, but you were not asked to do so. So please accept that I fully understand this. When did you hear for the first time ever the name of Dr. Stakic?
A. The first time I saw Dr. Stakic was when he was still a young boy. He must have been 10 or 11 at the time. I worked as a paramedic at the time, and together with my senior colleague, I went to the territory where Dr. Stakic resided with his parents. But this was a very brief acquaintance. I was only aware of the fact that he was the eldest son in that family.
My next information about Dr. Stakic dates back to the time when 10385 he was a medical student. Somehow, it was of some relevance to us to know who from the area where we worked went to the med school and whom we could expect to become a doctor. And then when he graduated from med school, he came to work to the same institution where I had already worked. From then onwards, we would meet in the street, in the workplace.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever meet him in the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor?
A. I have never been to the building of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, at least not during the time where Dr. Stakic was there. We only go to that building if we have a valid reason.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The reason for my question was that just previously, you told us that you would meet also on the workplace.
A. Maybe I haven't understood you properly, or maybe I'm not able to explain things properly. In Prijedor, you can meet people every day. You can meet the chief of the police, the president of the Municipal Assembly, or anybody else. But personally, I never went to the -- to the office of the president of the assembly, and I never met Dr. Stakic in his capacity as the president of the municipality. But his apartment is very close to the building where I work, and I could see Dr. Stakic a number of times on his way to work and from work. But even if I saw him, we didn't talk. We just exchanged a brief greeting, and that was it. I could also see Dr. Stakic driving in his car; I could see him in the park when he was playing with his children, with his son and his daughter.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you explain exactly to us where this apartment was located. 10386
A. I believe that this is the apartment block M in Prijedor, and two blocks away from the health centre and the building of the occupational medicine department. These two buildings belong to the institution called the medical centre of Prijedor.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever visit Dr. Stakic in his apartment?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Turn to another subject: You told us in detail what was your work when working in Prijedor. I didn't really understand what was your work opposed to this when you had to go to Omarska. What was the work of a lawyer in the outpost in Omarska?
A. No. In an outpatients' clinic the size of the clinic in Omarska, there's no real work for a lawyer. There are very few employees there. And a colleague of mine who had remained in Prijedor, she continued performing all the tasks and duties pertaining to that area. I've already told you winter was approaching. It was hard for me to travel. There was a need to look after the people in the hard times when there was a lack of all the bare necessities. This outpatients' clinic is some 25 to 30 kilometres away from Prijedor, and the director at the time sent me there. At the same time, there was not so much work in Prijedor for both me and my colleague to be working there full time as legal assistants.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever enter the facilities of Omarska camp at that time?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Were ever doctors or anybody else from Omarska 10387 outpatients' clinic asked to give medical assistance for those needing medical assistance in Omarska camp?
A. When I came from Prijedor to the outpatients' clinic in Omarska, there were no more detainees there. I believe that they had already been moved from that investigation centre to maybe Manjaca or to some other facility. I don't know. In any case, in June immediately after the conflict which took place on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of May, I was occasionally there in the Omarska outpatients' clinic, and during that period, I know that police members would ask doctors and paramedics from that outpatients' clinic to go there.
Whenever they had such a request, a doctor would go and a few paramedics would go there. And from time to time, they would bring a person in need of assistance. At that time, I didn't enter these rooms, and the police members would only approach a doctor if they needed such assistance, nobody else. And it would be the doctor who would take a team of paramedics, and then they would go there if they thought that they could provide assistance.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Another subject: The medical centre, did this medical centre have an additional name?
A. Dr. Mladen Stojanovic.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher, please, to present to the witness Exhibit S382 and at the same time S381-1 and -2. If this document could be immediately placed on the ELMO for a better understanding of all the participants.
May I ask you, and as a lawyer, you know what your obligation is 10388BLANK PAGE 10389 as a witness, have you ever seen this list or a similar list?
A. I've seen similar lists, but this one I can't be sure that I have seen it, no.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Acting as a lawyer there, was it part of your duty to check whether or not the legal prerequisites were met to dismiss a person, and whether or not for this reason, a name could be entered into such a list?
A. In that period, these were not my duties. These were not the duties that I discharged. But I believe that it was checked whether the necessary prerequisites were met for somebody to be dismissed. I did not participate in putting these lists together, and I also didn't participate in drafting dismissal documents.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know where the originals of these documents are in this period of time, in this moment? Do you have them still in Prijedor with you?
A. I don't know where the originals are. Judging by the names on this list, I can conclude that these are all employees of the general hospital in Prijedor. Whether there are the originals of these lists in the general hospital or not, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever go through -- I don't want to confront you with all the lists we have available here. Did you ever go as a lawyer through these lists, and did you ever think about the reasons behind these lists?
A. I have never looked at the lists. During 1992 and all the years thereafter, I have often thought about these events, and I have always 10390 wondered what has happened to us? Why has it happened to us? And did it really have to happen?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please have a look on the second page of Document S381-1. You can see a signature or paraph of a signature of the document --
MS. SUTHERLAND: Excuse me, Your Honour. As I mentioned in Court the other day, I do have the originals of Exhibit 381-1 and -2.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First, can you identify by this copy whose signature or paraph we can see beyond number 63, a human being, Emir Henic?
A. No. I don't know whether this is a bad copy of the original. But in any case, in this document, I can't see --
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So may I ask the Prosecution --
MS. SUTHERLAND: Usher, could you please pass these to the Judges, first.
Your Honour, I showed them to Defence counsel when I raised the matter in Court that I had the originals.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You may have a look on all the four pages, and then please tell us whether you identify either a signature or the handwriting you can find on the documents. And in order to save time, may already Document S386 be provided.
A. No, I can't recognise the signature. However, speaking from the experience in the Mladen Stojanovic medical centre, it was not customary to compile such documents. Every document was letterheaded with Dr. Stojanovic medical centre, and the document had to contain the number 10391 and the date. And at the end of every document, there should have been a typed name of the person who signed the document and the position or title.
As I don't see any of those here, I can only conclude or maybe guess that this was just a draft or a working material. In any case, this was not a valid final document. For a document to be valid, it had to contain the number, date, and it had to contain a typed-out name of the person who issued the document together with that person's title or position, be it the director or the medical technician or whoever.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Recalling your answer, may you please have a look on Document 386 in the B/C/S version immediately on the ELMO, please.
Do you know who drafted this document and who is responsible for this document?
A. Everything is self-explanatory. This was compiled by Sikman, Ranko, the acting director of the medical centre, but his signature is missing. That means that it was pursuant to his order that the document was drafted, but for a document to be valid and enforced, it should have been signed by him. Maybe the signature is just not visible. Maybe this is a bad copy. In any case, I do not see any signatures on this document.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We don't see either. Was it the custom when there were, as we can see here, five copies prepared that all the five copies and the original were signed by Mr. Sikman?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it -- please, you're a lawyer. Is it your 10392 testimony that all the copies ever were signed by Mr. Sikman in person?
A. They should have been in accordance with the rules. All copies of a document had to be signed in handwriting. Whether he personally signed this one, I don't know. But here, I see that he didn't. Whether this document was applied and acted upon the way it was unsigned, I don't know. But in accordance with the regulations, all copies, regardless of their number, should have been signed.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm afraid we can't conclude your testimony today because, no doubt, it's the right for the Defence to have some additional questions. And I think --
MR. LUKIC: I need two minutes only, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Two minutes. Any questions from your side?
There are a number of remaining questions, so unfortunately, we have to proceed tomorrow morning at 9.00.
The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00.
[The witness stands down]
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
the 15th day of January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.