1 Monday, 2nd March 1998
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 Are the interpreters ready? Good morning.
6 I hope everyone had a nice weekend and we can begin our
7 work; I think, Mr. Prosecutor, with a witness.
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honours. The next
9 witness we wish to call is witness number 1 on your
10 witness list. This witness has sought the use of
11 a pseudonym for his name, which is "Witness F". He has
12 also asked for the image of his face to not appear and
13 for the image to be distorted. I make that application
14 and I have discussed it with Mr. Mikulicic. I do not
15 understand there to be any objection to the
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
18 Can the necessary measures be taken, please?
19 Have they already been taken? Thank you. In that
20 case, please have the witness brought in. We have to
21 pull down the curtains.
22 (The witness entered court)
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, sir. Can you
24 hear me?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to read the
2 declaration that the Registrar is going to give to you,
4 A. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
5 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated and answer
7 the questions that the Prosecutor is going to address
8 to you, please.
9 WITNESS F
10 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
11 Q. Good morning, sir.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. During the course of your evidence, you will
14 be referred to by the name "Witness F". I would ask
15 you that you not divulge your name or your current or
16 past address during the course of your testimony.
17 Would you, please, look at the sheet of paper
18 that I am now going to show you and if your name
19 appears on that paper, would you answer "yes" or "no",
20 but do not say the name, just tell me "yes" or "no".
21 Could it then be shown to Mr. Mikulicic?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I tender that as
24 the next Prosecution exhibit in order, under seal.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What is the number,
1 Mr. Dubuisson?
2 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 43.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we see, please?
5 MR. NIEMANN: Witness F, how old are you?
6 A. Now?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. I am 45.
9 Q. I want to take you back, if I can, to mid to
10 late January of 1993, and ask if you could tell us
11 where you were at about that time and what happened,
12 particularly about the 21st and 22nd January 1993. Can
13 you recall that time?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where were you at that time? Do not give me
16 a specific address but you can name the town.
17 A. I was in Busovaca.
18 Q. What was happening in Busovaca around that
19 time, around 21st and 22nd January? Can you describe
20 the events that were occurring then?
21 A. Yes. On the 19th/20th January of 1993, these
22 were unbearable days for all of us. Movement was
23 limited, the right to gather, in particular. Not more
24 than two or three men could be seen together. If
25 a fourth was there, we would immediately be forced to
1 separate in one way or another.
2 In the evening of the 19th, as well as the
3 20th and the night between the 20th and the 21st, these
4 were among the worst nights because ugly things were
5 happening; explosions, devices were planted on almost
6 all shops, stores, held by Muslims and they were quite
8 There were about 50 such shops in the centre
9 of town, so that on the 19th, two or three explosions
10 destroyed two cafes and, on 20th January, it was
11 a relatively peaceful day. In the evening of the 20th,
12 again things became nasty and this could be felt first
13 by the cutting of telephone lines and we knew straight
14 away that something was about to happen. The same
15 applied to my own home.
16 First my telephone was cut, about 7.00 pm in
17 the evening on 20th January and then --
18 Q. If I could just stop you there for a moment.
19 I just want to ask you: these restrictive measures, you
20 spoke of the fact that the right to gather was
21 prohibited and that people were attacking premises,
22 shop premises in particular. Who were these measures
23 directed against?
24 A. Against us, the Muslim inhabitants.
25 Q. Who was directing the measures, who was
1 responsible for imposing these restrictions on the
2 Muslim population?
3 A. The HVO police, headed by Dario Kordic and
4 the actual perpetrators, Anto Sliskovic.
5 Q. And from your answer, you are, yourself,
6 Muslim; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What about the destruction of Muslim
9 property, the shops, in Busovaca; do you know who was
10 responsible for that, or not?
11 A. Everyone knows that because not a single
12 Muslim could move around freely, especially not in the
13 evening. The only people to move around were HVO
14 policemen and HVO fighters, combatants, so they were
15 the only ones who could have done it, no-one else.
16 Q. At this particular point in time -- that is
17 20th January, around 20th January 1993 -- were you
18 civilian or were you in the military, in terms of your
20 A. Civilian.
21 Q. Now, I think you said that your house, on the
22 20th, the telephone was cut off, then you were going to
23 go on to describe events following that and
24 I interrupted you. Could you continue on, please?
25 A. Yes. I expected or, at least I think
1 I expected, that something was to happen and my
2 expectations came true. I was with my family, my wife
3 and children in our living room. We were watching
4 television. About 10.15 in the evening, I heard
5 footsteps on the balcony of my house and the next
6 moment a strong explosion was heard to the right of my
8 A window face is there, a window about 120 by
9 140 centimetres and it was totally shattered, the glass
10 scattered on the living room floor. With my children
11 and wife, I tried to escape, to go out through the back
12 door of my house, because there is a door at the back,
13 and that very moment, strong blows could be heard. The
14 breaking of the front door and cries, "open, it is the
15 HVO police".
16 I asked, "what do you mean the HVO police?",
17 the next answer came the same: "The HVO police". Fire
18 broke out. They started shooting from the veranda
19 through the living room, but I managed with my wife and
20 children to escape through the back into the woods and
21 to spend the night there.
22 Throughout the night, until about 4.00 am,
23 maybe even 4.30 in the morning, they were looting
24 things, they drove off anything they thought could come
25 in handy. When I say, "everything", they took away
1 everything, so that nothing remained, including my own
2 passenger car, all the household appliances, virtually
4 The next day, when I went to the house after
5 all, I could not find even some underwear for my
6 children. Everything was taken away.
7 Q. Did you see the people -- were you able to
8 identify the people who were doing this looting?
9 A. No. I just saw that they were wearing
10 camouflage uniforms, and, according to their cries,
11 that is that they were the HVO police, I could conclude
12 who they were. According to what I saw from the dark,
13 because after all I was only some 30 metres from the
14 house, they switched on all the lights and I counted
15 seven of them.
16 Q. Now, after this had happened to you, what did
17 you do then?
18 A. This happened. Then about 8.00 in the
19 morning, I went to the house. I checked, looking
20 around for some things, my wife and I were looking for
21 anything, either for the children or ourselves because,
22 in fact, we had spent the whole night half dressed.
23 This was the month of January, 20th to the 21st and it
24 was cold, but we did not find anything. So I sent my
25 wife and children in the direction of Kacuni and
1 I moved to my brother's house who lived in town. That
2 is where I stayed for a couple of days.
3 Q. Now, what was the next thing that happened
4 after you had separated from your wife and you moved to
5 your brother's house? What is the next significant
6 event to happen after that?
7 A. On 21st January, it was relatively peaceful.
8 People behaved as if nothing had happened during the
9 night, the same applied to the 22nd and the 23rd.
10 Then, on the 24th, in the evening,
11 a Saturday, again somewhere after 9.00 pm and until
12 5.00 or rather 4.00 am, explosions were resounding so
13 that that night my shop was blown up, among others. My
14 free shop -- tax free shop. I could see that because
15 it was not far from where I was staying. One can see
16 the centre of town where I had a shop. Maybe an hour
17 or hour and a half later, things became quiet again and
18 I think somewhere around 6.00 in the morning, the
19 siren -- the fire brigade siren could be heard
20 announcing danger.
21 The next moment, while the siren was still
22 ringing, shooting started and whoever happened, by
23 chance, to be in the street, he was hit either with
24 a sniper rifle or an ordinary rifle. In any event, one
25 could not move any more.
1 Q. Just going back for a moment, if I may,
2 during that night, were you able to see your house from
3 your brother's house, where you were staying?
8 house was on fire". Since only some 200 metres away
9 there was small hill from which my house could be seen,
10 the logical conclusion was that it was only my house
11 that was burning and that was, in fact, the case.
12 Q. I am sorry, I interpreted you again. You
13 were talking now of the next day, 25th January, at
14 6.00 am when you heard sirens and then there was
15 a shooting with a sniper rifle at people who happened
16 to be in the streets. Tell us what happened when these
17 circumstances developed?
18 A. This lasted from 6.00 am until 3.00 pm.
19 There was constant rifle fire, sniper shots, shelling,
20 only of this part of town. So that it was unbearable.
21 One just could not stay there. People panicked.
22 A couple were wounded, a couple were killed and
23 virtually the entire population was swept by panic.
24 This was only natural because the HVO soldiers were
25 approaching from all sides and especially from the
1 upper part, which is a wooded area. They were getting
2 closer and closer to this part, so that in front of
3 them were already people who were fleeing towards the
4 centre and the panic was immense, it was something
5 quite horrifying.
6 About 3.30, all of us were rounded up and
7 upon our cries and pleas and the showing of white
8 sheets and flags, begging them to stop shooting, that
9 we were not resisting, that we would withdraw wherever
10 they say, so that finally, they accepted this and when
11 we reached the actual town square, there was some more
12 shooting, as intimidation, and some mistreatment.
13 There were, in my estimate, somewhere around 90 human
14 beings, I can put it that way. Women and a few
15 children were separated and returned home, whereas the
16 rest of us, some 70 of us, were loaded on to buses,
17 that is the proper word. The bus was already waiting
18 and ready and it drove us to Kaonik, to the barracks of
19 the former Yugoslav Peoples' Army.
20 JUDGE VOHRAH: I am not clear which town he
21 is talking about. Which town is this?
22 MR. NIEMANN: Before I ask that question,
23 might we call for redaction on page 9, line 5?
24 The town that you were in where you were
25 gathered together, driven to -- collected in the centre
1 of where you started your journey to Kaonik, what was
2 that town?
3 A. That was Busovaca.
4 Q. Now, you said 60 or 70 people were loaded on
5 to the bus; what was the sex of these people?
6 A. All men.
7 Q. What was their age group?
8 A. Age group, 90 per cent we were between 25 and
9 40 and the rest were maybe 55 to 60.
10 Q. What was the youngest age of the men, that
11 you could see?
12 A. There were two or three boys of 14, 15 and 16
13 years of age.
14 Q. What was the ethnic background of the people
15 who were put in this bus and taken to Kaonik?
16 A. Only Muslims.
17 Q. When you got to Kaonik -- I am sorry, who was
18 it that took you to Kaonik? Who took you to Kaonik?
19 A. I am not clear. Could you, please, clarify
20 for me? Who was responsible? Dario Kordic was
21 responsible for everything, without a doubt, but you
22 probably think of who was driving the bus and who was
23 the escorts?
24 Q. Yes, that is right.
25 A. The driver of the bus was called Zeljko
1 Vareskovic Bubreg and there was a soldier escorting the
2 bus whom I personally did not know because at that time
3 there were a lot of soldiers there whom I did not know
4 and then there were a lot of those who I did know.
5 They were wearing the HVO insignia and I knew them
6 personally, but there were soldiers there who wore the
7 HV insignia and the Runolist Brigade. They had
8 separate accents, they were not locals, from Busovaca.
9 I believe they were from Herzegovina.
10 Q. The Runolist Brigade, do you know who they
12 A. No, I did not know. I saw that for the first
13 time on that occasion and I was only able to read this
14 Runolist Brigade and it had this flower that looked
15 like edelweiss and they spoke a different accent.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Let the witness be shown
17 Exhibit P17, please.
18 Witness F, I would like you to look at the
19 exhibit you are going to be shown. I would ask that it
20 be displayed on the projection machine that is there
21 beside you. I am wondering if you could tell me
22 whether you could identify the objects shown on this
23 exhibit when you see them. If you can identify them,
24 whether you can explain to us what it is you are
25 identifying. (Handed).
1 Perhaps deal with them by the numbers,
2 number 1 and number 2. Tell us what number 1 is and
3 what number 2 is, if you would be so kind?
4 A. Number 1 means Croatian army and number 2
5 means Croatian Defence Council. Number 1 is Croatian
6 army. Those were obviously foreigners, that is people
7 who were not from our region and those wearing the HVO
8 insignia were all our local people from the Busovaca
10 Q. Just to -- I think you have said this, but
11 I will just get you to repeat it; did you see soldiers
12 wearing both of these insignia on that particular day;
13 namely, 25th January 1993, in Busovaca?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When you arrived at the Kaonik camp, what
16 happened then? Firstly, what time did you get there,
17 then what occurred?
18 A. Because this was about five kilometres away
19 from Busovaca, it took us about 10 minutes to get
20 there, which, in my opinion, happened around 4.00 in
21 the afternoon. We were unloaded, we were taken to the
22 hangar, which is almost at the far end of this complex,
23 this compound of the former JNA barracks.
24 We were all lined up against a wall which was
25 about seven or eight metres long and 25 metres wide,
1 this hangar was.
2 We arrived there and we found a group there,
3 already staying there. So we covered about three
4 walls, we were all made to face the wall.
5 At that moment we heard that something was
6 going on and we were ordered to turn around. When we
7 turned around, in the middle of the hangar, a man was
8 standing, a man whom I did not know, whom I had not
9 seen before, and who literally said the following:
10 "I am Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski. Do not fear. You will
11 not miss a hair from your head". I am a bit of
12 a joker, even when I am in a bad place, so I said:
13 "Sir, I am aware of the fact that I will not miss
14 a hair from my head since I do not have any, what about
15 my head?". He just sort of made a sign and did not
17 We spent the entire night there. There was
18 nothing there, there was just concrete floor. It was
19 insufferably cold. At one point a few soldiers came in
20 and they took out several young men. It was more to
21 take away their valuables, whatever they had on them,
22 jewellery or money. We spent that night in the hangar,
23 without anything. It was only in the morning that they
24 provided us with several pallets. Those were the
25 loading pallets for loading merchandise.
1 So, a few people were lucky enough to be able
2 to sit on it because there were not enough of those.
3 We were also given a blanket per three or four
5 Q. Now, you said -- you spoke of the fact that
6 this person came in and said he was Zlatko Aleksovski
7 and spoke to you. When you said he made a sign, what
8 did he do when you said that you knew nothing would
9 happen to the hairs on your head? Can you just
10 describe that for us?
11 A. The gesture of waving off his head, meant,
12 "may God help you", and in my view, and based on what
13 happened later, that is what it meant.
14 Q. The people that were in the hangar who were
15 being lined up against the wall, did you know any of
16 these people or did you know where they came from?
17 A. We knew each other for the most part because
18 about 80 per cent of us were from the downtown area and
19 20 per cent were those who were brought from the
20 surrounding villages or from the wider urban area.
21 Q. You said that -- I think you said that apart
22 from your group, that is the 60 or 70 that came by the
23 bus, that when you arrived there, there was other
24 people there as well. Did you know these other people
25 or know of them, or know where they came from?
1 A. When we were brought there and when we
2 entered the hangar, we knew that we were not the first
3 ones there. Obviously I knew most of them, 99 per cent
4 of the people I knew, and if I did not know them, they
5 knew me, so we knew each other.
6 Q. From your best recollection, are you able to
7 say what their ethnic background was, these people that
8 were there?
9 A. They were all Muslims.
10 Q. Were there any soldiers at the camp when you
11 arrived there, or anyone dressed in military uniform?
12 A. As far as I remember, there were only two or
13 three young men who had parts of the camouflage
14 uniform, either the trousers or the jackets, but there
15 were just a few of them.
16 Q. Were these, so far as you could ascertain,
17 guards of the camp or were they soldiers?
18 A. At that moment, they were all soldiers --
19 a guard was a soldier too. He also had the insignia
20 belonging to the HVO.
21 Q. Was anything taken from you or any of the
22 other prisoners that were there at that time?
23 A. Nothing was taken away from me in the
24 hangar. However, a bag full of money was taken away
25 because they were entering in there without any
1 control. Any one of the soldiers could come in and
2 would be able to search you, do whatever he wanted and
3 so, in that manner, they took away quite a lot.
4 Q. Now, after you had been there for a day or
5 so, did you see anything happen to any of the prisoners
6 that were kept in the hangar?
7 A. All these groups of soldiers who would come
8 in, in order to either get the money or something, they
9 would take out two or three men and they would come
10 back with little blue marks or something, so they were
11 roughed up a little bit but that was nothing in
12 comparison to what was to happen later.
13 Q. In addition to that, did you ever see a group
14 of prisoners taken out of the room by soldiers?
15 A. On the 26th in the morning, after that night
16 spent in the hangar, one of the guards came with
17 a piece of paper on which there were 15 names. He
18 called out these 15 names and, as he was calling them
19 out, we had to come to step out. Then outside in front
20 of the hangar, ahead of this plateau, we were tied up,
21 one tied up to another with a rope. I was number 14 in
22 that line.
23 However, fortunately for me, they must have
24 used -- they used up the rope, so myself and another
25 person, who was a relative of mine, remained untied.
1 The 13 men were taken away to be human
2 shields because they told us that this they were going
3 to do immediately. In fact, Zoran Pusic said this to
4 us. He was in charge there. The person who was tying
5 people up was Zeljko, called Bubreg, and another man
6 whom I did not know.
7 Q. I will hand you a piece of paper and I want
8 you to write a name on it, if you would be so kind, for
9 me. (Handed).
10 Was one of the persons taken away to be used
11 as a human shield, in fact, your brother? Once you
12 have written that down, perhaps you could show it to
13 me. (Handed).
14 That person is your brother, the person whose
15 name appears here?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps that could be shown to
18 Mr. Mikulicic, if you would. (Handed). I tender that
19 under seal, your Honours, if you please.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What is the registration
22 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 44.
23 MR. NIEMANN: How do you know that these 13
24 men were used as human shields?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How is it that you knew that they were used
2 as human shields?
3 A. As they were being tied up, Pusic, who was
4 a policeman, said: "You are going to be human shield in
5 the village of Strane", so that we knew what was going
6 to happen. Upon their return, of course, I talked to
7 my brother and to the rest of them, so they described
8 how it was, where they were and the fact that they were
9 used as a human shield.
10 Q. What did your brother tell you?
11 A. What did he tell me? That it was terrible.
12 That they took them down below the village; that the
13 soldiers stood behind them, about 20 metres behind
14 them, with their weapons ready and they forced them to
15 walk towards the village in a parallel line.
16 Q. Did your brother tell you who it was that
17 forced them to do this?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who did he say did it?
20 A. This man Pusic took them there and below the
21 village the other soldiers waited and he recognised his
22 best man, the person who was his best man. When he
23 looked at him, this man turned his head away. I can
24 say who this person was.
25 Q. Do not use his name. Now, after spending
1 some time in the warehouse, did you stay there all the
2 time or were you moved somewhere else in the camp?
3 A. No, we spent that day there. Then they used
4 them as human shields one more time, so we spent the
5 day and the night there, then the next morning they
6 were used as human shields one more time.
7 The same 15 names were called out again
8 because these were all men from downtown Busovaca and
9 they were taken to the village of Merdani.
10 Again, I was not there because, again, I was
11 number 14 and only the 13 were taken -- as the 13 were
12 being tied up, and I was waiting to be tied up too,
13 Zeljko Vareskovic, who I knew very well, he said: "It
14 is all right, no more are needed." They agreed to that
15 so that only 13 men were taken to Strane.
16 My brother said this and we actually knew
17 right away -- I mean, we knew this independently. They
18 spent 24 hours there. From their stories it was worse
19 than the first time around. They took them to the rail
20 road bridge where the -- it was a disused rail road
21 bridge. The bridge was still there, but it was not
23 They brought them there. They were tied up.
24 They made them lean over the railing. They put barrels
25 of their guns to their heads and they told them that if
1 they did not obey, they that would all be shot.
2 Q. Now, after you spent some time in the hangar,
3 were you then moved somewhere else in the camp?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. To where were you moved?
6 A. When they returned, this group which went out
7 for the second time. I think it was in the evening,
8 when they moved us to the cells, to the prison. This
9 was already a prepared structure. This much closer to
10 the entrance to the barracks. There were two buildings
11 there, so in one of them there were cells and that is
12 where we were put. These cells measured three by
13 three, that was all. We were 25 to 30 in there.
14 They had half a metre of free space so that
15 the doors could open and the rest was sort of raised by
16 about half a metre by some boards, so that we could lie
17 down. Imagine 25 to 30 people in a cell which measured
18 three by three.
19 These were sort of classic cells with iron
20 doors, classic prison cells with small openings.
21 Q. When this 25 to 30 people who were crammed
22 into the one cell, where did they sleep, what provision
23 was made for their sleeping?
24 A. There were only a few blankets in these
25 cells, on those boards, so you could not sleep. If
1 five or ten people would sleep, the rest would sit.
2 Those of us who were beaten up, we could not sleep, so
3 we sat around and we would let these people who had
4 already started to do forced labour to get some rest,
5 and some of them had their ribs broken too.
6 Q. Now, the first night you were in the prison,
7 did anything happen to you personally?
8 A. I experienced different things from the very
9 moment I got in there. Let us say right after dark,
10 maybe half an hour later, I would be brought out in the
11 hallway and I would be beaten up. This would happen
12 every night.
13 Q. Who brought you out into the hallway, that
14 you can remember?
15 A. I was brought out mostly by one person into
16 this hallway. He must have received some
17 instructions. He had my description because he knew
18 exactly who I was. So he would simply bring me out of
19 the cell. The cell door would not even close and
20 I would already being beaten, but I was kicking and
21 beating me and I would get bloody.
22 At one point I had a wedding ring on my hand
23 and he tried to take it off. I somehow managed to do
24 it myself. It did not change anything, he kept coming
25 back every night and beating me. Unfortunately, with
1 the permission of the guards who stood by silently.
2 Q. What did he beat you with?
3 A. For the most part, he beat me with his hands
4 and kicked me. He did not use any other instruments,
5 kicked and beat me with his hands. He was larger than
6 I am, he was stronger than I am. He was strong and so
7 he was able to beat me up badly.
8 Q. When he was kicking you, what position were
9 you in? Were you standing or lying?
10 A. At first, of course, I was standing, but
11 after the first, second blow, I was, for the most part
12 on the floor.
13 Q. Did you subsequently come to find out what
14 his name was?
15 A. Yes. Actually I do not know his name. But
16 I do know that his surname was Marelja, that he came
17 from Herzegovina. I could tell by his accent that he
18 came from the region of Herzegovina.
19 Q. About how old was this man, approximately?
20 A. I think he was about 25 to 30 years old. He
21 was 180 or 185 centimetres tall. He weighed about 100
22 kilogrammes. He was very strong. He wore a beret and
23 he limped in one leg.
24 Q. What was the colour of his hair, do you
1 A. I think he was blond.
2 Q. How often did he beat you?
3 A. Every night. Only two nights when I was
4 trench digging, he did not. I thought myself lucky.
5 Q. Where, precisely, did these beatings take
7 A. Immediately in front of the cell, right
8 there, just outside the door of the cell.
9 Q. Apart from you, was anyone else there at any
10 stage, that you can remember?
11 A. The guards were a couple of metres away, but
12 they did not react at all.
13 Q. You mentioned that, apart from two occasions,
14 you were beaten every night. On those two occasions
15 you were taken trench digging. Can you describe the
16 circumstances of how it was you came to be taken for
17 trench digging?
18 A. I can, but there is something else that
20 Q. Perhaps you should tell us that, please.
21 A. The third day after I was detained in the
22 cell, I was selected and another guy and we were taken
23 to the building at the entrance itself, the entrance to
24 the camp or the barracks, which had one storey, and we
25 were taken for some sort of informative interview, at
1 least that is what we were told. A young soldier, one
2 could almost call him a child, one could not really
3 call him a serious soldier, he took us to this entrance
4 to the camp. We were immediately shut up in a cell,
5 which had rails and door and window, there were no
6 glass panes, just the railing.
7 The man was taken away. I stayed behind.
8 Sitting on a military bed, 10 or 15 minutes later, this
9 young man was brought back. In the meantime some
10 strange things were happening, or rather they could not
11 be called strange, they were normal.
12 Fighters would come by and as 90 per cent of
13 them knew me, they would call out: "So what, you got
14 the wrong nation. No, you are not the wrung nation,
15 you are unfortunately just in the form of humans".
16 15 minutes later this young man was brought
17 back after being beaten up, then I was taken. I was
18 taken upstairs and there is a room, a somewhat larger
19 room, and in the middle of the room was a table, a ping
20 pong table.
21 When I entered through the door, there were
22 two chairs at this table, one on each side, and a third
23 on the third side. Three guys were standing against
24 three windows with their backs stand -- they were
25 looking outwards so I could not see who they were. At
1 the table two men were sitting, two fighters, soldiers
2 whom I knew personally very well.
3 In fact, I was glad to see them. However,
4 I would shortly be disappointed. They offered me
5 cigarettes and coffee and I accepted and then some sort
6 of a conversation started. But let me add that on this
7 table there were six or seven various types of stakes,
8 wooden, rubber, steel, even police truncheons. I was
9 on a chair at one end of the table and after this
10 cigarette and that coffee, the questioning started.
11 Q. Just -- the two people that you recognised,
12 do you remember their names?
13 A. Of course. I said that I was glad to see
14 them, because we were many times together in the cafe
15 next to my shop, even in my shop we had many a cup of
16 coffee together. One of them is Katava Zeljko, an
17 electrician by trade. The other is Zarko Petrovic,
18 known as Tadija.
19 Q. What was their nationality or ethnic group?
20 A. Croats.
21 Q. How were they dressed?
22 A. In camouflage uniforms with the HVO
24 Q. You say they started to ask you some
25 questions. What questions were they asking you? What
1 did they ask you?
2 A. One of the first questions asked was: why
3 I had been in the house of my brother. I really did
4 not have an answer to this question, but anyway,
5 whatever I would have said, it would not have made any
6 difference. They asked me questions about all kinds of
7 things, even about certain Croats, who would socialise
8 with us.
9 After each question, after each answer, the
10 three men who were standing behind my back would hit at
11 me with whatever they could get hold of. Perhaps the
12 easiest to bear were their kicks with their boots.
13 This lasted three and a half hours.
14 There was some terrible moments. At one
15 point in time Marelja walked in. The man who had beat
16 me every night. He hit me with his fist in the face,
17 so he fractured my jaw, upon which I think it was
18 Tadija, or actually Petrovic, jumped up and swore at
19 him and said: "I told you, not the head".
20 Q. Now, did -- apart from these batons and
21 sticks and things you described, did anyone have any
22 other weapons which they threatened you with?
23 A. Perhaps after about three hours of this
24 torture, one of these men pushed my head back and put
25 a knife against my throat. I tried to press my neck
1 against that knife. I did not care any more. I was at
2 the end of my tether, but I did not succeed because
3 again the reaction was: "I told you, not the head",
4 this was said by Petrovic.
5 Q. Did you try to thrust yourself upon the
7 A. Yes. But he was holding me so tightly that
8 I did not manage.
9 Q. After you had been beaten for approximately
10 three hours in this place, what happened to you then?
11 A. After that, they took me back to the cell,
12 the same cell which had only iron rods as walls.
13 I spent about half an hour there. It was very cold.
14 I think I could not sit, I was simply jumping up and
15 down from the cold.
16 Then I was taken back to the cell, but
17 a separate cell, number 16.
18 Q. When you say taken back to the cell, this is
19 the cell block where you were taken out of originally?
20 A. Yes, exactly.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Just stopping there for
22 a moment, would you look, please, at the plan that --
23 the overhead photograph that I will now show you?
24 Your Honours, this is the same photograph
25 that has been tendered in a number of occasions.
1 I will make this one a new exhibit.
2 I will ask the witness if you would for me,
3 please, Witness F, to mark certain places for me on the
4 photograph. (Handed).
5 There is a copy for your Honours and one for
6 the Defence.
7 Witness F, I would like to put this on the
8 overhead projector. You will need to actually mark the
9 exhibit on the overhead projector because it will not
10 appear if you just point to the screen. I want to take
11 you back to start with, if I can. You should have in
12 your hand a pen, a felt pen, which I will ask the usher
13 to kindly provide you with.
14 A. I have it.
15 Q. Okay. Now, there are a number of places
16 I would like you to mark for me. Firstly, when you
17 said you arrived at the camp, that is when you arrived
18 from Busovaca on 25th January, you were placed in
19 a hangar in the camp. Are you able to point to that
20 place, as best you can recall? I would ask you to
21 write the number "1" at that spot, if you are able to
22 locate the place? Can you point to it for us?
23 A. (Indicating on photograph).
24 Q. Perhaps put a circle around that hangar.
25 Thank you.
1 A. (Witness marked map).
2 Q. You then said that subsequently you were
3 taken to proper cells, proper prison cells where you
4 were beaten, just about on every night. Could you draw
5 a circle around that particular building and mark it
6 with the number "2"?
7 A. (Witness marked map).
8 Q. You have now just spoken of an incident where
9 you were taken to another building, where you were
10 taken upstairs, with the ping pong table, and beaten
11 for a period of approximately three hours. Would you
12 mark that place with a circle and the number "3"?
13 A. (Witness marked map).
14 MR. NIEMANN: If you just pull the photograph
15 down a little bit so we can see it on the screen.
16 Thank you very much.
17 I tender that, your Honours, as the next
18 Prosecution number in order.
19 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 45.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Now, Witness F, I would like you
21 to look at a photograph, if I could, now, please.
22 Perhaps that photograph could be numbered the next
23 Prosecution number in order.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This is exhibit number 46.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Could that be placed on the
1 overhead projector?
2 Witness F, looking at the photograph,
3 obviously of a building, which is now shown to you, do
4 you recognise the photograph of that building, what it
6 A. I do, of course. It is the building I was
7 taken to. This is the building, the first that you
8 come across as you enter the camp, the only one with an
9 upstairs floor, and where the torture room, one could
10 call it, was, the room with the table tennis table in
12 Q. This was the room you were beaten in for
13 three hours and you just marked on the plan as
14 number 3; is that right?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Now, just looking at that
17 particular photograph, do you recall where it was in
18 the building that you were taken? Perhaps you might
19 point to it with a pointer that is there on the table
20 in front of you. You need to point on the screen, are
21 you able to point to the room or the building where you
22 are taken to.
23 For the purposes of the record, the witness
24 is pointing to the top storey of the building on the
25 left-hand side of the building as you look at the
1 photograph, where three windows appear on the top
3 I tender that exhibit, your Honours, please.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: I am sorry for interrupting,
5 could I have the photograph please, also?
6 MR. NIEMANN: I have a copy here. I am
7 sorry. (Handed).
8 What was the next thing to happen to you in
9 the Kaonik camp after you were taken back to your cell,
10 after this beating that lasted for three hours?
11 A. I was taken back to a solitary cell where
12 I spent a couple of hours, after which I was moved back
13 to the cell in which I was originally. I spent the
14 night there in a sitting position because I could not
15 lean on anything, not to mention being able to sleep.
16 So the first day was relatively peaceful.
17 However, the next evening, about 8.00 pm, I was called
18 out to join a group going for trench digging. As it
19 was dark, it was very dark, because after all this was
20 winter time and it was 8.00 in the evening as we walked
21 out in front of the building where two lines of
22 soldiers, a gauntlet, on either side of the path we had
23 to go between them and as soon as we walked in, they
24 all got their weapons, we had to bend down our heads.
25 No-one was allowed to utter a word.
1 In that way, we were taken towards Gavrine
2 Kuce, or actually beyond Gavrine Kuce, near Putis, to
3 dig trenches and we spent the whole night digging, and
4 the next day until about noon.
5 Q. Now, do you recall who called you out? Who
6 called you out of your cell?
7 A. A guard called our names out. The guard
8 called Marko Krilic.
9 Q. Was this a regular guard at the camp who was
10 there often or was it somebody that you had not seen or
11 known before?
12 A. In that period of time, he was a regular
13 guard. They had their shift and he would come to take
14 his shift every other night. He was a regular guard
16 Q. Now, the soldiers that were outside that you
17 were to get their rifles and run through, were they
18 regular guards of the camp or were they soldiers who
19 came into the camp, as best you can ascertain?
20 A. They were soldiers who came there. They were
21 not regular guards.
22 Q. When you were taken trench digging, were you
23 guarded when you were doing the trench digging?
24 A. Of course. Two or three of us digging, there
25 were two guards who were five to ten metres away from
2 Q. Were these, as best you could ascertain,
3 guards that had come from the prison or were they
4 soldiers that were engaged in active duty?
5 A. They were not guards, they were soldiers.
6 Q. Were they dressed in the full military
7 uniform of the HVO?
8 A. Under full combat gear. They even had
9 helmets on their head and HVO insignia.
10 Q. When you were taken trench digging, did you
11 ever hear rifle fire or fighting going on nearby where
12 you were trench digging?
13 A. There was no fighting at all, but near us
14 a group of some 15 soldiers went by. They went to the
15 road leading to Putis, they set fire to 10 to 15
16 houses. There were a few shots then, but this had no
17 effect on us. We were not sheltered in any way, we
18 just had to go on digging. So it had no effect whether
19 anyone was shooting or not. This lasted for about 15
20 minutes. A couple of houses went up in flames. These
21 same soldiers went by again and we spent the rest of
22 the night digging.
23 Q. Did you see whether or not the selection of
24 people to go trench digging, did that appear to be
25 organised systematically or was it just random, that
1 you were able to ascertain?
2 A. Of course, of course. Everything was
3 organised, to the last detail. Everything was done
4 according to lists that were prepared in advance. The
5 guards simply were given this piece of paper with the
6 names on it of between 15 and 30, depending on the
7 needs. The groups were not larger than 30. Then they
8 would call out the names and that is the way it
10 Q. Now, I think you said that you went trench
11 digging on two occasions?
12 A. Yes. The first time in the area between
13 Gavrine Kuce and Putis. Maybe we were lucky because
14 the guards were from Vitez, so that they did not
15 mistreat us. They even gave us water and something to
16 eat, perhaps the same food they had, so that the night
17 passed in digging and no mistreatment.
18 However, I was sent specially to Kula, which
19 was already infamous because terrible things were
20 happening there and whoever came back was beaten up,
21 had broken bones and things and some individuals who
22 had been digging there said, even my brother said that
23 they were looking for me. And, indeed, they did send
24 me to Kula.
25 Q. Who was looking for you, as best you could
1 ascertain from what your brother had told you? Who was
2 it that was looking for you?
3 A. The guards who were there at Kula, they were
4 looking for me because they had a piece of paper with
5 my name on it, and they asked every group: "Who is so
6 and so?"
7 Q. Did you recognise any of these guards?
8 A. No. Among those guards I did not know
9 anyone. When I got there, that very moment I was
10 called out, separated and ordered to dig.
11 MR. NIEMANN: This is going to be a long
12 incident, your Honour, and I notice that it is 11.30.
13 Rather than have the witness start halfway through only
14 to interrupt him, may we break at this moment? If your
15 Honours wish to take a break, I assumed you did.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to have
17 a 20-minute break, which means until 11.50.
18 (11.30 am)
19 (A short break)
20 (11.50 am)
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, please
23 MR. NIEMANN: Witness F, you were about to
24 describe to us the circumstances surrounding an
25 incident where you were taken out to do trench digging
1 on a second occasion, to a place called Kula. I am
2 wondering if you would pick up that incident and tell
3 us what happened to you when you were taken out to this
5 A. Yes. We were taken out of our cells, loaded
6 on to a truck and driven to Kula.
7 As we got off the truck, we had to go in
8 a single file, with our heads bowed for about
9 a kilometre or two, where we were met by guards who
10 stopped us and one of the guards, whom I did not know,
11 read out my name.
12 He had a piece of paper with my name on it
13 and he told me to move out of line, which I did. He
14 took me, just me, while the others stayed behind, and
15 he took me to a very big oak tree, where there are lots
16 of such trees, or rather a beech tree, about 60 to 70
17 centimetres in diameter. He ordered me to dig five
18 centimetres from the tree trunk. This I found strange,
19 that somebody should order me to dig there because
20 normally you could not dig there anyway, but they were
21 not interested in that, so I started digging, for about
22 10 minutes only, when one of those guards came for me
23 again and took me 10 to 20 metres away from the group
24 which had joined us in the meantime and, in this part
25 there were some oak trees which are not very high but
1 they have very thick trunks.
2 He placed me behind this oak tree and ordered
3 me to take off all my clothes. To my misfortune I had
4 a watch on my hand, which I had simply forgotten to
5 hide in the cell. Because we knew what was happening
6 up there, so we had tried to conceal some things in our
7 cells and I had forgotten to do that. This was the
8 first thing he took from me.
9 He ordered me to take off all my clothes. As
10 I was rather well dressed for prison conditions, I had
11 shoes on me, trousers, woollen trousers, what we called
12 a McCleod sheepskin jacket, which they had not taken
13 away from me throughout that time until then.
14 Why, I do not know, because out of all the prisoners
15 that there were, not one left with his own property,
16 with his own clothes, not to mention jackets,
17 windbreakers, trousers, shoes, all this was taken
19 Anyway, he told me to undress and all I had
20 left on was a slip. He took my jacket, my trousers, he
21 searched all the pockets and as he did not find
22 anything, he started becoming angry.
23 He had in his hand a pickaxe handle which is
24 quite thick and quite large, maybe one metre 20 long
25 and five, six, seven centimetres in diameter. At one
1 end, the other it can be up to eight centimetres wide.
2 He ordered me to sing. I asked him, "for
3 heavens sake, what do you want me to sing?". He said
4 literally what I should sing: "I am", by name so and
5 so, "a Mujehedin is fucking the Ustasha's mother".
6 I found this difficult to do and since this
7 guard was addressed as Nedeljkovic, so my conclusion
8 was that he was Serb by nationality and the Nedeljkovic
9 family, as far as I know, were from Dusina. I found it
10 even more difficult to understand why he was forcing me
11 to sing this.
12 However, after his first blow, I did start to
13 sing but very quietly, very softly. He said: "I told
14 you loudly, so that it can ring in everyone's ears".
15 I said that that was out of the question, upon which he
16 hit me with all his might with that handle in the legs,
17 so that for a moment I thought that my legs were gone.
18 Again, after that blow, I had to sing and
19 I sang rather more loudly. I suppose he was
20 satisfied. His aim was for the others to hear that
21 I was singing this, so that three of them within
22 a minute or so would come up to me and start to hit me
23 with whatever they had because I was cursing the
24 Ustasha mother. Of course, this was hard to endure,
25 but one can endure all kinds of things.
1 Then they took me back to dig.
2 Q. I want to stop you for a moment. The person
3 who beat you with the handle, you said you thought he
4 may have been a Serb because of his name. What was he
5 dressed in? How was he dressed? Can you describe --
6 A. Camouflage. It was a camouflage uniform. He
7 was a short man, maybe 160, 165 tall. He was dark
9 Q. Did he have any insignia on the uniform?
10 A. I think he had no insignia.
11 Q. Did you understand him to be a Serb soldier
12 with the HVO or do you have some other explanation to
13 why he may have been there?
14 A. All the Serbs, persons of Serb ethnic
15 background who remained in that area, had already been
16 incorporated into the HVO units.
17 Q. So you understood him to be part of HVO?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Now, the other soldiers that came up you and
20 beat you also, did you understand them to be part of
21 HVO or could you give them some other description?
22 A. Not that they were considered to be part of
23 the HVO but they really indeed were part of the HVO.
24 Q. Why is it that you say that?
25 A. Because they had the HVO insignia.
1 Q. Okay. Now, what happened to you after this
2 beating? What happened then?
3 A. I was taken back to dig trenches and
4 I continued to dig. In fact, it was not real digging
5 because it was impossible to dig in that place because
6 of this very big thick routes, but I had to and
7 I continued to do it the whole day. It was a very,
8 very long day.
9 There would be two or three minutes of rest,
10 five minutes of beating and this continued throughout
11 the day. Around 12.00 the three of them who kept
12 coming every five to ten minutes, they would come by
13 and they would hit me with something, with their boots,
14 with their hands, with the shovels. For instance, if
15 I bent to hit the ground, the soil with this pickaxe,
16 he would come behind me and hit me.
17 Then around 12.00, these three finally
18 arrived together and sat near me. I had dug up about
19 maybe 50 centimetres.
20 Q. Who are these three?
21 A. They were the three soldiers who had the
22 insignia, whom I did not know but they kept beating me
23 all day long.
24 Q. The HVO insignia?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. What happened?
2 A. One of the three took a piece of newspaper
3 and he rolled it up into some kind of a torch and set
4 it -- and set it aflame and the other one came behind
5 me and he started burning off my beard, which was about
6 two or three centimetres long at that time, and then he
7 did it on both sides.
8 There was this crackling sound. It was as if
9 you put water into hot oil, that is the noise that it
10 was making. This went on for about 10 or 15 minutes,
11 this singeing and their aim was to burn off my beard
12 because, for some reason, it bothered them a lot.
13 Out of this 30 men who were there with me,
14 nobody dared say anything. One of them was about 10
15 metres from me and I heard him clearly, he said: "Do
16 not come close to him, because he is not going to leave
17 here alive".
18 After this burning, maybe half an hour
19 passed, I continued to dig. They did not give me any
20 water. I asked for some, but it would have been better
21 had I not because I got more blows over my back for
22 it. Two of them then came back and they took off my
23 hat from me, like this. (Indicating). I am
24 demonstrating how they did it.
25 They put it on a stick, on a piece of wood
1 that was maybe 50/60 centimetres long and they set it
2 on fire.
3 Q. What sort of hat was it?
4 A. It was a beret like this. (Indicating).
5 Q. What was it made of?
6 A. I think it is a kind of a felt, like standard
7 berets. I am not an expert to tell you, but you can
8 see it. This is what it was made of. So, it cannot
9 burn this thing, it just turns into carbon and they
10 kept it on the stick and when they managed to singe
11 about 70 per cent of it, they gave it back to me, to my
12 hands, and they ordered me to eat it.
13 I never tasted anything as ugly as this.
14 I was already very fatigued because of all the work,
15 I had not had any water, but I had to eat this hat.
16 I tried to get to a piece that was not singed, that was
17 not burned, but I could not, it was hard. So I had to
18 keep chewing. If I stalled or if I tried to get out of
19 it, I would get a blow. I would get a kick or I would
20 be hit by a handle of wood, so I had to do it. So,
21 I chewed it and I ate, I think, 70 to 80 per cent of
23 Q. How long did it take you to eat that much of
24 the hat?
25 A. No longer than one hour. Because they kept
1 hurrying me, so it went on for one hour, in my
3 Q. After you had been forced to do this, what
4 happened then?
5 A. They left. Then five minutes later, they
6 again came back, I repeat, they again came back because
7 I never was left alone for more than five minutes
8 during that day, somebody would come back.
9 Then on that occasion they had me take off my
10 shoes. They gave me some sneakers which had no soles
11 any more. I do not know where they took the shoes,
12 they took them with them. I received several blows
13 with one of the handles and one of them said: "You are
14 still in luck, but the night is coming, Mr.. Hosovac is
15 coming and he will finish you off."
16 We knew, myself and the others who used to
17 work at Kula, we knew about this man, we knew that he
18 was dangerous, and the night will come, Hosovac will
19 come. He came over to me and said: "Take your shovel
20 and take the pickaxe"; I said: "Why, for God's sake?".
21 He said: "We need to fix something up there.
22 Q. How was he dressed, this person?
23 A. A black uniform with a black beret and a HOS
24 insignia on his sleeve.
25 Q. This was different from what you have
1 described as worn by the ordinary HVO soldiers; is that
3 A. (Answer not translated).
4 Q. I do not know whether we got an answer to
5 that question. I will ask the question again: this
6 uniform was different from the uniform you described as
7 being worn by the ordinary HVO soldiers; is that right?
8 A. That is correct. It was completely black
9 with black beret and a separate insignia.
10 MR. NIEMANN: I will ask you to look at this
11 document I will now show you. If you recognise the
12 document, can you describe what it is, please?
13 Might it be placed on the overhead
14 projector? (Handed).
15 We will give it its number and then show it
16 to Mr. Mikulicic, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This is the exhibit number
19 MR. NIEMANN: Just looking at this document as
20 it appears on your screen, Witness F, do you recognise
22 A. Of course. That is the insignia that this
23 man wore on his sleeve.
24 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, if your Honours
25 please. I do not have a copy for your Honours at the
1 moment but we will make one available in due course, to
2 your Honours and to Mr. Mikulicic.
3 Now, the gentleman dressed in the black
4 uniform with this insignia, ordered you to gather your
5 digging equipment and follow him, did he?
6 A. He ordered me to take the pickaxe and the
7 shovel and follow him. I asked him why. He said: "We
8 are going up there to fix something, something was not
9 done right". So he took me about 50 to 60 metres away
10 from that clearing where we had worked towards the
11 forest and when I entered -- when we entered the
12 forest, just a couple of metres, he said, "stop". He
13 said, "start digging". I said: "what am I supposed to
14 be digging", because there was nothing there, there
15 were no trenches, no fox holes, nothing. He said this:
16 "you are not a fool, you know how to dig a hole and
17 the hole is for you".
18 Q. What did you understand this to mean, when he
19 said, "the hole is for you"?
20 A. That it was the end, that he was going to
21 kill me, that there was no way out, that the end was
22 there. But at that moment, I also started thinking he
23 and I were there alone. I thought maybe I could
25 Q. Did you understand the hole to be your grave?
1 A. Correct. That is exactly it. It could not
2 have had any other meaning.
3 Q. What happened then?
4 A. Since I had a pretty good shovel, not too
5 big, not too small, I saw that the end was there, so
6 I thought to hit him with it and to run and see if
7 I make it. However, he was a well-trained soldier,
8 obviously, and he did not come anywhere close to me, so
9 I started digging, but I started delaying it because if
10 this was the last thing that I did, I was going to take
11 my time.
12 At one point, he approached me from the
13 left-hand side and he took me by the lapel and he said:
14 "Where is the money? Where is the gold?". I simply
15 told him, "there is no money, there is no gold.
16 Whatever I had was taken away. Whatever was left
17 behind was burned. There is nothing left".
18 He obviously had full information about my
19 wealth and how much money I had, so when I told him
20 that I did not have the money or gold, he tried -- in
21 fact, he showed with his hand that he was about to hit
22 me and he had a black glove with cut-off fingers and
23 studs, so that a blow would hurt even more, so he made
24 a fist and I said: "Man, what kind of a person are
25 you?". He said: "Why?"; "if you want to hit me then
1 do, but I think we can come to an agreement". To which
2 he responded, and he said: "So what can we agree on?"
3 I said: "It is not a problem, you know everything about
4 me. I do not know you". He said, "that is correct".
5 I tried to trick him into telling me his
6 name, but I did not succeed. I said: "Tell me your
7 name, this is going to finish, you will get something
8 from it". However, he did not agree to that, so then
9 I offered him: "You know who I am, you know that I am
10 not bare", which in Bosnian means I still had some
11 stuff stashed away. Then he said: "Oh, what do you
12 have left?". I said: "I have two rings, each worth
13 1,000 German Marks. I have some cash in the cell, they
14 can be yours".
15 Then he offered me a cigarette. I turned him
16 down because I had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket
17 but I never dared ask. I did not dare even reach for
18 my pocket, so I told him I had cigarettes, that I did
19 not need them. Then he handed me a lighter and he took
20 me with him.
21 I stopped him at one point and I asked him:
22 "very well, I promised you all this, what do you give
23 me in return?". He said: "What do you want?". I told
24 him: "Please protect me; protect me and these 30 men,
25 at least tonight". Then he explicitly said that he was
1 going to see to it.
2 This was already 6.00 pm in the evening, at
3 least that was my estimate because I did not have
4 a watch. The shift which guarded us during the day was
5 changing, were being replaced by another one and this
6 new shift had already arrived so he approached one of
7 the guards and said: "See this friend of mine, do not
8 let anyone touch him tonight". His answer was: "Who
9 cares". This HOS man said: "Guy, you are going to be
10 dealing with me". To which he just shrugged and agreed
11 with him.
12 So, we went on for maybe 10 metres or so and
13 there was another group of three guards. He approached
14 them. I stayed behind at the edge of the forest. He
15 went over to them and brought them over to me. I knew
16 all three of them, even though they were not from
18 Q. How many men were in your group?
19 A. The ones who were digging? There were about
20 30 of them.
21 Q. What happened then?
22 A. The three of them approached me. One of the
23 three asked me: "Do you know me?". My answer was:
24 "Maybe". Because whatever you said it did not matter,
25 you would be beaten either way. Whatever you said you
1 would be beaten. If you, by some chance, did not
2 address him with "sir" or the way he wanted, you would
3 be beaten, so I did not know any more what to say, so
4 I said: "Maybe I may have seen you somewhere, I do not
5 know". His words were not to pretend to be a fool
6 because we had so much business dealings that we knew
7 each other well, because he made a lot of money off of
8 the merchandise that he was buying from me.
9 I think we smoked two or three cigarettes
10 there and we had a conversation which was very, very
11 different now, almost friendly. But after those three
12 cigarettes, I was a bit dizzy and I said: "Please help
13 me to go and dig along with the others because they are
14 all digging and I am standing here". He said: "But why
15 are they digging so hard there?". I said: "We have
16 been working at this pace for the last 24 hours and
17 without the any water or anything. So if you want to
18 help us, give us some water". I am thankful to him to
19 this day because then he went and brought us water so
20 that we could quench our thirst. Especially myself,
21 I was burning inside from having eaten the hat and all
23 We continued to dig all the night but not as
24 intensely as before. At one point he let us know that
25 we should start digging harder because there was
1 a commander coming from somewhere with two or three
2 girls, so that we should dig harder so that he could
3 see that we work harder. But it did not matter whether
4 we worked harder or less hard because the first seven
5 people about that were in the trench, as they were
6 rising in order to throw out the dirt, the soil, he
7 would hit them with a rifle butt or with something
8 else. Then after that he was satisfied and he left.
9 So, we spent that night digging, though not
10 that intensely, and there was no abuse.
11 In the morning, the next morning, we received
12 breakfast for the first time. If we can call it that.
13 We were 30. There were 25/26 maybe slices of bread and
14 10 canned fish portions. I think that there were 200
15 gramme portions. It was not cooked. But out of these
16 10 cans, three were empty. So this was distributed to
17 us so we had 10 persons per can, but those three that
18 were empty, meant that three groups were without that.
19 The soldiers would come over to the ones who
20 got the empty cans and say: "Did you have enough? Was
21 there enough food?". They would say "yes", and they
22 were beaten because they were lying.
23 The next one said he did not have enough,
24 then he was beaten because he had too much of an
25 appetite. So, at least we had some bread and that took
1 off the edge from our hunger.
2 Then one of the soldiers who was beating and
3 mistreating me all day the day before, took me aside.
4 He had a sniper rifle with him. He took me into
5 a dug-out and asked me, whose sniper rifle was this.
6 I said I did not know that. He looked at me for a few
7 minutes and said: "So, you do not, okay, very well.
8 You can go".
9 So we kept digging until about two o'clock in
10 the afternoon.
11 Q. Were you then taken back to the prison?
12 A. Yes. First they shut us up in that village
13 in a small room and we were locked up there for about
14 half an hour waiting for transportation because they
15 told us that we were free, that we would be taken to
16 the cells. We felt we were being born again because to
17 go back to the cell was like being born again, at least
18 we knew what to expect there.
19 We were locked up there for about half an
20 hour when a new group arrived of about 17 new people,
21 whereas the 30 of us got into the trucks and went back
22 to the barracks to the prison, to the cells.
23 When I got there, I looked around before
24 entering the cell. We were allowed to wash our hands
25 in a barrel, which we had used for those 15 days to
1 pour water into the toilet. We also washed hands, we
2 also washed our faces because there was no other
3 water. We got very little water for drinking.
4 I looked around and this HOS member was
5 standing in the hall.
6 Q. Where are you at this stage? Tell us, when
7 the HOS man was standing in the hall, where was this?
8 A. To the left, to the left side of the corridor
9 where the cells are, the cells 1, 2, 3 --
10 Q. You are in the Kaonik prison now, by this
12 A. Yes, when we were brought back to the Kaonik
14 Q. What happened then?
15 A. I called my brother to bring me my purse,
16 which was hidden with him and he brought it.
17 I gave him the two golden rings, I gave him
18 about 70 German Marks, 20, 30, 40,000 Croatian dinars,
19 I cannot remember exactly.
20 I gave him all this from the bottom of my
21 heart, because after all he saved us that night,
22 because the nights were the worst and the following
23 night already would prove it from the group which took
24 our place.
25 As it was already dark, it was winter time
1 and darkness falls early. I managed to reach cell
2 number 11, which someone -- I do not know whether the
3 prison commander -- anyway, this was part of his
4 responsibility. This was a cell where people were put
5 when they were spared physical labour. There were two
6 Iranians and a couple of people from Busovaca who were
7 also on some kind of sick leave and I was given two
8 cubes of sugar, which meant a great deal.
9 From one of the Iranians who was a doctor,
10 I was given two pills and an ointment. He rubbed it in
11 because I was as black as this jacket. Only my head
12 was still white. I was given these two pills and I was
13 massaged by him with this ointment. I managed to
14 swallow something, though I had to use a straw to eat
15 the last 10 days. I could not put a crumb of bread
16 into my mouth it was so painful. I would eat a couple
17 of mouthfuls and I swallowed these two pills. I lay
18 down and I fell asleep from the effect of the pills.
19 So that I slept that night.
20 Somewhere around 5.00 am, a terrible noise
21 was heard, cries, shouts, blows, beatings in the
22 corridor. I was awakened too, but I was told to keep
23 quiet, the people who were with me in the cell. As
24 I did not care any more, and the first thing I thought
25 was that they were going to slowly execute us one by
1 one, because February 8th at 12.00, the exchange had
2 been scheduled for 12.00 that day for all of us
3 prisoners. So I thought they probably wanted to get
4 rid of as many as us as possible before the exchange.
5 As I had become accustomed to the beating,
6 having been beaten so badly, I was the first to pluck
7 up courage to knock on the door of the cell, requesting
8 as a pretence to go to the toilet. The guard
9 immediately opened the door and let me go. I headed
10 towards the toilet, but I secretly looked around to see
11 what was happening in the corridor.
12 HV policemen, one of whom I know personally,
13 were beating these men and this HOS man who had
14 mistreated us at Kula. Later on I learned, because
15 rumour spread quickly and we learned very shortly
16 afterwards why this was happening. The reason was that
17 when us 30 came down from Kula, 17 others replaced us
18 and they worked for the rest of the day normally, but
19 that very night -- we were all afraid of the nights,
20 because they were roasting lambs, they drank a lot of
21 alcohol, and then they would go out to the trenches,
22 the front-lines where people were digging, and then they
23 would beat up and massacre people. So on the night
24 between the 7th and the 8th these 17 people were
25 disastrously beaten up. Out of the 17, 15 returned;
1 out of those 15, I knew each and every one of them, but
2 you could not recognise them. They were so badly
3 beaten up. Two guys did not return, they were killed
4 at Kula.
5 Q. Now, you mentioned the places that you were
6 taken trench digging. I want you to look at the map
7 that he I now show you. Using the highlighting pen,
8 would you please indicate on this the places that --
9 the two places that you were taken when you were trench
10 digging -- maybe three places. The places you were
11 taken for trench digging. (Handed).
12 Again, if you could do that on the ELMO for
13 me. When you mark them, if you highlight them, could
14 you just tell us which place it is that you are
15 highlighting and then we will put numbers again on the
16 places. First, could you do that for us, please?
17 Perhaps if you do it in order it would be
18 helpful. I think you said you were taken to Putis on
19 the first occasion, if I remember correctly. Do you
20 see that place there, could you indicate where it was
21 you were taken trench digging?
22 A. Yes, yes. (Witness marked map).
23 Q. Now put a circle around it. Mark it with the
24 number "1", if you would.
25 Now, the next place you were taken, were you
1 taken to Strane?
2 A. This was all in the same night.
3 Q. I am sorry.
4 A. It was during one night. We were working all
5 night. You cover 10 kilometres easily. So that the
6 area that I will now mark was roughly the area that we
7 spent that night working in. (Witness marked map).
8 Q. Now, that is fine. Now the next place that
9 you mentioned was Kula. Again, if you could find that
10 for me on the map. Indicate the place where you worked
11 when you were at Kula.
12 A. (Witness marked map).
13 Q. If you mark that with the number "2". Then
14 the area where you were working on the trenches, are
15 you able to indicate that for us?
16 A. (Witness marked map).
17 MR. NIEMANN: Okay. I tender that, if your
18 Honours please, and we will give it the next number in
20 You said a moment ago in your evidence that
21 you anticipated being exchanged on 8th February 1993.
22 Why had you expected that you would be exchanged on
23 that date, namely, 8th February 1993?
24 A. We learned that at Kula from the soldiers, as
25 a good piece of news that they conveyed to us by
1 saying: "You are lucky after all, because you will be
2 exchanged tomorrow at 12.00", which meant 8th February,
3 that it had been arranged for that day.
4 Since we had already been registered by the
5 Red Cross, there were some early indications that this
6 could happen on the 8th at 12.00.
7 Q. What happened on the 8th at 12.00?
8 A. On 8th February, the morning after that big
9 hullabaloo with the Croatian police, who arrested its
10 own soldiers and detained them, we were simply taken in
11 front of the building, the building of the prison, so
12 that we were all there, almost all of us in a group,
13 already about eleven o'clock. None of us had watches,
14 it may even have been ten o'clock in the morning when
15 we were taken out. However, the exchange was delayed
16 because of these two men who had been killed in the
17 night between the 7th and the 8th because the Red Cross
18 insisted on finding them too and they were not to be
20 Q. Who was present out the front when you were
21 taken out there, do you recall anyone being present
22 when the exchange was to take place?
23 A. At the exchange, there were quite a number of
24 them. All the guards. Anto Sliskovic was present,
25 Mr. Aleksovski was present, all of them were present.
1 Even this friend of me, Petrovic Zarko, he was there.
2 Q. Apart from the two men who had been killed,
3 were you then all exchanged on that day?
4 A. At least as far as we knew, we thought that
5 all of us had been exchanged, but some people did stay
6 behind in the prison, the two Iranians, and all the
7 others who were detained from the Busovaca area were
8 exchanged and allowed to go whichever side they
9 wanted. Some went to Busovaca, some to their own
10 villages, some towards Zenica, it depended.
11 However, there is something else that
12 happened before we actually boarded the bus: some of
13 the things that were found on this HOS man and the two
14 soldiers who were beaten up by the HVO police on them
15 some valuables were found. Among these three rings,
16 some money, a couple of watches, obviously the things
17 that were of value because the rest he had probably
18 shared out.
19 So that one of the guards brought these
20 things and asked who they belonged to and gave these
21 things back. By chance my two rings were there and
22 another one ring only belonging to a Burbur, an old
23 ring of value, so that is all that was returned, only
24 three rings out of the jewellery. Then among the money
25 there was only some 20 Marks that nobody wanted to take
1 and also there were a couple of watches that nobody
2 cared about any more, that is what was returned to us.
3 Q. You mentioned seeing Mr. Aleksovski in the
4 camp, had you known him before you went to Kaonik camp?
5 A. No, no, never.
6 Q. Did you see him very often when you were in
7 the camp?
8 A. I saw him for the first time when he
9 introduced himself in the hangar. I saw him a second
10 time when a young man was brought back from Kula with
11 his ribs broken and when he asked him, "Mr. Governor,
12 please help us", and he, indeed, did help him. He sent
13 him a pill for dysentery. That is when I saw him.
14 That was the second time. The third time, when he was
15 standing in the corridor, and distributing papers to
16 the guards.
17 Q. Do you think that you would recognise him
18 again if you saw him?
19 A. I could not say for sure because, in a sense,
20 we were not really -- we did not really dare to look at
21 him. He was short, as far as I remember. Maybe
22 I would, probably.
23 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
24 your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In a moment, you will be
1 answering questions after those put to you by
2 Mr. Niemann. I think that perhaps Mr. Mikulicic will do
3 the cross-examination, perhaps it would be better to
4 begin after the lunch break. So we are going to have
5 a lunch break now. Have a good lunch all of you.
6 (12.50 pm)
7 (The luncheon adjournment)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon. Are the
3 interpreters ready?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Defence? I take
6 advantage of this opportunity to greet Mr. Joka, who we
7 have not seen for a long time, and Mr. Mikulicic, you
8 have the floor for the cross-examination.
9 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
10 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
11 Mr. F, I am Mr. Mikulicic, Defence counsel for
12 the accused in this case. I am going to ask you some
13 questions and I would like you to answer them as well
14 as you recollect them.
15 Mr. F, when you gave your statement, you said
16 that you spent -- lived in Busovaca a long time. How
17 long was this period?
18 A. From when -- from my birth until 1993.
19 Q. During this period, you achieved a status
20 there which can be described as being a wealthy member
21 of the Busovaca community; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Is it also true that you engaged in sports?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 A. I would not like to answer that question.
3 Q. Let me rephrase, you are absolutely right.
4 Is it true that a lot of people knew you as a prominent
5 athlete in that area?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Mr. F, on the day which you described when the
8 conflict started in Busovaca, you said that you noticed
9 some foreign soldiers?
10 A. I did not notice, I saw them. I personally
11 saw them.
12 Q. Could you tell us, what do you mean by
13 "foreign soldiers"?
14 A. They had HV insignia on them and, "Runolist
15 Brigade", or, "Edelweiss Brigade", was on their
16 camouflage uniforms.
17 Q. You said that they were speaking in
18 a different accent. What kind of accent was it?
19 A. It was an accent from Herzegovina.
20 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber where
21 Herzegovina is located?
22 A. Why not?
23 Q. It is part of which country?
24 A. It is part of Bosnia Herzegovina.
25 Q. Mr. F, who brought you to Kaonik? I mean,
1 which persons were these? The soldiers from
2 Herzegovina, or were there some other soldiers who
3 brought you there?
4 A. There was a lot of military personnel there,
5 a lot of uniformed men in the HVO -- with HVO insignia,
6 HV insignia and Runolist Brigade insignia.
7 They rounded us up on to 15 square metres in
8 the main square and then they loaded us on these buses,
9 and the driver who was driving us was a local man from
11 Q. Who received you in Kaonik?
12 A. At first nobody received us. The bus simply
13 came to a stop in front of the hangar, the entrance to
14 the hangar. There were two guards, two soldiers to the
15 side and while even still on the bus, we were ordered
16 to file out one by one, enter there and face the wall.
17 Q. You said "the guards", "soldiers"; were these
18 guards from Kaonik or were these soldiers part of the
19 group of soldiers who brought you there?
20 A. They were not guards from Kaonik, but they
21 were guards from Busovaca. For instance, one of them
22 was from the village of Boselj. I know him
24 Q. So is it true that the two persons who you
25 called guards were not guards at Kaonik, but among the
1 soldiers who brought you up there?
2 A. No, that is incorrect.
3 Q. Would you please correct me then?
4 A. Yes. The soldiers who were placing us on
5 these buses in Busovaca, they remained there. Only one
6 soldier went along together with the driver and the
7 driver was armed too, so it was only the two of them
8 who brought us to Kaonik and in Kaonik in front of the
9 hangar, other soldiers were waiting.
10 Q. So, the other soldiers who waited in front of
11 the hangar at Kaonik were not guards at Kaonik? That
12 is my question, really.
13 A. How come they were not? They were there with
14 weapons, they had to be guards.
15 Q. Allow me to rephrase my question: the two men
16 of whom you spoke, did you see these two later as
17 guards, while you were in Kaonik?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where did you see them?
20 A. The first day, the first night, the second
21 day and the second night -- they were there non-stop,
22 in front of the hangar on guard posts. Later we saw
23 them in the cells too.
24 Q. What types of uniforms did they wear?
25 A. Camouflage.
1 Q. Were there any insignia there?
2 A. HVO.
3 Q. Mr. F, you described in your statement how you
4 were taken out of Kaonik and taken to dig trenches?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Who watched you while you dug trenches?
7 A. The first time we went digging we were
8 watched by the soldiers who were from Vitez. The
9 second time people who -- I do not know the people, God
10 knows where they came from, but there were a few of
11 them from Busovaca whom I knew, but those never came
12 even close to us, not even 10 to 15 metres.
13 Q. During the first or second digging, did you
14 notice whether you were watched by any of the guards
15 from Kaonik?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the
18 front-line at Kula?
19 A. No. I had no time to think about it. I did
20 not have the time to look around.
21 Q. Mr. F, correct me if I am wrong, but tell me:
22 did you not state that the first night when you arrived
23 to the prison, and put in the cells, that you were
24 taken out by a person called Marelja and he beat you up
25 in front of the guards?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Is it correct that this Marelja was not the
3 a guard?
4 A. That is correct too.
5 Q. What was he, do you know?
6 A. He was a soldier, an HVO soldier, who was
7 free to move wherever he wanted. He was free to enter,
8 leave. He was free to enter the prison, the cells,
9 whatever he wished.
10 Q. Do you know whether he was a detainee in this
12 A. I do not know that and I do not believe he
13 was. In fact, he was not there for sure, he was not
14 a detainee there.
15 Q. Mr. F, you said that from the building with
16 the cells, you were taken to another building. Do you
17 know who was placed in -- who was placed there?
18 A. It was the so-called intervention platoon or
19 the special purpose platoon, that was the first
20 building next to the gate.
21 Q. Do you know who was the commander of this
22 intervention platoon?
23 A. At Kaonik that I do not know, but I know
24 overall because I believed this could have been part of
25 this intervention platoon, and the overall commander
1 was Miko.
2 Q. Do you know whether the commander of Kaonik
3 had any authority over the intervention platoon?
4 A. I cannot speak to that.
5 Q. You said that you were questioned in this
6 building. Do you perhaps recall, when you entered this
7 building, could you smell food, whether food was
8 prepared there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. What were you questioned about?
11 A. On all kinds of things. For instance, why
12 was I at my brother's house; why was a certain person
13 called Berber in this street; why a person -- I do not
14 know if I should mention his name, but he was
15 Croatian -- why was he spending so much time with us in
16 the days leading to the conflict? They were asking me
17 all kinds of things to which I had no answer.
18 Q. Did they ask anything about weapons?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us about that?
21 A. Why not? They asked me for my personal
23 Q. What type of weapons are these?
24 A. It is a pistol called Skorpion.
25 Q. Is it an automatic pistol?
1 A. I think it is semi-automatic.
2 Q. Were they also asking for something else?
3 A. Not from me. They were asking me where the
4 radio transmitter was. I had no idea that it existed,
5 let alone that I possessed it.
6 Q. Tell me about the Marelja who beat you. What
7 did he want from you?
8 A. Obviously, gold and money.
9 Q. Did he know that you were wealthy?
10 A. He had information from somewhere.
11 Q. But this was a generally known thing?
12 A. It could not have been known to him because
13 he was not a local. Somebody from the local people
14 gave him this information.
15 Q. When you were taken to Kula, did they also
16 ask you for some valuables?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is the event that you describe?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Very well, we will not go back to that.
21 Tell me, how did you know that you were going
22 to be exchanged on 8th February?
23 A. Almost all of us knew that.
24 Q. Did somebody tell you this?
25 A. Red Cross, which had registered us and which
1 visited again after that first registration visit,
2 suggested that on this day, 8th February, would take
3 place. But I learned about the exact date and time
4 from the guards at Kula who came -- how shall I put
5 it -- to give us the good news.
6 Q. Now, tell me, when did the Red Cross register
7 you; do you recall that? Maybe you do not recall the
8 date, but in relation to the time when you first
9 arrived in Kaonik?
10 A. Just a moment, please. I think it was
11 sometime around 1st February. I am sorry that I do not
12 have the ID card here, because that is where -- it is
13 written down there, but I think it was around February
14 1st or maybe 31st January.
15 Q. You said that one morning you were awakened
16 by some big noise?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Yes, you described it, so I am not going to
19 dwell on it. The military policemen arrived and
20 arrested the people who had taken valuables from the
21 people at Kula?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know whether the military policemen
24 intervened at the suggestion of the Kaonik camp
25 commander Zlatko Aleksovski?
1 A. No. The intervention came after somebody
2 reported that there was somebody among the soldiers,
3 the HVO soldiers up at Kula and so they thought the
4 that somebody had overstepped the limits and they
5 called the military police.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you very much. The
7 Defence has no further questions.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, do you have any
10 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour. We do seek
11 a redaction at page 62, lines 12, 13 and 14. I believe
12 it has already been shown to your Honour.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, Witness F,
14 you have completed your testimony. The International
15 Criminal Tribunal thanks you for having come and for
16 your testimony. Thank you very much.
17 A. Thank you too, your Honours.
18 (The witness withdrew)
19 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Good afternoon, your
20 Honours. May it please the court. The next witness is
21 asking for protective measures and the reason for his
22 request has already been exposed to you by my
23 colleagues, they did already explain to you in the
24 course of this trial, why do they so often need and
25 they feel they need protective measures.
1 I am confident, therefore, that my learned
2 friend, Mr. Mikulicic, Defence counsel, will not oppose
3 this request, so I understand, and the court will
4 decide accordingly and grant the measures, including
5 face distortion and pseudonym for the witness, which
6 I think will be letter G.
7 We may introduce the witness.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, have you any
9 objections or comments?
10 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no objections,
11 your Honours.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Have you taken all the
13 necessary protective measures, Mr. Dubuisson? Yes,
14 please bring in the witness.
15 (The witness entered court)
16 Good afternoon, sir. Are you well?
17 A. Yes, thank God.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to read the
19 declaration which the Registrar will give you. Will
20 you, please, stand?
21 Q. Solemn declaration: I solemnly declare that
22 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
23 the truth.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated. You are
25 going to answer questions which the Prosecutor is going
1 to put to you, please. Is that clear?
2 A. Yes, thank you.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor.
4 WITNESS G
5 Examined by MR. MARCHESIELLO
6 Q. Thank you.
7 The usher will show you now a sheet of paper
8 on which your name is written. Please let us know and
9 the court know, if that is your name, say "yes". If
10 the contrary, say "no". Thank you. (Handed).
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Please show the Defence.
14 I tender the document as evidence.
15 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 49.
16 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Now, for this examination,
17 you are Mr. G. Please do not refer to your name, to
18 your real name, during this examination. Do you
19 understand; do you agree?
20 A. Yes, I understand, and yes.
21 Q. The only personal datum we need to have from
22 you is concerning your age. Which is your age now,
23 today? How old are you?
24 A. 48.
25 Q. What is your nationality?
1 A. Bosniak.
2 Q. And your faith?
3 A. Islam. I am a Muslim.
4 Q. Are you practising your religion?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if you do agree, I would like to bring
7 your memory to January 1993, when you were living in
8 Busovaca, were you not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you living there with your family?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How was the situation in Busovaca at that
13 time in your neighbourhood, particularly from the point
14 of view of ethnic interrelations?
15 A. If you think about my immediate
16 neighbourhood, I had no problems with them, but
17 generally speaking the situation of that period, there
18 was some division.
19 Q. Can you be more detailed about that? Which
20 kind of divisions were evident to you during that
21 period of time?
22 A. (Answer not translated).
23 Q. I repeat my question. You said that there
24 were many distinctions between the situation in your
25 neighbourhood and the distinction in the Busovaca
1 area. Which kind of divisions were evident to you in
2 that period of time in the area of Busovaca?
3 A. People -- people went to different groups.
4 The Croats would be meeting more with Croats and the
5 Bosniaks more with Bosniaks, in that sense.
6 Q. Let us go to your neighbourhood, was it
7 a mixed neighbourhood, were there Croats and Muslims
8 living together?
9 A. In my street on the one side of the street
10 were Muslims, that is Bosniaks and on the other side
11 lived the Croats.
12 Q. But was this intentional, was this because of
13 the division, of the ethnic division you were referring
14 to before, or just simply an accident, it happened to
15 be so in the developing of the town?
16 A. It was not intentional, it was -- for the
17 most part, these were new houses, people lived there
18 for up to five or to ten years and I built my house in
19 1985 and to the right the Croats lived.
20 Q. Among your Croat neighbours was there Dario
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Did you meet him on a daily basis, did you
24 have any relation? Were you friends or familiar
1 A. I knew him, but we did not have common
2 friends or did he socialise? We would just say "hello"
3 if we saw each other in the streets but we were not
4 really friends, close friends.
5 Q. But did you have any one particular official
6 contact with Kordic before or after your detention in
7 Kaonik? Do you remember this occasion?
8 A. Before my detention, I did not have any
9 contact with him. Absolutely none. Afterwards I did,
10 when I came out of the camp I did and the reason was it
11 was Bajram and we in Busovaca could not go to the
12 mosque. As we were neighbours, I went to ask for
13 permission to go to Zenica to the mosque.
14 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, you mean that Muslims
15 at that time were not allowed to go to the mosque, to
16 attend their religious services?
17 A. Just then, when we had Bajram, the Bajram
18 holiday, we were not allowed to go.
19 Q. Who did not allow you to go, by which
20 authority were you forbidden to do so?
21 A. We simply did not have freedom of movement to
22 be able to go there. I could not really tell you
23 exactly such and such a person prohibited us from
25 Q. Let us go now to January 23rd, 1993. Do you
1 remember what happened to you that morning? Can you
2 tell the court what happened to you that morning?
3 A. Early in the morning the sirens were on in
4 town, the sirens from the fire brigade centre. I think
5 it was about 6.00 in the morning, I could not tell you
6 exactly but roughly about that time.
7 My house has a first floor level. I was
8 upstairs. I came down to the living room with my
9 wife. She prepared coffee for us. I did not have any
10 particular suspicions, but I already noticed HVO
11 soldiers moving along a side street. Shortly after
12 that they came in front of my door and said that
13 I should come with them. They were wearing camouflage,
14 though some were also in black uniforms. Some of them
15 even had helmets and they had automatic rifles on
17 They took me from there to the police station
18 and they brought there too some other Muslims.
19 I cannot recall their names. There were about 10 of
20 us. From there we were sent to the Kaonik prison, or
21 rather we were transported in a van to the Kaonik
23 I was in the camp for 15/16 days --
24 Q. Sorry, I have to interrupt you. How long did
25 you stay in the police station and when did you reach
1 Kaonik on the van?
2 A. I think we stayed for about one hour in the
3 police station.
4 Q. Then when did you arrive at Kaonik; the same
6 A. Yes. Yes, during that same day. Kaonik is
7 close to the police station, maybe three kilometres.
8 Three and a half.
9 Q. What happened on your arrival at Kaonik? How
10 did the situation and the place look like to you?
11 A. I knew the place from before, because the
12 Yugoslav People's Army had their barracks there. When
13 we were brought there it was under the control of the
14 HVO and they put us up there. In fact, all that day
15 they kept bringing in more Muslims and Bosniaks. I was
16 among the first to get there, so that I saw them
17 bringing in more and more people.
18 Q. So, when you did arrive at Kaonik, your group
19 was the first one to be introduced in the camp,
20 according to what you are saying?
21 A. I could not exactly say that we were the
22 first, but we were among the first.
23 Q. Where were you brought that very day? In
24 what kind of facility were you detained?
25 A. I know that it was a large room and inside
1 were cells. There were several cells and we were put
2 in those cells.
3 Q. How long did you stay in Kaonik after that?
4 A. 16 days.
5 Q. Were you detained always in the same cell or
6 were you changed to other cells? If so, in the same
8 A. I was in the same building all the time, but
9 in different cells, because I was taken to dig trenches
10 and as the groups came back we were not necessarily
11 returned to the same cell. We would be -- I would be
12 in one cell one day and then in another, another, but
13 I was not in the same cell all the time, that is for
15 Q. Where did you take your meals? In the same
16 building, or were they taken into the cells? Was the
17 food brought to you in the cells?
18 A. While you were in the cells, we would go out
19 into the corridor. There was quite a long corridor in
20 front of the cells, going across the middle of the
21 building, and we would eat on a table, on a long wooden
22 table, so that we were mostly eating in the corridors.
23 We did not eat in the cells.
24 Q. Had you other opportunities to move along the
25 corridor or to see what was going on in the corridor?
1 A. Of course, I could not move around, but if we
2 asked -- I apologise -- to go to the toilet --
3 Q. Then you were allowed to go to the toilet?
4 How many times a day were you allowed?
5 A. (Answer not translated).
6 Q. Please, may I get the translation. Were you
7 allowed to go to the toilet more than once in a day?
8 A. (Answer not translated).
9 Q. Now you understand me; yes. Were you allowed
10 to go to the toilet and, if so, how many times in
11 a day? As soon as you asked, were you allowed to do
13 A. (Answer not translated).
14 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Do the translators think we
15 can go on?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. One microphone is
18 MR. MARCHESIELLO: How many times in a day
19 were you allowed to go to the toilet, just once or how
21 A. Sometimes whenever we asked, they would let
22 us go, but at other times they would not let us go.
23 Q. Were there windows in the cell you were put
25 A. No, there were not any windows except for
1 a window above the door to the cell. But you could not
2 see anything outside.
3 Q. You mean that it was possible to see what is
4 going on in the hallway, in the corridor, if not
5 directly by standing on somebody else's shoulder, for
7 A. Only if we were to climb on somebody's
8 shoulders, but no-one dared do that.
9 Q. Was there a peeping hole in the door?
10 A. Yes, there was. A small hole, but I said we
11 did not dare look because the guards were outside in
12 the corridors, so we did not dare look through to see
13 what was happening.
14 Q. Did you ever see or hear during your stay at
15 Kaonik something unusual happening in the hallway, in
16 the corridor, in the cells near were you were being
17 detained? Beatings, screams, other unusual events?
18 A. I do not remember hearing that.
19 Q. Do you know who was the commander or the
20 warden, let us say, of the camp?
21 A. I do not know his name but at the time when
22 I went to the camp, I did not know him at all. Nor had
23 I heard of him.
24 Q. Was his office in the same building where you
25 were detained?
1 A. At the entrance to the building, on the
2 left-hand side, there were two offices, where I saw
4 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Now, I am going to show you
5 a photograph.
6 May I introduce this into evidence?
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit 50.
8 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Can you show it to
9 Mr. Mikulicic, please? (Handed).
10 Witness G, do you recognise the hallway of
11 the building you have been detained in?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Can you identify the places where you were
14 taken when you were taking your meals?
15 A. Yes, you can see a big stove made from
16 a barrel and then this table over here that you can
17 see, there was a long table there. That is where we
19 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Can you draw a circle round
20 it with the pen and sign it and mark it with the
21 letter --
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, could you please
23 point on the ELMO, please?
24 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Can you, please, look at
25 the photograph on that ELMO there?
1 Show, please, again where the table was
2 around which you usually take your meals. Can you draw
3 a circle around it and sign it with the letter "A"?
4 A. (Witness marked map).
5 Q. Can you point to the windows from the cells
6 that look on the hallway, the windows over the doors of
7 the cells?
8 A. (Indicating on photograph).
9 Q. And, can you, please, now point to the
10 direction which the warden's office was, if it is not
11 in the picture?
12 A. (Indicating on photograph).
13 Q. Can you draw an arrow in that direction,
15 A. (Witness marked map). This was the entrance
16 to the building.
17 Q. Where were the two offices?
18 A. The offices -- in this direction, the office
19 was here, to this side and this side. (Indicating).
20 If this is the door, that would be the entrance to the
22 Q. Can you mark the door, giving entrance to the
23 office with the letter "B", with an arrow and a letter
25 A. (Witness marked map).
1 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you.
2 I tender the photograph into evidence,
4 Now, Witness G, during your stay in Kaonik,
5 were you taken out of the camp, and for which purposes?
6 A. Yes, I was. I went to dig trenches and
7 canals and dug-outs and that sort of thing.
8 Q. How many times did you go trench digging?
9 A. Every day.
10 Q. How many of them were taken together? How
11 many prisoners?
12 A. We went in groups of 20 to dig trenches.
13 Q. And how were prisoners selected for this
14 purpose? Were they called out at random or did the
15 guards have a list of names for each day?
16 A. No, it was not at random, they had a precise
17 list of names for each group, where they were going
18 to. We did not always go to the same place, we went to
19 several places.
20 Q. Who did actually call out the names of the
22 A. A person was designated in the camp. It was
23 always one and the same person who called out the names
24 for trench digging.
25 Q. You do not know his name?
1 A. Marko.
2 Q. Where did he get a daily list from?
3 A. I could not see because I was in the cell.
4 My assumption was that he got the list in that office
5 but I really do not know because I was in the cell.
6 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Where have you been taken
7 trench digging during those days? Can you list the
8 places and, please, can you sign them on the map that
9 will be shown to you? It is a map that has already
10 been produced into evidence. Here is a map for the
11 judges and for the witness.
12 Show it, please, to Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
13 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 51.
14 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you.
15 Witness G, can you show us the places where
16 you have been taken trench digging and, as I have asked
17 you to do before, circle them with a pen and mark with
18 letters. If you tell us the places in order, according
19 to your memory.
20 A. I went to several places, so I will mark
21 those places where I went to.
22 Q. Please do, and give us the names, please.
23 A. Bare; Prosje; Kula. (Witness marked map).
24 Those are mostly the places I went to.
25 Q. Could you, please, sign the names with
1 letters, "A", "B" and "C"?
2 A. Bare, "A". Within the circle or outside it?
3 Q. It does not matter.
4 A. (Answer not translated).
5 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you. I tender that.
6 Witness G, while digging -- and you said you
7 have been taken there many times -- did you ever find
8 yourself under fire or were you exposed to shooting by
9 any of the opposing lines?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How did it happen? Do you have any specific
12 memory as to this?
13 A. For instance, when they would take us to the
14 line for trench digging, they would simply tell us that
15 we had to dig and they did not care that we were
16 exposed to the possibility of being fired at. We
17 simply had to dig.
18 Q. And was somebody of your fellows wounded or
19 killed during this work and in these circumstances?
20 A. In my presence, no. But I know that two
21 people were killed.
22 Q. And, therefore, how long approximately were
23 you forced to dig during a single day?
24 A. That differed. Sometimes we would dig from
25 7.00/8.00 in the morning until the evening. Sometimes
1 we would dig day and night, and sometimes dig all day,
2 all night and the following day.
3 Q. What about food, did you have a possibility
4 to have some rest?
5 A. No, what do you mean "rest"? There was no
6 rest. We were forced to dig. As for food, it was very
7 poor, very, very poor.
8 Q. Which kind of food did you receive and which
10 A. Shall we say if we were digging all day, all
11 the time, then another evening, then we would share
12 a tin of fish food for two people. The HVO soldiers
13 would just say that they did not get any food for us,
14 so they would not give us any.
15 When I said that the two of us would get one
16 of these fish cans or some meat paste, that was to be
17 shared between the two of us for the whole day. We
18 would get food just once a day.
19 Q. From this, did any mistreatment or abuse take
20 place on these occasions during work?
21 A. Thank God I was lucky enough that in my
22 vicinity there was no mistreatment.
23 Q. And in the camp?
24 A. In the camp sometimes some HVO soldiers would
25 come but I did not know them. They were not from
1 Busovaca. I know that they usually asked people to
2 take off their watches and rings, if they had them.
3 Q. Were you forced to give some of your
4 property, valuables, money, rings?
5 A. Personally I did not have any, but I was
6 referring to others, those who had watches or money or
7 gold, they were asked to turn them over.
8 Q. Asked by whom, according to your knowledge?
9 A. According to my knowledge and from
10 conversations I had later, there was an HVO soldier
11 from Novi Travnik. They called him Marelja. I am not
12 sure if that was his name or last name but I know he
13 was called Marelja.
14 Q. Then what was this soldier supposed to do
15 seeing the prisoners, asking them to give him money,
16 searching them and asking them to give properties?
17 A. He was taking it for himself.
18 Q. Witness G, how did you leave the camp? Were
19 you exchanged?
20 A. Yes, I was exchanged. They said the
21 conditions were such that those who wanted to go back
22 to Busovaca could go and those who wanted to go to
23 Zenica they could go there, or to go to Kacuni, which
24 is near Busovaca. Because my family was in Busovaca
25 I did not want to get separated from them. I then
1 returned to Busovaca, even though they did not give us
2 any guarantees after that.
3 Q. So where did you choose to go first after you
4 had been released?
5 A. I went back to my home.
6 Q. In Busovaca, you mean?
7 A. Yes, in Busovaca, that is right. In Busovaca
8 that is where I went. For a while I was there at the
9 my house and then later I moved to my mother's house
10 together with my family.
11 Q. Why did you move to your mother's house?
12 A. As Croats were coming from other places, the
13 HVO police would move them into these different houses
14 and they simply told us to get out.
15 Q. And you did, in fact, leave all your
17 A. Yes, then I gave it over to the Croats, whom
18 I barely knew, but the HVO police kicked them out as
19 well and brought in another two families so, of course,
20 everything remained behind, the house, the belongings,
21 furniture, everything.
22 Q. What happened then? Where did you decide to
24 A. I moved to my mother's, so I stayed with her
25 for a while.
1 Q. And then?
2 A. After a while I requested to be transferred
3 to Zenica and I went to the HVO office and I asked them
4 to give me permission to leave.
5 Then they set conditions for me of how
6 I could leave. They said that my family had to stay
7 behind and I had to send a doctor from Zenica to
8 Busovaca and for each member of my family I had to
9 bring over two Croats.
10 They put down the name on a piece of paper.
11 They asked for Dr. Barac.
12 Q. How many members were in your family?
13 A. At that time we were seven, but my sister has
14 since died, so for the seven of us I needed to find 14
15 Croats to be sent to Busovaca so they would be
17 When I came to Zenica I could not find enough
18 Croats who wanted to go to Busovaca --
19 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, so actually your
20 family was forced to stay, was not allowed to leave
21 Busovaca; is that so?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. I said that I was
23 blackmailed that my family had to -- my family plus my
24 mother, plus my late sister and her daughter, they all
25 had to stay behind in Busovaca so that I could send the
1 doctor and the group of Croats over.
2 Q. So you went to Zenica?
3 A. Yes, I went to Zenica and I reported there.
4 Then I went the to this doctor. I asked him whether he
5 wanted to go to Busovaca and he refused right away. He
6 did not even want to discuss going back to Busovaca.
7 Then I asked him to give me a document stating in
8 writing that this was his wish so I would not have any
9 problems over it.
10 Then I was told that there was a family who
11 wanted to go, a family, there were five. In fact,
12 there were four of them in that family and they also
13 brought an acquaintance with them and I did not manage
14 to find more of them there, so it took about 10 days
15 and it was -- there was a lot of uncertainty. I had
16 big problems trying to find people who wanted to go to
18 Q. Finally, did they go to Busovaca, these
20 A. Yes, they went to Busovaca and after that my
21 family was released from Busovaca.
22 Q. How long after these Croats reached Busovaca
23 was your family released?
24 A. I think that they spent one night together
25 there in Busovaca and then the following morning my
1 family was released.
2 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you, your Honours.
3 No more questions.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have the
6 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.
8 Good morning, Mr. G, I am Mr. Mikulicic, the
9 Defence counsel for the accused in this case. I will
10 ask you several questions and I would kindly ask you to
11 respond to the best of your memory.
12 Mr. G, you said that on that morning in
13 January 1993 you heard a siren from the fire-fighting
14 hall; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know who does give this signal, this
18 A. I know in regular conditions, but when it
19 happened I did not know who did it.
20 Q. When you arrived in Kaonik, did anybody
21 receive you? Did anybody take down your data?
22 A. I cannot remember exactly. I believed they
23 did, but I am not sure of it. I think that they did
24 because they had a list from which they were calling us
1 Q. Mr. G, when you were taken from Kaonik to the
2 locations which are shown on the map, who guarded you
3 while you were doing forced labour?
4 A. The HVO soldiers, and they also had the
5 letter "U", I should add.
6 Q. Were these the same people who guarded you at
8 A. They were not. No, they were not the same.
9 Q. Did you personally know the guards from
11 A. No, I did not know them because from what
12 I could see, for the most part they were unknown to me
13 and I do not know their names at all.
14 Q. Mr. G, you mentioned a person who asked for
15 money and valuables from the people who were staying at
16 Kaonik. You said that his name was Marelja; is that
18 A. As I said, this is how I heard him being
19 called. I do not know whether this is his name or his
21 Q. Who was this person, in what capacity was he
23 A. I do not know. He simply would come into the
25 Q. Did the cells have locks?
1 A. You mean classic type of lock? Or you mean
2 you have a sliding bar?
3 Q. No. But was there a key?
4 A. I cannot recall.
5 Q. Mr. G, when you came to Kaonik, did you have
6 an opportunity to have religious rights observed? Did
7 anybody prevent you from doing that?
8 A. The first and the second day -- the first two
9 or three days, we did, but after that we went digging.
10 Q. Excuse me, I did not understand, did you or
11 did you not perform your religious rights, I did not
12 understand you?
13 A. Yes, yes, we did. Nobody prevented us.
14 Q. Mr. G, you stated that two persons died when
16 A. Yes, they did.
17 Q. Do you know their names?
18 A. I know both of them, but I cannot recall
19 their names.
20 Q. Do you know under what circumstances they
21 were killed, what happened to them?
22 A. I said that it did not happen in my presence,
23 or in my vicinity, so I cannot say how it happened.
24 Q. Mr. G, you said that after your release from
25 Kaonik, you returned to Busovaca to your family. How
1 long after that were you in Busovaca; that is, until
2 when were you there?
3 A. Until September. I think it was in September
4 when I left Busovaca.
5 Q. That means -- sorry, go ahead, I interrupted
7 A. I do not know the exact month, I think it was
8 in August or September.
9 Q. When you said "released", do you mean when
10 you left Busovaca?
11 A. Yes, when I left Busovaca.
12 Q. So that means that you actually were in
13 Busovaca in April when the second conflict broke out?
14 A. Yes, I was there all the time.
15 Q. When this second conflict broke out, were you
16 by any chance called to perform some duties?
17 A. In what sense? In what sense "duties?
18 Q. Were you called to the civilian protection?
19 A. Yes, and we were taken to dig and they told
20 us that we were civilian protection; we were no
21 civilian protection.
22 Q. Who assigned you to the civilian protection?
23 A. The civilian protection that was with the HVO
24 in Busovaca.
25 Q. Did someone else -- was someone else also
1 assigned to the civilian protection among you?
2 A. Not just anyone, but most people.
3 Q. We are talking about persons now that were
4 not at Kaonik; is that correct? You understand my
6 A. We were not at Kaonik at the time. I had to
7 come back from Kaonik.
8 Q. That is right. You were at home?
9 A. Yes. In other words, when I was in Kaonik,
10 when I was released from the Kaonik camp, when I was in
11 Busovaca, maybe I was not digging for 15 or 20 days.
12 After that, they started forcing us to dig again all
13 around Busovaca, not just me but everyone else who had
14 come back to Busovaca.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, the Defence has no
16 further questions.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Prosecutor, do you have
18 any re-examination?
19 MR. MARCHESIELLO: No further questions.
20 JUDGE VOHRAH: Witness G, in
21 examination-in-chief, you said after you were
22 discharged from Kaonik camp the Muslims had difficulty
23 attending the mosque for Bajram; what festival is that?
24 A. It is a Muslim holiday. It is a Muslim
25 religious holiday.
1 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We have no more questions
3 for you, sir. Therefore, you have completed your
4 testimony. We wish to thank you very much for coming.
5 Could the usher pull down the curtains,
7 (The witness withdrew)
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that it is now time
9 for the break until 4.10 pm.
10 (3.52 pm)
11 (A short break)
12 (4.10 pm)
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann?
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, the next
15 Prosecution witness is witness number 4 on the list of
16 inventory of witnesses filed on 23rd February. In
17 respect of this witness, too, your Honours, I am making
18 an application on behalf of the witness for protective
19 measures because, your Honours, I am seeking that
20 pseudonym be assigned to that witness and also that he
21 be granted distortion of his face during the course of
22 his testimony.
23 I believe Mr. Mikulicic has no objection to my
24 application. He has been informed of this request and
25 I believe he has no objection to this application, your
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, please, have
3 the witness brought in.
4 (The witness entered court)
5 Good afternoon, sir. You are going to read
6 the statement that the Registrar is going to give to
8 A. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
9 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. You are going
11 to answer the questions from Mr. Meddegoda, the
13 WITNESS H
14 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA
15 Q. Your Honours, the witness will be known as
16 "witness H".
17 Witness H, I tender this sheet of paper to
18 you on which a name is written and I ask you to read --
19 to look at the sheet of paper and confirm whether the
20 name that appears on it is your name or not.
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you. Your Honours,
24 I tender that. Mr. Mikulicic may be shown that piece of
25 paper and I tender that as an exhibit under seal, your
2 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 52.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, I take you back to
4 the events in Busovaca in December of 1992 and January
5 of 1993. Do you recall the tension that prevailed in
6 the area during that time?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you describe to this court what kind of
9 tension was prevalent during the period?
10 A. Mostly the HVO forces were armed, while the
11 Muslim population was almost without any weapons. So,
12 the tensions rose during that period. They had sort of
13 a command of sorts over us. They had the control over
14 the entire village, not just my village, but the
15 neighbouring village as well. We were, so to speak,
17 So, there was a high degree of tension and we
18 did not know what to do.
19 Q. Witness, you are a Bosniak by ethnicity?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And also your religion is Islam?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, as far as your village is concerned --
24 I do not want you to name the village from which you
25 come -- as far as your village is concerned, could you
1 please tell this court the kind of tension that
2 prevailed in your village in the early part of 1993?
3 A. Well, when the conflict broke out, I was
4 going to go and pick up my salary from the company
5 where I worked, but I heard explosions. The tension
6 was very high. We had very little weapons and so we
7 did not have much of a chance to offer any resistance.
8 We knew what was ahead. So a certain Mario showed up.
9 I cannot recall his last name.
10 He came and he said that we should surrender
11 all the weapons, all the personal weapons, that it
12 should be --
13 Q. You said a certain Mario turned up; did he
14 turn up alone or did he show up with others?
15 A. The first time he came alone.
16 Q. And do you know who this Mario is?
17 A. He lived, his house was just below my
18 village. That is, his house was in the direction of
19 the neighbouring village.
20 Q. Was he a soldier or a civilian?
21 A. A soldier. He also had the HVO insignia.
22 Q. On the occasion when he came there, was he --
23 what was he wearing?
24 A. He wore a camouflage uniform. He had a few
25 rocket-propelled grenades and he had an ammunition kit
1 and he had an automatic rifle and I think it was
2 a Kalashnikov.
3 Q. Did he come to your village a second time?
4 A. Yes, after the meeting at which we were to
5 decide whether to surrender our weapons or not. We
6 told him that he could come again and that he would
7 receive the specific answer then.
8 After the meeting, we collected about two or
9 three rifles, some ammunition and I remember one
10 rocket-propelled grenade was put down on the pavement
11 of this road. That was after we decided to turn in
12 weapons. After that I left and I went home, so I do
13 not know when and where these weapons were taken.
14 Q. So, when Mario, the HVO soldier, came for the
15 first time, did he ask the villagers to turn over their
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were the other soldiers at or near the
19 village when Mario came to the village?
20 A. As I said, the village was surrounded and, in
21 the village itself, at the beginning of the conflict
22 there was a lot of soldiers, so that when I started to
23 go home, I saw about 30 of them at an intersection.
24 I noticed three of them had the HV insignia on them
25 while the regular soldiers wore the HVO insignia.
1 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may the witness
2 be shown exhibit number 17? (Handed).
3 Witness, could you please look at the exhibit
4 on the projector and say to this court what insignia
5 the soldiers were wearing on the occasion you saw this
6 group at the entrance to the village?
7 A. The local soldiers had the HVO insignia on,
8 as I said, and it is this badge. (Indicating).
9 The HVO insignia, as the locals called them,
10 from Herzegovina, was this insignia.
11 Q. You said some soldiers were HV insignia, now,
12 which insignia is that, is it the insignia which is
13 marked number 2 on the top left-hand corner of that
15 A. Yes, that is the HVO insignia and that was
16 what the local military were wearing.
17 Q. Three soldiers, who were wearing a different
18 insignia -- is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That insignia was the one that has "number 1"
21 on the top left-hand side of exhibit number 17 which is
22 on the projector now?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, the villagers -- did you have a weapon
25 with you at this time?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. What kind of weapon did you have?
3 A. It was a combined piece of weaponry. It was
4 home-made and I did not surrender it, either. And it
5 was also using the hunting rifle type of ammunition.
6 Q. Were there others who did not surrender
7 weapons from your village?
8 A. It was only me and Jasmin Osmancevic, who had
9 an automatic rifle, who was issued it in Zenica in the
10 Public Security Service Office.
11 Q. Why did he and you decide not to turn over
12 your weapons?
13 A. We did not believe in the safety that they
14 had promised us.
15 Q. When you say "they", who do you mean by the
16 word "they"?
17 A. Of course, it was the HVO soldiers and we
18 could not believe them. It was later proven correct.
19 Q. You said you went home after that; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Witness, I take you back to April 1993. Most
23 specifically, 15th April 1993; do you recall this day?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. On that day, what did you do?
1 A. I went to the neighbouring village on
2 business and I spent a little time there. I went to
3 see a colleague of mine and we watched television and
4 we saw on television the disappearance of Totic.
5 I personally did not know him, but apparently he was
6 some sort of a commander. I do not know.
14 When I got there I just had enough time to
15 have a coffee, when somebody knocked on the door, my
16 sister went out and told me that I had to go outside.
17 Q. Did you go outside when your sister asked you
18 to go?
19 A. Yes, I went out and I saw five soldiers;
20 three of them had a sock on their heads with the eyes
21 and nose cut out, so I could not recognise them.
22 However, two of them I knew personally, somebody called
23 Predrag, who was an active duty policeman in peace time
24 in Busovaca and Pero. I am not sure whether it was
25 Susnjar or Plavsic, I do not recall exactly his
1 surname, he was a local man from my village.
2 Q. What were they dressed in when they were at
3 your door?
4 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms with
5 HVO insignia and automatic rifles.
6 Q. And when you went out to talk to them, what
8 A. They held their guns at the ready and they
9 said that we were going for an interview with
10 Andrijasevic Ivica, who was the commander of the
11 Croatian army in my village. I knew where they were
12 taking me. I did not really believe them that we were
13 going for an interview. We started off and reached
14 a neighbouring house, where they picked up another two
15 and let me not forget to mention my brother, they
16 picked up my brother as well.
17 Then they searched the other houses but they
18 did not find the others because I know where they were
19 in hiding. They boarded us on to a minibus, as I call
20 it, a combi, a van, and they transferred us to the
21 former JNA barracks at Kaonik.
22 Q. What time was it when you reached the former
23 JNA barracks at Kaonik?
24 A. It was about 7.00 pm.
25 Q. Could you tell this court what happened upon
1 reaching the former JNA barracks at Kaonik?
2 A. As we entered the compound itself, we went to
3 a hangar which must have been a warehouse, an
4 ammunition depot of the former JNA.
5 We got inside and someone called Anto Cakic
6 told us to line up against the wall with our hands up
7 and our fingers spread wide leaning against the wall
8 and to stand there like that.
9 They searched us, probably looking for
10 weapons, but nobody had any. Afterwards they were
11 looking for documents, any kind of insignia that people
12 had, any marks or patches or stamps of the army, which
13 had to be surrendered.
14 The majority did what they were told. Some
15 did not. When Anto Cakic said that they would search
16 again and if they found anything at all linked to the
17 army, that they would kill them on the spot.
18 I saw some people actually eating up their
19 military ID cards out of fear.
20 Q. Did you have any identification papers with
22 A. I did not have anything on me, except for
23 a watch.
24 Q. After that, could you say to this court what
25 happened to you who were brought to the camp?
1 A. That same night, about 1.00 am, drivers who
2 used to drive humanitarian aid to Tesanj and Zavidovici
3 and those areas south of Zenica. I do not know exactly
4 all the places they went to, there were seven of them
5 who were temporarily working in Switzerland and who had
6 come on holiday. An enormous amount of money was
7 seized from them later when my watch was taken as
9 The next day, the local people from the
10 neighbouring village were brought in. We were allowed
11 to catch a breath of fresh air in front of the hangar.
12 There were five or six guards there, whom I did not
13 know at the time, but they could be seen.
14 Q. When you were brought to the hangar, and
15 when -- when you were in the hangar and when the
16 villagers -- the other villagers were a neighbouring
17 village were brought to the hangar, did you see
18 anything specific happen inside the hangar building?
19 A. In the hangar, that morning nothing was
20 happening because, as I said, we were outside, we were
21 taken outside. But I could see when a car arrived,
22 I could not see what make it was, they took us inside
23 immediately. They told us to go into the hangar. That
24 was when I saw Dario Kordic arrive because I knew him
25 personally. He used to work in the same company that
1 I worked for.
2 Whenever people came, we were taken back
3 inside. Probably so as not to see who they were and
4 why they had come.
5 Q. The night you were brought into the camp, did
6 you see who -- was there occasion to see the warden of
7 the camp or the head of the camp?
8 A. Yes. He introduced himself as
9 Zlatko Aleksovski, who said that he was the director of
10 the prison, though I do not think that he can be the
11 director in a prison. He could be that if it was
12 a civilian prison but this was a military prison and
13 a concentration camp. Therefore, for me he was
14 a commander of all the military that were within the
15 barracks compound.
16 Q. What was he wearing on the occasion you saw
18 A. He was in civilian clothes but sometimes he
19 also wore a camouflage uniform.
20 Q. That night when you saw him, what was he
22 A. Civilian clothes.
23 Q. You said there were villagers brought and you
24 and the other detainees were taken out of the hangar?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened after you were taken out of the
3 A. As I just said, we were just outside.
4 Afterwards we were taken back inside the hangar. After
5 that, most probably a commander from the Bare locality
6 arrived asking for a number of men to dig trenches and
7 canals. He selected about 30 people. They loaded us
8 on to a large truck, make rubber, without a canvas
9 cover, without seats and we were driven to this
10 location at Bare in front of the elementary school
11 there, the primary school.
12 There were -- we were given a piece -- a loaf
13 of bread to four of us and about 400 grammes of
14 salami. Then we were taken to the spot where we were
15 told we would be digging.
16 About halfway there, the shooting started.
17 We started to run for shelter but they prevented us.
18 They said: "Do not run, because your people will not
19 kill you", but it was not our people who were
21 When we reached the place where the shooting
22 was coming from, there was a large group of their
23 soldiers there under arms and with HVO insignia. At
24 that time, Zlatagic Ramo was wounded, Sunularpasic --
25 Ramo was hit in the neck and Salih was grazed near the
2 They said that they would transport them to
3 the Croatian hospital at Nova Bila. We went back to
4 the school, then a civilian vehicle, I think it was
5 a Golf, I do not remember exactly, I know it was
6 a small vehicle, they took them away and from then on
7 we left all trace of them.
8 As I have just said, on the spot where the
9 soldiers were, from where they shot at us, we were
10 moved from that spot to a location in the direction of
11 Kovacevac, where we were supposed to dig trenches, so
12 that I knew where the fire came from and I knew from
13 personal experience where the firing came because they
14 were firing directly into our faces.
15 When we reached that spot, we turned right
16 towards Kovacevac.
17 Q. Witness, before you described what happened
18 in Kovacevac, could you tell me after the meal you had
19 with bread, you said there was a shooting. Now, you
20 were being taken to the spot where you had to dig
21 trenches; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How were you taken to that spot?
24 A. They had their guns on the ready, there were
25 three or four soldiers and they took us to the spot
1 where we had to work.
2 Q. And you were taken by foot to that spot?
3 A. Yes, we were transported by car as far as the
4 school, and from the school we went on foot.
5 Q. Now, how far had you and the group gone when
6 the shooting took place?
7 A. I do not know how many metres it was, but
8 I know we came to a kind of plateau, an open space.
9 Q. And you said to this court that two persons
10 sustained injuries as a result of the shooting?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, you also said that you know who fired at
13 the group of detainees who were taken for trench
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. From which direction did the fire come on
17 this occasion?
18 A. As I said, it came from the direction in
19 which we were heading. When we came to the place from
20 where the fire had come, I said that we saw this group
21 of soldiers. 15 or 20 of their HVO soldiers were
22 there. Then cursing and insults started and from there
23 we were taken off towards the village of Kovacevac,
24 that is from the place where we came across the
25 soldiers to the right. If it had been our people who
1 had fired, then the people who had been wounded would
2 have been hit on the right-hand side.
3 Q. Who do you mean by "our people who had
5 A. Since I am of Muslim religion, it was the
6 army. Even though there were some Croats in the army
7 but I am referring to the army, the BiH army.
8 Q. What happened at Kovacevac village?
9 A. We dug there, we were digging trenches and
10 canals there. After a time, we were transferred to
11 another location, just below the village of Rovna.
12 Q. For how long did you have to dig in Kovacevac
14 A. Well, about half a day.
15 Q. From there, where were you taken to?
16 A. They took us just below the village of Rovna
17 where I was told to dig a dug-out. That is when I saw
18 a soldier with an HV patch. He was wearing
19 a camouflage uniform and was armed with an automatic
21 While digging, when I asked for water, he hit
22 me with his rifle butt and told me to go on digging.
23 Q. You said the soldier was wearing an HV patch?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. If you look at exhibit number 17, which is
1 still on the projector, which patch was that soldier
2 wearing at the time you asked for water and he kicked
4 A. It is the emblem under "number 1".
5 Q. When you asked for water, the soldier who was
6 wearing this patch hit you with the rifle and ordered
7 you to continue digging?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. For how long did you have to dig?
10 A. We stayed until about 9.00/9.30 in the
11 evening. Then we were taken back to the barracks.
12 Q. How were you taken back to the barracks?
13 A. On foot, as far as the school at Bare. Then
14 from Bare in the same vehicle.
15 Q. Now, there were other occasions on which you
16 were taken out of the camp for trench digging?
17 A. Yes. I could list those occasions.
18 Q. Where were those places you were taken to?
19 A. Kula, Podjele, Carica, Loncari, Kuber, which
20 is just above the village of Jelinak. Once we also
21 went to a location called Ravan, where we dug graves.
22 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may I have your
23 permission to show to the witness an excerpt of
24 Exhibit 4? There are copies for your Honours, for the
25 court and also for Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
1 Could you please place that map on the
2 projector, usher?
3 Witness, there is a map on the projector.
4 Could you please look at that map and, using a
5 highlighter, circle on that map the places where you
6 were taken to for trench digging and also the place
7 where you were taken to dig graves. When marking,
8 could you please say which place you are marking and
9 could you circle that place and also --
10 A. (Witness marked map). Carica.
11 Q. Could you place the letter "A" outside that
12 circle, witness?
13 A. (Witness marked map) Ravan.
14 Q. Would you place the letter "B" outside the
15 circle. In Carica, what did you have to do?
16 A. We were digging also trenches and dug-outs.
17 Q. And in Ravan?
18 A. As I said, we dug graves there.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. (Witness marked map). Kula.
21 Q. Would you mark that with a "C"?
22 A. (Witness marked map). Kovacevac.
23 Q. Could you circle that area and mark it with
24 the letter "D"?
25 A. (Witness marked map). Bare.
1 Q. That could be circled and marked with the
2 letter "E", witness.
3 A. (Witness marked map). Podjele.
4 Q. Could that be marked "F"?
5 A. (Witness marked map). Loncari.
6 Q. That will be marked with the letter "G".
7 A. (Witness marked map). This is the area of
9 Q. Could you circle that area and mark it with
10 the letter "H"?
11 A. (Witness marked map).
12 Q. Thank you. Witness, after you came back from
13 trench digging in Kula, which building in the camp were
14 you brought back to?
15 A. We were brought back to cells below the
16 hangar. Actually, this was probably another hangar,
17 but it was adapted into cells.
18 Q. Do you recall which cell you were put into
19 after you were brought back?
20 A. Yes, cell number 16.
21 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may I have your
22 Honours' permission to show the witness an aerial
23 photograph of the camp? It has already been tendered
24 into evidence, your Honours. There are copies for your
25 Honours and a copy for Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
1 Witness, could you look at the exhibit on the
2 projector and say to which building you were first
3 brought into when you arrived at the camp on the night
4 of the 15th April?
5 A. That is the building. (Indicating on
7 Q. That was the hangar building to which you
8 were brought into?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you, please, using the highlighter,
11 could you circle that building and mark that building
12 with the letter "A"?
13 A. (Indicating on photograph).
14 Q. A while ago you said that you were
15 transferred to cell number 16 in another building.
16 Could you recognise that building, the second building,
17 on this photograph?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Which building is that?
20 A. That one. (Indicating on photograph).
21 Q. Would you please circle that building and
22 mark it with the letter "B"?
23 A. (Indicating on photograph).
24 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.
25 I tender that into evidence, your Honours.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 54.
2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Now, witness, in cell
3 number 16, were there other prisoners detained as well?
4 A. Yes, we were about nine.
5 Q. Could you, please, describe to this court the
6 size of the cell and the conditions within that cell?
7 A. It measured somewhere 2 by 3. I do not know
8 the exact measurements, we never measured it. I know
9 it was small. Most of them were like that. The
10 conditions were very poor. There was a hallway in the
11 cell, itself that was very, very small. The cots were
12 made wall to wall. It was all bunched together and
13 some hay was thrown on top of it and that is where we
15 Q. Did you have heating inside the cell?
16 A. No, not in the cell. There was a stove of
17 sorts in the hallway. Something that was nothing
19 Q. Do you have any electric light in the cell?
20 A. In my cell, as well as all the other cells
21 which were on my side, there was no lighting. The only
22 light came from -- was coming through the opening which
23 was barred. When the light was turned off, some light,
24 some reflection would come to the cell number 16, but
25 it was very dim.
1 Q. Witness, going back to the hangar in which
2 you were first detained, would you describe to this
3 court the conditions in the hangar building, the
4 building which you marked with the letter "A"?
5 A. The conditions were also bad. When we first
6 arrived it was just concrete floor. I do not know how
7 long we spent on that floor and then later there is
8 transportation pallets were brought in and several of
9 them were brought in. Some people were able to sit
10 down. Maybe a few people were able to lie down to rest
11 a little bit, and the rest would go on standing and
12 then people were taking turns.
13 Q. Were there toilet facilities in the hangar
15 A. In the hangar itself, there was no toilet.
16 The toilet that was used at first was in another
17 building. Later a latrine was made outside of the
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, at this stage
20 may we go into private session, your Honours, for the
21 reason that this witness would divulge details which
22 may reveal the identity of the witness. For that
23 reason I ask your Honours to go into private session.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to have
25 a private session now. You can continue,
1 Mr. Prosecutor.
2 (In private session)
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11 (In open session)
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We can continue now.
13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, do you recall your
14 release from prison?
15 A. Before the release, we were taken by Ante
16 Cakic to cut grass. I think it was his property, I am
17 not sure. He told us that there would be an exchange.
18 We at first did not believe it because we missed
19 several of them -- we had missed several of them
21 Then when we were taken back to the camp
22 I was sort of dozing off. I only heard some shouts, in
23 fact it was some people were being called out and
24 somebody said: "Whoever I call out should step outside"
25 and all the cells were already unlocked.
1 My name was called out, I stepped outside and
2 the saw that the International Red Cross
3 representatives were there and the interpreter said
4 that we were going to be exchanged.
5 I noted when we were about to leave, Dzemo
6 came over and told us, we were about five or six,
7 myself included, he told us to pass a message on around
8 Zenica that Dzemo was the biggest Ustasha of them all.
9 Q. Witness, together with you, do you know how
10 many other people were released with you that day?
11 A. We were not many of us. Some people were
12 released into some kind of a house arrest in Skradno.
13 Some were ill. Some had been exchanged before, so we
14 were not many, maybe 30. I do not know the exact
16 Q. Do you know the date?
17 A. You mean do I --
18 Q. Do you know the date on which you were
20 A. 19th June 1993.
21 Q. After your release, where did you go to?
22 A. I just wanted to add that before this, some
23 people stayed behind in the camp, like the man from
24 Syria called Mohamed. Myself and the other detainees
25 were transferred to Zenica.
1 Q. Now, after you were released, did you have
2 occasion to see a doctor?
3 A. When we were brought to Zenica, the medical
4 care was already provided, so a physician saw me as
5 soon as I got off the bus and he asked me whether I had
6 any complaints. Of course, I knew I did, but I wanted
7 to see my parents and the rest of my family, even
8 though I was not sure where all of them were.
9 Later my brother came and found me there. He
10 had heard that an exchange was going to take place.
11 Q. Did you suffer as a result of those beatings
12 whilst in the camp?
13 A. Yes. I have -- I suffer certain
14 consequences, mostly my back and my two teeth were
15 broken and you may have noticed that here I -- my
16 teeth, some already were damaged before, but in the
17 camp I got further damage.
18 MR. MEDDEGODA: I have no further questions,
19 your Honour.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I should like
21 to know whether you have questions to put to the
22 witness and, if so, how much time do you think you
23 need, as it is almost 5.30 now?
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence has
25 a number of questions to ask of this witness, so we
1 would suggest that we close for the day and that we be
2 allowed to ask our questions tomorrow, in continuity.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
4 Mr. Mikulicic.
5 We are going to adjourn for today,
6 therefore. We meet again here tomorrow. Thank you for
7 today. Until tomorrow.
8 (5.28 pm)
9 (The hearing adjourned until 10.00 am
10 on Tuesday, 3rd March 1998)