International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia



  1. 1 Friday, 6th March 1998

    2 (10.00am)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and

    5 gentlemen. Are interpreters ready? Registrar, could

    6 you please call the case?

    7 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-14/1-T,

    8 Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could I have the

    10 appearances for the Prosecution, please?

    11 MR. NIEMANN: My name is Niemann. I appear

    12 with my colleagues, Mr. Meddegoda and Mr. Marchesiello

    13 and Ms Erasmus for the Prosecution.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: For the Defence, please?

    15 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours,

    16 good morning colleagues. My name is Mikulicic and

    17 along with my colleague, Mr. Joka, we represent the

    18 Defence, thank you.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We shall therefore proceed

    20 with our case, with a witness if I am not mistaken,

    21 Mr. Meddegoda?

    22 MR. MEDDEGODA: The witness that the

    23 Prosecution intends to call this morning is a witness

    24 whose name has been divulged to the court in the list

    25 of witnesses dated 3 March. His name appears at



  2. 1 number 1 in that witness list. On behalf of that

    2 witness, I am seeking to apply for certain protective

    3 measures. I am seeking, your Honours, to apply for a

    4 pseudonym so that the witness's name will not be

    5 divulged. I am also seeking your Honours' permission

    6 to have the image of the face of the witness distorted

    7 during the course of transmission. I have indicated my

    8 application to my learned friend and I believe that my

    9 learned friend has no objection to this application.

    10 In the circumstances, I move that your Honours grant

    11 the protective measures that I am seeking for and on

    12 behalf of this witness.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you agree

    14 with this?

    15 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, Defence has no

    16 objection to this. The Defence agrees to these

    17 measures.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Turning to Mr. Gerlach to

    19 undertake all the necessary protection measures -- it

    20 is already done? Thank you. Can we please have the

    21 witness brought in and could you please close the

    22 shutters?

    23 (The witness entered court)

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Can

    25 you hear me well?



  3. 1 A. Good morning, yes, I do hear you.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you for coming to

    3 the International Tribunal. I will now ask you to read

    4 out the solemn declaration that the usher is tendering

    5 to you?

    6 A. Just a moment so I can get my glasses.

    7 I solemnly declare I will speak the truth, the whole

    8 truth and nothing but the truth.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let me thank you once

    10 again for coming here. You are now going to answer

    11 questions that are going to be put to you by

    12 Mr. Meddegoda, counsel for the Prosecution.

    13 WITNESS J

    14 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA

    15 Q. May I proceed, your Honours?

    16 Witness, their Honours have granted certain

    17 protective measures for you during the course of your

    18 testimony and, throughout the course of your testimony,

    19 you will be known as Witness J and I also would like to

    20 inform you that your name would not be divulged and in

    21 the course of your testimony the image of your face

    22 will not be transmitted -- it will be distorted when it

    23 is transmitted to the outside world.

    24 Witness, I would ask you first of all to look

    25 at the sheet of paper that I hand over to you and



  4. 1 confirm whether the name which appears on the sheet of

    2 paper is your name or not?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 MR. MEDDEGODA: If my learned friend may be

    5 shown the piece of paper and I tender it under seal.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 71.

    7 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness J, you are a Bosniak

    8 by ethnicity?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Your religion is Islam?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. And what is your age?

    13 A. On 26 February I was 56.

    14 Q. Very well. Now, witness, I want to take you

    15 back to the events of April 1993. In narrating those

    16 events, I do not want you to divulge any details that

    17 would reveal your identity. Do you remember the date

    18 16 April 1993?

    19 A. I do.

    20 Q. And where were you on that day?

    21 A. I was at home.

    22 Q. Who else was with you at home on that day?

    23 A. My son, my wife, and a neighbour also came in

    24 the morning on that day of the 16th.

    25 Q. What time did you wake up on 16 April?



  5. 1 A. I woke up at 4.30 and I did early morning

    2 prayers - "sabah".

    3 Q. Thereafter, what did you do?

    4 A. After that, I told my wife to turn on the

    5 radio so that we could hear the news, because she was

    6 always listening to the 5 o'clock news.

    7 Q. And what did you hear over the news at

    8 5 o'clock that morning?

    9 A. I heard on Radio Busovaca how Dario Kordic

    10 was ordering all HVO units to attack the positions of

    11 the BiH Army.

    12 Q. Could you please tell this court who Dario

    13 Kordic was?

    14 A. Dario Kordic was a man who worked at the

    15 Busovaca municipality, who before the conflict was in

    16 charge of the military affairs of -- that is, for the

    17 recruits in the Busovaca municipality.

    18 Q. And what was his role during the conflict?

    19 A. During the conflict, he was the chief

    20 commander.

    21 Q. Of which army was he the chief commander?

    22 A. Of the army of the Croatian Defence Council.

    23 Q. And that is the army known as the HVO?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. How did you know that it was Dario Kordic who



  6. 1 was addressing over the radio?

    2 A. I know -- I knew that this was Dario Kordic,

    3 because earlier, around 1990, my son was in the army

    4 and I was trying to get him out when the war broke out

    5 between Croatia and Serbia so that he would not go to

    6 war.

    7 Q. So, that morning, what you heard was Dario

    8 Kordic ordering all HVO units to attack the positions

    9 of the BiH Army; is that right?

    10 A. Yes, and to attack the positions of Bosnia

    11 Herzegovina.

    12 Q. Upon hearing this over the radio, what did

    13 you do?

    14 A. When I heard this on the radio, my wife

    15 stayed in the house and my brother, myself and three or

    16 four other men went to a small forest about 200 metres

    17 away from the house and we could see down in the fields

    18 that the soldiers were already moving. Around

    19 6 o'clock the rain started and so I went back home.

    20 They all went back to their own homes.

    21 I was there with my son, Salih, and Ramiz

    22 Zatagic came to my house. He was a neighbour of mine.

    23 He came and we were discussing where to flee, because

    24 we did not know where to go, because Kuber and Ahmici

    25 and Kratinje were all already taken, so we had no way



  7. 1 out. I told my wife, "Go to the back room and look

    2 through the window and see if somebody is coming." We

    3 all took positions so that we could see if they were

    4 coming from the direction of Kratinje, Kaonik or

    5 Jelinak. My wife went to the bathroom. She entered

    6 the room and she said, "There are three HVO soldiers

    7 and they are carrying the Kalashnikov rifles", like

    8 this. They came straight to my house and they said,

    9 "Come and get ready." I got ready and started to go

    10 out and I asked, "What did I do to you? If I am guilty

    11 of anything, kill me now."

    12 My son was sleeping at the house. He went

    13 into the kitchen and, from the kitchen, he went to hide

    14 and, from the kitchen, he went to the pantry. One of

    15 the HVO soldiers opened the pantry door and I guess he

    16 saw his feet and so he came out of the pantry and he

    17 said, "There is no-one there" and he whispered

    18 something to the other soldier, so the other soldier

    19 walked in and said, "You - come out and get dressed,

    20 too." So then he did.

    21 Then we were all taken to my neighbour's

    22 house. So when we arrived at the neighbour's house,

    23 his son also arrived. He was born in 1969, so he got

    24 dressed as well. So, it was four of us then.

    25 We were taken down to where the mini bus



  8. 1 was --

    2 Q. I think you may be going a little fast. Your

    3 answer has to go down and the translators have to

    4 translate it.

    5 A. Yes, I understand.

    6 Q. I suggest you slow down because you are

    7 speaking a little too fast.

    8 A. Very well, very well.

    9 Q. You said you were taken, together with your

    10 son, to your neighbour's house and could you tell this

    11 court what happened at your neighbour's house -- you

    12 and your son were taken and then you were taken to a

    13 neighbour's house; is that right?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. And what happened at the neighbour's house?

    16 A. They ordered my neighbour and his son also to

    17 get dressed, so that the four of us were taken down to

    18 the intersection of Jelinak/Loncari/Kaonik.

    19 Q. What happened when you were taken to that

    20 intersection?

    21 A. There was a mini bus waiting there, and the

    22 driver of it was Mirko Plavcic, son of Jure, from the

    23 village of Jelinak.

    24 Q. Did you know Mirko Plavcic from before?

    25 A. Yes, I knew him, because he was in the



  9. 1 neighbourhood.

    2 Q. At the time you got in the bus, were there

    3 others already in the bus?

    4 A. When we came to the mini bus, I saw inside

    5 more of our own men, who were brought there. My house

    6 was a little bit far -- a bit outside of the village,

    7 about 300 metres, so, together with the four of us,

    8 there were all together 21 persons.

    9 Q. You said that you saw "more of our own men"

    10 to use your own words. Who do you mean when you

    11 say "more of our other own men"?

    12 A. Bosniaks -- Bosniaks, Muslims, however you

    13 want to put it.

    14 Q. What happened after you got into the bus?

    15 A. We could not all fit -- we could not all sit

    16 down, so we stood and three HVO soldiers entered and

    17 they escorted us to the Kaonik camp.

    18 Q. Were those HVO soldiers who escorted you in

    19 the bus -- what were they wearing at the time?

    20 A. These were the HVO soldiers and they carried

    21 Kalashnikov rifles for the most part. There were also

    22 some automatic rifles as well. They wore camouflage

    23 uniforms with the HVO insignia.

    24 Q. Do you recall what happened upon reaching

    25 Kaonik camp?



  10. 1 A. When we arrived at the Kaonik -- in the

    2 Kaonik camp, we were put in a hangar and, when I came

    3 to the hangar, I saw that there were some -- another

    4 150, 160 other people there, who had been arrested

    5 throughout Central Bosnia. If you had a Bosniak name,

    6 you would be brought to this camp.

    7 Q. About what time was it when you arrived at

    8 the hangar in the Kaonik camp?

    9 A. When we arrived in the hangar, it was about

    10 9 o'clock in the morning -- 9, 9.15.

    11 Q. Upon arrival, did you have to -- were you

    12 ordered to get off the bus?

    13 A. We were ordered to get off the bus and we

    14 were lined up -- Ljubo Vukadinovic was taking down all

    15 our data; names, last names and our dates of birth.

    16 Q. Do you know Ljubo Vukadinovic?

    17 A. I saw him for the first time over there at

    18 the hangar.

    19 Q. What was he wearing when you first saw him?

    20 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform with the

    21 HVO insignia. This was on 16 April 1993.

    22 Q. After taking down your personal details, do

    23 you remember what happened to you and the other

    24 prisoners who were brought to Kaonik?

    25 A. After they took our personal details, then



  11. 1 they gave us something to eat. There were two or three

    2 spoonfuls of rice and some old bread -- 6 or 7 days,

    3 but it was such that my gums hurt later from it.

    4 Q. Was the personal property of the prisoners

    5 taken at any point in time when you were brought into

    6 the hangar?

    7 A. All personal effects, which we had, would --

    8 they said, "Get up, you balijas and take out everything

    9 you have -- watches, gold and rings." Then I came and

    10 said, "Do you also want my person ID?". They said "no",

    11 but that was the only thing that I had there.

    12 Q. Did your son have anything with you at the

    13 time that the soldiers were searching for personal

    14 belongings?

    15 A. My son had nothing except, in his sock, he

    16 had an ID card of the Territorial Defence. This is

    17 what he had in his sock.

    18 Q. Your son was a member of the Territorial

    19 Defence, was he?

    20 A. Yes, yes.

    21 Q. And what type of work did he do in the

    22 Territorial Defence?

    23 A. He was in communications and he went to the

    24 village of Dvor -- this is before the conflict -- he

    25 went through Jelinak to Dvor and Putis -- some people



  12. 1 call it Putis [pronunciation].

    2 Q. You said when you were brought to the hangar

    3 you saw about 150 to 160 detainees. Now, would you be

    4 able to tell this court to which particular ethnic

    5 group these detainees belonged?

    6 A. All these detainees were all of Bosniak

    7 ethnic background.

    8 Q. Do you remember what happened the next day in

    9 the camp -- that was on 17 April?

    10 A. On the morning of 17 April, Mr. Zlatko

    11 Aleksovski entered and he said, "We need 30 men for a

    12 job", and he said that we should all line up. We all

    13 got up and lined up. They picked 29 and my son was the

    14 30th. I could not -- I did not have a chance to come

    15 over and say, "Son, please take care of yourself" or to

    16 say, "I can fill in for him." So they were taken to

    17 either the village of Rovna or Kovacevac.

    18 Q. I am not asking you about Rovna or

    19 Kovacevac. You said Mr. Aleksovski came into the camp.

    20 Did he come into the hangar? Was he alone when he came

    21 into the hangar?

    22 A. With Ljubo Vukadinovic.

    23 Q. What time of the day was it when

    24 Mr. Aleksovski and Mr. Vukadinovic came into the hangar?

    25 A. This was between 7.30 and 8 o'clock in the



  13. 1 morning.

    2 Q. Do you remember what kind of attire was being

    3 worn by Mr. Aleksovski?

    4 A. HVO uniform, a camouflage uniform with the

    5 patch.

    6 Q. Could you describe the physical appearance of

    7 Mr. Aleksovski to this court?

    8 A. He is a bit shortish -- shortish and he wore

    9 a hat, he had an uniform on, maybe was a bit slimmer

    10 than I am.

    11 Q. Would you be able to recognise Mr. Aleksovski

    12 if you saw him again?

    13 A. I think that I would.

    14 Q. Witness, could you look around this court and

    15 say whether Mr. Aleksovski is present in this court

    16 today?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. And where is he seated in this court?

    19 A. He is over there, the last one, wearing a red

    20 tie. (Witness indicating).

    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: Maybe the witness could be

    22 asked to take a good look. He points in the direction

    23 of the accused.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.

    25 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said 30 prisoners were



  14. 1 taken. Did you see them being taken out of the hangar?

    2 A. Yes, I did see it. They put them on to a

    3 truck, like cattle.

    4 Q. Was Mr. Aleksovski present when they were

    5 taken out of the hangar?

    6 A. Yes, yes, he was present.

    7 Q. And was Mr. Aleksovski present when they were

    8 put into the truck?

    9 A. Yes, he was.

    10 Q. Do you know where this group of 30 prisoners,

    11 including your son, had been taken to?

    12 A. They were taken to the village of Rovna near

    13 Bare or maybe Kovacevac. One of those two, I cannot

    14 tell you precisely, but it should have been Rovna,

    15 because -- the place where my son dug with Rasim Kermo

    16 had features which made me believe it was Rovna.

    17 Q. Did your son and the other prisoners who were

    18 taken that morning, did they come back to the camp?

    19 A. No.

    20 Q. What do you mean, did not all the prisoners

    21 come back or was it your son who did not come back to

    22 the camp?

    23 A. My son did not come back and my neighbour's

    24 son.

    25 Q. Do you know what happened to your son?



  15. 1 A. I do know. According to my

    2 brother-in-law --

    3 Q. How did you know -- who told you what

    4 happened to your son?

    5 A. First Sefer Osmancevic told me, because they

    6 were digging trenches -- two, three, or four men, in

    7 one place and so, as they were finishing these

    8 trenches, they would wait and -- they would wait in the

    9 vehicle, so whoever came first would come back to the

    10 camp and Sefer Osmancevic came and said that my son was

    11 wounded. He said that a bullet grazed the back of his

    12 head.

    13 Q. And did you know of this incident from

    14 anybody else who had been taken for trench digging?

    15 A. Yes, I did. I heard it from my son-in-law in

    16 person, who was digging trenches with him. He was

    17 wounded at 4 o'clock, and my son-in-law was trying to

    18 pull him out from the fire, so they applied bandages on

    19 it and they managed to stop the bleeding, so he did

    20 pull him out eventually and they put him in a blanket,

    21 and they brought him to the place where the car could

    22 -- a place where a car could reach. Whether it was an

    23 ambulance or some other vehicle, I could not tell, but

    24 they said that he was taken to Nova Bila hospital.

    25 Apparently, he was holding his hands like this



  16. 1 (indicating) and he lost consciousness at that moment,

    2 according to what my son-in-law said. The person who

    3 bandaged his head said, "This one is finished", but

    4 then my son opened his eyes and he said, "I am not

    5 finished, I am still alive."

    6 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I wonder whether

    7 it would be appropriate to have a short break to enable

    8 the witness to recover himself?

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Witness J, we have a

    10 deep respect for your suffering. We will have a

    11 15-minute break so that you can rest a little, and then

    12 come back to continue with your testimony. So, a

    13 15-minute break.

    14 (10.32am)

    15 (A short break)

    16 (10.52am)

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we proceed?

    18 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes, your Honours. The

    19 witness will be brought in by the usher.

    20 (The witness entered court)

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sir, can you hear me?

    22 A. Yes, I do.

    23 Q. Are you feeling any better now?

    24 A. I am fine.

    25 Q. Are you ready to proceed with your testimony?



  17. 1 A. Yes, yes -- I can.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We can therefore

    3 continue.

    4 Mr. Meddegoda, please proceed.

    5 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you were narrating

    6 to this court what was told to you by -- about the

    7 incident involving your son. Do you know what had

    8 happened after your son had lost his consciousness?

    9 A. They put him in an ambulance, or some other

    10 type of vehicle -- I do not know, I could not tell you

    11 that, but my brother-in-law requested to be allowed to

    12 accompany him, but the HVO soldiers would not let him

    13 go with them. That is what my brother-in-law told me.

    14 Allegedly, he was taken to hospital -- whether the

    15 Busovaca hospital or the Bila hospital, I do not know,

    16 but, when my brother-in-law came back, he said that

    17 Ljubo Vukadinovic had arrived. Ljubo Vukadinovic then

    18 took my brother-in-law to Zlatko Aleksovski and my

    19 brother-in-law asked him how he was. He said he was

    20 feeling fine and I myself, I was hoping that my son was

    21 exchanged as a wounded person. This all happened on

    22 17 April.

    23 Q. Witness, you were referring to your

    24 "brother-in-law" -- is it your brother-in-law, or are

    25 you referring to your son-in-law?



  18. 1 A. My brother-in-law and -- it is my --

    2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises,

    3 but it is very difficult to understand this family

    4 relationship with the witness. Could you ask the

    5 witness to repeat his answer, please?

    6 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you repeat what

    7 was said. You said you were told about this incident

    8 involving your son. Who narrated this incident to you?

    9 A. Sidik Osmancevic was the one who told them

    10 about the incident. Then my son-in-law came and he

    11 brought his jacket to me, and gave it to me and I asked

    12 him, "Tell me the truth. Is he severely wounded? Is

    13 he going to live?". Everyone who was with him digging

    14 trenches -- everybody who came back told me that he

    15 would live, because the bullet had only scratched his

    16 head, and, according to what Sidik Osmancevic told me,

    17 he was taken to hospital by Marinko Lukin, son of Jozo

    18 from Bare. That is what Sidik Osmancevic told me.

    19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I wish to ask a

    20 few questions which may tend to reveal the identity of

    21 the witness. Therefore, could we move into private

    22 session?

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. We will go into

    24 private session now.

    25 (In private session)



  19. 1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

    9

    10

    11

    12

    13 Page 1245 redacted - in private session

    14

    15

    16

    17

    18

    19

    20

    21

    22

    23

    24

    25



  20. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (In open session)

    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said that your son was

    22 wounded on the back of his head by a bullet. Are you

    23 aware from which direction this bullet had come?

    24 A. According to what my son-in-law told me, the

    25 bullet had come from the direction of the village of



  21. 1 Kovacevac. He told me when he was wounded, some people

    2 were laughing at that time.

    3 Q. Do you know which army was in control of the

    4 village of Kovacevac at this point in time?

    5 A. No, no -- Kovacevac at that time was under

    6 the control of the HVO.

    7 Q. Do you know of any other person who was

    8 wounded on the same day as your son?

    9 A. Yes, I know -- Ramo, my neighbour's son was

    10 also wounded -- his name was Ramiz. He was apparently

    11 wounded in the neck and it happened around 10am.

    12 Q. Do you know how Ramo had been wounded?

    13 A. No, I could not tell you about that. I was

    14 not there. I just know that he was wounded in the

    15 neck.

    16 Q. Witness, after hearing the sad news, what did

    17 you do?

    18 A. As a parent, I could not do anything. Nobody

    19 called me at that time. I was only -- only Ljubo

    20 Vukadinovic arrived and he called my son-in-law.

    21 I could not tell you anything about their conversation

    22 there, but my son-in-law was told that my son was

    23 feeling well and that he was apparently in Busovaca or

    24 in Nova Bila in hospital.

    25 Q. Witness, thereafter, do you recall seeing



  22. 1 anything happening in the hangar on the following day?

    2 A. On 17 April or -- oh, yes, I know what you

    3 mean.

    4 Q. I am referring you to after 17 April -- after

    5 the day your son was shot?

    6 A. Yes, yes, I know, I understand. In the

    7 following morning, around 4am, three young men were

    8 brought to the hangar, Saban Osmancevic, Abdulah, who

    9 we called Abdil, and Camil Osmancevic, who was wounded

    10 in the heel -- I believe it was his left heel. They

    11 sat down on a bench. We got up and asked them what had

    12 happened. They said that they were in the house of

    13 Alija Osmancevic, they had hidden there and some HVO

    14 soldiers had entered the house and started shooting

    15 around and they wounded Camil. They could not provide

    16 him with the first-aid and they wanted to take him to

    17 -- take them to Kaonik.

    18 When they brought them to Kaonik, they put

    19 them in the hangar, so on the following morning, around

    20 8am, Mr. Aleksovski came in, in the company of a

    21 policeman, and he said, "Where are those three birds

    22 who arrived yesterday?" I heard that personally,

    23 I heard Mr. Aleksovski say that. So the doors of the

    24 hangar opened, and we were standing close to the door

    25 and we saw Saban Osmancevic take Abdulah Osmancevic,



  23. 1 who could not walk very well and he had miner's boots

    2 on, and they took them to a Golf -- it was a police

    3 vehicle, and two policemen were standing there. They

    4 tied them up and they took them away, and we have not

    5 heard anything about them ever since.

    6 Q. Witness, thereafter, did you have occasion to

    7 go to Mr. Aleksovski's office on any occasion?

    8 A. 10 days later, after these incidents, after

    9 my arrest, a guard opened the doors of the hangar and

    10 he asked about me and I told him who I was and he said

    11 that I should go with him to the office of Zlatko

    12 Aleksovski. I went there and got in. As I was

    13 entering the office -- whether this was Zlatko's

    14 office, or some other room or radio station, I do not

    15 know. All I know is that it was situated to the left

    16 from the entrance of the hangar. Zarko Petrovic was

    17 there. Zarko Petrovic used to visit me, because he had

    18 contacts with my son Salih, who was in charge of the

    19 local youth organisation at that time. He used to come

    20 to my house. He was on very good terms with both my

    21 sons, so they knew each other.

    22 Anyway, there was a bottle of Coca Cola there

    23 and a pack of Ronhill cigarettes on the table. He

    24 offered me the cigarettes. I said I did not smoke, but

    25 I drank a glass of Coca Cola. Then he told me, "Take



  24. 1 these cigarettes to your colleagues in the cell."

    2 I then asked Zarko -- who then started speaking

    3 something about Kula and the futility of our fight and

    4 so on. I said, "Zarko, I am not interested to hear

    5 anything about Kula. You know what I am interested in

    6 -- I am interested to learn about the fate of my

    7 son".

    8 He said, "I can only tell you that he was

    9 wounded, and I do not know anything else about him."

    10 Zarko said, "There is nothing I can do for you.

    11 I cannot help you in any other way. I just can see to

    12 it that you are not sent to trench digging any more."

    13 On the next morning, a person by the name of

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 So we had to line up. I saw him fire -- I saw him fire

    21 a burst of gunfire in the direction of the person by

    22 the name of Kovac. I do not know -- then they started

    23 taking off the clothes -- whoever had something new on

    24 him; whether shoes or a new jacket, they took away

    25 their clothes.



  25. 1 So we had to dig until late, until 9pm, and

    2 after the work was completed, they did not want to

    3 drive us back to the hangar, but they wanted us to

    4 spend the night in a barn which was full of hay, and

    5 there were 13 of us in there and all of a sudden

    6 Mr. Zare took a hand grenade and threw it in the

    7 direction of the village of Gradine. We were afraid we

    8 would all be killed and set on fire in the barn.

    9 Anyway, on the next morning we got up and they gave us

    10 two or three cookies each and some tea. We drank the

    11 tea. After that, we had to line up against a fence.

    12 We were waiting to be relieved -- exchanged.

    13 There was a woman there by the name of Janja

    14 -- she was probably their cook. She was wearing a

    15 uniform as well. She was then told to take off that

    16 uniform, because they told her that people would think

    17 that we were conspiring with Chetniks. Then this woman

    18 came to us and she said, "I would gladly give you some

    19 more cookies, but I do not dare to. You have to finish

    20 eating as quickly as you can, but if they see me giving

    21 cookies to you, I will be killed as well."

    22 Q. Was this the only occasion that you were

    23 taken for trench digging from the camp?

    24 A. No, no.

    25 Q. When else have you been taken for trench



  26. 1 digging?

    2 A. On the third day, I was taken to Gradine --

    3 this is between my village and Jelinak -- to Gradine.

    4 I went, Sadik Ribo went, Serif Pezek -- when he died,

    5 Salko, then Naib Osmancevic and Ulaga Osmancevic and

    6 the person who took us there, up to a house of a

    7 certain Fabijan, up to the fields up there. So we went

    8 and he said, "Come on, balijas, sing. I do not like

    9 you, Alija, because you are a balija, and the Drina

    10 took 100 of your mudjehadeen", so Sadik started to

    11 sing this. I told him, "Sadik, stop", but he did not

    12 hear me.

    13 Then he came back to me and he said, "So, old

    14 man, you sing now", and I said, "Sir, if I knew how to

    15 sing, I would not be here."

    16 Q. For how long did you have to dig trenches in

    17 Gradine?

    18 A. We dug at Gradine from 9 o'clock until about

    19 4 o'clock. That day we did not receive water or food

    20 -- we received nothing. When we finished this, we

    21 went to -- we started to go back to the hangar and

    22 then, when we started, he said, "Okay, sit down and

    23 take a rest." Then he said, "Whose house is over

    24 there?" I said, "It is mine." He said, "It has not

    25 burnt down." I said, "It has not." He said, "It will."



  27. 1 I said, "Well, let it burn then." Indeed, later, it

    2 also was burned down.

    3 Q. Were you taken to any other places for trench

    4 digging?

    5 A. When we were coming back from Gradine, there

    6 was another group that was waiting with Ivica

    7 Andrijasevic, who was the commander. I know he was the

    8 commander, because everybody in the unit was listening

    9 to him and he was assigning people to digging and so

    10 Sefek said, "I cannot dig any more, just kill me." He

    11 was over 62, 63. So they took us back to the hangar,

    12 and then the next time they took me to Polom -- to

    13 Polom.

    14 Q. About how many prisoners were taken to Polom?

    15 A. There were about 15 prisoners that were taken

    16 to Polom, but we were separated into groups of one and

    17 two, but it was great there. We got as much food as we

    18 wanted. We were given cigarettes. Your brother could

    19 not have taken better care of you. You almost felt as

    20 if you were free up there.

    21 Q. Any other place that you were taken to?

    22 A. They also took us to Podjele -- did I mention

    23 Podjele? They took us to Podjele -- this is where we

    24 spent the night. I think I said that, and then to

    25 Bakije as well. At Bakije we worked for three or four



  28. 1 hours, so it was not much. When they brought us to the

    2 camp, it was Sunday. Mr. Aleksovski walked in, and

    3 Zarko, and they lined us up outside and he told

    4 us, "Whoever has family in Busovaca can go to

    5 Busovaca. Who does not have any family in Busovaca can

    6 go to the village of Skradno where the Bosniaks lived"

    7 and about 60 of us -- yes, it was the time when the

    8 ICRC came and gave us a couple of blankets each, and

    9 they allowed us to take these blankets along with us,

    10 and I went to Skradno, because I wanted to flee.

    11 I could not take it any more. I did not know where my

    12 father was, where my wife was, I did not know the fate

    13 of my son, so when I came to Skradno, I got

    14 information, how many people from my village were

    15 missing, but I did not want to talk about this, because

    16 I had been in a camp, so I did not know how they were

    17 pulling out of the village and going towards Kratine,

    18 but I think that somebody will come and testify to that

    19 as well.

    20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Now, witness -- your Honours,

    21 may I have your permission to show to the witness an

    22 excerpt of Prosecution Exhibit 4, which has been

    23 produced in evidence.

    24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 73.

    25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you please



  29. 1 look at the map that is on the projector? Please look

    2 at it carefully and I will ask you a few questions.

    3 You can look at it on the ELMO -- on your right. Do you

    4 see that well?

    5 A. Yes, I can see with my glasses.

    6 Q. Witness, could you please point out, using a

    7 highlighter that is on the table, Gradine where you

    8 were taken for trench digging on the first occasion?

    9 A. It is high ground, Gradine -- okay, this is

    10 Kozica, this is Putis. (Indicating). That is Bakije.

    11 Then Gradine, this is Podjele (Indicating).

    12 Q. Can you see Podjele on that map --

    13 A. Here, it is (indicating); here is Podjele.

    14 Q. Witness, could you please mark those places

    15 that you highlighted -- the village Gradine, could you

    16 please mark it with the letter "A", and Bakije with the

    17 letter "B" and, if you please, Podjele with the letter

    18 "C". (Witness marked photograph).

    19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please

    20 be asked to speak into the microphone?

    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: You may not find Polom on

    22 that map.

    23 A. I cannot see it. This is Rovna.

    24 Q. Rovna can be marked as well. Rovna was the

    25 place where your son was taken to on 17 April?



  30. 1 A. Yes, he was wounded.

    2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you mark Rovna with the

    3 letter "D"? (Witness marked photograph).

    4 Thank you.

    5 Your Honours, may I also have permission to

    6 show to the witness an aerial photograph, which has

    7 already been tendered in evidence.

    8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 74.

    9 (Handed).

    10 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you carefully

    11 look at the photograph that is on the ELMO and show to

    12 this court the hangar building which you referred to

    13 where you were first taken when you were brought to

    14 Kaonik? Could you mark that building -- could you

    15 circle that building using a highlighter?

    16 A. This is the road to Kaonik -- leading from

    17 Kaonik to Busovaca -- this is the turn-off, and then

    18 you go here (indicating) and you arrive here

    19 (indicating). This is the building where the cells

    20 were, and this is where our hangar was.

    21 Q. Could you please mark the building where the

    22 hangar was -- circle that building and mark it with the

    23 letter "A"? (Witness marked photograph).

    24 So that was the building to which you were

    25 first taken when you were brought to Kaonik?



  31. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. And that was the building you were detained

    3 throughout your stay in the Kaonik camp?

    4 A. Yes, from 16 April until 13 May, and then, on

    5 13 May, they brought us out and whoever had a family in

    6 Busovaca was allowed to go to Busovaca, and Busovaca

    7 was under the HVO control. Who did not have family was

    8 allowed to go to the village of Skradno where the

    9 Bosniaks lived. I was assigned to be with Behaija

    10 Barucija -- myself and my son-in-law and Ekrem

    11 Osmancevic. We stayed there and beyond the village

    12 there were some fields, and we went there and the HVO

    13 police came and they asked us whether anybody was

    14 bothering us, anybody was provoking us, but my nerves

    15 were already frayed, I knew nothing about my

    16 80-year-old father, I did not know the whereabouts of

    17 my wife, I did not know where my family was, so we

    18 decided to escape.

    19 Q. Who escaped together with you?

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted). We set our clocks for 1.30 in the

    22 morning and somebody gave us a shirt, some spare

    23 trousers, so we -- for 30 days we had not bathed or

    24 shaved, and so it was given to us so that we would

    25 recover a little bit. We enquired with the ICRC about



  32. 1 an exchange, but we were in the area controlled by the

    2 Croatian Defence Council, so we did not know how we

    3 were going to be exchanged, so we decided to flee. So

    4 we set the clock at 1.30 in the morning. We got up, we

    5 all got dressed, and I started getting dressed, but all

    6 of a sudden I felt a great fear and I said, "I do not

    7 dare go," so the man with whom we stayed, he said, "My

    8 friend, it is better for you to leave. Do not wait for

    9 their knives here. The first moment I can, I will

    10 flee, too." So, I packed my bags, and we started in

    11 the area of Kaonik.

    12 We arrived at the bridge and that is where

    13 the river of Kozica was and then there is the

    14 building-block plant nearby, and my son-in-law was

    15 going first, and then Ekrem behind him and I was the

    16 last, (redacted)

    17 (redacted). I said, "If I am killed, if my son-in-law

    18 is killed, our families will be left without anyone."

    19 But I finally summoned the strength and I went along.

    20 So, at the mouth of the Kozica River in Lasva

    21 we stopped and we said, "Shall we swim across?" And

    22 I said, "I do not know." There is a main checkpoint at

    23 the Mediapan factory and above there was all HVO.

    24 I said, "I do not feel like swimming across." It was

    25 16 May and it was still quite cold. So they had a



  33. 1 machine-gun nest at Marica Kuce and then they ran a

    2 wire across the river, so we could trip it and it will

    3 alert them -- they would kill us all.

    4 I said, "What would you want to do instead?"

    5 He said, "I would go directly to the bridge and

    6 whatever Allah says", and I believed in Allah, if I am

    7 killed, it is fine, if I survive, thank God again. So,

    8 at Mehena Vode, a place called Korito -- there was a

    9 place where we took off our shoes and started.

    10 Around Mediapan, it was all lit. There was a

    11 little bit of fog, but it was all very well lit. We

    12 were still in the area controlled by the HVO, so Ekrem

    13 says, "I know the way. I know a path below the

    14 Mediapan." I said, "What about the mines; will there

    15 be any mines in that area?" He said, "I did not think

    16 of that." We started in the direction of the village

    17 of Strane. So we came to the first house near the

    18 Mediapan, or maybe 25 metres from the Mediapan -- this

    19 is Rezib Zatagic's house. We entered his yard and from

    20 there we went towards the house of Dzevad Sisic. Then

    21 we were now between the trenches and control point. So

    22 we climbed up to about -- to Dzevad Sisic's house and

    23 then the dog started barking.

    24 I said, "Lie down; it is the HVO patrol." So

    25 we lay in the grass for about 15 minutes and the



  34. 1 barking stopped. Then we went through -- near a fence,

    2 and it was -- and so there was like a hedge and then it

    3 was five or six metres later, the branches started

    4 crackling, so we moved further towards the road, but we

    5 were exposed, so I held on to a branch. I did not know

    6 whether it was dry or not, so it broke on me and

    7 I tumbled over and then the burst of fire came in my

    8 direction -- about 10 of them. I lay in the grass, and

    9 I said, "Dear Allah, am I ever going to see my own?"

    10 At this point I did not care whether I would be killed

    11 or not, but I had a grandson who was two years old.

    12 "I do not know if I am ever going to see him again" --

    13 those were my thoughts.

    14 At that point we dispersed, and we took care,

    15 each, of himself. I thought the two of them were

    16 killed. Later on they told me they believed I was

    17 killed. So, not knowing what to do, if they had moved

    18 in my direction, I would have been caught right there.

    19 I think that they did not know what it was. They may

    20 have thought that it was a bear or some kind of animal,

    21 so as it was raining, there was -- it created some kind

    22 of a run-off canal so I wanted to come to this canal

    23 and then climb up to the woods and then go through the

    24 woods, so I managed to do that.

    25 I found a path. I was on all fours. I came



  35. 1 to the road. I looked left and right. I saw that

    2 there was a light, which was lighting the road. I went

    3 under the bushes, came into a ditch and then about 100

    4 metres from there, all of a sudden my Ekrem and my

    5 son-in-law appeared before me and they said, "Are you

    6 alive?", "How about you, how did you manage to get

    7 through?". They said, "We went over to Vrbjce, we

    8 crossed the road and went in the direction of Lasva",

    9 whereas I followed this canal.

    10 I arrived at the gas station at Gavro and

    11 from there I crossed Lasva at the Merdani bridge, which

    12 the HVO had blown up, so I arrived there, and that is

    13 where our units were, and they were there sort of, how

    14 shall I put it, protecting that area.

    15 Two days later, another group started --

    16 attempted to flee from Skradno and they found this -- a

    17 minefield and on that occasion Fehim and Ahmet

    18 Osmancevic were both killed and we managed to pass by

    19 there. So I went to the village of Grabe, to my

    20 sister's, and then I went to Rijeka and started looking

    21 for my wife and my family. When I saw my wife --

    22 Q. What happened? Where did you see your wife;

    23 in which village was that?

    24 A. The name of the village was Jurevici near

    25 Babeno. That is where we met, yes.



  36. 1 Q. You were united with your wife?

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 was in hospital and that he would come and now it is

    5 been five years -- it will be five years on 17 April.

    6 We have not heard of him since.

    7 MR. MEDDEGODA: That is all your Honours,

    8 I have no further questions.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We could perhaps have

    10 another 15-minute break before we start with the

    11 cross-examination and give the floor to Mr. Mikulicic.

    12 After that, we will go until the end of the morning

    13 session.

    14 (11.39am)

    15 (A short break)

    16 (12 noon)

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, I think we

    18 have to say that, in the exhibit number 74, the witness

    19 has put the letter "E" instead of letter "A", so

    20 I think we will have to rectify that.

    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: The letter "E" may stand,

    22 your Honours, or -- it could be rectified or it could

    23 remain as "E" -- I think it is phonetic.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: All we have to do is just

    25 to take note of that so as to avoid any possible



  37. 1 confusion with the transcript.

    2 Witness J, you have completed your

    3 examination-in-chief -- you have answered the questions

    4 put by the Prosecutor and now you are going to answer

    5 the questions of the Defence. I believe it is going to

    6 be Mr. Mikulicic and he is going to ask you several

    7 questions.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have the

    9 floor. However, before we proceed with the

    10 cross-examination, let me remind you that we would like

    11 to finish this session this morning -- we would like to

    12 finish with this witness and I would like also to ask

    13 the interpreters if they agree to prolong -- to

    14 continue working if we have to prolong the session a

    15 little bit. I can see them nodding their heads --

    16 I believe it is okay, so, Mr. Mikulicic, you may now

    17 proceed with the cross-examination.

    18 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I have another

    19 witness, which I would like to see if I can complete

    20 this morning. He will not be a lengthy witness, but

    21 I would at least try, if that is possible.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. You may proceed,

    23 Mr. Mikulicic.

    24 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, my colleague,

    25 Mr. Joka, will be questioning the Witness J, thank you.



  38. 1 Cross-examination by MR. JOKA

    2 Q. With your permission, your Honours, by way of

    3 introduction, let me express the attitude of the

    4 Defence to the witness. We have also been asked by our

    5 client, who, due to procedural reasons, is not able to

    6 do it himself, to express our condolences for the

    7 difficult moments that you have been through and the

    8 difficult situation you are still in. Having said

    9 that, I will try to be as brief as possible in my

    10 cross-examination.

    11 I would like to proceed with the questions

    12 now and, in view of the contents of my questions,

    13 I would like to suggest to move into private session,

    14 because I would like to ask about certain names, and

    15 I will be referring to a witness that has been examined

    16 here -- Witness H -- so, for the protection of that

    17 witness and, also, for the protection of this

    18 particular witness, I would like to move into private

    19 session for only two or three very brief questions.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We will go into private

    21 session now. Mr. Dubuisson, would you ensure the

    22 necessary steps are taken?

    23 (In private session)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)



  39. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (In open session)

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are ready, Mr. Joka.

    23 MR. JOKA: Do you know the location called

    24 Bare, Witness J?

    25 A. Yes, I do. There was a school building



  40. 1 there.

    2 MR. JOKA: Could you indicate on the map

    3 exhibit number 73 the place where Bare is located?

    4 Could I please ask the usher to help me?

    5 A. I believe I could, yes. (Handed). Let me

    6 see -- this is Strane -- (indicating).

    7 Q. Could you please mark it with the following

    8 -- with the letter in order?

    9 A. Which letter?

    10 Q. Well, which is our next letter -- we had "A",

    11 "B", "C" and this would be "D"?

    12 MR. MEDDEGODA: We had "D" as well, it would

    13 be "E".

    14 MR. JOKA: Then it is the letter "E", yes?

    15 A. Okay.

    16 Q. Could you now try and locate the village of

    17 Rovna -- we already have it, okay. What about

    18 Kovacevac, could you indicate that about the

    19 letter "F", please -- please, letter "F".

    20 (Witness marked photograph).

    21 Very well, thank you. I would now like to

    22 continue with my questions. We have finished with the

    23 map, thank you.

    24 Witness J, could you please tell the court

    25 whether you know who the commander at Bare was?



  41. 1 A. The commander at Bare was Mr. Mario Dimitrivic

    2 -- his father's name is Mile.

    3 Q. Thank you. Let me clarify one more thing.

    4 You have told the court about your meeting with Zarko

    5 Petrovic some 10 days after your son had disappeared?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Do you know that Zlatko Aleksovski had

    8 engaged some -- had undertaken some investigation in

    9 order to find out about the fate of your son?

    10 A. No, I do not know -- I did not know anything

    11 about that.

    12 Q. On that occasion, when you talked to

    13 Mr. Petrovic, was Mr. Aleksovski present in the office?

    14 A. No. As I was getting in, he was getting out

    15 of the office.

    16 Q. Does that mean that you were able to speak to

    17 Zarko Petrovic freely?

    18 A. Yes, I was, and also because I knew Zarko

    19 Petrovic.

    20 Q. Did Zarko Petrovic ask you about anything

    21 else?

    22 A. No, that was all. He just told me not to

    23 fight in the area of Kula -- he said that it was all in

    24 vain and there were lots of trenches there, and then

    25 I told him, "Zarko, I am not interested in Kula at



  42. 1 all. All I am interested to know is the fate of my

    2 son.

    3 Q. Okay. Do you know what kind of function

    4 Zarko had at that time?

    5 A. I believe he was an intelligence officer.

    6 Q. Whose intelligence officer was he?

    7 A. At least that is what I thought. I thought

    8 he was an intelligence officer. I had contacts with an

    9 HVO policeman, and he told me that he was working for

    10 an organisation named SIS -- I do not know what it

    11 means.

    12 MR. JOKA: Thank you, your Honours. We have

    13 completed our cross-examination and I would also like

    14 to thank the witness for his answers.

    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions in

    16 re-examination.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness J, I have one

    18 question for you.

    19 If I have properly understood, Mr. Aleksovski

    20 once told you that he needed 30 people to do a job. Do

    21 you remember having said that?

    22 A. No, he came in the hangar with Ljubo

    23 Vukadinovic and he said that he needed 30 men to go --

    24 to do a kind of job.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, but who said that?



  43. 1 A. Mr. Zlatko said that.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Did he say anything about

    3 the kind of work that people were supposed to do?

    4 A. No, he did not say anything about that, but

    5 it was our assumption that it would be trench digging,

    6 because there was nothing else to do.

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay. Witness J, the

    8 court has no more questions to ask you. We would like

    9 to thank you once again for having appeared before the

    10 court. We wish you a safe journey back home to your

    11 country and we hope that the life for you is going to

    12 be better. Thank you very much?

    13 A. God willing, yes, and may I ask a question to

    14 the court, your Honours?

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness J, because we have

    16 no further questions for you, this means that you have

    17 completed your testimony here before the Tribunal?

    18 A. Thank you.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you?

    20 A. And thank you, too.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may now leave the

    22 courtroom.

    23 A. Once again, let me ask you, please, could

    24 anyone tell me, if my son has been killed, where his

    25 bones lie. Enable me to bury him decently. I have



  44. 1 been living like this not knowing anything for the last

    2 five years and the gentleman here has been accused and

    3 other persons who have been accused here -- I think

    4 that they know that, and I would kindly ask him to tell

    5 me that, if he wishes to do so. If not, very well

    6 then.

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness J, we have heard

    8 your question.

    9 A. Thank you.

    10 (The witness withdrew)

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann?

    12 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the next witness

    13 does not require any protective measures and I call

    14 Daniel Damon.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Do we need any protection

    16 measures for this witness, Mr. Niemann?

    17 MR. NIEMANN: No.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay, you can then lift

    19 the curtains -- raise the curtains.

    20 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, may I speak to

    21 the Chamber? Our client, Mr. Aleksovski, has just told

    22 me that he is not feeling very well and he would kindly

    23 ask for a five minute break to collect himself a little

    24 bit? If it is possible with the court's indulgence

    25 could we have a five minute break?



  45. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, it is possible. We

    2 will therefore have a 15-minute break.

    3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.

    4 (12.17pm)

    5 (A short break)

    6 (12.30pm)

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, you wanted to

    8 say something about the situation?

    9 MR. NIEMANN: Not particularly, your

    10 Honours. I am not sure what the situation is entirely,

    11 but I understand that the accused has taken ill and is

    12 not able to be present. I guess there is nothing more

    13 we can do about the matter, other than simply to

    14 adjourn, unless of course the Defence are willing to

    15 proceed in his absence. I do not know whether counsel

    16 is in a position to do that or not. I understand

    17 entirely either way and, in the event that counsel is

    18 not prepared to continue, I can see nothing else but

    19 for us to adjourn. I have a witness waiting to

    20 testify, your Honour.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Joka, you are very well

    22 informed of the situation as to the health of

    23 Mr. Aleksovski. We would like to hear your position in

    24 respect of that, namely, in respect of the possibility

    25 to continue the hearing or not.



  46. 1 MR. JOKA: Your Honours, I can only say, as a

    2 lay person, that our client is really not feeling

    3 well. He has a kind of spasm and it seems like he is

    4 numb and I am told that he is being attended to by a

    5 physician right now and there is another physician on

    6 the way coming from the UN detention unit. I do not

    7 know what will happen next. We asked him whether he

    8 would be able to collect himself and to continue.

    9 He said that, right now, he could not tell,

    10 that maybe in an hour he would. Obviously, at this

    11 stage, he is not in a situation to go on. Without his

    12 presence, we do not feel that we can continue with the

    13 proceedings.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. The question is:

    15 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence do enable us to

    16 proceed without the presence of the accused, but we

    17 need his approval for that. There is also a problem

    18 here of a witness who has come to testify here today.

    19 If he does not give his testimony here today,

    20 he will have to come back. So that was my question.

    21 The Chamber can hear the witness, but we also do

    22 understand all the reasons for an adjournment.

    23 MR. JOKA: I completely understand your

    24 comments. What I am trying to say is that we were not

    25 able to receive an affirmative answer from our client.



  47. 1 My feeling is that, at this point in time, he simply

    2 does not fully comprehend our question.

    3 We appreciate the fact that there are

    4 problems regarding the witness -- I believe he arrived

    5 from England -- and he is here.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I will consult my

    7 colleagues. Just a moment, please. (Pause).

    8 We will have to balance the interests here of

    9 the people involved in these proceedings.

    10 Mr. Mikulicic, who is the lead counsel in this case, is

    11 not present here. Therefore, I believe that it would

    12 be more advisable to finish the hearing today. We

    13 understand the problems of bringing in witnesses, but

    14 this is an exceptional situation. So, the Chamber has

    15 decided to adjourn the hearing and to continue at the

    16 end of March, as it is scheduled in our calendar.

    17 Therefore, we wish all the best to

    18 Mr. Aleksovski. We hope that he will be able to

    19 continue. I wish you a nice weekend, all of you, to

    20 interpreters, technicians, and the hearing is

    21 adjourned.

    22 (12.40pm)

    23 (The hearing adjourned)

    24

    25