1 Thursday, 26 March 1998
3 (The accused entered court)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen. Good morning to the interpreters and to the
6 technical booth. Are you all ready to start? Thank
8 Excuse me for this delay, but you know all
9 too well the reasons for it, so we will try and maybe
10 remedy that. We are going to continue with yesterday's
11 witness, are we?
12 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes, your Honours, we have
14 the overnight witness who will be called to testify
15 this morning.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, I will ask
17 the Registrar to lower the blinds so that the witness
18 can be shown in.
19 Mr. Registrar, could you please call the
21 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-14-1T, the
22 Prosecutor against Zlatko Aleksovski.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, could you
24 please give us the appearances?
25 MR. NIEMANN: My name is Niemann. I appear
1 with my colleagues, Mr. Meddegoda and Ms. Sutherland and
2 Ms. Erasmus for the Prosecution.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. And the
4 Defence, please.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours.
6 My name is Goran Mikulicic; along with my colleague
7 Joka, we represent the accused, thank you.
8 (The witness entered court)
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, witness.
10 Can you hear me well?
11 A. Yes, I can hear you well.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are now going to
13 continue to listen to your testimony. Yesterday you
14 made a solemn declaration that you will speak the
15 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Are
16 you prepared to do the same thing today?
17 A. Yes, that is correct, the whole truth and
18 nothing but the truth, that is correct.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, please
21 WITNESS O (continued)
22 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA (continued)
23 Q. Good morning, Witness O.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. When we adjourned last afternoon, you stated
1 in evidence that you were arrested and brought to the
2 Kaonik camp?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you also said that you were brought to a
5 hangar building in that camp?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you tell this court what happened upon
8 arrival in the hangar building?
9 A. When we were brought to the hangar building,
10 we first got off the buses and entered the hangars,
11 there were pallets that were arranged on the floor. We
12 were quite a few in there. Then we were ordered to
13 take everything out of our pockets, and we had to turn
14 around facing the wall with our hands up. We were
15 standing on these pallets. After a while, they
16 searched us to assure themselves that we did not have
17 any objects like knives or such in our pockets.
18 Q. By whom were you searched in the hangar
20 A. These were some HVO soldiers. They searched
21 us. I do not know them.
22 Q. How did you know they were HVO soldiers?
23 A. They had camouflage uniforms on, and the HVO
25 Q. Were any camp officials present at the time
1 you were brought to the hangar?
2 A. Mr. Aleksovski was present.
3 Q. And do you remember what Mr. Aleksovski was
4 wearing at that time?
5 A. I think he was also wearing a camouflage
6 uniform. He told us not to be afraid, that there was
7 nothing to be afraid of, that we were safe here, that
8 nothing would happen to us, and things proceeded in
9 that way.
10 Q. Do you remember what happened the next day?
11 A. The next day, we were called out, so that
12 night we had spent there, then we were called out and
13 we were taken to be used as human shields -- 20 of us
14 were hauled out, 15 of us were tied up and five were
15 returned to the hangar. A bus arrived. We were tied
16 up, hands behind our backs, and Mr. Aleksovski was
18 An HVO soldier tied us up -- the first one
19 who came refused to do this, and then the second one
20 came and tied us up. There was a white rope which he
21 pulled out. He ordered us to turn around facing the
22 wall of the hangar and then he tied us five together.
23 After we were tied up, we were ordered to board the
24 bus. When we climbed on to the bus, then the order was
25 issued to drive in the direction that we were supposed
1 to go to, that is, to go to Skradno.
2 The bus brought us near to the bridge at
3 Skradno and to the Vatrostalna factory. It could not
4 go any further, so we got off the bus there, and we
5 were lined up.
6 Q. What happened after you got off the bus and
7 you were lined up?
8 A. Then they called on the villagers to
9 surrender, using the loud speaker, and we were there
10 for about half an hour and apparently the village
11 surrendered. Then we were again boarded on to the bus,
12 still tied up, and we went back to Kaonik. When --
13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Now, witness, before you
14 proceed any further, your Honours, may I ask the usher
15 to show to the witness an aerial photograph, of which
16 there are copies for your Honours and for Mr. Mikulicic.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This is number 94.
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you please
20 carefully look at the aerial photograph on the ELMO?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And tell this court the point to which you
23 were taken from the camp -- the point near the bridge
24 that you spoke of?
25 A. This is the place where we crossed the Kozica
2 Q. Could you please point out the bridge?
3 A. Here (indicates). This is the bridge. This
4 is before the Vatrostalna factory. You cross here
5 (indicating) to Sendolin Kuce, and that is where we
7 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you, using the
8 highlighter behind you, could you mark the bridge at
9 which you had to get off the bus. I want you to mark
10 the bridge first, witness.
11 JUDGE VOHRAH: Ask him to circle.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you circle the bridge
13 that you spoke of in your testimony, witness?
14 A. (Witness marked photograph).
15 Q. That is the bridge. Using a different
16 coloured marker, could you please mark the place at
17 which you and the others were forced to stand?
18 A. (Witness marked photograph).
19 Q. In which direction were you standing?
20 A. Facing the village -- we were facing the
22 Q. Which village was that?
23 A. It was the village of Skradno.
24 Q. You said you were there for about half an
25 hour, as far as you remember?
1 A. Yes, maybe 40 minutes -- no more than one
3 Q. What happened thereafter?
4 A. When those people surrendered, this whole
5 thing was over, and then we boarded the bus again and
6 we went towards Kaonik. At Kaonik, in front of the
7 Tisovac store, which was a supermarket of sorts, the
8 bus turned around. We got off and we went to Strane,
9 again as human shields.
10 Q. Witness, could you, again looking at the same
11 photograph that is before you, which is Exhibit P94,
12 could you point out the place at which you got off the
13 bus and walked towards Strane you said?
14 A. Here is the spot where we got off -- this is
15 where the store was (indicating) and there is also some
16 kind of a warehouse there.
17 Q. Could you please circle that spot using a
18 highlighter that is besides you?
19 A. Yes, I can -- red or blue?
20 Q. Whatever colour that is there -- blue,
21 please, yes.
22 A. (Witness marked photograph).
23 Q. You got off the bus at the point and you said
24 this is where the shop is?
25 A. This is where we got off the bus, yes.
1 Q. What happened after you got off the bus?
2 A. We were still tied up and the HVO soldiers
3 took us to the intersection to Podjele and towards the
4 old rail road station and post office and at this
5 intersection, at this junction, we were also made to
6 stand, lined up, and facing the village of Strane.
7 Q. Could you please, using the red coloured pen,
8 mark the point at which you and the others were forced
9 to stand facing the village of Strane?
10 A. (Witness marked photograph).
11 Q. What happened when you were standing there
12 facing Strane?
13 A. We stood there for quite a while. A
14 colleague of ours was sent there to ask them to
15 surrender. As he was walking, they shot after him and
16 so he ducked into cover, and the HVO soldiers also shot
17 over our heads and we were ordered not to bend. I do
18 not know who it was, but somebody from the forest off
19 to the side was shooting, also, at us. There was a
20 young man who had a sniper rifle and he was also
21 shooting in the direction of the village of Strane.
22 Q. Do you know what happened at the village of
24 A. After a while, when we were pulled back,
25 I learned -- we heard, that is, from the HVO soldiers,
1 that the village also surrendered.
2 Q. How long were you standing as a human shield
3 facing the village of Strane?
4 A. I cannot remember any more -- it could have
5 been one hour or two -- at this point, I was only
6 concerned whether I was going to survive or not,
7 because the shooting started from behind us and then
8 they also were shooting from the other side and we were
9 specifically ordered not to bend, because, if we did
10 bend, if we did duck, then we would be shot.
11 Q. Thereafter, you were returned to the Kaonik
12 camp, were you?
13 A. Yes, we were returned on foot to the camp,
14 because the distance is about a kilometre, maybe 0.8
15 kilometres to the hangar.
16 Q. Do you remember being taken anywhere else the
17 next day, the following day?
18 A. Yes, the next day, in the morning, some time
19 around 10, 10.30, I was taken to Merdani. This was the
20 third time that I was taken as a human shield.
21 Q. On this occasion, how many of you were taken
22 to Merdani?
23 A. Again, 15 persons were taken to Merdani.
24 Q. And before being taken, could you describe
25 what happened to the prisoners before being taken?
1 Were you tied --
2 A. Oh, yes, yes, we were tied up the same way,
3 just as the first and second time when I was used as a
4 human shield -- both those locations, so this was the
5 third time, but it was on the second day. We were also
6 tied up, also hands behind our backs, also escorted by
7 the HVO soldiers. We boarded the bus. The bus brought
8 us from Kaonik to Podjele. That is where we got off
9 and the bus went back, because the bus could not
10 proceed any further. The road was bad and, also, the
11 bridge was not strong enough to support the bus, so, at
12 the bridge, we were abused, we were -- they cursed us,
13 they threatened to throw us into the Kozica River, and
14 then we proceeded from there. They still verbally
15 abused us and cursed us, as they were taking us towards
17 From this junction towards Podjele, they
18 proceeded for maybe another 300 metres further and then
19 they lined us up facing the village of Merdani. They
20 kept us there for about an hour, an hour and a half.
21 Merdani refused to surrender and then they took us
22 back. We went back on foot, all the way to the hangar,
23 and, when we got there, we were already assigned for
24 digging, this forest digging. However, I was taken to
25 a cell. I was not taken back to the hangar. I saw
1 that my colleagues, my fellow inmates, with whom I was
2 in the hangar were no longer there. I later found they
3 were taken to dig, and this is what then proceeded --
4 this scenario sort of was then repeated daily.
5 MR. MEDDEGODA: May I give you an aerial
6 photograph which I may wish to show you.
7 Your Honours, may the usher be asked to place
8 this photograph on the ELMO with copies to your Honours
9 and to Mr. Mikulicic?
11 THE REGISTRAR: This is document number 95.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you carefully
13 look at Exhibit 95 and, on that exhibit or that
14 photograph, could you, using the pointer, point to the
15 place where you were taken by bus -- where you had to
16 get off the bus?
17 A. I could not orient myself. This is where the
18 bus brought us -- shall I mark it?
19 Q. Yes, please?
20 A. Shall I mark it?
21 Q. Yes, please, you may proceed to mark the
22 place that the bus brought you to.
23 A. (Witness marked photograph).
24 Q. And from there you and the others had to get
25 off the bus?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What happened after you got off the bus?
3 A. Then we came -- then we crossed the bridge
4 and then that is where they were provoking us -- they
5 verbally abused us, there were obscenities spoken
6 there, and then we started towards Podjele.
7 Q. Could you mark the place at which you and the
8 others were forced to stand facing the village?
9 A. We who were tied up and lined up as human
10 shields facing the village?
11 Q. Yes, please. You may use a different colour
12 marker, witness.
13 A. (Witness marked photograph).
14 Q. On that occasion, you were facing the village
15 of Merdani, as you said?
16 A. Yes, yes, facing the village of Merdani.
17 Q. Witness, thereafter you said you were
18 returned to the camp?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you also said a while ago that thereafter
21 you were taken to dig trenches?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you remember where you were taken to to
24 dig trenches?
25 A. To Kula, towards -- in the direction of
1 Busovaca and I was taken to Kula only once. I do not
2 know why. After that, I was only in the cells -- I was
3 never taken to dig again after that. I do not know
4 why. I was beaten there by some soldier -- I do not
5 know who it was -- and he beat me with a shovel over my
6 back. In the evening, both myself and my fellow
7 inmates were returned on a truck of the RAV make and
8 after that we were brought back to the camp. After
9 that I was never taken to dig again -- my fellow
10 inmates were, but I myself was not.
11 Q. Did you continue to be detained in the cell
12 throughout your stay in the camp from the time you were
13 transferred to the cell building?
14 A. Yes, these 13 days until I was exchanged
15 I spent there and my fellow inmates were changing,
16 depending on who was taken to work, and the number also
17 varied from 10, 15, to 20 and even 30 -- in a very
18 small and confined space. When the inmate prisoners
19 were coming back from this forced labour, they would
20 receive one portion of food for two persons and they
21 were exhausted, they were tired. Also, there were no
22 hygienic conditions -- you could not wash, you could
23 not shave.
24 There was one stove in the building. There
25 was a toilet, which was to the left of Mr. Aleksovski's
1 office and this is how we were surviving that period of
2 time, that is, the people who transferred from the
3 hangar to the cells until we were exchanged.
4 We could hear noises and shouts and people
5 were being beaten -- those who were going to the
6 front-lines and people were beaten up in the camp.
7 Then, from the camp, I went back to Busovaca and
8 proceeded from there.
9 Q. That was after you were exchanged in
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you were exchanged on 8 February 1993
13 A. Yes, on the 8th.
14 Q. Witness, you remember earlier on you said
15 when you arrived in the hangar in Kaonik you were met
16 by Mr. Aleksovski?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you know Mr. Aleksovski from before?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How did you know him?
21 A. I knew him from Zenica, from the corrections
22 centre there -- I knew he worked there and also he was
23 in Vatrostalna for a while. He commuted and then later
24 he got an apartment in Busovaca, so that is how I knew
1 MR. MEDDEGODA: I tender Exhibits 93, 94 and
2 95. I have no further questions from this witness --
3 93 was the document I tendered yesterday under seal,
4 your Honours, and this morning I tendered two
5 documents, 94 and 95.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. They are going to be
7 tendered and admitted. Do you have any further
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: No, I have no further
10 questions in chief.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. In
12 that case, Mr. Mikulicic, do you have questions for this
13 witness, or Mr. Joka?
14 Cross-examined by MR. JOKA
15 Q. May it please the court, Witness O, I would
16 like to ask a few questions. Today, you told this
17 Trial Chamber that you were used on two occasions as a
18 human shield.
19 A. Not the two occasions -- on two different
20 days, the first day was at Skradno and a different day
21 at Merdani.
22 Q. You said you had information, or maybe I did
23 not understand you well, but the village had
24 surrendered; in that other case the village had not
25 surrendered. Did you see Skradno and Strane surrender
1 or did you only hear about it?
2 A. No, we knew where the trenches were where we
3 were digging from the other inmates. I know the
4 village did not surrender.
5 Q. I asked you about Skradno?
6 A. It surrendered on that very day.
7 Q. Did you see it?
8 A. Yes, because they called them with a loud
10 Q. Who did it?
11 A. The person who brought us.
12 Q. How did you see people?
13 A. There were people that came down from the
14 village of Skradno.
15 Q. And how about the village of Strane?
16 A. They came, I do not know whether they
17 surrendered but they came from the forest.
18 Q. And Merdani did not surrender?
19 A. No, Merdani did not surrender, because I know
20 it from other people who were there digging and they
21 told me that Merdani had not surrendered.
22 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber how
23 far you were from the village of Skradno while you were
24 there -- how far away from you in metres, if you can
1 A. Do you mean from the Croat houses?
2 MR. JOKA: No, no --
3 THE INTERPRETER: May the counsel be advised
4 to slow down the witness, please?
5 A. Where the Muslim houses were or the Croat
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness O, excuse me to
8 interrupt you; could you please speak slowly, because,
9 as you know, there are interpreters who have to
10 translate. They cannot follow you if you speak too
11 quickly. Thank you.
12 MR. JOKA: The first were Croat houses?
13 A. Yes, they were first Croat houses.
14 Q. Could you tell me how far away you were from
15 the Croat houses?
16 A. 150 metres.
17 Q. And they came, the Muslim houses?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How far were you from the Muslim houses?
20 A. 500 metres, the first Muslim houses were 500
21 metres away.
22 Q. Let us go to the village of Strane -- first
23 you spoke of Skradno so Strane -- how far you were from
24 the village of Strane?
25 A. You know what, from the place where we were,
1 there is the road Travnik/Zenica.
2 Q. You can tell us in metres?
3 A. You cannot see the village completely,
4 because you can see the woods and there is the old
5 school that can be seen and a couple of Muslim houses.
6 Q. So the woods separated you from the village?
7 A. Yes, it was on the right-hand side from us.
8 Q. Merdani, how far away were you from that
10 A. About 800 metres or 1 kilometre away.
11 Q. Do you know whether, in Skradno, there were
12 any BiH army members?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know that at Strane there were any
15 members of the BiH army?
16 A. No.
17 Q. At Merdani?
21 Q. Were there BiH army members there or not?
22 A. I do not know.
23 Q. Could you please tell us, were you registered
24 by an international organisation while you were at
1 A. Yes, I was registered by the Red Cross.
2 I have got a document about it.
3 Q. When, how many days after?
4 A. Some six or seven days afterwards.
5 Mr. Aleksovski was present when we were registered.
6 Q. Tell me whether anybody from your family --
7 but please do not mention any names -- whether anybody
8 was also deprived of liberty the same time you were?
9 A. All my family.
10 Q. Even your father?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was he also brought there?
13 A. Yes, but he was returned back home, because
14 he was an elderly man and other older people were also
16 Q. Was it the same day?
17 A. No, but, your Honours, I only speak the
18 truth. I do not need to tell any lies, so I only say
19 what is true.
20 Q. You said that you knew Mr. Aleksovski from
22 A. Yes, I knew him.
23 Q. You mentioned the correction centre in
25 A. Yes, I knew from those people who said that
1 he was at the corrections centre.
2 Q. Did you have anything to do with the
3 corrections centre in Zenica?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. You mentioned that the accused was given an
6 apartment in Busovaca?
7 A. After the corrections centre when I went to
8 Busovaca -- maybe Mr. Aleksovski does not remember -- we
9 even had an occasion when we sat down in a cafe
11 Q. You heard something about his apartment?
12 A. Yes, because I heard something -- I would see
13 him at Busovaca.
14 Q. You concluded he was there?
15 A. Yes, that was my conclusion. On some
16 occasions we sat down in a cafe together.
17 Q. Witness O, could you please tell me, before
18 the breakout of the conflict, what was your
19 relationship with the Croat population -- you
21 A. First of all, Sir, I never ever thought
22 something like that would happen -- I never had any
23 doubts. (redacetd)
25 good to one another. We helped one another, and I have
1 to say even today not everybody is extreme. Some
2 people are very nice.
3 Q. You have some people you are on good terms
4 with even today?
5 A. Yes, and I will always be on good terms with
6 such people.
7 Q. Did any Croats help you or save your property
8 while you were at Kaonik?
9 A. No, they did not -- my house was burned down.
10 Q. So your house was burned down?
11 A. Yes, it was burned down and somebody was
12 repairing it when we got out.
13 Q. And your father's house and your brothers'
15 A. No, they are all right, nothing happened to
16 them, but we are not allowed to go to those houses.
17 When I go through Kacuni, Kiseljak and Stari Put, I
18 never go through Busovaca.
19 Q. Did you exchange your house?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Before you were arrested, did you own a
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was this vehicle returned to you?
25 A. No, all my property was taken away from me.
1 Q. After you were brought to Kaonik, were you
2 released for a short moment to go home?
3 A. No.
4 Q. To have a wash and bring some food?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Is it true?
7 A. It is.
8 Q. Did you, from somebody who was at Kaonik, who
9 was there in an official position, like one of the
10 guards or an HVO member, receive any blankets?
11 A. Yes, a young man brought a blanket to me and
12 he gave me a loaf of bread.
13 Q. Do you know his name?
14 A. No, I do not. I only know that he comes from
15 a village from up there towards Ravno.
18 A. Oh, that is a different matter -- what I did
19 -- it belongs to another matter, another trial, not
20 this one.
21 Q. I am not asking you about another judicial
22 matter, I am asking you what you did?
25 Q. What kind of a work duty is it -- could you
1 explain that to the Trial Chamber?
2 A. No, it can be any kind of obligation, it was
3 forced labour.
4 Q. Could you tell us what you did? I do not
5 know anything about it.
9 Q. So you were the person who did it?
10 A. No, there were five of us.
11 Q. So you were one of the persons who were
12 collecting people around?
13 A. Yes, I was collecting them around, so my
14 fellow Muslims hated me for that. They cursed me all
15 the time because of that.
16 Q. Only one question more. When you were
17 telling us about the events concerning the human
18 shields in two villages on the first day and on the
19 following day in a third village, was anyone hurt?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Were there any injuries or any casualties?
22 A. No, there were not.
23 Q. I have no further questions.
24 A. I want to tell the truth -- nobody -- there
25 were no casualties, nobody was injured.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, have you got
2 any additional questions.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: I have no questions in
4 re-examination. I would wish to draw the attention of
5 the court to three redactions in the testimony and in
6 the course of cross-examination. That is at page 18,
7 line 14, which need to be redacted, and at page 20,
8 there is lines 19 and 20, and on page 21, line 14 and
9 also page 22, line 13.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, I think that
11 we have already done those and that Mr. Mikulicic has
12 agreed. So, these parts of the transcript will be
13 redacted. Mr. Meddegoda, have you completed your
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes. May I also point out
16 two more redactions -- page 22, lines 13 and 19.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. We will do it. The
18 dialogue was a very dynamic one. There were some
19 references, yes. I will now ask my colleagues whether
20 they have any questions for the witness.
21 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Just a simple question.
22 Was there any difference -- uniforms or insignia --
23 between guards and HVO soldiers?
24 A. They had the insignia -- I did not see the
25 Croat army there -- I cannot say that I saw them,
1 because I did not see them there. There were HVO
2 insignia, and there were black uniforms, with no
3 insignia at all. Those were the other two types of
4 uniforms -- the other uniforms we could see.
5 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness O -- could the
7 usher go to Witness O, because I would like to ask him
8 a question about the map.
9 This is Exhibit 95 that I would like to refer
10 to. Could that be placed on the ELMO?
11 Witness O, you have indicated to us the first
12 occasion when you were taken very near a bridge. Could
13 you use a pointer, please, and point to us where the
14 bridge was?
15 A. Yes (witness marked photograph) yes, at the
16 spot here in blue. We cannot see the river, because of
17 the trees -- we cannot see the river. It is after the
18 place where blue colour is. It is towards Podjele.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could you show us on the
20 map where Skradno is?
21 A. (Witness indicates). All this is Skradno.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: When we go near the
23 supermarket the second time around, could you please
24 point to the supermarket where you went on the second
1 A. Yes, this is where I pointed to the shop and
2 the warehouse (indicates).
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you. Could you tell
4 us where -- could you point to the direction of Strane?
5 A. From Sendoline Kuce where the bridge is --
6 towards that direction.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could you point out the
8 village on the map -- the village of Strane -- where is
10 A. Near Skradno.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Is Strane on the map?
12 A. (Indicates).
13 JUDGE MEDDEGODA: So Strane is there. Thank
14 you. Thank you very much, Witness O. This is the end
15 of your testimony. The International Criminal Tribunal
16 thanks you for coming and hopes you have a safe trip
17 back home to your country?
18 A. Thank you very much.
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, I think that
21 we can use this occasion to make a small break before
22 we start with the following witness.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I discovered
24 another redaction which may have to be made which is in
25 cross-examination. That is connected to the earlier
1 one I mentioned -- the last one is at page 23, it is
2 line 3 on page 23, and that is connected to line 19 on
3 page 22, so for that reason I thought that line may
4 need to be redacted as well, your Honour.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, we are going to
6 redact that as well. We are now going to have a
7 15-minute break, because the next break will be 20
8 minutes long so that will allow us to have some lunch.
10 (A short break)
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are now going to work
13 until 5 to 1. After that, we will have a 20-minute
14 break, which means that we will start again at 13.15
15 until 14.30. This is to give you the framework, but we
16 can alter that if necessary.
17 Mr. Meddegoda, you may proceed.
18 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you. The next
19 Prosecution witness is witness number 8 in paragraph 4
20 of the Prosecution's inventory of witnesses dated 20
21 March. In respect of that witness I am seeking to make
22 an application for protective measures in respect of
23 Rule 35. I ask that your Honours give a pseudonym to
24 this witness and the image of the witness's face be
25 distorted during the course of his testimony. I have
1 indicated this to my learned friend Mr. Mikulicic and
2 I understand he has no objection to my application. In
3 those circumstances, I move that your Honours be
4 pleased to grant the protective measures I am seeking
5 on behalf of that witness.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
7 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no objection
8 and we agree with the proposal made by the Prosecutor.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
10 The Trial Chamber will grant the measures requested,
11 and we are going to take all the relevant action, which
12 means lowering the blinds.
13 (The witness entered court)
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Can
15 you hear me?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please now read the solemn
18 declaration that the usher will give you.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
20 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
21 the truth.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated. Do you
23 feel comfortable?
24 A. Yes, I feel well.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are now going to
1 answer the questions which Mr. Meddegoda is going to ask
3 Witness P
4 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA
5 Q. Their Honours have granted the protective
6 measures you asked for. During the course of your
7 testimony, do not refer to any details that would
8 reveal your identity. You will be known as
9 "Witness P", during the course of your testimony.
10 Witness, could you please read the name that
11 is written on this sheet of paper and confirm whether
12 or not that name is yours (Handed).
13 A. (Witness nods head).
14 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: I did not hear if you
15 said "yes" or "no"?
16 A. (Witness nods head).
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot
18 hear the witness.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit 96.
20 MR. MEDDEGODA: I tender it under seal.
21 I would advise you to speak into the
22 microphone. Witness P, you are Bosniak by ethnicity?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Your religion is Islam?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you please state your age?
2 A. I am 44 years old.
3 Q. Witness, I would like to take you back to the
4 events of January 1993. Do you remember January 1993?
5 A. I remember it.
6 Q. Do you remember when you were arrested in
7 January 1993?
8 A. Yes, I remember that. It was in the second
9 half of January -- somewhere towards the second half of
11 Q. You cannot remember the exact date?
12 A. No, I do not remember the exact date, but
13 between the 20th, 22nd or something like that --
14 I cannot recall exactly.
15 Q. Who arrested you in the latter part of
16 January 1993?
17 A. I was at home with my wife and my brother and
18 his wife were there. We were sitting down at breakfast
19 -- that was on the upper floor. Somebody knocked at
20 the door and I went downstairs to see who it was. When
21 I opened the door, I saw a man wearing a camouflage
22 uniform, who told me to get out. I went outside and
23 I saw there were four or five soldiers standing there
24 also wearing camouflage uniforms.
25 Q. Did you happen to know who this man was who
1 knocked on your door?
2 A. Yes, I knew those men. They were HVO
3 soldiers. I knew one of those five or six soldiers.
4 Q. Did you know him personally?
5 A. Yes, I knew him personally.
6 Q. Do you remember his name?
7 A. Yes, I do. His surname is Babic, and his
8 nickname is Nikesa.
9 Q. You said you went outside and you saw four or
10 five soldiers standing outside. What were those
11 soldiers dressed in?
12 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms and
13 they were armed.
14 Q. Do you know to which army they belonged?
15 A. To the HVO.
16 Q. What happened when you went out of your
18 A. I went out of the house and then the person
19 whom I saw, Niko, when I opened the door, he asked me
20 whether anybody else was in the house. I said my
21 brother was in there. He sent another soldier to fetch
22 him. My brother went downstairs. I said, "Maybe we
23 should get dressed." He said, "You do not need
24 anything. You are going for an interrogation." Then
25 he asked the soldier to take us to the petrol station
1 at Busovaca and we were put in the toilet.
4 A. When we went out, there might have been some
5 10 people there, all of them civilians.
6 Q. What happened thereafter?
7 A. I understood that that was some kind of a
8 collection place -- they were collecting us -- there
9 were maybe 30 of us. Then a bus came and they took us
10 to Kaonik in the hangar there.
11 Q. Do you remember what happened the next day
12 after you were brought to Kaonik?
13 A. The next day, once we spent the night there,
14 it was between breakfast and lunch -- the doors of the
15 hangar opened and an HVO soldier came in, and he showed
16 like this with his hand (indicating). He counted 15
17 people and told us to go outside. When we did so, he
18 lined us up and asked us whether anyone knows how to
19 tie up. We did not know what -- we were not aware that
20 we were going to tie ourselves up. We all were silent
21 and nobody knew how to tie up. Then, one of the HVO
22 soldiers took a rope and tied us up in three groups of
24 One of their officers took down our names and
25 then we boarded the bus. The bus took us across the
1 Kozica River towards Merdani, and --
2 Q. What happened when you were taken towards
4 A. We were taken there -- part of the journey we
5 did by bus and the rest of it on foot. We arrived at a
6 place where they ordered us to stop. We did so and we
7 were there for about two to three hours and then we
8 knew that -- one of the HVO soldiers told us that we
9 were now the human shield and that one of ours went to
10 negotiate with the villagers of Merdani, either for
11 them to surrender or for them to surrender their arms
12 or weapons.
13 MR. MEDDEGODA: I hand this aerial photograph
14 to the witness. There is a copy for the court as well
15 as for Mr. Mikulicic. I tender that document as the
16 next exhibit in order.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 97.
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you said a while
20 ago that you were taken to a point by bus. Could you
21 please carefully look at the aerial photograph that is
22 on the ELMO and, using the pointer, could you please
23 point to the place where you were taken by bus and
24 where you had to get off the bus? Could you please
25 look at the photograph that is on the ELMO -- the
1 aerial photograph? I suggest you look at the
2 photograph that is on the ELMO beside you and then
3 point out on that and not on the map -- on the screen.
4 You may take your time, witness, with the
5 photograph. You may leave it if you cannot find on that
6 map the place in Merdani that you were taken to.
7 Witness, what is the place that you pointed
9 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please ask the
10 witness to speak up?
11 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you please speak into
12 the microphone. Witness, could you please speak up to
13 the microphone?
14 A. They brought us to a place where there were
15 only two houses -- this road was leading to a village
16 up there, but I do not know the name of the village
18 Q. Is that the place that you had to get off the
19 bus. Could you please first point out the place at
20 which you and the others had to get off the bus?
21 A. (Witness indicates on photograph).
22 Q. Could you circle that place using a
23 highlighter that is beside you?
24 A. (Witness marks photograph with red
1 Q. What happened from there?
2 A. We got off the bus and then we went on foot
3 for about this length (indicating) and then we arrived
4 -- I cannot see the houses where we arrived to, but
5 roughly speaking thereabouts (indicating).
6 Q. What did you have to do when you arrived
8 A. When we arrived there, we stopped -- we
9 walked there and then we stopped. We did not do
10 anything. They went towards those houses and we heard
11 that they were talking. They were discussing, talking,
12 and there was a guard there who guarded us and all the
13 others went to the houses.
14 Q. What happened thereafter?
15 A. We were there for some two to three hours and
16 then the person who went to negotiate with the Merdani
17 villagers, he had gone away and that he would not
18 return, and so they were angry and they were cursing.
19 We were afraid, because we heard the noise and the
20 curses and we did not know what would happen to us. We
21 said, in case somebody from our side starts shooting
22 from Merdani, probably it might -- something might
23 happen to us, we might be killed. So they were angry
24 and ordered us to turn around, and we went on foot to
25 the bridge. When we reached the bridge over the Kozica
1 River, one of the soldiers told us to stop and we
2 stopped in the middle of the bridge.
3 I was in the middle row -- there were three
4 rows, so I was in the middle row and one of the
5 soldiers from the left bank of Kozica started going
6 towards us. Those who were in the first row -- tied up
7 in the first row -- I was in the middle row -- he came
8 from the left-hand side -- and when he came to me,
9 I was wearing a jacket -- a camouflage jacket, which
10 was given to me by an HVO soldier, and on the left arm,
11 the left sleeve, there was an HVO insignia. When he
12 saw that, he could not understand why I was there, if
13 I was one of their soldiers. Then he concluded that
14 I could certainly not be one of their soldiers and he
15 cursed me, and then he took a knife and I was really
16 very terrified at that moment. My hands were tied up
17 and I was looking through the holes of the bridge to
18 the river and I could see myself already dead. I was
19 really very scared. He took the knife and he started
20 taking the HVO insignia off. When he did that, he went
21 to the third line and he also mistreated -- abused them
22 as well.
23 That all might have lasted for some 10
24 minutes. After that, they told us to move, but I could
25 not move, because my legs would not move, and so then
1 we started again on foot and we came to the cells in
2 the camp. We were untied and we went inside and sat at
3 a table, but our hands -- we sat down to eat, but as
4 our hands had been tied up for a long time, I could not
5 even hold anything to eat with. My arms were so numb.
6 Q. Witness, before you were returned to the
7 camp, you said you were to stand facing a village.
8 Which village were you facing when you and the others
9 were standing -- in the direction of which village were
10 you facing -- what is the name of the village in the
11 direction of which you were standing?
12 A. In the direction of the village of Merdani.
13 Q. You said you were returned to the camp and
14 you were returned to the building with the cells; is
15 that right?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. For how long -- how many days did you spend
18 in the cell?
19 A. Only spent one day in the hangar where there
20 were no cells -- the rest of the time I was in the
21 building where the cells were, and I also spent an
22 additional day in another hangar where there were no
23 cells, so I spent two nights in total in two different
24 hangars and the rest in the cell.
25 Q. Witness, do you remember when you were
1 released from prison -- from the Kaonik camp?
2 A. Of course I remember. This is like my second
3 birthday. It was on the 8th -- do you mean where it
5 Q. No, when was that, sorry?
6 A. On 8 February.
7 Q. After release, where did you go to?
8 A. I went to Zenica.
9 Q. Witness, during the period that you spent in
10 the camp, did you happen to see the camp commander?
11 A. Yes, on one occasion.
12 Q. Would you be able to recognise the camp
13 commander if you saw him again?
14 A. I think I would.
15 Q. Witness, could you please look around this
16 court and say whether the camp commander whom you saw
17 in the prison is present in court today?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you point out the direction in which he
20 is in this court?
21 A. (Witness points to his left in the direction
22 of the accused).
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: I would wish to point out a
24 redaction which has to be made in the evidence. On
25 page 31, line 25 would need to be redacted and on page
1 32, lines 1 and 2. I have no further questions in
3 THE REGISTRAR: It has been redacted.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness P, you have
5 answered the questions of the Prosecutor.
6 Mr. Mikulicic, Mr. Joka, you are now going to
7 proceed to cross-examination. Witness, you are going
8 to answer Mr. Joka's questions on behalf of the Defence.
9 Cross-examined by MR. JOKA
10 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
11 Please tell the Trial Chamber whether you
12 have ever been convicted before?
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. Can you tell us what type of school you
16 A. Secondary school.
17 Q. How many years?
18 A. Three years -- three.
19 Q. This is the elementary school plus three or
20 all together three?
21 A. No, elementary plus three -- three years of
22 the secondary school.
23 Q. I am going to ask you, Mr. P, questions
24 regarding the events when you were, as you call it, a
25 human shield. This was in Merdani. Whose village was
1 it; in other words, who lived there?
2 A. It was a Muslim village.
3 Q. Was it an exclusively Muslim village?
4 A. Yes, exclusively.
5 Q. You told the Trial Chamber that you stood
6 there for about two or three hours?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said, if I remember correctly, that you
9 were told that you were a human shield?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who told you this?
12 A. I was told -- actually, I was not told
13 directly, but the bus driver told all of us who were on
14 the bus.
15 Q. From the position where you were standing,
16 how far was the village -- what was the distance in
18 A. Which village?
19 Q. The village you were standing facing.
20 A. Maybe about two kilometres.
21 Q. Excuse me, I did not hear you well?
22 A. In a straight line, maybe it was about one
23 kilometre. A straight line, one kilometre.
24 Q. In real terms?
25 A. Maybe a little bit more.
1 Q. Do you know whether this village was armed?
2 A. I did not know that.
3 Q. Do you know whether, in this village, there
4 were any BiH army members?
5 A. I do not know that.
6 Q. Do you know, how was the front-line defined in
7 this area?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Out of the 15 of you that were there, those
10 15 human shields, was anyone injured?
11 A. You mean while --
12 Q. While you were standing there?
13 A. No, no-one was injured.
14 Q. Was there any shooting while you were
15 standing there?
16 A. No, there was no shooting where we were, but
17 we could hear.
18 Q. No, no, I am interested in where you were.
19 A. No, not where we were.
20 Q. You told the Trial Chamber about the incident
21 with the soldier who noticed that you had a military
22 top. Can you tell us who gave you this jacket?
23 A. When I arrived in the bus, from the bus
24 station -- this was on the first day -- and this
25 soldier of theirs, the HVO soldiers brought us there,
1 so we got off the bus and, since I only had my jeans on
2 and a sweater the bus driver asked me whether I was
3 cold and I told him I was. He said, "Shall I give you
4 my jacket?" I said, "Sure, why not." He said, "Will
5 this patch bother you?" I said, "No, why, because
6 I was cold."
7 Q. Do you know the driver's name?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What is his name?
10 A. His name is Zeljko Oreskovic.
11 Q. Does he have a nickname?
12 A. Yes, "Bubreg", which means "kidney".
13 Q. Was this the same bus driver who took you
14 there to be a human shield?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he gave you this jacket before you became
17 a human shield?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And he is the person that told you that you
20 were going to be taken there as human shields?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If I understand you correctly, you were a
23 human shield wearing an HVO camouflage top?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Just one additional clarification, please.
1 In your statement today, you said that 15 of you were
2 placed in a position and that the military went ahead
3 of you to negotiate?
4 A. No, that is not what I said.
5 Q. Then I misunderstood you, could you please
7 A. When we arrived at the location -- how shall
8 I put it -- where we should have been, one of the
9 soldiers stayed with us. There were two or three
10 houses there and the HVO soldiers were there.
11 Q. So where did they go -- to the left or the
13 A. To the right, to the right.
14 Q. Where?
15 A. To those two houses.
16 Q. Whose houses were these?
17 A. I do not know whose houses they were.
18 Q. Were they Muslim or Croat houses?
19 A. They were not Croat, I think they could
20 have been Serb. I had never been there before.
21 I was never in that area.
22 Q. So those were not houses belonging to the
23 village of Merdani because Merdani was further away?
24 A. Yes, that was much further away -- a
25 kilometre away.
1 Q. Were you registered in Kaonik by any
2 international organisation?
3 A. By the Red Cross.
4 Q. When was this; that is, how many days after
5 your arrival there?
6 A. I believe I cannot be specific, but let us
7 say six or seven days.
8 Q. Were you ever taken to dig trenches?
9 A. I was not.
10 MR. JOKA: Your Honours, no further questions
11 of this witness.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, have you got
13 any additional questions?
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Nothing, your Honour.
15 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: I am going to read some
16 lines of the statement you signed only a few days ago:
17 "I was informed by somebody of the guards
18 that the commander of the camp was Zlatko Aleksovski.
19 I did not know him from before and I saw him only once
20 in the camp. I can describe him as a short man with a
21 round face, blond hair. He seemed to me to be 40
23 Is that man in this room?
24 A. Yes, he is.
25 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Where?
1 A. (Witness indicates with hand to his left) he
2 is to the left of me in the back.
3 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Does he have blond hair?
4 A. No, not the blond one -- the one to the left.
5 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness P, the place you
7 were taken to, you mentioned two houses, is that true
8 -- is that correct -- you mentioned there were two
9 houses. Do you recall that?
10 A. I do.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: There was a discussion
12 whether these houses belonged to Muslims, Croats or
13 Serbs. How can you know or recognise whether a house
14 is Muslim, Croat or Serb? Is there anything that
15 enables you to recognise those houses and differentiate
17 A. For instance, you can recognise them by the
18 roofs -- you can recognise whether it is Croat,
19 Serb or Muslim, but I do not recall the roofs of
20 those two houses, but I know that this area was either
21 Serb or Croat. It definitely was not Muslim.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
23 Witness P. You have just completed your testimony.
24 The International Criminal Tribunal thanks you for
25 coming here and wishes you a safe return to your
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, the next
5 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, the next
6 Prosecution witness is witness number 9 at paragraph 4
7 of the inventory dated 20 March. I am seeking to make
8 a similar application on behalf of this witness as
9 well. The witness has sought protective measures, has
10 sought that a pseudonym be assigned in the course of
11 his testimony and also the image of his face be
12 distorted during the course of his testimony. I have
13 indicated this to my learned friend Mr. Mikulicic, and
14 I understand he has no objection to the Prosecution's
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
17 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no
18 objections, your Honours.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we will
20 adopt the same measures as for the previous witness.
21 Please show the witness in.
22 (The witness entered court)
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Can
24 you hear me? You will now read the solemn declaration,
25 which the usher will hand to you.
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
2 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
3 the truth.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated. Do you
5 feel comfortable?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are now going to
8 answer questions which Mr. Meddegoda, the Prosecutor,
9 will ask you.
10 WITNESS Q
11 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA
12 Q. Witness, their Honours have been pleased to
13 grant you the protective measures which you have
14 requested. I would therefore advise you not to refer
15 to any details that would reveal your personal
16 identity, and I would now hand over to you a sheet of
17 paper, which I ask you to look at and confirm whether
18 your name appears on that sheet of paper or not.
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. MEDDEGODA: I tender that under seal.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 98.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you are Bosniak by
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Your religion is Islam?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Would you state what your age is, witness?
4 A. 24.
5 Q. Witness, I should have advised you that you
6 will be known as Witness Q, and both the Prosecution,
7 the Defence and the court will refer to you as
8 Witness Q in the course of these proceedings.
9 Witness Q, do you remember the events of
10 January 1993?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you remember when you were arrested in
13 January 1993?
14 A. I was arrested on 25 January 1993.
15 Q. Where were you at the time you were arrested?
16 A. I was in the centre of town.
17 Q. Who arrested you on 25 January 1993?
18 A. The HVO military.
19 Q. What happened after being arrested by the
21 A. I was placed on a bus and we were taken to
22 the Kaonik camp, which was the former barracks.
23 Q. Where, in Kaonik camp, were you brought to?
24 A. I was brought to this former JNA barracks --
25 the former army -- at Kaonik.
1 Q. What type of a building was it that you were
2 brought to?
3 A. Those were some kind of hangars.
4 Q. Do you remember being taken out of that
5 hangar building the next day?
6 A. Yes. The next day I was taken out of the
7 hangar and we were tied up -- we were bound, five of us
8 together, and we were taken to be used as human
10 Q. Do you know -- how many of you were tied up
11 to be taken as human shields?
12 A. All together, 15, but five were tied up with
13 a single rope.
14 Q. Is it only five persons who were tied up, or
15 all 15 who were tied?
16 A. All 15.
17 Q. After being tied up, where were you taken to?
18 A. We were taken in the direction of the village
19 of Skradno.
20 JUDGE VOHRAH: Could you elicit from the
21 witness the manner in which these people were tied up?
22 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honour.
23 Witness, could you tell this court how you
24 were tied up -- in what form you were tied up?
25 A. Our hands were tied behind our backs.
1 Q. Were you all tied together?
2 A. Yes, we were all tied together.
3 Q. How many were tied together -- were you tied
4 together all 15 in one group or how were you tied?
5 A. No, we were tied five together -- three
6 groups of five.
7 Q. Very well.
8 You said, having been tied, you were taken to
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where in Skradno were you taken to?
12 A. When you turn off from the main road towards
13 Skradno, that is where we were taken. There is a
14 bridge there, which crosses the river and continues in
15 the direction of Skradno.
16 Q. And at what point did you have -- at any
17 point did you have to get off the bus?
18 A. We got off the bus.
19 Q. What happened having got off the bus?
20 A. We were tied up, we got off the bus, and we
21 were put in some kind of rows, five by five -- there
22 were five of us tied together, so we were put in rows,
23 facing one another.
24 Q. Did you have to cross the bridge that you
25 spoke of -- cross the river that you spoke of?
1 A. Yes, we crossed the bridge -- some 10 or 15
2 metres on the bridge.
3 Q. What happened thereafter?
4 A. We stood there for some 15 minutes. After
5 that, a man, unknown to me, came and he stopped that
7 Q. Then what happened after that operation was
9 A. We returned to the buses again, and we were
10 driven towards the village of Strane.
11 Q. Witness, before we go to Strane, you said
12 before the operation was stopped, you said you were
13 standing in rows. In which direction were you facing
14 when you were standing in rows?
15 A. We were facing towards Skradno.
16 Q. Sorry, I was referring to Skradno. It was
17 after that that you were taken back to the bus. What
18 happened thereafter?
19 A. After that, we went in the direction of the
20 village of Strane.
21 Q. How did you go in the direction of the
22 village of Strane?
23 A. Then, when we were driven there, we got off
24 the buses again, and we were lined up in such a way so
25 that all the 15 of us were in one row. We were lined
1 up side by side.
2 Q. When you were lined up, which direction were
3 you facing on this occasion?
4 A. We were facing towards Strane -- the village
5 of Strane.
6 Q. What happened when you were lined up facing
7 the village of Strane?
8 A. The HVO soldiers stood right behind us and
9 told us to go towards Strane.
10 Q. How many HVO soldiers were there standing
11 behind you?
12 A. Maybe some 10 or 15 of them -- I am not sure.
13 Q. Do you recall what happened thereafter?
14 A. After that, a bullet passed by us and
15 normally we bent towards the ground. An HVO soldier
16 said that we should not do so.
17 Q. How long were you standing there for?
18 A. For some 30 to 40 minutes, all in all.
19 Q. Do you know what happened in the village of
21 A. I do not know what had happened exactly.
22 What I heard -- a man from the camp had been sent to
23 Strane to negotiate with our people. I think that he
24 succeeded in that, because we were withdrawn from
1 Q. Whom do you mean by "our people"?
2 A. From the camp -- a man from the camp, who was
3 with us in the camp.
4 Q. You said had been sent to negotiate with
5 other people; whom do you mean by referring to "other
7 A. The people from the village -- the Muslims,
8 the Bosniaks.
9 Q. What was the ethnic composition of the
10 village -- are you aware of the ethnic composition of
11 that village?
12 A. I think the majority was Muslim.
13 Q. What happened thereafter, witness?
14 A. The HVO soldier had stopped that operation
15 again and we were returned.
16 Q. Where were you returned to?
17 A. We were returned to the camp.
18 Q. Whilst being detained in the camp, were you
19 taken out for any other labour detachment?
20 A. Yes, I was taken out to dig trenches.
21 Q. Where were you taken to to dig trenches?
22 A. I was taken to the villages of Kula and
24 Q. About how many times were you taken to Kula?
25 A. I think on two times.
1 Q. How were you taken to Kula -- by what means
2 of transport?
3 A. By a lorry.
4 Q. What did you have to do in Kula, on the first
6 A. We dug trenches and dugouts.
7 Q. On both occasions did you have to dig
8 trenches and dugouts?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Whilst digging in Kula, were you ever
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you tell this court what happened to
14 you -- how you were mistreated?
15 A. We were mistreated in all kinds of ways.
16 That depended on the guards and how they felt. They
17 would beat us with hands and feet, with rifle butts,
18 with agricultural utensils and so on.
19 Q. Were you personally beaten in Kula?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you tell this court how you were beaten
22 whilst digging in Kula?
23 A. I was also beaten with hands and feet and,
24 also, with a pole -- handle.
25 Q. Were you taken elsewhere to dig trenches?
1 A. Yes, to Prosije.
2 Q. How many times were you taken to Prosije to
3 dig trenches?
4 A. Once.
5 Q. Whilst you were detained in the camp,
6 witness, did you have the occasion to see who the
7 commander of the camp was?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When did you first see him during your period
10 of detention?
11 A. The first time I saw him was when we arrived
12 at the camp.
13 Q. What was he dressed in when you arrived in
14 the camp?
15 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform.
16 Q. Were there others -- apart from the camp
17 commander, were there other camp officials present when
18 you first arrived in the camp?
19 A. I do not know exactly, but I know there were
20 other HVO soldiers there.
21 Q. What were those HVO soldiers dressed in?
22 A. Also in camouflage uniforms.
23 Q. Would you be able to recognise the camp
24 commander if you see him again?
25 A. Yes, I would.
1 Q. Witness, could you please look around this
2 court and say whether the camp commander whom you saw
3 in the Kaonik camp when you first arrived is present in
4 court today?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you please point out the direction in
7 which he is?
8 A. (Witness points to his left in the direction
9 of the accused).
10 Q. Was that the only occasion on which you said
11 you saw the camp commander, when you arrived in the
12 camp -- was that the only occasion on which you saw him
13 in the camp?
14 A. No, I saw him after that.
15 Q. Witness, for how long were you in Kaonik
17 A. For 14 or 15 days.
18 Q. Do you know when you were released from
19 Kaonik camp?
20 A. On 8 February 1993.
21 Q. Upon your release, where did you go?
22 A. I went to Kacuni.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: I have no further questions
24 in chief.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Meddegoda.
1 Mr. Mikulicic, have you got any questions to
2 ask the witness?
3 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
4 Q. Thank you, your Honour.
5 Witness Q, I am Goran Mikulicic and I am
6 Defence counsel to the accused in this matter. I will
7 ask you a few questions. Could you please answer to
8 the best of your recollection. You told us that you
9 were arrested and brought to Kaonik. Would you please
10 tell us whether, on that occasion, you and the others
11 who were brought there were you -- were you searched?
12 A. Yes, we were at the camp.
13 Q. Do you know what was the reason you were
14 searched and who searched you?
15 A. I do not know the exact reason, but we were
16 searched by the HVO army.
17 Q. Would you please speak up?
18 A. I do not know why I was searched, but I know
19 that it was the military who did it.
20 Q. Was anything taken away from you?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You told the court that, on the following
23 day, you were taken away from Kaonik. Before that, you
24 had been tied up. Where did that happen -- where were
25 you tied up?
1 A. We were tied -- I was tied up in the camp
3 Q. Inside the building or outside?
4 A. In front of the building.
5 Q. Was the camp commander there present at that
7 A. I do not recollect.
8 Q. You told us that you were first of all taken
9 to the village of Skradno?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber whether you
12 know the geography of the area well?
13 A. I do know it, yes.
14 Q. Do you know where those villages are --
15 Skradno and Strane, where are those villages located?
16 A. I know.
17 Q. Are you aware whether, in the village of
18 Skradno, BiH army was present?
19 A. No, it was not.
20 Q. Is it not known to you, or was the army not
22 A. It is not known to me.
23 Q. You said that you were taken there by bus,
24 you got off the bus and you stood at the bridge. How
25 far is the bridge you stood on from the village of
1 Q. Are you aware whether BiH army was present in
2 the village of Strane
3 A. I am not aware of that.
4 Q. You said that at some stage a shot was
5 heard. Do you know where it was fired from?
6 A. I remember that, but I do not know where it
7 was fired from.
8 Q. Was anybody injured?
9 A. No.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: I would like to ask your
11 Honours, as I will ask a few questions concerning the
12 names of persons whose identity is protected, to go for
13 a moment into a private session, and then go back into
14 public session, if the Prosecution agrees to it.
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes, your Honours, we should
16 go into private session if names are being revealed.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case we are going
18 into private session. Please go on, Mr. Mikulicic.
19 (In private session)
11 (In open session)
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Witness Q, you said that you
13 were at Kaonik up until 8 February; is that correct?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. During your stay at Kaonik, were you
16 mistreated, beaten or alike?
17 A. No, not at Kaonik.
18 Q. Did you see anybody else being mistreated or
19 beaten up in front of you -- did you see it personally?
20 A. No, I did not see that.
21 Q. Witness Q, during your stay at Kaonik, were
22 you registered by the Red Cross?
23 A. I was.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours, we
25 have no further questions.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, any
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions in
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. The
6 Trial Chamber has no other questions for you, Mr. Q.
7 You have just completed your testimony at the
8 International Criminal Tribunal. Thank you for coming
9 to testify and a safe return to your country. Thank
10 you very much.
11 For the moment, I have to congratulate the
12 Prosecution and the Defence -- we have progressed.
13 I do not know whether you would like to say anything
14 before the break. Mr. Niemann?
15 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going
17 to have a 20-minute lunch break.
19 (A luncheon adjournment)
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, you have the
23 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honours. The
24 next witness, who appears as the tenth witness in
25 paragraph 4 of our motion that we filed on 20 March
1 1998, has informed me that he has certain concerns for
2 his safety in the area in which he lives if he exposes
3 himself in the course of testimony. For that reason,
4 we are, in relation to him, seeking certain protective
5 measures, namely, the use of a pseudonym and also the
6 distortion of the image of his face.
7 We have informed Mr. Mikulicic of the nature
8 of this request. As I understand it, I believe there
9 is no objection to that. I so make the application.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
14 Mr. Mikulicic. In that case, we are going to continue.
15 Mr. Niemann?
16 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be called,
17 by use of the pseudonym "R" -- Witness R.
18 (The witness entered court)
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon. Can you
20 hear me well? You are now going to read the solemn
21 declaration, which the usher will hand to you.
22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
23 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
24 the truth.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated, Sir.
1 You are now going to answer the questions which the
2 Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, will ask you.
3 WITNESS R
4 Examined by MR. NIEMANN.
5 Q. Witness, Their Honours have granted you
6 certain protective measures, in particular the image of
7 your face will not appear on the television and, in
8 addition to that, you will be referred to in the course
9 of these proceedings as "Witness R". So, during the
10 course of your evidence, please do not reveal your name
11 or those matters which may tend to identify you. I ask
12 you to look at the sheet of paper that you are now
13 being shown. Can you answer "yes" or "no" whether your
14 name appears on this sheet of paper? (Handed).
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, if your Honours
17 please, after it is shown to Mr. Mikulicic. Might it be
18 tendered under seal?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 99.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Witness R, what is your ethnic
22 A. Muslim.
23 Q. And how old are you?
24 A. 35.
25 Q. I ask you to cast your mind back to January
1 1993, at the time when you were arrested. Where were
2 you -- do not give the name and address, just tell me
3 whether you were at work or home?
4 A. At home.
5 Q. What were you doing at home?
6 A. I sat at home.
7 Q. And what happened?
8 A. The HVO soldiers came to get me.
9 Q. Were you a soldier at the time yourself, or
10 were you not a soldier?
11 A. I was not a soldier.
12 Q. When you were arrested, where did they take
13 you, the soldiers, that is?
14 A. They took me to the bus station.
15 Q. And, from the bus station, where were you
17 A. They took me in a bus to Kaonik.
18 Q. And, when you arrived at Kaonik, what
20 A. From the bus, they took us to the hangar.
21 Q. And do you know what hangar this was in the
23 A. The large hangar that had no partitions -- it
24 was just one large space.
25 Q. And were there any other people inside the
1 hangar when you arrived there?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were there many people, or just a few?
4 A. At first, there were fewer and later on more
6 Q. Approximately how many, in total, arrived
7 there, ultimately, can you remember?
8 A. About 300 to 400.
9 Q. When you arrived at the camp, did they do
10 anything in particular to you, personally?
11 A. They did not.
12 Q. Did anyone address you?
13 A. No, nobody did. The only thing that happened
14 was a search to find out whether we had anything on us.
15 Q. Did you have anything taken away from you
16 during the search?
17 A. Some personal effects.
18 Q. What happened after that?
19 A. I stayed in the hangar for two or three days,
20 I do not recall exactly.
21 Q. After two or three days, what happened then?
22 A. From this hangar, we were taken to be used as
23 human shields -- this was on the second or third day.
24 Q. And who took you out, can you tell us the
25 circumstances of how this happened?
1 A. Soldiers entered the hangar, pointed at
2 people with their fingers and whoever was pointed at
3 had to get out.
4 Q. Approximately how many people were pointed
6 A. We were 15.
7 Q. And did you recognise any of those soldiers
8 who pointed you out?
9 A. I am not sure.
10 Q. Did you understand them to be regular
11 soldiers in the army, or did you think that they may
12 have been guards in the camp, or could you not tell?
13 A. They were regular soldiers and police.
14 Q. When they called the names out -- sorry, when
15 they pointed to the people I think you said, did they
16 do this in a random fashion, or did it seem to you to
17 be a systematic selection of people?
18 A. I think it was more on a random basis.
19 Q. Was there anyone in authority there that you
20 could see at the time or later come to know?
21 A. I could see Aleksovski, the camp commander,
22 standing nearby.
23 Q. Did you know him at that time to be the camp
24 commander, or is that something you subsequently found
1 A. At that moment, I knew it was him.
2 Q. How did you know it was him at that time?
3 A. Previously, he had introduced himself to us.
4 Q. And how had he introduced himself -- what did
5 he say to you, that you can recall?
6 A. "I am Zlatko Aleksovski, the camp commander
7 -- prison commander."
8 Q. When you were selected and taken out with
9 these 15 other people, what did they do with you then,
10 these guards?
11 A. They tied our hands up behind our backs. We
12 were in three groups each consisting of five persons.
13 They took us to a bus, and then, in the bus, they took
14 us to the destination.
15 Q. These people that took you, these soldiers
16 that you spoke of, how were they dressed?
17 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms.
18 Q. Did they have any insignia or identifying
19 marks on their uniforms that you were able to
21 A. On their sleeves they had the HVO insignia.
22 Q. Did you see whether or not they were armed --
23 were they carrying any weapons?
24 A. They had rifles.
25 Q. How many of them, approximately, accompanied
1 you on the bus?
2 A. There was one at the front door next to the
3 driver and at the back door there was another one.
4 Q. At that stage, did you know where you were
5 being taken -- had you been told?
6 A. We were not sure as to where we were going.
7 Q. Had you been told what was going to happen to
8 you at that stage?
9 A. At that moment, we did not, until we arrived
10 at our destination. We assumed that we were going to
11 be exchanged.
12 Q. Where did they take you in the bus?
13 A. They took us -- I do not know exactly what
14 the name of the place is, but it is towards the village
15 of Merdani.
16 Q. And is this an area that you are familiar
17 with, the countryside, the topography there -- do you
18 know this area at all?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it because -- I withdraw that. When you
21 got to this place, which was near Merdani, what did you
23 A. They got us off the bus and there was a group
24 of armed soldiers -- I do not know exactly the number
25 -- 10 to 20 -- I do not remember. They were behind
1 us, and we were walking in three groups each of five
2 persons and we were walking towards the front-line.
3 Q. In these group of soldiers, 10 to 20, did you
4 identify them as being members of any particular army?
5 A. On their left sleeve they wore the HVO
7 Q. Where were you taken, can you describe the
8 circumstances of what happened to you?
9 A. They brought us close to the front-line -- the
10 firing line. This is where we came to a stop. They
11 sent one of us to go into the village and negotiate.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, I now show you a
13 photograph -- an aerial photograph -- which I would ask
14 you to study for me for a moment and see if you can
15 recognise it in order to make some markings on it for
17 I have one copy for your Honours and one for
18 Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
19 I am going to ask you to put this photograph
20 on the machine that sits beside you and I will ask you
21 to mark it with a pen, if you would be so kind.
22 You will need to look at the photograph --
23 the exhibit as it is on the machine beside you and not
24 on the television set in front of you. When you mark
25 it with the pen, you will have to mark the actual paper
1 exhibit, but when you are speaking, you will need to
2 make sure that your voice is directed towards the
3 microphone, otherwise we will not be able to pick up
4 what you say. It is a bit difficult -- I ask you to
5 mark and then make sure you move your head towards the
6 microphone as you talk to us. Would you do that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Looking at that photograph, does it look
9 familiar to you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Firstly, can you see the approximate location
12 of the Kaonik camp there? Can you see where that is?
13 Take your time. You can point to it with your finger,
14 if you like.
15 A. (Indicates on photograph).
16 Q. Okay, at that spot where you have just
17 pointed to, is that the Kaonik camp?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Would you put the letter -- a big capital "A"
20 there for me with your red pen so we can see that you
21 have marked that as the Kaonik camp. Just put a "A"
22 there for me, please?
23 A. (Witness marked photograph with "A" in red).
24 Q. I am not sure how well your pen writes, but
25 we might see if we can get one that -- it does not have
1 to be red. Can you mark with the letter "B" the place
2 which was near Merdani where you were taken in this bus
3 when you were tied up?
4 A. (Witness marked photograph with "B" in
6 Q. The village of Merdani itself, can you put a
7 big circle around the village of Merdani, the area
8 where it is?
9 A. (Witness marked photograph with green
11 Q. Can you tell us, is the village of Merdani --
12 was that a predominantly Muslim village, Croat village
13 or Serb village, do you know?
14 A. It was predominantly Muslim.
15 Q. Do you know where the front-line was at that
16 time between the Croat and the Serb army --
17 sorry, and the Muslim army, that is, between the HVO
18 and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- do you know where
19 the front-line was, approximately? If you do not know,
20 it does not matter.
21 A. In this area here (indicates) approximately.
22 Q. Would you draw a line with your green pen for
23 me -- it does not have to be precise -- it is just the
24 general area of it.
25 A. (Witness marked photograph with green line).
1 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honours.
2 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 100.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, when you were taken
4 to this place at Merdani, you got to the point where
5 you said that one of the group went ahead into the
6 town, or towards Merdani, as I understand it. What
7 happened then?
8 A. One of our own was sent to the village to
9 negotiate. However, he never came back.
10 Q. How long were you there for?
11 A. We were there for several hours, there on the
13 Q. Did you hear any firing of weapons or
14 anything of that nature during the time that you were
16 A. We heard shooting.
17 Q. Do you know where the shooting came from, or
18 was it just the sound that you could hear?
19 A. We could not determine exactly where the
20 shooting was coming from.
21 Q. After the couple of hours had expired, did
22 you then return to the camp?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you ever see, during that period, any
25 other people being used as human shields?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What did you see?
3 A. Also a group of 15 people -- a group was
4 taken to another location to be used as human shields.
5 Q. They were not taken from the camp,
6 I understand?
7 A. Yes, they were taken from the camp.
8 Q. From the Kaonik camp?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you there at the time when they were
11 taken as human shields yourself?
12 A. No, but I was in touch with them after they
13 came back.
14 Q. Did they tell you where they had been taken?
15 A. They went to the area of the village of
16 Strane from Kaonik.
17 Q. Did you ever see anyone being used as human
18 shields in the area of Rovna and Kovacevic?
19 A. Yes, but I do not recall exactly the name of
20 the place -- Rovna, Kovacevic and Pezici were very
21 close. A woman was also brought, but I do not recall
22 the name of the woman.
23 Q. But that woman had not been taken from the
24 camp, I take it?
25 A. No, she was brought from her own home, and
1 she was brought there in her own vehicle --
2 I recognised this vehicle and I knew to whom it
4 Q. During the time that you were in the Kaonik
5 camp, were you ever required to go out doing trench
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Are you able to name some of the locations,
9 or all of the locations, if possible, where you were
10 taken for trench digging, if you can tell us the names
11 of those places?
12 A. Kula, Tisovac, Rovna, Babjak, Solakovici --
13 that means the surroundings of the town of Busovaca
14 I went everywhere.
15 Q. Approximately how many times, can you
16 remember -- you may not recall that you were taken out
17 for trench digging?
18 A. We went to dig on a daily basis. We would be
19 taken out in the morning and brought back at night.
20 Q. How long were you in the Kaonik camp?
21 A. 15 days.
22 Q. How often did you see the accused -- sorry,
23 I withdraw that. How often did you see the camp
24 commander when you were in the Kaonik camp?
25 A. I saw him mostly in the morning when we would
1 be taken to work, when we would be called out.
2 Q. What was he doing, as best you can recall,
3 when you were taken out of a morning?
4 A. He did nothing -- he was just present there.
5 It was the others who called us out, who put our names
6 down, et cetera.
7 Q. I think you said that you saw him present
8 when you were taken out for the purposes of being used
9 as a human shield. Was he there at any of the times
10 when you were taken out for the purposes of trench
11 digging that you could see and remember?
12 A. You mean within the compound?
13 Q. Yes, within the camp itself?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was it often, occasionally, or just rarely,
16 that you saw him there when you were being taken out
17 for trench digging?
18 A. Rather frequently.
19 Q. Do you think that you would recognise him
20 again if you saw him?
21 A. This was a long time ago, but I believe
22 that I could.
23 Q. Perhaps you might look around the courtroom
24 and if you can see the person that you remember as the
25 camp commander, can you point to that person?
1 A. The gentlemen is over there (witness points
2 to his left in the direction of the accused).
3 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
4 your Honour.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
6 Mr. Niemann.
7 Mr. Mikulicic, Mr. Joka?
8 Cross-examined by MR. JOKA
9 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
10 I am Defence counsel Joka and I have several
11 questions for you. When you told the court that you
12 were used as a human shield, when asked by my colleague
13 you stated that you were close to the firing line?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What does that mean, "close" or "near" -- how
16 far in metres?
17 A. It was in the immediate proximity of the
18 firing line.
19 Q. Please try to be more precise -- what is
20 the "immediate proximity" -- 5 metres, 50 metres, 500
22 A. 100 to 200 metres.
23 Q. How did you know where the firing line was?
24 A. I could tell that by the shooting.
25 Q. A little while ago you could not determine
1 where the shooting was coming from?
2 A. The shooting was coming from both sides.
3 Q. On the photograph marked 100, which is on the
4 ELMO right next to you, by letter "B" you marked the
5 place where you were standing?
6 A. This is where we were unloaded from the bus.
7 Q. Is this also where you spent several hours
9 A. No, we walked a little bit further ahead.
10 Q. Can you please show us on the map where this
12 A. (Indicating) around here.
13 Q. Would you please be so kind to show it again?
14 A. Approximately there (indicating).
15 Q. What did you then mark with the letter "C"?
16 A. Where is "C"?
17 MR. NIEMANN: There is no "C".
18 MR. JOKA: I apologise, my mistake.
19 In the far left corner you circled something.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The witness said this was
22 MR. JOKA: I am sorry, it looked like a letter
23 "C" to me, so I got confused. I am sorry.
24 How far were you from this village in a
25 straight line?
1 A. About 500 metres, I do not know exactly.
2 Q. Did you see any houses?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you see any people?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you see soldiers?
7 A. What soldiers do you have in mind?
8 Q. Any soldiers 500 metres away?
9 A. No, we could not -- they were on the other
11 Q. But did you see the BiH army?
12 A. No, we did not.
13 Q. At that time was anyone wounded out of you 15
14 -- if I understood you well, the incident with the
15 woman has nothing to do with Kaonik, has it?
16 A. How do you mean, has nothing to do with it?
17 Q. Was this woman in Kaonik?
18 A. No, she was not.
19 Q. Were you registered with the Red Cross?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. How many days after your arrival?
22 A. I do not know exactly but we were all
23 registered on the same day. I do not know -- maybe we
24 spent a week there and after that the International Red
25 Cross came. We were all registered on the same day.
1 MR. JOKA: I have no further questions, your
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann?
4 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
5 Q. Mr. Joka asked you some questions about the
6 place where you had to stand. I think in order for us
7 to clarify precisely where that is, where you had to
8 stand as a group for that period of two hours, could
9 you mark it with the letter "C" on the map that is
10 there beside you, please, with your pen?
11 A. (Witness marked photograph with the
12 letter "C"). That is roughly speaking.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Nothing further, your Honour.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness R, the Trial
15 Chamber has no additional questions for you. Thank you
16 very much for coming, and a safe return to your
17 country. Thank you very much.
18 (The witness withdrew)
19 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the next
20 witness, in a similar vein, has also sought protection,
21 as he comes from the same area and is under the same
22 constraints. He would seek that he be referred to by
23 use of a pseudonym and that the image of his face be
24 distorted from the television.
25 We have informed Mr. Mikulicic of our intended
1 application in relation to this witness. We understand
2 that there will be no objection to that as well.
3 I make the application, your Honours. I should say the
4 witness is witness 12 in paragraph 4 of the motion that
5 we filed on 20 March 1998.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
7 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
10 Mr. Mikulicic.
11 The measures requested will be granted and
12 I think we can now ask for the next witness to be
13 brought in.
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon, Sir.
16 Could you please stand up? You are now going to read
17 the solemn declaration which the usher will give to
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
20 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
21 the truth.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated. Are
23 you comfortable?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to answer
1 the questions which Mr. Niemann, the Prosecutor, will
2 ask you. You may proceed.
3 WITNESS S
4 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
5 Q. Witness, Their Honours have decided that you
6 should receive certain protective measures during the
7 course of your evidence. We will refer to you by the
8 name Witness S and, during the course of your
9 testimony, you should not give any details which may
10 tend to identify you or you should not use your name.
11 Do you understand that?
12 A. (Witness nods head).
13 Q. I would ask you to look at the sheet of paper
14 that is now being shown to you, and I would ask you to
15 tell me whether or not it is your name that appears on
16 the sheet of paper. (Handed).
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. NIEMANN: Might that be shown to
19 Mr. Mikulicic. Could it be tendered, if your Honours
20 please, under seal?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 101.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Witness S, I would ask you to
23 cast your mind back until 25 January 1993
24 when you were arrested. Can you remember that?
25 A. Yes, I can.
1 Q. Without giving your address or the name of
2 the town where you are, were you at home at the time?
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. Were you in the army at the time, or were you
5 a civilian?
6 A. I was a civilian.
7 Q. Can you describe, in very brief terms, the
8 circumstances of how it is that you became arrested or
9 how you were arrested?
10 A. When the HVO members entered my part of the
11 town, from the upper part of that side of the town,
12 they were already taking in front of them women and
13 children, so when they came near our house, near my
14 house, I also went with them, and so I was taken to the
15 centre of the town.
16 Q. From the centre of the town, where were you
17 then taken?
18 A. I was taken to the Kaonik camp.
19 Q. Who took you there?
20 A. The HVO members.
21 Q. How did you know they were HVO members?
22 A. I knew most of them.
23 Q. How were they dressed?
24 A. In camouflage uniforms.
25 Q. Did they have any markings or insignia on
2 A. I am not sure about that particular day, that
3 they had any markings or insignia.
4 Q. Were they carrying any weapons?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you got to the Kaonik camp, what
7 happened then?
8 A. We were taken to the hangar, which had no
9 separations -- the upper one, I think. We were brought
10 in and put next to the walls, so, when we were all
11 inside, behind our backs, the wall was behind our backs
12 and we were ordered to take everything out of our
13 pockets. We had to turn our backs to the wall and we
14 had to raise our arms so that they could search us.
15 Mr. Aleksovski introduced himself, saying that
16 he was the camp commander and he said something like --
17 I cannot remember the exact words, but he said
18 something like we were protected there and "nobody will
19 do anything" to us whilst we were at the camp.
20 Q. How did you know his name was Mr. Aleksovski?
21 A. He introduced himself.
22 Q. And did he also say that he was the camp
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you remember how he was dressed at the
2 A. I do not remember that detail, but I suppose
3 he was wearing a camouflage uniform.
4 Q. How long did he talk to you for,
5 approximately, in total?
6 A. A very short time -- for some five to 10
7 minutes, maybe less.
8 Q. After he had spoken to you, what happened
10 A. Nothing -- we were left there, and we were
11 locked in that hangar.
12 Q. Were there any guards inside the hangar
13 during the night when you were locked in there?
14 A. At the door or around the door -- sometimes
15 the guard would be inside, but sometimes outside, in
16 front of the door.
17 Q. Was there any heating in the hangar?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Any bedding?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Any toilet facilities?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Lighting?
24 A. No.
25 Q. After you spent the first night there or the
1 first perhaps couple of nights, what happened then?
2 A. The following morning, that was 24 hours
3 after I had been arrested, I was taken as a human
5 Q. Can you tell us the circumstances of how it
6 was that you came to be taken as a human shield --
7 firstly, where were you when you were first selected?
8 A. We were called out and taken out of the
9 hangar. We were tied up, boarded on buses, and driven
10 in the direction of Skradno.
11 Q. Who called you out -- who came and called you
13 A. People in uniform -- I cannot remember
14 exactly who was the one who called out. HVO members
15 that were subsequently behind our backs, they tied us
16 up and were escorting us.
17 Q. Did you understand these HVO members to be
18 camp guards or soldiers from the regular army of the
20 A. Those were not guards -- these were soldiers.
21 Q. Was there anyone in authority present when
22 this happened, that you could see?
23 A. I did not notice.
24 Q. Were you called out in a systematic way, or
25 do you think it was just a random selection?
1 A. To my mind, all the people who were called
2 out were from the central part of the town. It seemed
3 that there had been some kind of a selection.
4 Q. Did you recognise any of the people there at
5 the time -- when I say "people", I am not talking about
6 the detainees or the prisoners; I am talking about the
7 guards -- did you recognise any of the guards or
8 officials there?
9 A. You mean the guards?
10 Q. Yes?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you give us the names of any of the
13 guards that you recognised?
14 A. Marko Krilic, Vukadinovic -- I do not recall
15 his first name. I know somebody under his nickname of
16 Zeca and there was also a man named Milic.
17 Q. When you went to Strane, were there any
18 guards in the buses with you, or did you go with no
20 A. Yes, there were our guards there.
21 Q. And can you tell us what happened -- the
22 circumstances -- once you left the camp, where did you
23 go, and give us the details of that, please?
24 A. We were taken from the camp directly on the
25 buses, and then driven to the bridge, where the road
1 goes to Skradno. Then we stopped there and waited for
2 a while, that is where they prepared their weapons, and
3 then we crossed the bridge. We were in front of them
4 and they were behind us. We stood there for a while,
5 because something was going on -- we did not know what
6 was going on -- but, anyway, that was over quickly, and
7 they told us that, at that particular spot, it was over
8 and we could withdraw from there.
9 We were boarded again on buses, and taken in
10 the direction of Strane, but at the first left-hand
11 junction we were taken off the buses again, and we were
12 lined up in three rows of five, and taken to that road
13 bend where we started to form one single row of 15
14 people -- five, five, and five, tied up together. At
15 the moment when we were some 10 metres away from there,
16 a car passed by, driving at a great speed, and we had
17 great difficulty to manage to save us, and the driver
18 stopped and started to shout at us. He knew most of
19 us, so he calmed himself and later on we received a
20 cigarette each from him, or somebody else.
21 After that cigarette, we went towards the
22 bridge again, and the soldiers were going after us. In
23 front of us there was shooting. There were a couple of
24 bullets fired, and in front of me I could already
25 notice that the soldiers were surrounding the village,
1 coming from the left-hand side.
2 So I cannot decide exactly who fired at us --
3 was somebody trying to scare us, or was it coming from
4 the village -- that is something that I cannot decide
5 upon. Anyway, we came to some 10 or 15 metres away
6 from the bridge. That is when we were stopped once
7 again, because our negotiator was already coming back,
8 and, again, a car passed by us -- passed amongst us and
9 picked that negotiator up and we were told to go back
10 towards the bend in the road.
11 Then, when we came back there, we were taken
12 in three rows of five on foot to the camp. I think
13 that it all lasted some three to four hours.
14 Q. Would you look at the photograph that I now
15 show you and tell me whether you are able to recognise
16 it for me, please? (Handed).
17 Would you look at this photograph that you
18 are now being shown and see if you can identify it or
19 recognise it for me, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 102.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Do you recognise that?
22 A. Yes, I recognise it. That is the Kaonik
23 barracks where the camp was. There is the bridge
25 Q. I will ask you to do a few things for me, if
1 you would. I would like you to pick up that pen -- the
2 green pen that is on the side table there -- and, where
3 the Kaonik barracks are, could you put the letter "A"
4 there -- just write it on the paper in big writing?
5 A. (Witness marked photograph with the
6 letter "A").
7 Q. Mark with the letter "B" the first place that
8 you were taken to when you were taken in the direction
9 of Strane -- sorry, Skradno, I am sorry?
10 A. (Witness marked photograph with the
11 letter "B").
12 Q. Could you draw an arrow at the bridge that
13 you had to cross?
14 A. (Witness marked photograph with arrow in
16 Q. Could you also draw an arrow in the direction
17 that you had to walk, where you ultimately ended up?
18 A. (Witness marked photograph with green arrow).
19 Q. Then you were taken towards Strane. Can you
20 tell us where you got off the buses, when you were
21 taken towards Strane, the first place, and would you
22 mark that with the letter "C"?
23 A. (Witness marked photograph with letter "C" in
25 Q. I think you mentioned that you had to go
1 further down. Can you just indicate with arrows the
2 direction that you had to go?
3 A. (Witness marked photograph with arrows).
4 Q. Where did you finally end up?
5 A. (Indicates).
6 Q. Would you mark that with the letter "D"?
7 A. (Witness marked photograph with the letter
8 "D" in green).
9 Q. Is there anything on that map that you would
10 like to point out while it is there in front of you, to
11 help your explanation?
12 A. This is the road bend where we started from
13 (indicating) and we were lined up here as a human
14 shield (witness marked photograph with green line).
15 Q. You said you heard some firing or shooting,
16 can you mark with the letter "E" approximately the area
17 that you think that was coming from, if you can?
18 A. (Witness marked photograph with the letter
19 "E" in green).
20 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honours.
21 During the time that you were in the camp at
22 Kaonik, were you ever taken out for trench digging?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. Can you remember the places that you were
25 taken to?
1 A. I was taken to dig trenches at Donje Polje,
2 Donje Solakovici and Bare Kovaceva on the third day.
3 Q. For what period of time in total were you in
4 the camp, can you remember?
5 A. From the 25th to 8 February.
6 Q. 25 January to 8 February 1993
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. During the time that you were in the camp,
9 did you ever have occasion to speak to Mr. Aleksovski?
10 A. On one occasion, very quickly we were called
11 out to dig trenches -- after a few days of digging --
12 we were taken out to the corridor -- called out --
13 taken out to the corridor, we were searched, once
14 again, and at some stage I complained -- I had hands
15 full of blisters, so I asked him to spare me, but
16 nevertheless I was taken again to go digging.
17 Q. When you say you asked "him", do you mean
18 Mr. Aleksovski?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did he say anything to you when you asked him
21 to spare you from trench digging?
22 A. No, he did not answer anything. He simply
23 passed by and I was taken out for digging again.
24 Q. Did he appear to look at your hands?
25 A. Yes, he looked at everything, and he simply
1 passed by. He did not give me any answer.
2 Q. Did you receive any medical treatment for
3 your hands?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were you ever beaten when you were in the
6 Kaonik camp?
7 A. No, I was not quite beaten up, but I did
8 receive some blows.
9 MR. NIEMANN: I am almost finished, your
10 Honours, but I would need to go into private session,
11 if I may, because I want to ask the witness to name
12 some people, if he would. After that, I would be
13 finished, if it is convenient, otherwise we could
14 adjourn now and come back tomorrow. It is a matter for
15 your Honours. It does not trouble me either way.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that it would be
17 good to finish your examination. How much time do you
18 think you will need, Mr. Niemann?
19 MR. NIEMANN: Four minutes, your Honour.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am looking towards the
21 interpreters and they tell me that they can go on.
22 Thank you very much. Please go on, and now we are
23 going into a private session.
24 (In private session)
11 (In open session)
12 MR. NIEMANN: Witness S, do you think that
13 you might be able to recognise the camp commander again
14 if you saw him now?
15 A. I doubt it.
16 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
17 your Honour.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Niemann.
19 Mr. Mikulicic, do you know how much time you need for
20 cross-examination? Would you like to do it tomorrow
21 rather than today?
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, I believe
23 that I would not need a long time, but I think that
24 perhaps it would be better to start it tomorrow so that
25 it would be done all in one go, with your permission.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, it would be
2 preferable to start tomorrow. We are going to adjourn
3 for today and I would like to add that this has been a
4 day very well used, and I would like, once again, to
5 congratulate both the Prosecution and the Defence.
6 Mr. Niemann, is there anything that you would
7 like to add?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Only, your Honours, that we
9 may finish earlier tomorrow than we expected -- not
10 much earlier, but we could finish earlier, and it is
11 just a matter entirely for your Honours, but if you
12 were disposed to have the status conference immediately
13 after we completed, that would leave the afternoon
14 free. I only mention that for your Honours
15 convenience, for no other reason.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Do you think,
17 Mr. Mikulicic, that you would find it agreeable as
19 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence also believes
20 that, should we finish early tomorrow, we could move on
21 straight into the status conference, if that is
22 acceptable to you.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. I think this is a
24 very good suggestion. I do not ask anything of the
25 interpreters, because I am sure they agree to have the
1 afternoon free. In that case, we adjourn until
3 (At 2.35pm the matter adjourned
4 until Friday, 27th March 1998, at 9.00am)