1 Monday, 21 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case Number IT-02-60-T, The
7 Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Good morning, ladies and
9 gentlemen. I'm very sorry for the delay. Maybe that's because of the
10 Monday phenomenon. Before we have the next witness, are there any matters
11 the parties would like to bring to the attention of this Bench? Yes,
12 Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: We, as I think Your Honour knows, we are out of
14 order from our original order due to a serious illness of one of the
15 witnesses. But we do have a witness ready to go, and this happened the
16 last minute this last weekend, but we have put everyone on notice of that
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
19 MS. SINATRA: Yes, good morning. I just want to say that I really
20 believe that it violates Mr. Jokic's rights to be prepared for the
21 witnesses. Though I do understand that illnesses happen, but we got a
22 call at 5.00 yesterday evening announcing the change in the witness
23 schedule. And when you work all weekend to prepare for a witness and then
24 all of a sudden at 5.00 the day before, I think it surprises the Defence,
25 takes us by surprise and doesn't give us enough time to prepare for the
1 witness. We will go forward today because Mr. Stojanovic had already
2 prepared for the second witness, but we think as a rule, it should not
3 become a common practice and if there's another delay like this we should
4 be granted a 24-hour period to prepare. But we will go forward today.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
6 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: And I believe that during the proceedings, there might
8 be something extraordinary happens here and there, and I hope that both
9 parties could understand the difficulties facing by the other party during
10 the proceedings in calling the witnesses. I think this rule applied to
11 both parties. And in the future, in the Defence case, and there should be
12 at least 24 hours previous notice for changing of the witnesses. But we
13 are lucky that the testimony of this witness or the first two witnesses
14 are not very long. I believe that if the first witness will appear, we'll
15 hear the two witnesses today. So I believe Defence party has prepared for
16 the cross-examination of that witness.
17 Having said that, could we have the witness, please.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
22 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
1 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN ORIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
6 Q. Can you tell us your name, please.
7 A. My name is Mevludin Oric.
8 Q. And how do you spell your last name?
9 A. O-R-I-C.
10 Q. And are you Muslim by faith?
11 A. I am.
12 Q. And where were you born?
13 A. In Srebrenica.
14 Q. And where were you living in 1995?
15 A. I lived in the village of Lehovici in Srebrenica Municipality.
16 Q. And what did you do there?
17 A. I lived with my family, with my wife and children. And I defended
18 my home.
19 Q. Were you a member of the Bosnian/Muslim army in the enclave?
20 A. I was a member of the reserve force. I did not have a rifle.
21 Q. And on July 11th, what did you decide to do? What did you and
22 your family decide to do?
23 A. On the 11th of July, I was mobilised. I was told to go to the
24 line to defend the defence line, and then Srebrenica fell in the evening,
25 at about 6.00. My family went to Potocari to the UNPROFOR base, and I
1 stayed in the village of Susnjari.
2 Q. Now, what defence line area were you in? Near what villages?
3 A. Near the village of Brezova Njiva and Jaglici.
4 Q. So what time did you get to Susnjari on the 11th of July?
5 A. I arrived in the evening, at about 6.00 or 7.00, and we were told
6 to gather there and to see what we would do next and where we would set
7 off to, either towards Tuzla or towards Zepa.
8 Q. And what was the final decision about Tuzla or Zepa?
9 A. The order of the main commander, the one who was the commander of
10 Srebrenica, told us that we should go in the direction of Tuzla.
11 Q. Can you give us your best estimate of how many able-bodied men
12 were gathering around Susnjari that night of the 11th?
13 A. Between that night and in the morning before dawn broke, that was
14 about 15.000 men. There were also children there and men over 65 years of
15 age, and children up to 15.
16 Q. And at what time and what day did you actually start off with this
17 group towards Tuzla?
18 A. One group set off in the evening while I left on the 12th of July
19 at about 9.00 or 10.00.
20 Q. 12 July, 9.00 or 10.00 in the morning?
21 A. That's right, in the morning.
22 Q. And do you know what part of this big column you were in?
23 A. I was by the end of the column. Most of the people went ahead of
25 Q. During your hike towards Tuzla on the 12th and the afternoon,
1 evening of the 12th, was the part of the column where you were attacked?
2 A. Just as we set off, we were shelled by anti-aircraft weapons,
3 fired on. And throughout the time that we travelled, we were ambushed, we
4 were shelled by mortars, we were fired on by snipers.
5 Q. Where did you decide to spend the night of the 12th of July?
6 A. Near the village of Kamenica, and this is where the largest ambush
7 was. That's where my father went missing, and my relatives. That was the
8 largest ambush that I went through.
9 Q. Have you seen your father since that day, 12 July?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. And the morning of the 13th of July, can you describe where you
12 were and what you did.
13 A. On the 13th of July, in the morning, I was there, the ambush, and
14 we were told that we should set off and go further. We couldn't stay the
15 night there. They were infiltrating their own people in the group, and we
16 were going around into the fields. And we -- I set off towards Konjevic
17 Polje. That night, when the light started, when the day broke, that was
18 near the village of Sandici. Again, there was ambush there because one of
19 the Serb soldiers took us. He was in our civilian clothes, and he took us
20 towards that ambush. And I managed to get away from there.
21 Q. And then what happened?
22 A. I returned to a wood, that's where I spent the night. The next
23 day, when it was light, I didn't know what time it was, I didn't have a
24 watch, I found a group of 13 people, and we set off over some hills
25 towards Konjevic Polje because there was a young man who came from
1 Konjevic Polje, and he knew the area.
2 Q. And was this on the 13th of July you're talking about?
3 A. That's right, yes, the 13th of July.
4 Q. And tell us what happened as you came closer to Konjevic Polje?
5 A. We arrived at a hill above Konjevic Polje, that's where we spent
6 the entire day. There were groups coming and going. They were going into
7 reconnaissance. Nobody was returning. I stayed with my group the whole
8 time. We were also shelled there by mortars, also they used Praga weapon.
9 That's where I spent all the time until dark.
10 Q. And were you -- did you finally surrender or were you captured?
11 A. I waited for the dark so that I would try and cross the road going
12 towards Cerska, and I set off with my group. We were not armed. We
13 didn't even have any weapons. And we set off towards the road. There
14 were trees around there. There were a lot of bramble bushes. And when we
15 got to the road, behind us we heard the clicking of the rifles and we were
16 told not to escape.
17 Q. So then what happened?
18 A. We had no choice. If we were going to run towards Konjevic Polje,
19 they were along the road all the way from Kasaba to Kravica, that they
20 held the road, everything was blocked. So we didn't have anywhere to go,
21 so we surrendered.
22 Q. And how many Serb personnel did you surrender to?
23 A. I don't know exactly how many people were in those bramble bushes.
24 Maybe four or five. One man approached me who knew me. He's from
25 Potocari. His last name is Gligic. I've forgotten his first name. He
1 approached me, and he asked "do you know me?" And I said I did. And then
2 they searched me, myself and others. And we were told to put our hands on
3 our head and we should run on the road to Konjevic Polje to the centre.
4 We were then taken to a warehouse. That warehouse was an agricultural
5 retail store warehouse.
6 Q. Okay. Can you tell us, do you know about what year Mr. Gligic was
7 born in?
8 A. I'm not quite sure. I think he was born in 1968 or 1969 because
9 he went to school in Potocari where I went as well. So I do know him
10 quite well. And my sister also went to school with him.
11 Q. What village was he originally from?
12 A. The village of Studenac, near Potocari.
13 Q. Okay. Now this warehouse where you were taken at the Konjevic
14 Polje intersection, can you tell us what is there today in that location?
15 A. That location is a gas station because that warehouse was
16 destroyed and a gas station was built.
17 Q. So how many Muslim prisoners were at this warehouse?
18 A. My group, nine of us.
19 Q. And what happened at the warehouse?
20 A. When they brought us to the warehouse, there was an officer who
21 came. His shirt was undone. And he said: "Where are your rifles?" And
22 he swore. And we said that we didn't have any rifles, that we had none,
23 and that officer, in my opinion, that officer was from Serbia.
24 Q. And what do you base your opinion on that this officer was from
1 A. According to his speech and his uniform, to his ways of
2 discipline, because I had served in the JNA, Yugoslav People's Army, and
3 he didn't mistreat us. The way he acted towards us, he asked us if we
4 were hungry, if we were thirsty. He brought us some water. He didn't
5 bring it personally, but a soldier did that he had ordered to do so.
6 Q. Did you see any soldiers that appeared to be dressed similar to
8 A. Yes, I saw soldiers who were dressed similar to him, and they also
9 had camouflage flak jackets on. They were from the JNA.
10 Q. And again, what do you base your opinion that these were soldiers
11 from Serbia?
12 A. The flak jackets, the uniform, and the discipline.
13 Q. Did anyone bring you any food while you were in that warehouse?
14 A. This officer said to us that we would have food brought to us, but
15 when he returned later, he said that the dogs had eaten everything and
16 there was no food left. They brought us a beer. They gave us cigarettes.
17 But there was no food.
18 Q. Did anyone tell you where you were going to be going?
19 A. He said to me that his orders were just to arrest us there, to
20 take us prisoner, and to send us to Bratunac. The soldier who guarded us
21 said that he didn't know what would happen to us. There was a small
22 window there, and he said if you can escape through that window, do
23 escape, but the window was small and we didn't manage to get out through
25 Q. So what happened after that?
1 A. Well, they told us to wait for buses. I think these buses were
2 driving women and children from Potocari. Three buses returned. They
3 took us out. It was already dark. The lights were on on the buses, not
4 all of them, though. We boarded the first bus. They put us in the back
5 seats. Three policemen boarded the bus, three military policemen from
6 Republika Srpska. They were wearing blue UNPROFOR flak jackets from
7 Srebrenica. And then we set off towards Bratunac.
8 Q. Okay, how do you know that these were military policemen?
9 A. That is what was written on their arms. It said "Military police
10 of Republika Srpska." They had white belts.
11 Q. All right. And what I'd also -- if you could, take a look
12 hopefully on your screen, you'll see a picture.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for the record, this is Exhibit P22, chapter
14 16, page 6, for the record.
15 Q. Can you see that photograph?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. And does anything in that photograph look familiar to you?
18 A. This flak jacket is very familiar to me, both from Srebrenica and
19 from those policemen.
20 Q. And is that the flak jacket, the blue flak jacket with the number
21 2 on it in the photo?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In a previous statement, did you tell an interviewer that there
24 were police officers in blue uniforms that got on the bus?
25 A. No, I said they had flak jackets on, blue UNPROFOR flak jackets
1 from Srebrenica.
2 Q. All right. And once you got on the buses and these military
3 police officers got on the buses, where did you go?
4 A. We went towards Bratunac. We stopped in Kravica on the right-hand
5 side by the warehouse in Kravica. There was a large group of people who
6 were sitting on a meadow between the road and the warehouse. That's where
7 they stopped, and once all three buses were full, we set off towards
9 Q. So did your buses take on people from this meadow?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How dark was it at this time that you're at Kravica?
12 A. It was dusk, lights were just being turned on. But it could be
13 seen that this meadow right by the road was full of people, and that they
14 were surrounded by the military. I could see that very well.
15 Q. Did you get a look over at the big agricultural warehouse there?
16 A. Yes, it was behind their backs. They were sitting in front of
17 this warehouse and facing the asphalt road.
18 Q. Did you see any Muslims in the warehouse?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you see any bodies around the area anywhere?
21 A. I didn't.
22 Q. And where did your bus go after Kravica?
23 A. We went to Bratunac in front of the Vuk Karadzic school.
24 Q. How well did you know these streets and the locations of Bratunac?
25 A. I know them well because I was born there. I lived there. I
1 spent more time in Bratunac than in Srebrenica before the war.
2 Q. Okay. I want to show you an exhibit, P65, if we could put it on
3 the ELMO. When you met with ICTY investigators, it's years ago now, did
4 you write out a sketch for them of Bratunac and where your bus was by the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in looking at this Exhibit 65 on the ELMO, is this the copy of
8 the drawing that you did for the ICTY investigators?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I see that in that drawing, you've noted Skola VK. Is that
11 the school of Vuk Karadzic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you point with the little pointer there where you have
14 drawn buses on this diagram.
15 A. These are the buses.
16 Q. Okay. And could you take a marker. There should be a black
17 marker, pen, in front of you. And if you could -- do you remember -- I
18 see that there looks like four little rectangles there. Are those four
19 buses you've drawn in?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember which one of the buses you were in?
22 A. I didn't have enough room on this sketch to draw yet another bus
23 in, too. I was in the third bus. There were two buses behind me.
24 Q. Okay. Why don't you just circle the bus that you think you were
25 in just from your diagram.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. All right. And then we have another exhibit I want to show you.
3 Did you have a chance yesterday in my office to take a look at an aerial
4 image of Bratunac?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that's a little harder to make out on the ELMO. But were you
7 able to in my office circle the Vuk Karadzic -- identify and circle the
8 Vuk Karadzic school?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And is this exhibit, which is P66, is this the picture that --
11 where you circled the school and put your initials?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
14 So could you tell if there was anybody -- could you see the school
15 from your bus?
16 A. I could see the school. I saw the school. I could see the
17 windows. Yes, I could.
18 Q. Do you know if there was any Muslim men in that school that night
19 that you were there?
20 A. They were taking men from the buses to the school, but they
21 weren't bringing them back.
22 Q. Why don't you describe for us what happened that night. Just tell
23 us where you were and where you spent the night and what happened.
24 A. I spent that night in my seat, all night. They told us that there
25 wasn't enough room in the school, that we had to stay on the buses.
1 Soldiers came. They walked around the buses. They entered the buses.
2 They asked questions. They asked if there was anybody from Susnjari,
3 Osat, Osmace, Jadar, and that they should say so. Nobody said a thing.
4 Then a man who I knew from before the war, Ilija, he took people from the
5 bus to the school -- from the bus to the school, and then they called out
6 a name, Catic or Djanic. I can't remember. They took him and they didn't
7 return him to my bus. In the first seat, there was a man who was a bit
8 mentally deranged and he fell asleep in that seat and we were told we were
9 not allowed to sleep. And then this policeman wearing the blue flak
10 jacket walked up to him and woke him up abruptly. And then he
11 accidentally hit him on the flak jacket just like that as he was awakened.
12 Q. Was this a policeman or a military policeman?
13 A. It was a military policeman.
14 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting. And you were describing how the --
15 what happened again? Could you just tell us that again.
16 A. He hit him on the flak jacket, I mean the prisoner did. And he
17 turned to the other policeman and said: "Look at him, he hit me." And he
18 cursed. And then the buses -- and then the soldiers that were in front of
19 the bus said "Let's kill him, let's slaughter him, throw him out." And
20 then he was taken out and they took him towards the school. And then I
21 heard a short burst of gunfire. I could not see the face of the man who
22 killed him there by the bus. I saw his back.
23 Q. Was the military police officer whose flak jacket he hit involved
24 in any of this?
25 A. He's the one who pushed him out to the soldiers who were outside,
1 and also these two policemen who were with him.
2 Q. Now, the two policemen that were with him, were those policemen --
3 civilian policemen or military policemen?
4 A. They were military policemen who were escorting us, who were
5 actually providing security for the bus that had taken us there from
6 Konjevic Polje.
7 Q. So from your bus that night, how many men were taken out and
8 didn't come back?
9 A. Two men were taken out.
10 Q. Those were the two men you've just described for us.
11 A. Yes. One man, they beat, but they did not take him out of the
12 bus. They asked who had ambushed some Serb soldiers up there. They got
13 killed in this ambush. And he asked him who it was that ambushed them.
14 And he beat him on the head, stomach, thighs, but they didn't take him out
15 because a military policeman walked up to this soldier and kicked him out
16 of the bus because he had been drunk.
17 Q. So are you saying a soldier came on to the bus and beat up one of
18 the prisoners but then was kicked out by a military police officer?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, what do you know about other Muslims from the other vehicles?
21 Do you know if anything happened to any of them that night?
22 A. All night they were taking groups out of the bus and taking them
23 to school. All night, shooting could be heard from the school. People
24 were screaming, moaning. It was horrible to listen to that kind of thing
25 all night. But we had to. Whoever was taken out in those groups was
1 never returned to the bus.
2 Q. Did anyone come and explain to you what the gunfire was about?
3 A. Well, they told us that they were sending off some young
4 conscripts, sending them off to the army of Republika Srpska.
5 Q. Did you believe that?
6 A. I didn't.
7 Q. What happened the next morning?
8 A. The next morning, this was the 14th, the morning of the 14th, they
9 told us that they were taking us to Kladanj to be exchanged as prisoners
10 of war.
11 Q. So what did you see?
12 A. We waited there for a while, for this column to start. We were
13 told that we had to wait. When we left Bratunac, we parked at the Vihor
14 parking lot. We waited there, and we were told that we had to wait for
15 UNPROFOR because they were due to arrive from Potocari.
16 Q. Before you left the area in front of the Vuk Karadzic school, did
17 you see any Muslim men come out of that school?
18 A. I didn't.
19 Q. Okay. And about how many vehicles were over by the Vihor garage
20 while you were waiting there?
21 A. While we were waiting there, people asked the guards whether they
22 could go there because it was possible to go to the toilet because people
23 couldn't go to the toilet all night. They allowed us to do so. I didn't
24 go out, though, but the men sitting next to me did go out. And they saw
25 behind us, there had been a total of five buses and four trucks in that
2 Q. Had you been given any food that night in the bus parked in front
3 of the Vuk Karadzic school?
4 A. They didn't give us food, only water.
5 Q. And on the way -- well, at the Vihor garage, did they give you any
6 food for the trip to Zvornik?
7 A. They didn't give us any food. Only a woman, an elderly woman
8 walked into the bus. She swore at us. She swore at our balija Turk
9 mothers, and that -- she said that her son was killed and she would kill
10 all of us, but then they got her off the bus, too.
11 Q. When you say "they got her off the bus," who was that?
12 A. At that moment, it was still the military police. After that, I
13 don't know how much time had gone by, then a small military TAM truck
14 came, and they took over from the police, and then three soldiers of the
15 army of Republika Srpska took over instead of those three policemen.
16 Q. And then what happened?
17 A. An APC came by, a white APC, with "UN" written on it. People who
18 were sitting on the APC had UNPROFOR rifles and helmets. But I don't
19 think they were UNPROFOR men because they were raising three fingers and
20 greeting the soldiers who were guarding us on the buses.
21 Q. So was that the three-fingered Serbian salute that you saw them
23 A. Yes, that's the salute of Republika Srpska and Serbia.
24 Q. Okay. So when this white APC came, what happened?
25 A. We set out towards Konjevic Polje, but they told us that we were
1 going to Kladanj to be exchanged.
2 Q. So when you got to Konjevic Polje, did you turn left towards
4 A. No, we turned right.
5 Q. And can you describe to us where you went.
6 A. We turned right. When we came underneath the rocks, I mean, that
7 place is called -- well, it's below Udrc. There are these big rocks
8 there. They told us to put our heads down between our legs and not to
9 watch where we were going. That's the road towards Drinjaca, between
10 Konjevic Polje and Drinjaca.
11 Q. After doing that, were you able to make out where you were going?
12 A. I was sitting in the back seat, and this seat is a bit higher than
13 the rest. And even as I put my head down, I could see between my fingers
14 where we were going. I could see through the window.
15 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber where you saw the bus go.
16 A. We were going through Drinjaca. We came to Zvornik. We passed
17 the town because I know the town of Zvornik. We went by the bus station,
18 and the department store, and we went on to Karakaj. There's a factory
19 there, a bauxite factory. We went by it. And then we turned left.
20 Q. Now, turning left by Karakaj, what direction -- what town is in
21 that direction?
22 A. That road leads to Tuzla, but we didn't ride along that road for a
23 long time. We turned right again. I was looking through my fingers, but
24 I didn't know the area.
25 Q. And after you turned right off the main road towards Tuzla, where
1 did you go?
2 A. We came to a school. We were in front of this school. That's
3 where they told us to lift our hands and that we were allowed to look
4 around again.
5 Q. Now, what did you see there at this school? Can you describe what
6 you saw when you were able to look around clearly.
7 A. We got there to the school. I saw a big sports field with nets,
8 protective nets, so that the ball wouldn't get off the field. I saw a
9 monument made of stone. I don't know whose monument it is, though. I saw
10 this school with a gym. I saw the buses. The APC that was escorting us
11 stood behind the buses, and an anti-aircraft gun was pointed at us.
12 Q. Were there any Serb personnel around these buses at the school?
13 A. On both sides, on the right-hand side and on the left-hand side,
14 all the way up to the entrance into the school so that no one would try to
15 run away. They had rifles, too.
16 Q. And how were they dressed?
17 A. Camouflage uniforms.
18 Q. You say there was a playing field by the school. Was that a
19 hardtop playing field or a grass or dirt playing field?
20 A. Hardtop, concrete.
21 Q. So what happened when you got off your bus?
22 A. We were running along to the entrance to the school on the
23 right-hand side. I saw that everybody had to throw aside whatever they
24 were holding in their hands before entering the school.
25 Q. Did you see any collection of stuff there?
1 A. Before the entrance on the right-hand side, before the entrance to
2 the corridor, I saw berets, jackets, coats. Anything that you had in your
3 hands you had to throw aside. You were not allowed to take it inside.
4 Q. Now, when you got inside the school, what part of the school did
5 you go to?
6 A. To the right was the entrance to the school, and to the left was
7 the way to the sports hall, to the gym. That's where we went.
8 Q. When you went into the gym, did you see any people there that
9 weren't from your group?
10 A. In the right-hand corner, there was a large group of people. They
11 were sitting down.
12 Q. And were these Muslims?
13 A. Yes, because I knew some of them.
14 Q. And can you describe how many people came into that gym and how
15 that happened.
16 A. About 2 and a half thousand people, according to my estimate, were
17 pressed together in that gym.
18 Q. When you say "pressed together," how were you organised?
19 A. My knees were below my chin. They forced us to. We had to. They
20 said they would shoot if we didn't all press together, so people were
21 fainting. A person would faint and couldn't fall, not to the left, not to
22 the right. They would just continue sitting up unconscious.
23 Q. How hot was it?
24 A. It was too hot. And people had no water, so that's why they were
1 Q. Were any of the fainted people or the injured people cared for by
2 the troops that were guarding you?
3 A. To start with, we were not helped in any way. Perhaps later on,
4 they asked if there was anyone below 18 years of age to come out of there.
5 Q. Did some young -- some kids actually get pulled out from the
7 A. Yes, two young boys who were perhaps 14 or 15 years of age. They
8 went out. They went out into the corridor.
9 Q. Was the crowd given any water?
10 A. They gave some canisters to these kids, and they took it round the
11 hall to give to people to drink.
12 Q. So what happened in that gym that was jammed full of people like
14 A. The first thing they did was to divide us in approximately four
15 rows that would be sitting away from the wall and four rows to the left,
16 four to the right, four facing the entrance. So all rows were distributed
17 in this way. That's what they ordered us to do. That's how they ordered
18 us to turn. I was facing the entrance door that I had come in through.
19 Q. Was anybody in that gym abused that day besides the general
21 A. One of the prisoners, probably he felt ill. He got up, and we
22 were told strictly not to get up. And he got up and he said: "What are
23 you afraid of? There are plenty of us. Do not be afraid." Soldiers
24 charged in. They said: "Who said that?" And he said he did. And they
25 told him to get out. He didn't want to get out, and they said they would
1 shoot. They would fire, kill 20, 30 people if he didn't get out. And
2 then he was pushed out by the others so that they wouldn't be killed,
3 those sitting next to him.
4 Q. Did you see what happened to this person that got pushed out?
5 A. Yes. There, right inside the corridor, just outside of the gym, I
6 heard a short burst of fire. He screamed, and he was killed there.
7 Q. Did you see any officers come by the gym that day?
8 A. Yes. Mladic came with his entourage.
9 Q. How long did he stay?
10 A. He didn't stay long. He spoke to the main person who was guarding
11 us. He looked at us, laughed a bit, because when he was there and then he
12 left, we were then -- afterwards we were immediately told we would be
13 going to the Batkovic camp.
14 Q. Can you describe the process by which you and other Muslim
15 prisoners were taken out of the gym that day.
16 A. Inside the gym, to my right-hand side, there was a smaller room.
17 I think it was a kind of locker room or something like that. And that
18 room had another door leading outside. That's where they brought tables.
19 They brought some kind of wooden bars, placed it on the door. And they
20 said we would be leaving one by one, that we shouldn't be pushing and that
21 we shouldn't leave in a disorderly fashion. And that's how the leaving
23 Q. So what did they do with people as they were exiting the gym?
24 A. The first thing that was done, two of the prisoners were taken
25 out, Nezir Gusic. I knew him because he was a neighbour, and they also
1 brought out another one, Nezir tied the blindfold, and the other one was
2 given water. Everybody had to drink some water. So they would take out
3 20, 30 people. Then they would put the bar down, and then the lorries
4 would come. And that's how it went. I was in the sixth group.
5 Q. Can you describe the soldiers that were around you when you got
6 your blindfold and your water.
7 A. There was a woman who was armed. She was in camouflage uniform,
8 and there were three soldiers standing around with the rifles in that room
9 where we were being blindfolded and given water.
10 Q. Now, after you were blindfolded and given some water, were you put
11 on a vehicle?
12 A. We were loaded on to small TAM trucks.
13 Q. How do you know what kind of truck it was if you were blindfolded?
14 A. Because very quickly, I took my blindfold off, and I also know the
15 sound of the engine of that TAM truck and its size.
16 Q. Can you describe the back of the TAM truck, how it looked, what
17 was there.
18 A. It was covered with a tarpaulin cover, and it had two benches on
19 either side. And in the middle, there was a larger tyre of a larger
20 truck, a FAP truck, a FAP truck.
21 Q. When you were put in the back of that truck, where did that truck
23 A. I felt that it had gone over some rail tracks, and we got to some
24 kind of a meadow. That's where we stopped, and we were told to line up.
25 Q. Can you describe for us what happened after that.
1 A. We got off the lorry, and we were told to line up as quickly as
2 possible. When we did so, I was together with my cousin Hariz, and we
3 held hands. And he said they would kill us. And I said they wouldn't.
4 He didn't even finish speaking when the bursts of fire started.
5 Q. Can you describe what happened with the burst of fire.
6 A. The burst of fire killed my cousin. He was shouting, screaming.
7 I fell on the ground. He fell on top of me. That's when screaming and
8 groaning of injured men started.
9 Q. Were you hurt?
10 A. No.
11 Q. What happened after that?
12 A. Afterwards, they continued to bring more shifts, more groups.
13 They continued to execute those injured people who were screaming. They
14 would be killed off. That's how it proceeded all the way until some
15 people tried to escape. And one was killed, and one managed to escape.
16 Q. Do you know roughly what time of day it was that your group was
18 A. I think it was about 1.00 or 2.00. I didn't have a watch, so I
19 can't say accurately what the time was. But I think it was about that
20 time because the sun was high up, well high up. I think it was in the
22 Q. Did the executions continue after dark?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know roughly how long after dark the executions continued?
25 A. I had fainted. And when I came round, I took the blindfold off
1 slowly, off my eyes, and I saw some lights, headlights, of vehicles.
2 Because there was a loader and an excavator. They were digging a grave.
3 And there were headlights. They had brought another five groups after
5 Q. Were there any other lights in that field besides the lights of
6 the heavy equipment you saw?
7 A. No, none.
8 Q. So could you tell how they were lighting up the executions that
9 went on in the night, which piece of equipment they were using, or both?
10 A. The engines were off, and I think it was from the ULT loaders that
11 they were using the headlights. But the engines were not on, the machines
12 were not working. The engines had been switched off.
13 Q. And when you say "ULT," is that a brand of a Yugoslav heavy
14 equipment company?
15 A. Yes, that's right. Loader, a ULT loader, that's what we called
16 it, loader, because it's used for -- it's used by building -- by building
17 companies, construction companies. It can load, it can push soil in front
18 of it.
19 Q. All right. And when you spoke to the ICTY investigators a long
20 while back, the same time you drew that diagram of Bratunac, can you draw
21 little diagrams of the two machines that you saw there that night, that
23 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MS. SINATRA: I'd like to object at this time because this witness
1 has not been certified as to have any knowledge about this equipment one
2 way or the other. So whether he knew about what an excavator was or what
3 a ULT was, I think the Prosecutor needs to ask him a few more questions to
4 clarify his expertise in this area.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are not such technicians. We do not know the
6 difference between a loader or excavator or anything else. But anyway,
7 the witness drew a picture of it. Let's look at the picture and see what
8 it is.
9 Yes, you may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. So did you draw a picture of those machines for the ICTY
12 investigators a few years back?
13 A. Yes, I drew the picture.
14 Q. And this exhibit, P67, do you see that picture on the screen?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is that a copy of the picture you drew for the ICTY?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. Okay. Starting with the machine on your left, could you describe
19 what that is and just tell us a little bit about it and how you know about
20 a machine like that.
21 A. On my left-hand side is the excavator which is used for digging.
22 It has a scoop which can dig deep into the soil.
23 Q. And what kind of wheels or tracks did you see on that excavator?
24 A. The excavator doesn't have wheels. It has caterpillar tracks.
25 This one doesn't have wheels, the one on the drawing. There are also
1 excavators that have wheels, but the one that was digging the grave has
3 Q. Okay. And so let's go to the other piece of equipment. Now, what
4 is that and what does it do?
5 A. And the drawing on the right-hand side is a loader. It is used
6 for loading soil on to the lorries. It can also push soil in front of it,
7 and it is a vehicle on wheels.
8 Q. What colour was the loader that night, if you know?
9 A. The loader was yellow.
10 Q. What colour was the excavator that night, if you know?
11 A. Yellow.
12 Q. At any time that night were you able to get a look at how many
13 bodies were in that field around you?
14 A. It was a meadow full. I didn't count the bodies, but it was -- a
15 meadow was full.
16 Q. Were you -- and I don't want to ask you to spend the time to
17 describe this, so if I could just ask you simply, were you able to crawl
18 away from that horrible place and eventually escape to the free territory?
19 A. I couldn't crawl away. When I got up, I found Hurem who was
20 alive. And I stepped across dead bodies, and there was too much blood
21 that was beginning to congeal. So it was very hard. It was very slippery
22 to walk there.
23 Q. But you and Hurem were eventually able to escape to the free
25 A. That's right.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Mr. President, Your Honours, I don't
2 have any other questions.
3 JUDGE LIU: We'll have a break now. We'll resume at 10 minutes to
5 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
7 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examination? Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I just have a few
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
11 Q. Good morning, sir. As I understand it, back on August 12th, 1995,
12 you gave a statement.
13 A. I didn't understand the question.
14 Q. Okay. I have before me a statement that seems to have been signed
15 by you, and it's dated 12 August, 1995, where you describe the events, and
16 I believe it might have been at that time when you made the drawings that
17 we saw today.
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And before coming here today, did you have an opportunity to
20 review that statement with the Prosecutor?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. And would it -- was that as late as yesterday that you reviewed
23 your statement?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, in your statement, it indicates that you were at
1 the time of the fall of Srebrenica a commander of a 10-member infantry
2 unit of the 283rd Brigade of the 2nd Corps of the BiH army. Is that
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And from reading your statement, it also appears that when
6 everybody gathered on the 11th or the 12th to leave Srebrenica, there were
7 also men from the 284th Brigade along with the 283rd Brigade of the 2nd
8 Corps of the BiH army?
9 A. Everyone was together in Susnjari.
10 Q. All right. Now, today you indicated that there were approximately
11 1500 -- 15.000 men that had gathered to form the column. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. Among them were also children and elderly people.
13 Q. Right. And in your statement you also indicated that before the
14 fall of Srebrenica, there were about 14.000 BiH soldiers in the Srebrenica
16 A. Not all of them were soldiers, and there were also people who had
17 gone to Potocari.
18 Q. Let me repeat my question again. In your statement, you state:
19 "Before the fall of Srebrenica, there were about 14.000 BiH soldiers in
20 the Srebrenica region." Do you recall reading that in your statement
21 yesterday before coming here today?
22 A. There were. There were 14.000 people, but not all of them had
23 rifles, not all of them were soldiers.
24 Q. Okay. Let me -- before I show you your statement, I'm going to
25 read it one more time, and I want you to see if you would agree with me.
1 In your statement, you say: "Before the fall of Srebrenica, there were
2 about 14.000 BiH soldiers in the Srebrenica region." That's what you
3 state. Now, do you recall reading that or would you like to look at your
4 statement to refresh your memory?
5 A. I have stated that. Yes, I had read the statement. I read the
6 statement yesterday.
7 Q. That's what's in your statement that you wrote or you gave on
8 August 12th, 1995?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, just one more area: You indicate at times in
11 your statement that there were JNA soldiers, and you distinguished them
12 from the Chetniks, which you considered the Bosnian Serb soldiers. Is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And to you, a Chetnik was somebody, at least in your statement,
16 was a soldier who was not clean-cut, did not look very disciplined, did
17 not behave in a disciplined manner?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Versus the JNA soldiers, they looked more professionally dressed,
20 and they were more disciplined?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But -- and then you did indicate that you were able to recognise
23 some distinction in the dialect that they spoke, so that was another
24 characteristic that you were -- you factored in into your opinion as to
25 whether they were Chetniks or whether they were JNA?
1 A. I think they were members of the JNA.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I have no further questions, Your
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, sir.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, your cross-examination, please.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
8 morning, Witness.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Considering that we are speaking the same
11 language, we have previous experience that it would be good if you could
12 wait for the interpretation to finish before you answer. Thank you.
13 Bearing in mind the interviews that you have given so far and the
14 exhibits and the evidence given to us by the Prosecutor before your
15 testimony today, I'd like to ask you just a few questions just to clarify
16 and to make sure that this is correct.
17 First of all, is it true that beginning of 1992, you were in
18 Croatia where you worked when the war started?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Is it true that in January 1992, of your own will,
21 that is, out of your own initiative, as you say here, you went to military
22 training in Makarska, it's a town located in Croatia?
23 A. I went to work there.
24 Q. And in Makarska, were you there for military training for 27
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell me who trained you there, who provided this military
4 A. I reported to the MUP in the Croatian army.
5 Q. When you say "MUP of the Croatian army," I just want to make sure
6 whether I'm understanding you correctly. Is it MUP as a civilian
7 structure or is it the military police with the Croatian army?
8 A. Civilian Croatian police.
9 Q. Thank you. After that military training, did you take part in the
10 war events that took place in Mostar?
11 A. In Capilinja.
12 Q. And is it, then, true that together with the volunteers' regiment
13 called King Tomislav [phoen] took part in the occupation of the JNA
14 barracks in Capilinja?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Let us just confirm, is it true to say that that was in January
18 A. No, no, it wasn't January.
19 Q. Can you tell us which month it was, then?
20 A. I don't recall which month it was. I think it was in spring when
21 firing started in Mostar, we then went to Capilinja to defend the town.
22 Q. Does it mean that that was in the spring of 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And is it true that all this was happening before the conflict,
25 events broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the area of Srebrenica?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Am I to conclude that this was April, May, or some other spring
3 months in 1992?
4 A. Yes, war was happening in Srebrenica in Bratunac.
5 Q. When you took the barracks in Capilinja?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Is it true that after, that you went to the front line
8 in Orasje, the town located in northern Bosnia and which at the time was
9 under the control of the then Croatian part of the Herceg Bosna army?
10 A. I set off towards Tuzla from Zagreb. We tried to get through
11 Orasje, but we couldn't because it was blocked in Podgajevi and Vidorice.
12 And in Bosanski Samac. We had to wait there to liberate -- to have the
13 territory liberated via Gradacac to get through.
14 Q. And is it true that then, together with your friend, Elvir Maric,
15 you arrived in Srebrenica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us which month in 1992 that was?
18 A. That was in July 1992. Mid-July 1992 when I arrived in
20 Q. Is it true that soon afterwards, you were tasked by Naser Oric to
21 go to Tuzla for some medicine?
22 A. Yes. It's true.
23 Q. Am I to conclude that afterwards, together with 47 volunteers, you
24 returned to Srebrenica after crossing the Serb positions?
25 A. Yes, 47 people were carrying medicine, intravenous equipment and
1 so on going from Tuzla.
2 Q. Today, you confirmed followed by a question of Mr. Karnavas, and
3 I'd just like to clarify one point. Is it true that in July 1995, you
4 were a commander of a sabotage squad?
5 A. It wasn't a sabotage squad. It was just an ordinary squad of the
6 283rd Brigade.
7 Q. And you were the commander, the commanding officer?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it true that as the commanding officer, the leader of that
10 military formation, in July 1994 you had been tasked to guard the UNPROFOR
11 base between the villages of Jaglici and Susnjari?
12 A. It wasn't our task to protect the UNPROFOR base. After the 11th
13 of July when Srebrenica fell and UNPROFOR withdrew, we then took up that
14 position so that they wouldn't get through.
15 Q. Is it true that you used multiple rocket launcher to prevent the
16 UNPROFOR personnel from leaving that position?
17 A. I didn't have a Zolja. That is a multiple rocket launcher, or a
18 rifle or grenades because that was taken away from me by UNPROFOR. I
19 didn't have that, I only have a couple of hand grenades.
20 Q. Do you know there were warnings to UNPROFOR soldiers that if they
21 withdrew from their position, this anti-tank weapon would be used against
23 A. I wasn't there when that was happening. I was there when women
24 stood in front of the APC not wanting to let them withdraw. I wasn't
25 present when this other thing was happening. I didn't even hear about it.
1 Q. And when they withdrew with your unit, you took up that position
2 so that there wouldn't be a breakthrough through that position. Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I'm going to finish by asking, is it correct to conclude that
6 the moment of your capture, because today at the Prosecutor's question,
7 you said you were captured, you were at the time a member of the BH army?
8 A. I was.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 I have another group of questions that we wanted to ask.
11 Q. And there is just something we would like to clarify regarding the
12 transport from Bratunac to the school that you have described. You said
13 that in the morning, the 13th of July, you were next to the garage of the
14 Vihor company, and that you were there for a while waiting, as you were
15 told, for UNPROFOR vehicles. Is that correct?
16 A. No, that's not correct. That was 14th in the morning.
17 Q. 14th, very well, thank you. That's my mistake.
18 And these UNPROFOR vehicles, did they arrive?
19 A. One UNPROFOR APC arrived.
20 Q. You described it, and you said that it was leading, it was heading
21 the column. Is that correct?
22 A. When we set off, it was leading the column.
23 Q. Is it true that escorting, or rather servicing this APC, there
24 were soldiers who were wearing helmets and flak jackets with UN insignia?
25 A. Yes, that's correct, and rifles.
1 Q. And rifles. Thank you.
2 For the sake of the Trial Chamber, because we know the position --
3 we know the layout. But when you're going from the school where you were,
4 do you have to go through the entire town of Zvornik?
5 A. I don't know which school you mean.
6 Q. The school in Orahovac?
7 A. We passed through town by the bus station. We went by the
8 department store. I know this town well. We went by the apartment
9 buildings that are on the right-hand side, all the way to Karakaj, to
11 Q. As you were passing through Zvornik, did you stop anywhere?
12 A. We didn't stop anywhere until the school.
13 Q. Until the school. Thank you.
14 Was it being mentioned then also that you were going for an
16 A. They told us in Bratunac that we would be exchanged, that we were
17 going for an exchange, and they didn't tell us anything before we were
18 taken to the execution.
19 Q. Today you confirmed that as you were getting off the buses near
20 the gym, that you saw this vehicle with UNPROFOR insignia again. Is that
22 A. Yes, there is a road by the school, and it stopped -- it had
23 parked by the road, and its PAM, its anti-aircraft gun was pointing at the
25 Q. Thank you. If I understood you correctly, you know Zvornik quite
1 well, don't you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You can tell us, then, where the Standard factory is in Zvornik or
4 in Karakaj?
5 A. I don't know about that company.
6 Q. But may I ask you, would it be right if I say that in Zvornik and
7 Karakaj, you did not stop all the way up to the school when you got off
8 the buses?
9 A. We didn't stop anywhere else.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Nothing more, thank you.
11 And by your leave, just another group of questions which have to
12 do with the position of the site that you were at.
13 Q. Today you said, and this was also included in the statement that
14 you gave to the Prosecution earlier on, you said that you had the
15 impression that you had been driving in that small TAM truck on a road
16 that was bumpy, that you continued your journey over two hills, and that
17 the truck stopped soon after you crossed the rail tracks. Is that
19 A. No, we just crossed the rail tracks. We felt that. We felt that
20 because the truck went up and down. But we didn't cross any hills, any
21 hillocks, whatever.
22 Q. May I conclude, then, that you're sure that you crossed a railroad
23 or is this something that you inferred?
24 A. We did cross a railroad.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask
1 at this point in time to have an exhibit returned. Anyway, it was marked
2 ERN 00336998. The witness gave his explanations in this regard while
3 giving a statement to the Prosecution.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That is the internal ICTY
6 number. I think it would be best if we could get Defence exhibit numbers
7 so we can distinguish what we're talking about here.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's a very good idea.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to thank the Prosecution
10 and I wish to thank the honourable Trial Chamber. Now I have a question
11 for the witness.
12 Q. In view of the fact that he referred a short while ago that he
13 crossed a railroad, could you just show on this sketch the actual place
14 where he thinks they set out from as they went to the execution site?
15 A. On the left-hand side of this picture, you can see a railroad.
16 It's there. It's below this other place.
17 Q. May I infer that in your opinion, on the 14th in the evening, both
18 machines were on the other side of the railroad?
19 A. The machines were underneath the hill that's drawn here.
20 Q. Could you please use that pointer and indicate for the Trial
21 Chamber and for me the position that you were in in relation to the
23 A. I was here approximately, closer to the railroad. This is where
24 the execution finished, and the machines remained there below the hill.
25 And I went on this other side when I got up. I went this way.
1 Q. Let's confirm once again, does this mean that the machines were on
2 the same side of the railroad as you were on the 14th in the evening?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since we will be
6 using this when adducing evidence, could the witness please mark the place
7 where he was approximately on that night.
8 Q. You do have that magic marker.
9 A. I was approximately here, here. Because when I got up, I found
10 Hurem here approximately, and then went further on.
11 Q. Could you please use that pen or marker, whatever, to mark the
12 place that you were at that evening, the 14th. You can also put a circle
13 around it.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And can you use a dotted line to show where you went as you were
16 running away.
17 A. [Marks] These two dots depict the place where I found Hurem and
18 the two wounded men who stayed behind.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you just place the date there, the 14th of July?
20 A. It was after 2.00 at night, so it was already the 15th of July.
21 Q. All right. Could you please put the 15th of July, 2.00 a.m.
22 A. When I set out.
23 Q. All right, the 15th of July, but could you also please put 2.00
24 a.m. as well so that we know it happened at 2.00 so it's 2.00.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Can I just ask you to write that down, 2.00, please, because it's
2 very important for us, 2.00 a.m.
3 A. Well, I don't know whether it was exactly 2.00. It was after
5 Q. All right. So you can put, say, between 12.00 and 2.00.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 Can you tell us approximately now how far away you were from these
10 A. I don't know exactly. They were near me, and I was afraid they
11 would get really close to me and kill me. I was still alive, and I was
12 blindfolded but it felt that way. That's the way I heard them, as if they
13 were nearby.
14 Q. From this distance, could you see who was operating these
15 machines? Was this person in civilian or military clothing?
16 A. I was blindfolded. I was lying on the ground. I couldn't see.
17 Q. You couldn't see.
18 A. I couldn't see.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 You said today that you saw two machines, one an excavator and the
21 other one a loader.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you preclude the possibility of yet another excavator having
24 been there, one that was not operated at the time as far as you could see?
25 A. I saw two that were behind the grave. They had parked there.
1 They were not on. Two machines, that is to say, an excavator and a
3 Q. I'm asking you this because Kemal Mehmedovic who was a witness who
4 was also heard here and he said that the excavator had wheels. You said
5 today that it had Caterpillars. Do you still abide by what you said, that
6 the excavator had Caterpillar tracks?
7 A. Yes, I abide by my statement.
8 Q. Can I infer on the basis of that that what Kemal Mehmedovic said
9 is not correct with regard to the Caterpillars or rather the wheels?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's an improper question to ask him to conclude
12 about the correctness of a specific evidence other witness.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe so. Mr. Stojanovic, please withdraw
14 this question.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'm just going to repeat this last question. Are you sure that
17 the excavator had Caterpillars rather than wheels?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. I have a few more questions to put to you in relation
20 to your statement as well. You said today that you saw the lights of the
21 loader that was lighting the excavation site.
22 A. When I took off my blindfold, I saw the lights, and they could
23 have come from the excavator.
24 Q. Can I conclude on that basis that these were the headlights of one
25 of the two machines that you saw, not both? Not both?
1 A. I think it was just one.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 You said further on in response to the Prosecution's questions
4 that you heard the following words: "Do you have anyone to leave behind
5 here to stand guard?" A discussion started as to who would stay behind.
6 And then somebody said: "Why should we stay behind when they're dead?"
7 Did you perhaps hear that any of the drivers of these machines said that
8 they didn't want to stay there alone on their own?
9 A. I didn't hear that.
10 Q. And then you proceeded, somebody answered the soldiers that they
11 could go, and that the lights on the excavator and on the bulldozer were
12 turned off, and that you heard the vehicles leave. So is it correct for
13 me to conclude on that basis that both vehicles then left?
14 A. The TAM trucks that brought people left. The last time when they
15 brought a group for the execution, and then this was heard. Somebody
16 asked whether anybody should stay behind to stand guard, and then those
17 vehicles left. However, the machines were off when I came to. When I say
18 "the machines," I'm referring to the excavator and the loader, so they
19 were off but only the lights were on.
20 Q. I'm going to finish by putting just a few more questions to you.
21 Did you notice that people were buried on the 14th? As you lay there,
22 were people buried?
23 A. I didn't notice any such thing.
24 Q. So at the time of the execution, there weren't any burials?
25 A. While I was awake, no.
1 Q. Can I conclude on that basis that it is correct that this heavy
2 machinery, the ULT, that is to say, the loader that you talked about
3 today, was not providing light in the area where the victims were being
4 buried into the mass graves at the moment when you were there, between the
5 14th and the 15th?
6 A. No, during the day they were digging the mass grave. And at
7 night, they were turned off when I came to.
8 Q. When you say "turned off," you mean the machines were not
9 operating at that moment?
10 A. They weren't working.
11 Q. They were not active, and their lights were not on?
12 A. They were not active. They were not working then. Only the
13 lights were on.
14 Q. I have just one more question for you. Can you recall whether
15 there was any possibility that you crossed the railroad as you were
16 fleeing from the site?
17 A. Not during that night.
18 Q. Not during that night?
19 A. No.
20 Q. So can I conclude that you were running in a direction that was
21 opposite the railroad that you crossed while you were in the TAM truck?
22 A. We crossed the hill where there is a tunnel underneath, one that a
23 railroad goes through.
24 Q. As you were running away?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
2 questions. Thank you. And I thank the witness. I am sorry if there was
3 anything personal regarding these questions. I try to be as objective and
4 as impartial as possible in view of your position. Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: I was informed about the continuity of the document
6 which is a sketch of a map used by the Defence team is D4/3.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one question, if I may, Mr. President.
10 Re-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
11 Q. When you left that field that night, that early morning of the
12 15th, were there any people that were still alive but yet unable to move?
13 A. There were two wounded men that I helped. I brought one of them a
14 shirt because he was bare chested. We could not help them, we could not
15 carry them, and they stayed in that field wounded, two wounded men. Hurem
16 and I went on.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have any further questions, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, are there any documents to tender
19 through this witness? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, we have P65, the hand-drawn sketch of
21 Bratunac; P66, the marked aerial photograph of Bratunac town; and P67, the
22 picture of the digging machines.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, any objections, Mr. Karnavas?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no objections, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Stojanovic?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. These documents are admitted
3 into evidence. Are there any documents the Defence team would like to
4 tender through this witness? Yes.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I was
6 expecting Mr. Karnavas to respond. So the Defence would like to propose
7 the following: That the sketch we used today be admitted into evidence,
8 the one that we looked at together with the witness, and I did not hear
9 whether it was D2/3 or D4/3. I didn't hear the number right, I think.
10 But perhaps it was D4/3?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it was D4/3. And by the way, we don't have that
12 exhibit at all. Would you please furnish us with this document after the
14 Any objections?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. This document is admitted into the
18 Well, thank you very much, Witness, for coming here to give your
19 evidence. The usher will show you out of the room, and we all wish you
20 good luck in the future and a pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, you have the next witness available
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. And that will be -- there
1 will be some protection, so if we could take a moment and prepare for
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
6 Can you hear me, Witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
9 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. Good morning. I
10 just wanted to make sure there's voice distortion as part of the
11 protective measures with respect to this particular witness. I just
12 wanted to advise Your Honour of that.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I've seen a microphone is on there. Does it
14 work? Maybe you could try it to see whether that microphone is working or
16 Witness, would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
20 Yes, Ms. Issa.
21 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 WITNESS: WITNESS P-111
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examined by Mr. Issa:
25 Q. Good morning, Witness.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. When the usher has a moment, I'm going to be asking you to look at
3 a piece of paper and tell us by indicating yes or no if that is your name
4 on this piece of paper, without saying your name.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, I have to remind you that you have to
6 turn off your microphone while the witness is answering the question.
7 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour. I'll try and remember that.
8 Thank you.
9 Q. I understand, sir, you are of Bosnian nationality?
10 A. Yes, I am.
11 Q. I understand you are Muslim by faith. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. I understand that before the war, you were living with your family
14 in Nova Kasaba. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. And you lived in a number of places, and in July of 1995 you were
17 living in the village of Slapovici. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. We arrived there after the occupation of
19 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, and after Srebrenica we came to Slapovici. It's a
20 village next to Srebrenica.
21 Q. Can you tell us, where were you going to school?
22 A. I went to Srebrenica to school, the first year of secondary
24 Q. And I understand that in July of 1995, you were, in fact, 17 years
25 old. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like you to think back to the 11th of July of
3 1995. Do you remember that day when the Bosnian Serb army overran the
4 Srebrenica enclave?
5 A. Well, in fact, that didn't happen in a day, the beginning of July.
6 There was shelling every day. One by one checkpoints were taken off the
7 Dutch battalion. And in the end, we had to -- after the DutchBat left, we
8 had to leave our location.
9 Q. And where did you go?
10 A. Well, some people went towards Srebrenica, and some to the village
11 of Suceska, we decided to go to the village of Suceska.
12 Q. Who were you with at the time?
13 A. I had a family. I had my mother, my three sisters, and my father.
14 Q. And can you tell us where did your mother and sisters go?
15 A. Well, we set off together with the village of Suceska, after which
16 we separated. They went towards Potocari where the UN base was. And
17 myself and my father, we went across the wood to the village of Jaglici
18 where columns were established, and we set off in the direction of Tuzla.
19 Q. Why did you decide to go with your father in the woods?
20 A. First of all, I wasn't certain -- I wasn't sure that UNPROFOR
21 would protect us, certainly not the men, considering all the experience in
22 the war and knowing what the Serb army had been doing. I decided to go
23 with my father.
24 Q. Okay. And can you tell us about the degree of organisation of the
25 column that was forming in the woods.
1 A. Well, it was in the meadows in front of the woods, on the 11th of
2 July in the afternoon hours. There was a large number of people. They
3 were predominantly men, young men, young boys. There were some women and
4 children, but definitely a smaller number. Approximately there were
5 15.000 people, that's according to my estimate. Ten to 15.000 people.
6 Q. Can you describe how the column of 15.000 people were organised?
7 A. Well, that started before the dark, the columns were organised
8 before the dark. And I stood with my father in -- we stood in a line. My
9 father had been in the army, but that was more like a formality. He
10 didn't have a uniform. He didn't have any weapons. During the attack on
11 Srebrenica, he didn't go to any army position or line. He stayed with us.
12 It was like a formality, and I decided to go with him. But as we got into
13 the wood, the organising of the column lasted the whole night. And as we
14 got into the woods, I saw soldiers, BH army soldiers who were preventing
15 the civilians from going.
16 Q. All right. And did you remain with your father?
17 A. No. In that crowd of people, I was separated from my father, and
18 I stayed alone for a while until I found my uncle. I found him by
20 Q. And have you seen your father since that day?
21 A. I never saw my father again. I presume that he had gone ahead
22 with the army, and I never saw him again.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. There's something else. The organising of the column lasted
25 almost all night, and it was already day when we wanted to get into the
1 wood. Most civilians stayed behind. The soldiers went ahead. And I also
2 saw some soldiers with the weapons that had remained behind.
3 Q. What happened throughout the night and the day while you were in
4 the woods?
5 A. We set off through the wood that morning. It was all calm. There
6 was no shooting, nothing could be seen. And there was no firing on the
7 column. We could hear some shooting in the distance but not on the
8 column. We were in a line one by one. I didn't see ahead, I didn't see
9 behind me how many people there were. It was a column going nonstop.
10 After a while, the shelling started, the general shelling of the column
11 started. There was shooting all over the place.
12 Q. And at some point, I understand that on the 13th of July, you gave
13 yourselves up to the Bosnian Serb army. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. But before that, there is something I have
15 to say under which conditions we surrendered. On the 12th of July, we
16 were shelled throughout the day. There were increasingly more injured
17 people who were left in the woods. I can remember they were crying and
18 screaming asking for help, but nobody was able to help them. And
19 throughout the night there was firing on the column in the wood, and I
20 also heard as we were running through the streams, through the brooks, I
21 could hear the Serb soldiers shouting from the hills: "Balijas, where are
22 you running? Why are you escaping? Come back."
23 During that night, throughout the night, there was shelling, so in
24 the morning we were still in the wood. And in the morning, I saw there
25 were five or six people around me who were dead. And many people who were
1 just walking around confused and scared. There were many wounded. I
2 could see many people without legs, without arms, people without their
3 stomach, people injured, people I knew.
4 Q. And what happened on the 13th of July after the heavy shelling
5 throughout the night?
6 A. That morning, at about 10.00 a.m., they started speaking over the
7 loudspeakers. The Serb soldiers were saying we should surrender. They
8 said: "Surrender or we'll shell you. You'll be taken according to all
9 Geneva Conventions." That's exactly what was said.
10 Q. And did the column surrender?
11 A. The column, in fact, the people were biding their time. And about
12 2.00 or 3.00, when those Serb soldiers gave their last warning that we
13 should surrender or that we shall all be killed, that's when the column
14 was organised. And they were going somewhere. We were in a wood. I
15 couldn't see anything around me. The column was just going, we followed
16 each other, and I followed everyone else. And there in the wood,
17 according to my estimate, I saw 300 to 500 dead people. I had to cross
18 those dead bodies.
19 Q. And did you see any soldiers upon surrendering?
20 A. Yes. Afterwards, as we left the wood, when I left, I saw that
21 there were already people on the asphalt road and that the column had been
22 arriving for some time. But when I got out, I saw the people were
23 surrendering and that there were Serb soldiers around. In fact, I hadn't
24 known that until I got there because it was a very long column. When I
25 got closer to the bridge, in fact, we went over a bridge, there were about
1 five Serb soldiers. I'm not quite sure. Five or six of them on that
2 bridge. And they were saying that we should surrender, that we should
3 hand over any weapons. If anybody had any bags, we should leave them,
4 that we should hand over any gold or deutschmarks. That's when they
5 insisted more than on other things on the money.
6 Q. Did you see any weapons at that point, anybody from the column?
7 A. No, no, I didn't see that. Many people - I forgot to say that -
8 as we were going with a column, when we were going to surrender, many
9 people who had had weapons, in fact very few people had had weapons. But
10 many of those who had weapons, they just set off. They just left. I saw
11 people just leaving the column. They did not want to go and surrender. I
12 mean, those people who had weapons, they were lucky. They could just
13 leave. Perhaps they survived later.
14 Q. Were you carrying anything with you?
15 A. Yes, I had a bag. I don't know what was in it. Some clothes,
16 some food, something like that.
17 Q. What did you do with that bag?
18 A. Well, they were saying that we should leave it by the tank. There
19 was a tank on the right-hand side. And we were just going to stand in
20 lines on the road as we were arriving. And we also brought injured people
21 from the wood, wounded people. We carried them with us. We were placing
22 them in front of us. But many injured people were left behind. As I had
23 already said, they were left to die there. Nobody was able to help them.
24 Q. You mentioned that you were lining up in lines along the road.
25 Can you estimate the size of these lines and how many of them were there?
1 A. Approximately about a hundred metre-long lines. I know there were
2 five lines, five rows on one side of the road. According to my estimate,
3 there were about a thousand, two thousand people.
4 Q. You also mentioned that you saw the Serb soldiers upon arriving to
5 the location where you surrendered. Can you describe how these Serb
6 soldiers were dressed.
7 A. Before I say that, I must say that they behaved very properly
8 until everybody surrendered. They were not cursing. They were saying:
9 "Come over here, nothing will happen to you" until everybody had
10 surrendered and come out of the wood.
11 Q. And when you are saying "they," you're referring to the Serb
12 soldiers. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes, that's right. However, when everybody surrendered,
14 that's when they started to mistreat people. They, again, asked -- almost
15 each one of them again asked for money. They were cursing, they were
16 saying "Fuck your balija's mother." They were saying all kinds of things.
17 I can't even remember what they were saying.
18 Q. Okay. And how were these soldiers dressed?
19 A. They had camouflage uniforms on, multicoloured uniforms.
20 Q. Do you remember any of the colours that you saw that day?
21 A. Well, yes. They were like olive drab, but with different shades
22 of green.
23 Q. Now, you mentioned earlier that you saw a tank that you were
24 standing next to when the soldiers told you to put your bags down. Did
25 you happen to notice anything about that tank?
1 A. It was a tank, and there was some other armoured weapon, but I
2 don't know what that was. It had machine-guns mounted on it, this other
3 weapon. And then on the tank, I remember it was written "queen of death"
4 in Cyrillic alphabet.
5 Q. All right. Did you at some point see any other soldiers or
6 anybody else arrive aside from the soldiers you initially saw?
7 A. Yes, let me just say something else. There were also soldiers who
8 were standing there in front with their guns pointing at us. There were
9 people with machine-guns. They had so many -- so much ammunition that
10 ammunition belts were almost dragging on the ground. And after a while,
11 two cars arrived. One was a police car, and one was a civilian vehicle,
12 grey. And some soldiers arrived. They were sitting on the roof. And
13 later on, I saw that they had different clothes on. In fact, they
14 differed from police uniforms. They were also camouflage, but they had
15 camouflage blue uniforms.
16 Q. Okay. Did you at any point while there see any buses arrive?
17 A. Yes. In the meantime, there were some buses that were standing
18 there. But these policemen who came, they and also some soldiers were
19 asking for money. They were also cursing. And left from us, there were
20 some buses that couldn't get through. I didn't know who or what this was
21 about. I don't know who was on these buses. I later saw that.
22 Q. What did you later see?
23 A. Well, the buses couldn't get through because of us, and one of the
24 soldiers ordered that we should run along the road and carry the wounded.
25 Throughout this time, we had to have our hands up.
1 Q. Okay. Can you describe how you had to have your hands up.
2 A. Throughout the time while standing, we had to have our hands up
3 above our heads.
4 Q. And as you were running down the road, were you instructed to do
5 anything in particular?
6 A. Yes. As we were running along the road, Serb soldiers were
7 running alongside us, and some of the men were carrying the wounded, and
8 then we swapped. And those of us who were not carrying the wounded, one
9 of the soldiers said "Come on, balijas, raise three fingers."
10 Q. Do you know what the three fingers means?
11 A. That's a Serb sign, greeting. They cross themselves with three
12 fingers. During the war, they stressed this so much that I didn't find it
13 that important. But they wanted -- they wanted to show to those men on
14 the bus what they were doing to us.
15 Q. Okay. Did you at some point while running see the people on the
17 A. Yes, I did. And I saw that these were people from Srebrenica,
18 women, children. I saw some women and children crying. Many of them
19 recognised their own children there, perhaps their husbands, too. I saw a
20 school friend of mine, a girl who was on the bus -- who was on the truck
21 as I was running.
22 Q. Was there a particular incident which you recall with one of the
23 men as you were running that occurred between a Bosnian Serb soldier and
24 one of the men from your column?
25 A. Yes. We didn't know where we were going, where we were running.
1 Before we turned off into the meadow, on the road behind me, a Serb
2 soldier asked someone: "In which unit were you in Srebrenica?" The man
3 said: "I was in the unit" -- I don't know why. I don't know what this
4 was about. I don't know why he said this, sort of firing unit or
5 something like that. I don't know why he said it, out of defiance or
7 Q. And what happened when he said that?
8 A. Then the beating started. I heard blows behind me. I heard
9 moans. He was probably hitting him with a rifle, but I didn't dare turn
11 Q. And at some point, you indicated you reached a meadow. Will you
12 tell us about that.
13 A. Yes. We turned left into the meadow. There were houses around,
14 houses that had been destroyed. Some had been destroyed. Others not.
15 Some had been torched. Trucks were still passing us by, and we were
16 running -- on that side where we were running, I saw a man who lay there
17 dead. We had to run around in order not to step on him. He was wearing
18 civilian clothes. And I think he was an elderly person, and I think that
19 he had been killed earlier on. Flies were attacking him, and as if there
20 were some maggots on him. Then we turned into the meadow. There was high
21 grass all around. Since this was a Muslim village, I knew from earlier
22 on, from before, that there were Muslim houses there. We sat there. The
23 grass was high. Nobody had cut it. But at the place where we came, the
24 grass had been stepped on as if somebody had been there before. Perhaps
25 some people were there before us, but I cannot confirm that.
1 Q. Can you describe the meadow that you were in.
2 A. Well, the grass was high. There were houses around. We all sat
3 there. There was a tank there.
4 Q. All right. I'm going to show you a map and ask you to point to us
5 the direction that you left and the direction that you ended up in in this
6 meadow, if you could, please. Thank you.
7 A. It's a small map, so it's hard to indicate this. Approximately
8 this is where we surrendered, and we ran to Sandici, here on the left-hand
9 side where we came to the meadow.
10 Q. So for the record, you're just pointing to a little bit below
11 Sandici. Is that correct?
12 A. It's right over here. It's a small map. It's right here. Here
13 where the triangle is.
14 Q. All right. Thank you.
15 And while you have that map there, are you able to show us the
16 direction that the buses were travelled from on the road when you saw the
17 women and the children?
18 A. The buses were going from Bratunac towards Konjevic Polje.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 A. And we were going in the opposite direction, towards Bratunac.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, is this a convenient time for a break?
23 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour. Sorry, certainly, Your Honour,
24 it is.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we are going to have a break. So
1 please remain where you are until the usher shows out of the courtroom.
2 We'll resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, please continue.
6 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Before the break, sir, you were telling us that you at some point
8 gathered in the Sandici meadow or near the Sandici meadow. Can you tell
9 us how many of you were there?
10 A. Approximately 2.000. All the men who were over there came, came
11 to the meadow, I mean. But I don't know whether there were any people out
12 there before that. I don't know.
13 Q. Okay. And after you gathered in the meadow, what happened there
14 at that meadow?
15 A. Well, as we came there, we sat down one by one. We were all
16 facing the asphalt road where the tank was. And in front of it was a Serb
18 Q. And what was that Serb soldier doing?
19 A. He started saying things. I remember some of it, but I didn't
20 listen to most of it because I wasn't really interested. Actually, I
21 wasn't really up to it. I felt depressed, like everybody else.
22 Q. Do you recall some of the things he was saying?
23 A. Before that, I'll tell you what he looked like. He had a black
24 scarf on his head. He was tall, corpulent. He had a uniform, a
25 camouflage uniform, too. A multicoloured one, one piece.
1 Q. Okay. Do you remember the -- you say multicoloured. Do you
2 remember if there was a particular colour that you recall?
3 A. Well, these are shades of green, camouflage uniform that the army
4 of Republika Srpska wore. Later on, I saw it on television, too.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell us what he said to the crowd.
6 A. He talked a lot. But I remember some of the things he said.
7 "Where were you wounded? Why didn't you surrender earlier? If they had
8 surrendered earlier, they would not have been there now." He asked
9 whether there was anybody who was a medical person to dress the wounds of
10 your wounded, as he put it.
11 Q. And was there anybody, a medical person there?
12 A. I didn't see. But one of the men got up, got up, and he started
13 searching him, frisking him. I don't know why. And he had pointed a gun
14 at him. He was using one hand to search him and the other -- and in the
15 other hand, he held his gun pointed at him.
16 Q. And did this man at some point dress the wounds of the wounded?
17 A. I didn't see that. I don't know what happened later to the man.
18 I just remember that, when he searched him. I don't know. I can't
19 remember now whether he did dress anybody's wounds. I didn't see that. I
20 don't know. My head was down.
21 Q. Okay. That's fine.
22 A. Another thing, this soldier who was saying all those things
23 previously, he said that we would be taken to Bratunac, to some hangars,
24 and that we would be exchanged when our authorities asked for us.
25 Q. Okay. Did -- do you remember if anything was said about any of
1 the boys that were in the crowd?
2 A. Let me just say something else. He was saying something, and I
3 remember when he said "We are from Serbia." I don't know why he said
4 that, but I just heard him say this. "We are from Serbia. We will be
5 here, guard you." Later on, another unit came that took over from them,
6 and he said: "Now, these other guys would come in. They're nice.
7 They're not going to do anything to you." He said that in Bratunac, there
8 will be no dinner for us. He said it sort of a bit ironically because we
9 didn't really feel like dinner or anything.
10 Q. Okay. And do you remember if anything was said about the -- about
11 anybody in particular in that crowd?
12 A. He said this a bit ironically. He probably knew what would happen
13 to us later. Of course we wouldn't need any dinner. After that --
14 actually, trucks were still passing down the road, and buses too. He said
15 that whoever was born in 1980 or who was even younger than that could get
16 up and go on to the bus. Three boys reported, I believe. And they left.
17 I knew one of them. He was older, but he was just short, so he looked a
18 lot younger. He raised his hand. He reported to them and left.
19 After that, another child, perhaps 12 or 13, or perhaps even
20 younger, raised his hand, and he said: "No, no, not possible. You're
21 staying behind." I was there with my uncle. He was also making me raise
22 my hand, but I didn't dare to. I was older, too, and I didn't dare since
23 he had told the child that he couldn't go.
24 Q. Do you remember approximately what time this was during the --
25 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm hearing the translation, not the
2 Sorry, Your Honour.
3 Q. Do you remember, sir, approximately what time did this soldier
4 address the crowd in the Sandici meadow?
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness. I'm
7 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I think there's a technical problem. I
8 can't hear the English translation and it appears the interpreters are
9 unable to hear the witness for the translation into English from the
10 witness. So perhaps we can just deal with that.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I hope the interpreters will check the buttons,
12 because we hear not English on that channel.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English interpretation on this
14 channel? This is the channel that has been used throughout.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
16 MS. ISSA: I can now hear, Your Honour, without hearing the
17 B/C/S --
18 JUDGE LIU: No, no, I think we still have the wrong channel.
19 Shall I try that again. Yes, it seems okay. Ms. Issa, you may
21 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Can you tell us, sir, approximately what time did this soldier
23 address the crowd in Sandici? Are you able to hear?
24 A. [In English] It's in English.
25 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, the witness is unable to hear the
1 translation. I think we're still experiencing technical problems.
2 JUDGE LIU: Witness, would you please say something into the mic
3 so we can check whether it's okay or not.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't hear a thing. I can only
5 hear English.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, would you please repeat your question.
8 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Sir, can you tell us approximately what time was it when the
10 Serbian soldier addressed the crowd in Sandici?
11 A. It was in the afternoon, sometime around 5.00. I can't say for
12 sure, but around 5.00.
13 Q. Now, earlier, sir, you mentioned that you were told that you would
14 be taken to Bratunac to a hangar. Can you tell us if at some point did
15 that occur?
16 A. Before I say that, I have something else to say.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may interrupt, and I do this with a great deal
20 of hesitation. However, this particular witness has repeatedly failed and
21 refuses to answer direct questions given to him. I understand he wishes
22 to provide lots of information. He could do so through the questioning of
23 the Prosecution rather than volunteering information and not being
24 responsive to the questions. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I think you have to answer the question
1 put to you by the Prosecution first. If you want to add something, please
2 feel free to do so after you answer the question by the Prosecution. Do
3 you understand that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. But I do have to say
5 something. If I were only to answer in a single sentence, it wouldn't
6 sound convincing at all. I cannot simply skip over facts.
7 JUDGE LIU: Of course. But you have to answer the question first,
8 and later on -- and after that, you may add something to your answer, say,
9 give some explanations. I think this is the procedure.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before this technical error, I
11 hadn't even finished the answer I was giving.
12 MS. ISSA: Perhaps, Your Honour, that was my fault in the sense
13 that I may have been distracted by that error, and I'll go back to that
14 question, and that may resolve the matter.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, please.
16 MS. ISSA:
17 Q. All right, sir, just going back to when you were gathered in the
18 Sandici meadow, you told us that you were -- the soldier addressed the
19 crowd, indicated to us what he had said. Is there anything else that
20 occurred at Sandici while you were there?
21 A. Yes, yes. There is something that I think is important. After
22 this other unit came, those who had surrounded us, and we had been
23 surrounded before that, too, we were ordered to lie down, to lie on our
24 stomachs. That is to say, facing the ground. To put our hands above our
25 necks and to applaud and to say, all of us together in unison "Long live
1 the king, long live Serbia." We were there for about three hours lying
2 that way. We didn't dare raise our heads. Shooting started near us, but
3 I couldn't see that. I couldn't see anything until later, until I got up.
4 Perhaps, perhaps around dusk, we were told that we could get up. And when
5 I got up, I saw a Serb soldier shooting at a house from the outside. This
6 was a burst of gunfire. I couldn't see what was in the house, but what I
7 can say is that my uncle told me that there was a man whom we knew and who
8 is no longer there. After that, I didn't see any wounded. They were
9 probably taken into that house and killed.
10 I don't know what happened to them. Anyway, as we were running,
11 they went on the truck.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. And after you were instructed to get up, were
13 you -- what were you told to do next?
14 A. We were told that we would be going to Bratunac. Five or six
15 lorries arrived, large, articulated lorries.
16 Q. Please continue.
17 A. We were ordered to get on those lorries, and I was in the last
18 lorry. They were covered with tarpaulin cover, only the last part wasn't
19 covered but the side was closed. And we had to run along, and then catch
20 the side in order to climb up on the lorry. Many people couldn't get up
21 on there. Some of them were hit because as soon as somebody would get
22 hold of the side, then the other man would also be forced to get hold of
23 the side, and then people were falling over each other. So it was very
24 difficult to climb on the lorry.
25 And then when one lorry load was loaded, people were saying that
1 there was no more room, yet more people were loaded on. They were jamming
2 people together, so we were standing like sardines. We were standing up.
3 We couldn't sit down. There was no room.
4 Q. Can you tell us the size of the lorry that you were loaded on to.
5 A. The lorry didn't have a trailer, but it was a long lorry. It was
6 the longest transport lorry there was. It probably could have carried
7 some 20 tonnes, according to my estimate. It's just the largest type of
8 lorries. It didn't have a trailer, but it was very long.
9 Q. And how many people were in the lorry with you?
10 A. Well, in my opinion, 100 to 200 people. Perhaps even more.
11 Considering that we were literally on top of each other. That we actually
12 would fall off each other. And then there's something else. Behind us,
13 there was a Golf car that was driving, soldiers, and we were told that we
14 mustn't jump off.
15 Q. Did you at some point get to Bratunac?
16 A. Yes, we did. We arrived, and we -- by the time we were loaded on
17 the lorry, it was already night, and we arrived in Bratunac at night.
18 Q. And what happened when you arrived in Bratunac?
19 A. Through that last part of the lorry, I saw that we were somewhere
20 in town, in Bratunac. In fact, I saw lights on the buildings. I saw we
21 had gone through the town, and we were put somewhere. But I don't know
22 where that was. In fact, the lorry just stopped somewhere.
23 Q. And how long had they stopped for?
24 A. Because my lorry was the last one in this convoy, when I say that
25 it stopped, what I mean is it just stopped somewhere in town when we
1 arrived in Bratunac. And we stayed there the whole night. And we asked
2 for water, and the Serb soldier just swore at me. They were saying
3 "quiet," cursing our balija's mother, hitting the sides of the lorry.
4 The rifle -- I presume it was a rifle butt because there was quite a
5 strong echo we could hear. I only know that I couldn't feel anything. We
6 were so pressed together. We were so jammed together that I couldn't feel
8 Q. Can you describe the conditions inside the truck with you jammed
10 A. It was unbearable. It was hell. As we were driving, and then we
11 stopped, then we just fell over each other. As I told you, I couldn't
12 feel anything. My body had gone dead. My legs had no feeling. I was
13 numb. I was feeling numb.
14 Q. What happened the next morning on the 14th of July?
15 A. The next morning, the lorry set off, and I saw, and the other
16 people were saying, that lorry was leaving Bratunac. I was able to see at
17 the crossroads at the red light that there were more lorries in front of
18 us. Some people were saying that they had seen an UNPROFOR APC, but I
19 hadn't seen it. And lorries were riding until the exit out of Bratunac,
20 and then they stopped.
21 Q. And what happened when your lorry stopped at the exit of Bratunac?
22 A. Well, we were on this lorry. We were sitting, lying on top of
23 each other. We asked for water. We were very thirsty. We were given one
24 sip of water, but that was nothing. It was like just a drop. People were
25 dying to get some water. At one moment, I tried to get up to see what was
1 behind. There was a part of the lorry that was uncovered. And when I got
2 up, I saw a bus full of people. But the driver was sitting, and his rifle
3 was leaning against the windshield. So when I got up to see, he then
4 pointed the rifle at me telling me to get down. Through the hole on the
5 tarpaulin cover, I saw that there had been a garden by the road, and a
6 house, and there were several Serb soldiers standing there. There were
7 some civilians, children were riding on their bicycles.
8 Q. You mentioned earlier, sir, that as you were leaving Bratunac, you
9 saw other lorries. Did you notice who was in those lorries?
10 A. That bus behind us, people were all jammed together. I didn't
11 recognise anyone, but they were probably the people who would end up with
12 us later. And there were also people who were on the lorries.
13 Q. Do you remember whether those people were men or women?
14 A. I can't recall that. I can't remember that.
15 Q. All right. How long were you in the lorry outside of Bratunac?
16 A. For some two to three hours, perhaps maybe until 10 to 10.00 or
17 later than that perhaps. But it was in the morning.
18 Q. And did your lorry start to move at some point?
19 A. Yes. Before the lorry set off, one of the soldiers came and
20 closed the end part of the tarpaulin cover and said that he's closing this
21 cover for our own safety. And then lorries continued to drive in the
22 direction of Konjevic Polje.
23 Q. Although the cover was closed, were you able to see anything on
24 the outside?
25 A. Yes, through this hole that I was observing through, I could see
1 that we were going through Konjevic Polje, that we were on our way to
2 Zvornik, Drinjaca.
3 Q. And did you at some point come to a stop?
4 A. Yes. Yes. We stopped. Once we had gone past Zvornik, I didn't
5 know where we were going, and people were saying -- probably they were
6 also observing through some kind of holes. They said we had turned off
7 somewhere towards Tuzla, but in any case, we didn't turn off towards
8 Bijeljina because we were all thinking that we were going somewhere to a
9 camp, like Batkovic.
10 Q. All right. I'm going to ask you to look at the same map that you
11 looked at earlier and to show us the route that you took from Bratunac and
12 where you eventually ended up.
13 A. We went along this road.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness's microphone please be
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By the Drina River. By the Drina
17 River, Zvornik, Karakaj, and we turned left. I didn't know where we
18 turned off, but I found out later. And we arrived there. I don't know
19 the name of that place. I mean, I did not know at that time. I saw
20 through the hole in the canvas the emptied lorries. I saw that there was
21 a building. It is only later that I would find out that it was a school,
22 once we actually entered this building.
23 MS. ISSA:
24 Q. Just for the record, earlier you pointed to a spot near Petkovci.
25 Now --
1 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
3 MS. SINATRA: I believe that the Prosecutor is testifying right
4 now. The witness has never mentioned that name, and I think it needs to
5 come from the mouth of the witness, not the Prosecutor.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa, if you want to confirm something, put
7 it in the form of a question and address it to the witness.
8 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour. I was just indicating what he
9 was indicating for the purposes of the record. I certainly wasn't
10 testifying, but I will bear that in mind for the future.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 MS. ISSA:
13 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us how long did you remain in the truck
14 when you arrived at that location.
15 A. We remained there for about an hour. There were several lorries
16 around us, and buses as well. I saw that the buses were empty. It was
17 some kind of a concrete playing field. The conditions inside the lorries
18 were unbearable. We were shouting and screaming for water and to be let
19 out. If I can just say what the conditions were, one of the people -- one
20 of the men, he was drinking his own urine. That's how thirsty we were.
21 Q. Did anybody give you any water while you were in that truck?
22 A. No. No, nobody gave us water there.
23 Q. Approximately what time was it when you finally got off that
25 A. I can't quite recall the time. But it was in the afternoon.
1 Q. Do you recall how the Bosnian Serb soldiers were dressed when you
2 got off the truck?
3 A. The same clothes as I'd described before. But you have to
4 understand that my head was bent down, so I was not able to observe many
6 Q. Okay. And what happened to you after you got off the truck?
7 A. Some of the soldiers were cursing mother, saying: "See, we are
8 driving you. You wouldn't drive us." And then we were going one after
9 each other into this building down the steps, into this building that I
10 found out later was a school.
11 Q. All right. I'm going to ask you to look at a photograph, sir.
12 MS. ISSA: Exhibit P14.2.
13 Q. Do you see that photograph on your screen now?
14 A. Yes, I can see it.
15 Q. Can you tell us if you recognise that building.
16 A. Yes, I recognise it. That was this building that we were in.
17 That's the school.
18 Q. All right. And you indicated that you went into this school up
19 some stairs. I'm going to ask you to look at another photograph.
20 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry to keep interrupting, but Ms. Issa is
23 leading the witness. He never testified that he went up some stairs or
24 went in the school yet. If she would like to get those answers, she needs
25 to ask the witness himself.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that's a right objection. Rephrase your
2 question, Ms. Issa.
3 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour.
4 Q. Perhaps, sir, you can tell us what happened when you entered the
5 school or where you went.
6 A. I think it's a mistake. First, we went down the steps to get in
7 front of the school building. And once we got into the building, then we
8 went up the stairs.
9 Q. Okay. And I'm going --
10 A. I have something else to add. As we were going down the steps,
11 one of the Serb soldiers was standing in front of the door. And he took a
12 rifle by the barrel, and he hit everybody across their backs. But because
13 he couldn't get everybody, one of the people from the middle of the stairs
14 stopped the line of us going in and started sending us through one by one
15 in front of the door so that then each one of us would bend down and be
17 Q. Do you remember a particular incident at that point?
18 A. Yes. A man who was in front of me, a Serb soldier asked him: "Do
19 you know me?" And this man answered: "I know, brother. I do, brother."
20 And the Serb soldier, as he was holding this rifle, he hit him in the
21 stomach and he started beating him up and saying "Who do you know?" As if
22 this man wasn't supposed to know him.
23 After that, there was a pause because of this man. And then I got
24 in without being beaten. Perhaps I was looking young. Perhaps they felt
25 sorry, but I didn't get beaten. As I -- as we were getting in, we went to
1 the right-hand side up the stairs. One of the Serb soldiers asked whose
2 land is this? We kept quiet, and he said: "This is Serbian land and will
3 always remain so." And we had to repeat this after him. Again, he asked:
4 "Whose is Srebrenica?" And he then replied: "Srebrenica has always been
5 Serbian and will continue to be that." And we had to repeat this as we
6 went up the stairs.
7 Q. And after you went up the stairs, where did you go?
8 A. We followed a corridor to the left. I don't know how many, but
9 there were about maybe four or five classrooms where there was a noise of
10 the people that could be heard coming from the classrooms, of the people
11 who were already inside. I had gotten into the last one or the one before
12 last. I can't quite remember.
13 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to ask you to look at the photograph
14 that's on your screen, and then another photograph, and ask you if you
15 recognise the image that's on your screen at this point.
16 A. Yes, I recognise it. That is the inside of the building. Those
17 are the stairs that I remember. This is where we went.
18 Q. Okay. If you can look at the next photograph.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that's P14.4. Can you tell us, sir, what that image depicts.
21 A. This is the corridor that we went through that was upstairs on the
22 first floor. That was on the floor -- the first floor of the school.
23 These are the classrooms, and I think I may have gone into this last
24 classroom. I can't quite remember, but I think that was the last
1 Q. Are you referring to the door furthest to the left of the
3 A. Yes, the door which is on the right-hand side of the wall,
4 furthest one.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. ISSA: And for the record, the previous photograph, Your
7 Honour, was already marked as Prosecution Exhibit 14.3.
8 Q. Now, sir, can you tell us how many men were in the classroom with
10 A. I can't remember quite how many. But I know that the classroom
11 was overcrowded. There were even more people than on the lorries.
12 Q. Can you describe the conditions inside that classroom.
13 A. The conditions were very difficult. We were very thirsty. People
14 couldn't go to the toilet. Almost everyone was soaked with urine. I was
15 soaked with urine. Soaked.
16 Q. Were you given any water at any point while you were in the
18 A. Later on, while we were still there, we were given some. But very
19 little, just a drop. One of the men got out and gave us some water, and I
20 think we just got a drop. We just opened our mouths to receive that drop
21 of water.
22 Q. Can you describe, what was the air like in the classroom.
23 A. It was very stuffy, very stuffy. We couldn't breathe. Even in
24 the truck, when the temperature was so high outside and when the tarpaulin
25 was closed, in the classroom, it was even worse because there were a lot
1 more of us.
2 Q. Were there any windows in the classroom?
3 A. Yes. There were some windows. When I was coming, I saw that
4 there was even an asphalt road below the school. And once, somebody tried
5 to open the window. Many people were screaming, asking for water. When
6 somebody tried to open the window, all of a sudden, a burst of gunfire
7 followed. I know that all of the glass panes broke and fell. There were
8 five or six men who were wounded by the glass. And I also think that it
9 was due to the ammunition, too. I know that there was this one person who
10 was wounded in the neck and who screamed real bad. One of the soldiers,
11 one of the Serb soldiers, came to the door and again asked for money.
12 Some men gave some money that they had hidden before that. They didn't
13 give it before that. They probably thought that they would survive.
14 Q. And what happened after they gave their money to the soldier?
15 A. Nothing happened. He took the money and left. But later, since
16 we were clamouring, asking for water, we were thirsty, he came to caution
17 us. He said: "Quiet, quiet." And then he pointed at two young men and
18 said that they were responsible for us. If we were noisy, then they would
19 be killed. The man begged us to keep quiet, but nobody kept quiet. We
20 were very thirsty.
21 Q. Did a Serb soldier at some point ask for any men from certain
23 A. Yes. Once he walked in and said: "Is there anyone here from
24 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Glogova, Osmice, and he mentioned some other
25 villages. I can't remember all of them now.
1 Q. Did any of the men respond?
2 A. Yes, some men raised their hands and said "There's us." He told
3 them to come out, and they did. And I heard beating and moaning in the
4 hallway. They didn't return.
5 Q. What happened that evening of 14 July when darkness fell?
6 A. Well, when darkness fell, shooting started around the school.
7 Judging by the reverberations in the hallway, it went on all the time. I
8 heard some of the soldiers in the hallway speaking probably from one of
9 the classrooms. He would say: "Come out, out you go" two or three at a
10 time, or five. "Come on, out you go balijas." And so on. And then
11 bursts of gunfire would be heard every time, every time when these men
12 managed to get downstairs, approximately.
13 Q. For how long did this carry on, until what time?
14 A. This lasted until about midnight.
15 Q. And what happened next?
16 A. Then somebody came and said that it was our turn, that we would be
17 going out later for some kind of examination. I don't know what kind of
18 examination this was. He was saying something, but I cannot remember all
19 of it now. He mentioned something about an exchange, too, but I cannot
20 recall these details now. At any rate, we were supposed to go out for
21 some kind of an examination. Before that, people were talking amongst
22 themselves, and it was clear to us that they were killing people from the
23 other classrooms, that it would be better for us if we all ran out at the
24 same time. They couldn't kill everyone. Because there were many more of
25 us in comparison with the soldiers, although they had weapons. Many
1 people didn't want to do that. They said: "Well, maybe we'll survive.
2 We shouldn't run out." Nobody wanted to die.
3 Q. And what happened when you were ordered to come out of the
5 A. My uncle was there with me in the classroom, and I asked him
6 whether we should go out together. Another man gave me some clothes
7 because I was soaked in urine, and he gave me his T-shirt, and I put it
8 on. And I asked my uncle whether we should go out together, and he said
9 that we should not go out together.
10 Q. Have you seen your uncle since that day?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you go out of the classroom with anyone, or were you on your
14 A. I went out with a man. I don't know who he was. When I got out
15 in front of the classroom, there was a Serb soldier who ordered us to take
16 off our clothes down to the waist and to take off our shoes. I only had
17 socks on my feet. I didn't have any footwear. He said that I should take
18 that off, too.
19 Q. And what did he do after you removed your clothing?
20 A. After that, he tied our hands on our backs. I don't know what was
21 used. It wasn't a wire, but it was some kind of thread that was very
22 sharp. And it felt most uncomfortable on the wrists.
23 Q. And after tying your hands together, where did you go?
24 A. We were pushed into another classroom, another classroom where it
25 was dark. There was no light. There were other men around me, also tied
1 up, with their clothes off. One could discern footwear, and I was walking
2 on the shoes of people who had probably been there before us, who had been
3 taken out before we were taken out.
4 There's one thing I have to say. When I was in the classroom, in
5 the classroom where I was, I saw a blackboard, and I assumed that this was
6 a school. Later on, I found out that it was, indeed, a school, and I
7 found out where we were. But then, I didn't know where we had been. They
8 drove us there, and I didn't know.
9 Q. Okay. Can you tell us, sir, how long you remained in that second
11 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but until everybody was tied up.
12 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, it looks like we only have a few minutes
13 left, and perhaps this might be a good time to take the break and continue
14 the evidence tomorrow subject, of course, to Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, Witness, I'm afraid you have to stay here
16 for another night. During your stay in The Hague, do not talk to anybody
17 about your testimony, and do not let anybody talk to you about it. And
18 when the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out of the room.
19 There's an announcement I have to make. That is, there's some
20 changes in the scheduling. On Wednesday, we'll have the afternoon session
21 instead of the morning session.
22 Well, I think that's all. We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning at
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
1 at 1.43 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
2 the 22nd day of July, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.