1 Thursday, 30 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could we have the case called,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number,
9 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Brdjanin. Can you hear me in a
11 language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
13 Yes, I can hear you and understand you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
15 General Talic, good morning to you. Can you hear me in a language
16 that you can understand?
17 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
18 can hear you in a language I understand.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
20 Appearances for the Prosecution.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, may it please Your Honours. Good morning. My
22 name is Andrew Cayley. I appear with my colleague this morning, with Anna
23 Richterova, case manager Denise Gustin.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cayley and good morning to you.
25 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours, I'm John Ackerman. I'm
2 here with Marela Jevtovic and Milan Trbojevic on behalf of Mr. Brdjanin.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you.
4 Appearances for General Talic.
5 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 I'm Natasha Ivanovic-Fauveau. And with Fabien Masson, I represent
7 General Talic.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau. And good morning to
10 So the witness is here. I assume there are no preliminaries. I
11 see no one standing. We can proceed.
12 Mr. Ackerman, the witness is all yours.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, before you do that, sir, may I just
15 ask you once more - hopefully the last time - to stand up and repeat your
16 solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone.
18 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
19 and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: MIRZET KARABEG [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Karabeg. You may sit down. And
23 as you see, we are going to proceed and hopefully conclude today with your
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, as we stopped yesterday, I asked the
1 witness be shown Exhibit P69. And I need that to be put in front of him
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
5 Q. What you have in front of you, sir, is an agreement on the
6 formation of a community of Bosnian Krajina municipalities dated 29 April
7 1991. That would be about a month after the time that you attended that
8 meeting in Banja Luka of representatives of several municipalities;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And so at the end of April of 1991, 20 municipalities combined to
12 form this community of Bosnian Krajina municipalities; is that correct?
13 A. I see this for the first time, and I hear it for the first time.
14 Q. So what are you telling me, that you don't know whether or not
15 this is a legitimate document or not?
16 A. No, not that. I'm not talking about the document. I'm talking
17 about the agreement.
18 Q. Well, you know that there was a community of Bosnian Krajina
19 municipalities in existence, don't you?
20 A. Not of this kind.
21 Q. You know that Sanski Most was part of a community of
22 municipalities, don't you?
23 A. It was part of a community of municipalities until the 6th of
25 Q. 6th of April of what year?
1 A. 1992.
2 Q. And if you look at that list of municipalities, the 20 that are
3 listed, several of those were municipalities that had a majority of
4 Muslims, Bosniaks; correct?
5 A. No.
6 Q. None of those --
7 A. No.
8 Q. How about Sanski Most? There were several -- of those 20
9 municipalities, you're saying none of them had a majority Muslim
11 A. I wouldn't like to talk about this document. This is a document
12 issued by illegal bodies. This is a document whereby Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina was broken up.
14 Q. That's what this is. That's your testimony.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. I'll accept that.
17 You told us -- you told us about --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you proceed, Mr. Ackerman,
19 because this document is dated 29th April 1991 and not 29th April 1992.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I know.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So perhaps the witness can explain to the Chamber on
22 what basis he is suggesting or affirming that this document was drawn up
23 by illegal sources and that in his opinion it signifies the breaking down
24 of the municipality or whatever. Because we're talking of 24th April
1 What's your explanation, Mr. Karabeg?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, this document, which
3 I see for the first time, which was allegedly signed on the 29th of April,
4 1991. And on the 6th of April, 1992 we disbanded the assembly, the
5 legislative body of the municipality, which was demanding this, for Sanski
6 Most to join this, envisaged by this agreement, that is, the community of
7 municipalities of Banja Luka.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. Sorry, Mr. Ackerman, for having
9 interrupted you like that. You may proceed.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's not a problem, Your Honour. I just want to
11 check something. I was just looking at the source of the document, Your
12 Honour. According to the Prosecutor's records, it was given to an OTP
13 staff member by the former secretary of the Banja Luka Municipal Assembly,
14 Mr. Branko Cvijic.
15 Q. Okay. You were talking yesterday about Mr. Vrkes mentioning a
16 couple of names to you: Mr. Brdjanin and Mr. Krajisnik, when he talked
17 about the pressure being put on him from Banja Luka for Sanski Most to
18 join the Banja Luka region. You, of course, have no idea whether
19 Mr. Vrkes was telling you the truth or not; correct?
20 A. Well, let me see. No.
21 Q. He may have just done that as an excuse for what he was planning
22 to do regarding joining Sanski Most with that association; in other words,
23 blaming it on someone else besides himself. That's a possibility, isn't
25 A. It's possible. It's possible. It's possible.
1 Q. Now --
2 A. I beg your pardon. I'm conveying to you what he said. I didn't
3 say that I personally spoke to that gentleman but that he said that they
4 were exposed to pressure. So it is possible.
5 Q. Yes. I need to have the Prosecutor give you back your statement
6 of 24/25 July so that you can refer to it again. And sir, I'm going to
7 refer to the same page we were looking at yesterday. And it's, I think,
8 the second page. And you will find a paragraph that begins with the words
9 "After that, there was a recess, because no agreement could be reached."
10 It's page 3. It's the - one, two, three, four - fifth full paragraph on
11 the page. Tell me when you find it.
12 A. Yes, I've found it. Yes.
13 Q. The last sentence of that paragraph, you said, "Some Serbs told me
14 that Rasula personally went to villages in the municipality and asked
15 people to sell their cows and buy rifles." That's what you said; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, why would people sell their cows and buy rifles if all they
18 had to do was leave their light on and weapons would magically appear for
19 free on their doorstep? It doesn't make any sense, does it?
20 A. This was the beginning of 1991.
21 Q. Did you notice in the beginning of 1991 that all of a sudden there
22 were a huge excess of cows for sale?
23 A. Ask Rasula that; not me.
24 Q. Well, you were there. Did you notice that there were a lot of
25 cows for sale?
1 A. I didn't go to the cattle market, and I -- that was not my
3 Q. So --
4 A. You see, we have cattle markets which are usually outside town,
5 and I didn't go there.
6 Q. Okay. You told us that at the checkpoints that were set up in
7 Sanski Most, they originally were stopping everyone and then all of a
8 sudden they just started stopping non-Serbs; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did they issue some kind of identification stickers to Serbs to
11 put on their cars so that the people manning the checkpoints would be able
12 to tell Serbs from non-Serbs?
13 A. You see, that was not necessary, because Sanski Most is not a city
14 with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants but a town with 17.000
15 inhabitants, so that most people knew one another. So that was not
16 necessary. And I assume if it had been necessary, they certainly would
17 have done that.
18 Q. So are you telling the Chamber that the people manning the
19 checkpoints were residents of Sanski Most who knew everybody?
20 A. Mostly from Sanski Most municipality, yes.
21 Q. At page 22 of the English version of your statement -- I'm sorry.
22 It's the next page. It's page 23 of the English version.
23 A. I don't have that page here.
24 Q. Bear with us, sir. We'll find it. It's probably the fifth page.
25 You should see a paragraph starting with the words "This was a pleasant
1 meeting and it was arranged they would meet again at 2200 hours." It's on
2 page 6, sir, the last full paragraph. It begins with "This was a pleasant
3 meeting." Page number 6, last full paragraph. "This was a pleasant
4 meeting and it was arranged they would meet again"; did you find that?
5 I'm interested again in the last sentence of the paragraph.
6 Referring to Rasula, you said: "He was the liaison between Sanski
7 Most and Banja Luka and he was the point around which everything turned";
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, you've talked about this meeting that you went to in Banja
11 Luka in March of 1991, and you told us that this person who was the
12 liaison between Sanski Most and Banja Luka, the point around which
13 everything turned, didn't go to that meeting; right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Wasn't that a time when the -- after the first multi-party
16 elections, when the three major parties were operating under an agreement
17 of cooperation and that the relationships between them were very good at
18 that point? Isn't that the case?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You told us yesterday that you went to that meeting because Rasula
21 was not available and you basically went as the number two person from
22 Sanski Most. That's what you told us yesterday; correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And a couple of days before that, you told us that it was a
25 meeting for presidents of assemblies and presidents of executive
1 committees, both. Now, which one of those statements do you want to tell
2 this Chamber is the correct one?
3 MR. CAYLEY: Objection, Your Honour. That question is not at all
4 clear to me. Which statements are we referring to? Whether it was a
5 meeting for presidents of assemblies or whether it was a meeting for
6 presidents of --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Executive committees. In fact, I think the witness
8 has already explained that, how the president of the assembly was absent
9 at the time, was not in town and the invitation was left on his desk.
10 MR. CAYLEY: The problem is --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. Ackerman can --
12 MR. CAYLEY: When questions where asked like this and you look at
13 the transcript later, often Mr. Ackerman gets answers to questions in a
14 certain way that don't actually represent the reality of the situation at
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Mr. Cayley. Perhaps, I'm sure that
17 Mr. Ackerman will rephrase his question.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. On the first day that you testified here, sir, the 27th of May -
20 and I'm not sure -- I've neglected to write down the transcript
21 reference - but you told us with regard to that meeting in Banja Luka that
22 it was a meeting of both the presidents of assemblies and the presidents
23 of the executive committees of 17 municipalities in Krajina area; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then yesterday you told us that you went there simply because
2 Rasula, who was the invited person, couldn't go. That's also correct,
3 isn't it?
4 A. Mr. Ackerman, if you wish, I can answer that question.
5 Q. I think you just did.
6 What I'd like you to do now is look at -- I'd like you to take a
7 look at Exhibit 602. Now, Prosecution Exhibit 602 is a document that was
8 signed by you; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And it's a document that refers to what you've described as a
11 violent and illegal effort to seize power in the takeover of the Sanski
12 Most branch of the SDK on 28 February 1992; correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And in your testimony on May 27th, at page 46 of the LiveNote, you
15 spoke about -- your answer was: "On the 28th of February, in the SDK
16 there was 'a forcible takeover of power by the SDS' and that by force they
17 wanted to replace Mrs. Dobrija," I think, "Sanica"; correct?
18 A. Dobrijevic.
19 Q. Okay. After the multi-party elections were held, there was an
20 agreement between the parties over who would get what positions in the
21 municipality of Sanski Most, wasn't there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And part of that agreement was that the -- the head of the SDK
24 would be a Serb; correct?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And isn't it the case that this woman who was the head of the SDK
2 was supposed to be replaced by a Serb and refused to vacate her position?
3 Isn't that true?
4 A. Refused? To whom? To whom did she express her refusal to leave
5 her working post, to a gang that wanted by force to take over the SDK.
6 Q. My question is: Before that, didn't she refuse to vacate the
7 position in favour of the Serb person who was supposed to get that
8 position in accordance with the agreement that had been entered into? You
9 can answer that yes or no. Did she do that or didn't she?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman -- Mr. Ackerman, you already put the
11 question to him whether there was an agreement --
12 One moment, sir.
13 -- Whether there was an agreement, as you're suggesting, that the
14 head of the SDK would be a Serb, and he said no. So if he said no, you
15 have no right to put the next question that you are putting, namely that
16 my question is before that: "Did she refuse to vacate the position in
17 favour of the Serb person who was supposed to get that position in
18 accordance with the agreement that had been entered into?" Because he has
19 refused your suggestion --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'm -- I was just afraid, Your Honour, if I
21 didn't also put the second part, that I'd be accused of violating Rule
22 90(H) again, and I don't want to be accused of that. I'm trying to
23 comply --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You will not be accused of that. But you either
25 drop the question or you rephrase it in some other manner.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: It's dropped, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Do you know a person named Zijad Ibric?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And how is it that you know Mr. Ibric?
7 A. From where? Well, I know him from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Q. And have you known him for a significant amount of time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in fact, he took a statement from you both on 13 September
11 1995 and 2 August 1995, didn't he?
12 A. Let me tell you that I gave more than one statement. I said that
13 already yesterday. And not only a statement to him.
14 Q. I'm talking about two statements, one dated 2 August 1995, another
15 dated 13 September 1995, that you gave to Mr. Ibric. Are you family with
16 those two statements?
17 A. Let me say -- you were mentioning some specific dates, and I don't
18 remember these dates, and I gave more than one. I gave several
20 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... referring to
21 the 2nd August 1995 and the 13th September 1995. He's actually seen the
22 main one, the one of September 1995 yesterday.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Yeah. I was just doing that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. And we'll cut it short, because
25 otherwise it goes on and on and on.
1 MR. CAYLEY: The statement of the 2nd of August is a single-page
2 statement; correct?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly, Mr. Cayley.
4 MR. CAYLEY: And this is the statement of the 13th of September of
5 1995, which is the longer statement.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Now, sir, you now have before you the two statements I was
8 speaking about. And they're dated, and they have what I believe to be
9 your signature at the end of each of them; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is. Yes.
11 Q. And you gave these statements to Mr. Ibric in Banja Luka; right?
12 A. No, never in Banja Luka. And I was never in Banja Luka with
13 Mr. Ibric.
14 Q. Well, doesn't it say at the top of each of those documents that
15 they are from the security services centre in Banja Luka?
16 A. Yes. But with a temporary headquarters in Travnik.
17 Q. Where does it say that?
18 A. I don't know where it says that.
19 Q. Well, look at it and see if you can find anything in the statement
20 where it says anything about Travnik. Do you see that anywhere?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Was --
23 A. But I was in Travnik.
24 Q. Was Mr. Ibric an authorised official of the Banja Luka security
25 services centre in September -- August and September of 1995?
1 A. With a temporary headquarters in Travnik, yes.
2 Q. So did -- did Mr. Zupljanin, the head of Banja Luka CSB, set up a
3 temporary headquarters in Travnik?
4 A. I'll --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg, the interpreters have had a problem in
7 understanding what you answered, what you replied to Mr. Ackerman's
8 question. Could you repeat your answer, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll laugh at the question which was
10 posed by Mr. Ackerman.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And I think I can understand why, because we're
12 talking of 1995, Mr. Ackerman. So asking him about Zupljanin moving --
13 the next question, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. So this was just something that a few of you guys sitting around
16 Travnik cooked up, that you'd have a -- a Banja Luka security services
17 centre office in Travnik; correct?
18 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I really seriously object. This is a
19 court of law. It's not a circus. Mr. Ackerman knows exactly why this
20 document says what it says. The country was split. There were dual
21 authorities. He knows the answers to his questions. I really object in
22 the strongest possible terms to this kind of facetious cross-examination
23 of the witness.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, it's a very misleading document.
25 In fact, I recall yesterday Your Honour being misled by it, because you
1 talked about a statement that this man gave in Banja Luka, because it
2 misled you yesterday. I just want it clear that this man was not an
3 official of the Banja Luka security services centre in September of 1995,
4 as he claims in these documents to be. That's all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But Mr. Ackerman, you have had -- you put
6 that question to the witness, and he has answered you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah, I'm through with it. I'm through.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And he's told you that as far as the -- the
9 centre -- temporary centre in Travnik is concerned, yes, Mr. Ibric was an
10 authorised representative of the Banja Luka CS -- anyway, you know what I
11 mean. The Banja Luka --
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. On page 2 --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished with that, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll move to the next question.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. On page 2 of the statement that you made on 13 September 1995, you
18 speak of a meeting at the cafe of Tomo Delic that you attended. Do you
19 recall that meeting?
20 A. I remember, yes.
21 Q. And what you say in that statement is that at that meeting, the
22 SDS members told you that -- that you, meaning your police and so forth --
23 had to leave the SO building because they said they could not control
24 their extremists who wanted to attack the building. And --
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Then you said: "Then we told them that we were ready to defend
2 ourselves in case of attack"; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So in that building, you and your people were armed and prepared
5 to defend yourselves.
6 A. Yes, we were.
7 Q. And a demand was made, was it not, that you exit the building to
8 the front and lay down your weapons?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And --
11 A. But this was requested by the paralegal -- the illegal organs of
12 the municipality. I would like you, Mr. Ackerman, to clearly state by who
13 and -- who, what, and where; otherwise, I will not be answering such
15 Q. Well, you do remember a time when you were asked to exit the
16 building and lay down your arms, don't you?
17 A. That's right. But let me add, that was the Serb policy. Tomo
18 Delic was asking. I cannot control the extremists. While Tomo Delic on
19 the other hand was leading these extremist Serb forces. And throughout
20 the time, that was the Serb policy.
21 Q. We all understand that's your position. That's not what I was
22 asking you, but we understand that's your position. You've told us that
23 it's correct that you were asked to come out of the building and surrender
24 your arms. You didn't do that. You and the other people in the building
25 left the building with your arms, didn't you?
1 A. No. No, no, no. No, not that night.
2 Q. But later you did. You left the building with your arms. You
3 didn't --
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. -- Come out and lay down your arms.
6 And some of those people went to Sehovci and some went to Mahala.
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. On May 28th, at page 37 of the LiveNote transcript, you were asked
9 about whether there was any resistance in Mahala when Mahala burned;
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that time, you were in jail.
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. And you were asked by the Prosecutor -- you answered "There was no
15 resistance with regard to Mahala." And then the Prosecutor asked you,
16 "Who did you hear that from?" And your answer was, "I heard it from Tomo
17 Delic himself, among others." Correct?
18 A. That's right. Correct.
19 Q. And that convinced you because of what Tomo Delic said, that there
20 was no resistance in Mahala?
21 A. I don't understand your question, sir.
22 Q. That's what convinced you, because Tomo Delic had told you that
23 there was no fighting in Mahala. That's how you became convinced that
24 there was none. Isn't it?
25 A. I -- he didn't have to convince me there is nothing that I have to
1 leave and be convinced about.
2 Q. I'd like you to look at some documents. And we'll just kind of go
3 through them in order. 603, 613, 647, 697, 718.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't have an English translation of
5 P603, and so somehow I guess we'll just have to read it, unless the --
6 unless there's one around somewhere.
7 Yes. I'd appreciate that very much.
8 Mr. Usher, Mr. Cayley has an English translation for me.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: How come? Did you turn the page and see whether
10 it's on the back?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: It's not, Your Honour. I just have the --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Because the one I have is a one-page document with
13 the English version on one side and the B/C/S, Serbo-Croat version on the
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, my guess, Your Honour, is that when --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's no problem. I just wanted to make sure
17 that -- yes. Does the witness have -- yeah, okay.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the document -- yes.
19 Q. This is a document, sir, of 7 March 1992 from a person who uses
20 the name Milos. And you can see the document. It talks about a meeting
21 of 500 armed Muslim citizens in the village of Donji Kamengrad. It talks
22 about Green Beret troops in the vicinity of Sanski Most. It talks about
23 launching an armed attack on the village of Suhace. It talks about 3.000
24 Muslims owning long barrels, part of the SDA. And it names you as one of
25 those responsible for the activities of the SDA in this regard. Correct?
1 A. I will laugh again. You can find as many Miloses as you want who
2 will submit to you such documents. And I'm surprised you don't have more
3 of such documents with such a signature with Milos --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg, you answer the question and just the
5 question. And please don't enter into arguments with the Defence
6 counsel. The Defence counsel is doing his duty here, and he has a right
7 to put the question to you. And you just answer yes, and that's it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I answered, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But if you provoke him, he will provoke you, and
10 then I will have to intervene. And when I intervene, one of you or both
11 of you will suffer.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Sir, this document is designated P603. That means it's a
14 Prosecutor's exhibit. Do you know that? Do you know that?
15 Apparently the witness has decided to stop answering questions,
16 Your Honour, or he's not hearing my questions or something.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg, have you understood the question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Then answer.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have. And I just said this,
23 what is concluded here, that Milos found and concluded this.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg the question is a very simple one: Do
25 you know, are you aware that this document which is numbered P603 has not
1 been brought forward by the Defence but has been brought forward by the
2 Prosecutor? This is the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And that's it. Finished.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Next question.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Please look at Exhibit P613, please.
9 P613, sir, is another Prosecutor's Exhibit. It's dated 14 April
10 1992. And I want to refer you to the last paragraph. It's a document
11 from the Banja Luka security services centre. The last paragraph says:
12 "The most recent incident of a mass gathering of armed Serbian and Muslim
13 inhabitants in Sanski Most, caused by explosives being placed on a
14 building belonging to a Serb, led to demands for the territory of the
15 municipality to be divided." Do you recall that mass gathering of armed
16 Serbian and Muslim inhabitants?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The date, approximately we're talking of prior to
18 the 14th April 1992 but very near that date.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. Do you recall such a gathering?
21 A. Would you, sir, please repeat the question.
22 Q. Do you see the last paragraph of the document, beginning with "The
23 most recent incident"?
24 A. Well, let me say, there were the joint guards of citizens of
25 Muslim and Serb and Croat ethnicity.
1 Q. My question is: Do you recall an incident involving a mass
2 gathering of armed Serbian and Muslim inhabitants because of a bomb that
3 was placed on Serb property?
4 MR. CAYLEY: The problem -- the problem is, if you look at the
5 original version, the very last paragraph is actually what the witness is
6 reading. It's -- it's an understandable mistake. In the English version,
7 it's one single last paragraph.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, yes.
9 MR. CAYLEY: In the Serbian version, it's essentially two split
10 paragraphs. So the witness is reading the wrong paragraph, and that's why
11 there's this miscommunication.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, there is. Correct.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Mr. Cayley for bringing that out.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Sir, look at the paragraph beginning with the word [B/C/S spoken].
16 Do you see that?
17 A. I do. I do see it. Of course.
18 Q. That's the paragraph I'm referring to. And all I want to know
19 from you is do you recall such an incident sometime prior to 14 April
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. An explosion -- an -- two grenades were launched against the
24 mosque in Donji Kamengrad.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg, look at me. We are not talking of the
1 launching of two grenades in the courtyard of the mosque. We're talking
2 of an incident occurring prior -- approximate to the 14th April 1992 where
3 an explosion did take place but not in the mosque but an explosion took
4 place on a building belonging to a Serb. We're not talking of a mosque
5 here. As a result of this explosion taking place on a building belonging
6 to a Serb, it is being alleged that there was then a mass gathering - not
7 a small gathering but a mass gathering - of armed Serbian and Muslim
8 inhabitants of Sanski Most. The question is this: Do you remember an
9 explosion taking place on a building of a Serb before but approximate to
10 the date of the 14th April 1992? Question number one.
11 Question number two: Is the statement here that following that
12 explosion, there was a mass gathering of armed Serbian and Muslim
13 inhabitants of Sanski Most a correct one or is it not correct? Do you
14 recall these two events, which are connected? That's the question that
15 Mr. Ackerman put to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That could only be when -- when this
17 hand grenade was launched on the courtyard of a facility which was owned
18 by a Serb. That was the only one.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please proceed, Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
23 Q. Look now, sir, at P647. This is another document from this person
24 Milos. It's again a Prosecutor's exhibit. I only want to refer you to
25 the first part of it. It says: "In the area of Sanski Most and Kljuc,
1 there are still ongoing battles against extremist members of the state
2 security service who are resisting the legal authorities and do not wish
3 to return weapons they received from the SDB or BH Territorial Defence.
4 In the last two to three days in the Sanski Most area, a member of our
5 forces has been killed and a few wounded, while seven SDA extremists have
6 been killed and 64 captured or arrested." Now, the date of this, sir, is
7 29 May. Do you know anything about the incidents that are described in
8 that document? And if you don't, just say you don't.
9 A. I heard about these events. As I have already said, I was
10 imprisoned and I couldn't witness it myself.
11 Q. Please look at Prosecutor's Exhibit 697, sir. This is another
12 document -- this is a document from the Sanski Most public security
13 station. It talks -- and it's dated 2 July 1992. It speaks of the combat
14 operations that took place on the territory of Sanski Most and the
15 disarming of paramilitary formations, extremists of Muslim and Croatian
16 nationality. And then at the bottom, you see a list of the weapons that
17 were either handed in or confiscated during these events. Do you see
19 A. I do.
20 Q. And among those weapons, there are automatic rifles, 278; 11 light
21 machine-guns; 6 zoljas, rocket launchers; 8 hand grenades; 13 mines; 3.140
22 kilogrammes of explosives; and 5.000 rounds of ammunition. Correct?
23 A. Well, I don't know whether this is correct or not. It could have
25 Q. And the final document I want you to look at then, sir, in this
1 series is --
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm told that his answer was not -- I'm told that
3 he said "There could have been arms," as opposed to "It could have
4 been" -- "there were arms."
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Karabeg, again, there seems to be a problem with
6 the interpretation. When Mr. Ackerman put to you the last question about
7 the gathering, surrendering, and confiscation of all those weapons, what
8 did you answer? What was your answer? Did you say "Well, I don't know
9 whether this is correct or not. It could have been"? Or did you answer
10 also that there could have been arms or weapons?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said "Yes. I don't know whether
12 there could have been -- there could have been arms and weapons at
13 Hrustovo and Vrhpolje. The people did not surrender their arms."
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that, Mr. Ackerman? Can we
16 MR. ACKERMAN: We'll proceed.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Look at Prosecutor's Exhibit 718, sir.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's still the case that the answer he
21 gave was not properly translated initially. And I would ask that the tape
22 of his answer be consulted and a proper transcript made of his answer.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, please make note of that. Thank
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. P718, sir, is a -- basically a follow-up of the previous document
2 regarding the confiscation of weapons. And it just says: "Since our last
3 report, we have confiscated a few additional weapons: 3 automatic rifles,
4 3 pistols, 200 kilogrammes of explosives" that's what it says; correct?
5 MR. CAYLEY: Can Mr. Ackerman actually read out the rest of this
6 document, the last line, please. So we get a complete picture of what the
7 document's actually saying.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Of course.
9 Q. It also says that these were weapons that were buried in the
10 ground that had become rusty and were now useless. And that's what that
11 says, doesn't it?
12 A. Do you expect me to answer that?
13 Q. I only expect you to confirm that what the exhibit says is what I
14 just read to you.
15 A. Will you please repeat your question once again.
16 Q. P718, sir, is basically a follow-up of the previous document
17 regarding the confiscation of weapons. And it just says: "Since our last
18 report, we have confiscated a few additional weapons: 3 automatic rifle,
19 3 pistols, 200 kilogrammes of explosives." Then the final paragraph
20 refers to weapons that were buried in the ground, had rusted, and become
21 useless. That's what the document says, does it not?
22 A. Yes, that is what the document says, that you read out.
23 Q. Okay. You were arrested, you've told us, sir, on 25 May and
24 placed in a cell of the prison near the Sanski Most police station;
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there were two cells there, were there not?
3 A. Four.
4 Q. Four?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were placed in a cell right next to that which was
7 occupied by Adil Draganovic; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Could you describe for the Chamber the cell that you were in.
10 A. Let me see. I think it was a cell of some 3 by 2 metres, 3 metres
11 by 2, which had a window with bars, but the window was edged in sheet
12 steel, and there were small holes drilled in that steel so that a little
13 air could come through. So the window was covered with this sheet of
14 steel with little holes in it. On the right-hand side, there was a bed.
15 On the left-hand side, another bed. So that between those two beds, there
16 was some 20 centimetres of space. There was an iron door with a small
17 opening, which was always closed, which they opened only when the guards
18 entered to speak to us. In that cell, we also had a mattress. I don't
19 know whether I managed to describe it well for you.
20 Q. What colour were the walls of the cell? Do you remember?
21 A. I don't remember. They were probably white. I assume they were
22 white. I believe they were white.
23 Q. And did the walls change colour during the time you were in
25 A. Well, let me see. I didn't pay attention to the walls, because
1 there was no light and when we were there it was dark.
2 Q. Did you ever see --
3 A. There was humidity, so probably due to the humidity they did. But
4 really, don't ask me that. I didn't pay attention to such details.
5 Q. Did you ever see the cell that was occupied by Adil Draganovic?
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. Now, you told us a few moments ago that Tomo Delic had made it
8 clear when he came to see you at the jail that there was no resistance in
9 Mahala. I'd like you now, sir, to look at that statement you gave to --
10 the 13 September 1995 statement to Zijad Ibric. And I think you have it
11 there on the left. And on the English version, the part I'm referring to
12 is at page 4. Since it doesn't have paragraphs, it's very difficult. But
13 I think maybe it's marked -- no, it's not.
14 It speaks -- it's the fourth page of the English version, probably
15 maybe --
16 MR. CAYLEY: Line 17.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Sorry?
18 MR. CAYLEY: [Microphone not activated] Line 17 I think is what
19 you're after.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. It talks about the 27th of May 1992 when Tomo Delic and Nemanja
22 Tripkovic came to the jail to see you. Right? Did you find it?
23 A. No, I haven't. I'm looking for the name.
24 Q. It's on page 3. And if you'd just look up a little ways from the
25 bottom, you'll see the names "Tomo Delic" and "Nemanja Tripkovic" on page
1 3. It's about ten lines or so up from the bottom. Do you see the names
2 on page 3? There's a "3" at the top of the page. Look at the top of the
3 page and look for the number "3."
4 A. I don't have number 3. I have 4 -- 4.
5 Q. If you just go up from the bottom, you'll see the names Tomo
6 Delic --
7 A. I've found it. I've found it.
8 Q. And what you said in that statement was "At that time Tomo Delic
9 told us that Mahala had allegedly put up resistance," which was not true.
11 A. Well, let me put it this way: I said that Tomo Delic said that he
12 had a videotape of the burning of Mahala, of Mahala in flames.
13 Q. You told us in your testimony, sir, on the 28th of May at page 37,
14 you told this Trial Chamber that you knew there was no resistance. You
15 said in answer to a question from Mr. Cayley regarding Mahala: "Answer:
16 There was no resistance." "Question: Who did you hear that from?"
17 "Answer: I heard it from Tomo Delic, among others." Now, that was your
19 In your statement you say: "Tomo Delic told us that Mahala
20 had allegedly put up resistance." Now, those are not the same thing, are
22 A. I said that Tomo Delic was in Mahala, that he took us out that
23 evening to see the smoke from Mahala burning, and Tomo Delic said that he
24 had a videotape of this burning of Mahala.
25 Q. There's a woman sitting over there in front of a computer. What
1 she does is write down -- she writes down every word you say, and then I
2 get what she writes down printed like this, your exact words.
3 A. That's clear to me.
4 Q. And when I say you said in the transcript a certain thing, that's
5 because she wrote it down when you said it.
6 A. And I'm quite sure that that is what I did say.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And I recall the witness repeating the same
8 statement this morning.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: That's correct, Your Honour.
10 Q. All right. You were asked about explosions in Sanski Most of
11 buildings. And Mr. Cayley asked you if there were any Serb buildings that
12 suffered explosions. And you said you knew of one. I think that you
13 called the Pilot or something like that, maybe a cafe. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How about Madeira in Zdenac owned by Marko Rajlic? Wasn't that
16 blown up?
17 A. No.
18 Q. How about Kagian Kafic [phoen], owned by a fellow named Lukic?
19 Wasn't that blown up?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, in all fairness, keeping in mind that
22 according to the witness he was imprisoned on the 25th of May, are we
23 talking of events prior or post the 25th of May?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I think prior, Your Honour, but I'm not certain.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But I think we need to know this. Because it -- I
1 wouldn't consider it that fair asking the question to the witness if
2 you're referring to events that took place after the 25th of May, of which
3 he may not be aware. I mean, he may be replying to your questions on the
4 assumption that these events took place before his arrest.
5 JUDGE AGIUS:
6 Q. Sir, I would like you to --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And --
8 MR. ACKERMAN: That's fine, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Sir, I would like you to look at document DB84 A, please.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: There is no -- it's only in English.
13 And could you put it on the ELMO, please, because I somehow have
14 misplaced my copy of it.
15 Q. Now, sir, this appears to be a document -- and it's difficult for
16 me to tell. The Prosecutor may know more about it than I do. But it
17 appears that it was authored by some members of a humanitarian
18 organisation of some form that visited Sanski Most in early 1992. It
19 speaks of a meeting that a team came from Sarajevo and had a meeting with
20 Rasula, Karabeg, it looks like Pranic and Majkic. Do you recall such a
21 meeting where the four of you met with some representatives from Sarajevo
22 of a Red Cross organisation?
23 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Excuse me, Mr. Ackerman.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cayley.
25 MR. CAYLEY: I'm making a supposition here, but I think -- I think
1 that this document is ECMM, because it's referring to RC Sarajevo. I
2 don't think that's Red Cross. I think it's regional centre Sarajevo. I
3 also make that assumption upon the basis that it's signed by two
4 individuals, one Terp, a Dane, the other a Spaniard, both countries that
5 were members of the European Community. So that's my belief. Also the
6 format of the report is such. But I will find out exactly. But that, I
7 think, is what this document purports to be.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I very much appreciate Mr. Cayley's
9 assistance, because I have no idea where it came from.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Perhaps now you could rephrase your question,
11 making it --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the -- yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think -- because you did specify the Red Cross.
14 It's being suggested now, and I think the suggestion is more realistic one
15 than the Red Cross supposition -- that there could have been a meeting
16 between representatives of the European Community and the four gentlemen
17 that were mentioned before, that is, Rasula Nedeljko, Karabeg Mirzet,
18 Pranic Ivica, and Majkic Dragan, are near or on the 24th of February
19 1992. And the first question to you, Mr. Karabeg: Do you recall meeting
20 with some representatives of the European Community together with the
21 other four -- three persons that I mentioned round about or on the 24th of
22 February of 1992 in Sanski Most?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were several meetings with
24 representatives of the European Community. To be quite frank with you, I
25 don't really remember. But it's quite possible that this meeting took
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Ackerman, he's back in your hands. Thank
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. Sir, the document indicates -- and I know it's not in your
6 language, so I will just read it and it will be translated for you. It
7 says that there are over 5.000 unemployed in Sanski Most. Why is it that
8 there would have been 5.000 people unemployed in early 1992, before 24
10 A. There was no work. Even now there are more than 5.000
12 Q. The -- thank you. The next paragraph, sir, reads as follows:
13 "All the complains --" and that means complaints, I assume -- "remarked
14 in the last visit, 24 October, have been solved. Only problem is that
15 since November around 20 explosions have targeted citizens' properties in
16 the town - cafes, bars, cars ...- however they are not focussed on one
17 exclusive nationality but in all three of them." That's what the report
18 says. And that's true, isn't it?
19 A. If that is what the report says, that is what the report says.
20 Q. But I'm not asking you if that's what the report says. I'm asking
21 you if that statement in the report is correct, that the explosions
22 between November and the date of this report were not focussed on one
23 exclusive nationality but in all three of them.
24 A. That is not correct in the report.
25 Q. All right. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Hase
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you and he enter any kind of a joint effort to accumulate some
4 funds and purchase weapons for members of the SDA?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know who Idriz Karabeg is?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Is that your brother?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. And --
11 A. If it's the one. There may be several Idrez Karabeg's. But the
12 father's name is important.
13 Q. You have a brother by that name who is a lawyer in Sanski Most;
15 A. I do. I do.
16 Q. And he stayed in Sanski Most throughout the war, did he not?
17 A. He did.
18 Q. And he was never arrested, was he?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. You don't know if your own brother was arrested.
21 A. If you're referring to the period from 1992 to 1995.
22 Q. That's the period I'm referring to.
23 A. I said I didn't know.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. Then please be specific.
1 Q. I'm referring to that period, from the time you left till the time
2 you returned.
3 A. Then put it like that. I would like to ask you to do that.
4 Q. I just did. Now answer it.
5 A. What?
6 Q. Was your brother arrested between the time you left Sanski Most
7 and the time you returned, between 1992 and 1995?
8 A. I said I didn't know.
9 Q. Yesterday, page 19, line 5, the transcript indicates - and I think
10 it was just a misunderstanding of what you said. The transcript indicates
11 that you said you were evicted to the court in Zenica. Did you say that?
12 A. What? I'm sorry?
13 Q. The transcript says that you answered a question and part of your
14 answer was that you were evicted to the court in Zenica. I don't think
15 that's what you said, is it?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I think if you have the --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please don't make things up.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Karabeg.
19 I suggest to you to go to the page -- relative page and read out
20 to the witness what the question was and what his answer was. In other
21 words, we want to establish first and foremost the context.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think it's -- I don't think it's
23 important enough to take up the time.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Then leave it.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I will.
1 Q. On the second day of your testimony, on page 23 of the transcript
2 you were asked by Mr. Cayley about Colonel Anicic, and Mr. Cayley asked,
3 "Do you know what his function was at this time within Sanski Most?" And
4 your answer was: "Well, you see at the time -- and in those contacts, I
5 had no contact with him. But as far as I was informed and as far as we
6 knew, he headed the Crisis Staff of the municipality of -- that is, the
7 Serbian municipality of Republika Srpska."
8 A. I made a slip of the tongue there. The Serbian municipality of
9 Sanski Most. That's all.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I just wanted to make sure
11 that we got that cleared up?
12 A. Yes, yes. Yes. I made a slip of the tongue.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... P626, please, sir.
14 Now, on the first day of your testimony here, Mr. Cayley was
15 asking you about signatures and stamps and how you can tell if documents
16 are authentic. I want you to look at this document and tell me if you see
17 anything that would cause you to believe that this is an authentic
18 document, since it has neither signature nor stamp.
19 A. Well, let's see. Probably, since there's a number to it and a
21 Q. So you think if it has a number and a date that that indicates to
22 you that it's authentic?
23 A. It should be.
24 Q. And it purports to be a document from the Crisis Staff of the
25 Serbian municipality of Sanski Most, doesn't it?
1 A. That's what it says.
2 Q. The -- to your knowledge, the Crisis Staff didn't have an Air
3 Force, did it?
4 A. I assume it didn't.
5 Q. And as far as you know, there were no anti-aircraft weapons in
6 Sanski Most in April of 1992?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. And this conclusion from the Crisis Staff, if you'll look about
9 two thirds through, bans flights over the territory of Sanski Most
10 municipality except by aircraft of the Yugoslav People's Army, doesn't
12 A. I haven't read it through. "The flight of all aircrafts not
13 bearing the symbols of the Yugoslav People's Army --" yes, one that is not
14 announced in advance. That's what it says.
15 Q. And finally I want you to look at --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] The same document or
17 another document?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The same document or another document, Mr. --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: The same one. 694.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll leave it till after the break, please.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I will finish in 30 seconds, my
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we'll go to 694. That's the first piece of
25 good news we've heard for the day.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I didn't realise I was that bad this morning, Your
3 Q. All right. You have the document in front of you, sir.
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And you notice that --
6 A. The decision you mean. Don't you?
7 Q. Yes. It's called a decision.
8 Now, you notice this one has no signature, no stamp, no number, no
9 date. And so by your rules for what is a valid document, this document is
10 not authentic, is it?
11 A. It doesn't have the essential elements. It has been written, but
12 it doesn't have the essential elements for it to be said to be authentic.
13 Q. And most probably what this is, is a draft that was never issued,
14 never signed, never issued, isn't it? Isn't that the most likely case?
15 A. It could be so.
16 Q. Yes.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I have, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
19 Mr. Karabeg, before I can tell you whether your labours are over
20 or not, I'd like to know from Mr. Cayley whether there is a
22 MR. CAYLEY: There is, Your Honour, but very little.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Very little.
24 And then we have to decide whether there are any questions from
25 our side.
1 So we will now have a 30-minute break, after which, Mr. Karabeg,
2 you will be escorted back to this courtroom. It won't be long this time
3 and you will be on your way back home. Thank you.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.11 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies to everyone. It's my fault we are
7 starting a little bit later than the 30 minutes allocated before. The
8 reason is I had a very urgent call that I had to attend to, so --
9 Yes, Madam Fauveau.
10 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your
11 Honours, I should simply like to present the excuses of Mr. Fabien Masson,
12 who will be absent from the courtroom.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
14 Any news about the new arrival?
15 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Zecevic will arrive in
16 The Hague today. I believe that the decision -- official decision has
17 still not been made regarding his designation, but he will be present in
18 The Hague this afternoon.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
20 Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, I have to attend a meeting that has
22 been scheduled for 1.00 today, if it's not been changed, here in the
23 Tribunal. And so I may be absent during the last session today.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And who will take over?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Mr. Trbojevic, co-counsel.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
2 Mr. Cayley.
3 Sir, Mr. Karabeg, look at me. You're going to be asked very few
4 questions again by Mr. Cayley, and that will bring us to an end.
5 Mr. Cayley, please proceed.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Cayley:
8 Q. Mr. Karabeg, I will be very brief with you. You've been
9 testifying a long time. But I have a few matters to clarify with you. I
10 want you to direct your mind to the 20th of April of 1992, to the meeting
11 that you attended in Sanski Most with General Talic, the accused in this
12 case. And I want to remind you of a question that you were asked
13 yesterday and the response that you gave to that particular question. And
14 the question was put to you by Ms. Fauveau-Ivanovic. And this is page 50
15 of the draft transcript, as follows. And she was referring Prosecutor's
16 Exhibit 759, Rasula's diary, which I'm not going to put in front of you.
17 It's not necessary for the purposes of my question. But she was directing
18 to you to the bottom of the page. And she said the followings. "At the
19 very bottom of this page, you find the name that was pronounced by
20 General Talic. Kupres, Bosanski Brod, and Vukovar. You said yesterday
21 that certain Muslims took this to be a threat. Is that right?" And your
22 answer was: "Yes, and I was one of them." Do you recall that evidence
23 from yesterday?
24 A. Yes, I do recall.
25 Q. And then it was put to you about certain events that happened in
1 Croats where it was stated that members of the Serb population had been
2 massacred by Croats in Kupres and that, I think, the Serb population had
3 been massacred and expelled in the municipality of Bosanski Brod.
4 Now, the third place that was mentioned was Vukovar. Do you
5 recall Vukovar being mentioned?
6 A. I do remember.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Now, if Your Honours could be given Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 802, which is a public document but I've provided copies to the
9 Defence. I can provide copies to the Defence now and to Your Honours. It
10 is an extract of a book called "Origins of catastrophe," by Warren
11 Zimmerman who was the last United States ambassador to what was then
12 Yugoslavia. And on page 156 of that book, he describes as the United
13 States ambassador the events in Vukovar in the late summer and early
14 autumn of 1991.
15 Q. Now, unfortunately, Mr. Karabeg, the document is in English.
16 But I will read part of it to you and if you could listen carefully. And
17 it is the final paragraph on page 156. And it reads as follows: --
18 MR. CAYLEY: If a copy of it could be placed on the ELMO, that
19 will actually assist the interpreters.
20 Could you move it down -- up. Fine. Thank you.
21 Q. "During the late summer and early autumn of 1991, the JNA made a
22 fateful transition from securing territory for Serbs to targeting civilian
23 populations. It began to shell two Croatian cities, Vukovar and
24 Dubrovnik. The pretty Croatian city of Vukovar, with a mixed population,
25 of which a third was Serbian, came under JNA shelling in August,
1 apparently because of its strategic location on the Danube River between
2 Serbia and Croatia. For three months the army, shrinking from a direct
3 attack that might have cost it casualties, surrounded the city and shelled
4 it to pieces. The civilian population of the city -- Serbs and Croats
5 alike -- huddled in cellars."
6 "A month into the siege, I asked Kadijevic and Your Honours" -- I
7 don't think it will be disputed Kadijevic was the Minister of Defence of
8 Yugoslavia at the time -- "what the JNA's military objective was in
9 Vukovar; he brushed off the question as if it weren't worthy of his
10 attention. Hundreds of civilians were killed in the shelling before the
11 JNA finally 'liberated' the city." And then it goes on to talk about
12 events in the Vukovar hospital, which I won't read out.
13 Mr. Karabeg, on April the 20th, 1992, when you were in this
14 meeting with General Talic were you aware of events that had taken place
15 in the summer of 1991 in the city of Vukovar in Croatia?
16 A. Yes, I was. Via the media.
17 Q. Now, you stated in your evidence, both in chief and in
18 cross-examination, that you took the mention of those three locations as a
19 threat. Do you recall stating that?
20 A. Yes, I remember. I recall it.
21 Q. Is the reason that you took the mention of Vukovar as a threat
22 because of what I have just read out to you?
23 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, Vukovar. Because only for Vukovar we knew what
24 had happened.
25 Q. When did the attack on Sanski Most commence? What was the date?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The attack commenced on Sanski Most -- commenced on the 26th of
2 May at 9.00 p.m. It was the evening of the 26th of May to the 27th of
4 Q. Now, again, you were in a prison cell at 9.00 p.m. on the 26th of
5 May. But what did you hear that night from your prison cell?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Karabeg.
7 I think he's answered -- the previous question he's answered
8 already. And this question he had answered already, and it was to a
9 question that you put to him.
10 MR. CAYLEY: I want to make a linkage.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Because this is a re-examination. I know what you
12 are after. Please try to restrict --
13 MR. CAYLEY: It's important, Your Honour. I'll do it very
14 briefly. But I want to make a linkage. Thank you.
15 Q. Can you explain, Mr. Karabeg, what you heard at 9.00 p.m. on the
16 26th of May, 1992, in your prison cell in Sanski Most.
17 A. Throughout the evening I heard the shelling of Sanski Most. And
18 in close proximity a grenade launcher -- a mortar launcher.
19 Q. Thank you. We can move straight on. Now, you were asked a number
20 of questions if you recall about the Islamic declaration by Alija
21 Izetbegovic. Do you recall those questions?
22 A. I do recall.
23 Q. And you were read various captured sentences from that book, which
24 I'm not going to repeat to you. But you will recall that it was put to
25 you that the SDA political policy was to create an independent Muslim
1 state in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And your reply was "never." Do you recall
2 that evidence?
3 A. I do recall it.
4 Q. Have you ever read the Islamic declaration?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Did you know that Bosnia-Herzegovina is not even mentioned in that
7 book? Did you know that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you know that that book was written in 1970, 22 years before
10 the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina that this trial is concerned with? Did
11 you know that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, regarding SDA policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina and you being
14 president of the executive committee of Sanski Most, I think you will have
15 been familiar with that policy. I want you to state this very briefly,
16 but can you tell the Judges, as far as you understood, what SDA policy was
17 in 1992 towards the other ethnic groups that lived in Bosnia at the time,
18 specifically the Croats and the Serbs. What was SDA policy as far as you
20 A. The entire Bosnia and Herzegovina united and unified in -- within
21 its territories, co-existance of the three constituent nations, Bosniaks,
22 Croats, and Serbs.
23 MR. CAYLEY: If the document DB84 could be made available. And
24 this is the ECMM report that we spoke about. I have subsequently
25 discovered that it was received, Your Honours, from the -- what was then
1 the European Community monitoring mission in Zagreb, Croatia, what I think
2 is now known as the European Union Monitoring Mission.
3 Q. Now, witness, this is a document that's in English. You won't be
4 able to read it. But I just want to read out a couple of sections for
5 you. This is the document that Mr. Ackerman read out to you, and it
6 refers to a meeting that took place on the 24th of February of 1992, at
7 which you attended along with Rasula and two other individuals, an HDZ
8 representative and the chief of police. And you stated that there were a
9 number of these meetings and that this meeting may well have taken place.
10 MR. CAYLEY: If -- is that -- could the document be moved down so
11 that the bottom of the -- yes, that's fine.
12 Q. Now, the last two paragraphs in this document refer to the
13 following. And I'll read it to you. And this is -- it's stated to be
14 exactly from the document. This is local political propaganda which was
15 translated by their interpreter -- by the ECMM interpreter. And it reads
16 as follows.
17 "Serbian people of Sanski Most, you realise the game of
18 Izetbegovic about sovereign and independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
19 which he wants to create with this referendum.
20 "He says that he will take care of us, that he will provide us
21 with equality of rights as though Serbs are simple minded people, so they
22 need tutor about that kind of sovereignty.
23 "5.000 Serbs were laying on Susnjar are telling us and who is
24 trying are still being hurt.
25 "Thanks to god there are no more nife Serbs. Otherwise
1 President Izetbegovic would succeed in his aim and we be all living in
2 this Islamic Bosnia.
3 "Every Serb who would participate in this referendum would
4 actually vote for his dependence and would portray his family and his
6 "But there are not such Serbs, and President Izetbegovic was
7 wrong if he thought that way because Serbs are sovereign people living on
8 their own territory and they have their own country made by their own
10 "Izetbegovic's will is Serbs trouble."
11 And then it has in brackets, "T," which I suspect means
12 translated, "by our interpreter."
13 Now, Mr. Karabeg, this is contained in an ECMM document that's
14 been put to you by the Defence. Do you recall hearing that kind of
15 propaganda in February of 1992?
16 A. Yes, yes, I did hear at the time this type of propaganda.
17 Q. And where did you hear this kind of propaganda?
18 A. Well, let me say. That was the leadership of the SDS through
19 their contacts and visits to the Serbian people, the Serb ethnic groups.
20 And something similar would be also found on flyers with a warning that
21 the Serbian people shouldn't participate at the referendum concerning the
22 issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. Now, I just want to read to you the on collusion in this
24 document. And these are the conclusions reached by the two ECMM
25 representatives that were present at this meeting with you and Rasula, the
1 HDZ representative, and the chief of police. And this was their
2 conclusion in their report to Sarajevo.
3 "However, they tried to give the impression of good cooperation.
4 It was clear that Muslim and Croatian communities are scared of the
5 Serbian authorities. If this is not solved, it could lead to
6 internal conflicts among the ethnic groups."
7 Mr. Karabeg, in February of 1992 would you say that that was a
8 fair impression of the position in Sanski Most?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. CAYLEY: There is one final matter, Your Honour. And I'm not
11 going to put it to the witness, but I'm going to state it for the record.
12 And that is Prosecutor's Exhibit 608, which is an order -- a report,
13 rather, by General Talic to the Main Staff of -- in fact, not the Main
14 Staff. To the -- it's a command to the 10th Partisan Division of the 5th
15 Corps. And it was read out to the witness. And it's page 48 of the draft
16 transcript. And I'm referring now, if you go to paragraph 1 of that
17 document, the second paragraph, where it reads "After the march, deploy
18 the units in Sanski Most." And Ms. Fauveau said at page 48, it is not
19 quite clear whether the word "preventing" relates also to the second part
20 of the sentence.
21 The order that General Talic gives after the colon it reads: "With
22 the following task, achieving full control of the territory, preventing
23 inter-ethnic conflicts, setting up roadblocks and securing features of
24 special importance."
25 The position I think of General Talic's Defence is that that means
1 he was ordering the prevention of setting up of roadblocks. Our position
2 is that he was giving an order to set up roadblocks. And I'm going to
3 send this document back to the translation document to have that
4 confirmed. There is a comma in the --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: There is more than one comma.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. There is more than one come match. But
7 certainly with the comma as it is --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I think you are doing the right thing,
9 Mr. Cayley.
10 MR. CAYLEY: We believe it means what I've just stated. But
11 naturally Ms. Fauveau can take her position.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
13 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I quite understand the
14 position of Mr. Cayley. But I was referring to the Serbo-Croatian
15 version, and I think General Talic wrote in Serbo-Croatian. And I think
16 in that version, it is quite clear what he wanted to say.
17 Also, there is a report. I think it is 609 Prosecutor's Exhibit
18 where it is also mentioned, and in the English version it is very clear
19 what General Talic wanted to say and that is he wanted to prevent the
20 building of roadblocks.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you Madam Fauveau.
22 And I would suggest that you do exactly what you promised to do,
23 because I think it would be important. I'm sure that this document will
24 come up -- or these two documents will come up again and again. So it
25 will be useful to have a proper translation or a second check. Thank you,
1 Mr. Cayley.
2 Any further questions?
3 MR. CAYLEY: I just have one further mat their wish to inquire
5 Q. Witness, when did you -- when were you first visited by the Red
6 Cross? Do you recall?
7 A. I think it was in July 1992 in prison.
8 Q. In which prison? In Betonirka or in the police prison?
9 A. In the police prison. In the police prison.
10 Q. Did you state to them how you had been treated by the Serb
11 authorities, to the Red Cross?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Did you tell them that you'd been beaten?
14 A. I did. Because I was alone with them, so I was able to tell them
16 Q. Did they ask you why you'd been beaten?
17 A. Yes, they did.
18 Q. What did you say to them?
19 A. I answered that they would always find excuses, not only when they
20 beat me but when they beat the others as well.
21 MR. CAYLEY: I don't have any further questions, Your Honour.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: From the Bench side, there are no questions also,
24 which means, Mr. Karabeg, that we come to the end of your testimony. I
25 take this opportunity on behalf of the other two Judges and on behalf of
1 the Tribunal to thank you for having accepted to come here and give
3 You will be escorted now outside of the courtroom.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Before the witness leaves, Your Honour, I haven't
5 obviously been able to talk to him while he's been giving evidence. But
6 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor would like to speak with
7 him now he's finished his evidence.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. If he's finished, he's finished.
9 MR. CAYLEY: So if I could communicate that to him.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You will be escorted out of this courtroom,
11 and we wish you a safe journey back home. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to thank you and
13 the members of the Trial Chamber for the very correct conduct of the
14 proceedings during my examination as a witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Karabeg. Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Before Mr. Ackerman, Madam Fauveau, and Mr. Cayley,
18 before we proceed with the next witness, shall we round up the
19 documentation to make sure that everything has been tendered. I don't
20 think that everything has been tendered. For example, this last document,
21 P802 hasn't as yet.
22 MR. CAYLEY: 798, 799, 800, and 801 are four photographs; two from
23 Sanski Most and two from Manjaca. And 802 is this last extract from this
24 book. So if there are no objections, Your Honour, I apply for those to be
25 admitted into evidence. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections from the Defence?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: None other -- none other than the authenticity
3 objections that have been made at the beginning of the case. I don't
4 recall that I have tendered any of the documents --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No, exactly. I was coming back to --
6 MR. ACKERMAN: In the last month or so.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: So there was the whole series of documents starting
9 in the 60s -- or maybe 70 or something like that with regard to the last
10 witness. And with regard to this witness, there's 84 A.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. With regard to the last witness -- the
12 previous -- not this last one but the previous one, we had agreed, if you
13 remember, Mr. Ackerman, that I pointed out to you that you had handed us
14 documents, some of which you had made reference to in the course of your
15 cross-examination. Some others you had absolutely ignored. And we had
16 asked you to decide which ones you were tendering -- you were tendering in
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I will get that worked out, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. We're still waiting for --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: One of the documents with regard to the last
21 witness was rather loudly objected to by Ms. Korner, and I think she
22 wanted to speak maybe some more about it. And that was the transcript of
23 the testimony. And so I will certainly not ask you to admit that until
24 we've both had a chance to make whatever arguments we want to make about
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But do discuss this or see to it and come
2 back, because it's the sequence -- numerical sequence which could create
3 problems. Otherwise, I don't foresee any major problems.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: The other thing that I want to tell you, Your
5 Honour, is that -- that I have had an opportunity to spend some time going
6 through the documents that came from Mr. Dzonlic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You were supposed to tell us, yes. Exactly.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: And what I'm -- what I'm going to do is I'm going
9 to submit them to CLSS for translation I hope today. I've got them with
10 me. And when they come back, I will then have them marked as exhibits and
11 ask they be put in evidence.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
13 Madam Fauveau, with the exception of DT14 or -- do you have any
14 other documents that you would like to tender?
15 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] No. I have no other
16 documents and I have no objection to the documents of the Prosecution
17 being tendered.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that solves the issue of the
19 documentation, of the documents, saving what you still need to come back
20 to us with.
21 The next witness.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Your Honour. It does actually follow the order
23 of the new list.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] I hope.
25 MR. CAYLEY: I can commit myself, I think, to the last list.
1 I did discuss with my learned friends yesterday swapping them
2 round for internal reasons, but we are going to stick to the original
3 list. And the name of this witness -- can I mention the name? Is he
4 public session? It's Mr. Begic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Rajif Begic.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Rajif Begic. And my colleague Ms. Richterova will be
7 leading this witness in evidence, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If you'll just give me a moment to move my documents.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cayley, I think we will require -- I think I can
11 say it straight away that we will require the photocopy of the statements
12 that this witness -- the proper ones, the ones which bear his signature
13 and that of Zijad Ibric and Adil Draganovic, because the ones that we have
14 here are just copies -- without a copy of the signature, and I am sure
15 we're going to get to that stage at some point in time.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. So you -- essentially the statement taken by
17 the Bosnian authorities, you require the original version with the
18 signatures. Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we better have it, in any case, because --
20 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And there are two statements that we have here which
22 I think are the same statements that were -- we exhibited in the other --
23 MR. CAYLEY: We'll need to send them out, Your Honour, to get them
24 copied, but we can do that now.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, to you, Mr. Begic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we start our business and you start giving
7 your evidence, according to the Rules you are required to enter a solemn
8 declaration that you will tell us the truth and the whole truth and
9 nothing but the truth. Now, the usher will give you the document on which
10 the proper declaration is already written. And may I kindly ask you to
11 read it out and make the solemn declaration aloud, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: RAJIF BEGIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Begic. You may sit down.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And before we start, I will more or less explain to
19 you the whole layout.
20 I am the President of this Trial Chamber, and I am flanked with
21 the other two Judges that form this Trial Chamber. To my right is
22 Judge Janu from the Czech Republic; to my left is Judge Taya from Japan.
23 I am Judge Agius from Malta.
24 To your right, you see the team for the Prosecution. And the lady
25 next -- nearest to you will be the person from the team of the Prosecution
1 to conduct your examination-in-chief.
2 To your left, you have two rows. The front row, starting with the
3 gentleman and then the young lady and the other gentleman, that's the
4 Defence team for accused Radoslav Brdjanin. The back, there is -- you can
5 see a lady. That lady is the Defence counsel for General Momir Talic.
6 The persons in front of us is the registry team of this Trial
8 Now, the procedure to be followed is as follows: You will first
9 be asked questions by the representative -- by counsel for the
10 Prosecution, and that will be followed when they are ready by
11 cross-examination forthcoming first from one Defence team and then from
12 the next Defence team.
13 So having said that, I think we may proceed. Madam Richterova
14 will question you.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examined by Ms. Richterova:
17 Q. Would you be so kind and state your name for the record.
18 A. My name is Rajif Begic.
19 Q. You were born on the 23rd of September, 1967; is that correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And you were born in the village of Kljevci.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What is your nationality?
24 A. A Muslim.
25 Q. Is it correct to say that you are of Bosniak nationality of
1 Islamic faith?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I would like to show you a map which has already been tendered
4 into evidence under P757.2. It's the map of Sanski Most.
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: We have enough copies for Defence lawyers and the
6 Judges if you --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, Madam Richterova, we can put it on the
8 ELMO. This is a map that we are familiar with. We have seen it again and
9 again and again. So I think Mr. Ackerman doesn't want to see it again.
10 He knows it by heart by now.
11 Yes. Mr. Begic, please look at that map. You're going to be
12 asked by Madam Richterova to point out some places to us. You will have a
13 pointer in your hand, and that's what you'll do. And we can see -- follow
14 what you're pointing at from here, from our monitors.
15 Madam Richterova, please.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA:
17 Q. Mr. Begic, please can you assist the Court and point at the
18 village of Kljevci and the hamlet in which you lived in 1992.
19 A. Kljevci, as situated here, next to the Sana River. And this is
20 the hamlet.
21 Q. Can you tell us what was the ethnic composition of the village of
22 Kljevci and hamlets which belonged to this village.
23 A. It was mixed. There were hamlets of Serb ethnicity and hamlets of
24 Muslim ethnicity. Starting from Kljevci, in which the majority was Serbs;
25 then there was Kenjari, mostly inhabited by Muslims. Then between Kenjari
1 and Begici, another Serb hamlet. And then the hamlet of Begici, where the
2 majority were Muslims.
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: Now, I thank you. We can remove the map.
4 Q. I want to direct you back to your village and discuss the events
5 which happened in 1992. Before we start, just briefly can you tell us was
6 life any different in 1992 at the beginning or -- or let us say, the first
7 half of the year 1992 from previous years?
8 A. Yes, certainly.
9 Q. Can you describe the differences.
10 A. At the beginning of 1992, one could feel political change in
11 town. Our neighbours of Serb ethnicity were setting up checkpoints in
12 front of their hamlets, and we were checked each time we passed through
13 that checkpoint and by their houses. They were not as friendly as
15 Q. You mentioned these checkpoints. Who was manning these
16 checkpoints? Did you know these people?
17 A. Yes, I did know them. They were local inhabitants of Cosici and
18 other hamlets, and also present were some soldiers who were deployed there
19 by the army.
20 Q. You mentioned soldiers deployed by the army. Can you be more
21 specific. Which soldiers and which unit did they belong?
22 A. Yes. I knew a soldier, Jadranko Palija who was deployed there
23 and they were housed in the school in Kljevci. And from there, they
24 patrolled Kenjari and Begici, the small hamlets there.
25 Q. Did you know at that time which unit did they belong?
1 A. From previous conversations with some people, I learnt that it was
2 the 6th Krajina Brigade that had been deployed in the entire area.
3 Q. Did you -- apart from discussions, have you received this
4 information from some other sources?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were there any announcements related to weapons? The time we are
7 talking about is the first half of the year of 1992.
8 A. Yes. I don't know exactly how much prior to the attack on the
9 village, but at the beginning of May it was already announced on the radio
10 that the inhabitants should hand in their weapons at the closest Serbian
11 checkpoint or military checkpoint. And this was broadcast on the radio.
12 Q. Do you know which radio it was?
13 A. Radio Sanski Most.
14 Q. Was it indicated what would happen to the people or villages which
15 would not comply with that order?
16 A. Yes. They threatened to shell the villages and that they wouldn't
17 be able to guarantee the security of the inhabitants if the weapons were
18 not surrendered.
19 Q. To your knowledge, were there any weapons in your hamlet of
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did you do with these weapons? I will -- excuse me. I will
23 reformulate. What kind of weapons did you have in your village?
24 A. I knew of an old hunting rifle owned by a neighbour, and I heard
25 from other neighbours that they had legal pistols which they did
2 Q. Did you own a weapon?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You mentioned a few moments ago that there was an announcement
5 about handing over weapons before the attack on your village. Let me
6 direct you to this attack. Who attacked your village and when?
7 A. On the 25th of May was the first time that units of the army
8 entered our hamlet. Among them, there were a couple of neighbours from
9 the neighbouring village of Cosici and Stojinovici and several other
10 soldiers whose names I didn't know at the time.
11 Q. Do you know who were these soldiers, which unit they belonged?
12 A. They were Serb soldiers from the mentioned unit, the one I
13 mentioned a moment ago, the 6th Krajina.
14 Q. What were they wearing?
15 A. They were wearing military uniforms.
16 Q. Can you describe these uniforms, what you remember.
17 A. They were SMB-coloured uniforms, and some had camouflage clothing,
18 also military camouflage clothing on them.
19 Q. Were there any insignias on these uniforms?
20 A. Yes. The Serbian flag on their left arm and some other symbols.
21 Q. You said that these soldiers arrived to your village around the
22 25th of May. Tell us what happened after these soldiers arrived.
23 A. You mean the moment they arrived or when they left?
24 Q. No. I mean the moment -- when they arrived to your village. They
25 arrived around the 25th of May to your village. What happened
1 after they arrived to your village?
2 A. On that day, they took Ismet Kurbegovic, Begic Sacir, Begic Ismet
3 and they beat them that day on charges that Ismet Kurbegovic owned a
4 sniper rifle, that Sacir Begic was concealing some soldiers in his house,
5 so they beat them up and they searched their houses that day.
6 Q. Were you present during these searches?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Where were you?
9 A. I was in my house.
10 Q. How did you learn about what happened in the village?
11 A. My mother was present when they arrived, and I visited these
12 neighbours myself after they -- these others withdrew.
13 Q. What else -- you said that they beaten these three men, they
14 searched houses. What else did they do?
15 A. They cursed them. They humiliated them.
16 Q. How long did they stay in the village?
17 A. One hour.
18 Q. And where did they -- where did they leave then?
19 A. Afterwards they withdrew to the checkpoint from which they had
21 Q. Did you recognise any of these soldiers? Did you know names of
22 any of these soldiers?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Can you name some of them.
25 A. Cosic Ranko, who was the commander of that checkpoint.
1 Q. Was he a soldier?
2 A. They were Serb reservists, not regulars, not regular soldiers.
3 Q. How did you distinguish between regular and reservist soldiers?
4 A. Well, as far as I know, regular soldiers can only be up to 23 or
5 24, plus minus a couple of years, but they cannot be 40 and over.
6 Q. So they left after one hour, and it happened around the 25th of
7 May. Did these soldiers or any other soldiers return to your village at
8 some later stage?
9 A. Yes. They came on the next day. They again beat up Ismet
10 Kurbegovic and later on they came on another day.
11 Q. So how long -- how long lasted their visits to your village?
12 A. They came twice -- twice before coming again on the 31st of May.
13 Q. Now I would like to direct your attention now to the 31st of May.
14 You said that soldiers arrived again to your village on the 31st of May.
15 What soldiers did arrive that day?
16 A. On the 31st of May, other soldiers came. Not the same ones that
17 came on the 25th, that is, the neighbours, because they were clearing the
18 neighbouring hamlets. So it was -- these were younger soldiers, and I
19 didn't know them nor the neighbours -- they were not neighbours.
20 Q. Did you know at that time what kind of soldiers they were? I mean
21 which unit they belonged.
22 A. I believe they belonged to the 6th Krajina.
23 Q. And why do you believe they belonged to this unit?
24 A. Well, on the radio, it was broadcast that the 6th Krajina Brigade
25 was cleaning -- clearing the terrain, the shelling. I believe that they
1 also bore the insignia of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
2 Q. So these new soldiers arrived on the 31st of May to your village.
3 When did they arrive?
4 A. They -- in the smaller hamlet of Begici rounded us up at around
5 3.00 p.m.
6 Q. And when they round you up, where did they take you?
7 A. Then they took us all together, men, women, children, and the
8 elderly, to the other settlement -- hamlet of Begici, where we then joined
9 the other inhabitants of that hamlet.
10 Q. How many inhabitants were there approximately?
11 A. At that point in time, some 20 males, women, children - I don't
12 know how many, but maybe approximately 20, 25.
13 Q. When you joined the other people in the upper part of Begici
14 there, did you know any of that soldiers? Did you recognise any of that
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Who did you recognise?
18 A. I recognised -- some I don't know their names any more. They were
19 of Serbian nationality. They -- we went to school together in Sanski
20 Most. I remember a young man who was a waiter in a cafe in the town. I
21 knew Jadranko Palija, who was at the checkpoint in our hamlet.
22 Q. So when you gathered -- when the soldiers gathered all inhabitants
23 of your village, what happened then?
24 A. Then they ordered that on one side of the road the children and
25 women congregate and on the other side the men.
1 Q. And what happened after this separation? What happened to women
2 and what happened to men?
3 A. They ordered the women and children to go to the home of Ismet
4 Kurbegovic, which was close by; while the men were ordered to form a
5 column of two by two, to go in a direction which was unknown to us at the
6 time and to go with them.
7 Q. Did they tell you where you were supposed to go?
8 A. Yes. After we stopped a bit, they told us they are taking us to
9 the bridge of Vrhpolje, where allegedly -- supposedly a bus would be
10 waiting for us.
11 Q. How many of you were taken towards the Vrhpolje bridge?
12 A. Twenty.
13 Q. Do you still remember the names of these people and the age of
14 these people?
15 A. Yes, of course.
16 Q. Would you be so kind and state names which you remember and their
18 A. Well, I'll -- by the order of Ceric Miralem, approximately 70
19 years of age; Ceric Enver, who was at the time 38 years of age, maybe 40;
20 Ceric Midhat, 32, 33 years of age; Begic Nail, 65; Begic Muhamed, 68;
21 Begic Fuad, 27; Begic Elmedin, 18 years; Begic Irfan, 25 years of age;
22 Begic Munib, 26; then myself, who -- I was 24 years at that time; Begic
23 Nedzad, who was 18, 19; Dizdarevic Ismet, who was 52; Dizdarevic Muhamed,
24 23; Dizdarevic Mirsad, 17; Dizdarevic Enes, 15 years of age; Begic
25 Muharem, 23; Begic Hakija, 57; and Kurbegovic Ismet, 40, 42.
1 Q. Thank you, Witness.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: Now I would like to show the witness a map, which
3 is called Hrustovo-Vrhpolje overview. And it will be the Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit P803. And we will distribute it immediately.
5 If we could place it on the ELMO. And I would like to ask the
6 witness if he could take a highlighter and draw by himself the road from
7 Begici towards the Vrhpolje bridge.
8 Q. And then we will talk in details what happened during the road --
9 during the way.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. So you can now only briefly comment the road towards the Vrhpolje
12 bridge. Where did they stop? Where did they -- where did you go?
13 A. Immediately after coming out of the village, some -- a few hundred
14 yards, there was a weekend cottage there. And at a point when we stopped,
15 next to us there was a bigger unit that was resting. And there they asked
16 our escorts to shoot us immediately on the spot.
17 Q. I will stop you here, because I didn't ask you the question who
18 was in charge of this column? Who was in charge to take you to the
19 Vrhpolje bridge?
20 A. The lieutenant that was commander of that unit ordered Jadranko
21 Palija to take us to the bridge together with seven armed soldiers.
22 Q. Did you know the other soldiers?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. Were they in military uniform?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now we can proceed with your road. You stated that shortly after
2 you left Begici you were stopped with other soldiers, and you stated that
3 they wanted to kill you and Jadranko stopped them. What happened after
5 A. After that briefly stopping, we continued a column of two abreast
6 up to the elevation of Vinogradina and then we proceeded towards the
7 hamlet Hrustovacka Stanica, right here. Along the way, we were told that
8 if anybody from that elevation of Hrustovo-Vrhpolje will be shooting, that
9 they would kill us or we would be killed also in case we tried to escape.
10 Q. So you reach this point. What happened after you reach this
11 particular point?
12 A. When we arrived to Hrustovacka Stanica, we passed a bridge over
13 the river of Sanica. After crossing this bridge, we found a
14 slaughterhouse which was used by a butcher shop, here on the picture. We
15 continued. We didn't stop there.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Just for the record -- one moment, sir.
17 Just for the record, the Chamber notes that the witness indicated
18 the photo number 3 with the words "butcher's shop" underneath, as it
19 appears on -- tendered Exhibit P803.
20 You may proceed. Thank you.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you.
22 Q. You may proceed. What happened when you crossed this little
23 bridge over the Sanica River?
24 A. We were continuing in a column of two abreast. It -- we were
25 walking along the left side of the road. And in this column Ceric Miralem
1 for whom it was too fast -- we walked too fast for him, he had breathing
2 problems. He son Enes helped him, he was leaning on his son. And then
3 the soldier Jadranko Palija took out these two persons and took
4 them into the slaughter shed. Before entering that -- the slaughter
5 establishment, I saw that he was taking out his pistol and that he was
6 entering the premises of the slaughter -- slaughtering establishment. I
7 heard a shot -- a very loud shot. After that he came out of the butcher
8 shop and he put back his pistol in the holster, and he continued to walk
9 with the column.
10 Q. Have you ever seen these two people again?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Do you know who Enes Ceric was?
13 A. Enes Ceric worked in the public prosecutor's office in Sanski
15 Q. After taking away Miralem and Enes Ceric, did you proceed towards
16 the Vrhpolje bridge?
17 A. We didn't even stop. We continued along this -- with the same
18 pace towards that bridge.
19 Q. Could you please tell us what happened after that.
20 A. After coming out to the main road Sanski Most-Kljuc, and the road
21 which leads to Hrustovo and Vrhpolje, there Jadranko Palija called out
22 Kurbegovic Ismet from the column. He called him out at the stop sign
23 traffic sign, and asked him for the last time taking out his pistol and
24 aiming at him to admit where the sniper rifle is. Ismet said that he
25 had no sniper weapon, and I saw when Jadranko shot him at a distance from
1 1 metre.
2 Q. Was he dead?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to use as evidence a photo which
5 would be Prosecutor's Exhibit P804. And it is a picture of the Vrhpolje
6 bridge with the roads coming from Hrustovo. And this picture was taken in
7 the year 2001 by the Prosecutor of the team 1. And we will distribute
9 Q. Mr. Begic, now, your column is coming closer to the Vrhpolje
10 Bridge. Is -- can you see on this photo the place where Ismet Kurbegovic
11 was shot, or is it still too -- too far away?
12 A. No. He was shot on the road -- along the road -- at the stop
13 sign, which was at the crossroads right there. And he remained lying --
14 he lay there while we continued our march towards the bridge.
15 Q. Can you tell us what further happened during your march to the
17 A. We continued in a column, two abreast, along the left side of the
18 road. And right in front, some 50, 60 metres in front of the bridge, from
19 Kljuc a military van passed and Jadranko Palija got in on the seat by the
20 driver. Then riding along -- parallel with the column, he asked Irfan
21 Begic to get out of the column, and then Jadranko Palija shot him from
22 that vehicle. As the vehicle was moving -- when it was moving, I could
23 see the lower part of Irfan's body, which was then rolling down along this
24 embankment. After that, we arrived to the bridge --
25 Q. Mr. Begic, now I would like to stop you, and I want to play the
1 video. And we will manage the video exactly before the break. It's a
2 video which has already been exhibited. It's P447?
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: And I would like to ask the technicians to start
4 the video.
5 Q. And Mr. Begic, if you would be so kind and comment what you will
6 see on the screen when we have the video.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: When Madam Richterova tells you if you would like to
8 comment, it means that if you need us to freeze at any one moment the
9 picture that you are seeing on the screen, on the monitor, you must tell
10 us, because otherwise we don't know. I mean, if you want us to stop so
11 that you indicate something to us, that's how you have to do it. Okay?
12 Thank you.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: It's still the bridge part.
16 Excuse me. The video is still not on. Sorry. Sorry. It's my
18 Q. So what do we see on the video now?
19 A. On this video, you can see the bridge from the point where we came
20 from Hrustovo, that is, extreme right, you can see the crossroads where
21 Ismet Kurbegovic was shot dead. And then you can see that stretch up to
22 the bridge.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: We can move on.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. A bit back. Stop.
1 Here I would like to show you exactly where Irfan Begic was shot,
2 where he was killed. It's here at the very end, on the right, the extreme
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: We can move on with the video.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: Can we pause here.
7 Q. Which road did you arrive at this point? Was it from the bottom
8 of the screen, the road which is coming from the bottom of the screen or
9 the upper side?
10 A. Yes. We came by the road at the bottom of the screen.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: We can move on, please.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. RICHTEROVA:
14 Q. Do you know the name of the village?
15 A. Vrhpolje.
16 Q. And it is the road you --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the village in the distance is? This village.
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: Can we pause.
20 Q. Is this the road --
21 A. This is the road to Kljuc.
22 Q. Did you take this road?
23 A. No.
24 Q. It was the road which we saw before going down towards the bottom
25 of the screen; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: We can stop -- we can stop the video now. I only
3 wanted to show the road and the bridge itself.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Richterova. We will have a
5 30-minute break. We will resume immediately after, with the understanding
6 that Mr. Ackerman will not be here. Thank you.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, the meeting that I was going to
10 attend was cancelled. I hope --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] I hope you don't --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I hope before I announced in open court that I was
13 going to be able to attend it. Anyway, this was cancelled. And
14 Mr. Cayley, of course, thinks this is another technique.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cayley, before you -- before Madam Richterova
16 continues and Madam Richterova, I'm going to be a little bit cryptic,
17 because the witness is here and I don't want to waste time having him
18 leave the room and come in again.
19 Please look at the second full paragraph of his statement to you.
20 Read it, particularly the last sentence of that paragraph.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Just so I'm reading the right thing, we're talking
22 about the paragraph that begins "The documents"?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. Yes.
24 Then may I remind you what I asked from you this morning to have
25 ready, which you did. I have two documents, one is one which has the
1 number 00935078. And I would like you to look at the bottom of that first
2 page and the second page. You'll see what I mean. You have a replication
3 of the same thing.
4 MR. CAYLEY: You're being so cryptic I'm not actually following.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I mean at the bottom of the first page. What
6 do you have that is replicated? Don't answer me, but you should see it.
7 That's repeated.
8 MR. CAYLEY: I see -- I see four signatures at the bottom of the
9 page that I have in front of me.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The first page? I see only --
11 MR. CAYLEY: You're now on this page or you're on this page?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No. No. I am referring to the two new documents
13 that you brought forward that I asked you for this morning.
14 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Okay.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: At the bottom of the page, you see --
16 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Something that is replicated. And it is
18 replicated again at the retro of that page, at the back of that page, and
19 again on the third page.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, if you look at the other document, which
22 supposedly should be the same, that is, the document which has your number
23 00431945. This seems to be a document which should have the same
24 replication but it doesn't.
25 MR. CAYLEY: Yeah, we --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And I am sure that you've brought one document
2 before it was -- before what your witness said he was doing -- what he
3 said he was doing in the statement.
4 MR. CAYLEY: We have a copy with replicated signatures. I
5 apologise --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could we have that straight away, please.
7 Mr. Ackerman and Madam Fauveau, have you followed me? I suppose
8 you have.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Judge, I'll say yes, because it's probably
10 doesn't make much difference.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No. What I'm ensuring is that now that he's
12 confirmed that he has the right document, what I suspect happened was that
13 when I asked Mr. Cayley to bring forward the originals that he -- that the
14 witness had signed in the presence of -- allegedly in the presence of the
15 other two persons, according to this statement it was shown these
16 witnesses and asked -- these statements and asked to countersign them by
17 the Office of the Prosecutor, which he did according to his statement.
18 And I wanted those to be here now before -- so we can have them
19 photocopied now and distributed, please. I'm just anticipating making
20 sure that --
21 MR. CAYLEY: No. Absolutely, Your Honour. In fact on the shorter
22 statement the one of the 18th of April, 1996, there's also a version with
23 one signature. Were you aware of that?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, fine. And you have the version with two
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes again.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Okay. So the only version you require with two
4 signatures is the statement of the 16th of April.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Of the 16th of April, exactly.
6 MR. CAYLEY: That's it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It should have two signatures by the
8 same person.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: What I don't understand is whether we have that
10 document or if --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you have. I'm making sure that you get it
12 now. In fact, what I'm -- what I'm making sure is that this document is
13 made available now.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Before --
16 MR. CAYLEY: It's been disclosed.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
18 MR. CAYLEY: It's been disclosed.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: It's the same one that I was using last week.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Yes.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It may not be, because I don't recall that the one
24 you were using last week had a double signature by Mr. Begic. I don't
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't recall -- I don't recall either. I don't
2 think it did.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't think it did.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: No.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And I notice that in his statement he says, "I have
6 now endorsed each page of these copies which are attached to the statement
7 with my signature." So I expect to have -- I expected to have and I am
8 having now a copy of his statements to you know who with a double
9 signature, the original and the countersignature, and that's what I'm
10 making sure of.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: It may be that the Prosecution believes that those
12 were given to us and in fact they may have been. I don't know. But --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: But it doesn't help. If I don't have it, I don't
15 have it. There's not much I can do about that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm just trying to be helpful, so as not to
17 avoid problems.
18 Yes, Madam Fauveau. Thank you.
19 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] The copies that I have I
20 think are the same as those of Mr. Ackerman's, and they do indeed have the
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Thank you.
23 So I think --
24 MR. CAYLEY: Just to confirm, Your Honour, it was disclosed, the
25 one with the double signatures, to the Defence on the 14th of December of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the year 2000. So you had it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
3 Madam Richterova, you may proceed. Thank you.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Begic, before the adjournment you told us that your group
6 reached the Vrhpolje Bridge. Who was at that time at the Vrhpolje Bridge,
7 if anybody?
8 A. There were a lot of soldiers at the bridge.
9 Q. What soldiers?
10 A. Serb soldiers.
11 Q. How did you know that they were Serb soldiers?
12 A. I knew many of them, and they wore the same uniforms with
14 Q. Whom did you recognise among these soldiers?
15 A. I recognised Marinko Acimovic, Nenad ...
16 Q. If you cannot remember his name, it's enough when you state only
17 the first name. Whom else did you know?
18 A. Predrag Vujinovic, Zivkovic, I also recognised Simic. Also
19 present was a man in civilian clothes who drove the ambulance, and his
20 name was Vujinovic?
21 Q. We understand that it happened many years ago, so you do not
22 remember exact names.
23 You were at the bridge. There were your group and the soldiers.
24 A. I remembered. Nenad Kaurin was one of them. Kaurin was his
1 Q. Thank you. I will repeat the question before you -- which I said
2 before you stated the name. There was your group of people from Begici
3 and the soldiers. What happened at the bridge?
4 A. When we reached the bridge, they ordered us to line up against the
5 fence, against the railing, upstream in relation to the river, one by
6 one. And then they ordered us to take off our clothes and our shoes for
7 them to search us. That is what we did. And they searched us by hitting
8 individuals with truncheons during the search. After that, a soldier
9 asked us whether we could dive well.
10 Q. Mr. Begic, we will talk about this in details. I would -- I want
11 to return for a second to the moment when you reached the bridge. Did any
12 of the soldiers make any speech to you?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. They didn't say --
15 A. They didn't.
16 Q. They didn't say anything when you reached the bridge?
17 A. The moment before they started executing people, Nenad Kaurin said
18 that that day they had to kill 70 Bosniaks because seven Serb soldiers had
19 been killed in the surrounding villages.
20 Q. Before I interrupted you, you said that one of the soldiers asked
21 who can jump well; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What happened after this moment?
24 A. Then the soldier Acimovic, first name Marinko pointed his finger
25 at Midhat Ceric, that is, the brother of the two killed previously, Enes
1 Ceric's brother and the son of Miralem, who was the first looking from the
2 right to the left, and he said that he knew that Midho could jump very
3 nicely into the water. Then Jadranko Palija told him to jump into the
4 water, and Midhat jumped. He passed through the fence and jumped on the
5 side of the bridge upstream. At that very moment, four soldiers --
6 Marinko Acimovic was one of them, as was Nenad Kaurin and another two,
7 whose names I will remember in a moment, were standing at the other side
8 of the fence and waited for Midhat to appear swimming under the bridge.
9 He was swimming. We could hear him swimming. And then the four of them
10 as he appeared open fire at him. And we saw this. I saw the body as the
11 water carried it downstream.
12 Q. You still have the photo on the ELMO. Can you point at the photo
13 where did you stand and where were the soldiers.
14 A. Yes. We were standing from this point to this point here on this
15 stretch, and the soldiers were standing on the other side of the bridge.
16 Q. So is it correct to say that the river is going from the left-hand
17 side to the right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So the soldiers started shooting at Midhat Ceric and you saw that
20 they hit the body.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. After Midhat Ceric jumped to the river, what happened further?
23 A. Then this same soldier, Nenad, said, "Next." The man after Midhat
24 was Munib Begic, who was at the time 26 years old. He tried to say
25 something, but they prevented him from doing so by hitting him on the head
1 and they ordered him to jump. Munib did so. He jumped in the same way,
2 and he was also passing under the bridge when these four soldiers shot at
3 him in the same way. I saw that body too flowing down the river.
4 After that, the next in line was Enes Dizdarevic, who was 15 years
5 old, one of three sons who were there with their father. He was also
6 ordered to jump in the same way. He did so. He tried to do so without a
7 second thought by squeezing himself through the iron railing on the
8 bridge. At that moment the soldier Jadranko Palija came up to him and
9 shot at him with his pistol from close range. This body fell into the
10 water. And as it passed under the bridge, those four men shot at it in
11 the same way as before.
12 The killing continued in this same order. The next was his older
13 brother Mirsad Dizdarevic, 17 years old, who was also allowed to jump and
14 who was killed in the same way.
15 After his killing, some other soldiers came up, who to the right
16 of the bridge -- who were standing to the right of the bridge and all of
17 them started beating all those who were still standing on the bridge.
18 Q. Were you also beaten?
19 A. Yes. Just then there was one left in front of me, Elmedin Begic.
20 But the moment they started beating all of those captured, I didn't see
21 whether his killing occurred before my turn came or after me. I didn't
22 see his killing with my own eyes.
23 After beating us on the bridge -- in the middle of the bridge, not
24 next to the fence -- then Nenad ordered me and he put his automatic rifle
25 into my mouth. Another soldier ordered him not to shoot there so as to --
1 not to soil the bridge, but he told him that I should jump into the water
2 as well, and I did so without thinking about it. I just jumped head down,
3 and I was also injured in the process quite seriously. I stood under the
4 bridge because the water was up to my chest there. I had no way out, so I
5 knew -- because I knew I had to pass by and expose myself to the shooting.
6 As I was standing under the bridge, the dirty -- the water was dirtied as
7 I hit it, so I took the opportunity of taking off my white T-shirt, which
8 I was still wearing, and I pushed it deep underwater with my foot and let
9 it flow downstream. When it appeared, they would automatically shoot at
10 it. And I took advantage of this to dive underwater, and I saw them
11 shooting at the T-shirt thinking, probably, that it was me. Just then I
12 swam towards the left bank, and then I continued swimming underwater
13 downstream along the left bank, and I managed to do so, and I swam some
14 100 metres downstream from the bridge under the water, and then I got hold
15 of a branch that was overlooking the river, and they couldn't see me. So
16 from that position, I observed the bridge, where they continued beating or
17 shooting at the others.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure. The word can mean
20 A. As people were jumping into the river.
21 Q. Your Honour, do you want the witness to repeat --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness ought to clarify it.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think we need to clarify it.
25 Mr. Begic, try to follow what I'm going to tell you. You said
1 from -- I got hold -- then I got hold of a branch that was overlooking the
2 river, and they couldn't see me. So from that position, I observed the
3 bridge, where they continued --" and then we are not quite sure whether
4 you said "beating" or "shooting" at the others. What did you actually
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that distance, one could hear the
7 cries and screams of the others that were remaining on the bridge, and one
8 could see the body falling, though I couldn't identify who it was when
9 they shot at him.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's actually shooting, not beating that you're
11 referring to here.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard the beating from that spot
13 when I dived out of the water.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Is that clear enough for everyone?
15 Yes. You may proceed, Madam Richterova. Thank you.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA:
17 Q. Mr. Begic, how long did you stay in the water?
18 A. I was shot at at about 5.00, as -- as I had to take off my watch
19 at the bridge, I couldn't tell how much time had gone by. But it was the
20 dead of night when I decided to get out of the water. It was about 9.00
21 or 9.30 p.m.
22 Q. I will return to the bridge once again. You stated that they
23 continued shooting. Do you know how many more bodies were forced to jump
24 from the bridge?
25 A. I saw another five or six bodies that had jumped or were thrown
1 into the river.
2 Q. Were you able to recognise them?
3 A. No.
4 Q. How long the shooting on the bridge lasted?
5 A. After I surfaced, some 20 minutes after that they -- it
6 continued, the shooting and the bodies falling. And also there were
7 interruptions between one who was shot, one person and the next.
8 Q. Mr. Begic, you also mentioned the name Nedzad Begic. Who was
9 Nedzad Begic?
10 A. That's my younger brother.
11 Q. Do you know what happened to your brother Nedzad?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Have you ever seen him after the shooting on the Vrhpolje bridge?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now I will return to the river where you were hiding. And you
16 stated that you stayed in the water till approximately 9.00 in the
17 evening. What did you do?
18 A. My attention was that at -- in the darkness of the night, that I'd
19 get out of the water, out of the river, as it was very cold. I lost a lot
20 of blood. And I intended to drag myself to the first weekend cottages
21 which are to be found along the banks of Sanica and Sana, where Sanica
22 flows into the Sana and to go away.
23 Q. Did you manage to do it?
24 A. No. During those moments when I wanted to get out of the river,
25 it was already night-time. At a certain point I couldn't hold on to that
1 branch any more, and the water was taking me -- dragging me downstream,
2 and I wasn't capable of moving my arms, my legs. I had no more force in
3 me any more.
4 Q. So what happened to you?
5 A. As the level of the river towards the mouth was getting lower,
6 then the water carried me where I would sink and in other areas would take
7 me to the surface, and I'd breathe some air. And I fought in this way
8 about 100 metres in order to hang onto something where I could get my
9 hands on.
10 Q. Did you manage to get out of the water?
11 A. No. After that, I lost consciousness and the river then took me
12 to the mouth of the river and the centre of the river, where I remained
14 Q. When you came around, what happened there?
15 A. That occurred some two days later. I thought it was really the
16 next day, but later I understood that it was the second day. I opened my
17 eyes when it started raining. My left eye was closed from the wound I had
18 on my head, so that I couldn't open my left eye. I could see a bit with
19 the right eye, although also my right eye was swollen due to the beating,
20 and I couldn't see very well on that eye. I could see that my hands and
21 legs were still in the water and that only my head and the upper part of
22 my body was washed upon a rock in the centre of the river.
23 Q. What did you do?
24 A. I immediately remembered what had happened and what had happened
25 to me. I tried -- attempted to move to get out, but I didn't feel my
1 arms, my legs. It was all white, soaked. I had a headache after that.
2 On the same -- at the same moment from a bush a snake came out and it
3 stopped, let's say, about a metre in front of me. Out of -- due to that
4 fear, my blood started circulating, and when the snake left I succeeded in
5 getting up on that rock and there I got my bearings.
6 Q. Where did you go?
7 A. Nowhere. Not far from there there were those three weekend
8 cottages where I planned to go on that first evening, where I thought I
9 would find some clothing or -- and something to eat. So after I regained
10 a bit of strength, I succeeded in getting to one of these weekend
11 cottages. I found a blanket. I also found a hat with a net. It was a
12 hat for the protection against bees. I didn't find any food, so I
13 returned to the same place, where I remained the next few days.
14 Q. Did you try to find some people to help you?
15 A. I didn't look out for anybody who could help me. I just looked at
16 the mouth of the river to see whether there would be any survivors along
17 the banks, but I didn't find anybody.
18 Q. At the end, did you contact anybody to help you?
19 A. No. Not until Friday morning.
20 Q. What happened Friday morning?
21 A. On Thursday evening, there was a lot of -- the weather was very
22 bad, a storm with rain. And I took the advantage of that to go to a
23 Serb's house, which was next to our house. We were very close with that
24 family. We were friends. And then I tried to reach them and to ask them
25 for help. I took the advantage of the storm, and at midnight I got into
1 the stables, waiting for dawn. And when Zeljko Krlic went out of his
2 house -- came out of his house, I called him. They took me in, not
3 knowing what really happened to us. I asked him whether he knew what
4 happened to my brother, and he said, "Yes. They have all been killed on
5 the bridge." And allegedly, because we were attacking with our bare hands
6 the checkpoint on the bridge. That is what Jadranko Palija stated when he
7 returned after the killings to the hamlet of Begici.
8 Q. How long did you stay in this Serb house?
9 A. Krlic Andja brought some alcohol, with which we cleaned the wound
10 on my hand. We put also some poultice on the places where I was wounded.
11 I put on some dry clothing. I had tea. And due to the fatigue, I fell
12 asleep quite soon. Half an hour later or even less, we could hear -- I
13 could hear voices which were asking that I get out of the house.
14 Q. Thank you, Witness.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, I want to stop here, because I know
16 that my colleague Andrew Cayley has some procedural things to discuss.
17 And I will continue tomorrow, and I will have probably 15 more minutes to
18 complete this witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Madam Richterova.
20 Mr. Begic, I thank you. You will be escorted out of the courtroom
21 now and you will return tomorrow morning at 9.00, where you will be -- you
22 will continue your testimony. Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, may we go into private session,
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly.
2 [Private session]
13 Page 6362 – redacted – private session
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
24 the 31st day of May, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.