1 Tuesday, 15 October 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon. Madam Registrar, call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin, good afternoon to you. Can you hear
10 me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Yes, I
12 can hear you in a language that I understand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner, assisted by Denise
16 Gustin, case manager. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you. Thank you. Appearances for
18 Radoslav Brdjanin.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman
20 with Marela Jevtovic and Milan Trbojevic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you. Mr. Ackerman, at some point
22 in time during the day on a piece of paper just jot down for me the dates
23 when the Orthodox celebrate Christmas and epiphany because I know that
24 they do not coincide with the Roman -- yes, but I need 13th and 14th
25 January, what does it mean? Just put down on a piece of paper Christmas
1 on such-and-such a date, epiphany on such-and-such a date.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I will get the whole thing for you, Your Honour, in
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 Yes, Ms. Korner.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think there must have been an error,
7 but I want to make sure that I'm right in the Scheduling Order, about
8 dates. The Trial Chamber will sit instead of next week on Wednesday, the
9 20th and Thursday, the 21st of November. The Trial Chamber will sit on
10 Friday, the 23rd --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No. 22nd. That's a mistake.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm no confused now with all the
13 series of dates. I thought I had better confirm that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's obviously a mistake. I'll see to that,
15 Ms. Korner. Thank you for pointing it out. It must have escaped my
16 attention because I had the document yesterday before me, but must have --
17 MS. KORNER: I'm sure we would all like to sit on Saturday to
18 catch up on lost time, but ... Thank you. Your Honour, may I just very
19 briefly deal with one matter? Your Honours may recall in the absence of
20 Mr. Ackerman, I think it was a couple of weeks ago, I raised the question
21 of the interview of Halilovic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: And the search had been done. And what I intended to
24 do that day but never gave to you was a short summary of anything that
25 could be remotely relevant. We don't consider it to be relevant. We're
1 not proposing to disclose it. But under Rule 66(C), we're going to hand
2 this in to Your Honours to see whether you would wish us to disclose
3 anything to the Defence. It's the Milosevic speaker.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MS. KORNER: And so can I hand in one copy for each of Your
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Korner. We'll deal with that. And
8 if it's the case of disclosure, we will let you know.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, it's two-sided copied.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay.
12 Can we bring the witness in, please.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have a matter.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: This concerns the starting of the Prijedor phase of
16 this case. I don't remember the date. It's been a long time ago when I
17 raised the question of when would either translation or tapes be available
18 of all these transcripts that were given us with regard to Prijedor. I
19 inquired about it again last week and was told that hopefully part of them
20 could be put in my locker on Friday, and apparently the problem is that
21 there are people who consider it necessary to listen to them very
22 carefully and make sure that there's nothing contained in the tapes that
23 they shouldn't disclose to us, and that's taking an enormous amount of
24 time to do that. The thing I'm beginning to fear is this: That we have
25 days and days and days and days, and I can't tell you how many days of
1 transcripts of testimony that Mr. Brdjanin needs to have an opportunity to
2 listen to. It could be helpful to me if Mr. Trbojevic would have an
3 opportunity to listen to it, and it might be, Your Honour, that you will
4 have to use your considerable influence to speed up the people that are
5 supposedly trying to get this done, because we're getting to a very
6 critical --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We can fix a time limit.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: -- critical stage for delivery of those tapes. One
9 thing you could do, like he just suggested, is you could say if they're
10 not delivered by a certain date, the witness can't be called, or something
11 like that. But it's just we're under enough stress regarding getting
12 ready for Prijedor without having to also deal with this if there's a way
13 to fix it. It may be a systemic problem that we have to wait for. I
14 don't know. But I want to make inquiry now so that I can't be accused of
15 having not done so. And I understand there is objective evidence this
16 morning, today, as to how hard I've been working on all these matters,
17 because I decided, instead of taking time to go to a barber and get my
18 hair cut properly, I would try to do it myself, and I was just informed
19 that I botched it pretty badly.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the difficulty is, basically, I have to
22 say, this should be a Registry job, that they handed it over to the OTP
23 because what we have to do is listen to the tapes in order to make sure
24 that contained on it is not closed-session or private testimony of other
25 witnesses on the same tape. There has been someone going through all the
1 tapes, and we're going to check now as to what the situation is. But as I
2 say, basically, I don't -- I think we're lumbered with it, but it's the
3 usual thing. It's a question of finding the staff to do this. However,
4 that's -- it's -- the only things I think that are still awaiting are the
5 Stakic ones, obviously because they're very recent. The earlier
6 transcripts, or tapes, are already with Mr. Ackerman, as I understand it.
7 That's just the Stakic ones that he hasn't got.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think that's the case. I'm willing to
9 reconsider my position on that, but I don't think I've gotten any of those
10 tapes. But maybe I have. Maybe they were part of the large boxes of
11 tapes that have been delivered earlier in the courtroom and were given to
12 Mr. Brdjanin in the courtroom. It's possible.
13 MS. KORNER: Well, as Mr. Ackerman has given up signing receipts
14 some time ago, I can't wave the receipts in front of Your Honour, but I'm
15 assured that Mr. Ackerman was given a large number of tapes some time ago
16 and we'll give the date if necessary.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So, witness, please. Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You have the next one in line over here? Because
20 Mr. Ackerman commented yesterday that it would take him about half an
21 hour. Thank you.
22 Good afternoon to you, Mr. Egrlic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Hopefully you won't stay long today, but before we
25 commence, may I ask you to repeat your solemn declaration, please.
1 WITNESS: ASIM EGRLIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter].
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down. Thank you.
6 Mr. Ackerman will be resuming his cross-examination of you, and
7 after that we see what the position will be.
8 Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. You've told us the last two days that you've been here about your
14 opposition to Kljuc becoming part of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
15 I'm wondering: Do you recall ever signing any kind of a document in which
16 you, in effect, recognised the existence and legitimacy of the Autonomous
17 Region of Krajina?
18 A. No, I don't recall that.
19 Q. Do you recall signing any document that had anything to do with
20 the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
21 A. I may have signed something during the initial talks, when it was
22 said that it would be a region organised on economic relations, based on
23 economic relations, and not any kind of autonomous Krajina.
24 Q. But would it be your position that you didn't sign any kind of a
25 document, like after May 7?
1 A. Not after the 7th of May.
2 Q. Could you look, please, at Exhibit P905. That document contains
3 your signature, does it not?
4 A. I wouldn't say that this is my signature.
5 Q. Do you deny that it's your signature?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Do you recall signing a whole series of documents on the 12th of
8 May, 1992, many more than this particular one?
9 A. This document does not even speak about the Autonomous Region of
10 Bosanska Krajina. This is a statement about the wages in the area of
11 Kljuc municipality, and it is possible that I did sign some documents, as
12 I was the president of the -- the chairman of the executive board of the
13 assembly. However, this document here, I don't think this is my
14 signature. I don't think I ever signed this document.
15 Q. The document does actually speak of ARK in paragraph 1, doesn't
17 A. I can't see it anywhere.
18 Q. I'm wondering if you have the same document that I'm looking at.
19 Could the usher show me the document you're looking at?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: 905. Is it Exhibit 905?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: It should be.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the exhibit number that you mentioned,
23 Mr. Ackerman.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
25 MS. KORNER: There are a number of documents attached.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: He doesn't have the same document, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
3 MS. KORNER: There are about three.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: The document he should have is 0057532.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's check. Madam Chuqing is going to check.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It's P905.3, this one.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And if you have a copy -- is it both sides or do you
9 have the English text? Pardon? Yes, but obviously he needs to see the
10 one in the original language, and then you put it for some time on the
11 ELMO too for the public.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Sir, I'm referring to just that first paragraph, paragraph 1.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, may I ask the technicians to focus
15 on the text that the witness is looking at at the moment, if that is
16 possible, where his signature appears, in other words, if that is
17 possible. I don't want whether technically that is possible or not.
18 Alternatively, we'll put it on the ELMO, because I wanted it to be visible
19 to everyone who is following these proceedings from outside the courtroom.
20 Is it signed? Yes. And may I ask you to repeat the same question
21 now, Mr. Ackerman, because obviously the question and the answer that we
22 had before no longer -- they no longer make sense.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Sir, you're now looking at a document that has an ERN number of
25 00575323, and I think it's Exhibit P --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 905 --
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. -- 905.3. And my question now is: Is that your signature that
4 appears on that document?
5 A. It reads clearly here: President of the executive board,
6 typewritten, Asim Egrlic, and there's a signature, in pencil, and the
7 signature belongs to Tihomir Dakic and not to Asim Egrlic. It's quite
9 Q. Who is Tihomir Dakic?
10 A. Tihomir Dakic was the vice-president of the executive committee.
11 Q. Did he have authority to sign in your behalf?
12 A. Yes, in the absence of the person who should have signed, he did
13 have the authority to sign this document.
14 Q. It does have your name printed on there, doesn't it, Asim Egrlic?
15 A. Yes, that's true, but this is not my signature.
16 Q. I understand. It also has the appropriate stamp attached to it,
17 does it not?
18 A. That's correct. I did not exactly carry this stamp in my pocket,
19 you know.
20 Q. I understand. It also does not -- it also does refer, in
21 paragraph 1, to ARK, does it not?
22 A. It doesn't matter what the reference is here, but I see this
23 document for the first time now, and I have never signed this document.
24 Q. That's not my question. My question is very simple. It does
25 refer to ARK in paragraph 1, doesn't it?
1 A. Yes, it does.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you put the English version for a while?
4 Okay. All right. You can remove the document. Thank you.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished with that document.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman, and thank you, usher.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: If I can have my English version back.
8 Q. Sir, I'd like you now to be given a document, Exhibit DB96.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the English version, usher? Please
10 place it on the ELMO straight away.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. Sir, what you should have before you is a statement made by a
13 person by the name of Ismet Muratagic on 17 June of 1992. Is that what
14 you have?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I would like to refer to some of the things that Mr. Muratagic
17 says in this statement and ask you if you agree that these things
18 happened. He says about two months ago, which would have been mid-April
19 of 1992, the people of the Krasulje village area demanded that military
20 preparations and organisation begin and requested that guards be placed in
21 villages and hamlets. Did that occur, to your knowledge?
22 A. I'm not familiar with what exactly they were looking for in
23 Krasulje, but I do know that guards, village guards, were organised, and
24 I've already spoken about that.
25 Q. Can we go to the next page? There's a paragraph that begins with
1 the language: "On one occasion about a month and a half ago ..." Let me
2 know when you've found that paragraph so you can follow me when I read it.
3 A. I found it.
4 Q. Okay. "On one occasion, about a month and a half ago, Mirzet
5 Zukanovic said that I should go to a meeting in Pudin Han and that Omer
6 Filipovic, MBO president, and Asim Egrlic, SDA president, would attend
7 that meeting. I told him that I was not a member of any party and that I
8 should not go to the meeting. He explained that it was not going to be a
9 party meeting and that instructions for establishing armed formations in
10 Muslim-populated villages would be given at the meeting. Omer Filipovic,
11 Asim Egrlic, Muhamed Filipovic, Ibrahim Egrlic, Amir Avdic, Salih
12 Salihovic, a man called Kedo and I were present at the meeting."
13 Were you present at this meeting?
14 A. I don't remember attending this meeting.
15 Q. Do you remember anything about this meeting taking place around
16 the first part of May?
17 A. Only meetings of the executive board of the party were held.
18 Q. Would you now go down and skip -- skip the next paragraph and go
19 down to a paragraph that begins with the language: "Several days
20 later ..." Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. "Several days later, we held another meeting in Pudin Han, attended
23 by Aziz Gromilic, Omer Filipovic, Asim Egrlic, Ibrahim Egrlic, Amir Avdic,
24 Ferid Islamagic, Kedo, Fahrudin from Velagici, a man called Enes and me.
25 We analysed the lists of men and weapons, on the basis of which Amir Avdic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 made an assessment as to how many days these forces could carry out combat
2 operations using this MTS equipment and materiel. I remember that there
3 were about 200 men on the list for Krasulje village, and we had the
4 following weapons: Approximately 40 automatic rifles, 3 semi-automatic
5 rifles, 50 pistols, 50 hunting rifles, 3 sniper rifles, 1 7.62 millimetre
6 PM light machine-gun, 1 M-53 PM, 30 hand grenades and 4 Zolja hand-held
7 rockets. There was about 12.000 rounds of ammunition and various
8 calibres. At that meeting I was appointed company commander in Krasulje."
9 Do you recall that meeting and were you present?
10 A. I don't think this meeting was ever held.
11 Q. Do you know Ismet Muratagic?
12 A. Yes. The whole town knows him, because he was a maintenance
13 worker for electrical appliances and he had a shop in the town.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
16 Q. If you go on then to maybe the next page, there's a paragraph that
17 begins: "At the end of the meeting ..." It says: "At the end of the
18 meeting, Omer Filipovic distributed cards."
19 Do you find that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "Omer Filipovic distributed cards among us, with BH TO written on
22 them and first and last names were to be written on the back of those
23 cards. We were to give the cards only to those who agreed to join the new
25 Do you know anything about those cards that Omer Filipovic was
2 A. I did not have an opportunity to see these cards.
3 Q. Did you ever hear about them?
4 A. Yes. I heard about the cards being printed, but I've never seen
6 Q. Okay. If you go down now to the next paragraph that begins with:
7 "The day after the meeting, Aziz Gromilic ..." And go down that
8 paragraph to where he says:
9 "I agreed and took my company below Bajrami village. I deployed
10 the men and ordered that positions be fortified, that is, that dugouts be
12 Do you know whether any positions were actually established at
13 that location and that dugouts were made there?
14 A. I'm really not aware of that. What I do know is that there were
15 village guards there, but that's all I know.
16 Q. If you'll go now probably to the next page, there's a paragraph
17 after there's a whole series of names. Then there's a paragraph begins
18 with: "After we were deployed at the position ..." And it has the name
19 Aziz Gromilic in it. I think it's actually the next paragraph after the
20 one we just looked at. It begins with: "After we were deployed at the
21 position, Aziz Gromilic ..."
22 A. I found it.
23 Q. "After we were deployed at the position, Aziz Gromilic put up a
24 wooden barricade on the road at the approach to Krasulje village, although
25 nobody had ordered him to do that."
1 Do you know if there actually was a wooden barricade put up on
2 that road approaching Krasulje village?
3 A. I don't know that there were any barricades.
4 Q. All right. I'd like you to skip the next paragraph, and then the
5 following one begins with: "I returned to the position ..." Let me know
6 when you've found that. Do you see it: "I returned to the position ..."?
7 A. Is this on page 4?
8 Q. It would be just one paragraph after the one we were just looking
9 at about wooden barricades. There's a paragraph and then it's the one --
10 next one. It says: "I returned to the position in Bajrami village, and
11 at about 1000 hours ..."
12 A. I found it.
13 Q. "... an official police car came by, followed by a white van, and
14 they stopped in front of the barricade. As they were pulling up and
15 getting out of the cars, fire was opened on them from the position without
16 anybody's order. I did not open fire immediately, but a couple of minutes
17 later I fired five or six bullets in the direction of the policemen who
18 held a position by the road."
19 And then I'm skipping a little bit:
20 "I could see the motionless body of a policeman lying by the road
21 several metres behind the police car, and the others were nowhere to be
22 seen, as they had fled to the nearby woods."
23 Now, you do know that this happened, don't you?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. And you know that Omer Filipovic and Vinko Kondic actually arrived
1 together at that scene?
2 A. I heard about this only once I arrived at the Manjaca camp.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: If I could interrupt you, Mr. Ackerman, because your
4 question to the witness: You know that this happened? covers a whole
5 multitude of events here. I suppose you wanted to question -- direct a
6 question as to the event of the killing of the policeman only, and not as
7 to the fact that the person making a statement fired five or six bullets,
8 that a van came with the police, and the rest, because otherwise I would
9 ask you to question the witness as to each and every part of that
11 MR. ACKERMAN: You're absolutely right, Your Honour. I was
12 referring to the --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Killing.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, to the killing, to the incident and not the
15 manner in which it happened.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. All right, sir. I'm finished with this document. You may return
19 it now. And I'd like you to be given P854.
20 The document I've handed you, sir, refers - and I think it's
21 perhaps a Kljuc Radio document - refers to a meeting held in Kljuc on the
22 25th of June of what probably has to be the year 1991, and it is -- refers
23 to a meeting, a public discussion in the big hall of the Kljuc community
24 centre, and the guest was Professor Muhamed Filipovic. My question is:
25 Did you attend that meeting?
1 A. I did not.
2 Q. All right. I won't ask you any questions -- did you hear about
3 it? Did you hear about what happened at that meeting?
4 A. I see this for the first time, so I'm unable to say.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm being told something,
6 and I don't understand what I'm being told.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, okay. I'm told that my question to you was
9 translated -- let me just ask it again.
10 Q. The meeting was held, as I understand it, on 25 June 1991, not
11 1992? Does that change your view about whether you attended the meeting
12 or not?
13 A. I wasn't there.
14 Q. And did you hear the report on the radio about this meeting? Do
15 you know about the meeting?
16 A. I can't remember hearing it.
17 Q. All right. I'm finished, then, with that document.
18 Yesterday in your testimony you were asked by Ms. Korner about the
19 6th Krajina Brigade, and you told us that you believed the 6th Krajina
20 Brigade was present in Kljuc on or about the 7th of May. And you were
21 then asked how you knew it was the 6th Krajina Brigade, and you said it
22 was because they had come from the direction of Kljuc. Correct? I'm
23 sorry. Direction of Sanski Most.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Is there anything else which lets you conclude that they were the
2 6th Krajina Brigade, other than the direction from which they had come?
3 A. Some men contacted the men who had become as reservists to the
4 territory of Kljuc municipality, and they told them they were from Sanski
6 Q. Did anybody tell you that?
7 A. I just made the conclusion on the basis of the fact that they had
8 come from the direction of Sanski Most, where that brigade was based.
9 Q. I want to go now, sir, to Manjaca, after you were taken to
10 Manjaca, and you talked to us yesterday about the death and Omer
11 Filipovic, and you said that he was returned to the stables and that you
12 were in the same stable, or were you in the same stable that he was in the
13 day before he died?
14 A. I was in the neighbouring stable, but movement was allowed, and I
15 was able to see him.
16 Q. Do you know how it was he left that stable that night?
17 A. I heard that. I didn't see him -- that he went out and that he
18 went towards the wire. Between the wire fence, there was a minefield.
19 Q. Do you know if he was called out?
20 A. I heard that the guards pulled him out of some sort of a trench
21 that was nearby, be it near the fence, near the barbed wire.
22 Q. You didn't hear him being called out of the stable, though, did
24 A. I wasn't in the same stable, so I can't say. I just saw when they
25 released him from the isolation cell, that he entered the stable.
1 Q. Do you know about what time it was you heard these incidents going
2 on outside? Just your best guess, best estimate.
3 A. When I saw him coming from the isolation cell, that was in the
4 afternoon, and then, after a certain period of time, towards evening, they
5 sent him back again.
6 Q. You said -- do you know how it was -- I asked you: "Do you know
7 how it was he left the stable that night?" And you said: "I heard that."
8 Did you hear that from someone or did you actually hear things going on
10 A. I heard from other detainees that they heard shouts of the guards
11 calling him out by name to come back.
12 Q. All right. You didn't hear those shouts yourself, though?
13 A. I didn't.
14 Q. All right. Yesterday during your testimony you told us about your
15 wife leaving Kljuc and how she had to sign a statement turning over all
16 the property to Republika Srpska. Do you remember that?
17 A. I remember.
18 Q. And you -- I think you indicated that anyone leaving had to sign a
19 similar statement as the one your wife signed; correct?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Please look at P1119 again, please. This is the statement you
22 were talking about that people were required to sign before they left
23 Kljuc municipality, is it not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Please show us where in this statement it says that she turns
1 property over to Republika Srpska. Let me know when you've found it.
2 A. In the heading, it says: "The Serbian Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kljuc municipality, commission for gathering
4 information on resettlement of the population from Kljuc municipality."
5 Q. That's not my question. I didn't ask you what the heading said. I
6 asked you: Where in the document does it say that she is turning her
7 property over to Republika Srpska? Find that part and tell me where it
9 A. It says, according to the heading itself, you can see that it is
10 Republika Srpska, which is above Kljuc municipality, and that the property
11 is being handed over to Kljuc municipality, and therefore also to
12 Republika Srpska.
13 Q. Tell me where it says -- tell me where it says in the document
14 that the property is being handed over to Kljuc municipality or Republika
15 Srpska. It doesn't say that in the heading, sir.
16 A. In the heading, it says that it is the Serbian Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kljuc municipality, and then it says record. What
18 is being handed over. There is the signature of my wife and the names of
19 the people who took the statement down. It says here who the president of
20 the commission is, and everything else. I don't see anything disputed
22 Q. Tell me where it says: Here is the property that I'm handing over
23 to Republika Srpska. Where does it say that?
24 A. It doesn't say that literally, but it's sufficient that we see
25 that it says up there "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kljuc
1 municipality." Then it is quite clear to everyone that this document,
2 referring to this, means that it's being turned over to Kljuc
3 municipality, that is, to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. So it's your position that under the law of Yugoslavia that
5 existed at that time, that the Kljuc municipality could use this document
6 to prove that they owned the property listed in that document, that this
7 is a legal transfer of property? Is that your position?
8 A. The people who made this up and forced people to sign such
9 documents when leaving the territory of the municipality could answer that
10 question for you.
11 Q. Well, the one you can answer is what you made up, and what you
12 made up was that this document transfers property of Republika Srpska, and
13 it doesn't in any way, does it? That's just a myth of yours, isn't it?
14 A. They used it in that way because they had allotted my house, and
15 others, to people who had stayed behind, which means Serbs. So Bosniak
16 houses were given to them.
17 Q. So your house was among those houses that was allotted to Serbs,
18 then, was it?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. So when was it your house was destroyed?
21 A. It was destroyed at the beginning, but it wasn't just the house.
22 The house stands on land and there's land around the house, and the
23 foundations and the walls and what was left of that house.
24 Q. So they allotted it to a Serb. Who was the Serb? Was it a
1 A. I don't know. I didn't investigate. In any case, they had
2 allotted it.
3 Q. And then it's your position that almost immediately they kicked
4 that Serb out and destroyed it?
5 A. No. There's obviously a mix-up in the order of things. First of
6 all, people were forced out of their houses and resettled upon signing
7 such documents and obliging them to pay all the dues they owed, and then
8 the houses were looted. Some were torched. And after a certain period of
9 time, they would allot houses, after some time had elapsed, and when
10 people did not come back after a certain period of time - it may have been
11 a year or two - they started allotting and distributing these houses,
12 because they reckoned the Bosniaks would never come back.
13 Q. You don't know. You weren't there when your house was destroyed,
14 were you?
15 A. I wasn't.
16 Q. Isn't it the case that your house was destroyed much later, when
17 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina re-took Kljuc? Could it have been
18 destroyed at that time, in the fighting involved in that?
19 A. It wasn't destroyed then, because my wife told me how this had
20 happened, that the house was set on fire, that she watched this from
21 another village where she was staying in her father's house. So that it
22 is known full well when the house was set on fire. And when I returned to
23 Kljuc, I found just rubble. So there's nothing questionable. I don't
24 know whether I have made myself clear enough. I think everything is quite
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. You told us that people were forced out of their houses and forced
2 to sign documents like you showed us the one your wife signed, and they
3 were obliged to pay all the dues that they owed; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. When you say "the dues they owed," what do you mean?
6 A. What I mean is, for instance, if one had to pay one's telephone
7 bill by mid-month, they would have to pay it. If he was leaving in the
8 middle of the month, he would have to pay his electricity bill for that
9 half month, his taxes, and to sign this document turning over all their
10 immobile property to this commission.
11 Q. It's true, isn't it, that if you wanted to leave Kljuc today and
12 move to a different municipality, that you would have to pay all those
13 things before you left?
14 A. It is not true. If I'm leaving temporarily. But if somebody is
15 being expelled permanently, this was a sign that they required that all
16 dues be paid because they thought these people would never come back.
17 Q. Okay. I didn't mean to ask you temporarily. I meant to ask you
18 permanently. If you were permanently going to leave the Kljuc
19 municipality today, you're required to make all those payments, aren't
21 A. It would be normal to do so, if one is moving away, under normal
23 Q. And what your wife said in the statement that she gave them was
24 that she was "leaving the Kljuc municipality with my family for good, of
25 my own free will." Right?
1 A. My wife was not consulted as to what she would write down. What
2 she was given, she signed, just to save her life and that of her children.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no further questions. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
5 Re-examination, Ms. Korner. Ms. Korner has got some further
6 questions to you, and then we come to an end.
7 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
8 Q. Mr. Egrlic, yesterday it was put to you by Mr. Ackerman - Your
9 Honour, at page 35, LiveNote, page 35 - "Do you know that a coordinator is
10 simply a person who coordinates bodies and has no authority in their own
11 right? Do you know that?" And you said: "Yes, I do." That was in
12 reference to the telex that you intercepted. Do you remember that
13 question and answer?
14 A. I remember.
15 Q. Do you know what power Mr. Brdjanin had at the time that he sent
16 that telex?
17 A. As far as I know, he was vice-president of the assembly of the
18 Autonomous Region of Banja Luka.
19 Q. And what, in your experience, what sort of power or what sort of
20 position did that give him?
21 A. In the first place, the vice-president of the Assembly has the
22 same authority as the president, and if he is entrusted with the authority
23 of a coordinator, that would mean also executive authority in that area.
24 Q. So when you -- on the face of your answer yesterday, you agreed
25 with the proposition that was put to you by Mr. Ackerman, that a
1 coordinator has no authority in their own right. Can you explain on what
2 basis you were agreeing with Mr. Ackerman, in the light of your present
4 A. The question was put to me in general terms: What kind of
5 authority a coordinator has. And the word itself says that he coordinates
6 something. However, in this case, it was not just any coordinator but the
7 vice-president of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region.
8 Q. Now, I want to turn to another matter that you were asked about.
9 MS. KORNER: This is, Your Honours, at page 38 and 39 of the
11 Q. You were being asked about the document, the communique that was
12 put out in June of 1991. And just to remind ourselves of the exhibit
13 number which I think ... Yes. Exhibit P853, please. This was the
14 statement that was put out by yourself and Mr. Filipovic, and you were
15 asked about an answer that you had given, in which you said that attempts
16 were being made to get Kljuc to join the Bosanska Krajina region, and it
17 was put to you that you had made that answer up because the Autonomous
18 Region of Krajina had not yet come into existence in June of 1991.
19 Had you heard of the community of municipalities of the Bosnian
20 Krajina region in June of 1991?
21 A. Yes, I did hear about this community.
22 Q. Now I want you to have a look, please, at the document P3.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, if you've got the volume 1 of the Kljuc
24 binders, it's two before 853, one of the early documents. It's also got
25 two numbers, 851 and 853. And I think we had better have the -- for a
1 moment, could we have the B/C/S put onto the ELMO, and we'll look at the
3 Q. Just so that we can all see -- no, usher. I want the top bit.
4 Thank you. Stop.
5 The date there, the 10th of April, 1991, and if you could give
6 that to the witness now. We can take it off the ELMO and put the English
7 translation on the ELMO, because the date was missed out of the English
9 And there we see that in April a decision, signed by the municipal
10 president, Jovo Banjac, states that the previously adopted decision
11 regarding the Kljuc municipality joining the Banja Luka community of
12 municipalities is hereby confirmed, affirming the fact that the
13 municipality of Kljuc is part of the regional community of Bosanska
14 Krajina, now the Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina.
15 So it appears that this was referring back to a decision in April
16 of 1991. Is that correct, Mr. Egrlic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When you issued that communique in June of 1991, were you aware of
19 this decision and the earlier one, rather, the decision of the 10th of
21 A. We wrote about this. There is a public announcement about this.
22 The first decision was passed without the Assembly convening, and then we
23 immediately issued a public statement. And due to the pressure we
24 received from the public, we put this proposal forward at the Assembly. So
25 this subject was discussed on a number of occasions and certain
1 conclusions were reached.
2 Q. Were you, on behalf of the SDA, content to see Kljuc becoming part
3 of the Banja Luka community of municipalities?
4 A. As far as the Banja Luka community of municipalities is concerned,
5 Kljuc used indeed to be part of that community, and it was a regional
6 organisation based on economic relations. As soon as this idea about the
7 Autonomous Region came up, we could not accept it, because what it meant
8 was an autonomous entity within the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which
9 would have meant that, as had earlier been proclaimed, this entity would
10 be made to join Serbia, which would in no way be beneficial to the
11 Bosniaks and Muslims in the area, and that was the reason why we refused
13 Q. All right. Can we turn to another topic along the same lines?
14 You were shown the constitution of the -- and the Statute of the
15 Autonomous Region of Krajina. Did you ever see that published before you
16 were shown it by Mr. Ackerman?
17 A. No.
18 Q. In the part that was read to you, you were shown the part which,
19 on the face of it, guaranteed or stated: "All nations and nationalities
20 in the Autonomous Region shall be equal in their rights and duties,
21 without distinction as to race, sex, birth," et cetera. Now, at the time,
22 if you had seen that, would you have accepted that the Autonomous Region
23 of Krajina would guarantee the rights of all nationalities, regardless of
24 sex, birth, language, et cetera?
25 A. No, not even in that case. We would not have accepted that,
1 because the Autonomous Region was organised without regard for the
2 constitution of the internationally recognised state of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, and we, the Bosniaks, as a different ethnic group, held a
4 referendum, an independence referendum for independent Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, which was held on the 28th of February and the 1st of March.
6 Q. What nationality, or what nationalities, formed the government of
7 the Autonomous Region? Was it ethnically mixed?
8 A. As far as I know, there were only Serbs.
9 Q. Now, next I want to ask you about -- yes. You were asked about
10 the document P167, which was the order signed by Lieutenant Colonel Sajic,
11 as to the surrender of weapons by the 11th of May. And it was put to you
12 that it applied to all persons illegally in possession of weapons.
13 Against whom was that order of disarmament enforced?
14 A. What I heard on the radio, it only applied to the Bosniaks.
15 Q. Did it apply only to illegally held weapons, in other words,
16 weapons held without a permit?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. Only weapons without permit.
18 Q. When weapons were seized or handed over, were weapons seized which
19 were lawfully owned, did have a permit?
20 A. Yes. Those weapons were seized too, even hunting weapons were
22 Q. Now, you were shown today a document that Exhibit P905 has your
23 typewritten signature on it that you say that the signature is that of
24 Mr. Tihomir Dakic, I think. Before you were shown that document today,
25 had you ever seen that before?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. On the 12th of May, were you still signing documents that related
3 to the executive committee of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly?
4 A. On the 7th of May, all Bosniaks were expelled from Kljuc
5 municipality, and no one signed anything.
6 Q. And finally this, Mr. Egrlic: You were shown a statement signed
7 by a Mr. -- it's DB96. I've forgotten what the gentleman's name is now.
8 And you said you knew him because he was a maintenance man in Kljuc.
9 MS. KORNER: Could I have a copy? Perhaps you had better have it
10 back again, DB96.
11 Q. Mr. Muratagic. Do you know what happened to him?
12 A. He was detained at the Manjaca camp.
13 Q. This appears to have been taken by the CSB in Banja Luka, this
14 particular statement, though it's dated the same day as the record of
15 interview with you. Do you know the circumstances under which he made
16 this statement?
17 A. This gentleman had been taken for interviews many times, and I
18 know that he would always return in a very bad state, because he had been
19 beaten every single time.
20 Q. Yes. Thank you very much.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honours, that's all I ask in
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'd like to ask one question about
2 Exhibit P3, which Ms. Korner brought up.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: May I hear the question first?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. I would like the witness to look at the
6 question and just confirm from the contents of that document that it is a
7 typographical error and the date is 1992, not 1991. And that's certainly
8 the case, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I will allow that question. Just show the witness
10 that and ask him to confirm that the date is 1992 and not 1991
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
12 Q. Sir, I'd just like to ask you to read the contents of that
13 document, and isn't it the case from what is contained within that
14 document that it's clear that the date on it is a typographical error and
15 it should be 1992?
16 MS. KORNER: I think, before we go -- can we stop, please, Your
17 Honour, before this --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MS. KORNER: This was dealt with by Dr. Donja. That's why -- if
20 we go back and look at it, there was a decision taken in 1991 -- that's
21 why he dealt with it, because he was dealing with the progression of the
22 Bosnian community municipalities into that. They took a decision, or
23 attempted to take a decision in 1991, to join, but it never worked. And
24 it's referring back to that, Your Honour, if we look up the testimony of
25 Dr. Donja. So it's not a mis -- a typing. Of course it refers -- this
1 decision is undated and it refers to the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
2 But in actual fact, it's referring back to 1991, and that's why it's such
3 an early document. So I think before -- unless he's going to say that the
4 date is wrongly typed, but certainly -- this is not the date of the
5 document, I agree, the 10th of April, 1991.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, the translation is clearly not
7 correct, because it does not contain what appears on the first line of the
8 B/C/S. The first line of the B/C/S has 10/4/1991 in it. That doesn't
9 appear in the translation. So the translation is totally -- it's
10 certainly incorrect.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's true.
12 MS. KORNER: I said that.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: And it may be --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the reason why Ms. Korner first asked for the
15 B/C/S version to be put on the ELMO, making it clear that the English
16 version did not contain the date.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm having a little sense of deja vu, Your Honour.
18 I think we went through this with this document --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Before yes.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: -- when Dr. Donja testified, and the Prosecution
21 was going to substitute a proper translation. And I don't know that
22 that's been done, but it should be.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What we obviously have here does not reflect -- yes.
24 Anyway --
25 MS. KORNER: I take it Mr. Ackerman no longer wants the witness to
1 go through this.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I think we can leave it at that.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I do not. I now remember more about this document.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So, Usher, please take the document back from
5 the witness. He need not answer that question.
6 So, thank you, Ms. Korner.
7 Mr. Egrlic, that brings us to the end of your testimony in this
8 trial, before this Tribunal, before this Court, Trial Chamber. You will
9 be escorted out of this courtroom by the usher and taken care of, pending
10 your return to your country. On behalf of the -- all the members of this
11 Tribunal, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for having
12 accepted to come over and give evidence. You will now be escorted. Thank
13 you, and have a safe journey back home.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So the next witness does not have any protective
18 MS. KORNER: No, he doesn't, Your Honour. Mr. Nicholls --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel. Microphone,
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone, please.
22 MS. KORNER: I'm either fiddling with the microphone or I don't
23 put it on. Mr. Nicholls will call the witness and there's no protective
25 The majority of the tapes of the Prijedor witnesses were disclosed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to the Defence on the 21st of February and the 1st of March of this year.
2 All that are outstanding to -- at the moment are some of the -- are the
3 Stakic tapes, and we're trying to get them copied now, but the other ones
4 have all been disclosed.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: It's appropriate to say that since then probably a
6 lot of water has passed under the bridges and I hope they have not washed
7 away --
8 MS. KORNER: I think the only thing before Mr. Ackerman leaps to
9 his feet to complain is to check his own. Even if he won't sign the
10 receipts, he must keep a record of what he gets somewhere. --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Come back to us on this, Mr. Ackerman. Please
12 confirm that this is so.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm quite certain it's correct. I
14 remember them giving me large boxes of tapes which were immediately handed
15 over to the guards to take to the Detention Centre for Mr. Brdjanin and
16 General Talic to listen to, and I think they have done that and I'm
17 satisfied that we have everything bit the Stakic tapes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Unless I learn differently. That's my position.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm going to need --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MS. KORNER: It doesn't matter.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MS. KORNER: We have to get the Stakic Rule 98 --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. That has to be done by the end of the
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know when the first break was planned.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The first break will be in ten minutes time.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: So I wonder if anybody agrees to take that now. I
5 can use the time to set up.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We can take the break now if you want and call the
7 witness immediately after.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that make sense rather than get through his
9 name and --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. We will have -- shall we all try to
11 finish as on previous occasions by 6.30 rather than 7.00? So that means
12 shortening the breaks, obviously. All right? So 15 minutes, 20 minutes.
13 Twenty minutes. Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Ticevic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You know that very soon you will be giving evidence.
22 You will start giving evidence in a couple of minutes' time. And it is
23 the rule of this Tribunal that before you do so, you enter a solemn
24 declaration that in the course of your testimony you will be telling us
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text of the
1 solemn declaration, which, for all intents and purposes of law is
2 equivalent to an oath, where that is applicable, the text is contained in
3 a piece of paper that the usher is going to give to you, and my request to
4 you is to make that solemn declaration by reading the text, and that will
5 be your commitment with this Court to tell us the truth.
6 WITNESS: NISVET TICEVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter].
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You may sit down. Thank you.
11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have a piece of paper which I
13 believe has Christmas and New Year dates on it correctly. I will hand it
14 to Chuqing Chen and then I will ask your permission to be excused for the
15 balance of the afternoon to work on Prijedor matters.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You are excused, Mr. Ackerman. Who will be taking
17 over? Mr. Trbojevic, I suppose?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You can either remain seated where you are or change
20 places with Mr. Ackerman, whichever you prefer.
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Ticevic, again, now that you're sitting
23 down, let me explain to you exactly where you are and what's going to
24 happen. You are a witness in a trial that has been going on for some
25 time, on an indictment presented against the accused, Radoslav Brdjanin.
1 The procedure here is a very simple one, and it's more or less identical
2 to that in most other criminal courts, or courts of criminal jurisdiction.
3 Basically, it will first be the Prosecution that will put to you a number
4 of questions, and your duty is to answer those questions as truthfully as
5 possible and as accurately as possible and as fully as possible, unless
6 we, the three Judges, direct you not to answer a particular question or
7 stop you from continuing with your answer.
8 After that, it will be the Defence team that will cross-examine
9 you, in other words, the lawyers for the accused have got the right to put
10 questions to you too. That is a fundamental right that the accused has,
11 and you have no right to distinguish between the Prosecution and the
12 Defence. Your duty is to answer questions truthfully and fully and
13 accurately, irrespective of who is putting them to you.
14 Again, we will protect you if you are harassed. We will stop any
15 questions that we may consider not appropriate and you will be asked not
16 to answer any questions that we feel shouldn't be answered by you.
17 Having premised that, I'll just introduce the Chamber. I am the
18 Presiding Judge. My name is Agius and I come from Malta. To my right I
19 am flanked Judge Janu from the Czech Republic, and to my left by
20 Judge Taya from Japan. Mr. Nicholls is the Officer of the Prosecution
21 that will conduct the examination-in-chief. I suppose you have already
22 met and therefore you're familiar with his face. And then later on I will
23 advise you as to who will be cross-examining you, whether it's
24 Mr. Ackerman, the lead counsel for the Defence, or his co-counsel,
25 Mr. Trbojevic.
1 Mr. Nicholls, the witness is all yours. Thank you.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Examined by Mr. Nicholls:
4 Q. Good afternoon.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. You may [Previous translation continues] ... while you're
7 answering questions and the interpreters will let you know if that's the
9 A. Very well.
10 Q. I'm going to first move through some background information and
11 try to do that quite quickly, and then go right into the events of late
12 1991 and into 1992 in Kljuc.
13 Sir, could you please state your full name for the record.
14 A. My name is Nisvet Ticevic. I was born on the 24th of June, 1966,
15 in Pudin Han, Kljuc municipality, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. Okay. And you are a Bosniak and --
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. -- and you practice the Muslim faith?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Now, you went to -- you say you grew up in Kljuc, and after
21 beginning high school, you then moved to Switzerland to work; is that
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. When did you return to Kljuc from Switzerland?
25 A. In late 1991.
1 Q. And what kind of work did you do when you returned to Kljuc?
2 A. I worked as a waiter.
3 Q. And if you could just briefly describe Kljuc municipality. What
4 was the majority ethnic group in that - sorry - in Pudin Han? Was that a
5 Muslim village or a Serb village, or what type of a village was that?
6 A. Pudin Han was a Muslim village.
7 Q. When you first returned in late 1991, had you noticed whether
8 relations between the different ethnic groups in Kljuc municipality had
9 changed at all?
10 A. Yes, I noticed that.
11 Q. And how were they different when you had left after high school
12 and gone to Switzerland? What was the difference?
13 A. Well, there were many differences. People started losing faith in
14 one another. There was curfew. At that time, the Republika Srpska was
15 about to be proclaimed, so there was a lot of tension.
16 Q. Did you notice whether there were any problems or disruptive
17 behaviour in Pudin Han while you were a waiter there in late 1991? Was
18 anybody causing any problems at night?
19 A. Yes. Reservists and the JNA returning from the front in Croatia,
20 they would shoot at houses, at villages facilities. They would maltreat
21 people, that sort of thing.
22 Q. And were they maltreating all people or predominantly the Muslim
23 population in Kljuc?
24 A. They maltreated the non-Serb population.
25 Q. And during this time, were there any military convoys passing
1 through the area of your village?
2 A. As my municipality and my village are -- straddled the so-called
3 Avnoj road, there were convoys passing through on a daily basis.
4 Q. What type of convoys were these?
5 A. Military convoys, sometimes large convoys, sometimes smaller ones.
6 Q. And did these convoys cause any problems as they passed through or
7 did they pass through peacefully?
8 A. Those convoys were causing problems. As I said, they maltreated
9 the population. They shot at houses and religious facilities. They
10 raised three fingers up in the air, that sort of thing.
11 Q. And just to be clear, you talked about "they." Do you mean to say
12 there was firing from these convoys at houses and at religious buildings?
13 A. I'm sorry. I don't think I understood your question.
14 Q. My question was: Was the -- just to be very clear: Was the
15 firing that you talked about at houses and at religious buildings, I
16 presume you mean mosques, was that firing coming from the convoys passing
18 A. Yes, precisely from lorries with soldiers and weapons on them.
19 Q. Now, you had mentioned a curfew. Do you remember when that curfew
20 began -- was imposed, was first imposed?
21 A. Yes, I do. That was after the autonomous republic of Serbian
22 Krajina was proclaimed. Curfew was introduced, but only for non-Serb
24 Q. Who -- what body introduced that curfew, if you know?
25 A. The Serbian Republic, Kljuc municipality.
1 Q. Now, in late -- well, at any time late 1991 into 1992, were there
2 any checkpoints or roadblocks set up in Kljuc?
3 A. Yes, military checkpoints had been set up in Velagici, in Pudin
4 Han, in all the more prominent locations.
5 Q. Now, if you know, which units were in charge of these checkpoints?
6 A. I do. There was the police, the Serbian police manning the
7 checkpoints, the reservists, and some Red Berets.
8 Q. Now, in response to all these problems which you've talked about,
9 the shooting at the houses and religious buildings, the drunken behaviour,
10 did the Muslim population find -- attempt to deal with those problems?
11 Was there any solution which you and other men in your community pursued
12 in order to protect yourselves?
13 A. Yes, led by our legally elected president, Omer Filipovic and Asim
14 Egrlic, we tried to keep war from happening. However, we couldn't reach a
16 Q. Let me be more specific. In your statement you talked about night
17 patrols being formed. Can you tell us what the night patrols were?
18 A. Yes. Night patrols were simply for our own safety, the safety of
19 our families, and for our lives.
20 Q. Now, when were these night patrols first formed?
21 A. I can't answer this question with any precision. Some people had
22 already begun with that, but after Republika Srpska had been proclaimed,
23 it was in a more massive scale throughout the villages. We began setting
24 up guard duty.
25 Q. Now, you personally took part in night patrols in Pudin Han; is
1 that right?
2 A. Sometimes.
3 Q. And can you just tell us: How -- when you took part in a night
4 patrol, how was that patrol set up? How was it decided who would take
5 part in it and what parts of the village would be guarded?
6 A. There were no decisions made. It was more a thing among
7 neighbours. You would have several young men from each of the villages,
8 and they would spend a night just guarding the village. There were no
9 specific decisions being made as to who should go where.
10 Q. Was participation in these night patrols voluntary or was it
11 mandatory? Could somebody be ordered to take part in a night patrol?
12 A. No, no one could order it to anyone. Each one did as he thought
14 Q. And what -- well, what type of weapons did the men you knew carry
15 when they were on night patrol when they were guarding their villages?
16 A. It was mostly pistols or hunting rifles. Those who were well off,
17 they purchased weapons themselves. There was no weapons -- there were no
18 weapons being distributed. It was up to each individual to find one.
19 Q. And while on patrol, would these patrols be confined to the
20 village and to defend the village or would they be in any way offensive
21 patrols, in other words, going to other villages or initiating any type of
23 A. Those patrols were there just to protect our village and our
24 lives, but not to go to other villages or anything like that.
25 Q. Was there any -- you've pretty much answered this, but was there
1 any kind of commander for the night patrols which you were on? Was there
2 any kind of boss for your night patrol group?
3 A. No, there was no boss.
4 Q. Now, during this time, you knew Omer Filipovic quite well, didn't
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. What was your relationship to him? How did you come to know him?
8 A. I've known Omer for a long time. He was a teacher in Kljuc, and
9 also as a neighbour. I didn't have any particular contact with him before
10 the war. I didn't socialise with him, but I knew him as a neighbour.
11 Q. And in late 1991/1992, in your statement you refer to yourself as
12 his courier. Explain what exactly that means.
13 A. I can. This wasn't in 1991. It was the moment when the shooting
14 started in my village. As the people were in panic, in fear, he did
15 designate certain people who would, in a sense, advise the people to stay
16 in one place so as not to go to the woods in groups, and things like that.
17 Q. And according to your statement, you attended in 1992 some
18 meetings with Omer Filipovic. If you can tell me, just broadly, in your
19 own words: What was his goal at this time? What was he trying to achieve
20 in relation to the problems that the Muslims and the Serbs were having
22 A. I can say that Omer Filipovic was the legally elected president of
23 our people in the legally recognised Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He
24 was our legal representative in Kljuc municipality. And as the people who
25 had given him our trust, we believed in him. Omer Filipovic was never in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 favour of war. He was for peace. And never for a moment did he say to
2 anyone that he was preparing for war, or anything to that effect.
3 Q. And I'd like to now -- well, do you remember going into early May,
4 a time when the police changed their uniforms and began changing the
5 insignia which they wore on their uniforms?
6 A. Yes, I do remember.
7 Q. Do you remember whether there was a loyalty oath required of all
8 policemen at that time?
9 A. All non-Serb policemen were required to express their loyalty.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P171, please.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Madam Registrar.
12 MR. NICHOLLS:
13 Q. If you'd just take a look at that document, please.
14 A. I can.
15 Q. Just the first three paragraphs.
16 A. I've looked at it.
17 Q. As far as you remember, the date on this document is the 7th of
18 May, 1992. It's a public announcement from the Crisis Staff of the Kljuc
19 municipality and it describes the change in the uniforms and that the
20 municipal building will now be displaying a Serbian flag as the
21 municipality of Kljuc is now a part of the Autonomous Region of Bosanska
22 Krajina and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Does that all
23 fit with what you remember happening during that week in May?
24 A. Yes, it does, but what doesn't fit is that the livelihood of those
25 workers who do not sign the solemn oath would not be threatened.
1 Q. And what happened to the --
2 A. Wouldn't be in jeopardy, sorry.
3 Q. What happened to workers who refused to sign that solemn loyalty
5 A. They were mistreated, taken to camp, some were even killed.
6 Q. If we can move on now a few weeks to the 27th of May, 1992, and
7 what happened in Pudin Han on that day, in the Pudin Han area.
8 A. On the 27th of May, 1992 --
9 Q. Wait one second. And I'm going to specifically ask you questions
10 about the incident of firing between a convoy that was passing through the
11 area of Pudin Han and some Muslim men in that area. Now, were you present
12 when that incident occurred?
13 A. I was.
14 Q. Can you describe, simply for the Court, please: Before the convoy
15 came through the area, what were you doing? What were you doing there?
16 A. Before the convoy passed, I wasn't there. Once the shooting
17 started -- the shooting was provoked by the Serb police going to the
18 village of Krasulje and seizing weapons from non-Serbs. So the people of
19 Krasulje would not allow them to seize their weapons. There was an
20 exchange of fire, in which a Serb policeman, known as Dule was killed.
21 Some were wounded, some fled. So that when this happened, the people in
22 Pudin Han had heard of what had happened, and then we started to prepare
23 for defence, because we knew we would be attacked.
24 Q. All right. How did you prepare for that defence? What do you
25 mean by that?
1 A. Simply, the people started to panic. So we got together to see
2 what we should do if they should launch an attack on our village.
3 Q. And what did you do to prepare for an attack you thought might be
5 A. First, the local people, the villagers who were closest to the
6 town of Kljuc, those who lived closest to Kljuc, they formed a kind of
7 line in the event of the Serb army attacking, and they wanted to put up
8 resistance to protect their families. But because our citizens were
9 provoked on a daily basis by the JNA and the Army of Republika Srpska, our
10 people lost their nerve, and that day when the convoy came, opening fire
11 on our religious buildings and our homes, individuals simply provoked that
12 incident, opened fire.
13 Q. Let's go through it step by step. This convoy, how many vehicles
14 were in the convoy?
15 A. I can't tell you exactly.
16 Q. Approximately.
17 A. There may have been two or three buses and two trucks.
18 Q. At what time -- well, you actually saw this convoy coming through
19 on the 27th; is that right?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Where exactly did you first see the convoy on the 27th? Where was
22 that in relation to Pudin Han?
23 A. I saw them in the village of Draganovici, and that is a place
24 close to where the shooting occurred.
25 Q. Maybe we should give you a map to help us.
1 A. Yes, you can.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: This is going to be Exhibit P1111?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you give me the next number in the sequence that
5 we have been following? I think 1120.
6 THE REGISTRAR: 1120.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: 1120, correct.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: 1120.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: If you could put that on the ELMO.
10 Q. Sir, if you could look at the map to your left.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you see the road which runs from Kljuc through Hadzici towards
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is that the road where this incident with the convoy took place?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Could you just, please, mark that road with an "X" as close as you
18 can to where this incident took place.
19 A. [Marks]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: At least on my monitor, the image is quite out of
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's not for me, because I have the map in any
24 case, and I know what's happening, but for the public ... I think you can
25 zoom on the area that we're talking about. Zoom on Kljuc, Hadzici, and
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Now, I know that because of the scale of this map, that's an
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. But can I ask you also to put your
7 initials, please, next to that mark that you put.
8 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Is there a problem? Is there a problem?
11 Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Nicholls.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
13 Q. Now, the convoy, before the shooting started, was it -- it was
14 heading towards Kljuc, is that right, on that road?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And as this convoy came towards Kljuc, through the road, what was
17 happening, just to be very clear, which caused the Muslim men to shoot at
18 the convoy?
19 A. I just said a moment ago that there was provocation, mistreatment,
20 shooting, opening fire at houses and religious buildings, and that was
21 what happened that day too.
22 Q. My question is specifically: When this convoy of soldiers came
23 through towards Kljuc, was there any shooting from the convoy? Was there
24 anybody on the trucks or buses shooting at houses, shooting at anybody, or
25 was that convoy coming through peacefully, on the 27th of May?
1 A. That convoy was not passing peacefully. We were in Hadzici. The
2 distance between Hadzici and Pudin Han is one kilometre, so that we knew
3 that the shooting that happened in Pudin Han was done by the same people
4 who had opened fire at Hadzici, so that our boys returned fire. There
5 were two civilian trucks going by with materiel and equipment.
6 Q. When you say "our boys," how many men -- what do you mean by that?
7 How many men were there who you're referring to as "our boys"?
8 A. There were 300 to 400, but they were not all shooting. There were
9 women and children and men who came out to see what was happening.
10 Q. And where were you in relation to the road? Could you actually
11 see any of this shooting or did you just hear it?
12 A. I saw the shooting. I was maybe 30 or 50 metres away, on the
13 right-hand side of the convoy, when it's heading towards Kljuc, in a wood.
14 Q. And what did you do when you heard the shooting start?
15 A. I didn't do anything just then, but many guys who were shooting, I
16 don't myself know how to put it. This was the first time for me to
17 experience anything like this. And then a few minutes later I went off to
18 see Omer Filipovic in the centre to let him know what was happening,
19 because I was a courier.
20 Q. Before we get to that, could you tell whether there were any
21 casualties amongst the people in the convoy? Was anybody injured or
22 killed, that you could tell, at that time?
23 A. Yes, a driver of Serb ethnicity.
24 Q. Now, how could you tell that? Describe what you saw, if you can,
25 before we go to what you did next.
1 A. I can describe it. Some men before me, or many of us, had already
2 gone to that truck. As far as I know, the driver was in the truck. But
3 those who had gone there before had dragged him out of the truck, and he
4 was lying down next to the fence, next to the road. He was lying there
5 dead, killed.
6 Q. All right. Now, you were starting to say that after this you went
7 to report what had happened to Omer Filipovic; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. What was his reaction when you told him what had happened?
10 A. He was very angry, and he called some men to go and see what was
11 going on, people he trusted, to calm down the situation.
12 Q. Why was he angry? At the way it had occurred or that somebody had
13 been killed or that there is any shooting at all? If you can just
14 describe why he was angry it as best you can.
15 A. Mr. Omer Filipovic, until the last moment - and I was next to
16 him - was in favour of peace, and he would never allow any one of us to be
17 provoked to enter into a conflict. Because we had -- we stood no chance
18 against such a force. However, some men did what they did, people he
19 could not give orders to, so I know right up until he was captured that he
20 was in favour of peace, and he was killed, and still he favoured peace.
21 Q. To your knowledge, did anybody order an attack on that convoy,
22 order that an ambush be set up to shoot at that convoy?
23 A. On our side, no one could give orders to anyone. I state that
24 with full responsibility. But I'm saying that there were individuals who
25 were out of control.
1 Q. And what was Omer's reaction? There was a meeting, was there not,
2 to discuss the situation after you told Omer Filipovic about what had
3 happened with the convoy?
4 A. Omer's reaction was that he sent me to the surrounding villages
5 and hamlets, Zavidovici and Krasulje, to see the reaction of the people.
6 And as Omer had friends among the Serbs, a person called Kondic, the chief
7 of police in Kljuc, who was a Serb, he hoped that things would settle down
8 and peace would be restored.
9 Q. You're referring to Vinko Kondic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you attend any meeting, or were you at any meeting with Omer
12 Filipovic and Vinko Kondic about this situation after the incident in
13 Krasulje which you've told us about where the policeman was killed and
14 after this shooting with the convoy?
15 A. I was.
16 Q. Can you briefly tell us what was discussed at that meeting?
17 A. Yes, I can explain. The first meeting occurred in the village of
18 Krasulje, that is, Omer guaranteed to Vinko Kondic that he could come and
19 he would be safe in Krasulje, to take away the dead policeman, Duca. And
20 that was their first agreement and meeting. A second meeting was in Pudin
21 Han, that is, at a crossroads leading in three different directions: One
22 towards Sanski Most, another towards Bosanska Petrovac, and a third to
23 Kljuc. And they met there and discussed peace.
24 Q. Now, was there any ultimatum or -- given at that time by Vinko
25 Kondic that weapons be surrendered by the Muslims of Pudin Han?
1 A. Omer Filipovic and Vinko Kondic were friends, and I personally
2 heard Vinko say that the people should hand in their weapons and nothing
3 would happen to them. And Omer believed him, as a friend.
4 Q. Did -- was any deadline for the handover of weapons given, if you
5 remember? Was any deadline set, I should say?
6 A. A deadline was set. When Vinko Kondic left our territories and
7 Omer returned to the youth centre in Pudin Han, and then an ultimatum was
8 issued for the surrender of weapons.
9 Q. Do you remember what day and what time those weapons were to be
10 surrendered by?
11 A. I'm not quite sure, but I think it was until 1700 hours the next
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness please be shown P921.
14 Q. Now, if you'll just take a moment to read the top portion of that
15 document. That is an order of the Kljuc municipality Crisis Staff, and
16 the order, it states, was issued at the meeting held on the 28th of May,
17 1992, at 8.00 a.m., in the Crisis Staff of the Kljuc municipality. Under
18 item 1, the order states:
19 "Calling all citizens who own illegally acquired weapons to hand
20 them over today between the hours of noon and 1400 at the Kljuc Public
21 Security Station, the Kljuc Territorial Defence headquarters, or the
22 nearest police station. Otherwise, vigorous measures will be implemented
23 to carry out disarmament, which could have disastrous consequences for the
24 security of both people and property."
25 Is that what it states in the version you're reading, the
1 original, in your language?
2 A. Yes, that is what it states.
3 Q. Having read that, is that about the same deadline as what you were
4 told, keeping in mind that this is now the next day, the 28th of May?
5 A. As far as I can remember, it was up until 1700 hours, because Omer
6 spoke to them on the phone.
7 Q. Spoke to who?
8 A. I don't know for sure, but with representatives of the Serb
9 authorities in Kljuc.
10 Q. After this meeting on the 27th of May, you started to talk about
11 returning to the youth centre. Can you tell us about the meeting at the
12 youth centre in Pudin Han, where Omer Filipovic and the other citizens
13 discussed whether or not to surrender their weapons as demanded by Vinko
15 A. Yes, I can tell you about it. When we got back to the youth
16 centre, Omer told the people there about the situation and about Vinko
17 Kondic's conditions and the conditions imposed by Republika Srpska
18 authorities in Kljuc. Eighty per cent of the people there realised that
19 we stood no chance fighting a force that was stronger than us, and 20 per
20 cent of the people refused to negotiate or surrender.
21 Q. How many people were at this meeting?
22 A. It's difficult to say. The whole village practically. Pudin Han,
23 Hadzici, Donji Hadzici, Gornji Hadzici, Gornji Mojici, Donji Mojici,
24 Velagici, and a number of other hamlets.
25 Q. And what was Omer Filipovic's recommendation? That the weapons
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 should be surrendered or not?
2 A. Omer Filipovic was in favour of surrendering the weapons. He was
3 a more experienced person than many of us there, so he realised that we
4 stood no chance against a force as mighty as the force we were facing.
5 Q. But ultimately, was a decision made collectively to surrender the
6 weapons, or not?
7 A. As I've said, 80 per cent of the population were in favour of
8 surrendering, and 20 per cent were against surrendering weapons, and they
9 left towards Bihac.
10 Q. And how long did this meeting last?
11 A. It was not only one meeting; it was a series of meetings, and
12 there were many people attending. It was outside the youth centre, and
13 the youth centre could not hold all those people. Omer was standing on a
14 second-floor -- at a second-floor window and he was speaking to the people
15 assembled there.
16 Q. Now, when -- what decision did you personally make at this
17 meeting? Were you going to surrender your weapon or not?
18 A. I decided not to surrender my weapon.
19 Q. And what type of weapon or weapons did you personally have at this
21 A. I had a rifle. We call it Tandzara. And later I obtained a
23 Q. And later on in your statement you talked about the shelling of
24 Pudin Han which began after this meeting. Can you tell us about, if you
25 remember, when the shelling started?
1 A. I remember, and I wish to say that, as we see in this document
2 here, we were given an ultimatum of only two hours for several thousands
3 of people. It's impossible to do that within only several hours for the
4 whole population to surrender their weapons. So that means they were
5 basically looking for an excuse to attack. The shelling began between
6 1800 hours and 2000 hours, in the evening.
7 Q. Where were you when the shelling of Pudin Han began?
8 A. I was outside the youth centre.
9 Q. And if you can tell, where were those shells coming from? Where
10 was -- which villages were the positions from which Pudin Han was being
12 A. Yes. Small-calibre shells were falling from the direction of a
13 hamlet to the right side of the road, if you head from Kljuc towards Pudin
14 Han. The village is called Briscica heavy projectiles were coming from
15 the direction of Laniste and Kopljanica.
16 Q. How long did this shelling continue?
17 A. I can't say precisely, because I was shocked too. It was the
18 first time we experienced anything like that.
19 Q. In your statement, you talked about where the first shell landed
20 and what happened when that shell landed. Do you remember now about the
21 first shell landing outside the youth centre?
22 A. I remember that first shell very well. The first shell that
23 landed killed one of our men, Refik Draganovic.
24 Q. And as these shells started landing, what did the people, the
25 civilians and all the other people in Pudin Han do?
1 A. Amid the confusion, the people of Pudin Han started running
2 towards Hripavac, the village of Balijevici. The shell hit the tractor
3 full of civilians.
4 Q. Now, at this time that the shelling started, you talked about how
5 there was a meeting and some people had decided to surrender their weapons
6 and others -- and you among them refused to do so. How many armed men do
7 you think there were in Pudin Han at the time the shelling started?
8 A. Quite many people from where I lived purchased weapons, but when
9 the shooting started, the 20 per cent of those who had refused to
10 surrender their weapons started using their weapons, and the rest had just
11 discarded their weapons out of fear.
12 Q. My question is: If you know, if you remember, though, total,
13 about how many men were there, people who had refused to surrender who
14 were armed? I'm just trying to get -- if you can tell us how big a
15 resistance there was in that village at that time.
16 A. I think there may have been between 400 and 500 pieces, firearms.
17 Q. And then the same amount of men; is that what you're saying, 400
18 or 500 men who had weapons?
19 A. I wish to say that that was the approximate number of pieces, but
20 I'm not sure that each of those individuals carried weapons at the time
21 the shooting began.
22 Q. Now, you started telling us about a tractor that was hit by a
23 shell. Do you know the names of the people who were killed in that
24 shelling incident?
25 A. I know some of the names, because I helped to bury those bodies
1 personally. There was Refik Draganovic, born roughly in 1960. His wife;
2 one of his sons, Hamdo Becic was there, born in 1966; his sister Esma; his
3 wife was there too, born in the same year; and there was another lady from
4 Reizovici. I don't know her name.
5 Q. Now, were these people part of any kind of armed resistance or
6 were they trying to leave on that tractor?
7 A. They were civilians who tried to leave the village.
8 Q. Can you describe at that time, not at any time when you returned,
9 but at that time, as a witness, to what you personally saw, not what you
10 heard about or what you came back and saw later, what did the village look
11 like? What was the effect of this shelling? Just so that you can give
12 the Chamber an idea of the scale of the shelling.
13 A. Can you please repeat the question?
14 Q. Can you describe the effects of the shelling in the village that
15 you saw at the time of the shelling?
16 A. The effects were considerable. There were houses ablaze, cars
17 too. The cattle and all the animals were killed. Many people got killed.
18 I'm speaking about the day of our withdrawal.
19 Q. Now, tell me what you did once the shelling started and how you
20 left and went into the woods with some other men.
21 A. When we were sure that there were no civilians left in Pudin Han,
22 the few of us who stayed behind withdrew in the direction of the village
23 of Belijevic or Hripavci in the late hours of the evening.
24 Q. Did Omer Filipovic stay behind until about -- until everybody --
25 until you were sure all the civilians had left?
1 A. Omer Filipovic stayed there, and that's also where he was
2 captured, because he refused to leave.
3 Q. At the time you left, were any soldiers coming into the village,
4 if you recall?
5 A. Yes, I do remember. When we were withdrawing, outside a
6 restaurant we noticed their army coming out of a TAM truck, a TAM truck.
7 Q. Which army was this?
8 A. It was the Republika Srpska army reservists, police force, and Red
10 Q. And you told us in your -- you stated in your -- in the statement
11 you gave to the OTP that you were pursued into the forest. Can you
12 describe that, where you went in the forest and how you were pursued?
13 A. Yes. I can describe this to you. The forest, which is perhaps a
14 kilometre from the youth centre, there were many other civilians there,
15 and we were stationed there until we could try to reach the village of
17 Q. And what happened there? Were you able to get to Hripavci or did
18 you stay in the forest?
19 A. I was in the forest that evening, and then when the rest of the
20 civilians had withdrawn, we reached Hripavci.
21 Q. And your goal was to go to Bihac at that time?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And why was that? Just to be clear, why were you trying to get to
25 A. Well, Bihac had not been occupied by Republika Srpska at that
1 time, so of course we wanted to reach our own territory where we could be
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P1012, please. And I'll
4 also be asking him to look briefly at P1059, if it's easier to get them
5 both out at once.
6 Q. This report -- this is a report signed by Vinko Kondic, and it's
7 entitled "Information on the work and activities of the Kljuc SJB during
8 combat activities on the territory of Kljuc municipality," and it's dated
9 simply Kljuc July 1992. If you could go, please, to section 6.7, which I
10 think is on page 11 of the original. There should be a heading there
11 under 7 "Use of our forces." If you look at the second paragraph of that
12 heading, it states:
13 "The actions by the 30th Division units, together with the Kljuc
14 SJB forces were fast, vigorous, and effective. The resistance of the
15 extremists and fundamentalists was broken. They suffered substantial
16 casualties and some materiel assets used in the armed resistance were
17 destroyed. In the combat operations that took place in the next few days,
18 Milorad Markovic, a military policeman, was killed during the mop-up of
19 Gornji Prhovo and Brane Davic, a civilian, died in the Skrbici Hamlet and
20 Pistanica village."
21 Is that what it says in the original which is before you?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Do you agree with Vinko Kondic's assessment that the actions by
24 the 30th Division, together with the Kljuc SJB forces were fast, vigorous,
25 and effective and that the resistance was quickly broken?
1 A. Yes, I do agree, but I do not agree that we were extremists.
2 Q. And do you also agree that the resistance forces of which you were
3 part suffered substantial casualties in the next few days after the
4 operation started on the 28th, as you state?
5 A. I disagree. First of all, the forces who were putting up
6 resistance had left for Bihac, which means that there was no resistance.
7 He says it was a fast and vigorous reaction. Those were Serb soldiers
8 attacking unarmed civilians.
9 Q. In this time, when you were in the woods, when you were trying to
10 make to Hripavac though, you were with other armed men; is that right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And you were part of a resistance at that point; is that fair to
14 A. We were not a resistance. We were merely providing security for
15 the civilians there. There was no resistance, because they left us in
16 peace for two days to decide whether we would surrender or not.
17 Q. Well, then, as -- do you agree that, however you prefer to
18 characterise your group, that you and the men around you suffered
19 substantial casualties during this period when you were trying to
21 A. During our withdrawal, we did not suffer a single casualty, at
22 least no casualty who was armed. All of those people were civilians.
23 Q. Now, you stated that around the 30th of May, in your statement,
24 you and the men with you made a decision to surrender. Is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Why was that decision made?
2 A. We were trying to join forces with the other municipalities:
3 Sanski Most and the rest of them, in order to try and break through in the
4 direction of Bihac. But as that had been all over by that time, we
5 decided to surrender.
6 Q. And if you know, were other groups of people who had been trying
7 to flee at this point surrendering as well? Was there a large-scale
8 surrender at the end of May?
9 A. Yes. That was before I decided to surrender, with other 17
10 persons. Other groups had surrendered before us, and they were taken to
11 the school, where we eventually surrendered, and then on to Bosanska
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P936, please.
14 Q. You're being shown a regular combat report to the command of the
15 30th Infantry Division. It's headed "Command post of the 1st Infantry
16 Brigade, Sipovo command post, military secret, strictly confidential.
17 Date, 30 of May, 1992. Strictly confidential. Number 1-131/92."
18 If you'd turn to page 2, please. And if I have the correct
19 section, section 3, just above section 3, there is a paragraph which
21 "In the Velagici, Kula-Pudin Han area, the 3rd Battalion is
22 conducting mopping up of Green Berets who are surrendering in droves.
23 Some of the Green Berets have fled and are in hiding. One of our soldiers
24 was killed."
25 Is that an accurate statement that people were surrendering in
1 droves around the 30th of May?
2 A. I think on the 29th, when this was written, I think the people
3 from Velagici had surrendered before that time. So not on the 29th, but
4 rather immediately after the Serb army arrived in our village.
5 Q. If you read this statement, in this area, do you agree, though,
6 that, if you know, in general, were Muslim men who had fled into the
7 forest surrendering in droves? Is that an accurate assessment?
8 A. I think this is a correct estimate, because in the village of
9 Velagici, people who were later to disappear in the old school building
10 had indeed surrendered.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: If the witness could be shown P654, pleas please.
12 Q. This is a regular combat report from the 1st Krajina Corps
13 command, confidential. It is numbered 44-1/157, dated 1st of June, 1992.
14 It is to the Serbian Republic of BH army Main Staff, as it is headed, and
15 it is signed by General Momir Talic. If you could read the last sentence
16 of section 2. The translation, that reads: "In the area of Kljuc and
17 Sanski Most there have been no major changes since the last report. The
18 search of the terrain and seizure of weapons is continuing." Next section
19 of report, section 3, entitled "Situation on the ground," the third
20 sentence reads:
21 "The areas of Prijedor, Kljuc, and Sanski Most are under the
22 control of our units."
23 Is that what it states in your original as well?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you agree that by June 1st the area of Kljuc was under the
1 control of the 1st Krajina Corps and that the search and seizure of
2 weapons was continuing? Is that accurate?
3 A. Yes. By the 1st of June, everything was under their control, but
4 they weren't looking for weapons. They were looting and they were taking
5 away prominent people from our villages.
6 Q. Then by the 1st of June, any form of armed resistance or attempt
7 to leave the area and make it to Bihac was finished; is that right,
8 according to this order?
9 A. Yes. Those people who had left for Bihac must have reached Bihac
10 by that time, I think. In my village, in Pudin Han, I stayed behind, with
11 ten elderly or disabled people, and the others were in the camp.
12 Q. Let's talk now about your decision to surrender. You said in your
13 statement that you and your group decided to surrender and walked to
14 Kljuc. Can you tell me about that journey to Kljuc to surrender and who
15 was with you?
16 A. I can't list all the names, but Velid Ticevic was there, policeman
17 Hamdija Kumalic, that's ex-policeman Hamdija Kumalic --
18 Q. I don't need to know all the names. If you can just tell me how
19 many people there were and whether you knew these people, whether they
20 were from your village. That's what I meant. I'm sorry.
21 A. There were about 17 people in that group.
22 Q. And how did you get to Kljuc to surrender? If you can just
23 briefly tell me what happened.
24 A. Pero Bajic, a bus driver, came to our village and rounded up the
25 people, telling the people to surrender, and also he told the people who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 wanted to go on foot that no one would hurt them.
2 Q. And you began walking towards Kljuc with a white flag; is that
4 A. Yes. The man in front carried a white flag as a sign of
6 Q. You started, I think, to tell us that you went to a school
7 earlier. Which school was it that you walked to in Kljuc?
8 A. I think it was the Nikola Mackic Elementary School.
9 Q. And what happened to you and the group you were with when you
10 arrived at that school?
11 A. When we arrived in front of the school, a double line of people
12 had been formed, through which we had to pass; that is, we had to run the
13 gauntlet. They were holding on to various poles, truncheons, batons,
14 cables, and we had to run between them before entering the hall.
15 Q. And who were these people? Were they soldiers, policemen,
16 civilians, who you had to -- who you had to run between?
17 A. They were mostly reserve soldiers, ordinary soldiers, civilians,
18 policemen. They were all there to witness what was happening.
19 Q. And what happened when you ran through this gauntlet, as you
20 called it?
21 A. They beat us, whatever they could get hold of. If someone fell,
22 then he would be kicked and beaten again.
23 Q. Now, how did that beating end? How did it stop?
24 A. It didn't stop. I told you that I was released with ten elderly
25 and sick people, as someone with no guilt, and I was released home.
1 Q. You're jumping ahead a little bit. I'm talking now about you
2 going into the school. You've told us you were beaten on the way into the
3 school. Now I want to talk about what happened inside of the school. In
4 your statement you talked about a Serb policeman that you know named
5 Dragan Stojcic.
6 A. Yes, I knew Dragan Stojcic. He was a friend of mine.
7 Q. Tell me what he did when he saw you at the school, if you saw him
9 A. Yes, I saw him. First, as we entered, we saw some other people
10 from other villages. The hall was bloodstained. They were sitting with
11 their arms raised, with the three-finger sign, and they had to sing their
12 songs. So that we sat down too and waited to see what would happen.
13 After a while, Mr. Stojcic came in, and he cursed them and said, "Why are
14 you beating these people?" And he chased them all out. However, as soon
15 as he left the hall, they started doing the same again.
16 Q. Now, you said "the people in the hall." Were those -- what type
17 of people were they who were being held in the hall? Just if you can be
18 clear. Were those men, women, children, soldiers, civilians? If you can
19 describe the people in the hall.
20 A. They were all civilians. I can describe. They were beaten up.
21 Some of them had blood on them. Some -- actually, in that very hall, a
22 policeman was beaten up who had left the Autonomous Krajina, Hamdija
23 Kumalic. They beat him so badly that he lost consciousness.
24 Q. How many -- and these civilians were Muslims; is that right?
25 A. He was of Croatian ethnicity.
1 Q. But in general, just to be clear for the record, the civilians
2 being held in the school hall were not Serb civilians; is that right or is
3 that wrong?
4 A. Yes, that is right.
5 Q. How many of these civilians were being held in the hall, if you
6 can remember, approximately?
7 A. I can say very roughly that there were between 300 and 400 people.
8 Q. Who was guarding these people, including yourself, who were held
9 there, once you were inside of the school?
10 A. We were guarded by the reserve policemen, the regular policemen,
11 and interrogators who interrogated us were also there.
12 Q. Were you personally interrogated?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Can you describe your interrogation, please? Who interrogated
15 you, and what types of questions did they ask you?
16 A. I was interrogated by a certain Mr. Tepic. I don't know his first
17 name, but he worked in the department for ID cards. He asked who had
18 weapons, whether I had participated in spreading fear, and that sort of
20 Q. Now, were you beaten while you were interrogated?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. Were you able to see, hear, or otherwise tell whether anybody else
23 was being beaten while they were interrogated?
24 A. Yes. I saw many who were interrogated before me, and they were
1 Q. And how long were you held in that room, in the gym in the school?
2 A. I was held there, together with these ten elderly people, for
3 about five hours, so that about 9.00 p.m. we were taken to a special room.
4 We were given certain certificates saying that we were innocent and that
5 we would be allowed to go home.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Shall I continue, Your Honour, or are we --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So we'll have a 20-minute break, resuming just
8 before a quarter to 6.00. Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
13 Q. Just before we broke, you told us how you and some elderly or ill
14 man who had been held in the school, Nikola Mackic school, were given
15 certificates allowing you to go home. Do you know what happened to the
16 other several hundred people who were held there in the school? Was
17 everybody allowed to go home?
18 A. No. They gave these ten people and me certificates for freedom of
19 movement. We were released at 6.00 a.m., and the others who stayed in the
20 school were taken to camps, either in Bosanska Gradiska or Manjaca.
21 Q. Now, you had surrendered. You had left into the woods and you had
22 been armed at one point. Why were you given a certificate to return home
23 instead of being sent to Manjaca? Do you have any explanation for that,
24 why you were given a certificate and others were not?
25 A. I don't have an explanation.
1 Q. Once you were released, where did you go?
2 A. I went to my village in Pudin Han, or Donji Hadzici, because one
3 of the detainees who had sick parents, especially his mother, couldn't see
4 well, and his father was seriously ill, so he asked me to take care of
5 them until he came back. Of course, he hoped he would come back.
6 Q. Now, is this the house of Ibrahim and Fata Draganovic?
7 A. It is.
8 Q. And that was at Hadzici?
9 A. Yes, the village is called Donji Hadzici.
10 Q. Now, once you went to the village, I'd like to know if you could
11 tell us a little bit about the work obligation which you were required to
12 take part in once you had been released. In your statement you talk about
13 how had you were told to report for work and you would have to work each
14 day. Can you tell me how soon it was that you began reporting for work
16 A. I can say that that day when we arrived at Pudin Han, their
17 checkpoints were there. There was one in Nisret Draganovic's, with 20 or
18 30 soldiers, and they came to see us and told us that we had to report to
19 them every day, so that they would know that we wouldn't go into the woods
20 to take food to our people and that they would introduce labour obligation
21 for us.
22 Q. So is it safe to say that at this point the entire area, as far as
23 you could tell, as we saw in one of those documents, was under the control
24 of the VRS and the Kljuc local police forces?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And just so I understand you, every morning you would be required
2 to report to this checkpoint and receive instructions?
3 A. Yes. As I was the youngest, and they reckoned I was healthier
4 than the others, they designated me as a representative who would have to
5 go to their checkpoint every morning, and they would give me duties: To
6 cut the grass, to carry furniture for their soldiers when they came to the
7 houses to take the furniture away, and things like that.
8 Q. Now, as specifically as you can remember, who would assign you
9 your duties every morning? Who was that person?
10 A. There was Ratko Marcetic from Sanski Most. He was a sergeant.
11 Q. And describe some of your work details. As part of your work
12 obligation, were you required to go back into the village of Pudin Han?
13 A. Once we completed our work duty, we would return to our homes.
14 Q. What I'm asking you is whether you worked in the village of Pudin
15 Han. In your statement you discuss that you had to work there on
17 A. Yes. We did all kinds of work. We had to bury the people who had
18 been killed, the civilians, and the animals also who had died, and then
19 there was food in freezers, because there was no electricity. It went
20 bad. So we had to carry that and bury it as well.
21 Q. Now, earlier you talked about those people who had been trying to
22 flee in a tractor, and you named some of them who were hit by a shell and
23 killed, and you said that you buried them. Is this what you're referring
24 to, that you buried those people as part of your work detail?
25 A. Yes, we buried them and others, like Refik Draganovic, Ivan
1 Blazevic, whose throat was slit, and others who were hit by shells. So we
2 buried them.
3 Q. In your best estimate, how many people did you personally take
4 part in helping to bury in those days after you were released from the
5 school in Kljuc? And I'm talking about in the village of Pudin Han.
6 A. I personally buried - and I will tell you later - Refik
7 Draganovic, near his house; Ivan Buljan; and I helped with some other
8 civilians in the tractor, the civilians from the tractor.
9 Q. Now, while you were doing these different types of tasks that you
10 were assigned to do as part of the work obligation -- let me step back.
11 Was this in any way voluntary on your part? Did you have any choice as to
12 whether to perform this work obligation?
13 A. We had to do what we were told by them.
14 Q. Now, while you were working in Pudin Han, did you notice any
15 looting at all?
16 A. Yes, there was looting. I mentioned it. As a soldier would come
17 with a rifle, or drunk, and he would take a liking to something, a piece
18 of furniture, he would pick it up and we had to load it on to a truck for
20 Q. You would personally have to load items onto trucks for soldiers
21 who arrived in Pudin Han?
22 A. Yes, that's right. I had to load some things from my own house,
23 that is, the house of my brother.
24 Q. Now, if you can give us an idea how widespread was this? Was this
25 just a couple of incidents that you observed? Was this happening all over
1 the place? Did you see it five times, ten times? Give us an idea of the
2 scale of this looting.
3 A. The looting was on an enormous scale. At first it was more
4 valuable technical appliances, money, jewellery. After that came
5 furniture, the more valuable pieces. And this happened throughout the
6 time I was there in detention, so that at the end they would start taking
7 off tiles from houses and building material.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be given P660, please. And while
9 they're getting that, let me ask you:
10 Q. You said you saw soldiers doing looting. Was it only soldiers or
11 did you see anybody else committing the crime of looting at that time?
12 A. There were civilians of Serb ethnicity as well.
13 Q. Take a look at that document, please. This is a regular combat
14 report. It's headed "1st Krajina Corps command, operative is struck out.
15 Strictly confidential, number 44-1/162. Dated the 4th of June, 1992."
16 And this is signed for General Talic. It is to the Main Staff. If you
17 could read section 3, please. Actually, just the last sentence of section
19 A. Yes, I've read it.
20 Q. Now, talking there about the crisis areas, including Sanski Most,
21 Kljuc, and Donji Vakuf, under the control of 1KK units. And the statement
22 is made: "That the corps command is taking all available measures to
23 prevent various forms of crimes, especially the looting of material
25 Could you please describe to us any and all actions taken by
1 soldiers you saw to prevent looting.
2 A. No measures were taken.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P1046, please. This is
4 a report headed: "Republika Srpska, Ministry of Interior, Banja Luka
5 Security Service Centre, public security station Kljuc, number 17/92, date
6 28 September 1992. Strictly confidential. Official secret." And it is a
7 report on crimes committed in the municipality from the outbreak of the
8 armed uprising on 27 May 1992.
9 Q. If you look -- let's see if I can figure it out on your page.
10 There's a one-sentence paragraph towards probably the bottom of your page.
11 Sorry, it's on the second page of yours, I guess. Which reads:
12 "There has lately been widespread looting of abandoned Muslim
13 houses." Below that is the statement:
14 "Information collected through intelligence work reveals that the
15 perpetrators were in uniform; that is, they were military persons outside
16 the authority of the SJB. However, because of wartime conditions,
17 military security organs seldom disclose the identity of perpetrators, and
18 punish such acts by sending them to the first front line. Such crimes are
19 reported to the station, which simply does not know how to deal with
21 My question is: As far as you know, does that seem accurate to
22 the extent that whether or not you saw the local -- the civilian police
23 taking measures to prevent looting?
24 A. This is not true, because that same civilian police would come to
25 loot. There was a man named Simo. There were other people whose names I
1 didn't know. I knew they were in place of the public security services
2 and I know that they took part in the looting too.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P1059, please.
4 Q. Now, this document before you is headed: "Attention," handwritten
5 at the top, "Attention Colonel Gojko Vujanovic, 1st Krajina Corps
6 Assistant Commander for Civilian Affairs. Confidential. 01-326 --"
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You can skip those.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a copy of the document -- [Microphone not
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The copy in English is on the ELMO, Usher? Thank
14 MR. NICHOLLS:
15 Q. On page 2 of the English version, and I think it's probably on
16 page 2 of the original, is the heading: "The onset of the war in the
17 Kljuc area." If you can find that.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The second paragraph under that heading reads:
20 "Individuals and small and large groups of people began illegally
21 appropriating Muslim property in Muslim villages and hamlets during combat
22 operations in the local communes of Velagici, Sanica, Humici, and Peci,
23 and continued to do so when the operations ended. This was done by
24 military personnel, members of the police, and the local Serbs. Later,
25 acts of unlawful appropriation spread like an epidemic. This certainly
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 happened, although such acts have not been typical of the Serbian people
2 throughout its history. There were cases of appropriation of cattle or
3 buying them for next to nothing and taking away all other movable
5 Now, from what you stated, is that a fairly accurate assessment of
6 the situation during and immediately after 27 May 1992 in Kljuc?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Other than -- well, other than the problem of looting, can you
9 just tell us briefly what life was like in Kljuc for the Muslim population
10 and Croat population that remained in June 1992?
11 A. It was very difficult. Uniformed people came, civilians came.
12 They threatened us, they beat us. They were looking for money or gold.
13 They were verbally abusing us. It was a very difficult situation for us.
14 Q. You said in your statement that there were murders, looting, and
15 rapes in the municipality. Does that about sum it up?
16 A. Yes, you can say that.
17 Q. And as a result of that, what did the people who were remaining
18 there do? Did they want to stay there or did they try to leave? What was
19 the response of the Muslim and Croat population, as far as you could tell?
20 A. What I can tell you is that many of the people who had stayed
21 behind, in the former Yugoslavia, they worked hard to earn themselves a
22 decent life, and of course they were sad to be made to leave. And the
23 elderly people who were there were very difficult to convince that they
24 were now supposed to leave. They sometimes preferred dying to leaving
25 their property behind, and they were being compelled to leave their
1 property behind.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: If the witness could please be shown P989. And
3 this is the book of minutes from sessions of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly
4 Crisis Staff.
5 Q. I'll ask you to try to find the minutes from the 6th of June,
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's page 13 of the English version, Usher.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I think it's 00578865 is the ERN of the
9 B/C/S, if I'm correct. Sorry, 3865.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not correct, Mr. Nicholls. It's 00573869.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry.
12 Q. Now, these are the minutes from the Kljuc municipality Crisis
13 Staff session of the 6th of June, 1992. And one of the agenda items, if
14 you start reading down, before we get to the 9th of June meeting, the
15 third from the bottom of the list is that the matter of the organised
16 removal of the Muslim population should be resolved. Can you find that?
17 A. Is this the thing with resolving and unity, which number is it?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, let me help you. Do you have before you page
19 with a reference number 00573869? Moving to the next one, 00573870?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: First half of the page, four lines or five lines up.
22 There are several points which are bulleted, and this is the third one
23 before the last. I can't read it myself because I can't recognise the
24 handwriting or the language, so ...
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you for helping me find that, Your Honour.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Now, does it -- just to be clear, because this is handwriting, and
5 it may be difficult, does it say: "The matter of the organised removal of
6 the Muslim population should be resolved"?
7 A. Yes, that's what it says.
8 Q. Now, you've talked about how people were trying to leave and that
9 older people wanted to stay and had to try to be persuaded to leave. Can
10 you comment on this Crisis Staff entry from the same period, which talks
11 about an organised removal of the Muslim population? From what you could
12 see, was the removal organised or was it not organised in some fashion?
13 A. I think the removal was organised.
14 Q. And why do you say that? Why do you come to that conclusion?
15 A. Because I was one of those whose removal was organised.
16 Q. And again, why is -- what was organised about your removal?
17 A. At the beginning, the elderly and sick people, as well as women
18 and children, were leaving. Men of military age were not allowed to
19 leave. First they were made to go to the municipal building to pay their
20 dues, if any outstanding, to the Republika Srpska. After that they were
21 made sign over their property to Republika Srpska of their own free will,
22 and afterwards they would be given documents, using which they could get
23 bus tickets issued to them so they could leave the area and go to a third
25 Q. Now, were you personally required to sign documents such as these
1 before you left?
2 A. Yes, I did sign a document.
3 Q. And were you allowed to bring any -- well, what personal property
4 were you allowed to bring with you?
5 A. I didn't bring anything, only what I was wearing at that moment.
6 Q. Now, let's go back a little bit to what I think are the reasons
7 that you left. Can you tell us, please, about what happened that you know
8 of Latif Draganovic and his wife in August 1992, and I think this occurred
9 in Hadzici, near where you were living.
10 A. Yes. Latif Draganovic was a man aged about 70. He was disabled.
11 He had a bad leg, and he was using a crutch to walk. I think his wife's
12 name was Sevle. I'm a bit ashamed to say this, especially of an older
13 woman, but she was a bit of a nut case, you know, slightly deaf, and
14 generally incapable. They lived about 20 metres from my house. Their son
15 was a butcher. He used to be a rich man before the war. His name was
16 Muho and he was a butcher. So I think they were killed because of the
17 money, because they thought that Muho had left them some money.
18 Q. Now, who is "they" who thought -- can you just describe in a
19 little bit of detail that killing, what you observed or heard and who, to
20 your knowledge, committed that crime?
21 A. I can't give you the person's name, for the sake of that person's
22 own safety. He was in the Serb army and he is a friend of mine. But
23 Slavko Jandric and Marko Timarac were the killers, and the third man, his
24 nickname was Zobonja. I didn't know his real name, but his nickname was
1 Q. And you recognised these men when they arrived at the Draganovic
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Just for clarity, were all three of these men, the killers, as far
5 as you know, were they members of the armed forces, of the VRS? You said
6 that one of them was.
7 A. Yes. All three were members. They were guards at a checkpoint in
8 Donji Hadzici.
9 Q. This was sometime in August of 1992, I think. If you can just
10 tell us, very briefly, what happened.
11 A. We were not allowed to move about in the evening. At dusk we had
12 to be in our homes. Sometimes we would peer out of the window. And I saw
13 those three men who were headed for that house. So when those people were
14 killed, we were called in the morning, as locals, and we were asked who we
15 thought might have done that. Then I saw Mr. Draganovic. He had a number
16 of wounds all over his body. And his wife - my apologies - did not have
17 her underwear on. Of course, she had been raped, and her dress had ripped
18 to pieces.
19 Q. What kind of -- well, let me stop you. You -- were you -- did you
20 make a formal statement about what you had seen of this crime? What did
21 you tell the police had happened? Were you able to do that?
22 A. We were not allowed to say anything, for our own safety. There
23 were two of their military policemen there to file a report to find out
24 who had done it.
25 Q. And if I understand you, even though you had recognised who these
1 men were who you thought you had seen go to the house just before this
2 crime was committed, you did not feel safe in giving those names to the
3 local police, or have I misunderstood you?
4 A. Yes, I think you understood me correctly.
5 Q. Now, sometime later, about a month later, a similar crime occurred
6 at the house you were living at; is that right?
7 A. Not in that house but the house below, where we all had to
8 assemble at night to sleep there. It was Ramiz Draganovic's house.
9 Q. Can you tell me about those murders, if you remember when they
10 occurred and how -- what you remember happening that night?
11 A. Ibrahim, Fata Draganovic and myself slept in Ramiz Draganovic's
12 house, with other four or five families. They told us at the checkpoint
13 that this was for the sake of our own personal safety and they could keep
14 an eye on us. They could continue to do their work, and that's why they
15 kept us in one house. They came at about half past 10.00. They said --
16 they were soldiers from the checkpoint and they were there to make sure
17 that everything was all right. And they took myself and Ibrahim
18 Draganovic outside. First there was Ibrahim and I was behind him. They
19 told us to bring with us our certificates for freedom of movement. But
20 when the two of us got down, they asked Ibrahim for money. He told them
21 that he had no money on him, that they might as well kill him because he
22 had no money. So it was a sort of a tug of war for about five minutes and
23 he was hit by a soldier. A soldier hit him with a rifle and started
24 shooting. I don't know even now how I stayed alive. Ibrahim lay on top
25 of me until about 4.00 in the morning, half past 3.00 in the morning. I
1 was not supposed to contact anyone. I didn't know how much time had
2 elapsed. But later on Fata and the other people in the house told me
3 later on that he had spent about five or six hours lying on top of me. So
4 around 4.30 in the morning I washed the blood off my body and I went to
5 the checkpoint to report what had happened. When I pushed Ibrahim's body
6 off me, I saw that at 10 or 15 metres from there, underneath a pear tree,
7 Ibrahim Kumalic's body was also lying. He had been killed.
8 Q. And did you know who the perpetrators of this crime were? Did you
9 recognise them? Did you know their names?
10 A. Predrag Bajic, son of Pero, bus driver, his brother, his last name
11 was also Bajic. I didn't know his first name and there was also Milan
12 Lukic, son of Mara and Nikica. Mara was an elementary school teacher, my
13 teacher too. And Nikica worked at a ticket office in Kljuc. He was
14 selling bus tickets. And there was a relative of theirs from Humici whose
15 name I didn't know.
16 Q. Just -- you said they said they were soldiers. Do you know
17 whether or not these men were in fact soldiers in the VRS army?
18 A. As far as I know, that they never went to the front. They just
19 wore uniforms and went around the villages looting. There were neighbours
20 of ours and they knew exactly who had what in terms of material
22 Q. And just so I'm clear, how many victims were there of this I guess
23 you would call it an attempted robbery? How many people were killed that
24 night? I think you've said two people.
25 A. Two Ibrahims, Kumalic and Draganovic.
1 Q. What happened the next morning when you went to report this crime
2 at the checkpoint?
3 A. Colonel Marjanovic, Mico Marjanovic, who was in charge of the
4 checkpoint, came there, and several soldiers, too and they called the
5 military police in to investigate the scene. Mladen, called Marceta, I
6 think that's what the man's name was, came, and a friend of his. I think
7 the name was Kevac. I'm not sure, but the two of them came to
9 Q. And what did you tell Lieutenant Marjanovic, or Colonel
10 Marjanovic? I'm sorry.
11 A. Lieutenant Marjanovic. I told him what happened. I told him the
12 truth, and he called the police to investigate. I told him that the two
13 men, both named Ibrahim, had been killed, and that I had been taken
14 outside the house too.
15 Q. Now, did Lieutenant Marjanovic give you any advice - you talk
16 about that in a bit of your statement - about what to say to the police
17 when they arrived?
18 A. I wanted to protect Mr. Marjanovic, but if I have to say it, he
19 asked me to please not say in case I knew who had killed those men,
20 because in that case I would be killed the next evening. That's what he
21 told me.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could the witness be shown P1045, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You've got five minutes.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Again, this is a Kljuc public security station report dated
1 September 8th, 1992, concerning crimes committed in the municipality of
2 Kljuc area from the start -- from 27th of May, 1992 on. It's signed by
3 Chief Vinko Kondic and it's going to the Banja Luka office.
4 Now, without going all through it, this report talks about the
5 offences of murder being committed against Muslims. It states that
6 looting has taken place of houses abandoned by Muslims on a "massive
7 scale." And I'd like you to read the last two paragraphs of the report,
8 and those, if I may read them, state, in relation to the murders and the
9 looting and the other crimes in the report:
10 "Up to now, the station has established and registered a large
11 number of crimes of all sorts but has not filed reports against either,"
12 and it's an abbreviation for unknown persons, "nor, in some cases, against
13 known perpetrators. The reason for this is the advisability of publishing
14 these crimes at this particular moment, in the light of the current
15 political situation and pressure from the international community. It is
16 precisely for these reasons that we are sending you this report with a
17 request that you issue instructions to us," meaning the Kljuc police
18 station, "on how to deal with the crimes committed during the war events."
19 Is that what it says in your version, in the original?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a suspicion that the translation is somewhat
21 faulty, because --
22 A. Yes, that's what it says.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't make sense to me, when I read: "The
24 reason for this is the advisability of publishing these crimes at this
25 particular moment, in the light..." Advisability?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it should say exactly the opposite.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, depending on how you read it, I think the
4 statement -- we would need a native speaker to read the original.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: But --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps the witness can read the paragraph and the
8 interpreters can try to translate it, without looking at the English
9 version of P1045.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: And that's the second-to-last paragraph, please.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The paragraph which starts with "Stanica," [phoen]
12 and I want you to read, please, sir, the last sentence. Can I ask you to
13 read it aloud, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reason is that it is necessary
15 to publish these crimes at this moment, in the light of the political
16 situation and pressures from the international community. The question
17 is: How advisable is it to do this now?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I think that clears it up.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That explains it and clears, and I think we can
20 stop here.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll give you a rest. You'll go -- you'll be
23 accompanied to where you're staying and you will return to this courtroom
24 tomorrow, in the afternoon, and at 2.15 we will resume with your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Anything before we rise?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: No. Just that I'm going to try to finish very
3 quickly, maybe half an hour or less.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And can I have an estimate of how long
5 you expect your cross to last?
6 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you know that I
7 usually keep it very short. I don't think it would last even an hour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
9 Do you have the next witness, without mentioning his name, from
10 the Sanski Most, in line for tomorrow, or not? I have been given, or we
11 have been given, a statement of a witness which belongs to the Sanski Most
12 list, whose appearance here was delayed for various reasons.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I know the witness that Your Honour is referring
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Is he here in The Hague or not?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe so. That's not my witness. I've been
17 very inaccurate. I thought this was going to take me much longer, but I
18 think that witness will be ready to go.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Tomorrow?
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I did tell the lawyer who was taking that
21 witness that I thought that most of tomorrow would be taken up, but I will
22 try to have that witness ready.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Because as I see it, we might finish
24 with this witness tomorrow by the first break.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: That's what I would imagine.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay.
2 I thank you all. Have a nice evening, and we'll resume tomorrow
3 at 2.15. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.32 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
6 October, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.