1 Thursday, 12 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So could you call the case, please, Madam
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can
10 you hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
12 can hear you and understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Good morning, Your Honours Ann Sutherland for the
16 Prosecution assisted by Denise Gustin case manager.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. Appearances
18 for Radoslav Brdjanin?
19 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I'm
20 Milan Trbojevic and my associate Marela Jevtovic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you too. Before we
22 proceed, Ms. Sutherland, I would like to know which municipality to expect
23 immediately after Prijedor. If you have the order --
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Bosanski Novi. We can provide Your Honour and
25 the Defence with a list of the order of the witnesses very soon.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So the next witness --
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: The next witness has protective measures, BT33.
3 Her evidence will be heard in closed session.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 7.134, just let me check to make sure. Yes. So
5 usher, please prepare the courtroom for closed session.
6 Please, let's go into closed session.
7 [Closed session]
13 Pages 12646-12676 – redacted – closed session
11 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
13 [Open session]
14 [The witness entered court]
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour before we begin.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: For the record, Mr. Rupert Read, law clerk from
18 the Office of the Prosecutor has joined us.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome and good morning to you.
20 One thing, Ms. Sutherland and Mr. Trbojevic, it occurred to me and
21 my attention has actually been drawn also to the fact that referring to
22 the previous witness, the transcript of her testimony in Stakic shows that
23 at a certain point in time, what was an open session and subsequently a
24 private session, and then open session, et cetera, turned out to be a
25 closed session, which makes it important to take some precautionary action
1 over here and I was going to suggest to you -- since it's not feasible to
2 divide the transcript into different parts, parts which are open, parts
3 which are private, parts which are closed, I was going to suggest to the
4 Defence and the Prosecution to agree that Exhibit P1544 will be accepted,
5 admitted, under seal. Is that all right?
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
7 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] We agree.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's it. Let me -- the next witness, 7.54,
9 I understand has not asked for any protective measures.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So, Mr. Nasic, good morning to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. This is the first
14 time you are giving evidence and therefore I need to explain to you very
15 short -- and very briefly what is important for you to know. Our rules
16 require that before you start giving evidence, you make a solemn
17 declaration, equivalent to an oath. That in the course of your testimony,
18 you will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The
19 text of the solemn declaration is contained in a piece of paper that the
20 usher is going to hand to you after which I would invite you to stand up
21 and read that declaration aloud and that would be your solemn undertaking
22 with us that in the course of your testimony, you will be telling us the
23 truth. Please proceed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: ELVEDIN NASIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. You will be
4 conducting the examination-in-chief, Ms. Sutherland will be now examining
5 you in chief, putting a series of questions to you, which you are required
6 to answer. After that, you will be cross-examined by the Defence team.
7 Now, your duty is not to make any distinction between the Prosecution and
8 the Defence. You're duty is to answer each and every question,
9 irrespective of who is putting the question to you, as truthfully and as
10 completely as you can.
11 Incidentally, what you see in this courtroom, I need to explain
12 very briefly. Right in front of you, in the front row, is the Registrar's
13 staff. They will be following the proceedings as they go along. And I am
14 the Presiding Judge, my name is Carmen Agius, I come from Malta and I'm
15 flanked at my right by Judge Janu from the Czech Republic and on the left
16 by Judge Taya from Japan. The team for the Prosecution is to your
17 right. You need only be concerned with Ms. Sutherland, who will be
18 cross-examining you. It's not that the others are not important but for
19 the time being, that's -- and then you will be cross-examined, I presume
20 by Mr. Trbojevic who is co-counsel for the accused Mr. Brdjanin. Yes you
21 may proceed, Ms. Sutherland.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Examined by Ms. Sutherland:
24 Q. Sir, please state your full name?
25 A. Elvedin Nasic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. You were born on the 1st of July, 1971 in the Prijedor
3 A. In 1971, yes.
4 Q. Your nickname is Vedo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And your ethnicity is Bosniak?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In 1994, you provided a statement to the CSB in Banja Luka about
9 events which occurred in the Prijedor municipality in 1992, do you recall
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. In January, 1995, you were interviewed by an investigator from the
13 Office of the Prosecutor in this Tribunal?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. In March, 2000, you were again interviewed by an investigator and
16 a lawyer from the Office of the Prosecutor where you made some changes to
17 your 1995 statement and provided some additional information?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. In January, 2002, you were visited by members of the Tribunal when
20 they took a declaration from you and you made some additional changes to
21 the statements taken in 1995 and 2000?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In January and February, 2002, you had a brief conversation with
24 an investigator in respect of another case. Do you recall that
1 A. Yes, I do recall.
2 Q. Mr. Nasic, you spoke some limited English. However, I would ask
3 that you wait for the translation into your native language before you
4 answer the question.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, I would like to deal with a
6 sensitive matter for one moment and I would ask that we go into closed
7 session to do that.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Is there any objection on the part of the
10 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Trbojevic. Madam Registrar, let's
12 go into closed session for a while, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are -- I notice that we are in private session.
14 I said closed session. You said closed session.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, private session, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So keep it in private session, thank
18 [Private session]
13 Page 12683 – redacted – private session
13 Page 12684 – redacted – private session
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Ms. Sutherland. So please
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. Mr. Nasic in May, 1992, you were residing in the village of
14 Hambarine in the municipality of Prijedor with your parents, your three
15 brothers and your two sisters; is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. And up until that time, you had lived in Hambarine all your life?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. During 1990 and 1991, you completed your compulsory JNA military
20 training and you specialised in firing ammunition from tanks?
21 A. Yes. I was a gunner.
22 Q. In May, 1992, you were 21 years old and worked as a mechanic?
23 A. I was 21 but I had already completed my schooling. However, I was
24 not employed.
25 Q. You were a member of the TO in Hambarine?
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. After the takeover of power by the Serbs in Prijedor, on the 30th
3 of April, 1992, did your village set up night patrols?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you participate in those patrols?
6 A. I did occasionally.
7 Q. I want to turn now to events that occurred in May, 1992.
8 According to your recollection, on or about the 21st of May, 1992, an
9 incident occurred at the Muslim checkpoint in Hambarine? After that
10 incident, was an ultimatum given to hand over weapons and the Muslim men
11 who were at the checkpoint?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How was the ultimatum given?
14 A. It was aired on Radio Prijedor.
15 Q. What was stated, if the ultimatum wasn't met?
16 A. I can't remember the exact details of that.
17 Q. What occurred the following day in Hambarine?
18 A. The following day, since the weapons were not surrendered, nor did
19 the people who were at the checkpoint surrendered, then sometime around
20 12.00 or around that time, the general attack on Hambarine started. Some
21 occasional shells landed on neighbouring villages.
22 Q. Was the shelling continuous or intermittent?
23 A. Initially, it was continuous and then afterwards, it was
25 Q. Do you know what direction the shelling was coming from?
1 A. Since I was a gunner, one tank was positioned in the area of
2 Tukovi and the artillery, the mortars were firing from Miljakovci. I'm
3 not sure whether that was the exact area but around there somewhere.
4 Q. What was the ethnicity of the people that lived in the village of
5 Miljakovci, if you know?
6 A. I don't know. There were Muslims and -- but I'm not sure.
7 Q. Approximately how long did the shelling last?
8 A. I can't be -- I'm not going to be very specific about that but
9 probably for several hours, three to four hours.
10 Q. What did you do when the shelling began?
11 A. Before the conflict broke out, we made some kind of a zone of
12 defence for the village. Just in case. In order to protect the
13 population, and in order to enable the inhabitants to flee into the
14 neighbouring woods in case of an attack.
15 Q. What did you do?
16 A. I was with my neighbours on the positions. I was unarmed.
17 Q. How long did you stay on the position for?
18 A. I think two to three hours.
19 Q. What did you see from that position?
20 A. We didn't see much. However, we could feel, we could see the
21 shells flying by and landing all over the village. The mosque was
22 targeted quite a lot. It was targeted and we could see it well.
23 Q. In relation to the village, where were -- where was the position
24 where you were at?
25 A. At the entry point into the village, looking from Prijedor, we
1 were to the left.
2 Q. You said that the mosque was targeted quite a lot. Were any --
3 could you see any damage to any of the houses?
4 A. Some were damaged.
5 Q. At some point, did tanks and soldiers enter the village?
6 A. Yes. They did. After we had withdrawn, the civilians withdrew,
7 then we withdrew, and then they entered. With one or two tanks, I'm not
8 sure, because I was not present because we had already left the village.
9 Q. Did you see any soldiers before you left the village?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Where did you go?
12 A. We went into the neighbouring wood, which was called Kurevo.
13 Q. How long did you stay in the Kurevo forest?
14 A. We spent there three days and then I went to my aunt's because she
15 was in the vicinity.
16 Q. Were you with your parents and your brothers and sisters?
17 A. During the first three nights, yes. And later on, they went to
18 Donja Ljubija where there was a refugee centre.
19 Q. But you said you went to your aunt's house. Where was that?
20 A. That was in the local commune of Donja Ljubija. It was close to
21 the Kurevo woods.
22 Q. How long did you spend at your aunt's place?
23 A. Not long. I would go there only occasionally.
24 Q. And when you weren't at your aunt's house, where were you?
25 A. We were hiding in the woods, the same woods.
1 Q. Approximately how many people were hiding in the woods with you?
2 A. During the first day, we had small groups of some 10, 20, 30
3 people there.
4 Q. How long did you stay in the woods for?
5 A. About a month, to month and a half.
6 Q. Of the people that were in the woods, how many of them were armed?
7 A. I don't know. After the villages were cleansed, the neighbouring
8 villages, such as Biscani, Rakovcani, Rizvanovici, Carakovo, there were
9 some 300 to 400 civilians.
10 Q. Do you recall the date when these villages were cleansed?
11 A. Biscani, Rakovcani, and Rizvanovici, around the 22nd of July.
12 Q. Did you subsequently visit or go to these villages?
13 A. I did.
14 Q. Did you notice any damage to the houses in the villages?
15 A. A lot of houses had been set on fire.
16 Q. Was that in all three villages or one or two in particular?
17 A. In all three villages.
18 Q. While you were in the forest, was anyone killed?
19 A. Since the village of Carakovo was cleansed after the first three
20 villages, four young men were killed.
21 Q. Did you witness their killing or were you told about it?
22 A. I didn't see it personally. However, we heard from the people
23 that were with us.
24 Q. In the woods, did you meet up with a person called Asim Mujic?
25 A. I did.
1 Q. And did you, as a group, leave the forest?
2 A. We started towards the free territory, towards Bihac.
3 Q. Approximately how many people were there in your group?
4 A. About 50 to 60.
5 Q. And you said that you -- you started towards the free territory.
6 Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened as you went towards the free
8 A. At night, I can't exactly remember the date, we set out towards
9 the free territory. There were 50 to 60 in our group. As we passed
10 through other forests, which were privately owned, we were joined by other
11 groups so that in the end, there were about 200 of us.
12 Q. In what direction were you heading?
13 A. That night, we walked towards the village of Kalajevo.
14 Q. Is that towards Bihac?
15 A. Our aim was to reach not just Bihac but any place in the free
17 Q. Approximately how many people in this group were armed, if you
19 A. A few. I don't know how many exactly, but some did have some
20 personal weapons.
21 Q. What happened the following day?
22 A. The next day, around 11.00, we were in the village of Kalajevo,
23 and we were discovered there by Serb troops, and at that moment, they
24 opened fire. We scattered in groups so that a group of about 120 went
25 on. That same day, sometime in late afternoon, at dusk, we entered or
1 rather we were passing -- passing and unaware where we were going, we
2 entered the village of Miska Glava, and when we got there, that is we were
3 in the woods nearby, and two guys went to the first house to find out
4 where exactly we had fetched up. However, when they reached that house, a
5 man came out and we could hear a shot. Meanwhile, troops were coming from
6 behind our backs so that we were surrounded, and then they took us to a
7 meadow where we were lined up in four columns.
8 Q. Approximately how many soldiers were there that surrounded the
10 A. About 20, maybe more. I'm not sure.
11 Q. How were they dressed and were they carrying arms?
12 A. Some of them were in olive-green grey uniforms and others were in
13 camouflage uniforms. There were some individuals wearing those. And they
14 were well armed. They had automatic weapons.
15 Q. After you were put into this column, what were you made to do?
16 A. We were lined up in foursomes and then we headed off in some
17 direction, I don't know which, and then again we stopped in a place, in a
18 valley, and we waited for some transportation, because after that, we were
19 put in a van and taken further on.
20 Q. While you were in this valley, did anyone try to escape?
21 A. As a matter of fact, before that, as the column started on its
22 way, a man whose last name is Crljenkovic, I believe, his first name is
23 Mustafa, he tried to escape but failed. He was killed. He was hit in the
24 head. And he was killed from -- by a bullet from a rifle called PAP.
25 Q. Were two men selected from your group who then buried this Mustafa
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You spoke a moment ago about being put in a van and being taken
4 further on. Where were you taken?
5 A. There was one van. They took us to the community centre in Miska
6 Glava, took us to a place, I think it was a coffee bar or a tavern,
7 something. I don't know.
8 Q. What happened when you were put into the -- taken to the coffee
10 A. When we arrived there, there were lots of troops, I don't know how
11 many, but lots of them, and they were even bringing their wives and
12 children to look, to see us, to observe us. That night, nothing special
13 happened. Some who went out to relieve themselves were beaten up.
14 Q. Were your names taken?
15 A. I don't remember if it was that night or perhaps the next day.
16 Q. But in any event, they were?
17 A. That's right. They took down the names. A man called Zoran, I
18 believe his last name is Petrovic but I'm not really 100 per cent sure, I
19 know he used to work in the veterinary pharmacy before the war.
20 Q. Was this in Hambarine?
21 A. What do you mean? Sorry.
22 Q. The veterinary pharmacy, was it in Hambarine?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Miska Glava, approximately how far away is that from Hambarine, do
25 you know? And in which direction?
1 A. About 20 kilometres in the Hambarine-Ljubija direction, there are
2 some other villages, too. Surkovac. That direction.
3 Q. While you were staying at Miska Glava, while you were detained in
4 Miska Glava, was anyone mistreated, apart from the people that you
5 mentioned that received a beating when they went out to relieve
7 A. Yes. The next day, as they already had the list, they called out
8 names and because in this community centre, there were also some offices,
9 I suppose that was the neighbourhood community, the local community
10 office, centre. And then they called people out, took them there to
11 interrogate them, and beat them along the way.
12 Q. Were you called out for questioning?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you mistreated?
15 A. I was.
16 Q. What happened?
17 A. As I entered that room, and it was quite small, perhaps 3 by 3, 3
18 by 4 metres, I'm not sure, but in any event, we had to keep our hands
19 behind our neck, and had to look down at the chest, so that I can't really
20 give you the precise size of the room. As I entered it, two or three
21 soldiers who were standing in there right at the entrance would start
22 dealing blows. With whatever they could lay their hands on, with rifle
23 butts, with their fists.
24 Q. How long were you detained in Miska Glava?
25 A. Two, three, or four days, thereabouts.
1 Q. Was anyone called out and taken away, never to be seen again?
2 A. Ten guys from the village of Rizvanovici were called out and they
3 were told to come out, but they didn't, and then a soldier came and then
4 he pointed at those ten guys to come out. And most of them came from that
5 village, from Rizvanovici.
6 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Ismet Hamulic?
7 A. Yes. He was one of them. He was my school fellow. He came from
9 Q. Do you recall the names of any of the other men that were called
10 out and taken away?
11 A. No, not really.
12 Q. Where were you taken after four or five days?
13 A. They took us in a bus towards Gornja Ljubija. That is where the
14 football stadium was, and that is where they beat us up and some were
15 killed even, including a relative of mine, Irfan Nasic my first cousin.
16 Q. I'm going to that in a little more detail in a moment. When you
17 were first put on the bus in Miska Glava, did the bus stop anywhere before
18 it reached the football stadium in Ljubija?
19 A. Yes. It stopped -- now, what shall I explain it? In Gornja
20 Ljubija, something like the centre of Gornja Ljubija or not far from it,
21 and there was the entrance into the mine, that is where the mine gate
22 was. And when we stopped there, as we stopped there, a policeman called
23 Simo came on. He was an active policeman in the former police, or
24 whatever it was called, and he merely cast a look at us. I remember him
25 well. He just looked at us and then got off, and after him, uniformed
1 soldiers came on. They were wearing overalls, dark blue and black
2 camouflage, disrupted pattern coverall uniforms, and later on, I heard
3 there was some kind of an intervention platoon, and in the bus, they also
4 beat with whatever -- with their boots, anything, but mostly kicking
6 Q. Were these intervention platoon soldiers -- people armed?
7 A. I'm not sure. They didn't have -- when they entered the bus, they
8 didn't have any rifles with them, but I assume they had pistols. That was
9 when they entered the bus.
10 Q. And then the bus continued towards the Ljubija football stadium?
11 A. The football stadium was at the entrance into Gornja Ljubija, so
12 the bus entered Gornja Ljubija, then made a turn and went back to the
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness please be shown Prosecution
15 Exhibit P1127, the map of Prijedor area?
16 Q. Sir, using the pointer, can you point to where the Ljubija
17 football stadium is on that map?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone. We cannot hear the witness.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the audio-visual director please zoom into
20 Ljubija? And if the map could be moved slightly up? Further? Further?
21 And across to the right a little and further up? Thank you.
22 Q. Could you point now to where the Ljubija football stadium is
24 A. In this area here.
25 Q. And that is just above the word "Ljubija" and the red line that
1 goes across the map?
2 A. That's right. If you are looking to -- if you are -- if you face
3 Donja Ljubija.
4 Q. Can you point now to where the iron ore mine is?
5 A. [indicates] Here.
6 Q. And you're pointing now, you're circling the place where it says,
7 "Rudnik" -- where it says, "Rudnik Zeljezne;" is that correct?
8 A. "Ljubija Zeljezne Rude."
9 Q. And that is to the south-west of the town of Ljubija?
10 A. Sorry, could you repeat the question?
11 Q. You're pointing to the place called Rudnik Ljubija, which is to
12 the south -- just south-west of the town of Ljubija, a short distance from
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Is there another name for that mine?
16 A. I don't know what you mean. I'm sorry.
17 Q. Could you point on the map to where the Kipe mine is?
18 A. That is a locality called Kipe. I don't think it is -- Kipe we
19 called Rudnik, that is the mine, this whole area. Kipe I guess, is the
20 name of a -- just of a locality.
21 Q. And what direction is that mine, is that locality?
22 A. Well, I can't really see it here. I think it is somewhere here to
23 the left.
24 Q. Thank you. I've finished with the map.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, I have another map here with Miska
1 Glava highlighted, because unfortunately, it is just off this map. So if
2 we could have this map marked as P1546? And if that could be placed on
3 the ELMO?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, that map, this map is being
5 admitted as Exhibit P1546. Thank you.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND:
7 Q. Sir, is that -- where it's marked Miska Glava, is that the place
8 where you were taken when you were first surrounded by the soldiers?
9 A. That's right, yes.
10 Q. Thank you. I've finished with the map.
11 Mr. Nasic, what happened when you arrived at the stadium?
12 A. At the entrance into the stadium or rather as we got off the bus,
13 there were quite a number of civilians there who were already there when
14 the buses came to the mine for the first time, and as we got off the bus,
15 one of those civilians managed to hit us, and we entered -- we were
16 entering the part of the stadium facing the stands. It was an area of
17 some five, perhaps six metres wide.
18 Q. Besides these number of civilians you said who hit you as you got
19 off the bus, besides these people and the people that you said were part
20 of the intervention platoon, were there -- were there anyone -- was there
21 anyone else at the stadium, any policemen, for example?
22 A. Yes. I remember one. I didn't know him well, but we all called
23 him by his nickname, which was Stiven. I believe he was with the police
24 reserve force. He personally killed my relative, my cousin. There was
25 another man there, who was a military, with a rank of a captain. That is
1 he had the patch on his blouse, but I think it was a rank. He obtained --
2 he was conferred upon for war, for valour, because he didn't have it on
3 his epaulettes.
4 Q. What were you beaten with?
5 A. Sorry?
6 Q. What were you beaten with, as you got off the bus?
7 A. Anything, you name it, metal rods, baseball bats, rifle butts,
9 Q. You said that Stiven personally killed your cousin. You mentioned
10 his name before, Irfan Nasic. Can you explain to the Court how that
12 A. Since we were the first ones to enter that area, facing the
13 stands, to the left was the retaining wall and to the right was wire, wire
14 fence, and in front of us were the stands. Some were singled out and
15 moved over to the wire and others were sent to the other side, to that
16 retaining wall. And I was in the latter group. And my cousin was on the
17 other side, next to the wire. And he was the first one in the -- in the
18 line. And meanwhile, Stiven, with one or two guys carrying weapons, was
19 taking one of ours, one of the guys from our group, and asking him about
20 what kind of weapons each one of us had. And this man from our group said
21 that my relative had a zolja, but that was not true, because I know that
22 he didn't have any weapons at all. And Stiven approached him, since he
23 had his back on him, and fired a pistol at him and killed him on the spot.
24 And another man called Muharem Crljenkovic, he opened fire from an
25 automatic rifle and with a burst of fire, he cut his head off. I saw that
1 with my own eyes. And moreover, he would say afterwards, "Look at this.
2 This man didn't even have any brains." I don't know, they were making
3 jokes, I guess, but that's what they said, "Look at this one, he didn't
4 even have any brains in." The third man was killed but I do not know his
6 Q. Do you know anyone called Muharem Petrovac?
7 A. Yes. He came from Rakovcani, a neighbouring village.
8 Q. Was he at the stadium that day?
9 A. He was.
10 Q. Did anything happen to him?
11 A. He was the man whose head was split into two by a gun -- burst of
13 Q. And so you were actually referring to Muharem Petrovac when you
14 mentioned a man called Muharem Crljenkovic a moment ago?
15 A. No, no. I can't remember the first name. I don't know whether
16 the first name was Muharem. I know that the last name was Crljenkovic. I
17 knew him well. We used to play football together. His nickname was Duca,
18 this man called Crljenkovic that was killed in Miska Glava.
19 Q. So Crljenkovic was killed in Miska Glava but it was Muharem
20 Petrovac that was killed with Irfan Nasic, your cousin, at the Ljubija
21 football stadium?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Did you recognise anyone besides Stiven?
24 A. I recognised somebody called Predrag Vasiljevic from Ljeskare. I
25 knew him personally.
1 Q. And that is the neighbouring village from Hambarine, across the
3 A. That's a village on the road from Hambarine to Ljubija, the
4 following village after ours.
5 Q. Were you mistreated again that day at the stadium?
6 A. Yes. They beat us. They hit me with a metal baton on the head.
7 And I lost my consciousness then.
8 Q. What happened when you regained consciousness?
9 A. I lay on the floor, on the concrete floor. An armed soldier
10 kicked me with his boots saying, "Get up." He cursed my mother. That was
11 their custom. I got up and then he said, "The two of you," since there
12 was a young man next to me, "Pick up these dead bodies and take them
13 elsewhere." We moved them just a few metres from the place where they
15 Q. And this was Irfan Nasic, Muharem Petrovac and a third man whose
16 name you don't recall, whom you didn't know?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know who was in charge of these intervention platoon men?
19 Was anyone in particular in charge, from what you could see?
20 A. He introduced himself to us by his first and last name but I only
21 remember the nickname Major.
22 Q. After you had moved the bodies a few metres, what happened then?
23 A. After that, in columns by three, four or five, with our hands
24 behind our necks, and legs spread apart, started moving towards the bus,
25 which was a double bus. As we were leaving the stadium, they beat us too
1 with baseball bats, here in this area.
2 Q. I'm sorry, where were you pointing to? The -- for the record,
3 you're pointing to the side of --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: His right-hand side of the body, below the
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, they stood on both
7 sides. As we were leaving the stadium, we would have to pass two
8 soldiers, standing on each side. One of them was Predrag Vasiljevic. He
9 stood on the right, to the right of me.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. Can you tell the Court what happened then?
12 A. Upon entering the bus, there were numerous armed soldiers. We
13 entered the bus, or boarded, or whatever you want to call that. They even
14 threw in the dead bodies into the bus. Since I was at the end of the bus,
15 they were with us. And when everything was ready, the bus started in the
16 direction unknown to us. Immediately after the bus started, one of the
17 soldiers asked us first whether we wanted to go to Kurevo, and then he
18 made us sing some of their songs. "Who is saying that Serbia is little,
19 small?" "All of the guards are that of General Draza."
20 The bus travelled for some 20 minutes. I'm not quite sure but
21 approximately that long. And then it stopped. I don't know how many
22 armed people there were on the bus. They got off, whereas one with PAP
23 rifle stood by the driver's seat, by the door there. And he told us that
24 we should go out in groups of three. Upon leaving the bus, some 10 to 15
25 seconds, a half minute later, one could hear gunfire. After the gunfire,
1 he would call out the names of others, until our turn came. The names of
2 me and two other young men who came out with me were called out. Upon
3 leaving the bus, and I was the third in my group, the first two that got
4 off lay down by the bus immediately. I was the third to get off, and I
5 expected to hear the shots. However, something else was going on, because
6 when I met the two young men later, who were with me, that evening, while
7 we were descending, they broke the window and jumped off the bus so that
8 they drew their attention to them and the soldiers that were armed started
9 chasing them because four or five of them jumped off the bus and
10 scattered. Four of them managed to escape, but out of them, only two are
11 currently alive.
12 So that when I got off the bus, I expected a burst of gunfire any
13 minute, since the two others fell by the bus right away, I stepped over
14 the dead bodies, who had been taken out and killed prior to that. Since
15 there was a depression there, I lay down over the bodies. This depression
16 was some two to three metres deep, I'm not exactly sure. And I got down
17 between those dead bodies. In the meantime, shots were heard directed at
18 those that had escaped. And then everything got calm. The ones that had
19 been firing came to the door. I didn't see that, as I was lying down
20 there in that hole, but this is the picture that I created in my mind.
21 The one that stood next to the door in front, it was probably him, said,
22 "There are three who are alive and got out." All of this was taking place
23 at night. I'm not sure of the exact time but it was night-time. Could
24 have been 8.00, 9.00, 10.00, I have no idea but it was night-time.
25 So this one man said that some were still alive, and the other one
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 asked for the torch light. And then, using the flashlight, he illuminated
2 the area, covering the dead bodies, and he saw that -- or rather, he said,
3 "Fuck his mother, look at this guy. He's alive." Then there was a burst
4 of gunfire and the same happened to the other man. He would illuminate
5 the area with the flashlight and then after that, there would follow a
6 burst of gunfire.
7 At the same time, people that had been taken out prior to that and
8 who had been hit by a bullet did not die immediately, and what -- one
9 could hear moaning. And then the armed people shot at them.
10 I remember hearing the words to the effect, "Look at these
11 fighters. They have stone hearts." And this word "fighters" that
12 referred to them, and I don't know what was the message, what were they
13 trying to say, because we had not been arrested as soldiers.
14 Then they cursed their Muslim mothers, saying, "Look at them, they
15 have stone hearts."
16 Then it was my turn. He took the flashlight, illuminated the
17 area, and since I lay on my stomach, I felt the light above my head. At
18 that moment, that person cursed again and said, "Here is another one
19 that's alive." Excuse me. Then he took the rifle and there followed a
20 burst of gunfire and then again with the flashlight he covered the area
21 and then there was another burst of gunfire. So that this lasted until he
22 ran out of ammunition.
23 After the third burst of gunfire, a car came, and one of them said
24 that they should use the lights on the car to illuminate the entire area
25 because there were others that were still alive. However, since this was
1 in a depression, the car probably could not illuminate the area so that he
2 managed to shoot two more bursts of gunfire.
3 After these five rounds, he ran out of ammunition. And he asked
4 for a pistol. Somebody give it to him and then he shot two, three, four
5 bullets around him, again used the flashlight in the area where I was.
6 Then he took the pistol and again fired a couple of bullets more,
7 illuminated with the flashlight again and then for the nth time cursed my
8 mother and said, "This guy is not normal. He's still breathing.".
9 However, the soldier, a uniformed man or somebody standing next to him,
10 belonging to the escort that was on the bus, and that killed the people,
11 one of them told him on a few occasions that nobody else was alive, and
12 that all had been killed. Then he cursed the man again and they started
13 singing their war songs. "Who is saying that Serbia is little?" And so
14 on. They turned on the car and the bus and drove off.
15 Q. How long did you stay in the hole on top of the bodies for?
16 A. About 15 to 20 minutes.
17 Q. Do you know the names of anyone that was killed that night?
18 A. My school mate, Reuf Fikic from Hambarine was there. Then there
19 was Muhic Abdulah, called Dule. Rasid Medic. Suad Mulalic. I remember
20 their names, although I only knew nicknames of the majority of people.
21 Q. Did you know a person called Islam Hopovac?
22 A. Yes, I did. He was from the village of Carakovo.
23 Q. Was he one of the people that were killed that night?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Besim Hegic?
1 A. I knew him by sight. He was a bus driver. I think he used to
2 work for AutoTransport.
3 Q. What was his approximate age?
4 A. 40, 41, or 42.
5 Q. In 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is there any other names that you recall, the surnames only?
8 A. There were people with the last name Muhic, Hamulic, they were
9 from Rizvanovici. Jamastagic [phoen], Kadiric, they were from Sredice.
10 Q. Do you recall seeing anyone with a surname Kekic?
11 A. I do. I can't remember the first name but I know them.
12 Q. Do you know approximately how old this person was?
13 A. There were two men, cousins. One was about 17 and the other one
14 18 or 19. Judging by their looks, I think that's how old they were.
15 Q. Did you recall seeing anyone with the surname Kadic?
16 A. No, I don't. I can't remember.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, you will hear further evidence in
18 relation to an exhumation that took place in March, 2000, later on in the
19 case. Would that be an appropriate time for a break, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Ms. Sutherland. How much longer
21 will your --
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Perhaps half an hour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Half an hour. And do you think you would be in a
24 position to conclude?
25 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I believe I will. I don't have
1 many questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we'll try and make an effort, try and
3 make an effort, and I suggest that we have a short break of 15 minutes.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it all right with you? Is it okay with the
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So a 15 minute break. Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland, please go ahead.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Nasic, when you -- when you got out of the hole where the
14 bodies were, where did you then go?
15 A. As it was night time, and I didn't know the area, I headed in some
16 direction, unknown direction, but before I did that, I was sitting there,
17 there was a road, a macadam road, as a matter of fact, and on the other
18 side of the road, I saw a sign, and I went to it. I couldn't see clearly,
19 so that I had to crawl up the post with the sign to see the direction, and
20 it said -- I can't be quite accurate, but it said "Ravska."
21 Q. Could you just pause there, witness?
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, with the agreement with the Defence
23 and the Chamber, I may lead the witness through the next few questions
24 until we get to the next issue.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you have our authorisation. If there is any
1 objection forthcoming from the Defence as you go along, I'm sure they will
2 let us know and we will decide accordingly.
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So please go ahead.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. Mr. Nasic, did you spend the night in the forest?
7 A. I did, yes.
8 Q. The following morning, did you go to a village predominantly Croat
9 village called Stara Rijeka?
10 A. I came to that village and I came across a woman, because I had
11 never been to that place before, so I asked her, although I assumed that
12 it could be it, I mean Stara Rijeka, and she told me that it was.
13 Q. Did you see only old men, women and children in that village?
14 A. First I came across a little boy in a garage. He was playing with
15 toy cars.
16 Q. Mr. Nasic, just pause there for a moment. I'm wanting to ask the
17 next following questions and I want you to answer me very briefly because
18 I want to move on to when you left on a convoy on the 21st of -- 21st of
19 August, 1992. So did this -- did a woman in Stara Rijeka provide you with
20 some food?
21 A. She did. That woman gave me food, and the next woman I came
22 across, she told me that her husband and her two sons had been taken
23 away. I believe her name was Kata or something like that.
24 Q. Was this -- when was the last time you received food? Were you
25 given any food in Miska Glava?
1 A. No, none. They wouldn't even give us water.
2 Q. So you hadn't eaten for approximately seven days?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Over the next three or four days, you walked around, and you were
5 in a very bad physical condition; is that correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. And you met up with a woman who was going to Ljubija. What did
8 that woman who was going to Ljubija tell you about what had happened the
9 night before -- I'm sorry, not the night before, the night that you were
10 at the Kipe mine?
11 A. I'm sorry, that woman was not going in the direction of Ljubija.
12 I went there, and she was headed for the next house. She was taking some
13 grains to have them ground, to have them milled for feed.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Why don't you go straight to what you consider
15 is important for the rest of the facts that he's released statements about
16 because I think basically, we.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Nasic did you return to the place of the massacre at Kipe?
19 A. I did. After a few days of walking around.
20 Q. What did you see when you returned there?
21 A. I came up to that place and I saw parts -- I mean one could still
22 see parts of footwear or jackets and there was a lot of blood. I mean
23 this whole place was covered up, I suppose, an earth mover had come and
24 covered it up.
25 Q. Is it correct that you then spent the next few days in Stara
1 Rijeka and then you were in the forest for approximately ten days?
2 A. I was in Stara Rijeka for a few days before I turned up again in
3 that place where it all had happened.
4 Q. Whilst you were in the forest for approximately ten days, you met
5 up with three friends, Armin Petrovac, Sead Crljenkovic, and Eniz Jujic
6 and you were shot at in the field; is that correct?
7 A. It is. One of those three had -- was wounded in the leg.
8 Q. And at some point, when you were in the forest, did you hear about
9 a convoy leaving the area?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was that convoy leaving from Tukovi and going to Travnik?
12 A. That's right. It left from Tukovi and it was said that it would
13 go in the direction of Travnik. That was the information that I was
15 Q. And at that point you left the forest and went to Tukovi?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. When you arrived there, approximately how many other civilians
18 were there?
19 A. I don't know the exact number but there must have been 200, 300,
20 maybe even as many as 400 but I cannot guarantee that. Quite a number of
22 Q. Do you recall the date of the convoy?
23 A. The 21st of August, 1992.
24 Q. Approximately how many buses and trucks were at Tukovi?
25 A. I'm not sure about that now because I dared not look around. I
1 was too frightened. I was -- I was afraid. I don't know what. I was
2 simply afraid.
3 Q. Did you recognise any of the soldiers there or policemen?
4 A. No, not in Tukovi, but as we set off between Banja Luka and Vlasic
5 or Skender, I'm not quite sure but I think it was that road, there was
6 this soldier in a uniform, and he had a magnum pistol, and he had a belt
7 with bullets in it.
8 Q. Do you recall his name?
9 A. I think he was Mrdja.
10 Q. How did you know him?
11 A. I knew him -- I mean I didn't know him personally but I used to
12 come across him in Prijedor before the war because before the war, I went
13 to school, so that I was often there.
14 Q. Whereabouts did you see him around Prijedor?
15 A. In coffee shops there, or just in passing. That was before the
17 Q. Did you say his name was Mrdjan or Mrdja?
18 A. I think it was Mrdja but whether that is his name or a nickname, I
19 don't know.
20 Q. Sir, when you got on to the truck at Tukovi, you proceeded towards
21 the crossroads, Prijedor-Banja Luka road and the Kozarac-Trnopolje road;
22 is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. And I think in your statement of 1995, it said that you stopped at
25 the Trnopolje camp when in fact you stopped at the crossroads; is that
2 A. No. We didn't stop by the camp. It was the Prijedor-Kozarac road
3 and at that place, yes, there was this crossroad where there were -- a
4 road branched off to Trnopolje.
5 Q. Is it correct that the guards that were escorting the convoy asked
6 you for money and valuables?
7 A. Yes. Repeatedly.
8 Q. And when you stopped the second time, I think this is the time
9 where you say you recognised the person you referred to as Mrdja, what
10 happened at that place when you stopped? If you could explain to the
12 A. When we stopped there, since there was a bloke in the bus who was
13 ordered by those soldiers to collect money or valuables, because they
14 would simply come and say, "We want, for instance, 5.000 marks." Or, say
16 Q. What happened when you stopped at the place near Vlasic?
17 A. In the meantime, there was talk -- or rather it was said that
18 women and children should move. I was in a trailer truck. And it was
19 said that women and children should move over to -- closer to the driver.
20 And that men should stay in the rear part of the truck.
21 Q. At some point, were men asked to get off the trucks and the
23 A. No. It was said that ten guys, I mean ten men, should get ready
24 to get off.
25 Q. And did they?
1 A. Well, not from our truck fortunately, because --
2 Q. Did you see men getting off other trucks and buses?
3 A. I didn't.
4 Q. Did the convoy then move off towards Travnik?
5 A. It did.
6 Q. Where did you get off the bus?
7 A. You mean off the truck?
8 Q. I am sorry, where did you get off the truck?
9 A. On Vlasic.
10 Q. And then did you walk to Travnik?
11 A. That's right, yes, all of us.
12 Q. Did all of the people on the convoy that left Tukovi and the
13 Trnopolje camp, the trucks that met at the crossroads from the Trnopolje
14 camp, did you all arrive in Travnik that day?
15 A. No. We didn't. Unfortunately. Because when we left Tukovi,
16 there were lots of families there, and when we arrived in Travnik, those
17 people who were taken out that day, they were with those, with those --
18 with families.
19 Q. Do you know approximately how many people did not make it to
20 Travnik that day?
21 A. A list was made, one of those days, I think about 150 or something
22 men, males.
23 Q. Besides Mrdja, did you recognise anybody else that was escorting
24 the convoy?
25 A. No, not one of the escorts but I remember a truck driver, a man
1 who used to drive a Prijedor bus, a city bus.
2 Q. Do you recall his name?
3 A. No. I don't. I only know he was a bus driver, rather the truck.
4 Q. Is it correct that your father died on the 21st of July, 1992?
5 A. He was killed.
6 Q. Whereabouts was he killed?
7 A. In the village of Biscani.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And the date is correct, the date suggested to you,
9 the 21st of July, 1992; is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I am not sure about the
11 date, but it was a day when Biscani was cleansed and I think it was the
12 22nd. I'm sorry about this, but it was that day when the village was
14 MS. SUTHERLAND:
15 Q. And your brother told you about the killing of your father when
16 you met up with him later?
17 A. Yes, because he eye witnessed this killing.
18 Q. Did he tell you the circumstances of your father's death in
20 A. Yes. An armed soldier asked who was with whom, and my father said
21 that he was with him, that he was his son, and he said, "Well, one of you
22 has to die."
23 Q. Were your father or your brother armed?
24 A. No.
25 Q. How many other close relatives did you lose in the conflict which
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 occurred in the Prijedor municipality in 1992?
2 A. Well, what we call they are cousins, that is my uncles, my
3 brother -- my father's brother, three sons.
4 Q. What are their names? You mentioned Irfan Nasic earlier in your
6 A. Yes. Emsud Nasic, Ibrahim Nasic.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. I have no further questions from the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Ms. Sutherland. Mr. Trbojevic?
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Nasic, I do not have many
12 questions and I'm really sorry to have to remind you of all these events
13 but I'll have to ask you to try and explain certain things to us. You
14 told us that you did your military service with the former JNA?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And what was your combat assignment after that?
17 A. Combat assignment?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. All I remember is that when I was leaving the army, the battalion
20 or brigade commander said, in case of anything, I think you will be called
21 up to -- now, what's it called? To back to this brigade, with which I'd
22 done my military service.
23 Q. So you didn't join the reserves?
24 A. No. I suppose that was how it was before, for those who served in
25 Kosovo because -- and I served in Kosovo, then for a few years after that,
1 you'd be exempt from any reserve service.
2 Q. You told us that you were a member of the TO when these things
3 started in 1992.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. You mean in Hambarine?
6 A. Yes, but those were just village patrols.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nasic and Mr. Trbojevic, please allow a short
8 interval between answer -- question and answer and vice versa, so that we
9 help the interpreters in their difficult job a little bit more than we
10 are. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
12 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] We shall do our best, Your
14 Q. That Territorial Defence unit which according to some information
15 we have had an office in the neighbourhood community centre, didn't it?
16 And it was supposed to have some weapons, some Territorial Defence weapons
17 that had been distributed earlier, isn't it? Did you know about that?
18 A. That's true. Some weapons there were, perhaps a couple of rifles,
19 old ones, some drum rifles, as they used to call them.
20 Q. And one of the chief activities were those village patrols, simply
21 to see who is coming, who is going, and who is passing through, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was there any cooperation between the relevant Territorial Defence
24 units in adjacent areas and between them?
25 A. I am not aware of that. I don't know it.
1 Q. You said that when the attack on Hambarine started, that plan was
2 to defend Hambarine, at least as long as people would need to withdraw
3 into the woods?
4 A. Yes, there was talk about that.
5 Q. Was it some agreement that you reached in the neighbourhood
6 community or in some place where this group of people decided that they
7 would take a position and try to hold on to it?
8 A. Well, it was more or less villagers there, local people.
9 Q. Well, I suppose you -- one would know should be somebody who would
10 be in command, who would say when to open fire, when to stop the fire?
11 A. I don't know. I wasn't really privy to this kind of thing. I
12 think that it -- Agan Sikiric was the TO commander, but I didn't
13 really -- but I wasn't really privy to any detail.
14 Q. You said that you saw the Serbs advancing with a mechanised units
15 that they were very strong and that they therefore any attempt to resist
16 would be in vain and that you waited for people to pull out and then you
17 pulled out from Hambarine?
18 A. Well, I don't really remember saying that I saw them.
19 Q. I will remind you on page 2 of your statement, the one of 1995,
20 you say, "We tried to get people out of the village and defend the village
21 but then the Serbs came with artillery and infantry. We saw that we
22 absolutely stood no fighting chance and therefore we withdrew to the
24 A. I mentioned today but this had to do with the artillery firing
25 from the rear.
1 Q. Is it true that you retreated from Hambarine before the Serb
2 infantry reached the village? Started moving from house to house?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can we then conclude that in this attack on Hambarine, except as a
5 result of artillery attacks, there were no other casualties which would be
6 due to the entry of the troops in Hambarine?
7 A. Well, I did not see anyone injured at the time but I did hear
8 about woundings.
9 Q. Tell me, that first moment after you left, I suppose you turned
10 back to see what the village looked like. Were there many houses set on
12 A. Not straight away, but as the time went by, more and more houses
13 were set on fire and destroyed.
14 Q. You say as the time went by, do you mean the day, hours after it,
15 or some days later?
16 A. Days later.
17 Q. Could you explain this to us? You said that a group of people
18 went to the water and were killed. You mentioned this on page 3 of your
19 1995 statement. You said, "The following morning four of our men were
20 killed when they went for water. Some of our men had rifles and
21 machine-guns, and they went to where the man had been shot in order to
22 defend the rest of us and allow us to get away." That's what you said?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland?
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, in relation to that paragraph, Mr.
25 Nasic made a correction to that statement. He didn't say rifles and
1 machine-guns, he said only rifles.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You've heard the question. You've also heard
3 the remark by Ms. Sutherland. What's your answer to the question?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the lady from the Prosecution
5 said, those were not machine-guns, those were personal weapons, which we
6 used in order to try and defend ourselves. Or rather the people who were
7 armed tried to defend us.
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. And following that, when you describe that the soldiers appeared
10 and that about 500 people scattered away and then grouped in people of 50
11 or 150 and then there was a group of 114, you always said that nobody else
12 in the group had any weapons any more. How is that possible?
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, he testified today that some people
14 in the group did have some weapons.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But I would rather let him answer the question
16 rather than intervene or interrupt in this way. Yes. Did you understand
17 Mr. Trbojevic's question?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And what's your answer?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As Mrs. Sutherland said, I've
21 already said that those were just pistols. When one says weaponry, on
22 weapons, that can refer to rifles, machine-guns, all kinds of things.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you happy with that answer, Mr. Trbojevic?
24 Shall we move to something else or do you want to put further questions on
25 the same topic?
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No. We can go on and Your Honours
2 will evaluate the evidence.
3 Q. Following that, you described the situation where you entered the
4 Serb village, were encircled and detained. I'm now reading from your
5 statement where you say that, "One man tried to escape but one of the
6 soldiers killed him with an automatic rifle." And then you go on to say,
7 "We had to bury him in the field." That's on page three of your
8 statement, 1995 statement.
9 In your 1994 statement, using the only possible logic, you say,
10 "We went on." And this is in reference to the same situation. "So we
11 went on and passed two Muslim villages entered by mistake the Serbian
12 village." This corresponds to the other statement. And then you go on to
13 say, "There we were encircled by the Chetniks" and this is as in the last
14 statement. Then you go on to say, "Muhamed, called Duca, started fleeing
15 from the column and one Chetnik firing from the Pap rifle hit him directly
16 in the head and he dropped dead."
17 Is the same event described in these two statements?
18 A. I think there was a misunderstanding there. It is the same event,
19 the same man.
20 Q. And on one occasion, you used the automatic rifle, on the second
21 time, you say the PAP rifle?
22 A. Today, in my testimony, I pointed out that that was the PAP
23 rifle. I made a lot of corrections because when I gave that statement, I
24 did not agree with some things, because the interpreter had probably made
25 a mistake. Just like in that case, instead of the PAP rifle, they put in
1 the automatic rifle. However, it was the PAP rifle.
2 Q. This 1994 statement, where it says centre of security services in
3 Banja Luka, was probably given in Travnik, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In your 1994 statement, on page 2, where I just read an excerpt
6 from, you said that on the 26th of July, after spending two nights and one
7 day in the forest and so on, a courier came and told us to gather and head
8 towards Bihac. That's what you said. Can you tell us whose courier was
10 A. I don't know that. That wasn't a courier. We had a plan to set
11 out towards the free territory.
12 Q. It says "courier" here and there was no interpreting involved when
13 giving the statement. Could you have possibly said "courier" or there was
14 no courier at all?
15 A. As we were in groups, we had no means of communication, and
16 probably because of that, in order for the groups to communicate between
17 themselves, that is probably why I said a courier, because that was a
18 means of communication between the groups.
19 Q. On that same page, you said that "upon being taken to Miska Glava,
20 that the following day, people were called out one by one and interrogated
21 and beaten, and then on the second day, ten young men from Rizvanovici
22 were taken out and killed there." That's what you said. In your 1995
23 statement, when describing that event, on page 3 of that statement, you
24 said that "the military police came and took ten men away from Rizvanovici
25 village and that they had not been seen since." It seems that these two
1 descriptions are not quite identical, are they?
2 A. I apologise. The story involved three men, three young men. I
3 don't know if this is mentioned in any of these statements. I believe
4 that one of them was from Cazin area. One was from Bosanski Novi.
5 Q. I'm asking you about this group.
6 A. Could you please repeat your question?
7 Q. In 1994, when you described this in Travnik, you said that a list
8 was used to call out a group of ten men who were immediately killed
9 there. I am now retelling what you said, but along those lines. You said
10 the following day, we were called out from that list, interviewed and
11 beaten. The next day, ten young men from Rizvanovici were called out and
12 killed right there. This is what you said, whereas in the statement that
13 you gave the following year to the Prosecution, you said the military
14 police came and took ten men from Rizvanovici village and they were not
15 seen afterwards.
16 In the first statement, there is no mention of the military
17 police. You said that they were killed immediately, whereas the event is
18 described in different terms in the other statement.
19 A. I am sorry, but there must have been a mistake there. Three young
20 men were taken away. As to for these men from Rizvanovici, they were
21 taken out too and they never reappeared later on, and I assumed that they
22 had been killed.
23 Q. If you know, and since you moved in that area, can you tell me
24 what time of the day was it when the attack on Carakovo started?
25 A. As far as I know, there was just a search in Carakovo during which
1 a lot of people were killed.
2 Q. Was it at night, in the evening hours, early morning hours, at
3 mid-day? When was that?
4 A. Those were early morning hours.
5 Q. Now, tell me, please, as your convoy entered Tukovi, there were no
6 formalities involved, were there, no formal procedure, no documents were
7 shown; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You simply entered and got on to a truck; is that right?
10 A. Exactly so.
11 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
12 further questions.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is there re-examination, Ms. Sutherland?
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Janu would like to ask some questions.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE JANU: Sir, you informed us that your brother was witnessing
19 the killing of your father and you also told us that the soldier said,
20 "One of you must die." So my question is who made the choice who will be
21 killed, your father or your brother? Was it the soldier or who?
22 A. My father.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So we managed to finish with your testimony today,
24 as you see. And that will enable you to return back home earlier than you
25 probably were expecting. You will be attended to by the usher, who will
1 escort you out of this courtroom but before you leave it is my duty as the
2 Presiding Judge on my own behalf, on behalf of the other two Judges in
3 this Trial Chamber as well as the Tribunal to thank you for having
4 accepted to come and give evidence. You may now leave and I wish you a
5 safe journey back home.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, may my associate
9 be allowed to object to interpretation that was recorded in the
10 transcript, in order for me not to create the confusion, she will explain
11 in her good English what term was used instead of what?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem from the Prosecution either?
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please proceed.
15 MS. JEVTOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. If we go
16 on page 43, line 2, we will see that the word "cleansed" has been used,
17 and when this word was used --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. 43? Line 2?
19 MS. JEVTOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, and later on too.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay.
21 MS. JEVTOVIC: [Interpretation] The word "cleansed" was used. Then
22 the translation when going from the B/C/S booth was "ethnic cleansing" in
23 the language that I was listening to. The witness was talking about what
24 we used to earlier previous days translate as "mopping up" or "sweeping
25 up" or "cleaning." And we have the same occurrence on page 67, line 3.
1 That is all. Thank you.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour this is something that probably could
3 have been cleared up with the witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact if the witness is still here, we will bring
5 him back in, usher? Where is she? Ms. Gustin, please.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: The usher will be with the witness, Your Honour.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MS. JEVTOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Sir, before you leave again because we had a small
13 problem. At a certain point, during your testimony, you were being asked
14 this series of questions and your answers were as follows and now I will
15 explain to you what the problem is. You were asked, "And when you weren't
16 at your aunt's house, where were you?" And you said, "We were hiding
17 in the woods, the same woods." And then you were asked, "Approximately
18 how many people were hiding in the woods were you?" And you answered,
19 "During the first day we had small groups of some 10, 20, 30 people
20 there." And then were you asked, "How long did you stay in the woods
21 for?" And you said, "About a month. To a month and a half." Question:
22 "Of the people that were in the woods, how many of them were armed?" And
23 you said, "I don't know. After the villages were cleansed." Now, what
24 did you mean by the word "cleansed" and what word exactly did you use?
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, can you repeat the question.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes the question was this, you were asked of the
2 people that were in the woods how many of them were armed and you said, I
3 don't know after the villages were cleansed, the neighbouring villages
4 such as Biscani, Rakovcani, et cetera, there were some 300 to 400
5 civilians. You are reported here to have used the word "cleansed" after
6 the villages were cleansed. What word did you use and what did you mean
7 by that word?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what they called it,
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What did you mean by it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. That simply is what
12 they called it, cleansing of the terrain.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Who called it like that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our people.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Cleansing of the terrain?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Terrain, villages. This is what our
17 people would say, they started cleansing the village. Because that word
18 was used quite a lot.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you ever heard the word ethnic cleansing?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I've heard about that word,
21 but in this case, no reference was made to ethnic cleansing. This was
22 just plain cleansing.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What we call mopping up as well?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it the equivalent of mopping up? Cleansing means
1 mopping up? Have you ever heard of the term "mopping up"? I don't know
2 how that is being translated to you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I truly don't know.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What I want from you is also another clarification.
5 Later on you said, you referred to -- you were asked to answer a question
6 about the death, the killing of your father and I myself asked you to
7 confirm whether the killing took place on the 21st of July or not and you
8 said, "I'm sorry, I'm not sure about the date but it was a day when
9 Biscani was cleansed." Also you mean cleansed, the terrain being
10 cleansed, and not ethnic cleansing?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Same word, same meaning. It was not
12 ethnic cleansing.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. You may now leave. Sorry for
14 having brought you back to the hall. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Anything?
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: First of all, I think Judge Janu may want the
21 audio-visual directors to take a photo of her in her elevated status. We
22 have a list of the witnesses for the Bosanski Novi municipality starting
23 around the 23rd of January.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally we would also require, if possible,
2 that you enter a note showing the sequence in which these -- the next
3 municipalities will be dealt with. My staff requires it and I think also
4 the Defence would find it extremely useful.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour if I understand Ms. Korner well, we
6 will be completing the municipalities in the order they appear in the
7 pre-trial brief, although we have dropped a couple of those
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But again, I mean Ms. Korner had confirmed that
10 orally. It's not that I doubt her word but I think for the proper conduct
11 of the proceedings if we have this document between now and when we
12 commence the Christmas recess, I think that would be quite useful at least
13 for my staff if not for the Defence. All right.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour we will provide you with that
15 before we begin again on the 13th of January.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think this is the last time we are sitting
17 before the holidays, and I am taking this opportunity on my behalf and on
18 behalf of my two colleagues to wish you all the very best for the festive
19 season, those who celebrate Christmas and those who -- and the new year,
20 and those who don't. And we will look forward to resuming our works on
21 the 12th of -- 13th of January. So our greetings. To you as well,
22 Mr. Brdjanin.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
24 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
25 the 13th day of January, 2003.