1 Wednesday, 5 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning to you, Madam Registrar. Could
6 you call the case, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you.
10 Can you follow the proceedings in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I can.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good morning, Your Honours, Anna Richterova,
16 Julian Nicholls and Denise Gustin, case manager.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you all.
18 Appearances for the Defence?
19 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
20 Attorney at law Milan Trbojevic, appearing with me today is Marela
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you both. So I
23 understand there is some problem? Shall we go in private session.
24 MS. RICHTEROVA: If we can go to private session, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go to private session, please.
1 [Private session]
12 Page 14180 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 14181 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll ask you to repeat your solemn declaration once
17 more, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: WITNESS BT84 [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And once again only the truth.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Let's proceed. It's your turn now,
24 Mr. Trbojevic. Please remember not to mention the witness's name.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm not sure if we've gone into open.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in open session.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: We are.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, your microphone is not on, Mr. Trbojevic.
4 Please go ahead.
5 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. I will kindly ask you to start with that part of your yesterday's
10 testimony with which we haven't finished, when I made an objection to a
11 part of the record. You testified about an event of 23rd of June, 1992.
12 That's page 5 of your statement.
13 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we could show the witness
14 his statement, Your Honours. That's the statement from the 8th of April,
15 1992 [as interpreted].
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I have a copy of the 8 April, 2000 statement. I'll
17 just tell the Court and counsel, this doesn't have any writing on it, it
18 does have a -- there is a plain copy.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. This is your own statement. Would you be so kind as to look at
22 page 5, paragraph 4?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You started describing events that preceded the incidents of that
25 night; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You said you had seen people gathered near the house of Meho
3 Alic. You said there were about 120 people?
4 A. Yes, concerning (Redacted)
5 Q. You said you were observing there from a distance of about 400
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, (Redacted)
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So that will be redacted as well as what I have just
12 stated myself before Mr. Nicholls confirmed, please, Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, go ahead, please.
15 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You continued to describe what happened later?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You said that that evening, sometime about 11.30 p.m., you heard
19 the sound of tractors?
20 A. Correct, that's true.
21 Q. So you concluded that it was on those tractors that women and
22 children were taken away?
23 A. Yes. I was able to conclude that at that time, and I heard from
24 other people later that it was true.
25 Q. Then we come to the description of the events of that night. In
1 this statement, from April 2000, you speak about a -- about the time of
2 3:00, 4:00 a.m.
3 A. Which page is that?
4 Q. Page 8, paragraph 5. You said you heard bursts of gunfire around
5 3.00 a.m., maybe 4.00 a.m.
6 A. Right.
7 Q. In your testimony yesterday, you said these bursts of gunfire were
8 heard about 1.00, 1.30 a.m.
9 A. You didn't understand me, then. Around 12.30 a.m.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: It's not an objection, Your Honour but my colleague
11 and the witness are speaking over each other not allowing each other to
12 finish so I think the interpreters are doing well but I'm afraid that
13 something may get lost.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I was finding difficulty myself and I realise the
15 interpreters are finding difficulty.
16 Mr. Trbojevic, you are familiar with what I am saying but the
17 witness is not. You speak the same language, both Mr. Trbojevic and
18 yourself, and what's happening is that Mr. Trbojevic is not allowing an
19 interval of time after you finish answering one of his questions. He
20 jumps in with the next question and you are doing exactly the same. You
21 are not allowing a short interval of time when he finishes his question
22 before you start your answer. Procedure here is that while you speak in
23 your language, we have teams of interpreters translating into English and
24 into French that need to catch up with you. So please slow down, both of
25 you, and allow an interval between question and answer and between answer
1 and question. Okay? Thanks. And thank you, Mr. Nicholls, because you
2 preceded me by just a minute or so.
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to object to
4 the record, on page 8, line 4, my question was not recorded correctly.
5 It's not page 8. It's page 6.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 6 or page 8? Page 6? How can it be page 6?
7 THE INTERPRETER: In the question of council, page 8 is mentioned
8 in the record whereas it should be page 6.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 6, page 6?
10 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Page 8 of the transcript.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 6 or page 8.
12 MR. TRBOJEVIC: Page 6 of the transcript should be mentioned in my
13 question, whereas on the record --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... paragraph 5,
15 you mean to say page 6, paragraph 5?
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, page 6, paragraph
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That goes for the record. But in any case,
19 he did give you an answer. All right. Now, please repeat your next
20 question now. You asked the witness, "In your testimony yesterday,"
21 referring to page 6, paragraph 5, "You said that bursts of gunfire were
22 heard about, here we have 1.00, 1.30 a.m., and then the witness butted in
23 saying you don't understand me then. It was around 12.30 a.m.
24 So pick it up from there, please, and go ahead with your question
25 and then the witness will answer. All right? Thank you.
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. That is what I wanted to clarify. At 2330 hours you heard the
3 sound of tractors. That was the time when women and children were
4 probably leaving?
5 A. No. We have a misunderstanding again. Around 11.30 p.m., that is
6 the time when women and children were leaving.
7 Q. At what time did you hear the burst of gunfire?
8 A. About two to three minutes, for about two to three minutes, around
9 1.00 a.m. That is the time when I left the place where I was until then.
10 Q. Thank you very much. You described how during that shooting, you
11 were lying down?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You said you heard bullets whizzing around you. You said you
14 didn't see who was doing what on the site?
15 A. No, I didn't see that.
16 Q. So the people who were shooting are not in your field of vision at
17 that moment?
18 A. No, they are not.
19 Q. You can't tell us how many of them there were?
20 A. No, I can't tell you that because I didn't see it.
21 Q. Could you tell us were they in uniform?
22 A. I can't tell you that either because I wasn't able to see them
23 that morning.
24 Q. You can't describe for us their position relative to the people
25 who were probably victims?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I can't do that either because from my position I wasn't able to
2 see them, when I was lying down.
3 Q. Can you tell us whether in that darkness and in that position, was
4 it possible for anyone to run away?
5 A. That's what I kept asking myself: Why, out of those 27 people,
6 why didn't a single person try to escape? Unfortunately.
7 Q. Speaking about the 27 people, you didn't establish that number by
8 counting them?
9 A. I don't understand.
10 Q. You didn't actually count them?
11 A. No. But I know how many people were gone missing and that's why I
12 assumed that they are the same people, that there are 27 of them.
13 Q. Were you able to hear any orders issued?
14 A. No. I wasn't. All I heard was singing, racket, but I didn't hear
15 any orders being issued.
16 Q. On page 6 of this statement of yours, paragraph 7, you explain
17 that it was practically in the morning from a distance of 500 metres you
18 saw a group of soldiers in that place?
19 A. Right, we are talking about 500 metres as the crow flies. That's
21 Q. Then on page 7, paragraph 1, you describe how in addition to those
22 soldiers, you said I saw objects on the ground that looked like sacks?
23 A. Yes, sacks. From that distance of 500 metres it looked like
24 sacks, whether it was victims, whether it was objects, lying on the
25 ground, I don't know. All I know is I saw a couple of soldiers milling
1 about them.
2 Q. I'm sure that yesterday during the examination by the Prosecutor
3 you gave the same statement?
4 A. Yes. If you understood it correctly.
5 Q. However, the record does not reflect such a statement. The record
6 says that you had seen bodies lying around like sacks?
7 A. Yes, they looked like sacks.
8 Q. I have to ask you the following question: Are you aware of the
9 fact that this statement is significantly different from the previous one?
10 A. There is a difference. However, I abide by what I said. I said
11 that it looked like sacks and I also said that it was my opinion that
12 those were people. It would have been impossible for sacks to be lying
13 around at that time. I cannot state with certainty what it was but it was
14 my assumption that those were the victims, as it turned out later on.
15 Q. I believe we have clarified the issue.
16 A. Well, if you are clear about it, I think we have.
17 Q. Those objects that you saw, where were they, where did they lie?
18 A. On the ground.
19 Q. In that same area?
20 A. Yes, near the cemetery, where those two graves were, which I saw
21 personally where the excavator was digging. I think I saw the photograph
22 of the location yesterday. I can show the location once again.
23 Q. In your statement, you indicated that during the exhumation, as
24 you learned later on, five bodies were discovered, five bodies that were
25 identified as possible victims of that incident?
1 A. Yes. Five victims, one skull and parts of bones. However, I
2 wonder, and I should like to ask all of you present here in the courtroom,
3 what happened, then, with other people, with the remaining people?
4 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. Do you have any knowledge to the
5 effect that the number of bodies that may have been moved to another
7 A. I do not have any personal knowledge. I can only assume that the
8 majority of people had been killed and buried there, but their bodies must
9 have been transferred somewhere else. Again this is just my opinion. I
10 do not have any accurate information.
11 Q. I believe the issue is now clear, as clear as possible, that is.
12 Let me remind you of the portion of your statement when you indicated that
13 movement permits were issued only to Muslims, that only Muslims had to
14 have such permits. Do you remember that statement?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. However, that was not entirely the case?
17 A. Well, to the best of my knowledge, that indeed was the case. I
18 have -- I had Serb friends, I have Serb friends today, but at the time
19 they did not have to have such permits, sir. I'm sure you were there at
20 the time, as well, and you did not have to have such a permit. I state
21 this with full responsibility. That was not only my personal case. All
22 Muslim residents had to have such permits, and I believe I have proved
23 this claim.
24 Q. If I tell you that all conscripts, mobilised to a military unit
25 had to have permits for movement outside their military unit, permits
1 which were issued by military authorities, would you agree with me?
2 A. Well, that's possible, in case of military authorities, but I had
3 a pass, a permit, which was issued by civilian authorities, by the
4 police. However, it didn't mean anything. It was on my name and it was
5 considered to be some kind of certificate, but it was actually useless.
6 Q. If I tell you that the people who were not members of the
7 military, who were working, for instance, in the law enforcement organs or
8 in the local administration, that they also had to have documents
9 certifying that they were under some kind of work obligation and that on
10 the basis of those documents they could not be mobilised into the army,
11 and that they used such documents to move around?
12 A. It is possible that they had similar documents but their documents
13 did not have the same meaning. The names were indicative of who you
14 were. There is a clear difference between my name and your name and I'm
15 sure you understand this.
16 Q. You told us that you had obtained the documents that we had
17 opportunity to see here and is it your opinion that those documents were
18 just part of the special treatment that you received?
19 A. In my opinion, they were issued only for the purposes of
20 identifying Muslims. One could not move around. One could not leave the
21 area. You couldn't travel to Croatia from Bosanski Novi, for instance.
22 Such documents were actually never checked so the objective was actually I
23 don't know, I don't know whether it was money or something else. I don't
24 know what the purpose of those documents was.
25 Q. I had the impression that yesterday you stated that the money
1 should not have been the reason because the local currency was practically
3 A. Yes. It was worthless but it was still better than nothing.
4 Q. Could it happen for the -- that the Croatian authorities asked for
5 any such documents at the time you were entering the country?
6 A. No. Because we left the area in an United Nations convoy. Nobody
7 asked to see any documents. At least not in my case, and in that -- and
8 in that part of the truck where I was.
9 Q. In view of the fact that there were no passports, no visas?
10 A. There were no passports, no visas, we were on this convoy and no
11 one asked any documents.
12 Q. Did anyone check your identification cards when you came to
14 A. No. Nobody asked to see any documents in the part of the truck
15 where I was. Whether that was the case in some other truck, I don't know,
16 but I don't think it was.
17 Q. Did you have your documents with you?
18 A. Yes, I did. And I still have these documents.
19 Q. Tell us, please, the residence certificates and the certificates
20 of cancellation of residence, there is no need to look at them again,
21 would you agree with me that such documents, such forms, are normally used
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina whenever one changes residence?
23 A. Yes. That is true. However, there is a special certificate, a
24 special form, which was issued with these other documents, which had not
25 been the case before. This particular certificate testified to the fact
1 that we were relinquishing our property and it was with this document that
2 we had to have these other residence documents. I know that there were
3 the same documents existed before. However, this special certificate was
4 not in use. The one that we had to have this time.
5 Q. I asked you about a residence documents that was also part of that
6 group of documents?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Paragraph 2, page 7 of your statement, you said that only Muslims
9 were requested to surrender weapons?
10 A. I apologise. What paragraph are you referring to?
11 Q. Page 2, paragraph 7.
12 A. You mean the one starting with the Muslim village?
13 Q. The one but the last paragraph, Bosanski Novi had a radio station
14 in Novi town. I often listened to in April 1992. I heard radio
15 broadcasts announcing that Muslims should surrender their weapons?
16 A. That is correct. I personally heard this.
17 Q. So it was only Muslims who were requested to surrender their
19 A. Yes. Only Muslims, 99 per cent. It was specially emphasised,
20 Muslims and Muslim extremists. That is what I heard personally. However,
21 on the same radio, and I don't think that this is in my statement, maybe
22 it is, but the same radio broadcast, the news about a woman who had been
23 killed in Ekici. However, they also stated that the perpetrator was
24 unknown. However, everyone, including the police in Bosanski Novi, knew
25 who it was. So for a radio station, for media, to declare that the
1 perpetrator was unknown, I do not consider that to be a radio station.
2 Q. I must admit that I'm not aware of the incident you're talking
3 about, and I do not wish to enter into any debate, nor do I have any right
4 to do so.
5 A. Well, you provoked my reaction.
6 Q. I just wanted to remind you that over that radio and in the media,
7 generally speaking --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... calm down, both
9 of you. And neither of you has any right to react. This is a court of
10 law, court of justice, where counsel for the Defence has every right to
11 put questions to you on cross-examination, and you have a responsibility
12 to answer those questions in a calm way, as -- and in a gentlemanly way,
13 respectful way. I will stop Mr. Trbojevic if he is not respectful to you
14 and I will stop you if you are not respectful to him. So please go ahead,
15 Mr. Trbojevic.
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I did not
17 interpret the witness's response as being an angry one or a
18 misunderstanding. I don't think that was the case.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: From here, we can feel it heating up,
20 Mr. Trbojevic. All right. So calm down.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's just the way we talk.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
23 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I just wanted to remind you, Witness, that the same radio, well
25 the one that we had at the time, and the newspapers, also appealed to the
1 Serb population to surrender their weapons.
2 A. Sir, I did not hear that with my own ears, that the Serbs were
3 requested to surrender weapons. I think you know it yourself, that every
4 Serb had the right to possess a rifle. Let me just give you one example.
5 If I had a legally owned pistol and if you had one too, mine would have
6 been seized and confiscated and what about -- why wasn't your pistol
7 confiscated? This is just a simple example.
8 Q. Can we show Exhibit P1626 to the witness, please? The article.
9 On the right side of the paper, you will see an article in which it is
10 stated that Mr. Dejanovic and Mehmedagic had made a joint statement.
11 A. Sir, I personally did not hear this. Once again, I had Serb
12 friends, I still have Serb friends, but none of them told me anything of
13 the kind.
14 Q. Would you agree with me that the article states that Dejanovic was
15 appealing to the Serb population to surrender illegally owned weapons?
16 A. Well, they could have written anything, but what I'm telling you
17 is that I personally never heard of any such case.
18 Q. There is a number of documents on evidence which demonstrate the
19 fact that even the military requested certain units to be disarmed and --
20 so on and so forth?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour I object to the form of the question
22 saying that there are a number of documents which demonstrate so and so.
23 I think he should put the documents directly to the witness. He can
24 summarise those documents and say, would you agree that this is true or so
25 on, but I object to the representation that something has already been
1 proven in evidence that this witness has never seen.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Objection sustained. You can't formulate your
3 question the way you did, Mr. Trbojevic. You have to formulate it in the
4 manner that has been suggested to you by Mr. Nicholls. If you have
5 documents -- if you have documents --
6 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I was trying to save time, Your
7 Honour. P227, please, if it can be shown to the witness? We no longer
8 need that one. The Official Gazette; is that right? Under number 7,
9 please, the conclusions. I know that this is not a particularly legible
11 A. Which page, please?
12 Q. I'm not sure but it is the section under number 7. If -- perhaps
13 I can have a look at it. I think I'll be able to locate it. If it's not
14 a problem, can we please hear first two or three sentences? Does it say
15 that "The Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region is hereby extending the
16 deadline for the surrender of weapons, and that the request concerns all
18 A. Yes, sir, but that was not the case in practice. I mean, you have
19 to admit it yourself. You know that that was not the case in reality.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic is not giving evidence, sir. It's you
21 who is giving evidence, not Mr. Trbojevic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's why I want to point out
23 the fact that that was not the case in practice. This applied only to the
24 Muslim people. Why am I saying this? I'm saying this because in 1992,
25 and I'm sure you know this, everyone had a rifle and a green uniform.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the point has been made, Mr. Trbojevic. I
2 think the point has been made that there is a conflict between you and the
3 witness on this issue, and I think it's not going to change. So let's
4 move to something else. You are right in that there are documents which
5 do not distinguish between Muslims and other ethnicities but the witness
6 is telling you that in practice, however, it was not like that. So I
7 suggest you take up some other issue and you put a different question on
8 another subject.
9 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We no longer need the
10 document, but if I may ask just one additional question concerning this
11 particular issue?
12 Q. Witness, can we agree that as far as the unequal treatment is
13 concerned, one of the reasons was the fact that the majority of Serbs had
14 been mobilised and had some kind of military assignment, and on the basis
15 of that, they had to keep their weapons, unlike Muslims who had not been
17 A. Well, I'm sure you know this better than I do, but why only
18 Muslims? Why wasn't I given a military assignment or a military
19 obligation? Why? Not only myself but many others did not have such an
20 assignment. That too was a problem and I asked you a moment ago if you
21 had a pistol and if I had a pistol, too, why was mine confiscated and
22 yours wasn't? If you're claiming that the treatment was equal, but it
23 wasn't. You have to admit that it wasn't. I'm not trying to say that all
24 Serbs were the same. Once again, I still have friends amongst them. But
25 certain individuals committed certain things and they should be held
1 accountable, and it will all become clear one day.
2 Q. We will no longer deal with the weapons. You mentioned (Redacted)
5 (Redacted)in one of your statements?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now, this part has to be redacted because
8 otherwise, his identity will be revealed so --
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe we should go into private. I don't know -- I
10 don't presume to know what the line of question will be but...
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We haven't been asked to go to private session. You
12 know that whenever we are asked by Prosecution and by Defence we do go
13 into private session. But in the meantime this has been stated by
14 Mr. Trbojevic in open session and it needs to be redacted.
15 So --
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] (Redacted)
17 (Redacted) maybe we can move into private session for a
18 couple of questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But this also needs to be redacted. So
20 this last sentence, which Mr. Trbojevic pronounced --
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Needs to be redacted and we go into private
24 [Private session]
13 Pages 14201-14204 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sir. In the course of the events that you have
9 testified upon, do you fit in any one by the name of Gvozden?
10 A. Your Honour, there is a Gvozden. There are even two of them, two
11 brothers, one named Ranko and the other's name I don't know. They too
12 were involved in this part, in these events. However, there is a Bogdan,
13 I believe his surname is Grab, I'm not sure because I'm not a local --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You mentioned Bogdan Grab yesterday but I'm asking
15 you about Gvozden.
16 A. Yes. There is a Gvozden. In fact two brothers Gvozden, who were
17 involved, but I didn't see them with my own eyes. I didn't see anything
18 personally that would help me testify to that involvement.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking you because in one of your statements to
20 the Prosecution, Prosecutor, namely that of the 26th June of last year, of
21 2002, while you refer to your previous statement, namely that of April the
22 8th of the year 2000, you state the name Rajko Karlica should be changed
23 into Ranko Gvozden everywhere in the statement. Did you actually make
24 this correction or is this correction the result of a misunderstanding or
25 a mistake made by who was interviewing you?
1 A. I did not change my mind. I asked for this correction because I
2 was not sure about the surname, whether it was Gvozden or Karlica.
3 However, I know exactly which man I mean. There is also a Ranko Gvozden.
4 I'm not sure only whether this one's surname too is Gvozden. I learned
5 later that his last name is Karlica.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That clears up the terrain for us. And I refer you
7 to a question that was put to you earlier on today by Mr. Trbojevic, and
8 your answer in respect of that question. You were asked to refer to the
9 exhumation, and you said, "Yes, five victims, one skull and parts of
10 bones. However, I wonder, and I should like to ask all of you present here
11 in the courtroom, what happened then with the other people, with the
12 remaining people"? And Mr. Trbojevic told you that's what I wanted to ask
13 you. Do you have any knowledge to the effect that a number of bodies may
14 have been moved to another grave? And you answered, "I do not have any
15 personal knowledge. I can only assume that the majority of people had
16 been killed and buried there. But their bodies must have been transferred
17 somewhere else." Again, this is just my opinion,. I do not have any
18 accurate information".
19 In your statement to the Prosecutor in April of the year 2000,
20 referring to the exhumation of the mass grave that we were talking about,
21 you say, "I have learned that only five human remains were exhumed and
22 have since been identified. During the exhumation, one human head and one
23 arm was also exhumed. I have also heard that before the exhumation was
24 carried out, Serbs had robbed the grave -- the mass grave and succeeded in
25 removing most of the bodies." Did you make this last statement to the
1 interviewing officer or not? And if you did, how do you reconcile it or
2 how would you explain the testimony that you gave earlier on today?
3 Because forming an opinion is one thing, being told by others that the
4 Serbs had removed some of the remains is another thing.
5 A. Your Honour, I said this was my assumption, because I saw with my
6 own eyes the excavator working on the site. There were two graves. It's
7 impossible for only five bodies to be buried there, even a child can
8 understand this. However, later, when these investigators came to exhume
9 the bodies, there must have been an order issued to this effect. The
10 bodies must have been removed and taken somewhere else. It's clear that
11 such large graves, two of them, would not have been dug for only five
12 bodies. That's what I'm trying to say. If all these people were killed,
13 why didn't they leave them lying where they were? Why don't we know to
14 this day where they are?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But in your statement you said, "I have also heard
16 that before the exhumation was carried out, Serbs had robbed the mass
17 grave and succeeded in removing --" Where did you hear this from? Did
18 you actually hear from someone that the Serbs had desecrated this mass
19 grave and removed most of the bodies or you just made that up in your
21 A. Only in my mind.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. That explains it. Okay.
23 I don't see that there are further questions and that means that
24 your testimony comes to an end here. You are free now to return to your
25 country of residence and for this purpose you will be assisted, given all
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the assistance, help you require by this Tribunal. Before you are
2 ushered out of this courtroom, it is my duty as the Presiding Judge, in my
3 name and on behalf of the two Judges, Judge Janu and Judge Taya who are
4 hearing this case with me, to thank you, also on behalf of the Tribunal in
5 general, for having accepted to come over and give evidence. Last thing
6 is I wish you a safe journey back home.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you sincerely for this. I
8 apologise if I spoke out of turn or too fast or anything like that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't always feel too
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So we now have BT49?
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, Your Honour, and she was granted closed
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Closed session. This witness has already been
18 granted closed session as a protective measure and I'm pretty sure that
19 members of the public in the public gallery will understand the reason for
20 this is to protect the witness, with the result, however, that they will
21 not be able to follow the proceedings.
22 Let's go into closed session, please.
23 [Closed session]
12 Pages 14210 to 14275 – redacted – closed session.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 1.41 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
8 the 6th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.