1 Thursday, 6 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you hear me
10 in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
12 can hear you and understand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you appearances for the Prosecution?
14 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good morning, Your Honours, Anna Richterova,
15 Julian Nicholls, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for
17 Radoslav Brdjanin?
18 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
19 Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is Mr. Ackerman back from the States?
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] According to the latest
22 information, he'll be back on Saturday.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. I thought he was coming back on
24 Wednesday. All right. Yes, Madam Richterova?
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but can we go to private
1 session at the beginning?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session, please.
3 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: It concerns.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now.
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: It concerns the witness next week, 7.144, the UN.
1 Now the open session possibility was granted, he can testify openly. It
2 is the first thing and then I receive information from Ms. Korner that she
3 won't be able to finish her examination-in-chief by Wednesday. It means
4 that there will be probably one more day for cross-examination and maybe
5 even more, and we have another witness who is coming on Friday, and if he
6 is not able to finish his testimony on Friday, then we will have to bring
7 him over two weeks later because we are not sitting in the week starting
8 17 of February. So Ms. Korner would like to know whether we are still
9 bringing the witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I mean, is it -- is witness 7.144,
11 is this witness going to take so much of our time?
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Ms. Korner believes yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I won't interfere obviously. I mean if Ms. Korner
14 needs three days --
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: It's not three days, it's two days because we are
16 not sitting on Tuesday.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You are right, you are right.
18 I don't know what to tell you. I mean it's a decision that you have to
19 make. It obviously doesn't make sense to me to bring a witness knowing
20 that he won't finish his testimony.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: It was only that --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you substitute?
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: We cannot unfortunately because our witnesses are
24 from the same area and it would be the same for all other witnesses that
25 they would have to go back and to bring these witnesses is rather
1 difficult. So the only possibility is if we finish --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Has 7.147 given evidence or is it this person that
3 we are talking about?
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it 7.147 that we are talking about?
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: No we are talking about witness 7.136.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And he's expected to last --
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, he is --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: How long in the witness box?
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: He is so-called background witness and Ms. Korner
11 is calling him and so he expects to testify in chief for one day, and
12 there will be some cross-examination, I am sure, that his testimony
13 wouldn't finish in one day.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I am not going to tell you what to
15 do. It's not my decision.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: It's just information for that you if we decide
17 not to call this witness, it would mean that we are not sitting on Friday,
18 which I know Ms. Korner hates, but --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Even I hate it but I don't -- find me another
20 solution. That's the problem here.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this, Judge Janu -- I can understand
23 that 7.144 may be required to be here at least two days or a day and a
24 half in chief. Unfortunately, Mr. Ackerman is not here so we haven't got
25 an idea of how long the cross would presumably last. What I can suggest
1 before we jump to any conclusions or we take a decision is for your office
2 to try -- or for you, Mr. Trbojevic, to contact Mr. Ackerman and see how
3 long he expects his cross to last. Obviously if I were him I'm going to
4 say it depends on what the witness will testify in chief.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic?
7 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I can communicate with him today
8 and then let you know tomorrow. Mr. Ackerman will be here on Monday.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah but on Monday it will be too late because
10 normally they will have brought the witness over the weekend. The way
11 they do it, that's the way they do it. All right so we would appreciate
12 if you could contact Mr. Ackerman at some point in time and we don't need
13 to know. It's not that important for us to know exactly what the
14 arrangements will be until we really come to that point, but the
15 Prosecution would need to -- would need to know by tomorrow or by today
16 evening today at the latest so that they can schedule his arrival or the
17 postponement of his arrival. So I trust that there will be some contact
18 made between you, Mr. Trbojevic, and Madam Richterova, and we will take it
19 up from there. All right?
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it should be approached in two ways. First,
22 how long it is expected to have this -- the cross-examination of this
23 witness last, tentative guess, rough guess, and secondly also the other
24 witness, because if the other witness is not expected to be here for more
25 than one day, and Mr. Ackerman would think that he can cover the territory
1 in his cross in the same day as the examination-in-chief, then perhaps we
2 could think about it that way. Who will be conducting the in chief in the
3 case of 7.136?
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: In both cases, it's Ms. Korner.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner.
6 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I ask the
7 Prosecution to tell us if the witness 7.136, who was scheduled for next
8 Friday, does it mean that we are moving on to Prnjavor?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No.
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, I can answer this question. It means if we
11 are calling the witness 7.136, that we will be dealing with this
12 municipality but if we are not calling this witness on Friday,
13 unfortunately we have to again reschedule the order of municipalities and
14 it would be municipality of Donji Vakuf. We will let you know as soon as
15 we decide about this particular witness.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's fair enough.
17 Another thing, Ms. Richterova -- Madam Richterova, you mentioned
18 7.6 as having already been granted protective measures. I am informed
19 that he no longer insists on voice distortion.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, I'm sorry, I forgot to mention it. He
21 withdrew it yesterday.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: He is satisfied with facial distortion and
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's fair enough. Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I asked about
2 witness 7.136 because the Prosecution had announced that their next
3 municipality would be Donji Vakuf rather than Prnjavor, and we have not
4 been told anything about Prnjavor. We have not received a list of
5 exhibits or other documents to be used.
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: It will be done -- it will be done. We can send
7 it tomorrow by fax or by e-mail. It is ready and we only waited for this
8 decision, which municipality will be called first, whether it is Prnjavor
9 or Donji Vakuf. We apologise for the delay.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. All right. Who do you want to start with?
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, we are starting with 7.95.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go into closed session for the time being.
14 [Closed session]
12 Pages 14283 to 14311 – redacted – closed session.
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we remain in open session when he comes in?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It varies from courtroom to courtroom and I don't
25 normally work in this courtroom so I don't know how it goes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Leave it to me.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'll leave it to you.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. Before you start
7 giving evidence, our rules require that you make a solemn declaration to
8 speak the truth, and the whole truth. The text of the solemn declaration
9 which is equivalent to an oath is contained in the piece of paper that the
10 usher is going to show to you. Please read that aloud and that will be
11 your solemn undertaking with this Tribunal that you will be telling us the
12 whole truth. Read it out, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: WITNESS BT50
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You may sit down. Let me explain to you very
18 briefly what's going to happen. First of all, you have asked for and we
19 have already agreed to grant you some protective measures. The first one
20 is that you will not be referred to by your name and surname but by a nom
21 de plume, a pseudonym that we have given you and you are going to be
22 referred to as Witness BT50, BT50. You are a number for the purposes of
23 this trial. Also, we have agreed to grant you facial distortion. In
24 other words, no one will be able to see your face on any monitor or any TV
25 outside this courtroom. Basically, if you are interested in seeing how
1 this works and how you will appear to others, you just put your video
2 mode -- your monitor on video mode and you will see what you look like.
3 So that's by way of protective measures, and that's about it. Otherwise,
4 the sitting, the session, will be in open and others will be able to
5 follow the proceedings.
6 Having said that, the only other two things remaining for me to
7 explain is that you will first be asked a series of very short questions,
8 if there are any, by Mr. Nicholls. That's in addition or by way of
9 explanation of what you have already stated before in your statements to
10 the Office of the Prosecutor. But the main feature of the day will be the
11 questions that will be put to you on cross-examination by Mr. Trbojevic,
12 who is the co-counsel defending Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin, who is the accused
13 in this case.
14 All right. Have you understood me?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So Mr. Nicholls, do you have any
17 questions that you would like.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Just a few very quick ones, Your Honour, which deal
19 with corrections or clarifications. First I would like to show the
20 witness what's going to be Exhibit P1640 under seal.
21 Examined by Mr. Nicholls.
22 Q. Sir could you please read the name on that piece of paper quietly
23 to yourself. Do not read it out loud and then confirm by saying yes or no
24 whether that is your name.
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And that will be Exhibit number P1640 and it is
3 being tendered, received and will be kept under seal.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. Sir, please remember not to refer to your name. If you speak
6 about any family members, you don't need to say their names either,
7 because that might identify you. And I just want to put on the record and
8 make clear you understand that you are testifying under the protections of
9 image distortion and pseudonym and yesterday you told me that you did not
10 require to have your voice distorted; is that right?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm going to ask you just a few questions about
13 your statement which you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor on 12
14 December, 1998, just to make sure that everything is clear. You don't
15 need to look at it right now but I'll refer to page numbers. On page 4,
16 in paragraph 7, you referred to a person and it states Milan nickname
17 Trnka. Could you tell me Milan nicknamed Trnka's last name, please?
18 A. Yes. His name is Milan Balaban, also known as Trnka.
19 Q. So ever where in your statement where it may refer to either Milan
20 Balaban or Trnka, that's the same person; is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. On page 8, paragraph 3, of your statement, the name
23 Radenko Balaban is written. Could you tell me if that's correct? Did you
24 know a man named Radenko Balaban?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Now, you also refer in your statement to a man named
2 Ranko Balaban, as the Josava SDS president. Is it correct that these are
3 two different persons, two different individuals, with similar names?
4 A. No. They are brothers, two brothers.
5 Q. That's fine. One brother is named Radenko, the other brother is
6 named Ranko?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was Radenko Balaban, if you know, a SDS member in 1992?
9 A. I don't know that.
10 Q. Just a couple more things I want to make clear. On page 4,
11 paragraph 9, of your statement, it was stated that you saw a JNA facility
12 whereas in fact, you heard about that JNA facility; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. On page 5 n the last paragraph, you spoke about the expulsion or
15 evacuation, the exodus from Suhaca as being on 25th of May, 1992, and I
16 think you said yesterday you're not sure about that date; is that right?
17 A. Correct. If I may add, I can explain why.
18 Q. If you can tell us briefly, then.
19 A. Since the 25th of May used to be the so-called -- the day of the
20 youth in our country, we celebrated Tito's birthday one week prior to the
21 25th. So I think that that week was the 23rd of May -- that Sunday was
22 23rd of May.
23 Q. The Sunday in which everybody left Suhaca you mean?
24 A. Yes, correct, when Suhaca was cleansed.
25 Q. On page 5, paragraph 6, in your statement, it was stated that
1 there was an agreement to allow the JNA or the military to search homes in
2 Suhaca for weapons. Was there an agreement between the Muslims and the
3 Serbs at that time to allow the searches of your homes -- of the homes in
5 A. I'd like to say that there was no agreement. An order came to the
6 effect that if we do not show up and hand in the weapons in the village of
7 Maslovare, having left our houses unlocked, that the Suhaca would be
8 shelled that afternoon.
9 Q. Finally, on the last paragraph of page 6, the statement describes
10 a -- well, describes murders committed by Milan Balaban, nicknamed Trnka.
11 It's not clear in the statement, I just want to make it clear for the
12 Chamber, did you actually witness this murder, and if you did not witness
13 it, why is it in your statement? How can you know that this is true?
14 A. We were amongst the last who were forced to go to the road in
15 Blagaj. We were able to see the last lineup. I did not directly see the
16 murder, but it happened a metre or two metres away from where I was.
17 However, we were not allowed to look. A command was issued that whoever
18 turned around would be killed, but I distinctly heard when Trnka took out
19 these people, and I heard the shot. When we moved on I saw people lying
20 on the ground. I hope this is clear enough.
21 Q. I think that's clear. Those are the only clarifications I had,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Trbojevic? Now,
24 sir, look at me, you are going to be asked questions by Mr. Trbojevic on
25 cross-examination. You need to understand that Mr. Trbojevic is doing his
1 duty here. He has a responsibility towards his client and that
2 responsibility entails putting questions to you on cross-examination. And
3 the consequence of all this is that you also have a responsibility towards
4 your own conscience and towards justice and this Trial Chamber in that you
5 must answer each and every question the same, in the truthful and clear
6 manner in which you have answered or would have answered questions coming
7 from the Prosecution. You have no right to distinguish between Defence
8 and Prosecution as far as you are concerned.
9 Is that clear enough?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Trbojevic.
12 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I'd like to try and clear certain issues
15 stemming from your statement, the one that you gave on the 12th of
16 December. You stated that you had not been active in politics, you had
17 not belonged to any political organisation?
18 A. No. I did not.
19 Q. On page 2 of your statement, in paragraphs 6 and 7, and on page 3,
20 paragraphs 4 and 5, you enumerated all political officials, including the
21 leaders, of the Suhaca chapter of SDA, also at the level of the
22 municipality in Gornji Hozici, Donji Agici. How is it possible that you
23 knew all these politicians so well, if you yourself were not politically
25 A. You see, we live in small villages. It was a pre-war situation,
1 and news travelled around very fast.
2 Q. Were any jointly organised actions possible in those villages?
3 A. I'm not clear as to what you mean by "actions".
4 Q. Well, I'm referring, for instance, to the meetings of the
5 Patriotic League.
6 A. There was no such a thing in our area.
7 Q. Were any meetings organised at the Territorial Defence?
8 A. The Territorial Defence had been withdrawn from the village of
9 Donji Agici to Svodna before the war.
10 Q. The weapons were also withdrawn?
11 A. Yes. As well as the equipment. There were no military formations
12 whatsoever in our village.
13 Q. However, that was not the reason for people not to meet and plan
14 what to do?
15 A. Well, people didn't meet at all. On the day when SDA
16 representatives arrived, Mr. Resad and Mr. Dzafer and asked us to
17 surrender all the weapons that we had, mostly hunting weapons, that's what
18 happened. That was eventually done.
19 Q. On page 2, paragraph 8, you stated that a man by the name of
20 Adem Barjaktarevic had fled to Croatia and had joined the BiH Army and
21 fought as a member of the BH Army. Is that what you stated?
22 A. Fled is perhaps the wrong expression. His brother had a bus, he
23 owned, privately owned a bus, and they were in transportation business.
24 When the bridge in Bosanski Samac was destroyed, they could no longer come
25 back because all roads were blocked and that he joined the BH army, this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 is something that I heard only after I arrived in(Redacted)after the camp.
2 And that he had also lost one leg in the battlefield. This is also what I
3 heard in Germany. But I haven't seen him yet.
4 Q. Do you wish to say that at the time in 1992, you were not aware of
5 the fact that he had joined the BH Army?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead now. Mr. Nicholls?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour, the last answer just to be
8 careful, I'd like to redact the country mentioned, where the witness
9 talked about going to.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Just to be on the safe side. I don't
11 think it's that necessary but if you think it is necessary I will take
12 your word. Please redact that. Go ahead. I'm sorry, to have had these
13 interruptions. Mr. Trbojevic asked you the following question: Do you
14 wish to say that at the time in 1992, you were not aware of the fact that
15 he had joined the BH Army? The Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would have not been possible for
17 him to join the army at that time.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic?
19 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you have any information about the fact that some other people
21 from your area intended to join the BH Army?
22 A. No. They could not have had such an intention. Our objective was
23 to go on living peacefully with our neighbours. Nobody at the time was
24 thinking about the war.
25 Q. The fact remains, however, that a significant number of
1 Bosanski Novi residents was in the area of Cazin in Buzinska Brigada for
3 A. Probably only after the cleansing and after the plight, but I
4 don't know anyone who would have left.
5 Q. On page 3 n the first paragraph, you make mention of
6 Hamdija Huzejrovic, who is a Muslim, correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said that he was a member of the SDS?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Are you aware of any activities of his in terms of support to the
11 SDS, that he would have provided?
12 A. I know only things that I heard from others and things that I saw
13 while I was still in Blagaj.
14 Q. The same page, paragraph 3, you speak about the ethnic composition
15 of the Bosanski Novi municipality. You say that 65 per cent of the
16 population were Muslim, which, according to some information that we
17 dispose of in this case, would not seem to reflect the reality. Are you
18 sure about these particular data that you mentioned?
19 A. Believe me, this is something that I heard from others. As I
20 said, I was not a member of any political organisation. I did not have
21 any opportunity to have access to any documents or figures. So this is
22 just information that at the time, after the elections, and just before
23 the war, were discussed amongst the people.
24 Q. In this part of your statement, it says that the SDA had won the
25 election in Bosanski Novi, and that does not appear to be true either.
1 A. Again, this is what we were told, and in the Japra river valley,
2 this was 100 per cent.
3 Q. Do you remember that a Serb was the President of the municipality
4 after the elections?
5 A. This is also what Sifet told us.
6 Q. Did you know who the person was?
7 A. No, I didn't.
8 Q. Did the name of the president of the municipality ever pop up in
9 the negotiations that subsequently took place?
10 A. There were no negotiations whatsoever. We were merely given
11 orders through some kind of messengers, because those were some military
12 men who made all kinds of requests when they came to our village. They
13 wanted to see some Maljutkas, I don't know what kind of weapon that is.
14 Which was then followed by disarming.
15 Q. Still on page 3 of your statement, you talk about the changes in
16 personnel. You mention the commander of the police station, Huzejrovic,
17 who was apparently dismissed. Can you be more precise in -- on this
18 issue? Are we talking about the beginning of 1991?
19 A. Yes. I can.
20 Q. You stated that these changes started in March, 1991.
21 A. Yes. Mr. Huzejrovic was a police commander in Bosanski Novi --
22 actually, he was the commander of the police in Bosanski Novi and he was
23 replaced, as was the case with others who were dismissed later on because
24 they had not accepted uniforms bearing four Ss sign.
25 Q. I'll try to separate these two issues. In March, 1991, at the
1 level of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and at the level of the
2 municipality of Bosanski Novi, the coalition SDA, HDZ and SDS was fully
3 operational, wasn't it? Do you remember that?
4 A. I don't.
5 Q. That coalition was the one which put together the cabinet, the
6 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that coalition also provided the
7 authorities in municipalities. Are you aware of that?
8 A. I wasn't into politics. I don't know.
9 Q. If I tell you that on the basis of an interparty agreement, the
10 personnel in all the municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina were formed in
11 this manner, would you agree with me or would you trust my words?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. So that the reason for the dismissals in early 1991 had to be
14 looked for in the results of the elections?
15 A. I suppose so.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Object, Your Honour. I think he's answered this
18 question, that he --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: He wasn't into politics, he didn't know.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Whether you would trust my word that this is true,
21 he doesn't know, I think he's answered the --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, anyway, continue, Mr. Nicholls --
23 Mr. Trbojevic.
24 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said that in March,
25 1991, a number of executives were replaced, and he quotes the commander of
1 the police station as an example. And I'm trying to remind him that that
2 was the result of the interparty agreement, the coalition of the three
3 ethnically based parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this is only one
4 more detail in that direction, witness.
5 Q. In the spring of 1991, the minister of police, that is the
6 Minister of the Interior, became Mr. Alija Delimustafic, isn't it?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. The fact is that it is the minister of police who appoints the
9 commanders of police stations and chiefs of police in municipalities, and
10 therefore, it was Alija Delimustafic who must have been the one who
11 appointed the commander of the police station in Bosanski Novi in March,
13 A. Sir, may I tell you -- may I say something to you?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
15 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] That would be the first part of
16 the changes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question. Yes.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the wake of the elections, in the
19 Japra valley, there was no reserve police force because they had to turn
20 in their weapons, and their gear, and the Japra valley and I had only the
21 information that one could hear in the village, and when I tell you that
22 an individual called Hamdija Krupic, who was with the police in
23 Bosanski Novi, came in a -- came to Suhaca in a car, and said, "I'm
24 getting away to the Sana. I've been fired," then you cannot expect from
25 me to tell you something else.
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. In relation to those uniforms with four Ss, as you said, I assume
3 that, again, you do not have direct knowledge about that and that you
4 merely said what you had heard from others?
5 A. Not others, but those self-same policemen who had been -- who were
6 fired because refused to wear uniforms with four Ss and it was common
7 knowledge at the time, across the Bosanski Novi municipality.
8 Q. Tell me: Did you ever see a police uniform with four Ss with your
9 own eyes?
10 A. Do you mean at that time?
11 Q. Yes, at that time, of course.
12 A. No, because they never came up to us.
13 Q. But could it be that you didn't see such uniform simply because
14 such uniforms did not exist?
15 A. Well, I'll say something else to you. Whilst we still could go to
16 the town, that is before the barricades, whilst the buses still ran, I had
17 the opportunity to be in the town and see many things. How military
18 forces crossed into Croatia, the whole town in camouflage uniforms, the
19 withdrawal or the transit - I don't know really how to call it - of rocket
20 launching systems towards Svodna, and I suppose everybody couldn't be but
21 be quite clear about that. And besides, not only four Ss, but men dressed
22 as Chetniks, with cockades -- and so on and so forth. And as they went to
23 Croatia, the Serb people stood in a marketplace in Bosanski Novi, throwing
24 cartons of cigarettes in their lorries, into their trucks and greeting
25 them and I believe everybody saw that and I believe it stuck in
1 everybody's memory.
2 Q. I believe that all that you tell us is true but a police uniform
3 with four Ss, I put it to you that you could not see that.
4 A. Sir, at that time, there were five or six different camouflage
5 uniforms with all sorts of insignia, of all types.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered the question already,
7 Mr. Trbojevic.
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I think so too, Your Honour.
9 Q. You also stated that you had been isolated and said that buses had
10 stopped running, that you were not allowed to buy flour, sugar and other
11 necessities, that you had to show your IDs if you wanted to go somewhere
12 to do some shopping. This is on page 3, the one passage before last in
13 B/C/S version. Could you please elaborate?
14 A. Yes, I could. Before -- well, I'll call them the Serb forces or
15 our (Redacted) they felled the ash
16 tree, the poplars, and they put them across the road to block the road.
17 Trucks were being used and lorries, (Redacted)
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to redact the reference in that answer.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Obvious. Thank you, Mr. Nicholls, I was going to do
1 that myself. But yes, please, we need to redact from, "I could buy it
2 only because" right up to the very end. Okay?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
5 Be careful not to say things in such a way that would expose your
6 identity. Do you understand me? We are trying to protect you by hiding
7 your name and hiding your face but you must be careful in what you say,
8 that you don't use terms, names or references that could reveal your
9 identity, such as you did just now, with your last question, by
10 telling -- by mentioning who actually assisted you in procuring a sack of
11 flour, all right?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So it is, but -- yeah, I'll do my
13 best. But these are my emotions because such are the questions asked by
14 the counsel. All I want is the truth.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are only trying to help you in making the
16 protective measures that we have granted you really effective.
17 Mr. Trbojevic.
18 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I asked for an explanation of this part of your statement, because
20 as it is worded here, it seems to suggest that somebody might have
21 prohibited from -- prohibited the sale of flour, sugar, et cetera, to
22 members of the Muslim people. Were there any such prohibitions or is it a
23 fact that there was a general shortage and therefore rationing had to be
24 introduced? Perhaps that was the reason for the measures of control,
25 because they were citizens from the territory of that municipality and so
2 A. Nothing was being brought to the valley, and I was in specific
3 situation, in a Serb locality, I was a witness to the fact that there,
4 everything existed in sufficient supply, because goods were being brought
5 by another itinerary.
6 Q. But isn't it a fact that the majority of privately owned shops
7 were Muslim-owned?
8 A. Every village had a shop which belonged to the agricultural
9 cooperative in Donji Agici, and nothing was being delivered there either.
10 And as for private shops --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, do you want to redact the sentence
12 where the name of this village is?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's all right, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so too but I just asked you out of caution.
15 All right, go ahead.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And as for private shops in the
17 village, or villages, they simply couldn't get anything. They couldn't
18 get any stocks. It was impossible.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Did the gist of the question that is being put to
20 you by Mr. Trbojevic basically would lead us to trying to find out from
21 you whether the situation was the same or equally for the Muslims and
22 other ethnicities. Was the situation the same for the Serbs, for example?
23 Could they obtain flour and sugar and other necessities? Or was it a
24 problem that was common to all the ethnicities in your area? This is the
25 basically the question that Mr. Trbojevic has been putting to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbs could have and did have
2 everything, but we were cut off.
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In your statement, you also mentioned that there had been the
5 Territorial Defence in the village of Donji Agici?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. And then that the weapons were pulled out as you told us today?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And then you mentioned that a kind of a trade in weapons started,
10 that is that the Serbs had tried to sell those weapons to Muslims?
11 A. That's true.
12 Q. And for instance, the brothers Isakovic were selling weapons to
13 Muslims presumably for the Serbs?
14 A. That is what I heard.
15 Q. You said that you thought that their liquidation next to the
16 bridge perhaps had to do with the fact that they were taking part in this
17 kind of trade?
18 A. I do not know that. I don't know why they were killed.
19 Q. You describe how you saw a helicopter land in the hamlet of
20 Halilovici, and that some passenger cars approached it and reloaded
21 weapons, you say.
22 A. Oh, that, yes, I saw the helicopter land, I saw those cars empty,
23 going up there, and loaded returning. I did not see the weapons directly
24 because the windows were covered with some sheets of paper or something,
25 and I saw the helicopter fly off again.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Is there any particular reason for the helicopter to land in
2 Halilovici rather than some Serb village or hamlet?
3 A. Sir, I said only what I saw, and I stand by it.
4 Q. A while ago, you mentioned that there had been no negotiations
5 about the turnover of weapons and that you were simply issued orders.
6 A. That's right. A man came, and I believe he was Captain First
7 Class, a man in his 50s, came and simply demanded that we do that.
8 Q. In your statement, on page 3, paragraph 4, B/C/S version, you say
9 that two members of the SDA, Dzafer Kapetanovic and Resad Berberovic, met
10 with the Serbs and that they said after that that you were to hand over
11 your weapons. Could you tell us who is it that they met with?
12 A. I don't know. Those two gentlemen said that to us, that they had
13 had a meeting of people in Suhaca and asked us to hand over the weapons.
14 Q. And in the --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: In fairness to the witness, I'd like to read the
17 one sentence he makes in his statement about this because I think the way
18 counsel phrased the question is not the same. We are talking about
19 whether there were negotiations or whether this was an order to surrender
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's clear this up. Also, you need to be careful,
22 Mr. Trbojevic, in the way you put words.
23 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I haven't finished,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but --
1 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could just read the sentence that the witness
2 put in his statement, the witness states that the two representatives of
3 "SDA members later came to the village to tell us that we had to
4 surrender our weapons to the Serbs." That's the way it's phrased. I just
5 want the witness to know what was in his statement, that it was not in his
6 statement. It was implied that his statement said the words too -- in a
7 much more equivocal language.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Finish your question, Mr. Trbojevic, you've heard
9 what Mr. Nicholls has said but perhaps we should let the witness have a
10 copy of his own statement if he's going to be asked direct questions.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's right, I didn't request it yet
12 because he's been doing very well.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we do it the proper way. We give him a copy
14 of his statement and when you refer to what he stated in the statement,
15 please refer to page and paragraph and line number, as you have been doing
16 it so far, except for the last question. Yes. So now we are -- you are
17 referring to the witness -- the witness to what page in the B/C/S version?
18 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Page 5, passage 4, paragraph 4.
19 That is what we are talking about.
20 Q. You can find page numbers in the -- at the bottom, and we are
21 talking about the paragraph which begins: "Our two members of the SDA
22 Dzafer Kapetanovic and Resad Berberovic..." And you told us you didn't
23 know who they were having a meeting with because that was what I wanted to
24 ask you about. The next paragraph says two SDA members held meetings with
25 Serbs at the municipal level in Bosanski Novi. "They mentioned no names
1 but told us that they had talked with the military representative of the
2 Serbs" have you found this paragraph?
3 A. Yes, I have.
4 Q. Is it the -- that same meeting that was attended by Resad and
5 Dzafer or is it a different meeting?
6 A. No. It was Dzafer and Resad who said that. When they came to our
7 meeting and said that we had to hand over our weapons.
8 Q. What is important for me is that a meeting was held with a
9 military representative, as it says here. Is that correct?
10 A. That is what they said.
11 Q. In the next paragraph, it says, "Over the next few days, there
12 were more rounds of negotiation. Sifet Barjaktarevic also took part in
13 these negotiations. The outcome of these meetings was our surrender of
14 the weapons. Those were hunting rifles, by and large. We went with those
15 weapons to the village of Maslovare. It was agreed that the Serbs could
16 search our houses looking for weapons, and if everything was all right,
17 then we would be allowed to return." Is that what you said?
18 A. Well, perhaps there was a translation error. I do not know how is
19 one to understand the word "negotiations" because they simply -- they
20 would simply invite, summon Sifet to come, tell him what their request
21 was, and he would convey it to the people in the village after his return.
22 And as regards the word, "It was agreed that the Serbs could search our
23 houses for weapons," I wish to amend this. We were ordered and told
24 unless we all, down to the last one, came to Maslovare, and the tractor
25 with all the weapons, with the tractor with all the weapons moving ahead
1 of the column, and unless we left our houses opened and all our cupboards
2 and wardrobes, unless we did that, (Redacted)would be shelled at 2.00. That
3 was not an agreement. It was an order issued to us.
4 Q. Let us first clear this up. Was it recorded correctly here or was
5 it misstated?
6 A. Well, perhaps there was a translation mistake.
7 Q. But it's not one word which is wrong. There are two sentences
8 here which mention negotiations and the thirds one speaks of an agreement
9 or understanding.
10 A. Whatever -- whenever the agreements and understandings or
11 negotiations are mentioned, that is wrong. Those were orders.
12 Q. Now tell us who uttered this order to bring a tractor with
13 a -- carrying weapons and the threat that the village would be shelled at
14 2.00 and where?
15 A. (Redacted) there was
16 no longer any passage. Husin Vranic had a shop there and he went with a
17 convoy to try and purchase some flour. They took him back from Maslovare
18 and said that if we do not show up, as I stated, with the weapons, all of
19 us, (Redacted)will be shelled. So it was this man who came on a truck to the
20 village and he lives in sue ha Rijeka and told us that this is what they
21 had told him. As to who directly told him this, I don't know. I don't
22 know because in Maslovare armoured personnel carriers were left, were left
23 behind, those who would later go to the village to do the search.
24 Q. So that claim and that threat was conveyed to you by someone who
25 had been stopped at the checkpoint?
1 A. Someone who was turned back, who was not allowed to continue to
2 the town.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Stop one moment. Mr. Nicholls, in the last
4 series of answers given by the witness, there is a reference to two
5 villages. Does that --
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's right, Your Honour. I've been
7 struggling with it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Me too actually. It's quite undecided on whether to
9 redact or not but if you prefer to play it safe, I think we ought to go
10 for redaction.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, I think you're correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So in -- starting from page -- the beginning of page
13 55, Madam Registrar, right to where I put this interjection, please redact
14 wherever there is a reference to the name of villages. There are two that
15 I can recall. And I think both of them should be redacted.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, and I don't know I think for this
17 area of Mr. Trbojevic's cross-examination, maybe we should go briefly into
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It would be easier for you, Mr. Trbojevic, too and
20 easier for the witness.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, everybody can speak openly and I think we may
22 be able --
23 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing against it.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session for a
25 while but still what I indicated need to be redacted, Madam Registrar,
1 please, thank you.
2 [Private session]
12 Pages 14338 to 14349 – redacted – private session.
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Sir, I thank you for having come over as I just
2 stated on my own behalf and on behalf of the other two judges and on
3 behalf of the Tribunal. You will now receive all the assistance you
4 require to help you return to your country of residence. On our part we
5 wish you a safe journey back home. Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break of 20 minutes. Is that okay
8 with you, Mr. Trbojevic? And you, Mr. Nicholls and Madam Richterova? Do
9 you think we will finish with the next witness?
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: It depends on Mr. Trbojevic because I only have
11 one question for the witness.
12 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I believe we will, Your Honour.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour just before the witness leaves, I'd
14 like to now tender the --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Tender the document, okay, thank you.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: 1641, under seal, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.40 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's -- Mr. Brdjanin is here. Let's bring in
21 the last witness for today. And it's pseudonym plus image distortion, no?
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, you are right.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good. But we can remain in open session, no
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning -- good afternoon to you, sir.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you start your testimony, may I ask you first
4 to enter, make a solemn declaration, that is required by our rules, to the
5 effect that in the course of your testimony, you will be speaking the
6 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? The text is contained
7 in -- on a piece of paper that the usher is going to hand you now. Read
8 that aloud and that will be your solemn declaration with us. It's
9 equivalent to an oath.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS BT87
13 [Witness answered through interpreter].
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. Please sit down. I'll explain
15 to you the procedure that we are going to follow today. It's a pretty
16 simple one. We have your statement that you made to the Office of the
17 Prosecutor and that will form the basis of your testimony. In fact,
18 Madam Richterova for the Prosecution will only be asking you one question,
19 because, as I explained to you, we have your statement already. But then
20 you will be cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic who is the lawyer
21 defending -- one of the lawyers defending Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin who is the
22 accused in this case. Let's start with Madam Richterova.
23 Examined by Ms. Richterova:
24 Q. You were granted protective measures of facial distortion and you
25 will be referred to by pseudonym, by name -- by number. And now I would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 like to show you a piece of paper on which your name is written. Read it
2 for yourself and please just state yes or no, whether it is your name.
3 A. It is.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: This would be Prosecution Exhibit under seal
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead, Madam.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA:
8 Q. As you heard, the judges know your statement, and I only want to
9 ask you one thing, which is not clear from your statement, and it is when
10 exactly you heard this announcement of -- to surrender your weapons.
11 A. It was the month of May, the exact date I'm not sure about it.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you. That's all that I wanted to clear up
13 from his statement.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Madam Richterova.
15 Mr. Trbojevic?
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I will ask you some questions seeking some explanation, if
20 possible. You said that you worked in Dvor on the Una; is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. That was the Republic of Croatia, wasn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were fired there because refused to join the army. That
25 is what your statement says?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please enunciate and wait for
3 the counsel to finish his question?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we have the same problem again. Sir, look at
5 me. You speak the same language as Mr. Trbojevic. And the consequence of
6 that is that you are not even letting him finish his question. You're
7 jumping with your answer straight away. But the thing is we don't
8 understand your language. We have several persons behind the glass
9 windows over there that are translating to us into English and into
10 French. And they will have their task made much more difficult if you
11 don't allow a short interval between question and answer. So please, I
12 seek your cooperation, both of you, you and Mr. Trbojevic. Allow a short
13 interval between question and answer.
14 Yes, Mr. Trbojevic.
15 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. A moment ago, the Prosecutor asked you about an invitation to
17 surrender weapons. And you said that it was in May, 1992. Is that
18 correct? Is that what you said?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Were Serbs also invited to hand over weapons that were not
21 lawfully obtained?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Can you say with certainty that neither over the radio, nor in the
24 written press, were there any invitations to Serbs to surrender their
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. How can you be so certain? Because we've had the opportunity here
3 to see newspapers showing how at the joint meeting with Mr. Mehinovic and
4 Mr. Dejanovic invited Serbs and Muslims to hand over their weapons.
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, can Mr. Trbojevic present evidence
6 which he is referring to?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic.
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
9 P -- Exhibit P1626?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] On the right-hand side towards the
12 bottom of the page, there is a small article dated 8th of May. Can you
13 see here the confirmation of what I said?
14 A. Yes, I see that but I think that such a confirmation is
15 groundless. There was no such invitation to Serbs to hand down their
16 weapons. I've never heard about it before. Not until now.
17 Q. Thank you. We won't need it any longer.
18 In your statement, on page 4, paragraph 3, you speak about
19 negotiations and your statement says, "Our representatives would go to
20 Bosanski Novi, to agree about the manner in which the Muslims would leave
21 the area. Two men represented us in these negotiations, Sifet Halilovic,
22 president of the SDA from Suhaca, and Fikret Mehinovic, the SDA president
23 from Hozici."
24 MS. RICHTEROVA: Maybe it would be easier for the witness if he
25 has his statement so he can read it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the first thing. Please hand the witness his
2 statement. That's number 1. Secondly, do you want the -- this reference
3 to the two persons and indication of where they came from to be redacted
4 or not?
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, I don't think it's necessary.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's proceed.
7 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You have your statement, sir. Page 4, paragraph 3, I've just read
9 to you the latter part of that paragraph.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What is your question?
11 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. My question is: Is that what this gentleman stated?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Could you please give us additional explanation? What was the
15 request of the Muslims to leave the area?
16 A. That was not a request made by Muslims. It was the request of the
17 Crisis Staff in the municipality of Bosanski Novi that our representatives
18 should report daily because we had to agree about the evacuation from the
19 Japra valley, Blagaj and so on. That was the condition put to us by the
20 Serb leadership in Bosanski Novi.
21 Q. What condition?
22 A. To leave the Japra valley, that is the expulsion of the Muslim
23 population, of peasants, farmers, civilians, I don't know what to call
25 Q. You mean that one of those two Muslim representatives, after one
1 of those meetings, notified the citizens that, as you put it, the Crisis
2 Staff was requesting the Muslims to leave the Japra valley?
3 A. Yes, that we had to leave it and the exodus lasted from May until
4 July, until the Bosanski Novi municipality was finally evacuated, emptied,
5 first with people going to Croatia and then to third countries.
6 Q. Now that you've answered, you said that we would have to leave.
7 I'm trying to get something more precise. I present to you the
8 assumption, that the Muslims asked to leave and you said that no, you said
9 that it was the condition. Now I'm asking you: Could you please clarify
10 this? Was it the request of the Serb authorities or was it the conclusion
11 reached by your representatives that no understanding could be reached and
12 that you would eventually have to leave?
13 A. It was said that it had been agreed that we should leave because
14 after all these meetings between the representatives in Bosanski Novi,
15 Blagaj, Stari Agici, the Japra valley was shelled. Hozici and all the
16 rest. There were searches, searches in Blagaj, Blagaj was evacuated as a
17 village to the village of Maslovare, so that Japra and Blagaj could be
18 searched, so that they could see -- as a matter of fact, they were
19 mentioning some extremists who did not exist in the Japra valley and some
20 weapons which we did not have.
21 Q. Was your representative Sifet -- are you sure that his last name
22 is Halilovic?
23 A. I think it is, and that man was killed later on.
24 Q. In the next paragraph, on the same page, you describe how you
25 personally saw how Sifet Halilovic was killed.
1 A. I saw when a man took him towards the bridge and fired a round
2 of -- and fired a round and the man fell and disappeared under the bridge.
3 Q. And you do not know who was that individual?
4 A. Well, as a matter of fact, he was a military. I don't know who he
6 Q. And tell me, where were you watching it from?
7 A. I watched it after I was put in a train car to go to Banja Luka,
8 our final destination was the railway station.
9 Q. I'll ask you about those stations later. But tell me now, how far
10 was it between the railway car where you were and the place where Sifet
11 and that soldier were?
12 A. It was about 50 metres.
13 Q. So you said this soldier let off a round of fire?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Does that mean that this soldier had an automatic rifle?
16 A. He had -- I guess an automatic rifle or some other automatic
18 Q. Why do you say, "I guess"? Why do you say, "I suppose"?
19 Presumably -- did you see the weapon that he fired from?
20 A. I saw the weapon he fired from but I can't -- I can't really tell
21 you which type of the automatic weapon it was.
22 Q. But it wasn't a light weapon, a small weapon, such as a pistol or
23 something like that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Tell us, please, you actually didn't see Sifet fall?
1 A. Yes, I did, because it was an embankment that was situated under
2 the bridge, and it was from that embankment that he rolled down and fell
3 under the bridge.
4 Q. So the soldier shot a burst of gunfire from an automatic weapon.
5 How far was Sifet from him?
6 A. Not very far, perhaps a metre or two metres.
7 Q. Did he shoot him in the back, in the chest?
8 A. I think he was shot from the back, in his legs. I think -- I'm
9 almost sure that that was the case.
10 Q. And Sifet fell down the embankment and you could no longer see
12 A. No, I couldn't.
13 Q. What happened when you joined the convoy?
14 A. You mean when I got in the train truck?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. There was a huge number of people that crowded in. Names of
17 individual people were called out and they were taken away. They did not
18 get into the wagon. This roll call took place at the entrance, that is as
19 we were getting in, getting on the train. Certain people were called out.
20 Q. Were the doors of the train shut at one point?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were they locked?
23 A. I'm sure you know what a cattle wagon looks like. It is locked
24 from the outside. You cannot open it from the inside.
25 Q. However, some of the cars were open?
1 A. They were open while people were getting on. Once a train car was
2 filled up, the doors would be shut.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you trying to prove, Mr. Trbojevic?
4 Because I'm getting curious now.
5 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, some witnesses
6 testified that train cars were not locked, that they could open and shut
7 the doors themselves. The train was not under any escort and it was
8 possible to jump out whenever the train slowed down. They also testified
9 that they got to Stanari but that some of them managed to leave the train
10 before the soldiers arrived. So those who wished could disperse, and I
11 think that these details are rather significant if we are discussing the
12 issue of deportation. And whether it constituted a deportation.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: You heard what Mr. Trbojevic has just explained.
14 Were the trucks -- were the truck or the wagon in which you were, was it
15 one of these type of trucks which you could open and close yourself at any
16 time? Or was it the kind of cattle truck that you have just described
17 that you can only open from outside? Forget about the possibility of
18 other trucks.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a kind of train whose cars
20 could only be opened from the outside. That was the case of the one that
21 I was in and the case of all other wagons.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
23 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Tell us, please, where you eventually came to a halt?
25 A. In Stanari.
1 Q. And who opened the doors of the train in Stanari?
2 A. Serb soldiers, who had encircled the train, from a distance of
3 about ten metres and it was the Serb soldiers who opened the doors of the
4 train cars. They were armed.
5 Q. Then the separation of women and children from the men occurred?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The men were returned to Novi?
8 A. Not immediately. We were first detained in a room at the railway
9 station where we waited for an excavator to dig out a hole because
10 apparently we were going to be killed. It was only later that they loaded
11 us on trucks. This lasted for quite a while, and all the while we were
13 Q. Who said that you were waiting for an excavator?
14 A. A soldier arrived and asked whether the hole had been dug out and
15 this other soldier replied, "It will be soon."
16 Q. Did you see the excavator digging the hole?
17 A. No, but one could hear the sound of the engine.
18 Q. However, this hole, if a hole was indeed being dug out, was never
20 A. No. We were loaded on to the trucks and 800 of us men were taken
21 to Novi. The women had left for Croatia. For Otoka, I believe. I'm not
23 Q. You said that there were 860 of us that were returned?
24 A. I'm not sure whether this is the exact figure but we were about
25 860. Those of us who were returned to the camp.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. How did you end up with this figure?
2 A. The figure was mentioned during the roll call in the Mlakve camp.
3 Q. Who guarded the camp?
4 A. Serb soldiers. Under weapons.
5 Q. How were you accommodated on the stadium?
6 A. The accommodation was pretty bad. There was not enough space. We
7 would sleep on the premises of the football club, in the offices, the
8 changing rooms, on the stairways and elsewhere.
9 Q. I understand that there was a -- not enough space. However, a
10 football stadium should have sufficient space, a sufficient number of
12 A. Yes, but we were not allowed elsewhere.
13 Q. There were changing rooms, right? Did you use them?
14 A. Two rooms were used, and you know what a changing room looks like
15 for football players to change and shower. There was a toilet for all of
16 us but the rooms itself -- the rooms themselves were not very large and
17 the floor was made of concrete. They still exist. We did not use all of
18 the premises. We were only allowed to use some of them. And that space
19 was not very large.
20 Q. You said you were allowed to use only one toilet?
21 A. There was only one toilet in that part of the stadium where we
23 Q. A football stadium is supposed to have toilets for visitors as
24 well as toilets for players.
25 A. I'm telling you that there was only one toilet that we were
1 allowed to use, all of us.
2 Q. You said that there was no water?
3 A. Well, we didn't have any water before we were registered. Taps
4 would be shut from time to time. There was no water for us to wash or to
5 bathe. We all had lice.
6 Q. Surely a football stadium must have all the necessary facilities
7 for washing?
8 A. It does, sir. However, the water that we had was brought to the
9 stadium in tanks and it was an ice-cold water that we had to shower with.
10 Q. You mentioned as a form of mistreatment at the stadium that they
11 made you eat grass?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was it really grazing or was it that you had to pluck weed and
14 work on that green area?
15 A. No. One of the soldiers who had a gun in his hand forced us to do
16 it, and that is how we interpreted what he told us, and most of us obeyed.
17 We didn't have anything to eat, after all.
18 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness, very much. I
19 have no further questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Trbojevic, for your cooperation.
21 Is there re-examination?
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, Your Honour, there is no re-examination. I
23 only want to tender the statement of this witness as Prosecution Exhibit
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And it is so being admitted.
1 So that brings us to the end of your testimony, sir, for which I
2 thank you, both on my own behalf and on behalf of the two judges that sit
3 together with me, Judge Janu from the Czech Republic and Judge Taya from
4 Japan. We also thank you for having accepted to come over to the Hague to
5 this Tribunal to give evidence. You are free to return back to your
6 country of residence and you will receive all the assistance you require
7 from the officers of this Tribunal. On our part, the only thing left for
8 us to say is that we wish you a safe journey back home. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So, usher, you can accompany the witness out of the
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: The very last thing I only want to confirm we are
14 not hearing this witness 7.263 because she declined to testify and so we
15 do not have any witness for tomorrow.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And Monday, we are starting with 7.144,
18 MS. RICHTEROVA: Exactly, 7.144.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And I take it it's no longer going to be in
20 closed session although we had already granted closed session.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: We just received confirmation that it can be in
22 open session.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Please inform Mr. Ackerman about that, all right?
24 And if you can get some kind of feedback from Mr. Ackerman about the
25 points raised by me earlier on, pass them on to the Prosecution straight
1 away, all right? Thank you.
2 So have a nice weekend and we will all meet on Monday, I think in
3 Courtroom III, if I remember well. It's a whole week in the morning. We
4 will not be sitting on Tuesday. All right? Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 1.39 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
7 the 10th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.