1 Monday, 26 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar. Could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is the case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin. Good morning to you. Can you
11 hear me in a language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I can,
13 and I do understand.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, assisted by Denise Gustin. Good
16 morning, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
18 Appearances for Radislav Brdjanin.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Good morning, Your Honour, David Cunningham with
20 Barbara Baruch, and we're here also with Vesna Anic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you, too. First I
22 would like to inform you and enter into the records that today we are
23 sitting without Judge Taya, who, for urgent personal reasons and reasons
24 which have been authorised -- which have been acknowledged by myself and
25 also the President of the Tribunal, is unable to be with us. Therefore,
1 in virtue of Rule 15 bis(A)(i) and (ii), with the remaining Judges of this
2 Chamber, we are ordering that the hearing of this case continues in the
3 absence of Judge Taya, for not more than five working days as envisaged
4 under the same Rule.
5 So any preliminaries before we bring in the witness?
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, only this: That Your Honours will
7 recall that I asked last week to sit all day today and all day tomorrow.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MS. KORNER: Because of the witness who had problems with his
10 work. In fact, we've now arranged so there's an alteration of the witness
11 order, that he comes next Monday. He just needs to be here for one day.
12 So tomorrow, the next witness will be Mr. Kaiser. I've happily spoken to
13 Mr. Cunningham, who tells me that it's more than likely that he won't
14 require the whole day for Mr. Hidic, nor indeed for Mr. Kaiser. But if
15 necessary, could we just sit a little longer to finish Mr. Kaiser? After
16 that, we can go back to half days.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So I take it today we will be sitting --
18 MS. KORNER: 9.00 until 12.30, as I understand it, and then 2.00
19 to 4.00.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: 2.00 to 4.00. Okay.
21 That's agreed?
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's agreed, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And tomorrow we'll be sitting the same?
24 MS. KORNER: Yes, if we could, Your Honour. I know Mr. Kaiser is
25 a very busy man, so he'll be anxious to leave.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And we'll try and finish with Mr. Kaiser tomorrow,
2 even if it means sitting for a while longer if necessary. Perhaps, Madam
3 Chuqing, you will make arrangements, if necessary.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the other thing Your Honour asked was
5 for a witness list to the end of the trial.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: That's been dealt with effectively over the weekend.
8 We will in fact be filing a motion in respect of part of it, but it will
9 be ready for Your Honours tomorrow.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
11 Let's bring Mr. Hidic in, please.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Hidic.
14 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Please stand up. And before we proceed, may I ask
16 you to repeat the solemn declaration that you made last time.
17 WITNESS: AHMET HIDIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that -- can you check -- can you hear
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I can.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please stand up and read out again once more
23 the solemn declaration. Thank you. And then we can proceed with the
24 testimony. Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 Yes, Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I begin this morning by sorting out
5 the confusion I caused myself towards the end of the hearing last Thursday
6 in respect of documents, whether there are three, in fact three -- I'm
7 sorry - two versions of one and as we're going to discover, three of
8 another. Could Your Honours please look at Exhibit P245, which is behind
9 divider 27 in the bundle, and you'll need to look at the original B/C/S
10 version. And could the witness, which I don't think the witness does need
11 to have it. It's just for our purposes. If you look at the page, the
12 last page of the B/C/S, you'll see there are two typed signatures, but
13 only one actual --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner, because I have the wrong --
15 I'm sorry. I was -- yes. Okay.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm sorry. I was getting confused. I didn't
18 see the document straight away, but it is here. Yes.
19 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honour, attached to Mr. Hidic's statement
20 was a -- the same document that he provided when the investigator saw
21 him. I'm going to ask that he be handed that now. It may well be we've
22 got a copy that we can ... The English is identical, but as we'll see,
23 Your Honour, the B/C/S is not, although ...
24 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
25 Q. Mr. Hidic, on that document can you see your writing again?
1 A. No.
2 MS. KORNER: Can I have it for a moment?
3 Your Honour, it's my fault. He was handed P245. And we'll hand
4 them to Your Honours at the same time. It's for the witness, and then we
5 have copies for Your Honours and for the Registry. All right. We're
6 handing in a number of copies, Your Honour.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Could we get a copy of that exhibit, please.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Mr. Hidic, if you turn, please, to the parts of the original,
10 which is in your own language. I think if you go for about four pages,
11 you'll see. Now, in that copy, do you see your writing and underlining?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. KORNER: And if Your Honours go to the last page, Your Honours
14 will see that there is -- the difference is that on this copy of it,
15 there's two typed signatures and two handwritten, and on the other there's
16 only one handwritten.
17 Your Honour, may I ask that that version, produced by Mr. Hidic,
18 becomes P245.1, A for the English, B for the B/C/S.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I was asked whether this is the only difference,
21 that there is -- I think it's --
22 MS. KORNER: It is, yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Except that in the last paragraph had been completed
24 and concluded - here it is - had been exhausted and concluded. That's the
25 only thing --
1 MS. KORNER: The translation.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: -- that is different. Otherwise it's a replication
3 of --
4 MS. KORNER: As I think we've been through before, translation is
5 an art form rather than a science form, so sometimes different words will
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise the substance seems to be the same.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please go ahead, Ms. Korner.
10 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Your Honour, I'm afraid there's one more
11 document. In fact, if you turn in the bundle to the next document, which
12 is P1833 --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 1833.
14 MS. KORNER: For that, we've already produced two versions of it -
15 sorry. I beg your pardon. Well, I must have -- I'm afraid that we've
16 maybe got ourselves -- we seem to have produced this document. I'm not
17 sure why, 1877.3. But Your Honour, 1877.3 -- oh, I see.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we have this.
19 MS. KORNER: I'm now getting confused. It's Monday morning. Can
20 Your Honours look, please, first of all, at 1833.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. KORNER: Which is behind divider 28. Mr. Hidic -- we've
23 already got two versions of that. Your Honour will recall the signatures
24 were different; we went through that. Mr. Hidic actually brought up yet a
25 third version we've discovered by checking the documents he brought, which
1 is again slightly different. Your Honour, obviously I wouldn't trouble
2 with all this were it not for the fact of this sort of blanket allegation
3 that anything that emanates from AID is a forgery or may be a forgery.
4 Can we just hand up the third version, then? I think that's all
5 we need to do. I think by mistake we've produced it as 1877. Is that
7 JUDGE AGIUS: There is 1877.1 and 1877.2.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well, in fact, it's my error, Your Honour,
9 because it's the same document with different versions as 1833.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Which one is the same document?
11 MS. KORNER: That was produced as -- 1877 is the same document as
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it like this: 1877.1 is certainly not the
14 same in the full sense of the meaning as 1833.
15 MS. KORNER: It's the same document --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but -- oh, I see. You mean the B/C/S version?
17 MS. KORNER: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The B/C/S version may be -- yes. Let me
19 check, because ...
20 MS. KORNER: If you look at it, it's the minutes from the 35th
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes. But it's -- well, I look at
23 1877.1, the green, and I look at 1833, the B/C/S version. The top left
24 corner --
25 MS. KORNER: Says 57.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: There is 57 -- it's not in the green one that I am
2 seeing now.
3 MS. KORNER: I know. But if you read the text, it's identical.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I would imagine so, except that I can't --
5 MS. KORNER: If Your Honours look -- I mean, it's the 35th session
6 held at 17 -- at 1920 minutes thereof.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not, Ms. Korner. It's -- the text is
8 identical, but the signatures are not.
9 MS. KORNER: No. Your Honour, that's what I'm trying to do, put
10 together -- the text is identical, the signatures -- not all of them are.
11 Right. There are three versions of this.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MS. KORNER: The first is the one provided to us by AID, and that
14 is Exhibit P1833.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 33.
16 MS. KORNER: The second is the one that I produced yesterday --
17 Thursday, which was given by Mr. Hidic, who brought it with him the day
18 before he -- or the day he came here, and then he provided us with an
19 earlier version, which again is marginally different, which I just want to
20 exhibit now, on the signatures.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And there is 1877.2 as well, which is the same
22 document but again the order of the signatures is different.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes. Right. Well, Your Honour, can I just then -- I
24 think we had better leave the exhibit number as it is, otherwise we're all
25 going to get very confused. But the versions 8 -- P1877.1, 2, and 3, all
1 which are slightly different in the signatures, are all produced by
2 Mr. Hidic, I hope. And we'll hand in now this version. And having now
3 confused everybody on a Monday morning -- sorry. I think perhaps
4 Mr. Hidic had better just identify again his writing on it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I don't have -- are you circulating 1877.3 now?
6 MS. KORNER: I am. And I'm just going to get Mr. Hidic in a
7 moment to identify his writing on the document.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This has one signature less.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes. And as Your Honours just said, the difference
10 here is it's one signature less.
11 Q. Mr. Hidic, again, is this a document that you were provided with
12 by someone who had access to the municipal building, and you've written on
14 A. Yes. This is the document that I had with me and that I handed
15 over to the Tribunal.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: Then, Your Honour, that becomes 1877.3. Your Honour,
18 just so there's no confusion, although Mr. Hidic's documents, where they
19 are the same as provided by AID are the same in terms of the text, they're
20 all different. None of them are identical. And for the most part, the
21 documents he's provided do not have a corresponding one from AID.
22 Q. Right. Sorry about that, Mr. Hidic. We just had to sort out your
23 documents. Now, Mr. Hidic, I want to go back, finally, to the events that
24 took place in Petrovac. I want to deal with what happened to property in
25 Bosanski Petrovac. Can I just for a moment check a document we've already
1 looked at. Yes.
2 During the period before the expulsion, from about April of 1992,
3 did anything happen to homes and businesses owned by Bosniaks?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you just describe to us briefly what that was.
6 A. If my memory serves me well, in late May, once the blockade of the
7 road towards Bihac was lifted, this coincided with the developments in
8 Bosanski Petrovac municipality. That involved Muslims, that is,
9 Bosniaks. On the 28th of May, there was an attack on a Bosniak house, the
10 house owned by Atif Redzic. The attack was by a hand-held rocket launcher
11 and chemical weapons. On the following morning, like the majority of the
12 citizens of Bosanski Petrovac, I came there, and I saw that the house had
13 been shelled and that the shells had a chemical content, because one could
14 smell some very bad odours, and I also saw a group of political
15 representatives of the authorities of Bosanski Petrovac. I also saw the
16 police, and they were talking to the people, explaining to them what had
17 happened and answering their questions.
18 Soon after that, in June, sometime around the 2nd of June, there
19 was another attack on the part of the town inhabited by Muslims. On the
20 4th of June, we witnessed the first victims of an attack. A person was
21 killed in front of the Alpina coffee bar sometime before the curfew, an
22 hour before the curfew, Muhamed Terzic was killed. Later on --
23 Q. I'm going to come on with the killings in a moment. I just want
24 to deal with the attacks on property, if I may.
25 A. The property was also targeted. First there were attacks on
1 Bosniak business premises and craft shops which were in the centre of the
2 town. Within one week, the total assets of Bosniaks that used to be their
3 property before that was destroyed. All these attacks would usually
4 happen during the night, during the curfew and all these attacks were
5 carried out by hand grenades. There were traces to that effect, and
6 every -- and I personally visited the barber shop that had been destroyed
7 on the previous night. I believe that the police came. This was my
8 brother-in-law's barber shop. I believe that they collected the remains
9 of the hand grenade. My brother-in-law did some repairs on that same day,
10 but on that same evening another attack ensued. This time -- this not
11 involved hand grenades, but an automatic rifle, by which the glass was
12 shattered and everything in the shop was destroyed.
13 So as I've said, within the space of one week between the 5th or
14 the 6th of June and the 15th of June, all the Bosniak shops and business
15 premises in the town were destroyed, not only in the town but also in its
17 In the meantime, there were also cases of cars being confiscated,
18 lorries being confiscated. Allegedly, they were confiscated because the
19 army ordered their confiscation or mobilisation. At some occasions, some
20 papers were even produced; however, the luxurious cars were mostly
21 confiscated by force, at gun point.
22 Q. Now, you've described how on a number of occasions when you
23 arrived the police were there. To your knowledge, was anybody ever caught
24 or prosecuted for any of these offences?
25 A. I'm not aware of any such thing. I really am not, during those
1 days. The police did indeed come and investigate. They even took
2 pictures, these shops that were damaged. But I'm not aware of any
3 criminal charges being brought against the perpetrators of this nighttime
5 Q. Now, were there any mosques in the town of Bosanski Petrovac?
6 A. Yes, of course, of course. There were some in Bosanski Petrovac,
7 in the very centre of town, and also in the wider area of town. There
8 were two mosques. And there was a third one, in the village of Rasinovac.
9 And the fourth one was in Bjelaj. Since the Second World War, it hadn't
10 been repaired until the other war broke out, and it did not have a
12 Q. What happened to the mosques?
13 A. These two mosques in town, during the month of July, during the
14 night between the 7th and the 8th, and the 8th and the 9th, were totally
15 destroyed. They were blown up. The minaret was blown up. And as the
16 mosque was blown up, the roof and the walls were damaged. Over 50 per
17 cent, 60 per cent, that's the extent to which the facility itself was
19 Q. And when did those -- at what time of day did this destruction
20 take place?
21 A. The first mosque was destroyed around 12.00, between 12.00 and
22 1.00, and the other one also sometime within that time frame, around 1.00,
23 perhaps a bit after 1.00. I cannot recall with any precision now. But it
24 is in that period, at that time, that both mosques in town were blown up.
25 Q. And that's in the early hours of the morning, then, or do you mean
1 during the afternoon?
2 A. After midnight. After midnight.
3 Q. All right. Can I ask you very briefly, please, to look at Exhibit
4 P1863, which is the last one in the binder. And could you turn in that,
5 please, to the paragraph number 4, the big paragraph, which should be
6 headed "Information on Destroyed Buildings by Location." It's on the
7 fifth page, I think, of your version.
8 Now, this is a report prepared by the Bosniaks in 1997, and so
9 obviously it includes everything that happened until the end of the war.
10 But we see here that in the town area, 545 buildings owned by Muslims were
11 destroyed, with the following degrees of destruction. By the time you
12 left Bosanski Petrovac, in September 1992, how many houses had actually
13 been destroyed, that you can now recall, roughly?
14 A. I'm aware of a few buildings having been torched. They burned
15 down, of course. And afterwards it was cleared up by way of people
16 carrying out work obligation. These are buildings that are in town. But
17 I also know that a large number of old Bosnian buildings that were
18 primarily not inhabited, they were also torched in September 1992. But I
19 think that what is shown here -- I mean, most of the damage was caused the
20 war itself. That is to say, at the time when we were not in Bosanski
21 Petrovac itself.
22 Q. But then going to, please, the information on the cultural and
23 religious facilities, which is the next big paragraph, 5. If you go to
24 religious facilities, there were four mosques in the municipality, and
25 then over the page, it lists three mosques that were demolished. Were all
1 those mosques that you know about destroyed before you left, as you've
2 described to us, in July of 1992?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. You can give that document back now -- actually, no,
5 keep that document for a moment, because I want to move to killings, and I
6 want to take this, if I can, shortly by using the documents. At the front
7 of this document, there are a list of people who have been killed and are
8 buried. And could you take also, please, Exhibit P1878, which is the
9 report from the expatriate club that was in Zagreb, which you've read
11 In both those reports, there are descriptions of killings that
12 took place, and you began to describe to us the killing of a person who
13 was outside a shop. Having read both these reports, are those
14 descriptions first of the killings which took place in -- shown in the
15 expatriate document, P1878? Is that an accurate description?
16 A. Yes. It concerns the first killing, and the description of that
17 killing is accurate.
18 Q. And then you can see -- well, I'm sorry. I'm going to stop
19 there. Did you personally witness any of these killings that took place
20 in Petrovac?
21 A. Of course, it was very hard to be an eyewitness, because this
22 happened during the night, that is to say, during the curfew, which I
23 think was imposed only upon the Muslims, or rather, the Bosniaks. How
24 should I put this? As for the Serb population, life went on as usual.
25 But at any rate, in the morning, people would find out about what had
1 happened, and many of these killings could be seen by a large number of
2 citizens. Inter alia, I saw some of the killings after they had been
3 committed during the night, and sometimes I also attended the funerals of
4 these people who were so unfortunately killed, of course, when it was
5 possible to attend such ceremonies. My experience is related to Osman
6 Hadzic, my neighbour who was also killed, but he was killed in the period
7 between the 20th and 24th of September. Of course, I saw his corpse. He
8 was shot in the head with two bullets. The police was there, on site, on
9 site. They carried out an on-site investigation. They made it possible
10 for us, through Mico Atlagic, Milovan Atlagic, my neighbour - his name has
11 already been mentioned here - that we try to bury the body within 15 or 20
12 minutes. There were very few of us, only three or four. I can't remember
13 exactly. But in the garden right behind their house, we managed to dig a
14 shallow grave and to bury the remains in that grave. Of course, this was
15 risky. It was risky to do this kind of thing, because during those days,
16 at any moment, a patrol could show up, and their exclusive task was to
17 patrol the Muslim-populated areas of Bosanski Petrovac.
18 Of course, they would open fire against any person who would be
19 outside their houses. They would even kill people who would be seen that
21 Q. Does that mean that you had to bury people after the curfew?
22 A. This was during the day. The burial took place during the day,
23 around noon or in the afternoon. I can't remember exactly, but it took
24 quite a while for the police to come. Of course, before that, they
25 carried out the identification, and only then the on-site investigation
1 took place by the police, and then only later did they ask to have it
2 buried. The corpse could not be taken to the cemetery, of course, but it
3 had to be buried somewhere around the house, so it was buried in the
4 garden, as I've already explained.
5 Q. Let me just pick up on that. Why couldn't it go to the cemetery?
6 A. Well, I think it was impossible because of the patrols. I already
7 mentioned that the patrols were circulating, and this infamous white Golf,
8 as it was called, it was driving around the Muslim neighbourhoods, and
9 whenever they would see any signs of life in yards or in the street, they
10 would open fire. There was absolute fear, and it was impossible to carry
11 out the burial at the local cemetery.
12 Q. This infamous white Golf, who were the people who were driving
13 around in it?
14 A. For the most part, they were younger people, and it was very hard
15 to establish their identity. However, people did mention some names, but
16 I cannot confirm this myself. I personally saw the Golf, but I did not
17 see the people who were sitting in the Golf and who were shooting from it.
18 Q. Leave aside their names for the moment. Were the people who were
19 in the Golf and shooting at Muslims, were they in uniform?
20 A. Yes, they were in uniform. They were in uniform. That could be
21 seen. They had olive-green/grey shirts or T-shirts and of course you
22 couldn't see any caps on their head. They looked like any soldier in the
23 world to me. I mean, when you see them in such uniform, it was very hard
24 to tell them apart. And you didn't really have the opportunity of seeing
25 this very well.
1 Q. Were the uniforms like official police uniforms or different?
2 A. Well, I think they wore different clothing, but I think they
3 preferred olive-grey. More were in olive-grey. It was fashionable to
4 wear Rambo-style clothes with short sleeves, and of course young soldiers
5 tried to emulate that, especially in situations like this one.
6 Q. Now, you told us that the first killing was of this man called
7 Muhamed Terzic, outside -- you were starting to tell us, outside a bar.
8 Were you actually present when he was killed?
9 A. No. Unfortunately, I was not present. Hardly anyone was present,
10 because before that, in the direction of the Alpina cafe that is, say,
11 about 300 to 500 metres away from the centre of town, perhaps a bit more
12 than that - I cannot be very accurate right now - shooting went on all the
13 time. They were even shooting at houses that were owned by Muslims. And
14 then - I don't know how this happened, but a man happened to be there in
15 the street. But at any rate, I later find out - people talked about
16 this - that he was in the company of a young man, a Serb, a former
17 colleague of his, and they were probably together. And it is quite
18 certain that this man had guaranteed his safety. However, what proved to
19 be fateful was that this young man ran away, because the shooting
20 started. So he remained on his own, and of course they did all sorts of
21 things to him and then ultimately killed him in front of Alpina, right
22 there on the sidewalk. This could be seen in the morning, the place where
23 he had been killed. Of course, the corpse had been collected by then, but
24 there was a small pool of blood there where he had been killed. People
25 could come and they could see the actual site where this took place, but
1 it would be noteworthy to mention that at Terzic's funeral there were
2 Bosniak Muslims but there were also a large number of Serbs who were
3 present and who were shocked in this way by the vandalism that had
4 occurred in Bosanski Petrovac. It's not only that the killing took
5 place -- that this killing took place that night, but another one, Sead
6 Husagic's killing took place. It was far worse than that. I've already
7 described that a few days ago. Rifle grenades were thrown at his house
8 and they had some chemical components too. And he happened to be in his
9 yard, looking for his dog that was not on his leash, and these men saw him
10 and they shot him. I mean, they were shooting in this Muslim
11 neighbourhood anyway, and when they noticed him, they caught up with him,
12 they dragged him out into the street, they beat him first, then they
13 wounded him in the leg so he could not run away.
14 And after this dramatic beating and his screams that were heard by
15 the neighbours but regrettably nobody dared go out to help the unfortunate
16 Sead, the same evening, when the family appealed, the representatives of
17 the police came, put him in a car and took him to the medical centre, the
18 health centre, which is close to his house, and two days later he
19 succumbed to his very grave wounds. He died. There was a funeral
20 afterwards and many citizens attended the funeral, Bosniaks and Serbs, and
21 the comments were such that they actually amounted to bitterness. How
22 could something like that happen in a town like Bosanski Petrovac? Until
23 then, everybody kept saying that nothing would happen there, that such
24 things could not happen there, that people could not be killed in the
25 street just like that.
1 The same night there was shooting at the houses and shops of
2 Bosniak Muslims. A woman was seriously wounded then, and along with her
3 child. Her child was about 6 or 7 years old. They were both seriously
4 wounded and they were transferred to the health centre the same night.
5 They were given assistance there and then they were released the very next
6 day. They were told that they could not be kept at the health centre but
7 they said that the wounded were being brought in and that nobody could
8 guarantee anything anymore and they were released. They were sent home.
9 Q. How shortly after those incidents had taken place were you told
10 about them?
11 A. Practically the same day, the same morning, people found out about
12 this. People could come freely and see this. I mean, the places where
13 these things had happened. As a matter of fact, there were some traces in
14 the street itself. A bottle with an alcoholic drink. It was not empty,
15 so it was probably the people who had done this that had been drinking.
16 After we left, of course, I found out about this after returning
17 to Bosanski Petrovac. I found out that this was done by Mico Basta,
18 nicknamed Rambo, from Krnjeusa, a Serb village not far away, or rather
19 20 kilometres away from Bosanski Petrovac, halfway between Bosanski
20 Petrovac and Bosanska Krupa. Some other people from the village of
21 Krnjeusa were with him. I don't know how many. But it is known that an
22 attempt was made to disarm this Mico Rambo and this proved to be
23 unsuccessful. As far as I know, he is a free man still in Republika
24 Srpska. He was never held accountable for the crimes that he had
25 committed in Bosanski Petrovac.
1 Q. Now, you've already told us about somebody being beaten before he
2 was killed. Were there beatings that took place in Petrovac of Bosniaks,
3 without people being killed as a result?
4 A. Yes. Yes, of course. Before this beating, there were beatings by
5 policemen and people were taken out of town. Perhaps even a month before
6 this, people were physically tortured, beaten, but they didn't dare speak
7 about it. It was even made possible for some to free from Bosanski
8 Petrovac after such beatings, and so many people did indeed avail
9 themselves of this opportunity and they went in the direction of Bihac,
10 because that was possible until, say, the 27th or 28th of May.
11 Q. I want, then, please, to deal with the prisons. We looked at a
12 document yesterday about holding people -- yesterday, on Thursday - about
13 holding people in the SJB. You told us that you had -- you were the
14 manager of a warehouse that was situated outside Bosanski Petrovac. Did
15 you become aware of any prison in that vicinity?
16 A. Yes, absolutely. I've already told you that I worked in
17 Bosnaplast. This is just outside the town zone, on the road between
18 Bosanski Petrovac and Drvar, and already in 1991, there was a logistical
19 centre that was set up there. Of course, I did not know straight away
20 what this had to do with this logistics centre, but eventually it really
21 did become a centre, because there were more and more men in uniform
22 there. Some people who worked in the factory itself, that is to say, who
23 were reserve officers, were already called up as reservists, and they were
24 there at the logistics centre. I think I mentioned the name of an
25 engineer, a technologist, or rather, a manager in this company, Tomo
1 Miscevic. He was a JNA captain, a reserve captain -- Captain or Captain
2 First Class. It doesn't really matter now. But he does have the rank of
3 captain. And he was one of the leaders of this logistics centre.
4 Of course, there was a kitchen there too. Its objective was to
5 provide supplies to everyone in the field and the area. And later on,
6 this kitchen provided food for the camp that was established sometime in
7 the beginning of July, in Kozila, in the village of Drinic, or rather,
8 above the village of Drinic in the mountain of Klekovaca. I heard of a
9 story, and this version was confirmed later on.
10 Q. All right. Confirmed by who, the story you're about to tell us?
11 A. Well, it was confirmed later, after the liberation, of course,
12 that plans were being made for the prison at the police station, which had
13 become too small for all the persons who had been detained in the
14 meantime, that it should be transferred about 100 to 150 metres away from
15 Bosnaplast, to Kartal's house, his nickname was Pean that two other houses
16 in that area should be empty. One was set fire to and the other was blown
17 up after this, because it was made of some kind of hard material and it
18 couldn't burn down easily. And Mr. Pean's house was supposed to be turned
19 into a prison, since it had a good basement, a good cellar, rather a
20 spacious one.
21 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at the document that I think you're
22 referring to. Could you have a look, please, at P1833, which is the one
23 that Mr. Hidic has got the version of, the one we had numbered versions
24 of. It's the Crisis Staff decision number 57 of the 16th of June. And if
25 we look at the top of page 2 in our translation, the man who was head of
1 the police force, Mr. Gacesa, talked about a list of 40 people or so
2 considered to be organisers, a separate group, or to have acted from
3 extreme fundamentalist Islamic position. And then going down that
4 paragraph, there are two possible options, one that a certain number of
5 persons who could be a potential threat be isolated, but not on the
6 premises of the SJB public security station; and the other, that
7 extremists be isolated outside Petrovac.
8 Then, as the discussion continued, the view prevailed that the
9 isolation of extremists outside Petrovac would be dangerous to themselves,
10 and it was best to isolate them in a well-guarded facility on the
11 outskirts of town.
12 And then we see a decision that all individuals who possess
13 illegal weapons or have been registered as Muslim extremists, thus posing
14 a potential threat, shall be detained and held in custody.
15 And then the next paragraph talks about the part that you've just
16 dealt with. And do I understand that you're telling us that you were
17 aware of this because you saw the houses being destroyed, or the house?
18 A. This house was not destroyed. It was the two houses next to it
19 that had been destroyed.
20 Q. You're quite right. And then the SJB will remove all Muslim
21 owners of weekend cottages from the Ostrelj weekend settlement. Where was
22 that, the weekend settlement?
23 A. This weekend settlement called Ostrelj is on the road between
24 Bosanski Petrovac and Drvar. We're talking about a mountain area some
25 1.300 metres high. And previously it was a tourist recreation office or
1 facility. Sometime in the 1980s, a plan was made to transform it into a
2 residential area, or rather, a weekend area. And then sometime in 1984,
3 during the winter Olympic games in Sarajevo, a third ski slope was built
4 there. The first one was in Vlasic, the second one in Ostrelj, and then
5 the one in Bosanski Petrovac. This was a large settlement. I believe
6 that there were between 50 and 100 holiday bungalows, or even more than
7 that. And a number of people of all ethnic backgrounds came to this area
8 for weekends. However, the majority of those weekend houses belonged to
9 the Serbian officer from the Second World War, and some other high
10 officials and prominent politicians and so on and so forth. There was
11 also a number of owners who were of Muslim ethnic background.
12 And those people were from Bosanski Petrovac, Bihac, Banja Luka,
13 and some other towns out of Bosanski Petrovac municipality. They were all
14 completed and they were all inhabited. They all served its purpose.
15 Q. All right. Can we just look, please, for a moment at P1804.
16 We'll just put it up on the ELMO just to identify the map.
17 And can we see there the town you're talking about at the bottom
18 of the map?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And -- thank you. You can give it back to the Usher.
21 All I want to know about then finally is: Do you know whether the
22 Muslim owners of cottages there were removed?
23 A. During these days, these people did not reside in these cottages.
24 It was already the beginning of a war, so the majority, or rather, none of
25 the Muslims who had their weekend cottages up there did not go there.
1 These houses were vacant. There were no Muslims or anybody there. These
2 houses were used for the accommodation of Serbian officers and Serbian
3 troops who even had their command post up there. And there was a hotel
4 there, a property of the Grmec catering establishment. It had about 30 to
5 50 beds. And this hotel was also used for accommodation for military
6 purposes. And the hotel -- there was another hotel owned by SIP Ostrelj.
7 It was like a workers holiday.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Hidic, but I think that's all I needed to know. But
9 thank you. Okay. Can you please now have a look at P1840.
10 This is a list of people who -- for whom the Petrovac SJB had
11 ordered isolation. And at the bottom, a total of 29 persons were taken to
12 do labour at the Kozila camp on the 1st of July, 1992. First, did you
13 know these people who are named here? We see at number 8 somebody called
14 Muhamed [as interpreted] Hidic. Was that a relative of yours?
15 A. Yes. This is my relative and my neighbour. And I am familiar
16 with the majority of these people. These people were first arrested and
17 detained in the police building in Bosanski Petrovac, and later on they
18 were all transferred to the camp in Kozila. All to the last on this list
19 were in the Kozila camp in Bosanski Petrovac. Obviously, this list should
20 be much longer. There were many more people from Bosanski Petrovac, but
21 there were also people from Kljuc, Kulen Vakuf, Orahovac, so from the
22 larger area of Bosanski Petrovac as well, not only from the town of
23 Bosanski Petrovac.
24 Q. And the camp of Kozila, was that separate from the one you've just
25 been talking about at the Bosnaplast?
1 A. There was no camp at Bosnaplast. It was just a logistical
2 centre. The camp was in Kozila. And before that, the only prison was the
3 police building in Bosanski Petrovac. But when it became too small, then
4 people were transferred to Kozila. Can you please repeat your question?
5 I'm afraid I've lost you for a moment. I don't know what you actually
6 asked me.
7 Q. Don't worry. Again, if I can just remind you, Mr. Hidic, if
8 you'll just answer the question. But I actually asked you whether Kozila
9 was in a separate place from the Bosnaplast facility you described, and
10 you've explained that it was.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Yes. Thank you. You can put that document away.
13 Now, I want to move really now to the final moment or time in
14 Petrovac, first of all, and ask you about work obligation. Were you made
15 to do work obligation?
16 A. Yes, of course. All the people of military age, and this applied
17 to Muslims as well, had to respond to the call-ups. Those call-ups were
18 rather strange. They bore a stamp of the Drvar command, and this caused
19 confusion. However, people were afraid, and they responded to these
20 call-ups and then organised groups which always included some members of
21 Muslims to leave such groups, and these groups were escorted, they were
22 guarded, and they were taken for work. Mostly into the field, to the
23 farms. It was in June and July, the period of farm works. And they also
24 had to dig trenches for the telephone cable from Bosanski Petrovac to
25 Drinic and they also had to dig canals along the facility that was being
1 built by Autotransport Bosanski Petrovac in the vicinity of the town and
2 they were also used for all sorts of loading, unloading, for preparing
3 timber, logs, and the most important thing is that these people were also
4 used for the cleaning of military --
5 --- Break taken at 10.14 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.18 a.m.
7 JUDGE JANU: For the record, we will resume in half an hour.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: That shows you what a little shrimp can do to you.
11 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honour like to tell us which restaurant it
12 was so we don't go there?
13 Q. Mr. Hidic, I was asking you about work obligation. We already
14 looked at a document in relation to that. But can I ask you in
15 particular, what were you made to do?
16 A. I had one call-up on the 24th of July, in front of my former
17 company, Bosnaplast. I started from there. We didn't know where we were
18 taken to. There were some 50 of us in a bus. There were also escorts,
19 five military policemen, and there was also a driver. So the total number
20 of people on that bus was around 55, 56. We didn't know where we were
21 being taken, but it was indicated in the call-up paper that we should
22 bring access.
23 On that morning, I responded to that call, although around those
24 days I was not feeling well, in 1991. I had been treated in the hospital
25 in Bihac, and also in Zagreb, at the Jordanovac hospital, where I stayed
1 about a month and I was still undergoing therapy in that particular period
2 of time. So to resume, we went by bus towards Bihac, Vrbas, Krnjeusa, and
3 further on, we took the dirt road towards Bosanska Krupa. As we
4 approached Bosanska Krupa, we took the road towards Veliki Gradic, the
5 road on the left. There the school had been transformed into a barracks
6 and the whole place was, so to say, besieged by the army. I knew most of
7 the troops because they were locals. And it seems that the Bosanski
8 Petrovac units was stationed there.
9 From there, when our escorts received new orders, from there we
10 went towards Mali Radic, towards the front line, the delineation line. We
11 came to the area called Grabez, and that's where we were taken to the
12 front line, where Serbian soldiers were.
13 Q. Just pause for a moment, please. When you got there, was there
14 any firing or shelling going on?
15 A. Yes. We heard several grenades being fired, either from a tank or
16 from artillery weapons. That is how much I know about artillery and that
17 type of fire. So we arrived there and we were told to stay on the bus,
18 although it was rather hot. I believe that it was the hottest day in
19 1992. We waited there for well over two hours, while one of the military
20 policemen went somewhere in a Jeep. And in the meantime, while we were
21 waiting for his return, all of a sudden we could hear a song, shrieks, the
22 sound of an engine. A group of troops came in a Pinzgauer, a military
23 vehicle. They did not wear military uniforms. They wore all sorts of
24 military uniforms. I believe the group numbered up to ten people. Among
25 them I recognised two men that I knew from Bosanski Petrovac. One of them
1 was Mladjo Marjanovic. He drove that vehicle. And there was also Gorinko
2 Jakovljevic, a disabled person who had a congenital disease. I believe
3 that he was a journalist. He had --
4 Q. I'm sorry. Can I stop you, Mr. Hidic? This is important, but we
5 don't need all the description. Were these two men Serbs?
6 A. Yes. They were both Serbs. And those who were with them stormed
7 onto the bus. When they saw the bus and when they saw that they were
8 Muslims, and on that bus they stormed into the bus, they broke --
9 actually, the door was open, both the front door and the back door were
10 open. One of the guards asked the driver to leave the doors open. They
11 stormed onto the bus. They started forking out their knives, their
12 daggers. They started talking to us. They started saying: Oh, here are
13 the Turks. Let's inspect their passports. Let's see if they have visas.
14 Their voices were really intimidating and the way they talked to us was
15 rather scary. They started asking all sorts of questions.
16 At that moment, I could not pay attention to everything that was
17 going on at the bus, because one of those guys who entered the bus by way
18 of the front door targeted me. I was in the front seat together with
19 another young man. I was next to the window, and this young man was by
20 the passage. And there was a rail in front of us, so I couldn't move. I
21 couldn't go backward, I couldn't go anywhere. They were asking all sorts
22 of questions. They were looking for cigarettes. They wanted to see if
23 anybody had a ring or a necklace or a golden chain. They asked if anybody
24 had money.
25 At that moment, nobody had any valuables on them, because,
1 according to the call-up papers, we all assumed that we would be
2 performing some work, and everybody prepared themselves to work.
3 Q. Just pause there, please. All right. You started to tell us one
4 of the people targeted you, one of the people who came onto the bus. What
5 did he do to you?
6 A. He didn't do anything, but he held a bayonet, a knife, against my
7 breast, and I just remained sitting, at, so to say, at the point of his
8 knife. And thanks to another person who pushed him further into the bus,
9 because he wanted himself to get on to see if there was anybody that he
10 would be interested in, I believe that this saved me, because this second
11 person who got on the bus took a little notebook from his pocket and
12 started asking about different people, different Muslims. And we would
13 then say: No, this person is not here. And then finally he cursed at us
14 and said: How come these people are not on the bus? And then he asked:
15 Well, who are we? Who are you people? Then we said: We are from
16 Bosanski Petrovac. And then he said: Well, that explains why these
17 people that I'm looking for are not here.
18 The policemen who were supposed to guard us did not do their job.
19 They just let these people get on the bus and ill-treat us in different
20 ways and threaten us. They marched through the bus. They collected all
21 of our cigarettes and lighters. That's all that they could take, and then
22 they got off the bus.
23 Later on, one of the people who were on the bus and who were
24 sitting in front, next to me, on the other side, he asked the driver,
25 Mitar Jevic, who was driving the bus, he asked him: How did the policemen
1 allow these people get on the bus and do whatever they wanted to do to
2 us? His answer was: Did you think that we would risk our lives for you?
3 If they got hold of somebody, they would not have stayed alive. So I
4 suppose we were just lucky, and we were saved with the help of a guard.
5 We were not harmed in any way.
6 Q. Thank you. And was the end result that you never did any work
7 that day but were just driven back to Petrovac after some hours?
8 A. I believe that they did not know why we were sent here, why we
9 were brought here. Later on, all sorts of stories were --
10 Q. Don't worry about all sorts of stories. All I'm interested in is
11 whether you did any work that day or you were simply driven back to
13 A. We were driven back to Bosanski Petrovac, but we were not supposed
14 to get there before 7.00. That's why, on the way back, as we left that
15 road and as we arrived at the road towards Krnjeusa, we were taken off the
16 bus and we had to walk behind the bus for some 20 kilometres or so,
17 because we were not supposed to arrive there before 7.00.
18 Q. Is this situation that that was the only day that you personally
19 were asked to do work obligation?
20 A. Yes. That was the only time that I was asked to do that, and
21 there were a lot of stories about that, and I really, until the very end,
22 until the moment I was expelled from Bosanski Petrovac, was never asked to
23 do any work obligation, but others did go and perform the works that I
24 described to you a little while ago.
25 Q. Now, before I deal with the expulsions, were you yourself ever
1 placed into a detention camp?
2 A. No.
3 Q. How would you describe the town of Bosanski Petrovac during this
4 period, particularly between July and September 1992?
5 A. A little while ago you asked me if I was ever at a camp. I said
6 no. But I believe that Bosanski Petrovac and the Muslims in that town,
7 during the period between June and the moment when they were expelled, in
8 September, were all at a camp, because they were restricted in every
9 possible way.
10 Q. Now, I want you to look, please, now, quickly, at Exhibit P1841,
11 which is a document that you yourself provided to us. If we look at the
12 first page of the copy, does that again contain your writing and
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It's dated the 2nd of July, Crisis Staff minutes, or rather, they
16 were held on the 1st of July, and we see under item 1, a report on the
17 security situation on the territory, assessing it as delicate, with a
18 popular feeling of discontent, especially directed towards Muslims after
19 the recent events on the front line, and stress that the best and a sure
20 solution for the protection of the Muslims would be to move the
21 population, emphasising that the territory of the municipality was large.
22 Now, that's the beginning of July. Were there any expulsions,
23 actual expulsions as opposed to people leaving, during the period of July
24 and August?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Can we -- thank you very much. And can you look, please, then, at
2 P1843. This is a decision of the Municipal Assembly, the commission for
3 moving out, and on Thursday we looked at the Crisis Staff decision that
4 referred to setting up such a commission, which says that Muslims may move
5 away voluntarily on the following conditions: "If they sign a contract on
6 the exchange of immovable property and if they sign a statement giving
7 their immovable property to the state."
8 And then it sets out further on the actual nuts and bolts, if one
9 likes, of how that's to happen. Now, were you aware and did you yourself
10 eventually have to sign a statement leaving your property to the state.
11 A. Yes. Of course I was aware of this because this information
12 regarding the exchange arrived via the forum of citizens. They wanted
13 somebody to go to the cadastral office in the municipality, to inspect the
14 land books, and those who in the meantime came in touch with the
15 representatives of the Serbian people who resided on the territory of
16 Bosanski Petrovac municipality, and before that resided in Bihac, in other
17 words, who came from the territory of the municipality of Bihac to
18 Bosanski Petrovac. And this was the alleged contract regarding the
19 exchange of property in Bosanski Petrovac and Bihac. Before they could do
20 that, these people had to settle all of their bills, they had to pay all
21 of their utility bills, they had to pay all their taxes. Once you were
22 given the receipt that all of these debts were settled, you were supposed
23 to go to the police administration. There you would apply for the
24 voluntary relinquishing of all your property in view of leaving Bosanski
1 As of that moment, you stopped being the citizen of the town where
2 you lived, where you were born. It was a common practice. This is what
3 was asked from people, and the majority of the people believed that this
4 should be done in this way. A lot of Bosniaks, a lot of Muslims,
5 subscribed to that. They started looking for partners with whom they
6 would sign the contract. However, such contracts were never implemented.
7 Q. Mr. Hidic, I'm sorry to stop you like this, but if you'll
8 recall -- if you just answer very simply the question that I ask you, and
9 then if I need more details or the Court does, we'll ask you for more
10 details. The simple question was: Did you have to sign a statement
11 leaving your property to the state?
12 A. No, I did not a sign such a statement leaving my property to the
13 state, but I had to go to the police administration and release the
14 document on wishing to leave the area.
15 Q. All right. Can you look, please, at a second document, P1844,
16 which is a decision of the 3rd of August of these commissioners. And if
17 you look, please, under the decision, you'll see, just before item AD3,
18 "The commission will establish who can leave the Petrovac municipality,
19 and the condition will be for them to exchange their property or give it
20 to the state," that is, the Serbian municipality of Petrovac. So there
21 were two different methods: One, you could exchange or you could leave,
22 leaving your property to the state. Those who did an exchange, was that
23 with Serbs in Bihac who wished to move to Petrovac?
24 A. No. Those Serbs from Bihac had already arrived in Bosanski
25 Petrovac. That is to say that before the conflict broke out between Bihac
1 and Bosanski Petrovac, I mean before that conflict, they had come to
2 Bosanski Petrovac, not as refugees but at the invitation of the SDS. They
3 left their homes and they came to the territory of the municipality of
4 Bosanski Petrovac. And all these talks went in that direction, that is to
5 say, they had to do with exchanges.
6 Q. All right. If an exchange was arranged by a Muslim in Petrovac,
7 with whom would it be arranged, was it arranged?
8 A. A Serb from Bihac who was already in the territory of the
9 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac.
10 Q. Did those exchanges work, as far as the Muslims were concerned?
11 In other words, were the Muslims able to go to Bihac to take up a Serb
13 A. Of course. In the month of July, it was already impossible to
14 leave, because of the war operations. But by way of lists and by way of
15 these contracts, the departure of Muslims from Bosanski Petrovac to Bihac
16 would be organised into the territory where the property of the Serbs was,
17 that is to say, those Serbs who had arrived in Bosanski Petrovac prior to
18 the outbreak of the conflict.
19 Q. So is what you're saying that on paper there was an exchange, but
20 in reality the Muslims never managed to get to Bihac?
21 A. Absolutely. This was just activity on paper, so to speak, if I
22 can put it that way.
23 Q. All right. Can you just briefly, please, look at 1846, which is
24 two of these types of documents that we've been discussing, or three, I
25 think, actually - four.
1 The first relates to a family named Hodzic, who was going to move
2 out. Then the second to -- oh, it's still the Hodzics, I think, actually,
3 it's about declaring that they owned the property and that they conceded
4 it permanently to the Petrovac Municipal Assembly, and so on and so forth.
5 Do you know this particular family?
6 A. Absolutely. I do know this family. This family is from Bjelaj,
7 that is to say, in a neighbourhood that is about 25 kilometres away from
8 Bosanski Petrovac. Muslims, or rather, the Bosniak citizens of this
9 village, stayed on until about the 13th of January. If you look at the
10 date here, that is the 10th of August, that is to say, this was after the
11 expulsion of Muslims from Bosanski Petrovac. This group of Muslims in
12 Bjelaj remained all the way up to the following year, the 13th of January,
13 that is.
14 Q. All right. This is dated the 10th of August, 1992, so that's
16 A. I'm sorry. I didn't see this properly. Yes, it is the 10th of
17 August. I'm sorry.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. But this is the period when talks were conducted and when these
20 contracts were being made.
21 Q. All right. Now, can you look next, please, at P1848. This
22 document is from the Yugoslav news agency, and this is Mr. Dosen, the
23 gentleman who I think you said you knew; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Dosen. And it talks about, on the 13th of September, that
1 "The mass departure of Muslims from the area of Bosanski Petrovac is
2 still continuing. A column of seven buses with a special escort departed
3 from the village of Biscani, in the direction of Travnik. According to
4 information from the Petrovac office for the exchange of population and
5 property, over the last three days, more than 900 men, women, and children
6 of Muslim ethnicity have moved from the area of Petrovac in the direction
7 of Bihac and Travnik."
8 Now, there is a description of this convoy in the document from
9 the expatriate committee, explaining how the convoy in fact was turned
10 back. And if we look at, please, document 1849, which is the next
11 document, there is the description of the Petrovac SJB -- it's the report
12 to the Banja Luka CSB, in fact, to the chief.
13 You've read both these documents. Are those descriptions that are
14 contained in the document, particularly this one, 1849, a fairly accurate
15 description? I don't want to go through it, Mr. Hidic, so if you'd just
16 say yes or no.
17 A. Well, I don't think that what is written here is absolutely
18 correct. There are some correct assertions, but all of it is not
19 accurate, I mean in relation to Karinovac, when these buses were stopped.
20 Q. All right. Briefly, and I mean briefly, Mr. Hidic, can you tell
21 us what, in your view, is inaccurate. But first of all, can you tell us
22 how you know. Did you know people who were on this convoy?
23 A. Well, of course I found out from these people who were on the
24 second convoy, if I can put it that way. Before that, two buses had left
25 and gone through Vlasic to Travnik. The second one was bigger, that is to
1 say, it involved larger numbers. However, due to the war operations that
2 were taking place during those days at the Vlasic plateau, passage was not
3 possible through Karinovac. This is somewhere at the crossroad on the
4 road between Jajce and Banja Luka, towards Skender Vakuf, so --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... stop you, Mr. Hidic. Just
6 look at the report and tell us what is inaccurate, as far as you are
7 concerned, from talking people who were on it.
8 A. There is just a description here of the police administration, or
9 rather, the policemen who gave these people protection, these people who
10 were on the bus. However, there is no mention of how these people were
11 met, how they were intimidated during the night while they were staying in
12 Karinovac. This was done to them not only by the Serb soldiers but also
13 part of the local population. The truth is that this policeman, Ribic,
14 truly accorded full protection in that sense. I can state that. He did
15 protect these people on the bus. But when Radojko came, the situation
16 became even more complicated. If I can put it this way, things became
17 even harder for the people who were on the buses.
18 When he left, it was possible to allow these people to return to
19 Bosanski Petrovac. During the night, during the curfew, they arrived in
20 Bosanski Petrovac. That is where they were when the morning broke, and of
21 course this news spread, like all good news.
22 Now, as for the entire story as to what happened to them on that
23 day in Karinovac, there is only just -- there is just one detail, that
24 they were throwing hand grenades in this bus where they were rolling them
25 on the floor in the bus, where there were women and children, primarily.
1 That is one of the details, I mean as to how these people were mistreated
2 while they were on the buss.
3 Q. And can you -- Radojko is a name that we've seen appearing in the
4 minutes of the Crisis Staff meetings. What was his job?
5 A. He was secretary of the Executive Council. This is a municipal
6 authority. And of course, he was a member of the Executive Board of the
7 SDS of Bosanski Petrovac. As far as I know, he was born in Bosanski
8 Petrovac, somewhere in the surrounding area, but before that, until 1991,
9 they lived in Croatia. He lived in Croatia, in Zagreb. He got a degree
10 in law there, and he was active there and he worked there --
11 Q. Okay. Don't worry about that. I just wanted to know what his job
12 was. I don't want his background as well. Thank you.
13 All right. Can we come, then, please, finally, to your own
14 expulsion. When did that happen?
15 A. The specific answer is the 24th of September, 1992, we had to
16 leave the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac. Of course, this was preceded
17 by very tragic events, very tragic from my point of view. They occurred
18 on the 20th of September. It was a Sunday. We Muslims call it the Black
19 Sunday for the Muslims in Bosanski Petrovac, because on that day, sometime
20 in the evening hours, the news arrived that at the Grmusa front line 17
21 Serb soldiers were killed and that they were brought before the health
22 centre, and that an alarm was sounded then to those who were free then,
23 soldiers and paramilitaries, that it was a free-for-all in the territory
24 of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, that they could do whatever they
25 wanted to the Muslims. And they immediately split up in [Realtime
1 transcript read in error "split up in chiropractors"] troikas as they were
2 called, and they really started carrying out such activities. General
3 panic prevailed, people started running away.
4 Q. I'm sorry. We need to make this clear. You say that 17 Serbs
5 were killed at the front line. Was that within the Petrovac municipality?
6 A. Of course this was at the front line, where the front line was,
7 because on that day, these people had been sent --
8 Q. Stop, please. I want to ask you a series of questions, please. I
9 don't want you to carry on. I just want you to answer these questions,
10 please. First, the front line, you say, was in the Petrovac municipality,
11 front line where in the municipality?
12 A. Of course, it was not in the municipality of Petrovac. It was far
13 away from the urban area, perhaps some 40 kilometres away. That is
14 Grmusa, the Grabez plateau, in the area between Ripac and Pritoka, where
15 the separation line was. So it was quite far away from the centre of the
16 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac.
17 Q. Right. Now, next you say that these 17 Serb soldiers were killed.
18 Killed by whom?
19 A. I think they were killed by sabotage men who got in beyond the
20 separation line, that is to say, further from the Bosnian army.
21 Q. So they were non-Serbs, were they?
22 A. Yes. Yes. Members of the Bosnian army, yes.
23 Q. Now, who was brought before the health centre, and which health
25 A. Of course, the health centre in Bosanski Petrovac, and it was the
1 Serb soldiers who had been sent to the front line that morning.
2 Q. So they arrived in front of the health centre in Bosanski
3 Petrovac. Then you say that they divided into troikas. Do you mean into
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. All right. And then you say they -- I notice that the LiveNote
7 for the moment says, "they were split up in chiropractors," but general
8 panic, you say, prevailed. What did these groups of three do?
9 A. Well, of course, people running all around, there was shooting,
10 there were killings. And I think that during those two days, more
11 killings were committed, during those two days and two nights, that is,
12 than during the preceding three months, actually, from when the war
13 situation started, if I can put it that way, in the territory of the
14 municipality of Bosanski Samac. On the same day, that is to say, between
15 the 20th and the 21st, many people were killed. Also the next day. A
16 large number of people were killed, not only in the town of Bosanski
17 Petrovac, in the centre of town, but also in the villages where Bosniaks
18 lived. We talked about Rasinovac and Bjelaj. So this number far exceeded
19 the number of victims during the intimidation period, as we call it, that
20 is to say, the wartime period from the month of June until the month of
22 Q. Now, how was it that all -- or the majority of the Muslims then
23 left the municipality on the 24th of September? Was that by choice or was
24 that by order?
25 A. Oh, no, absolutely no choice. The Muslims didn't have any
1 choice. But I feel that they could hardly wait for this kind of a call.
2 It came from the police, the military police. They used a loudspeaker.
3 They were driving in a vehicle through the streets where the Bosniaks
4 lived, and they said that all the Bosniaks could take everything they
5 could carry, all their personal belongings, and they should meet at the
6 gasoline station, by the hotel, and that they would be transferred to
7 Travnik, to Central Bosnia, and that's exactly what happened. A long
8 column of Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, from Bosanski Petrovac, arrived in
9 this plateau then. Trucks were already waiting, trailers, and also a
10 small number of buses. I don't know exactly which number this involves,
11 but everything was ready to transfer the Muslims.
12 Of course, everybody had to pay for their tickets as well, and the
13 tickets amounted to 50 Deutschmark. I think that almost 99 per cent of
14 the Bosniaks of Bosanski Petrovac left Bosanski Petrovac on that day, or
15 rather, were expelled from Bosanski Petrovac on that day.
16 Q. And what route were you taken to Travnik?
17 A. Well, of course, along the road between Bosanski Petrovac and
18 Kljuc and then Mrkonjic Grad, in the direction of Crna Rijeka, leading
19 from the road towards Banja Luka, Karinovac, then the intersection, or
20 rather, across the bridge, the Vrbas bridge, in the direction of Skender
21 Vakuf, and of course across the Vlasic plateau, somewhere to the line,
22 what they said was the separation line. However, I noticed that the
23 separation line was much lower as regards the Bosniaks who were there at
24 that position. So they were unloaded from the trucks and we were told to
25 go away, not to look anywhere and not to deviate from that road, because
1 there were hills and mountains on either side, and then we went in the
2 direction of Turbe -- and what was the name of this other place? Yes,
4 Q. So for the last part of your journey, were you on buses or did you
5 have to walk?
6 A. This last part amounting to 20 kilometres, we had to cover that on
7 foot, that is to say, we didn't have any kind of transportation, none
9 Q. Before you were sent off to complete your journey on foot, on the
10 bus that you were on, were any of you searched or anything taken from you
11 by the Serbs?
12 A. Of course, I was not on the bus. I was in a truck that had a
13 trailer too. My entire family was there as well. Well, I personally did
14 not have such an experience, because we had bad luck on the way, if I can
15 put it that way. We were stopped two or three times, and we lost perhaps
16 two or three hours on account of that. Because the brakes broke down on
17 that particular truck. And we arrived at the line where we were supposed
18 to be taken off. We were the last ones. I was there around midnight.
19 However, those who arrived during the course of the day were indeed
20 exposed to brutal attacks. They had their valuables taken away from them,
21 watches, jewellery, rings, chains, et cetera. Of course, they were
22 threatened by firearms that pointed at their children. That's the way
23 they extorted these valuables from people, money and jewellery, namely.
24 Q. Could you just look, please, at P1861. This is a list,
25 apparently, of people who -- of peoples; of persons who sold real estate
1 in the municipality of Petrovac. Do you know people on this list, and can
2 you indicate, if we look at the first page, which, if any, you knew?
3 A. I practically knew all of these people. We're a small town. We
4 all knew each other, practically. Quite a few of us are even related, and
5 so on and so forth.
6 Q. Did any of those people who you know sell their property?
7 A. No one sold their property. Absolutely not. This has to do with
8 what we discussed a while ago, those contracts and the making of lists of
9 persons who were supposed to go through this exchange of property to the
10 area of Bihac. By your leave: These people really did have contracts
11 that were signed, contracts with representatives of the Serb people from
12 the area of Bihac.
13 Q. Did anybody make it to Bihac?
14 A. Only those who had left before the 27th of May. And of course, a
15 group that went through the International Red Cross. This group consisted
16 of some 30 to 40 passengers. They went to the territory of Bihac in order
17 to have their families reunited. They went from Bosanski Petrovac to
19 Q. Now, after that convoy of the 24th of September, how many Muslims,
20 roughly, were left in Bosanski Petrovac?
21 A. I think that the figure is between 70 -- 60 and 70 Muslims, or
22 rather, Bosniaks, who either had something to do with the Serb army, I
23 mean they were mobilised, or there were old men who could not leave, or
24 they had family members in the area of Banja Luka, people who lived in
25 Banja Luka at the time, that is. So they thought that in this way, they
1 could reach Banja Luka. A number of them actually managed to do so.
2 Q. Now, you've seen, through looking through these documents, that
3 throughout October, or in October, the municipality was -- the Crisis
4 Staff was reporting to issue decisions in relation to Muslims in the
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, 1853, 1854, 1855, all in fact dated the
7 28th of October and all effectively repeating earlier orders.
8 Q. Do you know of any Muslims who at that stage, for example, still
9 had their weekend cottages in the Ostrelj settlement?
10 A. No. I believe that I've already answered that question. There
11 were no Bosniaks up there. They did not reside there. They still had,
12 owned, their property up there, but they did not go there.
13 MS. KORNER: If Your Honours look at 1857, which is behind divider
14 52, you'll see that it's the original decision of the 18th of June, but it
15 seems to have been re-issued again on the 28th of October. And all the
16 ones before that, they're all the same day, the 28th of October, and
17 effectively they are literally word for word, although they are not quite
18 as obvious as that for the earlier decisions. And 1859, Petrovac public
19 security station is hereby instructed to increase patrols in areas where
20 large numbers of Muslims live, and especially -- I'm sorry. Perhaps
21 Mr. Hidic, could you have that, 1859.
22 Q. By the 28th of October, were there any Muslims left in the Bjelaj
23 local commune?
24 A. Yes, there were some of them in the local commune of Bjelaj.
25 Q. Yes. Mr. Hidic, thank you very much for your patience. That's
1 all I ask.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
3 Now, Mr. Hidic, you will recall that when you started giving
4 evidence here last week, I had explained to you something which I attach
5 great importance to, and that is that you are a witness here with a duty,
6 a responsibility, an obligation, to answer, as fully and as truthfully,
7 each question that is put to you, irrespective of who is putting the
8 question to you. In other words, now you're going to be cross-examined by
9 Mr. Cunningham for -- who is defending Mr. Brdjanin, and the obligation
10 that I mentioned to you, that I referred to just a couple of minutes ago,
11 applies to what you're going to be questioned upon now. You have no right
12 to make any distinction between the Prosecution and the Defence. Your
13 duty is to answer each and every question that will be put to you by
14 Mr. Cunningham. You will be protected if inappropriate questions are put,
15 and you will be allowed not to answer a question only if we say so;
16 otherwise, your duty is to answer each and every question.
17 Mr. Cunningham, it's in your hands.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: With your permission, Your Honour, may I move
19 down here?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. Please do. Make sure that the
21 audio system is working.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I proceed, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. Go ahead, Mr. Cunningham.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Cunningham:
25 Q. Mr. Hidic, I believe you told us that you are related to Mithid
1 Hidic [sic], who is now the mayor of Bosanski Petrovac?
2 A. Mirsad Hidic.
3 Q. M-i-t-h-i-d, Mithid [sic], that's how I pronounce it. I apologise
4 if I'm not pronouncing it correctly.
5 A. If I may say, Mithad [phoen] Hidic is my relative, but this
6 relationship is not close. We are not close relatives. And if you will
7 also allow me, he is no longer mayor. He was the mayor during the period
8 between 1995 and 1997. That was during the transition period.
9 Q. Okay. You are active in the local party, the local political
10 party, correct?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You need to specify which party, Mr. Cunningham,
12 because I believe there's more than one party.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Absolutely.
14 Q. Which party are you active in, sir?
15 A. The Party of Democratic Action, or SDA.
16 Q. And what is your position within the SDA?
17 A. Currently I am the president of the Executive Board of this
18 political party in Bosanski Petrovac.
19 Q. And very briefly, sir, tell me what that job entails. What are
20 your responsibilities?
21 A. Could you please clarify what you mean by your question? In what
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What are your functions, in other words? What are
24 your responsibilities as president of the SDA Executive Board in Bosanski
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am the president of the Executive
2 Board and I'm also the president of the municipal organisation on the
3 territory of Bosanski Petrovac municipality.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What does that mean? A municipal organisation?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That means --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Sort of a civic council or local council, or what --
7 maybe a matter of translation, of interpretation, but I don't understand
8 what a municipal organisation is. It's too generic a term. Are you
9 referring to the local council?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Executive Board is a body, an
11 executive body, that is, and that is above the organisation in the
12 municipal body. It is composed of the representatives of the citizens
13 from Bosanski Petrovac who are all its voluntary members.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
15 Q. In the materials given to us by the Prosecutor, there are a number
16 of statements, and you've had the opportunity to read the statements that
17 you gave to the investigators; am I correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. There is one statement from 11 November 1999. Does that sound
20 right? Your first statement.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. There is a second statement of 16 July 2000. Do you remember
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell me the circumstances, how it was that you gave the
1 second statement on 16 July 2000. And let me try to clarify the
2 question. Did you go seek out representatives of the Prosecutor's office
3 to give this statement or did they come to you?
4 A. I believe that they came to Bosanski Petrovac. They looked for me
5 and I responded to that, if that is what you mean, how this meeting came
6 about, that is, my meeting with these people, the representatives of the
8 Q. And when they came to your town and sought you out, what did they
9 ask you to do?
10 A. I can't remember exactly, but I know that they asked me questions,
11 that I answered those questions, and so on and so forth.
12 Q. Did they tell you that they needed more clarification in your
13 statement, they wanted more information? Did they make any statements
14 along those lines?
15 A. I can't remember, but I believe that there were questions along
16 those lines as well.
17 Q. I also have access to, and I want to ask you if you remember, your
18 statement of 30 July 2003 [sic], where you provided some clarification to
19 your earlier statements. Do you remember that?
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 2001.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: 2001.
23 Q. I apologise to you, sir. You made some clarifications in your
24 statements on 30 July 2001. Do you remember that?
25 A. I believe that we had one meeting. I don't remember whether this
1 was in 2001. And when I was shown this document, there were some
2 corrections regarding some of the previous questions that I had answered.
3 I don't know whether the mistakes were up to me or the recording of that
4 statement. And those were all really minor corrections, involving some
5 names of some people.
6 Q. You were then brought to The Hague and you met with the
7 Prosecutors before you testified. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And there was another statement, a very short statement, that was
10 produced to us following your meeting with the Prosecutor. Do you
11 remember that?
12 MS. KORNER: It's actually incorrect. The statement was made
13 before he had a meeting with me.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Okay. Well, then I apologise.
15 Q. What I'm -- to get right to the point, Mr. Hidic, on the 21st of
16 May, 2003, you made a statement in your native language about additional
17 information. Correct?
18 A. Yes. When I handed over some of the documents that I had brought
19 with me.
20 Q. Those are the only four written statements -- or let me rephrase
21 it. Are those the only four written statements that you have made
22 regarding the events that you have testified about?
23 A. I have never counted them, but I believe that I had four meetings
24 with the Prosecutor, so I believe that four statements have ensued from
25 these meetings that I've had in the past period.
1 Q. Have you made any statements, other statements, in connection with
2 interviews with anyone other than the Prosecutor or a representative of
3 the Prosecutor's office?
4 A. I have mentioned that on my arrival in Travnik in 1992, I gave a
5 statement to some international representatives.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. I don't know who they were.
8 Q. Fair enough. Let me ask the next question. Prior to your
9 testimony, have you met with any other person other than the Prosecutor or
10 a representative of the Prosecutor's office to discuss your case?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Which case?
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: To discuss -- excuse me, Your Honour. I
14 Q. To discuss your testimony in this case.
15 A. You asked me whether I have met before -- can you please explain?
16 I don't think I have understood you correctly.
17 MS. KORNER: I think it may help if you make it clear, if it's
18 made clear whether you mean a person in authority, some kind of authority
19 in BiH, or what have you.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'll clear it up.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham. You can go direct [Microphone not
22 activated] --
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
24 Q. Mr. Hidic, have you discussed your testimony that you were about
25 to give in this case with, for example, your friends back home in Bosanski
2 A. I did not discuss this, but we discussed the things that took
3 place in Bosanski Petrovac every day. I don't know whether -- who you
4 have in mind specifically, but what I can tell you, that we have daily
5 conversations about that at all levels. We talk amongst ourselves, we
6 talk at the local forum of administration, so every day we talk about
7 these things.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What we are interested in knowing is whether anyone
9 you may have discussed with the fact that you were going to come here and
10 give testimony, give evidence, whether you actually went into details,
11 whether you were told what to say, whether you were influenced in any
12 manner, whether you were reminded about things that you should mention or
13 not mention. Did you discuss the fact that you were going to give
14 evidence here and the substance or the would-be substance of your evidence
15 with anyone, be it individuals, be it authorities, whatever?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I understand the question. When
17 the Defence counsel put this question to me, I did not understand it
18 properly. So now I can answer that I have not had any contacts or
19 conversations about the testimony that I was to give here. So no, I have
20 not discussed my testimony with anybody.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
22 Q. Okay. I don't know if you have your very first 11 November 1999
23 statement available.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If he doesn't, may I --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's -- usher, please --
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: -- have it tendered to him.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Give him all the four statements straight
3 away, to spare us having to come --
4 MS. KORNER: There are three, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: There are four.
6 MS. KORNER: There are four. It's a mystery to me.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Actually, the fourth one that I have --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Three in 1999 -- 06/07/2000, 30/07/2001, and the
9 last one of the 21st of May
10 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. It's the same -- it's the 92 bis.
11 There are only actually three statements.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but --
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. It was simply to -- he attested to the truth of
14 the contents and made some changes.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
16 Q. Mr. Hidic, if you could go to your very first statement, that is
17 your statement of 11 November 1999, the very last -- I believe it's the
18 very last paragraph of that statement. And I'm going to read a paragraph
19 from it, and I just want to get your comment on this. I believe that the
20 end of that statement says: "I was doing research on these things that
21 happened in Bosanski Petrovac in the cause of my duties. It was putting
22 things into chronological order, locating witnesses, et cetera."
23 I believe that's the very last entry on your statement, 11
24 November 1999. Have you found that?
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. What did you mean by that?
2 A. This was an explanation that had to do with the war period, when I
3 had the opportunity to collect the statements of the eyewitnesses leaving
4 the territory of Bosanski Petrovac. So this has to do only with the war
6 Q. Okay. What I think I heard you say is that that statement has to
7 do with the fact that while you -- when you returned to Bosanski Petrovac,
8 one of the things that you did was go to the government buildings and look
9 for and collect documents. Correct?
10 A. Yes. When I returned to Bosanski Petrovac, I had the opportunity,
11 and I had access to the Bosanski Petrovac municipality building, and there
12 I found all the documents that were left behind in the archives of that
13 building in Bosanski Petrovac.
14 Q. And I believe you told us that that wasn't your immediate concern
15 when you returned to Bosanski Petrovac, that those documents came to you
16 after about a month.
17 A. Yes. When I returned, or a month after the return of the citizens
18 of Bosanski Petrovac returned in an organised manner, and that is
19 something I was in charge with, I went to the municipal building every
20 day. That's where my work took me, and that work was of humanitarian
21 nature. I was the coordinator of issues, humanitarian issues, and
22 obviously I had access to these documents, and people knew about that, but
23 not because I collected these things for somebody. I asked for these
24 documents for my own personal needs, to complement the things that I had
25 already recorded during the war. I wanted to compare what I heard from
1 the eyewitnesses with these other documents. I wanted to arrive at the
2 truth for my own personal reasons. I was not instructed to do so, because
3 there were already bodies which were already dealing with those issues in
4 a very specific way.
5 Q. The documents that you have provided to the Prosecutor's office,
6 including those documents that you brought with you to The Hague, were
7 those the only documents that you collected upon your return to Bosanski
9 A. They were not the only ones. This is just one source, one office,
10 or one archives. Some people who had had access to these materials came
11 to me, brought them to me, because they knew I collected them, and that's
12 why I recorded on the top, on the front page of every document, in the
13 order in which the sessions had taken place. I filed them as I received
14 them from the people who had gotten hold of them. This was accessible to
15 everybody. The archives was accessible to everybody, because it was not
16 under a lock; it was not safeguarded by anybody.
17 Q. I take it you collected many, many documents upon your return to
18 Bosanski Petrovac.
19 A. I wouldn't say that there were many documents. I mostly collected
20 the things that I was interested in, or some newspaper articles. There
21 were many such articles printed in Bosanski Petrovac, but I only collected
22 those that interested me, in order to find out what was going on in
23 Bosanski Petrovac after we had left.
24 Q. I'm going to change topics on you. I want to ask you a question.
25 You've been shown, and you obviously know about the layout, the map, that
1 is, Bosanski Petrovac. How far is Bihac from the city, the town of
2 Bosanski Petrovac?
3 A. 54 kilometres exactly.
4 Q. Okay. You told us that the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac does
5 not share a border with Croatia, but can you tell us how far it is from
6 the centre of town in Bosanski Petrovac to the Croatian border?
7 A. Croatian border? I never measured that distance, but along the
8 Una valley towards Lapac and Kulen Vakuf, I believe that this is the
9 shortest road towards Bosanski Pravac [phoen], or maybe not the shortest
10 road, but the shortest as the crow flies, that is, between Bosanski
11 Petrovac and the Republic of Croatia.
12 Q. And tell us how far that is, roughly.
13 A. I believe that this is up to 35 kilometres, obviously, if you take
14 the road, then it is a bit longer.
15 Q. And when did the hostilities, when did the actual combat fighting
16 start in Croatia?
17 A. It was in 1991, of course.
18 Q. And what month?
19 A. I don't know exactly, but I believe that it was in the second part
20 of 1991.
21 Q. I want to take you back now to 1990 and 1991, because you've told
22 us about how things started changing in Bosanski Petrovac, and I want to
23 ask you about some of the things that you saw and heard. The first area
24 that I want to talk to you about is how, in the late 1980s and early
25 1990s, you started seeing and hearing about a number of rallies being held
1 by Serbs and the political parties associated with the Serbs. One of the
2 things that you told us that was happening was there was an attempt or
3 discussion to exhume bodies of Serb partisans who had died fighting the
4 Nazis during the Second World War. Do you remember that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And there were -- I believe you told us that there were rallies
7 and meetings dealing with that. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The move to exhume the bodies, was that an effort to have these
10 individuals buried, buried in a manner consist with their religion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You certainly didn't oppose that, did you?
13 A. Absolutely not.
14 Q. You talked about how at these rallies dealing with the partisans
15 who died fighting in World War II, you talked about the rallies. Did you
16 ever hear or become aware of the fact of the accused speaking at any of
17 those rallies?
18 A. First of all, I would like to ask you not to mention the
19 partisans, because this is not about partisans; it is about the
20 representatives of the Serb people, as has been said, allegedly. But I
21 must say that there is the other part of the truth, namely, that in this
22 pit, along with the bones of the Serb civilians who were killed in 1941,
23 and in some other years, there are the bones of their representatives of
24 some other ethnic groups, primarily Croats, and also Muslims who were
25 brought there and killed. So this is not only a pit containing the bones
1 of the members of one ethnic group. The bones of others were there too.
2 Of course, historical facts point to that, and they were kept silent about
3 in the preceding period. So please do not mention the partisans, because
4 the partisans absolutely - how should I put this? - partisans were not
5 killed there and not thrown into that pit.
6 Q. I appreciate your answer, but my question was: At any of these
7 rallies dealing with the exhumation, did you hear the accused speak or
8 hear of him speaking at any of these rallies? That was my question.
9 A. Of course, if this has to do with the accused who is sitting here
10 in this courtroom, I can say that I did not, and I cannot claim that the
11 accused was not present. I don't know about that. But to the best of my
12 knowledge, he did not speak there, no.
13 Q. Let me talk to you about SDS rallies. During this time period,
14 other than -- let me rephrase. In addition to the rallies involving the
15 exhumation of the bodies, the SDS also had rallies in anticipation of the
16 election that was forthcoming?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The SDA also had rallies as well; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And at those rallies, would it be -- and you attended those
21 rallies, did you not?
22 A. Absolutely. Both rallies. If you are talking about the founding
23 rallies, yes.
24 Q. Okay. And at those founding rallies, the SDS, their
25 representatives, discussed what they could do to help their constituents;
2 A. Unfortunately, this founding rally - and I am talking about the
3 founding rally - was absolutely not dealing with what the SDS would do.
4 The rally was used for something quite different. Guests who participated
5 in the rally said some words that were absolutely terrifying, and it was
6 quite clear to every citizen in Bosanski Petrovac at the time that major
7 changes had taken place that would indeed have effects that were
8 corroborated by the future that followed. Very little reference was made
9 to crucial issues, like what they would do when they would come to power
10 in terms of the economy or what they would do in terms of further
11 developing the political system, if compared to the one that existed
13 Q. Okay. Part of what -- you told us that there were changes with
14 the election, with what happened after the election, and one of the things
15 that you told us changed was you started to see less channels on TV. Do
16 you remember that testimony?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And I believe you told us that what had happened is stations from,
19 for example, Sarajevo and other places, could not be received in Bosanski
20 Petrovac. Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That was one event or one thing that limited the amount of news
23 and programming and information that came from the TV. Correct?
24 A. It came from one direction only, that is to say, the Serb media.
25 Q. You had less channels. You also saw -- another reason you saw
1 less TV is because there were problems with the electricity, there were
2 some power outages, where at times you couldn't get radio or TV. Correct?
3 A. Well, since Ostrelj was destroyed in 1991, there were only two
4 programmes that had to do with Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was BH programme
5 1 of the Sarajevo television, programmes 1 and 2. They went through
6 Ostrelj only. Of course, some citizens from Bosanski Petrovac could also
7 follow the HTV programme that came from the transmitter at Pljesevica.
8 There were very few people who could follow the TV programme broadcast via
9 Kozara. There were very few. Perhaps some people could in the
10 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac follow that programme as well. I mean,
11 this is due to the altitude, the varying altitude in different parts of
12 the municipality -- I beg your pardon. Radio Sarajevo. It was very hard
13 to hear that, even in normal times. But starting from 1991, it was very,
14 very hard to hear Radio Sarajevo, and by 1992 it had become virtually
15 impossible. But we could hear Belgrade so clearly. We could follow it
16 during the war.
17 Q. Here's my point, and I think you told us this earlier: During
18 this time period what you started to hear was primarily Serbian broadcasts
19 that you characterised as very pro-Serbian. Would that be a fair
21 A. Yes, to the extent to which we could follow the Serb programme,
22 until we lost that too, that is to say, until there was no more
23 electricity, things like that.
24 Q. In one of the examples that the Prosecutor showed you was example
25 P1811. If we could show that to the witness.
1 THE REGISTRAR: 1811?
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: 1811, please.
3 Q. Do you remember looking at that exhibit, Mr. Hidic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I believe you told us there was no date on this. And if we
6 look at the face of the document, there is no date. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You don't know when this was broadcast, but would you agree with
9 me that it would make sense, by looking at the face of the document, that
10 it had to have started -- it had to have been broadcast after the start of
11 the fighting with Croatia?
12 A. I really cannot say. I cannot give an answer to this question,
13 because indeed I see this from a textual point of view, but I really never
14 had the opportunity of hearing this.
15 Q. Okay. I would like, with the Court's permission, to show you
16 another exhibit, which is P1834. We know by looking at the face of this
17 document that it is a -- it's dated 18 June 1992; correct?
18 A. The 18th of June. That's what it says here.
19 Q. And it appears to me that it is a directive from the Bosanski
20 Petrovac Municipal Assembly Crisis Staff to the radio station, telling
21 them to broadcast text and music to raise the combat readiness of the Serb
22 people. Do you see where that says that in that document?
23 A. I think that this could be heard over the local radio, that a
24 turnaround had been made as far as this local station was concerned, while
25 I managed to follow this radio station. That was its point, not only to
1 raise morale, but how should I put this? - there was an ethnic thrust, if
2 I can put it that way.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Korner, I have arranged with
4 the interpreters and the technicians have very kindly agreed that we sit
5 for a further ten minutes so that we recover the ten minutes we lost
6 earlier when I was not feeling well. So I thank the interpreters and the
7 technicians, and you can go ahead until 20 to 1.00.
8 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. The last two documents that I've shown you, Mr. Hidic, would you
10 agree with me that these documents are pro-Serbian, as you put it, that
11 they had an ethnic thrust to them? Correct?
12 A. If you expect me to give that kind of answer, I really cannot give
13 an answer to that question. I mean, on the basis of these two documents,
14 I cannot really say that they are nationalist. They have a completely
15 different role. They are of a different nature. And of course, somebody
16 did use them at that point in time.
17 Q. You would agree with me that they were directed to the Serbian
18 population, rather than the Bosniak population or the Croat population?
19 A. Of course. Of course. Of course. Of course. That's as clear as
21 Q. And in there, it talks about combat and fighting for Serbian
22 survival and things like that; correct?
23 A. As far as I could see from the first proclamation.
24 Q. And wouldn't it make sense to broadcast information like this over
25 the radio when the vast majority of the people in the army at this stage
1 were Serbs?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The Bosnian population in the vast majority -- excuse me, the
4 Bosniak population, the Muslim population, in the vast majority of cases,
5 had declined to be mobilised. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in your statements, you talk about the mobilisation that
8 happened during the early 1990s and in 1991. Do you remember those
9 statements in your written statements that you gave to the Prosecutor? Do
10 you remember talking about mobilisation in your statements?
11 A. I don't know how much I talked about mobilisation, but it's
12 possible that I did mention it, and it's possible that I did make some
13 statements to that effect.
14 Q. Well, if you need to refresh your recollection about those
15 statements, they're up there, so please take your time, because I'm going
16 to ask you some questions about that. So if you need to, please look at
17 the statements to refresh your recollection.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, while that's happening, can I just raise
19 one matter in respect of this document. This is one of the documents that
20 objection was taken to by Mr. Ackerman, on the grounds that it came from
21 AID and that it wasn't signed or stamped. Your Honour, it's now being
22 used, I gather, to assist the defence case, and I'm taking it that it's
23 accepted as an authentic document; otherwise, the questions make no sense.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, we're not waiving any prior objection that
25 we may have made.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 16304 to 16315.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm sorry. I know it's not
2 Mr. Cunningham, because it's not his objection, but I just want to make
3 this point for about the 999th time. Sweeping objections are made to the
4 admissibility. It is suggested that anything that comes from AID
5 potentially is forged, it's not signed or sealed, it's potentially an
6 invention. Then what happens is, what's contained in the document is put
7 to the witness as though it's the truth, and accepted. Now --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you are stepping into an area which we will
9 definitely --
10 MS. KORNER: I agree, Your Honour, but --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Because obviously what you are mentioning is
12 something that we will definitely have to take into consideration when we
13 will later on evaluate the objection that the Defence raised against all
14 documents coming from AID. Because as you well know, there could as well
15 be some documents coming from AID which are absolutely without any trace
16 of tenderability or whatever, others that -- what use has been made of
17 these documents by the Defence, if any, will, of course, carry its weight,
18 you know.
19 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, the only point that I'm trying to
20 make is that it's almost impossible to sort out, when one is looking at
21 the transcript after that, without going back to look at the objections,
22 if the Defence carry on by saying: We object to all of this. There's no
23 value to all of this. And then use the documents to put the contents to
24 the witness, clearly accepting what's said. And I really, for, again, I
25 say for the 999th time, I invite Mr. Ackerman to consider carefully before
1 issuing these blanket objections, whether they're justified, and in the
2 event that the documents are to be used by the Defence, to at least make
3 it clear that they're withdrawing their objection.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I proceed, Judge?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
8 Q. Mr. Hidic, I asked you to look at your statements to refresh your
9 recollection with regard to the statements you made about mobilisation. I
10 want to talk to you about that. At this time that we're talking about,
11 1990, 1991, the military obligation extended to all, irrespective of
12 whether they were Bosniak, Croat, or Serb. Correct?
13 A. Absolutely. That's the way it was from the very outset. But let
14 me tell you one thing: Mobilisation is something that people were dealing
15 with in Bosanski Petrovac, say, two years prior to the outbreak of the
16 war, perhaps even before that. They started dealing with mobilisation a
17 lot earlier, before all these things were said in 1991.
18 Q. Well, during the critical period that we're talking about, 1990
19 and 1991, you've already told us that the vast majority of Bosniaks did
20 not respond, did not agree to be called up to mobilisation. Right?
21 A. Of course that's right. The public was aware of the fact that the
22 presidency of the state, or rather, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
23 the time, did not approve of mobilisation, did not approve of that
24 mobilisation that was being carried out at that time. Military conscripts
25 who were Bosniaks probably took advantage of that, and therefore did not
1 report to units that were mentioned in their call-up papers.
2 Q. And there would be consequences under the law for someone who
3 didn't respond to the call-up, someone who did not respond to
4 mobilisation. Is that a fair statement?
5 A. I think that it was said that there would be consequences, but it
6 never happened that anybody was personally held accountable for not having
7 responded to the call-up; at least, I am not aware of any such thing
8 having taken place in Bosanski Petrovac, that either a Serb or a Bosniak
9 was held accountable for not responding to the call-up. Because in the
10 beginning, neither of these two ethnic groups responded to the call-up.
11 Q. Are you aware of anyone that lost their job, especially anyone who
12 had a government job, for failing to respond to the mobilisation order?
13 A. Of course, this happened in 1992, when there was general
14 mobilisation, or rather, when there was an order concerning mobilisation,
15 and it primarily came from the Serb leadership, and it had to do with
16 mobilisation. But I'm talking only about the municipality of Bosanski
18 Q. So I don't know if you ever answered my question. Are you aware
19 of anyone who lost their job for failing to be called up?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He answered before. He said: Of course, this
21 happened in 1992. So he did answer your question.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Okay, Your Honour. I just didn't take "of
23 course" as an answer, as an affirmative. If I could show the witness
25 Q. If we look at that exhibit, Mr. Hidic, doesn't that exhibit
1 reflect that - and this is maybe in the second paragraph down - that there
2 are penalties under the law for those who -- for conscripts who fail to
3 respond to mobilisation? Is that reflected in the middle of that
5 A. Yes. Yes, that's what this document says, and I believe that this
6 was carried out, in part, but later on. As for the number of persons who
7 were called up to Knin, Zeljava, and Bihac, this is the territory of
8 Croatia, and that is why people avoided responding to that call-up. They
9 were trying to avoid going to these particular areas. Zeljava is an
10 airport near Bihac, and this is the territory of Croatia. Of course,
11 Bosniaks were trying to avoid that. They avoided going to such units.
12 But there were cases when people, due to this imperative that was
13 mentioned here, that is, the possibility of criminal prosecution, that
14 they actually did go to these units. When we're talking about 1991, the
15 end of 1991, that is.
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, you had indicated you wanted to go to
17 12.40, and this is a perfect starting point.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break now, resuming at 2.00, and
19 we'll sit right through to 4.00.
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.41 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 2.05 p.m.
22 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Please take a seat.
1 Mr. Cunningham.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May it please the Court.
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Hidic. When we left, we were talking about
4 the changes that you saw in your hometown, your municipality of Bosanski
5 Petrovac, and I want to talk about something else you spoke about with the
6 Prosecutor last Thursday, and that has to do with how, in your view,
7 Bosniak men and women were losing their job. Before you came up -- I
8 requested that the usher tender Exhibit P1819 to you, and to refresh your
9 recollection, and I want you to take your time to look at this, my notes
10 reflect that that is an exhibit in which Dragan Milanovic moved to have
11 the directors of the power supply company, the director the veterinary
12 station and the director the post, telegraph, and telegram all be
14 Do you remember, first of all, last Thursday, talking about this
15 exhibit and this event?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And I believe you told us that all three of the directors were
18 Bosniaks; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And only two of the three were removed, and the director of the
21 post, telegraph, and telegram remained because, and I'm going to use your
22 words, he was an expert. Is that a fair statement?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You said because he was an expert, so
24 indispensable. But also because he was married to a Serb.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was about to say the same thing. It's
1 page 50 of the transcript of last Thursday.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
3 Q. Would you agree with me, Mr. Hidic, this was an example of a
4 Bosniak man keeping his employment, at least in part, because he was an
5 expert in his field?
6 A. Yes. I can confirm that you are partly correct. But in any case,
7 before the month of June or early in June he was replaced by a Serb, who
8 was also an SDS member, of course.
9 Q. And in your days and months looking at documents in Petrovac, did
10 you find anything that corroborated that, any documents that would
11 corroborate what you've just told us?
12 A. The fact is that by the end of June of 1992, no Bosniaks worked in
13 Bosanski Petrovac. They did not have an employment in any of the
14 services, ranging from janitors to doctors.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But you did not answer the question. You did not
16 answer the question. The question was whether you had -- whether you
17 found any documents proving or testifying to the termination of the
18 employment of this person and to his substitution by a Serb. Did you come
19 across any document which referred to these two events?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There are the minutes of the
21 Crisis Staff, which deal with that and which says that the former director
22 was replaced by Mr. Sokunovic, and this document indicates the exact time,
23 the exact date when this was done.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
25 Q. And is that a document that you brought with you from Bosanski
2 A. Yes. This document is among the documents that I brought with me.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think we looked at it. It's one of
4 the documents that we looked at on Thursday. I'll try and find it.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
6 Q. Following up on what you just said, I believe you just told us
7 that after a certain date, there were no Bosniaks in any position in
8 Petrovac. Correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. I want to talk about you and the head of finances. Now, I believe
11 you told us that you worked until mid-June of 1992. Correct?
12 A. Absolutely correct.
13 Q. And you were told, sometime in mid-June, simply not to return to
14 work; right?
15 A. Yes. The man who came to collect the keys from me told me exactly
17 Q. Were you ever asked to take a loyalty oath to the government?
18 A. Not me personally.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Exhibit P1876, decision
22 of -- Mr. Mersad Knezovic [phoen], present acting manager of PTT. Krjac
23 Petrovac [phoen] is dismissed from duty. Sokunovic [phone] from Petrovac
24 is appointed to PTT, and so on, acting manager in wartime.
25 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. I had asked you if you had to take a loyalty oath. You told me
2 that you didn't. I'd like you to look at Exhibit P1837, and this has to
3 do with the dismissal of Senada Mehdin, and if I've mispronounced that, I
5 A. I have a problem. I have difficulties reading this because the
6 part where the name is mentioned is somewhat blurred, and there are black
7 stains over that part, so I have difficulties reading it.
8 Q. Well, let me ask you this: You know, either from your personal
9 knowledge and conversations with her or from what you've heard from
10 someone else, that she was sacked. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that was around the end of June/mid-June, something in that
13 time frame, of 1992. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Because you couldn't read the document, because it might have been
16 blurred, I want you to assume with me that the document said that she had
17 been discharged because she did not want to swear a loyalty to the
18 government, okay? Assuming that, would it make sense to have someone like
19 the head of financing or accounting for the government doing a vital
20 function during wartime if she wasn't loyal to the government?
21 A. I don't know how she found employment. Her job was not
22 advertised. That's where she found herself when the war started, so I
23 cannot really give you a concrete answer. But I am aware of the fact that
24 she was dismissed, and she didn't leave through the door. She has to jump
25 out of the window, and she had to flee when she was leaving her job, so it
1 was not her walking out, but jumping out of the building.
2 Q. Okay. Are you telling us that people like Ms. Mehdin - and I
3 apologise again with the pronunciation - and other people, for example,
4 like yourself, were simply terminated, fired, sacked, whatever the word
5 may be, because you were Bosniaks?
6 A. I did not receive a piece of paper about my -- I didn't sign
7 anything. I did not receive any notification about my dismissal. The
8 only thing that I saw was my workbook that I found in the factory after
9 the war, and in that workbook it said that I stopped working on the 4th or
10 on the 5th of April. But I still claim that I never received an
11 enactment, a piece of paper, a document that I would have signed and that
12 would have had anything to do with my work or my job.
13 Q. Earlier you said: Everyone, from janitors to doctors, every
14 Bosniak from a janitor to a doctor, eventually lost their job. Do you
15 remember telling us that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I believe - and correct me if I'm wrong - I believe you are
18 suggesting to us that, at least in part, or a large part of the reason for
19 that, was because you were in fact Muslims, Bosniaks.
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. Now, let's talk about this time frame we're talking about, where
22 Bosniaks are getting sacked and terminated, 1991 to 1992. Thinking back
23 to 1991 and 1992, how was the economy in 1991/1992 compared to, say, 1987,
24 1988? Was it better in 1991, 1992 or worse in 1991, 1992?
25 A. It's very difficult for me to give you a precise answer, because
1 I'm not an economist. I know very little about that. But after the
2 multiparty elections, the situation did not improve in my town. The
3 situation was the same. I did not notice any particular changes that
4 would benefit the citizens. The only changes that happened were the ones
5 that eventually resulted in the war.
6 Q. Well, and the war -- the war that starts with Croatia, would you
7 agree with me, when that war starts, the war with Croatia, it affects the
8 local economy in Bosanski Petrovac?
9 A. I believe that it did have a certain influence, not only on
10 Bosanski Petrovac but also on the entire former Yugoslavia. There were
11 certain changes, first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, and obviously this
12 all led to major changes all over the place.
13 Q. Well, let's focus in on the economy in Bosanski Petrovac. What
14 the war in Croatia did was affected adversely, the economy got worse.
16 A. I believe that I've already said that I'm not a good economist,
17 that this is not my particular forte. But I've also said that I did not
18 notice any improvements, and I believe that this is what you asked me
19 here, that this is what your previous question was about.
20 Q. I'm not asking for an economist answer. I'm asking for an answer
21 from someone who watches what happens in his community, sees what's
22 happening with people at their jobs. Isn't it true, when the war with
23 Croatia starts, a number of people - Croats, Serbs, and Muslims - all are
24 affected by the war?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me help you, Mr. Cunningham.
1 As the war progressed and as matters got worse, the war with
2 Croatia, as matters got worse -- I remember reading through your statement
3 that you said that initially Bosanski Petrovac was not in any way affected
4 by the war, but then, as things started changing, then things really got
5 worse, even in Bosanski Petrovac. You've stated that you did not notice
6 any improvement in the state of the economy, generally speaking, in your
7 town. As we go along, as we proceed in time, did businesses start to
8 close down? Did the economy, in general, suffer? Were people better off
9 or better -- or worse off as a result of the war? The state of the
10 economy in general, did it -- certainly it did not register as any
11 progress. You have already told us that. But did it register any
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we focus on 1991 and on 1992, of
14 course there was a regress in that direction, because the exchange of
15 commodities changed. It was not the same as it used to be. And at this
16 time, it was mostly connected with the area of Republika Srpska, and at
17 that time I believe that this was already the case, and a lot of trade was
18 with the Serbian Vojvodina, with which Bosanski Petrovac had traditional
19 economic relations.
20 As far as the economy is concerned, the product that the economy,
21 Bosanski Petrovac, relied on was timber and timber product, but the
22 situation changed at that time. Sipad was no longer the major player on
23 the market. There were now new private entrepreneurs, other persons from
24 the political top which engaged in these activities instead of the
25 state-owned companies or previously incepted enterprises, and they did not
1 use the former channel of distribution, the ones that used to exist from
2 Sipad, Bosanski Petrovac, to other parts of the market.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Would you agree with me or not that a number of people, be they
6 Bosniaks, Serbs, or Croats, were put out of their jobs because of the
7 economy in 1992?
8 A. I couldn't agree with you.
9 Q. Okay. Let me change topics. One of the things you talked about
10 on Thursday, one of the things that concerned you, was the increased
11 presence of the military in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac. Do you
12 remember talking about that with us last Thursday?
13 A. Yes. That's what I said.
14 Q. I apologise for stepping on the translator's answer.
15 You also told us -- talked about weapons in Bosanski Petrovac, and
16 I'm going to talk to you about those two areas. You talked to us last
17 Thursday or testified last Thursday that the Bosniak community was
18 directed, ordered, to turn in firearms. Do you remember testifying about
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How did you hear about the order that came from the government,
22 the local government, to turn in the firearms?
23 A. It was a public order. It was an ultimatum, and it was made
25 Q. And when you heard this public order, did you gather up whatever
1 weapon or weapons you have -- and you turned it in. Correct?
2 A. No, not me personally, because I did not possess any firearms.
3 Q. Okay. My mistake. I apologise. Now, earlier you told us that
4 you were becoming very concerned about the situation that was developing
5 in Bosanski Petrovac. I take it you were concerned for your safety?
6 A. My concern was always personal concern for the safety of my family
7 and for my own safety, of course.
8 Q. And that was a concern that many other Bosniaks had as well.
10 A. Absolutely correct.
11 Q. In your testimony, as well as in your statement, you talked about
12 the 1991 census figures for Bosanski Petrovac, showing a little over
13 15.500 people. Do you remember that testimony?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And I believe you told us that a little bit over 20 per cent, I
16 believe you told us 22 per cent of that 15.500 were Bosniaks. Correct?
17 A. 22.1 per cent exactly.
18 Q. Okay. Of that 22.1 per cent out of the population of the
19 municipality that were Bosniaks, not one of those 31 -- over 3.000 people,
20 not one of those 3.000 Bosniaks kept a weapon? Is that what you've told
21 this Court?
22 A. This is not what I meant to say before this Trial Chamber. What I
23 wanted to say is that there were hunting rifles and that there were other
24 types of firearms as well, and this is what I said. So there was a
25 possibility to obtain all sorts of firearms through illegal channels, and
1 these firearms, as a rule, came from the front line. It was registered,
2 and as a rule, it was compromising for those who would purchase it from
3 those who were selling it.
4 Q. And my question is very simple: Are you -- and it's just this:
5 Based on what you saw, what you heard, you're not aware of any Bosniak who
6 didn't comply with the order? Every Bosniak turned in their guns is what
7 you're telling us?
8 A. My answer was not in that direction. I just confirmed what I said
9 here on Thursday in relation to the problem of weapons and disarmament, I
10 mean the way in which the disarmament took place.
11 Q. And I apologise, Mr. Hidic. It's probably the way that I'm asking
12 the question. This will be my last try. Are you aware of any Bosniaks
13 who didn't comply with the order to turn in any sort of firearm?
14 A. I really don't know about that. I really don't.
15 Q. Okay. Fair enough.
16 You told us on Thursday, as well as in your statements, that
17 before 1991, in your municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, there were no
18 military installations, there were no active-duty military, and there were
19 only reserves and TO in the area. Do you remember telling us that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that started, that changed, especially in 1992 that caused you
22 alarm, because you started seeing more soldiers, particularly Serb
23 soldiers, at active-duty reserves at installations that had been
24 established in your municipality. Right?
25 A. I did not say Serb soldiers. I said the army, the former Yugoslav
1 People's Army, coming from the area of Croatia. They came to Bosanski
2 Petrovac too, and I think that I said that Bosanski Petrovac was an
3 important centre in that part of Bosanska Krajina. And I saw these
4 endless columns, motorised columns, of the Yugoslav People's Army going to
5 Jajce, Banja Luka, and of course in the direction of Drvar, and then via
6 Drvar, to Knin. I think that that was my answer in response to that
7 question. The question was put to me by the Prosecutor.
8 Q. And I guess the point I'm trying to make is: In 1992, it would
9 make sense to have troops stationed in Bosanski Petrovac, the
10 municipality, because it was close to the front. Right?
11 A. In 1992, the situation was already quite different. Please. We
12 are talking about 1991, and we are talking about the Yugoslav army in the
13 area of Bosanski Petrovac. They were taken in, and I think that this was
14 actually a garrison that was moved, transferred, from Karlovac, came to
15 Bosanski Petrovac, and they were in Bosanski Petrovac all the way up to
16 Laniste, where the barracks were later. I think that this was an
17 engineering unit or some kind of technical unit of that nature.
18 Q. Okay. But you would agree with me, agree with the general notion
19 that it would make sense from a military standpoint to have your troops
20 close to the front. Correct?
21 A. I don't know what was deployed along the front line, but I'm
22 telling you about what I know. I'm not a military strategist. My
23 perceptions are very modest, and I am telling you only about what I saw,
24 what was a visual thing, and what was accessible to every citizen. Every
25 citizen could see things like this, namely, columns of the former Yugoslav
1 People's Army in the area of Bosanski Petrovac.
2 Q. Okay. Let's talk about the checkpoints, because I think you told
3 us, and correct me if I'm wrong, the checkpoints started being erected
4 about 1991.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you told -- I believe in your statement, you said that the
7 rationale, the basis for this was to prevent the infiltration of enemy
8 troops from Croatia. Do you remember saying anything like that in your
9 statement? And if you need to look, please do so.
10 A. I am going to avail myself of this opportunity.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, could you refer him precisely to
12 which of the three statements.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm talking about his original statement of --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: 1999.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: 10 November 1999. Let me see if I can locate
16 it. If I may interrupt, Your Honour, I see on page 3 of the English
17 version, 1, 2, 3 paragraphs down. And I apologise, Judge. I think that
18 was his --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've found this. Yes. Yes. I've
22 just found this paragraph here.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
24 Q. And you read where you stated in that statement that there was the
25 reason given was to prevent the infiltration of enemy troops from
1 Croatia. Correct?
2 A. Yes. This is what I knew, officially. This is what I was
3 officially aware of. May I remind you that I was still employed at the
4 time. I was still working and people came to the logistics centre to get
5 food and other things. People did know what was going on in the territory
6 of the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, and they knew why this was
7 happening. If necessary, I can even tell you an anecdote. A young man
8 from Drvar was arrested by mistake --
9 Q. Let me go ahead and interrupt you, because I don't think an
10 anecdote is necessary at this point. And I don't say that to be rude to
11 you, but here's my point, Mr. Hidic: I know you're not an economist, I
12 know you're not a military expert, but you would agree with me, would you
13 not, that it makes sense to set up checkpoints to prevent the enemy from
14 coming in to your homeland?
15 A. Yes. Yes. May I -- this has to do with checkpoints in Croatia.
16 This was not that type of thing. This was only in a certain part of the
17 area, in 1991 -- sorry -- no -- yes, it is 1991. So it's in a certain
18 area that these checkpoints were set up. So it was not that they were set
19 up in a war sense of the word. It wasn't like in 1992, as we were going
20 to Grabez. Then I saw these combat checkpoints.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Cunningham.
22 Let me ask you a question, Witness. Reading through that
23 particular paragraph of your first statement, I see that you were
24 meticulous, you were very precise, explaining where these checkpoints were
25 set up, and you say on the roads in Bosanski Petrovac, to Bihac, location
1 Vrtoce; road to Drvar, location Kolunic, close to Kljuc; location Bravsko,
2 road to Bosanska Krupa, location Krnjeusa. Would the set-up of
3 checkpoints at these locations tally with the reason that was put by the
4 authorities, namely, the prevention of infiltration of enemy groups from
5 Croatia? Are these checkpoints, checkpoints that would be good for
6 controlling -- or strategically placed for controlling, if possible,
7 infiltrations from Croatia? Yes. I'm waiting for you, for your answer.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can say that at first, when
9 the checkpoints were set up, they did not have that intention. The point
10 was to control the roads. So it was only traffic control, control of
11 normal civilian traffic taking place in that section of the road. So when
12 this checkpoint was first set up, that was its primary task. The vehicles
13 there were primarily trucks and passenger buses, especially the evening
14 bus that came from the area of Sarajevo and then went to Bihac through our
15 area, and also the other way around, from Bihac to Sarajevo. Of course,
16 there were other civilian vehicles that were stopped at that checkpoint
17 too. So this was one of the first checkpoints that was erected in the
18 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, and that was its
20 JUDGE AGIUS: As I see it, you have already explained to us that
21 Petrovac was -- had no border with Croatia, and I fail to understand, for
22 example, how a checkpoint on the road from Petrovac to Kljuc could in any
23 manner be tied up with trying to avert infiltration of enemy from Croatia,
24 because Kljuc is to the east of Petrovac. Is that correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very clear, Your Honour.
1 Bosanski Petrovac is east of Bihac. But as for the remainder of the
2 Croatian army, near Slunj, I think that's the last town in the territory
3 of Croatia that fell into the hands of the Serb army. So this was towards
4 the end of 1991. Via Kladusa, via Kladusa, these people, refugees from
5 that area, used the only possible way they took to get out. They went
6 through Bosanski Petrovac, in transit, of course. They went to some other
7 destination, and from there, they could be transferred to Croatia.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, I leave him to you, Mr. Cunningham.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Do you know Midho Druzic? Do you know that gentleman from
11 Bosanski Petrovac?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Now, is it -- I believe you told us on Thursday that it was --
14 these checkpoints had the effect of limiting the ability of non-Serbs to
15 travel within the municipality. Is that correct?
16 A. No, not within the municipality; outside the municipality.
17 Q. Non-Serbs were the only -- were not the only people that these
18 checkpoints limited, because these checkpoints also limited men of
19 military age. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you also told us that, at least early on in this process of
22 the checkpoints, not only non-Serbs were stopped, but even Serb men,
23 certain Serbs, were taken into custody. Correct?
24 A. It's not that they were taken into custody. They were taken off
25 these vehicles and were not allowed to continue their journey, those who
1 did not have the necessary papers.
2 Q. Both Serb and non-Serb. Correct?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Ultimately, acts of violence came to your community, and I want to
5 talk to you about those, not in detail, but I just want to make a couple
6 of points with you. For many of the violent acts, you came upon them the
7 following day, because they became common knowledge within your
8 community. Right?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. And I believe you told us of at least two deaths that were
11 followed by funerals that were attended by both Bosniaks and Serbs.
13 A. Yes. The first two killings that occurred, that's the way it
14 was. Well, perhaps something happened afterwards too, but there were less
16 Q. You have described how, in describing for us your knowledge of
17 some of these acts of violence, you talked about how the police would
18 arrive, do an on-site investigation, and then basically leave. I give you
19 the example of the gentleman who was shot and had to be buried right there
20 in his backyard, as an instance where the police came and did just an
21 on-site investigation.
22 A. On-site investigation. That's what was carried out by the police,
23 or rather, part of the police, from the police station in Bosanski
25 Q. And was there a concern within the Bosniak community that the
1 police were not doing their job, not following up in trying to find out
2 who had committed these violent acts upon the Bosniak community?
3 A. Actually, Bosniaks expected the results of this kind of
4 investigation, but we never found out about any kind of procedure, any
5 kind of investigation that was being carried out about the crimes
6 committed in the territory of Bosanski Petrovac.
7 Q. And that was especially true in 1992. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Based on your observations, you would agree with me, or based on
10 your knowledge, isn't it true that at times portions of the police, many
11 officers in the police, would be called up to the reserves and go to the
12 front, and go on active duty?
13 A. Well, not everybody. There were reservists who were at the front
14 line, but then most reservists were in town or at the checkpoints or
15 carrying out some duties within the town or the local communes of the
16 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac.
17 Q. But a good many of them actually got called up into actual duty,
18 actual duty at the fronts?
19 A. I think -- well, no. They went to the front line every now and
20 then. They went every now and then, and they were supposed to help out at
21 the front line, if I can put it that way. It's not that they were
22 permanently attached there.
23 Q. But you would agree with me that every day they spend at the front
24 line is one day less to investigate crimes in the municipality?
25 A. I think that there was a special team for investigating crimes,
1 and I don't think that this was the duty of the reserve policemen, or
2 could they do this. There were professional persons who were supposed to
3 do that, before the war and during the war. Such persons carried out
4 these on-site investigations at crime scenes.
5 Q. When talking about the destruction that came to your community,
6 you talked about a home that had been shelled and burned, and when you
7 went there the following day, you smelled a really, really bad odour, a
8 chemical odour. Do you remember that testimony?
9 A. Yes. When I talked about the attack on the Bosniak house of the
10 Redzicis, with rifle grenades, chemical components. I talked about one
11 house only where an attack was carried out, and in the morning, several
12 citizens were there, and also the representatives of the political
13 government. Let me point this out: A member of parliament was there,
14 Dragan Milanovic. He was there. He was there. He himself, in person.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Hidic --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And of course people asked --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Try to answer -- I'm trying to help you finish
18 today, because otherwise you will have to come again tomorrow. And
19 Mr. Cunningham is also trying hard to finish with you today. But in order
20 to help us help you, you need to answer the question, the whole question,
21 and nothing but the question. You're not answering the question. You're
22 telling us facts, some of which you had already told us before, and others
23 which you haven't been asked to relate. The question was: Do you
24 remember mentioning this incident? The answer should have been yes or no.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So please try to answer just the question and
2 nothing else beyond that.
3 Mr. Cunningham.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. And my next question is very simple. Are you suggesting that this
6 was a chemical weapon that was used against the Bosniaks?
7 A. It's not that I'm suggesting anything. It's a fact. There were
8 chemical components in what was used there. I mean, let me just say
9 this: That was the smell that could be felt, and also it could be felt in
10 the respiratory system.
11 Q. I want to talk to you -- have you testified briefly to the point
12 about the work obligation that you talked about? Because you were not in
13 the military, you were obligated, if requested to, if commanded to do so
14 by the government, to do your work obligation. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And those orders, did they typically come from the Ministry of
17 Defence? Because I remember you testifying that the order you got was
18 unusual. So my question is: Do the orders typically come from the
19 Ministry of Defence?
20 A. Not the ministry. This was the authority that worked in the field
21 of National Defence in the territory of the municipality of Bosanski
23 Q. And the order that you got was unusual. Tell us very, very
24 briefly why your order -- why you felt it was unusual. Did it not come
25 from the authority that worked in the field of National Defence in your
2 A. Well, the stamp said Titov Drvar. The stamp didn't say Bosanski
3 Petrovac, and that's what struck me. Everything that had to do with this
4 document had to do with Bosanski Petrovac, but the stamp came from Titov
5 Drvar, and that was my interpretation, because this was pretty obvious.
6 Q. And you know from what you saw in your municipality that many of
7 your fellow Bosniaks, when called up to do work obligation, for example,
8 did agricultural work during the summer; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. They also worked making the canals, working at the fish farm that
11 was in that area as well. Correct?
12 A. Unfortunately, Bosanski Petrovac doesn't have a fish farm, and
13 that was not anything that was involved in all of this in Bosanski
15 Q. But the gentlemen who got called up to do their work obligation
16 assisted in the wartime effort by helping out in the local economy.
18 A. No, of course, because they were not employed, so they didn't do
19 this during working hours. They were mobilised subsequently, after they
20 had been dismissed from work. That is when they were mobilised to do this
21 kind of work.
22 Q. Well, let's go ahead and talk about briefly -- your experience on
23 the work obligation was the one day where you went, by transport, to an
24 area close to the front lines, and that's when you told us that you were
25 confronted by men in military uniforms while you were waiting on the bus.
2 A. Yes. We were directly at the line. We saw each other directly,
3 and I even knew some of the men who were there at the line then.
4 Q. Okay. And when the men came on the bus and started acting in a
5 threatening and intimidating manner, it was clear to you they were upset
6 with the Bosniak community because, in their minds, the Bosniaks were not
7 assisting in the defence of the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac?
8 A. No. This is a group that showed up and that happily received the
9 news that there were Bosniaks at the front line and that they were on the
10 bus. So these were people who were quite different, who were not directly
11 linked to the line where we were then, I mean where we were.
12 Q. I'm confused, because you told us that there were a group of men
13 who got on the bus, acting threatening and in an intimidating manner.
14 That's not the same group of people you're talking about, is it?
15 A. Absolutely, these are different groups. This is a group that came
16 in motor vehicles.
17 Q. Okay. And those people who came in motor vehicles were upset with
18 the fact that you were a work crew, not a combat unit, ready to fight for
19 Bosanski Petrovac. That's one of the reasons they were upset with you.
21 A. They did not need any excuse. They did not look for any excuses.
22 They just saw Muslims on the bus and that was good enough excuse for them
23 to get on the bus and start taunting us.
24 Q. One of the ways they taunted you, one of the ways they intimidated
25 you, was statements to the effect that the Bosniak community is not doing
1 their fair share for the defence of the municipality?
2 A. Again, you are trying to get a different answer from me, but what
3 I'm saying is that they didn't care whether we were putting up defence or
4 not. The only thing that they cared about was that we were Muslims.
5 Q. I'm going to -- I want to talk to you about some documents now,
6 and believe me, I want to have you out of here by 4.00, so try to listen
7 to my question so we can move through this.
8 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, with the usher's permission -- with
9 your permission and the usher's assistance, can I show him P1813.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask Your Honour to speak
12 into the microphone. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I would like you, in the future, you and Ms. Baruch,
14 if possible, before proceeding with cross-examination, to give a list of
15 the documents that you intend to make use of. This has been the practice
16 that has been followed in the past.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I apologise to the Court about that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. I realise that you were not informed of
19 it. So we'll try to stick to it for the future.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's fair, Your Honour. What I'll try to do
21 is --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, if you can hand to the usher the
23 numbers of the documents you intend to bring forward. He will have them
25 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I apologise for my --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay, Mr. Cunningham. No need for that.
2 Please go ahead.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
4 Q. I believe you have Exhibit P -- excuse me, P1813 in front of you,
5 and I believe my notes reflect that this is the decision of the Petrovac
6 Municipal Assembly to break away from the Bihac Assembly. And I believe
7 you testified last Thursday that your municipality had always gravitated
8 towards Bihac. Do you remember talking about that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in the reasons given in the documents for the break away from
11 Bihac, you testified that some of the -- the reasons given were political,
12 and if I've mischaracterised your answer, please stop me, but I believe
13 you said that some of them were true and some of them were not true.
14 Do you remember that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell me, very quickly, what was true, and then tell us what was
17 not true. What was true, first of all?
18 A. It is very difficult for me to answer this question because this
19 decision does not contain any of that; and secondly, a lot of reasons were
20 given for which the Municipal Assembly Bosanski Petrovac had to decide to
21 leave the Bihac region. However, one of the reasons given was an economic
22 reason. This is totally unjustified, because the economic situation, not
23 only in Petrovac but also in some other municipalities in the Bihac
24 region, was very similar to the one in Petrovac. If the reason -- one of
25 the reasons given was communications and infrastructure, then again this
1 is not justified, because immediately before the war the waterline was
2 completed, and in 1991, the road was being built between Bosanski Petrovac
3 and Krupa; and this was the only road at that time that was not covered
4 with asphalt. The complete electrical infrastructure was good.
5 So I'm just telling you things that I can remember and that I can
6 cite off the top of my head as reasons given by the municipality to leave
7 the association of municipalities of Bihac. So I believe that this
8 decision was more a political or even ethnic-related decision. It was not
9 so much an economic or a similar decision.
10 Q. Okay. I want to talk to you now about Exhibit P1805, that is, the
11 Crisis Staff notes, dated 21 May 1992, covering the meeting held on 19 May
12 1992. And I really do want to have you out of here by 4.00. Look at
13 that --
14 A. I would be very glad if we could finish today, and I'll do my best
15 to speed things along on my side.
16 Q. Just try your best just to answer the question that's posed to
17 you, and I'm not saying this to be rude, but to remain focused on just
18 that question.
19 This is one of the documents that the Prosecutor talked about
20 where there were discussions at the Crisis Staff about cattle. Do you
21 remember the discussions about cattle?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you know the answer to this, agree; if you don't, that's
24 fine too. Did you know that the cattle that are being discussed,
25 specifically in this Crisis Staff report, were special dairy cattle that
1 needed special attention, otherwise they ran the risk of dying very, very
2 quickly? If you know that, fine; if not, that's fine too.
3 A. I believe that these cows originated from Kupres, from a farm, a
4 cattle-breeding farm in the territory of Kupres. They arrived in Bosanski
5 Petrovac, so I believe that the majority of that livestock came from that
6 area. Obviously, there were cows from other regions as well.
7 Q. Let me change the topic and give you a new document that you
8 talked about, which is Exhibit P1807, 1807 is the Crisis Staff notes from
9 May the 24th, and you've talked to us about this. And if I could, to help
10 you try to get out of here in time, take you to the fourth page, numbers 2
11 and number 3. With respect to number 2, that -- there's some sort of
12 decision, conclusion, decision made by the Crisis Staff that the ethnic
13 Muslims can stay at work in accordance with the needs of the company.
15 A. Yes, that is correct, of course.
16 Q. And number 3 talks about the establishment of a military court to
17 deal with those stealing, looting, things like that. Correct?
18 A. I believe that a court was indeed set up.
19 Q. So you --
20 A. So this is correct.
21 Q. And that would be some sort of move on behalf of the civilian
22 authorities to deal with the looting, the lawlessness that was happening
23 in the area. Correct?
24 A. I believe that this was just an attempt.
25 Q. While we're talking about war booty, and I'm going to use the
1 phrase that you used, I believe you testified last week - and I don't have
2 the document in front of me - that there was a request by the Bosanski
3 Petrovac Crisis Staff for assistance in dealing with the problem of
4 stealing and looting in the area. Do you remember talking about that,
5 generally speaking, last Thursday?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And there was an effort made to confiscate stolen property, and
8 you told us that it had been stacked up or piled up in front of the police
9 station. Correct?
10 A. Yes. What the police managed to confiscate from various
12 Q. Okay. But there were -- I think you told us there were
13 difficulties in getting it back to the rightful owner, although it had
14 been confiscated, there were difficulties in returning it.
15 A. No, this is not what I said. That property was never returned to
16 its rightful owners, and this is what the problem was all about.
17 Q. Okay. If I could show, with the usher's assistance, Exhibit
18 P1809. And in this, and if it will assist you, on page 3, it talks about
19 the use of the public security station Petrovac, used for detaining
20 perpetrators of criminal acts. And one of the things that you underlined
21 there was that prisoners in custody could be used doing work for a public
22 interest related to defensive preparations. Right?
23 A. Can you please tell me what page this is on? I can't find it.
24 Q. Go to page 3, towards the very bottom, number 3.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You are referring to the English version when --
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I apologise.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's page 2, paragraph numbered 3, the third
3 paragraph from the bottom. Are you referring to [B/C/S spoken] -- can you
4 read it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
8 Q. And my question to you was -- is now: Having located that
9 notation, prisoners could be used for doing work for a public interest
10 related to defence preparations. And is that one of the things that
11 happened in Bosanski Petrovac, that they did in fact go to help with
12 defensive preparations?
13 A. This did not happen to the prisoners in Bosanski Petrovac. The
14 detainees did not participate in the kind of works mentioned herein.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, in an effort to speed this along, can I
16 have a minute just to look through some notes?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
19 Q. I'd like to talk to you now about Prosecutor's Exhibit P1869,
20 which are the Crisis Staff notes of June 3rd, 1992, covering the meeting
21 of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Petrovac of June 2nd, 1992. And on the
22 first page of this document, under the notation that says "agenda," there
23 are discussions -- it's number 1, and on the English version it starts on
24 page 1 and continues to page 2, talking about how that non-Serbs be
25 allowed to leave the territory, under the condition that Serbs -- it talks
1 about an exchange of family for family.
2 Do you see that, sir?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. And what was -- and correct me if I'm wrong. I may be
5 wrong on my dates, but there what had happened was there was an effort to
6 exchange Bosniak property in Serb territories, such as Bosanski Petrovac,
7 with Serb territory in other areas. Correct?
8 A. Yes, but the area was defined in those talks, and it was defined
9 only to Bihac, and it was only Bihac that was the subject of
10 intra-municipal talks between Bihac and Bosanski Petrovac, that is, among
11 the top officials and top political leaders.
12 Q. And in actuality, some, but certainly not all of those exchanges,
13 took place because Bosniak families who made their way to Bihac did
14 acquire what had formerly been Serb property?
15 A. Yes. Very few Muslims from Bosanski Petrovac indeed left earlier,
16 before this road was closed, and they went to Bihac. Gradually they moved
17 in some of the houses. I don't know whether this was a part of the
18 aforementioned agreement or something else, because these people were not
19 present when contracts were being signed up in Bosanski Petrovac
20 municipality. They had left long before that.
21 Q. Okay. If I could, with the Court's permission and the usher's
22 assistance, talk with you about Exhibit 245A, which is, for the record,
23 the minutes of the Crisis Staff meeting of 14 June 1992.
24 In this meeting, the Crisis Staff discuss the question of the
25 Muslim community, and I'm talking -- I don't know if my notes -- my copy
1 shows -- I'm referring to the underlined portions that you underlined.
2 A. I don't have a copy with anything underlined in the minutes that
3 were -- that had now been given to me.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry. I apologise to you. This is the document
7 that was exhibited this morning by Ms. Korner, and not the one which was
8 in the binder before.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 245.1.
11 MS. KORNER: It is. I know there's a lot of confusion. This was
12 the one given to us by AID and the other ones are the ones provided by
13 Mr. Hidic.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Just for the sake of the fact that we all have
15 this document in front of us, I'd like to ask him about this.
16 Q. Is it true, sir, that in here, under item number 1, that the
17 Crisis Staff talks about the Muslims who -- the Bosniaks who have pledged
18 loyalty be included in the defensive preparations. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I want you to go to the page -- I believe it -- it might be your
21 next page, but it's the portion of the document that deals with the
22 conclusion. And in the conclusion, as we read it, that references the
23 Crisis Staff in Krajina. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And I apologise for stepping on your answer. But it talks about
1 requesting a session with the Crisis Staff in Krajina. Here's my
2 question: As you were looking through the documents that were available
3 to you in the municipality upon your return, did you try to gather every
4 document that referenced the Crisis Staff in Banja Luka?
5 A. No, of course not.
6 Q. And why is that?
7 A. I really don't know. At this moment, I can't answer this
8 question. But in any case, I did not come across any such documents that
9 would be directly connected with the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Petrovac or
10 the region of Banja Luka. I really did not come across the documents of
11 that sort. I may have come across some letters or documents referring to
12 some other documents of that kind, because even here it says the Crisis
13 Staff, Petrovac, is going to ask the Crisis Staff of the autonomous
14 province of Krajina. So this is what I've been talking about, the
15 addressee is related to the Crisis Staff.
16 Q. But you didn't find any documents that would show, for example, in
17 this case, that they first contacted the Crisis Staff in Krajina and then
18 that the Crisis Staff in Krajina did anything about it? You didn't find
19 any documents like that, did you?
20 A. No.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, may I have just a moment to talk to
22 Ms. Baruch, because I think I'm at an end.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Switch off the microphone, please.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I have no more questions of this witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
2 [Microphone not activated] Thank you for the efficient way in
3 which you conducted cross-examination.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just ask one question in
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, re-examination.
7 MS. KORNER: I see Your Honour is packing up. Only one question.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I was just clearing up papers from right in front of
9 me because they were piling up
10 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
11 Q. Mr. Hidic, you were asked about the founding rally, do you
12 remember, of the SDS in Bosanski Petrovac, by Mr. Cunningham?
13 A. Yes, but I was not given the opportunity to give my complete
14 answer to that question.
15 Q. Well, I want to ask you: One thing you said, because it was
16 suggested to you that what they were doing, what they were saying, was
17 what they could do to help their constituents, and your reply, partly, was
18 to this effect: That wasn't the case. It had very little to do with
19 crucial issues. And you highlighted those issues. But they used some
20 words that were absolutely terrifying.
21 What words did they use that were absolutely terrifying?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And also, while you are putting this question,
23 because this was a question that I was going to ask: He also mentions
24 guests participating in these rallies. He uses the word "guests." I
25 don't know whether that was a matter of interpretation or whether he
1 really used the word "guests." If perhaps he could explain. We could go
2 back to the text.
3 MS. KORNER: I think perhaps if you can --
4 Q. When you talk about guests, Mr. Hidic, what are you referring to?
5 A. Of course, I meant the presence of those people who were not
6 locals, who were not from Bosanski Petrovac municipality, but rather, came
7 from some other areas of the former Yugoslavia who were invited to attend
8 that as guests.
9 Q. Well, I think in -- when I was asking you questions on Thursday,
10 you mentioned people like Biljana Plavsic.
11 A. Now, Biljana Plavsic was present after the exhumation from
12 Rizovacka Jama. She attended a rally of people in Knosa [phoen] that was
13 staged on that occasion.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The phrase used, Ms. Korner, was guests who
15 participated in the rally.
16 MS. KORNER: Yes. I'm going to ask.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Said some words that were absolutely terrifying.
18 MS. KORNER: Right.
19 Q. First of all, can you remember who any of those guests were? If
20 you can't, say so.
21 A. Oh, I remember, absolutely. The first honourary guest at that
22 rally, Dr. Raskovic; then Bogdan Kecman, from the area of Kosovo, and he
23 came with the Kosovski Bozuri; then also the travelling suite was there,
24 that's what I called them, it was the group from Stara Pazova, that
25 travelled all over the place and they attended practically all the
1 important rallies that had to do with the establishment of the SDS in
2 Bosanska Krajina. Then from Knin there was Babic. Well, right this
3 moment, this is what I can remember. Perhaps if I had more time, I could
4 remember far more persons. So there were guests from all parts of the
5 former Yugoslavia. Vojvodina in particular, I would like to point out,
6 namely, Stara Pazova, and then Belgrade, Kosovo, and Kninska Krajina, and
7 of course Knin itself. Also from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
8 area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Guess. What was said that
10 terrified you?
11 A. The speeches of some of the speakers at that rally who talked
12 about the jeopardy of the Serbian people, that they were jeopardised by
13 the Ustashas from Croatia and the Turks, the Muslims, and the Muslims were
14 called to go back to their old faith, the faith of their forefathers.
15 Otherwise, they would suffer consequences, that is to say, they would be
16 impaled. That was what Mr. Bogdan Kecman said. Raskovic, who spoke the
17 longest at this meeting, he spoke about the conflict that was in the
18 offing between the Croats, the Ustashas, as he said, and the Serb people,
19 and he said that the spectre of the Ustashas was looming over the Serb
20 people again. I think that I managed to convey some of the words that
21 were uttered at that rally.
22 Although I came somewhat late, I wasn't there from the very
23 beginning, I mean when this discussion took place with the representatives
24 of the Serb people, even they were bitter about these impudent things that
25 were said in front of the town church, where the stalls were set up, I
1 mean that such words could be heard there. Yes, I just remembered now. A
2 peoples' hero from the Second World War, Djuran Kovacevic was from
3 Petrovac, he also gave himself the right to speak. And then a former
4 soldier spoke, a former JNA man, Marjanovic, Stanko Marjanovic. He was
5 one of the founders of the SDS in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac.
6 And so on and so forth, all the way up to Rajko Novakovic, nicknamed Mujo,
7 who was president of the SDS board eventually, and after the elections,
8 the president of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Petrovac.
9 Q. Now, just two final things, and I think you may have told us
10 before, but who was Mr. Raskovic?
11 A. Mr. Raskovic was the founder and president -- I mean, I don't know
12 which office he held exactly, but he was in very high places in that
13 period of time, in Bosanska Krajina and in Krajina in Croatia, among the
14 Serb people there. I think that at that rally, he was accorded very high
15 honours, practically like a visiting head of state. There was also a
16 horse-drawn carriage there for him. I also omitted to mention that
17 clergymen were also present at this rally. They spoke too. But I think
18 that their speech was more moderate, more tolerant, and it was more
19 understandable, when compared to the speeches made by the persons that I
20 referred to just now.
21 Q. And finally, Mr. Kecman, who you mentioned on a couple of
22 occasions, do you know what position he held in 1990?
23 A. What I know about this man is that originally he hailed from the
24 municipality of Bosanski Petrovac, Drinic, to be more specific, since the
25 Second World War, he had been living in Kosovo. I was told that he was
1 the president of this association called Kosovski Bozuri. They had some
2 sort of an important role to play in that area when they dealt with the
3 national issue.
4 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Hidic. That's all I ask you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Janu, who comes from the Czech Republic, would
6 like to put -- is going to put a question to you.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Hidic, I have only one question for you. When
9 you were dealing with the Prosecution Exhibit P1840 -- if the witness can
10 have this exhibit - it was the order of public security station for
11 isolation of the people from 1st July 1992. And when you were dealing
12 with this document, you said you know the majority of the people on this
13 list. Can you assist the Chamber, or clarify for us, if you know: If you
14 look at this list, can you tell us, was this list done together, randomly,
15 or was there any intent in other way, knowing those people, had those
16 people some special importance or was it just random list?
17 A. I'll try to be as brief as possible and to give a precise answer
18 to this question. The first person on this list, number 1, Ekrem Didovic,
19 is the first person to be arrested in the territory of the municipality of
20 Bosanski Petrovac. He had worked in Germany for many years, and then,
21 when he returned, he set up a company. So he worked as a businessman in
22 Bosanski Petrovac.
23 The other person is Zijad Ramic, Zika, again a successful
24 businessman from before the war, a private entrepreneur, of course, in
25 Bosanski Petrovac.
1 Ibrahim Hrkic, he's from Bjelaj. He doesn't belong to this
2 category of persons.
3 4, Husein Bajric is a man who was taken advantage of by the
4 police. He was released. Nobody knows why, how come he was released from
5 the camp at Kozila. After the war he was seen in the territory of Bihac,
6 or rather the region of Bihac.
7 Kartal Fadil, Kudja. He is also one of the private businessmen
8 there. He had his own car repair shop and so on.
9 Muhamed [as interpreted] Hidic is a relative of mine. He has a
10 university degree. He worked at SIP, the SIP company. He was a reserve
11 officer of the JNA, that is to say, the legal, legitimate Yugoslav army.
12 And in those other papers, it can be seen that he refused orders to
13 respond to call-up, simply because this was no longer the army that he had
14 belonged to.
15 Midhat Druzic is also a person from Petrovac I know very well. He
16 was a worker at Autotransport. He's a driver by profession. And he
17 happened to be on this list because a year or two before that he was
18 involved in the building and repair of the mosque in Donji Biscani, which
19 was regrettably destroyed in 1992. So I don't want to take up too much
20 time. And so on and so forth. I think that the first 20 persons from
21 this list happened to be entered in Bosanski Petrovac, at the prison
22 there. The prison became too small, so then some kind of a bigger prison
23 was made, an isolation centre, and of course people were brought into
24 custody every day, interrogated, detained, and so on.
25 I don't know whether I managed to answer the question that you put
1 to me.
2 JUDGE JANU: Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I do not have questions myself, which means that
4 essentially your testimony comes to an end here. You will soon leave this
5 courtroom, escorted by the usher, and you will be given all the attention
6 you require to enable you to return to your country. Only two things left
7 for me to say. One is to thank you, on behalf of the Tribunal, and my two
8 colleagues, Judge Janu from the Czech Republic and Judge Taya from Japan,
9 who is absent today due to personal problems. Thank you for having
10 accepted to come over and give evidence in this trial.
11 Last thing is to wish you a safe journey back home. You can now
12 leave the courtroom.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to thank you as well.
14 I am particularly pleased to have had this opportunity to come here and to
15 express what has been within me for years. I feel relieved in a way now.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Hidic.
18 Tomorrow, Mr. Kaiser.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's right. As I say, if possible,
20 Ms. Richterova is going to be taking the witness. We'd like to be able to
21 finish him tomorrow.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What I can promise you is --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Hoping that I will feel a little bit better
25 tomorrow, because I think I'm running a temperature at the moment, we'll
1 try -- we'll start at 9.00, and if we see at any time that there is a
2 likelihood that we might need a few more minutes, just give me the signal,
3 because you are in a better position to gauge that, give me the signal and
4 I'll try and see what we could do. I don't think it would be a major
5 problem if we need to sit for an extra half an hour or so.
6 MS. KORNER: As I say, Your Honour, exactly. If it looks like
7 it's only a few minutes --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, I would need to know, because I would
9 need to discuss it with the interpreters and the technicians, first and
11 MS. KORNER: Absolutely, but other than that it's the normal 9.00
12 to 1.45.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No. To 12.30.
14 MS. KORNER: Oh, I see. 9.00 to 12.30, yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 12.30 and then 2.00 to 4.00.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't think -- Mr. Cunningham told me
17 that he didn't intend to be very long, and like Your Honour, I'm most
18 impressed by the efficiency of his cross-examination. So I'm taking it
19 that it will be -- he will be finished tomorrow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 3.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
24 the 27th day of May 2003, at 9.00 a.m.