1 Monday, 16 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you follow me, follow what
11 I'm saying in a language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
13 can follow in a language I understand.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please take a chair.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good morning, Your Honours. Anna Richterova, Ann
17 Sutherland, assisted by Denise Gustin.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Richterova. Good morning to
19 you. Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman,
21 with David Cunningham and Sasa Vujic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I Thank you, and good morning to you too.
23 Yes, Madam Richterova.
24 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry. I have three very brief
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: The first one is we are withdrawing the Sipovo
3 motion for Rule 92 bis witnesses. There was only one witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me get the document, please.
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. This motion was filed on 8th of May, 2003,
7 and we are --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You've taken note of that, Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour I'm aware of that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: We advised Mr. Ackerman yesterday.
12 The other thing is we -- the Prosecution would like to request
13 conference 65 ter, if it is possible today after the court.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Purpose of the conference that you are requesting?
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: It is about the Scheduling Order.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] You can say what you need
17 to say here.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It is on, the microphone. You can say what you need
20 to say here, Madam Richterova. The main reason being that today we need
21 to be out of this courtroom by a quarter to 2.00, if not before. So there
22 is absolutely no way we can have a 65 ter meeting today. That's for
23 sure. Tomorrow I think we are pretty much in the same position, because
24 probably I'm going to have Initial Appearance.
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: We would like to request this conference in
1 chambers, if it is --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the purpose? What is your specific request?
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: I was just instructed by Ms. Korner to request
4 this conference, and I would be provided later with more information with
5 respect to this conference. I'm not at this moment ready to talk about
6 this. But also because we are three witnesses scheduled for today, so it
7 was the reason, just ask for this conference.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But I want details, because the whole concept of the
9 Rule 65 ter meetings outside and post the pre-trial stage is very much
10 limited. So in order to grant a 65 ter meeting, I must know precisely
11 what is the purpose of the meeting and -- because if the same things can
12 be achieved or discussed in open session, I will have them discussed in
13 open session, particularly knowing what has happened in the past when I
14 granted you 65 ter meetings.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, with your permission, I will raise
16 this issue tomorrow and I will be more specific, if you --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
18 MS. RICHTEROVA: And the last thing is with respect to the
19 following witness, not the one who will be called by Ms. Sutherland, but
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes.
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: This witness was granted protective measures,
23 facial and voice distortion; however, in my opinion, in the Prosecution's
24 opinion, the nature of her testimony and the unique situation, I think
25 that it is necessary that she testifies in closed session, like other
1 witnesses who will talk about the -- can we go to the private session for
2 a second?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think it's better if we go into private
5 [Private session]
12 Page 17583 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 17584 – redacted – private session.
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in open session. Before we bring in the
19 witness, Mr. Ackerman, please, Mr. Cunningham: Celinac municipality. You
20 filed an objection to the OTP exhibits on the 5th of June. We dealt with
21 Exhibits P1986, 1991 and 1992 already, in the course of the hearing of the
22 5th of June, and we decided to admit those three documents. However, you
23 had also objected to the following proposed exhibits: P1987, P107, P110,
24 and P1990. The argument that you bring forward, Mr. Ackerman, is that
25 these are newspaper articles; therefore, they constitute hearsay and
1 unreliable evidence or proof that cannot be tested through
2 cross-examination. You brought up the same argument that you went into
3 during the oral hearing on the 5th or I don't remember exactly when. Then
4 you also argued with regard to P1987 that the author is unknown. And you
5 do concede inter alia that P107 and P110 have already been admitted into
6 evidence. I put it to you that with regard to 107 and 110, there is
7 nothing to say at the present moment, at the present time, because they
8 have already been admitted. And with regard to the other two, that
9 perhaps we could, taking account of your objection which was dealt with
10 previously, as I said, we could hand down our decision orally here and
12 So, Ms. Sutherland, Madam Richterova, the documents P1987 and
13 P1990 are being admitted in evidence, with the usual caveat that their
14 probative value will be assessed at a later point in time when the Trial
15 Chamber comes to that exercise. In the meantime, they are being admitted.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think we can bring in the witness.
18 Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Sorry.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have just a few very brief matters.
20 With regard to what you just talked about, I included the two exhibits
21 that had already been admitted because it's my understanding that
22 basically anything the Prosecution is offering is being admitted, at least
23 provisionally, and later on that it can be reconsidered. And so what I
24 was basically asking for was reconsideration.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I took it --
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Based upon that new incomprehensible submission
2 that I have made.
3 With regard to the 92 bis responses, the Prosecutor has withdrawn
4 Sipovo, Bosanska Krupa and Bosanski Novi will be filed this afternoon.
5 It's going to take us another day or two with Kotor Varos or maybe even
6 three, but we'll have it in this week.
7 With regard to the Prosecution's request for a 65 ter conference,
8 I may not be here in the morning when they renew that request, so I just
9 want it very clear on the record that we are not joining in that request.
10 We would appear, if you decide to have such a hearing, of course, but
11 we're not joining the Prosecution in that regard.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, my cross-examination of this upcoming
14 witness is not going to last more than 30 or 45 minutes, and at the
15 conclusion of that period of time I'd ask permission to depart.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Leave?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think there will be any objection to that.
19 So Witness -- does he enjoy any protective measures?
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think so.
22 So Usher, could you please bring the witness in.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I need to deliver some documents to
24 the translation booth, so I'll just be a second.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, before we start the witness, may we
1 adjourn the witness at 1.30 this afternoon, whichever witness that we are
2 dealing with then, so that I may advise the Chamber of the reasons that
3 we -- the Prosecution is requesting that Ms. Richterova and myself attend
4 in chambers with Mr. Ackerman and Mr. Cunningham? But basically, it deals
5 with the importance of the witnesses that are coming up and the burden
6 that that is going to be placing on Mr. Ackerman's health.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps, Ms. Sutherland, you can file it in writing
9 straight away, and without at any moment pretending to speak for
10 Mr. Ackerman, who can speak for himself, and then we'll take everything
11 into consideration after having heard Mr. Ackerman, and we will decide
12 accordingly. But I am telling you that it will not be very easy to
13 convince me to grant a 65 ter meeting.
14 Would the witness please stand up. Good morning to you, sir, and
15 welcome to this Tribunal.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You are going to give evidence very shortly. Before
18 you do so, our Rules require that you enter a solemn declaration that in
19 the course of your testimony you will speak the truth, the whole truth,
20 and nothing but the truth. The text is contained in a piece of paper that
21 you have just been handed. Please read that aloud, and that will be your
22 solemn undertaking.
23 WITNESS: VAHID MUJKANOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
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: Yes. Please take a chair. Let me try and explain
3 to you very briefly what's going to happen. You gave -- you're here not
4 to give a full testimony, because statements that you have made before are
5 being taken into consideration and brought into the body of evidence of
6 this -- in this case. You are here to be cross-examined by the Defence
7 counsel for Radoslav Brdjanin, Mr. Ackerman, and your obligation is to
8 answer each and every question that is put to you in as full and as
9 truthful a manner as possible. If there is any question that you
10 shouldn't answer, we will stop you from answering it. We will protect
11 you. But otherwise, unless we tell you not to answer a question, please
12 try to answer the question as fully as you can.
13 Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I was wanting to ask the witness a
16 few preliminary questions before --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. Go ahead.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I do have a question about that. If
20 instead of being brought for cross-examination, this witness is now being
21 brought as a viva voce witness, then isn't it appropriate to withdraw the
22 Rule 92 bis request? The Rule provides that the witness may be brought
23 for cross-examination and now the Prosecution wants to conduct direct
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We have done it before, I mean provided these are
1 most of the time routine questions more than anything else.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I can ask him where he was born and things like
3 that. It am just -- I just am curious about it. That's all. I have no
4 major objection.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We have allowed it in the past, provided it was
6 limited to not the substance but --
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I was going to take the witness
8 through, since his statements are being tendered as evidence, I want to --
9 he has made three corrections to his ICTY statement which I wanted to
10 correct on the record.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And that's how we have done it in the past,
12 Mr. Ackerman.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: And then there is one other matter that I wish to
14 ask the witness about.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I think the corrections are in
16 writing, and I assume Your Honours have them.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we have them, but they are not being tendered
18 in evidence; no?
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I would have no objection to them being tendered
21 into evidence. It will save us a little bit of time.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland. Do proceed.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And if I see that you are going beyond the -- what
25 is proper, then I will stop you. But for the time being, proceed.
1 Examined by Ms. Sutherland:
2 Q. Sir, can you please state your name for the record.
3 A. Vahid Mujkanovic.
4 Q. You were born on the 10th of April --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That you don't need to. Go straight -- because that
6 is included in the statement itself.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. Sir, since coming to the Tribunal you've had an opportunity to
9 review the statements that you've made, and you made three corrections to
10 your statements given to the Office of the Prosecutor; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In your statement given to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 9th
13 of April, 2000, it states that you have six brothers and one sister. In
14 fact, you have five brothers and one sister; is this correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Your brother Mujo, who was married to Halima, who died on the 1st
17 of August, 1992; Ramadan; Raif; Dzevad, who was married to Djevida, who
18 was wounded on the 1st of August, 1992; and Naim. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Also in that statement, you stated that the person in charge of
21 the Territorial Defence was Gojko Djuric.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. He was in charge of the Territorial Defence in Popovac village; is
24 that correct?
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
1 witness said.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat what you said, please. Could you
3 repeat your answer, your reply.
4 A. Yes, I can. He was the commander of the Territorial Defence,
6 MS. SUTHERLAND:
7 Q. When you say he was the commander of the Territorial Defence --
8 Sahinovic --
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Do you know his first name?
11 A. Gojko.
12 Q. You also stated in your statement that on the 1st of August, 1992,
13 at 1700 hours, the first killing took place in Basici, and in fact this
14 should read on the 31st of July, 1992, at 1900 hours, the first killings
15 took place in Basici; is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I seek to tender the statements of
18 this witness taken on the 9th of April, 2000 and the 21st of February,
19 2003 as Exhibit P1980.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. The one of 9th April is P --?
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: P1980. And there's another statement, a very
22 short statement correcting the statement of the 9th of April, 2000, dated
23 the 21st of February, 2003. I don't know whether you want them to be
24 contained within the one exhibit number.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it could be within the same exhibit number.
1 So it will be .1 and .2?
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: If that's all right with you. I mean, it's up to
4 you. And the statement of the 26th and 27th -- no, no. Sorry, sorry,
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, we're only seeking to tender the
7 statements provided to the Office of the Prosecutor.
8 Could the witness be shown Exhibit P2005.7, and it is a
10 Q. Sir, what is shown in that photograph?
11 A. These are power -- some houses in the village of Basici. You can
12 see the Mujkanovic house.
13 Q. Taking the pointer and pointing on the machine to your right --
14 A. This is Ljubo Mujkanovic's house, that one there.
15 Q. Sir, the transcript -- the translation -- the interpretation we
16 got was Ljubo's house. Did you say Ejub's house?
17 A. Ejub.
18 Q. And you're pointing to the house up on the hill in the background
19 of the photograph?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Thank you. I've finished with that photograph.
22 Sir, in your statement, you go into detail about the killing of
23 Ejub Mujkanovic and Halima Mujkanovic and the wounding of Ismeta and
24 Dzevida Mujkanovic. And as His Honour informed you when you first began
25 your testimony that these statements are in evidence now and will be taken
1 into consideration. I just want to ask you one matter. In relation to
2 your brother Mujo, before he left the municipality of Celinac, did he have
3 to obtain or did he obtain a death certificate for his wife Halima?
4 A. No, he didn't get it.
5 Q. Who provided the death certificate for his wife?
6 A. Nobody got it for him. These documents were received only after
7 the exhumation.
8 Q. Did your brother Mujo speak to anyone in the municipal authorities
9 about obtaining a death certificate?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. Could you please tell the Court the circumstances about him
12 attending at the municipal authority building.
13 A. He went to the municipal hall to seek the death certificate and
14 report the death of his wife, who was killed, and they said they couldn't
15 do it. They could not say that she had been killed, that he had to sign a
16 statement that she had died of natural causes.
17 Q. Why did they say they couldn't do it?
18 A. That I don't know. I suppose because they were saying that there
19 were no murders and the like in the municipality of Celinac.
20 Q. Did your brother tell you that that's what they said?
21 A. Yes, he did.
22 Q. Was the death certificate amended at any point?
23 A. No. He was issued the death certificate of the identification of
24 the dead bodies in 2001.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up, please.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND:
2 Q. Could you please raise your voice. The interpreters are having
3 trouble hearing you. Was your brother's wife's body exhumed in 2001?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And was the death certificate then amended?
6 A. Yes, they were. That is, the first time he was issued with a
7 death certificate.
8 Q. And what was the cause of death on the death certificate?
9 A. She had died violently. That is what the book said.
10 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Ackerman. And you may remain
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Mujkanovic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. I want to talk to you first about this last issue that the
18 Prosecutor has been talking to you about, and that is the issuance of this
19 death certificate. Okay? Now, I suspect that if you went to the
20 municipality, in any municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina today, and
21 informed them that your wife had been murdered and that she would like a
22 death certificate to show that, they would refuse to issue it to you
23 without proof that she had been murdered. Don't you suspect that's the
25 A. Yes, but there was proof, because at that time the police reserve
1 force normally went out to the sites of murder.
2 Q. Yes, I understand that the circumstances of her death were
3 available at that time, but as I understand it, they were not made
4 available to the municipal authorities, those circumstances, other than
5 simply your brother saying that he would like them to issue a death
6 certificate showing that she had been killed. And they were only willing
7 to issue a death certificate basically showing that she was dead, if he
8 would certify that she was dead. Isn't that what happened?
9 A. No. No. No. It could be confirmed by the civilian authorities,
10 which had come out to conduct the on-site investigation, and they refused
11 to do that.
12 Q. Well, it could have been, but nobody asked them to. As I
13 understand it, your brother just went there and said: I want this death
14 certificate, and I want it to show that she was killed. And they said:
15 Not without further information. And as I understand it, he made no
16 effort to get an official report from the police or anyone else to prove
17 to them the circumstances of her death. Isn't that true?
18 A. At that time, nobody believed anything that a Bosniak might have
19 to say.
20 Q. Yes, I understand that's your position, but you didn't answer my
21 question. As I understand it, your brother made no effort to get an
22 official report from the police or any other authority to prove the
23 circumstances of his wife's death, but simply asked that the death
24 certificate be issued upon his word alone.
25 A. But they didn't give it to him. The police didn't give him its
1 report. Because the civilian authorities in the municipality did not
2 come, or any physician, to establish death. And it is a common fact that
3 whenever somebody dies, there must be a doctor's opinion and his finding,
4 but that didn't happen. They wouldn't allow any physician come near our
5 dead or wounded or anything.
6 Q. So now what you've just told us is that a death certificate could
7 not be issued showing the cause of death unless that death certificate was
8 signed by a physician who had made that determination; correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. All right. Thank you.
11 A. Not at all.
12 Q. In the year 1990, you told us in your report that you were working
13 illegally in Graz in Austria; correct?
14 A. It is, yes.
15 Q. What was it that was illegal about your working there?
16 A. I didn't have any papers.
17 Q. How were you able to actually work there if it was illegal, if you
18 didn't have any papers? How did that happen?
19 A. Well, I went to Austria, found a job, and I worked.
20 Q. The person who hired you, didn't they ask for your papers?
21 A. No.
22 Q. When 1991 came around, did you get involved in politics in any
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. In your statement, which has been admitted in evidence in this
1 case, you say -- you said this at one point: "As soon as the war in
2 Croatia started, local Serbs volunteered to fight." When you said in your
3 statement "local Serbs," who are you including in that? Is that just the
4 village of Basici or the Celinac municipality, or who are you referring
6 A. There were those, the neighbours in the village of Kablovi, and
7 people from the municipality of Celinac too who went to report for service
8 of their own.
9 Q. And then you went on to say that Muslims did not respond to the
10 mobilisation, and again, you're referring to the Celinac municipality,
11 Muslims in the Celinac municipality?
12 A. No. It's the village of Basici I'm talking about.
13 Q. All right. In that instance, then, you're limiting that to the
14 village of Basici, the Muslims of Basici did not respond; correct?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And then you say this: "The president of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 Alija Izetbegovic, instructed all Muslims not to go fight in Croatia."
18 How did you learn that?
19 A. Through mass media, through media of mass information.
20 Q. That could be radio, television, or newspaper. Do you remember
22 A. Through the news.
23 Q. When you say "news," do you mean radio?
24 A. TV news.
25 Q. And do you remember about when it was that you learned that
1 through the TV news?
2 A. I don't know the exact date.
3 Q. Why was it that the Muslims of Basici decided to obey what
4 Mr. Izetbegovic had instructed?
5 A. Mr. Izetbegovic called upon all -- the whole population of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina not to respond to mobilisation. How people -- what
7 people understood that to mean, I don't know. It varied from one man to
8 another. But this is the way I understood it, and I did not respond.
9 Q. Are you aware that some Muslims responded to the mobilisation call
10 in spite of what Izetbegovic said?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And don't you know that significant numbers of Muslims in the
13 Celinac municipality in fact responded to the mobilisation?
14 A. Yes, I know that.
15 Q. All right. Now, you told us that Serbs were selling weapons to
16 Muslims; correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. And to your knowledge, many Muslims, those are your words, many
19 Muslims bought weapons from Serbs; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And it's true, isn't it, that Muslims were buying weapons from
22 Serbs and then reselling them to other Muslims; right?
23 A. I don't know that. I didn't say that.
24 Q. But that's true, isn't it?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. You bought a Zastava 7.62, for which you paid 1.200 Deutschmarks,
2 didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell the Chamber what a Zastava 7.62 is. Describe it to the
5 Chamber, please.
6 A. It's a pistol, calibre 7.62 millimetres.
7 Q. Is it automatic?
8 A. A pistol cannot be semi-automatic. Everybody knows that. We all
9 know that.
10 Q. Well, you didn't have to cock it every time you wanted to fire it,
11 did you?
12 A. I never fired from it. It was --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, could you please repeat your last reply.
16 You started by saying: "I never fired from it." And then you said
17 something else which the interpreters didn't catch.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I never fired from it,
19 that I bought it as a new weapon, and it was seized from me as such.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Sir, if I suggested to you that probably the vast majority of
23 pistols are semi-automatic, would you disagree with me about that?
24 A. Yes. I would agree, because now I have a weapon with a licence.
25 Q. And is it a pistol?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. I take it it's not a Zastava.
3 A. No, it isn't.
4 Q. When you purchased this Zastava, did you buy ammunition for it?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. How much?
7 A. Two clips.
8 Q. How many bullets per clip?
9 A. Eight bullets per clip.
10 Q. So you had 16 rounds of ammunition and this pistol?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. For that, you paid 1.200 Deutschmarks. That's a pretty high
13 price, isn't it?
14 A. Well, that was the price.
15 Q. It was illegal for you to own that weapon, wasn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you have any concern that the Serb who sold it to you was just
18 going to turn you in for having an illegal weapon?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Is that because he was a friend of yours?
21 A. Because I didn't know him.
22 Q. And he didn't know you?
23 A. He didn't.
24 Q. Where was it that this transaction happened? It didn't happen in
25 Basici, I take it.
1 A. No, it didn't.
2 Q. Where did it happen?
3 A. In Kotor Varos.
4 Q. There came a time, then, didn't there, where there was a call for
5 the surrender of weapons?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And a few Muslims from your village, Basici, in fact did surrender
8 their weapons to the Crisis Staff in Popovac?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I think you told us five weapons were surrendered.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But you said that those of you who had illegal weapons did not
13 surrender them; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And you said that those were kept by you for your protection?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In the middle of June, four policemen came to your house who knew
18 that you had this Zastava, and asked that you turn it in?
19 A. So they did.
20 Q. You asked them to come into your house so you could give them the
21 weapon, didn't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And what they told you was they couldn't do that, they didn't have
24 the warrants necessary to permit them to enter your house; correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. And because they couldn't come in your house, they asked you to
2 bring the weapon out?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you brought out the weapon, plus the two clips of bullets, and
5 turned those over to the police?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You gave them all of the ammunition that you had, plus the weapon,
8 didn't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... four police on that
11 occasion was very correct, wasn't it?
12 A. Yes, it was.
13 Q. Then three days later, one of those police officers came to your
14 house and asked you and the other persons who had turned in weapons to
15 report to Crisis Staff headquarters in Popovac the next morning; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And seven of you went there?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the commander of the reserve police asked if you were the
20 owners of the weapons that had been turned in?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And five of you admitted that you were, and two of you denied it,
23 and the ones who denied it were set free?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. One of the people that was set free said the weapon was licensed,
1 and you say the other lied and said it was not his weapon.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Those of you who admitted it were detained in the cellar of that
4 building for a short time and you were not mistreated or beaten at all?
5 A. They didn't.
6 Q. You were then taken to Celinac, where you spent one night at the
7 police station there. You were questioned but not beaten?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. And the next morning you were taken before a misdemeanour judge
10 who sentenced you to 25 days in prison for possession of an illegal
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And that prison sentence was served at the Tunjice prison in Banja
14 Luka, for a period of 25 days, during which time you were not mistreated;
16 A. They didn't, no.
17 Q. And after you had served that sentence, you received a document,
18 written permission to return to Basici; correct?
19 A. So it is.
20 Q. And when you got back to Basici, Basici was under blockade. You
21 showed your papers to a soldier, a Serb soldier, upon arrival --
22 A. I did, yes.
23 Q. And that soldier walked you through the checkpoints so that you
24 could safely return to your village, didn't he?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, I want to talk to you about the killings that you -- just
2 very briefly about the killings that you described that occurred in
3 Basici, and you made a correction today that the first of those was on 31
4 July of 1992.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All the killings that you have described that occurred in the
7 village of Basici were at the hands of the Sugic brothers; correct?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And the Sugic brothers were from the neighbouring village of
10 Popovac, weren't they?
11 A. Yes, they were.
12 Q. You talked about three people being killed in the Basici village.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, there came a time when you wanted to bury these three people
15 at the Muslim cemetery but you were unable to go there, so you, along with
16 another person, went to Gojko Djuric and asked him to allow you to do the
17 burial at the Muslim cemetery; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I think you understand English; am I correct?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We just happen to have very efficient interpreters,
23 Mr. Ackerman, because actually you're going at quite a speed, both of you,
24 and I was wondering. But they are short questions and short answers, so
25 the ideal situation.
1 Yes, please proceed.
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. Mr. Djuric told you at that point that it would be too dangerous
4 for you to go there because there were extremist Serbs in the area who
5 might shoot you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I get the impression from hearing that and reading that that the
8 TO was involved in the process of trying to protect you from these extreme
9 Serb elements. Correct?
10 A. No, that is not correct.
11 Q. Well, on the 6th of August, just right around the time that you
12 were trying to do these burials, Djuric came to you and said that the
13 situation had gotten to the point that he could no longer guarantee your
14 safety, and for your safety, you should leave that area. Isn't that true?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And so you did leave, and after a little bit of travelling around,
17 you wound up at Vrbanja?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that's in the Banja Luka municipality, I believe. You stayed
20 there until July -- I'm sorry?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You stayed there until July 1993, and then you went to Travnik,
23 which was Muslim-controlled territory?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You say that in 1985, 1986, that you were working on a
1 construction site that was being supervised by Radoslav Brdjanin; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Where was that construction site?
4 A. It was in Tunjice, at the brickworks.
5 Q. Did you ever work with Mr. Brdjanin in Zagreb, that you can
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know if any of your brothers did? Do you know anything
9 about that?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. All right. You told the Prosecutor that you didn't ever see
12 Mr. Brdjanin during the year 1992; correct?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. And I take it when you --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You did not, you did not see him during 1992 or you
16 didn't tell the Prosecutors that you did not see Mr. Brdjanin during
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see him.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. And when you say you didn't see him, that would include seeing him
22 on television, wouldn't it?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You didn't see him on television either, did you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Do you know a person who lived in Celinac in 1992 by the name of
2 Sutka Spahic?
3 A. Supko.
4 Q. Did you know that person?
5 A. I don't know that name.
6 Q. I'd like you to look at an exhibit. Maybe this will help refresh
7 your memory. It's been marked as DB 143. I want you to see DB 143B,
8 which is the Serbian version. Now, what you have before you, sir, is a
9 decision from the Executive Board of the Celinac municipality, and it
10 appoints a graduate engineer of architecture by the name of Sutka Spahic,
11 to a position in the Celinac municipality. And it appears to be signed by
12 Radoslav Brdjanin. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes, I see that.
14 Q. You see the name Spahic, Sutka in that document. Does that --
15 A. I see that.
16 Q. Does that now remind you of who that person was?
17 A. Perhaps I would recognise them from seeing them around, but I
18 didn't have any direct contacts with that person.
19 Q. Do you know that the president of the municipality was named
20 Spahic, don't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you know whether or not this person was his wife?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. I take it you know by the name that this person was a Bosniak, a
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So the document shows Mr. Brdjanin appointing a Muslim to a
3 position on the 11th of May of 1992, doesn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Sir, thank you for your time, and I hope you have
6 a good trip home. We appreciate your coming. Thank you for being so
7 brief and so forth in answering my questions. It's helped us a great
8 deal, I think.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Ms. Sutherland, is there
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It is on. Ms. Sutherland, is there re-examination,
14 by any chance?
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Just one question, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 Re-examined by Ms. Sutherland:
18 Q. Sir, you were asked whether Gojko Djuric and the TO were trying to
19 protect the Muslim population and you said that that wasn't correct.
20 A. Yes, it's not correct.
21 Q. Why did you say that?
22 A. Because they are the ones who did all of that. A part of their
23 Territorial Defence did what they did to us.
24 Q. And when you say what they did to us, are you referring to the
25 killings and the wounding of people in your villages?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In your statement, and you briefly referred to it in your
3 cross-examination, you said that the villages of Basici and Mehovci were
4 barricaded in.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who was responsible for doing this?
7 A. The Territorial Defence, in my opinion.
8 Q. And I believe that you said that the village was barricaded from
9 sometime in May until you were expelled in August 1992.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you weren't allowed to leave your villages at all during that
12 period of time?
13 A. No.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Sutherland. There are no questions
16 from the Bench, which basically means, sir, that your testimony ends here.
17 On behalf of the Tribunal and particularly on behalf of Judge Janu,
18 Judge Taya, and myself, who are presiding over this trial, I should like
19 to thank you for having come over to give evidence, even if this involved
20 only a few minutes of evidence. But we do appreciate your effort and your
21 availability. I can assure you that on behalf -- that everyone here
22 wishes you a safe journey back home. Before you leave this courtroom,
23 before you're escorted out, may I assure you that you will receive all the
24 assistance you require to help you return home as quickly as possible.
25 Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Is the witness room in this courtroom always on this
4 side? Is there another one on the other side or ...
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: There are two waiting rooms, so the next witness
6 will be in that other room.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do we know need to close down the
8 curtains, Usher?
9 Mr. Ackerman, shall we see you tomorrow?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Maybe, Your Honour. Mr. Cunningham and I are
11 discussing how we're going to proceed for the rest of the week. I may not
12 be here tomorrow. We'll see. But thank you, Your Honour. May I depart
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is the usher. He went with the witness, yes.
17 If we can gain time or not waste time. Yes, usher. We need to bring the
18 curtains down. Please help the registrar. So the next witness is 7.114;
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 7.114?
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, 7.114, and the pseudonym is BT71.
23 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
24 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. We have voice and facial distortion for
25 this witness, so I don't know whether the technicians are ready.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm just wondering whether they need time to put the
2 voice distortion in place. Because probably they do.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the technical installation of the
4 voice distortion would take approximately ten minutes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have no option but -- if there is any
6 business that we can deal with in these ten minutes, we can do it, but
7 otherwise I think we'll just suspend the sitting for ten minutes.
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: -- earlier break and start quarter to --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps we could have the break now.
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I ask the cooperation of everyone, in order not
12 to waste time, and also because we may need to leave a little bit earlier
13 than usual, if we could reduce the break to 20 minutes. The interpreters
14 and the technicians in particular. Is that agreeable to you,
15 Mr. Cunningham and Madam Richterova?
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I don't have an objection to it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. And then if there is a
18 problem, then obviously you'll let us know. So it's 20 minutes' break.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, madam, and welcome to this Tribunal.
23 Let me explain to you a few things before you start giving evidence. You
24 have asked for certain protective measures.
25 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Are the microphones of the witness switched
2 on? Thank you. You have asked, first of all, that you will not be
3 referred to by your name, and indeed we have granted that. You will be
4 referred to by a number, a pseudonym. You are BT--?
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: BT71.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: BT71, and that's how you will be known inside this
7 Tribunal for the purposes of this case. You also asked for voice
8 distortion, which basically means that people outside this courtroom will
9 not be able to hear your real voice, but they will hear a travesty of it,
10 a completely changed, distorted voice, which is not your own. So as a
11 result, no one should be in a position to recognise you, to identify who
12 is giving evidence here, because your voice, as such, will be changed,
14 You also asked for face distortion, visual distortion, and this
15 has also been granted. If you look at your monitor now on video mode, you
16 will see how anyone else outside this courtroom will be seeing you. So no
17 one will be able to see your face, because of the squares, cubes, that you
18 see on your screen. That we call visual distortion, and that is by way of
19 a protective measure to hide further your identity.
20 Now, the Prosecution this morning asked us to grant that your
21 testimony be given in closed session, which basically means that it will
22 be completely private, no one will have access to it outside these four
23 walls, outside these four walls. The Defence have agreed, first of all,
24 that you do not need to go through the details that you describe in your
25 statement regarding the alleged sexual assault. The Prosecution is going
1 to be presenting your statement, which the three of us have already read,
2 in any case, and know the contents of, and that will spare you having to
3 tell us the sad part of the story again and again. This is to spare you.
4 If instead you prefer to say it again, we will give you every opportunity.
5 I don't want you to consider this as a means to shut your mouth at all. I
6 mean, I'm just trying to spare you. I have heard cases like this before,
7 and I know what a woman who has gone through such events as you describe
8 in your statement go through again in giving evidence, and I'm trying to
9 avoid this -- spare you having to do this.
10 I am pleased that Mr. Cunningham, appearing for Mr. Brdjanin here,
11 the accused in this trial, has agreed to this, and therefore there will
12 not be any need for that. However, you will be asked, of course, other
13 questions about other matters.
14 There are certain instances arising from your statement which, if
15 given in an open session, even though we are hiding your face, your voice,
16 et cetera, will reveal your identity, and therefore we will in due course,
17 as you proceed in your testimony, there will be moments when we will go
18 into closed session, but not for the entire sitting. There may be
19 instances where we can be in open session. There may be instances in
20 which we can be in private session, which is more or less very similar to
21 closed, but we will try to protect your identity as much as we can, and at
22 the same time, safeguard one of the principles which surrounds and which
23 govern such trials, namely, the publicity, that the proceedings ought to
24 be as public as possible.
25 Have you understood me?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And do you agree to give testimony under these
3 conditions? So the next thing that you need to do is stand up. You are
4 going to be given the text of a solemn declaration. (Redacted)
8 (Redacted). But this is the
9 equivalent of an oath. In other words, you will be making a solemn
10 undertaking with this Tribunal that in the course of your testimony, you
11 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, you need to turn off your ...
13 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the witness.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You need to raise your voice a little bit,
15 because --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters cannot hear the witness.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I want to make sure that the microphone is
18 functioning properly. Did the interpreters hear her voice or not? No, I
19 don't even hear interpreters myself. Can the interpreters hear me?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, we can hear you, Your Honour, but we cannot
21 hear the witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You didn't hear the witness. So we have a problem.
23 Can the witness try to speak again into the microphone, please. Is it
24 switched on, usher? Make sure that it is switched on.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS BT71
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. They have heard you now. Please take
5 a chair and relax. And last thing I want to say before we start is that
6 as soon as the witness stops speaking, talking, or while she is talking,
7 sorry, while she is talking, all other microphones must be switched off.
8 That's very important. All right? I'll be keeping an open eye.
9 So madam, you are now going to be asked a few questions by Madam
10 Richterova, and after that you will be cross-examined by Mr. Cunningham.
11 Madam Richterova.
12 Examined by Ms. Richterova:
13 Q. Good morning, Witness. I will show you a piece of paper on which
14 you will see your name. Please just confirm, yes or no, whether it is
15 your name.
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Please show it to Mr. Cunningham and to ourselves.
18 Thank you.
19 And that is being tendered and received as Exhibit number P19 --?
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: This will be P2114, under seal.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 2114, under seal. Thank you. Please proceed.
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, can we go to private session for a
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
25 [Private session]
12 Pages 17617 to 17633 – redacted – private session.
24 [Open session]
25 MS. RICHTEROVA:
1 Q. Witness, I do not want you now to mention any names, and just
2 describe the events as I am going to ask you.
3 When was your husband released?
4 A. On the 16th of November -- 16th of June, 1992.
5 Q. Did he tell you what happened to him while he was in police
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. Can you please describe what he told you?
9 A. One day he was in the lavatory, naked. He was beaten and forced
10 to sing some songs. And then they took him to an office, and he spent
11 five days sitting on a chair. And they kept beating him, and he showed me
12 how on his thigh, you could see the mark of army boot, and on the right
13 kidney and on the right thigh - I don't know exactly - he again had two
14 prints of those boots, one above the other. His one ear was cut. Because
15 he had to write a statement that he had not been selling weapons, that he
16 was in agreement with the Serb Krajina, that he had not participated in
17 any attack organised against Serb Krajina. He wrote that in Latin
18 alphabet; however, they forced him to eat that sheet of paper and then
19 forced him to write it in Cyrillic. Then he wrote it in Cyrillic. Yes,
20 and that would be it.
21 Q. In your statement, you also describe what he had to do with the
22 piece of paper on which he was writing in Latin script. Do you still
23 remember what it was?
24 A. Yes. He had to eat it. I've just told you.
25 Q. Now I want to direct your attention to the date of 25th of June,
1 1992, and you mentioned in your statement that the village of Kotor was
2 attacked. Do you know who attacked the village of Kotor?
3 A. The village of Kotor was attacked by Serb Specials and troops, and
4 they also wore army uniforms and they expelled people from the village of
6 Q. Did you see it?
7 A. Yes, I saw it all, because I live nearby.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to redact this or not?
9 MS. RICHTEROVA: I don't think so.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Let's go ahead. Thank you.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA:
12 Q. You stated that you were able to observe it. Can you please
13 elaborate on this, what you were able to see.
14 A. I could see fire being opened on the village of Kotor, because at
15 my house, there was a machine-gun out there on the pitch, and there were
16 mortars. And they -- and I saw them expel people across the bridge
17 towards Kotor Varos, towards the hospital. There were some 50 men. Later
18 on I heard that they had taken children to the school, to the elementary
20 Q. Did you see who accompanied or escorted these men?
21 A. My husband and I were outside, and he saw -- and I saw too,
22 people, four men, and I also saw a number of Serb Specials and uniformed
23 men. They headed towards the hospital.
24 Q. Were you able to hear anything unusual from the direction of the
1 A. Oh, yes. I heard bursts of fire and individual shots.
2 Q. Witness, did your husband recognise any of the soldiers who
3 escorted these men towards the hospital?
4 A. He took those four men from Kotor, because in 1991 when the war in
5 Croatia started, they opened fire on the Catholic church. And he told me
6 they had fired on the church. They will come to get me now and we won't
7 fare well.
8 Q. And did anyone come that day to your house?
9 A. They came sometime around half past 4.00, or perhaps 5.00. I'm
10 not sure. Between 4.00 and 5.00. And they took both of us out of the
11 house and my husband said: What do you want from me? I haven't done
12 anything to you. I spent five days in a prison. Let me live. I'll do
13 whatever you tell me to. And they said: We are policemen to you. We are
14 your God. We want you. And they took both of us. Since I was barefoot,
15 I asked one of them, with the long black hair, if I could go back and put
16 slippers or shoes or something on. And he told me to go back, and I went
17 back, and I started. And then he said: You have children. You can stay
18 at home.
19 So that I knew ...
20 Q. And after this, did you go to the police station at some stage to
21 find out what happened to your husband?
22 A. Yes. I immediately went to the police station, but there was a
23 curfew and I could not move about. We were allowed to move around only
24 between 9.00 and 11.00. But I went to look for Dubocanin, and he said
25 that one could look for him at any time, if need be. But he didn't come
1 immediately. He came half an hour later. And I told him that men from
2 Borce had taken him away, and he said that he would go after them. And
3 after that, I went to the police station again to look for him, and in the
4 morning, and he said: I'm sorry. Take care of the body.
5 Q. Witness, I will go back to the attack on Kotor. Do you know which
6 ethnicity prevailed in that village?
7 A. In that village, Muslims were a majority, and there were a few
8 Croats. Perhaps two or three Serb houses, but they were all new.
9 Q. In your statement, you mentioned that that day, on 25th of June,
10 you also saw a tractor. Can you describe, please, what exactly you saw?
11 A. Yes. After that, after I had come back from the police station, I
12 got into my flat. I looked through the windows. I looked outside and I
13 saw a tractor covered with tarpaulin. And there were columns on two sides
14 of it with a trailer. The tractor was -- and blood was oozing on two
15 sides. It was around 6.00 or half past 6.00.
16 Q. From your statement, we know that you left the Kotor Varos
17 municipality on about 22nd August 1992, and now I would like to talk to
18 you briefly about events or things which happened between the time of 11
19 of June and the time of your departure.
20 You already mentioned that you saw this attack on the village of
21 Kotor. Were you able to see from your apartment, or from somewhere else,
22 any other incidents of attacks on other villages?
23 A. No. Oh, I saw the village of Vecici attacked, but they were
24 flying and bombing the village of Vecici. And on the 24th of June, I saw
25 women and children in the village of Bilice being expelled towards Kotor
1 Varos, towards the town.
2 Q. Witness, in your statement is written that on 24th of July, 1992,
3 the village of Bilice was attacked. Today you said 24th of June. Is June
4 the right month?
5 A. June, June. Not July. The 24th of June. Oh, I'm so sorry.
6 Q. You already mentioned that there was a curfew. I would like to
7 show to the witness a few documents and ask her to comment on them. The
8 first one is Exhibit P2158. All these documents are from the Kotor Varos
9 binder. Just to speed up the process, I made extra copies.
10 I want witness to have a look on the page 00417168, because it is
11 legible copy, unlike the following one. And we can see that it is
12 decision -- we can place it on the ELMO. And it says: "Decision
13 permitting citizens freedom of movement in the town from 9.00 to 11.00
14 hours." And it is decision of Kotor Varos municipality Crisis Staff,
15 dated 15 of June, 1992.
16 Do you remember this decision?
17 A. I can't remember. I don't, but I know that after -- when my
18 husband came out of the police station, we went for a walk between 9.00
19 and 11.00. But they would inform us all over the town with a microphone.
20 THE INTERPRETER: As said.
21 A. What we had to do and how we could walk. But if you want me to
22 remember when that was, I don't know.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA:
24 Q. No, but you remember that there was this -- the freedom of moving
25 between 9.00 and 11.00?
1 A. Yes. That I know. And I remember it well, because since my
2 children were not with me, I had to go and get them. And I couldn't do
3 it. They were staying with their grandparents. And between 9.00 and
4 11.00 I had to go to the Crisis Staff to apply for a permit.
5 Q. We'll talk about this in a moment. Now --
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm done with this document, and I would like to
7 show the witness another one, which is P2180.
8 Q. And in a moment I will play you a video showing some news, but
9 this document is extract from the minutes of the 44th session of the
10 Crisis Staff held on 28th of June, 1992. And under item 1, the second
11 paragraph, it says: "It was agreed that a public announcement should be
12 made calling upon the population to report to the newly established
13 authorities any extremist groups in their villages so they can be caught
14 and destroyed."
15 Do you remember any such or similar announcement?
16 A. No, I did not.
17 Q. Now I would like to play a video. I hope we will be able to play
18 this video.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Yes, but something
20 happened with my monitor for sure. I mean, --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Something happened on my monitor on the video mode.
23 Yes, it's okay: Video evidence now -- anyway, let's get the video and see
24 whether we can proceed.
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: For the interpreters, we are -- Exhibit P510.
1 And for the interpreters, I am referring to the English translation, which
2 is page 00917437, starting "Banja Luka television announcer." So if we
3 could hear simultaneously as we go.
4 And please listen to what -- and have a look on your monitor and
5 tell us when we finish whether you saw this announcement.
6 [Videotape played]
7 BANJA LUKA TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: -- expel the individuals who had
8 arrived in our villages because your villages could be up in flames
9 because of them. We are in particular calling upon the Muslim people not
10 to be deceived by Croat extremists who push Muslims in front of them to
11 kill Serbs. You must understand that the Croat -- Croatian policy uses
12 Muslims for their own purposes. So Muslims go back to your homes, hand
13 over your weapons, and forget about the extremists who wish no well to you
14 or your children. To all those who return their weapons, we guarantee
15 absolute safety of their property and person. This is what the Crisis
16 Staff of Kotor Varos says in its announcement.
17 MS. RICHTEROVA: [Microphone not activated] We can stop it.
18 Q. Do you remember --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA:
21 Q. Do you remember seeing this news on TV?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were these announcements broadcast on a regular basis or was it
24 only on one occasion?
25 A. This was broadcast frequently. I was horrified by it, because I
1 know that other people did not organise anything.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: Now I want to play another part from this video,
3 and again, if you could tell us, after we will see it, whether you
4 remember seeing this shot in the year 1992 or later.
5 [Videotape played]
6 REPORTER: Could you please reply. Mr. Brdjanin, could you please
7 tell us why you arrived and what is your assessment of the latest
8 developments in the municipality.
9 RADOSLAV BRDJANIN: My obligation as president of the Crisis Staff
10 of the Autonomous Region is to visit all fronts. I must admit that most
11 of the time I was in the corridor leading to Serbia. But simply, my
12 visit, the reason for my coming here is that every Monday I must inform
13 the presidents of Crisis Staffs about the political situation in this
14 area. We must clean up our area, which unquestionably includes Kotor
15 Varos and Jajce, and the most important battle which is under way and
16 which I attended yesterday is the break through to Serbia. Simply, we can
17 see for ourselves that there can be no more negotiations with those waging
18 war against us. Those who took up arms must be defeated, hand them over,
19 and total Serb authority must rule here.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: We can stop here.
21 Q. Can you tell us whether you remember seeing this shot on TV,
22 either in -- not either. In 1992.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you watch -- was it on Banja Luka television or --
25 A. Yes, TV Banja Luka.
1 Q. Did you watch it regularly?
2 A. I didn't follow it regularly, but I did as much as I could.
3 Q. Now I want to change a little bit the subject and ask you about
4 your departure. And again, I want to show the witness a few documents.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richterova, these documents, if I think you're
6 referring to the ones I have in front of me, bear her name?
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: Not yet.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Not yet.
9 MS. RICHTEROVA: Not yet.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. When we get to that, please do
11 remind me so that we into closed session or private session or whatever.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: The first document is Exhibit 2182.
13 Q. And it says: "All those willing to move out of Kotor Varos are to
14 make a statement at the lower court, leaving the immovable property to the
15 social and political community."
16 My first question is: Were there any announcements broadcast or
17 transmitted in some other way, which would state that non-Serb or any
18 population can leave the municipality of Kotor Varos?
19 A. Yes, there were announcements over the radio and television, but
20 also every afternoon at 4.00 p.m. there was a vehicle with a microphone,
21 and it would state when the convoy was leaving, when we can pack, where we
22 can register, where we can report to, and that we could leave Kotor Varos.
23 Q. And as this document states that you had to go to make a statement
24 at the lower court. Was it the only authority you have to visit or did
25 you have to obtain some other permissions?
1 A. It wasn't the only statement that I had to give. I had to go to
2 the Crisis Staff, to the SUP, to get a permit, also to pay 200 German
3 marks. And I think I gave you those two certificates.
4 Q. Yes. We will deal with them in a moment.
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: I want to show the witness another document. It
6 is Exhibit P2218.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we have the English version on the ELMO, please.
8 Thank you.
9 MS. RICHTEROVA:
10 Q. And this document which you probably didn't see states that one
11 Lubija Gavric [phoen] is to compile and forward to the presidency a
12 detailed report on the resettlement of population, including the following
13 data: "The number of convoys moved out so far, the number of persons who
14 have moved out, and the conditions under which they moved out. Financial
15 report with updated information on receipts, and expenditures, and other
16 relevant information."
17 As we already heard, you left on 22nd or 23rd of August. But
18 were -- 1992. But were there any convoys before this date?
19 A. There were a couple of convoys. I don't know exactly how many. I
20 know only when my sister-in-law went out. I went to town to see her off
21 with the children, and this was something that was very difficult for me,
22 because then I remained there alone. My parents were in the village. The
23 children were not with me.
24 Q. That day you went to see your sister-in-law, do you still remember
25 approximately how many people were leaving that day?
1 A. I don't remember. I just said goodbye to her and I left, because
2 it was still curfew. I went with a Serb woman. She was allowed to move
4 Q. Can you tell us at least how many buses or trucks you saw that
6 A. I didn't pay attention to that. I just know how many there were
7 when I left, but ...
8 Q. And do you remember whether there was at least more than one bus?
9 A. There were several. There were a lot of people. There were more
10 than two or three hundred people there. They were all waiting in line to
11 register, and the line stretched from the municipality building to the --
12 to one of the cafes.
13 Q. And are you able to tell us what ethnicity were people who were
15 A. All those people were Muslims and Croats.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to show the witness Exhibit P2192.
17 Q. You mentioned that you had to go to the offices of the Crisis
18 Staff to get some permissions. Did you know --
19 A. Yes. Since my children were up in Obodnik, I had to go and
20 collect them. And since we didn't have a car, we had nothing, I didn't
21 know how to go there. I went to the Crisis Staff four times to ask for a
22 receipt, and this had to be between 9.00 and 11.00, and I was not able to
23 get this receipt, because Mr. Djekanovic wasn't there or they didn't
24 let me in. Once Mr. Komljenovic came by. He used to go to school with
25 me. And he asked me what I wanted there, and I told him that I wanted to
1 bring my children. He said: Where are the children? I said: They're in
2 Obodnik. And then he said: What do you need? And I said: I needed a
3 certificate, a receipt, in order to be able to move around. And then he
4 said: Okay and he issued this permit. He went inside, gave me the
5 permit, and then I went to collect the children.
6 Q. In fact, you answered before I managed to finish my question. My
7 question -- my question was: Did you know who were members of this Crisis
8 Staff in Kotor Varos?
9 A. I knew that Mr. Djekanovic was the president of the Crisis Staff,
10 that Mr. Komljenovic also was a member, that Mr. --
11 Q. Yes. You have a list -- I'm sorry. Sorry. You have a list of
12 names in front of you. It is extract from the minutes of the 63rd session
13 of the Crisis Staff held on 7th July 1992. And there is, under item 3, we
14 can see a list of members of the War Presidency. Please have a look at
15 this list and tell us whether you knew that these persons were members of
16 the Crisis Staff.
17 A. I only knew that Mr. Djekanovic was a president, that Komljenovic
18 worked there, that Zarko Mikic worked there, and Savo Tepic.
19 Q. Thank you. Now I will show you -- it is attachment to the witness
20 statement, which I suppose you have, because it was handed over together
21 with the witness statement. Otherwise, we have additional copies for Your
22 Honours, if need be. Can we show the witness -- but do not place it on
23 the ELMO.
24 The identification numbers of this document is for B/C/S language
25 0107-6799 until 0107-6800. And English translation is 0300-6839.
1 Where did you get this document or this piece of paper?
2 A. I went to the municipality and I received this document. But this
3 was all written down, but I only went somewhere around the 15th or the
4 16th of August.
5 Q. This document was issued by Municipal Assembly or by the office of
6 the Crisis Staff, to your knowledge?
7 A. I'm not able to say. I know that I received a document in the
8 municipality and that I got another document in the Crisis Staff. No. I
9 received this document at the police station, in front of the police
11 Q. Before you left, did you have to pay --
12 A. Excuse me. Yes.
13 Q. Before you left, did you have to pay any money; and if yes, to
15 A. Yes, I had to pay 200 German marks at the Crisis Staff, and I
16 received a receipt there, in front of the Crisis Staff.
17 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to tender this document into
18 evidence, and it will be P2116, under seal.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we see this document, Madam Richterova, please?
20 Because it hasn't been shown on the ELMO. It's being tendered under
21 seal. I just wanted to make sure that we have it, Madam Richterova.
22 These will be marked and put under seal, okay? Thank you.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: Now I would like to show the witness another
24 document. This document was provided to the Office of the Prosecutor by
25 the witness. It is document which is marked 0107-6801 in the B/C/S
1 language, and translation is 0190-2461.
2 Q. In the middle of this document --
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: We have additional copies if you --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Because what we have is the one
5 which ends with the number 2460. We have this, Madam Richterova, but when
6 you were describing the document earlier on, you referred to it as having
7 the ERN number, the English version, 0190-2461. This is basically --
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: 60.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: 60. Yes. So for the record, we're talking of the
10 ERN number 0190-2460, which we had already. And this is being marked
11 as --?
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: This will be marked P2117 under seal.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And it's being tendered and accepted, marked as said
14 and under seal.
15 MS. RICHTEROVA:
16 Q. I want to ask the witness: In the middle of this statement, it
17 says: "I declare that I am leaving the territory of the municipality of
18 Kotor Varos of my own free will for the following reasons," and then it
19 says: "I wish to go to Pozega with my children."
20 Were you really leaving the territory of Kotor Varos on your own
21 free will?
22 A. I wasn't able to go voluntarily. I had to go. I couldn't go
23 voluntarily, because all of this was organised. The evening before the
24 convoy left, they came and they looked for us. I had to leave, since all
25 of this was organised, who was going and so on. We had to go. I went to
1 save my children.
2 Q. Thank you. I am done with this document.
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: I want to show the witness Exhibit P2244, and we
4 can place it on the ELMO. It is extract from the minutes of the 60th
5 session of the War Presidency, held at 0800 hours of 22nd August, 1992,
6 signed Nedeljko Djekanovic, as chairperson of the War Presidency. And
7 under item 2, third paragraph, it says: "The War Presidency discussed the
8 issue of the organisation and security of the convoy of people moving out
9 of Kotor Varos municipality and which will be organised on 23rd of August,
11 Do you remember that you were leaving that day the Kotor Varos
13 A. I don't remember that.(Redacted)
15 (Redacted)So we
16 left on the 22nd. I don't remember about the 23rd.
17 Q. In fact, if I understand correctly what you said right now, on
18 22nd of August you were told that you were leaving the next day, which I
19 would understand that the following day of 22nd is 23rd. So can you
20 please clarify this point. Witness, if you do not remember exactly the
21 day when you left, we all understand. In your statement, you stated that
22 you left on 22nd of August. So was it in August you left the Kotor Varos
23 municipality? Is it correct?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go into private session for a
1 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 MS. RICHTEROVA:
12 Q. Witness, can you tell us what you had to do. Because we already
13 mentioned it briefly, but now if you could, in detail, tell us what did
14 you have to do to be able to leave the municipality of Kotor Varos? What
15 kind of permissions, reports, you had to have to be able to leave.
16 A. I gave you those two documents, the deregistration of residents
17 and this other document. I had to pay also, and pay all my outstanding
18 bills also, and then we were able to leave.
19 Q. The day you left, do you remember how many people left the
20 municipality together with you?
21 A. There were about 500 people. They were all Muslims and Croats
22 from town. There were about 8 to 10 buses. We entered the first bus,
23 because I was afraid for the children.
24 Q. And are you able to tell us which ethnicity were people on this
1 A. They were Muslims and Croats by ethnicity, and there were two
2 armed Serb soldiers, or policemen. Since I knew one of the police
3 officers, we were on good terms, he was on good terms with me and my
4 husband, so I entered that bus where he was. So we didn't have any
5 problems, until Skender. He knew what my problem was and he said: You
6 will come out alive. So we came out alive.
7 Q. And witness, I used singular when I said on the bus. Were in
8 other buses also only Muslims and Croats?
9 A. Yes. It was the same in the other buses. There were two
10 policemen in each bus, and each driver also was a Serb.
11 Q. I have another subject to cover, and I want to show the witness
12 Exhibit P2185. And for the witness, if you could read the second
13 paragraph under item 3. It is still page 1, and it is the same for
14 English version. It says: "In relation to the incident involving the
15 setting fire to the Catholic church, it was agreed to investigate who had
16 done it and to order the placing of security around the house where the
17 priests are."
18 Do you remember seeing the church in flames?
19 A. Yes, I could see the church burning, glass burning, and the
20 steeple was destroyed, and the church burnt for two days.
21 Q. The document I am reading from is dated 2nd of July, 1992. I
22 understand that this happened 11 years ago, but do you think that the date
23 is correct? Could the church be set on fire at the beginning of July?
24 A. I couldn't say.
25 Q. Did you see any other religious building being destroyed or
2 A. When I went to that village --
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: Can we go to private session, please?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 17653– redacted – private session.
12 Pages 17654 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 17655 – redacted – private session.
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
4 Q. While you were -- after you were released, but before your husband
5 was released, Dubocanin would come by your apartment and question you;
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone, please.
8 A. Correct, every night.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
10 Q. And again, he was trying to get information about guns and who
11 might have weapons, things of that sort; correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. After your husband was released, he, Dubocanin, still came to the
14 apartment to question both of you; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. I want to take you back to June 25th, the date of your husband's
17 disappearance. After your husband was taken away, you attempted to go to
18 the SUP and speak with Mr. Dubocanin; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Because he, Dubocanin, had told you at one time, if there were any
21 problems, to come see him immediately; correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. What you wanted to do, obviously, on that day your husband
24 disappeared was to try to get information from Mr. Dubocanin; correct?
25 A. Yes. I wanted him to help him, because I knew that nothing good
1 would come out of it.
2 Q. Were you able to speak to Mr. Dubocanin that first day?
3 A. Yes. Half an hour later.
4 Q. And you told him what had happened, you told him about the men
5 that had taken your husband away; correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. And do you remember what Dubocanin said to you?
8 A. Yes, that he was very sorry, that he couldn't help me, and that we
9 should take care of the body.
10 Q. Did he say, this first time that you went to -- when you explained
11 to him what had happened, did he curse the mothers of the men from that
12 village and say that he would go look for him -- for them?
13 A. Yes. He went to look for them straight away, and he did say that.
14 Q. And please correct me if I'm wrong. I think it's -- that happens
15 the first day that your husband disappears, and then the next day you and
16 your sister-in-law go to the SUP to speak to Mr. Dubocanin; correct?
17 A. No. No. That day I talked with Dubocanin half an hour later, and
18 in the morning I did it once again, because I had no information. He left
19 and didn't come to my place. That is, he had said he would come but
20 didn't. And that is why the next morning I went to him, that is, to the
21 police station, with my sister-in-law's husband, not with my
22 sister-in-law. And he then told me that he was sorry and that I should
23 take care of the body. Not that day, but the next day.
24 Q. I want to talk to you about the steps that you took in order to
25 get your children, who were in another village in the municipality. I
1 believe you told us that you had to go to the Crisis Staff in order to get
2 the permission to travel to where your children were. Is that correct?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. And you had a friend from your school days, a Serb, who assisted
5 you in getting the documents that you needed to travel to pick up your
6 children; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And when you were reunited with your children physically, they
9 were -- were they okay?
10 A. The children were very thin. (Redacted)
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session, in any case. No, we
13 are --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm so sorry.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, so let's go for a while into
16 private session.
17 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam, you were telling us that when you were
3 reunited with your children, you noticed that the children were very thin.
4 And you were telling us something about your daughter. What was wrong
5 with her?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She was pulling her hair out, or she
7 had psychological problems after we left. But now she is all right.
8 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, I'm out of that area, if you want to
9 go back into open session.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I apologise. Just -- I'm trying to get this
12 down. I apologise.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I realise that, Mr. Cunningham. It's not easy.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
15 Q. My final questions to you deal with your efforts before you left
16 Kotor Varos to get a death certificate for your husband. And I
17 understand, by looking at the documents that were provided to us, that you
18 had to go down and speak to some sort of judicial authority for that.
19 When you gave the information about your husband's disappearance and the
20 witness to this officer, this judicial officer, were you also hoping that
21 they would do an investigation into your husband's death?
22 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your microphone, please.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you. I apologise.
24 A. Well, I was hoping, but I didn't believe it would happen, because
25 I was no longer there. I had left.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's all the questions I have. Please have a
2 safe journey home.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Cunningham. Is there
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, I have I do not have any questions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That brings your testimony to an end, madam. On
7 behalf of the Tribunal and on behalf of ourselves, Judge Janu, Judge Taya,
8 and myself, as Presiding Judges in this trial, I should like to thank you
9 for having come over to give testimony. You will be ushered out of this
10 courtroom by the usher, by Madam Usher, and as you see, we are taking all
11 precautions to ensure that you're not seen by anyone on your way out.
12 Last but not least, on behalf again of everyone present here, I should
13 like to join Prosecution and Mr. Cunningham in wishing you a safe journey
14 back home. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Is the next witness ready after the break?
18 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, he's ready.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Does he have -- I think he has, no?
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. He has closed session.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. All right. So we'll have a 20-minute break,
22 if that's okay with everyone. If there is a problem, we will reconvene
23 later, but we'll try to keep it 20 minutes, please.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
1 [Closed session]
12 Pages 17622 to 17673 – redacted – closed session.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.32 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day of
11 June 2003, at 9.00 a.m.