1 Tuesday, 10 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 The appearances, as I see, Mr. Harmon is not there for the
10 Prosecution, but Mr. Tieger and Mr. Hannis are there, and the whole
11 Defence team is present.
12 Before we continue with the cross-examination of Witness 018, I'd
13 just like to verify a change in the order of calling witnesses, which is
14 that today we will continue the cross-examination of Witness 018, then we
15 certainly will have some time left. The Chamber has not seen yet, but I
16 was informed that the Defence has filed submissions in respect of the time
17 of the testimony of Mr. Deronjic; is that correct?
18 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, it's a little bit wider than
19 that. It's certainly -- it's a Defence motion which includes two points,
20 one, that Mr. Deronjic has been notified after that deadline, which was
21 set some considerable time ago, but there's also another substantive
22 point, which is that we're saying that Mr. Deronjic should not give
23 evidence in circumstances in which he find himself at the moment, which is
24 that he is awaiting sentence in his own case. That is it in a nutshell,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I mainly refer to that second point. Of course,
2 we'll have a look at the first point as well.
3 Since Mr. Deronjic has been scheduled for Thursday, the Chamber
4 would like to take a decision on the submissions. Is the Prosecution
5 ready to either, in writing or orally, give its position in respect of
6 these two questions?
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we had not seen the written filing yet.
8 We knew it was coming and we had indicated to your staff yesterday that we
9 would try to be prepared to make an oral argument as soon as possible
10 after seeing the written submission. That might be possible later today
11 if we have a chance to read it. We certainly would be able to do it
12 tomorrow. We think we might have some time tomorrow as well after we
13 finish those 92 bis witnesses.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber would like to be informed whether
15 the Prosecution would be ready today and if so this courtroom is available
16 and we would not risk that we're running out of time. So therefore, if it
17 could be done today -- I mean, the Chamber also has to think it all over
18 and to take a decision, and if the oral argument would be only tomorrow,
19 then of course we would have less time for considering the matter.
20 MR. HANNIS: Would it be possible, Your Honour, to have a short
21 break after we finish with this witness this morning before we do the
22 argument, perhaps an hour?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that would be possible. We'll try to
24 arrange for that.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: That gives the Chamber also time to read the written
3 Then I do understand that tomorrow we have two 92 bis witnesses,
4 Suad Dzafic and Nijaz Dubicic.
5 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber regrets that, for logistic reasons,
7 we're not using our time in full, and hopes and expects that this is an
8 incident and not the beginning of a tradition.
9 Then Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
10 courtroom. Let's just have a look, because we have to go into private
11 session first, I think.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the technicians have been
14 instructed not to show the face of the witness when entering the courtroom
15 on the screen, and I also do understand that the public gallery is empty
16 at this moment, so that the face distortion is effective.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. There's one matter too.
19 This witness, when he came, brought a new document with him that I had
20 intended to tender when I read his summary before the cross-exam began. I
21 spoke with Mr. Stewart this morning, and if it's agreeable with you,
22 Mr. President and Your Honours, I would like to show him that exhibit and
23 tender it at this time, before we continue with the cross-examination.
24 It's his release from Batkovic camp.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was already indicated on the list.
1 Any --
2 MR. STEWART: No objection at all, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No objection. Then perhaps it would be the best that
4 we start with that, and then we'd continue the cross-examination.
5 Madam Usher, please escort the witness into the courtroom.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 018, may I remind you that you're still bound
8 by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
9 Please be seated. Before the Defence will continue to cross-examine you,
10 first, the Prosecution will put one or more additional questions to you.
11 That will not take much time.
12 Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. May the witness be shown the
14 next item, and may that be given the next number in our order.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P31.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. I do understand that we
17 have a redacted version, and I see that the redacted version is now
18 presented to the witness.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 WITNESS: WITNESS KRAJ-018 [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examined by Mr. Hannis:
23 Q. Witness 018, would you take a look at that document and tell us if
24 you know what it is.
25 A. Yes. This is my decision on the release from the Batkovic camp.
1 Q. And is that a true copy of the original that you brought with you
2 before you came to Court this week?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the copy before you has certain portions redacted or blacked
5 out; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And are those portions ones that have your name or a number that
8 would help identify you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS: I have no other questions, Your Honour. I would like
12 to tender that into evidence at this time.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
14 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed your cross-examination.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
16 Q. Good morning. Before the break on Friday, I asked you, through
17 the Tribunal, His Honour asked you if you would over that break attempt to
18 prepare a list of the 22 different types of uniform which in your evidence
19 you say you saw in Brcko in early May 1992. Have you been able to do
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you have such a list with you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I don't actually see it. I suppose it's coming out of your pocket
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. First of all, were you able to draw up a full list of 22 different
3 types of uniform?
4 A. Yes, and I added one more. So there's a total of 23.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you. In the first place, I'd ask you to please run
6 very quickly through that list. I don't mean so quickly that we can't
7 hear and the interpreters can't deal with it, but what I mean is not
8 stopping to describe any individual item in any detail. Just so that we
9 get the overall picture, I wonder if you could just go very briefly in
10 what I might call bullet-point form through the 23 items.
11 A. Last time, I mentioned a few of those uniforms. I told you what
12 they looked like, and I can explain that again. There are about seven
13 uniforms which are directly part of the JNA uniform by colour. There are
14 two or three uniforms which were worn by the civilian protection and the
15 Territorial Defence. Then there were a couple of camouflage uniforms,
16 fully camouflaged uniforms, including the clothes and the footwear. Then
17 there are different combinations: Military shirts or military pants.
18 Then there were also those who wore black leather uniforms. These were
19 part of special units. They perhaps worked as snipers.
20 Then there were some uniforms which were completely black, with
21 the Subara hats and the skull-and-crossbones insignia on the hat. And
22 then there were also some people who even wore their sports equipment. So
23 these are just a few examples.
24 A characteristic of all of the above-mentioned was that they all
25 wore high military boots, which at the time in the former Yugoslavia was a
1 special thing because this was something that you were not able to buy
2 freely. All the uniforms that I mentioned, or all the people wearing
3 these uniforms, had white ribbons tied around their arms. This was for a
4 couple of days.
5 Then a couple of days later, they changed the colour of this band,
6 so the colour was now purple and white. It was multicoloured. So this is
7 what the situation was for those few days, up to about the 5th or the 6th
8 of May.
9 Q. But you got all -- those are categories you've given us, then, but
10 you have the different uniforms listed as numbers 1 to 23, do you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Let's take them one by one then. Start at number 1.
13 A. Military uniform of the SMB colour.
14 Q. And that's -- SMB is -- it will -- I don't know how it will come
15 back to you in translation, Witness, but SMB is what in English we'd call
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what did that signify to you?
19 A. They were uniforms of the JNA and that uniform, members wearing
20 that uniform, took part in the attack on Brcko.
21 Q. Was that uniform that you've just mentioned, was that a camouflage
22 uniform or just a plain olive-grey uniform?
23 A. No. No, no. It was of a single colour.
24 Q. And item 2?
25 A. Uniform of military officers of SMB, olive-grey colour, with a
1 yellow band. This uniform was worn by military officers of a certain
3 Q. So that's -- the yellow band signifies a rank; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. This was worn by military officers.
5 Q. Yes. Do I understand that it's -- in effect, it's the same as
6 item 1 but with an indication of a higher rank?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And item 3?
9 A. The same uniform but now with a red band.
10 Q. Signifying what?
11 A. A different kind of rank.
12 Q. Item 4?
13 A. SMB military uniform, but a winter uniform.
14 Q. And how does that differ in appearance?
15 A. The difference is in the quality of the material. The material is
16 thicker. It's of a different material than the summer uniform.
17 Q. Yes. Well, that's an unsurprising answer, Witness, and I can
18 accept that, of course. But does it -- apart from the thickness of the
19 material, what does it look like? Colour? What colour?
20 A. They're all the same colour.
21 Q. So the only difference there, not surprisingly, from summer to
22 winter, is the type of thickness of the material; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. Item 5?
25 A. The same uniform but a summer uniform. The material is thinner,
1 but it's of the same colour. The difference is in the fact that the
2 summer uniform has a jacket and the winter uniform has a long coat.
3 Q. So your item -- items 4 and 5 are the winter and summer SMB
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So is your item 1, then, the SMB military uniform, is that
7 something different altogether from either items -- from items 4 and 5?
8 A. The difference between them is in the year of manufacture. All
9 the ones so far, for example, the winter one, they're all replaced every
10 few years. So the quality and the appearance is different, so that you
11 can very easily notice the age of the uniform, how soiled it is, and you
12 can tell the difference between such uniforms and new uniforms. It's very
14 Q. Yes. I'm not quite sure that that's dealing with the point. The
15 question is this: You refer to winter uniform as item 4 and summer
16 uniform as item 5, but are you saying that there is --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Yes. Are you saying there was some other JNA SMB uniform which
19 was neither summer nor winter, but something else?
20 A. Those who wore the military uniforms as described in item 1 were
21 mostly those who had been demobilised, and they were military personnel
22 who were in service at the time. The people who had the winter and the
23 summer uniforms were the ones who had been mobilised or who had come from
24 somewhere. I don't know, because I didn't know any of those people that I
25 saw. So those people who were issued uniforms earlier, they were probably
1 people who had been mobilised in order to participate in the war in
2 Bosnia, and they participated in the attack on Brcko.
3 Q. Yes. You've told us that. The -- I'm concerned to be clear at
4 this point about the physical appearance and description of the uniforms.
5 Just for clarity's sake, then, just indicate as a matter of physical
6 description of the uniform how item 1 differs from both items 4 and 5 on
7 your list.
8 A. I have to clarify. Under item 1, the military uniform of the SMB,
9 olive-grey colour, in its appearance, these were newer-looking uniforms,
10 while the SMB winter uniform and the SMB summer uniform differed from that
11 in their quality and the service, the length of service. So you could
12 obviously see that the number 1 item uniforms were newer than the uniforms
13 as described in items 4 and 5. You could see the wear and tear in these
14 other uniforms.
15 Q. All right. Apart from newness, then, was item 1, in your view,
16 correctly described as either summer or winter?
17 A. Not really. It was May, and it was already the time to wear the
18 summer uniform.
19 Q. That doesn't quite answer the question. Yes, it was May. Yes,
20 that is early summer. But was the item, the military uniform that you
21 have listed as number 1, was that a summer or a winter uniform, or
23 A. It was both. It was combined. Some people wore summer uniform
24 tops and pants were part of the winter uniform, or it was the other way
25 around. But they did wear all military uniforms. Those under items 4 or
1 5, however, wore either the full summer uniform or the full winter
3 Q. What's item 6 on your list, then, Witness?
4 A. It's a camouflage uniform of yellow and green colour. It's
6 Q. Multicoloured or two colours?
7 A. There were two colours combined, and the patterns were leaf-shaped
8 or something like that. These were camouflage uniforms used in
10 Q. As they would be. And what did that uniform signify to you?
11 A. I saw that uniform before the bridges were destroyed. I saw it at
12 the garrison, the barracks of the JNA in Brcko as I was passing along the
13 fence. I saw those people who used to sit near the fence, in the evening,
14 in these uniforms, and they would provoke any passers-by who were passing
15 by the fence. They would just say things to them. And they were sitting
16 there and wearing these camouflage uniforms, the yellow-green ones.
17 Before that, I said that the barracks were relocated to another
18 location, which was about 20 kilometres away from Brcko. So there were no
19 conscripts there any more. And this fact indicated to me that now there
20 were either paramilitary formations who had arrived there or some special
22 Q. Are you saying that particular uniform, item 6, didn't in itself
23 signify membership of any particular group, but that the link, as far as
24 you're concerned, is with what you observed in the barracks before the
25 bridge was blown?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What's item --
3 A. I mentioned -- may I continue?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I noticed these people, and I mentioned at the last hearing that
6 those people came with that military officer who was in charge of
7 resolving the situation and making sure that there was no unrest in the
8 town. They came with him, and they were billeted at the barracks. The
9 barracks still exists today in town, but it is now being used as a court.
10 Q. What's item --
11 A. It's a courthouse.
12 Q. Yes. What's item 7 on your list, please?
13 A. Item 7 is a full camouflage uniform, except the colours are brown
14 and light green.
15 Q. And what did that signify to you at the time?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. Brown and light
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were probably worn by some
19 other units for some other purposes.
20 MR. STEWART:
21 Q. Item 8?
22 A. Uniform of active police of light blue colour.
23 Q. Item 9?
24 A. Uniform of the reserve police, of dark blue colour.
25 Q. Item 10?
1 A. Uniform of the police which was worn 10 to 12 years before the
2 war, and the difference was in the colour. It was not the same shade of
3 blue that the police wore at the time.
4 Q. Item 11?
5 A. Blue uniform worn by the civilian protection. And I can tell you
6 right away that those people who wore that uniform didn't have weapons,
7 but they were in charge of securing different facilities, for example,
8 shops or some companies, some supermarkets.
9 Q. Yes. When you say "civilian protection," what -- you're talking
10 about some specific, organised, official group, are you, or organisation?
11 A. The civilian protection was formed at the level of the town, and
12 in case of some kind of disaster, atomic strike or an earthquake, they
13 were there to assist the population. They were there to help in case of a
14 disaster. They didn't have weapons, but they did have different kinds of
15 equipment, for example a Red Cross or a first-aid kit, and at the same
16 time they were guarding or securing different facilities. They were just
17 physically present there.
18 Q. And they were all local people, were they?
19 A. Yes. Yes. So the employees of those companies were the ones
20 guarding their own buildings, and there were also people in local communes
21 across various neighbourhoods of town who were in charge of that task.
22 Q. What you described as a blue uniform, that was in fact something
23 that looked pretty much like workers' overalls; is that correct?
24 A. No, not really. It was a blue uniform, just as the military
25 uniform, only the colour was blue, a distinct blue.
1 Q. Uniform in the sense of separate trousers and jacket?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What's your item 12, please?
4 A. The same kind of uniform, but they were worn by the Territorial
5 Defence, and the Territorial Defence also carried weapons.
6 Q. Item 13?
7 A. Dark-blue fatigues, overalls. That means a one-piece suit.
8 Q. Yes. So that's -- that was what I was suggesting to you a moment
9 ago in relation to item 11. So what did that uniform signify for you at
10 the time?
11 A. I can tell you right now very specifically that that uniform was
12 worn by the volunteers of Captain Dragan, who guarded us outside the SUP
13 building, and on that terrace in the old Posavina Hotel and on the terrace
15 Q. So then item 14?
16 A. Later come various combinations. A uniform with different kinds
17 of trousers. Working bottoms combined with different tops. But the
18 trousers were blue.
19 Q. That sounds a bit different from some of the other items. Then
20 what are you saying was the -- are you saying there was a common, clear
21 identifying feature of what you have listed as item 14?
22 A. The items I described so far were, in my mind, and still are, very
23 directly linked to the command of the army. The items that come later are
24 linked in my mind with volunteer units, which numbered four or five, and
25 they had distinguishing elements. They would have blue, either denim or
1 normal trousers, or tracksuit bottoms, combined with different tops. The
2 top could be a military shirt or something else.
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Among these are two uniforms -- if you let me finish.
5 Q. Please do.
6 A. Among these are two uniforms, including black leather suits,
7 always worn by snipers, in my experience.
8 Q. I'm going to stop you there just for this reason: To make sure
9 that we're proceeding clearly. Because your most recent answer suggests
10 that you're going into the later items on your list. That's correct,
11 isn't it? The summary that you've just given relates to -- not just to
12 item 14 but to some of the other items from 15 to 23; is that right?
13 A. Yes. Yes. To cut a long story short, I only wanted to explain
14 the two --
15 Q. Witness, the cutting of the story short will largely be done by
16 me, please, if you answer the questions. Let's stick with item 14 or the
17 moment and not go straying into the later items.
18 Is there a clear -- I asked you question a few minutes ago: Is
19 there a clear distinguishing feature of item 14?
20 A. That's what I wanted to tell you. I have an assumption as to who
21 their leader was, and that was the distinction among the uniforms that
22 follow on the list.
23 Q. I want us to proceed carefully, please, here, Witness. And I'm
24 not blocking off that question of the leader. We'll come to that. But in
25 the first place, can we just concentrate on the physical feature of item
1 14, without any question of where it leads. Can you say -- this is
2 actually the third time I've asked you this question, so please answer it.
3 Was there a clear, distinguishing physical feature which separates item 14
4 from the other items on your list?
5 A. I'll read it out to you. A uniform with workers' trousers, blue,
6 combined with a military SMB shirt.
7 Q. So the reference to SMB shirt, which is the first time you've
8 given us that under this item, that's actually noted on your list there
9 under item 14, is it?
10 A. Item 14 is a uniform including workers' trousers, colour blue,
11 combined with a military olive-grey shirt.
12 Q. Thank you. And you were saying, then, that from that physical
13 observation, you -- well, you said you made an assumption. Are you saying
14 in fact you had something to show you from which you could infer who the
15 leader was, the leader of the people wearing item 14?
16 A. I did not know, nor was I able to recognise, their leaders. I
17 only have my assumptions. I know that five or ten of them were dressed in
18 this uniform, and I assume that they were all under one leader.
19 Q. Simply from the fact that they were dressed similarly?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what's your item 15?
22 A. A uniform including denim trousers, combined with a military SMB
23 short, worn by Captain Dragan.
24 Q. Worn only by Captain Dragan?
25 A. He wore that uniform and a couple of men who accompanied him.
1 Q. What colour were the denim trousers?
2 A. The usual: Light blue.
3 Q. And in what way did those trousers then differ from item 14?
4 A. They were different in terms of quality and colour. Those
5 trousers were denim, so-called jeans, whereas the other trousers were the
6 bottoms of workers' uniform, of lower quality.
7 Q. And what --
8 A. And the colour was blue.
9 Q. And what's item 16?
10 A. It was a uniform including SMB-colour trousers, combined with all
11 sorts of civilian-type shirts of different colours.
12 Q. And item 17?
13 A. Uniforms worn by snipers, i.e., black leather suits from head to
14 toe. Generally speaking, they wore weapons with sights, sniper rifles.
15 Q. So the black leather suit, head to toe, you're talking about
16 something that goes right over the top of somebody's head, just leaving a
17 part of the face exposed, are you?
18 A. No, no. They didn't wear anything on their heads.
19 Q. Well, head to toe was your expression. So --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. It was just an
21 expression. Complete uniform.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say from head to toe, I mean
23 the body.
24 MR. STEWART: Thank you, interpreter. That does certainly clarify
25 things. I'll just -- Your Honour, I'll make that absolutely clear with
1 the witness, then.
2 Q. The phrase that came across to me implied something else, Witness.
3 You're saying this was -- was it a one-piece leather body suit that went
4 up to the neck?
5 A. No. No. Those were not one-piece suits. They had tops and
7 Q. All right. I had put to you what I thought might get us quickly
8 to the answer. I had better ask you to describe specifically this
9 particular item of clothing, item 17. Please do.
10 A. Black leather trousers. Black vest, black shirt, black gloves
11 without fingertips. They had nothing on their heads. Everything made of
13 Q. The vest and the shirt made of leather?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Just to clarify: A leather -- some sort of leather undershirt,
16 then, and a leather shirt on top of that? Is that what you're saying?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. Item 18?
19 A. Civilian clothing of different colours, combined with black hats.
20 Q. Item 19?
21 A. I noticed that those people wearing such hats went from house to
22 house, broke in, and took away people's cars.
23 Q. And took away other items as well?
24 A. That's what I noticed at that time, and later on they were
25 involved in all sorts of things.
1 Q. Yes, but to be clear: At this point, you're saying that they were
2 taking away people's cars and then they were breaking into house and
3 taking belongings out of the houses as well, were they?
4 A. Whatever took their fancy. If they found weaponry, they would
5 take that. But most of all they were interested in cars and they were
6 looking for leather things, pieces of leather clothing. That's what
7 interested them most.
8 Q. Item 19?
9 A. Black uniforms with black leather hats, with a sign of skull and
10 crossbones. I noticed on all people wearing that that they were the only
11 ones wearing insignia denoting their affiliation.
12 Q. And what did that particular skull and crossbones marking indicate
13 to you, if anything?
14 A. We all know well that that is the emblem and the symbol of
16 Q. And then item 20?
17 A. Civilian clothing, combined with woolen hats, with slits cut for
18 eyes and mouths.
19 Q. So that's a balaclava helmet, as it's called?
20 A. Yes, exactly.
21 Q. What colour?
22 A. Mostly black.
23 Q. Item 21?
24 A. Men who wore tracksuits and sports clothing, as if they hadn't had
25 time to get hold of any real equipment.
1 Q. Well, I'm not asking you to speculate as to why they were wearing
2 this stuff, but what sort of sports clothing? You're talking about a
3 tracksuit, are you?
4 A. Yes. The kind worn by people who go to fitness centres.
5 Q. So these people were wearing tracksuits of that type with high
6 military boots, were they?
7 A. All of them wore high-leg military boots.
8 Q. Over their tracksuits or under their tracksuits?
9 A. Well, the bottom part of the trouser leg was pushed inside the
10 boot. That's the way the JNA army wore them.
11 Q. You mentioned the JNA army. JNA army members didn't wear sports
12 tracksuits in this way, did they?
13 A. Yes, but they wore boots.
14 Q. Item 22?
15 A. Volunteers who, for the most part, wore civilian clothing. I had
16 occasion to be in direct contact with them, and they said that they had
17 volunteered to do guard duty in certain parts of town and on certain
19 Q. So item 22, as a description of clothing, as a description of some
20 sort of uniform, it's not actually that at all; it's just ordinary
21 civilian clothing. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And item 23?
24 A. Item 23, persons who drove vehicles, procured the other ones that
25 ammunition. They were dressed in a combination of clothing, such as
1 SMB-colour trousers with different tops. Their job was to drive vehicles
2 for supply and bring ammunition to those who were holding positions.
3 Q. So it seems that what is distinguishing the people brought under
4 item 23 is not in fact what they were physically wearing but the
5 particular job that you saw them doing; is that right?
6 A. Well, that was the job they were doing, and what attracted my
7 attention was the boots they wore and the clothing they wore, because the
8 clothing was all colours.
9 Q. So can we be clear about a couple of things? Are you saying that
10 every single -- we're talking about men in every case, aren't we? There
11 are no women involved in any of the descriptions that you've given of any
12 of these clothing items; is that correct?
13 A. Well, I can answer that straight away.
14 Q. Please.
15 A. This uniform under item 11 --
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. That uniform was sometimes worn by women, civilian defence or
18 civilian protection, whatever you want to call it. But there were not
19 many of them.
20 Q. Did they wear high military boots?
21 A. Well, the civilian defence and Territorial Defence did not wear
22 boots. They wore high-leg shoes. That was the normal combination.
23 Q. For men and women?
24 A. Both men and women wore ankle-deep shoes.
25 Q. Right. So far as all these other items are concerned, 1 to 23,
1 are you saying that everybody, leaving aside what you've just said, but
2 everybody in those categories was wearing high military boots?
3 A. Apart from items 11 and 12, yes.
4 Q. And your description that you gave a little bit earlier, you said
5 that everybody had -- just remind us what dates you're talking about. You
6 said: Everybody in the first place had a white ribbon around the arm. Is
7 that right?
8 A. On that day, the 4th of May, 1992, that's what they wore. That
9 was the emblem.
10 Q. On which arm?
11 A. The left arm, or the left shoulder.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please get closer to the
14 MR. STEWART: Yes, of course.
15 Q. So it was just a white ribbon, was it, going right round the upper
16 arm or very close to the shoulder?
17 A. Either up here on the shoulder or tied around the arm with a tip
18 hanging from the arm.
19 Q. And you say that every single person in any of these 23 categories
20 was wearing that white band?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. On which day?
23 A. The 4th of May, 1992. And I would see them also on the 5th of
24 May. But on the 4th of May, everybody wore that.
25 Q. And as far as you could see, what did that signify?
1 A. It was a distinguishing mark, a way of recognising each other as
2 people involved in the operation to take over the town.
3 Q. So the civilians that you described as breaking into people's
4 houses and taking people's cars, all the people in that category had these
5 white ribbons on the 4th of May as well, did they?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I don't think you've ever mentioned anything about this white
8 ribbon before, Witness, have you?
9 A. I wanted to explain this to you a moment ago and you didn't let
11 Q. Well, I apologise if you are not being sufficient opportunity,
12 Witness, but you have it now.
13 A. A moment ago I was about to shorten my description and not
14 describe each uniform. In particular, I was going to divide them into two
15 categories, the first half and the second half. And according to my logic
16 and my understanding, those people were those who were engaged from the
17 outside. Paramilitaries, i.e., locals organised in units of 10 or 15 were
18 marked with these ribbons, organised unrests, and all sorts of trouble,
19 and sometimes they didn't recognise each other and would shoot and hurt
20 one another.
21 Q. But it is correct, isn't it, that until this morning, you have
22 never, either in this case or in giving evidence before this Tribunal in a
23 previous case, you have never mentioned this apparent distinguishing
24 feature of a white ribbon?
25 A. Well, probably nobody was interested before, and I didn't need to
1 mention it. But I tried to mention all the uniforms I had seen and
2 noticed. And the only distinguishing thing that was really remarkable on
3 them all was the boots, because the boots were unavailable on the market.
4 You couldn't buy them anywhere, and only the JNA had them, which means, in
5 my opinion, all of that was organised, in cooperation with the JNA and in
6 collusion with them.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just take a moment to clarify
8 something by way of instructions?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so and take care that your microphone is
13 MR. STEWART: Yes, of course. Thank you.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. STEWART:
16 Q. And then you described earlier this morning how a couple of days
17 later there was a change to, I think you said a purple and white ribbon.
18 Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And can you remember exactly when that change took place?
21 A. I cannot remember exactly, but I think it was on the third day.
22 So the 4th, 5th, the 6th -- either on the 6th or the 7th of May, the
23 colour of the ribbons changed.
24 Q. It was a sort of double ribbon, was it? Was it with a purple arm
25 band and then a white band joined together?
1 A. No. No.
2 Q. Please describe, then.
3 A. It's a ribbon with a pattern of purple and white. I can explain
4 how this came about. They had to change --
5 Q. Stop, please, unless this is going to answer the question. Start
6 with a simple description, not in detail, but was it a zigzag pattern, a
7 check pattern? Just of that order, some description.
8 A. No. No. They were vertical. They actually made the ribbons from
9 a piece of cloth and that's how it turned out. They were just short lines
10 of white/purple, white purple, white purple not along the length of it but
12 Q. How many people, as far as you remember, in total did you
13 personally see wearing this, as you've described it, purple and white
15 A. In order to avoid confusion like earlier, I just wanted to tell
16 you briefly why this was done. Different groups of people tried to
17 infiltrate themselves wearing these white ribbons, which did not have --
18 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you. The question was how many people you
19 saw wearing them. Would you please first answer the question, and if
20 there's any need to explain, then do that after you've answered the
21 question. Please proceed.
22 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 A. Very well. Thank you. According to my estimate and from what I
24 saw when I was passing, it was about 1.000 people.
25 Q. And was that a similar number to those that you had seen
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 previously wearing the white ribbon?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was there any overlap in time when some people were still wearing
4 the white ribbon and some were wearing the purple and white ribbon?
5 A. They had to change it at the same time for all of those who were
7 Q. I'm not asking what they had to do; I'm asking whether, from your
8 observation, was there any time when you saw an overlap with some people
9 still wearing the white ribbon and others wearing the purple and white
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you say how long was that period of overlap?
13 A. Perhaps a day or two.
14 Q. Now, I'd asked you a few moments ago about the fact that you had
15 never previously mentioned these ribbons, and I think you said that, well,
16 nobody had asked you or nobody seemed to be interested. Witness, it must
17 have been, I suggest, very clear to you when you were first approached and
18 interviewed in relation to these matters that the question of coordination
19 and organisation and planning of military or paramilitary forces in Brcko
20 in early May 1992 was absolutely central to what you were being asked
21 about, wasn't it?
22 A. I explained to them everything that they wanted to know. They
23 didn't ask me that question, so I didn't tell them anything about it.
24 Q. Witness, would you say it's fair to say about yourself that you're
25 not always a man who has to wait to be asked before you give any
1 information? Is that a fair description?
2 A. When you ask me something, I will give you an answer. I am now
3 trying for the second time to explain something to you, and you are not
4 allowing me to do that. So what I'm trying to explain to you and to tell
5 you, to make it easier for you to continue with your work, will not be
6 recorded in the transcript or in the investigation.
7 Q. I'm sorry, Witness. You just had to give me a moment to fathom
8 what it was you were saying then.
9 A. With my first example, I tried to tell you about this uniform of
10 the civilian and the Territorial Defence, and about these people in the
11 black leather uniforms. Now I'm trying to explain to you about the
12 ribbons and you are stopping me. I wanted to tell you one thing: When
13 they decided to change the colour of the ribbon, they -- some people came
14 in an organised fashion in order to rob and loot, and they were not aware
15 that they had to change the colour of the ribbon, and that is how you
16 could tell them apart. Then the others, the officers, took steps to see
17 who these people were, what they were. So there were people who were
18 arriving in an unorganised manner. They didn't belong to any units, were
19 not subordinated to anyone. They came independently in order to loot in
20 that area. Now you have the explanation why the colour of the ribbon was
22 Q. Are you saying that you were observing or personally aware of all
23 this at the time, of instructions being given by officers for changes of
25 A. Not through the officers, but I had some friends, I had company
1 with whom I was in touch. I was on good terms with them, so they would
2 come by to see how we were doing, and then sometimes they would tell us
3 something, they would give us some information. And on one of those
4 occasions, it was about the colour of the ribbons.
5 Q. You see, Witness, the most obvious reason why you might not have
6 mentioned such a clear and quite graphic point as the change of the
7 ribbons is that you're now grossly exaggerating the position as it
8 actually was in May 1992. Isn't that what you're doing?
9 A. I am just trying to explain and to make the work of this Tribunal
10 easier, so that it would be informed about this date and a couple of days
11 later and all that I had gone through. The reason why I didn't provide
12 that information before, I cannot be responsible for that, because the
13 people who came to take my statement didn't ask me about that. They were
14 interested in something else.
15 Q. Now, the -- in your witness statement, you say that by the 4th of
16 May, the Serb offensive was complete and the Serb forces occupied Brcko up
17 to the river -- is it Brka? I -- you know which river I'm talking about?
18 I hope my pronunciation is near enough.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. By "the Serb forces," you're talking about all these forces that
21 you've, in effect, listed in items 1 to 23, are you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the river -- this river is not the main river, of course, is
24 it? This is the river that joins the main river?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the river we're talking about, the smaller river, the
2 tributary, effectively cuts the town of Brcko more or less in half,
3 doesn't it?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. And it runs broadly north/south. It winds, but it's much more
6 north/south than east/west, isn't it?
7 A. Its source is in the south, and in the north it flows into the
8 River Sava.
9 Q. Yes. Yes. Well, strictly south/north, then, if we're talking
10 about the river's flow. And the occupation of -- by Serb forces, then, up
11 to the river was from which direction?
12 A. From the direction of Bijeljina -- generally from the direction of
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. STEWART:
16 Q. Is that from the west or from the east?
17 A. From the east.
18 Q. And then what was stopping them, then, from occupying over the
19 river on the 4th of May?
20 A. I couldn't tell you exactly, but on the 4th of May, when all of
21 them came up to the River Brka, there was an organised attempt to move out
22 the population from that part of town, which was mostly inhabited by
23 Muslims - I say Muslims mostly, but there were some Serbs and Croats
24 amongst them too - in order to save those people. Some groups
25 self-organised themselves and tried to put up resistance, but that's when
1 shooting broke out from infantry weapons, from rifles, and this stopped
2 for a couple of days, until all of these people moved out, those of them
3 who wanted to.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, it's close to 10.30. Would this be a
5 suitable moment?
6 MR. STEWART: It will be as suitable as any moment coming up in
7 the next few minutes, Your Honour, certainly.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you first escort the witness out
9 of the courtroom.
10 Mr. 018, we'll have a break for 20 minutes.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, how much time do you think you'll still
13 need to finish cross-examination?
14 MR. STEWART: Probably something getting on for one hour,
15 Your Honour. I doubt more.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You are aware that, of course, as the first
17 92 bis witness, that the time allocated for cross-examining 92 bis
18 witnesses is 50 hours. I wonder for how many in the future you'd ask for
19 cross-examination, and perhaps it would be a good idea that you give a
20 time indication for the 92 bis witnesses you'd like to cross-examine.
21 MR. STEWART: Does Your Honour mean specifically in advance of
22 each witness or --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we all might have had the experience in life
24 that time seems to be sufficient at the beginning of an exercise and when
25 we proceed, that sometimes we become aware that time becomes more and more
1 precious and that we, as a matter of fact, would need more time to
2 accomplish what we had in mind. At this pace, taking another hour, that
3 would bring us approximately to, I would say, a little bit over three
4 hours, within 50 hours you could cross-examine not more than 15 witnesses.
5 Of course, if the Defence decides it allows for cross-examination only for
6 15 witnesses, of course, but it's a long list of 92 bis witnesses and it
7 is of some concern.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I comment?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. STEWART: Leaving aside, I suppose, the fact that today we're
11 indirectly then helping the Court not to waste time. But the -- but may
12 we suggest, respectfully, that at this very early stage in the case,
13 there's no special value in attempting to extrapolate from the early
14 cross-examinations to global figures, because if -- I could say this: If
15 every time a Rule 92 bis witness comes to be cross-examined, it's
16 necessary for him to produce a list of 22 items and go through them, then
17 the estimate would have to be radically revised. So, Your Honour, may we
18 simply ask for a little bit of preliminary indulgence at this point so we
19 see where we're going?
20 JUDGE ORIE: If you are telling this Chamber that your time
21 management will be such that you'll not have any problems at a later
22 stage, then of course we will entirely leave it in your hands. And it's
23 good to know for the Chamber that not every witness will have to produce a
24 list of 22 or 23 uniforms.
25 MR. STEWART: Well, I hope not, Your Honour. You never know what
1 witness are going to produce. But, Your Honour, I didn't in fact wish to
2 make such a sweepingly bold statement as to say we're not going to run
3 into problems in the future. What we are going to do, as we promised
4 Your Honour, we're going to attempt to cross-examine each witness as much
5 as necessary and no more. I hope that's what I'm doing with this witness.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As you know, necessity is a flexible concept.
7 We'll adjourn for 20 minutes. We'll restart at five minutes to
9 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber only received two minutes ago the
12 submission of the Defence this morning, so let's first take a next break
13 to read it.
14 Has the Prosecution --
15 MR. HANNIS: We have just received it as well, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So then we'll see how much time we'll need.
17 The witness may be escorted into the courtroom again.
18 Are the technicians instructed not to show his face? And is the
19 public gallery empty? It is.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Witness 018.
22 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Witness, I asked you before the break about the occupation, as
25 you've described it, of the Serb forces up to the River Brka, and I had
1 asked you, but I'm going to ask you again, what it was and who it was, if
2 anybody, who prevented the Serb forces from occupying over the river, on
3 the 4th and 5th of May.
4 A. I said that, but it seems that maybe you didn't hear it. Certain
5 groups organised themselves, five or six such groups, which had hunting
6 weapons. They were trying to stop the breakthrough or the incursions of
7 these units who had taken the town and they prevented them from taking
8 over the whole of the town. They were successful in doing this for a day
9 or two, during which time the population which was on that side of the
10 river, and also those who wanted to leave their homes, were able to leave
11 in the direction of Majevica.
12 Q. Do you mean five or six groups, or groups of five or six men?
13 A. Groups of five or six men.
14 Q. So when you referred a moment ago to certain groups organised
15 themselves, five or six such groups, that was just a slip of the tongue,
16 was it?
17 A. Five to six people in these groups. There were two or three such
18 groups, which on the 4th of May and the 5th of May prevented them from
19 crossing the River Brka.
20 Q. So about 15 to 20 men on the other side of the river prevented the
21 Serb forces, as you've labelled them, from crossing the river; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was the -- remind us what you say was the total number of the
25 Serb forces.
1 A. According to my estimate, there were about 1.000 of them, up to
2 the River Brka. So they were on the side which they had already occupied.
3 This is what I saw.
4 Q. And were you -- the way you're describing it, you seem to have
5 been -- this is intended neutrally. You seem to have been dedicated that
6 day to observing yourself what was going on. Is that right?
7 A. All of this happened from the point when we were arrested, taken
8 to an assembly point, and then, from that location, taken to the police
9 station, and then another 50 metres further, to the old hotel. That's the
10 stretch in which I saw all of that. I could see what all of these
11 different armies were doing. So these were my observations over a stretch
12 of 500 metres.
13 Q. Witness, a lot of what you are now telling the Tribunal about the
14 events in Brcko is information, so far as it's true, which you have
15 obtained since then and got from other people, isn't it?
16 A. This information about crossing over and taking the other side of
17 town, we received from a person who came back from the other side of the
18 line. He was a Serb, and he happened to be in this unit which tried to
19 break through and take that other part of town. And since they did not
20 manage to do that, he came back and he was very angry, and then he did
21 what he did after that. So we can also speak about that.
22 Q. What we will do, Witness, is we'll speak about things in the sense
23 of I'll ask questions and then please continue to answer them.
24 The description -- let's start with this assumption. I don't
25 suppose either you, and certainly not I, are military strategists,
1 Witness, but let's start with, I think, a common-sense piece of knowledge
2 that it takes fewer men to defend than to attack. That's simply
3 conventional, common knowledge. But from what you know about Brcko, the
4 idea that 15 to 20 men could prevent hundreds and hundreds, up to a
5 thousand, men from crossing the river is just ridiculous, isn't it, from
6 what you know of your own town?
7 A. I have to give you an explanation to that question as well. Those
8 people whom I mentioned, about 1.000 of them, did not all take part in the
9 offensive and try to cross over. What they were doing is trying, in
10 groups of 10, 15, 20, or up to 50 people, they were trying to take the
11 road, which was a key road. It's the road that passes through Brcko and
12 goes to Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Belgrade, Knin. This was important for
13 them. They were trying to take that road, and they didn't manage to do
14 that until they got reinforcements, and then, after a day or two, managed
15 to take that road. I think that I was clear. I'm trying to help you so
16 that you would understand the general objectives and the layout of the
17 town as it looked.
18 The SUP building, where we were all assembled, is not more than 50
19 metres away from the Brka River, so you could see everything from there.
20 Q. But your description there, Witness, of what they were trying to
21 do and trying to take the road, and so on, that can't possibly be from
22 your own firsthand observation at that time, can it?
23 A. I can tell you right away the name of the person who tried to do
24 that. It was Goran Jelisic, with his group. He tried to take the road,
25 and did not succeed. When he came back from there, then he committed what
1 he did, together with this group, and I was there.
2 Q. Witness, you seem, then, to be confirming the suggestion that I
3 put to you, which is that that particular description by you of what the
4 Serb forces were trying to do and what they were failing to do is not your
5 own knowledge and observation at all, but which is information which you
6 say you got from somebody else.
7 A. Directly from Goran Jelisic. That's where the information came
9 Q. In your statement, you refer to an incident where Serbian soldiers
10 were killed. If you'd like to refresh your memory, this is paragraph 19
11 of your statement. Have you still got your statement with you, or can it
12 be given to you?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. I think this is pretty familiar to you by now, but this
15 is -- you're describing an incident involving Mr. Jelisic, but then, in
16 particular, I'm asking you about the last two or three lines there. It's
17 the last two sentences, in English: "The man asked him why he was beating
18 him, and Jelisic said they, meaning the Serbs, were trying to do good by
19 him while the non-Serbs were killing him. By this he was referring to an
20 incident where Serbian soldiers were killed." And then you give the
21 beaten man's name. What incident was that?
22 A. That's exactly what I was talking about a little earlier, when
23 Goran Jelisic, with his group of men, tried to occupy this road. They
24 were met by the citizens who live in that part of town. Shooting broke
25 out. What he told us, that there were dead, this was just some kind of
1 excuse for what he did. Because later, through questions and information
2 that we received, we found out that there were wounded, but there were no
3 killed. He was angry because this operation was not successful, and then
4 he did what he did.
5 Q. Would you go, please, to paragraph 30 of your statement.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you see that says: "I knew Bolero and he asked us what we were
8 doing. We told him Jelisic had told us to wait in the park." And then
9 it's the last sentence I just want to ask you about: "Bolero told us."
10 And the way it reads, this is the English version, but the way it reads
11 is: "Bolero told us he did like what was happening and he told us to
12 accompany him." Now, I'm not sure: First of all, does the version that
13 you have got in your own language, does it say "Bolero told us he did like
14 what was happening," or does it say that "Bolero told us he did not like
15 what was happening"?
16 A. When I was looking over my statement, I noticed this mistake and I
17 reacted right away, and I asked that this be corrected to: "Bolero told
18 us that he did not like what was happening." And he told us to accompany
19 him." Again, I would like to stress that he did not like what was
21 Q. Yes. Well, Witness, I'm not going to challenge you on that. That
22 seems to be the obvious sense of your statement. So that correction can
23 be treated as made now to your statement and your evidence, can't it? You
24 nod, but the transcript doesn't pick up nodding.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 MR. STEWART: Would Your Honour give me a moment, please.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. STEWART: No further cross-examination, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
7 Has the cross-examination raised any issue on which the
8 Prosecution would like to re-examine the witness?
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes. If I may, Your Honour, I have three areas, I
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Hannis:
14 Q. Witness 018, you were asked about the 23 different groups. I
15 wanted to ask you a couple of questions about that clothing. Apart from
16 groups number 18, 19, and 20, where you told us about black hats,
17 skull-and-crossbones hats, and ski mask, did any of these other groups
18 wear any particular kind of headgear that distinguished them?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Would you tell us, please, which groups and what kind of headgear.
21 A. I indicated those old military uniforms, and the men who wore
22 them, for the most part, wore old Serbian peasant hats. There were also
23 some other people who wore the same fur-lined hats, but not with the
24 skull-and-crossbones sign, but the elongated type. They were sort of
25 pulled upwards, looked taller.
1 Q. Any others?
2 A. I saw them on the 4th of May. After that day, I was not allowed
3 to move around, so I couldn't see any more.
4 Q. Witness 018, I wanted to ask you about the ribbons. You mentioned
5 that you were told about this by some friends. Can you tell the Court,
6 without naming names at this point, but can you tell us who these people
7 were? Were they Serbs? Were they Muslims? Were they Croats?
8 A. Serbs who worked as reserve policemen in town.
9 Q. And were there other people present with you when you were told
10 this, and did those people hear the same thing you did?
11 A. No.
12 MR. HANNIS: May I have one moment, Your Honour?
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Witness 018.
15 Those are all the questions I have, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
17 It seems to be that no new issues have been raised in this
18 re-examination that should not be done, so I take it the Defence has no
19 further questions.
20 MR. STEWART: That's correct, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to clear up certain points.
25 The first of them concerns what you call volunteers of Captain Dragan.
1 First of all, how do you know that they were volunteers? And I will
2 explain. In your statement, you said, and I'm quoting what you said in
3 English: [In English] "Dragan was wearing a military shirt with no
4 insignia. He wore jeans and military boots. The two soldiers with him
5 wore the summer fatigues of the JNA."
6 [Interpretation] So, judging by their appearance, they probably
7 belonged to JNA groups, and you say that they were volunteers. So how do
8 you know that?
9 A. I can explain. Captain Dragan was together with a group of people
10 who did not belong to his units. He carried out operations of arresting
11 people in house-to-house rounds and brought them to the hotel, whereas
12 people from his unit were securing the old SUP building and the building
13 where we were detained. So they were not together. And I can tell you at
14 the same time how I found out that those were men of Captain Dragan. They
15 told us themselves that they were volunteers, namely, Captain Dragan's
16 Volunteers, and they even told us from which towns they came from.
17 Kosovska Mitrovica, Belgrade, Vukovar, Valjevo, Bor, Majdanpek. All those
18 men were engaged in providing security to the SUP building and the old
19 Posavina Hotel.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But from what you know, was
21 Captain Dragan himself part of JNA troops?
22 A. Well, I cannot make any claims about that. I cannot tell you
23 exactly. He would just show up from time to time, and when he was there,
24 he told us that his name was Captain Dragan. And he would ask us one
25 question and was angry to hear the answer. And as to which unit he
1 belonged to, some volunteer unit or a JNA unit, I really don't know.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] All right. I'll move on to
3 another subject.
4 You said that on the 4th of May, or probably before the 4th of
5 May, you lived with your sister, and for all practical purposes, you lived
6 in the basement. Is that correct? Is that your testimony?
7 A. It's true that I was in the basement on the 4th of May. That's
8 where we took cover. Because a general all-out offensive started on the
9 4th and there was a lot of shooting from all sorts of weapons, including
10 heavy weaponry, and all of us tried to find safety in the basement, where
11 we were found by Captain Dragan and his men, who took us away.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you say that the troops,
13 and I quote, "Serb troops," Serb forces, I'm quoting again: "The Serbian
14 forces -- [In English] to remove people from their houses."
15 [Interpretation] What do you imply when you say "Serbian forces"?
16 A. Well, in my mind, they started everything that happened in town,
17 and they started the war. Because the general population, Muslim and
18 Croat, who wanted to leave, left.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Sorry to interrupt you, but I
20 would like to know exactly how, in fact, in your opinion, when you say
21 "the Serbian forces," who are you talking about? Are you talking about
22 local Serbs, or who?
23 A. There were very few locals who took part in that attack. Other
24 people, other groups, came from outside, and the most distinguishing
25 feature were those traditional three-finger signs on a raised hand and the
1 singing of Chetnik songs.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Why am I asking this question? I
3 want some clarity. Because you say in another paragraph that the soldiers
4 who came for you and who were under the command of Captain Dragan were
5 dressed in JNA uniforms.
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So you can confirm that the
8 people who came to search your house and who tried to arrest you were
9 dressed in JNA uniforms, at least as far as uniform is concerned.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And I'm now moving to another
13 After your arrest, and after your release, you returned to the
14 house of your sister?
15 A. Yes, to the same place where they took me away from.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So the house itself was not taken
17 over by anybody else?
18 A. No, it wasn't.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And later, I believe you went to
20 your apartment, which was still vacant; it hadn't been taken over by
22 A. Two and a half months later, that is, two and a half months after
23 the 4th of May, I returned to my apartment. There was no one there. But
24 there were soldiers, both outside and inside the building, although my
25 apartment was empty.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I have got a few questions for you as well. May I
3 first ask a question directly related to your last answer.
4 You answered to the question of Judge El Mahdi that you, two and a
5 half months after the 4th of May, you returned to your apartment. That
6 would then be mid-July. In your statement --
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- you say that you were arrested on the 13th of
9 July. Could you explain how it happened?
10 A. One day, an acquaintance of mine came - he worked in the reserve
11 police force - intending to tell me to go back to my apartment because a
12 list of apartments and apartment owners was being made. I asked him that
13 he let me go with him, because he lived in the same building. And he told
14 me: "You are a local man. You were born in this town. You are free to
15 leave. Nobody would harm you."
16 The very next day, I went to the building and spent about two
17 hours waiting outside before I was allowed to go into my apartment.
18 The day after, an inspection team came, inspected my apartment,
19 checked my ID, and issued me with some instructions as to how I was to
20 conduct myself in my own apartment. Several days later, a raid was
21 carried out around town. People were rounded up and taken to the
22 Batkovici camp. I was in that group.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That answers my question, so could you confirm that
24 you did not stay for the full two and a half months in your sister's
25 house, but a little bit over two months?
1 A. I didn't spend even ten days in my apartment. The rest of the
2 time I lived at my sister's place. After I came to my apartment, I was
3 listed as the owner of the apartment, residing there alone, and the person
4 who came to warn me and to give me those instructions, all this happened
5 within the ten days before we were taken away.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just stop you there. I see that your
7 testimony that you stayed for two and a half months was not very precise
8 in this respect, because it should have been a bit shorter.
9 My next question is whether any reasons were given to you why you
10 were taken to the Batkovici camp.
11 A. A general explanation given to all of us who were rounded up on
12 that occasion was that we were being taken away to do labour, that there
13 were jobs to be done and that we were being taken away to do them.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Were you ever interviewed when you were in the
15 Batkovic camp?
16 A. I was never interrogated at the camp. Only on one occasion when I
17 asked to be seen by a doctor, the lieutenant colonel of the Bijeljina
18 garrison came. I was questioned as to my medical history before I was
19 released to go home again.
20 JUDGE ORIE: In your statement, you say that you returned to Brcko
21 because you were sick. Could you tell us what ailments you were suffering
23 A. I had inflammation of joints twice in my life, and I was paralysed
24 during those two times, and everybody who knows anything about it knows
25 that inflammation of the joints is accompanied by heart problems. I had
1 no luck with medication, and I simply wanted them to give me some medicine
2 in case I suffer another attack. And in the end, I was allowed to go
4 JUDGE ORIE: Was there, in your view, any direct relation between
5 your illness and the conditions in the Batkovic camp?
6 A. Of course there was.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And could you describe what conditions, in your
8 opinion, contributed to the inflammation.
9 A. The inflammation of the joints was an old complaint, and I wanted
10 to prevent another occurrence, and I wanted to ask for the doctor in
11 advance. But I have to tell you about the conditions that reigned there.
12 There were 1.620 of us there at the time when I was detained there. It's
13 an official figure. We all slept in a barn, 16 by 45 metres. During the
14 day, and for the most time in the evenings, we were locked up and we were
15 not allowed to go out, not even to the toilet. Instead, they would give
16 us some barrels to use as toilet. So we were not allowed to go out at
17 all. We lay on bare concrete, with nothing to cover ourselves or to put
18 under our heads. Even if we wanted to turn to the other side when lying
19 down, we were unable to do so unless everybody else turned at the same
20 time, because we were lined up like sardines and we lived in the hope of
21 the Red Cross coming and finding us. And this situation lasted for about
22 two months.
23 Two days before the Red Cross team came to take our personal
24 details and register us, we were allowed to put some hay in the barn. We
25 did that, and then when the Red Cross team came, they brought a blanket
1 and a bar of soap per inmate, so that we finally had something by way of
2 bedding and toiletries. And out of the total number of 1.620 of us, as
3 far as I was able to count, not more than 700 people were registered. The
4 rest were concealed.
5 JUDGE ORIE: May I just stop you there? I asked you more
6 specifically what conditions contributed to your health situation, and you
7 started to describe the general conditions. I would like to know
8 specifically -- until now you have told us about being kept inside.
9 You've told us about hygiene. You've told us about not sufficient place
10 and not sufficient facilities to sleep. You didn't say anything about
11 food yet, but I'd first like to know: Was it the temperature? Was it the
12 lack of sleep? What in the conditions contributed specifically to your
13 inflammations, in your view?
14 A. I can answer that beatings, beatings by the guards. We were
15 beaten, although not all of us, and in the time that I was detained there,
16 17 men died of beatings. None of them were killed by firearms, but solely
17 as a consequence of beatings. People would be beaten up and then left to
18 lie among us, and none of us were allowed to help them.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you again. I am fully aware that you
20 could tell us for a long time on the conditions in the camp, but the
21 Prosecution has not, I would say, primarily called you in order to inform
22 this Chamber about the conditions in the camp. Therefore, I'm
23 specifically interested to know to what extent the camp conditions, in
24 your case, contributed to your illness. You said beatings. Was there
25 anything else that specifically you felt deteriorated your medical
2 A. Well, I told you the very conditions in which we slept and the
3 hygienic conditions, plus beatings and the food. The food was more than
4 appalling. But under those conditions, nobody would even think of
5 complaining. We were often left without any food at all. And even when
6 some food was brought, the guards would toss our plates away.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. That answers my questions. I'd just like
8 to make clear to you that it is not because your experience in that camp
9 is not of importance, but there's still a lot of witnesses to come, and
10 since your statement mainly concerns other matters than the camp
11 conditions, it was just briefly that I would like to know what contributed
12 to the reasons why you were released from that camp, being sick.
13 Did the questions of the Chamber raise any issue which needs
14 further examination of the witness?
15 MR. HANNIS: None from the Prosecution, Your Honour.
16 MR. STEWART: No, Your Honour, not from the Defence either.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. 018, this concludes your testimony before this Chamber. I'd
19 like to thank you very much for coming and answering questions of all
20 parties, although it might not have been that clear to you that you also
21 answered the questions of the Prosecution. But of course you have given
22 your statement and the Chamber had read that statement in advance. Thank
23 you for coming, and I wish you a safe trip home again.
24 Madam Usher, you may escort the witness out of the courtroom.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to make -- to have a break and see
2 whether later this morning or, I should say, early in the afternoon, we
3 could perhaps have short oral argument on the submissions made. I am
4 aware that there are some technical aspects in it. There's some case-law
5 cited, not uncommon for common-law-trained lawyers. It's mainly, as I see
6 from the English and the Australian cases. Whereas this Chamber, not
7 being a Chamber -- not being a jury trial system, also very much likes to
8 be informed about what happens in non-jury systems, because especially in
9 the field of evidence, that sometimes gives -- I would not say another
10 view, but an addition to the view developed in systems which are used to
11 have jury trials.
12 But, Mr. Hannis or Mr. Tieger, would you think that it would be of
13 any use to perhaps reconvene at, I would say, for example, 1.00 and then
14 spend all together perhaps 20 minutes on the issue?
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, as we have just received a motion
19 sitting here in Court, if we could have the time to look that over and
20 inform you during this break, if we can be ready to argue this afternoon,
21 or perhaps we can argue this afternoon with leave from the Court to file
22 something in writing if they thought it were necessary, by the close of
23 business. I understand the Court's desire to be able to have the argument
24 done and decide this as soon as possible, because if Mr. Deronjic is not
25 on Thursday, we're going to have to make some other arrangements.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And since I do understand that -- tomorrow
2 we'll sit anyhow. One of the things we could do, of course, is to have
3 then perhaps additional oral arguments, but then not more than five to
4 seven minutes, each party, to start with tomorrow morning, after we have
5 received the written submission this afternoon.
6 Would that be a way to proceed?
7 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, in principle, it's satisfactory.
8 It certainly occurred to me when Mr. Hannis referred to written
9 submissions, it's always desirable that there is at least some opportunity
10 to make oral submissions on those. My nervousness about what Your Honour
11 says is, I'm afraid, just the familiar one, is to indicate five to seven
12 minutes in advance of having any idea of what those written submissions
13 involve I would suggest is slightly disconcerting.
14 JUDGE ORIE: What I wanted to indicate, that it should be
15 additional to what has been put on paper already. But of course I do
16 understand that if the full German case-law would be presented by the
17 Prosecution you might need a bit more than five to seven minutes to
18 respond to that.
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm wondering whether, in the
20 circumstances, given that -- of course I know the Tribunal is anxious to
21 use the time today, but it does really raise the question whether it
22 wouldn't be more satisfactory, rather than have oral submissions, with a
23 view to it then being quite likely, it seems, that the need for written
24 submissions and some further oral submissions, whether perhaps the
25 timetable isn't driving us a little bit too much here and the more
1 satisfactory way too deal with it is deal with the whole matter first
2 thing tomorrow morning. Your Honour would no doubt have a view from the
3 Prosecution on that suggestion.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Your submission has been announced already
5 quite some time ago, and we -- I'm also aware that then the scheduling of
6 Mr. Deronjic was not the same as it is now. But, on the other hand, it's
7 only now on Tuesday morning that we received it.
8 Let me just ...
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has decided that the Prosecution will
11 have an opportunity to briefly respond in writing this afternoon. May I
12 take it that it could be done by 4.00? And that tomorrow a brief oral
13 argument will be held. Whether that will be right at the beginning of the
14 hearing or midway or at the end, that is still something to be decided.
15 Is there anything else the parties would like to raise at this
16 very moment?
17 MR. HANNIS: Nothing from the Prosecution, Your Honour.
18 MR. STEWART: Nor from the Defence, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll adjourn until 9.00 tomorrow morning, same
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.50 a.m.
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of
23 February 2004, at 9.00 a.m.