1 Tuesday, 5 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 11.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Momcilo Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Having dealt with a lot of housekeeping matters yesterday, we now
12 resume the presentation of the Prosecution's case.
13 Mr. Hannis, is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness?
14 MR. HANNIS: We are, Your Honour. Our next witness is Azim
15 Medanovic. There are no protective measures for this witness, Your
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness into the
20 Mr. Hannis, the Chamber received an 89(F) summary. Are there any
21 objections against that summary, Ms. Loukas?
22 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour, there are no objections.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So it then can be read. It was a bit unclear on
24 whether you wanted to use that, but I think from the last messages, I
25 understood that you'll read the 89(F) summary and concentrate on the
1 remaining issues.
2 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the very first thing that I'm going to
5 be showing the witness is the 89(F) package, which contains both his
6 statements, his 1997 original statement and then a very brief supplement
7 dated 30 January of 2003.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. HANNIS: If that could be given a number.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, the package to be given one
11 number, including the 17th of July, 1997, and the 23rd of September, 1997
12 statement, and the supplemental information sheet dated the 4th of
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P309.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Medanovic. Before you give
18 evidence in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you
19 to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole
20 truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is now handed out to you by
21 Madam Usher. I'd like to invite you to make that solemn declaration.
22 WITNESS: AZIM MEDANOVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Medanovic. Please be seated.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You'll first be examined by Mr. Hannis, counsel for
4 the Prosecution.
5 Mr. Hannis, would you please explain to the witness, unless he
6 Knows already, what the 89(F) procedure means.
7 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 Examined by Mr. Hannis:
10 Q. Mr. Medanovic, we're going to start this morning by handing you
11 copies of your prior statements to the ICTY, and as we discussed when we
12 were proofing this matter, I'm going to ask you if you recognise those
13 statements and adopt them for purposes of evidence in this case. If
14 you'll wait just a moment, we'll have you take a look at those.
15 Mr. Medanovic, before coming to court today in preparation for
16 your testimony, did you have an opportunity to read both those
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. And after having done so, were you satisfied that they were true
20 and accurate?
21 A. Yes. The statements are true and accurate.
22 Q. And do you now at this time confirm them to the Court as your
23 evidence in this case?
24 A. Yes. Those are my statements. That's what I stated, and I stand
25 by what I stated.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would note, as we're going to go
3 through his statement, that in the English version of the statement there
4 are a number of minor typographical errors, but rather than go through
5 them one at a time as we did on a previous occasion, I think the meaning
6 of those will be obvious. In one place the word ash is used when it's
7 actually referring to the posterior, and one place riffle is used instead
8 of rifle, those kinds of things.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If they're obvious typos, which do not leave
10 any doubt as to what they stand for, we can be very practical and leave
11 It. Please proceed.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like to read now a
13 summary of his statement. If I may do so.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
16 This witness describes a mass killing of non-Serb villagers in
17 and around Prhovo, Kljuc municipality, on or about 1 June 1992.
18 The witness was in Prhovo when Serb infantry and APCs came to the
19 village. Villagers were told to come out of their houses or they would
20 be killed. Immediately after surrendering, male villagers were lined up,
21 facing a wall. Some were singled out, beaten, and shot dead. Surviving
22 men were then marched out of the village toward the village of Peci. Six
23 men at the end of the line were told to push a Serb vehicle out of the
24 mud. They failed to do so, and the witness heard shots and deduced that
25 those men were killed.
1 As the Muslim men were being led toward Peci, one of the Serb
2 soldiers was shot. The leader of the soldiers, local Serb Marko
3 Adamovic, then shouted over his megaphone, "I order the following: Kill
4 women and children, burn the village to the ground." He then heard an
5 explosion, screams and cries coming from the village where the women and
6 children had been left. The marching prisoners were moved on and beaten
7 by soldiers. About eight of them fell, and the witness heard screaming
8 and shots. He deduced that those who had fallen were killed.
9 Further on at a road junction, Adamovic beat the prisoners with
10 his rifle but the. Five more could not continue and were killed. After
11 passing the hamlet of Sisarice, prisoners were ordered to strip and
12 beaten again. Three hundred metres further on, the prisoners were
13 ordered to lie down in a meadow. The witness heard shooting and then an
14 order for those who were still alive to stand up. Adamovic said, "There
15 are too many of them." Two more prisoners were told to kneel down and
16 killed with shots in the back. Marching on, the column passed through a
17 Serb village. The soldiers encouraged the Serb villagers to beat the
18 prisoners. The witness begged one of the Serb soldiers to kill him. As
19 night fell, the column stopped outside the PTT building in the village of
20 Peci. The prisoners were given their most severe beating yet. One more
21 man, about 60 years of age, died. Prisoners spent the night lying bound
22 outside on the gravel.
23 The following day, the prisoners were loaded into a van and
24 driven to the elementary school in Kljuc. A policeman, Tode Gajic, told
25 them that the village of Prhovo was supposed to be erased from the map
1 and that they should be happy that they had survived. All but one of the
2 prisoners were then taken by bus to a school gymnasium in Sitnica. The
3 witness remained there for three days and was then taken on a forced walk
4 of 40 to 50 kilometres to Manjaca, where the witness remained confined
5 for over six months. He lost 30 kilogrammes during his detention.
6 Your Honours, this is relevant to paragraphs 16, 17, 19 through
7 24 and 27, as well as counts 1 through 8 of the indictment, and schedule
8 killing A, number 9.1, and schedule C, detention facilities 1.4, 19.2,
9 and 19.3.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I'll ask you one question, Mr. Hannis, just for
11 scheduling purposes. The time indicated at the bottom of the 89(F)
12 summary, is that the one still valid? Because I saw another one this
13 morning. You thought that you might be finished even until the first
15 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Just to give you an impression, since we started
17 late, we'll split up just the time in two halves, so I expect that we'll
18 have our first break at approximately a quarter past 12.00, something
19 like that, then have a short break, 20 minutes, and then we would then
20 have two times 70 minutes and the break.
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I will be less than the three hours
22 that were originally estimated for this witness. And he has a commitment
23 tomorrow, Your Honour, so I'm hoping that we will be able to finish him
24 completely today. Otherwise I would request that he be allowed to come
25 back at a different day if we don't finish him today. Because he does
1 have a work commitment tomorrow that would not make it possible for him
2 to be here tomorrow.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Not even in the early hours.
4 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. I believe there's some test with
5 regard to his employment that he has to take.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, let's see how far we come, and, Mr.
7 Hannis, please proceed.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Adamovic, according to your statement, you were born and
10 raised in Prhovo village in Kljuc municipality; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was the ethnicity of Prhovo village?
13 A. All the inhabitants in that place were Muslims, but there was
14 also a Serbian hamlet called Prhovo, but it was about a kilometre or two
15 away from our village.
16 Q. Approximately how many houses --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, microphone, please.
19 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry.
20 Q. In May of 1992, how many houses, approximately, were there in
22 A. There were about 40 houses, more or less.
23 Q. About how many people in total lived in Prhovo?
24 A. I think about 250 or 260 inhabitants lived there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, there's a series risk of confusion,
1 since the witness said that at a distance of one kilometre that the
2 village was also called Prhovo. So could we make sure that we're talking
3 about the Prhovo where he lived.
4 Q. Mr. Medanovic, if you heard the judge, I want to be clear that
5 the 40 houses and the 250 or 260 inhabitants are the Prhovo, the Muslim
6 Prhovo where you lived. Is that correct?
7 A. I'm speaking about the purely Muslim Prhovo in which I lived, and
8 that's where there were about 40 houses.
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, could the witness be shown the next
10 exhibit. This is a map, and could it be given the next number.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please assist.
12 MR. HANNIS: If we could put it on the ELMO.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P310.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Mr. Medanovic, could you take a look at that map --
17 A. I apologise, but my name is not Adamovic. My name is Medanovic.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On our transcript, it appears as Mr.
19 Medanovic, but of course I'm fully aware of if you understood it or if it
20 was translated to you by that other name, that that's not something you
21 would like to remain uncorrected.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Mr. Medanovic, could you please take a look at the map that's on
25 Your left, on the screen -- on the flat screen to your left.
1 A. I'm looking at the screen now.
2 Q. And if you could take the pointer, and on that map could you
3 point to the Court where your village of Prhovo was located.
4 A. Here.
5 Q. And that map indicates that the villages in blue are Serb and
6 those in green are Muslim. Based on your knowledge of living in that
7 area all your life, does that appear to accurately reflect the Serbian
8 and the Muslim villages and towns in Kljuc municipality?
9 A. I think so. I think it is accurate.
10 Q. Sir, and does that also show some of the other villages that you
11 talk about in your statement, including Peci, Humici, Plamenice?
12 A. Yes. You can see Peci here, Humici over here. I also mentioned
13 Donje Sokolovo. I said that we saw it as we were on our way to Peci on
14 one occasion. Everything is Kljuc to me. This is where we saw Donje
15 Sokolovo from.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry.
18 Q. I'm sorry, You can set the pointer down. And we won't need the
19 map for a while, thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you one thing, Mr. Hannis. There is some
21 text on this map as well which is not there in translation. Of course
22 the graphics are, even for this Chamber, understandable, because a lot of
23 well-known words appear. But the other parts, if it's irrelevant, at
24 least the Defence is able to decipher that. But if you say it's of no
25 importance, then ... But as usual, the Chamber would prefer to have of
1 any exhibit an English translation.
2 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour. For purposes of this
3 witness, I only wanted to show the graphic representation of the
4 villages. We may have additional testimony about other items contained
5 on that map at a later date from other witnesses.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And then we also receive an English translation.
7 Ms. Loukas, would you insist, if you think it's really important what's
8 there, then it's indicated by Mr. Hannis that we'll receive evidence on
9 that later and then we'll receive a translation. But for the time being,
10 could we do without that translation.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Oh, indeed, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Then the Chamber will not insist on --
13 MS. LOUKAS: I have the advantage of having Ms. Cmeric.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I leave it to the parties at this moment.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Medanovic, in May of 1992, what kind of work were you doing
18 when you lived in Prhovo?
19 A. I used to have my own private lorry.
20 Q. Were you a member of any political party?
21 A. No, I wasn't.
22 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 6, you say that you were "aware
23 of the tense situation in the municipality in April, May 1992." Could
24 you explain to the Court what tense situation you were aware of at that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and English transcripts.
1 A. Well, at the time, there was a sort of anarchy in our
2 municipality. Troops would march around the municipality, troops that
3 never used to be there. They carried automatic weapons with them, which
4 was not allowed before. Soldiers weren't allowed to carry automatic
5 weapons around the town with them or go into cafes with such weapons.
6 This wasn't the case a few years ago, a few years earlier. Many of the
7 people's rights had been curtailed. Some people had been dismissed from
8 their workplaces because they were Muslims. A curfew had already been
9 introduced; from 10.00 in the evening onwards, you weren't allowed to go
10 outside. If necessary, you had to inform people of the need to pass
11 through the town. I was aware of this situation. I was aware of the
12 fact that something was being prepared. I was aware of the fact that
13 something was going to happen.
14 Q. And the soldiers that you described with automatic weapons, do
15 you know what ethnicity they were?
16 A. Well, naturally, they were Serbs. None of our people were there.
17 Our troops were elsewhere. I remember soldiers who came home. They had
18 to leave. These soldiers had to leave the army and go home.
19 Q. Mr. Medanovic, I want to ask you about paragraph 8 of your
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. HANNIS: I apologise.
23 Q. I want to ask you about paragraph 8 of your statement. You
24 talked about a meeting you went to in Pudin Han, and then you returned to
25 the village and the women had already left to go to Hripavci,
1 H-r-i-p-a-v-c-i. Why had they gone to that other village?
2 A. Probably for their own safety. Not probably. That was for sure.
3 Our village was surrounded by a forest. It was an isolated village,
4 surrounded by Serbian villages. But for the safety of women and
5 children, there were a number of Muslim villages there, so they withdrew
6 to the village of Hripavci, in order to be safe.
7 We stayed on in the village that night, or for another two
8 nights, and then a day or two later the women returned to the village in
9 order to live normally again. But they couldn't.
10 Q. You mentioned in paragraph 9 of your statement that one Suad
11 Hadzic and two other men went to a neighbouring Serb village for advice
12 and information. Do you know why they had gone there and what kind of
13 advice or information they were seeking?
14 A. Well, our situation was very uncertain. That's the sort of
15 situation we were living in and we didn't have any information from the
16 media, from the television or from the radio. We couldn't obtain any
17 accurate information. So we went to see our neighbours, to request
18 assistance, because there were a few houses there and they had spent
19 their entire lives there together. We just wanted to ask for help, ask
20 what we should do. Two or three men went there. I know that Suad Hadzic
21 and two other men went there. I don't know their names. They went
22 there, but they weren't given a warm reception. But nothing happened to
23 them. They returned home safe and sound.
24 Q. You mention in paragraph 10 of your statement the three men that
25 they talked to there, Marinko Suknovic, Branko Brankovic, and Stojan
1 Tekic. What was the ethnicity of those men?
2 A. They were Serbs.
3 Q. And you say that Suad told you that he and the other two men from
4 your village were told that you people in Prhovo should go to Peci to
5 surrender. Did you do that? Did you go to Peci to surrender?
6 A. No, we didn't. That had no logic. Going to Peci would have
7 meant going through a Serbian village and we couldn't know what would
8 happen to us. While passing through Serbian villages without arms,
9 something would probably have happened to us. We couldn't leave the
10 village, because we didn't have any kind of escort. No one could have
11 escorted us to Peci. We didn't do that. We just waited to see what
12 would happen in our village. We remained there alone.
13 Q. And the next day, according to your statement, paragraph 11, for
14 the Court, Serb military arrived in the village and you and some others
15 went to the forest. When you came back, did you find out from the
16 villagers who remained behind, what had happened regarding the soldiers
17 who came to Prhovo?
18 A. Well, those soldiers allegedly came to take over weapons. The
19 weapons we had were surrendered, were handed over, very few of them, and
20 some people in the village were beaten up. This is what I saw when I
21 returned. I saw that people had scars on their faces. I saw that they
22 had been beaten severely. I was in the forest, and I then returned.
23 Q. -- forward to paragraph 13 in your statement. June 1st, you
24 described the Serbs coming again. Do you know approximately how many
25 there were?
1 A. Roughly, there were about a hundred of them. I wasn't able to
2 count them all, of course, because you weren't allowed to look. But I
3 did see a large number of people who had come to the village.
4 Q. And what kind of uniforms were they wearing?
5 A. They were wearing the uniforms of military policemen, and the
6 military policemen's uniform included white belts and straps and military
7 pistols with white halters. They had automatic weapons, but of course
8 the weapons weren't white. The weapons were black. And they had white
9 bands on their shoulders. That was some kind of insignia too, or way in
10 which they differentiated between each other.
11 Q. You say when they arrived you and about ten other men were
12 outdoors. What were you doing at the time?
13 A. Well, we were there discussing what to do at that particular
14 moment, or rather, that same day, I had it in mind to escape. I didn't
15 believe the soldiers that came in, and if they had confiscated the
16 weapons, they weren't about to do anything else but kill us. But the
17 neighbour said that we should stay in the village because if we were to
18 leave, they would kill the women and children, and I remained and
20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... armed at that time?
22 A. No, nobody had anything left. Everybody handed in their weapons
23 and nobody had any weapons with them any more.
24 Q. Paragraph 14, you describe how you were told to come out of your
25 houses or you would be killed, and you were assembled in the village.
1 Where did they gather you or assemble you? And could we --
2 A. That was --
3 Q. Please, go ahead. I'm sorry.
4 A. That was in the middle of the village. It was across from the
5 shop. There was Abid Osmanovic's house there. And they lined us up
6 against the wall, the men, and then they took out one by one to kill them
7 or whatever.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Exhibit 262, which has
9 previously been shown to another witness.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please wait for the end of the
11 answer. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, you're invited to wait until the answer
13 of the witness is finished.
14 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Medanovic, do you recognise what that is a photograph of?
16 A. Yes, I do recognise that. That is Abid Osmanovic's house,
17 afterwards, once it was destroyed. When they brought us there, it was
18 standing, of course.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... building, where were you
20 villagers gathered by the soldiers, or the military police?
21 A. In front of this destroyed house, up against that wall there.
22 Can I have something to point with to show you? This is where we were,
23 along this wall. We were lined up against this wall, in a group, one
24 next to the other. Several lines of us. We were standing there and
25 waiting what was going to happen to us, what the military police was
1 going to decide to do with us.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. In your statement you say there were about 40 of you men. How
4 many women and children were there in addition to the 40 of you?
5 A. Well, there were women and children, yes. I can't give you a
6 figure, but, roughly, perhaps 80 women and children. Some of them had
7 gone to live abroad. So there might have been a hundred. No, they
8 weren't there. Some of them were hiding in a cellar. But there were
9 that amount of women and children. They were hiding in another cellar in
10 the village.
11 Q. You mentioned in your statement that your wife and child and
12 others were hidden in a basement. Were they able to remain hidden
13 throughout the day?
14 A. No. They were just there during the time that the command came,
15 the order came from Marko Adamovic, and I quote: "Kill the women and
16 children and set fire to the village and raze it to the ground." And at
17 the same time, that's what happened. That's what the soldiers did. When
18 they did that and accomplished that, they left the village, whereas the
19 people who remained alive, the women and children remaining in the group
20 behind us, started screaming and crying. And then the women who were
21 hidden in the cellars, they came out to see what had happened in the
22 village itself.
23 Q. Mr. Medanovic, I want to stop you there and back up a little bit
24 before we get to that event. When you 40 men and some women and children
25 were gathered there in paragraph 15 of your statement, you say the Serbs
1 made your release conditional upon the surrender of certain people. What
2 people did they want in exchange for releasing you?
3 A. Well, they were looking for Hasan Medanovic and Braco Medanovic,
4 because they knew they were in Germany, the two of them, those two men,
5 and they asked us for something we weren't able to deliver for us to be
6 released. That was the condition they made.
7 Q. In your statement you indicate that you told the Serbs that those
8 two men weren't there because they were working in Germany. And you say
9 the Serbs knew that. How did they know that?
10 A. Well, I think that Branko Brankovic, who was just a kilometre and
11 a half away from us, he had worked with Hasan and Braco Medanovic for
12 several months in Germany before the war began and then he went back
13 there. So he knew that the two men were in Germany and I assume some
14 other people knew about that too.
15 Q. When they were not able to find these two men that they wanted,
16 what did they do?
17 A. They began to take out the men, one by one, out of the line-up,
18 and to kill them. There were a couple of people there, and usually they
19 would say that they weren't there when the weapons were being handed in.
20 They took those out and started killing them, the ones that had fled and
21 taken to the forest.
22 Q. Now, when had the Serbs been there before this day to look for
23 weapons? How long before?
24 A. Well, all that took place in the space of two or three days,
25 from, say, the 28th to the 1st, thereabouts.
1 Q. And you were not present on that earlier day when they came to
2 search for weapons. How was it that you were not selected out with these
3 other men?
4 A. Well, at that point, a military policeman did single me out and
5 take me out. But then he found out that he knew me from the town, and
6 then he protected me. And he said -- he didn't let them take me. He
7 said I was there, whereas I wasn't. He said that he saw me there when
8 the weapons were being handed over. So that's how I stayed alive.
9 Q. And is that the man with the nickname Mrki that you mention in
10 your statement?
11 A. Yes, that's right. That's the young man who protected me on that
12 particular occasion.
13 Q. Among those Serb military men in military police uniforms, how
14 many of them were wearing a mask?
15 A. I don't know the exact number, but I think there might have been,
16 let's say, 30 per cent of them. That's what I think. I don't know the
17 exact number. Because the people that we didn't know didn't have to wear
18 masks. People who have been from other places, they had no need to wear
19 the mask because nobody would recognise them. Whereas the people that
20 were well-known to us and were from neighbouring villages, they were the
21 ones who wore the masks.
22 Q. In paragraph 16 --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Hannis. Microphone, Counsel.
24 MR. HANNIS: I apologise.
25 Q. In paragraph 16 of your statement, Mr. Medanovic, you describe a
1 number of villagers who were singled out, beaten, and killed.
2 Approximately how many men did that happen to in the village before you
3 were taken away?
4 A. Well, I think that there were about seven or eight of them. I
5 can't give you an exact number, but I do know that that was roughly the
6 number, seven, eight, maybe nine, not more than that, there in the
8 Q. And what was happening with the rest of you men and the women and
9 children who were gathered there during this time?
10 A. At that moment, an order came from Marko Adamovic to the effect
11 that we were to be lined up on the road towards Peci. And once we had
12 lined up - there might have been 35 of us, 35 men. The women had already
13 been separated and the children too to one side - I was standing next to
14 my own father and I'll never forget that. He told me that I should be
15 careful and take care, and I told him to take care too. And then after a
16 little while they told us to start moving out of the village, in a
17 column, one by one.
18 Q. Was that the last time you spoke to your father?
19 A. Yes, unfortunately, it was.
20 Q. Do you know what happened to him that day?
21 A. He was killed and he was found in a mass grave later.
22 Q. After the 35 of you men were gathered up, you say in your
23 statement that you were marched off toward Peci. Who was the man that
24 appeared to be in charge of these Serb military policemen?
25 A. As far as I was able to conclude, Marko Adamovic was the man that
1 everybody contacted and asked and addressed him. The policemen would
2 always address him and they would say Comrade Captain, what are we going
3 to do next and he would issue an order. So I know he was the man that
4 everybody asked.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Medanovic, if you need at any moment some
6 additional time or just would like to have a moment of rest or a break,
7 then please indicate, ask me. Yes.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Medanovic, in your statement, you say you knew Marko Adamovic
11 before this. What was his ethnicity?
12 A. He was a Serb.
13 Q. And who were the soldiers who escorted you 35 men out of the
14 village toward Peci? Were they the same military policemen you've
15 described or was it some other group?
16 A. No. They were the same men. They were still the same men. And
17 they took us to Peci.
18 Q. On your way out of town or of the village, in paragraph 20, you
19 say: "A Serb soldier was killed." And you say that was probably by a
20 mistake. What leads you to conclude that that was probably by a mistake?
21 A. Well, it must have been a mistake, if nobody else had weapons.
22 So who could kill people if you had handed in your weapons the day before
23 and if we were all gathered there in a group? Nobody else could have
24 done the killing but him. And they were playing around with us, in fact.
25 Or perhaps what might have happened, I think they had to justifyalign
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and English transcripts.
1 themselves and then they could use this as justification and say that one
2 of their own men was killed. Or perhaps it was somebody who wasn't
3 obeying orders. That could have been the case too. But it couldn't have
4 been any of us killing the men, because we were all gathered there.
5 Q. Did Marko Adamovic do or say anything after -- immediately after
6 that Serb soldier, policeman, was shot?
7 A. Well, when that happened, when the incident took place with that
8 soldier, I didn't myself see it actually happening. However, Marko
9 Adamovic became very angry. He was very angry with us, and he turned
10 round to the village, although we were about three to five hundred metres
11 away from the village at that point, and he had a megaphone to issue his
12 orders. And I remember well when he said, "I order the following," and I
13 quote: Burn down the village to the ground. Kill all the women and
14 children." And then I had no hope of surviving. Because what could I
15 expect if they were going to kill the women and children? I would
16 probably have been killed too. Those were the thoughts that went through
17 my mind at that point.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Marko Adamovic gave that
19 order over the megaphone, what happened next? What did you hear?
20 A. That same moment, you could hear some shots in the village. I
21 think there was a bomb or some explosion of some kind. They had thrown
22 something into the mass of people there, the women and children who had
23 remained there in the village. And you could hear the screams of those
24 people who had stayed on there. And afterwards, I heard that a lot of
25 people were killed on that occasion.
1 Q. Before you men moved on from that point, in paragraph 22 of your
2 statement, you say, about another eight men were killed there. Were
3 those bodies also recovered from a mass grave?
4 A. Yes, they were. Those bodies were recovered. Because ten days
5 later, they had to come up and pick the bodies away from the -- off the
6 road, and then they buried them all into a mass grave. And two or three
7 of our men were present there, two or three Muslims, when those bodies
8 were you brought back to the village. And then they dug a grave in the
9 centre of the village and put all the bodies inside.
10 Q. On down the road, in paragraph 23, you indicate you came to a
11 crossroad and saw a man you knew as Milan Dancic. What was his ethnicity
12 and where was he from?
13 A. I think that the man's name was Milan Dancic.
14 Q. And his ethnicity and where he's from?
15 A. By ethnicity, he was a Serb, and he was from Serbian Prhovo,
17 Q. Was he wearing any kind of uniform?
18 A. He was wearing a uniform, but he wasn't wearing the military
19 police uniform like the rest of them.
20 Q. What kind did he have?
21 A. He had an army uniform, the standard type of army uniform, an
22 ordinary one, the kind that every rank-and-file soldier wears.
23 Q. In paragraph 24 you mention another approximately five men being
24 killed, and then going on down to the road, where in paragraph 27 you
25 describe those remaining villagers among you lying down and then another
1 round the shooting fired. You say 14 remained alive after that. What
2 did Marko Adamovic say after that round of shooting?
3 A. Well, I remember him saying Those of you who were still alive,
4 get up. But I thought that all of us were still alive, because I was
5 alive. I didn't see who was actually dead. And when I stood up, a lot
6 of people didn't stand, because they were dead. They were lying down on
7 the ground dead. But I didn't see them actually shooting at us. I
8 thought they were shooting up in the air.
9 Q. How many of you were remaining at this time of the original 35 or
11 A. Well, 14 of us remained, I think. 14, yes.
12 Q. And in your statement, you say Marko Adamovic said that was too
13 many. Did he tell his men to do anything about the fact that 14 of you
14 were too many?
15 A. Well, he was astonished to see so many of them, and he said:
16 "Oh, there are too many of them." And then he said we should line up and
17 then some more killing took place.
18 Q. You described that the first two men in line were killed one
19 after another and that you were then the first in line. What happened at
20 that point?
21 A. Well, at that point, when they singled out those two men and shot
22 them with their pistols - yes, they used their pistols to shoot them - I
23 was the third man in line, and then I was the first after the two others
24 had been shot. And I just saw death before my eyes. I saw my own death
25 before my eyes. I didn't see how I was to survive. Because they took
1 one man out, one by one, and they would just lay down on the ground dead.
2 And I saw my own death, if I can put it that way. I began to perspire,
3 because it's very difficult to know when you're going to die. Very
5 And suddenly one of the policemen turned around and he came
6 towards me. I recognised him. He wasn't wearing a mask. He was
7 actually a colleague of mine. I knew him from the cafe bars. We would
8 drink coffee together from time to time. And I asked him: Is that you?
9 And he said: Yes, it's me. But it was very difficult to recognise them
10 all in these uniforms and they had their hair cut. But I did recognise
11 him. And he said hello and I asked him to protect me. And he said he
12 would protect me. He recognised me. He said he'd keep me safe, he'd
13 protect me, and he told me to stand away, a few metres away from there,
14 in a line. I was the first man there. And he took me to Peci himself.
15 Q. And this is the man that you describe in your statement as Sico?
16 A. Yes, yes. I just know him by his nickname, Sico. I don't know
17 his first and last name, actually.
18 Q. So now you're down to 12 after these two men in front of you have
19 been killed. What happened next? Where did you go?
20 A. Well, they told us to line up. I was the first man in the line.
21 And Marko Adamovic said that they should stop and not use any more
22 bullets from their weapons, because they'd be needing it for something
23 else shortly. And we were happy to hear that, that they didn't want to
24 spend any more bullets on us. So we stood in line. I was the first man.
25 I was the one in front and the other 11 were behind me. And we continued
1 along the road to Peci. We were with almost within reach of Peci, a
2 kilometre away from Peci. Although Peci is a large place, so we had to
3 walk another three or four kilometres, in actual fact.
4 Q. And in your statement, Mr. Medanovic, in paragraph 29, you say
5 when you arrived in Peci, that some of the local Serbs came out and began
6 beating you and your fellow villagers. Did that include women and
7 children among those who were beating you?
8 A. Yes, it did. They would come out of their houses and they'd say
9 Give us one. We want to slaughter him or them. And then they beat the
10 people. The policemen didn't let them take the people. But they were
11 encouraged in beating the people. And they beat us themselves. So they
12 didn't mind the locals beating us up either.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, may I just raise a very practical point.
14 Ms. Loukas, I asked Madam Registrar, in view of the witness who said that
15 he would rather return tomorrow and since it was indicated by Mr. Hannis
16 that he might then have to be recalled, I asked Madam Registrar to
17 explore whether there would be any time available this afternoon. But
18 first of all, I'd like to know whether -- how much time you think you
19 would need for cross-examination. Mr. Hannis, is it still your estimate
20 that you could finish until the first break.
21 MR. HANNIS: -- Your Honour, page --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
23 MR. HANNIS: I apologise. I'm on page 6 of eight pages of notes,
24 so I'm nearly three quarters of the way through.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So there's a fair expectation that we could by
1 the next break that you might be finished.
2 Ms. Loukas, do you think that you could cross-examine the witness
3 in the time that would then remain available or ...
4 MS. LOUKAS: I have no doubt about that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No doubt about that. Then we'll continue and ask
6 Madam Registrar to discontinue her further investigations on what could
7 be done this afternoon.
8 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. You mention in paragraph 29 that you actually asked Sico to shoot
11 you at this point. Why did you do that, Mr. Medanovic?
12 A. Well, while I was being beaten along the road by one of them, he
13 made me take my jacket off, and I stripped -- I had to take everything
14 off except my trousers. And he beat me across my back. I asked him to
15 shoot me, but he too said that bullets were very costly and shouldn't be
16 wasted on the likes of me and that I ought to be hung. And that's what I
17 was afraid of, that he would actually hang me. I would rather have died
18 from a bullet wound than be hanged. It's an easier death.
19 MR. HANNIS: Could we have the next photograph given an exhibit
20 number and show it to the witness, please.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, that would be ....
22 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P311.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. And were in Peci were you taken to, Mr. Medanovic? What part of
25 the village?
1 A. Well, they took us right here, in front of this building.
2 Perhaps we were five or ten metres away from the building.
3 Q. And what is that building, or what was it at the time?
4 A. There was a shop in that building, a post office, some sort of a
5 centre. I went there very rarely, but I know there was a post office
6 there and a shop. And behind there was another building, a primary
7 school that had three or four classes. But you can't see the building in
8 this photograph.
9 Q. In your statement, you say that you were beaten at this location.
10 Who was beating you when you were here?
11 A. Across the road, behind the forest, there was a Serbian cafe.
12 That's where they came from, reservists came from there. Although Sico
13 told me on the way that we would be handed over to the reserve forces and
14 that they were going to sleep and have a rest. That's where they came
15 from, and they beat us.
16 Q. You mentioned that one more of the remaining 12 of you died at
17 this time. Sulejman Medanovic, was he a relative of yours?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. He was a relative of mine.
19 Q. Who was guarding the remaining 11 of you villagers that evening?
20 A. We were guarded by the reservists. There was someone else there,
21 Obrad Ribic. He was a driver in Kljuc. As I drove a lorry, I knew him
23 Q. What was his ethnicity?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. HANNIS:
1 Q. What was his ethnicity?
2 A. He was a Serb.
3 Q. And paragraph 33 of your statement, you say the next day you were
4 taken to an elementary school in Kljuc. How long were you there,
6 A. We stayed there until dusk. We were there for about seven or
7 eight hours in total.
8 Q. And who was guarding you at the elementary school?
9 A. I think that the reserve police force, or the police, guarded us
10 there. It was difficult for me to see anyone from Peci. When we spent
11 the night there, my eyes were closed and I couldn't see any more. I
12 didn't see anyone any more. Sulejman Medanovic, who remained lying
13 there, he was dead, I didn't see him personally, although we spent half a
14 day there in Peci. But I couldn't open my eyes any more because my head,
15 my entire face, was swollen. And I wasn't able to see for another two or
16 three days. Then I managed to see after having put water on my eyes.
17 Q. At the elementary school, you say in paragraph 33 that a
18 policeman named Tode Gajic came in and spoke with you, that Cazim
19 Medanovic told Mr. Gajic about what had happened in Prhovo. Do you
20 recall roughly, and briefly, what Cazim told Mr. Gajic about that?
21 A. Well, I do remember what happened very well. Cazim naively
22 started telling this person called Gajic about the incredible things that
23 had happened to us, as if Gajic knew nothing about that. And as he was
24 telling him about what had happened - how people had been killed, how the
25 village had been destroyed, et cetera, et cetera - at the time, Gajic
1 just kept nodding his head and questioned him and coldly observed him,
2 while this person complained to him. And then Gajic reacted by saying
3 that we should no longer exist, that we should be wiped away from the
4 map, and he said other things to this effect.
5 Q. In your statement, you say that he said Prhovo was supposed to be
6 erased from the map. Did he tell you why?
7 A. No, he didn't say why. All he said was that in their opinion,
8 that village should no longer exist; it should no longer be seen on the
9 map; it should be destroyed. That was what was literally said.
10 Q. In paragraph 34, Mr. Medanovic, you say that of the 11 of you who
11 had survived, one 16-year-old was released, and the remaining 10 of you
12 were taken to Sitnica school, where you were detained with about 300
13 other men. Who was guarding you at the Sitnica school?
14 A. We were guarded there by the reserve police force. It was the
15 police. And the reserve police force was also there, because the active
16 -- they were active at the time, the reserve police force was active and
17 they were assisting the other police force.
18 Q. Were you able to recognise any of the reserve police guarding you
19 at that school?
20 A. Yes, I was. I had contact with one policeman who used to work in
21 Humici, in a shop. I recognised him. He approached me. He helped me.
22 He gave me a sandwich, because I was really dead-beat and he felt sorry
23 for me.
24 Q. What was his ethnicity?
25 A. Well, naturally, he was a Serb.
1 Q. And the 300 men that were detained there, what was the ethnicity
2 of those 300?
3 A. The 300 men there -- well, I don't think there were any Croats
4 among them. I think that they were all Muslims.
5 Q. And the ten of you were from Prhovo. Do you know where the other
6 men were from?
7 A. Well, the others were from the surrounding villages in the place
8 called Kljuc, for example, Krasulje, Plamenice. We knew some of the
9 people. There were others whom we did not know.
10 Q. You say in paragraph 35 that on the 5th of June you were taken to
11 Manjaca, or that you had to walk to Manjaca. Of the 300 detained at
12 Sitnica school, how many were taken to Manjaca on that day?
13 A. We were all taken there, all 300 of us. That hall remained
14 empty. They took all of us up there.
15 Q. And who escorted or guarded you on the march to Manjaca?
16 A. Well, there was the reserve police force. They were armed, and
17 they escorted us up there.
18 MR. HANNIS: Could the witness next be shown Exhibit 264, which
19 has previously been tendered in this case.
20 Q. Mr. Medanovic, I believe in preparation for today you had a
21 chance to see this document before, which lists the names of certain men
22 captured or killed in Prhovo. Would you look at number 3 on that list
23 and tell us who that is.
24 A. That's myself, Azim Medanovic, son of Ahmo.
25 Q. And in the document it indicates that you had grenades on thatalign
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and English transcripts.
1 day. Did you have any grenades?
2 A. I didn't have anything.
3 Q. No weapon of any kind?
4 A. Absolutely nothing.
5 Q. And in the footnote, it lists a number of names of men who are
6 described as having been killed "in fighting with army and police
7 members." First of all, you looked through those names yesterday and you
8 indicated that one of them listed as killed is still alive. Can you tell
9 the Court which one that is.
10 A. Yesterday I was revolted by this list of people killed. The list
11 here is by Serbs from Kljuc. Where are the children and women who had
12 also been exhumed from the graves? If there was a fight and if that was
13 some sort of resistance, how is it they managed to conceal who the women
14 and children were? But I can tell you who was killed who wasn't in this
15 list. But I'm just wondering why they didn't compile a list of everyone
16 who had been killed.
17 Q. I understand your question, sir. For now, could you tell us
18 which name you recognise as being someone who is still alive?
19 A. Well, Medanovic Cazim, Mulanovic Suljeman, Azim Medanovic, we are
21 Q. In the top of the list, those are people listed as being captured
22 that day, but in the bottom the footnote are the names supposedly killed.
23 Could you just look at the footnote and tell me if there's one in there
24 you know to still be alive.
25 A. I can. Yes. Jusic Amir, son of Latif. He lives in London now.
1 He's alive. He was with us in Manjaca. He was taken after the ten of us
2 had arrived there. He came after our arrival there.
3 Q. May I stop you there for a moment. You mentioned that your
4 father was killed on that day. Is his name among the list of those
6 A. No, unfortunately. No. I had a look at the list yesterday, and
7 this also affected me somewhat, seeing that he is not contained in this
8 list. Perhaps there are others who are not included in the list, but I
9 couldn't say who at the moment, because it's very difficult for me to
10 know who is included there and who isn't from that entire place.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, I see that you're looking at the clock.
12 How much time you would still need? Because if we would have to finish
13 by today, and when I said that the time would be split up in two times 70
14 minutes, then of course if you had more questions, then of course time
15 might not be sufficient for Ms. Loukas. At the same time, since it's an
16 89(F) witness, of course the 60 per cent rule certainly would not
17 strictly apply.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think it will take me another 15 or
19 20 minutes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that causes then a problem.
21 Yes, Ms. Loukas.
22 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I don't know that it necessarily
23 does. I think we could take the break now.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MS. LOUKAS: If I could have a short conference with Mr.
1 Krajisnik, and the rest of the evidence in chief can continue. Because,
2 as I indicated previously, there is no doubt that cross-examination would
3 be completed today.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So that would mean that we would now have a break
5 until approximately 25 minutes to 1.00. Then, Mr. Hannis, you would have
6 until ten minutes to 1.00, approximately, and then in the remaining 55
7 minutes, Ms. Loukas, you confirm that you would be finished by a quarter
8 to 2.00.
9 MS. LOUKAS: Without a doubt, Your Honour, and I might indicate
10 in view of the fact that I want to have a short conference with Mr.
11 Krajisnik during the break, can we have a slightly longer break than Your
12 Honour indicated.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then 20 minutes to 1.00, would that do, or a
14 quarter to 1.00.
15 MS. LOUKAS: A quarter to 1.00.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until a quarter to 1.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for another late start, but
20 it was in an attempt to even be able to deliver the two pending
21 decisions, if possible, this morning, we spend some time on that. Mr.
23 Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
24 Mr. Medanovic, please be seated.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. Mr. Medanovic, I just want to ask you a couple more questions
4 about that list. Among the men from Prhovo listed as being killed that
5 day, do you know that indeed those men listed were killed on that day?
6 A. Well, I do know, because all these men listed here were found in
7 a mass grave in the middle of the village. They were exhumed and a
8 record was made, or rather, they were registered as having been killed.
9 Q. And, Mr. Medanovic, were you or any of those men on that list
10 -- the captured men and the men listed as killed -- were any of you
11 involved in fighting or engaged in combat on that day?
12 A. No, no one was involved in the fighting. The fact that we had
13 handed over the weapons a couple of days earlier is proof of the fact.
14 No one opened fire from any sort of weapons. There was no fighting of
15 any kind. When the police entered, they said: Put your hands behind
16 your head and look to the ground.
17 And we didn't react in any way. We didn't open any sort of fire.
18 We lined up immediately and we remained in the position we were in.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that document.
20 Now I want to ask you a question about your stay at Manjaca. In
21 paragraph 36 of your statement, you mention that you were not personally
22 interrogated, but some others were. Do you know if any of your fellow
23 Prhovo villagers were interrogated?
24 A. Yes. Medanovic Cazim, from Prhovo, was interrogated. He was
25 interrogated by Tode Gajic, from Kljuc. He is the person who
1 interrogated us in the school too. I heard this from him when the police
2 took him to Manjaca. And when he was returned to the camp.
3 Q. And you told us in your statement that you stayed at Manjaca
4 until 16th of December, 1992. During that time, were you ever charged
5 with a crime or taken to court?
6 A. No. No one took me to court, and no one charged me with
7 anything. They just imprisoned me and kept me there.
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, could the witness be shown the last
9 exhibit, a photograph.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, would you please assist us, or rather,
11 assist Mr. Hannis.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P312.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. Mr. Medanovic, do you see the photograph on the screen before
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Do you recognise where that's taken?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Where?
20 A. That's at Manjaca. I even know some of the men in the
21 photograph. They're from the neighbouring villages.
22 Q. Which neighbouring village are those men from?
23 A. I know these two here, the second in the line, the third person
24 in line.
25 Q. From which side of the photograph?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps the photograph could be put on the ELMO so
2 that whenever the witness points to certain persons, that --
3 Mr. Medanovic, may I invite you to do any pointing at the ELMO so
4 that we can follow you.
5 A. I know this young man, I know this man. I don't know this one.
6 I know this man here. And there is no one else I know. I do know these
7 three men here.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. For the record, Your Honour --
10 A. The second, the third, and the fourth person.
11 MR. HANNIS: I believe the second, third, and fifth person
12 [Microphone not activated].
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Medanovic, I think you pointed at the
14 second, the third, and then the fifth person. Is that correct? If you
15 look at the ...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The second person, the third
17 person, and the fifth person.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That, then, has been corrected. Please
19 proceed, Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS:
21 Q. And did you tell us which village they were from?
22 A. Well, this -- the second and third men are from the village of
23 Plamenice [Realtime transcript read in error: "Puminica"], which was
24 three or four kilometres from our village, whereas the fifth man is from
25 the village of Krasulje. He was related to a woman in Prhovo and he
1 would often come to my village. I know him personally.
2 Q. For the sake of the transcript, Mr. Medanovic, the first village
3 you named came across as Puminica, but you described it as a village as
4 being to you and I think that has a different name. Could you tell us
5 the village those first two were from?
6 A. Plamenice. Plamenice is the name of the village.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. HANNIS: I'm finished with that photograph.
9 Q. Finally, Mr. Medanovic, I want to ask you: You tell us in your
10 statement that you were released in December of 1992. In preparing for
11 your testimony today, we came up with a supplemental information sheet
12 regarding two matters that you had not included in your statement. And
13 one of those was: You mentioned that you had to fill out some paperwork
14 before you were allowed to leave Manjaca. Could you tell the Court what
15 that was.
16 A. Well, all I know is that in order to leave Manjaca, we had to
17 sign a document. We were briefly told about this. But we didn't have
18 time to read what we signed, and they didn't allow us to do so. But we
19 had to sign the document in order to leave Manjaca, and everyone was glad
20 to do this. No one was interested in what the document contained. All
21 the detainees were interested in was leaving.
22 Q. Do you remember anything about what was in that document you had
23 to sign, or what the condition was that you were agreeing to?
24 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I would object to leading on this
25 particular aspect.
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I could have the supplemental
2 information sheet marked as an exhibit.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is part of the 89(F).
4 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I don't believe it was
5 included in the 89(F) package.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's not included. Okay. Perhaps, Mr. Hannis,
7 let's first try --
8 Do you remember what exactly was in the document you signed?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't remember what it
10 contained, but I heard from people, and there were many people in Manjaca
11 who had to sign the document, and according to the rumours, it said
12 something to the effect that you were relinquishing your property, that
13 you were leaving the country, and that you would never return; that you
14 were leaving the land and that you would never return. That was a
15 condition that had to be fulfilled in order to leave Manjaca. It stated
16 that you were going to some third country. That is the sort of document
17 that one had to sign. But there was something that had probably been
18 agreed with the Red Cross, and so all the people went to third countries.
19 They left in droves.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And didn't you then read that document before
21 you signed it.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't read anything. There
23 wasn't time to read the documents. Thousands of people signed these
24 documents in half an hour. You'd just line up, you will sign the
25 document, and then you would leave, and the next one would turn up to
2 JUDGE ORIE: But just for my understanding: When you signed, you
3 had heard those rumours already before or did you hear them later on.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that these rumours were
5 heard before, but this didn't mean anything to us. What we were signing
6 didn't mean anything to any of us. The only important thing was to
7 leave. It didn't matter what they were requesting, whether they were
8 requesting a signature. Whatever the request was, people were prepared
9 to sign documents as long as they could leave. We really weren't
10 interested in what we were signing, because we were fighting for our
11 survival. And that is what is the most important thing for people.
12 People want to save their lives, and it doesn't matter what you are
13 signing. It wasn't important for me and it wasn't important for the
14 others either.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Even if it would mean to give up your property and
16 to permanently go to a third country; is that a correct understanding.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on the whole, most of the
18 detainees did that. They left and they went to third countries. The Red
19 Cross was present there. People went to Karlovac, countries would be
20 selected, certain countries would accept certain people, according to the
21 agreement, and people would cross the ocean, for example, and go to these
22 countries. And now that 11 years have passed, some people haven't
23 returned to their country.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No. Let me just try to stop you for a second.
25 You're now describing what happened to those people. My question was
1 that even if you would have read the document and even if that would have
2 contained that you declare to give up your property and to leave your
3 country permanently, and if that would have been the content, you would
4 have been willing to sign.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regardless. Each of us would have
6 signed, not only me, but others too. They would have signed whatever
7 needed signing just to leave that hell-hole.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no further
11 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions.
12 Ms. Loukas, is the Defence ready to cross-examine the witness?
13 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Medanovic, you'll now be examined by Ms.
15 Loukas, who's counsel for the Defence.
16 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Medanovic.
18 A. Good afternoon, Ms. Loukas.
19 Q. Mr. Medanovic, I don't have many questions for you, but I just
20 want to ask about your awareness or otherwise of certain events. Do we
21 understand each other?
22 A. I'll tell you everything I know.
23 Q. Okay. Now, were you aware whether Mr. Omer Filipovic was in
24 control of armed Muslims in Kljuc municipality?
25 A. Omer Filipovic was my professor at school, my teacher, and he was
1 the presiding office [as interpreted] of the SDA party. Omer Filipovic
2 was a sort of president. I knew about that.
3 Q. Yes. Were you aware of him being in charge of armed Muslims?
4 A. Yes, I knew he was at the head of the Muslims, but not armed
5 Muslims, as you put it.
6 Q. So you're not aware of him being in charge of Green Berets.
7 A. As far as I -- or rather, while I was in Kljuc, I didn't see a
8 single Green Beret. I don't know what you mean by that.
9 Q. Were you aware of Mr. Filipovic being in charge of the
10 Territorial Defence?
11 A. No. No, I wasn't aware of that. I knew that he was some sort of
12 president of the SDA or something like that.
13 Q. Were you aware of, around the 27th of May, 1992, Green Berets
14 blocking the regional road between Kljuc and Sanski Most in the town of
16 A. I heard about the incident several days later, but I didn't know
17 who it involved or what happened or what the purpose of the incident was.
18 I didn't know anything like that.
19 Q. Were you aware of Mr. Stojkovic Dusan, the assistant commander of
20 the police station in Kljuc, being killed around that time?
21 A. I heard about that too, that it had taken place. I heard about
22 it from others.
23 Q. And were you aware of any Muslim involvement in that particular
25 A. Yes. I had heard about that. Of course they were involved in
1 the incident, because at that period of time, as you said, the 27th of
2 August, that was when there was a lot of unrest in town, and a Muslim, a
3 Muslim man could not pass through Serbian territory. It was not allowed.
4 And the Serb who was the deputy commander or komandir from Kljuc, he
5 didn't allow people to go through the village of Krasulje. He wasn't
6 allowed to go through the village of Krasulje, which was a purely Muslim
7 village. So he was denied access and that's how the incident came about.
8 Q. I think you've indicated in your answer, as it recorded in the
9 transcript, 27th of August. I take it what you're -- the date we're
10 dealing with there, the month we're dealing with there, is the 27th of
11 May; correct?
12 A. May, May, yes.
13 Q. Now, were you also -- were you aware of an attack by Muslims on a
14 group of members of the JNA who were retreating from Croatia into
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina in your local area, in the Kljuc municipality?
16 A. I never knew about that.
17 MS. LOUKAS: No further questions, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
19 Any need for further questions?
20 MR. HANNIS: No, 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 have a brief clarification that I'd like you
25 to give me. You said that the men were wearing military police uniforms
1 and that they were -- some of them were masked. And you said that they
2 wore the masks because they were afraid that you might identify them,
3 recognise them. So how did you arrive at that particular conclusion?
4 A. That's just my opinion. I don't claim that what I thought was
5 correct, but I assume that they wore masks to prevent them from being
6 recognised. Why would you wear a mask if nobody is going to recognise
7 you anyway? So I think that that was the reason they wore masks, because
8 they were from neighbouring villages, people from neighbouring villages.
9 I don't claim that they were, but they did wear masks to prevent
10 themselves from being recognised. Why they wore the masks, I can't
11 really say for sure.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But were they all wearing the
13 military police uniforms?
14 A. Yes, they were. The ones that escorted us, they were all wearing
15 military police uniforms, yes.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You also mentioned some
17 reservists. Were they just called in for that particular occasion or
18 were they there anyway? Had they been recruited anyway?
19 A. I can't explain that. It's there --
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You didn't know them. You
21 didn't know these people; they were people you didn't know. Is that
23 A. Well, of the people I knew, I listed those people. I said in my
24 statement who I recognised and who I did not. Now, who wore what and why
25 they were wearing what they were wearing, I can't explain that to you.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, you identified,
2 for example, a man by the name of Sico, and you knew him. And he was
3 wearing the same reservist uniform, was he?
4 A. No. He was wearing the military police uniform.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What were the reservists
6 wearing? How were they dressed? And how were you able to make the
8 A. The military police distinguished in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the
9 former Yugoslavia, by the fact that they wear a white belt with white
10 bands, white holsters for their pistols and details of that nature. An
11 ordinary soldier does not wear that kind of thing. So that's how we
12 differentiated between the military police and the reservists, a regular
13 soldier, rank-and-file soldier.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Medanovic, let me first ask the parties whether
16 the questions put by Judge El Mahdi have raised any need for further
18 MR. HANNIS: Not from me, Your Honour.
19 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour, not from the Defence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Medanovic, this, then, concludes your testimony
21 in this court, since I have no further questions for you. The Chamber
22 would like to thank you for coming the far way from your country. It did
23 not remain unnoticed -- yes. I'm now saying far away, but that might not
24 be correct.
25 The Chamber did not remain unnoticed that the questions and your
1 own answers confronted you with a period in your past which, without any
2 doubt, is very emotional for you. Thank you very much. And even if your
3 way back is not as long as I suggested before, thank you very much for
5 Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness out of the
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I should like to thank you too, and
8 I was willing to come here. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ORIE: We have 20 minutes remaining. One of the oral
12 decisions that was prepared is ready to be read out, but if you would
13 grant the Chamber another ten minutes, the second one might be as well,
14 and we could spend the last ten minutes in reading out the two decisions.
15 One is the decision on the certificate and the other one is the decision
16 about the videolink.
17 So the parties are invited to remain on standby and we hope to be
18 back in ten minutes.
19 --- Break taken at 1.27 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will deliver two oral decisions. They
22 have been provided to the booth. Even with my latest handwriting in it,
23 which might not be easy to follow, but at least then you are alert on
24 when the printed text does not serve any more.
25 I will first start the decision on cross-examination of the
1 witness Biscevic through a videolink.
2 This is a decision pursuant to Rule 71 bis of the Rules. I would
3 point out that Rule 71 bis was added to the Rules on the 17th of
4 November, 1999. The present decision addresses a motion by the
5 Prosecution of the 16th of September, 2004, to which the Defence replied
6 on the 30th of September.
7 Rule 71 bis states that, and I quote: "The Trial Chamber may, in
8 the interests of justice, order that testimony be received via
9 videoconference link."
10 According to the case-law of the Tribunal, testimony given via
11 videolink is no less reliable than testimony given by the witness
12 physically present in the courtroom. Videolink evidence does not
13 infringe upon the rights of the accused to confront the witness directly.
14 It is important to note that this principle was upheld in cases predating
15 the advent of Rule 71 bis. I refer to the Delalic and others decision of
16 the 28th of May, 1997, and also in cases decided after the Rule was
17 introduced, and I refer to the Hadzihasanovic and Kubura decision of the
18 11th March of 2004.
19 The fact that videolink testimony does not, per se, violate
20 Article 21, paragraph 4(e) of the Statute has long been accepted. As
21 stated in the Brdjanin case by Judge Agius, Presiding Judge, on the 29th
22 of August, 2003, there is no material difference in the treatment of a
23 witness when he is cross-examined via videolink, following
24 examination-in-chief, in the witness's physical presence. This Trial
25 Chamber does not share the view of the Tadic Trial Chamber, in a decision
1 given prior to the adoption of the Rule on Evidence by videolink, that
2 the evidentiary value of testimony provided by videolink does not have
3 the same weight - I would add: per se - as testimony given in the
5 The Chamber believes that there is no material disadvantage to
6 the Defence in cross-examining the witness, Mr. Biscevic, via videolink.
7 There is, in other words, no material advantage the Prosecution had in
8 examination-in-chief which would be denied to the Defence in this case
9 when cross-examining via videolink.
10 Of course, since the examination of a witness via videolink is
11 slower, the Defence might need more time than it would normally be
12 allowed for cross-examination. This additional time will be granted, as
14 The Chamber notes that Mr. Biscevic stated under oath that he
15 would not be able to return to The Hague due to his state of health and
16 other personal circumstances. The fact that he has travelled to The
17 Hague before does not give any adverse indication. It may even, on the
18 contrary, indicate that this witness is inclined to cooperate except for
19 the fact that the circumstances - he mentioned his state of health and
20 his professional duties among his personal circumstances - prevent him
21 from doing so.
22 The Defence suggests excluding the witness's evidence or issuing
23 a subpoena. The alternative suggested by the Defence entail much graver
24 risks and consequences than the relatively small inconvenience arising
25 from receiving the balance of the evidence via videolink. The possible
1 exclusion of the evidence in chief, or the serious risk that a subpoena
2 might be ineffective in respect of a witness who has already indicated
3 his inability and unwillingness to appear again in The Hague, are a price
4 to pay, and on balance, favour a decision to proceed with the videolink.
5 Considering that examination-in-chief has already taken place,
6 and taking into account the health and personal situation of the witness,
7 the Chamber finds that it is in the interests of justice and in full
8 respect of the rights of the accused enshrined in the Statute to have Mr.
9 Biscevic cross-examined via videolink.
10 The motion, therefore, is allowed. The Chamber requests the
11 Registry to take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that the
12 videolink conference is conducted according to the criteria set out in
13 the Tadic decision of the 25th of June, 1996.
14 I'll now deliver the second decision.
15 This is a decision on the Defence's application dated the 28th of
16 September, for certification to appeal the Chamber's oral decision of the
17 20th of September, 2004, concerning additional protective measures in
18 respect of Witness 623.
19 The procedural background concerning this matter is summarised in
20 paragraphs 1 to 5 of the Defence's application.
21 The Defence claims that there was a, I quote, "fundamental flaw"
22 in the Chamber's decision. The Defence states that the Trial Chamber
23 required the Prosecution to show merely that there was enough evidence to
24 conclude that there was an objective risk justifying the requested
25 protective measures. The Defence indicates that the Chamber did not
1 explore - and did not allow the Defence to explore with the witness -
2 events subsequent to the original threat supporting the continuing
3 existence of a risk.
4 The Chamber recalls that on the 20th of September, it invited the
5 Prosecution to provide it with, I quote, "some factual support" in
6 relation to the main threat referred to in the original motion. During
7 the hearing, both the Defence and the Prosecution supplied the Chamber
8 with evidence or further information on the existence of the threat. The
9 Chamber then asked questions of the witness, who confirmed that he had
10 indeed received the threat. He added that he had informed the proper
11 authorities of the threat and that they appeared to have taken it
12 seriously. The Chamber's questioning was followed by questions put by
13 the Defence. The witness reiterated to the Defence that he had received
14 a threat. He added that the proper authorities had informed him that
15 protective measures would be taken. The Defence requested the Chamber's
16 permission to question the witness on whether anybody else in a similar
17 situation to the witness had been interfered with in the period following
18 the threat. The Chamber denied this request.
19 In the impugned decision, which the Chamber read out on the same
20 day, the Chamber recalled that the standard formulated in the Kordic case
21 that a grant of protective measures, and I quote "requires something more
22 than the mere expression of fear by the witness. Some objective basis is
23 required to demonstrate a real likelihood that such a person may be in
24 danger or risk."
25 In other words, the Chamber must be provided with some objective
1 elements which show the real likelihood of danger or risk on which the
2 witness bases his or her fear. The threshold is a low one, and as the
3 Chamber noted in its decision, a margin of appreciation of the situation
4 is afforded to the Prosecution. The Chamber always has the discretion to
5 inquire further, but normally it will be satisfied once the objective
6 basis is demonstrated at the low threshold just described. In the
7 present case, the required objective elements were provided to the
8 Chamber in the course of the hearing on the 20th of September.
9 As the Chamber explained in its decision, the Defence is not
10 prevented from challenging the factual basis upon which the real
11 likelihood of danger or risk is premised. Indeed, the Defence was
12 allowed to question the witness in this regard, although the Trial
13 Chamber, exercising its authority of supervision, limited the
15 The Chamber was persuaded of the genuineness of the threat. It
16 was also persuaded, after hearing the witness, that the threat created a
17 real likelihood of danger or risk to the witness or to his family. He
18 gave evidence that the threat was followed up by the proper authorities,
19 and the witness clearly, and for the Trial Chamber, understandably,
20 believed that the threat was a continuing one.
21 Rule 73(B) of the Rules, which is the basis of the Defence's
22 application, states that the Trial Chamber may grant certification for
23 interlocutory appeal if the decision involves an issue that would
24 significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings
25 or the outcome of the trial and for which, in the opinion of the Trial
1 Chamber, an immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially
2 advance the proceedings. The Chamber has applied the established
3 principles as it has found them in the Tribunal's case-law.
4 The Defence seeks to raise the bar as found in the Kordic
5 decision. It asserts that objective evidence must exist of a continuing
6 risk, over and above the evidence required to satisfy the low threshold
7 of the real likelihood test found in Kordic.
8 As I said a moment ago, the Chamber has the discretion to make
9 inquiries going beyond the Kordic threshold. The Defence asserts that in
10 the case of Witness 623, the Chamber did not go far enough in its
11 exploration of the objective basis of the real likelihood of danger or
12 risk. This is a matter of appreciation which is hardly an appropriate
13 issue to go before the Appeals Chamber.
14 Whether or not the issue identified by the Defence is of a kind
15 to have a bearing on the fairness of the trial, the issue would certainly
16 not, as such, have a significant effect on the trial's fairness.
17 The second criterion of Rule 73(B) has also not been met.
18 The Chamber, therefore, dismisses the Defence's application.
19 These were the two decisions to be delivered. Looking at the
20 clock, I see that it's close to 2.00. I thank the interpreters very much
21 for their participation, same is true for the technicians.
22 Mr. Tieger, tomorrow, is the Prosecution ready to call its next
24 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll adjourn until tomorrow morning. Unless
1 there would be any urgent issue to be raised at this moment, we'll
2 adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00.
3 Same courtroom, Madam Registrar, or in another courtroom? Ms.
4 Loukas thinks it's in Courtroom II. I'll follow the Defence and adjourn
5 until tomorrow morning, 9.00, Courtroom II.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of
8 September, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.