1 Monday, 15 May 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.43 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be
6 seated. Good morning.
7 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen; good
8 morning, to the technical booth. The interpreters are
9 here, are they? Good morning. Good morning to the
10 legal assistants, the court reporters. Good morning to
11 the Prosecution; good morning to the Defence; I see
12 that they are all here. Good morning to the accused.
13 So we are going to resume our case, Kvocka
14 and others. We're saying this for the benefit of the
15 record. It is up to the Prosecutor this morning, Madam
16 Hollis or Mr. Michael Keegan, who are going to tell us
17 what we are going to do.
18 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, to give you an
19 update of where we are in terms of the late disclosure,
20 as of today, we are current with disclosure on Witness
21 AI; on this witness, Mr. Oklopcic; on Witness B, who is
22 number 6 on the list. Witness number 7 has been moved
23 to another slot because of her personal circumstances.
24 Witness number 8, we are current. Witness number 9, we
25 are current. Witness number 10 has been moved to
1 another spot because of witness 10's personal
2 circumstances. Witness number 11, we are current
3 except for one B/C/S version of a transcript that is to
4 be delivered to us today, which will be served on the
5 Defence today. Witness number 12 is current. Witness
6 number 13 is current except for a short affidavit,
7 which will be filed with the Defence today. Witness
8 number 14 is current except for a B/C/S translation of
9 a statement, which should be filed today. Witness
10 number 3, Witness AK, is current except for a videotape
11 that we're attempting to find which may contain an
12 interview of this witness. We don't have that video
14 So we're prepared to proceed with
15 Mr. Oklopcic, and thereafter with witness 4.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
17 very much, Madam Hollis. Please sit down for the
19 Before resuming the normal course of work,
20 the Chamber would like to convey to the parties its
21 extreme concern regarding the situation with the
22 witnesses in our case.
23 For reasons which you are all well aware of,
24 and which are in the public domain, several witnesses
25 have had to spend several days in The Hague; others
1 have left and have to come back, and for one of them,
2 he will be coming for the third time. We must do
3 everything we can to avoid having witnesses confronted
4 with such difficulties. The Chamber says this in
5 relation to the witnesses of the Prosecution, and this
6 also applies to the witnesses of the Defence.
7 It is not only a budgetary problem, although
8 the costs are considerable, but it is, above all, a
9 question of principle. We cannot function without the
10 indispensable assistance provided to us by the
11 witnesses. But for the majority of them, they are not
12 only witnesses; they are, in the first place, victims
13 who are coming to convey here their suffering, the
14 suffering of their loved ones and their friends.
15 This applies both to the witnesses called by
16 the Prosecution and by the Defence. We must all do
17 everything we can to convey to them the feeling of
18 interest that we have in them so that they may testify
19 under the most serene conditions. It is in the
20 interest of the credibility of our system of justice.
21 I also wish to express my most sincerest
22 thanks in my own name, but I think I can also speak on
23 behalf of all of us, to the commander of the Victims
24 and Witnesses Unit who has accomplished an admirable
25 task. I will once again be most grateful to you for
1 doing everything so as to facilitate the testimony of
2 the witnesses and to make their appearance as short and
3 as necessary as possible. If we are all vigilant, we
4 will ensure a better justice and a more humane justice
5 to be handed down.
6 To achieve that, the Chamber orders the
7 parties to submit to the Chamber a list of witnesses
8 which they are going to call to testify in the week,
9 that is, seven working days in advance. We must have a
10 list of witnesses who are going to testify during the
11 week. I think that this can assist the parties to
12 organise themselves, to be more disciplined, so as to
13 avoid bringing witnesses who are not going to testify
14 and who only have to wait. I think you understand well
15 the aims behind this decision.
16 I see that Mr. O'Sullivan had the intention
17 to speak. Mr. O'Sullivan, do you have anything to
18 communicate to us?
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. Thank
20 you, and good morning.
21 The Defence wishes to raise another matter
22 with the Trial Chamber before the witness Oklopcic
23 enters the courtroom.
24 On Tuesday, May 9th, Your Honours, we
25 adjourned, with the witness Oklopcic having completed
1 his examination-in-chief; the cross-examination by the
2 Defence has not yet begun.
3 Your Honours will recall that on May 3rd you
4 issued an order in relation to witnesses who are under
5 oath. Your Honours ordered that "without leave of the
6 Trial Chamber, all contacts shall be prohibited between
7 the parties and a witness after the witness has taken
8 the solemn declaration, until he or she has completed
9 his or her testimony."
10 Last Tuesday, May 9th, during the break in
11 proceedings between 11.00 and 11.30, witness Oklopcic
12 was observed in the witness room, which is located just
13 outside the courtroom, in conversation with Mr. Keegan
14 of the Prosecution, who at that time was leading
15 Mr. Oklopcic in examination-in-chief. It appears, Your
16 Honours, that your order has been breached by the
18 I must be perfectly clear of the reason why
19 the Defence is raising this issue. We are not raising
20 this matter to suggest that Mr. Keegan's integrity has
21 been or should be brought into question.
22 Our position is this: There appears to have
23 been a prima facie breach of your order. Can I remind
24 Your Honours that in issuing the order, you emphasised
25 that contact must cease because when a witness appears
1 before the Trial Chamber he or she is less a witness of
2 a party but more a witness of justice.
3 In our submission, one way of explaining the
4 rationale of your order is to say that justice must not
5 only be done, it must be seen to be done. This is
6 central to the credibility of a justice system.
7 If, as it appears, your order has been
8 breached by the Prosecution, in the interests of
9 justice, we submit that the appropriate remedy is
10 this: The evidence in chief given by the witness
11 Oklopcic following the break in proceedings between
12 11.00 a.m. and 11.30 a.m., last Tuesday, May 9th, that
13 evidence should be struck from the record, or
14 alternatively Your Honours should completely disregard
15 that evidence.
16 Those are my submissions in relation to this
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
19 very much, Mr. O'Sullivan. You may be seated.
20 I will give the Prosecution a chance to
21 respond and explain.
22 Mr. Keegan.
23 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
24 Just so all the facts are on the record, during the
25 break, of course I went to the witness room for the
1 purpose of letting the other witnesses who were to
2 follow Mr. Oklopcic know what the situation was. The
3 difficulty is, of course, there's only one witness room
4 available. Apparently the other witness waiting room
5 that was near this one has been taken away from the
6 Victims and Witnesses Unit. Mrs. Nikolic actually saw
7 me because the Defence counsel use the same door to get
8 out to the patio, and she raised the issue with me and,
9 in fact, I showed her that unfortunately the other
10 witnesses were also in that room as well, which of
11 course presents an obvious difficulty which I indicated
12 to her. And I made it clear that I was speaking to the
13 other witnesses and I couldn't help the fact that
14 Mr. Oklopcic was also in that room.
15 He, in fact, attempted to say something to
16 me, like, "When are we going to start again," and I
17 simply told him through the translator, "I'm not
18 allowed to have contact with you at this point." We're
19 very aware of the difficulty in the perception issue.
20 At the same time, there was no Victims and Witnesses
21 Unit personnel present, and there has not been any
22 Victims and Witnesses Unit personnel present with our
23 witnesses since this trial began. They say they don't
24 have enough people. They indicate that they
25 periodically send someone to check on the witnesses who
1 are waiting, but there's no one in there so there's not
2 even an intermediary to whom I could address the
4 I, unfortunately, was in the position of
5 having to speak to the other witnesses directly.
6 Fortunately one of our language assistants was present
7 with the witnesses who were waiting, but not yet been
8 called, and so I was able to facilitate that message.
9 We raised the issue with the Victims and
10 Witnesses Unit that day about our concern because of
11 this very real problem, and we understand the
12 perception it can present. They indicated they are
13 trying to do something, but they don't yet have a
14 solution as to how they can separate witnesses who've
15 already taken an oath and those who have not.
16 So that was the nature of the contact, and I
17 can assure the Court there was no discussion between
18 myself and Mr. Oklopcic.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
20 Mr. O'Sullivan.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: As I said, this was not
22 raised to question Mr. Keegan's integrity. However,
23 and I'm not sure how far we want to pursue this, the
24 contact we were referring to --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
1 Having heard this explanation given by Mr. Keegan, what
2 is your position?
3 MR. O'SULLIVAN: The contact I was referring
4 to occurred between 11.00 and 11.30, and my
5 understanding is the contact Mr. Keegan had with
6 Mrs. Nikolic was after the proceedings, after we
7 broke. I was referring to a different period when
8 Mr. Keegan was observed with Mr. Oklopcic, that is,
9 between 11.00 and 11.30. My understanding is
10 Mrs. Nikolic saw him after that, after we had completed
11 proceedings for the day. And that is the basis for our
12 request to have the testimony struck or disregarded.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In your
14 opinion, is it necessary to conduct an inquiry to
15 clarify all these circumstances, or do you still
16 maintain your request?
17 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I don't know if Mr. Keegan
18 recalls the event I'm speaking of, the one that
19 occurred between 11.00 and 11.30.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I saw that
21 Mr. Keegan was on his feet.
22 Mr. Keegan, have we finished with this
23 matter? You know that the witnesses are waiting.
24 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. As far as I
25 know, if there was -- the only one I recall is the one
1 when I had a conversation with Mrs. Nikolic. If there
2 was another instance, it would have been in the same
3 light; that is, I was addressing the other witnesses
4 who happened to be in the room, and unfortunately,
5 again, the witness who has already taken the oath is
6 put in the same place. But I can affirm to the Court
7 that I had absolutely no contact with the witness other
8 than to tell the witness we're not allowed to speak any
9 more because I am not sure they got that instruction
10 directly from the Victims and Witnesses Unit, and maybe
11 that needs to be reaffirmed as well.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Keegan,
13 if I understand well, you went to this room because you
14 wanted to talk to witnesses who were testifying, and
15 Oklopcic was among those witnesses. Is that correct?
16 MR. KEEGAN: No. I was speaking to tell the
17 witnesses who had not yet been called, Your Honour,
18 because they are waiting in the room. As I said,
19 because there is no one with them, they never
20 understand what is going on. They want to know how
21 much longer they will be in the room, when they might
22 get to the stand, those kinds of things. So on every
23 break we try and reassure the witnesses where we are in
24 procedure, whether they are going to be called, those
25 kinds of things.
1 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber
3 has heard the parties on this matter. We are not
4 certain, at least, that Mr. Keegan did this
5 intentionally. We agree that it happened by chance,
6 and even if it did not, the Chamber is certainly going
7 to take measures with the Witnesses Unit so that we can
8 have a situation which will facilitate contact of the
9 parties with the witnesses who've still not taken a
10 solemn declaration and to avoid the witnesses being
11 together, because otherwise there will still be
12 doubts. So we have a logistical situation which has
13 contributed to this possibility.
14 Therefore, to be, or to appear to be, these
15 are things that may be confused and we must therefore
16 regulate this situation so that at the same time,
17 appearances will correspond to facts. And we will talk
18 to the Victims and Witnesses Unit to avoid this
19 situation of having the witnesses together, those
20 who've not taken a solemn declaration which the parties
21 may contact, and those who've already taken the solemn
22 declaration and with whom no further contacts with
24 Therefore, we are fully aware of this
25 situation, and as O'Sullivan have reminded us, we wish
1 to confirm that these witnesses are witnesses of
2 justice and that is why we have issued this other
3 order. The Chamber is concerned about the witnesses,
4 both those called by the Defence and those by the
5 Prosecution, and this situation has to be cleared up so
6 as to avoid tomorrow Mr. Keegan saying, "I saw one of
7 you contacting a witness who has not taken the solemn
8 declaration but who happened to be with another witness
9 who already has," and we must clear up this situation
11 For the moment, what we are going to do is
12 that we are going to declare this incident closed. So
13 we are going to resume with the cross-examination of
14 Mr. Oklopcic, and I should like to know, Mr. Krstan
15 Simic, what is the order in which you will
16 cross-examine? I think you have already told us, but
17 could you remind us, please?
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
19 the order will be slightly changed today. The first
20 will be representatives of Mr. Kos' Defence team, then
21 myself, then representatives of Mr. Radic's Defence
22 team, then Mr. Prcac's, and at the end Mr. Zigic's
23 Defence attorney. So there is a minor change in the
24 order in relation to the standard order of the
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
2 very much, Mr. Simic. Can we have the witness brought
3 in, please?
4 Yes, Mr. Fila.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] While the witness
6 is coming in, I would just like to take advantage of
7 the time. Let the witness come in. I would just like
8 to take advantage of a few minutes.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] We have not
11 received the order of witnesses for this week from the
12 Prosecution, so we don't know who is going to testify,
13 and secondly, there seems to be a difference between
14 Mrs. Hollis and us regarding the numbers, the order of
15 the witnesses, the numbers attributed to witnesses,
16 because when she read out the list, the names and the
17 numbers do not correspond.
18 For example, Mr. Oklopcic is, in our list,
19 number 5. Is he the same number in Ms. Hollis' list?
20 As for the others that she mentioned today, they are
21 not given the same numbers that she mentioned, and this
22 may cause some confusion.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
24 Ms. Hollis.
25 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, the list from which
1 I was reading is the confidential annex to the updated
2 list of witnesses filed on the 28th of April, and the
3 numbers are the same that I read out as are on that
4 list which was served on the Defence. Those were the
5 numbers I was using to avoid any confusion.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
7 Ms. Hollis. The 25th of April or the 28th of April?
8 MS. HOLLIS: 28th, Your Honour. 28th of
9 April, updated, Prosecution more list of changes to
10 witnesses, the confidential annex, updated list of
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Because in
13 the translation, I got the 25th, but I see the 28th in
14 the transcript. It is the list that I have in my
15 hands, is it not? Does it correspond? Does that meet
16 the difficulties of Mr. Fila?
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
18 Let me give you an example. AI is numbered 4 on this
19 list, and she read it out as number 2 today, (redacted)
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (redacted)
1 MS. HOLLIS: Number 2 is Witness AJ.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] AJ.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It's all right,
4 then. It's all right. But this morning, you said he
5 was under number 4, not number 2. And who is going to
6 testify today? Can we have the number, please? After
7 Mr. Oklopcic, who will be the next witness, so we know,
9 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, Witness AK, witness
10 number 3, followed by witness number 4.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that
12 clear now? We have to try to communicate well.
13 Perhaps we always need to mention the document, as you
14 have done now. There are 12 attorneys so there may be
15 some confusion. So this is the list, filed on the 28th
16 of April this year. So when Ms. Hollis mentions
17 numbers 1 and 2, it is from that list.
18 So, Ms. Hollis, that is why it is good to
19 have at least seven days in advance the list of
20 witnesses that we're going to call that week. In that
21 way, there will be no problems, I think. That can
22 facilitate the proceedings and avoid witnesses waiting
23 for 15 days. I'm sorry for saying this, but we must
24 organise ourselves, that is our duty. If we need five
25 witnesses for a week, we will call five witnesses for
1 that week, not 10, not 15. The Chamber prefers to have
2 time that is not filled or used on Friday than having a
3 witness who will start with one hour and have to stay
4 over until Monday. Can you pay attention to that,
5 please? Respect persons. Witnesses are persons, and
6 that is what we must do. And if we organise ourselves
7 better, I'm sure we will improve things for ourselves
8 and for the witnesses. And if we have a protected
9 witness, and I say "protected," and he waits here for
10 15 days, what justification can we have for that? I'm
11 addressing myself to both the Prosecution and the
12 Defence. It is the same for both parties.
13 I apologise, Ms. Hollis. Please convey to us
14 any difficulties that you may have. Perhaps we can
15 help by talking about them. Please sit down, Madam
16 Hollis. Thank you very much.
17 I now give the floor to the Nikolic Defence
18 team, Mr. Nikolic, for the cross-examination of
19 Mr. Oklopcic.
20 Good morning, Mr. Oklopcic. Can you hear
21 me? It's the President talking to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise
24 for the inconvenience caused to you, but in any event
25 we are beginning with your cross-examination. I must
1 remind you that you are still under oath. You have
2 told us that you will tell us the whole truth, nothing
3 but the truth. And now you are going to answer
4 questions which Mr. Nikolic is going to put to you on
5 behalf of the Defence. Thank you.
6 You have the floor, Mr. Nikolic.
7 WITNESS: AZEDIN OKLOPCIC [Resumed]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please Mr.
9 Nikolic, microphone, please. And will you speak into
10 the microphone, please.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Nikolic:
12 Q. I have several questions for you, to which I
13 hope you will provide simple answers.
14 You had a meeting with investigators of the
15 Prosecution and you gave a statement in 1994; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is your statement.
19 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I should like
20 to ask the usher to give Mr. Oklopcic the original
21 English version and the B/C/S version.
22 Could the usher please provide Your Honours
23 with three English versions.
24 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, you have two texts in front of
25 you; one is in English, the other is in the B/C/S
1 language. The B/C/S language was given to you so that
2 you can follow my questions more easily.
3 Mr. Oklopcic, will you please look at the
4 cover page of the B/C/S version. It says on top, "The
5 International Criminal Tribunal for the prosecution of
6 persons responsible for serious violations of
7 international law committed in the territory of the
8 former Yugoslavia since 1991." Is that correct?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. Below that it says, "Witness statement"; is
11 that correct?
12 A. It is.
13 Q. On this cover page, we can see the date of
14 the interview. Are the dates correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Will you please look at the English version
17 of that text. There is your signature at the bottom of
18 the page.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Will you please look through the English
21 version and see whether each page has been signed by
23 A. Yes, it has.
24 Q. I should like to ask you to look at the B/C/S
25 version, on the last page of that version, where it
1 says the date, "the 10th of December, 1994," and
2 signature of the witness. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Look at the last page of the English
5 version. You signed that statement, dated the 10th of
6 December, 1994; is that correct?
7 A. I don't remember, but it is my signature,
8 yes. Whether that is the date, it probably is. It is
9 my signature, that is for sure.
10 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, is it true that you gave this
11 statement of your own free will, without any pressure?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you made that statement, you told the
15 A. I tried to tell the truth, yes.
16 Q. You made that statement over a period of six
17 days, on the 22nd, the 23rd, the 24th, the 25th, and
18 the 26th of September, 1994, and on the 10th of
19 December, 1994; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you remember roughly, on average, how
22 much time did you spend talking to the investigators?
23 A. About eight hours every day, a working day on
24 an average.
25 Q. Every day, eight hours on an average.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Three persons were present when this
3 interview was taken. If you look at the cover page,
4 you will see the names?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Yes. They put questions to you, and you
7 provided the answers.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you tell them something of your own
11 A. Probably.
12 Q. Yes or no, please.
13 A. I can't answer that question now. I can't
15 Q. But you said "probably."
16 A. Yes, probably.
17 Q. When you made that statement, there was no
18 pressure brought to bear on you.
19 A. No.
20 Q. You spoke of your own free will.
21 A. Yes, of my own free will.
22 Q. Your interview occurred roughly two days
23 after the relevant events in the Omarska camp; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Two years, I'm sorry. Two
2 years, not two days.
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The events were still fresh in your mind; yes
5 or no?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your statement is about 29 pages long, and it
8 is full of details; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When you made that statement, you gave the
11 best rendering you could of what you could remember.
12 A. Yes, of what I could remember.
13 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, did you know that this
14 statement would be used in trial proceedings in the
15 International Tribunal?
16 A. I assumed it would.
17 Q. Yes, you did?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. Will you turn to page 23. In
20 your statement, on page 23, on page 23, the one but
21 last paragraph --
22 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in
23 the English version, it is page 31, third paragraph
24 from the top.
25 Q. -- you mentioned the nickname Krle; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you agree with me, in view of
4 this statement, that in that statement you never
5 mentioned a person with the nickname Krle ever again in
6 relation to any incident?
7 A. Well, yes, I can, if you say so.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I
10 have no further questions. I would like to ask Your
11 Honours to admit this statement into evidence. It is
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Keegan,
14 do you have any objections to the admission of this
16 MR. KEEGAN: We have no objection.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
18 Mr. Dubuisson.
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] As mentioned,
20 it is D2/2.
21 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
24 Witness. Thank you very much, Mr. Nikolic.
25 We are now going to go on to Mr. Krstan
2 Cross-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
3 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, Mr. Nikolic asked you a few
4 questions which I myself had the intention of asking
5 you. So in order not to repeat those questions, your
6 statements which you gave are quite clear, and your
7 statements were made of your own free will and signed
8 as such. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Talking about the statement, I should like to
11 ask you to try and recall on how many occasions and
12 with what persons did you talk about the events
13 relating to Omarska?
14 A. Are you talking about the investigators or
15 all persons in general?
16 Q. The total number of persons that you talked
18 A. Sincerely speaking, there were quite a few
19 visits by the investigators who came to seek me out and
20 talk to me. As regards other people that I talked
21 about with the events in Omarska, that was quite
23 Q. No, I'm talking about official institutions
24 and representatives of those institutions.
25 A. As for those, I only had four or five
1 encounters with the investigators of the court who came
2 to see me at my home.
3 Q. Does this mean that the statements of the
4 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th September of 1994,
5 then we have another statement of the 10th of December,
7 A. Yes, that's correct. So we have two
8 occasions, yes.
9 Q. Did you talk to the representatives of the
10 Tribunal in June 1995?
11 A. I cannot recall the exact date, but I did
12 talk to them after these occasions. I cannot recall
13 the exact dates and the exact months. It is quite
14 impossible, you know.
15 Q. I don't know whether to ask you this. I have
16 a statement here from the 22nd of June, but we'll
17 revert to that particular statement a bit later.
18 Talking about these statements, as
19 Mr. Nikolic gave you the text of the statement which
20 you have before you, you polemicise in several places
21 in that statement with another statement that you
22 yourself had given without particularly stating to whom
23 and on which particular occasion. It just refers to
24 some discrepancies. What is this about?
25 A. I don't know exactly what you're talking
1 about. Can you give me a specific example?
2 Q. Page 9, last paragraph. Let me just find the
3 English version. Page 12 of the English version, the
4 last paragraph. I understand there that the report of
5 my interview that it's deleted, states among other
6 things, and then it goes on to state the rest of it.
7 Do you recall that statement?
8 A. I really don't know what is deleted here. I
9 really cannot respond to this question, although I do
10 want to give you an answer.
11 Q. I'm not interested in what is deleted, I want
12 to know whether you recall to whom you talked when you
13 gave this particular statement. What statement are you
14 referring to? To whom did you give it and when?
15 A. It is stated here, right in the beginning.
16 Mr. Tieger --
17 Q. No, you don't understand me. Mr. Oklopcic,
18 you talked to the gentlemen who were interrogating you,
19 and you were explaining to them. I know that in a
20 record of some other statement, of some other interview
21 with me there was something said which differs from
22 what I am saying now. What particular record are you
23 talking about?
24 A. As far as I'm able to read, this is not what
25 this says. I understand that the report of my
1 interview states, "among other things," that is what I
2 said, inter alia, not that there had been any changes.
3 Q. No, Mr. Oklopcic, this is not the subject.
4 What particular minutes, what particular
5 record/statement, are you talking about?
6 A. No, I really cannot remember at this point.
7 I cannot recall that particular statement/record.
8 Q. On the occasion of the June 1995 visit, did
9 the interrogators give you any photographs to identify?
10 A. Yes, they did, once. Whether that took place
11 in 1995, on that particular occasion, I don't know.
12 But I did identify some persons.
13 Q. How many photographs were there?
14 A. I think six. I'm not quite sure.
15 Q. Did you recognise anyone on those
17 A. Yes, I did. I cannot recall now. I cannot
18 give you an answer.
19 Q. Was that verified in the record?
20 A. It ought to have been -- I was not the one
21 conducting the interview or taking notes.
22 Q. Did you sign the photographs that you
24 A. No, I did not.
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I
1 have an objection to raise. We have not been disclosed
2 these photographs, we have not seen these photographs
3 up to now, so that we have no way of ascertaining which
4 particular photographs were shown to Mr. Oklopcic. We
5 feel that we should, after all, be shown these
6 photographs in order for the Defence to be able to
7 prepare its witness interrogation in the proper and
8 efficient way, particularly in connection with
9 Mr. Oklopcic's statement.
10 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, on the 20th of May, you
11 testified that you were a participant in a football
12 match of veterans.
13 A. Yes, it was on the 20th or the 30th. I'm not
14 quite sure.
15 Q. You mentioned that during that match you
16 heard a burst of fire from the direction of Hambarine;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes. And you could also see smoke.
19 Q. Later on you said that at the time you had no
20 information but that you learned from the media what
21 had happened; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. And not only from the media, but the
23 night among -- from other people, from stories told by
25 Q. During your testimony, you covered this event
1 rather quickly, even though it was a dramatic and
2 tragic event.
3 A. I did.
4 Q. What did you hear from the media, or in
5 contact with other persons? What had happened around
6 the 20th of May?
7 A. There was a shooting incident at a checkpoint
8 in front of Hambarine -- I don't know if you know the
9 area; there is a slope there -- and in front of
10 Hambarine there was a checkpoint, as throughout town
11 Serbian guards and military had checkpoints. And so
12 the citizens of Hambarine decided to set up their own
13 checkpoint, and that is where the shooting incident had
15 Q. What were the consequences of the shooting?
16 A. The consequences were that an ultimatum was
17 issued -- what do you mean the consequences?
18 Q. I mean regarding the casualties?
19 A. I don't know what the consequences were. I
20 think two were killed and two were wounded among the
21 Serb soldiers.
22 Q. Slowly, please, Mr. Oklopcic. Will you
23 please answer my questions?
24 A. I am answering your questions.
25 Q. I am asking you whether it is correct that in
1 that incident, at the Hambarine checkpoint, two men
2 were killed and another two were wounded of Serb
4 A. That is what Serb television announced.
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we'll try
6 to slow down.
7 Q. You have just mentioned checkpoints. What
8 were they, really?
9 A. Checkpoints consisted of 10 or 15 sacks of
10 sand and two to three or three or four soldiers under
11 arms manning them, or policemen.
12 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, who did these checkpoints
13 belong to throughout the territory of Prijedor
15 A. In the town itself, because in fact I lived
16 in the centre of town, the checkpoint was held by the
17 Serb side, the soldiers and police. In the Muslim
18 villages around it, Kozarac or Hambarine, for example,
19 because I worked in Kozarac for a time, and Trnopolje,
20 but in Kozarac, on the one hand there was the
21 Territorial Defence of Kozarac, the checkpoint, and
22 opposite, on the crossroads of Banja Luka, Prijedor,
23 and Kozarac, there was the checkpoint of the Yugoslav
24 army and police. And at Hambarine as well, there was
25 this checkpoint underneath Hambarine, at the very
1 approach to Hambarine, there was a Territorial Defence
2 checkpoint which organised that particular checkpoint
3 and set it up.
4 Q. Can we take it, then, that at the end of May,
5 in the Prijedor municipality, in fact there was a
6 division, a division had been made of the ethnic
7 communities at checkpoints, and they were armed and
8 prevented the free passage of people and traffic and so
10 A. No, we cannot say that because taking over
11 power on the 30th of April by the Serb side, at that
12 particular point, all the checkpoints were held by the
13 Serb side. The checkpoint in Hambarine was a response
14 to the Serbian side and provocation from them, because
15 drunken guards, soldiers, and policemen would march,
16 that is to say, they would drive by with the
17 three-finger sign and fire, and I'm very sorry to say
18 that those Serb soldiers died. But this was the result
19 of provocation on the part of the drunken passers-by.
20 And I happened to see that on my way to Kozarac and
22 So the checkpoints at Kozarac and Hambarine,
23 as far as I know, and I repeat, as far as I know, were
24 set up as the result of the taking over of authority by
25 the Serbian army and police on the 30th of April,
1 1992. And not a day -- one day after, but perhaps 15
2 or 20 days later, if I may just finish that answer to
3 your question -- if you don't want me to, I'll stop
4 there --
5 Q. Yes, please do go on.
6 A. As I said, we had a meeting, that is, the
7 citizens of Raskovac, we had a meeting with Mr. Kusorac
8 [phoen] in May 1992 and we asked why it was only the
9 Serb side and the Serb soldiers that manned these
10 checkpoints, and that was that famous meeting at the
11 Polijne stadium. He laughed, he tried to explain
12 something, but that was it. And as a result of that,
13 we have the intervention well, it wasn't the
14 intervention, but it was the establishment of a
15 checkpoint in Hambarine and Kozarac.
16 Q. The checkpoint at the entrance to Hambarine,
17 or to Prijedor, where the Serb checkpoint was, did it
18 prevent people -- prevent the free passage of people
19 without being stopped, having to show their IDs, being
20 searched and so on?
21 A. I personally was stopped at the checkpoint
22 towards the school. The soldiers came and asked for
23 our ID cards.
24 Q. So that means that those checkpoints did
25 restrict the freedom of movement, freedom of passage.
1 A. As far as I experienced them, yes, they did.
2 Q. What was the ethnic composition of the
3 checkpoint at Hambarine?
4 A. Probably Muslim because the whole population
5 was Muslim.
6 Q. Did you happen to hear who took part in this
7 tragic shooting?
8 A. Yes, I did. You mean -- yes, there was Aziz
9 Aliskovic, the policeman.
10 Q. Were they able, in the usual way, to conduct
11 all the necessary things in a criminal investigation?
12 Was a criminal investigation enabled?
13 A. Well, I cannot be certain, but I know that
14 one day later, an ultimatum was posed to the population
15 of Hambarine to give up Aziz Aliskovic to the
16 authorities, to give him up.
17 Q. Was Mr. Aliskovic taken into custody ever
18 with respect to this incident?
19 A. I don't think so. I didn't see that he was.
20 Q. We have now rounded off that topic relating
21 to the events that you passed over very quickly. But
22 let us now go back a bit to another topic, the topic of
23 your military involvement.
24 You state in your statement that you did your
25 military service, compulsory military service, in the
1 infantry and that as a sportsman and as an intellectual
2 you advanced very quickly, and received the highest
3 rank in the non-commissioned officers, Sergeant First
5 A. Yes, as far as I remember.
6 Q. Now, as sergeant first class, you were the
7 commander of what?
8 A. I was the commander of a platoon.
9 Q. How many members does a platoon have?
10 A. Well, as far as I recall, if each platoon has
11 four groups, then that would make it eight to ten
12 soldiers, wouldn't it? Eight times four is 32, so let
13 us say 30 to 35 soldiers.
14 Q. So you, as a reserve officer, had 30 soldiers
15 under you during the exercises. So you were in the
16 reserve formation?
17 A. The commander of the unit was Karlica,
18 Karlica, Zoran or Zorka, I don't quite remember, but
20 Q. Was he an active officer or reserve officer?
21 A. Well, he was first of all a reserve, and then
22 he wasn't. He got the rank of lieutenant and captain
23 first class.
24 Q. What about the overall unit?
25 A. It was Major Grbic, I believe, as far as I
1 recall. And then there were a few more lieutenants,
2 Lieutenant-Colonel Fokumce [phoen], warrant officer
3 first class, second class. But as I say, that was a
4 long time ago. But Major Grbic and Lieutenant-Colonel
5 Poplvica [phoen].
6 Q. As somebody who was in town and near all
7 those organs, when you completed the army, what were
8 your duties as a soldier?
9 A. To respond to a call-up and to take part in
10 the defence of the former joint state.
11 Q. Now when you left the army, did you go to the
12 ministry to sign up, to register?
13 A. Well, yes, it was the Territorial Defence. I
14 don't know which department, but we had to register and
15 become reservists. We had to register once or twice a
17 Q. So you became a member of the reserve
18 formation of the Yugoslav People's Army; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were there any other members of the reserve
21 formation of recruits, the reserve police force?
22 A. Yes, there was a reserve police force.
23 Q. That means that there was this military duty
24 as well, as a member of the reserve police force. Let
25 us round off that topic. Did you have a any work
1 duties to perform?
2 A. Yes, there was a work duty but I didn't have
3 any obligation in that respect, to perform a work
4 duty. It is difficult for me to give you an answer
5 when you say "work duty". What do you mean by "work
7 Q. Well, for example, if you're called up to
8 have a particular duty to perform?
9 A. Well, no, I didn't really, because I was a
10 professor, I was a teacher, so there wasn't much there
11 that I could do.
12 Q. As we have covered this system of reserve
13 formations and mobilisation in general, I should like
14 to attempt to ascertain things about the Omarska camp.
15 Did you happen to notice any members in the
16 guards from the reserve formation of the police, or as
17 it was called at the time, the militia?
18 A. Yes, and there was a difference.
19 Q. Very well, then. Within the composition,
20 there were members of the reserve police force there.
21 A. Yes, and the regular police force as well.
22 Q. Yes, the regular police force, I understand
23 that. But throughout the compound in Omarska, were
24 there any members of the reserve formation of the army
25 who provided security for the camp?
1 A. Well, at the time they were all soldiers,
2 they all wore uniforms. I see no reason -- I see no
3 difference between those who were active and those who
4 were reservists, because every Serb had a uniform, had
5 a rifle, and goodness knows what else.
6 Q. Very well. So you too as a reservist had a
7 uniform and rifle, did you not?
8 A. No, I didn't have a rifle at home.
9 Q. I'm asking you about the reservist
10 formations. What was the difference between you, for
11 example, and an active, let us say, an active corporal?
12 A. No. There was a difference just in rank, but
13 the uniform was the same.
14 Q. What about the officer's uniforms?
15 A. Well, I didn't have an officer's uniform. I
16 had an ordinary uniform with my rank on the shoulder.
17 Q. That's what I'm asking you. You were a
18 reservist, you were a lance corporal -- a corporal, I'm
19 sorry, and that was a professional calling. And as an
20 ordinary observer, was I able to note the difference if
21 I looked at your uniforms?
22 A. Yes, you would be able to.
23 Q. Could you see the difference in the uniforms
24 of the regular formations and the police or active
25 policeman and professional policeman, and the
1 reservists, the reserve police force?
2 A. Well, you could and you couldn't. I'm going
3 to answer that question, if I may.
4 Q. When we're talking about soldiers, could you
5 tell the difference between active-duty policemen and
6 the reserve force in the army and the others? The
7 reserve police force and the active-duty police force?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Well, that was the answer that I wanted to
10 get. In Omarska, in the security system that prevailed
11 in Omarska, you had these three structures; is that
13 A. Yes, all three were there.
14 Q. That means, let us clarify this once again,
15 within the security system, there was the reserve
16 police force, there were active-duty policemen, and the
17 reserve army formation, as well as active-duty
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Let us round off the topic of security. You
21 mentioned that at the beginning of June, within the
22 frameworks of the Omarska compound, there was the
23 special police unit, a special formation. They were
24 the special purpose unit from Banja Luka. Did they
25 have different uniforms, were you able to differentiate
2 A. No, they didn't but they had more weapons on
3 them than the other ones, the locals who would come
4 from Omarska or all around Omarska.
5 Q. I know that a lot of time has gone by since
6 that time, but could you try and tell us how long they
7 would stay in Omarska?
8 A. One or two weeks. One or two weeks, I know
9 that for sure, and I can give you a very precise answer
10 to that question.
11 Q. During their stay, while they were there,
12 were there any shifts of any kind? Did one group of
13 people replace another?
14 A. You mean whether somebody replaced them?
15 Q. In these special units, elite units.
16 A. No. They came and they were in charge during
17 that first week or two. Then they disappeared and then
18 the other people came, who took over, if we can use
19 that term "took over" command of the camp, or
21 Q. You have just said, in the first days, the
22 people at the head of this unit were in charge. That's
23 what you said a moment ago?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Could you tell us who those people were?
1 A. No, I can't because they were from Banja Luka
2 and they said that they were from Banja Luka
3 themselves, and I didn't know any of these people. I
4 couldn't give you a single name. I don't know that. I
5 would happily give you a name if I knew.
6 Q. So you don't know who was the commander of
7 that unit.
8 A. He was a relatively young man, about 30 years
9 old. He was in command of that unit, that's what I
10 know, and mostly there were young people, members of
11 the unit were young people.
12 Q. So this younger man, when did he leave
14 A. When they all left Omarska, one or two weeks
15 later. Suddenly they would get their things together
16 and leave. APCs would come by and they left. It
17 wasn't a big unit, it was, say, 15 to 20 men.
18 Q. Did you see the kind of tasks and duties they
19 had to perform, what their role was in the security
21 A. Well, they stood on the pista in front of the
22 toilets, in front of the entrance to the main building,
23 in front of the hangar and so on. What they wanted, I
24 don't know. I can't enter in their minds to know what
25 they had in mind.
1 THE COURT REPORTER: Would counsel please
2 slow down?
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Were there any classical guards?
5 A. What do you mean by classical guards? For
6 me, all guards were guards. They had rifles, they had
7 pistols. I can't see the difference between one guard
8 and another, if you understand me. So I have to answer
9 your question in that way. What do you mean classical
10 guards? They were all classical guards, I suppose.
11 Q. Who organised their food for them?
12 A. Well, the food came from Omarska, their meals
13 came from Omarska.
14 Q. When we are talking about the composition of
15 the security system, do you mean the special forces
16 from Banja Luka?
17 A. No, just a minute, I'll explain what I mean.
18 This active duty and reserve formation, composed of the
19 two, from the Omarska police station.
20 Q. Can you remember or calculate how many
21 active-duty policemen there were?
22 A. Of those who were there throughout, who were
23 frequently there, that is to say, Kvocka, Radic, and
24 the others, but every day, every day when five or six
25 new prisoners were brought in, then policemen would
1 come from Prijedor. There was not a single policeman
2 from Prijedor or Omarska who was not at one time in the
3 Omarska camp, who did not come to the camp. So believe
4 me when I say that. And most of them were there.
5 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, let us try to be as clear as
6 possible. I asked you a clear-cut question related to
7 the security composition from the police station in
8 Omarska and not people who would bring in detainees or
9 come in for any other business. So could you try and
10 answer the question in that way?
11 A. You asked me how many policemen there were,
12 as far as I remember.
13 Q. From the security of the camp?
14 A. Well, I told you, there was Kvocka, there was
15 Radic, they were the ones I saw and the ones I
16 remember, and the others, well, I won't mention the
18 Q. And the rest, were they reservists?
19 A. Well, there were reservists and active-duty
20 regular ones. It was never only the reservist
21 formation. It was a mixed group.
22 Q. I'm not asking who went in, who came, but who
23 stood guard. Who stood guard?
24 A. Nobody stood guard of the regular policemen,
25 let me tell you that.
1 Q. Let us now go back to the security system
2 once again. In your statement you mention a certain
3 person called Stupar.
4 A. I asked that that name not be mentioned. I
5 do not wish him to be mentioned. You can refer to him
6 as ZM or whatever, but I don't want his name to be
7 mentioned. That was a bit of a provocation.
8 Q. No, that was no kind of provocation, and
9 these matters are talked about far more freely. I
10 don't mean out of fear. You needn't fear for
11 Mr. Stupar because we look upon him with sympathy.
12 A. Well, I'm not afraid of him, and were I
13 afraid I would not have --
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I should like
15 to interfere in the debate, but it is absolutely too
16 fast for the interpreters, and certainly for the court
17 reporters. They are not able to follow the
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I have
20 also noticed this. Please don't speak at the same
21 time. If the witness and Mr. Simic speak at the same
22 time, it is impossible to translate. It is anyway
23 difficult. But if you speak at the same time, it is
24 absolutely impossible.
25 I would like to ask Mr. Simic to put
1 questions in accordance with the Rules, in a clear,
2 specific, and concise manner. In that way, we will
3 proceed more quickly. Perhaps you could finish by
4 11.00. It would be good. I'm not pressuring you, but
5 go to concrete matters, put specific questions to the
6 witness and you will get concrete answers, Mr. Simic.
7 Continue, please, and do not forget that
8 there are the interpreters as your intermediaries
9 between the two of you.
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, do you know Mr. Stupar?
12 A. Very well.
13 Q. Who is Mr. Stupar?
14 A. My colleague. He worked as a teacher in the
15 primary school called Brane Copija in Omarska.
16 Q. Where was he during the events at Omarska?
17 A. Mr. Stupar, you mean? He would come into the
18 Omarska concentration camp frequently. He didn't stand
19 guard or anything like that. He would come by from
20 time to time.
21 Q. And he was a member of the police or the
23 A. He was a member of the army. He had a green
25 Q. The unit to which he belonged, did it provide
1 security for the Omarska compound?
2 A. Well, I can't answer that question. I don't
4 Q. When did you talk to Mr. Stupar?
5 A. Well, I talked to him on many occasions in
6 the Omarska camp.
7 Q. As a friend, did he try and help you?
8 A. Yes, he did, and he did help me.
9 Q. How did he help you?
10 A. He would bring me food sometimes.
11 Q. Did he talk to any of the official people
12 there, the people in authority there, with respect to
13 your status and to solving it?
14 A. Yes, he did.
15 Q. Who did he talk to?
16 A. To Rosic, and his father and him were the
17 proprietors of a cafe, a restaurant in Omarska, which
18 was called the Munich Cafe. Probably his father worked
19 abroad, perhaps in Munich, so that's the name he gave
20 to his cafe.
21 Q. Did he talk to any of the official people
22 from the power structure?
23 A. Rosic was an official person from the power
24 structure. It was that particular young man Rosic,
25 that was him.
1 Q. Did he talk to Mr. Drljaca?
2 A. Yes, he did, he talked to Mr. Drljaca as
4 Q. What was the result of those talks?
5 A. He tried to get me a permit to be released
6 from the Omarska concentration camp, at least that's
7 what he told me and I believe him; that is to say, I
8 believed him at the time, I really did.
9 Q. That means that this was with respect to your
10 release. He talked to Mr. Rosic and Mr. Drljaca?
11 A. Yes, he did.
12 Q. To anybody else?
13 A. And the guards and some other people. But
14 these are the two names that I know of specifically.
15 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, when you testified, you said,
16 and I have the minutes here, that Mr. Meakic was the
17 commander, that is to say, the head of security, and
18 that you assumed that his deputy was Mr. Kvocka. And
19 then you go on to enumerate four reasons which lead you
20 to make that assumption. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Did you know the organisational structure of
23 the police of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Not to use the
24 actual official title.
25 A. Well, I believe I did.
1 Q. Did you know the organisation of the police
2 in Prijedor, that is to say, the Public Security
3 Station, as it was referred to?
4 A. Well, I didn't know the organisation but I
5 knew most of the people there. Who was the chief of
6 the SUP, I can't say.
7 Q. Well, I want to ask you something in a
8 slightly different direction.
9 Did you know the rules and regulations, that
10 is to say, in which way appointments were made and
11 distribution of officers to different posts?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Did you -- were you acquainted with the rules
14 regulating the way in which rifles were borne, that is
15 to say, what officer was entitled to which type of
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] The witness
18 gave an answer, and he said no.
19 Q. So could you repeat for the LiveNote,
21 A. Yes, the answer is no.
22 Q. Do you happen to know the organisation and
23 way in which disciplinary procedure was conducted?
24 A. No.
25 Q. When you spoke about the reasons on which you
1 base your assumption, as you said, you mentioned a
2 person called respect [Realtime transcript read in
3 error "Despot"].
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. There is a comment to the LiveNote again.
6 We're talking about the -- we were talking about
7 respect, the term "respect," and the transcript has it
8 as Despot.
9 A. No, I mentioned the respect of the guards to
10 their superiors.
11 Q. Yes, well I'll go on to ask you what respect
13 In every society, there are people who are
14 professionals, who are honourable, who have high moral
16 A. They do, yes. They do exist.
17 Q. Very well. You admit that they do exist.
18 Now, in everyday life, we always show respect towards
19 people of that kind, do we not?
20 A. Yes, we do.
21 Q. And you said -- you made your assumption and
22 you say that this was confirmed by the fact that
23 Mr. Kvocka brought food to the guards.
24 A. Not food during lunchtime, but they were
25 in-between meals, snacks, and during the night. Food,
1 drinks, and cigarettes.
2 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, you were an officer. Now, in
3 what system does the superior serve his subordinates
4 and plays this role of somebody who runs their errands?
5 A. I don't know what system this is done. I
6 just told you what I saw.
7 Q. I wanted to take note of the fact that you
8 don't know which system this can happen in.
9 A. Well, I stand by what I said.
10 Q. I should now like to ask you some questions
11 about the flag. Where was the flag pole, and you
12 mentioned the raising of a flag. Where was that?
13 A. When we came to Omarska, at the beginning,
14 two or three weeks after that, it did not exist, that
15 flag pole didn't exist. After a certain amount of
16 time, it sort of appear, and it was a pole that was
17 placed in front of the tap and the canteen, or the main
18 central building there [indicates], loud and clear.
19 Q. Can you show us, please, where this was?
20 A. Yes, I can. It was at this position here
22 Q. And there was a concrete slab underneath; is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, how was this crooked pole put in there?
1 A. Well, I don't know, but I know that a flag
2 was placed there. Not at first but later on.
3 Q. So it was a crooked pole on this concrete
4 slab. When was this?
5 A. In the morning, when the shifts replaced each
6 other, they would line up and hand over the shift, and
7 we were usually on the pista, because I spent most of
8 my time on the pista, and then we too had to get up and
9 stand to attention during the raising of the flag
11 And this was not done always but there was
12 one shift in particular which liked to raise the flag.
13 This was not done every day. Sometimes they would
14 forget. I don't know. We didn't mind one way or
15 another whether they would raise the flag or not. That
16 was the least of our problems.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
18 it is now 11.00, and I have some 15 minutes of some
19 very important questions. May we have the break? We
20 have just established contact it appears, and
21 Mr. Oklopcic has started answering my questions with
22 clearer answers.
23 So I respect the objections, but I would like
24 to say that my witness did give very broad answers and
25 brought us in a very difficult position. He is now
1 answering more clearly, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think,
3 Mr. Simic, that -- I thought, Mr. Simic, that you were
4 going to say that you would like two or three minutes
5 more and that you would be ending. Unfortunately,
6 we're now going to make the break, and then you'll have
7 the opportunity of continuing after the half hour
8 break. Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be
13 Mr. Simic, please continue with clear
14 questions to the witness.
15 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
16 Your Honours.
17 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, in your statement, over a
18 period of five or six days, you frequently mentioned
19 the name of Mr. Kuruzovic; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who was Mr. Kuruzovic?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the
24 A. Mr. Kuruzovic was the former director of the
25 elementary school called the 16th of May, and he was
1 the commander of the concentration camp in Trnopolje.
2 He used to be my teacher, and so on.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Also in your statement, you said that during
5 your stay in Omarska, he visited Omarska on several
6 occasions; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Also in your statement, on page 22 of the
9 B/C/S version, page 29 of the English version, second
10 paragraph, towards the end, I shall quote you -- you
11 can check of course exactly what you said, so it would
12 speed things up a bit -- you stated then that
13 "Mr. Zeljko Meakic and Mr. Kvocka, during
14 Mr. Kuruzovic's visit, were quiet and deferential in
15 relation to Mr. Kuruzovic." Is that what you said?
16 A. I did.
17 Q. Is that correct?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. You said a moment ago that Mr. Kuruzovic was
20 a teacher and a professor.
21 A. He was a secondary school teacher.
22 Q. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was he employed in the police?
25 A. He was not.
1 Q. You said in your statement that you assumed
2 that Mr. Meakic and Mr. Kvocka were the chief of
3 security and his deputy.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you explain why there would be this
6 subordinate attitude of chiefs towards a person who is
7 not in the chain of command or in the hierarchy, or in
8 the same occupation, if you assumed they were?
9 A. Let me explain. Slobodan Kuruzovic had the
10 rank of major in the former Yugoslav People's Army.
11 And from the beginning he participated in the war in
12 Croatia --
13 Q. Will you please just answer my question. You
14 have opened an interesting question. Was there ever a
15 command structure between the army and the police?
16 A. The army and the police cooperated.
17 Q. My question was clear.
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Talking about Mr. Kuruzovic, after you left
20 Omarska, did you meet him again?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. When?
23 A. In the Trnopolje concentration camp.
24 Q. Did Mr. Kuruzovic make any decisions
25 regarding your release?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What did he have to do?
3 A. He had to sign a release paper. No one could
4 leave the Trnopolje concentration camp without the
5 signature of Slobodan Kuruzovic on a release document.
6 Q. Could Mr. Meakic sign such a release paper?
7 A. As far as I know, he could not.
8 Q. Thank you. Let us now try and clarify a few
9 points that are not quite clear from your testimony,
10 regarding specific events.
11 During your interview, you described an
12 incident in connection with the killing of Mr. Nasic.
13 You said that it occurred around the 10th of July.
14 A. A week or ten days after my arrival.
15 Q. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You also described the event.
18 A. I did.
19 Q. But during your testimony last week, you
20 stated that after the event, that same evening, the
21 prisoners were addressed by Mr. Meakic.
22 A. The next day and the morning, but they were
23 present that same evening.
24 Q. Let us clear that up, then. You're saying
25 that both Mr. Meakic and Mr. Kvocka were present in the
1 Omarska camp when this incident occurred, when
2 Mr. Nasic was killed.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who addressed the prisoners the next day?
5 A. Zeljko Meakic.
6 Q. What about Mr. Kvocka?
7 A. I think he did but I'm not quite sure. I
8 know that both of them were present that same evening,
9 Mr. Meakic and Mr. Kvocka.
10 Q. You said very explicitly, Mr. Oklopcic,
11 confirming your assumption regarding the position held
12 by Mr. Meakic and Mr. Kvocka as commanders of the
13 guards and deputy commanders, that they worked in
14 different shifts of 24 hours each, that they took
15 turns. Is that correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Let me just, however,
18 say that last time you said that they addressed the
19 prisoners that same evening, but we won't go into
21 I should like to go back to the events of the
22 30th of May, the event that you have described. I'm
23 paraphrasing, almost quoting what you said. You said
24 that the previous bus stopped, and you showed us where,
25 that you waited to disembark; that at one point
1 shooting broke out; that you had to bend down your
2 heads; that you didn't see anything, you just heard it;
3 when you got off you saw blood being washed; you went
4 to Mujo's room and you heard that in the shooting, a
5 father and son, Avdo and Asaf Kapetanovic, had been
6 killed. Is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, on page 4 of your statement,
9 second paragraph, in the English version, page 5,
10 second paragraph, you explicitly stated: "I saw, when
11 Cigo opened fire from an automatic weapon on a group of
12 persons who were all five metres away from Cigo. They
13 were waiting for their turn to stand up against the
14 wall like the other persons in their group. I was 15
15 to 20 metres away. I saw that Avdo Kapetanovic and his
16 son Asaf Kapetanovic were hit and fell immediately
17 after the shooting. Panic was created in the group."
18 Mr. Oklopcic, a moment ago you explained to
19 Mr. Nikolic that this statement was the result of 50 or
20 60 hours of interviewing. Which of the two is true
21 regarding the event of the 30th of May, 1992, what you
22 told during your testimony or what you explicitly
23 described in your statement? The position, where you
24 stood, what you saw, and the men falling.
25 A. The real truth is what I described here in
1 court. I didn't know Cigo, nor did I see Cigo kill
2 anyone. I could have insisted on this statement. I'm
3 sure it was a mistake. I often had different
4 interpreters, they changed. The truth is I didn't see
5 Cigo kill them, I didn't see the two -- the father and
6 son die. It was only later on that I learnt about it
7 from other people when I entered the room. That is the
9 Q. I had to mention this because it is stated
10 clearly in your statement, but let's move on.
11 I should like to go back to the killings in
12 July, and that will bring to an end my
13 cross-examination. You stated that you were an
14 eyewitness of the beating of Mr. Ramadanovic, nickname
15 Cifut. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. No, "Cigut" is another name for a
17 dish. So Mr. Krstic made a mistake and said "Cigut"
18 instead of "Cifut".
19 Q. You still claim that Mr. Ramadanovic died
20 from the consequences of this beating.
21 A. I do. Not only that beating, but the one
22 that preceded it as well.
23 Q. Did you know Mr. Ramadanovic?
24 A. Extremely well.
25 Q. Did he have any health problems?
1 A. He was an elderly man. But whether he had
2 any health problems, I don't know.
3 Q. After Mr. Ramadanovic, you also referred to
4 an incident with Mr. Rizo Hadzalic, also in July.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You stated that his beating occurred in front
7 of the administrative, or what you call the central
8 building, where he was waiting to go in for
9 interrogation; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The cause for the beating, according to what
12 you said, was the word he used "Bujrum," addressed to
13 one of the guards who was eating.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. As we come from the same parts and we are
16 familiar with words of Turkish origin, and we know what
17 it means and you explained, in answer to the question
18 of His Honour Judge Riad, you said that it meant "Help
19 yourself" or "You're welcome to join in." Mr. Rizo
20 Hadzalic wasn't eating. How did he use this word of
21 Turkish origin, meaning "Join me in my meal"?
22 A. He said -- when people eat in our part of the
23 country, you know that you're very well because as you
24 just said we come from the same parts. It is
25 customary, if you or I am eating, you offer food to
1 someone standing and watching. And he was meant --
2 what he meant was because he was eating that he should
3 have said "Bujrum." He perhaps expected the guard to
4 offer him some food, to join him in his meal. And then
5 what happened happened. You know that these words of
6 Turkish origin were not used only by Muslims; there
7 were quite a number of Serbs using it.
8 Q. Exactly. That's what I meant. You
9 personally watched this beating up.
10 A. I did personally.
11 Q. Let me ask you two or three more brief
13 A. Only two or three?
14 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, do you know who was responsible
15 for organising the food, such as it was, in the camp?
16 A. I do not know.
17 Q. Do you know to whom the investigators were
19 A. I don't know. You mean those who
20 questioned -- interrogated the prisoners? I don't
22 Q. Do you know, or rather within the security
23 services or in general, were there members who used to
24 work in the Omarska company?
25 A. You mean the mine, among the prisoners?
1 Q. No. No, among the people working in the
2 security service.
3 A. I can't answer that question. I know people
4 who worked in the school. Yes, there were people who
5 used to work there. Yes, that is correct. I see what
6 you're asking me now.
7 Q. Let me make myself quite clear. Within the
8 framework of the organisation, such as it existed,
9 there were a certain number of persons who were
10 employed in the Omarska mine.
11 A. You mean during the period when it was a
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Two or three civilians.
15 Q. I see. Who was their superior?
16 A. I have no idea.
17 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, I have no further questions,
18 and I hope you will be able to return home as soon as
20 A. I hope you will go home, too, soon.
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
22 Your Honour. I have finished my cross-examination.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well,
24 Mr. Simic.
25 Mr. Keegan.
1 MR. KEEGAN: Before the next counsel starts
2 his cross, can I just raise a matter to answer some of
3 the issues raised by Mr. Simic, because I'm concerned
4 they may come up again, and I'd like to clear the air.
5 Could we do it in private session, please, turn off the
6 public microphones?
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We're
8 going into private session, then, please.
9 [Private session]
11 pages 1849-1853 redacted – private session
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are now
18 in public session, and you may commence. Please excuse
19 me, Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, I shall be as brief as possible
22 and go through your statement, because you made some
23 imprecise answers. I don't doubt the truth of them,
24 your statements, but they were not just not precise
1 Tell us what happened on the 30th of May,
2 1992. With respect to that, your statement in the
3 examination-in-chief differs form -- your testimony in
4 the examination-in-chief differs from your statement
5 because you said the alleged attack.
6 A. We're talking about the 30th of May.
7 Q. Yes. The 30th of May. The 30th of May.
8 It's clearer there. In the statement, you say that
9 70 to 150 people attacked a town full of Serb
10 soldiers. You don't know why this happened, but they
11 took over Radio Prijedor and that you joined them?
12 A. No. No.
13 Q. What that how it was?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, did this attack exist or not?
16 A. You call it an attack, but I call it an
17 attempt to liberate the town.
18 Q. Yes. Very well. Very well. I accept that.
19 Once again, there was a Professor Lukic, and he said
20 that 90 per cent of the misunderstandings between us is
21 the terms we use. So it existed?
22 A. Yes, it did.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please
24 slow down, please. The interpreters kindly request
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Were some people taken prisoner and later on
3 did you later see them in Omarska, from that attempt to
4 liberate the town, as you call it?
5 A. Yes, I did. A number of people were taken
6 into custody, and I saw them during my stay in Omarska,
7 and later on, if they were arrested --
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please make
9 pauses in between questions and answers, otherwise, you
10 can speak outside the courtroom, because I think you're
11 here for us to understand you. But if you continue
12 like that, you can go outside the courtroom, you can
13 talk together, and we can do something else. So please
14 think of us, not only the interpreters, but us Judges
15 as well, and the court reporters as well.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do apologise,
17 Your Honour.
18 Q. So there were people taken prisoner, you saw
19 some of them?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And you say that some people were brought in
22 later on, probably as the result of being caught.
23 A. Yes, being caught later on.
24 Q. Very well. Do you rank them among civilians,
25 the civilian population, in the Omarska camp?
1 A. I do include them among the civilian
2 population, and I'll tell you the reasons for that.
3 Those young men, there were about 100 of them, first of
4 all did not receive weapons from the Yugoslav army or
5 from the police. Therefore, they were civilians. How
6 they came by these weapons, how they purchased the
7 weapons, that is another question altogether. But the
8 difference between the civilian and, let us say, the
9 army peaks and police peaks was that the Serbian
10 population had received weapons from the police forces
11 and the Yugoslav forces. These young men who tried to
12 liberate the town or to return the town, get the town
13 back, as I say, had no weapons at all, and this turned
14 out to be seen later on. But they had very poor
15 weapons. They had pistols of some kind. That's why I
16 say that I do rank them among the civilians, because
17 it's a difference between the regular army and
18 civilians who got their weapons -- came by weapons in
19 some way and tried to liberate the town.
20 Q. But you'll agree with me that they were young
21 male men with weapons who came by those weapons in an
22 illegitimate way.
23 A. Yes, I do agree with you there.
24 Q. Thank you. The checkpoint that existed at
25 Hambarine, were those people armed there, the ones that
1 manned it?
2 A. I wasn't there. Probably they were.
3 Q. Did they get their weapons in a regular
4 fashion? Because you said it was the Territorial
5 Defence, did you not?
6 A. No. I said no. The Territorial Defence,
7 when the town was taken over, all the weapons of the
8 Territorial Defence was given to the hands of the
9 Serbian population on the 30th of April.
10 Q. So the word "Territorial Defence" cannot be
11 used for people who were at the checkpoints in
13 A. Probably not, no.
14 Q. Asked by Mr. Keegan, you said that injured
15 Serb soldiers said something in an interview on
16 television or on the radio, whatever.
17 A. Yes, I did state that. On Serbian
18 television. I said that he spoke on Serbian
20 Q. But what did he say?
21 A. He said that the patrol, there were four or
22 five of them in the car, that they were attacked at
23 that checkpoint.
24 Q. In the period of May 1992, that is to say,
25 before that attempt at liberation, could you tell us,
1 if you happen to recall, when did the first Muslim die?
2 A. The first Muslim, when he died, you want to
3 know. Well, he died in the Prijedor area, that's what
4 I mean.
5 Q. Yes. Which means Kozarac and all the rest?
6 A. A distinguished citizen from Brezicani was
7 killed. I think his name was Jusuf Kucukovic. And
8 this happened, this occurred in the period before the
9 attack or the liberation of Prijedor. What the date
10 was exactly, I cannot recall.
11 Q. What about Kozarac on the 25th? Did anything
12 happen there?
13 A. Yes. The Serb army attacked Kozarac, and a
14 Muslim died, I assume there. Not one, many.
15 Q. I mean 25. I don't want to speak instead of
16 you. I know exactly what happened, and that's why I
17 said "some," which means more than one. Was this event
18 before or after that?
19 A. The killing of Jusuf Kucukovic, that was
21 Q. Do you know anything about that Kucukovic in
22 relation to Hambarine or can't you say?
23 A. Yes, I can. It was before the attack.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. In your testimony,
25 you mentioned a number of guards and names who were in
1 Krkan's shift, and after Krkan's shift, so on and so
2 forth. Now, I would like to know the following to
3 clarify something about that individual and I can't
4 ascertain who that individual is. You mentioned a
5 certain person named -- I think he was a guard. His
6 name was Pavlic?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. My first question: Is that his name or his
10 A. It is his surname.
11 Q. Yes. That's what I meant, his surname.
12 A. Yes, it's his surname, and his name was
13 Milan. So Milan Pavlic.
14 Q. Can I then state that it wasn't Pavlovic or
15 Popovic either?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Can you describe this
18 man to us? Did he have any characteristic traits on
19 his head or on his hair?
20 A. Yes. He had a white strand. He had died his
21 hair white, a strand of white hair here in front.
22 Otherwise he had dark hair. He was a bit larger than
23 me. I'm large, but he was even larger. And he was
24 under the age of 30, thereabouts.
25 Q. Now, coming to organisation in the Omarska
1 camp. You spoke about the structure; I don't want to
2 repeat that. Do you happen to know whether they were
3 formally appointed? You worked in a school. You know
4 what it means when somebody is formally, officially
5 appointed. Were they officially appointed commander,
6 deputy commander, shift commander, and so on? Were
7 there any official appointments?
8 A. Well, I'm just waiting for the Judge to
9 understand what you're saying. My answer to that
10 question is I don't know.
11 Q. What was your source of information, then,
12 that they were -- that -- beginning from Meakic, who is
13 not here, and going on from there?
14 A. My source of information was my stay in the
15 Omarska concentration camp. That is my answer, number
16 1. Number 2, it was what the guards said amongst
17 themselves. They clearly talked about who the superior
18 was in the concentration camp of Omarska. And number
19 3, all of us, and I say this in my statement, saw who
20 the shifts reported to, who the shifts were handed on
21 to, and so on. I say that I did not see a signature,
22 but that is my opinion and I stand by it.
23 Q. You mentioned a flag on a crooked pole and
24 that there was a flag-raising ceremony. Could you
25 describe who was present at this flag ceremony? Not
1 the ordinary guards or somebody who had just come in to
2 bring some food, but the people we're talking about
4 A. I've already said, the flag was not raised at
5 the beginning, and that is why we found it strange that
6 suddenly, after a few days had gone by, that this flag
7 was improvised. You know what improvisation means. It
8 was placed underneath the tap. How and why, I don't
10 When shifts were taken over, usually at 7.00
11 in the morning, give or take five minutes either way,
12 the shift leader and the commander, whether it was
13 Kvocka or Zeljko Meakic, but usually it was the shift
14 leader who was present. Every time Kvocka and Meakic
15 were not present, it was the shift leader. And you
16 know, when I say "shift leader," what I mean.
17 So not those who were in the hangars; they
18 didn't have to attend the ceremony. It was us, we who
19 were outside on the pista, we necessarily attended this
20 ceremony. And as I said, sometimes they would make fun
21 of the whole thing. We had to keep quiet. But why
22 they did that, I can't explain to you.
23 Q. But what did they actually do? Not what you
24 did. What did they do?
25 A. Well, they would raise the flag, and that's
1 all. That's all.
2 Q. You said that you listened to a hymn, some
3 kind of music.
4 A. No, I didn't say that. I just had to sing
5 the nationalistic songs when those people from Banja
6 Luka or Prijedor would come.
7 Q. What about the flag ceremony?
8 A. No, nothing. There was no music during that
10 Q. I see. No music. In the course of your stay
11 there, you were there for --
12 A. And it is the 26th of June. I was a history
13 teacher ten years ago, so I do remember that date.
14 Q. What happened on this day, Vidovdan?
15 Anything specific?
16 A. Very often, in the course of my stay,
17 helicopters would descend, military transport
18 helicopters, and we would be forced -- you know that
19 black belt used for the mine, mining ore, we had to --
20 they cut -- that is to say, this belt was four metres
21 long, approximately, and cut into sections, and it was
22 two metres across, and we had to -- not all of us, but
23 those of us who were selected had to load that belt
24 onto the helicopter. And some fire was being made and
25 this was used. But the guards themselves used to say
1 that this belt was used to line transporters and tanks
2 because the Zoljas, hand-held rocket launchers,
3 couldn't hit a tank if it was lined with this. But was
4 any -- was there firing on Petrovdan and Vidovdan.
5 Q. Where were the guards from who were in
6 Krkan's shift?
7 A. In Krkan's shift, I don't think they were all
8 directly from Omarska, but they were from Jelicka and
9 areas like that.
10 Q. So Omarska and Jelicka.
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. They were not from Maricka?
13 A. No. I call my shift -- My shift was from
14 Maricka. That was the shift I knew very well.
15 Q. So the Maricka shift is the one you mentioned
16 most frequently with respect to Ecim.
17 A. What did you say?
18 Q. Was in respect to Ecim?
19 A. No, not with respect to Ecim. I mentioned
20 Krkan's shift.
21 Q. But in your statement, that is what you say.
22 A. No, I'm quite sure I didn't say that. There
23 might be a mistake.
24 Q. Well, yes, nobody is perfect.
25 A. It's not my fault that it was Krkan's shift
1 that day. And I said that in respect to Hankin, that
2 it was Maricka's shift and Bectr Medunjanin as well.
3 Q. Slavko Ecim was brought to the camp. It is
4 page 17, paragraph 2 of your statement, and in English
5 it is on page 23. The English version, page 23, the
6 last -- no, page 22. The English version is page 22.
7 "On the same day, when I was interrogated ..." I
8 don't have to read it out. We're all literate here.
9 But you go on to state, "I think that the guards in the
10 group were from Maricka."
11 A. That's what it says, but -- I might have said
12 it, but it wasn't that way. That is not how it
14 Q. Could you please tell me one more thing, and
15 I'll be finished in just a moment. To put something
16 else right, did you receive bread for food?
17 A. Yes, we did.
18 Q. For the transcript, because that was omitted
19 from the transcript yesterday.
20 A. Yes, we did. We would receive a small piece
21 of bread, but we did receive bread, yes.
22 Q. And the water that you were talking about, is
23 it the water that went through these pipes before the
24 camp was made?
25 A. Probably it was.
1 Q. Did people drink it, then?
2 A. People probably did. I didn't work at
3 Omarska, so I don't know.
4 Q. So it wasn't special water that came out of
5 these taps?
6 A. No. I just know that later on the guards
7 didn't drink the water from the same taps that we drank
8 from. Whether the water was poisoned or not, I never
9 said that. I can't maintain that. I don't know.
10 THE INTERPRETER: This is too fast. This is
11 much too fast.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In the course of your stay, you saw Krkan.
14 Could you tell us where you saw him?
15 A. On the pista. He would go past the pista,
16 and mostly, when we went upstairs to the central
17 building up on the upper storey where the
18 interrogations went on.
19 Q. You didn't see him anywhere else?
20 A. Well, I did see him in other parts as well
21 because he was there; not only him, but all the others
22 who were in this leadership cadre, they would walk
23 around the whole camp. But as I was on the pista
24 throughout that time, I saw him on many occasions, and
25 that is no secret that he would come there and walk
1 past and so on.
2 Q. Did you happen to see him in -- what shall I
3 call this, this part, this glass part up here?
4 A. Yes, I did. Lots of times.
5 Q. What did he do?
6 A. He was standing around and looking. And in
7 the evening he would just have a white vest on.
8 Q. So he stood and watched?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. Did he have any weapons?
11 A. He did not have any weapons on some
12 occasions, and on others he did.
13 Q. Was there any guard post there of any kind?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you ever happen to see him standing guard
16 in that area?
17 A. No, I didn't. I know what you're getting
18 at. There's a film, you know. A film was filmed.
19 Q. Yes. Yes, I know all about that, and that is
20 not something that is contested.
21 During your statement, you say at one point,
22 if I heard you correctly during your testimony, and I
23 apologise if I heard you incorrectly -- you said, "Brk
24 was Meakic's right hand and his assistant." Who is
25 Brk? What do you mean by "Brk"?
1 A. It was a young man whose nickname was Brk or
2 moustache in translation. Wherever Meakic went, he
3 went with him. They would drive the same vehicle.
4 They would beat the same people, people who were caught
5 at Ljubija. I think his surname was Tadic but I'm not
6 sure. Anyway, his nickname was Brk.
7 Q. Did he belong to any forces? Was he the
8 police, the army, or whatever?
9 A. I think he wore the uniform of a police
10 reserve force. It was a blue uniform.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you know what the
12 role was of the late Simo Drljaca with respect to the
13 camp? You needn't -- I don't mean then, I mean
14 generally did you know about that?
15 A. Well, can I say an extra sentence? Well, I
16 don't want to run away from the truth, I want people to
17 understand. You probably know that I did know Simo
18 Drljaca because he worked as a lawyer covering all 16
19 or 14 primary schools that existed in the Prijedor
20 municipality. So we did know each other well. We
21 would sit in at many meetings together, but I can also
22 tell you that he was not capable as a jurist, and I
23 don't think he ever won a case in court. And that is
24 why I find it all the more strange how come Mr. Drljaca
25 should occupy such a leadership post of that kind? Who
1 had chosen him when he was incapable, as he was? And
2 you also asked me what role he played. Well, he had a
3 great role, that is my personal opinion. I think he
4 had a great role to play. Whether he had somebody
5 above him, a superior, I don't know. But I did know
6 him exceptionally well.
7 Q. So with respect to the Omarska camp, he did
8 have some authority?
9 A. Yes, certainly.
10 Q. More or less than Meakic?
11 A. Yes, more or less.
12 Q. What did you say?
13 A. Greater competencies.
14 Q. You didn't mention Hankin in your previous
15 statement but you mention him here.
16 A. I think I did. Why it was not introduced, I
17 don't know.
18 Q. Thank you. That's an answer too. At one
19 given point, you state something about Soskan during
20 the examination-in-chief. You mentioned Soskan. I
21 wasn't quite clear. Did you see him shoot or did you
22 think that he did the shooting or did you hear that he
23 did the shooting?
24 A. I heard about it. I saw him shoot but I'm
25 not quite sure 100 per cent. I think, I think I said
1 that I thought it was Soskan, but I am not certain. I
2 saw a soldier firing.
3 Q. But you're not 100 per cent certain that it
4 is him.
5 A. Yes, I wasn't a 100 per cent sure and that is
6 what I said in the statement.
7 Q. Thank you. Now we've clarified that point
8 which wasn't quite clear.
9 You mentioned an individual named Timarac,
10 Zeljko Timarac.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Once again, what was he there?
13 A. He wasn't anything. He would just come into
14 Omarska and abuse and kill people.
15 Q. Was he a civilian?
16 A. No, he wore a uniform. He had a uniform on,
17 a military uniform.
18 Q. Well, that's why I'm asking. Yes, thank
19 you. You mentioned weapons, the weapons of certain
20 individuals, and then you said he had a pump-action
21 rifle. The weapons that they had, those whom you say
22 were commanders or shift leaders, or I didn't quite
23 unless you, but was there any difference between them
24 and the other guards?
25 A. Yes, they were different.
1 Q. How were they different?
2 A. Well, Milojica Kos, for example, he didn't
3 have a rifle, he just had a pistol.
4 Q. What about Krkan?
5 A. Sometimes, when he was on the pista, he never
6 carried an automatic rifle, but as you say, on one of
7 the pictures he was carrying an automatic rifle. Miro
8 Kvocka did not always have a pump-action gun with him,
9 but he did have one. Zeljko Markovic had a pistol,
10 sometimes he did not have any automatic weaponry.
11 Q. What about the other guards? Did they have
12 weapons at all times or did they not have them at
14 A. They had weapons at all times.
15 Q. It never happened that a reserve guard or
16 some one did not have a weapon?
17 A. Yes, when he was having a rest and he would
18 put it down beside him.
19 Q. Well, yes, but otherwise that's that.
20 Finally, sir, you've gone through some bad times and
21 seen some even worse things from your personal
22 experience because some people fared worse than you.
23 Do you feel any -- do you feel the need for revenge?
24 Do you feel the urge for revenge of any kind?
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a
1 minute, Mr. Fila. I see that Madam Hollis is on her
3 MS. HOLLIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm
4 just interrupting on behalf of the court reporter who
5 is indicating that she's not getting any of this
6 exchange. I wanted to perhaps have us slow down.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, it's
8 always the same question. You must make pauses between
9 questions and answers. Otherwise, everything gets
10 mixed up, you overlap each other. So please try and
11 pay attention to that. We will be very grateful to
12 you. Thank you.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I like the fact that you said that you were
15 sorry that the Serbs had been killed. I am also sorry
16 that other people had been killed, Croats as well.
17 They're neither yours nor mine, so we're sorry about
18 them too.
19 A. Well, I have friends who are Serbs and
20 Croats, but I'm a Macedonian which is something else
21 again, but never mind.
22 Q. Do you feel any hatred towards a whole
23 peoples or not? Do you feel the need for revenge of
24 any kind? I'd like to hear your answer?
25 A. Well, I thought that somebody might ask me
1 that, and I don't want to say that I was ready for an
2 answer. But you must understand that I do hate, but to
3 do them what they did to my people, I would never do to
4 them what they did to us. I hope that they will get
5 proper justice in the eyes of God and before this Court
6 as well.
7 Q. I asked you something else, towards the
8 people. I hope you don't feel any hatred towards
9 people. That's what I wanted to say. Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
11 very much, Mr. Fila.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We're now
15 going to hear Mr. Jovan Simic.
16 Mr. Simic, you have the floor, if you
18 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
19 Your Honour.
20 Before beginning with the cross-examination,
21 I should like to tender into evidence the Serbian
22 version of a document compiled by the witness himself,
23 and the English translation of the same, and the B/C/S
24 version, marked 22nd of June, or rather the code of the
25 country. It appears to have been made in 1995, which
1 we didn't know. I apologise. I made an omission. The
2 English version is here.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
4 but I think that we have here two documents. We have
5 the translation of only one of the two, I don't know
6 whether there is another.
7 Mr. Dubuisson, we have two versions in
8 English, do we?
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The document
10 that I have in front of me is only in one version, in
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But I
13 think that we have two B/C/S documents, a manuscript
14 and another typed text, with the mark "22nd of June" in
15 B/C/S, and we have the translation only of the
17 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
18 the document written by hand and the document
19 translated into English are one and the same document,
20 in fact. The B/C/S version, with an English
21 translation, that is how it was disclosed to us in the
22 supporting material. Another document is a statement
23 that Mr. Keegan said was marked 22nd June, and it
24 represents the country in which it was given. We do
25 not have an English version, nor did we ever receive
1 it, and that is why we are tendering it in the original
2 that was disclosed to us, that is, in the B/C/S
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see
5 things are clearer now. Can the registrar give us the
6 number of this exhibit so we can identify the
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The document
9 "22nd June", only in B/C/S, will be marked D2/5, and
10 the other document for which we have an English
11 translation will be D1/5, D1/5A for the English
12 version, which is a translation.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic,
14 we are now able to begin, and once we have the
15 documents marked, it is easier to use the code,
16 please. So you may begin, Mr. Simic. I think we are
17 in a position to be able to do so.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. J. Simic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Oklopcic, good day to
21 A. Good day.
22 Q. Will you please take this list, marked D1/5,
23 which is in fact a list of the most responsible people
24 that you compiled by yourself, by hand. Did you write
1 A. I did.
2 Q. So this document consists of --
3 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
4 There's no translation.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
6 Mr. O'Sullivan?
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I have a question about the
8 way these documents are marked. It says -- I heard
9 D2/5 and D1/5.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
11 Mr. O'Sullivan, excuse me, I wasn't able to follow
12 you. I apologise. Could you repeat your remark?
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. My
14 question concerns the way these documents were marked.
15 The numbering they received, I heard D1/5 and D2/5. If
16 I'm mistaken, please correct me, but I believe that
17 Prcac is the fifth accused and it should be D5/1 and
18 D5/2, unless I stand corrected.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
20 very much, Mr. O'Sullivan. Let us see with
21 Mr. Dubuisson.
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] No. We no
23 longer use that system. We use the slash and the
24 number attributed to the accused last. For Kvocka, it
25 was D24/1. In this case, it is D1/5.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that
2 clear now, Mr. O'Sullivan? Thank you.
3 I apologise for interrupting you. Just a
4 moment, please.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Now,
7 Mr. Jovan Simic, I apologise once again. Please
9 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
10 Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, you compiled this list.
12 A. I did.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is having
14 problems with the interpretation. He is not getting
15 the interpretation.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear it now.
17 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I
18 apologise. It is probably our mistake. We found the
19 English version of the document marked D2/5. So we
20 haven't had the time to photocopy it, but we would like
21 to tender it and we will photocopy it later, if we
23 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, we will finally get going, I
24 hope. So on this document, you made a list of the most
25 responsible people.
1 A. I did.
2 Q. In the Prijedor municipality.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In the Omarska camp.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The guard leaders and guards, the inspectors
7 and interrogators.
8 A. As far as I was able to remember at the
10 Q. And the people who were taken away and
11 liquidated, who were exchanged, who were missing. And
12 on page 4, you signed this document, saying that the
13 names from 1 to 4 are truthful and authentic. Is that
15 A. It is.
16 Q. When did you compile this list?
17 A. In 1993.
18 Q. When in 1993?
19 A. At the beginning of 1993.
20 Q. So that was almost immediately after your
21 release, so I assume your memory was best then.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. My question is: If you compiled such a list
24 in December --
25 A. Not in December.
1 Q. In January, I'm sorry. In January. Why did
2 you not mention then Dragoljub Prcac?
3 A. I will answer your question. Dragoljub Prcac
4 was someone I did not know personally, and I saw him
5 least in the camp. At that time I would have forgotten
6 many others. If somebody had mentioned the name at the
7 time I was writing this list, I would have asked who
8 that man was.
9 Q. So that means that you acquired knowledge
10 about Dragoljub Prcac later on.
11 A. No, I had him in mind from the first day,
12 like all the others. But Dragoljub Prcac, for me, was
13 not as important at the time as the others.
14 Q. Why was he not so important?
15 A. Because I would see Mr. Dragoljub Prcac only
16 as one of the leaders in the camp. I didn't see him
17 much anyway. He appeared later in the camp.
18 Q. So you see him as a leader of the camp?
19 A. One of the leaders. A commander of the
21 Q. You didn't mention him in your statement of
22 December 1994.
23 A. I don't remember.
24 Q. You didn't mention him in the statement that
25 has just been admitted into evidence.
1 A. Probably. I don't know.
2 Q. You didn't mention him today when you were
3 asked about who wore what kind of weapons.
4 A. I think it's better that I didn't.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Jovan
6 Simic, don't make assertions. Ask questions. Ask
8 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise,
9 Your Honour.
10 Q. Did you see him often outside the
11 administrative building?
12 A. Towards the end. At first I didn't.
13 Q. Where did he move around most?
14 A. Like all the others, in front of the central
15 building, upstairs, downstairs, and so on.
16 Q. What did he carry as a weapon?
17 A. An automatic rifle.
18 Q. Always?
19 A. No, not always. He had a pistol but
20 sometimes he wore an automatic rifle.
21 Q. How was he dressed?
22 A. He was dressed in military uniform.
23 Q. What colour?
24 A. The former SMB, or olive-grey.
25 Q. So in connection with an event that you
1 mentioned, would you please briefly, so as not to take
2 too much time, can you tell us the date of that event,
3 and then I will ask you about certain persons. You
4 spoke about Nasic. I would like to know when, roughly,
5 this occurred, not to the day but an approximation.
6 A. Yes, I can. It was, I said that today and
7 also the last time, it was seven or ten days after
8 arrival in our camp.
9 Q. You were then at the pista, weren't you?
10 A. No. When Mehmedalija Nasic was killed, I was
11 in the central building, in the canteen.
12 Q. Was Edin Crnalic present then? Do you know
14 A. Yes, he was present.
15 Q. Was Mirsad Alisic present?
16 A. Yes, he was.
17 Q. Was Jasmir Okic present?
18 A. Yes, he was. I think they were. I'm not
19 sure, but I think they were.
20 Q. When Hankin was killed --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- when was that?
23 A. This was two or three weeks in June, end of
24 June. Something like that.
25 Q. Was Senad Ferhatovic present?
1 A. I think he was. I know who you mean, but I
2 mentioned those whom I could remember.
3 Q. Was (redacted) present?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Was Amir Mesic present?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Was Nedim Kapetanovic present?
8 A. I can't remember.
9 Q. When Becir Medjunjanin was victimised, when
10 was that? Was Anes Medjunjanin there and Mokic Fedul
11 [phoen], Sead Cikota?
12 A. He was.
13 Q. Abdulah Brkic? Do you know Abdulah Brkic?
14 A. I don't know now. Some time has gone by
15 since then.
16 Q. Riza Hadzalic, you remember the event that
17 you described. Was Ferhatovic present?
18 A. I think he was.
19 Q. Was Hodzic present?
20 A. He was.
21 Q. Nusret Sivac? Edin Crnalic?
22 A. I think he was.
23 Q. (redacted)
24 A. I think he was.
25 Q. Mirsad Alisic?
1 A. I think he was.
2 Q. Mirsada Hadzalic?
3 A. Mirsada Hadzalic was not present. She was
4 brought in later on, after her man, Riza Hadzalic, had
5 been killed.
6 Q. Nusreta Sivac.
7 A. She was in the camp but I don't know whether
8 she was present.
9 Q. Omer Mesanovic?
10 A. I can't remember.
11 Q. Fehim Fazlic?
12 A. I think he was.
13 Q. Abdulah Brkic?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. The case with Cifut Ramadanovic, when was
16 that roughly?
17 A. Sometime in July. I think it was the
18 beginning of July 1992.
19 Q. Do you remember whether Besim Hodzic was
21 A. I think Besim Hodzic was almost always with
22 his sons at the pista. I know these people you are
23 listing extremely well.
24 Q. Nedim Kapetanovic?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. One further question.
2 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise,
3 Your Honour. No further questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
5 Mr. Jovan Simic.
6 Mr. Tosic, how much time do you need, more or
8 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in
9 view of the time for the break, our suggestion would be
10 that we begin the cross-examination after the break.
11 Maybe we could begin a couple of minutes earlier,
12 because we certainly can't finish the cross in these
13 couple of minutes that remain.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
15 very much for your suggestion. But I was asking how
16 much time you need more or less.
17 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] By the end of the
18 working day, we will finish our cross-examination. I
19 don't think we will go into the next day of hearing.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But many of
21 the questions have already been asked. Never mind. We
22 shall have a half hour break now.
23 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
25 --- Recess taken at 12.53 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be
3 seated. We are resuming the hearing.
4 Who is going to cross-examine, Mr. Tosic or
5 Mr. Stojanovic? Either change your seats or the
7 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on
8 behalf of the Defence team of Zoran Zigic, my colleague
9 Slobodan Stojanovic will be cross-examining the
10 witness, so there's no need for us to change seats.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 I beg your pardon. You may begin, Mr. Stojanovic.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
15 Your Honours. I think it is a good idea for us to
16 share out this truly difficult task.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. I would prefer to discuss with you my
19 favourite subjects, such as history and geography.
20 Unfortunately, it is my duty to discuss with you
21 something that I consider to be most unpleasant myself,
22 but I'm sure it is even worse for you, but it is my
23 duty as the Defence counsel to ask you about these
25 On the first day of your testimony, you began
1 with events in 1991, saying that already then your
2 colleagues had started wearing JNA uniforms. In 1995
3 [sic], was the SFRY still the country of all the
4 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. You mentioned 1995. I think you made a
7 Q. Yes, I beg your pardon. 1991.
8 A. It was the country of all the citizens of
10 Q. We are talking about 1991. According to the
11 then constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did it clearly
12 provide for the obligation of all citizens of that
13 republic to defend the Yugoslavia of that day?
14 A. I think it did.
15 Q. On that occasion you mentioned a number of
16 times that on the 30th of April, 1992 -- we are talking
17 about the first day of your testimony -- the Serb
18 Crisis Staff took over power in Prijedor. Before that,
19 shall we say from October 1991, was there another
20 Crisis Staff in existence?
21 A. No. An attempt was made to constitute what
22 we could call a government of Prijedor municipality.
23 On the basis of the results of the elections in 1991,
24 the power was still shared.
25 Q. May I then ask you, and I don't know whether
1 this question was permitted or not, was this Crisis
2 Staff composed exclusively of Muslims -- I can give you
3 the composition, to remind the witness -- from October
4 of 1991.
5 A. I don't know exactly who was a member, if
6 there was any such body.
7 Q. May I remind you of that, then. Muhamed
8 Cehajic was president; Mirsad Medjujavic [phoen],
9 Mustafa Hodzic, Hilmija Popovec, and Dzamil Pezer.
10 A. That was not a Crisis Staff. Those were the
11 leaders of the SDA party at the time. I think you know
12 what is a Crisis Staff and what are party leaders.
13 They did not take over power by force of arms as the
14 Serb Crisis Staff did.
15 Q. On the first day of your testimony, if I am
16 not mistaken, you also mentioned the words "so-called
17 Serbo-Croatian language." What do you mean? Was it
18 not the official language throughout the existence of
19 the former Yugoslavia?
20 A. As a historian, you certainly know that that
21 language was imposed with the creation of the first
22 common state, the "common state." As soon as the
23 former Yugoslavia collapsed, you couldn't say that you
24 were speaking Croatian in Serbia or Serbian in Croatia,
25 or anything else. It was called the Serbo-Croatian
1 language; it is no where called by that name any
3 Q. I am not aware that in Serbia the
4 Serbo-Croatian language had any negative implications.
5 A. I'm talking about the period of the war.
6 Q. You also said that Ekavica was spoken in
7 Serbia and Montenegro. Is the Ekavica dialect used
8 throughout Serbia?
9 A. I know it is spoken in Serbia, Vojvodina,
10 Sandzak. I mentioned that it was never spoken in
11 Bosnia, and that is a fact.
12 Q. But you said it was also spoken in
13 Montenegro. Is it spoken anywhere in Montenegro?
14 A. I think it is.
15 Q. You also mentioned Senija Dzafic as an
16 announcer and traitor in your written statement, which
17 was tendered today, dated 1994. You also mentioned her
18 husband. What ethnic group did they belong to?
19 A. I think they were Muslims.
20 Q. Were they fired from their job?
21 A. They were not because they placed themselves
22 in the service. They found somebody who would read
23 those lies on the radio, and they found her. That is
24 my opinion, when I call her a traitor.
25 Q. That is precisely what I wanted to refer to.
1 Is a Muslim who was in favour of the survival of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia a traitor?
3 A. At first it was only us Muslims who
4 championed the survival of the former Yugoslavia.
5 However, when we saw what the Serbian military were
6 preparing for us, we were naturally against it.
7 Q. But what was your attitude towards people who
8 favoured, what I could call, a Serb option, the
10 A. Before the war I respected the former state;
11 I admit that and speak in sincerity. As soon as the
12 war began, I started to hate them. I think you
13 understand why.
14 Q. You said that there were certain changes in
15 the media. You no longer listened to the Sarajevo
16 media and that the area of Prijedor was limited to
17 Belgrade media. Can I ask whether the Sarajevo media
18 changed also? For example, the journal Novi Voks, have
19 you ever heard of it, from Sarajevo?
20 A. Never.
21 Q. Were there any changes in the Sarajevo media
22 in that same period?
23 A. I cannot judge. I always read Sarajevo
24 papers; they were closer to me. Sometimes I read the
25 Belgrade papers, like Ekspres Politika. I didn't go
1 into the details of any changes.
2 However, when the relay station on Mount
3 Kozara was turned towards the Serb transmitters, when
4 we started viewing only Serb programmes, when we
5 started receiving only Serb press, Borba Ekspres
6 Politika, I believe you will understand why I changed
8 Q. My learned friend Fila has already touched
9 upon a question that I wanted to refer to, and that is
10 the Muslim attack, or the resistance, as you call it.
11 Let me just complete that part of the testimony
12 relating to that chapter, if I may call it that.
13 Do you know from what part of the city that
14 resistance movement, if I can call it that, entered
16 A. I think I do. It came from the left bank of
17 the Sana River, the area of Hambarine, Rizvanovici,
19 Q. Is that close to Stari Grad, the old town?
20 A. No, it's not close -- yes, it is close.
21 Yes. It depends on your viewpoint.
22 Q. Do you know that in that conflict there were
24 A. At the time I did not know. Later when I
25 left the camp, I learnt who had been killed on either
1 side. But at the time of the fighting, I didn't know,
2 nor did it interest me at the time.
3 Q. I assume there were also wounded.
4 A. Probably.
5 Q. Did you learn from those stories, or can you
6 tell us what it is you learnt, at least in broad lines,
7 as to the number of dead, or a rough estimate for both
9 A. I couldn't do that because that would just be
11 Q. To go back to your 1994 statement, in that
12 statement, did you say that Slavko Ecim, a Croat, was
13 the head of the resistance movement?
14 A. I think I did.
15 Q. You have already explained what you mean by
16 the resistance movement. But can you tell us whether
17 you know whether, behind that resistance movement,
18 there were any authorities behind it? And I'm thinking
19 principally about the authorities from Sarajevo.
20 A. I don't think they were. I think had they
21 been the result would have been different. But I
22 really can't say.
23 Q. Most of your written statement is devoted to
24 the Ecimovic we mentioned. Did you know him well?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. You saw him in Omarska, did you not?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Do you happen to know that part of his life
4 he spent as a paid worker in the Foreign Legion, a
5 mercenary in the Foreign Legion?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Did Slavko Ecimovic, when there was a beating
8 in Omarska, did he say, "I am an Ustasha"?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. I didn't hear your answer.
11 A. I said yes. Yes, and I say that in my
13 Q. So that is the leader of that resistance
15 A. Probably it is, yes.
16 Q. Do you know who the Ustashas were in World
17 War II?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. But at the time all the Croats for you were
21 A. No, I'm talking about what he said.
22 Q. Yes. That is why I'm saying that.
23 A. In Omarska they said we and the Croats were
25 Q. In this attempt to liberate Prijedor, did 10
1 to 15 per cent of former criminals take part in this,
2 as you state in your 1994 statement?
3 A. I think a part of them were, yes.
4 Q. In that drive, did Mesic, nicknamed Hadzija,
5 take part?
6 A. Yes, he did.
7 Q. In your written statement, did you say he was
8 a renowned criminal?
9 A. Well, I didn't say he was a renowned
10 criminal, but I said that he had problems with the
12 Q. Very well. I think that we can take a look
13 at that statement which has been tendered into
14 evidence, so there's no need to dwell on it.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes,
16 Mr. Stojanovic, you don't want to take up the time of
17 the Chamber, but I would like to know what all these
18 details are telling us. I think that it is a very
19 meandering way to arrive at Omarska, and perhaps a
20 repetitive one, so if you could try to pay attention to
21 that. Thank you.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
23 Your Honour.
24 Q. This Hadzija, in May 1992, did he disarm the
25 checkpoint at Berek?
1 A. Yes, he did.
2 Q. What was the composition of the people at
3 that checkpoint?
4 A. I think they were all Serbs.
5 Q. But in your written statement, did you not
6 say that they were of a mixed composition?
7 A. No. The population of Berek, the old Stari
8 Grad and Raskovac, asked that it be a mixed composition
9 because it was inhabited predominantly by Muslims.
10 Q. But did he take the weapons away?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. You know about the attack on Kozarac. Do you
13 know where the Kupovic [phoen] settlement is located?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Do you know about the incident that took
16 place in that settlement prior to this attack?
17 A. Only -- I didn't take part, I couldn't see it
18 taking place, but I think that what happened was that
19 fire was opened on a Serbian column going from Banja
20 Luka. I think that was how it was.
21 Q. As we're nearing Kozarac, from Omarska, when
22 you were in Omarska, could you see for many days that
23 it was looted and burnt?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Does that mean that during the attack of the
1 24th of May, it was not completely destroyed?
2 A. I cannot claim that. I cannot claim that.
3 However, when I returned from Omarska to Trnopolje, we
4 passed along the Banja Luka-Prijedor road.
5 Q. You came to Omarska, and if I'm correct,
6 according to your statement, you said that when
7 interrogated, when interviewed, you said you were a
8 communist because the Serbs were communist too. Is
9 that correct?
10 A. I said that I was a communist but I did not
11 say that the Serbs were communist too. Of course they
12 were; that is true.
13 Q. Well, your answer leads me to further
14 questions. Was Radovan Karadzic ever a communist?
15 A. Ask him.
16 Q. What about the SDS? Did it have anything in
17 common with the communist orientation?
18 A. They were all former communists, all of
20 Q. Are Chetniks akin to communists?
21 A. Well, it would appear to be so in this war.
22 Q. Can you tell us the name of a single Serb
23 communist who was president of the former Yugoslavia,
24 or prime minister?
25 A. I don't know, just like no Muslim was. I
1 think the last time was in 1992. I don't know.
2 Q. You said that in Omarska you spent most of
3 your time on the pista, near the "white house".
4 A. Yes, that's right. That is correct.
5 Q. That means that you were able to see all the
6 comings and goings very well?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And you could hear voices.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Were you in the "white house"?
11 A. Only once.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
13 Mr. Stojanovic, you asked the witness whether he was on
14 the pista and whether he could see who was entering in
15 and going out. You asked him that question. Why
16 repeat that? Why are you repeating what the witness
17 said? You keep repeating. If you have no questions,
18 then move forward, please.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. You knew Becir Medjunjanin.
22 A. Not well. I knew his wife better.
23 Q. Did the guards in Omarska, before the event
24 that you started talking about when you were
25 interviewed, show him up as an example to other
1 prisoners? Did they make an example of him?
2 A. Yes, they did.
3 Q. In what sense?
4 A. Becir Medjunjanin was brought to the camp
5 later on with his wife and his child, and I think he
6 was captured in the Kozarac area. And when he arrived
7 in the camp, all three of them had to stand up against
8 the wall and were beaten, and then the guards would
9 turn round and say, "This is the man who led Kozarac,"
10 and so on, things of that kind.
11 Q. Let me remind you. I should like to take up
12 the story where Mr. Keegan left off, if I'm not
13 mistaken, saying that he would return later on to that
14 spot, but in fact he didn't go back to it. But if I'm
15 not mistaken, I think you said that after a particular
16 beating, that Becir Medjunjanin crawled to the door of
17 your room in the "white house"; is that correct?
18 A. Correct, and that is a well-known fact. I
19 described the incident, the same day when Hankin was
20 killed, and him too.
21 Q. We just want you to carry on with that
22 description, because I don't think we have gone back to
23 that event during the examination-in-chief. Could you
24 tell us what happened after that to Becir, when he
25 crawled to your door?
1 A. He was beaten by Dusko Knezevic, nicknamed
2 Duca. However, we were interested in what was going on
3 in our own room at that particular point, what Zeljko
4 Timarac did against a young man called Hankin, what he
5 was doing to him. And when we returned from the "white
6 house", when we had to run out onto the pista, I
7 described Hankin's murder, how it came about. Soon
8 after that, Becir Medjunjanin was taken out.
9 Q. In the room, in the "white house" previously
10 to that, did you sit next to Becir when Timarac and
11 Duca came in and began beating him as you state in your
12 witness statement?
13 A. No, Becir Medjunjanin was in the first room
14 of the "white house". When we came to the "white
15 house", then afterwards Becir Medjunjanin was taken out
16 by Dusko Knezevic. I gave a very clear statement to
17 that fact.
18 Q. In this statement did you say that in Omarska
19 they would force you to watch other people being
21 A. No, they wouldn't permit us to look, and I
22 said that we secretly looked.
23 Q. Can you tell us, frankly, whether you know
24 who killed Becir Medjunjanin?
25 A. Yes, I do know. Dusko Knezevic, nicknamed
2 Q. What did he beat him with? Can you tell us
3 in greater detail?
4 A. With a baton, with his legs, with his arms.
5 Q. After this, did Becir fall down?
6 A. Yes, he did.
7 Q. Did he stay immobile for some time?
8 A. He remained immobile for the rest of his
10 Q. Did you see them take him out?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Did you see where they placed him?
13 A. In front of the "white house", on the grass
14 there, field.
15 Q. Could you notice any signs of life in him?
16 A. I could note that there were no -- absolutely
17 no signs of life.
18 Q. Was that at the same time when Hankin was a
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who killed Hankin?
22 A. Zeljko Timarac.
23 Q. I should now like to move to the events of
24 (redacted) and Emir Beganovic. Can you remember,
25 in your statement of 1994, what you said? Who beat
2 A. Yes, I can remember. I said that they were
3 beaten by Zigic.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like
5 to ask for the assistance of the technicians, and it is
6 page 12 of the Serbian version and page 15 of the
7 English version.
8 Q. Look at the beginning of the page.
9 A. You said page 12, did you?
10 Q. Yes, the first paragraph of page 12, in the
11 Serbian version. "One afternoon, after I had been
12 taken from the pista to the canteen ..." would you like
13 to read it out?
14 A. Let me explain this to you. You probably
15 want to know why I didn't mention Zigic's name.
16 Q. Yes. Precisely so.
17 A. I remember that event very well, and that
18 event was viewed by 600 people who were with me, in
19 addition to myself. I know that I named Zigic, but why
20 his name is not mentioned there, I don't want to enter
21 into that. However, Zigic, Timarac, Dusko Knezevic is
22 the group which, once or twice a week, would come to
23 the Omarska camp and stay in the Omarska camp together.
24 Q. How many times did you see Zigic in the
25 Omarska camp?
1 A. At least ten times, and two or three times in
3 Q. We're just talking about Omarska for the time
4 being. Thank you.
5 Did you state that there were no other guards
6 with them? That's what you say. You mentioned Timarac
7 and Duca, and you expressly state that there were no
8 other guards with him, and we're talking about -- there
9 were no other guards presently with them?
10 A. Let me tell you one thing, all the guards in
11 the camp, in the Omarska camp, it was an attraction for
12 them all when Zigic, Timarac, and Duca turned up,
13 because they knew that at that time when they turned
14 up, they would see something that they couldn't even
15 see on film. And when it happened that Zigic beat Rezak
16 or Began or anybody else, all the other guards from
17 the surrounding points would come up to watch, to
18 experience those incidents.
19 Q. Where were you watching all this from?
20 A. From the canteen, the menza.
21 Q. Can you show us on the model, please, where
22 you were standing and where they were, that is to say,
23 where Zigic was standing?
24 A. Zigic, Duca came from this direction.
25 Q. Which means they had already gone out, does
1 it, from the "white house"?
2 A. They were not in the "white house." They
3 were somewhere behind here [indicates]. Where they
4 actually were, I don't know. I was standing here
5 [indicates]. Rezak was here. There was the dirty pool
6 of water, and he washed himself with the dirty water in
7 this area [indicates].
8 Q. So that was after that particular incident,
9 was it?
10 A. Well, it was throughout -- it was all an
11 incident for me. What do you mean "after"?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness,
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let me remind you, in all your statements so
16 far, you make no mention of the fact that Zigic took
17 part in this incident. Can you tell us more
18 specifically, in 1992, this incident took place. You
19 gave your statements after two years. Now eight years
20 later, you mention for the first time, as a new fact,
21 as a novel fact compared to all your previous
22 statements, that Zigic took part in that incident, in
23 that occurrence.
24 A. What occurrence have you got in mind?
25 Q. The beating of (redacted) and Asaf
1 Kapetanovic, and I think here is another – (redacted)
3 A. I said that I named Zigic. Why it wasn't
4 entered into the records, I don't know.
5 Q. Did you go through and look through all your
7 A. Well, yes, I did, but you know, after eight
8 hours of interrogation, after interviewing, it was very
10 Q. Did Timarac take part in the incident as
12 A. Yes, he did.
13 Q. Did he beat up these same people?
14 A. I don't know that.
15 Q. You mentioned in your statement that Timarac
16 beat these people. Were you conscious of the fact that
17 he would be responsible, perhaps, towards this
19 A. Yes, Timarac was present with Zigic on the
20 pista when they came back all beaten up, and that is
21 why I said that. You don't have to caution me at all.
22 I know full well what statements I made.
23 Q. Did anybody caution you that your first
24 statement was incorrect?
25 A. May I go back to my seat, please?
1 Q. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 A. Would you repeat your question, please?
3 Q. Did anybody caution you that your previous
4 statements with respect to this incident were
6 A. No, nobody did.
7 Q. Did you inform the Tribunal of your change of
8 opinion, as the first is different from this one? When
9 did you change your attitude to this incident?
10 A. I don't know what it says there. I've just
11 got a copy here. I know what I said on the occasion,
12 and the truth is what I said when I was interviewed on
13 the first day here, in this courtroom, when I was
14 questioned in this courtroom on the first day.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise
16 for interrupting, Mr. Stojanovic. But if you see any
17 contradiction between the different statements of the
18 witness and testimonies, you can ask a direct question
19 to clarify the matter. Otherwise, you enter into
20 argument with the witness. So ask him a direct
21 question. "You said that then, this now. What do you
22 say now at this point?" As we are all here now and it
23 is an oral principle of oral testimony, so without
24 going into a process of argumentation, ask direct
25 questions. Otherwise, we'll never leave this
1 courtroom, Mr. Stojanovic, please.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
3 Your Honours. I am doing my best to clear up the
4 contradictions and have them explained in the simplest
6 Q. The next contradiction is the following. In
7 all statements so far --
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, and
9 let's see the results, because you're going to make the
10 effort and we'll see the results, Mr. Stojanovic.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 In all statements given so far, Mr. Oklopcic,
14 you make no mention of this particular incident with
15 Emir Beganovic, but you did mention it for the first
16 time in front of this Tribunal during your present
17 testimony and examination.
18 A. Well, I didn't have time to say many things
19 on the first day, that's how it was. So just as I did
20 not mention Emir Beganovic up until that time, I didn't
21 do many other things when I was questioned that day.
22 So you must understand that it's not simple to come
23 here, either for me or for you or for anybody else.
24 And to make matters clearer, let me say that I know
25 Rezak and Began very well, we were neighbours. So
1 there is no doubt whatsoever that -- I'm not saying
2 something that is contradictory.
3 Q. Well, now you have muddled me even further.
4 I was a bit mixed up by your initial statements. Had
5 you written down what you're saying now, there would be
6 no misunderstanding.
7 Very well. Having witnessed the incident,
8 can you tell us what Zigic's appearance was like at the
9 time? And when I say this, I mean the uniform he was
10 wearing, or perhaps some characteristic personal
11 traits, and so on.
12 A. As far as I remember, Zigic had a red cap.
13 We said -- he called it a French cap in the former
14 Yugoslavia, you know what it looks like, and he had an
15 olive-green military uniform on him.
16 Q. Did he have any bandages on any part of his
18 A. Well, it's difficult for me to remember, for
19 me to be able to answer your question.
20 Q. That means you can't remember. Very well.
21 How did you recognise him? Did you know him from
23 A. Yes, I did, and I've already answered that
24 question. I said that I knew Zigic from before, but we
25 were not personal friends or anything like that.
1 Q. I don't think we said specifically what time
2 that was. You said in the course of the day that you
3 were standing in a restaurant five, six, or eight
4 hours, but what month was that, or part of a month?
5 A. I think it was the end of June, beginning of
6 July. It's difficult for me to tell you exactly now
7 after eight years have gone by. But it was in the late
8 afternoon, which means between 6.00 and 8.00. How come
9 I know this? I know this because at that time we would
10 be made to go into the central building, where the
11 canteen was situated.
12 Q. If I'm right, you said before this Tribunal
13 that, during this incident, Tadic was present as well,
14 I mean Dusko Tadic.
15 A. I don't know I said that.
16 Q. Did I hear that correctly? I do believe you
17 said that.
18 A. I don't think you heard correctly.
19 Q. Now, these people, and I'm thinking of
20 Mr. Hukanovic, Kapetanovic, and others, did anybody
21 ride on their backs during this incident?
22 A. What I remember most vividly is what I
23 describe. When Rezak was ordered, Hukanovic, to kneel
24 down on the pista and to drink a puddle of dirty water
25 which was on the pista at that time and to wash himself
1 with that dirty water.
2 Q. But you didn't notice anything else which
3 would indicate any similar type of behaviour, inhumane
5 A. What I did notice is that they were covered
6 in blood, that they were dirty, that they had been
7 beaten, and that they were exhausted.
8 Q. You said that you knew Zigic because he
9 worked in Croatia for a time and then came back to work
10 as a taxi driver.
11 A. I didn't know him when he worked in Croatia,
12 but I knew him when he worked as a taxi driver.
13 Q. Do you know when this was?
14 A. It was prior to the war, just before the
15 war. And when we were in Trnopolje, when Zigic lined
16 us up, he told us that publicly.
17 Q. Yes. We'll get to Trnopolje in due course.
18 If I'm not mistaken, you categorically said that you
19 arrived in Trnopolje on the 5th of August and not the
20 3rd of August, as exists in some documents and we
21 accept that. But you say that in the afternoon in
22 Trnopolje, the representatives of the International Red
23 Cross arrived and journalists from well-known newspaper
24 houses in the world. Can you tell us how long they
25 stayed? Did they stay a long time?
1 A. We arrived from Omarska at about 11.00 or
2 12.00, and at that time none of the International Red
3 Cross representatives were there.
4 Q. You said it was in the afternoon?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. How long were they there?
7 A. They were there for two or three hours in the
9 Q. I see. Two or three hours. Very well.
10 A. That is my opinion, as far as I'm able to
12 Q. At the end of your statement, written
13 statement, you say you were exchanged. Can you explain
14 what this meant? Exchanged for whom, why you were
16 A. Yes, I can do that. You know that I had to
17 fill in a form as soon as possible to leave, and after
18 I left Trnopolje I had to leave Prijedor at the
19 earliest opportunity. As I and my family were not able
20 to leave in any other way --
21 Q. I apologise. I'm talking about the very act
22 of exchange. Who were you exchanged for?
23 A. Well, you're not letting me explain.
24 Q. Well, I don't know. Perhaps it is too
1 A. But this is an essential, vital question.
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. We went to Banja Luka, and at that time there
4 was a woman called Perka [phoen], or something like
5 that, in Banja Luka, and she transferred civilians
6 towards Vlasic from Banja Luka. And on five buses, I
7 and my family were in one of those buses, and we came
8 to the plateau of Mount Vlasic. When we got there,
9 there was a bus which had come from the direction of
10 Travnik with only 10 or 15 people in that other bus.
11 And this was supposed to be an exchange, five buses of
12 us from the Serbian part and one bus coming from
13 Travnik, or wherever. And as I say, in that other bus,
14 there were only 10 or 15 people, not more than that,
15 whereas our buses, our five buses were jam packed with
17 Q. These 10 to 15 people, what were they,
19 A. Yes, they were civilians.
20 Q. Very well. You have drawn up a list of the
21 most responsible people, and my learned colleague,
22 Mr. Jovan Simic, presented that list before me. It is
23 a list compiled in handwriting. You gave that list to
24 the Prosecution. Do you mention Zoran Zigic on that
1 A. I don't know. If it's there, then right; if
2 not, then there's no problem.
3 Q. Now, on that list, did you mention expressly
4 who killed Becir Medjunjanin? Do you make mention of
5 that? But you stand by what you said there?
6 A. Yes, absolutely. It just says here that
7 Becir Medjunjanin was killed in the month of July.
8 Q. I'm talking about the list. Look at page 2
9 of the list.
10 A. Here it is, yes Becir Medjunjanin killed in
12 Q. What does it say under that?
13 A. Killed by a man named Duca.
14 Q. So you stand by that, do you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Let us go back to another question, that is
17 to say, one of your answers. You said you saw Zigic
18 some ten times in Omarska. Do you remember any
19 incident with respect to those ten times, except the
20 one that we have just been talking about?
21 A. Yes, I do recall. (redacted)
24 Q. Was he there when Becir Medjunjanin was
1 A. You mean Zigic? No, I think he was not. I
2 didn't see him close by.
3 Q. And when Hankin was killed?
4 A. Also not. I didn't see him.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no
7 further questions. Thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well,
9 Mr. Stojanovic. Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Keegan, do you have any additional
12 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Proceed,
14 then, please.
15 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Keegan:
17 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, in the cross-examination, in
18 one of your answers you indicated that none of the
19 regular policemen in the Omarska camp stood guard.
20 What did the regular policemen do in the camp?
21 A. They brought in daily from Prijedor a couple
22 of prisoners, five, six, four, it depended, and handed
23 them over to these people who were in the Omarska
24 concentration camp.
25 Q. Now, speaking of the individuals who worked
1 at the camp themselves who were regular policemen, you
2 named among them Kvocka and Radic.
3 A. I did.
4 Q. Were there others who were regular policemen
5 before working in the camp that you know of?
6 A. I would see regular policemen who would come
7 into the camp and hand over these prisoners. Whether
8 there were more of them, I don't know the answer to
9 that question.
10 Q. In relation to the questions with respect to
11 Stupar, you mentioned that he spoke to a man named
12 Rosic in the camp.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know what position or duty Rosic had
15 in the camp?
16 A. Stupar told me that this Rosic had one of the
17 main roles in Omarska, in the so-called Crisis Staff or
18 something, but if he wanted to, he could help me. And
19 he insisted and really tried to help me get out of the
21 Q. This Rosic, did he work in the camp? Did he
22 have a position in the camp itself that you know of?
23 A. Perhaps I should say that there are two guys
24 with the same surname. This Rosic, one was a guard,
25 and this other one that Stupar spoke to, he came only
1 two or three times to Omarska and he spoke to the
2 investigators up there.
3 Q. And it's this second Rosic that Mr. Stupar
4 talked to.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. With respect to Slobodan Kuruzovic, were you
7 aware if he was a member of the Crisis Staff in
9 A. He was.
10 Q. Were you aware of whether he had a position
11 of authority or command in the Prijedor Territorial
12 Defence after the takeover?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. With respect to the beating of Riza Hadzalic,
15 is it possible that at the time he was outside on the
16 pista, prior to the beating, that he himself had had
17 something to eat with him or was eating something?
18 A. He did not have anything on him, nor was he
20 Q. With respect to Mr. Timarac, whom you
21 mentioned came to the camp, and you said in response,
22 in cross-examination, that he came to the camp to abuse
23 prisoners. Is that correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. At any time did you see any of the camp
1 personnel or authorities, command personnel in the
2 camp, try to intervene with Mr. Timarac or to stop him
3 in any way from abusing prisoners?
4 A. Never.
5 Q. With respect to the beating of Becir
6 Medjunjanin, were you able to see who -- let me ask
7 this: Is it possible that there were other persons
8 with Duca and Timarac in the "white house" that you did
9 not see because they were in the other rooms?
10 A. Possible.
11 Q. With respect to the occasions on which you
12 saw Zoran Zigic and Duca Knezevic in the Omarska camp,
13 did you ever see any of the camp personnel or any of
14 the command staff in the camp try and intervene or to
15 stop them in any way from maltreating or assaulting
17 A. I saw them, but no one tried to prevent it.
18 Q. Now, with respect to your 1994 statement,
19 ICTY statement, that's been admitted into evidence, if
20 we could clarify the procedures involved there. You
21 have said that over the period of 22 through 26
22 September, that the investigators questioned you for
23 approximately eight hours a day.
24 A. I did.
25 Q. And you discussed many things.
1 A. We did.
2 Q. You signed this statement on the 10th of
3 December, 1994; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the procedure, as you have acknowledged
6 at the end of that statement, indicates that this
7 statement was read back to you by an interpreter; is
8 that correct?
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I have an
10 objection, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
12 Yes, Mr. Nikolic. What is the objection?
13 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
14 the Defence was patient and did not react immediately,
15 but we have a whole series of questions which were not
16 unclear from the cross-examination. The witness has
17 answered all these questions that Mr. Keegan is
18 asking. He's just confirming what he has already
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
21 Mr. Keegan.
22 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. I'm
23 addressing, in point of fact, the one part of the
24 questions about the statement that were not asked,
25 which is how did the witness certify the statement.
1 They have tried to point to what they see as errors in
2 the statement as to what the witness testified or
3 things he said, but for some reason do not appear. I'm
4 simply trying to bring the point that the interview was
5 actually conducted over a week in September, and then
6 several months later in December, the statement was
7 read back to the witness and he signed it. I'm trying
8 to clarify that that was, in fact, what occurred, and
9 that it wasn't a situation where it was read back
10 immediately to the witness.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes,
12 Mr. Nikolic, you yourself put all these questions. I
13 think Mr. Keegan is right to clarify these points. So
14 Mr. Keegan, you may continue.
15 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Oklopcic, if I can recapture the last
17 question. As indicated by the certification on your
18 statement, was the statement, in fact, read back to you
19 in a language you understood on the 12th of December,
21 A. I think it was.
22 Q. I'm sorry. I had that backwards. The 10th
23 of December, not the 12th. Excuse.
24 A. December. Yes. Yes, the 10th, I think it
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The witness
2 has already answered this question, Mr. Keegan. He has
3 confirmed that he signed it on the 10th of December,
4 1994. Go on, please.
5 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. I'm just
6 trying to clarify this situation. The importance of
7 the signature is when the statement was actually read
8 back to him in a language that he understood.
9 Q. That it was read back to you on the 10th of
11 A. It was.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. KEEGAN: No further questions, Your
14 Honour. Thank you.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
16 very much, Mr. Keegan. We should like to truly finish
17 the testimony of Mr. Oklopcic, and that is why I'm
18 asking whether we can work a little longer, for ten
19 minutes, so that the Judges can put their questions. I
20 see a nod from the booths.
21 So Judge Riad.
22 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you,
23 Mr. President.
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
1 Mr. Oklopcic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] I should like to
4 have some clarifications from you to throw light on
5 your testimony.
6 First of all, some small questions regarding
7 details. You said, I'll begin from the beginning, that
8 when you left towards the hotel -- what was the name of
9 the hotel?
10 A. Hotel Balkan in Prijedor.
11 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Yes, Hotel
12 Balkan. You saw bodies in the street, and your son
13 drew your attention to them. Were they bodies of
14 military men or civilians?
15 A. Civilians.
16 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Civilians. And
17 then you heard the soldiers speaking the Ekavica
18 dialect, and you said it was spoken in various places.
19 How were they dressed? Were they military men?
20 Because military men have different uniforms depending
21 on the country they come from.
22 A. They did.
23 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] How were you
24 able to judge their clothing? Which did they belong
1 A. Blue, green, camouflage, SMB olive-grey
2 uniforms, and so on.
3 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Perhaps you knew
4 the different uniforms. Which army was this, did they
5 belong to?
6 A. The Yugoslav army.
7 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] I see. The
8 Yugoslav army. So if I understood you well, Mr. Kvocka
9 was the deputy to the commander Meakic, and they
10 changed every 24 hours. Was there a change in
11 atmosphere in the camp or in the treatment of prisoners
12 depending on who was on duty, Meakic or Kvocka? When
13 did you feel better as human beings?
14 A. When Mr. Kvocka was on duty.
15 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] And then if I
16 understood you well. Mr. Prcac replaced Mr. Kvocka
17 later on. Did the situation improve under Mr. Prcac,
18 or did it worsen?
19 A. You see, for me personally, the last 15 days
20 or so of my stay in the camp, the Omarska concentration
21 camp, was much better than at the beginning of my stay.
22 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Those last 15
23 days were under whose command?
24 A. Under the command of Zeljko Meakic and
25 Prcac. But I must clarify why for you to have a proper
1 understanding. My group, a group of 70 men, was
2 separated and their names read out on the 28th of July,
3 and we were separated from all the other prisoners and
4 put on the pista. At that time, while we were waiting,
5 until the 5th of August, Mr. Ckalja approached me, the
6 leader of one of the groups, and said, "Azedin, today
7 or tomorrow an international organisation is due to
8 come which will carry out an inspection here." They
9 called me Uco, which is short for teacher, and they
10 said, "Uco, do you understand what you have to do when
11 talking to your friends?" I said, "I do." "And what
12 will you say," Kvocka asked. I said that I was okay,
13 that nobody is beating me, that we have enough food,
14 and that nobody is mistreating us. And he answered, "I
15 see that you are a clever guy and you will convey this
16 to your colleagues." I went back and conveyed the
17 message to my colleagues, and they all understood what
18 needed to be said, except for one man who said, "No, I
19 will not do that. I will tell the truth." I said,
20 "Well, do that if you're ready to disappear, do as you
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is
23 your objection now?
24 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Oklopcic
25 was talking about Mr. Ckalja, and he said Mr. Kvocka.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's a
2 slip of the tongue. I meant Ckalja, Ckalja. I'm
3 sorry. I apologise. It wasn't Mr. Kvocka, it was
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 Thank you, Mr. Simic. So the correction will be made.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Mr. Oklopcic,
9 try and give me coherent answers to my questions. You
10 said that the treatment changed and that it was better
11 under Kvocka's command than Meakic's, and you also said
12 that that depended on each of the shifts. For
13 instance, you mentioned that Krkan's team was the
14 cruelest, and it was under his command that Riza
15 Hukanovic was killed, and some others. Were these
16 teams independent from the command, or was there a
17 certain hierarchy of discipline? Did each team do what
18 they wanted under their team leader, or did they have
19 to answer to somebody above?
20 A. I cannot answer this question with precision;
21 however, my answer will be as follows: The guard
22 shifts were never left to their own resources. There
23 was always present the person who was in charge of that
24 guard -- shift of guards. Whether they coordinated or
25 not, I don't know.
1 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Very well. In
2 other words, if, for instance, the leader was Meakic,
3 of whom you said he was the worst, could the shift
4 leader be tolerant or less severe in his treatment, or
5 did he have to act in accordance with their chief, and
6 vice versa? When Kvocka was on duty, did the shift
7 leaders have a certain degree of freedom of action to
8 do what they could? If you can answer it, that's
9 fine. If not, just tell us you cannot.
10 A. I think the answer is both yes and no. I was
11 never present at an incident involving Mr. Kvocka,
12 beating or something else. I was never present when
13 Mr. Radic was involved in beating. I was never present
14 when Krle or Prcac were involved. But these things did
15 happen during their shift. Who gave the orders, I
16 really don't know and I can't answer that question.
17 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] But you could
18 feel whether there was any discipline or not in the
19 camp, or was it sort of an anarchy when each soldier
20 could amuse himself as he wanted?
21 A. There was discipline.
22 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] There was
23 discipline. And within that framework, Krkan's team
24 was the cruelest, as you said.
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Concerning
2 Mr. Kvocka, you indicated that he protected his
3 brother-in-law Riza --
4 A. Sorry?
5 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] His
6 brother-in-law Riza, and he separated him from the
7 others in public. Could any soldier protect somebody
8 in a public manner like that, or only if he had a
9 certain degree of authority? I don't know that, but
10 Mr. Kvocka did that, and not only him, but two other
11 brothers-in-law, my neighbours and friends. But at
12 that time it was very difficult to release anyone from
13 the prison; it was almost impossible.
14 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] And he released
16 A. No. He took them away somewhere. They did
17 not enter the room with me.
18 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Did you see
19 anyone else protecting somebody?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] You often said
22 that each shift had a certain attitude. How could you
23 distinguish between the teams or shifts?
24 A. Hardly at all. But it is a fact that the
25 worst killings, which I saw and experienced, occurred
1 when Krkan's shift was on duty. And another thing, if
2 I may say in quotation marks, "I felt best when the
3 shift from Maricka was on duty as I knew some of the
4 parents of my former students and my former students."
5 But this applies only to me personally.
6 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Yes. But when
7 you say "Krkan's shift," how did you know it was
8 Krkan's shift?
9 A. Because I knew almost all the guards and
10 which shift they were in. Every guard leader would
11 take over duty at the same time as the guards and hand
12 over duty 12 hours later to the next shift.
13 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Yes, but the
14 shift leader was not present during the tortures and
15 the beatings.
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Did you consider
18 complaining to the shift leader?
19 A. We had no chance to do that.
20 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] My last
21 question. The majority of prisoners, were they
22 military men, soldiers, Muslim soldiers, or civilians,
23 according to your knowledge?
24 A. Civilians.
25 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you very
1 much, Mr. Oklopcic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
5 Judge Fouad Riad.
6 Judge Wald.
7 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Oklopcic, you referred in
8 your testimony many times to shifts, whether it's
9 Krkan's shifts or Krle's shifts. Now, was it the
10 common practice for all the people detained in the camp
11 to refer to a shift by the name of the shift leader?
12 In other words, if somebody said "Krkan's shift," did
13 that mean Krkan was the shift leader?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE WALD: Okay. The next question is:
16 You say on your paper that you drew up that the shifts
17 changed every 12 hours, and I think you said that in
18 your testimony as well.
19 Since there were three shifts, does that mean
20 that more than one shift was on duty at any one time,
21 or were they over a period of a couple of days, so that
22 you didn't have every shift on duty every 24-hour
23 period? Was there more than one shift on duty at a
24 single time?
25 A. No, but let me explain.
1 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
2 A. I said that the shifts lasted from 7.00 a.m.
3 to 7.00 p.m. and from 7.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m., so in the
4 course of one day, or 24 hours, two shifts would be on
5 duty. The third shift would be resting for a day and
6 then come to work the next day.
7 JUDGE WALD: Okay. I understand. Thank
9 The final question on that was: Did Krkan's
10 shift typically come on in the daytime or the
11 night-time, or did it sometimes day and sometimes
12 night, Krkan's shift?
13 A. What I wrote down, all the killings that I
14 attended occurred in broad daylight. What happened in
15 the evenings, perhaps somebody else will tell you about
16 that who knows more about it.
17 JUDGE WALD: My question, though, was just:
18 When Krkan's shift was on duty, was it usually the
19 daytime? Is that what you're telling me? Just when
20 Krkan's shift was on duty, was it usually in the day or
21 at night?
22 A. You see, if Krkan's shift would start in the
23 morning, or any other shift started in the morning, it
24 would be from 7.00 until 7.00, and then the next day,
25 that same shift would be coming from 7.00 in the
1 evening until 7.00 in the morning. So there was a
2 system of rotation.
3 JUDGE WALD: Right. That's what I wanted to
5 Now, you also testified that on one occasion
6 in July, there was an official delegation from
7 Republika Srpska that came to visit the camp, and when
8 asked who was present from the camp leadership, you
9 said -- at least it came through on the transcript --
10 "the commanders and deputy commanders." Now, did you
11 mean by that more than one commander and more than one
12 deputy commander, or was that a mistake, perhaps, in
13 the translation? If so, who actually was there from
14 the camp leadership in July when they came from
15 Republika Srpska?
16 A. Almost everyone who meant anything in the
17 camp; the wardens and the shift leaders were present.
18 I also said "others." From Prijedor, there was Major
19 Slobodan Kuruzovic; from Prijedor also, Simo Miskovic.
20 So I was implying all of them.
21 JUDGE WALD: Right. But I'm most interested
22 in the camp leadership that you remember being there on
23 that occasion. Was Meakic there?
24 A. He was.
25 JUDGE WALD: Who else was there from the camp
1 leadership, besides the shift commanders and Meakic?
2 A. Of the camp leadership, Meakic and Kvocka
3 were the leaders, the chief and the deputy, with the
4 exception of the shift leaders.
5 JUDGE WALD: And that was in July; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Now, you also testified
8 that Brk appeared to be very close, the right-hand man
9 of Meakic. How were you able to distinguish between a
10 person like Kvocka or Prcac and Brk? What was
11 different about Brk, who you say was so close to
12 Meakic, that didn't make you think he was a deputy
13 commander but did make you think that Kvocka and Prcac
14 were deputy commanders?
15 A. In the first place, Brk, as they called him,
16 would beat the prisoners, and he was always close to
17 Zeljko Meakic. I said a moment ago that I never saw
18 Kvocka or Prcac beat anyone, as far as I am aware. But
19 Brk, I think his surname is Tadic, known as Brk, he
20 would enter and beat the prisoners. On one occasion,
21 when Becir Medjunjanin and his wife and child were
22 brought in, both he and Zeljko Meakic beat them. So he
23 always moved around with Zeljko Meakic.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay. So he was more, according
25 to your impressions, like a staff person, an aid to
1 Meakic, than a person with his own command down the
2 line, such as a deputy commander would have?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE WALD: All right. Last question. You
5 mentioned that Medjunjanin's wife and child were beaten
6 on their arrival at Omarska. How old was the child,
7 approximately? And that is your testimony, that the
8 child was actually beaten?
9 A. A young man. A young man, 18 or 20.
10 JUDGE WALD: Okay. How old was Hankin? You
11 referred to him as a young man, but is he about the
12 same age, younger?
13 A. He was older. I was 31 or 32 at the time,
14 and he was two or three years my senior.
15 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you very much.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
18 Judge Wald.
19 I am perhaps at an advantage to be the last
20 to put questions as most of the questions have already
21 been asked. Nevertheless, I have two or three minor
23 You answered my colleague Judge Fouad Riad
24 that you managed to identify the guards belonging to
25 the Krkan shift because you knew them. How did you
1 identify the guards in the other shifts?
2 A. First of all, I didn't know them in person
3 before I arrived at the Omarska concentration camp.
4 And how I came to know them was because they called
5 each other by name in public, Zoka, Paspalj, Kricka,
6 Savic, and so on. A second shift, another shift, the
7 shifts from Maricka, as I explained earlier on, was the
8 shift in which there were six to eight of my students
9 and two or three parents of former students. And the
10 third shift, a shift from Omarska, there were a couple
11 of football players that I played against when we had
12 matches between Prijedor and Omarska. So it wasn't
13 difficult for me to identify them at all.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] My second
15 question is the following: At a given point in time,
16 you mentioned Mujo's building or Mujo's room, and they
17 said that there were two Mujos. Why did they choose
18 the name Mujo?
19 A. Because in that shift -- no, I mean in that
20 room that was referred to as Mujo's room, there were
21 all prisoners who came from the centre of town, Stari
22 Grad, Raskovac, Skela, those districts in town. And
23 Mujo was the so-called representative of that room,
24 that large room, and he took those people out to
25 lunch. He would line them up, 30 by 30, and so on.
1 Later on he was joined by Burho. Now, why it
2 wasn't called Burho's room, I don't know. It doesn't
3 matter. It was called Mujo's room. And one night, on
4 the 28th of July, when the two of them disappeared, I
5 took over this shift -- not shift, I mean this group of
6 prisoners, taking them to lunch, I was at the head of
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The food of
9 the guards was different from the food you got. How do
10 you know that? How do you know that their food was
12 A. First of all, I described what we ate; that
13 is to say, that we would get a piece of bread and had a
14 soup of some kind, made out of a little bit of potato,
15 a little bit of cabbage, and the third time there were
17 The guards would get a different type of
18 food. They would get schnitzels, meat, because the
19 cattle would be slaughtered. Cows were brought from
20 Kozarac, and the prisoners who were butchers by
21 profession or knew something about the butcher's trade
22 went to sort out all this meat that came in.
23 Thirdly, when we had our snacks at around
24 11.00 or 12.00, they would be brought different snacks
25 with coffee, beer, cigarettes, a form of sandwich with
1 salami or cheese or whatever.
2 So that's a big difference between the food
3 they ate and the food we were given.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
5 Mr. Oklopcic, you mentioned at one point that the
6 guards were drunk. I must say that I have difficulty
7 in formulating this question, but in your opinion,
8 drunkenness, a state of intoxication, was it by chance
9 or was it regular practice, encouraged? Or is there
10 another hypothesis?
11 A. I can just say one thing, and that is that
12 the guards were far more aggressive when they were
13 drunk. Whether that was encouraged or not, I think it
14 was, but you can understand me when I say that I can't
15 answer that question. But they were far more
16 aggressive when they drank.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So to
18 restate my question, it is true, from your point of
19 view, that when the guards were under the effects, they
20 were more aggressive.
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Witness
23 Oklopcic, you have answered many questions asked of you
24 by the Prosecution, by the Defence, by the Judges; you
25 have spent a long time here in The Hague. Have you got
1 something to say which has not yet been asked of you
2 and you'd like to say it? Briefly.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say
4 something about a question asked of me by Mr. Fila, and
5 I assumed that one of the attorneys would ask me that;
6 not only from the side of the Defence, but also from
7 the side of the Prosecution, and perhaps the Judges as
8 well. I truly did try, Your Honours, to present the
9 truth, and what I have stated here was the truth.
10 When Mr. Fila asked me whether I hate, then I
11 say I hate, and I must hate. But let me repeat once
12 again: The gentlemen sitting here and the others who
13 sat here never in my life would do to them what they
14 did to me and my people and others. And I hope that
15 they will get the sentence they deserve, given to them
16 by God and by you yourselves and by everyone else. And
17 I thank you, one and all; I thank my own attorneys, the
18 gentlemen who defended them. I think that we have
19 cooperated in a proper and correct manner.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Very
21 well. We've put that correction as to the name
23 The Tribunal is here to analyse and to judge
24 actions committed by individuals, and we should like to
25 note that you were not capable of doing the same
1 thing. Things did happen, but what we must ensure is
2 that none of that is ever repeated, to you or anybody
3 else. Thank you, Mr. Oklopcic, for coming here, thank
4 you for your cooperation, and we apologise for having
5 had to inconvenience you in bringing you here. But
6 thank you again.
7 We are going to adjourn the hearing and
8 continue tomorrow morning at 9.30.
9 Are you ready, Madam Hollis, for tomorrow
10 morning, 9.30?
11 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour, we are.
12 Perhaps when the witness excuses himself, Mr. Keegan
13 can raise to you orally a matter that involves a
14 witness who will be called later. It's an oral motion,
15 and we have conferred with the Defence
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
18 Mr. Keegan.
19 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 I realise we've already gone over time. We
21 would just like to raise that we do have a motion for
22 protective measures for an upcoming witness, and I
23 leave it to Your Honours whether you'd like to take it
24 up this afternoon or perhaps first thing in the
25 morning. We would like to do it orally and get a
1 decision because it will affect the witness who will be
2 called at the end of this week. So obviously the
3 outcome -- your decision on the motion will affect
4 whether the witness is called.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I beg your
6 pardon. Let me try and understand. You're telling us
7 that you're going to present the witness if we accord
8 the protective measures, or we're going to have the
9 witness tomorrow and then we're going to discuss
10 protective measures? What were you saying actually?
11 MR. KEEGAN: Right now the witness is
12 scheduled to be called at the end of this week. We
13 need to present the motion now so that we will be able
14 to advise the witness of the outcome of your decision
15 on the motion prior to them travelling.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I
17 think that we need to go into private session, then.
18 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Let us move into private session, please.
21 [Private session]
11 pages 1937-1949 redacted – private session
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 3.05 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
24 the 16th day of May, 2000, at 9.30 a.m.