1 Tuesday, 4
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning. The accused may
6 be seated.
7 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning, technicians,
8 interpreters. Good morning, legal officers, court reporters. Good
9 morning, Ms. Hollis. Good morning, Mr. Claxon [sic]. I can see that all
10 Defence counsel are here, and I bid them good morning.
11 I think that we are now going to proceed with our next witness.
12 Maybe I mispronounced your name, Mr. Claxon. Is it Claxon or Daxon?
13 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Your Honour. My last name is pronounced
14 Saxon, like Anglo-Saxon.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I can see
16 that you are ready to proceed.
17 Ms. Hollis.
18 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, Mr. Saxon will lead the next witness,
19 Fadil Avdagic.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So our next witness is Mr. Fadil
22 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour, that's correct.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Avdagic. Can
1 you hear me?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You will first read the solemn
4 declaration that the usher will give you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: FADIL AVDAGIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated
10 now. Are you comfortable?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Now you will
13 first answer questions that will be put to you by Mr. Saxon who is at your
14 right-hand side.
15 Mr. Saxon, you have the floor.
16 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
18 Q. Sir, what is your name?
19 A. My name is Fadil Avdagic.
20 Q. What is your ethnicity?
21 A. I'm a Bosniak Muslim.
22 Q. Mr. Avdagic, what was your place of birth and your date of birth?
23 A. I was born in Sanski Most on the 5th of February, 1948.
24 Q. Is Sanski Most in Bosnia?
25 A. Yes, it is. It's in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. What was your place of residence up until 1992?
2 A. Until 1985, I lived in Prijedor, and between 1985 and 1992, I
3 lived in Kozarac, which is also in the Prijedor municipality.
4 Q. Up until April of 1992, what was your occupation?
5 A. I used to work as a secretary in the elementary school called
6 Hasan Kikic in Donja Ljubija, in the municipality of Prijedor. And before
7 that I used to teach German.
8 Q. When you say that you were the secretary of the elementary school,
9 does that mean that you were the chief of administration?
10 A. Yes, I was in charge of the overall administration of the school.
11 Q. Do you have a wife and children?
12 A. Yes, I have a wife and two sons.
13 Q. What is the ethnicity of your wife and of your two sons?
14 A. They're Bosniak Muslims.
15 Q. Mr. Avdagic, how old were your two sons when the armed conflict
16 began in Bosnia in 1992?
17 A. My eldest son was 13 and my young son was 10 years old.
18 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to the events of the 26th of
19 May, 1992. Were you arrested on the morning of 26 May by Serb forces?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When you were arrested, where were you taken?
22 A. After the arrest I was taken to Keraterm.
23 Q. About what time did you arrive at Keraterm?
24 A. Around noon, 12.00.
25 Q. Mr. Avdagic, if you know, what was Keraterm used for prior to May
2 A. Keraterm was a ceramic tiles factory.
3 Q. Approximately how many detainees -- excuse me. Approximately how
4 many persons were detained with you at Keraterm at that time?
5 A. I couldn't tell you the exact number. However, in the room where
6 I was, there were about 500 of us.
7 Q. In the room where you were detained in the Keraterm camp, were the
8 other detainees with you military prisoners of war or were they civilians?
9 A. They were all civilians. We had all been separated from women and
10 children. So they were all civilians, yes.
11 Q. What was the ethnicity of the detainees that you knew in that
13 A. They were all Bosniak Muslims.
14 Q. What was the ethnicity of the guards or officials who were in
15 charge of the Keraterm camp?
16 A. Their ethnicity was Serb. They were all Serbs.
17 Q. How long were you detained in Keraterm?
18 A. For two days and one night. On the following night, that is, on
19 the second night, that would have been the third day, after 12.00, we were
20 transferred to the Omarska camp.
21 Q. Was that the night of the 28th to the 29th of May, 1992?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Were all the prisoners at Keraterm on that evening transferred to
24 the Omarska camp?
25 A. All of those who were detained in the Keraterm camp were
1 transferred on that night to the Omarska camp.
2 Q. Do you recall how the detainees were transported from Keraterm to
4 A. We were all transported by buses.
5 Q. Approximately how many buses were used to move the prisoners from
6 Keraterm to Omarska?
7 A. As far as I could tell, there were 22 or 23 buses.
8 Q. Mr. Avdagic, did you know at the time where you were going?
9 A. No. We were simply put on buses, but nobody knew where we were
10 being taken to.
11 Q. Approximately what time did you arrive at the Omarska camp?
12 A. Around 2.00 a.m., because we went via the Tomasica mine, in the
13 direction of the Omarska camp.
14 Q. Were there many prisoners already detained at the Omarska camp
15 when you arrived there?
16 A. No, there was no one there. We were the first ones to enter the
17 Omarska camp.
18 Q. Mr. Avdagic, can you describe the places around the Omarska camp
19 where you were confined during your detention there?
20 A. Initially, I was detained in the administration building, in the
21 first room next to the garage building, and then after that I was in the
22 garage. And after the garage, I spent some time in a room on the upper
23 floor of the hangar building. After that I was at the pista, and then in
24 the "white house," and in the end, I was in the restaurant.
25 Q. Thank you. When you arrived at the Omarska camp early in the
1 morning of the 29th of May, where were you taken?
2 A. We were taken to a room in the administration building, which was
3 situated next to the garage.
4 Q. Were all the prisoners from your bus taken to that room?
5 A. Yes, from my bus and from other buses as well. We were all taken
6 to that room. I don't know where others were put in. Yes, all of us were
7 accommodated in that room.
8 Q. To your knowledge, were any detainees left outside the
9 administration building?
10 A. As far as I know, nobody remained outside the administration
11 building. We were all placed in those rooms and only people wearing
12 uniforms remained outside. Nobody could remain outside.
13 Q. About how many men were in that room with you on the morning of
14 the 29th of May?
15 A. Approximately between 400 or 500 of us in that room, because there
16 were people from our bus, from my bus, and from other buses. I don't know
17 what happened to the others, where they had been put in.
18 Q. All of those 400 or 500 men who were in the room with you in the
19 administration building, had all of those men in that room come from
20 Keraterm that evening?
21 A. Yes, we were all from Keraterm. I told you already that there had
22 been 22 or 23 buses that had taken us from Keraterm to Omarska.
23 Q. About how big was that room?
24 A. It was about 100 square metres large, approximately.
25 Q. Early in the morning of the 29th of May, what was the outside
1 temperature like, the temperature outside the room?
2 A. The temperature was normal. It was rather cool. It wasn't hot,
3 though it was summertime. The weather was fair.
4 Q. What was the temperature like inside that room?
5 A. Well, it was normal until we were put in. There were far too many
6 people considering the size of the room, so we all started sweating.
7 Q. While you were in that room, were you and the other detainees
8 provided with food or water?
9 A. No. No, we were not given anything. I remained two or three days
10 in that room, and then after that I was taken for interrogation.
11 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to May 1992, did you know a man named Ahil
13 A. Yes, I knew him very well. Ahil Dedic used to live in Kozarac, so
14 I knew him, and everybody else in Kozarac knew him, because the town of
15 Kozarac is a rather small place and the residents of Kozarac knew each
16 other, almost all of them. I know that he used to work for a wood
17 company, that is, at the sawmill, until the 24th of May, and then after
18 that, he became a reserve policeman in Kozarac.
19 Q. Mr. Avdagic, what was the ethnicity of Ahil Dedic?
20 A. Ahil was a Bosniak Muslim.
21 Q. When, if ever, did you see Ahil Dedic that first day in the
22 Omarska camp?
23 A. Maybe five or ten minutes upon our arrival in that room, one of
24 the armed men in uniform brought Ahil Dedic into our room, in the room
25 where we were.
1 Q. When the armed men in uniform brought Ahil Dedic into the room,
2 what did you and the other detainees do?
3 A. Ahil had blood all over his body. He had a wound on his head. He
4 was all black and blue. And we were rather scared and we automatically
5 moved backwards, opposite the entrance to the room.
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time I'd like to ask the usher to
7 place a copy of what was originally admitted as Exhibit 377A on the ELMO,
8 and if this could please be marked as Prosecution Exhibit 3/105, I'm going
9 to ask him to annotate it.
10 Q. Mr. Avdagic, if you could take a look at the floor plan that's
11 being placed by your side.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you indicate on that floor plan the room where you and the
14 other detainees were held that first day in Omarska, in the administration
15 building. You can turn around.
16 A. Yes. Room A9.
17 Q. Could you take a pen and write the letters "FA" on the spot where
18 you were standing, approximately, on the morning of the 29th of May, 1992
19 when Ahil Dedic was brought into the room.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that you saw blood on Ahil Dedic when he
22 was led into the room. About how far were you from Ahil Dedic in the
24 A. Maybe three or four metres away. Not more than that.
25 Q. Was there a clear space between you and Ahil Dedic?
1 A. Yes. The remaining space was completely empty, because
2 instinctively we had moved back to the rear part of the room. I could
3 perhaps show it on the drawing. So from here, in room A9, we moved
4 backwards, and the area in front was empty and we were all standing at the
5 back of the room.
6 Q. About what time of day was it when Ahil Dedic entered the room?
7 A. As I told you, it must have been five or ten minutes upon our
8 arrival in the room. If we had arrived there at 2.00 a.m., so it must
9 have been between half past two and 3.00. So that would be my estimate,
10 half past two, 3.00.
11 Q. Were there lights on in that room?
12 A. Yes, all the time the lights were on.
13 Q. Mr. Avdagic, would you please mark with the letters "AD" the spot,
14 approximately, where Ahil Dedic stood when he was brought into that room,
15 room A9.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Avdagic, what, if anything, did Ahil Dedic say or
18 do when he was initially brought into that room?
19 A. At that moment, he only said one sentence. He spoke to the armed
20 soldier who had brought him in, and he said, "Do you really think you
21 would solve the Yugoslav problem in this way?" And then after he had said
22 that, the same armed soldier hit him with his rifle butt on the head
23 several times. So Ahil Dedic fell down on the ground immediately. And
24 after a while -- actually, for a while, he was unconscious and he remained
25 lying on the floor.
1 Q. At some point did Ahil Dedic regain consciousness?
2 A. Yes. So he first fell down, he remained lying for a while
3 unconscious, and in the meantime the armed soldier went out. After a
4 couple of minutes, Ahil regained consciousness.
5 Q. After Ahil Dedic regained consciousness, what, if anything, did he
7 A. So he was still probably half conscious, and he started pounding
8 on the iron door of the room and he also started kicking the door. He was
9 trying to break in.
10 Q. Mr. Avdagic, can you point out on the diagram next to you where
11 you saw Mr. Dedic kicking doors?
12 A. Yes. Here, on this door here.
13 Q. What happened after Ahil Dedic began to kick the door?
14 A. After that, probably because of the noise, the guard or the armed
15 soldier who had brought him in -- I don't know whether he was a guard or
16 what; he was wearing a uniform -- but this time he came with another man
17 in uniform. And they came back to the room, and they started beating him
18 like crazy until he fell down and lost consciousness again.
19 Q. Mr. Avdagic, when you say they started beating Mr. Dedic, what
20 specifically did they use to beat Mr. Dedic?
21 A. Rifle butts.
22 Q. When Ahil Dedic was struck again with rifle butts, what did he do?
23 A. He fell to the ground unconscious. He didn't move; he was in a
24 state of unconsciousness. He lay on the ground, that's all.
25 Q. After Ahil Dedic fell to the ground again, what happened then?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 A. The two men in uniform who had beat him and thrown him to the
2 ground took him under the arms and dragged him outside. They dragged him
3 out because he was unconscious.
4 Q. What, if anything, did you hear after Ahil Dedic was removed from
5 that room?
6 A. We just heard a shot when he had been dragged outside, and that
7 was all.
8 Q. Approximately how much time passed between the moment that Ahil
9 Dedic was taken from the room and the moment when you heard the gunshot?
10 A. It couldn't have been more than a minute or two.
11 Q. Mr. Avdagic, did you ever see Ahil Dedic again?
12 A. No, neither me nor any one of us ever saw him again.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. SAXON: If the usher could please remove the diagram now.
15 Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Avdagic, a few days after the incident involving Ahil Dedic,
17 were you taken for interrogation?
18 A. Yes, they took us for interrogation in turn. So two or three days
19 later, my turn came, and I was taken in for interrogation in a room in the
20 administrative building, upstairs.
21 Q. After your interrogation, where were you taken?
22 A. After the interrogation, I was taken to the garage.
23 Q. Was this garage part of the administration building?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Approximately how many men were in that garage?
1 A. When I went in, there were about 150 of us, though they would
2 bring more people in after interrogation.
3 Q. Eventually, as more people were brought into that room, how many
4 men were in that garage?
5 A. In my estimate, more than 200 men; 200 to 300 maybe.
6 Q. About how large was that garage?
7 A. It was an ordinary garage for an ordinary passenger car. Maybe 24
8 or 25 square metres in size.
9 Q. Mr. Avdagic, was there room for the men to move about or lie down
10 inside that garage?
11 A. Well, you can imagine, comparing the size of the garage with the
12 number of men. So we were packed inside like sardines. In fact, we
13 couldn't stand on two feet but only on one. And as more people came in,
14 it became more and more crammed.
15 Q. Mr. Avdagic, what was the temperature like inside that garage?
16 A. It was extremely hot outside because it was around midday, and
17 there were a lot of us inside so that the temperature was unbearable. So
18 that the ceilings and the walls were wet from our perspiration. It was
20 Q. Were you or the other detainees provided with food and water while
21 you were in the garage?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did any prisoners in that garage faint or lose consciousness?
24 A. Yes. A couple did faint but they couldn't fall down because there
25 was no room. I've just told you how many of us were there.
1 Q. What were the toilet facilities like in that garage?
2 A. A garage like any other garage; there was nothing except the walls
3 and the floor and an iron door and one window, and everything was shut.
4 Q. What did the men inside the garage do about their biological
6 A. If they had such needs, you can imagine how you could do it, on
7 the spot. Though we didn't get any food or water; however, when the need
8 did arise, there was no choice.
9 Q. How much time did you spend in the garage, Mr. Avdagic?
10 A. I spent two -- three days. Three days, yes, and two nights. And
11 on the third night, at 4.00 a.m., they let us outside for a while and gave
12 us a meal which consisted of a piece of bread and a can of minced meat.
13 That was the first time we were given any water.
14 Q. Where did you go after the garage?
15 A. After the garage, we went to the hangar building.
16 Q. Which room in the hangar building were you placed in?
17 A. I was in the last room on the upper floor of the hangar.
18 Q. Mr. Avdagic, approximately how many men were in that room in the
19 hangar with you?
20 A. There were at least 500 of us in that one room.
21 Q. About how big was that room?
22 A. It was about 100 square metres in size. Not more.
23 Q. How did you sleep in that room?
24 A. We slept seated or standing up, or if we tried to lay down, it was
25 one on top of another. There wasn't enough room to sit, nevermind to
1 stretch out.
2 Q. Where were the men in that room, in the hangar, from, if you know?
3 A. All the men, or 99 per cent of the men, were from Kozarac, and
4 there were a couple of people from Prijedor.
5 Q. What was the temperature like inside that room?
6 A. The temperature was unbearable. We were sweating because there
7 was so many of us in a small area, so that at times we were short of air.
8 Q. Did the prisoners in that room have access to water?
9 A. They didn't give us water because we had water inside. The room
10 had a corridor, and there was a staircase and there were toilets upstairs,
11 so we were able to use them and the water there.
12 Q. I'm sorry. I'm just trying to make sure that the transcript is
13 correct, Mr. Avdagic. The transcript reads that the room had a corridor.
14 Would it be more correct to say that there were toilets outside the room
15 in the corridor?
16 A. Yes, outside the room, in the corridor. That is correct.
17 Q. What were the toilet facilities like?
18 A. When we arrived, they were quite decent and clean, but a couple of
19 days later -- because the steps were full of detainees too and the
20 corridors were also full of detainees, as well as the room, so you can
21 imagine what the toilets looked like a couple of days later. They were
22 stopped up.
23 Q. Mr. Avdagic, were there any windows in that room in the hangar
24 where you were detained?
25 A. Yes. There was a window towards the hangar and on the other side,
1 there was a window towards the "white house."
2 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, if I may ask the usher to place a
3 photograph in front of the witness. This photograph was admitted
4 yesterday as Exhibit 3/103. If it could be marked today, please, as
5 Exhibit 3/106 because, again, I'm going to ask the witness to annotate
7 THE USHER: You want it on the ELMO.
8 MR. SAXON: On the ELMO, please. Thank you.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Krstan Simic.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of the fact
12 of the intention of the Prosecution to offer this into evidence, could the
13 usher give us a copy too so that we can have it in our files.
14 MR. SAXON: The Court's indulgence, please, Your Honour.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, yesterday the Prosecution provided copies
17 of this same photograph to the Defence, Your Honour, all of the Defence.
18 This is the same photograph that was admitted yesterday. I'm simply going
19 to ask the witness to make some markings on it.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but -- Mr. Simic, let's
21 hear you.
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're not denying that
23 we received that photograph, but we would like to enter the annotations
24 for our own reference. I don't think this should be a problem. This is a
25 mere technical matter.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is it possible to give the
2 Defence copies, please, so that they can use this photograph? Because the
3 Defence must also note down the same annotations that the witness is going
4 to make.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, yes, it's certainly possible. I have
6 copies here in my hand. It would also be possible, if this is admitted
7 into evidence because it has not been admitted yet, then at that time,
8 Defence counsel who wish to have a copy could receive one from the
9 Registry. It's up to the Court, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that acceptable, Mr. Simic?
11 Do you need a clean photocopy to enter the annotations, or we can give you
12 a photocopy at the end?
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, it would be more convenient for
14 us to get a photocopy of the document marked by the witness and one that
15 has already been admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I understand that for the
17 Defence it is acceptable to have a clean copy to put in the same markings
18 as the witness is making.
19 Therefore, is it possible, Mr. Saxon, to give photocopies to the
20 Defence now.
21 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour, it is.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Defence, after all, I can
23 understand, wants to make these markings. I hope that afterwards we will
24 have reciprocity, because when we come to the Defence case, the Defence
25 must do the same thing in relation to the Prosecutor.
1 I think, Mr. Saxon, we can now proceed.
2 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. It should be
4 stated that these exhibits that will be marked, will be registered by the
5 Registry so that the Defence and the Judges can always consult those
7 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Avdagic, could you look at that photograph that is on the
9 machine next to you and could you point out, where was the "white house,"
11 A. This was the "white house."
12 Q. Could you indicate with the pointer where the window was of your
13 room where you were in the hangar?
14 A. This window on the upper floor.
15 Q. Could you mark below that window the letters "FA" and draw an
16 arrow pointing to that window, please.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to the armed conflict in 1992, did you know a
19 man named Islam Bahonjic.
20 A. I did. Bahonjic.
21 Q. How did you know Islam Bahonjic?
22 A. From Kozarac. Islam was a resident of Kozarac, and as I have just
23 said, in Kozarac virtually all of us knew one another. I knew him quite
24 well. He worked in the hospital in Prijedor as an x-ray technician. I
25 would see him on a daily basis in Kozarac and we would travel to work in
1 Prijedor by bus together.
2 Q. What was Islam Bahonjic's ethnicity?
3 A. He was a Bosniak Muslim.
4 Q. Did Islam Bahonjic have facial hair or was he clean-shaven?
5 A. No. He had a very pronounced moustache.
6 Q. Mr. Avdagic, when, if ever, did you see Islam Bahonjic when you
7 were at the Omarska camp?
8 A. I saw him only once, when they were taking him from the "white
10 Q. Approximately what time of day was that?
11 A. It was about midday, in broad daylight.
12 Q. What exactly did you see?
13 A. I saw two men in uniform dragging Islam from the "white house."
14 They were dragging him by the arms. His face was turned towards the sky
15 so that he was easily recognisable. It is hard to forget. He had a good
16 head of hair and this big moustache.
17 Q. Mr. Avdagic, where were you at that moment?
18 A. I was at the window in the room in the hangar, and I was looking
19 towards the "white house."
20 Q. At that moment, about how far were you from Islam Bahonjic?
21 A. In my estimate, it's only about 30 to 40 metres away.
22 Q. You said that Islam Bahonjic's face was turned towards the sky.
23 Was his face pointed toward you in the hangar building or away from you?
24 A. Towards the hangar building.
25 Q. Approximately how many days had you been in Omarska when you saw
1 Islam being dragged from the "white house"?
2 A. It may have been a day or two after we had been put up in the
4 Q. Mr. Avdagic, did anyone else in your room recognise Islam Bahonjic
5 at that time?
6 A. All of us who were at the window, we all recognised him, and as I
7 have said, all of us in that room were from Kozarac.
8 Q. What comments, if any, did the other detainees in the room make?
9 A. There were comments, "There they are dragging Islam from
10 the 'white house.' They've killed Islam."
11 Q. Mr. Avdagic, have you been informed that Islam Bahonjic had
12 received a funeral?
13 A. Yes, I learnt that at the end of May this year, that an exhumation
14 had been done of the bodies of the missing from Omarska and that among
15 them Islam Bahonjic had been found. This was announced by the local
16 television in Sanski Most. There was Islam's picture as well that was
17 shown. And a day was fixed for the funeral in Kozarac. I think it was at
18 the end of May. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Mr. Avdagic, did this news report indicate where Mr. Bahonjic's
20 body had been found?
21 A. Yes. It was stated for him and the other 30 or so bodies, that
22 they were found in a place called Kevljani, in Prijedor municipality.
23 Q. Mr. Avdagic, approximately how far is Kevljani from the Omarska
25 A. I think five or six kilometres. Not more.
1 Q. Prior to the armed conflict in -- excuse me.
2 MR. SAXON: The usher could remove that photograph now. I'm
4 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to the armed conflict in 1992, did you know a
5 man named Mirsad Alisic?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. How did you know him?
8 A. He's a relative of mine on my mother's side, and I knew him also
9 as an inspector in the Prijedor police, a police inspector.
10 Q. What was Mirsad Alisic's ethnicity?
11 A. A Bosniak Muslim.
12 Q. When, if ever, did you see Mirsad Alisic at the Omarska camp?
13 A. The next day after we had been put in the hangar, he was brought
14 into the same premise.
15 Q. Mr. Avdagic, was Mirsad Alisic ever called out from your room in
16 the hangar?
17 A. Yes. That same evening when he was brought in, he was called out
18 and taken outside. And after about an hour or two -- no, actually at
19 least after two hours, he was brought back. Actually, he wasn't brought
20 back. He was carried in by our own detainees. He was beaten up, he was
21 covered in bruises, and he couldn't walk.
22 Q. Prior to the armed conflict in 1992, did you know a man named Emir
24 A. Yes, I knew Emir well because I taught Emir for four years. He
25 was my pupil. And he was an active-duty policeman in the Prijedor Police
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 Station, on duty in Kozarac.
2 Q. What was the ethnicity of Emir Karabasic?
3 A. Emir was also a Bosniak Muslim.
4 Q. When, if ever, did you see Emir Karabasic at the Omarska camp?
5 A. Yes. He was with us in the same room.
6 Q. Was Emir Karabasic ever called out from that room?
7 A. Yes, immediately after Mirsad Alisic. He was called out the next
8 evening, and he too was carried back inside in even a worse condition than
9 Mirsad was.
10 Q. Why do you say that Emir Karabasic was in even worse condition
11 than Mirsad? What specifically did you notice about Emir's Karabasic's
13 A. Emir was black and blue, or black more than blue, from head to
14 toes. He was so badly beaten up, and I could see that well, because we
15 all took off our shirts or T-shirts, soaked them in water to cover his
16 body with them. That was the only way we could help him, to give him some
18 Q. Prior to the start of the armed conflict in 1992, did you know a
19 man named Silvo Saric?
20 A. Yes, I knew Silvo. His sister is Dragica who worked with us in
21 the same school, and he worked in the Prijedor post office, so I knew him
22 well too.
23 Q. Do you know if Silvo Saric was politically active before the armed
24 conflict began?
25 A. Yes. When the parties were formed, Silvo was president of the HDZ
1 party for Prijedor.
2 Q. What was his ethnicity?
3 A. He was a Croat.
4 Q. Was Silvo Saric present in the room where you were detained in the
5 hangar building?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was Silvo Saric ever called out of that room?
8 A. Yes, after Emir he was called out. Not the same evening but the
9 next evening.
10 Q. When Silvo Saric returned to the room, what, if anything, did you
11 observe about his appearance?
12 A. He didn't come back, he was also carried back. He couldn't walk.
13 He was in the same condition as Emir Karabasic.
14 Q. Mr. Avdagic, we've been speaking of prisoners who were called out,
15 to use that expression, of your room in the hangar. Could you briefly
16 explain how prisoners were called out of the room.
17 A. Yes. The guard at the entrance near the steps would say the name
18 of the person he was calling out, and this name was passed on by the
19 detainees, because the guard couldn't get into our room anyway. There
20 were so many of us on the staircase, in the corridors, in the room, that
21 they couldn't even get inside, they couldn't enter. And when the name
22 finally reaches us in the room, the person would go out. That was the
23 only way it could be done.
24 Q. You said that the guards outside the room would pass a name into
25 the room. Do you know how that guard acquired a name to pass on?
1 A. How he knew which name to call, I don't know, but he was the one
2 who uttered the name, because the guard would remain in his place.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Avdagic, were you ever taken for interrogation a
4 second time?
5 A. Yes. On the 16th of June I was taken again.
6 Q. Were you actually interrogated a second time?
7 A. I entered the interrogation room but I was not interrogated that
8 time. They went out to check out something. They wanted to check whether
9 I had already given a statement, and they realised that I had done so, so
10 they told me that there was no longer any need for me to give another
12 Q. Where were you taken then?
13 A. After that I was taken to the pista.
14 Q. Approximately how many men were on the pista at that time?
15 A. As far as I could tell, there may have been 500 or 600 of us on
16 the pista.
17 Q. How much time did you stay on the pista?
18 A. For a very brief period of time. A maximum of one hour.
19 Q. Why did you leave the pista?
20 A. In the month of June in 1992, it rained every day. The rains were
21 quite heavy. And on that day, around 11.00, it started to rain. It was
22 raining heavily, and half of the detainees from the pista were moved to
23 the administration building, that is, to the restaurant, and the other
24 half, where I was, was taken to the "white house."
25 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to the war in 1992, did you know a man named
1 Becir Medunjanin?
2 A. Yes, I knew Becir very well, and I knew his family as well.
3 Q. How did you know Mr. Medunjanin?
4 A. Becir and his wife Sadeta used to work with me in school in
5 Kozarac, and I also used to teach his children. We knew each other very
6 well. We were colleagues for four years.
7 Q. What were the names of Becir Medunjanin's children, if you know?
8 A. His eldest son was called Anes and the youngest one Haris.
9 Q. You say you taught his children, did you teach Anes Medunjanin?
10 A. Yes, I did. He was my pupil for four years, and Haris was my
11 pupil for only one year because at that time I left Kozarac.
12 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to the war in 1992, did you know a man named
13 Dalija Hrnjak?
14 A. Yes, I knew Dalija Hrnjak. Dalija is also a resident of Kozarac.
15 He used to live in the centre of the town. And before the war he worked
16 as a taxi driver. Prior to the war, maybe two years before the war, he
17 opened up a spare parts shop in the centre of Kozarac. So he was known by
18 everyone in Kozarac.
19 Q. Mr. Avdagic, prior to the start of the armed conflict in 1992,
20 were you familiar with a man named Zoran Zigic?
21 A. I knew Zigic by sight.
22 Q. How did you know Mr. Zigic by sight?
23 A. I told you I had left Kozarac at one point and was transferred to
24 the school in Ljubija. So I used to commute every day from Kozarac to
25 Ljubija. And because I had to change buses in Prijedor and wait for the
1 bus for or, or Kozarac on my way back, sometimes I would have a half-hour
2 break and I used to wait for the bus there. The bus station and the
3 railway station were located next to each other. And I had a few friends
4 among taxi drivers, and I used to chat with them while I would wait for
5 the bus. So I used to see Zigic during those times because he was also a
6 taxi driver at the railway station.
7 Q. Mr. Avdagic, I know that eight years have passed since that time,
8 but do you think you could recognise Zoran Zigic today?
9 A. I cannot claim that with certainty. We have all changed a lot.
10 Q. Well, could you look around the courtroom this morning and --
11 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. Your Honour,
12 before the identification, I should like the Prosecution counsel to ask
13 the witness how and in what way he is able to recognise Zoran Zigic,
14 before the actual identification takes place in the courtroom.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the witness has described to the Trial
17 Chamber how he was familiar with Mr. Zigic prior to the conflict, and I
18 simply asked him if he would be able to recognise Mr. Zigic in the
19 courtroom today.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic.
21 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a moment ago we were able
22 to see the image of Zoran Zigic on the monitor so the witness had the
23 opportunity to see my client. However, the essence of my objection boils
24 down to the following: The Prosecution counsel, aside from what the
25 witness has just said, the fact that he used to see my client in Prijedor
1 while he was working there as a taxi driver, I think he should ask the
2 witness in respect of other circumstances -- I should like to hear from
3 the witness how he's actually able to recognise the witness [sic], and he
4 should describe my client in very specific terms. He should tell us his
5 weight, his height, and if there was anything specific by which he was
6 able to remember him.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, before we proceed
8 with the identification, would it be possible to ask the witness to tell
9 us the identifying elements. Could he perhaps describe the accused before
10 we actually ask him to do the identification. As with all other
11 identification cases, one should describe the person in question
12 beforehand, and only after that proceed with the actual identification.
13 So if we could please do that.
14 Thank you, Mr. Tosic.
15 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Avdagic, can you describe the person that you knew to be a
17 taxi driver by the name of Zoran Zigic? Can you describe that person's
18 physical characteristics?
19 A. Zigic was of a heavy build. He was about 190 centimetres tall,
20 perhaps a little taller. Our last encounter took place in Omarska, that
21 is where I last saw him, and that is how I remember him. His face, I
22 remember his face from that time.
23 Q. What, if anything, do you remember about his face?
24 A. I just remember his face from Omarska.
25 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this --
1 A. Yes. He had a long face. It's difficult.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You may
3 continue, Mr. Saxon, with the recognition --
4 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] I have to object once again, Your
5 Honour, and I apologise. I should like my learned colleague, as regards
6 the identification of my client, that he asks the witness for some other
7 identifying elements, such as his age, his hair colour, the overall looks,
8 and other details so that the identification can actually take place,
9 because I really think that what we have just heard from the witness is
10 not sufficient. He has merely stated his build and his height, and he has
11 simply said that he remembers his face from Omarska.
12 A. I remember Zoran Zigic from Prijedor, but Zoran was -- I know that
13 he was a tall man, dark, that he was at least 1 metre, 90 centimetres
14 tall. But I remember him from Omarska; that is the image of him that has
15 stayed with me. He had dyed hair. But I did not socialise with Zoran.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Witness, what was the
17 approximate age?
18 A. At that time, in 1992, Zoran was between 30 and 35 years of age.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Once and for
20 all, could we then proceed with the proper kind of identification,
21 Mr. Saxon.
22 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Avdagic, if you will, could you look around the courtroom this
24 morning and tell the Judges if you see Zoran Zigic present anywhere
1 A. I think that Zoran Zigic is sitting in the first row, in the
2 middle, next to the -- next to the pulpit on my left-hand side.
3 Q. Can you describe what Mr. Zigic is wearing?
4 A. He's wearing a dark suit, blue shirt and a slightly lighter tie.
5 He also has earphones on.
6 MR. SAXON: May the record please reflect that the witness has
7 identified the accused Zoran Zigic.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, sorry to interrupt
9 you, but I should like to ask the witness: How many individuals are
10 sitting in the same row?
11 A. Four persons. There are two policemen on each side, there is a
12 gentleman wearing a lighter suit, and the individual whom I have
13 identified as wearing a dark suit.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you said that there are four
15 people sitting there, and from your left-hand side, what would be the
16 position of the person in question?
17 A. The third person in the row.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The third one. Thank you very
19 much. Very well.
20 Mr. Saxon, sorry for this interruption.
21 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Your Honour, at this time I would like to ask the usher to place
23 another photograph on the ELMO, and we have copies for the Defence. If
24 this could please be marked as Exhibit 3/107.
25 Q. Mr. Avdagic, if you could take a look at that photograph that's
1 been placed on the ELMO. Where did you first go when you entered the
2 "white house"?
3 A. I went to the second room on the left side. This is the second
4 room on the left, A4.
5 Q. Was that room full?
6 A. Yes, it was full. All the rooms were full.
7 Q. About how much time were you in that room designated as A4?
8 A. For about five minutes.
9 Q. What happened after about five minutes had passed?
10 A. An armed man came in -- I mean, not that he was carrying any
11 weapon. He had a uniform; that's what I wanted to say. And he wanted to
12 know who was in Kozarac. Then he separated myself, together with four
13 other young men, and he took us back to the first room on the left.
14 Q. Did you know this man's name at that time, the man who took you
15 out of room A4?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. Did you subsequently learn that person's name?
18 A. Yes, I learned later on that his name was Dusan Knezevic and that
19 his nickname was Duca and that he was from Pakrac.
20 Q. Was he from Pakrac, or was that his nickname, "Duca from Pakrac"?
21 A. No, it was just a nickname. Dusan Knezevic is actually from
22 Prijedor. His nickname was "Duca from Pakrac," because as I had later
23 learned, he had participated in the war in Croatia in 1991, and that is
24 how he earned his nickname, "Duca from Pakrac."
25 Q. You said you were brought into another room. Can you point out on
1 that photograph what the number of that room is.
2 A. I said it was the first room on the left from the entrance. It is
3 designated as A3.
4 Q. Where in room A3 did you sit down?
5 A. I sat down next to the door, on the right-hand side. Maybe two
6 metres away from the door. Not more than that. Opposite the window.
7 There was only one window in that room, in room A3.
8 Q. Mr. Avdagic, could you please write the letters "FA" at the
9 approximate spot where you sat down in that room.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you. Did you recognise anyone else present in that room?
12 A. Yes, I recognised Zoran Zigic only. There were two other young
13 men with him wearing uniforms, and the fourth one was Duca, who had
14 brought me there.
15 Q. Was this the same Zoran Zigic that you knew as a taxi driver in
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you recognise any of the detainees in that room?
19 A. Yes. I recognised Becir Medunjanin, his son Anes, and Dalija
20 Hrnjak. I didn't know anybody else.
21 Q. What, if anything, did you notice about Becir Medunjanin's
22 appearance and condition?
23 A. Yes. Becir was the only one who was sitting next to the entrance,
24 on the right-hand side. He was sitting on a chair, and the rest of us, we
25 were all sitting around, leaning against the walls. I knew Becir very
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 well but he didn't look at me, he didn't pay any attention to me. He had
2 been beaten up and he was completely absent-minded.
3 Q. Would you please mark a spot on that photograph approximately
4 where you saw Becir Medunjanin sitting with the letters "BA" -- "BM," I'm
6 A. [Marks]. Between Becir and myself, his son Anes was sitting --
7 well, actually, he was lying down.
8 Q. What, if anything, did you notice about the appearance and
9 condition of Anes Medunjanin?
10 A. As I said, Anes was lying down on the floor. He was not sitting.
11 He was covered in blood. He was bleeding from his head.
12 Q. Did you recognise a detainee named Dalija Hrnjak?
13 A. Yes. On the left-hand side from the entrance, in the corner,
14 there was Dalija Hrnjak who was lying down on the floor. He was not
16 Q. What, if anything, did you notice about Dalija Hrnjak's appearance
17 and condition?
18 A. Well, I noticed that he was lying down, that he had been beaten
20 Q. Do you recall how Zoran Zigic was dressed that day?
21 A. Yes. He had a camouflage uniform on, and on his hands he was
22 wearing gloves without fingers.
23 Q. Mr. Avdagic, could you mark a spot on that photograph
24 approximately where you saw Zoran Zigic when you first entered that room,
25 and could you use the letters "ZZ."
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Mr. Avdagic, what happened, if anything, to Mr. Dalija Hrnjak?
3 A. Duca asked Dalija how much money he had given for weapons, and
4 Dalija replied that he did not have any money. And then after that they
5 started beating him up, all four of them.
6 Q. When you say that --
7 A. Dalija screamed so loudly that at one point Zoran told one of the
8 younger men to put a fist in his mouth so that he would stop screaming.
9 Q. When you say that all four of them beat Dalija Hrnjak, what did
10 Zoran Zigic use to beat Dalija Hrnjak?
11 A. They were kicking him at that moment and hitting him with clubs.
12 All four of them carried clubs in their hands.
13 Q. What, if anything, did you observe about the club that Zoran Zigic
14 had in his hand?
15 A. Not only Zoran, but the other three had kind of short clubs. Not
16 the usually police batons, but the ones that could be made longer. But
17 they were actually half the size as the usual police clubs.
18 Q. When you say they could be made longer, how could they be made
20 A. Well, I didn't know it myself until I was also beaten up. They
21 could be made longer because they had a kind of spring inside. So they
22 could be made twice the actual size or more with each sway.
23 Q. When, if ever, did you see any knives during the time when Dalija
24 Hrnjak was being beaten?
25 A. Yes. At that point, Duca took out a knife and he put the knife
1 against Dalija's body, on several places, because Dalija was lying down
2 and he was facing the wall. And he put the knife on his back and on his
3 arms, and then he hit the handle of the knife with his fist and proceeded
4 to do so all over Dalija's body.
5 Q. Did you see anybody jump on Dalija Hrnjak?
6 A. Yes. Because they did not receive an affirmative answer, they
7 started jumping on Dalija's back in their military boots until Dalija
8 became unconscious.
9 Q. Mr. Avdagic, when you used the word "they," are you describing the
10 four men who were in that room wearing uniforms?
11 A. Yes, the four men wearing uniforms who were in that room.
12 Q. What happened to Dalija Hrnjak after that?
13 A. Dalija Hrnjak became unconscious, and they stopped beating him.
14 They gave up.
15 Q. What happened next?
16 A. Since there were more than 20 of us in that room, maybe 25, lined
17 up against the wall, we were sitting against the wall. And in one part of
18 the room, next to a wall, the side wall, there were five or six young men
19 who were sitting almost in the middle of the room.
20 So all four of them started towards those young men who were
21 sitting in the upper part of the room. And I remember very well that one
22 of the young men had a shaved head and he was wearing military boots. So
23 he was the first one that they started to beat.
24 Q. Approximately how many times was that young man with the shaved
25 head beaten?
1 A. At the beginning when they started beating him up, at one point
2 Duca asked him, "Do you know me?" And that is when I actually learned
3 that his name was Duca; I didn't know that before. And the man said, "I
4 know you because we were together at the front line in Pakrac. I know
5 that you are Duca from Pakrac."
6 Q. Again, Mr. Avdagic, where is Pakrac?
7 A. I just wanted to add -- well, I'll come back to that. Pakrac is
8 in the Republic of Croatia, in the vicinity of the town of Lipik where the
9 Lipik spa is located. Pakrac is located some five or six kilometres away
10 from Lipik. I was once in Lipik, in the spa there. That's how I know
12 Q. Did each of the four men in uniform beat this prisoner with the
13 shaved head?
14 A. Yes. So when he said, "Duca from Pakrac," all four of them turned
15 against him and they started beating him up with their clubs, and I think
16 that they must have beaten him -- they must have given him more than 100
17 blows until the young man became unconscious. I don't know whether he
18 survived or not.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Avdagic.
20 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I see that we have passed the hour of
21 11.00. I would estimate that I would need another five or ten minutes for
22 my direct examination.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Rodrigues.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We will have a break. But let
25 me first ask the usher to show the witness out of the courtroom before the
1 Judges leave the courtroom, please.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We will have a half-an-hour
4 break now.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated. We're still
9 waiting for Mr. Radic, but you may be seated nevertheless.
10 Let us resume our hearing. Mr. Saxon, you may continue.
11 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. If possible, could the
12 photograph that has been marked as 3/107 be placed back on the ELMO,
13 please. Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Avdagic, I'd like to redirect your attention to the events in
15 the room designated A3 inside the "white house." Before the break, you
16 had described how the four gentlemen dressed in uniform were beating a
17 young man with a shaved head. After the four gentlemen stopped beating
18 the young man with the shaved head, what did they do? What did those four
19 gentlemen do?
20 A. While they were beating him, he was screaming from pain. But at
21 the same time, they were yelling even louder than he, enjoying the
22 beating. When they stopped beating him, when he lost consciousness, they
23 turned around and started beating the rest of us in the room.
24 Q. Mr. Avdagic, when you say "they," are you referring to --
25 A. Those four men in uniform, yes. Duca, Zigic, and the other two
1 young men in uniform.
2 Q. Can you take the pointer and describe on that photograph how these
3 four gentlemen were beating the other prisoners in the room?
4 A. They started in order. And as we were sitting against the wall,
5 all of us, except for this young man with a shaved head, then they went in
6 a circle. So eventually all four of them reached me.
7 Q. At that time, Mr. Avdagic, were you beaten by anyone in
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. By whom?
11 A. Duca hit me a couple of times. So my head split in two places and
12 my jaw fractured at that point, on the right-hand side.
13 Q. What did Duca hit you with?
14 A. With a stick, a baton.
15 Q. After Duca hit you on the head several times, what did Duca do?
16 A. Then they stopped beating us, and all of them approached Becir
17 Medunjanin, who was still sitting on the chair.
18 Q. What, if anything, did Duca say to Becir Medunjanin?
19 A. He called him Albanac, an Albanian. He said, "You are not Becir
20 Medunjanin but Beqiri Medunani. You have come here from Kosovo to wage
21 war in Bosnia." However, Becir was not from Kosovo. He was from
22 Montenegro, from a place called Plav.
23 Q. What questions, if any, did Duca ask of Becir Medunjanin?
24 A. He asked him, "What are you doing?" and Becir said, "I am a
25 teacher in the school in Kozarac." Then he just smiled ironically. And
1 after that, as Becir was sitting on a chair, he kicked him with his boot
2 in the nose.
3 Q. Prior to that kick in the nose, what, if anything, did Duca say in
4 regard to Anes Medunjanin?
5 A. Yes. Before kicking him, he picked Anes by the hair, pulled his
6 head up and took out a knife and said, "Watch me slit your son's throat."
7 Q. Who did Duca say that to?
8 A. To Becir Medunjanin.
9 Q. How, if at all, did Becir Medunjanin respond?
10 A. Becir managed -- though he was absent in mind, he said, "Please
11 don't do that," and then he jumped up from the chair and tried to escape,
12 to go out.
13 Q. Mr. Avdagic, can you again take up the pointer and show the Judges
14 where you saw Becir Medunjanin move to.
15 A. Yes. Becir jumped off the chair and ran through the door into the
16 corridor, towards the exit from the "white house." I could see all this
17 well because I was sitting only two or three metres from the door, facing
18 the door directly. Just then, all four of them reacted by yelling and
19 shouting at the guards at the exit, "Don't shoot. Bring him back alive."
20 Q. When you said all four of them were shouting, "Don't shoot. Bring
21 him back all alive," who were you referring to?
22 A. The four men in uniform; Zigic, Duca, and two young men in
24 Q. Could you see the faces of Duca and Zoran Zigic at that moment?
25 A. Yes. They were furious at the very thought that somebody had
1 dared to try and escape, and that is why they yelled at the guards,
2 saying, "Don't shoot. Bring him back alive."
3 Q. Were there guards standing by the entrance to the "white house"?
4 A. No. They were standing in front of the "white house," at the door
5 of the "white house."
6 Q. What, if anything, did those guards do?
7 A. They caught Becir and brought him back into the room and again
8 seated him on the chair.
9 Q. What, if anything, happened after Becir Medunjanin was seated once
10 more on that chair?
11 A. Yes. Just then, Duca kicked him with his army boot in the nose so
12 that the nose split, sort of split into two onto his cheeks. Becir fell
13 from the chair, lost consciousness, and they were laughing. Then Duca
14 came up to Becir, playing around with his nose, as if trying to put it
15 back to normal.
16 Q. Approximately how far were you from Becir Medunjanin at that
18 A. Not more than a metre, because between Becir and me there was just
19 his son, Anes.
20 Q. Can you point out on that photograph once more approximately where
21 Anes Medunjanin's feet were and where Anes Medunjanin's head was at that
23 A. His head was towards me and his legs towards his father, Becir.
24 Q. What happened after that?
25 A. Then all four of them started beating Becir, who was unconscious,
1 as well as his son Anes. And then Anes -- he was maybe 20 or 30
2 centimetres away from me -- he crawled up to me and came under my arm. He
3 crawled under my arm. He leaned his head against me.
4 Q. What, if anything, did you do at that time?
5 A. What could I do then? All I could do was watch, like the others.
6 That's all we could do.
7 Q. Mr. Avdagic, how were you able to leave the "white house" that
9 A. Just then, a man in uniform came up to the window. I don't know
10 what the reasons were. Perhaps he was attracted by the noise coming from
11 our room. He leaned against the window on his elbows, and then he looked
12 straight at me and asked me, "What are you doing there in the 'white
13 house' -- not "in the 'white house,'" "What are you doing there?"
14 Out of fear, I didn't say a word. I just shrugged my shoulders.
15 I didn't even dare look at him properly. And then he said to me, "Get
16 out. Come out."
17 Q. Did you get up and begin to leave that room?
18 A. Yes. In a couple of steps, I was at the door. However, all four
19 of them, as they were right in front of me, they were there at the door
20 and they beat me so hard. All I thought was, if I fall, I will die; if I
21 manage to keep on my feet, I will survive. Fortunately, I managed, and I
22 managed to get out of the "white house."
23 Q. When you got out of the "white house," what happened next?
24 A. One of the guards who was at the entrance to the "white house" was
25 there. He was the same guard who took me in for questioning the second
1 time. He asked me, "What are you doing in the 'white house'?" And I
2 said, "I have no idea." Then he took me to the restaurant building.
3 There was water there; there were bathrooms. And he told me, "Go and
4 wash, because if they see you so bloodied, they might kill you." I did, I
5 went and washed, and then he took me back to the pista.
6 Q. Mr. Avdagic, later that day were you brought to the restaurant
8 A. Yes. As night was falling, it was exactly 7.00 p.m., they took us
9 into the restaurant building to sleep there. At five minutes past seven,
10 my name was called out again by the guard, by my first and last name. He
11 took me out in front of the restaurant. There was a bench there, and he
12 told me to sit there. And two men, under arms, with red berets were
13 waiting there. They didn't ask me anything; they didn't say anything to
15 Q. Eventually, were you asked to board a vehicle?
16 A. Yes. As the policemen were police inspectors from Prijedor, and
17 they were returning to Prijedor, and at about 8.30 they told me to get up
18 and they took me behind the administration building where a minibus was
19 parked, waiting for them. They boarded me on the minibus, on the back
20 seat. And inside all the interrogators were there, they were all armed
21 with automatic rifles and pistols. Nobody asked me anything or said
22 anything to me. They drove me directly to the police station in
24 Q. Mr. Avdagic, could you describe your condition when you boarded
25 that minibus?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 A. The clothes I was wearing were blood-stained. My head had been
2 cut in two places, as I said, covered in blood. My face was covered in
3 blood. As they got into the bus, they just cast a glance at me. Nothing
4 else. No one said a word.
5 Q. Briefly, what happened when you got to the Prijedor Police
7 A. In the hallway of the police station, they told me to sit at a
8 table and wait. They told me that I needed to get a piece of paper, a
9 permit for movement to leave, and if I don't get that paper, I would have
10 to spend the night in the police station. And after 9.00, one of the
11 policemen brought this piece of paper for me and told me that I could go.
12 In the meantime, at the entrance to the police station itself, one
13 of the policemen fired a couple of bursts of fire, gunfire. So I said, "I
14 don't dare go. The man at the entrance will kill me when he sees what I
15 look like." Then he answered, "Go along. Don't be afraid. We'll take
16 him away. He's got drunk and that's why he's shooting."
17 Q. Mr. Avdagic, on the 26th of September, 1992, did you leave
19 A. Yes, I left in a convoy for Travnik.
20 Q. What medical problems, if any, do you suffer as a result of your
21 mistreatment while you were detained in the Omarska camp?
22 A. Throughout the post-war period, I occasionally have headaches. I
23 had a disease in my left ear anyway before the war, and after the beatings
24 in Omarska, this became worse, so that since the war this ear has been
25 dripping almost daily.
1 Q. Did you own a home or an apartment in Kozarac prior to the war?
2 A. Yes, I had an apartment in Kozarac.
3 Q. What happened to your apartment?
4 A. The building I lived in was totally burnt down. Only the
5 foundations remained.
6 Q. Did any other family members own property in Kozarac prior to the
8 A. Yes. My mother-in-law had a house near the hospital in Kozarac.
9 That house is intact but it's been looted.
10 Q. Did you own an automobile prior to the war?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was that automobile taken from you?
13 A. I don't know what happened to it. When they picked us up in
14 Kozarac on the 26th of May, everything was left behind. What happened to
15 it later, I don't know.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time I have no further
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, what is the
20 order of the cross-examination, please?
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the cross-examination
22 will be in the order of the indictment. So the teams with questions will
23 cross-examine, and those who will not, will waive their right.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well then. You have the
25 floor, Mr. Krstan Simic.
1 Witness, you are now going to answer questions put to you by
2 Defence counsel, please.
3 Mr. Simic, please do not forget to pause between questions and
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will do that. Thank you,
6 Your Honour.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
8 Q. Mr. Avdagic, my name is Krstan Simic, and I am representing
9 Mr. Kvocka as his Defence counsel in this case. I'm going to ask you a
10 few questions concerning the testimony that you have given today.
11 During your examination-in-chief, you were asked questions about
12 your interrogations in the administration building in Omarska. Could you
13 please tell us who it was who interrogated you on that occasion?
14 A. I was interrogated by two police inspectors from Prijedor. One of
15 them, as far as I know, was from Banja Luka also.
16 Q. You remember the second time you went for interrogation.
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Was it in the same room, with the same interrogators, or was it in
19 any way different?
20 A. The interrogators were different, but at that time I was not
21 interrogated because they checked and they found out that I had already
22 given a statement, so they gave up.
23 Q. Were you in any way mistreated during these interrogations?
24 A. No, I was not mistreated.
25 Q. Thank you. You were asked questions about your arrest during the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you describe the circumstances of your arrest?
4 A. I was arrested on the 26th of May. There had been an agreement
5 between the Kozarac police and the Serbian military authorities that the
6 shelling of Kozarac would be stopped and that all civilians would be
7 spared and let to Prijedor.
8 However, in the area of Susici, all across the road there was a
9 white cloth that was hanging there. And we moved with our families and
10 with our children, there may have been 10.000 of us. Almost all of the
11 residents of Kozarac, we were moving in a column. We reached some buses
12 and we were separated from women and children. We men were taken to
13 Keraterm and the women and children were taken to the sports hall in
15 Q. Thank you. The individuals who put you on the buses, were they
16 members of the army?
17 A. They were all members of the army and the police.
18 Q. On that occasion, did anyone tell you the reasons for your arrest?
19 A. No. We were simply told that the civilians would be spared, that
20 they would go to Prijedor, to avoid military activities, but that did not
22 Q. Mr. Avdagic, were any of the men handcuffed while boarding the
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thank you. Once you boarded the bus -- could you tell us how many
1 buses there were? Just one or several?
2 A. There were several buses. Some buses were taking us men, and some
3 were transporting women and children and then coming back. I went first
4 to Keraterm, and then I had the opportunity to see the way the buses were
5 bringing men in and then going back.
6 Q. You also spoke about your transfer to Omarska. We will come back
7 to that. But while we're still on this particular issue, I should like to
8 know, when you were transported from Keraterm to Omarska, were you
9 handcuffed or searched at that point?
10 A. No. We simply had to put our hands on our heads, like this, while
11 entering Keraterm.
12 Q. So while you were being transported, you were not handcuffed or
14 A. No.
15 Q. Thank you. I should now like to go back to your arrival and your
16 stay in Keraterm. When did you get there?
17 A. On the 26th of May, around 11.00. It was in the morning hours.
18 Q. How many nights did you spend in Keraterm?
19 A. I was there for two days and one night, and on the following
20 night, that is, on the second night, after 12.00, we were taken to
22 Q. Yes, this is exactly what I'm interested in, so let me clarify
23 something. You spent the whole day of the 26th of May there, you spent
24 the night between the 26th and the 27th of May there, is that correct, and
25 then on the 27th, the night of the 27th and between the 28th, you were
1 transported to Omarska.
2 A. Yes, that is correct. It was on the 28th.
3 Q. You told us that your group was the first group of detainees to
4 arrive in Omarska.
5 A. Yes, both in Keraterm and in Omarska.
6 Q. At the end of your interrogation, you were asked -- I'm sorry. At
7 the end of your testimony, you were asked questions about your departure
8 from Omarska.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you, Mr. Avdagic, personally ask anyone for help? Did you ask
11 to be released from Omarska?
12 A. I did not have an opportunity to contact anyone. It was not
14 Q. Thank you. Did you learn later on whether any member of your
15 family had taken any steps to that effect? And if so, what kind of steps?
16 A. My wife later on told me that she had gone to see the chief of the
17 public security station in Prijedor, Simo Drljaca, that she had asked him
18 for help, and that is all I know.
19 Q. You also mentioned that you were picked up by two policemen
20 wearing red berets.
21 A. No. I was taken out from the restaurant by Strazar, and they were
22 waiting outside with red berets and wearing camouflage uniforms. They
23 were standing in front of the entrance to the restaurant.
24 Q. Those two individuals whom you described as wearing camouflage
25 uniforms and red berets, were they members of the regular security
1 personnel of the camp?
2 A. No. That was the first occasion I saw them in the camp.
3 Q. You knew the person by the name of Simo Drljaca.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you know him from before?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. How did you know him?
8 A. Well, we had practically grown up together. We went to secondary
9 school together in Sanski Most. And for about 15 years prior to the war,
10 you can even say that we worked together. He was also working in the
11 education department and he was legal secretary of that overall
12 educational organisation of the municipality of Prijedor, so we had
13 practically daily contacts over that period of time.
14 Q. Did he leave his job, the one that you performed together?
15 A. Well, he did not exactly leave that job. He was fired. And until
16 he became the chief of the public security station, he was unemployed for
17 several months, and we used to see each other during that time and we
18 talked very frequently. He wanted me to know what to do, and I said,
19 "What do you mean?" And then he told me, "Well, I'm being blackmailed by
20 the SDS. They want me to join the party, otherwise I will remain
21 unemployed," and I told him, "Well, Simo, I don't know what to tell you.
22 Times are hard. We are all responsible for our destinies." And this is
23 how it went. A couple of months later he became the chief of the police
24 station in Prijedor.
25 Q. During your stay in Omarska, what position did he have?
1 A. He was the chief of the public security station in Prijedor.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Avdagic.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] This concludes my
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Simic.
6 Mr. Nikolic.
7 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our Defence team does
8 not have any questions for this witness. Thank you.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
10 Mr. Fila.
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Likewise, Your Honour, our Defence team
12 has no questions to ask of this witness.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Fila.
14 Mr. Tosic. Sorry, the microphone. Thank you. Mr. Tosic, you
15 have the floor.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Tosic:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Avdagic. My name is Simo Tosic; I'm an
18 attorney from Banja Luka. On my right-hand side is Mr. Slobodan
19 Stojanovic who is an attorney from Belgrade. The two of us are
20 representing Zoran Zigic in this case.
21 During your testimony you stated that you used to work in the
22 elementary school in Ljubija.
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Could you please tell us the ethnic composition of the students
25 and the teachers in that particular elementary school?
1 A. The ethnic structure, the ethnic composition was mixed. There
2 were Serbs, Croats, and Muslims amongst the teachers.
3 Q. What about the students? Was the ethnic composition more or less
4 the same?
5 A. The majority were Muslims. There were some Croats and several
6 Serbs as well.
7 Q. Were there any problems involving national issues prior to the war
8 in your school, that is, while you were still working there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. In your testimony you stated that on the 20th of May you went to
11 work in Ljubija and that you were stopped at the Orlovci checkpoint?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 MR. SAXON: Objection, Your Honour. I don't believe the record
14 reflects that this witness ever provided such testimony. I certainly did
15 not ask him about being stopped at any checkpoint on the way to work. I
16 began my direct examination with his arrest on the 26th of May.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic.
18 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'll give up my question. I
19 will ask another question of this witness.
20 Q. Witness, let me tell [sic] you about your last working day when
21 you went to work. What happened?
22 A. We were on the bus in Kozarac and we were going towards Prijedor,
23 and before Prijedor we were stopped by -- at Orlovci we were stopped by
24 the police and Serb soldiers. They told us to get out and to walk back
25 home to Kozarac. Those were the words that they used. As far as I can
1 remember, several Serbs remained on the bus and they let them go through
2 to Prijedor.
3 Q. As of the 20th of May, 1992, and then up until your departure for
4 Keraterm, and you stated that it took place on the 26th of May, where were
5 you and with whom?
6 A. I was in Kozarac, at home. From time to time I would go out for a
7 walk, and that was all.
8 Q. Did you ever own weapons?
9 A. No, never.
10 Q. On the 26th of May, 1992, you stated that you had been taken to
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Upon your arrival in Keraterm, were you interrogated?
14 A. No, I was not. However, some individuals were interrogated
16 Q. In Keraterm, did you recognise any individual whom you had known
17 from before as a resident of the town of Prijedor?
18 A. I recognised only one person who was a conductor at the transport
19 company in Prijedor. I know that his first name is Luka. I don't know
20 his surname.
21 Q. During your brief stay in Keraterm, you stated you left Keraterm
22 on the 27th of May --
23 A. No, it was on the 28th of May.
24 Q. Yes, I'm sorry, on the 28th of May, in the morning when you left
25 for Omarska. Did you see during that time in Keraterm any person whom you
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 later on encountered again in Omarska?
2 A. What individuals do you have in mind?
3 Q. Well, any individual whom you saw both in Omarska and in
5 A. I did not have an opportunity to see anyone. We were detained in
6 a very large room in Keraterm, so I know only about the persons who were
7 detained in the same room, nobody else.
8 Q. My question is very specific. During that time while you were in
9 Keraterm, did you see Zoran Zigic as you have described him today?
10 A. No, I did not see him in Keraterm.
11 Q. Does that mean that during your stay in Keraterm, Zoran Zigic was
12 not there in Keraterm?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic, please do not reach
16 conclusions. The witness has simply said that he did not see Zigic.
17 Please, be honest in your examination of this witness. Please proceed,
18 Mr. Tosic.
19 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness, upon your arrival in Omarska, you stated that for a while
21 you were in the administration building, but then after that you were
22 transferred to the garage, then to the hangar building, and lastly that
23 you spent some time in the "white house."
24 From this date, from the 28th of May, the morning of the 28th of
25 May, until the 16th of June, 1992, when this incident took place and you
1 stated that Zoran Zigic participated in this incident, during that time,
2 that is, up until that particular date, did you at any point see Zoran
3 Zigic in Omarska?
4 A. No, not until that date.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you, and for how long, know Zoran Zigic? You
6 stated that you knew him by sight, but could you be more specific and tell
7 us when exactly it was that you came to know Zoran Zigic before the war?
8 A. I told you I spent many years commuting, and ever since 1979 I was
9 a commuter. It's a very difficult question, so I can't give you a
10 specific answer.
11 Q. Do you know during which period of time, prior to the war, did
12 Zoran Zigic work as a taxi driver?
13 A. I know that he used to work as a taxi driver before the war. I
14 cannot be any more specific in terms of years.
15 Q. Could you tell us how long, or perhaps how many years before the
16 20th of May, 1992 you last saw -- you had last seen Zoran Zigic?
17 A. I'm sorry. I could not tell you that.
18 Q. Do you perhaps recall what kind of vehicle Zoran Zigic used while
19 he was a taxi driver?
20 A. No, I don't know. I'm not very familiar with cars. I know it was
21 a taxi.
22 Q. You said you knew him by sight. Did you ever have any personal
23 dealings with Zoran Zigic, any contact?
24 A. No, I haven't. I've already told you that.
25 Q. Could you please explain to us -- you said you knew Zoran Zigic
1 only by sight as a taxi driver who was working at the railway station in
2 Prijedor. Today, before my learned colleague tried to ask you to describe
3 Zoran Zigic and his appearance, you stated that you couldn't say and
4 recognise Zoran Zigic with certainty. Why such a dilemma in your answer?
5 A. Well, I was confused with the time prior to the war and in the
6 war. I said when I saw Zoran Zigic, I would never forget his eyes and his
7 face, and that is why I said that I knew him better from Omarska.
8 Q. Let us briefly clarify something so that we don't have to go back
9 to this issue. You stated that you used to work in Ljubija. Since you
10 cannot tell us exactly when it was that you used to see Zoran Zigic in
11 Prijedor at the taxi stand, could you perhaps tell us in what period of
12 time you worked in Ljubija in the elementary school? From what year until
13 what year?
14 A. From 1979 until the 20th of May, 1992.
15 Q. Without any interruption?
16 A. Without interruptions.
17 Q. Thank you. Before you gave any statement concerning these events
18 involving yourself, did any of the investigators or anyone else show you
19 photographs of Zoran Zigic or other persons asking you to recognise Zoran
20 Zigic in person?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. In your testimony today, you stated that Zoran Zigic was a person
23 of a heavy build. You stated he was a big man, that he was approximately
24 190 centimetres tall. If my question is not out of place, and if you wish
25 to provide an answer, could you please tell us how tall you are, and what
1 is your weight?
2 A. You mean at this point, now?
3 Q. Yes, now.
4 A. I'm 178 centimetres tall, and I weigh 90 kilos.
5 Q. Do you consider yourself as a heavily built person?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Does that mean, that in view of the height and weight, Zoran Zigic
8 was taller and heavier than yourself, bearing in mind the information that
9 you have just stated?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. In your testimony you stated that Zoran Zigic had dyed hair.
12 A. Yes, he did so in Omarska.
13 Q. What colour was his hair?
14 A. It was yellowish and reddish in colour.
15 Q. Was there anything unusual that you noticed on Zoran Zigic's
16 body? Let me be more specific. Was there anything unusual, anything that
17 would deviate from a normal way of dressing and normal appearance on Zoran
18 Zigic's arms and his head? Anything that you noticed while you were in
20 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform and he was wearing gloves
21 without fingers.
22 Q. Did you notice on his hands any bandages?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. Did you see, did you notice whether Zoran Zigic had any particular
25 signs on his ears?
1 A. Yes. He was wearing one earring.
2 Q. Could you tell us on which ear he had this earring?
3 A. I don't know. On one of his ears.
4 Q. Could you tell the Judges perhaps what it looked like, this
6 A. It was a usual earring, the one that people wear in their ears.
7 Q. How far were you from Zoran Zigic when you saw this earring?
8 A. Maybe a metre. Not more than that.
9 Q. Were you able to see if the earring was the one that goes through
10 a pierced ear?
11 A. No, I didn't notice that. I was very much afraid. I didn't dare
12 watch him.
13 Q. You said that his hair was dyed at the time. How long was his
15 A. It was rather short. It was a normal haircut.
16 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] I beg the Court for your indulgence,
18 Q. Could you please explain, with regard to the uniform that Zoran
19 Zigic was wearing, what colour was it and what did it look like?
20 A. It was a camouflage uniform on top and black pants.
21 Q. What colour was the camouflage? Was it a police or a military
22 camouflage uniform?
23 A. At the time, I didn't know the difference.
24 Q. Well, what colour was it? Was it blue or SMB, greyish/green?
25 A. As far as I remember, it was olive-grey.
1 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please assist me to
2 show the witness his statement, page 4, paragraph 6. So could he please
3 read it and we will later tender the statement into evidence. I have
4 copies here.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic, make your
6 cross-examination in such a way that it is not necessary to tender it into
7 evidence. Use the statement, but in a way that it will not be tendered,
8 if possible. Do you have the page that you want? I think that the
9 registrar doesn't have it, nor do the Judges have a copy.
10 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we have the statement. There are
11 copies both in the B/C/S and in the English version.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We don't need the statement.
13 We're just asking you to show it to the witness. And the Prosecutor has
14 the same statement so he can check.
15 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I should like to ask the witness, before reading this paragraph on
17 page 4, if he could tell us -- we have the English and this version in
18 Serbian -- whether his signatures figure at the end of the statement in
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the Serbian language, the statement has not been signed. Are
22 you familiar with the translation or, rather, do you know the Serbian
23 version of this statement?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you read it? Did you read the statement in Serbian?
1 A. No.
2 Q. How, then, did you sign the statement in English?
3 A. It was read out to me when I made the statement, when I signed
5 Q. So when you gave your statement on the 21st of January, you have
6 already told us once but let me ask you once again, no one ever showed you
7 photographs of Zoran Zigic.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Could you be kind enough, on this fourth page, sixth paragraph,
10 could you read out those two sentences, please.
11 A. "Also in the room was Zigic Zoran, tall, blonde, he had an earring
12 in one ear. He was aged 30 to 35. Zigic was a taxi driver in Prijedor
13 before the conflict and I would see him before at places like the railway
15 Q. Could you please tell us, because you have already described Zoran
16 Zigic in some detail, but you said here that he was blonde.
17 A. Yes, I only remember him from Omarska.
18 Q. So in Omarska he was blonde.
19 A. Yes. I told you that his hair was dyed yellowish/reddish, yes.
20 Q. So can we agree that this blonde, in your understanding, was the
21 yellow colour in which his hair had been dyed?
22 Could you read to us also paragraph 10, just the first two
24 A. "All four of the soldiers were beating Dalija. Dalija was
25 screaming from the beating he was getting. Duca told a prisoner to put
1 his fist inside Dalija's mouth to stop the screaming."
2 Q. You said today that Zoran Zigic said this, and in this statement
3 you said that Duca Knezevic said this. Can you remember which one of the
4 two said this and whether what you said today in correct, here in court,
5 or what you said in your statement?
6 A. What I said today is correct.
7 Q. On this same page, page 4, could you please read the last
8 paragraph and the last sentence. Could you read that, please.
9 A. "All four of the soldiers beat him with police batons on the
11 Q. You said here that they used police batons.
12 A. I said short batons but not the size of police batons. I remember
14 Q. Does that mean that nobody asked you to describe those batons in
15 detail, or is what you said today correct?
16 A. What I said today is correct.
17 Q. You said that Duca Knezevic beat you in the "white house."
18 A. Yes, Duca and the other three.
19 Q. In the "white house," did Zoran Zigic beat you at all?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. Could you explain what he beat you with and on what parts of your
23 A. With a baton on the head.
24 Q. Could you explain to us whether you know what happened later with
25 Becir Medunjanin and his son?
1 A. I know that Becir is dead, and I know that his son Anes survived.
2 Q. Was he alive while you were still in Omarska, before you left for
4 A. Who do you mean?
5 Q. Becir.
6 A. I don't know that. I said that he fell and he remained on the
8 Q. Since you spent your whole life in the territory of Prijedor
9 municipality, during these wartime events did you encounter or did you
10 meet somebody called Zeljko Timarac and Zoran Vokic?
11 A. I may have just heard of them but I don't know them personally.
12 Q. After the war ended -- I'm not going to ask you where you resided
13 nor where you are residing now. Five years have gone by, a little less.
14 In that time period, did you come across in the newspaper or any TV
15 network the image of Zoran Zigic?
16 A. No, never.
17 Q. One more question. Do you know Abdulah Brkic, a taxi driver from
19 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the answer. I'm sorry.
20 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. You said that Duca Knezevic injured Becir Medunjanin's nose in the
22 "white house."
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. After those injuries or, rather, before those injuries, what kind
25 of nose did Becir Medunjanin have?
1 A. A normal nose.
2 Q. Let me ask you -- I hope you don't mind -- you pointed to Zoran
3 Zigic in the courtroom, you described the clothes he was wearing. Would
4 you say that his hair was natural, or is it dyed?
5 A. It's natural.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. May I add something? You would never forget him either if you had
8 been in my place.
9 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
10 further questions.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Tosic.
12 Mr. Saxon, do you have any re-examination?
13 I beg your pardon. I understood that you were about to say that
14 you have no questions, Mr. Jovan Simic.
15 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] You've quite right, Your Honour.
16 We do not have any questions.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much anyway. You
18 have to say it though.
19 Mr. Saxon, your turn.
20 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. Very briefly.
21 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
22 Q. Mr. Avdagic, regarding the incident where you were beaten in the
23 room marked as A3 inside the "white house," do you personally recall the
24 date of that incident?
25 A. Yes. The 16th of June, 1992.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 Q. Why do you recall the date of that incident?
2 A. Because that was the day I left the "white house" and Omarska and
3 returned to Prijedor.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Court's indulgence.
6 Thank you very much, Your Honour. At this time the Prosecution
7 has no further questions.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Saxon.
9 Judge Fouad Riad.
10 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Avdagic, good morning.
13 A. Good morning.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Can you hear me?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Just one question concerning what happened in
17 room A3 of the "white house," and you mentioned that Zoran Zigic was
18 present. Could you tell us if he was directing the movement during this
19 beating, the beating of Dalija Hrnjak and Becir? Did he have any positive
20 role more than the others or less than the others?
21 A. Yes. He and Duca had the same role. The other two listened to
22 what the two of them were ordering, the two young men.
23 JUDGE RIAD: For instance, you mentioned that somebody gave an
24 order when Becir ran out. They said, "Bring him back alive. Don't
25 shoot." Was it Zoran Zigic who did that? Was he really the man who
1 directed this scene?
2 A. Yes, Zigic and Duca.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Did he interfere sometimes to stop some of the
4 beating or he never stopped anybody?
5 A. I didn't have occasion to see him do that. But on that occasion,
6 in the "white house," they were enjoying beating us.
7 JUDGE RIAD: He ordered others to beat, or he beat, himself?
8 A. He beat, himself, and he ordered the others. Both he and Duca.
9 JUDGE RIAD: And they obeyed him.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge Fouad
14 Madam Judge Wald.
15 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Avdagic, you said that when you finally left
16 Omarska, you got driven back to the Prijedor station along with the
17 interrogators and it was about 8.30 at night, I think you said; is that
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 JUDGE WALD: Based on your experience, was that the time of
21 evening that the interrogators usually went home? They came in buses in
22 the morning and they left in buses at night. Based on what you know, is
23 that --
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
1 A. They worked until 7.30 in the evening.
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Now, you also gave us many examples of
3 prisoners, detainees, who were called out and then later carried back to
4 the rooms in bruised and beaten stages. Those call-outs and those
5 beatings, did they happen all during the day, evening, and night, or were
6 they -- did they happen at a particular time of day or evening? Did they
7 go on almost always during the day and evening or were they confined to a
8 particular time, the call-outs and when they brought people back beaten
10 A. At first they only did it at night. Later on they did it during
11 the daytime as well.
12 JUDGE WALD: Okay. What time of day or evening was specifically
13 the beating in which you were a subject that was conducted, you said, by
14 Duca and Zoran Zigic in the "white house"? What time of day or evening
15 was that?
16 A. It was midday.
17 JUDGE WALD: You said that during these many years when you would
18 see Mr. Zigic near his taxi, I think you said near the railway station
19 which was next to the bus station, so that you knew him by sight. Did you
20 ever have any conversation with him? I thought at one point you talked
21 about chatting, but I wasn't sure whether you meant chatting with him or
22 just chatting in general with people that were there. Did you ever
23 exchange words with him during that period?
24 A. No, never.
25 JUDGE WALD: So you never had any conversation with him?
1 A. Never.
2 JUDGE WALD: All right. My last question is: During the time of
3 the beatings in the "white house," did Mr. Zigic ever acknowledge in any
4 way that he recognised you or knew you? You said that they asked for
5 people from Kozarac.
6 A. No.
7 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Wald.
9 Witness, I have only one question for you. How did you learn the
10 name Zigic?
11 A. I said I knew him by sight, but all the prisoners in the "white
12 house" at the time, all of them knew Zoran Zigic. And they all said Zoran
13 Zigic had come and things would be bad.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Even before Zigic arrived at the
15 camp, people were saying that? Even before?
16 A. Yes. They all knew about him.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At any point in time during your
18 conversations with other taxi drivers, was the name Zigic ever mentioned?
19 A. They may have mentioned the name as of the other taxi drivers,
20 when they would get together, have a cup of coffee and talk.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have another question. The
22 Prosecutor and Defence attorneys and the Judges have asked you questions.
23 Is there anything else that you would like to say that has not been asked
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You know, there would be so many
1 things to be said. The war was terrible. This would take us a great deal
2 of time.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Yes,
4 it's a long story, I know that.
5 Mr. Saxon, I think we have some exhibits to deal with.
6 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour. At this time, if there is no
7 objection, the Prosecution would move for the admission of exhibits marked
8 as 3/105, 3/106, and 3/107. Thank you.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] From the Defence, is there any
11 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We have no objection
12 regarding the Prosecutor's proposal, but we would like to suggest --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic, when you say there
14 are no objections, are you speaking in your own name or on behalf of all
15 Defence counsel?
16 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] On behalf of all Defence counsel.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
18 much. You may be seated. So these exhibits have been admitted into
20 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour. I got on
21 my feet and you asked me whether we had any objections to the exhibits
22 tendered by the Prosecution, but we, on behalf of Zoran Zigic, would
23 tender the statement of this witness as Defence Exhibit D5/1, but not all
24 of it, only pages 4 and 5 of that statement, and paragraphs 610 and 612,
25 and on page 5, paragraphs 2, 3, 5, and 7.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic, excuse me for
2 interrupting you. Are you going to cut the statement up to have only
3 these parts admitted, or are you tendering the whole statement?
4 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in order to economise and
5 to facilitate the work of Their Honours, it would be more economical to
6 separate only these paragraphs. But we don't mind if the whole statement
7 is admitted. We leave it to Your Honours to decide.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It has to do with a decision
9 that we are going to bring this afternoon. I think that the paragraphs
10 that interest you were read are in the transcript in quotation marks. It
11 is in the record, so why do we need to tender into evidence the statement
12 if these paragraphs are already in the record? In any case, you are
13 asking for the statement to be admitted.
14 Let us hear the opinion of the Prosecution and then we'll decide.
15 Mr. Saxon, what is your reaction? Do you have any objection or
17 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution has no objection if the
18 entire statement is admitted as a whole. I certainly don't want to walk
19 down a path that we've already walked down quite substantially already.
20 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Our suggestion, then, would be for the
21 whole statement to be admitted, if the Prosecutor has no objection, until
22 we resolve that matter at the Status Conference. So may the whole
23 statement be admitted the for the time being, and then we'll see how we
24 will proceed in future during these proceedings.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber doesn't consider it
2 necessary to tender the statement into evidence since the relevant
3 paragraphs of interest to the Zigic Defence have been read and entered
4 into the record. So it is not necessary to tender this statement, and,
5 therefore, the Chamber will not admit that statement into evidence,
6 neither partially nor as a whole. What is of interest for the Defence is
7 already in the transcript, so it is not necessary to admit the statement.
8 Witness, you have finished your testimony here at the
9 International Criminal Tribunal. We thank you very much for coming and we
10 wish you a happy journey to your place of residence. I am going to ask
11 the usher to escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you very much.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic, I have to apologise.
15 But so as to make things quite clear, did you mention a number for that
16 statement? Could you repeat it, please?
17 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] DP/1.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] D5/1. Madam Registrar?
19 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I apologise. We
20 suggested it should be DP/1, or for the registrar to determine the number
21 under which it can be tendered.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The number will be D1/4A for the English version
23 and then D1/4B for B/C/S.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Saxon.
25 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but the Prosecution is
1 confused. We understood that there would not be a statement admitted.
2 I'm not quite sure what the numbering refers to that we're speaking
4 THE REGISTRAR: It's just a number --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but we have to say that
6 such and such an exhibit number has not been admitted. We have to give it
7 a number and then say that it hasn't been admitted, and that is why I
8 wanted to clear up the point. Therefore, the exhibit -- thank you very
9 much, Mr. Saxon -- the exhibit referred to by the Defence was D1/4, which
10 has not been admitted.
11 I think this is a most appropriate moment for a break before the
12 next testimony. So we're going to have a half-hour break now.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.59 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.33 p.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The accused may be seated, thank
16 you, while we're waiting for Mr. Radic. Yes, you may be seated. Thank
18 Ms. Hollis.
19 MS. HOLLIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Ermin Strikovic.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Strikovic.
23 Can you hear me? Will you please read the solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: ERMIN STRIKOVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated. Are you
4 comfortable, Mr. Strikovic?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Mr. Strikovic,
7 you will first answer questions that will put to you by Ms. Hollis.
8 Ms. Hollis, you have the floor.
9 MS. HOLLIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Examined by Ms. Hollis:
11 Q. Sir, would you please state your name.
12 A. Ermin Strikovic.
13 Q. What is your ethnicity?
14 A. I'm a Bosniak Muslim.
15 Q. Would you please tell the Court your date of birth and your place
16 of birth?
17 A. I was born on the 15th of July, 1957, in Zenica.
18 Q. In 1992, where did you live?
19 A. In Kozarac.
20 Q. How long had you lived there?
21 A. Since 1985 until 1992; seven years in total.
22 Q. What was your occupation?
23 A. I was in charge of the transport of goods and passengers in the
24 company called Autoservis, which was a department of the mine company
1 Q. You testified that you lived in Kozarac. Where was it that you
3 A. I worked in Prijedor.
4 Q. How long had you worked there?
5 A. For nine years.
6 Q. In 1992, were you married to Azra Blazevic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What is her ethnicity?
9 A. She's a Bosniak Muslim.
10 Q. What was her occupation in 1992?
11 A. Veterinarian.
12 Q. In 1992, did you have two children?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. What were their ages?
15 A. My daughter was six years old and my son was two years old.
16 Q. What property did you have in 1992?
17 A. I had a house which was not finished; it was in Prijedor. I had a
18 two-room apartment, fully furnished, in Kozarac, and I had a brand new
20 Q. On the 26th of May of 1992, did the Muslim inhabitants of Kozarac
21 turn themselves over to the Bosnian Serbs?
22 A. Yes, they did.
23 Q. On that date, did you drive an ambulance from Kozarac to Prijedor?
24 A. Yes, on that date I was driving an ambulance.
25 Q. What were the ages of the wounded people you had in your
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
2 A. There was a boy who was nine years old, but there were adults up
3 to the age of 50.
4 Q. What was the ethnicity of these people?
5 A. They were Muslims.
6 Q. If you know, how had these people been wounded?
7 A. They were wounded as a consequence of the shelling of Kozarac.
8 Q. Now, on this date, the 26th day of May, after you drove your
9 ambulance to Prijedor, were you arrested?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where were you taken when you were arrested?
12 A. I was taken to the police station in Prijedor.
13 Q. Were you told why you had been arrested?
14 A. No.
15 Q. While you were at the police station in Prijedor, was any type of
16 statement taken from you?
17 A. Yes, I gave a statement.
18 Q. Did you sign that statement?
19 A. No, I didn't sign it.
20 Q. Did you have the opportunity to read that statement?
21 A. No, I did not.
22 Q. On the 26th of May, were you also taken to Keraterm camp?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On the night of 27/28 May, were you taken to the Omarska camp?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened upon your arrival at the Omarska camp?
2 A. The buses, because there were several of them, around ten, came to
3 a halt in front of the administration building of the Omarska camp. We
4 were getting out of the bus with our hands on our heads, and we had to
5 pass through the line of soldiers and policemen. The area around the
6 administration building of the Omarska camp was lit up. So we entered the
7 building and found ourselves in a room which was used as a changing room
8 for the workers before.
9 Q. Now, sir, as you passed through this line of soldiers and
10 policemen, were you physically abused, or were any of the other detainees
11 physically abused?
12 A. For myself personally, I can say that I was not physically
14 Q. Do you know if any of the other men were physically abused?
15 A. Yes, I know that they were.
16 Q. In addition to the physical abuse, was there any verbal abuse as
17 you went through this line?
18 A. Yes, there was verbal abuse as well.
19 Q. What was said to you as you went through this line?
20 A. As we were going through the line, one could hear curses,
21 something to the effect -- well, I can actually quote them. They cursed
22 our Muslim mothers. They were laughing at us, saying, "Why have you
23 surrendered? Why didn't you fight?" There were other comments coming
24 from the line as well, people who said something to the effect, "It
25 doesn't really matter. This way it's much better. It's better that you
1 have surrendered. It will be much easier for us to kill you than if you
2 had been fighting."
3 Q. Now, you said that you went into the building, the administration
4 building, into a room of that building. Is that where you spent your
5 first night?
6 A. Yes, this is where I spent the first night.
7 MS. HOLLIS: If the witness could please be shown 3/77A.
8 Q. Sir, I would ask you to take a moment to look at this diagram to
9 orient yourself. And then please, if you would, take the pointer that is
10 on the desk, and would you point for the Judges to this room that you were
11 held in this first night.
12 A. On this diagram, the room where I was, that is, where we were, on
13 the first night in Omarska is marked as A9.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, how long were you held in that room?
15 A. For two or three days.
16 Q. After that two or three days, were you then taken for
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. After your interrogation, where were you taken?
20 A. After the interrogation, I was taken to a room referred by us as
21 the garage. It was also part of the administration building of the
22 Omarska camp.
23 Q. Sir, if you would look at the diagram again and if you would point
24 to the room you call the garage.
25 A. On this diagram, the room that we called the garage is designated
1 as A1.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. HOLLIS: The exhibit can be returned.
4 Q. Mr. Strikovic, this first night that you were held in the room you
5 identified as A9, do you recall seeing a man in that room by the name of
7 A. I have to say, first of all, that I can't hear the interpreter
8 very well. I have understood your question, but I cannot hear very well
9 the interpreter. Yes, yes, I can hear you now.
10 Q. So it's all right now?
11 A. Yes, it is all right. But would you be so kind and repeat your
12 question, please.
13 Q. Certainly. This first night that you were in the camp, when you
14 were held in this room you have identified as room A9, do you recall
15 seeing in that room a man by the name of Ahil?
16 A. Yes, I remember seeing a man by the name of Ahil.
17 Q. Did you know Ahil before you were brought to Omarska camp?
18 A. Yes, I knew him.
19 Q. To your knowledge, where did Ahil live?
20 A. Yes, I know that.
21 Q. I'm sorry. Where did he live?
22 A. He lived in Kozarac.
23 Q. What was his ethnicity?
24 A. He was a Bosniak Muslim.
25 Q. Now, this first night that you were in room A9 with Ahil, did you
1 see him physically abused that night?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Did you recognise who it was who was abusing him?
4 A. Yes, I did. He was being abused by a man in uniform whom
5 everybody called Cigo.
6 Q. This uniform that Cigo was wearing, what kind of uniform was it?
7 A. It was a uniform that was olive-grey in colour, which resembled
8 the uniform of the former Yugoslav People's Army.
9 Q. What did you observe Cigo do to Ahil?
10 A. Cigo was armed with an automatic rifle. So he was hitting him
11 with this rifle, and the last thing that I could observe was that he hit
12 him with the barrel of his automatic rifle on his head, on Ahil's head.
13 As a result of that blow, Ahil fell down on the floor.
14 Q. What did Cigo do after that?
15 A. Cigo left the room.
16 Q. Now, while Cigo was out of the room, did you have an opportunity
17 to observe Ahil's condition?
18 A. Yes, I did. The room was lit. Ahil was laying down on the floor
19 motionless, and one could see that he was bleeding from his head.
20 Q. Now, did Cigo eventually come back into the room?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What happened when he came back into the room?
23 A. He dragged out Ahil's body, dragged it out of the room.
24 Q. After Ahil was dragged out of this room, did you ever see Ahil
25 again, either alive or dead?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where did you see him?
3 A. I saw his body. It was lying in front of the "white house," in
4 front of the building that we referred to as the "white house," we in
6 Q. When you saw his body, how were you able to recognise him?
7 A. I could recognise it by his clothes, by the way he looked.
8 Q. When you saw his body, did you see any signs of life in that body?
9 A. No, there were no signs of life.
10 Q. After that day, did you ever see Ahil again?
11 A. No, I never saw him again.
12 Q. Now, you've testified about this man Cigo. How was it that you
13 knew Cigo before coming to Omarska?
14 A. I didn't have any personal contact with that man. I simply knew
15 him by sight.
16 Q. If you know, what was his ethnic group?
17 A. He was a Serb.
18 Q. After this first night in that room, how often, if ever, did you
19 see him in Omarska?
20 A. I didn't see him very often. Actually, I saw him occasionally,
22 Q. In the Omarska camp?
23 A. Yes, in the Omarska camp.
24 Q. Now, to your knowledge, was he a member of the regular camp staff
25 at Omarska?
1 A. As far as I know, he was not a member of the regular personnel of
2 the Omarska camp.
3 Q. You testified that after a few days in this room, A9, you were
4 taken for interrogation. Did you know any of the people who interrogated
6 A. Yes, I knew one of the two interrogators that interrogated me.
7 Q. Who was that?
8 A. It was Inspector Modic.
9 Q. How did you know him?
10 A. I knew Inspector Modic personally because before 1992, we had
11 contact; that is, we used to talk in my office concerning the maintenance
12 or repair of some vehicles.
13 Q. Now, you called him "Inspector Modic." To your knowledge, what
14 was his occupation?
15 A. I think that his occupation was inspector. He was an inspector at
16 the Prijedor SUP, that is, the police department of Prijedor.
17 Q. During this interrogation were you physically abused?
18 A. No, I wasn't physically abused.
19 Q. Were you told why you were in the Omarska camp?
20 A. No, I wasn't told that.
21 Q. Was any sort of statement taken from you?
22 A. Yes, they took a statement from me.
23 Q. Now, did you have an opportunity to read that statement?
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. Did you sign that statement?
1 A. No, I didn't sign it.
2 Q. Now, you've indicated that after your interrogation you were held
3 in the garage, which you indicated was A1 on the diagram. How long were
4 you held in the garage?
5 A. For about two or three days. I don't remember exactly how long.
6 Q. While you were held in this garage, how often, if ever, were you
7 given any food or water?
8 A. During that period of time that I spent in the garage, that is,
9 for about two or three days, we received only one meal.
10 Q. How much food did you receive when you got this one meal?
11 A. It was a piece of bread.
12 Q. How was this meal provided to the prisoners? Were you allowed to
13 leave the room? Was it brought to the room?
14 A. The food that was distributed to us in the garage was given to us
15 in the following way: The groups of five people would go outside -- five
16 or eight, I don't remember exactly -- and we would take the food outside.
17 We had to eat it very quickly and then return to the garage so that the
18 next group could come out.
19 Q. How often were you given water while you were held in this garage?
20 A. During my stay in the garage we never received any water.
21 Q. Other than this one time you were allowed outside to eat this
22 bread, were there any other times you were allowed outside this garage?
23 A. No.
24 Q. What was the temperature like inside this garage while you were
25 held there?
1 A. It was very hot.
2 Q. Were you allowed to open the windows or to open the door to the
4 A. The door to the garage was always closed. And outside the door,
5 the guards were deployed, and on their orders, we had to close the windows
6 on the garage.
7 Q. What was the impact of the heat and the conditions in that room on
8 the people detained in that room?
9 A. It was stuffy. We needed air. It was very hot. The place was
10 crowded. There were many of us in the garage and there was not enough
11 air. The conditions were critical.
12 Q. After you were held in the garage, where were you taken?
13 A. After the garage, I was taken to a room which belonged to the part
14 of the Omarska compound that they called the repair shop. And we, as the
15 detainees of Omarska, called it the large room, amongst ourselves, the big
17 Q. Now, this building that was called the repair shop, was it also
18 referred to as the hangar building?
19 A. Yes. Yes, we also called it the hangar.
20 Q. On what floor of the hangar were you held?
21 A. On the first floor.
22 MS. HOLLIS: If the witness could please be shown 3/77D.
23 Q. Sir, if you would take a moment to look at that to orient
24 yourself, and then if you would point to the room that you have referred
25 to as the big room.
1 MS. HOLLIS: Could that be placed on there so that all of the
2 rooms can be seen. Could the usher straighten it. Thank you.
3 A. On this sketch, the big room is marked with the number "B," I
4 think it says "14."
5 Q. Sir, how long were you held in this big room?
6 A. About 30 days. Yes, B14.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, after you were held in the big room for about 30
8 days, where were you next held in the camp?
9 A. In a place we called the pista.
10 Q. How long were you held there?
11 A. About ten days.
12 Q. After that where were you held?
13 A. In a room we called number 15.
14 Q. Where was that room located, in what building?
15 A. The room was in the workshop building or the hangar, on the first
16 floor of that building.
17 Q. Looking again at this diagram, could you show the Judges where
18 this room is located that you called room 15?
19 A. On this diagram, the room we called 15 is marked as B7.
20 Q. Sir, as you look at this diagram, if you see a room that is marked
21 as B23, could you tell us what was in that area?
22 A. B23, on this diagram, were the toilets and bathrooms.
23 Q. That was part of the room B7?
24 A. Yes, part of the room B7.
25 Q. Thank you.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 MS. HOLLIS: Now, I will be returning to the use of that diagram,
2 so perhaps the usher could leave it there but the usher could be seated.
3 Q. Now, you indicated that you were held in this big room for about
4 30 days. How many other people were held in that big room with you?
5 A. We could estimate with some precision because we were taken out in
6 groups of 30 for lunch, and on the number of groups we had, we knew that
7 there were about 620 prisoners there.
8 Q. Did you know any of these other prisoners in this big room?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Of those that you knew, what was their ethnicity?
11 A. They were all Bosniaks, Muslims.
12 Q. How often were you allowed to go outside this big room?
13 A. Once a day.
14 Q. Now, you also testified that you were held for a period of time in
15 this room you call room 15, which is B7 on the diagram. What were the
16 conditions in this room 15 when you were held there?
17 A. In the room that we referred to as number 15, or B7 on the
18 diagram, the conditions were the same as in all the other places where I
19 was held in the Omarska camp, which means overcrowded, not enough room to
20 sit down or lie down. There was nothing -- no covers that we could use.
21 We sat or lay on the concrete. There were absolutely no facilities or
22 personal hygiene, or any hygiene for that matter. In other words, the
23 conditions were the same as all the other locations where I was held in
24 the Omarska camp.
25 Q. Mr. Strikovic, I'd now like to ask you some questions about
1 personnel who worked in Omarska camp.
2 Did you know any of these camp personnel? Had you known them
3 either by sight or through personal contact before being taken to Omarska
5 A. I have already said or, rather, mentioned that among the camp
6 personnel, I personally knew, through personal contact, Inspector Modic.
7 I also knew an inspector called Dragan Radakovic. I had personal contacts
8 with him before 1992. I knew him well.
9 As for the other personnel in charge of security of the camp at
10 Omarska, I knew by sight a man they called Krkan.
11 Q. Now, this name Krkan, to your knowledge, is this a proper name or
12 is this a nickname?
13 A. It was a nickname.
14 Q. You mentioned you knew Dragan Radakovic. How did you know him?
15 A. He was my teacher in elementary school.
16 Q. You indicated that you called him "Inspector Radakovic." What was
17 his role in the Omarska camp?
18 A. He was an interrogator.
19 Q. What was his ethnic group?
20 A. Serb.
21 Q. This person by the nickname of Krkan, how did you know him by
22 sight before you were taken to the camp?
23 A. I had no personal contact with him ever. I never spoke to him,
24 but I simply knew him, knew his appearance, from before 1992.
25 Q. Where is it that you would see him before you were taken to
2 A. Before I was taken to Omarska, I would usually see him in police
4 Q. In what parts of opstina Prijedor would you see him?
5 A. I said in Kozarac.
6 Q. If you can tell the Judges, how frequently would you see him
7 before being taken to Omarska?
8 A. Sufficiently frequently.
9 Q. What was his occupation?
10 A. He was a policeman.
11 Q. What was his ethnicity?
12 A. A Serb.
13 Q. Now, while you were held in Omarska in this room that you called
14 the big room, how often, if ever, did you see this man Krkan?
15 A. Yes, I would see him.
16 Q. How often would you see him while you were held in this big room?
17 A. I can say with certainty that I would see him every other day.
18 Q. Where was it that you would see him while you were held in this
19 big room?
20 A. I mentioned a moment ago that we were taken from the big room
21 outside once a day for lunch, to the restaurant premises which was in the
22 next-door building. The organisation of going for lunch was such that we
23 had to be lined up in the hangar in groups of roughly 30 men, and lined up
24 like that, we would wait for the previous group to finish their meal and
25 then we would start, this lined-up group would get started. While I was
1 waiting like that, while we were waiting like that in the garage, I had
2 occasion to see Krkan walking around the detainees of the Omarska camp who
3 had been lined up, or standing at a certain distance and watching what was
4 going on.
5 Q. So this is what you saw him do inside the hangar building, up on
6 the first floor?
7 A. No. This is the hangar building. But not on the first floor, on
8 the ground floor of the hangar building.
9 Q. Then once you went outside for your lunch, did you ever see Krkan
10 out there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you saw him when you were outside, what would he be doing?
13 A. Usually he would walk around, talk to the guards, stand there,
14 watch. I can't define exactly what he was doing, what his job was. All I
15 can say is that I saw him walk around within the Omarska compound, have a
16 talk possibly with one of the guards, and things like that.
17 Q. Now, you also testified that you were held on the pista for a
18 period of about ten days. During the time you were held on the pista, how
19 often, if ever, did you see Krkan?
20 A. I can again give you the same answer. I would see him frequently,
21 every other day. I would see him on the pista. I would see him entering
22 the administration building of the Omarska mines. I would see him in
23 front of the house that we called the "white house." Once I saw him enter
24 the "white house." And that's it.
25 Q. When you saw him while you were on the pista, what would he be
1 doing? You've indicated that you would see him by the administration
2 building; you saw him by the "white house." What would he be doing when
3 you saw him?
4 A. Nothing special. Mostly walking around, looking around or,
5 rather, supervising things, overlooking things; a possible talk with one
6 of the guards of Omarska. Nothing specific. I can't tell you anything
7 more than I have just said.
8 Q. Now, while you were detained in this room you called room 15, how
9 often did you see him?
10 A. While I was in the room we called number 15, and it is marked as
11 B7, I think, on this diagram, as far as I can recollect, I saw him twice;
12 once in the corridor that linked the room marked as B7 on this diagram and
13 B1. We called room B1 the small room. When I say "we," I mean the
14 detainees or prisoners at the Omarska camp.
15 The first time I saw him, and that was while we were going for
16 lunch or leaving room B7, he was standing in the corridor and talking to
17 someone in a room marked on this diagram as B27 or B26. I am not sure
18 which. The second time I saw him, he was standing in the corridor linking
19 these two mentioned rooms, and he was overlooking the prisoners' departure
20 for lunch.
21 Q. Now, sir, just for clarification, if you could take the pointer
22 and point for us to the room you have called the room B1, the small room.
23 A. The room marked as B1 on this diagram was known as the small room
24 or number 2 by the detainees of Omarska.
25 Q. If you could show us this hallway where you say on two occasions
1 you saw Krkan, if you could use the pointer and point to that.
2 A. This is the hallway linking number 15 and the small room.
3 Q. If you could point to these two rooms you have mentioned, either
4 B26 or B27.
5 A. B26 or B27.
6 Q. To your knowledge, what were these rooms used for, B26 and B27?
7 A. Those were rooms where the guards stayed, the guards who were
8 responsible for these rooms, B7 and B1, for this part of the Omarska
9 camp. The guards were there who were responsible for that part of the
11 Q. When you saw Krkan in Omarska camp, what kind of clothing did he
13 A. He wore a blue police uniform.
14 Q. What kind of weapons, if any, did he carry when you saw him?
15 A. Yes, he always carried a weapon. He was armed with an automatic
17 Q. If you know, what was Krkan's position in the camp?
18 A. I do know. He was the leader of one of the shifts.
19 Q. One of the shifts. By "one of the shifts," what do you mean?
20 What kind of shift?
21 A. The organisation of security or the guard service of the Omarska
22 camp consisted of three shifts of guards who worked in shifts of 12 hours
23 each. Krkan was the superior to one of those three shifts.
24 Q. Now, would you please tell the Judges why it is you concluded that
25 Krkan was the superior of one of these guard shifts?
1 A. Together with me in the room marked as B14, and we called it the
2 big room, a man called Fazlic was detained; I don't recall his first
3 name. I learned from Fazlic, directly from him, that Krkan was head of
4 one of those shifts, because he would always be taken out of the big room
5 and, as he said himself, he would be given an additional meal thanks to
6 his best man, Krkan.
7 Q. What do you mean "his best man, Krkan"? What was the relationship
8 between these two men?
9 A. They were kums or best man at each other weddings, or one of the
11 Q. And Fazlic, what was his ethnic group?
12 A. He was a Bosniak, a Muslim.
13 Q. Do you know where he lived?
14 A. He lived in a part of Kozarac called Suhi Brod.
15 Q. Now, in addition to what this man Fazlic told you about Krkan, did
16 you yourself observe anything to indicate to you that Krkan was a superior
17 of a shift?
18 A. Let me go back to the way the security was organised in the
19 Omarska camp, or rather the guards, how they were organised. The guards
20 always had particular positions where they stood guard and where one could
21 see them, and that means we, as detainees. Krkan, however, moved around
22 the whole territory of the compound and one could see him in all parts of
23 the Omarska camp. So he wasn't linked to one particular position, which,
24 in my opinion, is one of the indicators that he was the commander of one
25 of the shifts.
1 Q. While you were in Omarska, what reaction would you have when you
2 knew that Krkan's shift was working?
3 A. After seven or ten days in Omarska, and in view of the fact that
4 the organisation of the security in Omarska was always the same, we
5 learned very quickly which shift was on duty at what time. When Krkan's
6 shift took over, we would be instilled with fear, we were afraid. We were
7 afraid of that shift. We feared the guards working in that shift, and we
8 had reason for it.
9 Q. What was the reason?
10 A. In the shift led by Krkan, there were the most cases of beatings,
11 mistreatment, call-outs, people being taken from those rooms who are
12 missing to this day. Actually, all those who were taken out, or called
13 out and taken out from the Omarska camp are still listed by the State
14 Commission of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as missing.
15 Q. Now, what would you yourself do to try to determine what the
16 conduct of the guards on Krkan's shift would be? When his shift would
17 come on, how would you try to determine what that conduct would be?
18 A. Brutal.
19 Q. Were there any indicators to you as to whether the shift would be
20 more or less brutal?
21 A. Well, you see, among the prisoners of the Omarska camp, there was
22 a customary way of talking when Krkan's shift took over: "Have you seen
23 Krkan? What kind of mood is he in?" What our night is going to be like,
24 that's what we discussed.
25 Q. So you would discussed what type of mood he would be in in order
1 to determine what the conduct would be?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you come to recognise the guards who worked on Krkan's shift?
4 A. Yes, we knew exactly which guards were in Krkan's shift, what they
5 looked like.
6 Q. Now, as far as your personal observation, how often, if ever, did
7 you see any of the guards on Krkan's shift abuse detainees?
8 A. Actual direct viewing of mistreatment of prisoners was not
9 possible. Whenever this was happening, when people were mistreated, we
10 were detained, we were shut up. But what is without doubt and what we all
11 experienced in the Omarska camp without needing to see anything were the
12 cries, the moans, the blows, people going away who used to lie next to me,
13 who were in the same room with me and who never returned.
14 Q. Did you know a man by the name of Silvije Saric before going to
15 the Omarska camp?
16 A. Silvije Saric. Yes, I did.
17 Q. To your knowledge, what was his ethnicity?
18 A. He was a Croat.
19 Q. Were you held in the same room with him at Omarska?
20 A. Yes, in the room known as the big room.
21 Q. While you were held with him in the big room, did you ever see him
22 called out from that room?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. What was his condition on his return?
25 A. He was beaten up. He could hardly walk.
1 Q. Do you know what shift was on duty when he was called out of that
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Which shift was that?
5 A. Krkan's.
6 Q. Did you know a person by the name of Emir Karabasic?
7 A. Yes, I did. We were friends.
8 Q. Where was he from?
9 A. From Kozarac.
10 Q. Were you held in the same room with him in Omarska?
11 A. Yes, in the same room, the room known as number 15 -- no, I'm
12 sorry, big room, the big room.
13 Q. Was he ever called out while you were both held in the big room?
14 A. Yes, he was called out twice.
15 Q. The first time he was called out, what was his condition when he
16 was brought back?
17 A. He was beaten up, and all of us could see that who were in the big
18 room. He returned after being called out without his shirt or vest, so he
19 was naked from the waist up. On his back, we could see bruises all over
20 his back, red and blue. He was physically a very strong man, very fit,
21 and he managed those beatings and he came back into the room without
22 anyone's assistance. When he reached his place, the place where he lay,
23 he had no more strength and he simply fell, collapsed.
24 Q. Did you know a person by the name of Vasif Alihodzic?
25 A. I did.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 French and English transcripts.
1 Q. How did you know him?
2 A. We were friends. He was a resident of Kozarac.
3 Q. What was his occupation?
4 A. He was an entrepreneur, the owner of a small transportation firm.
5 Q. What was his ethnicity?
6 A. He was a Bosniak, a Muslim.
7 Q. Were you held in the same room with him in Omarska?
8 A. Yes. For a time we were together in the room we called the big
10 Q. Do you recall his being taken out of that room?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Were you able to recognise who called him out or took him out?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you see him after he was called out?
15 A. Never again.
16 Q. To your knowledge, what shift was on duty that night that he was
17 called out?
18 A. To my knowledge, it was Krkan's shift.
19 Q. Why do you say that?
20 A. Because we all knew -- when I say "all," I mean the majority of
21 the detainees of the Omarska camp -- when which shift was on duty. It
22 took us a short while to learn about those shifts. There were three
23 shifts, and we would see them when going for lunch, when waiting in the
24 area between the "white house" and the workshop. We had occasion to see
25 which guards were on duty, which shift was on duty. On that day, we also
1 saw which shift and which guards were on duty.
2 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, I have two more incidents and some
3 personal questions for the witness, and then I'll be finished with the
4 witness. So what do Your Honours prefer, that we stop now, that we finish
5 the direct?
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] How much time do you need,
7 Ms. Hollis, more or less?
8 MS. HOLLIS: I think perhaps 15 or 20 minutes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. It's better for us to stop
11 So, Witness, we're going to see you again tomorrow. I will ask
12 the usher to escort the witness to the door, please.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we are going to meet again at
15 4.00, as envisaged. Yes, I understand a public session; therefore, in
17 Mr. Nikolic, was that your question?
18 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 2.34 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
22 the 5th day of July, 2000, at 9.30 a.m.