1 Monday, 28 August 2000
2 Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The accused may be seated while
6 they're waiting for the others. Thank you. You may be seated,
7 Mr. Kvocka. Mr. Radic, you may be seated.
8 Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I think we are now ready to
9 proceed. And to continue hearing this case. I should like to ask the
10 registrar to call the case. Please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, good morning, Your Honour. The case number
12 is IT-98-30/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Kvocka, Kos, Radic, Zigic and
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I see some
15 new faces amongst the Prosecution team. Could Mr. Keegan introduce his
16 colleagues, please.
17 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, good morning. Thank you, Your Honour. For the
18 Prosecution, I'm Michael Keegan; I'm assisted by Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne,
19 Mr. Douglas Stringer, and our case manager Ms. Denise Guston.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Let me ask
21 the Defence to introduce themselves. Mr. Krstan Simic, good morning, can
22 I have the appearances.
23 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour,
24 Mr. Kvocka is represented by the same defence team, myself as the team
25 leader and Mr. Lukic as my co-counsel.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Krstan
2 Simic. Mr. Nikolic.
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. This
4 Defence team is in the disadvantageous position. Mrs. Nikolic could not
5 appear on behalf of the defence team but she will be back in a couple of
6 days. Pursuant to an approval of the registrar, we have here Ms. Lydija
7 Krnajac who will be helping myself and Mr. O'Sullivan, and I should also
8 like to ask you and your colleagues to approve of her presence in the
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
11 Mr. Nikolic. You may be seated. Mr. Fila.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, my name is
13 Toma Fila and together with Mr. Zoran Jovanovic I am representing the
14 accused Mr. Radic.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have seen a decision by the
16 registrar whereby the Defence team of Mr. Zigic has been changed.
17 Mr. Jovanovic is now the main counsel for Mr. Zigic. Mr. Stojanovic.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
19 name is Slobodan Stojanovic, I'm an attorney at law from Belgrade and I am
20 together here with my colleague Mr. Simo Tosic, an attorney at law from
21 Banja Luka. They haven't been there for any significant changes as
22 regards the composition of this team. I am now the lead counsel and
23 Mr. Tosic is my co-counsel. That has been the only change as far as the
24 composition is concerned. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 Mr. Simic.
2 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
3 name is Jovan Simic, I am an attorney at law from Belgrade and together
4 with Mr. Masic, I am representing Mr. Prcac in this case.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, gentlemen.
6 After a very long break we will continue hearing this case. I should like
7 to ask a preliminary question before we call our next witness in. We have
8 two motions that have been submitted by the Prosecutor. There has been a
9 motion for protective measures by the Prosecutor, and also a motion to
10 change the list of witnesses. We should perhaps review them or discuss
11 them. First of all, the motion for a change of order in the list of
12 witnesses and the motion for protective measures. I do not wish to dwell
13 too long on these two motions. I just want to know whether we need to
14 have a Status Conference, perhaps tomorrow, not today in any case, but
15 tomorrow, because we need some time before we organise this Status
16 Conference if it is necessary to organise it. I should therefore like to
17 ask the Defence counsel if they have any objections to raise as regards
18 these two motions submitted by the Prosecutor.
19 If you have any objections, then in that case we will have to have
20 a Status Conference. If you do not object to the said motions, then we
21 can perhaps proceed without the Status Conference. I will give the floor
22 to Mr. Krstan Simic. I don't know whether he will be speaking on behalf
23 of the defence team as a whole. Oh, Mr. O'Sullivan will take the floor.
24 Is Mr. O'Sullivan going to speak on behalf of all members of the Defence
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour, very briefly. In regards to
2 the proposed change in witnesses, the -- on behalf of Kos we filed a
3 response, our opposition to that motion, which apparently you have not yet
4 received. It was filed. So you should be getting it today, I should
5 think. And it may be dealt with more appropriately in a Status Conference
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Therefore tomorrow at half past
8 three we will have a Status Conference to discuss this request or, rather,
9 a motion. It is a rather urgent matter because if we have witnesses that
10 we need to call related to these motions, they have to be decided upon.
11 So tomorrow at half past three we will have a Status Conference to discuss
12 the said motions.
13 Mr. Keegan, you may now proceed with your case and let us not
14 waste any more time.
15 MR. KEEGAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. Stringer will take the
16 first witness, Mr. Murcehajic.
17 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, and Your Honours.
18 Greetings also to counsel. The Prosecutor at this time calls Mr. Sabit
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Murcehajic.
22 Can you hear me?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Would you please read the solemn
25 declaration that the usher is giving you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: SABIT MURCEHAJIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated now. You're
6 now going to answer questions that will be put to you by Mr. Stringer. He
7 is standing on your right-hand side.
8 Mr. Stringer, you have the floor.
9 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Examined by Mr. Stringer:
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, could you please tell the Judges what is the date
13 and place of your birth?
14 A. I was born on the 20th of July, 1952, in Kozarac.
15 Q. And what is your national or ethnic background?
16 A. I'm a Muslim.
17 Q. Did you live in the town of Kozarac in 1992?
18 A. Yes, I lived in Kozarac in 1992, but I would come to Kozarac twice
19 a month. I wasn't there all the time. I was employed as a driver with an
20 international transport company.
21 Q. Did you live most of your life, grow up, in the area of Kozarac
22 and the surrounding areas?
23 A. Yes. I was born in Kozarac. I lived there. I completed my
24 primary education in Kozarac, and that is where I built my house; but
25 other than that, I lived -- I worked in Banja Luka, but I spent my free
1 time in Kozarac.
2 Q. And you say you were employed as a professional truck driver in
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. Sorry. In 1992 were you married? Did you have family, children?
6 A. Yes, I was married. I had a wife and two children, one daughter
7 and one son.
8 Q. Now, in the area of Kozarac or the city of Kozarac itself, can you
9 tell the Judges, please, what was -- if there was one ethnic or national
10 group that was the majority of the population?
11 A. The majority of the population in Kozarac were Muslims, perhaps
12 over 90 per cent. Then there were some Serbs and Croats -- I mean,
13 orthodox people.
14 Q. Now Mr. Murcehajic, I want to direct your attention to the period
15 of May 1992, okay? In May, was there an attack on the area and the town
16 of Kozarac?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. Do you recall the date or the day in which the attack began?
19 A. I believe that it happened on the 23rd or 24th of May in the
20 afternoon hours, around 2.00, perhaps. I wasn't paying much attention to
21 the calendar. It was a long time ago.
22 Q. Now, in the days prior to the attack, did you notice any
23 restrictions that were placed on the ability of people to move from one
24 town or village to another?
25 A. Yes. I myself experienced some problems. I went to work to Banja
1 Luka on two occasions, and I was taken back because the roads were
2 blocked. I was told that I couldn't go through, and that I had to go back
4 Q. It's my understanding that as a result of this, you were
5 essentially sent home from work at some point in May 1992?
6 A. Yes. Around the 18th or the 20th of May, I was driving a truck,
7 and we were transporting some fuel products. It was a kind of a special
8 cargo. And I came back from a mission in Pancevo. I was told by my boss
9 that the road was blocked, and that I should go back home and have some
10 rest, and that he would call me back as soon as the roads are clear again.
11 Q. Okay. And based on your having been out driving in the area, do
12 you know who had blocked the roads?
13 A. I spent most of my working time on the Novi Sad-Pancevo-Belgrade
14 road; and as regards the area of Bosnia, I was working in the area of
15 Velika Kladusa, Bihac, Bosanski Novi, Prijedor, Banja Luka, Gradiska,
16 Dubica. That was the area I was in, I was serving. And I had many
17 missions in that area, so I often went to that area, Bihac, Novi Sad,
18 Belgrade, and in Bosnia the area of Banja Luka.
19 Q. And based on that, then, are you able to tell us who had closed
20 the roads in May of 1992?
21 A. The first checkpoints appeared in the area of Prnjavor at Vucjak
22 where Martiveci's men were, those were the first checkpoints that I could
23 observe. After a while, the checkpoints were set up on most of the key
24 roads leading to Banja Luka, Prnjavor, and Klasnice, for example. There
25 was a checkpoint in the village of Klasnice, and there was another one in
2 Q. And Mr. Murcehajic --
3 A. We also went to the area of Stanari and Doboj.
4 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. Can you tell the Judges who was manning
5 these checkpoints that you came through?
6 A. Those checkpoints were manned by people who were dressed in
7 military uniforms who were carrying weapons. And they had set up
8 barricades which consisted of sandbags, and they were checking on all of
9 the vehicles that were passing through, passenger vehicles and cargo
10 vehicles, trucks.
11 Q. Were they wearing the uniforms of a particular military
12 organisation or army?
13 A. They were mostly military uniforms, both camouflage uniforms and
14 the usual drab olive uniforms.
15 Q. And do they belong to a particular army? Do you know the name of
16 the army that they belong to?
17 A. I think that the uniforms belonged to the Yugoslav People's Army,
18 so they were probably members of the Yugoslav People's Army if they were
19 wearing their uniforms.
20 Q. Now, you mentioned that there was an attack in Kozarac on
21 approximately the 23rd or 24th of May, I believe. What was your location
22 during the attack? Where were you?
23 A. I was at home in the vicinity of my parents' place. We had three
24 houses in one of the same yard that belonged to us.
25 Q. And during the attack, did you join with other inhabitants in your
1 area and stay together in a certain group of houses?
2 A. A few days before that we were told that there were no other
3 options, that the only solution was the war, so we tried to save the
4 civilians during that period of time. We decided to put the elderly and
5 the children in the cellars which could not be hit by grenades. And after
6 a while a war started, we could hear siren warning us, and we decided to
7 send the elderly and the children to the cellars.
8 Q. And Mr. Murcehajic, at this period in time, were you a member of
9 the army or any sort of military organisation?
10 A. I wasn't, no. I did not belong to anything, nor was I a soldier.
11 I'm telling you that seven or eight days before the war broke out, I spent
12 every day driving the truck, and there would be always a military person
13 as a co-driver with me on each one of those trips that I made.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you have any military experience whatsoever?
15 A. No. I was trained for a very short time in the army. I served in
16 1971 and 1972 with Skopje, and I was with the motorised unit. So that I
17 practically spent all my time driving, and I was trained for a very, very
18 short time regarding the military techniques.
19 Q. Okay. So this was your compulsory military service in the early
21 A. Right.
22 Q. Now, at some point, did you and the other people who were in these
23 houses during the attack, did the people leave the houses?
24 A. People, I mean, the houses which were in the open which could be
25 hit by shells, then all people started moving, old people and women
1 starting to a house at the foot of a hill, so as to shelter. There were
2 very few people out in the open on the road or around.
3 Q. At some point, did some of the people surrender to the
5 A. Later on when the attack was announced, the shelling began, and it
6 went on for about two days without interruption, and the shelling stopped,
7 and there was a certain commotion. Some people moved up into the hills
8 and some houses, but a couple of days later I saw some columns and I
9 asked, "What is this?" There were some transistor radios because there
10 was no electricity there, there was no radio or television then, and we
11 were told that an announcement had come from Banja Luka -- from Prijedor
12 that people should slowly form a column and then surrender.
13 Q. All right. Now, do you know any people who in fact did follow
14 those directions and surrender?
15 A. I was in touch, or rather I met two policemen from Kozarac who
16 were moving up the road, and I asked them, "Well what's going on?" and
17 they said, "Well, the notification has come to surrender and to move
18 towards Prijedor," and I asked, "What, you mean all of us?" And they
19 said, "Well, we don't know. We're also trying to establish communication
20 via some radio station or something, but there still lacked any
22 Q. Now, eventually did your mother and some of the elderly people and
23 children decide to surrender?
24 A. After talking to those two policemen and I said, "All we know is
25 that the elderly women and these here can surrender, and as for you, the
1 young ones, I really can't guarantee that you can get through or whether
2 you will be detained somewhere or what."
3 Q. Now, did you and some of the other men decide to surrender or
5 A. After that conversation I asked my father and mother to join the
6 column and surrender and I and my elder brother decided to try to get to
7 Croatia across the Kozara mountain.
8 Q. Okay. Now ultimately your mother did surrender; is that correct?
9 A. Ultimately, I learned from my mother when I saw her again in '93
10 when I united with my family that she had joined the column and
11 surrendered, and father had decided to stay at home. He said that he had
12 done nothing wrong, and therefore he stayed home.
13 Q. Okay. And you elected with your brother, then, to go into the
14 forest to try to reach Croatia; is that correct?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. Now, were there others who also went into the woods trying to flee
17 to Croatia?
18 A. I heard from some people I met in the woods that a group was being
19 formed up at Jasik near Suplje Stijene and that they were trying to form a
20 group and trying to make their way to Croatia. I headed in that
21 direction, but my brother went in a different direction and we did not
22 meet again. I don't know where he went. He took another path and that is
23 where we separated.
24 Q. Okay. Now, your father remained behind; is that what you had
1 A. Yes. He stayed behind.
2 Q. Do you know what became of your father after you left?
3 A. I don't, but from all the people I heard that when Kozarac was
4 being cleansed, that they killed everybody they happened across in the
5 houses. That is, nobody survived that cleansing. And my mother spoke to
6 a friend, and a soldier Coprk, a son-in-law from Kozarac said, "What he's
7 doing here? He could be killed at any moment." It seemed that he was hit
8 by something, but that is not a verified information. I cannot really
9 stand by it.
10 Q. Have you ever seen your father since the day that you left him
11 there in Kozarac?
12 A. No. As of that day, I heard nothing about either my father or my
13 brother. Nothing to this day.
14 Q. How many nights did you spend in the forest?
15 A. That day we tried to make our way through, but then we realised
16 that the route across Besic Poljana and the rest were blocked and we could
17 see soldiers deployed everywhere. But we waited for the night thinking
18 that perhaps we might manage. But then when the night fell, they began to
19 fire at random, and I realised that all that stayed here, one could get
20 killed only. So some seven of us decided to move away from that place
21 where they were just firing shots at random.
22 Q. Did you spend two nights in the forest?
23 A. Yes. The first night we failed to get through. The second night
24 we again tried and failed, and when the third day dawned, I believe it was
25 Thursday in the morning, they were closing that part where we were, and
1 the seven of us were captured by the military.
2 Q. During your nights there in the Jasik forest, were you able to
3 look down and see what was happening in Kozarac and the surrounding area?
4 A. The first night we went to a hill called Vrnovica and one could
5 see everything from Prijedor to Banja Luka because it was very high so it
6 was all as if in the palm of our hands. And we could see from Orlovci
7 where Kozarusa begins. We saw all the houses burning. Kozarac itself did
8 not really burn much when compared to Kozarusa and Kamicani, but there was
9 either a large warehouse, I don't know what could be burning down there,
10 but it was so light from those flames that you could see as if it were
11 daylight, not the night.
12 Q. You say that you were captured, then, on the third morning or the
13 morning after your second night in the forest; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who captured you?
16 A. One of the seven of us said he was going to take a pee, but he
17 came back in no time and said, "We're surrounded," and I said, "Well,
18 don't move." But at that moment we saw around us very many soldiers with
19 machine guns, with rocket launchers, and they shouted, "Stop, halt,
21 Q. What army did these soldiers belong to? What group did they
22 belong to?
23 A. Well, they were wearing the uniforms of the Yugoslav People's
24 Army, and they had their superior who was a little bit lower down. When
25 they captured us, they asked him, "Should we kill them straight away, or
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 shall we take them to the commander?" And they took us to the commander,
2 and the commander had four or five soldiers with him, and a radio station,
3 and the one there who was trying to communicate via this station, he was
4 shouting, "Arkan, answer, Arkan answer," but I don't know what the rest of
5 it was.
6 Q. Okay. Now, were you and the others in your group of seven
7 eventually taken to a place called Benkovac?
8 A. After they captured us, they searched us to see if we had any
9 weapons or what we had in our backpacks. They realised it was clothes and
10 some food and they threw it away. They took our personal papers and money
11 saying that we would not need them again.
12 Q. And were you taken to a place called Benkovac?
13 A. Then they ordered us, and that was about the Kotlovaca, a
14 mountaineer's lodge, we had to put our hands like this and we walked for
15 some two kilometres down to the road, Kozarac, from Kozarac to Mrakovica,
16 and there we were waiting for some 20 minutes and two army trucks arrived,
17 and so we boarded them. There were very many other men in olive gray
18 uniforms, so they escorted us to Benkovac, yes.
19 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, the trucks that you were transported in, did you
20 see the license plates on the trucks?
21 A. They were two Deitz [phoen] trucks belonging to the Yugoslav
22 People's Army and they had the JNA plates.
23 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, at this time I'd like to ask that
24 the witness be shown Exhibit 1/26, it's a map which is in evidence. I'm
25 going to ask the witness to briefly point to some of the areas that he's
1 testified about so far. If it could be placed on the ELMO, please.
2 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, first if you could just orient us, point to -- if
3 you could point to Kozarac, which is an area to the east of Prijedor, I
5 THE INTERPRETER: If the microphone could be brought closer to the
6 witness, please.
7 MR. STRINGER:
8 Q. All right, now Mr. Murcehajic, if you could just show us generally
9 where you and your group moved then from Kozarac into the woods trying to
10 get to Croatia? What region did you go into?
11 A. We started from Kozarac here towards Besic Poljana, but I think
12 it's here in very small lettering. Yes, here it is, Besic Poljana, in
13 this part.
14 Q. Okay. Now, thirdly, can you point out for the Judges the location
15 of Benkovac, this place that you were taken after capture.
16 A. Here before Benkovac, it was a youth brigade settlement village,
17 youth village and it is called Benkovac.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you remove the map now. Take your seat
20 A. Thank you.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, I want to ask you some brief questions about
22 the period of time that you spent at this Benkovac facility. First of
23 all, after you arrived there, can you briefly tell the Judges what
25 A. When we arrived at Benkovac, the vehicle stopped in front of a
1 stage which was to the right, and we got off the truck and lined up facing
2 that mounted stage with our backs to the sheds which were behind us.
3 And there also very many troops. Some were, I should say, under
4 the influence of alcohol, and they would just run up from behind and kick
5 us, either with their feet or hit us with the rifle butts, shouting, "Who
6 is going to kill whom? No, you're going to kill this one, I'm going to
7 kill that one." And we did nothing, we just stood there with our arms
8 like that. And I -- sorry, Hamdija Kahrimanovic then went with them to
9 show them a spot because they told him, "Well, you're a seasoned hunter,
10 show us the way to Mitrovica." And six of us just stayed by that stage
11 and we were waiting there for interrogation.
12 Q. Now, this stage that you've described, was it outdoors or was it
14 A. Outdoors. It was improvised there. There were some logs and
15 boards, and that is how they improvised a stage because young people came
16 there for various, for their -- for work, to do some community work, and
17 so they had this stage where they organised their cultural events and
19 Q. This Benkovac was not a military facility before the war, then?
20 It was used for a different purpose, I take it.
21 A. Young people would come in summer, during summer holidays when
22 school will be closed. They performed different types of community
23 works. They would build playgrounds or build a school or something. It
24 was nothing to do with the army. It was not a military facility. It was
25 a youth village.
1 Q. The troops that you've described at this location, what uniforms
2 were they wearing?
3 A. Green, olive-gray uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army.
4 Q. Now you mentioned interrogation, I believe. In your group there
5 which, I think you said, was a group of six or seven; is that correct?
6 A. When we were captured we were seven, but this one went to show
7 them where the village Mitrovica was and then six of us remained and then
8 we were taken in for interrogation one by one. Jasmin Hrnic, called
9 Jasko, was the first one to be called in.
10 Q. How long have you known Jasmin Hrnic?
11 A. Well, I knew him since he was a boy. Well, for some -- well, not
12 less than 15 years at least I should say.
13 Q. Now, were you able to hear what was happening during his
15 A. When they took Jasmin into that shack, the first one to the left,
16 one could hear noise, blows, screams. Jasmin was screaming, crying out.
17 And then later on, some 20 minutes later perhaps, they took him out, and
18 he went straight down to those wooden shacks. I couldn't really see well
19 because of the sleeves because I had my hands up there, and I could barely
20 see him, just catch a glimpse of him.
21 Q. And after his interrogation was completed, then were you
22 interrogated in this way?
23 A. Yes, I was the second one to be interrogated. Troops came, took
24 me by my arms, and two walked by, and they took me to that same wooden
25 shack. When I entered there was nothing, there were just tables and two
1 sides. To the left there was a table with some chairs around it, and they
2 told me sit down at this table and take off your jacket because you won't
3 feel the pain if you keep your jacket on.
4 Q. How many persons were in this shack when you were brought in?
5 A. Around me when I sat down, there were some ten men who were
6 conducting the interrogation. At the entrance and at other tables there
7 were also people coming and going, so I can't really give you the exact
8 number, but there were ten men for interrogation who were around me. And
9 then, of course, I couldn't pay any more attention to those others who
10 were coming and going, just looking what was going on.
11 Q. So after you removed your jacket, then, what occurred?
12 A. I was approached by a young man, a well-built young man. He had a
13 multicoloured camouflage uniform. He had a knife at his belt, and I was
14 told, "Well, this is the boss of interrogation," and then I heard that he
15 was a butcher from somewhere from Omarska Gradina, but I didn't know. I
16 heard it from other people. I didn't know him before. And he said, "See
17 how sharp my knife is?" And then he would lightly just cut behind my
18 ear. And now he pushed it into my mouth and he said, "See, now you have
19 to tell us the truth or you won't live."
20 Q. And then did they begin interrogating you?
21 A. Yeah. They asked me who I was, what I was, what I did, what army
22 I belonged to, and I learnt afterwards that his name was Drago and that he
23 was a railway conductor. He was the oldest of them all. He had round
24 glasses. He looked like Mosa Pijade, a very close -- Tito's associate.
25 And he said that I was a Zenga, that is, I was a Croatian soldier. But I
1 had no idea about this, I never had anything to do with any army except
2 the regular army service I did in 1971.
3 Q. At some point, then, did they begin to beat you?
4 A. They asked me if I knew some people from Kozarac. They referred
5 to them as Green Berets and I said, "That I had come to Kozarac from Banja
6 Luka seven days ago, naturally I saw some men. They were policemen, and I
7 saw some men moving around. But I knew nothing about this." I couldn't
8 give them any information. Then they asked me if I knew Kole, I said yes,
9 I did, because he was from the centre. What his -- what is his name, that
10 was Kusuran. They asked me what is his last name. I said, "I don't
11 know. I know they called him Kole." And then they picked up all sorts of
12 objects and they began to beat me. I had to sit there. I don't know, I
13 mean, how many of them and with what they beat me, but it lasted. They
14 kept saying that I was refusing to give his real name, but I simply didn't
15 know his real name.
16 Q. At some point were you hit with the blunt end of an axe?
17 A. After some 20 minutes of that interrogation and all that battery,
18 a young man from the door came up. I learned later on that he was called
19 Privara, Privara because he was an alcoholic. He came up, and holding an
20 axe in his hand, and said, "Why are you stroking this man? Why are you
21 being so tender? See if he refuses to talk." And he hit me with this
22 blunt side of the axe, and then I began to bleed and could not speak any
23 more. And when they realised that I could not speak any more, then they
24 said, "Take him away."
25 Q. Where were you taken?
1 A. The same Privara who hit me with the axe and another two, they
2 took me to the shacks. It was down hill and there were shacks to the left
3 and to the right. And I think -- I can't really tell you because I hadn't
4 been to that village before, but the last barracks to the right, they were
5 kicking me with their boots on the back, and with their rifle butts, so I
6 reached the last barracks to the right, down hill at Benkovac.
7 Q. Now, were there other prisoners also in these barracks when you
8 entered it?
9 A. When I reached this shack, on the military mattress that one uses
10 for cots, there was Hamdija, that is hodza from Kamicani, and he had a
11 blue military pajamas on him and I could see that he was all blue and
12 black from beatings. He was lying down right there at the entrance into
13 the shack on the right.
14 Q. Okay. Mr. Murcehajic, I'm going to ask you a series of questions
15 about this barracks, and I'm going to ask you to keep your answers short
16 and concise to the best of your ability, okay, so that we can move on to
17 the other matters for your testimony.
18 Now, how many people altogether do you estimate were in this
19 barracks that you were held in?
20 A. It had -- it was separated into two parts. When I entered, I saw
21 people from Kozarac, Kamicani, Trnopolje and other places there. Well, in
22 those two rooms there could have been some 120 of us. I didn't really
23 count. But I should say that that is roughly the figure, over 100.
24 Q. Can you tell me generally if there was one particular ethnic or
25 national group that was in this barracks?
1 A. Well, yes. They were Muslims for the most part. I think they
2 were all Muslims, by I cannot guarantee that, but 90, 99 per cent. I
3 really can say they that they were all Muslims or other people who came
4 from places inhabited by Muslims.
5 Q. Now, was there standing water in this barracks, and tell us
6 briefly what were the conditions inside this place.
7 A. In that room where I entered, and that was the second room, that
8 was full of water up to ankles, and it really stank because there were WCs
9 and they were broken and we had to stand in this water because you
10 couldn't sit down. There was no room to sit down, so we had to stand all
11 day and all night in that water, in that sewage water, and it really
12 stank. But there was no drinking water at all.
13 Q. You say this was sewage water?
14 A. Yes, yes. From pipes, yes. From sewers, because pipes had
15 cracked, broken, I mean from the sewage.
16 Q. Okay. Now -- and I understand that same day you were removed from
17 this barracks and taken back to the stage. Can you tell the Judges
18 briefly what occurred at that point?
19 A. After the interrogation, I was brought into that room and some 20
20 or 30 minutes later, I don't know what time it was, I didn't have a watch,
21 the same Drago which I have already mentioned that was present at the
22 interrogation, came in, and he held a kind of map in his hand, and he told
23 me, "Zenga, come out," and I was wondering, I didn't know who Zenga was,
24 but then he pointed at me, and I went out to the stage. There were about
25 10 soldiers standing next to the stage, and he told me that I was Zenga,
1 and that the map belonged to me. And he asked me what our plan was, where
2 did -- where we were planning to escape.
3 Q. Now, were you forced to stand in front of the stage?
4 A. I was told to stand next to the stage which was this high, up to
5 my chest, and when I told them that the map did not belong to me, that I
6 had nothing to do with it, then one by one they started kicking me in my
7 head. I was trying to duck their blows, but I did receive a couple of
8 them on my shoulders. Then and one of them said, "You don't know how to
9 hit him. Let me show you how to do it." So they took turns hitting me
10 and kicking me.
11 At one point Drago asked me, "Could you tell us where you were
12 standing when you got off the truck?" And then I explained to them if
13 this is the a stage, I was standing like this, next to me there was Jasko,
14 and the others were further away.
15 Q. Now, did you spend the night, then, in this barracks that you've
16 described that had the sewer water in it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the next day, in the evening, were you and the others in this
19 barracks transferred to a different place?
20 A. The guard who was standing at the door told us that we would be
21 transported somewhere, that a truck had broken down, that we were supposed
22 to leave, but he didn't tell us where. That same evening it was getting
23 dark, and an order came that we should get out in groups of five.
24 Q. Were you placed on buses then? Mr. Murcehajic, let me just ask
25 you, if you can, to say yes or no and then I'm going to ask you more
1 questions about that, okay?
2 A. Yes. The buses were standing outside next to the stage numbered
3 two. They belonged to the AutoTransport Prijedor company.
4 Q. Okay. And eventually you and the others in this group were
5 transferred on these buses to the Omarska camp; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Now, during the period of time that you were kept in this barracks
8 at Benkovac, were you fed anything to eat?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, during the transfer to Omarska on the buses, can you tell the
11 Judges, please, who were the people who were in custody of you? Who was
12 in charge, and how did they treat you during the transfer to Omarska?
13 A. The soldiers were wearing camouflage uniforms. They were beating
14 us. We were standing in three groups next to the buses, and as we boarded
15 the buses, there were ten of them. And they -- in each bus. And all the
16 way to Mrakovica they were mistreating us, telling us to sing Cetnik
17 songs. And this went all along the way up until Omarska and then at one
18 point they stopped the bus and they went to a cafe to have a drink.
19 Q. Now these people that you were talking about, do you know if they
20 were soldiers? What was their position if you know.
21 A. All of the people who were wearing JNA uniforms, be it a
22 camouflage uniform or an olive gray uniform, they were soldiers to me
23 because they were wearing those uniforms, but I don't know who they were
24 because I didn't know them.
25 Q. Okay. Mr. Murcehajic, what time of day or evening was it when you
1 and the others arrived at the Omarska camp?
2 A. It was dark. I told you I didn't have a watch. It could have
3 been between 10.00 and 11.00 p.m. When they came back from the Three Aces
4 Cafe, we went to the Omarska camp and we were standing not far from the
5 garage where we were eventually put up. We were ordered to crawl out of
6 the buses and to walk like this.
7 Q. I'm going to ask you about that in greater detail in a couple of
8 minutes. I want to ask you some general questions first.
9 To the best of your ability, do you know what was the day and the
10 date of your arrival at Omarska?
11 A. I think it was Friday evening. It could have been the 20th or the
12 29th of May. I couldn't tell you precisely at that time. I -- it really
13 wasn't on my mind.
14 Q. Now, I guess we could determine the date counting back from the
15 date of the attack of Kozarac, counting the nights you spent in the forest
16 and then at Benkovac. I'm not asking you to do it, I'm sorry, but
17 that's -- that gives us I think an idea.
18 Now, how long did you remain in the Omarska camp altogether?
19 A. I think from the 28th of May until the 6th of August when Omarska
20 was closed down, and when we were transported to Manjaca.
21 Q. Now, during this period of time that you were in Omarska, can you
22 tell the Judges what areas in the camp you were held in?
23 A. When the bus arrived, we were made to stand on the pista, but
24 otherwise we were in the garage, which is right on -- after the entrance
25 on the right-hand side, in the corner of the building. I can show it to
1 you on the model.
2 Q. Let me ask you one or two questions about that. Is this a garage
3 that was located in the administration building?
4 A. Yes. Below the administration building on the right-hand side, on
5 the ground floor, in the corner of that area.
6 Q. Just so that it's clear, perhaps, Mr. Murcehajic, is it possible
7 for you to take the pointer, and to lean across and to point, and you can
8 extend the pointer, I believe, if you need to, just to try to point to the
9 area where you were held in the garage.
11 A. This is the garage where we were held in, and this is where the
12 bus was parked when we were made to crawl to the garage.
13 Q. You can take your seat again.
14 How long were you held in the garage?
15 A. I was held in the garage until approximately the 2nd of July when
16 I was interrogated for the second time. As far as I can remember, the
17 date was the 2nd of July.
18 Q. And then after the 2nd of July, were you held in -- did you stay
19 in some other areas such as the pista and a place called Mujo's room?
20 A. After the second interrogation, I was interrogated on two
21 occasions, after the first interrogation I was taken back to the garage,
22 and after the second one I was told to come to the pista. It was around
23 2.00 or 3.00 in the afternoon on the 22nd of July, and after -- I spent
24 some time on the pista, and after that I went to the restaurant and spent
25 the night there, together with other people who had been on the pista on
1 the same day with me.
2 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, the English translation
3 transcript indicates that you said that you went to the pista on the 22nd,
4 the 22nd of July after your second interrogation. Was it the 22nd or the
5 2nd of July?
6 A. It was on the 2nd of July.
7 Q. Now, after the 2nd of July, then, did you spend some nights also
8 sleeping in the hangar building? Can you just answer me yes or no.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, and also, I asked you about Mujo's room, if you stayed in
11 Mujo's room, and if so, can you quickly point out the location of Mujo's
12 room to the Judges on the model.
13 A. Yes. After three days I went to Mujo's room which was right next
14 to the garage with the small black door on it. This was the entrance to
15 Mujo's room, and this is where the water taps were.
16 Q. This was also on the ground floor?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, at some time after your arrival in the Omarska camp, did you
19 become aware of the name Kvocka?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You did not hear the name Kvocka?
22 A. No.
23 Q. When --
24 A. Before the war while I was a civilian, I never heard that name;
25 but when I arrived in the camp during the first week of June, a friend of
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 mine -- I mean a man whom I didn't know from before, whose name was Senad
2 Kevac, we were going together to the toilet, and he said, "Do you see that
3 man standing with the three others next to the Mercedes, this is Kvocka,
4 the commander of the camp." This is what he told me. And we were going
5 to the toilet along this way and we were coming back along the same way
6 towards the garage.
7 It occurred on the 3rd or the 4th day of my stay in Omarska when
8 we went to the toilet together, and when I first saw the man whom he told
9 me was the commander of the camp.
10 Q. Now, during the entire time of your stay in the Omarska camp, how
11 many times did you see this man who was pointed out to you as Kvocka?
12 A. On three or four occasions perhaps. I didn't see him very often
13 because I was in the garage, so I could see him when I went to eat or
14 maybe when the garage was being cleaned. Not, not on many occasions. On
15 three or four occasions, approximately.
16 Q. On those occasions when you saw the person named Kvocka, how was
17 he dressed?
18 A. First time I saw him he was wearing a camouflage uniform which
19 resembled a uniform worn by the Special Police members from Banja Luka.
20 It was brown, brick red in colour. He was wearing boots and he had a hat
21 of the same colour as the upper part of his camouflage uniform, and that
22 was the way he was dressed when I saw him for the first time.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, did this man known to you as Kvocka, did he
24 stay in the camp the entire time that you were there, or did he leave at
25 some point?
1 A. I saw him three or four times at the beginning, and after that I
2 didn't see him. I don't know what happened to him.
3 I heard from my fellow inmates that he had been replaced.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, I want to bring you back now to that evening
5 when you and the others arrived at the Omarska camp. Can you describe for
6 the Judges what happened upon your arrival at the camp for the first
8 A. As we were getting off the bus, they formed two lines of soldiers,
9 a kind of gauntlet that we were supposed to pass through, crawling, and
10 they forced us to bark. And as we were passing through those lines, they
11 were hitting us. I received a blow on my knee, and I had severe pains for
12 a couple of days after that. But luckily I did not sustain any
14 Q. And were you then placed in the garage upon your arrival?
15 A. We were all forced into the garage, which was not very large, and
16 there were many of us in there. So as they were hitting us, we tried to
17 move to the rear part of the room, to the wall, and we realised how
18 crowded the place was. We couldn't even sit down. We could only stand,
19 even on one leg. There simply wasn't enough room for all of us.
20 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, then after your arrival, how long did you wait
21 until you were fed some food?
22 A. If I take into account both Benkovac and Omarska, four days later
23 at around 8.00 in the evening we were told to go out, and they told us
24 that we would be given some food.
25 Q. Now, can you describe for the Judges, please, this procedure, how
1 you were fed when you went to the restaurant?
2 A. It was half past eight, 8.00 in the evening, and they told us to
3 form lines consisting of 30 people each. I was in the first group, and
4 they told us to run to that place. The 30 of us had to stand next to
5 Mujo's room on the pista. We had to kneel down and bend our heads down,
6 and all the while they were beating us until the next group, consisting of
7 30 men, arrived. And it was their turn to be beaten. And we went back to
8 the garage. That happened on the first night when we went to eat. That
9 was my first experience of eating.
10 Q. How much time did they give you to get your food and to eat your
12 A. We were given three to five minutes. I didn't have a watch. It
13 was a very brief time indeed. We had to run, take the plates, and then
14 somebody shouted, "Finish it off. Get out." People didn't have enough
15 time to sit down at the table and eat. They had to take their plates with
16 them. And this happened every time. We didn't have enough time to eat.
17 We had to do everything running.
18 Q. Now, this feeding procedure that you've described, did this occur
19 often, or was that the only time?
20 A. We always had to run, and we were always given between three to
21 five minutes to do it; but that was the only night when we were beaten
22 immediately after our arrival. Later on we would simply have to run to
23 the restaurant and then back to the garage, but we were not beaten.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, I'd like to ask you to describe the
25 conditions that were in this garage that you were placed in. First of
1 all, how many men, if you know, roughly were kept in this garage?
2 A. When we were counting ourselves to go to lunch, I realised that
3 there were about 162 of us, approximately. The area was so crowded, we
4 could only stand, and it was very hot, the temperature was very high
5 because there were no windows, there was just a very small window on the
6 garage wall, and we were sweating. The place was in a kind of haze, and
7 the walls were humid, and the paint was melting. Some people would faint
8 because we didn't have enough oxygen.
9 Q. Excuse me, I believe that you said earlier that it was necessary
10 just to stand on one leg; is that true?
11 A. Yes, yes, because there wasn't enough room to stand on both feet.
12 There was no enough space.
13 Q. What sort of toilet facilities were given to you and the others in
14 the garage at this time?
15 A. Initially there was no toilet at all. People asked to be allowed
16 to go to the toilet at the beginning, but during the first days we didn't
17 go to the toilet at all. The first ten people who went to the toilet came
18 back covered in blood and beaten up, and when the next group of ten was
19 allowed to go to the toilet, they didn't dare go out because they were
20 told that they would all be beaten up and killed. The conditions were
22 Q. And was it necessary for the people in the garage to relieve
23 themselves while they were standing in the garage?
24 A. At the beginning, two, three people got dysentery. They could not
25 relieve themselves. They relieved themselves in their pants, and the
1 stench was terrible. So after ten or 15 days, we were given a kind of
2 bucket which we placed at the entrance to the garage, and most of the
3 people who became sick would stand in the line behind that bucket waiting
4 for their time.
5 Q. And the bucket was inside the garage with the prisoners?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What about water? Were you provided water while you were in the
9 A. When we asked the guards to give us some water, they told us that
10 we should first sing and that only after that we could be given some
11 water. They referred to me as Vojvoda, and they made me start the song,
12 and then after that they would throw a big bottle of water on us. It was
13 usually a big bottle of coke filled with water.
14 Q. Now, you said that people got sick and got dysentery. Just so the
15 record is clear, what do you mean by that?
16 A. They got diarrhea. They had to go to the toilet all the time.
17 They didn't have any control on their physical needs any more.
18 Q. What about clothing? Were the prisoners given any clean clothing
19 an opportunity to wash themselves, to clean themselves or their clothing?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, at some point I think soon after your arrival
22 in the camp you and some others were removed from the garage and taken to
23 an area by a conveyor belt. Do you recall that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell the Judges what happened. When that happened, and
1 then describe what happened.
2 A. The next evening some members of special forces were guarding us.
3 They had some kind of machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons. And that group
4 came and opened the door, and they called three of us out. Jasmin Hrnic,
5 Mustafa Balic and myself. They told the three of us to come out of the
7 Q. And where did they take you and what did they do?
8 A. I was first taken to this conveyor belt which was covered in
9 rubber. It was a very big belt, one metre and a half perhaps. And they
10 told me to lie down across that belt so that my hands and my feet wouldn't
11 reach the floor.
12 Q. And what happened to you there?
13 A. Then they started hitting me with their rifle butts and kicking
14 me. I felt severe pain, and at one point I slipped down from the conveyor
15 belt and fell down on the ground in front of them. They continued kicking
16 me with their heavy military boots, but somehow I managed to reach the
17 garage, and they continued beating the next one.
18 Q. These people, were they guards in the camp or had they come from a
19 different place?
20 A. Those people were referred to as members of the special forces
21 from Banja Luka. I know that the one who was hitting me was from Pancevo
22 and the others were apparently from Banja Luka. But I didn't know these
24 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, you've indicated that during your time in Omarska
25 you were interrogated on two occasions. I'd like to ask you about the
1 first interrogation, and to describe for the Judges when that occurred,
2 where it occurred, and what happened during the interrogation.
3 A. I think that the first one took place on the first weekend of my
4 stay in Omarska, or maybe it was on Monday. I don't know. We were told
5 to line up against the wall of Mujo's room, and the 20 or 30 of us were
6 told to go out to lunch. On first occasion I noticed some soldiers who
7 had been at Benkovac, and before we were lined up, the soldiers opened the
8 door of the garage, and they were asking for Ahmed Hodza [phoen]. He was
9 a young man with dark curly hair. And the soldier who came to the garage
10 said that, "Ahmedija, you're mine from now on. You have been captured,"
11 and this young man was then taken away.
12 MR. STRINGER: Before we go into the interrogation, Mr. President,
13 I don't know if the Trial Chamber would like to break at this time, or if
14 you'd like for us to continue with this part of his testimony.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, this is a very good
16 suggestion, indeed. It is almost 11.00. We will have a half-hour break,
17 after which we will continue with the witness. Thank you very much.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated.
21 Very well, Mr. Stringer. You may resume.
22 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, before the break we were just starting to talk
24 about an interrogation which you underwent. I want to first ask you some
25 preliminary questions about it. Can you tell us to the best of your
1 recollection what was the date in which this interrogation occurred?
2 A. Do you mean the first or the second interrogation.
3 Q. The first interrogation.
4 A. I think it was the 2nd of June, I believe.
5 Q. Were you taken with any other persons for the interrogation?
6 A. People from Benkovac because I knew them. I was interrogated by
7 them. They came in to the Omarska compound and they singled out me, Eno
8 Alic, Jasmin Hrnic and a young man from Trnopolje whom they called Sova.
9 Oh, but I did not know that man, the four of us.
10 Q. Okay. Could you say again the names of the other prisoners that
11 you have he just mentioned who were interrogated with you?
12 A. Jasmin Hrnic, called Jasko, Eno Alic, Sova, a young man from
13 Trnopolje. That was his nickname.
14 Q. Where did the interrogation take place?
15 A. In this building here, the administration building, up the stairs,
16 and I was interrogated in the first room to the left.
17 Q. Was that on the ground floor or in a different area?
18 A. On the first floor. The room was on that other side on the first
19 floor, that is the administrative building.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned that you recognised some others
21 from Benkovac who were part of the interrogation.
22 A. From Benkovac, yes. I recognised two or three young men. And I
23 was caught by the arm by Drago. I already said he was conductor. He had
24 glasses, spectacles, and he looked like Mosa Pijade. That's what he
25 looked like to me.
1 Q. This was the same Drago you described who was present at your
2 interrogation at the Benkovac facility?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you briefly tell the Judges what occurred during this
6 A. First we had to stand about a metre from the wall but leaning with
7 three fingers against the wall until we would be called up to the first
8 floor for interrogation.
9 Q. Were you called upstairs then for interrogation?
10 A. Yes. I was told, now you can go, and they took me up the stairs
11 into the first room to the left. That's where I went in. And there I saw
12 Drago, and two young men who were both called Neso.
13 Q. Now, during the time of your interrogation, do you know whether
14 any others were also being interrogated?
15 A. That same moment as we were called out, I was the last one to go
16 for interrogation, the others had already been taken up to the upper
17 floor, too, and all four of us were interrogated at one and the same time.
18 Q. Now, were you beaten at all during your interrogation?
19 A. As I entered the room, Drago approached me and began to slap me on
20 the face and to beat me, and it went on for about five or ten minutes.
21 Later on one of the Neso's said, "Now, we have to interrogate him, so
22 let him-- give him to us because you had enough of him at Benkovac and
24 Q. And then did the actual questioning begin?
25 A. And then I had to kneel in front of the table, and they asked me
2 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, after this interrogation, where did -- where
3 were you taken?
4 A. I was taken back to the garage, but those three who were taken for
5 interrogation with me did not. Only I was taken back. They did not come
6 back to the garage. I do not know where they went.
7 Q. Thank you. Mr. Murcehajic, during your time in the Omarska camp,
8 did you know or meet someone who was known to you as the brother of a man
9 named Bajro Cirkin?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did something happen to him one day in the camp, this brother
12 of Bajro Cirkin?
13 A. Bajro's brother was younger. I think he was about 20. And he was
14 a severely beaten at Benkovac and he complained that his kidneys hurt. He
15 was crying in the garage, and the guard took him out in front of the
16 garage. It was a sunny day. That is to stay in the sun for a while,
17 hoping that it might relieve the pain.
18 Q. What happened to him while he was outside?
19 A. At about an hour or two later, all of a sudden we heard shots, and
20 I heard a moan of the man who was in front of the garage, that Bajro's
21 brother because he was sitting in front of the garage. And after that we
22 heard two more shots, and since I was in the front part of the garage next
23 to the door, next to me were two wounded young men called Senad
24 Mujkanovic, and Rasim Elkaz's son. I do not know his name.
25 Q. Can you continue, please.
1 A. Well, and as I was by the garage door, because the door was
2 closed, but there was an opening there, so I peeped through, and I saw a
3 man in an olive gray military uniform, in the uniform of the Yugoslav
4 People's Army was standing there.
5 Q. Do you know who this man was that you saw outside?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So what did you see next?
8 A. I heard a voice reaching us from that part here where you go to
9 the kitchen since this soldier was in this corner here. And the man
10 shouted, "Don't shoot. Don't shoot. Put down your weapon." I did not
11 see at first who that was. But as he was coming closer to this man,
12 through this small crack I could see the head of the shift Krle moved
13 towards that man to prevent him from firing another shot.
14 Q. Let me just -- I want to ask you a couple of questions about what
15 you've just said. You said that there were shots fired. Who do you
16 believe fired the shots?
17 A. That soldier who was standing, the one that I could see, he was
18 standing some 30 metres away from the garage, from us. He was the one who
19 fired at the garage and Bajro's brother. And Krle was coming to him, and
20 as far as I could see through this crack, I saw Krle move towards him, and
21 two or three other guards came to help Krle to prevent that man from
22 firing again.
23 Q. Now, at this point you say you were inside the garage looking out;
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How far away was, from you, was this man you're calling Krle?
2 A. Krle was moving towards that man. He was walking at an angle
3 towards him, because I saw Krle only when he came close to that man,
4 whether he was only some 15 or 20 metres away from him. That's when I saw
5 it was Krle. Before that I could not see him; I could only hear his
7 Q. Could you tell us how many metres away from you Krle was?
8 A. Well, it all happened some 30 metres away from me, or thereabouts.
9 Q. Now, what did you hear this Krle say to this other man who had
10 been shooting?
11 A. Krle was shouting loudly, do not fire here in that compound, and
12 he came that he had come to avenge his brother. I heard Krle's answer, he
13 was saying, "Don't avenge your brother here. Go to Gradacac, and that is
14 where you can avenge him."
15 Q. Now this Krle that you've spoken of, during the entire time you
16 were in the Omarska camp, how many times did you see this Krle?
17 A. Well, I can't really tell you exactly how many times, but I'd see
18 him three or four times a day. Sometimes once, sometimes twice. Depends,
19 depends on what part I was in and where he would pass by. But I think if
20 I say 30 times, that that wouldn't be wrong, either. I saw him very
21 often, but I never crossed my mind to count the number of times I saw
23 Q. Now, on the occasions when you saw this Krle, how far away was he
24 from you, if you can generalise?
25 A. Well, sometimes he was quite close. A metre or two. At sometimes
1 it was further, sometimes 10 or 30. It varied, but the first time I saw
2 him, when I saw him the first time, I knew that that was the man and he
3 was the head of the shift.
4 Q. How many shifts were there?
5 A. There were three shifts.
6 Q. Excuse me Mr. Murcehajic, let me just continue on this particular
7 line of questions.
8 Now, when you mentioned the first time you saw Krle, do you recall
9 the first time you saw him?
10 A. I saw Krle the first time as he was carrying a paper and called
11 out my elder brother, Salih Murcehajic. I didn't know why. And then
12 later on I learned that somebody had sent a parcel to my brother to the
13 camp and he was looking for my brother to hand that parcel over to him.
14 But that is something that I learned much later and I dared not report
15 myself and say, "Well, it's my brother, I'll find him," because it was too
17 Q. Did this Krle call out names of prisoners from time to time?
18 A. Yes. Well, he usually carried some papers around with him and
19 would be looking for some people or would give it to -- would give those
20 papers to guards, and they would look for some men. That was the practice
21 in the Omarska camp. It was a daily occurrence, not only on Krle's shift.
22 Q. Now you say he was the shift commander. Can you tell the Judges
23 how you know he was the shift commander? What's the basis of your
25 A. At first in the early days of our stay at Omarska, we did not know
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 the names of people, where they came from, or at least I didn't. Some
2 others knew some people. But naturally, if -- from this upper floor where
3 interrogations were conducted from the first floor, where inspectors were,
4 they would always be calling Krle and he was the one who issued orders to
5 guards. That is how we realised that that is Krle's shift and that he's
6 the head of that particular shift and that was how we concluded that he
7 was the shift commander.
8 Q. When you saw Krle, what did he wear?
9 A. Krle wore a camouflage uniform, sir, with his sleeves up because
10 it was a warm, sunny day, and he had a machine gun in his hands or
11 something like a Kalashnikov, but I don't really know about weapons. At
12 any rate he had an automatic rifle, well, a machine gun, and that is what
13 he had in his hands. And he was moving towards that man who had fired
15 Q. Now, at that particular time when he was moving toward that man
16 who had fired, or at any point after that, did you hear whether Krle or
17 anyone else attempted to take this man into custody or to arrest him for
18 shooting a prisoner?
19 A. I don't know what happened later on because there were two young
20 men who had been wounded in the garage, then there were some commotion
21 ensued and I really couldn't see what happened next. So I really can't
22 tell you what happened next, what happened to that man. Did they take him
23 in or not. I did not see that.
24 Q. Are you aware of any investigation that occurred as a result of
25 that incident?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, to the best of your recollection, when did this
3 incident take place?
4 A. It happened sometime in early June. It could have been the first
5 weekend or the first six or seven days of June. It was very -- at that
6 time, sometime in the early days of June, very early days of June.
7 Q. At the time this incident occurred, were buses on the pista area
8 in front of the garage?
9 A. When that incident happened there was nothing in front of the
10 garage. It was all clear. I mean, this whole area, the pista, it was all
12 Q. Were there any new prisoners arriving in the front area of the
13 pista at that time?
14 A. At that moment there was nothing. Later on, of course, there
15 were. Like every day, the buses coming and going. But every day was a
16 day unto its own.
17 Q. Mr. Murcehajic I wanted to ask you if you knew any of the
18 detainees in the garage whose name was Garibovic?
19 A. Whether I knew him personally? No, I did not. But I knew them
20 from sight. I knew they were Trnopolje, but before that I don't know
21 their names or their last names. All I knew was that they came from
22 Trnopolje, because one of them had to do something with fish, dealt in
23 fish, sold or bought, something like that. So that I used to see him
25 Q. They were detainees at the Omarska camp?
1 A. Yes, they arrived at Benkovac with me. We were together at
2 Benkovac and then they also arrived at the garage with me.
3 Q. On one occasion were they called out of the garage?
4 A. I think it was on the third or fourth day of our stay at Omarska,
5 the night was falling. It was quite late. It was around 10.00, I think
6 it was. Yes, around ten. A group arrived, up in front of the garage, I
7 could not see who they were, and they ordered that all people whose last
8 name was Garibovic should come out. And they went out one by one, I think
9 there were about 12 of them.
10 Q. Did you remain inside the garage?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you able to hear what was happening on the outside of the
14 A. They were right in front of the garage, and it was a very thin,
15 tin plate door to the garage so that one could hear very easily what was
16 going on. And I heard the order, "Fuck you, you've just arrived to the
17 right place."
18 Q. Can you please continue about what you heard outside the garage.
19 A. "Now, sirs, well, let's see you beat, hit one another, and pee on
20 one another." And perhaps two minutes later I heard somebody say, "Fuck
21 your mother, balija, Turkish mother, that's not how you beat people," and
22 then major beating began and the moaning and the screaming.
23 Q. What did you hear after the beating?
24 A. The door opened again, and they said, two or four -- four, four
25 young men, strong young men, and let's have them come out. And I heard
1 the sound of a Zastava or perhaps a small TAM then. I mean, I was a
2 driver for 23 years, I can recognise -- I can identify vehicles by sound,
3 and I think it was a Zastava come up to that place from which we could
4 hear screams and moans.
5 Q. Afterwards, were you able to learn from the others what had
6 happened outside the garage?
7 A. And those four young men who had gone out came back and said that
8 they had loaded Garibovics on that truck and that they were all
9 unconscious, and that the guards had told them that they were being taken
10 to the penitentiary at Bosanska Gradiska.
11 Q. Were you able to hear the truck and events that followed after the
12 bodies were loaded onto the truck?
13 A. And after those four returned to the garage, that Zastava was
14 switched on the engine and it started, and meanwhile I could also hear a
15 tractor being switched on and start to move in some direction. About half
16 a minute later I also heard a fapper, which is a seven and a five-tonne
17 vehicle, was also switched on, and those three vehicles left the Omarska
18 compound. I could hear minute after minute as the noise those vehicles
19 made was weaker and weaker.
20 Q. Did you hear anything after that?
21 A. And after that, about 15 minutes later, not much later, I'm giving
22 it approximately because I had no watch, but it was shortly afterwards
23 when we could hear bursts of fire, that is fire, shots. Bursts of rounds
24 of fire.
25 Q. The next morning, Mr. Murcehajic, did you find anything that had
1 belonged to any of the Garibovic people?
2 A. The next morning we came out so that the garage could be washed
3 because the odour was very unpleasant and I saw some shoes of one of those
4 men. Since I was barefooted I wanted to put on those shoes, but they were
5 too small for me because that shoe could have been size 40, 41, but my
6 size is 42, so I couldn't put them on. And I just remained by the
7 garage. I don't know what happened to those shoes later on.
8 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, do you know whether this incident occurred before
9 or after the person you've called Kvocka left the camp?
10 A. It occurred during the first weekend of my stay there, maybe a day
11 or two days later. At the very beginning of the month the June, whether
12 it was on the 4th, the 5th or the 6th of June, I couldn't tell you. But
13 those two or three incidents that I have described to you occurred during
14 that time. And I believe that Kvocka was the camp commander at the time
15 because I would still see him from time to time during that period. But I
16 don't know when exactly it was that he left. We didn't have access to
17 that kind of information.
18 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, at some point did a prisoner named Muhamed Cehajic
19 arrive at the camp, and if so, do you know when he arrived?
20 A. Muhamed Cehajic and Muhamed Avdic, a young policeman who was maybe
21 29 or 30 years of age, came together to the garage during the first week
22 of my stay in Omarska.
23 Q. Do you know what was the position or the function of Mr. Cehajic
24 before his arrival at Omarska? What was his job?
25 A. I personally didn't know Muhamed Cehajic from before but I knew
1 that he had been the mayor before the war. I mean, this is what I heard.
2 Q. Now, you say he came to the garage. When he was in the garage,
3 did he receive any special treatment from guards or the camp personnel?
4 A. When Cehajic came to the garage and during that time, two or three
5 times a day the doors would be open and the guards would come to see the
6 mayor. They would laugh and they would say, see, mayor, you have come
7 finally to the right place, to where you belong.
8 Q. Was he given special responsibilities or duties in respect of the
9 toilet facilities?
10 A. As time went by, I told you that some people had diarrhea. We
11 didn't have any water or toilet there at the time. Later on we got a
12 bucket which remained in the left corner near the entrance to the garage,
13 but still inside the garage.
14 Q. Did Mr. Cehajic have anything to do with that?
15 A. I asked the guards since they called me Vojvoda for us to be
16 allowed to take out the bucket and empty it outside because the stench was
17 terrible. People kept standing around it. They were in a lot of pain,
18 and there would always be at least four or five persons waiting near the
20 The guard who was on duty that day, he said, "No way. There's no
21 way that you could take the bucket outside. As far as I'm concerned, you
22 can all choke to death inside." And it seems that after that, he changed
23 his mind, and he said well the bucket can be taken out, but it can only be
24 taken out by the mayor.
25 Q. So then did that become his job?
1 A. Not really. He did it two or three times again, but it wasn't his
2 duty. It depended on the guard, who was on duty. If the guard didn't
3 insist on him taking out the bucket, that the bucket would be taken by
4 someone else. I think he took it out approximately three times.
5 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, at some point was Mr. Cehajic called out of the
6 place where you were being held?
7 A. Yes, he was. One evening after 10.00 or maybe even after 11.00
8 p.m., it was quite late, Muhamed Cehajic was called out, which he did. I
9 heard some commotion outside, but I didn't see anything. I could only
10 hear that he was taken out.
11 Twenty minutes later, Cehajic came back, and one could see that
12 his shirt was out of his trousers, that he was red in his face from the
13 beating, and one could tell that he had been beaten up by someone. He
14 walked in very slowly, and when he came in, he approached me and he told
15 me, they want me to take out 400 German Marks within 20 minutes. If I
16 don't do that, I will be killed.
17 Q. Did he tell you who "they" was? Who were these people that wanted
18 German Marks?
19 A. Krle's shift was on duty that evening. So I asked him, "Well, who
20 are you talking about? Is Krle there?" And he said, "Yes, he is, and
21 they're all under the influence of alcohol. They're drunk."
22 I told him I didn't have any money, and I said, "As far as I know,
23 neither of us has any money, but you should ask Dr. Osman Mahmuljin,"
24 because I knew that he had some German Marks on him. I asked him to do it
25 gingerly because some people had fallen asleep and I didn't want any
1 trouble, any problems. So they did it in a very careful way, and Muhamed
2 Cehajic went outside, and five or ten minutes later he came back without
3 any problems whatsoever. He was not beaten up.
4 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, at some later point subsequently, was Muhamed
5 Cehajic called out again from the place where you were with him?
6 A. Around the 2nd of July they started interrogating all of the
7 people who were held in the garage, so I went for my second
8 interrogation. Everybody in the garage was interrogated on that day,
9 including Muhamed Cehajic.
10 When I was at the pista, I saw him leave for the interrogation.
11 He sat in front of the entrance to the building for a while. There was a
12 wooden bench there, and he was waiting for his turn to be interrogated.
13 Q. When is the last time you saw Mr. Cehajic?
14 A. Sometime in late July he was called out together with some 20
15 other people, and that was the last time, the last day when I saw Muhamed
16 Cehajic. He never came back, and I never saw him again.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, I want to ask you about this calling out that
18 you've mentioned. What do you mean exactly when you say someone was
19 called out?
20 A. This was a common occurrence in the month of July. Individuals
21 would be called out almost every evening. For instance, all doctors were
22 called out on one occasion, then the second night all policemen would be
23 called out. Then on another occasion people who used to misbehave prior
24 to the war, who were small-time criminals or smugglers would be called.
25 Engineers and other prominent people were also called out. This happened
1 until the month of July, or rather, throughout the month of July before we
2 were taken to Manjaca. But prior to the closing down of the Omarska camp,
3 this sort of calmed down.
4 Q. This calling out, did it occur on all shifts, or on particular
6 A. I cannot say that it occurred only on one particular shift. All
7 shifts were equally concerned. When we were, for example, taken to one
8 room in the evening, and when the doors were closed, and after that the
9 guards would come in to the room and call people out, and most of the time
10 those people would never be seen again.
11 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, going back briefly to Muhamed Cehajic, you said
12 you saw him sitting on a wooden bench by the pista. Can you tell what he
13 was doing, or what was happening in respect of Mr. Cehajic at that time?
14 A. He was waiting for his turn to be interrogated. He was not
15 alone. There were two or three other individuals with him waiting for
16 their interrogation.
17 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, did you know another prisoner in Omarska named
18 Islam Bahonjic?
19 A. Yes, I knew him, we went to school together.
20 Q. What school?
21 A. Well, we were in the elementary school, the first eight years of
22 our education. The primary school.
23 Q. Had he been involved in politics before the Omarska camp?
24 A. I learned from these people that he was a member of the SDA party.
25 Q. Did you ever see if he was mistreated while he was in the Omarska
2 A. During the first week of my stay in the camp, at one point the
3 garage door was opened and four individuals came in. Dedo Crnalic,
4 Abdulah Puskar, Islam Bahonjic, and Hamdija Balic as well. They stayed
5 only one hour in that room, and afterwards they were taken elsewhere. I
6 was not with them, and I didn't know what kind of treatment they received
7 in the Omarska camp.
8 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Bahonjic when you were on the pista?
9 A. Yes. I did see him sometime in mid-July as we were going out for
10 lunch. He was in one of the groups going to the restaurant, and I could
11 hardly recognise him. I saw that he had somehow shrunk and that he had
12 lost a lot of weight and that he was kind of yellowish in his face. He
13 was very weak.
14 Q. When is the last time you saw Mr. Bahonjic?
15 A. My last encounter with Islam Bahonjic took place sometime in
16 July. Maybe around the 15th of July. I'm not sure about the date, but it
17 must have been in the middle of the month of July. Maybe in the first or
18 the second weekend of that month. Interrogations were carried out on that
19 day, and there was a lot of beating going on. People were screaming,
20 crying. I happened to be on the pista, and I saw people being taken out
21 from the building by two or maybe four other inmates. At any rate, a lot
22 of people were interrogated and killed on that day.
23 Q. Was Mr. Bahonjic among these people interrogated that day?
24 A. Yes, Islam Bahonjic was interrogated on that day, and he was
25 brought to where I was. He was maybe five or six rows away from me on the
1 pista between the hangar building and the restaurant building. Islam
2 Bahonjic was brought there, and I also heard a noise when he was brought
3 in. I couldn't see him very well, but I realised that it was him, and I
4 could hear his voice, "Water, water, give me some water." And maybe five
5 or ten minutes later, his voice became very weak, and it was getting
6 weaker and weaker, and finally it could no longer be heard, and that is
7 all I could say about Islam Bahonjic.
8 Q. You say that he was brought to the pista. Who brought him there?
9 A. He was brought by some people from the area upstairs. He was
10 brought to the pista by other people. He was unable to walk, so he was
11 carried by some people whom I could see. I mean, I could see that he was
12 being carried down because we were not allowed to observe what was going
13 on while we were at the pista.
14 Q. Now, in your position at the time on the pista, what were you
15 doing, were you standing, sitting, or something else?
16 A. On that day when that severe interrogation took place, we were
17 told to face away from the hangar and to bend our heads down and to lie
18 down all the time. And this is what we did throughout the day until 4.00
19 in the afternoon when they stopped, I believe. And at that point we were
20 ordered to stand up.
21 In the meantime, two of my acquaintances were brought in, one was
22 a driver in the transport company. His name was Fikret Hrustic. When he
23 was brought back from the interrogation, he was choking. He was motioning
24 like someone who was about to drown, but I couldn't do anything. We were
25 not allowed to move. If I had tried to help him, I would have been taken
1 away myself; so I simply sat there watching him. And they also brought
2 Avdo Mujkanovic on that day who had been with me in the garage, and whom I
3 therefore knew better.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, you've testified that someone called Krle was
5 a shift commander while you were at Omarska. Do you know who other shift
6 commanders were?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. First of all, let me ask you, how many shifts were there?
9 A. There were three shifts.
10 Q. Do you know the names of any of the other shift commanders?
11 A. One of them was called Ckalja, he was a tall young men with blond
12 hair. He was wearing the uniform of the regular police units. The third
13 one was called Krcan. I would see him very often wearing a police uniform
14 in the Omarska camp.
15 MR. STRINGER: Could I ask that the witness be shown
16 Exhibit 3/69A. It's a photograph.
17 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, are you able to recognise the person shown in that
19 A. Yes. This is the shift commander called Krcan.
20 Q. Is this -- does this photograph depict the way that he would be
21 dressed when you would see him in the camp?
22 A. Yes. He always wore this regular police uniform, dark blue
23 trousers, and bright blue shirt, and he had this cap, kind of French
24 beret. I don't know what you call it.
25 MR. STRINGER: Thank you. You can remove the photograph now.
1 Q. Was there anything in particular that the inmates associated with
2 Krcan's shift?
3 A. Yes. As I've already said, I didn't see him very often. I saw
4 him perhaps six or seven times, maybe more. I didn't count. But his
5 shift was the most perilous one for us, the inmates in Omarska. They
6 never showed any special moments to beat us up. They beat us constantly
7 and we feared his shift most.
8 Q. And during your time in the Omarska camp did you hear the name of
10 A. Yes. I heard the name of Prcac very often, but let me tell you, I
11 didn't have an occasion to contact this man in a direct manner. I would
12 see the shift commanders or some guards who would stand in the immediate
13 vicinity very often, but I didn't see him in that way.
14 Q. Were you able to reach any conclusions about what the role or the
15 function was of this person who was named Prcac?
16 A. I think that this man spent more time upstairs with the
17 interrogators, that he was there most of the time. I didn't see him very
18 often walking around the pista, for instance, or talking to the guards.
19 But I did remember his name as being Drago Prcac in the camp of Omarska,
20 but he didn't have any direct contacts with us or the guards, as far as I
21 could observe.
22 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, do you recall being interviewed by an investigator
23 from the Office of the Prosecutor in August of 1998. His name was
24 Mr. Inayat, Mazhar Inayat?
25 A. Yes.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 Q. At that time, do you recall that he showed you a series of
2 photographs or a group of photographs?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Before you looked at the photographs, do you recall that a
5 procedure was read to you in a language that you could understand?
6 A. Yes. I was told to get ready. I was given one minute, and they
7 told me that a person with some photographs would come in and show me some
8 photographs. And I was asked to indicate the number of the persons I
9 recognised as being -- as having been in Omarska.
10 Q. Now, do you recall whether in some photographs or a group of
11 photographs you were not able to recognise any faces?
12 A. I don't remember that. I was shown a photograph by a woman. She
13 showed me these photographs, and I looked at them, and I said, person
14 number three was in Omarska, and I'm not sure about the others.
15 Q. Okay. You do recall that you recognised one person in one of the
16 groups of photographs, then?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, today do you know or can you tell us the name of the person
19 whose photograph you recognised at that time?
20 A. It was the commander of the camp, Kvocka, person number three.
21 Q. At that time in August of 1998 when you looked at these
22 photographs, did you know the name of the person in that photograph number
24 A. I knew the name at that time, but the question that was put to me
25 was the following: Have a look at the photographs and tell us whether
1 there is one person in this line who had been in Omarska, and then I said
2 person number three, and they folded back the photo album and they left.
3 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, at this time the Prosecutor would
4 mark Exhibits -- it's actually the next exhibit, 3/114, it's a set of 4
5 documents, A, B, C, and D.
6 Mr. President, to move things on a little more quickly, perhaps I
7 could go ahead and we could mark what's going to be the next exhibit which
8 is going to be 3/115, A, B, C, and D, so we don't have to take the time to
9 mark them in a couple of minutes.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that the exhibit number
11 3/114, or 3/115, Mr. Stringer?
12 MR. STRINGER: There are going to be two, Your Honour. We're
13 going to start with 114. These are exhibits associated with the
14 photographs that the witness has mentioned, copies have previously been
15 disclosed to Defence counsel. I'm going to ask the witness first to be
16 shown the exhibit that's marked 3/114 A for alpha.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Please proceed,
18 Mr. Stringer.
19 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, this is a notice of procedures. Do you recognise
21 your signature on the bottom of that document?
22 A. Yes, I do. This is my signature of the 8th of August, 1998.
23 MR. STRINGER: And I'm going to ask the witness to be handed
24 Exhibit 3/114 D as in Delta. Is it possible to put all of the photographs
25 there at the same time, or no? Okay.
1 If you could put the photographs, all of them, in front of the
2 witness, please.
3 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, do you recognise this as the set of photos you
4 were shown in August of 1998?
5 A. Yes. These are the photos that I saw in August 1998, and I
6 recognised the person under number three as the commander of the camp,
7 Kvocka, number three.
8 Q. Perhaps we could put that paper on the ELMO, then.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you point to him on the ELMO?
11 A. Person number three.
12 Q. Now, is this the same person that you've testified about today
13 whom you saw in the Omarska camp?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And again, approximately what length of time was this person in
16 the camp after you arrived, to the best of your knowledge?
17 A. I saw him during the first two weeks in January. After that, I
18 didn't see him any more. I don't know how long he stayed there, but it
19 was during that period of time that I could see him.
20 Q. Okay. Now, the English translation came through as January, the
21 first two weeks of January. Is that what you meant to say?
22 A. No, no. During the first two weeks in June, 'cause I was in
23 Omarska during June and July.
24 MR. STRINGER: I'm going to -- we can withdraw these now. I am a
25 going to ask the witness to be shown what's been marked as Exhibit 3/115
1 D. Again, it's additional photo board, Mr. President, previously
3 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, do you recall you were shown a series of
4 photographs at a different time by a different investigator in January of
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was that Susan tucker of the Office of the Prosecutor?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you recall that prior to looking at the photographs, the
10 procedure that was read to you previously was read to you again in a
11 language that you understood?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And at that time, were you able to identify the face of anyone
14 that you recognised from Omarska in this set of photographs?
15 A. Yes, I recognised the person number four. It was Krle.
16 Q. Now, is this the same Krle that you've testified about today, the
17 person you saw on those occasions in the Omarska camp?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, can you turn those photographs over and see if
20 your signature appears on the back of that document?
21 A. Yes. It does. 30th of January, 1990, and my signature on it,
22 person number four.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, I'd like you to look around the courtroom and
24 to tell the Judges if you're able to identify anyone in the courtroom
25 today whom you've testified about today in your testimony about the
1 Omarska camp? I'm going to ask you to stay where you are. Stand up if
2 you need to, but look around and tell us if you identify any of these
3 people that you've testified about?
4 A. Yes, I can recognise them. If we start from the right to the
5 left, first we can see Krle, then Kvocka, and then Krcan sitting in the
6 back row. Krle, Kvocka, and Krcan. Those three individuals who are
7 sitting over there.
8 Q. Now, can you tell us just for the record, what is the colour of
9 the shirt, the colour of the tie that's being worn by Krcan?
10 A. He's wearing a gray suit and a red shirt and a yellow and black
11 tie. That is Mr. Krcan.
12 Q. And the one sitting in the middle --
13 A. He was one of the shift commanders. Mr. Kvocka, who is wearing a
14 black suit, and the third person is wearing a bright suit, that is
15 Mr. Krle.
16 Q. Do you recognise any other individuals from the Omarska camp?
17 A. As far as these three are concerned, I'm hundred per cent sure; as
18 regards the others, I'm not sure, but I am quite sure about these three
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you. Mr. President, we have no further
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, before you finish,
23 could we have on the ELMO 3/115, this photo spread? Could we have it on
24 the ELMO, please.
25 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, I apologise. 3/115 D on the
1 ELMO there. I apologise Mr. President.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Will you ask the witness to
3 point at the ones he identified.
4 MR. STRINGER:
5 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, are you able to point to the photograph that you
6 identified as being that of Krle?
7 A. It's photograph number four, Mr. Krle.
8 Q. Thank you, sir.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stringer. Well,
10 and now, Witness, you will be answering the questions which the counsel
11 for the Defence will ask of you.
12 Mr. Simic, will you be the first one.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since there was no
14 time for us to consult among ourselves, we shall question in the order in
15 which the accused are listed, regardless of whether any of the counsel
16 teams has any questions for the witness or not, which means that I will be
17 the first one.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed,
19 Mr. Simic.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] We are ready, Your Honour, thank
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you may begin.
24 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, as you have heard, my name is Krstan Simic, and I
1 will ask you several questions which have to do with your today's
3 Yes, I shall begin by going backward, that is, from the end of the
4 examination conducted by my learned friend, from the identification, that
5 is. During your examination-in-chief, or rather, by the Prosecutor, you
6 presented that on the 27th or 28th of August when you were shown this
7 photo spread with 13 photographs, how long did you look at those
9 A. One minute. Why? That is how it was read to me in the
10 procedure. I was told now a person will come in, bring in photographs,
11 show them to you on the desk, and you have one minute to look at them and
12 tell us whether you recognise any of those as having been in Omarska and
13 that was the procedure. Why was that so? You'll have to ask them.
14 Q. And you said that it was person number three, and that the team of
15 investigators did not ask you who was that person, what was his name, and
16 what you knew about him?
17 A. No. That was the procedure. They did not ask me anything at
18 all. When I said person three, this person was in Omarska, they said
19 thank you. And that was the end of it.
20 Q. Yes, thank you. I have before me a document of the Prosecution,
21 and you are listed here, among other people who identified persons, and
22 you are listed as number 17. Now I shall take the liberty of reading this
23 out to you. At Mr. Kvocka, nothing, Mr. Radic, missed, Mr. Kos, guessed
24 right, and Mr. Zigic, missed.
25 Now, how do you explain this, if nobody asked you anything?
1 A. Let me tell you. As far as I knew people, eight years have
2 elapsed, and I immediately told those gentlemen a long time has elapsed.
3 I've changed; they've changed.
4 Q. Sorry, you told me a moment ago that you did not -- that you were
5 not asked who was who but only whether you know them or you don't know
7 A. Yes, I said that I recognised number three.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and the witness please pause
9 between question and answer.
10 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. If you were not asked, then how did you recognise Mr. Kos?
12 A. When I recognised Krle, then they asked me about the name. But
13 the first time in August, 1998, they did not ask me about any names.
14 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, did anyone again from the Prosecutor's Office ask
15 you to identify that individual?
16 A. I've just told you that I was -- the identification procedure was
17 read out to me, and I was told in August, on the 8th of August, 1998, I
18 handled this set of photographs and I was told you have a minute, a person
19 will come, and it was a lady, who shall spread out these photographs
20 before you, you will have a minute to tell us whether you recognise any of
21 the people from Omarska. Did you understand the question? I said I did.
22 Then the door opened, a lady came in. She opened this spread of
23 photographs and said, was there any of the men in these photographs in
24 Omarska camp, and I said, "Yes. I used to see man under number three. He
25 was in Omarska." And that was it. That was the procedure. Why was it
1 such? Of course, it wasn't mine to ask.
2 Q. And on that occasion, was Mr. Inayat in the room, the investigator
3 who conducted that whole procedure?
4 A. There was he, there was the interpreter, the gentleman who
5 conducted the procedure, and that lady who just entered for a minute, came
6 in, brought the photographs, spread them before me, folded them up again,
7 and left. She didn't run out, she just walked out.
8 Q. And when you were once again placed in a position to try to
9 identify Mr. Kvocka, let us not beat around the bush, when was it again?
10 A. Never. I had the opportunity of seeing photographs on two
11 occasions only, in August, the 28th of August, 1998, and then in January
12 1999, and that was that. Those were the photographs that were here a
13 moment ago.
14 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, on the 27th of August, 2000, were you shown this
15 same spread again, were you again asked to identify Mr. Kvocka?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. And therefore let me conclude, this means that on the 27th or the
18 20th of August, you identified him for the first time, you identified
19 Mr. Kvocka for the first time. You realised that that was a face that had
20 been to Omarska. Nobody asked about his name.
21 A. No, nobody did.
22 Q. And that was the end of it until today?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. My next question: You were shown today a photograph, and that
25 photograph that you saw today, is that a photograph from those Omarska
1 days, or was it a photograph taken in a more recent date. Could you tell
2 us that?
3 A. Which photograph do you have in mind?
4 Q. Mr. Kvocka's, Mr. Kvocka's, number three.
5 A. Number three, that is the same photograph that I saw in August
6 1998. Nothing else.
7 Q. Now, I'll try to ask you something else. That photograph that you
8 saw in 1998 and the photograph that you saw today is the one and the same?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So is it the photograph of a man taken in 1992 or a photograph
11 taken recently?
12 A. Well, I cannot tell you. The photograph of 1992 was the same, now
13 it is the same photograph, the same paper. 1998 -- that photograph was
14 shown me in 1998, and I saw it, and that is the same photograph that I
15 see, that I saw today. It wasn't a different photograph.
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
17 The Defence will also adduce two documents when the time comes for that,
18 that is the statement about the identification on the 27th.
19 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the end of the counsel's
20 sentence. We're sorry.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm not sure if I heard the
22 translation of all that you said, Mr. Simic. You wanted to adduce these
23 documents, or are you going to show these documents to the witness?
24 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, these documents are
25 in English, and perhaps the witness did not see them, and perhaps -- and
1 there is no need for the witness to look at them. These are the reports
2 of the Prosecution on their activities and the identification.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have a system, we have
4 trans -- we have the interpretation here. If need be, the document can be
5 interpreted to the witness. We can ask the interpreters to do it.
6 Mr. Stringer?
7 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. Counsel is correct. He's
8 referring to at least two documents which are documents generated by the
9 Office of the Prosecutor. One is a report made by the investigator dated
10 28th of August, 1998. It's already been marked for us for identification,
11 and we intend to offer it into evidence at the conclusion of this
12 witness's testimony. That will be before the Trial Chamber. I believe
13 that counsel is also looking at some sort of a table or another document
14 that has been provided in terms of disclosure. I think the point is that
15 the witness doesn't know about either of these documents, and I don't know
16 that it's really fair to the witness to cross-examine the witness on the
17 basis of the reports that were made subsequently by people from the Office
18 of the Prosecutor. It may be that it's necessary for someone from the
19 Office of the Prosecutor to testify about the reports and why they say
20 what they say. I don't know that the witness really can explain that,
21 Your Honour.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]?
23 A. Counsel Simic, what do you answer to that?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] That is what I wanted to have the
1 documents introduced without showing them to the witness, but I had to ask
2 the witness whether, whether there was any identification on the 27th
3 because that is what is says here and we had to clarify the fact, of the
4 year 2000.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But since this is not a document
6 which was signed by the witness, all you have to do is to ask the question
7 that you have to ask about the information that have you in your hands.
8 That is, the document should not be shown to the witness, just ask your
9 question about the document. That is, the document is a kind of
10 information that you have in your hands which come from the Prosecutor's
11 Office, and you can simply ask the witness your question.
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is what I did.
13 That is what I did, but I simply wish to adduce this, regardless of the
14 witness, and I've finished with questions. And in the end, I will adduce
15 this as evidence at the end of the questions.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You will do so, you
17 will adduce the document at the end. Very well, thank you.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, you said that you were a driver, and that you
20 moved around a lot.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And so as not to go through all that and waste time, in May 1992,
23 was the food -- could the food from Zagreb, say, come to Prijedor or Banja
25 A. I cannot say yes or no because there was a lot of trade, there was
1 a lot of contraband, and all sorts of things, but some regular routes were
2 closed between Croatia and Bosnia --
3 Q. No, I'm referring to the regular traffic.
4 A. No.
5 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, was there a free flow of goods between Prijedor,
6 Bihac, Banja Luka?
7 A. I brought in the last shipment of fuel oil to the brewery in
8 Bihac. At that day I took the route Boscanska, Prijedor, and I dropped by
9 my home in Kozarac. At that time as I was trying to cross the bridge,
10 truckloads of logs were brought in and the Bihac autocar road was closed
11 at the bridge, and autocar Banja Luka, what couldn't go to Bihac and
12 back. That was my last, my last round on that route.
13 Q. And when was that?
14 A. Well, it was eight years ago, you know. I could say it was the
15 beginning of May. Could have been late April. But whether it was
16 beginning the May or whether it was the 15th or the 7th, I really can't
17 give you the date. But it was late April, early May, sometime at that
19 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, let's not go into causes of the war and so on, so
20 forth. That was a word Krajina that you had mentioned. In 1992, was
21 Krajina cut off, closed? Was there any fighting to break through a
23 A. I don't understand what "Krajina" you're referring to.
24 Q. Bosanska Krajina.
25 A. Bosanska Krajina you could move through. I'm telling you in late
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 April, in early May, I could travel the first time from -- because Banja
2 Luka you can find all the relating documents there, and you can control
4 Q. I'm going back to my earlier question. Before the conflict in
5 Kozarac or attack on Kozarac, at the time was Krajina surrounded, in
6 inverted comma, but enemy territories?
7 A. Before the beginning of war in Kozarac, it was about 15 days
8 before that bus of employees was returned, we were going from -- to Banja
9 Luka. I'm telling you where I went and what I experienced, and I did not
10 have an opportunity of travelling around Krajina. I went simply when I
11 was given orders to take a shipment somewhere, and I can tell you about
12 the roads that I took. But -- and I can tell you that in Kozarac, a week
13 or about ten days before the war in Kozarac, nobody could come from
14 Prijedor. There was no go from Kozarac to Prijedor because in Orlovci
15 there was a checkpoint, and they were turning people back home. I went to
16 get some documents for my child, and the teacher who taught my child did
17 not turn up for work because she could not come there.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I do not know, Your Honour, when do
19 you intend to make a break? It will be a convenient time for us to make a
20 break, but I do not know will be the orders of the Court.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But have you finished?
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, no, no. I have a few more
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right. If it is convenient
25 for you, then we shall make a break now. We have three minutes more, more
1 or less, but if you find it more convenient, we can make our break now.
2 Very well, thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.58 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated. Yes,
6 Mr. Simic.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said that Kevac told you that Kvocka was the camp commander;
10 that was the first time that you saw him. Could you tell us when was that
11 -- or rather, when is it that you saw him the first time?
12 A. The first week in June. Was it on the 1st or the 2nd of June, but
13 whatever the case, after two or three days that I'd been in Omarska. That
14 is when it was.
15 Q. You also told us that the last time you saw him, sometime in the
16 middle of June?
17 A. Yes, that would be it. Yes, the -- sometime middle of June, yes.
18 Q. Thank you. You told us that you were put in the garage, and you
19 told us a great deal about that, so we won't go back into it. You also
20 described to us the garage door.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Will you please tell the Court when the door is closed and locked
23 and all that, what was the tolerance and the gap between those doors?
24 A. Well, it was -- I'll show you now. Well, about this. Not more
25 than this. Just the thickness of this pointer. Where the doors came
1 together, there was this crack through which one could watch.
2 Q. If I understood you well, the distance between two parts of the
3 door was as thick as this pointer at the top?
4 A. No, not the top. Here, about this.
5 Q. So not more than half a centimetre, is that it?
6 A. Yes, about half a centimetre.
7 Q. And the garage was in front of you, and it has a front view?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, a man watching through half a centimetre crack,
10 how large is his field of vision? How much can he see? Try that. Try to
11 make it with your two fingers and tell us, what can you see?
12 A. Well, I'll do it now with less than half a centimetre, and if one
13 of Their Honours could make a move, I can tell you what it is. And the
14 distance was even bigger than that.
15 Q. Right. I can, I can accept that you can see very well what our
16 president -- although he is not a good example for this, but what he shows
17 -- doesn't really matter, whoever?
18 A. But when you look like this, yes, quite true, I can see only right
19 in front of me. I can't look to the side, but what's the trouble with
21 Q. So you see only what you can see through that?
22 A. Of course. And as the distance increases, your field of vision
23 increases, and I can show you what you did if I look at you through that.
24 Q. Well, I showed you very well how you see watch through it?
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, you know very well to
1 distinguish between arguing with the witness and asking the question of
2 the witness. There is a difference between these two things. Can you
3 differentiate between asking questions and arguing? Can you tell arguing
4 with the witness and asking questions of a witness? Can you tell one from
5 the other?
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I can.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Ask your
8 questions and do not argue, will you please?
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I do understand what you're
11 trying to do, but as you can well understand, one cannot argue with the
12 witness; one can ask questions. And if you can tell arguing from
13 questioning, then I do ask you to ask questions, Mr. Simic, and please try
14 to avoid, even though I do admit there is always a temptation, to go into
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. You described to us the conditions that existed in the garage, the
18 number of people, and so on and so forth. You mentioned the incident with
19 Garibovic's shoes. Did you see in the number of people, the shoes of any
20 one of those Garibovics that you saw the next day, and how?
21 A. Let me tell you. Half of us, sir, were barefooted, and people
22 were taken away loaded, and the shoes were left behind. As I came from
23 the garage in the morning --
24 Q. Do you know or don't you know that those were Garibovic's shoes?
25 A. In all likelihood, yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness please pause
2 between question and answer.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So you did not see any of Garibovics wear them before?
5 A. I never had an opportunity of controlling the shoes. How do you
6 know what kind of shoes do I have now?
7 Q. Thank you. Very well, then. After you left Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina in December 1992, did you make any
10 A. Yes, when I arrived in Karlovac.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher please help me to
13 show this document to the witness.
14 A. Also, but this statement was not for the Court. It was only for
15 the Croatian archive because the hate tribunal did not exist at that time.
16 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I did not ask you what it was, what existed, and what did not
19 A. I'm only explaining the purpose it served for.
20 Q. This is a document to be in relation to the interrogation on the
21 2nd of June. In your statement today, in your evidence today, you
22 described that interrogation and said that you had been beaten by a group
23 of people who had already been to Benkovac before for about 20 minutes or
24 half an hour, and that the investigators then stopped the beating.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So now I ask you to open page 3, and I will now quote your
2 statement which has to do with that interrogation of the 2nd of June, and
3 I'm quoting.
4 A. On the 2nd of June, where was I interrogated?
5 Q. In Omarska.
6 A. I see.
7 Q. I'm quoting. "I was interrogated for two hours. I had to kneel
8 down. They beat me, naturally, when two investigators came, and both are
9 called Neso, they said not to beat me because they had beaten me enough."
10 A. Yes. So what's wrong about that?
11 Q. Does that mean that as soon as those two investigators entered in,
12 they said they should not beat you any more?
13 A. Yes. "Stop beating, you've had him for quite a time. Now turn
14 him over to us." That is what I stated. That is how it was.
15 Q. Indeed, these people stopped beating you when the investigators
16 asked them to?
17 A. They were not investigators. Drago was there, the conductor. He
18 was there, and he was the one who beat me. Then the investigators again.
19 Q. So Drago, the conductor, beat you; two investigators came in, told
20 him to stop, and he stopped?
21 A. Yes, and they continued to investigate me -- to interrogate me.
22 Q. And you were not beaten during the questioning while the
23 investigators were in the room?
24 A. No, they did not beat me.
25 Q. And these investigators, did Drago obey them without question?
1 Did they have the authority to tell them that?
2 A. Yes. When they came in they said, "Well, stop it. Now he's ours,
3 and it's our job." And he obeyed them immediately and left the room, and
4 they proceeded to questioning me.
5 Q. You stated that after that questioning you were taken back to the
6 garage, and that you stayed there until your second investigation on the
7 2nd of July; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And during that questioning, the second one, on the 2nd of July in
10 Omarska, you said that you were interrogated by the manager of Sumarija,
11 the authority department. Do you know his name?
12 A. No, I don't. It was eight years ago. It was a long time ago. I
13 don't remember his name. I don't think I ever knew it. I only know that
14 he was very tall and very dark, and that I used to know him from inside
15 because he would pass regularly by.
16 Q. When were you transferred at the pista, at that time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did the interrogator in question send you there?
19 A. Yes. He said, "Take him over there to the pista. He has been
20 interrogated already." And they took me down the stairs, and I went to
21 the pista. It was on the 2nd of July, my second interrogation.
22 Q. The guards who were on duty came to pick you up, and they obeyed
23 the order of the investigator, and they took you down to the pista?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How long did you stay there?
1 A. I spent the first night --
2 Q. Until the end of your stay in Omarska?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You mentioned the person by the name of Senad Kevac?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was his occupation?
7 A. I don't know. I didn't know half of the people who were there. I
8 met them only when I was in the camp, so I don't know what his profession
9 was. I didn't ask him about that. We were all inmates, detainees. I
10 didn't ask him whether he was a doctor or an engineer. He was a young
11 man, 23 years of age perhaps, and I don't know what his occupation was.
12 Q. You didn't know him before you came to Omarska?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was he in the garage?
15 A. Yes, together with a relative of his who was a year or two years
16 younger. He was blond and the other one was brown, and they were both
17 from the Kevac family, and they knew the guards who were guarding us.
18 Q. How long did they stay in the garage?
19 A. On that same day, the garage was closed down after my second
21 Q. That is, on the 2nd of July?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So they also left on the 2nd of July?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Thank you very much, Witness, I have no further questions for you.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Simic.
2 Mr. Nikolic, the witness is yours now.
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I proceed?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you may, Mr. Nikolic.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Z. Nikolic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Murcehajic, my name is Zarko Nikolic, I'm
7 from Novi Sad.
8 A. I'm glad to hear that.
9 Q. We heard today that prior to the conflict you often went to Novi
10 Sad, so you know the area very well?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. You spoke in detail about the events today, but I still need some
13 clarification, and I should like to ask you a few questions about your
14 testimony. I will follow up on my learned colleague from the Prosecution,
15 and I would also like to ask you to try and respond to my questions with
16 "yes" or "no," if it is possible.
17 You knew the person by the name of Brk in the camp; is that
19 A. Yes, I knew him, but not before the camp.
20 Q. Yes, I'm referring to the period during the camp. You knew the
21 person by the name of Brk?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. He was an assistance to Zeljko Meakic. He was rather a short man;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. He drove a green Mercedes?
2 A. Yes, he did. He was always in contact with Meakic.
3 Q. So Brk was using a green Mercedes, and he would drive people from
4 the camp to go and fetch some money?
5 A. Yes, I saw that on a couple of occasions.
6 Q. As regards the incident you spoke about involving the killing of
7 the brother of Bajro Cirkin, I have only one question. Would you agree
8 with me that the person who did the shooting was not a camp guard but a
9 visitor to the camp; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Thank you. You have spoken today about the money that was asked
12 of Mr. Cehajic.
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. You said that Dr. Mahmuljin gave him the money?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did that happen on only one occasion, that Dr. Mahmuljin gave him
17 the money?
18 A. Yes, it did.
19 Q. You spent most of the time in Omarska in the garage building; is
20 that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you know the person by the name of Nusret Sivac?
23 A. I met him at the camp, but I did know him by sight before the
24 camp. I used to see him from time to time in the town.
25 Q. But you actually met him in the camp?
1 A. Well, I learned about his name, and I knew him prior to the camp
2 by sight.
3 Q. Was he with you in the garage building?
4 A. Yes, he was.
5 Q. You told us that there had been three shifts?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. One shift was led by the man, by the man called Ckalja; is that
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. During your stay in Omarska, did you know a guard by the name of
11 Dzute [phoen]?
12 A. No, I did not have an opportunity to meet him.
13 Q. Nusret Sivac testified here before you.
14 A. Well, I wouldn't know that.
15 Q. Yes, that's why I'm telling you. Regarding this incident when
16 money was taken from Mr. Cehajic. He testified that the incident had
17 taken place in Ckalja's shift and that the guard who did it was Zuti. Is
18 it possible that you were mistaken?
19 A. I was quoting the word of Muhamed Cehajic. It was dark, and I
20 couldn't see.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt you,
23 Mr. Stringer, you have an objection to make?
24 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, I would object. I think it's
25 improper for the counsel to confront the witness with testimony of
1 others. If there's conflicting testimony, that's for the Trial Chamber to
2 consider. I don't know that it's appropriate to ask one witness to
3 comment on the testimony of another witness.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, how do you respond
5 to that?
6 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not going to
7 confront the witness with this fact. I only wanted to mention what we had
8 an opportunity to hear, here in this courtroom. I'm simply using that
9 piece of information.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Nikolic, but you are
11 really confronting the witness in this manner. Could you please restrict
12 yourself to the question that you have for the witness.
13 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, but I am now
14 about to finish this particular subject, and I have to continue.
15 Q. Witness, is it possible that you made a mistake in respect of this
16 piece of information?
17 A. No, because I didn't see who opened the door and who took the
18 money. When he came to me he told me that, and I quoted his words. I
19 personally didn't see that.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness.
21 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This concludes
22 my cross-examination of the witness, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
24 Mr. Nikolic. Mr. Fila.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Jovanovic:
1 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, good afternoon.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. My name is Zoran Jovanovic. I'm an attorney-at-law from Belgrade,
5 and together with Mr. Toma Fila we're defending here the accused Mladjo
6 Radic, and I have only a few questions for you.
7 A. Thank you very much.
8 Q. You were shown a photograph by the Prosecutor, and on that
9 photograph you recognised Mladjo Radic. I hope that you know what
10 photograph I'm referring to.
11 A. Photograph number four.
12 Q. No, no, no. I'm not referring to the photo spread. I'm referring
13 to that one single photograph showing Mladjo Radic.
14 A. Yes, I know.
15 Q. Can you recognise the place where Mladjo Radic was when this
16 photograph was taken?
17 A. What exactly do you mean?
18 Q. I'm referring to the location, the exact location, or rather, the
19 spot within the Omarska camp where Mladjo Radic was when the photograph
20 was taken?
21 A. I have no idea. I could only see his photograph. I don't know
22 where the photograph was taken from. I was simply shown this photograph
23 which bears only his face.
24 Q. No, no, no. I'm referring to the photograph that we saw today.
25 I'm not referring to the photo spread; I'm just referring to the
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 photograph showing Mladjo Radic.
2 A. Are you talking about Krcan? I apologise because I don't know him
3 by his name, I only know him as Krcan. Yes, the photograph that I saw was
4 taken on the stairway leading up to the rooms where the interrogations
5 took place.
6 Q. Yes, that is what I had in mind. So did you see him there? Since
7 you said that you had seen him five or six times in the camp, was it there
8 that you saw him?
9 A. I see him passing by the camp. I saw him on two or three
10 occasions when I went to eat. At one occasion I saw him shaving himself
11 with a tissue in his hand.
12 Q. No, but I'm referring to the location of the photograph.
13 A. Well, I cannot tell you exactly whether I was at that spot when I
14 saw him. I saw him on a couple occasions inside the compound, here and
15 there. I couldn't be more precise than that.
16 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
17 Do you remember the guards from the -- from his shift, from
18 Krcan's shift, since you don't know his real name?
19 A. Yes, I do remember those guards. There were eight of them, and
20 they would beat me. They nicknamed me Vojvoda, and when the people from
21 the garage were interrogated --
22 Q. Excuse me, could you tell us any of the names of those guards?
23 A. Drazenko, Aca. There was a guard who had half of his face burnt.
24 They didn't introduce themselves to me. I didn't know their names.
25 Q. Yes, but you knew Drazen, for example?
1 A. Yes, because I heard a name on a couple of occasions, and I know
2 that he was in that shift.
3 Q. How is it that you remember him?
4 A. I remember him because he was the one who beat me. There were
5 several of them standing in a circle beating me, and I remember him.
6 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
7 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much
10 Mr. Jovanovic.
11 Mr. Stojanovic.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence team of
13 Mr. Zoran Zigic has no questions for Mr. Murcehajic.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
15 Mr. Stojanovic.
16 Mr. Jovan Simic?
17 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence of
18 Mr. Prcac has no questions for the witness, either.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Simic.
20 Mr. Stringer, is there going to be any redirect examination of the
22 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, briefly. And with your
23 permission, I would ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 3/114D. This is
24 the photo board array that's been previously identified as containing the
25 photograph of Mr. Kvocka.
1 Yes, I think it's sufficient just to show the first six photos for
2 our purposes now. If the usher could please leave the other photos on the
3 desk. Thank you.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Stringer:
5 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, I want to ask you a couple of questions about
6 August 1998 when you first saw these photographs, and then I'm also going
7 to ask you about when you saw these photographs again over this past
8 weekend when you were preparing for your testimony. All right?
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic, what is your
11 objection to this question?
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a few minutes ago the
13 witness was very clear in saying that he had seen these photographs only
14 once and that he never saw them again, and now we have a question, "When
15 you saw these photographs again over the past few days." And I was trying
16 to prove that that was not the case, and now the intention is to bring
17 back the witness to the questions that have been answered by him in a very
18 clear manner already.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, how do you
20 response to that?
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. We can check the transcript.
22 It was my understanding that the witness indicated he had been shown these
23 photographs again over the weekend, and I think counsel was attempting to
24 elicit testimony indicating that in fact someone had suggested to the
25 witness over the weekend that the photographs might contain or that a
1 photograph of Mr. Kvocka might be included among those, and that was my
2 understanding of the testimony as I heard it.
3 I would like, if that has -- if that is the testimony or if that's
4 the impression that's been left with the Trial Chamber, I would like to
5 discuss or to ask the witness a couple of questions about when he saw
6 these photographs.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that the witness said
8 that he had seen it on two occasions, but instead of having to check the
9 transcript, I think it's a very good idea that we hear the witness again
10 on this subject.
11 Mr. Stringer, please ask the witness again. We're not going to
12 check the entire transcript only in order to see what the witness has
13 said. Please continue with your question, Mr. Stringer.
14 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Murcehajic, first, and I want to direct your attention to
16 August of 1998, and is it your testimony, sir, that that's the first time
17 these 12 photographs were shown to you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And was this done as part of or at the conclusion of an interview
20 that gave rise to the witness statement that the Office of the Prosecutor
21 has made?
22 A. I believe I was clear when I said that on the 28th of August,
23 1998, for the first time I was told about the system that was being used
24 and about what I should do while looking at the photographs of these
25 individuals. They gave me one minute. I signed the statement saying that
1 I had understood the question. Then a lady came in with the photographs.
2 She opened the photo board, and she told me --
3 Q. Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Murcehajic. I don't
4 think it's necessary to restate the procedure; I think you've given
5 testimony about that already. My question is whether this procedure took
6 place after an interview in which you told investigators about your
7 experience in the Omarska camp.
8 A. When I gave the statement, they told me that the photographs would
9 be brought in and that I would have to recognise whether any of the
10 individuals had been in Omarska. I recognised the person under number
11 three as the person who had been in Omarska, and that was it. The person
12 folded back the photo spread, and she left. And this is what I said.
13 Q. You said the photos were shown to you after you'd been talking
14 with the investigators. Can you just say "yes" or "no"?
15 A. It was --
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection.
17 A. It was at the end of the interrogation, at the end of my
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Sorry, I'm sorry to interrupt,
21 Mr. Krstan Simic, you have an objection to make.
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness was very
23 clear that it took place during the interrogation, that Mr. Inayat was
24 present there and an interpreter. I would also like to have a look at the
25 transcript because the witness said that you were correct, that he indeed
1 saw photographs on two occasions. However, on page 50, line 21, he said
2 that it was on the 27th of August. When he was asked whether he saw the
3 photographs this year, the witness replied "no," and he restated his
4 answer once again. He said "no" on two occasions.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is important to know -- is it
6 important to know whether the date in question was 27th or 28th?
7 Mr. Krstan Simic, is that important?
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is a very significant piece
9 of information for us, Your Honours, because we have a document which
10 indicates that Mr. Kvocka was not recognised; and then we have a document
11 from the Prosecutor that he was recognised on the 27th of August of this
12 year, and we wanted to elicit that information and the witness said "no."
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I have two brief responses. The
14 first, I think there's every possibility there's some confusion about the
15 dates because the first photo spread, as may be evident, was shown to the
16 witness and dated the 28th of August, 1998. That is the first date in
17 which this witness saw the photographs. Now, counsel on cross asked the
18 witness about the 27th of August this year. Now, I think it's a
19 possibility that there could be some confusion just on that basis alone,
20 which could be clarified.
21 Secondly, we're looking at the transcript of the testimony on
22 cross, and the English version reads as follows on line 20 of page 60:
23 "Q. Mr. Murcehajic, and on the 27th of August 2000, were you shown the
24 same spread again? Were you again asked to identify Mr. Kvocka?" And the
25 answer was "no."
1 Now, I think it's significant to emphasise that the question was,
2 was he asked to identify Mr. Kvocka, as opposed to being asked, was he
3 shown a group of photographs and asked to see if he recognised anyone in
4 the group of photographs. And this is what I mentioned previously. I'm
5 concerned that the suggestion has been made that on the 27th of August
6 this year, yesterday, the witness was somehow coached or coaxed into
7 naming a particular person, and that's what I want to ask him about. And
8 I think that in asking that question on cross, it's appropriate and fair
9 to allow the Prosecutor to clarify that in the redirect examination.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Once we are aware of the
11 problem, would you please ask the question which will solve the problem.
12 Would you please ask that one question that is likely to solve the problem
13 and remove all doubt.
14 MR. STRINGER: I will attempt to do so, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, let's not talk about 1998 any more. We'll talk
16 about this weekend. Over the weekend, did you meet with representatives
17 of the Prosecutor's Office to prepare your testimony?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Over the weekend, and yesterday in particular, were you shown
20 these 12 photographs which have been marked Exhibit 3/114D for Delta?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, before you were shown these photographs yesterday, did anyone
23 suggest to you who you might see in any of those photographs?
24 A. No. I stand by what I have already said. I recognised the person
25 under number three, and I know that that person was in the Omarska camp.
1 And I said that I have certain doubts about that being Mr. Kvocka because
2 eight years have gone by, and it is a very difficult to recognise the
3 people who were in Omarska. They probably wouldn't have recognised me,
5 Q. Now, yesterday before you looked at these photographs, did anyone
6 suggest that you might see a photograph of Mr. Kvocka among those?
7 A. No.
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I think that that is all I have to
9 ask about that. I have two other brief areas to ask the witness on
11 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, you were asked by Mr. Simic on cross-examination
12 about the incident in which you looked through the door and saw the events
13 taking place on the outside. Do you recall that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you testified that you looked through the door, and you could
16 see the person known to you as Krle entering your field of vision; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. As you sit in the courtroom today, sir, how confident are you that
20 in fact it was Krle you saw on that day when you were looking through the
21 garage door?
22 A. 100 per cent.
23 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, you were asked also by Mr. Simic about your
24 interrogation on the 2nd of June, the first interrogation. Do you recall
1 A. Yes, I recall that very well.
2 Q. And he asked you about whether the beating was stopped after the
3 inspectors or the interrogators arrived. Do you recall that question?
4 A. Yes, I do recall it well.
5 Q. Okay. My question to you, sir, is whether after that
6 interrogation took place, whether you're aware of any investigation that
7 was conducted into the beating and the treatment that you received prior
8 to the arrival of those inspectors?
9 A. The inspectors arrived while I was still at the door. I was met
10 by Drago at the door, and he immediately started to beat me without saying
11 a word. They used some foul language, and then at one point the
12 investigators said, "That's enough. He's ours now. You had him at
13 Benkovac for very long. Now he belongs to us." So -- and I remained
14 there together with two inspectors, and the guards went out. I could see
15 from the window that someone was on the roof with a machine gun, and he
16 said, "Do you need my help? Do you want me to mow him down?" Things like
17 that. And this is how it happened.
18 Q. Did the police or any authorities ever investigate the beatings or
19 any of the mistreatment that you suffered in the camp?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, you were asked by Mr. Nikolic about your testimony regarding
22 Muhamed Cehajic. Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you had testified that he had been required to give some
25 money. Do you recall that testimony?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were there other occasions in which inmates were required to pay
3 money to guards or other persons of authority in the camp?
4 A. It happened on several occasions, the same thing that happened to
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Nikolic, you have an
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this looks like an
9 examination-in-chief, the way we see it.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Nikolic, I don't
11 quite follow you.
12 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] As regards the question that has
13 just been put to the witness, it should have been asked during the
14 examination-in-chief, the way we see it. It does not follow from the
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Stringer, how do you respond
17 to that?
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I think that the questioning on the
19 part of Mr. Nikolic was intended to call into question whether on that
20 particular occasion the witness recalled accurately the testimony, whether
21 the events as he testified had in fact occurred as he testified, by
22 suggesting that in fact he was mistaken as to the time in which this
23 particular event occurred. So I think, in my view, he'd opened the door a
24 bit to one single question as to whether, in fact, this is a practice that
25 occurred on other occasions.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
2 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] The Defence cannot accept this
3 explanation because the question focused on Dr. Mahmuljin, and the witness
4 spoke about that one incident when Dr. Mahmuljin gave money but did not
5 ask any other questions about this, and what we pointed to the witness
6 refers to the same thing.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But it is quite true that
8 Mr. Nikolic asked if it was the only time that that specific person was
9 involved, and one needs to know whether there was one such occasion or
11 Mr. Stringer, you may continue to ask your question.
12 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Murcehajic, do you recall my question, or would you like me to
14 ask it to you again?
15 A. You asked me if there were other such instances, and my answer is,
16 yes; but I can't say it was this man or that man, because on a couple of
17 occasions some lads would come and say, "Well, they're asking money from
18 me or they'll kill me." But when Osman Mahmuljin came from the police,
19 since I was his cousin's best man, and he said to me, "Listen, they're
20 asking money from me or they will kill me, so what shall I do?" And I
21 told him to keep it, but that is how I learned that he had this money.
22 And then when this thing happened, I told him, "Well, go and give it to
23 him because we others don't have any."
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we have no further questions.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
1 Judge Riad, do you have any questions?
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Mr. Murcehajic. I have a few
4 questions to ask you briefly, if you can also answer me briefly because we
5 might be able to finish today.
6 I'll start from the end, in fact. You recognised three of the
7 accused, Mr. Krcan, Mr. Kvocka, and Mr. Krle, since you have been seeing
8 them there a lot. Did you notice that somebody was in a higher position
9 than the others, or were they all on the same level?
10 A. I think those three were roughly at the same level. I could not
11 really see that any one of them had higher authority than the other two.
12 JUDGE RIAD: They could do the same thing exactly?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE RIAD: But you said that in Krkan's shift you were the most
15 afraid, and it was the most perilous, according to what I heard, and that
16 you were beaten constantly. This was not the case in the shifts of
17 Mr. Kvocka and Mr. Krle?
18 A. These two shifts, yes, there were less incidents and less beating
19 when Krle or Ckalja were on duty; but when Krkan's shift was on, we're all
20 scared because his guards simply did not choose a means or the individual
21 they would strike.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Was it because -- perhaps you don't know. Was Krcan
23 not in good control of his shift? Was it completely chaos, and they could
24 not obey him?
25 A. I would not really know what it was, but I should have said as
1 many times Krle as Krcan because they had the same job. And so this one,
2 the former one, was perhaps more active and perhaps watched more closely
3 his guards than Krcan, but that's what I think.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Perhaps one more question. Were the orders of the
5 superiors usually obeyed, whether it is Krcan, Kvocka, or Krle, or nobody
6 obeyed orders?
7 A. Well, as far as I could see, he gives the papers to the guards and
8 then goes off about his business, and then they call out some men. So
9 they had done their job as far as I could see.
10 JUDGE RIAD: I mean, did you see one of these chiefs interfere to
11 stop the beating or to order a beating, or the guards just went around
12 doing what they liked?
13 A. Well, it wasn't being done at every given moment or any time.
14 Perhaps probably guards did it when nobody could see them or perhaps they
15 did it regardless of whether anyone saw them. I cannot really say. I
16 know that when I was beaten, nobody intervened. The guards simply pointed
17 at me and said come here, and beat me. And there was nobody there, head
18 of the shift or anybody, I mean to protect me.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Still in this frame of work, you said that you were
20 beaten by Drago, the investigators were able to stop the beating, they
21 ordered Drago not to stop the beating. So the orders were obeyed, so
22 somebody could stop the beating. Were these investigators in a higher
23 position than Krcan, Kvocka, and Krle?
24 A. Well, the investigators did their job up there on the upper floor,
25 and I could hear the battery. But those people there, I wasn't up there,
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 and I couldn't be there. I could see those people who were around guards
2 and who were in direct contact with us, and about them I can say what they
3 did. But upstairs, who issued orders, I don't know. They should know.
4 You should ask them.
5 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that in the first and second weekend of
6 July there was severe interrogations and beating and many were killed. Do
7 you recall who was in charge in this period, in charge of the camp?
8 A. I think that it was Zeljko Meakic because I used to see him every
9 day there at the time, him and Brk. Zeljko Meakic at that time.
10 JUDGE RIAD: And these beatings and killings were done by certain
11 shifts or by all the shifts?
12 A. These interrogations so went on all the time, but there will be
13 several at times so there will be more investigations, more crying and
14 more beating. Now, to tell you really, so many men were beaten during
15 this shift and so many on that shift, I wouldn't really know because I
16 wasn't really concentrating on that. I was trying to save my own life,
17 and I couldn't really say well, this was then, and this one did that. But
18 there were differences, yes, from one shift to the other. There were
20 JUDGE RIAD: There were differences, and the worst, you repeat --
21 A. Was on Krkan's shift, yes.
22 JUDGE RIAD: You also said that in July certain groups were called
23 out regularly, engineers, doctors, and sometimes the people who committed
24 crimes. Now, was there a certain priority? Did you notice a certain
25 priority among the people, the groups which were called out, who was
2 A. On one occasion a neighbour of mine came to me. He was a member
3 of the executive board of the SDA, and he said, Well, "Sabit, if they beat
4 me tonight, will you pull me back into the back room so as to survive."
5 And I said, "They won't kill you. Why should they?" And he said, "Oh,
6 yes, they'd killed already six or seven members of the SDA board and I am
7 the next one so that they should kill me." And I know that all those men
8 who are members of some political organisations, who have some offices
9 there, they'd all been beaten. And these people are missing. I mean,
10 their families tried to get in touch with them, but they couldn't, they're
11 gone. They're missing.
12 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned several times, in fact, that certain
13 people were seen -- you saw them for the last time, concerning Muhamed
14 Cehajic and other people who went out, interrogated, and never saw again.
15 You mean you speak till now, they are supposed -- they are considered
16 missing or only as you are concerned, you don't see them around?
17 A. I have just said, I spoke to very many families, and I heard very
18 many questions, "Listen, Sabit, you were in the garage, my brother was
19 there, do you know anything about him?" And I would say, "Well, he was
20 taken out, he left, but where is he now?" And I don't know. So you
21 judging by those numerous questions, that their relatives and families
22 were asking of me, my conclusion is that these people are still all
24 JUDGE RIAD: When you talk about the Garibovic inmates, you did
25 not exactly indicate the sequence of what happened, or perhaps I didn't
1 catch it, because you said that they were asked to hit one another, and
2 then you were -- four young men were asked to load them, to load them.
3 Were they supposed to be loaded dead? When you say load them, you spoke
4 about the bodies. Were they dead?
5 A. Perhaps you did not hear it quite well. I shall repeat it and I
6 believe others will agree with me. I said they had ordered first -- they
7 had ordered them first to start a fight between themselves, and to urinate
8 one over the other, and then we could hear shouting, "Oh, fuck you.
9 That's not how a beating is done. We shall show you now." And then they
10 did that. And after that battery stopped, then they asked for four men to
11 put those people onto something, and those four young men went out and
12 they said that they were unconscious.
13 JUDGE RIAD: And then you said you heard a tractor being
14 switched. Do you know what this tractor was doing? What was it doing?
15 A. I don't know. I heard after that loading when Zastava set off,
16 perhaps it was at that time or perhaps a minute or two later a tractor was
17 switched on because I know the sound of a tractor. And it was only within
18 two or three minutes that some three vehicles were switched on and left
19 the Omarska compound. I could hear them. It was nighttime, so that I
20 could realise how the noise of those vehicles were making was getting
21 feebler and feebler and finally died out completely.
22 JUDGE RIAD: What are tractors supposed to do usually around
24 A. The -- some of the guards came to work on a tractor. I could see
25 them. Those tractors sometimes had bags also attached to them, or rather,
1 trailers, in which you take cattle to the market or back.
2 JUDGE RIAD: My last question. You mentioned several times that
3 the soldiers in the checkpoints and in other places were wearing, you
4 mentioned, Yugoslav People's Army clothes, and also JNA plates for the
5 cars. Was this -- did you mean by that the Yugoslav People's Army from
6 Yugoslavia or was it the Bosnian Serb army, to your knowledge?
7 A. I meant in a uniform, uniformed men. From what part of the state
8 he came from, I don't know. To my mind a man in a uniform if it's a
9 police uniform, he's a policeman, if he's wearing an army uniform, then
10 he's a military.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
12 A. Thank you.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Riad. Yes,
14 Judge Wald.
15 JUDGE WALD: Witness, I have only two questions. You mentioned
16 that during your stay in Omarska you saw at various times Mr. Kvocka,
17 Krcan, Mr. Radic, the same, and Krle or Mr. Kos. My question to you is,
18 at the time that you saw any of these three men, was any mistreatment or
19 inhumane treatment of the prisoners going on, apart from the incident you
20 told us about Krle stopping the shooting? In other words, did you see
21 them at the time that, as you recounted, prisoners, as you recounted, was
22 happening at some times, prisoners were either running to lunch or being
23 beaten as they ran to lunch, or any other type of abuse? Do you
24 understand my question? Okay.
25 A. I do, yes. In the presence of the shift commanders there was not
1 that much beating. There was beating, but not -- but less than
3 JUDGE WALD: Well, let me follow through with that question a
4 little bit. Did you see any of the defendants, that is, Mr. Krcan or
5 Mr. -- or Krle present at the time that beatings were going on, apart from
6 the incident where he stopped the shooting?
7 A. No.
8 JUDGE WALD: Well, then, when you say less, is that something you
9 heard about from other prisoners rather than saw yourself? You just
10 testified that there was less abuse going on when the shift commanders
11 were there. Does that mean that you heard about it as opposed to seeing
12 it yourself? Okay. So that just so I'm sure I understand, in the
13 instances when you saw these three defendants, Kvocka, Kos, and Krcan, it
14 was not at times when prisoners were being abused, even running to the
15 restaurants or being beaten or kicked by guards. Is that what you're
16 testifying to?
17 A. Yes. I say from my point of view, when I would see a shift
18 commander near the guard, then they would behave better. The excesses
19 usually happened when there was nobody around, and then they seized upon
20 such opportunities and abused us. I did not see a shift commander and
21 group of guards beat an inmate.
22 JUDGE WALD: The question was not did they beat them, but were
23 they in a position to see the guards underneath them beating or abusing
24 prisoners to your direct knowledge?
25 A. In their neighbourhood there was never any beating but whether
1 they watched it from afar or from an upper floor I wouldn't know that.
2 JUDGE WALD: All right.
3 A. But in the vicinity of guards and shift commanders, there was no
4 beating there.
5 JUDGE WALD: Okay. My second and last question is, did any of
6 these three defendants, did you ever see either Kvocka, who to your
7 knowledge was not a shift commander but rather you were told he was the
8 commandant for a brief period in June, or the two shift commanders, Krcan
9 or Krle, did you ever see them come into the garage, into the place where
10 you were being held? In other words, did you ever see them inside the
11 garage so that they saw the conditions under which the prisoners were
12 being held in the garage?
13 A. They did not enter the garage, and when the door would be opened,
14 I think everybody could see the conditions that we were in. But they and
15 the guards did not enter the garage.
16 JUDGE WALD: Did you see them walking by the pista at the time
17 that men were being held on the pista, either lying down or standing up?
18 You did?
19 A. Yes. Yes, they would pass by, naturally. They were doing their
20 jobs. The order for us would be to lie down and we would like down and
21 everybody went about his business.
22 JUDGE WALD: So you would be lying down at the time that some of
23 them passed by? Okay. Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Wald. Witness,
1 I also have two or three questions for you.
2 You told us that there was a military riding with the same track
3 with you as a passenger. Do you remember him?
4 A. When we were taken from Karlovac to Benkovac --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, excuse me. I have to cut
6 in. I'm referring to when you were still a driver of a truck, and you
7 said that on your side on your truck there was a soldier who was
8 travelling with you as a passenger. Do you remember that?
9 A. Right. Right, I do.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So how often did that happen?
11 Always? From time to time? Often? And why?
12 A. It happened in March and April whenever I would be taking fuel or
13 fuel oil to hospitals or barracks or industrial ones, I had an escort to
14 provide security for this. I would have always military from the barracks
15 to escort the goods.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So that was the procedure that
17 was applied whenever you shipped, whenever you transported any
18 merchandise, was it, or not?
19 A. That was in 1992, I'm telling in March, April, because at that
20 time it wasn't particularly safe. Before that, we always travelled alone.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should like to go back to this
22 crack in the door through which you could watch something, and I should
23 like to ask you something. What was the position that you had behind the
24 door? Were you the fourth or the fifth, or were you just behind the door?
25 A. Right next to the door, next to this crack. I could really look
1 through it directly with my eye to the crack.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you were the first in line,
3 and your eye was right next to the door?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. My next question.
7 Today you enter the courtroom. Was there a moment when you saw the
8 defendants having entered the room?
9 A. Well, they would come in and leave during every break. I used one
10 door, and they used another door. Of course I saw them.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But before the break, did you
12 have a look at them, even before the break?
13 A. Before the break? Well, when I came here, I took my seat,
14 naturally, and I looked around me to see who was here, yes. But I don't
15 think I paid any attention to look at one specific individual, I simply
16 look around to see who was there.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And when you looked, even during
18 the break, were you able to identify the individuals who had been to the
19 Omarska camp?
20 A. In my evidence I said, and I repeat, Krle was the person that I
21 saw most often, and I was hundred per cent sure about him. Those other
22 individuals I saw less frequently. And after eight years, I just said, I
23 mean, I don't think that many people would recognise me after all the time
24 because I've changed, and those over there have changed. This one does
25 remind me of Kvocka, and this one does remind me of Krcan. I mean, the
1 physiognomies are the same; the traits are the same. Perhaps they have
2 some lookalikes there. But after eight years, those two were slightly
3 older than Krle, or at least that's what I think.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should like to ask you
5 something else. The individuals that you see here, are they the same that
6 you saw in Omarska, or not?
7 A. I'm saying Krle, and I said I'm a hundred per cent sure, and I
8 still stand by it. And I say that these men does remind me of Kvocka, the
9 camp commander, person two; person three does remind me of Krcan. And I
10 stand by those, and I think that is correct. Unless, you know, sometimes
11 they're such lookalikes. There are people who look virtually twins, and
12 then one can, of course, confuse the two.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You were asked by
14 one of the counsel for the Defence regarding Radic. Does Radic ring a
15 bell, the name? Does it tell you anything?
16 Let me ask the question a different way. Do you recognise the
17 name Radic, and do you associate it with a first name or with a nickname
18 or not?
19 A. Of all those heads of shifts or guards or commanders, I did not
20 know any one of them before. I only heard in the camp when they say, "Oh,
21 there comes Krle," or, "There goes Krle." Or Krcan, "There goes Krcan."
22 That is what they call them, and that is how I know them. I did not know
23 them before that, and I to this day do not know their real names.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. But you have no --
25 so you do not know who others were, what was the name of Krle, of Krcan,
1 or what was the third one?
2 A. I don't know. Ckalja. I don't know their real names. That is
3 how I know them.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. I just said there were
5 three, three heads of shift. One was Ckalja, another one was Krle, and
6 who was the third one that you knew?
7 A. Krcan.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. This is the end of
9 your evidence.
10 Mr. Stringer, Mr. Simic, you have some documents to tender, don't
11 you? Mr. Stringer, first.
12 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President, and at this time we'd offer the
13 exhibits marked 3/114A, B, C, D, and also 3/115A, B, C, D. Each of those,
14 Your Honour, consist of four documents, the first being the notice or the
15 warnings read to the witness before the photographs; the second document,
16 B as in boy, being the interpreter's certification; the third in each, the
17 letter C for colour, is the report made by the investigator; and then
18 finally the fourth and final document, D, are the photographs themselves.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And the Defence, any objections?
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, none of the counsel for Defence
21 has any objections to these documents.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. And you
23 yourself also have certain documents to produce, but I'm not quite sure.
24 Is it the same documents that the Prosecutor has now tendered, or are
25 these different documents?
1 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that one of the
2 documents is repeated, and that is the report of Mr. Roland Deleyn of the
3 27th of August, 2000; however, there is no need, of course, to repeat that
5 But I should like to tender also another document, that is the
6 identification list showing that on the 27th, 28th of August, 1998, the
7 witness did not identify Mr. Kvocka, and I should like to tender this as
8 our exhibit, and I think it should bear the number D 29/1.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Right. Mr. Stringer, so the --
10 Mr. Krstan Simic is not quite sure if the report of the investigator, if
11 it's the same document, or are there two different documents. Could you
12 please clarify this, or do you perhaps object to this document?
13 MR. STRINGER: Yes, they are different documents, Your Honour.
14 The first document, which I haven't been shown either of these and it
15 might be helpful if I could take a quick glance at them. I believe that
16 the first document --
17 The first document counsel referred to is called "proffer"
18 regarding Murcehajic, Sabit. It's dated yesterday the 27th of August,
19 2000. This is a document made by an investigator with the Office of the
20 Prosecutor after the witness, in fact, identified the photograph of
21 Mr. Kvocka in the photo array.
22 This document was made and signed by the investigator. It was
23 then disclosed to the Defence yesterday afternoon so that they would be
24 aware of this testimony which was going to be coming in today. We have no
25 objection to this document being admitted into evidence.
1 And counsel, Mr. Keegan, is more familiar with the other document,
2 and I think he's prepared to address the Trial Chamber on that.
3 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. The objection to this document is
4 really twofold. One is that this was a document that was produced to the
5 Defence as an aid to them so that they would have a summary sheet for each
6 witness so they could conduct examination. It does not contain the full
7 information, that is, what the investigator had for each witness, for each
8 of the potential photo board identifications, the comments, what the
9 questions were.
10 For example, this summary sheet would say, failed to ID Kvocka
11 because he didn't say the name at the time it was shown, but of course as
12 you -- when you read the full report, the full report would say, "Pointed
13 to the photograph, said 'I saw this man in Omarska camp,'" as the witness
14 testified today. Our position being this is not complete evidence, it's
15 not even clear evidence. This was given just as an aid to assist the
16 Defence so they would know where to focus questioning.
17 In addition, this particular document had errors on it, and a
18 subsequent document was filed that was corrected. So if the Chamber is
19 minded to accept such a document into evidence, we would at least request
20 that the corrected version, which was filed on the 22nd of June, be the
21 one that's submitted or accepted. But we object to it being accepted
22 because we -- it's not the complete evidence. If this is submitted, then
23 all of the reports should be submitted as well because they, then, give
24 the complete information.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Keegan, this other document
1 that you said you completed has also been filed and sent to the Defence?
2 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, Your Honour. It was disclosed to the Defence on
3 the 22nd of June of this year.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So if Mr. Krstan Simic is
5 tendering two documents into evidence, the documents that he has in his
6 hands, you have no objections as far as these two documents are concerned;
7 am I correct?
8 MR. KEEGAN: No, Your Honour. We have no objection to the first
9 document as it's being referred to, which is the statement by the
10 investigator, Roland Deleyn. The second document is this chart, summary
11 chart, and that we do have an objection to.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But if I understand, you have
13 later on drawn up a table, a chart.
14 MR. KEEGAN: Your Honour, perhaps -- let me publish this to the
15 Court so you can see.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 MR. KEEGAN: The document we're speaking of is that document which
18 appears as a table. That table was completed or developed for the Defence
19 as an aid to assist them with the stack of reports which they were given.
20 The reports, of course, would be the evidence one would normally think
21 might be used and tendered, and not that table, which is just a summary
22 that we did to assist them. It wasn't a requirement; we just simply
23 thought it would be helpful so when they were looking at a witness, they
24 could see in very short -- in shorthand form which were positive in the
25 sense that they new the person. But my point is that that record isn't
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 really necessarily an accurate record of whether the witness recognised
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. You said that there
4 was one document which was completed. Here we have two documents. Which
5 is the document that is intended to complete the other, or are we talking
6 with three documents?
7 MR. KEEGAN: No, Your Honour, we're just talking about completely
8 separate documents.
9 What I'm saying is that this chart, the particular chart tendered
10 by Mr. Simic, was one that had errors in it to begin with, and we produced
11 a second chart of a similar nature that corrected the errors that were on
12 that one. My point was, if you were minded to accept such a document,
13 that is a chart like that, at least tender the corrected version which we
14 gave to the Defence. But aside from that, we have a basic objection to
15 any such document, that is, that they are not the best evidence that the
16 Defence has on this issue or the most complete evidence.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That is what I understood. And
18 that is why I asked you if Mr. Krstan Simic wants to tender this chart
19 into evidence, together with the corrections that you entered later on,
20 you have no objections, or yes?
21 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, we still have an objection. We would submit the
22 reports that that chart is based on is what should be filed.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay.
24 JUDGE WALD: I have one question, Mr. Keegan, just to make sure I
25 understand. This chart says things like "failed to ID." I know it's in
1 summary, I understand you. But I don't understand, I guess, why that
2 nomenclature would be used even in a summary chart if indeed -- and we
3 haven't seen any of these documents yet -- but if indeed as the witness
4 testified, he was only asked. He was brought in photographs and said, "Do
5 you recognise anybody from Omarska," and not asked anything about who it
6 was, why would a summary chart then say "failed to identify"?
7 MR. KEEGAN: Your Honour, this whole issue of the photo boards has
8 a long history here, starting from the Tadic case, and based on the --
9 some of the expert testimony that came in, the procedure was developed
10 that when using photo boards with a witness, you never indicate who the
11 potential person is, just, "Do you recognise anyone?" If they don't say
12 the particular person's name --
13 JUDGE WALD: Spontaneously.
14 MR. KEEGAN: -- when they point to the photo, we don't record it
15 as an ID. But there are many instances, and I think you've already seen
16 two or three witnesses who have said on the photo board they recognise
17 someone from the camp but couldn't necessarily remember the name at the
19 The report filed on this particular case indicated the same thing
20 for this witness with respect to Kvocka, and that was the point I think
21 Mr. Simic was trying to get to. The witness says his recollection was he
22 wasn't asked to name them, so he didn't; but he knew them. And when he
23 came in this weekend and Mr. Stringer said, "Are these the photo boards
24 you were shown before," so he could know that that means we could
25 introduce them, he said "yes," and, "That's Kvocka." So that is why we
1 filed the second document, but why the original chart would say "failed to
2 ID," because the investigator would say -- when he pointed to the picture,
3 he said he knew the man; he was in the camp, but he didn't say his name.
4 JUDGE WALD: But the second corrected version, what will that say
5 instead of "failed to identify"?
6 MR. KEEGAN: Well, it still, in this particular case, say "failed
7 to identify." But this chart, of course, has all of the witnesses --
8 JUDGE WALD: Right. And if we read all of the accompanying
9 material, like you think we should read everything in context, including
10 the report and the instructions, would that show us that in fact they --
11 there was -- the criteria was when they said to him, "Do you recognise
12 anybody," he might say, "Yes, number three"; but if he didn't
13 spontaneously say that was Mr. Kvocka, it would go down in the record as
14 "failed to identify"?
15 MR. KEEGAN: Right.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is 3.00. Mr. Krstan Simic,
17 did you want to respond? Do you have anything else to add?
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will be very
19 brief. My learned colleague Mr. Keegan said that this was given to the
20 Defence as a kind of aid. This is a document that has always been an
21 official document for us indicating that a certain witness failed to
22 identify a certain accused. We had a case involving Witness B who did not
23 recognise the accused.
24 What is important for the Defence here is the following: After
25 two and a half years of trials and after a very great media exposure -- in
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example, we have every Saturday a report which
2 is covering the work of the Tribunal. So this method of work is
3 accessible to all. The accused appear on TV every day. So we have a
4 different identification on the 27th of August here, one day prior to the
5 hearing. We do not contest that this is Mr. Kvocka, that he was in
6 Omarska; however, we are afraid that witnesses could have seen the accused
7 on TV or elsewhere, and that this brings into question the whole
8 procedure. For example, this witness here recognised a certain
9 individuals, but he failed to recognise Mr. Kvocka. I see no reason for
10 this document to be accepted by the Chamber and still assessed together
11 with other documents.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, do you have the
13 correction, the corrected version of this document or not?
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, I don't at this moment;
15 however, as number 17 is concerned, there are no corrections whatsoever.
16 We are only interested in the testimony of Mr. Murcehajic, and he is
17 listed under number 17. I didn't even get the document.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You haven't received the
19 corrected version of the document?
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] No, I haven't. This is all I have.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Once again, it is 3.00 in the
22 afternoon. Let us be realistic. It is not possible to go on with this
23 discussion at this point. I don't think that we need the presence of the
24 witness in the courtroom in order to decide on this question. I suggest
25 that we continue this discussion during the Status Conference tomorrow
1 afternoon; otherwise, we will never finish. However, let me just say that
2 the parties should be able to find a common language. Mr. Keegan has said
3 that he sent the corrected version to the Defence. The Defence stated
4 that they haven't received the corrected version. In my opinion, it makes
5 sense to have the document together with the corrections. It is only that
6 type of document that will be accepted by us.
7 The Prosecutor told us that corrections have been sent to the
8 Defence, and the Defence is just telling us that they do not have the
9 corrected version of the document. This needs to be clarified, and I
10 appeal to you to try and solve it amongst yourselves. We will discuss it
11 later on, if it's necessary, tomorrow during the Status Conference.
12 Mr. Murcehajic, I apologise to you for having to listen to this
13 discussion, and let me thank you at the end of your testimony for coming
14 here to the Tribunal to give evidence and to wish you safe and pleasant
15 journey back to your place of residence.
16 Let me now ask the usher to show the witness out of the courtroom.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we will continue tomorrow at
20 half past three with this discussion of admitting into evidence or not
21 these documents, and we will also discuss our -- the remaining items on
22 our agenda at half past three. Otherwise, I see you tomorrow morning at
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m., to
25 be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of August,
1 2000, at 9.30 a.m.