1 Wednesday, 5 April 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we start with the trial, maybe we could deal
7 with a few housekeeping matters.
8 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, while we do that, I wonder if the witness
9 could have his headphones placed on, just so he's not confused about
10 what's going on while we deal with preliminaries.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine.
12 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The day after tomorrow, on the 7th, there's going
14 to be a swearing in of new Judges in the morning, which eats into our time
15 in the morning. We are supposed to be sitting at 9.00, and the swearing
16 in is going to take place at 9.00 to about 10.00. We are being asked to
17 start our case at 10.00, and I hope that will be okay with everybody.
18 Judge Hoepfel was showing me we were supposed to start at 10.30,
19 but I was approached orally that 10.00 would be fine.
20 We were being offered to sit until 3.00 in the afternoon or
21 sometime around then. I don't think that will happen, because Judge
22 Hoepfel and Judge Nosworthy are involved in another trial that afternoon
23 starting at quarter to two or whatever -- quarter past two. So we will
24 sit the normal time. We will break-up at the normal break time, but we
25 will start at 10.00.
1 Then on the 27th, again there is an almost unavoidable
2 interruption. There is a meeting of the Judges starting at 9.00, which
3 means that we will not be able to begin at 9.00 in the morning. However,
4 we -- we will recall that we were given alternative dates or dates on
5 which we could sit both morning and afternoon, and we have -- the Chamber
6 has established that the afternoon of the 27th is still available. The
7 question is: Is everybody amenable to sitting in the afternoon on that
9 MR. BLACK: The Prosecution certainly is, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That is all
12 right. But have I understood you correctly? Would the hearing be held in
13 the afternoon on the 27th? Would the hearing be held in the afternoon?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]. Sorry. I was on the
16 wrong channel.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] In order to avoid any errors as
18 far as our schedule is concerned, the hearing wouldn't start at 10.00 or
19 11.00, it would start at 2.15 on the 27th. This would suit us, by all
20 means, if I have understood you correctly.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed, that's the intention, sir; we start at 2.15
22 on the 27th.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's fine, Your Honour.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then those are the changes
1 that will be effected. We will start at 2.15 on the 27th, and at 10.00 on
2 Friday this week. Thank you so much.
3 That's all from me insofar as housekeeping is concerned. I guess
4 you are calling the next witness, Mr. Black?
5 MR. BLACK: That's correct, Your Honour. The next witness is
6 Mr. Luka Brkic, who is present in the courtroom.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Could Mr. Brkic please make
8 the declaration.
9 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has to
11 inform the Chamber of the fact that ten or 15 minutes ago we received an
12 addition to the witness's statement, the witness who will be giving
13 evidence today. This addition is in English, and the accused is not
14 familiar with the text. The witness gave his statement in the year 2000.
15 That was six years ago, and now we're being provided with an addition to
16 his statement which contains a series of extremely important additions
17 that concern the conditions in the prison in Knin, in military or civil
18 prison. So this is completely new, and we haven't been prepared for this.
19 We prepared ourselves on the basis of the existing witness statement. The
20 evidence we were going to use was also evidence that we decided to use in
21 the light of the statement we had.
22 This isn't the first time such a situation has occurred. We had
23 the same situation with the witness Hamdija Krupic. But with the help of
24 the Chamber and through the efforts we made, we managed to have the
25 hearing on that day and to avoid any problems, to avoid requests for the
1 postponing of hearing that witness, but this is a very serious matter.
2 There are many facts that we haven't been able to verify, we haven't been
3 able to speak to our client about them or to see the manner in which we
4 would conduct our cross-examination.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please be seated in the meantime.
6 And you can take your seat in the meantime.
7 Mr. Black.
8 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. Milovancevic is correct.
9 We did provide a supplementary information sheet at noon. In fact, I
10 called them to tell them it was coming because, as counsel said, it
11 included more detail about detention which was not included in the prior
12 statements. I think I should explain to Your Honours how this happened.
13 This witness was scheduled to arrive here on Monday for proofing,
14 the ordinary proofing that we do, which oftentimes produces some
15 supplementary information. His flight was cancelled because of weather,
16 and so he just arrived yesterday afternoon. I completed the proofing
17 today at 11.30, and by noon I had had a chance to type up the additional
18 information and e-mailed it to Defence counsel, and certainly we -- we
19 endeavour to disclose any new information as quickly as possible. They
20 learned about this right after I did, but I recognise that it's much less
21 notice than we usually like to give to Defence counsel for new
23 As far as other cases go or other instances in this case, Your
24 Honour, it is a practice at this Tribunal that you have a proofing session
25 with a witness, additional information does often come out of that, and we
1 disclose that to the Defence as quickly as we can. I guess I don't
2 understand Defence counsel to be challenging that practice, it's been
3 upheld in other cases, and we would submit that it helps the Defence
4 counsel by avoiding surprises in the courtroom.
5 The new information in the supplementary information sheet is
6 limited to this issue of detention in Knin. It's information which I
7 learned this morning, just a few hours ago.
8 What we would propose, Your Honour, is we're certainly flexible to
9 try to accommodate the Defence to allow them to study this overnight if
10 they need to. They could start the cross-examination of this witness
11 tomorrow. I think his evidence in chief will last a good part of today.
12 They could certainly cross-examine on the rest of the information which
13 goes to the attack on Skabrnja, it has nothing to do with the detention
14 that came later.
15 An alternate position would be we could allow them to
16 cross-examine this witness on Friday and we could go ahead and call the
17 next witness tomorrow.
18 What we tried to do, Your Honour -- I realise this is an unusual
19 circumstance, but we're trying to fill the court days as best we can.
20 Some witnesses take less time, particularly on cross-examination, than we
21 had anticipated, some take more, and with this particular witness, because
22 his flight was cancelled due to weather, it just put us in a time crunch
23 and that's why this information has come later than usual. But we would
24 say the way to deal with that is just if the Defence needs until tomorrow
25 before they can begin cross, or until Friday, then we will accommodate
1 that in whatever way we can.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear what you say. There's just one little point
3 that I don't understand, Mr. Black; why, if this witness was proofed four,
4 five, six years ago, suddenly new information comes up today. And not
5 only with this witness but with any other witness. Why does it happen
6 always -- almost always that suddenly new matter comes up which didn't
7 come up in the beginning?
8 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I think that's almost inevitable by the
9 way that these -- these cases are investigated and tried. As you mention,
10 his statement was taken in 2000 by investigators who no longer work at
11 this Tribunal. I certainly didn't work at this Tribunal when the
12 statement was taken, and so by the time the witness comes and we have a
13 concrete case in which he's going to testify and we go through the process
14 of finding out what he remembers from his statement, if there are any
15 changes, if there are corrections, you inevitably get more detail on some
16 issues, some things he doesn't remember. I'm afraid, Your Honour, that
17 happens with almost every witness, and that's why -- part of why we have
18 proofing in these supplemental information sheets, to provide that
19 information to the Defence as soon as we find out about it.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: All I'm saying is more detail I can understand, but
21 a new issue is what I don't understand. Obviously, when this witness was
22 proofed in 2000, the war in the region was long over, so he should have
23 been in a position to cover all areas that he wanted to testify on. It's
24 not as if the detention in Knin took place after 2000, after he had given
25 his statement. It took place before he gave that statement, and what I
1 don't understand is why a whole area, a whole point, is left out. Not
2 detail but a whole point that needs to be canvassed is left out.
3 MR. BLACK: Right.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Be that as it may, I understand that you will not
5 be able to resolve the issue or to answer me satisfactorily on that point
6 and it's a point that I'm just raising as a concern from the Bench that it
7 doesn't seem to be logical for a whole point to be forgotten and then to
8 come up last minute.
9 MR. BLACK: Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
11 MR. BLACK: I apologise, Your Honour, I just wanted to clarify for
12 you. It's not an entirely new issue. His detention is mentioned in his
13 statement. It's also addressed in slightly more detail in a 1992
14 statement to the Croatian police, which the Defence have. What we've
15 obtained is more detail. He's clarified for me the places where he was
16 detained, and he's talked to me about the conditions of detention, because
17 I asked him about that today. It's not an entirely new issue, but I --
18 but I do recognise that the amount of detail is significant, but it's not
19 a new issue, Your Honour. So I just want to assure you, I hope, on that
20 point that it's not a brand new topic.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Mr. Milovancevic, there are suggestions by
22 the Prosecution that you might perhaps want to delay your
23 cross-examination on the Knin issue until tomorrow or until Friday. How
24 -- how do you react to that?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we accept this
1 suggestion in principle. We're doing our best to ensure that we find
2 solutions to the problems that arrive to avoid additional expenses, to
3 avoid postponing the proceedings. Since the witness is already here and
4 expenses have already been incurred, let's start with the
5 examination-in-chief today. And then as far as the cross-examination is
6 concerned, when it comes to new details, I think we could commence with
7 this part of the cross-examination tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I
8 think we'll have time to do that tomorrow. But the problem was the new
9 material that we were provided with today.
10 And there's something else I would like to add. I do not share
11 the position of my colleague from the Prosecution when he says it's not a
12 new theme. In the statement that we received from the year 2000 there is
13 only one piece of information that concerns the accused who was in the
14 prison mentioned. Now we're speaking about civilian prisons, the role of
15 Martic, and a series of facts that -- a series of facts that are quite new
16 to us and this is why we have reacted in this way. Thank you, Your
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. The Bench
19 is grateful to you for your cooperation and it appreciates that. I
20 believe you heard the Bench's concern to the Prosecution about statements
21 that come late. The matter cannot be taken much further, and we shall
22 then proceed and hope that you'll have enough time to prepare to
23 cross-examine in those areas of the case that are new.
24 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. And I also express my
25 appreciation to Defence counsel for being flexible in their approach, and
1 I would say that-- hopefully it goes without saying but I will say it
2 anyhow, that we try to avoid this situation and we try to disclose new
3 information as quickly as we can and we will continue to do that, Your
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Black.
6 WITNESS: LUKA BRKIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. Black:
9 Q. Mr. Brkic, good afternoon.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Sorry to have kept you waiting a little bit while we've discussed
12 some other matters. Can you please stand and read the declaration that's
13 being handed to you on the card.
14 A. I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
15 and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
17 MR. BLACK:
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Brkic. Can you understand me clearly?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. You can scoot your chair forward, if it makes you more
21 comfortable. If at any time you don't understand one of my questions,
22 please just tell me and I'll try to ask it more clearly. Do you
23 understand that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Please state your full name.
1 A. My name is Luka Brkic. I am from Skabrnja.
2 Q. And what year were you born, Mr. Brkic?
3 A. I was born on the 8th of October, 1946.
4 Q. And did you attend elementary school in Skabrnja?
5 A. In Skabrnja, yes.
6 Q. And later, I believe during 1976 and 1977, you went to nightschool
7 in Zadar to become a truck driver; is that correct?
8 A. No. I obtained my licence in Germany, but in Zadar I got my
9 Yugoslav licence or, rather, my German one was recognised and I was
10 delivered a Yugoslav licence.
11 Q. I understand. Thank you for clarifying that. Did you serve in
12 the JNA at some point?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. What year was that or what years?
15 A. In 1964 to 1966.
16 Q. Did you receive any specialised training in the JNA?
17 A. No. I was just a member of the engineer unit. The pioneer
18 engineers unit.
19 Q. Thank you. That's all I'm going to ask you about your personal
20 background. Now I'm going to begin asking you some questions about
22 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, I know you're all familiarity stage with
23 Skabrnja, but I just remind you that it can be seen on page 30 of the
24 atlas in grid A1. So at the upper left-hand side of page 30.
25 Q. Mr. Brkic, during 1991 was there a village guard in Skabrnja?
1 A. In which year? I didn't understand your question.
2 Q. In 1991, was there a village guard?
3 A. Yes, there was some village guards, yes.
4 Q. When was that established, do you remember? What month?
5 A. It was established in June, I think.
6 Q. Did you yourself become a member of this village guard?
7 A. Yes, but that was towards the end. Perhaps one month before
8 Skabrnja was attacked.
9 Q. Very briefly, could you explain why the village guard in Skabrnja
10 was established?
11 A. Well, it was part of the Territorial Defence, and that's how it
12 worked. That's how the system functioned in every town and every village.
13 Q. Just so it's clear, were you part of the Territorial Defence in
14 1991 or are you discussing the -- the system prior to 1991?
15 A. Yes, I was, but only towards the end because I was in Sibenik
16 working there. I couldn't be a permanent member, but I was part of the
18 Q. Did this village guard that you were a member of, did they have
19 uniforms in 1991?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you get uniforms at any point before you left Skabrnja?
22 A. Yes, before the beginning of the conflict. Perhaps a month before
23 the beginning of the conflict we received eastern -- we received uniforms
24 from eastern Germany, uniforms that had already been used. I don't quite
25 know when.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just get clarity.
2 MR. BLACK: Please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is the village guard part of the TO?
4 MR. BLACK: Perhaps the witness can explain that, Your Honour.
5 Q. When you say the village guard was part of the Territorial
6 Defence, sir, can you give us a little bit more explanation, what you mean
7 by that?
8 A. It was at the level of local communes. At that point in time,
9 they formed a reserve police force, and then after a short while the -- it
10 was transformed into the village guards and to a defence system.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black.
12 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Brkic, you were telling us about the uniforms. Did everyone
14 in the village guard receive a uniform?
15 A. Well, not everyone. Not at the beginning. Later on everyone
16 received a uniform when the attack was about to commence. That was also
17 the case with the weapons that were received.
18 Q. What kind of weapons did you receive?
19 A. People had hunting rifles, shotguns. People received automatic
20 rifles, Kalashnikovs. There were various kinds of weapons.
21 Q. Did you yourself have a weapon?
22 A. Yes. Before the attack commenced, about five days before the
23 attack commenced I was issued with a Kalashnikov.
24 Q. Okay. A couple more questions before I leave this topic. Was the
25 village guard in Skabrnja, was that part of the Croatian army in any way?
1 A. At the time, the army hadn't been formed. All that was in
2 existence was the ZNG, the National Guard in Zagreb. Everything else was
3 part of the reserve police.
4 Q. Okay. And were you and the other village guards in Skabrnja part
5 of the ZNG?
6 A. At that point in time, no. Only people who had gone to Zagreb
7 were members of the ZNG, or people who had gone to other areas where the
8 ZNG was present.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I'm going to turn and ask you some
10 specific questions about events until November of 1991. What were you
11 doing on the night of 17 November 1991?
12 A. On that night, I was on guard for a certain period of time. It
13 was at night-time. I was on guard until about 3.00, and then a second
14 group took over, the group that came to harm in the attack itself.
15 Q. And where did you go when you finished your guard shift?
16 A. I went home to rest. And all the boys who were with me did so
17 too. There were seven of us in total.
18 Q. Okay. Now I'm going to turn the 18th of November, 1991, and I
19 want you to take this step-by-step and focus on what happened to you. Do
20 you understand that?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I understand that.
22 Q. Okay. What's the first thing you remember seeing or hearing on
23 the morning of 18 November 1991?
24 A. I was still in bed at the time. Behind the house I was in, that's
25 the house behind my brother's house, well, the first shell fell on a plain
2 Q. And what did you do when you heard that shell fall?
3 A. [No translation].
4 Q. Mr. Brkic, if I can interrupt -- translation?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: There is an SOS coming from that cubicle there.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry. The English booth was on the Albanian
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The English booth has now
10 gone back to its place.
11 MR. BLACK:
12 Q. Sorry, Mr. Brkic. We had a technical problem with the
13 interpretation. Could you tell us what you did when you heard the first
14 shelling falling in Skabrnja?
15 A. I jumped out of my bed, and I had slept in the uniform, the one
16 from East Germany that I had. We wore parts of uniform and parts of
17 civilian clothes. Actually, we slept in our street clothes at the time.
18 Anyway, I was dressed when I jumped up from bed, and I told my
19 wife something is going on.
20 Q. Since you mentioned the clothes, what precisely were you wearing
21 when you jumped out of bed? Do you remember?
22 A. Yes. I had my jeans on. The trainers were next to the wall, next
23 to the coat-tree. I had a windbreaker with a hood when I went hunting or
24 into the field on an inspection tour. That's what I managed to put on.
25 Q. Okay. Did you put on any other part of the uniforms that you'd
1 received from East Germany or from ...
2 A. No. All I managed to grab was a rucksack and a helmet.
3 Q. Okay. And what did you do next? Did you go outside your house or
4 did you stay inside?
5 A. I went outside, and in that short time five or six boys managed to
6 gather, and they had all come to me asking me what to do. Since the tanks
7 were already not more than 15 minutes -- 15 metres away, there was a
8 little transformer station also in the vicinity, I advised them to run
9 away, to find shelter somewhere beyond the houses, beyond the road, along
11 Q. These five or six boys that you mentioned, who were they?
12 A. They were also people who normally shared the night guard, night
13 village guard with me who were not on duty at that time.
14 Q. Okay. And you said you advised them to run away. Did you tell
15 them where they should go?
16 A. Yes. I told them to go beyond the houses that are beyond the
17 road, because I was with my house on this side of the road.
18 Q. And did those -- those boys or those men, did they follow your
19 advice and leave?
20 A. Yes. They did as I said, and that's what saved their skins. I
21 told them, "If you find yourself in danger, there's nothing you can do but
22 run towards the village and just look out for yourselves."
23 Q. Okay. And when they left, where did you go?
24 A. I went to my brother's house. I went to the attic to see if some
25 boys still remained there or they had already gone downstairs. At that
1 time, the second shell hit. It hit the centre of the roof beam. And
2 since it was a small mortar shell, I can't tell you the exact calibre, but
3 it didn't fall further down into the house. It was sort of -- it short of
4 ricochetted from the roof beam.
5 Q. Okay. Now you've mentioned the first shell and the second shell.
6 Were those the only shells falling --
7 A. Second.
8 Q. Were those -- were those --
9 A. That's all that hit us at that time.
10 Q. What about in other parts of the village? Could you hear or see
11 if there were shells falling on other parts of the village?
12 A. When the shooting started, that was the start of the conflict.
13 The howitzers came in, the aeroplanes, and all the village was under
14 attack. And there is a map that comes from their side, and they drew the
15 map, not I. It shows from where fire was opened. It shows the strength
16 of their weapons, which howitzers, which calibres, from which positions.
17 Q. Okay. Well, we should have a chance to look at that map a little
18 later, but let me focus now on your story and what happened to you.
19 What did you do when this second shell hit your brother's house
20 that you were in?
21 A. I left the attic. There were two other people with me, Marin and
22 a man nicknamed Neno. His name was actually Ante.
23 Q. What's the surname of Marin and Neno?
24 A. Gurlica.
25 Q. And where did you and --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. Are they both Gurlica?
2 MR. BLACK: Yes, Your Honour.
3 Q. Witness, are they both named Gurlica?
4 A. Yes, that's both their name.
5 Q. Thank you. Where did you and Marin and Neno go when you left the
7 A. They were not in the attic. They were around the house. I was
8 the only one up in the attic.
9 Q. Okay. Well, explain that to me. Tell me what happened when you
10 came down from the attic. What happened next?
11 A. I checked around the house, because that's where the combat
12 armoured vehicle did most of its shooting, in a pinewood, from a pinewood
13 near the house, and there was a lot of brush burned.
14 Q. Okay. And when -- and when you went to check around the house, is
15 that when you saw Marin and Neno?
16 A. No. When I saw that I couldn't find them, I realised they must
17 have found cover somewhere. So I went down to the basement where women
18 and children were sheltering. I realised there was nothing much I could
19 do upstairs, so I went to join them downstairs.
20 Q. Okay. In which house is this basement in that you've just
22 A. My brother's house. It was just next door to my house. We share
23 the same yard.
24 Q. And who was in the basement? Do you remember any specific names
25 of who was there?
1 A. I remember all the names. There was my wife, my mother, the
2 Gurlica women, Neno's mother, grandmother, the children. There was
3 another neighbour also name Gurlica. Practically the extended Gurlica
4 family. There was also an infirm man, Ivan Gurlica.
5 Q. Do you remember how old these people were, the people who were in
6 the basement?
7 A. There was only one old man, this Ivan Gurlica. All the other men
8 were around 40, or there were young boys who had just done their military
9 service, like Marin and Neno.
10 Q. What about the women who were in the cellar? Do you remember
11 approximately ages?
12 A. They were either the age of my mother, in their 60s, or around the
13 age of my wife, 40-ish.
14 Q. Okay. And other than -- than yourself, was anyone else in the
15 basement a member of the Skabrnja village guard?
16 A. Only Marin and Neno.
17 Q. And were there any weapons in the cellar?
18 A. Yes, there were. There was one light machine-gun, two automatic
19 rifles, one Kalashnikov, and one from the former Yugoslav People's Army, a
20 folding one -- no, not a folding one. The normal one. 50 something. I
21 don't know the number. And there was one shotgun.
22 Q. Okay.
23 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, Mr. Black. The witness has said that
24 in fact the only other persons in the basement were members of the
25 Skabrnja village guard were Neno and Marin, but as far as I understood
1 from the previous evidence, those persons were still outside. He thought
2 they had got cover. They're not supposed to be in the basement. Or have
3 I missed something?
4 MR. BLACK: No, Your Honour. Let me -- I'll clarify that.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
6 MR. BLACK:
7 Q. Mr. Brkic, you've her the Judge's remark. When did Neno and Marin
8 come to be in the basement with you?
9 A. Right. I forgot to say that. They joined us later. The lady is
10 quite right to remark this. Once I got into the basement, and I said that
11 in my statement, somebody started to knock on the door. I didn't know it
12 was them, and I thought it could be that army that had come, but it
13 wasn't. They were trying to get me to open the door because it was
14 locked, and I did. I let them into the basement. And just seconds after
15 that the balcony door was broken and the troops started rushing in, the
16 paramilitaries, or I don't know who.
17 Q. Okay. Before we get to that, just a couple more questions about
18 Neno and Marin. Do you remember what they were wearing when they came to
19 the basement?
20 A. Neno and Marin were wearing camouflage uniforms, and I managed to
21 persuade both of them to take it off. Neno just didn't have enough time
22 to get off -- to take his boots off, because I had told them, "If they
23 find you like this, you will be liquidated immediately." Underneath the
24 uniforms one of them had a tracksuit on and the other one was in jeans,
25 like I, and a T-shirt, and that's the way we were dressed, one in a
1 tracksuit and two of us in jeans and T-shirts.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. I interrupted you just when you said you heard
3 the balcony door being opened. Tell us what happened then.
4 A. No. No. They didn't open doors. They didn't even try. They
5 just shattered the glass on the windows and broke in. The basement did
6 not have stairs leading to the basement. There was just a -- an aluminum
7 ladder as a makeshift solution, and they shouted from above the
8 ladder, "Get out or we are throwing a grenade in." So I told Neno that I
9 would do it, because he was a young boy and he was afraid. It was a
10 nicely done basement. It was a good shelter. You can't easily throw a
11 grenade in.
12 So I went out. The man -- the soldier asked me to lift the
13 ladder. I did, and there was no more shooting for a while. And first the
14 old women and children came out and then all the rest of the people.
15 Q. Okay. And what happened once everyone had come out of the
17 A. They made us lie down outside the house on the concrete with our
18 arms outstretched until this Captain Jankovic ordered us to stand up.
19 Q. Okay. Who was it who made you lie down?
20 A. Those who came first. They were all wearing camouflage uniforms
21 and had their faces painted. We couldn't recognise anybody except for one
22 man whom I knew from working in the Jadran quarry. He searched me, and he
23 found in my pocket a length of cord, the kind that you use to clean a
24 rifle, and there were two cases -- casings from a shotgun, and he asked
25 me, "What is this?" And I said, "I don't know. I don't know where I got
1 it from." There was a tall man with black hair behind him. He twisted my
2 neck from behind and made a motion as if to slit my throat, but I
3 said, "Oh, don't do that. Don't slit my throat for nothing." And at that
4 moment Captain Jankovic showed up and told him to stop. And then this
5 same Captain Jankovic told us to get up and go to the road.
6 Q. Let me interrupt you and just ask you a few questions about what
7 you've told us. First you describe the soldier as wearing camouflage
8 uniforms. Did you notice if they had any kind of insignia on their
10 A. Yes, they did. At the point when women had already left, I was
11 standing next to the first tank, next to Captain Jankovic, and on my right
12 there were soldiers with the insignia of White Eagles, and one of them
13 asked me, "Do you know what this means?" I didn't dare to say a word. I
14 was too afraid. And he said, "These are the White Eagles." I kept
15 silent. And they belonged to the regular troops, but most of them were in
16 fact reservists. I could see it from their faces.
17 Q. When you say the regular troops or reservists, to what armed force
18 are you referring there?
19 A. I meant to say that it was the regular army made up of conscripts
20 who were doing their military service, whereas reservists were people who
21 had been conscripted for the wartime effort.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but the question, Witness, is, are these
23 reservists or conscripted people in the army of Yugoslavia, in the army of
24 Russia, in the army of England? Which army did they belong to?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reservists belonged to the
1 Yugoslav army.
2 MR. BLACK:
3 Q. And what about the people you call the regular troops? Did they
4 also belong to the Yugoslav army?
5 A. Yes, yes. They were also members of the Yugoslav army. Maybe I
6 didn't put it too clearly, but that's what I men.
7 Q. That's okay. We understand you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: By Yugoslav army, what do you mean? The Socialist
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what existed until that
12 MR. BLACK:
13 Q. Do you mean that they're a part of the JNA? Is that who you're
14 referring to, or are you referring to another group?
15 A. I meant the JNA. And they were conscripted formally into the JNA,
16 although they did not act under the JNA's standard. They acted the way
17 they acted.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. I think we're clear on that now.
19 You mentioned some insignia of the White Eagles. Did you notice
20 any other kind of insignia besides the White Eagles and these regular JNA
22 A. No. They were still wearing the five-pointed star. Some officers
23 that I saw at the outskirts of the village wore ceremonial uniforms in
24 part, and others wore camouflage uniforms.
25 Q. Okay. I think maybe you misunderstood my question. I wasn't
1 asking about the different kinds of JNA uniforms but if you saw any other
2 kinds of insignia besides White Eagles.
3 A. Some wore emblems of SAO Krajina. Some wore cockades, the hats
4 that were worn in the first -- in the Second World War, rather.
5 Q. Okay. Before I interrupted you to ask you these questions about
6 uniforms, you were explaining how one of the witnesses was threatening you
7 and someone named Jankovic intervened. Do you remember telling us about
9 A. Yes, and that's correct. They wanted to drag me away behind a
10 house to kill me. However, one man said, "I know this guy. He is a
11 Siptar." He just said that. I don't know why, because he didn't really
12 know me. He just wanted to save me.
13 Then Captain Jankovic got this man to release me, the man who was
14 twisting my neck from the back, and he sort of made a motion that he would
15 shoot them if they don't leave me alone. And he said, "This is no army.
16 I thought that there were Chetniks here, but this is just a gang,
18 From all I saw, from the impression this Captain Jankovic made, I
19 think he was the only soldier there. All the others were picked from the
20 surrounding villages, and they did their looting and destroying without
21 Jankovic's knowledge. They were doing it behind his back. And they had
22 to be reservists. Who else could they have been?
23 Q. Okay. When you say that Jankovic was the only soldier there, but
24 yet you said that you think the others were reservists, did you think that
25 the other people were there in a private capacity, or were they there as
1 some sort of armed force? It's not quite clear to me what you're saying.
2 A. Well, they were together with Jankovic, and they were within the
3 army, but they were actually doing what they were doing without Jankovic's
4 knowledge and quite apart from any army activities.
5 Q. Okay. One thing just -- just so the record's clear. You said
6 that someone referred to you as a Siptar. What does that mean?
7 A. To facilitate my liquidation. That's the only thing that could
8 have meant.
9 Q. Right. But Siptar, is there another word for that, what that's a
10 reference to?
11 A. I don't know. Siptar is what we call people from Kosovo,
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Brkic, you explained to us how Captain
14 Jankovic intervened on your behalf and then -- and then he told you to get
15 up and go to the road. What happened then?
16 A. That's what I meant. He didn't let them shoot me. What I just
17 described happened when I came to him.
18 Q. Okay. And after that incident that you've just described, what
19 happened next? Where did you go next?
20 A. I put my hands behind my head, and I followed him all day until
21 dusk, until we reached the church, I and all the other captives who were
22 following him.
23 Q. Okay. Let me see if I'm clear on this. The other people who were
24 in the basement with you, were all those people still with you when you
25 walked to the church or when you went to the church?
1 A. There was late Petar, Marin. They were with me all the time.
2 Q. Okay. What about the women and children who had been in the
3 basement? Were they still with you?
4 A. The women and children, as I said before, had been separated from
5 us, and they went towards the outskirts of the village, towards the road,
6 towards a place called Ambar. We actually live on the outskirts, on the
7 periphery of Ambar.
8 Q. Okay. Now, you said that you and Petar and Marin followed
9 Captain Jankovic towards the church. Can you describe how you went there?
10 Describe that for me, please.
11 A. It's easy to describe that. You stopped above Petrova --
12 Petrova's house very briefly. A tank stopped there and they opened fire
13 there. A Zolja was used to fire on a house. Somebody fired from a Zolja
14 to make sure nobody was hiding inside. At the same time a tank opened
15 fire in the direction of the school. It fired one shell. Another shell
16 was fired from behind on the houses to the left of the school, but I think
17 they were before the school. I haven't mentioned this anywhere, they were
18 engaged in shelling constantly. They didn't just fire one shell. The
19 road was full of shells. I didn't want to mention each and every shell
20 or -- that was fired, or each and every explosion.
21 Q. Okay. Can you explain what a Zolja is?
22 A. It's a sort of hand-held rocket launcher. It's intended for
23 single use. Once you use it you discard it. Whereas a hand-held launcher
24 is something you can use on numerous occasions. That's the sort of weapon
25 I had in the former army so I'm quite familiar with this sort of weapon.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. You mentioned some -- you mentioned tanks and
2 you said that you were also going with a couple others. Were you together
3 with the tanks or were they ahead of you or behind you? Where were the
4 tanks in relation to you?
5 A. We were to the left of the road. We were at an equal distance as
6 the captain from the tank, and there were three others who followed me. I
7 didn't dare turn around, because if you turned around, well, you know what
8 would happen.
9 Q. Okay. You said you were an equal distance as the captain from the
10 tank. Can you give an idea how far that distance was?
11 A. Well, that was a step or two away from the tank.
12 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, perhaps it's a convenient time for the
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is indeed. Sorry.
15 MR. BLACK: Well, actually my math is -- I'm thinking of the
16 morning session. Do we have another 15 minutes? The court officer tells
17 me we do. Thank you.
18 Q. Sorry, Mr. Brkic, just thinking about the next break which will be
19 in 15 minutes.
20 Other than Captain Jankovic, did you recognise any of the other
21 people either in the tanks or who were with the tanks as you moved towards
22 the church?
23 A. Not at the time. I didn't recognise anyone now. I couldn't have
24 known them. I couldn't have recognised them since they were all masked.
25 Then we stopped bit church itself. I assume there was someone there who
1 had worked with me for five days, but I can't say that for sure. He was
2 wearing a cap. When he got off the tank, he tapped me on the shoulder.
3 He probably knew me. And he said, "Nothing will happen to you." That was
4 someone who was in the first tank, and the event I'm describing is
5 something that occurred when he came out of the tank, got down from the
7 Q. Okay. Do you remember what he was wearing, what kind of uniform
8 or what kind of clothes he had on?
9 A. He was wearing the sort of uniform a tank crew wears. He had a
10 cap with protection for his ears. He had the sort of things that soldier
11 would wear on him.
12 Q. Okay. Actually, with the assistance of the court officer and the
13 usher, if we could show Exhibit 271, please. And in particular, it's the
14 page with the ERN 04687818.
15 Mr. Brkic, in a moment on the screen in front of you there will be
16 a photograph, so when it comes up I just want you to look at it, please.
17 Mr. Brkic, do you recognise the building in the photograph there
18 on the left?
19 A. Yes, I do. It's the village church or the local church. Call it
20 as you will.
21 Q. Okay. Is that the same church that you've just mentioned or is
22 that a different one?
23 A. No, that's the church I mentioned.
24 Q. Okay. And where within the village of Skabrnja is this church
1 A. We say that the church is in the centre.
2 Q. Okay. I'm not sure we need to see the image any more. Well,
3 maybe we can leave it up in case it helps the witness.
4 Mr. Brkic, did anything happen to this church on that day that you
6 A. Nothing happened to the church on that day. Shells were fired,
7 mortar shells were fired. And then later on when we arrived, when the
8 tank stopped, what we can see in this photograph is -- well, you have a
9 path here that you can see. Perhaps you can go back to the previous
11 If you stop there, I'm pointing to the location of one tank with
12 this pointer, and there was another tank here. They tried to go to the
13 church, to enter the church. This was done wilfully, without
14 Captain Jankovic having provided authorisation. He said that the rubble
15 would fall on him. He then returned to the same position, and several
16 soldiers then entered the church, and they attacked the altar, the icons,
17 everything that was in the church. They broke things up. They fired
18 shots. I didn't see this, but these are things that I could hear.
19 Q. Okay. One thing, you said they tried to enter the church. How
20 did -- how did they try to enter the church at first?
21 A. You can see that in the photograph. You have some stairs here,
22 and then someone gave -- gave up this idea. Perhaps he realised he
23 couldn't enter the church. Perhaps they realised the tank couldn't enter
24 the church. This was perhaps just a provocative act.
25 Q. Okay. It's just not particularly clear, but you say perhaps they
1 realised the tank couldn't enter the church. Was someone trying to enter
2 the church with a tank? Is that what you're saying?
3 A. Yes, with the tank, with the vehicle.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you for explaining that to me. While you were here
5 near the church as you've just described, at some point did those Serb
6 soldiers come under fire? Do you remember that, something like that?
7 A. As far as the tank we've just been discussing, I remember that --
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the last
9 question the Prosecutor was talking about Serbian soldiers. The witness
10 has never used such an expression so far. He mentioned reservists, JNA
11 soldiers, but the term used by the Prosecutor is not one used by the
12 witness, so it is quite incorrect to quote him in this way.
13 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I'm happy to clarify with the witness.
14 The phrase I used was "Serb" as opposed to "Serbian."
15 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you know the -- could you tell the ethnicity of any
16 of these soldiers that you saw on that day in Skabrnja?
17 A. Well, it would be difficult to say what their ethnicity was. Some
18 boys escorted me, and then later on there were boys from Zagreb who were
19 serving in the military. There were youths, boys who had come from Zadar
20 at the time. They came to testify. There was some sportsmen in Skabrnja
21 too. They didn't even know that Skabrnja was being attacked. They
22 thought it was some sort of an exercise. That's how it had been portrayed
23 to them. So the person who took me back to a certain place said he would
24 never return again. He said, "I'll never return here." He says, "I'm
25 doing my military service." He said, "I've come down from Zagreb." There
1 were young men there who were unaware of the fact that the village was to
2 be attacked. They thought it was some sort of a routine training.
3 Q. Okay. So you're saying that some of the people that participated
4 in the attack were Croatians? Is that what you're saying?
5 A. Well, yes. One of them was. He testified in Zadar. There were
6 such cases too.
7 Q. So other than these people you've mentioned from Croatia or Zagreb
8 or Zadar, could you tell if there were people there who were not Croats?
9 A. At the time, I couldn't distinguish between Serbs or Croats. Some
10 had the five-pointed star on them. Until I arrived in Knin, and then I
11 saw that the insignia that the soldiers had consisted of the letters J and
12 A. They no longer had the five-pointed star as insignia. All they had
13 were the letters J and A, the Yugoslav army.
14 Q. Okay. Well, let's not get to Knin yet. I still want to talk to
15 you what happened in Skabrnja on the 18th of November. Do you know what
16 ethnicity captain -- do you know what ethnicity Captain Jankovic is --
18 A. I couldn't say. They called him Lala. His men called him Lala,
19 and when he didn't allow the church to be shelled, he told me, "Why should
20 sacred or holy buildings or schools be destroyed -- or schools? Why
21 should they be destroyed?" He said, "I'm also interested in those holy
22 buildings." Later I heard that his wife was either from Zadar or someone
23 in fact told me that she had worked with him, and no one wanted to say who
24 this one was. I think his wife was a Croat. And this is why I think that
25 in part he was interested in these holy buildings. He was tied to these
1 holy buildings such as the church in Skabrnja.
2 Q. Okay. And you think that Jankovic's wife was a Croat. Do you
3 have any idea what ethnicity he was?
4 A. I think he was probably from Vojvodina. He was someone from
5 Vojvodina. As to whether he was a Croat or a Hungarian or whether he was
6 some other ethnicity perhaps, a Slovakian, I really couldn't say. They
7 called him Lala. Whether that was his nom de guerre or whether that was
8 his real name I couldn't say that either.
9 In all wars, and that was probably the case in this war too,
10 people would use pseudonyms to conceal their identity.
11 Q. Okay. One more question on this and then I'll move away from
12 this. So you mentioned one person whom you know at least from Croatia.
13 Was that a person Croatian by ethnicity the person that you know that
14 participated in this attack?
15 A. At the time I didn't know any Croats. I only knew this young man
16 who drove me in the vehicle. He was doing his military service. He was a
17 member of the regular military. I don't know if you understand what this
18 term means exactly, but I identified him as a Croat and he told me he was
19 a Croat. But as for the others, I didn't know what their nationality was.
20 Q. Well, that was my question. Do you tell the nationality of anyone
21 else who participated in the attack on Skabrnja, other than that one
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. Before we got onto this topic, you were telling me about
25 when -- an occasion when the soldiers there came under fire. Can you
1 please tell me what happened?
2 A. I think I was talking about the tank when we stopped in front of
3 the church. And beyond the fields there's a village, a hamlet, called
4 Gravici. Two or three shots were fired, probably sniper shots, and
5 there, by the tank, was Captain Draganů or Zoran. He went to the
6 other side of the tank, and I was used as a sort of live shield. I was
7 standing there when they opened fire, and the captain later went behind
8 the tank. He took me behind a house the house that was on the corner
9 there and he said, "Flee from here. You'll be killed by your own people."
10 Then one person who wanted to kill a young boy called Marin, he
11 said, "I saw where they were firing from, and he pointed in the direction
12 in the direction they were firing from. And then he turned the tank
13 around, opened fire, and missed the house. The shell fell by the house.
14 He then fired a second shell and said, "This time I won't miss." And that
15 was, in fact, what happened. He didn't miss.
16 When I came from the prison, I went to see how the shell had
17 shot -- had been fired and had hit the house. It had hit the house at the
18 top of the steps to the house. That's what actually happened.
19 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I think it is now time for the break.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is indeed. We will take a short break and come
21 back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black.
25 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Brkic, we're going to start asking you some questions again,
2 but I'm going to ask you to make an effort to speak slowly and to really
3 listen to my questions, because the interpreters are having trouble
4 interpreting everything that you're saying. Do you understand that?
5 A. Yes, I understand that.
6 Q. I know you have a lot of information which you want to share, but
7 please make an effort not to talk over me while I'm talking, while I'm
8 still asking the questions.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. Before the break, you'd said how
11 you -- you talked about Captain Jankovic and the things that he had done
12 to help you. Was Captain Jankovic present when they tried to drive the
13 tank into the church?
14 A. Yes, he was present, but he wasn't right by the tank itself.
15 Q. Okay. Was he able to see what was happening to the church? Could
16 you tell?
17 A. Yes, he could see what was happening to the church just as I could
18 because he was quite close to me.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. And just before we broke, you said, "Then one
20 person who wanted to kill a young boy called Marin," and he said
21 something, but I'd like you to explain this incident where someone wanted
22 to kill Marin.
23 A. He tried to till the young child, and a nurse was present. There
24 were the three of them. Nada Pupovac was closest to him, and she was in
25 fact the person who gave orders to all of them. She said, "Don't kill
1 him. We've had enough of such things." She was referring to what had
2 happened there at the beginning. And he gave up on this idea of killing
3 him, and that's how this matter ended. We mentioned this shooting, and he
4 said that he had seen where the tank had fired from. He did what he did.
5 He opened fire from the tank. One of the shells missed the target, the
6 other shell hit the target, and that's all I wanted to say, in fact.
7 Q. Yes. And you explained that to us before the break but just a few
8 more questions about this incident with Marin. Where did that happen?
9 Where was it that this person wanted to kill Marin?
10 A. This happened behind the house of the corner where the captain
11 took shelter and later on everyone else took shelter there after the three
12 shots had been fired, the three shots that were fired at the tank.
13 Q. And who was it -- who was the person who -- who wanted to kill
15 A. No. He was in camouflage uniform. It was probably the person,
16 the tall person who wanted to kill me, too, who wanted to cut my throat.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you for that further detail. While you were in the
18 area of the church, did you see any other officers besides Captain
20 A. As far as the officers are concerned, I think Calic was there. He
21 was at the entrance. He had a desk and a chair, and he gave orders to
22 Captain Jankovic and to everyone else who opened fire along that road to
23 the village and in the village.
24 Q. Okay. For the time being I'm just focused on the time where you
25 were near the church. Did you see this Calic or any other officers there
1 near the church?
2 A. A lorry was sent, a TAM 110, to fetch him, to fetch that officer.
3 And this is what happened. And once the officers had been fetched, he
4 said, "Well, look." That's how everything ended. And he said, "That's
5 how I would issue orders too." That was a sort of joke of that.
6 Q. And when you say "this officer," are you referring to Calic or
7 someone else?
8 A. I think Calic was an officer, but there were several of them who
9 were involved in coordinating the attack. Calic was there on one side.
10 There were others elsewhere, but I think he's the one, because I know for
11 sure that he gave orders to issue -- to open fire. He issued orders to
12 open fire. I know Calic is an officer, you know.
13 Q. Let me focus just on what you saw. Did you see this officer Calic
14 or any other officers in the area of the church? You yourself, did you
15 see them?
16 A. No. I personally saw someone. He wasn't there before. He was
17 fetched to come to the place where we were, to the place where the captain
18 and the tank were. But what should be said and hasn't been said is that
19 they reported that Vukovar had fallen, and then they reported that
20 Skabrnja had fallen too. This was reported over the radio. A sold year
21 had a radio set. They were happy about this. They celebrated this a bit.
22 There was a shop nearby. They got some drinks. They had a few drinks and
23 had some fun.
24 Q. Okay. Just so that it's perfectly clear, who do you mean
25 by "they," that they reported that Vukovar had fallen and that they were
1 happy about this. Who is "they"?
2 A. They heard this on the radio. As to whether this came directly
3 from Vukovar or somewhere else, I don't know, but this person who had a
4 radio set received the information. He told all of them that Vukovar had
5 fallen. This was at the same time that they arrived in our place, in
6 Skabrnja, when Skabrnja fell.
7 Q. Okay. Please just listen to my question carefully. Who
8 is "they"? Are you referring to the soldiers or some other people? Who
9 is it that you're referring to as "they"?
10 A. I'm referring to the soldiers who were on the other side either in
11 Vukovar, and that's where they received that information. They received
12 that information, and the people concerned are the troops, the soldiers.
13 Q. Okay. The troops, the soldiers. They were with you near the
14 church in Skabrnja. Are those the people you're talking about?
15 A. Yes. Those are the people I'm referring to.
16 Q. Thank you. I'm going to move on a little bit in your story. Did
17 you eventually leave the church or the area of the church?
18 A. It was then time for Calic to leave, if it was Calic. We followed
19 him in another vehicle. We headed towards the entrance to the village of
20 Ambar. We went along the main road. We were placed in the cellar of two
21 houses that had been abandoned there.
22 Q. And how long did you stay in that cellar at the entrance to the
24 A. Well, we stayed in the cellar for a little over an hour perhaps,
25 maybe even two hours.
1 Q. Who else was there at the entrance to the village besides you
2 among the villagers of Skabrnja?
3 A. Some women had been put up there. Some had already set off for
4 Benkovac. Later I heard they were in the nursery school, that the women
5 were staying in the nursery school. And then as mother and grandmother
6 and other Gurlicas were there, and an Eva Segaric. A Lejla Segaric.
7 There were about ten of us in that cellar.
8 Q. Was anybody mistreated when you were at the entrance to the
10 A. There was Neno, a soldier who cleaned weapons for -- with night
11 vision, took him behind the house, beat him up a bit and then returned
12 him. His mother was trying. I thought that he was going to kill him
13 since he had a weapon in his hands, but he didn't kill him. He sent him
14 back to the cellar.
15 Q. Okay. And you told us you stayed in the cellar for a little over
16 an hour, maybe two hours. What happened next? Where did you go after
18 A. They then took us out. I took Ella with me she was poor sighted
19 she could see but not very well because it was night. There was a bus
20 parked there and they then took us to the bus. We stood by the bus. Neno
21 Marin and myself were lined up there by the edge of the road. They
22 ordered us to line up. I thought they were going to execute us. We lined
23 up. We were facing them, and they said, "We don't want you Ustashas to
24 watch us killing you. Turn around." I then thought they were really
25 going to kill us, but they then cocked their rifles but they didn't open
1 fire. Perhaps they were trying to scare us. And then they suddenly
2 ordered us to turn and face them. In fact, before that they said, "We're
3 not going to kill you immediately. Kick them in the legs so the Ustasha
4 can feel what pain is." They were using provocative language. And then
5 afterwards we had to turn to face them. Once we had done that, they order
6 us to head to the buses, and as we were getting into the buses they beat
7 us. We then got into the bus. I sat on the rear seat. I sat behind the
8 seat. I hoped that that would prevent them from beating me too severely.
9 But while we were in the buses they didn't beat us. And that is how we
10 arrived in Benkovac.
11 When we arrived in Benkovac, someone called Reks whom I have heard
12 of but I've never seen him there was some sort of celebration and singing
13 at Oscar's. This person was wearing some sort of a coat at an entrance at
14 the reception. When will we got out of the bus he appeared. He appear.
15 He almost trampled over me. When we arrived in a room he this put us all
16 in that room where we had to sit down on the floor. They put our legs
17 against the walls which were blood spattered. I don't know if someone had
18 been there before we arrived but they were blood spattered -- blood
19 splattered. Some people were at the windows. They provoked us, called us
20 Ustashas. Others beat us. Then someone called Stevo Pupovac we worked
21 together, I had worked with his sons. One approached me from behind but
22 I'd already been beaten up by the others, and he was then going to pull me
23 back and break my spine by digging his knees into my back. He jumped on
24 me. He hit me. I turned around and I recognised his brother. When I
25 turned around he recognised me and he said, "Sorry I didn't know it was
1 you." Which means if it had been somebody else, he would have done it.
2 Q. Okay. How long did you stay in this -- this place in Benkovac
3 that you've just told us about?
4 A. We slept on the concrete.
5 Q. Did you spend the night there?
6 A. Yes, that whole night.
7 Q. Okay. Well, in a moment I'm going to move on and ask you
8 questions about the next day, but I have just a couple of short topics
9 before I get there, okay? Do you know if any civilians were killed in
10 Skabrnja on the 18th of November, 1991?
11 A. Yes, I knew that. I had already seen the corpses lying by the
12 road. The soldier who was escorting us, whom I already told you was a
13 Croat from somewhere around Zagreb, pulled us away so that we wouldn't
14 look. I heard other people say that there was some women's corpses lying
15 by the road, but I saw only one body with my own eyes. So there had been
16 victims already then.
17 Q. Okay. Did you recognise the person that you saw with your own
18 eyes? Do you know that person's name?
19 A. No. I couldn't. The body was lying away from me, facing away
20 from me.
21 Q. Did you later learn about any particular people that were killed
22 that day? Do you remember any names that you later learned of people who
24 A. Yes. Later, I learned a lot of things, but it was much later.
25 That day I had no way of knowing because I ended up in Benkovac, in the
1 barracks. Only in Knin did I hear about the details.
2 Q. Okay. Excuse me. Now with the assistance of the court officer
3 and the usher, I'm going to show you a map, and it has the ERN 04693957.
4 MR. WHITING: I think the easiest thing would be if this could be
5 pulled up on e-court and at the same time we can give the a witness hard
6 copy because I think it will be easier for him to deal with the hard copy.
7 If the usher could please give him a copy. And in fact, we have copies --
8 I hope we have enough. We can give one to the Defence and one to each of
9 Your Honours, if you like, just for ease of reference.
10 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you recognise that map that's just to your left?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. And did you provide this map to me yesterday afternoon?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. How did you obtain this map?
15 A. After the Operation Storm, it was found in a place that housed the
16 police administration. Not only this one but a lot of other documents.
17 It was given to me, and I brought it here. It shows exactly the course of
18 the attack. It's their army that drew this map, not I. It indicates all
19 their positions.
20 Q. In just a moment I'll ask you to look at that, but who was it that
21 gave it to you, this map?
22 A. The people who were involved in the operation.
23 Q. Okay. Do you remember their names, or do you not remember their
25 A. In fact, it was a neighbour of mine who gave it to me. He knew
1 the man who participated in the operation. I don't know the man who
2 actually took it from that police building. I know the man who gave it to
4 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at the map for a moment. Could you just
5 look to your left, and maybe you can be provided with a pointer that will
6 help you indicate things if you need to, and I want you just to very
7 briefly explain to us the markings that are on this map. And I'll -- what
8 I'd like you to do is, you know, go slowly but just point at one thing and
9 then -- and then tell us what that is. Go slowly so that the interpreters
10 and the rest of us can keep up with you, please. You have to do it to
11 your left. There you go.
12 A. This map depicts an operation that was called Alan. You see the
13 signs denoting tanks or maybe little flags here Gornje Biljane that was
14 designated as a command post as far as I know. Another command post was
15 in a hamlet called Trljuge. November was in the house of a woman who
16 moved to Germany. It was another house that held the headquarters. This
17 here depicts the positions. And on the left side you see the time of the
18 attack and where the attack started from.
19 The tanks were parked there even earlier, in advance. I saw that
20 because I had to see a man who lived --
21 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. What time does it -- does it indicate
22 the attack started?
23 A. It says here at Oscar 0600 hours, which means they started at
24 6.00. And fire was first opened at Skabrnja from the direction of Gornji
25 Zemunik at 7.30. This is officially recorded here and people in the
1 village remember it as well.
2 Q. Is this what you remember? Is that consistent with the times that
3 you remember?
4 A. Yes. All this is correct. It's consistent with the time that I
5 remember. You see, this here, it says "105-millimetres." It's a battery
6 of calibre 105. It's their gunnery positions. This is their airfield.
7 They had fire support there, 122-millimetre cannons.
8 Q. But what does it -- there's a little diamond and a little circle
9 and it tells what those stand for. What do those stand for according to
10 this map?
11 A. That denotes a tank, the diamond sign. And the other thing is a
12 BOV, which is a combat armoured vehicle equipped with a heavy machine-gun.
13 Q. Did you yourself see tanks and/or BOVs in Skabrnja on the 18th?
14 A. Yes. There was a young blonde man in that vehicle. He was
15 sight-setter. He was so young he looked more like a child and a soldier.
16 He was the closest to me. There were two tanks, and he was between them.
17 He was in this slot in the vehicle where ammunition is stored.
18 Q. Okay. You mentioned specifically tanks. Did you also see any
19 BOVs on that day?
20 A. That's what I'm trying to explain. That was the combat armoured
21 vehicle quite close to me.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. I understand. Is there anything else on this
23 map that you'd like to point out to us what it means?
24 A. The most active was this gun from is a Zapuzane, 120-millimetres.
25 That was a position in Zapuzane from which they opened fire with these
1 120-millimetre cannons.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, we just received this and we will seek a
4 translation in due time but I would ask that it be given a number and
5 admitted into evidence, please.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The map is admitted into evidence. May it please
7 be given an exhibit number?
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 285, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We have an objection,
11 Your Honour, on two grounds. First, the witness is speaking to this map,
12 whatever it means, without being a military expert. The Prosecutor has
13 already called their military expert and did not ask him anything about
15 Second, we have to raise the question of authenticity of this map.
16 The witness tells us that it's the plan of attack on Skabrnja. Maybe,
17 maybe not. The proceedings will show.
18 I just want to point out for the time being some details you can
19 see on the monitor. The entire text in the margins on the map contains
20 text in ball-point pen and then top right-hand corner, for instance, there
21 is something overwritten in felt-tip pen. Then in the bottom right corner
22 you have 120 millimetres. The 120 is in felt-tip pen, the rest the
23 underlying text, is in ball-point pen.
24 Then at the bottom of the page we see some sort of scale. All
25 that is written on the map is in some way highlighted, overwritten,
1 emphasised. We don't know who did it and why. The witness tells us he
2 received this map from a person he knows, and that person received it from
3 yet a third person who took it from a police station, some unknown police
5 And third, this witness who is testifying to events of 15 years
6 ago is producing documents. We had witness Segaric yesterday who produced
7 some photographs, and now we have this witness producing a map. For all
8 these reasons, I believe it will be difficult to accept this as -- as an
9 authentic document at its face value.
10 MR. BLACK: May I respond, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, you may.
12 MR. BLACK: On the first point, I certainly don't think there's
13 any requirement that a witness be a military expert to admit a map through
14 him. It's true that our military expert testified earlier at which time
15 we didn't have this map so there's no cans we could have asked him about
16 it but I don't think it's necessary that he be an expert in order to tell
17 what he was told about this map.
18 As to the issue of authenticity, the Defence is entitled to make
19 the points as they've done but we submit that goes to weight.
20 Authenticity is not a requirement for admissibility under the rules. This
21 witness has told where he got the document. He's told us that. And more
22 importantly, he's told us some of the information on this document is
23 consistent with his own experiences that he himself was present on the day
24 of this attack. So we think that's a sufficient basis and certainly,
25 Your Honour -- Your Honours will consider these issues when you decide
1 what weight to give to this map, but we don't think that that goes -- that
2 affects its admissibility, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any reply, Mr. Milovancevic?
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Let me just add to what I've
5 already pointed out, Your Honour. The map is not dated. It's not signed,
6 it's not sealed. There is no reference number. No indication of who it
7 belongs to and who developed this map. I have nothing more to say.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Let me raise the first point,
9 Mr. Milovancevic, that maybe in the future if you have an objection to any
10 document being admitted into evidence, please rise before it is admitted.
11 Don't rise after it has been admitted. That's the first point. You know,
12 you are entitled at any stage to jump and object if there is something
13 objectionable happening. Okay.
14 Certainly speaking for myself, I don't know about the rest of the
15 Bench, I -- I have the same questions that you had, Mr. Milovancevic, with
16 respect to the map which I wanted to raise with the witness when the turn
17 comes for the Bench comes to ask questions. But certainly, I don't
18 know -- I find the rules of this Tribunal rather lax on the question of
19 the admission of documents into evidence, and I think we had this problem
20 at the beginning of the trial when we actually agreed that in a situation
21 like this a document would then be marked for identification, and it could
22 be looked at later. I don't know whether that kind of procedure would
23 satisfy you.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If I may
25 just explain briefly. This map and the supplement to the witness's
1 statement is something that we received just 15 minutes before today's
2 hearing. That's why we were unable to react earlier. We are doing it now
3 that it is in front of us. I hope you will acknowledge that. We were
4 pressed for time.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are missing the point. The point is, Mr. Black
6 rose -- or he was on his feet and asked that -- after he had asked
7 questions, he asked that this map be admitted into evidence and be given
8 an exhibit number, and you were sitting there and I kept quiet for a
9 couple of seconds to give you an opportunity to stand if you were going to
10 stand. Just when I finished admitting it you then rose. That's the point
11 I'm referring to.
12 I appreciate that you saw this map for the first time today with
13 other documents, but when -- precisely because of that you should have
14 been alert to rise before it was admitted or even before questions were
15 asked about it.
16 But be that as it may, my question to you is: Would marking it
17 for identification be a satisfactory procedure at this stage? Because
18 this is what is the guideline we agreed on at the beginning.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. In that event, then, we will
21 lift that admission of the document in evidence. We will mark it for
22 identification and give it an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will marked for identification number 285,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Black.
1 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. May I just make an inquiry?
2 If something is marked for identification, does that mean that
3 Your Honours will place no weight on it or -- my concern is -- I recognise
4 that there are questions that can be put to this witness by Your Honours
5 or by me, I can follow up more, to try to establish as much as he knows
6 about it, and therefore I think it should be admitted into evidence and
7 then the weight can be decided by the Trial Chamber later. But I don't
8 want to see it admitted -- marked for identification and not admitted and
9 then at the end of the case we be in a position where we're not entitled
10 to rely on this document at all. So I just want to clarify the status of
11 the document.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You queried the Chamber. You have been here much
13 longer. What happens to documents marked for identification in terms of
14 the procedure of this Tribunal.
15 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, my experience is limited to one other
16 trial but documents that were simply marked for identification were not
17 part of the record. They're simply marked for the convenience of the
18 parties and the Court but they're not actually part of the Trial Record
19 and therefore could not be relied upon in the judgement. And for that
20 reason, I'm sorry to insist, but I would ask that it be admitted with its
21 weight to be determined later.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black, you're telling us you've got only one
23 experience of this. The guideline that we all agreed on at the beginning
24 was that where there was a dispute the document would be marked for
25 identification, and the Trial Chamber will -- will look at the document
1 and the evidence surrounding it when it deals with the weight of the
2 evidence and decide on the basis of that information whether to admit it
3 and give it any weight.
4 Perhaps I'm not even right to say -- to decide whether to admit
5 it, because I don't think that is part of the guideline. But I think the
6 document will be treated in terms of the guideline that we outlined at the
7 beginning, which was that it must be marked for identification in the case
8 of a dispute like this, and the Trial Chamber will look at its weight when
9 it looks at the totality of the evidence, and so it's ruled.
10 Yes, Mr. Black.
11 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't feel like I should
12 press this any further on the basis of what you've just said.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. The ruling has been made.
14 MR. BLACK: Was that based on the standards governing the
15 admission of evidence guidelines that Your Honours issued at the beginning
16 of the trial? Is that what I understand.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's correct.
18 MR. BLACK: Because at paragraph 6 it says --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you asking we reopen the discussion.
20 MR. BLACK: Yes, Your Honour I -- I'm sorry, I just want to have
21 clarity on this issue. It's respectfully done but I just want to follow
22 what Your Honours have written here to make there's no confusion at the
23 end of the case. I'll silt down if I am ordered to do so obviously but
24 I --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are ordered to sit down.
1 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. BLACK: May I continue with the examination, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may.
5 MR. BLACK:
6 Q. Mr. Brkic now we're going to move to a new topic in your
7 testimony. I want to ask you about the day after the attack on Skabrnja.
8 What happened on the morning of 19 November 1991?
9 A. Well, this map that is being contested now is just as I said in my
10 statement before. Those three tanks that you see in depth in the
11 background, that's what I saw. It's no forgery, as they seem to be
12 saying. I can vouch that this is true. The map was brought as it was
13 found. Nobody has any interest in forging such a map. Plus there are
14 eyewitnesses to the entire operation. All these bunkers still exist
15 today. The whole thing can be reconstructed if anybody wants to.
16 There's no lying here. I don't see what anybody could gain about
17 lying about this. This truly, faithfully reflects the positions as they
18 were. Maybe some battery or position was not active for a while during
19 this operation but that doesn't matter so much.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Brkic, let the Chamber remind you that you are
21 not prosecuting the case. You are a witness. It is not for you to
22 comment on the status of documents that are admitted. You answer the
23 questions of the Prosecutor or whoever asks you questions, and you leave
24 the process and the procedure of running the trial to the Chamber. Okay.
25 Thank you very much.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for this caution.
2 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Brkic, let's just move now to the next day and tell me what
4 happened on the morning of 19 November 1991.
5 A. Only the 19th of November, in the morning, I wasn't there by that
6 time. I was in Knin. In fact, in Benkovac in the morning, and by at that
7 same evening in Knin.
8 Q. Okay. Well, that's my question to you. In Benkovac on the
9 morning of the 19th of November, what happened to you there in Benkovac?
10 A. There were people whom I knew there. One nicknamed Arso, some
11 work colleagues whom I used to see at the railway station, taxi drivers
12 and forwarders, and they were looking for people who would go to Skabrnja,
13 volunteers. They were looking for volunteers already in the morning.
14 They were looking for people like me. And this Jarcov said with a sort of
15 pride that Skabrnja doesn't exist any more and Nadin will go down the same
17 Q. Okay. Where did you go? Did you leave Benkovac that morning?
18 A. Yes, after they had had breakfast, they took us to Knin.
19 Q. Did anything happen on the way to Knin?
20 A. On the way to Knin, they put us on the lorry, and then they would
21 beat us. They had taken a guitar with them, and one of them played the
22 guitar and sang some sort of songs to provoke us. If you moved or leaned
23 against each other then they would hit you, beat you on your shoulders, on
24 your back. So they mocked us. They stopped in Kistanje very briefly to
25 display us as Ustashas. I have already underline the fact that we didn't
1 have any uniforms, any Ustasha uniforms on us.
2 Q. Okay. And who was it who was beating you and who was mocking you?
3 Who? Who was it?
4 A. The people escorting us. Well, they were the two sons of Stevo
5 Pupovac who is also a transport worker. There was a doctor who lived in
6 Skabrnja as a child that's not mentioned here, and he was there and some
7 other people I did not know. There were four of them. One of the persons
8 escorting us was someone I didn't know.
9 Q. How were these people dressed that were escorting you?
10 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms. Like all other soldiers
11 they were equipped. They said weapons and everything else.
12 Q. Do you know which force they were a part of?
13 A. As far as I know, they had already done their military service.
14 They were a part of the reserve force. As to which army they were in, as
15 to the uniforms they were wearing, well, I really couldn't say. They were
16 just members of that unit.
17 Q. You say as -- which army were these people part of? Do you know?
18 A. At the time, they were part of the army of the soldiers in the
19 barracks in Benkovac. That's where they had been trained. That's the
20 location they had been taken to. They'd been called to join that unit
22 Q. Okay. Are you able to tell me what army that unit pertained to,
23 whether it was part of the JNA or some other army or some other force or
24 you simply don't know?
25 A. Well, as has already been said, there were other men wearing JNA
1 uniforms. Some even had the cockade caps that they were wearing. I
2 remember someone with a beard, with fair hair who was wearing a cockade
3 cap from the former war. They wore all sorts of things, but I don't know
4 whether this is something that had been organised or something that was
5 done purely as a provocative act. Among the troops there were such
6 individuals too.
7 Q. Okay. I'm focused on these four people that escorted you to Knin.
8 What were they wearing? Describe them as precisely as you can.
9 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms like the regular JNA troops,
10 the Yugoslav People's Army troops.
11 Q. Okay. Where did they take you in Knin?
12 A. They took us to the south camp.
13 Q. What kind of facility was this thing you refer to as the south
15 A. It's large complex. There was a heliport there used by
16 helicopters. It was a fairly large complex. The troops had accommodation
17 there. There were warehouses on the grounds behind the hills. There were
18 vehicles and weapons. I don't know what sort of weapons they actually had
19 because they were all being used in the field.
20 Q. Okay. You say the troops had accommodation there. Was this some
21 kind of barracks?
22 A. It was a barracks.
23 Q. How long were you held in these barracks? How long were you
24 detained there?
25 A. They detained us in the barracks until we had cleared everything.
1 The -- the arrival of Pajo's helmets. That's what they called them at the
3 Q. Can you give me an estimate in terms of days or months about how
4 long you were held in the barracks?
5 A. Well, they kept us there -- well, if I was there for six and a
6 half months -- well, not even for five months. We were there for less
7 than five months. Up until the day that these people arrived. We didn't
8 have any pencils or papers or pens, so we couldn't keep a record of
10 Q. Okay. I understand that. That's an approximation. What kind of
11 room were you held in when you first arrived at these barracks?
12 A. When we arrived in the barracks, they first abused us when we got
13 off the lorry that we had been transported in. They tied us up, threw us
14 on the ground.
15 Q. Did they take you into any kind of room or where -- where did you
16 spend the nights at the beginning there?
17 A. They put us up against a wall. We had to kiss the wall and our
18 fatherland and the King. We had to do that for about two hours for sure.
19 And then afterwards they took us into a corridor, and then beat us there
20 until about 1.00 or 12.00 and a little after 12.00.
21 Q. Excuse me. Okay. You say, "They put us up against a wall and we
22 had to kiss the wall and our fatherland." Could you explain that a little
23 bit more, what happened to you at the time?
24 A. We had to take an oath for the King and the fatherland, the
25 Serbian fatherland, call it what you will. They said we had to take an
1 oath and kiss the wall in support of the King and the fatherland.
2 Q. Was anything else happening to you as you were told to kiss this
3 wall and stand in front of the wall?
4 A. Yes. If they weren't satisfied with our kisses, they insisted on
5 us kissing the walls a little more intensively. The kisses were not very
6 convincing. We had to make more expressive gestures. I was -- I feared
7 for my teeth when they ordered us to do this.
8 Q. Okay. And then -- then they took you into a corridor where you
9 were beaten some more. What happened after that? Did you go somewhere
10 else after that corridor?
11 A. After that, they took us to three small houses, houses that were
12 used for special units. They took us into one of the small houses, the
13 third one in the series when you go along the corridor, and we spent two
14 days there. I apologise. We spent three days there.
15 Q. How big was that house that you spent three days in?
16 A. Well, it's about three and a half by three. It wouldn't be four
17 metres. Well, let's say it was four metres by four metres.
18 Q. And how many people were held in that room with you?
19 A. When we arrived there, no one was there, only we were there.
20 Later on, they brought in an old man, Jero who was 80 years old. They
21 also maltreated him. He had thrombosis of the leg. They brought him in
22 and he stayed with us. He was the only other person there in addition to
24 Q. What about the other houses? After three days did you go into any
25 of the other small houses?
1 A. Three days later, they moved us. There was Mate Sicic, people who
2 had been there before. Mate Sicic a retired colonel, he brought his
3 people from Puljani and the surrounding places. In fact, he tricked them
4 to go to a meeting in Knin. He collected the people himself and took them
5 to the prison in Knin. So there were about eight of them and us.
6 Seventeen or 18 of us altogether in that room.
7 Q. And how big was that room?
8 A. The size was the same. All three houses were of the same size.
9 Q. What condition were the people in, in these rooms? Now I'm
10 talking about first room you were in and then this other room. What
11 condition were the people in there?
12 A. You mean in material terms what the condition was like? What
13 exactly are you asking?
14 Q. I mean their physical condition, their medical condition.
15 A. Well, they were young people, between 30 and 40 years of age,
16 apart from Jero, the old man. He was about 70 years old and there was
17 Mate Sicic, the colonel, the retired colonel. He was an elderly person.
18 All the other people were younger people.
19 Q. What about their health condition? How was their health?
20 A. Well, Jero was in a very poor condition. He was exhausted. His
21 leg was falling apart. He had thrombosis. That's what we could call it.
22 Q. I'd like you to --
23 A. Then there were people who were in a state of delirium.
24 Q. What do you mean by that, in a state of delirium?
25 A. These people had remained without any alcohol, and that's probably
1 why they were in a state of delirium. And they couldn't smoke, so they
2 were in a crisis, in a state of delirium.
3 Q. Where did you sleep while you were in these rooms?
4 A. We slept on the floor. There was just one plank used to sleep on.
5 There was nothing else there. And everyone else slept on concrete. And
6 we were given one blanket each.
7 Q. Were you given a blanket in those rooms at the beginning when you
8 first arrived at this -- at these barracks?
9 A. Yes -- no. Not -- we were given a blanket when we arrived in that
10 room, not before.
11 Q. Where did you go when you had to use the bathroom?
12 A. We had a 30-litre pail. That's what we used. A 30-litre bucket.
13 And there was a blue coat that belonged to Petar Gurlica which we tore up
14 into pieces and we used these pieces as toilet paper.
15 Q. What was the smell like in those rooms, in that second room in
17 A. Those who were in a state of delirium would defecate in the middle
18 of the room next to the door, and then we would have to clean this up.
19 And then four people arrived, two men and two women, with cameras to
20 photograph us. Then these two women ran away through the door. They
21 couldn't support that. And then they shot some more film. They said they
22 were from the Belgrade radio and television centre.
23 Q. Were you provided with food and water in these barracks, in those
25 A. For a while it was terrible. You'd receive something and then the
1 other person would receive something, but by that time you'd already eaten
2 everything. There were no plates. In fact, there were plates but they
3 didn't provide us with them.
4 Q. Did they provide you with water to drink?
5 A. Yes, but not for the first three days.
6 Q. And after the first three days, did you get sufficient water to
8 A. Then they provided us -- they provided us with a limited amount of
9 water for a certain period of time.
10 Q. Did you have any water to wash yourselves with?
11 A. No, we never had water of that kind. We didn't even dream of
12 having such water.
13 Q. How were you treated by the guards while you were held in these
15 A. How did they behave? Well, they beat us. While we were in the
16 small houses they would beat us, and then there was a break, a short
17 break, and then later whoever wanted to have a go at us would do so. Some
18 would come back from the field who would be angry or unhappy, and then
19 they'd beat whoever they felt like beating.
20 They were always trying to find reasons to beat us. They'd say
21 that we had pulled out the fingernails of their children, that we had done
22 this, that we had done that. They'd think up stories as a pretext for
23 beating and torturing people.
24 Q. How often were you beaten? Was it every day or every week? How
25 frequent was it?
1 A. As far as we are concerned when we left the houses and arrived in
2 the sports hall, after a wall they occasionally beat individuals. And as
3 far as I and the others are concerned, they would sometimes hit us but
4 this wasn't fairly frequent. For a fairly long period of time they really
5 didn't beat us.
6 Q. Okay. But before we get to the sports hall, how frequently in
7 those rooms, how frequently were you and the others beaten in those rooms?
8 A. In those rooms they beat us severely. I couldn't stand up. So
9 somebody could help me stand up. If I was lying down, I couldn't stand
10 up. If I was sitting, I couldn't get up from the chair. There was a vet
11 who was there for 15 days. He couldn't sleep, so he helped me. For 20
12 days I slept standing up. If I lied down, I couldn't stand up.
13 Everything was wet on the ground. It would freeze. So it was very
15 Q. You know, you referred to a vet who was there for 15 days. Was
16 that a prisoner or someone who worked in the barracks?
17 A. No. He was brought -- he was brought in. He was in prison, but
18 he was soon released because they needed him in the field. He was in
19 their area, in the Krajina area.
20 Q. Other than whatever help this vet could have provided you, did
21 anyone -- did anyone receive medical care for the beatings or the other
22 conditions that they had while they were in these rooms?
23 A. No, no one received medical care. A little later I received some
24 sort of elastic bandage when I was hit here. I have problems with my
25 hand. But while I was imprisoned I didn't receive a single pill, nor did
1 anyone else.
2 Q. Did you be any more specific about who it was who was beating you?
3 A. Well, the guards. I didn't know these people. I didn't know
4 their first and last names. That was impossible. Later, I'd hear some of
5 their names but that's something you forget. I've written down some of
6 their names. I don't know if you have this on paper, but I have the names
7 of some of the guards. They would beat us for a certain period of time
8 and then they would give up. Some went into the field. Others remained
9 there in the end. But I think there were only three of them who stayed on
10 till the end, and these people were a little better than the others.
11 Q. Do you know what -- what force these people that beat you belonged
12 to? Were they Yugoslav army? Were they paramilitaries? Were they
13 someone else? Do you know?
14 A. The people who remained, as I have already said, they no longer
15 had the five-pointed stars. They had the JA insignia, Yugoslav army
16 insignia, and the Serbian flag. That was the sort of insignia they had.
17 I didn't see anything else. SAO Krajina, well this is something you could
18 see on all of them. And then there was the JA insignia and the White
19 Eagles, the Beli Orlovi insignia, but I didn't see anything else.
20 As for the individuals who were wearing the cockade caps, et
21 cetera, if Benkovac, well, that's a different matter.
22 Q. Okay. Earlier you mentioned that at some point you were taken to
23 the sports hall. When -- when did that happen? How long had you been in
24 the rooms when you were taken to the sports hall?
25 A. That happened about and month, a month and a half later.
1 Q. And how long did you spend in the sports hall, if you can
3 A. We remained there until UNPROFOR arrived. We were transferred a
4 few days before UNPROFOR took over the premises, because we had to clean
5 the premises, put goods away in warehouses, load the coal from the railway
6 station. We did this for a few days before Christmas. And when we had
7 done all of this, I left. They called this prison Martic's prison. Only
8 I went there and two others. The others were transferred to the old wing
9 of the hospital and some people were up on the floor which was also part
10 of the so-called Martic's prison.
11 Q. We'll get to that but I want to ask you a few more questions about
12 the sports hall. Are you able to estimate in terms of days or months or
13 weeks about how long you were in the sports hall?
14 A. For about three and a half months.
15 Q. How many people were held with you in the sports hall?
16 A. Well, 75 individuals was the minimum, but sometimes there were
17 over 150 or 170 and sometimes almost 200 people. But people kept leaving,
18 others kept arriving.
19 Q. Can you describe the conditions in the sports hall, where you
20 slept, how you went to the toilet, these kind of things?
21 A. Occasionally they let us go to the toilet in the sports hall.
22 They'd take us there in groups but we'd only have five minutes for the
23 toilet. If we didn't have enough time, they'd send us back. We would
24 also be beaten. Not everyone, but they would beat us severely.
25 When it was necessary to urinate there was a barrel of --
1 200-litre barrel that was next to the door and that's what we had to use
2 to urinate.
3 Q. Do you know who Ratko Mladic is?
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. Have you ever seen Ratko Mladic yourself personally?
6 A. Yes. He came on two occasions to the sports hall. He arrived in
7 a helicopter that landed at the heliport and then came to see us. That
8 was in wintertime. He would always say that we should break through some
9 sort of a windowpane. That was a kind of provocative sign. He says that
10 meant we would spend the entire winter there. When he came the second
11 time he said, "You still haven't broken the windowpane," and said, "While
12 I'm here, you won't leave the prison."
13 Q. Did he ever say anything about Skabrnja at the times when you saw
14 him at the sports hall?
15 A. Yes. He went from door-to-door and asked where everyone was from,
16 and each person would say where he or she was from, and when he arrived
17 where I was together with the others, he pointed to me and asked me where
18 I was from. I said I was from Skabrnja. He didn't say anything. He just
19 moved on. But before he asked me where I was from, he told others, "If
20 you don't do what you are told -- what -- your fate will be the same as
21 the fate of the inhabitants from Skabrnja." I assume he didn't know we
22 were from Skabrnja or perhaps he did. But nevertheless, he said what he
24 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, if my math is a little better this time,
25 I think it's now time for the next break?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have another three minutes.
2 MR. BLACK: Perhaps my watch is wrong, Your Honour. I'll
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's go by this one.
5 MR. BLACK: Very well. It's a little hard -- I see. Yes. Thank
7 Q. Mr. Brkic, how long were you held -- no. Sorry, I already asked
8 you that. Where did you go when you left the sports hall?
9 A. I went away for ten days. Then there was Martic's prison. I was
10 put up there. Blaskic's son and father were exchanged. This was
11 organised through an officer who I think had retired. His daughter was a
12 daughter in Novi Grad. They had a summer house, and they probably got him
13 out because they were friends. Through the old hospital they were
14 released but me, Lacic and three others who went to work on bars for the
15 prison, this was for the old hospital. I and Lacic went there for about
16 ten days. Tomislav Lacic. His wife also worked with doctor, dentist.
17 She was a sort of medical orderly. We made the bars. There were guards
18 with us in this locksmith's shop. Once we had done this they returned us.
19 And when these people left for the exchange, when the Blaskic's were
20 exchanged, I was returned to my people in the cellar. In the second
21 wing --
22 Q. Mr. Brkic, let me interrupt you. We're going to have to take this
23 one step at a time. When you first left the barracks to come to this
24 place that you call Martic's prison, tell me how that happened. Why did
25 you go to the place you call Martic's prison?
1 A. It was designed to be a nine-men group to make these bars. There
2 was this little guardhouse, we had to make bars for the gym and another
3 place. We didn't know the assignment in advance.
4 Q. And where was this place that you're referring to as Martic's
6 A. It's not that I called it Martic's prison. Everybody called it
7 Martic's prison. That's how it was known.
8 Q. Where was it?
9 A. In the old hospital.
10 Q. You say you went there with some other people. And where were you
11 detained when you went to Martic's prison in the old hospital?
12 A. We were locked up in what they called room number 1. There were
13 two hallways forking near that room. One went left, and the other went
14 straight ahead and down to the basement. These hallways crossed the
15 entire building.
16 Q. Thank you. I think we'll have to continue after the break?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Court adjourned. We will
18 come back at quarter to six.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.17 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 5.51 p.m.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Chamber is sorry about the delay. It was due
22 to circumstances beyond our control.
23 Mr. Black.
24 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I resume the
25 examination, there are just two brief points I'd like to raise. The first
1 one is simply that we provided a translation of the supplementary
2 information sheet for this witness. The Defence mentioned earlier at that
3 there was no translation, so we just provided that at the break.
4 The second issue regards the schedule, Your Honour. I've spoken
5 with the Defence, and we think we've agreed on a position, and so I'm
6 proposing to see if it's acceptable to the Trial Chamber. What we would
7 suggest is that I would finish the direct examination of Mr. Brkic today,
8 which I think will take me about another whatever an hour. At that point,
9 we would stop with his testimony and tomorrow have the testimony of the
10 next witness, Josip Josipovic. That is one of the witnesses that came
11 here and had to be home and now he's back again. Now he has had to take
12 the last days of his annual leave and we really want to finish him this
13 week. We think if we can do that tomorrow he'll finish easily in one day
14 and we can send him home and then Defence counsel would have some more
15 time to consider their cross-examination. Mr. Brkic could be
16 cross-examined on Friday. I think it will finish. And those were the
17 only two witnesses who would be prepared to testify this week anyhow.
18 So I think that satisfies the Defence and the Prosecution, but we
19 would like to know if it's acceptable to the Court.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you confirm, Mr. Milovancevic?
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It's exactly
22 as the Prosecutor has said.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: In that event then, that will be the procedure
25 followed. I'm not quite sure whether we'll finish with this witness on
1 Friday given the fact that I've already indicated we're going to be having
2 a short day on Friday and the number of questions I think might arise from
3 the Bench.
4 MR. BLACK: I understand that, Your Honour. Nevertheless, I think
5 this is the best scenario.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may proceed, Mr. Black.
7 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Brkic, just as we left off you were telling us about how you
9 had gone with some other men to Martic's prison. Please describe the room
10 in which you were held in Martic's prison when you first arrived there.
11 A. It was a room they called room number 1. That's all I know about
12 it. It was small, just enough to hold a bed, and the rest of the space
13 was free. Maybe two and a half by two and a half metres.
14 Q. How many men were held in that room with you?
15 A. Nine of us there were bunkbeds.
16 Q. How were you treated, the nine of you, in that room?
17 A. The nine of us in that room were treated all right.
18 Q. Do you know if there were other people being detained in other
19 rooms of this place, Martic's prison?
20 A. The same day when we were brought to that prison, to that room,
21 another group of about 15, 16 people were brought just a few minutes
22 later. I didn't count them. I'm just saying roughly. They were from
23 somewhere between Grahovo and Livno. Some operation had been carried out
24 there, and those people were brought into the prison. They remained
25 closer to the entrance door, whereas our room was closer to the toilets.
1 Q. Do you know what happened to those people while they were there?
2 A. When we were sent to that room number 1 and locked up, those
3 people remained still outside, and we were no longer able to see them.
4 That evening, we had yet another group that was brought in after them,
5 maybe an hour later, about the same number of people, which we found out
6 later when we were allowed to go outside to work. That was in the
7 afternoon. And then some sort of fight broke -- sorry. Then they started
8 beating that last group of people that were brought in, and it was a
9 harrowing scene.
10 Q. Describe the scene.
11 A. It happened near room number 1. I told you there's a fork of
12 hallways. It's the L portion of that hallway. And it went on and on and
13 day after day after lunch, and especially after dinner. And it would go
14 on until 1.00 a.m.
15 Q. How were these people beaten?
16 A. They were beaten with anything they could lay their hands on.
17 Once when I was allowed to go out to the toilet, I saw two men beating
18 somebody with two plastic bags filled with sand. Large, one-litre plastic
19 bags. And the man had his hands tied in the back. They probably kicked
20 him as well. They had weapons. They could have used rifle butts. That's
21 just one thing that I saw. The rest I was unable to see. I just heard
22 moaning, cries, screams.
23 Q. Who participated in the beating? Do you know?
24 A. I cannot know that. All I know is that people came across the
25 fence. Some people who worked outside mixing mortar for construction told
1 us through the window about this. They were some people who just beat
2 others for the pleasure of it. They were not policemen or anything. They
3 just enjoyed it.
4 Q. What about -- excuse me. What about the people that you saw doing
5 some beating? Were they wearing uniforms, or how were they dressed? The
6 ones that you saw yourself.
7 A. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms. There were some among
8 them whom I knew from Smiljanic. Some of them wore blue regular official
9 uniforms, those ones that I knew.
10 Q. And the ones who wore the blue uniforms, do you know what group or
11 what force they were a part of?
12 A. The Martic's -- the Martic police.
13 Q. Did you see Martic's police on any other occasions in this prison
14 in the hospital, Martic's prison?
15 A. Those two that I knew really well, the Grahovac brothers from
16 Smiljcici were there all the time. They would even come to see me when we
17 were transferred to the basement. They would talk to me through the
19 Q. How do you know that the Grahovac brothers were members of
20 Martic's Police?
21 A. How could I not know? They were wearing uniforms of the police
23 Q. Do you know who was in charge of this -- this prison in the
24 hospital, the part where you were -- you've just been describing?
25 A. I could not tell you that, because I don't know exactly who was in
1 charge. I just knew some people who were inside, and I knew some of the
2 people in uniform. There was one man, Djuro, from somewhere in Plavno.
3 He was a very dangerous man. And another one was called Momo, Momir
4 Cupac. He talked to me a lot about many things.
5 Q. Do you know what force or what group Djuro and Momir belonged to?
6 A. They were also members of Martic -- Martic's Police, as far as I
7 could understand from them.
8 Q. How long were you held in this small room in Martic's prison? How
9 many days?
10 A. All in all 12 days. When we finished making the bars and when
11 they were mounted on the windows, which I helped do. They later put bars
12 on another two windows without me.
13 Q. Where did you go after those 12 days?
14 A. I was transferred to join the people who had been with me before
15 in the south camp. They were placed in one of the wings of the hospital
16 in its ground level. That's where we were.
17 Q. Is that a different part of the same hospital where you were when
18 you were in Martic's prison?
19 A. Yes, because that window is linked to that subterranean level by a
21 Q. And who controlled this part of the hospital where you were now?
22 A. Well, it belonged to the army. By that time it had already turned
23 into JA, the Yugoslav army.
24 Q. How long did you stay in this part of the hospital?
25 A. I remained there until I was released to be exchanged.
1 Q. Can you estimate how long that was in terms of weeks or months or
3 A. A little over a month.
4 Q. And describe for us the conditions there during that month. How
5 were the conditions in which you lived?
6 A. Well, the rooms were again very, very small. If two men lie down,
7 for instance I and another man, my feet reached to his armpits and vice
8 versa. We couldn't lie one next to the other. We had to lie in opposite
9 directions so as to fit together, so to speak. But the rooms next to us
10 were slightly bigger. It was not that bad.
11 Q. Were you physically mistreated in any way while you were in this
12 part of the hospital?
13 A. Right. They abused us even more and started beating us even more
14 frequently and more severely once it became known that we would be
15 exchanged. Like every 20 minutes or so. Some people say that there were
16 even attempts to rape men. I don't really know if that happened or not,
17 but some people said it happened in the next room.
18 Q. Who was participating in the beating in this part of the hospital?
19 A. The most violent of all was this Djuro. I heard later that he was
20 killed during Operation Storm, but he was among the most violent. They
21 dragged me several times into the hallway like they did others, too, but
22 I'm now talking about myself. Every time there would be four or five of
23 them beating you on the back, and you turn your back and you try to handle
24 it as long as you can and then you can't do it any more and you turn over
25 on your stomach and they start beating you on the belly. And all that
1 happened to others too.
2 Q. Do you know who occupied the floor or the floors above where you
3 were being held in that part of the hospital?
4 A. There was the duty guards' room only. Somebody had to go upstairs
5 to clean, and I went several times to clean. Nobody wanted to go.
6 This small man, Djuro, sat there, the commander, and some of the
7 rooms were filled with prisoners. I don't know who they were.
8 Q. Do you remember what day you were exchanged when you were released
9 from detention?
10 A. It was in May, on the day of statehood or day of independence. I
11 think it's the 5th.
12 Q. Just to be clear, what year are we talking about?
13 A. 1992.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Brkic, for your patience getting through that.
15 You've been describing your detention after you were captured in Skabrnja.
16 I'd like to show you a document. It's 65 ter number 670. The ERN is
17 04006313 to 6316. My preference would be to have it pulled up on e-court
18 and also to give a hard copy to the witness, please.
19 Mr. Brkic, I'd like you to take a moment and just through that
20 list, please. You don't need to read it out loud, just look at it for a
22 Mr. Brkic, do you see your own name near the bottom of the first
23 page there? Which is page 4 in the English version. It's actually near
24 the top of page 4 in the English.
25 Are you able to find your name, Mr. Brkic?
1 A. Yes. It's closer to the bottom, actually.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Brkic, it says there, "Member of the ZNG."
3 Were you a member of the ZNG?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you recognise any of the other names on this list as being the
6 names of people who were detained with you in Knin?
7 A. I know Anto Elkaz and lots of young men from Kijevo.
8 Q. Just a look through the entire document, and you don't have to go
9 name by name, but do you recognise some of the names here as people who
10 were detained with you?
11 A. Yes, I do. Mato Civcic, Anto Elkaz, and some other people who
12 were in other rooms and whom I was unable to see, some people who were
13 there before me and left before me.
14 Q. Just before your own name, you can see the names of Petar
15 Gurlica --
16 A. Yes, yes, I see them.
17 Q. Were those people also in detention in Knin?
18 A. Yes. They were.
19 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I would ask that this receive a number
20 and be admitted into evidence, please.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We have an objection,
22 Your Honour. On this document there is no heading nor seal nor reference
23 number nor the signature of the person who made the list. We don't even
24 know the title of that person. To what extent -- we don't even have a
25 witness's answer to the provenance of this document. Actually, the
1 witness tried to say today that he saw some people on the list at the
2 prison, but I can't understand want kind of document we are looking at,
3 where it comes from, who made it. We have lots of indications here like
4 who is holding the person, the date of capture and other details, but the
5 document itself is completely invalid, incomplete. It's difficult even to
6 discern where it comes from, where it originates, and what it means.
7 That's about it.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black. Mr. Black.
9 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. Milovancevic forces me to
10 revisit this issue. In paragraph 6 of the guidelines on the standards
11 governing the admission of evidence adopted by Your Honours, it
12 says, "When objection are raised on the grounds of authenticity or
13 reliability, this Trial Chamber will follow the practice of this Tribunal,
14 namely to admit documents and video recordings and then decide on the
15 weight to be given to them within the context of the Trial Record as a
17 In paragraph 5 it specifically says: "The fact that a document is
18 unsigned or unstamped does not a priori render it void of authenticity.
19 Authenticity and proof of authorship will assume the greatest importance
20 in the Trial Chamber's assessment of the weight to be attached to
21 individual pieces in the framework of the free evaluation of evidence."
22 This evidence under Rule 89(C) is relevant. It has probative
23 value. The witness has testified that his own name is accurately recorded
24 there and the names of other prisoners that he knew -- personally knows
25 were in detention.
1 Your Honour, I see no grounds for excluding this document. I
2 think any question as to its provenance or authenticity should go to
3 weight. That's the Prosecution's position.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see this document has got an ERN number. Was it
5 given to the Defence with the OTP documents?
6 MR. BLACK: Yes, Your Honour. It's on our 65 ter exhibit list.
7 It was given to the Defence some time ago.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Do you have any reply, Mr. Milovancevic?
9 Mr. Milovancevic, do you have any reply?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this
11 document is on the 65 ter list. I couldn't say for certain for the
12 following reason: When we received the lists of this kind from the
13 Prosecution on each of the lists in one of the vertical columns there is a
14 section that concerns when the individual was released and on the basis of
15 whose decision. So this could be a document that might be in accord with
16 other documents provided to us by the Prosecution, but we haven't such a
17 case here. Perhaps something was left out when this document was
18 transcribed. I don't know what the situation is.
19 When my learned colleague from the Prosecution quotes the Rules
20 that are in force, well, that is not in dispute, but we have no
21 information concerning the provenance of this document and, likewise, the
22 witness was not able to tell us the origin of this document, and the
23 Prosecutor couldn't tell us either.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: There are quite a number of documents that have
25 been given to the Defence in advance whose origin witnesses could not talk
1 to. The ruling of the Chamber is that the document will be admitted into
2 evidence. May it be given an exhibit number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 286, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MR. BLACK: Thank you Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
7 MR. BLACK: With the assistance again of the court officer and the
8 usher, I'd like to show the witness another document. It's 65 ter number
9 2388, and the ERN is 04192653 to 2664. And again, if I could hand the
10 witness a hard copy I think it would make it easier for him to flip
11 through. Thank you very much.
12 MR. BLACK:
13 Q. Mr. Brkic, again take a few moments to look over this. It's
14 another list of names. And when you get to it, tell me if you see your
15 own name at 51 on this list.
16 MR. BLACK: Perhaps if the e-court could be forwarded a couple of
17 pages until we arrive. On the English version it appears on the bottom of
18 page 4.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there a B/C/S version?
20 MR. BLACK: Yes, there is, Your Honour. The witness is looking at
21 the B/C/S version, the original, and there's an English translation as
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there a B/C/S version of the previous document?
24 MR. BLACK: Yes, Your Honour. The witness was looking at the
25 B/C/S version.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there at some stage the possibility of the
2 Chamber looking at the B/C/S version or if it could be put on the --
3 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, that's absolutely possible. With the
4 current document I think the B/C/S is on the screen.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. BLACK:
7 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you see your own name there at number 51?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Is the -- and then it says "Skabrnja, 19 November 91." Do you see
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Is that correct that you began your detention in Knin on the 19th
13 of November, 1991?
14 A. That's when I arrived in Knin. That's correct.
15 Q. Again, I'd like you to just look through this list - take a couple
16 moments if you need to - and tell me if you're able to say whether any of
17 the other people named here were also detained in Knin.
18 A. Yes, I can see.
19 Q. Can you see any names specifically that you remember being there?
20 A. Yes. I remember Drago Agic. Sunkovci. I can remember this
21 person called Vlado. I know Curko. He wasn't with me. I think he came
22 afterwards or perhaps he arrived there before. Josip Aralica. He did the
23 same sort of work that I did later on. Atelj Ivan. Miraz was there. And
24 then from backwards onwards almost all of them were there.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I'd ask that this also receive a number
2 and be admitted into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence, and may it
4 be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 287, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Brkic, I'm done now asking about your detention, and I want to
9 move to another topic, so you can put that document to the side.
10 When was the first time you were able to return to Skabrnja after
11 your detention, after you were released and exchanged?
12 A. I returned after the Storm operation, but I wasn't in a hurry
13 then. I was still in uniform, and I was in Sipurine.
14 Q. What did you find when you returned to Skabrnja?
15 A. I found everything that's depicted in the photographs. Everything
16 had been destroyed. The houses had been destroyed. Burnt down. My house
17 had been burnt down.
18 Q. You refer to some photographs. Let me show you Exhibit 272. And
19 again, I'll hand the witness hand copies, but if it could be brought up on
20 e-court, please.
21 MR. BLACK: Actually, Your Honour, I believed last time you asked
22 if we have copies for the Bench, so brought copies of this photo booklet
23 for Your Honours.
24 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you remember me showing you those photographs
25 earlier this morning?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Well, just continue to look through them. Take a few moments, and
3 when you're done please tell me if these accurately reflect the way
4 Skabrnja looked upon your return in 1995.
5 A. Yes. This does reflect the situation in the photographs.
6 Q. Thank you very much. You can put those photos aside now. I'm
7 going to be done with my questions, just one last topic. You've described
8 to us what you went through in detention in Knin. Could you now tell us
9 what kind of physical effects you suffered from your detention even after
10 you were released? Do you have any physical effects from that time?
11 A. Yes, and I still do. When I returned, I was a different man.
12 I -- in terms of my physical appearance, et cetera. I'm still receiving
13 medical treatment, but only temporarily. This is to help me to recover,
14 so to speak.
15 In prison, I probably got hepatitis B. I'm now immune. I went to
16 check this up somewhere. I was -- I received food poisoning on two
17 occasions. Hepatitis B is something you get through the blood, direct
18 through the blood. I have a bruised back, and my stomach split in this
19 way when I was beaten up. We returned to our homes black and blue once
20 all of this was over.
21 Q. Mr. Brkic, thank you very much for answering all my questions.
22 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, that completes my direct examination.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Did you agree that we are
24 postponing the cross-examination by the Defence?
25 MR. BLACK: Yes, Your Honour. I think that finishes us for the
1 day then.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does it.
3 MR. BLACK: Yes.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: In that event, court adjourned to tomorrow at 2.00
5 in this Courtroom I.
6 MR. BLACK: And if we could perhaps explain to the witness that
7 he's returning on Friday so he understand the timing. Thank you, Your
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness. Witness, although we're coming back to
10 court tomorrow, you don't have to come tomorrow. You may -- you should
11 only come back on Friday, the 7th, and be here at about half past nine at
12 the very latest. Is that okay?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's fine.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Court adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.31 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day
17 of April, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.