1 Thursday, 10 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you are to continue with your
7 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have no lectern today?
9 MR. ALARID: Well, I was told that I was not coming very clearly
10 and I think my movements and shifting away from the mikes was part of the
11 problem so I figured I would take the centre chair for the microphone. I
12 must admit it's a little difficult when you're feeling something and time
13 of course constraints and the next court session causes what we have to
14 take this break, but I hope I can pick up where I left off.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead.
16 MR. ALARID: I think it's really important at this time, Your
17 Honour, to focus, Your Honours, to focus on the first two incidents. I
18 think the Prosecution is placing them forward because they feel that
19 maybe it's the simplest and the strongest cases against Mr. Lukic.
20 I respectfully disagree.
21 As I stated yesterday, I think that a simple but graphic
22 inconsistency between two of the eye witnesses should be enough, under
23 the principles of reasonable doubt, to bring into question the entire
24 allegations as to the Drina River. It seems insurmountable with three
25 witnesses, include a co-accused, Mitar Vasiljevic, pointing the finger at
1 Milan Lukic, but clearly, from the transcripts of the earlier trial, from
2 the tactics of the Vasiljevic Defence, Mr. Lukic was simply an empty
3 chair which it was easy to point fingers at because there was no one to
4 defend Mr. Lukic's position at that point in time and that's common
5 amongst criminal Defence lawyers when you have a separation of trials is
6 to attempt to point the blame at other co-accused or unindicted
7 co-conspirators in an attempt to mitigate or eliminate culpability.
8 When we look at the Drina River incident, I am confident,
9 following the cross-examination and examination of the evidence you will
10 find Mr. Milan Lukic not guilty of the Drina River incident.
11 When you move on to the Pionirska Street fire, that is an
12 extremely tragic and serious incident of which I think the Prosecution is
13 right to bring into light the tragedy; but to implicate someone for this
14 horrible event is also, as serious I think an accusation as can come
15 before any Tribunal, anywhere, mass murder, with reckless indifference
16 for the rights of those inside, and so to point those fingers, I think
17 you still must also examine the intentions of those that might do so. As
18 I stated, Mr. Lukic, his cousin and Mitar were all local citizens
19 which --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: My I interrupt you for a minute.
21 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I neglected to say in the beginning that in the
23 absence of Judge Christine Van Den Wyngaert, Judge David and I sit
24 pursuant to the provisions of Rule 15 bis. Please proceed.
25 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 When you look at the fire and you hear the screams of the
2 victims, I know the Prosecution, and I think even yourselves, might want
3 to find someone responsible. There needs to be, the victims demand it,
4 the process has gone on for so long, so -- and the problem is people have
5 been saying Milan Lukic is guilty of there for so long, it's hard not to
6 believe it. And so I will point to the alibis presented by
7 Mitar Vasiljevic as an incredible problem with the case. Because as I
8 stated, Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic were identified together. They
9 were identified by people that claimed they knew them and knew them for a
10 time being part of this community, and yet when one is is absolutely
11 proven, I think, not to be there, it brings into suspect the entire
13 You add to that the Milan Lukic at 23 years old simply would not
14 have had the rank or experience to make these sorts of decisions in
15 total. Even though the regular army had retreated from the town at this
16 point, they were still in the area and to think that local policemen,
17 local Serb paramilitaries are not -- were responsible for this, for
18 ordering this, for planning this, I think ignores the normal chains of
19 command in this sort of situation. At best, Milan Lukic was a pawn to
20 those above him of those of more social status, experience, age and
21 importance. He was there because his family was there and they, as much
22 as anyone here, needed to be out of this war zone.
23 Milan Lukic was never charged in any court for these crimes, and
24 as I stated the UN report never mentions these incidents despite the fact
25 that there were from due diligence by the United Nations taken in 93 to
1 95. The statements that brought about these questions occurred much
2 later, and I think just in terms of recollection of time, place and a
3 real desire of the victims and witnesses to point the finger makes the
4 easiest route to Milan Lukic.
5 As such, Your Honour, I will close my closing statement and
6 basically reserve for the remainder of the counts as we are still in the
7 process of preparation.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Alarid.
9 Mr. Groome, your first witness?
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the first witness is outside, if I
11 could raise a couple of matters with the Chamber before he enters the
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 MR. GROOME: First, Your Honour I would like to work with the
15 witness with two aerial photographs they were photographs that were shown
16 yesterday during the opening statement. They were taken several months
17 ago and were disclosed to the Defence counsel shortly after they were
18 taken, a matter of days, if not a week. The Prosecutor -- Prosecution is
19 in the process of putting all of these photographs into a single exhibit,
20 a computer programme which will allow the Chamber to look at any of the
21 sites that are discussed in -- over the course of the trial and will give
22 the Trial Chamber the capacity to look around and view the sites.
23 That exhibit is not yet prepared, but I would like to use two of
24 those photographs today. I've spoken with Mr. Alarid and Mr. Cepic and
25 they have no objection to me using them, but I would like to seek the
1 Court's permission because they are not yet formally on the exhibit list
2 at this stage.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, very well, go ahead.
4 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour and the Prosecution calls
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid?
7 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour, we filed this morning a motion for
8 leave to extends the normal allotment for cross-examination if need be
9 and based on earlier 92 bis and 92 ter objections, we feel that
10 cross-examination should be greater than the normal 60 per cent of the
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will certainly allow that if need be. If you
13 need more than the 60 per cent, you'll get it.
14 MR. ALARID: Thank you, judge.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: As long as you're not wasting time.
16 MR. ALARID: I would expect the Court to correct me if I'm being
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Very well, Mr. Groome, you had called a
20 MR. GROOME: Yes, Prosecution calls VG-014, Your Honours.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, could we please go into private
22 session to bring in the witness?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, yes.
24 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Chamber]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should say with the indulgence of the
2 interpreters I'd like the first session to conclude at 4 p.m.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there are a couple of bookkeeping
4 matters I'd like to raise with the Chamber, perhaps we could make
5 productive use of the time while the witness is being brought in. Your
6 Honour, the first is a clarification with respect to 92 ter witnesses
7 that the Prosecution anticipates we will need more than the 30 minutes
8 directed by the Court. Does the Court expect a written application or is
9 it sufficient that we make oral applications prior to the witness being
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Make it orally.
12 MR. GROOME: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. And then the other
13 matter which -- there have been varying practices with respect to
14 exhibits attached to testimony of 92 ter submissions. Some Chambers have
15 accepted all of the exhibits that have the witnesses have referred to in
16 their transcript, I note from the Chamber's recent decision that it made
17 some distinction between exhibits in that some were on the exhibit list
18 and some were not, and I guess what I'm seeking clarification about is
19 whether the Chamber would like the Prosecution to make formal application
20 separate and apart from the 92 ter application for those exhibits that
21 are referred to in the course of the testimony.
22 [Trial chamber and legal officer confer]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: If they are not on the 65 ter list then you
24 should make a separate application.
25 MR. GROOME: Just to give the Court an example of the type of
1 exhibit I'm speaking about, many of the witnesses in the Vasiljevic case
2 during the course of their testimony drew diagrams. The Prosecution did
3 not make a formal application to add those diagrams but made the perhaps
4 incorrect assumption that if the Court accepted their testimony in
5 written form they would also accept the diagrams because the testimony is
6 essentially indecipherable without the accompanying diagram.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe a separate application should be made.
8 MR. GROOME: Then the Prosecution will do that, Your Honour.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
11 MR. GROOME: I believe we are still in private session, Your
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session? Yes. Public session, let's go
14 into public session, then.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-014
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome?
24 MR. GROOME: I note that the blinds are still down. Your Honour,
25 this witness is the subject of protective measures, and I'd ask the usher
1 to please hand a pseudonym sheet to the witness.
2 Examination by Mr. Groome:
3 Q. Witness VG-014, the usher is now showing you a sheet. I'd ask
4 you to take a look at it and ask you is that your name on that sheet?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Is that your date of birth on that sheet?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Could I ask you to sign your name to that sheet?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The Chamber has ordered certain protective measures with respect
11 to you and these are that we shall refer to you as VG-014 during the
12 course of your testimony and the image of your face will be distorted so
13 that you cannot be recognised. If you look down on that sheet, there is
14 a name of a person with the pseudonym of VG-032 next to the name. Is
15 that the name of a person who you are likely to refer to in the course of
16 your testimony today?
17 A. It is.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour at this time I would tender the
19 pseudonym sheet into evidence as a sealed exhibit.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Admitted.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours the exhibit will become P1 under
23 MR. GROOME:
24 Q. VG-014, in the spring of 1992, can you describe for us where in
25 general terms you lived, not your house address, but the area in which
1 you lived?
2 A. In 1992, I lived at Bikavac, which is a neighbourhood distant
3 from the centre of the town of Visegrad, some 300 to 500 metres. I lived
4 there with my family, with my wife and my minor daughter.
5 Q. How old was your daughter at the time?
6 A. At that time, my daughter was three and a half years old.
7 Q. Did there come a time in the spring of 1992 that you left with
8 your family, you left your home in Visegrad?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What is your best memory of when you left your home?
11 A. I believe that that was in March or April 1992, when I left and
12 went to Gorazde.
13 Q. Are you familiar with an event in which a large amount of water
14 was released from the hydroelectric dam south of the town?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When did you leave in relation to that event?
17 A. I left immediately after that event. I left town immediately
19 Q. And why did you decide to leave Visegrad and go to Gorazde?
20 A. Well, you know, the Uzice Corps was about to enter Visegrad, and
21 we were afraid of it. We were scared that it might commit some
22 wrongdoings and for the sake of my own safety, I left the town.
23 Q. Did there come a time when you returned to Visegrad?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And around when, approximately when was that?
1 A. I think that it was at the end of April 1992.
2 Q. And what made you decide to return to Visegrad?
3 A. Well, I decided to do that because the then-authorities probably
4 in negotiations with the then-authorities of Visegrad, decided to send us
5 back because ostensibly, our security was guaranteed.
6 Q. Was there any announcement made with respect to people's jobs and
7 the necessity for them to return?
8 A. Well, you see, there was no written notice to that effect, but it
9 was said orally that whosoever failed to return to their jobs would be
11 Q. When you said orally, how did you learn about this statement that
12 people would be fired if they did not return to their jobs?
13 A. Well, quite a few of us had the work obligation, so one could
14 hear such stories, a colleague would tell a colleague and that colleague
15 another colleague and so.
16 Q. How did you get back to Visegrad?
17 A. This was organised, the return to Visegrad was organised, by
19 Q. And did you return with your wife and your child?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did there come a point in time in your return to Visegrad where
22 the bus was stopped?
23 A. Yes. At a number of check-points, in fact.
24 Q. Can I ask you to focus on the first one? Can you tell us where
25 it was?
1 A. The first check-point was at the settlement of Medzedza. There
2 we were stopped and we were ordered out of the bus and we were told to
3 take out of the bus all our things, to open our bags, and to pour the
4 content of the bags on the ground.
5 Q. And where was this first check-point in relation to the town
6 centre of Visegrad?
7 A. The first check-point was -- one of them was at the old bridge
8 and the other one was at Nezuci.
9 Q. This first one I think you mentioned, I think you said Medzedza,
10 how far out of the town was that?
11 A. Around 11 kilometres, I think.
12 Q. And you mentioned people making everyone get out of the bus. Can
13 you describe those people or do you know the organisation that they
14 belonged to?
15 A. Well, this was the JNA troops, with some Serb locals. It was a
17 Q. Now, you've made reference to several check-points. Can you
18 simply tell us how many check-points in total you encountered on your
19 trip from Gorazde until the time you returned to your home?
20 A. I believe that, if my memory serves me well, that I mentioned
21 five check-points, namely Medzedza, Nezuci, the old bridge, and the one
22 outside new hotel in Visegrad and the one at Bikavac.
23 Q. Was your -- were you ever required to show your identification
24 papers at any of these check-points?
25 A. Yes, at every check-point, they asked us to produce our identity
1 cards and they had some sorts of lists against which they checked our
2 papers and in respect of me, they said, in respect of me personally,
3 "This is not him. He is not on this list."
4 Q. And that happened at every check-point?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Drawing your attention specifically to the check-point in front
7 of the new hotel, who manned or who staffed that particular check-point?
8 A. At that check-point, outside the Novi hotel, the new hotel in
9 Visegrad, there was standing a soldier by the name of Oliver Krsmanovic,
10 who checked my papers very often. He was in a camouflage uniform and
11 wore a kokarde with a two-headed eagle, and of armaments he had a heckler
13 Q. Were there any JNA soldiers present at this particular
15 A. Yes, they could be noticed there.
16 Q. When you returned to your home, could I ask you to describe what
17 you found there?
18 A. When I returned to my home, I saw that the door had been broken,
19 the house had been searched, not only my house but the entire settlement
20 had been treated as it were in this way.
21 Q. The particular settlement that you lived in, was it predominantly
22 one ethnicity or another or was it mixed?
23 A. It was mixed. There were Serbs and there were Muslims living
25 Q. Were the Serb homes that you saw, were they similarly damaged
1 when you entered your neighbourhood?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So the damage was confined to the Muslim homes?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. Now, VG-014, did there come a time when you returned to your job?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If you are able to tell us the place where you worked without
8 compromising your identity, I'd ask you to do so.
9 A. I worked for a construction company, and my actual workplace was
10 some 200 metres before one reached the new bridge, downstream the Drina.
11 Q. So it was essentially in the centre of the town?
12 A. Well, not exactly in the very centre, but a bit farther away, the
13 seat of the company was in the town proper; but my workplace where I
14 worked was about 2 kilometres away from that spot.
15 Q. When you were going to and from work, did you have to go through
17 A. Yes, I had to.
18 Q. And were the procedures that you've already described, were the
19 procedures similar on these repeated occasions that you went through the
20 check-points? Did you hear the question?
21 A. I didn't have the translation.
22 Q. Let me repeat the question. You've mentioned that you've -- you
23 went through check-points to get to work. Was the procedure that you've
24 described for us already, was that same procedure followed when you went
25 through the check-points to and from work?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you describe what the conditions were like at work when you
3 returned there?
4 A. The conditions were not good. We worked under stress. It wasn't
5 safe to work, and you could even see soldiers passing by and things like
6 that, so we were afraid.
7 Q. You've said it was not safe to work. Could I ask you to explain
8 what you mean precisely by that?
9 A. It wasn't safe because people would enter the company premises
10 and they took people away. They executed them. We didn't feel safe.
11 And we had to work.
12 Q. And the people that were taken away from the workplace, were they
13 of the same ethnicity?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what was that?
16 A. They were Muslim.
17 Q. Was there any logic that you could decipher with respect to who
18 was taken away and when?
19 A. Well, the logic was probably because we were Muslims. I don't
20 see any other logic.
21 Q. I mean in terms of seniority or the place or the role that
22 someone had in the community. Was there any logic to distinguish between
23 the order in which Muslims were taken away?
24 A. Look, first they took away people who did have some important
25 positions and they probably did that so that they couldn't organise the
1 people, and then when they finished that, then they moved to the people
2 who were less educated.
3 Q. Did there come a time when you decided or reached the conclusion
4 that it was no longer safe for you to go to work?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How long was the period of time from when you returned to work
7 and when you decided you could no longer go to work safely?
8 A. I think that this was for a month or so. That was about the
9 length of the period.
10 Q. What did you do when you stopped going to work?
11 A. I was hiding close to the house in a small wood.
12 Q. And were you hiding alone or with other people? Please don't
13 tell us the names of the people but just, if you were, how many people.
14 A. Yes. There were three of my neighbours there too.
15 Q. How did you eat or change your clothes?
16 A. Our wives had organised things in such a way that at favourable
17 times, they would bring us food and clothing.
18 Q. And did your wife remain in your home with your child?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did your wife give you information about what was taking place in
21 the town and in the Bikavac area?
22 A. Yes. She said that the White Eagles were going through the
23 settlement or the neighbourhood and were taking people away.
24 Q. Did there come a time when you did, in fact, simply return to
25 your home, leave the woods and return to your home?
1 A. Yes. I think that this was after about 10 days of hiding.
2 Q. And why did you stop hiding in the woods?
3 A. We couldn't take the conditions of the hiding any longer, and I
4 thought that because I wasn't any criminal or I hadn't done anything bad,
5 I didn't think that anyone would take me away.
6 Q. Did there come a time when you were forcibly taken from your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How many nights had you spent in your home between the time you
10 returned to your home and the time that you were forcibly taken from your
12 A. Only one night.
13 Q. And that one night, where did you stay?
14 A. In the attic of my house.
15 Q. Can you please describe for us what happened the day you were
16 forcibly taken from your home?
17 A. Yes. This was on the 7th of June 1992, in the evening, around
18 5.30 p.m. I was sitting at home and actually my wife saw through the
19 kitchen that some soldiers were moving around through the neighbourhood
20 and were searching the houses, and she suggested that I hide, but I
21 refused to do that. Somebody knocked on the door. I said to a woman who
22 had been expelled from the village of Kurtalici to go and see who it is
23 and to say that there was no one at home, but when she went outside,
24 probably because she was afraid, she couldn't speak, and I heard someone
25 say that he would enter the house to check. And I was sitting there when
1 Milan Lukic entered with a sniper in his hand, and he was -- his face was
2 blackened and he had a Blue Beret on his head and he was wearing a blue
3 uniform, and he had the kokarde and the double-headed eagle on the cap
4 and he had the same insignia on his chest.
5 Q. Let me ask a few questions here, just to ensure that the record
6 is clear as to your testimony.
7 How many people entered your home that day?
8 A. Only Milan Lukic came inside the house that day, and one of his
9 soldiers was outside.
10 Q. You're using the name of the person or calling this person by
11 name. Did you know this person from before this day?
12 A. No. Lukic called him Montenegro.
13 Q. I'm not talking about Montenegro. I'm talking about the person
14 you're referring to, Milan Lukic. Did you know him before this day?
15 A. Yes.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. What was the name of the school that you attended?
1 A. We went to secondary school together.
2 Q. Was he in the same year of school as you?
3 A. I think that he was in the same year, but we weren't in the same
5 Q. Do you know what programme of study he was taking?
6 A. I think it was the metal processing trade. I don't know if he
7 was going to learn -- if he was learning to be a welder or something like
9 Q. And for what length of time were you in the same school as this
10 person you're referring to as Milan Lukic?
11 A. We were together for the first two years.
12 Q. And did there come a --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Give us the years, if you can.
14 MR. GROOME:
15 Q. Can you tell us the years that you were in school with
16 Milan Lukic?
17 A. Well, just give me a moment. In 1985, I completed school, the
18 third level, maybe 1983, 1984, I think that's the year that that would
20 Q. Did there come a time when he left school?
21 A. Yes. I think this was in the second year of high school
22 sometime, or secondary school.
23 Q. And did you know where he went?
24 A. I heard that he went to Obrenovac, to be in the police.
25 Q. Now, when you say you knew him in school, did you simply
1 recognise that he was another boy in school with you or did you actually
2 know his name at that time?
3 A. Yes. I knew him from seeing him around, when he was a boy, but I
4 also knew him by name.
5 Q. Did you know where, what area, he came from, where his family
7 A. Yes. He was from the village of Rujiste.
8 Q. You've said that you were in different programmes of study. Can
9 you tell us under what circumstances in school you would see Milan Lukic?
10 A. When the bell would ring for the break, all the students were
11 outside in the yard or in the halls of the school, so -- in the
12 corridors, so that's how we could see each other and spend time together.
13 Q. Can you describe your impression of him as a boy in school with
15 A. Yes. He was a quiet boy. He didn't have any kind of attitude in
16 terms of other ethnic groups. He was a nice boy.
17 Q. Now, I want to take you back to the 7th of June, and you've
18 made -- you testified that you saw him enter your house. My question for
19 you is: How long did it take you to recognise the person that walked
20 into your house?
21 A. It didn't take long. As soon as he came in, I recognised him.
22 Q. You've testified that he had some black markings on his face.
23 Did that give you concern that maybe it wasn't the person that you
24 thought it was?
25 A. No. I didn't have any doubts about it.
1 Q. I want you now to describe, as carefully as you can, what you
2 remember about his appearance on that day. You've begun to describe some
3 of the things he was wearing, but I would ask you if you could now just
4 enumerate for us everything you remember about how he appeared to you
5 that day.
6 A. When he entered my house, I already said that he was wearing a
7 blue camouflage uniform. He had a police insignia on his arm. I don't
8 remember which one but I do remember seeing it there. He had a black
9 face, and then he had the kokarde and the double-headed eagle on his cap,
10 and he had white sneakers on his feet, and on one of his arms he had a
11 band-aid on the vein in the crook of the arm. He also had a mole on one
12 side of his face, above the lip.
13 Q. You mentioned white trainers. Do you recall if he was wearing
15 A. He wasn't wearing socks, no.
16 Q. You've mentioned a band-aid on his arm. Could I ask you to
17 indicate for us using your arm, your best memory of where you saw that?
18 A. Yes. [Indicates]. It was here, like this, on the vein. It's
19 usually the place where one would have their blood taken.
20 MR. GROOME: Could the record reflect that the witness has
21 pointed to the inside of his right forearm, just below the elbow.
22 Q. Now, earlier you described the gun or weapon that he had. Could
23 I ask you to describe it with a little greater specificity now?
24 A. It was a sniper with a silencer. Well, the calibre I'm not able
25 to say right now. I'm a little bit forgetful, but I do know that it was
1 a sniper with a silencer, in any case.
2 Q. Was there anything unusual about his demeanour or the way he was
3 acting that you recall?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Please describe.
6 A. When he entered my house, the first thing he did was to ask what
7 we had in the house. Actually, he asked me my name, and I told him. He
8 asked what did I have in the house? I told him to look, that I have the
9 JNA reserve forces uniform. He went around, searched the house, and told
10 me to take the uniform and to go with him. He acted as if he didn't know
12 Q. What were the lighting conditions in your home at the time that
13 Mr. Milan Lukic came into your home?
14 A. Yeah. It was daylight. It was 5.30 p.m. in June. So you can
15 imagine what the light was.
16 Q. Was there anything obstructing your view of Mr. Lukic?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Where were you precisely in your home when he first walked into
19 your home?
20 A. I was sitting on the couch behind the door.
21 Q. And how far away was he from you when you first saw him?
22 A. Well, if I were to stretch my arm out, I would have been able to
23 touch him.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You told us earlier that his face was blackened.
25 Can you tell us with what was it blackened?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. It wasn't any
2 kind of grease paint. It could have been some kind of soot or something.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: How much of his face had that black soot on it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only the face, around the eyes,
5 cheeks. It wasn't thickly applied, this black-grey stuff.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: On those parts of his face that had this black
7 stuff on it, could you see the underlying skin?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is it that made you recognise him, as you
10 told the Prosecutor, immediately as he came in? What was there about his
11 appearance that made you recognise him so quickly?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The mask that was on his face
13 wasn't something that would conceal his face so that you couldn't tell
14 who it was. It was very easy to recognise him, and as I said earlier, he
15 also had a mole on his face, and I knew him anyway from before; and I'm
16 the kind of person who if I see a person once or twice, I always am able
17 to recall that face later.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say that he pretended that he didn't know
19 you. Did you say anything to him to indicate that you knew him?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why was that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was afraid because if I let him
23 know that I knew him, perhaps he would have killed me.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome?
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Returning back to the -- your secondary school years, can you
2 give us an approximation of either by how many times per week or how many
3 times per month you would have seen Milan Lukic while you were at school?
4 A. We had five or six classes a day, and if we multiply that by five
5 days, let's say that there were at least five classes a day, that was at
6 least 25 classes a week, and then there is a break after each one or in
7 between the classes, which are 45 minutes long each. So there is plenty
8 of time to socialize and ...
9 Q. So am I right in concluding that you -- your testimony is that
10 you saw him during the breaks between the classes and you had
11 approximately 25 classes per week?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And how many years were you in school at the same time that
14 Milan Lukic was in school?
15 A. I said earlier that it was two years. I think at the end of the
16 second year, I think, he left for Obrenovac.
17 Q. I just want to return to something you testified a few moments
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, just a minute. I'm sorry, I'd like
20 to find out from the witness whether he had a speaking relationship with
21 Milan Lukic while he was at school. Was he somebody with whom you spoke
22 normally, with whom you had conversations?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: He was not a friend of yours, then?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, what about the period after school?
2 MR. GROOME: I can inquire about that.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: You haven't come do that.
4 MR. GROOME: I hadn't intended but I will --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead, yes.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. How many students in your year of school can you approximate, how
8 many students altogether were in your year?
9 A. Well, that takes a bit more calculation, but if I were to give a
10 number, I would say 300 to 400 times in either school shift.
11 Q. I think there may have been some mistranslation. I'll ask my
12 question again. I'm asking you how many students altogether were in your
13 year at school? Not how many times you saw him over the course of the
14 year but simply how many students altogether were in your year at school?
15 A. Yes, yes. This is what I meant when I said that in one school
16 year, there were 300 to 400 students in both shifts, the first and the
17 second shift, in school. Yes, that's how I understood the question.
18 Q. Okay. You've testified that he left school, and I believe you
19 said he left Visegrad. Is that your evidence, that he left Visegrad when
20 he left school?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. And do you know where he went?
23 A. I believe that he was in Obrenovac then.
24 Q. From the time he left school until the 7th of June 1992, had you
25 had any other occasions to see him?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, did there come a time when you were taken from your
3 apartment or your home?
4 A. Yes, there did.
5 Q. Approximately how long were you with -- were you in your home --
6 or was Milan Lukic in your home before you were taken from it?
7 A. After this hiding, I spent the night at my place. This one
8 night. And then Lukic came and he took me out of the house, if that is
9 what you meant.
10 Q. The time period I'm asking you for is from the time that
11 Milan Lukic entered your home until the time you were taken from your
12 home, how long is that period of time?
13 A. I believe that lasted for about ten minutes or so.
14 Q. And where were you taken?
15 A. When he ordered me to take my uniform, we set out towards the
16 car, which was parked outside on the road and which was guarded by a
17 soldier of his.
18 Q. That soldier, did you recognise that soldier?
19 A. No, no, I didn't know him.
20 Q. What happened when you arrived at the car?
21 A. Before we reached the car, itself, my wife and my daughter were
22 standing in the doorway. I asked Milan Lukic to allow me to go back and
23 to kiss my daughter and wife, and he refused to let me go. I disregarded
24 his refusal and at my own initiative I went back and I kissed my wife and
25 my daughter and then I went back towards the car. When I got near the
1 car, Lukic opened the boot of the Passat car which he was driving. He
2 put the uniform in the boot of the car, and he ordered us to sit in the
3 rear, on the rear seat in the car.
4 Q. Where was he when -- when the boot of the car was opened?
5 A. He was right behind the car, behind the boot of the car, where it
6 is normal for one to stand when one opens the boot of the car.
7 Q. Where were you?
8 A. I was at the corner of the car, as it were, by his side.
9 Q. Can you approximate the distance between you and him at this
11 A. Between half a metre and a metre.
12 Q. And did you yourself put the uniform in the car or did he do
14 A. I believe that I've said in my statement that it was he, it was
15 him, who did that.
16 Q. Can you describe the car for us?
17 A. Yes. It was a Passat. It was the property of Behija Zukic, whom
18 Lukic had killed before that and taken her car. It was of Burgundy
19 colour, and that was that Passat vehicle.
20 Q. Did you know -- did you know this car before -- or had you seen
21 this car before this day?
22 A. Yes. While it was the property of Behija Zukic.
23 Q. And did you know Behija Zukic?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Was this car similar to other cars in town, or that you had seen
1 in town?
2 A. Well, at that time, I believe that it was the only one of its
3 kind, the one owned by Behija Zukic, that is, that was such a Passat make
5 Q. You said "we" were placed in the car. When you say "we," who
6 else are you referring to?
7 A. Amir Kurtalic was also there, a friend of mine and of my family,
8 who had also fled from the village of Kurtalici because it wasn't safe
9 there. When we got out of my house, Lukic caught sight of Amir Kurtalic
10 and then he told him, "You too come with me." And he told him to --
11 Kurtalic said, "Let my take my identity card." And Lukic told him, "You
12 need no identity card. I am your identity card."
13 Q. The Passat car, can I ask to you tell us how many people can sit
14 in the Passat car?
15 A. In the back, three people can sit, one person can sit next to the
16 driver, and with the driver it's five people all in all that can fit into
18 Q. How many people can sit in the front of the car?
19 A. The driver and the co-driver or the person sitting next to the
20 driver, two people.
21 Q. That would mean three people in the back of the car?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where were you sitting in the car?
24 A. Amir Kurtalic and I were sitting in the back seat.
25 Q. And were you sitting behind the driver's seat or behind the other
2 A. I think that I was in the middle.
3 Q. And where was Amir Kurtalic?
4 A. I think that he was on my right side, if I remember correctly.
5 Q. Did Milan Lukic get into the car?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Where was he sitting?
8 A. He was actually driving the car.
9 Q. Did anyone else get into the car?
10 A. Yes. His soldier who was standing -- who had been standing by
11 the car.
12 Q. Was there a space between the two front seats on the car?
13 A. Yes. There was a space around the gear shift lever where Lukic
14 actually put his rifle, and he placed it so that the rifle barrel
15 actually was pointing at my head.
16 Q. Were you able to see -- were you able to see him while the car --
17 while you were driving in the car?
18 A. Yes, I was able to see his back.
19 Q. Where did the car go?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, before you move on to that point, I
21 wanted to ask the witness -- Witness, you told us that this car was the
22 property of Behija Zukic, that Lukic had killed her and he had taken her
23 car. How did you know that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I have said in my
25 statement that this is something that I did not personally see for myself
1 but this is something that I heard from my fellow citizens.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did you hear that first?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall with precision but
4 I believe a day or two after the murder.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: When was that? In relation to your incident,
6 can you tell us when that murder took place?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot specify the date, and the
8 day; but I believe that it was some 10 days or so before my own incident.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us what you heard. Tell us exactly what
10 you heard.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I heard was this: That Lukic
12 had entered Behija's house, killed her and took her car. He had probably
13 also asked for or looked for money, but I'm not quite sure because I
14 didn't actually inquire much about it.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you happen to hear other stories about
16 Mr. Lukic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I heard other stories. I
18 also heard that he had liquidated the Smajic family in the centre of
19 town, in the neighbourhood called Jondja.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Anything else?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I heard lots of things.
22 There were two cases of fire, of arson. This is not what I put in my
23 statement, so these are not things that I'm exactly sure of but if you
24 insist, it's not a problem.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that it is -- it would be correct to say that
1 prior to your incident, you had heard many stories about Mr. Lukic's
2 conduct, unlawful conduct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, also prior to my own case, and
4 after my own case as well.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you. Mr. Groome?
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. You've mentioned of these -- when Judge Robinson has asked you
8 about some of the other accounts that you've heard, you've mentioned two
9 fires. Was that something that you heard before you -- your incident or
11 A. These two fires occurred after my own incident.
12 Q. Can you tell us with as much precision as you can how many
13 different incidents you heard Milan Lukic was involved prior to the 7th
14 of June?
15 A. Well, I mentioned already this murder of Behija Zukic. That is
16 one. And that I also stated in my statement. I did not refer to the
17 murder of the Smajic family in my statement but I also heard that story
18 and that it had been committed by him, but if you can put me a more
19 detailed question to a more specific question, I could perhaps give you
20 an answer, but at this moment, I cannot recall any details myself.
21 Q. Was your prior knowledge of hearing these stories the reason why
22 you recognised the person who walked into your house on the 7th of June?
23 Is that why you believed it was Milan Lukic?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Why did you believe it was Milan Lukic who walked into your
2 A. Because I recognised him.
3 Q. Now, you've mentioned the car leaving your neighbourhood or
4 your -- the front of your house. Where did it go?
5 A. It went not far from my house and it took a turn into a side
6 street, an adjacent street, where there was on the road a grey-coloured
7 Yugo, and that's where he pulled up and stopped the car.
8 Q. The grey-coloured Yugo, did you recognise that car?
9 A. Yes. It was my neighbour's car.
10 Q. Can you tell us his name?
11 A. I think that his name was Osman Dzafic.
12 Q. Can you describe for us what you saw when the car, the Passat
13 pulled up beside this grey Yugo?
14 A. Yes. Immediately after the -- after stopping the Passat, a
15 soldier whom I knew, but I cannot remember his name, who came out from an
16 adjacent house and was leading another five people towards the car, and I
17 saw that as I was sitting in the car. That was happening on the left
18 side of the car.
19 Q. Did you know the name of the five people that were being led
20 towards the car?
21 A. Yes, yes. Meho and Ekrem Dzafic, father and son. And then
22 Hasan Mutapcic and Hasan Kustura and VG-032 were all there.
23 Q. Were all of those men Muslims?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you -- how many of -- how many men were there that were not
1 part of the group that was detained?
2 A. Are you referring to the soldiers? If you are referring to the
3 soldiers, there were three of them.
4 Q. Yes. I was referring to the soldiers. Were they all armed?
5 A. Yes, they were.
6 Q. In addition to the men that you saw there on the street, did you
7 learn that there were other men being detained, other Muslim men being
8 detained at that time?
9 A. Yes. Later, I learned that there had remained another six men in
10 that same house.
11 Q. How long did you remain at that location?
12 A. Well, we stayed at that particular location only until we got
13 into the car, and then we continued on our journey.
14 Q. Did you leave that location still in the Passat?
15 A. Yes. I was still in the Passat in the same seat.
16 Q. And was Amir Kurtalic still in the same seat in the Passat?
17 A. Yes, he was.
18 Q. Who drove the Passat at this stage?
19 A. Milan Lukic did.
20 Q. Who was in the front passenger seat of the Passat?
21 A. The soldier of his.
22 Q. Was there anyone else in the Passat aside from you, Amir Kurtalic
23 and the two people in the front?
24 A. Yes, from among the five men who had been taken to the spot,
25 Hasan Mutapcic also sat in the Passat.
1 Q. Was anyone placed in the grey Yugo?
2 A. Yes. The remaining four men, together with a soldier.
3 Q. Where did the car go this time?
4 A. This time, we set out in the direction of the Vilina Vlas Hotel.
5 Q. Can you estimate for us how long in kilometres the distance is
6 from where the car left to the Vilina Vlas?
7 A. Well, looking from the centre of the city, the distance to Vilina
8 Vlas was five kilometres, plus this portion up there, so it's 5.5
9 kilometres all in all.
10 Q. Can you estimate for us how long it took you to drive from where
11 you're mentioning now to the Vilina Vlas Hotel?
12 A. Well, I cannot say with precision but perhaps 20 or 25 minutes.
13 Q. During that 20 or 25 minutes, were you in a position to see
14 Milan Lukic?
15 A. Yes, from the back, actually I could see his back.
16 Q. Did it ever occur to you while you were driving that perhaps it
17 was not Milan Lukic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. On the way to the Vilina Vlas Hotel, did Milan Lukic ever stop
20 the car?
21 A. Yes. He did stop the car at a couple of places, when he had
22 occasion to see a pedestrian, a man, he would stop the car and ask the
23 man for his name, and when the man replied, he would tell him, "Oh, you
24 are not a balija."
25 Q. When you use the word "balija", is that a derogatory term used to
1 describe Muslims?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. What happened when you arrived at Vilina Vlas Hotel?
4 A. When we arrived in front of the Vilina Vlas Hotel, Lukic ordered
5 us out of the car and to get into the hotel. He ordered us to line up in
6 front of the reception desk until he found the keys to the manager's
8 Q. Prior to going into the hotel, was there a check-point that you
9 passed through?
10 A. Yes, there was a check-point at the Sase crossroads.
11 Q. And what if anything happened at that check-point?
12 A. Yes, something did happen. Passing by that check-point, Lukic,
13 Milan Lukic, stopped the car and he said probably or, in fact, he did say
14 to the Serbs, his Serbs there, that he had hunted himself a number of
16 Q. Returning now to the Vilina Vlas Hotel, did you see anyone else
17 that you recognised in the hotel?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who was that?
20 A. At the hotel, I recognised Mitar Vasiljevic. He had an
21 olive-drab uniform, black, large black hat with a kokarde and a
22 double-headed eagle and he also had a red ribbon on his shoulder. He was
23 armed. I also recognised Momir Savic. He was in a camouflage uniform,
24 wore a large black hat with the same insignia, the two-headed eagle, and
25 he also had a red ribbon on his shoulder. Also, I recognised this
1 Susnjar, I don't know what his name, first name, was or is but I did
2 recognise him because before the war he used to work as a security guard
3 in the hotel.
4 Q. How many men -- you're referring to as soldiers. How many men
5 altogether are in the Vilina Vlas Hotel at this stage?
6 A. Well, if you are referring to soldiers, there were three whom I
7 recognised at the hotel, and then there were the three who had taken us
8 to the hotel, so there were a total of six men.
9 Q. And out of those six, you've testified that you recognised four
10 of them from knowing them prior to this day; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And as far as you know, the other two, you had never seen before
13 the 7th of June?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You said you knew Mitar Vasiljevic. How did you know
16 Mitar Vasiljevic?
17 A. Yes, I knew Mitar Vasiljevic well. He worked as a catering
18 worker at the Panos hotel, and I would be there often because they had
19 Bingo there and one would go there for a drink or to have a snack, so
20 that I had occasion to have -- I had quite a few drinks with this
21 self-same Mitar Vasiljevic so I knew him quite well.
22 Q. So you actually interacted with Mitar Vasiljevic on a social --
23 in social terms?
24 A. Yes, indeed. When I stayed at the Panos, that's the way it was.
25 We would have a drink or two together.
1 Q. Of the six people you're referring to as soldiers in the Vilina
2 Vlas Hotel, how many of them had black paint or black markings on their
3 face similar to Milan Lukic?
4 A. Well, I mentioned or in fact I did not mention this. The fact is
5 that the soldier who came with Lukic to take me away, whom he called
6 Montenegro, he had two streaks, to black streaks, on his cheeks.
7 Q. How about the other men? Did they have any black markings on
8 their face?
9 A. No, they didn't.
10 Q. Now, you said that Milan Lukic was looking for some keys. Can
11 you please remind us what type of keys he was looking for and was he
12 successful in finding them?
13 A. To the best of my recollection, I believe that he was -- he asked
14 Mitar Vasiljevic to give him the keys to the manager's office. He gave
15 him some keys. He tried to open that office. He could not. And he was
16 angry, and he just threw the keys into the corridor and he ordered us to
17 get back into the cars and sit in the same way as we were sitting before.
18 Q. Were all of the men brought into the hotel?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And what part of the hotel were you all brought into?
21 A. We were in the area in front of the reception.
22 Q. Now, you've testified that Milan Lukic ordered you and the other
23 men that were detained to get back into the cars. Did you get back into
24 the cars?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And approximately how long in total were you in the reception
2 area of the hotel?
3 A. I don't know exactly. It seemed like an eternity, but we didn't
4 really stay that long, maybe 15 or 20 minutes.
5 Q. And what was the lighting conditions in the reception area?
6 A. It was good, natural light, that entrance area was full of
7 windows so there was no doubt about being able to see everyone clearly.
8 Q. And during the 15 or 20 minutes you estimate you were in the
9 reception area, was Milan Lukic in the reception area that entire time as
10 well, or did he leave for some period?
11 A. He was there in the corridor looking for the keys, and trying to
12 open the manager's office.
13 Q. At any time were you or any of the other men blindfolded or made
14 to turn around and face the wall?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, you're leading on important matters.
16 MR. GROOME: I'll rephrase the question, Your Honour.
17 Q. Was there anything obstructing your view while you were in the
18 reception area of the hotel?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Which way were you facing while you were in the reception area?
21 A. We were all focused on Lukic and the soldiers, whether he would
22 find the keys, whether we would be locked into that room or not. We were
23 always looking at him.
24 Q. Did there come a time when you did re-enter the cars?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Which car did you get into?
2 A. I got into the same vehicle that I was brought to Vilina Vlas in,
3 the Passat.
4 Q. Did all of the people get into the same cars that they were in
5 when they came to the Vilina Vlas?
6 A. Yes. Only when we were leaving Vilina Vlas, we were joined by
7 Mitar Vasiljevic too.
8 Q. And which car did he get into?
9 A. This time, Mitar Vasiljevic sat together with Lukic in the Passat
10 and the soldier who had driven the vehicle to Vilina Vlas moved into the
11 Yugo vehicle.
12 Q. Who drove the vehicle to -- who drove the Passat to the Vilina
14 A. Milan Lukic.
15 Q. Okay, the transcript records your last answer as saying the
16 soldier who had driven the vehicle to Vilina Vlas moved into the Yugo
17 vehicle. Is that a correct recording of what you said about that man who
18 moved to the Yugo vehicle?
19 A. No. I said that Milan drove from Bikavac to Vilina Vlas, and the
20 soldier who was with him was sitting in the co-driver's seat, in the
21 passenger seat, next to him.
22 Q. And that's the person who moved into the grey Yugo?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where did the car go?
25 A. When we came back to the cars, they again drove us in the
1 direction of Visegrad. We were returning by the same road, in the
2 direction of Sase.
3 Q. And did there come a time when the cars stopped?
4 A. Yes. They did stop, after we passed the intersection at Sase and
5 were driving along the road towards Prelovo, some 500 metres after they
6 stopped the cars.
7 Q. Am I correct in saying that the road from Vilina -- that there is
8 a road that goes from Visegrad to Prelovo that travels roughly along the
9 right bank of the Drina River?
10 A. Yes, yes, you are.
11 Q. Am I right in saying that there is a road that travels from
12 Vilina Vlas that intersects that road at a T junction?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in this trip from Vilina Vlas that you're now describing for
15 us, did the car arrive at that T junction?
16 A. Yes. Going along the road from Vilina Vlas towards the Sase
17 intersection, in the conversation between Milan Lukic and
18 Mitar Vasiljevic, actually Mitar Vasiljevic asked Lukic what are we going
19 to do with them? And he replied, Lukic replied to Vasiljevic, that they
20 were going to exchange us for 300 soldiers who had fallen at Zepa and
21 driving along like that we reached the Sase intersection and continued
22 along the road in the direction of Prelovo.
23 At one point, Milan Lukic asked Mitar Vasiljevic, since he
24 spotted a house on the right-hand side above the road, if it was a Muslim
25 house, and this other man confirmed that it was, and that's where they
1 stopped the cars, and he left the car, his soldiers also came out of the
2 car, and ordered us also to come out of the vehicles. At that point in
3 time, Milan Lukic said, I quote, "I don't want to hear a sound." And
4 that we should start walking towards the Drina River.
5 As we walked in the direction of the River Drina, in a column,
6 one behind the other, we passed through a field which was planted with
7 potatoes at the time, and we walked for a while, and then suddenly
8 Milan Lukic ordered us to stop, some ten metres before we actually
9 reached the river, which is what we did. And at that point in time, my
10 village, my native village, was just across the river, so all my memories
11 from early youth passed through my head at that time, and most of all --
12 I'm sorry. I held the image -- I'm sorry, excuse me.
13 MR. GROOME: Could the usher bring some tissues or something?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could see an image of my underage
15 daughter and my wife, who had stayed at home and saw me off with tears.
16 Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by Milan Lukic's sharp
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, I had said we would break at 4.00.
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's perhaps a convenient time now.
21 MR. GROOME: If the Court feels it is.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll break for half an hour.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.56 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.35 p.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME: Sounds like Mr. Cepic has an open mike. I can hear
2 your conversation.
3 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. VG-014, before we recommence my questioning, I want to say the
6 break we just took was, it had nothing to do with you getting upset. We
7 recognise that this brings back traumatic memories and we certainly
8 understand and hope that you don't feel embarrassed in any way. Just
9 before the break, you were telling us that Milan Lukic, Mitar Vasiljevic,
10 the other men, were bringing you and the other detained Muslim men down
11 to the river bank. Can I ask you to continue now from the point in time
12 when you're approaching the river bank?
13 A. Yes. At the time when we were -- at the point in time when we
14 approached the river bank, some ten metres in front, Milan Lukic ordered
15 us to stop. He asked which one of us was able to swim? We were all
16 silent except for VG-032. He replied that he could swim. He ordered us
17 in a sharp voice, raised voice, to start moving towards the river Drina
18 bank and that no one should even attempt to escape because they would be
19 killed. We did so. As we were getting close to the river bank, one
20 behind the other in a line, I could see, and I also was able to sense
21 that the end was coming. I still had an image of my daughter and my wife
22 in my head, but what could I do? Nothing could be changed. At that
23 moment, Meho Dzafic, Mitar Vasiljevic's colleague, was heard. He was
24 begging Mitar Vasiljevic not to kill him because they were colleagues
25 from work. Mitar Vasiljevic pretended not to know him.
1 Then one of the soldiers asked how they should fire. Lukic said
2 that they should fire individual shots. I could hear them cocking their
3 weapons. For a moment everything went quiet. And then after a brief
4 period of time, a shot ensued. After that first shot, I don't know if it
5 was by instinct or how, I just fell down. I wasn't actually hit. I fell
6 in a way that I actually turned by 180 degrees. We were standing facing
7 the water and Lukic and his soldiers were behind our back, some five or
8 six metres behind. When I fell in the water, I could hear the scream of
9 one of my colleagues. I didn't know who it was. Then another shot was
10 heard. Everything went quiet, and the person from the bank fell on top
11 of me and on top of VG-032. I heard bodies jerking, and then everything
12 went quiet for a moment.
13 After a certain period of time, somebody came up to the bank and
14 said, "Well, there is one of them that's alive. Why don't you go there?"
15 I don't remember who said that, but there were two more shots close to my
16 head, and there was a third shot which was a little bit farther away.
17 And this was what happened there. Even after those two shots, I was
18 still not hit, and I was listening, I didn't want to be surprised by
19 shots or anything, so I was listening to see if they would go away. When
20 I heard the doors of the vehicles closing, I slowly raised my head, I
21 looked towards the bank, I could see there was nobody there, again I
22 returned to the same position, and I had doubts that they had all left.
23 I thought that somebody may have been left behind to see what would
24 happen. But actually nobody was there, again I raised my head and on my
25 left-hand side, VG-032 also stood up. I asked him if he was wounded and
1 he said that he wasn't. He asked me if I was wounded, and I also told
2 him that I wasn't either. And then I suggested that we should run from
3 the place because before Lukic said that he had six more people to bring,
4 and we were afraid that he would bring them to the same place, and so I
5 and VG-032 stood up from the water. Before us there was the body of
6 Hasan Mutapcic.
7 Q. If I could ask you some specific questions about your ordeal, you
8 said that you were lined up along the river. Were all the men -- which
9 way were you facing?
10 A. We were lined up along the bank, and we were facing the water,
11 the river.
12 Q. Do you remember who was to your left or where you were in this
13 line of people?
14 A. Yes. Hasan Kustura was on my left-hand side and on my right-hand
15 side, Hasan Mutapcic stood.
16 Q. And do you know the position of the other men, the other four
17 men? Are you able to say?
18 A. Yes. I will go in the order that we reached the bank.
19 Meho Dzafic was at the head of the column followed by his son Ekrem and
20 then VG-032, followed by Hasan Mutapcic, VG-014, Hasan Kustura and
21 Amir Kurtalic.
22 Q. When you were describing what happened, you talked about a
23 conversation that seemed to concern the way the guns would be used.
24 Could you please tell us exactly what you recall hearing?
25 A. One of the soldiers asked, "How should we fire?" And Lukic said,
1 "Individual shots." Could you could hear the weapons being cocked and
2 the preparations for firing.
3 Q. Am I correct in saying that you had some military -- you have
4 done some military service, mandatory military service, as part of the
5 Yugoslav army?
6 A. Yes. In 1987-1988.
7 Q. And are you familiar with weapons generally that can be found in
8 the area of the former Yugoslavia?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You've already described the gun that Milan Lukic had. Can you
11 describe, if you recall, or identify, if you recall, the weapons that the
12 other men had at the river?
13 A. Yes. I will start from Mitar Vasiljevic. He had a
14 semi-automatic rifle, and the other two soldiers had automatic weapons.
15 Milan Lukic, of course, had a sniper.
16 Q. And when you say semi-automatic weapons, were they -- I mean
17 sorry, automatic weapons, were they pistols or rifles?
18 A. No. We are talking about rifles, semi-automatic rifle and
19 automatic rifle.
20 Q. So when you heard the conversation, "How should we fire," and
21 Milan Lukic saying, "Individual shots," what did you interpret that to
23 A. Well, when he said, "Individual fire," I had a feeling then that
24 he, Milan Lukic, and the rest of his soldiers were taking pleasure in
25 killing because they had decided on individual fire, giving them time to
1 aim at the person and kill them with relish, as we would say.
2 Q. Would someone have to do something to an automatic weapon to make
3 it fire single shot?
4 A. Yes. Automatic weapons have a kind of knob which you would have
5 to put into position for individual fire or to return it to bursts of
6 fire, so you could set it for individual or bursts of fire. In
7 semi-automatic weapons, you don't need to do that. Semi-automatic
8 weapons didn't have that knob or -- all you needed to do was to cock the
9 weapon and there are ten bullets in a semi-automatic rifle, so you would
10 fire the shots as long as you had the bullets to do that.
11 Q. With respect to the automatic weapon, does it generate a sound
12 when it is -- this knob that you described is moved from automatic mode
13 to single-shot mode?
14 A. Yes, yes, you could hear the click.
15 Q. Did you hear the clicks that day?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When the gun -- when an automatic placed is semi- -- or in single
18 shot mode, does that cause it to operate very similar to a semi-automatic
20 A. When you have an automatic weapon on single-shot mode, it can
21 fire one bullet, depending on the speed of firing, depending on the speed
22 of the person actually firing. That is the speed at which they can fire
23 single shots. When it's set on automatic mode, an automatic weapon can
24 fire at least, according to what I know, it can fire a short burst of
25 three to five bullets.
1 Q. So am I correct in concluding from your answer that in
2 semi-automatic mode, the gun can be fired as rapidly as someone is able
3 to pull the trigger?
4 A. Precisely.
5 Q. Now, drawing your attention to the point in time where you --
6 when you first hear a shot, can you describe again for us how -- what you
7 do, what happens to you?
8 A. When I heard the first shot, my body, whether instinctively, or I
9 don't know how, I don't know what happened, anyhow I ended up in the
10 water, I threw myself into the water; and I came to be in such a position
11 that I turned relative to the initial standing position looking towards
12 the river, namely when I fell into the water, I had turned by 180
13 degrees. So my head was then facing the bank of the river when I was in
14 the water.
15 Q. And was your head in the water when you had reached this
17 A. No. My entire body was in the water and my head was -- it was
18 partly in the water but not all of it, because this was a part of the
19 bank that was -- where the water was not that deep, so I was submerged
20 partly and partly above the surface of the water.
21 Q. You mentioned that there was someone lying on top of you. What
22 part of your body was someone covering?
23 A. The top part of my body -- actually Hasan Mutapcic was lying over
24 the top part of my body, the bottom part of his body was over the top
25 part of my body. Check and the other part of his body covered VG-032.
1 Q. You said at some point, when you thought it was safe, you -- you
2 got up. I'm sorry, if I could ask you a question before that, you
3 mentioned hearing something, some reference made, to six other men. When
4 did you hear that statement?
5 A. This was en route towards the river, because Lukic said that they
6 had to hurry up because there were another six people that they had to
7 get and that had to be executed.
8 Q. And who did you believe those six people were?
9 A. Well, I didn't see them, but I heard actually Hasan Mutapcic who
10 was executed at that spot had told me that his son had remained at that
11 house, and I don't know his name.
12 Q. And is that the house in Bikavac?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, after you felt it was safe to get up, did you look around
15 and look at the other men who were down at the river? The other Muslim
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were you able to determine the extent of their injuries?
19 A. I couldn't see their injuries because they were in water, but I
20 could see their bodies. Except for the injury on the body of
21 Hasan Mutapcic who was lying on his back, on top of us; and he had been
22 hit in the back of the head and had an injury there, and his lower jaw
23 was dislocated, the right-hand side of it. That I could see clearly.
24 Q. The men that were in the water, can you describe your
25 observations about them?
1 A. Yes. All of them lay there with their heads in the water. They
2 were lying on their stomachs, all the four bodies, that is, Ekrem,
3 Meho Dzafic, Hasan Kustura and Amir Kurtalic. While Hasan Mutapcic was
4 lying on his back in contrast to the rest of them, with conspicuous wound
5 that I -- with the wound that I have described.
6 Q. Did you have any doubt that they were dead?
7 A. No, I had no doubt, not for a second.
8 Q. Did there come a time when you left the area?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who did you leave with?
11 A. When I looked around to see whether the situation was safe for me
12 to leave the spot, VG-032 also got up, as I was looking around; and we
13 left the spot together.
14 Q. Now, the details of the path you took from the scene are not
15 essential for the Chamber in adjudicating the facts of this event but can
16 I ask to you tell us where did you go and how long did it take you to get
18 A. When we left the scene, we set out towards the village of Musici,
19 which is I believe some 2.5 kilometres distant from that spot. There we
20 waited for night and for an opportunity to cross the river.
21 Q. And did you finally reach the other side of the river safely?
22 A. Yes, we did. We crossed the river using a tree stump.
23 Q. And were you at some point able to get word to your wife that you
24 had survived and that she should come and join you?
25 A. Yes. If I remember correctly, I believe that was three days
1 after this.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I'd ask that the witness
3 be shown 65 ter 163. It's an aerial photograph. If I could ask the
4 usher to assist the witness, I will be asking the witness to make a few
5 markings on the photograph.
6 Q. Witness VG-014, do you recognise what's depicted in this
8 A. Yes. It is quite clear that this is the Vilina Vlas Hotel.
9 Q. Can I ask you to, with the assistance of the usher, take a pen,
10 and can I ask you before you make any markings on the photograph, to put
11 in the lower left-hand corner VG-014 so we know that it's you that's
12 making the markings and today's date, the 10th of July? And you can use
13 that just as an ordinary pen.
14 A. [Marks]. Today is the?
15 Q. 10th of July, 2008. Can I ask to you draw a circle and put a P
16 in it to show us where the Passat parked when you arrived at the
17 Vilina Vlas Hotel?
18 A. Yes. [Marks] A bit closer over here.
19 Q. If you put a P next to that circle to indicate that that's the
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. And could I ask you to do the same for the Yugo, show us where
23 the Yugo was parked and put a Y or a J, I believe, in your language, Yugo
24 is spelt with a J, if would you put a circle and some indication, either
25 Y or J, that it's a Yugo?
1 A. [Marks]
2 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, Your Honour, could I ask that this be
3 tendered as an exhibit, a Prosecution exhibit?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It will be admitted.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P2.
6 MR. GROOME: Could I ask now that the witness be shown 65 ter
8 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel kindly wait for the --
9 MR. GROOME: Sorry. Could I ask that VG-014 be shown 65 ter 164?
10 Q. VG-014, I ask you to take a look at 65 ter 164 and ask you do you
11 recognise what's depicted in this photograph?
12 A. Yes. One can quite clearly see here the spot to which we have
13 been taken where the crime started, was committed, and the section of the
14 road that we passed from Vilina Vlas to that spot.
15 Q. Does it fairly and accurately depict the Sase junction and the
16 relationship of the road to the Drina River and the places that you've
17 testified about this afternoon?
18 A. Yes, it does.
19 Q. Can I ask you to once again put your VG-014 and today's date in
20 the bottom left-hand corner of the photograph?
21 A. Yes. [Marks]
22 Q. This photograph was taken quite recently. Is there anything that
23 you see in this photograph that appears to you to be different from as
24 you remember it at the time that you were in Visegrad and particularly on
25 the 7th of June?
1 A. Yes. Obviously this photograph shows that a lot of time had
2 elapsed, the willows have overgrown the spot, there is more vegetation,
3 and this meadow, this field over here, seems to have changed, I believe.
4 I'm not quite sure because of the scale of this photograph. One cannot
5 notice what it has been sown to, but there are some differences and there
6 are some new house that is have been built since, so it is not the same
7 place. I mean the one shown on this photograph and the place that we
8 were at on that occasion.
9 Q. When you say the willows have grown, are you referring to the
10 trees that run along the bank?
11 A. Yes, exactly.
12 Q. Can I ask you to draw an X through any of the houses that you
13 know were not there at the time?
14 A. Yes. [Marks]
15 Q. Can I now ask you, you've testified that the cars pulled up on
16 the road and parked. Can I ask you to once again draw a circle with a P
17 in it to indicate where the Passat parked?
18 A. Yes. [Marks]
19 Q. Can I ask you to do the same with respect to the Yugo, a circle
20 and a Y or a J to indicate where the Yugo was?
21 A. Yes. [Marks]
22 Q. Can I now ask you to draw a line indicating the path that the
23 cars took to get to this spot?
24 A. Yes. So when we set out from the Vilina Vlas Hotel, we took this
25 road. [Marks] We reached the Sase junction, took the right-hand turn and
1 moved on for about some 200 metres until we reached our destination,
3 Q. And you've also mentioned that there was a conversation between
4 Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic about a house. Is that house depicted
5 in this photograph?
6 A. Yes, it is. It is on the right-hand side above the road.
7 Q. Can I ask you to circle that house, please?
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. You've also testified that the men were forced to walk towards
10 the river. Could I ask you to draw as best you're able the path that the
11 men took from the cars to the river?
12 A. Yes. [Marks]
13 Q. And ask I ask to you draw seven circles to indicate the
14 approximate location of the men along the river bank?
15 A. Yes. [Marks]
16 Q. And can I ask you to indicate where you were in that line of men
17 by drawing a line from the circle that represents you and writing
19 A. Yes. [Marks]
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour at this time I would tender this exhibit
22 as a Prosecution exhibit.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: It will be admitted.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This would become Exhibit P3, Your Honours.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. After you arrived in The Hague this week, were you asked to
2 view -- to look at a video in my office?
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. Did you recognise the video?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Were you present when that video was made?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 Q. And does that video accurately depict the path that you and the
9 other men were taken down to the river?
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I could ask the Court Officer to
12 switch us to the Sanction system, I'd like to play that video now.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. GROOME:
15 Q. Are you able to see it on your screen?
16 A. Yes, yes. This is clearly shows the house about which Lukic
17 asked Vasiljevic whether it was a Muslim house. This is the meadow
18 that -- where the path was which we took to descend to the Drina River
19 but of course there is a difference in that photograph now relative to
20 the time then when we were taking that path, because the meadow -- this
21 is the meadow, this is the plot, but it had been sown to potatoes at that
22 time and this one now has been sown to maize. Yes, this is again the
23 house in respect of which Lukic asked Mitar Vasiljevic whose house it
25 Yes. This is the spot where the crime was committed. The bank
1 of the Drina River. But the water table at that time was lower relative
2 to this here shown in this photograph.
3 Q. How do you know that the water table was lower at the time, or is
4 different than what we are looking at now?
5 A. Because this photograph shows that the water has already flooded
6 the surrounding trees on the banks of the river Drina but then on the 7th
7 of June, when this execution was committed, the bank was between five and
8 six metres high. It was not covered with water.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Five and six metres
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is the road, the path.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. While you were walking down this path, were you able to see
14 Milan Lukic?
15 A. Yes, I was. Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic were standing on my
16 right-hand side, and they were escorting the column.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender that video,
18 Prosecution 65 ter number 89, into evidence.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I just need one clarification. We
22 received the video which is much more longer than this couple of minutes
23 which we saw right now. And this video also contains some clips related
24 to some other locations, Visegrad, I'm wondering is it admitted just this
25 portion of video or the whole video?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this an abridged version that we saw?
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the video when this video was made it
3 was made at several locations. It is our intention during the course of
4 the trial to show the portion that is each witness can speak to. VG-014
5 is unable to talk or say anything about the other portions of the
6 exhibit. I'm happy to have the entire exhibit introduced at this time if
7 that's more convenient for Defence counsel and Chambers, but it was my
8 intention to do it as the witnesses appear.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I consider it more convenient to do it in the
10 manner that you have suggested, in relation to each witness.
11 Mr. Cepic?
12 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, my proposal is portion by portion, per
13 locations, because maybe we will have some objections we cannot raise
14 right now about the whole video, if we have any objections.
15 [Trial chamber and legal officer confer]
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour for the clarity of the record, I can
17 give the Court the time code of what portion was shown in court and is
18 now being introduced or is now being tendered in evidence, if that helps.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I consider it more sensible to tender the
20 portion of the video to which the evidence in court is speaking.
21 MR. GROOME: That was my intention, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 MR. GROOME: So for the purposes of the record in terms of the
24 entire exhibit 65 ter 163 this was 14 minutes and 50 second the to 17
25 minutes and 55 seconds. That's the portion of the overall video.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does that help you, Mr. Cepic?
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Please move ahead.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. VG-014, can I ask you now to look around the courtroom and tell
6 us whether you recognise anyone in the courtroom here today apart from
7 me. If you do, I would ask you to take your time, be sure that you do,
8 in fact, recognise them before you answer my question.
9 A. Yes. I shall begin with the gentleman on your right-hand side.
10 I think, to the best of my knowledge of him, that that is Sredoje Lukic.
11 The gentleman in the blue suit and the white shirt is Milan Lukic, I
13 Q. When you say you think, are you unsure?
14 A. No. I am sure, a hundred per cent.
15 Q. Is there anything about his appearance here today that strikes
16 you as being different from what you remember back in June of 1992?
17 A. Well, then, the one who was there then was slightly slimmer.
18 Now, this gentleman here has a bit more weight, but he's not difficult to
20 Q. The person you identified as Sredoje Lukic, what colour jacket is
21 he wearing?
22 A. I believe that this is some kind of a grey colour and the shirt
23 is blue.
24 Q. And how do you know him?
25 A. I did not know him as well as I knew Milan Lukic, because he
1 worked as a policeman; so I would occasionally see him in town, and I
2 remember no other details about him except that I knew him as a
4 Q. And did he have any involvement in the events that you've
5 testified to here today?
6 A. In my case, and in my capacity today in which I am testifying,
7 Sredoje Lukic did not participate.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we read very -- we read notification for
10 this witness and there is no mention of the name of my client. 65 ter
12 MR. GROOME: The witness has just in fact said Mr. Sredoje Lukic
13 has nothing to do with the events he's testified about today.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see no harm done. Now, Mr. Alarid?
15 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour, I would just notified by my case
16 manager as to page 56, lines 13, 14 and 15, we would like a read back of
17 the translation. My case manager indicates some confusion over the words
18 that were printed on the English translation compared to what the actual
19 witness said.
20 MR. GROOME: If it's more convenient I could ask the witness
21 simply to answer the question again, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You would like to have lines 13, 14 and 15 read
23 back, you say?
24 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: For the translation?
1 MR. ALARID: Yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: You believe something was --
3 MR. ALARID: Misinterpreted?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Misinterpreted?
5 MR. ALARID: Yes.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, how is that to be done?
7 MR. GROOME: There is no B/C/S transcript so it's either to
8 replay the tape and have it retranslated or I can ask the question again.
9 MR. ALARID: I'm not sure how to do that, Judge.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think I'll have the question re-asked. Ask
11 the question again.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. VG-014, there is some confusion about what your answer was to one
14 of my questions so I'm just going to simply ask the question again. My
15 question was: As you look at Milan Lukic today, is there anything that
16 appears to you to be different from his appearance as you recall it on
17 the 7th of June 1992?
18 A. Yes. I said -- I said there, when I was describing him, that he
19 had brown hair, that he's tall, and then he was slimmer than he is now,
20 but his features clearly show that that is him.
21 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: How do you determine that he's slimmer?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not now. He is heavier than
24 he was then when he came to get me on the 7th of June. Now he is fatter.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: How do you determine that he's fatter now?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we can go back and forth like
2 that, from today until tomorrow. I mean, I am saying that it is him.
3 He's clearly recognizable.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm quite entitled to ask the question. You say
5 he's fatter now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's obvious to me that you're not seeing the
8 entirety of his body. I'm asking you how are you able to determine that
9 he's fatter now than at that time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, just by looking at his face.
11 A man that is slim, his face is thin. When he gets fatter, the face gets
12 fatter as well. He cannot just be a certain way in the bottom part of
13 his body.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: That may be a plus for the Detention Unit.
15 Now, I want to ask you another question. When was the last time
16 that you saw Milan Lukic before today?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When he took me away on the 7th of
18 June 1992.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
20 Now, before the 7th of June 1992, when was the last time that you
21 had seen Milan Lukic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a long time ago, during
23 our school days.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I'd like you to be more precise.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time that he went to school
1 with me together, until the second year more or less, when he left that
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: If I recall correctly, you told me that you were
4 in school for two years together, 1984 and 1985. Counsel can correct me
5 if that is not right.
6 MR. GROOME: I believe it was '83 and '84.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: '83 and '84. '83 and '84. So the last time
8 that you saw Milan Lukic before the 7th of June 1992 was 1984?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid?
11 MR. ALARID: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
14 Q. [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. VG-014, you were born in 1967, correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that would make you 41 years old?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And so how many years ago was 1992?
22 A. 16 years ago.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Overlapping speakers]
24 MR. ALARID: I was just wondering if he had a sense of time
25 frame, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
2 MR. ALARID:
3 Q. You hadn't had any opportunity between that time and this time to
4 see photographs?
5 A. Yes, yes. I did have an opportunity.
6 Q. When did you have that opportunity?
7 A. The photographs from the wanted poster.
8 Q. And where were those wanted posters?
9 A. Are you thinking of the posters or the photographs?
10 Q. I'd like to know exactly all of the photographs you've ever seen
11 of Milan Lukic.
12 A. Well, let me tell you one thing. I would need to draw for you
13 every building, any institution that was in charge of searching for those
14 persons to indicate where the headquarters are, where the posters were
15 pinned up in the corridor and things like that.
16 Q. So you're saying that there were photographs all over the place
17 where you lived?
18 A. I didn't say that it was all over the place, but I'm working at a
19 place where they do have these photographs. I didn't say that this was
20 in the place where I'm living.
21 Q. Understood. So you would see these photos at work?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Every day?
24 A. From time to time.
25 Q. How many times?
1 A. I didn't count how many times. Whenever I would pass a photo
2 then I would see it. I can't tell you if I passed ten times or once or
3 15 times in the course of a week or a month. I didn't count that.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Alarid.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. ALARID:
8 Q. How long did you work at this place where you saw Milan's
10 A. Four years.
11 Q. And what other kinds of places were his photographs posted?
12 A. Sir, I said clearly which places these were, the institutions
13 that would be conducting investigations about war criminals, and I think
14 it's very clear where these institutions are.
15 Q. Well, they are not clear to me because I've never been there so I
16 would ask that you make the Court clear as to where they were?
17 A. Yes. But I cannot reveal my place of work, so I wouldn't want to
18 do that. I still work there, so I wouldn't wish to disclose the place,
19 the name of it or anything like that.
20 MR. ALARID: We can go into private session for that and that's
21 what I'd suggest. May we go into private session, Your Honours?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
23 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
25 MR. ALARID:
1 Q. Mr. 14, now that we are in private session, tell me all the kinds
2 of places that you would be able to see Mr. Lukic's photograph where you
12 Q. Now, in seeing these photographs, how old was Mr. Lukic in these
14 A. Well, I really couldn't say. I don't know when they managed to
15 take the photograph. There is no date.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, we can go back into public session
18 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour, that's fine, if that's what you
19 would prefer, yes.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. Well, you and he are the same age, correct?
24 A. Roughly.
25 Q. How old were you in 1992?
1 A. 23, I think, 23, 24, something like that.
2 Q. So is the picture in the photograph a 23 year old Milan Lukic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Is it older?
5 A. Probably.
6 Q. Can you tell me approximately how much older?
7 A. Maybe five years or so. I don't know.
8 Q. And but regardless you've had a lot of time to study the
9 photograph of Milan Lukic over the years?
20 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir.
21 Q. How long had you worked there before?
22 A. A year.
23 Q. And so you've worked there approximately 11 years?
24 A. Yes, when we are calculating up to now, to 2008.
25 Q. Now, what have you reviewed -- well, you've had at least a
1 meeting with Mr. Groome, correct, before today?
2 A. Could you please clarify a little bit for me? I don't remember
3 the name.
4 Q. What was the last meeting you've had with the Office of the
5 Prosecutor before your testimony today?
6 A. I think that it was the gentleman to my right, I don't know the
7 name. He was the Prosecutor. I was with him a day or two ago.
8 Q. For how long?
9 A. I couldn't really say exactly. It was just getting to know one
10 another, like an introduction.
11 Q. Well, isn't it true that you'd met him before, during
12 Mitar Vasiljevic's trial?
13 A. Yes. I think so, yes.
14 Q. And so you didn't need to get to know him again.
15 A. Does that have any -- that have anything to do with anything?
16 Q. It's a simple yes-or-no question, sir.
17 A. I think that there was no need to get to know him again.
18 Q. So did you review evidence?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did you review?
21 A. I just reminded myself about some details from my statement that
22 I might have perhaps forgotten.
23 Q. Were you given a copy of your statement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you have a copy of your statement before two days ago?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you retain a copy in your records since the Vasiljevic file?
3 A. No, I can't keep that myself.
4 Q. And how many times did you read your statement?
5 A. Once was enough.
6 Q. And I'm assuming that you viewed the two photographs and the
7 video that we saw in court today?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you view any photographs of Milan Lukic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you review any copies of your transcripts from earlier
13 A. No.
14 Q. Now, before this meeting a couple days ago with the Prosecutor,
15 when was the last time you met with other members of the Prosecution?
16 A. Don't remember.
17 Q. How did you find out you were going to be coming to testify here
19 A. I got that from -- actually, I was informed about this from
20 Sarajevo, which is the head of the UN office.
21 Q. Did you have a meeting for this?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, from before the war, you indicated in your statement that
24 you weren't political.
25 A. No.
1 Q. But you did join the fight, did you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You joined the 11 of June 1992?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you joined because you wanted to fight the Serbians, correct?
6 A. No. I didn't join because I wanted to fight the Serbians but for
7 personal defence reasons, and for the purposes of defending my family.
8 Q. And defending your countrymen?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Defending your religion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, before the war, you worked in a granite factory, correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were a strong man?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you worked for this granite firm after your compulsory
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And after high school?
20 A. After high school, I got a job at this construction company for
21 the first time, and then there was a brief period when I went to serve my
22 compulsory military term of duty, and then after I completed the
23 military, I again got a job in the same company.
24 Q. What was the name of your high school?
25 A. You mean the name of the school, the building, or the name of my
1 profession or my qualifications?
2 Q. I would prefer you answer both.
3 A. That was the Hamid Besirevic High School centre which was in the
4 centre of town.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was asking whether we should have this in
6 private session.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I discussed the name with the witness
8 before -- prior about the name of the company, he did not feel that
9 jeopardized his security. There is only one school in Visegrad so I
10 don't feel that that does, although I haven't specifically asked him that
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's proceed.
13 MR. ALARID:
14 Q. And the name of your profession that you studied?
15 A. I was by profession or by trade a locksmith, and I had secondary
16 school vocational qualifications for that.
17 Q. Now, do you remember your teachers?
18 A. Mostly, yes.
19 Q. Do you remember their names?
20 A. For example, now I know, because three or four years ago or two
21 or three years ago I went to the high school centre because I needed to
22 get my diploma; and I recognised a person by the name -- or nicknamed
23 Koke, this was a Professor for physical education. I don't remember his
24 first and last flame so when I say Koke those who knew the teachers would
25 remember him. Now he's the director of the school. And well, who could
1 remember these things?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. ALARID: I'll just move on, Judge.
4 Q. Now, you say you knew Milan Lukic at school but you were never in
5 class with him directly?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And there were 300 to 400 students in each section?
8 A. Yes, more or less.
9 Q. And how many sections were there?
10 A. Well, I don't have that information. I wasn't interested in
11 that. There were two shifts, the first and the second class shift. I
12 don't know how many classes there were. We had locksmiths, electricians,
13 plumbers. I don't need to name all of the vocations. It was something
14 that I was never really interested in.
15 Q. Is Lukic a common last name in the area where you lived?
16 A. No, it is not.
17 Q. Is Milan a common last -- or a common first name in the area
18 where you live?
19 A. Well, there are quite a few Milans also from where he hails, so
20 there were quite a few. One couldn't call one's son Mustafa if he was
21 stood up [as interpreted] Milan or Sredoje or Dragan what have you or
22 what have you not; but I didn't count them, I don't know.
23 Q. Did you know many Milans around your age?
24 A. I don't think that I did.
25 Q. So was Milan Lukic the only Milan you knew?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But you only knew of Milan Lukic, right? You didn't know him
4 A. That is what you say. I have said that I knew him personally. I
5 knew him from school.
6 Q. How many times did you speak with him?
7 A. Well, I cannot recall that now. There would be a day or two in
8 succession that we would talk, and then we would not talk for a couple of
9 days. There are some other colleagues with whom I socialised from Zupa,
10 for instance, Boban Simsic was also a schoolmate of mine and there were
11 others. I don't think I need list them all now.
12 Q. Well, you said you -- you indicated on direct examination that he
13 was -- you only knew of him but you didn't hang out with him or go places
14 with him or anything like that.
15 A. No, no. We didn't hang out. I did not keep company with him. I
16 would never have kept company with him.
17 Q. You never would have. Why not?
18 A. Well, I just would not. Seeing what he has done, every honour to
19 him for that, but I cannot ever be his friend or comrade nor could I have
20 been one then.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, please. I'd like to have this
22 checked. Did I not ask the witness whether he had a speaking
23 relationship with Milan Lukic? And I believe his answer was no. Do you
24 remember my asking you that, Witness, whether you spoke with Milan Lukic?
25 And your answer was no?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, these talks that we
2 had, those were not long talks of friends and comrades, perhaps we would
3 pass by each other and say high or hello or goodbye. If that is
4 considered a talk or a conversation, then let it be; but that's what it
5 was about.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid?
7 MR. ALARID:
8 Q. Isn't it true that Milan Lukic in school had Muslim friends?
9 A. Yes, he probably had Muslim friends but he was no friend of mine.
10 Q. Did you see him hanging and keeping company with Muslims?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And you said he was quiet?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What do you mean by "quiet"? How would you describe a quiet
16 A. Well, you see, these boys behaved in different ways. Some sought
17 to provoke others and to -- were spoiling for a fight, and as far as I
18 knew him, he was not like that.
19 Q. And would it be fair to say that especially where religion and
20 ethnicity came, there were tensions in high school amongst boys of
21 different religions?
22 A. Yes. But it could not be observed then.
23 Q. Well, were there ever fights at school between boys of different
25 A. Yes, there were fights. You know, children will be children.
1 Q. And you never heard of Milan Lukic engaging in a fight of any
2 kind, isn't that true?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And you say that you know the village that Milan came from?
5 A. Well, I know it slightly because for a certain period of time,
6 while the long transmission line which passed through this village was
7 being erected, I worked there for three or four days.
8 Q. Do you know Milan's family?
9 A. No, I don't.
10 Q. Do you know his father's name?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Isn't it true that it's customary that people in your country are
13 known by their names and then who their father is?
14 A. Well, yes, but at that time I was not interested in his father's
15 name. I wasn't interested in him either. But ...
16 Q. Well, out of 300 to 400 students on your shift, he seemed to find
17 the time to say hello to you.
18 A. It wasn't only him. Boban Simsic and Suad Suceska and the
19 Juso Puljo and the other school mates also would find the time to say
20 hello to me, not only him.
21 Q. Well, not knowing him before that, wouldn't it seem like he might
22 want to be your friend?
23 A. It might have seemed that way at that time, but I just didn't
24 manage to become friends with him, so it turned out.
25 Q. Well, you had said a little earlier that you wouldn't become
1 friends with him.
2 A. Let me tell you: Even today, as I speak, in 2008, I have very
3 few friends. I'm not a person who is interested in having too many
4 friends. I just have two to three genuine friends. I am not interested
5 in other people in that sense.
6 Q. Now, the ethnic -- I'd like to go back to 1990. Where were you
7 in 1990?
8 A. In 1990, I was in Visegrad.
9 Q. And the ethnic tensions, that's when you first noticed them?
10 A. Yes. When this multi-party system came into being, that is when
11 they started.
12 Q. Why do you believe the multi-party system was the fault of the
14 A. I will tell you why, because the parties that we had then were
15 the SDA, the SDS, everyone wanted to be with his party and to head his
16 party and then to do his own thing, as it were.
17 Q. After Milan Lukic left high school, and you're saying that he
18 left early?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How do you know this?
21 A. At that time, there were these courses being organised for the
22 police and that is probably when he left. I and a colleague of mine were
23 teaching in Sarajevo, so he would probably not have gone to Sarajevo but
24 elsewhere for that.
25 Q. You were teaching what in Sarajevo?
1 A. The -- I actually applied --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The word is applied, interpreter's correction.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- applied for the police academy
4 that was at the end of the second year of secondary school.
5 Q. So you assumed that Milan Lukic also applied at the secondary
7 A. It was not that you applied every secondary school, you applied
8 at the police academy, whoever wished to attend it, like myself, I wanted
9 to attend it in Sarajevo, but then I did so in Obrenovac and that's the
10 way it worked.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, we have to take a break now. Before
12 we take the break, however, Mr. Groome, there is a matter relating to the
13 next witness you wanted some guidance as to what to do.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, the witness flew in and it's here,
15 if it seems unlikely the witness will be called today, we would like him
16 to be sent to the hotel and have him here this of tomorrow morning.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: How much longer will you be in
19 MR. ALARID: I'm not real sure, but I think it's probably most
20 prudent to send the witness to the hotel.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. You may do that.
22 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: We break now for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 6.02 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 6.24 p.m.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I apologise, could I please make
2 correction for the transcript, last admitted the video, was Exhibit P4.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
4 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I would like to bring the Court's
5 attention to another exception to the transcript, namely page 58, line
6 23, when we did re-issue the question to the witness or Mr. Groome
7 reissued the question as to the identification, and what was on the
8 translation was, "I am saying that it is him" and it is our position that
9 a phrase was left off the end of that that said, "Let it be him." And we
10 would like to check the tape of the transcript to verify that.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're saying that left off the transcript was a
12 phrase coming at the end of that sentence as follows: "Let it be him"?
13 MR. ALARID: Yes, maybe it was left off as a repeated word but we
14 believe it is a phrase that carries a bit more significance.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll have that checked but not now.
16 Yes, go ahead.
17 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Now, back to 1990, when the two party system began, did you --
19 you still of course were -- had your allegiance to your own ethnicity and
20 your own religion, would that be fair?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you did foresee a war occurring, would that be true?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You thought it would be only 15 to 20 days, isn't that true?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Arms were being distributed to the Serbians, correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You stated in your statement that you could hear training?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How do you know it was training?
6 A. I shall clarify it for you. I lived in a section of Bikavac by
7 the road. My house was by the road. And the training ground for
8 shooting ground was at Ban Polje, which is a place some -- about one
9 kilometre away from Bikavac. So you know yourself when there are
10 exercises of the reserve force of the Yugoslav army, they would mobilize
11 both Serbs and Muslims, all those who formed part of the reserve force of
12 the then-JNA, Yugoslav People's Army, but at that time, we were not
13 called up but the Serbs were.
14 Q. But with regard to the distribution of arms, you didn't see this
15 distribution, isn't that true?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. You only heard about it from colleagues, correct?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. And these colleagues were political, correct?
20 A. I wouldn't know.
21 Q. Did they join the army or the resistance with you?
22 A. Probably, they probably did.
23 Q. Now, you stated in your original statement that you believed the
24 Serbs wanted war, correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But wouldn't that be an unfair generality of Serbians to say they
2 wanted war?
3 A. Well, you see, that is my opinion, that I conveyed to you what
4 was my perception. Now, whether it was fair or not, I can't say.
5 Q. Now, I'd like to stay around this time, as we went on the break,
6 you stated that you went to the police academy in Sarajevo first?
7 A. No. That is not what I said. I didn't say that I went there.
8 What I said was that I was submitting my application for the police
9 academy in Sarajevo, but I didn't go there at that time.
10 Q. And then you went to Obrenovac?
11 A. No. I didn't say that I went to Obrenovac. What I said was that
12 Lukic was in Obrenovac. Not me. I would never go there.
13 Q. Is it your opinion that Lukic was in Obrenovac, or is it a fact
14 that you know?
15 A. No. It is an assumption on my part.
16 Q. And how would you make this assumption? What information came to
17 you that would give you this assumption?
18 A. I cannot remember on what I based it. It was a long time ago.
19 Q. A long time ago, as in when you were 17 years old?
20 A. Well, I expect so.
21 Q. Isn't it true that a 17 year old is too young to become a
23 A. Well, sir, can I ask a question? Are you interested in my past
24 or in something else?
25 Q. I'm interested in what you know.
1 A. Well, I don't know whether I was too young, but in the note of
2 refusal that I received from the police academy, they stated that I was
3 two months too old; so you can now interpret it as you please.
4 Q. Are you trying to tell me that there is only -- you're only one
5 date that you can become a police officer and you're too young or too old
6 other than that date?
7 A. I did not quite get your question but let me try to answer you.
8 When I was applying for the police academy, at that time, I was two
9 months older than the required age. My colleague, who applied with me,
10 he was admitted. Now, whether they had some date standards, I don't know
11 about that.
12 Q. Now, going back to 1990 to 1992, after the elections and the
13 tensions, you were hearing stories about the Green Berets, correct?
14 A. Yes. These stories actually were being told by the Serbs, that
15 there were Green Berets perpetrating genocide around Visegrad.
16 Q. And the Green Berets were a Muslim force?
17 A. Yes. That's what they called them, the Serbs, I mean.
18 Q. And -- but you -- what are the Green Berets to you?
19 A. For me, the Green Berets did not exist at all.
20 Q. They didn't exist at all, you're saying?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Now, when the Uzice Corps entered, you stated in your statement
23 that they found no evidence of the Green Berets committing genocide?
24 A. Yes, I stated that.
25 Q. How do you know what evidence they had?
1 A. Well, if there are no victims, if there were no casualties, if
2 there were no people taken away, if there were no people executed, what
3 proof what evidence should there exist for one to establish that a
4 genocide had been committed?
5 Q. How do you know there was no people taken away or genocide or
7 A. Well, I just do know, because we did not have that kind of
8 weaponry in order to be able to commit anything of the kind, and you know
9 that we are not a people who seek revenge or want to exterminate others
10 or anything of the kind.
11 Q. When you say "we" are not a people, who are you describing?
12 A. I didn't say "we are not a people." I said "we are a people." I
13 mean, us, the Muslim people, is a people that does not want revenge or
14 extermination or anything similar, you know.
15 Q. Are you aware of what's going on in Baghdad today between the
16 Shia and the Sunni?
17 A. I don't follow that, and I'm not really that interested either.
18 Q. You don't watch the news?
19 MR. GROOME: Objection, Your Honours as to relevance of what's
20 going on.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, where are you taking this?
23 MR. ALARID: He answered no that he didn't watch the news, judge.
24 I think from a credibility perspective I have to let the answer stand.
25 I'll move on.
1 Q. Now in your statement you described that the conflict was like
2 two goats fighting, one with horns and one without horns.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that's because you stated the Muslims did not have weapons?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is that your opinion, or is that a fact?
7 A. Fact.
8 Q. Well, at this time, you were not part of the war, correct?
9 A. Well, we didn't have anything to fight with at that time. We
10 could have been a part of the war if somebody made some kind of device or
11 an explosive device or something similar. Had we had weapons that the
12 Serbs had, it would have been different, but we didn't.
13 Q. Well, in fact, you stated there was a Muslim resistance that made
14 their own bombs and weapons?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you part of this resistance?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And how would you know if they had bombs or weapons?
19 A. Well, somebody who had money bought a rifle. I didn't have a
20 rifle so I couldn't be a part of the resistance. How could I be a part
21 of it? I wasn't going to strangle people with my bare hands.
22 Q. I didn't ask you if you had a rifle. I asked you how you knew if
23 they had bombs and weapons.
24 A. If something happened at your neighbour's you would know that it
25 happened. If he had planted a field of potatoes, you would know that.
1 Anything like that. If somebody made a bomb, it was known that they did
2 that and they would say, "Well, I also have it if I need it." It's like
4 Q. A bomb is not something that you use when you need it. A bomb is
5 something that's planted to blow up people.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And, again, how would you know that your neighbour has a bomb
8 unless you're part of the resistance?
9 A. Maybe I was.
10 Q. Because the resistance is a secret society, isn't it?
11 A. Perhaps it wasn't secret, as far as we were concerned.
12 Q. And to certain governments, resistance that uses bombs are
13 considered terrorists.
14 A. Well, let me say this: The destruction of civilians by
15 long-range weapons, taking them away, executing them, is also a part of
16 that so you cannot tell me something -- about something that I did and
17 that I was a part of in order to defend myself, without talking about the
18 other side that was trying to destroy the Muslim people, so we have to
19 have some kind of balance or look at both sides in this matter.
20 Q. So you felt justified using bombs?
21 A. Yes, precisely, and any weapon that anyone had, it was justified
22 for them to use it then at that particular time.
23 Q. Even against Serbian civilians?
24 A. The Muslims are not a people that were destroying civilians. We
25 went to the lines and we were fighting soldier-to-soldier. We did not
1 destroy civilians.
2 Q. How can you use a bomb fighting soldier-to-soldier?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, I'm not sure that I understand where
4 you are going with this line of questioning. What are you trying to
6 MR. ALARID: I'm trying to establish that the witness was, in
7 fact, part of the militia, part of the violence.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- questions that relate more directly to that
10 MR. ALARID: I'm sorry, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said put questions that relate more directly
12 to that issue.
13 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir.
14 Q. Would it be fair to say that the use of shelling enraged you as a
16 A. It enraged us -- or everything enraged us, the shelling, the
17 burnings, the taking away of civilians, of women, children. It all
18 enraged us. And you should see if something like that would enrage you
19 as well. So can you please take that into consideration and not try to
20 twist things around so that instead of Milan Lukic being guilty, you're
21 trying to make me guilty.
22 Q. Would it be fair to say that as the last time you saw Milan Lukic
23 in high school, as far as you knew, he was guilty of nothing?
24 A. How do you mean he was guilty of nothing? Then, at school, or
1 Q. At school.
2 A. At school, well, what was he supposed to have been guilty of?
3 Q. Violence against Muslims?
4 A. Who, when they were at -- as a child then, would even think of
5 any kind of persecution or racism? All we thought of was to finish our
6 school. We didn't think about anything like if a person liked or
7 disliked Muslims or Serbs.
8 Q. But a 16 year old can raise his hand against a Muslim.
9 A. Yes. A 16 year old Muslim could raise his hand against a Serb,
10 but things like that didn't happen then.
11 Q. You indicated there were fights in school between ethnic groups.
12 A. Well, was I supposed to be a referee or something?
13 Q. You indicated that Milan Lukic had never been part of those
14 ethnic fights.
15 A. I didn't see anything like that, no.
16 Q. But you did see him with Muslim friends?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And he said hi to you, regularly, a Muslim?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, when you had to leave your home in the spring of 1992, how
21 did that make you feel?
22 A. Well, I'm going to put the same question to you. How would you
23 feel if you had to leave your own home?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, in the Court, you're not allowed to put
25 questions. Your role is to answer questions. If the questions are
1 improper, then I will stop counsel.
2 Now, proceed, Mr. Alarid.
3 MR. ALARID:
4 Q. You must have felt helpless.
5 A. I didn't get the question. I didn't hear it. Yes.
6 Q. You must have been angry.
7 A. Yes. Angry and dejected. I don't know how I can explain to you
8 how a person feels when they have to leave their home; I can explain how
9 they feel and how that whole thing looks.
10 Q. Probably made you want to fight?
11 A. Had there been an opportunity, perhaps I would have fought.
12 Q. Now, you left right before the Uzice forces returned or came into
13 Visegrad, didn't you?
14 A. Yes, that evening I left Visegrad and the Uzice Corps entered
15 Visegrad the next morning.
16 Q. This was March, April, 1992?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, up to that point, would it be fair to say that the Muslim
19 community was a close community there, even under the sense of
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this is how stories and -- would come through the community
23 was through word of mouth?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And between the last time you saw Milan Lukic and leaving the
1 first time from Visegrad, you had not heard Milan Lukic's name in any bad
2 light, isn't that true?
3 A. That period, and when the JNA was still there, I didn't hear him
4 mentioned anywhere except for the case that I mentioned before. I don't
5 need to repeat it, the case of Behija Zukic.
6 Q. How long had you known Ms. Zukic?
7 A. Ms. Zukic had her shop, and the shop was very close to the
8 cultural hall, and when I went to elementary school, the Vuk Karadzic
9 elementary school in Pionirska Street, I would pass by that shop twice a
10 day and I would go in there and buy cookies or whatever I needed.
11 Q. So you had known this woman since you were a young boy?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And she had been nice to you?
14 A. I don't have the question. Yes.
15 Q. She had always treated you -- you felt special when you were in
16 her shop?
17 A. Yes. It was a very -- she was a very nice woman, very pleasant.
18 Q. And again, it enraged you when she was found to have been killed?
19 A. Of course. Anybody would be enraged when somebody killed such a
20 pleasant, such a dear, nice woman; that person would have to be a monster
21 to do that.
22 Q. And you didn't see the circumstances of this killing, did you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You only heard about it through colleagues, as you say?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in your mind, after hearing the stories, Milan Lukic was
2 guilty of that death, wasn't he?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were certain of this in your heart, weren't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if you could get revenge for that, you would, wouldn't you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Well, when you join an army, you join an army to defend your
9 countrymen, correct?
10 A. Yes, the 11th of June 1992 was when I joined the army.
11 Q. And if a soldier on the other side in a battle kills your friend,
12 that soldier may not die until another day.
13 A. I don't understand the question.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Nor do I. Please move on. Unless you can
15 clarify the question.
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. When you fight in war, people die every day, isn't that true?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And one day, your own friend, your comrade in arms, might die at
20 your side, isn't that true?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you may not be able to kill the person that killed your
23 friend that day, but you'll go to war the next day and maybe you'll be
24 able to, isn't that true?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And even though it's done under the colour of war, isn't that in
2 a sense revenge?
3 A. When you are attacked by someone, you are forced to defend
4 yourself. Who is going to kill who first is something that depends on
6 Q. Now, with Ms. Zukic, I'd like to go back a little bit before she
7 died. Isn't it true that the Uzice forces were committing atrocities, in
8 your eyes?
9 A. I didn't say that.
10 Q. Well, you left right as those forces entered Visegrad, correct?
11 A. Yes, but for safety reasons, not knowing what would happen once
12 the Uzice Corps came in. I didn't know in I would be taken away, killed,
13 if I would be detained, questioned. I left my house for safety reasons.
14 Q. And when you left, your house was unmolested?
15 A. When I left, I left the house the way it was but when I returned,
16 I didn't find the house in the same state that I left it in. It had been
17 broken into and ransacked.
18 Q. And isn't it true that in fact most of the Muslim homes had been
19 ransacked, burned or violated?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And one common thing was that the army was in the town during
22 that time of vandalism?
23 A. Probably.
24 Q. And isn't it true, in times of war, that police generally come
25 under the jurisdiction of the army?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Well, isn't it true that as you went through check-points, you
3 saw members of both the army and local Serbs?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that the army appeared to control the local Serbs?
6 A. I didn't have the translation.
7 Q. Isn't it true that --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please repeat that.
9 MR. ALARID:
10 Q. Isn't it true that the army appeared to control the local Serbs
11 that were at the check-points?
12 A. No. They didn't control Serbs but Muslims.
13 Q. I think you misunderstood my question. So I'll go back through
14 it. Isn't it true that at the check-points, the check-points were manned
15 by both army and local Serbians?
16 A. Yes. They were manned by the soldiers and the local Serbs.
17 Q. And the local Serbs were also wearing army uniforms, correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And some of them were in police uniforms, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But you knew they were locals simply because you recognised them,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Because Visegrad is still a relatively small community, correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And during the time before you decided to flee, check-points had
2 been around for a long while, correct?
3 A. When I left, if you're thinking of when I left my house, there
4 were no check-points then, but when I returned to the house, that's when
5 the check-points had been set up.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: This has to be your last question for the
8 MR. ALARID:
9 Q. And you went through several check-points just to get home,
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you never saw, amongst the local Serbians, Milan Lukic,
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will break here.
16 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00 a.m.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 11th day of July,
20 2008, at 9.00 a.m.