1 Tuesday, 26 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.52 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, I understand there's a matter you
6 wish to raise.
7 MR. ALARID: Good morning, Your Honour. Yes. We filed late last
8 night, about 11.30, a request to delay the motion -- or the testimony of
9 VG-11 based on the late disclosure by the Prosecution. On Sunday evening
10 at 6.40 or so we received additional disclosures in our box of which we
11 picked up yesterday morning but due to of course the court calendar we
12 didn't really get to look at them until yesterday evening. We printed
13 the disclosures, and these are related to VG-11, Your Honour, that is set
14 to -- actually was set to start yesterday, of course, but is starting
16 We printed these and there's approximately 200 pages of
17 disclosures all in Serbian, and in there we were able to highlight
18 VG-11's name 60 or so times.
19 One of the issues of which will be relevant for today's
20 testimony, and of course Mr. Rasic wasn't able to really read all of this
21 and translate it and get into the meat and bones of it I would like
22 Mr. Lukic to have an opportunity to read this but one important I think
23 exculpatory issue which is also would be considered a Rule 68 matter is
24 simply that according to this document in one section VG-11 simply spoke
25 to another named witness or someone he'd spoken to and actually put the
1 bus incident or convoy which will be the lion's share of VG-11's
2 testimony on June 17th which would be, you know in comport with our
3 theory of the case.
4 So given the fact I think we do need to go through this a little
5 bit better before we cross-examine VG-11. I know the Prosecution's going
6 to say let's do --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down for the
8 purposes of interpretation, thank you.
9 MR. ALARID: Excuse me, a significant amount of preparation
10 involved for this specific witness and considering that this really does
11 go to the heart and bones about what happened around June 14th which of
12 course is the Pioneer Street fire; this is an important witness.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. May I ask the Prosecutor to explain what
14 has happened.
15 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honours know that
16 disclosure is constantly ongoing and I issue searches are being conducted
17 on the system-wide searches on witnesses and as documents are discovered
18 they are disclosed. Now, those documents were reviewed, the initially
19 documents were reviewed by me, and the Serbian documents were reviewed by
20 translators, and there was no significant Rule 68 material in that at all
21 and, in fact, I would guess if that's the only incident the witness once
22 said to someone else that it happened on another day. I would venture to
23 say that that is all that might be in those documents. We -- we have a
24 policy of broad disclosure. Those documents are witness statements or
25 reports that were taken over the years that mention this witness's name,
1 just mention his name. Any document that mentions his name is disclosed.
2 It doesn't necessarily mean that it has any significance, any relevance,
3 or any exculpatory information in the documents, and I would suggest that
4 we go ahead with his testimony and the cross that they prepared, and if
5 he has to come back for a limited cross in the future after they've
6 reviewed the documents, then we will bring him back, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say disclosure is an ongoing process, but we
8 do have rules that we apply.
9 MS. SARTORIO: I understand, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: So when was this actually discovered --
11 MS. SARTORIO: Last --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- by you.
13 MS. SARTORIO: The end of last week when it was disclosed.
14 Document reviews are ongoing on a daily basis. As you know, there are
15 several trials going on. ISU searches are conducted as quickly as the
16 people can do them, and the language assistants are spread thin, and
17 everybody is reviewing documents just as fast as they can.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you have another witness at hand?
19 MS. SARTORIO: He's not here. I don't think victim witness is
20 going to bring him here until 11.00, Your Honour. Actually, we have
21 another witness who is scheduled to go after VG-11. He is a 92 bis, and
22 then VG-97 will be testifying. So we have three witnesses lined up for
23 today, but Mr. -- Mr. Spahic has been here for several days and he's
24 prepared to give his testimony, and I think it's only fair to him that he
25 be allowed to come in and give his testimony, and as I said, if they find
1 anything in those documents that they want to ask him about, we can bring
2 him back for limited cross-examination on those -- on those matters.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, this is what the Chamber has
5 decided: The witness will testify as scheduled. However, if there is
6 anything in the documentation that was disclosed very late to you and you
7 wish to cross-examine on it and you are not in a position to do so now,
8 then the witness will be recalled for further cross-examination. The
9 Chamber considers this to be the best way of using the Trial Chamber's
10 time efficiently.
11 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, only for the record we were just
12 looking at the disclosure batch on the computer, and the dates of those
13 were last modified either the 6th or the 12th of August. So there was
14 some delay between the disclosure on Sunday on the 24th.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. The Chamber has ruled.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Sartorio, I'd like to say on behalf of the
18 Chamber that while I appreciate that disclosure is an ongoing process,
19 you also must be very careful and do everything in your power to ensure
20 that documentation is disclosed in -- within the time frame set by the
21 Trial Chamber, because if you have matters that are disclosed very late,
22 then obviously the kind of problem which has arisen now will arise, and
23 the Trial Chamber must ensure that its time is used efficiently.
24 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. I take that to heart. I'll
25 discuss it with the team, and we'll ensure that the documents are
1 disclosed as early as possible.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let the witness be brought in.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 MS. SARTORIO: Excuse me. That's not the right -- that's the
5 wrong witness.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry?
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's a case of mistaken identity.
9 Ms. Sartorio.
10 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I notice that the time that you have allocated
13 for this witness is an hour and a half. That's not so?
14 MS. SARTORIO: No, Your Honour. I think I can conduct my direct
15 within a half an hour as Your Honour instructed for 92 ter witnesses.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thanks.
17 MS. SARTORIO: Yes.
18 WITNESS: FERID SPAHIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I shall
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: May begin, Ms. Sartorio.
24 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Examination by Ms. Sartorio:
1 Q. Sir, would you please state your full name for the record.
2 A. Ferid Spahic.
3 Q. And in the spring of 1992 in what municipality or village did you
5 A. I lived in the village of Smrijece
6 Visegrad municipality.
7 Q. And what is your ethnicity, sir?
8 A. Muslim.
9 Q. Now, you testified before this Tribunal in 2001 in the case of
10 Prosecutor versus Mitar Vasiljevic, did you not?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Do you recall the dates of your testimony in that case?
13 A. The 12th and 13th of September, 2001.
14 Q. And, sir, since coming to The Hague a few days ago have you had
15 an opportunity to listen to your testimony in full in the Bosnian
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And is everything that you stated in your prior testimony
19 truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge in regard to the
20 events that you witnessed and experienced in June of 1992?
21 A. It is.
22 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions today that were put
23 to you during your testimony in 2001 about these events would your
24 answers be the same?
25 A. Essentially they would be. Not perhaps word for word, but
1 essentially, yes.
2 Q. In substance they would be the same.
3 A. Yes, in substance.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, I would ask that the testimony be
6 admitted in evidence, 65 ter numbers 70 and 71.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
8 MS. SARTORIO: And also, Your Honour, there were three exhibits
9 that went to the testimony. I would ask that they also be admitted, or
10 would you like me to ask the witness questions? They were discussed
11 during his testimony, and they're also on our 65 ter exhibit list, so we
12 just asked that they be admitted along with the testimony.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 MS. SARTORIO: They will be admitted. They are 65 ter number 67,
15 68, and 69.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, witness statement will become P15;
17 65 ter 67 will become Exhibit 16; 65 ter 68 will become Exhibit P17; and
18 65 ter 69 will become Exhibit P18.
19 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Spahic, in addition to giving testimony in the
21 Vasiljevic trial, did you also provide a statement to an ICTY
22 investigator in November of 1997?
23 A. I did. I gave that statement in Sarajevo.
24 Q. And the statement was typed in English but read back it you in
25 the Bosnian language at that time, it wasn't?
1 A. Yes, it was.
2 Q. And since coming to The Hague
3 your statement in the Bosnian language; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. And after reviewing your statement did you make certain
6 corrections and addition to this 1997 statement?
7 A. I did make certain corrections, and they just involved some slips
8 of the tongue or some minor technical mistakes, typos, but in substance
9 the statement is quite good.
10 Q. And you signed what was called an addendum to your statement
11 which contains these corrections; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you signed the English version of this statement after it was
14 read back to you by a translator in the Bosnian language; that is
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, sir, is everything contained in your 1997, taking into
18 consideration the corrections that you made in the addendum, and is
19 everything in the addendum truthful and accurate to the best of your
20 knowledge in regard to the events that you witnessed and experienced in
22 A. Yes, it is. It is truthful and accurate.
23 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions that were put to you
24 by the investigator in 1997, would your answers be the same as those that
25 you provided and as amended in your addendum?
1 A. Yes. In substance, yes.
2 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, I ask that the witness's statement
3 and the addendum be admitted in evidence. We do not have 65 ter numbers
4 for these two statements. However, I have the ERN numbers, ERN 00548587
5 to 8589. That is the statement. The addendum is 01109684 to 9694. No,
6 sorry. One moment, please.
7 I apologise, Your Honours. Just one moment for the correct
9 I apologise. The addendum ERN number is 06382599 to 2602.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I would like to make the correction
12 regarding the first witness statement. 65 ter number 70 will become
13 Exhibit P15 and 65 ter number 71 will become Exhibit P19. ERN number
14 00548587 will become Exhibit P20, and ERN number 063825997 to 2602 will
15 become Exhibit P21.
16 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
17 Q. Now, sir, as you've heard, your prior testimony and your
18 statement has been admitted in evidence so that the Chamber has the full
19 statement and testimony. So therefore I'm not going to ask you questions
20 and go into any detail about the events that you experienced in June of
21 1992. Do you understand that?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. I would just like to ask you a couple of questions. Now, your
24 testimony and your statement -- in your testimony and statement you
25 testify about a convoy of buses that was organised in Visegrad to
1 transport people out of the area and presumably to safety; is that
3 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
4 Q. And in your statement and testimony you say that the convoy was
5 supposed to leave Visegrad on the 14th of June. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, and it did leave Visegrad on the 14th of June.
7 Q. Okay. And on the 14th of June, were you on a bus that was with
8 other buses at the Visegrad Hotel?
9 A. Yes, I was on one of the several buses that were in this column.
10 Q. And can you tell me how many buses and/or vehicles there were
11 that set out in the convoy?
12 A. I personally did not count the vehicles to establish their actual
13 number, but I do know that there were about five or six buses and two
14 trucks, two lorries with tarpaulins.
15 Q. And at some point these buses left of the Visegrad Hotel and
16 started out on a route to where?
17 A. They set off on a road that had not been agreed upon. Actually,
18 while we were still there at the square, prior to our very departure,
19 prior to the convoy's very departure, we were offered three routes for
20 the convoy to take. One of them was to Skopje in Macedonia. Another one
21 was to Olovo, and yet a third one was to Kladinja [phoen]. However, the
22 fact is that Skopje
23 convoy. In fact, while we were still at the square, in the buses Ljupko
24 Tasic demanded that we make up lists of people on the buses and to
25 indicate the direction which we wanted to take, and I did so in respect
1 of the bus that I was on, and I wrote on the top of that list that the
2 desired direction was Skopje
3 Q. Thank you, sir. But my question to you is at some point on the
4 14th of June did the buses leave the Visegrad Hotel, and the bus that you
5 were on, in which direction did the bus travel?
6 A. We first went to the bus station in Visegrad for the bus to be
7 refuelled, and then we went back and via the Novi Most, or the New Bridge
8 in Visegrad, we took the direction of Smrijece. That is the byroad, the
9 Visegrad-Rogatica byroad.
10 Q. And can you tell us approximately what time on the 14th of June
11 your bus left Visegrad?
12 A. Well, I'm not quite sure of the exact time, but I think it was
13 between 9.00 and 11.00 that we actually left town.
14 Q. Now, sir, I want to ask you a question. When you testified in
15 2001, this was nine years after the events that you lived through in
16 1992; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How was it that you were able to remember the date of 14 June as
19 the bus leaving -- as the buses leaving Visegrad?
20 A. Well, I was able to do that because all those dates which are
21 associated with our hapless fate, those dates are etched in my mind. So
22 it is not at all hard for me to recall those dates. I would wish it on
23 no one to experience what I had gone through, so that these dates are
24 eternally etched in my mind.
25 Q. Now, the actual -- the actual execution that you testified to and
1 is talked about in your statement, is that happened on the 15th of June;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And has the 15th of June had any significance in your life since
5 this event?
6 A. Unfortunately, it does have. Nothing good is associated with
7 that date except the fact that I'm still alive. Everything else is bad.
8 Q. What is your date of -- what is your birthday?
9 A. The 8th of May, 1963.
10 Q. Do you celebrate a second birthday?
11 A. I certainly do.
12 Q. And what date is that second birthday?
13 A. The 15th of June.
14 Q. And why do you celebrate your birthday on the 15th of June?
15 A. The 15th of June, we were taken to a spot called Paklanik
16 [phoen], that is I, myself and some 50 of my neighbours and friends,
17 family members, with our hands on our backs, and there all these people
18 were executed, and I was the only one who fortunately managed to escape.
19 Q. So what do you consider the 15th of June to be?
20 A. Well, what can I say? I do not celebrate it as one would
21 celebrate one's birthday, you know, but I do commemorate it in a special
22 way because no 15th of June can pass without my eliciting the scenes of
23 the 15th of June in 1992. It's just impossible.
24 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to move on to -- you stated in your
25 testimony that a person walked on the convoy bus before it left Visegrad
1 whom you later learned was Milan Lukic. Is that what you said?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us how you learned the identity of this person?
4 A. At that particular moment we were already ready to depart, the
5 convoy was, when at a certain point this person boarded our bus who I had
6 not seen before, and that person stood just next to my seat. I looked up
7 and then I look at him for three or four seconds, and I again looked in
8 front of me. He just called out the name of Esad Kustura, a schoolmate
9 of his. He actually said schoolmate. I don't know whether they were
10 actually schoolmates, but he said, "Schoolmate, come out." When Esad was
11 passing by my seat I told him to run. However, he reached a last step of
12 the bus while outside there broke out a quarrel between Ljupko Tasic and
14 I didn't know it was Milan Lukic.
15 After a short talk and a short quarrel, Ljupko said Esad to go
16 back on the bus. Esad, while passing by me said, "Ljupko saved me skin."
17 Later after we had left that spot after we set off in the
18 direction of Orlovo I inquired who that person who boarded the bus was,
19 and Esad told me that it was Milan Lukic.
20 Q. You did not know Milan Lukic before this time, did you?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. SARTORIO: Now I would like to go into the last area of
24 examination and it involves a map, Your Honours. The map is in e-court.
25 However, I have hard copies because I think it's more significant to see,
1 and I prefer that we look at the hard copies if we may.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
3 MS. SARTORIO: May I have -- may have just one moment, Your
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
7 Q. Sir -- can we put it --
8 MS. SARTORIO: Can this be shown on the ELMO so the Judges can
9 see where -- thank you. I think that's fine.
10 Q. Sir, could you mark on this map where the town or the
11 municipality of Visegrad is with the -- with the Magic Marker that I gave
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Could you circle it.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And put a V by it for Visegrad.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Sir, can you recall and if so can you draw the route that the
19 convoy took on the 14th of June?
20 A. Yes. The convoy set off from the square in Visegrad. It passed
21 the Novi Most across the Drina River
22 asphalt road towards Rogatica by taking the byroad, detour which goes via
23 Smrijece, and the Gornja and Donja Lijeska, and via Gornja and
24 Donja Lijeska, Kopito, Pesurici, up to a place called Seljane which is in
25 the vicinity of Rogatica.
1 Q. Thank you, from that point on, you travelled to another place and
2 then you went back. Can you just tell us briefly from there where you
3 went and where the execution took place?
4 A. We set out from Seljane taking the macadam road through Zakoma
5 and Sakovici [phoen] and we reached the municipality of Sokolac
6 went on via Knedjina [phoen] to Isarica Brdo and this already is in, I
7 believe, Orlovo municipality. There, unfortunately, and I believe that
8 there was a truck full of soldier who followed this convoy from Sokolac,
9 so at the meadows they just surrounded the convoy so they said the
10 elderly women and children could leave the convoy while all the rest go
11 to be exchanged.
12 Q. Okay. Now, at some point on this route did you spend the night,
13 the evening of the 14th in the buses?
14 A. Yes. We were sent back -- actual -- we were taken back from
15 Isarica Brdo to Sokolac. There we were all crammed in just one bus, and
16 there outside the hotel Romanija the police station in Sokolac we spent
17 the night in the bus with guards watching us.
18 Q. Is that place on this map where you spent the evening on the bus?
19 A. No, it is not. No. I would need another map for that.
20 Q. Another map going in the same direction as you -- as the convoy
21 was moving? It's off the map?
22 A. Yes, it's on the map. This is just Visegrad-Rogatica direction.
23 I need Rogatica-Sokolac one and a map also showing Orlovo, if possible.
24 Q. Now, could you point out on this map where Kopito is, and please
25 circle and put a K next to it if you find it.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Now, is Kopito a town or a village or a place? Could you
3 describe it for us?
4 A. I actually couldn't see very well at that particular time, but it
5 passed by that road before, and I was familiar. It is just a few houses
6 scattered by the road so it is not actually a proper village. It is just
7 a couple of houses, perhaps a hamlet, two or three families.
8 Q. Now, between Visegrad and Kopito were there any barriers or
9 roadblocks to prevent you from travel on the road?
10 A. Not in that section, but later on, somewhere I'm not quite sure,
11 but before Seljani. Possibly at person Rijici, at this spot right here
12 there was some sort of barricade blocking the road. I know we were held
13 there for a couple of minutes. There were some troops there, some
14 soldiers and later after we had passed I saw that it had been only a
15 simple log on the road and who had put it there and why I have no idea.
16 Q. But it didn't prevent the convoy from continuing on, did it, this
18 A. No, it did not.
19 Q. I note that on the map you marked this place where the log was as
20 P; is that correct?
21 A. I suppose that it was at Pesurici, so I put P as the initial of
22 the toponym.
23 Q. Now, sir on the 14th of June of 1992, if you were to drive from
24 Kopito to Visegrad would you take that exact same route that your convoy
1 A. Yes. That is the only road, in fact.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. SARTORIO: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
5 MS. SARTORIO: I'm sorry, may I move that the map be admitted in
6 evidence. I'm sorry.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
8 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P22, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid. Mr. Alarid, you're up next, as they
12 MR. ALARID: I think I'm up next usually, but thank you, Judge.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Defence counsel, please.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
15 Q. Good morning, VG-11.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. You indicated in any of your testimonies that you only saw Mr. --
18 who you understand to be Mr. Milan Lukic one time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And this was related and only happened in the square of Visegrad
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, the Prosecution spoke to you about your statement of -- I
23 best guess it would be 1997; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And your testimony in Vasiljevic trial; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you also read your statements of September 11th, 1992?
3 A. I looked at the statement, but those were not my words. The
4 substance is the same, and I even believe that the signature on those
5 documents is not mine. And even factually they maiden name of my mother
6 is not Omerovic, it is Drino. Only a short time had elapsed since the
7 events and my statements, so I would ask you if you want to question me
8 to base your questions on my statement that I gave to the investigators
9 from The Hague
10 Q. Why would you prefer that?
11 A. The statements from 1992 contain the substance, but the substance
12 is too disorderly. Somebody retold my story and it really isn't -- it
13 isn't the right thing. It didn't as it should be.
14 Q. And you also gave a statement 5 December 1992; correct?
15 A. Could you give me the place where I gave that statement?
16 MR. ALARID: Just a moment, Your Honour. I apologise.
17 Q. In Sarajevo
18 A. On the 5th of December, 1992, in Sarajevo
19 Q. Yes, sir.
20 A. On the 5th of December, 1992, I was not in Sarajevo
21 in Gorazde.
22 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, we'd like ERN number 00614799 to
23 00614808 to be put on, which has been uploaded into e-court as 1D00-0161.
24 That's the B/C/S version. And the English version has been uploaded as
1 A. Sir, this statement was not made in Sarajevo. It was forwarded
2 to in Sarajevo
4 Q. So you did make a statement 5 December 1992?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I don't remember if it was the 5th of December, but if it's dated
7 December 5 then this probably is true, but it was made at Donji Most,
8 which is close to Visoko. And under what pretense did you give the
9 statement on 5 December?
10 A. For the first time after what had happened to us on the 15th of
11 June I came to the place where the rest of the convoy ended up, the
12 women, children, and the elderly. I'm a man who had survived the
13 execution and who was supposed to tell the truth to those who survived,
14 the wives and children and parents, so that the statement was necessary
15 the way it was. It was given in a haste. It lacks detail, but I had to
16 give it under the circumstances.
17 Q. Now, isn't it true, though, that in neither statement of
18 September 11th 1992
19 A. That is possible. As soon as I noticed the first mistakes in the
20 statement I didn't continue reading. Those were not my true words. My
21 true words were those that I -- from the statement in 1997. This
22 statement I only gave to satisfy those that were present then.
23 Q. What did you think was necessary to satisfy those who were
24 present investigating this case in 1992?
25 A. I really don't know. When I think back to that interrogation in
1 Mostar, I remembered the mistakes the investigators made at the time and
2 that didn't matter to me immediately. I think he retold my words to a
3 lady who made a -- who made the protocol, who put it down on paper. It
4 didn't matter to me. I had lived through the war and all these ordeals.
5 It was essential, it was important that I make a statement and that I
6 give a rough account without thorough analysis. But in 1997, for two
7 days, I testified in Sarajevo
8 was put on paper. So if you want to ask me about the statement I made in
10 Q. To be honest --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness. Witness, you say that you remembered
12 the mistakes the investigators made. What -- what were those mistakes?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot point out any mistakes
14 precisely, but when I said a sentence the investigator would either adapt
15 it or rephrase it. It didn't matter to me at the time. As soon as I saw
16 the statement that Djordje Gacic had called the Uzice Corps, which is
17 nonsense. A simple peasant cannot possibly call in an army corps. But
18 as I said, in 1992 I didn't pay attention to those things back in 1992.
19 I had only given -- been given a few days of leave to visit my father so
20 that the statement was given while the impressions of the execution were
21 still fresh. Only a few months had elapsed. So extracting things from
22 that statement I don't think would be a fair thing to do, although in --
23 in substance it is correct.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why didn't it matter to you at the time that
25 mistakes were made?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The war was only yet starting. I
2 was given five days of leave to visit my father, and I gave that
3 statement in a haste because I had to go back to the front line. I
4 didn't mind those things at the time.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
6 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Well, let's talk about the substance of the 1992 statements and
8 then we can talk about how you recalled different things later. Is that
10 A. No problem.
11 Q. Do you speak English?
12 A. [In English] No. No. [Interpretation] I only know a few words.
13 Q. Well, you answered Ms. Sartorio with a yes, and so I assumed you
14 might have.
15 When you were first told --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- that you were going to be given the option of a convoy, some
18 of the people saw this as a salvation; correct?
19 A. That's what we all thought.
20 Q. And that's because you had been hiding from persecution in the
21 woods; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you had also been scouting with binoculars and witnessed
24 other atrocities; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And so -- but there was great suffering on the people that were
2 hiding. Isn't that true?
3 A. Yes, of course.
4 Q. And -- but during that time you -- how long have you been from
5 the Visegrad area?
6 A. I don't understand the question.
7 Q. You were born in Visegrad?
8 A. In the surroundings of Visegrad.
9 Q. And the Visegrad area is -- is not a large area in terms of
11 A. No.
12 Q. And that's why you were able to recognise many names as
13 neighbours and friends, either Muslims or Serbs, during your earlier
14 statements; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, would it be fair to say that in your mind, going back to the
17 15th of June as you say it, the convoy to execute the people on your bus,
18 would you consider that a war crime?
19 A. Yes, of course.
20 Q. And during that time you gave statements probably hoping that the
21 people responsible for that convoy and executions would be found justice.
22 A. Those statements I gave at the time to satisfy the form and in
23 the hope that if I as the only survivor would be killed subsequently,
24 that a written trace would -- would remain behind. But if -- I didn't
25 expect it to take on such a wrong shape. That's why I was glad when I
1 got the opportunity to give another statement, which was 100 per cent
3 Q. And you were glad because the people that executed your friends
4 were brought to justice?
5 A. Unfortunately, the people who conducted the execution are still
6 at large, the organiser of the convoy is still at large. And if I may --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry.
8 A. Please go on. Go ahead.
9 Q. Who do you consider the organiser of the convoy?
10 A. The main organiser of the convoy is Ljupko Tasic, my neighbour
11 from Bosanska Jagodina.
12 Q. And is it fair to say you consider him responsible for the 50
13 deaths of the people on that bus?
14 A. If I may, I'll take the opportunity to ask Mr. Milan Lukic.
15 Their conversation in the square in front of bus took a minute or two.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just stop. You're not to ask any questions
17 here. You answer questions.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, but the key
19 to the solution lies there. If you wish, we can solve the case of the
20 convoy that was formed on the 14th of June, 1992. Then we -- somebody
21 will have to put that question to Mr. Lukic.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Prosecutor will do that if she considers it
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. Mr. VG-11, let me ask you about Mr. Gacic. Do you consider him
1 partly responsible for this convoy?
2 A. We were taken to the convoy because it was suggested to us by our
3 neighbours. Mr. Gacic approached us in the village of Zagre
4 him, and he -- he was actually the first bait that we swallowed and got
6 Q. And in terms of the bait do you think that he knew that it was
7 not a convoy to remove you from the area and save you but in fact a
8 convoy to take you to be executed?
9 A. I'm convinced that he knew that our convoy was not a convoy of
10 salvation, and those that had organised it had already judged us. They
11 only used the good neighbourly relations that we had before to deceive
12 the people to get on the convoy, and unfortunately that's what we did.
13 Q. What about the other local Serbs that you remembered their names,
14 Dusan Maric?
15 A. Those people today, as far as I know from some people who
16 returned to Visegrad, live normally. I must also say that Ljupko Tasic,
17 upon the questions of some returnees what had happened to the people on
18 the convoy, answered that he is not to blame for anything and that the
19 decision to execute us was taken by Milan Lukic in the square when he
20 turned up, and that's why it is important for me to know what the
21 conversation was that they had in the square. It was very brief, only a
22 few sentences, and I believe that conversation relieves Milan Lukic of
23 the responsibility of that convoy.
24 Q. You believe that conversation relieves him of responsibility?
25 What do you mean by that?
1 A. Milan Lukic simply appeared and wanted to take his schoolmate out
2 of the bus. I think that during those months there was -- there wasn't
3 probably anybody who could prevent Milan Lukic from doing something that
4 he wanted to do, but Ljupko Tasic at that moment prevented him from
5 taking Esad off the bus, and that -- it was impossible to achieve unless
6 Milan Lukic promised to Ljupko Tasic something -- or, rather, the other
7 way round.
8 Q. Well, who is Ljupko Tasic and what was his profession?
9 A. He was a neighbour of mine. I must say that we were on good
10 terms. He was a haulier. He had some machines, some baggers. We've
11 known each other since birth. We never had any problems with each other.
12 Q. But he had no problem taking you to be executed.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it's easy to assume that all the people that either escorted
15 you to the place of the execution all knew the fate of you and the fate
16 of your brothers?
17 A. All the events around the execution were experienced through
18 something of a haze, a haze of disbelief. I can only say that the guys
19 who actually executed those people knew very well how to do that.
20 Q. What about Rade and Sladjan Simic?
21 A. They were also neighbours of mine. Rade owned a pub at Bosanska
22 Jagodina. We had a meeting there on the 13th of June with Ljupko Tasic.
23 I wanted to find out what kind of convoy that was, because sometime ago a
24 similar convoy had been organised by Milan Lukic, and 17 or 19 people
25 ended up in the vicinity of Bosanska Jagodina.
1 I'm not an eyewitness. I only heard accounts from other people
2 and from the families of those that were executed, and among those 17 or
3 19 people there was also a relative of my wife. He is the only one who
4 was buried at the cemetery, and the remains of the others were found in a
5 chasm some eight kilometers from Visegrad, but only about half of the
7 I only went to Bosanska Jagodina to prevent the same thing from
8 happening to us too.
9 Q. But yet in your statement of 5 December 1992 when you mentioned
10 the fate of the 17 people on the earlier convoy, you made no mention of
11 Milan Lukic being responsible.
12 A. When did I make that statement?
13 Q. Well, you simply made the statement that you wanted to make sure
14 that the same fate didn't happen to your convoy that happened to the 17;
15 but you did not indicate Milan Lukic's name, nor that you believed that
16 he was responsible. And I believe that's on page 2 of the statement in
18 A. That is possible. At the moment I possibly didn't know that
19 Milan Lukic was responsible for that convoy. I still do not know, but
20 based on the accounts of other people whose family members ended up
21 there, it must have been Milan Lukic. But there were bodies found there
22 and DNA
23 it is beyond doubt that an execution was conducted. But based on the
24 conversations I had and from people who know Milan Lukic, at the all say
25 that it is his responsibility.
1 I knew about this event, and I went to Bosanska Jagodina to talk
2 to our neighbours to avoid the same thing from happening -- that the same
3 thing happens again. And about this convoy of 17 or 19 people, I cannot
4 say much because I'm not competent.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you have used 25 minutes. I'll give
6 you another 20 unless you really need more time. Generally I'll allow 45
7 minutes, but you may request additional time, and if I consider it
8 justified then I'll give it.
9 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. But yet in your third statement of the 3rd and 4th of November,
11 1997, you again did not mention Milan Lukic in relation to the convoy of
12 17 people. Isn't that true?
13 A. Possibly.
14 Q. And the only thing that you mentioned was that Milan Lukic asked
15 for Zenga to get off the bus in Visegrad?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And so would it be fair to say that it's possible that Mr. Lukic
18 was trying to take Zenga off the bus because he was a friend and maybe he
19 knew where you might be going, what your fate might be?
20 A. Frankly speaking, I don't know. It is possible that he wanted
21 just to take him for a drink. I mean, that is really nonsense. That is
22 impossible. Zenga was just to be taken off the bus at that moment and be
23 liquidated. That is a fact, because that was the only thing that was
24 going on in Visegrad was killing. Killing was the order of the day.
25 People didn't eat. People didn't drink. The fact that they were
1 schoolmates really change anything, didn't make any difference.
2 And as for this conversation between Ljupko and Mr. Milan it just
3 resulted in Esad getting back on the bus. What this famous sentence was
4 what the substance of that dialogue was whereby Esad managed to get back
5 on the bus that is something that Milan
6 this particular sentence. I've known it for the last 16 years but it is
7 really too no avail because I'm the only one who does know it.
8 Q. But you're convinced Tasic knew your fate from the meeting on the
9 13th. Isn't that true?
10 A. Please, these are assumptions. I suppose so. Actually, I'm
11 quite clear that it was so. I'm quite sure that it was so. But I should
12 like to say once again that Ljupko Tasic simply, when talking to the
13 returnees claim that Milan Lukic had changed the overall concept of the
14 convoy in the square.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
18 MR. ALARID: I didn't know if you were going to ask a question,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. No. You go ahead.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. So is it possible that Mr. Tasic --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. Is it possible that Mr. Tasic is simply passing the blame to
1 Mr. Lukic so he can live at peace in Visegrad?
2 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, I object at this point. I don't
3 know what he can get into the mind of Mr. Tasic at this point.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree. Ask another question.
5 MR. ALARID:
6 Q. Mr. Tasic assumed -- appeared to have command responsibility of
7 this convoy, did he not?
8 A. Yes. It was actually with him that I made this deal, and we made
9 the arrangements. In fact, the meeting at the pub could not start
10 without him. We waited for him for some 20 minutes, meaning that after
11 all he was the person in charge.
12 Q. And he also told the other escorts and drivers what to do?
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. They moved the buses at his direction?
15 A. I don't know that either.
16 Q. What was Mr. Milan Lukic or who you believe to be Milan Lukic
17 wearing when he tried to get your friend off the bus?
18 A. If you are referring to the three or four seconds -- that three
19 or four seconds that I had available to me, afraid as I was to actually
20 take in the details that is really impossible. I just looked at his face
21 and then I bent my head again. At that time one didn't just actually
22 look at Milan Lukic. It wasn't a done thing.
23 Q. You didn't know who Milan Lukic was at the time. Why would it
25 A. The man simply stood by my seat, and instinctively I looked up
1 and I looked at his face, and then I gazed down again. This was done
2 instinctively on my part. If he gone to the seat behind me I wouldn't
3 have known it was Milan Lukic. I would have known from other people
4 telling me that but I wouldn't have seen him myself up to today, and
5 today however is the second time that I see him. The first time that I
6 saw him he really was there.
7 Q. And you can tell me that you can recognise a man who has aged 16
8 years after seeing him for three seconds and not knowing his name and not
9 knowing who he was until afterwards, not mentioning his name until 1997?
10 A. I just have to clarify something for you. Those moments when
11 someone is actually deciding your fate, life or death, your mind in such
12 moments it registers everything. In hindsight, looking back at all these
13 years, in the reports that I saw in the media, I saw Milan Lukic many
14 times in the media reports, on television and so on. So this is not
15 actually the second time that I see him. This is the second time that I
16 see him in person, in the flesh. And believe you me, it is possible to
17 take in one's face within the space of two or three seconds and have it
18 etched in one's mind forever. It is possible, but one has to experience
19 it. One has to experience some terrible ordeal in order for one's mind
20 to react in that way. I believe if we had a drink then I wouldn't have
21 remembered his.
22 Q. But do you think someone with all the responsibility and command
23 power would be able to snap his fingers and have Mr. Kustura off the bus,
24 no problem?
25 A. That is the key, in fact. If you want us to unlock this lock,
1 please tell the -- relate to Their Honours just the dialogue that
2 Milan Lukic had conducted with Ljupko Tasic. It is just a couple of
3 sentences. Of course if Milan Lukic remembers that dialogue, then I
4 think he should remember it.
5 Q. Would it be fair to say if Mr. Lukic had no power to tell
6 Mr. Tasic one way or another what to do he is not the Milan Lukic that
7 the media has made him out to be, the stories? You would have expected
9 A. No. No, no, no. I know what you're aim at -- aiming at. I've
10 already said Milan Lukic could not be opposed by anybody. No one could
11 stand up to Milan Lukic in those days.
12 What it was that Ljupko Tasic promised to Milan Lukic at that
13 particular moment outside the bus which made Milan Lukic sway in the
14 other direction and leave the convoy, I don't know that. What --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. -- it was. It's impossible. It's impossible.
17 Q. Who had power --
18 A. That's impossible.
19 Q. Who had power in Visegrad at that time? Who had the SDS put into
20 power in Visegrad at that time?
21 A. I don't know whom the SDS
22 believe it was Savovic, but I don't think it matters. I think that all
23 the power was in the hands of paramilitary units. Milan Lukic and the
24 others who were there, some White Eagles and what have you, that's where
25 the power was.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
2 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please not overlap with the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard about him also. I think
5 it's Professor Perisic. If that's whom you mean, that is.
6 MR. ALARID:
7 Q. And he also was chief and commander of the police?
8 A. Yes. Unfortunately, it was degenerates of that kind that they
9 usually appointed there.
10 Q. What do you mean by degenerates?
11 A. That man was not a man for that post.
12 Q. Why not?
13 A. He was the commander, the komandir of the police in Visegrad.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Witness, you've been talking
15 about the dialogue between Milan Lukic and Tasic on the bus as being the
16 key to unlock the -- the puzzle. You heard this dialogue, did you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why do you believe it will be the key to unlock
19 the puzzle?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It indeed is the key to this riddle
21 because no one could oppose Milan Lukic in those days in Visegrad. Why
22 did he listen to Ljupko Tasic and not to take Esad Kustura off the bus if
23 he had that power and he did? What was it that Ljupko Tasic promised to
25 It's just that Ljupko Tasic knew what fate would befall us. It's just
1 that he conveyed to him what he already knew. So if Mr. Milan Lukic
2 remembers, recalls that sentence, let him publicly utter it here because
3 I know that sentence. I've known it for the last 16 years, but it is to
4 no avail in this way.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: How have you known it?
6 MR. ALARID:
7 Q. What do you believe that sentence to be?
8 MR. ALARID: I'm sorry, Judge.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I asked how did you know this sentence?
10 How did you get to know this sentence?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For 16 years now I've been living
12 with this crime. I've been putting to the mosaic and the tiles,
13 arranging the tiles. Someone here is responsible for that. Someone has
14 promised me, including the Red Cross, the direction to Skopje and that I
15 would be escorted by my neighbours, Serbs. I was promised this.
16 Nothing was actually honoured, but things took a quite different
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I want to find out, because you are here
19 to -- to give evidence, to assist the Trial Chamber in determining the
20 facts in this case, and if you say you have known this sentence for 16
21 years, the Trial Chamber is interested in finding out what it is that you
22 know and how you obtained that knowledge.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will tell you that sentence, but
24 I just wanted to have it confirmed.
25 In order to save someone at that moment Milan Lukic had to be
1 promised something. At that moment, Ljupko just told Milan not to make a
2 fuss there in the square, that we had already been designated for
3 execution. That was satisfactory for Milan Lukic and for him to leave
4 the convoy. That was enough for him.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: And how -- how do you know that Milan was told
6 this by Ljupko?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, everything that was unfolding
8 surrounding this convoy. It had all been deliberate. It had all been
10 On the morrow, on the 15th of June, we ended up at the pit. Had
11 we actually passed, gone on with that convoy, these conversations would
12 all be irrelevant.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it correct to say that you have deduced this
14 from all the circumstances?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you. We'll take the break
17 now. Twenty minutes.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.42 a.m.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you have four minutes left.
21 MR. ALARID: I do believe the team of Sredoje Lukic was going to
22 offer some of their time.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
24 MR. ALARID: I believe that the Sredoje Lukic team was going to
25 allocate some of their time as well, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You mean allocate some of their time to you.
2 MR. ALARID: Yes.
3 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave we have just a couple
4 questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Right. So how much longer do you intend to be?
6 MR. ALARID: Well, there's three statements, Judge, and there are
7 some more inconsistencies to go into. I would as a practical matter like
8 to introduce the 11 September 1992 statements and the 5 December 1992
9 statement into evidence. The 11 September 1992 1D00-0145, and the
10 December 5th statement, 1992, is 1D00-0152.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: So you want to have those admitted.
12 MR. ALARID: Admitted.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, they're admitted.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 1D00-0145 will become Exhibit 1D6
15 and 1D00-0152 will become Exhibit 1D7.
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. Mr. 11, let's talk about the other people that participated in
18 the execution at the end of your trip that day. Do you recall the day of
19 the week?
20 A. It was the 15th of June. I don't know the day of the week.
21 Q. Well, I mean did you have any other activities that would tell
22 you whether it was a weekday or a weekend?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Tell me the people that participated in the execution, either by
25 escorting, driving, or shooting.
1 A. I only know two people, Predrag Milisavljevic, who started the
2 execution, and Boris Ceho, who was standing -- who was standing on the
3 side close to us.
4 Q. Isn't it true that Boris Ceho was a reserve policeman?
5 A. It is true, and at the time he was wearing the uniform of a
6 reserve police officer. I also used to be a reserve police officer.
7 Q. How many other people in that detail were wearing uniforms of
8 policemen or reserve policemen?
9 A. I think that only Boris Ceho was wearing such a uniform of a
10 reserve police officer. And apart from these two there were another nine
11 people there, a total of 11 as far as I could tell at the moment and as
12 far as I remember. Eleven people were at the pit. I know that the guy
13 who when Predrag Milisavljevic started the execution at the pit had a
14 flak jacket on him. He was wearing a flak jacket.
15 Q. Over his uniform?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And Predrag clearly told other people what to do?
18 A. That's an interesting thing that nobody commanded anybody there.
19 They gave the impression of a well-trained team who knew what they were
20 doing. I never heard a single command being said. But it's a fact that
21 Slavisa Vukojicic who, didn't know at the time, he's from Rogatica, only
22 after my escape did other people tell me his name based on my
23 description. He seemed to be in charge, and I believe that he was
24 wearing no arms, no weapons.
25 Q. Now, isn't it true that as of your December 1992 statement you
1 had learned that Baja Zukic had been killed?
2 A. The name must be wrong. Zukic. Yes, that's the last name, but
3 it is not Baja.
4 Q. Okay. I'm sorry. What is her first name?
5 A. We're talking about a woman.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. There were no women at the pit. There were men exclusively.
8 Q. I'm sorry, you misunderstand me. I'm talking about after your
9 escape you later learned that Ms. Zukic had been killed somewhere else.
10 A. I heard that the following convoy that left after ours -- on the
11 other convoy there was a woman who was killed. It's possible that it was
12 Ms. Zukic, but I cannot confirm that.
13 Q. So you never heard the name of Milan Lukic associated with
14 Ms. Zukic?
15 A. Behija Zukic, whether she was really killed on one of those
16 convoys or in town, in her house.
17 Q. So you don't know.
18 A. If are talking about the person I mean Behija Zukic, she was
19 killed in her house.
20 Q. And you did not hear Milan Lukic associated with this?
21 A. I did, that Milan Lukic was mentioned in connection with the
22 killing of Behija Zukic if we're talking about the same person, I mean
23 the one who had a house in Duce.
24 Q. And you didn't mention Mr. Lukic in your December 1992 statement,
25 so you later learned of this between 1992 and 1997?
1 A. I think I knew that even before that time, but the statement I
2 gave in two, I've already described the circumstances in which it was
3 given. I was still under the impression of my or deal, because this
4 isn't anything I know first-hand. I only heard accounts from other
5 people. I didn't see it. I don't know for sure. I heard lots of
6 things. We can talk for days about all the things I heard.
7 Q. Well, would it be fair to say all the things you heard about
8 Milan Lukic was sometime between your December statement of 1992 and 1997
9 because you never mention him till 1997?
10 A. Well, believe me, I really cannot tell.
11 Q. Well, you didn't know who Milan Lukic was in the square at
12 Visegrad when you were on the bus; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the only word you got was that a name was mentioned that day
15 that you didn't remember until 1997; correct?
16 A. No. I heard that name on the very same day on the bus. I asked
17 Mirsad Zukic, who the man was who got on the bus, and he told me. I
18 don't know if they were schoolmates, but Milan Lukic called Esad out by
19 calling him a schoolmate. So I knew that it was Milan Lukic on that very
21 Q. And you knew on that very day that he did not have the power to
22 take him off the bus?
23 A. On the following day I found out that Milan Lukic did have a lot
24 of power, unfortunately.
25 Q. You found that out on the following day but never mentioned it
1 even in 1997?
2 A. Well, probably nobody ever asked me about it.
3 Q. And you didn't mention it in your testimony of 2001?
4 A. Well, probably even then nobody asked me about that.
5 Q. But would it be fair to say that based on your overall
6 understanding of the power structure in Visegrad, the Crisis Staff and
7 Perisic had the control in town?
8 A. Dear sir, if I may ask you one thing. Is there one single
9 protocol about the crimes --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Just a minute, please. You are
11 not to ask questions. That is counsel's right.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 As far as I know, there is no single protocol about the crimes
14 committed at the police station mentions Perisic, but certain crimes were
15 committed, and this is a clear evidence that the police was not what they
16 were supposed to be, that they were all involved in crimes.
17 MR. ALARID:
18 Q. And they were led by Perisic?
19 A. Perisic was my teacher, unfortunately. Who he led and where I
20 really don't know.
21 Q. Now, you testified in the trial of Mr. Vasiljevic; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in that trial you testified that you didn't learn that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But nothing about that conversation told you that he was in
2 power; correct?
3 A. Which conversation do you mean?
4 Q. The conversation where you learned his name for the first time.
5 A. Could you please repeat the entire question?
6 Q. That there was nothing about the conversation where you learned
7 Milan Lukic's name that told you he had any position of power or
9 A. I heard about Milan Lukic from the very beginning of the war
10 actions in Visegrad but that's all. I only heard about him, and until
11 the end of the war I heard stories about his actions, but these are
12 things I cannot comment upon.
13 Q. Isn't it true in your testimony before the Tribunal you indicated
14 that you were confused why only Mitar Vasiljevic was charged with these
15 crimes of Visegrad?
16 A. I may have said that if that's what the transcript says.
17 Q. You knew Mitar Vasiljevic had -- had drinks with him casually?
18 A. Yes. That was all before the war started. We were even on good
19 terms. We had more drinks than just a few together with Mitar -- or,
20 rather, fortunately I never met Mitar Vasiljevic.
21 Q. Unfortunately?
22 A. Yes, unfortunately. Actually, I said fortunately. I said
24 Q. You never met him after the war started is what you're saying?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But nothing about his -- his demeanour told you that he would be
2 a monster during the war. Would that be fair?
3 A. Well, look here. Visegrad is a very small town. It is a
4 beautiful town, at least it used to be up to the war, where everybody
5 knew everybody. It is inconceivable, for instance, for a -- for
6 schoolmates to kill one another. It was inconceivable. And the same
7 thing applied to Milan
8 As for Mitar Vasiljevic, and actually in respect of everybody who
9 is proved who have been or even not proved to have been something of the
10 kind, well, I've lived through too many things in order not to remember
11 the situations.
12 Q. But would it be fair to say that a guy like Mitar Vasiljevic
13 couldn't have killed the thousands that died or disappeared in the
14 Visegrad area during that time?
15 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I object to the question. I mean,
16 first of all it calls for speculation. I don't know if this witness --
17 there has been no foundation laid whether this witness would know that
18 answer, and it really, quite frankly, isn't relevant.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree. You must move on and focus your
20 cross-examination, Mr. Alarid.
21 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, as a proffer to the Court in terms of
22 relevance, one, I believe that the witness has been allowed to speak from
23 points of speculation at many junctures in this testimony, both on direct
24 exam by the Prosecution and well as just his general knowledge of the
25 area. I think his overall knowledge of Milan Lukic is based on
1 speculation and rumours and stories that transcended years of this
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Move on. I'm not allowing the question.
4 Ask another one.
5 MR. ALARID:
6 Q. Now, isn't it true that in the area, as far as you know,
7 thousands of people were displaced or killed?
8 A. It is.
9 Q. And many Muslim mosques and homes were burnt and destroyed?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And this took the coordinated effort of hundreds, if not more,
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. And prior to this -- or at the time that you were going through
15 this you had never heard the name of Milan Lukic in a position of power.
16 You only heard stories later.
17 A. I had heard these stories about Milan Lukic even prior to joining
18 the convoy, but I was not at all interested in that person. I didn't
19 even know who that man was. It was totally immaterial to me. It was
20 unimportant who he was or what he did. Simply what I knew from these
21 stories was that his chief occupation during these months in 1992 was
22 killing. Nothing good. Nothing, absolutely nothing good. From all the
23 things that I heard about -- in all the things that I heard about
24 Milan Lukic there was nothing good.
25 Q. Do you realise that today is the first day that you've ever said
1 that you heard about Milan Lukic before the 14th of June, 1992?
2 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Sartorio.
4 MS. SARTORIO: I object to the question. He can say the first
5 time he's ever said in the three statements that are before him, but we
6 don't know what he's said to anyone else.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question that counsel put was that today is
8 the first time that he never said he heard about Milan Lukic before the
9 14th of June, and what is -- what's wrong with that?
10 MS. SARTORIO: Well, said to whom is what's wrong with that.
11 First time he's ever said -- I think counsel should rephrase the question
12 that -- with relation to the statements that are the subject of this
13 examination, not whether he's ever made a statement to anybody ever in
14 the world.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, put it in context. Are you talking
16 about the first time that he said in relation to the statements?
17 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: But more generally.
19 MR. ALARID: I'm actually saying it in relation to the statements
20 and his prior testimony in Vasiljevic.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That's what I thought.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. So, Mr. 11, I'll re-put the question to you. Isn't it true that
24 under oath this is the first time that you've mentioned Milan Lukic or
25 knowledge of him before the 14th of June? This is the first time in
1 court today, yet you've had four, five opportunities with authorities to
2 say it before?
3 A. This is the first time that we are dealing with the subject of
5 in the case against Milan Lukic. So it is quite possible that we might
6 ferret out some other things.
7 Q. On the -- in December -- excuse me. How long was your interview
8 in September of 1992?
9 A. It was given in Mostre; right? The conversation, rather, the
10 statement that I gave to investigators in Mostre, if that is what you're
11 referring to, lasted from 1400 hours in the afternoon until 10.00 p.m.
12 until 2200 hours.
13 Q. And so during all those hours reliving what had happened to you
14 in those three days and those responsible in the Visegrad area you failed
15 to mention the name of Milan Lukic?
16 A. Well, I repeat. I gave that statement just to satisfy the
17 procedural requirements. I did not actually pay any attention to
18 details. It is so full of shortcomings that statement. It is
19 incomplete. As I said before, the war had only just started. I was
20 given some time off to visit my father and to go back, so I lost a day of
21 statement-giving time.
22 Had I known that I would survive the war and I would be sitting
23 here today, certainly this statement from 1997 would have replaced the
24 one from 1992. The way things stand, unfortunately that's the way it had
25 to happen.
1 Q. So let's jump forward to the statement of 1997. You gave a
2 statement that was translated into nine pages in English; correct? And
3 you signed and initialed those pages?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And it was otherwise ten pages in B/C/S?
6 A. I do not remember the exact number of pages, believe me, but I do
7 know that I signed it.
8 Q. And in that statement you only mentioned Milan Lukic in relation
9 to just finding out his name and no background knowledge about him with
10 any specificity or no leadership responsibility information?
11 A. This has been extracted from context, I guess. If that is what
12 it says, that's the way it was. I do not have that entire statement in
13 my head.
14 Q. And in fact, you only saw White Eagles there but you only heard
15 he was a member of the White Eagles is what you said in your statement of
16 December -- excuse me, of November 1997.
17 A. Yes. Yes, it is true that that is what I said in 1997, but after
18 having re-read this statement, I actually saw that that was superfluous,
19 because the White Eagles didn't have white wings for one to be able to
20 see that they were indeed White Eagles. I found it superfluous to
21 comment on that. I just heard that Milan Lukic was a member of the White
22 Eagles. Now, if that is relevant, namely what I heard, well, that is
23 actually why I corrected my statement subsequently and actually took out
24 these two sentences from that statement.
25 Q. But what you did say in at that statement was specifically that
1 Ljupko Tasic told Milan Lukic that Esad couldn't leave the bus.
2 A. In this context, the way you put it or the way it was translated
3 to me, well, in respect of that it is the fact that Esad told me in
4 passing, "Ljupko has saved me," or, "Ljupko put me back on the bus."
5 That was my statement. And that Ljupko told Esad to get back on the bus,
6 I didn't hear that, and I do not stand by that, and I cannot say that
7 that was how it was.
8 Q. And the first time you ever said that that Zenga said that Ljupko
9 saved me was today in court.
10 A. It is possible. Perhaps I said it in a different context. It is
11 very difficult to repeat verbatim words that were uttered seven or nine
12 years ago, but the substance I expect is the same. You don't expect me
13 to know these sentences or statements by heart.
14 Q. But in fact the irony is that Zenga was wrong and Ljupko had in
15 fact killed him?
16 A. No. Ljupko killed no one. Ljupko had prepared the groundwork,
17 everything for the murder to come about. So this saving of him, this
18 deliverance in the square was just a travesty in order to avoid any fuss
19 and to avoid any protests among the people, but everything had been
20 agreed on beforehand and actually events bore that out.
21 Q. But you never got any information that Mr. Lukic participated in
22 this collaboration beforehand?
23 A. No. No. I had no such information. From the very few returnees
24 to Visegrad who still unfortunately have dealings or communication with
25 Ljupko Tasic I heard this, and he is saying that he is not to blame for
1 anything and that that encounter was used in the square in order to shift
2 all the blame to Milan Lukic. This is what I heard. Although I do think
3 if Milan Lukic remembers the conversation in the square that that solves
4 many things. I've already said so before, and I have said what happened
5 at that very moment.
6 Q. And if Milan Lukic told you that he tried to save Zepa and had no
7 power to do so, would you believe him?
8 A. Oh, come on. That's ridiculous.
9 Q. Tasic refused his request.
10 A. Milan Lukic knows that best. I've already said. The
11 conversation that was conducted outside partially or entirely exonerates
12 Milan Lukic of responsibility for this convoy. If Milan Lukic knows what
13 that conversation was about I would ask for that to be told publicly. If
14 not, then this label sticks, which is also a possibility, namely that
15 Ljupko Tasic is now shifting the responsibility onto the shoulders of
16 Milan Lukic, and that of course is possible too.
17 Q. And you just don't know, do you?
18 A. Would you -- you would have to repeat the question so that I
19 could see what it is that I don't know that you're referring to as me not
20 knowing it, in fact.
21 Q. You don't know if Ljupko Tasic is simply shifting the blame onto
22 Milan Lukic because he's charged here in court.
23 A. Well, that's the story now from Ljupko's mouth, but I repeat I
24 heard it all. I didn't see it, nor did I talk to Ljupko myself. But it
25 is a fact that according to Ljupko's words, Milan Lukic actually had this
1 civilised and normal, regular convoy transformed into one of death. Not
2 in these very words, I have dramatised it a bit, but when all is said and
3 done that's what it amounted to.
4 The only thing which I did see which is relevant is the
5 conversation that they had in the square, and it is a fact that after
6 that conversation Milan Lukic left the convoy and I never saw him again
7 in my life. Therefore, that conversation of theirs was satisfactory. It
8 was enough for Milan Lukic.
9 Q. Do you realise that Milan Lukic is not accused of the murder of
10 the people on your convoy?
11 A. Well, I confirm that also.
12 Q. When did you confirm that?
13 A. For the murder of people -- not -- not the killing of people.
14 Milan Lukic was not at the pit when these people were executed at the pit
15 on the 15th of June. I claim that with full responsibility.
16 Q. But do you realise that he's not accused of any responsibility in
17 the planning or execution of a plan to murder the people on the bus with
18 you that day?
19 A. It is possible that he is not charged with that, but --
20 Q. Is it possible he's not responsible for that?
21 A. I just say --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, it appears to me that you have spent
23 enough time on this issue. He's not charged with it. Let's move on.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. Do you feel that the 111 or so people that ended up at the pit
1 that day should have been charged?
2 A. These were people who were merely discharging the dishonourable
3 task of killing people. Of course for the crime of murder they should be
4 put on trial, as well as should be the masterminds of this entire
5 operation. It is not just 11 people who simply took some weapons, picked
6 up some people and killed them off.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: That question escaped me. I don't see its
8 relevance. If you do not have any other relevant questions you should
10 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, the relevance goes to bias or motive to
11 fabricate and or place the blame on someone since so few people were
12 actually charged with the Visegrad crimes.
13 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, may I be heard for this?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 MS. SARTORIO: I think my colleague for the Defence has pointed
16 out the accused are not charged with this crime. There's -- this witness
17 is not here to testify that the accused participated in this crime, and I
18 think this has gone on -- this doesn't have anything to do with this
19 witness's credibility in terms of what actually happened to him.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It has some relevance and I've allowed the
21 cross-examination to follow that course, but you must move to another
22 topic now.
23 MR. ALARID: One moment, Your Honour, to check my notes.
24 Q. Do you know where the White Eagles were supposedly garrisoned?
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. Did you have any information on -- and there --
2 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, my case manager indicates there was an
3 issue on translation, maybe with regard to "garrisoned."
4 Q. Do you know where the White Eagles were staying in Visegrad?
5 A. It doesn't make any difference. The answer is the same. I
7 Q. And even at most all you had heard was that Milan Lukic was
8 supposedly a member of these White Eagles but not a leader?
9 A. Well, believe me, I don't remember now. What I do know is from
10 the statements of many people, and that is that his was the last word.
11 Now, whether he was the actual leader or not, that is less important.
12 Q. You saw no insignia or special uniform that day?
13 A. Not -- nothing specific that would actually stick in my mind. On
14 that day I had different problems. I had problems in my own mind when I
15 saw that on -- at that time on the 14th of June. It was the end of
16 liberty. We had no more rights. We were disenfranchised. These are
17 problems of a quite different ilk than whether someone was wearing a
18 cockade or this or that or insignia. That didn't seem important at all.
19 Q. But in fact you didn't see a symbol or a cockade?
20 A. It is totally unimportant. Even had I seen one all the events
21 that ensued afterwards would have deleted that from my memory. The --
22 that's how immaterial it was. But definitely now I don't think -- I
23 didn't see a cockade. There were different badges but I didn't see one
24 of that kind.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you must bring your
1 cross-examination to an end.
2 MR. ALARID: I have three more questions.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: There will be no time left for your colleague.
4 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir. One other question, Judge.
5 Q. Of the gentlemen that did commit the excuses at the pit, how many
6 were blonde?
7 A. As for the descriptions of all these people, I believe that they
8 are perhaps in one of these statements. Slavisa Vukojicic was blonde and
9 as I recall he was the only markedly blonde person there. How relevant
10 that is now I really don't know. I didn't look to see who was blonde or
11 not. At that moment everybody could have been blonde. But to answer
12 your question precisely, Slavisa Vukojicic was definitely blonde and I
13 believe the others were not. And one of them was grey haired.
14 Q. Did the blonde gentleman have any tattoos on his arms?
15 A. He was wearing a T-shirt with folded up -- rolled up sleeves. So
16 I actually didn't notice, and it didn't even occur to me to look and see
17 whether he had a tattoo or not. He could have had or been anything at
18 that particular moment in time, but it really didn't catch my perception
19 or observation. In fact, that man had beat me up at Rogatica, but I
20 didn't know whether he had a tattoo or not, which didn't mean that he did
21 not have one.
22 MR. ALARID: No further questions.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Dieckmann?
24 MR. DIECKMANN: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Dieckmann:
1 Q. Good morning.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. My name is Jens Dieckmann. I am co-counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic
4 and I have just a very few questions for you.
5 You know Sredoje Lukic; correct?
6 A. If you can say that two encounters in one's life make one person
7 know another person than we do know each other. We had a very brief
8 encounter, the first one in the square. This is our second one, and
9 that's the extent to which I know him.
10 Q. I'm speaking about Sredoje Lukic.
11 A. Well, I apologise. I apologise. I do know Sredoje Lukic well.
12 He was a policeman before the war in Visegrad, and my brother was the
13 deputy komandir at that police station. He was working in the transport
14 section. I was at the petrol station and those went one together, so we
15 had quite a few drinks together, and unfortunately it is a pity that we
16 are not having them today as well.
17 Q. And you know Sredoje Lukic as a family man being married with two
18 children at this time, small children?
19 A. No. No. I know Sredoje Lukic just as himself, Sredoje Lukic.
20 He never took out any of his family members of his to have drinks with
21 me, so I just know him personally.
22 Q. From your personal experience with Sredoje Lukic, do you agree
23 with me that Sredoje Lukic is a friendly person, a good person of a good
25 A. To the extent that can or cannot be of assistance in this case.
1 All these people who have been proved or to have committed crimes or
2 those whose crimes will be proven --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Just a minute. Witness, you're
4 asked whether from your personal experience with Sredoje Lukic whether
5 you would agree that he's a friendly person, a good person of good
6 character. Now, that question is a question that in my view you can
7 answer. What is your answer?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I agree.
9 MR. DIECKMANN: Thank you. No further questions.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
11 MR. ALARID: I know it's a little out of order --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
13 MR. ALARID: I hit the button but it didn't go. Your Honour,
14 just based on one follow-up -- and literally one follow-up question based
15 on the cross-examination of Mr. Dieckmann.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, one question.
17 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
18 Q. Mr. 11, would it be fair to say that what you know of
19 Mr. Sredoje Lukic and what little you know of Milan Lukic that --
20 MR. CEPIC: Objection.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a second.
22 MR. CEPIC: Objection, Your Honour. It is not raised from direct
23 examination and my learned friend Mr. Alarid had the opportunity to ask
24 those questions from his examination. So this is something which is
25 raised from our cross-examination and pursuant to my opinion it is
1 allowed to ask right now.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why is that? You haven't heard the question.
3 You're saying any questioning by Mr. Alarid now is out of order.
4 MR. CEPIC: But with your leave my client is not mentioned during
5 his examination.
6 MR. ALARID: And I agree with that, Your Honour.
7 MR. CEPIC: And any mention of my client immediately is my
8 reaction in that way.
9 MR. ALARID: I understand Mr. Cepic wants to protect his client
10 and to be honest the point I'm trying to make doesn't hurt his client.
11 It's merely a point I'm trying to make.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I will allow the question.
13 MR. ALARID:
14 Q. Mr. 11, this again goes back to your personal knowledge of
15 Sredoje Lukic, and I understand you know very little about Milan Lukic.
16 Would it be fair to say that given Sredoje Lukic's age and position in
17 the community at the time that he wouldn't have been in a position to
18 have taken orders from a man like Milan Lukic, a younger man?
19 A. Those were different times. I don't know their hierarchy. Those
20 were different times, times of war. What kind of hierarchy was in place
21 among them? Who gave out orders, who received orders, that has to do
22 with their structure. I cannot give you any information pertaining to
24 Q. But, sir, that's not the question I --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That's enough. I am not going to have
1 that pursued.
2 Any re-examination?
3 MS. SARTORIO: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Witness, that concludes your evidence.
5 We thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may just sum up in two or
7 three sentences.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not for you to sum up, Witness. I
9 appreciate your -- the interest you have taken in the case, but your
10 function has come to an end. You may now leave.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness, Ms. Sartorio.
14 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution calls VG-047 to
15 the stand, and my colleague Rachel Friedman will be handling the direct
17 [The witness entered court]
18 WITNESS: MEVSUD POLJO
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Ms. Friedman.
24 MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Examination by Ms. Friedman:
1 Q. Good morning. Can you please state your name for the record?
2 A. My name is Mevsud Poljo.
3 Q. Mr. Poljo, where were you living in June of 1992?
4 A. In June of 1992, I lived in Zepa.
5 Q. And what was the name of the town?
6 A. I'm not sure that Zepa was a municipality at the time. I believe
7 the -- it belonged to the municipality of Rogatica
9 Q. And the name of the village, please?
10 A. The name of the village. Slap, it is Slap. I lived in a house
11 in Slap, which was in the outskirts of Zepa.
12 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Poljo, do you recall testifying here in the
13 Vasiljevic trial on December 17 and 18th, 2001?
14 A. Yes, I remember.
15 Q. Since coming to The Hague
16 testimony in a language that you understand?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was the testimony accurate?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. If we asked you today the same questions that you were asked
21 then, would you give the same answers?
22 A. Yes, I would.
23 MS. FRIEDMAN: Your Honours, the Prosecution moves to tender into
24 evidence 65 ter numbers 113 and 114, which was the evidence that was
25 given in the Vasiljevic trial by Mr. Poljo.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 113 will become Exhibit P23
3 and 65 ter number 114 will become Exhibit P24.
4 MS. FRIEDMAN: The Prosecution also movers to tender into
5 evidence 65 ter number 112, and that is the aerial photograph of Slap
6 that the witness referred to during his testimony.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P25, Your Honours.
9 MS. FRIEDMAN: And, Your Honours, if I may ask just a few
10 questions to supplement that testimony.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MS. FRIEDMAN:
13 Q. Mr. Poljo, when you and a group of men pulled bodies out of the
14 river in June and July 1992, can you tell me how many bodies you were
15 able to retrieve?
16 A. 170 or 180-odd corpses.
17 Q. And of those how many did you personally recognise?
18 A. Close to 50.
19 Q. And did you know where those victims had come from?
20 A. The bodies were washed up in the Drina River
21 of Visegrad.
22 Q. And was there anything on the bodies that made you think that
23 they had come from Visegrad?
24 A. They were people who had lived in Visegrad, who worked in
25 companies in Visegrad, and some of my neighbours who lived nearby in
2 Q. Which companies did some of those people work in?
3 A. Terpentin and Varda, Visegrad. They had uniforms and in their
4 pockets they also had coupons on which there was the name of -- there
5 were the names of those firms.
6 Q. One final matter, Your Honours the aerial photograph of Slap was
7 discussed in prior testimony but it was not marked. Would that assist
8 you if we were to call that up now and make a few markings?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would think so, yes.
10 MS. FRIEDMAN: Okay. Will the court usher please call up
11 Prosecution Exhibit 25. Thank you. And can it be rotated? Yes.
12 Perfect. Thank you. Yes. And could the court usher assist the witness
13 with the marking.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not sure I understand what I'm
15 supposed to mark.
16 MS. FRIEDMAN:
17 Q. We haven't begun yet. I will certainly explain that to you.
18 Thank you, Mr. Poljo. Okay. First will you please mark your own
19 initials and today's date, the 26th of August, on the bottom of the
20 photograph. You can use it as if it were a real pen.
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Thank you. Will you please take the pen and mark an arrow on the
23 body of water in the direction the water flowed. Sorry, should say in
24 the Drina River
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Can you just confirm for me the name of the river that you have
2 marked now?
3 A. It was called Zepa, just as the place, the nearby place is called
5 Q. Okay. So can you identify the Drina River? Mark a D on the
6 Drina River
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And which way on that river did the water flow? Can you mark an
9 arrow please?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you. And can you just write the letter V in the general
12 direction of Visegrad town.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And lastly, if you could please write an X at the location where
15 you buried the bodies. The approximate location. I know it's a rather
16 large stretch.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. FRIEDMAN: I'd like to now tender this marked photograph into
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P26, Your Honours.
23 MS. FRIEDMAN: I have no further questions at this time.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Alarid.
25 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
2 Q. Mr. 47, good morning.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Now, approximately how long did you take it upon yourself to
5 recover bodies from the Drina
6 A. We recovered one body in mid-May and the others in June and July
7 and some in September.
8 Q. And from your -- did you do it in a boat or did you do it from
9 the shore?
10 A. I recovered some bodies when I was in a boat. I recovered some
11 bodies from the Drina
12 river. Nobody recovered them. And then as I had a brother who worked at
13 Terpentin, actually two brothers and an uncle and others, and then we
14 decided to recover bodies to at least make it possible to know where
15 their graves were. And then later on two others joined me in recovering
16 bodies using boats.
17 Q. Now, of course you can't tell -- just because you recovered a
18 body you can't necessarily tell who killed them?
19 A. No. I don't know that. That's -- it happened far away, over 20
20 kilometres away from me.
21 Q. And is -- so Visegrad, the town, is 20 kilometres away?
22 A. Twenty kilometres or possibly more. I'm not sure.
23 Q. Because of course you don't know exactly where exactly it was put
24 in the water, do you?
25 A. No. There is no way you can tell, because they were in a bad
1 state. Some were in a better state, some in a worse state. Some were --
2 probably got stuck on the way and remained in a place for a while.
3 I remember two bodies that had bullet holes. They were from a
4 village nearby, Ibrahim and Hamed Vusevic [phoen] one had two bullet
5 holes, one in the throat, the other in the chest. Those were fresh
6 bodies, clean, and in their pockets they had what people use for personal
7 hygiene, and they had their arms raised to -- as -- as if to defend
8 themselves from the bullets. All the other bodies were in a bad state.
9 Q. And would it be fair to say that in this case you've had an
10 opportunity to give statements on three separate occasions and then
11 testify at trial on one occasion over two days?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes?
13 MS. FRIEDMAN: Your Honour, just to clarify he hasn't given three
14 statements in this case. One in relation to the Vasiljevic case, two
15 others long before. I just want to make sure that's clear for the
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
18 MR. ALARID: I understand, and we'll stipulate to that, Your
20 Q. Now, would it be fair to say, Mr. 47, that the only time in the
21 three statements that you mention Mr. Milan Lukic or Mitar Vasiljevic was
22 in the third statement given the 30th of January, 2000?
23 A. I don't remember when I mentioned Milan or Mitar given the fact
24 that these things happened 20 kilometres or so away from the place where
25 I was. How could I have a said anything about it? Or perhaps I
1 misunderstood the question.
2 Q. Well, actually isn't it true that in your January 30, 2000
3 statement you simply said, "I also heard rumours that Milan Lukic and
4 Mitar Vasiljevic committed a lot of atrocities in the area"?
5 A. Yeah, well, that's all hearsay, but I'm not a -- I'm not an
6 eyewitness. I never saw anything with my own eyes. I only heard stories
7 from many people.
8 Q. But you knew Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic before and after this occurred,
9 did you not?
10 A. I knew Mitar. We were good friends and buddies. His wife worked
11 in the same company where I worked.
12 Q. And accordingly you knew his kum Milan Lukic?
13 A. I didn't know Milan
14 a police officer in Visegrad, and I was on good terms with him.
15 Q. And in fact in your interview with the Prosecution just the other
16 day, you indicated that these accused were part of a greater system, a
17 larger political situation at the time.
18 A. I only know that Sredoje was a police officer before the war and
19 at the very beginning of the war. I don't know about Milan. He wasn't
20 in Visegrad. He worked somewhere in Serbia. I rarely saw him.
21 Q. And he was the younger cousin of Sredoje?
22 A. Yes. I worked near their place of residence in a shop, and I
23 knew Sredoje's parents well. We were friends.
24 Q. And as part of the rumours, you never heard that Milan Lukic was
25 in a position of authority over anybody?
1 A. It is difficult for me to say that. I heard lots of stories, but
2 it isn't from my immediate experience. And if I may say about Sredoje, I
3 only heard good things.
4 Q. And would it be fair to say that Sredoje would not take orders
5 from his younger cousin who was probably 23 years old at the time in
7 MS. FRIEDMAN: Objection. This is speculation. The witness has
8 said that he barely knew either one of them.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Move on to another question.
10 MR. ALARID:
11 Q. And in terms of hearing only good things, you never heard that he
12 was given orders by Milan
13 A. I did hear that he was afraid of Milan, that Milan
14 of everything, and Sredoje was merely a policeman, and he probably only
15 executed orders, the orders given to him by his superiors. I remember
16 when he took in a neighbour of his, a Muradif Kalic [phoen], a Muslim,
17 and he brought him in at the beginning of the war. He probably wanted
18 advice. I don't know exactly. Took him to Prelovo. That's where the
19 command of the Uzice Corps was. And he took him to a Granap, to Blace,
20 and he took him to the neighbouring village to a guy who was a Vojvoda in
21 the war of 1941 and had done a lot of bad things in the surrounding
22 villages, and he -- that man was taken there to be tested, and he said,
23 "I brought to you this Muslim for you to judge him. You are older than
24 the commander in Prelovo." He possibly would have been convicted and
25 killed, and the -- this name of -- this man by the name of Bozo Ivanovic
1 was then to judge him. And there was another man from Serbia there. So
2 old Bozo then told him --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you.
4 Next question, Mr. Alarid.
5 MR. ALARID:
6 Q. And so who in fact though was the main power structure in place
7 by the SDS
8 A. I haven't the slightest idea. Around one month before the war I
9 could not go to the town. I was working in one shop, and I passed there
10 two times. There were barricades that would be erected at night. So I
11 just passed through an acacia tree patch. When I went into the town I
12 went on a little truck. I didn't go there for a month. I stayed at
13 home. After a certain point one couldn't go into town any more, so I
14 don't know who was there and what happened there.
15 Q. Do you know who Savovic is?
16 A. I knew him, but I don't know who he is or what he was and what
17 his responsibility was.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak into
19 the microphone.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, please move closer to the microphone.
21 Would the usher please assist him.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. Did you know of the police commander Perisic?
24 A. No, just by hearing. I didn't know him personally.
25 Q. And I'm sorry, he was the chief; is that correct?
1 A. I don't know. I don't know that.
2 Q. Would it be fair to say that if would have taken hundreds of
3 responsible people for the thousands of Muslims that died?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't understand the question, Mr. Alarid.
5 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, in the Vasiljevic case, and maybe I'm
6 just making a point, he indicated that he was embarrassed that he was
7 here for Vasiljevic based on the fact that several thousand people had
8 died and he was the only one being held responsible, and so I guess I was
9 just making that point, Your Honour, but it is part of the earlier
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, certainly. Certainly it
12 would have taken -- I can't say several hundred, hundreds. Maybe just 20
13 or 50 people responsible, because a couple of could not have inflicted
14 this much evil on that municipality and on the scattered villages, so ...
15 MR. ALARID: I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Any questions, Mr. Dieckmann.
17 MR. DIECKMANN: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Dieckmann:
19 Q. Good morning, sir.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. My name is Jens Dieckmann, and I'm Defence co-counsel for
22 Mr. Sredoje Lukic, and I have some questions for you.
23 A. Yes, please.
24 Q. As far as I have understood you correctly, you know
25 Sredoje Lukic, and you know him as a policeman from Visegrad, an ordinary
1 policeman of lower rank, and you know his parents as well. You know him
2 also as a family man, as the father of two small children at this time?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Dieckmann, that's so many questions. Just
4 put them one --
5 MR. DIECKMANN: Sorry. It was just to sum it up.
6 Q. My question was if he knows he is married and has two small
7 children at this time.
8 A. Yes, I know that he was married, but as to how many children he
9 had, I don't know that.
10 Q. Thank you. You said that Sredoje Lukic was afraid of
11 Milan Lukic; true?
12 A. Well, by worth of mouth, yes, he was. People said so.
13 Q. Could you give us the reasons why you think that he was afraid of
15 A. This was this gentleman Music Safet. We were sitting in cafe in
17 detained up there in the Visegrad spa, in the Visegradska Banja, and that
18 he came in a Volkswagen vehicle with another policeman, I guess his name
19 was Niko, this policeman and there were more detainees there. And then
20 this Safet, I said Safet, yes it was Safet, and then Sredoje went into
21 the cellar of that room where a couple of people were detained, and he
22 took out this Safet and his brother. The last name of both of them is
23 Music. So he put them in his car and he took them home. That, in other
24 words, was a humane gesture on his part.
25 And as for what I started talking about, Muradif, this neighbour
1 of mine, he also told him that he would not kill him, that he should be
2 afraid but that he had to justify his actions to this other guy, and he
3 said, "I'm just going to shoot some shots into the air and you go down
4 there and go to your people in Zepa," and that's the way it actually
5 happened. He told him, "Halt, halt," and then he shot a few shots in the
6 air, and then he ran away and he panted, and that's how it was.
7 Q. Thank you. Mr. VG-47, on the 12th of August, 2008, you have had
8 a meeting with two persons of the Prosecutor. Is it true?
9 A. Could you kindly repeat the question? I wasn't actually
10 listening. 12th of August and --
11 Q. On the 12th of August, 2008, you have had a meeting with two
12 persons of the Prosecutor. Is it true?
13 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
14 Q. And the reason of this meeting was to clarify your prior
15 statements to the ICTY and in the Vasiljevic case; true?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And during this meeting you stated that you would like to make a
18 few comments in defence of Sredoje Lukic; is that correct?
19 A. This is exactly what I just told you.
20 Q. And this statement you made by your free will and your own
21 motivation; correct?
22 A. Yes. I was glad that he acted in that way towards his next door
23 neighbours, for had he taken him to Prelovo, he certainly would not have
24 returned alive.
25 Q. Thank you. And in this meeting you expressed your opinion that
1 Sredoje Lukic should not be prosecuted, didn't you?
2 A. All I know is this: I don't know why Sredoje should have allowed
3 himself for things to have come to this. If he had done something, he
4 should be -- he should actually be held to account, if he is to blame for
6 Q. Thank you. And, VG-47, from your personal experience with
7 Sredoje Lukic, do you agree with me that he's a friendly person, a person
8 of a good character and a good person? Would you agree with me?
9 A. I agree with you in respect of the period in which we knew each
10 other up to the war. After that, I can't say.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. DIECKMANN: No further questions.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination?
14 MS. FRIEDMAN: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, that concludes your testimony. We
16 thank you for giving it. You may now leave.
17 We are going to take a break. Half an hour.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-97
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Sartorio.
24 MS. SARTORIO: Yes. I'll be handling this witness, Your Honour,
25 but first I wanted to talk about the protective measures. It appears
1 from looking at the transcript in the Vasiljevic case a colloquy between
2 Judge Hunt and Mr. Groome that Judge Hunt said that I'm assured with
3 private session there would be no sound and there is never any camera on
4 the witness so that would probably be sufficient for you. And Mr. Groome
5 said yes, Your Honour. And then Judge Hunt went on to say we can proceed
6 and the witness can feel safe that he cannot be seen and he cannot be
8 I think he testified in private session is what I gather from
9 this, but I believe that face distortion and facial -- and voice
10 distortion would be sufficient for this witness.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll grant the facial and voice
13 distortion. I understand it will take 15 minutes to set up whatever is
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we'll adjourn and return in 15 minutes.
17 --- Break taken at 12.45 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Ms. Sartorio.
23 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 May the usher show the witness a pseudonym sheet, please.
25 Examination by Ms. Sartorio:
1 Q. Sir, I've asked the court usher to show you what's called a
2 pseudonym sheet and ask is that your name next to the reference to VG-97?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that your date of birth on that sheet?
5 A. No, it is not.
6 Q. Can you -- can we correct the date of birth? Could you write in
7 your correct date of birth, please.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And would you also sign that sheet, sir.
10 A. [Marks]
11 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, the Prosecution tenders the pseudonym
12 sheet as an exhibit.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's admitted.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit P27 under seal, Your Honours.
15 MS. SARTORIO:
16 Q. Now, sir, the Chamber has ordered certain protective measures
17 with respect to your testimony as we discussed. You will have a voice
18 and an image distortion so that persons cannot recognise your face or
19 your voice. So I will be referring to you, and everyone will be
20 referring to as either sir or VG-97. That is your pseudonym in this --
21 for your testimony.
22 Sir, in the spring of 1992, in which municipality did you live?
23 A. In Visegrad municipality.
24 Q. And did you live in a particular section of Visegrad?
25 A. Yes. In a place called Kosovo Polje.
1 Q. And what is your ethnicity, sir?
2 A. Bosniak.
3 Q. Now, did you provide a statement to ICTY investigators in March
4 of 2001?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when you gave this statement it was originally typed in
7 English, and was it read back to you in the Bosnian language?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And did you then sign the English version of this statement?
10 A. I think that I signed both versions.
11 Q. Well, since coming to The Hague have you had an opportunity to
12 review your statement in your Bosnian language?
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I would like the statement to be
15 brought up on the screen because there's a few corrections to be made, if
16 possible. It was admitted -- it was allowed yesterday to be added to our
17 exhibit list, so I don't have a 65 ter number. Would the ERN be
18 sufficient? The English is 02021904 to 190 -- 1910, and the -- in the
19 Bosnian --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, I'm a little bit
22 confused. Do we have a 65 ter number for this statement and is it on the
23 list of 65 ter? I'm a little bit confused, so that's --
24 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, it was -- it was admitted orally by
25 Your Honour yesterday. He's one of the witness as testifying this week
1 whose 92 ter statement be added to the list in our previous motion.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Are they trying to find it? I think the
3 court deputy is trying to find the document.
4 MS. SARTORIO: The ERN doesn't work? Okay. Sorry.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's there now.
6 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you. May we go to page 3 in each of the
7 English and the B/C/S version.
8 Q. Now, unfortunately the paragraphs are not numbered, but it is the
9 third paragraph down from the top, and, sir, I asked you this question in
10 proofing. The word in the English statement says "Revengers" and you
11 said this is not the correct word. I'd like you to look at your
12 statement in B/C/S and tell me if the word "Revengers "is there or if
13 it's another word.
14 A. The word is okay.
15 Q. Okay. The third paragraph down in the B/C/S, the second sentence
16 refers to a word "Osvetnici." What is that word?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not clear to me what you're trying to
18 correct in relation to the word "Revengers." Is that the correct word?
19 MS. SARTORIO:
20 Q. Sir, did you mean to say "Revengers" when you gave this
21 statement? Revengers?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'll withdraw that correction. Could we go to page 4, please.
24 Okay. The fourth paragraph down, the third line and the fourth line in
25 the English there's the worth faith, f-a-i-t-h. Faith. Is that the word
1 that you wanted to use in that sentence, sir?
2 A. I don't another where you're referring to.
3 Q. Could you look at the Bosnian version of your statement where it
4 starts, "With many times during the month of June 1992 ..." Could you
5 read that sentence to us, what the first half of that paragraph says?
6 A. "Often during June 1992, I would see Milan Lukic,
7 Mitar Vasiljevic and Sredoje Lukic taking people away."
8 Q. Please continue.
9 A. The "The first time this was around the 15th of June when
10 Milan Lukic with a red pass at took away Mujo Kurspahic and nobody knows
11 to this day, I apologise, this was around the 15th of June when
12 Milan Lukic took away you Mujo Kurspahic with his red Passat. No one
13 knows to this day what happened to Mujo. The second time Milan Lukic
14 took away Nedzad Ribac in Nedzad's car.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's beyond what the Prosecutor wants.
16 MS. SARTORIO:
17 Q. Yes. I wanted to correct the English version of the statement on
18 the record. You didn't refer in those statements anything having to do
19 with faith, did you?
20 A. What faith are you referring to? I'm not clear on that? Whose
22 Q. I think we discussed this yesterday. In the English translation
23 the word "faith" shows up and I asked you if that's what you said. Did
24 you use the word "faith" when you gave the statement to the ICTY
1 A. You have to show me the exact part of the statement where this
2 faith is referred to and I will immediately give you an answer.
3 Q. Well, it's only in the English version, sir, and I don't -- can
4 you read English?
5 A. No.
6 Q. My question just -- forget about the statement. Did you ever
7 mention -- discuss with the ICTY investigator anything to do with faith,
8 as in such as religious faith or faith in something? Did you discuss
9 that in this ICTY statement?
10 A. I did discuss it when I was giving my personals to them. I said
11 that my -- I was of the Muslim or Bosniak or Islamic faith.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. When you reviewed your statement in the
13 Bosnian language is everything contained in this statement truthful and
14 accurate to the best of your knowledge with regard to the events that you
15 witnessed and experienced in 1992?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. And if I were to ask you the same questions that were put to you
18 by the investigator in 2001, would your answers be the same as those that
19 you provided in 2001?
20 A. Yes, they would.
21 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, we ask that the statement be admitted
22 in evidence, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, admit it.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P28 under seal, Your Honours.
25 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, the Prosecution does not seek to
1 admit his prior testimony in the Vasiljevic case and withdraws our motion
2 to seek to admit that testimony, and I will just proceed with a short
3 examination if I may.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MS. SARTORIO:
6 Q. Sir, in 1992 did you know a person by the name of Milan Lukic?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And how did you know him? Was it from school or other
10 A. I knew Mr. Milan Lukic already as a boy when I went to school.
11 Mr. Milan Lukic went to the Hamid Besirevic secondary school centre, and
12 I attended primary school; but I went every day to the new hotel taking
13 milk there because we catered to the hotels in Visegrad, and I would see
14 him in the street with other lads from Zupa.
15 Q. How often would you see him at this time in your life?
16 A. Almost every day when I used to go to take that milk there. And
17 I went downtown every day, so I wasn't really interested in counting how
18 many times I would see him or saw him, but I do know him and I know that
19 he socialised with a certain Slavko Vujinovic, who I knew very well.
20 Q. Now, after the war started in 1992, did you see Mr. Lukic then as
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Had any period of time passed between the time the war started
24 and the time you had seen him in school?
25 A. Yes. Some seven or eight years elapsed.
1 Q. When you saw Milan Lukic in 1992 after the war started, did you
2 recognise him as the same person you had seen earlier as you described in
3 your testimony?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, sir, in 1992 did you know any other person by the name of
6 Milan Lukic or anyone who called himself Milan Lukic other than this
7 person you've identified?
8 A. I did not know any other person by the name of Milan Lukic, nor
9 was there any other person with the name of Milan Lukic.
10 Q. Now, sir, in 1992 did you also known a person by the name of
11 Sredoje Lukic?
12 A. Yes, I did know Mr. Sredoje Lukic. I knew him for at least ten
13 years, because the gentleman worked at the police station in Visegrad.
14 Q. And how often would you see Sredoje Lukic before the war started
15 in 1992?
16 A. Well, I always saw him in town. He would be there. He would be
17 present in the town of Visegrad
18 Russian-make vehicle.
19 Q. Now, sir, I'd like you to look around the courtroom very
20 carefully and then tell us whether you recognise anyone in this courtroom
21 other than myself and, if so, whom do you recognise?
22 A. Yes, I do. To my left-hand side on the right-hand side is
23 Mr. Sredoje Lukic. To the right-hand side of Sredoje Lukic is
24 Mr. Milan
25 MS. SARTORIO: May the record reflect, Your Honour, that this
1 witness has identified the accused.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MS. SARTORIO:
4 Q. Now, sir, as you heard a few moments ago your statement has been
5 admitted into evidence so I'm not going to ask you many very detailed
6 questions since the Judges have your statement and they have read it, and
7 they can read everything that you have to say but I'm going to ask you a
8 couple of questions about the events that happened in 1992.
9 Did you ever see Milan Lukic driving a vehicle?
10 A. Yes, I did. I often saw him.
11 Q. And could you please describe the vehicle which -- in which he
12 was driving?
13 A. Mr. Milan Lukic drove a red Passat and Zastava van which was also
15 Q. And how often would you see him driving the red Passat?
16 A. Quite often. He frequently passed through Kosovo Polje in the
17 direction of Sase from Visegrad or vice versa.
18 Q. And you lived in the village of Kosovo Polje. Was this on the
19 direct route between Sase and Visegrad?
20 A. Yes, it was. The road actually divides the settlement of
21 Kosovo Polje. On the right-hand side there are the Orthodox Serbs, and
22 on the left side of the road are the Bosniak Muslims.
23 Q. And does this road lead to any other -- any other places that you
24 mentioned in your statement?
25 A. The road leads towards Zupa, and in Sase there is a right-hand
1 turn towards Visegradska Banja, the Visegrad spa.
2 Q. Now, did you ever see anyone else driving the red Passat? And
3 I'm talking about driving, not being a passenger.
4 A. In the course of 1992 or before 1992?
5 Q. In June of 1992.
6 A. I saw nobody else drive that Passat.
7 Q. Did you see other passengers in the vehicle with Milan Lukic when
8 he was driving the red Passat?
9 A. Frequently there would be -- there would be two or three men, and
10 sometimes the gentleman went on his own or with just one co-passenger in
11 the vehicle.
12 Q. Would you see Sredoje Lukic riding in the car with Milan
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, in your statement you describe witnessing a number of crimes
15 committed by Milan
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell the Chamber on approximately how many occasions you
18 witnessed crimes being committed by one or both of these gentlemen where
19 the red Passat was present at the scene of the crime?
20 A. On at least three occasions.
21 Q. Sir, do you know a man by the name of Stanko Pecikoza?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And how did you know him?
24 A. Yes, I knew Mr. Stanko Pecikoza very well. He was very
25 hospitable and he had his private sawmill. He often helped us at
1 Kosovo Polje during the war. On one occasion after incidents had become
2 more frequent and we couldn't hide out there any longer, my father had
3 asked Stanko Pecikoza to take me up with him at the sawmill for me to be
4 safer, because up there they didn't touch anyone, although the workers at
5 the sawmill were Muslims, whereas down -- down there people would be
6 attacked, and Stanko agreed.
7 On the 10th of June, with two neighbours I went to
8 Stanko Pecikoza's sawmill to help myself and help out with the work there
9 too. And we were about a dozen, Serbs and Muslims alike. And at that
10 moment I heard Stanko's wife crying out in mourning. From the direction
11 of the road towards the sawmill we heard a siren, and the woman cried out
12 and -- saying, "Alas, there comes Micko." And when we all -- nobody said
13 a word, and Mr. Lukic drove up in his red Passat.
14 A soldier stepped out from the Passat. He was providing security
15 for Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic never got out of the car. He opened the door
16 and greeted everybody.
17 Q. Okay. May I stop you? Sorry. When you say "Micko," who are you
18 referring to?
19 A. I mean Milan
20 Q. Now, did Milan Lukic say anything to you at this time?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is Milan
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard -- sorry. Your Honours, I
23 heard the lady saying these words.
24 MS. SARTORIO: I'm not sure which lady --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which lady? What lady?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I spoke about the events, I
2 said that Stanko's wife cried out and said, "Alas, there comes Micko."
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: And who is Micko?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milan
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MS. SARTORIO:
7 Q. Can you tell us if you know what the ethnicity of Mr. Pecikoza
9 A. Mr. Pecikoza was a Serb of Orthodox nationality.
10 Q. Now, I believe I'll go back to my previous question whether
11 Milan Lukic said anything to you when he was in the car and he pulled up
12 to Stanko Pecikoza's house at that time.
13 A. Yes. He said the following words: He first said "pomoz bog,
14 braco Srbi," which means God may help you fellow Serbs, and "merhaba,"
15 Turks, and then he said, "Mr. Stanko, do these Turks obey you?" Upon
16 which Stanko replied, "Mind your own business," and that there was no
17 need for him to come to his yard and that all these people were decent,
18 honourable people who had done no harm to anyone. Mr. Lukic replied,
19 "Yes, they're good. They're all right, but they will go to Bajina Basta
20 nonetheless," by which he meant he would -- that he would throw us all
21 into the lake and that we would end up at Bajina Basta.
22 Q. And where is Bajina Basta?
23 A. Bajina Basta is downstream from Visegrad, and there's also a
24 hydro power plant on the Drina River
25 from Visegrad.
1 Q. Is that the end of the river?
2 A. No. That is the spot where a hydro power plant dam was made on
3 the Drina River
4 where our bodies would end up.
5 Q. Do you know where Mr. Pecikoza is today?
6 A. Mr. Pecikoza is not alive anymore. Unfortunately he was killed
7 on the 19th of June, 1992
8 MS. SARTORIO: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Alarid.
10 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, are we --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
12 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, are we recessing at 1.45.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: 1.45.
14 MR. ALARID: To not breaking continuity, Your Honour, would you
15 object to taking a recess and just beginning fresh tomorrow? I can only
16 ask a few questions in five minutes, of course.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ask them. Ask them.
18 MR. ALARID: Okay.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
20 Q. Mr. 97, in 1992 how old were you?
21 A. I was 21 and a half years old.
22 Q. And you stated on direct examination that you were three years
23 younger than Milan Lukic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when you were in primary school he was in secondary school?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you never played with him directly as a child?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Isn't it true that as a young boy Milan Lukic had Muslim friends?
5 A. He would have had to have Muslim friends just the same as I had
6 Serbian -- Serb friends, because it was a mixed surrounding, a mixed
8 Q. Now, in your statement of 2001, was that the first time you'd
9 ever given an official statement in an investigation related to the
10 tragedy in Bosnia
11 A. Yes, to an international tribunal.
12 Q. Is that to say that you'd given other statements before that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To whom have you given statements?
16 A. When we crossed the Drina
17 There were people there who asked us about what had happened, and a
18 teacher by the name of Sabit Hota [phoen] had some kind of register of
19 events, and he put down our statements.
20 Q. And you gave statements as to the alleged crimes in Visegrad?
21 A. I gave statements about what I had experienced at Kosovo Polje
22 from April to the 19th of June, 1992.
23 Q. But you remained in the area until mid-July of 1992?
24 A. I spent part of the time at the village of Hamzici
25 1992, because due to the heavy shelling the houses we lived in were badly
1 damaged and we were exposed to artillery and tank fire. So we had to
2 withdraw to another village, Crni Vrh.
3 Q. Now, in your statement of 2001 you indicated that early on you
4 saw Dragan Tomic in a jeep near Stanko Pecikoza's home.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you indicated in your statement that you did not dare stop
7 them. Why not?
8 A. They were armed, and they were moving toward Homar where the
9 command of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian community was. I
10 didn't dare stop them.
11 Q. Isn't it true that Tomic was the commander of the police?
12 A. I'm not sure whether he was commander, but I'm sure that he was
13 in a high-ranking position in the police force.
14 Q. Do you know who Perisic was as chief of police?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What was your -- what was your understanding of Perisic's role in
17 the community?
18 A. I knew Mr. Risto Perisic as the teacher who taught me
19 Serbo-Croatian at the secondary school centre. When I -- at the time
20 when I went to school, he was active in the volleyball club by the name
21 of Drina
22 establishment of the Serbian municipality of Visegrad
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, we have to stop there for today.
24 We'll resume tomorrow morning.
25 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
3 August, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.