1 Wednesday, 27 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.54 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
7 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honours. Would you like me to continue?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe that's the idea.
10 MR. ALARID: Yes. Well, she was talking at me, so I'm sorry.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-097 [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. 97.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. I don't know where to leave off when we take a short break, but I
17 think we'll just go chronologically through your statements and what you
18 said before. Is that okay?
19 A. As far as I remember, where we stopped yesterday was at
20 Mr. Perisic, that issue.
21 Q. Thank you for reminding me, because I didn't look at the
22 transcript before. Isn't it true -- or, actually, I'll just ask if you
23 know who ran the Crisis Staff.
24 A. Are you referring to the Muslim or to the Serb side?
25 Q. The Serb side.
1 A. On the Serb side, as far as I can recall, Brana Savovic, Risto
2 Perisic, and I also believe Mr. Stanko Pecikoza were on the Crisis Staff;
3 and, normally, some other people from Visegrad whose names I cannot
4 recall right now.
5 Q. But as far as you know, Stanovic -- or Savovic, rather, ran
7 A. To the best my recollection, when Mr. Slobodan Klipa stepped down
8 from his duty, Brane Savovic took over all the powers inherent in it.
9 Q. And that power included the appointment of important government
10 positions by SDS members?
11 A. Most probably.
12 Q. And isn't true that the Serbian forces were acting upon the
13 orders and directions of the Crisis Stab of the SDS for the municipality
14 of Visegrad?
15 A. As far as I know, and I'm quoting the late Stanko Pecikoza, there
16 were two streams there that were active. One of them was the stream of
17 Stanko Pecikoza, and the other one was Perisic and Savovic's stream which
18 was a much more radical one.
19 Q. And the radical ideals ultimately won and Stanko Pecikoza was
20 murdered, was he not?
21 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours, I object. This witness is here to
22 testify about incidents that he witnessed, and we're getting into
23 political questioning. I'm not sure this witness is competent to be
24 answering these questions, and no foundation has been laid as to his
25 knowledge of political parties or radical ideals, et cetera.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, why wouldn't he know about that? If he
2 doesn't know, he can say so.
3 MS. SARTORIO: Well, he's asking him about the Serb parties and
4 this witness is not a Serb, so I think some type of foundation should be
5 laid as to whether this witness knows or has any information about the
6 political parties on the Serb side.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't think you have to be a Serb to know
8 about the Serb parties, but lay a foundation nonetheless, Mr. Alarid.
9 MR. ALARID:
10 Q. Mr. 97, of course, you weren't a member of the SDS party;
12 A. No. I was not a member of any political party, Your Honour.
13 Q. But you were an advocate for your people?
14 A. I was by my people. I was part of that people. I lived through
15 everything that my people had gone through.
16 Q. And this was in the small community of Visegrad, which was
17 heavily divided at the time, and that is a gross understatement because
18 it was at war?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as being a member of that small community, even though you
21 may not have been a voting member of a party, you still kept abreast of
22 the news of the community. Would that be fair?
23 A. Yes. I was completely abreast of developments. My friends were
24 Serbs, Orthodox Serbs; and a friend and a neighbour of mine, Stanko
25 Pecikoza -- I mean, Stanko Pecikoza was also a friend and a neighbour of
1 mine, so I got such information from him as far as the Serbian side was
3 Q. And there was great turmoil when the radical side of the SDS took
5 A. I'm not quite sure what kind of turmoil you're referring to. If
6 you could explain, please.
7 Q. The persecutions and molestation of the Muslim people.
8 A. Yes, that is true. The persecutions and harassment started with
9 the departure of the Uzice Corps from Visegrad, and this was sometime
10 around the 20th -- the 19th or 20th of May, 1992. The turmoil started
11 between people, between decent Muslims who were not considered members of
12 the SDA and who had come back from Gorazde and went back to their
13 workplaces, because Brane Savovic, the commander of Uzice Corps, had
14 promised them that nothing would happen to them and they should go back
15 to work in Kosovo Polje. And after the Uzice Corps left, there was a
16 great turbulence in Visegrad.
17 Q. But isn't it true that the Uzice Corps is what allowed the SDS
18 and Savovic to gain power in Visegrad?
19 A. Yes. He allowed them to take over control, to take over power,
20 but there were no executions. There were no public killings. There was
21 no torching of houses to that extent. SDA -- SDA functionaries would be
22 taken in for questioning in Visegrad; and when the Uzice Corps left, they
23 were immediately liquidated.
24 Q. It's almost as if the Uzice Corps knew what was going to happen
25 and allowed it to happen.
1 A. Well, I will relate to you one case from my own life. My
2 girlfriend, my wife of today, she lived in town on Main Street in
3 Visegrad, and there were quite a few people still living in Visegrad at
4 that time. The members of the Uzice Corps who actually patrolled the
5 city and manned the check-points in and around Visegrad told us, "Get out
6 of Visegrad while we are still here, because woe are you when we leave."
7 So I myself and my girlfriend had the fortune to leave on the first
8 convoy which left safely from Visegrad towards Titovo Uzice. And that
9 was the first convoy that I heard through which people - I mean men -
10 were not taken off and led away.
11 Q. Now, with regard to my client and this case, you'd given a
12 statement of -- in March of 2001; correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And that statement has been introduced into evidence and you're
15 aware of that and you've verified that the allegations are true; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you also gave testimony for a brief time at the trial of
18 Mitar Vasiljevic; correct?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And in that trial, you were asked questions only on a particular
21 incident surrounding Mr. Vasiljevic breaking his leg; correct?
22 MR. CEPIC: If I may assist, Your Honour. That material from the
23 are Vasiljevic case is under seal; that transcript, that portion of
24 transcript is under seal, so --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we should be in private session.
1 Mr. Alarid, you must investigate these matters.
2 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, to be honest, I was going to propose
3 introducing the prior testimony - it is brief - into the record. I was
4 not going to mention any names. I understand why they were under seal,
5 it's because three VG witnesses were mentioned by number in that
6 transcript. And, of course, this witness had appropriate pseudonym sheet
7 according to the transcript, but I was not going to go into any names in
8 detail at all in reference to my questioning.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll remain in public session.
10 MR. ALARID: And at this time, Your Honour, I would tender the
11 trial testimony of Mitar -- or excuse me, in the Mitar Vasiljevic trial
12 of VG-097 which has been uploaded as 1D000-0568. It represents the trial
13 testimony of 15 January 2002.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D8, under seal, Your Honours.
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. Now, as a little background to your testimony, you gave your
18 statement in anticipation of this testimony March of 2001; correct?
19 A. In March 2001, I gave my statement at the invitation of the
20 investigators from the ICTY about the developments that had happened in
21 the area of Kosovo Polje and my perception of the situation that I had
22 experienced at the beginning of the war in Visegrad and about everything
23 that was happening at that time, who were the actual actors in the
24 developments, who were these people who participated in those events.
25 And most of the questions had to do with the previous trial to a
1 person -- to the person -- of the person that you just referred.
2 Q. That's Mitar Vasiljevic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, you indicated just now that this -- because my next question
5 was going to be: Why did you wait so long to talk to the ICTY or its
6 investigators? And you indicate that it was at their invitation. Can
7 you tell me how that came about?
8 A. Simply, the telephone rang and someone from the OTP called me and
9 asked me whether I would wanted to give my statement about the goings-on
10 in Visegrad and Kosovo Polje in 1992.
11 Q. How long before your statement did the OTP contact you via
12 telephone, and how did they get your number?
13 A. I don't know how they got my number, but there were perhaps some
14 ten or 15 -- it was some ten or 15 days. I cannot recall with precision.
15 Q. Why did you not contact the Prosecutors or the investigators
16 yourself given what you witnessed and testified to in your statement?
17 A. Why didn't -- why didn't I? I don't know. I came here also at
18 the invitation of the Tribunal. It is -- I'm duty-bound as a citizen to
19 respond to any such summons which will contribute towards justice and
21 Q. Now, your testimony at the Vasiljevic trial centred around a
22 meeting with an ambulance driver and some members of your community in
23 late 2000, approximately November 2000; correct? Isn't that true?
24 A. Actually, the -- the event took place. I think -- could you
25 kindly repeat the question? I'm not sure I exactly got it.
1 Q. When did your meeting with the ambulance driver occur where you
2 all recalled Mitar Vasiljevic breaking his leg; the story of that at
4 A. Yes --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me ask you: What's the relevance of this?
6 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour, I believe that the testimony was
7 offered in a limited way in the Vasiljevic trial to surround the date of
8 the alleged leg break; and, also, the timing is interesting because
9 obviously three of the members of that meeting in the Vasiljevic case
10 were ultimately witnesses or named witnesses in the Vasiljevic trial. So
11 this amounts to him having communications with witnesses in the
12 Vasiljevic trial just a few months - four months, five months to be
13 approximate - prior to him giving testimony. To be honest, my curiosity
14 was about did his knowledge of the trial and the prosecution with these
15 named witnesses come from that meeting since it really wasn't discussed
16 in the cross-examination in the original transcript.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. But be very brief with it, and let's
18 move on to another topic.
19 MR. ALARID:
20 Q. And so isn't it true that just a few months before your
21 statement, you were speaking with all these named witnesses in the
22 Vasiljevic trial?
23 A. Not in the context that we are talking in right now, not in
24 relation to the subject matter that we are talking about right now.
25 Q. Well, at the time, the ambulance driver that you named was also
1 looking into the disappearances of Visegrad residents?
2 A. The questions put to me had to do with members of my family. My
3 father, my grandfather, and my grandmother had disappeared during the
4 war. That's what I was interested in, but unfortunately I didn't get any
5 answers to those questions. My grandmother and my grandfather actually
6 disappeared somewhere in the vicinity, some 200 metres from Kosovo Polje
7 in 1992. Actually, my father disappeared in 1993 in the Foca prison and
8 all trace has been lost since, and there is no information about it
9 whatsoever apart from his statements which were given under duress and
10 which are being used in a brochure of the Belgrade institute for tracing
11 missing persons.
12 Would you not, sir, look for your own father?
13 Q. Absolutely, sir, and I'm sorry for your loss. I can't imagine
14 how it was to lose your entire family at such a young age.
15 Now, was anyone ever brought to justice for your father or your
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you ever find out even the date of their disappearance or the
19 circumstances of their disappearance?
20 A. My father disappeared -- no, let me start like this. First,
21 the -- my grandparents disappeared. They disappeared in Kalatir [phoen].
22 This is in a home where my grandmother had quarters. This was towards
23 the end of June 1992, as they were very old and did not manage to get
24 out. They disappeared there, and I never found out anything. Stories
25 are being told that unknown persons had killed them and thrown them into
1 the Drina River.
2 Q. How many people do you think Serbian radicals were operating in
3 the area of Visegrad? Was it more than a hundred?
4 A. Talking about radicals, I am talking about radical option. So I
5 distinguish people as those who wanted to kill over people and those who
6 did so with an appetite, with a vengeance, as it were, who didn't find it
7 hard at all to do that. So I could say that of such an ilk, there were
8 perhaps five -- or rather, let me rephrase this. That 5 or 10 per cent
9 of the Serbs were of this radical option and that the rest were not that
11 Q. But the Serbs overall gave support to the displacement of the
12 overall Muslim population, and this was with the consent of the Crisis
13 Staff and the leadership in Visegrad; correct?
14 A. As far as I know, my immediate neighbourhood. So I'm actually
15 referring to this from the actual home and all the houses up to Stanko's
16 house up in Kosovo Polje. These people actually bought some land from us
17 and built houses there. They were not that important in Kosovo Polje.
18 Actually, Kosovo Polje fed all of Visegrad. All these people worked in
19 Kosovo Polje. They would work the fields. They would be given by us the
20 chance to earn a livelihood because they had come from Zupa. So they
21 bought land there, and they made houses there. We helped them sow the
22 fields, but not all of them were actually in favour of that.
23 If you have my proposal, I would -- I have described what the
24 attitude of certain Serbs or the treatment at the hands of some Serbs
25 was. They were not at all equal. That is as far as I can say from what
1 I can say about the situation in that particular section of Visegrad.
2 Q. And I'm sure you feel great rage against that small percentage of
3 the Serb population.
4 A. Well, let me tell you, at the time that it was actually
5 happening, I felt great rage. I really could not understand why that was
6 happening, because seeing at that we had remained there that meant that
7 we did not want to enter into any conflict.
8 I do not harbour that rage in me any more today, because to go
9 through a period where you have no food, when your neighbour Stanko has
10 to bring you food, the people take food away from you, attack you, that
11 you have to take shelter in different creeks and gulches, and what have
12 you. One night I spent the night at Stanko's house or below Stanko's
13 house. It was difficult to be a Muslim in 1992.
14 Terrible things were happening. Various stories came from
15 Visegrad about massive executions on the bridge, in apartments, the
16 taking away of men, the taking away of women to the hotel of Vilina Vlas,
17 to the Vilina Vlas hotel. In fact, murders occurred in Kosovo Polje
18 proper of persons who worked at the Vilina Vlas hotel. There was
19 looting. My house was looted. On a certain day in June 1992, 12 people
20 were imprisoned --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about this last
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They asked for gold and money and
24 dollars. When there was no more money to be found, they wanted to torch
25 the house. In fact, they put the tracksuit of my cousin on fire. But
1 then my sister arrived because she had come back from work, from the
2 grain store in Visegrad, with -- with the money, with the proceeds of the
3 sales, and she had to hand that over, too.
4 Then in another house, that of Sefket Jamak, his wife who worked
5 at hotel Vilina Vlas, Fatima Jamak, was killed and her body set on fire.
6 When I exhumed her body with some friends, there was just a handful of
7 bones. Mr. Jamak also as well, when they torched four houses, he was
8 slaughtered, he couldn't flee, he was 90 years old.
9 I have stated all these things in my statements, sir. I think
10 that there would have been even more of such incidents had not Stanko
11 Pecikoza intervened with his men.
12 Q. And in your statement, you wanted to hold people responsible for
13 that, and that was namely Milan, Sredoje, and Mitar; correct?
14 A. Those are the people whom I saw in these places, sir, and I have
15 stated how many times I saw them. And they were also seen by other
16 neighbours, and those people, those men, were not unfamiliar to us. For
17 instance, Mr. Sefket Jamak was the teacher of the gentlemen, of the
18 accused. He knew very well who the people were who came to Kosovo Polje.
19 Mr. Stanko Pecikoza as well.
20 All the children in Kosovo Polje knew when the red Passat came,
21 who was driving it, who was chasing people around Kosovo Polje, who that
22 man was. That man felt so powerful that he just drove around in his red
23 Passat chasing people around.
24 Q. I put it to you: Are you sure you're not telling and didn't give
25 a statement about things you heard about instead of things you actually
2 A. I said what I had seen. I said what I had heard, sir.
3 Q. Taking you back to what you gave in your statement, you
4 indicated, one, that you knew -- well, you just stated you knew all of
5 them by name; correct?
6 A. Can you tell me who "them" is?
7 Q. Mitar, Milan, and Sredoje. You knew them all by name for your
8 whole life as a local resident.
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. And Mitar was, in fact, a neighbour of yours, so you saw him
11 every day for 20 years. You saw him get old.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So there's no way you could ever mistake Mitar, because he was
14 the man that you had seen the most every day up until you had to go into
15 hiding; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the first thing you give in your statement -- well, first
18 thing, though, is you identified in your statement, though, that Milan
19 Lukic had a mole on his right side of his face and a dimpled chin. Do
20 you see a mole on the right side of Milan Lukic's face today?
21 A. I do. Take a look. Look at his cheek there. He does have a
23 Q. Does he have a dimpled chin?
24 A. He has a strong chin. That's what it has to do with.
25 Q. And, of course, we already understood that you sue Mitar
1 Vasiljevic every day for 20 years, but you also said that Sredoje had
2 black hair. He does not have black hair today?
3 A. It looks black more than blonde.
4 Q. What about light brown with grey in it?
5 A. It's only natural to say that someone has darker hair and someone
6 has lighter hair, sir. You cannot convince me that I did not know the
7 gentleman when I had occasion for this same person, Mr. Sredoje Lukic, to
8 write a parking ticket for me and then he'd tear it up when he'd find out
9 who my father was.
10 Q. That indicates someone that is a good person instead of a bad
11 person. Would that be fair?
12 A. The situation before the war was different, and then it was
13 different from that during the course of the war.
14 Q. Now, Milan Lukic, you went to school with him, so you saw him
15 grow up from a young boy up until what age?
16 A. Oh, no. I did not go to school with him. We went to the same
17 school. There is one secondary school in Visegrad. There aren't any
18 others. I was a boy when Milan went to school in Visegrad. I already
19 mentioned yesterday who I used to see him with.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. How old was Milan the last time you ever saw him before June of
24 A. Around 16 or 17.
25 Q. And then so how many years expired before you saw him again in
1 June of 1992?
2 A. About six or seven years; seven years, roughly.
3 Q. How had his appearance changed?
4 A. Well, like anyone, he looked more serious in the face. He was a
5 bit bigger. He had a short haircut like I did. Actually, his was even
6 shorter in 1992. He was more serious in terms of his appearance.
7 Q. How was his hair in -- when you last saw him before 1992?
8 A. The same hair he has today. Are you talking about the colour of
9 his hair?
10 Q. I'm talking about the length of his hair.
11 A. The length. He always had a short haircut.
12 Q. Did he always had the mole?
13 A. In my statement, as far as I can remember, I said that when I saw
14 him directly in Stanko Pecikoza's yard, he did have a mole. I cannot
15 recall each and every detail. What I said there was that I think that he
16 had a mole.
17 Q. So now you're saying you're not sure?
18 A. Well, read my statement.
19 Q. Let's talk about your statement. The first time you report with
20 certainty a date of seeing Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and Sredoje
21 Lukic acting together was the 2nd of June, 1992. Isn't that true?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You indicated that they had come around looking for soldiers;
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In a time of war, it would be ordinary practice to look for
2 soldiers. Wouldn't that be true?
3 A. Yes. But there weren't any soldiers there. This place was a
4 suburb, as it were. The Serb forces were on the right bank, and they
5 held it fully. There wasn't any clash in Kosovo Polje between the Serb
6 army or the Serb civilian population and the Muslim population in Kosovo
8 Q. And on June 2nd, you saw five to six vehicles; correct? How many
9 people did that represent?
10 A. It was night if you look at the lights, and I said roughly five
11 or six vehicles from the direction of Visegrad moving towards Kosovo
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have about five minutes left, Mr. Alarid.
14 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, at this time, I would make a motion for
15 additional cross. If you reference the exhibit tendered by the state --
16 or the Prosecution this time, there's specifically one, two, three, four,
17 five, six, and roughly seven issues surrounding dates, of which I'd like
18 the opportunity to go through all seven of them before I tender the
19 witness, but I do not want to interrupt the cross-examination of my
20 colleagues. Since I think this is one of the main witnesses that
21 extrapolates on all the defendants, it's important for them to have their
22 own time.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: How much time would you be seeking?
24 MR. ALARID: Only 30 minutes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'll grant that.
1 MR. ALARID: Thank you, sir.
2 Q. Now, Mr. -- again, going back to the 2nd of June, you said it was
3 night and there were five to six vehicles; correct?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. All the way dark or like twilight?
6 A. I have to add something to the beginning of the story regarding
7 the 2nd of June. Will you allow me to do that?
8 Q. Absolutely, sir.
9 A. Thank you. Sometime in the evening hours before it got dark,
10 before night fell, a red car came from the direction of Visegrad. It
11 arrived in Kosovo Polje. The mentioned three persons were in the car,
12 and they did not create any kind of incident; that is to say, Sredoje
13 directly talked to my father in my yard. He asked him, "What are you
14 doing there?" And the other one said, "What are you doing there?" My
15 sister wanted to turn on the lights, and he said, "Don't turn on any
16 lights because you're giving a signal to the Red Berets." I mean, well,
17 they carried out a correct house search. They were looking for men.
18 They believed that soldiers were sleeping there. And that is where their
19 attitude was very correct as far as that particular incident is
21 After that, well, they stayed there for about 15 or 20 minutes,
22 and then night fell and they left. They left.
23 Sometime before 10.00 p.m., or 2200 hours, whatever you prefer,
24 as I have already said, four or five or six vehicles, automobiles, came
25 from the direction of Visegrad. It doesn't really matter. They went
1 down to Kosovo Polje. We clearly recognised over the loudspeaker the
2 voice of Mr. Milan Lukic.
3 Q. Wouldn't it be fair to say that voices sometimes sound different
4 when they come through a speaker or a megaphone?
5 A. Distinguished gentlemen, the only person who used loudspeakers in
6 Kosovo Polje disturbing the population was Mr. Milan Lukic, and I can
7 quote each and every one of the words he uttered because they remain
8 carved in my memory.
9 Q. Well, isn't it true that you recalled in your statement that this
10 voice said that you were supposed to surrender and put your money out or
11 they'll burn the house?
12 A. This is exactly the way it was: "The citizens, the locals from
13 Kosovo Polje, you have four minutes to hand over your valuables, your
14 money, your jewellery, dollars, marks, automobiles, and take everything
15 out into the road; otherwise, you will burn together with your houses."
16 Q. And this was coming from a convoy of five to six vehicles?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And, as promised, the cars turned around, came back, and three
19 houses were lit on fire; correct?
20 A. Four houses were set on fire. Out of the four, one burned down
21 and three we managed to extinguish because Stanko, together with his
22 brothers, assaulted these men and managed to put out the fires.
23 In one of these houses, we found the body of Abid Jamak. He was
24 around 90. He couldn't move around properly. His throat had been slit.
25 Q. And the thing is, though, you don't know who slit his throat, do
1 you, of the five to six cars that were present?
2 A. No, sir.
3 Q. You said the megaphone was on a Lada, and what colour was this
5 A. This Lada appeared as soon as the Uzice Corps got in, while the
6 Uzice Corps was in Visegrad. It was a burgundy coloured Lada. It was a
7 Lada caravan.
8 Q. And so you assumed it was the Lada that arrived that night
9 because it was otherwise dark?
10 A. I did not assume anything, because Milan had this megaphone in
11 the Passat and in the truck. I remember the incident when on the 1st of
12 June from the Zastava truck, as he was passing through Kosovo Polje
13 towards Visegradska Banja towards Sase down there, he was asking Murat
14 Sabanovic, beseeching him not to destroy the dam. And he was singing the
15 song "Who dare destroy the dam? Murat does." Then he said, "Murat,
16 please don't destroy the dam so that the Drina would still be there to
17 wash away what needs to be washed away."
18 Q. What day was that?
19 A. As far as I can remember, it was the 1st of June.
20 Q. Now, I bet the burnings and the Abid Jamak death enraged you.
21 A. Well, they didn't enrage me. They terrified me. I was expecting
22 the same thing to happen to me, too. There's no rage there. If I wanted
23 to be enraged, I would have followed Murat Sabanovic's army. I wasn't
24 raging against anyone. I'm a peace-loving man, and my family. Let me
25 tell you one thing: My family was involved in agriculture. No one
1 belonged to any political party. There is no rage. There is fear. You
2 stay at home. You stay with everything you have, your movable and
3 immovable property, tractors, vehicles, cars, everything we had. No one
4 worked in a company. This is where we made all our money. My father or
5 my grandfather did not have a single year of service anywhere.
6 There was a great deal of fear involved. That's why we asked
7 Stanko to help us, and he did help us.
8 Q. But as far as you know, that night you don't know who killed
9 Mr. Jamak, do you?
10 A. Someone from that group killed him. Who it was, I don't know.
11 Q. And you don't know exactly who lit any fires, do you?
12 A. Sir, as soon as the cars entered the village, we all fled into
13 the surrounding cornfields, raspberry fields. We knew what awaited us.
14 What would you do at that point if you did not have an armed force to
15 oppose them?
16 They had come before that. They realised that there was no army
17 there, that there weren't any armed people there, that there were only
18 civilians, and then the group came back. I don't know except for what I
19 stated to you, that I recognised the voice of Milan Lukic.
20 Q. Now, following that you --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. -- June 4th; correct?
24 Following that, the next day you mention is June 4th when you
25 heard that someone in Milan's group had killed Fatima Jamak?
1 A. Sir, the 3rd of June. Perhaps this has been mistranslated to
3 Q. No, you are correct. That is what you said. But, again, this
4 was hearsay that you received this information; correct?
5 A. Yes, yes. My father and I fled from the house. We escaped,
6 jumped over the house, and hid in the raspberry feeds. My grandfather,
7 my mother, one of my sisters and two children, and my aunt who had come
8 from Zupa as a refugee with four members of her family, all of these
9 people were in the house. There were 11 or 12 of them there.
10 Q. And you only also heard that some valuables were taken, though,
11 by Milan Lukic but no violence occurred from your relatives; correct?
12 A. The very fact that the army broke in asking for jewellery,
13 valuables, money, that is violence in itself. Do you agree with that?
14 Q. I do. But the fact is that it's not necessarily a killing that
15 you witnessed; correct?
16 A. Not in that case.
17 Q. Now, the next case that you refer to in seeing Milan Lukic is
18 June 10th; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that surrounded the arrest of some workers; correct?
21 A. No one was arrested on that day; but on the following day, yes.
22 Q. And, regardless, those people that were arrested were, in fact,
23 released, were they not?
24 A. Yes. They were released, but the remaining six were not
25 released, the one that he had taken from town; and to this day, people do
1 not know what happened to the six people who remained on the truck.
2 Q. But as far as you were aware, only the arrest was committed by
3 Milan Lukic, not necessarily a killing or an execution?
4 A. Sir, what I know is that this arrest occurred, and then Stanko's
5 brother and Mirko and some policemen from the public security station
6 from Visegrad, they intervened near Visegradska Banja and they set their
7 workers free. And all of them survived to this day, they all survive the
8 war. Two of them are my next-door neighbours. They live right next
10 When they came back, they were talking about that, that there
11 were some other people there, too. There was a Susko, there was a
12 Suceska, and five other men, and they were taken to Hrtar Grad. That is
13 what these people told me later.
14 Q. But the question I asked you was: The person who arrested
15 someone wasn't necessarily the same person that killed someone?
16 A. You know what, sir? A young man who got off that truck told me
17 that when he got out, he was as big as I am now, and then Mr. Lukic
18 punched him in the stomach and said, "You're my son of a bitch."
19 Q. But he was not killed. He was only mistreated.
20 A. Well, he wasn't killed because Stanko's men intervened. In
21 Visegrad, Stanko was the only one who opposed Mr. Lukic, no one else.
22 Q. But, again, he was not killed. He was released. Isn't that
24 A. Yes, yes. He was released, but there were others who were not
25 released and who are missing to this day, the men who remained on the
1 truck. Read my previous statement, what happened and what threats were
2 issued against us.
3 Q. Now, starting June 15th, you saw on three separate occasions
4 Milan Lukic take people away and arrest them; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On the 15th, the arrest of Muho Kurspahic occurred; correct?
7 A. Sir, it was Mujo Kurspahic.
8 Q. I apologise for my bad pronunciation, but, again, you don't know
9 who killed or, in fact, if Mr. Kurspahic was killed by Milan Lukic;
11 A. Yes, I don't know.
12 Q. And when a person is arrested, sometimes they're transferred to
13 someone else, and maybe that someone else mistreated or killed
14 Mr. Kurspahic?
15 A. Sir, distinguished lawyer, the persons who were taken away by the
16 mentioned gentleman, I have not heard of any one of them coming back.
17 Who did what afterwards, I don't know. I was being careful lest I be
18 caught myself.
19 Q. Now, the next date that you mention is June 18th, 1992, and
20 you're certain of that date. Why are you certain of that date?
21 A. Well, it was the date before we crossed the Drina River.
22 Q. And on that date, you were certain that you saw Milan Lukic,
23 Sredoje Lukic, and Mitar Vasiljevic. Isn't that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you claim that in the presence of Mitar Vasiljevic and
1 Sredoje Lukic, Milan Lukic killed someone, shot at a woman out of a
2 cherry tree; correct?
3 A. Well, they were higher up. I don't know whether they saw that,
4 but most probably they did hear the shot. They were 50 or 60 metres
5 away, because he probably noticed us, that we had fled in that direction.
6 Q. Does that mean Mitar Vasiljevic was closer to you than Milan
8 A. No. That's not what it means.
9 Q. But you certainly could identify Mitar Vasiljevic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And June 19th, that's a -- that's a significant day because
12 that's the day you crossed the Drina?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But, regardless, you continued to see Milan Lukic, Mitar
15 Vasiljevic on a regular basis between the 19th of June and the 17th or
16 18th of July?
17 A. Yes, sir. Whenever I looked at the right bank of the Drina
18 River, I would see these persons. We had to look out, because once when
19 we were crossing the Drina as we were going to get food, we had to go to
20 our own field to get potatoes, to gather what we needed in order to
21 survive. We got there and the situation was disastrous, lots of refugees
22 from all over.
23 We were crossing the Drina, and we took these things that we
24 needed; and on one such occasion, one of our men got killed. He was
25 killed early in the morning when he went to his house to get a few
1 things. He was killed from the road. And we took certain measures to
2 reconnoiter the population that was in Hamzici. We needed to
3 reconnoiter. We would watch out for ambushes and whatever else because
4 when you're crossing, you don't know what you're going to come, across on
5 the other side, that is.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. ALARID:
8 Q. You were in Hamzici between the 19th of June and the 18th of
9 July; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And during that time in Hamzici, you now also say you know that
12 you saw Mitar Vasiljevic with a megaphone in the area of Kosovo Polje
13 insulting Muslims?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you are certain of this?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, did you find it interesting when you were asked to testify
18 in the Vasiljevic trial that no one questioned you on your observations
19 of Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic, they only questioned you about this
20 meeting in 2000?
21 A. I cannot recall that anyone asked me anything in connection with
23 Q. Considering that you had -- that's what your entire first
24 statement was about, did it surprise that they weren't asking you about
25 what happened with Mitar Vasiljevic?
1 A. The OTP had my statement, and why the attorney did not ask me
2 those questions, that was up to him. I really don't know. I was
3 prepared to always give the same statement.
4 Q. Have you ever become aware of the fact that Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic
5 proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the date he broke his leg, by the
6 mayor, was actually June 14th, 1992?
7 A. Well, you know, sir, I do not believe those papers that someone
8 submits. You know, a state of war was such that people had four or five
9 IDs, four or five driving licenses. People wrote papers as they pleased
10 or issued papers as they pleased. Do you know from which direction
11 Visegrad was taken, from which direction Visegrad was entered, if you get
12 my meaning that is.
13 Q. I understand that, but the Trial Chamber --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
15 MR. ALARID:
16 Q. I understand that, but the Trial Chamber in this courthouse found
17 that they believed those documents; and, in fact, that makes it
18 impossible that you saw Mitar Vasiljevic between June 15th of 1992 and
19 July 18th of 1992.
20 A. Distinguished sir, I saw it, and you can interpret it anyway you
21 like. It is up to you.
22 Q. I give you the opportunity here to say that you were mistaken and
23 that you're not sure.
24 A. Distinguished sir, I did not make a mistake. I am a child who
25 was brought up in a decent family in Kosovo Polje at the crossroads
1 between Visegrad and Visegrad-Zupa, and I know Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic well.
2 I described all the mistakes that he had committed and his perception or
3 my seeing him in those cases, and I'm not withdrawing my words.
4 Q. Well, in fact, you were asked to testify about when you heard the
5 ambulance driver laugh and you laughed as well about the accident of
6 Mitar Vasiljevic; and even there, you -- the recollection of the other
7 gentleman was that it was June 27th.
8 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge.
9 Q. Therefore, at the very least, if he's correct, you -- it's
10 impossible that you could have seen Mitar Vasiljevic between June 27th
11 and July 18th.
12 A. I have said that in that period when on the 19th I crossed the
13 Drina up to the 17th or 18th when I watched and saw those men getting the
14 bodies off the truck in Sase. I believe that I've been sufficiently
16 Q. The question I asked you is that it's impossible that you could
17 have seen Mitar Vasiljevic between June 27th and July 17th or 18th based
18 on the other information; correct?
19 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, this has been asked and answered.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on. In fact, I believe you must be close
21 to the end of your time now. You have four minutes left.
22 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Would it be fair to say in your statements of the man --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. ALARID:
1 Q. In your original statement to the OTP, you only mentioned three
2 locals, Mitar, Milan, and Sredoje, correct?
3 A. Yes. There were also some other persons whom I didn't know.
4 Q. I bet it made you angry that locals would point out and know who
5 Muslims were and then turn over that information to other people to maybe
6 be persecuted by other radicals.
7 A. That is not possible, because the Muslim villages and the Serb
8 villages were always divided, or they were either mixed or divided. One
9 knew where the Muslim section was and where the Serb section was. People
10 from Visegrad knew where every -- each and every house was and whose
11 house it was. They knew where they would go to because they had occasion
12 to come there also before that.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. ALARID: I'd ask the court usher to bring up what's been
15 marked as 1D00-3101 to the monitor, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
17 MR. ALARID: 1D00-3101.
18 Q. Do you recognise this person?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Would you consider that -- how old is Milan Lukic here?
21 A. Seventeen, 16 or 17 years of age. Perhaps a bit more than that.
22 Q. This is not short hair, is it?
23 A. No.
24 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please bring up 1D00-3103,
1 Q. Do you recognise the gentlemen in this picture?
2 A. No. I cannot remember.
3 Q. So you cannot identify Milan Lukic in this photo?
4 A. No.
5 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please put on the screen
6 1D00-3104, please.
7 Q. Do you recognise Milan Lukic in this photo?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Who is he? Which -- identify him from the photo, please, from
10 left to right.
11 A. This one in the middle between -- the second one on this side.
12 You can only see his head.
13 Q. Do you -- and how old is he at this time?
14 A. I can't say.
15 Q. Is his hair longer or short?
16 A. It is shorter here.
17 MR. ALARID: And, please, if the court usher could bring
18 1D00-3110, please.
19 Q. Do you recognise Milan in this photograph?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And identify him, please.
22 A. This lad who is in the lap of this girl.
23 Q. Do you see a mole on Milan Lukic's face in this photograph?
24 A. You can't see it clearly.
25 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please bring up 1D00-3113,
2 Q. Do you recognise the gentleman in this photo?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Can you see a mole on the right side of his face?
5 A. Well, sir, right here on this side there is something like a
6 mole, but it is not a sufficiently clear photograph.
7 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please bring up 1D00-3116.
8 Q. Do you recognise the gentleman in this photograph?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you see the right side of his face clearly?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Isn't it true there's not a mole on the right side of his face?
13 A. There is something in the shape of a mole on the right side of
14 his face. You can look at him. You can see on his face. It is markedly
16 Q. Are you sure that's not a shadow?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry.
18 Witness, when you say you can see it on his face, do you mean the
19 face of the person in the photograph or the face of the person in court?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person present in the court,
21 because these are very old photographs.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Mr. Alarid, you have gotten the better of
23 the Chamber. You're now well beyond the time. You have to manage your
24 time more efficiently.
25 MR. ALARID: I apologise, Your Honour. I know this is an
1 important witness. In an identification case, sometimes we do have to go
2 step-by-step in these things. And with all due respect, I think the time
3 allotted by the Court is a bit short to get that done in a practical
4 manner, especially with the delay of translation and things like that.
5 And this witness has gone into explanations about his past that I did not
6 want to interrupt, because I felt that although somewhat non-responsive
7 to the questions, it was important that he make these statements.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you have come to an end now. We have to
9 adjourn now for the break. Are you at an end or do you still have other
10 matters on which you wish to cross-examine?
11 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour, basically, for the Court's
12 edification, I have 23 photographs of Milan Lukic at different stages. I
13 haven't shown any short-haired photos yet, which might put it into
14 perspective, but I respect the Court's situation.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many have you shown so far?
16 MR. ALARID: I believe I've shown five or six. I'm not sure.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Six I'm told. Very well. It is a case that
18 turns on identification and I will allow you to show them, but it may be
19 that you should have done that earlier if you attach so much importance
20 to this aspect of the case.
21 MR. ALARID: I apologise, Your Honour. We just got these
22 photographs last week and there really wasn't an ability to get those.
23 We had to scan them in, of course, and I apologise.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.34 a.m.
2 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, may I say something before --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Sartorio.
4 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you.
5 The Prosecution objects to showing this witness these
6 photographs. These photographs were not on the exhibit lists for either
7 one of these accused that was submitted to the Prosecution yesterday.
8 This morning's the first time I was handed a CD of these photographs. I
9 have not had time to review them in order to be able to do any kind of
10 meaningful redirect, and the rule is that we're supposed to have the
11 exhibit list before they begin their cross-examination and for the very
12 purpose so that we can review the documents. So I let it go in the
13 beginning. I thought there were only going to be a couple of
14 photographs. But if he's going to show 23 photographs, I'm going to
15 object at this point.
16 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I only --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
18 MR. ALARID: I only intend to show 13 of the 23 we tendered on
19 the list. Of course, the Prosecution can tender the rest if they feel
20 it's relevant. I think it's most important to point out, though, that
21 there is no showing of prejudice because simply the witness can say
22 whether he recognises him or did not. And I believe on six -- five of
23 the six photographs tendered, he indicated that he recognised Milan
24 Lukic; and, foundationally speaking, he was also able to place that into
25 a context of time in general.
1 [Trial Chamber and Senior Legal Officer confer]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why didn't you advise the Prosecution of the --
3 or transmit the photographs to the Prosecution?
4 MR. ALARID: Because I had to buy a scanner for the office and we
5 scanned them in, and we had just put them in order as best we could of
6 date, of kind of feeling what his age because although we didn't even
7 know exactly. In the grand scheme of things, I think from a photographic
8 perspective you don't need to prepare for a photograph really. Like I
9 said, either the witness can identify him or he can't; and, so, from that
10 fact, it's not a document which requires any kind of real research. And
11 in terms of preparing for direct examination -- or, excuse me, redirect
12 examination, I think that that somewhat is not necessary considering the
13 fact that is a photograph. And I actually look at it as a way to prep
14 the witness in some way, but, in fact, he has shown that he has
15 recognised five of the six photographs.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I have a copy of the order made by the
18 Chamber which requires the Defence to provide the Prosecution with the
19 list of documents and materials it intends to use in court during
20 cross-examination at the commencement of the examination-in-chief of that
21 witness. So you are in breach of that rule, but I note that the case is
22 about identification. Although you may wish to consider, Mr. Alarid, to
23 what extent your case is advanced by these photographs which apparently
24 show the accused at a very early age, a relatively early age.
25 I will not allow you to show 13. You may show another six of the
2 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: And please bear in mind that in future, the
4 Chamber intends to apply the order that it made quite strictly.
5 MR. ALARID: And I appreciate the Court's concerns, Your Honour;
6 and, normally, I would kind of hopefully be more on top of things. I
7 guess the issue is just because of the way in defence has kind of
8 manifested from my appointment. It's sort of always been running behind,
9 but I apologise.
10 Q. Mr. 97 --
11 MR. ALARID: Or, actually, the court usher, could you please call
12 up 1D00-3108, which will be the seventh photograph tendered to the
14 Q. Do you recognise that gentleman in this photograph, sir?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. You recognise Milan Lukic, and can you see the right side of his
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Isn't true that there is no apparent mole on the right side of
20 his face in this photograph?
21 A. Distinguished sir, distinguished Trial Chamber, the gentleman
22 does have a mole and you can see it on his face right here in the
23 courtroom, in order to cut short this discussion.
24 Q. Then the question is at 16 or 17, which you identified him in
25 this clothing and the earlier photograph, as well as today and right now,
1 at 16 or 17 he did not have a mole?
2 A. May I ask the Trial Chamber to read the context of that sentence
3 of mine; namely, how I described Mr. Lukic, whether I described him with
4 a definite certainty, or did I say that I thought he had a mole on the
5 right side of his face. And now when you look at Mr. Lukic, you will
6 convince yourselves that he does have a mole on his right cheek.
7 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please enter 1D00-3117,
9 Q. Do you recognise the gentleman in this photograph?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Can you see the right side of his face?
12 A. Yes. But it is a very hazy photograph.
13 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please zoom in?
14 Q. Isn't it true that there's no mole on the right side of his face?
15 A. Well, what you're showing me now, he has number of moles,
17 Q. Isn't it true his hair is long?
18 A. Yes. It is true that his hair is long.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you just said that, as a matter of
20 fact, "he has number of moles." Well, can you point to the moles that
21 you say he has and that you see?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this particular photograph.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'm asking you to point.
24 Is he able to point? Can we put it on the -- yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Distinguished Trial Chamber, take a
1 look at these spots. This is not a good photograph. Well, here. See
2 here and see here? They are displaying old photographs which are not of
3 sufficiently good quality. Here also.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. ALARID:
6 Q. Sir, are you sure that that's not simply pixilation because we
7 zoomed in on the photograph?
8 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 MS. SARTORIO: That's the point here. He's asking the witness to
11 speculate basically because they aren't good photographs. So he's asking
12 the question that actually begs the question of showing these photographs
13 to this witness.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
15 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I believe that -- I mean, it's just
16 simply the best we have. I mean, it is what it is, and I expect the
17 Trial Chamber can take appropriate weight given the fact that they
18 compare the photos, they can zoom in, they can back out, when they're
19 making their deliberations as to the weight of this testimony given by
20 this witness. Given the quality, I can only say they are what they are.
21 And with all due respect to the Prosecution, we would feel that --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are right. We have to make our minds about
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, the Trial Chamber is of the view
1 that nothing is being gained by looking at any more of these photographs.
2 We have seen enough of the photographs, and the point that you have
3 made or the point that you wish to make would have been made. It's for
4 the Chamber to make up its mind and determine what weight it is going to
5 attach to these photographs.
6 What I do want the witness to do, however, is that since he has
7 repeatedly said in court that he can see a mole on the face of the
8 accused who is in court today, I would like to have the accused's face
9 shown on the video and to ask the witness to identify the mole which he
10 says he has seen from a distance of perhaps ten yards, ten or 12 yards.
11 Can you, Witness, mark with a circle or circle what you say is
12 the mole on the face of the accused Milan Lukic? Circle it, circle
13 whatever you identify as the mole.
14 Oh, it's not possible, I understand, technically.
15 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 MS. SARTORIO: We have this -- almost this exact photograph in a
18 P exhibit, number 9, if it would be beneficial for the Court to have that
19 brought up.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, yes. Let that photograph be brought up.
21 MS. SARTORIO: P10. I believe the left side is P9. So it would
22 be Exhibit P10.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
24 the usher to turn this on for me. [Marks]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have encircled what you say is a mole on the
1 face of the accused.
2 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, we would like to tender this as an
3 exhibit, our first exhibit. I know I have been naming other photographs,
4 but I think it's appropriate since the witness has marked this particular
5 photograph. It doesn't go back in batched as the same Prosecution.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit that.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D9, Your Honours.
8 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher return to the previous photo,
9 please, though? One more question on that, and that was 1D00-3117.
10 Could we re-zoom to the face slightly.
11 Q. Isn't it true, Mr. 97, that there is no dimple in the chin of
12 Milan Lukic?
13 MS. SARTORIO: I object to the form of the question.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: On what basis?
15 MS. SARTORIO: Well, he can ask whether he sees anything in this
16 photograph, but --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is cross-examination. He can lead.
18 MS. SARTORIO: All right. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: He can lead.
20 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, my case manager said there was an
21 issue of the translation of "chin," and I again ask the witness.
22 Q. Is there a dimple on the chin of Mr. Milan Lukic in this
24 A. In this photograph, it cannot be seen clearly. This is sort of a
25 digital photograph. You see there are so many things that are unclear in
2 Q. So the answer would be: No, you do not see a dimple in the chin
3 of Milan Lukic in this photograph?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: His answer is what he gave you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He has a strong chin, a marked
7 MR. ALARID: We have no further questions at this time, Your
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I do have some questions for
11 this witness. Thank you.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. My name is Djuro Cepic, attorney-at-law, and I represent Sredoje
16 Lukic in this courtroom here today.
17 A. I'm glad to hear that.
18 Q. Could you please carefully listen to my questions and hopefully
19 give me brief and clear answers.
20 A. I'll do my best.
21 Q. Sir, are you convinced that you have a good memory?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. We're going to get to that later. Do you think that your memory
24 is reliable?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I wish to put to you that you are describing things that did not
2 happen in the way in which you've described them. Do you understand me?
3 A. No.
4 Q. We'll get to that later. Now, could you please tell me --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just stop, please. I can see the problem. You
6 have to observe a pause between question and answer --
7 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- in the interests of the interpretation, do
9 you understand, both of you?
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, speaking in terms of time, months or weeks, how long ago did
12 you see that the Sredoje and Milan Lukic trial would start? Did you see
13 that on television or read about it in the newspapers?
14 A. Sometime in the month of June, I think.
15 Q. Thank you. And, then, when you saw them on TV, did you know that
16 you would come and testify here against them?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell me, did you come here to testify in order to have only Milan
19 Lukic convicted or to have both of them convicted, both Milan and
21 A. Distinguished Mr. Cepic, I came here in order to have the truth
22 found out.
23 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the ticket that was allegedly written
24 by Sredoje Lukic for you. Did you do that before you did your military
1 A. It was sometime in 1990.
2 Q. Tell me, when did you return from the JNA in 1990?
3 A. I returned from the JNA on the 25th of May, 1990.
4 Q. And that was a few weeks after that?
5 A. Well, I don't know. I know that it was during those years before
6 the war, sir. I cannot say exactly. I mean, well ...
7 Q. Thank you. We did our military service the same year in the JNA.
8 A. June.
9 Q. No, mine was different.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Cepic.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Tell me, while the Muslim Crisis Staff was active, while Murat
13 Sabanovic was at the dam, did you see Mitar Vasiljevic and Sredoje and
14 Milan Lukic passing through Kosovo Polje?
15 A. No, sir.
16 Q. Thank you. We heard testimony here that Milan Lukic -- or,
17 rather, Mitar Vasiljevic drove a white Beetle Volkswagen.
18 A. No.
19 Q. I'm asking you about Mitar Vasiljevic.
20 A. I don't believe that he ever drove any car.
21 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I would like to ask some personal
22 questions related to witness. Could we go to private session just for
23 identity of witness in that interest.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Page 643 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, let us go back to the other matter. You
14 gave your first official statement in 2001 to the investigators of the
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. You will agree with me that it's a bit strange that with regard
18 to such crimes that you are referring to in your statement, it was only
19 in 2001 that you made a statement to some authority. Isn't that a bit
20 strange? Just yes or no. Just keep it brief.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Thank you. In your statement, you mentioned that you knew
23 Sredoje Lukic as an ordinary policeman. You used to see him in regular
24 police uniform; right?
25 A. Could you tell me what period you're referring to?
1 Q. The pre-war period and the beginning of the war.
2 A. Sir, I knew Mr. Sredoje Lukic as a policeman in Visegrad, and I
3 used to see him in the pre-war period in a blue police uniform.
4 Q. Thank you. Sredoje Lukic never wore a JNA uniform; right?
5 A. I did not see him in a JNA uniform.
6 Q. Thank you. [In English] Thank you very much.
7 [Interpretation] Ms. Bakira Hasecic , the president of the
8 association of war victims, she knew Sredoje Lukic very well, too; right?
9 A. I assume that is the case. I assume that is the case.
10 Mr. Sredoje Lukic was a public figure; that is to say, everyone knew him
12 Q. Ms. Bakira Hasecic enjoys a remarkable reputation in your eyes as
13 well; right?
14 A. She is my next-door neighbour, that is where she was born, her
15 house is right next to mine; that is to say, that she is part of all of
16 our lives, you see. When I was -- may I proceed?
17 Q. No. I am the one who is putting questions here?
18 A. I am sorry.
19 Q. It's okay. How far away is her house from yours in Kosovo Polje?
20 A. Her house? Her house is right next door to my yard; that is to
21 say, it's one yard. I mean, my house faces her house; where she was
22 born, that is. It is not her house. It is her parents' house.
23 Q. Was your father a well-established farmer, and did he sell his
24 produce in the market in Visegrad?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Let's go back to Ms. Bakira Hasecic. I believe that you will
2 agree with me that Ms. Bakira Hasecic saw numerous incidents in Kosovo
3 Polje much better than you did.
4 A. I don't know whether I can agree with you, but all of us in
5 Kosovo Polje were aware of all incidents. All of us, the locals, were
6 hiding around my house, for the most part.
7 Q. But at any rate, you would believe her observations fully,
8 wouldn't you?
9 A. Well, well, I did not make a view on the basis of her observation
10 but on the basis of own view of the situation.
11 Q. Did you see her statement? Have you seen it before?
12 A. No.
13 Q. What would you say if I were to tell you that she describes
14 alleged incidents in Kosovo Polje differently from you?
15 A. I have my own statement, and I stand by it. As for what she saw,
16 she presented it the way she saw it.
17 Q. Sir, in that situation, someone is not telling the truth then.
18 Are you inclined to believe that Ms. Bakira Hasecic gave an inaccurate
19 statement, or have you perhaps made an incorrect and inaccurate
21 A. Sir, I made a statement on the basis of my own experience, and
22 everyone most probably gave a statement on the basis of their own
24 Q. In your statement, you refer to the murder of the old lady Nurka
25 Kos. That is page 4 in your statement.
1 MR. CEPIC [Interpretation] In B/C/S, it is the fourth paragraph
2 of the 4th page; in the English version, it is the 4th page, the last
3 paragraph, and the first paragraph on page 5.
4 Q. In that same statement, you also state that had Ms. Bakira
5 Hasecic was an eyewitness to that incident.
6 A. Distinguished lawyer, I didn't say she was an eyewitness to that
7 incident, but that she was in the vicinity and that she did see -- she
8 saw the body of the murdered lady. You can read that there.
9 Q. Do you allow for the possibility that Ms. Bakira Hasecic was
10 nearer to that incident than you were?
11 A. Sir, I cannot allow for that possibility because I know that we
12 were all hiding there in that particular section.
13 Q. Thank you. But, please, when I put a question to you, make a
14 small pause for technical considerations.
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 2D373. Thank you
18 very much. Could we have --
19 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, we have the statement of Ms. Bakira Hasecic
20 before us, which was given to the investigators of the Tribunal.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... please, in B/C/S
22 and also in English. Could you scroll down a little bit version in
23 B/C/S, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Would you look at this statement by Ms. Hasecic.
25 A. Will you tell me what specifically to look at?
1 Q. The fourth paragraph in the B/C/S version.
2 A. This short one at the bottom.
3 Q. It starts with the words "Around 1400 or 1500 hours." Sir, in
4 your statement, you say that it was about 11.00 or 11.30, and Ms. Bakira
5 says that it was around 1400 or 1500 hours. To whom should we lend
6 credence, to you or to Ms. Hasecic?
7 A. Dear, sir, I gave the statement according to what I remember, and
8 you can lend credence to whomsoever you wish.
9 MR. CEPIC: I apologise. I'm not so skilful with those
10 electronic devices, and I will try to do my best to prevent anything.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Ms. Hasecic knows Sredoje Lukic very well, and
12 she never said that he participated in the incident, as you can see from
13 her statement. Do you have any comment?
14 A. No, I have no comment.
15 Q. Let's move on. The second incident.
16 MR. CEPIC: Same page of statement second paragraph in B/C/S;
17 second paragraph in English also.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Ms. Bakira Hasecic testifies here about the
19 disappearance of the teacher Rasim Torohan. Did you know him?
20 A. Yes, I knew him. He was a neighbour of mine.
21 Q. Thank you. And if we look at this statement of Ms. Bakira
22 Hasecic and at your statement, there are a number discrepancies,
23 substantial discrepancies there. You say that Mr. Torohan was taken away
24 from his garden, that he was taken out into the road, and then taken
25 away; whereas, Ms. Hasecic explains that the professor -- the professor
1 Rasim Torohan was moving along the main road and that Milan and Mitar
2 Vasiljevic picked him up on that main road. Sredoje Lukic is not
3 referred to at all. So it is quite contrary to your own testimony. Do
4 you have any comment to make in respect of that?
5 A. Yes, I do. I saw a different picture because I was --
6 Q. Thank you. Who is not telling the truth here, you or Ms. Bakira
8 A. I am telling the truth.
9 Q. Are you saying that Bakira Hasecic is not telling the truth? Is
10 that your testimony today?
11 A. No, sir. My testimony today is that that event was true and that
12 it did happen.
13 Q. Thank you. I am asking you again. Are you saying that
14 Ms. Bakira Hasecic is lying?
15 A. No, I'm not.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel kindly not overlap with the
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you hear that? The interpreter is asking
20 that you don't overlap.
21 MR. CEPIC: I do apologise because we be speaking the same
22 language and sometimes I speeded up, and my apologies one more time if
23 you missed something in the transcript.
24 Could we have an exhibit number for this statement, please.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit
2 number 2D1.
3 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Mr. Alarid, I don't think you
5 sought to introduce the last set of photographs as exhibits. I don't
6 want to do that now; but just, if you wish to, at the end we can do it.
7 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour. I actually caught that and
8 was going to make that suggestion. Thank you.
9 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I will recall one of exhibits which
10 is -- which is under the seal, so could we go to the private session,
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 651-653 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private -- we're back in
1 open session.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And, as I said, the questions are not leading.
3 MS. SARTORIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. My question with regard to these three men, were any of them
5 wearing any type of military clothing when they were removed by the
7 A. Of the accused.
8 Q. I think --
9 A. To the best of my recollection, Milan was in a camouflage
10 uniform. So Milan was in a camouflage uniform; Mitar was in civilian
11 clothes; and Mr. Sredoje, as far as I can remember, was in a black
12 uniform and wore a hat.
13 Q. Thank you. But my question was whether any of the civilians,
14 Mr. Kurspahic, Mr. Ribac, and Mr. Torohan, were they dressed in military
15 clothing when they were taken away.
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were they armed in any way when they were taken away?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were they participating in any combat at the time when they were
20 taken away?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to refer to your testimony in the Vasiljevic
23 case since it's been brought up, and with regard to the incident where
24 you were laughing about Sredoje's alleged fall off the horse. Was there
25 any discussion, further discussion, about --
1 A. You've made a mistake.
2 Q. Yes. Mitar falling off the horse, sorry, not Sredoje.
3 Was there any discussion there that Mitar was incapacitated in
4 any -- in any manner after this alleged fall?
5 A. Do you mean during the course of that conversation or after that
6 conversation? I mean --
7 Q. I'm talking about your testimony that was -- that was referred to
8 by Mr. Alarid in his cross-examination.
9 A. Well, what was mentioned was that he had fallen off an mare, that
10 the mare injured him. The said gentleman took him to a hospital on the
11 eve of St. Vitus Day. That's what people said.
12 Q. Okay. But my question to you -- Defence counsel was asking you
13 about how it was possible for you to see Mr. Vasiljevic after this
14 incident, because he -- and Defence counsel said he had a broken leg. My
15 question to you is: Was there any discussion in this testimony with the
16 ambulance driver that Mitar Vasiljevic was unable to walk around or do
17 anything after this fall?
18 A. No.
19 MS. SARTORIO: I would like to bring up Prosecution Exhibit 9,
20 please; and could we please zoom in on the face of Mr. Lukic. Okay.
21 Q. Sir, on -- on the left cheek of Mr. Lukic, do you see any marks
22 that you would consider, in your opinion, to be moles?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please circle those for us.
25 A. [Marks]
1 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, we tender this exhibit as marked in
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's already in evidence.
4 MS. SARTORIO: Marked with the circles.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the photograph will become Exhibit
6 number P29.
7 MS. SARTORIO: Now could we bring up what's marked as ID 00-3117.
8 Could you zoom in at all, please.
9 Q. Sir, do you -- are you able to tell from this photograph -- are
10 you able to identify any what you consider to be moles on his face?
11 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, I think I'll withdraw that question.
12 It's not clear. I question the quality of the picture as it's enlarged.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you.
14 MS. SARTORIO: Okay. Could we bring up ID 00-3121.
15 I'll withdraw any questions, Your Honour, and I have no more
16 further examination.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
18 Witness, that is your evidence. We thank you for giving it, and
19 you may now leave.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, once again, for having
21 heard me out.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness.
24 MS. SARTORIO: Your Honour, my colleague is going to conduct the
25 direct examination of the next witness. I don't -- I don't know if he's
1 here yet. He may be outside the courtroom.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who is that, your colleague?
3 MS. SARTORIO: Yes, Mr. Ossogo.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, fetch him.
5 MS. SARTORIO: Fetch him. I will. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the meantime, let us deal with the admission
7 of those photographs, Mr. Alarid.
8 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour. We tender -- yes, Your Honour.
9 We tender, I guess, a total of --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, and could the Prosecution
11 microphone please be switched off. Thank you.
12 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I have a total, in my notes, of eight
13 photographs we introduced, and I would tender them all as exhibits in
14 their respective order of introduction. I could read off the numbers.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Court Deputy, are you in a position to give them
16 numbers now?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please do.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 1D00-3101 will become
20 Exhibit 1D10; number 3103 will become Exhibit 1D11; 3104 will become
21 Exhibit 1D12; 3100 will become Exhibit 1D13; 3113 will become Exhibit
22 1D14; 3116 will become Exhibit 1D14 [sic]; 3108 will become Exhibit --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the registrar please speak into the
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Overlapping speakers] ... 17 will become Exhibit
1 1D --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not speaking into the microphone.
3 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise. I apologise, Your Honours. I think
4 I will repeat it again for the transcript.
5 65 ter 1D00-3101 will become Exhibit 1D10; 3103 will become
6 Exhibit 1D11; 3104 will become Exhibit 1D12; 3110 will become Exhibit
7 1D13; 3113 will become Exhibit 1D14; 3116 will become Exhibit 1D15; 3108
8 will become Exhibit 1D16; and 3117 will been Exhibit 1D17.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-115
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
17 And you may begin, Mr. Ossogo.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. The
19 Prosecutor would -- would like to introduce VG-115 to you this morning.
20 The witness is here before you now.
21 I was saying that the Prosecutor would like to introduce
22 Witness VG-115 to you this morning. I would like the pseudonym sheet to
23 be given to the witness.
24 Examination by Mr. Ossogo:
25 Q. Witness VG-115, alongside the letters "VG" and the numbers "115,"
1 do you recognise your name?
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 Q. Could you please also have a look at the second sheet of paper on
4 which another name is written and another pseudonym. There is a second
5 sheet of paper. And during this hearing and this testimony, you may
6 refer to this name.
7 A. I see two names way up here. It's on this first sheet of paper.
8 Q. Are you able to read it?
9 A. From the first page you mean. The lady showed me --
10 Q. No, the second page. You've already read what's on the first
11 page. I mean the second page, the one you have in front of you right
12 now. There is a name on there and a pseudonym, VG-114. That's a
13 pseudonym. It's VG-114.
14 A. Ah, yes.
15 Q. Very well. During your testimony if you need to refer to this
16 person, you will need to use the pseudonym because this person is
17 protected. Have you understood me well?
18 A. Yes. It says "Testimony of VG-114." I do apologise. I've
19 forgotten my glasses, and I cannot read the fine print properly.
20 Q. You don't have your glasses?
21 A. I haven't got my glasses here. Maybe they're in my handbag
22 outside in the room where I was sitting; but without my glasses, I cannot
23 read fine print. I do apologise for that.
24 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Your Honour, will you allow me to
25 break for a few minutes because I feel this person needs her glasses, and
1 she might need to look at a map or something, or a photograph. I
2 apologise for this interruption.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll just remain in court while she gets
4 her glasses.
5 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn but remain in court, and the
7 witness will leave to fetch her glasses.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours,
9 for having made it possible for me to get my glasses.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have it now, Mr. Ossogo. You may continue.
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I thought
12 the witness was still reading.
13 Q. Have you been able to read the first page and the second page,
14 Witness VG-115?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Very well.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I would like the usher -- I'm
18 turning to the usher. I would like her to tender these two sheets of
19 paper into evidence. Once this is done, Your Honour, I would like this
20 to be my first exhibit.
21 Q. Could you sign this sheet of paper, please.
22 A. Please, go ahead.
23 Q. Witness VG-115, the usher has now shown these sheets of paper to
24 the Defence. Now, the Chamber has ordered protective measures for you,
25 so you will be using the pseudonym that is on this sheet of paper, and
1 your face will not be seen by the general public. So please be very
2 careful when questions are put to you either by the Prosecution or by the
3 Defence to make sure that you don't disclose details that could reveal
4 your identity.
5 Witness VG-115, could you tell us what kind of education you have
7 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise. The pseudonym sheet will become
8 Exhibit P30, under seal.
9 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let me put the question to you again, Witness VG-115. Could you
11 tell the Trial Chamber what your education is?
12 A. I have completed a post-secondary school of economics.
13 Q. So you studied economics; is that right?
14 A. Yes, but for two years.
15 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I believe there are
16 breaks in the translation, and I hear the French translation with some
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you hear the last answer, Mr. Ossogo?
19 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, sir.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: She said she completed -- what she said was that
21 she completed a post-secondary school of economics. Then you asked her,
22 "You studied economics?" And she said, "Yes, for two years."
23 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Very well, sir. This is what I
24 heard with some delay, these last "two years."
25 Q. So, after you completed your studies, did you work?
1 A. I did work.
2 Q. And what kind of work did you do?
3 A. I worked for 14 years as an economist in a big company.
4 Q. Could you tell us in which municipality or commune this firm was
6 A. That firm was -- well, do I have to give you an answer? Do I
7 have to tell you in what town it was?
8 Q. Yes. Please give us the name of the town, but do not give the
9 name of the firm, please.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you are satisfied that that will not
11 disclose her identity, Mr. Ossogo? She seems to have a concern about her
12 identity. Perhaps, for that reason, we should go in private session.
13 Okay. Private session, yes.
14 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, Your Honour.
15 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Can you confirm that in 1992 you were living in that street?
20 A. I confirm that.
21 Q. At approximately the same time, were you the owner of a house
22 that was located in a different neighbourhood in the same town? Could
23 you give us the name of the street of this house?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe that should be done in private
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honour. I had
2 rather these questions were in put in private session to avoid any
4 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation].
22 Q. The curfew lasted from when to when as far as you know?
23 A. The curfew, to the best of my knowledge - well, it's been many
24 years now - lasted from 9.00 p.m. until the morning, 5.00 or 6.00 in the
1 Q. Thank you. During that year, at any point in time on the
2 Pionirska Street, did you ever come across Milan Lukic or Mitar
4 A. Many times.
5 Q. Did you see them in a car during that same time?
6 A. Mostly in a car. I saw Mitar Vasiljevic when he walked, too,
7 because he worked at this catering establishment called Panos. He worked
8 as a waiter.
9 Q. Do you remember having met Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic
10 during an incident which had to do with Kurspahic, someone going by that
12 A. I remember very well. I remember that evening very well. I saw
13 Milan Lukic, I saw Mitar Vasiljevic, and one person was lying on the back
14 seat of the car. It was a red Passat.
15 Q. Do you know who was driving this car?
16 A. It's been many years now, but, of course, I do not remember that
17 situation. It was Milan Lukic who was at the wheel driving the car.
18 Q. Did he talk to you?
19 A. I misunderstood what was going on as the car got close to me. I
20 thought that it was a car from my company.
21 Q. Did they stop at any point in time? Since you saw them, did they
22 stop to talk to you?
23 A. Yes, they stopped. Milan talked to me.
24 Q. And what did he say?
25 A. He said, "Where's your husband?"
1 Q. And what did you say?
2 A. I was frightened, perplexed. I recognised the car. I realised
3 it was Milan Lukic, and I said the truth. I said, "My husband is in
5 Q. How did he react, and how did the other two people in the car
6 react, because you said that one of these two people was Mitar
8 A. Mitar Vasiljevic recognised me right away, and Milan Lukic was
9 shocked because I mentioned the city of Obrenovac, because that's
10 actually where Milan Lukic comes from.
11 Q. Do you know why he was shocked? Was it because he came from
12 Obrenovac, or was it due to something else?
13 A. He was surprised because we met and both were from the city of
15 Q. And how did the other passengers react, the passengers sitting at
16 the back of the car; or Mitar Vasiljevic, how did he react?
17 A. The passenger stood up in the car in order to see me, and this
18 was a reaction to my words when I said that my husband had gone to
19 Obrenovac, but I could not see well. I could not recognise who was lying
20 on the back seat of the car.
21 Q. When did this happen during the day?
22 A. This was towards night. This was late in the evening at dusk,
23 and it was in the summer. It was quite hot.
24 Q. I with like to spend a few moments discussing the car. You said
25 it was a red Passat car. That's what you said to the Trial Chamber.
1 Were there several cars of this kind in Visegrad, or did you see more
2 than one?
3 A. I didn't actually observe cars much whilst I was in Visegrad
4 during the war; but during that period in Visegrad, it was only Milan
5 Lukic who drove around in a red Passat, which was not his property, in
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo, we have to take the break now. It
8 will be half of an hour.
9 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Very well.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Ossogo.
13 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Witness VG-115, just before we stopped, I asked you a question
15 about the car, the Passat red car, which was driven by Milan Lukic, with
16 Mitar Vasiljevic and a person in the back of the car. I asked you
17 whether, to your knowledge, it was the only Passat car, the only red
18 Passat car in Visegrad, and you answered.
19 Now I would like to know about the owner of the car, if you know.
20 Do you know who was the owner of the car? Because you said in your
21 answer before the break that they were not the owners of the car, that it
22 wasn't Milan Lukic who was the owner of the car. Could you let us know
23 who was the owner of the car?
24 A. The lady owner of the red Passat car was a young woman from the
25 city of Visegrad. Her name was Behija, and I cannot recall her last
2 Q. Do you know how the ownership of this car went from Ms. Behija to
3 Mr. Milan Lukic then?
4 A. From what I heard in town, as the citizens in Visegrad and
5 colleagues of my lady and gentlemen colleagues in the company, working in
6 the same company in Visegrad as I was, from what they said, the story was
7 that Milan Lukic had killed the owner of the car, her husband, and her
8 son, and then seized the vehicle, the Passat car.
9 Q. To your knowledge, would have this -- why did this woman -- why
10 was this woman killed by Milan Lukic?
11 MR. ALARID: Objection. Calls for speculation.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree. Ask another question, Mr. Ossogo.
13 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Ms. VG-115, do you know Ms. Behija, owner of the car?
15 A. I knew very well Behija, the lady owner of the Passat car, and I
16 can describe her physionomy, her face, the colour of her hair for you. I
17 entered her shop on a daily basis.
18 Q. Yes. Could you describe her, please, because that is important
19 point about this car. You say you can describe her?
20 A. Yes, I could. Behija was about as tall as I am, she had long
21 black hair which she would braid, and she was very good looking. At that
22 time, she was about 33 or 34 years old.
23 Q. Since you knew her so well, VG-115, did you ever see her drive
24 this car before you saw Milan Lukic driving it?
25 A. She was always driving this vehicle, and it was parked in front
1 of her store where she actually sold the fruit and vegetables in the
2 centre of town.
3 Q. Would you know, if possible, what was the origin of the number
4 plate of the car? Was it numbered locally or a national number or
5 anything else?
6 A. This is a slightly difficult question at this point, but let me
7 try to recall. There was a "V" and a "W" on it, and everybody in
8 Visegrad knows that car.
9 Q. You say there was a "V" and a "W." Would that be initials or the
10 beginning of initials for a local registration?
11 A. It was on the licence plates. I don't know anything further
12 about it. Many years have passed.
13 Q. Thank you very much, VG-115.
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. I would now like to come back to Milan Lukic and what they did
16 after seeing you. What was the direction where they were heading to? I
17 would -- before that, I would like to know how you know Milan Lukic.
18 A. I know Milan Lukic because he came to the company where I worked,
19 where I was employed.
20 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go in
21 private session, please, because some information --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
14 Q. I'd like now to ask you about the residence of Mr. Milan Lukic.
15 Do you know where he lived, Mr. Milan Lukic, in Visegrad?
16 A. Milan Lukic was born in the village of Rujiste near Visegrad; and
17 during the war actions, he actually installed himself in somebody else's
18 family home where he accommodated himself together with his mother,
19 father, and brother. Of course, that was in Pionirska Street.
20 Q. Could you tell us who was the owner of this family house in which
21 Milan Lukic lived?
22 A. The proprietor of the family home where Milan Lukic resided was
23 Huso, a police officer; and, I'm sorry, I cannot recall his last name.
24 Q. And this gentleman Huso, was he also living in the same house?
25 A. No, he did not. I haven't -- don't know anything about that man,
1 whether he's still alive, whether he managed to escape from the town of
2 Visegrad. I don't know anything about him or his family or what became
3 of him.
4 Q. Do you know whether Milan Lukic was living with other people, or
5 was he living alone in that house?
6 A. In that house, Milan Lukic - the house which belonged to Huso,
7 that is - lived with his mother, Kata Lukic; with his father, Mile Lukic;
8 and with his brother, Gojko Lukic.
9 Q. Did you know the three people you've just mentioned, the mother
10 of Milan Lukic, his father, his brother? Did you know them?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. Could you specify exactly, according to your knowledge, where was
13 the house occupied by Milan Lukic?
14 A. The house was atop Pionirska Street. It was not a newly built
16 Q. I know you already said so, but I would like you to confirm what
17 you saw on the street. Mr. Milan Lukic, you saw him regularly in the
19 A. I encountered Milan Lukic and normally also his mother and his
20 father, because Visegrad is a small town. (redacted)
1 Q. We will come back on the points which relate to the
2 identification of Milan Lukic. Now I'd like to go to a moment when you
3 met Milan Lukic in the red car, in the red Passat. I'd like to know,
4 after asking you a question and you answered (redacted)
7 (redacted) He was shocked. How come that I should now be
8 talking about Obrenovac. He was surprised. He stared at me, and I
9 stared back at him. (redacted)
10 (redacted) That's it.
11 Q. And where did they go after having questioned you?
12 A. They stopped for a short while, and they stopped another woman -
13 she was a young woman - and they inquired with her husband. That was the
14 Simsic family. The lady responded, "My husband is doing something in the
16 Q. You know what happened to this woman?
17 A. The lady was of Serb ethnicity and her husband was of Serb
18 ethnicity, and nothing happened.
19 Q. And, later on, where did Milan Lukic and the other people head
20 for, the two others?
21 A. They descended down the street in which we had met, this is a
22 small side-street, and they made one circle or a U-turn, and then they
23 stopped in front on the Kurspahics' house. The Kurspahics were the owner
24 of that house.
25 Q. And who were the Kurspahic? Did you know them?
1 A. I knew them very well. There was an old woman there and her
2 husband, also an elderly man, and I knew them both very well.
3 Q. Do you know roughly their age?
4 A. They were very old, in their 80s perhaps.
5 Q. Do you know where they came from and what were their ethnicity?
6 A. They were from the village of Koritnik, quite near the city of
7 Visegrad. They built a large house there, a three-storey house. They
8 had four sons and a daughter.
9 Q. After Milan Lukic and the two other people and the unknown person
10 you mentioned stopped in front of the house of the Kurspahic, what
12 A. They got out. They took a torch or light in order to illuminate
13 the entrance to the house. First, they climbed up the stairs to the
15 Q. You're talking about attic of the house of the Kurspahic, are
17 A. I'm talking about attic of the Kurspahics' house, yes.
3 (redacted) or what was going on in the
4 Kurspahic house? Did you see anything?
5 A. They were searching the house, all three of them, illuminating
6 their way as they went around with their torches, and then they came up
7 to the first floor; (redacted)
9 (redacted) So they turned on the light, and I could see the figure of the
10 old lady as she was standing there and her husband was sitting.
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think we could go
12 back in a public hearing, an open hearing, now that these indications
13 have been given.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
16 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So you therefore observed from your house what was happening in
18 the house of the -- those people. You saw the couple, Kurspahic. Did
19 you also see Milan Lukic? Did you see them, the others?
20 A. All three of them were inside, and their uniforms and weapons
21 could be seen. The windows were very large. The house itself is very
22 large and so are its windows.
23 Q. Did they not use a torch at a given moment when they were in the
25 A. No. They actually turned on the lights, the normal room lights,
1 and they switched it on; and they used the battery, the torch, while we
2 were outside and while they were climbing up the stairs to that room.
3 Q. Thank you. And what were you able to observe? What was going on
4 when they found the Kurspahic couple in the house?
5 A. First, there was a racket, there was a noise. They were
6 questioning the old man and the old woman where their sons were. Milan
7 Lukic could have not known that they had four sons, but Mitar Vasiljevic
8 was there to come to his assistance.
9 Q. And from where you were, you could hear what they were saying
10 because the two houses were only seven metres apart, as you said. Is
11 that true?
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 Q. I haven't heard your answer, ma'am.
14 A. Excuse me?
15 Q. I haven't heard your answer.
16 A. You asked me whether I could hear the noise because the two
17 houses -- of the distance between the two houses. I did hear the noise,
18 but it was all very brief.
19 Q. What happened to the Kurspahic couple after while Milan Lukic was
20 in the house with the two others?
21 A. They opened bursts of fire which reverberated terribly, and I was
22 shocked. I couldn't believe it. This was the first time in my entire
23 life that I had seen a brutal murder of old people. The old lady was
24 screaming. First, they killed her husband, the old man, and she was
25 screaming, and then they killed her and there was no screaming then. And
1 all this lasted between five and six minutes.
2 Q. When you say that you heard reverberations or -- what do you
3 actually mean? Are you thinking of the weapons they were holding or
4 anything else?
5 A. I am talking about the fact that all three of them shot, opened
6 fire at the same time. They had machine-guns. It was terrible. It was
7 so loud. It was thundering noise. I was shocked, I was terrified, and
8 the lights were still on in the room. But this was all over a very, very
9 short period of time.
10 Q. The next day after this incident, after this murder, did you pass
11 in front of the house of the Kurspahic since they were your neighbours?
12 A. I did not hear your question very well.
13 Q. The next day after what you just described, the following day.
14 A. The next day, in the morning, I had to go that way. The door was
15 also open. It remained open, the door to the house.
16 Q. And what could you see?
17 A. Bodies could be seen, the bodies of the old man and woman. I
18 passed by quickly. I wanted to delete that image from my mind. I didn't
19 want that to be true, but, unfortunately, it was. I was so sorry.
20 One of the sons, the younger one, also worked in my company.
21 Q. I know this is difficult for you because of the trauma you
22 experienced yourself. Can you remember how the bodies were placed if you
23 walked by? The two bodies which you saw, what was exactly their
25 A. I could see the legs basically. I passed by very quickly. They
1 did not show any signs of life. They could not have survived that, three
2 bursts of gunfire. They could not. They lay there dead.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, because of the
4 information the witness should give us now, could we go back into private
5 session, please.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
1 A. Nearby, below the house, there were two schools, nearby. There
2 were two schools and a big schoolyard, too.
3 Q. If you can remember, what was the name of the house [as
4 interpreted]? Could you let us know?
5 A. Are you referring to the school or the house?
6 Q. I'm talking about the house -- that house [as interpreted] which
7 was close to that house.
8 A. There were two schools. One was called Vuk Karadzic and the
9 other was called Hasan Veletovac. (redacted)
11 Q. Witness VG-115, the interpreter did not hear clearly the name of
12 the second school. Did you say Hasan? Could you repeat, please, for
14 A. One was Vuk Karadzic. The second school was called Hasan
16 Q. Thank you very much. (redacted)
17 to the best of your memory, could -- can you remember the incident which
18 happened there? In particular, there was a house which was torched, and
19 many people died in the fire. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, I do remember that.
21 Q. Do you remember approximately in which period, what time this
22 incident took place?
23 A. I remember approximately. I do apologise. I'm not able to give
24 you the exact date. But it was a workday because I was working on that
25 day, and I was coming back from work. The incident took place two weeks
1 after the Kurspahic incident in mid-June. Once again, I do apologise if
2 I cannot give you the exact date. That was in the month of June. The
3 women who survived can tell you the exact date.
4 Q. According to your knowledge, around which period did the murder
5 of the Kurspahic take place? What month, roughly?
6 A. It was in the beginning of June.
7 Q. At the beginning of June?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you tell us that the incident which took place in Pionirska
10 where many people died in the fire happened more or less in mid-June, is
11 that so?
12 A. That would be right.
13 Q. Very well. Would it be fair to say that this incident where
14 people died took place about two weeks after the murder of the Kurspahic?
15 MR. ALARID: Objection, Your Honour, leading.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: You cannot lead on matters of substance,
17 Mr. Ossogo.
18 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I will reformulate my question -- I
19 withdraw my question, Your Honour.
20 Q. Could you now describe what happened and what you witnessed in
21 this incident which you just mentioned?
22 A. It's a long, long story. I wish we had the right photographs,
23 but you do have survivors who can try to paint the picture for you. I
24 will try to describe this to you, but that is just a small thing. Milan
25 Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, and all the other members of Milan's group. I
1 couldn't about there. It was night time. It was during the time of the
2 curfew. They were setting people on fire, killing them. However, I can
3 tell you what I saw in Pionirska Street, how they gathered them and how
4 they took them away.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness VG-115, I'm asking you precisely to describe what you saw
10 where you were.
11 A. From where I was -- well, it was in after, between 4.00 and 5.00
12 in the afternoon. So I was going --
13 MR. CEPIC: I apologise for interrupting, but I am aware of the
14 people in this courtroom who speak B/C/S, and I think that the witness
15 mentioned -- we can check it because witness doesn't speak -- could the
16 witness put off the headphones just to raise something which --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is it? Tell me what it is you want before
18 I --
19 MR. CEPIC: It is a wrong translation in the transcript. She
20 said something which is not in transcript.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what is that?
22 MR. CEPIC: That it was a curfew, it was night, and she couldn't
23 see some main parts. We can listen the tape in any case to check,
24 page 79.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let me just ask the witness.
1 Witness, did you say that it was a curfew, it was night, and you
2 couldn't see?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. Perhaps I was
4 speaking a bit too fast when I was speaking. I am going to start out now
5 by saying what it was I saw during the course of the day and who I came
7 When I was in Pionirska Street, I saw Sredoje Lukic in uniform.
8 He was pushing three persons in front of him. I saw Milan Lukic armed.
9 There were a lot of people in the street, mostly old people, old men and
10 women. For the most part, it was women and children. It was a column of
11 people. I myself did not know what this meant and where they were taking
12 them through Pionirska Street. It was noisy. There were a lot of armed
13 men. There were men and women from neighbouring villages. On the left
14 and right-hand side of the street, they were dragging people out and
15 taking them up Pionirska Street, from the centre of town up Pionirska
17 There was no shooting in the street. There was noise, clamour.
18 People were being pushed. There was a mass of people there, many people,
19 over 60 people.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please.
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness VG-115, I have to interrupt you a moment. We followed
23 this statement or this description, this preliminary description of the
24 event. I would like to come back on certain identification points which
25 are essential.
1 You said that you had seen Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic and
2 other people, other persons. Could you give us, as much as your memory
3 will allow, the names of the other people who were accompanying Milan
4 Lukic and Sredoje Lukic in this operation, if I may say?
5 A. Yes. I saw Jovo Lipovac. I can describe him for you. He is a
6 short man, baldish, very short. I saw Gojko Lukic, Milan Lukic's
7 brother. He's Milan Lukic's older brother. I saw Slobodan Roncevic, a
8 young man. He seemed to be tall. Originally, he hailed from Montenegro,
9 and he was studying in Novi Sad. I saw the old Mitar Vasiljevic who had
10 died a natural death. I knew him very well. He didn't have an eye. I
11 saw Planincic, the policeman. Razinoda was his nickname. He was thin
12 and tall. I saw Caruga. That was his nickname. I don't know his name
13 and surname. I can describe him. He had acne on his face, and he always
14 wore leather gloves with the fingers open. I saw Zoran. I can't
15 remember (redacted)
20 Q. Thank you, VG-115. These people whose names you have mentioned,
21 according to what you said, you said that these people were supervising
22 the civilians and those people on the Pionirska road.
23 A. Yes. They were helping to have people grouped in a column so
24 that they could line them all up and take them along Pionirska Street on
25 the left-hand and the right-hand side. People were afraid because the
1 members of Milan's group were all armed. They had rifles, grenades.
2 That's the way they walked around all the time, in uniform, unshaven,
3 dishevelled. I was afraid of them, too.
4 Q. Could you tell us how Milan Lukic was dressed, first of all, and
5 then tell us how Sredoje Lukic was dressed, please?
6 A. Milan Lukic, well, I saw his trousers. He had a uniform. Please
7 don't hold this against me, it's been many years now. Milan Lukic looked
8 very nice when he was young. He was not very old, Milan. I'd say that
9 he was 24 or 25, not more than that. He was tall and thin. He looked
10 very nice. He was armed then, had a lot of weapons. Milan was about
11 seven or eight metres away from me on the other side. I was not of any
12 interest to him at that moment.
13 One woman managed to flee from that column. She went towards
14 town. I believe that she lives to this day. She recognised me, and I
15 recognised her.
16 Q. You mention this woman. Could you give us her name, please? And
17 what's become of her, do you know?
18 A. The woman went in the direction of town. Her name is Hanka
19 Cosic. She also lived for many years in Pionirska Street with her
20 husband and two children. Her husband was killed in Visegrad;
21 Ms. Hanka's husband, that is.
22 Q. Did Milan Lukic tell him [as interpreted] something while he was
23 assembling the group of civilians up mentioned? Did Milan Lukic say
24 anything to this woman?
25 A. Milan Lukic was making noise, shouting at everyone. He was
1 shouting after her, too; however, luckily for her, she didn't pay any
2 tension. She went in the direction of town, so she got out of Pionirska
3 Street. They were leading people up Pionirska Street; whereas, she went
4 down towards the centre.
5 Q. You said also that you saw Sredoje Lukic. Could you describe --
6 A. I can describe him. I can describe Sredoje Lukic. Sredoje Lukic
7 was in front of the Smajic house. There is this big terrace there where
8 I was supposed to go. I was supposed to pass that way, and he was taking
9 three people in front of himself. He was in camouflage uniform, he was
10 armed, and he had some stocking on his head.
11 Q. After having assembled these people, what did Milan Lukic do
12 after that from your vantage point? What did you -- what were you able
13 to see until?
19 Below the terrace, there are two garages. There was silence, and
20 all of a sudden -- well, it was already dark. All of a sudden, there was
21 a lot of gunfire that was heard, a lot of screaming that was heard, a big
22 explosion. Everybody had to hear that. The entire neighbourhood had to
23 hear that, all of Pionirska Street. Perhaps it was heard all the way
24 down to the centre of town. Soon smoke could be seen. I could see that
25 from all sides, from all windows. Ahead, in front, on the sides, you
1 could see smoke. You could see fire. The smoke had a bad smell.
2 I know that I was running around the house like a mad woman from
3 one window to the other. We had been ordered to keep rooms dark, not to
4 turn on lights; whereas, I was looking in all directions.
5 There was a loud fire. There was smoke billowing up in the air.
6 There was explosions. Lots of shots could be heard.
7 They had planned for that day. It had all been prepare. They
8 could not have rounded up the people, that many people, such large crowd
9 in a matter of five minutes.
10 Q. Thank you. You have described to us already what happened to
11 these people, but could you tell us what happened after they were led
12 down the Pionirska Street? Were they led up or down the street? The
13 plumes of smoke that you saw came from which direction?
22 Q. And you have told us that you saw the flames.
23 A. Yes. One could see flames, high flames, and the smoke billowing
24 up in the air; and everything could be heard because there was such a
25 loud noise, such a loud explosion, sound of explosions.
1 Q. You saw the flames. What distance was there from where you were
2 and where the flames and the smoke was coming from approximately?
3 A. There is a cross-street leading there, and there is the distance
4 as the crow flies. I cannot tell the exact distance. I know where the
5 two houses, each one of them, were. There was a byroad, a detour, in
6 this settlement. So the distance could have been under a hundred metres,
7 actually. That's in my estimation.
8 Q. Thank you. And what did you do after that, after having seen all
9 you saw which you have just described to us?
10 A. That night I remained in that house. I walked around. There was
11 still smoke going up in the air. It reeked. One could smell this
12 strange smell in the air.
13 Previously, I had the occasion to sense the smell of houses
14 burning, the woodwork of the houses and such, but this time you could
15 smell the smell of human flesh burning. So that night I just remain in
16 the house. There was nothing I could do. There was nowhere I could go.
17 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I see that it is a
18 quarter to 2.00. I need just a few extra minutes to finish off on this
20 Q. As far as you know, were there any survivors after massacre, if
21 one can call it that?
22 A. According to what people said and according to what I saw the
23 next morning, my next door neighbour was taking some water in a plastic
24 bucket that would have been there. There probably were some survivors;
25 but later when I talked to some people in Sarajevo, from what I -- what I
1 heard from them was that two witnesses had survived. I also learned that
2 a small baby, three or four days old, had also been burned.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just say something, please?
16 Just one word?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise to you.
19 Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic and all the members cannot refute this.
20 They cannot say that this did not happen. They cannot say that they did
21 not do this. I didn't do that. My family didn't do that. The other
22 neighbours did not do that. This was done by the Lukic cousins with
23 their members.
24 If you bring the surviving witnesses, they will prove this much
25 better than my tears. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. We will adjourn now until
2 tomorrow morning at 10 minutes to 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day
5 of August, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.