1 Thursday, 28 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.57 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness be brought in.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo, you have some matters to raise.
9 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, just a small
10 question. I already spoke to our colleagues from the Defence concerning
11 Mr. Alarid. It's a motion which we filed on the 18th of August to admit
12 certain documents and we still don't have a decision on this motion and
13 in this motion there was a document to help both the Chamber and the
14 Defence to the proposal to go and see the place. We had announced that
15 during the -- this paper we call 360 degrees - waiting for the decision
16 on this motion I would like to note if I can use some pictures of this
17 programme. They have been taken at Bikavac and the witness will tell us
18 exactly where it was. Therefore, I spoke to my colleagues of the Defence
19 and they didn't oppose this.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
21 I see no objection to your using it.
22 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't call the witness yet.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
1 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness be called.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Ossogo.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-115 [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Ossogo: [Continued]
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness VG-115.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Did you sleep well?
25 A. I slept well for a couple of hours. Thank you.
1 Q. Very well. So I see you will be up to answering the last
2 questions I have to ask you in this case. I'd like to come back on the
3 events concerning the torching which took place in the Pionirska Street
4 and for this, Mr. President, could we go into private session because of
5 the information which shouldn't be made public?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
7 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
1 where you observed the flames, fire.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Then could you put an arrow, mark an arrow, on the
4 Pionirska Street, a few centimetres, perhaps 5 centimetres, to show
5 Pionirska Street. If you remember --
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you. Could you indicate at what place you saw the smoke.
8 Where was the smoke coming out from? If you don't remember, never mind.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could this be
12 admitted for the Prosecution?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is admitted as P31,
15 Exhibit P31.
16 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, perhaps
17 it would be useful to know what was the house which was torched. Maybe
18 you could ask the witness what was the house which was torched. Thank
20 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Witness VG-115, could you indicate, in case you know, which was
22 the house which was torched and where you saw all the smoke coming from
23 and the fire and the flames which you saw.
24 A. On the screen or on the photograph?
25 Q. On the photograph, please.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Now, Mr. President, we shall
4 continue our questions about the incident in Pionirska Street.
5 Q. Witness VG-115, the next day after the fire took place in the
6 Pionirska Street, did Milan Lukic visit you, (redacted)
9 Q. What was his appearance? How was he dressed?
10 A. Milan wore a camouflage uniform; he was armed, as always; and he
11 had a bandaged hand, one of his hands had a bandage.
12 Q. Do you remember which hand had this bandage?
13 A. I do not remember. Certainly it was only one hand. I'm sorry,
14 but I can't remember which.
15 Q. Right. Did he explain to anybody why he was wearing this
17 A. Well, normally people asked him, What's that with your hand? And
18 Milan answered, I injured my hand last night.
19 Q. When you say "people," do you remember who he spoke to in the
21 A. Everybody there knew Milan, both the men and the women. I knew
22 him personally also but I never asked him about his hand, so I could not
23 tell the Court what had happened to his hand but he said himself that he
24 had injured it on the previous night.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 Witness VG-115, we shall now speak of another incident, an
2 incident which happened before that. In 1992, I would like to ask you if
3 you remember that Milan's group (redacted) and pushed out
4 Muslims, asked Muslims to quit --
5 MR. ALARID: Your Honours, I would object that this is leading.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You cannot lead on matters of this kind. It is
7 leading. Reformulate.
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Did it happen in 1992 that Milan Lukic (redacted)
10 MR. ALARID: Objection, leading.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll allow that. He can ask whether Milan Lukic
13 What he did, just ask what he did when he came there.
14 Give the answer first. Witness, did Milan Lukic (redacted)
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milan Lukic (redacted)
17 often, but one day, as the gentleman mentioned in his question, they were
18 making plans. (redacted) I saw
19 a convoy of cars and people (redacted) and they wanted to
20 take away (redacted) There were
21 women and men alike. (redacted)
22 (redacted) and I was able to warn many people to
23 hide anywhere, that something bad was going on, and I felt that they
24 would be taken away (redacted)
1 (redacted) But Milan Lukic was able to find
2 three (redacted) and take them away. (redacted)
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you.
6 You must take over from here, Mr. Ossogo.
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. When Mr. Milan Lukic arrived with his group, did he speak to you
9 or did one of the members of his group speak to you?
10 A. It was a long time ago and I don't remember well, but somebody
11 (redacted) and shouted and asked questions about where the
12 other people were. It's -- they seemed to suspect me, but it was my duty
13 to protect those people. They were not armed and they -- without any
14 protection. They were simply doing their jobs. They were not active in
15 politics. And they needed shelter, they needed to be saved, (redacted)
17 When they were taken to the cars and driven away, soon after that
18 we heard shots and I suspected that they were killed on the new bridge
19 over the Drina, the newly built bridge. It was at day-time,
20 unfortunately, they never even respected the curfew. They didn't care
21 whether it was night or day, whether people would see or hear them or
22 not. They would go about their business at any time. (redacted)
5 (redacted) I soon understood that in the town of
6 Visegrad among the Muslim population much injustice had been done to
7 them. They were people who did not take part in the war. They were
8 civilians, unprotected people, elderly people, women, girls, children.
9 The Lukics did not fight for their territory, the Serbian republic. They
10 were making massacres, killing innocent population. In June, July,
11 August, after that there was no single Muslim left in Visegrad, no
12 children, no elderly people. I'm sorry, I'm sitting here without being
13 able to prove that with photographs. There were shootings, executions,
14 every day on the Drina after 3.00 in the afternoon. Over a hundred men
15 from the Varda company from town, from the surrounding villages, on a
16 daily basis. The Drina was all foamy with blood --
17 Q. I have to stop you there. Thank you very much, Witness VG-115.
18 I have to stop you there. We will continue the examination on one
19 specific aspect which you observed concerning the activities of
20 Milan Lukic and his cousin, that was the torching at Bikavac. Was there
21 a fire in the area of Bikavac to your knowledge and what year was that?
22 A. That also happened in late June 1992, after the incident in
23 Pionirska Street, after the great massacre in the house of Adem Omeragic
24 and there was a huge massacre in Bikavac in the house of Meho Aljic, (redacted)
1 Q. Could you describe what you observed in this incident?
2 A. Yes, I can. It was in the afternoon. I was -- I cared much
3 about my family house in which I was left alone. And I cared a lot about
4 the old married couple, the Subasics (redacted)
5 Pasan and Aisa Subasic. Their houses were (redacted) nearby in Bikavac.
6 (redacted) Those two --
7 that elderly couple were left alone. They were over 80 years of age and
8 I went to see them often to be -- to bring them some food because you
9 couldn't buy anything. All the shops were closed, you couldn't go to any
10 shop and buy anything. And on that day I went to my house which had been
11 newly furbished to -- for living in. (redacted)
12 (redacted) I went to my house to fetch some coffee,
13 sugar and washing powder to take them to that elderly couple to help
14 them. Before that, I met them and they told me how they were hiding
15 because they were living in a newly built building. There was also a
16 wartime shelter there, and they were saying, We've been hiding for days
17 in your house with many neighbours from the neighbourhood.
18 Upon returning from my house I saw a convoy of vehicles. They
19 couldn't reach the houses because the road was, or rather, the street was
20 very narrow, not wide enough for cars to pass. I recognised
21 Milan Lukic's car and the cars of other members of his groups. They had
22 taken those cars from Muslims. There were many cars and many people, and
23 there were many people from Gostilja who I recognised and they were all
24 being taken to the house of Meho Aljic, (redacted)
25 (redacted) And then I went to a small orchard, on
1 the right-hand side there were plum trees, small plum trees.
13 Now, Mr. Ossogo, Mr. Ossogo.
14 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have different approaches to how witnesses
16 are to be led. I don't particularly favour the narrative approach, where
17 a witness goes on and on and on and on. I'd much rather the approach
18 where counsel asks the witness a question, the witness answers shortly,
19 and then another question is asked. I also believe that in this case
20 that approach would have an additional advantage in relation to a witness
21 who is obviously distraught.
22 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
23 In fact, I wanted to interrupt the witness, but there can be a
24 consequence which is that the logic of the ideas -- the witness is indeed
25 traumatised, as you may have noticed more than once, and several times
1 since she arrived here we have been in private session and outside this
2 chamber we noticed that the witness was distressed and maybe this could
3 have consequences on her health and have a problem about what she wants
4 to say. But I agree with you that this approach -- another approach
5 would be better to have the proper answers.
6 Now the narrative is finished, I could ask questions.
7 Q. Thank you, Witness VG-115, for what you've just said. Could we
8 come back on one aspect what you observed before we go on. Could you
9 indicate to us where you were when the group of Milan Lukic went to the
10 house of Mr. Meho, did you say, Meho Aljic?
12 (redacted) from where did you
13 see the arrival of the -- the entry of the group of Milan Lukic as you
15 A. They were standing on this very narrow road in front of me. If
16 you have photographs, I can show you that road. They were standing in
17 front of me. There was no way I could bypass them.
18 Q. You spoke about a photograph. We are going to come to that. Did
19 you recognise the members of that group?
20 A. I could recognise the members of the group because I had come to
21 know them very well (redacted) Among them there
22 were also citizens of Visegrad.
23 Q. Could you give their names?
24 A. I shall do my best to remember them all. Milan Lukic was there,
25 Sredoje Lukic, so Milan Lukic with his father, Mile; with his brother
1 Gojko Lukic; then Niko Vujicic was there, a policeman in the town of
2 Visegrad; Veljko Planincic, a police officer in the town of Visegrad who
3 was called Razinoda; then Radoje Simsic (redacted) an
4 elderly man was also there; Oliver Krsmanovic who was a haulier from
5 Visegrad was also there; Caruga from Pljevlja was there, I don't know his
6 first and last names; then Slobodan Roncevic was there (redacted)
7 (redacted) he
8 was a student from Novi Sad who hailed from Montenegro. Then there was
9 Mitar whom -- Mitar Vasiljevic, Mitar -- the senior Mitar; then there was
10 Knezevic who didn't have an eye; there was Zoran from the vicinity of
11 Belgrade from Ostruznica; then there was -- whether he was Vasiljevic or
12 Simsic I don't know for sure but I know him well and I can recognise him
13 well. There are other members of Lukic's group whose names I cannot
14 remember but whom I could recognise.
15 Q. What did they do after that? You saw them and what did they do?
16 A. I went to the right side. There was a small fence which I could
17 go over to go into a plum orchard. This path I could take in order to
18 avoid the road. They were taking the people to Meho Aljic's house.
19 There were people from the village of Gostilja whom I recognised there.
21 (redacted) I don't know
22 what his name was, an elderly man. They were pulling the door of the
23 garage of Meho Aljic's house and they actually blocked the house door
24 with the garage door, they placed it under the window of the living-room
25 which was facing the road.
1 I could make out very well (redacted) who
2 entered the house of Meho Aljic among the last people to enter. Milan
3 was shouting and yelling at them and these were the last people I
4 remember --
5 Q. I have to interrupt you, Witness VG-115. I would like to ask
6 you, at that stage did you see people who were obliged, forced, to go
7 into this house of Meho Aljic?
8 A. Yes, I did see them.
9 Q. Could you identify them for the Bench, as far as you can
11 A. I can recall well. Do I have to say all the names of this
12 family, of the members of this family right now?
13 Q. If you could, please.
15 It was the Turjacanin family, Djulka Turjacanin; her daughter
16 Zehra Turjacanin --
17 Q. I have to interrupt you again. I gave you a sheet of paper
18 yesterday and the second sheet of paper had a pseudonym. The first name
19 you mentioned is VG-114.
20 A. Can I proceed?
21 Q. You may continue.
22 A. So it is the Turjacanin family. Djulka Turjacanin; VG-114,
23 Zehra Turjacanin, I'm not quite sure what her married last name is; and a
24 small daughter of Djulka Turjacanin (redacted) and she
25 was mentally challenged, she couldn't think properly and she couldn't
1 speak properly, she was 10 at that time. I have forgotten the child's
2 name. And Zehra Turjacanin also had a small child who was there and this
3 was the last family to enter the house of Meho Aljic.
4 Q. Yes, we'll pause here, VG-114 is Zehra Turjacanin and not Djulka.
5 Could the transcript please be corrected?
6 You may continue and give the names of the people which you saw
7 forced to go into the house of Meho Aljic.
8 A. I'm sorry, I did not quite understand the question. I was
9 focusing on VG-114 and therefore I didn't quite get to your question.
10 Would you please be so kind as to ask me again.
11 Q. Yes, certainly --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
13 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, just one technical issue, do we have
14 redaction of the name here because it would be in public, this VG-114
15 is --
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are still in private session.
17 MR. CEPIC: Okay, because it is protected witness and we have a
18 full name now in the transcript.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are in private session.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, we are in private session.
21 MR. CEPIC: I apologise.
22 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yes, Witness VG-115. I will repeat my question. Could you
24 please continue and give us the names of the families you knew and who
25 were forced to go into the house of Meho Aljic. You mentioned the chief
1 of the family, you mentioned VG-114. So please could you continue and
2 give us the names of the people you recognised and who were forced into
3 that house.
4 A. I've stated -- no, these were mostly people from Gostilja. I
5 have stated the names of the Murtic's family. These people lived in the
6 surrounding villages and I couldn't remember their names. I didn't know
7 their names, but I did know the Turjacanin family very well (redacted)
8 (redacted) So of the Turjacanins there
9 were four female members of that family and a child, Dzehva Turjacanin's
11 Q. Thank you. So all these people were forced to enter into Meho's
12 house by the Lukic's group, and then what happened after that?
13 A. After that while they were pulling this garage door, I suppose
14 that they would be setting the house on fire and that indeed happened.
15 So I took this cross path via this plum orchard to come to the main road.
16 I was descending down towards the town. I had no more time to drop in on
17 the two elderly people, the elderly couple with the little bag that I was
18 carrying. The protected witness and these other Turjacanin persons whom
19 I mentioned they all saw me personally as I was entering the orchard
20 which belonged -- the land belonged to Medo Mulahasic.
21 Q. Do you know Mr. Mulahasic or members of his family?
22 A. Yes, I knew him very well.
23 Q. Around this house or next to his house were there other relatives
24 of his that were living there, could you tell us?
25 A. Medo lived in Medo Mulahasic's house, as well as his wife Sevala,
1 as well as their two daughters, the name of one was Hanka and I forgot
2 the name of the other daughter. These girls were married and he also had
3 two sons who lived in Serbia. So Medo and Sevala Mulahasic lived alone
4 because their children had scattered every which way and the elderly
5 married couple lived alone. But on that day I did not see Sevala or
6 Medo Mulahasic. Later, I saw an incident in town involving
7 Medo Mulahasic.
8 Q. VG-114 [as interpreted], among the people who were forced to
9 enter Meho Aljic's house was a person that you said that was in that
10 group. So do you know whether he lived close to Meho's house or can you
11 tell us where he lived exactly?
12 A. Very near.
13 Q. I will now give you a map which you asked for, and that way
14 you'll be able to show us on the map where is Meho Aljic's house, where
15 this event occurred, this dramatic event occurred. (redacted)
11 Pages 707-711 redacted. Private session.
9 Q. Witness VG-115, I would now like to ask you the following. After
10 these people were forced to enter into Meho's house, Meho Aljic's house,
11 from where you stood and where you were observing things, what exactly
12 did you hear or see afterwards? You told us about shots; isn't that
14 A. I could see how they were throwing bottles filled with petrol and
15 set afire and I could see them firing bursts of fire toward the window,
16 and they were throwing, very energetically, hand-grenades. And then I
17 had to go away, I had no time to call on the elderly couple. I went
18 toward the town centre. I was walking down the street in Bikavac. There
19 was much noise, there were explosions, and they were doing the same thing
20 as in Pionirska, but at Bikavac I was able to see it with my own eyes.
21 And I stand behind my statement, I back it up fully.
22 Q. Thank you. When you started describing that incident you gave us
23 the name of people who were forced to enter this house. I would like to
24 ask you whether after this event you ever met these people again. Do you
25 know what happened to them?
1 A. Since that event, I haven't met anyone of the Turjacanin family.
2 I met a man from the Murtic family. He came to see me and told me more
3 about that incident. I had seen his wife and his mother and his uncle.
4 What the -- I never met anyone from the Turjacanin family again.
5 Q. You say that you met a relative of the Murtic family, a man, who
6 told you about the incident. What did he say exactly?
7 A. He said to me that in the house that belonged to Meho Aljic his
8 mother, his wife, and his uncle had burned and that he had escaped from
9 the village of Gostilja, that they didn't find him at his home. He also
10 told me what he had heard, that there was a surviving witness, a woman
11 from the Turjacanin family. I'm very glad that she survived that
13 Q. Thank you. When you say that you are glad she survived, who are
14 you talking about exactly?
15 A. Am I free to mention her name now so I don't create a mess? Can
16 I mention the name of this survivor?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We are in private session? Yes, yes, it
18 may be mentioned.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The survivor is Zehra Turjacanin,
20 she was a girl of about 23 then. I know her very well. She had long
21 hair and was a pretty girl. (redacted)
11 Pages 714-715 redacted. Private session.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness VG-115, I have a few questions to ask before we are done
5 with this Bikavac incident. Earlier you said that Milan Lukic was
6 yelling, yelling at these people that he had forced into Meho Aljic's
7 house. He was yelling, but were you able to make anything of what he was
9 A. He was shouting at them to make them enter the house faster
10 because people resisted, especially the Turjacanin family.
11 Q. You're saying that he was shouting, was he just screaming or was
12 he uttering words; and if he was uttering any words, do you remember what
13 these words were?
14 A. No, Milan Lukic never said anything to me. He was shouting at
15 the people who he wanted to make enter Meho Aljic's house.
16 Q. Thank you. Then you say that he threw flammable products into
17 the house as well as hand-grenades. What were these flammable products,
19 A. Well, to the extent that I could see, they had something like
20 bottles filled with gasoline or some flammable material; and the
21 hand-grenades were like, you know, those small hand-grenades that made a
22 lot of noise.
23 Q. But were you able to identify who was doing this amongst that
25 A. Well, the members of his group, although Milan was most
1 prominent. I had very little time. I didn't dare stay on longer.
2 Q. I understand you well, but you are saying that Milan was leading
3 the group. I'm sorry that I ask. Could you tell us exactly what he did.
4 You said that he was -- he opened the garage, he was yelling at these
5 people who were forced into that house and who lost their lives in the
6 house later on, but were you able to see anything else that he did?
7 A. Milan was dragging the metal garage door which was put against
8 the main door of the house. The garage was actually part of the house.
9 They leaned that garage door against the door of the house to prevent the
10 people from coming out. I could see all that from my vantage point.
11 Q. Thank you. So he did this to prevent the people from getting out
12 of the house, and it was after that that the hand-grenades were thrown.
13 Was he one of the people throwing the hand-grenades?
14 A. There was several of them, but Milan was in charge. He stood out
15 and it was his voice that could be heard most, and I wasn't glad -- it
16 wasn't at all pleasant for me to stand there and witness all that. I
17 knew what was happening and I couldn't help anyone, it wasn't in my
19 Q. Regarding Sredoje Lukic, could you give us some details as to
20 what he did exactly during this incident. What exactly did he do? You
21 told us what Milan Lukic was doing, but could you tell us what Sredoje
22 was doing?
23 A. Sredoje Lukic also shouted at the people, pushed them around, and
24 helped Milan to drag the metal garage door to the entrance door. And he
25 was also intimidating the people, so he was -- he wore a Balaclava not to
1 be recognised, because he was a police officer in the town of Visegrad so
2 everybody knew him.
3 Q. You already said that you knew him personally?
4 A. I knew Sredoje Lukic personally. He in time of -- in times of
5 peace he was a very kind person.
6 Q. Then when the war started he changed; is that what you're trying
7 to say?
8 A. When the war began, Sredoje changed a lot. He was a married man,
9 a family man, with three children, his wife was Vicenka [phoen]. As far
10 as I know, no family member of his was killed. He had no reason to
11 behave that way.
12 Q. Thank you. All these people you mentioned who were locked up in
13 Meho Aljic's house, were they all civilians? You said that you knew
14 them. Were they locals from the village?
15 A. The people were all civilians. Nobody was armed or wore any kind
16 of uniform. They were all regular citizens, civilians.
17 Q. I would now like to talk about an incident, another incident, the
18 one that has to do with Mr. Gojko Lukic. You said that it is Lukic's
19 brother, you identify him as such and you identify him as being -- as
20 living with Lukic in the Pionirska house also with his parents. Was this
21 person married?
22 A. Well, according to the words of Gojko Lukic himself, he was
23 married, his wife lived in Belgrade, and they had two sons. I don't know
24 whether that is true and I don't feel like probing into that. He was
25 Milan Lukic's elder brother.
1 Q. Was his wife killed?
2 A. Gojko Lukic met a young girl during the war, he met her at
3 Visegrad; during the first months she was not his wife.
4 Q. And what happened to this woman?
7 (redacted) He needed fuel, and he said to me, Turn around and
8 look out the window, that's my girlfriend Amela Gacka from Dobrun, the
9 village of Dobrun.
10 Q. Did you ever see this woman sitting in a car driven by
11 Milan Lukic?
12 A. I noticed that woman in the Passat vehicle, but that was in late
13 autumn, not on that day but in late autumn, a couple of months
15 Q. After you met her, did you learn what happened to her?
16 A. I also had occasion to see her walking with Milan Lukic's mother.
17 They would be carrying some groceries that they had bought at the green
18 market, and I could notice that Amela Gacka was pregnant.
19 Q. Is she alive today?
20 A. Amela Gacka is no longer alive.
21 Q. Could you tell us in which conditions she died, if you know?
22 A. I was returning from the centre of town, from the public
23 accountancy service (redacted) Amela Gacka was
24 sitting by Milan in a car. He took her out and to the bridge, to the
25 bridge over the Drina River. I remember, it had to be sometime around or
1 before, rather, 1.00 p.m., during the day that is. She was the last
2 victim that I know of in the city of Visegrad and this happened in
3 autumn, in late autumn, it was cold. Actually, from what I learned Milan
4 had her returned, had her specifically returned from Belgrade in order to
5 cut short her young life. Amela Gacka had a father and a brother,
6 Meho Gacka was the father and I forgot the name of the brother (redacted)
8 Q. You say that he made her come back so that he would end her life.
9 What do you mean by that?
10 A. What I mean is that Gojko Lukic, his older brother, actually gave
11 all that up and he was no longer noticed -- his presence was no longer
12 noticed in these last months in Visegrad. He left the town together with
13 Amela Gacka to build a future somewhere else with her and live with her
14 somewhere else and she was also pregnant. Before giving birth and
15 giving -- bringing a new life into this world, he brought her back to the
16 Bosnian city of Visegrad and took her life. Otherwise Amela Gacka would
17 also be a witness here today and she would have many a thing to tell
18 about what Milan Lukic did. I'm very sorry for her and for her
19 parents -- parent and her brother, whom I knew well, although I do not
20 know where they are today nor whether they are still alive. I have no
21 information whatsoever about them.
22 Q. When you say he cut short her life, who are you speaking about,
23 Gojko or Milan Lukic?
24 A. I'm talking about Milan Lukic. In the last two months, Gojko was
25 not anywhere to be seen in the city of Visegrad. He himself was saying
1 that he would give it up, the city, go away, that he would go away to
2 live with Amela Gacka. And he told me, I'm afraid that he might kill
3 her, Amela, that is, one day because he also had killed her mother. I'm
4 relating to you all these things which were told me by Gojko Lukic. I
5 gave some thought to this man. He did so many things wrong, committed so
6 many wrongdoings, but I do give -- I do have an inkling of hope for him
7 because I'm very sorry about all the injustice that he has suffered. I
8 am sorry that he has lost his wife and his unborn baby.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Witness VG-115.
10 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have finished with
11 my examination of this witness.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Ossogo.
13 Mr. Alarid -- no, Mr. Alarid, you have of course every right to
14 put your case vigorously, that's the tradition from which you come, but I
15 ask you to bear in mind that this is a witness who has obviously been
16 through quite a lot and is distraught. Take that into consideration and
17 I know you'll be able to find a way to put your case as vigorously as
18 possible, but nonetheless respecting her condition. Thank you.
19 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour. I will try to do that.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
21 Q. Ms. 115, good morning.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I'd kind of like to address the last things you just testified
24 to, but I would like to get some background information as to how your
25 involvement in the prosecution of Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and
1 Sredoje Lukic occurred. Can we do that?
2 A. To tell you frankly, I decided to do that myself, to testify,
3 that is, and I did testify in order to prove in the minutest details that
4 I know what the truth was as to what the Lukics did and what
5 Mitar Vasiljevic did. Nobody compelled me to do this. I'm doing this on
6 a voluntary basis.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Witness.
8 MR. ALARID:
9 Q. Yes, ma'am, but that's actually exactly what I'd like to talk
10 about. When did you make this decision to participate as a witness
11 against Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and Sredoje Lukic?
12 A. I always had this decision in my subconscious. I couldn't have
13 done it in the city of Visegrad because there I wasn't a free person. (redacted)
14 (redacted) I knew
15 that one day I would either be taking the witness-stand or writing a book
16 about these things.
17 Q. Why would you want to write a book?
18 A. I would want to do that because the most beautiful of cities,
19 Visegrad, which I love the most in the entire Republic of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina in the currently Republika Srpska (redacted)
24 Q. And --
25 A. -- and now -- yes, please go ahead, ask your question. Can I
2 Q. Ma'am, isn't it true that you place personal responsibility for
3 the destruction of Visegrad on my client, Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, and
4 Mitar Vasiljevic?
5 A. Sir, I have to tell you this, Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic,
6 Mitar Vasiljevic, and all the other members of Milan's group always
7 hoisted their huge black flag with a skull and bones on it on which was
8 written "The Avenger." (redacted)
10 Q. I haven't said you were lying yet.
11 A. I have not come here to lie. I have come here to prove the truth
12 and that truth is a small thing, namely, what was it that those people
13 did in the city of Visegrad. I'm not actually defending the Muslim
14 people or the Serbian people for that matter; I'm just here to tell what
15 I've seen and what I've experienced in order for all people to be done
12 A. I say to you even today, I do not feel the need to hate anyone, I
13 cannot hate anyone, I was just ashamed and I'm still ashamed today. I
14 never hated the Lukic family, not before the war, not during the war, nor
15 do I hate them now. (redacted)
16 (redacted) I fear them then, it was not that they
17 feared me. Let me reiterate, I do not personally hate them, I do not
18 hate any Serbs. I'm not protecting Muslims. I'm just telling the truth.
19 Q. Isn't it true, ma'am, that despite the fact that you're
20 supposedly in close proximity to several crimes, no one that participated
21 in these crimes harmed you?
22 A. Evil was inflicted on me in other situations which are not of
23 relevance in this particular case. Evil was inflicted on me for two and
24 a half years in terms of the fact that I could not leave that city. Had
25 I left it, it would have better for Lukic, (redacted)
1 (redacted) Visegrad is a
2 small town, everything is known, everything is heard as to what other
3 people are doing. To their misfortune, I was there to see what they were
4 doing and I should like to emphasize once again, I personally do not hate
6 Q. Ma'am, ma'am, that's not the question I asked you. The question
7 I asked you is: Supposedly you're in close proximity to the perpetrators
8 of very serious crimes, they see you, they know you see them, they do not
9 harm you; isn't that true?
10 A. That is true. At that moment they inflicted no harm on me.
11 Q. Don't you feel that that is illogical that you would not be
12 harmed, especially since they supposedly hate you (redacted)
13 (redacted) that you wouldn't be made a victim with the rest of them?
14 A. What are you specifically driving at? What was your specific
15 question? Should Milan Lukic have killed me in Pionirska Street or the
16 Bikavac settlement and then you would be happy with that?
17 Q. No, ma'am, I would not be happy with that. What I would happy
18 with is if you would explain why a material witness to such horrible
19 crimes, (redacted) is not
20 included as a victim to -- in hindsight -- sure, so you wouldn't be here
21 today but simply because you just said that you were hated as well?
22 A. They did hate me. They're actually sorry today that I survived.
23 The Lukics did have the time to kill me. They knew that I could not
24 leave town, (redacted)
1 Q. Ma'am, let's -- you gave a statement and you said that you went
2 on your own accord to give a statement against the Lukics and Vasiljevic;
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. Before you made the decision to give your testimony in either
6 statement or trial, had you read news accounts or the indictment against
7 Mr. Lukic?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So you had not read any accounts as to the facts and
10 circumstances of the fire before you gave your statements over three days
11 in the year 2000?
12 A. I gave statements, my statements, when Mitar Vasiljevic was
13 deprived of liberty, that is when I made my statements.
14 Q. So when you saw the fact -- and I'm assuming you saw or got that
15 information from news reports and the community?
16 A. You can assume that. I do not oppose that. I'm here to tell the
18 Q. On direct exam by the state you testified that when you saw that
19 Mitar Vasiljevic had been arrested he was fatter than you had known him
20 before when he was -- when you were a witness to his atrocities; is that
22 A. Mitar Vasiljevic had put on some weight by the time I saw him in
23 the court, I mean he had gained some weight in relation to the last time
24 I saw him in Visegrad.
25 Q. Isn't it true you said, though, that you had seen photographs of
1 him following his arrest?
2 A. I can't remember that. I saw Mitar in the flesh in the city of
3 Visegrad and after so many years had elapsed I saw Mitar as an arrested
4 person. A couple of years had passed, so I couldn't help noticing, and I
5 did say so, that Mitar had put on some weight.
6 Q. A couple of years had passed. You're giving your statement today
7 in 2008 for instances that happened in 1992. Before 2001 when you gave
8 your testimony, when was the last time you had seen Mitar Vasiljevic?
9 A. I was able to see Mitar Vasiljevic as long as I myself was in
10 Visegrad. (redacted)
14 Q. Now, would the court usher please put on the screen what has been
15 uploaded as 1D00-0596 which is the English version of Ms. 115's 2000
16 statement and 1D00-0616 is the B/C/S version.
17 Now, ma'am, while they're uploading those documents, isn't it
18 true that you've read them before your testimony today?
19 A. Excuse me, I did not understand your question. What is it that
20 you're asking me?
21 Q. Did you read your statement you gave to the Tribunal in 2000
22 prior to your testimony today to refresh your recollection?
23 A. Yes, I skimmed through it. I didn't read it in total.
24 MR. ALARID: I would ask the court usher to direct the -- to page
25 14 of both respective statements.
1 Q. Can you see that, ma'am? I'd like you to read the paragraph
2 discussing Gojko Lukic, third paragraph from the top.
3 A. About Gojko Lukic.
4 Q. Now, you testified today under oath on direct examination that
5 you actually witnessed the death at the Drina River of his brother's
6 wife; isn't that true?
7 A. Just a -- wait a minute. Yes, I've read it.
8 Q. Okay. Isn't it true you never mentioned in your statement that
9 you actually witnessed the murder?
10 A. Yes, but this is a -- my condensed statement, a condensation of
11 my statement.
12 Q. Ma'am, don't you think it's an important thing to get out in a
13 statement that you're an actual eye-witness to a crime?
14 A. I passed by in a car that day. I was returning (redacted) and
15 Milan took out this pregnant girl from his car. I was alone and they
16 were alone.
17 Q. The Drina bridge is in the centre of town, is it not?
18 A. There are two bridges, in fact.
19 Q. And things had returned to normal by this point supposedly that
20 you had seen Gojko's wife in the market with his mother? Isn't that
22 A. Yes, that's true. That happened two or three days before the
24 Q. And at this particular time you're saying today that at 1.00 p.m.
25 you were actually right there, conveniently, at the time that Gojko's
1 wife was taken by Milan Lukic to the bridge to be killed?
2 A. I was returning (redacted)
3 (redacted) via the Novi Most.
4 Q. And you're saying today that you actually witnessed that killing;
6 A. Yes, that is true.
7 Q. Did he do it with a gun or a knife?
8 A. Shots could be heard. He did it with fire-arms, not a knife.
9 Q. How come you didn't say that in 2000?
10 A. I cannot remember word for word what it was that I said in 2000.
11 I tried to provide as many details as possible, and now when you're
12 asking me these things I'm giving you answers to them.
13 Q. You reviewed the statement before signing them; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And you reviewed them and actually issued a proofing statement or
16 proofing notes that you also agreed to; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in the proofing statement you never mentioned the fact that
19 you were actually an eye-witness to the death of Milan's sister-in-law;
20 isn't that true?
21 A. Here in this statement you can see that I was in a vehicle, and I
22 also indicated here that Milan and Amela were also in a vehicle. And I
23 stated that that was on the bridge.
24 Q. And nowhere did you say in that statement that you actually
25 witnessed the killing of his pregnant wife until today, here in court?
1 A. Nobody asked me specifically about this murder at that time there
2 was -- Mitar Vasiljevic was on trial. So I say now, if I was alone in
3 the vehicle on the bridge and Milan was in a vehicle on the bridge, I was
4 not armed, Milan was armed, and Milan took the lady out on the bridge and
5 it was common knowledge what happened to men and women when they were
6 taken to that bridge. Nobody else was shot at. Milan did not shoot at
7 me. Amela Gacka was killed then, and when I got back (redacted) and
8 on the morrow and for some time after that this story was told and
9 repeatedly told that Amela Gacka had been killed on the bridge.
10 Q. So are you saying now that really you just heard that she had
11 been killed?
12 A. No. Milan was shooting while we were passing by, he was shooting
13 at Amela. It was the talk of the town. It was a new story. It happened
14 in late autumn. At the moment I happened to be there. We had to cross
15 the bridge. The bridge is long, so we couldn't turn back in our vehicle.
16 Q. Don't you find that's an amazing coincidence that you had -- and
17 by the way, this is November, right?
18 A. It was in November.
19 Q. And don't you find it's an amazing coincidence that you in a
20 wrong-place/wrong-time situation just happened to witness so many
21 atrocities personally by Milan Lukic, Mitar Vasiljevic, and
22 Sredoje Lukic?
23 A. It all happened by chance. It's -- it is incredible but it
24 happened by chance -- but they did that on a daily basis so that
25 everybody could have been in the position to witness something of that.
1 To my misfortune, I had to go, or rather, take a ride from the town
2 centre (redacted) so I
3 happened to see the events on the bridge and the things that happened to
4 people. (redacted)
7 (redacted) Don't take me wrong. I
8 wouldn't have had the courage to follow the Lukics around or members of
9 their group to learn what they were doing. Nobody was opposing them nor
10 did they care. (redacted)
20 And the Lukics and the members of the group were committing massacres and
21 I knew what they were doing. They were doing what -- they were going
22 about their job (redacted) I couldn't oppose them,
23 nobody could.
24 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please turn the statements to
25 page 12, please, on both B/C/S and English.
1 Q. Ma'am, I'd like to put to your attention and ask you review the
2 second paragraph and third and fourth paragraphs of your statement in
4 A. On page 1 --
5 Q. On page 12, please.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
9 MR. ALARID:
10 Q. Please indicate when you've finished reading.
11 A. Yes, I have read it.
12 Q. Do you realize, ma'am, in your statement of 2000 before the trial
13 of Mitar Vasiljevic, you were given every opportunity to describe the
14 Bikavac fire; isn't that true?
15 A. That is true, but here --
16 Q. And isn't it true that you mentioned Mitar Vasiljevic, as in the
17 one that was on trial, as being present at the Bikavac fire?
18 A. I mentioned Mitar Vasiljevic because there were two persons by
19 that name. The one I know is the younger Mitar Vasiljevic who worked as
20 a waiter in Panos and the older Mitar Vasiljevic, that was my mistake,
21 is, in fact, Mitar Knezevic, an older man who only had one eye.
22 Q. So, in fact, you do claim that Mitar Vasiljevic, the younger one
23 that worked as a waiter, was at the Bikavac fire and you maintain that
24 today; correct?
25 A. I am saying that this is about Mitar Knezevic, who died a natural
2 Q. So you're saying that this is a mistake now?
3 A. But I always designated them as Mitar Vasiljevic senior and Mitar
4 Vasiljevic junior, and this one is Mitar Knezevic who was older than
5 Mitar Vasiljevic, the waiter.
6 Q. So Mitar Vasiljevic now wasn't at the fire, as you testified
8 A. When did I testify earlier? The first time I've given testimony
9 about the Bikavac fire is today.
10 Q. But I'm talking about in your statement, ma'am.
11 A. I am now telling you what this statement means. I cannot
12 remember the exact names of every person.
13 Q. Well -- but you'd indicated that you'd known Mitar Vasiljevic for
14 20 years, that he'd been a local (redacted) and he was a
15 waiter, a well-known person.
16 A. Yes, he was a well-known person.
17 Q. And in your statement you indicate with such certainty that you
18 saw him at Pionirska Street fire, the Bikavac fire, and several incidents
19 of atrocities in late June and July of 1992; isn't that true?
20 A. It is true that I saw him --
21 Q. And so do you --
22 A. -- at the fire. Please go ahead.
23 Q. At Pionirska Street fire and Bikavac?
24 A. I saw Mitar Vasiljevic in Pionirska Street and I pointed him out.
25 He was on a -- he was on horseback, on a white horse, but it was
1 Mitar Knezevic. I cannot remember well about Mitar Vasiljevic, the
2 younger man. And I remember well all I said about those -- these other
3 people. It was always confusing to me because there were two persons by
4 the same name Mitar.
5 Q. But nothing that make them look alike, correct, or how you knew
7 A. No, they don't look alike at all. Mitar Knezevic in my mind
8 always was Mitar Vasiljevic, but he was older than the real
9 Mitar Vasiljevic. And I repeat, he only had one eye, I don't remember
10 which eye, but they were together often.
11 Q. And isn't it true that you state in your statement with such
12 certainty that Mitar Vasiljevic was committing atrocities with --
13 supposedly with Milan in late July of 1992?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer.
16 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] President, I wonder whether one
17 could continue, with all respect due to my colleague who may certainly
18 ask these questions, I wonder whether one should continue this way.
19 We've already had a decision in the Mitar Vasiljevic trial, and as for
20 the framework of the indictment for which this lady is now giving
21 testimony, I wonder whether these questions about Mitar Vasiljevic are so
22 important. I know she mentioned him, but I don't know if the Chamber can
23 be helped with this. We have now to deal with Milan Lukic, with the two
24 Lukics. There already has been a judgement for Vasiljevic, so is this
25 helpful? Should one pursue along this line?
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo, it goes to credibility, that's what
3 he's -- that's why he's cross-examining.
4 But I do believe you have spent enough time on that and should
5 move on.
6 He's testing her credibility; that's why he's referring to the
7 Vasiljevic case, and he's entitled to do that but not ad nauseam.
8 MR. ALARID: Tell me when I'm beating the dead horse too much,
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe you have done enough on that
11 particular topic and should move on.
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. Now today, Ms. 115, you indicate that you hid in an orchard --
14 MR. CEPIC: Sometimes it's a problem to have translation, full
15 translation in B/C/S, so I kindly ask my learned friend to sometimes ask
16 a little bit slowly to have a full translation in B/C/S. Thank you.
17 Because it was overlapping.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
19 MR. ALARID: Yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. Now, before we move on from the Bikavac fire would it be fair to
23 say that these three paragraphs were all that you had read, reviewed, and
24 otherwise attested to prior to this testimony today regarding the Bikavac
25 fire? Ma'am, isn't that true?
1 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is waiting for the interpretation.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I reviewed it.
3 MR. ALARID:
4 Q. And isn't it true that there's no mention of the garage door in
5 your statement?
6 A. Well, the garage door was mentioned in my full-length statement.
7 When I was testifying in the Vasiljevic trial, I didn't have the
8 opportunity to say anything about the Bikavac massacre. Judging by the
9 extent you're asking questions about Mitar Vasiljevic, you are about to
10 convict him yourself because you are insisting that I say that he was
11 present. And I am mentioning the garage door because Milan Lukic and
12 Sredoje Lukic dragged them there and put them against the door, the
13 entrance door, of the house so that people couldn't escape. I could see
14 that clearly. My vision was impaired in no way, and that is the part of
15 my full-length statement as I made it today.
16 Q. And in your prior statement, ma'am, you mentioned no contact with
17 VG-114, do you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And you mention no grenades or gasoline bottles being thrown and
20 seeing that, do you?
21 A. I did mention it today and that's what I said in my full-length
23 Q. In your written statement in anticipation of your earlier
24 testimony, isn't it true you did not mention grenades being used or
25 gasoline bottles being used prior to today?
1 A. I'm testifying today. This is the first opportunity I've had to
2 testify about Bikavac.
3 Q. But you had a full opportunity in over three days in the year
4 2000 to give all the details to the investigators that are relevant to
5 this -- every incident that you knew of and you failed to do so; isn't
6 that true?
7 A. I did lots to that effect, I wrote entire novels. All these
8 statements are, in fact, digested and I repeat that I'm saying the truth.
9 I could write volumes and I have already forgotten lots of things.
10 Q. Well, you had an opportunity to refresh your recollection with
11 both the statement and your volumes of information, and you had an
12 opportunity to give that information to the Prosecution in your proofing
13 statement; and yet you only made one change in regards to the Bikavac in
14 anticipation of today's testimony. Isn't that true?
15 A. I made no change. The Trial Chamber allowed me to speak at more
16 length in my statement of today. I only spoke more extensively today and
17 in comparison to my shorter statement, my earlier, shorter statement.
18 I'm only sorry that I forgot many facts because a lot of time has elapsed
20 Q. Well, if you read your statement as regards to the Bikavac fire,
21 it appears in writing that you, in fact, saw nothing and left and only
22 heard noises; isn't that true?
23 A. I couldn't leave the place in two minutes; that would have been
24 impossible to do.
25 Q. You made no mention of an orchard; isn't that true?
1 A. That was the shortest way. I didn't mention it, but it was a
2 shortcut I took which I marked with a cross and a circle. That's where
3 I -- the way I took to leave. It's a narrow footpath. I couldn't leave
4 passing by the vehicles. It was a very small plum orchard on the plot
5 belonging to Medo Mulahasic.
6 Q. In your statement you indicated that you heard bursts of fire but
7 in today's testimony you indicated you saw the grenades and the fire and
8 the gasoline bottles; isn't that true?
9 A. They were throwing bottles filled with gasoline and hand-grenades
10 and there were bursts of fire, and I was trying to make it to the main
11 road which wasn't far from the orchard. It's all close, some 20 metres
12 or so. I was going for the main road to continue toward the town centre.
13 Q. And isn't it true in your statement you did not indicate in any
14 way that you saw this grenade throwing or gasoline throwing?
15 A. I reiterate that my statement was digested. Do I not have the
16 right to say the truth today? Because I have been asked to give as much
17 detail about the events at Bikavac. Why are you now questioning me thus
18 and preventing me from saying the truth? I didn't do it, you didn't do
19 it; we all know who did it, the two Lukics and the members of their
21 Q. You named several participants of or alleged participants of the
22 Bikavac fire, including a Zoran Vasiljevic. Why did you hate
23 Mr. Zoran Vasiljevic so much as you indicated in your prior direct
25 A. Thank you for this question. Now I can say. To me that man is
1 Zoran Vasiljevic. His name is Zoran, but I'm still not sure whether his
2 last name is Simsic or Vasiljevic but I know what he looks like and I
3 have a reason to hate that man (redacted)
6 (redacted) Similarly, as in the case of Mitar Vasiljevic or Knezevic. And
7 please don't insult me because of these lowly people, not to call them
8 animals. That is why I hate Zoran Vasiljevic or Knezevic. He is -- he
9 lives somewhere around Belgrade. He is also a native of Visegrad who
10 worked in Serbia and --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, thank you. I believe you have given a
12 full explanation to the question asked.
13 Let's move on.
14 MR. ALARID:
15 Q. Well, ma'am, in your statement on page 17, you do indicate a
16 synopsis about Mr. Vasiljevic, but you indicate that Mitar Vasiljevic was
17 with him so it should be very easy for you to be able to tell them apart;
18 wouldn't that be fair?
19 MR. ALARID: And if the court usher would change to page 17 if
20 the witness needs to refresh her recollection.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have read it.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. And so you seem pretty certain as to the identities of both
24 people (redacted)
25 A. Yes, they were Mitar Knezevic, the older one, and
1 Zoran Vasiljevic or Simsic. I'm sorry for not knowing his precise last
2 name. It was Mitar Knezevic, the older man.
11 Pages 741-743 redacted. Private session.
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. You indicated in your earlier testimony the presence of
14 Niko Vujicic?
15 A. Vujicic.
16 Q. Sorry, ma'am. And Veljko Planincic?
17 A. Planincic.
18 Q. They were both police officers?
19 A. Yes, they were.
20 Q. Who was the commander of the police in Visegrad at the time?
21 A. The commander, the komandir, of the police was Milan Josipovic.
22 Q. What about Perisic?
23 A. And Risto Perisic.
24 Q. And Drago Tomic?
25 A. He also had some senior post in the police. Yes, he too was with
1 the police force.
2 Q. And what about the Crisis Staff?
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Objection. I don't know whether we
4 dealt with all this, all these political questions regarding the
5 structure of the police force. This lady was never asked any questions
6 about the structure of the police forces in Visegrad. She did -- was
7 asked questions about the persons that belonged to the police, but I
8 believe that my fellow -- my learned colleague now is talking about the
9 structure of the police force and this lady has nothing to do with this.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us see whether she can answer, whether
11 she's able to answer the question. But we -- it's now time for the
12 break, so we'll take the break, half an hour.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, you were about to ask the witness
16 questions relating to the structure of the police force. To what end?
17 MR. ALARID: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. ALARID: [Microphone not activated]
20 Basically, Your Honour, to show who was in control and that --
21 also this witness's knowledge of the situation in town at the time. (redacted)
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The trial is a public trial and --
17 MR. ALARID: Did I take us to the private session?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We need to be sure when the private session is
19 ended that we return. It is, of course, ultimately the Chamber's
20 responsibility but I ask all officers here to be alert to that and to
21 bring it to the attention of the Court.
22 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, did I do that?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I'm not saying that you did, but just let us
24 know if we have not picked up that we are still in private session when
25 we should not be.
1 MR. ALARID:
2 Q. Ms. 115, I had asked you before about your knowledge of the
3 Crisis Staff in Visegrad, the political hierarchy, if you will. Can you
4 describe that at the time, in the summer of 1992?
5 A. You must ask me specifically what it is that you're interested in
6 in order for me to describe it. Is it the police, the staff, what
8 Q. What was the police -- what were Perisic's and Tomic's
9 responsibility with regards to the police force?
10 A. Risto Perisic and Tomic, yes. Mr. Risto Perisic was the chief of
11 the police of the so-called MUP, M-U-P, in Visegrad, a very positive
12 person in my opinion. He discharged his duties, he did so in the very
13 building of the police, he was responsible for his police force members
14 in terms that they were to provide assistance and actually prove
15 themselves as police officers in their activities.
16 As for Dragan Tomic, I didn't know him well. In my view, he too
17 was a very good person, a positive person, and I know that his brother
18 was killed, I'm not sure and I apologise, whether it was his younger or
19 older brother, he was killed in the war.
20 Q. And what about the Crisis Staff, Savovic?
21 A. I had occasion to see Savovic frequently. He worked at the
22 municipality and he also discharged his office well, unassociated with
23 the paramilitary forces, which is to say I cannot venture an opinion as
24 to what actually Savovic did but he was a very positive person and figure
25 in the city of Visegrad. At that time and during his time and after his
1 time I can say that he was a very conscientious and clean person, a very
2 positive character in my mind. According to what I heard and as far as I
3 can remember and as far as I could see, in the electric power authority
4 building radio waves could be used. There I often saw Savovic --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Witness.
6 Next question.
7 MR. ALARID:
8 Q. And, ma'am, would it be fair to say that the Crisis Staff and --
9 placed into power Perisic and Tomic following the SDS taking power?
10 A. No. Perisic and Tomic were employed with the police prior to the
11 breakout of the war, prior to the war situation. They did have power
12 also before that --
13 Q. But after --
14 A. -- Crisis Staff did not actually confer any particular function
15 on them.
16 Q. Isn't it true that the Crisis Staff had the ability through the
17 SDS to appoint members throughout the community, this included the police
19 A. No.
20 Q. How do you know this?
21 A. The SDS was a distinct party, a separate party.
22 Q. Separate party from who?
23 A. I'm unable to tell you anything about the SDS. That is something
24 new. I was doing my job, Perisic was discharging his task. Now, the SDS
25 was a new creation in town. I cannot tell you anything about it. I
1 don't even know who was in charge of the SDS.
2 Q. Isn't it true the SDS took control of Visegrad following the
3 persecutions of Muslims?
4 A. What do you mean by took control --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, please, Witness.
6 Yes, Mr. Ossogo.
7 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, my learned friend Mr. Alarid is
8 trying to get the witness to affirm that Muslims were persecuted by the
9 SDS. I don't know whether in the examination-in-chief this was raised.
10 I don't think it was raised at all. It might have to do with the
11 credibility of the witness, but there are Rules of Procedure. You cannot
12 go in any direction when you ask questions. The questions in the
13 cross-examination have to do with the questions that were put in the
14 examination-in-chief. I fully understood what you said earlier, but this
15 is a different kettle of fish, if I could say so. I don't know where in
16 my client's -- in my client's statement or testimony there's anything
17 about the structure of all this. He's talking about persecution but not
18 in such detail, so I believe that my learned friend should remain in the
19 framework of the questions that were put in the examination-in-chief and
20 in the statement. That way I think we could move on; otherwise, at this
21 pace we're going to spend two days on this.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not going to allow -- I will not allow
23 further questioning on that subject matter, Mr. Alarid.
24 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, just to make the record and -- but
25 I will move on is simply that in the global sense of a trial oftentimes
1 the credibility is tested against other witnesses presented by the state.
2 And when other witnesses have testified to different observations with
3 regards to the make-up, the political structure, and then this witness is
4 then somehow contradictory, then it would be up to the Chamber to weigh
5 the credibility of each witness against the other and disregard one or
6 the other or both, if necessary, if that's where -- if the Court saw fit
7 down the road. That's where I was going with that, Your Honour, but I
9 Q. Now, just in terms of your knowledge of Perisic, ma'am, did you
10 realize he was a professor before the war?
11 A. Yes, I know that he was a teacher, that he worked in a school,
12 but I'm that kind of person and I didn't actually communicate much with
13 Perisic, I didn't have the need to. I know that he was the chief of the
14 police and that he conscientiously discharged his duties during the war,
15 prior to the war, and after the war, according to what I know, because I
16 had much more pressing matters to attend to, building my house, my duties
17 at work. I was not involved in any political party so that I can only
18 tell you what happened in the town of Visegrad when the people were
19 divided. This is what I can tell you about.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. Witness, I'm going to ask
21 you to try your best to give answers that are short and to the point.
22 MR. ALARID:
23 Q. Now, ma'am, do you recall testifying at the earlier trial?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you recall being shown photographs in that trial?
1 A. What photographs do you mean? What do you mean?
2 Q. You were asked to look at a photograph and see if you could
3 identify the location of the Pionirska Street fire.
4 A. Oh, I see.
5 Q. And isn't it true that on that date you'd said that you could not
6 identify where the fire had occurred because you had been too full of
7 fear at the time that you witnessed it?
8 A. I was definitely scared, but I do know from which direction the
9 fire came and whose property the house was and that's why I can find my
10 way in that photograph.
11 Q. The question was, ma'am, is: Isn't it true in the earlier trial
12 you were not able to find that house in a photograph, and yet today
13 you're able to point it out? Isn't that true?
14 A. I do not remember that I was unable to point to the house.
15 Perhaps I wasn't, perhaps the photographs were not the same. Were they?
16 Q. I'm simply confirming, ma'am, and it is not for me to say, it's
17 actually for your recollection as a witness to know. And so isn't it
18 true, ma'am, that you were not able to identify the home in the earlier
20 A. I wish to stress again that I do not know. Perhaps I was unable
21 to precisely point to the house. Perhaps the newly built house was
22 pointed out to me, I -- in that photograph. Perhaps it was not this
23 photograph which I just saw. Maybe I was shown one with a newly built
24 house and I was unable to pin-point the two houses. I don't remember it
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, the matter could be clarified if you
2 were to point us to the evidence in the earlier trial.
3 MR. ALARID: The evidence as it's loaded in my batch from the
4 Prosecution, Your Honour, was -- it's under -- it's been uploaded under
5 1D00-0706, and if that could be brought on the screen by the court
6 officer, please.
7 Q. Do you recall this photograph, ma'am?
8 A. Well, now that I'm looking at this photograph, whether it was the
9 same photograph as on that day I don't remember; but I can recognise the
10 house. The photograph may have been different. Now looking at it I can
11 recognise the house. I don't remember my situation in the previous
12 testimony, whether I was afraid or not, but now I can -- I can find my
13 way in this photograph.
14 Q. What helped you gain this memory between the trial in 2001 and
15 today, in 2008?
16 A. It's because I am focused and I can think back more thoroughly so
17 that -- so as to avoid pointing out the wrong house. Perhaps I meant a
18 newly built house. There may be new houses there now. Looking at the
19 houses as they are now, I cannot remember what the photograph was like
20 that I saw several years ago. I don't remember well what exactly I said.
21 I remember the main facts but not every word and everything that was
22 written down.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ossogo.
24 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] I don't want to disturb the
25 cross-examination of my learned friend, but I didn't think he was going
1 to show this document. I thought he was going to show the transcript.
2 But since we have the document here on the screen, you see -- we see that
3 the witness put a sign on the second house. Is this private session,
4 sorry, are we in private session?
5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is not being broadcast.
6 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well.
7 So I want to say that obviously there was a house that was
8 identified during the previous trial because this house that has a
9 balcony, second house on Pionirska, so this house was identified. We see
10 the marking, and the Defence is trying to confuse the witness at the
11 moment because here this person did identify her house and from her house
12 she said where the smoke came from. Now, if we want to have additional
13 information, we should go to the transcript.
14 Let me remind you that this witness, as you notice, suffered
15 great trauma. All this happened almost 20 years ago so -- all this is
16 very human. Obviously she did identify her house which means she did
17 identify Pionirska, and if we can move to the transcript, if Defence
18 wants to, we can do that. But I don't believe that the Defence can say
19 that the witness was not able to identify her house or the house where
20 the fire was, her second house, because she did identify places.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ossogo, you have made your point.
22 Mr. Alarid.
23 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Shall we look at the transcript?
25 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Or are you satisfied now that the witness has
2 identified her house?
3 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, actually I'm not satisfied. The reason
4 I'm not satisfied simply is because what she had marked on the original
5 exhibit was not the point. The original exhibit has no markings --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's look at the transcript.
7 MR. ALARID: The transcript, Your Honour, is page 1021 of the
8 Vasiljevic trial transcript, in English only, of course. And it has been
9 uploaded as 1D00-0635. And actually I misspoke on the page number,
10 Your Honour, it's actually page 1024. And we're still looking at, I
11 think, 109 -- there you go.
12 And, Your Honour ...
13 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: That transcript I am told was in closed session
15 so we should be in private session.
16 MR. ALARID: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. Just looking at
17 that, though, Your Honour --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us move into private session first.
19 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: So do we have the page and the line?
6 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour, it's page 1024 and it basically
7 begins at line 13 and the question and the answer is on line 18 and
8 it's -- the witness states:
9 "A. Yes, of course I did." And that was with regards to hearing
10 activity outside the house. "It was nearby. I'm sorry, I'm unable to
11 show you the house where this was happening. My mind was going, and
12 forgive me for this. I was full of fear."
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: So your contention is that she did not identify
14 the house --
15 MR. ALARID: Originally.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- originally and she said the reason is that
17 she was full of fear. She's not now full of fear.
18 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour, I took it in context that she
19 wasn't in fear at the time of the testimony but that it was actually the
20 fear at the time of the incident that kept her from being able to recall
21 that. The context, I guess, is open to debate.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, she had already answered and given the
24 explanation, which is that she is now focused and she can think back more
1 So that's the explanation. Let's move on.
2 MR. ALARID: Can we go back to the photo -- and, Your Honour,
3 just for purposes, since I will forget in the future if I don't, I would
4 like to tender the previous statements of this witness. 1D00-0596 is the
5 English version of the statement, the trial transcript is 1D00-0635, the
6 proofing statement is 1D00-3144, and the aerial photograph that was
7 originally referred to in the Vasiljevic trial is 1D00-0706, and we would
8 ask that they be admitted into evidence at this time --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 MR. ALARID: -- and under seal, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D00-0596 will become 1D18;
13 1D00-0635 will become 1D19, under seal; 1D00-3144 will become 1D20, under
14 seal; and 1D00-0706 will become 1D21, under seal.
15 MR. ALARID:
16 Q. Now, ma'am --
17 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, I would like to go back and put
18 the original statement which was, I guess, now being tendered as Defence
19 Exhibit 17, which is the original statement, and I'd like to go to page
20 11 and also show the B/C/S version -- or excuse me, 18, and I'd like to
21 show the B/C/S version at the same page of page 12 side by side -- excuse
22 me, I apologise, actually, page 11.
23 Q. And I'd ask you, ma'am, to read the first paragraph in Serbian,
24 please. Have you read that, ma'am?
25 A. Yes, I have read it.
13 MR. ALARID: Could the court usher please move both the exhibits
14 to the previous page, page 10, and move to the last paragraph, please,
15 bottom of both pages.
16 Q. I'd like you to read the bottom paragraph, ma'am, please. Please
17 indicate when you've had an opportunity to read that, ma'am, finish.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ossogo.
19 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] The witness indicated who was the
20 owner of the house. I would like to have the name of the -- the name of
21 the owner of the house be not indicated because we are in public session
23 Witness V-115, you do not have to utter the name of the owner of
24 the house in which you were residing.
25 MR. ALARID:
1 Q. Ma'am -- ma'am, have you had an opportunity to read that bottom
2 paragraph on page 10?
3 So as you're walking to the place you're staying, you're walking;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. From what direction?
7 A. From the direction of my company toward the house where I was
8 staying and in the direction of Pionirska, both up and down that street.
9 MR. ALARID: Can we have the exhibit that was 1D00-0706 which I
10 believe is 20 or 21. And could the court officer please give the witness
11 the device in which to mark up this photograph.
12 Q. And with an arrow, please, of a short nature, please indicate
13 from the direction you came from and where you were walking towards.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And did you go all the way to the end of your arrow, ma'am, and
16 turn around and come back?
17 A. I'm sorry, but it continues further up, outside the photograph.
18 Q. Well, I understand that, ma'am. So are you saying that when you
19 were walking from your place of employment you came from the bottom of
20 the photograph, as indicated, where you started the line?
21 A. Yes, I went from the bottom up.
22 Q. And the house in which you were staying that has the 115 and the
23 little circle in it, that's where you needed to go that day, nowhere
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And so, tell me where you met with Mitar Vasiljevic on the road.
2 A. No, that is not correct.
12 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Yes,
13 Mr. President. I think it would be necessary to go in private session
14 because there's a lot of information that has been given which could
15 identify the witness.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid, if we're going to be proceeding
17 along those lines, we have to go into private session.
18 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
23 Q. Where did you speak with Mitar Vasiljevic?
24 A. Why should I speak with Mitar Vasiljevic?
25 Q. Isn't it true you spoke with a woman right before the fire,
1 according to your prior testimony?
2 A. I saw the woman on the street. She broke free from that convoy
3 and she saw me, but I had no contact with Mitar Vasiljevic and it's right
4 that I didn't.
5 Q. Where did you see Mitar Vasiljevic?
6 A. I saw Mitar Vasiljevic at the same place where I saw all these
7 other people I mentioned and as I said in my first testimony, and I would
8 like to ask the Trial Chamber why the gentleman keeps referring me to the
9 first testimony if the accused was -- has been convicted. I'm now at
10 this trial where Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic are the defendants. I
11 shouldn't have to mention Mitar Vasiljevic. I thought this was done and
12 over with. Why are you asking me about Mitar Vasiljevic all the time?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: He's entitled to do so. He's trying to show
14 that you're not a reliable witness. He's testing what we call your
15 credibility by suggesting that in that trial you said one thing and in
16 your testimony here you are saying something else. So that's the reason.
17 Don't get upset about it. It's a legal strategy. It may or may not
19 Yes, Mr. Cepic.
20 MR. CEPIC: I apologise for interrupting. Just one correction in
21 transcript, this is page -- witness said, I will say in B/C/S
22 [Interpretation] I was told that at this trial I'm not supposed to
23 mention Mitar Vasiljevic. Or, more precisely, I was instructed that at
24 this trial I would not be asked about Mitar Vasiljevic. We can listen to
25 the tape also.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
2 MR. ALARID:
3 Q. Is it true, ma'am, that you were instructed not to speak about
4 Mitar Vasiljevic in this trial?
5 A. That is not correct and don't take that literally. It was me who
6 put -- spoke about Mitar Vasiljevic, but it was said to me that he is not
7 important in this trial. So I didn't go back to the statements I had
8 already given. Mitar Vasiljevic was not interesting to me and I was
9 not -- I wasn't preparing to talk about him, and that's why I'm confused
10 by your question why I was walking up Pionirska Street, why?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, I believe you are now belabouring
12 this point.
13 MR. ALARID:
14 Q. Where were the people moving?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you hear me?
16 MR. ALARID: Actually I was reading.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said you are belabouring this point.
18 MR. ALARID: Belabouring the point of the Pionirska Street fire?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, Mitar Vasiljevic and what was said before.
20 Are you moving on to a different --
21 MR. ALARID: I was, actually.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, yes.
11 Pages 763-767 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: How long are you going to take?
20 MR. CEPIC: Less than one hour, maybe more. I don't know yet.
21 It depends --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: In that case, we'll adjourn until tomorrow.
23 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day of
1 August, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.